We played a five -player game of Shogun. Here is who played what;
After the initial setup and first round of non-army to army combat, the board had the following make-up.
The right side of the board had Green and Blue, Orange had a band running from the upper right hand of the board through to the middle. The small island and middle coast was Purple while the large Island on the left was bound to be Red along with the coast and middle top of the board.
Everyone except for me was a newbie, although my experience was limited to only two player games most of which took place when I was 12.
Blue and Red came out as dominate forces fairly quickly while Orange and Green duked it out leaving Orange out of the game and Green down to one army. Blue also had it out with Green, but made a peace treaty allowing Blue to be the one to actually defeat Orange. This was advantageous to all as Blue still had all his armies while Orange had only one and could have had his two dead armies resurrected. In the end blue didn’t get much out of Oranges demise as Orange only had 4 province cards left.
Meanwhile, Red had started to expand deep into Purple territory and the inevitable battles finally happened. Red had the upper hand with his two local armies containing 3-4 bowman and three gunners in each army. Purple relied to much on Swordman and spearman, the spearman giving him plenty of fodder but not much muscle. Purple lost only one army, but was reduced to only a handful of cards.
In the last few turns, Purple and Green were taking in only 3 and 4 Koku respectively, while Blue and Red were raking in 9 Koku a round. This helped out there land and securing of the Ninja, which in turn lead to both of their Daiymo’s being assassinated more then once.
In the end, due to the lateness of the clock, we decided to wrap it up. Red won with 28 provinces (1 army left), Blue had 21(2 armies) and the rest was split between Purple(2 armies) and Green(1 army). If the game went on longer, Red would have lost it’s grip on Japan, but Red (me was eyeing up Greens’s lone army. That was actually how I lost my second Army.
Strategy notes: To secure the Large Island I built castles/fortress’s at all entry points to the island. I always went with at least 3 Bowman per Army. Having two armies instead of three isn’t that bad. It allowed me to really load up on gunners and Bowman.
Everybody really enjoyed the game and I know Shogun will see the table very soon. The next time I know everybody will have formulated a strategy and the game will also move faster.