Game Title : Shizugatake Campaign
Publisher : Game Journal
Game Designer : Tetsuya Nakamura
Game Thema : Shizugatake campaign in 1583
Period : from February to May in 1583
1 game map
1 counter sheet
You must prepare several 6-sided dice
Background of History
After death of Oda Nobunaga, Hashiba Hideyoshi looked the strongest candidate to succeed Nobunaga. But, Shibata Katsuie was the other candidate and he was one of the old Nobunaga’s general and famous for being lion-hearted.
In 1583, they finally fought to decide which could be a successor of Nobunaga.
Hideyoshi’s player turn
Katsuie’s player turn
Turn renewal phase
In each player’s turn, first the player must decide how many operations he can in this turn.
Hideyoshi’s operation number is 1dr+2. Katsuie’s operation number is 1dr.
Then the player must allocate these operations to his generals. Then, he must conduct each general’s operations one by one.
There are 4 types of operations and they are conducted in order described below.
1. moral action
This action is done on the diplomatic track. The player can move that general’s marker one space to his favor on the diplomatic track.
In this game, every general has his own marker on the diplomatic track. And there is a current trend marker on the track. If the general’s marker is on the trend marker or closer to that player’s end, that general is fighting for that player. If the general’s marker is further than the trend marker, that general is currently in neutral status and cannot do military operation except defending himself.
So, doing this action can bring the neutral general to start fighting.
2. recovery action
This is recovery action for the army, which has already damages.
3. fortification construction
That general can construct fortification in his current location. But, it takes 2 actions to complete the construction.
4. military action
This action contains movement, field battle and siege battle. But, the general can do limited number of these based on his operation rating. For example, if that general has rating 1, he can do only one of these in one turn. On the other hand, if that general has rating 3, he can do all of three in one turn.
In addition, this rating is used to determine the movement allowance for that general in each chance of operation. The player rolls one die and add the rating to determine its current movement allowance. So, the higher rated generals are really useful for both on movement and attack.
In combat in this game, the attacker rolls first and inflicts the damage to the defender in regular field combat. The general can rolls a number of dice based on the number of his units. And the die which equal or less than his attacking rating inflicts one hit to the opponent. After the attacker’s roll, the defender decides whether to withdraw or counterattack. If counterattack, the defender do the same procedure as the attacker and inflicts damages to the original attacker. In this case, the original attacker will decide whether attack again or withdraw. This can repeated until one side is eliminated or withdrawn.
Challenge for players
Victory condition is a little bit complicated.
If Hideyoshi or Katsuie is killed, the other side immediately wins.
If Shibata’s unit occupies Kyoto or Hideyoshi’s unit occupies Hokkoku Kaido, the game immediately ends with the occupant’s victory.
In other case, the game will be played until the end of turn 18. Then, the current trend marker will be judged. If the marker is on one of Shibata’s victory space, Shibata wins. If the marker is moved to Hideyoshi’s victory space even during the play, the game ends immediately with Hideyoshi’s victory.
The trend marker starts the game on Shibata’s victory space. Actually, Hideyoshi must move this marker at least 5 spaces to his favor until the end of turn 18 to avoid Shibata’s victory. This is a real pressure for Hideyoshi’s player. If he could move this marker 8 spaces from the starting point, he can win the game immediately.
This fact strongly force Hideyoshi player to maneuver aggressively during the whole play.
The trend marker is moved for 2 reasons. One is the change of control for each castle. The other is the outcome of combat.
Briefly speaking, Hideyoshi’s army has higher operation numbers. On the other hand, Shibata’s army has higher attacking rating. In addition, Hideyoshi has potentially larger army. Yes, I said “potentially”. That means he has more number of units but most of them start the game in neutral status.
So, Hideyoshi must do much more than his opponents, although he has more number of operations. He must first invade small castles of Shibata’s in Mino area. He must moral up his potential allies by doing moral action to bring them to his real fighting allies.
From the viewpoint of Katsuie, he has stronger units. Katsuie, and his strongest allies Sakuma and Takikawa, all have excellent attacking ratings. But, their number of operation is seriously limited.
The most important difference is that for Hideyoshi his worst number of operations is promised as 3. But, for Katsuie his worst number of operations is only 1. This is a real problem for emergency situation. If this roll comes during a chance of attack, the chance of critical field battle victory will be escaped from his hands. If this roll comes during Hideyoshi’s wave of assaults, the situation will be disastrous.
I’m really afraid that that this small review cannot reflect all the charms of this game.
But, this game is really interesting.
Each army has very different characteristic. Each has own pros and cons.
The strategic situation is also very interesting. The game covers not only military actions but also diplomatic action.
Even though these fascinating points, the game can be played in one sitting. If you have whole day to play this game, you can play 2 times or hopefully 3 times. And I can bet each play will be very different and exciting.