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Veteran Member - Level 13
Playing the heck out of Total War: Shogun 2 for the review didn't prepare me for the Tokugawa clan's unusual starting conditions. What follows is an excerpt of the shortest Total War campaign I've ever played.
Tokugawa starts as a vassal of the Imagawa to the east (i.e. they get half of your income and military access) and at war with Oda. Okay, fine, crushed the Oda army that starts next my capital, no problem. Parked my army just inside my border to get some replenishment with a plan to march on the Oda capital next season. Forged trade agreements with Saito and Kiyo to the north, leaving me with just the Oda to stomp on quick and then a reckoning with my Imagawa "masters."So Oda moves in his main force to take my vacant capital. He can't get there in a single season, of course, and my force controls the road so he ends up trying to take a silly detour through the woods. No big, I'll rout him in the field then storm his castle. Except that the Saito clan apparently had a stack waiting to lay siege to the Oda capital themselves, and wipe out the clan by doing just that.Well, hell. So I've got my army sitting on my western border with nobody to fight, the Imagawa to the east and their Takeda and Hojo allies north of that. Eh, screw it, the day of Tokugawa destiny will just come a bit sooner than planned. So I declare war on the Imagawa (which is the only way to break your vassalage). My daimyo takes an honor hit for that, which sucks, but is necessary. He's not likely to become Shogun as a vassal to the Imagawa anyway.The problem is that the dishonour of breaking my treaty with the Imagawa plus the additional "broken treaties" diplo penalty puts me all the way down to "indifferent" with Kiyo and Saito. Even if you're trading with them, clans who are indifferent toward you don't have a big problem declaring war if they see weakness.Of course, my western border was rather weak indeed because the Imagawa required all of my attention. I win a series of battles and take two Imagawa provinces,* slaughtering a couple thousand of their troops, hooray! My daimyo is a three-star general, my secondary general is rallying the reinforcements from the homeland, and I'm ready to make the final push to the Imagawa capital.* Taking a second-level castle (fortress, I believe, is the game term) with nothing but ashigaru sucks. I lost over half my army in my Pyrrhic victory over the defenders of the second Imagawa province I took.So, you know how Saito was indifferent? Yeah, about that. I'm not sure how much the AI is cheating with the fog of war, but simply knowing that I was embroiled in a serious war with Imagawa/Takeda/Hojo in the east would be reason enough for me to declare if I were in their position. So they did, capturing my home province with ease.Meanwhile, Takeda has finally managed to navigate a large army through the woods separating his lands from the conquered Imagawa holdings I'm sitting on. My daimyo and his proud but tattered army are holed up in the fortress they so dearly captured, while my Commissioner for Warfare and his fresh recruits are on the other side of a Takeda army that is larger than my entire military combined. The Imagawa will be a long time regrouping after the ass-kicking they suffered at my hands, but that's small comfort in the face of a thousand armed Takeda poised to rip the heart out of my domain.The foretold day of Tokugawa destiny may be rather farther off than I'd hoped. I'll be surprised if I survive the coming year. I have no force available to oppose the Saito rolling up my western provinces, and Takeda has no enemies to distract him from crushing my army – if not with the men that are already marching on my daimyo, then with their reinforcements. I have little capacity to reinforce my weakened armies, and too many fronts to fight on. I fear that this is the end of the line for the proud Tokugawa clan.---------------------------------I love that I'm still learning new things after a few hundred hours with Shogun 2.1) Having a weak diplomatic position sucks.2) Not having any allies really sucks.3) Following 1) and 2), Honour is super crazy important.3) While I can generally outmaneuver the tactical AI on hard, it's hardly a cakewalk.4) The Tokugawa start with a market in their home province instead of a dojo of any kind. Not being able to recruit samurai off the bat is a killer.5) One neat thing about Tokugawa is that they start with a metsuke. The less neat thing is that metsuke are pretty *** worthless early on in the game. Having a de facto invulnerable scout is nice, though.
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