Within the board game community I often overhear outrageous comments about how to play Shogun. It is as if some of these urban myths have become acknowledged as simple truths. I feel it is my duty as a dedicated Shogun enthusiast to deal with these myths once and for all.
– If you rule Awa Boso you will always win the game
First time I heard about this rumour was on a gaming trip to southern Jutland. Apparently some newbie had been teaching this nonsense to people who were new to the game. At that time I did not think more of it since it was obviously not true. Coming back to Copenhagen however I frequently stumbled in to people who implemented this strategy in their game. Obviously the “Awa Boso Strategy” (ABS as it is often referred as) has spread throughout the country now and for some reason people don’t question its source. I would urge people to stop glorifying the Awa Boso Strategy as there is no well documented evidence that this strategy actually works (even though it can be a nice province to have).
– A cosy second place is worth fighting for
I do not know who came up with this ridiculous idea but clearly it is looser talk. There is no glory in being second. Either you rule Japan or you don’t, there is no in-between.
– Listening to old Japanese music while playing will increase some peoples chances of winning
Even though most people would discard this as pure nonsense, I have recently discovered that having the right atmosphere can be quite crucial. I am not saying that listening to Japanese music (preferably old flute music) will make me play better, but I have experienced that I play much worse in its absence. I guess this has to do with something about me playing poorly and taking all the wrong decisions if not in the right mood. I have experienced the same with other games like CoN. In this case the Lord of the Rings soundtrack really does it for me.
– Mind games never work
I just can’t understand why some people won’t acknowledge the power of mind games. I really do believe that mastering mind games is an underappreciated part of board games. It is well documented that you can psyche an individual by repeatedly telling him that he is worthless. The same applies in Shogun. One of the secrets to my success in Shogun is my mind games. I often keep telling my opponents that they are taking the wrong decisions and eventually they will believe it themselves. While undermining their game I will suddenly attack an unexpected province which will often be the winning move. I can certainly understand why people won’t acknowledge mind games given that most people are not mastering this strategy and are therefore a bit jealous. Nonetheless, mind games will always be my main approach to winning a board game.