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Thread: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR (Abandoned)

  1. #21

    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Wow! I felt my heart racing after every line, this chapter was intense. I want more of the battle!
    You made me feel like starting a new campaign in ROTS now.

    Oh and uhmm, I think you should update your Dramatis Personae to include Tadahira.
    "I know you. I can see right through you. You're swearing now that one day you will destroy me. Remember, far better women than you have sworn to do the same. Come look at them now."
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiserina Kratos View Post
    Wow! I felt my heart racing after every line, this chapter was intense. I want more of the battle!
    You made me feel like starting a new campaign in ROTS now.

    Oh and uhmm, I think you should update your Dramatis Personae to include Tadahira.
    Thanks, I'm really glad you enjoyed it! Sorry I haven't had an update in a week, I fell behind and then real life caught up quite quickly. I'll post 2.6 tonight though

    Ah I know, the first post needs an overhaul. I'm just waiting to get to 25 posts so I can edit, then I'll sort it out I've drawn up a family tree for the clan too, to make things easier.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Chapter 2.6
    A Clan Revived
    1179

    We pursued the fleeing Soma army across Mt Iimori, giving them no respite and showing no quarter. As night fell, we reached the walls of Aizuwakamatsu and finally ceased our chase. The freezing rains turned to snow and a bitter cold stripped every man of his strength. Winter had finally arrived. We took shelter beneath the towering walls and caught our breaths. It had been a devastating battle. We had truly crushed the Soma presence in Fukushima and only a remnant survived; now bunkered down within the town itself. As the night wore on and I began to plan the attack on the city, the first casualty reports began to come in. Two hundred and fifty good Fujiwara warriors had fallen atop Mt. Takayama; a disheartening loss, but nowhere near as bad as I had thought. The Soma figures were hazier, but the consensus was that over one thousand two hundred of the enemy had perished. A fine result!


    However, despite such a great victory, the Soma host could still boast to being the measure of ours. Eight hundred men remained on each side. Now that the Soma were fighting within the confines of Aizuwakamatsu itself, they had the terrain advantage. It would be unwise to discount the tenacity of the Soma just yet, and that thought kept me up into the long hours of the night.

    The sun shone bright the next morning, fighting a losing battle with the cold winter winds in an attempt to cling on to the last vestiges of autumn. The snow had settled on the ground and collective shivers ran through my waking army. After some deliberation, we began our advance into the town. Aizuwakamatsu was a large town, ringed with high walls, giving it the moniker of castle. In truth however, the walls had never been intended to prevent a siege. They were a defence against bandits and brigands, but not an army. Aizuwakamatsu’s position as a crossroads between north, south and west Honshu necessitated such fortifications, but I was sure the Soma had never anticipated war with a professional army. Regardless, the ramparts were abandoned. The Soma army was too weak now to man the fortifications and they had a better chance of defending the town in its urban environment.

    As we marched through the town, we found it deserted. Houses and halls were empty and no man crossed our path. My soldiers were on edge, expecting an ambush at every turn. Yet one never came. As we finally descended into the town centre, we found the Soma force arrayed against us, protecting the tenshu. Soma Joki had fallen atop Mt. Iimori, leaving leadership of his clan to his son. Soma Sukeie stood before us, drawing his soldiers around him like a frightened eunuch. He was perhaps my own age, but he lacked any battlefield finesse; let alone samurai honour. He had decided to face us with his back against the wall, after there was nowhere left to retreat to. This was his last stand.

    ‘Shall we charge?’

    I turned to see Tadahira riding besides me, eyeing the Soma force with a strange look in his eye. It was a look I hadn’t seen before and one I hoped I wouldn’t see again. It was bloodlust tinged with callousness; unbridled fury with no emotion whatsoever.

    ‘No,’ I replied, perhaps more bluntly than I should have. I placed a hand on his shoulder. ‘Let us not be reckless Tadahira. We are equal in number. To charge against them now would be futile. They are entrenched around the tenshu and there are no obstacles in between our position and the enemy’s.’

    I was correct of course. In the centre of the town was the tenshu, but it sat in a wide clearing. My forces mustered around the surrounding houses, but to charge into the open now would only result in a blood bath.

    ‘What shall we do then?’ inquired Tadahira impatiently, itching at the reigns of his horse.

    I looked up at the sky. The sun shone clear from the heavens and the last of the storm clouds had dissipated. The day was bright and the clouds were clear.

    ‘Order the archers forward.’

    *

    The Soma army, broken and beaten from the battle of Mt. Takayama, had finally rallied to give battle again on the steps of their town tenshu, but their new found morale was shattered once again as the first Fujiwara volleys of fire arrows came rocketing down from the sky. Without the impairing rain, my archers were finally able to use their most terrifying ammunition. Despite occupying the palisades around the tenshu, the Soma army began to waver as they watched their comrades succumb to the raging flames.



    From then on, the ranged battle fell in my favour. Our archers continued to trade as the sun rose to its full height in the sky. As the morning drew to a close, I ordered the advance. My men surged forward into the clearing. The Soma archers had fled and now only their infantry remained; their confidence already shot. My men overran the meagre palisades and battle was met in the shadow of the tenshu.



    The Soma force gave ground inch by inch, but they had nowhere left to run. They formed a cohort around Soma Sukeie, who blustered around, shouting orders and doing his upmost best to stay out of harm’s way. As the Fujiwara soldiers tightened the nooses around him, he finally experienced his first and ultimately last taste of battle.


    With a cry, my cavalry swept forward from the rear, aiming straight for Sukeie. If I could take his head, Aizuwakamatsu would finally be mine. We charged into the throng of infantry fighting around the tenshu. The battle was bloody, but mercifully brief. Coming face to face with the terrified Sukeie, I gave him the death I wasn’t able to give his more honourable father.


    With a collective cry, the remaining Soma troops threw down their weapons in surrender. Natives of Aizuwakamatsu, they had nowhere left to run. All they could do was lay down their arms and pray that I would be merciful.

    Whatever I would have liked, my decision was made for me. As if realizing the inevitable, my head slowly turned to gaze upon the distant Mt. Iimori. Upon the horizon I saw the pale grey-blue banner of the Amakasu. The battle for Aizuwakamatsu was still far from over.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Last edited by Hitai de Bodemloze; March 29, 2013 at 08:44 PM.

  4. #24

    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    You don't have to apologize for the not-so-quick update. I understand and surely everybody would understand that an AAR author also has a life to worry about. And it is good that you get a couple of days/weeks break from an update so that you could polish your entry into a more entertaining read.

    Anyway, one thing I like about your AAR are the campaign shots. It helps us readers to keep track of the situation of your faction in the game just like Mr. Robin's AAR. I shall now subscribe.
    "I know you. I can see right through you. You're swearing now that one day you will destroy me. Remember, far better women than you have sworn to do the same. Come look at them now."
    -Atia

  5. #25
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiserina Kratos View Post
    You don't have to apologize for the not-so-quick update. I understand and surely everybody would understand that an AAR author also has a life to worry about. And it is good that you get a couple of days/weeks break from an update so that you could polish your entry into a more entertaining read.

    Anyway, one thing I like about your AAR are the campaign shots. It helps us readers to keep track of the situation of your faction in the game just like Mr. Robin's AAR. I shall now subscribe.
    Muchas gracias, happy to have you on board! Ahem, well I'd be lying if I said that I didn't take some inspiration from Robin's fantastic AAR, especially in terms of the layout But when I'm throwing around all these Japanese locations like Sendai, Yamagata, Aizuwakamatsu etc., even I get confused as to what's happening and where. Having a little map really helps ground the AAR a little bit better, whilst keeping a streamlined and 'cinematic' kind of style.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Chapter 2.7
    A Clan Revived
    1179

    My soldiers could only enjoy a brief moment of respite following our victory over the Soma. As the Amakasu banners descended from the mountain tops, I had Tadahira round up every man and boy in Aizuwakamatsu.

    ‘Men of Fukushima,’ I called out to my new people, once they had all been gathered outside the tenshu. ‘Your old lords have fallen. The Soma are no more. I am not here to gloat, nor soil the honour of our late liege. I am here to warn you of a great danger. The Amakasu clan approach, with the Satake on their heels. Neither of these armies care for your lives or your city. They seek only conquest and glory. There is no honour to their cause; no respect for the conquered. They will raze this city to the ground and cart you off as slaves, should they get their way. Colours and banners are irrelevant now. Do not fight for me; do not fight for the Fujiwara. Fight for your homes and your lives. Take up arms and stand with me to deter this threat!’

    Again, perhaps not my most rousing speech, but it seemed to do the trick. Within the hour, every man in Aizuwakamatsu had a naginata in hand, either taken from the town armoury or from one of the bodies still littering the snowy ground. By the afternoon, an additional five hundred men stood with me in the defence of the town. Most were old men and young boys, but I needed each and every one of them. According to my scouts, the Amakasu host had swollen to 1,700 men. Even with the addition of the local levy, my force could only boast a thousand.

    ‘Shall we man the walls?’ Tadahira enquired as our army began to muster.

    I shook my head. ‘No,’ I replied shortly. ‘We don’t have enough men to form an adequate defence there. We’ll make our stand inside the town. Besides, the Amakasu have probably cleared the walls by now.’

    ‘All the better,’ Tadahira replied. ‘My horse is useless atop a wall. We’ll ride through the town and destroy them!’

    With that my youngest brother took his leave, riding back to his samurai retainers. I watched him go. That crazed look in his eye had faded since the morning’s battle, but he still held himself with a confidence I’d never encountered before. Had one battle been enough to change him from a boy to a man?

    ‘My lord,’ came a cry from amongst the troops. I turned to see a soldier addressing me. ‘The Amakasu approach!’

    *

    Amakasu Chikanaga had spared little expense on my behalf. His army surged through the streets of Aizuwakamatsu, not breaking formation at all. Where some commanders might take advantage of such a wide army to envelop their opponents, Chikanaga knew his strength lay in his numbers. By keeping his army together, he prevented me from destroying any individual part piecemeal. Sound reasoning, but ultimately flawed. A weak-willed warlord, Chikanaga was not known to fight his battles personally. With no cavalry besides his own bodyguard, he had committed a fatal error.

    ‘Hold your ground!’ I cried to my assembled force as the Amakasu came into view. My archers began to whittle away at the enemy’s ranks, but the urban environment lessened their effectiveness. Undeterred, the enemy continued to advance, hoping to overwhelm my army as quickly as possible.

    As the full Amakasu force came into view, I realized that, despite not splitting his army, Chikanaga’s force could still endanger my flanks. My attendants on the left flank had borne the brunt of the fighting over the past two days and their ranks were dangerously thin. Likewise in the centre of my formation, my levy from the home provinces were also battle-weary. My right wing consisted of the recruits from Aizuwakamatsu. Whilst their numbers were great, their morale and experience were not. Both my flanks were weak and both threatened to collapse under the weight of the approaching Amakasu army.

    When the Amakasu cleared the buildings and entered the clearing around the tenshu, I ordered my forces forward. A counter-charge would at least scupper some of the enemy’s momentum.


    Battle was joined not soon after. As I had predicted, the left flank began to suffer within minutes. Whilst the veteran attendants gave a good account of themselves, they had nowhere near enough numbers to deal with the flood of Amakasu warriors pouring into the battle around them. The right flank fared better, but only because Chikanaga had committed most of his army to the centre. As I looked on, the battle in the centre became a furious melee, with soldiers falling to the snowy ground in droves.


    Raising my sword in an unspoken command, my cavalry moved out from under the shadow of the tenshu. Having committed all his forces, Chikanaga had no reserves to deter my cavalry. We sailed past the battle and turned the enemy’s flank. However, we soon began to gallop about aimlessly. Where should I commit my cavalry? The battle was taking a turn for the worse. Both the centre and the left were losing ground steadily. If I failed to turn the battle here, it would be all over.

    Then, from far away, I heard a cry. A Fujiwara banner was being raised on the far side of the battle field. The right flank was won! The brave levy from Aizuwakamatsu had secured victory on the flank. Now I knew what I had to do.

    ‘Samurai, ride with me to the centre!’ I called to my cavalry. The levy on the right were already turning to support their beleaguered comrades in the centre. If my cavalry charge hit home at the same time…



    The battle was over in seconds. Trapped in on three sides, the Amakasu centre collapsed instantaneously. Seeing their brothers in arms fleeing, the Amakasu right turned on their heels too. With a cry of victory, we rode them down.

    Standing firm amongst his retreating army, Amakasu Chikanaga and his retainers were the last obstacles left in my way. With a battle cry halfway between a sneer and a whimper, Chikanaga charged towards me. I pulled the bow from my back and nocked an arrow upon the string. In one swift movement, I released it. My aim was true and Chikanaga fell from atop his horse, the arrow protruding from his neck.



    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Last edited by Hitai de Bodemloze; March 29, 2013 at 08:43 PM.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Dramatis personae and contents updated too, as promised
    Last edited by Hitai de Bodemloze; March 29, 2013 at 08:49 PM.

  8. #28

    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Another update? that was fast!
    I'm glad you got to 25 posts already so you could edit previous posts.

    One thing, endorse your AAR by placing it on your sig so that more people would be informed of its splendour. This way, you'll get more readers and more critiques to improve your style and make the AAR more interesting.

    And oh another thing, I am secretly hoping to see naval battles in the future. Maybe one or two that's epic enough to be included in the AAR. Cheers!
    "I know you. I can see right through you. You're swearing now that one day you will destroy me. Remember, far better women than you have sworn to do the same. Come look at them now."
    -Atia

  9. #29
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Woo an AAR based on on ROTS, love it! Looking forward to see where it goes. If it will be anything like the campaigns I've had, there will be some very interesting things in store for you hopefully.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiserina Kratos View Post
    Another update? that was fast!
    I'm glad you got to 25 posts already so you could edit previous posts.

    One thing, endorse your AAR by placing it on your sig so that more people would be informed of its splendour. This way, you'll get more readers and more critiques to improve your style and make the AAR more interesting.

    And oh another thing, I am secretly hoping to see naval battles in the future. Maybe one or two that's epic enough to be included in the AAR. Cheers!
    Good suggestion, I might knock up a signature when I get chance. I need to start being more pro-active around the boards first though. And I'm very keen for some naval battles too! They're one my my favorite parts of Shogun 2. I'd like to do my own take on the battle of Dan-no-ura - a defining naval battle in the Genpei war -, but I'll see where the campaign takes me. I have some rough ideas though, don't worry

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenclaw2099 View Post
    Woo an AAR based on on ROTS, love it! Looking forward to see where it goes. If it will be anything like the campaigns I've had, there will be some very interesting things in store for you hopefully.
    Glad you're enjoying it! I'm equally excited to see where it goes

    As a side note, for better or worst I decided to enter into Camp NaNoWriMo this month, so updates will be a little slower as I get back to the old ball and chain that is my novel. I have the pictures all edited for the next three chapters of the AAR and I'll see what I can do about getting a chapter or two done next week

  11. #31
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Hey sorry I haven't commented in a while, but nice to see it developing nicely.

    About a signature, you could use something like this:





    +rep
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  12. #32

    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Oh Shankbot, that's a cool sig up there. I'm giving you +rep.
    "I know you. I can see right through you. You're swearing now that one day you will destroy me. Remember, far better women than you have sworn to do the same. Come look at them now."
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  13. #33
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Thanks.

    I did it for uzo70 at first, but just made a few changes so it would fit this AAR.
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  14. #34

    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    I have to say a great AAR. You really do have a skill. Your battles are thrilling and your plots are interesting. Haves some rep

  15. #35
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Shankbot de Bodemloze View Post
    Hey sorry I haven't commented in a while, but nice to see it developing nicely.

    About a signature, you could use something like this:





    +rep
    Thank you That's a very fancy signature, I like it

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    I have to say a great AAR. You really do have a skill. Your battles are thrilling and your plots are interesting. Haves some rep
    That's very kind of you I'm glad you're enjoying it.

    Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been very busy/ill/uninspired/lazy (choose whichever you find to be the most believable)

  16. #36
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Chapter 2.8
    A Clan Revived
    1179

    The winter winds did not subside following our victory over the Amakasu and the elements continued to mock my efforts; how insignificant my quest must seem to the gods of wind and rain. The snows bombarded Aizuwakamatsu ceaselessly, carpeting the ground a fresh inch higher every morning. After laying Chikanaga to rest, I finally succumbed to sleep; exiling myself to the captured tenshu. My weary army did likewise, savouring a brief moment of respite before the battle began afresh. The Satake were still mustered on the horizon; poised to seize our hard-fought prize in their fickle claws. We had fought the Soma and the Amakasu for two days straight, barely even pausing for breath. Satake Masakiyo knew that we were weak. When his sword fell upon Aizuwakamatsu, I had no doubt that my men and I would be tested to the utmost extremes. Momentum and sheer bloodlust had been on our side when we routed the Soma and Amakasu; now, with food in our bellies and sleep coaxing our minds, I wondered how my soldiers and I would perform.

    One day segued into another and still the Satake did not make their move. The castle-town was quiet as the snows continued to fall unabated. I decided not to worry myself. The Satake would come eventually, but until that day, I would rest. Sleep rejuvenated me and I walked with vigour in my step as I inspected my army. The veterans from the north were in good spirits and the volunteers from Aizuwakamatsu – whilst still suspicious of us – were at least cordial. Most of the citizenry of the town seemed shocked more than anything. Aizuwakamatsu had been the centre of the Soma domain for decades; to see it change hands so rapidly must have been more surprising than galling to the gathered crowds about the town. However, whatever virtues they displayed on the battlefield, it was clear the Soma had not been benevolent rulers at home. No unrest followed in the wake of our occupation. The locals didn’t seem to be particularly happy at our being there, but they showed no signs of anger either. Ambivalence perhaps. That was good enough for me.

    “How are you?” asked Gin one night, sliding into the room I had acquired for myslef in the tenshu. I hadn’t seen the shirabyoshi since our meeting at Lake Inawashiro. Whilst she had been travelling with the army, she had kept herself to herself. Having left Misako back at Yamagata, I wondered what the geisha was doing to occupy herself out on campaign. Writing more dreadful poetry probably.

    “Fine,” I responded curtly. I eyed her warily. In my experience, it was always wise to be suspicious of Gin’s amiable pretences.
    Gin rolled her eyes. “Whatever,” she responded briskly, admitting that she hadn’t cared about my wellbeing in the first place. “We received news from a messenger whilst you were busy playing the soldier -”

    “I prefer the term: ‘restoring the glory of my clan’,” I cut her off mid tirade.

    The shirabyoshi sighed. “Fine. We received news from a messenger whilst you were busy restoring the glory of your clan.”

    She stared at me pointedly for a moment, as if waiting for my approval. I waved a hand and bade her continue. “It was from the Ashikaga. They’ve called for war.”


    “The Minamoto splinter?” I asked for clarification, although I already knew the answer. The Ashikaga were a family descended from the Minamoto clan, who hailed from Shimotsuke. Obviously concerned with our capture of Aizuwakamatsu, the Ashikaga most likely sought to crush our attempts of expansion before we reached their territory. If the Minamoto were to be dragged into this conflict as well, things would soon turn ugly.

    “Indeed,” Gin affirmed. Her gaze fell upon my torso and she let out a gasp. “You’re injured!”

    Taken aback, I blinked in confusion for a few seconds, surprised at the sudden change of subject. I followed her gaze and glanced down at my right arm. I was wearing a short-sleeved tunic and a fresh scar protruded down from my bicep; a minor injury I had sustained during the charge at Mt. Takayama. It had been treated that night and I hadn’t given it a moment’s thought since.

    Gin, in another display of suspicious concern, rushed to my side to examine the scar. “It looks awful,” she bemoaned. “Does it hurt?”

    “What?” I asked, still confused. “No. I had herbs applied to it by a doctor. It’s perfectly fine.”

    A look of horror gripped Gin’s features. “You went to one of those foul army doctors?” she shrieked. “Why not come to me? I could have treated this wound much more efficiently. You know I’ve studied kampo.”

    Before I could reply, a dull sound penetrated the still air. I looked around, searching for the source of the sound, whilst Gin continued to fuss over me. I shook her off and left her in the room, rushing out of the tenshu to discern the whereabouts of the mysterious sound.

    “Drums.”

    I glanced around to see Tadahira standing a few metres away, staring off into the distance. I trudged through the snow to join him, straining my ears to confirm his hypothesis. True enough, as the sound rang louder and louder, the cry of drums could be heard rolling over the hills of Fukushima. The drums of the Satake.


    “They’re coming aren’t they brother?” Tadahira asked me, his voice frail.

    “The Satake? Yes, it seems they are,” I confirmed.

    My brother turned to face me and I saw fear grip his features. “I’m scared brother.”

    My eyes widened in confusion. “What are you talking about? Why do you fear the Satake? You fought bravely against the Soma and the Amakasu. Your sword has been bloodied and you are a true warrior now.”

    “I am?” Tadahira asked absently, looking as confused as I.

    Before I could respond, a soldier hurried to my side. “My lord, the Satake…”

    “Yes, yes,” I cut him off. “Let us ready the men.”

    I left Tadahira to his thoughts as I went to rouse my army from its slumber. The final battle for Aizuwakamatsu would begin in the morning.
    Last edited by Hitai de Bodemloze; April 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM.

  17. #37

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    Gin...ahhh.

    A nice slow chapter that offers many possibilities. I like it. Keep up the good work.
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin de Bodemloze View Post
    Gin...ahhh.

    A nice slow chapter that offers many possibilities. I like it. Keep up the good work.
    She always pops up when you least expect her!

    Thank you There's a total of six battles in and around Aizuwakamatsu; if I wrote about each one back-to-back I fear it would make for tedious reading. I also needed to establish a few things for future arcs

  19. #39

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    All good stuff.

    Gin reminds me of Akiko in my story, or at least the way I thought about her personality.

    ...not that I'm trying to give you ideas or anything...
    Last edited by Robin de Bodemloze; April 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM.
    The Wings of Destiny - A FotS AAR (Chapter 12 - Updated Apr 24)
    Takeda - a Shogun 2 AAR (Completed) Reviewed by Radzeer

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    Default Re: The Road to Kyoto ~ A Shogun 2 RotS AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin de Bodemloze View Post
    All good stuff.

    Gin reminds me of Akiko in my story, or at least the way I thought about her personality.

    ...not that I'm trying to give you ideas or anything...
    I must confess I haven't encountered her yet; I'm still working my way through your AAR. No spoilers please

    One of the reasons I wanted to do a RotS AAR is because the Heian period saw the establishment of a female literati 'class' in Japan, which is something I want to embody in Gin. Still, we'll see what happens when she gets more of the spotlight later on.


    (Did I say when? I meant if of course )

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