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Battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa side

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:12 pm
by fitzpatv
Fittingly, there's a lot to say about the climactic Sekigahara scenario, so I'm splitting the AAR into two parts.

It's a large and confused battle which can be played as either side. It features some late-era units, including Later Teppo Ashigaru, who do not behave like skirmishers (no evades) and consequently, despite their firepower, can be a vulnerable liability on an open plain like the one here. The Toyotomi also have an early cannon, but it is more of a psychological weapon than anything else and is hard to deploy effectively. Units are larger than usual, which results in some alarming carnage !.

A major variable is a non-aligned faction, led by Hideaki Kobayakawa (which was decisive historically). They start off the board behind the Toyotomi right and will join whichever side seems to be winning when they arrive. The Tokugawa start needing to win by scoring 60% or 40+ with a margin of 23, 'winning' anyway (even in defeat) if Toyotomi losses exceed 52%. However, if the Hideaki join them, they must score a 28-point margin and avoid losses of 45 or more. In practice, the Hideaki arrive too late to do much fighting in the context of a Tokugawa victory, but their substantial presence makes quite a difference to the loss percentages.

At least when run by the AI at Taisho level, the Toyotomi seem to start with a numerical advantage and they can press the Tokugawa very hard early on. Both sides have the dilemma of whether to move their daimyo's household troops forward out of his command radius - in general, better that than not having them involved at all and, for the Tokugawa at least, a fair amount of pulling back would be needed to fight within range of the Honjin.

Otherwise, it is difficult to do more than steer once battle is joined, given all the pursuits and other random factors involved. As the Tokugawa, I initially tried to flank march to the left (partly because I vainly hoped that this would help me link-up with the Hideaki, who I imagined were on the board at the start, but hidden). In practice, it became a general melee across the front and I never felt in control, feeling that defeat was inevitable until an 18-12 lead brought the Hideaki into play on my side. From then on, it was only going to end one way and, victorious on both flanks but with a broken centre, I won 60-27.