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Ikusa aka Samurai Swords Shogun (he who controls the rice controls the ninja)

MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
edited December 2014 in Critical Failures
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IKUSA (aka Samurai Swords, aka Shogun)

Ikusa is a remake of the old Milton Bradley Game Master series game Samurai Swords (a reprint of Shogun). Players take the roles of competing lords in feudal Japan vying for the ultimate title of Shogun.

Gameplay is best described as Axis & Allies meets the free for all setup of Risk (hey wait! come back!). Players may spend their resources on influencing turn order, recruiting troops (best long term investment), building fortifications, hiring mercenary ronin (short term fast ambush), and bidding on the services of NINJA! If you know how to play Axis & Allies, then you already know 90% of this game.

Rulebook
Rules summary

Objective
Eliminate all other players or be the first player to control a certain number of territories.

A player is eliminated from the game if he loses his last daimyo (general).


Gameplay Overview
Action #1: Plan Koku Allocation (all players simultaneously)
▪ secretly allocate all koku into the bins, then simultaneously reveal. Ninja spies get peek.
▪ Bin 1: bid for turn order. Highest gets to choose first; ties selected by random draw.
▪ Bin 2: buy castle or fortify existing castle for 2 koku; maximum one action per turn.
▪ Bin 3: levy units based on cost chart.
▪ Bin 4: hire Ronin mercenary units.
▪ Bin 5: bid for ninja. Highest bidder wins, but ties result in no one hiring ninja.

Action #2: Hire Ninja (all players simultaneously)
▪ you don't need to decide right away which service (if any) you'll use him for.
▪ (A) Spy: during Action #1, look at one players allocation and then make your own.
▪ (B) Assassination: anytime during Action #7, player may announce attempt on Daimyo.
▪ Roll die: if 8 or less, then successful.
▪ If not, opponent may retaliate. Roll die: if 9 or greater, opponent is successful.
▪ If ninja is successful, turn the Daimyo unit on its side on the army card and
turn the matching army marker on its side in the game board province.
▪ Daimyo and army are "disrupted" and cannot move or attack but must defend.
* Daimyo assassination attempts are not permitted on the first round of play.

Action #3: Build (all players simultaneously)
▪ players who allocated 2 koku purchase and place either 1 castle or 1 fortification base.
▪ if not enough castles/fortresses, they are purchased in order of swords drawn.
▪ castles: add four temporary spearmen; fortress: add five temporary Ronin.
* even if player doesn't have enough units left to represent them.
▪ temporary defensive units must be chosen as the first casualties before any regular units.
▪ unlimited units: killed defensive spearmen or Ronin are fully replenished upon attack by
a different player, or at the start of the next round.
▪ units never strike first during a naval "first strike defense."
▪ units do not count as regular units for figuring maximum provincial force size.
▪ permanent: castles/fortresses may be captured but never destroyed or moved.

Action #4: Levy Units (all players simultaneously)
▪ may place only one levied unit per province, and placing the unit in an army counts as
placing it in the province the army is in!
▪ if you run out of units, you may not levy more until some are returned as casualties.

Action #5: Hire Ronin (all players simultaneously)
▪ if not enough Ronin available, then they are purchased in order of swords drawn.
▪ deploy them by placing them on top of their corresponding province card, face down.
▪ until they attack, defend or move, their location remains a secret!
▪ you may split up hired Ronin to one or more provinces; Ronin may join the army or the
provincial force.
▪ Ronin units must not move or fight by themselves.
* may never have more Ronin then regular troops in a province.

Action #6: Choose Turn Order Swords (all players simultaneously)
▪ players take the sword of their choice based on who paid the most koku.
▪ if there is a tie for koku allocated, and if tied players want the same sword, tying players
alone must draw randomly from their first and second choices.

Action #7: Wage War (4 phases, A-D) (individually, in turn order)

Phase A. Move Daimyos' Armies
▪ player may move one or more of his armies from friendly provinces to adjacent
friendly provinces. (move up to the Daimyo's experience level)
▪ may only break off units in spaces it passes through to prevent empty provinces.
▪ may pick up units of provincial forces in provinces the army moves through.
▪ armies may pass through provinces occupied by another one of your armies,
though units may never be exchanged between the armies.

Phase B. Declare First Battles
▪ player declares which adjacent enemy provinces he plans to attack by placing
battle markers pointing from the attacking province.
▪ any second and subsequent battles of experienced Daimyo are not declared.
▪ battle markers are removed during Phase D: Final Movement.
* Special First Round Rule: cannot declare a battle against an enemy province
occupied by an army during the first round of the game.
▪ may attack with army, the provincial forces, or both (battles waged separately),
but must indicate which battle marker is for which units.
▪ may declare multiple battles against the same enemy province from two or more
troops. These battles must be fought separately.
▪ declared battles cannot be called off before they are begun.

Phase C. Conduct Combat
▪ must conduct one battle at a time; all attacking/defending units must take part.
▪ movement into/through one or more adjacent empty provinces is permitted
during this phase by only experienced Daimyo's armies.
▪ attacker and defender roll simultaneously for each combat sequence.
▪ casualties are chosen by the person who suffered them; hit units fight back.
▪ castle or fortress defensive-only Ronin are the first casualties lost.
▪ remember to keep more regular units then Ronin after removing any casualties.
▪ attacker may call off battle only at the end of any complete battle sequence, and
if possible an experienced Daimyo may attack in another location.
▪ rule assumption: pick up/drop off units as Garrisons, but they cannot move/fight.

▪ Naval Invasion
▪ attacks across sea lines are called naval invasions.
▪ defending units have first-strike advantage. (complete combat sequence)
▪ castle/fortress Ronin defenders do not take part in the first strike defense.
▪ any casualties to the attacker are removed and cannot fight back.

▪ Experienced Daimyos In Combat
▪ provincial forces or armies led by Level 1 Daimyos may only make one
attack and cannot move during combat Phase C.
▪ an army may make any number of attacks ≤ Daimyo's experience level.
▪ taking an empty province counts as an "attack," but not for experience.
▪ between attacks, army may move into newly-defeated or empty adjacent
province to conquer it and make the next attack from there.
▪ when you conquer a province, take the matching province card.
▪ after a successful battle: if experienced Daimyo's army has the capability
to fight at least one more battle, it may either stay where it is and
fight another battle from there; or move into the newly-defeated
province, conquer it, and attack from there.
▪ attacking empty province: if experienced Daimyo's army has attacked an
empty province and has the capability to fight more battles, it may
move into empty province, conquer it, and attack from there.
▪ Promotion: Daimyos who "successfully" battled move their experience
markers to the next level. They cannot attack again this turn but
may move in Phase D.

Phase D. Final Movement
▪ attacking player may move any or all of his armies or provincial forces into adjacent empty or friendly provinces. (claim the province cards)
▪ Surviving Ronin: Ronin units are not removed until Action #8, so make sure
that you don't have more Ronin then regular units in a province.
▪ Ronin units alone cannot garrison provinces you move out of.
▪ order of movement: Move your armies first, then move your provincial forces.
▪ armies may again move to # of adjacent spaces ≤ Daimyo's experience level.
▪ armies may break off units to form Garrisons; Garrisons cannot move this turn. ▪ provincial troops may be added to the army if they fit on the army card.
▪ you may never have move than five regular units in a provincial force.
▪ if a provincial force unit moves into an adjacent empty province, it conquers it.
▪ at the end of this phase, return your battle markers to the master tray.

* Appoint a New Daimyo
▪ if at least one unit of the assassinated Daimyo's army survived, appoint
successor by returning the assassinated Daimyo and his army marker to their standing positions.
▪ return that army's experience marker to the beginning level of experience.

Action #8: Remove any Surviving Ronin Units (all players simultaneously)

Action #9: Collect Koku (all players simultaneously)
▪ Koku = [# of Provinces]  [3], rounding down any remainder.
▪ Players must collect a minimum of 3 each turn.


Turn Sequence: (All players simultaneously except for Waging War.)
▪ Action #1: Plan Koku Expenditures
▪ Action #2: Hire Ninja (Ninja may "Spy" or attempt "Assassination"
▪ Action #3: Build either Fortification (base) or Castle
▪ Action #4: Levy Units (may place max of 1 unit per province per turn)
▪ Action #5: Hire Ronin (location hidden until use)
▪ Action #6: Choose Turn Order Swords
▪ Action #7: Wage War
▪ Phase A: Move Daimyos' Armies
▪ Phase B: Declare First Battles
▪ Phase C: Conduct Combat
▪ Phase D: Final Movement- Armies first, then provincial forces
▪ Action #8: Remove Surviving Ronin
▪ Action #9: Collect Koku (# of Provinces  3); minimum 3 Koku.
▪ Provinces required at end of round to win: (5p=30; 4p=35; 3p= 40; 2p= 50)

Combat
▪ only one army may occupy a province at a time (2 may during the move phase).
▪ maximum regular units in a provincial force is five, not including Ronin.
▪ must always have more regular units than Ronin units in each province.
▪ Combat Sequence:
(1) Ranged units: Bowmen and Gunners (remove casualties)
(2) Hand-to-Hand units: Daimyo, Swordsmen, Spearmen, and Ronin (remove casualties)
* Repeat until one side is eliminated or attacker withdraws.
(note that the ranged combat units get first strike each combat round, not just the first one. Yeah, they're powerful.)
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Quick Turn Summary
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Turn Sequence: (All players simultaneously except for Waging War.)
▪ Action #1: Plan Koku Expenditures
▪ Action #2: Hire Ninja (Ninja may "Spy" or attempt "Assassination"
▪ Action #3: Build either Fortification (base) or Castle
▪ Action #4: Levy Units (may place max of 1 unit per province per turn)
▪ Action #5: Hire Ronin (location hidden until use)
▪ Action #6: Choose Turn Order Swords
▪ Action #7: Wage War
▪ Phase A: Move Daimyos' Armies
▪ Phase B: Declare First Battles
▪ Phase C: Conduct Combat
▪ Phase D: Final Movement- Armies first, then provincial forces
▪ Action #8: Remove Surviving Ronin
▪ Action #9: Collect Koku (# of Provinces  3); minimum 3 Koku.
▪ Provinces required at end of round to win: (5p=30; 4p=35; 3p= 40; 2p= 50)

Tips
Don't underestimate the power of a leveled up daimyo.

Holding the edges is a stronger position than holding the middle.

Careful about ninja assassinating for the hell of it. There is an 11% chance each attempt for the dishonorable ninja dog to betray you and assassinate your own general!

Ronin are as strong as swordsmen at the same cost but only last one turn. What makes them strong is their ability to ignore the usual newly purchased unit rule of one unit per territory to form a sudden surprise military surge in a single territory.

Forum game changes
To make for faster play, players will take their wage war turns uninterrupted. This means sending pre-orders for combat casualties (which is almost unchanging 95% of the time), preorder for turn order preferences when bidding on it, plus preorder conditions from the player who owns the ninja to attempt an assassination ("When such and such attacks one of my daimyos, etc."). The attacking player will roll both for himself and the defender rather than stop and wait for both players to respond each round.

House Rules
Replacing an assassinated daimyo no longer consumes a unit.

Wiping out a player's last daimyo does not give you all his stuff (his units go away and lands become empty), but does allow you to replace one of your dead daimyos for 2 levy koku next turn.

Map
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MrBody on
«13456717

Posts

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Signups open! Game supports 3-5 players. Would love to get the full 5!

    I'm expecting this to run fairly smoothly and quickly. Players take their full turn every round without waiting on anyone else, host or players.

    MrBody on
  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    Let's try this...

  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    I hace a copy of Samurai Swords in my basement right now. It was the go-to game for my friends and I through college.

    Sign up!

    Currently Playing:
    The Division, Warframe (XB1)
    GT: Tanith 6227
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    I'm mulling over an optional rule.

    I'm definitely throwing out the "instantly inherit all an opponent's lands, daimyos, armies, and extra pieces if you eliminate his last daimyo" rule. That makes the game instantly over on first elimination. Works for physical games since you don't want eliminated players sitting around long with nothing to do, not so much for a forum game.

    There's an optional rule to make daimyo replacement possible. When someone eliminates an enemy daimyo, they have an option next turn to pay 2 koku to replace one of their own lost daimyos. I like having some sort of option and incentive to go after other players' daimyos, but it seems like that would still just snowball since only players who are already ahead could easily afford the cost and never be eliminated.

    I dunno. Maybe there will just be no daimyo replacement.

  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    We could also do a thing where an eliminated player's territory goes rogue. All forces remain in place (except armies, which disband) and defend themselves normally.

    That creates an opportunity for the remaining players to engage in a land-grab.

    Currently Playing:
    The Division, Warframe (XB1)
    GT: Tanith 6227
  • KirindalKirindal Registered User regular
    There's ninjas in this? Sold!

    Sign up!

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Traitorous ninjas who kill for whoever bids the most rice!

    Didn't bid the most rice? Too bad! The ninja still makes off with your rice! Ninja rice vanish!

    (koku = year's supply of rice for one man, or one man-year of rice (no, really))

    MrBody on
  • KirindalKirindal Registered User regular
    The best kind of ninja then. This game is looking better and better by the moment.

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    I'd like to get at least 4 for this. In my experience, with 3 players it ends up with one getting caught in the middle and screwed.

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    SIGN UP
    I'm back from Europe and I should have net access for the next month even if I'm skipping around the USA

    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
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  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    Traitorous ninjas who kill for whoever bids the most rice!

    Didn't bid the most rice? Too bad! The ninja still makes off with your rice! Ninja rice vanish!

    (koku = year's supply of rice for one man, or one man-year of rice (no, really))

    which is actually a very clever (if messy) system of monetary value. You can technically horde it, but you gotta eat sometime, so you're better off spending it regularly. Its a bit of a problem for trying to get rich though. You need to own your own land to derive spending power, and of course, the guys with the swords and arrows and guns aint exactly obliging of the serfs owning the land they work.

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  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    Traitorous ninjas who kill for whoever bids the most rice!

    Didn't bid the most rice? Too bad! The ninja still makes off with your rice! Ninja rice vanish!

    (koku = year's supply of rice for one man, or one man-year of rice (no, really))

    The best is when two people bid the most and the ninja takes both their money and vanishes.

    Currently Playing:
    The Division, Warframe (XB1)
    GT: Tanith 6227
  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    I remember having this game when I was younger, back when it was called Samurai Swords. I might be a bit too busy to play at this time, so I'll refrain from signing up at this time... but it should be interesting to see how this goes.

    EDIT: Is there any reason why Kawachi and Noto provinces aren't numbered in the spoilered map in the opening post? (Also, will the actual map that will be used for the game be the same one, or a larger version?)

    MrBlarney on
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  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    MrBlarney wrote: »
    EDIT: Is there any reason why Kawachi and Noto provinces aren't numbered in the spoilered map in the opening post?

    Uhhh...ninja vanish?

    I'll see if I can find a better version of the map. For readable provinces it would have to be a huge resolution. It was late and I just threw that up for the start. I'll get up pictures of the daimyo army sheets too.

    Sign up! The conditional orders we're using for the forum game means you don't have to worry when it's not your turn.

    MrBody on
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    People can start picking colors now: Red, orange, green, blue, or purple.

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    30476930002_large.jpg

    this is the kind of samurai we're talkin' about right?

    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
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  • KirindalKirindal Registered User regular
    Nah, this kind of samurai.

  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    THIS kind of samurai...

  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    Green is the color of honor!

    Currently Playing:
    The Division, Warframe (XB1)
    GT: Tanith 6227
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Map updated. Will sort out army sheets and game start tomorrow.

    5th player welcome!

    MrBody on
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Good lord my internet is going out every night like clockwork now.

    Will give it another go today. In the meantime, here's what the army sheets look like. I have a more clear picture on my home computer, but thought I'd let people get familiar.

    pic311420_md.jpg

    Each daimyo is an individual figure on the board, and his figures go on his sheet. The first row is for samurai, of which the daimyo himself is always the top left and last to die. That means a max of 4 slots for other samurai (bowmen and swordsmen) while the remaining 10 spaces in the second and third rows are for ashigaru peasants (gunners and spearmen). Rpnin don't take up slots but each army or provincial force may only contain ronin equal to one less than the number of regular units (casualties must be taken to preserve this limit).

    The top hexagon spaces above the squiggles is the daimyo experience level. Every turn you win at least one attack, move it one space to the right. At certain points you go up a level, up to level 4 at the end. An army may make one attack and one post-attack move for every level its daimyo is. A ninja assassination paralyzes an army for the turn before resetting the daimyo's level to the beginning.

    MrBody on
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Setup
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    Each player starts with one spearman (marked 'S') in each providence. Each player now has 12 more spearmen to take turns picking one providence to place 2 of their spearmen in (only in spaces with only one spearman).

    Random starting turn order:

    @Iron Weasel
    NotoriousBEN
    Kirindal
    Preda

    MrBody on
  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    Currently Playing:
    The Division, Warframe (XB1)
    GT: Tanith 6227
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Please post choices in your player color (if the CIA doesn't have you busy pushing too many pencils).

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    Mutsu

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    Geth
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Is everyone fine with using colored letters to represent units? I could try drawing silhouettes, but was worried it would get confusing and cluttered (and my awful drawing ability).

    The ninja will have a silhouette. ALWAYS.

    MrBody on
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    @Kirindal name a place for putting spearmen

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  • KirindalKirindal Registered User regular
    Wakasa

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    I think letters will work it. it should give us an idea of what's there at a glance. if it gets too cluttered, maybe drop the font size down a little bit or do ''x3'' for the multiple units.
    whatever works for you, you're the map maker.

    It does help to already be working on a huge map to begin with so we can zoom in on it if need be. (unlike my BHotH where I had a crappy laptop pulling screen caps)

    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
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  • PredaPreda Registered User regular
    Iwami

    @Iron Weasel

  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    Is everyone fine with using colored letters to represent units? I could try drawing silhouettes, but was worried it would get confusing and cluttered (and my awful drawing ability).

    The ninja will have a silhouette. ALWAYS.

    It shouldn't be too hard to trace and color the unit silhouettes from the Ikusa rulebook PDF found on the WoTC site.

    chirisigtext.png
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    I'm mostly worried about the clutter on the map being confusion and the outlines not being distinguishing enough.

  • MrBlarneyMrBlarney Registered User regular
    Fair enough. How will you distinguish spearmen from swordsmen?

    chirisigtext.png
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Swordsmen = sw

    They tend to be the least popular unit so it should work.

  • NotoriusBENNotoriusBEN Registered User regular
    you could use "T" as well for swordman.
    ... ... looks like a sword... >.>;;

    notoriusben_zpsa205e831.png
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  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    you could use "T" as well for swordman.
    ... ... looks like a sword... >.>;;

    so does "8====D"

    NotoriusBEN
  • DrovekDrovek Registered User regular
    you could use "T" as well for swordman.
    ... ... looks like a sword... >.>;;

    It is also gloriously appropriate.

    steam_sig.png
  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    Currently Playing:
    The Division, Warframe (XB1)
    GT: Tanith 6227
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