Hello all, just a quick introduction before I get started
I'm currently living in New Zealand, which is not a part of Australia , and I'm in my first year of university, studying Engineering. I first started playing TW games ~2009, when I picked up the TW anthology (Shogun->Medieval 2, with expansions) in my local games store, and I haven't stopped playing since. This forum, its guides and the knowledge of its users, helped me up the learning curve in Medieval 2, and I hope this diary/guide will give other new players the help they need to be successful in Shogun 2.
Some notes about the diary
- I've tried to put my thought process on paper for all the decisions I will make in this campaign. Sometimes this may get a little long winded, so if you understand why I've done something, feel free to skip to the next point.
- Especially early on, I’ll be quite specific on what I’m building and recruiting. What you should be examining is not what I’m doing, but why. There is normally a good reason for everything I do, but what I do will change depending upon the current circumstances.
- I'll be using replays instead of videos for displaying my thinking on the battlefield. Primary reason is that I can't make videos. But there are others. With replays, when you press spacebar, you can see the commands I make. You also have full control over the camera, and can pause at any time to move around the battle and get a feel for how I've done things. The one disadvantage is that results can change. Everyone will see something slightly different, but the overall idea should come through.
Some notes about the Campaign
- The campaign will be a long campaign played as Shimazu, on normal difficulty. There are a few reasons for this. The difficulty is what many new players will experience, so everything I say and do will be relevant to those players. Most of what is done will also translate well to higher difficulties. The second reason I chose normal, is that I don't want everything to collapse half way through (that would look really bad). Shimazu is a good clan for beginners, and is an easy one to demonstrate ideas with, which is why I'm playing with them.
- Early on, I'll be converting to Christianity. Again, there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, I dislike naval battles, and Nanban trade ships allow me to have easy control of the seas. Second, churches give a 50% greater chi research bonus than Buddhist temples, and I like my chi arts
The replay files will need to be unpacked into your shogun 2 replay folder. The location of this folder (in win 7 atleast) is
C\Users\Your User\Appdata\Roaming\The Creative Assembly\Shogun 2\replays
If you can't see the Appdata folder, you will need to unhide it. You can do this by going to folder options (in the quicksearch bar), the view tab, and change the hidden files property to show. Then go to your user, right click on appdata, go to properties and uncheck the hidden property at the bottom of the pane. Once that is done you can rehide the other folders if you so wish without appdata dissapearing.
Many people have contributed to my ability to play Shogun 2 through their ideas and advice. Specifically, Daniu with his inspiring let’s play series, Wealthmonger for breaking the limits of possibility with his experiments, Chedric and Tephros for their detailed analysis of markets and tax rates, frogbeastegg from .Org who wrote the most comprehensive guide for Shogun 2 yet (if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you do so), and all the users of Total war center forums.
Ok, formalities are over, let’s get going
Turn 1 – Spring 1545
- Begin dismantling of sword dojo – Samurai are expensive, so I won’t want to recruit any of these for a while. I intend to replace it with a first tier market which is the best economic building in the game (excluding farms). Economy before military.
- Begin researching Chi – The Chi technology tree contains all the economic tech’s. The most important of these is the enabling the building of higher tier farms. More farms gives more food, and food is a big driver of economic growth.
- Attack Osumi – Replay attached - Expansion is needed to grow your empire and keep your economy afloat. As the Shimazu, you begin with a big enough force to take Osumi in the first turn. If you are confident in your ability as battlefield commander, the basic attack and capture will work just fine. If you are new however, the odds of success may be too even for your liking. This is fine, there is a second way to capture any castle, which is by besieging it. In this case, the AI will likely sally on its turn enabling you to fight them on the field, or, the reinforcements may retreat, allowing you to easily capture the settlement in the next turn.
- Upgrade both farms – Farms give food. More food means more money, which is always a good thing.
- Upgrade the port at Satsuma – Getting trade ships as quickly as possible will really help my early economy. This improvement also provides a small growth boost.
- Recruit Yari Ashigaru (YA) in Osumi – I’m at war with the faction adjacent to this province, so I will be expanding from here. There is no advantage to recruiting in Satsuma because the smithing specialty only affects samurai until upgraded.
Thoughts on the battle
- The first siege is always a little touch and go, and the result can depend a lot on luck. I was facing a bow Ashigaru (BA) and a samurai retainer in the castle with a light cav and 2 YA reinforcing. I had hoped to deploy between the reinforcements and the castle, thus splitting their forces and making the battle much easier. I deployed on the wrong side however, so the next best option was to capture the keep by running the timer down before the reinforcements arrived.
Turn 2 – Summer
- Recruit two BA in Osumi – While I wait for some of the casualties of my battered little army to restore, I fill the ranks with fresh recruits. I try and aim for an army with about the same number of melee troops as ranged troops, but never more ranged than melee because defending the bows can be a little difficult if they have cav or lots of melee troops.
Turn 3 – Autumn
- Begin research of Tokofuden – 5% may not sound like much, but money is tight in the early game and that can make a lot of difference to how your economy is faring. It’s also a pre-requisite for the farming tech’s which are very important economically.
- Upgrade port at Satsuma – A trading port allows me to recruit trade ships. Trade ships give me resources that are extremely valuable when on-sold to other clans. I also have been given a mission to build a trading port which will reward me with 1000 koku which makes the choice even easier.
- YA at Osumi – Build up that army
Turn 4 – Winter
- Build Market at Satsuma – A first tier market is the best economic building in the game. It gives a boost to wealth which can be immediately taxed, and a boost to growth, which will give me more money in the long run.
- BA at Osumi – I could probably attack now. But doing so would result in winter attrition, so it’s best to wait another turn. The final unit will give me an attacking army of 1 general + 5 melee units + 4 Bow’s in the spring. The other consideration for attacking now is that the resistance to invaders has reached or is about to reach zero. This means I can take the entire army to attack and don’t need to leave a garrison.
Turn 5 – Spring 1546
- Begin building a market at Osumi – Economy before military
- Move army to attack – see attached picture for army – Just as attacking too quickly is a bad idea, leaving things to long is not the best idea. You allow your enemy to build up defences, and your economy will stagnate under the pressure of a growing military.
Feedback is greatly appreciated.