Test of Honour: Rival meeting on the roadway

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Two rival clans meet on the roadway. The wind howls as both samurai, flanked by a band of armed men, approach a shrine. They wish to honor their ancestors, but old rivalries die hard. With war threatening to boil over between clans aligning themselves with the emperor and those aligning themselves with the dark shogun, Yamada of the Katoshi clan cannot allow the dishonor of kneeling next to anyone from the Yatori clan. The honor of the emperor was a stake! Heated words are exchanged and quickly steel was drawn! Gripping his spear, Yamada bellows a challenge to the defiant samurai, and charges towards glory or death!

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This is my first foray into Test of Honour; the samurai game created by Warlord. The rules are very straight forward and easy to understand the basics of. My wife and I (I know, I trick her into playing a lot of games…) decided to try out the basic campaign that pretty much walks you through how to play and slowly escalates in points. The first mission is a quick skirmish with both sides having the exact same thing: a samurai, squad of spearman, and two archers. My samurai is armed with a spear and her’s is armed with a Katana. The objective is simple: kill the enemy samurai. Once that happens, the game ends immediately.

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I activate first and run my samurai straight towards the bridge and towards her awaiting samurai. She responds by launching arrows at me, but to no avail. My archers do likewise as her samurai cautiously moves to meet mine. I finally charge her and the clash of steel rings out! My spear whistles through the air, but she quickly deflect the blow with a slashing parry of her katana, nicking my arm in the process. Blood gleams off the sword as the samurai brings it back down, attempting to remove the head of his enemy.  Yamada’s spear is swift in driving it away. The archers take careful aim and wait for the perfect moment to let loose an arrow at their enemy’s leader, while the spearmen wait for their orders to drive home their spears, respecting their wishes to allow them the honor of disposing of their rival.

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The swordsmen go back and forth, pushing each other on and off the bridge.  Finally, the Katori spearmen could take it no longer and they charge in the defend their lord. They make it across the bridge but must leap over the railing and into the water to meet the opposing spearmen that have likewise advanced to back their leader. Now bodies from both clans ebb and flow, trying to press their advantages and quickly being repelled. Arrows rain down on them, never hitting their marks in the confusion. The Yatori samurai raises his katana high, desiring to overpower his enemy and drive his sword sword through Yamada’s skull. Yamada sees his opening and thrusts his spear deep into the gut of the other samurai. He falls back clutching his stomach. Driven by fear, his men surge forward; their spear thrusts driving Yamada and his men back. They scoop up their wounded lord and fall back, chased by falling arrows.

Yamada orders his men to stand down and watches his enemy retreat. He has won the honor this day of seeing his enemies flee before him.

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