Sunday 30 June 2024

The Japanese Invasion of Korea 1592-93 - the Korean Briefing and Playing the Game

Today we played the Samurai/Korean game I mentioned on June 1 (LINK). Since the Japanese players could not know of some of the Korean details, they are presented here, after the fact.

The Korean Briefing

On September 1592 the guerrilla leader Cho Hon, supported by a force of monk-sol­diers attacked Chongju and drove off the Japanese occupiers. With this strategically placed city back in Korean hands, the main Japanese supply line from Pusan to Seoul was effectively severed. But no sooner had he secured the place than the local governor claimed credit for the victory and brought forward a force or regular sol­diers to garrison it. He then prepared to carry out a campaign of liberation in his name throughout the rest of the province. Deeply offended by the slight Cho Hon withdrew to the mountains refusing to take any further part in the operations, but as the Japanese begin to move to retake the place he reluctantly re-entered the fight.

Cho Hon occupies three passes through mountains that cover a little over quarter of the table and that part of the table that lies across the Geum River. The Japanese are coming, and in force. His object is to delay the a passage of as many of Japanese units as possible through these areas until  the main Korean force can arrive. He can deploy his command in an any position within the mountain defined area and can be conceal within any piece of terrain that contain at least one stand. The monks must commence the game within the Temple of Infinite Harmony.

Cho Hon's Command

His force consists of :

  • Ten stands of guerrillas that can be grouped into units of one or two stands. Note that these are ad-hoc formations and they can be broken up and formed them as he sees fit. 
  • Fifteen stands of Monk Soldiers.

Victory Conditions

To win the game Cho Hon will commence the game with 10 honour points then gather them at the following rates:

  • +1 each Japanese unit destroyed by a one of your units
  • +2 if a destroyed Japanese unit is samurai
  • +10 for each Japanese clan leader killed in close combat with one of your units
  • -10 if the Temple of Infinate Harmony is captured or destroyed by the end of the game
  • -1 for each Japanese unit that crosses from the mountain area to the plain 
  • -10 in Cho Hon is killed or capturedthe difference between scores is 2 or greater in which case the leader/hero will roll 1xD6 and a score of 5+ means he is  killed, otherwise he will be captured. Heroes can fight in individual combat with other heroes.

The Korean Regular Army is controlled by the two umpires and is in camp around the castle and cannot form up until the Japanese come within line of sight.

So to the game...

Before play began the Japanese players all played the snakes and ladders type game to determine where a when the various commands would arrive on the table the result of which was that Il Naomassa would arrive point A and Katō Kiyomasa at point B on turn one. Kuroda Nagamasa would arrive at A on turn two. Ahimazu Yoshiihisa and Mastuura Shigenobu would arrive on the table edge marked by Point C on turn 4.

Below are some shots of the of the peaceful region of Chongju before the arrival of the armies.

The view from Point C on the map.

Looking  North along the Guem River

Looking through the mountains from Point B

The view from Point A

The sleepy village in the mountain valley

 As the action begins Katō Kiyomasa moves to attack the Temple of Infinite Harmony

The monks appear on the plateau above the temple and shower arrows done on Kāto's troops, but fail to cause the Japanese any loss

The Monks storm out if the cave beneath the temple. The drive off one of Kāto's units, but fail to break it.

Il Naomassa approaches the gates of the temple, but thinks the better of assaulting the place. 

Kuroda Nagamasa advances on the left of Il Naomassa

Kāto is taking damage from the monks.

Outside Chongju the left wing of Korean regular army sights the first Japanese beyond the river and start to form up.

Mastuura Shigenobu approaches the Geum and prepares to cross.

The Koreans react to Mastuura Shigenobu's approach 

In the Temple of Infinite Harmony the monks defend the gates.

Kuroda Nagamasa's unit of mounted Samurai crested the ridge at the exit point of the mountain valley and sees Chongju and the Korean regulars for the first time from this direction.

In the valley Kāto's difficult passage of the valley continues.

Ahimazu Yoshiihisa starts to cross the Guem.

Unable to form properly, the Korean infantry of the right wing turns to face the Japanese coming from the mountain pass, but are charged by Kuroda Nagamasa's Samurai, two Korean units are smashed is quick time.

Il Naomassa bring his cavalry forward.

Il Naomassa and Kuroda Nagamasa lead their bodyguards in a change into the fray. Il Naomassa drives back an attack  by the Korean cavalry while Kuroda Nagamasa smashes another two Korean infantry units. In a very short space of time neatly half the infantry of the Korean right wing is in flight.

Ahimazu Yoshiihisa had initial success, driving off two units of Korean cavalry, but suffered from a vigourous Korean counterattack in which Ahimazu Yoshiihisa was killed.

The Korean cavalry

Ahimazu Yoshiihisa's command struggled to make any headway against the Korean cavalry.

In the mountain valley Kāto has burned the village.

As the time rolled around to 4:00 PM the game came to a conclusion. In the end:
  • Kāto took the Temple of Infinate of Harmony and killed Cho Hon in battle.
  • Il Naomassa and Kuroda Nagamasa had driven off the Koreans of the right wing, although Kuroda was killed
  • Ahimazu Yoshiihisa and Mastuura Shigenobu fought a hard fight, but could not make headway against the Korean left wing.
  • Il Naomassa had found a way into the fortress.
Il Naomassa scored the most honour points and was declared the winner of the day.

Friday 28 June 2024

The Ottoman Big Guns Completed

Yesterday saw the completion of the second and third of the Kolunburna gun sets for the Ottomans. These two sets are in the loading poses, while the first set is in firing poses. 

Again, since these are position guns, I have put them behind some sort of protection, using up the last of the gabions I had stock, although I ran short and had to construct one base with a slightly different emplacement.

Then all three pieces together in battery.

Next on the painting table are the remaining two field batteries.

Monday 24 June 2024

More Ottoman Artillery

We ended our trip to the South on Sunday with an early morning walk around the Queenstown Gardens. Even at 8:00 AM the sun had not fully risen at this latitude and the moon, two days off full, was still up, it's light shimmering across the water of the lake, while the mountains began to catch the first light beyond the town.

Just before 3:00 PM we were home and I finished the basing on another Ottoman gun set, this time the 8.5 pound field gun.

Friday 21 June 2024

24,105 Days

That is how long I have been on this planet. That is 66 years. It may actually one day less than that given that I am on the other side of the International Date Line from where I was born, but I'll ignore that. To celebrate the day, and our 26th wedding anniversary from two days ago, we have come down to Queenstown for a bit of a winter break.

We have no specific plans except to enjoy the epicurean delights of the region. Leaving early we flew in with the sun rising over the Southern Alps.


Arrival was just before 9:00 AM and a chilly one degree above freezing. We headed straight across the Crown Range for a visit to Wanaka where her indoors wanted to visit the lavender farm to pick up some scented potions. I was there for lunch at the Stoker Room and I could never tire of the view across the lake.

The evening was closed out by a twilight walk around the Queenstown waterfront with the Remarkables illuminated by the evening light, followed by an excellent dinner and the bright lights of the waterfront.

A great end of a to my 24,105th day.