I had read the rules a few weeks before, but had forgotten some of it, so it was learn by playing and we missed some bits until bumping into them near the end when looking up something else.
Ronin is a good set of rules for small Samurai skirmish games. Most of the caveats we had were things we figured out near the end we had been doing wrong, and that's always a good sign.
For our scenario, at the center of the table was a village, with my one finished Japanese house and a few thatched Dark Ages houses filling in.
Since it was a scratch game and I couldn't find a copy shop open this evening to duplicate tables and army lists, we had some hand waving towards force composition, which actually led to some of the errors.
Ed - 7 peasants and ronin in a tax revolt defending the village. Only one had armor and that was light.
Henry 5 Sohei coming to bolster the villagers. Leader with a Katana, others with Naginatas. Medium armor.
Dave 4 Red Samurai, two of them archers, coming to suppress the rebellion and collect the taxes. Heavy armor.
Eric 4 Blue and Purple Samurai, just like Dave's force in composition.
I underrated the Samurai a bit in the handwaved setup without looking at the list too closely, though the Sohei and Ronin would likely have been a bit better and the peasants more numerous in a serious set up as well.
The Samurai side of the board had a river that ran almost to the end. Dave opted to come straight across the narrow footbridge. Eric took the long way by starting way off to the right, which put him on the village side of the river from the start but farther away.
Since the attackers came at us divided, I went ahead and defended the village side of the bridge, while awaiting Sohei support. Since only the attacking Samurai had archers, the defenders had to lurk in cover as much as possible until they could engage the attacking Samurai fighters.
Discovered I'd left the better camera at home, oops, so phone pics are all I have.
First clash at the village end of the bridge
Sohei to the rescue!
Dave's last Samurai fell back and took a final shot at the charging Sohei before being overwhelmed.
By dint of luck and combat rules mistakes, the defenders held out with only a few losses and even killed a couple attackers, and the Sohei finished off the bridge attackers, while the peasant leader and his remaining healthy fighters charged the flanking Samurai and promptly died.
The last two peasants standing retreated into the house until the Sohei could come back. The Sohei are making use of cover to approach here.
Eric's Samurai proved to be of sterner stuff and a couple of turns later, the Sohei leader was slain, and two or three more with various wounds, while the Samurai, even with the intervention of the last surviving peasants, stood victorious with just one of them lightly wounded. Neglected to take a final picture of their victory.
It was a fun learning game and we'll play Ronin again soon, with the rules sorted out, charts in hand, and properly organized forces.