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War College

Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior MemberSingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
edited May 2012 in SHOGUN: Total War
From the original thread. I am condensing individual posts. This thread contains the original discussion on tactics and strategies for STW.


King Haggard (03/03/03 15:39:28) [War College]

Modesty forbids me from naming this thread after myself, though that was offered to me.
This thread is intended to be a compilation of strategies, tactics, tips, and answers to questions. To that end I would ask that anything relevant but not of that nature be posted in another thread instead: (War College Talkback Thread)
This thread and the initial post will be edited with new information as needed, and I give the moderators full discretion to edit and move posts here to keep it up-to-date and on-topic. I had intended for this first post to be an index but I’ve failed to find out how to hyperlink to individual posts in the thread. If anyone could figure that out I’d be much appreciative.
One note: I do not know when I will be available to write here, it is more than likely I will need to leave for extended periods. If you’re a good tactician, go ahead and post some of your own lectures. Or talk to me about becoming an “official” lecturer.
Ok, another note: I am well aware that certain strategies fly in the face of certain other strategies and can cause argument. Usually, both strategies are effective. Therefore debate is excellent and I encourage it, but at least until we work out a suitable method for such discussions I’d prefer you do it in the other thread, so that a unified strategy can be developed before it is posted here and this thread remain a place of study.



King Haggard (03/03/03 15:44:36) [Game mechanics Q&A.]

Sounds nicer than “unintelligent newbie FAQ.” In no particular order, here are brief questions and answers I’ve seen on the boards. They will be updated as more are asked.

Q: I installed Warlord Edition, but now I have no throne room. Did a taifun take it or an earthquake?
A: Either you did the small install, which doesn’t have the throne room, or you did a large install and didn’t check the box in the game options marked “throne room.” (If no box is there and you want the throne room, reinstall the game with it.) That’s the price you must pay for not having to swap the CDs all the time.

Q: Warlord Edition has a different intro movie. What movie is that from?
A: It is from the film “Ran” by Akira Kurosawa.

Q: How do I make ranged units attack in melee?
A: Hold down “alt” and click. That’s one of the things that is in the manual.

Q: How do I transport troops by ship?
A: Just drag them like you move them anywhere else. When you pick up a piece, all possible moves will light up. Those include all your ports and all ports where you have a spy. Spies can move to any port freely. That’s in the manual.

Q: How do I offer an alliance?
A: Drop an emissary on a daimyo piece. Same thing will offer a cease-fire if you’re at war. That’s in the manual.

Q: How do I bribe an army?
A: Drop your emissary on an army to offer a bribe. For rebels, the cost is 150% what it would cost to train those units. If the army belongs to a daimyo, their loyalty will greatly increase the price. Higher level emissaries are more pursuasive. You cannot bribe heirs or daimyos.
Bribery can be a good way to get decent armies from rebels early in the game.

Q: How do I behead enemy emissaries?
A: You can't. You're too civilized. In fact you always seem mildly surprised and amused when another daimyo beheads one of yours.

Q: How do I use ninjas?
A: Drop them on an emissary, a general, a daimyo, or a geisha and they’ll try to kill it. Drop them on a castle under siege by your armies and they may try to open it. This stuff is in the tooltips! I did not answer you how to use them WELL.

Q: How do I change the default unit size?
A: In the game options scroll (from the main menu) there's a slider bar option to set the default unit size to 60, 80, 100, or 120 men. You can actually change this during the course of the strategic game, and it will apply to new units built and your merge limit. It applies to all players. Each individual soldier still costs the same to train and takes time, so a larger unit size may take two seasons to train.

Q: My daimyo’s unit “regenerates” whenever it loses men. Why don’t other units do this?
A: It is particular to the Daimyo. Whenever some of the unit die, the daimyo will select new hatamoto so he always has a full honor guard. However the new hatamoto will be at honor zero, which is likely to "dilute" the honor of the unit.

Q: I don’t have Warlord Edition. How do I bring units back up to full strength?
A: The only way for you to do this is to take units who have taken casualties, put them in the same army, and drag one unit portrait onto another of the same type (in the bottom panel.) The result will be a mix of the two units in terms of honor. For this reason you should only merge units that have very close honor levels or you risk “diluting” the honor of your veterans.

Q: I have Warlord Edition. How do I retrain units?
A: When they’re in a province that can train that unit type (not just moved into it,) open the build sheet, click on the army you want to retrain and drag the unit portrait from the bottom panel to the training queue. Once they finish retraining they’ll come out at full men and with any upgrades the province can supply. New men will be at the honor that the dojo and province supplies, and may lower the honor of the unit. (So you should merge veterans instead of retraining.) If the unit is below the honor the province gives, it will be raised to that level. If the province cannot train that type of unit but does supply better equipment, then you can upgrade all your units there for free (they will not receive more men.) You can’t retrain strategic units or your daimyo.

Q: I have Warlord Edition. How do I play the campaigns in other time periods (including the Mongol Invasion campaign?)
A: When you just start a new campaign game, look for two faint triangular arrows on either side of the map of Japan where it gives a description of the time period. Click them to cycle through the time periods.

Q: I want a sword dojo. How do I get the legendary swordsmen event?
A: Kill lots of people. This event takes place when one of your soldiers makes many kills.

Q: I have a question on Medieval/Rome/off topic/other…
A: Go away, before I am rude to you and hurt your feelings! :lol:evil


King Haggard (03/04/03 12:20:29) [Basic principles of tactical combat]

This is by no means intended to be a complete guide to tactical combat, or even a very good one. It's just to quickly point the reader in the right direction and give a rough idea of what to look at.

Shogun: Total War is a game about positioning. Yari beat horses. Horses beat archers. Archers beat infantry. So do nodachi and warrior monks, but naginatas stop them.
It's mostly about getting the right troops in the right place at the right time. How you do that is up to you. But try to keep your main body tight enough to cover each other if you're inexperienced.
And keep a balanced army. Like a balanced diet, it's good for you. If your opponent is using a very imbalanced army, you can imbalance your own somewhat to take advantage of the weaknesses (for example if the enemy army is mostly archers and some infantry, go cavalry-heavy and with some archers and infantry of your own. If they have only infantry, use many archers and a few infantry to screen.)

Archers like to be on high ground. Everyone else likes to run downhill rather than climb uphill while fighing. So don't ignore the topography. It's not easy to win a rock-throwing contest from the bottom of a well.

Forests are very bad for cavalry, and provide some cover from archers as well, making them good defensive spots. And you can hide troops in them to ambush with.

Never fight fair. Never have one of your units fight one of the enemy's units when you can have two or three of yours fight one of theirs. And never attack from one side when you can attack from more sides. Always try to flank the enemy, or hit them from behind if at all possible. Catch the enemy unit in a vise between two or more of your units. This is one of the most important parts of the tactical battle.

Watch your units' morale. Don't send them on suicide missions if they're not brave yet. Veterans are much better for making those dangerous ambushes. Try to lower the enemy's morale by killing their general. Protect your own general.

Use cavalry for their speed to take out archers, not to assault enemy infantry. Use archers to wear down the enemy infantry and then pull them back behind your infantry when the enemy closes.

Have a unit or two in reserve to run down fleeing enemies, take the advantage of an open flank, or patch a hole in your line.

"It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten
to the enemy's one, to surround him; if five to one,
to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army
into two.

If equally matched, we can offer battle;
if slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy;
If quite unequal in every way, we can flee from him." - translated from Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"


King Haggard (03/04/03 18:41:01) [Strategic Acquisition of Provinces]

When you have an opportunity to invade a province, it is not always best to do so. You should keep in mind the following factors both when deciding whether to attack or defend:

-Does the province produce much rice?
Good farming lands are important to a prolonged campaign. Though all provinces’ farmlands can be developed, you should make it a priority to take provinces that produce a lot of rice each year, and concentrate on developing those farmlands first.

-Does the province contain some valuable resource?
If the province in question has iron sands (for an armory) or another valuable metal (for money,) or if a specific type of troop trained there is of superior quality, it would be a good idea to take and develop that province as soon as possible.

-Is the province in a key strategic location?
Provinces that can hold a large area are vital to defense, especially if the areas they guard are not adequately garrisoned. Taking and holding strategic chokepoints is key to a successful strategy. You should look for situations where a handful of provinces that border many enemy provinces can be held with few soldiers. Ideally, you should be able to concentrate your troops in two or three provinces and guard an entire front with them.
When considering whether to move against an enemy keep in mind whether in moving your soldiers you leave your base unguarded, or whether you can advance your front without lengthening the line you must defend. A good border is round without a lot of difficult-to-defend protrusions. Ask yourself whether in taking a province you need a new army to guard it, or can you move an old army forward safely. Of course advancing a front can take several seasons, so if you can acquire useful lands while keeping enough troops to defend them, by all means do so.
One should strive for continuity. An enemy province surrounded on many sides by your lands not only makes an unsightly blemish, but also requires you leave garrisons in all the surrounding provinces. Sometimes these garrisons together are enough to overcome the foe, and should a situation arise where the target province has no friendly provinces adjacent you should be prepared to take advantage of it: the enemy has nowhere to run. You only need rout his army and they will be destroyed or locked up in a castle with no hope of help.
Also take a look at the terrain. Is it easy to defend? Will a token force be able to hold off a larger army? Good defensive provinces have highlands or rivers. Of course those provinces that are easy to keep are usually difficult to take. With sufficient practice (gained mostly from resisting attacks) you will learn the terrains of each individual province and how to defend them.

-Is the province important to the enemy?
Even if none of the other factors apply, a province filled with high-tech buildings is a good target to wrest away from your rivals. Besides the obvious loss to the enemy, the damage you inflict in taking over the province can be repaired in not too much time giving you a good base of operations close to the enemy lines.

An undesirable province to take would be one that has lowland, but poor rice fields, lengthens your lines, and has no minerals or special troops. It would be better to leave such a province alone and not fight too hard to keep it if you have already taken it. An example would be Izu, arguably the least desirable province on the map. It produces not enough rice each year to raise an ashigaru unit, has no specials, and under no condition could be strategically viable. Though it’s possible to advance into Izu without leaving another garrison (if you control Kai,) who would want to? Its neighbor Suruga shares a similar fate. (Note: I have often found that Lord Takeda likes to hide in Izu, and in order to trap him or his heirs we must dance around the surrounding provinces a lot.)
The province of Noto has little value and taking it usually requires a garrison to hold (if you decide to do so at all.) When making the push to Kaga it may be possible to ignore Noto until you’ve cleared the area. On the other hand if you already control Dewa and Sado then Noto is a logical strategic step to take since it doesn’t lengthen your border. If it is defended though, you should ask yourself whether you need the province.

One of the most desirable provinces is Shinano: it can hold a large area and borders many provinces on both sides, has excellent mountainous terrain to defend, iron sands for an armory, and the cavalry produced there are of superior quality.
Another desirable province is Dewa: it has rich rice fields and gold deposits and borders few provinces, making it a good province to have in the back of your territory.

Here is a story that illustrates some of the considerations in taking terrain: In one game I played as Uesugi I held the northwestern tip of Japan (upper-right on the map) including Shinano and the provinces immediately above it. Hojo’s forces were too powerful for me to attack so I had to spread my lines thin all along the eastern front while I pushed south into Kaga. This movement did not require me to leave additional garrisons behind since I could simply move the old garrisons forward. Except in the case of Noto: I sent a unit of yari samurai to take the uncontested province since I planned to immediately take Sado from both sides, leaving the enemy no escape route.
Though I had rich farmlands, building and reinforcing garrisons left me strapped for koku each year. When Takeda invaded Shinano with a high-tech and powerful cavalry army, I used the terrain and my spears to advantage (with a good dose of tactical planning) and managed to deplete their forces sufficiently to invade Kai, the only worthwhile province Takeda possessed which served both as their troop training province and primary source of income. I wanted to take Totomi province since until the siege at Kai was over (storming the castle was made impossible by continued attempts by the enemy to liberate the province; my men’s displays of valor gained them much honor) I only had two provinces producing campaign-quality troops and only one province that produced archers at all. Unfortunately by taking Totomi I could not always keep enough men there to hold it safely, so I razed a few buildings and left, to return later. Hojo invaded my land shortly thereafter with the entire garrison from one of his rich provinces, and I was forced to pull back into the castle. I shifted armies to break the siege and moved a garrison from a neighboring province to take the one he had abandoned. In this particular case the acquisition helped my finances and didn’t lengthen the line, but it is always a good idea to try and take a province that’s left empty, even if you’re only going to raze everything and withdraw. Just be alert that the enemy might bait you and cut your armies off, and remember that you can use this tactic yourself. Falling back is not admitting defeat.

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - quote credited to Sun Tzu


King Haggard (03/05/03 07:39:49) [Weather]

Posted by killemall54:

"To my recollection there are two kinds of fog, thin and thick and I swear there are four kinds of rain, besides intermittent and they range from light to really dark,stormy, along with lightning with driving hard rain, and two kinds of snow which are light and heavy. Fog can and will occur alone or in combination with snow and rain.

Fog has no effect on morale to my knowledge or any other effect except on your vision. As you know some battlefields are bigger than others. As an attacker, it is not advisable to play hide and go seek the last YA hiding in any kind of fog as when the clock runs out you lose even if there is only one defender. Therefore do not attack in fog if you can avoid it. Generally fog occurs in spring and winter so summer and autumn are good campaigning seasons. If you are the defender the AI will probably find you even if you don't find him when you are the attacker.

Thick fog. Can even hide you in a big province. But don't count on it. Send troops to divert their attention so your last remnant can run out the clock. Again thick fog is favorable to the defense. The AI enemy will move around your flanks and otherwise hide in thick fog. They are really more active.

In thick fog battles I throw out 3 Cav Archers ahead of the main body, across the whole front. I switch from unit card to unit card to see the view from that unit so I can quickly sweep the whole map. When they see the main body and dispersed troops i click on whatever units I need and click on the targets. This is the unrealistic fire and forget tactic. In real life the scout could not communicate the moves of the ai, but once you lock on, unless the target is BN or goes down away under a hill, your targetting units will seek out the AI, even if you lose eye contact.

So I say especially in major battles with lots of units and reinforcements do not attack in fog. But say you have 400 and they have 6 or 8 hundred. By careful manuever, in thick fog or rain, get around and flank the enemy and roll him up. When you are outnumbered like this but not when there are thousands of men, you can win.

Finally, I advance the speed slider in the move to contact phase, even in fog. This is dangerous. On more than one occasion the AI has surprised me by attacking into me and I have lost. I have tamed my overconfidence. Overconfidence and fog are a bad combination.

Rain. Damps missle and gunfire. But strings and matchlocks dry fast in intermittent rain, so arquebusiers can be deployed in that kind of scenario. Muskets will fire in all rain except the very heaviest described above. Some of the old experts argued this with me, but the muskets work. You can see the flash and a roll of smoke. I didn't ever hold that their fire was all that effective. Arrow fire is just plain less effective, but if you concentrate your archers the enemy is still dead.

Morale effects of rain. I don't believe there is any effect in light or medium rain and fatique effects are low. In heavy and Heavy Driving rain described above there is some kind or morale penalty for defender AI. I never felt or observed it when I was the defender. But I didn't wand my troops to check.

I will tell you this for sure. Mongol Defenders are much shakier than Hojo attackers in Heavy and Heavy Driving rain. This is important. Sometimes, the Mongol has position and you must attack uphill in trees against thousands of Mongols and tons of Mongol Heavy cavalry attacking downhill. I don't care who you are, you will lose and lose big. Except if you wait for a really heavy thunderstorm. I don't care if you outnumber him or he outnumbers you by a lot. Attack. Attack. Attack. Chances are the Mongol will bolt and you will have a province you could not otherwise take without many attacks and horrendous losses. All defenders are susceptible to this, but Mongols more so.

Snow. Everything I said about rain and fog applies equally here. Yes, everyone fatigues including the AI but it less than you. That makes units harder to rally if they break. So why would you ever stand around while fatigue drops to zero? Armored guys fatigue quicker than unarmoreds. Horses don't go so fast in snow. But its never slow motion. I promise. Snow fatigue has never cost me a single battle. I have lost battles in snow because of carelessness or negligence. I have had many really fun battles in snow with snow on the ground because it impairs your visual perceptions. Call it pretty clutter and it can either heighten your perception or distract it. You can lose battles by dispersing your men in snow storms and it is hard to know where they are on the map which leaves them vulnerable to ambush, counterattack or AI reinforcements. Disorientation is your enemy. "

I'd like to briefly expand on this, and perhaps offer another perspective on a few points:

Killemall neglected to mention wind. Wind will cause your arrows to miss their targets more often (unless well-trained and experienced archers can compensate for it, perhaps.)

Sometimes in winter you get "cold days". I suspect this may increase fatigue (since heat and thus energy leaves the body through the armor) but the visibility conditions are good unlike other "inhospitable weather" conditions (rain and snow.) I always fight on these days because they're rare.

Rain and snow decrease visibility, decrease the effectiveness of achers and arquebuses (rain more than snow,) and increase fatigue (snow more than rain.) You can also see the wind by the way the rain/snow is moving. When you select a day for attack you can actually see the weather, not just the forecast, so pay attention to the weather you see. If it says "intermittent rain expected" and you are looking at a thunderstorm, ignore the forecasters and their stupid weather balloons. Quite rarely you will get a thunderstorm, I love to fight in these. Visibility comes and goes in brief flashes of lightning.

A "fine day" is the perfect weather for archers. If your army is archer-heavy, try to attack on fine days. If the enemy army is archer heavy and yours is infantry heavy, try to attack in "hostile weather" conditions. If you have stealth troops (ninjas) or your plan involves stealth, try to attack in fog.
Fog should dampen bowstrings, but I don't think it does.
Personally, I greatly enjoy attacking in fog when I have ninjas or cavalry, or even nodachi or warrior monks. Reduced visibilty increases scouting and tactical options, and I just send my army every which way after I "win" to root out any hiding units.

Since you can't affect the weather when you defend and can barely choose it when you attack, I try to fit myself to the weather rather than the other way around. Since all my defense forces try to incorporate archers, a fine day is good for the range and accuracy and hostile weather is good because the enemy will be fatigued. In both cases my behavior is the same, including scouts (I scout in good weather just in case.)

I don't plan attacks years in advance like the AI sometimes does, at most I might hold off an attack to wait out the winter. Otherwise I just make do with what the weather offers when my troops are ready. Often I'll attack on the first weather offered, or the last as I can't find one I like. Depending on the troops I have and the weather, I will generate my general attack strategy.

In fog I will send out ninjas and elite task forces to hide around the enemy army.
On clear days I will march straight up and assemble in front of them.
Depending on the level of rain or snow, I may spread out my forces to converge on the enemy, sending my cavalry out first to cover the advance. In rain I will pull my arquebusiers back to sit out the battle, or use them as bait. The AI seems to be aware that they are no threat but likes to try and kill them.



Perihelion (03/05/03 09:09:36) [Weather]

A bit about the weather... I don't know if there is a correlation about the stats of your units being higher armoured = quicker fatigue, but I have noticed Kensai, HC, Naginta C, all fatigue at the same rate (Very Fast) I know the NC has a lower armour rating than the HC, but they still tire very fast...

However, BFN who have a higher armour rating than HC and NC don't fatigue as fast, even if running. Perhaps the stats are a misleading on this, because physically BFN would rely on being quick and less armour, just to balance I guess?

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (1).


    King Haggard (03/05/03 22:35:30) [The light cavalry units: Cavalry Archers]

    By request, I wrote this one a bit sooner than I intended.
    DISCLAIMER: I had a glass of tequila and sherry just before I wrote this. Any catastrophic tactical disasters that happen to you from following these tips is therefore your own #### fault!
    Cavalry archers are arguably the most versatile unit in the game, able to move very quickly and lend support or attack with bows or swords. Their speed and ranged attack mean they don’t usually need to fear any unit, so long as you keep an eye out for intercepting yari cavalry. They are perfectly suited for specialized missions on the flanks and rear of the enemy army, or for giving ranged attack capacity in a highly mobile army. And since their melee attack is greater than foot archers’, they make excellent archer-killers as well.

    Tactics specific to Cavalry Archers:
    Harass & delay: One fairly obvious use of cavalry archers is to follow the enemy army on their advance and pelt their infantry with arrows. By the time the enemy reaches your main force, their numbers will already be depleted and their morale dented. This tactic is especially effective against enemy shock troops, who might run down normal archers, or yari infantry, who can gravely impede an all-cavalry army. Walk your cavalry archers up to any side of the enemy army and fire at selected units, being careful to move back if you are attacked or shot at. You can go to loose formation in a line four horses deep to outshoot enemy archers, or simply avoid them. Most of your other tactics evolve from this, simply taking opportunities the enemy presents to you. My favorite targets are warrior monks, and yari samurai – but you can take any unit that exposes itself on the fringe. When using this tactic, it may be a good idea to position yourself on any hills the enemy must pass by to reach you, which will increase your range.
    Pretty much the only way to counter this with conviction is to send a yari cavalry unit to run the cavalry archers down, but having a yari infantry unit in loose formation chase them away may also be possible. If the commander is not particularly skilled, archers and/or flanking techniques may be able to do some damage to the cavalry archers. If you have no cavalry, large flanking is probably the only way to pen them.

    Bait and lead: Should the enemy assign one or more infantry units to attack your cavalry archers, you can easily lead them away from the main body of their army while stopping every so often to shoot at them. Be careful that you don’t get outflanked when you do this. Fire a few shots, pull back to the next ***p in the ground when they near, and fire some more. Once the infantry are a considerable distance from their army, you can have your main army engage theirs or have parts of it surround the isolated unit and defeat-in-detail. This is easier with a cavalry-heavy army and either yari or heavy cavalry can be used to strike the baited unit in the back. As your support unit strikes, go into melee with the light cavalry unit as well. Attacking an isolated unit from front and back will more than make up for any disadvantage their spears cause you, and they are likely to break morale and be slaughtered in a short time, freeing up your units again. Sometimes a unit you are leading will break morale and flee just because of the arrows. When this happens you should always run them down and kill them, unless another unit is still following you. In the latter case, you must use your own judgment as regards to the range and risk.
    If this tactic is used on you, remember that it is a response to your own actions. Yari infantry are much cheaper than cavalry archers and it is often a good idea to throw out one of your units to occupy their cavalry. If that is your decision keep attacking them in loose formation until you can send reinforcements to properly deal with the cavalry archers. I have had battles where a few yari units of mine occupied the entire enemy cavalry force until I beat their army and could engage them. Otherwise you may simply cease the chase and attack another target once the main battle has engaged. Or you could ignore the bait in the first place if your troops are well armored.

    Archer killing: Sometimes one or more archer units will detach from the main body to shoot at your cavalry archers, or may simply not be adequately guarded. The latter situation can happen from your efforts to spread out the army or from the other general’s foolishness. The former is a common result of the harassing tactic. When this happens you have a number of options, all of them good. You may use your superior mobility to attempt to take the high ground, and spread out to exchange fire for a while. You are likely to get the upper hand in such exchanges. Then you can charge the archers, closing to a wedge if you like or close formation on contact, and hunt them down. You should be able to kill a good portion of the enemy archers before help arrives, and you can pull out if it does come. If your cavalry just happen to be at the back of poorly guarded archers, you can charge to take them out with ease while the remainder of your army engages their melee troops.
    The panacea for this is fairly straightforward: Don’t leave your ranged units unguarded when there are enemy cavalry about! Always have a yari unit backing them in case the cavalry should decide to engage. And go into loose formation for a shootout, not straying too far from your army. If the enemy cavalry archers are occupied with your foot archers, you may have a chance to flank and kill them.

    Overwatch: Discretion is the better part of valor. Sometimes you may wish to assign one light cavalry unit to support one of your other task forces, to simply scout the enemy army without hostile action, or to cut off retreats. I call these cases “overwatch”, and generally assign cavalry archers who have depleted their ammunition to these missions. Light cavalry can keep a safe distance from the enemy army or the current engagement, escort heavy cavalry taskforces, or shoot into an engagement behind enemy lines to cover a taskforce’s retreat. Generally this is meant as a security measure, so the cavalry archers will be at hand to deal with any unforeseen consequences of your attacks, and to mop up any fleeing units if your missions are successful.
    There is often nothing you can really do to defend against these tactics, but if your main army is victorious in battle you shouldn’t have much to worry about from them either. Just keep track of where the enemy are so that they don’t surprise you.

    Recon in force: This is a more complex strategy involving two or three taskforces of at least four light cavalry altogether (I tend to use two mounted archers and two yari cavalry.) Send out small units of light cavalry all along the breadth of the map to locate the enemy army and deploy smoothly when he is found. You can search out ambushes on the way. Those task forces can later be given harass or overwatch missions, or can secure a favorable strategic position for your forces. If any of their units expose themselves, you can defeat them in detail and disperse hopefully before the enemy brings support. I always pair cavalry archers with yari cavalry on these missions, and usually end up with an “accidental” large envelopment that I can then use to take out any enemy archers and most enemy cavalry as well, guaranteeing a safe advance for my infantry forces. I like to open every battle in neutral terrain or low-visibility weather conditions with this tactic.
    Since the victim probably won’t know where all of the enemy recon forces are, there isn’t much you can do against this except intercept each one in turn with your own light cavalry. Since the cost to use the strategy is high, a few units of coordinated yari cavalry can decimate a substantial portion of the enemy army when their main force is much too far to help. If they stumble too close to your army, all the better. You can herd them into your forces and defeat them with little risk.

    Reserve: While unable to quickly turn the tide of battle themselves, cavalry archers can give strong support to any trouble spot. Due to their excellent mobility and versatility, cavalry archers can reach most hot spots very quickly and give both ranged and close support once they’re there. So this would be an acceptable unit to save to the end of a large battle if you can’t find another application for them (for example, when the enemy has many yari cavalry in his reserve.) Perceptive generals may note the similarity of this and the “overwatch” mission, the difference being that here you save your units fresh behind your lines. In specific provinces like Owari, you may be forced to run troops back and forth between multiple defense locations, or assist an ally. Light cavalry are ideal for this.
    It is not too difficult to counter this if you have yari cavalry, but otherwise you may send two or three yari infantry units to surround the offending unit and drive them into your forces. Be aware that this may call on your troops in battle. Otherwise, you may simply ignore the cavalry archers until you have finished with their main force, then reassign what’s left of your units to trap them. Should the enemy charge into your occupied men, try to reassign a yari unit to push them out.


    staticfire21 (03/09/03 17:51:48) [class in session]

    -always inspect enemy troops in neighbouring provinces gaugin their makeup, volume and adjust your army as necessary.
    -rebels make a buffer between you and the enemy so invade them last.


    King Haggard (03/15/03 01:13:41) [The light cavalry units: Yari Cavalry]

    Yari cavalry are the fastest unit in the game, and all of their tactics take advantage of this speed in some way. Their lances make them effective cavalry-killers and they can take out archers with relative ease. Otherwise they are not an exceptionally powerful unit and should avoid any kind of infantry.

    Tactics specific to Yari Cavalry:
    Archer killing: Since yari cavalry are typically the first cavalry type you get, it is good that they are effective at killing archers. Walk them around to the flanks or back of an enemy army, then engage with your main force. Once the enemy infantry rush into the fray, you can charge into any exposed samurai archer units and run them down. If an archer unit is alone anywhere for any reason, yari cavalry can chase them and kill them with ease. If you are being fired upon it may be a good idea to attack in loose formation, and perhaps close to a wedge or close formation on impact. There is no need to ever hold formation with yari cavalry – rather you should encourage them to break formation and engage at will. Yari cavalry are the only unit faster than cavalry archers, and are effective at eliminating them as well. If you notice a significant portion of an enemy army consists of cavalry archers, attack with yari cavalry from behind and drive them into your yari infantry. (Or if there is little risk, chase them with the cavalry alone.) If you attack an army with unassigned yari units too near, you may have to pull out quickly. Don’t call a rout, as this is likely to just get your men killed. The same tactics can be used on arquebuses, but yari cavalry are skittish so be sure that you don’t attack from the front. By the time the arquebusiers rotate and reload you should already hit them. Just attack them from any side that bullets don’t come out of.
    To counter these tactics, send out cavalry to chase the enemy units away from your army, or surround them if they are behind you. They will be able to evade anything else. Keep your ranged units guarded by yari units if you see enemy cavalry in the area – one yari infantry unit of either type is effective for holding off yari cavalry. Hiding in a forest or on high ground tends to negate many cavalry tactics.

    Router collecting: I generally like to train any new yari cavalry unit by just holding them in reserve somewhere until the enemy routs, then letting them chase down and kill as many routers as they can. This generally prevents them from rallying as well as gaining your men honor. For better response time walk a unit or two far behind the enemy and cut off their retreat. In that way you can consistently kill all of the enemy routers. Don’t underestimate this tactic: in one game I had to fight the same army many times because I lacked light cavalry to kill them when they routed each season.
    The best way to defeat this tactic is to win the battle and not rout. You can deal with the cavalry later – surrounding them with infantry generally does the trick. Concentrate on winning the main engagement and you shouldn’t have much to worry about. If you are performing a fighting withdrawal, you have no choice but to sacrifice a rear-guard infantry unit to hold off the enemy units.

    Escort: Yari cavalry act as an effective deterrent against other yari cavalry, so it is generally a good idea to assign them to guard your other cavalry units (see “Recon in force” above, it is important to include yari cavalry with your other cavalry archers to scout out the enemy. They can also swoop in quickly to eliminate any stranded ranged unit and return.) This mission is not limited to escorting cavalry; they can escort shock troops like nodachi and warrior monks, or any mobile task force. When escorting slower units they can move ahead as a vanguard and scout and secure a position, intercept flanking attempts, or assist in small flanking.
    If enemy task forces are escorted by yari cavalry you will need more units to intercept them and take them out. However yari troops may still be able to push the cavalry task forces away from your main body.

    Overwatch: Once the yari cavalry have completed their reconnaissance or escort missions they can hover near the fighting and charge in to pick at exposed backs and flanks, or intercept other units to prevent them from flanking your men. And of course, they can kill any stragglers that escape from an envelopment, or any routing units that break out of one.
    There is little that you can do against this, but you could try to send a yari unit to chase the cavalry away, or to cover the engagement yourself. If you have one yari infantry screening, which is not engaged, you’ve neutralized that unit and the more expensive yari cavalry unit.

    Large envelopment: A more aggressive use of yari cavalry is to spread them around the enemy army and create a ring around them. This is more effective when supported by units like nodachi infantry. One of two things can happen: the enemy may redistribute his infantry to defend in a box formation, making him weak at any point you assault with heavy troops; or he may leave all but the front underdefended, allowing you to close the noose around his army when your assault units engage, and take out his support units like arquebusiers and archers. It should be noted that this tactic requires large numbers of brave troops.
    To counter this maneuver: sending out some cavalry units of your own can stop some of the enemy task forces, reducing the damage of the envelopment. Reorganizing your army in a tight formation may allow you to cover each side with infantry, but this is difficult if your army has not enough infantry. Stopping the envelopment before it is completed (by maneuvering away or by engaging one part of it with your entire army) is the best option.

    Reserve: If the enemy army has any cavalry, it can be a great benefit to keep your yari cavalry in reserve. They can intercept flanking attempts against you, and thwart enemy cavalry. This is especially useful against Mongols, whose light cavalry are dangerous to any other unit. Have a few yari cavalry units in the wings or rear of your army and scramble them to break apart units trying to hit you from back or sides, or to chase away skirmishers and withdraw before their infantry screens engage you. When the main battle is over, your reserve yari cavalry can mop up.
    It is very difficult to counter this. If you leave your own cavalry in reserve then the enemy has in effect accomplished their mission of neutralizing your cavalry. If you have yari cavalry of your own, send them as escorts for your other cavalry and you can outflank any individual yari cavalry the enemy throws at you.


    King Haggard (03/15/03 22:44:08) [The heavy cavalry units: Naginata Cavalry]

    Naginata cavalry are the cheapest and most offensive of the cavalry units. They are slower than most cavalry, though faster than infantry on the march, and can inflict a great deal of damage especially when charging. They are functionally very similar to nodachi swordsmen, and should not be used in defensive roles.

    Tactics specific to Naginata Cavalry:
    Bridge assault: If the defender is holding a bridge with a unit of naginata infantry, there is no better unit to push them off than naginata cavalry. Charge the naginata cavalry across the bridge and then immediately follow them with infantry. Monks, yari, and nodachi would serve equally well following on the heels of naginata cavalry. Usually the cavalry will bear the brunt of casualties and the combined momentum of them and the infantry will be able to push the defenders off the bridge and spread them out. If your men do not rout, you can continue to chase down the enemy archers with additional cavalry if available. If they do rout, regroup and repeat the attack or preferably send a wave of fresh troops. Your opponent’s men will be tired and wounded, and will suc***b to these attacks in time. If facing yari samurai at the foot of a bridge with your naginata cavalry, the same effect should be produced but expect higher losses to your naginata cavalry. In any case such a mission is usually suicidal to the majority of the naginata cavalry unit in question, but might save many other soldiers or even take a bridge that would otherwise have been difficult to capture. It is possible the same tactic can be used in castle assaults even without the supporting infantry. The better-armored heavy cavalry are preferable for that though. (Since the cavalry are likely to die anyway in this maneuver, they don’t need to be of superior quality. But high morale and honor does help.)
    To defend against this tactic being used on you: you may box the enemy with three units of yari samurai when they get off the bridge which should decimate the cavalry before they do any real harm, and then send an assault unit in from the reserve to engage the infantry following up. Supported by arrow fire, the enemy task force is likely to rout taking significant losses. (Even if it fails the naginata cavalry will be depleted.) Otherwise you may have an experienced yari samurai unit hold position at the foot of the bridge and cycle reinforcements in when their morale drops.

    Hammer and anvil: Naginata cavalry are braver than yari cavalry and do more damage on the charge. They also have a greater tendency to break enemy formations. These attributes make them ideally suited to work as a “hammer” unit. One or two units of naginata cavalry, preferably supported by cavalry archers, can move behind the enemy force and charge into their rear just at the point that your two armies clash. The main target of opportunity is of course the enemy taisho. Secondary targets are any archer unit. One of two things will happen: either their archer line will fragment, allowing your infantry to close more safely, or their yari samurai will move back to engage your naginata cavalry. Timed correctly, your infantry should catch theirs in the back before they harm your “hammer” cavalry. Do not disengage the cavalry unless your timing is far off! Properly armored they can hold their own until your force arrives, unless outflanked. I killed about 700 mori samurai in a very archer-heavy army with less than 50 casualties using this tactic. Most of my losses were warrior monks killed by arrows. Only 10 naginata cavalry (wearing legendary armor) were lost. (Do remember that hammer units should be experienced and well equipped. If none of your naginata cavalry fit the bill, consider using heavy cavalry instead. Hammer and anvil is for when your active units are of superior quality.)
    This tactic does not work effectively against an army with a rear-guard of any kind. Deploy one or two yari samurai or yari cavalry units from the reserve to counter this maneuver.

    Flank pounding: If you’d prefer not to have your naginata cavalry march all over the field, you may keep them on the flanks or wings of your army and send them in with the other assault units and/or yari infantry to strike at the sides of tied-down infantry units (small flanking.) Unlike heavy cavalry, naginata cavalry can be used to crush enemy infantry such as yari samurai in this fashion rather than take out the archers. This is because the naginata version is slightly slower and more offense-oriented. They can be used to circle the enemy army and attack from the sides but if the army is deployed in a wide formation the other heavy cavalry would be preferable (as they are better armored and slightly faster.) A unit of naginata cavalry and a unit of heavy cavalry might work well together to strike a single enemy unit from the flanks but it depends on timing. The heavy cavalry should strike moments before the naginata cavalry, and preferably after the target unit is already attacking one of your infantry units. Naginata cavalry also make great units for defensive flanking when paired with samurai archers. In the initial deployment hide them in a forest far from your general, and when the enemy army approaches to engage yours, run out and strike their flank. (These techniques are useful for when your army is of neither superior quality nor superior quantity.)
    There’s really no other way to counter this than redeploying yari samurai either from the reserve or by disengaging a unit already in battle. The latter is unlikely to happen fast enough if your opponent’s timing is good, so it’s best to keep a yari unit in reserve if your opponent has uncommitted heavy cavalry of either type. If the cavalry has already engaged, have two yari units outflank them to take the pressure off whatever it is they’re attacking.

    Large envelopment: Naginata cavalry’s low cost and high damage makes them the best cavalry unit to be used in large envelopments. Possibly they are the best large envelopment unit by any means. Three or more units can circle around the enemy force and charge in from all directions simultaneously at the time you strike with your infantry force. Wedge or close block formation is usually preferred to reduce losses among your own units and increase the shock value of the attack, but a longer formation 5-6 ranks deep can be used to increase area coverage. This is especially useful when the enemy deploys in a wide formation. (Though it should be noted an army deployed in a too-loose formation whether in response to archers or from the taisho’s personal foolishness is particularly susceptible to wedge attacks in envelopment. Just be careful you don’t push so deep that you allow yourself to become enveloped!) Casualties should be very high amongst the enemy army and morale low. If available it is recommended to keep an additional light cavalry unit behind the enemy to kill stragglers that escape since the naginata cavalry alone may not be enough to provide full coverage and some routing units can break out of the envelopment. (Large envelopments are for when your army is of superior quantity.)
    To defend yourself from this tactic: If you have a lot of yari cavalry in the reserve, send them to intercept some of the enemy task forces. This will prevent them from reaching your army in time. If all you have are yari samurai, arrange them around your archers in a defensive square formation (each unit in a long line four or five ranks deep) so they can be easily moved to engage the enemy cavalry when they arrive. You will be at a disadvantage though should any of the fronts break. It is therefore recommended to keep one reserve infantry unit in the center to patch holes. This can be your general or a kensai.

    Reserve: Contrary to intuition, naginata cavalry can make a great offensive reserve unit. If your forces are being flanked or small enveloped, or if a target of opportunity opens up, this is an excellent unit to have in reserve. In the same way as heavy cavalry or nodachi swordsmen, deploy your naginata cavalry unit to the trouble spot to assist your forces and put additional pressure on the enemy. They are not as effective for countering deliberate movements against you and so should be committed as soon as an opportunity arises. If none arises for a while create one by marching your cavalry around the enemy flank and striking there.
    To counter: just keep an eye on the enemy’s uncommitted units and wonder what they’re up to and you should be fine. As mentioned before, it would be prudent to keep yari samurai in reserve until your enemy’s cavalry is deployed. On the other hand if their cavalry significantly outnumbers yours, take a gamble on a small envelopment against one of their units and defeat the cavalry in detail. With the high-ground advantage, I used this to great effect against a superior Takeda army at Shinano by routing each heavy cavalry unit individually before the others could engage.

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (2).


    King Haggard (03/20/03 15:35:26) [The heavy cavalry units: Heavy Cavalry]

    Sounds kind of redundant doesn’t it? Heavy cavalry are the best-armored of the cavalry units, and also powerful attackers. They are slower than light cavalry but faster than any infantry. A good strategy will take advantage of both their mobility and their power. Heavy cavalry are used mostly to support or attack a flank, to cut off retreats, and to take out ranged units when the situation is too risky for light cavalry to get in.
    In order to build heavy cavalry you need a fortress and an armory, so you might as well upgrade it to a legendary armory within two years and have the best defended mobile units around.

    Tactics specific to heavy cavalry:
    Direct charge: One of the most expensive tactics possible is the heavy cavalry charge. This involves several heavy cavalry units, thrown directly at the enemy all along their line. If there is a significant honor disparity, sometimes this tactic causes a massive hit to enemy morale and occasionally routs portions of the enemy army. If the enemy is mostly archers or has few yaris, you can very simply and effectively steamroll them this way. In most other cases, it kills a lot of expensive heavy cavalrymen. I would only suggest a direct charge when one of the following conditions is met: the front of the enemy army is mostly archers (it can include nodachi samurai, naginata samurai, and yari ashigaru), the honor of your units is significantly higher than the enemy’s, or you have more money and cavalry than you know what to do with.
    As Oda demonstrated against Takeda, it is indeed possible to stop this kind of tactic with a wall of spears and guns.

    Flank pounding: A much more conservative tactic for heavy cavalry is to attack the enemy flanks, whether to kill archers and arquebusiers or to finish off infantry units that are embroiled in combat by striking them from additional directions. Have your heavy cavalry units follow your infantry, spread out just enough to bypass the enemy’s frontline infantry, and attack at will. This tactic involves combined arms, and is usually the best utilization of heavy cavalry in a balanced army. You can also circle the cavalry far to the flanks of the enemy army ahead of your infantry, and wait for the clash to charge in from any exposed side. In that case though, it might be prudent to provide them with a light cavalry escort so that enemy units won’t chase them away.
    Sending a strong yari unit from the reserve is often all it takes to defeat this. Even if the cavalry close, you can attack them from another side with a yari infantry unit. It is more certain however to intercept the heavy cavalry with yari cavalry if they are alone. Keep an eye on the movement of enemy heavy cavalry units to know how big a reserve you should keep.

    Cutting off retreats: Heavy cavalry are strong defensively, mobile, and can cover a lot of area. So they are very good units to send behind the enemy army to cut off their retreat, so that you don’t need to face the army again. This tactic implies placing your heavy cavalry units far behind the enemy lines (out of bowshot,) and blocking off their route of escape. It’s a good tactic for when you outnumber the enemy and expect to win quickly.
    Simple way to beat this: don’t retreat. If you have to do a fighting withdrawal, you’ll need a front guard as well as a rear guard, some heavy units to plow ahead and hold off the heavy cavalry. You can also trap the rear guard with your entire army, if you have time. That is probably the most effective counter.

    Hammer and anvil: This bold tactic involves sending one or two heavy cavalry units behind the enemy, and charging into them just as you close with your main army from the front. It is particularly strong against archer heavy armies, or cavalry heavy armies (though yari cavalry support may be important in the latter case.) Heavy cavalry can do a significant amount of damage when hitting the poorly defended rear of any unit, and with the main army coming in from the front, the enemy will be forced to fight two ways. Often this tactic is safer than a large envelopment. You should be sure to use units that won’t rout, but there generally isn’t much risk of that with heavy cavalry.
    If there are a few yari infantry units near the back of the army, those can be used to thwart the “hammer” cavalry while allowing the main army to keep facing forward. If you have yari cavalry, those can also be commissioned to outflank the heavy cavalry with assistance from yari infantry.

    Reserve: In large armies, it may be a good idea to hold one heavy cavalry unit in the reserve, or more if there is no opportunity to hit a flank. These units can reach a trouble spot quickly and are an extremely potent force to add to any flagging defense, or weak offense. Properly placed they can carry the battle. Also, armored heavy cavalry can be used defensively to stop an attacking unit in its tracks, far enough away from your archer line that you can shoot them to pieces. Send the heavy cavalry to intercept attacking shock troops and hit them from the side. The unit will take casualties, stop to face your heavy cavalry, and in the meantime get shot at by your defenders.
    Heavy cavalry don’t defend quite as well against yari infantry, and they can’t defend a forest. Send masses of spear units with your own cavalry and you can overcome a defensive position backed by heavy cavalry. Try to defeat whatever units you are fighting quickly, and perhaps the heavy cavalry will arrive to meet units ready for battle. Using overwatch yari cavalry is also one possibility.


    King Haggard (07/04/03 15:39:31) [The gun units: Arquebuses and Muskets]

    Teppo Ashigaru, or Arquebusiers, are Shogun’s model of the “new soldier”– simple conscripts equipped with high-tech weaponry, that revolutionized warfare (in many people’s opinion for the worse.) I disdain the use of them and so I have relatively few strategies to offer. I only include a few in my armies.

    Arquebuses are fairly primitive firearms. They fire very slowly, do not function well in rain, have a shorter range than archers, but do much more damage. The troops that wield them are ashigaru conscipts, so they are absolutely useless in hand-to-hand combat and very cowardly, but cheap. Because of the high damage, guns are quite effective against heavily armored units like kensai and naginata (but if your enemy is attacking with naginata he deserves whatever he gets.) They can pierce all but the best armor at medium or close range. Naginata with legendary armor and heavy cavalry with legendary armor can absorb a few bullets, but the noise will scare the horses.

    The main advantages of guns are: high damage, devastating morale effect, and inexpensive (even the “expensive” muskets cost less than most any other unit.)
    The main disadvantages are: poor morale, negative hand-to-hand, do not function in rain, slow reload time (mitigated by volley fire and muskets.) Not available before European traders arrive. Arquebuses from Jesuits also require you to convert to Christianity.

    Muskets in the game actually represent a newer version of the arquebus. It reloads much faster, has slightly better range, and can fire in the rain (even a light rain turns normal arquebuses into expensive sticks.) Once you have “muskets”, there is never any reason to build normal arquebuses again. This post will refer to “arquebuses” as meaning “muskets” as well, if you have them. The tactics are more or less the same.
    You can gain muskets by building a Dutch trading post (after the Dutch arrive) at a province with a large castle and dock. Of if you’re Christian, you can build a gun factory after you’ve built a cathedral, which will allow you to recruit muskets as well. I hate religious control more than guns, so I always wait for the Dutch and their muskets. (I like Warrior Monks too.) One other thing, I’ve found that you can capture a Portuguese trading post from a Christian daimyo and use it to train early arquebusiers without converting.

    Gun projectiles move much faster than arrows, so their line of fire is different. Ashigaru are not trained to attempt indirect fire (basically all they know is which side of the stick should be pointed at the enemy) so their rounds hit the ground at pretty much the same range regardless of elevation. This means that unlike archers, guns are very effective on flat ground, and have no need for a height advantage. It also mean that the ashigaru can’t fire over even the tiniest ***p in the terrain. Ensure they have a clear line of sight to the target. If placing them in forests, ensure that the guns are right at the edge of the forest, else they’ll only hit trees.

    When in deep ranks, gunmen know how to fire in volleys. The first line will fire, then run back to reload and let the second line fire, then the third and so on. This means that unlike archers, there’s no need to use a thin line to get everybody to fire. The deeper the ranks, the faster the rate of fire will be, but the less you’ll kill per volley. This does keep the morale penalty on the enemy constantly. You should use a thin line only if you intend everyone to fire at the same time. This can be very effective if you only have one unit of arquebuses, and need to rout the enemy in the first shot, but firing rate is so slow that you’ll only get one or two shots off in the entire battle. Have deeper ranks if your army is big enough to beat the enemy and the killing is more important to you than the shock value of the guns.

    Arquebusiers are considered ashigaru: they do get an honor bonus for being trained in a province that provides an honor bonus to ashigaru, so keep that in mind when building your trading posts. Having one of your most powerful weapons flee in the middle of the battle can definitely cost you a province or two if you don’t make sure it doesn’t happen. Palaces can help, and high honor arquebusiers are more effective.

    Essentially Arquebuses are a defensive weapon: they take a long time to move and reload and cannot fight in close combat, and so are fairly useless on the attack. Use them to hold a position, or to chase heavily defensive enemy infantry away from a position if they don’t have archer support. Their slow reload time (usually you’ll be lucky to get two shots off before the enemy closes), relatively short range, poor hand-to-hand combat (much worse than any other unit), and inability to function in rain means they cannot be used without support from other units.

    A good tactic to use for high damage is to place your arquebus unit in a thin (double or triple) line and order them to hold position and formation. By the time the enemy reaches them, they should fire once at point-blank range, usually routing the unit they’re firing at. I used one of these in a garrison army to repeatedly rout a few units of enemy nodachi samurai that I couldn’t have harmed otherwise.

    Most people who use guns extensively use lots of them. If you have a trading post, you should already be able to afford more guns than you could possibly use. So they field giant ashigaru armies of “pike and shot”, or yari and muskets. The muskets are set up in deep ranks, and give a continuous stream of lead shot until the enemy closes and meets the yaris. At that point the muskets split up and keep shooting from the side.
    I used a smaller scale of that in defensive battles on flat terrain: One musketeer unit in triple or quadruple ranks, with yari ashigaru set up on each side, and backed by samurai archers (who are fairly weak on the flat ground.) When the enemy closes, you flank him with your faster infantry, then shoot them with the muskets (who still have a clear line-of-sight) until they rout. At worst you could hold them from the front and lose most of your expendable holding unit to friendly fire. Three ashigaru units of mine were able to funnel armies of many hundreds of men until the unit of musketeers could scare them away. Always aim at the closest unit (in my case, it was always a screening unit of naginata) if your intention is to cause a rout.

    Other specific defensive tactics include placing a musketeer unit in deep ranks at the gate of a castle. They can blast away freely at anything that approaches, more effectively than most infantry. Using them in a “box” formation can hold a bridge against most attackers, but as always ensure that they have support. Or use them in the center of a flanking formation to tip the enemy’s morale off.

    Disclaimer: I don't use guns often, so they're the unit I know least about.


    Togakure OJonin (09/13/03 07:17:24) [The Awesome Legendary Geisha]

    On 6/25/03 MrX asked: “Hi, I just have a question. What are the Geishas for ? and how do you use them ? and which building trains them ? … .”

    With respect King Haggard, I would like to offer my knowledge and advice on this subject. Geishas are an ULTIMATE weapon. My overall strategy in STW WE follows Sun Tzu’s statement that it is best to win without fighting. Hence, I tend to focus less on continuous tactical battles in the field and more on 1) strategic positioning on the campaign map and slow, steady low-risk expansion when opportunities present themselves, 2) superior troops and numbers which discourage attack and weather the attacks that are launched against me, and 3) the elimination of my enemies through assassination of their clan leaders and heirs. Enter the geisha.

    Geishas are the ultimate assassins. It takes a long time to build the infrastructure required to produce them. I usually select one coastal province (enabling a port), with a low koku yield and no mineral or troop specials, to focus solely on developing my Geisha production center. I build in the following order, as quickly as other priorities will allow: Small Castle (2 seasons), Tea House (2), Ninja House (3), Tranquil Garden (2), Large Castle (4), Famous Tea House (2), Fortress (5), Legendary Tea House (2), Infamous Ninja House (3), Citadel (7), Geisha House (4), and Port (5). The port is not required to produce them, but enables their immediate deployment to enemy territory along my borders upon production. If the port is queued immediately after the Geisha House is built, it will be finished before the first geisha is produced.

    I don’t build ANYTHING else in this province, as it takes at least 36 turns to produce the Geisha House and another 8 turns to produce your first geisha. That’s 44 turns, or 11 years from the time you start--a long time. But IMO, it’s well worth it. Once I can build them, I fill the queue with nothing but geishas and build them until I have at least six.

    It’s ironic, but my experience has shown that Geisha production begins at about the same time that one giant clan begins its march across the map. Often times geishas are the most effective way (other than raiding earlier in the game) of reducing the multi-stack of armies threat to a manageable level. Killing a 2- or 3-star general lowers the honor level of that entire army by one. Killing a 4- or 5-star general lowers that entire army’s honor by 2. Killing a 6-star general lowers that entire army’s honor level by 3! Even if you’re facing an attack by several full stacks of enemy troops, if you have good generals and they don’t, you’ll most likely win if you handle the battle well.

    Once a Geisha is produced, it is critical to assassinate something with her every turn, except during her first year or so. Her honor increases based on her number of kills. As her honor increases, her kill chance increases, enabling her to attack higher level generals and eventually daimyo with a high chance of success. Their starting kill chance is MUCH higher that a ninja’s, and they don’t die if they fail. The only units that can kill a geisha are ninjas and enemy geishas.

    Geishas are at their most vulnerable when they are first produced. Honor level 0 and level 1 geishas can be assassinated by decent ninjas. Therefore, until they reach an honor level of at least 2, I keep them in provinces adjacent to enemy provinces with good low-level targets present. Emissaries with high honor are the best initial targets. 0- and 1-star generals are second best for fledgling Geishas. After a kill or a failed attempt, I immediately move them back into one of my provinces that contains spies, ninja and/or a border fort (counter intelligence agents and facilities that will most likely catch any ninja that targets her when she leaves my borders to make her kill). After spending that turn in a safe haven, I send her out for another kill attempt.

    Note: when a geisha successfully attacks another geisha, BOTH are eliminated. I will talk about defending against enemy geishas in a subsequent post if I am permitted.

    Once a geisha reaches level 2 honor, I let her range free, killing every turn. At honor level 2, I target 3-star generals if possible. If not possible, I target the highest level target she can access that turn. When she reaches level 3, I target 4-star generals; at level 4, 5-star generals, etc. Heirs of enemy clans always take priority over standard generals of any rank. Finally, when she’s eliminated all the heirs and 4- 6-star generals of a clan and has achieved an honor level not less than one less than the enemy Daimyo, I target him and leave her alone until she kills him.

    Note that as soon as one geisha is built, the next one should immediately begin training, as it will take 2 years (8 turns) for her to finish her training. Be sure to have 500 koku available to start the next geisha when one is produced.

    When geishas are trying to kill daimyos and 5- and 6-star generals, it may take a few turns before they bring them down. But bring them down they will. And when a clan Daimyo dies without an heir, they are eliminated from the game and their armies either become rebel armies (which are easily bribable and don’t act in concert against you) or join an ally’s clan. This is what you have to be careful of. Watch your alliances tab to be sure you don’t eliminate a threat only to create a bigger one. Determine the best order in which to eliminate the clans when following this path to victory.

    I am usually able to eliminate all rival clans before 1565 (Sengoku Jidai Period, Expert Level) using this method, and if I do, I can usual bribe or destroy the remaining rebel states before 1580. It really works. And in some games, it’s the only way to stop the giant Shimazu or Hojo hordes … .

    More on defending against geishas later if this post goes over well.

    Phew! … My fingers are about to fall off!


    King Haggard (10/05/03 07:45:46) [Text tech tree]

    This post is intended to clarify for total newbies the requirements for units that need more than just their own dojo to be produced. Build any of the required buildings that you CAN build first, for example: the Buddhist temple is listed as a requirement for monks but you can’t build it until you’ve built a tranquil garden in the province. I’ve also posted a blurb to help you decide which units you should invest in at your stage in the game.

    Nodachi swordsman:
    You can build a Sword dojo at a large castle after you get the Legendary Swordsman event. This event happens when one of your soldiers kills a lot of enemies and will usually happen after the first few big battles. They are good shock troops when you can’t afford cavalry or monks but need to deliver more punch than yari give.

    Kensai:
    You can train Kensai in a legendary sword dojo. You can build a normal sword dojo in a large castle, and upgrade each higher castle level. (So you will need a citadel too.) This guy takes a full year to train, but is the strongest individual soldier by far, utterly deadly and very difficult to kill.

    Battlefield ninja:
    Sword dojo, infamous ninja house (upgraded ninja house, requires fortress.) That lets you build a battlefield ninja dojo. These elite units train at a rate of one man a month (a 12 man unit, one year.)

    Geisha:
    Infamous ninja house, legendary tea house, tranquil garden, citadel. The geisha house is an upgrade of the infamous ninja house and doesn’t require another component slot. The konnoichi is a nearly unstoppable assassin – she can’t die from failing missions or counterspies. In Warlord Edition, she requires two years to train. In original Shogun, one year.

    Yari cavalry:
    Horse dojo (requires large castle,) yari dojo. These units are the fastest unit in the game. As they are generally the first cavalry you get, they should be used to take advantage of their speed.

    Cavalry archers:
    Horse dojo (requires large castle,) archery dojo. This is the most flexible cavalry, fast and effective at both range and close combat.

    Naginata cavalry:
    Famous horse dojo (upgraded horse dojo, requires fortress,) yari dojo. They excel as a replacement heavy cavalry unit for their relatively low cost, unstoppable attack, and ability to be built at a province without iron sand. They don’t get an honor bonus from a legendary dojo, that’s intentional.

    Heavy cavalry:
    Famous horse dojo (upgraded horse dojo, requires fortress), armory (requires iron sands deposits present in the province.) The horse dojo requires either a yari dojo or an archery dojo to build, but the heavy cavalry do not require either of these buildings to still be present. These are the “ultimate” regular battlefield unit, and so it is expensive and time-consuming getting a province to a state where they can produce them. The armor is usually worth it though – archers can’t touch them. These get one honor bonus from a legendary horse dojo.

    Naginata:
    Famous yari dojo (upgraded yari dojo, requires large castle,) armory. You only use a few of these heavy defensive units, but it’s possible and desirable to get them early to aid in your defensive tactics. They die slower than any other regular unit.

    Arquebusier:
    Small castle, dock, Portuguese trading post (after accepting an offer to trade with the Portuguese.) Building Portuguese trading posts means you have to accept Christianity and can be a source of religious unrest, totally not worth the arquebusiers in my opinion. But they are cheap as yari ashigaru and have a great shock value.
    -or-
    Large castle, dock, Dutch trading post (after accepting an offer to trade with the Dutch.) But if you have a Dutch trading post, just recruit musketeers. Arquebusiers are made obsolete by them.

    Musketeer:
    Large castle, Dutch trading post (requires dock.) Musketeers are cheap, powerful, and devastating to enemy morale. Since the trading posts also make money, it’s a good idea to build them in your port provinces and mix in a few musketeers with your armies once you have them.
    -or-
    Small castle, Portuguese trading post (requires dock,) if in any province you have built a Cathedral. (Obviously, only after accepting an offer to trade with the Portuguese.) Cathedral requires six churches (requires large castle) in your provinces, and is built at a Citadel. You can only build one of them. If you’ve gone Christian, this is the way to go to get musketeers.
    -or-
    Citadel, armory (requires iron sand present in the province,) trading post (requires dock,) gun factory. This gives one honor bonus to musketeers.

    Warrior monks:
    Buddhist temple (requires large castle,) tranquil garden. These are the most powerful regular infantry unit and make devastating shock troops or all-around main battle troops.

    Priest:
    Large castle, church. Requires an acceptance of trade with the Portuguese. These are practice dummies for enemy ninja, uh, I mean they're emissaries for Christian daimyos. They also make cheap spies and can increase unrest (or decrease unrest in your provinces) by converting people, so they're often better than Samurai emissaries to be produced en masse.

    Ninja:
    Large castle, ninja dojo. These are your assassins for eliminating strategic units (emissaries, priests, and gieshas) and generals. You should get at least one or two quickly and use them to prevent other daimyos from allying against you. Then train up a steady force of these, such that you always have a handful with very high honor for making high profile kills, and ensuring that the other clans never develop too many high-ranking generals. They can also open castle gates to end a siege in Warlord Edition.

    Remember that there's a limit on how many different buildings can be in a province: When you fill up the bottom panel, you can only upgrade. So if you're suddenly not able to build any new buildings in a province, that may be why. Anything I missed? Add it in talkback, I’ll edit it in. Tell me also if you know the dates when the Europeans first arrive.


    King Haggard (12/06/03 06:58:43) Uses of Yari Ashigaru (by Pigeonhead)

    "1. Ashigaru are numbers. When you add a swarm of peasants to your regular army and invade, your opponent often retreats (even though half of your army are cheap and not-so-warlike ashigaru). Sometimes you might want somebody to retreat, right?

    2. Ashigaru are garrison keepers. Why waste money on regular Yari (remember that not only their price is higher than this of ashigaru, but annual upkeep as well)? In recently taken provinces you leave two or three units of peasants, thus saving money to train better units to fight. You do not keep worthy units in castles either.

    3. Ashigaru can occupy large forces of the enemy. Yup, that's true. When you invade some province, and there are enemy's troops in another nearby province, it is almost sure, that he will send reinforcements to help defend the province attacked by you. You can solve this with your handy and cheap ashigaru - just send a huge number of them to the province from where reinforcements may come. The AI won't send them and will prepare to defend against swarm of ashigaru. You of course withdraw your peasants and happily take the province you intended to take in the first place.

    4. Ashigaru are target practice for your enemy. Yes, yes, there are cruel Daimyos out there. Every time you need a cheap screen of arrow-absorbers, use peasants. They are fast, so you can run them before Monks or something. Ashigaru can be useful in taking the bridge too. Just leave them ON the bridge and watch your enemy running out of arrows (no arrows, monks are happy, mind you ;) )

    5. Ashigaru are bait. When you need to lead your enemy into your trap, use ashigaru. There is nothing to regret, when they don't make it and got chopped. Still, they are fast (much training in running, I guess) and are good to this job.

    6. Ashigaru are warriors. Yes, after all they are warriors too. Swarms of ashigaru can do miracles (look into my topic "The power of Oda"). If only you will remember all the battling rules, you'll to find with ashigaru. I have few guidelines:
    - ashigaru aren't that worthless when placed in the forest;
    - ashigaru like companionship. when unit is alone, it will most likely flee;
    - ashigaru are good for flanking. If not by themselves (they are fast, but can chicken out quick), then you can use them to hold the enemy for a few seconds and then go to enemy's rear with another unit.

    That will be it, for a time. I hope I helped you somehow, not only stated the obvious. I encourage others to post their ideas too.

    Oh, and remember - Toyotomi Hideyoshi was ashigaru too... But he found his way to become history ;)"
    Linkage to the Oda thread referred to: (MT's note, I am posting Pigeonhead's post it below, see next post)
    I would like to point out that half of these uses are strategic: taking advantage of inflated numbers and reduced costs to make your armies appear larger than they are on the strategy map.

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (3).


    Pigeonhead 12/01/03 13:26:40 [The power of Oda]

    Just recently, encouraged by the fact that it means no honor bonus for enemy, I've started to play Shogun on difficulty level 'hard'. The game is more playable by far, not mentioning the flow of satisfaction from winning battles

    My first game on hard I've won thanks to geisha. 'This sux', I thought to myself and decided to play without geishas. They don't exist for me no more.

    For the second game on hard, I've picked the Oda clan - until yesterday it was my least favorite clan, with terrible border lines, hopeless clan bonus and loads of dangerous enemies, including some dangerous monks in the very heart of my small empire.

    Needless to say, this campaign was the best campaign I've ever played. In Warlord's Edition the Oda clan is simply brilliant! With faster and cheaper building in just four seasons I was able to pump up 300 ashigarus in one turn. In two great battles I've eliminated the rebels and started ashigaru-blitzkrieg against the Imagawa, Hojo and Takeda (at the same time, waaargh).

    It was so fun, fighting battles having only swarms of ashigaru, handful of archers and bravery of my Hatamoto Guards... It was a challenge (at least for me ) and I was really proud to unite the Japan before the arrival of Toyotomi Hideyoshi

    The Oda clan became my favorite now


    *MT: Sigh, had to remove a few smilies when transferring from yuku/ezboard. This new forum doesn't like too many smilies on posts...



    mimesakaakechi (12/06/03 16:40:30)

    Just recently came to my attention that many people don't know that it is possible to play as either side in the Historical battles and campaigns. It is quite simple, all you have to do is switch the ARTIFICIAL and LOCAL parts of the battle description, which you can find in your Shogun folder. :)

    C:\Program Files\Total War\Shogun - Total War\Battle\batinit\Historical Campaigns\Oda Nobunaga 1534\Na.g.a.s.h.ino

    ( MT: '.'s introduced above to cir***vent the word filter.)

    Player::"Oda Nobunaga_xzy" 3 3 LOCAL "Oda" 0 false 5743 35013 130
    Player::"Takeda Katsuyori_xzy" 5 5 ARTIFICIAL "Takeda Katsuyori" 0 true 24694 8388 305



    Also, some people have had problems with Na.g.a.s.h.ino crashing to desktop, I decided to find out what the problem is and it is easily fixable :)

    To make the battle work, go into C:\Program Files\Total War\Shogun - Total War\Battle\batinit\Historical Campaigns\Oda Nobunaga 1534\Na.g.a.s.h.ino

    (MT's note, the '.'s are used above to cir***vent the word filter.)

    and open the Takeda Katsuyori file. There are 21 units in there and you need to fix 12 of them. All you need to do is delete the text that says:

    Reinforcements::0
    DelayTillEngagement::true

    Then the battle works :)


    King Haggard (12/08/03 23:24:31) [Yari Ashigaru quotes by Turchigawa, comments by King Haggard]

    I managed to dig up this old post and commentary where we went into some detail on the merits of Yari Ashigaru vs. more professional troops.
    __________________________________________________
    Very informed post Turchigawa. Have you considered becoming a lecturer on Ashigaru tactics?

    I can sum up all the ashigaru strong points in one statement though:

    They are cheap.

    "An army of nothing but Ashigaru is useless against anything but calvary."

    Actually, I might think they're useless against cavalry too unless you have a good general or good upgrades keeping them in line. I've had Korean spearmen and guardsmen run out of a forest chased by a cavalry unit so you can't expect an armyful of green ashigaru to stand up to a cavalry charge. A good general changes that. (You can be a good general by controlling your flanking and formations.)

    On the other hand, an army of ashigaru is likely to be at least twice as big by numbers as any other army, so if you can halt the chain reaction of routing, they can easily make large envelopments without breaking contact (unlike cavalry and shock troops which usually need to break contact and move in task forces to make large envelopments.)

    "But, in terms of maintaining a strong standing army and when used in conjunction with good troops, Ashigaru are very useful."

    Of course. Half maintenance costs and low price - you can "pad" an army with them. I do not agree that they strengthen an already capable defensive army though. Use them only when you can't afford yari samurai and never give them a key position.

    "First, large armies in provinces seem to deter attacks, regardless of the quality of the defending army."

    Yes, that's the only thing that Yari Ashigaru have going for them when I decide whether to build them or a shinobi.

    "Second, on the battlefield, Ashigaru are great when backed up by archers. Ex. With an Archer, Peasant, Archer, Peasant, etc. formation, your Ashigaru are less likely to run scared when backed up by artillery as they charge at units attempting to attack the archers."

    By this you must mean using them as an archer screen, and provided they don't actually have to fight, it will work. I would rather have any other unit though. Once again, the ashigaru are effective defenders of archers if you can't afford yari samurai.

    I would suggest that you put the ashigaru behind the archers rather than alternate units. And put one ashigaru unit on each flank to stop flankers, and have your archers hold formation rather than skirmish. You get a shorter line to hold that way, and if it comes to it that one of the ashigaru units does rout, the archers can hold the line still rather than be overwhelmed by units pouring through a breach.

    "Third, the Ashigaru are great to hold back until your best troops and the opponent's best troops are tired from fighting. Then the Ashigaru can actually win the battle."
    Using them as a reserve unit is a questionable tactic. I've seen these guys get nervous just watching a battle.

    "Fourth, the Ashigaru should be placed on "Stay in Formation" and "Hold Position." The first makes them less likely to kill their opponent, but also makes their opponent less likely to kill them. Staying in formation also is good for their morale."

    I concur. If you want to hold an enemy unit with ashigaru, stay in formation. This buys time for your better units to move around, and most generals consider ashigaru to be disposable. Once I made about 300 to 90 kills in a fighting withdrawal, by sacrificing a yari ashigaru unit as a rear guard to cover the retreat of my archers. It took them long enough to rout, even flanked, that all my archer units were able to get out safely.

    "Even presuming their uselessness, they are good for fodder. For example: drawing an army toward them and exposing their flank to your calvary or shock troops. they are also good to deplete your opponent's archers' arrows."

    This last I must disagree with. Ashigaru are very poorly armored and might rout after the second or third volley kills half their unit. Depleting an enemy army's arrows in this fashion is not a very effective tactic. Naginata Samurai in loose formation can absorb many more arrows with less [though not necessarily less expensive] casualties.

    Most of the things you've outlined are things that other units are better suited to, but ashigaru can fill those roles if you haven't any more advanced units.

    So in conclusion I give a simple rule that can be known as the Rule of Ashigaru Usefulness: Ashigaru are useful when your money situation is poor. Use them only when you can’t afford an equal number of better troops. So in the early game they are useful for garrisons or filling the roles of archer screens, reservists, and light flankers. Not especially good, but if you have only 300 koku, three ashigaru units can hold you through the year until you can get that cavalry archer unit you need. By the late game when you are making lots of money each year, the only cowardly peasant conscripts you should be using are Teppo Ashigaru.

    A few things I'll elaborate at this point:

    I usually look with disdain on ashigaru as not real soldiers. Since my overall strategy involves developing infrastructure and reinvesting to gain a high income, I rarely use any ashigaru in my armies. Out of habit or distaste, I also do not use them in custom battles.

    You should always think of ashigaru in numbers rather than in individual units. When making a decision on what troop to use, consider: "Will these two yari ashigaru units be more effective attackers than one yari samurai unit? Will these four yari ashigaru units hold a position more stalwartly than a naginata samurai unit?" If the answer is not a resounding "yes", do not use them.

    In the campaign game, you will almost certainly run into a situation when you cannot afford "real" soldiers to pad your defense. Use ashigaru in this case, and make sure they have samurai keeping them in line. One ashigaru unit each in two provinces is often better than nothing in one of them and a samurai unit in the other. They make good garrisons as well if they don’t need to actually fight.

    Upgrades have a significant effect on the performance of ashigaru. Particularly palace upgrades. I built ashigaru at a legendary dojo, legendary swordsmith, legendary palace, and drill dojo at Owari (3 honor, 3 weapons, 3 morale) and found that they made very cheap and efficient shock troops, even against units that “should” have made them wet themselves and run crying to mommy. However, they still tended to die fast enough that I had to replace them each year.

    Some people have effectively used “ashigaru armies” of yari ashigaru and perhaps arquebusiers, which are large and ridiculously cheap. A high-star general is absolutely vital for these. Personally, the simplistic techniques of ashigaru armies do not fit my preferred playing style.

    I just realized, maybe you were looking for actual tactics. In that case, I’ll give you the two that work consistently:

    Small envelopments: Have your two ashigaru units engage each of the enemy’s single units (better in hold formation so they last longer,) and have another one or two units run behind them and attack from behind. Once the enemy is surrounded on all sides, you may let your peasants engage at will and they should be able to overcome any unit, all else being equal (meaning, if the unit in question is a warrior monk of three honor and legendary weapons and armor – a Fist of Death – and your units are honor zero raw conscripts, you’re still screwed.)

    Pull-flanking: this is a subset of basic flanking that I like to think I invented. Have your two units stand next to each other, and let the enemy try to engage one. When he does, pull it outwards to the side at a run. The enemy will chase them until he is positioned between your units (he fills the space that the first unit occupied before it pulled to the side.) At that point attack with the second unit, engage with the first and you’ll catch the enemy unit in the back. This is a simple and very effective flanking method with limited units.
    You can do the same by pulling a unit back and the other forward, or by having say an archer unit skirmish back and leave a hole between your ranks for the enemy to march into.

    Because of the morale difficulty of ashigaru, large envelopments are not always effective unless you outnumber the enemy army at least 2:1 (in which case you organize in a long unbroken line and simply fold it around them,) and small flanking needs to be executed with perfect timing else the first unit (the holding unit) may break and rout.

    Practice these tactics and you may find yourself able to turn worthless rice-grubbing cowards into a useful military force.


    King Haggard (01/15/04 23:47:43) [Investments, by Webstral]

    "In determining whether or not a particular economic investment is worthwhile, I look at the ROI [Return on Investment]. How long does it take for the investment to pay for itself? In the original Shogun: Total War, constructing a port where there is no existing castle costs 2000 koku. (500 for the castle, plus 1500 for the port itself) As the port brings in 200 koku per annum, there is a ten-year ROI. This became my benchmark for whether or not an investment is worthwhile; i.e., is the ROI ten years or less, or is the ROI more than ten years? Projects with an ROI greater than ten years don’t get funded when I am the daimyo.

    Figuring the ROI for mines is another straightforward task. Mines cost 1000 to construct in the original Shogun: Total War. Gold mines yield a per-annum income of 600 koku, so the ROI is two years. Silver mines yield a per-annum income of 400 koku, so the ROI is three years. Copper mines yield a per-annum income of 200 koku, so the ROI is five years. If one uses the 10-year cutoff for projects, then mines are always a good investment.

    Agricultural improvements are a little more complex to figure, but the process is basically the same. Improved Farmland costs 500 koku and yields a 20% increase to the average harvest. If one is playing at a standard taxation rate, then one simply adds 20% to the face value of a given province’s annual yield to find the new, improved yield. To determine ROI for a province, divide the cost of the agricultural improvement by the (average) net increase in the annual yield from that province.

    As an example, Owari has an original average annual yield of 650 koku. [This value assumes an average harvest and average taxes.] A 20% increase to the annual yield of Owari will increase the yield by 130 koku. If one divides the cost of improvement (500) by the increase in the annual yield (130), one finds that the investment pays for itself in 3.8 years—four years, for the sake of simplicity.

    At the other end of the scale, Izu has an original annual yield of 70 koku. A 500-koku investment in improving agriculture by 20% will increase the average annual yield by 14 koku. This investment will take 36 years to pay for itself.

    To determine which provinces were worth the investment of Improved Farmlands, I build a spreadsheet listing the original agricultural yield of each province in Japan, the post-improvement yield, and how many years it would take for the 500-koku investment to be paid off. Then, having decided on the ten-year cutoff, I was able to assess the suitability of each province to receive the investment of Improved Farmlands. As is turns out, a ten-year ROI requirement means that a province must have an original yield of 260 koku to qualify for investment.

    I then expanded the spreadsheet to include the subsequent investments. Superior Farmland and Exceptional Farmland each increase the yield of the improved province by 20%. However, these two investments cost more then Improved Farmland. A 20% increase thus must be compared to the increased costs of improving the farmland. Without belaboring the point, I concluded that in order for a province to qualify for Superior Farmland and Exceptional Farmland, the province must have a minimum base yield of 300 and 320 koku, respectively. At the risk of stating the obvious, some provinces will qualify for a first round of investment but not for later rounds of investment.

    Note: This isn’t really the correct way to use the term ROI. The controller at my last job would **** me out of her office if she heard me using ROI in this fashion. But it suffices to get the idea across, I think.

    I hope this is useful.

    Webstral"


    Sardaukar One (03/10/04 01:12:48) [The gun units : Arquebuses and Muskets]

    I rely on gun units quite a lot in the game. But only for defending provinces, primarily provinces that have rivers in them or provinces that are gun friendly i.e. lots of open ground or hills. In the beginning stages of any campaign, even four units of Arquebuses defending a river province, backed up by some Yari Samurai and some archers can be very effective. Enemy troops usually do not have a training dojo at this stage and so the effect of gun fire can route them quite quickly, especially combined with archer fire.
    Adding a portugese trading post also allows you to build a Gun factory in provinces where you can also build an armoury. While I figured to this to be the case, I was still somewhat surprised when I happened to stumble upon it.
    Playing as the Takeda(my favourite clan) in the Sengoku-jidai campaing that starts at 1530 AD, you have provinces in Aki, Bingo and B.i.t.c.h.u as well as provinces in the East. Due to immediate Mori clan attacks into Bingo and B.i.t.c.h.u (I did not contest the provinces) I was only left with Aki. Determined to keep Aki, I was able to defeat all Mori clan attacks. The longer I held onto Aki, the easier it was. All the time I was building up the province. When the Portugese arrived(1545 I think), I was already not too far off from building a Citadel. Once the citadel was built, I found I could build a gun factory. I had access to muskets long before the Dutch would arrive in the game.
    After replaying this campaign, I am able to have access to muskets as early as 1555 and certainly by 1560. I have to say that they really made a difference in the taking and holding of river provinces. In the interim between the Portugese arriving and building a gun factory and getting Muskets, I filled in with Arquebuses. I should also point out that only some of the clans are able to have access to muskets so early on in the game.
    The Takeda clan, the Mori clan, the Hojo and the Uesugi.
    The Shimazu clan should also be included. But to a lesser degree.
    But all of these clans have their own problems in this early acquisition of Muskets.

    Playing as the Takeda, I had to fend off numerous Mori attacks in Aki and in building up Aki so quickly, some of my other provinces were deprived of the funds to build them up. I only built income producing structures in these provinces. This is a strategy that should often be employed anyway. Sometimes you need troops more than structures anyway.
    As the Takeda, I always attack and take Musashi first. Its a better target than Shinano in my opinion. And its easier to take in the beginning.
    It makes much more than Shinano(which helps in building up Aki and being able to spend more on units) and its far easier to defend. Taking Musashi also protects Sagami and Kai from becoming targets of the Hojo. I have also noticed that Shinano is hotly contested sometimes by the other clans. So I try to shy away from it in the beginning.

    The Mori clan have most of their provinces on the coastline and most of them you can build an armoury.
    But the Mori clan have to deal with both the Takeda and the Shimazu clan right away. So building with the aim of getting Muskets must be done somewhat carefully with the aim of also booting these two clans out of the area.

    The Hojo have Hitachi province. In my opinion, they are in the best position to get muskets first. The Hojo clan have the richest provinces and Musashi and Shimosa are both very defencible provinces. Saying that, playing as the Hojo, you do need to keep an eye on the Uesugi clan. But they ought to be involved in a war with either the Takeda or Imagawa clan(who attack Shinano) or both. This should buy you a little breathing space. Hitachi also has a very high Koku yield, so it is tempting and rightly so, to spend time building this up first.

    The Uesugi clan can quickly take Sado. This province is about as out of the way as you can get in the game.
    By the time you get to it, the rebels should still be in Noto providing a buffer zone for you. Though you will need to keep troops in Sado, its a good province to build up to make muskets and other armoured units. Also, Sado does not have a high Koku yield, so you will not be sidetracked in building the province up to making muskets.

    The Shimazu clan have Nagato province. However, the Shimazu clan does not make that much money and need to ward off the Mori clan. Also, the Imagawa clan must be dealt with as they have the money making provinces on the island where the Shimazu are located. Its also a good idea for the Shimazu to expand into the other rebel held island whose name I also cannot remember. The rebel held island provides a nice buffer zone and three of the four provinces make a nice income.
    The Shimazu clan will have the hardest time getting muskets, but its possible.

    Tactics
    I use Muskets mainly to protect river provinces. I always try to get four units of them in each river province. They will be joined by at least three spear units(ahigaru or yari samurai) and I try to get five of these units. The rest of the army will consist of archers and two units of cavalry. Maybe some warrior monks later on.
    I organize the muskets into four ranks. Partly to keep up the rate of fire and partly because of space issues on the battle field.
    I try to deploy them far enough from the bridge to where they will be able to fire on enemy units as they are about to cross and where they can stay out of range of enemy missile units. I deploy spear units behind them and archers behind them. The enemy invariably gets absolutely shredded coming across the bridge. There are always multiple enemy units crossing and so the muskets are hitting a lot of targets. Not to mention usually at least four units of archers chipping in.
    I almost invariably kill the enemy general, and the battle is virtually won. The enemy reinforcements that invariably appear behind my position are usually quick to run away if they are already not doing so. And units that appear on the enemy side of the river either route or are repulsed as their early compatriots were.
    This tactic can also be applied to Arquebuses, but you need to get them a bit closer to the river than with the muskets. But the effect is not that disimilar. Enemy casualties are also not as high.

    In attacking river provinces, I will usually select a couple of units to cross the bridge. They are cannon fodder.
    They will draw the enemy units to engage, bring them into range of the muskets positioned right on the river bank while withdrawing back across the river. This also uses up most of the enemy archer fire while doing a lot of damage to the enemy units that are trying to engage your cannon fodder units. I do this multiple times.
    I do not sacrifice the cannon fodder units, but they are somewhat decimated. Usually, there are only 20 or so men left. Kensai also do a good job here. A Kensai, with full armour upgrade will most likely not be killed by archer fire. Its a different matter if you are facing guns however. But I usually don't have access to Kensai early on in the game.
    Essentially, what will happen is that your main assault units will have an easy time. The enemy forces will be depleted , out or arrows and you can defeat them quickly.
    I should point out that this tactic does not always work, but most of the time it has for me. But not always.
    Sometimes, the enemy simply does not move.
    I would also suggest that you only try this during the summer or spring. You may or may not need sufficient time to route enemy units that could turn up on the battlefield. Usually, about a quarter of the way through a battle conducted like this, the enemy are out of arrows to give some time scale to anyone who is interested on how long this takes. Depending on how many reserves the enemy has will depend on how long I go on drawing in enemy units into range of the muskets.
    I have tried this with Arquebuses, but they are not as effective due to their range and damage done not being as good as that of muskets.

    To anyone who still plays Shogun, I hope this helps.
    Its my favourite Total War game so far.


    Wombat Slayer (06/06/05 21:50:43) [My Strategy]

    I love the frontal skirmish technique. I put archers up front, and behind them are No-Dachi and Yari Samurai (I never buy Ashigaru). Archers find the high ground and pepper the enemy. Then, when the enemy draws close, send them back and make a nice wall of Yari Sams. Put them in close formation, and line them up all neat. They make a nice wall, and they keep the other enemy Yari back. Usually, the enemy's other units are still lagging behind (reserve cavalry, arhcers, and flank guards) and your archers can pepper those with the remaining arrows.

    I usually have a few regiments of Yari Cavalry to sweep down a hill or into a valley to flank archers and Ashigaru. That's how I win most of mine :)


    paK 88 (09/21/05 03:13:11) [Have a Plan]

    Be very careful where you choose to build. I don't know what difficulty settings you are using, but at the higher settings (Expert, Hard) you have much less koku to work with at the beginning, and will suffer a higher percentage of poor harvest years.

    Take advantage of provinces where you can build armories. Often times, the fact that your troops have armor upgrades and the enemy does not, can turn the tide of battles.

    Pay attention to province specialties. The +1 honour bonus these specialties provide can also make the difference between winning and losing.

    I go for weapon upgrades before armor upgrades, especially for archers. Either is a help if you get them before your rivals do, but that's just my preference.

    Don't waste koku developing farmland that produces 200 koku or less per year. General rule of thumb is that if it takes less than 10 years to start seeing a return on your investment, than it's worthwhile developing. Concentrate on your higher producing provinces first, and develop others later when you can afford the koku.

    Above all, HAVE A PLAN for developing/training after each years harvest. Look at the unit training/building cost numbers & your profit margin each year to gauge what you can do. As you get better at battle tactics, you will be able to do more with less troops, and spend less on unit training and more on development in the earlier stages of the game.

    It's very important to get the jump in infrastructure development early as this allows you to take provinces more quickly with less troops, than later in the game when you will often face huge standing armies.

    Don't neglect strategical units like shinobi & ninja. You must start to secure your borders at some point, and clandestine war can often win you battles without even having to fight


    Adrian888 (09/25/05 01:53:36) [Battle field Ninjas]

    Hey I read/scaned what you all wrote but i only found a small reference talking about battle field ninjas. I finaly got around to building some but it the 3 or so battles iv fought with them I havent found a good use becouse I use horses for flanking and theas expensive troups just arent worth clashing into open battle. Any tips?

    And seeing as I made a post I might as whell mention what I find the best thing to do if you get an oppertunity. That is to flank, if I had yari sameri fighting another group of yari sameri and i had some archers sitting behind the enemie I would charge them into the back even if they are no mach becouse flanking instantly makes them loosing badly.

    I have been playing as Takada latly at there is nothing better then flanking with horses, it just sends them running with no wear to go. 80% of my battles have looked like 700kills and only 80 casualities.

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (4).


    King Haggard (11/05/05 03:21:05) [Campaign tips for defending against the Mongols]

    Maeda Toshiie reminds us: "Is the game patched to 1.02b? 1.0's Mongol cavalry are horribly powerful."

    Unit for unit, the Mongol cavalry are unmatched by anything you can field. Each of their troops are very strong (particularly light and heavy cavalry, Korean skirmishers and thunder bombers - I distinctly do NOT count their other Korean conscripts, who are just there for padding and can be defeated by your weakest troops) but they don't have many types of them, so their tactical options are sorely limited. After many many games with and against them (I loved the Mongols in Warlord Edition and spent lots of time scribbling tactics and counter-counter-tactics) I boasted that in custom battles I could defend against any Mongol army of less than twice my strength, without knowing what they were fielding in advance. So far I haven't lost against them in multiplayer, though I didn't really play multiplayer all that many times.

    But that's the tactical side. For the campaign, you will be overwhelmed from the start. You'll have no choice but to use fighting withdrawals, or even flat-out draw back to more defensible provinces, until you can hold the horde back at a few key chokepoints. While you try to contain their spread, build up the elite army you need to defeat them.

    A few tips I can give you would be...

    1. Neutralize their superior cavalry and the rest will fall in. Everything else is just about how to practically apply this "tip."

    2. Since the Mongols start with no good generals, and can't upgrade their troops or assassinate your generals, upgrade your units and use good commanders to give you the edge. Good troops with good training and equipment, serving under generals with high honor, will even out the balance of power if it doesn't completely tip it in your favor. The capital province of Yamashiro is an excellent place to train and retrain elite, brave troops right from the start. (Though you will need to develop armories in other provinces to better equip them.)

    3. Use many spears, both foot and mounted, and upgrade them relentlessly. Your fully-upgraded Yari Samurai are the best weapon you have against Mongol heavy cavalry.

    4. You have an advantage in the area of missile troops: Mongol Light Cavalry, the only unit they have with range equivalent to your samurai archers and ashigaru crossbows, are more expensive and much more difficult for them to replace. Massed volleys of arrows and quarrels can hurt most of the Mongolian forces and their Korean conscripts, softening them and reducing their morale before they reach your lines.

    5. Try to fight defensive battles. Nothing you have can outrun Mongol light cavalry, and you don't want them picking the terrain.

    6. USE the terrain. Use the forests, always, even if you have to give up high ground. They're your best advantage against both Mongol cavalry types.

    7. A good army would consist of at least half well-upgraded Yari Samurai and Yari Cavalry. The rest are support troops: mainly archers and crossbows, with a tiny detachment of nodachi if you feel that your yari cavalry aren't enough to smash their infantry. Never use any Japanese cavalry other than the yari type, they're completely outclassed.

    8. Keep your yari cavalry in reserve until you've routed the Mongol heavy cavalry, by forcing them to charge into your spear points in the forest. Your cavalry's mission is to hunt down the Mongol light cavalry. Mongol heavy cavalry will eat any Japanese cavalry alive on the open field.

    9. Watch the coastline! The Mongolian reinforcements will land further and further North (right according to the Shogun campaign map) until they're practically landing in your capital. Build many ports (not only will this give you a good source of income, but it is vital for getting your troops to the lines fast enough.) Keep garrisons to defend all along the South-Western half of Japan, and have a strong force ready to move quickly to contain and defeat any Mongolian "outbreak" on your shores.

    10. Of course, continue to apply all the normal tactical and strategic principles: exercising flanking and envelopments, defending strategically-viable bottleneck provinces, and reinvesting your rice into money-making improvements in the provinces where you aren't training troops. With most of Japan under your control, it's easy to make more money than you could possibly spend, within a few years.

    You see, the beauty of Shogun is that every unit, even the strongest, has strengths and weaknesses. Find their weak point and exploit it, and you will do well.


    King Haggard (11/05/05 23:09:45) [How do I "train" and use Battlefield Ninja?]

    Disclaimer to the Disclaimer: I recovered all of the text below this paragraph from a file that was written very long ago. The tactics should still be sound, but I have added nothing to it yet. As always, if things are still unclear, please ask more questions in the talkback thread.

    Disclaimer: All of the below text refers to the original Battlefield Ninja in Warlord Edition. I haven't played the patch [at the time of this writing] but I heard they've been significantly altered (nerfed, actually) and some of the below tactics will not work with it. I also don't know anything about anything. (That disclaimer oughta cover my ass in court! ;) )

    Have any of you played "Total Annihilation: Kingdoms"? (I know, it sucked compared to the original.) Well do you remember the dragon there? Ninja are like that. You will cry hard when you overwork them before they're experienced enough and they die. You have to train them up, and then they become demon-men. First: armor is very important, much more than weapons (in the campaign I mean.) Ninja are under protected against arrows and it's absolutely demeaning to lose one to archer fire. Good armor will let them live long enough to attain 5-honor godhood. Next, you need to keep firmly in mind what they can and can't do. I lost many many ninja units from using them like a newbie, believing they could do things they can't. Until you’ve trained them up, keep in mind that they are human behind the legends. Finally, a good general is important, as are palace upgrades. Battlefield ninja aren't especially loyal to you, so having high honor and morale is important. They will be behind enemy lines their entire career and you don't need them trying to flee by running through the enemy army.

    New "baby" ninja should be used only as scouts for a while; let them practice their shuriken throwing on oblivious warrior monks and yari ashigaru. You can have them follow those units into battle and strike them from behind with shuriken. Don't try to block a tide of 500 fleeing enemies with them - I've lost 2 of a baby unit with maxed equipment by trying this. I've lost a unit of 2 veterans when they were literally trampled by half a unit of fleeing naginata cavalry. Ninja can kill routing units, but weigh the risks and don't block them with your bodies. When you do attack an enemy unit, be aware that the enemy will always try to flank you, and pull out before that happens.

    Maneuvering is something you need to learn how to do. These are commando units; hit & run, hit & run. The AI loves to chase ninja so I’ve managed to draw off half an army after one such unit, allowing me to engage the other half with superior force. That can be a good delaying tactic, since the enemy will chase you all around the map until your ninja get bored with it and run away. (Remember what I said about morale?)
    Two ninja units can support each other, by hitting an archer or an arquebus unit from both sides (close formation / engage at will.) If you’re after cavalry and infantry - that’s what regulars are for! You can however have your ninja unit strike in the back or push in through your men when the melee has already begun. It has much the same effect as a kensai.

    Now altitude is important for ninja units. If they're on a mountain, they can actually shoot all the way down - shocking when you think how close they need to get otherwise. So having them defend a high place as a vanguard of a defending army can be very very effective. In general, I would say altitude is more important to ninja than forests. Especially since they can't hit anything but trees when shooting in a forest. I had a unit defend some province in loose formation on a mountaintop near the attacker’s side. They squashed rebellion after rebellion, gaining a lot of honor in the process. Actually, I took all of Mori’s lands this way one game, and they were in constant rebellion. If you need to flee though, you can shake most units in a large forest.

    The one unit type ninja have problems with are cavalry. If you encounter one, run into a forest and you'll have a fighting chance. If they're light cavalry you can engage at will (in the forest) and maybe do some damage. If you notice in scouting that the opposing army is cavalry heavy, don’t get too close. Stay where you can get support from spears, rather than lose your ninjas to kill one measly archer or yari unit. Or scout from a distance and pull out into a forest to lose them if you get caught.
    If warrior monks engage you in hand-to-hand you will die, so run away from these, don’t try to skirmish! I did not list them as a unit that particularly troubles ninja since the ninja can be absolutely devastating to warrior monks, by shooting at them. In fact, ninja are my favorite way to kill warrior monks, provided the monks don’t catch on to what’s happening.

    In online games people used to use swarms of musketeers. My two upgraded ninja units could eat all of them without salt. (However, they all died before my army got there. My ninja included.) You just get close without being seen, and storm in in a wedge. They'll be no match for you. If you attack from behind, you can drive archers and arquebusiers into your army. So I never "skirmish" against enemy ranged units, even though I might go in loose formation / engage at will at first to get good coverage.

    In the campaign, you can use a strategic ninja to open a castle gate. Don't, unless you need the siege ended fast and it has a long way to go, or you want that extra mission credited to your ninja. If there are only a few people in there, have a unit of battlefield ninja clear them out. Your ninja may gain honor, your general will gain a battle, you'll lose no men, and the province won't be damaged. Even "baby" ninjas are effective for this. It's like shooting fish in a barrel with an Uzi. I also let a kensai clear a castleful of archers like this once. Your daimyo can do this too.

    AFTER you’ve trained a core of elite battlefield ninja, then you can have some real fun (this may take merging of several 2-3 man units; Darwin would have a field day.) Those units when properly armored can take provinces by themselves, and beat any type of unit. The honor effect is great; your enemy might flee after you kill several of them, and then you can engage at will to hunt them down. Attacking in wedge at a general, ninjas seem to take out the enemy general more often than other unit types do, even without killing the rest of the unit first. By chance I routed half of an army once with a unit of yari cavalry and a unit of ninja, and I’ve also routed entire armies with just ninja.

    Someone... I forget which expert it was (sorry! I guess this means you’ll use it on me in multiplayer after all, and I can’t give credit where it’s due.) had a curious commando tactic. Rather than use light cavalry like the rest of us, he used a unit of battlefield ninja and a unit of warrior monks on each flank. They would take advantage of weather and terrain to hide, with the ninja being the eyes of the warrior monks. When battle closed, these units would strike from rear and flank to sow chaos in the enemy ranks.


    paK88 (11/11/05 04:24:56) How do I "train" and use Battlefield Ninja?

    Be very aware of weather when using BFN. Fog is your friend, as is heavy rain. Yes, those conditions reduce the projectile efficiency of BFN, but the concealment factor more than compensates.

    My favorite tactic for training BFN is to use them for port raiding. An entire army (16 units) of BFN. :D

    This can be especially nice when the port province also happens to contain a bridge, which is usually costly to assault. Do your raid in the fall or winter when you're far more likely to get bad weather. Keep your BFN Taisho on your side of the bridge (Taisho's are always "visible" to enemy troops). Send about half of your BFN's across the bridge and spread them out...turn off the "Engage-at-Will" option until they are all in position, then turn it on. After the first line of enemy units have been cut down, send the rest of your BFN across..............your Taisho can light up a cigar and watch the carnage. When the enemy begins to rout, send your BFN Taisho across, as well.

    As an alternative to having a BFN Taisho, you can use a Kensei as the Taisho. Such a force will quickly build up experience, and your Taisho will gain rank 4 or 5 very quickly. Once that happens, most enemies will rout even before the first shuriken is thrown.;)

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (5).

    The following three posts (including this one) is taken from the original TW website.


    Maeda Toshiie (12/20/06 14:44:20) [SHOGUN TOTAL WAR HINTS & TIPS]

    Page 1

    Hello and welcome to the official Shogun Total War hints and tips pages. Check out the great guides which were written by Jason Fitzgerald (Studio Marketing Manager) and Michael de Plater (Executive Producer) from Dreamtime Interactive Productions. We also have a section written by Bob Smith, the Creative Assembly programmer who designed Shogun Total War's AI, and a section written and compiled by the guys at www.totalwar.org/ which you can see here.

    You can also check out our fantastic on-line guide The Way Of The Daimyo (also included on the Shogun Total War CD-ROM). This is an historical companion to Shogun Total War that will give you some of the background knowledge that will help you to understand the time period and your opponents better.

    Anyone who wishes to submit a strategy guide should contact the webmaster.

    TACTICAL BATTLE ADVICE from SUN TZU'S ART OF WAR (some comments inserted in brackets by Jason to explain how each point is relevant to the game).
    When deploying troops and observing the enemy you should take into account the following points:

    When we cannot defeat the enemy we should take up a defensive disposition. When we can defeat the enemy we should engage battle. One takes up a defensive position because one lacks the strength necessary for victory. One engages in battle because one has more than enough strength. An army that is adept at defending does not let the enemy gain even the smallest insight as to it's actual situation. As if it were hidden underground. An army adept at attacking strikes as if it were descending from the heavens. Not giving the enemy an opportunity to defend. A general who can do this can defend without worry of loss. And can attack with the assurance of victory. When crossing mountains quickly, follow the valley floors. When stationing troops, look for high ground. Look for places suitable to attack as well as defend. If the enemy is first to gain the high ground do not commence a frontal attack. These are the rules of combat in mountainous areas.

    When fording a river, cross quickly and distance yourself from it, lest the enemy take advantage of the situation. If the enemy crosses a river in the course of their attack, do not go to the water to engage them. Wait until they are halfway across and half on the water and then engage them. If anticipating engagement with the enemy do not engage from a riverbank. Rather, ready your forces on high ground facing the water. Even more important, do not take up a position downriver from the enemy. (they will smell your forces!!!) These are the principles of deploying troops near rivers.

    When waging war on a plain, deploy your troops on level ground. Have your back or right flank toward high ground. You want the high ground behind you and the low before you. These are the principles for deploying troops on a plain. When the enemy is near but calm, he is depending on the hazards of the terrain. When the enemy charges while still far away, he is enticing me to advance. When the enemy takes up a position on open level ground, there is surely some benefit for him there. The shaking of trees indicates that the enemy is advancing. Many birds taking wing indicate that the enemy is lying in ambush.

    STRATEGY MAP ADVICE If the words of the enemy are humble yet he remains his readiness, this is a sign that he will attack. (Very true of the Takeda clan in the game). If the enemy's words are forceful and his troops feign advances, this is a sign that he will retreat. (Very true of the Mori clan in the game). Whether you want to attack a certain place, lay siege to a city, or assassinate an enemy general you must first have a spy find out the name and the character of the commander in charge. (And if you kill the commander in charge it will be a huge advantage).

    In a disadvantageous situation considering the possible benefits will increase conviction. In an advantageous situation considering the possible harm will allow you to avoid hidden danger. Make the enemy focus on domestic affairs by inciting internal dissent. (Drop a Shinobi into an enemy territory and he will increase peasant disloyalty the longer he stays there). According to the principles and tactics of warfare, do not expect the enemy NOT to come. Instead, be in complete military readiness. Do not expect the enemy not to attack. Instead, assure yourself that the enemy would not be successful in the event of an attack. (Keep a large army in important territories particularly those that border large enemies)

    There are five personal traits that are dangerous in a commander - He who is intent on dying can be murdered (just because you have an heir does not mean you should be too brave - the heir will be of lower honour) He who is intent on living can be captured (when you have no heir) He who is quick to anger can be insulted (when an enemy refuses your peace treaty) He who is self conscious can be humiliated (great castles once taken provide an advantage to the enemy) He who is compassionate can be troubled (remember to click on the KOKU button and keep the taxes high)

    Michael de Plater's Basic Hints and Tips for Shogun Total War

    Here are some basic hints and tips written by Exec. Producer Michael de Plater.

    Basic Hints and Tips for Shogun Total War: The most important tip is "Read the Art of War by Sun Tzu". His principals of strategy really do work and are very applicable in Shogun Total War.

    Advanced Strategy (for the turn based Strategy Map): Look at the Honour of your Generals: A General with high honour will pass an honour bonus to all the troops under his command. Because of this it's worth right clicking on a General and using the highest honour Generals to lead your men into battle. Conversely you can deal a devestating blow to an enemy army by assassinating a rival General - so use your Ninja and your spies. Build Ports: You can move men in a single turn between any two territories under your control that have a Port. So they are essential as your empire expands and you need to move men to the front lines. Plus they give you an income bonus by encouraging Trade. Use Alliances: If you are surrounded by enemies on all sides you're going to have a lot of problems holding onto your territory. Pick your enemies and focus your attacks on them one at a time - and try to keep a web of alliances going. Note that some rival Clans are not to be trusted in any cir***stances - particularly the Takeda. And if you give them an open invitation to break an alliance by leaving an attractive region open they will take it.

    Focus your efforts on key territories: There are very significant differences in the value of different territories. For example "Musashi" is very productive and wealthy. Sometimes it can be better to retreat from a less valuable territory to focus your defence on more valuable ones. In the same way, when you are picking territories to invade choose your targets carefully. You will generally lose more men attacking than defending so you want to focus your attacks on the most valuable territory.

    Watch your money: If you just keep building troops and building up your armies without expanding your territory you will find that the cost of maintaining your forces exceeds your income. If you've got a big army - use it. You should aim to expand your territory to increase your income and there's the added bonus that your men will gain more honour and experience along the way - making them much more valuable. Samurai Archers: These are a very valuable unit throughout the game, but particularly early on before most of your enemies have trained Cavalry. They are very effective at firing at the enemy and are not too bad at hand-to-hand combat.

    Train your forces wisely: Take advantage of the various Clan and Region training bonus'. For example the Shimazu Clan can train higher honour Samurai Swordsmen (No-Dachi) and they control the province of Satsuma which provides an Honour bonus to No-Dachi trained there. The combination of these bonus' can lead to the training of some very formidable warriors. Don't try to build everything in every region or you will be spread too thin.

    Advanced Tactics (for the real time battles): Use a Mixed Force: The most basic principle in battle is to combine your forces effectively. Keep your Missilemen (archers and gunners) at a distance and rain death on the enemy, use your spearmen to form a defensive wall protecting your Missilemen, use the speed of your Cavalry to run down the enemy archers etc. Any single unit type used on it's own will have a weakness that will be exploited by a cunning enemy.

    Use the Terrain: It's obvious that you want to keep your archers on high ground to improve their range. But as Sun Tzu points out it is always better to fight downhill for all troop types. Use the Forests: Forests allow you to hide so you can ambush the enemy, they provide good cover from enemy arrow or gunfire and they provide very good protection from enemy cavalry as horses can't manouvre effectively in the trees.

    Use the Weather: If you are attacking you get some control of the weather as you can choose the day of your attack, so it pays to know the effects. Rain will make Arquebus (primitive guns) useless as their powder gets wet. It will also diminish the range of archers as the strings are damp. Wind will reduce the accuracy of arrow fire. Snow will slow all units down - but especially cavalry and will increase the fatigue of heavily armoured units. Study the Map: You can review the battlefield before the battle starts - do so. This will enable you to identify the key strategic points. On some maps this is obvious and areas such as bridges are clearly going to be choke points for any attack (read what Sun Tzu has to say about attacking an army crossing a bridge). Break the Spirit of your Enemy: Morale is very important, and one of the best ways to reduce the morale of your enemy is to kill his General in battle. You can identify the General because he has a special Standard rather than the normal Flag (Mon) which all units have.

    Use Formations & Melee Modes: The right formation at the right time can make a big difference. Wedges are great for breaking enemy lines - but also mean that you suffer more casualties. Close formations will let you hold a defensive point more effectively, but at the expense of your attack. Loose formations are good if you are under fire, but not if you are fighting hand to hand. Attacking an enemy unit from the flank or rear has a major effect on their combat effectiveness. Some units, such as spearmen generally work better in ordered formation ('Hold Formation'), others such as fanatical warrior monks can be more effective when every man is allowed to pursue combat ('Engage at Will'). Claim as Many Heads as Possible: Even if you win a battle, if many of the enemy troops escape alive they will be back to fight you next year. So try to make sure that you kill as many as possible. Cavalry are especially good for running down a routing enemy, and since units usually flee to the edge of the map they came from you can try to head them off.

    ©2001 THE CREATIVE ASSEMBLY.
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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (6).

    Second of three posts from the original TW website



    Page 2

    Hello and welcome to the official Shogun Total War hints and tips pages. Check out this great guide which was written by Bob Smith, the Creative Assembly programmer who designed Shogun Total War's AI. We also have sections written by Jason Fitzgerald (Studio Marketing Manager) and Michael de Plater (Executive Producer) from Dreamtime Interactive Productions, which you can see here, and a section written and compiled by the guys at www.totalwar.org/ which you can see here.

    You can also check out our fantastic on-line guide The Way Of The Daimyo. This is an historical companion to Shogun Total War that will give you some of the background knowledge that will help you to understand the time period and your opponents better.

    Anyone who wishes to submit a strategy guide should contact the webmaster.

    Shogun Battle Simulation and Tactics

    Introduction

    The battlefield simulation model in Shogun is a complex affair. It aims to combine common sense realism and the psychology of massed troop bodies, within the context of an exciting game. The realism of the simulation largely frees the new player from having to learn the rules of the game, since they are largely a matter of common sense. If you are asked to climb a steep hill while wearing heavy armour, you will move slowly and be tired when you get to the top, and so it is with your soldiers in Shogun. If you are asked to stand in a field all day, in the pouring rain, you will get cold and tired. Again, so it is also with your soldiers in Shogun. If you are ordered into a situation where the most likely outcome appears to be that you will be butchered by some steely faced enemy samurai, you may choose a heroic death, but more likely you will run away from the situation as quickly as possible. It should come as no surprise when your Shogun soldiers do the same. This article explains some of the features of the simulation, and discuses how the player can use them to advantage. It also aims to explain some of the battlefield psychology that is modelled, which may not be obvious to someone who has not studied military history.

    Combat

    All combat in Shogun in calculated on a man to man basis. Each man makes one attack each animation cycle, but may be attacked many times during the same time. The chance of a man making a kill during his attack, depends on his attack factor, the opponents defence factor, the honour and fatigue of both parties, and on other factors such as whether the attacker is charging, or attacking the defender's side or rear. There are special adjustments for troops with spears fighting against cavalry. However, the spearmen only receive them if facing the cavalrymen. Again this is determined on a man by man basis, so if the spearmen's formation is broken up, then individual horsemen may get flank or rear attacks on single spearmen. Of course if the whole cavalry unit attacks from the flank or rear the spearmen are in big trouble.

    Terrain

    In open battle the most important terrain type is the hill. If you defend on a hill you have many advantages. Firstly you gain a good view of the battlefield, and the enemies approach. As the enemy approaches your archers enjoy longer range, and have greater effect. As he approaches closer his troops may tire from the climb, and once they reach your lines, then fighting uphill will put them at a big disadvantage. The higher and steeper the hill, the more advantage you get from it. Unless you have a much superior force, it is usually best not to attack uphill. Try instead to work round the side of the enemy's position so that you can approach them from the same level.

    Woods are another important feature of the Shogun landscape. They offer concealment and protection from missile fire. It's also worth noting that cavalry fight particularly poorly in woods. This because the riders are distracted by the hazards of low branches, and because horses are much more ***bersome than men on foot when manoeuvring amongst trees. Woods also break formations up, allowing men on foot to get amongst the cavalry and attack individual soldiers from flank or rear.

    Shooting

    The shooting model in Shogun is straightforward, and fairly realistic. Each man picks an enemy man to shoot at, the computer then calculates he exact angles he must aim in to hit the target, then adjusts these angles by a random percentage based on the skill of the shooter, and the accuracy of his weapon, and the weather conditions. It then tracks the arrow or bullet until it hits something. This means that they are more likely to hit what they aim at when at close range, and that they may hot someone other than their intended target, indeed they may well hit someone on there own side. This is a particular problem when firing into melees especially if the firing unit is behind your own unit. Units firing "at will" will not fire into melees, and will stop firing at an enemy, if they are hitting their own men as well. However, units that have been specifically ordered to fire at a particular enemy, will carry on regardless until you tell them to stop. While you probably want to avoid causing too many friendly casualties, it is quite a legitimate tactic to engage an enemy heavy cavalry unit with your ashigaru for the sole purpose of keeping them still while you pound them with arrows. Hastening the reincarnation of a few ashigaru is a small price to pay for the damage you will cause.

    There are no special rules for shooting into or out woods, but many of your arrows will hit trees. Similarly there are no special rules for whether the target is in close or loose formation, simply that if you miss your intended target, you are more likely to hit someone else if the target is in close formation. One effect of this is that loose formation gives you more benefit when under fire at long range, since at close range an enemy is more likely to be able to hit the target he picked out. Actually there is a small extra adjustment for being in loose formation, as it give individual soldiers room to dodge around a little. This is modelled by adding one to the their armour value, and since you suffer diminishing returns for increased armour, it benefits lightly armoured units more.

    One important factor affecting accuracy of fire, is how well the firing man can see the target. Those men in the first two ranks ( first three ranks if in loose formation ) are assumed to have a good view of the target, whereas those behind cannot really see, and fire at much reduced accuracy. Of course, if the view of the men in the front ranks is obscured by intervening units or terrain, they will also suffer the reduced accuracy penalty, and those behind will be further penalised. It follows from this that archers are most accurate when employed in shallow formations. If you are defending on flat or gently sloping ground, your missile units will do most damage if deployed in front of your other troops where they have a clear view of the advancing enemy. If defending on a steep slope, missile troops can be deployed behind the front ranks, and still have a clear view over the heads of the troops in front.

    Missile units are the only units in the game allowed to employ skirmish mode, and automatically run away from enemy closing in. This can be frustrating if you don't have troops fast enough to catch them. One thing you can do, is to drive them towards some obstruction that will slow down their escape, such as a forest, or dense concentration of troops, or alternatively attack then with two units, one coming from either side of the enemy unit. Finally, take solace from the fact that if they are running, they are not shooting at you.

    A final point about ammunition. Gunners fire very slowly, so don't run out, but archers run out pretty quickly. Cunning players can use up enemy ammo by sending out cheap units of ashigaru to invite enemy fire.

    Weather

    Weather in Shogun serves to enhance the atmosphere of the battlefield, but also has a number of gameplay effects. Rain stops gunners from firing ( it puts out there matches, and dampens their powder), It also reduces the lethality of archery as damp bow strings don't work as well. Rain also soaks into the laces used to tie up armour, making them very heavy, not to mention making eveyone cold and miserable. This is represented in the game by increasing the rate at which fatigue is ac***ulated.

    Snow is similar to rain, but generally has less effect on shooting than the equivalent amount of rain. However, wearing armour in cold weather can drain the heat from the body, so when it's snowing, troops in heavy armour ac***ulate fatigue faster than those in lesst armour. Best lto eave the naginata at home during winter campaigns.

    Fog has no effect on the mechanics of the game, but offers all sorts of opportunities for sneaking up on the enemy from unexpected directions. The A.I. can't see through the fog any better than you can, so you can make use of fog cover in single player games.

    Fatigue

    Walking around a battlefield in heavy armour is tiring business, so troops get progressively more tired as the battle goes on. How tired they get, depends on what they are doing. Walking on the flat is fairly easy, whereas walking up a steep hill is very tiring. Running is also very tiring, and fighting even more so. Troops that are heavily fatigued will recover somewhat if they are doing a light activity such as walking or standing, but recovery takes some time.

    Troops that are described as "fresh" or "quite fresh" suffer no penalties for fatigue. Troops that are "slighty tired" suffer a small penalty to their attack factor, and after this there are increasingly severe penalties to attack, defence and morale factors. Totally exhausted units cannot run, or skirmish. Tired men are also reluctant to fire their weapons, or seek out new opponents in combat.

    The two main causes of fatigue are fighting ( which is unavoidable ) and running long distances. It is usually best to walk until the you close with the enemy. Save running for real emergencies, or for seizing fleeting opportunities. Attacking should always be done at the run, as this gives a bonus on impact. Try not to march troops around needlessly. Fresh troops kept in reserve can have a big impact on tired enemy units, and defeat opponents that normally they could not. Ashigaru brought along to bolster the numbers, can be very useful in the later stages of a game. If you have very tired or exhausted troops, it's best to rest them before flinging them into combat again, as their performance will be poor, and they will rout easily.

    Morale

    Napoleon is reputed to have said that "the moral is to the physical, as ten is to one", and morale effects are very important in Shogun. Generally your battleplan should concentrate on persuading the enemy army to run away, rather than killing them. Once they are all running, killing them will be a great deal easier, and involve much less risk.

    Units can have one of several morale levels, but only routing has a major effect, The effects of the other levels are as follows.. Impetuous units will chase after enemy routers, and may ignore orders to hold position. Men in uncertain, or wavering units may hesitate before seeking new opponents, but otherwise suffer no penalty. The main purpose of the morale levels is to inform the player about unit morale. Troops that are wavering, haven't run away yet, but are seriously considering it. Players are alerted to wavering units by the action icon in the panel at the bottom of the screen flashing with the routing icon. Troops actually routing, have a continuous routing icon. The morale level of a unit is dependent upon its unit type, its honour, and by a large number of situational factors.

    Managing the morale of your troops is vitally important. The most important thing to realise is that panic is infectious. Once two or three of your units start routing, any nearby units are likely to conclude that something very bad is happening, and start running too. Once your whole army is running, you have lost the battle. If you have a large army, you can guard against this by keeping one or two good morale units well back out of the battle, so that even if the rest rout, you have not lost the battle. Their presence will also help the other troops to rally, and allow time for reinforcements to arrive if you have them. Similarly once the enemy start to run, be sure to pursue them, as the presence of enemy units makes it much harder to rally.

    You can use the panic phenomenon to your advantage. If you can launch a devestating attack on a small part of your opponents battle line, and rout a couple of units, then the rest of the army may follow suit. Note that samurai units are much less worried by the sight of fleeing ashigaru, than by fleeing samurai. Ashigaru make no such distinction.

    The other big factor that is likely to panic your men, is the death of your general. If units are under pressure, then the news that their general is dead, will likely cause them to rout, which may lead to mass panic. It's therefore advisable to be very careful with your general's unit. Leaving him at the back is one option, but having close by the fighting troops is useful, as he boosts the morale of close by units. If the general routs, then the units close to him no longer gain a bonus from his presence, but there is no further penalty.

    The main situational affecting morale, are: the level of casualties sustained; how the unit doing in melee, the rate at which new casualties are occurring; their fatigue, and the presence of threatening enemy units. Historically soldiers were very unhappy when enemy could attack them in the flank or rear. Accordingly sending a unit behind the enemy army can reduce the morale of many units.

    Conversely, players can boost the morale of their troops by keeping units close together. Units that have other units protecting their flanks, or in support behind receive a morale bonus. The presence of a nearby general also increases morale, and the higher his rank, the larger the effect. Units in close or wedge formation, have higher morale than units in loose formation.

    Infantry units are always uneasy in the presence of enemy cavalry units, and infantry units that are charged by cavalry from behind, or while in a disorganised state, may well break and run before even the cavalry contact them.

    Uses of Troop Types.

    The key to success in Shogun is the correct use of the different unit types. By using them in combination, you can benefit from the strengths of each type, while minimising it's weaknesses.

    Samurai Archers

    Archers are one on the most useful troop types. The main thing to watch out for is being run down by enemy cavalry. Positioning a unit of yari samurai directly behind archers will protect them from this threat. Remember too that when their ammunition is gone, samurai archers are quite proficient in close combat. They should easily beat ashigaru, and can stand up to samurai spearmen if they have a small advantage such as less fatigue, or attacking downhill. Cavalry Archers

    These can be very troublesome opponents to foot troops who aren't supported by missilemen. Cavalry archers don't fire as effectively as foot archers, but because they have the speed to get out of trouble quickly, they can move up and fire at close range. While putting them in skirmish mode will largely keep them out of trouble, its implementation is ( as a matter of game design ) fairly dumb, so don't rely on it entirely. Cavalry archers should never get into fire fights with foot troops. Horses are very easy targets to hit. However, they can defeat all the foot missile troops in hand to hand combat, so they should either charge or retreat.

    Yari Samurai

    These spearmen are the mainstay of the army. Reasonably tough in combat, well armoured, and highly effective against cavalry, they are the strong defensive nucleus. Missile units can withdraw behind them for protection, and unarmoured troops can shelter behind them while they absorb the enemy arrow storm. Their only major weakness, is that they become vulnerable to cavalry if caught while disordered, or while their spears are pointing the other way.

    Yari Ashigaru

    There are a multitude of uses for the humble yari ashigaru. They may be poor in combat, and not very brave, but their cheapness allows you have many of them, and if occasion demands to sacrifice the odd unit. They can be used to absorb enemy arrow fire and cause their ammunition to be depleted, be send on risky scouting missions, sacrificed in attacks designed to pin or draw the enemy out of position. However, their most straightforward use is to add mass to the army. Keep them at the back of your formation and they will increase everyone's morale. Towards the end of the battle when the enemy are tired, then the fresh ashigaru can be useful in combat. With their long spears, they are also quite effective against cavalry archers and yari cavalry.

    Yari Cavalry

    There are the mainstay of the cavalry arm. They fight well against other cavalry types, and have the speed to run down cavalry archers. They are effective too against the lighter infantry types. They are vulnerable to yari armed infantry, and to missile fire. Although they can run down archers and gunners in a frontal charge, they will suffer heavily as they charge in. A better way is to use their speed to get onto the flanks of the enemy, and launch a charge from there.

    Heavy Cavalry.

    These are the elite of the cavalry world. They can stand up to well to any troop types, although they may eventually be beaten by well formed yari samurai, or warrior monks. They are also vulnerable to missile fire, but less so than other cavalry types. As with other cavalry, keep them out of the woods.

    NoDachi Samurai

    With their high attack, and low defence, these troops kill fast and die fast. Since they are also vulnerable to arrow fire, they need to be used very carefully. Keep them at the back, out of danger until they are needed. They can be used to break a hole in an enemy line ( though don't expect to get many back ), or kept back to make opportunistic attacks. Since they have very high morale, they can operate on their own, and so be used for ambushes away from the main position.

    Warrior Monks

    With high morale, high attack, reasonable defence and good speed, the only weakness of these troops is their vulnerability to arrow fire. Hand to hand they will defeat all foes, and with their high morale they can keep going even after taking heavy losses. Naginata

    These are the defensive troops par excellence. They are slow, and have a low attack factor. However, with their heavy armour and high defence value, they can resist attacks for a long time. They are particularly valuable to lead assaults across bridge or into castles, where any other troop type would be shot to pieces. Putting them in loose formation in front of the army is a good ploy for absorbing missile fire.

    Musketeers / Arquebussiers

    Some people may be disappointed with the effectiveness of gunners in the game, expecting them to outshoot archers. However, early guns were very crude affairs, and much inferior to a bow in the hands of a skilled archer. Guns were popular though, because any peasant could be taught to fire one in short time, whereas it took years of training to produce a skilled archer.

    The key to the use of guns in the game is mass. They are cheap, so you can have lots of them. Then you must employ them with patience. Over time they will wear the enemy down. Because of their low accuracy, guns don't cause much damage at long range, but at very close range their volleys can be devastating. The effect of all these casualties at once, together with the morale penalty for being shot at by guns, may often cause enemy units to rout. Gunners fight very poorly, so it's usually safer to employ them in skirmish mode, but if don't, and they are charged by an enemy unit, they will hold last volley until the enemy are very close, so as to achieve maximum effect.

    If you deploy gunners in three or more ranks, they will use a revolving firing system, where the front rank fires, then retires to the rear to reload. This means that their rate of fire is effectively three times what is would be if the whole unit shot at once, but only one rank fires in each volley. If deployed in one or two ranks, the whole unit will fire at once, but will then take a long time to reload. Armour is much less effective against bullets, than it is against arrows.
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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (7).

    Third of three posts from the original TW website. The original post is too long to fit into a single post here, so this is the first half.


    Page 3

    Hello and welcome to the official Shogun Total War hints and tips pages. Check out this great guide which was written and compiled by the guys at www.totalwar.org/. Jason Fitzgerald (Studio Marketing Manager) and Michael de Plater (Executive Producer) from Dreamtime Interactive Productions have also put together a detailed guide, which you can see here. We also have a section written by Bob Smith, the Creative Assembly programmer who designed Shogun Total War's AI here.

    You can also check out our fantastic on-line guide The Way Of The Daimyo. This is an historical companion to Shogun Total War that will give you some of the background knowledge that will help you to understand the time period and your opponents better.

    Anyone who wishes to submit a strategy guide should contact the webmaster.

    Unofficial Shogun Total War Gameplay Hints and FAQ Guide, Version 2.0 (www.totalwar.org/)

    Alliances:

    Treaties and alliances do provide some small (very small) measure of security - if the AI has other things to concern him (such as an ongoing war with another clan or Ronin provinces to take). Just make sure to carefully garrison those regions that you don't want him to take the next time he feels sneaky. Always accept alliances - and break them at need.

    There are several reasons why alliances are great for strategic reasons!! 1. If you make an alliance with a daimyo that is strong and then right after you form the alliance send your "best" ninja and geisha to kill him and you’ll get his land and his army. Another good reason to form an alliance is if the Dutch traders arrive at your enemies shore first they will have guns first so make an alliance with that daimyo that has guns and then after he wipes out your close enemies then you send in the geisha to kill him and "walla" you control a large part of Japan and have eliminated your nearby enemies another good reason to form an alliance is when you lack resources and can’t build an army quickly enough to take out your neighbors so you form an alliance to keep your neibor from attacking you or at least this will delay the moment and give you more time to build up your resources!! Another good reason to form alliance is when you have an alliance with 2 clans that are at war. This can be a great time to break the alliance and grab that high koku producing territory you’ve been trying yo get, while their fighting you can "drop" your army on that province and you will be in the battle also and all you need to do is wait for them to beat up on each other and then move in for the kill. This is a great way to gain a high koku producing province with little casualties!! So, alliances were made to be broken but there is a time to form them and a time to break them.

    Using Geishas and Ninjas:

    Both can be used offensively, as spies and assassins. Both can be used defensively as counter spies and counter assassins. Honor seems to grow at the same rate whether used offensively or defensively. Ninjas, including high honor ninjas, are at great risk of having the mission fail (they die), no matter the probability of success the game tells you. Geishas, on the other hand are very infrequently intercepted by opposing ninjas or geishas. This, together with the fact that if a geisha does get the opportunity to assassinate a target she NEVER misses, makes this unit very powerful. The developer says that they gave geishas this capability to keep the game from becoming stalemated and going on forever. Some posters on the forum believe that ninjas and, especially, geishas, as implemented in the game, are VERY unrealistic and unhistoric. Some players won’t use geishas at all, and some only use ninjas in very limited ways. Others, of course, love the supreme advantage one or several geishas give them.

    Formation Setting:

    Then imagine the formation you want your men in, where you want them, and what direction you want them to face. Click and hold on the upper left corner of the imaginary box that would surround that formation (if you were positioned behind them), then drag the mouse to the bottom right corner of this imaginary box. As you do so, you will see the formation of your men (ghost image if you will) change as you continue to drag the mouse around (while holding the left mouse button down). When you finally see a ghost image that looks like the formation you want, along with the direction you want them in, then let go of the mouse button. Now not only will the men move to that location, but also they change formation to fit what you specified. If you change your mind before letting go of the left mouse button, hit the escape key and then release the mouse button to cancel the attempt.

    Complex formations with more than one group:

    If you already have those multiple groups set up the way you want, and you just want to move them to another position, facing another direction, there are two things that might do it for you (but sometimes it acts a bit strange on me): if you want them facing north, click on a spot a little south of that position, then hold down the shift key and click on that final spot north of the first spot you clicked on. Holding the SHIFT key means the next spot you click adds a waypoint. It's the only way I know of to change the facing of a unit without having to re-define its formation, even if the formation will be identical. The other way is again a click and drag, which will change the formation of all groups selected, but puts them all side by side, which may not be what you want.

    Moving units to the left or right without changing orientation:

    Hold down the ALT key and click on the new spot. The men will change formation facing to do the actual moving, but once they get there, they will form up to face the same direction they were originally in. The exception is if this new spot was very close to the original. They will then keep the same facing while they move (well, formation facing anyway, while they move).

    About Myth's method -- Shogun needs that was well. Many times I just want to move my men to a spot, but have them face a different direction than the direction they came from. Myth had it down: you just click on the target location, and then drag the mouse in the direction you want them men to face once they get there. They need that in this game, however since the click drag is already used to change formation, they'd need to use a special keystroke to get this feature. Perhaps CLICK DRAG when CONTROL is held down, but you are clicking on the ground? Shogun makes the assumption I want to change my formation a lot, but I think more often than that (much more often) I really just want to change the facing, not the formation. The best way to get this same feature is to click drag, but it redefines the formation. Since many times you want to keep the exact same formation, you are forced to spend a few seconds redefining the exact same formation.

    But one other way you can do it is waypoints: make the first destination the rear of the spot they would be in, then hold SHIFT to give the second destination spot, which would make them face that direction. It's not as clean, but it works, too.

    More on Placement and Facing:

    The best control is a combination of Alt+Click and ALT+Right-Click. Position unit A as normal. (Click and drag) If you need to adjust his PLACEMENT and not his heading, ALT+Click will have the unit walk to that position, but still be facing the same way. Also, you don't have to worry about clicking on another unit - it will NOT change which unit you are currently selected. Most useful for moving a unit a few feet left/right/up/back without losing which way they are heading, and without the time it takes to click-hold-and-drag. Speed, once the combat gets hot-n-heavy, is essential. To adjust their HEADING and not their placement, use the ALT+Right-Click. IF I have Unit A selected, then hit ALT+R-C, they will swivel (or wheel, if you prefer) to the new facing. The center unit soldier (with the big flag) stays in place, and the unit rotates around him. If you HOLD the right button, you can drag it around to see the relative headings. If you have more than one units selected, the units will all face that one point you clicked on - very useful for getting several units into an "arc" formation. Anyway, this makes it MUCH easier for that fine positioning some battles require.

    Unit Formations:

    Close: This is the best all-around formation, cuz you're men are right next to each other, and can watch each others' backs. Wedge: This is best for breaking enemy lines. Your men get a bonus to kill the enemy, but the enemy also gets a bonus to kill your men. They are so focused on KILL that they forget to defend. Also, since they're so closely packed, any archers will have a field day. But if you need to shatter that line of naginta, this is the way to go.

    Loose: This is mostly to have men not get killed by arrows. When they're bunched up, if an arrow misses its target, it will likely hit the guy next to him. On Loose, there is more space between them, so arrows are less effective. If you're men are holding a line and the enemy moves his archers up, switch your standing line to Loose to reduce casualties. Go back to Close when they do their infantry charge. Also, I've had a lot of luck using LOOSE in the forest.

    Standing orders:

    Skirmish: This is best for missile units. This means that they will hold the line and fire, until the enemy gets close. Then your men will retreat until they have space, then reform and resume firing. Hold Formation: This gives your men a big defensive bonus, at the cost of being less effective killing machines. Basically, the units will hold it's rows and columns, even in the heat of a fight. This is best to have a unit of naginata take position at the foot of a bridge, and Hold there. The bonus to defense means that they will survive longer. It's harder for enemies to force their way through, as well.

    Engage: When they get the command to attack, they will let the lines break, and everyone attacks en masse. You get more men into the combat, since they are not concerned about keeping neat, orderly lines. This is the usual melee.

    Hold Position: Without this command, your soldiers would let the battle surge back and forth across the field. Sometimes, you've got the sweet hill to defend on, so you don't want your troops chasing the enemy across the field. This setting means the men will neither retreat nor pursue the enemy. Works best when combined with Hold Formation, but also works well to keep your missile troops from changing the formation heading during combat. Nothing more annoying than having your nice line of archers swivel around so that their flank is no longer protected by the spear line!

    Fire at will: No, don't shoot Commander Riker. Basically, this lets your missile units choose their own targets. The bad is that they will open fire at long range, and miss a lot and waste ammo. The good is that they will try not to hit their own men - they will fire at an incoming infantry unit, UNTIL it is engaged by friendly infantry. Then the archers will find another target to try to reduce friendly-fire casualties. If you select a unit to attack, though, they will continue to shoot at them if your own troops engage.

    Taking Advantage of the AI: It is generally easy to win tactical battles against the AI, even when outnumbered. This said, the AI displays several traits which you can take advantage of:

    1. The AI will generally try to flank your forces. Not always, but enough so that you must pay attention to where enemy forces are moving. If you’re careful enough you can gain a window of opportunity and mug the flanking forces before the main body closes.

    2. The AI will generally run away after losing their general. On the other hand, you can keep your troops fighting after the general is lost. I have won two such desperate battles through some luck and careful use of terrain.

    3. Caution! Make note of the total enemy troops before a battle versus what you can see. I still remember watching 60 Yari Samurai pour out of a forest and into my flanking Samurai Archers. Still won the battle, but I gained respect for the AI.

    4. The AI occasionally chooses to fight when it has no hope of winning (e.g. when it has an all yari force against a mixed force of archers and yari) and will instantly withdraw when it sees you. If you suspect this is the case (such as when you have good spy information), use a fast, small unit (preferably yari cavalry) to scout out their position - sometimes the AI deploys too far forward on the flank out of sight. If you can, deploy your army so that you can hit him in the flanks as he tries to withdraw.

    5. The word caution can not be emphasized enough. The AI can and will regroup, even when the day seems won. Be very careful, especially if you are numerically inferior, that you don't charge down from your defensive position in pursuit of the enemy and suddenly have to fight it out on level ground. This also applies to bridge battles after crossing a bridge.

    Tactical Combat the troops:

    1. The battlefield use of Yari Ashigaru is problematic. Very vulnerable to archers and easily routed, you cannot normally rely on Yari Ashigaru to carry a battle. Make sure your general isn’t a part of those troops, as you will have a routing / killed general very quickly. If you have some (from the start of the game) they can be useful to garrison castles, hold flanks in battle, keep newly conquered provinces from rebelling, etc.

    Later, if you build them in a castle with the right supplemental buildings, you can really strengthen them. With the proper (around 3 is good) honor, they can hold off anything, weather almost any amount of missile fire, and they're cheap cheap cheap. Think about this: for the cost of 1 unit of Yari Cavalry, you can get 3 units of Yari Ashigaru. And with high honor and excellent weapons and armor, even only one of them can hold their own against many other types of units.

    One note about battlefield use of Yari Ashigaru - they are kind of bad in a stand-up fight, but they do have uses. Ideally, make them in a place with an armory - added durability goes a long way, especially against arrows. Moreover, they run faster than standard spear units, so if you keep them back, you can have them attack (and flank, we hope) any incoming cavalry units. They work surprisingly well against Yari Cavalry. Also, since they're cheap, you can use them as disposable units. In you bridge attack, if you send one or two groups of Yari Ashigaru across first, they will draw enemy fire away from your monks, letting a few more of them survive to form up, and at the same time deplete the enemy archer units. Yes, the peasants will panic and flee back across the bridge, but panicking peasants does NOT affect the morale of samurai units. Don't let them rout through another peasant unit, but they can flee past samurai fine.

    2. Samurai Archers combined with Yari Samurai are the premier force to field in the early stages of the game. At least two spear units provides the kind of ground cover your archers need to carry the battle. This should provide the backbone for any of your armies.

    3. As Cavalry and Warrior Monks become available, they provide the crunch factor needed to quickly break the enemy lines and/or rapidly flank their forces.

    4. Targeting if you are facing a significant number of enemy Samurai Archers in addition to enemy troops, make sure you focus your firepower against them. These units will cause more trouble for you than any others (and their loss costs your opponent more). Just remember once your archers have run out of arrows they can be used as ground troops.

    5. Fighting across a river is never an easy proposition. I find pounding two or three warrior monk units across will establish a solid bridgehead. If there is a second bridge, you can lure the bulk of the enemy forces to first bridge and then use your faster troops to cross over rapidly to flank the enemy forces. Once across take the time to bring all your forces across before going ahead. You don’t want to risk stretching your forces out too much.

    Tactical Combat - general guidelines:

    If you use quality troops and a well-balanced army, you should win all evenly matched battles. You should not start encountering difficulties until:

    1. Being attacked by an opponent with 1.5:1 to 2:1 odds in their favor. Wise use of terrain and inspired leadership will carry the day.

    2. Having to attack an archer heavy opponent up a hill. Careful maneuver and timing is critical. If you over-flank excessively, your opponent WILL shift all their forces to attack one side of your forces (and probably ambush you from a forest at the same time).

    3. In the defense, patience is a virtue. You will have time to adjust your troop formations as the enemy closes, paying particular attention to the disposition of your ranged units. They should be able to break up at least one closing infantry unit before switching fire to enemy ranged units.

    4. In the offense, patience is still a virtue. Generally if you outnumber your opponent they will not maneuver as aggressively against you, instead waiting for you to close and pepper you with their ranged units. Make use of terrain to close in on their flank without being shot at. Time your attacks so you hit them at the same time, don’t allow your troops to march into a meat grinder unless you absolutely have to.

    5. In huge battles where not all your troops appear at the same time, don’t be afraid to retreat out spent troops. Withdrawing spent archers will prevent them from being abused as foot soldiers when you can bring in more powerful troops. Caution – as you push your opponent back they will fall back on their own stream of reinforcements, so you may suddenly face a refreshed opponent crashing into your exhausted troops. Take your time and let your army regroup and switch out as needed.

    6. When defending against mixed forces with an archer/yari army (from the obligatory high ground), try to keep at least one or two archer units in reserve. You are going to run out of missiles long before the enemy does, and you definitely don't want to be forced to charge at all those archers because of lack of missiles. Conserve some of your missiles for breaking up that Yari Samurai charge forming up at the base of the hill. Many battles seem to have the tendency - Archers duel, Yari charge (broken up by archers and your Yari), Archers duel, Everything charge. You want to have arrows left over for that last archer duel and have him coming to you.

    7. Use loose formation and skirmish on for archery duels. Not only do you take fewer losses, but it also allows your own Yari to move through the archer formation easier when the time comes to blunt the enemy assault.

    8. WARNING re: Routing Units. These units CAN nearly destroy a unit they retreat back through. BE CAREFUL!! There is quite a bit of controversy about whether they should do this. For now, look out.

    9. Yes, enemy archers will run out of arrows. Eventually.

    Strategic Combat philosophy:

    I am only partway down the path of understanding all the subtleties to Shogun: Total War. I am merely listing some items I have noticed, strategies I like to use, and areas in which I need to improve.

    1. Play with all the realism options. Builds character. Makes little Daimyos grow up into big Shoguns.

    2. Treaties and alliances are essentially meaningless (except see above for other thoughts). On the plus side, when you are betrayed (and you will be), it does provide for a great deal of righteous anger and vicious battles.

    3. Improving the land and building ports and mines are key to making your economy more effective without having to attack anyone. You can generate such additional income from bigger provinces that it makes sense not to attack smaller, less valuable provinces. Good mines (silver, good) really provide the best return for your investment; they’ll have paid for themselves within two years.

    4. When you siege a castle, it will usually draw season after season of counter-attacks. Make sure you plan for this accordingly.

    5. Usually you cannot turtle in and try to “tech” too quickly. You will always have to build up your forces to keep the ambitions of your foes in check. Balancing economic, military and technology growth is a difficult proposition.

    6. Shinobi and Ninjas. I have survived four assassination attempts, but the latest brought down a level 3 general. I have not been using any Shinobi to protect my generals nor help pacify newly conquered provinces. At this stage, it will take several years before I can recover from this mistake.

    7. Shinobi Have lots of these guys running around. Their ability to stabilize provinces quickly and protect your generals is critical.

    8. Ninjas Frankly I don’t use them that often, and only against generals just before an attack. Killing Diaymos with assassination is a fairly dishonorable tactic and very chancy.

    9. Know when to retreat from a province! You can either lose two weakly held provinces or consolidate and only lose one. The choice is yours.

    10. Try to avoid killing the enemy Diamyo in combat, especially if they have a particularly strong realm. If they have no heirs, you may suddenly find all their provinces joining another Diamyo! I watched in horror as my clever battlefield maneuver destroyed one Diaymo only to raise Takeda to new heights of power! NOTE: By the same token killing off the last Diaymo can generate a great opportunity to strip away lands from the rebels without ****ing off anyone else. It’s worked in my favor in other battles, but just be aware it can be a double-edged sword.

    11. Taxes: If you’ve invested enough in enough Shinobi, you can afford to take your tax levels up a notch. They are only 100 koku.

    12. Armories, Swordsmiths: Keep upgrading your troops! Try to make as many of these areas as possible, the long-term benefits are enormous. Daimyo and Heir Comments:

    Daimyos and Heirs in the same army: Found a bug in the game which might explain some of the clans dying out too early. If you place an Heir in charge of a set of units - then place your Daiymo in charge of the same units (i.e. in charge of his heir) - then if you take those units into the battlefield when you come back out to the board (even if you haven’t lost a man) you have lost your heir - he’s gone, vanished, @#%$! I thought that this was just something for me to be aware of until I saw the Hojo do the same thing. Hojo attacked me with 2 armies from 3 nearby provinces. His heir is in an archery unit in one of the armies. He attacked me with his Daiymo and heir - I kill the daiymo and his army flee - NONE of his archers were killed (it was a river crossing battle) - yet Hojo clan is wiped out - no heirs!!!!! (if he draws his second force from the other province then I can happily wipe out all of them and his heir takes over). This may be why games never go the full length and most clans are extinct within 20 years or so. That and the fact that Daiymos really shouldn't charge at bridges at the head of a 1700 strong force. This needs fixing because it really spoils the game knowing that you can simply sit at a bridge and watch Enemy Daiymos come kill themselves at it until they are all dead.

    Death Wish Daimyos: They charge into battle oblivious to the odds against them, even when they really shouldn't. They'll charge a unit of archers that's pounding them instead of trying to escape. Last night Lord Mori and his pals bought it hard when they tried to run at a little archer unit in the middle of my line - it was something on the order of a 800 arrow salute from units ranging in honor from 2-4, and completely annihilated the 9 remaining men in his unit (dropped 60 yari ashigaru with one volley just a bit before that). No human would rush a daimyo at a long line of men unaided, but good old Mori seemed content to charge with just a squad. And the Daimyos with an heir that's too young to inherit are almost worse than their fellows. I've ended the game a whole bunch of times now by either killing enemy Daimyos myself or having the Rebels and Ronin do it for me. You'd think that they should be more conservative when they're the "last of their line", wouldn't you?

    The birth of heirs is apparently historic as is the honor level rating they are given. Deaths of daimyos and heirs on the other hand are not based on history but whatever the game’s aging algorithm is. In some clans, the heir’s clan name changes. This is apparently related to actual historical events. Also, the game aging algorithm will allow apparently fertile 105 (for example) year-old daimyos to suddenly being producing heirs again after a long hiatus. Some forum posters are saying historically, this is grandchildren.

    Castle Sieges: I think it is too easy to just sit and siege castles. There is never any real point in fighting a castle battle because units besieged in a castle will die in around 1-3 seasons. Also, when attacking an enemy Daimyo in a province that has a castle and he retreats, he always retreats inside a castle. This is not good because 1-3 seasons later he dies from starvation. I killed 1 Daimyo and 2 of his heirs this way in 5 turns. End of a very large Oda clan, as the clan didn’t come to his Daimyo or his heirs' aid!! Bit of an anti-climax really. I have never had to waste men in a castle fight!

    Use of Priests/Churches: Building churches, and later the cathedral, increases koku production. Very valuable capability. I think Priests are more useful than Shinobi except in the defensive counter spy role, and as good as Ninjas in the spy role:

    1. They can begin the process of conversion in an enemy province years before I'm ready to invade a province. If the province rebels, so much the better. If not, once I do conquer the province, the province is less likely to rebel, loyalty rises faster (I think), with a smaller military garrison. No other unit can do this.

    2. They are cheap to build compared to any military unit, even Yari Ashigaru. So I can afford to keep them in one of my provinces to keep the level of Christianity high. This lets me cut any garrison I might otherwise need. The cost/benefit ratio versus any military unit in rear areas is very good.

    3. They work as well as Shinobi and Ninja as spies, and are 25% of Ninja cost and 50% of Shinobi cost. I can lose 4 priests (having gathered 4 times the info) and break even versus the cost of using a Ninja as a spy.

    Availability of Monks and Gun Units: If construct your temple before you convert to Christianity to get gun units, you can still construct warrior monk units.

    Honor, Armor, Weapons: Honor affects a unit offensively and defensively, whereas armor only increases defense (which includes defense from ranged attacks?), and weapons increase offense (which don't include arrow fire?).

    But an increase of one in honor affects offense for that unit the same as an increase in one of weapons. And conversely, increase in one of honor affects defense for that unit the same as an increase in one of armor.

    Honor increases will affect both offense and defense of such units simultaneously. But armor or sword upgrades will affect offense of all unit types created in that province (only hand-to-hand attacks are affected). So take your pick given that info what you're after more: a quicker overall improvement of one unit, or an increase in defense or offense of a group of units more quickly. Decisions, decisions..

    Personally, I find that raising honour is the best way to have superior troops, although improved armor and weapons sure doesn't hurt. That's the reason that the Emperor's province has the bonus that it does: it's the best bonus. Of course, I believe that the province is lacking in iron sand deposits, which makes the province to the right (Omi, is it?) a better spot for building Naginatas and just general troops. Kii is best for warrior monks, and there's a province in the middle (Iga?) that gets great ninjas. It's no wonder that Oda was so successful - he owned the lands that had or were near everything you need to build the best armies in the game. Heck, he even had decent farmland to the northeast (in actual Japan) and he could nab two more from the Mori clan.
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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
    edited June 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (8).

    Third of three posts from the original TW website. The original post is too long to fit into a single post here, so this is the second half.


    Morale: Morale is like how eager your guys are for combat. On the unit icons at the bottom in the battles, there is no direct morale listing, but if you see the little white flag appear, they ain't happy.

    Here are the levels:

    Impetuous: They're raring to go! In fact, they will often ignore you if you tell them to fall back! They'll charge out into battle, even if they're outnumbered a zillion to one. Usually no-dachi and monks are like this. Steady: This is what you want. They're ready to rumble, but will follow orders. In a melee, they will go looking for their next opponent.

    Uncertain: They're tired, but still behind you. They'll follow orders, but will want to catch their breath before they go looking for their next fight.

    Wavering: Okay, now they're having second thoughts. At this point, their status icon has a flashing white flag. They're not breaking yet, but they have lost confidence.

    Running Away: They blew it. Now they've panicked and are legging it for the horizon. You still might be able to Rally them, but they're not happy any more. The morale bonuses are mostly to keep them from dropping too quickly. A palace-based unit is supposed to start off a little higher, so that it takes longer for them to get scared. Again, combat situations will influence morale. Being flanked sucks. Being shot at by guns is a real downer. Being separated from the rest of the army is bad. Keeping orderly units - good thing! Having the daimyo right in there is another bonus.

    Gun Units: I have found them extremely good for bridge defenses, because they have a whole lot more ammo than archers. two units of musketeers can fire pretty much non-stop for a whole battle without running out of ammo. if you have 4 muskets, and say three good melee units like monks, naginata, or heavy cav, you can hold a bridge against thousands. make sure your muskets are in double line, angled slightly towards the bridge, and positioned far enough back so that archers on the other side can't get them. They will mow down the attackers and the bridge will be absolutely covered in dead (his, not yours). However - always have 3 or 4 archers back-up, and and preferably some cav archers as reinforcement units. If the enemy attacks when it is raining you can hold the bridge with what you've got, withdraw your muskets and bring the cav archers up quickly. However, as archers ammo is much more limited you're gonna need more of 'em to do the same job.

    Muskets similarly are good to hold ground behind an attack led by cavalry. Use cav to clear enemy archers from the high ground (from the flank, not uphill), and move a couple of units of muskets onto the high ground to give your cav cover while they re-group. Related to this - if you can decimate a defending army with cav charges early, and bring muskets up to cover the reinforcement spot, you can stop him getting fresh reinforcements maneuvered into position. A couple of volleys followed by a quick yari cav charge will pretty much rout any fresh unit that comes on. Of course, you can only really attack in summer if you want to use muskets and cav.

    I've found the gun units pretty useful, esp. Musketeers. Some tips. Keep in skirmish if you want them to run back if the baddies get too close. Also, if you form up in two rows and remain in fire at will, and don't give specific targets, the unit will hold fire until the enemy comes in effective range until a deadly volley is fired. Another one of these by another gun unit makes most units run especially if you're using two rows of guns. You can use multiple rows like 3-6 to have higher rates of fire but in less volume of fire. Shooters who have just fired run back to the back of the formation while fresh loaded ones move up to firing positions. Think of it as leapfrogging in one place. I tend to have a 50/50 mix of two row/4 row gun units. Two rowed ones to decimate close in attackers and the others to just shoot at everything with their higher rates of fire. Also, the 2+ rowed formations turn and set up much more quickly to a surprising flanking maneuver than the wide spread 2 rowed ones.

    Weather Effects: As attacker you should take advantage of the weather! If you know he has lots of archers, attack on a windy day. Gunmen got you down? Let it rain! Cavalry problems? Attacking in the Winter will slow them down and tire them out! Snow and rain will slow down and tire out the heavily armored guys like naginata, too.

    One of my favorite tricks is to attack a bridge in a heavy rainstorm with just ashigaru, monks and no-dachi. All of their missle units are useless! My units are unaffected!

    Rain, for instance, prevents arquebusiers and musketeers from firing; it also hampers bow accuracy, as does wind. Fog, well, that's an LOS issue -- it can seriously reduce the usefulness of archers, since those sohei might be able to get in MUCH closer. Snow tends to make units tire faster as they march, if memory serves. I wouldn't be too surprised if it also slowed 'em down somewhat. Snow might hamper arquebusiers; not sure of that. Don't make your heavy cavalry charge uphill in a snowstorm. Hints for playing at the expert level:

    1) Keep the funds flowing. Do not lose your big revenue generating provinces at the start. Better to spend the early cash on units (not building improvements) to secure your provinces, then you can build. If you don’t secure them you never will build anything anyway.

    2) Get intel - know what is going on around you - pick the one or 2 provinces that border the most adjacent provinces and build border towers (they cant be assassinated unlike emissaries). You need to know opposing army positions and constitution.

    3) You will need to move units around as the AI moves its troops almost every turn. As the AI builds armies you can’t outbuild all your opponents in aggregate. You have to do the best you can to use available units to counter threats against your most important provinces. The AI will pounce on unguarded provinces so follow its troop movements and have a welcoming party ready.

    4) Make sure you match the opposing troop types with appropriate counters. For example if you are playing Hojo and the Takeda are massing cavalry make plenty of Yari units not archers.

    5) Use geography. River provinces are hard to attack. So you can leave fewer units to defend them than you would for a flat province with little to favor the defender.

    6) Use Shinobi to improve loyalty and protect against ninja assassinations.

    7) Do not sit with large unused armies, especially ones larger than 16 units, until it is late in the game and you have plenty cash. Units cost koku for upkeep. Better to battle and reduce numbers on both sides, then with more koku in the treasury at the end of the year you can spend the extra on upgraded units. I try to always have 16 units in my frontier provinces when the AI has that number or more in adjacent provinces. However above 16 units you don’t really need to match it numerically. Have a reserve force centrally positioned so that it can replenish several provinces. In a Hojo game for example you can use Shimotsuke or Shimosa for this.

    8) Constantly recycle and move units to spread tired units between armies and combine depleted units to make a full strength unit. After a long tough battle the units will be tired for several turns (usually 2). So don’t leave a bunch of tired and depleted units as one army. Immediately do the recycling. The AI is not good at this. It will field depleted units. This means you will outnumber it from the start of a battle if you have done your recycling.

    9) Continue to monitor the constitution of the nearby armies and modify the composition of your armies to deal with those threats. For example if the opposition starts going with lots of archers you might go with cavalry. There are lots of forum threads dealing with the strengths and weaknesses of each unit type on this board. There is a counter to every unit type.

    10) Once you have secured your provinces against early threats, start building upgrades to make more cash flow such as mines, ports, and improved farmlands. Once the cash is flowing, work on unit upgrades, preferably in provinces that have a natural advantage such as resources for an armory or a bonus for a specific unit type (Like Totomi for Archers).

    11) The game is not won by building the biggest armies. You can only field 16 units at the start of a battle so concentrate instead on making them high quality. If your 16 can beat the best 16 that the AI can field you will win even if the AI has another 30 in reserve. Also any opponent fielding a new 16 units every battle because they are using cheap throwaway units will not build honor. If you concentrate on high quality unit types such as monks they will be around for the next battle, and after their victory gain honor further increasing their effectiveness.

    12) Don’t overextend in attacking. Best to start out by cautiously attacking one province at a time. Every time you acquire another province you get more border to defend so make sure you can hold your gain before going further.

    13) Pick targets that generate lots of Koku and that are weakly protected. I like gold mines personally (1200 koku per year with the mine complex upgrade) but there are rich farmland provinces like Sagami or Mutsu that are attractive. The best is provinces that combine both like Dewa. This province can earn you serious cash and the AI doesn't defend it very vigorously.

    14) Make alliances. The AI often breaks them (the clans differ in their reliability) but there are advantages. The biggest is that if an ally Daimyo dies you will acquire a portion of their territory and army if they have no heir.

    15) Check the koku tab every turn (that button to set the tax rate). Always end the turn with no provinces below 100% loyalty if you can. If you reset the tax rate and click the button again you will see the modified loyalty based on the new tax rate. After acquiring new territory you may need to leave a large army on site or reduce taxes for a while until loyalty is assured.

    16) The AI is ruthless in attacking provinces with weak armies. It tends to go for a rapid land-grab at the start - and that’s also what you need to do.

    17) The key to expert is to produce only the minimum required units at the beginning - you need to spend as much of your koku as possible upgrading your lands - koku is the key - mines, ports and land upgrades. The AI is (even on expert) ridiculously wasteful in its own expenditure so you generally have plenty of time to get things done.

    18) Don’t try to build unit-producing castles in every province. This is a waste - I generally get by with only 2 or 3 unit producing provinces for the entire game, good unit rotation, planning, and narrow attack routes means that you only ever really need about 6 or 7 armies to complete the entire map.

    19) Watch out for ninja and geisha which the AI does use a lot more of at this level. Attacking an army on a hill:

    Comment - THIS IS NOT ABOUT ‘CAMPING’ IN MULTIPLAYER. There are also a LOT of ways to beat a defender on a hill. The following is only a selection of ideas. Remember, no pre-determined tactics are going to win every time.

    Have 2 units of Yari Ashigaru. You can expect to lose them, but put them in a loose formation and put them in front of the defender’s archers. The enemy archers will open fire and eventually your Ashigaru will run off. The idea is to either completely run him out of arrows or at least sorely depleted his arrow supply. Make sure it’s a loose formation so the Ashigaru can last longer and tell them to hold position.

    Most maps with hills have other hills that allow the attacker even ground or even higher ground in some. You probably will have the problem of the attacking army being tired due to climbing up the hill. If this happens and you can, rest your men.

    The attacker has an advantage the defender does not. Choosing when to attack. To take full advantage of this, choose the worst weather possible and attack with a melee majority army. Some range units are still useful, however, so don’t just go with all melee units. Defenders are likely to have a lot of range units so bad weather cuts down defending ability significantly.

    Wait for bad weather and poor visibility to attack so your enemy gets little warning.

    If I'm going after a hill, I try to come in from multiple axes. The defender expects you to take a frontal approach generally, and if you can push him from two different angles he gets all disorganized. I like to come in from a 90 degree and -45 degree pairing, personally, because it makes him work on refusing his line, creating a weak joint. Attacks en echelon work well too, because he will probably move his reinforcements to one end of the line. This leaves the rest weak. The ideal hill attack would involve softening him up with missile fire (if practicable), then sending in the infantry from multiple directions all at once. The tangle at the hilltop should be really hard for the defender to sort out.

    Cavalry archers on melee work well for removing archers, as they are fast enough to escape should there be any Yari Samurai or Yari Ashiguru around. They are able to turn and fire back. They are good for 'drawing' your opponent off the hill by which time your other troops are in a position to attack.

    As much as you can, you need high honor men to counter the hill/height advantage. The other way is making sure you remove or distract his melee forces. I find 2 units of Naginata attacking on his flank with 3 honor can hold out long enough for a force of high honour Yari Samurai and No-dachi to break his back. Keep a unit of 0 honor Yari Cavalry available to chase his most dangerous units down when he runs. The only thing about this strategy is, it’s entirely based on timing, the key is to getting him/her to split his forces. You can expect to kiss your Naginata goodbye. Two units against a whole army won’t survive too long but it is enough to buy time.

    Reinforcements:

    If you stack more than 16 units (say two groups of 16) in a province to battle it out, as units become obliterated, reinforcements arrive from the edge of map ready to take up the place in battle. This occurs in battles you manage and in AUTORESOLVE battles.

    If the number of units you have on the field drops below 16 new units arrive. One nice thing you can do is order (ctrl+w) a weakened/tired unit or archers low on ammo to retreat off the field and it will be replaced by a fresh unit.

    If one of your unit has only 10 or 20 men left who are "TOTALLY EXHAUSTED" I usually tell them to withdraw by hitting ctrl+w. Several advantages to that:

    1. Obviously you get fresh meat in the battle as reinforcements.
    2. A group of highly depleted and very tired men are more than likely to run when faced with enemy reinforcements. This will affect your entire army's morale badly. So, withdraw them before they run.
    3. The 10 or 20 guys left standing usually has a honor level at least 1 or 2 points higher than the original unit. After the battle you can merge that unit with another high honor unit and the resulting unit will practically unstoppable, especially with a good general. Just try attacking any group of infantry with a level 4 monks and see how fast the enemy turn and run

    This FAQ is not/may never be complete.

    Compiler: JeffM
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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,596Registered Users
    edited June 2010
    When using arquebus and musketeers, putting them in 2 ranks will have the entire unit fire at once (and take a long time to reload). Once in 3 or more ranks, they will use volley fire (to cut down on reloading time at the cost of firepower per volley).
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  • Polemistis81Polemistis81 Senior Member Posts: 130Registered Users
    edited September 2010
    Great topic, I laughed with the Ashigaru posts, I personally don't use ashigarus on the battlefield which makes it harder for me to win. Do you have any idea what things from Shogun 1 are going to find their way in Shogun 2.
    PS Are you a girl?
  • Yoo Ji-taeYoo Ji-tae Senior Member Posts: 277Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    I don't play this anymore however you have my thanks just for the fact you took time writing this^^
  • Mikkel the greatMikkel the great Member Posts: 54Registered Users
    edited July 2011
    My eyes hurt after reading this, but good there are people who still care about this good old classic!
    SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE DLCS!


    'Dirty scumbag commie' warband player.
  • bajabaja Junior Member Posts: 5Registered Users
    edited May 2012
  • NisemonoNisemono Senior Member Posts: 928Registered Users
    edited May 2012
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