I'd decided to go 1/72 plastic because they're cheap (£7.57 inc p&p for 44 figures), particularly when you're buying both sides. Added to which I'm not sure how often I'll get to play Ronin. The figures themselves are nicely detailed and I'm interested in seeing how they paint up. The back of the box has a nice shot of the painted contents which can be a help if you can't decide on a colour scheme. My only gripe is that I would have preferred more Ashigaru, particularly one with a bow.
I had a look through the army lists for Ronin (Buntai) and I decided to keep it simple and go for two Bushi buntai at 200 pts. Bushi are the professional forces, Samurai and Ashigaru, of the various lords.
The first buntai is composed of seven level 3 Samurai. (Well it had to be didn't it!) Even if the Seven Samurai were actually ronin. At this point I should mention that each buntai has limitations on its force composition, some more rigorous than others. So make sure you've carefully read the limitations for your buntai before buying the figures.
|The blue is a sprayed on base coat.|
The points total for these figures is 168 which left me 32 pts to spend on attributes and more exotic weapons. Attributes are basically buffs that aid combat, morale or movement and weapon choice can alter things like initiative. (Pikes have a bonus first round because of their reach but have a penalty in subsequent rounds because they're unwieldy). I imagine this buntai as a 'hit squad' of trusted retainers sent out by their lord to achieve some task.
Their opponents, although also a Bushi buntai have a very different composition. There is the lord himself, a level 5 Samurai with three additional attributes, two level 3 Samurai each with one attribute, and five Ashigaru two with a pike, two with arquebus and one with a bow. I see this force as the lord travelling with his escort.
|I chose red as a base coat for this force.|
As for tactics I imagine the seven samurai will charge in to attack while the Ashigaru will shoot them as they approach from the cover of the pikes. The lord and his guards will then move in to finish off the interlopers.
I watched 'Kagemusha' again a few days ago to give me some ideas for colour schemes and decided to go with one main colour for each force as they used in the film. (Great film for inspiration, if a little long at 3hrs 40 mins)
I'll post up some pictures when I finish painting them and I'll do a review of the rules when I've had a chance to try them out.