Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Ikusa» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Optimal army composition rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Robert Feyerharm
United States
Avon
Connecticut
flag msg tools
I played Shogun in high school quite a bit, and recently my local gamer group played Shogun (or Samurai Swords) and had a blast. There are many levels of strategy in Samurai Swords, and army composition is certainly an important part of a winning strategy that is fun to play around with.

After comparing the purchasing costs and hitting power of the units, IMHO one powerful strategy is to bulk up at least one army with missile units and fill the remaining armies with cheap spearmen. If two armies are within 1-2 territories of each other, then early in the game it may prove beneficial to: 1) build Ashigaru gunners in Army A & B (for a total of 3 gunners per army), 2) drop off all 3 gunners & 1 archer from Army A into a friendly province, and 3) move Army B to pick up the missile units, thus populating Army B with 6 gunners and 2 archers.

Given the right configuration of armies and adjacent friendly provinces, the above steps can be achieved in a single turn. The resulting army is beefed up with missile units and can inflict, on average, 3 hits on an enemy force during the missile fire phase. This doesn't sound like much, but it can be enough to tip the balance in your favor. During my last game, I managed to wipe out two enemy armies with my uber missile army. It helps to add a few spearmen to the army to absorb casualties. More archers and gunners also help, of course!

There are drawbacks to this strategy - namely you leave one of your armies bereft of units and hence temporarily vulnerable. So this strategy doesn't work in every game. But if the weakened army is not directly threatened by enemy armies, you can stock it with spearmen and use it to mop up thinly garrisoned provinces while your missile army takes on enemy armies. Another weakness: your opponents may simply avoid your uber army, or hit it with the ninja. Nevertheless, there's certainly a visceral thrill to mowing down an army with concentrated arquebus and bow fire!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Noel
United States
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That's an idea I've never considered. I usually beef up the missile troops, with bowmen and gunners, but never weaken one army to build up another. I find that in most situations you need all three armies.
In the beginning stages of the game I go for bowmen, then gunners. I fill up the provinces around my armies with spearmen for fodder and to make sure I'm not having to drop a good unit when I leave a newly captured province.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M@tthijs
Netherlands
Venlo
flag msg tools
November 11, 1918 - end of WW-I
badge
Lest we forget
Avatar
mb
robertf wrote:
...my uber missile army...
LOL

Sounds good, though antother disadvantage is that your weak missile troop gathering army might not build up experience. (Unless, of course, you succeed in your tactic or picking up missile troops AND finding time to mop up enemy provincial armies.)

Having an army stocked with missile troops also seems to have a demoralizing effect on opponents, I noticed.

Thanks for the idea, looking forward to my next play!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew H
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I found in most cases when you can attack an opponents army with one of yours you can attack an opponents army with two of your armies. Keeping all three armies well stocked with as many archers and gunners as possible is a big plus but I usually keep all of the armies strong rather thn strip down one to build another.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Prizzi
United States
West Newton
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
Hmmm, I haven't played in awhile (unfortunately- it's a great game), and I don't have the rules in front of me- but- my spidey sense it telling me that you can't weaken one army to strengthen another. If I recall, one a unit goes into an army, the only ways it can come out are to (1) leave behind 1 unit to garrision what would otherwise be an empty province or (2) in a body bag.

That being said, I agree that loading up missile units in an army is a very good way to field a potent combat force. I generally do this with bowmen and gunners. Of course your "uber army" is going to be a ninja magnet.

Of course I may not be remembering the rules correctly.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Fox
United States
Chandler
Arizona
flag msg tools
Fear cannot be banished, but it can be calm and without panic; it can be mitigated by reason and evaluation.
badge
A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Aye, a full ranged army will probably not be moving very often and will be led by the highest ranking man in the army without a knife in his back ...

ninja

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Kalk
Canada
flag msg tools
mbmb
prizziap wrote:
Hmmm, I haven't played in awhile (unfortunately- it's a great game), and I don't have the rules in front of me- but- my spidey sense it telling me that you can't weaken one army to strengthen another. If I recall, one a unit goes into an army, the only ways it can come out are to (1) leave behind 1 unit to garrision what would otherwise be an empty province or (2) in a body bag.

That being said, I agree that loading up missile units in an army is a very good way to field a potent combat force. I generally do this with bowmen and gunners. Of course your "uber army" is going to be a ninja magnet.

Of course I may not be remembering the rules correctly.


Actually, the rules state that you must split off 1 or more units as a garrison, so if you force the army to leave behind troops, you can strip it completely.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Labelle
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah,
You can't do a direct exchange between two armies. But, through drop offs, pick ups and maneuvering, you can get units from one army to another.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.