Battle of Mikatagahara

Post Reply
fitzpatv
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:54 pm

Battle of Mikatagahara

Post by fitzpatv » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:43 pm

Probably the hardest scenario in the series (though playing the Toyotomi at Sekigahara runs it close !). I've tried it four times and have yet to win.

A young Tokugawa Ieyasu is cornered by Takeda Shingen's much larger army and must save face by inflicting 29% casualties before taking 60% himself (apparently, it doesn't matter whether he personally survives or not, which is just as well). As the briefing says, defeat is inevitable.

The initial deployment doesn't help. Your army is strung out across the map with the Honjin in an exposed central position and it is necessary to spend the first few turns pulling in the flanks and organising the troops into a viable formation as the enemy horde lumbers forward. Terrain doesn't help much either - there's a wood across the middle of the board, but few units enjoy being in the trees, the enemy in any case have more of them than you do and the position is very easy to envelop. Apart from some mountains in the bottom right corner and a few patches of rough ground, the rest is open plains, which suit the large numbers of Takeda cavalry very well.

Tried to put my yari samurai in the middle, back them with missile troops and guard the flanks with yari ashigaru and cavalry, but the battlefield is too big to really secure the wings. Had some early success when the initial Takeda wave was defeated on the left and centre and delayed on the right. Numbers told as more Takeda units piled in, however and the Tokugawa forces were swamped. Takeda mounted units could launch 'wrecking ball' charges, while being relatively immune to being charged themselves by the Tokugawa foot. As the battle wore on, flank attacks were increasingly hard to avoid, especially when my units pursued under AI control. Even so, I got to 28% and would have won with just a little more luck, so it isn't impossible.

Didn't think that it was possible to run it closer than that and still lose - but I was wrong !!. On my second attempt, I tried to defend the bottom right corner of the board and funnel the enemy so that they couldn't bring their full force to bear. The woods did slow them down and ponded-up a lot of units where they couldn't get at me. Otherwise, it was a case of trying to think on my feet tactically. Actually managed to rout exactly 29% of the Takeda units for about 40% losses (at the conclusion of a complete turn), but the game CONTINUED until my losses reached the magic 60%. In the interim, I couldn't win a morale check and enough Takeda units rallied (as they are always likely to do given the numerical disparity) to leave me with a 62-27 defeat, which was rather hard to accept.

I've had two more attempts since then and haven't managed to score more than 20. Tried an offbeat approach the third time, withdrawing most of the foot behind the mountains on the bottom right and deploying skirmishers on the heights. This required sacrificing my cavalry for little gain and my fate was sealed when all four of my teppo ashigaru skirmishers lost individual firefights with Takeda equivalents standing in the open below them. There doesn't seem to be any height or cover advantage under these circumstances and the rules need looking at here.

I'd be interested to know if anyone has come up with a strategy for winning this scenario that doesn't simply rely on throwing virtual dice well.

Post Reply

Return to “After Action Reports”