The Arrival of the Ming Chinese
The Japanese invasion of the Korean peninsular had by the end of 1592 reached the city of Pyongyang in the North of the country. From this fortified city a sizeable Japanese expeditionary force was dispatched northwards to seek out and engage any Korean units to the north and west. Unfortunately for the Japanese, a very large vanguard of the Ming Chinese army had passed through the mountains of Northern Korea and was heading for Pyongyang in order to re-capture the city in support of the Koreans. The combined Korean and Ming forces, after a tough fight, managed to surround and completely destroy the Japanese expeditionary force before advancing southwards to assault and eventually capture the city.
The Game scenario.
The game is based on this historical event. Units of Korean infantry and local militia stand in defence of a small earthwork fortification guarding the main route through the mountains to the north. It is through this route that the Koreans expect the Ming army to arrive in support. A sizeable Korean force composed of light and heavy cavalry plus a small infantry contingent are already deployed to halt the advance of the Japanese invaders armed with the knowledge that their Ming allies are already in close proximity and the trap is set!
The Samurai army under the command of Dave Mac advanced towards Tim’s Korean cavalry which resulted in a cavalry on cavalry encounter. The Korean militia and spear units were held in reserve along with the Korean handgunners and militia holding the fort guarding the pass through which the Ming army was expected to arrive.
The exchange of bow shooting between the opposing units of cavalry was soon superseded by hand-to-hand fighting at the same time as the missile armed Samurai infantry advanced towards the fort. In response, Tim opened the gates of the fort to send out his units of Korean handgunners with the aim of establishing a shooting line to prevent the road through the mountains being cut.
For a while the Korean cavalry force held its ground rather well until a rather poor round of hand-to-hand combat effectively broke the back of their defence. With only the militia and 4 spear units in the second line it the Samurai gained the upper-hand and started to inflict severe casualties on their opponents.
The Ming army made an appearance, perhaps a little late, but their numbers certainly shifted the focus of the Samurai army into a more defensive mode. The limited space for deployment at the mouth of the pass drastically reduced the speed at which the Ming could make their presence felt on the battlefield. However, the Samurai had suffered significant losses defeating the Korean force and although it would take a while the massive Ming army would certainly force the Samurai to retreat back towards Pyongyang.