The Let's Play Archive

Total War: Shogun 2 - Rise of the Samurai

by shalcar

Part 1: Introduction - Spring 1175

Initial Position - Spring of 1175

"We are the Taira, rightful rulers of Japan. The imperial blood fills our veins and thunders with our birthright. Taira diplomatic skill and martial prowess have placed us in a powerful position, the government of Japan in all but name. We will crush all opposition to our rule as we have before."

The clan we will be playing in this LP is the Fukuhara Taira, the current ruling family of Japan at the time of the Gempei War. The Fukuhara Taira have extensive lands and many vassals and approach warfare with a defensive mindset. Peasants are required to have a naginata to defend their lands and the proof of armour mastery is making armour for naginata troops. These mean that we can maintain our naginata troops much cheaper and all naginata troops have better armour than those of other clans. We have already mastered the art of Budo and Koryu, demonstrating our dedication to the art of defence.

"Taira lands sweep from Kii to Kyoto with lesser clans serving us on our eastern front, but those not of our blood should never be trusted. Our lands are fruitful, but poorly equipped for war, mighty armies should be raised to ensure Taira supremacy!"

Our starting position as the Fukuhara Taira is particularly properous, with ownership of Kyoto, Kii and Settsu. We also have loyal vassals in the form of the Watanabe in Yamato and the Sasaki in Omi. Years of being diplomatic masters has made us weak in the way of war, with only small armies to protect a fairly large empire. To the West are our sister clan, the Yashima Taira, so we have little to fear from that direction, but our vassals limit our expansion opportunities East, so our ideal expansion direction is North. We have a long way to go before we are conquering lands though, our armies are hardly sufficient to hold on to what we have!

"Our clan is currently ignored by the rest of Japan, this is a mistake that they will regret soon enough. We must move to swiftly expand and secure key provinces to ensure our long term stability and rightful ascendance. Not even Japan united will be able to stop us!"

This is the Clan Summary Screen. It shows our current global effects, fame throughout Japan, empire statistics, victory conditions, diplomatic summary and current missions. A purely informational screen, the most important piece to note is our clanwide fame. Once the bar for fame fills, we will be seen as a real threat to put our family in permanent power and as such all other clans of Japan will turn hostile towards us leading to war within a few turns of it being reached. This includes our sister clan the Yashima Taira, so we will need to be wary of not getting too large without being prepared to face Japans last onslaught.

"Our family is a noble one, respected by all. The 3 sons of our Lord are developing into fine warriors and wise scholars, each is devoted to the clan. We should move to secure wives as quickly as possible to ensure the Taira line continues."

This is our family tree, showing all current members of our family. Our current Daimyo is Taira Kiyomori, a highly honourable man as shown by the many pips to the right of his character frame. Beneath him are his 3 sons Munemori, Tomomori and Shigehira. Munemori, the eldest, is the heir of the family. Tomomori is the middle son and has been assigned as the commissioner for warfare. His administrative skill enables the clan to more cheaply recruit troops and enables the men under his command to perform feats of valour more often. The youngest child, Shigehira, is not yet a man and so has no formal rank nor bodyguards. For game purposes, he is untouchable until he comes of age. All of the children are exceptionally loyal to their father and clan as shown by the pips to the lower right of their cards. Underneath the family are any loyal generals, skilled men of dedication and exceptional intelligence, although we currently do not have the support of any such men. At the bottom are the controls where we can manage our commissions.

"Our Lord Taira Kiyomori is an elderly man, although he is still able to fight and commands respect from all men with his impeccable honour and ability to heed wise council. His wife is exceptionally prudent and ensures that the men and Kiyomori are provided with what they require but no more."

With a high honour value, settlements are happier and generals are more loyal, his prudent wide trait reduces upkeep of troops under his control, While this ensures that the clan fortunes go further, it does little to ensure the loyalty of the men although none would dare to openly question this arrangement. His age means he will most likely not see the end of this war and the burden will fall to his eldest son.

"Kiyomori is currently inspecting our western provinces and using this opportunity to brief our junsatsushi on our initial plans to secure our rightful lands. We must always be careful of enemies, even in our safest places."

Our Daimyo is currently located in Settsu overseeing the garrison and providing some needed happiness to the region. Note that the small structure at the bottom of the screenshot is a port, which can be attacked by hostile armies and damaged, after which it will need (usually costly!) repairs in order to regain its benefit. Farms and province specialty buildings also behave in a similar manner. These buildings are denoted by the smaller mon (flag) of the controlling clan.

"The eldest son, Munemori, has been given a force of our finest soldiers and charged with the protection of Kyoto and the surrounding vassals. He is valuable beyond measure to the clan and should be kept safe at all times until he can father a male child. His bodyguard are his most loyal and skillful friends who serve with utter devotion, he treats his men well and they love him for it."

Munemori is located near Kyoto and has a force of Naginata Attendants, Naginata Levy and Bow Levy. It's by far the strongest army we have, but in real terms it's miserable. It will need to be bolstered immediately with more troops with an eye to conquest in the future.

"Defending the sea and the southern reaches is Tomomori. His forces are large enough to ensure security of the region, but I fear he languishes down there and neglects his commission. Without battle to teach him how to command and manage men, his services will remain simply adequate. He has always been a hasty one, he wishes to ride to honourable battle at his brothers side, maybe fate will grant his wish."

Tomomori defends the Kii province with a token force of Naginata Levy and Bow Levy. He won't rank up down there without any fighting, so his ability in his commission will not improve. We are short on generals at the moment, so he will most likely be moved up to command a force once we have an army suitable for two commanders.

"Kiyomori has declared that Kyoto will be raised to be the jewel in the Taira crown, housing both the Emperor and become a bastion of Taira supremacy. Orders have been dispached to ensure the administrators understand the gravity of their task."

Unlike the Kyoto of other campaigns, this province is exceptionally undeveloped. Sporting only the standard buildings of a Town, Tadokoro, Dry Field Agriculture and Trails, the only thing setting Kyoto apart is the specialty building of the State Academy which improves research rate by a massive 20%. It has the potential to be exceptionally rich and is in a critical central location so it will need to be fortified for use as a staging area.

This is our first look at the town summary screen, which has several key items of information stored here. To the top left we can see what proportion of the peasants/province administrators support the major clans. As this is our territory that we have held for some time, we have the full support of the people. The top right shows the net food impact of this province, as you can see, Kyoto produces more food than it consumes, more on food later. Beneath that we have the happiness of the province and the detailed breakdown. On the positive bar you can see that the repression from our local castle is worth 4 happiness and our honourable daimyo is worth a further 1. The negative bar shows that our taxation rate is -4 happiness so our overall happiness is 1. To the lower left is the wealth breakdown of the province, with farming improvements providing 680 koku of wealth a season and the town economic activity worth 1500 koku a season. Farming and building wealth is static based on items built in the province, while wealth from the town grows or shrinks depending on the factors on the left window. Town buildings are currently adding 1 to growth and our 1 surplus food also adds 1 growth, but our tax rate retards growth by 2 a turn, leaving our town wealth static.

To the bottom of the wealth section, the total province wealth, tax rate and resultant income is listed. Tax rate is the effective tax rate, this will reduce as administrative overheads increase or increase as corruption and inefficiency are eliminated.

"Settsu houses the greatest dojos of naginatajutsu in our lands and provides us the majority of our skilled warriors. Currently we lack the facilities to field elite troops in appreciable numbers, only able to staff bodyguards. Production must be improved, although Settsu is a poor place to do so."

Not worth much, Settsu has our only Koryu Training Ground, allowing production of Naginata Attendants and with a Buddhist Temple, Bow Warrior Monks. The Coastal Village in the province is the only access we have to naval facilities, so sea trade needs to be nutured and defended here. The other buildings are a Town, Tadokoro, Fields and Trails. Sadly, it's location is fairly out of the way to get new troops to the front, so it's unlikely to see much love until other more valuable provinces are improved.

"Safe from most incursions and rich in fertile farmland, Kii will help feed the mighty armies and numberless peasants that the Taira require to ensure their destiny. Talk about shadowy secluded villages are rumors, nothing more."

Kii has the richest farmland of all of our provinces (and they are all pretty rich!) which earmarks it for priority improvement. In addition it contains an Isolated Hamlet which allows the recruitment of Monomi, agents who move with the shadows and strike as silent as death itself. Monomi are only available from provinces which contain this special building, making them very rare and powerful. The other buildings are a Town, Tadokoro, Fields and Trails.

"Much of Japan respects us for our unwavering honour and our many achievements. The Fujiwara and the Minamoto believe themselves great clans that can best us, but they are sadly mistaken!"

This is the diplomacy screen. From here we can see what people think of us through the map (darker green means they like us more, darker red means they hate us) and find out how they got that way. As you can see, most of Japan feels lukewarmly towards us, mainly due to the respect with which our Daimyo commands and with our vassals doing well. However, you can see two large patches of dark red over to the east. The closest one is the Minamoto clan, one of the other major families in the game, their fame is their powerful samurai, a newly emerging warrior caste. The easternmost red blob is the Fujiwara, whom are famous for their powerful and devoted monks. Both clans are opposed to us until the bitter end. To the west we can see a bright green blob, this is our Taira sister clan, the Yashima Taira. Our lands are indicated in white.

"A man must strive for perfection in all things, poetry, leadership and combat. We are skilled in the arts of koryu above all others, but perfection arises from the polishing of a thousand facets."

This is our research tree. The research tree is split into two sides, Budo, on the left and Bunka on the right. Budo is the military tree and gives bonuses to units that are useful inside the real time battles (extra attack, defence, morale etc) as well as unlocking military buidings and units. Bunka is the economic tree and gives bonuses to tax rate, troop upkeep, research rate and unlocks buildings that provide strategic map benefits (farms etc). We currently have researched two Budo technologies (Budo and Koryu) which are displayed with ticks located in the bottom right corner of their respective icons. Technologies that we can currently research are in colour, while those we don't have all the prerequisites for as greyed out. The currently researching technology shows turns remaining in the top right of the icon (we are not currently researching one). Inside each tech tree there are "paths" that have a common theme such as in Budo the koryu/naginata (left) path gives defence to units, while the katana/tiger (right) path gives attack etc. Bunka is simiarly split with happinesss/research techs on the left of the tree and wealth/food techs on the right.

"Taira wealth is our lands, our people, our gold. All three must be balanced lest disharmony fall upon our clan."

This is the finance summary screen and gives us a breakdown of our financial situation at a glance. The map shows the happiness level of our provinces using the selected taxation rate. Here we can also see our Administration Cost, which is the perentage of taxation lost to minor corruption and overheads. Our base tax rate of normal is 30%, which is why the tax rate in the town screen shows 24% (Since we have 20% admin costs, 6% is lost). Admin costs increase as the number of provinces you own increases.

We can also see the income from our taxed provinces and the income we generate from trade agreements as well as other income sources (The base 1200 koku all factions get, tribute from vassals etc). To the right of that is the total upkeep of our army and navy, with the net profit/loss shown as the bottom.

"A samurai does not trade, but gold is always noble. Let the townsfolk gain wealth and pay their dues, all prosper."

The trade screen shows the breakdown of our trade income. Currently we are trading with the Yashima Taira and importing their silk and incense. We don't have any special resources of our own to sell, so the only income we gain from this are the tariffs levelled on the imports, currently worth 82 koku. The little cart next to the Yashima Taira icon indicates this is a land trade route and so can not be blockaded or raided, unlike sea trade.

Some buildings require access to resources before they can be built, so these must be traded or produced in your lands.

The resources from left to right are: Incense, Silk, Iron, Laquer, Wood, Chinese Texts

Sneak Peak: The crane awakens...