Saturday, 9 July 2016

Dealing with backlog: Total War: Shogun 2

This game and I have some history. I used to play a lot of Medieval II: Total War about 9 years ago and I remember being very excited about Shogun 2 when it was released. So I got it and started playing it, but for some reason I found it complicated and strange compared to Medieval II. So I got rid of it. Then I bought it again at Steam Summer Sale in 2013. And then I didn't play it until now.

You never really complete a Total War game, but I decided to play one grand campaign and then move on to the next game on my backlog list. I started with the clan Chosokabe. But that started badly and just continued to go badly. So I restarted the campaign as Hojo. Two starting regions felt better than one. And for a while it went really well. "For a while". From 1545 to 1575 (with four rounds per year) it went really well. I had lots of money throughout that time, no rebellion or disease, I could upgrade my buildings to max and build a very tough army. I allied with Takeda Clan and together we wiped out the smaller clans as well as Date and Oda who had begun to spread over Honshu. Then I got greedy. I tried for Kyoto. The seat of the shogunate and a zone that you're required to hold to win the campaign. I collected a huge army with every single one of my generals in it and marched. I lost spectactularly. Which also meant that for a while my daimyo's wife had to take command until her other son (the daimyo's little brother) came of age. I was at war with Chosokabe at this point and they had taken over almost all of the southern parts of Japan. Chosokabe took over Kyoto instead of me, but left only a small army there to occupy the town. So I seized the opportunity and took over the city for myself. It worked. For a few years I was the shogun. (But I needed 60 zones to win the grand campaign and I had only 13).

The loss of my army and leadership at Kyoto meant I had to scramble to build up a new force, but I was out of food and the army upkeep became too high so I had to raise the taxes to avoid going bankrupt. The people complained and I got rebellions all over. The small clans I had defeated came back and around the same time I was backstabbed by Takeda, and both Honma and Amako declared war on me. So there I was with rebellions that brought back Tokugawa, Saito and Satomi, and war with Chosokabe, Takeda, Honma and Amako. I was bankrupt, out of food, no money to hire soldiers, and war on all sides. All I could do was watch as they one by one took down my carefully annexed 13 zones.
 This is going so well and they all like me so much ^^;

Winter 1580 was the end of Hojo clan. Once the shogunate and a fearsome power.

It was a lot of fun to play Total War again :) I don't know if my way of playing has gotten worse since I last played a TW title (which was Empire), or if Shogun 2 isn't just harder than both Medieval II and Empire. The food factor isn't really a big deal in Empire or Medieval II, and I think the army upkeep cost was higher in Shogun 2 than in the others. Or I just got less money from resources in Shogun 2. In Medieval II I can easily get a full army in every city I control, while I sweep through medieval Europe and claim every country for my own. Same with Empire. But in Shogun 2, for some reason, my ordinary way of playing didn't work. I need a new tactic.

This game also gets a major gold star for having all the marching units speak Japanese! はっ!次のご命令は?(Yes! What's your next order?)

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