For hundreds of years no Shogun or Emperor has been strong enough to keep the lands in control. Local rulers have looked to their own personal power and fought their neighbors. Farmers have feared for their lives as the horses of both their lords and enemy clans trample across their fields, pressing them into servicing their armies as foot soldiers. The Samurai caste has used the untold battlefields for forging their careers, growing in might and reputation until the day they themselves become one of the bloody corpses left behind for scavangers to loot.
This was until the last two decades. A new warlord, Oda Nobunaga, rose to a far stronger position than any previous warlord. He has extinguished the legendary Takeda clan with gunpowder and fierce tactics. He has defied the very Gods themselves by demolishing the Enryaku-ji temple and its rebellious monks with fire. He has secured his borders by bringing the Tokugawa clan to his lap with diplomacy.
However, tonight everything will change. The sticky smell of smoke is slowly spreading in the hot and humid summer night. All over Kyoto people are looking towards the Honnoji temple just outside the city where hungry flames are reaching towards the heavens. Inside the temple Oda Nobunaga is committing ritual suicide, betrayed by his own general Mitsuhide. Just like the monks of Enryaku-ji his corpse will be consumed by the fire, never to be found.
All over Japan the former generals of Nobunaga are frantically hurrying to secure their positions. It will take another two decades before matters are finally settled, and until then Japan will remain a country of great perils and greater rewards. Peasants, monks and samurai will all be involved in the climax of centuries of civil war. Not only the temple of Honnoji but all of Japan will truly be in flames.
Japan in Flames is an alternative setting for the Games Workshop game of Mordheim. The time is right after the assassination of Oda Nobunaga in 1582, and the place is in and around the capital Kyoto. However the players need no more historical expertice than to know that it is all about small groups of samurai, outlaws and other groups who try to carve out a small piece of reputation, power or just a handful of gold coins in a chaotic time of civil war.
Unless otherwise noted, all the rules from the basic rulebook and the expansion, Empire in Flames, are used. These rules are available as free pdf downloads on Games Workshop's Specialist Games website. Japan in Flames is mostly about slightly changing the original game to be more suitable for samurai skirmish campaigns with new warbands, new weapons and equipment, some changes to costs and some new missions and exploration tables.