Shogun &/or Samurai Swords
The Shogun Final was held Sunday morning, at 9 AM and
was the last event running at WBC, lasting 7.5 hours, as two
past champs battled it out only to lose the crown to a newcomer.
The early game developed with each player trying to carve
out boundaries. Purple started in the top right and had to slightly
disentangle from Red and Blue. Blue set up in the top center
of the board while Red pushed into the bottom center. Orange
consolidated in the left peninsula of the mainland, while Green
quickly took over the two large islands on the left. Very early
Green and Red were in conflict over the bottom center peninsula
(adjacent to the smaller of the large islands).
and Green quickly agreed to"Give peace a chance". Blue,
Purple, and Red developed no alliances, with Red and Blue fighting
for control of the mainland center. Red came out ahead, taking
most of the center and killing one of Blue's Armies. Purple,
relatively unmolested, quietly spread his armies, taking over
the entire right side.
Red and Green provided the bulk of the entertainment in the
early portion of the game. Green provocatively set up a Castle
at the strategic sea crossing province of Kii. Red, consolidating
his center bottom position, almost immediately began pressing
him to withdraw. Green was not impressed, instead reinforcing
with a Fortress and leaving one light Green Army to hold his
right flank. The situation escalated as Red purchased masses
of Ronin, preparing to push Green into the sea. Green responded
by purchasing Ronin and rapidly bolstering his Army with four
Bowmen and five Gunners. Many threats followed from Red while
Green repeated his mantra, advising him "Don't play emotionally".
Red finally saw the risk of attacking a well entrenched force
early and shifted his Ronin bolstered Army up, squeezing Blue
and eliminating one of his weaker Armies. Meanwhile, Blue becoming
fearful of the growing Purple, used the Ninja to assassinate
a Purple Daimyo, knocking that Army's experience back to 1.
The mid game set the stage for the finale. Purple silently
massed, moving his Armies into position to strike a death blow
to Blue while Green and Orange continued their alliance. Red
maintained control of the initiative, continuing to attack everyone.
Going early in the turn, he massed two Red Armies plus a bunch
of Ronin and launched his long desired attack on Greení's
Kii Fortress. Red's first attack went badly with low die rolls,
but he was prepared for that. He paused and shifted to attack
with the second army. Blue, watching from the north, and recognizing
the value of Red and Green bloodying each other, intervened in
the second round of combat with his Ninja, killing Red's second
Army's Daimyo. The attack ended and literally saved Green from
being weakened and probably eliminated by Orange. Blue's Ninja
intervention represented a major sacrifice to save Green, as
the remaining Blue armies were facing imminent attack. Purple
followed, crushing one of Blue's Armies and securing a Castle.
Orange finished Blue off by eliminating Blue's last Daimyo, but
only gained two provinces and a Spearman for his trouble.
The end game saw rapid shifts following the demise of Blue.
Orange, watching the entire board like the former champion he
was and in a strong position, identified the growing risk from
Purple rolling in from the right. He attempted to forge peace
between Green and Red. Specifically, he pointed out to Green
his vulnerable position and Orange's ability to easily wipe out
at least two of the Green Armies. He also advised Red, although
at less risk, of the amount of pain he could inflict on Red.
Green readily agreed to Orange's conditions, moving his only
strong Army across the bottom sea route and started taking provinces
off of Purple on the bottom right. Red, unwilling to commit to
an alliance with Orange, remained fixated on the Fortress in
Kii (his lower flank) and his desire to teach Green a lesson.
Red attacked Green early in the next turn with two strong Armies.
This time, without Blue's Ninja and dice to save him, Green lost
the Fortress and his first Army. In the process, Green bloodied
Red badly, leaving Red with two very decimated Armies and Green's
former Fortress. Orange, honoring the long alliance with Green,
struck out at the closest and strongest Red Army, weakening it
considerably before withdrawing. Green immediately counterattacked
against Red with the two remaining Green Armies. Green's first
light Army struck out across the center bottom, knocking out
Red's first Army, a single Daimyo, and then fighting it's way
through Red's second weakened Army. Finally, Green withdrew his
powerful Army from the right and staged an amphibious assault
against Red's third and last remaining Army/Fortress in Kii.
Purple, attempting to disrupt the assault, deployed his Ninja,
which missed this time. Green sent the Ninja back, winning the
die roll and immobilizing Purple's strongest and closest Army.
Red's final Army fell and Green advanced to 27 provinces at turn
end. Purchasing the First Sword on the next round, Green attacked
with all Armies and Provincial Forces, destroying one Purple
Army and securing the 35th province with his last movable Provincial
Spearman for the win.
For info on the game of Shogun / Samurai Swords, review the
clarifications on the BPA Preview website and the following websites:
(review with some errors) and http://www.gracefulboot.com/board_games/iShogun.html