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Ronin: Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai (Osprey Wargames) Paperback – 20 Aug 2013
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A set of Samurai skirmish wargaming rules.
About the Author
Craig Woodfield is a 42 year old Defence Analyst from Canberra, Australia. He has previously written for magazines such as Slingshot and Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy. He is the author of 3 wargaming supplements: Legion (for Warhammer Ancient Battles), Imperium (for Crusader) and Trajan's Dacian Wars (for Hail Caesar). He has a long-standing interest in martial arts and military history.
Jose Daniel Cabrera Peña is a Spanish painter, born in Granada in 1978. He studied Architecture at university and has worked as a cover artist and illustrator for historical publications. Since 2011, when he started working in an animation studio, his professional career has been divided between published works and mainstream films.
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Have had one practice game already. The combats are fairly fast, but can get bloody very quickly!
Beyond the core rules you get information on troop types, factions and several example scenarios. Ronin is illustrated throughout with the right balance of full colour photographs of painted miniatures in 'action' and illustrations from Osprey books. To get started you only need a handful of figures and recommended forces consist of anything from 4-20 miniatures, which shouldn't add to the average gamers unpainted metal mountain and a couple of pieces of terrain. There's plenty of inexpensive MDF or rsin buildings available these days and a few well chosen items will go a long way.
I bought the Kindle edition to view on my iPad via the free Kindle app. Impressed with how quick and easy that was. However I was less impressed with the non-intuitive formatting of the pages, eg headings at the bottom of one page (screen) and the associated content on the next or a paragraph of text with the rest of the page blank and the associated diagram on the next page. That's why Ive scored Ronin 4 rather than 5 stars.
The benefit of the Kindle edition is that it goes anywhere you go and can be read on the train to work, lunchtime at work or by the pool on holiday. You can also highlight important text, book mark and annotate sections, to include house rules, amendments or working explanations of mechanics.
Thoroughly recommend this title. It's a great excuse to collect and paint up a handful of Samurai miniatures..
Wouldn't mind seeing the experience/campaign side of it a bit more developed.
Could use a remissive index for quick finding of rules/factions/etc. and could be tidier in the editing department (for example, making sure that each faction starts on it's own page.
But overall thoroughly enjoyable and a period that though attractiva has been lacking some good quality skirmish rules.
This is a skirmish game, where each player commands a different "buntai" (faction), with about 5 to 10 minis on each opposing side, and where depending on the buntai type (Bushi, Ikko-Ikki, Sohei, Koryu, etc...), each figure has a specific profile, and weapons available.
The rules for the game are well written, relatively easy to understand, and while the game mechanics seem close to other mainstream games (turn based, fighting and shooting stats, etc), a couple of singular twists make these interesting enough to be worth to try.
One of the most interesting and refreshing of these "twists", is the "Combat Pool" which allows the player controlling that figure to choose a specific number of tokens either for attack or for defence.
These tokens give that character the choice to either attack or enhance its defence, and are always chosen hidden from other payers, as their choice is crucial for the tactical development of that particular combat.
The book also contains a few scenarios with different objectives and winning conditions (after the book has been published, the author already freely distributed a couple more, as well as new buntai and characters, in their official forum (free): [...]).
The book paper quality is quite nice, has lots of artwork and pictures of lovely painted models, and my only real problem with it is how the some of the page layouts were done: as soon as one chapter of the book ends, the new one starts right below, even if there's only space for two or three lines of text!
This is particularly annoying/distracting in the "army lists" (or "factions") section, as while each list only has two pages of length, most of them start in the main page of the anterior faction (in order to use the last four or five lines of text, physical available).
Pretty sure this could have been done differently without adding any more pages, with some extra page layout work (even if it was needed to have a couple of illustrations a bit smaller).
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