Saturday, August 17, 2013

Shogun 2: Those Infernal Priests

There is a danger I may lose my first ever campaign of Shogun 2 and it will all be due to the actions of a few (now martyred) Christian priests.

It all started so well. I picked the Shimazu clan with a sweet bonus to katana wielding samurai. Heavy infantry win battles in Total War games and these buffed samurai helped me to dominate in early battles. Soon I had annihilated my first enemy and set about building some infrastructure and a decent army.

My rivals were not idle themselves and by the time I was ready to march the Otomo had captured the rest of the westernmost island that we shared. They had five provinces to my three and I was dismayed to find that their armies outnumbered mine by more than two to one.

Happily the AI (on normal difficulty) is no great tactician and careful use of terrain and my aforementioned samurai troops allowed me to prevail against larger Otomo forces. Unfortunately while I was dominating this ground war the Otomo were undertaking a clandestine war of another sort which completely undermined my economy.

Three things that beggered me and two of them are directly attributable to the Otomo's early conversion to that Nanban cult called Christianity. In the first instance every province I captured from Otomo was 100% Christian. Their dissatisfaction with my clan's Buddhism led to unhappiness and required that I leave a substantial garrison in each town to quell unrest. Not content with this the Otomo then sent priests to convert my own provinces. Before I could apprehend them they managed to convert a hefty percentage of the populace and to ferment a number of religious based uprisings. Keeping a lid on the resulting unrest restricted me to very low tax rates denying me a major source of income. When the Otomo then turned out to have a substantial Navy which blockaded all my trading ports I was left in poverty.

My armies were winning every battle but I could barely afford their upkeep. I couldn't afford reinforcements and I was forced to keep the majority of my troops on garrison duty waiting for them to slowly replenish. I was even forced to disband several regiments while the Otomo wallowing in money from their Nanban trading partners had money to burn on soldiers ships and infrastructure.

I almost gave up. I had been totally unprepared for the damage that a few priests and their insidious  Christian message could wreak. The road to recovery was slow and painful for me. I managed to break the blockade on one trading port  which gave me a meagre positive income. Recruiting a Metsuke helped to root out those damnable priests and other enemy agents. Levelling Christian churches and replacing them with Buddhist temples and monks finally stemmed the tide of Christianity. All the while my armies undertook a holding action worthy of Horatio repeatedly defending against superior Otomo forces while they waited for for my economy to improve to the point where further expansion was possible.

It took years but I am nearly there. The Otomos are down to their last two provinces and I will soon eradicate them and their annoying cult. Lasting damage has been done though. For more than a decade I have neglected spending on infrastructure and my armies and towns have fallen far behind those of the richer clans on the mainland.  It may be too late to catch up.

Damned priests.




2 comments:

Jayedub said...

Shogun is a game that I've had for a long while but played little of. The little I have played I have liked and I do plan to play more.

mbp said...

From the little I have played I can recommend it JD. Subtle improvements abound compared to previous Total War games and the AI seems to play quite aggressively presenting more of a challenge than before even on normal difficulty.

The good news is that castle sieges are a lot more enjoyable to play than in Empire TW or Napoleon TW. It used to break my heart trying to get units to man the walls in those two games. The castles in Shogun 2 are a lot simpler but at least they work.