Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Way of the Exploding D6

Hello people,

Last night at Enfield Gamers I got to play something of a "proper" wargame as Rich ran myself and Shaun through Osprey's new samurai skirmish offering, Ronin

There were fully painted figures, with flocked bases, running around on a 4x4 table covered with a gaming mat, hills, woods, a road, river, broken ground and a walled house plus attendant scatter pieces! I was well chuffed ;)

I also rather enjoyed both games of Ronin that we played. It's a small scale skirmish system with initiative, alternate individual figure activation and plenty of skills and equipment that many such modern day offerings feature. The difference is the resource management element, this time in the combat phase, that is doing so much for the genre these days.

In short every figure / character has a number of Command Points (CP) which are allocated prior to combat as either attack or defence points. Unsurprisingly attack points boost your attack dice pool while defence dice boost your defence dice pool. 
Combat itself is an opposed dice roll with combined attack dice roll + character fight value +/- bonuses vs combined defence dice roll + fight value +/- bonuses + armour. The difference determines severity of wound.

Relatively standard stuff you might think, along with attendant weapon and ability modifiers, but the rub comes in the fact that you allocate CPs blind prior to chat and then reveal simultaneously. This introduces an element if bluff with their use becoming both highly tactical and situational. This the game within the game is created and highly enjoyable it is too :)
Lady Luck still plays her part and did Shaun no favours for most of the evening. There are several lists available and my warrior monks featured a rock hard and tooled warlord with similarly keen Sensei with a couple of very green initiates.

Outnumbered in both games I followed the mantra of mutual support and combats did tend to clump. In both games it was my warlord that did most of the damage whilst the slack-jawsdid their   best to stay alive.

As with most skirmish systems a variety of quality scenarios is key and a number are provided and it wouldn't be difficult to convert over the huge number out there or write your own.
So a good solid system with enough detail and meta to keep you engaged and necessitate proper tactical play whilst still knocking along at a rate of knots. We played two games in the night from a standing start and probably could have had a third. 

You could also use the system for just about any sword, shield and bow or matchlock setting. Add in a bit of "magic" and you can cover the fantasy base too.

With my Dreadball painting nearing a conclusion it'll definitely be the LOTR orcs and gobs up next though my Comfrontation Bushi greenskins would do just as well as a dozen figures is more than plenty.

Looking forward to a few more dramatically raised eyebrows and poorly dubbed challenges ;)

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