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Kashindan

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TITLE: Kashindan: 1st Edition 2007Kashindan

AUTHOR: Jez Fairclough

PUBLISHER: Lupus Games

PUBLICATION DATE: Oct 2007

WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:

  • http://z11.invisionfree.com/Kashindan/index Simply the home of Kashindan, this is the forum for the game, which offers rules Question and Answers, scenarios, Workshops, fan fiction, battle reports and a section for rules suggestions/discussions. There is also a predictable but friendly, inclusion of an off-topic section.
  • http://www.wargamingonline.com/catalog the site to buy the rules from. Also you will find various FREE downloads here. Army cards and quick reference sheets (Also available in Spanish). A counter/token sheet and a army roster sheet.

PRICE (with date): $10.00 April 2008 As PDF file.

REVIEWED BY: Chris “Krazus” Duncan – Friend of author. I can be reached at Krazus@hotmail.com

PERIOD COVERED: Ancient Japan before the introduction of the gun (Arquebus) by westerners.

THE BOOK:

The Kashindan book comes as a full color 38 page A4 PDF. Each pages has a lavish water mark of the stunning figure (Painted by Adrian Walters) depicted at the front of the book This includes all the rules needed to play any size game of Kashindan. Each section is well defined with examples where necessary for clarification. A full explanation on how the turn deck of cards works. There is also a section covering all the unit types and what equipment and special skills each unit can have, and the powers of fate heroes can master. Lastly but by no means least is a vast Glossary list, which covers al the major Japanese phrases you may encounter when immersing yourself into this magical classical era of Japan’s rich history. There are two pages at the end of the rule book dedicated to any notes the owner wishes to commit to paper.

SCOPE:

Kashindan is designed to be used at a skirmish level during the ancient period of feudal Japan before western influences encroach on their ideals and honour, with anything between 3 and 30 miniatures. This is by no means a definitive figure, if both players wish to increase their available points, larger forces can be represented.

ARMY SIZE: A typical game of kashindan can contain as little as three models each, it is possible to have a large force pit their strength against say…7 Samurai!

  • 3-4 units with between 3-10 models and 2-3 heroes would be about 500 points.
  • This figure becomes less for the same points if for instance you had a force of Just Samurai in full armour on horseback. For 500 pts this could be as little as 4 models.
  • A Peasant is 60% less than a Samurai before equipment, therefore a force of Peasants will be far larger.

This short list of examples should show the diversity of the system and the large choices of troops and equipment open to the player.

There is no minimum or maximum size of a unit.

BASE UNIT: The smallest unit in the game is 1 model on foot or mounted.

GAME SCALES:

  • Ground Scale: 1” = 6ft
  • Time Scale: 1 turn = 5 min
  • Figure/Base Ratio: 1 Figure = 1 Figure
  • Recommended figure size: 25mm or 15mm
  • Table size: ideally 6ft by 4ft, but less or more can still be used.
  • Game length: Lasts until a turn when all the jokers have been played, and one army is 2/3 destroyed or routed, which is considered defeated. However again other options can be devised by the players.

BASING SIZES:

At 25mm any available 25mm square/round bases can be used, alternatively figures can be based upon washes or metal/plastic discs about the same size as a two pence piece.

At 15mm I would recommend a smaller washer or a metal/plastic disc the size of a one pence piece.

Cavalry should be on a suitable base large enough to encompass the mount.

TURN SEQUENCE:

Each player has a unit randomly activated by the turn deck until the second joker is revealed. The player then decides what they will do with the activated unit, and the action is carried out straight away. The choices are:

  • Rally: attempt to regain control of routed units
  • Move: foot troops 6” and mounted 12”
  • Charge: foot troops charge 12” and mounted charge 20”
  • Shoot: May fire with a bow

This continue until either all units have been activated, or the second Joker has been drawn. At that point the round stops and the cards are shuffled for the next round. If some units were not activated this is unfortunate but correct, they had no chance to react in that turn.

GAME MECHANICS:

Movement: Each unit as it is drawn can choose to move up to 6” for foot and 12” for mounted. There are reducing factors for ground covered and armour/wounds

Hand to hand Combat: Each attacker roles 1D6 for each point he has in the Attack statistic. Each roll that is equal or higher than the defenders Defense statistic is a potential wound. The defender then rolls 1 die for each point in his defense statistic, each one that equals or beats the attackers attack statistic is a save. Compare results, if the attacker scores more than the defender saves, that is how many wounds the defender suffers. If the defender is reduced to zero he is removed, if he has any wounds left he attacks back using the same rules.

Shooting: Each shooter rolls 1 D6 against their skill needed, the result on the shooting chart shows how many shots the archer has fired. There are modifiers to the roll. Each bow has a damage figure, the player rolls the same amount of dice as the bow damage statistic, each dice that equals or beats the targets Defense is a potential wound. The defender rolls as many dice as his defense statistic.  Any that equal or beat the attackers dice are saves. Resolve wounds as above.

Morale checks: Any unit defeated in close combat or losing 25/5 to ranged firing in one turn must pass a morale check equal or less than their leadership score with modifiers.

All rolls used are D6 dice or multiples of.

ARMY LISTS/SCENARIOS:

Army list included are:

  • Samurai/Ronin
  • Ashigaru (Infantry to Samurai)
  • Peasants
  • Sonei (Japanese warrior monks)
  • Ninja (Limited numbers)

The force can have any combination of the above forces with a few minor exceptions. For example 1 Samurai hero, 5 Samurai, 1 Ashigaru Hero, 10 Ashigaru, 10 peasants.

It is possible to have an entire Peasant (Uprising) Force.

There is a points system set out in two tables with points cost for each unit type, and cost of each weapon/armour type available for that unit/hero. There is a third table for heroes to increase some of their statistics at a points cost, and finally a list of additional skills that can be brought for heroes.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS:

  • At the front of the book you will find a comprehensive contents list, closely followed by an intro on what sort of things you will need to play.
  • As you scan through the book, the rules flow from one subject to the next, with minimal flickering between pages about the same subject.
  • There are many example pictures of the Authors forces to show situations relevant to the page the picture is on. Also on pages 18 and 19 there is a brief explanation of each troop choice and example pictures of each.
  • The rules are set out in a way that allows you quick access to which ever section you need, and they are possible to understand before playing the game, however after one game, they are much clearer. The rules purposefully do not become too complicated allowing swift skirmish play to ensue.

PLAYER’S COMMENTS:

This is a very simple system to get to grips with, one roster sheet (Double sided if necessary) is enough to have your entire force listed with space for all the statistics of each unit and their equipment. With the set of Turn cards you fill one in for each hero and each unit, this can be as detailed or simple as you like. Unit name…or name, equipment and unit type.

The use of this deck of units is ingenious and they are a godsend, pain and frustrating all at once, making you laugh or cry as you watch all of your opponents forces move and then reveal the second Joker before you have moved. But Lady luck is fickled and soon you will be yelling Banzai as your forces sweep across the rice fields to a waiting enemy with just as much luck.

There are markers available Free of charge which can heighten the game play. But between them the roster and event cards the table is not over crowded at all.

Turns can take minutes due to the turn card deck. Its not unusual for both jokers to pop out first or last. Adding a great level of FOG of war where forces are fluid and not always fighting as a united force because of encounters or terrain.

The most critical thing to success in this game is very difficult to determine, there are so many great systems within this game, that any one of dozens of factors can be the difference between winning and loosing. However against archers Samurai armour works well and all other forces should use terrain as much as possible.

One thing that is unique as far as I am aware while writing this is during close combat, if a foot troop is attacking a hero and a hero from that units army approaches the combat, the foot troops will step aside to allow their lord the honour of dispatching an honourable opponent. This and the restriction in activation actions (Move or shoot etc) gives the gives the game a real feel of ancient Japanese times.

With the small cost of the rules and at least 6 companies in the UK selling 25mm Samurai miniatures the setting up cost of an army is relatively cheep. All the companies market their figures at approx 1 a model. So an army of 20 will be 20. A few of the companies also do blisters of 20, these are great for friends to club together, then split equally.

One thing that would have been nice in the book would have been a painting section, but as anyone that has looked at Samurai will tell you, this is a tall task, because Ancient Samurai were notoriously individual in their armour and undergarments  with lots of vivid colours and patterns, so I understand why the Author refrained from trying to add a painting guide section.

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