Lists for Japanese c1350-1500AD

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takedakiwi
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Lists for Japanese c1350-1500AD

Post by takedakiwi » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:32 am

Good afternoon chaps

Is anyone working on Lists for Japanese c1350-1500AD? I am keen to assist if so.

John Way

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:58 pm

Hi John,

The only ones I've even looked slightly at - not knowing much about Japanese warfare - are theperiods covered by the DBM Pre-Samurai and Early Samurai lists, and the only reason for that is the work Duncan Head has done on them for the DBMM lists :o

I would expect for those eras that Duncan's work, published in Slingshot, will form the basis.

Unfortunately he hasn't done anything for the period you mention and I definitely know nothing for that. Perhaps if you floated some ideas hear others may chip in - it usually needs some brave soul to put up a target 8)
Nik Gaukroger

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Post by takedakiwi » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:28 am

Thanks Nik. There has been a lot more chat about the early samurai, which i expect is because a/ all the recentr discussion leading up to re DBMM bk 3 lists, and b/ in DBM the ES were so kick-ass. By contrast, I am the only person in NZ who has feilded the Post-Mongol list in DBM- in fact I cannot find any evidence of anyone ever fielding it in the world except me!!

Cheers

John

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Post by vsolfronk » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:16 pm

Chris the Tall Swearington (IIRC) ran the post mongol period. He then came to his senses, but at least he never stooped to the pond scum by playing the Early Samurai!! Post Mongol Samurai were my first ancients army (7th Ed)- I still have it and they are my only 25mm.

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Post by shall » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:19 pm

I ahve done 2 drafts for late samurai - Oba Nobunaga and the Ikko Ikki.

Whether they make the official lists for the book remains to be seen

Si

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Post by korvus » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:48 am

Since the Japanese lists are a ways off, I'd like to register a plea:

Start fresh, and ignore the canon of mythology that has been built up around the military abilities of the Japanese, particularly among wargamers.

And since the day is young, how about a few things to get discussion started:

Who did they ever beat?

Their invasion of Korea was a disaster, and when they fought the Mongols it wasn't until they had kept them bottled up and starving so they were easy pickings. Other than that they really only fought themselves.

Armour

In some venues much has been made of the quality of Japanese armour. One of Portugal's major exports to Japan after contact was armour, because the Europeans just had better armour

Swordsmanship

Japanese swordsmanship is legendary. Scholarship in the last decade has revealed the systematic training in sophisticated martial arts was widespread for European knights and men at arms. Primary sources like Liberi, Lichtenaeur, Talhoffer, I.33, Vadi, and many more have been put to the test, and have been found to have a great deal of commonality with eastern martial arts.

So if medieval knights are only getting swordsmen, I for one can make some very cogent arguments for the Samurai getting the same as their training in swordsmanship shows vast similarities.

Anyways, just starting the discussion now so that i don't have to feel grumpy later :)

Have fun!
Cole

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Post by takedakiwi » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:18 am

Cole- I am in tune with you. The armies of the late c14 onwards owe little to the traditional mythology. Massive increases in size of armies were accompanied by dilution of quality and skills but improvements in the management of large forces and increased discipline in the senior officer class.

Si- Nobunaga is well outside the time-scope of FoG. I suggest the armies of the late Sengoku Jidai were a reaction to more than an evolution from those of the c14+15.

I certainly plan separate lists for Sohei and Ikko-ikki armies.

Now I just need to read the rules....

John

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Post by shall » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:54 am

Don't worry well aware of the dates an most of Japanese history.`They are probably out of period but it depends if you viw it as a fixed date or te mergence of firearms - whcih was later in Japan than Europe. TDB.

Some years ago I travelled across Japan with Japanese Museum experts, visit all the battlefields and even got invited to play a samurai at a re-enactmentonce. My favourite period of history ... it was great fun.

Fresh start has already been strated so to speak ...

Si

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Post by korvus » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:23 am

Good to hear.

Thanks
Cole

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Samurai list - Sengoku Jiddai

Post by bayouwars2001 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:21 am

TBD wrote: They are probably out of period but it depends if you viw it as a fixed date or te mergence of firearms - whcih was later in Japan than Europe. TDB.


I find that concept fascinating. I always felt that DBM's arbitrary cut-off date of 1500 AD to be a little western-centric . The early Sengo-ku Jiddai armies (prior to massive adoption of the arquebus) should be "in period" even if post 1500 AD and could be allowed maybe even up to 1550 AD. IIRC, wasn't it only in 1543 when the arquebus was first "discovered" in Japan when the Portughese sailors shipwrecked on Tanegashima? Up to that time, the Samurai were not "renaissance" pike and shot armies. I think just picking a moment in time, as opposed to a style of warfare, would do the game a dis-service. Course, this same concept could apply to Aztecs, Incas, Chinese, Mound Builders, Sudanese, Tupi, Tauregs etc etc etc.
Maybe if the authors allowed these "later" samurai armies we could start seeing more drilled formations including mounted "lancer" cavalry and not just mounted archers.
For my pennies worth, and (maybe this is just my Christmas wish list) but having lived in Japan, studied Japanese history and visited lots of museums (good close up view of armor, weapons, etc), I would think that such later samurai could be rated as armored MF impact foot, (some still with the longbow), skilled swordsman and ashigaru as protected HF defensive spear and depending how late the list goes, maybe offensive spearmen or even pikemen. (Although the samurai are heavier armored than the ashigaru, all my reading indicates that in the later years, the ashigaru were trained to fight close together and move slowly thus a HF designation, while samurai spread out to allow sword play and moved very quickly, thus MF). Some could be superior, but most probably just average.
Obviously, you would also have your ashigaru bowmen, as well as peasant mobs.

But, I am no expert and certainly differ to the Ph.D's out there.
Regards,
Chris

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Post by Rudy_Nelson » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:21 am

It would be easy to devise several list for pre-Samurai japan. The impact of Pakche Korea on Japanese development in horse archery and other areas would be a good boundry time for two such lists.

As was stated in an earlier comment, it may be a good idea to put DBM aside when looking to classify different eras and lists.

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Re: Samurai list - Sengoku Jiddai

Post by takedakiwi » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:06 am

Snip

I find that concept fascinating. I always felt that DBM's arbitrary cut-off date of 1500 AD to be a little western-centric . The early Sengo-ku Jiddai armies (prior to massive adoption of the arquebus) should be "in period" even if post 1500 AD and could be allowed maybe even up to 1550 AD. IIRC, wasn't it only in 1543 when the arquebus was first "discovered" in Japan when the Portughese sailors shipwrecked on Tanegashima? Up to that time, the Samurai were not "renaissance" pike and shot armies. I think just picking a moment in time, as opposed to a style of warfare, would do the game a dis-service. Course, this same concept could apply to Aztecs, Incas, Chinese, Mound Builders, Sudanese, Tupi, Tauregs etc etc etc.
Maybe if the authors allowed these "later" samurai armies we could start seeing more drilled formations including mounted "lancer" cavalry and not just mounted archers.

snip.

But, I am no expert and certainly differ to the Ph.D's out there.
Regards,
Chris
Actually the date is an arbitrary one imposed by the rules authors, however I see no objection to using armies up to the widespread use of the arquebus and its technical improvement makes it tactically distinguishable from the hanguns already covered in FoG.

The drilled formations start to appear with some of the new Daimyo such as Hojo Soun in the early/mid c15, at least in core and elite units such as the Hojo Yellow regiment.

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Post by inquisitor_bob » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:23 am

As an Iaidoka I have to say that Japanese swords, kanata, are terrible at penetrating armor. We have only one or two moves that's primarily for penetrating armor. Katanas are extremely sharp and many of the swordsmanship actions use slash and cut. I doubt it works well against people in armor, especially metal armor versus the traditional Japanese armor.

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Post by emperorschampion » Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:49 pm

thats because the primary weapon of the samurai in later periods was actually the spear, not the katana.
regimented swrodsmen were nearly removed from battelfields all together, but the spear/lance was the first weapon of choice, and had the adequte penetration to be shock cavalry or effective infantry.

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Post by Malidor » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:33 am

korvus wrote:Swordsmanship

Japanese swordsmanship is legendary. Scholarship in the last decade has revealed the systematic training in sophisticated martial arts was widespread for European knights and men at arms. Primary sources like Liberi, Lichtenaeur, Talhoffer, I.33, Vadi, and many more have been put to the test, and have been found to have a great deal of commonality with eastern martial arts.

So if medieval knights are only getting swordsmen, I for one can make some very cogent arguments for the Samurai getting the same as their training in swordsmanship shows vast similarities.
Offensive Spear would probably be the capability of choice for our period. Maybe with Bow (or Bow*) as an additional option.

As far as weapons go the katana is about as serious as a sword can get, and this alone may be justification for skilled sword samurai (assuming they don't get rated as spear). I confess I'm biased as I'm an ex-student of Iai-do (yes, it's an art from a later period) but really, the katana is a step or two beyond what was available in Europe (until we see the Toledo rapier perhaps). Assuming equal skill between a samurai with katana and a foot knight with broadsword I would expect the samurai to come out with the POA advantage... although as I've admitted I'm biased :P

At the end of the day we will be given a list that feels right even if it looks a bit odd on paper - this has been the method used so far and I see no reason why FoG writers would suddenly stop. I'm uncomfortable with FoG pandering to DBMers so I agree with your broader point of starting fresh but I understand there are commercial/business reasons to keep them happy.

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Post by takedakiwi » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:59 am

Korvus- I promise I am no less enamored of the katana- I have been fascinated by the Samurai since childhood (wayyyyy into last century that is...) and have been waving around katana-shaped things in various materials for a few years.

However when I practice Kendo I acknowledge that I am no closer to the battlefield experience of the c15 samurai than a javelin throwing athlete is to a Classical Greek skirmisher!

I agree with your pick of offensive spear for say mid c15 onwards.

Here are my initial thoughts

Mtd Samurai- Cav, Armoured, bow, skilled swordsman
Samurai Archers- Medium Foot, Armoured, Bow, skilled swordsman
Other Samurai- Medium Foot, Armoured, skilled swordsmen
Later Samurai- Medium Foot, Armoured, Offensive Spear

All of the above Superior with a small proportion of Elite for the hatamoto.

All above undrilled. Option after say 1420ish for a small proportion to be drilled

Poor, part time Samurai and Ronin- Medium Foot, Average, Protected, swordsman, undrilled

More to come

John

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Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:47 am

Just a note - skilled swordsmen only applies to foot soldiers under the definitions (IIRC). Now this doesn't rule out a mounted version if justified, but you'd have to make an extremely good case for it IMO.
Nik Gaukroger

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Post by Templar » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:54 pm

The mistake everyone on here seems to be making is the assumption that all samurai should be treated equally. Each of the major clans in the period had their own ways of fighting and there are some things that can be grouped together like the Samurai's tendency to wade into battle and the Ashigaru's tendency to form spear walls but i think a case for a universal Superior or Elit or what have you for Samurai is going to be a hard sell indeed.

Nobunaga's Samurai for the most part was not that well trained while his ally Tokugawa's samurai were known for being much better then nobunaga's troops. This can even be seen in battles where the two took part together. The Oda forces included more troops yet faired worse then the smaller Tokugawa forces.

Also, the Northern Honshu clans such as the Uesugi and Date tended to have a completly different mentality then the Kyushu clans like Shimazu and Otomo.

Grouping them all into some universal generic list does the period a giant disservice and would in no way be accurate or historical.

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Post by Phaze_of_the_Moon » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:20 pm

The world is full of samurai fetishist. The era of samurai as super-swordsmen is alaso their era of military and political irrelevamce. It's a sad comment that Miyamoto Musashi is a hosehold word and William Marshall is unknown.

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Post by Malidor » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:22 pm

Templar's thoughts are worth consideration and are best served by options in a single list. Something like "If Nobunga downgrade to: Average (etc)" would fit the precedent - so the published 'Japan' list covers a set period of time with regional/factional/battle-specific variations being offered as options within that list. Alternatively simply allow players the option of fielding Superior -or- Average samurai and let them decide, although this is a bit weaker.

When this discussion was taking place on the yahoo list I expressed some concern about Hatamoto being included, as Elite or otherwise. I seem to recall that the rule of thumb (if I may) was that each stand of figures roughly represents 250 soldiers. At this level of abstraction are there sufficient numbers of bodyguard to justify four bases (1000 Hatamoto)? I suggest four as this seems to be the smallest viable battlegroup size, elephants and artillery excluded of course. I don't know enough about Hatamoto to simply state my opinion, thus I have humbly offered it as an honest non-rhetorical question :)

My guess is that an 'Asian armies' book will at least include Korea and a few (?) flavours of China so there may not be enough room to publish every tiny variation of samurai clan as a distinct list. Extending on this idea we may also see Mongol and SE Asian armies depending on what period the book will cover, although I suspect the wise business choice is to publish all Asian armies in a single volume regardless of 'early', 'late', 'north' or 'south' given that interest in the region from wargamers is slightly more specialised and although we tend to be passionate nutters there are less of us than those obsessed with other periods/regions.

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