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Subject: First Report - Second Session! rss

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Lionel Jacques
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Casselberry
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I discovered this game while looking around the Geek and picked it up last week. It is one of my favorite time periods and seemed like an interesting ‘take’ on it with a pleasant mix of Euro game and Light War game – something I’ve never been able to get my wife to try her hand at before this. The first session we had gone fairly well – a full five players - but was the end of a horridly long week and the game was mostly a blur. We played a second session last night and this is its story.

There was a strong desire to try another new game Small World by redjack11 and I was almost swayed but wanted to dig in and try a second match of Shogun now that we ‘had the rules down’ and could try some things out. He agreed with plans of Small World being set down for Sunday gaming at his Troycon birthday celebration.

We had almost the same mix of players from the previous week – my wife E, our friends R, first timer A, and of course Troy [redjack11] and myself. In our first play we used the pre-made setup but dove right into the draft this week – my wife is carrying our first child and I was worried as the draft rounds went on that we might not make the full game this session but she was a trooper.

As a note to anyone doing the draft for the first time: read over the rules…lol – R and A had set up their army boards with all nine groups and so we all did the same without checking – at the end of the draft we found that there were no neutral provinces at all and then double checked – DOH only 7! Per player in a full game! [Corrections were made and we moved on]

It was interesting to see this play through that there wasn’t the mad dash to grab provinces and bash on neighbors as we had the first play through – the tower had some of us spooked I guess.

Well that or the -7 rice even being a possible winter condition and trying to be moderate with our number of provinces held.

There was a fair amount of army build up by A and myself – we had a lot of provinces that, while in good position on the Sun side of the board, where near a lot of the other players. My wife and R starting building almost immediately and Troy did a mix of the two – he was ‘stuck in the middle’ by and large and lost a hunk of folks while taking a neutral province that he and R fought over for the first year.

I know some on these boards think that money is too easy to come by and you can easily do everything – but I would have to disagree with that – it was tight most of the time and that is without many losses having to be built back up or many bids at all for first pick of turn order.

The first year went pretty smooth and at then end of that winter we were all pretty close [within 5] in the high teens. This is when it all clicked for A – and he realized he needed to build more.

The second year saw a map full of cubes! Everywhere there were provinces with 4+ cubes just begging folks to move in and try to take their precious buildings. We had some notable fights – my wife moved in on T up north taking a province that held both a castle and a theatre and crushed his forces – only to lose it later that year to his counter strike. Another exchange ended with a new neutral province and the loss of the buildings in it when Troy and E mixed it up. I was fairly comfy – my provinces were built up nicely this year – though I fell short of funds TWICE due to taxes coming up later than I had accounted for.

My wife strongly consolidated her position in the purple area – and though not alone there – everyone was concentrating building in other areas competing for the majority and she slipped in with the majority there.

I had one reserve move and then attack combo I had brewing with some build up over summer and fall – but ended up losing the massive fight against R who held the province with only 4 armies and the help of apparently a continent worth of peasants – lol.

Of note – the second year – in the fall turn – had the event of no attacks allowed on a province with a temple in it – so between the already existing temples and those who were building to the finish and trying to increase their scores – it had the effect of almost totally doing away with the ‘last season scramble’ to snatch nearby provinces that held the alluring targets in them.

This was, as I stated, our second game – and even with A being totally new and including the draft – play went fairly quickly and we wrapped up a little over two – two and a half hours. Good times were had all around and I was very glad to see it was a game that everyone seemed to enjoy.

Final ~ scores:
E – 50
Troy and myself – 42
R – 41
A – 39

The resultant wife pull away was, I believe, due to a combination of well-timed building on her part in the purple area and the temple restrictions on attacks keeping her acquisitions safe.

This is my very first session report here and I hope it was an enjoyable read if nothing else. For anyone on the fence about Shogun – give it a try if you can – there is a lot of depth in the planning and has been enjoyable in our first two play throughs!
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Björn Hansson
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nice report. Welcome to BGG.
 
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Randy Brown
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Good report. Are there really people out there that think money is anything but tight in this game? The most you can make in a season is 8, and you can spend 12 without even bidding on turn order. It's always rough when taxation comes up near the end. It's a low feeling indeed when you can't take the actions you wanted due to lack of fundage.

EineHund wrote:
I had one reserve move and then attack combo...


I hope you're talking about two different cards here. If you are referring to the place 1 army free move card, note that it does not allow an attack. Only the Attack A, and Attack B allow attacks. This is true even when invading neutral provinces.

The paucity of attacks makes each one an important decision. You only have 12 in the whole game, and often you aren't able to make use of each one.

I wonder what would have happened had you decided to play out the game after mistakenly drafting the whole board. That would have made the first year very tense with that -7 rice looming. Having more provinces usually seems to be more a curse than a blessing in this game.
 
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Lionel Jacques
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Casselberry
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The combo was the Reserve move - adding the one block and then moving that into another province - followed by an attack card from that freshly bolstered province for the subsequent losing attack.

It would have made that first winter tough indeed with a base nine provinces overall!

There was another post I had read here on BGG that reference lowering the amount of starting gold - and that is what I was referencing. I am constantly scrambling for gold at times - though that may just be bad 'budgeting' on my part - and totally disagree with there being 'too much money' to start.
 
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Richard Dickson
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I was the R in that report, and I think we may have not been getting it completely right with how and when the peasants are removed from the tray after combat. I saw a pretty helpful flow chart here that might help us next time.

The fight over the neutral province with T that EineHund mentions did a lot of damage. I should have just let it go, since it had nothing on it, but I got all blustery and decided not to let T's action stand! That depleted my forces and left some of my other provinces vulnerable to other attacks. This is definitely not a game in which rash decisions are rewarded!
 
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