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NIPPON

By Mathias Eliasson

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CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION.................................................
................................ 4 WARRIORS OF NIPPON...............................
NIPPON cont.
THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN ................. 6 Ronin ................................................................
.......................................... 68
History of Nippon ........................................................
........................ 7 Great Guard ................................................................
................................ 69
Timeline of Nippon................................
.................................................... 16 War Machines ............................................................
................................ 70
Culture and Customs................................
.................................................. 18 Mikoshi Shrine ...........................................................
................................ 71
The Great Clans .........................................................
......................... 33 Oni ................................................................
............................................. 72
The Land of Nippon................................
................................................... 38 Tengu ................................................................
......................................... 73
WARRIORS OF NIPPON .................................
................................ 50 Kitsune ................................................................
....................................... 74
Army Special Rules ...................................................
................................ 51 Yoritomo Ieyasu .........................................................
................................ 75
Commanders ..............................................................
.............................. 52 Empress Jungi ............................................................
................................ 76
Shugenja ................................................................
.................................... 53 Hitomi Gozen .............................................................
................................ 77
Hatamoto ................................................................
................................... 54 The Red Ronin ...........................................................
................................ 78
Samurai Warriors .......................................................
....................... 55 Sarutori Hanzo ...........................................................
................................ 79
Samurai Cavalry ........................................................
........................ 56 O-Sayumi ...................................................................
................................ 80
Ashigaru ................................................................
.................................... 57 Lore of the Kami ........................................................
................................ 81
Warrior Monks ..........................................................
.......................... 58 Clan Mon ...................................................................
................................ 82
Yamabushi ................................................................
................................. 59 Vessels of the Kami ...................................................
................................ 83
Sumo Warriors ...........................................................
........................... 60 Poisons ................................................................
....................................... 85
Battle Maidens ...........................................................
........................... 61 THE NIPPON ARMY LIST .............................. 87
Kabuki Dolls ..............................................................
.............................. 62 Lords ................................................................
.......................................... 89
Yabusame ................................................................
.................................. 63 Heroes ................................................................
........................................ 91
Red Devils ................................................................
................................. 64 Core Units ..................................................................
................................ 94
Wako Pirates ..............................................................
.............................. 65 Special Units ..............................................................
................................ 96
Ninja ................................................................
.......................................... 66 Rare Units ..................................................................
................................ 99
Shinobi ................................................................
....................................... 67 SUMMARY ............ Error! Bookmark not defined.

Compiled, Edited & Partly Written by: Cover Art: Age of Empires III – The Asian
Mathias Eliasson Dynasties

Art: Legend of the Five Rings by various illustrators,


illustrators Paizo Publishing by various illustrators, Wayne Reynolds, Creative Assembly, Emilio, Björn
Hurri, Tom Edward, Genzoman,, kerembeyit, Andreas von Cotta,
Cotta Miguel Coimbra,, epson361, stevegoad, shima99,
shima99 ColdFlame1987, alp,
BeneOctavian, jgskectch22, Dreamlord, vladlegostayev, krypt, GBrush. Mariusz Kozik, Hangman801, DiosdadoMondero, artoflinca, Zenzzen, Wen
M, One Vox, vablo, camilkou, Neil Bruce, diegogisbertllorens, crutz, reau, agnidevi, raynkazuya, capprotti, MaBuArt,
MaB vladgheneli, jubjubjedi,
artifart, devjohnson, obrotowy, skaya3000, artozi, chaser226. Noah Bradley, sundragon83, Nordheimer, J Wilson Illustration, coolart,
c clovery,
funkychinaman. Book Design: Mathias Eliasson. Rules Development: Mathias Eliasson. Original Material: Legend of the Five Rings by Shawn
Carman and others,, Andrew Fawcett, Arne Dam, Bill Ward, Shogun: Total War & Total War: Shogun II by Creative Assembly,
Assembly Aldebrand Ludenhof,
Tito Leati, Dave Morris, Jamie Thomson,
Thomson Thomas Heasman-Hunt, Stefan Barton-Ross,, Simon Sullivan.
Sullivan

Special Thanks To: All the players that have contributed with feedback and ideas.

This book is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.
The Chaos devices, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, the Double-Headed/Imperial
Double Headed/Imperial Eagle device, 'Eavy Metal, Forge World, Games Workshop,
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Reserved to their respective owners.

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INTRODUCTION
Welcome to Warhammer: Nippon, your indispensable guide to the mysterious realm of the
east. This book provides all the information you’ll require o play with a Nippon army in
games of Warhammer.
WHY COLLECT NIPPON? history. You will also find information on the land
The Empire of Nippon demands much of its samurai: of Nippon, the Emerald Empire of the east.
service to one’s lord, service to one’s Clan, and service
to one’s Emperor. Bushido’s staunch and unyielding • Warriors of Nippon. Each and every troop type in
code of conduct binds samurai to duty, strengthening the Nippon army is examined here. You will find a
their character and defining their choices. full description of the unit, alongside the complete
rules for any special abilities or options they
A Nipponese army is a magnificent sight, filled with possess. This section also includes the Vessels of the
colour and variety. Samurai form the main battle line, Kami – magical artefacts that are unique to the army
supported by the lowly Ashigaru and brave Warrior – along with rules to use them in your games.
Monks. Sumo Warriors march with them, as do the
Clans’s greatest warriors and the mysterious Kabuki • Nippon Army List. The army list takes all of the
Dolls. Daemonic Oni summoned by the Shugenja characters, warriors, monsters and war machines
accompany them, followed by deadly Ninja. The from the Warriors of Nippon section and arranges
armies of Nippon are lead by the Daimyo and the them so that you can choose an army for your
Taisho, the clan leaders, all sworn to the sovereignty of games. Units are classed as characters (Lords or
the Shogun. Heroes), Core, Special or Rare, and can be taken in
different quantities depending on the size of the
HOW THIS BOOK WORKS game you are playing.
Warhammer army books are split into sections, each of
which deals with different aspects of the titular army. FIND OUT MORE
Warhammer: Nippon contains: While Warhammer: Nippon contains everything you
need to play the game with your army, there are other
• The Land of the Rising Sun. This section books and updates to be found. For the other books in
introduces the Nipponese and their part in the the series and the latest rules updates, visit:
Warhammer world. It includes their society and
www.warhammerarmiesproject.blogspot.com

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5
THE
LAND OF
THE
RISING
SUN
A samurai is a servant, first and foremost,
and according to tradition, their first and
most sacred duty is to die in the name of
their lord if necessary. It is a fate to which
most bushi aspire, and even though those
who follow the path of a shugenja are
ostensibly people of peace, there are many
among their number who would relish a
similarly honourable death.

Fortunately - or unfortunately, depending


upon whom you ask - the Empire's history
has been full of war and conflict, giving the
samurai of Nippon plenty of opportunity
for self-sacrifice.

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HISTORY OF NIPPON
Like many peoples, the Nipponese see themselves as ventured alone into the Kanto-Yoshida Mountains to
the children of the gods. Nippon came into being when the east, where he returned sixty days later carrying the
the gods Zanagi and Zanami stood on the bridge of Ryatso Katana and flying on one of the legendary
heaven and stirred the waters of the Earth with a spear. Kirin. This wondrous magical mount stayed with him
The drops of water that fell from the spear tip gathered until the day he died.
together to become the islands of Nippon. The pair
then descended and raised the spear as the centre pole The Jinto priests took these events as proof of
of their house. Nippon had been created. Yamyakyuki's ancestry that he was indeed of
Amateratsu’s blood. The Ryatso Katana, a sword of
Zanagi and Zanami had many children, which would true craftsmanship lost in the wars against the
be known and worshipped as the Kami. Amateratsu, Korgians, was to become the staff of office for all
the Sun Goddess was the first-born of these. future Emperors of Nippon and Yamyakyuki was
Amateratsu inherited the earth and would rule Nippon worshipped as the divine descendant of Amateratsu. He
and guide its people through her palace in the sky. declared that he had a vision from Amateratsu: he must
Even so, the land was far from unified, with many gather all of Nippon into a single empire, to bring
different clans vying for power and fighting against peace and harmony back to all of the Sun Goddess’
each other for thousands of years. people or die in the attempt.

THE FOUNDING OF NIPPON Yamyakyuki mustered a mighty army and finally


Around -13 I.C., Emperor Yamayakyuki was the agent conquered all of Nippon, though the campaign took a
of an important change in Nipponese history. Nippon at full twelve years to achieve. The defeated armies were
this time was composed of many clans, of which the given the choice of submitting to the rule of
strongest was the Imperial Yamayakyuki family. The Yamyakyuki or die; only in two cases did an enemy
Yamayakyuki were one clan amongst many — but they choose the latter. These were the warlords of the
claimed the right to rule because they were descended Ichymoni and Koijo clans respectively, whose
directly from the Sun Goddess, Amateratsu. warriors, cousins and their families were decapitated in
When Yamyakyuki was finally declared ruler of Osaka days; it was a blood bath.
he was already an imposing man of some thirty years.
The story goes that on more than one occasion his By -1 I.C. resistance had been broken and in the same
opponents surrendered before a sword was drawn due year representatives of all the clans of Nippon gathered
to his defeating charisma and leadership alone. But at a coronation feast at Mount Fuji where Yamyakyuki
already as a young man Yamyakyuki proved himself a was proclaimed the First Emperor of all Nippon. On
man second to none. Before his twentieth year he the first day of the coronation Yamyakyuki entered the
cave in Mount Fuji. When Yamyakyuki emerged from

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the cave it is said that the sun shone so brightly that the effectively controlled the Imperial Province, home of
gathered masses turned their eyes lest they be blinded. the capital Edo. Nippon had dissolved into feuding
chiefdoms lead by ambitious clan leaders.
During the early period of Yamayakyuki’s rule the
influence of the mainland began to be felt in Nipponese By the 9th century the Emperors were actually pulling
culture. Cathay had already advanced to a back from the day-to-day business of ruling a country.
comparatively high level of civilisation, and thanks to They were becoming symbols of power rather than the
the relative ease of travel and trade from Cathay, iron, wielders of power. As the Emperors retired from
writing, literature and philosophy came to Nippon. government, control passed to the court officials. The
Emperors continued to reign, but they no longer ruled
Nippon was divided in ten regions which were further the country.
divided in a total of 66 provinces. Yamyakyuki ruled
Osaka, while the rule of the other nine regions were This period was a time when Nipponese culture came
given to the most capable and loyal of the Kamato clan into its own, leaving its Cathayan-dominated roots
leaders, who had fought as generals in Yamyakuyuki’s behind. At the same time, this changed the way that
army. The individual provinces remained under the Nippon was governed. The central government became
rule of the local clans who had accepted Yamyakyuki corrupt and weak. Land ownership started shifting to
as their liege lord, though one province was given to great estates. The nobles who held government offices
each of the nine region rulers. were given tax-free hereditary estates as payments.
Many peasants and lesser landholders were only too
Yamyakyuki retained a firm and just rule of Nippon happy to hand over their property to these estates to
until his death in -12 I.C. His oldest son, also named escape from the heavy taxes levied on them!
Yamyakyuki, ascended the Imperial throne as
Yamyakyuki II. Unfortunately, he had not inherited his THE RISE OF THE SAMURAI
father’s leadership skills. The Daimyo saw the At around the same time, the samurai were coming to
opportunity to increase their own power within their prominence as more than just another group of fighting
provinces. The strongest Daimyo, lead by Mitsusaki men. Like the knights of the Old World, the samurai
Onokate, pressed the weak emperor to grant them tax were the leaders of common foot soldiers. Like the
liberation of their personal lands. Others seeking tax knights it was possible to win promotion to the ranks of
evasion became vassals of these governors and thus the samurai. And like the knights, to be samurai also
avoided tax payments to the Imperial coffers. implied a degree of service to a superior. In the case of
the samurai, this service was to the Emperor, a noble or
As the years passed, the loss of tax revenues and the a warlord.
increasing strength of governors undermined the
central Imperial authority. Already during the reign of The Imperial government found the samurai incredibly
Yamyakyuki’s grandson, Yamyakyuki III, the emperor, useful in putting down rebellions, but with the shift in
though still the formal ruler of all Nippon, only power to mighty land-owners, the loyalties of the
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samurai also shifted. The samurai came to serve and own stomach with their swords in the first seen display
protect the great lords, fighting against other great of seppuku.
landlords, bandits and rebellious locals. Although some
of these samurai were from humble families, the clans This victory allowed helped the Otomo clan to rise
that prospered and attracted allies could trace their rapidly to power in the Imperial Court, and Go-
ancestors back for centuries, often to some (minor) Hirakawa declared himself Emperor. The Mirumoto,
Imperial relative banished from Court to seek his though beaten, were not defeated, and longed for
fortune elsewhere. Among these clans of aristocratic revenge.
samurai were the Mirumoto in the east and the Otomo
in the south west of Nippon. No longer content to CIVIL WAR
merely serve, the samurai began to interfere in This time, the civil war that followed was a
government politics. straightforward fight between the Otomo and the
Mirumoto. Although the war seemed to go well
THE IMPERIAL WAR initially for the Mirumoto, events soon turned against
In 1155 there was a crisis in the Imperial succession, them. The Otomo attacked the Mirumoto headquarters,
when the current Emperor was found poisoned without and then lured them into a counter-attack that failed
a clear heir. This led to heavy arguments of whom when Mirumoto Yorimasa refused to join in because he
would take the trone, with the Emperor’s uncle Go- could not violate his duty to the Emperor. The
Hirakawa and cousin Jozun being the most suitable surviving Mirumoto were pursued and slaughtered
candidates. The Mirumoto supported the cousin and the without mercy.
Otomo the uncle, each of which were positively
inclined to either clan respectively. That meant that Mirumoto Yoshitomo fled with three of his sons one of
whoever would have their candidate become Emperor whom, was so badly wounded that he begged his father
would have a great boon at having their will go through to kill him so that the others could flee with more
at the Imperial Court. Naturally, there would not be a speed. Yoshimoto did this, but to no avail. He was
peaceful solution to the matter. caught and murdered in his bath, taken when he
thought he had outrun his pursuers. Otomo Kiyomori
The Mirumoto and Otomo were now in open war with then beheaded the Mirumoto clan – literally.
each other. At the Battle of Hogo, the Mirumoto
samurai were defeated, with the majority of them being Otomo Kiyomori was seemingly unassailable. He had
executed for their defiance by order of the would-be beaten his samurai rivals and was now the most
Emperor Go-Hirakawa. Among these were the old powerful Daimyo in Nippon. However, he had not
Emperor’s cousin Jozun and many of the chief quite killed all the Mirumoto and in twenty years the
members of the Mirumoto clan. However, rather than survivors had become strong enough to challenge him
allowing their enemies to execute them, they cut their once again.

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The Imperial War would last for another five years. Nobunaga also moved the centre of power from Osaka
Once again, the Mirumoto opposed the Otomo, but this to Kyoto. The old Imperial Court was ignored and
time they were supported by the sohei, warrior monks became largely irrelevant to the running of the country.
from the temples of Kumano. However, the Otomo The Mirumoto clan would hold Nippon in an iron grip
were initially successful again, defeating the Mirumoto for many centuries to come.
army at the battle of Mount Fuji.
HOBGOBLIN INVASION
In 1183 the course of the war began to turn for the In 1745, Jublai Khan, the ruler of the Hobgoblins,
Mirumoto clan under the leadership of Daimyo amassed a great horde and assailed the Empire of
Mirumoto Nobunaga. They won a series of brilliant Cathay. After managing to break through the Great
victories, culminating in 1185 with the Battle of Sano- Bastion and run rampart throughout the land, Jublai set
Iru. Both the Otomo and Mirumoto clans aboard fleets his eyes upon Nippon. Wanting to conquer all the
of warships and headed into the straits north of Osaka. kingdoms of the east, he ordered his army to construct
In the middle of the Otomo fleet was the newly a great fleet of many thousand ships to sail to conquer
crowned, Emperor Ontaku. He was still very young the islands.
and the symbol of Otomo and Imperial legitimacy, and Nippon at this time was still strong under Mirumoto
thus an important element of the Otomo claim to rule control, but severely outnumbered by the Hobgoblins.
Nippon. What happened at the Battle of Sano-Iru was The Shogun of the time, a rash man who attacked first
virtually a land battle fought from ship to ship. The sea and thought later, ordered the entirety of the Nipponese
is supposed to have run red with blood during the battle fleet to meet the Hobgoblins head on. Only a dozen
as the Mirumoto smashed the Otomo army. The ships returned, and the Shogun, shamed by the defeat
unfortunate Emperor Ontaku was drowned. of his mighty fleet, performed seppuku.
His military victory secured, Mirumoto Nobunaga did However, not all was lost. The Empress Jungi, though
not bother with any of the political manoeuvring at but a symbol like the Emperors before her had been for
Court that the Otomo had used. His power was based many centuries, was an extremely powerful Shugenja.
on his armies, not on any Imperial family connections. With the Shogun gone, she rallied her people and took
The Emperor was forced into retirement, becoming a to the battlefield herself. Stunned by this expected
mere symbol. Nobunaga took the title and office of show of courage, the Nipponese followed her. She took
Shogun, becoming the true leader of Nippon’s power. the Imperial Ship with her closest bodyguard to protect
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her, and sailed towards the approaching Hobgoblin weak Emperor of murder. They drove Emperor from
fleet. With all her might, she summoned a huge tidal Kyoto and set up another Emperor under their direct
wave that swept across the Hobgoblin fleet, capsizing control. The Wars of the Courts" dragged on for 56
their ships and drowning the greenskins in the murky years as Go-Daigo and his heirs fought against the
depths. Over two thirds of the Hobgoblin fleet was Ujimasa and their Emperors. In 1792, however, an
destroyed in one strike though Empress Jungi almost Ujimasa ambassador convinced the true Emperor to
perished from fatigue, for such was the exertion caused abdicate. With the Ujimasa puppets now seen as the
by the spell. rightful Emperors, their Shoguns came into their own,
She did not let that stop her though, and personally led but their power was to be relatively short-lived. The
the Nipponese armies against the parts of the Ujimasa period was one of great refinement of
Hobgoblin fleet that managed to land on the coast. manners, of great art and literary works.
Nippon was saved from the greenskin menace, and However, during this period real power passed from
Empress Jungi was hailed as its saviour. The other the Shogun to the other great clans. The Ujimasa
clans rallied behind her and proclaimed her the true shoguns were never able to control these clans, and this
ruler of Nippon. The Mirumoto Shugonate was soon failure was to lead to a century of terrible violence.
overthrown, and Empress Jungi would be the first ruler
in the period that would be known as the Imperial CHAOS INCURSION
Restoration. Long ago, a warpstone meteorite had crashed in the
northern part of Haikido, and the once prosperous
WAR OF THE COURTS island instead became a lair of evil. A terrible fate
Though Empress Jungi did actually restore the Imperial began to afflict the people of Haikido as the clouds of
administrative system and do away with the Shogunate, warp dust blew into the towns and villages. They began
this would not last. When she mysteriously disappeared to mutate and became things much less than human.
some ten years later and the throne was ascended by The castle of Kamakura was inhabited by foul beings,
her son Go-Daigo, there was soon talk about rebellion. with many of the people turning to the worship of the
Go-Daigo did not possess the same level of leadership dark gods. For millennia, those pure in spirit would
qualities as his mother, and some rumours even spoke fight against the Chaos forces of Haikido, holding them
about him having her assassinated to get to the throne off from moving south into Koshu.
himself.
In 2271, the forces of Chaos were on the march over
The Ujimasa were the first to take advantage of this, the entire world. Though it was the Old World in the
rallying several of the clans and openly accusing the west that bore the worst brunt of it, all was not quiet in

11
Nippon either. From their Castle of Decay in Haikido, The surviving forces of Chaos retreated back north.
the Chaos worshippers known as the Black Samurai Unable to pursue them among the warp dust, the
marched south, aided by many Oni that were able to Nipponese have never been able to fully eradicate the
traverse into the material plane through a newly opened forces of Chaos from their position at the Castle of
warpgate. Decay. It is said they still plot and plan to overthrow
Nippon once more, though that day has not yet come to
The clans of Nippon would set their differences aside pass.
for the first time since the time of Empress Jungi, and
gathered to face the forces of Chaos. ARRIVAL OF GUNPOWDER
On what would be known as the Fields of Death in In 2322 the first Old Worlders arrived in Nippon, when
Haikido, the armies of Emperor Naganori, Shogun a group of Marienburgers traders landed in Konshu.
Ujimasa Horotome and his Samurai would battle the The Marienburgers brought with them one thing that
largest Chaos incursion ever seen in Nippon’s history. would greatly affect the future of Nippon’s warfare:
It was a brutal battle as Chaos Warrior fought Samurai effective gunpowder weapons.
in bitter combats. For the first time the Nipponese were
to experience the horror of magic cast by the Chaos Gunpowder weapons were not a complete mystery to
Sorcerers; many of these foul wizards had come across the samurai. They certainly knew about Cathayan
the seas from the West. The Nipponese could not hope artillery, but gunpowder hadn’t really arrived in
to win being pitched against such a devastating Nipponese warfare, until now. The guns that the
weapon. But just when the Chaos forces were to gain Marienburgers brought to Nippon were handguns or
the upper hand the ground began to rumble as great matchlocks. They were light enough to be used by one
cracks opened up directly underneath the main Chaos man and relatively safe. The handgun had a slow rate
column. Within seconds the column was swallowed by of fire on the battlefield, but it did have one massive
a great earthquake, separating it from the main battle in advantage that was recognised in Nippon as quickly as
the process. The Nipponese saw this as a sign from the it had been spotted in the Old World. Training as an
Kami and fought with renewed vigour as they finally archer takes years of dedicated work. Learning to use a
destroyed the followers of Chaos. It was a great, but handgun takes days, at most. The Ashigaru were a pool
costly, victory for Emperor Naganori and Shogun of soldiers in every army ready and waiting for an
Ujimasa Horotome. easy-to-use missile weapon.

12
Given the level of skill that Nipponese swordsmiths Nippon. The Nipponese would prove to be
and armourers exhibits, it’s hardly surprising that it unstoppable, beating back every Cathayan army sent
took remarkably little time before the handgun was against them and conquering more and more cities on
being produced in Nippon, and that it was adopted the eastern coast.
enthusiastically by the Daimyo for their armies. The Cathayans became more and more desperate,
However, although everyone could see that the resorting to hiding in the woods and attacking supply
handgun was a useful addition to the armoury, it would caravans rather than facing the Nipponese on the field
take time before someone would integrate a substantial of battle.
force of Matchlock Ashigaru into his army in a
tactically effective manner. The war would rage on for a total of 120 years, until
the Cathayans and Nipponese would face off at the
WAR WITH CATHAY battle of Xenyong. As the Nipponese forces tried to
In 2355, Shogun Ujimasa Hideyoshi became Shogun engage the Cathayans, they were constantly lured
after killing his predecessor in a duel. Hideyoshi was a closer and closer into a valley, where the cowardly
ruthless man, who saw the decline of the Ujimasa Cathayans had planned an ambush. As the Nipponese
Shogunate and the rivaling Daimyo as a pest that must cavalry charged into the Cathayan army, they were shot
be eradicated. In an effort to once again rally Nippon in down by dozens of rocket batteries, so many that the
more than just words of peace on a paper, he called for shy could barely be seen for all the arrows that covered
an invasion of Cathay to increase the borders and it. The barbaric Cathayan Emperor even cut of the head
wealth of his glorious land. Cathay had been hit hard Hideyoshi who was leading the assault, and sent it to
by the forces of Chaos during the Great War Against Hideyoshi’s brother who was governor of Fu Chow.
Chaos, and had not quite recuperated as well as
Nippon. Now was the perfect time to strike. When news of this defeat reached the rest of the
Nipponese forces, they began to lose heart. City after
He constructed a huge fleet of thousands of ships city was taken aback by the Cathayans, until only Fu
which would take his troops across the Far Sea to Chow remained. Hideyoshi’s brother ordered his
Cathay. Over 250 000 troops was sent across the remaining forces to take the ships back to Nippon. The
treacherous waters, making landfall near Fu Chow on war was lost.
the eastern coast.
This sudden attack was a large surprise for the This defeat was the greatest in Nipponese history, and
Cathayans, who where quickly overtaken by the would ultimately cost the Ujimasa the power of the
Nipponese force. Hideyoshi’s armies established a Shogunate. Sure that they were too weak to lead
foothold with Fu Chow as a base from where they Nippon after the defeat against Cathay, the clan
could take in more supplies and fresh troops from Daimyo once more began plotting against each other
and the Shogunate.

13
THE TIME OF THE WARRING fair in love and war. A quick murder was as acceptable
as winning a battle. The daimyo, of course, had access
CLANS to the ninja, who saw much use during the war. It was a
In 2487, Nippon was a powder keg waiting to explode. wise man who took precautions against assassination,
The Ujimasa Shoganate was at an all time low, even if he didn’t plot the deaths of his rivals and
spending more of their time arguing and performing tea superiors.
ceremonies than leading the country. It hardly came as
a surprise when full-on civil war broke out.
The weak Shogun did nothing to prevent this, and soon
YORITOMO IEYASU
rioting became prevalent in Osaka. During this time, the Yoritomo clan was another one of
those small samurai families who had managed to gain
It did not take long until the rest of the clans followed control of a province during the time of the Warring
suit. Each of the great clans attempted to invade their Clans. In 2506, the grim Yoritomo Ieyasu became head
neighbours, minor clans were trampled underfoot and of the clan.
destroyed, and burning fires could be seen every night.
As the war spread throughout Nippon, Daimyo took the When the Batake marched towards Kyoto, taking
opportunity to settle old scores (and gain territory at the advantage of the fact that the Horumi and Taneka were
expense of their neighbours) with mixed results. busy fighting each other, they came upon Ieyasu’s
province. Fiercely defending his home, Ieyasu decided
The central government had, for all intents and to attack. After a brilliant bit of trickery, he managed to
purposes, vanished. The Daimyo were free to wage as convince the Batake that his army was camped in one
many wars as they wanted or could afford. The lesser place, and then ambushed the main Batake force in a
samurai families were quite free to dream of greater gorge. The battle lasted minutes rather than hours. The
power and steal land from each other as well. Batake Daimyo was killed, and only realised at the last
minute that the samurai who were attacking were not
A shifting pattern of rivalries and alliances emerged. part of his own force who were the worse for drink.
One clan would ally with another against the threat Yoritomo Ieyasu was now a real power in the land.
from a third, only to find that their allies had become
just as great a threat, or that previously loyal underlings The temptation to march on Kyoto must have been
were now more dangerous than any external threat. there for Ieyasu as well, but he bided his time and
secured alliances with his neighbours by marrying off
Samurai warfare had always used dirty tricks, his daughter and younger sister. Soon his route to
assassination and outright treachery but during earlier Kyoto and the Shogunate was open.
conflicts, such as the Gempei War, the clans who had
behaved in this fashion were widely regarded as Yoritomo Ieyasu entered Kyoto in November 2508,
villains. In the Warring Clans period, however, all was taking the city with little resistance from the

14
Shogunate. Now, all he needed was to defeat the rest of Even being as outnumbered as they were, diplomatic
the great clans. discussion was fruitless – the heads of Ieyasu’s
messengers were simply sent back in a basket. Ieyasu
In 2508, he fell upon the Mushagi and fought the gathered his armies and prepared for the final
indecisive, but victorious Battle of Onogawa. While his confrontation.
forces won the day, they didn’t crush the Mushagi and. In what would be known as the Battle of the Sundered
Troubles now multiplied for Ieyasu and he rapidly Realm, the two sides met, or almost blundered into
found he was facing not only the Mushagi, but the each other in the fog, in damp and miserable
Horumi and Taneka as well. conditions. Both armies were soaked through and
neither side could see the other because of dense fog.
The Taneka moved against him, almost trapping In the early part of the day, however, the fog lifted and
Tokugawa Ieyasu in his castle. Ieyasu was faced with a the battle commenced as one huge, mud-soaked brawl.
simple choice: stay where he was and fail in his duty to The Uruchi, however, were both disorganized and
prevent the Taneka from reaching Kyoto, or fight. He outnumbered, and stood little chance against Ieyasu’s
chose to leave the castle and met the Taneka army in disciplined troops.
the snow on a stretch of open moors near the
Ekawasaki River. The battle that followed was a By mid-afternoon, Ieyasu was again counting the heads
triumph for Yoritomo Ieyasu and for the arquebus. of his defeated enemies. The captured Uruchi Daimyo
Ieyasu organised his 3000 best shooters into a single challenged Ieyasu to a final personal duel. Ieyasu
unit and placed them in three lines behind a palisade of accepted, and promptly cut his head off. The Uruchi
stakes. When the Taneka clan charged across a very immediately submitted afterwards.
waterlogged battlefield a blasts of gunfire or so tore From this day on, Yoritomo Ieyasu knew that he would
them to pieces. Those that survived the gunfire were be the undisputed ruler of Nippon.
cut down by Ieyasu’s other soldiers. The victory was
complete. Having heard of his great victory, the In 2517, he was declared Shogun, the title having been
Horumi and Mushagi soon capitulated and swore fealty unused for nearly 30 years after the removal of the last
to Yoritomo Ieyasu. of the Ujiwara clan. Now, Nippon is officially united.
Even if enmity and smaller conflicts between the clans
Ieyasu’s army now turned its full power towards the still exists, the land is officially at peace. The courts
Ashiwara. He made steady progress, and besieged their whisper of what Ieyasu will do to keep it, and with that,
castle at Izumo. The entire Ashiwara clan gathered to his power. Some even whisper of gathering the armies
try and lift the siege, and Ieyasu summoned of all clans in a new attempt at invading Cathay...
reinforcements when he realised exactly what he was
facing. The Ashiwara were defeated, and they too
swore fealty to Ieyasu.

The stage was now set for the confrontation between


Ieyasu and the Daimatzu clan. The battle was fought
near Nagashige, and when it was over, Ieyasu sat down
to count almost 2500 heads taken from an enemy army
of around 9000 soldiers. His army’s losses were around
600 men. With Ieyasu’s army standing outside their
city, the Daimatzu surrounded.

Ieyasu was in a position to conquer the rest of Nippon.


That he managed this as quickly as he did is a tribute
not only to his military skills, but also to his political
skills. When facing the Sheinzei clan, there was little
point in not fighting to the bitter end in the
mountainous regions of Haikido. Instead, Ieyasu was
more political and cunning. He was generous towards
his enemies, letting them keep their holdings. He left
them in charge as they had been, having first secured
their loyalty. As a result, he managed to add the armies
of the Shinzei to his own forces and grow stronger over
time.

Now, there was only one clan left to conquer – the


warlike Uruchi to the west of Koshu. During the time
of the Warring clans, they had relentlessly been
attacking the castles of the Batake, but to no avail.

15
TIMELINE OF NIPPON
Time in Nippon is measured in several ways. The seasons are the most obvious division of time, as the weather in Nippon
switch from oppressive heat during the summer months to crippling snow in the winter. A more formal system of months and
days also exists, dividing the year into twelve months of 28 days. Additionally, the years themselves can be counted by
another system: the Emperor's Right, which refer to the year of the reign of the Emperor and is the official method of
recording the passage of time in Nippon. For convenience though, all dates here are written using the Imperial Calendar of
the Old World.

Date Event Date Event


C-5900 Zanami and Zanagi create Nippon. They give and demands action to be taken. Animosity
birth to many children who would be known between the two nations increases, with many
and worshipped as the Kami, with their first minor skirmishes between them to follow.
born being the Sun Goddess Amateratsu.
1745 Hobgoblins led by Jublai Khan invade Nippon
C-5600 Amateratsu inherits Nippon, and becomes its with thousands of ships. However, thanks to
guide for thousands of years. Though the people Empress Jingu, two thirds of the Hobgoblin
worship her as the Sun Goddess, the many fleets are destroyed at sea, and the Nipponese
warring clans fight amongst themselves for armies are able to defeat the remaining forces
territory without a proper leader to unify them. that manage to land.

C-1500 A large Warpstone meteorite crashes in the 1746 The time of Imperial Restoration and fall of the
north of Haikido. Humans and animals begin to Mirumoto Shogunate. Supported by the clans,
mutate into horrid Beastmen, and daemons and Empress Jungi becomes the sole ruler of a
chaos worshippers begin to spread across the unified Nippon, and peace settles during her
island. reign.

C-1350 Skaven are first sighted in Haikido. They strike 1757 Empress Jungi mysteriously disappears.
a bargain with the predecessors to the Shinzei Imperial rule is once again weakened.
Clan, learning the art of Ninjitsu in return for
refined Warpstone. 1813 The Ujimasa takes control after a coup against
the Imperial Family, establishes the second
-87 Dark Elf ships start raiding the coasts of Cathay Shogunate.
and Nippon.
2271 Chaos warbands known as the Black Samurai
-13 Yamayakyuki is declared to be the descendant from Haikido invade Nippon during the Great
of Amateratsu and begins a large campaign of War Against Chaos. They are eventually driven
conquest to unite the clans of Nippon. back after a great battle on the Fields of Death,
and the Warpgate used to summon Daemonic
-1 Emperor Warlord Yamayakyuki founds the Oni into the mortal realm is closed.
Imperial Family and unites Nippon for the first
time as one nation. 2322 Ships from Marienburg arrive in Nippon.
Gunpowder is introduced, and many years of
8 The Great Temple of Amaterasu is built and the trade ensue.
Imperial Palace is completed in Osaka.
2355 Nipponese forces under the second Shogunate
12 Emperor Yamayakyuki dies. invade Cathay. Start of 120 year war between
the two great Empires.
C850 The power of the Emperors is losing its hold.
The Emperors are soon rulers in name only, 2475 Nipponese armies are forced to withdraw from
with powerful clan warlords taking control Cathay. The costly war soon causes the collapse
instead. of the Ujimasa Shogunate.

1155 The Imperial War. The Mirumoto and Otomo 2487 The time of the Warring Clans. Each of the
clans fight in civil war, each supporting their Great Clans of Nippon vies for power in a
own candidate for the Imperial thrones. bloody civil war.

1185 Imperial Capital is moved to Kyoto, with 2517 After 30 years of infighting, Nippon is united
Shogun Mirumoto Nobunaga taking up seat in by Yoritomo Ieyasu, who is declared Shogun
Osaka castle. after emerging victorious at the Battle of the
Sundered Realm.
1377 Hitomi Gozen becomes the first female Samurai
and Daimyo, inspiring thousands of women to 2518 Imperial Capital is moved back to Osaka, with
take up arms and become Battle Maidens. Kyoto becoming the seat of the new Shogunate.

C1550 Increased raids by Nipponese Wako Pirates 2521 Shogunate armies begin to muster for new
against Cathayan ports. Cathay blames Nippon campaigns.

16
17
CULTURE AND CUSTOMS
SOCIAL CLASSES AND striation within the buke as well, ranging from the top
THE CELESTIAL ORDER tier of provincial daimyo and city governors, down
The Nipponese believe all living beings, indeed all of through magistrates, advisors, military officers, and
existence, are organized into a hierarchy set in place by other officials, and ending in the vast numbers of
the will of the Celestial Heavens. This hierarchy – simple warriors, courtiers, and priests who serve the
known as the Celestial Order – was revealed to the Empire – the so-called “ji-samurai.” In general, a
Nipponese by the Kami at the founding of the Empire, samurai is not permitted to question or oppose
and they regard it as the sacred and unquestioned someone of a higher social rank without the strongest
expression of divine will. To ignore or violate the possible justification.
Order is to blaspheme against the cosmos itself. Thus,
the citizens of the Land of the Rising Sun are organized Conversely, a samurai can easily lord it over those of
into three distinct castes, each of which is divided into inferior social rank, and it is expected that such abuse
several smaller ranks and sub-castes. Typically, a will be endured honourably. Samurai are supposed to
person is born into a caste and remains within that always treat each other with extreme respect and
caste for their entire life, although exceptions are politeness, even if they are actually bitter enemies, for
possible. to fail in public manners is to violate Courtesy and
possibly even “lose one’s face,” an unforgivable social
At the top of the social order are the samurai, the rulers error.
of Nippon. They are the only “real people” of Nippon,
and have complete power and rights over all below Below the samurai are the Bonge – the common folk,
them. The samurai caste itself is, of course, divided also known as heimin or “half-people.” These comprise
into social ranks of its own – the Kuge (nobility) and the vast majority of Nippon’s population, and are the
the Buke (those who serve). The Kuge include the ones who keep the nation and economy running. They
Emperor, the various high Imperial officials and are generally not permitted to use weapons, although
daimyo, the Clan Champions who rule over the various exceptions are made for specific duties such as
clans of the Empire, and the daimyo of the various Ashigaru (peasant military levies) or budoka (personal
families within each clan. All other samurai belong to armed retainers to samurai). Samurai can demand
the Buke. Of course, there is considerable social anything from a heimin without recompense, and can
kill any heimin who disobeys or fails to show respect.
However, the Celestial Order also dictates that there
are responsibilities between the different castes of
society, something emphasized in writings like the
Articles of Heaven. So while it is the heimin’s duty to
produce and obey, it is the samurai’s duty to protect
and administer. Nevertheless, the life of the bonge is a
hard one, full of difficult labour and suffering. Only a
few commoners are fortunate enough to serve a
samurai who truly cares about them – for the most part,
their lords treat them with indifference, if not outright
cruelty. Naturally, heimin are always respectful and
obedient toward samurai, since the alternative is to earn
their wrath, but they seldom feel anything toward their
masters other than fear and wary respect.
However, the rare samurai who goes out of his way to
fulfil his duties to the heimin caste will soon draw their
notice, and such exceptionally compassionate samurai
are often rewarded in turn by extra loyalty and effort.

Even within the ranks of the bonge, there are social


striations. The highest-ranking of the heimin are the
peasants, for they grow the food which all the Empire
needs to survive. Slightly below the peasants are the
artisans and craftsmen – carpenters, blacksmiths,
stonemasons, brewers, seamstresses, and so forth.
Although they do not grow food, these persons still
create things of use and value, and truly skilled heimin
artisans can actually earn the respect of samurai who
admire their work. (In fact, some samurai are artisans

18
themselves, although they pursue rarified arts such as
painting and sword-making rather than simple things
like building furniture or forging horseshoes.) At the
bottom of the bonge’s ranks are merchants. Merchants
are regarded with contempt by samurai, since they do
not actually make anything for themselves – they
simply buy and sell things made by others. However,
commerce is important to the Empire’s economic
health, and many clans rely on commercial activity to
swell their coffers – a contradiction which troubles
more than one samurai. To get around this problem,
some samurai appoint themselves as “merchant
patrons,” watching over and supervising the activities
of commoner merchants, thereby allowing them to
conduct commerce without directly dirtying their own
hands with such distasteful activities.

Monks occupy a peculiar position within the social


order. They are not samurai, and by strict interpretation
of the Nipponese social system they cannot be
considered anything other than heimin.
However, their role as upholders of the Empire’s
religious traditions affords them a respect which other
commoners do not enjoy. Most samurai treat monks
with a certain deference, and prominent members of
the monks are sometimes invited to court to provide
counsel and guidance to daimyo.
If the position of monks is peculiar, that of ronin –
those samurai who have no lord, no clan or family to
call their own – is far more difficult. A ronin is
technically still of the samurai caste, but with no lord
or clan to protect or care for him, he must make his
own way through the world, tossed by the waves of
fate – hence the name ronin, or “wave-man.” Since
ronin cannot rely on a stipend or household, most of who must constantly inflict harm and touch blood and
them are forced to work as mercenaries or bodyguards, sweat, are also considered hinin, although they are
earning food and lodging by the strength of their permitted to serve samurai more directly than the eta.
swords. Some ronin ultimately must engage in manual Finally, geisha – women who offer samurai
labour to earn their keep, but as samurai they consider entertainment and companionship – are considered to
this bitterly shameful, and many of them resort to be hinin, although unlike eta and torturers they are
crime or banditry rather than live like common folk. accorded certain fame and respect by the rest of
society.
Below the bonge are the lowest of Nippon’s social
order, the hinin or “non-people,” who are born into RITUALS OF LIFE
those tasks which the Nipponese consider to be All samurai life is ritual, and a samurai’s standard day
intrinsically spiritually impure. Primarily, this involves is simply moving from one ritual to another. This is
any activity which leads to touching “unclean” true for all samurai, whether they be trained as bushi,
substances such as blood, garbage, or dead flesh. courtiers, or shugenja.
Morticians, leatherworkers, and refuse collectors Although the rituals may differ from clan to clan and
(known collectively as eta) form the bulk of the hinin family to family, the respect a samurai has for them
caste. Such persons are regarded as less than nothing, does not. Even a clan as militaristic and pragmatic as
and even peasants look down on them and abuse them. the Crab has all manner of rituals which its samurai
The eta’s life is bitter and unpleasant, and their only follow with care and devotion.
hope under the rules of the Celestial Order is to fulfil The rituals of samurai life begin at birth. Whenever a
their duties well enough to be reborn into a higher samurai child is born, special blessings and religious
station in their next life. ceremonies are held to ensure that evil spirits are
The rest of Nippon ignores the eta as much as possible. driven away, lest they curse the child or bring bad
Nevertheless, these people have a vital role, performing fortune upon it. Portents are also taken from the
the “unclean” jobs no one else will touch. positions of the stars, and all possible omens are
examined for hints at the child’s destiny. One month
Although most of the hinin are eta, the ranks of this after birth, the new samurai child is taken to the nearest
caste also include a few other individuals. Torturers, shrine to be blessed and recorded in that shrine’s rolls.
Nippon does not have anything resembling a true
19
census, but a dedicated researcher can learn much school, he or she is considered ready for a gempukku,
about a province’s population by consulting the birth or coming-of-age ceremony, one of the most important
records at local shrines. rituals in a samurai’s entire life. The gempukku ritual
varies greatly from one clan, school, or family to
Children enjoy care-free lives in their younger days, another, but in general, it is both a celebration of
although dedicated parents will make sure to remind change (from child to adult) and a testing to prove what
them of the samurai duties which await when they the child has learned. Typically, the child will be
grow older. They do learn to read and write, as well as expected to demonstrate mastery of the school’s first
the basics of etiquette and proper behaviour. A key Technique, as well as to perform other actions which
transition point comes when the child is old enough to show dedication to family and clan traditions. Once the
begin training in one of his or her clan schools. This ritual is complete, family and friends offer gifts to the
usually happens between the ages of 10 and 12, newly-made adult, who is permitted to choose a
although true prodigies may begin their training two or personal name. Some prefer to keep their childhood
three years earlier. The decision of which school a name, but many take a new name to symbolize their
samurai child should attend is a momentous one, since hopes for the future or their dedication to family,
it typically sets the samurai’s path for life. Almost all friends, allies, clan, or Empire.
samurai attend a school, as failure to do so implies a
lack of the skill and dedication expected of them, and it The next great ritual in a samurai’s life is marriage. In
is quite rare for a samurai to be able to switch from one Nippon, marrying is a duty, typically undertaken at the
school to another. Thus, parents carefully consider their command of family or lord. Marriages are treated
family’s traditions and the needs of their lord and clan, almost as a business matter, and are typically arranged
as well as their child’s visible talents (if any). Priests (a process called mi-ai) by the parents of the couple,
and astrologers may also be consulted to determine often with the help of a middleman, or even a
where a child’s path should lie. The wishes of the child professional matchmaker known as a nakado.
are seldom if ever considered. A family which has Mi-ai traditionally begins with a formal interview
served the clan as bushi for ten generations is liable to between the parents of the prospective bride and
continue to do so, regardless of what their child might groom. Samurai seek pairings which can better their
wish. family’s station, increase their lands or prestige, or
cement some long-term political or personal goal
Schooling typically lasts four years, although it can be through blood ties, as well as seal bargains or alliances
shorter or longer depending on the talent of the student. between clans and families. It is not expected for the
When a student has mastered the first Technique of the couple to be in love, or even to know one another prior
to their wedding. The process of arranging a marriage
can take anywhere from a few months to several years,
and a mi-ai interview is not considered an immediate
guarantee of success – rather, these preliminary
meetings are done to make sure both sides are
comfortable with a future pairing, ensuring an
ultimately successful union. If the two families live far
apart, a nakado or other go-between will be enlisted to
help ferry messages and gifts back and forth. Among
truly high-ranking families it is not uncommon for
children to be betrothed long before they reach
adulthood.

One of the most basic purposes of the Imperial Court is


to bring people together in marriages that create
alliances and cement bargains for the following year.
Fathers and mothers of noble lineage always bring their
most gifted children to the Imperial Court, hoping they
will catch some royal eye.
Weddings themselves are very elaborate rituals,
performed with the presence and supervision of both
daimyo and priests, and many blessings and prayers are
made to prevent bad fortune, remove evil spirits, and
bring harmony and fertility to the match. Usually the
ceremony is held privately, with only the immediate
family and a presiding priest, but this is followed by an
elaborate public reception in which guests enjoy a
magnificent feast and offer numerous gifts to the new
couple. The bride traditionally wears white, the colour
of death, at the beginning the wedding, symbolizing

20
that she is dead to her old family. After the ritual is after death, and those four days are filled with prayers,
complete and she emerges for the reception, she as well as the burning of special scrolls filled with “last
removes the white kimono to reveal a red one words” which are the final parting words of the living
underneath – the colour of life, showing she is reborn to the dead. The body is anointed and purified by eta,
into her new family. Once the ceremony is done, the then kept in state with an honour guard until the day of
newly wedded couple often spends a month apart, the cremation itself. Special foods are prepared on that
meditating on what it means to be married, before they day, and relatives and friends gather to observe the
take up their new household together. funeral pyre, which is also blessed by shugenja and
monks. Once the body has been burned, even more
When a samurai reaches the age of forty, it is prayers are spoken, to speed the spirit of the departed
traditional for him or her to retire from active service to on its journey to the afterlife. The immediate relatives
the clan. This is not mandatory, however, and samurai gather at the pyre and use special chopsticks to remove
in the more active and pragmatic clans will often the remaining fragments of bone from the ashes – these
continue to actively serve their lords long after are placed in a crematory urn, which is kept in a place
reaching their fortieth year. High-ranking nobles and of honour for 35 days before finally being buried, an
daimyo also tend to stay active longer than the normal event accompanied by a final round of prayers, chants,
time. A samurai who does retire will most commonly and blessings.
choose to join the monks, taking a new name and
beginning a new life as a monk or nun. Such retirement RELIGION
is accompanied by an extended ritual celebration, in The official religion of Nippon is called Jinto and has
which family and friends commemorate the samurai’s been so for thousands of years. During Nippon’s
deeds and bid him goodbye. At the conclusion of this history it has existed as an amorphous mix of nature
ritual, the samurai shaves his head, a transformation worship, fertility cults, divination techniques, hero
symbolizing his entering a new life of religious worship, and shamanism and unusually it has no
contemplation. Not all retiring samurai join the monks, recognised founder. It is a religion of nature and
however – some of them instead remain with their spirituality and the belief that human nature is
families or their lords, living quiet but honoured lives, inherently good, and evil is thought to stem from the
and offering advice and counsel when it is sought. individual's contact with external forces or agents that
Retired samurai may also sometimes return to active pollute their pure nature and cause them to act in ways
service, taking up their swords once more when a crisis which are disruptive.
or threat requires their attention. Jinto worship is centred on the reverence of the gods or
kami. Kami may be anything that is extraordinary and
The last ritual of every samurai’s life is their funeral. that inspires awe or reverence. Consequently, a wide
These, like everything else in Nippon, follow a strict variety of kami exist in Jinto: there are kami related to
protocol. By Imperial Law, all bodies must be natural objects and creatures -- the spirits of mountains,
cremated. Traditionally, a funeral takes place four days seas, rivers, rocks, trees, animals, and the like; there are
21
guardian kami of particular locales and clans; also It is this form of Compassion which is most widely
considered kami are exceptional human beings, respected and revered in Nippon, for all clans
including many emperors. Evil spirits are also known recognize the importance of keeping their peasants
in Jinto, but few seem irredeemably so. While a god alive and productive. Bullying or abusing those of
may first call attention to its presence through a display lower station is an act unworthy of a samurai, even if
of rowdy or even destructive behaviour, generally the social order allows it.
speaking, the kami are benign. Their role is to sustain Some clans take Compassion more fully to heart,
and protect. however, and seek to offer guidance and help to the
lower castes.
In a way Jinto is similar to the Old World religion in
that it consists of a pantheon of deities. However, the COURAGE (YU)
priests of Jinto worship all the gods or kami as one Courage is in many ways the most basic and universal
rather than there being any single clerics of a particular of all the Bushido virtues, since every samurai is
god. Although some gods are more popular than others, expected to be ready and able to die at a moment’s
such as the Sun Goddess Amateratsu for example, it is notice. The central importance of courage to a
highly unusual for anyone to take on a monotheistic samurai’s life cannot be understated. A samurai must
perspective. There are hundreds, perhaps even be prepared to fight and die without hesitation, whether
thousands, of gods in the Jinto pantheon which are at his lord’s command or simply due to unavoidable
discussed further in this chapter but suffice to say the circumstance. Indeed, it is popular to say that a samurai
Sun Goddess Amateratsu is one of the most pre- lives at all times three feet from death, since that is the
eminent of the kami as well as the divine couple reach of a katana. But in truth there is no clan which
Zanagi and Zanami who were said to have created ignores courage. All recognize that courage is
Nippon. important if their samurai are to fulfil their duties
properly.
THE TENETS OF BUSHIDO It should be noted that courage does not mean
All samurai are supposed to live according to a strict foolhardiness. After all, a samurai’s life belongs to his
and demanding set of ethical principles known as lord, not to him. A samurai who throws his life away in
Bushido (literally, the “way of the warrior”). They a useless and selfish gesture is not behaving
quickly came to be accepted by all the clans in Nippon, honourably, but rather is failing in his duty to lord and
and as the roles of samurai evolved to include courtiers clan. Indeed, there are many times when retreating
and artisans, the Code of Bushido evolved into a from a fight requires more courage than merely staying
complete philosophical view of the role and duty of the and dying.
samurai. In modern Nippon, Bushido is integral to
almost every aspect of a samurai’s life, and the proper
way to uphold the Code is a subject of continual
discussion and debate among all samurai.

Bushido is comprised of seven Virtues: Courage,


Compassion, Courtesy, Duty, Honesty, Honour, and
Sincerity. These virtues are held to represent the proper
way in which samurai should live and serve their lords.
In its ideal form, Bushido values each of these virtues
equally, and a samurai is expected to adhere to all of
them with equal vehemence. In practice, however, few
samurai can live such spotless lives. Moreover, every
clan in Nippon views Bushido in a slightly different
way, according to their respective views of duty,
honour, and life. The true nature of Bushido is
constantly debated within the courts of Nippon, and the
true way to uphold its Virtues is seldom fully agreed
upon even within the same clan. Every clan, has its
idealists who try to uphold every Virtue no matter the
cost, just as every clan contains a few dark souls who
laugh at Bushido and flout its principles.

COMPASSION (JIN)
Compassion teaches samurai that, as the warrior elite
of society, it is their duty to protect and guide the lesser
folk of Nippon. In its most obvious form, this means
offering military protection, guarding the commoners
against bandits, criminals, foreigners, and the monsters
of Haikido.

22
humiliation, dishonour, shame, and failure for the sake
of Duty. He must remain faithful to lord, family, clan,
and comrades no matter what temptations may fall in
his path. A samurai who violates loyalty to his lord or
clan is violating Duty, and such untrustworthy
individuals are hardly worthy of the title “samurai.”
Duty is the reason why love is so problematic for
samurai, since a samurai in love will feel a conflicting
loyalty to his (or her) beloved which may disrupt or
diminish the fulfilment of duty.

HONESTY (GI)
Honesty is in principle the simplest of the virtues of
Bushido, but also perhaps the most troublesome.
Ideally, it would seem obvious that an honourable
warrior should always tell the truth, and indeed, there
are some families and clans which embrace Honesty
with the same fervour as the rest of the virtues.
Honesty is also strongly associated with justice, and
thus tends to be a virtue admired by magistrates (or at
least by those magistrates who take their duties to
heart).

However, many other samurai, especially those who


serve their clans in court, find that Honesty is often a
virtue which must be danced around, or perhaps even
COURTESY (REI) violated, in order to fulfil their duties. Almost all those
Samurai are civilized men and women, not barbarians, samurai who serve in the arena of court and politics
and are expected to behave with courtesy and proper practice the art of deceiving or manipulating their
manners at all times. A samurai who shows undue opponents while still remaining technically truthful,
emotion or rudeness is not only violating Courtesy but and some families make almost an art form of
is also losing his face (on), disrespecting those around employing such tactics while still satisfying themselves
him and shaming himself. A true samurai remains that they are behaving honourably. Most highly
courteous and well-mannered at all times, even when political schools and families quietly accept that
facing his bitterest sworn enemy, or provoked with vile sometimes they will simply have to lie for their clan,
insults and malignant behaviour. A samurai who and therefore tend to emphasize Sincerity far more than
openly insults others is showing his own weakness, Honesty in their approach to Bushido, counting on their
which is why Nipponese courtiers endlessly practice adherence to the other virtues to make up for their
the art of the subtle and indirect insult. Conversely, sometimes erratic observance of this one. The
when a samurai is confronted with failures of Courtesy Scorpion, naturally, ignore Honesty altogether, and
by those of higher station, his own honour is exhibit almost open contempt for samurai who strive to
demonstrated by his ability to endure such tell the truth or who follow the path of justice.
provocations and avoid drawing attention to others’
failures. Nipponese as a whole make a point of HONOUR (MEYO)
ignoring those who engage in uncouth and improper Both the subtlest and the most basic of the virtues,
spectacles, since to draw attention to such discourteous Honour teaches that every samurai stands in judgment
behaviour is to make matters even worse. over himself, at all times. Bushido is not merely
enforced by social convention or superior authority, but
As one might expect, those who serve their clans in by each samurai’s own heart and soul. A samurai
politics and the courts tend to place a very strong without Honour cannot truly follow the other virtues of
emphasis on Courtesy, since it is a vital element of Bushido, for he is merely acting as others expect, not
social and political negotiation. as his own sense of honour demands. Conversely, a
The most heavily political clans place a special value samurai with true Honour will follow the ways of
on Courtesy, although for some this is more for the Bushido even when the society around him becomes
Virtue’s tactical value in court than due to any moral corrupt and his superiors expect him to behave
commitment to it. dishonourably solely because they command it.
Almost all samurai in Nippon respect Honour, for it
DUTY (CHUGO) lies at the very heart of Bushido.
If there is a Virtue which competes with Courage for
universal acceptance, it is Duty. A samurai must SINCERITY (MAKOTO)
always be ready to serve his lord in whatever way is Samurai are taught from childhood that they must
required, no matter what the cost. Death is the least that express absolute sincerity in both word and deed. A
a samurai may face – he must be prepared to endure
23
samurai who speaks on behalf of his lord in court, but rather than face the prospect of punishment or seppuku,
does so in a lackadaisical or unconvincing manner, is particularly if he feels he is not actually guilty.
serving his lord as badly as if he refused to speak at all.
A samurai who shows a lack of dedication in his SEPPUKU
actions, who acts and behaves without absolute Seppuku is a form of ritual suicide which samurai
commitment, is a samurai who fails his lord and his perform when they have been irretrievably
clan. dishonoured. By performing the ceremony and thus
Sincerity is regarded with particular admiration by dying honourably, the samurai wipes away the stain of
political clans and families, but most samurai respect it. dishonour and leaves his or her family name clean and
untarnished. It is important to remember that the main
THE CONCEPT OF FACE (ON) purpose of seppuku is to protect the family, rather than
Face is a vitally important aspect of samurai culture. It the individual. In Nippon a family is the repository of
is intrinsic to the belief that samurai are exceptional all the collective deeds and accomplishments of its
persons, chosen by birth to serve the Empire in ways members, and it is commonly said, “I have borrowed
that mere peasants cannot. A samurai is expected to my name from my ancestors.
maintain self-discipline at all times, to control himself I must return it to them untarnished.” A dishonoured
and to never show the sort of open emotions and out- person thus brings dishonour and shame to the entire
of-control behaviour that characterizes “lower people.” family.
A samurai who cannot control his emotions is a By committing seppuku, a samurai spares his family
samurai who cannot serve his lord with honour and from the shame of his deeds.
trust, for his emotions will override his judgment and
loyalty. Thus, maintaining dignity and self-control is A samurai who is committing seppuku in a formal
vital to a samurai’s life. setting dresses entirely in white (the color of death),
and traditionally writes a final poem, a death-haiku,
The ability to maintain this self-control, never showing before taking up his wakizashi to commit suicide. The
one’s true feelings, is referred to as maintaining one’s ritual may be witnessed by the samurai’s friends or
on or “face.” A samurai who maintains face is a relatives, representatives from his daimyo, or other
samurai who cannot be manipulated, a samurai who individuals. The actual suicide is usually performed by
can deceive his enemies, a samurai who serves his clan means of the wakizashi, the blade which symbolizes a
without fail. By contrast, a samurai who loses face, samurai’s honour (although another blade can be
who loses self-control, shames both himself and, substituted in a pinch). The samurai kneels and makes
worse, his family and clan. three cuts across his belly, disembowelling himself. In
order for the ritual to be properly completed, the
Face is a purely samurai concept, one that is not samurai must not flinch or cry out in pain. Since this is
expected of peasants and other common folk. extremely difficult, by long-standing tradition seppuku
Maintaining face is sometimes compared to wearing a is assisted by another individual, a “second,” whose
mask, a mask which must be kept on every hour of task is to complete the ritual by beheading the samurai,
every day, concealing one’s true feelings beneath on.

SHAME AND DISGRACE


A samurai who is shamed by dishonourable actions or
loss of face will be expected, at the very least, to offer
deep and sincere apologies for such actions. Typically,
if the disgrace was fairly modest, the samurai will be
punished in a non-permanent way – assignment to less
prestigious duties, for example, or expulsion from the
castle, court, or city where he misbehaved. Although
such punishments are not lethal, they nevertheless
represent a deep and profound shame for the samurai
involved, who may well spend the rest of his life trying
to redeem himself for his failure.

More extreme failures, such as a violent outburst, an


attack or serious insult against someone of higher
station, or a breach of duty or loyalty, are punished
much more severely.
A samurai who commits such acts is quite likely to be
ordered to commit seppuku (if he does not offer
seppuku himself out of shame). On other occasions,
such disgraced samurai may be expelled from family
and clan, and thus made ronin. A samurai may also
forsake his fealty and become ronin by his own choice

24
ensuring he dies with honour. Serving as a samurai’s Given the chance, they will bind their ankles together
second is an important and honourable task, and the before performing this act, so as not to shame
sword used to behead the victim is carefully cleansed themselves with wild kicking during their death throes.
with water beforehand.
POLITICS
Seppuku is usually not something a samurai can do at The way of the samurai is often considered
will. Samurai who are facing total battlefield defeat or synonymous with the way of the warrior. But in the
the military annihilation of their bloodline, however, Land of the Rising Sun, samurai do not serve their
will sometimes commit seppuku immediately rather clans solely on the battlefield. Politics has been a vital
than face the eternal shame of utter defeat. Indeed, element of Nippon’s history since its founding, and the
entire samurai families have been known to commit negotiations and manoeuvres of courtiers have changed
suicide under such circumstances. the Empire as often as war, if not more so. Indeed,
More normally, however, permission to commit skilful courtiers can sometimes alter the outcomes of
seppuku must be granted by the samurai’s daimyo, and wars after the battles are fought.
cruel or intolerant daimyo have been known to deny
seppuku and force their samurai to live with their Although some bushi look down on courtiers and the
shame. subtle arts of politics, those who must serve their clans
in court reject the notion that they are any less samurai
Aside from acting to preserve family honour, the other than their warrior cousins. Courtiers must pursue their
form of permissible seppuku is to protest unjust orders diplomatic struggles with the same courage and zeal as
from one’s lord. This form of protesting seppuku is a bushi in combat, for their failures can be as
known as kanshi, and must still be authorized by the catastrophic as a lost war, and their victories can bring
daimyo. Most daimyo don’t care for such an act, but it glory and success to their clan without the need to fight
is considered quite dishonourable and ill-mannered to a war at all. Failure in court can mean death as certain
refuse one’s samurai permission to commit kanshi. as failure in combat – courtiers must walk a perpetual
knife-edge, working to obstruct, undermine, and
Women of the samurai caste who are not bushi are destroy their opponents without falling prey to the
permitted to kill themselves in a less painful fashion, same fate themselves.
known as jigai, in which they stab themselves in the Seasoned bushi who get re-assigned to court are often
throat with a knife. This is generally reserved for forced to admit it is just as taxing a field of conflict as
women who are courtier or shugenja. warfare itself.

25
In Nippon, politics takes place primarily in the various
courts of the Empire. Every daimyo and governor
maintains a court in their castle or palace, inviting
emissaries and visitors from other families and clans to
attend and meet as their guests. The higher- ranking the
host, the more prestigious the court, and the more
important will be the political discussions and
negotiations which take place there. The most
prestigious court in the Empire, of course, is the
Imperial Court, hosted by the Emperor and his chief
advisors. Many courtiers spend a lifetime trying to win
an appointment there. The heaviest political activity
takes place during the winter, and just as the Imperial
Court is the most important and prestigious of political
postings, the Imperial Court is the most desirable of all
courts to spend the snow-bound months.

Court, more than any other part of Nipponese life, is


suffused with delicate etiquette and indirect speech.
After all, diplomats speak for their clan, and have the
weight and prestige of that clan behind them. A minor
daimyo who insults or ignores a courtier without
legitimate cause could well be forced to commit
seppuku for his breach of etiquette. Nor is anyone so
uncouth as to openly discuss alliances or treaties in
open court. Trained diplomats employ hints and subtle
conversational gambits to suggest a possible topic of
discussion.
Much of the truly important and crucial negotiation at
court takes place in private meetings, rather than in
open chambers where others might overhear it.

Political agreements in Nippon are seldom expressed as


written treaties, save when both sides wish to present a Within the courts themselves, critics and blackmailers
formal agreement to the rest of the Empire. More alike employ letters as their weapon of choice, and
commonly, negotiations are handled through personal lovers use them as their most subtle but most direct
commitment and word of honour. Clans trust their gift. This continual flow of correspondence within a
courtiers to handle delicate situations, and courtiers in court is known as the “Game of Letters.” Unlike letters
turn can call on the trust of their clan to give their word sent to and from those outside court, these letters are
great weight. Indeed, minor daimyo or provincial designed primarily to display skill and to manipulate
officials may well have difficulty keeping their others rather than to convey information.
positions if a powerful, influential courtier speaks out
against them to their feudal lord – especially if the CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
courtier’s accusations turn out to be true. Nippon recognizes many of the same crimes as other
cultures – murder, theft, bribery, false witness, and so
A major part of politics in Nippon is the exchange of forth. However, in Nippon the identification and
letters, and experienced courtiers spend much time and punishment of crimes is complicated by a number of
effort each day in composing and sending such other factors, most notably the social striations of the
missives to each other. A good courtier can maintain a Celestial Order, as well as the Nipponese concept of
steady flow of correspondence with dozens of people what constitutes acceptable evidence of guilt.
from across the Empire, dropping small tidbits of
information to them and carefully reviewing the Crime in Nippon is investigated and punished by
snippets of gossip they send him in return. For many magistrates, primarily clan magistrates appointed by
courtiers, this network of correspondents can be just as daimyo and governors to maintain order and enforce
important as the allies in their own court. the law within their provinces. These magistrates are
Correspondence can build an alliance that lasts usually assisted by a team of yoriki (lesser-ranking
generations or begin a feud that lasts centuries. Indeed, samurai), and may also recruit ronin or even budoka
a timely piece of information from the far side of the (armed peasant vassals) to help with the work of
Empire can turn the entire course of negotiations, and a tracking down and punishing criminals.
courtier’s fame and fortune can be founded, built, or
shattered by a single letter. It may be noted that most magistrates, whether they be
clan magistrates or Imperial magistrates, are not chosen
26
solving crimes or mysteries in such a way is largely
unknown. Personal testimony is always the most
important evidence of all, and the higher the social
rank of the witnesses, the more weight their testimony
carries. Thus the testimony of a single samurai will
outweigh any number of heimin or hinin, and a
daimyo’s word outweighs that of a low-ranking
samurai. Direct physical evidence is also considered
acceptable, although it is not seen as being nearly so
compelling as testimony.

However, evidence acquired through magical means,


by having a shugenja speak with the kami, is not
legally admissible – the Emperor long ago decreed
such evidence to be off-limits, lest powerful shugenja
manipulate the spirits to frame their enemies.

Interestingly, while magical evidence is off-limits,


torture is considered an acceptable method of
investigation in Nippon, and most daimyo and
magistrates retain the services of a hinin torturer to
assist them in questioning suspects and eliciting
confessions. Torture is not used casually, however, and
under the Articles of Heaven it is considered improper
on the basis of ability. An appointment as a magistrate, to employ it on those who are weak and vulnerable,
like any other appointment, tends to be political in such as children and the elderly.
nature, and Nippon is full of magistrates who have only
the vaguest understanding of the law and their Once a criminal has been arrested, that criminal is
responsibilities to enforce it. expected to confess to the crime. A written confession
is considered the closing document of any criminal
The crimes which are most likely to attract the investigation, and in its absence, a conviction requires
attention of magistrates in Nippon are violations of special authorization from a daimyo or other figure of
Imperial law, which are considered treason. These high rank. Once someone has confessed, the crime is
include maho and other forms of religious blasphemy, solved and effectively forgotten – there is no
attacks on Imperial authority or Imperial personages, mechanism for re-opening a case, and the very idea of
and so forth. Magistrates also investigate dishonourable trying to do so is considered improper by most
conduct (brawling, public disturbance, lying to Nipponese.
authority), violence against persons (assault, murder),
corruption (theft, tax evasion, bribery), and organized Crimes may be punished in a variety of ways,
crime (smuggling, banditry). Generally speaking, when depending on their severity, and magistrates have some
dealing with these sorts of crimes, magistrates focus leeway in deciding appropriate punishment. Any really
their strongest efforts against those acts which are serious crime, such as murder, maho, banditry, or
committed within the same social caste (such as a treason, is usually punished by death – hanging or
peasant attacking a peasant, or a samurai stealing from beheading, typically, although for serious treason more
a samurai) or which are committed upward across caste gruesome punishments may be used, such as boiling in
lines (e.g. a peasant attacking a samurai), especially the oil or crucifixion. If the criminal is a samurai and has
latter, which are considered a violation of the Celestial confessed, he will sometimes be allowed to commit
Order. Crimes committed “downward” – a samurai seppuku instead of facing the shame of execution.
abusing or killing a peasant – are barely recognized as
such, and usually punished with nothing more than an
apology or a small fine. Of course, a samurai who
makes a habit of abusing or killing peasants is violating
Compassion, and may find himself challenged by other
samurai who take their responsibilities to the lower
castes more seriously.

Nipponese criminal justice is rather different from


Western concepts – indeed, it could be fairly said that
Nipponese justice is not really justice at all. In Nippon,
all that matters is eyewitness testimony and direct
physical evidence. Logical deduction and inference are
not considered proper evidence, and the very idea of

27
Other crimes may be punished in a greater variety of Conversely, once a challenge has been issued, the other
ways, depending on the severity of the offense. Serious samurai must either back down and apologize,
crimes such as evading Imperial taxes may still be retracting whatever slander he issued, or else defend
punished with death or exile, but for samurai guilty of his words with steel. Backing down, of course, is a
lesser offenses such as assault, petty theft, public tremendous loss of prestige and face, and a wise
nuisance, or harm to one of lower station, magistrates samurai will never issue an insult or accusation without
may employ modest punishments such as handcuffing, being prepared to back it up in a duel.
house arrest, fines, or public reprimand. Punishments
for commoners are generally more severe than for Duels are not always to the death. Samurai are not
samurai – a peasant guilty of petty theft might be supposed to throw their lives away without cause, and
subjected to a severe public beating, for example, and a when the insult or offense which caused the duel is not
merchant found guilty of a crime may have his of great magnitude, a duel to first blood, or until one
business and livelihood seized. combatant acknowledges defeat, will be considered
sufficient. When the insult is serious, however, duels
If a samurai has been accused of a crime, but the are always lethal, and end only when one (or both)
evidence is inconclusive (especially if the accused and participants are dead.
accuser are of equal social rank), a magistrate may
authorize a duel to settle the matter. Once a duel has Regardless of whether it is to first blood or to the
been fought and won, the matter is considered closed death, a truly honourable duel must be authorized by
and no further questions can be raised. higher authority.
Typically, this requires the permission of each
DUELING samurai’s daimyo, but other high-ranking samurai such
Nippon is a society ruled by a caste of armed warriors as Imperial officials and district governors can often
who follow a strict code of honour and etiquette. When approve duels as well, especially duels to first blood.
a samurai is insulted or maligned, and even more so if Magistrates also have the power to authorize duels to
his (or her) family, clan, or lord is the target of such prove the guilt or innocence of an accused criminal.
insults and slanders, he will usually respond by issuing This is not to say that a duel cannot be fought without
a challenge to a duel. Duels are considered the such permission. Unauthorized duels are a regular
appropriate and socially acceptable response for any feature of Nipponese life, especially where samurai
situation where a samurai feels that honour or passions become involved, and while such duels are
reputation has been threatened or compromised. considered socially scandalous and improper, they are
Indeed, failing to issue a duel means the original insult not punished in the same way as a murder. Typically,
or slander is left unanswered, in effect making it true. the samurai is subjected to little more than house arrest
or a public reprimand.

28
family of the fallen has the right to declare a blood feud
against the one responsible.
Blood feuds may also sometimes result when it is
impossible to punish a crime, severe insult, or other
dire offense through the normal methods of Nipponese
justice or duelling.
For example, if a samurai’s family was left
impoverished and disgraced by the political
machinations of another, he might declare a blood feud
to avenge this.

When a samurai declares a blood feud, he must appear


before his daimyo and request formal permission,
much as with a duel. Few daimyo refuse, for a blood
feud is considered an honourable and socially
acceptable way to seek vengeance. The daimyo will
issue a written authorization for the blood feud, and
once this is done, a state of war effectively exists
between the samurai’s family and the offender.
Samurai pursuing a blood feud are expected to carry
their daimyo’s written authorization with them, so as to
prevent misunderstandings with the local authorities
and magistrates.
Those who interfere with a blood feud are interfering
with an honourable task, and may be dealt with as
severely as the avenging samurai might wish.

A blood feud ends when the offending party is killed.


Traditionally, any samurai who wears a katana is At that point all violence is expected to cease and the
signifying his ability to defend himself, and if he is avenging samurai should depart peacefully. Of course,
challenged to a duel, he must fight on his own behalf. death in a blood feud can sometimes result in another
A samurai who carries only a knife or a wakizashi feud being declared in turn, as the family of the slain
(such as the typical courtier or shugenja) is signifying offender seeks its own vengeance.
that he is not a warrior and cannot fight his own duels. Thus, feuds can escalate and grow until they
If he is challenged, he can call for a champion to fight encompass entire bloodlines for multiple generations.
on his behalf. Likewise, if such a samurai issues a
challenge to another, he is expected to have a champion WAR IN NIPPON
available to fight for him. Usually, daimyo will supply The Code of Bushido is also known as the “Way of the
champions for their samurai, although they may refuse Warrior,” and although the Nipponese religion often
to do so if they consider the duel to be fought over focuses on peace and compassion, most samurai of the
insufficient justification. Once the duel is resolved, the Empire are bushi, raised in the path of arms and taught
losing party is expected to share the fate of their to seek glory and fame on the battlefield. Minor wars
champion, committing seppuku if it was a duel to the and border skirmishes are a constant reality of life in
death. the Land of the Rising Sun, where the different clans
are constantly jockeying for power and influence, and
Once a challenge has been issued and accepted, the major wars erupt with some regularity. During periods
challenged party will be permitted to specify the time of crisis, such as the eras of the Clan War, war is near-
and place of the duel (a custom known as the “rights of constant and major clashes of arms become a regular
the challenged”). When passions are high, the duel may part of every samurai’s life.
be accepted and fought immediately, but more
typically the challenged party will choose a symbolic ARMIES AND TACTICS
or beautiful location at some noteworthy time, such as Nipponese armies are primarily infantry forces. The
dawn. In theory, a duel can be held weeks or months native Nipponese pony is not hardy enough to support
after acceptance – sometimes as much as a year, though full-scale cavalry warfare, although it can be used
never more than that – but delaying a duel in this effectively for scouts or mounted infantry.
manner is often considered a sign of lack of self- Thus, the only samurai who employ true cavalry tactics
confidence or even cowardice. in Nippon are the Taneka, who imported full-size
horses from Cathay. Other Nipponese armies
BLOOD FEUDS developed some degree of anti-cavalry training and
Nippon is a society governed by honour, and samurai tactics, but their lack of full-size horses prevented them
are expected to uphold that honour with steel. If a from deploying any large-scale cavalry force of their
samurai is killed in an unauthorized duel, or through own.
the incompetence or negligence of another samurai, the
29
The standard Nipponese military unit is the legion once contact is made with the enemy, any formation
(daibutai), which comprises between 700 and 1,000 will quickly break down into a sprawl of hundreds of
troops, commanded by an officer called a taisa small melees. Thus, battlefield tactics tend to focus
(captain). Legions are divided into companies (kaisha) more on pre-contact manoeuvring, bringing more
which number roughly 150-200 men, commanded by troops to bear on the decisive point through effective
chui (lieutenants). Officially, legions are organized into scouting and skilful march and deployment, and
larger forces referred to as armies, traditionally wearing down the enemy with archery and magical
numbering 48 legions each, and commanded by a attack prior to engagement, as well as on successfully
rikugunshokan (general) assisted by several senior withdrawing and rallying units after combat.
officers known as shireikan (commanders). Every clan
maintains at least one army, and the more militaristic SIEGES
clans can field three or four armies simultaneously. In The Nipponese prefer to meet their opponents on the
practice, armies are more likely to be administrative open field, fighting glorious battles which earn the
and organizational in nature than to actually go into the participants fame and honour. However, when an army
field as a single unified force. Such large-scale is badly outmatched, or has already lost a battle,
deployments generally only take place during the commanders will usually recognize the greater value of
Empire’s rare periods of unrestricted warfare. preserving their strength by retreating inside a nearby
castle and enduring a siege.
When armies go into battle, regardless of their strength,
it is the smaller units – legions and companies – which For the most part, Nipponese siege warfare tends to
form the primary units of tactical manoeuvre. They favour the defender. Only the Batake, the undisputed
usually deploy in rectangular blocks, wider than they masters of this sort of warfare, possess siege weapons
are deep. However, the Nipponese generally do not in any significant quantity, and even their mighty
have concepts like phalanx fighting or maintaining a catapults and rams can be hard-put to reduce a large,
“shield wall.” It is expected that once two enemy units well-constructed castle. Usually, a siege will lead to a
collide on the battlefield, the soldiers on each side will protracted stand-off, with the besieging army
engage each other in personal combat. Consequently, attempting to starve out the defenders, while those
the Nipponese march and advance in a more dispersed inside the castle wait and hope for relief by an allied
and open formation than Old World armies, and army.

30
Actual assaults on well-garrisoned castles are apt to be Marienburgers are unhappy with their presence and
extremely bloody, since Nipponese fortresses are rumour has it that both sides are seeking to sabotage
designed to channel attackers into a succession of each other’s trade.
narrow passageways where they can be riddled with
arrows. When such an assault takes place, it is usually Marienburg
because the attackers are either desperate to take the The most important Old World trading partner is
castle, or have underestimated the strength of the Marienburg. It was Marienburg who introduced
defenders. firearms into Nippon some twenty years ago and one of
the merchant houses, the den Euwe, has an heir married
FOREIGN RELATIONS to a daimyo’s daughter Lady Katsi Okumoto. It is not
Basically-speaking Nippon is not a very open society presumptuous to say that Marienburg has a firm
and distrusts all foreigners, save those from Cathay foothold on Nippon. Although they are, like the
perhaps, and all Old Worlders are viewed as hairy Imperials, confined to sealed off quarters of Hyudo for
savages. When Shogun Yoritomo Ieyasu rose to power, most of the time, they also occupy a small island just
and re-united the warring states of Nippon, he imposed off the port city called Dejim. The tiny island is
certain restrictions on foreigners as well as restricting complete with its own set of quays so that ships can
his own people from leaving the island. Most anchor there and if anything the island is a piece of
foreigners are confined to sealed off areas in whichever Marienburg transported some seven thousand miles
city they are occupying and dealings with them is often across the globe. The Marienburgers were given the
conducted by lower class characters, such as island when they first came to Nippon to keep their
merchants. influences away from the populous as the Jinto priests
viewed them with distain because they were merchants.
The Empire But on Dejim the Marienburgers are free to do as they
There have been very few dealings with the Empire please although the Shogun isn’t without his eyes and
and few Imperial merchant ships have ever made the ears there, as a shrine to Jinto attended by several
long and arduous journey to the Far East. However, the priests testifies along with the fishermen who often
Empire is anxious to change this not least because of moor their boats on the island. The Marienburgers,
Marienburg’s enviable position with Nippon and the while they are happy to join them in their religious
Far East as a whole. They do not want to be barred ceremonies, do not trust them. Nippon itself has a little
from the riches of the Far East as they are from Lustria, community in the city of Marienburg. It was there quite
although this has more to do with Marienburg’s a few years before the present Shogun made it harder
alliance with Ulthuan than anything else. Emperor for people to leave his island. While he was opposed to
Karl-Franz therefore sent a diplomatic mission to it at first Yoritomo has grown used to the arrangement.
Nippon in order to cement some kind of an alliance or
treaty. Unfortunately progress has been painfully slow Ulthuan
as they try to get to grips with Nippon customs. The High Elves used to live in several of the cities of
fact that they are confined to sealed off foreign quarters Nippon pre-Incursions of Chaos, but when Tor Elithis
in the capital of Hyudo also possess problems as many was attacked by the forces of Chaos the vast majority
days can go by without any meetings with Nipponese of the Elves left to defend it. Small communities lived
officials and what is more is that the translators present on in some of the cities but over the subsequent years
at all of the meetings are Marienburgoise Clerics of they gradually left. Most chose to go back to Ulthuan
Haendryk. It is rumoured that they are economical with but those who did not decided to go to the Gates of
the truth when relaying back to the Nipponese what the Calith and reinforce the garrison there against sporadic
Imperials want and can give in return. However, the attacks from Chaos armies. To this day that is where
Imperials have been successful in converting a few they remain. The High Elves are welcome in Nippon
people to the cult of Sigmar both in and outside the although they are often feared.
city. Sigmar’s appeal to the new converts is one of
strength and unity and they view him as another kami The Phoenix King, although he would like to regain
or god. With dozens of Nipponese Sigmarites created Tor Elithis, is more concerned with keeping his island
maybe the Empire can make some gains? territories in the vast ocean between Cathay and the
southern tip of the Southlands which are: the Fortress
Estalia of Dawn, Tower of Stars, Tor Elasor and the Tower of
Estalia, especially the great seaport of Magritta, is in the Sun. In truth, King Finubar is not too bothered
competition with Marienburg when it comes to about Nippon and sees the Kingdoms of Ind and
securing trade with the Far East. This has even Cathay as more valuable. However, this has not
amounted to clashes in the Ind Ocean between Estalian prevented High Elf clippers from exploring the ocean
ships and those of Marienburg. As these incidences are east of Nippon, as in the past, though long ago, the
very embarrassing both sides have conveniently chosen Dark Elves of Naggaroth sailed a Black Ark from the
to brush them under the carpet. The Estalians haven’t western New World to the coast of Cathay. Fortunately
been as successful as the Marienburgers in their the Black Ark was destroyed therefore preventing a
dealings with Nippon but they occupy a bit of the probable Druchii invasion.
merchant quarters in the port of Tokaido. The

31
32
The GREAT CLANS
THE ASHIWARA CLAN
The Ashiwara have a long and proud history, claiming
descent from the first Cathayan Emperor Chung I-
Hsien, whose family travelled to Nippon long ago.
Ashiwara Kunichika, the daimyo, is certainly bold and
brave enough to have imperial blood in his veins: he
once jumped off a castle wall on a dare!
Regardless if whether or not their heritage is true, they
certainly know how to act like nobility. The Ashiwara
diplomats are among the most prominent at the
Imperial Court, and have won many of their battles in
the courtrooms rather than the battlefield.

They are a mostly peaceful clan, and have made few


open transgressions in the past, instead preferring to
solve conflicts through diplomacy rather than open
battle – their favourite method being of forging
alliances with other clans to fight their battles for them!
That said, the Ashiwara do not shy away from a fight
when faced with one. Opting for defence over offence,
they have perfected their skill with the bow over many
years, becoming the best in Nippon.

The Ashiwara generally have a good standing with the


other clans, if only due to their wise choice of words in
meeting with them. Some would perhaps consider them
cowardly due to their non-warlike manners and dislike
for close combat, though this is hardly the case. The
way the Ashiwara see it, mind wins over matter, and THE URUCHI CLAN
theirs is the strongest by far. The Uruchi clan was founded by Uruchi Tomomune
when he was given control of Okakama by the first
Shogun Mirumoto Nobunaga at the end of the 12th
Century. The clan steadily gained influence until
recently, when fighting broke out within the clan over
the issue of a marriage alliance with the Horumi.
Uruchi Harumune quarreled violently with his own
father, Tanemune, over plans to marry off his younger
brother: a large number of the Uruchi retainers and
warriors agreed with Harumune and the old man was
removed.

The Uruchi are known for their aggressive behaviour,


both towards other clans and members of their own.
They respect only strength and bravery in battle, and
look down upon the other clans whom they consider
weaker. The Uruchi have often been at the forefront of
many conflicts, and have probably been the catalyst for
more conflicts in Nippon than any other clan.
Other clans consider the Uruchi rather barbaric in their
ways and mostly stay away from them if possible.

Uruchi warriors have fierce and unforgiving natures.


Their foes learn this on the battlefield, shortly before
they die. They favour the no-dachi sword which they
swing with reckless abandon, barely being slowed
down despite the length of the blade. They are famous
for their Sumo Warriors, and have the largest Sumai
dojo in all of Nippon.
33
THE BATAKE CLAN
The Batake began their rise to power modestly enough
on the Kanto plain, taking advantage of civil war and
the troubles of others to establish themselves.
Takamura Shinkuro, a powerful official in the
shogunate, founded the clan, but it was his son who
adopted the name Batake.

The Batake control the coast north of Tokaguchi,


where they often battle against the Wako Pirates who
pursue their raids against the region. Their fortresses
are the steadiest in Nippon, and one of the reasons so
few has ever tried to invade their lands. Some say the
Batake castles protecting their borders the only reason
the Uruchi clan has not tried to invade anyone during
the past ten years.

The Batake are considered rather haughty and arrogant


by the other clans, for they consider themselves the
future of the Nippon whose technology will outlast the
traditions of old. They spend most of their time
researching new technology, developing their engines
of war and iron industry, and have access to far more
gunpowder than any other clan.

The Batake are the greatest builders in Nippon and


produce better siege weapons than any other clan. On
the battlefield, they use their war machines to rain
death on their foes from afar before engaging them in
combat to mop up the remaining forces. Though this
THE SHINZEI CLAN might seem dishonourable, the Batake have garnered
The Shinzei reside in Haikido in the north of Nippon, a great successes using this tactic, and are confident it
place where few men dare travel. Despite the large will one day win them the Shogunate of Nippon.
amount of daemons, Beastmen and undead dwelling
there, the Shinzei have kept their old realm for
themselves. Residing high up in the mountains, their
fortresses are virtually impenetrable to attack, and thus
they have been able to survive any serious attacks from
the island’s fell inhabitants.

Indeed, Haikido’s foul reputation is even beneficial to


the Shinzei, who have their secrets to keep. They
developed a school of martial arts, the ninjutsu, which
combined martial arts, assassination techniques and
unconventional warfare tactics. They used their
ninjutsu to keep their independence, and then to make
themselves wealthy as swords-for-hire to the other
clans, for there are no greater Ninja than those of the
Shinzei clan. The tradition of independence, however,
has remained strong among the Shinzei. Ninjutsu
remains a dark art, passed down through families and
jealously guarded from outsiders eyes. It is not
surprising, then, that their ninja also have more
expertise, both on and off the battlefield. The exception
to this has been their ancient trade agreement with the
Skaven, whom they taught the art of ninjutsu in return
for refined warpstone they could use to increase the
potency of their poisons.

The Shinzei are generally distrusted by the other clans,


both due to their residence and their reputation for
assassinating those who would seek to oppose them.

34
THE MUSHAGI CLAN
From his castle in Hydo, Mushagi Nobuhide
commands a clan with a formidable reputation. The
Mushagi are rightly respected for their skills as
inspiring battlefield commanders of Ashigaru.

Originally retainers of the Hita clan, the Mushagi grew


as the Hita faded, but this only led to decades of strife
within the family for supremacy. Eventually, a branch
of the family came to prominence and eventually
changed the clan name to Mushagi, a respectful
acknowledgement of their ancestor of the same name.

The Mushagi are looked favourably upon by the


common people, for their samurai almost treat the
lowborn as equals. Well, at least as equal as they could
be without lowering their standards in the Celestial
Order anyway!

The other clans can certainly respect the forces at the


Mushagi’s command, for theirs is the largest armies in
Nippon, though some also consider them “peasant-
lovers” behind their backs, thinking they let the simple
Ashigaru bask in the same glory as the samurai on the
field on battle. That said, the Mushagi Ashigaru are the
most well drilled in Nippon, who fight on against great THE DAIMATZU CLAN
odds out of devotion for their commanders. The Daimatzu are a proud clan, with a long history
worthy of their pride. To the Daimatzu, loyalty is
everything, and their generals are less likely to develop
ambitions of their own. Failure to adhere to the bushido
code is much more strongly looked down upon than by
any other clan, and for this reason, more Ronin can be
found originating from Daimatzu lands than anywhere
else.

The clan can trace its ancestry back to Mirumoto


Nobunaga, the founder and first shogun of Nippon. In
1187, Nobunaga appointed his son, Tadahisa, as
military governor of northern Koshu. The young man
took the name of Daimatzu in Sumata province, his
seat of government, as his own. Thanks to a well-
organised army and administration, abundant local
resources, and a certain distance between Nagashige
and the Imperial court, the Daimatzu clan became rich
and powerful.

The Daimatzu considers themselves the most


honourable of the clans, and they adhere to the strict
traditions of old more than anyone else. They have a
strong dislike for trade outside Nippon, and generally
shun the use of gunpowder and missile weapons,
instead favouring the use of the katana above any other
weapon. Their samurai are among the most skilled in
Nippon, and they are great duellers and wielders of the
blade. The best swords in Nippon are made by
Daimatzu sword smiths, for which the clan are famous
for and earn much of their income from.

Other clans usually respect the Daimatzu for their


dedication to the way of the sword, though their
behaviour border on being arrogant towards those who
think Nippon needs to advance technologically to
survive in the future.
35
THE HORUMI CLAN
The Horumi are proud of their faith. Despite this
religious solidarity, the history of the Horumi is not
tranquil. The current Horumi leaders were originally
the Nagado clan, and were vassals to the Horumi clan,
who fought against themselves in a bitter dispute.
Weakened by a war with the Mushagi, the Horumi
were forced to seek help from the Nagado lord,
Kagetora. His help included adopting the name of
Horumi, and taking control of the whole Horumi clan!
He was an adherent follower the war god, and took
religious vows that his descendants have followed ever
since.

The Horumi are known for their piety and religious


devotion, and have far more Warrior Monks in their
armies than any other clan. Hardly surprising though,
since their lands are high up in the Kanto Sanchi
Mountains, home to many monasteries and wandering
Yamabushi. Their faith is reflected in their magic as
well, for their Shugenja are the most adept wielders of
the five elemental magics in Nippon.

While the other clans have no official qualms about the


Horumi, many see them as zealots who are best
avoided if possible, while others admire their strong
dedication to their religion. To the Horumi, all others
are basically heathens, who should all bow down to the
might of the Kami and their heavenly guidance.

THE TANEKA CLAN


Taneka warlords have ruled their home province, since
the 12th Century, but they have known little peace.
Clan infighting, a long series of struggles against
repeated invasions and wars against the Batake and
Mushagi clans, saw to that. They have, however,
mastered diplomacy as well as horses, and have
achieved peace on occasions.

The Taneka Clans reside on the many fertile plains of


the region, where their many horses can wander freely
and graze to their hearts content. The Taneka take great
pride in their horses, which is their most valuable
possession. Originally imported from the steppe
nomads of Cathay long ago, the Taneka horses are the
finest steeds in Nippon, able to outpace any others
when pressed.

It is hardly surprising then, that the Taneka have built


most of their armies around cavalry, of which they are
widely famous for. No other clan can match them in
speed and ferocity, and the Taneka’s ambitious nature
has resulted in many attempted expansions into other
clan territories.

The other clans respect the Taneka’s strength and


courage, but do consider them rather too impetuous for
their own good. Still, the Taneka possesses a fair
number of skilled diplomats which has helped in
quelling open conflict on more than one occasion, for
the benefit of all.

36
37
THE LAND OF NIPPON
Nippon is a land of diverse geography, ranging from Nippon is rich in natural resources. There are many
open plains and fertile farmlands to rugged mountains rivers and streams, with plentiful
plen supplies of fish, large
and tropical islands. For the most part, the climate is forested areas - much of Nippon is heavily forested,
temperate, with a long and fairly warm summer but a providing ample wood for construction and burning -
surprisingly bitter winter – all of continental
contine Nippon and mountainous regions rich in precious minerals. The
experiences significant
cant snowfall during the winter land can be roughly divided into three geographical
months, and travel slows to a crawl
awl during that time. regions: forests,
ts, mountains and hills.
The forests of Nippon contain a wide variety of trees
GEOGRAPHY because of varying zones of temperature. Western and
Nippon consists of two islands situated 300 miles, at southern Koshu (the main island of Nippon) is home of
the closest point, off the east coast of Cathay. A broad-leaved
leaved evergreen forests; characteristic trees are
backbone of mountains lies in the centre of the main shii and kashi,, both a type of oak. Northern Koshu and
island, Koshu, where some active volcanoes still southern Haikido are home to beech trees because of
remain to belch poisonous gases and burning lava. the relatively cool temperature. Central and northern
Within the natural boundaries created by river, hill, and Haikido are home to pine trees because of the much
mountain, are many semi-autonomous
autonomous provinces and colder climate. Not surprisingly the people stay clear of
castles ruled by powerful warlords called daimyo. the forests preferring instead to stick to their
Pride of place in Nippon is the province of the shogun, settlements for protection against bandits and
the military
ary dictator of all Nippon. His province is the rampaging beastmen; the latter are more common in
most productive and the largest fief in the kingdom. On the cooler regions of northern Koshu and Haikido,
its borders lies the provinces of the martial governors where they are many.
who are tied to the shogun through blood and/or oath
and these are known as the Exalted-daimyo.
daimyo. Further The mountains predominate the central spine of the
still from the provinces of the Exalted-daimyo
daimyo come main island of Koshu and the centre of the island of
the provinces of the outer-daimyo;
daimyo; warlords the shogun Haikido. They are largely uninhabited by Humans,
would rather have as far away from him as possible, or however there are many isolated communities of
those who are of little use to him. This is established Yamabushi and temples and shrines to the Nippon
through a census of each lord'ss wealth; the wealthier pantheon. There are also many empty
emp temples and
daimyo near to the shogun and the less wealthy, or auxiliary castles that have, as yet, not been reclaimed
those with small armies, as far away as possible from due to the inevitable impracticalities of traversing
him. through the treacherous mountains. However, many
daimyo, due probably to their own failed attempts,
have dismissed the notion of trying
try to reclaim any lost
HAIKIDO temples and castles. Aside from the unnatural dangers
Haikido is a large island to the north of Koshu. It of beastmen and bandits there is also the danger of
is a place shunned by many of the inhabitants of occasional volcanic eruptions and the odd earthquake.
Nippon. The island is situated just to the north of These natural occurrences also unwittingly serve to
Honshu and seems to be a focal point for Dark protect some of the most unwholesome creatures who
Magic. Mutants roam the forests and hills and lurk in the mountains.
ghouls hauntt the cemeteries. Undead creatures
have also been seen in places. It is not unknown Mount Fuji is the most sacred of mountains in Nippon,
for the despicable beings from Haikido to raid it rises to over 14,000 feet and is surrounded by the
the other parts of Nippon. Not surprisingly there nature god's sanctuaries. Many make pilgrimages to see
is no law here, it was destroyed in the Incursions Mount Fuji and to climb her, though womenwo are not
of Chaos of 2300 IC. allowed to do the latter. It lies in the stretch of
mountains known as Kanto-SanchiSanchi that travel 400
miles down the centre of the island. Some peasants
Haikido
ikido is a place where even criminals on the
claim
im to have seen the ancient Kirin
Kir galloping across
run dare not venture to, although the most the heavens of Mount Fuji. Isolated temples to the gods
determined will try their luck here. Some of lie in these mountains. The mountains aren't without
these criminals will become Champions of Chaos their dangers, Chaos creatures, there since the
and lead bands of Beastmen against the small Incursions of Chaos, sometimes enter the lowlands and
coastal settlements of Honshu. The terrible Black attack villages and even the mountain temples - should
Samurai are seated in the decaying castles of the it be a particularly large monster.
once proud island, waiting for the time when they
shall conquer Nippon and create a kingdom of The hills are physically less dangerous to traverse than
darkness. the mountains but can still be, nevertheless, awkward
due to bandits and beastmen. Dangerous regions of

38
hills are known as 'Hill Country' to most, which is a porpoise. Horseshoe crabs, the giant spider crab, and
broad ring of hills surrounding the main mountain the frilled shark can also be found in Nipponese waters.
spine of Kanto-Sanchi in the centre of Koshu. The hills The waters off the coast of more northerly areas are
of Haikido are similarly known. home to sea lions, fur seals and beaked whales. Even
walrus are known to visit the cooler island of Haikido
FLORA AND FAUNA from time to time.
As mentioned briefly above, Nippon has a wide range
of temperatures and significant rainfall, which make for On land, western Koshu is inhabited by the crested
a rich abundance of flora whose foliage changes colour serpent eagle, flying fox and the variable lizard.
from season to season. The highlands of Koshu and the Wandering the rest of the lands of Nippon are raccoon
island of Haikido are characterised by alpine plants dogs, foxes, copper pheasants, giant salamander (one
such as komakusa and subalpine plants of Sakhalan fir of the largest amphibians), wild boar, deer, bears, hazel
and Yesso spruce. Pine (Matsu) and cedar (Sugi) are grouse, the common lizard, and the macaque (a race of
common throughout Nippon - even in warm southern small monkey).
regions. The pine trees make for splendid scenery and
the large pines, of which can grow to 40 metres in Rivers, especially those of warmer climbs, are
height, sometimes serves as windbreaks in coastal inhabited by sea snakes and freshwater sharks. While
areas. Small pines are used as bonsai, garden trees and these creatures are not wholly dangerous to people they
materials for houses and furniture. Pines are also have been known to attack when disturbed or
considered to be holy trees. Most Nipponese are awed provoked. Some sea snake, for example, possess a
by nature and see in plants and trees symbols of divine poisonous bite and the freshwater shark is able to tear
spirits. At times, for example, it is common to worship flesh with its razor sharp teeth. Some rural people catch
evergreen trees such as pine, cedar and cypress because these creatures and eat them.
they are thought to provide habitation to heaven-sent
deities.
The Kanto-Sanchi Mountains and hills dominate the
Other flora include the sakura or cherry tree, plum tree, main area of the island of Koshu. Its southern peaks
and bamboo. The plum tree carries beautiful blossoms overlook the wealthy provinces of the Shogun and the
in the spring. Bamboo grows very fast and is also an Exalted-daimyo. The most mountainous areas lies in
evergreen. Bamboo wood is used for various the centre and further away the mountains merge into
handicrafts and constructions and young bamboo plants Hill Country. Close to the origin of several rivers, and
(takenoko) are also eaten. Trees are commonly used for the sites of dormant volcanoes, there are areas of
naming three items like, for example, three different boiling water and calcified tubes, which intermittently
dishes of sushi: pine for the deluxe version, bamboo for spew forth jets of the bubbling liquid. Sometimes these
the medium dish, and plum tree for the small portion. plumes are as little as one to three yards high but can
The fauna is richly diverse because of the widely be as much as twenty yards. On occasion, an iridescent
differing climatic conditions from north to south. The rainbow will rise out of the spume making for a
tropical sea off the western coast is home to coral fish, splendid sight. Geysers such as this are rare and can
turtles, sea snakes, dugong and the black finless only be found in a few places in the whole of Nippon.

39
The region of hills surrounding the Kanto-Sanchi
Mountains is commonly known as Hill Country. While
some parts of it are picturesque and peaceful,
combining luscious forests with volcanic ash, there are
as many parts that are deadly to any unprepared
travellers and perilous even to larger groups. Beastmen
and bandits are known to lurk in this region and safe
passage through can only be guaranteed in very large
numbers.

RIVERS
There are many rivers and streams throughout Nippon.
Major waterways are maintained and guarded by gate-
keepers and garrisons of soldiers. This means that such
rivers can be easily fished by local farmers who may
go about their business without fear of attacks from
bandits, although they too often find their cargoes
confiscated by ruthless gate-wardens to supplement
their own greediness.
The Yodo serves as the southern boundary for
The Ekawasaki is one of the longest rivers in Nippon. Munoguchi province. It is one of the largest rivers in
It runs through Kyoto, and passes across the northern Nippon and flows some way through Hill Country
boundary of Akita, after which it finishes its journey before it abruptly ceases at the Ikawa spring. Close to
when it meets lake Kiri-Ko high in the Kanto-Sanchi this spring is the Nakano Geyser.
Mountains. The major river crossing is guarded by an
auxiliary fort and a small garrison of troops, ever The Onachi river flows through the Okakama forest
vigilant for any signs of trouble that could and separates the provinces of Wakakawa and
endanger the bridge. Anyone is allowed to cross the Yamakama at the western most region of Nippon. The
bridge as long as they can pay the toll. river is known for an abundance of fish but also for
freshwater shark and the odd sea snake.
The Moruto flows along the northern boundaries of
Yoshida province. Its spring lies deep within the FORESTS
Kanto-Sanchi Mountains where its flow joins the River Much of Nippon is covered in forest with trees ranging
Sakuma as it forks westwards into the bay of from broad-leaved evergreen to beech and pine.
Kumayama-Wan. People, usually peasants, tend to steer clear of the
forests, not because they can be dangerous, but because
The Hita forms the northern boundary of Izumo they believe that the animals that live there have
province and the southern one of Munoguchi supernatural powers, such as the raccoon-dog and the
province. It provides, like so many of the waterways of red fox especially. This is why only the buke tend to
Nippon, vital irrigation for the many rice paddies along hunt and the peasants stick to catching fish and
the river's route. growing rice.

The Komato runs down from the north out of The Okakama Forest occupies the northern region of
Munoguchi-Wan, almost symmetrical to the Yodo. Wakakawa province and practically fills up the entirety
of Yamakama province to the east. The River Onachi
flows through it on its western side and continues its
journey until it reaches the Hida-Sanchi Mountains.
The Okakama is dominated by evergreen trees and is
inhabited by the Nipponese macaque and copper
pheasant as well as the giant salamander and dragonfly.
The Yamanashi Forest smothers much of Yamanashi
province with a mixture of evergreen and deciduous
trees. Where the forest meets the southern slopes of
Kanto-Sanchi, pine trees grow.

The Kumayama Forest is one of the largest forests in


Nippon. It is a mixture of evergreen and deciduous; the
latter dominates the mountain and hill regions of the
northern half of the forest. One of Nippon's major
highways passes through this forest and just because it
lies within the Shogun's province it does not mean it is
safe. Because of the fact that many nobles use it to
travel to and fro from the capital to Izumo, many
40
bandits lurk in the trees ready to pounce upon any whose tall pagoda topped towers can be seen for miles.
travellers they deem as 'rich pickings'. Only daimyo, The battlements are patrolled day and night by the
with the escort of a small army, which they do, can Emperor's loyal troops. At regular intervals, the
pass through this forest safely. There is only so much battlements are fixed with bolt throwers and the odd
that the gate-wardens can achieve on the Moon cannon. The many keeps in Osaka are home to the
Highway. Great Guard, the most elite samurai in the entire realm.
These soldiers accompany the Emperor to places all
The Forest of Haikido is perhaps the most dangerous in over Nippon.
all of the lands of Nippon. The forest is a mixture of
pine and cedar variety and in its depths lurk foul Underneath the castle are the labyrinths that contain
beastmen and mutants and some of the most vicious many terrible and deadly traps along with equally
warbands of cut-throats, who are almost certainly in dangerous monsters and confusing illusions. This is the
league with the Gods of Chaos. There also remain final training ground for the Emperor's ninja assassins
isolated communities of the Ainu who, with their who train in secret dojos throughout Kamato. Only the
unsurpassed knowledge of the forest and its secret greatest of the ninja come out of the labyrinths all in
ways, can survive adequately enough against these one piece, only then is he given the honour of a
unnatural threats. They do not greet trespassers, mission. Surrounding the great castle is a bustling
whether fair or foul, with much warmth. Aside from population of 15 000 souls, the largest single
the unnatural threats comes the natural ones of the population in Nippon.
great Haikido brown bear which can grow to a height
of fifteen feet and is easily angered if it is provoked. Kyoto
To the east of the Kanto-Yoshida Mountains lies the
CITIES & TOWNS region of Edo. The entire western half of the region is
The towns and cities are sited close to the Shogun's nothing but volcanic ash. Centuries ago Edo was the
own province. The further one goes away from the seat of the Emperor, but now the Shogun resides here
capital the more scattered the towns are, as wealth in the castle of Kyoto. Kyoto is the second largest
concentrates in and around the Shogun's province and castle in Nippon and is almost as impressive as Osaka,
the provinces of the Exalted Families. Riots and dissent after all it was the residence of the Emperor in
are not wholly uncommon in town and city streets, centuries gone by.
though they are ruthlessly repressed.
In the cities, and large towns, the civilian population Castle Kyoto lies atop a series of steep hills built in the
has developed several professional classes which traditional Nipponese way whereby if one part of the
consist primarily of a number of ruling landlords, castle is lost it can be closed off relatively easily
wealthy wholesalers, and moneylenders, who lord over thereby keeping the invaders away from the rest of the
the various guilds and corporations of merchants, castle. Even then, surrounding this area is a series of
craftsmen, tenant-farmers, and servants in near-slavery. moats and trenches stretching some nine miles in
At the bottom of this social stratification are the length. The inner most moat is one and a half miles
entertainers, porters, foreigners, the destitute, and, long, and their scarps are built up with colossal blocks
below even these groups and outside society, the of granite. Even the gardens within these walls, with all
unmentionable outcasts. their sophisticated elegance, cannot conceal the
military nature of the roads and paths leading to the
Osaka central buildings. They constitute a labyrinth whose
The Kamato region is the spiritual birthplace of very pattern is a closely guarded secret, and they pass
Nippon, where the first Emperor ruled thousands of beneath bridges and are, in many places, lined with
years ago. The very first settlers of Koshu came to this bastions in such a way as to expose any unwanted
region and it is believed that Osaka was one of the first
true settlements.
Osaka is a prosperous city and has, arguably, the finest
centres of education in the whole of Nippon. The
fortified mansions of the great lords lie perched upon
steep hills where, it is said, that the occupants keep an
eye on the citizens, for the Shogun's bakufu or
government have residences here. The Imperial Palace
of Osaka itself lies in a flat basin. Surrounding it are
hills where garrisons of the Shogun's troops are
stationed. The Emperor's palace is garrisoned mostly
by the Shogun's troops but some of the Emperor's own
household also help to guard its halls and picturesque
garden paths.

Osaka castle is home to the Emperor and is the capital


of Nippon. It is the largest of the castles of Nippon

41
guests, regardless of their number, to a concentrated Tokaido
attack with bows and arrows, crossbows, or firearms. This is another port-city similar to the country's capital
The Shogun's castle is more like a veritable city itself of Kyoto some four-hundred or so miles to the east,
with mansions, to accommodate the daimyo, plus where one of the Three Roads ends. It lies in Yoshida
residences for the hatamoto and the gokenin, covering province at the top of the gulf of Tokaido-Wan. From
its 180 acres. the castle of Tokaido, rules the Daimyo Taneka
Shengin, a distant cousin of Shogun Yoritomo Ieyasu.
Hyodo
Hyodo is the hold of the Mushagi Clan, and one of the Travellers to Tokaido almost always enter through the
greatest cities in Nippon. From here rules Daimyo east gate (known more commonly as the Shark Portal)
Mushagi Nobuhide, who can often be seen standing although many, mainly fishermen - Tokaido has a
watch personally at his castle walls, overlooking the thriving fishing community - will enter through
busy nature of the city. Tokaido-Wan. Fishermen from Tokaido often fish in
Less than six centuries ago Hyodo was nothing but a the warmer waters of Ishiguchi-Nada and bring back
port-city but ever since the rise of the shogun, and plentiful stocks of shark. Nothing is wasted as the fins
being wealthier than all other cities in Nippon through and teeth are used as well as sharkskin, which is used
maritime trade, it has grown in power and eminence. for some items of footwear and armour. The island off
Now, through a series of long and bloody civil wars, the coast of Yoshida, Mikura-Jima, is a place of
From Hyodo the famous Three Roads branch out for thriving fishing villages. However, it is not an
hundreds of miles until they greet the city of Tokaido, independent province and is part of Yoshida itself.
to the west, Kumano, to the north (continuing to
Osaka), and lastly Kyoto, to the east. The road to the The best horses in the empire come from the region’s
west travels through the Celestial Portal, the road to ranches, with a large part of them being sold to the
Kumano travels through the Wagtail Portal, and the Shogunate armies. In part because of the city’s
road to Izumo travels through the Moon Portal. association with the nation’s military, canny farmers
along the Moruto River have turned much of their rice
The chief trading port in Nippon, it boasts a mile long crop over to the production of sake.
wharf from which a multitude of junks sail every day
to other Nipponese ports and beyond. The port of Kumano
Hyodo-Wan is a hive of activity, especially when a Closest to the Nippon capital is the city of Kumano. It
Black Ship comes (any merchant ship not of Nipponese lies in a horseshoe of hills and has an impressive
or Cathayan origin), when there are boats to be landscape of mountains at its north-easterly point.
unloaded of their cargo and then taken to the city.

42
Furthermore it lies close to a plain of volcano ash and Izumo
the north Road passes directly through it. Many are the Lying along the River Hita is the city of Izumo, the
times one can see the sulphurous gases rising from the realm of the Daimyo Ashiwara Kunichika. The city
ash dunes. Kumano rose from a prospecting camp back thrives on trade from the other major ports of Nippon,
in the midst of time. It has suffered many natural including Hyudo itself and even faraway Okakama.
mishaps in the past, earthquakes and volcanic The extensive mudflats here form several small islands.
eruptions, and has been rebuilt many times. So far, for The farmers have exploited these in the form of dozens
a century and a half, the nearby volcano of Shirani-San of rice paddies. Where the earth is firmer is the castle
has remained dormant, only reminding the inhabitants of Izumo itself, just a little way up the river and away
of Akita province of its power by minor eruptions from the extensive rice paddies of the Ekawasaki delta.
every decade or so. The river passes through the town's wards and onwards
to lake Kiri-Ko. It is possible for ocean-going vesselsto
The ruler of Kumano and Akita province, of which the traverse the waters of the delta, through Izumo, and
city lies in, is the Daimyo Horumi Kenshin. Some then a little further up the River Ekawasaki. However,
years ago Nobunaga was but a mere warlord of a castle rarely do they travel more than fifty or so miles away
in some desolate region of the province until he saved from Izumo. Typically, goods are bought and sold at
the Shogun's life in an assassination attempt. For his the city and the ships depart just as swiftly as they
act of valour, courage and, above all, loyalty to the arrived. Then there is the danger of fog. In the winter
shogunate, Nobunaga was made an Daimyo and given and spring, at times, thick fog gathers enveloping the
Castle Kumano as a reward. This did not prove to be a entire delta in pea soup making it next to impossible
problem for the then present Daimyo as he died seven for anyone, who doesn't know the area well, to leave.
days before the assassination attempt on the Shogun Sometimes this fog moves until it threatens even the
from a wasting disease contracted while on a hunt in little island of Taran-Jima in the Izumo-Wan. Even
Hill Country. Kenshin accepted the reward and made without the fog, wrecks on this island are not
the former servants of the late Daimyo lords in their uncommon, especially when there are dangerous reefs
own right. to avoid on the approach to the Izumo-Wan.
Kumano is a walled city and the old castle of Kumano The granary of Nippon, Izumo’s countryside hosts the
itself can be seen rising from its centre. Travellers can most productive rice paddies in the empire. The city
only enter from the southern gate (the Phoenix Portal) itself has seen the coming and going of thousands of
and the northern gate (Dragon Portal) from Kyoto. Tian immigrants, recruited to work as farmhands in the
rich estates of the local feudal lords.
43
Tokaguchi from the coast and can only be reached by walking
Tokaguchi is the seat of the Batake Clan, led by the along the River Path, which is basically a pavement of
enigmatic Batake Ujimasa. A large fortress city, built stone slabs meandering this way and that until it
on a favorable landing on an otherwise treacherous reaches the gates of Castle Okakama itself. The River
coast, the concentric terraces of Tokaguchi climb the Path runs through a humid forest of evergreen trees
hills that overlook the narrow shoreline. which is inhabited by a large population of macaques.
The lowest terraces lean on the ruins of a stone fortress They are no threat to people but they have been known
built millennia ago, whose ancient stone walls— to steal food from unwary travellers.
adorned with reliefs of ancient warriors—are almost The warm waters of Okakama-Wan are home to coral
completely hidden by modern structures. Tokaguchi is fish, turtles, sea snakes, dugong , black finless
famous for trading in silver and pearls. Silver is porpoise, horseshoe crabs, giant spider crab, and the
extracted in the nearby Kanto Sachi Mountains, where frilled shark. It is a common sight to see peasants in
several fortresses protect the mines from bandits and small boats catching many of these aquatic creatures in
evil humanoids. Pearls are fished along the entire their nets and taking them to market to trade. The town
northwestern coast, where an abundance of coral reefs of Okakama itself is basically a collection of villages
and natural lagoons favor the growth of oysters and along the coast of Okakama-Wan. However, the town
conches. is still separated into wards with gate-keepers stationed
Tokaguchi grew rich on the copper-mining activity in at appropriately placed intersections.
the hills south of town and the manufacture of bronze
objects, which are exported to Kasai together with the Nagashige
raw material needed for the empire’s coinage. With Sumata is a wealthy province on the northern end of
frightening unpredictability and varying organization, Koshu. Home to the Daimatzu clan, it has a long and
Wako Pirates attack ships as they leave Tokaguchi’s impressive swordsmithing tradition. Its remote location
port, dragging metal goods and sailors alike back to and good trading links make it a good place for foreign
their hidden ports. In response, the city’s harbor patrol trade.
has grown into a veritable navy, captained by daring Travellers usually come and go by ship to the well
samurai and their students, who train endlessly with a protected harbour or along the road from Osaka. They
variety of pole arms. are always checked by gate-wardens along the route
and any discrepancies, such as the absence of a sekisho
Okakama (pass), are usually dealt with harshly. Once inside the
Located in the subtropical west, Okakama is one of the city, the traveller is met by small patrols of doshin
major towns in the region and lies within Wakakawa (police) and segregated town wards. At night the wards
province of which it is its capital. The ruler is Daimyo are closed off by gates and anyone walking around
Uruchi Harumune. His castle lies three miles away

44
after dark is arrested and detained. During the day beastmen in Haikido than can be found in most of the
Nagashige is quite pleasant with farmers selling their dangerous parts of the main island of Koshu. Perhaps it
rice at the markets and artisans openly forging weapons is because of Haikido's cold climate that so many
in the streets. There is a strong otokodate presence in beastmen lurk in its pine forests, safe in the fact that
many of Nagashige's wards, which is why the people the sparse human population will not venture far from
here are seldom bothered too much by the doshin their settlements because of the inclement, cold
(police) although at night this changes quite starkly. weather?
Outside Kiroshima, the risk of being prey to the many
The prosperity of Nagashige is mirrored by its culture. foul creatures that inherit Haikido grows considerably
Besides rich shrines and temples, the town boasts a larger. For this reason, not many people understand
refined entertainment district that is famous for both its how the Shinzei can manage to survive like they have
teahouses and theatres, which are second only to those all these years, for few are the merchants who dare
in Kasai. The high standard of living of the town’s travelling there for trade. No wonder then, they are
middle class, coupled with the somewhat lenient known as the most secretive clan in Nippon.
attitude of its governor, has allowed the yakuza to
thrive in most of their traditional activities, especially CASTLES
gambling. The openness and appeal of these games The landscape of Nippon is dotted with castles and
have become something of an attraction for visitors, fortifications of every possible size and style, which the
lending the city’s single yakuza group a measure of provincial warlords have erected wherever it is feasible
legitimacy not found elsewhere in the country. to station garrisons of warriors. Every strategic site,
which affords a superior defence against armed attack
Kiroshima and an optimum position for controlling the
This is the major town of Haikido and lies within movements of people and goods, have been well
Toyakita province. It is ruled by Daimyo Shinzei fortified. Castles have been erected at the top of a small
Watanabe from Castle Kiroshima. The castle itself lies mountain, or on the hill between a mountain and a
upon a mountain of pine forests and steep ravines. At plain, as well as the plain itself. Military clans have
the foot of one of these lies the town of Kiroshima. constructed castles and established garrisons in major
Like so many towns in Haikido, it is protected by a towns, near important temples and shrines, at highway
perimeter ditch filled with water and sharp stakes. The intersections and markets, near ports and sea inlets,
reason being is that there are more mutants and etc., thus forming that typical balance between military

45
protection and exploitation on one side and commercial second section, and then the third section of
productivity on the other, which is the salient fortifications, containing respectively the main tower
characteristic of the medieval Nipponese castle-towns and residences of the warlords, the storerooms, and the
which actually sprung up around a feudal lord’s manor. living quarters of the garrison. All of these are
elongated structures integrated into massive walls, with
In structure, the Nipponese castle has evolved into a doors and passageways on the inner side and openings
sophisticated and practically impregnable fortress. It on the outer. The openings are of different sizes and
was generally designed as a series of concentric angles according to the weapons employed to repel an
compounds isolated from each other by ramparts, invader at that point. Rectangular openings for arrows,
moats, or walls and comprised such an intricate circular, triangular, or square for guns, and, for those
network of courts and passages that if one compound that have them, for cannons, among other chute-like
were lost to an invader, it could be recaptured from ducts, trapdoors which open wide to send huge stones
either side or totally cut off without substantially crashing down upon the heads of foes beneath.
weakening the defensive strengths of the other Towers rise from these compounds. They consist of
compounds. The approaches to its fortified perimeters structures containing three or more levels, heavily
are protected by excavations filled with water, by fortified, with the uppermost functioning primarily as
ditches, by swamps, or by a combination of all three. an observation post, or, in times of peace, as a spot for
Water-filled moats are considered to be the best form contemplating the moon or performing ritual suicide,
of protection. Earthen walls or stone walls rise depending on the circumstances. These towers are
massively from the first defensive line, offering only located at the most strategic point: on the outer
two major openings - the heavily fortified main gate compounds, towards the northern and the western sides
and the equally strong but smaller rear gate, both of the horizon; at the corners of the compounds; in the
usually constructed of large timbers, plated with copper centre, where they are given poetic names of "guardian
or iron, and densely studded with large nails. The of the sky", or, more prosaically, the "keep", because
passages within, linking one courtyard to another and this point represents the final defensive position against
each compound to the next, are usually designed in invading forces.
such fashion as to lead through cleverly arranged
double gates in which one gate is set at right angles to AUXILIARY CASTLES
the second, allowing room enough between them to Some of the mightiest clans maintain a vast network of
contain (and control from the sides and from above) supporting fortress, smaller outposts or auxiliary
only a certain number of people - which is usually castles. These are constructed to form a wide, defensive
considered to be a maximum of 240 warriors or 40 line that encircles and protects the boundary line of a
cavalrymen, and never more. provincial domain and its base castle. These auxiliary
castles can be found in the most unexpected of places
The castle compounds are generally composed of three and are generally identified by their primary purpose,
units: the main section in the centre, surrounded by the such as boundary surveillance, watch post,

46
communication, and attack. Encased in this vast their heirs are even allowed an education, which most
network of fortifications, lorded over by fiercely of the heimin are denied, and are permitted to carry
independent clans of warriors, the larger masses of swords. A typical village has a population of 10D10
commoners are, for all intents and purposes, effectively inhabitants and will also have a mix of artisans and
imprisoned. traders, though the latter will almost always be found
in towns or cities.
Auxiliary castles, being nothing but small military
outposts, are not immune to attack. Many times have HIGHWAYS
they been destroyed by goblinoid or Chaos warbands, The main land routes linking the cities of the Exalted
or rival clans who have then subsequently taken the Families with Hyudo are known as the 'Three Roads'.
outpost for themselves and absorbed it into their These are highways, together with some of the most
territory. The most vulnerable outposts are those important roads that lead to city-ports, which are under
constructed in the mountains where they sometimes particular surveillance and inspection. Strategically
come under attack from goblinoids and Chaos placed along these routes are minor outposts where
beastmen. special inspectors, with the protection of many
warriors, check every traveller. The traveller must be
VILLAGES able to produce his or her pass called a sekisho, which
Villages predominate Nippon as the majority of the is issued by their superiors in the clan. The sekisho is
heimin live outside towns and cities. They are basically a piece of paper that gives the character's
clansmen, in a way that most Nipponese are, with the position in society, i.e. a craftsman, merchant etc., and
exception of the outcasts and ronin. When there is war his or her physical description. If they match the
the provincial daimyo will muster his forces from his character in question then he or she can continue with
villages. their journey. If there are any discrepancies then the
Villages are very important to the ruling clans because character will be detained until the character can
they invariably grow rice and in Nippon he who explain himself satisfactorily to the local authorities.
controls rice will wield power; rice is still often used as The Shogun's province and the provinces of the Great
money. So a province with many, many rice fields Clans, use this method of strict surveillance to keep
within its boundaries is in an advantageous position movement in their territories regulated. The minor
because the whole of the Nippon economy rests upon daimyo may or may not employ these methods, as it is
the production and distribution of rice. impossible for even the Shogun to know, even with his
Heading a village will be a district elder or village complex network of spies, what they are doing within
elder, exactly as in the Old World. They are their territories.
comparative in rank to the lower ranks of the buke and
47
48
49
WARRIORS
OF
NIPPON
The warriors of Nippon are among the
finest in the world. They place honour
above everything else, and gladly sacrifice
their lives to keep it. They are an
unstoppable force on the battlefield, greatly
skilled in all things of war. They fear little,
and horrors that would make any lesser
man run in terror barely affect them. They
are thee reflection of the true warrior
incarnate, and those who seek to defy them
will perish at their blades.

In this section you section you will find


details for all the different troops, heroes,
monsters, and war machines used by a
Nippon army. It provides the background,
imagery, characteristics profiles, and rules
necessary to use all the elements of the
army, from Core Units to Special
Characters.

50
ARMY SPECIAL RULES
This section of the book describes all the different units SAMURAI EQUIPMENT
used in a Nippon army, along with any rules necessary
to use them in your games of Warhammer. Where a
model has a special rule that is explained in the KATANA
Warhammer rulebook, only the name of that rule is There is no weapon so revered as the katana. Three to
given. If a model has a special rule that is unique to it, four feet in length and slightly curved, the katana is a
that rule is detailed alongside its description. However, triumph of design, the midpoint between artistry and
there are a number of commonly recurring ‘army craftsmanship.
special rules’ that apply to several Nippon units, and Specially forged so that the blade is hard and the
these are detailed here. inside is soft, the katana combines a devastating
cutting edge with enough flexibility so as to not shatter
WAY OF THE WARRIOR when cutting into armour or bone.
The Warriors of Nippon have a strict code which they While the wakizashi may only be worn by those of the
live by. Anyone breaking this code is forever shamed samurai caste, only warriors carry the katana.
and cast out of society. As a result, the warriors of Families pass the swords down through generations;
Nippon fight with unmatched determinism and valour. carrying a famous katana is an honour and pledge. A
katana is not only a weapon of war; it is an expression
Models with this rule must always accept challenges of the soul of its bearer.
and re-roll all failed Psychology tests. In addition, they
ignore Panic caused by friendly units without this rule. The Katana counts as a hand weapon. The wielder may
choose to use it as a two handed weapon which
KENJUTSU requires two hands. If he chooses to do so, he may re-
roll 1's To Hit in close combat.
Kenjutsu is the art of sword fighting practiced by the
Samurai of Nippon. This allows each warrior to
quickly follow up a successful attack with another,
SASHIMONOS
overpowering their foes in a flurry of fast swings. Sashimono are small banners worn by Nipponese
soldiers for identification during battles. The
Each unsaved wound caused by a model with this sashimono are usually fitted to the backs of Ashigaru,
special rule generates an additional attack in Close samurai, and in special holders on the horses of some
Combat. These additional Attacks do not generate extra cavalry soldiers.
Attacks.
A unit equipped with Sashimonos counts as having one
DEATH BEFORE DISHONOUR more rank than normal for purposes of Steadfast and
Combat Resolution, up to a maximum of 4+.
When a Samurai is defeated in battle, thus
dishonouring himself, he may choose to perform
seppuku on the battlefield to cleanse himself of his
HORO CLOAKS
shame, or to avoid being captured as a prisoner. Horo Cloaks are stiffened cloaks fashioned of finely
woven silk and wrapped around the body. Their
When a unit with this special rule breaks from combat, primary purpose is to improve the visibility of the
the unit may choose to perform seppuku instead of wearer on the battlefield, but they also serve as arrow-
fleeing. If this is done, remove the entire unit catchers.
immediately. The enemy may not make a pursuit or
overrun move, but may reform as normal. Any shooting attack directed at a model equipped with
Units that perform seppuku do not cause Panic to units a Horo Cloak is resolved at -1 Strength. Horo Cloaks
with the Way of the Warrior special rule. have no effect against black powder weapons or
Flaming Attacks.

51
COMMANDERS
The Daimyo are the feudal lords of Nippon, outranked
only by the Shogun and the Imperial family. Daimyo
have almost total autonomy in the day-to to-day running
of their territory, and it is therefore unsurprising that
civil strife is common as Daimyo fight over resources
and pursue personal vendettas. Though bound by the
Way of the Warrior like all Samurai, Daimyo tend to
be more pragmatic tic about its application as they involve
themselves in the politics of the Empire.

Although the Emperor owns all land within the borders


of the Empire, he has granted members of the samurai
class the honour of protecting and overseeing his
affairs, actingg as his stewards over the vast majority of
land in the Empire. Samurai that have oversight of a
particular area are granted the title "Daimyo" and given
permission to swear other samurai into their service.
Rather than serving the Emperor directly, a Daimyo
Daim of
this sort is usually appointed by and subordinate to the
reigning Daimyo of the family or clan that controls the
province within which his land falls.

The primary responsibilities of a Daimyo of this sort


are protecting his assigned territory and ensuring that
the proper taxes are collected for the Emperor. In order
to fulfil these responsibilities he is allowed to take a
portion of the rice and other goods produced in his
province in order to equip and maintain samurai sworn M WS BS S T W I A Ld
to his service. Daimyo 4 6 5 4 4 3 6 4 9
Taisho 4 5 5 4 4 2 5 3 8
Each family recognized by the Emperor has a
designated leader who is Daimyo of that family. TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character).
Family Daimyo are the highest authority within their
own family, although they are subordinate to the
Daimyo of their clan.
SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
Family Daimyo are also the honorary heads of their Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour.
family's schools. The actual duties of running the
schools are often delegated to someone more inclined
The Ten Orders
to teaching, or in the case of families with multiple
schools, someone who is more familiar with the • A leader always carries a text with him. The mind must
lessons. Nevertheless, for any matter that would
wo be exercised as well as the body.
require the attention of the head of the school, the • When a lord called his samurai, he ran, fall at his feet
family Daimyo's approval would be required, whether and spoke his name loudly and proudly.
or not he has an active hand in the school's day to day • Keep one's sword close and ready and clean.
affairs. • Keep servants only if necessary.
• Lady Sun and Lord Moon made a samurai with a left
The leader of a clan, whether a Great or Minor clan, is hand and a right hand. In the left hand went the text and
also given the title Daimyo,
yo, although they are more in the right hand went the sword.
often referred to as the Champion of the clan. The clan • When a samurai came before a superior, he dropped
Daimyo are generally also the Daimyo of their family hands at his sides, and bowed lower than they, showing
within the clan. The clan Daimyo are the most trust.
powerful in the Empire, second only to the Emperor • Men followed the example of those they admired.
and Shogun, in both political
itical and military might. • A samurai went to bed early, then, at midnight he would
be fresh, rested and ready for any foe who creeped in
Taisho is a military rank similar to a captain. A Taisho late hours.
will have many Chui and their units serving beneath • Be clean, because a dirty man must itch and scratch, and
him, and reports directly to the Daimyo, who command an itching and scratching man was slow.
the force in which the Taisho serves.
• Be ready to die.

52
SHUGENJA
The samurai caste holds the keys to the magic realm,
proof that the greatest blessings of the Sun and Moon
are reserved for the nobility. Occasionally, peasants
have a strong affinity for the Kami and in all but the
rarest cases this is the same inner path that the monks
follow. The peasant then goes on to study among the
peaceful Brotherhood of Shinsel. Peasants who show
true magical affinity are quickly granted samurai status
and trained as Shugenja.

As a force, magic represents a tool and a blessing as a


genuine gift from the Heavens. With the power of
magic, a Shugenja can purify foul water, tell truth from
fiction, hurl fire into their enemies,
emies, and convene with
the wisdom of the Celestial Heavens. This immense
power commands respect both for the Shugenja
Shugen who
wields it, and for the Kami who provide such strength.

Shugenja do more than simply cast spells. They are the


priests of the Kami,, their very power a testament to the
wisdom and truth of their beliefs. Shugenja record and
keep the names of the Fortunes,
unes, act as intermediaries
between the world of mortals and spirits, and carry the
wisdom set down by the Celestial Heavens. Though
not the official keepers of the Tao of Shinsei, a duty
held by the Brotherhood of Shinsei monks, almost all
Shugenja are familiar
miliar with the text, and view it as a
Most armies keep at least one Shugenja on hand, both valuable guide to life.
as a potent weapon against the enemy and to call upon
the blessings of the Fortunes for the battles ahead. Shugenja bless villages many times during a year, to
Once the battle is done, they give thanks to the Kami help bring about a greater harvest, healthier livestock,
and purify the taint of blood and dead flesh that and protect the village against threats both mortal and
inevitably stains a victorious army. supernatural. They also commune
ommune with spirits of the
Shugenja stand out as the one exception to the dead, creating a link between the living and the revered
samurai's usual aversion to surrender. As servants of ancestors of the family. Such a duty falls to them as
the Kami, they are always treated with respect and both a great honour and a staggering burden. as many
offered the option of being taken prisoner when souls of the dead are troubled with unfinished business,
possible. Most Shugenja realize how rare and precious and will seek a Shugenja's aid in fulfilling It in return
their gift is, and how wrong it would be to deny the for their wisdom.
clan their gifts, and accept the offer even if the idea of Shugenja tend be peaceful men. While most clans have
being held hostage is otherwisee intolerable. their Shugenja trained for war and capable of casting
impressive battle magic, the path of the Fortunes and
Magic in Nippon, is not simply a Shugenja bending the Kami impresses a Shugenja withw a strong reverence for
elements to her will, magic underlies all activities: the life in all its forms. Shugenja believe life is a gift, and
bird taking flight, and the Sun rising each morning. should never be squandered for any reason.
Man too comes from the confluence this magic
projected in the blood and tearsrs of the first Moon and
Sun mixing together to create something new. Magic M WS BS S T W I A Ld
spirits dwell everywhere, simply waiting to be called High Shugenja 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 1 8
upon. Shugenja 4 3 3 3 3 2 3 1 7
In a more common definition, however, magic is the
art of Shugenja, and even the monk's kiho. While the TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character).
average Nipponesee understands that magic surrounds
them every day, it is still a holy practice, and
something to be looked upon with wonder. Shugenja,
MAGIC: A Shugenja is a Wizard that uses spells
the most common practitioners of magic, bring with from the Lore of Fire, Lore of the Heavens, Lore of
their vocation the blessings of the Kami upon the Life, Lore of Shadow or Lore of the Kami.
Empire.

53
HATAMOTO
Those Samurai that distinguish themselves on the
battlefield become part of a Clan’s inner circle in the
form of Hatamoto.
A Hatamoto,, or honoured retainer, is the official
representative of the family name. It is the chief aid
and advisor to a daimyo.
The position commands great respect and influence, as
the daimyo has chosen the individual for this task.
When a daimyo travels,, it is common for the Hatamoto
to be left in charge of the daimyo's estate. To be a
hatamoto means his lord regards his advice highly, and
the title is so that all will know he is one of his
favoured
avoured subjects. Sometimes the title brings with it a
certain amount of land, where the hatamoto is expected
to live and continue in the service of their lord.
Hatamoto are similar to military titles, in the way that
they bring great responsibility and glory.
ory.
In the absence of his lord he can speak with authority
on his behalf, and even to agree minor contracts and
negotiations for their family.

Many of the Hatamoto spend their time perfecting their


fighting skills and cultivating a full range of meditative
meditati
and artistic disciplines, and many Hatamoto have
brought honour to their clan as poets or painters.
One of the first recorded Hatamoto in history was
Mirumoto, who became the Hatamoto of the Kami
Togashi. Around this time was also the founding of the
Shiba
hiba Yojimbo School, which was inspired by the
Kami Shiba kneeling before Isawa and pledging to
protect the Shugenja and his tribe.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
The main duty of the Hatamoto on the battlefield is to
Hatamoto 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8
protect important members or allies who were not
expected to always defend themselves. People such as
courtiers and Shugenja were most commonly not TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character).
trained in the sword, and as such would require
someone to protect them. In the case of duels of SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
honour, a Hatamoto can often be someone’s designated Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour.
champion, although this is not necessarily always the
case. Yojimbo: A Hatamoto may be assigned as a yojimbo,
meaning bodyguard, to one character in the army.
At other times, the Hatamoto is usually assigned the While in base contact with this character, all failed
carry his lord’s banner into battle as his personal “Look Out, Sir” hits are taken by the Hatamoto instead
champion. These glorious standards are rich in colour of the character, and all challenges issues by enemies
and highly detailed, made from the finest silk available. are taken up by the Hatamoto.
The Hatamoto takes this honour very seriously, and
would rather die than see it fall into enemy hands. If the character the Hatamoto is assigned to protect
dies, the Hatamoto willl immediately commit seppuku
Above else, the Hatamoto acts as the Daimyo’s as per the Death before Dishonour special rule.
bodyguard, both on the battlefield and in the castle. Each character that survives the game with a Hatamoto
The Hatamoto take his given task extremely serious, assigned to it as a Yojimbo gives the Nippon player an
for to them there is no greater shame than failure. additional 50 Victory points.
Failure to protect the one they have sworn means their
life is forfeit, and there is no other solution than to take A character may only have one Yojimbo assigned to it
one’s own life, for a life in shame is completely at any time, although a new Yojimbo may be assigned
unthinkable to them. upon the death of another Hatamoto.

54
SAMURAI WARRIORS
warriors. They are direct vassals of the Emperor, the
ruling class of the Empire. The kuge and buke classes
enforce the law of the Emperor, and hold domain over
the lesser classes.

Samurai are professional warriors, members of the


noble class who are trained in the arts of warfare. They
are not only trained for their role in society, they are
born for it – born into a system of allegiance, loyalty,
and honour that influences every stage of their lives. A
samurai's loyalty to the emperor and his local feudal
lord is unsurpassed, and a samurai that becomes
masterless either from the ruin or fall of his master,
after the loss of his master's favour or privilege, or
otherwise through his own will becomes a Ronin,
R an
outcast mercenary for hire.

A samurai's first responsibility is obedience to his lord,


usually the head of his family. This is simultaneously
an endless source of adventures and a potential
hindrance to a life of adventure. A low-level samurai's
lord may command him to investigate a mysterious
occurrence or subdue a gang of bandits. If he performs
these duties well, his lord will call on him to deal with
more significant problems. However, a samurai usually
cannot simply disappear on an expedition
expeditio without his
lord's command or at least permission, and if a
samurai's lord has an important mission for him, he
must make that his top priority.

Samurai are distinguished from ordinary fighters by


The Samurai assume the highest rank of the Nipponese their adherence to bushido, a code of honour, loyalty,
social system, as decreed by the Celestial Order. The and obedience. To a samurai, dishonour
dis is worse than
word "samurai"
murai" means "those who serve".
serve" All who death, and the loss of his swords is possibly the worst
were born in this caste were considered samurai, dishonour imaginable.
regardless of their occupation. The Samurai warriors Bushido, the code of the samurai, demands strict
make up the bulk of Nippon’s armies. Greatly skilled obedience to standards of behaviour and honour.
with both sword and bow, and wearing heavy armour, Samurai learn their combat techniques and the
often with accompanying battle masks, these fearsome principles of bushido in established, well-organized
well
fighters are a match for any opponent. schools.
The Samurai wield a variety of equipment in battle,
and can adapt to any situation. They represent the The only measure of a samurai that matters is living
height of human martial prowess, and fight according life in strict accordance with the code of bushido. This
to a strict code of honour, displaying fanatical bravery ancient code was established during the dawn of the
and loyalty on the battlefield. Empire, and although the interpretation of the
individual virtues it describes has changed from time to
Unlike Old World nobles, samurai tend to live frugal time, the code itself has endured the centuries virtually
lives with little interest in riches
hes and material things, unchanged.
but rather in honour and pride, though as privileged
persons in society much of their needs are supplied,
and respect and honour fearfully enforced.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Samurai are expected to not only be great warriors but
to be well versed in more classical arts such as Samurai Warrior 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8
calligraphy, mathematics, and song and dance. Samurai Chui 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8
However, it is often the case that these pursuits are
overlooked. TROOP TYPE: Infantry.

Though it is their duty to wear the daisho and lead SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
troops into combat, samurai are more than mere Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour.

55
SAMURAI CAVALRY
Cavalry warfare is traditionally the preserve of the
samurai. Only they have the skill to wield a sword
while steering a horse into battle. Being a mounted
warrior requires wealth and position to sustain the
expense of horses, armour and servants.
Despite the fact that most Samurai go about their
business mounted, generally
nerally merely as a sign of their
station, only a very few have truly perfected the art of
war from horseback.

The mounted Samurai are truly deadly warriors and the


scourge of any commander foolish enough to incur the
wrath of a Nipponese army. They eschew
esche the heavy
plate armour and cumbersome barding favoured by the
knights of the Old World in favour of increased speed
and flexibility. They attack in combination with
infantry, using their excellent horsemanship to
outmanoeuvre and strike the enemy from multiple
mu
directions at once.

Bows, spears and katana are all used from horseback


and, if a samurai is wealthy enough, he usually has an
assistant to carry and hand him his weapons as needed.
The katana, although traditionally used with two hands,
can still be effective when used in a one-handed
one grip
by a horseman. Swung downwards onto an enemy foot
soldier, the sharp, curved blade could easily cut
through a man. M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Samurai Cavalry 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8
Samurai Cavalry are swift, and can deliver a Samurai Chui 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8
devastating charge thanks to their spears, which they
th
Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5
focus all the power of their fearsome charge into the
points of as they smash into enemy cavalry and
infantry alike. Samurai cavalry are extremely well
TROOP TYPE: Cavalry.
trained and the weight of their steeds adds to the power
of their charge. SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
Their speed over a battleground
ound comes in useful when Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour.
Dishonour
chasing down fleeing troops, or when they are needed
to deliver a final blow to wavering enemies.
After a charge, they remain mounted and can engage
the enemy with their katana keeping a height advantage A Samurai's
Samurai's Purpose
over foot soldiers. A samurai keeps in mind and heart the
understanding that he must die.
Samurai Cavalry demoralise, harass, and cut down the Surrendering to ambition, lust, greed, or any
enemy ahead of the foot soldiers. other thing, a samurai will hesitate for that
Units of specially trained mounted samurai are also
famous for running daring night time raids on enemy
one crucial moment when it comes time to
camps and fortifications, using their lightly armoured sacrifice his life for his lord.
horses to cross rivers and move quickly through woods
and mountains, before striking at the flanks of an Samurai live, train to fight and fight to live.
unprepared enemy. Only alivee can a samurai fulfil his Duty and
protect his lord. Duty beyond all things is
One of the most famous cavalry charges was seen at the soul of a true samurai. Living to fulfil
the Battle of Xenyong,, where the Nipponese cavalry
Duty is why a samurai forego ambition,
charged straight into the Cathayan formations
form through
a rain of crossbow bolts and steel tipped spears. Even abstain from lust, and sacrifice his personal
though the Nipponese suffered horrible casualties, their morals.
unwavering morale managed to break the Cathayan
formation, securing victory against the Cathayans.
56
ASHIGARU
The absolute lowest ranking
anking members of the buke are ASHIGARU SPEARMEN
Ashigaru,, or career soldiers. Technically peasants, they
The yari is a remarkably flexible weapon in tactical
possess far keener training than the average peasant or
terms. It can be used in single or mass combat and is
carpenter. While hardly comparable to samurai by any
equally effective for attack and defence. Yari Ashigaru
stretch of the Imagination, Ashigaru are skilled
are armed with very long spears that are almost pikes,
warriors in their own right. Many Ashigaru families
and can be used to lead a charge into battle or
o act as
have served their samurai lords for generations, and
pincers. They are well-drilled,
drilled, but lack the skill and
bear themselves with fierce pride and loyalty
dedication of samurai. Yari Ashigaru are most effective
comparable to samurai. Most houses have several
when they work together as a block, forming a wall of
families of hereditary Ashigaru,, serving as guardsmen,
sharp points. The yari is the most common weapon
doshin (soldiers serving magistrates), and scouts during
issued to Ashigaru,, which they use
us in formation,
times of peace.
particularly
ularly against cavalry charges.
The majority of most Nipponese armies are composed
of Ashigaru.. Unlike the levies of the Old World
though, the Ashigaru are armed with high quality
weaponss and are well drilled for battle. Though they M WS BS S T W I A Ld
cannot equal the martial prowess of their Samurai Ashigaru 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6
masters, they are effective troops. Their preferred Yari Gashira 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 2 6
armament is the yari spear, but they may also march
into battle with the yumi bow and the matchlock TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
arquebus.
Ashigaru occasionally prove to be deadly when given SPECIAL RULES: Fight in Extra Ranks.
sufficient direction and purpose by a competent leader.
After all, arrows in sufficient numbers may maim or
even kill the most highly trained, armed, and armoured
ASHIGARU BOWMEN
bushi before he gets close enough to even
ven wound These soldiers do not possess the prowess or prestige
anybody. Even then, however, most samurai look upon of samurai archers,, but they are still a formidable force.
the Ashigaru as mere tools: as Tsuruchi Nobumoto Perhaps surprisingly, Ashigaru bowmen were not made
says, "What we do is art. What peasants do is merely obsolete by thee arrival of guns. While gunners reload,
reload
adequate." archers can continue
ntinue to fire arrows, provide cover and
maintain the pressure on an enemy. In the same time it
takes to fire and reload a firearm once, these archers
can let loose a dozen arrows upon the enemy.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Ashigaru 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6
Yumi Gashira 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6

TROOP TYPE: Infantry.

MATCHLOCK ASHIGARU
Estalian merchants arriving in Nippon sold handguns
to the Nipponese, and it didn't take long for them to
produce their own designs. The role of matchlock
Ashigaru is to unleash massed gun volleys upon the
enemy, keeping them confused and, in the process,
weakening them enough for a frontline charge. Once
fired, the guns take a long time to reload, but their
hitting power more than compensates for this lack of
speed.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Ashigaru 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6
Teppo Gashira 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6

TROOP TYPE: Infantry.


57
WARRIOR MONKS
martial monasteries, monks not only study religious
and academic texts, but also a variety of martial arts.
The studying of martial arts is seen as a means to
improve oneself mentally and spiritually, not just
physically, and these monks show a skill and
dedication that surpasses even the samurai of the
military aristocracy – and indeed many Samurai
abandon their feudal
udal lord to learn from these master
monks. Warrior monks are the de facto private armies
of the secluded monasteries, and are fundamentally
similar in many respects to the religious templars of the
Old World.

They are more militant than holy, and receive very


little religious instruction. Instead they are trained in
the art of fighting. Warrior Monks defend their
monastery against attacks and advance its political
claims in the outside world. They are subject to the
leader of their temple.
They are often charged with defending their temples in
times of conflict, but they can also expect to strike
against enemy incursions, to hunt down evil monsters
terrorizing the countryside, or to recover a relic that is
sacred to their order. They welcome all challenges as
tests of their prowess and, secondarily, their faith.
Warrior Monks mix martial prowess with divine power
that grants them the ability to heighten their strength
and speed in battle, and protection from mental and
Monks occupy a tenuous position In Nippon's social bodily harm. Very experienced sohei can ca shrug off
order. As a rule, they are not forthcoming about their physical damage and ignore certain magical effects.
past, and it is considered almost blasphemous to
inquire. A monk has left his old life behind. The fact Warrior monks live a life of strict discipline and
that some were peasants and others samurai makes obedience to their orders. Many join their orders as
interacting with them difficult, as one never knows children, and become sohei when they demonstrate
whatt station should be afforded a monk. Given the strength of both body and mind that lends
l itself to the
uncertainty and their position as religious figures, the temple's defence. Often, though, young men and
honourable thing to do when interacting with a monk is women who show little promise for the contemplative
to treat him with respect and admiration. This mindset life of the monk are the ones selected to become sohei.
is common to all but the most dishonourable
dishonourabl samurai.
While samurai feel some uncertainty when interacting
with monks, the peasants simply revere them. Monks M WS BS S T W I A Ld
are teachers as much as anything else, and they treat all
Warrior Monk 4 4 3 3 3 1 4 1 8
people equally. Also, many monasteries send their
adherents into villages and towns to aid heimin and Sohei 4 4 3 3 3 1 4 2 8
hinin with menial tasks.
TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
Monks represent the entirety of Nippon's religion,
which is a surprisingly diverse, eclectic, and elaborate SPECIAL RULES: Immune to Psychology,
Psychology Magic
institution with three distinct facets. While an Imperial Resistance (1).
decree technically linksks two of these facets together,
and the third is so widely accepted that none dispute it, Martial Arts: Warrior Monks are skilled combatants,
the truth is that the three do not fit together particularly studying the old martial arts of Nippon daily. They
well. Generally speaking, the average individual, have learned to bring use of this to on the battlefield,
including monks, selects an aspect he finds most fighting with fist and feet as well as any weapon they
desirable and uses that as the
he basis of his devotion. might carry.

Deep in the inaccessible areas of Nippon lie the many Warrior Monks may re-roll
roll failed rolls to Hit and
mountain retreats of religious warrior monks. In these Wound in Close Combat.

58
YAMABUSHI
Nippon is inhabited by a people who feel bound to
their land by a sacred ancient duty. The structure of
society is rigid; and so too are Nipponese religious
observances. In monasteries scattered across Nippon,
shaven-headed
headed acolytes toll brazen bells over silent
courtyards. A life of study and ritual under gingko trees
and behind paper panels has gone unchanged for many,
many long years.

The early history of the priesthood is lost in the mists


of time. As far as the peasants are concerned, the moss
grown roads of heavy stone leading to the temples of
the gods have existed since time began. The people of
Nippon know of their religion through hearsay and
grandmothers’ tales; the monks keep a certain distance
from all the rest of the Nipponese, especially the
peasants. Some monks wander round and preach, going
barefoot from town to town, or even overseas,
overseas and are
fairly universally respected.

Besides their ability to affect the gods themselves, and


popular opinion and morale besides, the monks’
abilities as warriors encourage the samurai clans to
keep as many monasteries as possible on their side.
Monks in the monasteries are principally scholars, but
train bare fisted and barefooted. They can be called
upon to go into battle if lands near their monastery, or
their monastery itself is threatened. More deadly, up in
the mountains of Nippon various warrior sects known
as Yamabushi train more rigorously and more
violently, slaying oni in the blackest depths of the
forests. Their rituals include walking across beds
bed of
red-hot
hot coals, chanting while sitting under ice-cold
ice
waterfalls and hanging from their feet from the edges
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
of cliffs. The peasantry and even the monks regard
Yamabushi 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8
these men with a certain respect, and fear their
supposedly magical abilities.
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character).
These hermits are like wandering lay-priests
priests who live
alone in secluded mountains. Those with a smattering SPECIAL RULES: Immune to Psychology,
Psychology Magic
of Nipponese might suppose that "Yamabushi" means Resistance (2), Martial Arts.
"mountain warrior", but in fact the second character is
written differently and means "one who walks in the Prayers of the Kami: Yamabushi know the three
mountains". Prayers listed below. Prayers are innate bound spells
He seeks mastery of certain arcane combat techniques (power level 3). All Prayers are augment spells. In
and magic arts, the lore of herbs and nature, and addition, the Yamabushi may channel Power and
ultimately satori, or Enlightenment, through the study Dispel dice just like a Wizard.
of Zen.
• Prayer of Invigouration: One friendly character
These men and women trace the origin of their within 12” of the Yamabushi will regain all Wounds
tradition as a militaristic religious
ous order back to hermits previously lost during the battle.
who went up to the mountain regions in search of
divine inspiration and supernatural powers. They are • Prayer of Protection: One friendly character
charact within
more tactically astute and combat trained than their 12” of the Yamabushi will gain a 4+ Ward save until
generally non-martial
martial brothers, but are no less stubborn the start of the caster’s next Magic phase.
in defence of theirr religion. Their training as warriors
helps teach them the ways of discipline and control of • Prayer of Potency: One friendly character within
the mind, and this is looked on well by the daimyo 12” of the Yamabushi may re-roll
re all failed rolls To
classes and Shogunate, for various reasons. Hit and To Wound in close combat. Remains in play.
59
SUMO WARRIORS
Before Emperor Yamakyuki,, many noblemen of A beautifully crafted masterwork bow goes to the
Nippon lived in constant danger of assassination, victor whereupon they receive an invitation from the
whether from the hired killers of other noblemen or the Imperial court to perform bugaku, a complex ritual of
ambitious members of their own family. In the ceremonial songs and dances; the champion dances
complex web of family and group loyalty that is while twirling the prize bow.
Nipponese society it was sometimes best to employ
outsiders, individuals who have no clan or family ties While the Sumo Warriors
arriors are sportsmen most of the
to interfere with their personal loyalty. time, they still train like any other Samurai. In times of
The Sumo Warriors were such men, separated from war, these massive warriors go into battle wielding no-
their families in childhood and raised in special schools dachi swords,, easily capable of cutting though a knight
they are sold to any noble who can afford their and horse with a single blow, making them excellent
services. Iron muscled frames sheathed ed in mountains of shock troops.
fat, the Sumo Warriors are the products of a strange
bodybuilding regimen of force-feeding
feeding and tortuous
strength and endurance routines. M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Sumo Warrior 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 1 8
In the performance of their bodyguard duties Sumotori Yokosuna 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 2 8
was expected to interpose themselves between their
master and potential threats, in effect providing them a TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
living shield of unyielding flesh. This dedication to
duty and complete lack of concern for their own safety
made them a formidable foe on the battlefield.
SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
After Yamakyuki took the throne and unified
nified Nippon, Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour.
Dishonour
the practice of Sumo bodyguards was redundant, as
most Daimyos began to hire their most loyal Samurai Unstoppable Force: When Sumo Warriors charge,
to act as their bodyguards instead. Sumo Warriors they are an unstoppable force of mass and muscles that
instead became sportsmen in the very popular sport of can tear through a regiment with ease.
Sumai. On any turn that Sumo Warriors charges, the enemy
Sumo wrestlers go through intense
tense purification and must re-roll
roll successful Break Tests.
meditation rituals before a sumo bout, and spectators
come for the ceremony as much as the sport. An actual
bout of sumo is over in seconds, as two massive
wrestlers slam into one another with the intent of
knocking the opponent off his feet or pushing him out
of the ring. Matches are separated into four categories
according to the skill and reputation of the wrestlers. In
ascending order, these are juryo, maegashira, sanyaku,
and yokuzuna. The Imperial Court only allows bouts of
yokuzuna.
zuna. Sumo tournaments take place between two
teams of wrestlers who perform seventeen bouts before
the Emperor and his entourage.

The Uruchi Sumai is an advanced school of training,


and is considered to be a set of clan secret techniques.
The Uruchi Clan rarelyy makes exceptions to this,
and only a few lucky outsiders have been taught
them.

Testing their strength is a favourite pastime of many


Uruchi samurai, and is one of the more popular
forms of duelling when facing another Uruchi.
Sumai is a commonly
only accepted method of duelling in
Nippon, a method with which the Uruchi are very
familiar. They respect and rely on this form of
competition when dealing with other clans to a high
degree, and have several dojo dedicated to training
different techniques.

60
BATTLE MAIDENS
brother's armour and took up his sword to avenge him.
“Hitomi’s Tale” has moved many
ma young women to
become samurai, and has justified the act in the eyes of
many daimyos. The samurai ritual of changing one's
name has brought many Battle Maidens female
samurai - to take the name “Hitomi” upon taking the
daisho.

One of the vows that some Battle Maiden take during


their initiation ceremony is a vow of celibacy, as a
Battle Maiden cannot he devoted to both a daimyo and
a lover or husband, after all. If a celibate Battle Maiden
is found to have a lover, she often renounces her
station and joins
ins the ranks of a monastery. Of course,
the key word is “discovered” There are many Battle
Maidens who take lovers, and every poet's repertoire
has several stories of samurai and Battle Maidens who
doom themselves for love. Battle Maidens are treated
as samurai
amurai warriors in the Celestial Order. They are no
different from male samurai in that regard.

Battle Maidens are usually armed with the naginata, a


long pole arm that is tipped with a deadly curved
sword-blade. They favour a defensive strategy over
assault.
ult. Since they lack the physical strength of the
men, they have instead become very proficient at
holding their foes at bay with their naginata until
reinforcements can arrive and finish them off.

Nipponese women are trained to defend their homes in


times of war but few take part in open battle. Those
who do though, quickly become legends.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
In Nippon, a woman's caste - not her gender - Battle Maiden 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8
constitutes her position in the Celestial Order. As such, Onna-Bugeisha 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8
any woman who so wishes may become a samurai,
earning the same rights and respect as their male TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
counterparts.
SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu,
Battle Maidens are treated with the deference
defer due a Death before Dishonour.
lady of their station, unless they are dressed and
prepared for war. If a Battle Maiden is dressed in Stalwart Defence: Enemies charging a unit of Battle
'mannish' attire, she is referred to with her military title. Maidens to the front lose all charging bonuses. In
Female samurai are treated with the same respect as addition, Battle Maidens may re-roll
re failed Break
their male counterparts thoughh they are typically Tests.
expected to be softer-spoken
spoken and more lady-like
lady in
most clans.
This varies from clan to clan, with some families being “Samurai maidens who remain
strictly matriarchal. Some have in fact higher standards
for their Battle Maidens than they have for their men, faithful to their lords get their name
an expectation
xpectation of chastity and honour not held to many inn the history books. The ones who
men in the Empire. fall find their names in tragic love
One of the favourite stories of Nipponese poets is of songs.”
the sister of a murdered samurai who put on her

61
KABUKI DOLLS
Kabuki is one of the most common forms of theatre in Some nobles flaunt their Kabuki Doll escorts when in
Nippon, and focuses on lively and almost violent public, as it is a great status symbol in society to own
action, dancing and tension. Singers and orchestra one, and accomplished Kabuki Dolls can command the
often provide the backdrop for the actors and key price of a small mansion for a single evening’s
information about the setting. The name Kabuki comes entertainment - or a single, spectacular kill.
from the word kabuki-odori
odori which means "stylish and
shocking dances". The plays make use of elaborate Though the battlefield is not their ideal environment,
costumes, makeup, sets and special effects to units of Kabuki Dolls make very effective combat
accompany the story, and the actors move in special troops, and their expertise in the martial arts, bravery
stylized patterns known as kata. The set is changed by and dedication to duty are second to none.
stagehands dressed entirely in black during the show,
and the stage contains many trapdoors and rotating
rotatin
platforms to aid in this endeavour. There are two major M WS BS S T W I A Ld
types of Kabuki plays; the jidaimono, or "rough stuff Kabuki Doll 5 4 4 3 3 1 5 1 8
style", and the sewamono, the "talk of the town". Dai-jô 5 4 4 3 3 1 5 2 8
Most performers of Kabuki theatre are professional TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
dancers and actors; however a small and secretive
se cult
of masked assassins also trains its members in Kabuki,
treating the intricate gestures and extreme posturing of
SPECIAL RULES: Skirmishers, Poisoned
the dance as the basis for a martial art form. These Attacks.
Kabuki Dolls, as they are called, receive lifelong
training in diverse arts, from
rom assassination, protection, Kabuki Dance: Kabuki is an ancient stylised dance
and diplomacy, to proficiency with exotic and form of such complexity and nuance that only the most
traditional weapons like the battle-fan
fan and poisoned cultivated of aficionados can truly appreciate its
hair needles, as well as skill with a musical instrument, subtleties. Revitalized and adapted for the tastes of the
rhetorical excellence, and of course Kabuki dance. more traditional-minded
minded clan leaders it has become an
iconographic form of status entertainment in Nippon.
The Kabuki Dolls can use the skills of their trade in
battle as well, favouring the two major
maj types of
jidaimono and sewamono.
You must choose one of the two dances for the kabuki
Dolls to perform at the start of each close combat
phase.

Jidaimono: Yelling and braying their often


nonsensical lines, the Kabuki Dolls throw themselves
at the foe in a flurry of death.
While performing this dance, the Kabuki Dolls have
the Always Strikes First special rule and +1 Strength.

Sewawono: Moving gracefully and without pause, the


Kabuki Dolls dodge strike after strike.
While performing this dance, enemies must re-roll all
successful rolls to Hit against the Kabuki Dolls. In
addition, they add +2 to their Parry save.

WAR FAN
Fans are often used in Nippon by courtiers to hide
their faces, and by generals to signal the troops.
Eventually it was developed into a weapon as well. The
War Fan was primarily developed to be defensive but it
can also be used to strike blows with its sharp, metal
edges.

A War Fan may be used in two ways: it can either be


used as an additional hand weapon with the Jidaimono
style or as a shield in close combat with the Sewamono
style.
62
YABUSAME
The Yabusame are a special caste of Samurai that excel
in the art of Kyudo archery. They train tirelessly daily
to improve their skills while firing from galloping M WS BS S T W I A Ld
horseback, and hold great tournaments to find
fi the best Yabusame 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8
amongst themselves. This is done by riding past three Bow Master 4 4 5 3 3 1 4 1 8
targets and shooting at them at high speed. They wear Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5
traditional hunting attires while doing so, both in
tournaments and in battle, as a way of signifying their
TROOP TYPE: Cavalry.
station as masters of the bow.

A true warrior never stops learning his craft. He should SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu,
strive for perfection. Only with death does his Death before Dishonour,, Fast Cavalry.
education and his personal quest come to an abrupt
end. Only a foolish and arrogant man believes himself Kyudo: The mind and sight of any archer must be
to be unbeatable. All training, all practice, improves trained, as surely as his muscles: a distant target must
ability and confidence
ence in battle. Accuracy is all-
all be recognised before it can be killed. The Yabusame
important: the best shooter is useless if his arrows fall are trained to find the weak spot in their opponent’s
wide of the target! Speed is also improved, as a great armour with their arrows, all while moving at full
master can have one arrow in his hand, one in the air, speed around the battlefield.
and one striking the target.
Yabusame do not suffer penalties to Hit for moving
The Nipponese bow is asymmetric;etric; far longer above and shooting. In addition, all their missile
miss attacks have
the grip than below, to make it easy to use on the Armour Piercing special rule.
horseback while retaining power. The bow can be
swung from side to side without getting tangled up in
saddle furniture. It has a composite of a wooden core,
covered in layers of lacquered
ed bamboo, making it
strong yet flexible, capable of shooting a wide variety
of arrows. Its beautiful simplicity disguise the fact that
this was a weapon that required tremendous skill,
strength and grace to use effectively.

With both hands occupied by aiming


ming and firing a bow,
these men must use their knees to control and steer
their mounts. Nippon has a long tradition of mounted
archery and these troops remain invaluable despite the
introduction of gunpowder. Matchlocks may be
powerful, but they are also unreliable and inaccurate,
and the Ashigaru who use them simply lack the skills
and mobility of mounted samurai. These cavalry
archers can quickly move to the flanks of an enemy, or
harass the enemy at a distance before retreating away.

War is inevitable, and in such times a daimyo


will call upon his men. A samurai will serve
and command, but before that, a samurai must
prepare and study. Victory is not taking the
lives of the enemy, but saving the lives of
one’s kin. Those who would falter first
firs
would be the first to fall, that the price of
defeat was greater than honour or pride.
Learning to win is not enough, it is necessary
to learn how not to lose.

63
RED DEVILS
The Red Devils are a special order of Samurai, Many Samurai would flock to his banner, wanting to
focusing only on the aspect of war and death, relive those deeds and die honourable in battle like
completely neglecting the other parts of the Way of the Naomasa.
Warrior. They wear blood-red
red armours and banners,
often decorated with skulls and bones of their fallen The combination of the Red Devils’ unsurpassed
enemies as well as smearing their blood on their abilities with the horse, their singular skills in battle,
armour. They wear helmets with closed masks, eachea and their intense devotion turns these samurai from
with the face of an Oni. They top their helmets with
w simple warriors into something more like unrelenting
two large horns, from which theyy have gotten their forces of nature. The Red Devils have the speed,
name. mobility, and power of all Taneka cavalry, but they
also have the strength of their convictions.
The Red Devils were founded byy Taneka Naomasa
from the Taneka
ka Clan. Being obsessed with gaining The Red Devils are very particular about
ab who may join
honour and glory in battle, he quickly rose in their ranks. Only samurai with years of service and
prominence among the other less offensive generals, outstanding martial skills are accepted, and on top of
and had soon made a name for himself. His army those requirements, all successful candidates must
swelled with young recruits of impetuous Samurai who demonstrate truly exceptional piety, as determined by
sought to quickly rise to power or was simply the sensei of the Red Devil dojo.
consumed by the lust for battle.
Today, the Red Devils have gained a lot of influence in
His finest hour was to come at the Battle of Bloodied Nippon, and the order draws in recruits from all the
Souls, where his unit of bodyguards outpaced those of provinces. The Red Devils are a terrifying foe to face
other generals, drawing the first blood of that battle. on the charge, attacking with no disregard for their own
However, Naomasa was shot down on his horse while safety, slaughtering anyone who dares stay before them
charging together with his bodyguard against the and fight.
remnants of the opposing army. All of them died
together with him, but
ut the battle was won,
wo and
Naomasa would forever be remembered for his great M WS BS S T W I A Ld
actions, with his son taking upon himself
self to keep the Red Devil 4 4 3 4 3 1 4 1 8
code of the Red Devils alive. Red Devil Chui 4 4 3 4 3 1 4 2 8
Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5

TROOP TYPE: Cavalry.

SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu,


Death before Dishonour,, Frenzy.

Fearsome Charge: The Red Devils’ gruesome


appearance combined with their fearful battle cry and
reputation means only the most stout-hearted dare
stand against their charge.
Red Devils causes Fear on any turn that they charge.

“He who is intent on dying can be


murdered. He who is quick to anger
can be insulted. He who is self-
self
conscious can be humiliated. He who
is compassionate can be troubled. But
the commander whose mind is
focused, and whose soul is taken up
by the strike, he will know victory.”

64
WAKO PIRATES
Pirates have long plagued the coast of Nippon, striking The Wako usually sail around the flanks of the enemy
quickly against lone ships or coastal villages before army where they can strike unsuspecting enemy
retreating back out to sea and their hidden bases. regiments in the rear as the battle rages on. Wearing
Wako are men who have forsaken the code of bushido little to no armour and armed with swords and bows,
for a life of plunder and piracy, or peasants who find the Wako can be a large threat if not countered in time.
tim
themselves tired of the treatment of their lords. Some
successful Wako pirates become so called “sea lords”, After the battle, the Wako take their time to plunder the
and even make out small clans of their own, seizing enemy corpses before disappearing back to their ships,
large areas as their fiefdoms
fdoms and ruling them through with many disgruntled looks from the Samurai. Still,
their own clan structures. They extort tolls from it’s a low price to pay for being able to hire some of the
passing ships for “protection” if they are feeling most feared sea farers this side of the world.
friendly or simply take what they want when the
opportunity arises.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
The Wako patrol the coast and inland waterways, Wako Pirate 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 1 7
occasionally venturing out to sea in the hope of Bosun 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 2 7
waylaying a Cathayan or Old World ship. Sometimes
they even conduct raids on the mainland, carrying off TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
valuables and people to ransom. They sail in black
junks and are ruthless and fearless fighters, expert in
combat at sea and the boarding of other vessels. Their
SPECIAL RULES: Ambushers, River Strider.
bases are islands or hidden ports where they can hide
from justice and the admiral of the Shogun's fleet. Distrustful: Wako and Samurai are not known for
getting along, even during their brief alliances. Each
These reavers and their swift craft lurk in isolated side is constantly worried about the possible betrayal of
coves and remote islands along the rocky
cky coast and the other one, which in the case of Wako, is not often
swoop down on rich merchants and unsuspecting far from the truth!
kobune. Friendly units with the Way of the Warrior special rule
Wako are often little better than thieves and prey upon and Wako both suffer -11 to their Leadership if within
with
coastal trade mercilessly. Strangely, they never prey on 6” of each other. Wako must re-roll
re successful panic
the fishing boats, which are perhaps just too poor to tests caused by fleeing friendly units with the Way of
whet a pirate's appetite.
tite. But then many a quiet fishing the Warrior special rule.
village holds darker secrets, and the nimble boats catch
more than fish when the opportunity allows. When
crushed by taxes, it is very tempting to take the riches
that sail by, and some peasant fishermen turn pirate
when the need takes them.

The Nipponese ability to deal with their pirate problem


was hindered by the Clan War and the lack of a strong
central government. The Cathayans, who have on the
receiving end of many Wako
ako depredations, continually
demanded that the Nipponese deal with the pirates, but
each solution only seemed to halt them for a short
while. Attacks on known Wakoako ports, mass beheadings
and even bans on foreign trade did not seem to make
ma
much difference to the Wako.

However, with the reinstatement of a new Shogun, the


Wako threat has been diminished somewhat. By
forbidding peasants from owning weapons, fewer are
able to become Wako,, and thus the threat has lowered,
if not disappeared.
While Samurai generally hate the Wako with a passion,
some Clans haveve seen the advantages of hiring them as
mercenaries in their armies. With the promise of an
Imperial pardon and a share of the enemy loot, plenty
of Wako take up these offers, knowing most Samurai
are too bound by their honour to break their promises.
65
NINJA
Duty – A Ninja’s duty is even more arduous than for
others, as it often alienates him from his friends and
family. In addition, he must be ready to solve difficult
tasks on his own, often at the price of his own life,
without the prospect of eternal glory and veneration a
bushi enjoys.

The skills of the Ninja are the product of a lifetime of


intensive training, cunning and the clever use of
misdirection. The ability to move about largely unseen
on the battlefield means they appear from nowhere,
launch an assault on an enemy general and then vanish
before they are caught or killed. They are armed with
throwing knives for short-range
range attacks and their
blinding grenades can disorientate an enemy
e for a short
time, reducing their fighting ability. To remain as
stealthy as possible, Ninja operate in small numbers, so
Ninja mostly come from the Shinzei Clan, although it must avoid prolonged close combat because they
has been rumoured that other clans have Ninja of their cannot afford to take many casualties.
own. Due to the nature of their duties, Ninja have to
violate the tenets of Bushido at every turn. For this Though generally distrusted and loathed by the
reason, Ninja groups usually adopt a slightly different Samurai, some commanders see past the Ninjas’ lack
code of honour. These
ese vary from family to family, but of honour and see their uses on the battlefield. Groups
almost always involve some form of the Three Oaths, of Ninja scouts ahead of the army, assassinate valuable
originally devised by the Shinzei: targets, and harass the enemy supply lines.

Secrecy – Ninja almost always operate under a cover


identity or another. Often, even their own family does M WS BS S T W I A Ld
not know about their covertrt activities. This protects not Ninja 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 1 8
only the Ninja himself, but also his associates.
Shadow Eye 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 2 8
Loyalty – A Ninja can only depend on his compatriots,
TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
and they only on him, making loyalty even more
important than for normal samurai. He must also be
prepared to deny allegiance
egiance to his lord when caught, SPECIAL RULES: Skirmishers, Scouts, Ward
and face the consequences alone. save (6+).

BLOWGUN GRAPPLING HOOKS


Blowguns firing poisoned darts are among the Ninja’s Ninja
ja use grappling hooks to scale walls and buildings
favourite weapons, able to cripple to toughest foe. otherwise impassable for them.

A blowgun has a range of 12”, strength 3, and fires 2x Ninja equipped with grappling hooks ignores penalties
multiple shots. All shots made with a blowpipe are for impassable terrain like walls, rocks and building,
poisoned. but not water and the like. Note that they may still not
end their
heir move within impassable terrain.
CALTROPS
Caltrops are an antipersonnel weapon made up of two SMOKE BOMBS
or more sharp nails or spines arranged in such a The smoke bomb of the Ninja is a small eggshell filled
manner that one of them alwaysys points upward from a with blinding powder, used to facilitate escape.
stable base.
At the end of any Close Combat phase in which a unit
The Caltrops may be used as a Stand and Shoot of Ninja take part, they may choose to use their Smoke
reaction. The enemy unit charging them deducts D6” Bombs. On a 4+ the unit may disengage the combat. If
from its charge move, as they must be careful not to they do so, the enemy cannot pursue them and they
trample on the caltrops scattered on the ground. will rally automatically in their next turn.

66
SHINOBI
The Shinobi are the most secretive school in the most Nippon hates ninja and though the Shinobi do not
secretive Clan in Nippon, and for good reason. The consider themselves ninja, they do recognize that their
Shinobi are spies, and assassins. When diplomacy, tactics are so similar as to make little difference in the
strength of arms, and magic fail, it falls to the Shinobi eyes of their enemies. Shinobi who are exposed must
to protect the Shinzei's interests. claim to be acting without the knowledge of the
Most Sarutori students are drafted from the other Shinzei Clan. They reveal nothing about their training
Shinzei schools when they begin to show great talent in or objectives.
stealth or the cold instincts that are so useful for an If there is no possibility of escape, a captured Shinobi
assassin. Most are instructed privately while they will take his own life rather than revealing the Shinzei's
continue studies in other schools, adapting guises
guise as secrets under torture.
samurai or courtiers as they continue their Shinobi
training. The Shinobi are the highest ranking of Ninja in
Nippon. They are employed to eliminate enemy
Optimally, a Shinobi has a full life and duties aside commanders, small units and war machines, and are a
from those he learns in school. When his Clan calls match for anyone in combat.
upon him, his skills are ready, but until these deadly
samurai hide in plain sight.
A Shinobi is trained to move silently, kill efficiently, M WS BS S T W I A Ld
and blend effortlessly into the shadows. They are also Shinobi 5 7 6 4 4 2 7 3 9
knowledgeable in all aspects of Nippon’s criminal
underworld, for the duties often require them to seek TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character).
aid or information there.
SPECIAL RULES: Always Strike
Stri First, Poisoned
Above all else a Shinobi's most prized possession is his
Attacks, Ward save (4+), Scout.
identity. A Shinobi conceals his true nature from any
whom he does not trust completely. The Empire of
Dishonourable: The Samurai have a great enmity
towards the Ninja of Nippon, and would never lower
themselves to fight side by side with them. Shinobi
may never join any units with the Way of the Warrior
special rule.

Hidden: A Shinobi is a special type of character. He


may begin the game hidden in one of the following
units: Ashigaru,, Kabuki Dolls or Ninja. Make a note of
which unit the Shinobi is hiding in.

A hidden Shinobi is not placed on the table during


deployment, but is revealed later in the game. If his
concealing unit
nit is wiped out or flees from the
battlefield before he is revealed, the Shinobi is also lost
and counts as a casualty. There is no other way the
Shinobi can be harmed before he is revealed.

Hidden Shinobi may be revealed at the beginning of


any of your turns, or at the start of any Close Combat
phase. Declare that the unit contains a Shinobi and
place the model in the front rank. Displace a rank-and-
rank
file model to make room for the Shinobi. If the unit is
in close combat, the Shinobi displaces any rank-and-
file model in the unit that is in contact with the enemy.
If there are no rank-and-file
file models to displace in a
suitable position, a command model or character must
be moved to make room for the Shinobi.

A Killer not a Leader: Although


Althou Shinobi are character
models, units in the Nippon army may not use a
Shinobi's Leadership and a Shinobi can never be
chosen to be your army's General.

67
RONIN
permission. When the samurai's previous master dies
without an heir, or is stripped of his lands and title, the
samurai is unemployable by other Daimyo.
In addition, a samurai can become Ronin
Ro if he is not
recognized as an heir by his samurai parent, is outcast
for a failure and denied seppuku, or is simply someone
who has chosen to abandon his station.

Generally, a samurai will request to commit seppuku to


absolve himself of whatever shame caused him to
become Ronin, though this step could be forbidden by
the samurai's Daimyo, if becoming Ronin were a
punishment.

Traditionally, Ronin are generally regarded as


disreputable and are frequently targets of humiliation
and satire. In addition, Ronin often pose a serious
threat, as the masterless life often degenerates into a
life of thievery and malice. Ronin bands frequently
threaten settlements and commerce. This is a problem
that arises somewhat regularly and that the magistrates
of Nippon putt forth every effort to quell.

Ronin exist outside the Celestial Order. They are still


samurai, but they are not subservient to any greater
power. They wear the daisho, but they do not have the
protection of even the eta who live under a Daimyo.

The Ronin in roam Nippon seeking their fate in battle and


searching for ever greater tests of their swordsmanship
and honour. If two powerful and well known Ronin
happen to meet they may well duel to the death simply
to test their skills. But despite their bloodthirsty
bloodthir trade,
the Ronin share a deep mutual respect for each other
and will often form into bands to offer their services in
war.

Since there is no reason for a Samurai to exist without


his honour, they want nothing more than to fall in the
No matter how prosperous or beleaguered the Empire
field of battle, thus relieving themselves of their shame
becomes, there are always samurai who serve no
by finding a worthy death. Most commanders are
master but themselves. To these samurai, known as
happy to allow them to join the armies of Nippon, as
Ronin, or "wave men", the notion of a life without duty
they fight for practically nothing in return, and
is far worse than death. Some men are born to this lot,
hopefully results in a few less Ronin in the world.
the child of a samurai who chooses not to recognize his
offspring for whatever reason. Others are cast out for
failure, denied even the honourable redemption of
seppuku. M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Ronin 4 4 3 4 3 1 4 1 10
Also known as the "Samurai without masters", for
individual reasons each Ronin has found themselves on TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
the path of the mercenary. They are renegades, soldiers
s
of fortune and wandering vagrants, but they are no less SPECIAL RULES: Kenjutsu, Skirmishers,
dangerous warriors than normal Samurai for it. Unbreakable.

A samurai becomes masterless from the ruin or fall of Redemption: Every model in a unit of Ronin may
his master, or after the loss of his master's favour or issue and accept challenges as if they were a
privilege. A samurai is forbidden to become employed Champion.
by another master without his previous master's

68
GREAT GUARD
Throughout Nippon’s history, the Emperors have been es to the field in times of need, riding
Great Guard takes
protected by a group of extraordinary warriors hand-
hand upon the wind, and descending upon their enemies
selected by the Emperor and his closest advisors. These with unrelenting fury and determination to their cause.
individuals have been known as the Great Guard, and
together they have protected the wives and families of
countless Emperors over the course of more than one M WS BS S T W I A Ld
thousand years. Great Guard 4 5 4 4 3 1 4 2 8
Citadel Sentinel 4 5 4 4 3 1 4 3 8
These greatest of Samurai are usually recruited from
Kirin 9 4 0 4 4 3 5 2 8
Hatamoto or aspiring Taishos os whom have proven
themselves worthy in battle by protecting their liege
TROOP TYPE: Monstrous Cavalry.
above all else. They are then selected through a great
tournament held in the Imperial Courtyard once a year
to determine which ones are deemed most fit to protect
SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu
the Emperor. At least
ast half of the potential recruits (Great Guard only),, Death before Dishonour, Fly,
usually perish during this tournament, and as such only Stubborn.
a few dozen Great Guards exists at any time.
KIRIN
These prestigious soldiers are then presented with the According to the legends of Nippon, the Kirin were
finest armour and weapons available in Nippon. Their born of a union of Air and Earth when the world was
lacquered steel
teel armour covers their entire person, and young. The story is typical of Nippon, and hence
offer significantly more protection than the normal manifestly fanciful, but does reflect accurately the
armour worn by samurai. Likewise, their katanas have potency of these creatures. Kirin are creatures of
each been folded several hundred times during many wholly unnatural composition, although appearing not n
months by the master smiths of Nippon, giving them a unlike normall flesh and blood. They live amongst
amo the
sharpness
rpness unmatched by any other weapon, allowing to devastating
ting forces of lightning, storms
storm and thunder.
cut through steel with ease. Kirins are aerial creatures who ride the roaring winds
and storm clouds, bellowing like thunder and
Rounding off their arsenal are there resplendent screaming great cracks of lightning through the
mounts, the Kirin, said to be among the most noble and electric-charged air.
virtuous of beasts. Atop these mighty creatures, the
like bodies with long, flowing manes
Kirins have horse-like
spun with sparks and slivers of lightning. In the centre
of the creature’s forehead sprouts a long silver horn
used to impale its foes. They are truly celestial beings
of great intelligence and wisdom, and a symbol of
swiftness and good fortune.

Kirins are noble creatures that roam the sky in search


of good deeds to reward or malefactors to punish. A
kirin superficially resembles a unicorn; it has the body
of a stag, covered withh luminous golden scales, a thick
mane and tail of darker gold colour, deep violet eyes,
and a pinkish horn and hooves. Ki-tins
Ki sometimes
establish lairs on high mountains or plateaus, simple on
the outside but with luxuriant interiors. More often,
however,, they simply fly with the wind, never settling
in any place for long.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Kirin 9 4 0 4 4 3 5 2 8

TROOP TYPE: Monstrous Beast.

SPECIAL RULES: Fly, Magical Attacks.

Impale Attack: The Kirin attacks with +1 Strength


when it charges into combat.

69
WAR MACHINES
MANGONEL FLAMING ARROW
The Mangonel is the most widespread of all modern In I.C. 2343, the Nipponese had their first contact with
Nipponese siege weapons: a large counterweight the Estalians, who soon established the ‘nanban’ trade,
propels missiles long distances via arcing fire. providing the Nipponese with arquebuses and cannons.
Because of its small size and limited throwing ability, The Flaming Arrow is a light Nipponse cannon that
the Mangonel
angonel does not have the power of a cannon, so wreaks havoc on enemy units.
units The weapon is exactly
rather than destroying the walls of a castle, it simply what its name suggests; a barbed projectile fired, in
ignores them by hitting what’s on the other side. The most cases, from an Estalian cannon, as the Nipponese
Mangonel’s
angonel’s projectiles are small earthenware bombs, have not yet developed effective artillery of their own.
filled with gunpowder and placed in the bucket at the Each arrow is wrapped with a flammable covering and
end. The fuse is then lit and the bomb is thrown in an ignited, ripping straight through a regiment with ease.
arc over any obstacle. Hopefully, when the bombs hit Flaming Arrows are slow to fire and relatively
the ground they explode, spreading flames everywhere, inaccurate,
curate, but anyone unfortunate to be hit will find
panicking anyone nearby and setting fire to any himself skewered with immense force and set ablaze.
surrounding buildings.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
M WS BS S T W I A Ld Flaming Arrow - - - - 7 3 - - -
Mangonel - - - - 7 3 - - - Crew 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6
Crew 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6
TROOP TYPE: War Machine (Cannon).
TROOP TYPE: War Machine (Stone Thrower).
SPECIAL RULES:
SPECIAL RULES: Flaming Arrows: Flaming Arrows are fired using the
Fire Bombs: All shots fired by a Mangonel have the rules for Cannons. However, hits are resolved like that
Flaming Attacks special rule. of a Bolt Thrower (D3 Wounds, loses 1 Strength for
each model slain) with Strength 7. All hits from a
Flaming Arrow have the Flaming Attacks special rule.

70
MIKOSHI SHRINE
battle by Warrior Monks who fight to the death to
protect it. The presence of these shrines is not just a
boost of the morale to the soldiers, but a potent weapon
as well. Warriors true of heart may benefit from its
blessings, giving them strength and purpose for the
task at hand. However,, those that spoil their gifts and
are weak hearted should beware, for no sooner than
they have received their blessing may it turn upon
them.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Shrine of the Kami 4 4 4 4 4 6 4 4 8

TROOP TYPE: Unique.

SPECIAL RULES: Stubborn, Immune to


Psychology, Ward save (4+).

Blessings of the Kami: The shrine houses the spirits of


the Kami within it, each of which has
ha their own
blessing to bestow.
At the start of your turn, you may use up to D3
Blessings as detailed below. Each Blessing
B may be
A shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house
given to a friendly unit within 18” that is not fleeing. A
the spirit of one or more Kami. A shrine is usually
unit may only be affected by one Blessing at a time,
characterized by the presence of a sanctuary, where the
and each Blessing may only be used once per turn. The
Kami is enshrined. The sanctuary may however be
effects of each Blessing lasts until the start of the next
completely absent, as for example when the shrine
Nippon turn.
stands on a sacred mountain to which it is dedicated, or
However, if a unit with a Blessing flees for any reason,
when there are nearby altars that can serve as a more
they immediately lose the Blessing and take D6
direct bond to a Kami.
Strength 4 hits.
Smaller, more portable shrines are called Mikoshi. The
• Blessing of Strength: The unit may re-roll
re all failed
followers of the Kami believe that it serves as the
rolls To Wound in close combat.
comba
vehicle of a divine spirit in Nippon at the time of a
parade of deities. Often, the mikoshi
ikoshi resembles a
miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda • Blessing of Persistence: Enemies attacking the unit
and a railing. The body, which stands on two or four suffer -1 To Wound.
poles for carrying, is usually lavishly decorated, and
the roof might hold a carving of a Phoenix. • Blessing of Swiftness: The unit may re-roll
re the
distance moved when charging and pursuing.
During festivals, the people
ple bear a mikoshi on their
shoulders by means of the two or four poles. They • Blessing of Courage: The unit may roll 3D6 for all
bring the mikoshi from the shrine, carry it around the Leadership tests and discard the highest result.
neighborhoods that worship at the shrine, and in many
cases leave it in a designated area, resting on blocks,
for a time before
fore returning it to the shrine. Some
shrines have the custom of dipping the mikoshi in the “I borrow my name
na from my
water of a nearby lake, river or ocean. At certain
festivals, the people who bear the mikoshi wave it
ancestors. I must return it to
wildly from side to side. them unharmed. I borrow my
Shrines dedicated to the Kami can bee found
honor from my descendants. In
everywhere in Nippon, scattered across the land. shaming myself, I shame them
The blessing of the Kami is an important aspect to the
Nipponese, and as such, h, it has become an increasing as well.”
sight to see on the battlefield. Mikoshis are carried into

71
ONI
Oni are ferocious daemons that use their awesome the summoner spills blood all over the name scroll, the
strength and magical abilities to dominate and terrorize ritual described on the summoning scroll will proceed,
the regions they inhabit. destroying the scroll at the end of the ritual.
They are thickly muscled giants with arms and legs At this moment a gate to Jigoku will open to let loose
covered in coarse hair. Their hands end in dirty, thick one of the spirits inside. The Shugenja must then name
talons, and hooked toenails
ils grow from their wide feet. the spirit, declare power over the oni and make his
Their skin is usually red, but can also be green, black, demand. There is no way to know which form will take
orange, or purple. an Oni before it is summoned.
They have one, two, or three bulging eyes, one or two
large horns, and broad, pointed ears. Their hair is The Oni will then obey, argue the demand or even
usually long and may be silver, black, or green.
g rebel against the Shugenja.
ugenja. If its will is weaker than
They have long fangs of gold or ivory colour. They that of the summoner, the Oni is compelled by the
dress in a manner similar to the local population inherit summon to carry out the demand of the Shugenja. If its
they reside, but always appear filthy and ragged. will is stronger, the Oni can escape back to Jigoku.
Oni are brought to battle as beasts of war obeying their
Most common Oni are bloodthirsty and cruel. Not only summoner’ser’s will, which usually involve crushing her
do they attack for food (for they delight
ight in eating foes into a bloody pulp.
humanoid flesh), but also for the sheer pleasure of
hurting and bullying other creatures. Hungry or
enraged Oni typically attack by charging, slashing with M WS BS S T W I A Ld
its claws like an uncontrollable beast. Oni 6 5 0 5 4 3 5 3 8
Overlord 6 5 0 5 4 3 5 4 8
Oni make up the most powerful forces of Haikido.
Haik
Many Oni gain physical form in the Realm of Mortals TROOP TYPE: Monstrous Infantry.
either as the spawn of an Oni Overlord or by being
summoned from Jigoku by someone willing to share
SPECIAL RULES: Fear, Unbreakable, Unstable,
her name in exchange for power. In either case, an
Oni's motivation and location is practically unlimited,
unl Magical Attacks, Ward save (5+)
though they are more frequently encountered in the
Haikido. Usually, summoned Oni remain inside
Nippon during their period of servitude and only for a
little while after gaining their freedom from their
would-be master.
A newly-freed Oni generally expresses its joy through
wanton destruction, and then eventually migrates to
Haikido.

An Oni's personality is rooted in its bestial nature – it is


a living expression of the will of Jigoku – but can be
influenced by the personality of the Oni Overlord or
Shugenja that brought it to the mortal world. An
Overlord's spawn tends to have the exact nature of its
master, while a summoned Oni becomes more and
more like its summoner the longer the two co-exist.
co
While the Oni more often than not acts as enemies to
the warriors of Nippon, the Shugenja have unlocked
the secrets of summoning them for their own agendas.
Summoning an Oni seems very simple at first. The
Shugenja will have to take the risks necessary to learn
the maho knowledge needed and seek out the
summoning scrolls.

The ritual requires the caster to have a proper name for


the future Oni (See Naming an Oni. The Shugenja must
first draw a circle of powdered bones on the ground. At
the centre of the circle, the summoner must then put a
scroll with a name of a living human being on it. While

72
TENGU
Tengu are humanlike beings with reddish faces, often
featuring round cheeks and long, beak-like
like noses. They
possess black-feathered
feathered wings, which they sometimes
conceal beneath a robe or cloak. Tengus often dress in
loose, simple clothing bound tighter around their arms
and ankles, with only a small bit of adornment. Among
their own kind they relax these styles and flaunt
whatever adornments they can find, purchase, or pilfer,
especially favouringg rings on both fingers and toes.

Though rarely sharing their culture and its workings


with outsiders, they happily integrate aspects from
other cultures in the same way crows pilfer bits of
twine and shiny baubles. Tengu revere their elders, and
when they gather together, they defer leadership to age
just as much as to experience. Their bones, though very
strong, are hollow in the avian manner, which makes
them significantly lighter than a humann of equivalent
size would be. Tengu usually have dark hair, which
grows grey or white with age, and many of the males
sport beards and moustaches. Tengu ages slower than
humans, and as such can live much longer – some
tengu have been known to live for upwards of 300
years. They remain
main vigorous even in old age.

Tengu are mysterious, and often reclusive, mountain


and forest spirits of Nippon. Many are content to live
in near-solitude
solitude in distant places; it is not unusual to Like the crows they share physical traits with, tengus
find tengu watchingg over small mountain are naturally covetous, especially of shiny or colourful
shrines. Younger tengu,gu, who are more impulsive, are items, and prone to bouts of good-natured
good kleptomania
more likely to be drawn to adventure. Tengu if they don’t carefully keep themselves in check.
chec Vain
adventurers tend to be motivated by a search for lost and prideful creatures, they
hey are easily persuaded with
knowledge or by the opportunity to hone their skills flattery.
with a blade, rather than by material wealth – although
they are also very
ry curious, and they have an They are rarely seen in nature, but they can't resist
appreciation for beautiful and well-crafted
crafted objects, battle or duel, and thus they appear in battlefields
especially swords. Tengu expect much of themselves clashing trough the woods and behind the rocks,
and their companions, and often are prone to treating disappearing after the battle the same way they came.
those they meet as lessers until they have proven Many stories are told of these creatures, such as their
themselves. However, er, they feel a strong sympathy ability to shift shapes, and they are also told to tempt
toward children and the helpless, and their loyalty, samurai and monks to their settlements and punish
once gained, is unwavering. Despite their own pride, them from
rom ignorance and misuse of their power.
many tengus see it as an obligation to punish pride in
others, particularly in those priests and monks whose
doctrine includes humility.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Tengu 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 2 8
Tengu are a race of avian humanoids that resemble
crows or ravens, and often bear much of the same Elder 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 3 8
stigma. Though they frequently choose to live among
other races in densely populated cities, their society is TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
tight and closed, and they rarely allow others to see its
inner workings. Tengu often band together in small SPECIAL RULES: Fly.
groups to create roosts in vacant warehouses or
condemned buildings, and these raucous gathering Independent: Tengu are not affected to Panic caused
places are generally assumed to be thieves’ guilds by by friendly units except other Tengu and do not cause
outsiders—an assumptionn that’s correct roughly half Panic to them either. They may never use the
the time. Leadership of the army’s General.

73
KITSUNE
The Kitsune are fox spirits, perhaps the most famous
denizens of Chikushudo, the Realm of Animals.
Though they are often mischievous and overly bold,
they are generally good-natured
natured with an insatiable
curiosity about the ways of mortals.. They often visit
Nippon,
ippon, sometimes joining samurai in their travels to
study their strange ways.

The Kitsune
itsune are known throughout Nippon for their
love of art, beauty, and whimsical trickery.
A kitsune has two forms—aa single human form and its
true form, that of a humanoid fox.
In their human forms, kitsune tend toward quickness
and lithe beauty. In all forms they possess golden,
amber, or brilliant blue eyes. In their true forms, they
are covered with a downy coat of auburn fur, although
more exotic coloration is possible.
Kitsune society is enigmatic, as kitsune prize loyalty
among their friends but delight in good--natured
mischief and trickery. Kitsune take pleasure in the
pursuit of creative arts and in all forms of competition,
especially the telling of stories interwoven
interwov with tall When subtlety and guile are required, these shape
tales and falsehoods. shifters take on their human form and blend into human
society. In battle, however, they take on their war
knit family units, with a
Kitsune live in tightly-knit aspect - that of a giant, ferocious fox.
dominant male and female directing the efforts of the The Kitsune are also powerful magic-users
magic and many
rest of the pack.. Even those that wander free from their fear the spells and charms that a Kitsune can visit upon
homes still maintain a strong connection to their home them. Itt is with much caution and respect that the
pack, and will someday return. people of Nippon treat the Kistune. That
T is, if they
Kitsune believe in personal duty to one's clan and to know who or what they are dealing
de with in the first
one's self. Though proud, they are not vain and try not place.
to show off their reputation too much. Kitsune believe
in humility and in dignity, and it is everyone’s duty to The Kitsune serve as Taichiro's
Taichiro eyes and ears both
remind each other of those values through trickery and abroad as well as within the Isles of Nippon. They
Th
humiliation. If a Kitsune
itsune becomes too proud or haughty bring precious information to the Lords of Nippon,
he will often find himself being bombarded with a endeavoring to further their patron kami's goals
variety of jokes, pranks, illusions and other things that through them. The capricious nature of these spirits,
would embarrass him. Kitsune learn to let their the actions however, calls for careful handling of the information
speak for themselves and enjoy a good puzzle or riddle they provide, for they care not how their master’s
ma
to exercise their wits. They value those who can wishes are fulfilled, only that they are.
confuse their enemies with verbal trickery and
confusing conundrums. Ironically as much as kitsune Kitsune are peaceful creatures, but have been known to
deceive and trick they try to be logical anda real with strike out violently at those who prove themselves to be
themselves. If they see someone who is more skilled without honour. They are especially defensive of their
than they, they will admit it. If a fight goes awry they home forest. They use spell-like
like abilities
abili to confuse
will not hesitate to run if their abilities are not up to and distract foes when possible, leaving them to perish
par. Though easy going they do not take mortal insults in the woods.
or infringements lightly,
tly, especially to family members,
and will demand compensation for the misdeed or start
seeking out revenge themselves. M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Kitsune 9 5 0 4 4 3 6 3 9
The kitsune worship and revere their chief god
Taichiro, the Thousand Tailed Fox God of Illusions TROOP TYPE: Monstrous Beast.
and Protection. He is both wise and elusive, and loves
both riddles and hidden meanings to the world. The SPECIAL RULES: Ethereal.
Ethereal
kitsune believe that they are the direct result of the
t
illusions once made by Taichiro. These illusions were Trickster Magic: Any enemy models in base contact
made so life like, so tangible that they became the first with a Kitsune suffer a -D3
D3 penalty to their Weapon
kitsune. Skill and Initiative.
74
YORITOMO IEYASU IEYASU
Shogun of Nippon
many wars, Yoritomo's 's power was unmatched, and he
finally defeated
ed the last of his enemies in the Battle of
the Sundered Realm. The Emperor named Yoritomo
Shogun following his final victory, and he has reigned
unopposed ever since. Yoritomo was instrumental in
opening up Nippon to trade with the Old World and
embracing the military advances of the distant western
lands.

Yoritomo Ieyasuu is a ruthless military dictator and a


harsh disciplinarian. As Shogun, he controls the
combined might of Nippon’s armies. All the Clan
Daimyo are subject to him, and he answer to no one
other than the Emperor. Known as the greatest warrior
of his time, he has all but put an end to the civil war
between the Clans, and Nippon has grown stronger
than ever during his reign, where he rules with
wi both
charisma and an iron fist.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Yoritomo Ieyasu 4 7 5 4 4 3 6 5 10
Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5

TROOP TYPE: Cavalry (Special Character).

SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,


Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour.

The position of “shogun” (approximated in Old Shogun: Yoritomo Ieyasu must be the army’s General.
Worlder as “General against barbarians”) is the title His Inspiring Presence rule is 18” rather than the
granted to Nippon’s top military commander by the normal 12”. In addition, any unit using his Leadership
emperor. For the last three or four centuries it has may re-roll
roll failed Break Tests.
become the most powerful position in the country so An army led by the Shogun ignores the restriction on
much so that it has taken over the Imperial court and, not allowing multiple Clan Mons in the army.
as a result, government.
The shogunate is highly coveted, as one can imagine, MAGIC ITEMS:
and there have been many a war over its succession. Blade of the Silver Moon
The title is usually hereditary, passed on from father to The Blade of the Silver Moon is one of the most potent
son, but sometimes, as the past has amply shown, there weapons in Nippon, a blade of dull but deadly power.
have been endless disagreements
ements over the succession. The moon can be seen constantly reflected in its blade,
But sometimes the Shogun’ s family would become destroying everything in itss wake.
weak and a rebel leader would seize power from them,
after which he would be named shogun and would start Magic Weapon. Katana. All attacks that hit wound
a new ruling family. automatically, and have the Multiple Wounds (D3)
special rule.
When Yoritomo Ieyasu,, the son of a powerful Daimyo
warlord, was born, Nippon was in the midst of a Armour of Iron Resolve
decades-long civil war. With no ruling Emperor and Created specifically for the protection of the Shogun,
the Shogunate weak, rival clans battled for dominance this armour surrounds the wearer with a faint aura of
and the whole land suffered. As Yoritomo came to light that can reflect any blow.
manhood, he formed an alliance
lliance with the neighbouring
clan and began a long campaign of unification. When Magic Armour. The Armour of Iron Resolve gives
his closest ally died in battle, Yoritomo not only Yoritomo a 4+ armour save. In addition, he gains a 3+
avenged him, but also incorporated his lands into his Ward save against mundane Attacks, negated to a
own, securing his power base further. Eventually, after 5+
+ Ward save against magical Attacks.

75
EMPRESS JUNGI
The Empress Jungi is the only sole female ruler re-roll one dice for when casting and dispelling each
throughout Nippon’s history, but that is far from the turn.
reason she is still remembered today.
She was the most powerful Shugenja of her time, being Empress of Nippon: As the Empress, the warriors of
blessed by the Sun Goddess Amaterasu herself. Her Nippon are sworn dying to protect her. Any unit joined
magical powers, once discovered at a young age, were by Empress Jungi becomes Unbreakable as long as she
unrivalled after only a few years of proper schooling
sc by is in it. In addition, she benefits from the “Look Out,
the court magicians. Sir!” special rule in close combat as well as against
shooting.
At the age of twenty her father died from illness,
illne and
Jungi, having no male siblings, became Empress of MAGIC ITEMS:
Nippon. She was a wise and benevolent ruler despite Headdress of thee Imperial Family
her youthfulness and inexperience, and Nippon saw a This headdress has been used by the Empress of
great influx in prosperity during her time, with Nippon for as long as anyone can remember. It
abundant harvest and little civil conflict. radiates a faint aura around the wearer, which can
blind enemies who gets too close.
That’s not saying all was well during her reign, as the
Hobgoblins under Jublai Khan,, believing Nippon to be Talisman. Enemy models in base contact with the
weak during the reign of a woman, invaded with a Empress suffer -11 To Hit. In addition, it gives her
large fleet in 1745.. However, they soon felt the power Magic Resistance (2).
of her magic, as she singlehandedly sunk most of their
ships off the coast of Nippon, summoning massive tidal
waves to bring the Hobgoblin vessels to the bottom of
the sea.

Unlike most of Nippon’s Imperial family, Empress


Empre
Jungi could often be seen on the battlefield, where she
would personally lead her bodyguard of samurai
against her foes. She managed to unite Nippon under
Imperial rule for the first time since Emperor
Yamayakyuki, defeating the Mirumoto shogunate that
had held the power for several hundred years. Peace
would then follow during the remainder of her reign.

Under mysterious circumstance, Empress Jungi


disappeared some ten years later, and details on how or
why are still scarce. The people say she was uplifted
upli to
the Heavens by the Kami themselves, where she now
watches over her subjects for eternity.

She is celebrated as one of the most glorious of all of


Nippon’s leaders throughout the ages, and many people
still give their prayers to her in many of Nippon’s
Nipp
shrines.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Empress Jungi 4 3 3 3 3 3 4 1 9

TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Special Character).


MAGIC: Empress Jungi is a level 4 Wizard. She may
use spells from the Lore of Fire, Lore of the Heavens,
Lore of Life, Lore of Shadow or Lore of the Kami.

SPECIAL RULES:
Supreme Shugenja: Empress Jungi may channel up to
three Dice in each Magic phase. In addition, she may

76
HITOMI GOZEN
The First Battle Maiden
body, only to throw it straight through the chest of Daimyo
Gozen. With their lord dead, the
he Gozen army began to waver.
At this point, Hitomi rushed from her hiding place and
screamed in fury towards the Taisho who murdered her
family. He simply tried to swat her aside with his massive
armoured arm. But Hitomi’s was faster and dodged his blow
byy rolling under him. She picked up her brother’s naginata
from where he had fallen, and before the Taisho could react
and turn, she had pushed the weapon with all her might
through the back of her foe, the shimmering blade protruding
from his ribcage. The Taisho grasped at the blade in shock as
he fell to his knees and died.
With that, Hitomi called her army, invigorated by the sight of
the last Gozen defeating the enemy leader, and they crushed
the rival demoralized clan in a bloody battle.

itomi would become leader of her house, and her


After this, Hitomi
father’s samurai would loyally fight for her. News of her
victory spread throughout Nippon, and inspired by her deeds,
many women sought to join her army, to the point where
most part of her forces consisted of female samurai who
called themselves Battle Maidens.

Though Hitomi eventually perished in battle against an army


of Oni, her legacy would live on. The Battle Maidens are still
a significant force today, with many young women seeking to
honour, and possibly
ibly become, the next Hitomi Gozen.

The tale of Hitomi Gozen is one of the most famous in all of


Nippon, for she would become the first Battle Maiden, the M WS BS S T W I A Ld
first female samurai. Hitomi Gozen 4 5 5 4 3 2 6 3 8
Hitomi proved that she was special when but a small child, Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5
for were normal girls were playing with dolls in the gardens,
Hitomi wanted to fight with the boys. This was naturally not TROOP TYPE: Cavalry (Special Character).
approved by her father, a stern Daimyo with conservative
views who spent his time trying to teach his son, and SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu,
Hitomi’s older brother, to be a true warrior.
Death before Dishonour.
While Hitomi was overlooked by her father who refused her
Battle Maiden Commander: If Hitomi is the General of
wishes of becoming a warrior, her brother was more inclined
your army,, units of Battle Maidens may be taken as Core
to help her. Every day, he would train her in secret in the
instead of Special.
same way he had been taught himself, and Hitomi proved to
have a natural ability for quickly picking up his lessons.
As the years went by, she would almost become as good a
MAGIC ITEMS:
warrior as he was, all without
hout her father knowing. The Thundering Blade
The thundering blade is the ancestral weapon of the Gozen
However, one day shortly after Hitomi’s eighteenth birthday,
birthday family, once belonging to Hitomi’s brother. She now wields
the Gozen lands were invaded by another clan under the this weapon herself, each strike a reminder of her love for
command of a Taisho of rarely seen ruthlessness. Hitomi’s her brother.
brother and father gathered their troops and set out to meet
this foe on the battlefield. Unbeknownst to them, Hitomi’s Magic Weapon. Halberd. All attacks with this weapon has the
followed, hidden in a weapons cart. Armour Piercing special rule. On the To Hit roll of a 6, the
attack is resolved at Strength 6.
Here Hitomi’s brother challenged the rival Taisho to a duel to
the death to determine the victor rather than spend the lives of Daikyu of Commanding Presence
his men. The rival Taisho mockingly accepted. He was a This asymmetric longbow is made of laminated bamboo,
giant of a man, clad in steel armour from top to toe, and wood, and leather with a grip crafted from the hide of an
wielding a massive no-dachi
dachi sword. The duel was fast paced, imperial dragon.
but despite his efforts, Hitomi’s brother could not best the
Taisho, and was struck down with a blow that cutcu right Magic Weapon. Long bow. Once per game, Hitomi may fire
through his shoulder, killing him instantly. a special arrow. If this arrow hits, any other missile attacks
Hitomi’s father cried out and rushed to his son. The targeted at the same unit may re--roll failed rolls To Hit for
victorious Taisho laughed as he withdrew his sword from the the duration of the turn.

77
THE RED RONIN
master and in the struggle slew him with Revenge. His
master did however not melt into shadow though, but
lay bleeding at the Red Ronin's feet. The shapeshifter
had been impersonating the Red Ronin's second in
command, goading him into action against his master,
and revealed his actions upon the Red Ronin's master’s
death before vanishing
ing into smoke. The Red Ronin
swore he would find the true killer of his master, and
he would know that man by his eyes.

Since that day, the Red Ronin has been travelling the
lands of Nippon as an honourless Ronin, searching for
his master’s killer to exact
ct his revenge and restore his
honour. He is a menace to all whom he faces on the
battlefield, filled with hate and equipped with Revenge,
he slays anyone that comes within range of his blade.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
The Red Ronin 4 6 4 5 4 2 6 4 10

TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Special Character).

SPECIAL RULES: Kenjutsu, Unbreakable,


U
Hatred.

Loner: The Red Ronin has no master, and no


The real name of the Red Ronin is no longer known,
honourable samurai would ever follow him into battle.
for he cast it off as become honourless, no more the
He may never be the army’s General, and he can only
same man as he was before.
He was already a Taisho at the age of seventeen, and join units of Ronin.
showed a huge amount of promise for his future. His
promising future was destroyed when he was MAGIC ITEMS:
manipulated into killing his master. Revenge
The bloodsword Revenge was forged by Asahina
His downfall began when his master sent him to deal Yajinden in 508 on the Anvil of Despair. It was the first
with a band of ronin bandits that were plaguing the of four bloodswords forged by Yajinden.It grants the
locals. Although the leader of the bandits was easy to wielder great power, but threatens to destroy his mind
dispatch to Jigoku, one of the bandits’ followers battled from within withh its sinister force.
with unnatural speed and power, and proved a
challenge to destroy. When the bandit leader died, the Magic Weapon. Katana. Revenge allows the Red
strange follower turned to the Red Ronin and swore Ronin to re-roll
roll all failed rolls to wound. In addition,
that he would get revenge, upon which he melted into for every Attack that hits the Red Ronin in Close
black smoke. The Red Roninn reported the incident to Combat, he may make an extra Attack back
his master and was commended for his actions. immediately.

Unknown to him, the strange follower was a Armour of the Cursed


shapeshifter, and posed as the
he Red Ronin's master to The Red Ronin took this blood red armour from an Oni
present him with a new sword, a sword that he stated while venturing to the north of Haikido. Sensing its
was the true sword of the Red Ronin'sin's father. This was dread powers, he donned it himself, thinking its
the bloodsword Revenge. After taking up his new constant whispering voices a fitting punishment for his
sword, the Red Ronin's master began to act out of failure until he could prove himself worthy again.
again
character, insulting the sensei of the dojo and
disrespecting his ancestors. Soon after this he ordered Magic Armour. Heavy Armour. This armour gives the
the Red Ronin to attack a samurai outpost. Red Ronin a 4+ Ward save. However its fell powers
almost drives him insane, and he must always try to
Before the Red Ronin followed the orders, he realized muster his all his willpower to control himself. The
that the bandit's follower must have been a changeling armour makes the Red Ronin subject to Frenzy.
Frenzy In
and replaced his master. The Red Ronin challenged his addition, he causes Fear.

78
SARUTORI HANZO
SARUTOR
Shinobi Assassin
Sarutori Hanzo is the greatest Shinobi in entire Nippon, MAGIC ITEMS:
his skills putting the rest of his brothers to shame. Biting Wind
During the Clan War, he assisted
sisted Shogun Yoritomo This chain-sickle
sickle sweeps through the air, cutting at
Ieyasu in claiming the seat of power from his anyone within its reach. Those unfortunate enough feel
adversaries by assassinating his rivals. the sting of its blade find their strength to fight quickly
diminished.
Hanzo was born a member of the Sarutori family in the
city of Kiroshima, and was trained in the arts of the Magic Weapon. The wielder causes an automatic
ninja like all his family members before him. He soon Strength 4 hit on all models in base contact in addition
gained fame as a talented spy and imaginative assassin, to his normal attacks. In addition, any model wounded,
and was eventually recruited into the Shinobi. but not killed, loses all their attacks for the duration of
the turn.
Slimly built and of below average stature, Hanzo is
hardly impressive physically. An attentive observer, Kage Mask
however, might notice an unusual, almost inhuman The cloth of a Kage Mask is notno remarkable in any
agility in his every move. fashion, except that one cannot easily identify which
When in the vicinity of others, Hanzo is always sharp type of material it is. When looking at a Kage Mask in
and attentive. He tends, however, to alternate between its true form, some think the item to be made of silk or
moments of lucidity and periods of melancholy. During velvet, while others see it as simple cotton or rough
these latter periods, he embraces seclusion
seclusio as a form of wool. A closer inspection,
nspection, however, will reveal the
defense, and can hide away from the world for weeks. strange material has a texture and feel that doesn't
closely resemble any mundane fabric.
Now an agent of the Shogun, Hanzo follows his
master’s will, eliminating anyone who might seek to Enchanted Item. The wearer of this mask causes Fear.
overthrow the current ruler. As long as Hanzo is the In addition, he automatically passes any characteristics
Shugon’s side, few would even consider er rising against tests he might be required to take.
the Shogunate at risk of finding themselves with a
blade across their throat.

Appearing as nothing but a quick shadow in battle,


Hanzo quickly moves between his foes, swing his
chain sickle in lethal arcs before moving in for the kill.
Few can match him in battle, and fewer still who have
tried have survived to tell the tale.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Sarutori Hanzo 5 8 6 4 4 2 8 3 9

TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character).

SPECIAL RULES: Always Strike First, Poisoned


Attacks, Ward save (4+), Scout, Dishonourable,
Dishonourable
Hidden, A Killer not a Leader, Mon of the Shinzei
S
Clan.

Shadow Magic: Hanzo is skilled in the ways of


deception, and can disappear in the heat of battle at
will.
He may cast the Steed of Shadows spell from the Lore
of Shadows as an innate Bound Spell (power level 3)
on himself. He may use this spell even if engaged in
close combat.

POISONS: Fauntei Shi, Night Milk.

79
O-SAYUMI
Legendary Geisha
While appearing as but a frail girl, O-Sayumi’s
O training
as a Geisha means more than just being able to perform
tea ceremonies or play the samisen for entertainment.
She is well-versed
versed in combat with her two war fans,
being able to quickly strike down unsuspecting foes
with
th her poisoned hair pins or razor sharp fan edges.
For this reason, she sometimes appears in Nippon’s
armies, where her skills as a Geisha can both be a boon
to her allies, and a distraught to her enemies.

M WS BS S T W I A Ld
O-Saumi 4 4 3 3 3 2 4 2 7

TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character).

SPECIAL RULES: Poisoned Attacks.

Legendary Geisha: Any friendly unit joined by O- O


Sayumi may re-roll
roll all failed Leadership tests. Against
enemy characters, O-Sayumi
Sayumi may re-roll
re failed rolls To
Hit and To Wound, and have the Killing Blow special
rule.

MAGIC ITEMS:
Karyukai Tea Set
This tea set includes an array of utensils, painted with
pictures of willows and flowers, used in traditional tea
ceremonies: a small teapot, three bowls of various
sizes and shapes, six cups, bamboo utensils (a ladle, a
scoop, and a whisk), and several smaller containers,
all stored in a wooden box.
O-Sayumi,, being made an orphan while but a babe,
was given to be brought up by other Geishas in a tea Enchanted Item. One use only. O-Sayumi
O may conduct
house in Makudo,, an elegant building with shiny brass a special tea ceremony at the start of the Nippon
gutters in the entertainment district.. Here she learned to player’s turn. This has a calming effect
effec on all around
play the samisen and began training to become a her, putting them into an almost dreamlike state. O-O
geisha. Sayumi and any unit she is with becomes Unbreakable
until thee start of the next Nippon turn.
O-Sayumi is a master of traditional geisha skills,
including song, classical music, dance, song, and the Samisen of Oracular Vision
tea ceremony. O-Sayumi
Sayumi is a virtuoso performer on the This elegant, long-necked
necked samisen is crafted of cat skin
samisen, and is also an accomplished practitioner of the stretched over a wooden frame. The samisen’s three
geisha fan dance, which she has modified into her silken strings are magically keyed to the past, present,
personal fighting
ighting style. Her weapons are two folding and future.
fighting fans that she normally carries in her sash. O-
O
Sayumi loathes violence, however, and fights only in Enchanted Item. O-Sayumi
Sayumi may play her samisen once
self-defence. in each Nippon Magic phase. Target one friendly unit
within 12”. That unit gains +1 To Hit in close combat
A beautiful young woman in her early twenties, O- O until the start of the next Nippon turn.
Sayumi bears a striking resemblance to herhe mother.
With her noble features, jet-black
black hair, and slender
body, O-Sayumi cuts a stunning figure. An epitome of The crane soars higher; its wings brush
the geisha spirit, O-Sayumi
Sayumi believes in peace and cherry blossom; my soul flies with it.
goodness, and is exquisitely mannered and gentle,
gentle at
least to outsiders.
Death Poem

80
INVOCATION OF THE KAMI (Lore Attribute)

LORE OF
If the Kami is appeased by the Shugenja through prayer or
sacrifice, they might take to heart and heed their wishes. If
the prayer is too weak however, the Kami might hurt the

THE KAMI
Shugenja for her weak display of affection. The Shugenja
may attempt to appease the Kami at the start of the Magic
phase by passing a Leadership test. If passed, the
Shugenja may add +D3 to her casting roll whenever
w a 6 is
The Five Elements, Godai rolled when casting a spell. If failed however, she will
take a Strength 4 hit with no armour save allowed.

LIGHT OF THE SUN GODDESS (Signature Spell) Cast on 8+


The Shugenja summons the power of Amateratsu, scorching her enemies with divine light. Those who survive will
instead be blinded, their sight replaced with a stunning white shine.

Light of the Sun Goddess is a magic missile with a range of 24” and causes D6 Strength 4 hits. Enemies that suffer a
casualty suffer -11 to their Weapon Skill and Ballistics Skill until the start of the caster’s next magic phase. The caster
can choose to increase the range of this spell to 48”. If she
she does so, the casting value is increased to 10+.
________________________________________________________________________________________________

1. BE THE MOUNTAIN Cast on 7+ 4. BORNE ON THE WIND Cast on 10+


The caster calls upon the Earth Kami to give their The Shugenja lifts her allies high up in the air,
determination and unwavering loyalty to the troops in allowing them to run across the clouds for a brief
battle, sometimes going so far as to cover their skin in period of time before setting them down behind the
stone to withstand stronger blows. unsuspecting enemy.

Remains in play. Be the Mountain is an augment spell Borne of the Wind is an augment spell with a range of
with a range of 12”. Whilst the spell is in effect, the
t 12”. The affected unit may immediately make a Fly
affected unit will be Stubborn.. The caster may increase move up to 20”. They may not use this to charge an
the power of this spell to include giving the unit a 5+ enemy or if they are engaged in close combat. The
Scaly Skin save. If she does so, the casting value is caster may increase the range of this spell to 24”. If she
increased to 10+. does so, the casting value is increased to 13+.

2. STAND AGAINST
T THE WAVES Cast on 8+ 5. VOID OF NOTHINGNESS Cast on 11+
The Shugenja empowers her allies with the might of the The caster shreds the mindd of her enemies, rendering
Water Kami, allowing them to stand against the them helpless and unable to either move or think.
onslaught of the enemy. She can even take this power
further, allowing them to flow around the foe, striking Void of Nothingness is a hex spell with a range of 18”.
without pause. Until the start of the caster’s next turn, the affected unit
may not do anything and will be Unbreakable. The
Stand Against the Waves is an augment spell with a caster may increase the range of this spell to 36”. If she
range of 12”. Until the start of the caster’s next Magic does so, the casting value is increased to 15+.
1 This
phase, all enemy attacks directed at the unit suffer a -1 spell has no effect on units that are Immune to
penalty to their Strength. The caster may increase the Psychology.
power of this spell to include giving
ng the unit the
Always Strikes First special rule. If she does so, the 6. CALL OF THE WAR GOD Cast on 15+
casting value is increased to 12+. The Shugenja calls upon the might of Bishamonten, the
war god of Nippon, to invigorate her allies with
3. FIERY WRATH Cast on 9+ supernatural strength.
The caster conjures mighty flames with a prayer to the
Fire Kami, causing a burning inferno all around her to Call of the War God is an augment spell that affects all
incinerate her foes to a crisp. friendly units with the Way of the Warrior special rule
within 12”” of the caster. Until the start of the caster’s
Fiery Wrath is a direct damage spell that affects the next turn, the affected units gain the Devastating
D3 closest
osest enemy units of the caster as long as they are Chargee special rule and may re-roll
re all failed rolls To
within 12” of the caster. Each unit suffer D6 Strength 4 Wound. The caster may increase the range of this spell
hits. These are Flaming Attacks. The caster may to 18”. If she does so, the casting value is increased to
increase the range of this spell to 24” and the number 21+.
of units affected to D6. If she does so, the casting value
is increased to 15+.
81
CLAN MON
Mon is a term used for Nipponese family crests. They are either associated with a particular family, or an
individual who had achieved some variety of public recognition. Your army may be associated with one of the
Greater Clans below. Buying a Clan Mon will allow your army to use special abilities on the battlefield that
reflects their famous Clan.

Some units in your army may have a Clan Mon, as MON OF THE MUSHAGI CLAN
detailed in the army list. If possible, your
our General must Units 1 point per model
always have a Clan Mon if one is chosen.
chosen You may not Others may covet titles, but Ashigaru,
have multiple Clan Mons in the same army. common spearmen, are the bedrock of
Mushagi might. All know us, the commanders of a
MON OF THE ASHIWARA WARA CLAN thousand spears. It is an honour to lead such men. Our
Characters 5 points generals are battle-scarred
scarred veteran of righteous
Units 1 point per model strength! Do not look down upon your common man;
Our archers are admired by all. No arrow but embrace him, and together
ether our foes stand no
flies true than the Ashiwara shaft. They will cover the chance!
sky, our enemies will fear death from afar, and with it
we shall be victorious! Ashigaru only. All units with this Mon gains +1 to their
Leadership and may use the Leadership of any
A Character or unit with this Monn ignore penalties for character with the Way of the Warrior rule within 6”.
shooting at long range and may re-roll
roll 1’s when rolling
To Hit with bows and long bows. MON OF THE DAIMATZU CLAN
Characters 15 points
MON OF THE URUCHI CLAN Units 1 point per model
Characters 15 points We trace a line back to the first Shogun.
Units 2 points per model Loyalty runs deep in among the Daimutzu. It is in our
We do not walk the same path as other blood, our traditions, and in battle our swordsmen are
clans. We are revered and strong, independent, and the envy of Nippon. No blade is swifter or more feared
brave in battle. Our warriors are feared, our skills with than ours!
the no-dachi
dachi unrivalled. In battle, we terrify the foe!
Infantry only. A character or unit with this Mon may
A Character or unit with this Mon do not have the re-roll
roll 1’s when rolling To Hit while using Katanas.
Always Strikes Last rule if armed with great weapons.
MON OF THE TANEKA CLAN
MON OF THE SHINZEI CLAN Characters 10 points
Characters 20 points Units 2 points per model
Units 1 point per model To be Taneka, is to be born in the saddle.
All clans fight, but not all clans fight by We are master horsemen, our cavalry astound all. Let
the same rules. We embrace the darkness. We embrace other march, we ride. We fly, like storms in the
the shadows. The Shinzei are silent. Deadly. We will mountains. We thunder in battle! We will ride down
strike unseen, sowing dissention and falling upon our our foes and bring us glorious victory!
foe before they can even blink.
Cavalry only. A character
racter or unit with this Mon may
Each Shinobi adds +1 to deciding which table side to re-roll
roll one dice when determining their charge
deploy on and whether or not to deploy units (including distance, and re-roll
roll 1’s when rolling To Wound on the
scouts) first or second. In addition, units of Ninja, charge.
Kabuki Dolls and Shinobi gain +1 Attack in the first
round of combat. MON OF THE HORUMI CLAN
Characters 20 points
MON OF THE BATAKE CLAN Units 2 points per model
Units 15 points We are indomitable in our faith, for
Our castles are strong, the envy of without it we are nothing. Faith is our strength, our
Nippon. We are rightly admired as master wellspring. Let others be corrupted, we
w have the
builders. Strong walls, strong souls. Our siege engines guidance of Heaven. Our monks pray, but they also
are equally mighty, nothing stands before them! The fight – and fight well!
enemy’s walls shall crumble before their eyes!
Warrior Monks with this Clan Mon are Stubborn.
War Machines only. War Machines in the army may Shugenja and Yamabushi may add +1 to their casting
re-roll
roll the Artillery Dice once per battle. rolls.
82
VESSELS OF THE KAMI
This section contains the rules and background for some of the most iconic and powerful magical artefacts used
by the Nipponese. These may be used in addition to the magic items found in the Warhammer rulebook.

DRAGON CLAW KATANA 75 points ARMOUR OF IMPERIAL RULE 40 points


Magic Weapon Magic Armour

According to legend, the Dragon Claw Katana was a This distinctive armour was designed for Nippon’s
blade crafted by the Void Dragon from one of its own imperial family and their highest-ranking and most
claws, before it withdrew from the mortal realm to loyal samurai. This intricate suit of heavy armour is
allow mankind to realize its own destiny. Before made of various pieces of different shades of blues and
departing, the enigmatic Void Dragon gave the blade grays, trimmed with black and gold leather, silk, and
to Agasha Ashiko, a pious and introspective woman steel pieces. Although the suit itself offers a fine display
with a latent talent for Void magic. Ever the dutiful with all the complex designs that decorate its torso, it
wife, Ashiko gave the blade to her husband, Daidoji is the kabuto that completes it, which looks most
Kedamono. He, in turn, gave it to his Daimyo. impressive. The dark blue helmet covers almost the
entire face, masking it with the dreadful visage of a
Katana. When fighting in challenges, the wielder gains mighty warrior. From the front of it, a wide pair of
the Killing Blow special rule and may re-roll all failed ivory horns protrudes, forming strange, white Wings
rolls To Hit and To Wound. that stand above the helm.
In addition, for every point of basic Leadership that the
wielder exceeds that of any enemy model in base Heavy armour. This armour contains a helmet, giving
contact, he gains one additional Attack. the wearer a 4+ armour save. Enemies must re-roll 6’s
when rolling To Wound against the bearer. Enemies
HEAVENLY NAGINATA 40 points who fail their rolls To Wound suffer a Strength 4 hit.
Magic Weapon
MEMPO OF HONOUR 30 points
The naginata appears to be an unremarkable weapon, Magic Armour
but when the wielder is threatened, its blade begins to
glow as brightly as the sun. This acts as a sort of This golden mask takes the form of an Oni's jaw,
alarm, as well as a rallying point for any friendly elaborately tooled and covered in small mirrors that
troops in the vicinity. During times of crisis, the catch the sun and shine it back into the enemy's eyes.
naginata will be removed from the Imperial chambers On the field of battle, the mempo shines brightly,
and typically used by the most powerful samurai into enabling anyone, including enemies, to find the wearer.
battle. Only the boldest Samurai have ever been granted the
right to wear the mempo into battle.
Halberd. This weapon gives the wielder +1 to Hit in
close combat and Flaming Attacks. In addition, on the The Mempo gives the wearer a 6+ armour save that
To Hit roll of a 6, that attack is multiplied into D3 hits. may be combined with other armour as normal.
Enemies attacking the wearer in close combat must re-
roll successful rolls To Hit.
However, if the wearer flees for any reason, spirits will
return from the Realm of the Ancestors with the
express purpose of killing him to remove the stain of
his delinquency. Remove the model as a casualty.

BRONZE TOKEN 35 points


Talisman

These items, known as Tokens of Bronze or simply


Bronze Pendants, are simple-looking yet very
impressive magical items. Each Token is a small round
plate of bronze with strange magical designs on one
side and holy symbols on the other. Typically, the
Tokens are tied around their wearers' necks with
lengths of silk.

The wearer gains a +4 Ward save against Magical


Attacks and spells. In addition, the wearer may re-roll
one failed amour save each turn.

83
CANDLE OF THE VOID 20 points IMPERIAL STANDARD 65 points
Arcane Item Magic Standard

Initiates of the Shugenja Schools learn to craft these The Imperial Standard is an ancient artefact. Many
items as part of their regular training. They take the believe it holds a small portion of the essence of
form of candles, imbued with faint but very practical Hantei. The standard is made of the purest white silk
elemental magic. Although they outwardly appear to and can never be soiled by normal means, so it is
hold only the power of Fire, each Candle of the Void always clean and vibrant. The Chrysanthemum flower
actually incorporates all of the Elements. These of the Imperial Families is woven
wo upon it in golden
magical candles are made of black wax. They are threads. The item remains one of the most cherished
extremely thick and usually about one foot long when possessions of the Imperial Court, for not only is the
newly created. Imbued with faint but very practical
p Imperial Standard imbued with potent magic, but it is
elemental
tal magic, it can greatly aid the Shugenja in also a distinctive symbol the Emperors of Nippon.
casting.
All friendly units within 18” may re-roll
re failed break
The Candle of the Void may be placed within 12” of tests, rather than the normal 12”. In addition, the unit
the Shugenja at the start of the game, but may not be carrying it is gains +D3 to their combat resolution.
moved during the game. The Shugenja may use it to
cast spells, using it for purposes
oses of line and sight and
range.

FAN OF COMMAND 35 points


Enchanted Item MIRUMOTO'S BATTLE STANDARD 50 points
Magic Standard
Discovered long ago by a merchant, the Fan of
Command is a war fan of exquisite quality. No one The battle standard of the Mirumoto Family is an
knows who created this item, but the Fan of Command imposing flag made from layers of white silk, decorated
has passed through many hands since it was originally with a golden dragon coiled inside a narrow ring of
found - especially ronin hands. The Fan of Command gold upon a night blue sky. This nemuranai is always
appears as a typical war fan made of steel and overlaid attached to a pole shaped as an inverted L. This allows
with dark red lacquer. Fifteen branches, build like the standard to bee tied on one of its sides as well as on
small dark spears, cut the lacquered
quered steel of the fan, its top, ensuring it remains open and visible even when
giving the item a sombre look. there is no wind.

War Fan. Once per game, the he bearer and any unit he is The unit carrying this standard adds +1 To Hit and to
with may make a free reform in the beginning of the Wound in the first round of close combat.
Movement phase. In addition, they automatically pass
any test to reform, march, re-direct
direct charges and restrain
from pursuit.

DRAGON PEARL 25 points


Enchanted Item

The Dragon Pearl is one of many dangerous artefacts


collected during the period after the Clan War, when
the clans scoured Nippon for potentially dangerous
nemuranai. It is presumed to be a remnant of some sort
of the dragon P'an Ku, an entity whose purpose in the
Celestial Order is unknown because it was driven mad
and eventually destroyed, in the time before man came
to exist in Nippon.

Enchanted Item. At the start of the close combat phase,


the bearer may transform the Dragon Pearl into an
exact replica of any magic item carried by an enemy
character in base contact, retaining all of its abilities
abiliti for
as long as it stays in base contact.
84
POISONS
The use of poison as a weapon is an extremely Spider Venom 25 points
dishonourable practice generally associated with ninja. Not as deadly as snake's toxin, a spider's bite can
However, poisons can be quite an effective tool. All nonetheless create significant problems if left
too often the results of poison resemble a natural death, untreated. Most spiders are so small that their bites are
so investigators cannot spot foul play. When properly harmless, but some larger or deadlier varieties are
applied, a poison can remove enemies without able to kill children and even grown men.
suspicion. It is not even necessary to kill one's enemies
– a general can be made too sick to lead effectively, a A model wounded (after saves) by spider venom loses
duellist overcome by nausea, or a courtier consumed by 1 Toughness at the start of each of his turns for the rest
a wracking cough that leaves him speechless during the of the game.
sessions at the Imperial Court.
Those of the Shinzei's Sarutori Family are the Snake Venom 20 points
undisputed masters of poison lore, and in their gardens Snake venom may be inflicted by a serpent's bite,
bloom a variety of beautiful and deadly herbs. gathered and administered internally, or synthesized by
Naturally their interest in the matter is purely crafting a poison with similar effects. The venom
academic, at least as far as the rest of Nippon is attacks the victim's motor skills, lowering his agility
concerned. and reflexes.

Fauntei Shi 30 points A model that takes a wound (after saves) from snake
The deadliest poison in the arsenal of the Shinobi, a venom will lose one Attack and gains the Always
trace of Fauntei Shi can kill even the most robust Strikes Last special rule for the remainder of the game.
victim. The poison is a secret held dearly by the
Shinobi, and few ktow the methods by which it is Night Milk 20 points
crafted. Fauntei Shi is employed only when the Shinobi One of the first poisons developed by the Shinzei Clan,
need to be absolutely certain their target will die. Night Milk foregoes devious and disabling effects for
sheer brutality.
A model wounded (after saves) by Fauntei Shi must
pass a Toughness test or lose all remaining wounds. Night Milk allows the Shinobi’s Poisoned Attacks to
automatically wound on a to hit roll of 4+, instead of
Stolen breath 30 points the normal 6.
A somewhat obscure poison, Stolen Breath enjoys near
anonymity outside circles that make use of the toxin. Hot Madness 20 points
Stolen Breath is usually mixed in a victim's food or A poison that attacks the victim's mental faculties, Hot
drink the night before a battle. The victim of the poison Madness heats the victim's scalp and makes it nearly
feels a slight tingle in his throat after an hour, and his impossible for him to concentrate.
voice becomes raspy. A full day after ingestion, or after
a night's rest, the victim's throat is too dry to talk. The A model wounded (after saves) by Hot Madness must
best the victim can muster is a low, painful whisper. re-roll all successful rolls to hit for the remainder of the
game.
At the start of the game, choose one character in the
enemy army to be poisoned. The character suffers a -1 Wish You Dead 20 points
to his Leadership for the entire game. One of the poisons devised by the Shosuro family of the
Scorpion Clan, Wish You Dead has spread to other
Dripping Poison 25 points hands over the centuries.
A staple of an assassin's arsenal, dripping poison must
be swallowed. It is usually administered by hanging a A model wounded (after saves) by Wish You Dead
thread over a sleeping victim's mouth and dripping the deducts 1 from his Strength and Toughness for the
poison down the thread from a hidden place in the remainder of the game.
ceiling. Dripping poison is especially deadly because it
is administered at night, and usually allowed to go Fire Biter 15 points
untreated for hours while the victim sleeps. Often painted onto edged weapons by unscrupulous
ninja, Fire Biter wracks the victim's joints with painful
One enemy character, chosen by the Nippon player, spasms, causing physical damage as well as hampering
starts the game with -1 Wound. the victim's ability to defend himself.

A model wounded (after saves) by Firebiter may not


attack and is automatically hit the next Close Combat
Phase.
85
86
THE
NIPPON
ARMY
LIST
The armies of Nippon are some of the most
disciplined in entire world, with each clan
vying for supremacy and upholding their
own virtues. As commander of the Nippon
army, it is by your honour and leadership
that the warriors of Nippon will face their
foes and do battle for honour and their
clan.

This section of
o the book helps your turn
your collection of Nippon miniatures into
an army of brave warriors, ready for a
tabletop battle. At the back of this section,
you will also find a summary page, which
lists every unit’s characteristics profile, for
quick and easy
eas reference during your
games of Warhammer.

87
USING THE ARMY LIST UNIT CATEGORIES
The army list is used alongside the 'Choosing an Army' As described in the Warhammer rulebook, the units in
section of the Warhammer rulebook to pick a force the army list are organised into five categories: Lords,
ready for battle. Over the following pages you will find Heroes, Core Units, Special Units and Rare Units.
an entry for each of the models in your army. These
entries give you all of the gaming information
informa that you
need to shape your collection of models into the units ARMY LIST ENTRIES
that will form your army. Amongst other things, they Each army list entry contains all the information you
will tell you what your models are equipped with, what need to choose and field that
hat unit at a glance, using the
options are available to them, and their points costs. following format:

SAMURAI WARRIORS 10 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Samurai Warrior 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 Infantry
Samurai Chui 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Infantry

Unit Size: 10+ Special Rules: Options:


• Way of the Warrior • One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a Samurai Chui.......10 Chui points
Equipment: • Kenjutsu • One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a musician...............10
musician............... points
• Katana • Death before • One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a standard bearer....10 bearer.... points
• Heavy armour Dishonour - A unit of Samurai Warriors with a standard
bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to......................25
to...................... points
• The entire unit may be armed with one of the following:
- Additional hand weapons..........................................1
weapons.......................................... point per model
- Halberds.....................................................................1
Halberds..................................................................... point per model
- Spears...............................................................................................
.....................................................................free
- Great weapons...........................................................1
weapons........................................................... point per model
- Long bows................................................................2
bows................................................................ points per model
• The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos....................30
Sashimonos.................... points

1. Name. The name by which the 4. Points value. Every miniature in 7. Special Rules. Many troops have
unit or character is identified. the Warhammer range costs an special rules that are fully
amount of points that reflects how described earlier in this book or
2. Profiles. The characteristic effective it is on the battlefield in the Warhammer rulebook. The
profiles for the model(s) in each For example, a Yari Ashigaru names of these rules are listed
unit are provided as a reminder. costs 4 points, whilst the powerful here as a reminder.
Where several profiles are Yoritomo Ieyasu costs a
required these are also given, whopping 360 points! 8. Options. This is a list of optional
even if they are optional (such as weapons and armour; mounts,
unit champions). 5. Unit Size. This specifies the magic items and other upgrades
minimum size for each unit, for units or characters, including
3. Troop Type. Each entry specifies which is the smallest number of the points cost for each particular
the troop type of its models (e.g. models needed to form that unit. option. Many
M unit entries include
'infantry, monstrous cavalry' and In some cases units also have a the option to upgrade a unit
so on). maximum size, or can even member to a champion, standard
comprise just a single model. bearer or musician. Some units
may carry a magic standard or
6. Equipment. This is a list of the take magic items at a further
standard weapons and armour points cost.
for that unit. The cost of these
items is included in the basic
points value.

88
LORDS
YORITOMO IEYASU,, SHOGUN OF NIPPON 360 points
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Yoritomo Ieyasu 4 7 5 4 4 3 6 5 10 Cavalry (Special Character)
Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 -

Equipment: Special Rules:


• Blade of the Silver Moon • Way of the Warrior
• Armour of Iron Resolve • Kenjutsu
• Death before Dishonour
• Shogun

EMPRESS JINGU 400 points


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Empress Jingu 4 3 3 3 3 3 4 1 9 Infantry (Special Character)

Magic: Equipment: Special Rules:


• Empress Jingu is a Level 4 • Hand weapon • Supreme Shugenja
Wizard. She may use • Headdress of the Imperial • Empress of Nippon
spells from the Lore of Family
Fire, Lore of the Heavens,
Lore of Life or Lore of
Shadows.

89
LORDS
DAIMYO 135 points
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Daimyo 4 6 5 4 4 3 6 4 9 Infantry (Character)

Equipment: Special Rules: Options:


• Katana • Way of the Warrior • May be armed with one of the following:
• Heavy armour • Kenjutsu - Spear.................................................................................
.................................................................................3 points
• Death before - Halberd.............................................................................
.............................................................................6 points
Dishonour - Additional hand weapon...................................................
...................................................3 points
- Great weapon………………………........………............6
weapon………………………........ points
- Long bow..........................................................................
...............................................5 points
• May wear a Horo cloak....................................
.....................................................5 points
• May be mounted on one of the following:
- Warhorse..................................................................
.........................................................................18 points
- Kirin................................................................................
................................................................................50 points
• May take one Clan Mon and/or
magic items up to a total of....................................
.............................100 points

HIGH SHUGENJA 150 points


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
High Shugenja 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 1 8 Infantry (Character)

Magic: Equipment: Options:


• A High Shugenja is • Hand weapon • May be upgraded to a Level 4 Wizard...............................
...............................35 points
a Level 3 Wizard. • May take one Clan Mon and/or
She may use spells magic items up to a total of..............................................100
of.............................................. points
from the Lore of
Fire, Heavens, Life,
Shadows or Kami.

CHARACTER MOUNTS
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 Warbeast
Kirin 9 4 0 4 4 3 5 2 8 Monstrous Beast

Special Rules:
• Kirin: Fly,, Magical Attacks, Impale Attack

90
HEROES

HITOMI GOZEN,, THE FIRST BATTLE MAIDEN 145 points


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Hitomi Gozen 4 5 5 4 3 2 6 3 8 Cavalry (Special Character)
Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 -

Equipment: Special Rules:


• Katana • Way of the Warrior
• The Thunderous Blade • Kenjutsu
• Daikyu of Commanding • Death before Dishonour
Presence • Battle Maiden
• Heavy armour Commander

THE RED RONIN 265 points


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
The Red Ronin 4 6 5 5 4 2 6 3 10 Infantry (Special Character)

Equipment: Special Rules:


• Revenge • Kenjutsu
• Armour of the Cursed • Hatred
• Unbreakable
• Loner

SARUTORI HANZO,, SHINOBI ASSASSIN 280 points


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Sarutori Hanzo 5 8 6 4 4 1 8 3 9 Infantry (Special Character)

Equipment: Special Rules: Poisons:


Poisons
• Katana • Always Strike First • Hidden • Fauntei Shi
• Biting Wind • Ward save (4+) • A Killer not a Leader • Night Milk
• Kage Mask • Infiltrate • Shadow Magic
• Dishonourable • Mon of the Shinzei Clan

O-SAYUMI,
SAYUMI, LEGENDARY GEISHA 165 points
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
O-Sayumi 4 4 3 3 3 2 4 2 7 Infantry (Special Character)

Equipment: Special Rules:


• Hand weapon • Poisoned Attacks
• War fan • Legendary Geisha
• Karyukai Tea Set
• Samisen of Oracular
Vision

91
HEROES
TAISHO 85 points
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Taisho 4 5 5 4 4 2 5 3 8 Infantry (Character)

Equipment: Special Rules: Options:


• Katana • Way of the Warrior • May be armed with one of the following:
• Heavy armour • Kenjutsu - Spear.................................................................................3
Spear................................................................................. points
• Death before - Halberd.............................................................................6
Halberd............................................................................. points
Dishonour - Additional hand weapon...................................................3
weapon................................................... points
- Great weapon....................................................................6
weapon.................................................................... points
- Long bow..........................................................................5
bow.......................................................................... points
• May wear a Horo cloak........................................................5
cloak........................................................ points
• May be mounted on one of the following:
- Warhorse…………….....................................................
...................................12 points
- Kirin………………..……..............................................50
Kirin………………..…….............................................. points
• May take one Clan Mon and/or
magic items up to a total of................................................50
of................................................ points

SHUGENJA 65 points
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Shugenja 4 3 3 3 3 2 3 1 7 Infantry (Character)

Magic: Equipment: Options:


• A Shugenja is a • Hand weapon • May be upgraded to a Level 2 Wizard...............................35
Wizard............................... points
Level 1 Wizard. • May take one Clan Mon and/or
She may use spells magic items up to a total of................................................50
of................................................ points
from the Lore of
Fire, Heavens, Life,
Shadows or Kami.

92
HEROES
HATAMOTO 50 points
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Hatamoto 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8 Infantry (Character)

Equipment: Special Rules: Options:


• Katana • Way of the Warrior • May be armed with one of the following:
• Heavy armour • Kenjutsu - Spear..................................................................
..........................................2 points
• Death before - Halberd.............................................................................4
Halberd............................................................................. points
Dishonour - Additional hand weapon...................................................2
weapon................................................... points
• Yojimbo - Great weapon....................................................................4
weapon.................................................................... points
- Long bow..........................................................................5
bow.......................................................................... points
• May wear a Horo cloak........................................................5
cloak........................................................ points
ARMY BATTLE STANDARD • May be mounted on a Warhorse........................................12
Warhorse........................................ points
One Hatamoto in the army may carry the • May take one Clan Mon and/or
Battle Standard for +25 points. The magic items up to a total of................................................50
of............................................ points
Hatamoto carrying the Battle Standard can
have a magic banner (no points limit) but
if he carries a magic banner he cannot
carry any other magic items. A Hatamoto
carrying the Battle Standard can never be
the army's General.

YAMABUSHI 60 points
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Yamabushi 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8 Infantry (Character)

Equipment: Special Rules: Options:


• Hand weapon. • Immune to • May be armed with one of the following:
Psychology - Halberd.............................................................................4
Halberd............................................................................. points
• Magic Resistance (2)
(2 - Long bow..........................................................................5
bow.......................................................................... points
• Martial Arts • May wear heavy armour......................................................4
armour...................................................... points
• Prayers of the Kami • May take one Clan Mon and/or
magic items up to a total of................................................50
of................................................ points

SHINOBI 125 points


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Shinobi 5 7 6 4 4 2 7 3 9 Infantry (Character)

Equipment: Special Rules: Options:


• Two hand weapons • Always Strike First • May be armed with any of the following:
• Throwing weapon • Poisoned Attacks - Blowgun...........................................................................5
Blowgun....................................................................... points
• Ward save (4+) - Caltrops.............................................................................5
Caltrops......................................................................... points
• Scout - Grappling Hook................................................................5
Hook................................................................ points
• Dishonourable - Smoke Bombs.................................................................10
Bombs................................................................. points
• Hidden • May take poisons up to a total of.......................................50
of....................................... points
• A Killer not a Leader • May take onee Clan Mon............................................no
Mon............................................ points limit

93
CORE UNITS
SAMURAI WARRIORS 10 points per model
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Samurai Warrior 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 Infantry
Samurai Chui 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Infantry

Unit Size: 10+ Special Rules: Options:


• Way of the Warrior • One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a Samurai Chui.......10 Chui points
Equipment: • Kenjutsu • One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a musician...............10
musician....... points
• Katana • Death before • One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded raded to a standard bearer....10bearer.... points
• Heavy armour Dishonour - A unit of Samurai Warriors with a standard
bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to......................25
to.............. points
• The entire unit may be armed with one of the following:
- Additional hand weapons................................
..............................1 point per model
- Halberds.....................................................................1
Halberds..................................................................... point per model
- Spears...............................................................................................free
Spears...............................................................................................
- Great weapons...........................................................1
weapons........................................................... point per model
- Long bows............................................................
.............2 points per model
• The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos....................30
Sashimonos.................... points
• The entire unit may take one Clan Mon...............................no
Mon............................... points limit

SAMURAI CAVALRY 16 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Samurai Cavalry 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 Cavalry
Samurai Chui 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Cavalry
Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 -

Unit Size: 5+ Special Rules: Options:


• Way of the Warrior • One Samurai Cavalry may be upgraded to a Samurai Chui.......10 Chui points
Equipment: • Kenjutsu • One Samurai Cavalry may be upgraded to a musician...............10
musician............... points
• Katana • Death before • One Samurai Cavalry may be upgraded to a standard bearer....10 bearer.... points
• Heavy armour Dishonour - A unit of Samurai Cavalry with a standard
bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to......................25
to...................... points
• The entire unit may be armed with one of the following:
- Spears................................................................
......................................1 point per model
- Halberds...................................................................
.................................................2 points per model
- Long bows................................................................2
bows................................................................ points per model
• The entire unit may wear Horo cloaks........................2
cloaks........................ points per model
• The entire unit may ay be equipped with Sashimonos....................30
Sashimonos.................... points
• The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.............................no
Mon............................. points limit

94
CORE UNITS

ASHIGARU SPEARMEN 4 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Ashigaru 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 Infantry
Yari Gashira 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 2 6 Infantry

Unit Size: 20+ Special Rules: Options:


• Fight in Extra • One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a Yari Gashira.....................10
Gashira points
Equipment: Ranks • One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a musician...........................10
musician........................... points
• Hand weapon • One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a standard bearer.................10
bearer................. points
• Spear • The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos....................30
Sashimonos.................... points
• Light armour • The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.............................no
Mon............................. points limit

ASHIGARU BOWMEN 5 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Ashigaru 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 Infantry
Yumi Gashira 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6 Infantry

Unit Size: 10+ Options:


• One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a Yumi Gashira...................10
Gashira points
Equipment: • One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a musician...........................10
musician........................... points
• Hand weapon • One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a standard bearer.................10
bearer................. points
• Bow • The entire unit may skirmish.................................
...........................1 point per model
• Light armour • The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.............................no
Mon............................. points limit

MATCHLOCK ASHIGARU 8 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Ashigaru 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 Infantry
Teppo Gashira 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6 Infantry

Unit Size: 10+ Options:


• One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a Teppo Gashira..................10
Gashira points
Equipment: • One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a musician...........................10
musician........................... points
• Hand weapon • One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a standard bearer.................10
bearer................. points
• Handgun • The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.............................no
Mon............................. points limit
• Light armour

95
SPECIAL UNITS

WARRIOR MONKS 12 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Warrior Monk 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 Infantry
Sohei 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Infantry

Unit Size: 10+ Special Rules: Options:


• Immune to • One Warrior Monk may be upgraded to a Sohei........................10
Sohei points
Equipment: Psychology • One Warrior Monk may be upgraded to a musician..................10
musician.................. points
• Hand weapon • Magic Resistance • One Warrior Monk may be upgraded to a standard bearer........10
bearer........ points
• Halberd (1) - A unit of Warrior Monks with a standard
• Heavy armour • Martial Arts bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to......................25
to...................... points
• The entire unit exchange halberds for long bows...............................free
bows.....
• The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.............................no
Mon............................. points limit

SUMO WARRIORS 14 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Sumo Warrior 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 1 8 Infantry
Yokosuna 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 2 8 Infantry

Unit Size: 5+ Special Rules: Options:


• Way of the Warrior • One Sumo Warrior may be upgraded to a Yokosuna................10
Yokosuna points
Equipment: • Kenjutsu • One Sumo Warrior may be upgraded to a musician..................10
musician.................. points
• Hand weapon • Death before • One Sumo Warrior may be upgraded to a standard bearer........10
bearer........ points
• Great Weapon Dishonour - A unit of Sumo Warriors with a standard
• Light armour • Unstoppable Force bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to......................50
to...................... points
The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.........................no
Mon...................... points limit

BATTLE MAIDENS 11 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Battle Maiden 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 Infantry
Onna-bugeisha 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Infantry

Unit Size: 10+ Special Rules: Options:


• Way of the Warrior • One Battle Maiden may be upgraded to a Onna-bugeisha.........10
Onna points
Equipment: • Kenjutsu • One Battle Maiden may be upgraded to a musician...................10
musician............... points
• Katana • Death before • One Battle Maiden may be upgraded ed to a standard bearer.........10
bearer...... points
• Halberd Dishonour - A unit of Battle Maidens with a standard
• Light armour • Stalwart Defence bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to......................25
to...................... points
• The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos....................30
Sashimonos.................... points
• The entire unit
nit may take one Clan Mon.............................no
Mon............................. points limit
96
SPECIAL UNITS
KABUKI DOLLS 12 points per model
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Kabuki Doll 5 4 4 3 3 1 5 1 8 Infantry
Dai-jô 5 4 4 3 3 1 5 2 8 Infantry

Unit Size: 5+ Special Rules: Options:


• Skirmishers • One Kabuki Doll may be upgraded to a Dai-jô....................10
Dai points
Equipment: • Poisoned Attacks • The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.......................no
Mon....................... points limit
• Hand weapon • Kabuki Dance
• War fan
• Light armour

YABUSAME 17 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Yabusame 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 Cavalry
Bow Master 4 4 5 3 3 1 4 1 8 Cavalry
Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 -

Unit Size: 5+ Special Rules: Options:


• Way of the Warrior • One Yabusame may be upgraded to a Bow Master...................10
Master points
Equipment: • Kenjutsu • One Yabusame may be upgraded to a musician.........................10
musician......................... points
• Katana • Death before • One Yabusame may be upgraded to a standard bearer...............10
bearer............... points
• Long bow Dishonour • The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.............................no
Mon............................. points limit
• Fast Cavalry
• Kyudo

RED DEVILS 20 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Red Devil 4 4 4 4 3 1 4 1 8 Cavalry
Red Devil Chui 4 4 4 4 3 1 4 2 8 Cavalry
Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 -

Unit Size: 5+ Special Rules: Options:


• Way of the Warrior • One Red Devil may be upgraded to a Red Devil Chui.........10
Chui points
Equipment: • Kenjutsu • One Red Devil may be upgradedded to a musician...................10
musician......... points
• Katana • Death before Dishonour • One Red Devil may be upgraded to a standard bearer.........10
bearer.. points
• Spear • Frenzy - A unit of Red Devils with a standard
• Heavy armour • Fearsome Charge bearer may carry a magic standard
dard worth up to................50
to.......... points
• The entire unit may wear Horo cloaks...................2
cloaks................ points per model
• The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos..............30
Sashimonos..... points
• The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.......................no
Mon....................... points limit

97
SPECIAL UNITS
WAKO PIRATES 5 points per model
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Wako Pirate 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 1 7 Infantry
Bosun 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 2 7 Infantry

Unit Size: 10+ Special Rules: Options:


• Ambushers • One Wako Pirate may be upgraded to a Bosun....................10
Bosun points
Equipment: • River Striders • One Wako Pirate may be upgraded to a musician................10
musici points
• Two hand • Distrustful • One Wako Pirate may be upgraded
aded to a standard bearer......10
bearer points
weapons • The entire unit may wear light armour....................1
armour.................. point per model
• The entire unit may swap one hand
and weapon for a bow.................free
bow...........
• The entire unit may skirmish.........................................................free
skirmish.........................................................

NINJA 12 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Ninja 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 1 8 Infantry
Shadow Eye 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 2 8 Infantry

Unit Size: 5-20 Special Rules: Options:


• Skirmishers • One Ninja may be upgraded to a Shadow Eye.....................10
Eye..................... points
Equipment: • Ward save (6+) • The entire unit may be armed with any of the following:
• Two hand • Scout - Poisoned Attacks................................................2
Attacks................................................ points per model
weapons - Blowguns............................................................2
Blowguns............................................................ points per model
• Throwing - Caltrops................................................................
................................................................1 point per model
weapon - Grappling Hooks..................................................
..................................................1 point per model
- Smoke Bombs....................................................
....................................................2 points per model
• The entire unit may take one Clan Mon......................no
Mon...................... points limit

ONI 55 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Oni 6 5 3 5 4 3 5 3 8 Monstrous Infantry
Overlord 6 5 3 5 4 3 5 4 8 Monstrous Infantry

Unit Size: 3+ Special Rules: Options:


• Fear • One Oni may be upgraded to an Overlord...............................
.............................10 points
Equipment: • Magical Attacks
• Hand weapon • Unbreakable
• Unstable
• Ward save (5+)

TENGU 11 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Tengu 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 2 8 Infantry
Elder 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 3 8 Infantry

Unit Size: 5-20 Special Rules: Options:


• Fly • One Tengu may be upgraded to an Elder................................
..............................10 points
Equipment: • Independent • The entire unit may be equipped with light armour...1
armour... point per model
• Hand weapon
98
RARE UNITS
RONIN 13 points per model
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Ronin 4 4 4 4 3 1 4 1 10 Infantry

Unit Size: 5-30 Special Rules:


• Kenjutsu
Equipment: • Skirmishers
• Two hand weapons • Unbreakable
• Light armour

GREAT GUARD 60 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Great Guard 4 5 4 4 3 1 4 2 8 Monstrous Cavalry
Citadel Sentinel 4 5 4 4 3 1 4 3 8 Monstrous Cavalry
Kirin 9 4 0 4 4 3 5 2 5 -

Unit Size: 3+ Special Rules: Options:


• Way of the Warrior • One Great Guard may be upgraded to a Citadel Sentinel.....10
Sentinel points
Equipment: • Kenjutsu • One Great Guard may be upgraded to a musician................10
musician................ points
• Katana • Death before Dishonour • One Great Guard may be upgraded to a standard bearer......10
bearer...... points
• Heavy armour • Fly - A unit of Great Guard with a standard
• Stubborn bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to................50
to................ points
• The entire unit may wear Horo cloaks...................5
cloaks................... points per model
• The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos..............30
Sashimonos.............. points

MIKOSHI SHRINE 150 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Mikoshi Shrine 4 4 4 4 4 6 4 4 8 Unique

Unit Size: 1 Equipment: Special Rules:


• Hand weapon • Immune to Psychology
• Stubborn
• Ward save (4+)
• Blessings of the Kami

99
RARE UNITS
MANGONEL 90 points per model
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Mangonel - - - - 7 3 - - - War Machine (Stone Thrower)
Crew 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 -

Unit Size: 1 Equipment (Crew): Special Rules:


• Hand weapon • Fire Bombs
Crew: 3 Crewmen • Light armour

FLAMING ARROW 50 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Flaming Arrow - - - - 7 3 - - - War Machine (Cannon)
Crew 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 -

Unit Size: 1 Equipment (Crew): Special Rules:


• Hand weapon • Flaming Arrow
Crew: 3 Crewmen • Light armour

KITSUNE 75 points per model


Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld Troop Type
Kitsune 9 5 0 4 4 3 6 3 9 Monstrous Beast

Unit Size: 1-3 Equipment: Special Rules:


• Claws and teeth • Ethereal
• Trickster Magic

100
SUMMARY
LORDS M WS BS S T W I A Ld Type Page RARE UNITS M WS BS S T W I A Ld Type Page
Daimyo 4 6 3 4 4 3 6 4 9 In 52 Flaming Arrow - - - - 7 3 - - - WM 70
Empress Jingu 4 3 3 3 3 3 4 1 9 In 76 - Crew 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 -
High Shugenja 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 1 8 In 53 Great Guard 4 5 4 4 3 1 4 2 8 MC 69
Yoritomo Ieyasu 4 7 5 4 4 3 6 5 10 Ca 75 - Citadel Sentinel 4 5 4 4 3 1 4 3 8 MC
- Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 - - Kirin 9 4 0 4 4 3 5 2 8 -
Kitsune 9 5 0 4 4 3 5 3 8 MB 74
HEROES M WS BS S T W I A Ld Type Page Mangonel - - - - 7 3 - - - WM
Hitomi Gozen 4 5 5 4 4 2 6 3 8 Ca 77 - Crew 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 - 70
- Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 - Mikoshi Shrine 4 4 4 4 4 6 4 4 8 Un 71
Hatamoto 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8 In 54 Ronin 4 4 4 4 3 1 4 1 10 In 68
O-Sayumi 4 4 4 3 3 2 4 2 7 In 80
The Red Ronin 4 6 5 5 4 2 6 3 10 In 78 MOUNTS M WS BS S T W I A Ld Type Page
Sarutori Hanzo 5 8 5 4 4 2 8 3 9 In 79 Kirin 9 4 0 4 4 3 5 2 8 MB 69
Shinobi 5 7 6 4 4 2 7 3 9 In 67 Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 WB var.
Shugenja 4 3 3 3 3 2 3 1 7 In 53
Taisho 4 5 5 4 4 2 5 3 8 In 52 Troop Type Key: In = Infantry,
Infantry WB = War Beast,
Yamabushi 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8 In 59 Ca = Cavalry, MI = Monstrous Infantry,
Infantry MB =
Monstrous Beast, MC = Monstrous Cavalry,
Cavalry Mo =
CORE UNITS M WS BS S T W I A Ld Type Page Monster, Ch = Chariot,, Sw = Swarms, Un = Unique,
Bow Ashigaru 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 In 57
WM = War Machine.
- Yumi Gashira 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6 In
Samurai Warrior 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 In 55
- Samurai Chui 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 In
Samurai Cavalry 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 Ca 55
- Samurai Chui 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Ca
- Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 -
Matchlock Ashigaru 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 In 57
- Teppo Gashira 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6 In
Yari Ashigaru 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 In 57
- Yari Gashira 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 2 6 In

SPECIAL UNITS M WS BS S T W I A Ld Type Page


Battle Maiden 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 In 61
- Onna-bugeisha 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 In
Kabuki Doll 4 4 4 3 3 1 5 1 8 In 62
- Dai-jô 4 4 4 3 3 1 5 2 8 In
Ninja 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 1 8 In 66
- Shadow Eye 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 2 8 In
Oni 6 5 0 5 4 3 5 3 8 MI 72
- Overlord 6 5 0 5 4 3 5 4 8 MI
Sumo Warrior 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 1 8 In 60
- Yokosuna 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 2 8 In
Tengu 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 2 8 In 73
- Elder 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 3 8 In
Red Devil 4 4 4 4 3 1 4 1 8 Ca 64
- Red Devil Chui 4 4 4 4 3 1 4 1 8 Ca
- Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 -
Wako Pirate 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 1 7 In 65
- Bosun 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 2 7 In
Warrior Monks 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 In 58
- Sohei 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 In
Yabusame 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 Ca 63
- Bow Master 4 4 5 3 3 1 4 1 8 Ca
- Warhorse 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 -

101
NIPPON Inside you will find:
• A Bestiary describing every unit, monster,
The Empire of Nippon demands much of its samurai: service hero and war machine in your army.
to one’s lord, service to one’s Clan, and service to one’s
Emperor. Bushido’s staunch and unyielding code of conduct • An army list to arrange your collection of
binds samurai to duty, strengthening their character and miniatures into a battle-ready force.
defining their choices. Eight Great Clans form the heart of • A comprehensive section that details the land
Nippon’s culture. Each is defined by its own principles, values, of Nippon, their culture and their history.
and agendas. Each sees the Code of Bushido in its own way.
Warhammer: Nippon is one of a series of
Each seeks to serve the Emperor with its own unique talents.
supplements for Warhammer. Each book
Now is the time for heroes, in a world where Honour is a force describes in detail an army, its history and its
more powerful than Steel. heroes.

102