Part 6: Update 4 (Spring 1177 - Summer 1177)The Finest Warriors...
I have decided to show off the fantastic music that is in this game. I'll try to show ones that fit the updates.
Shogun 2 Music - Yoisa
Spring of 1177
Kiyomori thanked the messenger for his news and dismissed him. He was not the only daimyo looking to ensure his clans survival. As another clan grew in strength, so did it consume the weaker clans. The Taira would never be weak.
Another clan has fallen! This time, we were not responsible, which means that the other clans are expanding. It was only a matter of time before some of the other clans got a head of steam under them, so Japan is about to get very interesting indeed.
"My lord!" the messenger announced, bursting into the room "I bring a grave message from an old friend in the Sasaki. Their daimyo plans to launch an attack upon us!"
Shigehira looked grim. His forces were weak and his fortifications untested. Cursing himself as a fool for not thinking the Sasaki troop movement suspicious, he rose from his seat. "Send runners to Tamba and Settsu, inform them that we need every able bodied man they can spare."
Always the thinker, never the fighter like his brothers, Shigehira went out to inspect the fortifications once again and tried desperately to think of a plan.
...Shit. In hindsight, I should have seen this coming. Vassals can only declare war on the people you tell them to or you. Early on, the computer politely tells you that it plans to attack after it moves it's army into position. Later wars, they won't be so kind as to let you know and you will have to work it out from their actions. It's a good move actually, as Kyoto is poorly defended and exceptionally wealthy. This really wasn't the best combination.
The scout reported that the Sasaki army was more numerous than the forces in Kyoto, even if he raised the garrison. Looking at the reports again and again as if hoping that the words would change, Shigehira wondered what Munemori would do. But Munemori was deployed far to the north and too far to offer council. Considering asking his father to send his bodyguard to assist in the defence, Shigehira dismissed the notion as foolish. To strip Settsu, their ancestral home, of defence would be not only foolish, but Kiyomori would never consider it. Shigehira was alone.
This army is too large to sally forth and attack, we need to rely on our recently constructed fortifications to give us the edge we need in any battle. We might get lucky and they just decide to raid our farmland instead or maybe they won't attack us at all!
Not all the news was bleak, however. A mighty estate to the glory of the Taira had recently been constructed in Kyoto. This fine building brought many of the finest minds to bring their wisdom and knowledge to the betterment of the Taira clan. The grandeur bought the support of the populace and the nobles, a solid reminder of the wealth and power of the Taira. Shigehira was amazed at how inefficient the old taxation system was, compared to the many administrators that filled the halls. This new efficiency bought even more wealth into the Taira coffers.
The Estate building chain is one of the more versatile buildings that exist in the game. It increases the rate at which a province is converted to your clan (this also makes it harder for Junsatsushis to convert), allows the production of the agent Shirabyoshi (one per Estate up to a maximum of 5) and increase the base tax rate of a province by 5% (Modified by Administrative Cost). By building one in Kyoto, we not only make it harder for the enemy to convert it away, but we net ourselves an extra ~90 koku a turn that will scale with the wealth of Kyoto as we develop it. We will be getting these in all of our economic provinces, especially with the Budo technology focus leaving me having to get cash where I can.
In game encyclopaedia - Clan Estate posted:
A clan estate improves the collection of taxes within its province. It also provides entertainments for the nobility and gentry, and shirabyoshi are trained there.
Almost regardless of time and place in human history, powerful men have made a point of controlling large tracts of land, often depriving farmers of ownership in the process. Before the arrival of industry, and without craftsmen working in large groups, land and wealth were inextricably linked. A lord's landholding defined his status with his peers, his underlings, and at the Imperial Court; enough land and enough wealth could even overcome any doubts or uncertainties about family or personal honour.
The Tamba Levy captain looked over his men. "We have been ordered to march every able bodied man to Kyoto immediately and report to Taira Shigehira. Time is of the essence, march!"
We need to reinforce Kyoto and fast. While both Settsu and Tamba garrisons are in range, I don't want to risk losing my Daimyo when I am already risking a son. Instead, we empty the garrison at Tamba to reinforce Kyoto. Hopefully it will be enough to convince them not to attack.
Looking forward to a warm bed, Tomomori marched his men towards Tamba. Already a respected warrior, his abilities on the battlefield and iron discipline inspired the men marching behind him. He smiled, thinking of his little brother, Shigehira. Word had reached him that Shigehira was now a man, and that father had given him oversight of Kyoto and clan development. It would be good to swap tales over sake.
A counter offensive is going to be required if we are attacked, so we continue to move Tomomori's forces south into Tamba to replace the garrison we just moved. We can't reach Kyoto this turn, so here is a good place to stay.
"My lord, a... package has been delivered to you" the messenger said, nervously.
"What is it?" inquired Shigehira.
"It's.... It's a head, my lord" the messenger stammered, ashen faced
Opening the package, Shigehira removed the head of his scout. It was a clear message from the Sasaki. It was war.
Well, I knew it was coming and here it is. I'll crush those bastards so hard your head will spin. No-one fucks with my moneymaking provinces, especially not some upstart vassal. Silver lining time, I was trying to work out how to expand east and well... Omi IS a super rich province that can be worth a fortune. I can swing a trade deal with my southern neighbours instead, take Iga to consolidate Kyoto from hostile forces and then be free to focus on taking victory provinces to the east (The Minamoto are hard bastards to kill). I'm going to make the Sasaki WISH they were vassals...
Standing on the newly constructed battlements, Shigehira tried all the forms of meditation to clear his mind, but it was hopeless. As he watched the banners of the approaching army, he knew he must maintain outward peace, even as inner peace eluded his grasp. The Tamba Levy captain stood at his side, fidgeting with his rank tassel. None inside the walls had seen combat and their lord was barely more than a boy. "Your plan, sir?" asked the Levy captain.
"Do your duty and do not fail Kiyomori. Kyoto will not fall as long as we draw breath." Shigehira replied, eyes bright.
"Of course sir" replied the Levy captain "Good luck to us all".
Before I can crush them like bugs, I need to not be crushed like a bug. My first objective to completely cripple them so I can counterattack and retake Kyoto fairly easily. Secondary objective would be to win. Best possible outcome is winning AND keeping Shigehira alive. I'm massively outranged here with my 1 Naginata Attendant, 5 Naginata Levy and 1 Bow Levy vs their 6 Naginata Levy and 2 Bow Levy. I'm going to need to rely on my superior armour and hope that my Attendants can somehow be everywhere at once. The fact they have 2 Generals which have very powerful and accurate bows is also a real problem, since I can't afford to lose Shigehira.
Click here to see the battle!
Suddenly, a cheer went up from the Attendants. "For the Taira! For Kiyomori!"
A brave attendant ran to the walls and screamed defiance at the oncoming Sasaki forces "We are Taira! We are invincible! WE ARE ONI!". Holding aloft his Naginata, he screamed his rage into the wind. Chanting "Taira! Taira! Taira!", the attendants worked themselves into a battle rage. They would fight and they would win. No man would quit the field this day. They were Taira.
I'm in a solid defensible position, complete with moat. The enemy troops should tire faster than my men with the swimming and wall climbing they need to do. I hope it's enough. This is our first battle with a Stronghold, so we have the benefit of our men fighting to the death if they are inside the central courtyard. Of course, a Stronghold is little more than a wooden wall on a raised dirt bed, so it's not going to slow them down much. Every bit counts.
They had won, but at a terrible cost. Bodies filled the courtyard, some sprouting arrows like a twisted hedgehog. Sightless eyes stared vacantly into the sky, the warmth of the day sucked into the chill of death. Shigehira sat on the grass and wept. The dead blamed him, he was the instrument of their destruction. He had felt the rage and fear and anger twist inside him as he put arrow after arrow into the air. He wanted it to end, the madness of it all. The screams of men, the swip of arrows, the song of steel on steel, it had all ceased, silent except for the wounded men living out their last pitiful minutes. Shigehira wept and he could not tell if the tears were sorrow or joy.
Fortifications are the great leveller! A glorious victory for the Taira, even though a unit did get wiped out to the man. They are true Taira heroes! They arrived with a full 200 more men than us and left with the same (Garrison units evaporate and are automatically full strength unless the town is under siege) and most importantly, Shigehira not only survived, but fought with enough fury and skill to equal Tomomori in combat experience.
The Attendant captain drank to the memory of the brave men who paid for Kyoto with their blood. There would be no victory celebration for them, no sweet spring day to raise their spirits. He swore that there would only be revenge for the traitors responsible. The Sasaki would pay dearly for this betrayal.
Shigehira, our Attendants and Bow Levy did amazing things above and beyond the call of duty! In fact, everyone performed beyond my expectations, with the exception of our sacrifical Levy, whom were killed to the man without a single kill in return. Still, they did their job admirably and as garrison units, they are automatically regenerated anyway now that we have held the town. Additional Bow units would have really given us more punch, but I'm going to try to show off the more advanced units, which requires taking risk in the setup. It nearly didn't pay off, the loss of Kyoto for even a turn would have huge implications for my chance at success.
Right now, I'm angry. The bastards backstabbed me! They nearly won! I won't stand for this and neither will Tomomori. If this wasn't an LP I would have played it safe, but you all deserve to see my rage unleashed in a rather foolish way. Note that I never saved (except for LP recovery purposes if the game crashed), everything is always accepted as the outcome, no reloads no matter what.
Summer of 1177
Forced to retreat, the Sasaki Daimyo ordered his forces the make camp. He would regroup and work out a plan. Only a fool or a madman would sally out to engage him, both sides needed time to lick their wounds.
Having failed their assault, the Sasaki forces have retreated to just outside the State Academy in Kyoto. This is problematic as not only is the State Academy very expensive to repair (A small army worth of damage can be upwards of 2000 koku, a large army can easily do 7000 koku worth), but damage to it will cripple my already under the pump research ability.
"Those traitorous bastards did WHAT?" screamed Kiyomori "Send word to Kyoto, if it hasn't already fallen, I want every Sasaki merchant out of my lands before the week ends or they are to be executed."
Unsurprisingly, the declaration of war and rebellion against us has meant that trade has ceased between our clans. Since I plan to have their clan cease existing in the near future, I'll need to find another trading partner.
"There is someone to see you, my lord, although this might not be the best time?" inquired the servant.
"No, send them in" replied Kiyomori.
"A pleasure to meet you, my Lord. I bring greetings from the Honda clan" the emissary announced.
A new clan encountered, this time to the east of the traitorous Sasaki. We have come into contact with the Honda as they have taken the province of Mino from their original owners, the Toki (The guys who were destroyed last turn). This causes some problems, as I don't want a unified and strong enemy between me and the victory provinces!
"My.. what?" exclaimed Munemori.
"Your wife, my lord. Or rather, your wife to be" explained the attendant. "Your father has deemed fit to give you her hand in marriage"
"Very well. I will meet her" Munemori replied.
If you have unmarried children, you will occasionally be given a chance to marry them to appropriate families if you don't (or can't) marry members of another clan for political reasons. Since we want to have kids for our heir as soon as possible and that the wife is Polite (+1 loyalty/honour), the best possible wife for a daimyo-to-be, we accept.
The unrest in Tamba and the recent betrayal of the Sasaki had worried the Tamba administrator. Hoping against hope that the new levies would be enough to keep the region stable, he turned his head back to his work.
Additional Levy is made in Tamba to help reinforce the Kyoto forces and to ensure that we are able to counter-attack (or if Kyoto had fallen, that we could take it back). Tamba still needs a garrison due to a large amount of non-Taira supporters in the population and this should help keep a lid on that. We can't afford rebellions at a time like this.
Despite the turmoil in Kyoto, merchants throughout Taira lands were working on ways to increase their wealth. A small but increasing number of powerful merchants had begun experimenting with the idea of lending gold to other merchants and receiving small but regular payments in return. This new form of commerce meant that merchants could expand their business faster and greater wealth was generated. In addition, the extra administration skills required meant that skilled actuaries and administrators were able to be retained in sufficient numbers by Taira magistrates.
Rice Loans increases the amount of money that we make from trade tariffs by a respectable 25%. In addition, it allows us to construct a Shinden, the next upgrade for the Estate building chain. As we just saw, Estates are exceptionally powerful for increasing your economic output and this will be invaluable for our continued plan. I started researching this BEFORE I took the vote for units, so I finished it since it would be silly to waste the turns I invested in getting it already. From now on, my research is focused on getting Monks and Onna Bushi as the thread voted.
In game encyclopaedia - Rice Loans posted:
Swords drawn in anger:
One grain of rice miscounted.
Bellies groan afresh.
Food in the hungry belly will be repaid a thousand fold, but later when times are better. Such a deal seems sensible to the farmer when times are bad, the granaries echo at harvest, and the rats eat each other.
Sitting in the far north, Mitsukazu wondered how much longer he would need to speak to regional administrators and magistrates. Support for Taira was growing in the countryside, but the city was still a bastion of Fujiwara support. The travel did, however, give him a lot of time to inspect the various documents of taxation officials, which indicated there was rampant corruption within the province. Such disrespect to his lord would not go unanswered.
Mitsukazu is now a rank 3 Junsatsushi. He now performs all his tasks better and is harder to kill/impede. Each level takes progressively longer than the last, so while we might get him to rank 4, given his age I doubt he will see rank 5, let alone 6.
Always gifted with a quick mind as well as a persuasive tongue, Mitsukazu knew when to apply the sword as well as the pen. The city guard was loyal, if poorly led. These men would be the instruments of Taira will.
Given that we don't have any major enemies that I would expect to be using Monomi or other agents and that we have Monomi of our own, Mitsukazu has been given the Magistrate skill in order to make him better able to perform his task of converting provinces or raising capital. It can be extremely powerful in the right circumstances and is one of the reasons you always want the maximum number of Junsatsushi.
"My lord requires a complete physical audit of all administration staff" Mitsukazu ordered the Guard Captain "You and your men are to assist me in this vital duty"
"Need the boys to crack some dishonest skulls huh?" grinned the Guard Captain "I always wanted to do that, I'm in."
Mitsukazu is certainly on the way to being a major force for the Taira! His ability to rapidly convert provinces and then purchase them allows for substantial land gain even without an army. Given sufficient funds he can easily purchase that army and he also has the ability to make it profitable to bring provinces over to supporting your clan. My only concern is his age, since he is having a real risk of death each turn now, especially winter.
Backed by the City Guard, Mitsukazu marched into the chief magistrates office. "By decree of our lord, I am now the chief magistrate of the city. Bring me all the provincial records and documentation."
Junsatsushi can Oversee Settlements in order to increase both happiness and taxation rate. The amount they do this is proportional to their skill in overseeing settlements. The gain is 5% (Adjusted by Administrative Cost) tax boost per star and 1 happiness per 3 stars, rounded down.
Mitsukazu was incorruptable and sharp of mind. The people of Tango now felt the management of a kind, just and noble man and they respected, if perhaps not approved of him. Able to do the work of a dozen administrators, Mitsukazu worked like a demon, isolating and removing corrupt officials. Despite the same take from the peasants, the amount of gold flowing into the Taira coffers doubled. Despite his sterling efforts, Mitsukazu would not rest.
"I will not fail the Taira."
This is the Town Screen for Tango, where Mitsukazu has begun overseeing the settlement. You will notice that the base tax rate is 30% and that he adds another 30% (5% x 6 stars) giving an effective tax rate boost of 20.5%,~170 koku. In addition, he raises happiness by 2 levels (1 for each 3 stars), as is evidenced by the two circles with a little man in a conical hat in the top Public Order row.
"Kyoto was attacked by Sasaki traitors?!" Tomomori exclaimed "They will pay for this with their heads. Men, form up, we march!"
All the forces that we can spare from Tamba move south into Kyoto to reinforce the shattered garrison there. Something to note is that cavalry units can move further in a turn than infantry. This means that while the bulk of the forces can't reach the Sasaki army remnants, Tomomori can.
Filled with rage, Tomomori marched long into the night, driving his men to exhaustion. As he reached Kyoto, his rage redoubled. Everywhere were signs of the battle. "Brother, you made it!" shouted Shigehira from the battlements.
"Shigehira! You are alive!" exclaimed Tomomori. "We have no time for talk, however, the bastards are getting away. I'll take whichever men want revenge for this betrayal and make the Sasaki pay"
"Brother..." Shigehira began.
"Kill them all."
This is the clash of the cripples. The only forces that were close enough to attack were the remnants of the Kyoto garrison and Tomomori. While Shigehira is also in range, we need someone commanding the garrison in case this attack fails. It's a real roll of the dice, since I have neither a commanding numbers advantage or a quality advantage. I need to prevent damage to that Academy and if I am honest, I want those bastards crushed. Tomomori would accept no less.
Click here to see the battle!
The men marched like demons, driven by a desire to right wrongs and fueled by Tomomori's spirit and anger. They dared to attack the Taira? They dared to threaten his family? They swore service and loyalty and this is how their generosity was the be repaid? This debt would be repaid in full, blood for blood.
This isn't good, the enemy has hilly terrain and I am attacking from the flatlands. Considering I have a ranged disadvantage, I need to close fast and punch through their lines. Perhaps I can take advantage of those hills and trees to the right flank...
The Sakasi Daimyo coughed up blood, an arrow puncturing his right side. "A debt is owed to traitors" spoke Tomomori, approaching.
"Hah... As long as there lives a single man, the Sasaki will never bow to you" he replied, dropping to his knees.
"Then no man shall live" replied Tomomori. His blade sang and the Sasaki were no more.
The ferocity of Tomomori is unmatched! We managed to come out looking good, but when combat is this small it's a major victory for one side or the other, you don't see even fights. They broke first and we won because of it. Our Naginata Attendants are buggered though, they will need at least a dozen turns in order to be brought up to fighting strength given our rather poor replenishment infrastructure and we certainly don't have the forces required to take the fight to Sasaki. I can't afford this to be a long, drawn out war, so I need to find an edge.
"A glorious victory, my lord" the attendant cheered. "We have avenged our families."
"You fought like heroes today" replied Tomomori "For we are the fury of the Taira. We are the demons that mothers warn their children of."
No one unit stood out in this fight, everyone got a fairly solid proportion of the overall kills. Tomomori grabbed another level, increasing his morale and combat statistics, as if he needed to be more powerful. When he gets a few more levels under his belt, he is going to be a terrifying force of nature on the field of battle.
Looking out over the battlefield, Tomomori spoke. "As long as Omi stands, we will not have repaid our debt. The Taira always repay their debts."
Sneak peak:A debt repaid...