GP29. DAN-NO-URA – The End (April 1185)
GP29. DAN-NO-URA – The End, April 1185
Despite early success for the Taira, two events late in the day turned the battle against them. First, the strong tide in the Shimonoseki Strait reversed, now favouring the Minamoto and allowing them to bring their superior numbers to bear. Second, an important Taira vassal, Taguchi Shigeyoshi, defected to the Minamoto and revealed to them the position of the imperial barge, which the Taira had disguised as a common vessel. Following Shigeyoshi’s betrayal, more and more Taira allies began defecting to the enemy. The Minamoto concentrated their attacks on the imperial barge in an attempt to capture the Emperor Antoku and secure the sacred regalia.
With these changes in fortune, the Taira knew that they were defeated. Many committed suicide by leaping into the sea and drowning. Among these were Lady Nii, widow of Kiyomori, who took her grandson, the eight year old Emperor Antoku, in her arms and plunged beneath the waves. Some Taira samurai died fighting, including Noritsune who sought to kill Yoshitsune but was foiled in his pursuit of vengeance by a legendary leap made by the young Minamoto general to another boat. The head of the Taira clan, Munemori, dithered while his family were finding honourable deaths around him, and was captured. The Taira attempted to take the sacred regalia with them to the bottom of the sea, denying them to the enemy. The Minamoto were able to retrieve the jewel and mirror but the sacred sword, Kusanagi, was lost forever to the depths.
By sunset, the battle of Dan-no-Ura was over. The Taira clan, the dominant political and military force in Japan for over two decades, was destroyed. The Genpei War ended and with it the classical Heian period. The Minamoto were the victors and established a system of political control by the military elite that would dominate Japan for the next seven centuries.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
> Move first
Dragon Cards 2
1 Victory Banner for each Leader or Unit eliminated.
Once it enters play, the Imperial Barge is a Command Ship worth 3 Victory Banners to the Minamoto if eliminated.
- Ocean hexes are passable and Naval Warfare rules are in effect.
Wind/tide is in the direction of the arrow (see map) Green-bordered Ocean hexes denote section border hexes
- * Shigeyoshi’s Betrayal - The Taira player may not order Shigeyoshi to detach from his unit or commit seppuku (he may still attach to another unit if his original unit is destroyed). As soon as the Minamoto gain their 5th Victory Banner, Shigeyoshi and his unit defect to the Minamoto. Replace their red banners with yellow ones. The Taira player immediately discards a Command card and his Command is reduced by one for the rest of the game. See the Imperial Barge rule. If Shigeyoshi is killed before the Minamoto gain 5 Victory Banners, the Shigeyoshi’s Betrayal, Imperial Barge and Sacred Regalia Special Rules will not come into effect during the battle.
- * The Imperial Barge – The three Taira Irregular Peasant Infantry units represent decoy ships, one of which is the Imperial Barge. When the Shigeyoshi’s Betrayal rule is triggered, the Taira player immediately chooses one of the Irregular Peasant Infantry units to become the Imperial Barge, replacing it with a full strength Command Ship (the “commander” is the child Emperor Antoku). Once the Imperial Barge is in play, the Sacred Regalia rule may be used. If all three Irregular Peasant Infantry decoys are destroyed before the Minamoto gain 5 Victory Banners, the Imperial Barge and Sacred Regalia special rules will not come into effect during the battle.
- * The Sacred Regalia – When the Taira player orders the Imperial Barge, he may choose to throw one of the three sacred regalia into the sea. If doing so, the Imperial Barge may not move or battle that turn. Each time one of the sacred regalia is discarded, one claimed Victory Banner is removed from the Minamoto total. This may be done a maximum of three times (players may mark this by putting three tokens such as coins with the Imperial Barge and removing one as each of the sacred regalia is lost). The Taira may not discard sacred regalia while the Imperial Barge is grappled.
- * Legendary Leap – Yoshitsune may perform a leader escape in any direction, not only toward his baseline, and when performing a leader escape may cross an open ocean hex to reach a Minamoto unit two hexes away.