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Men with discrimination will be viewed as schemers; second, men with deep far-sightedness will be seen as cowards; and third, men with rough behavior will be mistaken for real warriors. These are great errors.
— Takeda Shingen

Takeda Shingen was the nineteenth head of the Takeda clan of Kai Province. He earned military prestige in the late Azuchi-Momoyama Period. He was especially famous for his feuds with another warlord, Uesugi Kenshin with the two battling at Kawanakajima five times from 1553-1564. He was one of the only daimyo strong enough to oppose Oda Nobunaga's quest to reunify the war-torn nation.

There are varying stories as to how Takeda Shingen died, the most popular stories being that he perished from wounds, pneumonia, or assassination by a sniper when he tried to attack Nobunaga again in 1573.

Shingen introduced a new tactic with kiba gundan, 'mounted army,' or simply the cavalry charge which he first used at the Battle of Mikatagahara against Tokugawa Ieyasu. He adopted the use of firearms in 1567 stating that "hereafter, the guns will be the most important arms, therefore decrease the number of spears per unit, and have your most capable men carry guns." He was an avid reader of Sun Tzu's The Art of War, where he gained most of his tactics and famous battle standard, Furinkazan.

Battle vs. Oliver Cromwell (by Pygmy Hippo 2)[]

Great Plains, Nebraska

Two armies from islands on opposite sides of the world stood ready for combat in the open plain to decide who would claim this new territory. The Takeda Clan and New Model Army had both sailed to this unfamiliar land to gain an advantage over their adversaries on the continent and inside their own nation. At the front, Oliver Cromwell and Takeda Shingen both glared at the opposing force and looked for any weaknesses.

Neither had a large force but other than that, nothing seemed to be different from any other battle except Oliver's preaching which caught Takeda's attention. "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,..." Shingen cleared his throat to draw attention to himself and fired an arrow at Cromwell's feet which he laughed in response. "あなたも戦闘の準備ができていますか?" (Are you even ready for combat, you lunatic?)

"Hear me, LORD, and answer me; for I am poor and needy. Guard my life..." "これで十分!電荷!" (Enough of this! Charge!) Takeda's Samurai charged forwards on their steeds and he got on his horse to join them as they fired arrows at Oliver and his Ironsides which bounced off their steel cuirasses. A couple Yumi Bow shots managed to hit the necks or face and three men fell off their horses but their opponent’s charge with their Doglock Pistols was far more effective as the lead balls tore through five men's tosei gusoku with ease.

As the cavalry collided with their swords and a couple more shots, the infantry just stood still and prepared their firearms while the pikemen protected them. In the blackpowder carnage that quickly ensued, several men on each side toppled over from bullets to their unarmored parts or shots that just went through their armor. Nine of Cromwell's foot soldiers were dead with a pikeman clutching his bleeding arm in pain and ten of Shingen's Ashigaru were dead, both had lost five musketeers but that was only the beginning of the battle as the remaining ten pikemen on each side marched forwards while their allies reloaded.

A Samurai got shot in the face and an Ironside got an arrow in the eye as the cavalry unit's blades began to clash with four men either getting decapitated or their throats slashed. Another two were dismounted with the force of the Nodach but once the reach was lost, six of Takeda's men started falling to various injuries like stabs to the armpit, pommels to the head, and even Oliver's Doglocks picking off another soldier. The Daimyo angrily charged at the Lord Protector and slayed the two dismounted men in the way with a single slash before the two leaders began duelling from horseback.

Another even trade occured as the Yumi and Pistols had their penultimate shots delivered with two more armored men on each side crashing to the ground as their horses fled. Three of the Ironsides managed to escape the engagement and charged at the reloading Ashigaru who not only did not expect one of their men to fall over with a bleeding head from a gunshot but also four others getting trampled by horses. The remaining men were killed with seings of the Mortuary-hilt Swords but two managed to kill an Ironside with Tanegashima shots before the leader stabbed their throats.

It would soon be ironic as three Ashigaru pikemen stabbed his horse with their Yaris and used their crossguards to block his futile swings on the ground as the middle one drove the blade into the Ironside's neck. The damage was done however and while the larger pikes had slain more foot soldiers in the beginning, now only two remained and the three pikemen stared in horror as Matchlock fire tore through their bodies. The final Ashigaru were slain by being turned into a pincushion and the other was whacked with the wood staff before the injured foot soldier's Pike stabbed into his spinal cord from behind.

The Ironsides had fought valiantly but only one man remained against two Samurai and it seemed as if he would join the Ashigaru before a musket's lead ball headshot the one on the right. The man pulled out his Doglock and fired one last shot as his foe fired his Yumi but the Samurai had a hole in his gut while the Ironside just got a arrow in his leg. Both were in pain, however the English cavalry had a clear advantage and blocked the Japanese cavalry's Nodachi strike with his Mortuary-hilt Sword before grabbing onto his arm and smashing his wrist with the pommel.

The Samurai cried out in pain before he was put out of his misery by a Mortuary-hilt stab that made his body fall with his sword as the Ironside turned to see who won the duel. Cromwell and Shingen knocked each other off their horses and had been clashing for several minutes with both unable to get a fatal blow in past the hand guards and blades and now they gathered up their energy for a final strike. "ばか死ぬ!" (Die fool!) Takeda charged forwards and knocked Oliver over before stabbing downwards with his Nodachi only to hit grass as his foe rolled out of the way.

Takeda Shingen looked downwards in horror as the Mortuary-hilt Sword came for his neck and sliced it open, Oliver Cromwell got up just as his opponent’s corpse fell over like a chopped down tree. The Lord Protector celebrated his victory over the Daimyo with more hysteric laughter and preaching as his troops rejoiced. "They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn; He has done it!"

Winner:Oliver Cromwell

Expert's Opinion[]

In this army battle between two blackpowder cavalry generals, Oliver Cromwell came out on top due to the Mortuary-hilt Sword holding its own against the Nodachi and the Doglock Pistols dominating the Yumi Bow along with superior armor and his tactics improving upon the standard cavalry charge. Takeda Shingen still put up a great fight with his superior pike and musket along with more experience but his Samurai just couldn't take the swift and deadly strikes of the Ironsides' pistols.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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