During the War Phase, players Battle over several contested Provinces. Winning Battles grants players extra Victory Points, especially if they are able to conquer a variety of different Provinces. However, cunning players may reap many benefits from Battles they lose, if they master the art of war.
At the start of the War Phase, players should flip their Political/War tiles to their War side. Any War Upgrade Season cards a player has acquired should also be resolved at this point. Note that “Start of War” effects take place at the start of the War Phase, not at the start of each Battle.
Each Season, there will only be war in the Provinces marked with a War Number token, as determined by the War Province tokens drawn during the Seasonal Setup. As these tokens are randomized each Season, which Provinces are at war, and the order in which they are resolved, changes every Season.
IMPORTANT: During the War Phase, players cannot freely give each other Coins or Ronin tokens as part of their negotiations.
Starting with the number 1 Province, and proceeding in ascending order, War is resolved in each Province, one at a time:
• If nobody has any Force in the Province, nothing happens and its corresponding War Province token is simply discarded.
• If only 1 player has any Force in the Province, they simply take the corresponding War Province token and place it, faceup, next to their Clan screen.
• If only 2 Allied players have Force in the Province, no Battle takes place. The player with the most Force in the Province simply takes the corresponding War Province token and places it, faceup, next to their Clan screen. As always, if there’s a tie, the tied player with the highest Honor is considered to have the most Force in the Province.
• If at least 2 players who are not Allied have Force in the Province, a Battle takes place to determine the winner (see Resolving Battles).
EXAMPLE: As Spring nears its end, the War Phase takes place, resolving War in the indicated Provinces in order:
1) Kyoto – As nobody has any Force there, its War Province token is discarded.
2) Hokkaido – DRAGONFLY is the only one with Force there, so they take the War Province token.
3) Oshu – Nobody has any figures there; however, the TURTLE’s special ability states their Strongholds count as 1 Force. The TURTLE takes the War Province token.
4) Kansai – TURTLE and LOTUS each have 2 Force there. Since they are Allied, no Battle takes place. Since LOTUS has higher Honor, they take the War Province token.
5) Nagato – TURTLE, LOTUS, and KOI have Force there. While TURTLE and LOTUS are Allied, KOI is not, so a Battle with take place between all 3! See the example in the next chapter.
6) Edo – Both KOI and DRAGONFLY have Force there. Since they are no longer Allied, a Battle will take place here.