Monday, February 26, 2024

Siege of Hachigata - part 3

Here are some pictures of the latest episode of our occasional campaign based on the Siege of Hachigata. This is a little delayed - we played on 10th February.

The scenario this time was based on my reading about Samurai-age sieges. A measure used successfully at one siege was to dig a trench that drained off the castle's only water supply. The issue with a four-player The Pikeman's Lament campaign is adapting the two-player scenarios in the rule book. In this case I wrote this introduction:

The Takeda clan, under the famous warlord Takeda Shingen, are besieging the Hōjō clan’s castle at Hachigata in Musashi province.

Shingen has brought in miners from his home province and had them dig a trench through some woods near the castle. With a few more hours of digging they can connect the trench to the stream that runs under the castle walls. The trench will drain away the water and deprive the defenders of their main supply of drinking water.

Unfortunately this digging must take place in the open. Shingen has selected Honda Gozemon to lead a diversionary attack on an isolated yagura (tower or bastion). Hopefully this will distract the enemy while the miners complete their task. Just in case, Takeda Mochinaga is to wait in the woods and only intervene if the enemy menaces the miners.

The yagura was a 3D print - my most ambitious so far; it took over 24 hours to print.

In fact the roof sections didn't print properly. I rebuilt them with cardboard.

Andy, as Honda Gozemon, was tasked with launching the attack on the outlying bastion. He would gain three points of Honour if he took it. He would gain one more point if the attack was successful in diverting enemy attention long enough to allow Shingen's miners to complete their task.

Honda Gozemon's company - two units of samurai, one
of ashigaru with tempo (arquebus), and an artillery piece
among the trees.

Mark, as Takeda Mochinaga, was responsible for providing a close escort for the miners.

The new ditch approaches the stream
providing the castle with drinking water.

Phil, in the role of Hōjō Tsebedetsu, was tasked with defending the yagura with up to eight points worth of troops. He chose two units of ashigaru spearmen. Because the model is solid, we placed the defending units in contact with the base. This made it easier to determine which defending unit was being fired at or attacked in melee. 

Meanwhile Ron, who as usual was playing Date Masamune, was simply ordered to be on the lookout to oppose any enemy moves. This left him free to attack the miners when it became clear what they were up to.

Without going into too much detail, it took a long time for the defenders to realise what was going on. by the time Date switched his attention to the ditch-diggers emerging from the woods, they had made significant progress. 

In addition, Hōjō Tsebedetsu seemed reluctant to fully commit to the defence of the outlying tower.

In the end the bastion was captured and the ditch was completed to draw off the castle's water supply. Victory to the besiegers!

Andy/Honda Gozemon, it emerged, had made the "Charge!" boast before the game. He succeeded in declaring the first Attack of the game thus gaining one point of Honour in addition to the three for capturing the bastion and one for the success of the main mission. This takes him to 32 points in total, which in turn saw him gain a new ability. He is now "Patient"- his unit is immune to the Wild Charge condition (sadly there are no units with Wild Charge in the campaign though).

Mark/Takeda Mochinaga's 4 points of Honour (he didn't Boast) put him up to 21 points and he too got to roll for a new trait. He got "Favoured" giving him a fine gift from Takeda Shingen and five more points of Honour for a new total of 26!

Ron/Date Masamune had failed to take advantage of the situation and had also failed in his Boast to "Beat the butcher's bill" by killing or routing more units than he lost. The resulting loss of one point of Honour sees him on a new total of 13.

And finally we learned the reason for Hōjō Tsebedetsu's passivity. He had made the Boast "I shall brandish only my fan". By keeping his own unit out of the fight, he gained a very welcome three points of Honour, taking him up to a total of 10.

I originally planned to follow history, having the Takeda abandon the siege, with later games in the campaign taking place during their withdrawal. However, with all of the games so far ending in victory for the besiegers, I wonder if I should diverge from the established course of things. What do you think?


Steve J. said...

A fine game and background info too, perfect timing with 'Shogun' airing on Disney+ tonight:). As for the storyline, just go with what feels right for you.

Counterpane said...

Cheers Steve!