Monday, 25 April 2011

Part 8, in which there is poetry

(Check out Someone's writeup on a co-op mission we played in ArmA 2 last week. It's a fun read, and a good argument why nobody should ever give me a gun and ask to fight - if anybody even needed arguments for that.)

We have just witnessed what shameful and honorless people hide under the banner of Hattori. Clearly, they are trying to fit in a niche already occupied by yours truly, and for that they must pay. Actually, it's their own mistake for choosing to live between us and Kyoto, which happens to be the next item on our checklist to victory.

Before we get to expand much farther, there's still some leftover fragments of a Hattori army that got away from the failed siege loitering in our territory. I send my best general to deal with them, and he does so without meeting any serious resistance. He even gains another rank (fourth star!) and gets to widen his retinue.

a bard in battle
the army fast inspired
to run far away

Oh, and due to a popular request all image captions in today's post are written in the form of haiku. You're welcome.

Restoring Echizen - up to quite recently the last refuge of Anegakoji - to its rightful owners (us) proves to be easy because - you guessed it - the town was left unprotected by Hattori, who chose to do a suicide attack instead. As I take time to spend some accumulated money on building upgrades, one more enemy army appears, seemingly keen to give another shot at that siege thing that didn't go so well last time.

This time my monk is first to intercept the enemy and can finally be used for something other than ineffectual spying.

secret policeman
filled with existential dread:
"this statement is false"

A metsuke accompanying the army is successfully taken out of action. I doubt this weakens it at all, but my monk gets some experience, and that is all the reward I need. Soon enough, the army reaches Echizen, and another siege battle takes place. Again, the forces are nearly equal, and both sides are adequately prepared for their roles, so this is a chance for Hattori to redeem their previous mistake and retain some respect as capable besiegers.

Our deployment is pretty much the same, while the enemy's is slightly better - they can assault about half of the castle's perimeter, which is an improvement over last time's quarter or less. Still, putting archers away by themselves doesn't look too smart.

a word of caution:
better off not knowing why
water's not frozen

Tactics, however, remain unchanged. Their archers stand at a distance and exchange arrows with mine, while other soldiers hurry to get on the walls and be killed more embarrassingly.

We also have a unit outside the walls again - not for experimentation, but because its movement points were one short of getting into the garrison and it stayed as reinforcements. It's a unit of spearmen which I immediately send running across the fields and into the castle, but it doesn't get away with it unnoticed - some Hattori cavalry is sent to chase it. Seeing that the walls are too far away to reach in time, I order the spearmen to turn around and form a spear wall, and the cavalry charges straight into its doom.

winter, under siege
we have nothing for dinner
but horse on a stick

The rest of the battle goes as expected - phenomenally bad for Hattori. Enemy units rout after getting no more than slightly startled, while our soldiers stand around with bored expressions on their faces. Once again, after all infantry is destroyed or has fled the battlefield, the remaining cavalry dismounts and goes for a jog around our walls.

never think of snow
or arrows, or common sense
must get exercise

Failing to accomplish anything, they flee as well, and our cavalry hunts down everybody who can still be reached. Notably, in Shogun 2, deserters aren't captured and held for ransom (quick cash!) like in Medieval, but are simply killed. I guess paying ransom might be against some code of honor and, to be fair, "capturing" with flaming arrows and cannonballs always did look a bit suspect to me.

Hattori is two able armies down and we don't even have decent scars to show for it. After the battle I notice that some of my units - although not the general - can reach Wakasa province (yes, defenseless) further down the coast, so I send them to take it. This one belongs to Yamana, the other ex-ally of Anegakoji, and just proves that they too are just asking for it. Incidentally, one of our soldiers distinguishes himself during this battle and is hired as a general.

we provide you with fame,
bodyguard, silly backpacks --
should be paying us

Over the next few turns, our army moves deeper inland again, disposing of one or two Hattori armies too small to offer a sporting challenge, and getting closer to Kyoto. Somewhere along the way I remember that I left the army that was intended for fighting Kiso idling without purpose, and decide to also move it west through Hojo lands. It's almost a year's march away, but we're not in a big hurry - there'll definitely be something for it to do when it gets here.

In the meantime, our main army approaches the last Hattori town that stands in the way to Kyoto. Our ninja goes even farther to spy on Kyoto itself - it is about as far from unprotected as can be, with a stack of units in garrison and another one reinforcing. Its castle is upgraded to the highest tier - a citadel, and while I'm not sure exactly what that entails, it doesn't sound too encouraging. Oh, and a Hojo army comes to join the party, apparently with exact same goals in mind. This is going to be fun.

beautiful summer
on lakeside with company
not camping any more

Next time: fun.


  1. Wow! It was not a serious request! Fine, take your cookie mister. It's in the jar on the top shelf. Don't ask how I or my henchmen delivered it.

    (nitpick mode, my count: 1st one, middle line, 6 syllables, 6th one, first line, 6 syllables. Last one, last line: not sure about "any".)

    Well, I suppose my next popular request (?) is an Article.

  2. You're right on all counts ("any" is two syllables, though "inspired" should count as at least two and a half, depending on pronunciation), and they're all more or less deliberate with intention to annoy nitpickers. Particularly, 6th would be correct and make sense without "with", but I just had to have it there.

    It was actually quite fun, but I don't know if I'll do it again. And it doesn't mean I started accepting requests, either.

  3. Of course it doesn't. But can't hurt to try, right?


    Also, e-mail.

  4. Well, it depends. Do you think friendly fire hurts?