Part 11: Update 9 (Spring 1180)A final stand...
Winter of 1179 (Enemy Turn)
"Form up!" ordered Munemori "All men to their positions!". The enemy had made good time towards the town, faster than expected.
"I won't let my family down" vowed Munemori "I will defend Taira land to my last breath". The town was poorly defended, although it had a commanding view of the surrounding area.
"My lord, the enemy approaches, banners to the north!" shouted a levyman. Munemori took a deep breath and steeled himself. It was time.
As expected, we have been attacked by the treacherous Hasabe. I'm actually a lot more confident about this fight now that I can see it is our 3 Naginata Attendants, 8 Naginata Levy and 1 Bow Levy versus 8 Naginata Levy and 5 Bow Levy. While we are dramatically and critically outranged, we have the terrain advantage which should negate most of the early shots as well as enjoying a solid melee advantage with a downhill charge.
This battle is recorded a little different to all the others. Unlike the others which I record and remaster, this is a live recording of me actually playing the battle. I have no idea what is going to happen, so it's my thoughts as I play and I hope you all find it a nice change of pace. Let me know what you think, I want to know if you would prefer live commentary for major fights or my more usual remastered fare.
Click here to see the battle!
"Men of the Taira!" thundered Munemori "Warriors unmatched! Today we defend our homes and our honour. Our duty is to protect these lands from the invaders, our duty is to protect our families from harm, our duty is to stand shoulder to shoulder with the man beside you. Never forget these duties, but above all, do not die so that we can celebrate victory together!"
As expected, the map is rather forgiving to us, with solid chokepoints on the gentler slope and a large uphill slog on the more exposed side. I'm going to need to be aggressive if the computer decides to skirmish, but if I can bottle them up with the Attendants and use my Levy to flank and engage the Bow Levy, I should be able to rout them. Levy rout almost instantly if enemies attack them in the rear, so if I can get in behind them, I should be able to deal a serious rout. On the other hand, that works against me as if I get bottled up and then shot to pieces, I will be absolutely shredded. In a pinch I could pop Rally and have Munemori attack Bow Levy to try to even the odds.
"A glorious victory my lord" cheered the Attendant captain. "Men will sing songs of this glorious victory for ten thousand years!"
"This battle was won through the resolute will of the men and their valliant sacrifice. Let them know that I am honoured to lead them" responded Munemori, his face breaking into a smile.
"Of course, my lord" replied the captain "Their ferocity is such that the enemy run like whipped dogs!"
Munemori's smile faded. "Dogs they may be, but they are still dangerous. Our work is not done until these lands are safe."
That went better than my wildest hopes! By keeping them bottled up and never giving them a chance to rest after marching up the hill, we forced them to commit when they were out of position. I not only managed to keep Munemori alive, but I also got the vast majority of my army out intact, with the garrison taking the majority of the casualties. Fatigued troops are worried troops and when I managed to sneak a unit behind them, the levy just didn't have the willpower to hang around and fight. They got a poor charge uphill while we got a solid downhill charge that stopped the attack cold.
Munemori sat and watched the snow fall. "How peaceful and beautiful" he thought "Soon there will be no trace of the bloodshed that marred this place"
His eyes narrowed. There would be no lasting peace, not as long as the Hasabe were intent of taking Taira land by force. There would be no easy rest, no safety for those under his care. Every Taira was as family to him, he had a duty and he would not fail.
Munemori may have only got a small number of kills, but most of those were the enemy general unit, so they are worth a lot of xp. This brings him up to combat rank 3(!) making him almost as deadly as Tomomori (Although Tomomori is skilled in combat where Munemori is more focused on leadership skills) and boosting his survivability a substantial amount. The two heaviest casualties were on Naginata Levy which we will need to wait to replenish, but the remainder of the loss came from the garrison, who automatically replenish. Despite this, we have ended up in very good shape, so good in fact, that I think a little retribution is in order...
Spring of 1180
"Have we pulled every man from the outer villages yet?" inquired the Tango administrator.
"Any man who could walk, see lightning and hear thunder" replied the Guard captain "I don't have enough men to ensure the peace of the central town, let alone the outer regions"
"What are our options?" asked the administrator.
"Do our jobs until we can do so no longer" responded the captain grimly. "If we get a rebellious mob, we will be overrun."
Despite our precarious financial position, I can't afford to not be increasing our army in Tango and Omi, where Tango needs the troops badly to maintain order and we need the additional troops to keep Tomomori in suitable shape to conduct an extended campaign that will take us through to Realm Divide.
The Tango administrator sat, looking worried at the parchment. How could he explain to Munemori that he was failing his charge? Despite mustering every man he could, rebellious sentiment was bubbling to the surface. Soon something would trigger it and a bloodbath would ensue. Such failure would not be looked upon kindly.
As I predicted last turn, we have unrest happening in Tango. No riots as of yet, but if I don't bring happiness out off the negative I will certainly have an unhappy populace to answer to. With the recruitment of the extra unit and the gain of clan support, I only have -2 happiness here, so only two units will need to be dispatched to maintain order.
"My lord, the Hasabe force has regrouped to the north of the town, near to the port" reported the scout.
"What size are their forces, who is in command?" asked Munemori.
"They number around 5 companies. Their seems to be no ranking members present, my lord. It is likely their force is lead by whichever officer happened to run the fastest."
With their stunning defeat at Tajima, the Hasebe forces withdraw further up the coast towards their province. They still have enough troops to do a substantial amount of damage to my port as they withdraw.
"We march for Omi" stated Ietoyo. "We are ordered to head to Omi and resupply before meeting up with Tomomori and the eastern Taira force."
"Understood, my lord" responded the Attendant captain, saluting.
Collecting our freshly gifted Naginata Attendants, Ietoyo moves into Omi to reinforce the province with the intention of joining up with Tomomori giving us a stack with suitable general coverage to control all our levy, as well as beef up our front line.
Munemori gripped the parchment, calculation etched on his face. Reaching a decision, he summoned the attendant captain. "Dispatch the two wounded companies to Tango to leave immediately, the rest of the men are to form up. We march."
Tango needs two more units garrisoning it to maintain order and I just so happen to have two heavily damaged Naginata Levy units nearby. I love it when things work out nicely like that. They can maintain order while they replenish, since I am unlikely to see any major northern attacks for the next few turns they need to recover.
"My lord, are you sure sallying forth is wise?" questioned the Levy captain.
"We must protect our lands and drive out the invaders" responded Munemori sharply. "Do not tell me your will is faltering at the sight of a broken host?"
"Of course not, my lord." stammered the captain "It is our honour to die for you"
"I have no need of the dead" replied Munemori. "It is the living that I require. See that you stay so."
I don't want to risk any damage to our port facilities with money so tight and the enemy so heavily damaged, so I sally forth to finish the job. The Hasabe picked the wrong clan to fuck with. I have 3 Naginata Attendants and 4 Naginata Levy, while they have an effective force of 3 Bow Levy and 4 Naginata Levy. They are not lead by a general, only a captain, so I shouldn't have any trouble causing a mass rout, especially with their largely reduced unit strength. My only risk is if they try to envelop me with their superior number of units, but even that would likely cause their centreline to collapse before my rally runs out. Mainly I just can't afford to let them damage my port, as it would case me to have to repair it as well as lose the income from it for a turn.
Click here to see the battle!
Sitting astride his horse Munemori observed his men. Some were nervous, others confident, yet more determined. Each man was driven by a rage to right wrongs, to drive forth those who would dare attack their homes. There would be no quarter today, no prisoners taken, only the complete destruction of those who dared to defile these lands.
We have a good approach over open ground, with only one location that is suitable for the computer to mount a defence, the hill to the right in their deployment zone. Even this will work in our favour as the hill has trees in the front, allowing our forces to close the final distance while heavily protected from arrow fire. This should give us the advantage we need in order to ensure a quick chain rout.
There had been no honour in the slaughter of the Hasabe forces. Led by a coward, they had broken not long after the lines had clashed. Furious Taira forces had descended with the rage of demons upon the Hasabe and dashed them apart, scattering them to the four winds never again to threaten Taira lands.
As expected, a solid victory against the Hasebe, destroying them to the man. While our Naginata Attendants did the bulk of the lifting (and dying), our forces are still at a high level of combat efficiency. Based on my previous scouting, I highly doubt that the Hasebe have much left in reserve after the destruction of their forces, so I should push forward and see what they have left. You can also see that Munemori hit combat level 4, as well as one of the Naginata Attendants, with another taking level 3. These skilled warriors are now exceptionally powerful and should be a match for most rookie units, even samurai!
"We will never be safe until we have eliminated the Hasabe as a threat to the Taira" announced Munemori. "We march on Inaba, where the Hasabe will know the foolishness of their bloodlust. We will liberate our conquered clansmen and restore the lands to true Taira rule!"
As I expected, the province of Inaba has little in the way of defence with almost all of their forces committed to the attack against us. I will make them pay for such foolhardiness. Sadly, we don't quite have enough movement to engage their town this turn, so they will have a chance to ferry reinforcements against us, hopefully our risky action is justified by the rewards!
Sabotage the food stores, a simple enough mission. Simple didn't mean easy, but Nakamitsu was confident in his abilities. He would, however, need a plan, rash action can get you killed, after all.
Nakamitsu needs more experience and we have a little spare cash to go for it. Our sabotage of buildings is now up to a coin flip at 200 koku a pop, heavily expensive considering that we can't afford to assassinate anyone even if he was ranked up, but if I can rank him up I can still use him defensively to protect a town or to oversee an army, increasing their movement range by 5% per star and sight by 5 per star. He would also reduce the chance of enemy monomi undertaking successful action against him, so he would be perfect to accompany Tomomori.
Someone had alerted the provincial guard, of that Nakamitsu was sure. Never before had he seen such a heavily defended food stores, what food was so valuable that it needed a dozen guards per granary? Despite watching for weeks to work out the guard rotation, it was never the same twice, nor was a pattern obvious to him. Defeated, he was forced to withdraw and reconsider his option. Could another agent be foiling his plans?
Well, he's not dead. He is, however, totally useless at setting fire to granaries. I guess rice doesn't burn too well? Either way, 3xp for the 100 koku was not a good trade given our cash woes. I'll make him useful yet, even if it kills me (although it's more likely to kill him, really).
"We march to the Kitabitake border" ordered Tomomori "Moving to the Honda border would be too obviously an aggressive move and we must observe our enemy before committing our forces. Besides, father informs me that we have additional reinforcements en-route."
"At once, my lord" the Samurai Captain responded. "Might I suggest double archery drill while we wait to be reinforced?"
Tomomori smiled and nodded. "You still owe me for losing the last archery competition"
"Double or nothing, my lord?"
It's time to make the Honda fear our name and we march Tomomori towards his inevitable victory on the eastern front!
Sneak Peak: A brother's rage