There are those among film students who will state that Akira Kurosawa is the greatest film maker of the 20th Century. His movies were bold and epic in scale and often had underlying social commentaries in them, and if he was the greatest film maker or not, his impact on modern cinema is without question
Dozens of movie makers have cited Kurosawa as their real reason for getting into film and wanting to make movies for a living, with names like George Lucas, and Quentin Tarantino almost owing their entire career on the works of the legendary Japanese autor!
Perhaps one of the masters best known and loved works (and one that has been most covered in one way or another) is the 1954 movie The Seven Samurai, which sky rocketed Kurosawa in the west. A simple tale of farmers being threatened by bandits, hiring seven wandering samurai to help defend their village. In the west it was remade as The Magnificent Seven, and the samurai replaced by cowboys, but the story remained the same, a handful of people against overwhelming odds.
Now in a roundabout way, the Seven Samurai are coming to games tables in the form of seven amazingly sculpted miniatures from the mighty powerhouse from Nottingham Warlord Games. Warlord released their samurai skirmish game Test of Honour in 2017 and the game still remains very popular, and the latest box set of miniatures has just been announced for pre-order, the Seven Ronin. Ronin are wandering or masterless samurai, warriors who do not have a Shogun or master to serve and as such wander the world. The seven models in the pack all bear more than a passing resemblance to the characters in the Kurosawa epic, especially one model that looks very much like fan favourite Kikuchiyo played by one of Japans leading actors for decades Toshiro Mifune!
As is usual with the boxed miniatures for Test of Honour, cards with all the character profiles are supplied, along with equipment cards, skill cards and fate cards. Using seven samurai in your games could provide a very interesting challenge and if you can imagine them up against scores of archers or musketeers the image becomes only more epic in scope. All the ronin are only armed with swords so have no ranged attacks which will force players to think outside of the box.
The Seven Ronin are now available to pre-order from Warlord Games directly