Flagship Games: Taiko Rules
Have you spent hundreds on Two Dragons' samurai figures, only to watch them collect dust for want of a set of samurai warfare rules you can really sink your teeth into? Well, look no further, because us folks here at Flagship Games have the ruleset for you!
Written with 15mm figures in mind, Taiko! converts easily to 6mm and 25mm as well. The rules play to two levels of combat, 1:1 scale, and 50:1 scale. The former is used for small skirmish battles, and has a fast and chaotic feel to it as units of warriors engage, pursue their beaten foe, and then perhaps find themselves being beaten and pursued. The 50:1 scale is ideal for recreating the larger battles of feudal and/or renaissance Japan, with large formations of infantry and cavalry maneuvering around the battlefield under the control of their lord or one of his generals.
Besides the "must-have" Flagship Games traits of playability and speed-of-play, Taiko! faithfully recreates the command and control methods of the samurai warlord, who, in the period covered by these rules, typically led from the rear where he could keep a watchful eye on the proceedings of the battle. While he can join the fray (perhaps to bolster the flagging morale of one of his units), his ability to control the rest of his army will suffer, maybe evening failing to follow his orders.
The basic military formation in Taiko! is the unit. A unit is composed of similarly armed and armored troops who will operate in a more-or-less cohesive manner throughout the battle. One or more units are grouped together to form a Tai, or corps. Each Tai is led by a commander, representing a notable samurai or (hopefully) trusted retainer. Each army is led by an army commander who will be protected by his own Tai, typically composed of his very finest troops.
It is the army commander's responsibility to issue orderst o the commanders of his Tai, giving them directions on how to proceed. New orders may be issued at the beginning of each turn, at which point a die roll is made to see if the order is actually received and activated. If successful, the order may be acted on immediately, if not, there maybe a delay, or worse...
True to the genre, there is a chance that any Tai commander rated as being "unreliable" may decided to write his own game plan and not follow his army commander's orders. He may even decide to change sides in the middle of the battle!
Play proceeds in turns, with each side activating a Tai, moving and acting with all its units, before the other side does the same. Play proceeds back and forth until all Tai on each side have had a chance to act. Combat is conducted as it occurs during each Tai's activation.
At the end of each turn, each Tai that has suffered 25% or more casualties will have to check morale, and, if it fails, it will begin to withdraw. The first side that has 50% or more of its Tai fail morale and/or defect to the enemy loses.
- Playable in two scales, 1:1 or 50:1.
- Playable with any size figures, from 6mm to 25mm.
- Morale and command rules that reflect the style of leadership of the period. Commanders tend to lose control of their forces if they decide to lead a single unit from the front!
- Army lists.
- Siege rules.
- Unit, Tai (corps), and army morale.
- The rules will accommodate multiple opponents; you are not limited to one-on-one battles.
- And, like all our products, fast, fun play!
One of the strong points about these rules is their versatility. You can use the same rule set to recreate a small action, including such famous encounters as that of the 47 ronin, or you can refight major battles like Nagashino or even Sekigahara! Both sets of rules are included, and are similar enough that once you learn one, switching back and forth between scales becomes effortless.
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