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Thread: War of the Shadows

  1. #1
    Member Member VoodooChild's Avatar
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    There is no doubt that SP games can be played several different ways, but reading the recent posts and some of Maltz's stories, I haven't seen too much talk about Shadow Wars. The core question of a Shadow War strategy is this.

    Why fight and deplete my resources when I can have a rival Clan throw their resources away fighting someone else?

    Some keys to a successful Shadow War
    - Quickly carve out a region, with as few borders as possible, that has a decent income
    - Build or have a port in the interior of your region.
    - Keep close tabs on your neighbors to detect when they might be massing for an attack on your lands.
    - Guard your borders with a small army and a small castle with a large reserve army in the next province.
    - Develop one or two provinces whose sole purpose is to crank out Shinobi. Continue developing one of these provinces to build a Geisha House.
    - Attack Ronin provinces with overwhelming odds, so that they will retreat to provinces that your rival Clans are likely to attack.
    - Use emissaries to not only make treaties, but to look for low security ports of entry and new targets.

    I would like to hear from other Shadow Strategists out there and to try and teach some of these Battlefield Tacticians when its best NOT to fight.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    voodoo,

    shhhh! yer givin away all my secrets. remember, we hope to eventually have a multiplayer campaign game at some point ;)

    anyone who ever played risk as a kid knows that the best way to win is getting others to fight others and then you walk in and take over. you shld try europa universalis. it has a much deeper diplomacy engine than just about any other game i've seen. it's fun to stir up rancor between two of your rivals and get them to fight each other, then just walk in and take what's left.

    also sorta reminds me of an old board game called 'lie, cheat and steal'. it was hilarious and would have made a great multiplayer computer game ;)

    one nice thing about shogun is that the shinobi, ninja and geishas often report someone else as being suspected, or at least doesnt report you as being suspected...if yer good ;)

    shadow or 'black' tactics can undermine an enemy in a hurry, with little or no consequences to oneself. and the ai especially is a poor defender to such attacks.

    K.

  3. #3
    Member Member radan's Avatar
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    An interesting alternative on campaign. Never thought of it though. But I guess most of the time you will be in the defensive..and what about the Hojo hoard?

    ------------------
    --RADAN(RONIN ashigaru)--
    A member of CLAN..what no CLAN??
    --RADAN--
    (The SAMURAI HERO Ashigaru)
    A member of CLAN..what no CLAN??

  4. #4

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    hehehehehehehe cool now i ll try it!!! heheheehehheehehe

    ------------------
    "It's better to let the enemy alive as to kill it ... To TORTURE it!"
    It's better to let the enemy alive as to kill it ... To TORTURE it

  5. #5
    Member Member VoodooChild's Avatar
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    Kraellin, Sorry to let the cat out of the bag, Multi Campaigns are only two weeks away, so I guess I better keep my yap shut. (to everyone else, this is a joke)

    Radan, LOL....I was wondering how long it would take before someone brought up the Hoard. The best part of this strategy it actually reduces the chances of going up against the hoard. Here is why...

    A Shaddow Daimyo is very interested in maintaining buffer zones around their territory. He must strike a balance between keeping these zones strong enough to be able to defend themselves, but not strong enough to want to attack his own lands. Because these zones are controlled by AI Daimyos the same "cheats" that create the hoard effect apply to these buffer zones. So as one hoard expands, it must face another hoard before they reach your borders. These battles will deplete the strength of the hoard, and if the Shaddow Daimyo protects their borders well enough to deter attacks from the buffer provinces, then the hoard that concurred the buffer provinces should not be strong enough to pose an immediate threat. They even may even be weak enough for you to strike and capture all those well developed lands that you did not spend a single koku for.

    In my Shaddow War games, I have three phases of mischief. The first phase is usually positioning some Shinobi in out of the way provinces to give reports of the activities of the other Clans. It is vital that these Shinobi cross the border asap before your neighbor has enough time to properly set up their spy defenses.

    Phase two is the buildup and training of my rabble rousers. I will wait to gather up 15 Shinobi before sending them to an easy mark. This is almost always Imagawa's Hizen since it has a port and doesn't border another clan so therefore doesn't build up spy defenses. 15 Shinobi in a province with at most one or two units is usually enough to start a revolt. With Shinobi each revolt acts like a kill for purposes of determining a units honor. The higher the honor the higher the percentage of population a Shinobi will encourage to revolt. So, even after a couple of revolts, the 15 Shinobi will still be able to spur revolts even when the garrison is 4 or 5 units strong.

    It also should be noted that no matter what, I will continue to commission Shinobi and send them to my current mark to be trained or stationed along my borders for defense. As in any war each side will have casualties and it is very important that you have enough spies at work to keep the revolts going.

    Phase three starts when it becomes clear that one Clan is beginning to dominate. I will target a province in that Clans rear and send my Shinobi there to start revolts. A army of peasants will rise and the Clan will have to divert its own units to put down the revolt. These armies clash and the winner (usually the Clan) will have lost troops that otherwise would have been a part of the hoard. More uprisings are spurred, more peasants take arms, more Clan units sent to put down the rebellion.

    Remember the key to a successful Shaddow Campaign is to have rival clans fight each other or even themselves while you safely build your elite troops. Once the rebellions start, they quickly become a vicious circle where troops that you did not have to pay for, lose their lives in ever increasing numbers. These losses help to destabilize the dominate Clan to where they are no longer able to expand and in many cases allows other Clans to take bites out of the dominate Clan.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member Vanya's Avatar
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    Where did the term 'Shadow War' come from anyway???

    I can see we have no fans to the Red Steamroller strategy the Soviets applied...

    So... you can actually make a good koku-producing region if you are staked out in southern Kyushu?

    But... I would think the best MP campaign would be one where each player gets ONE province only, and you'd have one player for each province in the map. Give each the same troops and castle for starters (or give em all nothing, but equally) and see what happens... Of course, the poor bastard stuck in one of those 95 koku provinces will hate life, but he will soon be assimilated into a neighoring clan...

    I'm off to get some more heads for my necklace now...
    [Sips sake, eats popcorn]

  7. #7
    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    the first reference to 'shadow war' that i know of was the television series, 'Babylon 5'. but i instantly knew what voodoo was talking about, because that's how i tend to play the camp games. shinobis are single most useful unit in the game. with 5 or 6 well trained shinobi you can reduce the 'hoarde' to a blithering, worthless chaos and never lose a single man. and since voodoo HAS let the cat out of the bag, i can tell you that the shinobi are also the MOST powerful. it's not monks or heavy cav or guns or ninjas or geishas or even yer daimyo. pure and simple, it's shinobis. they dont care if a province is a river province or a mountain province or a flat one. they dont care if you have 100 or 10,000 units in the province, they are still just as effective. the most shinobis you can lose to counterspies in a given season in a given province is 1. so even if your opponent has good counter-spying, if you bring in 20 at one time, he's dead.

    shinobis are so powerful that if they are allowed in the multi camp game, they will quickly be the dominant force and will prolly have to be limited or banned. i can already hear the cries of 'cheater', 'hacker' being screamed...lol.

    their one drawback is that you cant make ronin revolt...they're already in revolt, so they dont work on ronin held provinces. but they can EASILY decimate 'the hoarde' in a few moves if done right. i NEVER lose in camp games with the ai when i employ them. and i was going to keep my mouth shut about them until a month or two after the multi camp game came out :)

    as voodoo stated, they are easily trained. they can readily use the tele-port bug and disrupt distant nations in a hurry. they can travel across lands unseen and report on everything going on. they will even tell you suspected invasions of other lords on other lords and give an estimated time frame in which this is likely to occur. they also DONT require any upkeep cost.

    hehe, this is why you've never seen me post in those threads that talk about the hojo hoarde. i was just sitting there quietly snickering ;) it's also why, in one thread, i posted something like, 'you dont even want to play me in multi campaign'. i was preparing a rather nasty ambush of your own hoardes ;)

    so, to the dev guys i say this, now that the cat is out of the bag, better re-think the multi campaign balancing yet once again. cause with one's main weapons of shinobi, ninjas and geishas, the shadow warrior will dominate as things stand.

    K.

  8. #8
    Member Member radan's Avatar
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    Wow..wow...
    I'd like to try it now hehehe. Shinobi's here I come...

    ------------------
    --RADAN--
    (The SAMURAI HERO Ashigaru)
    A member of CLAN..what no CLAN??
    --RADAN--
    (The SAMURAI HERO Ashigaru)
    A member of CLAN..what no CLAN??

  9. #9
    Member Member Doragon_Ajidrik's Avatar
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    Yeah sending 15 shinobis to an enemy province and causing uprising is fun.

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    We live in a world of Disclaimers

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  10. #10
    Member Member ishikawa2's Avatar
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    Using large numbers of shinobi is indeed an interesting twist to the game, but it is tedious and can be a royal pain to move them around.

    If anyone ever listens from the developers:
    Please, please let us "group" them so we can move them together.

  11. #11
    ex-CA Senior Member Target's Avatar
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    Was the multimove function in the last released patch? It allows you to order your stratmap pieces to regions that are more than one season away, so you don't have to move huge numbers of pieces individually across the map every turn. Been doing this so long I can't remember which features belong to which version. Well, it's definately in the expansion pack. It's not exactly what you want, Ishikawa, but does make playing the game a little bit easier.
    "i even suspect Target is coming here to hype things up."
    MagyarKhans Cham

  12. #12
    Member Member ishikawa2's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, Target. The "multimove"
    function will be most welcome, and in truth will be more valuable than the "grouping" of shinobis.

    However, it remains true that herding large groups of shinobis is tedious. I would hope that someday when the dust settles after the expansion pack, that you developers could drop this little item into the "wish list".

    cheers.

  13. #13
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    I once played an entire campaign in shadow mode.

    The rule was that for the entire campaign I was not allowed to start a war with anyone other than the Ronin.

    Most of the other Diamyo's were allied to me right to the end of the game.

    I used shinobi to undermine their provinces without them knowing until I incited a peasant revolt then moved in to liberate their lands.

    Took longer but was a great challenge.
    Didz
    Fortis balore et armis

  14. #14
    Member Member radan's Avatar
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    Well I tried the Shadow Campaign using Hojo. But after about 25 years, my game freezes everytime a full size army of peasants revolts...and I have about 30 shinobis on the province... does anyone encountered this?

    I did also try abandoning one of my province and I left about 20 shinobis there. When Oda grabbed it, I got a free army loyal to me..(but I can't seem to control the individual units for this free army)

    ------------------
    --RADAN--
    (The SAMURAI HERO Ashigaru)
    A member of CLAN..what no CLAN??
    --RADAN--
    (The SAMURAI HERO Ashigaru)
    A member of CLAN..what no CLAN??

  15. #15
    Senior Member Senior Member Vanya's Avatar
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    Hmmm... OK... If I play, I'll play as RONIN then...!
    [Sips sake, eats popcorn]

  16. #16
    Senior Member Senior Member ShaiHulud's Avatar
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    My experience with Shinobi hordes was that I was able to incite rebellions but they were always put down quickly. Somehow an army always materialized to re-take the province. The upside was the destruction of the infrastucture. The down-side was that I could see no distraction to the horde on my borders.

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    O stranger, Go tell the Spartans that we lie here, obedient to their will.....
    O stranger, Go tell the Spartans that we lie here, obedient to their will.....

  17. #17
    Member Member ishikawa2's Avatar
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    Radan -- It **is** a bug. To avoid it, just wait until the beginning of the next turn before trying to click on the recently-created Ronin army.

  18. #18
    Member Member radan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ShaiHulud:
    My experience with Shinobi hordes was that I was able to incite rebellions but they were always put down quickly. Somehow an army always materialized to re-take the province. The upside was the destruction of the infrastucture. The down-side was that I could see no distraction to the horde on my borders.
    [/QUOTE]
    Well last night I played as Imagawa (lower cost of Shinobi) and after 15 years I managed to convert all of the southern Islands (that of SHIMAZU) to Ronin. The trick is to let your Shinobis stay on the province until a bigger army of peasants appear and that's the time I move to the next province where I think the reinforcement of the other clan will come from (of course I have a freeze screen problem when a full army of revolting peasants appear and this problem is quite annoying.

    EDIT: One more annoying thing is when lots of Shinobis on the same province gives the same report to you. Can they just make 1 shinobi report and the rest will remain silent. I don't usually use SPACEBAR to skip the messages.
    ------------------
    --RADAN--
    (The SAMURAI HERO Ashigaru)
    A member of CLAN..what no CLAN??

    [This message has been edited by radan (edited 07-25-2001).]
    --RADAN--
    (The SAMURAI HERO Ashigaru)
    A member of CLAN..what no CLAN??

  19. #19
    Member Member VoodooChild's Avatar
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    Well I feel inspired.... I will attempt to create a story Maltz style for a Shadow Campaign. In it I will try to apply all the major themes of Shogun Black Ops.

    Note, as this story will demonstrate, this style of SP is not for everyone. As stated, it can become tedious trying to move 30 Shinobi or Priests into a small province, and it is not uncommon to go a whole decade without a single battle... in fact it is the zen of a Shadow Campaign not to fight at all, but if you like a good chess game then I highly recommend this style.

    Stay tuned for the first chapters.

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