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Thread: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

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    Default No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility


    A self-proclaimed suicidal campaign in futility
    Title image created by Voigtkampf. Thanks!

    As you may have gathered from the title and sub-title, this is a handicap campaign and I expect to die horrifically.

    When FotS was first announced my reaction was to mutter something about "Don't like guns and pre-modern stuff. Boring. Would much prefer to have another game with swords and melee." Shortly before FotS was released, I saw a few screenshots with samurai in snazzy black and gold traditional armour fighting some modern infantry. "Ah ha!" thought I. "I wonder if it's possible to refuse modernisation? What if I place my destiny where my crazed mutterings are, and stand against the tide in full King Canute fashion? I'll go down in a hail of bullets, but at least I shall be wearing some seriously nice armour when I do!" Then I realised that "No Gun Shogun" is a catchy title for an AAR, and there we go.

    The rules are as follows:
    • Absolutely no fancy modern guns allowed! This means nothing above the muskets units used in the Sengoku campaign. That means levy infantry and matchlock kachi will be my only gun units. No artillery, no line infantry, no snipers - nothing. Not even the Shinsengumi police force!
    • Because FotS campaigns feel very long, I will play on 'Short' campaign mode. I will use hard difficulty for the campaign map, and normal difficulty for battles. Because they are geared towards traditionalism and have cool armour, I will play as the Aizu and support the Shogun because he is the traditional ruler. However, because he has betrayed traditional culture by throwing open the gates to foreigners, it is understood that the Tokugawa will not remain in power for long after my victory. An Aizu Shogunate will rise to replace them, and once again close the borders. Thus, I should attempt to establish a powerful position instead of merely scraping past the line for victory.
    • Whilst my original intention was to avoid anything which stank of modernisation, the gameplay design does not make this possible. I must modernise to a certain degree in order to get an economy. Certain buildings and tech will be off-limits, however.
    • I can research the following military tech: shih, school of shinobi, improved defences, gatling gun towers (purely economic if you don't build the towers), militarised society, and shipyard research. If it's not on that list, it's not allowed.
    • All economic tech is permitted except for: foreign affairs, western agenda.
    • All agents are permitted, except for the foreign veteran.
    • No castle tower upgrades permitted beyond matchlock towers. No castle upgrades permitted beyond citadel. No foreign trade districts or dry docks. I will only build factories if my economy cannot scrape by without them. I will attempt to choose the more traditional upgrades instead of the more modern ones wherever feasible.
    • I will not use railways. Nor will I build them.
    • There are no traditional ships, and sadly the naval aspect of the game is impossible to ignore. Thus, I can use any of the ships which do not require fancy ports to recruit. No ironclads, torpedo boats, or anything else overly modern.
    • Traditional units have two limitations placed on them by the game: they are very expensive, and they are slow to recruit. Because of this I am permitted to build the first level of the modern military buildings in my recruitment provinces - each building provides one extra recruitment slot. Without them, I'll never be able to field an army large enough to survive past the opening.


    That's the premise. I'll set the scene and report the starting position in another post later today.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  2. #2
    The Abominable Senior Member Hexxagon Champion Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    I can hardly wait

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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    This sounds interesting =p

    I have, without wanting to, done a complete opposite of this and have abandoned all melee units from my armies xD

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    The Anger Shaman of the .Org Content Manager Voigtkampf's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Looking forward to this. I can already see some heroic cavalry charges against gatling positions.




    Today is your victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

    Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings, The Water Book

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    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Don't you need an American advisor named Tom Cruise? *ducks*
    Trithemius
    "Power performs the Miracle." - Johannes Trithemius

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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    I always call the foreign veterans Tom Cruises xD

  7. #7

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    New rule: If I see a foreign veteran and assassination is feasible, it must be attempted. Feasible is defined as: above a 35% success rating, a suitable agent of my own within range to strike on that turn or the next, enough money that it won't get in the way of very important plans. Tom Cruise must die!

    I started writing, and decided to change direction a little. Back to the beginning. I think the new idea works better. You'll see ...
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Did you know that the Samurai actually appreciated the whole modernisation thing? =p

  9. #9

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Of course. This is purely a frog-thing. I lose all interest in history once guns become the common weapon. Somehow everything gets boring then, from warfare to fashion, politics to society, artwork, aesthetics, architecture, even the famous people are IMO boring. Ugh! Give me pre-gunpowder history and warfare! Love that history.

    My original hope was to play a game rejecting everything I dislike (basically stay Sengoku-level the entire time) but thanks to the economy and navy, that's not possible. I've had to bend a little else I wouldn't have the money to do anything.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Well, the game certainly has a lot of really useless units in it and the more firepower they add to the game, the more useless units there will be, until all we are doing is move carrier groups around and launch nukes.

    Historically, I really like the industrial age and anything that comes after that the most but yeah..

    For the whole gameplay thing, anything before mass use of gunpowder is more interesting than what is happening "atm" =p

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    Grand Patron's Banner Bearer Senior Member Peasant Phill's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg View Post
    ... Tom Cruise must die! ...
    Well here's a campaign concept I can get behind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drone
    Someone has to watch over the wheat.
    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow
    We've made our walls sufficiently thick that we don't even hear the wet thuds of them bashing their brains against the outer wall and falling as lifeless corpses into our bottomless moat.

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    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg View Post
    ....even the famous people are IMO boring. Ugh!
    Hey now! Saigo Takamori is pretty interesting!

    In my opinion (as a diverted history academic) I think part of the appeal of pre-industrial history is it is less familiar to us; if history is another country then the further back, the more exotic it is.
    Trithemius
    "Power performs the Miracle." - Johannes Trithemius

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    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Quote Originally Posted by Peasant Phill View Post
    Well here's a campaign concept I can get behind.
    I actually describe this game to non-enthusiasts as "machine-gunning Tom Cruise" since that is most people's common idea about this period. ;)
    Trithemius
    "Power performs the Miracle." - Johannes Trithemius

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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Quote Originally Posted by Trithemius View Post
    Hey now! Saigo Takamori is pretty interesting!

    In my opinion (as a diverted history academic) I think part of the appeal of pre-industrial history is it is less familiar to us; if history is another country then the further back, the more exotic it is.
    Yeah some of the stuff they have in the vanilla Shogun 2 is pretty mind boggling... Climbing walls instead of ladders? Carving castles into rocks instead of building them somewhere convenient... Cannons made from wood... total lack of shields xD This is almost like watching some aliens.

  15. #15

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    "All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." Sun Tzu.
    "Which is a good thing - I'd lose whatever reputation I have for strategic know-how!" froggy.
    (with zero pretenses at historical or cultural accuracy, Eastern or Western)



    Mr Aizu thumbs his nose at Westerners mocking his need for comfortable trousers.


    The situation is intolerable!

    A state of emergency must be declared!

    The gods of our forefathers will surely abandon us!

    Foreigners are once again on Japanese soil, bringing rifles, long-range artillery, steam ships, railways, factories.

    Worse, they laugh at us.

    It cannot be borne. It will not be borne! Here, now, with one brave clan, we will draw the line and make our stand!

    Suicidal some may call it. Necessary, we call it. A few brave men may start a revolution. A few strong soldiers may hold back an army. Some ideals are worth dying for, as living without them is not living at all.

    And besides, they keep saying Aizu sounds like someone sneezing!



    In the shade of pleasant trees, let us plan ...

    And so, seated in the palatial surrounds of his home, our heroic leader began to plan. That's what my biographers will say one day. Personally, I've always found it a bit pretentious to speak of myself in the third person.

    I am Matsudaira Katamori, leader of the mighty Aizu, the people of the black and gold armour.

    The foreign ships came, shattering our tranquillity as they forced moorage at our ports. Ignoring our requests that they leave, they threatened our officials until they accepted letters intended for the bakufu - for our government, as they insisted on calling it. Rid of one nation, another arrived. The same demands, thought politer in delivery. We knew our isolation was at an end.

    What could we do? In three hundred years of peace, our swords had grown blunt, our samurai soft. We, who prided ourselves on our warrior traditions, found ourselves too weak to fight. The shame! The humiliation!

    We could not prevent the ships from landing. We could not deny their impudent demands. When they came again, we accepted their technology, let them dress us in their fashions, let them advise us on how to fight, work, speak, think, live.

    As we did this, they laughed. They mocked my new clothes, said I did not wear them correctly and that I was not fit company for polite ladies. They laughed, saying the proud name of Aizu sounded like a sneeze. They laughed, calling my armour quaint. They asked to buy a sword such as mine to "Send to the folks back home." because "It'll look neat on the mantlepiece."

    He who laughs last, laughs the longest. So says one of the foreign proverbs. So it shall be. You laughed, and now so shall we. If need be, we shall laugh until our final breath is spent and our blood nourishes the soil.

    I will don my armour and take up my yari. I will rediscover the warrior spirit which lies beneath the forms of martial arts learned in the name of readiness for conflict I knew would never come. Brave samurai will join me. The peasants will be called to arms, as were the ashigaru of the past. With the weapons of our forefathers we will fight. We will prevail, or die as true samurai!

    We will take from the foreigners so far as suits us. What we wish to have, not what they wish to give.

    The shogun is weak. Had his line not allowed our nation to sink into feebleness, we might have challenged the foreigners when they arrived! We cast them from our shores once, why not again? Because the Tokugawa wished us soft and feeble for the comfort of their own rule. Once harmony is restored to our land, we will replace them. A stern shogunate capable of ruling a nation fit for war. Nonetheless, we shall fight under his banner for now. The alternative - aiding those fighting to place the emperor at our head - is worse. We will not permit a return to the civil wars caused by an Imperial family left free to engage its ambitions!

    When I am quoted by future generations, I would have them say this: I'm gonna take my sword and shove it through your face!





    An Empire in Black and Gold: The Beginning.


    I bet no one can say where that title comes from without google ...

    You may find this map useful to check province and clan names.

    As the game opens, the Aizu clan's goal of traditionalist traditionalism gets off to a fantastic start: a pop-up instructs us to raise our modernisation level by 1, ASAP. Gah! Fine. We won't get far without some economic tech and buildings anyway. Grumble, grumble. We'll aim to reach the next level via economic means, and maybe a single cadet school to open up another recruitment slot. After we strip out the interior we can use it for a fitting purpose, like as a storage dump for muddy sandals. That will put us in a better position to raise sizable amounts of samurai when our income is better than 3 grains of rice and a bent button. For now, though, austerity is the name of the game (is it? I thought it was 'Fall of the Samurai? (Shhh! That's not a very encouraging name!)) and we will mostly field levies. As muskets were good enough for Oda Nobunaga and his contemporaries, they are just barely good enough for us despite their nasty "Pwoof!!" noise and gouts of smoke. We will field a small number of levy infantry: no more than six per army.

    Our starting army does need a bit of an overhaul. It's a motley collection of random units. I wouldn't want to clean a barn with them, let alone seek out cut-price fertiliser for my farms. That means it's going to be several turns before we're in a position to attack anyone. That's good - if we tried to attack now we'd get spanked by the defensive force the enemy build up in the meantime.

    The Aizu start at war with the Utsunomiya. We hate them! Problem: they are a very long walk away. That makes us hate them more! We have a shinsengumi nearby, and he may be able to carry out some action against them. Does that make us hate them less? No! Not until they are fertilising our rice fields with their rotting corpses!

    But wait! That resource map linked up above? It has some useful information. Namely, this:


    Circled, riches beyond our wildest dreams.

    The green areas are fertile or very fertile farmland. That means a minimum of triple income from whatever farm building is present in the province. That means crazy money! Fertile farms are one of the best sources of income in this campaign, and considering how much samurai cost we'll need as much cash as we can possible grab. Look at how much greenery we are surrounded by - we could be rich, filthy stinking rich! Rich enough to afford an entire stack of samurai, even! There's just one teeny, tiny problem. Those provinces are mostly occupied by our friends. The Utsunomiya have a crappy 'meagre' farming province, and it's infested with the smelly railway special. Blergh!

    Do we need friends? Hmm, I don't know. We don't need a bad reputation. But we do need money. And friends sometimes get in the way, squishing us all up into a little ball until we go sailing off to conquer the far side of the world. Perhaps we could try to make revolts everywhere? Then we could move in without looking bad. Or perhaps we should play it straight-up and not go after anyone sharing our allegiance to the Shogunate? We could gather up Utsunomiya-land and the neighbouring Imperialist fertile province, clear up anything else which is opportunistic, then try to do a naval invasion of central Japan to grab the fertile provinces there.

    The decision, dear readers, is in your hands. Try not to get me killed on turn 3 or this is going to be a very short AAR.

    Did I mention that we should probably try to be quick? The longer we hang around, the more likely it is that the AI will field large numbers of bullet-making devices, thus turning us into black and gold Swiss cheese. But not too fast! Mass rebellions, bankruptcy, and over-stretched armies are a terribly ugly sight. Remember: traditionalism. It's all about pretty calligraphy and stuff. We don't do ugly in this campaign.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  16. #16

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Quote Originally Posted by Trithemius View Post
    In my opinion (as a diverted history academic) I think part of the appeal of pre-industrial history is it is less familiar to us; if history is another country then the further back, the more exotic it is.
    In my case, it's the shift in the social landscape which makes the difference between interesting and not. In earlier periods, the set-up is very personal. A king needed to know his vassals and be known by them. Their personalities influenced a lot. Internal and external politics were all about the people involved. Same with warfare, and everything else. Melee and bow combat takes different training and personality traits to gunpowder combat. I find it interesting to see the training of the dedicated warriors, and to see how that then influenced their lives, and the lives of those around them. For example, the knight trained to fight in his particular style, and needing a fief of land to support his costs as well as a lord to grant it, and then the lives of those who lived on his fief working towards the sole end of supporting him in that lifestyle.

    In the later periods politics and society at that point become less personal. The stage is larger, the rulers less absolute, the ideology changed. It all loses that close human element.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  17. #17

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Any of your neighbours diplomatically isolated? I'd go for a neighbour with the 'ambitious' trait if possible, but otherwise, the early turns should be about aggressive opportunism, I think.

  18. #18

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    This sounds like fun.
    Those northern provinces look tempting, but they're so far away from everything, and I think half of them are telegraph provinces.
    Since you're playing a short campaign, you might want to consider attacking south and west - you'll be closer to Yamashiro and Musashi when Realm Divide hits.
    I played a short Aizu campaign last week and Realm divide came pretty quickly. My early army was half spear, half levi infantry and it worked pretty well. Also, I was pretty surprised at how slowly my modernization increased. I researched all the Level 1 techs but couldn't research level 2 techs until I built some buildings.
    Musashi might be a good place to have a forward base of operations. Hitachi has that copper mine that will give you some money.
    You may want to have provinces on the South and East coastline only to limit the area of your naval operations.

  19. #19
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    I don't see how ironclads with seam engines and explosive shells are incomparable with a traditional campaign. They're warriors in armor shooting fire arrows.

    You motivated me to start a traditional campaign on VH. I'm sure it can be done.


    Reinvent the British and you get a global finance center, edible food and better service. Reinvent the French and you may just get more Germans.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Maniac From Mars
    How do you motivate your employees? Waterboarding, of course.
    Ik hou van ferme grieten en dikke pinten
    Down with dried flowers!
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



  20. #20
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    I don't see how ironclads with seam engines and explosive shells are incomparable with a traditional campaign. They're warriors in armor shooting fire arrows.

    You motivated me to start a traditional campaign on VH. I'm sure it can be done.
    Okay, I lost. An ally turned on me.

    I hate that this game is such a resource hog. WTH?


    Reinvent the British and you get a global finance center, edible food and better service. Reinvent the French and you may just get more Germans.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Maniac From Mars
    How do you motivate your employees? Waterboarding, of course.
    Ik hou van ferme grieten en dikke pinten
    Down with dried flowers!
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



  21. #21
    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Quote Originally Posted by Sp4 View Post
    Yeah some of the stuff they have in the vanilla Shogun 2 is pretty mind boggling... Climbing walls instead of ladders? Carving castles into rocks instead of building them somewhere convenient... Cannons made from wood... total lack of shields xD This is almost like watching some aliens.
    Actually Japanese fortress construction is really fascinating! They independently developed a lot of the same principles of fortress design as Early Modern Europeans did.
    (One of my big gripes with Empire was the lack of amazing forts, especially since it was such a feature of post-Military Revolution warfare.)
    Trithemius
    "Power performs the Miracle." - Johannes Trithemius

  22. #22

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    I would first deal with the Utsunomiya. After a short consolidation period try to take Hitachi province. It is fertile and has copper. Then expand south and west with a goal of North Shinano for the silk. Those two trade goods should help with cash flow. If you manage to get Koga (clay) that would help in the long run.

  23. #23
    Sardonic Antipodean Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    I concur with that advice! Kazusa which is fairly nearby has Iron which is probably handy for Traditionalists - and if you are going for North Shinano's Silk then consider South Shinano's Tea too!
    The only really hard-to-get resource is Coal, and you probably don't need it as an anti-industrialist anyway.

    There are also a couple of Smithing centres around, but the value of armour might be less if everyone is shooting guns at you? It might also be annoying to have to march armies from remote recruitment centres if you don't use railways too.
    Trithemius
    "Power performs the Miracle." - Johannes Trithemius

  24. #24
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    I will use hard difficulty for the campaign map, and normal difficulty for battles.
    How does this work? I thought you can only change both at the same time?

    Also one other thing. What determines wether you will have a general with a unit of revolver cav as their bodyguard or traditional, kata wielding, armour clad warriors?

  25. #25

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Quote Originally Posted by Sp4 View Post
    Also one other thing. What determines wether you will have a general with a unit of revolver cav as their bodyguard or traditional, kata wielding, armour clad warriors?
    I'm pretty sure it switches when you get to the third level of modernization.

  26. #26
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    I shall test that xD

  27. #27
    Grand Patron's Banner Bearer Senior Member Peasant Phill's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Quote Originally Posted by ForzaFiori View Post
    I'm pretty sure it switches when you get to the third level of modernization.
    I can confirm that.
    Keep your modernisation under level 3 and your general and his friends will still prance around in traditional armour.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drone
    Someone has to watch over the wheat.
    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow
    We've made our walls sufficiently thick that we don't even hear the wet thuds of them bashing their brains against the outer wall and falling as lifeless corpses into our bottomless moat.

  28. #28

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    It looks like we have a general consensus on how the opening stages of our war should be fought. I'll play through them and report back, ready to plan phase 2. It might take me a couple of days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sp4 View Post
    How does this work? I thought you can only change both at the same time?
    On the new campaign screen, select hard difficulty. Then, when you land on the campaign map, press escape to bring up the menu. Slect 'game options' and look for a setting with a name like 'battle difficulty'. Sorry, I can't recall the specific names and I'm not on my desktop so I can't check.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  29. #29

    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Well, the computer found a way to defeat me: the game will not load after this week's hotfixes. It doesn't give an error message, it doesn't get labelled as not responding by task manager, it just sits there loading forever. Usually takes a little under 2 minutes to load at the start; I've left it for as long as 10 minutes without any change. I've verified the game's files, no joy. Gah!

    I suppose this is one way to play a low-tech campaign. Now, who's got a set of samurai wargame miniatures?
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  30. #30
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gun Shogun: A Self-Proclaimed Suicidal Campaign in Futility

    Leave it loading for longer.. can take about 20 minutes. It's something to do with stuff they did not tell us about in the patch =p It will do it once and then go back to normal loading time.

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