Josh Plays Shogun 2 Part 19: Holding it Together

By Josh Posted Saturday May 12, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 45 comments


Yes, it’s finally back! After gathering vital intelligence at PAX and fighting off the vile ninja minions of Rutskarn, Oda Nobunaga has finally returned to conquer Japan! Now let’s see, where were we? Oh yes, we fought some siege battles, had half of Japan declare war on us (including the largest and most powerful clan in the entire country, the sea-ruling Mori) and extended our domain to the doorstep of Kyoto and the ruling Ashikaga Shogunate.


Oh yeah, and we converted to Christianity so we could crash our entire economy and insult every other clan on the island for the slim chance that we can build some European-style galleons to stop the inevitable Mori naval invasion before it happens.

If our own citizens don’t get us first.

Let’s take a look at one of our individual provinces so I can better explain how this whole religion conversion process works.


Here we can see a complete breakdown of our capital, Owari, from its food production to income. Notably, you can see that the old Shinto-Buddhist religion is declining in favor of Christianity at a rate of about 3.1% per turn. This is more or less consistent with the conversion rate across the entire clan. The “zeal” it mentions (“Christian vs. Buddhist zeal: +4.0”), is â€" I think â€" supposed to increase the rate at which people in that province convert, but I’m not sure it’s ever worked right. Or if it does, it doesn’t increase the rate very much, since Owari has a Naban port and thus a fairly high zeal modifier.

But Owari’s had a number of turns to convert to Christianity â€" people have been converting ever since we finished the port – and isn’t in any serious danger of revolt.

Let’s have a look over at neighboring Mikawa to get a better idea of how bad things are going to get.


With only a season since our conversion to Christianity, only 2.8% of the population has converted here. Additionally, you can see how mad the Buddhists are already getting. If you look at the Public Order section in the center, you can see one icon in the negatives bar of two hands clasped in prayer. This represents people in the province that are unhappy because the clan religion differs from their own. You can also see that another point of that unhappiness is predicted next turn. This is a problem, since Mikawa is only barely under our control: the positive side, repression â€" is currently equal to the negative side. If unhappiness overtakes repression, the province will be in danger of revolt.

It will actually take a bit longer for this to become a problem for Mikawa, since upgrades to the province’s castle will be finished next turn which will increase repression. Additionally, if things get really bad, I can exempt the province from taxation altogether, which will greatly reduce unhappiness, but of course, cost me all of the income I’d get from taxing the province.

And things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, too. When the dominant religion in a province is not the clan religion, religions unhappiness will increase quite quickly. When it’s as dominant as it is in most of our provinces, it increases at a rate of one point per turn. This isn’t an “if” it’s a “when”. Very soon, I will have to exempt most of my provinces from taxation, and then we’ll have to see just how robust our economy is.



Funny story behind this one. Last turn I requested trade with this clan. They accepted. This turn, they broke the trade agreement. And now at the end of the turn, they’ve declared war on me. Swell. Fortunately, they control only two provinces and are hardly a threat.


Hey, remember that son I used as a hostage bargain to get the Date to ally with me? The one I said would never come of age in time to do anything useful? Yeah well… I’m a terrible dad.


The Ikko Ikki seem to be diverting their forces in an attempt to counter-attack our recent offensive into the region around the capital. The large army to the northeast could be an ominous sign â€" I literally can’t take a single new province without triggering realm divide now, so there’s no easy way to close the defensive hole that Omi represents, and Nobuyuki could be in trouble without assistance if that army heads south. Rather than let them destroy my army in small pieces, I’ve abandoned my garrison in Iga and pulled Nobuyuki back towards Yamato.


I’ve also begun to recruit Christian missionaries at the churches I’ve been building. Missionaries are the Christian counterpart to Monks and perform the same functions â€" they spread their religion to any province they’re in, as well as increase the conversion zeal (whatever that does) and slightly increase the happiness of local citizens. They can also demoralize armies, cause other characters to rethink their chosen path in life, and most devastatingly, incite religious rebellions in neighboring provinces. Although that’s a little hard to do if there aren’t any Christians in a province, isn’t it?

For now they’ll be sticking around my provinces, increasing happiness and helping to convert the rest of the clan to Christianity.


Huh, that big Ikko Ikki army turned east instead and marched right towards Owari…


And if you’re wondering what they’re going to do to a castle with all of that cavalry, then… so am I. That kind of army would be deadly on an open field – like, say, chasing down Nobuyuki and his army while he regroups. Naturally then, the logical course of action is to attack the heavily fortified Oda capital with it instead.


Most of the enemy army focuses on fording the river on one side of the castle, which gives my matchlock ashigaru plenty of time to shoot up the advancing enemy infantry.


A contingent also attempts to climb the adjacent wall, but one of the fun things you can do with ninjas on defense is put them on a wall and order them to throw their bombs down on the enemy as they try to climb.

shogun19-11	thumb.jpg

Between my ninjas, matchlocks, and spearmen, most of the enemy infantry is crushed. But look out! Here comes the cavalry.


The… dismounted, low morale, badly trained cavalry that’s climbing the walls while my matchlocks shoot their general. So I guess the answer to the question about what the cavalry will do is, “Not a whole damn lot.”


As the last enemy units flee, I send Nobunaga outside and have him scare off all the horses â€" just for fun. Look at them all scatter!


You know, close victories happen too often in this game. If that wasn’t a decisive victory, I don’t know what is.


Ambush! No, that’s not me being ambushed, that’s me ambushing an enemy by accident. You can hide your armies in forests on the strategic map just like you can hide your units in forests in battle. If any enemy army walks too close, you get the opportunity to ambush them, which gives you a huge deployment area on the battle map and generally leaves them deployed in a very disorganized fashion.

Thing is, I’m much too proactive and aggressive as a general to ever actually just leave my armies in forests and wait for some unsuspecting enemy army to wander by, so I’ve only ever fought one or two of these before and don’t really know exactly what to expect. Plus, this guy has a lot of swordsmen and I could easily find myself getting chewed up by them, so I’m just going to decline to attack and let them wander by without revealing myself.


Bringing the garrison from Yamato to help allows for an easy, auto-resolve win anyhow.


After finishing off the last remnants of the Ikko-Ikki army that attacked him last turn, Oda Nobunaga has leveled up to rank three. Just one more level and he can get Stand and Fight and win at everything.


Our economy is already starting to feel the effects of all of this religious unrest. Fortunately, we’ve finally made contact with the very last clan we hadn’t yet met before. And they also happen to be the one and only other clan in the entire nation that’s converted to Christianity. Considering they’re right in the middle of Mori territory, that they’ve survived this long is a feat in itself. They’re eager to trade, which should help to alleviate some of our tax problems.


Since Taneyori decided to make me look bad and come of age in time to do something useful, I decided to send him after another small Ikko-Ikki army trying to sneak through the forests north of Owari.


He somehow manages to lose more men than the enemy while forcing them to retreat.


The Honma â€" the clan that accepted and then canceled a trade agreement with me over the period of a single turn back at the beginning of this post â€" have also decided to make their bid at attacking us, bringing a force consisting of… mostly archers to attack our northeastern border. The results are predictable, and Takayama Tadamoto wastes little time cutting down the entire thousand-man force.


I’ve been watching Mori fleets pass by our trade route with the Sagara and Chosokabe clans to the west since we formed them, and now they seem to be heading in our direction. We’re still upgrading our port to a full Nanban Quarter â€" the only port large enough to construct galleons â€" and I doubt we’ll finish it in time to stop their initial offensive.


There is one other ship I can build that might give the Mori pause â€" the Siege Tower Bune. These aren’t particularly large ships, but they have tall towers built atop their decks where arquebusiers can rain down fire on approaching enemy ships. This is extremely advantageous, as most other ships in the game are manned with archers and not gunmen, and arquebuses can deal a lot of damage to other ships, even to the point of inflicting serious damage to their wooden hulls. The few I can build in the time I have left probably won’t be enough to halt the Mori navy, but they might be able to slow them down.


But at this point, that might be the least of my worries. The Mori have expanded so far eastward that they’ve actually made it to Kyoto with one of their more experienced armies.


They waste very little time taking the lightly defended Ikko-Ikki provinces, and continue directly towards Yamato. I never expected this would happen, but it looks like our first encounter with the Mori is actually going to be over land, not sea.


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45 thoughts on “Josh Plays Shogun 2 Part 19: Holding it Together

  1. Airsoft says:

    Ohh very nice, and surprising, didn’t expect the Mori to reach you so fast by land. I predict either you fall under the combined pressure of the Mori forces and your weak economy, or you hold of their land forces, have galleons in time, and destroy their fleets, leaving them weak when you want to trigger realm divide.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yay,daddy Josh is back!Lets hope there will be no more interruptions in this series.

    Are you going to go through the expansion once this is done?

  3. Moewicus says:

    For my part, I predict Josh will either succeed, or he won’t.

    Games are tricky that way.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      But the question is:If he doesnt,will he commit sudoku?

      1. Grudgeal says:

        One should hope not.

        It’s always a right bastard filling in those three-slot gaps. He might even get too busy to do Spoiler Warning.

      2. anaphysik says:

        will he commit sudoku?

        I don’t think Oda Reginald has the patience to figure out a sudoku, but should he choose to commit seppuku, I assume he’d do it Cuftbert-style: toss some explosives on the ground and watch the giblets and ragdolls fly!

        1. Zombie says:

          Sudoku is just as bad as seppuku, if not worse. I mean, Sudoku has numbers! Seppuku only has sharp, pointy objects.

          Also, that totally should have been a feature in this game if you lost a battle bad enough.

          1. some random dood says:

            “…totally should have been a feature in this game if you lost a battle bad enough.” What? Perform a number puzzle? I thought there were enough of those looking at the after-battle stats!

            1. Dragomok says:

              There are never enough number puzzles.


      3. evileeyore says:

        Were he truly honorable he’d commit haiku first.

        1. Zombie says:

          He killed everyone
          With a bloody Katana
          It was all good fun

  4. JPH says:

    Rutskarn’s evil ninja minions suck. Totally weaksauce.

    He got the carryovers from Shredder in the second Ninja Turtles movie, so they just stand around and dance during fights.

    1. Dragomok says:

      Of course they dance. If you’re a diva of such renown, your minions absolutely need to be able to perform daring choreographic maneuvers while you sing your undead, rotten heart out.

    2. Destrustor says:

      Maybe, but just wait until his training finally allows them to master the art of the DolphinLover voice. They will be unstoppable.

  5. Dasick says:

    You’re a master at building suspense. I’m almost persuaded that you might lose… but then I remember – you’re Josh Viel, editroll extraordinaire. I’m sure there are AI quirks to exploit, long-term plans to cash in and gameplay mechanics that will turn the tide in your favour.

    1. Irridium says:

      Also pure, dumb luck.

  6. Jarenth says:

    Land battle?



    1. dovius says:

      You seem inordinately excited by the prospect of the same type of warfare we’ve had the pleasure of seeing Josh slaughter and defeat for the last 18 posts.
      Then again, the rest of the game could replace all the soldiers with gardeners and anthropomorphic cucumbers, and Josh could still make it sound awesome.

      1. AnZsDad says:

        Total War: VeggieTales?

        1. Jarenth says:

          That sounds pretty awesome even without Josh to chaos everything up.

        2. some random dood says:

          Plants Vs Samurai?

          1. Dragomok says:

            This sounds just like a perfect title for a vegetarian sushi-making simulator.

        3. rayen says:

          now i want to see larry the cucumber and bob the tomato lead a spear charge.

    2. krellen says:

      Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

      1. dovius says:

        I’d still take Asia over Australia.
        In Asia, you’ll be heavily bogged down and have to face guerrilla warfare by people experienced with fighting in the jungle.
        In Australia, the army’ll just stand back and laugh their asses off as nature itself grows a sudden, deep-seated hatred for you.

        1. Zombie says:

          Then they unleash the Kangaroos!

          1. ZzzzSleep says:

            Watch out for their rocket launchers!

        2. Annie Moose says:

          I’m fairly certain fighting any war at any time in Australia is stupider even than attacking Russia in the winter.

          1. Zombie says:

            Well, neither country really has anything anyone would want, unless, I dont know, trillions of gallons of oil were found. Both are really inhospitable places.

            But, if we believe Sliders, if we hadn’t gone to Vietnam, we would have been fighting the Outback Cong to protect South Austrialia. I love that show. Shame about the last two seasons. :(

      2. JPH says:

        Yes. I’ve learned this the hard way, several times. The extra 7 soldiers per turn looks enticing but you can never hold it.

        Go for North America, or South America & Africa.

      3. Welllll, technic’ly, Japan is an island off the coast of Asia, not part of Asia proper. So unless some Sicilian ninja comes along with some iocaine powder, it’s all good.

  7. Zombie says:

    So what’s the chance of us getting a Fall of the Samurai play through after Josh wins or loses this one? I have complete faith in Josh not to lose either.

    Also, even in Fall of the Samurai, the other clans LOVE to bring spear infantry and lots of cavalry to castle sieges. It would be fine if all my infantry wasn’t either Line, Imperial/Shogunate, or Foreign with sharpshooters and the factions special infantry intermixed, with Musket/Gatling gun towers. I end most sieges with next to no loses, and only a handful if the other guy brings rifles, and then have a amazing set up for an invasion. And, Trains are awesome for getting soldiers from your cites really far behind your line to the front lines, almost to the point where it becomes vital to have railroad lines. That feature alone makes me think we’re going to get a Total War: Great War in the near future. That or we’ll get Rome 2. Eithers fine by me.

    1. Bubble181 says:

      Rise > Fall.

      I’m betting on Rome 2 first, and something newer afterwards. They *said* they’d never do a TW later than the Industrial Revolution, but Napoleon and Empire were *both* later..Than they said they’d never move to t he 20th century, but I’d say FotS has proven people (not me though) do want more modern TW….So yeah, some early-20th-century version’ll be coming soon enough. Great War, with possible DLC/expansions with the Crimean War or US Civil War, the Russian-Japanese war,… plenty to choose from.

      As long as they never make a flippin’ WWII version. Ewww.

      1. Zombie says:

        Seconded on ewww for a TW:WW2. First, everyone would be on their backs complaining about how “You didnt put this unit in the game!” or “Thats not a real unit!”. Also, Carrier battles would not be a good jump for them. Naval battles are already pretty bad, carrier battles would not be a good thing. And how would they deal with airplanes or air raids?

        Also, rises are usually better than falls. Unless your on a rollercoster. And the first Industrial revolution was from the 1750s to the 1850s. So they kind of kept that.

  8. Paul Spooner says:

    Glad to have you back!
    Typo: “way to close close the defensive”
    Welcome to Christianity. Everyone hates you.

  9. X2Eliah says:

    Hm. “Stand and fight lets you win at everything”? Is that literally an option that makes that unit invincible? And if it is, can’t you just win the game slowly by using that unit all the time?

    1. Merzendi says:

      It’s not that broken, but it does provide a massive morale and melee defence bonus to all units within your generals aura, which is expanded. The only downside is that you general has to be on foot and can’t move while you do it.

      1. rayen says:

        well considering joshs strategy up to this point has been put “general at back of army, make spear wall, let enemy charge spear wall” it fits for him so well he’ll use it to break the game.

  10. Grudgeal says:

    Incidentally, this playthrough has currently led to another little piece of historical irony; while we still have an Oda/Mori war, it’s the Mori being top dog and invading Kansai instead of the Oda being top dog and invading Chugoku.

    Hopefully, some manner of Hideyoshi will show up to help you repel this one.

  11. Darkness says:

    Does anybody know when the next installment is coming? Josh is adding to my list of reasons I might have to put a windows system together. The entire rest of the list are games of course. And virus protection.

  12. Ed Blair says:

    Next episode please!!!

  13. Kimagure says:

    Is there any information, at all, about what happened to this? Is it dead or is it ever going to come back?

    1. Destrustor says:

      Yeah I miss this too. I’d like to at least know if this has truly been abandoned or if there are shenanigans interfering with it. Letting me put my hopes up is cool, crushing them is fine too. But I just don’t like it when I have to let them stew in uncertainty like this.

  14. siliconscout says:

    I really hope this one isn’t dead. I just re-read the last 3 or 4 because I thought it must have ended and I somehow missed it.

    Any word on this Shamus? Either way would be fine just to know would be good.


  15. Supahewok says:

    Eh, I’m betting he doesn’t have the relevant save files by now. Might have upgraded it and it didn’t carry over for whatever reason, or his computer went kerfuffle, or something. Shame, I loved this thing.

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