Saturday, 21 September 2013
First Look: Ronin
I wasn't sure whether to pick up a copy of these rules as I had been somewhat disappointed with A World Aflame - the previous one in the series I had bought. But having read some interesting descriptions of the combat system on line I thought I would take the plunge.
The rules are produced in the standard Osprey Men-at-Arms etc. format softback with 64 pages in a single column format. I'm still not a fan of this format as I think it doesn't suit rules but I suspect it allows them to produce them more easily and less expensively than creating a new layout.
After a brief introduction the background is covered in a couple of pages before moving into the rules themselves. These take up around 14 pages with a further four pages of special rules and are then followed by the faction lists. There are 7 scenarios, a campaign outline, a short tournament section, a couple of advanced rules and an appendix with information about translating the rules to other periods (Kamakura and Late Edo); some further suggested reading, a couple of counter and reference sheets along with a roster sheet.
The game itself is broken into turns each of which has 5 phases covering priority (initiative and morale), movement, combat, actions (including missile fire) and an end phase for housekeeping. The rules themselves are fairly basic but an interesting action pool system has been included within the combat system which looks like it should lift this to a might higher level of interest (if you would like to see a run through I would recommend reading the outline in the post of the Lead Adventure Forum here).
Essentially these are another of the gang level rules that seem to be popping up at the moment but the period and the interesting action pool mechanism were enough to pique my interest and the figures which Northstar are producing to accompany the rules are rather nice too...