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  #51  
Old 03-19-2011, 01:56 PM
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Yeah, thought they give you less warning that the campaign is about to end. I got the only warning that time was running out in 1599 (and sadly I hadn't saved in a lot while, so going back would be a pain at this point).

-XT
  #52  
Old 03-19-2011, 09:40 PM
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I just wrapped up my Chosokabe campaign; the map is big enough that the Date campaign I just started may be on mostly new territory . A few things that would have been handy to know:
-If you're wondering like I did why you can't recruit Great Guard cavalry, it's because you have to be Shogun to do so; it's also a unique unit.
-Most general/agent skills have multiple ranks. I didn't realize this until most of the way through my campaign.
-Use your Daimyo for as much fighting as possible; the more you do, the more honor he'll accumulate, which translates into clan-wide bonuses to public order and loyalty.
-Reconsider hunkering down for a period of peaceful building and research unless you control a province or two with the philosophical tradition specialty.
-I'm not sure, but it looks like Nanban trading ports won't upgrade to Nanban quarters if you aggressively suppress the spread of Christianity.
  #53  
Old 03-20-2011, 02:43 AM
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I caved, played most of yesterday and.. man, it's hard ! I've been playing TW games since day one, and I'm getting my ass handed to me on a regular basis on the strat map. They really managed to capture how the first one played: move units one way, your other neighbour stabs you in the back. Keep home and consolidate, someone overtakes you. Playing any clan besides Shimazu, Date or Chosokabe and you're really just trying to hang in there by the skin of your teeth.

As for battles, I get way more losses than I'm used to... and more than the autoresolve which is a little vexing . Still getting used to just how fast units zip around, and how fast the kill rates are. My usual wall of archers doesn't work when they only have the time to fire 3 or 4 volleys before they're cut to ribbons in 3 seconds.
I gotta say though, I'm really not a fan of the Warcraft3 style special abilities. Lot more micro than is needed, which is compounded by how fast the action is.

Is there a way to get more scouting going on, barring agents ? I'm really missing my watch tower network. I have no idea how my neighbours are doing, so it's always a surprise when they send a full stack my way. See above re: getting my ass handed to me

Last edited by Kobal2; 03-20-2011 at 02:44 AM.
  #54  
Old 03-20-2011, 03:41 AM
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Is there a way to get more scouting going on, barring agents ? I'm really missing my watch tower network. I have no idea how my neighbours are doing, so it's always a surprise when they send a full stack my way. See above re: getting my ass handed to me
Ninjas are really the answer here. When I hit 5 or 6 territories, I usually have at least 2 Sake Dens pumping out ninjas to be used to scout. I'm experimenting with monks and metsuke, but right now, ninjas are working out the best for me. If you have one to spare, keep it near your enemy's field stack. Being able to at least attempt sabotaging their army has let me ambush more armies than you could shake a dead cat at.
  #55  
Old 03-20-2011, 06:03 AM
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Is the arrival of the Europeans a Big Deal the way it was in the original, and (just as importantly) are there gunpowder units in the game?
  #56  
Old 03-20-2011, 10:47 AM
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I've been alternating my tax levels: high for one turn, normal for the next. Because it takes two turns for a rebel army to form, I can rake in a bit more dough with no insurrection.
  #57  
Old 03-20-2011, 11:28 AM
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I've been alternating my tax levels: high for one turn, normal for the next. Because it takes two turns for a rebel army to form, I can rake in a bit more dough with no insurrection.

Man, I remember the Koei games on the Nintendo Enterteinment System, where, you could jack up the taxes, take the hit on the happiness for that turn, then decreases the taxes by one point, garner some happiness, give a couple hundred units of rice, and rake in the cash.
  #58  
Old 03-20-2011, 11:33 AM
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Is the arrival of the Europeans a Big Deal the way it was in the original, and (just as importantly) are there gunpowder units in the game?
They don't just "show up" as I've seen. You can build Nanban (European trade) ports and get gunpwder from there - but it takes some time and is expensive. Later on, you can develop your own gunpowder infrastructure, which is better but takes a lot of high-level buildings. You can get your units faster from Nanban ports by.

Nanban ports is the way you get to Christianity, I think. It starts getting Christian people and you can then convert. This can be useful, but if you do so make sure you've got a couple archer units in every castle, and try to have a free slot in as many as possible to build up Chapels for conversion. It won't take too long to settle things down ocne you get rolling, and that gives you much faster Chi teching, as well as other bonuses.
  #59  
Old 03-20-2011, 01:43 PM
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Yeah, but if you build your own you can get Samurai Musketmen, which like the Samurai Archers are better able to fight if it comes to melee (they also get a few additional abilities like a rapid fire by ranks option which is nice). They are great defensive units. I wish they had something like the stakes available to certain archer units in TW:M2 though, since they are still really susceptible to cavalry.

-XT
  #60  
Old 03-20-2011, 07:57 PM
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Been playing a Date campaign. A little slow moving at the moment, I put down the rebellion then confidentially strode into the neighbouring Mas...something clan territory, swatting aside a few minor armies and hoping to starve the defenders of their castle into submission, Medieval 2 style - only to find that entire garrison of the castle had marched out to meet us! I held on by the skin of my teeth only to find myself in the middle of enemy territory in winter.

An advisor then popped up to inform me that an ominous skull shape over my army was a sign of attrition - I thought I'd caught plague from somewhere. First thought - awesome! Campaign seasons! Second though - shit! I gotta get out of here! Like Napoleon in 1812 I limped out of the snowy lands for resupply, with enemies hot on our trail.

A few things I don't like;
- Chasing enemy armies around the campaign map like Benny Hill. Stand and fight, you cowards! Ties up way too much time chasing the enemy around Date hinterlands.
- Restocking. Should be an option to do it all at once like prior games; it's too slow - especially general's bodyguard units. After taking a beating it breaks flow to have to sit on your arse for a few turns whilst your army has a breather.

Other than that, no complaints. How have you guys been developing generals? I've put points into Strategist and Poet (early tech upgrades seem a good idea). However, my general is my only cav unit so I'm thinking perhaps I should have put more points into the warrior side of things.
  #61  
Old 03-20-2011, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Kobayashi View Post
Been playing a Date campaign. A little slow moving at the moment, I put down the rebellion then confidentially strode into the neighbouring Mas...something clan territory, swatting aside a few minor armies and hoping to starve the defenders of their castle into submission, Medieval 2 style - only to find that entire garrison of the castle had marched out to meet us! I held on by the skin of my teeth only to find myself in the middle of enemy territory in winter.

An advisor then popped up to inform me that an ominous skull shape over my army was a sign of attrition - I thought I'd caught plague from somewhere. First thought - awesome! Campaign seasons! Second though - shit! I gotta get out of here! Like Napoleon in 1812 I limped out of the snowy lands for resupply, with enemies hot on our trail.

A few things I don't like;
- Chasing enemy armies around the campaign map like Benny Hill. Stand and fight, you cowards! Ties up way too much time chasing the enemy around Date hinterlands.
- Restocking. Should be an option to do it all at once like prior games; it's too slow - especially general's bodyguard units. After taking a beating it breaks flow to have to sit on your arse for a few turns whilst your army has a breather.

Other than that, no complaints. How have you guys been developing generals? I've put points into Strategist and Poet (early tech upgrades seem a good idea). However, my general is my only cav unit so I'm thinking perhaps I should have put more points into the warrior side of things.
I've done the same as you, except for generals of the family who've just come of age. Then I'll pump some points into survivability in order to retain him as long as possible. (Nothing's worse than losing a four-star general to an ambush while trying to put a field stack together.)
  #62  
Old 03-21-2011, 12:00 AM
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- Restocking. Should be an option to do it all at once like prior games; it's too slow - especially general's bodyguard units. After taking a beating it breaks flow to have to sit on your arse for a few turns whilst your army has a breather.

Other than that, no complaints. How have you guys been developing generals? I've put points into Strategist and Poet (early tech upgrades seem a good idea). However, my general is my only cav unit so I'm thinking perhaps I should have put more points into the warrior side of things.
If it takes 3-4 turns to replenish a unit you're better off just disbanding and rebuilding it from scratch. A depleted unit costs as much upkeep as a full strength one, and upkeep is huge, roughly a quarter of the full cost, so it's just bleeding you dry while you're waiting on it. Replenishing also reduces the experience level of the unit, while a fresh one comes out with all the dojo and tech bonuses. Army cost management is a huge part of the game, especially by the end.

Correspondingly, there's a general skill, underneath Poet, that simultaneously increases replenishment rate and reduces upkeep costs, drastically. At least from my late-game Legendary perspective, it seems like by far the strongest of the options.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:16 AM
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If you have multiple depleted units of the same type, you can drag and drop to merge them together into a single unit, preserving their experience level. Better than just disbanding if you've got the option.
  #64  
Old 03-23-2011, 12:10 AM
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Finished my legendary Chosokabe campaign. I have to amend my earlier statement about the tactical AI being competent at siege battles. It does fairly well on the first tier of forts, but once castles expand into multi-level, the AI really begins to fall apart. It's also crippled on siege defense by a complete refusal to ever leave the castle for any reason - even if it's got cavalry units bottled up and the attacking force is nothing but archers. It skews the siege play far in the player's advantage by the late game. If the campaign AI was more willing to starve out castles rather than assaulting with an insufficient force advantage, it'd be a lot more effective, because the tactical AI is surprisingly solid in open field combat.

The Realm Divided event also came as a surprise in its potency. Most strategy games like this tend to wind down in the late game into just being a series of well-controlled mopping up. In this one, once you've gained enough fame to have the country's attention, an event fires off that steadily degrades your relations with everyone. Unless you invest heavily into diplomacy, even your staunchest allies eventually start to see their clan ending as your vassal. I really like the aura of paranoia it creates, as the question becomes when, not if, they'll try to stab you in the back.

Unit balance seems pretty good. With the possible exception of the no-dachi samurai, each infantry unit has a time and place to uniquely excel, cavalry balances extreme power with extreme fragility, and the right ratio of ranged to melee power varies wildly depending on the terrain and unit mixes. Even the peasant fighters, generally useless in the Total War games, can present serious battlefield power in the right situations, and have high strategic utility due to their low cost, ready availability, and the immense upkeep costs on samurai forces. The special agents are all very powerful and are a core part of the campaign play rather than just an irrelevant sidegame as they often are.

So overall, I'd say that while Shogun 2 is, yet again, just another iteration of the same unchanging Total War formula, it's the most polished of the bunch. Unlike the rest of the series, it's also, thankfully, fairly clean of game-stopping bugs on release and the AI doesn't pull nearly as many pants-on-head idiot maneuvers as it used to. It's still only about 3/4ths of a strategic game squashed together with 3/4ths of a tactical game, but they've spruced up the weaker points of each enough that the overall effect is pretty engaging.
  #65  
Old 03-28-2011, 08:37 PM
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I know the thread is practically dead, but has anyone actually managed to win a long campaign on hard or above? I'm on my 4th long campaign game on hard and I still haven't managed to win. The best I've managed to do is to capture the requisite 40 territories by 1605. In every game, just as I'm about to take Kyoto, regardless of my relationships with other clans, basically everyone in the game (including some of my vassals sometimes) declares war on me and with a single seeming purpose sets aside all other conflicts and throws literally hordes of stacks at me. Generally it's all I can do for a couple of years to fend off the attacks as I watch my carefully horded money drop. In the last game I actually had over 250k in money and 8 food surplus and within 10 years I had dropped to less than 50k. By the end (this is the game I just said 'fuck it' and continued to play through until I finally captured everything, even though the game had officially ended) I was back to 3k per turn and had crushed most of the hordes, but I was still having to spend an incredible amount, and couldn't take any territories as vassals, as within a few turns they would inevitably attack me, creating a problem in my rear territories.

So...anyone actually managed to win, and if so how the hell did you do it??

-XT
  #66  
Old 03-28-2011, 09:32 PM
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I finished the long campaign on legendary. The time limit wasn't an issue for me, I had 15 years to spare on victory, and most of the real fighting had ended 5 years before that. It sounds like you're playing ultra-conservatively. I can't imagine having 25k in the bank, much less 250k. 250k is enough to recruit three unit-capped all-samurai armies and pay their upkeep for 4 years, and that's a force strong enough to simply sweep through most of Japan as fast as they can march. You could have done an awful lot of damage if you'd turned that money into military, and probably reduced your backstabbing threats in the process.

Or rather, your shameful greed and womanly ways betray you! There is no economic victory in the sengoku jidai!

Last edited by Mekhazzio; 03-28-2011 at 09:35 PM.
  #67  
Old 03-29-2011, 08:17 AM
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I just finished a hard Date domination campaign, won it by 1590. (Had control of over 50 regions by 1570, spent some time on the back and forth.)

There are some things to keep in mind:
- The Realm Divided is inevitable and irrevocable. Once it starts, your relationships with other nations will keep degrading over time - even your alliances and vasselages will inevitably founder. Never leave any states open behind your lines; fighting a war on multiple fronts will doom you.

- Keep a screen of ninja in front of your conquest's advance. Keep metsuke with your field stacks to counteract enemy agents and try to use monks to pre-convert (or at least spread dissent) in clans who've adopted Christianity. Essentially, the moment a clan adopts christianity, you need to flood them with monks.

- Control the waves. Having your trade routes blocked will spell economic death, quickly. By the time you're ready to trigger the Realm Divided, having three or four stacks of medium bunes is necessary. Better ships if you can, but don't waste money on the biggest ships if you don't have to. Also, send one or two of your generals to the seas early on, it'll help having a proficient admiral later as the enemy likes ganging up on you with multiple stacks. I've not yet experimented to see if blocking enemy ports actually affects their production capabilities, but I doubt it.

Some Date-specific advice:
- It's easily overlooked, but there's a trade-point in the way north-eastern point of the map. Your first actions should always be to build a harbour and then a trade port in your capitol city and then immediately send trade ships over there. Get a full stack of trade ships over there, you're probably not going to get hold of the western trade points before the endgame.

- As soon as possible, capture the small island to the north-west. It's the starting area of a minor clan (can't recall their name right now) which doesn't have any friends. What it does have is a gold mine and a good position for a nanban trade port. This will help fund your early expansions (first 15 years).

- The northern territories are large and usually has multiple entry points. I recommend building a sake den on your second territory to get ninja right away, as getting good intel of troop dispositions will be necessary to avoid getting sidestepped by the enemy. (In my first campaign, I showed up for a siege with one stack. The Hattori retaliated by sending three full stacks along the opposite coast and razed their way all the way to my capitol.)
  #68  
Old 03-29-2011, 08:25 AM
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Anyone know what happens if you take Kyoto well before they turn on you?
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:28 AM
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Blockading a port doesn't affect its production. Ships can be made, they just can't leave the port, nor can outside ships enter, without attacking the blockading force. It's basically just like parking right outside the port with your zone of control, except parking lets you take a cut (up to 100% with enough ships) of the trade route instead of shutting it down outright.

The northeastern trade post is, unfortunately, just iron. Date especially has a ready source of iron in a province close to their capital, so it's not nearly as lucrative as the sole sources of silk, cotton and incense in the western trade posts. It's a low-hanging fruit and can pay for itself if you have enough trade partners to export more than your land production puts out, but it's probably not worth a rush to build a trading port while you're still putting out the initial fires. The gold mine is totally worth every bit of effort though

I'm currently on a coop campaign with Oda. I appreciate why they've got such a crappy starting position now: the ashigaru bonuses are insane. I'm fielding larger and -more- armies than the legendary AI is, and still maintaining a strong economy, because the troops are dirt cheap, quick to throw together and utterly, completely expendable. The peasant forces are far stronger here than you'd expect from a Total War game. You don't need dojos and the long infrastructure chain involved in them, you don't need the hefty pricetag of samurai, you just throw wave after wave of your own men at the computer until it shuts down. Auto-resolve is awfully generous with enough weight of numbers available.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:19 AM
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I must commit seppuku at once for my shame. Yeah...I've always been a turtle type player, very methodical, and I like to have a large cash reserve before I start my end game push. The trouble is that the end game push has always come to me and I'm in no position to do much about it. One of the problems I think I'm seeing is that I usually have 2-3 field armies at most, using the best troops available instead of cannon fodder. Maybe the key is to have a bunch more low or medium quality armies than a couple really good armies.

The other thing I'm finding is that, to me at least the tactical AI is driving me nuts. It seems a lot better than in previous games, and so even though I'm winning a lot of fights (most of them really), I'm getting attrited to death. I've noticed that the enemy AI seems to really like archers too, and that a lot of armies I'm going up against are half archers in some cases. This SHOULD be a cavalry armies dream, but what I see happening is that they wipe out my cavalry charging from the flanks if I send them out in front, and they the damn samurai archers can hold off whatever is left! If I send in the foot first and move my cav to the flanks my foot gets the shit kicked out of them before the horse can drive home. If I set up a defensive line then they either smack my line troops or my own archers. I've never had these kinds of problems in previous TW games.

-XT
  #71  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:06 AM
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Yeah, archers are murderdeath. Even Ashis are pretty darn fearsome and precise. Could stand to be toned down a bit. One possible option is to use archer monks - they're expensive, but they can fire further than regular archers. Outranging them forces them to move towards you, even if they're on the defensive. Helloooo ambushes.

Also, don't forget the Spread Out formation while you're closing in. Makes a huge difference. Fought two battles recently, both were 1 general units of mine vs. 1 unit of ashi archers. First one, charged straight in from out of range, 13 survivors. Second time I spread them out, charged in and toggled close formation right after their second volley. 18 survivors. Just don't forget to toggle it off once your troops are in melee or they'll get butchered.

Other than that, which kind of cav are you using ? Light cav is hopeless. Good for rooting out hiding units, chasing routers, mayyybe flank or backstab a unit that's pinned by infantry. But mostly, don't bother. Sword cav is pretty meh as well - they're a bit worse than regular Katana Samurai, only of course they're faster. There's also fewer of them and they're big targets, so they don't last long.
Yari Cav is where it's at, but they have very little staying power. Charge in, disengage immediately, repeat. Not sure if wedge is good or not, I never really bothered with it in any TW game so far - maybe I'm using it wrong but most of the time it wedges the cav alright... and it's a bitch to get back out.

As for your trouble with the Realm Divide, well, you and me both pal. This game is hell on turtlers - cheats its arse off too. Whenever the AI has armies hidden by the fog of war, it underhandedly spawns free units and/or gives XP to those it has up to a "balanced" point - basically until the fight is even between you and them. Which would be all right if it did that on a Japan-basis rather than a Clan basis. As it stands, not only is financial warfare as well as sabotaging troop buildings useless (the AI will even spawn units it cannot possibly build) but the more map is hidden, the more Clans border you and the longer you wait before launching WW0, the more you're screwed by this "balance".
Apparently there's already mod out there to zap this crummy mechanic, but I haven't tested it out myself - I'm a bit afraid that, once deprived of its cheated units and having to actually build stuff the AI will resort to waves upon waves of ashigaru...

Last edited by Kobal2; 03-30-2011 at 04:07 AM.
  #72  
Old 03-30-2011, 10:34 AM
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Yeah, archers are murderdeath. Even Ashis are pretty darn fearsome and precise. Could stand to be toned down a bit. One possible option is to use archer monks - they're expensive, but they can fire further than regular archers. Outranging them forces them to move towards you, even if they're on the defensive. Helloooo ambushes.
Archer monks are expensive, but worth it later in the game to supplement your ashigaru and taking out pesky elite units like no-dachi or naginata samurai. I wish their unit stack was larger though. Samurai bowmen aren't really worth the effort though, in my opinion - you're better off just teching past them and getting monks. I just tested it and two archer ashigaru takes out one archer samurai unit just fine.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:42 AM
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I actually haven't gotten any of the monk combat units (just the regular monks you can buy to convert enemy characters). I usually go the gun powder route. I also go with the samurai archers, but maybe that's been a mistake.

-XT
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:45 PM
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I don't think Samurai Archers are really worth it either. Maybe once you're absolutely swimming in gold and you've got the buildings to make them at the same rate as Ashis and even then, heh. They're not explodingly better at shooting than peasants and while they can certainly fend off spearmen in melee, if you're sending your archers in melee you're probably doing something wrong . The higher armour helps in missile duels, but then you can also make armoured ashigarus if you've got a blacksmith or two.

The only good use I've found for them is to defend bottleneck castles. There they perform admirably on the walls where they get to both fire at them on the way then melee the survivors, all without risks of facing cavalry.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:50 PM
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I preferred samurai archers over the monks. Being able to hold their own in melee is pretty handy in the flexibility it gives, as it means your archers are never dead weight, even in the heavy scrums where you can't shoot at anything without hitting your own men, and they can even handle most cavalry if need be. More than a few of my sieges as Chosokabe were won with my archers climbing the walls and carving up the survivors after running out of arrows. Adding another research path and upgraded building into the mix makes the monks significantly harder to produce, too.

Cavalry is definitely very finicky, though. Light cav is useful only on the charge - they will lose against everything except bow ashigaru in extended combat, and have to be continually pulled out to reform and charge again. Very much only a support unit. Yari cavalry is only a little better, unless they're fighting enemy horsemen. Katana cavalry are the only ones that are actually solidly useful as an extended combat unit, and can dismount to simply murder yari ashigaru straight up. I've yet to find a good use of bow cav, they just don't throw enough weight of fire to do much more than annoy.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:07 PM
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Bow cav is good if the enemy doesn't have much or any cav of their own. I send them way out in front and on the flanks and they will draw off at least some of the enemy force from the main attack. You can set them to skirmish mode and they will stay out of melee range of anything attacking them.

They suck if the enemy has enough cav to go after them and to still come after your main force, though, so I generally don't use them much.

-XT
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:06 PM
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I tried bow monks for a bit. I found them too fragile for field battles, where their range bonus is easy to charge through. In sieges, they're totally different from bow samurai. For starters, they can whittle down the archers on the ramparts with impunity. I imagine that if you're patient, you could even have them shoot a volley of fire arrows, stop and wait for the cooldown, shoot another volley of fire arrows, rinse and repeat. When I took Kyoto in my first campaign, they could do this across the citadel's moat. They cleared the way for my infantry to ford the moat (the bridges are apparently just decorative), but they were useless after they ran out of ammo. I felt a little undermanned storming the citadel, and kinda wished that I had instead brought bow samurai that can melee a bit.

After two and a half campaigns, I've gotten to the point with this game that I'm ready to tinker around with mods and whatnot. I'm trying out a few minor mods along with some mega-sized unit shenanigans. If you track down your preferences.script file (on my machine it's in C:\Users\My Name\AppData\Roaming\The Creative Assembly\Shogun2\scripts), you can alter your campaign_unit_multiplier without any mod at all (but it might reset if you adjust your graphics settings). A value of 1 is the highest you can set it in-game, meaning 160 men in a katana samurai unit and 200 men in a yari ashigaru unit. I set it to 5; you have to start a new campaign for it to kick in, but a katana samurai unit is 800 men and a yari ashigaru unit is 1000 men. It's ridiculous. The auto-resolve can't really cope with it, but even the early battles I've fought so far have been epic and bloody. I think that even in proportion to unit size, there are more casualties. You can't just crash your line into the enemy line, even if you have superior troops. Units take longer to rout, so flanking and other trickiness is more useful.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:07 AM
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Upon further testing, I think I set the unit sizes too big. My computer is pretty beefy, but battles with nearly fulls stacks make it run strangely choppy. I can still move the camera around smoothly, but the troops on the field have a framerate of around 1/sec. In my computer's defense, there were about 27,000 men on the battlefield.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:54 AM
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Finally won a game on hard. I just have to turn off my tendencies to turtle and build up and just attack. I also used my fleet well, and used extra stacks early in the game to go after ever rebel province that turned up before everyone went nuts and attacked. That let me get some good provinces around Kyoto before the Realm Divided madness hit everyone, and that let me break up Japan into thirds (I had both of the large islands, a foot hold on the North Western part of the main Island, and most of the central regions around Kyoto before everyone turned on me, so I could isolate clans and take them out one at a time, while my defensive fortresses just soaked up attack after attack and whittled down all those stacks the computer gets).

Tried out bow monks and naginita monks, both of which work well in certain circumstances. I really like samurai bowmen for defensive battles, as well as samurai musketmen, and you don't have to shift them from the walls as much. I had a good mix this last time between disposable, cheap troops and high value troops, and it worked well. I enjoyed some of the really key defensive battles, as it's a lot of fun to have to constantly shift your guys around to make sure the right guys are on the battlements and protect the fragile missile troops. I had a few battles were a couple of ashigara archers, some spear-men and the garrison troops took on full stacks of high value enemies and managed to win.

-XT
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:18 AM
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I don't think Samurai Archers are really worth it either. Maybe once you're absolutely swimming in gold and you've got the buildings to make them at the same rate as Ashis and even then, heh. They're not explodingly better at shooting than peasants and while they can certainly fend off spearmen in melee, if you're sending your archers in melee you're probably doing something wrong .
Dead wrong, there. Always send your archers into melee - even ashigaru.

The reason is that it will turn the tide if you time it right. First they weakent he enemy, then you wait until the enemy morale is breaking in melee with your dudes. Then the archers charge in and the foe flees. That's not the only way to use them, but it's effective.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:26 AM
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Started my second Shimazu campaign a few days ago, partly because I wanted to try out Darth's mod (which is very promising), and partly because I hadn't read anything about the game before plunging into it and therefore was unprepared for the Real Divide event and didn't know about the trade node bug. Therefore, my very spaced out, one-province-here-two-provinces-there empire quickly collapsed when everybody turned on me (Seeing as I only managed to sign two or three trade deals I also didn't have the financial reserves to do anything about it.)

My new campaign has been an utter blast! Started of consolidating the southern Island, which took a lot of years. (Playing Darth mod on Hard/Hard is a challenge, for me at least ) I've now spent about 6-7 years consolidating my positions, researching and ramping up the economy, all the while playing the diplomatic/clandestine agent game on the main island in order to not let any clan becoming dominant. I've only snagged a couple of well placed rebel provinces on the mainland, as well as gold island to the north. Now, however, one of the clans (can't remember the name), has become a bit to big for my liking, so I've built up three full strength armies, as well as ample reserves, and have sent my ninjas on a campaign of destruction, assassinations and sabotage to weaken my foe both economically as well as in leadership. I've already managed to send two of his provinces into open revolt, and am currently involved in diplomatic actions to pry his allies away from him. Then, I will strike, and with my reputation already nearing the DR event level, I assume I will enter into end-game mode pretty quickly after this.

Oh, have also been working heavily on expanding my naval strengt, including capturing the Black Ship, seeing as I have a lot of coast to defend. Am really looking forward to the upcoming campaign, as I believe it will get intense As I've spent most of my time up to now on a strategy of dividing and power balance, I only have one ally - the Chosokabe, so I imagine I will have a lot of clans turning against me fairly soon - although I hope to offset this by creating a few vassals as I go along on my main offensive.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:59 PM
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Started my second Shimazu campaign a few days ago, partly because I wanted to try out Darth's mod (which is very promising), and partly because I hadn't read anything about the game before plunging into it and therefore was unprepared for the Real Divide event and didn't know about the trade node bug. Therefore, my very spaced out, one-province-here-two-provinces-there empire quickly collapsed when everybody turned on me (Seeing as I only managed to sign two or three trade deals I also didn't have the financial reserves to do anything about it.)

My new campaign has been an utter blast! Started of consolidating the southern Island, which took a lot of years. (Playing Darth mod on Hard/Hard is a challenge, for me at least ) I've now spent about 6-7 years consolidating my positions, researching and ramping up the economy, all the while playing the diplomatic/clandestine agent game on the main island in order to not let any clan becoming dominant. I've only snagged a couple of well placed rebel provinces on the mainland, as well as gold island to the north. Now, however, one of the clans (can't remember the name), has become a bit to big for my liking, so I've built up three full strength armies, as well as ample reserves, and have sent my ninjas on a campaign of destruction, assassinations and sabotage to weaken my foe both economically as well as in leadership. I've already managed to send two of his provinces into open revolt, and am currently involved in diplomatic actions to pry his allies away from him. Then, I will strike, and with my reputation already nearing the DR event level, I assume I will enter into end-game mode pretty quickly after this.

Oh, have also been working heavily on expanding my naval strengt, including capturing the Black Ship, seeing as I have a lot of coast to defend. Am really looking forward to the upcoming campaign, as I believe it will get intense As I've spent most of my time up to now on a strategy of dividing and power balance, I only have one ally - the Chosokabe, so I imagine I will have a lot of clans turning against me fairly soon - although I hope to offset this by creating a few vassals as I go along on my main offensive.
Never leave any vassal states within reach of undefended or lightly garrisoned cities after Realm Divide; remember that it's continuously degrading. Betrayal is inevitable.
  #83  
Old 04-05-2011, 02:30 AM
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Never leave any vassal states within reach of undefended or lightly garrisoned cities after Realm Divide; remember that it's continuously degrading. Betrayal is inevitable.
Yup, which is why I will only create new vassals after Realm Divide, I've read that vassals created after RD, won't pick up the RD trait.

Besides, running Darth mod, and he has implemented a fix for RD, giving you a massive hit to diplomacy once RD hits, but then gradually lessening the effect - which seems more realistic to me. Hopefully I will have enough clout with my ally and some of my trade partners to survive that first bashing
  #84  
Old 04-05-2011, 02:49 AM
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Dead wrong, there. Always send your archers into melee - even ashigaru.

The reason is that it will turn the tide if you time it right. First they weakent he enemy, then you wait until the enemy morale is breaking in melee with your dudes. Then the archers charge in and the foe flees. That's not the only way to use them, but it's effective.
Granted, but as you say even Ashigarus work in that context where what you want is the morale shock and flanking penalties. The higher morale, combat stats and armour of the samurai don't justify the higher price tag and upkeep in this situation where a pack of three legged mules would do the trick.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:35 AM
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Realm Divide applies to all existing factions when it triggers, but that's it. It doesn't apply to new factions who (re)appear after the event happens, be it through rebels or vassal liberation. They got crushed once already, they just want to keep their heads down while the big boys play

It's still not necessarily a good idea to drop client states everywhere. If your vassal gets into a war, you're obligated to join them in it or you take a ding to all your other alliance relations as well as the daimyo's honor, which can kick off a nasty spiral, especially after Realm Divide. It's a real no-win scenario when your new vassals, with their freshly reset faction relation table, manage to annoy a long-established partner.

Also, Realm Divide doesn't necessarily mean everyone turns on you. I maintained two large alliances right up to the long campaign victory on my last one. The RD penalty builds slowly and caps out eventually. At full tilt, it'll roughly neutralize your usual trade agreement + alliance + marriage, which means all you really have to do is cancel out territorial expansion with, well, everything else, which isn't too hard, especially if they're far away.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:41 AM
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After winning the long campaign on hard my next goal in the current game is to capture every territory by 1600. Just for the fun of it. Seems do-able, since in my current game I've captured Kyoto and have about half of Japan and it's only 1570. I think playing as the Date is actually easier than starting off on one of the smaller islands.

-XT
  #87  
Old 04-05-2011, 10:21 PM
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Granted, but as you say even Ashigarus work in that context where what you want is the morale shock and flanking penalties. The higher morale, combat stats and armour of the samurai don't justify the higher price tag and upkeep in this situation where a pack of three legged mules would do the trick.
It depends on what you can afford to lose. Early game, Samurai Archers tend to be pretty expensive. But they can do a lot more damage (they're surprisingly capable in melee). Add in their general improvements over Bow Ashigaru, and I don't consider them worthless at all. One very nice thing about them is that they tend to beat Bow Ashigaru in archery. So if you can afford them, they're great. Then you leave awounded units behind as garrisons while you press onward.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:53 AM
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Garrisoning samurai isn't really worth it due to the high upkeep relative to the cost of a new unit. For one turn's worth of upkeep on samurai, you can get a brand new yari ashigaru unit, which'll cost you less in the future. If you're not expecting imminent attack or to rejoin your forces you're better off just disbanding entirely. If your general has a replenishment boost or upkeep reduction, then you hurt yourself by pulling samurai out at all.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:39 PM
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Anyone know what happens if you take Kyoto well before they turn on you?
My current campaign is with a mod that's supposed to disable the realm divide penalties. I'm the Shimazu, and after gaining control of Kyushu I sent a fleet over to around Settsu; I wanted to capture those libraries as early as possible. Since the Ashikaga declared war on me (because of an alliance), I decided to go ahead and capture Kyoto early. A year later, I was named Shogun despite having only 18 provinces. I didn't win, but I got the special units and other Shogun bonuses. The turn after that, everyone promptly declared war on me. My fame gauge isn't quite full yet. I don't have a diplomacy penalty, but that's probably the aforementioned mod. A couple of factions are only unfriendly with me, so I may be able to mend fences before too long.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:58 PM
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One thing which really torques me off is that the reversed the order of units, dammit!

This irritated me with Medieval TW, but it absolutely drives me insane in Shogun. Becaue things worked very differently. Early clan conflict was all-Samurai (with a few amateurs or rogues running around helping). The end of the period was much different, with professional Ashigaru in massed, disciplined formations fighting. Samurai were still the "big iron" of the battlefield, but it's the differences between a plain, sturdy infantry rifle and a high-precision machine gun.

The game should make Ashigaru units something you develop, because you shouldn't start with those solid, several-lines-deep defender units. The early game should be more of a dance of different units. Then they can hand you the sturdier units and let you field much larger armies. I would really like to see increasing Chi and Bushido arts slowly increasing your base unit size.

On garrisoning Samurai Archers: it's not about the money. You leave them behind because they're really badass when defending castles. You can leave any wounded ones behind to control provinces and defend them from any sudden assault.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:11 PM
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I've noticed that most of the times that I've been defending a fort, it's usually on the turn after I capture it, so no time to repair the gates. Strangely, the AI still tries to scale the walls. The last time I didn't even put archers on the ramparts; I put my katana samurai there with my archers behind them. When the yari ashigaru tried to scale the walls, they got smacked down hard.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:46 PM
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I almost always ignore open gates when I'm assaulting, unless a large area inside the gate is completely undefended. You need to seriously outclass the enemy in troop quality to be able to push anything through that tiny chokepoint while fighting. Especially if you're reliant on ashigaru, you're better off just trying to get as many people up at once to swarm the enemy from multiple directions, because any single group is going to get cut down about as fast as they can trickle into the fort.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:02 PM
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Seconded. Gates are for suckers. Always have been. Maybe a sword hero could punch through, or rather make his stand at the gate and cut down defenders one by one (in effect turning the bottleneck around). Other than that, zerging is the way to go.
Then again, I'm more of the "bring lots of trebuchets and burn the defenders to a crisp from the next hill over" school of sieging. Why get in when you can make them wish to the kami they could get out ?
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:36 AM
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On garrisoning Samurai Archers: it's not about the money. You leave them behind because they're really badass when defending castles. You can leave any wounded ones behind to control provinces and defend them from any sudden assault.
Agreed. By the time I can get Samurai Archers I'm using at several thousand gold per turn. They are great garrison troops. Put two of the things in a first or second tier castle, with a couple of spear men and a regular archer or two and they can go up against a full stack of enemy troops. I've shredded Samurai armies in such a castle before, baiting them into attacking and holding my field army just out of their visual range, then after the broken remnants move back from their defeat snapping them up with the main army. It works well especially in the mid game, when everyone declares war on you and you are jammed up in the middle of Japan facing several clans with full stacks. If you put too many troops in a castle they either won't attack it or they will siege the town until it surrenders (forcing you to have to fight as the attacker). Put a couple Samurai archers in there, with a couple of throw away troops and you can bait them into attacking and breaking their teeth on the castles walls.

-XT
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:17 AM
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I am rather late to the party; I have to get a new rig for the game.

Having never played a TW game extensively before, I find myself rather lost after the tutorial. Here are some beginners' questions here, so please bear with me.

1) Is it better to have archers in front or behind your melee troops?

2) In the tutorial, my general has the Wedge ability, but in starting a new campaign, he don't, how do I get it?

3) Are there any ways to transport troops to the mainland bu ships?

4) In the tutorial, before the battle begins, I remember being able to access various formations. Do I have to learn them for the real campaign?

Last edited by Crowbar of Irony +3; 04-08-2011 at 01:17 AM.
  #96  
Old 04-08-2011, 03:25 AM
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I am rather late to the party; I have to get a new rig for the game.

Having never played a TW game extensively before, I find myself rather lost after the tutorial. Here are some beginners' questions here, so please bear with me.

1) Is it better to have archers in front or behind your melee troops?
In front, set on skirmish. If you set them behind, the AI will just deploy its own archers just beyond your range and pelt your melee troops, and archers are deadly in this game.
Skirmish seems to work just fine in this game, too. There's no nonsense about the whole unit waiting for that one guy to finish his animation before they go away, or using the same skirmish range vs. infantry as vs. cavalry.

Quote:
2) In the tutorial, my general has the Wedge ability, but in starting a new campaign, he don't, how do I get it?
It's one of the Bushido (ie military) techs, just like archer fire arrows or spear squares.

ETA: however I would advise you to ignore Bushido techs early on (or maybe just develop the first one for katana dojos) and focus on the Chi techs first, particularly the farm and market lines. That way you'll build a strong economic foundation for your empire - besides, early on samurai of any kind are going to be out of your league.

Quote:
3) Are there any ways to transport troops to the mainland bu ships?
I'm not sure what you mean but as usual, any fleet (including fleets composed of a single kayak) can transport any number of land units, yes.

Quote:
4) In the tutorial, before the battle begins, I remember being able to access various formations. Do I have to learn them for the real campaign?
Depends what you mean. If you mean stuff like cavalry wedge formations or spearmen spear walls, then some of that has to be researched, yes.

If you mean group formations that pop up on the left side of the screen when you form up a group (like Swooping Crane or Raging Tiger & whatnot) then those are available from the start - they're just automated ways to setup your forces before battle if you're not into deploying them by hand.

Last edited by Kobal2; 04-08-2011 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:22 AM
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Actually cavalry wedge formation isn't a bushido tech. It's a general skill in the second tier. Which means I don't get it, because I dump all my general skill points into the poet skill.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2
If you mean group formations that pop up on the left side of the screen when you form up a group (like Swooping Crane or Raging Tiger & whatnot) then those are available from the start - they're just automated ways to setup your forces before battle if you're not into deploying them by hand.
I think that there is a way to hide them, which can lead to confusion. IIRC, there is a small triangle on the mid-left side of the screen (if you aren't seeing all the group formations) that if you click on it unhides the formations.

(I generally only use the formations when I have troops coming in from another stack off screen, as I'm usually fighting for my life somewhere else on the battle field and don't have the time to wait for troops to move so I can reform them)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowbar of Irony +3
1) Is it better to have archers in front or behind your melee troops?
As Kobal2 says, definitely in front. What I do is set up my cheap archers way in front (on skirmish), the Samurai archers just past my main line, and if I have monk archers I set those behind the line (since they are very fragile, especially in skirmish). An enemy has to go through several zones of fire that way, and I can concentrate different zones on different parts of the enemy formation. The Samurai archers can fight, as well, especially if the main line is right behind them.

Quote:
2) In the tutorial, my general has the Wedge ability, but in starting a new campaign, he don't, how do I get it?
As Gorsnak says, I think you get this as your general levels up. There are all sorts of abilities you can give the general...I generally orient to enhancing the capabilities of the army, instead of the general and his personal guard, but then I don't use my generals to fight except to pursue broken formations or if things are really desperate.

As Kobal2 suggests, I'd go with just the basics from the Bushido tech tree (until you've got all the important ones...even then, I'd look to build the stuff that gives you monk warriors and archers as a priority as well) and concentrate on the far right of the Chi tech tree concerning agriculture and money. In the long run that will help much more than having the best troops, especially when you start conquering a lot of provinces. I've had to stop campaigns in the past because I was out of food and didn't have the latest agricultural tech, or because I was out of money since I didn't have all of the merchant techs.

Quote:
3) Are there any ways to transport troops to the mainland bu ships?
Any fleet can pick up any stack of troops (as well as specialty characters like ninja or monks). You just have to be careful...if you put your guys on a weak ship or fleet and the enemy swoops in and crushes it you lose the troops...which can seriously suck.

You move your stack of troops to a ship the same way you move them into a town...just put the ship or fleet offshore, then click on your stack and click on the fleet. To move off the ship you click on the fleet, then mouse over the land where you want to set them down. When the cursor changes to a troops icon you can offload.

-XT

Last edited by XT; 04-08-2011 at 08:56 AM.
  #99  
Old 04-08-2011, 07:34 PM
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You move your stack of troops to a ship the same way you move them into a town...just put the ship or fleet offshore, then click on your stack and click on the fleet. To move off the ship you click on the fleet, then mouse over the land where you want to set them down. When the cursor changes to a troops icon you can offload.

-XT
Just to add, it's best to embark/disembark troops in a harbour town. If you embark/disembark at a random place on the shore it uses whatever movement points your units have remaining. If you use a harbour you can still use any remaining movement points.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:46 PM
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Just to add, it's best to embark/disembark troops in a harbour town. If you embark/disembark at a random place on the shore it uses whatever movement points your units have remaining. If you use a harbour you can still use any remaining movement points.
Didn't know that. Neat. Thanks!

Can you disembark in your enemies' harbours as well?
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