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Taxation and Class System in Shogun 2

NuccioNuccio Senior MemberPosts: 441Registered Users
edited November 2010 in Total War: Shogun 2
One thing that I really liked in ETW and NTW was the taxation system and how it affected different Class's.

Now I have read many thoughts from community members over the past month's regarding Shogun 2 and realize many here know far more about Japanese history than myself.
So with that said I humbly put forth my idea of how to implement the New TW Taxation System in Feudal Japan. Feel free to correct me if I am ignorant of something vital!

First we need probably more classes than "Upper Class" and "Lower Class"

Perhaps we can have these 4 Classes which are all taxed separatly.Hence give different affects depending on how they are taxed.

Samurai
Merchants
Artisans
Agriculturalists

Maybe combine both Merhants and Artisans into the Middle Class.
Question: Was it prestigious in Japan to be a Merchant?

Taxation of the Samurai should affect battle moral and unrest in provinces.
Taxation of merchant and Artisans should effect the econmy
Taxation of Agriculturalists should effect population growth rates.

NOTE: Also some of you may feel that using a taxation system would be wrong for this era of Japan, but I urge you to consider that probably CA will use money to represent a nations wealth. With that said a taxation system that takes money from classes probably makes the most sense.
Post edited by Nuccio on
Nuccio Afrikanus

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Comments

  • KalushaKalusha Member Posts: 31Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    ist a good idea and could work but i dont like the samurai part
    maby just generals?
  • NaishoNaisho Senior Member USAPosts: 3,375Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Well there are problems with taxation in Japan.

    The basic currency of Japan was not gold but was rice (koku) and taxes from the farmer was based on how much rice they produced. Koku is the amount of rice it takes to feed a man for a certain period of time, I think one year but I could be wrong.

    Koku would then be traded for services such as warriors and weapons in a funny way they worked for food. The higher the rice production the larger the population and ultimately the more soldiers you could field. That was why the Japanese valued all their lands based upon their production of rice.

    Within this kind of system the only people you can directly tax are the farmers and since the Samurai/Artisans/Merchants cannot pay taxes because they do not produce rice.

    That does not mean you cannot tax them at all, but what you can do is gain "some" taxes by means of almost like a sales tax. For the ability to own a shop within the city you payed a tax and/or percentage of your gains. In a way the Samurai who wanted better armor or weapons would pay a "tax" by buying from a artisan or merchant.

    The Daimyo also would receive a portion of tribute from his lords, this tribute was absolutely crippling under the Tokugawa shogunate but it also prevented rebellion as there was not enough money for their lords to raise armies.

    From the interview with Craig they talked about how the Rice production was directly linked to the amount of warriors that can be produced.

    I think a tax system would to be

    Tributes (based on cities)
    Rice (how much rice is taken after the harvest)
    Mining (how much is taken as a "fee" for the ability to mine in that location)
    Merchants (A tax for doing business) if taxed to high they will leave the cities and become "wondering" merchants which was not uncommon

    (its a little counter productive to tax Samurai as they can only "work" for food, and the Merchants would include the Artisans).
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  • EmishiEmishi Senior Member Posts: 128Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Funny that you ask.I just had to read an essay about this subject.My conclusion: Reality is ******g complicated and diverse.

    Changing through the times taxes were either based on the amount of land you owned or charged per person.You could also do some corvee work at the court to lower taxation or do some military.Governors weren't directly taxed but had to care for the supplying of the court and their house (nice for concealment) .
    Tribute goods aside from rice were horses , silk and other luxury stuff.

    Corruption as seen in other TW games but playing a bigger role would be a cool feature.Getting punkd by your greedy governor?Time for seppukku my friend.
    Additionally you could swap rice against man power.Read get some temporary militia units consisting of young farmers.

    Your idea isn't bad but since the vast majority consisted of peasants and upper class wasn't really taxed from what I know I doesn't make too much sense.
  • dge1dge1 Moderator Arkansas, USAPosts: 9,459Registered Users, Moderators
    edited November 2010
    I like your concept Nuccio. According to the article on this link there were four primary classes in medieval Japan during the time of the game - Samurai, Farmer/Peasant, Artisan and Merchant. http://asianhistory.about.com/od/japan/p/ShogJapanClass.htm

    To answer your question about Merchants, they were mostly considered parasites until the Samurai started loosing their influence. :)

    This article mentions the rice economy but also notes the use of copper cash imported from China at the end of the thirteenth century, so there must of have been something spent at the local tavern besides bags of Rice.

    http://aboutjapan.japansociety.org/content.cfm/japans_medieval_age_the_kamakura__muromachi_periods

    So while Naisho and Emishi are right about rice, land and goods being the primary exchange medium, I don't think it would strain the history of the era too much to have a few coins floating around that could be used to pay a tax. :)
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  • andferpaandferpa Senior Member Posts: 2,520Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    dge1 wrote: »
    I like your concept Nuccio. According to the article on this link there were four primary classes in medieval Japan during the time of the game - Samurai, Farmer/Peasant, Artisan and Merchant. http://asianhistory.about.com/od/japan/p/ShogJapanClass.htm

    To answer your question about Merchants, they were mostly considered parasites until the Samurai started loosing their influence. :)

    This article mentions the rice economy but also notes the use of copper cash imported from China at the end of the thirteenth century, so there must of have been something spent at the local tavern besides bags of Rice.

    http://aboutjapan.japansociety.org/content.cfm/japans_medieval_age_the_kamakura__muromachi_periods

    So while Naisho and Emishi are right about rice, land and goods being the primary exchange medium, I don't think it would strain the history of the era too much to have a few coins floating around that could be used to pay a tax. :)

    Or state that the taxes are managed in koku
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  • daelin4daelin4 Senior Member Posts: 12,278Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Before I begin I'd like to state that when I use "tax" it is largely interchangeable with actula money, rice, or other contributions owed to the government.

    I wouldn't want economics to be a large aspect of the game becuase it would begin to detract from the military aspect of the game, especially if it becomes more complicated. In the end, this game feature should serve to allow players to raise armies to fight battles.

    Shogun 1 never had a system of adjustable tax rates- rice farms and mines and ports were built, and income was adjusted by natural events (Taifun and earthquakes), and rice harvest yield (randomly between poor, good and great).

    My amendment to Nuccio's proposal would be:
    Merchants/Artisans' tax rate: affects public order and economy
    Farmers: affects public order and population growth

    I omitted Samurai from taxation becuase their service involved fighting, and themselves paid with taxes. The problem is that there were some samurai that owned land, from daimyo to peasant-samurai, and those that didn't, retainers paid via stipend. What we could substitute though is the honour system used in STW1- battle quality is influenced by how good your generals are, how often you win, etc., and we could even bring back the chivalry/dread system that was in MTW2- high chivalry would yield loyalty and honour points but far less military benefits, whilst dread does the opposite- win battles easily but is seen as brutal and even affect loyalty and honour.

    We should leave out the complications of koku vs. cash and just stick with a basic monetary unit. Koku would be fine, since its also a measurement of wealth.

    Sources of revenue would then be:
    -taxes from commerce (adjustable by the player)
    -harvest yield (random to a point the player may have the ability to influence quality such as structures and governance)
    -political/diplomatic tribute/etc. such as booty, if such a feature exists
    -incidentals such as mission rewards and such, however the game is done

    Expenditures would be:
    -Wages (samurai stipends, unit costs)
    -spent costs for construction and units
    -the all-too-annoying-corruption (which btw really needs to be revamped to allow influence through player input)
    -diplomatic/political etc. such as tribute to other factions.
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  • NuccioNuccio Senior Member Posts: 441Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    @everyone, I read all your replies and understand that taxation was paid in many different forms by different classes. But like daelin4 said lets assume there will be only one monetary unit that alll services will be quantified as, since CA will probably represent the economics this way.

    Monetary units I have read in these posts
    copper coins
    Rice
    koku(what is this?)
    Cash(gold coins or some value)

    What do you guys think would be the best representation for the monetary unit?

    @daelin4, I agree that probably Merchant and Artison should be the same class.(though not convinced since it seems merchants in Japan were really just the lowest class) but don't you think Samurai should pay a tax to simply balance out their upkeep cost? You know what I mean? if you just remove them, it wont seem like they are contributing a service to you. Maybe your idea of removing them from taxation would be correct though.

    Also please expand on your Honor system with Dread and Chivalry, it sounds intersting but I haven't quite grasped the concept completely.

    @Naisho, do you think that the Daimyo should be represented in taxes?
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  • Dark SideDark Side Senior Member Posts: 1,549Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    I know the following idea is as attractive as getting a rash, but hear me out. I don't have much input on the taxation system as I barely know anything about Japan. But I would like to get more variables in the game from one season to the next. For example bigger differences in agricultural yields from one year to the next, lower ores because most of the miners have been conscripted (or when region has low population), devastation due to typhoons and other elements, etc.


    The reason why this would be good is that it introduces variation from one turn to the next. I am playing Rome now, and I am finding my income to fluctuate due to farming (either extremely good or extremely bad), rebellions, pirates, etc... Comparing that game to ETW and NTW I've noticed that we've lost these "surprises" and that makes ETW and NTW feel linear. You didn't adapt to changes due to disasters.


    I donno, maybe other people didn't like these features but for me they added an extra level of complexity and randomness that made the campaigns challenging.
  • OrionsGambitOrionsGambit Senior Member Posts: 115Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Nuccio wrote: »
    @everyone, I read all your replies and understand that taxation was paid in many different forms by different classes. But like daelin4 said lets assume there will be only one monetary unit that alll services will be quantified as, since CA will probably represent the economics this way.

    Monetary units I have read in these posts
    copper coins
    Rice
    koku(what is this?)
    Cash(gold coins or some value)

    What do you guys think would be the best representation for the monetary unit?

    @daelin4, I agree that probably Merchant and Artison should be the same class.(though not convinced since it seems merchants in Japan were really just the lowest class) but don't you think Samurai should pay a tax to simply balance out their upkeep cost? You know what I mean? if you just remove them, it wont seem like they are contributing a service to you. Maybe your idea of removing them from taxation would be correct though.

    Also please expand on your Honor system with Dread and Chivalry, it sounds intersting but I haven't quite grasped the concept completely.

    @Naisho, do you think that the Daimyo should be represented in taxes?

    If memory serves me right, Koku is indeed a the amount of rice it takes to feed a man/person for an entire year, however I believe it equaled 4 bussels of rice. And as was mentioned I'm pretty sure coins were used as they were easier to transport and use to purchase goods/items then carrying around rice would be.

    However rice (Koku) was still the primary source of income and exchange, and as such it should remain the same as it was in the first STW. Additionally the idea that merchants were not respected is a modern connotation. They were in fact as respected as per their social standing and some even amassed wealth able to rival that of land-owning daimyos. Ir wasn't until their contact with European foreigners, the isolation of Japan, and the idealistic focus of wealth=land ownership that merchants were "bad". Yet with the unification of Japan under the Tokugawa, merchants increasing became more wealthy and powerful, while the dominating warrior class faded into poverty and ineffectiveness.

    You're better off maintaining the current Koku standard while introducing a similar trading system as seen in ETW/NTW, as trading will still generate tax (Koku) in the form of tariffs, exchanges, and such.

    EDIT:
    @Darkside
    Actually that existed in the first STW, so I would be very surprised and displeased if yields didn't change season to season (year to year) based on weather and various other events.
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  • daelin4daelin4 Senior Member Posts: 12,278Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Koku meant two things: an actual unit of volume, and was defined as "enough rice to feed one person for one year" (pointless note: according to samurai archives, this would actually be less than bare minimum, 1430 calories a day, whilst a man of 150cm height would at least require 2000 cal/day!) and an indication of wealth. Rice symbolized wealth to feudal Japanese, so the yield of rice per year signified wealth. In Japanese period movies samurai were indicated by koku like networth (a "1200-koku samurai" would be considered well-off compared to a measly 50-koku). I believe CA merely implemented koku as the currency unit in Shogun1 for dramatic purposes. Sengoku Japanese did however use coinage as well, so its not like they had bags of rice for trading; koku was an expression of wealth made through rice grown, if you're a landowner, and the equivalent cash income if you were a retainer paid via stipend.

    Lets say I was paid "50 koku" as a food-taster for my clan chief: I would be paid, as annual stipend, in the cash amount that can buy up to 50 koku units of rice. Conversely, a 1200-koku samurai would be aid in the cash amount that would afford him 1200 koku units of rice, and therefore considered much richer than myself. I believe that's how it works.

    Considering how Koku worked in STW1, I don't see why they should change it. It represented wealth after all.
    but don't you think Samurai should pay a tax to simply balance out their upkeep cost?
    A more simple alternative would be either adjust upkeep/recruitment costs. Its obviously more expensive to retain many warriors, but they make up for their quality in the field. If I retain many warriors, I must pay the price, literally, for keeping them. Their main contribution, I think, should be fighting, as per their social status. Upkeep could be low to help balance costs. It just doesn't seem correct to tax your own warriors after recruitment and wages.

    On rice yields, I found them to be utter random. Is this really the case? I never really liked how I couldn't do anything to help offset poor harvest after another. This part of the game should allow user input. There should be some randomness that affects rice yields, but if its merely a roll of a dice to determine three categories of rice yield, its not very fun to play.
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  • NaishoNaisho Senior Member USAPosts: 3,375Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    If I may, I found that rice yields really made the game interesting to me as I could not always count on my income. Years ago when I played shogun I found the "economic" movement of the yields to be especially gratifying when you go through ten years of droughts and finally have a huge harvest for two or three years. It felt like the world was perfect and I instantly expanded my power and through the ten years of poor harvests I could barely hold onto the furthest of my territories.

    one thing I wish is that they would give you a better idea of how the harvest is progressing nearly every turn like "weather" has been perfect for the rice. The "kami" are angry and nothing had gone right this year. One thing I really liked about the yearly harvest was that it only affected your wealth,making the game feel slower, and your upkeep costs once a year. The rest of the year you could plan out your wealth.

    @Nuccio I do not think the Daimyo should be inside the tax system unless he paid "wealth" to the emperor which was highly unlikely. Because the taxes are going into his wallet after all its not like the money isn't his rather this is his personal wealth we are using to build structures and armies.
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  • Dark SideDark Side Senior Member Posts: 1,549Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    daelin4 wrote: »
    On rice yields, I found them to be utter random. Is this really the case? I never really liked how I couldn't do anything to help offset poor harvest after another. This part of the game should allow user input. There should be some randomness that affects rice yields, but if its merely a roll of a dice to determine three categories of rice yield, its not very fun to play.


    I don't know if this is applicable in Shogun as I don't know how governing worked in Japan during the period but can the yields be affected through the faction's leader and/or the governor of the region? Did Japan have governors in cities during time of war or did all of them join the war? In Rome we had traits that affected farming yield but it didn't have much of an effect on income.


    And another idea (ripped off from Paradox games) is implementing laws or ideas that affect production. For example a faction can either balance all of its production power equally, or prefer one production over the others. For example a faction can adopt better farming which will give more rice per year, but would reduce mining (can recruit less units).
  • NaishoNaisho Senior Member USAPosts: 3,375Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    @Darkside, If land could be used for farming it was as it increased "wealth" however what was the tax policy of their lord would have a good or bad effect on them. Some taxed so hard that when they couldn't pay taxes without starving they would take their daughters. These kinds of traits would affect the population. In fact that exact thing caused the revolt against Tokugawa shogunate in Kyushu early in the life of the shogunate. Generally speaking though they took as much rice as they could from the farmers.

    There would "to my knowledge" be some sort of retainer who would look after the land if the vassal was called way either due to war or another reason.

    In Japan during the Sengoku there is no lack of a population, they had around 18 million total population around 1600 give or take. So mines and farms would be fully staffed. The only limitation you had was how much food/wealth you produced.
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  • dge1dge1 Moderator Arkansas, USAPosts: 9,459Registered Users, Moderators
    edited November 2010
    Actual rice production (food) should vary by the seasons. Food production overall was not just rice, but also fish, some vegetables, etc. There should be a couple of different methods to improve food production either from a research standpoint or by Daimyo action. Wealth can continue to be measured in Koku units, whether it is actual food, coin or paper money.

    The point I would like to make is that, whatever the economic system is, it should be easy to understand, and provide a systematic, reasonable means to support our developing Military Machine. After all, isn't the goal to become Shogun. Can't do that without an army. ;)
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  • NaishoNaisho Senior Member USAPosts: 3,375Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Rice was produced once a year, the Japanese generally speaking didn't harvest anything else. In fact this is partly why Hokkaido was so under valued as it was far too cold to grow rice there and Hokkaido today produces most of the beer and food eaten in Japanese because of its ability to produce a wide range of produce.
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  • NuccioNuccio Senior Member Posts: 441Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Naisho wrote: »
    @Nuccio I do not think the Daimyo should be inside the tax system unless he paid "wealth" to the emperor which was highly unlikely. Because the taxes are going into his wallet after all its not like the money isn't his rather this is his personal wealth we are using to build structures and armies.

    Well what I really more of meant with the Diamyo wasn't I guess as much a tax as like the Kings purse in previous games you know.

    Just a little boost you get from simply being in charge.
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  • NackNack Junior Member Posts: 22Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    I hope they keep the good/normal/bad harvest system, it's unpredictability added some excitement to managing your economy and stuff. In the latest TW games you always know what you're gonna get next month (unless you get raided by some enemy army or pirates or whatever)
  • TakaujiMuramasaTakaujiMuramasa Senior Member Posts: 176Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Seeing as this is the Sengoku Jidai and that there is no central government and the fact that you are controlling a faction as a daimyo, to tax yourself seems silly. This is not to say however that you cannot find a system that would influence your daimyo in a tax-like fashion.

    To gain Imperial favor during this period, many daimyo would "donate" money to the impoverished Emperors in Kyoto. Ever since the Ashikaga Bakufu took power in the late 1300s, the Ashikage Shogunate had seen to it that the Emperor was not allowed to own directly any territory, and thus dependent on the Shogunate for money for the upkeep of the Royal Palace and the Imperial Throne. This led to a very intricate system of bribery, though it was never called bribery, between the various powerful daimyo and the Imperial Court. In return for the money given by a daimyo, the Emperor could legitimize a daimyo as the head of his clan, even if he was a lowly peasant who had taken control of his master's household through assassination. So long as you had the mandate of the Emperor behind something, then it was seen as legitimate.

    So giving "donations" to the Emperor every year to keep him happy could be a way of "taxing" the various daimyo in-game.

    ---

    Also, there were several different monetary systems throughout Japan. Like someone mentioned earlier, the use of copper coinage from China had reached Japan in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. I think a more intricate monetary system, copper to silver to gold, could be done but it would simply be one more headache for the design staff of the game. For reference, Japan at this time was very rich in silver. Portuguese traders would go to China, who had embargoes against Japanese merchants, and buy silk at low prices, then sell that silk to the Japanese for inflated prices in silver.
  • OrionsGambitOrionsGambit Senior Member Posts: 115Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Naisho wrote: »
    Rice was produced once a year, the Japanese generally speaking didn't harvest anything else. In fact this is partly why Hokkaido was so under valued as it was far too cold to grow rice there and Hokkaido today produces most of the beer and food eaten in Japanese because of its ability to produce a wide range of produce.

    And this is how it is in the first STW. 4 seasons (turns) a year, and at the end of each (year) is when you get your koku. Also the upgrading of the rice fields (Improved Farmlands, Legendary, etc.) increased the yield up too 100% with Legendary (doubling production) though some sort of economic technology/policies to improve yields and such could be added I suppose.

    And as someone mentioned earlier about the samurai/daimyo taking as much rice as they could from the farmers; in the first STW, the 'normal' tax rate is 100% XD I personally drop it to 'low' taxes which gives me 75% of the yield (and greatly increases province loyalty).
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  • NaishoNaisho Senior Member USAPosts: 3,375Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    think of normal as the tax rate you normally take. If I took 1/4 of a pie that 1/4 is entirely 100% mine however after the fact I can say I want only 75% of the normal amount. While heavy taxes would be 200% of the normal amount giving me 1/2 the pie.
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  • OrionsGambitOrionsGambit Senior Member Posts: 115Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Naisho wrote: »
    think of normal as the tax rate you normally take. If I took 1/4 of a pie that 1/4 is entirely 100% mine however after the fact I can say I want only 75% of the normal amount. While heavy taxes would be 200% of the normal amount giving me 1/2 the pie.

    I've never actually done the math to see what it is. When a year comes up and it shows you the yield, it tells you what the total yield for that harvet has been, and how much you take. Outside of the poor poor Shimazu, none of the other clans have had trouble coping with a 75% tax rate so I didn't care XD But yeah.
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  • NaishoNaisho Senior Member USAPosts: 3,375Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    ....shimazu really got the short end of the stick on that one I remember having always losing to imagawa because I couldn't get enough funds to support large armies and still protect my boarders from invasions.
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    Naisho the Neko

    "You have raised assorted issues under what might be termed a “I-don’t-like-it because-I-say-it’s-not-historical” banner. This isn't quite the same as "justified", I'm sorry to say." -MikeB
  • Maeda ToshiieMaeda Toshiie Senior Member Posts: 3,534Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Naisho wrote: »
    ....shimazu really got the short end of the stick on that one I remember having always losing to imagawa because I couldn't get enough funds to support large armies and still protect my boarders from invasions.

    In STW, the Shimazu's key to victory is always to secure Kyushu first. Don't ask questions and just kick the Imagawa out. Historically the Shimazu always aimed to unite Kyushu (and did for a short while).
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  • NaishoNaisho Senior Member USAPosts: 3,375Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Oh don't get me wrong I always try to kick Imagawa out but what happens is I try to take the rebels out first then hit Imagawa but if I leave my boarders with rebels unguarded they will take it no questions asked and Mori is very opportunistic if I leave that boarder unguarded, between guarding those boarders and launching a successful attack it stretches my funds to their limits.
    1---/\__/\
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    Naisho the Neko

    "You have raised assorted issues under what might be termed a “I-don’t-like-it because-I-say-it’s-not-historical” banner. This isn't quite the same as "justified", I'm sorry to say." -MikeB
  • OrionsGambitOrionsGambit Senior Member Posts: 115Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    I play on the 1550 setting so I have no idea what you guys are talking about as personal experience goes XD Is that the 1530 or 1570 start?
    Total War Wish List:
    #1.) Ancient Empires Total War [Era spanning from Rome to the Han and everything in between.]
    #2.) Some sort of Victorian Total War [Era stretching from 1845 to 1920. Full global map centered around the major imperial powers of the time; Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman, Russia, Qing China, and Japan.]
    #3.) Rome Total War II [With only one roman faction this time around...]
    #4.) Asian centered Total War [Perhaps centered around Han China.]
  • NaishoNaisho Senior Member USAPosts: 3,375Registered Users
    edited November 2010
    Its the original game, I really disliked the expansion as it changed game-play from what I was used to.
    1---/\__/\
    1=(O-"-O)=/\
    1--- / | | \--/ -|
    1---| \-/ \-_ /
    1--( Neko )

    Naisho the Neko

    "You have raised assorted issues under what might be termed a “I-don’t-like-it because-I-say-it’s-not-historical” banner. This isn't quite the same as "justified", I'm sorry to say." -MikeB
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