Game Title : Battle of Kawagoe
Publisher : Command magazine Japan #104
Game Designer : Ryuko Yoshikawa
Game Thema : A siege of Kawagoe castle and its relief attempt
1 game map, 1 counter sheet, rulebook, you must prepare a die
First of all, the battle of Kawagoe is known as one of three great surprise attack in Japanese history. Other 2 battles are Okehazama and Itsukushima.
The battle of Kawagoe was an important battle in Eastern japan which started the Sengoku era. Because the old power of Koga kubo was repulsed by the newly raising power of Hojo. It meant that the newly raising power can take control from the old power by power. It was a new golden rule of Sengoku era.
I played this game last week. Unfortunately I had no time to play solo before.
But without preparation I could enjoy the game.
The reasons are
1: Very good play balance. I think this game had been playtested carefully.
2: There’s no innovative rule. In other words, no difficult rule to play for the first time.
3: It is easier to play due to its limited number of units. It is also easy to handle.
Though this is a game of siege battle, it is really exciting.
The reasons are
4: Both of siege battle and siege relief attempt go simultaneously.
5: The difference between quality army of Hojo and quantity army of Koga Kubo.
While I played this game, I felt that I had seen this game before.
6: It looks like Alesia from AH due to the relief attempt can come almost everywhere around the map.
7: The very exciting race between the siege attempt to Kawagoe castle and the relief attempt of Hojo looks like Bitter End from Hobby Japan.
8: The game engine is similar to PGG from SPI.
I played the game as Hojo.
A siege relief attempt is exciting as Bitter End and Budapest ’45.
I decided to advance as aggressively as I can neglecting the loss, because the game has only 6 turns.
I felt a good response until the middle of the game. On turn 3, the relief army can see the wall of the castle directly. According to the opponent’s comment, he also felt that the situation is in serious danger.
But, not only Kubo side, but also Hojo side is in serious danger. Because every step loss gives the opponent 2 VP, I’m not sure the things goes well for Hojo side.
In victory condition term, Hojo side must not only break the siege but also keep the comjunication line between the castle and friendly board edge.
But, this latter condition is really difficult. The reason is that the longer communication line is, the more units is necessary to defend the side of the communication line. This results in rapid decrease of the number of units in front line.
In this play, I strongly keep the number of units in front line. But, this made the communication line very vulnerable. And finally I’ve been struck by wild swing from the right by Kubo army and then from the left by Uesugi army. I could not keep the communication line at last.
The final result
I killed 3 generals (9VP), and eliminate 11 units (11VP).
But, I lost 19 steps (-38VP).
Though the loss was almost double than my points, it was judged the slight victory of Koga Kubo. The designer thought this level of victory cannot help Kubo to survive in Sengoku era.