Note: Although I've played past this inital AAR update, this campaign is far from complete. You'll find out with me how it finishes. I've got a ton of screenshots to post in my Shimazu AAR at some point, but I'm mostly just mopping up after RD and this new campaign has become far more interesting. I hope you'll enjoy my AAR. Even if I ultimately lose, it's been a hell of a fun game to play so far.
Contents: Part 1 Flavor quotes from The Dark Knight. Part 2 Flavor quotes from Watchmen.
I’ve read that the Uesugi have a, “deceptively bad starting position.” I agree. I’ve played a few test games to get a feel for the clan before launching this campaign.
The faction bonuses to trade and warrior monks dictate a, “turtle and tech” strategy. But there is nowhere to hide on the northwest coast of Japan. The starting province borders against five other provinces. I expect at least three of those to be hostile within fifteen turns.
Through a forced war with Jinbo, the game wants me to follow the clan’s historical path of conquest southwest through Etchu and possibly from there to Kaga. But this only lengthens my front against the northeastern clans. While others with better skills may have luck with this approach, I’ve learned on harder difficulty settings that I can’t maintain multiple fronts against these warring clans. One of my biggest priorities in any Shogun 2 campaign is to concentrate my force and fight in only one place at a time. I can’t do that here.
And I know that they will come for me. Takeda will typically declare war within the first three turns. And even if I am successful in this war, it will win me only the poor, unfertile central provinces.
I can’t decide if my vassal Yamanouchi clan in the Kozuka province to the south is a help or a hindrance. While they will act as a nominal buffer against the eastern clans, they also lie in the Hojo clan’s desired path of expansion and will involve me in a second war.
There is one strength of the starting position. The Date clan is the truest ally I’ve seen in Shogun 2. In all my trial games they have never betrayed me before Realm Divide. I’ve learned to rely on their strong arm when the chaos of northern Japan threatens to consume me.
And then there is my Daimyo, Uesugi Kenshin. A true titan of the age, his followers called him the Dragon of Echigo.
They also called him the God of War.
And now it’s time. I’ve analyzed the starting position at length. I’ve laid my plans.
Now it’s up to my Daimyo – the God of War – to carry my plans to victory.
You were a schemer. You had plans. And look where that got you.
I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself.
Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos.
I’m an agent of chaos.
The rebels die in the opening turn. I establish trade agreements with my neighbors. The forced war with Jinbo and historical precedent dictates that I push to the southeast and expand through Etchu.
But I’ve never been good at doing as I’m told.
The Daimyo’s brother will fight and possibly die protecting the Uesugi homeland. But the young Daimyo’s eyes are wandering to neighboring provinces.
I want to expand and quickly. But where to?
Now, our operation is small, but there’s a lot of potential for “aggressive” expansion. So, which one of you fine gentlemen would like to join our team? Oh, there’s only one spot open right now, so we’re gonna have… tryouts.
Make it fast.
A quick victory in Sado. The island has little strategic importance. In conquering Sado, my Daimyo has won me a financial investment. But in the opening turns I don’t need this promise of future wealth. To save my loyal vassal the Yamanouchi, I need strategic victories now.
Why don't we cut you up into little pieces and feed you to your pooches, and then we'll see just how loyal a hungry dog really is!
It's not about money...
It's about sending a message.
They are coming. The Anegakoji conquered Jinbo and immediately declare war on me. I’ve traded a weak enemy for a stronger one. The Takeda clan has declared war and now threatens me through North Shinano. I will be isolated on the island very quickly. The only friends I have in Northern Japan are ones I haven’t yet met – the stalwart Date clan.
My Daimyo has traveled North to the Date. But in doing so, he risks the one thing I’ve learned to rely on in my Uesugi games – the Date alliance.
The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules. And tonight you're gonna break your one rule.
And meanwhile, Hojo's alliance declares war on my vassal, the Yamanouchi. I could abandon Yamanouchi in an effort to delay or avoid this war. I am certain that I cannot save them by honoring our alliance. But I can't bring myself to abandon them. I'll walk voluntarily into this fire..
Come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. *Hit me!*
The Date wanted my alliance. It would have strengthened us both until Realm Divide broke our alliance. But I’ve lost that now. And in winning this victory, I am as alone in my struggle as I’ll be after Realm Divide.
They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out. Like a leper.
See, their morals, their "code"... it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these uh, these "civilized people?"
They'll eat each other.
See, I'm not a monster.
I'm just ahead of the curve.
Oh God. My vassal to the south falls to the Hojo alliance. They're coming for me now. And with stacks this big they mean business.
Those mob fools want you gone so they can get back to the way things were. But I know the truth: there's no going back. You've changed things...
Last edited by Leptomeninges; 04-16-2011 at 20:42.
Soon there will be war. Millions will burn. Millions will perish in sickness and misery... But there are so many deserving of retribution... and there is so little time.
(Unfortunately I'm buried by work right now so the campaign isn't progressing very quickly.)
I bloodied Anegakogi and forced peace on them in the previous turns, but now I have to deal with the bullies of the North Island -- the Takeda/Hojo axis.
I set up at the bridge. The Hojo/Takeda axis clearly thinks that I'm the sucker at the poker table.
But I'm not convinced they're seeing the big picture.
A few turns later Takeda arrives with two full stack armies.
I hide my armies in the forest adjacent to the road and set an ambush.
Don't tell me they didn't have a choice. Now the whole world stands on the brink... and all of a sudden nobody can think of anything to say.
This is the first of Takeda's two full stack armies. While I beat the second also, I didn't fare quite as well and didn't get a screenshot.
None of you seem to understand, I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me!
(Incidentally, I apparently didn't take a screenshot of this either, but I sent a small army down after I annihlated the Hojo army and took Kazuke which I knew from scouting was undefended. I struggled to know what to do with it. I'm not a big fan of vassals near a path I intend to ultimately expand through. I ultimately took it for myself, but left it undefended. If anyone attacks it will fall.)
I'm going to back up a few turns now to show you what my Daimyo has been doing in the northern island. In the screenshot below, I'm setting up my classic siege, "two step." I've baited out the big stack defending Miyagi with the single stack of yari to the right which retreated. Now, I'm about to grab the city with my main army. My army is far too weak to win against the Miyagi stack in the open field, but I'll annihlate them while defending from their own city when they assault in a turn.
This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown.
One of Uesugi's starting problems is a dearth of generals and children coming of age. You start with your Daimyo and his brother -- both unmarried. I think my Daimyo's wife was a random event. As I recall this wasn't a political marriage. Somewhere in here a son is born. I've no idea if I'll last long enough for the son to "come of age," but I'm happy about the potential of more leadership material regardless. I've also picked up a random general recruitment event. You'll notice him supporting in the previous ambush screenshots.
No one seems to be home in Uzen to the north:
By the way, you need a stronger lock. That new one broke after one shove.
There is actually an enormous samurai army to the west. I suppose they were defending their western border since I was nominally an ally in the east. No matter. I'll demolish them during the siege assault.
Is that what happens to us? Only our enemies leave roses?
Violent lives ending violently.
And now another version of the two-step. I've made peace with both Takeda and Hojo. I'm interested in Satomi's lands now (represented as lavender compared with my darker purple on the minimap.)
I want Fukushima, but the stack defending is far bigger than my Daimyo's army, just behind the border in the right of the screenshot.
I bring my army that was defending Echigo down towards Shimotsuke. In the screenshot below, I have just taken Shimotsuke with my western force. This pulls the Satomi stack out of Fukushima. It is highlighted just below and to the left of the minimap. With the stack gone, my Daimyo will conquer Fukushima and crush the large army when they assault the city they just left.
I then turn to Hitachi in the south:
It is turn 28. After taking Hitachi I own ten provinces. This is slower than I'm used to expanding, but the north island isn't playing nice. I've linked a lot of the key battles, but there are a score of other skirmishes I've fought almost every turn that I've left unmentioned. They are grinding down my armies. My forces are woefully inadequate to defend this empire.
I don't need to look at the swath of purple on the minimap to know that I'm vastly overextended. My armies are exhausted. My frontiers are undefended. Can I build anything from these smoking ruins?
Or does this flurry of successful sieges represent the last blows of a punch-drunk boxer about to go down for the last time?
Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent.
Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night. Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone.
Does that answer your questions, Doctor?
Last edited by Leptomeninges; 04-17-2011 at 16:54.