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Old 01-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
Li-Ion
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Re: Li-Ion goes to TOTAL WAR! Shogun 2

I am Ujiyasu, Daimyo of clan Hoyo. It is the year 1545 the question was posed: who will become the new Shogun?

Probably not me, judging by how things went so far. But I get ahead of myself. You want a cup of tea? Tea ceremonies are a sign of honor and who doesn't want to be a honorable Shogun?

Clan Hoyo starts out on an appendix-shaped peninsula in the southeast of the mainland. Hoyo are master builders, but the reason I picked Hoyo was because I like the symbol. It reminds me of the triforce of a far away land. On the appendix I own two provinces. I thought one of them is on fire already, but it turned out just to be a blacksmith. Right away there was an enemy army in my territory. The vile clan Ogigayatsu dares to walk on my land? I will crush this enemy! See them driven before me and hear the lamentation of the women! A swift right click and my armies went into motion. My trusty general, 3 units of spearmen and 1 unit of archers. Give em hell boys! I sit here in my castle and wish you luck.

At the begin of the battle I put my units in a nice defensive formation. My idea was to have my spearmen take the blunt of the cavalry charge, I'd try to get my units in the flanks, all the while my sole archer unit makes... something. As the battle started, the enemy ahead refused to run into my (rather obvious) trap. Instead the ran up a hill to the side and disappeared in the woods. That was not running according to plan. I waited a while, but they probably already started a nice picnic up there. Grumpy I moved my army uphill into the woods. The ensuing battle wasn't pretty. The enemy had more units and especially more archers. Due to my generals abilities I could prevent my units from fleeing and somehow won the battle. A phyrric victory.

After getting some more troops, I took pretty much all my units and went to take sweet revenge. And for hearing lamentation, of course. Reaching my target I attacked right away the quaint little fortress opposing my might. Well, after some trash-talk. The Japanese kind of trash-talk, mind you, which could not be further from the talk Marcus Fenix utters if they would be on different worlds. Oh, wait, actually they are... anyway: needless to say, it didn't go well. However, somehow I managed to get a small group of spearmen past the grand melee at the west wall to the heart of the fort, claiming victory! Another costly victory. However, you should see the other guy.

With one neigbour down, I looked at the clans surrounding me. Two were allied, attacking one would proably cause trouble with the other. The clan on the other side was friendly towards me however. So I decided to start trading with the ally of my enemy, hoping he would think twice attacking me once we're nice trading partners. I also started trading with the clan on the other side, to prevent them from falling in my back once the fighting starts. All I needed now was to gather forces and look for a way how to start a war with my target but not with everyone else. Just as I gather a nice army and ponder what excuses to make, my chosen target suddenly marches against me. Brilliant! I would love to say I planned this all along. Siege was laid on my town. The enemy outnumbered me quite extensively and I realized I accidentally marched two units of cavalry to reinforce my troops instead of the archers I wanted to send. What good will cavalry serve me when defending a siege?

The battle started and thanks to my archer/cavalry mixup I didn't have enough archers to cover all sides. My east wall was completely undefended. My enemy, not having such troubles, had me completely surrounded with tons of archers and crack samurai units with nerves of steel and a lust for blood. Also no less than 3 generals opposing my trusted general. Also, I had a siege weapon, which was the only thing my attackers were lacking. But what good is a siege weapon that more often than not has troubles hitting a solid wall against a moving army? Things were looking grim. They started to march. Suddenly I realized that the units nearing the undefended east wall were all archers. Not a single melee unit? CAVALRY! ATTACK! I furiously double-clicked as if my life depended on it (the virtual life of my general did, for sure) and my light cavalry ran into the fray. Arrows were raining on them, but they could close the gap quickly and were wreaking havoc in the lines of archers. The insane slaughter displayed made all neighboring enemy units uneasy. As the first two units of archers were turned into minced meat, I sent my cavalry to attack the next, which happened to have moved further already, exposing their flanks. The first unit started to flee pretty much as the horses were looking at them funny. Back at the wall, the samurai started to climb the wall, being pushed back repeadedly by archers and my only samurai unit. As I moved my general a bit forward, I noticed the archers in range would start shooting at him immediately. Now that the enemy archers were stationary, my siege engine would even cause some damage. Most of the damage was taken by my own wall, however. After a misfire from the siege engine almost destroyed my south gate, I threatened painful death and they stood down.

My cavalry had smashed through the next row of archers and was now getting to the south gate, smashing into more archers. Samurai that were on wallclimbing duty jumped back off to confront my cavalry, which made them easy targets for my archers. At that point the enemy troops were in complete disarray and to my surprise I hardly lost anything. A last charge by the generals themselves smashed into one of my heroic cavalry units, wiping them from the map just seconds before they fled the battlefield.

A heroic victory!
Only 28 made it out alive of more than 1800 that were attacking me. And I lost only about 300 soldiers.

Spured by this success, I took all my armies and marched against the enemy capital. Laying siege for a round, I noticed it became winter. I got a message some of my soldiers died during the siege. Looks like we forgot warm blankets and tea. After two seasons of siege, the enemy general got fed up and attacked me. That turned out to be excellent, since it meant I don't have to scale their walls. Another victory! Defending is much easier in this game than attacking it seems. I just have to make them attack me every time and I should be fine!

I sent a ninja to scout ahead. My plan was to take the last province, thus destroying this puny clan, before next winter. Otherwise I'd need more blankets this time. My ninja, handy in sabotage and mayhem, put some farms on fire. As I went further to the city to check their army I noticed it was massive. I thought I had wiped out most of the army already, how much more can they possibly have? And they still have 3 generals? Do they grow on trees there or what?

Then I suddenly realized: this army had a different flag. An entirely different flag indeed. They were not at war with me (yet... wait until they find out about their farm....). My ninja returned to my nearest city at once and I started diplomatic relations with my newfound enemy. They were unfriendly. However: they said yes straight away to my trade proposal. That's odd. Normally such a proposal involves threats, bribery or a nice lump of money, even if the clan is only 'indifferent'. Then my view went to a notification. Tea ceremony? Why would I research that?

Shogun 2 has two distinct tech paths. One is Bushido, which involves everything that hurts one way or the other. Weapons and combat techniques. The other is Chi, which covers bonuses for economy and social interactions. At the beginning of the game I had researched some basic Bushido-related upgrades, before researching some Chi, with the aim of getting to better farms since an army marches on its stomach after all. The way the upgrade system works is that every time an upgrade is done you get notified, but you don't automatically get to the menu to choose your next upgrade to research. Instead the program picks a default(?) and you have to open the upgrade menu to pick something different if you want. As it turns out, I had neglected exactly that and my upgrades went down to tea ceremonies and even more advanced forms of drinking tea. The tea ceremony gives me a bonus to my 'honor' and the higher tier-stuff further bonuses to diplomacy.

While everyone around me had gotten two-handed swords and similar, I had mastered the art of brewing tea. I looked at the map and indeed: all my neigboring clans were at war with each of their immediate neighbors except me.

Now I'm surrounded by two clans that both think I'm super-cuddly and we're BFF. But my armies are too big and starving out my lands. Food shortages make my peasants unruly and if I don't come up with something quick I will have a riot on my hand. I have to do something, now. No more Mr. Nice Guy...
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