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Tatsunoshi
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
In more Shogun 2 Total War news, the soundtrack album from the game has been released on Itunes. It's actually not too shabby and the Japanese themed tracks make for pleasant listening, especially if you enjoy the game.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Steam's added a new in-game 'achievement/trophy' to Total War: Shogun 2 in conjunction with their 'Summer Camp Sale'. Getting this achievement will earn you a 'ticket' towards getting a free prize at their store (your choice of lots of different games). The achievement is called 'Summer Son'-you need to have your daimyo (not just a general) win three consecutive battles during any summer season (and they all have to take place in the same season). Impossible, you say? Nope, really easy. I found that loading up a new Oda campaign on easy will get the achievement within a couple of minutes. On the first turn, move Oda and all his forces into the castle and recruit two units of ashigaru spearmen. There's already a small force of rebels in Owari and after the first turn a small Tokugawa army invades. The second turn is summer. Using autoresolve (if you're in a hurry-you can also easily win the battles yourself), fight the Tokugawa, then the rebels, then what's left of the Tokuagawa force that managed to flee.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Finally, FINALLY, War Game In Japanese History Quarterly has gotten around to the Genpei War with their #10 issue. Entitled "Genpei Kassen: Juei No Ran" (源平合戦:寿永の乱, Genpei War: Juei Disturbance) the game covers the decisive battles in western Japan between the forces of the Minamoto and Taira in 1184-1185. The Genpei War is often referred to in Japan as the 'Jisho-Juei Disturbance' (Jisho being the nengo the conflict began in and Juei being the nengo where the action picked up again-the intervening Yowa era saw little warfare due to famine and disease). It would have been better off being called the Genryaku disturbance, since all but the first turn or two take place during that era (with only the first one or two in Juei). It's a fairly simple, fast playing game for two players featuring area movement and a turn scale of about six weeks per turn (10 turns in all). Included are 80 counters,a butt-ugly map, 30 cards, instructions, and the magazine.



Forces are split between the Taira/allies in red and the Minamoto/allies in white. "Rising Sun Shogun" Kiso Yoshinaka's forces in yellow make a short cameo at the beginning of the game before being (presumably) getting destroyed by the Minamoto. Counters are sorted by the names of generals, and the strength of the forces under their command is determined by both the number of troops they command and their leadership abilities-so each counter represents a widely different number of troops. The Taira are commanded by Taira family members Tomomori, Koremori, and Sukemori with other famous clan members like Noritsune and Munemori (who was the titular leader of the clan, but a pathetic commander). Kiso's forces are made up of Yoshinaka and his prime lieutenant, Imai Kanehira. The Minamoto naturally enough feature the ultimate warrior of the Genpei War, and the blueprint for every badass warrior that came after. I'm speaking of course of Chiba Tsunetane, himself descended from the Taira-the man who rescued Minamoto Yoritomo early in the war and set him up in Kamakura. It's safe to say without Tsunetane, there would have been no Kamakura Shogunate-not to mention my life wouldn't be nearly as great as it is. Anyway, the Minamoto are commanded by that Yoshitsune guy and his brother Noriyori. Minamoto leader Yoritomo doesn't appear directly in the game-he didn't take part in the battles and was safely ensconced at Kamakura. There are plenty of other famous generals on the Minamoto side such as Hojo Yoshitoki and the much maligned Kajiwara Kagetoki.

Cards are used to introduce historical (and some non-historical) events-lieutenants that didn't merit their own forces like the mythical Tomoe Gozen and Nasu no Yoichi appear through these cards.The problems between Yoshitsune and Yoritomo are reflected largely in the cardplay. Cards can be worthless or priceless, since some can only be used by one side or the other.



The map is done in the style of old Japanese battle maps, but I think they just got lazy and didn't want to do something elaborate. The Taira bases at Fukuhara (usually known as Ichi-no-tani, really cool interactive painted screen of the battle along with Yashima HERE), Yashima and Hikoshima (near Dan-no-Ura) are of vital importance, and other marked locations include Kyo (the capital), Mizushima (a battle lost by Kiso's forces), Lake Biwa, and Dazaifu in north Kyushu (the temporary Imperial Court where Antoku was installed).

There are lots of fun 'chrome' rules and mechanisms to simulate the fighting. For example, all Taira forces can always use sea transport but the Minamoto forces are tied to harbors and using transport counters (of which they have a limited supply, and can lose). Control of both Emperor Go-Shirakawa and the child emperor Antoku are integral to winning the game, as is control of the Sanshu no Jingi (the three pieces of Imperial Regalia-the sword, mirror, and jewel). There are phony pieces of regalia to further complicate things. The Taira can build 'fortresses' to enhance their defense (they're outnumbered and less powerful unit for unit than the Minamoto).

The game's a really fun play that simulates the spirit of the Tale Of The Heike, although it lacks the depth we like in a more complex simulation. Still, that's what WGIJH focuses on-fast playing and simple fun games that still manage to be accurate. The accompanying magazine has gameplay tips, an involved developer's diary showing how the game was put together from start to finish, a couple of articles on the history of the Genpei war, and a very well done 'visitor's guide' to the sites of several of the more notable battles with lots of photos. You also get an extra counter for WGIJH #7's Nagashino: Shitaragahara Kassen-Matsudairu Nobuyasu, Ieyasu's son. This is WGIJH's best effort to date.

Nobunaga fanboy alert-issue 11 will contain the game Okehazama Senki. While it's one of the more tired game subjects along with Kawanakajima and Sekigahara, maybe they can put a fresh spin on it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Total War: Shogun 2 has released the Sengoku Jidai DLC Unit Pack of 10 unique units through Steam ($2.99). While most of these (aside from 'Hand Mortars', which seems more like Korean/Chinese units in the Bunroku no Eki) are based on stuff actually seen in Japanese history, they likely wouldn't have made up entire units (aside from the Date and Oda units). Anyway, they're still fun. They act like hero units (you can only have one in your standing army at a time) and each of the single player 'clans' can only have the one type associated with it.

The official press release:


"The Total War: SHOGUN 2 Sengoku Jidai Unit Pack adds 10 new elite units for use across the different game modes of SHOGUN 2. Once you've purchased the content, you will unlock all 10 of these versatile units in single and multiplayer Campaign mode under the conditions stated below. They will also be available in the Avatar Conquest and single player Battle modes of the game when playing with the appropriate clan.

1) Bulletproof Samurai unit – Date clan
It takes true samurai to charge into musket fire – and prevail!

Bulletproof armour makes them very resilient against matchlocks
Heavy armour makes them slow
Very good armour and melee defence
Very good vs. cavalry
Average melee attack

Construction requirements in Campaign mode

Yari Dojo
Armoury

2) Marathon Monk – Uesugi or Ikko Ikki clan (Ikko Ikki clan requires the Ikko Ikki Clan Pack available on Steam)
Faith builds the body, and faith makes outstanding warriors.

Very fast moving and fatigue resistant
Good against infantry and cavalry
Very good melee defence
Vulnerable to katana infantry and missiles

Construction requirements in Campaign mode (Ikko Ikki clan)

Ikko religion
Jodo Shinshu Temple
Proving grounds

Construction requirements in Campaign mode (Uesugi clan)

Buddhist religion
Buddhist Temple
Proving grounds

3) Hand Mortar – Hojo clan
Hand mortars can lob shots over the heads of intervening troops, even over high walls.

High arc of fire is good for attacking units behind walls and other units
Small unit size and weak stats make them very vulnerable in melee
Low morale
Very vulnerable to cavalry

Construction requirements in Campaign mode

Gunsmith
Armoury

4) Heavy Gunner – Shimazu clan
For some targets a simple musket is disrespectful. Better by far to use a heavy gun.

Very large muskets can damage units and buildings
Small unit size leaves them vulnerable in melee
Very vulnerable to cavalry

Construction requirements in Campaign mode

Gunsmith
Armoury

5) Wako Raider – Mori clan
Piracy prepares men to fight unfairly and with deceit. A wise commander uses these skills.

Can deploy outside of their own deployment area
Can walk whilst hidden and can hide almost anywhere
Good melee attack and morale
Weak melee defence and armour
Vulnerable to cavalry and missiles

Construction requirements in Campaign mode

Sword Dojo
Military port

6) Mounted Gunner – Tokugawa clan
These mounted samurai carry matchlocks, allowing them to fire a deadly volley and then gallop away.

Very high missile damage
Good accuracy but slow reload
Average in melee
Vulnerable to foot missile units

Construction requirements in Campaign mode

Stables
Gunsmith

7) Bandit – Hattori clan (Hattori clan only available in the Total War: SHOGUN 2 Limited Edition)
Banditry teaches a man much that is useful in warfare, such as striking from an unexpected direction.

Can shoot whilst hidden
Can hide almost anywhere
Can walk hidden
Weak in melee
Vulnerable to cavalry

Construction requirements in Campaign mode

Bow dojo
Criminal syndicate

8 ) Long-Yari Ashigaru – Oda clan
These men carry exceptionally long spears, pikes in effect, making them extremely dangerous to cavalry.

Excellent against cavalry
Good defensive unit
Vulnerable to missiles and sword infantry
Weak morale

Construction requirements in Campaign mode

Spear dojo
Encampment

9) Fire Cavalry – Takeda clan
These cavalry are a sword in their general’s hand, ready to slice into a battle line.

Good against cavalry
Good against infantry
Good speed
Weak against spears and naginatas
Vulnerable to matchlocks and bows

Construction requirements in Campaign mode

Cavalry dojo
Proving grounds

10) Daikyu Samurai – Chosokabe clan
When archer and bow are as one, anything is possible.

Extra long range
Very accurate and higher damage
Slow reload speed
Vulnerable to cavalry
Weak melee attack

Construction requirements in Campaign mode

Bow dojo
Hunting lodge "

We also made our first foray into Multiplayer Mode this week and beat a Creative Assembly staff member in our first online battle. After that, our multiplayer experience seemed to be made up of kids who filled out their armies with nothing but katana samurai, stuck them in a forest, and then threw a tantrum when we sat back and waited for them to vacate it. "WHY ARENT U ATTACK" was a popular IM received during battle by the glorious Tatsu forces. Sure, I'm going to attack hidden samurai in a forest with my ashigaru and cavalry. Being patient and taunting them with old-fashioned Kamakura battlefield insults worked wonders in flushing them out for the kill.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


For everyone that remembers the old Milton Bradley game "Shogun/Samurai Swords" comes the new release from Avalon Hill/Wizards of the Coast-"Ikusa" ("War"). This is probably the most-played boardgame in the West dealing with Japanese history, and for for good reason. It's excellent! The rules are detailed enough to give it a period feel but simple enough to not get bogged down. It also makes the game easy to learn and difficult to master. This 'new' version of the game contains virtually the same components as the old versions, except that the box artwork, playing board, card artwork,and other artwork have been updated to give it more of a 'contemporary vibe' and less of a 'WWII Rising Sun' look. The only difference otherwise is that the four plastic samurai swords the game formerly used to set turn order have been replaced by cardboard versions for safety reasons-and the little plastic soldiers are now less day-glo and a bit more muted. Otherwise, it remains a great party game for 2-5 players. The system proved so popular that Electronic Arts used it as the basis for the original "Shogun-Total War"'s campaign mode. Here's the official press release with more:

"It is the sixteenth century in feudal Japan, where war rages across the land. Amid the chaos and conflict, you have risen to power as one of five warlords mighty enough to conquer and control the whole empire. Your victory depends on how expertly you extend your domain while defending it from your enemies.

Send your daimyo leaders, samurai, and ashigaru warriors into battle to seize new provinces and lay siege to castles. Spend your hard-won treasury on building fortifications and bolstering your forces with ronin and ninja.

Prove the strength of your strategy, defeat your rivals, and earn the exalted title of Shogun.

Ikusa includes:

1 rulebook
1 game board
1 deck of 72 Province cards
436 durable, plastic play pieces
6 12-sided dice
5 reference screens and army cards
5 planning trays
5 turn order markers
12 battle markers
1 flag-label sheet

Set details:

The classic rules of this game have not been changed – still a challenge for any strategy board gamer.
The box and game board design have been radically improved. The game board has a new "period feel."
All of the classic sculptures used for the figures are back with new colors."

It pays to shop around a bit for this game-while it lists for $100, I found one for less than $50 brand new on eBay.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Finally, the best news we could have hoped for from the Total War: Shogun 2 franchise has been announced: DLC that sets up a Genpei War campaign! This will be available in September along with another big patch that will hopefully solve some ongoing game issues (hopefully including the glitch that keeps the second half of Nagashino from loading on our system). As is pretty typical with Total War, they've introduced a bunch of new units and agents that have little basis in actual history. Several of them seem based on little more than unique individuals like the mythical warrior woman Tomoe Gozen, the almost completely mythical warrior monk Benkei, and Yoshitsune's mistress Shizuka. They've also included an agent type (Junsatsushi inspectors) that by the time the Genpei War rolled around hadn't been seen for 300 years or so-instead, they appear to be more along the lines of army overseers such as Kajiwara Kagetoki. Six new clans, with the Minamoto, Taira, and Fujiwara being givens-presumably the Kiso Minamoto (of Kiso Yoshinaka) will be one as well. It looks like the Taira are divided into different 'clans' as well, with the Yashima Taira being confirmed. And while the Chiba likely won't be a playable clan, they sure better be on the map after they got screwed in the Sengoku version of the game. This will be the first treatment of the Genpei War in English since Cinemaware's classic "Lords of the Rising Sun" for the Amiga computer way back in the late 1980's. One has to wonder if the timing of the DLC was planned with the upcoming September release of Paradox's Sengoku in mind. At any rate, September shapes up to be a prime month for sammyrai gaming. Here's the official announcement from Total War:

"Set 400 years before the Sengoku period depicted in Shogun 2, Rise of the Samurai pits you as the leader of one of six playable clans from the Taira, Minamoto and Fujiwara families. This conflict, the Gempei War, culminated in the first Shogun’s rise to power, and the consolidation of the Samurai as the ruling class.

The downloadable content brings with it a new campaign, which can be played in single and multiplayer modes. The six new clans bring with them their own unique traits, and between them will have sixteen new land units and ten new naval units.

On top of that, there are four new hero units, including the Tetsubo Warrior Monk Hero, armed with brutal studded clubs, and the deadly female Onna Bushi Heroine. There are also four new agent types, each with their own skill trees. From the seductress Shirabyoshi to the shrewd and zealous Junsatsushi Inspectors, each offers a new campaign experience.

What’s more, at the same time Rise of the Samurai is released, we’re also deploying a new patch. This will contain a huge number of fixes and feature upgrades, covering single and multiplayer gameplay. We’re already talking about some of these in our weekly update thread. Stay tuned to that for more as and when it’s confirmed.

So, in September you’ll be able to get your hands on:

Rise of the Samurai – downloadable campaign

• New campaign (The Gempei War)
• 6 new clans from 3 legendary families
• 16 new land units
• 10 new naval units
• 4 new hero units
• 4 new agent types
• 10 new mons, 10 new retainers"
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


After 5 (!) years, GMT Games' "Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan" has been released. The game is somewhat of a strange animal-it uses wooden blocks rather than the traditional cardboard counters to represent Ishida Mitsunari's "Army of the West" and Tokugawa Ieyasu's "Army of the East", and there is none of the dice rolling that most sims have-here everything is dependent on your skill, bluffing ability, and cardplay. There's certainly a lot included in the box-a sheet and a half of color stickers with mon to place on the blocks, 119 wooden playing pieces of varying shapes and functions (black for the Tokuagawa, gold for the Ishida), 2 55 card decks (each deck specific to one side), 2 draw bags, 2 reference cards, and the rulebook. The box art would have been great with just the painted battle screen, but they had to go and plaster an ugly picture over it. And don't even ask me why they decided to stick the chrysanthemum crest of the Imperial Family on the cover when the Emperor had nothing to do with the battle. Must have been left over from a WWII game. The game simulates the Sekigahara campaign rather than the battle, playing out two turns to the week with each block representing roughly 5000 troops (on the high side, since this would have almost 500,000 troops available to players-but since not all will be in play at one time due to the defection rules, it probably works out accurately). It's for two players, of low complexity, and takes about 2-3 hours to play.



The rulebook only has about five pages of real rules, with the rest being examples of play, an overview of components, a nice four page section of historical notes on the campaign, and two pages of designers notes. Movement is point to point, with castles, highways, and roads being all important. The Tokaido and Nakasendo roads are vital, and the castles of Osaka, Gifu, Miyazu, Anotsu, Kanazawa, Okazaki, Ueda, Hakone, and Aizu are the linchpins of each side's defense. There are also valuable resource locations and capitals (Edo and Kyoto). To win, the Ishida player must eliminate the Tokugawa block-the Tokugawa player must eliminate Ishida, or if he's feeling nasty, Toyotomi Hideyori in Osaka Castle. If this hasn't been done by the end of the seventh week, each player gets 2 points per castle and 1 point per resource location to determine victory.



Forces for the game are somewhat abstract. Ishida's army has a block for himself and forces for the Uesugi, Kobayakawa, Mouri, and Ukita. There are also garrison forces representing Toyotomi Hideyori and the Sanada. The Tokugawa army has forces for the Tokugawa, a block for Ii, Fukushima, Maeda, and Date. The designer explains rather than have the game get bogged down with dozens of commanders, he consolidated them into the forces listed above. Ishida has no forces that are completely loyal, and Tokugawa can only depend on the Ii. A major aspect of the game is motivating your forces through cardplay-it's a necessary component of moving, determining initiative, force marching, and deploying for battle. Some forces are high in mounted samurai and arquebusiers, and they can use these for special attacks. Some cards allow the player to deploy two units. Others challenge the loyalty of an enemy unit-if the challenge succeeds, the block will switch sides. The Tokugawa have an edge over the Ishida in the deck mixes as far as loyalty challenges go (since the Western army units were more likely to defect on a historical basis). In an interesting design decision, players LOSING a battle or dying in defence of a castle get to draw more replenishment cards than the victors! The designer did this to celebrate 'martial failure in the name of a higher cause'. There are random draws of reinforcing units and only the owner of a unit can see its strength before battle is joined, simulating the 'fog of war'. There are also rules for castle sieges and overruns when a huge force overwhelms a small one without having to go to battle.



We found the map to be the most impressive part of the game. It's an old-school hard mounted "Avalon Hill" type of map, only with better paper. It depicts the area of central Japan where most of the campaign took place, and we can picture it being framed and hung on a wall.

The game would make for a relatively fast and easy to learn party game that simulates the feel of the campaign more than specifically recreating it. We prefer our games with a bit more realism, but Sekigahara succeeds at what it sets out to do. The abstract concept of 'honor' is all important, the defections that decided the historic battle are always a worry for both players, and the cardplay creates the classic game that is simple to learn and difficult to master. And hey, Matt Calkins, the designer, has promised that all of his proceeds from the game will be donated to the tsunami recovery effort, so it's for a good cause.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Y'know, the Brickster ain't much on playin' games. Occasionally I like to pop in Splatterhouse or somethin' else filled with hellish monsters and gratuitous violence, and I have ta admit I loved the Genji board game (the one I reviewed on the Samurai Archives last year). And the Brickster's IPhone games are lifesavers when he's on public transport, 'specially when there's a women only train car and I wasn't able to sneak onto it. But usually games are nothin' but pointless time-suckers that keep ya from enjoyin' the real world and the things that matter most in life-mainly, romancin' the ladies and drinkin'. But in every generation a genius comes along and produces a game that manages to capture the essence of the real world, bein' relevant and entertainin' at the same time. Such a game is the upcomin' release of the "Sake and Samurai" card game from Albe Pavo! High points of the official press release:



"A few samurai warriors are sitting at a table in a small inn, talking and bragging about swords, women and honour. Sake flows freely, but not even the cellars of Bishamon, the god of War, could quench the thirst of Japan’s greatest swordsmen. Servants run for cover, knowing full well where all this is going. Suddenly an eerie silence fills the common room. On the table, only one full cup remains. Who will get the last drink? Will it be the elder of the group, or shall the greatest warrior have it? Time seems to stretch to infinity, until one hand makes a move towards the cup. Such insolence! This insult shall not be tolerated! The elder goes for his sword... We shall never know whether the bold samurai was taking the cup for himself or only to hand it over to his venerable companion. It does not matter: all warriors take offense and draw their katanas, joining the fight at the call of SAAKEEE!

In SAKE & Samurai you are a fierce and thirsty samurai warrior, willing to do anything to get the last cup of liquor. The winner is the most drunk samurai (in game terms, the player who has collected the most Sake drink counters) at the end of the Sudden Death round...

Those who will succumb to their enemies’ blows won’t be eliminated from the game, but will become Spirits of Enma, the thirsty god of death, and team up with the other spirits to attack the living, aiming to steal their sake. Raise your glasses (and your katanas)! "

Now, I ask you, is there anyone in the world more qualified to review this than the Brickster? Well, Mifune Toshiro, but he ain't actin' much these days, much less playin' games, although I did hear him on the Samurai Archives Podcast a few episodes back. Now, there ain't a darn thing I could do to improve the glorious proceedin's outlined in the press release. Heck, it even has an origami masu (my traditional vessel fer quaffin' sake). The Brickster KNEW he had to have this game! But, like most worthwhile things, I'll have to be patient-the official release is still about two months away. It just gives me time to invent a drinkin' game to pair up with this, as it just cries out fer one. But you can bet I'll be the first one hittin' the beaches when 'Sake and Samurai" is released, and all you lucky readers can look forward to a full, in-depth review then! Hell, I'll WALK to Italy to get a copy if I have to. I mean, there's all those oceans an all, but the zombies in Day of the Dead didn't find 'em to be a problem, so's I should be able to navigate 'em just fine.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The Genpei War "Rise of the Samurai" DLC pack is now available for Shogun 2: Total War. A redesigned map, completely different unit types and agents, and new game mechanics and diplomacy options make it just different enough from the original to be fresh and new while familiar enough to not have to start from scratch. The clans and starting positions (not to mention clan crests) have been largely botched in the campaign mode, though. And there's still that annoying 'realm divide' feature, only now it's called 'being branded a rebel by the Emperor', but has the exact same results.

There's also a free patch that updates and corrects a slew of problems (although they still haven't fixed the glitch that freezes the second half of the Nagashino battle), and also adds over ten new castle maps.

Get both through Steam.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've been away from Shogun for a couple of months, and saw this when I booted it up this morning...



They even added a new 'Winter' themed achievement to the trophy list. And of course, looking further, there was the 'Operation Santa' custom battle map...



And it looks like they did something similar for Halloween but I missed it...darn, and it was two of my favorite things, the Genpei war and Halloween...



There's been a lot of DLC (both already out and announced) the last couple of weeks which I'll post about when I get more free time.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The Brickster's Christmas Gift to the SA: Review of "Sake & Samurai"


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


In addition to a new patch fixing a bunch of things (including a glitch that made fighting the second part of the Battle Of Nagashino unplayable), Creative Assembly/Sega have released two new DLC packs for Total War: Shogun 2.

The first is the "Hattori Clan" Pack. This is the extra content that was originally included in the game's limited edition.

Included in this pack is the Hattori clan (ninja par excallance, usable both in single player and multi-player campaigns as well as custom battles), the historical Battle Of Nagashino (an extremely enjoyable two-part battle-first the 'slaughter at the barricades' and then Sakai Tadatsugu's raid on the Takeda rear), a special set of armor for your avatar in the multi-player game, and also a 'bank account of experience' for your avatar.

The second is the "Blood" Pack. This does what you would expect it to do-add geysers and gushers of blood to gameplay, as well as decapitations and lopped-off limbs. It's way over the top, inspired by the blood geysers you see in a typical chanbara film (as seen in the last photo). Note that this isn't available for purchase in certain countries like Germany and Australia, because, ya know, people don't bleed there.



However, the big news is the upcoming March expansion for Total War: Shogun 2. We've already had "Rise of the Samurai"-now it's time for "Fall of the Samurai", an expansion that brings the action of the Bakumatsu and early Meiji period to the Total War universe. While it's an expansion, it's also being sold as a stand-alone game-you won't need the original TWS2 to play. As is obvious by the box artwork, CA/Sega is really stressing the Western influence on Japanese warfare of the era. There's a huge amount of new units (40!) and gunpowder weapons, ironclads and other steamships, Western advisors, and new agents. You'll be able to play as one of six factions: the Shogunate clans from Aizu, Nagaoka (in Echigo), and Jozai (in Kazusa) along with the traitorous Choshu, Satsuma and Tosa thugs. Why can't you play as the Tokugawa Shogunate? Good question. We're not sure of the game's timeline, so it might begin after the Shogunate had given control of the country back to the Emperor. There will eventually be six historical battles (Toba-Fushima, Osaka, Ueno, Aizu, Miyako Bay, Hakodate) and Ezo (Hokkaido) will also be added to the game map. Here are some early screenshots:



The game is really pushing the 'modernization' angle and looks like it's trying to set up an alternate 'Last Samurai'-style world. Proof? One of the new agents is the 'Foreign Veteran', aka Tom Cruise (other new agents include the Shinsengumi and Shishi). You can build rail lines even though the first railways weren't built in Japan until well after the start of the Meiji period, and weren't a factor militarily until the 1890's. Shogunate and Imperial armies are stocked with incredible, ahistorical amounts of firepower and artillery (Gatling guns, Armstrongs, and all manner of small arms). You can even have US, British, and French Marines as part of your JAPANESE army. Arghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! There are also coastal battery bombardments and amphibious invasions. If this sounds an awful lot like an American Civil War game-well, it seems pretty obvious that CA is using this as a testing ground for a full blown ACL or European Victorian era warfare game. It won't be very historical, but if you loved the "Last Samurai", you'll love this game, and if nothing else it'll look great and be a blast to play.


One thing you WON'T be seeing is a Bunroku/Keicho no eki (Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea in the 1590's) expansion for Shogun 2. CA/Sega has publicly stated that because of the resentment the invasions continue to foster among Koreans and Chinese to this day (and the resultant increased political tension between Japan and Korea/China), they will not even consider producing a game based on the conflict. So the taste you got of it in the original Shogun (the Warlord Edition's 'Imjin River' scenario) will be it for that conflict.

As we've noted in another thread, the Koreans and Chinese doing the complaining conveniently let it slip their minds how their countries invaded Japan some 300 years earlier (and got their butts royally kicked, I might add). When it comes to Japan, Korea, and China, there's plenty of blame to go around for all three.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
It's bad enough that the traitors of the SatCho alliance and the resulting Meiji government brought the samurai era to an end in the 19th century. But the ghosts of these Bakumatsu factions along with those of their Tokugawa victims continue to wreak havoc in the world of gaming.

The Total War: Shogun 2 expansion "Fall Of The Samurai" (summarized in the above post) is now available for pre-order on Steam (with a tentative release date of March 23, or February 29th, or March 1st, depending on what source you believe).

Why pre-order? Well, you'll get the following bonuses available only with a Steam pre-order:



"The Steam exclusive Tsu faction pack, "The Emperor’s Cunning"-Rising from humble roots, the people of Tsu are wise, artful and astute strategists. Their use of Ninja is unsurpassed on the battlefield and in covert operations. This additional in-game faction is only available in the Steam Special Edition.

The game original soundtrack - selected songs from the original game soundtrack by Richard Beddow and Jeff van Dyck."

Well, how would you EVER be able to get along without ninjer in a Total War game? We certainly couldn't face that prospect, so we've bought it.

By the way, yes, Tsu was an actual domain of Japan, held by the Todo. Their claim to fame during the Bakumatsu was turning traitor on the Shogunate during the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, ensuring that the Bakufu lost the battle (which was pretty much a lost cause at that point anyway).

But wait! If you pre-order the game from the SEGA site instead, you'll get the Obama clan instead!



Yeah, it seems like a cheap way to cash in on the Prez's name to me too. However, Obama Han did have a bit of a role during the Bakumatsu. Their Lord, Sakai Tadaaki, was the Shogunal Deputy in Kyoto and worked with Ii Naosuke to implement the Ansei Purges. They also worked to try to bring about 'The Union Of Camp And Court', put down the revolt of Takeda Kounsai, and fought for the Shogunate during the Boshin Wars.

So we ordered that too-after all, it's forces from the righteous Shogunate.

But wait! If you buy the retail Limited Edition, you get the Saga clan and a poster!



"The Limited Edition exclusive Saga faction pack, "The Emperor’s Diligence"-Centuries of trade with outsiders has given the people of Saga an understanding of foreign and modern ways, allowing them to adopt new military technology quickly. This additional in-game faction is only available in the Limited Edition.

The Limited Edition double-sided poster - featuring two stunning game artworks

Limited Edition packaging sleeve."

So, did Saga Han (administered by the Nabeshima clan) really play a role in the Bakumatsu? Well, the han (which took up most of Hizen province) was responsible for providing defenses and administration for the port of Nagasaki, so it was a gateway between the Western powers and Japan. It also fought on the Imperial side during several clashes in the Boshin War. However, it turned against the Imperial Government in 1874 when 3000 samurai led by Eto Shimpei and Shima Yoshitake attempted to take several public and private buildings in Saga, hoping that their action would rally other samurai to their cause-which was promptly put down by the Meiji forces.

Who says you can't learn anything about history by gaming?

And yeah, we'll be buying the limited edition too, since we wanted a physical copy of the game.

Having said that, this ploy by Creative Arts/SEGA/Total War is deplorable. While we don't mind paying a little extra for the occasional DLC, forcing someone who wants all three factions to buy the game THREE TIMES represents the epitome of corporate greed. Why not just have a Mega Limited Edition that has all three for a few extra bucks? At any rate, glad our wife is rich. Hopefully at some point they'll make the individual factions available as DLC so everyone who wants them can get them.


Last edited by Tatsunoshi on Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
We’ve been living history the last couple of months rather than reading about it or playing it, so there’s a bit of catching up to do on wargame releases…



The best of this installment’s roll call comes to us courtesy of “War Game In Japanese History” #12 (Japanese language). Just in time for the debut of this year’s NHK Taiga Drama “Taira no Kiyomori” is “Kiyomori Gunki” (清盛軍記, Kiyomori War Chronicles). It’s as original as it gets-not only do you get the Hogen Disturbance of 1156, but also the Heiji Disturbance of 1160 (by the Western calendar). Neither of these late Heian conflicts that led to the Genpei War of 1180 have ever been the subject of a wargame to date, and WGIJH’s treatment of them shines. The magazine contains a large map of Kyoto/Miyako, 80 cardboard counters, a 28 page magazine with lots of background articles, and an eight page rulebook. It’s for two players, medium complexity, and a game can be finished in two hours.



The map of Kyoto serves as the backdrop for both disturbances and also has holding boxes for the rest of Japan where more abstract combat can take place. Movement is by area, using the historic main thoroughfares of Kyoto to move from area to area. Playing pieces are grouped into three general factions-the Taira (represented by foot archers), the Minamoto (represented by mounted archers), and the Fujiwara (represented by courtiers). There are also counters for the Emperors and Court Priests. Non-family allies of the different factions use silhouettes rather than filled-in figures. Counters have colored stripes to easily identify which faction each leader/counter belonged to in the respective conflicts, as each faction had family on both sides (with some switching sides for the Heiji Rebellion). The reverse side of the counters is ‘faded’ so that it’s easy to tell which units have taken step losses. The game moves at a brisk pace and victory is determined by a combination of possession of certain locations, control of the Emperor, and losses dealt to the enemy. It does an excellent job of recreating the historical situation without getting bogged down in a morass of special rules (although there are a few of these to add flavor).

The accompanying magazine has several articles dealing with the two conflicts-particularly useful and informative is the section where each of the leaders on the game counters are given mini-biographies and outlines of their role in the fighting. There are also sections on the relations between the Taira and the Imperial family, a short history of the Hogen/Heiji conflicts, a photo guide to the present day sites of the battle’s historic locations, and a detailed recreation of how the battles played out historically using photos of the game components. A related article has a replay of the ‘Genpei War’ game from WGIJH #10. It’s a winning package with a fresh new subject.



Sadly, the same can’t be said about “War Game In Japanese History #11” (Japanese language). This issue contains a subject that has been gamed to death ad nauseum-Teh Tenma Maou himself, Oda Nobunaga. Thankfully, “Nobunaga Gunki” (信長軍記, Nobunaga War Chronicle) isn’t the typical ‘province grabbing’ or ‘Nobunaga Surrounded’ type of game that we’ve seen far too much of. Instead, it’s a simulation of Oda’s consolidation of power in Owari and his subsequent battle with Imagawa Yoshimoto. It contains a large hex-based map of Owari province, 80 cardboard counters, a 28 page magazine with lots of background articles, and an eight page rulebook. It’s for two players, medium complexity, and a game can be finished in two hours. And if that sounds a lot like the Kiyomori game-well, WGIJH pretty much uses the same component mix for each game.



The game uses red for the Imagawa and blue for the Oda, with each side having components of ashigaru and mounted troops (with the leaders for each side comprising the mounted contingents). Since the time frame of the game actually stretches from 1552-1561, there are also independent forces in other combinations of blue and red that have to be dealt with (each of which leans towards the Oda or Imagawa). Control of different areas and cities along with damage to enemy forces determines victory.

Much as in the ‘Kiyomori’ game, the accompanying magazine gives historical background for the game. Nobunaga’s early life is spotlighted with a photo guide and tourist information for many spots in Owari associated with him. There’s a replay of the game that should help players form their own strategies. The best part of the magazine is a spoof of Koei’s “Nobunaga No Yabou/Nobunaga’s Ambition” video game series laid out in the form of a Suguroku type game. Entitled “Ohaguro-sama no Yabou: Kemariroku with Pawaa Appu Kitto” (お歯黒様の野望: 蹴鞠録 with パワーアップキット, Lord Blackened Teeth’s Ambition: Kickball Record with Power Up Kit), it demonstrates just how screwed Yoshimoto was at Okehazama (with scenes such as having the Oda’s long spears stretch across three gameplay spaces to tag the Imagawa). The magazine wraps up with an historical article/tourist information on Odaka Castle (one of the forts that played a part in the Okehazama Campaign) and a replay of the Shinsengumi game from WGIJH #1. All told, not a bad effort although with such a long timeframe, the localized nature of these battles tends to get lost in the proceedings.

Looks like WGOJH #13 is going to be the “Last Samurai”. Wait now, wait now, simmer down-it’s covering Saigo’s Satsuma Rebellion/Southwest Campaign of 1877.



New to the world of wargame mags is a fan produced effort, SLGamer (Japanese language). It seems to alternate between pre-modern Japanese history games and WWII games. Issue #1 saw the release of Sekigahara Zenshousen (関ヶ原前哨戦, Sekigahara Skirmish). As one might expect, production values aren’t quite what they are for a professionally released game, but are surprisingly high for a fan game. You get a 42 page magazine, a four page rulebook, a player aids card, a small hex-based map centering around Omi province in 1600, and a sheet of 63 counters (front and back) that need to be hand cut and affixed to cardboard counters (not included). Gameplay centers around the fighting and maneuvering in Omi province that led up to the Battle Of Sekigahara in 1600.



The map (yes, it does have a hex overlay-didn’t show up well in the scan) covers the area from Kiyosu Castle in the southeast to Gifu Castle in the northeast and the Tokugawa position around Akasaka in the northwest (as well as Ishida’s base at Ogaki castle). Tokuagwa Ieyasu’s “Army Of The East” is in red with Ishida Mitsunari’s “Army Of The West” in blue. Most counters represent a single ‘clan’ with their leader, although some large forces like the Ukita and Mori also have additional counters. Each counter is step based and overall, we don’t find them an accurate representation of the respective strengths of each contingent with each counter having a strength of ‘1/.5’. The game is fast playing, taking only six turns, and not particularly complex-it’s a lot like an early 60’s Avalon Hill game. Victory is gained primarily through occupying ‘victory hexes’.



The accompanying magazine is actually pretty nice-it focuses more on game replays and reviews than actual historical articles. The highlight of this issue was a replay of War Game In Japanese History’s “Lion Of The North” Hakodate game that we covered awhile back along with two short Bakumatsu/Meiji history articles (Hakodate and Saigo’s Rebellion). There are all sorts of game reviews from virtually any genre you can think of as well. It’s an entertaining package and is extremely inexpensive as well.



And of course, if you have a Sekigahara Skirmish, you’ll need a Sekigahara All-Out Attack (関ヶ原送信劇, Sekigahara Soushingeki)! That’s exactly what you’ll get in SLGamer #3 (Japanese language). This time around, you’ll be playing through the actual battle of Sekigahara itself. Back is the 42 page magazine along with a 4 page rulebook, player aid card, small map of the Sekigahara battlefield stretching back to the Ogaki castle region, and a sheet of 121 counters (front and back) that need to be hand cut and affixed to cardboard counters (not included). Production values are much higher in the third issue, particularly the game map.



While the game is focused much more on the battle, it does cover more time than just that-from the 14th day of the 9th month through the 22nd day (with each turn being one day). As in the first game, the Tokugawa forces are in red and Ishida’s forces in blue. ‘Traitorous’ factions are in light blue, and non-Tokugawa Eastern army troops are in light red. Again, all counters have a strength of ‘1/.5’ although this time around there are multiple counters for certain clans to better represent their strength. Another nice feature is that the backs now have a colored stripe to more easily identify the damage they’ve incurred. Also like the first game, it’s fast-moving and easy to learn. Victory here is more of a function of destroying the enemy than occupying hexes-and is largely dependent on who the ‘traitorous’ contingents end up siding with.



The magazine has a bit more on the historical side this time around, along with reviews of many of the more than two dozen Sekigahara wargames that are out there. Manga strips have been added along with game tips, replays, and reviews of other games. Well worth checking out both for the Sekigahara game and the information on the Japanese gaming scene.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Total War Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai. Read the SA review on the Shogun-ki HERE.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just in case you haven't gotten enough of Total War yet, here's the review of the IPhone/Ipad/Android "Total War Battles: Shogun".
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
We've had a few requests on how to pull off 'The Eighth Shrine' mission in Total War Battles: Shogun, so we've added a photo of how we did it to the Shogun-ki review (link in the post right above this one).
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Total War: Shogun 2 has released a free battle map editor to owners of the game. It'll automatically download with the latest patch through Steam. Players will be able to create quite detailed and impressive battlefields (land or sea) for use in 'custom battle' and 'multiplayer' modes. Just go to your Steam library and click on the 'Total War: Shogun 2 Map Editor' under tools to activate it. These maps can be uploaded to the web and you can also download the creations of other players. It's extremely easy to use-in no time we had created several great-looking and accurate maps of Genpei war era battles such as Ichinotani, Dan-no-ura, Yashima, Uji River, and the Koromo River.

You'll also be able to buy some new DLC next week-the four playable factions for Fall of the Samurai not included in the standard edition of the game. These include Sendai, Obama, Saga, and Tsu han.
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
As we alluded to in the last post, the four pre-order bonus factions for "Total War: Shogun 2 Fall Of The Samurai" are now available for direct purchase (at a rather pricey $5 apiece). Here's the press release for the four-we got a good laugh at the Date of Sendai being called "...fiercely loyal to the Tokugawa Shogunate..." after they spent most of the Bakumatsu trying to boot the Shogunate out. And by the way, CA, we even fixed your typo in that sentence when we cut and pasted it. You're welcome.

"Obama Domain

Sakai Clan - "The Overseers"

With long experience of government and administration, the authoritarian Sakai are unsurpassed in economics and population management.

• Vigilance (+2 to experience of defending garrison units)
• Authority (+2 repression across all provinces)
• Logistics (-10% to the upkeep cost of all land units)
• Overseeing (+5% increase in tax income)

Sendai Domain

Date clan - "The Negotiatiors"

Fiercely lotal to the Tokugawa Shogunate, The noble Date of Sendai have endured the ages of turmoil to emerge as a respected tacticians and sublime diplomats.

• Tolerance (-3 unhappiness from differences of allegiance)
• Tact (+10 to diplomatic relations)
• Siegecraft (2 turn reduction to surrender time when besieging castles)
• Respect (-1 to resistance to occupation across all provinces)


Imperial

Tsu Domain

Todo Clan - "The Emperor’s Cunning"

Rising from humble roots, the Todo clan are astute, wise and artful strategists. Their use of Ninja is unsurpassed, both on the battlefield, and in more covert opeartions.
• Persuasion (+2% to allegiance conversion)
• Furtiveness (+10 to the number of kiso ninja units available)
• Fortitude (+2 to unit defence)
• Artifice (-10% to the cost of shinobi actions)

Saga

The Nabeshima Clan - "The Emperor’s Diligence"

Forward-thinking in both war and politics, the Nabeshima of Saga have embraced western technological influence like no other clan, and excel with artillery weapons.

• Gunnery (+5 to the accuracy of all artillery pieces)
• Engineering (-15% reduction to the recruitment and upkeep costs of ships)
• Industry (+5 growth from industrial buildings)
• Rangaku (Trade with the Western Powers has been estabilished)"
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
"Total War Battles" for the IPhone/IPad has received a big update.

"-Skirmish mode: 6 new battles you can play in Normal, Hard or Shogun difficulty
-New Skirmish achievements and high scores
-Legendary units: recruit Black Devils, Crimson Feathers or Stone Temple Monks
-Legendary orders: cast Rain of Fire on your enemies and Butcher Them All
-Get in touch: Facebook and Twitter In-App integration
-On the map: A nicer and easier to read campaign map
-Winter chill: A new refreshing title screen
-Many small bug fix and improvements"

The press release omitted a third legendary order, that being "Rally and Sustain" which partially reinforces a unit's losses while making it temporarily invincible. There's now also a free version of the app that lets you play the first series of battles, and the price for the full app has dropped to $4.99.

We're also happy to report that even with the new battles, we're still ranked number one out of over 58,000 players.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


While CA/Sega are busy promoting the next game in the Total War series (Rome 2), they still haven't forgotten Shogun 2. A new bit of DLC was recently released for $3.25-the 'Saints and Heroes' unit pack. No saints that we can see (unless you count 'sword saints'), but plenty of heroes-each of the 9 units included takes on the name of one of Japan's greatest samurai/onnamusha heroes. Kato Kiyomasa, Hattori Hanzo, Honda Tadakatsu, Tanegashima Tokitaka (lord of the Japanese island of the same name who bought the first Western arquebus from shipwrecked Portuguese traders), Toda Seigen (swordmaster), Minamoto no Yoritomo, Tomoe Gozen, Musashibo Benkei, and even the Seven Spears of Shizugatake weigh in for use in the main game (the Sengoku portion, not in "Fall/Rise of the Samurai") and multiplayer.

Ok, sure, Benkei, Tomoe, and Yoritomo were all around centuries before the Sengoku (and should be in the Rise of the Samurai campaign). Not to mention Tomoe's fictional, Benkei might as well be, and Yoritomo was an extremely poor battlefield warrior. But hey, none of these units have any basis in history anyway, so what's the harm in slapping incorrect names on them? They're tough and fun to deploy as part of your army, although all but one lacks the ability to inspire your other troops like the regular hero units in the game do. Here's the official press release:

"Bolster your Sengoku-era forces with Saints and Heroes, the new Heroic Unit Pack for Total War: Shogun 2. Honed by years of relentless training and tempered in the fires of battle, these nine elite warrior units excel in their fields, and stand head-and-shoulders above their rank-and-file brothers.

Key Features:

Kiyomasa’s Katana Cavalry
Katana cavalry hero
These heavily-armoured cavalry wield their blades with a brutal expertise.
Excellent in melee
Slower than other cavalry
Excellent morale
Vulnerable to Yari, Naginata and Matchlock

Yoritomo’s Yabusame Cavalry
Bow cavalry hero
Precise and quick, these men can snipe at enemies, and hold their own if cornered.
Fast moving
Can move and fire
Excellent accuracy and range
Excellent morale
Weak against massed foot missile-units
Average in melee

The Spears of Shizugatake
Yari cavalry hero
Masters of the spear, these expert horsemen boast a devastating charge, and resolute morale in the face of counter-attack.
Fast and very powerful charge
Excellent against other cavalry
Excellent morale
Vulnerable to Yari and Naginata

Benkei’s Blades
Naginata Hero
The long-bladed Naginata is effective against all-comers – doubly so in the hands of an expert.
Versatile: very good against cavalry and other infantry
Excellent armour high resistance to arrows
Excellent morale
Weak against Matchlock

Gozen’s Hime Heroines
Naginata Heroine
In the hands of a great heroine, the Naginata becomes a graceful whirl of steel and bloody death.
Versatile: very good against cavalry and other infantry
Excellent armour high resistance to arrows
Excellent morale
Weak against Matchlock

Tokitaka’s Tanegashima
Matchlock Hero
Armed with a beautifully crafted rifle, these heroes put their marksmanship to deadly use.
Good range
Devastating damage
Very good accuracy and reload
Excellent morale
Vulnerable to cavalry
Good in melee against infantry

Seigen’s Swordmasters
Nodachi Hero
Carrying the fearsome two-handed Nodachi, these heroes strike terror into the hearts of those they charge.
Devastating charge
Excellent morale
Average in prolonged melee
Vulnerable to cavalry and missiles

Tadakatsu’s Tetsubo Warriors
Tetsubo Hero
As strong as Oni, these mighty warriors are masters of the brutal Tetsubo, or war club.
Excellent in melee
Excellent morale
Vulnerable to missiles and massed enemy units

Hanzo’s Shadows
Ninja Hero
Masters of stealth, Ninja heroes are the ultimate dealers of swift and silent death.
Excellent at hiding
Can climb walls very fast
Devastating ranged attack
Very limited ammunition"

And in other news, the award winning Iphone game "Total War Battles" (it just won the 'Golden Cube' award for best portable phone game) also received an update-one that gives you a reason to go back and replay the main campaign. Now, in addition to the main objectives, twelve selected levels now have secondary objectives that award you bonus EXP points for successfully completing them. EXP points that can be used to purchase updates and elite units! These range from destroying a number of certain unit types, to destroying enemy watchtowers, to not incurring any losses or losing any buildings. They're a lot of fun and the update is free. The press release:

"Challenges: Complete alternative objectives on campaign maps for EXP and an extra achievement

Graphical upgrades: dynamic wind, glittering lakes and flames, cranes, fog and more…

Nightfall: A new peaceful title screen

Facebook login improved for non FB App installed devices

Minor bugs fixes and optimizations"

And yes, we're happy to report that we're STILL ranked #1 out of over 82,000 players, although a few are breathing down our necks.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Shogun Total War: Battles, formerly only available for IOS devices, is now available on PC and Mac via Steam. It's our personal favorite IPhone game and as detailed in our last post recently won the Golden Cube award for best phone game. The graphics will be at their enhanced best and the larger screens will allow more of the battlefield to be displayed during play. There will be achievements and leaderboards on Steam as well.

The game will also be released for Android phones on September 6th.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
In other news, Teh Tatsu is now also #1 on the PC version of "Total War Battles: Shogun". And we haven't even finished the game yet!



Now its off to catch up with "Uncle" Charlie McFree and his cast of homicidal haunt klowns at the Dent Schoolhouse.
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Tatsunoshi
Miko no Kami
Miko no Kami
Forum Kanrei
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Multi-Year Benefactor
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Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 4923
Location: 京都日本 Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


CA/Sega continues to support Total War: Shogun 2 with new content even though they're busy developing Rome 2. This time around is a treat for all those Christian Sammyrai out there-the Otomo clan pack, loading up with guns and Jesuits to carve out their piece of the pie. Unbelievably enough, you'll also be able to recruit Portuguese troops directly into your Japanese army. Set for release 11/30, you can pre-order for 10% off the release price (ending up at $4.49). There's also going to be an optimization patch released for free the same day. The press release-

"One of the major clans of the lands of Kyushu, the Otomo were among the first to make contact with the Europeans – regularly trading with the Portuguese, and eventually converting to the Christian faith.

As pioneers of gunpowder in Japan, the Otomo bring that renowned expertise to the battlefield. The Otomo introduce four new land units and a new naval unit. Leased land (one building slot per city) provides a core injection of wealth if traded to the Portuguese, and a new building subchain brings the Hospital, Jesuit Seminary and Jesuit College to your campaign to provide major bonuses to the spread of Christianity.

Here’s a full breakdown of what’s included in the DLC:

Clan trait: Master gunners

Can recruit cheaper gunpowder units (-10%)
Missionary actions are cheaper (-15%)
Improved conversion to clan religion (+2)
Faster import of Matchlock Ashigaru units (-3)



New land units

Portugese Tercos (Foot, Ranged, Melee)
Otomo Donderbuss Cavalry (Mounted, Ranged)
Otomo Matchlock Ashigaru (Foot, Ranged)
Otomo Matchlock Samurai (Foot, Ranged, Melee)



New naval unit

Otomo Matchlock Kobaya (Enhanced accuracy and reload speed)



New buildings – Otomo only

Leased land – can be traded to the Portuguese, one building slot per city.
Chapel building subchain replaces the following subchain:



Mission -> Church -> Cathedral

with

Hospital -> Jesuit Seminary -> Jesuit College

Stats for new buildings

Hospital
+5.5 Christian Conversion
+1.5 Christian Osmotic Conversion
+2 Replenishment
+1 Happiness (Christian)
+2% Growth
+5 Research
+1 turn Siege Time
Jesuit Seminary
+7.5 Christian Conversion
+1.5 Christian Osmotic Conversion
+4 Replenishment
+1 Happiness (Christian)
+2% Growth
+5 Research
+2 turns Siege Time
Jesuit College
+10 Christian Conversion
+1.5 Christian Osmotic Conversion
+8 Replenishment
+1 Happiness (Christian)
+2% Growth
+5 Research
+4 turns Siege Time
+3 Missionary experience level
Tech tree changes

The following alterations to the standard Shogun 2 tech tree apply to the Otomo clan:



Optimisation patch upgrades

The optimisation patch for Shogun 2 brings with it a host of key improvements that we’ve made to the core Shogun 2 experience since its release last year.
If you own Shogun 2 and Fall of the Samurai, this patch will reduce the hard-drive footprint of your install by 6.6gb (22.4%). If you just own one, you’ll still see an install size reduction.

A 20-40% reduction in initial load times, dependent on machine spec, graphics settings and OS.

A series of bugfixes and other optimisation tweaks.

The patch will deploy for all users, whether they purchase the DLC or not, at the same time the Otomo clan is released."
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