12 days of the Shogun (2)
This blog is about me trying to complete Total War: Shogun 2 for the first time, as someone who generally likes strategy games but is not really good at them, and has never finished a Total War game before. The game utilizes Adobe Flash, so with the Flash support ending this year, I figure this is the last opportunity I will have with this game. 12 days, with a Christmas break where I have nothing planned, a couple of hours every day, it should be doable. I have played the game a little bit before so I’m at least familiar with the basics. Here is my diary about my attempt to rule Japan (in 12 days).
I have set up a short campaign, with a game difficulty of Normal. As a common man myself, I selected the Oda clan, masters of peasantry that have improved morale and lower cost of all ashigaru (peasant) units, led by daimyo Oda Nobuhide. They start at the center of Japan with just one province (Owari), and have a hard initial challenge. I like the idea of big armies of peasants running through Japan, and if the initial challenge proves too difficult, I’d rather fail early so that I have time for a restart before the end of the year. But when has waging war on two or three fronts ever failed?
I started by easily quenching a rebellion and building better irrigation for my farms, a harbor, and more ashigaru soldiers as I look towards my neighboring provinces. I also started researching The Way of the Chi, eventually enabling markets and providing an economic backbone of my early military. This peasant army will be expensive to maintain and I want to stay focused on the long game here. I also debated about increasing taxes to get a faster start to the game, but decided against it so as to not take any risks with unhappiness in my capital.
First battle - Nobuhide's ambition
I had planned to attack the feeble Saito clan at first, however the moderately powerful Tokugawa to my east had other plans and invaded my territory, led by their daimyo. I sent my own daimyo, Oda Nobuhide, to meet him with superior numbers, in the hopes of improving his honor early in the game. This battle turned out to be an utter brawl over a hill, and probably because of their daimyo and his son being on the battlefield my enemy refused to retreat. Their daimyo died honorably in battle, but still their men continued to fight under the daimyo’s son, and then it was Nobuhide that ran away (perhaps he shouldn’t have been at the front lines, but I needed every man to take that hill). With their daimyo dead and mine having tactically retreated, the hill littered with bodies and a few remaining living soldiers, my archers were the only units who still had morale to keep fighting. They were just about able to take out the rest of the enemy melee troops with their bows before they could close out the distance, resulting in victory. Nobuhide is still alive, and since history is written by the victors, we can say that it was him who was the last man fighting on that hill, and not a few peasant archers.
The remaining few dozens of Tokugawa troops retreated to their castle at Mikawa, and I am within an arm’s reach of taking their province. With my troops equally in short supply, I decided to wait out the winter for reinforcements, and I also started building better roads to improve replenishment rates. Their castle will surely fall tomorrow, I am only worried that another nearby opportunistic clan will take it first.