Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai

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Gus takes on Fall of the Samurai for your weekend entertainment ~

Lloyd Sabin, 22 January 2016

I love you, Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai. You are truly the pinnacle of the Total War series as far as AI wilyness, graphical atmosphere, and all around immersion. But oh…how I hate you as well, never having been able to beat you. I am the closest I have ever been right now, with the help of the Radious mod, which adds a giant rice bowl’s worth of features, including a tamping down of the dreaded Realm Divide event that occurs in the late game pitting whatever clans are left against the player.  I presently hold 10 of the required 14 domains needed for a Short Campaign victory by 1882…the year of my last turn is 1870. I am moving on Kyoto, with plans to take Musashi as my final move. The last time I played, a few years ago, I actually ran out of time while besieging Musashi and lost the campaign by samurai’s hair. Not again…not again!


Early in my campaign, capturing the island prefecture of Tsushima was one of my first victories. Looting was not yet on my mind – I didn’t want all of Japan turning against me so early in the campaign due to bad battlefield behavior.


Duel between two steamers. I have always loved the naval component of Fall of the Samurai more than any of the other Total War games. It has just enough realism combined with the excellent graphics to be almost perfect.



My first ironclad purchase, from America. Playing as the Saga, I have excellent trade relations with America, Great Britain and France, giving me a definite edge over other factions once my economy gains steam.



Defending what is mine. The Radious mod opens up dozens of special infantry types earlier in the game than usual, for all factions. This makes siege defense even more of a contest, with specialized troops slugging it out on both sides with both land and naval based artillery support. This early siege saw me rout the occupying force thanks to naval gunfire support.



The Tosa fall. One of the stronger early-game clans, taking out the Tosa was a multi-turn effort but really broke open the game. I would not be snuffed out and could concentrate on consolidating the rest of the ‘middle island’ territories.



Smaller clans dropping like flies, Japan is now evenly divided between Shogunate and Imperial blocs. This siege in Tamba turned out to be very decisive – I lost but the dominant Yodo clan suffered thousands of casualties trying to take that castle. In the meantime, I took three other territories from them. It was sort of like a Japanese Battle of Verdun, except it worked. Not a great moment for the strategic AI, but it is still pretty impressive in most other cases.



The campaign continues to go well as my clan’s renown grows, as does my clan’s influence. Kneel before me!



My restraint in looting provinces has weakened a lot – there’s a lot of koku to be made in the later game if the player is less than chivalrous. And who among us can resist sacking Obama? Take that, hippies.



I knew I felt different when I woke up this morning…my clan now ‘Acclaimed’ I don’t really have to worry about negative consequences to looting, etc. Me and the Emperor are close, and I do what I want! And my flush economy and modern military machine roll on. Looking good for a campaign victory, finally!


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