Yeah. Alliances and some trade stuff are always best done earlier in a game, so that rather than getting irked at your land-grabbing, they instead get more friendly over time since you haven't betrayed them. (Obviously, Does Not Work if you do betray them.) Also, if you haven't already discovered, trade agreements are easier to get if you export resources they don't get or import from someone else, while do not have the resources they export. Sounds obvious for cash reasons, but also greatly increases their willingness to trade with you. Also, one-off payments to them for accepting the deal are very much worth it in the long run.
Playing it again myself, and eying the content that was added since I last played. Love the Total War types of strategy games.
I had just started a new game when I broke up the alliance between my two neighbors. I'm playing Shogun 2, just in case anyone's wondering, and ... well, my plan worked. With the Takeda clan on my side, I invaded their former ally and took their only remaining province, the rest of it taken by the Oda clan. I was wary of Oda, because they obliterated me in my last game, so I kept an eye on them. Meanwhile, with the help of my new Takeda allies, I expanded east, taking two provinces from my neighbors there ( Takeda also took two, making them quite a bit larger than me ... ). I then started to consolidate my territories, building up the infrastructure. Soon, though, I noitced that Oda was fighting against another clan, and losing territory fast.
So, I waited until the following spring, and built up my armies. I then formed an alliance with the Oda clan ( by then pushed far west from me ) and went to war against this clan that had been fighting them. With their forces concentrating on Oda in the west, I could take several of their territories without much resistance, so much so that I'm only a few provinces away from Kyoto, which is my ultimate goal. And that's as far as I got, for now.
Now my alliance, with the Takeda and Oda, controls something like half of Japan, and we're all close to Kyoto. I have a feeling that if I want to take Kyoto and become Shogun, I'll have to betray one of them - perhaps both. Perhaps I should start looking for new allies...
Of course, diplomacy isn't the only cool thing. I don't consider myself very good
at Total War battles, but I did lead a very successful defense of one of my castles. The son of my Daimyo was there, with only a token force of some 600 men ( with only one unit of archers, far less than I would've liked ) and was attacked by a force of some 900. They had lots of archers ( archers outside
the walls can be even more dangerous than archers inside
, when you don't have archers yourself to take them out ... ), and generally better soldiers than me. But my heroic band of defenders held them back, then drove them back. It was pretty hectic, with my guys fighting off enemies climbing one wall, only to rush to another to reinforce my men there, with the Daimyo's son rallying and inspiring the troops, and fighting right beside them. It would've been a good, honorable death, but the man didn't even die. Good times.