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August 2016

Shichinin no Samurai (The Seven Samurai)

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“Fields in front. The village is wide open to horsemen… until the fields are flooded. One guard for each direction takes four. Two more as a reserve. You’ll need at least… Seven, including me.”



Each player has a pool of 17 Honour Points. They may spend from 6 to 8 on units and skills.

The Defender may only buy heroes with their Honour Points – seven samurai with one extra skill for one of them.

Attacker Tithe

The attacker must pay a further 4 Honour points for the infamy that their attack will bring.





All terrain is placed by the defender. The defender then chooses one battlefield edge as their starting line. The opposite edge will be the attacker’s starting line.

The defender then places half of their units – rounding up – within 1 long card-edge of their starting line. At the beginning of turn 3 they may place their remaining units within 1 long card-edge of ANY battlefield edge as they rush from the surrounding area to defend their stedding.

Finally, the attacker sets up their entire warband within 1 long card-edge of their starting line.

Attacker’s Objectives

After setting up the battlefield, the attacker places four markers – a location that needs to be destroyed/burned,  a villager, a bushel of rice or a chest of gold – each within 2 long cardedges of the defender’s side of the battlefield. These are the objectives. If an attacking unit spends their activation card and remains stationary in or on an objective the attacker gains +2 Honour to their pool from the bank.

Once ‘captured’ each objective is removed.


Special Rules

Neverending Wave: Once an attacker’s unit or hero is destroyed, the same unit can re-appear within one long card-edge of their standing line.

Cavalry special rules (movement and slashing/passing attacks): Heroes/one unit only on horseback – can move up to three card lengths on horseback. Can turn only once. Can attack at end of first or second move and then keep moving. If attacking at end of first or second move, defender gets -1 to their defence cards.

An honourable death: If a defender hero/leader believes they are about to be defeated, in their activation they may choose to ‘remove’ themselves from the battle through an honourable death. The defenders lose honour equivalent to the amount if they’d died in combat ( Hero=1 honour, Leader=2 honour), but this honour is returned to the pool, rather than passing to their opponent. Thus the enemy is denied an advantage through the hero’s death.