|Both armies on the start lines - Takeda (Red) in
'fish scale' formation.
Heavily outnumbered as his army was, Tokugawa Ieyasu elected to get in his attack first, a course of action that his adversary, Takeda Shingen, not only welcomed, but had by his formation sought to encourage. That is to say, instead of rolling for the initiative in the first turn, Tokugawa (ORANGE) went first. Thereafter, for each turn a die was rolled for each army, and the high score went first. If it could be said that the first mover in each turn held the initiative, one might argue that Ieyasu never lost it. However, in the end, numbers told.
|Tokugawa Ieyasu's early attacks gain ground
All the same, the early exchanges went well and truly in favour of the Tokugawa army, with fearful execution amongst Takeda's ashigaru tepo. The Orange right wing commander, Sadai Todakatsu, waded into the Red left wing, and even broke through the first line. The battle quickly became genral all along the line. With 13 units and 3 generals, Orange got 5 activation dice, and was rolling high even at that - 11 (eleven!) units being activated for the first turn. In response, with 7 activation dice, Red barely matched those numbers, this out of 18 units.
|Takeda's horse counter-attacks seal off the centre
The Orange army did well for the whole day, but the Reds were soon counterattacking strongly as their extra numbers of activation dice started to tell. Two of the Red tactical units charged into the gap widening in the centre, and Sadai Todakatsu found himself under heavy attack by several samurai units, two commanded by Takeda's generals. Practically surrounded, Sadai expired with his trapped command. Whenever a unit with a general in command took a hit, I didn't attempt to transfer this to the general - but rather took it that the general shared his fate with the unit as a whole. This seemed to me a simple method. The result, of course, meant an immediate reduction in activation dice. The loss of the general took one off, and the loss of a unit might well bring the number down one more. Three activation dice only!
|Takeda strongly counter-attacks Tokugawa's right
Of course, the Reds were having to undergo similar hazards. An early loss of an Ashigaru arquebusier unit lost them at once an activation die (number of units reduced from 18 to 17), and the loss in the midst of seesaw fighting on the Orange right of the Takeda adherent, Naito Masutoyo, brought the dice down to 5.
|Tokugawa's lines being edged back...
In the early fighting, Tokugawa's army established a lead over Takeda in strength points destroyed, a margin that was never really narrowed, let alone closed. Even so, the Orange army reached its exhaustion point soon enough, and began to break off the action. in an attempt to bring Tokugawa to the point of routing, Takeda possibly overpressed his advantage. Though crumbling, the Orange line continued to take out SPs until finally Takeda forebore further assaults.
|... and begins to crumble
|Attempt to cut off Tokugawa's left wing fails
(but look at that activation score: 22/2=11 units can
Even so, this was an undoubted victory for Takeda Shingen, even though he lost 18SPs against 14. Tokugawa's quick early attack was quickly held, and then his army was gradually edged back with increasing rapidity until he was persuaded to break off the action.
|Having reached their own exhaustion point,
Takeda's army calls of the pursuit.
Next time. A battle with just one commander each.