Game Title : Moeyo Anegawa
Publisher : Game Journal
Game Designer : Yui Kakizaki
Game Thema : Anegawa battle between Nobunaga Oda and Asai-Asakura alliance in 1570
Period : 20 minutes per turn
Map : 100m per hex
Background of History
Nobunaga Oda is one of the most important warlords during Sengoku era. He was not so strong at first, but he defeated the important enemy one by one. Asai-Asakura alliance is one of his first enemies. In 1570, Oda-Tokugawa alliance faced the Asai-Asakura alliance at Anegawa. This was one of the most important battles for Nobunaga in his early days.
Characteristic game mechanics
Though Anegawa was the important battle, there are only very few record that tells what exactly happened at Anegawa.
Thus, the designer Kakizaki decided to design the game as his imagination. The result is a very unique game.
The uniqueness of this game is composed of mainly 3 materials.
The first is asymmetric sequence.
The second is one unit to one unit combat.
The third is strong effect of moral and momentum.
Let me explain these in detail.
Every turn, each player rolls 2 dice and modifies the result by his modifier written on turn truck and his loss during the last turn. The higher roller gets the initiative during this turn.
Every action is conducted from the initiative player. And in many cases, the initiative player has the advantages.
For example, initiative player can move his unit in the enemy’s ZOC. On the other hand, non-initiative player cannot move out his unit from enemy ZOC. During combat, initiative player can decide which unit attacks which enemy unit very freely. On the other hand, non-initiative player has very limited option. This is because one unit can conduct combat basically only one time during one turn. If non-initiative unit is attacked during the initiative player’s attack, it already uses the only chance to conduct the combat.
The second unique point is a style of combat. In regular wargame, the combat is resolved between the groups. But, in this game, the combat is resolved between one unit to one unit. This gives the game very tactical flavor. As explained above, the initiative player chooses the combat combination first. This gives the player a real advantage. He can concentrate his attacks against the enemy important unit. If one of them, only one of them is successful, the non-initiative player’s counter attack is severely restricted. This is because when one unit conducts its attack it must be within a leader’s command range. But, if the initiative player can get the leader unit routed during his first strike, the non-initiative player cannot counterattack at all.
The third point is the strong effect of moral and momentum. As you can imagine, all the rules described above already gives the initiative player a big advantage. In addition to these, there is a background corruption rule. If one player lose one of his general or lose certain amount of units during a turn, he must check a background corruption. This rule reflects the fact that background units can escape because of his side’s backfoot. This check is much broader than the usual moral check caused directly from the combat. There are 2 levels of background corruption. In the first level, you must check the moral of all your disrupted units. In the second level, you must check all regular units not adjacent to enemy units. This second level check can be very critical.
This rule is based on the designer’s idea that the result of combat is usually decided by the direct loss, instead it is strongly affected by the momentum or atmosphere inside the loser’s army.
The game can be 20 turns length. But, it looks that most of the games will be decided much earlier due to the moral crush.
Players can easily find that the average moral levels of Oda army is seriously lower than the other 3 armies ( Tokugawa, Asai, and Asakura ). Also, during first 2 turns, Asai army has ambush effect against Oda army.
In history, Oda-Tokugawa alliance wins the battle. But, because of the above situation and special rule, the game starts with Asai’s strong advantage. Is it possible for Nobunaga to stand against the Asai’s ambush and inverse the situation ?