I am not usually one for collecting what could be called ‘mainstream’ games.
OK, I played 40K a long time ago, and I’ve dabbled in X-Wing, but I’ve not really got involved in game system from a large manufacturer.
Well, all that is probably about to change. Let me explain…
…I love Samurai…
Sengoku period Japan has always been a great interest of mine – I own lots of books on the subject, along with several sets of rules. However, I have always seemed to have been alone in this in any gaming group I have been in, so my model collection has remained small (plus the fact that, to put it simply, I’ve always been intimidated about painting Samurai armour).
However, with Warlord Games about to release their Test of Honour Miniatures Game, I’m started to get really excited about actually gaming in the period.
To that end, over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be featuring a number of articles including rules, miniatures and terrain reviews, all aimed at Sengoku Period Japan. The period is surprisingly well served around the wargaming community – hopefully I will be able to give you some extra ideas for gaming in the days before Test of Honour is released.
In the mean time, Alex from Fleet Signal has just launched a new web project focusing on this game: Kiai Gaming. I’m sure this will be come an excellent resource for the game in future.
Whilst Test of Honour is aimed at skirmish gaming, larger battles have a fantastic visual appeal – especially due to the widespread use of colourful Sashimonos by Japanese troops. This have been captured wonderfully well in several feature films.
So, just to get you in the mood, why don’t you have a watch of some classics, such as ‘Kagemusha’ or ‘Ran’ – both directed by Akira Kurosawa. You could also try ‘Heaven and Earth’, directed by Haruki Kadokawa (not to be confused with the Oliver Stone film of the same name) or maybe ‘Samurai Banners’ by Hiroshi Inagaki. Both of these latter films have the fourth Battle of Kanawakajimi as their centrepiece.
If you are looking for inspiration for a small skirmish, then there is only one place to start: Kurosawa’s masterpiece ‘The Seven Samurai’. OK, its in black & white, and is three hours long, but everyone should see it at least once…