Victory through Honour
In a society where death can come quickly and unexpectedly a man’s immortality relies upon his reputation. In mystical Nippon this is seen in the honour that he is held in by his comrades. This is called ‘On’. So to most men honour is everything. They will fight to gain honour, commit acts that in other societies may be seen as brutal for it and, most importantly they will die to preserve it.
In Daishō this is covered in the section on ‘Victory through Honour’. Unlike IHMN, each scenario is set up with objectives that will earn the Buntai On. Achieving these objectives is the primary driver of the game. However, there are also actions that figures may be able to take in any game that will earn them extra On.
For example defeating your opponents will earn you On equivalent to their social caste. So the more socially important figures are worth more, with Leaders worth bonus points as well. There are other actions that can earn On and these will be explained in detail in the rules.
Also if a figure is defeated and captured he can still attempt to save On through Seppuku. This is important as you lose On if your men are captured and thus disgraced.
[Illustration © Tony Yates]
A very important point is that failure to achieve a scenario’s objectives may not mean defeat. If a Buntai can achieve enough On through honourable actions they may still win, even if their opponents technically succeeded at the scenario objectives.
We feel that this is another mechanic that will encourage players to get the feel of mystical Nippon and produce some entertaining and heroic results.