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Sensational

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Introducing my very first AAR (Ever, not just in Sengoku), it won't include much fiction, if any. So gameplay focused, not narrative. In a sense you could perhaps consider it fictional, I will tell the story from the first person perspective of the ruler, but his thoughts will be my thoughts.I hope it ends up being interesting enough anyways, no guarantee as to my writing skills. Will try to include as much flavor as possible. Will try to update it at least once per day, I honestly spend way too much at the computer so I might have to do multiple updates per day, although I could just hold out on them. Every 10 years I'll show you a map overview. This AAR will be very screenshot heavy, I will use my fantastic amateur photoshop abilities to the max to try and reduce the clutter/unnecessary content, we'll see how that goes.

AI included some history in the first update and might do so later as well, however that history is taken straight off of Wikipedia so there might be some slight inaccuracies.

So, I'm playing as the Ashikaga clan, the Clan Leader to be more specific, I'm starting on day one (26 May, 1467). I will not do any reloading, nor use the gamey tactic of subjugation. I also won't quit until I lose the game completely. One important thing to keep in mind is that I have a bug where the levies are shown as Samurai, and personal retinues are shown as Ashigaru.

Any advice, criticism and/or requests would be more than welcome.


I am the Real Shogun! - The AAR
Had to stop this AAR, HDD died and I lost the save, sorry.

Update 1: The Adopted Son/Brother and the Second Daimyo - Part One
Update 1: The Adopted Son/Brother and the Second Daimyo - Part Two

Update 2: The Hosokawa and the Heir - Part One
Update 2: The Hosokawa and the Heir - Part Two
Update 2: The Hosokawa and the Heir - Part Three
Update 2: The Hosokawa and the Heir - Part Four
Update 2: The Hosokawa and the Heir - Part Five
Update 2: The Hosokawa and the Heir - Part Six


Awards section:
Won the Sengoku AAR Contest! Thanks for reading, and thanks Johan and anyone else in the jury
AARtist of the Month - October 2011​
 
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Sensational

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I am the Real Shogun! - The AAR
Update 1: The Adopted Son/Brother and the Second Daimyo - Part One.​

Forgive the historical references and any uh... inaccuracies in them, I got it all from Wikipedia. And while he might not be the person to blame the brother makes an excellent villain, so I blame him. Sorry for that too.

Greed is a fairly common attribute in human beings, yet aren't rulers meant to be better than the rest? My brother, who I adopted as my own to ensure the security of the lineage, has betrayed me and sided with the Hosokawa clan. A rivalry he didn't want in the first place, he was a religious man and nothing more, he has been used as an excuse to spark a civil war by the Hosokawa clan. Why? The rightful heir, my real son by blood was born, and my brother's succession to the position of Shogun contested.

Now in the year 1467 in the month of May I must raise my armies, recruit my samurai, plot, murder, pillage and conquer, all because of greed. By the end of all this no one who contests the rule of the Ashikaga Shogunate can be left alive.

I am Ashikaga Yoshimaru and I am the real Shogun.


The leader of the Ashikaga clan starts out much like any other leader, with 25 honor, a reasonable amount of wealth, alright stats and a few traits. He is a man who thrives while plotting and scheming for power, dishonorable some might say, but power is power. As any man who wants to be on top of the world he's not much for idly sitting by while others have it, or anything for that matter. He occasionally spends time in the garden, where he stabs people.

Unlike most clan leaders of the era he does not have any vassals, when the Shogun's power is uncontested why should he? Unfortunately his father left him a weak Shogunate in a time of strife, vassals will be necessary, even if his starting position as the Daimyo of his very own Kuni (Sort of) is an advantageous start.

The Shogun is married and has had his first child with his first wife, she is of little importance and will come to be just one among many. The boy however has, even at the young age of 5, shown the remarkable quality of Humility, as such he already accumulates the respect of those around him. Some would say this child is to blame for the entire Sengoku Jidai, others see through such nonsense. Once traced back any blame can be quite clearly placed at the feet of the Shogun's ungrateful brother Yoshimi, Scum of Scum and Traitor of Traitors.

Speaking of brothers, as you can see the Shogun has two, the aforementioned Ashikaga Yoshimi, head of the Soejimo traitors, Scum of Scum and Traitor of Traitors. He also has another brother, the honorable albeit incompetent Ashikaga Masatomo. Sent to the east to mend the relationship between the Uesugi and the Koga-Ashikaga, rightful rulers of the Kamakura-fu, he failed in his task and now serves as a simple vassal to his Uesugi masters in their petty play for power. Perhaps one day he or his heirs can be something more again, they are after all relatives.

Any ruler must have servants, if he wishes to rule competently. Little can be accomplished if you do not delegate. As such I must fill the court and naturally pick the most competent servants, you may notice that when I do get a choice I keep the one with the highest diplomacy out of the court, this will come into play later once it's time to hand out territory. Once the positions have been appointed I set them to their duties, I cannot afford any guilds at this point anyways, and because expanding guilds reduces tax which pushes me into the negative that is out of the question, nor can I make much use of ninjas. That leaves me with but one option, one of the most viable weapons in Sengoku is Sow Dissent, at least in the early game, and since my brother Masatomo has failed miserably in the east I must do anything I can do slow down the blob that is Uesugi. Thus I send my Master of the Guard to sour the relationship between one of Uesugis main Daimyos, Nagao Kagenobu, and his liege. The Master of Ceremonies is sent to Uji to build a Guild Hall (Uji is presumably meant to reprsent Kyoto, the capital of the Shogunate and all of Japan, as it starts with a tier 2 village) and the Master of Arms is sent to Kadono to build a Castle.

Onto the next tab...

To begin with I nominate my heir as the heir to the Ashikaga clan, one must do this manually before he assigns his first vassal unless he wants to have a pretender who will always sit at -25 reputation with him, as well as another -50 if he falls below 0. As you can see I do have available decisions, but I can't really afford to spend right now. These are very viable later on however, they let you maintain a permanent high honor, so I'll be back.

At this point I realize that the Shogun is the Man of Men, Ruler of Rulers. In a society where polygamy is not only accepted but actively practiced, who else but him should have a harem of beautiful, viable babycontraptions to fulfill all his needs? Thus I set to arranging marriages with every potential candidate I find, because even if a few reject me I still have 8 more offers on the table, right? Since I already have an heir, and with some RNG luck he'll end up staying alive until it's time to assume the throne, I focus on producing large quantities of offpsring, rather than quality. As such I look for the fertility bonus traits, and propose to everyone that has one, young or old, although I try to avoid negative traits such as "I'm an idiot and wat is 1+1?".

On the next tab, the military tab, I immediately raise all available levies and recruit 4 Infantry retinues for my Honor Guard, my personal retinue. I choose infantry because while Cavalry certainly fight better they cannot help in fortress assaults, something which is a key part of my military strategy. Although plotting is great when it works, when you're at war with half the world you hardly need to worry about it. The character and diplomacy tabs can be left alone for now, and the Shogun has had no reason to subject himself to the mindgames of the religious loons yet. So we're done.


Army raised, it's time to send out the orders. Having played quite a few Ashikaga games up to about 1490 and only making it to 1500+ once which is when I chose to make this, I feel fairly confident in my early game. And so I order one levy to Kizu from where he will block Hatakeyama's conquests in the area, two levies are sent to Sagara where they will battle one levy and win, arriving before and sieging the province before, but alongside Yamana levies. The remaining two levies are sent to Uji where they will hold at the beginning, here I must be very careful. The Hosokawa clan is very, very interested in holding onto it's eastern territories, so much that they regularly gather up massive hosts and march right across your territory while ignoring you, as long as you stay out of the way.

I choose to keep this small army inside my own territory for two reasons, it allows my personal retinue to spawn (They require a general and, I believe, the main part or at least a large portion of your army sitting inside friendly territory) and it lets me handle any small sieges. As a minor power the later is very important, the AI tends to support it's own sieges, but it also has vassals who control their own retinues. When they arrive with their 250 soldiers they can be defeated quite easily, but if you let it stew his liege and/or other vassals will eventually arrive and reinforce him. Basically, don't let them blob up if you can avoid it.

Time to let the Ōnin War commence and ensure the continuation of the Ashikaga Shogunate. Wheter they want to accept it or not, I am the real Shogun.​


End of Part One, I have part two's screens ready, need to head out for a few hours, will write it up and post later. Screw sleep, I have an AAR to make.
 
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DarthJF

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Nice, I'll keep following. Interesting to see if you can reaffirm the Ashikaga central authority. :)
 

Sensational

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Nice, I'll keep following. Interesting to see if you can reaffirm the Ashikaga central authority. :)
I got a good start, that's for sure.
Subscribed. We will how it will play out :)
<3

First update coming, been editing pictures for like an hour now (76 screens! =D), didn't realize how much work this is but I'm loving every minute of it and I'm not sleeping until this one is up even if it is 3 in the morning. Luckily I have no life.
 
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Sensational

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I am the Real Shogun! - The AAR
Update 1: The Adopted Son/Brother and the Second Daimyo - Part Two.​
This will be a bit more picture heavy, read it like any book, left to right, bottom of the stack to the top of the stack, as far as the narrative goes. There might be some exceptions (The second picture, for example =D), you should figure it out. Let me know if you hate this style. It should get better as I become more familiar with it/don't decide going for it halfway through. Looking at it in retrospect it's way to messy, will definitely clean it up for the next post.

I'll also go ahead and apologize once more in advance, this time about the names. I'm trying, I really am, but Japanese names are seriously difficult when you've never delved into the culture before. Matasomo Makatsumo Matakomo Rokokomanykokoko.


The immediate results of my initial strategy, I am a happily married man. I mean who wouldn't be happily married when you have 4 wives, any issues you might've had with marriage gets thrown out the window when you go with polygamy. Arguments? They'll argue with each other. Affection? You'll never run out, the competitive spirit ensures that. Boredom? Won't happen, just won't. Cheating on you? Eh, you've got 3 more. And to top it all of none of them are lepers, they're all fresh, 30% more fertile babycontraptions of one kind or another.

What might be more important, and surely more interesting, is that you can see the strategy I detailed above for yourself. This is my opening move as Ashikaga, it appears to work most of the time with even the most random RNG happening (This game has had it's fair share of that so far, quite liking the results, you'll see more of that later). Well it works in a way, it stops you from being completely stomped by Hosokawa, which is the result I had before I started trying this one.

So, that monster horde trampling through my territory? Yep, headed east and I'm all clear for now. Sagara is being sieged, the Kizu levy is doing just what I want it to and my main army is strolling around waiting for those suicidal Hosokawa vassals to appear. I spot one heading for the province where my family resides:

12th August, 1467: This is my first battle in the Ōnin war, excluding the ones my levies engage in with my original moves, this is the first one I "choose" to engage in. To my great surprise, despite a 7 to 1 advantage the Hosokawa's most loyal subjects prove to be formidable enough. Wounded in battle? Well the wound might plague me until I randomly fall dead for no apparent reason sometime soon but the heroic initial victory, nevermind the odds, surely inspire loyalty in my fearless peasant army.

1st November, 1467: There's very little going on at the start of the game, some months pass between each battle and now another vassal retinue approaches, I quickly dispatch of it and move my army south. Once there I run into a bit of an issue, there's yet another massive army matching through my lands and I just hope and pray (Although I don't practice any religion as of yet, none offer any real power, I wonder when that will change /hint) that they're heading east or at least invading my immediate neighbour, the Buddisht clan of Rokkamanykokokos. The former seems the likely option, as you can see they have lands in the east, surrounded by Toki and Shiba. Although both have battles to fight in the northern theatre they do spend resources conquering the Hosokawa territories.

So basically, the reason the Hosokawa armies are ignoring me? They have more pressing issues, to be completely fair unless they lose the war in the west and east I pose no real threat to them, should they so choose to, and they occasionally do, they completely ravage me and I'm powerless to stop it. Fortunately that means as long as the rightful side is the victor, I have a lot of expansion opportunities in the early part of the Sengoku Jidai, I just need to make sure I grab them before the troops of the eastern and western clans do, while estimating the power of the Hosokawa's reaction.

The western (Southwest perhaps, but that's too complex) and northern theatre, in the west the Ouchi, Takeda, Kono and Yamana face off against Kyogoku, Akamatsu and Hosokawa, occasionally aided by the rebellious, Onyu-Takeda. Rebellious? Even more so than those who dare engage in an open civil war against their rightful Shogun, must be those who engage not only in said war, but break off from their own family to do so!

In the north there is another example of such a betrayal, the rebel clan of Daizu - Hatakeyama have broken off from their own clan, the Hatakeyama of the south, and are slowly conquering their territories on the northern edge of this war. With them are the Togashi, Kyogoku, Niu - Shiba and the eastern troops of the Hosokawa plus reinforcements arriving from the west. The Onyu - Takeda makes the occasional appearence here as well.

On the opposing side? A few troops from the northern provinces of the Hatakeyama and Shiba, who perish quite early. Then there's the Toki who focus their full might on the north, the Shiba who once they've dealt with the Hosokawa also head there, the Rokomanykokokokos who usually conquer the central northern provinces, and of course the eastern troops of the Takeda clan.

I'm afraid the strategy of the early war is quite boring to witness, as you can see I defeat vassal retinues one by one, I try to move south to engage in the siege but before I even get there I am forced to move north again to stomp out another siege before it grows like a tumor. It is also important that I keep my army in my own territories until my Samurai retinue has reached the respectable size of 1000 strong.

25th June, 1468: On this day Sagara falls, while a small and insignificant clan they did indeed turn on the Shogun, as such their existance is erased. More importantly, I can finally move on.

With Sagara in my hands I turn my eyes towards my traitorous brother, one of his provinces is currently under siege by the levy I sent there at the start of the war, that siege is well underway but I have to make sure that I establish the sieges in the other two provinces he holds, Soekami and Yamabe. It would not do to have another clan as overlord of the lands of the righful Shogun. I split my Sagara siege force and send them on their way.

The first steps of the second Daimyo are taken by Ashikaga Harutane as I grant him the title of Kokujin of Sagara. A diplomatic man (Hence why I saved him for this), he makes an excellent vassal because he's easy to get along with. While Sagara is technically inside my own Kuni I do not want to hold all provinces within it, the revolt risk of +5 that you get per every province you hold above 5 is simply not worth it. Especially not if you look to the future and a certain group of peasant lunatics. I will however seek to hold 6, once you get theatres running that revolt risk goes away and the profit you gain is certainly worth it. As you can see my troops are besieging every province that the Soejimo rebels siezed in their attempt on the Shogunate, assuming no interruption from the Hosokawa clan you'll see a united Ashikaga once more soon enough.

1st September, 1468: Unfortunately, the Hosokawa army I was hoping would be heading east does in fact stick around to siege my provinze, Kuse. In a move of sheer brilliance (ohhai =D) instead of assaulting head on I decide that offense is my best defense. I head south on the gamble that the province of Soejimo will go from "Suicidal assault" to "Fair chance of winning" with the addition of some extra troops, or at least capitulate soon enough for me to rush to the defense.

The former does happen, this is where having an infantry army as a smaller clan does work in your favor, as you can assault fortifications much more effectively which lets you react to situations such as this one with more force. Most Honourable vassal Ashikaga Horutane is granted yet another Kokujin title with the conquest of Soejimo, and my military might is ready for it's first true challenge. I send them north, to Tsuzuki. There I hold, they have a cavalry army, or at least a larger portion than mine. I gain nothing by attacking right away so I simply wait for an opportunity of any sort.

I figured they'd either assault, leave or get reinforced. The first would be the best scenario for me, the last the worst. Luckily the AI likes me this time around, he decides to assault with my army just one province over. The garrison of the castle hits 45 soldiers, my army arrives, despite the morale losses of the Hosokawa army the battle is fierce. Numerically they still have a slight advantage and since their cavalry force can't engage in the siege they've lost no morale. The start of that battle was quite exciting to say the least, maybe because it's the first decisive event of this game. I did actually think I would lose, I figured I had attacked too early, because they looked to be winning. Then their cavalry ran out of juice, and that threatening green bar started running out for them, their infantry units were fighting and losing. Also keep in mind that I play on the lowest speed setting at the start, each little mistake really hurts you at this point, so the slow speed really helps. Anyways, the speed lets me see each little shift in the battle, that definitely makes it more interesting.

Had I lost I would've lost my main standing army, one of my main provinces and would probably have been way behind in the conquest of the remaining Hosokawa territories once we get towards the end of this war, assuming we win, the other way around and I'd be in an even worse situation. In all honesty I don't know how this one will go either, I haven't played that far yet but this one battle definitely made it look promising as they have literally no troops available at the moment, in the central area.

Either way, they still have 400 soldiers moving in from the east, I don't want to fight 400 fresh men with my exhausted army, not because I'd lose but because I want to pursue and destroy the rest of the Hosokawa army. So I panic and send my troops to what I percieve to be the closest province, Uji. I could've just followed them but I end up going Uji > Kii > Tokuni where I defeat the remnants of their army. After that I head east to Kuse and finish up the other retinue that for some reason decided to start up the Kuse siege again.

15th January, 1468: With no opposition left on this part of the map, and no levies coming up for quite some time I send my army south to aid in the Siege of Soekami.

As the siege is underway I recieve word that the construction of the Castle in Kadono is completed, perhaps I should take some time to explain my strategy in this part of the game. It's not too complex, basically the first Military building, the Castle, grants +1 levy size, so I ensure that every province has that. Once done, the next levy size upgrade comes at tier 3, with the Stone Base, and I go from province to province making sure each one gets that. So basically Castle x6, then Earthwork Palisade >Stone Base, rinse and repeat. For the Village buildings, the strategy is similar. The first retinue upgrade comes at the Guild Hall, tier 3. Then Road Network and then Geisha District. So you ensure that all your provinces has each upgrade before you move onto the next tier. I send my Master of the Guard to raise another Castle in the province of Kii.

Another interesting thing happens, something I haven't seen a lot. A ronin party randomly appears in one of my provinces looking for work. I haven't been looking for them at all, and I usually don't get them even if I do. Sadly this one costs 75 "wealth", something I'm not even close to being capable of spending.

22nd December, 1468: Soekami is the next province that surrenders to me, every traitor in it is given the choice of Seppuku, or obligatory Seppuku. My Most Loyal Ally Ashikaga Harutane earns the right to his third Kokujin title, that of Soekami. The Ashikaga forces march on the capital of the Soejimo traitors.

With yet another, although very important siege underway there's more time for civic matters, where my brother Ashikaga Masatomo failed my Master of the Guard succeeds. Perhaps my brother is too incompetent to incorporate into any future plans after all, even some lowly courtier outperforms him. While Masatomo's goal was to reach a peaceful solution that let the Shogunate maintain it's power in the east, mine is a bit more violent. My Master of the Guard has stirred up so much trouble that Uesugi's unruly vassal Nagao Kageharu has started a rebellion. While such things are dishonorable and disgraceful, in times like these they seem more or less neccessary. Surely an internal conflict such as this will slow down the mighty Uesugi, and perhaps spare the Ashikagan Kamakura-Fu from complete obliteration, they do indeed live on for now.

After such a successful mission I can't help but think that he should continue in the same style, a more local threat is one I wish to dismantle without resorting to armed conflict too soon. The Ishiki clan just east of me, during the early years of the war they were neutral, but they soon launched an attack on their Shiba neighbours, much to the delight of the Hosokawa who could thus maintain some power in the east. But not only that, the disloyal vassals of the Oda clan (Sweet! =D) broke free from the Shiba, forming their own 3 Kokujin power in central Japan with Oda Toshihito as the leader (When I saw them I had hoped for the other guy, since he's the actual forefather of the big man himself, oh I love that extra flavor, oh well). Perhaps I'd be better of trying this with Hosokawa, or even my larger allies who won't be that for very long, but in the long term I think that the later will be fought with plots, and the former will likely lose the war. So, I set my Master of the Guard to dismantling my soon to be neighbour, I find the weak spot among his vassals and I put him to work. Beyond that the construction of the Guild Hall in Uji will be done a bit sooner than expected, always welcome news.

Still sieging that last province, not much longer to go now. However good news does come all at once it seems, another heir is born at which point I realize that I've forgotten to record the birth of my second son, perhaps I didn't even know he existed at all until now. It is possible that I did even mention it at some point, then forgot I had done so and then forgot that he existed. A Shogun's mind does not function well without sleep. My third son, Ashikaga Haruhisa, has demonstrated the seed of Justice at the age of one day old when he suckled each of his mother's breasts equally long. Surely a future leader of men.

But not all good news have to do with heirs, the Castle in Kii is almost finished and the long awaited Guild Hall has finally finished construction in Uji, the guilds are so pleased with me that they donate arms and supplies for another personal retinue of Samurai to their rightful ruler, the Shogun. This, along with a not insignificant portion of my wealth (But mostly it's just the Samurai, I promise) makes me finally decide that it's time to move up in the world. I petition the emperor for the imperial title of Jugoi and he does not object.
The Master of Ceremonies beings construction of an Inn in Kadono.

The siege carries on, assault after assault hits the walls of Yamabe, yet they fight like men, not traitors. Had these fools not betrayed me in the first place they would've made fine warriors, now they will die. On a happier note the Castle in Kii is finished and my Master of Arms moves onto Uji.

28th of may, 1471: Yamambe falls, the Soejima traitors are put to the blade, every last one of them. Men, women and children, no one lives. Curious that it should happen on the same month as it started, 3 years later. The war could be over now, the spark that lit the flame has been put out, there's no reason to go on. Yet everyone does, the Hosokawa fight because of greed, I will fight because the Ashikaga Shogunate should be nothing but uncontested now and forever. The rest, they have their own reasons.

Ashikaga Harutane, the Second Daimyo, is granted his fourth Kokujin. Soon enough he will come to claim the coveted title.

What remains of the Ashikaga forces are sent north, the war has only begun and a fresh batch of Ashigaru and Samurai are eagerly waiting to take the place of the veterans, wounded and dead. The Shogunate is ready.




End of Part Two and this Update. More to come.
 
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Cybvep

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The vassals tend to stack their armies in one or two provinces, so those 250-retinues change to 1000 or 2000 men rather quickly if you have many vassals.
 

Blxz

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"He occasionally spends time in the garden, where he stabs people."

AND

"has demonstrated the seed of Justice at the age of one day old when he suckled each of his mother's breasts equally long. Surely a future leader of men."

Truly epic quotes. Am very impressed by this AAR. Keep up the good work. Can't wait to see how this goes. Best of luck on the future!
 

Qorten

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It's a very nice writing style, Sensational. Reminds me a bit of CatKnight's AAR-writing. The game seems very well playable already, so I hope you can finish this if you don't get tired of writing halfway through.
 

Sensational

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"He occasionally spends time in the garden, where he stabs people."

AND

"has demonstrated the seed of Justice at the age of one day old when he suckled each of his mother's breasts equally long. Surely a future leader of men."

Truly epic quotes. Am very impressed by this AAR. Keep up the good work. Can't wait to see how this goes. Best of luck on the future!
Thank you!
It's a very nice writing style, Sensational. Reminds me a bit of CatKnight's AAR-writing. The game seems very well playable already, so I hope you can finish this if you don't get tired of writing halfway through.
Thanks, I had to look him up, his AAR is pretty awesome!
 
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Brougal

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Well, does Oda Toshisada still possess his lands? you could use ninjas to lower honor of loyal Shiba clan and offer him protection of the rightfull Shogun ;) or just ignore it since it's most likely not worth it :p
 

Sensational

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Well, does Oda Toshisada still possess his lands? you could use ninjas to lower honor of loyal Shiba clan and offer him protection of the rightfull Shogun ;) or just ignore it since it's most likely not worth it :p
He does, yeah. I've actually never tried diplomatic "conquest", I do wonder what would happen if I used sow dissent on him though, would he make his own Oda clan or join up with the current one? =D

Btw, probably won't update today, having issues installing some new RAM. I am however playing now, will get something up tomorrow.

Edit: It's 1482, I have 216 (1.66 GB, .bmp ftw =D) screens I have to work down into updates, that's going to end up being at least 2 updates, possibly even 3 or 4, troop movements can be easily condensed and this part is absolutely riddled with them. One will be up tomorrow for sure, so might the second. I won't reveal what has happened though, you'll have to see that for yourself.
 
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Sensational

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I am the Real Shogun! - The AAR
Update 2: The Hosokawa and the Heir - Part One.​
I feel like the style has been a bit refined, but I understand if some might still find it messy. Basically tried to keep it the same throughout each picture, to avoid confusion. This Update will be very heavy on military moves, I'm not sure if it is perhaps a bit too much detail, the first part is basically only that. There is more to it, some quite interesting events will take place later on.

Anyways, decided to push it out in small pieces, so I'm at least posting something. For reference the last picture is number 37 out of 216, so there's content for more of the same if it's wanted.


The war has been harsh on many, there are grieving widows, not so many of ours as there is in the Hosokawa clan, sacrifices must be made in times of war. Even so, there are still those who live, who've served faithfully. I decide it's time for them to go home, it is time for their sons and brothers to serve me as they have. Fresh levies are drafted. I have as you may remember, sent my forces north in preparation.

14th July, 1471: Hosokawa forces have conquered Kuwada, blinded by their greed they don't yet see me as much of a threat so their army marches south leaving the freshly conquered province undefended. An opportunity I must take, a Shogun must know when to play the part of the viper, and when to play the part of the bear. I set out to arrive as soon after their departure as possible, a strategy I've learned from my enemies. As we journey north I recieve word that there's been an accident at the construction site in Kadono, an unfortunate delay but nothing disastrous

13th August, 1471: We arrive at Kuwada, destroy what little remains of the Hosokawa army and immediately begin the assault of the enemy fortress.
On the 26th the fortress falls, I keep this conquest for myself only because I realize that I will soon lose it. Hosokawa may be driven by greed but he is no imbecile, he has overwhelming numbers in the area and he will use them.


And so he does, at the end of September, out of nowhere (Literally, I either didn't see it or I experienced this teleport bug I've been hearing about) an army slightly weaker than mine launch an assault on our troops as we're marching south. This force, while a threat, isn't the issue. To the south, in Shimakami, another Hosokawa army is marching north towards us. Together they would crush my forces. My men fight bravely, we couldn't manuever into a retreat swiftly enough and take heavy losses yet the enemy sustain even more, fortunately the second Hosokawa army gets to spend little time fighting us as we retreat south. To the south they have sent another army to besiege a province of mine, Kii.

They lay siege to Kuwada and I have no intention of lifting it, it was to serve as a good distraction at best. I march east, my forces need rest. Unfortunately the Hosokawa military is stronger than I thought, they conquer Kuwada faster than even I did and I decide I must act. My army rushes towards Kii, that siege must be broken before it is reinforced.

During the march I recieve word from Kii, their army has retreated into the province of Kodono. How much of a retreat you can call it I don't know, their army is now besieging my capital (Judging by where I live it must be!) with a force more than twice the size of the one they had in Kii. In fact, they have an even stronger army marching through that same province to continue the siege in Kii. That choice will prove to be a mistake for them, I assault the sieging forces in Kadono as soon as the larger army leaves, there I achieve victory and they lose one third of their army. The rest retreat to Kii, and their main force leaves Kii to pursue my army. This is a battle I can't win, I set my forces on the path back into Rokkaku territory. There's another 1000 Hosokawa levies approaching from the north, they just keep coming.

It is now that I realize that perhaps I was the one who made a mistake, they arrive first. Their numerical advantage is obvious, and the battle does not go well, I am forced to retreat once more. This time however, they make no foolish mistake, their army pursues me into Rokkaku territory, where they deliver a crushing blow to my military power. Having clearly beaten me the remains of their army links up with their forces in Kii, the siege is now 2318 men strong.

271 soldiers still remain, some of the best warriors the Shogunate will ever see, hardened through battle. 32 soldiers from the provincial levies remain, I send them home to a hero's welcome. At this point in time, with some reinforcements arriving for my retinue, I sit at a total army size of 521 soldiers. The enemy forces in the theatre contain around 7700 soldiers, they have a slight advantage. I march my forces southward, I figure I can use my retinue to destroy at least a few of the smaller Hosokawa armies in the area. My Most Loyal vassal uses his personal retinue to lay siege to Manda, perhaps to bravely serve as a distraction, or some other ingenious military strategy. He is after all a great man.

Having cleared the south of immediate threats I march my army north, once there I send word to raise fresh levies, my retinue while strong, is hardly enough to defeat the Hosokawa. Yet even with the new levies I decide to stay on the defensive, the Hosokawa have a strong force in Kii and while an even stronger one is in the theatre that one is now my neighbours problem. So I march south once more and lift the Siege at Tsuzuki.

With the siege lifted, another group of levies are recruited and sent north, now I am the one with the numerical advantage, at least over the besiegers in Kii and while the Hosokawa do field more cavalry than me I decide to gamble and assault them, at the very least the siege will be weakened. As the battle rages another 720 men from the Hosokawa rekindle the siege in Tsuzuki.

The gamble pays off, the battle is indeed a loss, yet the objective is reached.

11th February, 1473: The siege in Kii has been lifted and the Hosokawa forces scatter, one of the groups is marching towards Uji and I decide to pursue. Once in Uji the Hosokawa force avoids engagement and marches north. The army rests in Uji, truth be told they have little choice, the Hosokawa are everywhere. That little choice soon shows, not long after they set up camp to rest the Hosokawa are sighted entering the province. The men prepare for battle once more, what little they can do when they haven't even wiped off the blood and sweat from the previous one. We are forced to retreat, we are in no condition to do battle, we march south to Kuse with the enemy close behind.

The sheer brilliance of Ashikaga Yoshimasa would come to stun many contemporary strategists, and this was one such example. While marching south towards Kuse the rightful Shogun tricks his enemy by masking his trail, at a river crossing he orders a small contingent of troops to continue southward, deliberately creating a larger trail than they'd normally leave behind.

The rest of the army marches west, and settles in a particularly dense forest. The ruse works, the enemy army continues south to Kuse. There they lay siege to the castle, thinking that our army and brave Shogun are trapped inside, while he is in fact marching right back to Uji! (Had to come up with some sort of explanation for the ping pong battle system, stroking your own ego is always fun).

6th April, 1473: In Uji we stop, the army is exhausted, in a camp of men that have just lost battles the mood is always somber, but this time more so than ever before in this campaign. Kuse is besieged, Tsuzuki is Besiged. Many men have died, just like their fathers, brothers and friends before them, and the Hosokawa numbers seemingly never dwindle. The Shogun can only be Shogun by might, what might does he possess if he cannot beat the enemy armies? When all he can do is utilize his cunning to flee?

Lesser men can't see the grand scheme of such things. But Yoshimasa is no lesser man. More levies are raised.


End of Part One.
 
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