James Clavell's Shogun

Analysis Notes for the Board Game by FASA
  1. James Clavell's Shogun actually resembles a financial game as the only way to truly defeat someone is to keep him out of funds. The following activities may help:
    1. Destroy Personal Samurai units – they cost the player nothing to maintain, but do cost 3 to raise.
    2. Try to conquest Vassals rather than 3 point diplomacy markers. The former are too difficult take with diplomacy and conquering the latter means they are free to do mischief elsewhere.
    3. Try to make only one enemy and keep him poor as possible (revolts).
    4. Destroy whatever free units you can.
    5. Hit 'em where they ain't. Don't attack defended provinces if not necessary.
    6. If you can, spend a couple extra Koban to confuse enemies to trick them into mobilization and raising troops you don't plan to attack.
  2. Combat Table Analysis:
    1. Defender losses vary inversely with increases in defender strength, even when attacker to defender ratios are held constant. Thus, a 2-1 attack has a better payoff than does a 4-2 which has still better chances than an 8-4. Always try to attack the smallest available forces.
    2. There is always considerable benefit to making the odds equal. Attacks at less than even odds can expect disastrous results. Don't attack at less than even odds.
    3. The benefit of adding more attackers tends to decline significantly after the second such addition, particularly on the Defender=1 table. If defender's strength is 1 or 2, don't attack with more than 4. If defender's strength is 3 or 4, don't attack with more than 5 unless you can afford it and plan to use the units later anyway.

Other Notes:

  1. The three provinces liable to betrayal (and therefore unavailable as Daimyo bases are Kai, Kaga and Ise. This is correct on the cards, but not in the rules.
  2. Although players draw Provincial Samurai at the start of the game to determine which provinces are owend, the Provincial Samurai do not start the game on the map. They must be raised during the Campaign Phase.
  3. Honor Table: +1 seizing a province through combat
    +1 preventing an enemy seizure through combat
    -1 attacking a province and failing to take it
    -1 attacking a province already owned through diplomacy
    -1 breaking a written agreement
  4. If a player has Ronin in an area which suddenly becomes Neutral, the Ronin are automatically moved to the nearest province of the owning player (his choice if more than one qualitifies). If this was the last province, the Ronin must attempt to conquer the province they are currently in or be lost.
  5. Add 1 to the defense of every province to represent the intrinsic garrison. This is the last unit to be lost.
  6. Acting player may relocate attacking forces after combat.
  7. All mobilization markers are removed at the end of each player's turn.
  8. Each gold Koban marker is worth 0.
  9. Diplomacy markers cost 0 Koban to place or remove.
  10. Subversion markers cost 2 Koban to place or remove if done as the second action.

Also ...

Thu Jul 12 15:14:46 PDT 2001
Rick Heli