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Subject: Victory Point Shogun Session III rss

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Noord Brabant
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On Saturday we played our third game of Victory Point Shogun. A system designed to make the game faster, with increased tension as the experience of the Daimyo’s progress.

Victory Point Shogun variant:

1st round (12 armies)
With 4 players in a game of Shogun there is a lot of room to maneuver with your Daimyo’s. To some degree they are (or should be) safer from sudden attacks by enemy Daimyo’s. With this in mind the Blue player decided to spread out his armies wide across the board, one in the north and two on the Western side of Central Japan. Opposite of him the Green player made efforts to claim Shikoku (the smallest Island) and the Eastern part of Central Japan. South Japan was covered by Orange with a 3 army presence in the South of Honshu Island. Surprisingly Kyushu was only covered by one Green army. The stage was set and it looked like Blue would have a tough fight against 3 Purple armies in the North, 2 Green armies in Central Japan, and also trying to cover ground with one of its armies in territory to which 2 Orange armies laid a claim. All players but Purple decided to put all their koku in the Levy Units box, so Purple could claim fourth place with one koku in Take Swords. Green got the third place Sword and that proved critical for the things to come. Blue was first and took the lead but didn’t notice the danger it was placing its armies in. Both the Green and Purple player took matters in their own hands; in the North a Blue army was easily cut off from the rest of the field while in Central Japan, Green placed two of its armies next to one of the remaining Blue Armies. With Green and Purple setting up a potential death trap Blue should have been warned, but he didn’t seem to realize the predicament he was in. Orange in the mean time could have profited from the absence of armies in Kyushu, but he failed to do so, only marginally exploiting the Southern peak of the Honshu Island.

2nd round (12 armies)
With Purple as first player and Green as second, things started to look pretty grim for the Blue player. Of course, for a large part this was his own fault, as he decided to put way to much effort in Levy Units together with the Orange player. The technique of harvesting and bundling your force in the three main armies was invented by the Green in earlier games (see both other session reports, in which he did have a different color) and improved in this game. Like Orange and Blue, Green also Levied a lot of units, but unlike the other two players he managed to cluster them together in one of his main armies at the end of his turns. This gave him a lot of ‘umph’ in this important stage of the battle. But first in line for this second round was the Purple player. Again he resorted to building the Shinano castle as a fall back province for depleted armies. He also had outmaneuvered the Northern Blue army which was pocketed in a corner and could not have escaped even if chance would not have given the first player turn to Purple. Oblivious to any threat this early in the game, Blue had done little do further strengthen his (two) threatened armies with anything that could have helped them. In the North this was understandable since it was a strong army, but the one he had placed opposing 2 Green armies was a sitting duck. Purple made the first attack, deploying 8 archers in two armies against a mere 2 from the blue player. Nonetheless some bad throws weakened the Purple army to such a large degree that it knew it would stand on the side line for at least the following round since it’s armies were decimated (but victorious) and needed to recover. Next up the Green player did the army switch and again the Blue player would have to face an army with a superior first line. The attack was short but fierce and as the smoke cleared the Green player was left victorious. Orange, should have exploited the gap left by the Green player and could have claimed more from the Kyushu Island, than he did. He just didn’t understand the pace of the game, like Blue they still haven’t grown accustomed to the fast and furious play that is inherent in Victory Point Shogun.

3rd round (10 armies)
Loosing 2 armies this early in the game put a big price tag on Blue. But even that did not seem to get through to him. The message was however picked up by the Green and Purple player and even the Orange seemed to have a clue. Unfortunately, due to his earlier loses, Purple was unable to participate in the slaughter, but the Orange and Green were ready. It’s simply unbelievable how Blue underestimated the trouble he was in. While both Orange and Green bid for the Ninja, bought Ronin and tried to gain first place by the Take Swords action, Blue did nothing of the above, even providing a simple defense for his army in the form of a castle, was not taken care off. To make things worse he had not calculated the distance from his own remaining army to one of the Green armies (now experience 2) correctly, which made him a sure shot. He was toast, and Green would be the one to smash him. With a full force of 4 Ronin, first player Sword and the Ninja out of the way due to a level bid with Orange, he approached and annihilated the last Blue army and made a successful claim to the Shogunate

Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Green: 9VP Clan, 6VP Daimyo, -VP fortress, -VP castle & 37 Provinces = 52VP
Purple: -VP Clan, 3VP Daimyo, -VP fortress, 1VP Castle & 16 Provinces = 20VP
Orange: -VP Clan, -VP Daimyo, -VP fortress, -VP Castle & 15 Provinces = 15VP
Blue: -VP Clan, -VP Daimyo, -VP fortress, -VP Castle & 0 Provinces = 0VP
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