So far I have yet to beat this darn game on Legendary as a Republic (but am thoroughly enjoying myself). I've finally settled on playing Choshu and taking over the southern island. In the meantime, I've really learned a TON. I've posted four other tip threads and I'll link them here, but I've also discovered other tiny little tidbits that could really help other players.
First off the other threads:Diplomacy = MoneyMaxing your army or navy's movement speed and/or looting
Also on post #7 the numbers for each commission if you have a 6 star general.Vassals, Fame, and HonorMain differences between Britain, France, and the US
Other good tips:Agents
Foreign agents can't assassinate geisha, only generals, "sheriffs" (shogun or imperial police agents), or shinobi.
Foreign agents, when they harass an army, don't take away that army's movement points.
To stop an army's progress, you have to use a shinobi to sabotage them or a geisha to distract them.
Both harassing and sabotaging (Foreign agents and Shinobi respectively) kill some of the troops in that army.
Geishas and "sheriffs" can bribe or enchant enemy generals away from the enemy. You can get units or agents this way as well. I particularly like to use this to get 5 Shinobis since I rarely have enough dojo's to recruit the regular cap of 5. If you already have the current cap of that particular agent, you won't be able to enchant them to your side however.
Normal recruitment of generals by paying 1,000 koku apiece generally results in all current generals getting a -1 loyalty hit. If you "recruit" generals by using geishas or sheriffs only the target general gets a one time -1 loyalty hit. This technique is also a great way of getting 3 star or better generals from the get go instead of having to train one up from 1 star. (This option is considerably more expensive however.)
Be careful of letting a general or any agent other than a Geisha sit in a city with entertainment/business chain buildings in it (the building chain that allows recruitment of Geisha). There's a big thread (An Eye for the Ladies
) about how this tends to give Generals and agents a -7% to movement. Geishas, so far, seem to be immune so they can stay in these provinces if you are having a happiness issue.
Geishas can't distract a garrison if there's only one unit of garrison (though this is rare.)
Advantages of Gun Boats
(Surprise! There are actual uses to these guys.)
Gun boats are great at taking out any rival single boat that have 14 guns or less. All you have to do is use their speed to get behind the other boat and stay there (use and abuse their speed ability-it rarely catches your engine on fire). They can possibly take on the 16 gun boats, but definitely not the frigates. You just get shot at too much to give you enough time to get behind them before your gunboat will route.
Tired of single boats being spammed your way? Do the same thing back to your enemies for cheaper by using gunboats. It's a great way to keep large rival navies off your ports as well.
Have a trade port or military port built? Put a gunboat in it. If an enemy navy comes to blockade you, hide your gunboat as well as possible so that the port guns can take the enemy out.
Remember to keep that gunboat alive at all costs. Once he's dead, your port guns don't fire anymore (because the battle ends).
Know your naval map when doing a 1v1 with a gunboat. If you were blockading, you'll probably be put into a small map. If there's small islands on that map, make sure to get to them as soon as possible. If you don't, your gunboat will suffer and it will be very hard to win. Larger maps are where gunboats shine. In that large map, it's much, much easier to get to and behind your target (wait until they attack you though). If you're attacked in open seas, you're more likely to fight on a large naval map.War, Peace, and Trade
Having trouble getting a trade agreement or they just want WAY too much money? If you're lucky enough to have a hostage, use them. I've had trade deals that wouldn't happen unless I paid 5k or used a hostage. Pretty easy choice as a result. Just make sure it's a faction that is not likely to betray that trade agreement within 10 turns. I've used the same hostage as many as 4 times in the same game.
Having trouble keeping the peace? It's not even Realm Divide and everyone & their monkey is declaring war on you? It's probably because your military strength is low compared to your rivals. Build up your armies so your strength is Strong or Mighty to prevent wars. To stop current wars, take out your enemy's armies until their military strength is lower than yours or is feeble/weak. Most, if not all, factions will agree to peace agreements that are pretty one sided (ie they are willing to be vassals if they have 1 region, pay huge sums, break alliances/trade agreements, etc).Realm Divide
Getting ready for Realm Divide? Make sure to have a surplus of cash and as many agents as possible. The harder your difficulty the more often your generals will be assassinated and you will need your own agents to keep them alive.
Getting ready for Realm Divide and you're going Republic? Make sure to have a high honor daimyo, as many magistrate buildings built as possible, a looting spec'd general/army, AND lots of money banked. Also be prepared to lose all political related units and agents (ie "sheriffs" or Shogunate/Imperial Line Infantry).
more to come
Also at some point I'd like to put together a retainer list for FotS, but it's really hard to get a good list without help.