Minamoto clan in the Gempei War

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GiveWarAchance
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Minamoto clan in the Gempei War

Post by GiveWarAchance » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:54 pm

I'm just gonna do a simple style report generalizing the campaign without any details or anything much at all in this Gempei Kassen campaign.

I've done a bunch of battles as the somewhat noble Minamoto and we are on an even footing with the insidious Taira after a considerable amount of classic samurai violence. I've won 2/3s of my battles and just finished getting overrun in Mino province last battle in a dismal defeat. The frisky Fujiwara clan are hiding in the trees along the periphery of my ripe empire like wood elves. I don't know what the cunning elves are planning. I say the Minamoto are only somewhat noble cause Yoritomo is a bit of a dark soul as leader and the heroic Yoshitsune who defeated the evil Taira in battle should have become leader but he was forced into hiding by his brother Yoritomo who found a legendary set of armor next to a lake so he claimed he was fated to be leader of the Minamoto.

The reviled red bannered Taira have extremely big, extremely evil armies that outflank and swamp my smaller armies with elaborate multiple battlegroup operations. The AI in this game is top notch and probably one of the best ever made for a game. When I win battles, it is more like how Rocky won against Apollo at the end of Rocky 2 with my tattered army staggering about trying to keep off the canvas just long enough for the decision to be rendered before we collapse with exhaustion.

Some battles are like Isandlwana when the British were overrun by the Zulu horde. I hunker my army down in some rice fields and try to cull the enemy enough to break up their units in bits before they can concentrate their trademark overwhelming frontal pin and flanking attack combos which are repeated with ruthless efficiency which look similar to the deadly Zulu horn tactics. This is a very unreliable strategy as I learned the hard way when I tried to invade Mino province. I like to pour arrow fire into the badguys to cull them and knock them down a morale step here and there before the melee stage begins. In other battles I send my army quickly at one side of the Taira minions to see off one portion of the malcontent thugs before the rest can converge on my little army like gangsters swarming an armored truck while it's refilling an ATM machine. I have 4 armies now on the map scurrying about trying to grab territory while desperately trying to wear down the Taira hordes in high bodycount battles but invariably they outnumber us by a fair amount every fight so it is always a challenge.

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Re: Minamoto clan in the Gempei War

Post by GiveWarAchance » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:17 pm

We had 4 more battles and lost 3 and won 1 of them. There have been 10 battles total so far with an even tally of 5 won & 5 lost for both sides.

The last 3 losses including another failed assault on the impregnable Mino province, left our disheartened Minamotans with 3 tattered armies corralled into Kiso province by the ravenous Taira thugs.

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But we didn't give up and counterattacked into Mikawa and had a terrible battle that we almost lost yet again. The battle was so similar to Rocky Balboa vs Apollo that it is likely that this battle is what inspired Stallone to write the Rocky script. Basically our army was split with some coming too late to fight and there were only 20 turns so I sent my reduced army charging at the enemy only to be shot up, surrounded and mostly routed with heavy losses. Somehow the heavens blessed the survivors and we ralled in the 11th hour to punish the evil Taira with heavy, crippling blows and routed the foul lot of them to barely win the fight against all odds.

This crucial victory completely swung the tide of war in favor of the goodguys with a small power advantage. The sinister Taira are now the ones to be corralled into their impregnable stronghold of Mino.


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Re: Minamoto clan in the Gempei War

Post by GiveWarAchance » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:26 pm


Third Assault on Mino

The MInamoto troops assigned to perform the third assault on Mino province are mostly terrified and disheartened after the recent strong of 3 losses they endured with no time for resting and refitting. Word amongst them is that the province is protected by a dark god that will not let the evil Taira lose in that domain.

Battle will test this theory.

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On the plus side, the two Taira armies in Mino are ragged, beat-up and most probably also at rock bottom for morale. Battle, regardless of victory or defeat, always comes with a butcher's bill, and both sides have built up a very unhealthy tab that must come due.

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The Taira armies join up but arrive at different times on the field giving us the advantage. The first Taira army is seen off the field in a couple of fights with one of their generals getting his just desserts from a well swung katana, and the Minamotos now surround the powerful Taira honjin command tent. We have learned from experience that simply sending warriors running into the tent while screaming a hearty kiai is like throwing them onto the backside of a large porcupine, so a proper plan is put together with fire support and multiple melee units prepared for the attack. Meanwhile elements of the second Taira army finally arrive to put in a counterattack. While in previous battles, the dreaded Taira counterattack often crushed the Minamoto armies, this time it was shamefully impotent and only caused moderate casualties just before the Taira commander threw a white towel from his tent in disgust.

The Taira have been pushed westwards out of Mino. Our troops dance like drunkards and howl with delight at the unexpected victory in this 'province of the dark god'.

Minamoto is now besieging three Taira provinces and all armies are in very bad need of refit, especially with the sieges that are causing hundreds of more casualties. The Taira no longer have huge, powerful armies that push around our small terrified armies. A healthy bodycount has pruned them down to a manageable size, but they will certainly recruit replacements while our armies are being whittled down by the sieges.

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Re: Minamoto clan in the Gempei War

Post by GiveWarAchance » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:09 am

Two Massive Taira Counter Offensives

The evil Taira, not liking being on the back foot, put together 3 fresh armies of about 8,000 troops apiece push back and retake Mino and Mikawa. Enraged by the Minamoto armies retreating without fighting, I order them to attack immediately without any silly stuff like hiring new troops or resting in warm villages while bemoaning their weakness. After several easy victories the Taira are beaten back out of Mino and Mikawa. But we cannot successfully besiege Mino due to relentless Taira counterattacks.

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In this battle, one of many for control of Mikawa province, despite being badly outnumbered, in this battle the Taira were split in half by late arrivals so we chopped through the first Taira wave in a lively forest battle to get to their honjin HQ tent while our own honjin HQ is safely set up in a sweet pagoda style castle away from the spiteful Taira hordes. A large unit of archers on a nearby hill covered the Taira HQ tent by putting our advancing troops under fire, but they themselves were culled with arrow fire and then beaten like mochi by Naganata troops. Their honjin tent camp bereft of protection, our bow samurai poured volleys of arrows into the Taira tents, the sounds of arrows slapping the canvas and the screams of punctured victims within the tents were good sounds for our troops to hear. On the left flank of the battlefield, the second Taira wave floods down a road cut in the thick forest into a deadly kill zone created by a concave semi-circle of 2 veteran bow samurai units and 1 mounted samurai unit expertly positioned that shot the Taira to bits causing their units to rout and disperse one after another. The road was beautifully decorated in piles of red armored Taira riddled with arrows.

The red-bannered thugs put their foot down by force-hiring huge numbers of garbage armies. One army is so monolithic that it has 17,500 troops packed into one army that retakes Mino and stops our siege yet again, and of course they clear out Mikawa as-per-usual but traps one Minamoto army in Ise province outnumbered and desperate for a rescue operation. And that one monster 17K army is supported by other armies of between 4 and 8 thousand troops each. We counterattack and secure Mikawa in a very successful battle that shows what happens when a smaller army of quality troops attacks a large garbage army of forcefully recruited peasants that have no interest in the Taira cause which is the oppression of all free people. The next part of this campaign will be our attack against the monster 17K army in Mino. Hopefully that army is just a lot of untrained, unmotivated peasant fluff without any significant veteran core providing quality combat power to prop up the fluff.

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On the plus side, a Minamoto army slips from Echizen into Yakimi which is the soft underbelly of the Taira empire. If we can win that siege, the powerful Taira will finally start to weaken.

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Re: Minamoto clan in the Gempei War

Post by GiveWarAchance » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:49 am


Stalingrad of the Gempei War

The fresh, newly recruited army in Echizen attacks south into the infamous province of Mino, guarded by the dark god on the side of the Taira, which is now defended by the 17K Taira army which is the samurai version of the dreaded Kido Butai of the Pacific War which was too powerful for any American fleets to approach it for the first half of the Pacific War.

The Minamoto attacking army has about 7,000 troops in it facing over 17,000 Taira troops waiting on ground of their choosing. To our horror, the quality of the monstrous enemy army is better than ours with with many superior units compared to our 'confident' troops which have never been in battle. It is a textbook plan for losing a battle.

The plan for the outnumbered Minamoto army is to approach to within archery range and try to cull the Taira rank by rank as their horde approaches. This strategy seems to work at first.

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The first Taira infantry over the river are shot to bits and they rout.

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Taira bow samurai overwhelm our troops in the arrow exchange and then crush our troops in brutal melee attacks.

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The Taira overrun our southern flank causing multiple Minamoto units to flee. A flank attack by samurai cavalry slams into the enemy and causes some of them to rout.

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The northern flank is a mirror image with Taira trading arrows and then grinding our troops into the mossy floor of the forest in ongoing melee fighting.

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Our southern flank falls apart completely. The last infantry unit is fully surrounded by a square of Taira units conducting complex operations that even Sun Tzu himself would gasp in awe at. The only remaining unit in the south is the samurai cavalry on the flank which makes a run over the river towards the Taira honjin HQ tent camp in a situation almost identical to the fateful charge of the British Light Brigade in the Crimea. Some military historians have even claimed the British planned their charge copying the tactics of our charging samurai. Unfortunately the cavalry receive heavy volleys of arrows and most of the Minamoto riders jerk & tumble from their mounts to fall into the river creating large splashes in the water. The surviving cavalry samurai abandon our noble cause and disperse before reaching the sinister Taira HQ camp.

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Minamoto infantry flee the battle and run past our honjin HQ which is set up in a forest village. Despite the elite warriors choosing stout buildings as better protection than flimsy tents, the battle ends before the Taira can test their carefully prepared defenses. The battle is a disastrous loss for the Minamoto, the equivalent of Stalingrad for Germany in World War 2. Some modern day Royal Military Academy Sandhurst professors, going by the failed Minamoto attack on the Taira as their red banner troops swarmed over a river, agree that Hitler and General von Paulus conspired to create the Stalingrad disaster using this battle as a blueprint for abysmal failure.

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General von Paulus who studied this battle as inspiration for his strategy in Stalingrad.

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The Minamoto lose one general and 4740 troops from all causes versus a relatively paltry 2019 Taira smitten. Basically one Minamoto army has been broken and will soon be kicked out of Kiso by the Taira when they choose to advance eastwards. A new army is raised in Kai to put up a futile resistance to the giant Taira army when it moves into Kiso, perhaps even conducting a carbon copy of this failed spoiling attack. The one good event is the Minamoto retake Mikawa and open a path of retreat for our army in Ise which will almost guaranteed to be booted out of Ise before completing their siege. With some 'luck', the Taira may choose to advance northwards to scoop up the undefended provinces of Hida and Echizen, allowing us to trade territory for time to refit our armies and finish up the sieges in Ise and Yakimi, although that will leave our Yakimi army trapped deep in enemy territory.

jomni
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Re: Minamoto clan in the Gempei War

Post by jomni » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:13 am

This is good read. Thanks for putting it up.

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Re: Minamoto clan in the Gempei War

Post by GiveWarAchance » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:50 am

Thank you jomni.
I think this campaign has a long way to go. The tide of war is like a see-saw. This campaign is a good design.

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Re: Minamoto clan in the Gempei War

Post by GiveWarAchance » Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:38 pm

Taira Attack on Yakimi Besiegers


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A Taira army of about 7,000 troops attack into Yakimi to life the siege by the Minamoto who also have around 7,000 troops for an unusually balanced battle. The main Taira army group is still resting in Mino assembling for a big push east into Shinano

Fun fact: 'Yakimi' translated into English language means 'cooked ear'. In ancient times, tribes in Yakimi considered the ears of animals and sometimes even humans to be the best part to eat, so during feasts the ears were given to guests of honor, brave warriors and tribal leaders.

Here is the Minamoto order of battle for the battle:

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The Minamoto troops are veterans of previous battles with good morale but it is a small army. Note how the elite units of Yumi Samurai hold their bows overhead to add more range to the arrows they fling forth. This technique is unique to Japan and the concept never spread because of the strain on the soldier's arms to hold the bow high and unnatural way to knock the arrow. In Europe this technique was never implemented due to arm fatigue, but they did try other ways of increasing range like standing on the shoulders of soldiers or standing on horseback while shooting arrows, but this style of archery was not popular due to the high chance of falling on top of nearby soldiers and spear tips.

Yumi Samurai are few in number and are the cream of the crop in Japanese armies.

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