Warlord Games - Samurai Starter Army
The Samurai are the almost mythical warrior caste of Japanese
history. Their most famous exploits occurred during the Sengoku period
between 1467 and 1603. With the Emperor and the Shogun unable to control
the many daimyos, there was near constant fighting between the various
factions. In these times the Samurai code (Bushido) became more defined
and standards of fighting improved. Even the introduction of the musket
in 1543 was seen as an opportunity rather than a threat.
The Samurai starter army box set contains:
- 1 metal mounted Samurai commander (two bits, horse and rider)
- 12 Samurai Horsemen
- 20 Samurai
- 40 Ashigaru Spearmen
- 40 Ashigaru Missile Troops
- 6 decal sheets (Takeda Clan, 3 white and 3 black)
- 4 leaflets
- 12pp booklet “Armies of the Daimyos” with army lists and rules
- Infantry and cavalry bases
Ashigaru (literally “light foot”) were so named as they had lighter
armour than the Samurai. They also formed the bulk of the armies of the
day. Each Samurai was expected to provide two armed Ashigaru. Many of
these would be armed with the yari (spear). These are not the pike
blocks of contemporary Europe as the Ashigaru were trained to fight in a
looser formation, travel quicker and their spear was for slicing and
thrusting. Many a battle was won by the Ashigaru, especially if cavalry
were foolish enough to attack them from the front.
The biggest change in the Sengoku period (1467-1603) would affect the
role of missile troops in battle. At the start of the period, these
were all armed with the yumi (bow) and fought in coordinated units to
pepper the enemy with their arrows. This bow, like the equivalent
English Longbow, took many years training to perfect but was deadly when
used correctly. Due to the training needed there were never as many
yumi armed troops as a daimyo may have wanted!
By the 16th and 17th centuries, warfare was changing and the Samurai
were changing with it. They did not forget their horse-riding roots
while this change happened. Even though the introduction of the long
spear made cavalry charges more difficult to pull off they were still
performed. A well-timed strike by a unit of Samurai horsemen could turn
the tide of a battle. These cavalry attacks continued throughout the
Sengoku period and many a daimyo lost his head to one.
Miniatures supplied unpainted, some assembly required.