Many months have passed since I escorted O-Ushi sama to the Crab lands, after a few days of rest, I decided to travel into the Crane lands. I made camp that night at the base of the tidal land bridge separating the crab from the Crane. Both sides where heavily fortified, and I was unsure whether the Daidoji would respect my travel papers. I could cross at low tide, early in the morning. I awoke before ameterasu's first light, to see a fog bank roll in from the sea. Oddly enough, a robed monk approached me and asked that I protect him in his journey through the lands of the Crane. I agreed, but warned him about mindlessly espousing his beliefs in Shinsei.
We set out across the landbridge once there was light, the monk leading my steed... We could see only a few paces in front of us. "What is it you seek in the lands of the Crane?" Asked the monk. As patiently as I could I responded: "I seek the knowledge of battles to expand the intrinsic glory of the Crab." "I am a student of water, perhaps I could help you on your quest for knowledge." "I seriously doubt that monk." The monk then said to me "Perhaps I can teach you a lesson or two." I believe I laughed out loud.
Hours passed as we still wandered in the fog on the landbridge. This was impossible, at a leisurely pace it does not take long to cross... Not half the day! "Monk! What do you think is going on!?!" I shouted suspiciously... Calmly he responded "I am giving you what you seek... Be patient." "This maho is your doing then!?!" "It is not mine at all, it is yours."
Within moments of that statement the fog began to lift and before us stood the gates of a palace. "How on earth did a palace appear on the... Wait... Impossible... this Emerald champion castle! We are on the other side of the Empire! How!?!" The monk simply shrugged and said "It was your path." I didn't bother to ask him anymore. I did not have the chance to either, as Daidoji surrounded me angrily. I presented my papers to their Gunso, and I was lead to the top of the tower... This castle has but a weak garrison, as I scanned its defenses while awaiting whomever the authority was. I was suprised to see Doji Kuwanan. "You have come just in time Maatan san... The Unicorn approach..."
Iajutsu duel x3, Coordinated fire x3, Defensive position x3, All or nothing x3, Wall of spears x3, Beyond your mastery x3, Another time x3, Strength of Purity x3, Resist magic x3, Advantage of cover x1, turtleshell x2
Another time x3, Frenzy x3, Parade ground practice x3, Kharmic strike x3, beyond your mastery x3, grim determination x3, Charge x3, Turtleshell x3, Coordinated fire x3, Resist magic x3.
Turn One of Nine
Crane have hand of fate
Asahina Tomo casts windbourne speed on the Daidoji Iron warriors.
Phoenix hurricane initiates fire at the Crane elite archers at long range. 4 hits for 24 damage. 2 Crane die. Elite archers are out of range.
I saw the Unicorn approach from the north with Phoenix banners at its side, as the garrison scurried into a position. "More Crane lie in wait behind us Maatan san, but Uji must hold his ground against the crest of the wave if my plan is to work." "What is your plan Kuwanan sama?" I asked... He smirked at me as he raised an ornate fan into the air, glowing with an eldritch nimbus. On the left of the Kenshinzen banner a mighty dragon of earth arose from the ground. I wonder how many more tricks Kuwanan has up his sleeve. As the Unicorn closed, a hail of arrows came from impossible distances at the Crane elite, cutting down two...
Turn two of Nine
Unicorn have hand of fate
Phoenix hurricane initiates fire at Crane elite archers hitting 8 times for 55 damage. 5 crane die. Crane elite fire back but are thwarted by a gust of wind cast by Iuchi Takaai, who becomes spent.
The other unit of Hurricane initiates fire at the crane elite hitting 7 times for 45 damage... Killing the remaining crane archers.
Horiuchi Shoan casts fury of Osano wo on the Kenshinzen hitting once for 8 damage. No casualties.
The Elite archers desperately moved forward and let loose a hail of arrows before being cut down to the last man from a hail of arrows from the Phoenix. The other Unit of Crane elite sprinted forward, under cover, to try and get a better position on the Phoenix.
The mighty dragon moved forward in-between the woods to confront the Shinjo, roaring fiercely as the Shinjo hesitated...
Turn three of nine
Crane has hand of fate
Asahina Tomo casts windbourne speed on the Daidoji Iron Warriors.
Otaku battle maidens charge the Kenshinzen.
Shinjo house guard charge the Earth Dragon, and play the tactical card frenzy. The Earth dragon plays the cards: Defensive position and Strength of purity.
Phoenix Hurricane initiates fire a volley at the Crane Elite archers hitting 3 times for 5 damage... no casualties. Crane Elite counter fire, Turtle shell is played on the Hurricane initiates. No hits.
Hurricane initiates fire at Daidoji iron warriors, hitting 3 times for 27 points of damage, killing one Daidoji.
Horiuchi Shoan casts fury of Osano Wo on the Daidoji hitting once for 8 damage. No casualties.
Otaku battle maidens hit the Kenshinzen 4 times for 41 damage. Killing 4 Kenshinzen. The Kenshinzen strike back hitting 4 times for 24 damage, killing one battlemaiden. Doji Yosai plays the Iajutsu duel card against Shinjo Tsuburo, neither are killed, Yosai takes 1 wound, while Tsuburo takes 2. Both spend 2 void to heal one wound.
Shinjo house guard score 4 hits against the Earth dragon for 42 damage, causing four wounds against the dragon. The Dragon hits 3 times for 149 damage. Killing 7 Shinjo.
The Shinjo backed up a moment, and then charged headlong into the fierce creature, literally leaping off their gaijin saddles at the dragon, plunging their katana deep in the dragon. The earthen dragon let out a terrible bellow as it swatted most of the battle maidens aside like flies. Nearby, the Otaku slammed into the Kensinzen, as Doji Yosai pointed at Tsuburo and singled him out, sheathing his Katana in the tell tale fashion of a duel, and Tsuburo accepted, they both barely knicked each other when the swords where drawn, as the duel continued. On the opposite side of the field the Elite archers slowed and attempted further to shoot the Phoenix... but to no avail. The Hurricane archers wheeled to face the Crane and let loose a volley, but it was as ineffective as the Crane's.
Turn four of nine
Unicorn has hand of fate
Windbourne speed cast on the Daidoji Iron warriors by Asahina Tomo. Horiuchi Shoan casts Earthquake in Doji Yosai spending them both. Beyond your mastery played on Shoan for her Earthquake spell.
Hurricane initiates fire a volley at the Daidoji hitting four times for 9 damage. No casualties
Crane Elite archers fire at Hurricane initiates hitting twice for 8 damage. No casualties. The Hurricane initiates fire back hitting 5 times for 20 damage. 2 Cranes die.
Earth Dragon spends 2 void for an extra attack die, hitting twice for 63 damage, slaughtering 3 more Shinjo House guard. The House guard in return hit 6 times for 42 damage... Killing the Dragon. The Shinjo become spent and broken.
Kenshinzen hit 3 times for 25 damage, Killing one Otaku. The Otaku in return dish out 5 hits for 37 damage, killing 3 Kenshinzen. Tsuburo does 9 damage in the duel, not causing a wound to the spent Yosai.
The Crane and Phoenix archers come to a halt and dig their heels in as each faction frantically sends more arrows at each other, not really affecting each other. The Otaku begin to thin down the ranks of the Kenshinzen as the duel between Tsuburo and Yosai continued. The ground heaved up beneath Yosai, knocking him down as Tsuburo's blade skimmed across his forehead. The Daidoji marched forward as the Phoenix rained arrows upon them, slowly but surely. The Dragon stamped the life out of a few more Shinjo, as Yasamura furiously thrust his flaming katana into the jewel heart of the dragon. The dragon howled one last time as its form turned to mud and splashed down around the remaining three Shinjo, who stood confused, covered in mud... Confused at the fact they lived, or the way the dragon disappeared I do not know.
Turn five of nine
Crane has Hand of fate
Windbourne speed cast on the Daidoji by Asahina Tomo. Beyond your mastery is played on that spell. Iuchi Takaai casts abomination at the Daidoji, but the Daidoji pass the TN.
Hurricane initiates fire a volley at the Crane Elite archers hitting twice for 6 damage. No casualties. The Elite's counter fire as the Phoenix play turtle shell, hitting once for 1 damage. No casualties.
Hurricane initiates loose a volley at the Daidoji, hitting 4 times for 39 damage. Killing one and wounding one Daidoji.
Horiuchi Shoan casts fury of Osano Wo for 3 hits for 20 damage. 1 Daidoji dies.
Otaku battle maidens hit 3 times for 26 damage. Killing 2 Kenshinzen. The Kenshinzen hit 4 times for 33 damage wounding one and killing a battle Maiden. Doji Yosai kills Tsuburo in the duel and the Otaku Break.
The Daidoji took more casualties as they solemnly marched forward under a hail of arrows, leaving a trail of bodies where they have marched. Where the Otaku and Kenshinzen stood, Yosai and Tsuburo ran at each other, as steel flashed, and Tsuburo crumbled to the ground...
Turn six of nine
Unicorn has hand of fate
Tempest of air cast on the Daidoji by Horiuchi Shoan, making them double their movement cost.
Otaku breaks away being hit 5 times for 39 damage. Killing one Otaku and wounding another.
Elite archers fire at the Hurricane initiates hitting 3 times for 17 damage. Killing one initiate. The Initiates fire back and hits 4 times for 16 damage, killing one elite archer.
Iuchi Takaai casts fury of Osano Wo on the Daidoji for 2 hits for 18 damage... Killing one Daidoji.
Hurricane initiates fire at the Daidoji, who plays turtle shell, at close range hitting 6 times for 28 damage. One Daidoji dies
All Unicorn Rally.
"Excellent! The Unicorn cavalry are routing and Uji will cut the phoenix down soon, the field belongs to us!" The monk I was with stepped forward "Claiming victory may be a hasty conclusion my lord. The field is not yet empty." Kuwanan stared at the monk contemptuously. "Do you want me to kill him Kuwanan sama?" Kuwanan said nothing as he put away his signaling device...
Turn seven of nine
Crane has hand of fate
Horiuchi Shoan casts Earthquake on Daidoji Uji, but the spell fails to have effect. Beyond your mastery is played on Shoan.
Hurricane initiates loose another volley at the crane elite. Hitting 5 times for 14 damage. Killing one. The elite archers counter fire for 4 hits for 16 damage. Killing one initiate.
Hurricane initiates fire at the Daidoji hitting 5 times for 25 damage. Killing 1 Crane. Grim determination played on the Daidoji.
At an order, barked out by Shinjo Yasamura, the cavalry turned around to face the Crane, in an unexpected maneuver. "Damn their barbarian ways!" Kuwanan exclaimed, as the Phoenix slowly eroded the Iron Crane...
Turn Eight of Nine
Unicorn have the Hand of fate.
Tempest of air cast on the Daidoji, pushing them back 3" by Horiuchi Shoan. She becomes spent. Beyond your mastery played on Shoan. Asahina Tomo casts stagnant air.
Otaku engage Kenshinzen and plays the tactical card Frenzy..
Crane Elite archers play the card all or nothing, as they shoot at the Hurricane initiates. 6 hits for 49 damage... Killing 4 initiates. Hurricane initiates counter fire for 5 hits, 41 damage. 4 Elite archers perish. Elite archers become spent and broken. Hurricane initiates play grim determination.
The battle maidens hit 4 times for 44 damage. Killing 4 Kenshinzen. Strength of purity is played on Doji Yosai. The Kenshinzen hit 4 times for 37 damage. Killing one Otaku and wounding another.
The Battle Maidens charged into the Kenshinzen once again, trampling four. The Crane elite pulled their bow strings back and concentrated hard as they let their arrows fly, killing four of the Phoenix... but it was too little too late, for more of the Crane fell beneath the arrows of the Phoenix. "Kuwanan sama, things look grim, perhaps it is time we withdraw" I said....
Turn nine of nine
Crane has hand of fate
Hurricane initiates loose arrows at short range at the Daidoji Iron Warriors. Hitting 8 times for 67 damage. 3 Daidoji die.
Strength of purity played on Doji Yosai. Kenshinzen hit 5 times for 49 damage. 2 Otaku die. Otaku hits 2 times for 13 damage. 1 Otaku dies. Grim determination played on the Otaku
Crane VP: 5 END GAME Unicorn VP:7
As the Kenshinzen fought with the Otaku and the Phoenix shot at the Daidoji, Kuwanan, the monk, and I descended the castle stair case, and in a brief fit of rage, very uncharacteristic for a Crane, toppled over a censor, catching fire. "Barbarians will never take the palace of the Emerald Champion." We walked to the woodline as we could still hear the singing of blades. As we got there I turned around and watched Rokugan Yogasha Shiro, palace of the Emerald Champion, burn....
AAR 07MAR99 1500 - 1800
This battle was fought using the same rules as the last. No units or personalities from anything other than the clanbook. The exception was new spells, items, weapons and tactical cards could be used. This was the first time I saw the Phoenix hurricane initiates used, and they where a great unit... I did not think an extra 2" range would really matter, but in this case it did. The Dragon was awesome in combat, but all in all I don't think it is worth having a Dragon in your army, they can be singled out by ranged attacks, they have only 7 wounds, and they are worth a lot of Victory points, enough to win the game for the Unicorn player. Don't get me wrong, they are deadly! But I think I would invest my points somewhere else. The Daidoji did the worse thing they could do in a game... They never engaged, and took a lot of casualties from the Phoenix. The Unicorn used his spells with excellent effect, while the Crane used it only to speed up the Daidoji, which was alright, but did not really effect the game. The game was very well balanced all together though, and at the time when the game was conceded, the Crane could have still possibly pulled victory out of their hat, but the loss of the Dragon itself gave the Unicorn 4 VP. Overall it was an exciting game, and as we adjust to the system more, the games are becoming enjoyably shorter.
That is my humble opinion