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War College Talkback

Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior MemberSingaporePosts: 3,597Registered Users
edited July 2010 in SHOGUN: Total War
From the original thread. I am condensing individual posts. This thread contains selected posts of the accompany discussion on War College Thread. Selection was based on the on-topic-ness and informativeness of individual posts. (I'm doing this to save labour and won't do a perfect or unbiased job, so sue me... I saved the original thread from the old Ezboard/Yuku board so you can ask for the original if you want...)

Originally started by King Haggard, holder of the Takeda Distinguished Chair of Advanced YS & Calvary Study, while co-appointed as the head of the School of Naginata Winter Tactics.

killemall54 (03/06/03) [Re: Basic principles of tactical combat/Naginitas]

Nags are good on the defensive to state the obvious. What is less obvious is that until upgraded they are relatively low quality and when the province is upgraded you will prefer to turn out nag cav or YS or YC, so I produce them every third or fourth slot.

Since they are so slow, don't stack them in your offensive armies. Leave that to WM and ND. Deploy them to guard river provinces and the front lines where you defend close to shore/ports. If attacked they will defend in any waether and and terrain. Acc.u.mulate them there and build honor in the fortune of defense along with missile units.

Then when you need to attack a river province and there are only a few: Chikugo, B.i.t.c.h.u, Awa, Kawachi, Owari, Mushashi, Shimosa and Echigo they are there to be your spearhead assault troops.

That's nine of 60 provinces and add three for defensive provinces likey to be attacked. A total of 1/5 provinces where they can be effectively deployed in any campaign. And they don't come onstream until later.

Overall, arrows/Missiles are 25 to 50%,YS, and WM 25 to 50%. ND and cav and Nag 20/25%. For mid game bridge cross battles nags can be 50% and archers 50% diluted by kensai, BN, YA and cav.

The nag weapon is lethal, the ability to use it lessens the utlity. No more than 12.5% of total forces available should be nag inf and the actual is half that because of the opportunity to use them correctly. As the human player, you are on the offensive so there is no need to overproduce them.

Tomago (03/11/03) [Warrior Monks]

They are amazingly superior. I often try to build balanced armies per your suggestions: a unit or units for every variable the enemy might throw at you. But recently, I found myself going against Takeda, playing as Mori, and defending Kai as I was moving fresh units of WMs up from one of my ports.

I found myself against 1200+ archers, YS, YA, CA and others. (I am always amazed at how fast the AI can heap together an army on the "Hard" setting) I was not expecting an attack and had five units of WM, one unit of YC, and one unit of YS. My Monks were fully loaded with Armor, Weapons and Honour.

I rushed them down the hill at this massive army and Takeda freaked (and suffered massive casualties).

laughin****igaru (03/13/03) [Bridge Crossings]

Now how did bridge crossings fail to enter the war college?
The most casualties of any attack/defense are bridge crossings. I tend to play to reduce as much death as possible, bridge fortifications tend to make me attack during winter when it's foggy, I leave 60% of my army behind and send the remainder to force the opposition to attack over the bridge and rout, the ensuing chase by the enemy leads them into a fresh balanced unit.

When the enemy routs, I chase them with the fresh unit, and march the remaining 40% back over to the bridge to defend against a second wave of enemy attackers should they appear.

While a mad rush over the brdge with arrows and yari appear nice, I lose too many men that way.
Anybody got any ideas on bridge crossings with minimal casualties?

King Haggard (03/13/03) [Re: Bridge Crossings]

There used to be a lot of threads on that, from cheap tactics like luring the AI with an ashigaru unit and depleting the enemy arrows with a naginata unit (or worse, with many ashigaru units) to tricks of what assault units are best to cross a bridge and pessimistic advice on the casualties you can expect. I wrote a bit myself but didn't save it. I hoped to write some more basic tactics before getting to bridge crossings, though I am aware that they are troublesome to most people.

Turchigawa (03/13/03) [Re: Bridges]

Not that I'm an expert, but the only real successful bridge crossing I did as an attacker was with the Takeda. I sent three calvary archer units across before the Ueseugi could cover it. Then I charged one unit of heavy calvary and naginata calvary after another. I was surprised but it worked out that I only suffered a few casualties.

My favorite river defender story is when I foolishly left two (2) units arquibieusers (sp?) alone in a river provice (Chikuzen, I think). The Shimazu attacked with two (2) units of warrior monks a unit of yari calvary, archers and yari samurai. I ordered the gunners to hold formation and watched as they annihilated any unit as it exposed itself as it crossed the river. I remember a lone monk rapidly approaching my line while they reloaded and fired at the last second. I even had the calvary running away! Of course, using guns effectively is an entirely different story.

Asua (03/26/03) [bridge attacks]

I just spent a hour composing this post and it came out so truncated that I hope that no one pays any attention to it. I am so frustrated that with my self for not clicking the right thing that I can't even begin to rewrite it now. *slaps himself in the forehead*:lol

I guess it really does hold true that the first casulty of war is the plan, even if it is one as dimunitive as planning to post a reply on a message board.

(name of poster is lost) (03/27/03) [On to Bridge defense]

This is the easiest defense in the game, personally I tend to have a sort of set pattern for units whereby the Ashigaru line the entrance to the bridge protecting a few ranks of archers and the No-Dachi in wedge formations await the enemies crossings, they tend to send their Ashigaru or Yari Samurai accross first...

The rest is predictable enough.

Anyway this works for me very well but I'm not saying it's the best tactic by any means.

Turchigawa (03/31/03) [Bridge strategies]

OK, I'm sure you already know both of these but:

1. if you have a calvary-rich army: race the cal. archers across and have them flank and pick at infantry units. Then charge heavy calvary against archers and naginata calvary against other infantry units. That was the biggest bridge slaughter I've ever accomplished.

2. if you have two (2) bridges. Leave one completely undefended and put your slow units on a hill. Then march your calvary units across their less-well defended bridge taking that side. They should start crossing the first bridge with their better units. Annihilate their slow moving units on the far bank, then take the remainder out at your leisure.

DriverX (04/14/03) [Defensive Bridge strat., and a question.]

I used to try to defend bridges, but my casualties were always pretty high (not as high as the attackers, but plenty high) so now i just usually put my units on a hill behind the bridge, defending it like a normal province. The bridge then makes it easy to block off the escape route, so i can ensure that they take heavy casualties when they rout. Calvary archers can be used to harrass the enemy as they cros the bridge as well.

As for a question, i recently bought the Warlord Edition (i've had the first shogun for over a year now) and in the manual it says emisarries can bribe armies, and i've seen computer emisaries with the mission of offering bribes, but i can't figure out how to do it myself. (i haven't found out how in the manual either) perhaps this is something you could add to the War College post

(KH's answer: Just drop the emissary on the army to bribe.)

Perihelion (07/11/03)

You can check the BFN attack and defence values in game during battle, by pressing F1. Same with Kensai's. Basically, the kensai is about 20 times stronger than the average YS (Comparing 2 attk to 20 attk that is) and the Kensai also has a very large defnece value. BFN follow along the same lines, slightly weaker in defence and offence (according to those values that is)

Well just like the fact that the AI always move after you do, I guess its only resonable for the AI to know exactly where your daimyo is.

I think the rebel cheat was .conan, but it only works in the unpatched version of the game, and I don't know if it works in WE or MI.

(from a poster whose name is lost: .conan. does work with MI.)

(MT's note: the stats can be found in troopstats.txt inside the STW folder. Open it with notepad or your favourite text editor.)

Superchief (08/18/03) [AI strat interesting]

I have noticed that whenever I attack a bridge province the AI always stands back from the bridge and waits until I start crossing before attacking.

They usually meet me right after my first set of troops have completly crossed the bridge or when a few of my men have crossed.

So far their strategy has cost them the province every time.

I usually have two archer units - one on each side of the bridge entrance - to fire on the enemy.

Then I send in my foot soldiers. The only thing I NEVER do is attack with only YA - I always team them with another foot soldier type.

I send the other unit (a YS or ND or WM) across the bridge, then take my next unit - switch to wedge - and attack right when the first unit it halfway across the bridge. This way if the enemy has a large force waiting for my 1st unit the second will (hopefully) increase the moral of the 1st unit and scare the enemey a little.
If I have any YA I usually use them last because they like to run. Also using them last is a good way to stop the first units from routing.

Perihelion (08/19/03) [AI strat interesting]

I think the AI is programmed to follow the Art of War, that is to start attacking 'when the enemy is half way across the bridge'. How the AI executes it is a mystery to me, most of the time they do meet the troops just as they have passed the bridge, but if the AI has strong troops it is a very effective strategy to beat off any attacker.

If the AI has you in a pocket just after you cross the bridge, shouldn't you be at a disadvantage? The AI has projectiles pouring on top of you, plus if the bridge head is wide, the AI can attack you from 3 sides.

I'm amazed that your troops don't flee at the sight and engagement of a large AI force waiting for you...

On a side note, I don't think YA fleeing effects any other unit's morale, because the samurai's saw them as lowly peasants and 'are not worried by them routing.'

Unless, you have guns in your army.

Viscount (08/19/03) [Speaking of guns,]

After a few sharp defeats for my preferred "New Model" army (polearms and muskets at a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio w/ cavalry support) I've rethought a few of my stances on muskets (again):\|I .

4 ranks deep is preferable to 3 when a prolonged missile engagement is forseen as casualties can be replaced to keep up the rate of fire. Once an enemy musket unit losses it's frontage and is reduced to two ranks, their rate of fire drops severly. Occupying a smaller frontage means the units are easier to cover with pikes as well.
When four musket units are well supported by pikes it can be useful to deploy two units 3 or 4 deep and the other two in two ranks. The idea being that the deeper units will cover the thiner lines who, every 20-24 seconds or so will each deliver a crushing single salvo to add to the fire of the volley-fire units.

Something like this:

Y= yari, m= muskets




Shinano (08/19/03) [Re: Speaking of guns,]

Viscount I think you'll find that three ranks is best, even in a prolonged missile duel. Sure the rate of fire will drop when they get reduced to 2 ranks but you can every so often reform them into 3, just after they have fires so that you don't lose any time.

It looks to me like you would get a lot of Freindly Fire casualties from that setup...I usually use something like



With some yari cav and cav archers on the flanks. And actually I prefer to bring a mix of ND and YS as this gives you more h2h power.

Viscount (08/21/03) [Re: Speaking of guns,]

Three ranks *does* give optimum fire output and and I still deploy them so quite frequently. Four ranks merely makes for a tighter formation (less likely to get chewed up on it's flanks by stray enemy troops).
Friendly fire isn't too bad if all musket units are in line one behind the other. The formation gets dense, sure but the front ranks all line up more or less.
If only they could fire by platoons........

Perihelion (08/21/03) [Re: Speaking of guns,]

I think what Shinano meant by the friendly fire was that the YS standing in front of those muskets in the back would get shot in the back.

(name of poster lost) (08/21/03) [Re: Speaking of guns,]

I would think that the guns would shoot the guns in front of them as well...I played a game with someone in a castle assault and he had several units of guns firing at my troops from inside the castle...he had over 300 freindly fire casualties...

(name of poster lost) (08/31/03)

About the guns and freindly fire casaulties...if the guns don't have a clear line of sight the won't fire...so if you put several guns in front of eachother you won't get the optimum rate of fire, though freindly fire casualties are low. If you want to know how to use guns read through some of the threads in the STW archives at the org...guns are used in MP alot and there is much more MP discussion there then here. This particular bit of information was from a post by MizuYuuki at the org.

King Haggard (09/10/03)

Usually I leave one or two shinobi. You can leave ashigaru as well if it's a border province or with particularly low loyalty. I prefer shinobi since the ashigaru won't counterspy.
The game counts the number of men. Leave at least one full unit to start with.
Equipment doesn't have any effect on loyalty that I've noticed.
The border fort acts a counterspy in its own province. More shinobi will provide added security. It will provide spy information on adjacent enemy provinces. If you have a province with border forts next to one of your provinces without, it won't give you any benefit in the second province.
Much more economical to just train many shinobi though, if defense is the idea.

Superchief (09/10/03)

I think I read in the manual for STW (the original) that the populance of a newly conquered province could be kept from rebelling when you place Ashigaru units there (I guess the thinking is that since the Ashigaru - who are in the same heirarchy economicaly as the local peasants - are guarding and defending the newly won province the populance can relate to them; keeping resistance to a minimum).

King Haggard (09/10/03)

I am pretty sure that just means that ashigaru are the cheapest unit, and province loyalty depends on number of troops, not quality. Provinces with a unit of battlefield ninja will rebel every turn, but the same provinces with two units of ashigaru will not rebel. (Ten times as many men, a third of the cost.)

Togakure OJonin (09/13/03) [Attacking Bridge Provinces w/ fewer Casualties]

Ah ... this is so fun. 6-8 archers, 6-8 spear, no more than 2 of the spear ashi. Attacker? nothing else necessary against 960 or less defenders - no matter what they are. No naganita required, though they help a little in soaking up arrow fire if you've got 'em. Use them first, but remember they're slower that spear, and quite a bit slower than ashi.

March archers to river's edge. Arrange in two-row deep formations, one unit directly behind the other, on each side of the bridge if terrain allows. First two units on each side are set to fire at will. Others behind them set to hold fire until ordered.

Spearmen are arranged in long columns, only 4 wide, close formation, and set to hold formation. Arrange these behind the archers. Yes, you will lose some spearmen (so before you attack the province, have replacements ready in an adjacent province).

Take one spearman and position directly in front of bridge. If you have Ashi, use them first to soak up arrowfire. Order them to march to the otherside. Click just in front of the enemy archers. When the archers start to fire at them, order them to run. Enemy spear/horse/monks will rush them at a certain point. Pay close attention to the attacker's speed, and a little before they're engaged, order them to RUN back across the bridge. The enemy will follow, and your archers will tear them up. Yes, your one ashi unit got hit pretty bad by the enemy archers, but so what?

Make sure to stop the ashi just on the other side of the bridge in case monks/horse make it all the way across without running because of the arrow fire and heavy casualties (this rarely happens--they run back out of range). If the ashi flee, move another spear unit up to block the bridge on your side. The enemy will reassume positions behind their archers.

Move the damaged spear unit to the back of your army and let them rest (if they weren't decimated so bad that they flee the field). If they did, no biggie. Select the next spear unit. Repeat the process, one spear unit at a time, until all but the enemy's archers have been severely reduced by your arrow fire. Remember though, position each spear unit right in front of the bridge before ordering them to march across so they're aligned with it in a 4-man wide formation. This way they don't get hung up on the narrow bridge as much.

Two things to keep in consideration regarding your archers. 1) If the enemy flees back to its original position sometimes some units will straggle just within range to draw your fire. Order your archers to cease fire if this happens. You don't want to run out of ammo. 2) if the enemy general charges the bring, order ALL of your archers, including those you originally ordered to hold fire, to fire. DO NOT order them to fire at anything specifically as this often triggers them to try and march across the bridge. Just select them and click on the fire-at-will button and let them do their thing.

If your archers in the front two rows on each side of the bridge run out of ammo, move them behind the reserve archers, and move the reserve archers up to the river edge and set them to fire at will.

If horse charge across the bridge, turn your spearmen back around and immediately attack them when they have reached YOUR side of the bridge, and reverse the choke point on them! Double whammy--archers AND spear nailing them. Major enemy casualties. If they're monks, they're history.

At a point after repating this process 4-5 times it will be obvious that the remaining non-archer enemies will not be able to hold your remaining spearmen. Leave the archers where they are to provide cover fire, select all ground units, and have them CHARGE across the bridge. If any enemy units try to block the bridge, charge them at this point. They are so reduced in numbers, morale, and endurance that you will crush them no matter what they are (the monks are all dead or fled by now from the arrow fire). When you reach the enemy side of the bridge, select ALL units and charge the archers, changing to loose formation until you are about to close with them. The entire enemy army will route. Stay on their butts to assure they flee the field.

This method works for me EVERY time, on expert level. Yeah, I lose about half my spear (but those that live gain honor). And if they have Cav archers, sometimes I'll lose a few of the archers closest to the shore.

But if you were to autocalculate a bridge province battle as the attacker, you better have 3 to 4 times the troop strength as the enemy, or you WILL lose. However, an equal number of troops can take the province using this method I've described, and you will have FEWER casualties than the enemy in what is supposed to be a defender's paradise (bridge crossing).

Fortunately, the AI doesn't use this attack method, so when YOU defend the province, autocalculate and you will win against attacks of up to 4 times your troop strength!!

Just remember to really watch the timing when the enemy attacks your single spear "bait" units ... turn them around and run them back at just the right time. The enemy should be right on their heels, but should not engage them. That's the only tricky part really. That and not running out of arrows.

Try it ... it's awesome, and once you've taken the river province, all you need to leave there is and evenly distributed army of SA/YS, about 2/3 the number you'd leave to defend a a non-river province. Of course, the honor level of your troops should be about the same or better on average as the enemy's. River provinces are great choke points on the strategy map, as AI enemies will often launch massive attacks against them again and again AND LOSE if you autocalculate(Musashi and Owari in particular because of the wealth and strategic defense value they represent.

Owari's a bit trickier with two bridges, but easier actually ... . But enough for now.

The US military uses this tactic often today with modern "ranged" weapons and ground troops (though armor usually handles the baiting).

Togakure OJonin (09/13/03) [Re: On Backwater Garrisons]

I leave 1 ashigaru and 1 shinobi in backwater provinces, unless it's a port province. In port provinces I leave the above, plus and additional shinobi and a ninja. The ninja is there to immediately assassinate any emmisaries that come through and stay for more than one season.

[Then again, I tend to just produce shinobi in my strategic agent production centers every turn no matter what. By mid-game I've got so many that I can put two or three in every province if I wanted to. I don't usuallly though--I throw massive shinobi parties in enemy provinces and just move the rave each turn to the least garrisoned province accessible. These raves are so popular with the locals that they'll most often join the party--and rebel like crazy! When the enemy channels troops away from the front to deal with the ravers, wonderful opportunities for front line expansion tend to present themselves.]

I also build Border Watchtowers in every province (eventually, koku allowing). I generally don't build Border Forts (except maybe in Owari). Too expensive when you consider how cheap spies are.

I keep taxes at punitive to maximize koku (necessitating more robust garrisons, but ashigaru are cheap), and sometimes use the star system defense on Expert if the enemy is attempting port jumps. The star system defense is where you maintain small garrisions in most provinces but identify central provinces in each area. I keep a larger army in the central province that can move into any of the adjacent provinces under its protection to deal with an invader or a rebellion. I usually garrison the central province with 2 SA, 2 YS, and 2 ND (or BMs, if I've got the cash). Because of their expense, vulnerability in the woods, and capacity increase in castles, I don't use Cav for garrisons, generally. Besides, I need them on the front.

Togakure OJonin (09/13/03) [Re: Battlefield Ninja]

I luv these guys. Great port raiders, as the enemy doesn't realize their troop type and responds to a port jump raid with just a few troops. If you fight the battle (not autocalculate), your BFN will win easily, gain a victory for the general, and honor for themselves.

But the thing I do is make a 16-unit stack of nothing but BFN, with a 1-star BFN general to start with. BFN generate fear big time, so if you position well (head for high ground, manuever around the enemy in order to cut off retreat) the enemy will almost always flee--even if they outnumber you 6-1.

By the time your BFN general hits 5- 6-star rank, his troops are 3-4 honor on their own. Now you've got a stack of 5-6 honor BFN--the best port raiders I've ever seen.

Note on BFN battlefield tactics. In a stack with only BFN in it, only the Taisho (Banner-bearing unit) can be seen and attacked (until you order your other units to attack). I split the stack into 3 groups of 5 units, plus the taisho. I flank the enemy on both sides, and send the third unit behind them. It is easy to lure them out, because they gun for the taisho, who is all they can see. I use him to lure them where I want them to be.

When they're in an ideal position, I KILL THEM ALL, while my taisho stands up on a distant hill, smoking a cigar.


Togakure OJonin (09/13/03) [Apologies to the King]

Sorry for posting the detailed bait-and-lure tactic description--didn't realize that you'd requested not to hear about it.

Sounds like a pet peave ... hmmm. As I mentioned, it is a tactic that our modern-day troops use frequently with great effectiveness.

True, a 'live' player will not respond like the AI does. I'm curious to fight a bridge battle with a human opponent to explore this. Something to look into.

I've never fought on-line battles against another human before--my bigtime Achilles heel. I've played every period and every clan on Expert so many times now that its gotten somewhat boring, so I guess it's time to move into the VR world and start focusing on deep battlefield tactical skill development instead of campaign map invincibility.
Tally ho!

King Haggard (09/13/03)

I'm going to have to review all that tomorrow (kind of late here,) and probably ask you to copy them to the main War College thread. :)

About the geisha: late in the game I make every province with precious metals produce those. Since they already have a fortess, it's a small step from there to +2 shinobi, battlefield ninja, and giesha factories.

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Post edited by Maeda_Toshiie on


  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,597Registered Users
    edited July 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (1).

    Togakure OJonin (09/14/03)

    Re: building strategic agent production centers at mining centers--Interesting. You're right of course, the fortress is already there. I use those for another purpose (see below).

    I try to get my single geisha Supercenter going very early, and it is a very high priority, spending-wise. My goal is always to have geishas well before any other clan does. I'm pretty monopolistic when it comes to geishas. If an enemy geisha appears I destroy it (with one of mine), seek out its source with agents, and port jump (even if I have to sacrifice the army) with the intent of razing the province where the geisha was produced.

    What I do with topped-out mining centers is turn them into BFN production centers. I like to have 2-4 of those because by late game I like having a 16-unit stack of BFNs for port raiding and faking out the enemy when attacking small armies (when I know they can't see what my troop types are).

    As the BFN Taisho is the only one that can be seen or attacked, it's a piece of cake to use him as bait, split the others into 3 5-unit BFN groups, double flank and rear surround the enemy as they try to catch up with my taisho, and then clobber them (their taisho first, of course). Almost always, they run like hell immediately (right into the group I've moved to their rear).

    To the main war college thread? really?? You honor me ... (bow). The work you have done here is superlative. I intend to learn a lot from what you have written. I just got on-line for the first time in two years this weekend, so the STW, STW WE, MTW, MTW VI worlds have just exloded in my face. I'm amazed. And severely humbled (which is great; now I have so much more to learn!).

    ConjurerDragon (09/14/03) [Re: Attack/Defence values of units]

    I´m a bit confused about those attack/defence values.
    I used F1 to show them during a battle and my lowly
    Ashigaru had attack values of "0" and defence of "1".

    Now I know that they are not that effective, but 0?

    Does that mean if they attack someone they will never kill anyone?

    Aside from pressing F1 during a fight, is there a list somwhere with those values for all the units in the Warlords Edition?

    (MT's note: As I posted somewhere along this thread as an addendum to the original thread, the unit base stats can be found in troopstats.txt in the STW folder. The stats displayed by pressing F1 are those of the units when taking into account equipment upgrades and unit honour. As for seeing zero, or even negative values on the attack or defense stats, it does not imply that the unit cannot defend or kill at all. These values are used in a formula to compute the probability of killing in each combat cycle.)

    RSMAO (10/06/03)

    I must to correct myself:

    1. The cavalry question is a bit complex. To build the horse dojo you must build first a yari dojo OR (or and) an archery dojo. Both of them allow HC, but for NC the yari one is required.

    2. To build a gun factory is needed: citadel, armory and trading post (nationality is irrelevant). It's supposed to provide a honor point to musketeers and, in the case of the Portuguese trading post, is an other form to obtain them with one big difference: the gun factory acts as a "musketeer dojo" while the cathedral have a global effect (affect all the Portuguese trading posts of the owner clan).

    Togakure OJonin (10/08/03)

    This is in regard to the latest post by King Haggard in the War College.

    Just a couple of things I noticed in a quick read-over:

    - Churches require a large castle (at least in the MI/WE that I have).

    - Musketeers can also be built at a Gun Factory, and when trained here they get ain immediate +1 honor bonus. The Gun Factory requires that you become a Catholic Christian in agreement with the Portuguese. A Cathedral must exist in your empire, and in the province in which you intend to build the Gun Factory, you must first build a Citadel, Port, Portuguese Trading Post, and an Armory (which means initial musketeers trained at a Gun Factory have +1 honor AND +1 armor).

    A very nice and informative write-up!

    RSMAO (10/08/03)

    Hi Togakure, about musketeers and gun factories I remit you to my previous post in this thread. I tested that.

    RSMAO (10/14/03)

    From the War College:

    Citadel, armory, trading post (requires dock,) gun factory (requires a Cathedral anywhere in your domain.) This gives one honor bonus to musketeers."

    I must to insist: the gun factory only requires trading post, armor an citadel, but NOT cathedral (tested).

    "The gun factory requires the existance of a citadel? Doesn't that kind of defeat the point?"

    :x Arrrrggggg, :eek now I understand that sentence, you would say CATHEDRAL instead of CITADEL and no, it isn't needed.

    Togakure OJonin (10/15/03)

    RSMAO is correct: a CATHEDRAL is not required to build a Gun Factory. It is needed to produce musketeers at any Portuguese trading posts. My mistake.

    I am positive the Large Churches are required in order to build churches. That requirement has frustrated me somewhat in many a game.

    Yes, a citadel is required in the province in which you wish to build a Gun Factory.

    I build the Gun Factory when my existing infrastucture already allows for it (in Aki as the Takeda or Mori, or in Hitachi as Hojo). As an armory is required, musketeers built at a Gun Factory enjoy +1 honor and +1 armor. I have found them to be significantly superior in musket-to-musket shoot-outs with honor 0, armorless musketeers.

    Togakure OJonin (10/28/03) [Yet Another Correction; Info re: Guns and Revolving Fire]


    "I am positive the Large Churches are required in order to build churches. That requirement has frustrated me somewhat in many a game."

    I meant, " ... Large CASTLES are required ... ." All these words that start with a "C." I always got A's and B's, so I'm not real familiar with this letter. :p


    "PS: Harquebusiers (that's the correct word according to my dictionary) have 15 bullets and Musketeers 20, but they have a very low fire frequency, and only the first two ranks shoot at once, so they usually haven't time to deplete their ammunition. "

    Note that both Arquebusiers and Musketeers will use a revolving fire method when deployed in ranks of three or four. This increases their rate of fire dramatically, though it reduces the total number of shots fired per volley.

    I usually employ both methods. First I arrange gunners in rows of two, turn Fire-at-Will off, and approach the enemy (or let them approach me). When they are well within range, I select them all and click Fire-at-Will. They unleash a massive volley, usually killing a lot of the enemy front line troops. Then I pull them back and reform them into ranks of three (or, sometimes, four). From that point on they use the revolving fire method.

    These methods in combination are very effective in online play against human-commanded armies as well--the REAL test of battlefield generalship, IMO.

    musketmadness (10/30/03) guns on the battle of the bridge

    well, bridge battle are the worst casualty causer and can mean the difference between ur province been saved from the invaders, or being lost.
    one stradegy of mine is to use guns. 1: i luv them in STW, 2: they kick ass on bridges.
    if iam a defending the bridge, i place guns just out of bow shot from the other side of the water. the only way they can shoot me is if they go on the brideg and shoot, but that wouldnt do anything at all. when ever the enemies come on to my side of the water, i have already gotten a few shotts off and damaged their morale. but to make this plan work best, use alot of musketeers (i mean ALOT). also, be sure to bring ur mee-le units and maybe ever cavalry. try using guns to defend a bridge, and if u do it rite u'll see how they can loose tons of men and u will only lose a few:hat

    mimesakaakechi (10/31/03)

    If you set the muskets even farthur back to create a ring, you will cause the enemy to rout without losing any...they will have to march forward while being fired at by guns from all sides, this will cause low morale troops to rout instantly and you can cause a chain route.

    King Haggard (11/08/03)

    A wedge formation increases your unit's attack and decreases its defense. It is useful only when you want to do a lot of damage and aren't worried about getting attacked back. In other words, flanking. Not to be used in a head-on charge. I also use it when I send reservists into a melee, attack any unit from behind, attack ranged units with cavalry, or more rarely, want to gamble some normally defensive units like yari samurai in order to disrupt an enemy line.

    King Haggard (08/22/05)

    (A reply to 47Ronin Drisos on weather)

    I am not sure. Cold and snow, and sometimes heavy driving rains, happen in winter. Rain is very common in spring, and I think wind appears sometimes as well. Summer is almost always good days or windy (good days seem very common in general) and I don't really know about fall, mostly wind or clear days too I would say, or possibly cold (I rarely saw cold days, and don't remember if I only saw them in winter or ever got them in autumn too.) Fog commonly appears in spring and winter.

    You know, I never really paid enough attention to it; just attacked whenever I was ready and strategic conditions were good. My information on this matter is hardly accurate, and I'm going on a shaky memory. Maybe Killemall54 would know. If you would like to test it yourself in custom battles, please feel free to post your results in the war college thread.

    If you rely on ranged troops, attack in summer or autumn and you'll have clear skies to fill with arrows. If you want to sneak around, spring (or winter) will offer you poor visibility conditions and often harsh conditions for ranged troops. Winter will fatigue your units on long marches and make it difficult to attack.

    Sorry I couldn't help much.

    killemall54 (09/09/05)

    Well, thanks, King. I never did a study of the distribution of weather in a season, a year or over the game. Your remarks agree with mine as to the sense of when things happen.

    Still I have played and still do play a lot STW campaigns. As you know battles tend to be episodic in that you attack when you have the right mix of forces and there are prolonged periods of inactivity and second you are concentrating resources and combat in the areas where you are advancing your strategic goals.

    My sense is that you get more winter and snow battles in mountain provinces like Suo and Kai even though I have fought in blinding snow in Totomi.

    To do a weather guide you would have to fight in every province in every season. You would chart:
    Season----Province---Weather choices on pre-battlescreen
    (example) clear rain rain heavyrain
    clear clear windy rain

    You could refight a campaign by playing all the factions so you could chart battles for every province.

    In the end you would have a matrix of 4 seasons times 60 provinces times 4 weather prebattle choices (optionally times years). You will also have a distribution of where in which provinces the weather is most likely to occur or if the weather is just random and not associated with coastal or mountain or Northern or Southern provinces.

    I am not sure this kind of work would yield much useful information, but it would be informative of the mechanics of weather subsystem and its propensity to throw up certain outcomes. While arrows kill fewer guys in rain than in clear and the early blunderbusses are inoperable, it is more useful to know the weather effects. Snow does slow and fatigue cav and naganita more rapidly.Heavy storm can and should be used to rout vastly superior mongols and japanese forces. They are prone to panic when you attack under cover of lightning even with inferior forces.

    King Haggard (11/05/05)

    " 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."

    Thank you for reminding me - I did write a little primer on battlefield ninja use and never included it. I'll search for it; chances are it's still somewhere on this forum.

    King Haggard (11/05/05)

    The Mongols are very tough to beat on the attack. Their skirmishers and thunder bombers are an effective deterrent to any infantry you have. Avoid attacking uphill where possible. Try to keep to the high ground and keep an eye out for flanking movements of their cavalry.

    Groups of strong yari cavalry and a few cavalry archers, backed by a balanced force of archers and yari infantry may be a decent way to drive them off a good defensive hill. Encircle them and pin them to an area, and then bombard them with arrows as long as you can to soften up their lines. When carefully controlled, even slow-moving yari infantry can surround and "pen" the Mongol cavalry to where they must fight.

    Remember that when you attack, you decide when and with how many troops. Provided you manage to contain the Mongols and stop any reinforcements they send from joining up with their main invasion force, you have the advantage of time. Use it to train up powerful spear troops so that whenever you attack, you do so with as great an advantage as you can.

    The Mongols MUST attack constantly throughout their campaign, and they seem to know this, so it is often a good campaign strategy to feign weakness by pulling some of your forces back and "giving" them flat, poorly defensible provinces. They'll split their limited forces to take the province, which you can then immediately take back from them with a much stronger force.

    In my last campaign against them, the Mongols had thousands of troops in the last province I left them: the single-bridge river province near their original landing zone. I knew there was no way I could beat them without tremendous losses, so I baited them to send their forces out of there into adjoining provinces season after season, until all that were left guarding the bridge were several units of light cavalry and a unit of spearmen. I had my archers kill every last man of the spear unit at the foot of the bridge, and then rushed over my four yari cavalry units to engage and drive off the Mongolian light cavalry, removing their presence from Japan permanently.

    excetchzebe (08/28/06) ["Poles" & "Axies" Part I]

    Past six years that i play this game and for me, despite MTW (and RTW) it is still possibly the best enjoyment i got from a pc game. Just to give, even so anachronistically, my contribution in complement to what has been suggested previously in this and other threads.

    Poles & Axies - Part I
    As it has been hinted countless times before there are some povinces that are strategic goals and that usually "unlock" the door to occupy others far less strategic.

    Generally speaking the status of a province as "strategic" is determined by:
    a) the defensibility of the province.
    b) the koku return at present and the koku return potential (ie the profit with all the upgrades/ports/trding posts/mines).
    c) geographical importance ie how many provinces the province borders and it's distance to a "bottleneck" (eg Wakasa, Iyo, Kawachi etc). This is very important as it maximises the territory one can keep with a minimal aount of garisson armies.
    d) the development of the game at hand ie which teritorries factions control? which of these are accessible and how well are guarded? what troop producing facilities/centres existin what provinces?

    Obviously provinces that posess highly all of the listed properties/attributes rise in terms of strategic importance. Ie a province with a river that acts as a single connector between others, produces planty of koku and has been highly developed is an 100% (or very strong) pole. The more from this ideal a province deviates the less of a pole it is with such examples (as has been noted by King Haggard) Izu and Noto, and i would add also Osumi. Some teritorries have not very strong poles; in this case some provinces will develop to poles according to the style of play and game development. In this case the phrase "poles are not clearly defined" applies.

    According to my theory, conquest should follow the occupation of these provinces that i term as "poles", which in turn enable the building of axies ie lines of power/communication between poles. Such communication is obviously better accomplished through ports. Following this as a rough priority conquest guide (sometimes destroying the enemy's resource or troop building centres takes priority eg Hojo is coming after you with the Geisha while you have a famous tea-house! OR Shimazu is coming with hordes of high tech troops after you borders leaving his countless ports in his heartland undefended) should yield victory more steadily and with less snags in the way, as you'll find that once you firmly occupy the poles then you have a powerbase for expansion which puts the other clans into serious trouble.

    Since there are clearly geographically defined areas whithin Japan which correspond to geo-socio-political distinctions of the period (and of the present day in many cases actually) that are represented more or less by the territory the clans occupy in the Sengoku starting positions.

    Some territories have stronger poles than others ie their poles produce more money, are bottlenecks or closer to botllenecks
    and are more defensible; generally speaking these clans tend to do better (when all are starting with undeveloped provinces) eg the Shimazu tend to swallow Mori (that get misplaced somewhere else if not anihilated); as we'll see their poles are srtonger and more clearly defined than those of the Mori clan. The same happens with the Uesugi - Hojo pair; the Hojo tend to win the confrontation most of the time (if the player is not Takeda or Uesugi). The reason imo is that the Hojo (as we'll see) have stronger, more clearly defined poles.

    I will present individually each of the areas of Japan and their poles and axies and further expand on the usefulness of these concepts after the presentation.

    Central Japan (Kinki): This is the area the Oda clan occupies initially. Poles are: Owari and Kawachi, with secondary poles Yamashiro and Omi. The area is clearly defined and easily defended, all the more so because of the rivers in its primary poles; holding on to Kawachi and Owari will almost certainly certify your lordship on the area. Furthermore it has economic potential and plenty of resources and attributes such as the emperor's palace, iron and sand in Iga and Omi, the Owari Ahigaru and the Kii monks. The Oda Ai unfortunately goes for Yamashiro neglecting Kawachi which results in losing both.

    Hiroshima Area (Chugoku): This is the area the Mori clan occupies initially. Poles are: Aki, *****u and to a lesser extent Mimasaka with secondary poles depending on the development of the particular game. Harima and Bingo are secondary poles that unfortunately their defensibility is rather low and thus the player is forced to watch them activelythroughout the game as they will be threatened generally with good prospects. Unfortunately they are the ones that are economically viable as well. This in my opinion is what makes the Mori position even more dire than it is ie their economically important provinces are along a large (4 provinces!) border and are of low defensibility. This sucks-in large amounts of defensive troops (as the border is usually threatened by two different opponents) that prevents expansion as it reduces the koku available for building and maintaining an "offensive" army. The obvious resource advantage of iron and sand in almost all provinces is off-set by cash availability for the "native" clan. This is why Mori has to make for Kawachi asap or accept a deal with the Portuguese and start building ports (&trading posts) litteraly everywhere.

    Kyushu area: This is the Shimazu/Imagawa clan occupied southernmost island of Japan. Poles are: Chikugo and Satsuma with secondary poles Hizen and Chikuzen. Satsuma besides giving its fine No-dachi borders with Osumi, Hyuga and Higo ie all the eastern part of the island; Chikugo apart from being the most rice productive province in the island AND the most defensible has a similar position to Satsuma in the west side. Chikuzen and Hizen are listed due to their riches (port and riceoutput), it is not by accident that the Imagawa can subdue or hold indefinitely against the Shimazu if succesful defence of these is carried out. Anyone with views in Kyushu should take these out first as his contenstant will lose all the economic advantage and will in return get a bunch of provinces that are demanding in garisson but that result at a loss for it (due to upkeep costs).
    In part II:
    The rest of the map's natural poles and axies and ****ysis of expansion prospects from various territories taking them into account.

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  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,597Registered Users
    edited July 2010
    Continuation of the original thread (2).

    excetchzebe (08/29/06) [Poles and Axies Part II]

    Ok, so here goes the second part which concerns middle-north Japan. A few introductory lines: Central-North Japan is significantly more rich than southern (Kyushu, Shikoku and Chugoku); stable domination in this entire area or in most of it usually means that you are 75% Shogun. Provinces here are naturally rich (Echigo, Dewa, Mutsu, Kozuke, Hitachi, Musashi, Kai and Shinano are very to extremely wealthy) and thus the dominant clan makes usually its way southwards faster with more advanced troops unless the southern/central clans have the money (based on port/post trade & cathedral as the viable answer) and means (good troops and guns) to stop them on their tracks and have a fair chance.

    Poles and Axies Part II
    Tokai Area: This is the area extending North of the Oda territories and is occupied by the Uesugi, Imagawa and Takeda initially; it includes Shinano, Mikawa, Totomi, Suruga, and Kai; Mino may be considered as part of this area or of the Kinki (Oda) area since despite having iron and sand and being relatively defensible, its low output and many approaches mean that is better secured once the economy wheels are turning sufficiently. Musashi is a province that belongs to Kanto; nonetheless it plays a significant part in Tokai as well since it is such a strong pole that effectively acts as one in the Tokai area as well. The other pole of the area is Mikawa (and not Shinano!). Kai is a secondary pole. Mikawa, despite its low income suggests that your southern flank is secured; the river also makes sure that the province can be easily defended. Holding on to Mikawa and Kai is advantageous, holding on Mikawa and Musashi means almost victory.

    The area is seemingly dominated by the presence of Shinano; which according to my definition should be strong a pole: it is quite defensible, it has iron and sand, fine cavalry, not so bad rice output... despite appearances though and counter to intuition as many experienced players have found already and stated in many guides, threads and miniguides, Shinano is not worth taking unless the intending conqueror holds half of its adjacent provinces at least. This is because Shinano is the least "bottleneck" province in the map bordering with land all around; this drops the "polarity" dramatically according to the number of adjacent provinces that belong to rival clans. The more adjacent provinces you own the more Shinano is a pole; the less the less it is.

    Usually the winning combination comes from the east; ie w***ver has Mikawa, Totomi, Suruga, Kai and/or Musashi can take and keep Shinano with an economy of force and effort. This turns Shinano to a virtually very strong pole; the disadvantage is that this condition is fluid ie if someone is pushing you back or a clan reappears then Shinano's status might be reversed again.

    The reason for this is that Shinano is very prone to invasion from multiple opponents; this overruns its position advantage, defensibility, income and cavalry bonus as the position cannot be secured and thus developed (unless you like to see all the hard saved koku you spent on that horse Dojo wiped out by the various Takeda's, Uesugi's, Imagawa's or Hojo's); once you defended succesfully against one opponent another will spring as a mushroom. The usual pattern is that the first opponent will weaken you significantly while the more prudent/patient that was developing all the time you two were fighting, will smack you at that point.

    Once you get though the aformentioned provinces then Shinano becomes the almost-great advantage it appears: instead of defending 5 provinces individually; you just make sure you have a large appropriate stack in Shinano that "covers" Musashi, Kai, Suruga, Totomi and Mikawa. This is the reason why taking Shinano works well for some time for the Imagawa at the beginning of the game; it "covers" their core territories and provides economical defence. The mistake the Ai does is to use it as an expansion point and attacks ususally Echigo or Musashi. This is not such a bad move in it self, it happens though quite early usually (and while there is the Takeda around that find an opportunity) and thus the Imagawa are spread thin, breaking their "balance" and being unable to hold onto their new acquisition AND to Shinano: chaos ensues usually as other "opportunists" join in, typically the Takeda. The other mistake the Imagawa AI does is not to pay attention in Mikawa that is Imagawa's strongest card. Totomi is a very very susceptible place to develop unless you hold Shinano and have a good income from, say, holding on to the rich Kuyshu provinces. Don't let the archer bonus fool you - it works for the early game as it saves you the cost to go for the famous archery dojo, but it isn't a long term reliability unless you get Musashi and Kai at least.

    Trying to occupy the provinces west of Shinano, in orer to capture it does not fare half as well as trying with the ones in the east; this is because these are less numerically (3 = Etchu, Hida, Echigo) and also because the strong clear poles there are Echigo and Kaga from which only Echigo makes contact and that does usually result in a "weak" and unreliable holding of the province. This is why the Uesugi are much better off holding on to Echigo, Dewa and Mutsu and targeting Musashi and then Shimosa before faring south, rather than hitting Shinano as they often do.

    The Takeda usually fare well as long as they hold Aki (Chugoku's most powerful pole - fairly easy against a weak Mori army which gives plenty of chances for large kills and honour levels to your elite Aki samurai) which can feed their north territories with troops. The Takeda game seems so difficult in the North simply because all their provinces are very weak poles: Kai, the best of them is a secondary pole at best and provides very little security. This is why it works so well to make a strong army in Aki and keep moderate garrisons in Kai and Sagami as well as "ally" with the Hojo in order to make them keep a small garisson in Musashi. Do anything possible to let them get their guard down and then move your army in Musashi in two turns from Aki; the Hojo Ai does the mistake of fighting useless wars with the Uesugi and over garrissons Shimotsuke more often than not which is welcoming as they cannot reinforce Musashi at the time of your attack. As many stated before me, Musashi not Shinano is the way forward for the Takeda. After this you can play cat and mouse with the Hojo until you have taken Shimosa (which spells their doom) or concentrate on Imagawa and Shinano.

    Northeast Japan (Kanto plain): Well this is the area occupied by the Hojo and it is the best in the game from a polarity of provinces point of view, as it has three, potentially four adjacent strong poles. These are obviously Musashi and Shimosa closely followed by Kazusa and Hitachi.
    Clearly Shimosa and Kazusa may develop to the safest military centres in the map and with the addition of ports in them and in Musashi-Hitachi (that will increase your income anyway) make the Kanto the best area to be/have (if you wish to safeguard against port raids then build a port in Musashi and in Hitachi and keep stacks there throughout the game). The relative disadvantage of Hojo comes later in the game as someone might have conquered all Kyushu, Chugoku and Kinki and will be coming at you with all his might, but usually it is of no concern as the Kanto holder will reach Kinki faster be it controled by the AI or a player. If not, the Hojo or w***ver else dominates are at least able to put a very gallant resistance which with trade and guns can result minimum to a stale mate.

    It is a mistake to start developing Hitachi right away - that might lead in risky, cold war style, dead locks if Uesugi does the same in Mutsu: ie both clans pile up stack after stack in these two provinces without being able to move it from (justified) fear of attack and pillage of their main facilities from the other, that will eventually happen when all these deadly high tech stacks are unleashed inevitably towards each other. Usually pillaging from both sides occurs as the armies are very big with lots of reinforcements and the result quite difficult to fortell or ensure.

    Hitachi is a very viable option once Mutsu, Dewa and most importantly Echigo (Uesugi's strongest pole) have fallen; then you can start making that precious armoury.

    I find that the "If its roots are left behind any tree will grow again" advisor quote is particularly applicable to the Hojo because of their lands; no matter how many times you take Hitachi or Kozuke they'll come back and take them and grow again. This is because their core of Musashi, Shimosa, Kasusa is one strong pole that needs to be broken systematically rather than by winning battles on a border line that will never stay still. Conversely if you are the Hojo all you have to do is defend Musashi (with your life) and turtle while waiting the opportunity that your foolish neighbours will weaken each other. Hojo can comfortably live even with the loss of, say Kozuke that can be recaptured when the opportunity arises; do not overstretch just to defend it, just make sure that Musashi has border forts and the right troops to defend against any invading army (that is ususally not a problem). The same goes for Hitachi to a certain degree if you lose it its not the end of the world. Beware of Musashi though (that usually attracts all the trouble as it is adjacent to Kai and more importantly Shinano): if you lose it you are potentially one step in the grave.

    Losing Musashi is a very severe blow from which the Hojo or the Kanto holder might never recover; losing (permanently) Musashi and Shimosa spells the end for Hojo, a new power has arrived and taken over their lands.

    Northwest Japan: This is the area occupied by the Uesugi; it stretches from the Kinki area (Etchizen, Kaga, Etchu, Noto) all the way north (Ecthigo, Mutsu, Dewa) including the island of Sado. Main poles are Ecthigo and Kaga with Mutsu and Dewa being secondary poles. The area has one clear pole that is in the clans holding right off the start: Echigo. Echigo has a great income, a one-bridge river, access to Shinano, Mutsu and Dewa and its back on the sea which makes it the perfect capital province for the Uesugi. Some advocate Sado as the main troop producing province due to the iron and sand and its isolation; in an (almost) unavoidable war with Hojo though, speed of troop movement will play a role and Sadois at a disadvantage with that; it also makes you keep a garisson there whenever someone approaches from Dewa or Noto - considering that you will keep one in Echigo anyway due to the incime and the solidity it provides to your borders/territories, it is a waste of resources. Last but not least a battle for Sado will be fought in the open while in Echigo will be fought in the all familiar bridge choke point.

    Shinano as i explained previously is a risk for the Uesugi all the more so because the Hojo are waiting to hit while you are fighting Imagawa and/or Takeda or both. Hida is together with Izu and Noto and Osumi one of these provinces that deserve very little attention. Your goal on the south west should be Kaga that has a decent income, facilities and the monk bonus. Kaga is relatively isolated from other places of interest in the sense that there are no other polar provinces around it except itself; this means that potential aggressors such as Mori and Oda in certain occasions are simply waisting their time and this is good for you: keep defending and producing monks and other troops and let them give you some extra honour with their ashigaru armies. A port in Echigo and in Kaga would make for a very strong axis that will serve you well.

    Once Kaga is set up (or even before that) concentrate on the real enemy, which is Hojo and take him out once and for all. Don't fight hardcore battles in Mutsu and Dewa, let him overstretch his forces (making that all the more necessary with a few shinobies) while you firmly occupy Kozuke and pave the way with an extra "special" stack to attack Musashi. After Musashi falls Hojo is easy pickings, take out Shimosa as well and he is completely doomed; you'll see that his territories will fall like paper castles. In that case (much as in the case of the Hojo once they take out Uesugi) the other clans in the area are off the race: you have the resources to wage the long war that leads in founding the shogunate. Your real opponents now rest to the south.
    In part III: Axis ****ysis and a general conquest guide from various approaches for the middle and late game.

    excetchzebe (09/28/06) [last]

    Apologies to w***ver was reading my posts here, but unfortunately i won't be writing the part III as it was promised due to my withdrawal from the forums and the games in general.

    Thank you for reading and take care

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