-- Sengoku Rance Commanders Guide --

-- Version 1.00 --

-- Copyright Vinz55 2013 --

-- Introduction --

Sengoku Rance is a game made by AliceSoft and realeased on 12/15/2006.It has
been branded using many genres but the most descriptive one is H-SRPG.
If you don't already know, this is a 18+ game, so proceed if you already live
that long.

With that said, this FAQ is going to focus exclusively on the various
Commanders availalbe in the game and my evaluation of them. I will asumme
you already have a decent understanding of the game mechanics.

The reason I decide to write this guide is simply because I like the game.
I chose to write about the commanders because they were my biggest problem
when I first played the game.

Noted that the guide only deals with non-generic commanders.

-- Disclaimer --

All the comments are primarilly my own opinion. While I obviously based a lot
of it on tangible statistics like stats and skills, this guide will not be a
major number crunching exercise. In other words, I evaluate commanders based on
my actual usage of them and not through meticulous calcualtion of inputs
and outputs.

There will be some spoilers, though nothing game-breaking.

-- Source --

I did read information around the web when I played Sengoku Rance. None
of it though will appear in this guide. All will be from my experience, which
spans 3 years, 14 playthroughs (completed ones) and roughly 200 hours of
gameplays.

-- Update history --

1.0: Orginial version

2.0: First Update

_ First, since I got asked many times, I will include in the obtainability
section the exact requirements to recruit each commander. Note that this
was how I recruited these commanders. Some commanders I still don't
know the exact mechanics to trigger their recruitment.

_ Second, I include an alternative comment on some commanders. This came
out of my discussion with DonSS12. Note that he/she doesn't actually write
a FAQ. The comment is me paraprashing his/her opinion. Also, Don
is considerably more statistically focused in his accessment, as opposed
to my focus on experience.

_ Third, I added some minor commanders.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Table of Contents --

(1) House section

1a. Oda House
1b. Hara House
1c. Ashikaga House
1d. Tokugawa House
1e. Iga House
1f. Asai-Asakura House
1g. Miko Institute
1h. Imagawa House
1i. Uesugi House
1j. Takeda House
1k. Houjou House
1l. Dokuranryuu House
1m. Tanegashima House
1n. Tenshi Sect
1o. Mouri House
1p. Akashi House
1q. Takuga
1r. Shimazu House
1s. Reinforcements
1t. Special

(2) Class section

2a. Warrior
2b. Footsoldier
2c. Archer
2d. Tactician
2e. Miko
2f. Ninja
2g. Monk
2h. Diviner
2i. Musketeer
2j. Others

(3) Team Building

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(1) House section

I will list the commanders by houses, as it is in my opinion the most logical
format. For your convenience however, I have a separate section where
commanders are listed by their classes.

For each commander, I will provide a little summary followed by comments.
The summary will assign a value from 1 to 10 (the more the better)
to the following categories, STATS, SKILLS, OBTAINABILITY, UPKEEP, UTILITY
and SOLO.

STATS is simply how good the commander's stats are, excluding stat boosting
items obviously. Does not take into account non-fighting stats.

SKILLS is how useful the commander's skills are. Noted that this takes into
account obtainable skills that the commander does not begin with.

OBTAINABILITY is how easy and/or early you can get the commander in a
normal gameplay. Obviously won't count new game house bonus. Will also
include detailed steps to recruit a commander.

UPKEEP is how costly it is to keep the commander. This mainly deals with
the commander's initial cost. Some commanders also have special conditions
to stay.

UTILITY is how useful the commander is besides fighting. This takes into
account utility stats (exp, neg and con) as well as SAT bonus for female
commanders.

SOLO is how useful the commander is in dungeon and in commander battle.

COMMENT & ALT COMMENT: I won't assign an average because average just doesn't
work in this case. You will have to read the comments to figure out how good
the commander can be in various situations. Two perspectives are available.
My experience-based view and a more math-heavy view by DonSS12. If we agree,
there will not be an alt comment.


###################
-- 1a. Oda House --
###################

Commanders: Ranmaru, Shibata Katsuie, Niwa Nagahide, AKechi Mitsuhide,
Maeda Toshiie, Tamagushi Fuuka, Kouhime and of course, Rance

General summary:

Despite being the starting house, Oda does not have any strong commanders
except for Rance (who is not really Oda's). You will have to make do with them
early in the game when you don't have much choices but don't be afraid to
dismiss  them later on when you need space and national power for better
commanders. The only 2 that might be able to find a place in your roster
near end game are Ranmaru and Katsuie.

-- Rance -- (Warrior)

STATS: 8

His stats start out very bad. However, Rance has a ton of ways to improve
his stats. SAT bonus and happiness bonus will eventually stack up. The rating
is pertaining to the stats that Rance will have on average at the end. Rance
will always equip Chaos, which give him a 25% attack boost.

SKILLS: 7

He start with Sill which is a slightly better Auto Heal. She heals his troop
for 30 troops after every action (can be upgraded to 50). Rance can also
learn Rance Attack which is a special Commander Charge. He attacks first then
his troops attack. Can't be countered.

OBTAINABILITY: 10

You start with him (duh..).

UPKEEP: 10

Base cost of 1 for a potentially powerful character.

UTILITY: 3

Has 3 in Search.

SOLO: 10

Highest cap in the game together with Kentarou. Has the most time and methods
to level up. He is also needed against Xavier otherwise nobody will be
dealing any damage.

Comment: It's almost impossible to rate Rance. As the main character, he has
certain importance that can't be compared to the rest of commanders. Anyway,
Rance hits decently hard for most of the game. He won't match the damage
output of the best commanders but he's more than good enough. Solo battle
is another story and Rance will be your best solo commader for all the game
unless you really neglect leveling in general. You should use most of stat
boosting items on Rance since you can't play without him and if he's routed,
it's game over.


-- Ranmaru -- (Warrior)

STATS: 5

While she does have a nice attack, her other stats are bad, especially
defense.

SKILLS: 5

No special skills but she gets a 5 since she has much more time to
gain generic skills and use them than most commanders.

OBTAINABILITY: 10

You start with her.

UPKEEP: 9

Low intial cost for an okay unit.

UTILITY: 2

Her utility stats are almost non-existent. And Rance can't H her.

SOLO: 4

So-so level cap but has more time to reach it.

Comment: Ranmaru will be your hardest hitter for the first quarter of
a playthrough or so. Her damage output will be overshadowed eventually though.
And her flimsy defense means that she can be destroyed easilly as a front
line unit. She can still be useful into the final stage of the game as a
defending commander but don't make her part of your main assualt team. Once you
have a lot of good warriors (>5), you can dismiss Ranmaru. If not, keep her
to defend against attacking force.


-- Shibata Katsuie -- (Footsoldier)

STATS: 6

Good defense and average in other.

SKILLS: 5

No special skills but he gets a 5 since he has much more time to
gain generic skills and use them than most commanders.

OBTAINABILITY: 10

You start with him

UPKEEP: 6

He has high intial cost when your national power is limited.

UTILITY: 3

Not much more than Ranmaru's.

SOLO: 6

Decent level cap and has more time to reach it.

Comment: Katsuie is probably the best commander from Oda. His reasonable def
and int mean that he does a decent job of shielding your force. Don't expect
him to dish out damage though. One of his advantages is that he has a lot of
time to gain troops so he almost always has troop number advantage over
your other commanders. A good candidate for battle permit. It is a good idea
to use some stat boosts on Katsuie. Asides from Senhime, all good footsoldiers
are hard to recruit and come rather late. You should only dismiss Katsuie if
you have at least 4 footsoldiers that are better than him.


-- Akechi Mitsuhide -- (Tactician)

STATS: 2

Just awful across the board.

SKILLS: 2

Start with the standard 2 skills of tactician class.

OBTAINABILITY: 10

You start with him

UPKEEP: 7

He has 2 intial cost when your national power is limited.

UTILITY: 7

He has decent utility stats and will likely be your main negotiator until
mid-game.

SOLO: 1

Switch him out right away if he got in solo fights.

Comment: If you use SAT bonus option twice on him, his unit will be replaced
by Gracia, who is somewhat better. In any cases, Mitsuhide is horrible
in battle in any stretch of imagination. His best use is as one of the
non-combat commanders to be used solely for utility tasks. His decent Neg
stat means that he can stay in your roster for a while until you need
space for other commanders. Most tacticians have better utility stats than he
does. Good thing is he won't betray you, unlike real history.


-- Maeda Toshiie -- (Footsoldier)

STATS: 1

Below average stats coupled with horrid def for a footsolider.

SKILLS: 2

None special.

OBTAINABILITY: 10

You start with him

UPKEEP: 9

Low cost.

UTILITY: 4

Has a 4 in Neg, which could be useful early on.

SOLO: 1

As good as Mitsuhide.

Comment: Toshiie is a terribly solf commander for a footsoldier. Don't be
surprised if his unit gets destroyed even in early game. Use him for the first
few turns, then switch him to defense and negotiating task once you start
getting more footsoliders. One of the first original units to be sacrificed
when you need space and national power. If you use SAT bonus on him twice,
he transformed and gained 3 atk and 3 def. That made him somewhat better
but for some steep price though.

Alt Comment: While the original Toshiie is bad, his transformed version can be
useful in higher difficulty. You need more footsoldiers  in harder diffilculty,
and transformed Toshiie can fill in the gap.


-- Niwa Nagahide -- (Archer)

STATS: 3

All 4s like Toshiie but he does not suffer as much from the low def.

SKILLS: 7

Come with Defeated warrior Hunt which is invaluable early on to capture
enemies commanders.

OBTAINABILITY: 10

You start with him

UPKEEP: 8

Rather low cost.

UTILITY: 4

All 3s in utility stats.

SOLO: 1

Extremely low level cap.

Comment: He starts with decent troop size so he will be your main attacking
force from the back row early in the game. His skill is very much needed
when you are still low on commanders. Can still be useful later on if you
have no one to replace his role but become useless if you do. Another
original commander to be dismissed first once you need the space.

Alt Comment: When you start seeing enemy's ninjas and tacticians that
outnumber Nagahide unit by 100 troops, it is time to stop considering
him a serious damage threat.


-- Tamagushi Fuuka -- (Miko)

STATS: 4

Decent int and average everywhere else.

SKILLS: 4

She comes with Large Propaganda Effect skill, which boost troops increase after
battles.

OBTAINABILITY: 9

You can obtain her very early with a Neg action in Owari.

UPKEEP: 9

Low cost with a base of 1.

UTILITY: 6

Has 3 in Neg but that's about it. However, she gives decent amount of SAT
and is instrumental in unlocking the Orochi dungeon. Needed to clear Natori
as well.

SOLO: 3

Below average cap but can heal.

Comment: Fuuka will likely be your first miko unit. She's not very good in
battle though as both her attack and defense are low. She is needed for her
story significance but once you have completed Orochi dungeon and
clear Natori, I don't see any reason to have Fuuka around. Use her early on
but feel free to ditch her as early as you wish.

Alt Comment: Fuuka will never be a star commander. However, she can still
be a useful contributor. Fuuka is potentially the only miko in the game that
can make healing worthwhile. Healing is scaled by troop. Thanks to her
skill and her early recruitment, Fuuka will always have more troops than
other mikos. Give her healing mist and 1 or 2 int book (not a lot of
commanders need those) and Fuuka can heal for quite a bit. Fuuka can
be very useful in formation that is designed for 1 character to absorb
most enemy attacks.


-- Kouhime -- (Footsoldier)

STATS: 4

All 5s except for a miserable 2 in attack.

SKILLS: 8

She comes with All guard and Initial Guard+. All guard guards even back row,
and the Initial Guard+ adds to her starting blocking percentage.

OBTAINABILITY: 4

You can only obtain her in True route. Several events will play out after
the Demon army appeared, after which she will join.

UPKEEP: 7

Rather high cost but she comes during a time when National power is unlikely
to be a problem.

UTILITY: 4

Have 4 in Neg and won't give you any SAT bonus.

SOLO: 3

Decent level cap if nothing else.

Comment: Kouhime is actually not a bad unit in army battle. Her below average
stat is mitigated by her nice starting skills. The problem with Kouhime though
is that if she is routed, it's game over. It does not make sense to bring to
battle a footsoldier that has to be protected instead of protecting others.


#####################
-- 1b. Hara House --
#####################

Commanders: Hara Shouji, Akihime

General summary:

Hara competes with Imagawa for the dubious title of having the worst roster
of commanders. Frankly, neither Shouji nor Akihime is worth using past early
game stage.


-- Hara Shouji -- (Archer)

STATS: 6

Decent attack and defense.

SKILLS: 4

He comes with Volley which is one of the few attack-all skill in the game.
The damage output sucks though.

OBTAINABILITY: 9

He gets automatically captured once you conquer Hara, which is likely to
be early.

UPKEEP: 6

Steep in early stage of the game.

UTILITY: 4

Has 4 in Neg but that's it.

SOLO: 1

Very low cap.

Comment: His volley skill looks cool especially when you don't have a lot
of AoE skills in the game. However, it will barely scratch anyone. Shouji can
still be a force from the back row early on thanks to his decent attack.
He starts become obsolete though once you start gaining better back row
troops who can offer more than just attack. Don't bother recruiting him
unless you really need a presence from the back.

Alt Comment: He's actually somewhat decent in normal difficulty. Volley
won't damage for much but what it does well is pushing the battle rating
quite a bit in your favor. Useless in harder difficulty however.


-- Akihime -- (Miko)

STATS: 4

Average stats.

SKILLS: 3

She comes with the AoE heal Healing Mist.

OBTAINABILITY: 6

She can only be obtained in the 2nd game once you conquer Hara. You have
the option to H her or take her as a commander. Choosing one will forego
the other.

UPKEEP: 3

Very high cost for a largely useless unit.

UTILITY: 1

All 1s in utility stat and you have to sacrifice the SAT bonus if you
want her as a commander.

SOLO: 1

Low cap and very low starting level.

Comment: You most likely already have Fuuka by the time Akihime is available.
She is useless across the board and is more useful for her initial SAT bonus
than as a commander. A liability if you choose to recruit her.

Alt Comment: Technically, she could play the same role Fuuka does, a healer.
She can be obtained around the same time as Fuuka and come already with
the upgraded Healing Mist. Fuuka will almost always have more troops however.
In higher difficulty, Fuuka is definitely better.


########################
-- 1c. Ashikaga House --
########################

Commanders: Yamamoto Isoroku, Ashikaga Choushin, Ikkyuu, Kuge Kiyoko, Kuge
Kyouko, and Aburako Dousan.

*Note: The Kuge sisters have unique faces but they are not considered
unique character given that they have no character events. Same with the Mino
Three and to a certain extent Aburako Dousan.

General summary:

Ashikaga offers one of the most extensive rosters with 9 recruitable characters.
3 of these, Yamamoto, Ikkyuu and Aburako have the potential to be in your
end game roster. The 5 semi-generic commanders can also be used to bolster
your roster during early games. The good thing about Ashikaga is that you
are more or less forced to attack them fairly early in the game.


-- Yamamoto Isoroku -- (Archer)

STATS: 5

Average stats with 5 in most key stats.

SKILLS: 10

She doesn't come with any skills but can learn 2 unique skills:
Yamamoto Sweeping Fire is an attack that strike a whole column, whereas
Whirlwind shot is an insta-death skill. Both are useful.

OBTAINABILITY: 8

She can be captured in battle or automatically after Ashikaga falls.

UPKEEP: 9

Extremely low cost for a good unit.

UTILITY: 6

3 in Search and Con. Give you SAT bonus after a while. Important for her
own route.

SOLO: 4

Below average level cap and archer is generally bad in solo battles.

Comment: Archer is generally not worth using since they are one-dimensional.
Isoroku is the only archer who overcome this problem thanks to her fantastic
skills. Sweeping fire is an great piercing skill but the shining light is
Whirlwind shot. With that, Isoroku is one of the few commanders to be able
to attempt insta-death more than once per battle. The success rate is decent so
she is invaluable to take out those huge troop stacks. Her normal attack is
okay but got outclassed toward the end of the game. By end game, you should
mostly have her use Whirlwind shot. Definitely worth using.

Alt Comment: Depending on the difficulty level and the stage of the playthrough
(early, mid, late etc), Isoroku is useful for different things. Yamamoto
Sweeping Fire is an incredible damage dealing skill. First, it's 1.8x net damage
for 1 action point. Second and more importantly, it ignores footsoldier guard so
Isoroku is invaluable to damage those pesky diviner or tactician that hides
behind a wall of footsoldiers. Without huge investment however, Isoroku won't
be able to hit for much in higher difficulty or even late game normal
difficulty.
It is during those time that you should start using her Whirlwind Shot.
Insta-kill
skill is affected by troop size, and Isoroku, as an archer, will have a lot of
troops.


-- Ashikaga Choushin -- (Miko!?)

STATS: 1

Non-existent stats.

SKILLS: 5

Comes with the useful Defeated Warrior Hunt.

OBTAINABILITY: 8

Automatically captured when Ashikaga falls.

UPKEEP: 1

Very high cost for a useless commander.

UTILITY: 1

None.

SOLO: 1

Don't bother.

Comment: Ashikaga is a strong contender for the title of worst unit. About
the only good thing about him is his passive skill, but that's a pretty
steep price to be paid for just that 1 skill. He's needed to clear Akihime.
Also, if you want the Emperor Ring, one of the 3 emperor treasures, you
need Choushin.


-- Ikkyuu -- (Tactician)

STATS: 6

Decent atk and int.

SKILLS: 8

He comes with his unique skill: Witty Comeback. It swaps the battle rating
meter between you and your enemies so it's capable of winning battles
cheaply. Can only be used thrice in a playthrough.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

Can be captured in battle but won't auto-join when Ashikaga falls. He joins
other house randomly.

UPKEEP: 7

Average cost for a useful unit.

UTILITY: 7

As with most tacticians, he has very nice utility stats.

SOLO: 1

Low cap and low starting level.


Comment: Ikkyuu would be a second-rated tactician had it not been for his
skill. Witty comeback can save you the headache in particularly desperate
battles. His attack is somewhat nice but can't hold a candle to the later
tacticians that come your way. He dies very easilly so watch out for that.
Overall, worth keeping for his skill and utility stats. Once his skill exhausts,
or if you don't want to use it, then there is no reason to keep him around
once more accomplished tacticians join.


-- Kuge Kiyoko -- (Footsoldier)

STATS: 5

Average def and decent int.

SKILLS: 6

She comes with Asset tech, which is good for some extra money.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

Can be recruited in Kyo after you captured the area.

UPKEEP: 6

Average cost for a semi-useful unit.

UTILITY: 7

Nice utility stats for a footsoldier.

SOLO: 1

Low cap and low starting level.


Comment: Kiyoko is below average in battle as she is quite soft for a
footsoldier. She is useful as a jack-of-all-trade though. Keeping her around
net you some extra money, an extra body for defending when needed and
very nice utility stats. Dismissed if you need the space.


-- Kuge Kyouko -- (Warrior)

STATS: 4

Average atk and rather low def.

SKILLS: 6

She comes with Light Attack and Guard Break. Guard Break ignores footsoldier
defense, while Light Attack increase capture rate for the commander it is used
on providing that commander is routed. Both have their uses.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

Can be recruited in Kyo after you captured the area.

UPKEEP: 4

Oddly cost more than her sister while being around as useful.

UTILITY: 7

Like her sister, she has nice utility stats for a warrior. A whooping 7 in
Search really helps.

SOLO: 1

Low cap and low starting level.

Comment: Only bring Kyouko into battles in which her skills can be useful,
otherwise her damage output is too low and her def suffers. She can be useful
to keep around for her Search utility alone. Of course, let her go if you
need the space.


-- Aburako Dousan -- (Monk)

STATS: 6

Very nice attack but low def.

SKILLS: 9

She comes with 3 skills: Convert Action, Youkai Ward and Diviner Guard.
Convert Action can be very overpowered if used wisely as it restores 1 action
point for another commander. Youkai Ward deals 3x damage to youkai, and
Diviner Guard reduces damage received from Diviner.

OBTAINABILITY: 4

Can be recruited through a SAT bonus once all of Mino 3 are recruited.
Cost 4 action fans and 1 SAT bonus in total to recruit.

UPKEEP: 9

Low cost for a very useful character.

UTILITY: 8

7 Search and 5 Neg. Very versatile.

SOLO: 5

Below average cap and start out low level but Convert Action is useful
in solo battles especially dungeon.

Comment: Dousan is end game worthy for her Convert Action skill alone. This
skill when used in combo with Use-all-action-points skill can be devastating.
A good example is to use it with Natori's Miko Storm 2. Not a lot of
monks come with this skill pre-obtained, and most can't even get it.
Youkai Ward and Diviner Guard are situational skills that are not all that
useful. If you use Dousan, keep her from the front row unless you have a
formidable footsolider since her defense is quite bad. Use her to pump action
point for other units. Her high utility stats are extra bonus.

Alt Comment: Dousan is a very versatile character. She can contribute in a
variety
of formations. She can perform reasonably well on the front line. She hits hard
with
her 7 atk. Her def means that she will more often than not get wrecked in
counter-atk.
However, since monk recovers troop at no cost, Dousan's def is only an issue in
battle where she can be killed. Her Convert Action skill and 4 action points
meant
that Dousan can remain useful even if she cannot attack. Her speed helps as
well in
that role. Dousan is absolutely devastating versus Youkai. She helps
tremendously
if you want to conquer Dokuranryuu house before late game.


########################
-- 1d. Tokugawa House --
########################

Commanders: Tokugawa Ieyasu, Honda Tadakatsu, Li Naomasa, Sakai Tadatsugu,
Hattori Hanzou, Sakakibara Yasumasa and Senhime.

General summary:

Tokugawa also offers a rather big seclection of commanders to choose from.
Both Ieyasu and Senhime are end game materials but unfortunately you can only
get one of them. Of the 5 underlings, Honda Tadakatsu has the most potetial
while the rest are hits or misses depending on what you need. You will most
likely get your first quality front line character from Tokugawa
(either Ieyasu or Senhime).


-- Tokugawa Ieyasu -- (Warrior)

STATS: 7

Nicely balanced stats. 5 action points, which is a lot for a warrior.

SKILLS: 6

He comes with Charge and Full Power Warrior Attack 2. Both when combined
can create one explosive attack but needs 2 turn to pull off.

OBTAINABILITY: 5
Can only be recruited in 2nd game. You need to recruit Yasumasa. There
will be an event when you find out Ieyasu's favorite food. Afterwards,
once you conquer Tokugawa, you will have the option to either fight
Ieyasu or recruit him.

UPKEEP: 7

Above average cost but he worths the cost.

UTILITY: 6

6 in Negotiation and helps recruit his underlings.

SOLO: 10

One of the best commanders in solo battle, if not the best. Come already
close to cap. His special skill in solo battles deals double damage. Think
of a Rance Attack for only 1 action point. And Ieyasu can do that 5 times.

Comment: Ieyasu is not a bad unit by any means. He can certainly dish out
the damage and even semi-tank when needed thanks to his decent def and troop
size. His only problem is that he comes at the cost of Senhime. His so-so
skills also mean that he does not have anything to set him apart from
later warriors who have superior stats. Still a good unit though and he will
be powerful up until near end game when he still is decent. Keep in mind that
Ieyasu is no Kenshin, but then again, only one is.

Alt comment: Ieyasu is an incredible commander in solo battle. His prowess
in army battles however drop off dramatically as difficulty level increases.
In a long playthrough, he will suffer whereas Senhime will thrive.


-- Senhime -- (Footsoldier)

STATs: 8

Decent def and int as well as good attack for a footsoldier.

SKILLS: 7

She comes with 2 skills: All Guard and Auto Heal 1. All guard guards even
back row who argurably needs more protection than the front row. Auto Heal 1
is a nice bonus but it becomes weaker towards end game when troop size
inflates.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

Defeat Tokugawa without recruiting Ieyasu and she can be recruited.

UPKEEP: 3

She has very high base cost (4) which could hurt if recruited early. Also,
she needs to fight at least once every 3 turns or she'll leave, which could
be troublesome if you want a few peace turns to stabilize.

UTILITY: 4

Virtually no utility stats but she does give an initial SAT bonus.

SOLO: 7

She has one of the highest lvl cap in the game but start out 30 levels below
it. Most likely she won't hit her cap unless you abuse relationship bonus.

Comment: If you recruit Senhime early, you will have a capable footsoldier
to lead the charge in your most important assaults. She remains your best
footsoldier option until at least late mid game. Other footsoldiers with
better stats and skills will eventually become available but by then Senhime
should have an edge in troop size. Perhaps her biggest downfall is her rather
soft defense. Overall though, since you will need at least 1 footsoldier in
most battles, Senhime is always useful.

Alt comment: A very good candidate for Brute Photo or Rance Love as she has 30
levels to go. In addition, it is rumored that Senhime's attack has Warrior
modifier. It is not confirmed but it does explain why she hits for more than
most
footsoldiers. Get rid of auto heal and give her initial guard boost. When using
Senhime, remember that she is only so-so at defending but is great in attacking
(for a footsoldier). She excels in battles where you need to switch between
passive and aggressive. Do not, however, put her in battles where you want
to minimize risk as 2-3 good hit and Senhime's out.

*Note: I (Vinz55) tested and Senhime (1k troops, 6 attack, no buffs, no items)
hit for 77 less damage than Ranmaru (1k troops, 6 attack, no buffs, no items)
on the same exact enemy. That's around 7% less damage. It is a very primitive
test so take from it what you will.

-- Honda Tadakatsu -- (Warrior)

STATs: 7

Identical stats to Ieyasu except for 1 less int which is useless for his class.
Have 2 fewer actions though.

SKILLS: 7

He comes with Commander Charge, which allows a special attack first before
a regular troop attack. Can't be countered. He also has Attack Luck.

OBTAINABILITY: 6

Can be captured in battle, against Tokugawa or other houses.

UPKEEP: 6

Above average cost but somewhat justifies it.

UTILITY: 1

None whatsoever.

SOLO: 7

Decent and reachable cap.

Comment: Tadakatsu is more or less a mini-Ieyasu. The two have near identical
stats. Tadakatsu actually has a slight edge in term of skills. He loses out
to Ieyasu in terms of utility and solo battles though. A good unit to have
regardless of whether you have Ieyasu or not. Around end game, he might
start to lag behind but he can still contribute as a 2nd string unit.

Alt Comment: Honda belongs to the same group as Ranmaru. Not good enough to
warrant a permanent slot but not bad either. Like Ranmaru, Honda also shines
in early to mid game before dropping off dramatically towards the end. He does
reasonably well in both army and solo however. So if you need bodies to fill
up the roster, Honda's your man.


-- Li Naomasa -- (Warrior)

STATs: 5

1 point fewer than Ieyasu and Tadakatsu in most stats.

SKILLS: 4

He comes with dungeon expert which might help in dungeon.

OBTAINABILITY: 6

Can be captured in battle, against Tokugawa or other houses.

UPKEEP: 5

Has same cost as Ieyasu and Tadakatsu but can't quite justify it.

UTILITY: 7

4 in Search and 6 in Neg.

SOLO: 4

His skill help with dungeon battle but his lvl cap is too low to make the
most of it.

Comment: Naomasa is the third warrior offered by Tokugawa, and he is certainly
the worst performer in battle. His stat and lack of attacking skill mean
he won't shine in battle even in mid game. He does have very nice utility
stat so it's possible to find him a place on your roster as a versatile
unit. This role becomes obscure in late game though as there are
less things to negotiate and search for.


-- Sakai Tadatsugu -- (Ninja)

STATs: 4

Fairly unimpressive for a ninja.

SKILLS: 6

He comes with the ever useful Assasinate. However, his success rate is way
lower than Suzume's even when he got the upgraded skill.

OBTAINABILITY: 6

Can be captured in battle, against Tokugawa or other houses.

UPKEEP: 4

Below average cost but don't offer much.

UTILITY: 2

All 1s.

SOLO: 3

Very low cap but can learn the useful Dungeon Scout.

Comment: Tadatsugu is the first of the 2 ninjas in Tokugawa, and he's the
clearly worse one. He won't do much damage in army battles and his Assasinate
rate is unimpressive. Also, his turn doesn't come around very fast for
a ninja. That he has no utility stats mean you probably should skip
Tadatsugu.


-- Hattori Hanzou -- (Ninja)

Stats: 6

Nice attack and def for a ninja.

SKILLS: 3

He comes with Pursuit Battle which might allow you to capture 2 areas when
you're retaking territory. Sound useful but you shouldn't let your areas
be captured to begin with. And even if you do, it's unlikely you would
allow more than 1 area to be taken from a province you own.

OBTAINABILITY: 6

Can be captured in battle, against Tokugawa or other houses.

UPKEEP: 6

Very low cost for an average unit.

UTILITY: 5

All 3s.

SOLO: 4

Decent lvl cap and can learn Dungeon Scout.

Comment: Carrying the name of perhaps the greatest ninja in Japan's history,
this version of Hanzou is nothing too impressive. He's clearly better than
Tadatsugu but that doesn't say much. His skill is fairly useless, and his
utility stats aren't that high. Let him learn Assasinate is one way that
he can be useful. He does require relatively low cost. There are at least
5 better ninjas in the game that you can recruit and of course a very good one
is always with you.

Alt Comment: Hanzou is in many ways a male Suzume. You really don't need two.


-- Sakakibara Yasumasa -- (Footsoldier)

Stats: 4

Low def for a footsoldier.

SKILLS: 4

He comes with Auto Heal 1. When free hp is always nice, Yasumasa takes too
much damage for his skill to worth it.

OBTAINABILITY: 6

Can be captured in battle, against Tokugawa or other houses.

UPKEEP: 3

Very high cost for a bad unit.

UTILITY: 7

5 in Neg and 7 in Con. Also needed to recruit Ieyasu.

SOLO: 2

Low cap, won't help much.

Comment: Put Yasumasa next to Senhime and you get an ant next to a dragon. He
inexpicably has lower defense than most of his fellow raccoon dogs despite
being the only footsolider of the bunch. His utility stats might give you
a reason to give him a temporary place on your roster but his high cost more
or less negate that one good point.

Alt Comment: Many was conned into recruiting Yasumasu because he looks
formidable in Tokugawa's castle siege. Some has even suggest that the racoon
dogs have their unique modifier because of this. However, the reason for
Yasumasa's dominance in that castle siege is because of his troop size and
huge battle rating in favor of Tokugawa. His troop size won't carry over
to your army and you will rarely if ever fight a castle siege on the
defense side.


***** Senhime vs. Ieyasu *****

This section is to help you make the decision as to who to pick. The following
are arguments in favor of Senhime:

-> There are a lot more warriors than footsoliders in the game
-> Good footsolider is very hard to come by in early game
-> Footsoldier is only 1 of 2 defensive oriented units (the other being diviner)
whereas there are a lot more options for attack.
-> Honda Tadakatsu is an apt replacement for Ieyasu, Yasumasa is pale in
comparison to Senhime.
-> Senhime gives SAT bonus when it is less abundant, and you certainly
don't want to H Ieyasu...

These are arguments for Ieyasu:

-> Warriors are more versatile, and while he can't protect others, Ieyasu
can take some punishments.
-> Ieyasu is easier and cheaper to keep around.
-> He has better utility stats and he can help recruiting his underlings.
-> He needs no extra work to be great in solo battles whereas Senhime needs
a lot of work to be good in solo battles.

Pick your choice accordingly. If there is still nothing to separate the two,
then from my experience, Senhime as a footsoldier is better than Ieyasu as
a warrior.


####################
-- 1e. Iga House --
####################

Commanders: Suzume and Inukai.

General summary:

Technically, Iga has only 1 recruitable character since Suzume always join you
very early in the game (and stays forever). The Goninjais are pretty bad so
you would do well to avoid them. They are so useless I won't even include
them. Plus, they're only semi-unique characters. Inukai is fairly decent unit
but his lack of specialization hurts him later on. End game worthy though.


-- Suzume -- (Ninja)

Stats: 5

Slightly below average stat across the board. Only 5 speed despite a ninja.

SKILLS: 7

She comes with Assasinate 2, and in early to mid game, will succeed a lot.
She can also learn her unique skill, Chun Chun Shuriken, which strikes a column.
It's a good skill to waste action points before pulling off Assasinate 2.

OBTAINABILITY: 10

Automatically join you after a few turns.

UPKEEP: 10

Has the lowest cost possible. Also, will never die when routed.

UTILITY: 6

5 in Search. Also, she competes with Sill for the most SAT given.

SOLO: 7

Good starting level and decent cap. She has a lot of time to reach that cap.
Can also learn Dungeon Scout, which is a blessing in dungeon.

Comment: Asides from Rance, Suzume is the only unit that cannot be dismissed
in all routes. She came with Assasinate 2 which she uses to great effect in
early game.
That move starts to fail more often later in the game. In harder difficulty,
Suzume's
Assasinate 2 is ineffective altogether as you're almost always outnumbered. She
has a
unique skill, Chun Chun Shuriken. It costs 2 action points so it is not
a great damage dealing skill. What it is useful for, however, is to cancel
casters
who are protected by footsoldiers since Chun Chun ignores guard. Also, because
Suzume will never died when defeated, she could be used as baits. For example,
put her in the front line against Musketeer and they will almost always attack
her. They probably will rout her unit but she won't be lost forever.

Alt Comment: Since Suzume always occupy one spot on your 30 man roster, some
try hard
to make her at least decent. In reality, her stats are so low and without any
events
to boost it, you will have to waste a lot of stat boost items to make her good
stat-wise.
Those items are better used on other characters. One way to improve Suzume is
to increase
her troops so as to improve her assasinate chance. That will cost gold but at
least gold
is more obtainable.


-- Inukai -- (Ninja)

Stats: 9

Impressive stats across the board.

SKILLS: 4

He comes with his unique skill, 101 dogie. It deals a fixed 101 damange to
any unit. When upgraded, the damage dealt increases to 201. Might be a cool
skill against high def unit, but 101 and 201 are usually bad damage outputs
in most cases.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

Quite tricky to obtain. Can only be recruited in 2nd game with a Search
command in Yamato which appear randomly after going to war with Iga after
a duel. I've seen the command in as soon as 2 turns and as late as 5+ turns.

UPKEEP: 6

Average cost for a powerful unit. However, if you recruit instead of killing
him off, he may lead a revolt in Yamato.

UTILITY: 8

8 Search, 6 Neg, 4 Con. Is also required to acquire one of the 6 Treasures.

SOLO: 7

Above average level cap and of course there is always Dungeon Scout.

Comment: Inukai's biggest asset is his stats, which is high in everything,
combat or utility. He's one of the hardest hitting ninjas in the game. However,
since ninja seems to have a damage modifier against them, this doesn't amount
to much. You most likely won't use a ninja to deal damage anyway. His unique
skill is hilarious but limited in usefulness. Regardless, Inukai is still
a very good unit to have around during most of the game. He only really
shows his limits during end game when polarized characters tends to be better.


############################
-- 1f. Asai Asakura House --
############################

Commanders: Asakura Yoshikage, Hakkin Dasan and Yukihime.

General summary:

Asai Asakura has a collection of pretty average commanders. Yukihime sucks so
she's out of the equation. Both Yoshikage and Dasan have features that could
see them gaining a place in your mid game roster. In an ideal group though,
both really don't offer enough that even if they are to remain till the very
end, they won't be part of your A team. Second-stringers to be frank.


-- Asakura Yoshikage -- (Monk)

Stats: 5

Average stat with def a bit on the low side.

SKILLS: 3

Only non-generic skill he has is Divine Protection 2. The skill is a self-heal
that while admittedly heal for a lot, is sorta a waste of turn.

OBTAINABILITY: 8

He's automatically captured once Asai-Asakura is conquered. Took a bit of Neg
to recruit but that's not too bad.

UPKEEP: 6

His base cost is 3, which while is not astronomical, is quite a lot for
a largely unhelpful unit.

UTILITY: 10

8 Neg and 5 Con. Also needed to recruit Yukihime. When cleared, he gave
an additional national power to each province you own. In addition,
talking with him will give 3 affection point to a commander of choice.

SOLO: 6

Below average lvl cap but Convert Action 2 can be immensely useful in solo
battles.

Comment: Yoshikage is a below par commander in army battle. However, he is
without a doubt the most useful commander outside of battles in the game.
If you clear him around mid game, it can potentially give you more than
10 extra national power. Nat power is not a problem in normal difficulty
but it is a big deal in harder difficulty due to inflated troop number.
In addition, talking to him is like a free Kanou Roll. Again, affection
is not significant in short playthrough but in long playthrough it makes
all the differences. Yoshikage is possibly the only commander in the
game worth keeping for his utility alone.

Alt Comment: One way to make Yoshikage useful in battle is make him learn
Extended Battle 2, which gives an extra 6 turns. All monks can learn this
not just Yoshikae. But if you're gonna keep him around for his utility,
might as well give him a use in battle. Check Genri in the Tenshi section
for a good strategy with Extended Battle. Yoshikage is not the best monk
for that strategy though as he only has 3 actions.


-- Hakkin Dasan -- (Animal?)

Stats: 7

His stats by numerical value worth at least an 8 but for some reason in reality
it feels a lot less. Discussed more in comment.

SKILLS: 1

He comes with no special skills and can't learn anything special either.

OBTAINABILITY: 8

Once Asai-Asakura is conquered, he can be recruited via a purple event.

UPKEEP: 1

Require one of the highest base cost in the game, and since his troop size
is always high, that adds more to the cost.

UTILITY: 2

3 in Search, that's it.

SOLO: 2

Very low cap. Has lots of HP but it got drained pretty fast.

Comment: When I first acquired Dasan, I thought I got a killer unit because his
troop size is huge, his cost is so high and his stats are off the chart. When
I actually used Dassan, he was oddly underwhelming. His damage is so-so;
Senhime, a footsoldier with 6 in attack, hits for more than he does. And added
to that, his defense is horrid. Overall, his army battle performance never
match what his stats would suggest. And since he's useless in every other
aspects, don't bother to waste the cost.

Alt Comment: Animal has very low attack modifier and 0 defend modifier. As
a result, Dassan's 7 atk and 7 def will feel more like 5 atk and 4 def. His
troop size is huge but troop number's effect on attack power is scaled. (i.e
it's not always 1 troop for 1 atk power). Consequently, both Dassan's stats
and troop size are deceiving. He's actually terrible in battles. His only
good use is to increase your troop average, which affects how many troops
new commnaders will join with.


-- Yukihime -- (Miko)

Stats: 2

Extremely low stats except for int.

SKILLS: 4

She comes with Merchant skill which boosts money gain.

OBTAINABILITY: 4

Quite a pain to capture, as you have to have Yoshikage recruited and raise
him to normal affection. She will be causing other houses to fight you in
the mean time.

UPKEEP: 6

Lowest cost possible but even that is a waste.

UTILITY: 4

4 in Neg and gives some SAT, though the initial chunk doesn't require her
to join.

SOLO: 3

Can heal for quite a bit, but don't bother to attack with her.

Comment: Yukihime continues the trend of worthless Miko units. About the only
thing that she can do to contribute in battle is healing, which is not
ideal in most army battles. The rest of her assets just don't help the cause
either as you'd be hard pressed to find something for Yukihime to do that
she won't become a liability. Even her beauty is offset by that affair with
Dassan... Contender for worst unit in the game.

Alt Comment: She sure can heal. But with 3 def, she's more likely to be
destroyed and cost you some battle rating.


#########################
-- 1g. Miko Institute --
#########################

Commanders: Natori, Goemon and Himiko.

General summary:

Miko Institute offers only 1 unique character in Natori. I include both Goemon
and Himiko though because even as semi-unique characters, they are better than
at least half of the unique commanders. Anyways, for a small roster, Miko
Insitute offers some insanely powerful characters. Natori makes the Miko class
good all by herself. Goemon kicks the butt of half of the unique ninjas. Himiko
is a solid front line unit. It's a little cumbersome to capture Miko Institue
but it will be worth it.


-- Natori -- (Miko)

Stats: 10

Uber stats for a miko AND a character that can be acquired very early. Off the
chart attack and speed for a healer class.

SKILLS: 8

She comes with her special skill, Miko's storm 2 which damage enemies for
30% of their health. Very powerful especially in late game.

OBTAINABILITY: 8

Just need to conquer Miko Institute and she'll be captured.

UPKEEP: 9

Base cost of 2 for a very strong unit.

UTILITY: 10

3 in Search, 7 in Neg and 5 in Con. Gives some SAT as well as an instant
happiness bonus for Rance every time he Hs her.

SOLO: 7

Very nice level cap and fully capable of reaching it. Damage output in solo
battles is nerfed though but still can heal.

Comment: After the fiascos that were Akihime, Yukihime and Chonsin, Natori
should have a class called Miko Queen all by herself. She hits like a truck
from back row with even a small amount of troops. She in fact hits harder
than most archers. Her Miko's Storm 2 is powerful because it takes off 30% of
maximum health so it will hit for quite a bit in late game where troops number
inflate. Also, her cast time is very short for some reasons (might be her insane
speed). The rest of her features as you can see above is also top of the class.
However, perhaps the best thing about Natori is that she can come very very
early. Natori's so good a unit you would penalize yourself for not using.

Alt Comment: Miko has bad attack modifier and gain troop slowly so Natori
won't hit especially hard. She does hit hard enough to clean up stragglers
though, which is a lot more than any miko can do. Also, Natori is technically
the best healer in the game. Never prioritize that over casting Miko Storm
2 however. A timely Miko Storm 2 can be the difference between winning and
losing.


-- Goemon -- (Ninja)

Stats: 7

Very nice stat all around with 7s in everything except for 6 in speed.
Only 2 action points however.

SKILLS: 9

He comes with 2 special skills: Ninja Arts: Battle Ground Construction 3 and
Assasinate 2. Assasinate 2 is useful anywhere. Battle Ground Construction 3
gives you a large boost to battleground effect.

OBTAINABILITY: 4

Could be hard to catch as he can only be captured in battle. If he isn't
captured before Miko Institute falls, he will join other houses. Miko Institute
is your best chance though.

UPKEEP: 9

Low base cost for a good unit.

UTILITY: 8

7 in Seach and 6 in Neg.

SOLO: 4

His lvl cap varies but it's either very low or below average. Can learn
Dungeon Scout.

Comment: Goemon would have been a much better character had it not been for his
pitiful 2 actions. He can do so many things but only have 2 chances to do it.
BGC 3 almost always warrant 1 action given its effect on the entire team, so you
will need to choose between attacking or assasinate 2 for the other action.
Boosting his action points will make him a lot better but action point boosters
are rare, and there are better comamnders to use those on.


-- Himiko -- (Monk)

STATS: 9

Have 7s in everything and has a whooping 6 actions.

SKILLS: 5

Only special skills she comes with is Field Battle Expert, which gives her
some attack boost in field battle.

OBTAINABILITY: 4

Has to be acquired the same way Goemon is and is equally elusive.

UPKEEP: 6

Base cost of 3 for a decent unit.

UTILITY: 8

6 Search, 6 Neg and 3 Con.

SOLO: 7

Pretty high lvl cap (40) for a non-unique character. Monk is nerfed in solo
battles but Himiko has access to the ever useful Convert Action 2.

Comment: Put Himiko in a field battle and she can act like a good warrior unit.
Her high def coupled with Monk's free troop replenishment means that Himiko is
a very cost-effective unit to defend against invasion. Give Himiko some skills
so that she can have more options in a battle. Youkai Ward is a decent choice.
Himiko will obliterate youkai unit with it. Extend Battle is also a good
choice thanks to Himiko's 6 actions. However, the kind of battles that you
want Himiko in are not exactly the types you want to prolong. Divine Protection
2 is also an option and will give Himiko some tanking capability.


########################
-- 1h. Imagawa House --
########################

Commander: Okita Nozomi

General summary: Only Hara can potentially beat Imagawa in term of suckiness
of recruits. Nozomi is technically from Ashikiga, but she joins through
Imagawa's events. She's a so-so commander that doesn't even perform that
well in mid-game although she has her uses. Anyway, don't conquer Imagawa
looking for new recruits. Too bad they don't offer a Hanny commander...


-- Okita Nozomi -- (Warrior)

STATS: 4

Low stats with low value in key areas like atk and def.

SKILLS: 1

Comes preequiped with nothing and can learn nothing unqiue or special.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

You have to let the Hanny pass through your territory. Do 3 events in Kyo and
then you can recruit her through another event.

UPKEEP: 9

One of the 2 units in the game whose base cost is 0. Of course, she does count
towards the 30 cap for commanders.

UTILITY: 7

Have 3 in every utility stats. Gives some decent SAT bonus once you start to get
her events going. She's also one of the participants in the emperor race in
Kenshin route.

SOLO: 8

Start with very high level as well as a reachable and high level cap.

Comment: Nozomi is a pretty polarized commander. She sure does have her moments
but overall she's not up there with the best. Her army battle potential is
horrible so don't use her for that unless you're in a pinch. Since she costs
nothing, you can leave her around for utility tasks like scouting during mid
game when you don't have to worry about commanders cap yet. She's one of the
better commanders in solo battles but take care as she dies fast as well.
In the end, Nozomi's potential as a peripheral character is diminished by
her cumbersome recruitng events, which takes 4 actions fan.


#######################
-- 1i. Uesugi House --
#######################

Commanders: Uesugi Kenshin, Naoe Ai

Generall summary: Torako and Katsuko are 2 semi-unique commanders from Uesugi
that you can potentially recruit as well but since they are hard to catch
and are nothing special, I won't include them. Anyways, of all of the houses
that offer high-end commanders, Uesugi is the easiest to conquer. It's
advisable to conquer them early to give yourself a boost in offensive power.
That boost comes in the form of 2 end-game shoo-in candidates in Kenshin and
Ai. If you get them in early mid-game, they easilly become your best warrior
and tactician and remain very good until the very end. Kenshin in particular
is a legit candidate for best character in the game.


-- Uesugi Kenshin -- (Warrior)

STATS: 8

Very nice stats especially during the time that she joins. Still good at end
game.

SKILLS: 10

Her passive skill is one of the few broken skills in the game as it reduces
all enemies' action point by 1 (can't be lower than 1). It becomes something
even more OP in her own route (deduct 2 action points). She also has Commander
Charge.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

You will need to wait until her uncle (Kensei) revolted then turned down his
truce. Afterwards, you need to conquer Uesugi within 5 turns. Kenshin will
join at start of turn or via a purple event.

UPKEEP: 8

Low for such a good commander.

UTILITY: 3

She can't do squat besides fighting but will gives SAT bonus once raised
to Love relationship. Required for her own route and Naoe Ai.

SOLO: 10

One of the highest level commanders in the game, both starting level and cap.

Comment: Commanders usually don't come better than Kenshin. It is easy
to see why many consider her the best in the game. Her high stats and passive
skill alone warrant her a place in your best assaulting team, army or solo.
Her only drawback is that she only has 3 actions points so Kenshin is
definitely a candidate for one of those elusive Action book 2. Try to get
her early unless you are doing exploratory playthrough. You can get her
as soon as early mid game and she'll be crushing enemies way into end game.
Her combo with Uruza can shut down most teams by denying them any chances
to act. Kenshin is one of those units too good not to use.

Alt Comment: Goddess of War's Aura is possibly the best skill in the game.
Asides from reducing enemy's action points, a lesser known effect of the
skill is increasing battleground effect. As a result, Kenshin is very
good in siege battle. Since you want to bring Kenshin to battle for her
passive anyways, you might as well stack more boosts on her. Give Kenshin
either the Murasame or Uesugi Charge Unit then boost her attack to 9 and
you got yourself a commander who can take over battles.

-- Naoe Ai -- (Tactician)

STATS: 9

Impressive stats for a tactician. 7 in everything and 8 in int which helps
with the initial buffs.

SKILLS: 6

Ai comes with Battle Strategy 2 and Remove Buffs 2. They are good to have
if nothing too special. She also has Asset Tech which helps with money.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

After Kenshin joins you, she will auto-join through a start of the turn event
or you can force the event by using 1 action fan.

UPKEEP: 8

Same as Kenshin, meaning low for such a good commander.

UTILITY: 10

5 in Search, 8 in Neg and 6 in Con. Gives SAT bonus through a pretty hilarious
event. Required for Kenshin route.

SOLO: 3

Below average level cap and low action point render Ai rather unsuited for
solo battles.

Commment: Of all the tacticians you get, only Uruza is undisputedly better than
Ai. That speak volume given that Uruza is one of the few broken characters
in the game. Anyways, Ai performs impressively in army battles. Her int means
that she gives 8 initial buffs which depending on where they land, could be
decisive. Her attack is decent but can't compare to hardest back row hitters
like Uruza, Natori or Tourin. So depending on the situation, don't be afraid
to use Ai to buff or remove buff. Her impressive utility means that no matter
the situation, you can always find something for Ai to do and she will perform
very well. Ai is more or less an add-on to Kenshin yet at times outshine her
host.

Alt Comment: Give Ai Battle Strategy 3 if you can. Ai with that and 1000 troops
will give 12 40% buffs. Since she already gives 8 buffs at the beginning, that
means within her first turn, Ai has given the team 20 out of 24 possible buffs
by herself. One of your advantages over the enemy is that they almost never
buff themselves. Using Ai to load up on buffs could make a lot of differences.


#######################
-- 1j. Takeda House --
#######################

Commanders: Sanada Tourin, Baba Shouen, Kousaka Yoshikage and Yamagata Masakage

General summary: Takeda in my opinion offers the strongest roster of commanders.
All 4 commanders are not only end game qualified, they are actually strong
end game characters. They all come with the skill Fuurinkazan that makes them
even stronger than their godly stats already do.The bad thing is that they
are among the hardest to obtain. The easiest one to obtain is unfortunately
the least powerful one, Tourin. Also, as Takeda is quite strong and they have
that infamous blitz, you won't likely be able to conquer them before mid-game.
Overall, while Takeda offers some crushingly powerful commanders, they in total
won't be able to contribute as much as say, Kenshin and Natori who will be
around for much longer.


-- Sanada Tourin -- (Tactician)

STATS: 8

Very nice stats but got held back by a 6 in int, which is important for his
class.

SKILLS: 7

He comes with Battle Result Down 2, which if you're losing, will push the
battle meter quite a bit in your favor. As one of the 4 Takeda generals, he
also has the quite overpowered Fuurinkazan, which gives all 4 buffs at the
begining of battles. Also has Battle Strategy 3, the highest upgrade of the
skill.

OBTAINABILITY: 8

By far the easiest to obtain of all the Takeda commanders. Conquer Takeda using
either brute force or the assasination will end up with Tourin auto-captured.

UPKEEP: 7

Base cost of 3, which is reasonable for a good commander. By the time you get
Tourin, National power might not be that big of a deal anyways.

UTILITY: 10

As with most tacticians, Tourin has excellent utility stats, with 7s in
everything.

SOLO: 7

Decent level cap and Fuurinkazan works in solo battles. Also, Tourin uses
a bow in solo battle instead of the standard Hit attack of tacticians.

Comment: Even as the weakest Takeda's general, Tourin is still a pretty
impressive commander. He hits very hard from the back, on par with Uruza and
Natori. He's also the sturdiest tactician, which means you don't have to
worry so much about him dying. Battle Result Down 2, while can't be a game
changer like Ikkyu's Witty Comeback, can still be very effective in battle when
you mess up a little bit and need that extra push to get over the line. Tourin
is also the only tacticians come pre-equiped with Battle Strategy 3. Overall,
as you can see in the ratings, Tourin can do just about everything decently,
and his obtainability alone make him the most contributing Takeda's commander.
Definitely worth a spot in any type of team.

Alt Comment: Don't use Tourin as a buffer. His 6 int means that his buff is
only 30% strong compared to 40% by Ai and Uruza.


-- Baba Shouen -- (Cavalry)

STATS: 6

6s in every stats.

SKILLS: 9

He comes with Battle Result Up 1, Backrow Charge and Commander Charge. Battle
Result Up 1 is the oposite of Battle Result Down 1, so more effective if
you're winning. Backrow Charge is the unique cavalry skill that can attack
the back row and deal 2x damage to archer, diviner, miko and tactician.
You've seen Commander Charge before. Of course, Baba also has Fuurinkazan.

OBTAINABILITY: 2

You have to conquer Takeda through the Assasination event. After that, Shouen
will appear in other house's army, and you can capture him then. Quite a pain
in general. And it'll be at least late mid-game when you get him.

UPKEEP: 6

Base cost of 3, which is reasonable for a decent commander. By the time you get
Shouen, National power might not be that big of a deal anyways.

UTILITY: 5

6 in Con. He's also a participant of the emperor race in Kenshin Route.

SOLO: 9

One of the highest level caps in the game. Though unlike Kenshin, he has quite
a way to reach it, yet having much less time. Has a lot of HP.

Comment: Baba Shouen is like a nerfed Masakage in everything except solo battle.
He can still hit quite hard, especially with Cavalry Charge he can take out
a whole unit in the back row. However, whatever he can do, Masakage does it
much better. Shouen's usefulness comes down to his solo potential. With
Fuurinkazan, a capped Shouen will hit very hard in solo battles. That he has
5 action points (which is fairly useless for him in army battles) just add
more to his solo pedigree.


-- Yamagata Masakage -- (Cavalry)

STATS: 10

8s in every stats. Among the highest stats seen in all the game.

SKILLS: 9

He comes with Battle Result Up 2, Backrow Charge and Charge In. The first 2
are similar to what Shouen has. Charge in deals extra damage and decrease
action points by 1. Of course, he also has Fuurinkazan.

OBTAINABILITY: 2

You have to conquer Takeda through the Assasination event. After that, Masakage
will appear in other house's army, and you can capture him then. Quite a pain
in general. And it'll be at least late mid-game when you get him.

UPKEEP: 9

Base cost of 3, which is low for a powerful commander. By the time you
get Masakage, National power might not be that big of a deal anyways.

UTILITY: 4

4 in Search, 3 in Neg.

SOLO: 3

Very low starting level and cap compared to his Takeda's buddies.

Comment: Masakage is one of the most powerful commanders for army battles.
His cavalry charge will seriously damage or outright kill most back row
units providing that Masakage has decent troop size. Battle Result Up 2 can
be decisive in siege battles, at least when you don't feel like attacking.
Charge In is an excellent skill that can be used in combo with Kenshin or
Uruza to deny strong enemies any chances to act. Masakage, oddly enough, is
very poor in solo battle. His utility rating is also the lowest among the
Takeda's commanders. This means you'll get the most out of him by puting him
in army battles whenever possible. It's as if the game is telling you how
to use him.


-- Kousaka Yoshikage -- (Ninja)

STATS: 8

7s in everything, which is rather nice for a ninja.

SKILLS: 8

He comes with Assasination 2, which he uses with great sucess. Of course,
he also has Fuurinkazan.

OBTAINABILITY: 2

You have to conquer Takeda through the Assasination event. After that,Yoshikage
will appear in other house's army, and you can capture him then. Quite a pain
in general. And it'll be at least late mid-game when you get him.

UPKEEP: 8

Base cost of 3, which is reasonable for a great commander. By the time you get
Yoshikage, National power might not be that big of a deal anyways.

UTILITY: 9

9 in Search, highest in the game. 4 in both Neg and Con.

SOLO: 8

Very good level cap and while it's hard to hit his cap, it's not as bas as
Shouen.

Comment: Yoshikage hits very hard for a ninja, harder than an unbuffed Inukai
actually. His speed is also decent so he can pull off a few attacks before
using Assasinate 2.  Give him Sousou Poison Dagger and watch him hit
people for massive damage. Yoshikage also performs very well in solo battles
and have a very nice Search stat. On the downside, he's probably the hardest
to recruit out of the 3 non-Tourin Takeda commanders since he's usually
stationed
at the back, making it harder to rout his unit.

Alt Comment: Yoshikage can make good use of Sonic Shuriken. He has 5 action
points to spare so he can afford Sonic's cost. Yoshikage has 7 speed also so
he will most likely move again right after using Sonic Shuriken. In essence,
he'll be attacking twice in a row. Most other ninjas do not have the attack
to make use of this strategy but Yoshikage does.

#######################
-- 1k. Houjou House --
#######################

Commanders: Nanjou Ran, Houjou Souun and Daidouji Komatsu.

General summary: I initially thought that Houjou will offer a strong selection
of commanders. They have their house-specific CGI, and they are associated with
Uesugi and Takeda, 2 houses which offer some of the best commanders in the game.
It turns out they lack both quantity and quality. Souun is the only high-end
commander from Houjou, but he is an absolute pain to recruit. Nanjou
Ran, aside from being the most boring IF heroine, is quite weak even in the
rather underwhelming field of Diviner. Komatsu has some uses but given the
numerous options for warrior, she's overall pretty bad.


-- Nanjou Ran -- (Diviner)

STATS: 5

Decent atk and int but weak def and speed.

SKILLS: 1

She doesn't come with and cannot learn any unique skills.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

She can be captured after the event in which Souun tells her about Suzaku and
she admits to hearing voices from inside her. Then, she can be recruited
from prison after Sounn goes missing in the Oil Dungeon. If you wait too
long to recruit her after Sounn went missing, she will leave by herself.

Note: DO NOT conquer Houjou after you recruit Ran and before Sounn goes
missing. Both will be lost.

UPKEEP: 2

Her base cost of 2 is actually not that bad for what she can offer.
What makes her upkeep so difficult is that she dies in every route
but her own. Also, keeping her means shutting out the much stronger
Souun.

UTILITY: 8

4 in Seach, 7 in Neg and 6 in Con. Gives some SAT bonus as well as being
required for her own route.

SOLO: 4

Very low cap. Might be useful to provide protection for important characters
like Rance and Kentarou. Have 5 action points, which help.

Comment: Since Diviner is so scarce in the game, you'd think Ran, one of the
most important characters in the game and a diviner by plot, would be at least
decent. In fact, she's not much stronger than your average generic diviner.
Her shikigami casting barely tickles semi-sturdy units, and she takes quite a
while to cast. Even her guard shikigami is not very effective. Ran's first turn
usually comes when all the early exchange has been done, which usually is
where the major damage is dealt. Her route overly complex and confusing
plots and events mean that it takes some attention to keep her alive and around.
Of course, you need her for her route, and she can be used for utility just
fine if you don't want to use her to battle. She'll never be strong though.

Alt Comment: Ran is actually very decent in normal difficulty. Shikigami
is scaled by troop number, and Ran joins with quite a large unit for a diviner.
As a result, her Shikigami will hit quite hard. In higher difficulty though,
she becomes very ordinary since you're always outnumbered. Ran's stats are
also so low that it's hard to improve her. She'll need int for damage,
speed to actually cast in time and even def. Unlike percentage-based
spell like Miko Storm, Shikigami needs troop to deal damage. With Ran's
horrid def, 1 good hit means that her Shikigami is pretty much nullified.


-- Houjou Souun -- (Diviner)

STATS: 10

8s in everything. One of the highest seen in the game.

SKILLS: 6

He comes with Souun's Orge Summoning, which is a special version of the
normal orge summoning. Hit much harder.

OBTAINABILITY: 1

Very complex to recruit. You needs to have already recruited Ran (refer to
her section). Wait for Sounn to go missing, then conquer Houjou. Pick a
purple event in Kazusa (Ran asks where Sounn went). Then make your way
through the Oil Dungeon in Mamushi Oil Field. You'll meet Sounn on the
5th floor. After a few turns, he will join in a start-of-turn event. Note
that Sounn won't join in Ran route.

UPKEEP: 8

Base cost of 4 is relatively high in general. Souun worths every bit of that
cost though.

UTILITY: 8

5 in Search, 8 in Neg and 7 Con. Can do everything.

SOLO: 7

Decent level cap and only needs to level thrice to hit it. He only has the
basic Shikigami in solo battles though, which has puny damage output.

Comment: Souun is simply one of the strongest commanders in the game. His
special spell hits very hard, and so is his shikigami. In addition, Souun
Shikigami cast time is one of the shortest seen in the game. If you pump him
action points with Convert Action, he can usually cast more than once. If
you want to abuse All Shikigami Guard, Souun is the best for that as he is
the fastest diviner in the game. Comparing to the other great Diviner, Omachi,
Souun doesn't have her destructive offensive power but his higher speed
allows for more flexibility.

Alt Comment: Both of Sounn's spells are affected by buffs. Load him up on buffs
either through your Tactician or items and watch him devastate the enemies.


-- Daidouji Komatsu -- (Warrior)

STATS: 4

All 5s, which is to say, very low for a warrior.

SKILLS: 6

She comes with Shouting Charge and Fan Club. Shouting Charge increases damage
and move the battle rating a little bit in your favor. Fan Club adds 20 troops
to Komatsu's unit every turn.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

Conquer Houjou and she'll be captured.

UPKEEP: 7

Base cost of 2 for a rather weak unit.

UTILITY: 5

5 in Neg and gives some SAT bonus.

SOLO: 6

Slightly above average level cap but only have 3 action points.

Comment: Many consider Komatsu a character worth investing in because of
Fan Club. In the hardest of difficulty, playthrough could last beyond 200 turns
so by end game Komatsu can easilly have 6-7k troops. While I agree that scenario
can happen, I believe Komatsu still does not worth it. Until she has enough
troop to make a significant difference, you'll be stuck with a subpar warrior.
Komatsu needs to be in battle to further increase her troop, which requires you
to babysit her. Even if you don't, she'll still take up a spot on your 30-man
roster. It is a lot more cost-effective to buy troop for a commander with good
stats than to improve the stats of a commander with lots of troops. So no,
Komatsu is not worth investing in.


############################
-- 1l. Dokuranryuu House --
############################

Commanders: Masamune, Noir, Nojiku, Orime and Omachi.

General summary: Dokuranryuu is another house that I had high hope to get some
strong commanders. They have an air of exclusivity about them, like how they
can't be conquered by the Demon army and have a region with a whooping 8 areas
(the most any other has is 4). I thought they're supposed to be the big bad
house. Well, it turns out their commanders are nothing to swoon over. Granted,
they all have very high stats, but by the time you get to them, most in your
army should already have good stats, either by being cherrypicked from other
houses or through bonus. Being Youkai, Dokuranryuu's commanders are
surprisingly lacking in term of skills, which makes most of them very
one-dimensional. Omachi is the only real strong commanders, and she's the
hardest to recruit. Anyways, even though Dokuranryuu's commanders are not
useless by any means, they are rather underwhelming for the period that you
are likely to conquer them (if it's not the end of the game already of course)

Note: All Dokuranryuu commanders have 8 Atk, 7 Def, 8 Int and 7 speed. So the
rating is only different based on how that compares to their class average.


-- Dokuranryuu Masamune -- (Warrior)

STATS: 9

Very nice stats.

SKILLS: 1

Doesn't come with and cannot learn anything unique.

OBTAINABILITY: 6

After his house is destroyed, he will offer to join at a beginning of a later
turn if you have spare nat power and at least 1 open spot. Won't join if
you clear any of his wives.

UPKEEP: 6

Base cost of 3 for a strong unit. However, keeping Masamune means you can't
clear any of his wives.

UTILITY: 8

8 in Search, 3 in Neg and Con. Also required to recruit Omachi.

SOLO: 10

Tied Kenshin for the 4th highest level cap in the game. Have one of the highest
HP as well.

Comment: First thing first, Masamune is strong so let's make that clear. Being
the Youkai king though, you kinda expect more from him. His Eye-drop skill
that he uses against you won't be there after he joins. Without any skills to
provide variety, the only thing Masamune can do in army battles is hack away
at your foes using his superior stats. That is not ineffective by any means,
but quite a few of your warriors can do just that and offer more on the side.
I tend to be strategic when I can so I don't appreciate Masamune's simplicity.
He's an absolute beast in solo battles though. High level, high hp and a
monstrous 6 actions.

Alt Comment: Yes, Masamune is very generic but he has a very good foundation
to build upon. Good stat and fairly decent starting troop number. Above all,
his 6 actions mean that Masamune can make good use of skills that others
cannot afford. Shouting Charge is a good option, as is Side Attack. Full
Power Warrior Charge is a risky move but could work with good planning.
Masamune is not a must-have unit by any metrics but make no mistake, he
is strong.


-- Noir -- (Warrior)

STATS: 9

Very nice stats.

SKILLS: 7

She comes with Commander's Charge and Auto Heal 1. You've seen both before.

OBTAINABILITY: 4

Has to be captured in battles, otherwise won't be auto-captured and cannot
be obtained after Dokuranryuu falls.

UPKEEP: 7

Base cost of 3 for a strong unit.

UTILITY: 2

None whatsoever. Does provide SAT bonus.

SOLO: 7

Decent level cap and great hp (though not quite as much as Masamune)

Comment: Noir is very much a carbon copy of Masamune. She has the edge over him
in army battles thanks to her superior skills, but loses out to Masamune
in term of utility and solo. With that said, I'd say Masamune is the better
one to keep. By the time that they join, you should have a lot of options
for army battles but strong soloers are much harder to come by.

Alt Comment: The only female warrior worths giving Uesugi Charge Unit to
besides Kenshin. In higher difficulty, give it to Noir since you want
to have Kenshin's item slot open (Uesugi Charge Unit cannot be unequip).


-- Nogiku -- (Footsoldier)

STATS: 10

The 7 in defense harms her more than the rest of her family. However, she
still has the best stats in the footsoldier class.

SKILLS: 8

She comes with All Guard, Spear Attack and Auto heal 1. Spear Attack is a
special attack for Footsoldier that deals pretty nice damage.

OBTAINABILITY: 1

For a while, I don't even know how to capture Nogiku. Well, you need Kazemaru
,the Akashi kid lord, to have the passive skill Hibachi, which requires its
own lengthy sequence of events. Kazemaru then must be in your army before
you can capture Nogiku. Summary? A pain in the butt.

UPKEEP: 7

Base cost of 3 for a strong unit.

UTILITY: 2

None whatsoever. Does provide SAT bonus.

SOLO: 7

Decent level cap and great hp (though not quite as much as Masamune).

Comment: Nogiku is a heavy favorite for the title of most cumbersome commander
to recruit. For apparently no reason, you have to complete another
commander's personal events to capture Nogiku. That Kazemaru has no relations
to Nogiku just makes it even weirder. Anyways, Nogiku functions more like a
warrior than a footsoldier. With Spear Attack, she hits pretty hard. She takes
damage decently well also. Unlike Masamune and Noir, Nogiku's stats face much
less competition from her fellow footsoldiers. As a result, Nogiku will be
unusually hard-hitting and fast for a footsoldier. Overall, she easilly takes
a place in any roster... if you can recruit her.


-- Orhime -- (Ninja)

STATS: 9

Very nice stats for a ninja, losing to only Inukai.

SKILLS: 3

She comes with Auto Heal 1, which is useless for a ninja.

OBTAINABILITY: 4

Has to be captured in battles, otherwise won't be auto-captured and cannot
be obtained after Dokuranryuu falls.

UPKEEP: 7

Base cost of 3 for a strong unit.

UTILITY: 2

None whatsoever. Does provide SAT bonus (in a nasty event).

SOLO: 7

Decent level cap and great hp (though not quite as much as Masamune).

Comment: Orime is very similar to Inukai in several ways. They are both
hard hitting ninja and have uber stats. Both are very fast. Ninja is more of a
specialist class and not a conventional damage dealer class so only need either
Inukai or Orime. They're about the same but Inukai can come much sooner. Other
ninjas who can offer more flexibility like Yoshikage and Kiku should be
prioritized. Remember as well that Suzume is always there. It's quite the shame
really as Orime's personality heavilly suggests she's good with undercover
works. She ends up fighting more like an archer.


-- Omachi -- (Diviner)

STATS: 9

Second highest stats for a Diviner, losing to only Souun.

SKILLS: 10

She comes with Lightning and Black Lightning. Lightning strikes all enemies
right away for 50% damage. Black Lightning also strikes all enemies but for
bigger damamge (150%) and need preparation.

OBTAINABILITY: 3

After she is defeated in battles, she will turn into a stone. After Masamune
joins, there will be a purple event in their territory where 3D gives Masamune
the stone. After you raise Masamune affection level to Trust, there will be
another event where Omachi is revived. She will join if you have enough nat
power and 1 open spot.

UPKEEP: 9

Base cost of 3 for a broken units.

UTILITY: 1

None whatsoever. Does not provide SAT bonus. (darn...)

SOLO: 9

Only decent level cap but her Fire Blast attack hits for a lot in solo battles.

Comment: For a game that is stingy on multiple-targets attack, Omachi gets
2 good target-all attacks. Both are also very strong, making Omachi feel
broken often. Black Lightning is the better skill of the 2 as it hits for
a ridiculous amount. Since Omachi is fast, the cast time won't be very long.
She can easilly cast twice per battle, with the second time most likely wiping
everyone out. Plus, you always have the option to use Lightning if you
think a second cast won't go off in time. Both skills, unlike most target-all
skills, do not use all action points (use only 1 in fact) so you don't have to
use Convert Action with Omachi. Overall, gives Omachi some sort of buffs (item
with damage modifier, stat boosts, etc..) and she can make even the hardest
army battles seem laughable. She's hard to recruit but not as unreasonable
as Nogiku. Definitely worth using.

Trivia: Omachi, together with Ranmaru, is one of the only two unique female
commanders not to have an H scene.


############################
-- 1m. Tanegashima House --
############################

Commanders: Yuzuhara Yuzumi and Tanegashima Shigehiko.

General summary: Tanegashima offers 2 commanders, both of whom are muskerteers.
Yuzumi is the more useful one, and she can hold her own towards end game.
Shigehiko is less useful, and while he will be strong for much of mid game, he
will start to struggle against the strong oponents you find in later stages.
The good thing is that both Yuzumi and Shigehiko are easy to recruit, and
Tanegashima house is also easy to conquer. The only downside is that you will
have to conquer Akashi as well or else Mori will do it.


-- Yuzuhara Yuzumi -- (Musketeer)

STATS: 7

Nice attack and good speed. Mediorce defense though. Also, only 1 action point.

SKILLS: 8

She comes with her unique skill, Aim and Shoot, which deals damage with a
chance to instant KO. Very neat skill and pretty much define Yuzumi.

OBTAINABILITY: 8

Can be captured in battle or auto-captured after you conquer Tanegashima.

UPKEEP: 7

Base cost of 3 for a useful unit.

UTILITY: 5

3s in all utility stats. Provide SAT bonus. She's also one of the participants
in the Emperor race on Kenshin's route. One of the easier to defeat as well.

SOLO: 3

Average level cap. And although muskerteer has nice attack modifier in solo
battle, the fact that Yuzumi only has 1 action point means she won't be able
to do much.

Comment: As far as I know, Yuzumi has the only skill in the game that has a
chance to insta skill and still able to deal damage. Although Aim and Shoot
seems to deal weaker damage than a normal Shoot, it still shaves off a
considerable amount. Consider that it's more or less free damage, it's
not too bad. Yuzumi is one of the best candidates for the Working Bee as it
allows her 3 attemtps at insta KO per battle. The troops loss won't mean as
much to her as it would be to others. Very much like Isoroku, Yuzumi is a
specilist to counter those enemies with huge troop size. Her weakness is that
she dies easilly, so being a front line unit, she's gonna need protection.

Alt Comment: Yuzumi is very risky unit to use in a battle. She can easilly die
even before getting a single shot off. Aim and Shoot has around the same base
insta-kill chance as Assasinate, but since Yuzumi, as a musketeer, has very
few troops, she won't succeed often. To make up for it, her skill deals damage
as well and costs only 1 action point. She pretty much requires the Working
Bee to be useful so give it to her early to minimize the troop loss. Also,
prioritize giving Yuzumi troops instead of stats. Musketeer's modifier is so
high they hit cap damage often, meaning very rarely will 1 more atk makes any
difference. On the other hand, her def is so low anyways boosting it won't
help much.

-- Tanegashima Shigehiko -- (Musketeer)

STATS: 6

6s in everything. Decent for a musketeer. 2 action points.

SKILLS: 1

He doesn't come with any unique skills. Can't learn any either.

OBTAINABILITY: 8

He is auto-captured after you conquer Tanegashima.

UPKEEP: 6

Base cost of 3 for an average unit.

UTILITY: 7

3 Search, 5 Neg and 7 Con.

SOLO: 2

Very low caps and low action points.

Comment: Shigehiko deals around the same damage as Yuzimi does. He has lower
attack but Shoot seems to have higher modifier. Of course, he doesn't have
that all important insta-kill feature. Regardless, Shigehiko can still rack up
some pretty nice damage. Problem is that musketeer is very specilized unit, and
you don't really want more than 2. Yuzumi always gets a spot for her skill,
and in terms of conventional usefulness, Toshihisa has much better stats.
The only reason to use Shigehiko is if you can't wait to get Toshihisa, or if
he is simply not available on that route. Even then though, Musketeer requires
extra protection, and Shigehiko doesn't do enough to justify that special
treatment.

Alt Comment: Toshihisa actually won't deal much more damage than Shigehiko.
In fact, both will likely hit cap damage with no problems so Toshihisa's
stats rarely ever matter. With that said, Shigehiko is indeed a rather
cumbersome character to use. In most fights, a decent warrior will outperform
him easilly.


######################
-- 1n. Tenshi Sect --
######################

Commanders: Seigan and Genri.

General summary: There are 2 ways to get Seigan, each of which contains its own
headaches that I will discuss later. Seigan simply is a very good commander.
He's strong and versatile so he is a force to be reckoned with. You definitely
would want him in your army but recruiting him is another thing...

*Special note on Seigan's recruitment:

There are 2 ways to recruit Seigan, each with its own merit and burden. The
first way is to ally (vassalize) Tenshi Sect then Seigan will join you after
a few turns. The good thing about this method is that you have a better idea
of when Seigan will join. The downside is that there is no Negotiation option
to vassalize Tenshi Sect. In order to ally them, they have to be around when
the incident at Honounji Temple happens. It means you will have to put up with
invasion from Tenshi and uprising from mobs for a very long time.

The second method is to conquer Tenshi as normal, then after you start fighting
the Demon Army, he will offer to join at a random point. The problem with
this method is that the event in which Seigan joins is VERY random. I have
had him join in 4-5 turns after Demon Army shows up, and I have seen him
joining after 15-20 turns. Of course, the good thing is that you don't have to
deal with Tenshi Sect and uprising for a sustained period.

Both methods are equally cumbersome in their own ways, and none is better than
the other. If you're new though, the 2nd method is better because you don't
have to put up with Tenshi Sect in early game when you should be concentrating
what little force you have on expansion.


-- Seigan -- (Monk)

STATS: 8

Nice stats for a monk.

SKILLS: 9

He comes with his unique skill, Death's Scythe (funny name given that he's a
monk...). It takes off 25% of *max* HP of all enemies. He also has Auto Heal 2.
Auto Heal 2 becomes Triplet if you return one of the girls to him. Triplet
provides all 4 buffs.

OBTAINABILITY: 2

Check out the special note above.

UPKEEP: 7

Base cost of 3 for a strong unit.

UTILITY: 8

5 Search, 7 Neg and 4 Con. One event with him will raise Rance's level
by 3.

SOLO: 7

He comes already reached his cap, which is above average. Can use Convert
Action in solo battles.

Comment: Contrary to popular belief, Seigan can't learn Convert Action in army
battles. Even without that, he's still a very strong and versatile commander.
His stats are good enough that with Triplet, he can fight like a good warrior
on the front line. His Death's Scythe skill is powerful on its own but what's
more important is that it can be used to complete casting combo. This combines
with Natori's Miko Storm 2 can wipe out 55% of all enemies. You can either
use Convert Action on both of them again, or have a third caster like Souun,
Omachi or Chinu. Beware that even though Seigan is a fast caster, he doesn't
have that broken speed of Souun, Omachi and Natori. To compensate, he's
probably the only caster that can survive on the front row so if you want to
bring 4 casters into a battle, Seigan'd better be one of them.

-- Genri -- (Monk)

STATS: 5

Weak overall stats. Horrid def. Have 6 actions however.

SKILLS: 1

Does not come with and cannot learn any unique skills.

OBTAINABILITY: 2

Autojoin a few turns after Seigan joins.

UPKEEP: 4

Base cost of 2 for a generally useless commander.

UTILITY: 8

5 Search, 7 Neg and 4 Con. (Same as Seigan by the way)

SOLO: 4

Very low cap. Can use Convert Action and have 6 action points. He most likely
will be defeated before he can finish pumping all 6 actions though.

Alt Comment: Genri is not very useful in battle conventionally. However, he's
the only monk that can pull off a sniffy formation thanks to his 6 actions.
First, have Genri learn Extended Battle and a diviner with All Guard Shikigami.
Elina and Kojika are diviners that start with that skill.  Field the following
formation:

Kenshin, Dousan, Genri
Uruza, Natori, Diviner

On Uruza's and Diviner's first turn, use Accurate Shot and All Guard Shikigami.
That combines with Kenshin passive will waste up to 18 actions for the enemy.
Have Kenshin use commander charge so she won't use up any more turns.
Have Natori use her Miko Storm 2 unless there is a risk of someone
canceling her casting. Have Genri use Extend Battle every time it's his turn.
Have Dousan stanby until everyone in the battle are out of actions except for
her
and Genri. At that point, let Dousan uses Convert Action on Natori and have
her cast Miko Storm 2 again. Normally, you should have more than enough turns
to have Natori casts 4 times, wiping out everyone. Note that this strategy works
with Seigan as the caster as well. However, Seigan can melee well too whereas
Natori is only good for her spell so she fits this formation more. Even if
somethimg goes awry and Natori can only cast 3 times, that is still 90% of
all enemy, most likely still win you the battle.

In cases where there is a real risk of the enemy defeating either Dousan or
Genri.
Use this formation instead:

Kenshin, Footsoldier, Genri
Uruza, Natori, Dousan

Have the footsoldier guard until the enemy are all out of actions then have them
use something that cost their remaining actions, such as Fallen Troop's Revenge.
This will leave fewer turns for Natori and Dousan to go on their casting combo.
With Genri though, you should still have enough turns to cast 3-4 times.


######################
-- 1o. Mouri House --
######################

Commanders: Mouri Motonari, Mouri Teru, Kikkawa Kiku, Kobayakawa Chinu
and Yamanaka Kojika.

General summary: Mouri house is one of those few houses that offer roster
with both quantity and quality. Mouri's commanders might not have the
uber stats of Shimazu, Takeda or Dokkuranryuu but they are certainly much
easier to recruit. Most joins after you deafeat Mouri House. For that reason
alone, in terms of overall contribution, Mouri only loses to Uesugi. Anyways,
Teru is easilly the best of Mouri's offerings, being one of the only 2
footbsoldiers that can actually make counterattack powerful. Monotari is useful
in solo battle, and Chinu has an interesting spell. Kiku is a decent ninja.
The worst of the bunch and thankfully the hardest to obtain is Kojika, who has
very special stat distribution. Overall, you can potentially see all 5 Mouri's
commanders in your army, albeit with different significance.


-- Mouri Motonari -- (Warrior)

STATS: 9

Good attack and defense.

SKILLS: 6

After he enters curse form his skills will change. Uncursed, he has Warrior
Attack 2, Commander's charge and Initial Battle Rating. Cursed, he loses all
the above and get Monotari Attack, which deals a smalll fixed damage to any
enemy. Uncursed is obviously better.

OBTAINABILITY: 4

You have to do the events that uncurse Motonari, then he'll automatically
be captured after you defeat his house. To uncurse him, you need to have
recruited Ryouma, the Takuga's ninja. Pick the purple event "Ask Ryouma
about Motonari" (you might have to search for Izumo dungeon first) then
go into Izumo dungeon. After a while, you will fight the monster that curse
Motonari. You know when that happens because there is an event afterwards.

UPKEEP: 10

Base cost of 1 for a very strong unit.

UTILITY: 3

3 in Neg. Not much else.

SOLO: 10

His cap is above average and he comes only 1 level away from it. What makes
Motonari awesome in solo battles though is his unique attack, Monotori Attack.
It deals a fixed 200 damage on all target, which is a hefty amount against
difficult bosses. Nice HP too.

Comment: In summary, Motonari is a good commander in army battles and an
awesome one in solo battles. He hits hard in army battles with his high attack
and Commander's charge gives him an extra attacking option. Initial Battle
Rating is always a boost of course. Solo battles are where he truly shines
though. Against certain story boss like Xavier and Orochi, commanders below
level 50 or so will deal less than 100 damage. So Motonari's constant 200 hit
is a big blessing. Only a handful will be able to attack for more than that.
You tend to be much better equipped for army battles than solo battles, and
the good thing about Motonari is that he's good at both.


-- Mouri Teru -- (Footsoldier)

STATS: 6

Average attack and defense. Int is very low, which affects her guard percentage.

SKILLS: 9

She comes with Ally Guard+, Loot and the very useful Counterattack 2. Ally
Guard+ guards only the front row but with boosted rate. Loot decreases attack
for some money. Counterattack 2 adds a lot of extra damage to counterattack.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

Can be captured in battle or auto-captured after Mouri falls.

UPKEEP: 9

Base cost of 2 for a strong unit.

UTILITY: 9

7 Search, 4 Neg and 3 Con. Provides SAT bonus after you get her some drug...

SOLO: 4

Above average level cap. In general though, not very good.

Comment: Teru's int could be a lot more troublesome since it lowers her
initial guard rate. However, because Teru works best when she does nothing but
guard, this issue is somewhat mitigated. Anyway, Counterattack 2 is very very
potent. Stacking it with Dragonfly Cutter item and Teru can annihilate
enemies on the counter. This opens up a lot of strategy option, mainly it allows
for a defensive formation that could also win battles and not just stall.
Other than that, Teru's low stats do not allow her to do much else.

Alt Comment: Unless you plan to get Yoshihisa or in a route where he is
obtainable,
it is advisable to boost Teru's stats. She needs some more atk and def to be a
truly high-end commander. To compensate, Counterattack 2 opened up a lot of
strategic options. Together with 2 sturdy warrios, Teru can make up a very
offensive front line that is also sustainable.


-- Kikkawa Kiku -- (Ninja)

STATS: 8

7 in everything except for a 6 in int, which is rather useless for Kiku anyways.

SKILLS: 8

She comes with Ninja Art: Leave Hiding and Assassinate 2. You know the latter,
and the former boosts Kiku's def by a lot.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

Can be captured in battle or auto-captured after Mouri falls.

UPKEEP: 8

Base cost of 2 for a strong unit. However, ninja is very specialized and there
is quite a few good ones out there.

UTILITY: 9

7 Search, 5 Neg. Also gives SAT bonus.

SOLO: 4

Average level cap. Very fragile and won't hit for much. Can learn Dungeon Scout.

Comment: Kiku adds another quality unit to an already rather crowded field
of ninjas. Leave Hiding, when stacked with other damage reduction item, can
make Kiku into a pseudo-tank that is sturdier than even footsoldier. Though
application of such build is much more complicated. Kiku has 5 actions points,
so she's a good fit for sonic shuriken. Overall, there is simply a lot of
strategies you can pull off using Kiku.

Alt Comment: Kiku is a classic jack of all trades, master of none. Her stats
are high, but not as high as Inukai or Yoshikage. Unlike those two, you can't
really count on Kiku to be a significant damage dealer. She has Assasinate 2
but that skill does not benefit from Kiku's stats. Assasinate 2 is all about
troop number and Suzume or even Goemon are the better commanders for that.
Her only unique edge is Leave Hiding, which is pointless in normal battles.
Certain formation can make use of Leave Hiding and potentially use Kiku as a
bait since warriors and muskerteers tend to target ninja before other front
line units. Hard to pull off well however.


-- Kobayakawa Chinu -- (Miko)

STATS: 7

7 in everything except for a 6 in speed, which could hurt.

SKILLS: 7

She comes with Healing Mist and Poison. Poison damages enemies for half of
their *current* health. Poison takes 2 ninja attack to cancel.

OBTAINABILITY: 1

She will always die in routes where the Demon Army appears, which is to say,
most of the routes. Otherwise, she can be captured in battle or automatically
after Mouri falls.

UPKEEP: 8

Base cost of 2 for a potentially useful unit.

UTILITY: 9

6 in all 3 utility stats. Also gives SAT bonus.

SOLO: 5

Decent cap and is useful as a healer.

Commment: Due to plot reasons, you won't get to use Chinu a lot. Chinu's
usefulness centers around her Poison skill. While it sounds awesome, the
skill is actually very hard to pull off well. Chinu is not fast, so even if you
have her cast on her first turn, by the time the spell goes off, significant
damage has already been done. Chinu is also slower than other major casters
like Natori, Souun and Omachi, but her spell has to go off first. All in all,
it's very hard to do it right, and most of the time, you'd rather just avoid
it altogether.

Alt Comment: Poison can work very well in a defensive formation. The idea
is simple, defend until Poison goes off, then finish off your weakened enemy.
Execution however is harder. The thing with Sengoku Rance battle system is
that there is a lot of randomness. Such unpredictability does not favor
a precision strike such as Poison. Bring a decent warrior into battle and
you know what exactly you can expect from him. Bring Chinu and you either
end up with a gloriously pulled off Poison or a dead Miko. The latter is
more likely.


-- Yamanaka Kojika -- (Diviner)

STATS: 6

Weirdest stat distribution by far. Has the highest def in the game (yeah, no
kidding) at 9. Horrible int and def and average attack.

SKILLS: 6

She comes with All Guard Shikigami, which uses all action points to cast
shikigami barrier on all allies, Orge Summon 2, which is a range attack on a
single unit, and Healthy Body, which reduces replenishment cost.

OBTAINABILITY: 1

You have to see a lengthy sequence of events where Kojika goes around various
houses and ask for help. Then after the one with Mouri's assasination, you can
conquer Mouri and she can be recruited in an event. If you expand to the south
first, there is no chance to get Kojika. Even if you go North, if you're fast,
you won't see all the events either.

UPKEEP: 9

One of the 2 units in game with a base cost of 0. Still take up a spot
of course.

UTILITY: 6

6 in Search. Gives SAT bonus.

SOLO: 3

Above average cap but starts out very low. Most likely won't get anywhere
near her cap.

Comment: Everything about Kojika is comedic relief, from her events to her
build. Anyways, if you stack a defense item, Kojika can tank decently. However,
diviner's troop size is limited, and no guarding means you have to hope the
enemies target Kojika. Her attack is very bad so don't bother with attacking
too much. Overall, Kojika is very bad with army battles when you try to win.
Her best use, therefore, is to defend against invasion. Get her and a few
other less useful commanders, drop All Skikigami Guard, and then just wait out
the clock. She costs nothing so for a while that could be very cost effective.
At end game though, you want to let Kojika go to get room for better commanders.

Alt Comment: Even her maximum def won't save her in hard mode since Diviner
has bad def modifier. And her 4 int pretty much eliminates her as an offensive
contributor. She does start with All Guard Shikigami but too slow to even use
that well. Overall, a rather useless commander that is also extremely hard
to recruit. Pass.

#######################
-- 1p. Akashi House --
#######################

Commander: Akashi Kazemaru

General summary: The North has Imagawa, the Center has Hara, so the South also
has Akashi to contest for the title of suckiest roster. Anyhow, Kazemaru
will be a bigger liability than he will ever be an asset. The fastest you can
have him is around mid game, and he already sucks right then. End game, you'd
better off going into battles short-handed rather than picking Kazemaru.
Conquer Akashi to get to Takuga, but don't expect to get any help out of it.


-- Akashi Kazemaru -- (Warrior)

STATS: 4

Starts with non-existent stats and gets a little bit better after he gets
Hibachi. Even then, pathetic attack for a warrior.

SKILLS: 3

He doesn't come with anything but learn Hibachi after some events. Hibachi adds
50 damage to every attack. End game enemies has troops in the thousands so it's
fairly useless.

OBTAINABILITY: 8

Just need to conquer Akashi and choose the option to capture him.

UPKEEP: 4

Base cost of 1, which is low but Kazemaru is fairly useless.

UTILITY: 4

Insignificant utility stats. He's needed (or specifically, Hibachi) to recruit
Nojiku.

SOLO: 7

Very weak in general but he has a special skill called Hibachi attack which
deals a fixed 100 damage. Against the worst bosses, 100 is more than most can
manage.

Comment: It's as if the developer realized there is no reason to use Kazemaru
so they attach an inexplicable connection between him and Nojiku. Maybe giving
him better stats would help his case more. Anyways, Kazemaru won't even be able
to survive in army battles if he doesn't have Hibachi fast. And even afterwards,
he's at most a bit part commander. Don't use him to attack at all, and just save
him to defend. Then after you get Nojiku, it's best to ditch Kazemaru. It might
have been worth it to keep him for his solo skill had his utility stats been
at least decent. At it stands, Kazemaru can offer too little to worth a spot.

Alt Comment: After Kazemaru acquires Hibachi, all his combat stats increase by
2.
So he'll have 4 atk, 6 def, 6 int, 6 speed. There are suggestions that if you
pump all his stats to 6 using lvl 1 books then trigger Hibachi event,
Kazemaru will end up with all 8s in combat stat. Well, that'd cost 10 lvl 1
books. Some games you won't even get 10 books. Giving him Brute Photo
or Rance Love is another suggestion. With Brute Photo, Kazemaru will hit
all 6s in 70 turns. That might sound good but that strategy could work
well or better on other commanders. For example, in 70 turns, Senhime will
have 9 atk, 9 def and 9 int. Not only that, she can use the affection bonus
afterwards to boost her level as well. Bottom line is that there is no
star commander hidden inside Kazemaru no matter how hard you try to find it.


#################
-- 1q. Takuga --
#################

Commanders: Sakamoto Ryouma, Gon, Kawanoe Yuzuru and Kawanoe Mine,

General summary: Having to survive in harsh conditions and all, Takuga's
commanders are surprisingly underwhelming. The best of the bunch and only
real high-end commander is Gon, a sturdy footsoldier focusing on defense.
Ryouma is not a bad character, but in the compact field of ninjas, he/she is
subpar at best. The Kawanoes are held back by low stats and not very useful
skills. Neither Yuzuru nor Mine is worth using beyond mid game or so. The good
thing about Takuga is that you get help to conquer them, and their commanders
don't require anything special to be captured. However though, to keep any
Takuga's commanders you have to have Ryouma as well which is a nuisance.


-- Sakamoto Ryouma -- (Ninja)

STATS: 6

Weak attack and speed for a ninja.

SKILLS: 1

Start with only the basic attack of ninja and can't learn anything special.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

Auto-captured after you conquer Takuga.

UPKEEP: 7

Base cost of 1 for a subpar unit.

UTILITY: 6

3 Neg and 4 Con. Give SAT bonus. Needed for all other Takuga's
commanders to join and stay.

SOLO: 5

Okay cap but won't be able to deal much damage. Can learn Dungeon Scout.

Comment: Ryouma might be an okay unit had they been in another class besides
ninja (okay, not warrior either). As it stands, there are at least 5-6 other
ninjas that you should use before considering Ryouma. Their only use is to
recruit and keep other Takuga's commanders. That's a steep price though, and one
that you might not be willing to pay since Ryouma just can't contribute
meaningfully in any task. They won't be good in army battles, and even though
Ryouma can learn Assasinate, their rate is nothing to write home about.
Get Ryouma to clear Takuga's characters and to recruit Motonari, then it's
best to let them go.


-- Gon -- (Footsoldier)

STATS: 7

Good attack and def but horrid int.

SKILLS: 7

He starts with Ally Guard+ and Fallen Troops' Revenge, which deals damage
based on how much damage has been received.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

Auto-captured after you conquer Takuga or can be captured in battle before.
Can only join after Ryouma joins

UPKEEP: 4

Base cost of 2 for a decent unit but he will leave if Ryouma leaves, meaning
in order to keep him, you have to keep a subpar unit as well.

UTILITY: 1

None.

SOLO: 4

Comes already capped at an average level. Surprisingly low hp given his huge
frame.

Comment: Gon is decent as a tank, and that's argurably the only role that he
can even perform. Fortunately, he plays that role well. Very few other
characters can tank better than Gon. His attack is okay but it is advisable
to keep guarding with Gon for the best effect. He is best used to defend or
to accompany a team of casters. Other than that, there is not much else to say
about Gon. He's as one-dimensional as it gets. He's good but not good enough
that having to keep Ryouma as well is a no-brainer. You will have to decide
for yourself if that is a good tradeoff.

Alt Comment: A good comparison to Gon is Katsuie. Gon has better starting stats
and skills but Katsuie has more time and methods to improve. Both will end
up being more on the defensive side.


-- Kawanoe Yuzuru -- (Warrior)

STATS: 4

Average attack and very bad defense.

SKILLS: 4

He comes with Charge and Gamble Charge. Charge increases the power of the next
attack. Gamble charge deals between 0.5x and 2.5x damage randomly. It
can be upgraded to Gamble Charge 2, having a range of 1x to 3x but use all
action points. Needed to be cleared first. Can learn Lover skill, which deals
an additional 30 damage each attack.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

Auto-captured after you conquer Takuga or can be captured in battle before.
Can only join after Ryouma joins.

UPKEEP: 2

Base cost of 1 for a fairly weak unit.

UTILITY: 6

5 Search, 3 Neg and 5 Con.

SOLO: 4

Average cap. Not very good.

Comment: Yuzuru is where it's really going downhill for Takuga. His stats are
just bad. Even around mid game, 6 attack is just bad given the abundance of
options
for warriors. His skill could be okay since it has a higher chance of dealing
more damage than less, but it costs 2 action points, which kills it. As you can
tell by yourself, Lover is also a useless skill. Yuzuru does have some utility
stats, but I guarantee you have better choices to use your roster space for.

Alt Comment: Battles in this game already have enough randomness as it is.
There is no need to bring even more luck into the equation with Yuzuru.


-- Kawanoe Mine -- (Warrior)

STATS: 4

Good defense but bad attack. Only 3 action points as well.

SKILLS: 4

She comes with Charge and Gamble Charge. Charge increases the power of the next
attack. Gamble charge deals between 0.5x and 2.5x damage randomly. It
can be upgraded to Gamble Charge 2, having a range of 1x to 3x but use all
action points. Needed to be cleared first. Can learn Lover skill, which deals
an additional 30 damage each attack.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

Auto-captured after you conquer Takuga or can be captured in battle before.
Can only join after Ryouma joins.

UPKEEP: 2

Base cost of 1 for a fairly weak unit.

UTILITY: 6

3 Search, 5 Neg and 5 Con. No SAT bonus.

SOLO: 4

Come already capped at 39. Not good.

Comment: Mine is not any better than her brother. Her attack will really hurt
her later on as she can barely scratch those enemies with huge stack of troops.
Pretty much anything else about Yuruzu applied to Mine. Which is to say: don't
use her.


########################
-- 1r. Shimazu House --
########################

Commanders: Shimazu Yoshihisa, Shimazu Kazuhisa, Shimazu Toshihisa, Shimazu
Iehisa and Agireda.

General summary: You can't recruit any of the Shimazu's brothers in any routes
that the Demon Army appears. That means you won't see them in your army a lot
, and even if you do, it won't be for long since they're located at the south
end of the map. It's a pity though because all 4 are quite strong. Agireda is
the opposite of the brothers and can only be recruited in routes that Demon
Army appears. Even though her availability is a little bit better, Agireda is
not very good compared to the brothers. So keep in mind that though they are
strong, don't plan for the Shimazu brothers to be key commanders in your army.
In fact, their presence is one of the reasons why you should always go
North first in a playthrough.


-- Shimazu Yoshihisa -- (Footsoldier)

STATS: 8

Good attack and defense. Decent int. Overall among the highest stats you'll
see with a footsoldier.

SKILLS: 9

He has almost the exact skill sets that Teru has: Ally Guard +, Loot and of
course the ever useful Counterattack 2.

OBTAINABILITY: 2

Has to be on non-Demon Army route. You have to wait for the Shimazu to tempt
one of your female soldiers then kidnap Kurohime and all the brothers will
surrender and be put in prison.

UPKEEP: 8

Base cost of 3 for a strong unit.

UTILITY: 6

4 in all 3 utility stats.

SOLO: 7

Decent cap and hp. Have 5 action points so he can be good filler in dungeon.

Comment: Yoshihisa is the only other commander besides Teru that can make
counterattack hurt badly. Technically, he's even better with the Dragonfly
Cutter since he has higher stats than Teru. However, he's won't be around
nearly as much as Teru will. Anyways, fantastic footsoldier for army battles.
Have him guard and watch most units get wrecked trying to attack him. His
good utility and solo ratings mean you won't run out of thing for Yoshihisa
to do.

Alt Comment: Yoshihisa is perhaps the best footsoldier in the game but is
also the hardest to recruit. There is also not a new-game house bonus for
Shimazu for the most you'll see Yoshihisa is in free-for-all.


-- Shimazu Kazuhisa -- (Warrior)

STATS: 10

8s in everything. Among the best stats seen in the game.

SKILLS: 1

He doesn't come with and can't learn anything unique.

OBTAINABILITY: 2

Has to be on non-Demon Army route. You have to wait for the Shimazu to tempt
one of your female soldiers then kidnap Kurohime and all the brothers will
surrender and be put in prison.

UPKEEP: 9

Base cost of 3 for a very strong unit.

UTILITY: 4

4 in Search and Neg.

SOLO: 7

Decent cap and hp. Have 5 action points so he can be good filler in dungeon.

Comment: You won't see stats as good as Kazuhisa's very often. Even though he
doesn't have any good skills, Kazuhisa's stats alone ensure that he will
hit very hard. He's also sturdy and fast. The only character that I can think
of who hit harder than Kazuhisa normally is Takeda's Masakage. Give Kazuhisa
some item and you got yourself a good damage dealer that you want to use in
your hardest fights. He doesn't hit as hard in solo but can still be useful
in dungeon.


-- Shimazu Toshihisa -- (Musketeer)

STATS: 10

8s in everything except for defense. Fantastic for a musketeer. 2 action points
as well.

SKILLS: 1

He doesn't come with and can't learn anything unique.

OBTAINABILITY: 2

Has to be on non-Demon Army route. You have to wait for the Shimazu to tempt
one of your female soldiers then kidnap Kurohime and all the brothers will
surrender and be put in prison.

UPKEEP: 8

Base cost of 3 for a strong unit.

UTILITY: 8

8 in Search 3 in Neg and Con.

SOLO: 5

Same cap as his brothers but his class modifier allows him to deal greater
damage. Only 2 action points though.

Comment: Toshihisa has one of the most deceiving stats in the game. Musketeer
atk modifier is so high that they almost always hit cap damage. He won't hit
any harder than Shigehiko or even generic musketeers. His def is high but
the most it'll do is save him from dying, he won't remain useful after 1-2
good hits. Overall, even though a musketeer with crazy stats sounds like a
whole lot of damage, Toshihisa in actuality won't be that much better than
other musketeer you see.


-- Shimazu Iehisa -- (Tactician)

STATS: 7

Good attack and int. Decent def and somewhat bad speed.

SKILLS: 2

He comes with Battle Strategy 1 and Remove Buffs 1, the lowest rank of
these skills.

OBTAINABILITY: 2

Has to be on non-Demon Army route. You have to wait for the Shimazu to tempt
one of your female soldiers then kidnap Kurohime and all the brothers will
surrender and be put in prison.

UPKEEP: 6

Strangely cost more than his older brothers at 4. And he's the weakest.

UTILITY: 9

4 in Search, 8 in Neg and Con.

SOLO: 4

Same cap as his brother but he gets bad modifier. Use him to buffs.

Comment: Iehisa is in my opinion the worst of the Shimazu brothers. He's
certainly a good unit on his own. What hurts him is that while his brothers
compare favorably with other commanders in their classes, Iehisa is weaker
than 3 other tacticians: Tourin, Ai and Uruza. And of course, all 3 are much
more obtainable and stay around much longer. With that said, Iehisa does
relatively well in army battles. Since tacticians all have fantastic utility
ratings, it's okay to have a lot of them. So feel free to grab Iehisa
if you can since he will be useful.

Alt Comment: Iehisa is sorta caught in no man's land. He does just about
everything decently but does nothing good enough to get himself into
any formation. Let's compare Iehisa to a polarized scharacter like
Yuzumi. Yes, 8 out 10 times, Iehisa will be more useful than Yuzumi in
a battle. However, in those 8 times, Iehisa is at best 3rd or 4th choice
for the tactician spot. On the other hand, in those 2 times, Yuzumi is likely
in because you need what she can offer and no one else can.


-- Agireda -- (Warrior)

STATS: 7

Average (6) in attack and defense, the stats that matter. Very high (8) in int
and speed, the stats that don't matter as much.

SKILLS: 6

She comes with Warrior attack 2, Shouting Charge and Attack luck. Shouting
Charge does slightly better damage and gives a little boost to the battle
rating mater. Attack luck gives some chance of higher damage.

OBTAINABILITY: 4

Can be captured in battles on routes that the Demon Army appears.

UPKEEP: 6

Base cost of 2 for an okay unit.

UTILITY: 1

Not much in anything.

SOLO: 3

Low cap and might not even reach it given the time that she joins.

Comment: The good news is that Agireda is much more obtainable than the
brothers. The bad news is that she's a lot worse than they are. She oddly
has very high int and speed. Too bad the stats that matter for warrior are
attack and def, areas in which Agireda is mediorce at best. In army battles,
she won't hit for much and get hurt quite often. Her skills don't really
help her case a lot. And Agireda, unlike the brothers, has very bad ratings
in utility and solo. In other words, she's not really worth it to recruit.
By the time you get to her, you should have plenty good warriors. It's ironic
that the easiest commander to obtain from Shimazu is by far its worst.

Alt Comment: Agireda is actually not a bad commander. She is just bad for
the period that you'll likely acquire her. Shimazu does not have a house
bonus. Plus, Agireda can only be recruited in routes with the Demon Army.
In those routes, the Demon Army is likely the last house you attack.
At that point, your roster should already be loaded.


#########################
-- 1s. Reinforcements --
#########################

Commanders: Rizma, Uruza, Magic, Kanami, Maria and Leila.

General summary: These commanders will join you if you choose the Ask for
Reinforcement option in Rance's SAT bonus menus. The first 3 are from Zeth, and
the other 3 are from Leazas. They will join you a while after the command is
used. Probably around 7 or 8 turns. They will join in the order listed. For
example, 1st time asking for reinforcement from Zeth, you get Rizma. 2nd is
Uruza and 3rd is Magic. Same goes for Leazas: Kanami then Maria then Leila.
In terms of usefulness, the ranking goes like this:

Uruza > Leila > Maria > Magic > Rizma > Kanami.

As you can see, if you go Zeth first, you get a really strong commander very
early. But the other 2 commanders are not as good. If you go Leazas, you get
2 strong ones around mid game, but missing out on Uruza. The best strategy
is to ask from Zeth twice then turn around and ask from Leazas thrice.
Getting Uruza in *early* game is simply too good to pass up. Note that you
need both Rizna and Uruza in your army to get Magic. For Leazas, however,
there are no restrictions.


-- Rizma -- (Mage)

STATS: 4

Weak in general. Terrible int for a mage.

SKILLS: 4

She comes with Absolute Spell Guard, which makes her take no damage from
magic and hannies. Her Fire Blast can be upgraded to A Cutter, which deals
extra damage to monks and demons. It attacks all and use all action points.
Both has limited use.

OBTAINABILITY: 9

The first to join from Zeth.

UPKEEP: 4

Base cost of 2 for an ultimately weak unit.

UTILITY: 4

3 in Search. Give SAT bonus

SOLO: 6

Average cap. However, mages have good modifier in solo battles. Also, her
Absolute Spell Guard is much more useful in solo battles.

Comment: Being the legendary mage and all, you kinda expect more from Rizma.
I don't expect much from someone that can comes as early as turn 20 but still
Rizma is very underwhelming. Her attack, even compared to back row unit, is
weak. She also does not take hits well, and with limited troops, she will
get taken out a lot. A cutter is a fairly uselesss upgrade. Note that it
only affects the Demon in the Demon Army, not Youkai. If you get her early
to get to get to Uruza, she can handle herself decently during early and mid
game. Become a liability during end game though.


-- Uruza -- (Tactician)

STATS: 10

8 in everything except 7 in def. Best in tactician class and one of the best
overall.

SKILLS: 7

She doesn't come with anything special. However, she can learn Accurate Shots.
It attacks everyone for reduced damage but decrease their action points by 1
(can go to 0). Very devastating if used in combo with Kenshin's passive.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

The second to join from Zeth.

UPKEEP: 9

Base cost of 3 for a ultra useful unit.

UTILITY: 10

6 Search, 8 Neg and 5 Con. Give SAT bonus also.

SOLO: 10

Has the second best level cap in the game, losing to only Rance and Kentarou
(who are special characters). She probably won't reach that cap but it does
give her tons of room for growth. Her special solo skill, Crossbow shot also
has pretty nice damage modifier.

Comment: You probably have seen Uruza's name mentioned several times already.
Simply put, she's one of the best characters in the game. The fact that you can
get Uruza in early mid game and she is still among the strongest at end game
speaks volume about her usefulness. Anyways, Uruza is godly in army battles.
She hits like a warrior from the back. Since she's also fast and have 5 action
points, Uruza's attacks are both heavy and frequent. Her Accurate Shots combo
with Kenshin can shut down even the most formidable enemies by denying them
any chance to act. A simple strategy with Uruza is to shoot around 2-3 times
then unleash Accurate Shots. It's simple but deadly. She's less destructive
in solo battles but still one of the best available. That Uruza also has
an abundance of utility stats is like making fun of other commanders. Get her
as quickly as you can, commanders don't come better than Uruza.

Alt Comment: Uruza is useful in any teams that you put her in. No matter
what the aim is, Uruza can always contribute with attacking/buffing or
Accurate Shot, all of which she does well. One thing to note is that Uruza
is not as fast as her speed suggests due to Tactician's bad speed modifier.
So if you want to use Accurate Shot, try to use it early. There are 2 items
that work best with Uruza. First is Ashikaga Dog, which basically clones
Uruza and get you 2 powerful and versatile commander to use each turn.
Second is Brute Photo (or Rance Love), which will help Uruza hit her cap.
A lvl 75, crossbow-using, 5-action-points Uruza is an absolute beast
in solo battle.


-- Magic -- (Mage)

STATS: 6

More or less like Rizma but has better attack and int.

SKILLS: 4

She comes with Fire Blast which can be upgraded to White Destruction Beam.
WDB is a skill that uses all action points to strike a column for 1.5x damage.
That sounds okay but since you no longer have Fire Blast, you're forced
to use WDB so Magic will be 1 and done in all battles.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

The third to join from Zeth.

UPKEEP: 4

Base cost of 3 for an average unit.

UTILITY: 4

2 in all 3 utility stats. Give SAT bonus

SOLO: 7

Has the 5th best cap in the game but will need a miracle to hit it. Still,
as with most mages, she hits fairly hard in solo battles.

Comment: Being the last to come from Zeth, Magic is fairly underwhelming given
the uberness of the one who comes just before her. She hits harder than Rizma
from the back. Since she comes with better troop size, she's gonna be dealing
some rather decent damage overall. Consider not getting White Destruction
Beam as it's actually worse than Fire Blast. Other than that, there is not
much else that Magic can offer. She has her moments in solo battles but
that's not enough to really make her good. It's best to turn around and start
asking for reinforcements from Leazas after Uruza.


-- Kanami -- (Ninja)

STATS: 5

Nice speed but low everywhere else.

SKILLS: 1

She doesn't come with anything unique.

OBTAINABILITY: 9

The first to join from Leazas.

UPKEEP: 5

Base cost of 1 for a very weak unit. Will leave if you have Rance rapes her
before you get the license from Maria.

UTILITY: 6

5 Search and 3 Neg. Give SAT bonus after you get Maria.

SOLO: 4

Low cap and have a way to go to reach it. Overall very weak.

Comment: Let's not even mention the overabundance of good ninjas, Kanami is
just bad as a character in general. No skills and horrible stats condemn
her to uselessness in army battles. She does have a nice Search stat
so she can be useful for scouting. Definitely not worth a spot end-game.

Alt Comment: The 1 good thing about Kanami is her speed. 7 speed + ninja's
speed modifier means Kanami will move first most of the times. Of course,
she does not really have any tools to make use of that first turn.
Battleground Construction is probably the best option but Goemon is better
for that.


-- Maria -- (Cannon)

STATS: 7

Okay attack. Good def and int.

SKILLS: 7

She comes with Tulip, her class's standard attack. Can learn Tulip Rapid Fire,
which deals 2x damage to all target.

OBTAINABILITY: 7

The second to join from Leazas.

UPKEEP: 7

Base cost of 3 for a decent unit.

UTILITY: 7

3 Search and Neg. 8 Con. Give SAT bonus

SOLO: 7

Have low cap but Cannon has the highest modifier in battles so she will hit
for some decent damage.

Comment: I swear I didn't intend it until I looked back and saw that Maria
got 7 in all ratings. Anyways, don't let the number fools you, Maria could be
a very good character. I don't know if it's because of Tulip's inherent
modifier or because the int factors in somehow but Maria hits quite hard from
the back. Tulip Rapid Fire is a good finishing move, and it will deal major
damage to all enemies. The only non-percentage based attack-all skill that
hits harder than Tulip Rapid Fire is Omachi's Black Lightning. Anyways, while
Maria don't offer much else, she's good at what she's doing, which is to
deal some damage from the back.

Alt Comment: Cannon has slightly lower damage modifier than Musketeer and does
not ignore def. To compensate, they can shoot from the back. Pure back-row
damage dealer is rare but Maria is on. She doesn't come already useful though
so you need to work on her a little bit. Boosting her attack and troop size
both work, and most likely you want a combination of both. A decently built
Maria can wreck some serious havoc with Tulip Rapid Fire.


-- Leila -- (Knight)

STATS: 8

7 in everything except for a 6 in speed. Decent stats.

SKILLS: 7

She comes with Ally Guard, Knight Attack and and Royal Guard Charge. The first
2 are the same as their footsoldier's counterpart. Royal Guard Charge deals
2x damage if the enemies have more troops and uses 2 action points.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

The third to join from Leazas.

UPKEEP: 8

Base cost of 2 for a good unit.

UTILITY: 7

6 Search, 5 Neg and 4 Con. Also give SAT bonus

SOLO: 7

Above average cap and knight's modifier is decent. Will have trouble hitting
cap though.

Comment: Leila is a hybrid between footsoldier and warrior. She has the
footsoldier's ally guard and her Knight attack has similar modifier to Warrior
Attack. In short, she can guard your line and hit decently hard if needed.
However, Sengoku Rance's battles are more about picking the right combination
and optimizing your resources rather than strategic. So while Leila's
versatility holds important strategic value, it receives less significance.
Her best role is to accompany musketeer, who needs protection early in battles
but are done after they shoot. So Leila can guard a few turns then attack
when battles dwindling down.

Alt Comment: If you want a unit that is both a footsoldier and a warrior
at the same time, Leila is that unit. Well, she comes close anyways.
In reality, she's more of a warrior than a footsoldier. Royal Guard Charge
hits pretty hard, but cost 2 actions so net damage is the same. The thing
with Leila is that while she can be both a footsoldier and a warrior, she
is not great at either. If you need a footsoldier in a battle, Leila alone
won't suffice. And most top-tier warriors will outdamage Leila. Knight
unit heals cheaply however (1g each) so Leila's very cost-effective.


##################
-- 1t. Special --
##################

Commander: Ogawa Kentarou (for now)

General Summary: This section will contain all commanders that just don't
belong to any other category. This include Kentarou and all those bonus
characters. I won't put the bonus characters in for now since they technically
are not within the game. Most of the mare quite broken but it's more or less
cheating to have them.


-- Ogawa Kentarou -- (Warrior)

STATS: 3

Very bad stats. Below average attack and defense and bad speed.

SKILLS: 5

He doesn't come with anything special but can learn Kentarou Slash, which is
another variation of Commander Charge. Do exactly the same thing.

OBTAINABILITY: 5

He won't join in Ran Route. In other routes, a sequence of events will play out
before he will join. Good thing is that you can't miss him but the downside
is that it'll be a while until he joins.

UPKEEP: 5

Base cost of 1 for a 1-dimensional unit. Also will leave if you let Miki become
the Demon King. But you lose the game if that happens anyway.

UTILITY: 4

Not much in anything but his presence is required for some events.

SOLO: 9

Highest cap in the game together with Rance but unlike rance, Kentarou will
have a hard time reaching his cap. A repeatable event helps greatly with
his leveling though. Either Rance or Kentarou must be present in order for
anyone to damage Xavier.

Comment: Very much like Rance, it's hard to rate Kentarou. You can't dismiss
him so it won't even be a matter of choosing. At his bare bone, Kentarou is
simply a bad unit across the board. He'll get destroyed in army battles by
just about anyone. However, after he becomes a Demon lord, he can't be damage
by anything but magic (and I think Demon and Youkai). Also, if you choose
to abuse his event with the Acolyte, he will become a beast in solo battles
with his high level. Overall, since you can't get rid of him, it's best
to shape Kentarou up with items and stat-boost to make him somewhat useful.
Use him to stall an invasion if you're short on personel.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Class section

Overview: In this section, I won't repeat my evaluation. What I will provide
though is a comparison between commanders within a class. The reason for this
section is that while you obviously should pick commanders by their individual
merits, the ideal roster should still have a variety of class. And although
the game spread its big guns around the classes fairly evenly, there certainly
are classes that have more or fewer good commanders than other. Good examples
are the Ninja and Diviner.

The format I will use is a tier list. Commanders will be sorted into 4
categories:

Ace: These commanders can contribute so much the game become noticably
more managable with them on board. If I put someone in Ace category,
it usually means you should be trying to get them as early as possible and
keep them for the rest of the game.

Top gun: These commanders are at least as good the ones in Ace. They
can perform even at end game. However, something holds them back from
contributing on a game-changing level. Most of your roster will be consist of
these guys.

Bench warmer: These guys never quite make the grade. You most likely don't want
to see them in your roster at end game. They still can be good contributors
during early stretch of the game or mid game. Usually, commanders in this
category just keep their spots until you can get your hand on the top guns.

Garbage: These commanders are not only useless, they can become liability
if recruited. Recruit them mostly to see their events then don't bother
recruiting them again.


###################
-- 2a. Warrior --
###################

Commanders: Rance, Ranmaru, Kuge Kyouko, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Honda Tadakatsu, Li
Naomasa, Okita Nozomi, Uesugi Kenshin, Daidouji Komatsu, Masamune, Noir,
Mouri Motonari, Akashi Kazemaru, Kawanoe Yuzuru, Kawanoe Mine, Shimazu
Kazuhisa, Agireda, Ogawa Kentarou.

General Summary: The class which you need the most in the game is warrior. And
as you can tell, the class that you see the most is also warriors. I'd say you
need at least 5 good warriors. Most classes can't survive on the front line
and footsoldier is a defensive classes so you need a lot of warriors to fill
your front line. Fortunately, there is a lot of them to pick from.


-- Ace --

Kenshin
Masamune
Motonari

Comment: Kenshin rocks. Her passive skill alone saves you a lot of
extra damage you would otherwise receive. Almost a must for any difficult siege
battles. Masamune is initially one-dimentional in battles but he has room for
improvement and is a big help in dungeon. Motonari has less raw power compared
to Masamune but makes up for it with some nice army and solo skills.

-- Top gun --

Rance
Noir
Kazuhisa
Ieyasu

Comment: Rance could be very good but if he's defeated, it's game over so you
can't
really depend on Rance in risky battles. Noir and Kazuhisa all have monstrous
stats but don't help out enough in solo. Ieyasu is one of the best soloers
but is underwhelming in army battle. Also, Ieyasu has to be recruited at the
expense of Senhime.

-- Bench warmer --

Tadakatsu
Ranmaru
Kyouko
Nozomi
Agireda
Komatsu
Kentarou

Comment: Tadakatsu is Ieyasu without the soloing prowess. His usefulness in army
will drop dramatically towards the end. Ranmaru is very important throughout at
least half the playthrough, but fade afterwards. Neither Kyouko or Agireda has
the stats or skills to be useful long-term. Komatsu has an interesting perk but
requires too much investment to make use of. Nozomi has her 0 base cost to
thank for not making Garbage. Likewise, Kentarou as a Demon has some uses.


-- Garbage --

Naomasa
Kazemaru
Yuzuru
Mine

Comment: Naomasa can join early but his cost is ridiculous for someone so
weak. Kazemaru is only needed to recruit Nogiku. His stats are atrocious. If
you don't plan to get Nogiku, it's best to avoid recruiting Kazemaru.
Both Yuzuru and Mine have average stat. They do possess some strange skills,
none of which are very useful.

######################
-- 2b. Footsoldier --
######################

Commanders: Shibata Katsuie, Maeda Toshiie, Kouhime, Kuge Kiyoko, Senhime,
Yasumasa, Nogiku, Mouri Teru, Gon, Shimazu Yoshihisa.

General summary: Unless you are certain you will crush the enemies, it is a
good practice to have at least 1 footsoldier in every battle to protect your
damage dealer. So you would want at least 3, 2 to attack on your turn and 1
to defend invasion. As you can tell, there is a surprising shortage of
footsoldiers. Most of the good footsoldiers come rather late so grab a
good one when you can.

-- Ace --

Senhime
Yoshihisa
Nogiku

Comment: Senhime has her issues (average def, high upkeep) but has decent
enough specs and very long serving time. Asides from Katsuie, she could be
in more battles than the rest of your footsoldiers combined. You won't see
Yoshihisa much, but he has a great skill and the stats to make use of it.
Nogiku has by far the best stats in the footsoldier class. No one even
comes close.

-- Top Gun --

Katsuie
Teru
Gon


Comment: Teru and Gon come very very close to be in Ace group. I move their
names back and forth several times. In the end, Teru needs investment to
make use of the great Counterattack 2. Gon can only defend, and you have to
keep Ryouma to keep him. Katsuie without investment is a bench warmer at most.
However, with proper care, he can be useful for the whole game.

-- Bench Warmer --

Kiyoko
Kouhime
Toshiie

Comment: Kiyoko is decent to use in early game when you're short on good
footsoldiers. She becomes outclassed around mid-game. Kouhime's bad stats
mean that she gets killed far too easily. Use her in particularly tough
battles is a good way to get Game Over. Has decent skills though. Toshiie
is garbage without his kabuki transformation, which costs 2 SAT actions.
Even after that, he's not particularly impressive so it's a fairly weak
trade.

-- Garbage --

Yasumasa

Comment: Yasumasa costs a fortune to keep and he's bad across the board.

##################
-- 2c. Archer --
##################

Commanders: Niwa Nagahide, Hara Shouji, Yamamoto Isoroku

General summary: For a game set in the Sengoku period, the game is horribly
short on unique archers. You'll see archers in your enemies rank far more than
you'll see them on yours. Overall, archers are too one-dimensional as back
row units. Most other backrow units can offer something else besides shooting.
Not that their stats help them much.

-- Ace --

Isoroku

Comment: Isoroku is the only archer to overcome their weakness of being
one-dimensional. Her 2 great skills give her a very good platform to build
upon.

-- Top Gun --

None

-- Bench Warmer --

Nagahide
Shouji

Comment: Nagahide has horrible stats but he avoids garbage labeling thanks to
his Defeat Warrior Hunt which is invaluable early on. Shouji also barely avoids
garbage category thanks to his somewhat decent attack and early availability.
Both should not be nowhere near your army around late mid game at most though.

-- Garbage --

None


####################
-- 2d. Tactician --
####################

Commanders: Akechi Mitsuhide, Ikkyuu, Naoe Ai, Sanada Tourin, Shimazu Iehisa,
Uruza

General summary: Tacticians are to the back row what footsoldiers are to the
front. Meaning that it is usually necessary to have at least one present.
The Tactician's initial buff affect the battle outcome more than most realize.
Good thing is that while there is a shortage of unique tacticians, most are
very good. Almost all tacticians have very nice utility stats as well so you
can have as many as you'd like. I'd say keeping at least 3. 4 sounds right.

-- Ace --

Uruza
Tourin

Uruza doesn't need explanation to be an ace given that she's so useful in so
many situations. Likewise, Tourin is an offensive powerhouse: hit well, buff
well, can even push meter in your favor.

-- Top Gun --

Naoe Ai

Ai is easilly an Ace in every class but tactician. She matches or comes close
to both Uruza and Tourin in term of pure stats. However, she does not have
their skills, which give them the extra dimensions Ai don't have.


-- Bench Warmer --

Iehisa
Ikkyuu

Ikkyuu has one of the best skills in the game. But since it can only be used 3
times, he's out as soon as it exhausts given his much inferior stats. Iehisa
is too ordinary compared to the big 3 of tacticians.

-- Garbage --

Mitsuhide

Mitsuhide is only useful early on to negotiate. Around mid game or so, he
should be offloaded or kept away from battles. Horrid stats.


###############
-- 2e. Miko --
###############

Commanders: Tamagushi Fuuka, Akihime, Ashikaga Chousin, Yukihime, Natori,
Kobayakawa Chinu.

General summary: Miko is the only class in the game that can heal others.
For that reason, they kinda get the short end of the stick because Sengoku
Rance battle system just doesn't favor healing. The class also seems to suffer
a very bad damage modifier, meaning Miko can't offer much, attack or heal.

-- Ace --

Natori

Comment: Natori pretty much avoids all the pitfalls of the Miko class.
She hits hard, is sturdy and speedy as well as having one of the best spell
in the game. Her unique effect on Rance after he Hs her just adds to Natori's
glowing list of perks.

-- Top Gun --

Chinu

Comment: Chinu would have never made the Top Gun list of most other classes.
She comes rather late and is only available on 1 route. She doesn't hit as
hard  as Natori, and her spell takes a lot of planning to be powerful. Her
stats are nice though in a group of sad stats.

-- Bench Warmer --

Fuuka

Comment: Fuuka is another Miko who would have ranked lower had she belong to
some other classes. Her stats are weak in general but given that she stays
around for very long, she does have some use as a dedicated healer.

-- Garbage --

Akihime
Yukihime
Chousin

Comment: It's kinda sad that half the members of a class are garbage. With that
said, I can't justify recruiting any of these 3. Both Chousing and Yukihime
have non-existent stats that render tham useless. Akihime has around the same
stats as Fuuka. But given that you don't have any reason to recruit her, I'd
take the SAT bonus any day.


################
-- 2f. Ninja --
################

Commanders: Sakai Tadatsugu, Hattori Hanzou, Suzume, Inukai, Goemon, Kousaka
Yoshikage, Orihime, Kikkawa Kiku, Sakamoto Ryouma and Kanami.

General summary: Given that Ninja is a very specialized stat, it's ironic that
they have the second highest number of commanders. Unlike footsoldier or
tactician, there is not a requirement for any number of ninja to be around.
You can pretty much recruit whoever you like, Ninja is a class that having
1 or 5 both works. And it's likely that you will have a lot of them since
most ninjas are quite good.

-- Ace --

Yoshikage

Comment: Yoshikage has more power than any other ninja. With Sonic Shuriken,
he can pull off some nice damage and then test his luck with Assasinate 2.
Even if Assasinate 2 failed, he still already contributes something.

-- Top Gun --

Inukai
Goemon
Orihime
Kiku
Suzume

Comment: Inukai has very nice stats and is a great all-rounder, but he
takes 2 affection bonus to get to Assasinate 2. Goemon would have been
an Ace had it not been for his paltry 2 actions. Orime is basically Inukai
with slightly worse stats. Kiku has options in battles but does not hit
hard enough to be an ace. Suzume has horrible stats but she will be around
for so long that she can build troop numbers for Assasinate 2. Plus, she
can't die.

-- Bench Warmer --

Ryouma
Hanzou
Kanami

Comment: Ryouma has average stats and no useful skills. Hanzou is even
weaker but he can help out during the time when you're short-handed.
Kanami's speed is her only redeeming quality.

-- Garbage --

Tadatsugu

Comment: Tadatsugu has literally nothing going for him.

###############
-- 2g. Monk --
###############

Commanders: Aburako Dousan, Asakura Yoshikage, Himiko, Seigan and Genri

General summary: Monk is a good front line class that most people seem to
forget about. For once, they are extemely cost-effective as they completely
heal up after every battles. Some of their standard skills are also very
useful. In long playthrough, Monk makes a very noticable difference.
Most monks are decent so you definitely should get a few.

-- Ace --

Dousan
Seigan

Comment: Dousan comes with the elusive Convert Action, a skill that opens
the door for many fantastic combos. Seigan is a great all-rounder: he can
melee; he has a great spell; he can even tank.

-- Top Gun --

Himiko

Comment: Himiko has great stats as well as great uses in utility and solo.
She does not have an X-factor to elevate her to Ace status though.

-- Bench Warmer --

Yoshikage
Genri

Comment: Yoshikage doesn't offer much in battles but his events are very useful.
Genri probably should be garbage, but he has his moments in certain formations.

-- Garbage --

None


##################
-- 2h. Diviner --
##################

Commanders: Nanjou Ran, Houjou Souun, Omachi and Yamanaka Kojika.

General summary: Diviners are Sengoku Rance's basic "mage" class. However,
there are a surprising shortage of diviners. Almost all are hard to recruit
as well. Grab a decent generic diviner when you can, because diviner's ability
(specific their shikigami guard) is needed in some situations.

-- Ace --

Souun
Omachi

Comment: Both Souun and Omachi can win battles by themselves with little help.
They are particularly devastating in harder difficulties as enemies are more
prepared to tank physical attacks but not so much magical.


-- Top Gun --

None

-- Bench Warmer --

Ran

Comment: Ran barely avoids Garbage labeling. Ran is only slightly better than
generic diviners.

-- Garbage --

Kojika

Comment: Kojika is among the most confusing to recruit and even when you
recruit her, she comes late. What you get for your hard effort is a diviner
that is not good at anything.


####################
-- 2i. Musketeer --
####################

Commanders: Yuzuhara Yuzumi, Tanegashima Shigehiko and Shimazu Toshihisa

General summary: Musketeer is another class that you can play through the
game without ever using one and won't be affected in any ways. Even if you
do like them, I wouldn't keep more than 2. Musketeer is strong but they
require a lot of protection and is not suitable for crunch battles when
things can go both ways.

-- Ace --

None

-- Top Gun --

Yuzumi

Comment: The best and argurably the only musketeer you should aim to get.
Her attack is nice and her skill is very neat. Yuzumi does need some finnese
to use well but she has a high ceiling.

-- Bench Warmer --

Shigehiko
Toshihisa

Comment: Shigehiko is a decent unit overall and one who comes early. However,
he doesn't offer anything special that can overcome the burder of having to
protect him in battles. Toshihisa is only slightly better than Shigehiko and is
unavailable in most playthroughs.

-- Garbage --

None


##################
-- 2j. Others --
##################

Commanders: Hakkin Dasan, Baba Shouen, Yamagata Masakage, Rizma, Magic,
Maria and Leila.

General summary: This group contains every commanders whose class has fewer
than 2 unique commanders. They each can and can't do different things so
there is no general guideline that applies to all. Just analyze them based
on your their individual merits.

-- Ace --

Masakage
Shouen

Comment: Two of the best commanders in the game. Fantastic skills combines
with good soloing (Shouen) and uber stats (Masakage).

-- Top Gun --

Maria
Leila

Commment: Maria has a very useful class. She needs some investment to dominate
but she at least does have that option. Leila is solid and cost-effective but
will never be truly great.

-- Bench Warmer --

Magic
Rizma

Comment: Neither Magic nor Rizna has the stats or the skills to propel them
into higher tier. Both gets badly wrecked in higher difficulty.

-- Garbage --

Dasan

Comment: Dasan's stats are phenomenal and he can join very early. Yet for some
reason, probably troop scaling and bad modifier, he performs ways below
what his stats suggest. He hits and take hits like a Bench Warmer-rated
Warrior. And since he costs a fortune, I wouldn't bother recruiting him.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(3) Team Building

Overall, there is not much to say about team building. You should have an even
number of front line and back line units as well as some units for utility
purpose. Around endgame, these utility characters won't be necessary anymore
since some of the characters that can fight well also have good utility stats.

If you get all the characters I list in Ace catergory, you should
already have a very strong and diverse core. Only class that doesn't have a
No-Brainer is Diviner (and Other, which is not a class). All No-Brainer
character comes or can come early and stay all the way.

Except for Warriors and Footsoldiers, no class is a must-have. You can pretty
much have any combination of classes that you want. To give you an idea, here
is a generally good team that can take on most situations:

6 Warriors, 4 Footsoldiers, 3 Tacticians, 3 Ninjas, 1 Archer, 1 Monk, 1 Diviner,
1 Musketeer.

The last 10 units should consist of utility units and bench warmers then
replaced them with strong units that come a little later as you move towards
end game.


-- Special Thanks --

You - for reading this
Me - for writing a FAQ for a 6 years old game
DonSS12: for providing alternative opinion.
AliceSolf wiki - Help me play the game when I first started
Gamefaqs - For posting this

-- Contact information --

Shoot me a message on GameFAQ if you want to use part of or all of the FAQ.
You can start using it even before I reply.

March 23rd 2013 (Original version)
September 26th 2014 (First update)