Game Title : Tokugawa Ieyasu
Publisher : Bandai
Game Designer : uncredited
Game Thema : Sekigahara campaign around all over Nippon
Period : 1600
Map : The map covers from Kansai to northern Kantou by areas.
Units : Basically only warlord counters but strength markers are put on warlord cards to represent its current strength.
Political action phase
1st movement phase
2nd movement phase
3rd movement phase
prize phase ( once in every 3 turns )
Characteristic game mechanics
This game is filled with unique mechanics.
Players must be very careful for resource points. Every action needs resource points, such as recruitment, movement, and even maintenance.
Resource points are gained from his warlords’ territories. But, every turn the warlord must pay the cost to maintain his units 5 points per strength point. If he’d like to recruit new unit, he must pay 10 points per strength point. This is not an unusual mechanics. But, in this game even movement costs very seriously. If you move your warlord, then you must calculate the movement cost based on the below.
2 points for 1 regular area
5 points for 1 northern area
10 points for 1 mountain area
And you must multiples the total movement cost by strength points. So, if you move 10 strength points into mountain area that will cost you 100 points. This is a really big number equals the very large territory’s income.
On the other hand, as long as you have enough amounts of resource points, you can go as far as you wish unless you enter the area occupied by enemy warlord.
Political actions are crucial in Sekigahara campaign. In every turn, you can get up to 5 prize cards without instant cost ( this will be paid lately ). Once you draw the prize card, you must play them onto any of your warlord to protect them from enemy’s betrayal actions.
In addition to prize cards, each player can draw up to 5 betrayal cards at the cost of 10 points per card. These cards must be used onto enemy warlords to make them turn to your ally.
In every turn, placed betrayal cards are disclosed and compare the number of that warlord’s loyalty plus prize placed by his current boss. If the betrayal cards’ number is bigger than this total, the warlord turns its flag.
The loyalty number reflects the historical situation. So, some warlords are really loyal to Toyotomi family and others are not so loyal.
Prize cards are not disclosed unless the enemy tries the warlord by betrayal action. But, these must be paid at the end of every 3 turns.
Though it doesn’t cost at the time of drawing, it must be paid lately and players must carefully keep the resource for those payment. Some prize cards are really strong and expensive. Remember you must play it once you draw it. If you don’t have enough resource points, you must give up some cards and then give up their warlords to become neutral ( removed from the game ).
Challenge for players
This game is unique and at first tough for players. You must have management skill for handling resource points. Usually the strong warlord has big territory that gives you big income. On the other hand, the strong warlord will recruit bigger number of strength points and cost bigger number of running cost. In addition, there are political actions. If its loyalty is small, you must play some prize cards on them and this will lately cost additional costs. Based on these complicated income-cost structure, you must evaluate your warlords and decide by which units you will conduct your main military actions.
Pros and Cons
Honestly speaking, I really like this game. This game covers much larger areas than usual Sekigahara games. But, I feel this is necessary because in Sekigahara campaign even northern Kantou area was really important. Epoch’s Sekigahara had similar perspective on this campaign. But, it was much less playable than this game.
But, once you play this game, there will be very strange strategies.
First of all, this game doesn’t have any supply rule. For example, if Uesugi decided to advance into Southern Kantou area, he needn’t care any supply line.
Second, there is no restriction for recruitment. As long as you can pay the cost of 10 points per strength point, you can recruit them even in enemy areas. So, Uesugi can advance into southern Kantou area and fight several times and then recruit the loss at that position. This is unbelievable at all and makes Uesugi living Juggernaut.
Third, victory conditions are very biased. Victory condition only focuses the death of Ieyasu and Mitsunari and control of Edo castle and Osaka castle. As long as Ieyasu can defend Edo castle by himself, there will be no chance for western army to win the game. The only other victory condition is controlling more than 25 warlords. But, this looks possible for eastern army but not for western army due to their lack of resource points.
I think this game has very high potential. But, problems around victory conditions must be improved.