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Author Topic: Tenkatoitsu - Battle of Yamazaki  (Read 17538 times)

Silent Disapproval Robot

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on: June 10, 2019, 02:57:26 AM
I picked Tenkatoitsu up based solely on the box art.   It's a tactical combat game set during the sengoku jidai period and covers the battles of Yamazaki, Nagakute, and Sekigahara. 

I set it up tonight and ran the Yamazaki scenario solo to get a feel for the rules as they're quite different from any other war game I've played before.  Really dig the system!

The battle of Yamazaki has the forces of Akechi Mitsuhide defending against an assault by the numerically superior forces of Hashiba Hideyoshi.  The first 5 turns of the game take place at night.  Akechi's forces are occupying Shoryuji castle and encamped in the fields around it.  Hashiba's forces start off map.  The first 5 turns are basically a race.  Akechi wants to set up a defensive line along Enmyoji river and run out the clock in order to prevent the fall of Shoryuji castle.  Hashiba wants to take the castle or Akechi's head.  There's also the high ground of Mt. Tennozan  which both sides want to seize (controlling either peak gives a bonus to command).  Hashiba needs to rush the heights before Akechi can get some units up there and he also wants to put pressure on Akechi's line before it has a chance to form up.

To aid this, Hashiba has ninjas which can do ninja stuff and cause chaos and confusion in Akechi's camps or in the castle as long as they strike before sunrise.

Initial set up.  Akechi's units are red.  Hashiba's are white.  They enter along the road in the upper right.  The two peaks are outlined in yellow.

The game's units are organized into clans and each clan consists of 1 to 3 units.  They have to act together.  Each turn, you give each clan one of four orders:  attack, defend, move, or regroup.  The game is based on a chit pull system.  There are 5 chits that much go into the draw pile each turn:  move, initiative, rally, and one combat chit for each side.  If you draw the move chit, every clan on the map with a move order gets to move.  Similar with combat, regroup, etc.  In addition, each clan has an activation chit but you must spend command points to add it into the draw pile.  If the clan's chit is drawn, it can carry out its assigned order or attempt to change its order to something else but there's a chance that this will fail and the clan will be forced to fall back in confusion.  When all 5 obligatory chits have been drawn, the turn ends and any undrawn clan chits check against a messenger system to see why they didn't activate.  This could lead to a 1 or 2 turn delay, wrong activation, etc.

Messenger table.

To simulate Akechi's unpreparedness for a pre-dawn assault from Hashiba, his activation chits are not initially available.  The Akechi player must spend his command points to ready each clan before it's available for activation.  Once it is activated, Akechi's side is further punished as they cannot add activation chits directly into the draw pile.  Each activation that is paid for gets delayed 1 turn until sunrise (turn 6).

Initial activation/order sheet.  Akechi's forces have no chits in reserve as they've not yet paid to ready the units.   Hashiba's clans are all available in the reserve box (clans A-N) but on turn one, only clan E can be activated (they're the vanguard).  The command point table is listed as well.  Each turn, both sides roll a d6 and gain command points based on their roll.  Hashiba's slightly better than Akechi and will tend to get 1-2 more points per turn.  In addition, if Akechi's clan has any order other than Defence, they must subtract 1 from their die roll for CPs.  If either side has uncontested control of a peak on Mt. Tennozan, they get to add one clan activation chit to the draw pile for free.

(The game is French.  Some components such as the orders chits weren't translated into English. )

Finally, each side gets to secretly select from one of ten possible battle plans.  This will enable different clans to gain special activation orders once the plan is enacted that will allow them better attacks, longer charges, coordinated attacks, defensive bonuses, faster movement, etc.  In this scenario, neither leader has had a chance to finalize his plans so players much pay command points to increase their plan activation points pool.  A player can try to enact their plan at any time but must roll under the amounts of points in the pool on 2d6.  If they fail, the pool loses as many points as the roll was missed by.

List of battle plans and their possible special orders.

Obligatory night time shot

During the night turns, each side's combat chit is removed from the draw pile so the turns are pretty short and not much happens besides movement.  Akechi's side gets lucky and rolls well for command points.  They quickly activate most of their units and start moving.  They set up a defensive line along the Enmyoji river and send two clans to try to secure the peaks on Mt. Tennozan.  Hashiba's vanguard clan also makes a dash for the hilltop. Each side manages to seize a peak.   During night turns, if any part of a clan is not on a road or path or in a castle or an encampment, they have to roll to see if they can activate when ordered to move.  If they fail, they get lost and stumble around in the dark.  Both sides roll well and almost nobody gets delayed.

Dash for the hills.

Hilltops taken.

Akechi, having numerical superiority on the hill, decides to assault the Nakagawa clan with the Hosokawa clan in an attempt to dislodge them.

Blood is spilled on both sides but to no real effect.  (each side suffered one step loss.  It takes 5 to eliminate a unit).

Combat is quite an involved affair.  Each unit is rated for leadership, firepower, elan, and mass.  Depending on the type of attack being made and the type of defence being offered, the unit's stats modify the die rolls in different ways.  Once all the modifiers and determined, the attacker rolls two red dice and two blue dice and cross references the results on the CRT.  The way the game does combat is very chaotic, very fun, and very thematic.  Units on attack that cause a retreat must pursue, even if that leads them out of position and right into the arms of a waiting trap.  It's possible for a good commander to stop this, but not always.

Hashiba's forces on the hill counter attack but it's indecisive.

On the final night turn, Akechi decides to force the issue on the hilltops and commits his reserve clan.  He abandons the hillop and pushes clan F (Shigetomo) into the fight.  The two Akechi clans fail to co-ordinate (co-ordinating attacks is quite difficult without a battle plan.  Seperate clans must each roll a d6 and can only fight together if they roll an equal number) so they attack seperately.  The attack is surprisingly effective however and the lead unit from the Hashiba clan is eliminated.  The two remaining clan units retreat.  The leading Shigetomo unit chases them down the slope with wild abandon in spite of his commander's orders to stop.

They manage to inflict absolute carnage on the fleeing units and take the clan leader's head as a trophy (Bundori.  Victory point are earned for taking the heads of skilled commanders.  1Vp per point of leadership).

Meanwhile, Hashiba unleashes his ninjas and the confusion below allows him to rush his leading troops up to the Enmyoji river just as dawn breaks.

Seeing as he's facing Akechi himself, Hashiba decides to risk it all and enacts his battle plan while the bulk of his forces are still coming up the road.  He launches an all out attack across the river.  Clan B leads the assault.  They take casualties but force the defenders back from the river bank.

Clan D attacks next and inflicts a lucky hit on Akechi's clan, causing it to withdraw 1 hex.  Sensing an opportunity to end it quickly, Hashiba himself leads his clan directly against Akechi.  He inflicts a staggering loss but fails to take down the man himself.

Turn 7 is coming up.  Things went very well for Akechi on the hilltops but it was a near disaster along the riverbank.  He'll have to try to break contact and fall back to the castle before he gets cut down.

Very cool game.  Can't wait to try it against a human opponent later this week.


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Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 07:21:29 AM
the artwork is great! :)


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Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 09:13:11 PM
Looks good but why two different styles of hexes?


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Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 09:30:21 PM

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Reply #4 on: June 10, 2019, 09:36:58 PM
Looks good but why two different styles of hexes?

Terrain, elevation, and movement cost?

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Reply #5 on: June 10, 2019, 10:22:26 PM
i'm not a fan of the broken hex lines. I understand the aesthetic, but it bugs me. The map otherwise looks amazing.

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Silent Disapproval Robot

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Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 11:22:51 PM
Looks good but why two different styles of hexes?

It’s a form of shorthand for movement costs.  Broken hex lines represent open terrain.  Solid lines repres lent rough or forested terrain and  cost more to move through.  Little white arrows represent slopes.  Defensive benefits and no move penalty moving in the direction of the arrow.  MP and attack penalties for moving against it.  Dotted lines are obstacles.  Double lines are defensible positions that give bonuses to arquebus fire. 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 04:09:11 AM by Silent Disapproval Robot »


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Reply #7 on: June 11, 2019, 07:44:20 PM
Makes sense and a pretty ingenious way to illustrate  movement costs.