Shogun 2 Total War Campaign Preview

Steve Butts | 10 Sep 2010 15:22
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With the enemy general dead, I'm free to lead my own forces against the invading enemy army. Without the benefit of a leader, trained in the various arts of attack and defense, the enemy army falls before our spears and arrows. Our own general, fresh from the victory, can be promoted and learn new skills, such as siege craft or improved command of our peasant levies. Should we have more use of provincial governors, our general might instead be endowed with certain civic advantages.

Since we mean to press on and destroy the Imagawa, our general dispenses with the peaceful promotions of government and instead learns the ways of siege attacks. As he pushes into Imagawa lands, he burns the enemy's farms and rice plantations. Food is more valuable than gold to a nation. We'll see how well Imagawa's armies fight on an empty stomach. Still, we don't want to destroy too much. When we take over these regions, we'll use the farms and plantations to support massive fortifications to fend off any attacks on our own territory.

It sounds like we'll need them. There are rumors that the nearby Chosokabe clan has built a big enough harbor to attract a strange people known as the "Dutch." These Dutch offered to share the secret of gunpowder with Chosokabe, and the lure of the strange new technology forced the clan to give in to Dutch demands to convert to Christianity. Now their Monks are wandering the land, converting people from Buddhism and generating much unhappiness. Still, the Christian monks are no different from the Buddhists in their disloyal attempts to have my Matsuka renounce their duty to the clan and stop seeking out Ninjas.

Worst of all, this new Dutch weapon has armed peasants with guns that can kill our Samurai. This goes against the code of Bushido. Chosokabe dishonors himself by this choice, and though he gains a powerful weapon on the battlefield, it will be harder to maintain the loyalty of his officers. We will watch and wait as his most insightful advisors, his ablest generals, and his most trusted governors abandon him. He might reclaim some honor if he orders his generals to commit seppuku, but if he orders and they refuse, he will find them turning into Ronin and stealing part of his army.

Given time, we might discover the secrets of gunpowder weapons on our own. But the more effort we put into uncovering the secrets of Bushido, the less we can put into the path of Chi, which helps us to increase happiness, honor and holiness among our people. Shall we trust in our military might to win the day? Or can we rely on the health and happiness of our people to turn back military attacks?

We will watch and wait. Next year, the battle will begin.

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