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A Sengoku Jidai: Gempei Kassen AAR

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Published on August 04, 2016

The Gempei War started in 1180 when Taira no Kiyomori placed his grandson, Antoku, on the imperial throne after deposing Emperor Takakura.   The Minamoto lords then rose up to oppose this political move.

Warfare during the late Heian period was quite different from the period of warring states 300 years later.  During this time, the samurai were mainly mounted archers but they would also fight on foot in their heavy and boxy Ō-yoroi armour.  The supporting ashigaru wore less armour than their Sengoku era counterparts.  Because shock cavalry was non-existent, their main weapon was the naginata polarm instead of the yari spear.  There were ashigaru units armed with bows too.    

 

 
Illustrated Story of Night Attack on Yoshitsune's Residence At Horikawa, 16th Century
 

In the following AAR, I took command of 7,000 Taira troops against 11,000 Minamoto warriors in open battle (skirmish mode).  The terrain is pretty open with a town and temple, flanked by fields, in the centre.  On my right is a forest.  There is nothing in the terrain that will greatly influence my tactics.  For my optional troops, I chose to bring more naginata armed ashigaru and some samurai (mounted and foot).  I do not foresee a large number of opposing cavalry so I opted to purchase more melee than bow infantry.  Bows are good weapons against cavalry due to the rate of fire but the samurai armour would partially reduce the damage potential.  Just like the early Sengoku era, all foot units are classed as warriors during this time.  This gives them less problems with mobility and terrain so the paddy fields won’t be a problem.  Since they don’t require to fight in formation, they are able to charge cavalry at will.   But bow cavalry can choose to evade a melee engagement...

 

You can continue reading the AAR on the forum here!

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