The Seven Samurai: A Ronin AAR

A few weeks ago Dean and I met up for a face-to-face game of Ronin, the Osprey Games Samurai rules. Dean had been working on a scenario based on Akira Kurasawa's classic Seven Samurai film and we gave it a try out. He took the samurai and villager defenders, whilst I took the raiding bandits. The first side who's morale collapsed due to losses would lose the game. 

The board was based around an attack by bandits on a village, the gaps in the houses were blocked with impassable barricades and my only way is was through either of the ends of the village. 

The samurai broke down the defending villagers in to groups to ensure that the defence covered every entrance that the bandits could use.  

Meanwhile, the mill owner was being defiant and wouldn't move to safety until a samurai escorted him out of there. 

My bandits began crossing the stream via the bridge and fording the shallow waters. 

Meanwhile, a samurai popped out the edge of the village and started firing arrows at the bandits, causing light wounds on one of my handgunners. 

Return fire wasn't long in coming as another hand gunner shot back. 

The bandits continued their advance still under fire from the archer. 

Whilst a group of villagers led by a samurai gathered on the edge of the village.

Meanwhile, the mounted bandit leader and his men engaged a group of villagers on the other side of the village. 

At this point, I had two groups of bandits threatening both edges of the village and trying to find a weak spot in the defence. 

The fighting between the bandits and villagers was heating up with my bandits slightly gaining the upper hand and reducing the opposition's numbers slightly. 

Then even more fell to the blades of the mounted men!

On the other side of the village I had gathered my bandits together to try and make a push through the defence line. 

Supported by gunfire my attack went in!

Despite causing heavy casualties on the villagers, more arrived to tackle the horsemen.

Whilst other villagers ran to the safety of the centre of the village. 

Fighting intensified near the mill with both sides taking damage from the fall of blades. 

And the village men used whatever weapons they could find, in an attempt to hold off the bandit attack. 

Despite their numbers, the villagers were doing badly against the mounted bandit leader and his retinue, they were supported by more foot bandits and the balance was tipping in their favour. 

No less brutal was the fighting near the mill and both sides traded blows taking more and more damage. 

The bandits won the combat by the side of the mill building, taking down all of the villagers, leaving a single samurai to stand alone.

Similarly, the mounted bandits swung the balance in their own favour and even the arrival of the reserve wouldn't help here!

The results of a lot of the fighting was not helped by Dean's poor dice rolling throughout the game...

Finally, enough villagers fell to shift their morale into the negative and a breakthrough by the mounted bandits was achieved!

The story was the same on the other edge of the village with the bandits getting the upper hand and driving the villagers before them.

The game was over, the villagers had lost over twenty of their number to the loss of one bandit. Despite their strength of numbers, their poor fighting skills had not helped in the defence of the village. The seven samurai were scattered to the four winds and the village looted. 

This was a good fun game, not only because I won, but the rules worked very well. It was slightly more figures than you would normally have for a game of Ronin, but it seemed to hold up pretty well to Dean's attempts to break it. The combat is simple and affective with both sides dividing their combat skills between defence and attack and this makes the game interesting in that you have to outthink your opponent as well as just rolling dice against them. Within a couple of turns we both had the rules in our heads enough not to have to keep referring to the book, which is always a good sign. 

I also filmed this game and you can see the short AAR video here:


  1. Great photos and Video. Looks like it was good fun. I like the spiked barricades that pluged the gaps on the village. Did the peasants have much in the way of ranged weaponary?



    1. Cheers Pete, it was a great fun game. No the peasants only had the Samurai with the bow, maybe a few more missiles would have changed things.


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