Samurai Swords AKA Shogun


  • 2007 AAR League

    Great game what i can remember.


  • 2007 AAR League

    So let’s talk Shogun strategy a second.  Besides discussing the Ninja, that is.  Who typically invests in fortifications?  Do you find them useful to your strategy?

    Personally, every time I have bought forts, I have lost.  Virtually every time I did not buy forts, I won.  Through experience, I have found the key to survival is mobility of your armies.  If one of your armies is stuck on a fort, it is a sitting duck, IMHO.  I can almost always kill an enemy army sitting in a fort by attacking with two armies against that one army (assuming I have two decent sized armies).  This is especially true after my armies reach level “2” and can move two territories a turn.  That is an AMAZING level of mobility when you consider you can attack from an adjacent territory.  It is the equivalent of moving 3 spaces in the combat phase in Axis & Allies.

    That’s it for forts.  Any thoughts on purchasing strategy?  I will hold back my thoughts as I want to hear other perspectives before sharing my own.  🙂



  • As I recall, (and it’s been AWHILE since I last played) I would build fortifications on turn 1, definitely. (Probably even on turn 2)  The location would of course be where my forces had their natural stronghold.

    As far as units, I would always make it a point to max out my imperial armies (the ones with the little ensign guy holding a flag) with bowmen.  Then, they would be prime for kicking a$$ with the whole first-strike ability.  Gunners are key too, for the same reason.

    And Ronin are also useful, because as I recall, you would purchase X amount, place them on one of your face-down territory cards, and reveal them when that territory is attacked.  X surprise swordsmen popping outta nowhere to slice n’ dice your enemies is nothing less than awesome.  (especially when you see the look on their face when you announce the Ronin coming out of hiding)  😉



  • … and sorry, but to reply to Gamer’s point, it is best, in my opinion, to keep your armies mobile.  The ONLY way for them to gain that experience is to get into combat, so just go for it!



  • Man…I haven’t played enough, or recently, for that matter, to really remember my strategies. 
    I would always try to set up my main armies in areas that they could converge on.  Mobility, I agree, is key.  Most of the time people spent a lot of effort trying to assassinate high level generals, so no one really took a clear lead.

    I happen to like fortifications.  I would place them on a port territory that I expected to be attacked to create a solid defense.  I would always prefer to spend money on my army, so it usually came at a crucial time or when I had some money to spare.

    I liked trying to take the island groups as a defense buffer, but attacking the main island could be a pain - but usually you have enough options to field some armies there anyway.


  • 2019 Moderator

    Wow, it’s been a long time, but I seem to remember everyone wanting to get forts early.  I need the refresher though, I am suposed to play this coming weekend…


  • 2007 AAR League

    For what it’s worth, I agree with Agent Orange about the ranged attack units (the archers and gunners).  They give you what Imperious Leader calls “preemptive fire” meaning their casualties don’t get a defense roll.  So I focus my early purchases on maxing out my archers, then my gunners.  I buy as many archers as I can, even dumping them in my provincial forces (since there is a limit to what you can add to your armies each round through purchases) and then soak them into my armies at the first opportunity.  Then, I converge at least two armies with 5+ archers and 5+ gunners total on an enemy army and just watch that army melt away!  (With or without a fort, I might add).  The small forts add only 4 spear chuckers (I forget their official name) and the big forts give you 5 Ronin swordsman.  But if they get no defense, who cares?

    The key to the game is killing armies.  The Ninja is one, very risky way to do it.  I prefer speed and overwhelming force.  Oh, and after I max out my range pieces, THEN I buy up the Ronin to add that extra punch to my attacks.  Again, sitting still is a recipe for getting killed.  The forts just don’t add enough defense, especially since the attacker gets to decide when he attacks (which will be before the defender can reinforce it if the attacker buys the sword!).  Keep those armies moving!



  • Spearmen are called ashigaru spears (gunners are called ashigaru rifles).

    Ashigaru = peasant, I believe.  Or something like that.  It denotes irregular military training, hence the lower rolls.



  • I think you’re right Jermo:  Ashigaru refers to something of a lower caste, whereas the swordsmen and bowmen are, of course, part of the Samurai class.


  • 2019 Moderator

    By the way, I didn’t win the game, but at least I wasn’t eliminated.  One thing I recomend is using the optiona rule that a winner can only be declared at the end of the round.


  • 2007 AAR League

    DF, great quote on the siggy!



  • @dezrtfish:

    By the way, I didn’t win the game, but at least I wasn’t eliminated.  One thing I recomend is using the optiona rule that a winner can only be declared at the end of the round.

    Apparently it’s been so long since I last played that I didn’t know that’s how the rules worked.  I would’ve figured (given that it’s an AH game) that it DID work that way.  😐



  • What are the winning conditions, anyway?  Is it when all but one player have lost their daimyo, or all territories are conquered by one person?



  • I’m pretty sure both conditions result in victory, but killing off the daimyos seemed to be the method of choice, because they’re just such a juicy target!


  • 2019 Moderator

    When 1 player reaches a certain number of territories they win, it’s kind of like the “magic 84” in Original A&A, except in the standard rules as soon as yo uget the required number games over.  also when you kill the last army of a player you get all his land.



  • It’s been way too long…I need to play it again.  Too much poker lately.


  • 2019 Moderator

    lol, I’d like to play more poker, but my body can’t take it.  Too much smoke and liquer…



  • @dezrtfish:

    lol, I’d like to play more poker, but my body can’t take it.  Too much smoke and liquer…

    I didn’t know you were a bottom.  Might want to look at being the “big blind” this time.


  • 2019 Moderator

    lol


  • Customizer

    I’m toying with the idea of creating a Wars of the Roses version of this to complement my Advanced Kingmaker, as I think the system can be adapted pretty well to this period and setting.

    Can’t find much info around on variants; IL’s files on BGG won’t load for me.

    The main difference would be a greater emphasis on killing off rival claimants, and less on “conquering” provinces - an anachronism in 15th century England, where landholdings were scattered in small manors.

    But overall the troop types match quite well:

    Daimo = Lord (I have 24 Lords; the Dukes and Earls from 1453-1461, divided between up to 8 players)
    Swordsman = Knight (1-4 in each Lord’s retinue(army))
    Bowman = Archers (1-4 per Lord)
    Spearman = Levy (1-8 in a retinue)
    Ronin = Mercenaries (recruited from abroad)
    Ninja = Murderer

    The gunners might be deleted, or perhaps replaced by artillery units, or the mercenaries may be ranged units (crossbows)

    Castle building is hardly relevant, as stone castles were almost obsolete, and could hardly be thown up in the space of a game turn, so perhaps each player starts with one home castle.

    Anyway I’ll get started on a map and see how it goes.

    I’ve heard somewhere about a game “Shogunmaker” which combines the two game t’other way round; I’d be interested if anyone has ever seen anything of this, but I believe it’s a home made game which turns up at conventions now and again.


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