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Thread: Rise of The Horse Lords

  1. #31
    Member Member mambaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    Thanks Cash-gotta say I was wondering if anyone was still reading this

  2. #32
    Member Member mambaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    The Regency Council
    Kofu
    Kai Province

    Date: RikKa of SaTsuki (May 6) 1589
    To the esteemed Taisho, Takeda Sanekatsu

    Our Lord Sanekatsu,


    We note with disappointment your continued delay at Tochigi and feel it meet to remind you of your august duties both to your little nephew, the Shogun, recently declared as such by none other than the Emperor himself and to we, the Regency Council-led by the esteemed Takeda Akebono.



    Your express orders, delivered by one of our own emissaries was to hasten south westwards to Izu to confront the massing Hojo army there but events have now overtaken us. We would take this opportunity to upbraid you and also to make you cognizant of the mighty efforts of your fellow Taishos throughout the land. It seems that it is not for them the long tarrying in far flung outposts that is, at present, your wont:

    In the West our ever steadfast Lord Yoshiari, the conqueror of Kyoto, marshals an army of some four thousand soldiers and Samurai and has struck at a Chosokabe army in Kii Province and is even now screening another well to the west of our Shogunate Capitol. He has ever been this clan's rock and refuge when called upon-we feel secure in the knowledge that it is to this general that we have entrusted our most vital defence.



    Meanwhile to the North we have recalled our Lord of Kanetsune from his Island fastness on Sado and ordered him to sweep towards the enemy held castle at Obama in Wakasa Province. Our scouts report little to no Hojo forces there and by taking Obama our esteemed Commissioner for Development can then properly support Lord Yoshiari and press back the combined Chosokabe and Hojo vermin to our west.

    Far to the East Taisho Hidenari, an Admiral turned General, has amazed us all by taking not one but three Hojo provinces, utterly crushing enemy resistance in that part of our blessed lands-now Takeda lands. Even now he is consolidating at Sendai Castle in Miyagi prior to launching himself at the Ashina rebels that YOU have allowed to rise in Fukushima Province.

    Your dereliction does not end there Sanekatsu-san for you have disregarded our orders to march south westwards immediately such that now there are several Hojo armies ranging across our borders-one such has been sighted just a few days march from the Provincial Capitol here at Koku! Moreover, rebels now menace the Castle at Odawara just to our south.

    We cannot stress enough the danger that we now find ourselves in-all stands in the balance in this, our great enterprise. Now is not the time for foolish pride and resentment at the current order of things-now is the time to look to the Clan and think about your nephew. You are to join forces with Taisho Yamadera Yorinari even now bringing an army down from Kozuke Province, and sweep the Hojo forces in the south into the sea. From there you are to come and protect us.

    We sincerely hope that these orders are clear as indeed is your duty. We would be reluctant to declare to the clan that you have stained our good name with dishonour. It is time for you to rise and once more be the fearless general we know you to be.

    Signed

    Regent Takeda Akebono on behalf of the Regency Council



    Last edited by mambaman; 03-23-2012 at 20:28.

  3. #33
    Member Member mambaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    Field Army of Taisho Sanekatsu
    Musashi Province
    Date: ShoSho of HaTsuki (Aug 23) 1589

    Greetings Akebono

    I will not lower myself to responding to your lick-spittle Council, a gathering of men far lesser in station and honour than myself, but will address myself directly to you since it is your hand I sense all over that missive that came my way some months past.

    Let me answer your concerns and accusations in as restrained a manner as I can muster in these testing times. As you can see I am now in the field and about to give battle to one of those Hojo armies that you wail about so pointedly in your letter. The enemy army was indeed commanded by none other than their Daimyo himself- a general ranked in the fourth tier of military skill- but one of our Ninjas, MY Ninja has incapacitated him. We now face his son and heir, a stripling general who will be no match for me. When we have dealt with them we will march south and then west and sweep the enemy from the land.

    You do not need, sister by law, to remind me what my fellow generals are doing-shame on you! I know my worth and I know also the time to march and the time to stand. Your punitive taxes have done more than any enemy to rouse the common folk of lands we are but new masters of. You have seen the fruits of such policies in the rebellions that you mention. I tarried at Tochigi long enough to build an army of sufficient size such that a meeting with the enemy would not meet with defeat. I am sure you would not have me go the way of your esteemed late husband, my brother...in glorious defeat, but defeat nonetheless.

    I will indeed join with Yorinari but not because you and your Council of matchwood men command me to but because tactically it is the right thing to do. Your son, my nephew, may well have been proclaimed Shogun by an ageing Emperor whose wits have gone, but the day that I, a full and renowned general of this clan take my orders from a grasping woman and her tame council is the day that the world has truly gone mad.



    Look to your own affairs madam and leave the game of war to those of us properly equipped to wage it. I will send further tidings as necessary when I have them. In the meantime make sure your fortifications are sound-if any bring me news that you are besieged then I will hasten north with speed.

    Fare thee well for now


    Taisho Takeda Sanekatsu
    Field Commander
    Last edited by mambaman; 03-27-2012 at 18:02.

  4. #34
    Member Member mambaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    Summer 1590


    Fujidera Canton, Settsu Province





    Kobayashi Moru adjusted his heavy helmet and tried his hardest to sit immobile on his massive destrier in the oppressive heat, as they watched their enemy approach to their front. If they were not about to fight a battle against odds twice their number in the high summer, the artist in this young Samurai Lordling would have wanted to unpack his travelling easel and capture the stunning vistas laid out before them: beautiful green plains stretching out away to the majestic snow-capped mountain ranges to their North. Before that, however, was the castle at Osaka and possibly the last of the Hojo Lords. And this army that had been desperately thrown in front of them was maybe the stonemason clan's final throw of the dice...

    Moru and his fellow Great Guardsmen were now considered veterans having fought three bloody battles in the last nine months. They were now but half of their original number-the last battle they had fought at this very site had been hard as they had blocked the southwards advance of a massive Chosokabe army numbering well over three thousand. It was their Daimyo's heir himself who commanded-a general reputed to be esteemed in the fifth rank of all Taishos by the Emperor no less. In that particular clash the Great Guard had been the manoeuvre part of the battle-swinging wide around the secret shallows north and then west with another six hundred Katana and Yari heavy cavalry to strike the huge enemy force from their flank and rear. From that point the outcome was never in doubt but in this battle it had been the sheer numbers of bow samurai that their foe had deployed that had cost them. Nonetheless the satisfaction of anchoring the left flank of the charge and sending samurai flying before their ferocity could not be underestimated. In camp others hushed their voices and looked on in awe whenever any of their number passed as they were considered the very highest level of Bajutsu-formed from the elite of Samurai families primarily to protect the Shogun-it had not been difficult, after the fall of the previous regime, for their captain to swear allegiance to the Horse Lords with whom, purely from a military perspective, they had far more in common anyway.

    And now with their Kumi standing at a mere thirty Guardsmen they stood once more just to the south of the river but this time they had been tasked along with a depleted Katana Cavalry squadron to help the meagre numbers of Takeda infantry, numbering only two hundred Yari Ashigaru supported by only twenty five Naginata Samurai and some sundry bowmen and some infernal Matchlock riflemen. Moru liked not these newfangled weapons, belching fire and black smoke as they did and would rather they were not a part of this army at the least but their General, the famed Yamadera Yoshiari had insisted on counting them amongst their numbers.

    'You will stand off the bridge Captain Tosu' the general had ordered their leader 'and be prepared on my order to throw yourselves at the bridgehead. Methinks our paltry contingent of foot may face ten times their number when the press is at its hardest so your intervention will be crucial.'

    'Hai-my lord!' Was the terse response. What would be most crucial they both knew was what effect the massed wedges of cavalry would have on the enemy numbers, twice theirs...at least.

    'All I will say to that' the general had said, as always calmness personified, 'is that my spies tell me that no Taisho commands their force-we may be half their number but we shall test their resolution at the point of many spears!'

    Morale was very high within the veteran army as they marched even though not more than a few weeks had passed since news had swept their encampment that the Regency Council was putting it about that their Taisho's continuing messages of support for Takeda Sanekatsu's position was treasonous and there had been a coded message for him to commit seppuku. Tosu had told the hushed members of the Guard that the general had shown all the captains the missive and then declared that he would answer for any of his actions after the war and with a clear conscience. He would not go the way of Takeda Nobushige some thirty years before and weaken their cause at its hour of most need, whether the young Shogun had signed the letter or not.

    'Send back to the Regent my conscience is clear!' He had ordered the emissaries. And that had been that. It had angered the army nonetheless that, at a time when the Council should be putting its trust most into it's leaders, it was riven by petty jealousies and suspicion. There was, however, no doubt in most men of any station's minds that neither their general nor the last remaining Takeda Taisho had any confidence in Akebono or her council so these were dangerous times indeed for the Clan. The irony of all of this was that all the news that was trickling down from the General's field council's seemed to indicate that Hojo were broken as a force and their principle enemy was now likely to be the Chosokabe...

    'Be ready brother!' A shout from his Flank Brother, Suzuki Minawara. 'Battle is joined up ahead-you can hear the press!'

    And they could indeed hear the sustained shouting of the clash at the bridge even if at the distance they could barely make out what was happening. It would not be long now Kobayashi surmised. They stiffened in their saddles and he instinctively checked his cinch-he knew it was strapped tight but it was something he did almost by superstition just as others in his Kumi honed and re-honed the wicked blades of their Naginata. Explosions could also be heard-some new devilry no doubt, the boy thought. His mind once again wandered, this time to his family: a minor Samurai Clan, chief retainers indeed to the old Oda, but because he was the third son there was no real place for him in the family and so he was sent to Kyoto to serve the Shogun-many of his brothers were from similar predicaments but his current station was no dishonour-quite the reverse.

    'See the dust to the front right brother!' An excited shout from Suzuki. 'Our cavalry is on the move-prepare!'

    And he did indeed see it from right to left beyond the river across their front-a massive moving plume of dust that denoted the movement of their brothers on horse. At the same time as he was observing this and feeling the trembling of the ground as it shook to the thunder of the charge a messenger arrived in a clattering of hooves, his horse rearing wildly, 'Captain Tosu-you are ordered to charge at the bridgehead-make haste! Their numbers have almost broken us!'

    Without a word their leader wheeled his charger around, his Naginata raised in the high port position. He dipped it to the mid port position and the company started off at the canter, holding in perfect formation. As they crested a small rise they could see the battle at the bridge to their half left and further, off to their front right the massive dust cloud of the charging cavalry troops across the river. At the bridge the press did indeed look desperate with a mass of blue clad Hojo warriors fighting to break a very thin line of Takeda infantry a fraction their number.




    At this point Tosu's Naginata dipped straight out in front and the troop charged-even with only thirty such was the weight of their destriers that the ground shook as they galloped forwards. The distance was quickly eaten up as Kobiashi aimed the point of his weapon at a single enemy Yari samurai-one of many breaking through the line. The impact of his weapon flung the unfortunate back and into the air and all around them similar was happening as the full weight of their charge hit home-the effect on the enemy being immediate and catastrophic. Even a small force of only thirty heavy horsemen had decisively shattered the morale of the exhausted enemy troops trying to break free from the carnage at the bridge. The battle raged all around but to their fore they could see the Takeda cavalry squadrons joining the fray and almost to a man the enemy broke like a great wave upon a dam. All that remained was to ride the Chosokabe down like the curs they were...
    Last edited by mambaman; 03-27-2012 at 17:56.

  5. #35
    Liar and Trickster Senior Member Andres's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    Put a link to this AAR on the Frontpage.

    mambaman, if you want, I can copy this thread to the Tea House forum and bump it, so more people can see it. Just drop me a pm if you'd like that.

    Andres is our Lord and Master and could strike us down with thunderbolts or beer cans at any time. ~Askthepizzaguy

    Ja mata, TosaInu

  6. #36
    Peerless Senior Member johnhughthom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    Just caught up, great stuff mamba. Particularly liked the assassin.

  7. #37
    Member Member mambaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    Andres yes please-I thought that the AARs had to be here in this forum but yes any publicity much welcomed (writing can be a lonely business)

    And thanks John-it's all certainly kicked off in the game both politically and otherwise so much to write about :-)

  8. #38
    Member Member mambaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    Hi readers-been away but have decided it's time to get back into the fray-new post to follow shortly

  9. #39
    Member Member mambaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    A History of Feudal Japan-Sengoku Jidai

    Vol. 3, Ch. 2

    1590-1592: establishing the Takeda Shogunate

    These two years in the seemingly interminable Sengoku Jidai were bookended by two seismic events: in the last days of 1590 and showing a precocity which some historians have later attributed to a desire to shake off the yoke of his overbearing mother, the fifteen year old heir to Takeda fortunes, Takeda Kiminari, seized the reins of power from the Regency Council. It is inconceivable that the boy would not have had help in this endeavour as usually the age for accession was set at sixteen and he had only just turned fifteen. Somehow, however, he managed to not only outmanoeuvre the politicians who were under the sway of his mother but he had several of the most influential members of that august body summarily executed for plotting against the two popular and successful field Taishos, his uncle Takeda Sanekatsu and his friend Yamadera Yoshiari. Some have speculated that the murmurings from the council regarding Yoshiari's loyalty led his adherents back at the Takeda heartland of Kofu to act.

    There are numerous missives and writings from court commentators of the day that chronicle the words exchanged between son and mother not long after the new Shogun, as he was of course now known, sat in audience for the first time. One of the most telling was described by Court Historian, Fujisima Takono:

    'Madam you have served our person with devotion but it is now time for you to put aside pursuit of power whether for yourself or on our behalf. Our first act as Shogun was to expose those who were plotting against our uncle and friend, esteemed Field Generals. My second is to announce the move of our Bakufu to Kyoto. You, honoured mother, will remain here in our Provincial Capital.'

    Apparently on this peremptory command and maybe because she knew that she was effectively being banished from her young son's presence, the previously proud and haughty Akebono threw herself to the floor, prostrating herself in a most unseemly display and was removed without a word from Kiminari. At the start of the New Year, 1591, he set off from Kofu on the long journey to Kyoto with a small army of around a thousand Samurai, destroying as he marched, a small Hojo force that had become stranded in the shadows of Mount Fuji.

    1591 saw the martial endeavours of various Takeda generals expel the Hojo from their last remaining foothold in the South East of Japan's Honshu mainland. Marshalled brilliantly by Sanekatsu the Kazusa, Shimoza and Hitachi regions all witnessed Hojo armies annihilated by rampant Takeda forces. The tactics were usually to deploy to the castle towns and garrisons, lay siege and force the sizeable Hojo armies to join battle in the field. Here the superior disposition of Takeda cavalry and highly skilled Samurai infantry along with the experience and nous of the two Takeda Taishos, Yamadera Yorinari and Sanekatsu, led to a series of victories over the now broken Hojo.

    To these could be added the exploits of probably the Takeda's best commander, Yamadera Yoshiari, now 51 but as vital as ever and apparently invincible in the field regardless of what the Chosokabe could throw at him. His was the most difficult task as he had to, with relatively meagre forces (his armies never numbered more than three thousand veteran Samurai for instance), screen the Shogunate capital, Kyoto from marauding Chosokabe armies. With his fellow general, Yamadera Kanetsune besieging this same clan in their castle to the south at Joruku in Yamato province and the Chosokabe also investing Kawachi and Kii Provinces to the north it had dawned on the young Shogun that his main threat now came from the Archer clan of the Chosokabe rather than the Stone masons of the Hojo. This letter preserved from the day that had been sent to Yoshiari from his master captures perfectly the accurate strategic assessment of Kiminari and his advisers:





    'To Taisho Yoshiari-greetings!

    As you will no doubt now be aware your enemies on the Council have been removed and I enjoy the full powers invested in me by the Gods and by the Bushido Code. My mother has been confined to Kofu and deprived of the means to meddle further in the State.

    I move to Kyoto at the head of a small force of a thousand Samurai-with good providence I should be there before the year end-I will try and pick up more troops as I go-my recruiters are ranging the land as we speak.

    We must look to the Chosokabe clan-they are now our main threat with the Hojo confined as they are to what my spies tell me is just the one province to your immediate west. I pray that you may repeat your mighty endeavours against them too-the hammer of our enemies-such that I may finally unite this warring land.

    As soon as I may I will lower the punitively high taxes that have caused so much unrest of late so that you may march safe in the knowledge that rebellions are not springing up at your back.

    I have sent a similar missive to my uncle and urged him to ride west too-where you are and our former provinces in Kii and Kawachi to your south are where the press of battle will be fiercest.

    It gives me great joy to be travelling to join you in this great adventure-I will show my face to the people-it is not for their Shogun to hide away.

    Until we meet again my most trusted Taisho

    Kiminari'

    Even the mention of lowering taxes and also the intention to make his march something of a progress indicate a young man fully aware of some of the finer points of diplomacy as is the short and pithy style of the letter writer itself-a precocious talent indeed.

    But any ideas that any in the Takeda harboured that the worst of their struggles were over were harshly shattered early in 1592 by the dread news, delivered at the same time to the travelling Shogun, that both their erstwhile Vassals, the Kiso, residing at the heart of Takeda affairs in South Shinano province and the Shoni clan, erstwhile allies were breaking the terms of their alliance and joining forthwith as 'friends in amity' with the Chosokabe and Hojo clans.

    It was said that the Shogun shook with rage on receiving the news and had to be dissuaded from mounting the emissaries heads on poles, a clear contravention of the Bushido code. As it was the terrified messengers had departed with these words ringing in their ears:

    'You can tell your masters, dogs that they are, that our answer will be paid in its full measure, in blood and pain and the destruction of all that you hold dear.'

    It was a lesson in treachery that the young Lord did not forget lightly and it was also a clear statement that for whatever the reason these two clans had decided that the winds of fortune now resided not with the ever burgeoning might of the Takeda Shogunate but with their only challengers, the Master Archers of the Chosokabe clan, who, over the last few decades had issued forth from their Island fastness of Shikoku in the south west and established themselves in the central west part of Honshu.

    The Sengoku Jidai was not yet close to running its course...

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    Last edited by mambaman; 08-19-2012 at 18:56.

  10. #40
    Member Member mambaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    And I haven't finished either. Finally got round to making an effort to finish this game last night in advance of starting my shiny edition of R2TW so prepare yourselves for some final few updates and the closing of this epic tale from Japan. Hope a few people are still reading

  11. #41
    Member Member mambaman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rise of The Horse Lords

    The old man paused seemingly stooped by the effects of his mighty effort...outside the storm had abated and in the far distance the first tendrils of dawn could be seen lighting up the eastern sky.

    A little boy, whose enterprising mother had smuggled him in, broke cover and whispered plaintively 'you are not finished yet are you?'

    The minstrel smiled wearily 'nay my boy nay. We are almost done here but the final chapter is about to be sung.' He lifted the boys chin and turned to the heaving crowd, 'Pen back your ears for the last verses of the Horse Lords of Takeda will tell of fire, blood and the final clashes of this era of war'

    And so the song began anew with such sweet notes, foretelling the tragedies to come, that people wept....

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