Game Title : Okehazama in Oda Nobunaga
Publisher : Bandai
Game Designer : Uncredited
Game Thema : Battle of Okehazama in 1560 between Nobunaga Oda and Yoshimoto Imagawa
1 game map, 1 counter sheet, 1 play aid, rulebook, and counter tray, 1 die
This game is played by game turns.
Each turn, players must complete the sequence below.
1. Imagawa player’s recovery step
2. Imagawa player’s movement step
3. Imagawa player’s combat step
4. Oda player’s recovery step
5. Oda player’s movement step
6. Oda player’s combat step
There are several discussion still ongoing about this battle.
But, basically it is believed that Imagawa was surprise attacked by Oda’s small elite force.
This is a real challenge for game dsigner. Because Imagawa player know the historical result, it is very difficult to force him be surprise attacked by Oda player.
In this game, the designer set up several tasks for Imagawa player.
1: Imagawa player must conquer 3 forts at the end of the game.
2: Imagawa player must exit at least 5 units and 1 leader from the hex “ro” until the end of turn 6.
3: Imagawa must not lose more than 6 units at the end of the game.
4: Imagawa Yoshimoto must survive the battle.
Also, the reinforcement of Imagawa force has several restrictions.
5: Imagawa Yoshimoto and his guard units enter the map on turn 8.
6: They must stop at Okehazama form turn 9 to turn 11.
Briefly speaking, Imagawa’s force is much stronger than Oda’s force. But, condition 1 and 2 are not so easy even for his bigger force. Since he must exit at least 6 units until the end of turn 6, his force can be bigger until that turn. On the other hand, it is not easy task for him to conquer 3 forts during the period he has bigger force.
As a result, Imagawa’s initial bigger force must make all-out attack to 3 forts and exit the map until the end of turn 6. This makes his reinforcement very separated from his bigger initial force. And now, his reinforcement must stop due to the condition 6. Finally, Oda’s force have a chance similar to the historical one.
Also, Oda’s force can use dummy units. So, he can hide the location of his elite units until the real contact. There are 2 options for Oda player. First he can try to surprise attack Imagawa Yoshimoto at Okehazama like historical situation. Second he can try to defend 3 forts to disturb either or both of condition 1 and 2.
In addition, condition 3 is tricky. Because 6 units are not big game for Oda player, since Imagawa player must spread his force to conquer all 3 forts.
I have only commented victory conditions and strategy. But, the key factor of this game are these factors.
This game has simpler rule which is quite common. There is ZOC, in which you must stop and must attack. The combat is calculated by odds and decided by die roll.
Since there’s no stacking except leader unit, the game is really clean and playable.
So, you can focus the strategy around the victory condition.
I like this type of game which has simpler rule and difficult strategic problem.