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Let's Play: Shogun 2 Total War


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Hello, skitarii here. You may remember me from my Empire Total War Let's Play thread. Anyways, I've had a really bitter and horrible winter quarter, and today's the day Spring Break began. After that shitty ochem test, I bought myself the newest release in the Total War Series: Shogun 2 Total War.

For fans of the series, its a throwback to the very first title: The setting is Japan, the era is the Sengoku Jidai, which is pretty much civil war from the 1500s and onwards. Yup, this is where we all get our samurai and ninja stuff from.

For newcomers to the Total War series and those who just want to look at my Let's Play, I welcome you. Total War series is probably one of the most involved strategy games ever. I'll give some basics, but you'll be learning as I go through the campaign and such.

The game is mainly divided into two segments: Turn-based and real-time.

In the turn-based segments you move your armies around, manage your cities, train troops, make diplomacy, assassinate enemy generals, spy on enemy cities and whatnot. This is probably the part that turns most casual gamers away, it gets very taxing keeping track of everything.

Real-time occurs when your armies clash with others on the world map. The game will do a pretty epic zoom-in onto the map (or just go straight to the battle on the much older 2D games). Your general (or captain if you didn't put one there) will give a speech that could be heroic or shitty (if he's insane or cowardly) and you can position your men. After that you can begin the battle and start making your moves. Unlike the previous total war games, ALL the speeches are done in Japanese.

Units are not single individuals, but are groups of soldiers, which can range from 80 (knights, elites) to 200 (peasants, low quality infantry) Growths are static, with every level up increasing attack and defence by 1. There are named characters who are part of your royal family, and they become generals if placed in an army. They also grow depending on the situations you put them in on the battlefield, which can lead to very awesome warriors or very....umm...insane people. This can boost or screw over your troops' stats.

The main goal of the game is to conquer your enemies, or if you're into roleplaying history, you can be merciful or just do nothing and watch what the other countries do.

In battle, the main goal is to rout the enemy, basically break their will to fight. So, with clever positioning and even with lesser soldiers, you can defeat armies who are theoretically superior. Usually if people are getting chopped from the front, shot at in the sides, and charged in the back, it usually guarantees a rout. You can choose to let them run away and fight you on a better day, or you can chase and cut them down like the dogs they are.

There is some sort of weapon triangle...or perhaps unit triangle. Yari (spear) beats cavalry. Cavalry beats katana (sword). Katana beats yari. Archers can deal a crapton of damage, but will get screwed if caught in melee. There's also some other specialist units but I'll mention them as I encounter them in the campaign.

This is my short introduction to the Total War series, it's not similar to Fire Emblem, but it's something I'd like to share with you guys.

Alright, here's the first screen, spoilered of course.


I will be starting a new campaign, and I would like YOU to get involved int he decision-making processes. Previously, in Empire Total War, I could name units. Sadly enough, they removed this feature in Shogun 2. So, I'll give you guys 2 choices:

Either each forumite assumes a certain class of units, for example: Furetchen "owns" the archers. Therefore, every time I use archer units I'll refer to Furetchen.

The other choice is that each participating forumite will command an army on the campaign map.

Anyways, for now, I need help in deciding on a starting clan. I'll list each clan's name and attributes below.


- Better and cheaper archers

- More money from farms

- Wear light-blue


- Cheaper and better katana samurai

- Superior katana hero units

- Loyal generals

- Wear green


- Ninjas are better at doing their job

- Some special units can hide anywhere on the field.

- Some special units have kisho (????) training

- Wear black(?)


- Superior and cheaper no-dachi (berzerkers) samurai

- All units have a higher charging bonus

- Wear dark blue


- Cheaper castles

- Superior and cheaper siege units (basically units that are useful in blowing shit up)

- Wear sky blue


- Faster, cheaper, and superior navy

- Wear red


-Hard difficulty

- Cheaper and braver peasant/ashigaru units

- Wear yellow


-Hard difficulty

- Cheaper, superior, and braver cavalry units

- Wear black with red


- Hard difficulty

- Superior and cheaper kisho ninja (battlefield ninja units, kinda like assassins)

- Bonus to diplomacy

- Secret Police have a better success rate (They catch ninjas and stuff)


- Hard difficulty

- Cheaper, superior warrior monks (They frighten enemies and have insanely high morale, but a low defense stat)

- Monks have a better success rate (They incite rebellions and spread religion around)

- Better trade income


Edited by skitarii
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Okay, opinions are diverging so far.

I'll give it 2 more hours before I cast my die.

Also, Shimazu ARE wearing dark green.

So how do you guys want to participate? I was wondering if I should narrate it like Integrity's Icewind Dale style? Heheh.

Edited by skitarii
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Okay, I vote for Shimazu, therefore Shimazu it is. Sorry Integ.

So....you guys want to command an army each or just pick unit classes and stuff? I'll be posting more screenies soon.

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I don't know?

It seems there aren't enough classes of units to go for the latter choice, but are there going to be enough stacks roaming to make the former feasible?

Edited by Integrity
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Well...if we separate the classes into meatshield peasant tier and elite samurai tier...and monks....and BOMB THROWERS, I'm sure there are enough unit classes going around.

As for the stacks...it won't be possible early game but late game should be alright.

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Here we go with the campaign.

This is the Shimazu. The symbol behind the man is the clan mon, or symbol. Our units wear dark green. We are Masters of Integrity, therefore we own poor Integrity up here. Sorry pal, looks like you'll be the butt monkey of the jokes between units, perhaps.


Daimyo (Pretty much the clan's leader) Skitarii: It's my first day as leader of the Shimazu. And....-notices scroll on the desk- Motherfuck, A MISSION ALREADY!?

Anyone notice that the rest of the map seems to be on paper? Well that's basically showing the areas I haven't explored yet. Supposedly this allows gamers to focus better on what is being seen, rather than just looking around at the darkened areas. I personally think its a nice aesthetic touch and a shoutout to the first Shogun Total War.

The top right corner is the campaign minimap. Its uncolored because I haven't explored much. I'm located in the bottom left corner by the coast. There's a purple blob, which is probably a neighboring clan. The little circles with anchors in them are trade spots, which I can use to earn money if I can set up special trade ships at those places.

The big bottom right symbol is used to end my turn. I'll also go over the smaller symbols, counterclockwise. They are:

Finances - I can take care of my treasury and manage taxes here.

Mastery of the Arts - Basically the research tree from Empire Total War. I can't unlock higher tier units and bonuses and buildings without first doing research.

Diplomacy - Here I can contact other clans and negotiate with them.

Clan Summary - Basically everything else that doesn't fit into the above categories.

Here I'm offered a mission to take the neighboring province of Osumi. This will give me a bonus called Call to Arms, which nets me an extra recruitment slot. Recruitment slots are the amount of units I can recruit per turn in a province. I have 4 seasons (turns) remaining to get this mission done.


Daimyo Skitarii: So...you're my starting army? And your name is........I have a headache.

Tomokata: Yes Lord. I am loyal to you.

Skit: Yes I can tell....just try not to die, alright?

Tomokata: Hai tono!

This guy is not part of my family, but he's still a general. As a named character, he has traits and other things that can be improved with experience. As he levels up, I can choose skills for him, just like leveling up a RPG character. This could be bonuses for the troops under his command, or other things. He is currently level 0, is very loyal to me, and only holds a rank of one star, whatever that means. He's also 25 years old. As generals age up, their chance of dying from old age increases, so better use them while they're still young! He also holds the title of commissioner of warfare, granting him some extra bonuses and loyalty.

If a general has low loyalty, there's a chance he'll betray you.

Also, note that we have animated portraits on the lower left side of the screen.


Currently he has no skill points, but here's the skill tree. I hope he survives long enough to master several skills.


Currently I have a few units in my army. Here's some descriptions of them.

Yari samurai are reliable heavy infantry. They're pretty balanced, maybe more on the defensive side. They have quite a nice charge bonus, and are super effective against cavalry units. They also have a pretty decent morale score, and have an ability called rapid advance, which makes them run extremely fast for a short period of time.


Yari Ashigaru, probably the mainstay of most armies. Ashigaru units aren't quite peasants, but they're the lowest tier of the low. They have poor morale, poor combat ability overall, but are very very cheap. However, their main use is to wreck the shit out of cavalry. One thing to note is their yari are actually much longer than the yari carried by the yari samurai. This is because they can utilize the spear wall ability, which allows them to set up a wall of spears that can actually allow them to stand up to enemy infantry units. Otherwise, if fighting infantry they will pull out a katana, which they suck at using. This is to show that yari samurai are equally effective at using a yari against both mounted and foot opponents, while the yari ashigaru only know how to thrust at cavalry.


One advantage about ashigaru is that you don't need a dojo of their respective weaponry to recruit them. That is, I don't need a Archery Dojo to recruit Bow Ashigaru, but I will need one to recruit Bow Samurai.

Bow ashigaru are your mainstay ranged units. Japanese soldiers didn't use shields, and their bows weren't your crappy European shortbows either. This made archers extremely lethal, and this is reflected ingame, which you'll probably see an example of later. Anyways, as long as they are protected, they can really ruin somebody's day.

They can use flaming arrows for additional damage and to set buildings on fire, which is useful in sieges.

If on the defender's side of a battle, they can set up a wooden screen to take cover behind and to block off enemy soldiers.


I've decided to upgrade my coastal village to a port. I can use the extra income, and later on I can trade with the Nanban, also known as the Southern Barbarians (aka white people) later for guns. However, that comes with the disadvantage of Christianity, which can lead to religious revolts.


This is the finances screen. Here I can control taxes and see where all my money is going. I can also see which province as the lowest loyalty.


This is the trade screen. It shows essential resources, and where they are coming from. Currently I am importing warhorses from the Sagara clan. Without this resource, I cannot recruit cavalry units. Perhaps....instead of relying on them for warhorses, I should just take their lands and keep it for myself? Hmmm...decisions, decisions...


This is the Mastery of the Arts screen. The technologies are divided between Bushido and Chi. Bushido technologies unlock better military infrastructure and higher tier units. Chi technologies improve your lands and economy. You'll need both to succeed, obviously. If you focus too much one one tree, you'll end up at a disadvantage. Aka.... What use is your advanced armies if you can't afford them...or what use are your lands if you can't protect them....?


I've decided to build an armourer in Satsuma. Units can use the better armor, as that's the only defensive stat that protects from ranged attacks.


This is the town tab for Satsuma. It shows the food supply, which affects....the amount I can upgrade it? It shows town wealth, which affects how well the town can grow. The wealthier a town, the more taxes you can get from it. It shows the town's specialty, which is smithing. That lets me contruct buildings like an armourer or blacksmith. Public order...is obviously, the town's happiness. If its low, I can get a revolt, and that's not good.


This is one unit that Satsuma can recruit. Katana samurai are basically your go-to units for anti-infantry purposes. They don't have any special abilities, but they make up for that in their offensive abilities.


Daimyo Skitarii: Hey I'm the Daimyo here!

Imposter Takihasu: No. I have a badass moustache and you don't.

Skit: Fakku!

This is the current leader of the Shimazu. Honour is a factor in diplomatic negotiations. It goes down if you start using metsuke (secret police) and ninja to do wetwork for you...ahem. His traits are on the left, and the bonuses they confer are to the right.


Here's the diplomacy screen. I can't negotiate with clans I haven't "met" yet. So far I have a trade agreement with the Sagara clan and I have an enemy in the form of the Igo clan.


This is the Clan Summary screen. Here I can watch my daimyo sit on a stool and basically get a summary of what's going on.


This is my family tree. I think it's self-explanatory. My daimyo currently has 3 sons, underage.


This is Osumi, or at least the artist's representation of it. Looks like I need to conquer this area.


I've moved...what'shisface to the border. I think I need more troops before I assault that castle. Oh well, Yari Ashigaru are cheapsauce.


I end my turn, and I'm greeted by a video of Yari Ashigaru marching.....meaning they got recruited, lololol.


Ah, another mission. Master the way of the sword....hmm.. but I'm researching the Chi technologies. Baaah, I'll wait until later.....bleh.


Trololol the Oda clan just got destroyed, sucks for them.


Skit: Hello new meat, ready to die like the folks in XCOM?

Ashigaru: Uh...what?

Skit: Nevermind.

In other words, I boosted my armies somewhat.


Well, I mastered the Way of Chi, which grants me the ability to build a market and get a 2% bonus from tax income.


Whoever wrote this line has boss humor.


I decide to go for a siege assault. The casualties will be horrendous, I'm sure. I don't even know if I can win this, but let's DO THIS.


Poor weather can affect many things, including visibility and archers. I can choose to wait for better weather.


Nice graphics and view, eh?


General whatshisface then gives a badass speech...IN JAPANESE, no less.


While the generics listen. Heheh. Each unit is led by a samurai officer and a flagbearer. I don't know if they last relatively longer in combat.


Before you say anything. Those are not balloons. They are silk capes called Horo, and their function historically is to block arrows. The sheer amount of people ridiculing it on the official forums is just....preposterous. They are worn by my general's bodyguard.


And as the speech ends the generics cheer and prepare for a battle.


I've split my troops into two groups. One group will be there to take arrows in the face. The other group will hopefully get into the castle and either kick the enemies out or capture the plaza.


To be honest I am definitely not confident.


Especially with a group of samurai retainers. Samurai retainers are elite infantry who spawn on the defender's side when fighting a siege. They will most likely slice up my Yari Ashigaru, but we shall see.


Pictured: Yari ashigaru with the general, also known as the Pincushion Force.


Bow ashigaru, ready to provide covering fire, provided they're not shot to pieces.


Yari samurai, on the other side of the field.


I'm seriously wondering where the minimap is. I may have turned that option off by accident....


Enemy archers on the walls = the bane of my forces.


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Were, are, is....who..when..what...where.... okay sure Integrity, I bet you have Shimazu blood in there somewhere.

Will you just look at the fucking amazing graphics!? And it runs faster than Empire Total War can on my laptop! WTF!?


Shit's about get wrecked, I'm telling you.


The funniest thing is that your units will shout in japanese when they get shot. It's hilarious.


Shoot back dammit, SHOOOOOT!


As I said before, archers are very very dangerous. I'm losing so many Yari Ashigaru... Anyone notice that blue ring? That's my general's aura. Units within that ring will get a morale bonus. This is important, especially when you're commanding Ashigaru.


Members of the other assault group have made it to the walls. No, you're not dreaming, they are climbing up the walls, which is HISTORICALLY ACCURATE. No ladders, no battering rams or all that.


Wow. Pincushion force is not gonna make it in good shape to the walls. Their morale is very low now.


The other group is faring a bit better, and they're using their yari to great effect on enemy cavalry.


I know I can't duke it out with all their units, what with half my force destroyed. I tell the yari samurai to run straight for the plaza and hold it out until the countdown ends. After 1 minute, I will win if my units can hold the plaza.


Fucking archers. This is where you'll die...I hope. See the white flag on one of my unit cards? That means they're running away, having lost the will to fight.


And more are running....c'mon countdown....


Annnnnd victory is mine.... and a close one too.


And here someone's head is being served on a platter.


Seems like next time I do a siege battle, I better be prepared with a LOT more troops.


Nobody leveled up? Wow...


Here I get to decide the fate of this newly conquered province. I can loot it, reducing my honor and making the people hate me, or I can just peacefully occupy. I go for the top choice.


And so, mission complete, wheeee.....


Units now follow the system of replenishment from Napoleon Total War. Instead of just paying money for everyone to return to full strength, units will heal up very slowly. The rate of replenishment depends on what buildings are in the province they reside in and what technologies you have researched, I believe.


Well, looks like there's no special building here. Hmmm...whatever shall I build? Not like I have the money...


Should I make Osumi an economic province and let it have a Market?


By the way, I have a port now, and I can construct some basic ships.

This is a bow kabaya, its like a light ranged ship. It can also use flaming arrows to set fire to other ships, which is invaluable.


This is a Medium Bune. It's like a heavier ship with more men, somewhat slower, but able to demoralize enemies with war cry...hmm... I'm not much of a Navy person but I think that translates to pretty good.


And the missions keep on coming.... here I have to build a trading port, which I'll probably get to doing soon.


Winter comes...and I end my turn...I need to write a haiku.


Annnnd, I start building my trading port.


More may come later today...heheh. XD

Edited by skitarii
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Well, congrats on taking Osumi. Now it looks like you're about as large as the other two clans you've "met." Also, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to start building a navy since you're on Kyushu. If you ever want to move onto the other islands (especially Honshu) I'd imagine a navy is necessary, although I've never played the Total War games so who knows?

And this game looks like a lot of fun! Unfortunately, the demo is only through Steam... and believe it or not, Steam, but if I'm actively browsing the internet then I AM connected to it.

Edited by Rewjeo
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Seems like it. I'll be sure to do that. =D And yes, the demo is only available through steam...

I am having quite a lot of fun thanks to how immersive it is..


The actual game got some more optimization done, whereas the demo is still running on old coding. However, there have been a few complaints from people with good rigs saying that the game is running like utter shit.

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One of the beautiful loading screens....and a wise saying.


I continue along the Chi path....because I feel confident enough in my military capabilities........ I hope.


I feel full of zen. Do you feel it too, SF?


Hooray, now our ashigaru will die about 1% slower.


I'm thinking of building a Buddhist Temple in Osumi. Hopefully later on I can start building warrior monks.


An Ito clan army decides to park itself at my borders. Let it come, I'll kick its ass.


After I reinforce the garrison a bit, of course.


Foolishly enough, they decide to go for a siege assault.


It would appear that general whatshisface has quite a sense of humor.


Annnnd I get to control a unit of samurai retainers. Since they're totally expendable and will respawn anyways, I think I'll use them as suicide troops.


The Ito clan decides to deploy in two forces. I have my archers face them on one section of the walls.




And their archers rain down arrows on my katana samurai. I guess they really like to take down the units who are most expensive....


Once they've hit my walls I order my archers to run back....behind the yari ashigaru, of course.


I'd shit a brick if I had to charge a yari wall.



Suicide retainers...GO!


I keep my general nearby just in case something weird happens.


The enemy insects...errr..ashigaru, falters. And I give chase to those hated bowmen. VICTOLY?



I've always liked the finishing moves in this game...




Kill ratios are pretty good.


Run away, bitch.


I think I'll just call general whatshisface Tomo from now on. He just leveled up!


So far, he only has two skills available for unlock: Warrior and Strategist. Strategist just improves movement range on the campaign map, while Warrior allows his bodyguard's defense stat to rise. I think I'll go with strategist.



Ranking up also allows for the general to get a retainer. Retainers provide some sort of bonus....


I'll go with Kambei for this one.



I get news of the Mori being destroyed. Pity.




I can now build trade ships to put on those trade nodes that I mentioned earlier.


Yoshihisa has come of age. Whatever potential will he have?


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Besides Yoshihisa, it would appear someone else wants to play general. I pay up the 1000 koku (the currency of the day)


Holy fuck. He's only 14 years old! I meant Yoshihisa.


And the enlisted guy is Tadazumi. His helmet is infinitely more badass. You're lame, Yoshihisa.


I build a trading ship and send it south to the nearest trade node. Its occupied. Fawk. Time to head elsewhere.


This also means I've met a few more clans. I see who. I decide to negotiate with the Otomo.



No sake? Why not beer? Like Asahi or something...?


Heading north yields good results. =) The incense is needed to construct high tier Buddhist temples, I believe.



Quiet is most definitely not peace, I assure you


Osumi is under attack again. I decide not to take any screenies. Oh yeah, Tadezumi and Yoshihisa are there.



Now I can upgrade my temples to monasteries....yay


A dilemma is an event ingame that forces you to choose. Here, I don't know what the benefits and consequences are, but I decide to go foreign. The Shimazu clan historically are pretty open-minded.


I decide to give Tadezumi and Yoshihisa a chance for a bromance and to make a name for themselves. I send them out to the next province, Hyuga with a sizeable force. Unfortunately, I forgot it was winter. Ending a turn while you're in a province you don't own during winter will cause attrition damage, where your units get hurt either from desertion or just freezing to death.


Yo dawg, let's sit on our lawnchairs.




Aaannnnd the Takeda vs. Uesugi warfare begins.


It wasn't that bad.


I skipped a few minor skirmishes with the enemy, but basically Yoshihisa becomes a bit more badass. I chose to have him specialize in the Warrior skill. Like Ephraim/Hector/Ike



That town will be mine...for the honor of the Shimazu clan!


After some reinforcements...of course.


I've mastered Todofuken, which unlocks better roads for my provinces. Upgrading roads allows for faster army movement.


I lay siege, but the defenders sally out to meet me on the open field. It'll be quick and easy.


Apparently Yoshihisa also has a sense of humor.


I put my archers in front and my yari behind them. I'll just let them come to me and get shot.



But then they're shifting towards my right, so I shift along also. Can't go around me, fools.


Archers are hiding~ Like ceiling cat.



Even elite samurai retainers will falter after a few arrow volleys.


Looks like they're a bit deterred by those spears.


Aaannnnd their general decides to smash my katana samurai....to great effect..bastard.


So i send over some yari ashigaru to put him in his rightful place. That is, feed the worms in the dirt.


Numbers triumph any weapon triangle weaknesses!


I really fucking hate archers.




Apparently this was the ito clan's last province. I'll occupy it. No vassalage for you!


Eh wut happen


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I think the amount of sarcasm in that sentence would make a Brit proud, Rewjeo. Just the dry humor this thread sorely needs, because I can't write jokes for shit.

I realized I forgot to choose a retainer for Yoshihisa, so I chose the Yabusame Master. Since I'll probably be using quite a few archers, I'll need that.


And the Ito clan are no more. Well, get out the plates cause you got served! With wasabi.


Besides armies, I can also recruit characters known as agents. They do things armies can't. This here fellow is a monk. He can inspire happiness in Buddhist cities and inspire your troops to fight harder. He can also incite rebellions in enemy cities and troll up enemy armies by denouncing them and giving them the whole Westboro treatment.


Therefore, seeing their usefulness, I recruit one.


Shoni clan? Who are you? What, you want war? Bring it on.


Ha, their allies didn't join the Shoni in war, so that can be a good thing.


I have mastered Bushido, which gives all my units +1 defense, I believe.


Looks like the Shoni have adopted Christianity. Well....I should be on the lookout for possible Matchlock Ashigaru. You see, the only way to get guns early in the game is to build a trade port for the Portuguese, who will then give you guns. However, they'll also give you Christianity, which can cause problems if your leader is Buddhist. There will be religious conflict, which can lead to religious rebellion.


Since Sagara is my neighbor and also an ally of the Shoni, I decide to negotiate something with them. I hope they won't suddenly attack me....so I decide to ask for their daughter's hand in marriage. Yup. Poor Yoshihisa is only 15 and he's getting married. trolololol.


They offer their daughter for 190 koku. SOLD. Sad? Yes. Funny? You bet. Score one for Yoshihisa.


In the meantime, I send my monk to Shoni territory. Hopefully he can cause some unrest by converting the Christians to Buddhism.


I open up my family tree to discover that Yoshihisa's new wife is beautiful. So why the 190 cheap pricing? I will never know.


I decide to upgrade the castle in Satsuma to a Stronghold. Upgrading the castle will give me an additional construction slot; for some advanced units you'll need a combination of two buildings.


True to their word, the Shoni park an army near Hyuga.


FUUUUUUUUU- So...the marriage was for nothing? I thought it would strength clan relations but it seems that they just wanted to be rid of their daughter? Fuck you Sagara. I'll conquer you and take your little ponies.


Annnnd a monastery is finished building in Osumi.


Annnd I thought I could start building warrior monks, which I cannot because I don't have Naginata or Archery Dojos, which I can't build because I didn't research them in the Bushido tech tree, because I was too focused on the Chi tech tree. Fuck.


Well...this is going to be fun...


The Shoni are now laying siege to Saito, which is the castle of Hyuga.


And it seems the Takeda have kicked the Uesugi's ass.


Mr. Monk fails to troll the Shoni. Probably because they're Christian and he's Buddhist. I'll need a Christian missionary to troll them, perhaps?


Being the real dicks that they are, the Sagara park an army outside of Satsuma. And it ain't small.


My monk gains enough experience to level up, so I tell him to learn some inspiring abilities.


omg it's a double rainbow...waaaaaah -starts to cry- Anyways....


It's time to get serious with the Shoni. Prepare to die.


I deploy my soldiers similar to how I've deployed them in Rome Total War and Medieval Total War: Archers in front, Spearmen right behind them, and extra sword units on the sides. Cavalry will stay in the rear and center, especially with my general since his presence confers morale bonuses.


I shift my soldiers a little bit so they're directly facing the Shoni troops.



Open fire, Bow Ashigaru!




Once again, I send my samurai retainers as a suicide troop first.


They promptly get charged by the enemy general.....


...who then gets stabbed by my yari samurai....



Meanwhile, somewhere else along the line the yari ashigaru are fighting in a clusterfuck. Since they're practically equal, the casualties are immense and the deciding factor is formation and numbers.


However, withering fire from my archers seems to be the decisive factor.


Once units rout they won't fight back, so its perfectly safe to send in your general to pursue fleeing Yari Ashigar.



Did I mention that cavalry sends people flying when they charge?


Annnnd the Shoni are beaten back.


Yoshihisa levels up once more. He sure is a growing boy, pun intended.


I'm intent on making him a badass general, so now he's a die-hard fighter. A general's bodyguard has pretty high morale already, so I'm not sure what the use of adding more morale is.


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Am I updating too much? Hahaha.

Aside from Die-Hard Fighter, I can also put points into Poet, which gives a bonus to my research rate for the Bushido skills. This just goes to show just how important an asset your generals could become, and losing them would be a big blow to your clan.


The Sagara inch ever closer. Taking a look at their army, I see cavalry units. Light cavalry, to be exact. Not a big deal. Looks like the attrition got some of them too.

I'm also losing money thanks to my huge army upkeep, which means I'm going to counterattack.


My monk approaches Bungo, and begins to preach to those monotheistic bastards.


Instead of patiently waiting for the Sagara to besiege Satsuma, I take the fight to them. They could've just made a beeline for Osumi, which is practically undefended.


Once again, standard formation. Archers in front, Yari behind them, everyone else either on the flanks or on the center rear.


Heheh, I can't help but laugh at their pink-ness


I really like it when the enemy comes to me, even though they have archers. Archers need to be stationary for a split second before they start shooting. That means I'll always get the first kill as long as my archers are already standing still.


I notice the Light Cavalry circling my left flank and attempting for a flank attack. I quickly wheel about my Yari Ashigaru just in case that happens.


It catches them and quickly slaughters them to a horse.


Except I didn't realize their other unit of light cavalry circling my right flank....and that one hits my katana samurai dead on. Ouch.


Yari Ashigaru to the rescue!


Meanwhile, the main battle lines are just a huge clusterfuck, as usual.


Their general has arrived to strengthen his men's resolve. Well let's see if he can resolve this yari wall!


The enemy's morale is broken, just like mine was after finals day.


And their archers didn't run away yet...I'm sure this will encourage them to do so.




A decisive victory, harhar!


I then autoresolve (basically let the computer calculate a battle)


The old man ranks up. Lololol.


And he can have a sumo wrestler as his retainer? Guess which one I chose.



It's off to Higo next!


I decide to let Tadazumi lead a force to Bungo. He didn't gain any experience in being a general despite being with Yoshihisa. Apparently only the leading general gets experience, which sort of makes sense. it hought he'd learn something...hm.


So, my next two targets are Higo and Bungo. I need to do this fast, because I'm losing money quickly.


Hooray, I mastered Strategy of Attack. This means I can build Siege Engineer Workshops, which gives me all the nice explodey units.


This is also a nice boost to have.


Tadazumi lays siege to Bongo.


Whereas old man moves his way to Higo....in the winter


The Shoni sally out from Bongo , but then they will lose. However, they have a few samurai archers in their ranks. Samurai archers are pretty much a higher-tier version of your bow ashigaru. They still suck in melee, but then they have double the accuracy.


Cold, foggy day.


Pic of the samurai archers, courtesy of the Shoni, before they all died.


The ensuing battle is quick, bloody, and one-sided.





Tadazumi personally kills off the samurai archers.




I raised taxes to cover up my expenses like Obama, but anyways people are getting pissed.


Attrition shaves off a few men, but we persevere, for we are the Shimazu, masters of Integrity.


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Old man goes for a siege assault on Higo.


"I don't want to go to teh Island!" If anyone gets the reference you get a cookie.


No archers, bro?


Even though these are NOT the highest graphical settings...I'm still mesmerized.


Last one to shoot gets sushi cat.


FRAPS takes crappy screenshots, but can you see that ton of arrows flying down?


No casualties. Problem, Sagara? -trollface-


Okay here's something that might be TL;DR for you. I just gained some Imperial Recognition. While Japan is divided into many clans at this point, the different clans will still heed the word of the Ashikaga Shogunate...who is the current Shogun. As my clan grows more powerful, the Shogunate WILL take notice of me. If I start becoming a threat, they will order every other clan to ally and engage me in the biggest clusterfuck possible. This is known as the endgame scenario called the Realm Divide. Therefore, I will most likely build up all my provinces and upgrades before I even venture beyond this peninsula. That is my plan, but if you guys have a different plan you would like for me to follow, please suggest. =)


With Sagara gone, I now own their horsies.


Old man levels up.


So does Tadazumi. I'm thinking of making him a strategist, a counter to Yoshihisa's fighting ability.


Some Shoni bastards decide to raid my province. Raiding is not besieging. it just means an enemy force has burned your farms (which is bad) or some other important part of your province.


Just mastered the Way of the Sea. Not like I have enough money to build more ships...yet.


I believe I should take a break from mastering Bushido and start to work economically on mastering Chi. I need more money, dammit.


Look what I found in Bungo. A Nanban trade port. This means I can start training Imported Matchlock Ashigaru, who are pretty much expensive, musket-wielding Ashigaru. Unfortunately it also brings in Christianity, so I have to start watching Bungo's loyalty.


At the same time, I open up trade with the Chosokabe.


Tadazumi also gets a new retainer who is a taiko drummer. He offers bonuses to the rally ability. Rally is used by a general when his troops are starting to falter, and it immediately gives them a quick morale boost. It also has a chance to get routing units back in the fight. Just a chance.


Even the game warns me about Christianity. Personally, I won't have any of the family tree convert. Well....wait...do I get to make a choice or will they convert automatically? I don't know.


Oh, by the way, Siege Engineer's Workshop is built in Satsuma.


This technology unlocks better farms. Unfortunately I won't be able to build any due to my lack of money. Fuck.


I think I should move upwards to conquer Hizen and Tsukushi. They're both Shoni land, and therefore they should belong to me.


I focus my research on the Way of the Bow. This will unlock the Archery Range, and upgrade to the Archery Dojo, and Flaming Arrows.


A Shoni navy shows up and I quickly retreat my trade ships, who aren't equipped for a fight. There goes the incense....


Hizen's going down....I autoresolved it because it wasn't worth my time.


Tsukushi's next.




I should also build a Sake Den. This will let me train Ninja agents. More on those later.


A Dilemma pops up asking me what research I should focus more on. I decide for military so I can catch up with the other clans....I think?


Tsukushi is pitifully defended.


I take it without casualties.


I now have a dilemma for you, forumers. Should I just wipe the Shoni off the map, or should I make them my vassal after beating them in a siege assault? You decide.

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I'd say wipe them out. You've got all of Kyushu to yourself and you can get the incense (and other resources around Kyushu) back. What are the advantages to vassaling them, anyways?

Also, the AI in this game isn't too smart, is it? I mean, double flanking by the Sagara was pretty good, but seriously, the largest defenses the Sagara or Shoni have put up have failed to break 600. And no archers? Pathetic! I mean, what's the point of building up an army of ~2000 if it comes at the cost of having any sort of worthwhile defense?

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Okay, 1 vote to wipe them out. I'll make the decision later today.

The AI probably was going for an all-out attack on my forces, putting only a skeleton garrison in their castles. Since that attack failed I can mop up what's left. It should get better as the campaign progresses, since the other clans are growing in size.

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