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Ashikaga 07-13-2009 03:48 PM

True Samurai tactics
It is commonly thought that samurai largely employed "honourable" face off in standard battles. However, while some light reading, I found that, apparently, the samurai largely employed more devious techniques to conquer their opponents. For example, the use of ninjas and assassins, surprise night raids on the enemy, and sabotage through arson.

Philosophus 07-13-2009 03:58 PM

Re: True Samurai tactics
I would confirm that by just say go play Total war shogun :P

but yeah, war is hell as they say, although it was perhaps when a battle was known to happen to both sides they might acted honorable?

Like how certain battles between "Knights/kings" in Europe was dealt with a head on meeting/battle

Ashikaga 07-13-2009 04:00 PM

Re: True Samurai tactics
Lol, yeah Shogun's good, but is a video game. I'm not saying they didn't have pitched battles, just that they were more devious than most think.

NinjaKerocker 07-14-2009 07:36 AM

Re: True Samurai tactics
Well as paradoxical as this may sound, i think that employing such tactics was not considered dishonorable, where as participating is such acts was, so i guess a samurai would never go out on a night raid, but has no problem employing people that will.

SunWuKong 07-14-2009 11:19 AM

Re: True Samurai tactics
Whatever worked.
Watch the Kurosawa movies and other period pieces. Poisoned water supplies, torched castles.

Honor seemed to be inversely proportional to the number of enemies you were facing. Stories and history tend to romantise things.

(Total War rocks!!)

Wundai 07-14-2009 12:19 PM

Re: True Samurai tactics
Indeed TW Rulez :P

If any of you have seen "Heaven & Earth" (a very cool Japanese movie IMO) they would even drag captured family members (children, wives) to force the enemy lord to come out of his castle and surrender, and if he didn't, execute them.

Not saying this happened alot btw, only they were lucky enough to capture them.

Oh yes and Shinobi were samurai as well ;)

Btw read this its nice to filter out the false stuff :)


WhiteHawk 07-14-2009 12:59 PM

Re: True Samurai tactics
Hell yeah SHOGUN! I always said they should make a Shogun 2: Total War, but they just won't listen... =(

Back on topic, I have no doubt that "honor" would be a significant part of duels and confrontations in the higher ends of society, when crap hit the fan in largely populated areas of cities and noble districts. News spread fast, after all, so acting like a rogue is not a good idea when important people are watching.
But when it comes to remote battlefields or sieged cities, not only will no one ever know, but it suddenly seems to matter very little to either you or the guy next to you. :D

Philosophus 07-14-2009 01:36 PM

Re: True Samurai tactics
In shogun i heavily relayed on shinobis and Geishas also warrior monks, man i wish they would do a second, i second that.

Could be as whitehawk suggests, what i would employ myself in a battle.
Depending on the location and survivability of "witnesses"

Interesting link there Wundai, clears certain things up.
A must read i think.

Ashikaga 07-14-2009 02:37 PM

Re: True Samurai tactics
Very good points. And yes, Shogun 2 should be made, or at least an expansion to M2 or Empires (as a note, there are several overhaul mods in development for Rome and Medieval 2).

The Japanese samurai commanders were not stupid people. As quoted from Billy Connelly in The Last Samurai "War has been these people's sole occupation for the last thousand years". So although there were strict social rules, they weren't stupid enough to miss great opportunities for success. However, many keystones of Japanese history do come about through pitched battles after months of manoeuvring, and less focus on raids etc, classic example would be Sekigahara, although there are more.

Gheari 07-15-2009 03:14 PM

Re: True Samurai tactics
Samurai honor is somewhat different than Knightly honor. It is based mostly on courage in battle and respect and loyalty to those higher on the social ladder then they are. Even though samurai were ruled by a code of honor, they were still practical warriors and tacticians.

Also, shinobi were very rarely samurai.

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