Historical Overview Section

The Kofun period from 276AD through the Taika Great Reform edict of 646 created the ritsuriyo army, a Chinese-style conscript army, until the removal of the capital to Heian in 794. This period saw great increases in the use of iron armour, the introduction of cavalry, the gradual consolidation of most of Japan under an Imperial dynasty based in the Yamato basin with the capital at Nara, and military interventions in Korea. Armies of 10-25,000 men were common in the early period, and may have risen to 100,000 by the end.

The Heian period began in 794 after the movement of the capital of Japan to Heian-kyō (present day Kyōto), by the 50th emperor, Emperor Kammu. It is considered a high point in Japanese culture that later generations have always admired. The period is also noted for the rise of the samurai class, which would eventually take power and start the feudal period of Japan.

Nominally, sovereignty lay in the emperor but in fact power was wielded by the Fujiwara nobility. However, to protect their interests in the provinces, the Fujiwara and other noble families required guards, police and soldiers. The warrior class made steady gains throughout the Heian period. As early as 939, Taira no Masakado threatened the authority of the central government, leading an uprising in the eastern province of Hitachi, and almost simultaneously, Fujiwara no Sumitomo rebelled in the west. Still, military takeover was centuries away, when much of the strength of the government would lie within the private armies of the shogunate.

The entry of the warrior class into court influence was a result of the Hōgen Rebellion. At this time Taira no Kiyomori revived the Fujiwara practices by placing his grandson on the throne to rule Japan by regency. Their clan (Taira clan) would not be overthrown until after the Gempei War, which marked the start of the shogunate.

Kammu had abandoned universal conscription in 792, but he still waged major military offensives to subjugate the Emishi, possible descendants of the displaced Jaimon, living in northern and eastern Japan. After making temporary gains in 794, in 797 Kammu appointed a new commander under the title Seii Taishogun. By 801 the shogun had defeated the Emishi and had extended the imperial domains to the eastern end of Honshu

Using the army in ADLG

  • Whilst they are cool, the Samurai in the list are still very much Medium Foot so upgrading plenty of them to Elite is probably a good idea
  • They are not going to fight as well as you think they should just because they are Samurai - try and remember this and play to the strengths of the army, not the heroic idea
  • closing down the table is quite important as these troops are not cheap. Waterway, village, Impassable and plenty of paddy fields.

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