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Subject: An Inscrutable Review in Haiku rss

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David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Port Macquarie
NSW
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Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
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Shogun



AKA Samurai Swords, AKA Ikusa
Multi-player game of warfare and negotiation, set in Japan
Designed by Michael Gray
Published by Milton Bradley (1986)





First Impressions


Colourful plastic
Soldiers, swords, castles fill the
Box to the brim. Joy!



Rules Quality

The rules are not short
But they are very clear with
Examples of play.


Rules Summary

Money is power.
Your army grows to fight your
Foes. Destroy them all.


Game play

The tall poppy is
A target. Keep your real plan
Hidden from the world.



Impressions

Be inscrutable.
Deceive your enemies. The
Skill is in your words.





I first played Shogun when it was released in 1986. I think it is a brilliant wargame. Having come from a background of ‘serious’ wargames, it looked and felt like a kids game. It isn’t.

Despite the amazing production values with screens, swords, sword holders and plastic soldiers it is a serious wargame with multiple strategies.

Shogun is very much a game of military strategy. A key to success in the game is to look at and understand the map. As armies gain experience their movement rate increases. The layout of the map allows many sweeping manoeuvres – control of islands and movement along sea routes gives a player great mobility and the opportunity to swiftly move armies from one end of Japan to the other. From the very start of the game it is important to try to gain control of provinces that will allow you long-term military opportunities.



Shogun is very much a game of diplomacy and negotiation. It is important to not hold grudges or to seek revenge. Revenge is a luxury and you cannot afford it. Your enemy today may be your friend tomorrow. It is important to not appear to be too powerful.

Shogun is very much an economic game. It is important to use your money wisely. It is a nice aspect of the game that players have to secretly plan their spending at the start of each turn. As players are bidding for some limited resources it means that you have to work out very carefully how much something is worth to you and how much it may be worth to someone else.

Shogun is a game with a great deal of variety in as each game goes through stages. Initially players try to gain control of their own little empire, consolidating what they can hold and giving up what is indefensible. Generals control armies and as each player has only three generals and, consequently, three forces of manoeuvre you become personally attached to each general. You try to be as audacious as possible with each one and, at the same time, try to protect them from possible annihilation. You always look for opportunities to eliminate other players’ generals.

Shogun is an excellent game for five players. The only negative aspect is that player elimination is a central aspect of the design. One the bright side, once the first player is eliminated the game is probably going to end fairly quickly after that.

It is a game that looks good and feels good.




Be my friend today.
Tomorrow I will have to
Destroy you. So sad.




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Jason Meyers
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Re: A Review in Haiku
In a way, this title was generally over-shadowed by its "big brother," Axis & Allies, yet it is a superior game, imo.

Creative review...well done! thumbsup
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Pete
Australia
Fitzroy North
Victoria
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General Dominique-Joseph René Vandamme, Count of Unseburg (5 November 1770, Cassel, Nord – 15 July 1830)
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Re: A Review in Haiku
Excellent review!

Another game I need to try! shake
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David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Port Macquarie
NSW
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Re: A Review in Haiku
Spielemitkinder wrote:
In a way, this title was generally over-shadowed by its "big brother," Axis & Allies, yet it is a superior game, imo.

Creative review...well done! thumbsup


I felt that Shogun and Fortress America were both vastly superior to Axis & Allies.

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Mike Spartz
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Ikusa » Forums » Reviews
Re: A Review in Haiku
Quote:
One the bright side, once the first player is eliminated the game is probably going to end fairly quickly after that.


We've always played that you can end the game two ways: have the correct amount of territory at the end of a round OR kill someone's last general. at that point you get all their lands and then whoever has the most wins (not always the same person).
 
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