War phase rules
As a reminder for our players, and our audience, the war phase rules.
No more trading of coins or Ronin. You may make promises to each other for next Season, but nothing material changes hands.
Often forgotten rule: all coins and Ronin go away at the end of this war. You should spend everything.
So, in the random province order determined before Spring, we go through each Province. Thanks to Fox’s clan ability, there will be a battle in each Province except Hokkaido; Dragonfly will win the Hokkaido token automatically with no battle phase.
In each province, the players with Force there will secretly and simultaneously make bids with their coins on four War Advantages: Seppuku, Take Hostage, Hire Ronin, and Imperial Poets.
Whichever player wins Seppuku has the option of killing all their own figures in that province, gaining 1 VP and 1 Honor increase for each figure killed. You can win Seppuku and not use it just to prevent other players from doing so.
Whichever player wins Take Hostage may take one figure hostage from any other player in that province (except Daimyos). The hostage does not take part in the battle, the hostage owner must give one VP to the hostage taker, and the hostage will be ransomed at the beginning of next season for 1 free coin to the taker. Yes, monsters (except daimyo monsters) can be taken hostage, so those depending on cool plastic fiends need to protect them during bidding.
Whichever player wins Hire Ronin may then use all their Ronin tokens, if any. Ronin are never killed, so Ronin tokens may be used in every battle in that war. You can win the bid even if you have no Ronin just to keep others from using theirs.
After those three are resolved, forces fight (minus figures who killed themselves or were taken hostage). The clan with the highest force total wins, and all other figures are killed in the battle. You can win with just Ronin. All ties are broken by Honor ranking, so if all clans lose all figures before the fight somehow, the clan with the highest Honor still wins. That clan gains the War Province Token, which is worth VP at end of game, and more based on set collection bonuses too.
Finally, we resolve Imperial Poets. Whoever wins that bid gets 1VP for every figure that was killed in that battle, including Seppuku, regardless of who owned the figure.
At the end of the battle, all the coins spent on bids by the losers are removed. However, all coins spent by the winner will then be divided equally amongst all the losers. You will want to be careful to not overbid in earlier battles so as not to give a later opponent needed cash.