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"Building a samurai force - where to start?" Topic


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Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2020 8:06 p.m. PST

I have a bunch of figures sitting around waiting for a turn on the painting table. I alway like to plan out the army and see if I need to field an effective force.

With that in mind, what is the composition of your samurai forces?

saltflats192909 Nov 2020 8:12 p.m. PST

What rules?

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2020 8:40 p.m. PST

None selected at this time.

bandit86 Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2020 9:21 p.m. PST

I would start with samurais :)

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2020 9:50 p.m. PST

And, a few ninjas to try to take them out when they are sleeping, or their guard is down.

The Last Conformist09 Nov 2020 11:44 p.m. PST

What period? Gempei War would imply rather different compositions than Sengoku Jidai.

Berg geit09 Nov 2020 11:45 p.m. PST

I am currently in the phase too to create a 6mm samurai army (16th century) but plan to create my own ruleset but my thread might yield some insight.

TMP link

I do have some figures on army composition, they are all from Turnbull's books. Note foot samurai would be mostly samurai armed with polearms but there would also be samurai armed with guns, bows and an assortment of other weapons that they might prefer over a spear.


The composition can vary quite extensively but I have chosen to have the following number of soldiers of each type within one contingent of an army:
Mounted samurai: 200 men (mostly armed with spears but some with a bow or gun, each horseman has an armed attendant/retainer)
Foot samurai: 180 men (120 spears, 60 missiles)
Spear ashigaru: 180 men
Missile ashigaru: 240 men (2 out 5 are archers, the others are armed with a matchlock)
Which is 800 men, excluding the officers and attendants. (Each horseman would have a groom and an attendant/retainer for example and in some cases also weapon carriers or more attendants/retainers).

This would be a late period army, roughly between 1575-1615

Glengarry510 Nov 2020 1:35 a.m. PST

Depends on the period. My Sengoku armies have a simplified organisation.

6 Mounted Samurai
12 Foot Samuria
12 matchlock Ashigura
12 Spear Ashigura
6 Archer Ashigura (Skirmishers)

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2020 5:28 a.m. PST

Thanks, that's kind of information I was looking for.

I alway prefer to hear what someone has actually done.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2020 6:13 a.m. PST

I've based my Samurai, (Koreans and Ming too) off of the SAGA rules system. So, I'm Ashigaru heavy since the Samurai are the Elite types.
16 Ashigaru Bow
16 Ashigaru Spear
8 Ashigaru Matchlock
8 foot Samurai
8 Mounted Samurai

Lucius10 Nov 2020 8:57 a.m. PST

My stylized Sengoku, per side:
2 units samurai
4 units ashigaru with spear
4 units ashigaru with bows or guns
2 units samurai cavalry
Individual messengers and generals.

Then there is a pool of extra units to customize. I'm not a big Japanese historian, but this seems to be a good game mix.

Capt Flash28 Nov 2020 8:20 a.m. PST

Lucius- I like your mix. My samurai are in a similar format. I refer to them as cinematic or stylized armies.

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