Who doesn’t love the idea of flashing samurai blades on the tabletop? And what better bad guys for your samurai to fight against than the original bad guys from Seven Samurai, some dastardly bandits?

Bandit Warband

I’m a fan of skirmish wargaming in mediaeval Japan, mostly I’ve used the Osprey ruleset Ronin. It’s got it’s flaws though, being just slightly too fiddly to resolve combats than I’d like, so I’d been toying with a simplified version of it lately.

Since you can never have too many bad guys, and because a Ronin warband is only about ten figures I painted up these bandits I had in my lead pile.

The majority of these are Perry sculpts, and boy are they nice. I love the way even the less extreme poses like the ronin in red about to draw his sword still manage to look dynamic.

The warband itself is made up of the leader (red armour and helmet), three bandits with swords/spears, two ronin with swords (normal clothes), a couple of bandits with bows and a couple of peasants with farm tools to clobber people with.

The archers are the only non-Perry figures. They’re from The Assault Group and honestly next to the realistically-proportioned Perry stuff like bizarre. My 8-year old son saw them on the painting table, picked them up and asked innocently “Dad, what’s wrong with their heads?” and I see what he means. So if an untrained eye like that can pick it then they’re definitely a little odd looking. But they’re not terrible, so they’re staying.

The bandits is Ronin are one of the weaker warbands, but the potential for scenario-based fun with some thieving scallywags like this is just too much.