The Let's Play Archive

Total War: Shogun 2 - Rise of the Samurai

by shalcar

Part 26: Update 24 (Summer 1186)

Ietoyo's ascendancy

Summer of 1186

Shigehira looked out at the training grounds, heaving with new Enryakuji monks, summoned from all the corners of Japan. The head monk had been as good as his word, with dozens of new, deadly monks arriving every day. These numbers allowed the outfitting of a full three units of monks in a mere season, this new power ensuring that the Taira would be recognised as the rightful rulers of all Japan.

Our recruitment of monks steps up to a full 3 units of these amazing dealers of death. Given their moderate upkeep of around 100 koku a turn, they are incredible power for the koku and represent a huge amount of additional killing potential. While we probably won't get them to the eastern front before the game is finished, they ensure that anything that happens to the west will be firmly in Taira's favour. We also recruit levy to maintain order in our 3 recently conquered provinces.

"The Minamoto forces are crushed, with few pockets of resistance remaining" noted Mitsukazu. "Yet they draw much strength from their leaders."
"You have a plan, my Lord?" inquired the attendant.
Mitsukazu smiled. "Of course! Eliminate their leaders and they will fall."

A new mission and another one that isn't particularly difficult. Given how many enemy generals we are mulching and the fact that another one is crippled and next to Tomomori, I suspect we might be collecting this bonus fairly soon!

The guard captain looked pale. "We found another tax collector dead" he noted. "Hung by his own guts. Messy business."
"Then don't send out any tax collectors" replied the Izu administrator. "The people will be satisfied their message is heard and we gain time to consolidate our position."
"Will Tomomori allow such recklessness?" queried the guard captain, incredulously. "Surely this will set a terrible precedent."
"Perhaps" responded the administrator. "But I would rather face his wrath than be strung up by the peasants!"

Removing Tomomori has, however, reduced happiness in Izu to negative for a turn and so has triggered the unrest event. If a province is in unrest for two turns, it will rebel. Luckily for us, the province is not below -4 happiness, so we can exempt it from taxes to restore order. It's the loss of around 400 koku a turn and brings our income back down to our traditional ~2k koku profit a turn combined with our additional recruits, but it frees up Tomomori to win the game for us. A solid trade.

The intrigue of the court had been a land of milk and honey for the all-to-clever Yasunobu. Where his brashness and overconfidence had once been unable to match his own skills, his ability to learn, adapt and survive meant that now he was a most formidable asset. Highly capable, intelligent enough to leverage that and confident enough to take the required risks. Shigehira's foresight had forged a powerful weapon, able to strike the Taira's enemies at any time.

Yasunobu's solid 3xp a turn from administrating Omi has transformed into another rank for us. Given the wealth of Omi, any additional ranks for the Junsatsushi that is overseeing it is a useful boost in income. In this case, it takes him to rank 4. We also get an awesome new hat for hitting rank 4!

"You don't have to accept this deal" stated Yasunobu. "But it's the last offer you will ever get."
"Hah" snorted the merchant. "Your childish threats don't scare me. You have no proof and the town watch won't touch me."
Yasunobu smiled. "I so hoped that you would say that" he replied, as his hands became a blur, the dagger embedding itself in the merchant's chest.
The merchant's eyes went wide. "But.. you can't..." he sputtered, as he collapsed on the floor.
Yasunobu retrieved his dagger from the corpse, cleaning it on the merchant's fine silks.

"Munemori told me to keep the peace" he told the corpse. "You were disturbing it."

The skill tree's of our Junsatsushi are a little identical, I must admit, although this is an artefact of our almost complete domination of all the ninja production provinces in our vicinity, making the counter-espionage skills limited in value compared to the other options. The additional bribery skill is useful if a large force lands and we can't deal with it, or even for mopping up the remnants of armies that we have defeated here.

No-one in the sake den had moved and silence reigned, broken by the clapping of a man standing by the door.
"I was wondering when you were going to end that windbag" noted the stranger. "Your strike was clumsy, a child could have done better."
"It did the job" replied Yasunobu. "Who are you to address me so?"
"Someone with a better form than you" the stranger replied. "But form can be fixed. Interested?"
"Perhaps" Yasunobu responded.
"Then let's talk price" offered the stranger.
Yasunobu's eyes lit up. "In this, my friend" he said "It will be your strokes that I find clumsy!"

Our new retainer is rather useful, although we won't see any action with it in this game. The extra movement can be critical, as unlike vanilla Shogun 2, movement boosts are few and far between. It also has one of the more entertaining flavour texts!

"The Kitabatake army has withdrawn, my Lord!" the scout reported. "They have left Taira lands, their mischief curtailed!"
The Mino administrator looked stony. "An unseen enemy is an unseen weapon. We must be wary."

The Kitabatake army that threatened us has instead withdrawn back south into their territory, perhaps they are all too well aware of Norioiki and his counter-attack. It is a race now, between their reinforcements and our strike force. It remains to be seen if this rebellion will escalate further.

The Suruga administrator fumed. "How can so few men cause so much damage?" he demanded of the room. "There are but two dozen, yet the farms and harbours burn!"

The inability of Nakamitsu to sabotage the Minamoto army has had expensive and devastating consequences. With our farms and harbour on fire and producing reduced wealth, the income loss is respectable. In addition, the unhappiness gained from having damaged buildings in the province has brought the peasants into a state of unrest! The army needs to be stopped and the buildings repaired to bring order back to this province.

Shigehira looked at the scouting reports, relief visible on his face. "The Satake have stayed put" he thought. "The countryside is unmolested and now we are in a position to do something about their presence!"

The Satake invasion force commits a capital blunder, by refusing to engage our forces or maneuver for a better position. With a full 3 additional Naginata Warrior Monks recruited in Settsu this turn, the Satake trespass upon rightful Taira soil will soon come to an end.

"A fleet of ships and transports, my Lord" reported the scout. "Where they are going I could not say, but they no doubt intend mischief"
Shigehira nodded. "We must see that they find no weakness" he replied.

Our woes are far from over, however, with the Akizuki fleet bringing additional hostile forces towards our heartland. Although they have not yet landed, it is only a matter of time before these forces must be repelled. Yet the iron will of the Taira will not be broken so easily. The time for aggression has begun in earnest.

Tomoe Gozen's face tightened slightly, the merest flutter belying her impatience with their travels.
"The beauty is in the journey, mistress, the destination is the meaning around which the journey is built" her bodyguard noted. "Other concerns are fleeting."
A slight smile touched Tomoe's features. "You have been listening the the Sou too much" she replied. "Yet you are right. Although I feel history being made elsewhere, I must not neglect our current path."

Tomoe Gozen and her Foot Samurai bodyguard continue their movement towards Tomomori, ending their turn in the town in the province of Totomi. She is now 3 turns away from the Minamoto border and Tomomori's army. The last bastion of Minamoto power will fall under her unstoppable Naginata and Bow.

Yoshihide frowned. "We can not allow the enemy to have a foothold in these lands" he announced. "One more time, we must march to defend our homes."

The remnants of the Suguwara need to be forced out from Taira land or slaughtered if they resist. To this end we deploy our entire force of Taira Levy to destroy the Suguwara force.

Yoshihide walked through the abandoned Suguwara camp. The enemy had not abandoned it long and evidence of their hasty departure was evident all over the camp. Yoshihide inspected a cooking pot, still bubbling over the fire, the stew reduced to almost nothing.
"My lord, the enemy forces are in full retreat" reported the lead scout.
Yoshihide turned to face the man. "Announce your presence!" he reprimanded. "I almost ran you through!"
"Apologies my Lord" responded the scout. "Shall I organise a pursuit?"
"No." ordered Yoshihide. "That they leave our lands is victory enough. We march for home."

The Suguwara are not stupid enough to engage a force many times their own when they have no leadership. Instead, they retreat from our advancing force, pulling back to the border of the province. We have no need to pursue them and so we also return to garrison duty to maintain order. I expect they will attack and burn down our Washi Mills, crippling our Craft Goods income, but it's also likely they will withdraw into their own province to recover their strength. One of these will invite swift destruction, but I have a little time to play with, given that our forces need to consolidate across the board (Also Tomoe Gozen needs to get to the front!).

Hisakane ambled down the road, feeling the warm sun upon his face, the breeze on his skin and the gentle crunch of the soil under his sandals. He was following the trail of the Minamoto samurai, but who could hurry on a day so blessed by heaven? This alone was proof of the Taira's favour in heaven's grace, evidence that Japan brought into the Taira's fold would be full of divine blessings.

Spotting a Minamoto guard ahead, Hisakane worked his way towards the camp. Not everyone had been convinced as to heaven's plan for Japan...

The Kiso Minamoto withdrew their defending units out of South Shinano, so certain are they of it's complete obliteration at the hands of Ietoyo. I need to know if they are scrambling to stay alive or consolidating for a counter-offensive. To find out, Hisakane moves south, towards the final Kiso Minamoto province of Kai. We don't get far, however, before we run into something very troubling indeed. We never waste an opportunity to polish our monk's skills, so we attempt to demoralise the enemy force.

Hisakane moved through the camp, stopping to offer solace and advice to those who sought heaven's wisdom. Those he spoke to were left with no doubt that it was their retreat that was met with heaven's favour. Soldiers who felt they should fight the Taira were left reminded that they walked a well worn path on the way to absolute oblivion.

In this we succeed! It doesn't make much difference given that I don't expect an attack this turn, but the additional experience helps. Since it's free to demoralise enemy forces with a Monk, if you have a decent chance of success, you should always go for it.

The Kiso Minamoto army is cause for immediate concern. Consisting of a General and 6(!) Foot Samurai, it all by itself is a powerful force not to be trifled with. Even Tomomori and his army would have difficulty defeating it and Ietoyo's force would also be hard pressed to hold against it. If it becomes consolidated with a force of Levy to screen and protect the Samurai core, it will need a special touch.

"We will unify Shinano, North and South!" thundered Ietoyo to his troops. "A Japan underneath the Taira, A peaceful Japan, A prosperous Japan."
The atmosphere was electric, the men, simple levy, yet each fighting for their family, each fighting to end this bloody war. They looked towards Ietoyo as a saviour, as a hope for the future.
"The Minamoto seek to undermine all we have fought and bled for!" he boomed. "You have followed me far, deep into hostile territory, striking blow after blow into the Minamoto. Yet our toil is almost over, we are at the cusp of victory!"
Soldiers knew of Ietoyo's loyalty. He was not of Taira blood, yet he fought for them, yet even more for the protection of his family. These men, simple and swept up in events bigger than them, understood the burning need to protect what they treasured.

Ietoyo drew himself up to his full height. "Then, and only then, can we go home. I will not let my family down and neither will you."

With the withdrawal of the defending force in North Shinano, it is an incredibly soft target, perfect for Ietoyo to continue his push against the Kiso Minamoto.

"I'm not dead. I will lead the cavalry, my Lord" the cavalry captain said. "I've faced Minamoto samurai and generals and yet here I stand, while they are dead. I have earned my place."
"Your wounds are not yet fully healed, my friend" Ietoyo responded. "I will not have you recklessly endangering your life over such a small fight."
"My Lord, I beg you, let me lead my men" the captain implored. "I will not fail you."
Ietoyo nodded. "I know. Lead your men."

The Enemy force is a Barracks, which improved recruitment rate, not garrison forces, with a token defensive force of 2 Naginata Levy and 1 Bow Levy, protected only by Town level fortifications. Ietoyo's force of 1 Mounted Naginata, 10 Naginata Levy, 5 Bow Levy and 1 Fire Bomb Thrower is unlikely to even notice such a minor speedbump. This contest is not remotely in doubt.

Click here to see the battle!

"Archers! FIRE!" yelled Ietoyo. "Naginata! CHARGE!"
The Taira forces surged forward, the whip and zing of arrows bursting overhead, inflicting terrible casualties on the defending Minamoto forces. With a mighty crash, the Taira levy slammed into the Minamoto levy, steel flashing through the air punctuated with the screams of men.

This map is an old friend by now, for both you and myself! We have our winning formula of attacking from the west and it's not something I plan to change now. There is, however, a slight modification to this deployment, with our cavalry approaching from the east. As enemy units will break at Town level fortifications, a charge from both sides at once will send them running with barely a shot fired. I'm not expecting any problems.

The Minamoto lines wavered, like a great beast struck a terrible blow. It recoiled, as if to strike and then suddenly disintegrated.
"The town is lost, retreat!" ordered the Minamoto captain. "Abandon the city! All is lost!"
A great cheer went up from the Taira forces. "Ietoyo!" "Taira!" "For Munemori!"

The day was theirs.

No problems would certainly be how I would describe that fight! Losing only a mere 40 men for a town (although 19 of those were our elite Naginata Levy) is an exceptionally good trade in anyone's language.

"Should we pursue my lord?" the attendant asked.
Ietoyo waved the question away. "No. We have what we came for" he replied.

No-one really stands out as having done a lot of killing, but no-one took any appreciable damage either. This is as close to uncontested as you can get.

"The town is ours, my Lord!" announced the cavalry captain. "The Minamoto are no match for us!"
"You did well, friend" replied Ietoyo. "We may yet be done with this terrible war."
"The town is well equipped to take the fight to the Minamoto" responded the captain. "Our forces will be well supplied indeed."

Another province captured! The Kiso Minamoto have been reduced to but a single province and we are now three victory provinces away from winning the game and securing Japan for the Taira! We still need to capture Suruga to finish off the Kamakura Minamoto, but if we can do that and put down the rebellion we need only a single province for victory. Kai, the final bastion of the Kiso Minamoto. North Shinano, as befitting a core province of the Kiso Minamoto has unconditional clan support for the Minamoto. It is a military province, containing a Town, Barracks, Bushi School, Dry Field Agriculture (Average Soil) and Trails. This means we can produce 2 Foot Samurai here every 2 turns, invaluable for our final push ahead. However, with such poor wealth, we lose money with the additional Administrative Cost that capturing the province has incurred.

"The Minamoto should not be underestimated" thought Nakamitsu, as he floated through the night. "An unknown foe can be far more dangerous than numbers would indicate. I must discover their weaknesses."

We need to scout Sagami to see if the Kamakura Minamoto have an appreciable defences after their recent foray into our territory and subsequent defeat at the hands of Tomomori. Nakamitsu is perfect for this with his large movement range, high line of sight and exceptional clandestine skills. It looks like we are in luck! The Kamakura Minamoto forces in Sagami are next to non-existent, opening up the opportunity for Tomomori to continue to punish them for their opposition to the true natural order of Japan.

Tomomori had been following the tracks for weeks. The cowardly Minamoto general must have thought himself unpursued, but he could not have been more mistaken.
"My Lord, these tracks are fresh. He must be encamped up ahead" reported the lead tracker.
"Good" replied Tomomori, waving over his bodyguard. "Let's go hunting."

The last remnants of the attacking force is engaged by Tomomori, with our force of 2 Foot Samurai, 1 Naginata Attendant, 8 Naginata Levy, 2 Bow Levy and 2 Bow Warrior Monks against a half strength General. I might have said the last fight was no contest, but I think we have a new champion for "No kill like overkill!".

This battle was autoresolved, there is no video

Tomomori and his bodyguard moved with a stealth that would have surprised even Nakamitsu, their warriors grace giving them perfect control over each movement to exceptional precision. Soon, their prey was in sight. Lounging around the camp-fire with no guards posted, the Minamoto general and his remaining bodyguard were easy targets.

Signalling his bodyguard, Tomomori took aim at the enemy general. The bows sang, Tomomori having loosed two arrows before the first struck home. The men spilled away from the camp-fire towards their weapons, but it was too late. They had not lived long enough to draw steel.

Flawless victory. Somehow, I'm unsurprised. The kills were split between the Foot Samurai and Tomomori, rather fittingly.

News of Tomomori's hunt spread far and wide throughout Taira lands, adding more to his legend, a warrior god hunting the enemy of the Taira like game. Such deeds of heroism and martial valour boosted the souls of men, each trusting more than ever that they were on the side of right.

With the elimination of that wayward force, we have also completed the mission we received this turn, destruction of an enemy general in battle. The mission reward is +2 morale to all of our units for the next 6 turns, something that is beyond critical given the exposed nature of Ietoyos's force and it also unlocks another option to us. Storming Sagami by force, taking advantage of the morale boost and the extra morale given by Tomomori, such that our units will also fight almost to the death, just like the defenders.

Tomomori read the scroll, his face breaking into a smile. "Sagami is undefended!" he announced. "Gather the troops, we march to cut out the heart of the Kamakura Minamoto!"

Tomomori marches towards Sagami with all haste, but we come up short, blocked by a single unit of Bow Attendants that we don't have enough movement to engage or go around. Sagami is safe this turn, although I doubt it will stay in Minamoto hands much longer.

The bowmen had been on extended patrol, watched by Nakamitsu closely. "If they fall back behind the walls, they can reap a terrible harvest" Nakamitsu thought to himself. "That can not be allowed the happen."
Disguised as a simple peasant, he had worked his way up to the guards of the bowman's encampment. Before they could demand to know his business, his blade flashed, red blood pattering on the ground as both men fell.

Nakamitsu vanished, leaving the two dead guards in his wake.

The Bow Attendant unit is a problem, as each unit that withdraws behind the Stronghold walls in Sagami makes it much more costly and difficult to take the province, especially given the weakened state of Tomomori's army. Luckily for us, Nakamitsu has no problems with helping us even the odds with a little bit of sabotage.

Again and again he slew the stragglers, the loners, the men who turned their back. He was as a deathly wind, causing fear and suspicion in the soldiers. Only those inside the camp he left alone, such that no man wished to leave. By the time his work was done, not one man in two was left.

With which we are successful! Not only does this prevent the Bow Attendants from withdrawing into the castle, it also causes quite respectable casualties, with half the unit decimated by Nakmitsu. Although they will replenish reasonably well given the developed nature of the province they are in, every enemy unit dead is invaluable.

"The Satake disrespect Kiyomori's blood for each day they stay on our sacred homeland" Shigehira fumed. "It's intolerable!"
"Then take the fight to them!" responded the head monk. "My brothers will jump at the chance to show heaven and earth their skill!"
"I think you are right" agreed Shigehira. "We have powerful new assets. I have a plan. Yet I'm loathe to attack."
"You saw battle when you were but a boy" noted the monk. "Such things must now wash over you, like the river on stone."
Shigehira paled. "That was a terrible day. Many good friends died."
"You are a leader of men!" thundered the monk. "Earn heaven's grace and act like it!"

Over on our western front, the Satake invasion force discovers that they have underestimated the production capacity of Settsu at their extreme peril. Shigehira will accept no further disrespect of the Taira's borders and launches a blistering counter-offensive, with 3 Naginata Levy, 3 Bow Levy and 5(!) Rank 4 Naginata Warrior Monks. With the Satake force consisting of 6 Naginata Levy, 4 Bow Levy and 2 Fire Bomb Throwers, it seems their time may be up...

Click here to see the battle!

"The enemy will try to take the hill and force us to attack uphill through narrow choke-points" Shigehira briefed his men. "We need to ensure that doesn't happen. The main force of monks will be responsible for securing the top and holding it for the duration. The Levy will support them on the left ramp."
"What if they flank the levy to the left, my Lord?" inquired the levy captain. "We would be pincered and cut down."
"A good question" replied Shigehira. "Two detachments of monks will support the left flank at the base, preventing enemy forces from engaging our rear."

The terrain that the Satake have chosen to encamp on is interesting indeed, with a large hill dominating the battlefield close to their position. We will need to engage rapidly and contest the hill with brute force before they can consolidate their position, lest this turn expensive. Luckily for us, this is the first time we have taken our Naginata Warrior Monks out to fight and for those of you who have not yet seen what they can do, you are in for a real treat. Think the melee killing power of Foot Samurai but there are 75 of them instead of 45. Unfortunately, the trade-off is no ranged capacity, but I suspect that won't matter all that much.

"Left flank, engage!" ordered Shigehira. "Right flank, hold firm! Hold you bastards!"
His bow sang, as Satake arrows whipped past him. He did not relish battle, nor did he show any great aptitude in the killing of men. Despite these shortcomings, he was Taira. Standing tall astride his horse, bow in hand, directing his forces through the tides of battle as surely as any admiral of treacherous seas, he was without a doubt, a mighty leader of men. The battlefield his parchment, his soldier his brush, through his steady hand an artist's touch was evident.

Men served Tomomori out of hero worship and Munemori out of loyalty, but they served Shigehira out of the certainty he would bring them home, victorious.

The fight has proven decisive in our favour, with our forces killing a full 500 enemy soldiers, with the loss of only 100 of our own. The enemy force is halved and while no longer a military threat, the economic damage they could inflict upon us would be noticeable. A second battle will be needed to clean them up, but for the moment, we retain a firm upper hand.

Where Shigehria was the master of leading men with an artist's touch, the monks were masters of killing with grace and beauty. Each man moved like a tiger, effortless, never more than a fraction, yet always managing to be where the enemy strike was not. Their defensive grace was matched by their devastating strikes, the naginata a brush, painting a canvas black and red, of death and blood. They were heaven's fury and they would not be denied.

Look at those Naginata Warrior Monks! In the worst case, they only killed at 5:1, but a full 3 units killed at 10:1! Those 5 units by themselves could quite easily obliterate a full stack of Levy, if led by a competent general. In fact, a lot of those deaths were due to explosives, as I failed to properly prioritise the Fire Bomb Throwers. Nevertheless, they were never a real threat, as Monks will almost never break given their exceptional morale and the morale boost we are currently under.

The head monk smiled. "You have fought a battle on your own terms." he said. "It is a different thing to having battle thrust upon you."
Shigehira looked pale. "I fear the victory has sapped my stomach." Shigehira replied. "To have so many so close to death, yet to be alive..."
"If you are going to vomit, don't do it where the men can see you" advised the monk. "Battle treats all differently. Don't fear it. Embrace it."

This decisive victory has given Shigehira enough experience to reach general rank 2. Given that I expect to see a little more action near Settsu, this is a godsend for ensuring our borders are kept secure.

"I did what I had to do" stated Shigehira. "I have a duty to protect the people of the Taira and their homes"
"A duty you did without fear or favour" responded the monk. "You are a mighty leader of men, although you are only just discovering it."

To better reflect the skills and leadership style of Shigehira, we give him 2 ranks of Leader, the only General we have with such a commanding acumen on the field. With the extra radius of his command aura, his troops will feel confident that even though his personal martial prowess is not legendary like his brothers, his understanding of battle tactics is unmatched. As his wife reduces upkeep by 10% but also reduces morale by one, the additional aura is necessary to ensure that levy under his control don't panic, even when he is commanding an army of respectable size.

The celebrations were long and loud, but Shigehira remained in his tent, worn out from the battle. The flap opened and a man stepped in.
"Who are you?" demanded Shigehira. "On what business?"
"I am Warimaru" replied the stranger. "A most skilled player of the Koto. I am here to play for you."
Shigehira relaxed. "You may play" he responded.
Warimaru nodded and started to play, a haunting melody that spoke of life, family and the journey through mortal existence. It lifted hearts high and minds higher. It brought, if not meditation, then something close.

Our retainer is also an absolute no-brainer choice, with the Koto Player adding an additional +1 morale to all units under his command. Even if this didn't offset the penalty of Shigehira's wife, it would be a critical pick as it allows Levy to be that much more effective. While I judge it unlikely that Shigehira will have to command substantial amounts of Levy, every little bit counts.

The party had been impressive, despite the enemy not being destroyed.
"We won a major victory, but it will be all for naught if the enemy outmanoeuvres us and takes Settsu" observed Shigehira. "We march home at once! Settsu will remain forever invincible!"

With the Satake reminded exactly who are the masters of this land (and Japan!), we withdraw back to Settsu, ensuring it is suitable defended against any and all comers. It would be foolish in the extreme to leave so valuable a province open, especially considering how fast it can mobilise almost unstoppable troops.

Nakamoto was furious. The Minamoto had burned his families farm and devastated the surrounding area. Orders or not, these bandits would be crushed and put down like the vermin they were.

Given that I am going to have open rebellion if I don't eliminate this band of Minamoto thanks to their destruction, the entire garrison of Suruga is dispatched to deal with this problem. With 3 Naginata Levy and 1 Bow Levy against half a Foot Samurai unit and one third of a Fire Bomb Throwers, we should win this handily.

This battle was autoresolved, there is no video

The Minamoto had been caught unaware, overconfidence telling them that they couldn't possibly be stopped by mere peasants. They sat in a village inn, drinking the sake of the late owner, a man whose only crime was to expect payment for his drinks.

As expected, we traded casualties, but we brought so many more men that it was never going to be a fair fight, regardless of the Minamoto's skill.

But this overconfidence came at a heavy price. A clatter came as the doors were barricaded shut from the outside, the windows barred with naginata and wood. Nakamoto and his men had found them.
"What should we do with them sir?" the sergeant asked. "They can't get out, but to rush it would be suicide. We already lost a patrol of men trying to get them to surrender."
Nakamoto's eyes narrowed. "Burn it down."

The kills tell it all, our arrows doing most of the work for us and the melee troops just mopping up. Foot Samurai might have incredible combat statistics, but their initial morale is relatively poor and so they are vulnerable to swarming as the morale penalties for being heavily outnumbered and outflanked are far greater than the bonuses for killing enemy troops with ease. Even with Foot Samurai, you must protect their flanks and rear.

"The Kitabatake must be stopped" Norioki briefed his men. "But we don't expect heavy resistance. We are the strike force that will end this rebellion before it gets under-way."

Norioki continues to move towards Ise, the heart of the Kitabatake rebellion. Although we don't make it, we are able to see the town is currently undefended and now it truly is a race to see if the Kitabatake can get their forces into their town before it is cut out from under them.

Shigehira was exhausted, yet he forced himself to perform the required paperwork. However, one nagging thought would not leave his mind.

Why couldn't he find the tax receipts from Izu?

There is a new visual item on our finance panel this time, the black province of Izu. This indicates that taxation for the province has been suspended and as such it produces no koku (although it will still produce trade goods). Given the beating our economic outlook has taken in the past few turns, with provinces having to be exempted from tax and our additional provinces actually costing us money, not to mention the sheer number of new troops we have produced, I'm actually reasonably happy with our income. It's not going to support large scale troop production as well as infrastructure investment, but apart from the odd Stronghold, we have no further need of buildings, as they won't pay for themselves before we have won the game. Instead, every koku we have will go into producing the troops required for our ultimate push, as well as ensuring that we hold on to what we have. The Taira will prevail!

Sneak Peak:Tomomori's choice