Think about ancient Japan and the thing that comes to mind are Samurai and their followers, battling it out in honourable duels. And rightly so.
But when I set out building a force in Fields of Glory of Japanese, I picked the Yayoi era though, basically the period of Japan before metal armour (and as such, Samurai) came into existance on a common basis. The Yayoi where peasant forces, and this secerly limits the choices at your disposal. The Empires of the Dragon book roughly spans 2500 years, going from 1000 BC to1500 AD, which is about equal to the ancient Greeks here until the dawn of the rennaissance.
While the Vikings where plundering our countries, the chinese where shooting with missile launchers at each other, so needless to say this book covers a wide variety of forces. Thus taking Yayoi Japan as a force, this left me with a force having basically only spearmen, swordsmen (actually, dagger-axe men), slingers and archers armoured in a linnen wrap around cloth. And that is it... no cavalry, no chariots, no armoured troops, limited tactical flexibility in one word, but a mass of troops of at average quality over the whole line.
Roighty so, I painted my general for my forces today, namely the (hotly debated if she actually existed) lady Himiko, a priestess Shaman said to have unified at one moment all of the ancient Japanese village states.
At first I thought of having her and her retainers in the camp, but decided against this to set out my general more. If Alexander the Great can be present on the table, then surely this dame 'of magic' can.
Now my army list is going to be this at 800 points, and hopefully get it to a tournament once. I have no doubt they would get slaughtered facing the more fancy armies, but like my quality blogpost a few days, I hope to swamp the enemy and overwhelm their flanks.
1 General and 2 Troop Commanders
5 Battlegroups of 8 stands each of Spearmen
2 Battlegroups of 8 stands each of Archers
5 Battlegroups of 6 stands each of Slingers
4 Battlegroups of 8 stands each of Dagger-axe Men
An unfortified Camp
This yields me with 3 command stands, a camp base and no less then 118 bases of foot troops, a true swarm compared to most armies... especcially compared to those people TEND to take (opposed to that what they could take...
I'm thinking along the lines of having the spearmen and the slingers in a checkered pattern, with the archers on 'assassination' duty and the dagger axe warriors as a reserve force to stem any breaks or exploit where the opponent waveres.
So I know what I'll be painting for a while yet ;-)
Blue Swastika Rampant Russian Reconaissance
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