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Ronin is a set of rules designed for skirmishes in Fedual Japan. Each player can handle anywhere from a unit of three all the way up to multiple units that have 7-8 figures in each. The movement and shooting rules are very basic, but the comabt system is unique in that each figure gets what is termed a "combat pool" of stones (we use white and black) that are chosen secretly. Each stone will allow an attack, an enhanced attack, or an enhanced defense. Figures roll for initiative then conduct their attacks with the results being a miss, stun, light wound, grievious wound, or death. Multiple figures get larger pools of stones, which makes combat an interesting part of the game and there are a lot of different strategies that can be employed to maximize your chances. Some of the figures, particulalry the samurai, can have a number of skills that help in combat or shooting. The game plays very fast and a scenario with 15-20 figures on each side will rarely go over two hours, making it ideal for a last minute type game on club nights.

Ronin: Three Sided Battle


Ninja vs. Samurai vs. Bodyguards

This was a fairly complex scenario designed for four players and became more complicated when we ended up with only three of us showing up! After a quick adjustment due to a smaller number of players, we were off and running. Basically, a lord's concubine and son were trying to leave their compound, but were blocked by patrols of another lord, who were trying to keep them in there or capture them outright. Yet another faction wanted them dead, so they hired a group of ninja to do their dirty work. This set up a three sided fight where the ninja were just trying to kill anything that moved, the force on the outside was trying to stop the ninja and seize the civilians, while the third party was merely trying to escape in the confusion!

The action got off to a fast start when the roving patrols ran into a few of the ninja, which started a series of melees. The concubine and her escorts saw their chance and bolted from the compound, only to run into more ninja. While her escorts gave their lives to delay the ninja, the other faction was trying to block her from fleeing and fighting the ninja at the same time! This led to melees all over the board and by the sixth turn everyone was down several figures. The concubine was briefly captured by one of the opposing factions, but her escort quickly arrived and finished off the would be assailants. The ninja were now desperately trying to cut their way through the remaining forces, but were hopelessly out of position. A few more turns didn't change things and the concubine, her son, and a few of her escort escaped off the board, ending the scenario.

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