Skulls of the Shogun

Skulls of the Shogun

View Stats:
 This topic has been pinned, so it's probably important
Cryder Jul 3, 2013 @ 10:17pm
Gameplay Overview - For those unsure about what the game contains
There are a lot of people asking "Is this game good" "Should I buy it" and so on, so I thought it was a good idea to make a post about the gameplay you can expect from Skulls of the Shogun.

Skulls of the Shogun supports up to 4 player multiplayer, there is no co-op campaign, you can play 2v2, 1v1, or FFA up to 4 players, there is local multiplayer. Multiplayer matches can be played both asynch and real time.

Skulls of the Shogun was originally a Windows 8 and xbox exclusive thanks to Microsoft, but has now been released on Steam. It has a fully fledged 15-20 hour campaign with a ton of multiplayer maps as well, I personally have played over 30 hours and I haven't even done half the campaign yet.

It works on Windows, Mac and Linux.

You are the fearsome general Akamoto, who was just about to become the shogun after winning countless battles, but you got stabbed in the back just as you won your final battle and sent to the realm of the dead. There you meet an imposter who claims to be you, as well as several other hostile generals hindering your way to the doors to the afterlife.

The basics - Skulls of the Shogun is a turn based strategy game where you get 5 actions per turn, if you move a unit without doing anything, but select another unit before cancelling, it will count as using an action, you can however return to the unit later and attack/move with it. Your units have circular movement instead of squares or hexagons.

Another important aspect is that whenever a unit dies, they drop a skull. Skulls can be eaten by your units to gain +2 max hp, up to a maximum of +6, and heals for 3 if they were missing any health, however, you cannot eat any of your own skulls. Once you eat your third skull your unit becomes a demon, which means they get an extra action per turn (and a free action the same turn you eat the third skull) If the general of a team dies, all units of that team instantly disappear, including any skulls they lost on the ground, and they are defeated.

All units can counterattack by default, counterattacks deal less damage than full attacks, but still a bit. Units can always counter attack as long as they are in range and are not dying to the attack in question.

To summon additional units you must have haunted a unit shrine from before and spend rice to buy units (100 for infantry, 150 for cavalry, 200 for archers). Rice is gained by haunting rice patties. Haunting something takes one action and one turn, where your unit is left defenseless and wont counterattack anything. By standing on already haunted tiles you will heal for 2hp, the initial haunting unit also gets the 2hp healing, which will negate any minor damage you take while haunting.

There are three basic unit types, as well as four different monks. All units have 6 base HP (your general too)

The Infantry is your tankiest unit, it has 3 armor (which reduces all damage taken by 3) but can't move very far, it also inflicts the most knockback which can be useful for pushing petty enemies down cliffs or into the river. Infantry deals 5 damage.

The Cavalry is a very mobile unit, but only has 2 armor and deals minor knockback. Cavalry deals 5 damage.

The Archer deals 6 damage per attack and is ranged, this however also means that the archer only has 1 armor and deals no knockback whatsoever. Archers can counterattack other ranged units if it's not a killing blow, but they do not counterattack infantry or cavalry. They can move slightly further than infantry.

The General is your most important unit, if he dies it's game over. He gains +1 max HP per turn as long as he is left asleep, and he gets 2 actions per turn by default, which stacks with the extra action from becoming a demon (Yes, your general can become a demon too). He deals 6 damage and has 3 armor, he can also move quite far (but not quite as far as cavalry). He is generally(!) used in a last ditch effort to avoid losing. A single demon general can easily turn the tides of an entire war by himself due to extremely powerful triple attacks.

Monks are special units that you can only gain by haunting shrines. There are 5 different shrines, one for each monk, and one where you pick which monk you want. Most of them can't directly deal damage, but instead have spells. They unlock additional spells by eating skulls, and they also benefit from the demon bonus if they eat three. All monks can counterattack, and all monks die (and leave a skull in their place) if an enemy haunts their shrine uninterrupted.

Salamander Monks are the only monks that can directly deal damage. They are basically Archers, but with longer range (and therefore also a longer minimum range). By eating one skull you get the ability to summon a very strong demon on top of an enemy (but it takes 1 turn to spawn, and is also hostile to everyone, including you), at two skulls you get the ability to make a shield on allied units that makes enemies take 2 damage from attacking them, and at three skulls you can do a lightning storm that deals 3 damage + 4 on initial target in a rather large area with long range (combo this with being a demon and you can 2-shot a large portion of someones army)

Fox Monks can heal a unit of your choice for 3 health per turn. By eating one skull you get the ability to turn any skulls into 75 rice (even if they are your own), by eating two you can shield an ally and add 2 armor to them, and by eating three you gain the ability to resurrect dead units if the enemy hasn't eaten their skull.

Crow Monks have a basic spell that pushes people (very far actually). They can also blow out enemy haunted buildings, interrupt haunting, push skulls, or generally be ♥♥♥♥♥ about everything and push all your units into the ocean. By eating one skull they gain the ability to steal 75 rice from any rice patty (directly taking 75 from one, since rice patties only give a limited amount of rice), by eating two skulls they can increase a units chance to dodge by a rather large percent (more on that later), and by eating three skulls they can push several units at once, as well as deal some minor damage to them (Good for people who put 3 units close together near a cliff).

Tanuki Monks can swap their position with another unit, which doesn't take up movement from that unit (or the monk himself, so he can just walk back to where he teleported from unless he had to walk there to begin with), effectively giving units a much larger movement range. You can also swap position over cliffs or anything really. By eating one skull they gain the ability to make ice on the ground, which drastically increases knockback (but still no knockback for archers), by eating two skulls they can do so enemies can't attack anything else than them (they can still do other actions though), and by eating three skulls they can make a shield on allies that increases defense by one, makes their own personal spirit wall (with a rather large size) and stuns melee attackers.

Other game mechanics
Potions can be found on the ground on certain maps, there's a hp regeneration potion and a bonus damage potion. The HP potion instantly heals the drinker to full hp and gives them a passive 1 hp heal per turn. The damage potion gives a passive 2 extra damage (on archers this would mean one shotting cavalry). The negative effect of potions is that upon death their skull is dropped and enemies can eat it to gain the bonuses.

Dodge gives a chance for you to miss your attack. Dodge happens if you are attacking at max range, which gives you a 20% chance of failure. Dodge is also caused by units standing in bamboo, which also adds 20% dodge chance. All dodge stacks directly, so if you attack a guy with dodge boost while he's in bamboo and also at max range you will most certainly miss. All units can miss their attacks if they attack at max range, so you generally want to not risk it and just walk a bit closer.

Bamboo is found on most maps, as said above it increases dodge chance by 20% if you stand in it.

Lion Shrines are found on certain maps and deal 1 damage to every enemy unit in a mediumish area, they stack with other statues and require you to haunt them. They, like all other hauntable things, heal you by 2 hp if you stand on it after it's haunted.

Spirit walls are created if you have 2 (or more) units very close to each other, which means they cannot be affected by knockback. The crow monk can still push them, but units do not go through other units.

Your General meditates at the start of the match, and will keep doing so until you awaken him. Once interrupted he will not do it again. By meditating he gets +1 max hp each round, up to a maximum of 18 max health.
Last edited by Cryder; Nov 14, 2014 @ 6:14am
< >
Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
Borut  [developer] Jul 4, 2013 @ 1:27am 
Thanks Cryder! I'm gonna pin this to help people out when they come to the forum looking for this kind of question.
ӇƛƝƝƖƁƛԼ Jul 26, 2013 @ 8:17pm 
Really enjoying this title. One of the rare Early Access and even Full Release that works right from the start. Very enjoyable. Looking forward to your future titles.
Gunter Jul 26, 2013 @ 11:49pm 
SKIRMISHER Jul 29, 2013 @ 7:13pm 
Thanks for the post and pin. I was unsure what this game was about until reading this thread.
Cryder Aug 10, 2013 @ 1:26am 
Originally posted by Dr Deep:
put it this way... someone i know downloaded it pirate, ( i think) and i just paid full price because we couldnt put it down, hooked up 2 xbox controllers to the PC and played a modern game of chess. Excellent!
If your friend also buys it he support the devs so they can make more content for this title without being at a financial loss.
Mike Aug 17, 2013 @ 4:41pm 
hi i think this game is really weird its good but weird
Chriz Sep 8, 2013 @ 7:45am 
Great post, that should definitely help people to decide if the might like it. Excellent game by the way, just finished the campaign.
malcolmmackay224 Feb 12, 2014 @ 12:32pm 
The best gameplay in the world doesn't matter when the interface is very poorly designed. I'm sure there is some good gameplay in skulls of the shogun but it is too well hidden behind the frustrating interface.
Cryder Apr 2, 2014 @ 2:21am 
Originally posted by malcolmmackay224:
The best gameplay in the world doesn't matter when the interface is very poorly designed. I'm sure there is some good gameplay in skulls of the shogun but it is too well hidden behind the frustrating interface.
I don't see how the interface is so poorly designed, you posted about it in another thread basically saying this game is trash purely because of the interface and I don't really get that.

The feature the game definitely needs is an "undo all moves" button, but at least that can be avoided with some proper planning. Other than that movement works fine, selecting things works fine, the menus work fine, attacking the right enemy when 4 different guys are stacked on top of each other works fine because the one you are targetting grows in size and everything that isn't your target becomes faded black, if the wrong one is in focus you just try to select another guy. (I could see an easier way to target things being good here but it's a bit too late for that, maybe if every player had a set of unit portraits that could be brought up with a button and every portrait selected one of the units currently on the field, the general always being in the number 1 slot and units after that changing as they die or get created)
Last edited by Cryder; Apr 2, 2014 @ 2:21am
RetroSnake Apr 11, 2014 @ 12:59pm 
я труляля
Phil Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:19pm 
Lacking Info: How many players can play multiplayer? Only versus? What about local MP game modes? Coop? Versus?
Cryder Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:13am 
Originally posted by Phil:
Lacking Info: How many players can play multiplayer? Only versus? What about local MP game modes? Coop? Versus?
All of these applies.

Up to 4 player multiplayer, can play 2v2 or FFA, local exists, theres no "game modes" just.. the default game, there is no co op campaign, multiplayer is both asynch and real-time.
Vibronicshark55 Jun 25, 2014 @ 5:30am 
Seems like a fairly decent game and I'm only in the first world.
Harry Mortal Mar 5, 2015 @ 3:56am 
< >
Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
Per page: 15 30 50