Josh Plays Shogun 2 Part 20:
Naval Warfare 101

  By Josh   Jan 16, 2013   66 comments
 

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Well well, here it is, finally back! You asked for it (over and over) and I’ve finally sat down to write another installment of Josh’s Valiant Quest to Conquer Japan (and steal their booze)!

I hope the wait wasn’t too unbearable for you guys, after all, it’s only been…

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…Eight months?!

Hah, uh… well I guess I let this fall to the wayside a wee bit there, eh?

If you’ll recall from the last post, the Mori – the most powerful clan on the map at the moment – not content merely to send massive fleets our way, have also dispatched a powerful force of highly-experienced samurai to attack our holdings in Yamato. Along with four generals for whatever reason.

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Now some of you have speculated that the reason I stopped writing these is because I lost this battle and the tides turned against me and I didn’t have the heart to continue. That I cut the series short, forever lingering on that cliff-hanger, because nobody actually wants to read a string of defeats as everything falls apart.

Which makes me feel really bad, because I totally destroyed that army. I mean, it wasn’t even close.

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Like, not even a little bit.

No, apparently I just got lazy. Or swamped with work, depending on whether you want to believe my admittedly-thin excuses. I suppose I did move out of my apartment to a new condo during the summer there (yay no neighbors above me!) which I suppose can legitimately excuse about half of the summer…

Eh, why am I trying to justify this? You’re here to read about Shogun 2.

Let me back up a bit, since I’m sure you want to actually see what happened during that climactic-battle-that-wasn’t.

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First of all, I moved my general, Oda Nobuyuki, along with my yari cavalry units, outside of the fort, meaning they’ll reinforce the castle during the assault rather than begin inside it. My hope was to use them to flank the attacking force and swiftly kill their many vulnerable general units.

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And that’s exactly what I do. Right off the bat, their cavalry moves to intercept mine, and despite being downhill and not as experienced as the enemy yari cavalry, one of their cavalry units was nearly wiped out in some prior battle this force had seen, and my two fresh units quickly make short work of them.

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The Mori force is divided into three groups, with some of their infantry, all of their archers, and most of their generals visible on the right. They also have a main group of infantry ready to scale the walls that’s not visible in this screenshot, on the opposite side of the castle. But to the left and in the distance you can see the general they deployed with their cavalry, who, for whatever reason, didn’t follow them into the charge. Now that he’s alone, he’s easy pickings for my own cavalry.

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At this point I looked away for a moment to manage the infantry battle taking place on the walls, which really wasn’t terribly exciting. Sure, they had experienced samurai, but most of their units were missing men and I had a lot more ashigaru on top of the walls, so the fight was more or less decided from the beginning.

Anyway, while I was distracted, Nobuyuki was caught by a stray yari samurai, which almost killed him. Fortunately I managed to disengage and retreat with him into the safety of the fort, but he was effectively a non-factor for the rest of the fight.

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With all the enemy spear units otherwise occupied, my cavalry are easily able to slip past the archer line and kill all three of the remaining Mori generals. This battle is over.

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Unfortunately, I get a little greedy while using my cavalry to force the remaining archers to rout. One of them gets caught at melee range by a yari samurai, and the other sustains heavy losses from the sheer number of bow ashigaru they’re engaging.

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In the end, I lose more cavalrymen than I probably should have. But the victory is nonetheless decisive.

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Autumn comes, and the Mori fleets loom ever closer. I dispatch my small fleet of three siege tower bune to the mouth of the Ise Bay. If they want to attack Owari or Mikawa from sea, they’ll have to fight my fleet. Whether or not my ships will be able to do anything to stop them is another matter…

In other news, Owari’s Nanban Quarter will be finished by the start of winter. When it is complete, we’ll have everything we need to start producing naban trade ships – European galleons.

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As expected, the Mori sail straight into Ise Bay, and directly into my fleet. Fortunately, they don’t have any particularly advanced ships, and much of the fleet is made up of light picket-ships, but they clearly have me outnumbered. Also, inexplicably, they’ve brought two trade ships with them. Not nanban trade ships, but simple Chinese junk-styled merchant vessels, that are nearly totally useless in combat. The AI in these games sometimes…

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So, welcome to Naval Battles. This is the second Total War game to do naval battles and they’re not much better than they were in Empire, which is a large part of the reason I’ve avoided them until now. They’re almost embarrassingly bad.

Like in Empire, ships feel very sluggish in responding to orders – if they respond at all and don’t decide to just spin around in circles. The pathfinding is, somehow, utterly broken in every conceivable way; an astounding feat, considering naval battles take place on a completely flat plane with almost no obstacles to path around. Ships often collide with the odd island or coastline instead of plotting safe courses around it, and will sometimes simply refuse to follow a movement order at all. And ordering multiple ships as a group is an exercise in complete absurdity as your ships turn into each other, crash, and get stuck together in a misaimed parody of naval battle maneuvers.

And just like in Empire, naval battles still take forever, so you can’t even expect a swift end to the pain!

Some of the ponderous pace is owed to the particulars of the historical setting. No matter where you went, pre-gunpowder naval warfare was almost always dominated by two tactics – ramming and boarding. And in Japan at this point in history, boarding was the typical mode of battle. Thus, ships were built up tall with large wooden superstructures, almost resembling small, mobile castles on the sea. In combat, ships would meet and attempt to board each other. They carried complements of archers, but hitting anything with a bow on a ship rolling with the waves is obviously a challenge.

While this may all sound interesting, in game, it translates to naval engagements that are extremely binary with little player interaction and an obfuscated morale system that oftentimes makes little sense.

These tactics did change significantly with the introduction of guns, allowing for stand-off battles at range with volley firing arquebuses, but most of the ships in this game represent earlier designs.

Fortunately, my fleet is composed of such advanced ships. Siege tower bune, as I mentioned in the previous post, are some of the few ships in the game that equip arquebusiers instead of archers, and they tend to be devastating in their effect. My hope is that my fewer, more well equipped ships can defeat the Mori’s more numerous, older ships.

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Attacking head-on against such a large fleet is suicide, and I don’t want to put myself into a position where their larger ships can board me, or this fight will be over quickly. Instead, I approach the fleet and turn away as my ships enter weapons range, trying to keep the enemy fleet as far away as possible. My hope is that I can lure a smaller number of their faster ships into combat ahead of their main formation. Isolate their larger force into smaller groups where they won’t have a numbers advantage.

Unfortunately, the AI is playing a very cautious game and refuses to commit any of its faster ships to a chase, and after several minutes of cat and mouse, little is accomplished.

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Eventually, however, I’m able to catch two of their sailing ships that have strayed a little too far ahead of the fleet, and I turn my siege towers into them. These ships are called “Sengoku Bune” which I’m pretty sure just translates to “Warring States Ship,” but they’re effectively large, fast, boarding-oriented vessels.

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I manage to rout one of the ships almost immediately, but the second manages to grapple with one of my siege towers. Fortunately, there is a reason these ships are called “siege towers.” They have a siege tower; specifically, one that their arquebusiers can fire from, which allows them to easily assist other ships that are being boarded by firing on the enemy melee troops mid-boarding action.

With my three siege towers all firing on the last sengoku bune, I manage to easily rout the attacking vessel. Unfortunately…

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Remember how I said that arrows were all but useless? Well, there’s one exception to that: fire arrow volleys. These are typically the domain of the smaller, faster bow kobayas, like the one you see above. As you can imagine, setting an opposing ship on fire when everything is built out of wood is a pretty big deal, especially on a ship with lots of gunpowder aboard. And after just one volley, my siege tower bune surrenders, and the entire crew jumps overboard.

Damn cowards.

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My luck more or less continues in this fashion. I manage to force the offending kobaya to retreat, but a second comes around the other side and routs another of my siege towers.

In desperation, I turn tail and run with my last siege tower bune, trying to keep the kobayas at maximum range, where I hope their volleys be least effective.

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I lead a good chase, weaving around a small island, but in the end, they’re just too fast.

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Well, I tried. You’ll also notice how strange the scoring system for naval battles is. Only ships that surrender during the battle are counted as truly “lost,” thus, I only lost one ship, despite the fact that my last ship was surrounded and had no chance of escape at the end. And the enemy lost a grand total of no ships, so that’s nice. You still lose the crew that were killed during the battle, but it’s not quite the same as taking an entire ship out of the picture.

Somehow, this is still a “valiant defeat.” I think the game is outright taunting me now.

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The Mori advance with their fleet and blockade Owari’s Nagoya seaport, but land no troops. If they do have an amphibious invasion on the way, it wasn’t being carried by this fleet. Unfortunately, the blockade has effectively cut off all of my trade income, and my economy has slowed to a crawl.

There is a silver lining to this: The Nanban Quarter is finally finished! I have enough saved up to commission a few galleons, though it will take three more turns before my first is finished. With any luck, I can hold the Mori off that long.

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The Ikko-Ikki, if you’ll recall, are being wrecked by the Mori in the west, and they finally want to talk peace. I’m eager for any kind of buffer I can get in that region while I deal with things on the coast, so I readily accept.

Curiously, the Mori disengage their blockade of Nagoya and retreat by the start of spring. Given their complete naval superiority over me at the moment, it’s a bit puzzling. Still, I dispatch my remaining siege tower bune to guard the entrance to the bay again. It doesn’t take long for another Mori fleet to arrive.

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Hey, that’s… not the fleet I just fought. They’ve got quite a few heavier ships, most troubling of which is their cannon bune. It’s just about what it sounds like, a great big wooden raft with eight cannons on the deck, covered by a bunch of logs. With those cannons, it’s one of the most powerful ships in the entire game, and can destroy most ships before they even get into range. Even if you do manage to get into range though, cannon bune cannot be boarded. They’re a perfect counter to the entire Japanese ship tree.

Galleons though? A galleon can take ‘em.

There’s not much point in fighting this fleet with my siege towers, it’s doubtful I’ll even be able to get into range. I retreat. And, strangely, the enemy fleet does not follow. It doesn’t even try to blockade any of my ports.

This eerie calm continues into Autumn, when…

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Our very first European galleon is finally finished.

We’ve been on the defensive for too long. Let’s take the fight to the Mori!

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Two fleets totalling twenty ships against three siege tower bune and one galleon. Well that’s hardly a far fight.

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And there she is, gents, in all her glory. I think I shall name her “Cuftbert.”

I’m not really sure why.

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And there’s the enemy fleet. They’re not going to fool around; every ship in the fleet has set a course right for my galleon. But by the time they start moving, my cannons have already opened fire.

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Those fire arrows are still a threat, even to a European ship, so I’ve got my siege towers up in front to screen them. It works, and they get all bunched up in a massive brawl, leaving my galleon free to maneuver. The larger ships soon join the brawl, but under the thunder of our cannons, they’re already dropping like flies.

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The battle’s barely started, and already half their ships have surrendered. Another minute, and the entire first wave is destroyed. And since Shogun 2 only allows ten ships per side, the rest…

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…arrive as reinforcements, in piecemeal.

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They never stood a chance.

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Two full Mori fleets completely devastated. By four ships.

I’d like more of this, please.


 
202020666 comments? This post wasn't even all that interesting.


  1. Patrick says:

    I go Christian in this game just to get those Nanban ships ASAP. Get them and you basically win control of the seas permanently, since the AI rarely builds them for some reason even fi they have a Nanban port (which they likely don’t).

    Of course, I like to go Christian because it allows you to control the flow of the game so very well, and make insane piles of cash. Realm Divided becomes so much less of a threat, and for some reason it seems much easier to befriend other Christian Daimyo even after Realm Divided than otherwise.

    Plus, I really dislike the Tokugawa Shoganate for its various and sundry persecutions, including of Christians.

    • Felblood says:

      Christian Daimyo are, obviously, less traditional, and inclined to support their brothers in the faith, so your public commitment to Christianity will help to outweigh their “loyalty” to the emperor and the shogun.

      • Patrick says:

        Well, I never could be certain it wasn’t just my imagination, since I don’t think there’s much of a comparable bonus for Buddhists. And it’s not as though keeping some friends is impossible after Realm Divided in any case.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Speaking of Christian, anyone tried the Otomo DLC pack yet? I heard they start Christian and with tons of bonuses.

  2. SougoXIII says:

    Is this real? *rubbed eyes* Oh god its not a dream! Welcome back, Nobunaga Cuftbert

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You werent kidding when you said that these things are overpowered.

    What Im interested in knowing:Were the european vessels really superior to the japanese ones in that period?

    • krellen says:

      Yes. Japan was essentially conquered by a handful of American Navy vessels in the 1800s.

      • Paul Spooner says:

        Though to be fair, it’s not that their ships were particularly worse than their other military hardware. It’s that Japanese military hardware in general was a hundred years behind “the times”. The Japanese technology base had generally stagnated for hundreds of years, their islands are not rich in iron, and the Americans were using top-of-the-line gadgets like exploding shells.

        On the other hand, given another hundred years to catch up they nearly conquered all of Asia. Except for the USA again. Those pushy Americans; When will they learn to stay out of other people’s business?

        • Deadpool says:

          That lack of iron was the real big deal. Unlike the Europeans, who used iron for EVERYTHING, the Japanese got used to making due with lighter materials… Land or sea, the Europeans wrecked the Japanese. Technology is a bitch like that.

  4. Wedge says:

    Yeah, I really hated the sea battles in the Sengoku-era game. Fall of the Samurai ship battles were a lot better on account of the ships being able to shoot at each other (imagine that!) but there’s still not much you can do in the way of tactics to affect the outcome–in FotS I generally try to have a material advantage on the sea and only engage when I have the upper hand. I still play out every battle, though, because if you auto-resolve your ships end up taking a lot more damage, and if I command the battle I can hold back ships that are already too damaged to fight.
    In the Sengoku campaign though? I try to ignore the existence of the ocean entirely. It doesn’t always work out.

  5. Alan says:

    Yay! I was quite enjoying these before!

  6. impassiveimperfect says:

    Cool.
    Cool, cool, cool.

    Curious, did you stop playing for a while, or have you been playing and taking screenshots, but not writing?

    And how will this impact the Spoiler Warning releases? Is it a heavy load to process The Walking Dead episodes, re-processing Fallout 3, on top of this?

    And are these going to be making a regular appearance again? Like once a week or something?

    And keep up the good work :)

    • McNutcase says:

      It’s my understanding that the workload on Josh for Fallout 3 reruns consists of “remember where files are located on computer, ask YouTube to slurp files, tell Shamus that files are on YouTube”, so that should be largely unaffected. The Walking Dead is fairly easy to process into episodes, and shouldn’t present huge difficulties. And 8 By Zombies is going to take forever no matter what.

      • impassiveimperfect says:

        I missed it the first time, but what’s with the recurring joke that it’s never going to see the light of day?

        • Bryan says:

          During the Shogun 2 livestream before 2012’s Aunty Paladin run, Josh tried to fire up whatever Adobe program it is that he uses to edit the videos, and load the 8 By Zombies stuff in. His machine promptly caught fire, or at least that’s what it looked like on livestream. Might have been related to excessive hard drive usage though (especially if fraps was on the same disk as the Adobe source files were, which I don’t know but would make sense).

          Unfortunately the combination of the Aunty Paladin videos and the New Year’s Eve livestream archive have knocked that particular video off the list. Or at least that’s what it looks like, since there are a total of 100 videos left, and the hundredth one is the last segment of that Shogun 2 session. It looks like it’s just gone. :-(

  7. James says:

    there’s also a special Galleon, a Portuguese trade/pirate ship, its essentially a bigger nastier galleon, a fleet of 2-3 Galleon.s is enough to hold ALL the seas, they are very very very broken

  8. Blake says:

    Very nice!
    Please do not leave us waiting another 8 months for the next installment.

  9. GM says:

    Yay. Great to see this again :)

  10. Oh my gosh! It’s back!

    And you steamrolled the army! 0_o What is it with you and dumb luck?

  11. rrgg says:

    I remember the naval battles in Empire, they were pretty much just like the rest of the game: Extremely pretty and awesome to watch, but falling flat on their face when it came to actual gameplay. Basically the most complexity my tactics got into was selecting all of my ships, hitting the bow-to-stern line formation, and then snaking them in circles around the enemy fleet until something died.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      So… pretty much like they did it in real life?

      Am I the only person who liked commanding a ship of the line in this series?

      • KremlinLaptop says:

        This is the thing! That’s how it was in real-life, pretty much. It’s sort of silly but true that despite everything what most naval battles came down to was who had the biggest cannons and best accuracy at range. Even then more often than not they would come up close, fire broadsides, do a bit of boarding…

        And the tactics on a whole? A complete mess.

        Of course there were some gambits and plays of strategic brilliance in naval battles but a lot of these were very situational.

        • Sabrdance (Matthew H) says:

          If you’re willing to put the effort into it, there are some interesting tactics you can try. You can use smaller, faster ships, and park yourself in the stern of a larger ship, rake it with grapeshot and then board -I only get it to work about a third of the time. Or you can try breaking a line -that one I can get to work pretty routinely. I have not, however, managed to cross the T. Invariably, the other fleet has enough time to perform a J-Turn, so I never get the concentrated fire on the lead ship that I’d like.

          But there is something decidedly exciting about passing two lines of battle and trying to time your broadsides for maximum effect.

          • Nawyria says:

            I’ve actually found there is a lot to be gained from properly managing your ships. My fleets are often a 50/50 mix of the heaviest ships (4th rate and above with 400 range) and some lighter ships (5th rate and below with 500 range). I usually line each category up bow-to-stern and then put them next to each other so that the lighter ships can fire in between the gaps of the heavier ships, then stick them all into the same control group. This increases the density of fire your fleets can put out, decreases fleet upkeep costs and allows you to retain some faster ships to more quickly pick off stragglers or intercept enemy ships targeting, say, a merchantman.

            What this also allows you to do, with a bit of management, is to use your faster ships to cut through the enemy lines and freeze it. Take your 5th rates and put each in between two ships in the enemy line-of-battle with one of its broadsides pointing towards a stern and its other broadside pointing towards the bow of the ship behind it.
            This will more often than not freeze the enemy line and allow you to pick off the ships at the front of their line, which then allows you to cross the T on the rest of the fleet. I’ve won many a battle with 3 fourth rates and 3 fifth rates against entire fleets of galleons and fourth rates this way.

          • guy says:

            The biggest problem I have with it is that the controls are absolutely terrible. Sure, the naval tactics were pretty simple, but I keep losing battles I shouldn’t because I couldn’t even get my ships to carry them out.

            The big problem seems to be that I can’t get the ships to move to a location+orientation, which is a huge problem when broadsides are king. Also, the boarding controls+sim seem to be broken. Once the ship begins trying to board, it stops shooting so you can’t sweep the enemy decks with grapeshot. I mean, I guess that the loaders and such come up on deck to assist the marines, but the defending ship gets to shoot until the boarding actually starts, so if the gun crews are important to the fighting they should get overrun. Oh, and it really seems like you should be able to board enemy ships from both sides at once.

            So basically maneuvering to bring broadsides to bear has bad controls and boarding doesn’t work right, and that’s the entirety of Age Of Sail naval combat. I’d probably like it a lot more if I could actually wrangle my ships into a proper line of battle.

            Rome 2 is supposed to also have naval combat, and hopefully it’ll work better. Firstly, they’ll be purely oar-powered (galleys did have sails but they weren’t used in combat) and secondly they’ll apparently simulate boarding better, including using transported units as marines. The Romans had some pretty impressive innovations for naval warfare springing from the realization that they were much better at land warfare and should make naval combat as much about boarding as possible. Oh, and thirdly there will be amphibious assaults of some kind.

    • meyerkev says:

      I must admit that my strategy in my one finished E:TW playthrough for my navy was this.

      1) Don’t build anything.
      2) Get 2nd rate ships shockingly early.
      3) Build massive fleets of them.
      4) Lose a grand total of 3 ships the entire game, and basically pay for my naval upkeep off prizes.

      A 4th rate ship or lower was more or less toast in 1 volley (to the point where I once took 2 ships up against 20 and won), and even a 1st rate wasn’t actually going to sink my ship before my 3 other ships behind my ship showed up and ganked it.

      /Only thing that was really a threat were galleys and that one mortar ship. I could sink them in a single volley, but getting there would always, always require casualties.
      //Also, getting in close was always a pain, since I could either shoot at the enemy or move towards the enemy, but not both. I never quite got the hang of naval tactics.

      • Nawyria says:

        If playing Spain:
        – Build tons of Galleons
        – Tech to 5th rates for long-range support to cut through the lines.
        – Tech to Fire-By-Rank and never lose a land battle.
        – Tech to 2nd rates and never lose a sea battle.

        If not playing as Spain:
        – Go to war with Spain and put a 6th rate just outside every port they have. Wait until they attack you with Galleons, kite them forever with chain shot until their masts are broken and then sit at maximum range until they surrender. Proceed to capture ship and use it to destroy everything else.
        – Tech to 5th rates for long-range support to cut through the lines.
        – Tech to Fire-By-Rank and never lose a land battle.
        – Tech to 2nd rates and never lose a sea battle.

        • Cannibalguppy says:

          And when you got percussion shells you stopped loosing units at all since you decimated the entire enemy army every time with Mortars and riflemen. Loved Empire total war so much, best total war game except for Rome.

    • Ateius says:

      I enjoyed – really, really enjoyed – the naval battles in Empire, but only when they were small fights, maybe three or four ships per side. Lots of room to maneuver, every shot counts, and man is it ever beautiful to watch. So much detail.

      Anything bigger, though, and it gets unwieldy to control, the flow of the battle seems completely divorced from your attempts to guide it, and it takes absolutely bloody ages for twenty ships to pound each other into kindling.

  12. Coblen says:

    Oh I’m so excited that this is back.

    I would wait a whole nother 8 months if I had too.

  13. Jarenth says:

    Wait, what’s this whole “only ten ships per side” nonsense?

    And how can a giant raft with cannons not be boarded? Does it not have people on-board? Is it automated?

    Is it robot raft?

    • SougoXIII says:

      Man, Japan was in to robots even back in the days. No wonder why they’re so obsessed with them now.

    • Neruz says:

      I can’t speak for realism but the reason (i would guess) that Cannon Bune are immune to boarding is because they’re armoured like a turtle: http://i46.tinypic.com/11u8c34.jpg

      You could board them if you managed to get a grappling hook to attach to anything, but your boarders would basically be stuck just wandering around on top of that wood\metal shell unable to really do anything useful.

      • Fleaman says:

        Actually, that turtle shell seems like a super good idea when half of your losses still come from boarding. I wonder why the West never did that?

        • guy says:

          At a guess, the West went all-in on sails before they had cannons, so at any point in time a Turtle Ship would either be sturdy defensively but have difficulty attacking or be easily outmaneuvered.

          I think they used the general principle for more-or-less floating forts sometimes, but I might be wrong.

        • Grudgeal says:

          The seas of Japan’s coastline are a lot calmer than the open Atlantic and (to a lesser extent) the Mediterranean, and a lot smaller. If you want to sea voyage across Europe in reasonable time, you need large sails and the rigging to to climb up and down the masts quickly. In addition, putting armour on top makes the ship heavier on top, which makes it sink faster due to unbalancing (for western examples, see the HMS Royal George, or the Vasa) or ramming (like in ancient greek warfare).

          That ship right there, by the way, looks like a Kobukson. Which was a Korean invention used *against* the Japanese during their 1590s invasion of Korea (which, sadly, you can’t recreate in either Shogun: Total War). The Kobukson was entirely intended as a shallow-water defense ship, and couldn’t go into deep water.

          And to answer the original question: The Kobukson was designed to counter Japanese naval tactics. It had cannons that outranged Japanese muskets and arrows, it was made of hard wood that didn’t easily catch fire, and it had iron nails sticking out of its roof. You *could* try to board it, but it would be a pain.

      • Cannibalguppy says:

        Are you high? Tt 1080p you jsut need a cheapo 650ti.. At 5760*1200 you need a 690. If you play at this resolution you wont worry about that GPU price when you run 3 high quality screens. This game is not heavy on the hardware to be honest when i could run it at Medium with 2*msaa with my old gaming pc(had a 9800gtx+ gpu. 6 years old ftw).

  14. Ed says:

    Hooray! Missed this article!

  15. Chris says:

    It returns – what a welcome surprise when i checked my news feed and saw Shogun, never doubted your ability to crush the AI.

  16. Z says:

    Yay! The conquest of Japan is back on track! Today Japan, tomorrow the world!

    Thanks Josh!

  17. Spammy says:

    If you thought the sea battles in Total War were bad, just try playing the sea battles in proto-Empire, Imperial Glory. The maps are small so your ships will be going out of bounds constantly. You have to micromanage the angle of your cannon fire, for several ships at a time, one at a time, in real time. It’s a major pain in the rear. Ships won’t hold a formation. Oh, and I got a wonderful bug where if I paused the battle my cursor would disappear.

    Yeah no I just mashed auto-resolve after the first three attempts to naval battle.

  18. Deadyawn says:

    Huh, I actually forgot about this. Glad it’s back though, its a pretty good read.

  19. 4th Dimension says:

    About the path finding.
    Nothing new, Total War has ALWAYS sucked when it came to path finding. Remember how units behave when there is a rock in their way? Slam into it at full speed and than SCRAPE around it. The only reason you could use units in cities is because they probably put way points in them and even than moving units without breaking cohesion through ordered Roman cities was a nightmare.

  20. BarGamer says:

    Welcome back, Shogun 2!

  21. Daimbert says:

    I had just been looking at the “Let’s Play” page and noted that I missed the new updates of this, and here there is one. Nice to see it back.

    And I can relate to your shock at discovering that it had been eight months since the last one. I started a project on my blog to comment on the essays in various “Philosophy in Popular Culture” books, and got stuck on one, and started it up again in December and was surprised to discover that it had been six months since the last time I actually put one up. Time really does fly.

  22. Abnaxis says:

    And the other thing that sucks about naval battles? You can’t auto-resolve them. Or rather you can, but the engine greatly, greatly undervalues the galleon, so that even if you have an unstoppable fleet of three galleons, you will always lose at least one if you auto.

    Though, I suppose you can use this to your advantage if you’re trying to catch the Black ship. I usually send in a suicide fleet to soften it with auto-resolve and then catch it later with a secondary fleet

  23. Galad says:

    Huh, so, legendary difficulty, as with many, many other games, is just the same dumb AI with (from our, human point of view) some unfair advantages. Whatever happened to good AI, like in say, Half-life the first?..(I’m not too familiar with strategy games to give a more appropriate example)

    Anyway, it’s good to see more of this series and of the Cuftbert ^^

    • Deoxy says:

      I was just reading the post on Zombie Plan (playing catchup on posts), and this issue right here is what I proposed for dealing with zombies – the zombie “AI” is horrible and tremendously abusable, enabling huge, repeatable multi-kills with simple and easily available materials.

  24. Thank you. I really enjoy this series.

    Glad you are back.

  25. Bubble181 says:

    Hurray! More Shogun!

    It’s funny that I was considering buyign a new pc around the time this came out, because this plays quite sluggishly on my pc, Skyrim and Witcher 2 don’t actually work at all, and so on – yet I still haven’t bought a new computer, I’m still playing new games, and i still have such a huge backlog that I haven’t gotten around to anything I can’t play. Hmmm.

    Also, the problems in naval battles? Pretty realistic, unfortunately. Once battle was joined, it was next-to-impossible to reliably issue commands to other ships; sail ships in the era really were sluggish, slow, and obnoxious. Naval manoeuvres are all well and good, but in a combat situation, they very often *did* horribly fail.

    We tend to think of all sailing combat as similar to that of the era of Napoleon (and, really, the movie version of…); 200 years earlier it was slower, more imprecise, etc.

  26. Ravens Cry says:

    Wow, it has indeed been a long time. Welcome back. Hopefully the next update will be sooner.

  27. Eltanin says:

    I’m very glad that this series is back. I enjoy it very much. Thanks Josh!

  28. Bob says:

    This was just a one off or is this the end of the series? It seems like the game hasn’t ended just yet…

  29. Kimagure says:

    And now… it’s been 13 months…

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