I am not trying to say that there is only ONE single strategy that works in Shogun, clearly this will depend on circumstances (i.e. position, winters, etc.). However, I do believe that if you follow some guidelines it will significantly increase your chances of winning. Some people will probably disagree on some of the guidelines that I propose below (obviously people that never win in Shogun), but I have certainly found these useful myself throughout the years:
- The victorious Dynamo will often be predominant in 2-3 regions (Building-wise)
– Trying to achieve dominance in only one region is the recipe of failure. Dominating two regions can be sufficient in some cases, depending on how well positioned your adversaries are. Dominating three regions will almost always guarantee your victory, but will at the same time be much more difficult to protect. Everything above three regions is pure suicide. So the trick is to consider whether having most buildings of all types in two regions would suffice or if you have to dominate a third one. Needless to say you never know how many regions you need to dominate when you pick your provinces at the beginning of the game which makes it hard to strategically deploy your samurais. Personally I prefer to deploy my samurais in a way that enables me to dominate three regions if necessary, i.e. close to borders.
- Abandon provinces that are not adjacent to enemy territory and protect your fronts
– This strategy will necessitate that you keep you peasants satisfied, primarily by giving them enough food. So before you conquer a dozen of provinces make sure you will have enough rice for the winter. A revolt can have disastrous consequences if you only have one samurai protecting a province.
- Deploy your samurais in corners and close to borders and keep enemies as far away as possible
– When choosing your starting-provinces you should try to minimize the number of provinces positioned adjacent to enemies. This can be achieved by keeping close to corners. Also try to place your samurais close to the borders; this will give you the opportunity to dominate three regions if necessary.
- Have your strategy planned out from the beginning
– You only have six rounds to achieve victory so it is of utmost importance that you have a plan figured out from the start.
- Always try to secure a couple of provinces that are unreachable to your opponents
– These provinces should be used for buildings, especially the expensive fortresses. I have often been unable to build anything in fear of losing the provinces.
- Always choose your provinces wisely
– When picking province cards you should try to get: 1-2 provinces that provide you with 6-7 gold, 1-2 provinces providing you with 4-5 rice, and 4-5 provinces with 2-3 building spaces. Of course this is not a rigid rule. For example, there is no point in picking a province that is surrounded by three other enemies. However, possessing the mentioned provinces will let you build what you want and at the same time supply you with enough rice for the winter. These provinces should preferably be situated far away from enemy land.
- Keep low profile in the first year
– This strategy does not apply if you can get a strong head start (8-10 point) in the first year. If this is not the case, however, one strategy that I often use is to divert player’s attention by not getting too many points in the first year and at the same time do the groundwork that will enable me to claim victory in the second year.
– Taking chances in Shogun are rarely rewarded. If attacking an opponent be sure that you have the upper hand.
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