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HirumaShigure

Clan stealth/covert military units

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With having played a few games of Battle for Rokugan, it's had me wondering what military units the different clans have had that could represent the "shinobi" token in that game. Basically that token in the game represents a military unit that can infiltrate any opposing province despite adjacency to a province you control. 

Crab: Hiruma Stalkers

Crane: Daidoji Harriers

Dragon: possibly the Mountaineers or as represented, the Togashi monks  (Wandering Monk)

Lion: ???

Phoenix: ???

Scorpion: no known access to shinobi or covert units :ph34r: ;)

Unicorn: ???

Although they may not be canon any longer, can anyone think of military units in the AEG setting that could have fit these positions? Please advise.

Also, do you think each clan should have access to a "covert" military unit in the LCG (keyword or thematically) or should it be kept sparsely distributed in only certain clans?

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The Lion Clan uses scouts extensively in warfare. They usually refrain from using sabotage (as compared to harriers for example), but they use stealth and sometimes misdirection to lure units into disadvantageous positions. 

 

Unicorns also use scouts, but a special mention to the Baraunghar in the old storyline. A shugenja-heavy cavalry unit specializing in water magic (aka movement) and able to teleport.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Tetsuhiko said:

The Lion Clan uses scouts extensively in warfare.

 

 

What family is/was historically their "scout" family? I've been looking through the Secret of the Clans material for vassal families that may fill these roles as well...

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18 minutes ago, HirumaShigure said:

What family is/was historically their "scout" family? I've been looking through the Secret of the Clans material for vassal families that may fill these roles as well...

Lion scouts are often drawn from the Ikoma Family. In the old canon, in fact, the Ikoma often make use of all sorts of nefarious tactics, on the battlefield and off...a sort of tacit recognition that, sometimes, you HAVE to be pragmatic and just do whatever needs to be done. They just compartmentalize it.

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All families have scouts. I think there was a Lion Scout Advanced School that could be learned by pretty much everyone. 

 

I also forgot to mention the weird relationship in the old storyline between the Akodo and the Lying Darkness. Before and during the War of Darkness, a great number of members of the Akodo family were corrupted by the Lying Darkness (including Akodo Toturi). When it was finally defeated, the Lying Darkness, lacking a proper Heavenly-given name (this namelessness being the source of most of its power), was finally named and defeated. 

 

The name chosen was Akodo. It had the benefit of restoring the mind and body and all the corrupted Akodo, but also linked the family with its concept. It actually gave them an edge as scouts.

 

EDIT: Got ninja'ed

Edited by Tetsuhiko

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Speaking of ninja...

 

In the dark days of the 3rd edition of the RPG, just about everybody got some ninja-ness, including the Phoenix getting the Sesai family (a Shiba vassal family who were O So Good at their job that even the Council and Champion had no idea what they got up to, or even that they existed. It was dumb).

 

For the Phoenix, I'd say either the Mist Legion (a subset of the Hurricane Initiates specialized in battlefield illusion magic) or the teleport/movement happy Tsunami Legion/Legion of the Wave double act.

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5 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Speaking of ninja...

 

In the dark days of the 3rd edition of the RPG, just about everybody got some ninja-ness, including the Phoenix getting the Sesai family (a Shiba vassal family who were O So Good at their job that even the Council and Champion had no idea what they got up to, or even that they existed. It was dumb).

 

For the Phoenix, I'd say either the Mist Legion (a subset of the Hurricane Initiates specialized in battlefield illusion magic) or the teleport/movement happy Tsunami Legion/Legion of the Wave double act.

Whilst I agree that the Sesai were exaggerated, I don't consider it unlikely that the Shiba would have a vassal family that proactively protected Isawa lands from invasion by shinobi-ing it up.

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5 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Whilst I agree that the Sesai were exaggerated, I don't consider it unlikely that the Shiba would have a vassal family that proactively protected Isawa lands from invasion by shinobi-ing it up.

It's the "even the Council and the Champion have No Idea They're Doing It" that's idiotic.

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Crab: The Hiruma are the traditional scouting family, however the Yasuki are just as adept if not more so at skullduggery and espionage and they retain the Scales of the Carp on the down low for extra deniabilty.

Crane: Daidoji Harriers, Saboteurs, and Scouts and how convenient it is that the Rokugani legal system absolutely makes sure that the Kakita bushi are not in fact hitmen.

Dragon: The Zurui family are responsible for the Dragon information gathering/spycraft posing as monks. Units like the Mountaineers and the Dragon Flame are responsible for battlefield intelligence. From the Clan War game you also had the Agasha Fireblossom's which were an explosives team that also laid traps. On the other hand of the spectrum the Kitsuki Investigators in that game were also used to deny traps and any kind of ninja or Kolat action so they clearly have uses in a scouting/surveying role.

Lion: Most skulldguggery is province of the Ikoma through the Spymasters/Lion's Shadow. Within the Ikoma when the Kaeru joined up they provided additional actual no frills assassins to the Ikoma through the Poisoned Frog.

The Akodo also traditionally trained scouts and sentries for battlefield duty.

Mantis: The Watanabe family included most of the assassination/espionage minded Mantis. Way of the Ninja had a "Winds of the Storm" family but I think that would be better treated in a similar way to the Scales of the Carp or the Rolling Waves and other ronin bands covertly sponsored by the clans rather than as a family

Phoenix: The Sesai vassals would fit the bill, and from the Clan War wargame units like the Earth Elementals would also fit the bill for stealth battlefield units.

Scorpion: Nothing to see there. And I do mean Nothing.

Unicorn: The Shinjo provided most of the scouting reconnaissance duties. Way of the Ninja also introduced the Hateru, but in the Book of Void they were drastically changed and became more of independent operators. Personally I don't like them much as they are in any incarnation and would probably, cautiously, tie them to the Fox.

Honorable mentions:

The Tortoise have extensive smuggling operations and the function as a bit of a secondary intelligence gathering group for the Hantei.

The Falcon, Wasp and Fox also have a tradition of woodland lore and craft so they are no strangers to stealth operations.

The Hare have their own assassins in the Ujina family.

 

 

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