I am never fulfilled. I spend my life despairing of society and everything around me. Do I think I’m better than everyone else? No no no, I am worse than the majority of people out there, but it doesn’t stop me from hating it all the same. My therapist says it is all about rules. The rules I hold dear to my heart are not the rules of everyone around me. Some of those rules are part of modern living, but people won’t obey them anyway because it would inconvenience them at that moment. Selfishness all around me in this dirty little bubble we call Earth.
Dr Smith (Ed: Doctor’s name changed for confidentiality) would say a large part of my recovery is down to me realising that other people don’t know my rules and they have the right not to obey them anyway. I should stop caring about everything and just go with the flow. Well Dr Smith, you can go and piss up a rope because I will care, and I will try to do something about it. However how can a socially timid geek with little backbone go about making the world a better place? This week I found a way, and it is called Total War: Shogun 2.
When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, I am pretty crap at online games. Even in WoW I spend my time in solitude, grinding away my 7 million boars. If the opportunity arises to do my part for the Horde, I’m left at the back, all flustered and awkward. I like playing against the system, with it’s rules like mine. The system has a logical way to be beaten, as Radiohead says “No alarms and no surprises”. Shogun 2 has a system which can be beaten, but I am at the start of the campaign which is taking a long time to get up to speed. The lack of current variety in forces comes down to a rather unflattering rock-paper-scissor affair in the best warfare simulator out there. I jumped into the online system, in particular their Avatar Conquest mode where steady domination of a campaign map is broken up with battles with real people.
I got off to an average start, losing just over half of my matches, most of them only coming down to a couple of units. In my pursuit of victory I altered my army a great amount to try to surprise my enemy with their well-rounded set of units. One such tactic to break the status-quo of archer-swordsman-horse was to build an army of all cavalry, 600 charging horses against the 2000 fragile foe. By quickly surrounding my enemy I had them cowering in a tight ball of spearmen. My frequent feigned charges tried to cause a break in the wall, however all those thundering hooves must have impaired their hearing as one by one each unit would continue charging instead of swerving away at the last second, creating several hundred kebabs with only slightly more horse than from your local takeaway. It was in my growing despair that came the straw that broke the camel’s back, a message from my would-be overlord:
“Ha, that horse spam isn’t working for you faggot”
I mean was there any need for that really? I musingly said that it may have worked if my chargers hadn’t trampled to their doom instead of turning away, trying to lighten the mood a little, giving him a chance for redemption.
“No, you’re just a spamming faggot” (spelling corrected. It really bugs me that people don’t know the difference between your and you’re.)
And that was it. I would get my victory out of this battle, but not the kind either of us had initially planned. I sacrificed all but one of my units, slamming my tired horses into the remains of his cavalry. I had 30 men on horseback left against the 1500 strong enemy army. Did I cry “Freedom” and go out in a blaze of glory? Nope, I ran away, right to the other side of the map. This was a mere 30 seconds for me but took him a full 5 minutes for his two-legged force to catch up. When they got within sniffing distance I merrily trotted away again, sure to take the scenic and most fun route, telling him in the chat as I did so:
“Weeeeeee, I can see my house from here!”
He could’ve retired, granting me the victory, but he had earned the victory that I would not give him. And thus began the most fun meta-game I’ve ever played. I would pretend to go AFK, letting him nearly reach my horseys before I would suddenly gallop away, but only a little bit, letting him catch up before hitting the gas for another 10 seconds. He got tired of this after 20 minutes, he got serious. With my genuine encouragement he lined his forces up, spanning the entire map slowly advanced, trying to box me in. It nearly worked too, all was looking bleak before I smashed my way through his weedy archers and onwards to freedom once again.
I really don’t exaggerate when I say I kept him chasing for 60 minutes. I gave him an easy way out, after the fifth minute I said I would surrender if he apologised for calling me a faggot, I meant it too. However his stubbornness and ascertain the he was right and he can act however he wants cost him an hour of his life. It cost me an hour of mine too, but it was well spent and I will do it again. Maybe next time this clown might think twice before calling people names for no good reason. In the end he gave up, his men trotting from the field of battle, I took the region and my reign of adequacy continues…. Beware!