Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shogun 2: The Fall of the Samurai

Hey Everyone

Thank you once again for your continued readership, JQ and I are really pleased to be sharing our geekiness across the venerable Internet!

SEGA released Total War: Shogun 2 with great acclaim and Creative Assembly still showed who held the chops for real-time and turn-based strategy computer games. Their latest series went back to Total War's roots in the Sengoku period, with medieval Japan split among numerous clans vying for the ultimate seat of power: the Shogunate.

One thing that stands out to me (in both Shogun 1&2) is how the programmers were able to model their A.I's strategy after Sun Tzu's the Art of War, to give the A.I. a degree of realism to simulate actual tactics that might have been employed at that time. Plus, Creative Assembly really aimed for realism and hired Stephen Turnbull, an East Asian military historian specializing in Samurais.

Kicking ass on both the battlefields of Japan and video game reviews.

Well, Creative Assembly just announced that they'll be releasing a new DLC for Shogun 2, titled "The Fall of the Samurai" and you can catch their release trailer here:

The trailer reminds me of Tom Cruise's Last Samurai flick (and I am still miffed that Cruise had to be the ultimate hero), and this new DLC has really grabbed my interest. Supposedly, the West will be represented by 3 factions, the U.S., the British, and the French...and after seeing the Gatling gun's awesomeness, I bet a good number of us would want to be on Uncle Sam's side!

Some Warhammer Musings...

Shogun 2 is a game that really makes me wonder: should GW really explore releasing more armies or maybe units of the rest of the world? The units and rules used in Shogun 2 have equivalents with WFB, such as deployment and archer skirmishers, making an army list for Nippon wouldn't be hard at all...but making them unique from Bretonnia or Empire will take some imagination and play testing.

Art from the unofficial WFB Nippon supplement, by M4cRII3n of battlereporter.blogspot.com
To my knowledge, Araby, Cathay, and Nippon have been mentioned in various WFB literature but yet have no official literature of their own. Adding them into WFB might risk "diluting" the focus of WFB's setting by including the rest of the world, by expanding upon already deeply entrenched and "traditional" rivalries such as Orcs vs. Dwarves, DE vs. HE, Chaos vs. Empire.

Ready to stomp on Skaven or batter through Goblin lines? (photo: happymall.com)
However, how cool would be to have Samurai or Ninjas in your WFB army!! As the general audience for WFB (in my opinion) is mostly in the West, I might be jumping the gun by saying that the future fantasy landscape in the next few decades stands to be more influenced by the rest of the world. Already we have Pandaren in Warcraft lore, Dynasty Warriors spawning sequels after another...and fantasy may be following the same general economic patterns of the world.

Expanding WFB's universe into the rest of the world may deviate from "traditional" fantasy, but it might generate more interest in the game...and perhaps ensure the relevance of WFB in the coming few decades.

PS: In WFB there is the Echin clan of Skaven who apparently had received training in Nippon, sounds familiar? :P

PPS: You might have read earlier that JQ and I had a close friend in Qamarul who passed away recently and had a super super super interest (or even obsession) in Japan's martial culture. Qamarul delved into Aikido (earned a black belt) and was a geek of all things Bushido and Samurai...and I still recall how he cried in ecstasy when he saw Samurai sword chopsticks! This post is in honor of the Bushido spirit he so nobly expressed.


  1. Totally Reminds me of The Last Samurai.

    Hope this is good though..

  2. I do know the Warhammer Battle Reporter has a few unofficial list. Apart from what you have mention, they also have Nautician.

    While it is unofficial, they follow in accordance to strict WFB rules so I would say it can still be applicable to play with those armies as they are not imbalanced.

    My Food for Thought.

  3. Bushido, The Way of the Samurai. Never fails to capture the hearts of many fantasy players and warrior enthusiast alike.

  4. I don't know if Games Workshop can handle developing more new armies. It will give them more revenue but they have mention many a times in novels about the Dragon King (Aka, Emperor of Cathay) and also vaguely about Nippon.

    As of now, we have to settle with just play testing with the unofficial list and do various conversions. A recommendation is to get figures from Legends of the 5 Rings. While it is Out of print, You can still find a few here and there on Ebay. Reapers Miniature also have quite a good range of samurais.

  5. Bushido No.1
    And Shogun Total War 2 is Fantastic.
    The expansion looks interesting. However, I don't really play Warhammer.

    Good trailer.

  6. I agree with you Jiaqi, I doubt GW will be making or adding new armies into Warhamemr anytime soon. But yeah, that doesn't mean we can't play with these unofficial list.

    And I do playtest these unofficial list. Pretty darn fun!