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Shogun II: Total War


tcharliel
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This is so much harder than previous games in the series. Even on easy the enemy is reasonably aggressive and somehow manages to build up impressively sized/upgraded army stacks early on. Massed ranks of yari ashigaru are far more effective than equivalent sized peasant forces in previous games too it seems (it might not have helped that I was favouring cavalry a bit too much as Takeda).

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Even on easy you can't take liberties with the AI.

Having successfully defended against a sally forth by besieged enemy in which I killed some hundreds of my foe (sure, they turned both my damn flanks with superior cavalry forces, killing dozens of bowmen, but hey) I thought I would be home free in the assault.

Not so. Even with 2000 men to the enemy's 750, it is not a good idea to try my patented 'select all yari ashigaru, click on wall' technique. Several minutes of insane amounts of arrows, repeated cavalry charges and enraged Japanese men stabbing each other later, even the limited enclaves my yaris had fought for were lost and my entire force routed.

It's cost me a thousand men, a goddamn honour point for a Terrible Defeat and a year's replenishment, but it's certainly taught me that Easy does not mean Retarded.

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A tip for anyone doing the campaign - use agents! Not only ninja, who are the easiest to work out, but also metsuke and monks. Metsuke, when overseeing towns, give a nice bonus to tax income which you really, really need, and monks can go all over the countryside demoralising armies and inciting revolts and making enemy agents abandon their cause. Monks are my favourite.

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Do bit-techs complaints have any merit?

Shogun 2 is wonderfully subtle and intricate but also fairly dumb in places. On the one hand you need to consider your choices carefully, such as to how to develop your castles and construct your armies. On the other it's quite difficult to raise those armies without becoming firm friends with the clans you've traded with in order to obtain the funds in the first place - and once you're friends, why do you need an army?

If you actually manage to have a battle, you'll find the Bark of the Pine Tree army formation unbeatable - we managed heroic victory after heroic victory all too easily, even with the difficulty set to Hard. While on paper these two issues should culminate to ruin the game, they don't. Shogun 2 is presented with such style and grace that it's still engaging and fun. For hardcore strategy players, the need to balance units will lead to more taxing encounters online, even if the singleplayer game doesn't scratch your armchair-general itch unless you crank the difficulty all the way up.

Seems to be kind of the opposite of what everyone else is saying.

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I am loving this game! Solved my text issues with a combination of moving closer to the tv and using the encyclopedia.

Started a campaign playing as Chosokabe as I love my bows. After kicking a group of rebels out of my homeland and repelling an attempted invasion by a neighbouring clan, I decided to take their province. A few turns later after my army was back to strength, I sent them towards the castle town meeting their main force on the way. In a fairly close battle I defeated them, pretty much wiping out their archers and infantry and sending them running back to the safety of the town. I followed them and assaulted the town before they had chance to reinforce.

For the assault, I still had 3 units of Yari Ashigaru, a unit of Yari Samurai, three units of archers and two units of cavalry (including my general). As the enemy had a single under-strength unit of archers left, I went after them first; sending all three units of archers to take care of them. Once they were destroyed as a fighting force, I used the archers to cause chaos amongst the infantry defending the walls, inflicting severe casulties and even managing to take out some of the general's cavalry bodyguard. Once my archers were out of ammo I sent my infantry in to scale the walls. The fighting was fierce but my men prevailed, completely wiping out the defenders and sending the enemy general fleeing for his life. I sent my cavalry after him but he managed to escape from the battle.

I am now currently using naval units to explore the surrounding area and considering whose ass to kick next. I'm looking forward to trying out Rudi's recommendation of Monks too.

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Do bit-techs complaints have any merit?

Seems to be kind of the opposite of what everyone else is saying.

The first issue is on the level of 'why can't we talk to the monsters' in terms of valid review complaints. Money is not that easy to come by, especially if you pick a faction that starts far away from the trade spots, and peace doesn't last forever. If you're actively working towards the goals of the campaign - which are to become Shogun and take a certain number of provinces - you'll hit the Realm Divide trigger at some point, which will make everyone who isn't allied to you turn against you. And even your allies won't stick by you forever once you hit this point; Realm Divide penalises your relations with all other clans by an increasing amount each season, so by my reckoning I've got three years before my allies abandon me in my Shimazu campaign where I've just hit Realm Divide.

The second one... the game does seem to give out 'heroic victory' stuff rather freely, even when it's decidedly not heroic, but it's nothing to do with that formation. The formation, incidentally, is just one of the pre-set ones that arranges your army with archers up front, infantry behind, and cavalry on the flanks. It's hardly fire rocket science. I've found that even in battles which I win - which is most of them, even on Hard battle difficulty - I often have a few routing units and my survivors are beat up all to hell. Far more so than in previous Total War games. Outwith battles, this is widely regarded as the toughest Total War yet if you play on the higher difficulties. Even Normal difficulty would seem to be more analogous to at least Hard difficulty in previous games.

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Just came across another example of scary AI on easy difficulty. As Shimazu with both Ito territories captured. My only direct neighbour was the Sagai (or Sakai) who I was friendly with although not allied. I had armies in each province and a decently large stack at sea about to go see if I could find a territory to conquer. Suddenly another clan who I know nothing about declares war on me, and both the Sagai and another clan who are allied with them join in. In some ways it's quite good as it means I can continue pushing through Kyushu without having to go overseas but going from peaceful to at war with 3 clans in 1 go wasn't exactly what I was expecting from an easy game.

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Is there any real point in vassalising people? By the time you get the option you've crushed the shit out of them, and the penalties for territorial expansion are pretty small. Besides, this thread seems to suggest you're going to get dogpiled at some point anyway, so it might as well be with as much territory under your belt as possible,

Quite a streamlined Total War game, this, isn't it?

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Now no fucker wants to trade with me, even if I sweeten them beforehand with gifts. "You have nothing we could possibly want". No, of course not - just this 2,700 koku of unsold resources including silk and incense which you bastards don't have.

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Is there any way to know if you take take over a clans final territory whether their army will just vanish or if it'll stick around and cause you trouble? I've had both happen and I'm not sure what the difference was.

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Armies always vanish if a clan is destroyed. In previous games they would stay on as rebel troops or the like, but now? Gone. Always gone.

Just took Kyoto in my Shimazu campaign, in an epic battle. My Kono vassals have fallen to enemy assaults and relations with my Ouchi and Miyoshi allies have deteriorated to the point that they are likely to turn on me now, too. Oh well!

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hmm odd, I'm sure I've seen armies hang around even when their last region was taken. I was playing as Shimazu and in the 1st few turns I took both Ito regions and Bungo above it. The next turn, Shoni declared war on me and sent a large stack towards Bungo. Sagara massed another large army on the Bungo border but didn't declare war. I decided I needed to break the Shoni army quickly if I was to be able to stop Sagara from attacking/declaring war so I sent my remaining armies up to meet it. I also had a smaller army move to the border of the Sagara region in the hope that if they did attack I could sneak in and take their undefended city. Next turn Sagara declare war on me and march into my territory. I march up and capture there city and effectively wipe them out except their massive stack remains and is still at war with me. As it turned out the Shoni army destroyed mine leaving me with no armies and 2 large stacks coming my way. I ended up reloading and making Sagara a vassal and doing what I should have done originally which was let the Shoni break themselves on my fortress walls. I eventually did the same to the Shoni as I did to the Sagara taking both their undefended cities in the same turn while there massive stack dithered in the middle of nowhere but this time when I took their last region there stack did disappear. Unfortunately I now have a vassal in the middle of my territory and it has a massive stack which kind of scares me.

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They start off at war with three factions, two of which are right next door to them. To top it off, there's a rebellion in their home province at the start. My Oda campaign began with me fighting off rebels, then fighting a desperate siege defence against two enemy armies. Pretty much a baptism of fire.

Historically the Oda were hardcore because they actually survived all this shit, and went on to greatness. :P

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Just finished the Campaign.

All in all great fun. A few niggles here and there and I still do 90% of it on the campaign map which is wasting half the game!

The end was a little bit disappointing. Made a beeline for shogun and then just hoovered up a few cities with no regard for sustaining them.

But the things that bothered me about the game were mainly as a result of the way I play :)

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Battles rarely take more than 15 minutes for me. The setup and movement phases can take a while (you can speed up time during movement), but the actual battles rarely take more than a minute or two. Unless it's a castle siege since defenders will fight to the death unless you take the central tenshu.

You can't save in the middle of battles.

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Oh god you have a version that runs on a modern PC !? Where and how please!

/back on topic

Of course you dont have to play the battles then an hour is more than enough :)

You can get it on steam. I'm pretty sure X-COM: UFO Defense is what UFO: Enemy Unknown got re released as right?

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Is that true? I'm not finding it all that difficult to be honest. I've only lost two soldiers in the entire game so far and I'm just interrogating a Chryssalid terrorist in July. Mind you, I've played it at least once a year since it came out, so maybe i'm actually not to bad at it these days.

(Yeah, I got the Steam version in the X-COM bundle. Haven't looked at anything other than UFO and Terror From The Deep though.)

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Just finished my campaign as the Shimazu, fulfilling the Long Campaign victory conditions - to take 40 provinces, and be Shogun. Still got enemies, including the mighty Hojo, but they're slightly less than half as mighty as I am, the saps. One of my final battles of the campaign was an absolutely epic one against their four doomstacks, with one inferior army of my own. And I won, which was lovely, although with roughly 50% casualties.

I might go back and continue that, finish off the Hojo and their remaining allies, but I'm content with my achievement for now. Even if I did only get to use my Katana Hero unit in only one battle.

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