Friday, 12 July 2013

A Song of Tea and Sushi 4 - A Dance of Daimyos

It Checks Out

After the last battle, Clan Hatano immediately offers peace. So do my old foes the Hatakayama, who have never bothered to try and reclaim the territory I stole from them. And then a few other clans unexpectedly cave in to my wearily repeated trade offers. I've proved my worth as an opponent, the other clans are starting to take me seriously, maybe. Or they're bored, or perhaps desperate for cash themselves.

My stealth bastard fleet is already on its way by this time.

I'm on tenterhooks as I play. It's not going to work, he'll spot me on the way in. There's a tiny strait I have to get through, and Hunt's navy is patrolling nearby. Amongst the ships there is a Nanban Trade ship, a galleon bristling with cannons. It can reduce my host of tiny bamboo junks to splinters without even trying. If he smells a rat before I'm past it, he'll sink me and all my transported troops in a flash.

This is what I'm arriving in - essentially a garden shed with oars. We're doomed.

This is an eye-witness drawing of one of the first European ships to arrive in Japan.
It's a firebreathing monster with sails.
Against garden sheds.
Two turns away from being in position, I get spotted.

This happens just as Otomo has started making diplomatic overtures to me. Is this psychological knife-twisting, or coincidence? Does he already know? Is this a trap? 

He's offering me a trade deal. It doesn't come without sacrifices - he asks me to stop dealing with one of my new trade partners, the Chosokabe. They're one of his nearby enemies, so I refuse. But I have to refuse a couple of times, even after he changes the deal to more favourable terms. This looks suspicious. To me, anyway. But then to the traitor, all others are potential traitors too.

Then, just as I'min position to dash across the straits, he sends a large army to try and take the tip of mainland Japan. It spots me nonchalauntly sauntering off the coast, whistling shiftily. I immediately receive some downright hostile politely curious messages asking where that large army might be going.

This is from the chatlog: -

bubonicus8686: Hold on!
bubonicus8686: Where's that army going?
Kraken Vaknar: Err... Korea?
bubonicus8686: Seriously! You're in my waters! 
bubonicus8686: I demand to know what your intentions are!
Kraken Vaknar: I'm going round to the other side of Japan to stab the Hatano in the back. 
Kraken Vaknar: They've got nothing left after that last big fight, I reckon I can finish them off like this.
Kraken Vaknar: They accepted alliance with the peace terms, but I'm coming for them anyway. 

He won't buy this. Surely. It's impromptu lying of the most obvious kind.

bubonicus8686: I dislike your treacherous ways. 

Balls. Luckily it was a boring conversation anyway, so I get ready to shoot the chat panel.

bubonicus8686: But I like your plan!

Well, it's an older code, right enough. But I'm past the blockade, and that's that, really.

Next turn, the minute my navy is out of sight, I declare war on Otomo and drop the troops off. A miracle - Bungo is still badly undermanned and underprotected. I can't pounce on it immediately, my army takes a season to land and regroup. In that time, Hunt's nearby armies race back to home, spewing curses as they do

bubonicus8686: You damn poopy fucking shit bag

but they're too far off, they can't stop me grabbing what I've come for. To add injury to insult, a series of technical interface difficulties prevents him crushing my now-pointless navy with cannon fire. On my next turn, I can rush the castle and take it without difficulty.

I have a tiny prick of conscience at this point, as Daimyo Hunt is clearly extremely pissed off by the fact he didn't think of doing this first my outright treachery, and is being quite vocal about it. I've made my point now, this game would be mine. So what if instead, I break the siege and have a couple of really good battles instead?

I press 'break siege'. Disgusted by my weakness, the computer ejects me from the game. General Hunt calls it a night, and suggests that our friendship is now on the rocks.

bubonicus8686: did you see if my army was in range to reinforce?
Kraken Vaknar: It wasn't, it was just the castle defenders
bubonicus8686: pfft
Kraken Vaknar: Yep
bubonicus8686: no point in carrying on then
bubonicus8686: but you did lie to me you big jerk
bubonicus8686: I could have smooshed you
bubonicus8686: but I trusted you
bubonicus8686: more the fool I

I couldn't agree more.

I really should have taken more screenshots. Ah well! Japanese Culture instead. 


Well, it's a disgusting and demeaning way to win. But it's still a win! So hurrah for me. I have taken advantage of a gameplay mechanic, i.e. that to win I need to hold my capital and his, regardless of the state of anything else. I wouldn't have kept Bungo for more than a season, there were two huge matchlock-bristled hedgehogs trundling towards me at speed.

But to be fair (not that I was), this is war. In a head-to-head campaign, the only objective you're given is to outlast or conquer your rivals. I certainly wasn't going to outlast him, and being a dishonourable swine seemed like my best hope. It worked, and the taste of a slyly-won campaign is far from bitter. Downright umami, in fact. Hunt has sworn revenge, and I don't doubt he'll take it.

But I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

To the Jerkest, the Spoils.
Meh heh heh heh heh. 

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