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Banditry is a real problem in the villageís remote corner of Japan. Most of the time, the bandits keep away from major settlements, forming into small, semi-organised bands to attack unwary travellers. Sometimes, however, they will form into larger groups and attach the village en mass.

If bandits attack the village while you are unprepared, the results can be devastating. They will kill a hefty chunk of your population and will make off with your stores. They may even damage crops or the village itself.

Your main line of defence against bandits are hired ronin. Having just a small band of these masterless samurai in the village will be enough to ward off almost any bandit attack without harm to the village, and may even put the bandits off from attacking altogether. However, ronin are very expensive, so it is important to learn to predict when bandit attacks are more or less likely. Donít be afraid to dismiss any ronin you have on retainer if you feel that you no longer need them.

There are several factors that determine the probability of an attack, then main one being the weather. A long serious of poor harvests will drive local people into starvation and lawlessness, causing them to group into bands in the wilds. Your advisers will try to keep you informed as to the likelihood of an attack, but remember, they are not infallible! Bandits can attack at any time in any season.

Also, keep a careful eye on recent events. If your people have spotted a bandit scouting party or you have recently defaulted on a debt to a money lender, for example, an attack might be imminent.