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|Designer(s)||Mark Herman, Richard H. Berg|
|Players||2-4, Best With 2|
|Play Time||Epic - Over 3 Hours|
RAN is the 12th volume in the "Great Battles of History" Series, and the second game on the battles of the Samurai (following GMTs Samurai (Vol. V). RAN covers several of the less famous of the Sengoku Jidai, the Age of Warring States (more or less), in which powerful Daimyo - Japanese feudal lords - strove to both maintain and extend their power bases while seeking to attain the office of Shogun, the power behind the throne of the Emperor.
RAN simulates the highly personal form of warfare developed by the Japanese samurai, wherein formal battles played out almost as backdrops to individual feats of courage, bravery and devotion much of it outstanding, some of it rather foolhardy, all of it very Homeric. Although political and tactical victory was the bottom line, collecting the severed heads of enemy samurai reigned a very close second in importance. In terms of tactics, this was, as in Europe, the Dawn of Modern Warfare, with the introduction of guns - arquebuses - by the Portuguese. Even with the revelatory effect of musketry, Japanese battles were still pretty much a swirling, non-linear affair.
RAN, the name the famous Japanese film director, Kurosawa, chose for his samurai version of King Lear, roughly means “Chaos.”