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Thread: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 5

  1. #1

    Default (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 5

    Beauty and harmony, governed by one eternal law. All that begins must end, the reign of the old shogunate is over!

    Chapter List


    Chapter 0: Awaken

    One cool night, as winter was giving way to spring, I had a dream.

    The hordes of Takeda were laying siege to an Ikko Ikki stronghold.

    A picked champion, a Katana Hero swaggered up to the locked gates, every step a boastful declaration of mastery and a challenge.

    The monks and peasants within sent forth a single Naginata Warrior Monk to meet him.

    Unfortunately for the monk, he was sorely outmatched not only in armor, but despite being fully equipped with a naginata, attack and defense as well.

    The hero soon added another enemy champion to his long list of triumphs.

    The Daimyo of Takeda approved heartily.


    I awoke, troubled. While Oda lands have always provided for our people, our enemies were many and envious; they threatened our borders, and looked for any weakness. This was not a good portent.

    "Sorry, did I disturb your viewing of that?"

    Years of vigilance against the possibility of enemy assassins immediately brought my weapon to hand... but it wasn't there.

    "Ah, don't worry about that; I may not come in peace, but this war is definitely yours to win. Anyway, what about seeing how the vision ends?"

    As the Takeda hero turned about, making his way back to cheering lines of his fellows, he tripped and fall. No, he had been shot.

    It was either an expert shot by one of the fortress' Bow Warrior Monks, or simply an overenthusiastic but lucky Bow Ashigaru. Either way, the arrow had struck the hero in the neck, passing right below the lower edge of the back of his helmet. A weakness only ever so slightly exposed by his exaggerated victorious walking motion. How ironic.

    Easily provoked and roaring in anger, the Takeda infantry charged the stronghold directly. It was not a great tactical move. Large numbers of them were taken out by arrows, their armor apparently providing very little protection against the piercing missiles.

    Within, spearmen prepared to repel any who might make it close enough to be impaled on their yari wall. It was not obvious which side would prevail, but at the very least, the Takeda would lose much due to their desire to charge into combat.


    At this point, I truly woke up, and of course took my weapon in hand while eyeing the unusual visitor who had somehow made it into my inner chambers, in the fort of Owari.

    "While I wouldn't recommend attacking me, I do understand why you might do so. However, you might end up losing everything on Turn 1 to the Tokugawa."

    My eyes narrowed, taking in the sight and sound of someone who clearly shouldn't be here, and clearly didn't care. "Say your piece."

    "It would be great if you could first give us a bit of context about the current situation, and your own faction. For the audience, though I know you can't see them. Please." That wasn't really a request, but even the Daimyo of a clan can occasionally humor a supernatural being.

    "This is Sengoku Jidai, the Age of the Country at War.
    For two hundred years the Ashikaga shoguns have ruled from Kyoto. Great splendor and power were theirs. Now the over-mighty clans no longer obey.
    The time has come for a new warlord to become shogun. But who will be victorious?

    She simply nodded, disinterested. "So tell us about your clan's heroes."

    "Hmph. Others may covet titles but ashigaru, common spearmen, are the bedrock of Oda might. All know us, the commanders of a thousand spears. It is an honor to lead such men. Our generals are battle-scarred veterans of a righteous strength."

    Of all that, one thing in particular seemed to upset her. "I'm just going to gloss over how that there shows nine units, which is a thousand eight hundred spears. While your forces currently only have seven hundred and sixty spears. But anyway, that's good to hear. Down to brass tacks."

    "Ashigaru are not only common spearmen, but also common bowmen. They also are common pikemen, as well as a class of soldier that we won't be employing.
    As the good Daimyo here will attest to, Yari Ashigaru are likely to be the most-used and probably best overall unit strategically, and the Oda Yari Ashigaru double and triple down on this by being better and even cheaper.
    There's a lot more I could say about the unit roster, but we need to keep things moving since you have some important visitors from the west. Let's get this campaign rolling!"
    Last edited by Alavaria; December 03, 2020 at 04:43 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 1

    Chapter 1: Unification

    We formed an alliance with the friendly Kitabatake to the west. Like us, they too had one province and were considered Weak in power with Meagre prosperity.

    "I understand why you people like your Sake Dens, but not knowing how markets function is hardly fitting for a powerhouse clan. I guess you need to research that."

    Well, it was less that we didn't have a market right outside, but indeed being able to properly tax them would be a major advantage.

    "Don't worry, there'll be an economic stimulus after this. But anyway, it's great that farms and commerce don't lose productivity (negative growth) only the Town does. So one day we'll send them out to farm the land. But not right now."

    Speaking of taxes, we also had to raise wartime (Very High) taxes. It was an unfortunate reality of the day that sacrifices must be made in all levels. Why, you ask?

    There were rebels outside who hadn't paid their earlier Normal taxes. Such blatant disrespect as tax evasion can only be dealt with by one tool. Violence!

    Yes, the taxman must always get his due, though it would be more useful as rice than blood.

    Learning from herding animals, while most of the army approached the rebels by the shortest route, I led my bodyguard to initiate battle from the Owari, so that any defeated remnants would fleet in a convenient direction.

    "By the way, I appreciate that your samurai remembered to bring their yari, but really... I think we'll need them to fill officer roles for all the new units of Ashigaru the Oda will field in the future. But, at least they remembered to bring their battlefield weapons! Alright, now I'll quickly pass on two pieces of useful information that will inform future battles. I'm sure you know this, but newer generals will have to be taught.

    By the way, you and battle-hardened veteran(s) are only one star, and despite their righteous strength they lose to just about anyone who isn't routing in a straight fight. But who wants to take straight fights anyway?"

    Yari Ashigaru live to chase down cavalry. They also die for it, because they will chase said cavalry some distance without support, chasing them right into your army as long as they can see a clear path to their target.

    Yari Samurai don't, but that's quite fine, because they're probably the least troublesome samurai unit (since you can beat them one-on-one with Yari Ashigaru when done properly).

    All enemy archers will like to shoot anyone who shows up, but while they may tire of following mounted units, they absolutely want to shoot infantry like the Yari Ashigaru.

    By leading them into range of your own archers, who are "hidden" in forests, you can turn any missile fight into a rather one-sided exchange. Granted, you'd want better than one-on-one, but for this starter battle, we have two generals who can use Inspire which helps a lot.

    After this, the enemy charged us, we formed Yari Walls and saw them off. Not the cleanest victory, but clean enough.

    The rebels ran in approximately the direction of Mikawa. Goes to show who was supporting their little stint of non-tax-paying. Bah! The infantry moved towards them, conserving their movement as much as possible, while I moved in to secure the kill.

    If you were wondering, yes the infantry joined in the battle and immediately returned to their station on the road without using up any campaign movement!

    "Do you feel that surge of power? Not only have we successfully unified the Oda, ensuring that compliance with tax regulations will improve, but also..."

    I should mention that for the earlier battle, it was necessary to remove my horo, the lack of which and its protection confused my bodyguard. This was because they couldn't see my spirit advisor, who was sitting behind me.

    "...but also because you have leveled up. Those tips should allow you to be a better Strategist, to the tune of two points: 20% more campaign movement. Congratulations!

    And yes, I'm the one who is promoting you."

    And what do you know, the Tokugawa were moving in for the kill already! Fortunately, by blocking the road and having my assistant General on the shortest route to the capital, they were prevented from causing any mischief.

    Obviously, if they had been so bold and foolish as to attack him, the whole army would have immediately been there once the Tokugawa committed to battle. But their comeuppance will come soon!

  3. #3

    Default Re: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 2

    Chapter 2: Great Clan

    "Your clan has four Commissions to fill, but sadly in all of the Oda, only one person is able to take up a commission at present."

    Even as the Tokugawa made their move, the Oda were making preparations for a more long-term conflict. The most important of these: Takayama Muneyori was appointed the Commissioner for Finance. This means 1% bonus to our clan tax rate for each "star" of Rank he has, making his rank likely the most important in the clan.

    "Thankfully, this is the Age of the Country at War and he can learn how to improve the clan's financial performance by leading men in battle!"

    Speaking of battle, Owari as our capital with a Fort can currently recruit two units a turn. Let's quickly record the following for future Oda generals...

    Oda Yari Ashigaru provide excellent defence against enemy cavalry charges, but their terrible armor leaves them vulnerable to missile troops and only a tight formation will defend them against skilled infantry units.

    When they have cover, or armor that actually works, learning how to stand and fight in a yari will will make them a terror to our enemies.

    Ideal for whittling down the enemy before their inevitable charge into our spearpoints, Oda Bow Ashigaru are best kept in cover (with an armor rating of 1, their hats and armor are worse than monks with literal cloth wrapping at 2), with enemy archers baited into their range.

    Once our clan develops the logistics to support bringing 50% more ammunition to the battlefield, they will become amazing, if slow, damage dealers. Whittle down the enemy early, often, and in a prolonged manner.

    "So, I'm told the Tokugawa are considered a Great Clan," my new advisor said conversationally as the army marched south.

    "Yes, this might be a challenge."

    "Hmm, I was thinking more about a hefty 'Resistance to Invaders' public order penalty."

    In our rush to Mikawa, we actually bypassed the Tokugawa army with our speed. A unit in Owari cannot on its own reach Mikawa in a single season, however by joining the rest of us about half-way through the journey, they could thanks to getting an extra 20% on whatever movement they had left upon joining!

    Since it was important for the clan finances that the new Commissioner for Finance led the armies, I would step back as the "assault" on the capital began.

    "One unit of Bow Ashigaru can neutralize one unit of Samurai Retainers, but two units makes things much easier. Thankfully, these samurai have been patrolling inside the tenshou so much they don't have bows when it's the walls which have to be defended."

    Taking the castle intact means recruitment to the tune of one unit. Owari's new trainees will be assigned to the capital's defense for now.

    Now that we have created a tax code that covers our Markets, teaching our Ashigaru about Bushido is important. Even if they don't follow it, the domain knowledge improves their morale.

    However, a new general should still use them carefully; remember to seek cover on the battlefield!

    And this is the fruits from Mikawa: Totomi was Oda's soon afterwards. The following is what happened:
    - After taking Mikawa, it was set to tax-exempt and trained a unit of Bow Ashigaru while public order was maintained
    - Everyone rushed down to Totomi right afterwards, as you can see the army is the same as before, but with a new unit of bowmen
    - Mikawa will of course have riots no matter what, so while they do this, they will also be tricked into paying Very High taxes
    - After this, a number of units (and myself) will return to Mikawa, which will be given exemptions again
    - Totomi will probably riot at this point, so there will be a need for men to move back and forth a little to let the population settle down. However, the Imagawa will be on the back-foot for this time so we can afford the delay.

    The Imagawa probably expected us to be weakened by a Great Clan such as their (former) vassals the Tokugawa, but they were very wrong.

    This is because careful positioning allowed our three units of Bow Ashigaru to do some serious work before the final, but still a little costly, assault up the walls.

    "Taking Totomi intact not only means another recruitment slot, but also satisfies that mission I gave you to take another province."

    "About that, why didn't you give it before we took Mikawa? Not that it slowed our advance down, though."

    "Oh, we attacked it so quickly there wasn't time. And since a province can be allowed to riot every other turn, having two settlements ticking down their Resistance to Invaders, while switching off between riots & Very High taxes vs order & tax exemptions is ideal."

    "... what would happen if they just paid Normal taxes?"

    "They would riot all the time because that's still 4 more points of public order, or 8 units across two settlements."

    "Our attack just now was only 7 units and us two generals."

    "Exactly. The minimal garrison only needs to maintain order when tax exemptions are on. Obviously Owari people have little issue paying their Very High taxes all the time. And they have a garrison regardless, for strategic reasons."

    Currently every province gets +1 more recruitment slot for a while. That is: Owari (3), Mikawa (2), Totomi (2).

    These 7 slots will be split between North (3) and South (4), because while building up both sides is important. The southern side will need the help more against Imagawa, Hojo, Satomi and Takeda, while Mikawa will also require a large garrison to maintain order.

    Even though taking the Imagawa's second (and final) province of Suruga is really quite important for, again, the clan's fiscal situation, it brings us into the view of the Hojo and Takeda. One needs to be prepared, since they have formed an alliance, and will look for any weakness!

    Kitabake tried to bribe us by offering koku for "military access". However, ironically enough, once they were attacked and we joined the war on their side, the alliance meant that...

    Both of us would get indefinite military access from the other automatically.

    "Because he had played a supporting role in three battles, and lead one (the assault on Mikawa), our Finance Commissioner had exactly 19-of-20 XP needed to get promoted, so taking out this small group of Imagawa raiders pushed him over this threshold. Rank up!

    For those keeping count, he is now at 9-of-40 XP needed for another star of Rank. However generally, our ability to move quickly on the attack will depend more on the need to maintain public order. And a few other timing concerns..."

    "So I'm just going to defend Owari while Takayama does the invading?"

    "I wouldn't say just, the situation in the north is a bit more complex since making forward progress there isn't as much of an option for my plan. So you will have to face powerful enemies who can return whenever they replenish their strength."

  4. #4

    Default Re: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 3

    Chapter 3: Two Fronts

    If there was one thing important to learn, it is to understand how to defend. This becomes important when facing down a charging enemy with ineffective armor and only a yari. Discipline and your general's good sense in positioning will determine success and victory, or defeat and probably death to the frontline spearman.

    Fortunately we have both good discipline and positioning senses, using these effectively will take our infantry formation very far.

    It was time to fufill the terms of our alliance and assist Kitabake! Or... it would have been if the Tsutsui had not annexed them right after their war formally began, leaving us at war with them and ally-less. Furthermore, they must have been coordinating this with the Saito who were eyeing the garrison of Owari warily.

    "So, the two clans have thought up a flanking movement, then?"

    "No, the Saito are just bad at strategic maneuver, and thus: the time has come to add Mino to Oda lands. Send as few men as is needed so that Owari will still be defended, though."

    I took this advice despite my misgivings, but in this case, being wrong meant we indeed added Mino to our growing group of taxpayers. It's not surprising that someone operating on some higher level of awareness from the spiritual realm understands the map better than any scout. Speaking of which:

    Where darkness meets the shadow, there dwells the ninja: saboteurs and assassins, happy to do their lord's bidding.

    "When it comes to strategic maneuver and awareness, the ninja delivers both in sheaves. Our first Sake Den (in Totomi) will support efforts in the south, while here in the North, Mino will become our center for covert agents."

    It also helps that drinking sake improves a province's culture to the tune of two points, meaning less need for Ashigaru garrisons to enforce public order.

    "I hope Takayama is doing well in the south. You were watching over him?"

    "He's successfully taken Suruga, which has an important School nearby. That's excellent since I believe the province will train capable tax collectors."

    "I'm somewhat more worried about him being caught between the Hojo and Takeda now that he has done so, actually."

    "Leave that to me. First, the Tsutsui have dared to attack, so it will be necessary to take them out."

    This was the point where it becomes clear that one must have the Ashigaru tempt enemy archers into foolishly exposing themselves. One might think that it would be an even fight if neither side could effectively use their bows...

    That's true, but taking even fights is not the way to win a war. Unfortunately, many spearmen would pay the price in the forests west of Owari, despite winning the day. Indeed, were it not the hardy Oda Yari Ashigaru, the day would have been lost.

    "Well, the depleted units are still fully effective as garrisons, so they'll be on police duty in Mino. Onwards to rescue Kitabake!"

    "Why would a ragged group of 50 be as effective as a full-strength 200?"

    "It's the banner. Same like how each unit gets paid in full regardless of current strength, you're paying for a banner."

    "I see..."

    There seem to be some odd representations of phenomena in the human world, when seen by those on the 'other side' which are analogous to banners, or monuments - or so she has tried to explain to me!

    For example, a unit's spiritual banner marks their ability to fight; a broken unit still has its banner and may rally together, but a shattered one has altogether lost their banner and can only become prey on the battlefield. Similarly for army formations - an army banner means they are an actual strategically relevant fighting force, and losing an army banner means it has been totally destroyed.

    A spiritual monument? That's easy enough to understand, after all, this painful victory has aroused the interest of the Emperor, who always takes note of when large numbers of soldiers perish in battle. That means that the shogun, who would be nearby, will now be looking at our actions with some suspicion.

    Unfortunately, that is yet another price to be paid for that nominally disastrous battle, on top of the one banner (unit) which was lost in it.

    We will be better at defending ourselves the next time! Furthermore, by attaining enlightenment regarding the unity of Heaven and Earth we will be more effective on the offense as well. "It isn't about the charge - leave that to the enemy - but the bowshot, after all."

    However, it would take a few years to put together the systems necessary to support greater production of arrows and other war materiel, so in many ways, we still need to be careful in upcoming battles.

  5. #5
    TurkafinwŰ's Avatar The Sick Baby Reindeer
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    Default Re: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 3

    Aw yiss. Impenetrable lines of Oda Ashigaru Yari Walls for days. The arrogant samurai will bend to the peasants!

    Chapter XXXI: ╔omer Returns
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan

  6. #6
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 3

    An impressive start and useful tips for anyone who'd like to follow in your footsteps. I haven't played an Oda campaign yet, I'll come back to your AAR for ideas when I do. The hardiness of the Oda Yari Ashigaru seems like a valuable advantage, especially when the Oda have already attracted the suspicion of the Shogun.

  7. #7

    Default Re: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 4

    Chapter 4: Tax Power


    "Hmm, these numbers don't seem to add up correctly, even allowing for losses in transit. Someone needs to be paid a visit..."

    He who can see the shadows has power in the light. Metsuke deal in bribery and corruption, keep order, and watch for assassins and spies.

    "So, given these discrepancies, care to explain where this season's tax revenues have disappeared to? Think carefully before answering."

    Never cross the taxman. You may be rich, but my advisor knows that and the taxman was sent specifically to make sure you are paying your taxes.

    My oldest son, Nobunaga came of age. My advisor immediately became quiet when I reminded her that heirs cannot be assigned commissions.

    "Oh well, it happens," she said after a moment. "Granted, only the sons of heirs (not other generals) can lead armies, but any such children are so far off compared to enlisting promising warriors to lead banner armies. I predict that he will be a great leader of pikemen. The way of warfare will soon become one of heavy pike (and spear) formations."


    The Hojo were celebrating completion of upgrades to their gold mining operation in Izu. Right as they were about to start drinking their sake, a scout rushed in with dire news!

    The Oda were also celebrating the occasion! Because, you see, we had been waiting for them to complete it; partially to gather our strength, and then to avoid having to take all the time (koku cost isn't the issue) to complete that first level of upgrades.

    Takayama was leading the way, taking on a small Hojo defense force which, like us, was composed of men wielding yari and bows. By the way, knowledge of the local ecosystem is even more critical than that of its topology. The commanding heights are not bad, but determining which small group of trees provides "Forest"-class cover to our units is what will win battles.

    In the skirmishing phase, archers in cover can engage enemy archers with great advantage, even if we are lower and they are higher up. When it comes time for the melee, elevation is good, but making sure our infantry are protected from enemy attack while in their dense yari wall takes priority, because said formation will win fights - even more so against elite samurai who don't employ such formations (and shorter yari) on the battlefield.

    When the enemy has clearly decided to charge, form units into yari walls, hopefully with the front-most sections in cover. This prevents the enemy archers from having the most convenient targets be the most vulnerable. Since ashigaru have cloth wrapping-tier armor, any branches or leaves that can be employed to achieve victory should be!

    Once the full attack has been called for, it is unlikely for the enemy to simply back off, even when facing an army-scale yari formation. If they do, it is not a great idea to rush forward, instead allow our archers to keep shooting, because the foe will definitely charge into our points.

    Izu will now mine gold for the Oda !

    Since we can now adopt the dual koku-gold standard for our currency, our clan's finances have also leveled up.

    Currently, Izu is a little below Owari in wealth, but it can improve a lot more, though it will take a while (three years or 12 turns) to upgrade the gold mine here. It's a good thing that having gold on hand is as good as having actual rice to feed our workers and soldiers. That's just the way taxes work, after all.

    While we are taxing the population as much as possible (alternating between Very High and Normal as necessary), the towns will be in decline. While we more than make up for it in other gains, our clan's true growth is only in its first phase of acquiring land. Yes, we are improving the irrigation when this has not yet been done, however it will not be enough for long-term growth.
    Last edited by Alavaria; November 25, 2020 at 01:38 PM.

  8. #8
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 4

    When I play an Oda campaign, I'll remember to make the most of forest cover and to time the yari wall formation carefully to meet enemy charges. There's valuable economic advice here too.

  9. #9

    Default Re: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 5

    Chapter 5: Peace Time

    The Tsutsui still had a decent force, and retreated when they saw us coming. We marched all the way south to the (former) capital of our ally, and they retreated all the way there before finally barricading themselves into the fort.

    We laid siege immediately while deciding to wait for reinforcements. They knew this and thus close to send a small force, which would join the main force in a sally.

    We were fairly well positioned on an exceedingly steep slope with some cover present. Despite having to race the Tsutsui up, we won and turned around with our yari in order.

    Ironically, neither side was actually able to use their archers (the enemy responds when you have more than twice its ranged strength, which we just tipped over into) so all that resulted was quite predictable.

    We tend to deploy yari formations in two halves, one in front (say 6 of 12 units) and the second half behind for later tactical deployment. With this slope, it made sense to send this second half right down the front and, literally in some cases, shove the Tsutsui down the slope to their deaths.

    They were unable to resist us. It would have been a battle we could probably win outnumbered, but with large numbers of our esteemed Ashigaru, the enemy never had a chance.

    Getting a second promotion and thus a third point in Strategist will make the march back a bit faster.

    Their swift defeat at the hands of the Tsutsui showed the Kitabatake that they needed more than simply a powerful ally; thus they became official vassals of the Oda. (It isn't possible to simply re-create your earlier, independent, ally.)

    As a result when peace was established between the Oda and Tsutsui, the renewed Kitakatake were included in the usual "protections".

    Since gaining a vassal is very honorable, this also meant a gain in daimyo honor. (+1 per vassal, permanent, to a max of three)

    Ninja are understandably very nervous about being spotted, as a result when they level up, they use smokebombs to hide rather than stand tall and glow like generals do.

    (There's an interesting trick about how agent actions work in terms of the Shogun2 RNG... probably already known, and works even if you are Legendary which is hilarious)

    We were still keeping our taxes Very High when possible, not because we needed the income at the moment, but for a specific future use...

    The very important Sagami was taken. The provincial blacksmithing tradition was the real prize, but obviously making use of the local expertise required taking the capital and building up its fort.

    We will see how future Oda technologcal progress will bring about a new age of mass infantry armor!

    The few Hojo who were left had a very bleak future ahead of them, considering how Takayama's forces swelled constantly with more Ashigaru units being raised with great fanfare.

    As a result...

    "So, if you wanted peace, it can only mean one thing," I said. No disapproval in it because I remembered that dream from some time ago.

    "Yes. The Takeda. Making peace with the Hojo means a very safe eastern border, and by the time they might decide on a new war, we will have so many troops on that border that it will actually be us declaring war on them, instead."

    Sagami had Musashi on the east (now secured by diplomacy) and Takeda's Kai in the north. Our path was clear!

  10. #10
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: (Vanilla Oda) Ten Thousand Spears: Chapter 5

    There are useful tips here on yari formations and levelling up generals. It looks like Sagami will be really useful. You've got me interested in what happened next - the path to travel on may be clear, but I wonder what obstacles there were.

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