_____ _ _____ / ___| | / __ \ \ `--.| |__ ___ __ _ _ _ _ __ `' / / `--. \ '_ \ / _ \ / _` | | | | '_ \ / / /\__/ / | | | (_) | (_| | |_| | | | |./ /___ \____/|_| |_|\___/ \__, |\__,_|_| |_|\_____/ __/ | |___/ Shogun 2: Total War Version: 1.1 Made by egoflux0 email@example.com =================== |Table of Contents| =================== X. Changelog 0. Disclaimer / Legal Info  1. Playing Tips  2. Clan Information/Strategy  2a. Shimazu [002a] 2b. Mori [002b] 2c. Chosokabe [002c] 2d. Hattori* [002d] 2e. Oda [002e] 2f. Tokugawa [002f] 2g. Takeda [002g] 2h. Hojo [002h] 2i. Uesugi [002i] 2j. Date [002j] 2k. Ashikaga* [002k] 2l. Ikko Ikki* [002l] 2z. Minor Clans [002z] 3. General Campaign Strategies  3a. Economy [003a] 3b. Military [003b] 3c. Agents [003c] 3d. Trading [003d] 3e. Politics [003e] 3f. Realm Divide [003f] 3g. Steamrolling [003g] 4. Coop Campaign  5. Province Capturing  5a. When to expand [005a] 5b. When not to expand [005b] 6. Unit Information  7. Battle Guide  7a. Night Attack [007a] 7b. Hiding [007b] 7c. Sieges [007c] 7d. Weather/Time/Terrain [007d] 8. Mastery of the Arts  8a. Maximizing Art Research [008a] 9. Game Problems [XXXX] A. FAQ [0faq] B. Final Words [finl] ================================= |X. Changelog | ================================= 05.29.2011 - Release version 1.1 Added the playable Ikko Ikki clan information Added some new, useful campaign playing tips Added weather/time/terrain section Added Ikko Ikki section Added some more info for Takeda and horsemen Elaborated on initial Oda foreign trade strategy Added small blurbs about Wako and European Traders Added more information on when to expand and when not to Added additional information about how to manage a better economy Added Mastery of the Arts section Added information about when to auto-resolve combats in the FAQ Added info in the FAQ about armies getting stuck at map edges Minor other fixes (tokugawa's home province for example) Minor corrections to spelling and grammar 04.28.2011 - Release initial version 1.0 ================================= |0. Disclaimer / Legal Info | ================================= This guide is only to be used on www.gamefaqs.com, www.eondev.net, or other mediums and websites with explicit permission from the author. Any websites wishing to copy, in part or in whole, this guide or its contained information, please email me before hosting said content, thank you! If I don't get back to you, by default I am denying your request. I get all my game information from actually playing the game, learning from my mistakes and talking about the game with other players. I do not own any strategy guides for this game nor have I looked for one on the Internet, this is all my own creation. With that said, all the information probably isn't completely accurate, but should be considered an excellent starting place, or reference in general. This game comes with a fairly decent compilation of information in the form of an encyclopedia which this guide will reference. There might be some errors, grammar mistakes and of course spelling mishaps. I apologize ahead of time should these make their way in to the final product. Of course, anyone can email me with corrections and possibly some additions. If someone sends information that gets included, I will add credit to that author and state what part(s) they contributed. My email is at the top of the guide. I own a copy of the Limited Edition of this game, thus I will have information on the exclusive Hattori clan as well. On that same note, I have not played much of the online Avatar Mode. The primary focus of the guide is the campaign; however, the general information and strategies here should be applicable in any online mode you decide to engage in. Because of the open ended nature of the campaign, it is difficult or possibly even impossible to write a step-by-step guide on what to do and when. At any given point, other clans might behave in unexpected ways which would nullify a significant portion of any such guide. At best, this guide could be used as general information on strategies and what to do in very specific circumstances. Towards the end of the document there are some game issues that are addressed. There could be information in there that, if mishandled by you the reader, could permanently and irreversibly damage your computer. I will go ahead and let you know that I didn't force you to do anything, only implied how a solution could be met. If you are unsure, incapable, or in any way have no idea what you are doing, stop what you are doing and immediately try to seek the counsel of someone else that knows more about computers than you do. I remove myself from any responsibility that you do to your own system, game, or anything else. Finally, this guide was written for the most recent version as of the beginning of 2011. It is highly suspect that The Creative Assembly will release downloadable content (DLC) to possibly unlock additional features and clans that this guide might not reflect. For as long as I'm interested in the game and wish to continue updating this guide, I will attempt to include new features and content that get released in newer versions of the guide. As expected, the first DLC was released on May 26, 2011 which included the Ikko Ikki faction. Oh yea, I'll throw this on there for good measure... Copyright (c) 2011 egoflux0 ====================================== |1. Playing Tips | ====================================== This section contains general advice for someone playing the game for the first couple of times and possibly someone that may have overlooked "that neat trick". If you've played this game a bit, you can safely skip this section. However, there might even be a couple tricks in here you may not know about. In general, you can hold your mouse over almost anything to get additional information about, well, almost anything you hold your mouse over! Use this on everything you don't completely understand, and I do mean *everything*. Sometimes you will need to hold your mouse over things for like 10 seconds before additional information will cycle through the little information popup. This is particularily useful, say in combat, where you aren't too sure what certain abilities do. Hold your mouse over the activation button for a couple of seconds to get a couple cycles of information. Naturally this guide will attempt to cover most or even all of the abilities of all the units in the game later on. Play on easy for your first game or two to get the hang of the game. There are multiple difficulty levels available to you, select a modest one and work your way up from there. Higher difficulty levels start crippling your game interface, provide less information to you, and make the campaign more agressive. This game is a mix of economy, expansion, agent actions, and battle prowess. If you aren't so good at one or two of those, try changing your strategy to take advantage of your stronger aspects. If you're being militarily crushed constantly, use another strategy, for example try using agents more effectively. This game comes packed with their "encyclopedia" which you can access in game or on your hard drive. The location of the main html file is: %STEAM%\steamapps\common\total war shogun 2\data\encyclopedia\how_to_play.html I recommend you start there and read until your head can't take it anymore. I won't lie, there's a lot of information in there. Having a general idea of a good portion of the information contained should get you started in a good direction playing this game. No, don't memorize everything, just get a general idea of what's in there. If you don't want to bother, this guide should give you the basic necessary understanding anyways. Don't panic if you're playing the game and access the encyclopedia and see a lot of gibberish across your screen for a moment. The game uses a game library that allows for games to render HTML files in the game itself. That gibberish you see is graphical data uninitialized. It should go away in a second or two then load up your requested information. The advisor is nice to have for your first couple of play throughs. Personally, I turned it off after my third game. I found it more like my friend that lives with me in my clan giving some background information and helpful hints about my clan and some tips on what to do. To me, it seemingly just gave me more of a feeling of authenticity of being in feudal Japan rather than a helper. Your mileage may vary, but I do recommend keeping it on until you feel like you're ready to go solo. If you are having a hard time playing the game, try to play a coop campaign. Coop almost feels like you're cheating over the single player game because it forges an unbreakable alliance with the other player. Make sure you trade with the other player as soon as you can for a boost to income also! Speaking of things you might forget to do, on the first season... DO NOT FORGET TO SET YOUR MASTERY OF THE ARTS Your advisor, if it is on, might accidentally forget to tell you to set what you are to research until like your second or even third turn. That's 3 seasons down you forgot to research anything! Let me repeat this because I've had several games where I forgot. Set what you are researching immediately when you start a new game! Hit m on the keyboard to open that up. You can save your camera position on the overland map by pressing SHIFT F9, SHIFT F10, SHIFT F11, or SHIFT F12. Once pressed, your current camera position will be saved and can be recalled by pressing the F key again. For example, you can press SHIFT F9 while your camera is over your capital province. Later, you may have your camera elsewhere, like over a trade node far away, but you want to go to your capital, free F9 to recall the camera position. You can press the spacebar during gameplay to speed up your units moving and sometimes instantly move your camera when clicking the minimap (this might be bugged since sometimes the camera still slides rather than warps when you click the map). This is a toggleable setting, so you press the spacebar once to be in "fast" mode, press it again to revert back to "slow" mode. Troops do not replentish without a General when in the open field, station troops in a castle if they lack a leader to recover troop numbers. Places with more advanced roads and bigger castles will recover faster. ====================================== |2. Clan Information/Strategy | ====================================== Each playable clan has their own starting province and some attribute that sets it apart from the others. When the AI controls a clan other than "Rebels", you can interact with that clan through diplomacy. Remember that your goal in the game is to take Kyoto, some other specific provinces and a set number of additional random provinces. Some clans you will need to get rid of, others you can keep peace with as long as they don't have a problem with you. If you're playing the game on the longest game setting, you will need to unite ALL of Japan. Knowing that, be sure to make friends along the way while ultimately plotting against them and striking them down at your convenience when it happens to be inconvenient for them for maximum efficiency. -------------------------------------- |2a. Shimazu [002a]| -------------------------------------- Home Province: Satsuma Politics: Peace with Sagara to the north, war with Ito to the east. Advantages: Generals have +1 loyalty Katana Samurai are cheaper to recruit Katana Heroes can be recruited at higher rank Katana Samurai can be recruited at higher rank General Strategy: The Shimazu are probably the "easiest" clan to play in the campaign. Now, notice that the game mentions *starting* difficulty. Pretty much after the first season or two, the game can start taking nightmare directions -- even for this clan. That being said, the first 2 seasons are always crucial to starting the game out, even with Shimazu. First season, set your research, start training some troops. You should notice that the Sagara clan to your north is not a threat, yet. Use that to your advantage and focus your military to your other border where the Ito clan is getting ready for a fight. Remember that alliances or being neutral with ANY clan is temporary... think of it more like "we won't attack you for a while as long as you don't attack me for a while". Even though Shimazu has "cheap" katana samurai, make sure your economy can handle spamming them. All samurai are relatively expensive so make sure you can afford all that upkeep as you begin your quest for Shogun. Fortunately for you, if you picked this clan, your all around military power will likely be able to handle almost any situation since your clan advantage lends great power to the best all around military unit in the game. If numbers is your military game, spamming katanas will likely win you the game on numbers alone. Just remember, when Realm Divide hits, all your trade income will be shot. Review your financial status frequently if you're cranking katanas and try not to exceed your income from taxes and taxes alone in military upkeep. Strategically, Shimazu have probably one of the best starting locations. You have ports, close proximity to almost every external trade node on the map and are "in a corner" meaning you have less borders to worry about initially. Plus, your first goal is basically to conquer a small island. Once that's done, you can use amazing choke points militarily to protect all your assets. Within the first 4 or 5 seasons, you should put heavy emphasis on getting as many trade ships on to those trade nodes as possible to secure a strong economy for the rest of the game. Don't forget that, based on your navy unit size setting, you can stack 6 to 10 trade ships on a trade node. For every additional trade ship, you will get additional income. If you can manage to get even one trade node you will need to send a small navy to defend it sooner or later. On the higher difficulties it might be a good idea to have a support navy camp in close proximities to your docked trade ships on the nodes. Your trade lanes will likely also get disrupted on occassion, having a navy handy will help take care of those pirating clans. Be warned, when this happens, you will lose that income from that trade lane until the pirates are handled. If your economy is frail this can cause disasterous problems all over your territories... especially if you've been spamming a certain expensive unit that wields katanas. ----------------------------------- |2b. Mori [002b]| ----------------------------------- Home Province: Aki Politics: War with Amako to the north, allied with Ouchi and Nagati to the west, peace with Kikkawa and Kono to the east Advantages: Ships can sail further on the campaign map Ships cost less to recruit Ships can be recruited at higher rank General Strategy: At first, Mori might not seem the greatest clan to pick. I mean, the vast majority of battles will be on land so basically none of your clan abilities will really set you apart. However, with a possible superior navy, you have the potential to strongarm any rival navies. This means you have a good chance at controlling possibly *every* trade node on the map. If you do that, your economy is set to be very strong for the entire game. You may wish to consider pirating rival clans naval trade lanes with each other as well for a boost to your own economy by conveniently redirecting their goods and koku to your own coffers. I should also mention to set your research on the first season and since we're at war with an enemy with a gold mine right on our doorstep, get some troops and get ready for battle! Strategically, Mori are in a fairly good position with fairly close access to almost every trade node, and a powerful, cheap navy to back that up. Since you're allied or at peace with the factions to your east and west, it makes for a convenient focus for you to attempt to eradicate your foes to the north while acquiring a better economy. You might have to play politics a bit since you aren't really in a corner and your allies will eventually backstab you -- or you might consider doing it yourself! Try to keep only *one* battlefront, fortunately because of the terrain where your clan lives, there are many choke points available at almost every province you can expand in to. The trick will be to maintain peace or even ally with other clans that might cause problems as your army will start moving around and away from other fronts. Mori has the potential to get a fairly strong economy early on, use that to your advantage both militarily and politically. Bribe your way to peace, bribe enemy armies with metsuke, or just spam military/navy and dominate. Depending on your game setting, you may wish to only focus eastward towards Kyoto to win the game. With that said, you will likely never need to worry about your western front until getting close to Realm Divide. Otherwise you will need to find an opportune time to kill off your old allies to your west and claim their territory and consider possibly even taking over the western island completely at some point. You need caution if you want to fight that major war since all the clans to your east will likely quickly grow unhappy with you and cause major wars on your east. If you have managed your economy, military, and possibly navy well, you can do this, but be warned you might find yourself stretched too thin! ---------------------------------------- |2c. Chosokabe [002c]| ---------------------------------------- Home Province: Tosa Politics: War with Kono to the north, war with Ichijo *inside* Tosa, peace with Miyoshi to the east Advantages: Farms produce more income All bow infantry cost less to recruit and have lower upkeep Bow infantry can be recruited at higher rank General Strategy: You need to notice that Chosokabe have major advantages from their clan abilities alone. Farms, which are the basic necessity for a strong economy give additional income. That alone makes these guys amazingly good. Top that ability with the very potent archer bonuses and you have the Chosokabe! A mighty clan in the making, but we have to deal with some problems at home first. Your first season will make or break you. You've got Ichijo *in* Tosa and it looks like they aren't going anywhere other than to cause you trouble. They will need to be dealt with in the first season if possible. If this battle goes awry, it will probably be game over unless you can pull an epic defense out at the battle in Tosa. Once that is taken care of, time to set your sights on expansion. You've got a war to settle to your north which will need to be dealt with so you will probably want to recruit some troops after you take care of Ichijo. Since your clan has that amazing farming bonus it is definitely a good idea to start upgrading your farms anywhere and everywhere you expand in to and at your capital right away. The Chosokabe are on "the other island" and have a decent shot at the trade nodes but you will likely be in competition for them from the other clans that started closer. Still, it isn't impossible to get one or two, and possibly all of them if you do it right. Your main military unit should be archers -- lots and lots of archers. The cheap ashigaru bow units can just devastate almost every enemy army, and you can spam them into oblivion all while having a strong economy from farms to back it up. When you take territory, throwing a couple bow ashigaru as defense in your castle can just wreck even overwhelming numbers of attackers by garrisoning them in the castle walls. Naturally an army of ONLY archers is probably not in your best interest, but they will probably be a large majority of your armies. Strategically, Chosokabe have the smallest island to unite. Once that's done you can basically fortify your island and keep invaders at bay which is a major advantage over other clans. Obviously your first goal should be to wipe out the other clans inhabiting "your island". They also have some resources which can be put to good use, including the highly coveted stone resource which is very scarce throughout Japan. Basically, kill off your immediate enemies when you get a chance, flood them with archers and defend with like 2 or 3 archers units depending on difficulty and what you can afford. When you feel like you have a good shot and killing off the rest of the clans on your island, declare war and start mopping them up. It might be a good idea to play a bit of politics with any clans on your island before you just outright declare war. Check if they happened to trade or allied with any clans from the mainland. You probably don't want to go to war with someone and realize they have 2 or 3 allies on the mainland already. Try to bribe away their allies if you can or if you feel confident, just go to war and see what happens. If you are having a tough time taking over your island as the starting point, play the long tutorial campaign. It will walk you through doing exactly what I'm attempting to explain here. The tutorial is a little quirky, but should give you the basics on what to do. After you unite your island, it is time to set your sights on the mainland. Now, before you just randomly run off massacring everyone with your amazing archer army, we need to pick *who* to pick a fight with. Unless you caused some problems earlier, you probably don't have any available enemies. Now then, it is time to choose. Obviously who we can pick must be someone with a naval landing site so that we can inject our armies in to their land. Look for beaches along the mainland's coast and try to pick a clan with a small army or very little territory. You may wish to check what sort of political situation your intended target is in also. Excellent targets would be a clan with no allies, one or two provinces, and a small army. Even better, if you happen to start a fight with a clan with several enemies you will get some political credit with the other clans with whom they are already at war with, giving you some room to breath as you establish a foothold on the mainland. Once you've taken some land on the mainland, things get a bit more complex. You will need to be mindful of politics and all your borders, you might also need to militarily ally with a decent clan nearby to intimidate other clans from randomly going to war with you unexpectantly. Start training samurai archers as soon as you can and start spamming them along with bow ashigaru. It won't be long before you're in position to take Kyoto. Oh, and don't forget to upgrade farms everywhere you go and set your research! --------------------------------------- |2d. Hattori* [002d]| --------------------------------------- *: You can only play Hattori with the Limited Edition of the game and after it is activated through Steam with your code. Home Province: Iga Politics: Everyone is at peace... for now Advantages: All ninja agent actions have +2% chance to succeed All units can hide more effectively in battle All normal military units have "kisho training" All Generals get Night Attack ability (not mentioned in game @ selection) General Strategy: The Hattori are in a unique location and have an interesting political position. With no enemies from the get-go, you can spend some time bulking up and getting ready for the inevitable, or take some initiave and start some fights yourself. You start with a ninja agent immediately which works very favorably for your clan (see the ninja agent section for more information). Hattori starts adjacent to the Ahikaga Shogunate and Kyoto, which makes for a very intimidating thing in the beginning of the game. It would be wise to ally with the current Shogun, as distasteful as that sounds, in order to intimidate potential rivals from thinking about attacking you unexpectantly. The Asai clan to your north controls Omi, an incredibly productive and rich province and makes for a good target for inital conquest. Then again, there are provinces to your west under the Tsutsui and Hatakeyana with nice philosophy bonuses; which would make excellent boosts to your mastery of the arts -- which by the way you should set on your first turn! There are many choices available to you from the start, so many of the game aspects will be up to you if you are this clan. Personally, I usually choose to attack Omi first for their incredibly rich farms and boosting my economy early. If you go this route, the Ikko clan will be nearby, which initially isn't much of a problem. However, if they live long enough, their native religion could spread to Omi and other territories you might lay claim to and cause internal religious problems for you. Thankfully, other clans don't appreciate the differing of religious opinions either and usually end up in fights with them. Fortunately for us sneaky hattori, we can pull some puppet strings here to assist in the Ikko's eradication. It would be a terrible shame to subvert some Ikko armies on the move while "someone" takes their provinces. Now, how much you play a direct hand in their annhilation is up to you. Usually, other problems will become evident on your other borders to make them a larger concern. The Kitabatake and Tsutsui and possibly even the Sakai might declare war on you causing you to defend from the north, west, and east. Kitabatake from Ise is likely since they have a predisposition of negativity towards you from the beginning of the game. As you expand, the nearby clans will frequently attempt to take your territory from that political backlash of expanding. Strategically, Hattori have it kind of rough being in the middle of Japan. If you use kisho ninjas you better be good at micromanaging them in battle. Unfortunately kishos are very expensive so you usually won't want to spam them unless you manage an amazing economy. Fortunately Iga is tucked away in a corner of a mountain with very inaccessible roads and forests surrounding it. This means you can really only be attacked from Asai and Tsutsui from the beginning, and it takes them a while to get to you without any roads leading directly to Iga. You can also use the plentiful forests to ambush incoming armies. The Hattori also automatically get the ability Night Attack for all their generals and their Daimyo. Refer to my Night Attack section for more information. If used well, battles completely not in your favor can be turned around. This is important because from the start, the Hattori in general are not well off economically or have the ability to just produce a mass army to dominate. Used well, they can use agents and strategy to tip the scales in their favor. All in all, the trick with this clan is to try to encase some of your territory. For instance, if you take Omi and can focus back on Ise and then mop up the Tsutsui clan, you have a nice foothold in the middle of Japan with some territories with no immediate need for defense since they have no border with rival clans. Use this to your advantage and make those territories in to economic powerhouses. Iga and Omi can become quite wealthy later in the game, thanks to their ninja schools which indicate you should build Sake Dens and their upgrades there. That extra boost to money should help and at the same time provide you with very powerful ninja agents and kisho ninjas on the battlefield. If you're having a hard time using kisho ninjas, refer to the section on them for some basic help. Later in the game, other factions from the far east and far west have likely gone on a rampage becoming very powerful. If at all possible, keep/make your alliance to Ashikaga. If these brutes start war with you, the Shogun will likely join your side. Since your ultimate goal is to take Kyoto anyways, you can use your enemies power to mow down Kyoto's forces for you then you sort of let your alliance fall apart and you just happen to clean up both armies. Dirty work is for the barbarians, let them figure it out then you clean up! This is the name of the game for Hattori, mangle politics while managing agents while you silently raise a massive army of your own. Since you start next to Kyoto, you don't need to go very far from your starting position to win the game, use this to your advantage and bulk up your initial area. -------------------------------------- |2e. Oda [002e]| -------------------------------------- Home Province: Owari Politics: War, war everywhere! Advantages: Ashigaru have higher morale Ashigaru recruitment and upkeep costs are reduced General Strategy: Oda's abilities alone make them very powerful. Ashigaru are already the most cost effective units in the game and usually comprise most of your army. Now, with cheaper prices, you can sustain even more of them! Combine that with their higher morale and you have a decently powerful peasant army that doesn't run away the second they start dying! All this deliciousness of peasantry is not without it's drawbacks. You're up to your neck with people that want to do you in right away from all sides! If you're not careful on the first season with what you do, you could be committing seppuku by season 2 as you're attacked from any and all enemies at once! Put your peasants to work right away and start recruiting them basically non-stop throughout the game starting from season 1. I would highly recommend that you fortify Owari with your army and wait and see what your enemies do. Sometimes they will attack, sometimes they will all attack, othertimes they get wiped out by someone else. Whatever you do, do NOT under any circumstance move your army away in its entirety. You have like a 99% chance to lose Owari unless your sole garrison of samurai retainers can stave off 3 or 4 units of yaris and archers from each attacker that comes your way the next season! Strategically, Oda demands power in numbers. Recruit peasants until you have many, many stacks of ashigaru. Owari's position is fairly nice since everywhere you will be expanding eastward has very nice choke points. You will likely want to take South Shinano for their stone and choke point. The Kiso clan almost never expands and just fortifies, so you might need some bulk to take that province, but once you have it, it makes for a great turtling position and Kiso probably upgraded the castle to boot. Nice house, we'll take it! If you can keep peace with your neighbors to the west for just long enough while you make your way east, you will have a good chance at the Shogunate. Continue your expansion eastward until you're happy with your expansion. If you can capture all of eastern Japan, go for it, you should definitely have enough ashigaru to allow this. Unfortunately, Realm Divide will happen by that time, and you will probably have an army of clans very mad at you by that time anyways from your expansion. The best bet is to expand east in to good choke points, ally or make peace with the east clans, then focus back towards Kyoto. This way when Realm Divide happens you can happily defend your eastern front with little problems. Normally I end up severing Japan in half with my clan as Oda. The Ikko become incredibly annoying and usually have to go sooner or later. If that happens, you'll expand to the north shore while your normal expansion takes you to the south shore, effectively cutting Japan in half. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but can make for awkward army movements should you need to shuffle the east force with the west force. The worst part about cutting Japan in half is that you can't play politics as much with the other clans. It is difficult to impossible for a clan to the west get in to a fight with the clan to the east -- meaning less enemies for clans on both sides of... well YOU. When the AI has few enemies, they will usually find a good excuse to fight you instead of each other. With your mountains of ashigaru, you can usually take a good number of enemies, but fighting everyone before Realm Divide might be too much. Fortunately in the beginning of the game you will have contact with many clans allowing for you to trade a ton with everyone making your economy very good. Lots of money means lots of peasants. Be careful not to rely on trade too much since your trade partners will be dropping like flies before long and their trade income will be gone with them. Speaking of trade, Oda is generally too far from the foreign trade nodes for that to be a huge priority. It is not impossible to get foreign trade, or even dominate all of the nodes, but it will take some effort and some time before you can get boats to almost all of them. On the plus side, since you're basically in the center of Japan, you can choose which of the foreign goods you'd like to prioritize. Unfortunately, by the time you crank some trade ships, they might already be taken (especially true in higher difficulties). With your copious, cheap ashigaru, you probably won't need the trade economic boost for a while anyways. If you want to try for them, the extra income is always nice, but for sake of argument, they are usually too far out of the way to make them a huge priority. If you decide to go for them early, immediately upgrade your ports to trade ports and train trade ships. Since you're at war with everyone, getting them away from your shorelines might require some naval power as well. If you're fighting on land, which you probably are, you might not be able to afford a decent navy and will likely lose time and money just trying to get them out to the trade spots. Several seasons in to the game and you want some foreign trade, you can usually camp a trade ship or two near trade nodes with a small naval fleet and wait for spots to open up. As factions die away, you can get some opportunities to take over their spots since you're conveniently nearby when their spot opens up. -------------------------------------- |2f. Tokugawa [002f]| -------------------------------------- Home Province: Mikawa Politics: War with Oda to the north, we're vassal of Imagawa to the south! Advantages: Metsuke have +2% chance for their actions Diplomacy has an initial bonus Kisho ninja are cheaper for recruiting and for upkeep Kisho ninja can be recruited at higher rank General Strategy: To be totally honest, Tokugawa is likely the hargest clan to play as. You start as a vassal of another clan which takes half your income and restricts you from starting any wars on your own. Worse, you *must* join a war against anyone that declares war on Imagawa. This means that your only chance at salvation is to destroy your master clan. Naturally, he won't go without a fight -- the only war you can start is with him! So, from the onset, you really only have to deal with Oda to your north since you start at war with him. You probably don't want to let Imagawa take care of him since then you will be sandwhiched and have nowhere to expand to until you break free from the master. The tricky part of Tokugawa is knowing when exactly to start war with Imagawa and find your independence. It also may come to pass they he declares war on you for whatever reason, so it is best to bulk up until you're ready for him. Until then, hope that no other clan starts wars with him, otherwise you get dragged in to that combat when you might not be ready for it -- another incentive to not wait too long to take care of Imagawa. Strategically, you're in the middle of the country. Lots of trading opportunities will arise and you should take advantage of them. Unlike Oda, you can't just spam ashigaru to win, you will need to be crafty with diplomacy or have superior battlefield tactics to win with Tokugawa. Once you break free from Imagawa, the same general strategy can be applied from the Oda section. Split the country in half, expand east, use choke points, and take Kyoto for the win! It should be noted that Tokugawa is generally too far from the trade nodes. Though foreign trade is profitable, you will likely be unable to get a node at all. It isn't impossible to get, but with such a long trade route, patrolling the lane might be more bother than what is worth because then you might need to fund a navy to protect it. At the end of the day, I usually just focus on ground forces and farming for my economy as Tokugawa. If you are having a tough time with this clan, try to coop campaign with someone. Have them pick Oda and then you can both focus on Imagawa immediately. Once you've been broken free, dominate the daylights out of Japan with your new friend! In coop campaign, make sure you remind your friend to set his art mastery. Which is of course something you should do as well. -------------------------------------- |2g. Takeda [002g]| -------------------------------------- Home Province: Kai Politics: Uneasy peace almost everywhere, threats from the north Advantages: Cavalry get improved morale Cavalry are cheaper to recruit, and cheaper upkeep Cavalry can be recruited at higher rank General Strategy: The Takeda have powerful horses which you may wish to take advantage of. Personally, I usually find mounted armies generally too expensive to maintain, so Takeda's clan ability mitigates that problem a bit. On the battlefield, cavalry can be used for their speed over normal units and general power. This lends to good battle tactics and allow you to route overwhelming numbers if used correctly. I can't stress "used correctly" enough. Cavalry are good, but are usually considered expensive fodder for the overwhelming chear yari ashigaru in the game. Meaning one of the most used units in the game will make mincemeat out of your amazing horse army if you decide to charge head first in to a wall of spears. On top of that, training cavalry requires you to have the horse strategic resource. If you ever lose that, your whole clan's ability is nullified until you can reacquire that resource. Your first couple of seasons you will need to figure out who of your neighbors is the most threatening and where you'd like to expand. You will likely find yourself in a perpetual state of war, so a healthy supply of military units is in demand. Unfortunately, you start with quite a few borders to be concerned about. Use diplomacy as much as possible to start to allow you some breathing room while you make a nice niche to live in for a bit, then do it again as you expand in whatever direction you choose. Try to check the politics of rival clans that you'd like to conquer. Starting too many wars at once on accident could spell your doom when some random clan rolls up with a full stack of units on an unprepared province of yours from the wrong direction. Strategically, Takeda is in a rough spot. You aren't on the coast and are surrounded by potential enemies. You have to deal with a problem to your north so start the normal process of recruiting a unit or two and try to kill off the problem. If you expand east you'll notice that the territories start to get quite a bit larger and can take a few seasons to traverse. Heading west will run you in to Oda and his problems which can quickly become your problems. Heading further north will run you in to the Ikko and all their religious issues, so as Takeda, you have quite a bit to deal with. You will definitely want a healthy supply of farm upgrades and carefully figure which provinces of yours should get castle upgrades. You will need as much farm income as possible to maintain a fairly widely spread army. Something you may wish to consider is the gold mine that Hojo possesses off to the south. Surely some gold can help those economic woes you will likely be facing sooner or later as the Takeda. The trade nodes are almost out of the question. By the time you get a coastal territory, some trade ships up, and sail to the nodes, they will likely be taken by other factions, including hostile ones. Economically, focus on farming and trading. You will have plenty of neighbors for this opportunity. Ally with one or two and trade with everyone that will accept. Takeda requires good management of your economy with military power and expansion to win with. If you expand too fast you will spread too thin too early and likely be taken out by some angry other clan, if you expand too late, other super powers will be pressing down on you hard from multiple directions. During battles, and once you feel like you can afford it, use their cavalry bonuses like crazy. Cavalry, in general, are fairly powerful, are fast on the battlefield, and can really turn the tide of battle with the ability to flank enemy forces. Likewise, if you are Takeda, and using horsemen, your reinforcing armies will be much faster to the battle enabling more powerful attacks on a common foe. Of course, the drawback is that they are a bit more expensive than normal. An army of katana wielding horsemen are manueverable, powerful, and very scary. Used well, you can destroy almost any battle situation short of seiging castles. Throw some yari ashigaru to take the brunt of a battle, and used cavalry to the best of your micro ability can take you. -------------------------------------- |2h. Hojo [002h]| -------------------------------------- Home Province: Izu Politics: Uneasy peace all around, war is definite soon Advantages: Castes are cheaper to upgrade and repair Siege units are cheaper to recruit and maintain Siege units can be recruited at higher rank General Strategy: Well, Hojo is difficult to figure out. Their clan ability focuses mostly on siege units, but the problem is siege units take quite a while to research and get set up. Oh, I mentioned research already, you best be setting what you're researching on that first season! Ok, with that out of the way, Izu, your capital, has a gold mine, which is a very nice addition, but poor crops in that province sort of balances it out. Upgrade your mine as you get the funds, it won't be long before your territory is under direct thread from Imagawa, Ogigayatsu, and Takeda. Hojo is the only clan to start with 2 provinces and this is a mixed blessing since this gives you additional borders you need to be wary of right as the game starts. Where do you station your troops for defense? Well, Imagawa is primed to attack you shortly since he has nowhere to expand but in to you! He won't be attacking Tokugawa on his other border any time soon (Tokugawa is his vassal... so yea) his only option is your valuable gold mine or to help Tokugawa off to the west against an Oda invasion... which could give you a good opportunity to expand west yourself if you know what I'm saying. Strategically, Hojo is set up pretty nice. you are on the coast with 2 territories and have a gold mine. The gold will help your economy in the beginning, but it can't sustain your ever growing need for more money forever. Your real question is do you want to wait for someone else to start aggression against you or do you want to start the fight? Either way, you might end up fighting wars on all fronts if the cards play out just in the wrong way. Usually Takeda will be too busy with his own problems on multiple fronts to want to start something with you right away, so you might want to buddy up with him with trade and possibly even an alliance to stymie any other clans chance for an easy victory over you. You also have a decent chance at getting the iron trade node off the northeast corner of Japan since you start with a port and are relatively close to it. If you can manage to get other trade nodes, go for it, but your hands might be tied with other problems brewing at home, and you have a long distance to get there if you do try. If you're going for the win, it would seem natural to expand to the west as soon as possible and just use Sagami as your east choke point. A viable strategy then becomes to bulk up Sagami, wait for an attack from probably Imagawa then counter attack and proceed to demolish westward to Kyoto while resupplying your Sagami's defensive military to camp. Of course, your gameplay might not be so clear, so you have to watch the politics between your neighbors and attack when you have the forces and feel like you can manage the others in case one of them decides to get rowdy against you as well. -------------------------------------- |2i. Uesugi [002i]| -------------------------------------- Home Province: Echigo Politics: Rebels inside Echigo, uneasy relations with Yamanouchi, peace with everyone else Advantages: Monk actions have +2% success rate Trade income yields bonus koku Warrior monks are cheaper to recruit and maintain Warrior monks can be recruited at higher rank General Strategy: The Uesugi are like the Buddhist fanatic faction. Their clan bonus allows them to recruit the fairly potent monk warriors by marrying religion with their military. Now, it takes a little while to get the temples up to get the monks, then build the necessary alternate building to finally get monks of whatever unit you'd like (need archery school + monastary to get bow monks for example). At the same time, monk units are generally very expensive to recruit and maintain. Fortunately Uesugi's ability reduces this problem a bit, but there's still that dreadful wait time to get monks in the first place. Not to mention you'll need to research a bit of the Chi arts to even get temples in the first place. Which by the way, you should conveniently be setting on the first season! You'll have to deal with some rebel scum on the first season, but otherwise you're relatively safe for a couple seasons before any other external problems start to manifest. Strategically, Uesugi have some distance to cover before they can take a fight to an enemy clan. You will need to plan ahead for that, or send an army to your border in preparation for war ahead of time so that you can reach someone within a season or two without too many interruptions. It is very tempting to hop on a boat from your port and conquer Sado as well relatively early in the game to take control of their gold mine. The Honma clan won't give it up very easily though, so expect a decent fight there for it. If you can manage to wrest control from them your economy will be looking fairly decent. Even better, controlling Sado is like a free province, few clans sail there, if any, to try to capture it from you. If it bothers you, leave some troops there and sail your army back to the mainland for other uses. Uesugi have a decent shot at the northern trade nodes as well, especially the northeastern one. I would highly recommend attempting to capture the iron node before Date or even Hojo has a chance to get it. Extra income will be very welcome as the game progresses since you will likely be heading west towards Kyoto and encountering many of the same problems faced by Oda. Once enough time has passed and you've established your economy enough, sprinkle your armies with a couple monk recruits. Monks have higher than average stats and much higher morale from their religious convictions, but their downfall is smaller numbers and take a lot of damage from their robes as defense. Usually, I only scatter some monk archers around in my troops for their extra boost to accuracy, teamed up with a fletcher province nearby, and you have walking snipers of doom raining hell down on enemies. Once you've researched fire arrows and even the +10% accuracy art, you will be slaughtering whole armies with monk archers. Granted other monk units are nice too, but usually for how expensive they are and their relative brittleness, I usually stick to monk archers. -------------------------------------- |2j. Date [002j]| -------------------------------------- Home Province: Iwate Politics: Rebels, War with Mogami and Usen to the west Advantages: All units get a charge bonus Nodachi units are cheaper to recruit and maintain Nodachi units can be recruited at higher rank General Strategy: Nodachi troops are dreadful, hands down. They will chop up every other unit in the game very quickly. Date use nodachi very well for obvious reasons that they are relatively on the cheap for how strong they are. Charge in to battle with nodachis drawn and you will quickly devastate units. The enemies hope that they can strike you down with arrows before your units get to them, otherwise they are going to be done for. If you can manage to get a hold of a province or two with the blacksmith, forge yourself some superior weapons and put those on your nodachis for even more fun! Strategically, Date is in a great position for the most part. Snag that trade route just beyond your shoreline for some iron, don't even bother with the other ones across the country they are simply too far away for now. Since you occupy the eastern shore of Japan you really have limited options in where to go and what to do - start plowing westward! Start with your existing enemies and start working your way west. You do have a lot of distance to cover between your territories as you expand which might cause some problems if you move your armies away and end up in war with someone on another border. Play politics carefully so as not to leave one of your borders open on any of your territory. You may as well not even bother sending your armies back to another province if it is in threat of attack since your frontlines will likely need it more. Try to always send reinforcements from your back territories, like your capital, to your front and sort of "check in" with other provinces. If you can get a ninja or two, camp them in the vast amount of land to watch for incoming troop movements. If you see anything suspicious, you will need to compensate by rearranging your troop positions early to get ready for it. This distance can work incredibly favorably as well for you if you keep watch on their troop movements. It is always fun to watch an enemy army move away from their last territory in hopes of taking one of yours and while they are in transit across vast landscapes, you sneak in an army from the side and take their last castle resulting in their army disbanding (usually) and you get a "free" province to boot. Being on the east shore has a fairly big downfall in terms of winning the game as well. The sheer distance to Kyoto is troublesome. On top of that, if you're taking territory on you way there, you very well could trigger Realm Divide well before you're even near Kyoto resulting in all out craziness against you from everyone else in Japan. Fortunately for you, you have a ton of territory by then that is cornered off away from enemies that you should have a lot of economic power behind you from all that domestic-focused property. You may even consider torching sword schools and what not in your eastern territories to make way for more markets and Sake Dens for the added bump to your economy in preparation for all out war when that happens. Like Uesugi's goal, the Sado gold mine is mighty tempting to covet for yourself as a side trip on your way west. If you can muster the strength or peace long enough, it is totally worth getting. Once conquered, head back to the mainland to resume your terror, but now with more funds! Oh, and start your research on the first season so that you can get sword schools earlier than if you forgot. -------------------------------------- |2k. Ashikaga* [002k]| -------------------------------------- *: This is not a playable faction; mentioned here because of importance Home Province: Kyoto Politics: Peace with everyone, but not for long! Advantages: Pretty sweet home Lots of women General Strategy: Well, as of early 2011, this clan isn't playable, so this section really doesn't apply. If it becomes playable in the future through some DLC or something to that affect, I will fill this in. Yes, I'm aware there could be some mods out there than enable playing this faction, but I'll wait until Creative Assembly makes it official, if ever. Since this clan is prominent to winning the game it gets a special mention here for what this clan does and how it works. Immediately at the start of the game, the AI will have almost an entire stack of powerful samurai and other units defending Kyoto. Fortunately, the existing Shogun believes Japan is under his rule, while allowing them to have infighting for his own amusement. The Ashikaga clan will never leave Kyoto or take provinces from anyone. So, if you end up at war with this clan, know that they will likely never attack you directly, but will supply support to your enemies. The big surprise can happen when you go to assault Kyoto and they instantly spawn an additional stack of armies as reinforcements! I believe that surprise event only happens once. So if you fail your first attack and come back later, they won't spawn anymore. Fortunately this seems to hold true when other clans attack Kyoto as well if that comes to pass. Let them deal with that spawning army of insanity for you. Also, Kyoto is notorious for somehow magically gaining ranks on their soldiers. Don't be totally surprised if you attack it later in the game and they have rank 4, 5 or even 6 troops defending Kyoto. Obviously the idea was to make this a challenge for a would-be Shogun with all the battle hardened troops assaulting it. If you take Kyoto and hold it for 4 seasons, your clan declares itself as Shogun. If you are not in Realm Divide, this will be triggered at this point. At the same time, you will get a Great Guard unit which is a very powerful cavalry unit and a Nihon Maru ship in your nearest port if you have one, otherwise I think it spawns at the nearest port on the map regardless of who controls it. Kyoto itself is a massive citadel with tons of defenses and walls everywhere. If you control this province, the garrison alone can take down a sizeable army by itself. When you're attacking it, you will likely need to enable longer battles to actually capture it in the attacking time limit. Go in well prepared as well and consider using siege weapons to soften up his troops. General attacking strategies vary on Kyoto, try to use all your strategies you know to the best of your ability. His tactics are generally weak, so take advantage of that. Try to capture a tower or two for some additional help. Other than that, good luck on your assault! If you still need help, check the section in Sieges, specifically for assaulting castles. --------------------------------------- |2l. Ikko Ikki* [002l]| --------------------------------------- *: You can only play Ikko Ikki with the "Ikko Ikki Clan" DLC. A code can be purchased through sega's website or Steam, then you put that code in by "activating a product" with Steam and using that code. Home Province: Echizen Politics: Total nightmare Advantages: No Metsuke (this is actually a bad thing) Generals convert provinces to Ikko religion Ashigaru have higher morale, but worse stats Ashigaru units are larger than normal Ikko rebellions, if successful, liberate territories to your clan General Strategy: Well, you will want to brace for war very quickly and basically with everyone. Your religion will put you to the stake quickly and frequently. Though you start at peace with everyone, that will not last long. Your best bet in the beginning is to pick a direction to expand to, either to your west or east. It won't be long before you're at war with basically everyone from every direction, so bolster one side with defense and get your assault troops ready to hammer the other. Because of your religion, you won't be able to expand quickly, unlike every other faction. When you take over territory, their religious differences will cause a lot of unhappiness - forcing you to keep a substantial garrison behind, exempt them from tax, or possibly even both! Unlike the other clans you will probably need to rethink when you would like to expand. It will be almost impossible to take province after province once you destroy an enemy army stack. A sneaky way to gain new territory is with monks. Ikko monks and Generals have a passive ability to convert a province's religion to the Ikko religion. This means you can camp a monk in a nearby enemy territory to passively convert their population. Once you get their population to about 5% Ikko, you can incite a rebellion. If it works, the rebels could be "Ikko Ikki rebels". If those rebels conquer that land, you will automatically get that territory as if you took it militarily. You will also automatically inherit the rebel troops to your regular army - a nice bonus to getting some free units (probably monk units even!). Just make sure you have enough koku to instigate the initial rebellion as well as enough money to afford the upkeep for your new troops - warrior monks aren't cheap on upkeep! Economically, Ikko are very difficult to manage. No metsuke units mean no boosts to your economy, no arresting other agents, and no bribing enemy units. Thankfully, your religious monks can perform actions for free other than inciting riots (which is still pretty expensive). Unfortunately you can only have 5 monks out at any given time, and you will definitely want that many to perform your subversive behaviors and covering the void that missing metsuke has filled (as in getting rid of enemy agents). Strategically, the Ikko are in a pretty decent spot. Both of their initial lands are choke points in the north center of Japan, giving you options where to expand, and where to defend. You should probably NOT attempt to expand in both directions, at least initially. You should, however, attempt to snag the closest trade posts in the northern half of Japan. The foreign horses are a 2 season sail away, while the cotton off to the west and the iron off to the east are 5 or 6 seasons away. You will want to get a trade post very early because trading with other clans is highly unreliable due to your constant threat of war. I can't stress this enough, EXPAND SLOWLY, DO NOT STEAMROLL EVERYONE. The only time you should ever conquer more than one or two provinces at once is if their local population is already mostly Ikko religion. If you have to keep half your armies behind in newly acquired land to keep the peasants in line, you will very quickly spread your army out too thin along your new borders, making you a very ripe target to be conquered in all directions. You will be at odds with everyone almost always anyways, so this could be your downfall. Be aware of spreading riots as well, one game of mine, I was near realm divide and some Ikko rebels conquered Suruga, putting my clan's land over the amount and triggered realm divide at possibly the least convenient time I could possibly think of; all of my armies were spread out keeping populations under control and my trade was almost completely reliant on my vassals at that point. Originally I was planning on stopping expansion to focus on economy, then triggering realm divide... well those pesky rebels (bless their hearts) decided to speed up those plans. The next season, my income was a very large negative value and I was being attacked at almost every border with full stacks of enemy armies all over the place. A promising campaign turned up side down very quickly. So, your Ikko religion can be a curse and a blessing. Build your Ikko temple to spread your religion to all bordering lands and convert your local populace. Your temple will also grant you free warrior monks when your castle is under attack in the same manner as your castle upgrades do with ashigaru units. Better temples mean more free warrior monks for defense allowing you to move on your units back in to your attacking forces which will likely be very needed. Another thing that will be painful while playing as the Ikko clan is that your ashigaru units have worse stats in general than all of the greater clans. Sure, your units have a bump to morale and are a little larger than normal, but one unit of yari ashigaru versus a unit of another clan's yari ashigaru, you will almost never win, assuming a standard front on fight. You will almost always need to vastly outnumber their ashigaru to win. This idea carries over to your Ronin as well. Oh, you don't get normal samurai either, you get Ronin units, which are almost equal to their samurai equivalents. All in all, the game attempts to get you to favor warrior monks since you will likely be building temples a lot anyways to convert the peasants. Sadly, you won't want to be cranking out warrior monks much at all because of how prohibitively expensive they are to recruit and maintain. Your economy is almost always less than ideal because of your problematic diplomatic relations. Because of this, you will almost never want more than a couple warrior monks running around. Sure, you could have one super army running around, but your large borders will make this almost impossible. Teamed that with the idea that you will probably need sizable local garrisons to keep peasant in check from the religion problem... you will likely be unable to have one amazing warrior monk army ruining the other clans. From my experience, this clan is the hardest to play as. You start with some advantages, 2 provinces, one with a blacksmith and the other with fletchers, great choke points, and both starting lands with fertile or very fertile soil for excellent farms. You will definitely need them, and soon in to the campaign. You should consider taking Sado for the gold mine for the much-needed economic boost relatively early in the game. You will likely need 2 or 3 stacks of navies to patrol your shoreline on the harder difficulties since they will load up boats with large armies and land them in the middle of your coastal lands, probably totally messing you up since your armies will be at your borderlands, probably far from where they land. If you can sink their boats before they get to you, that will take care of a problem before it becomes a disaster. Good luck with this clan, you will need it. -------------------------------------- |2z. Minor Clans [002z]| -------------------------------------- Throughout the game you will find other clans you can interact with. Hopefully one of these days we will be able to play some of these officially through DLC or some other method. Many minor clans control the majority of territory at the onset of the campaign and get quickly wiped out just like any main clan. You will be able to enter in to diplomacy with these clans like the others, really the only thing you can't do is play as them -- yet. The only special clan is just called "Rebels". They are the clanless wanderers that just want a home somewhere with no real leader at all. If they manage to take a province from someone (hopefully not you!) they will basically just set up a home there and just exist. They will never make new armies or expand or anything, they just sort of sit there and wait to be killed off by someone else. You cannot enter in to diplomacy with them at all, the only language they speak is war and all clans are automatically at war with all "rebel" factions. Every now and again a rebel faction will become a new actual clan by recognizing a new leader. In which case, you will be notified of a new great clan and you can interact with them like any other clan. The game seems to favor only a dozen new clan names but every now and again you'll see a very strangely named new clan running around usually quite briefly before it gets wiped out again. The only other thing I can think of here is that if a clan, let's say Kitabatake gets wiped out, then it rises again somewhere else or even in the exact same province it was wiped out in, ALL old diplomacy with that clan is reset; for all intents and purposes, it is a new clan, it just happens to share that same name. The game also favors naming new clans based on where it is in the map, so if Kitabatake was wiped out 10 years ago and rebels took over Ise (Kitabatake's home province by design) and they become a clan,they will most likely be called Kitabatake if that clan doesn't exist already in the game. This same phenomenon is seemingly the same when clans make vassal clans. If you conquer Ise from someone and it becomes a vassal clan, it will very likely be called Kitabatake if they don't exist at that time. <>Wako Pirates <> This homeless faction is basically pirates roaming from Korea and China. They are basically jerks that run around and sink your boats and pirate your trade lanes. They are mostly a thorn in your side, especially if they get some opportunities to sink/steal a stack of your trade ships on their way to a foreign trade spot. On the higher difficulties, they will sometimes even attack your actively trading ships unless you have a defending navy in a position to reinforce them. Putting a stack of bow kobaya's and mixing some medium bunes in there near your actively trading ships on the trade nodes is usually enough to keep the Wako away. If your economy is RELIANT on foreign trade, make sure you have at least one navy stack defending every foreign trade post and possibly a couple stacks freely roaming around Japan in the shores you control. In the late game, those foreign trade lanes are worth thousands and thousands of koku per season and if even one is pirated, you could be in a world of hurt next season when you don't get any income from it! Thankfully, the Wako hate all the clans and can sometimes do your dirty work of sinking other clan's navies as well. Frequently they will steal other clans' trade ships or boats, giving you the opportunity to steal them from the pirates and giving you some free boats. This is especially useful if you can manage to steal several "free" trade ships near foreign trade nodes. <> European Traders <> The only unit you will see of this faction is "The Black Ship". This boat is stupidly amazing and well worth it if you can manage to capture it. I have read conflicting reports about what happens to the faction when the black ship is sunk or captured. It would SEEM that if the ship is SUNK, it can respawn a couple years later. If the boat is captured, it will never respawn, thus allowing only one ship to exist in Japan under any clan. Read the FAQ section about ideas on how to capture the boat. ====================================== |3. General Campaign Strategies | ====================================== There is a lot to be said here since no two people really play the same. Here I will break down general ideas of what you will want to do, more or less, to help you along with playing your own game your own way. -------------------------------------- |3a. Economy [003a]| -------------------------------------- The backbone of any clan is koku. Without koku, you will be in big trouble with the people and your military. Immediately at the start of the game you need to be planning for the Realm Divide event. Yes, the very first season you must already be planning ahead that far. Why this is so important is that when Japan ignites in Total War, all your trading will get shut down and on top of that you will be strained militarily to defend pretty much any territory that borders any clan other than your own. This gives you two problems at the same time. An increased demand on your military and taking away a significant chunk of money from your income. If you were having a hard time paying your troops before Realm Divide, then this event could very well cost you the entire game! Yes, it is that important! So, how do we go about becoming a millionaire? It starts at home with farms. Each province can grow farms, but some do it much better than others based on their soil quality. Land with very fertile soil will yield bountiful harvests and produce more taxable income for you come tax time. In general you will always want to upgrade your farms the moment you can afford it. Each town has a wealth indicator if you open up the town information panel (double click on a castle). Here, you can see how much money is being made domestically. You may notice that your towns make a ton of koku, how come you're not rolling in riches!? Well hang on there my young Daimyo, that is the peoples' money! You can only get a chunk of that tasty wealth in the form of taxes levied on your people. As I'm sure you could guess, raising taxes makes your people sad, angry, and possibly suicidal. Yes, your town's growth DECREASES as you raise your taxes. So how do we find a balance of how much to tax versus not? Every person seems to have their own idea on the best balance. If you're starting out with the game, you can open your finance window (hit N on the keyboard) and check the box that says auto manage taxes. Your administrator for your clan will manipulate tax rates on a clan-wide level and even exempt provinces from taxes in order to keep domestic order if the peasants are getting out of hand for say newly acquired lands that have high unrest. Assuming you aren't auto-managing taxes, you need to find a balance of what to tax. In the beginning of the game it is fair to keep the tax level in the middle. Depending on your clan, your provinces may experience a decrease in growth because of this, even at the middle setting. Once you feel comfortable with LESS INCOME, set your tax level lower. By having lower taxes, you encourage your towns to conduct domestic trade within the town itself and you will see your towns want to grow as you lower the taxes -- meaning more money for you LATER in the game. Your political situation may not warrant you having less income if you need troops and this is where managing your economy is important. The general rule I follow is if I feel like I don't need more troops, I lower my taxes to the lowest possible. If I need more troops I crank it back up. I almost never have it more than halfway up because your people will become very angry with you and on top of that your town growth will decrease by quite a lot as an additional penalty. That's the last thing you want while managing wars all over the place, peasant revolts and less money! Let's break this down more. Each province gets income from several sources. In the beginning of the game things like farms, gold mines, sake dens, and markets will boost your income in any province where those exist. However, over time something called "town" can become substantial. "Town" is your province's internal trading within the town itself. As you lower taxes this "town" is encouraged to grow. Yes, the growth is slow, but over several years and if you're keeping up with farms and other buildings, this "town" can exceed even the most upgraded gold mines! So, in general, you will always want town growth in the early game because over time all your territories combined will be taxed and if they are all growing slowly you will have an abundant income in every town even well into the realm divide, even without trade. The bottomline is if your clan wants to be self sufficient (which it should be) you need a lot of "town" in all your territory. Basically the income from "town" needs to replace ALL of your trading when everyone closes down their borders in Realm Divide. There is another aspect of town growth that helps town growth and that is "buildings". When you construct castles or add other builds, your town is encouraged to grow. If you can find a good balance of low tax and constructing builds, your town will start growing quickly. As your town grows, when you bump the tax level back up all that "town" that has accumulated will now be taxed at that tax rate = lots more money in the bank right when you need it the most, in the later game! Another helpful tip for people looking to maximize their economy would be to use Metsuke to make sure everyone stays in line and delivers their tax koku to you and only you. Planting Metsuke in some of your more wealthy provinces will give you a nice "free" bump to the local tax rate in that town giving you some additional income. You can plant more than one Metuke per town but the bonus to additional ones beyond the first are minimal, it is usually best to find your top 3 or 4 provinces in terms of money and have one Metsuke in each overseeing those towns. I believe a Metsuke's skill in overseeing towns also affects by how much bonus tax you get with them there. A question comes up now and again about markets. Markets provide a nice domestic income for your town and a bump to your taxes, but what about upgrading your markets to Rice Exchanges or Merchant Guilds? There is a tradeoff that takes place if you upgrade your markets. At first, this sounds like a "of course I want to upgrade", not so, an upgrade permanently consumes 1 food. That 1 food could have been used to increase your town growth in EVERY province you own, not just consumed in one territory. Personally, I upgrade one or two markets in my wealthiest lands so that I have a higher base domestic income so that I can tax the snot out of them and make a lot more money from that province. Everywhere else, I keep the standard market for the minor bump to economy and leave it there so that my food surplus is put to better use across my entire empire. Another building that will help in minor ways are Sake Dens. If you need money, put a basic market and fully upgraded Sake Den for a decent chunk of income from those buildings alone. Naturally using two building slots for these two buildings will basically cripple that province from being very useful in terms of recruiting military units, but they will provide a lot of funds for other places with better military facilities. This setup is almost a must for your lands behind your frontlines. Consider torching your military buildings in favor of economic buildings as your borders expand. You can finesse your economy a bit also by taking advantage of your Generals and their commissioner roles. There are 3 commissions that you will want to pay attention to and where you will want to assign these. Commissioner for Finance provides a clan wide tax bonus *and* reduces the upkeep of military units assigned to his stack. Commissioner for Warfare reduces the recruitment cost of military units across your entire clan. Commissioner for Development reduces the development cost of constructing and upgrading your buildings. The reason these are mentioned is that your General is *MORE EFFECTIVE* at his commissioned role as he gains ranks (stars). A 5 star General is an amazing asset, especially if he is your commissioner for finance with a huge bonus to tax rate and almost "free" units under his command... a perfect match for all your expensive samurai. By careful management and some planning ahead, you can prioritize certain Generals gaining ranks in combat to maximize your economy to help support you as you raise armies, develop buildings, and raise taxes. Passively increasing your tax revenue, while reducing costs will benefit your economy all the time and effectively managing your Commissioners is almost pivotal in making your economy perfect. This is pretty important so much that you may wish to consider "firing" one General who isn't gaining ranks in favor of passing on his commission to another. Naturally, they don't like losing their jobs, even if you do give them a new job right after, so watch their loyalty and try to squeeze out as much money as you can without making too many people mad at you. That is the basics of managing your economy. In short, prepare for Realm Divide even in season 1, become self sufficient, lower taxes whenever you can, create markets and dens, and assign commissions to Generals to maximize your income (for example, put your largest and most expensive stack of units with your Commissioner for Finance to save tons of money). Raise taxes up when you need to build some buildings or raise some more army. Being stretched too thin with your military will usually translate to keeping your tax up and you will never seem to have enough armies running around... which ultimately translates to not enough money in the end game and you losing. -------------------------------------- |3b. Military [003b]| -------------------------------------- Time to exert your authority! With koku comes lots of military action. Depending on your clan, you may wish to focus on certain units over others or depending on the enemy army you are going to fight you may wish to get certain units to round out your capacities. As a general rule with the military, try to conserve as much money as you can. This means try to focus on ashigaru units since they are cheap and their upkeep is minimal. Depending on your personal battle tactics, you may have your own preference, but again in general, you'll probably want a healthy dose of archers and lots of yari ashigaru for the melee fighting. In combination with the Economy section, you need to keep an eye on upkeep costs and try not to spend beyond what you can't support on your own without trade. You can conveniently do this with the finance window and check how much income is coming in from trade. You can match up your army and navy costs versus your income without the trade. I'm not saying never go above your own means, but it is something you need to pay attention to and definitely but back the moment you feel that Realm Divide is near. The idea with any military is have a balance offense and decent defense. You will want to take advantage of any province that has a bonus to melee attack or defense, or improved accuracy and recruit units from there that take full advantage of those things. Improved accuracy archers are very scary. On the same note, so are improved melee katana users or nodachi. You will likely want some samurai for the inevitable head on brawls you will find sooner or later. Definitely do not try to recruit samurai only, you will bury your clan in debt before long even well before realm divide. Yes, it is possible to destroy samurai armies with ashigaru if your tactics are good. If you are having a hard time in the campaign, try to get better at battles and use less money and use less samurai and more ashigaru. Other than all of that, buy the best units you can afford and that caters to your personal battle tactics. If you're not sure what those are yet, get a couple melee, a healthy dose of archers, and some samurai as your tanks and good luck! If you want info on what to do with your army, check the Battle Guide and the Steamrolling sections. -------------------------------------- |3c. Agents [003c]| -------------------------------------- So, military dominance isn't enough for you? Time to play with the covert a bit eh? Agents can decisively enhance or hinder your campaign in very overt ways. Almost all agents can be used either in a support manner or in some cripplinng way to other clans. The best part is that you can mess around with clans that you aren't necessarily at war with to cause them some slight problems to "accidentally" create an opportunity for some mean clan to come in and take advantage of. Usually, you will want to create those opportunities for yourself, but allowing the misfortune of others to be taken advantage of in other ways by others isn't off the table either. To recruit agents, you need their respective buildings to be contructed. Ninjas need Sake Dens. Monks need Monastaries. Metsukes need Markets. Each building will enable +1 agent of that type to be recruited anywhere. So, for example, if you have 2 provinces and each have a Sake Den, you can recruit a total of 2 ninjas across your entire clan, regardless of where you actually train that agent. Agents gain experience for things that they do. Usually you need to actively tell them things to do for them to get that experience, but if you plant agents in towns or in armies, they will gain experience passively, albeit very slowly. When they gain enough experience, they gain levels which can give them additional success chances to perform actions or other beneficial attributes. At the same time, a higher level agent is less likely to be affected by enemy agents as well. In the bigger picture, you want high level agents, and you get them by having them perform actions. Creative Assembly even made your agents change looks based on their level as you raise through the ranks. A nice touch, I like it. Oh, and any agent inside a town will also passively help handle unrest in that territory. A minor, but useful function for an unruly group of peasants. Sometimes agents will attempt to dispose of other agents in their own way, many times unsuccessfully, but when it does work the victim agent has a chance of being temporarily disposed of for a couple of seasons and will return at your capital when that time period expired, or permanently dispatched, removing them from the game. If you are outgunned with your military, an excellent strategy would be to cripple another clan with agents until you are ready or simply cause problems for them while they are fighting each other so that you can sort of tip the scales in one clans favor over the other and ideally giving you the upperhand in the end. Let's get to it then shall we? - Ninja Ninjas are your all around good agent in any capacity. They perform many useful functions. First and foremost is that they can move a very long distance and move through any clan's territory, this makes them excellent scouts. My first couple of playthroughs I neglected the fact that scouting is very important in this game. If you can see enemy armies and their movements you will have a nice advantage of knowing WHERE you will need to send your own armies or see who is fighting who, and possibly the most important reason you want to scout other clans -- TO PREVENT THEM FROM CHEATING. Yes, I said it. Creative Assembly doesn't want to say it or admit to it directly, but basically if other clan's armies are not in visibility they like to magically gain ranks in impossible circumstances. For example, in season 3, an incoming army to Iga had rank 3 troops already from a clan that wasn't at war with anybody at any point. This is completely impossible. I now make it a habit to scout anywhere and everywhere I plan to attack to stop them from coincidentally having harder troops than normal and since I've done this, the enemy is surprisingly much easier and more in line with the ranks of my own soldiers. Ninjas can also scout your armies when implanted with them, allowing that army to move further on the campaign map and boost their line of sight. Ninjas scouting your armies also seems to lower enemy agents from working against that army while they are tagging along with them. Ninjas can also establish criminal networks in your own towns. They basically put "eyes and ears" in to the town to provide a boost to that town's line of sight and help protect armies, generals, and other agents from being affected by enemy agents. Ninjas seemingly can detect other agents much better than any other agent as well as uncover hidden armies on the map with better success than any other army or agent. Offensively, ninjas are very fun to use. You can sabotage buildings - halting that towns production or causing problems for their income, assassinate people of interest - like enemy generals or enemy agents, and probably the most useful thing, subverting enemy armies. At first I thought sabotaging enemy armies was the worst thing ninjas did, wow was I wrong. When you're scouting around the map and you see enemy armies marching somewhere, like your lands, you can kill off some of their troops with subverting and additionally halt their movements for a season. Sometimes, that extra season of no movement from them is all you need to position your own armies in to advantageous positions. Having multiple ninjas harrass an enemy army, it is quite possible to completely disable a scary enemy army from moving for years while slowly killing their troops from sabotage and winter attrition. Frankly, you will want to have these guys running around all over the place all the time. Strategies involved with ninja often involve sabotaging a clan that is neutral to your own. If the ninja succeeds in their action, that clan has an unlucky season and no backlash comes your way. However, if the action is unsuccessful, karma can come back to get you. Your daimyo could suffer an honor loss because you participated, err ordered, a dishonorable thing against another clan. Depending on what your ninja messed up, they could also end up being killed. The severity of action directly translates to the penalty levied against you. Failing an assassination against another daimyo, enemy or not, will have a heavy consequence against your diplomatic relations with that clan, your honor, and possibly even other clans as they will begin to see you as untrustworthy and dishonourable. Luck plays quite a large role in agent actions like ninjas when being applied to neutral clans. Sometimes you need to create an opportunity for yourself or some other clan that clan is at war with. So, weigh your options carefully and be ready to fail. If the mission is very important, try to use your highest level ninjas to help "ensure" success. An example of this could mean you subvert a neutral clan's army so that another clan they are at war with can move their own troops or kill off one of their provinces unhindered. Sure, you may be "neutral" with that clan, but that just means "not enemies yet". A tip to leveling up ninjas, send them to someone you're at war with or about to go to war with and do any action against them, for the cost involved, I'd say try to sabotage their farms or something "easy". The more actions you do, the more levels you get, the better you get at it. I also found it more effective to have ninjas specialize in certain aspects. Like, have one ninja specialize in assassinations, one specialing in scouting the field, maybe a generalist that is kind of good at everything. -Monk/Missionary Monks are on missions to spread the word! For better or worse for your clan and for others. Monks can be very devastating to clans because they cause riots and spread religion. Now, the religion thing isn't a bad thing if everyone believed the same thing, but there's that problem where we just can't all get along or believe the same thing. As an agent you can use them in subtle but effective ways. You can use religion as a weapon more or less to cause problems for your neighbors, or even use a monk's inspirational speeches to cause problems in clans that even share your own religion. On the domestic side, you can preach to your towns about whatever religion your clan is. The monks presence will raise local happiness and also spread your clan's religion there... as well as spread that religion to nearby provinces. This reason alone is what warrants a lot of problems with Ikko and Christian clans, it is when those darn monks/missionaries start coming around knocking on our doors, someone has got to go eventually, and if you take too long your own converted peasants might think it is YOU that has to go! You can plant Monks with armies to inspire them on the battlefield which seems to give them an initial boost to their morale; perfect for an army of ashigaru with low morale, bump that up a bit so they can fight better. Monks can also be used to confuse enemy agents, to question their goals and motives and incapacitate them by having them run for the mountains in search of their own enlightment. If it works, enemy agents will be put out of play for a little while or possibly permanently. Finally, the best (and most expensive) use of a monk is to cause a crisis in nearby provinces. This technique is most effective if that province has an internal problem already, especially stemming from religion. The monk's chance for success will be dramatically increased if the population is already unhappy with their rulers for whatever reason, but at the same time will be incredibly low if their local populace is very happy. It is also impossible to cause a major problem in the last province of a clan. Other than that, if you can convince their population to rise up against their masters, a rebel army will generally spawn nearby with a mission to overthrow the governing clan. Usually the uprising is effective and the rebels take over. Sometimes this new rebel establishment will become a new clan all together. Otherwise, you can now safely plow through those rebel scum (that you caused hah!) without causing major political backlash and making a new enemy from that previous clan. This technique allows you to expand "safely" without making new enemies. Obviously if your monk fails, your daimyo's honor could be on the line and the victim clan will think of you poorly. -Metsuke A Daimyo's mobster basically. This agent deals with the underbelly of society, the criminals, the money laundering, and the sleeze. This agent is very useful when talking economics and dealing with enemy agents. The first and foremost ability you will want to use is the ability to oversee towns. They will watch the flow of money and taxes and ensure nobody is shorting you. Thus, they bump up the tax rate in the town they are watching without causing unhappiness. You can also have them tag along with armies to make sure your armies stay loyal to you and that enemy agents don't confuse or assassinate your Generals. A metsuke with an army will also lower the chance of enemy agents working their plots against that army, just like a ninja. Metsuke can also take a lump of cash and convince another clan's armies that your clan is the better deal. Why fight armies when you can bribe them to your cause? Exactly, I knew you'd see it my way. Bribing armies can get expensive but can be worth it in a pinch if you need more troops where they just happen to be. Bribing enemy Generals is dependent on a couple of factors. One, how loyal that General is. Two, if they are an Heir to the current Daimyo. Three, the level of your agent and the level of the General. Finally Metsuke can arrest other agents from other clans. This is very useful both within your territories and as you start expanding with your own armies. On higher difficulties the other clans will use agents constantly within your lands and within their own, you will want to get rid of them as soon as possible before they cause your clan a lot of damage or confuse your troops. Even neutral ninjas hanging around your territory might happen to sabotage your farms or other buildings because he's waging a hidden war against you. That damage is very expensive and you might not even be able to afford the repair bill! Metsuke can arrest, and sometimes even execute, those enemy agents. Good riddance. Even more important, arresting other agents is excellent experience for Metsuke with no death penalty if you fail or political backlash. Basically, arrest everyone you can. -Geisha These ladies are super ninjas hellbent on assassinating everyone. To get one of these killers you will need to research and construct the infamous Mizu Shobai district, which is the final upgrade on your Sake Den. Unfortunately, you will also need the specialty trade good cotton to construct one. When you finally have all the prerequisites, you can only train one of them, so treat her right. Unlike other agents, Geisha are always visible to all clans and never need to be discovered like ninja or metsuke. Geisha basically don't do anything other than kill Generals, Daimyos, and agents. They leave the dirty sabotage work to the ninjas, but they do handle enemy agents with deadly precision. Agents will probably be swarming your Geisha every season trying to apprehend her or kill her since she is a huge threat. Fortunately for you, your Geisha has a really high chance to evade and survive these attempts. Additionally, as she kills these agents she gains a bit of experience over time and as she gains some levels, her survivability chance increases. Oh, Geisha also start at level 3, so gaining to level 4 might take a little while. Your will may vary, but my level 3 fresh Geisha had a 67% chance to kill a level 1 enemy general. With odds like those, I couldn't afford NOT to run around assassinating everything that moved! -Generals (Daimyo) Technically, not really an agent. However, the leaders of your armies need some respect. They gain experience and levels like other agents and they have abilities as well, but they can only use them on the battlefield. Generals also can be assigned commissioner roles to further help your clan. Assign the correct commision to the right General and you can save yourself a bit of money. For example, assign your most expensive troops to the General that has the commission that lowers the upkeep of troops under his command. That alone can save you hundreds, possibly even thousands of koku a month in upkeep, not to mention make a very powerful army. You will want to assign commisions to every General you get for their great passive enhancements to your clan and economy, so hand these out the moment you have enough Generals. Each General will also get +1 loyalty when they are assigned a commission role. If you are lacking heirs to the throne, you can also select a General to become your heir. In which case, that General will be relieved of their commission, if they had one, and will become your "son" for all intents and purposes. Unlike other agents, you cannot just normally recruit new Generals, they must be created from certain events. The normal method seems to be every now and again some person in your clan will approach you claiming that their son or some warrior stands out from the rest and that you can enlist them for 1,000 koku. Make your choice, and if you do, you have a new General. You can somewhat trigger a new General event by fighting battles without a General in it. Randomly after the fight someone in your army, assuming you won, will have performed admirably and should be promoted. Again, for 1,000 koku, you can transform that unit in to a new General. On a side note, the first army unit in this combat will be an acting General or "Captain". They act similar to a normal General except they do not have any abilities. Be aware that the flag bearer in your first unit has that morale boost radius and when he dies the morale shock will happen just like when a normal general dies. You can visually reference a General or captain in armies with the extra decoration on their flag banner that hovers over that unit at the top of the pole. They will have like a spike or some other flare of some sort at the top of that pole so you can quickly visually reference where your "General" is, even if it is a Captain. Anyways, your son(s) will also become Generals when they reach the age of adulthood. Your heir is a General, but cannot have a commission. Instead, his job is to take over for you in the event your Daimyo doesn't make it to the end of the game for whatever reason. Your heir's brothers will also become Generals and you have the option to move around the heir role at your desire. Should your Daimyo die and the son ascends to be the new Daimyo, his brothers will forever be Generals and cannot become heirs to the throne. At which point, the new Daimyo will have begun his own legacy and begin his own line with his own sons and so on and so forth. Like agents, it might be a good idea to specialize your Generals as they level up to be battle hardened, or help with research, or become navy commanders, the choice is yours, but usually I find it more successful specializing rather than having all my Generals be average all around. -------------------------------------- |3d. Trading [003d]| -------------------------------------- Trading is like a crutch that has to be taken away sooner or later. Trade helps your economy a lot, but only up until the hardest part of the game, the Realm Divide. The absolute best trading that you can do is laying claim to the trade nodes outside of Japan itself. By conducting foreign trade with trade ships you can keep those trade lanes open even after Realm Divide. Not to mention that foreign trade is a massive boost to income if you control even just a couple of the nodes. If you're lucky and quick and control all of the nodes, you will probably more than double your existing income and even trigger some extra nice random events, further boosting your income and overall power. Trading with other clans might be a necessary evil since trade with them also swaps specialty goods. If you need horses but can't afford a war or get to a place with horses, try to trade with a clan that controls that resource. In that trade, you will acquire horses and thus can recruit cavalry. Without a 100% reliable access to these resources though, you might be blindsided when you lose access to that resource when politics fall apart, and they most certainly will sooner or later, taking away that resource and the associated trade. At the same time, as you control goods, other clans will be more willing to trade with you since they themselves want access to those resources. Plus, it would seem that trading with a clan that has specialty goods increases the trade income itself for both clans involved, further enticing other clans to desire trade with you if you control these things. If you are in a coop campaign, make sure to establish trade with your ally to get that boost to both your economies when you get a chance if you don't start next to each other or can't connect by port. That reminds me, some people might be wondering just why in the world clans won't trade with them. There are lots of reasons this might happen. The first and foremost reason this is happening is because there is simply no path for which trade can happen. In other words, your territory must be on the border with another clan for you to trade with them. See how if you look at roads around Japan, and you see little guys running around with carts? That is a trade route on land, you can't send your merchants to another clan without a path that they can take! Your merchants cannot go through territories around your clan that are neutral or at war with. However, if you enable military access on a neutral clan through diplomacy, your merchants (as well as your military) can now tranvel through that clan's territory enabling you to trade with clans beyond that clan's land now. Trade will no longer be possible obviously when that access in the middle is revoked or that neutral clan dies off. If your clan and your intended trade partner have trade ports (not just the basic harbors) you will be able to send merchant ships to their ports for a naval trade. Realize that your ports need to have the +1 or +2 trade routes attribute for you to use that port as a trade origin/destination. Your clan or the other clan might be at max capacity in all of their ports or don't have upgraded enough ports to support another trade route at all! Upgrade your port to the next level, then try to trade again with another clan across the ocean and see if it works then, if not, the other clan might need to do the same. Trading with other clans is nice for both of your economies but is political as well. Clans are more hesitant to go to war with trade partners since it negatively affects their economy to do so. You can use this knowledge to make sneaky suggestions for other clans while protecting yourself. Something else to consider is that clans look down on you if you are trading with their enemies making you MORE LIKELY to be attacked by that clan. Attempting to trade with everyone might be great for a little while, but it won't be long before a lot of your trade partners will resent you for always helping all their enemies, and so on and so forth. Eventually, you will likely make a lot of enemies by trading with everyone. So, in the bigger picture, trade itself is a tool of politics, not just economy. Before you cause trouble with a clan, it might be a good idea for you to somehow sever their ties politically and economically with another clan you might not want to take on. This can be done by demanding trade embargos either directly on the clan you are interested in, or by talking to their compatriot clan itself and doing the same over there. -------------------------------------- |3e. Politics [003e]| -------------------------------------- There are lots of complaints against this game for its almost mysterious system of politics between the clans. Before we get started, know that everything you do in this game affects your relation with every other clan out there. Many things you do positively affects relations with one clan, but negatively affects it with another. Your agent actions play a role, your trading plays a role, your military conquest plays a role, almost everything you do does something politically! At the end of the day, you want to become Shogun and take Kyoto. There are many clans in the way with the same objective ideally (technically they can't win the campaign, only cause you to lose). Usage of politics is almost required to make it at least an easier goal to obtain. Remember that each clan has relations with each other as well and that they want to fight each other almost as bad as they want to fight you. It just requires the right circumstance and motivation to make it happen. Right at season 1, it will be a good idea to check your diplomatic relations with every clan listed. Every clan starts off with pre-existing conditions in regards to every other clan. Even though you might not be at war with them, they may still resent you for actions your clans may have done to each other from before the game even started! This will at least give you an early indicator for who might go to war with you next so you can be ready and where to reinforce your troops. Playing the political game can be important so that when you wish to expand in to other territories you don't accidentally bring on too many enemies at once. When you declare war on a clan, any ally they may have will be asked to join against you. Depending on your relation to that other clan and other conditions like your power level versus theirs, they may actually back away from helping their own ally! If that happens, naturally their relationship with each other sours as they get a "dishounoring treaties" penalty on each other. Let's tackle this "dishonouring treaties" problem. Many players don't understand or like this diplomatic problem so I will do my best to explain what this means. When you see this as a penalty from a clan it means one or two things. YOU did something or failed to do something you were suppose to do in relation to that clan -- like you failed to join a war when your ally was attacked -- or the OTHER clan failed to hold up their end of the bargain. It is a bit odd that if the other clan failed to do something it applies the penalty to YOU which is a tad confusing, but it is meant to entice YOU in to attacking that other clan because they are, well... dishonouring their treaty with you! Here is a list of some things that apply this mysterious political issue: * Failing to join a war against an aggressor when an ally is attacked. * Failing to help reinforce an ally's towns from aggressors. * Attacking a clan's troops or towns without officially declaring war first AND waiting a season to do that action! This includes waiting a season to enter their territory it would seem after you declare war. * Trading with an enemy of your alliance. * Performing hostile agent actions against armies or agents inside your territory that have military access to your lands, this includes your ally when they are traveling in your lands! * Quickly changing your political stance against any clan, for example allying with a clan, then declaring war on them the next. * Declaring war on a clan that is your vassal (this has far reaching political consquences to almost every clan that exists to be against you!). * Failing to defend your vassal clan when they are being attacked, this includes failing to declare war back on an aggressor clan. * Declaring war against your master clan, if you are a vassal! By no means is this list exhaustive or probably completely accurate. There are many events that seem to affect this, just try to be as honorable as you possibly can and give other clans a season before you invade them. Some of the actions listed above will affect not only the two clans involved, but possibly ripple out to other clans that interact with you as well, thus spreading that "dishonouring treaties" problem to everyone you know! Remember that this penalty can be applied in reverse as well, so if another clan does these things against YOU, YOU will get this penalty from that clan as well. This is the game's way of enticing a war with you without officially declaring war on you. In other words, that clan you're interacting with is trying to conduct a secret war against you without actually clashing armies. You should be on the lookout for some of their agents as well sneaking around your turf to see if they are up to no good as well. So, with all that information, it would be a good idea for you to examine any other clan's political affiliations and see who is an ideal candidate to be destroyed with minimal political backlash for your actions. Remember that as you expand, ALL clans across Japan will grow weary about you for "territorial expansion". If you expand quickly, many clans will go to war with you all over the place because they see you as a major threat to the region and too aggressive, you have to go. The best strategy would be to identify a clan and sever their political connections with other clans by asking them or their ally clans to call off their alliance, their trade, and any other thing you can find. If you can isolate that clan to be as alone as possible, they will make easy pickings without having to handle all their buddies at the same time. What is even more funny is that if you dissolve other people's alliances, other clans will often time take advantage of their non-affiliation as well and declare war on them as well. Knowing this, you can attempt to isolate a clan you don't like, but can't really afford war with in hopes that another clan will do the dirty work for you. This is particularly effective against clans like Ikko who usually make everyone mad at them anyways for religious problems. If you keep his alliances in check, it is only a matter of time before someone will want to squash him. Your clan is also judged by the actions of your ally, so if your ally is causing problems or dishonouring treaties, you very well could start getting some bad politics heading your way because of them. Likewise, an ally of my enemy quickly becomes my enemy as well. Consider the leverage of your alliance versus the liability they might cause you and call off any alliance where the cons outweight the pros. Be warned, in higher difficulties, the AI will do these same tactics against you! You might start seeing your alliances just up and disappear then war will magically happen to you or your ex-ally. Divide and conquer is the name of the game here. Vassals also cause a bit of confusion. When you vassal another clan you are basically agreeing that you take half their income and get complete military access to their lands in exchange for your protection. You are basically saying that you will be their protector in exchange for their obedience. Most clans will never accept this fate in political negotiations because it limits their freedom. As a vassal clan, not only do you lose half your money, but you also cannot declare any new wars and you MUST help your master clan should they get war declared upon them. Any wars the master clan starts does not automatically involved the vassal clan, however the master clan can definitely ask the vassal clan for help. Likewise, being a vassal clan is like a super alliance and it is usually only a matter of time before an aggressor declares war on the vassal anyways for being an ally of their enemy. Vassals also count towards your victory conditions for any territory they occupy. Yet, having a vassal can become a burden as well... At first, vassals sound like a great idea, but remember, they can still declare war against you. You also basically inherit all of their political problems instantly if you vassal an existing clan, which could mean you inherit a lot of rival clans you might not want to fight yet. Under your protection, your vassal(s) probably have gotten fairly strong, especially if you have been trading with them as well. When Realm Divide hits, you might have a major problem right on your unprotected doorstep ready to rise up against you as your vassals will declare war against you sooner or later. You can somewhat sidestep this problem with vassals. Once Realm Divide occurs, all EXISTING clans start getting an ever decreasing sour attitude towards you. If you destroy a clan after Realm Divide occurs and you vassal them, their political association with you is reset back to neutral without the Realm Divide political problem. In other words, you will probably have a permanent ally until the game ends at this point. Don't forget if you do this and you haven't taken Kyoto, Realm Divide can trigger again making your vassal still get this political problem later, thus causing the problem all over again. To be safe, only make vassals after you have acquired the Shogunate. At this point, any new vassals created, or clans for that matter will not have the Realm Divide issue with you. I mean after all, you're the Shogun and they are newcomers to Japan! -------------------------------------- |3f. Realm Divide [003f]| -------------------------------------- This concept was thrown around a lot in the previous sections, but it warrants a whole section all to itself. Basically in Realm Divide, the entire game forces all of Japan to reject you, the player, and attempt to unite Japan against you. At the peak of your power, the game wants to smash you back down in to oblivion. At first, I hated this idea, but as I played more games, I believe it was a good design decision. I mean think about it, you've basically acquired enough territory and probably power that other clans start thinking, wow, this guy is going for it -- well, not if I can stop him! The exact number varies based on the game selection you picked but somewhere between 12 and 20 territories acquired the "standard" Realm Divide will happen. I mentioned standard because there is actually two different instances of Realm Divide. The first, or "standard", is when you acquire too much territory that the Shogun gives the signal to the other clans that you are too powerful and need to be taken care of. At that point, every clan that exists will start increasingly wanting to destroy you; even your allies! This is why I've been hammering the idea that you need to be ready for this to happen from the very beginning of the game! If you aren't ready with your military or economics, you very well could be seeing the end of days unfolding as all your amazing progress gets flipped upside down by unpaid troops, angry peasants, religious uprisings, and warring clans on all of your borders. The other Realm Divide happens when you capture Kyoto itself before the standard divide. Shogun wants to declare war against your clan? Oust that worthless man before he gets a chance! Obviously this method is a little easier for clans that start closer to Kyoto and can muster the power to handle his powerful army, but it can be done. Once you capture Kyoto, you hold it for a year and you will claim the Shogunate for yourself. At this point all the other clans go in to a rioting frenzy and Realm Divide is triggered whether you're ready or not. Fortunately with this divide, no other divide can happen since there is no other Shogun other than yourself! In the other divide that you trigger by capturing territory, it is possible to trigger Realm Divide AGAIN with this becoming Shogun method! Once any Realm Divide is in effect, it is permanent for all currently existing clans and it will chop away -5 relations with all clans every season forever. If you manage to eradicate another clan and a new clan springs up, the Realm Divide DOES NOT affect the new clan -- it is like the dawning of the new age, only the old clans care. You can use this to your advantage and start making vassals to help you in your many fights still left from "the old ways". Normal politics with these new clans will be like everything from before Realm Divide. Anyways, in short, there are two divides, one triggered by territory conquest and the other by claiming Shogun. If you trigger divide by conquest, it can be triggered again when you claim the Shogunate. If you claim the Shogunate first, it will only happen that once. Once you are Shogun, it is safe to make vassals out of new clans and politics will return to normal with any new clans that happen to rise up. The first time I beat the game I was able to manage such that my last territory required to win was Kyoto itself. I triggered the conquest Realm Divide upon defeating the Ashikaga clan, and in 4 seasons, I beat the game for having the Shogunate as well. I minimized the effect of Realm Divide since it was only in effect for 4 seasons (a measly -20 to relations). If you aren't so lucky, you realistically have about 6 or 7 seasons before almost everyone is at war with you to finish your objectives. Your most bitter enemies will either already be at war with you or will be within a season or two after Realm Divide. If you have very strong relations with another clan, are their ally, and have a marriage between your clans, you might evade war with them for quite a long time and they will try to help you for a while just like normal. Even amazing relations, like +400, will sour in enough time however, so the clock is ticking once any Divide happens. -------------------------------------- |3g. Steamrolling [003g]| -------------------------------------- This term is used when you have a large army and you are able to literally just walk across many provinces and just blast every town in your way. This usually happens when you smash a sizable enemy army and now all his barren lands beyond are basically defenseless, I mean, you DID just massacre his only major army in existence, it would be a terrible shame to just leave all his people out there in the open for other pesky clans to take. You can just start taking over all his lands. I put this topic here to acknowledge that a lot of the times this will happen in the game when you have a large and powerful army that just defeated another one. Make sure that you are ready for Realm Divide if you conquer enough land this way, but more pressing is that you account for civil unrest in places that you mow down. Other clan's strongholds/capitals that you take over will have substantial unrest in them unless you leave some garrison behind to keep your new subjects in line. Everywhere you go, the populace will have some resistance to the oppressors (you). You will need to manage them, otherwise all that territory you just ran through all of the sudden becomes new clans, rebels, or the old clan you just utterly wiped out all over again! Sometimes, if you have some agents like monks with you, planting them in your most troubled newly acquired lands will help quell insubordination. Indocrinate the people with religion or sell them propagande with metsuke, all these things will help them keep in line, if that isn't enough, people always understand force, keep some garrison behind for protection from other clans and to keep the peasants in line. Usually, new lands can be kept passive by exempting them from tax for a little while, ya know, show them that the new leader isn't half bad, the subjects can live for free! Well, for a while anyways until they settle down. So, that's the basics behind steamrolling your enemies. Run through all their territory adding them to your mighty empire, while catering a bit to your unruly new peoples. ====================================== |4. Coop Campaign | ====================================== This is a very entertaining method of play, well, when it works. Check my game problems section for help if you're having issues playing this game mode. Basically, you play a single player campaign, only with another player who just happend to be a permanent ally to you. Realm Divide doesn't affect the other player and they will be with you to help out, how amazing is this?! There can be some draw backs for the impatient. For instance the player can select to play out their battles and the game host can set this to be the default battle resolution option. If this happens, you will have to watch the other player play out every single battle they get in to. Now, there's some nice twists to this fortunately. The other player can gift you some of their units and you can work together in the battle. Some epic wins can occur when you and your ally sandwhich some troops or work together on the battle field with his own troops! All sorts of interesting tactics can unfold. Likewise, if your army is near your ally, and your ally starts a fight or gets attacked, both of you will be fighting the same battle with your own respective armies as one reinforces the other! Yes, there is a bug where you cannot gift units that are reinforcements to your ally so don't even bother with that. Using your ally in the campaign relieves a lot of stress from rivals. Once you connect your territories together, you don't have to worry about that border anymore, and you can establish permanent trade with each other to keep a nice boost to both of your economies. All in all, this is my preferred method of play. Other than those dynamics, the rest of the game basically plays out just like the single player campaign, you can even unlock achievements in this game mode. So if you would like, say, the Oda victory achievement, you can get it in coop mode just as you could in single player. Just remember that what your ally does will affect you just like in the single player. If your ally is causing problems with other clans, those same clans will probably want to start problems with you because you are their ally. Sometimes it is a good idea to communicate what each of you are doing and who you want to focus on so that you don't accidentally undermine each other's strategies and efforts. Unfortunately this mode is incredibly buggy. Each game can last a couple weeks based on how long each player can spend per day on it and how much it wants to mess up, so your experience may be less than ideal for this game mode. ====================================== |5. Province Capturing | ====================================== Along your way, you may wish to know a bit about which province to tackle so you can better target which territory you would like to expand to first. Some provinces aren't as wealthy as others, so might be a lower priority to get as opposed to others. In general you will want to target provinces that have some sort of specialty good at them, like stone, horses, or other things like gold mines, smithing, fletchers, philosophical traditions. Most places have some extra "goodie" at them that sets it apart from other lands. For the most part, you will just want to conquer any land that presents itself as an opportunity for you acquire. If you have a choice though, double click on your interested provinces and see which one is generating more revenue, then set your sights on the winner. When in doubt where to expand, target the place that has any bonus attached or crucial choke point for lands further beyond. Things you should target early are philosophy provinces that have the paper indicated on the map. Building a school on these places will give you a +20% boost to ALL research which is very potent if you can manage to get two of these. You could almost cut all research down in half for the rest of the game or for as long as you hold those provinces. Lands with rich soil or gold mines make excellent boosts to your economy, so those also have high priority in terms of when you should want to acquire them. All other bonuses are "nice", but aren't required. If you are a clan with a special bonus to certain units, like Date with their nodachi troops, getting a province or two that has a blacksmith in it specializing in melee weaponry would really cater to the clans strength and make them a fearful force on the battlefield. Your capital has a hidden bonus that isn't seemingly mentioned anywhere. Your capital can train one additional unit at the same time versus the same castle upgrade level of any other province, so that in itself makes your starting land a good place to hang on to. Remember, the goal of the game is to capture Kyoto, some other specific provinces (can be seen on the objectives tab in game) and a set number of other territories. That number is set based on how long you set your game duration to be, the shortest I believe is 20 or 25 captured provinces and the longest game is 60 (which means all of Japan!). Realm divide will likely trigger when you reach a little above the halfway point or possibly earlier on the longest setting. What this should tell you is to SLOW DOWN expanding your lands if you aren't monetarily and militarily ready for that event to happen yet. Expansion is good for the most part, but knowing when to ease back and focus on your economy before all hell breaks loose will help you win the campaign. Territory controlled by vassals count against your conquering number, so you need to take that in to consideration for when you need to ease back before triggering the great divide. Also, they betray you in Realm Divide. When that happens, you will instantly lose their territory counts toward your win and make you have to conquer more lands and take more time reacquiring the required number of lands to win. Plan ahead and either don't use vassals or make it such that you conquer Kyoto as one of your last provinces for the win. Realm Divide will trigger but won't last long enough for your allies and vassals to rebel against you. Here's some information about how to go about capturing provinces. The simplest way is to roll up to an enemy clan and knock on their door with your super army, defeat them and declare yourself awesome of the land. Sometimes it isn't that easy though, many times the enemy will have a sizeable army defending his castle so you have some options. -Charge right in with your army anyways and hope you win -Play politics and get him in to wars with other clans as well -Use a monk to incite revolts -Assassinate and subvert his army until its a bit more squishy -Bribe away any of his support armies coming to help with metsuke -Kill off support armies coming to help with your own nearby armies -Demoralize his troops with a monk, then proceed with the assault -Besiege his castle without triggering combat This technique will usually entice them to come out and fight you in a season or two, if you use this, you might need to send reinforcements to your seiging army for additional help. The idea is that the enemy will starve to death in so many seasons and forces them to come out of their castle, away from their castle defenses. Just be ready to fight defensively if you do this. While the victim is under seige, they will no longer replentish troops as well for those units inside. Basically, they are waiting for starvation or reinforcements from their other territories. If they have no choice, they will attack your seiging army to break free. This is an excellent way to get them away from their defensive bonuses and castle walls. See the sieges section under battle guide for strategies involved with assaulting a castle directly. ------------------------------------- |5a. When to expand [005a]| ------------------------------------- Ok, time to take some territory, but wait, let's make sure it is a good idea to do so first! The following is a checklist of things to look out for in your conquest: + Land next to you is in a chokepoint + Land next to you has little or no army stationed at it + Target land has rich resources (farms, gold mine, market/den) + Target land has strategic resource, like stone or horses + Enemy clan has no allies + Target land is owned by rebels + You need more income + Enemy army is away from a nice upgraded castle + Because you want retribution against an enemy Any combination of those things could lead to you wanting and needing to expand your lands. The more of those points that are relevant, the more you should want to conquer that specific land. Expanding in to a chokepoint that has a trade good that is currently occupied by a weaker clan that you're at war with is an ideal candidate to take over. -------------------------------------- |5b. When not to expand [005b]| -------------------------------------- In general, your strategy could be "just take anything from anyone that is at war with me". This is basically true, but there are times you will want to show restraint, and possibly even make peace with your neighbors. First and foremost, if you're not ready for Realm Divide, you might want to reconsider taking more land. Once you have so many territories under your control, Realm Divide will happen. If you are trading with other clans or don't have navies protecting your foreign trade posts, you should reconsider expanding until you have these under control. You may also wish to reconsider expanding if you're going to expand from a chokepoint in to a land that has multiple entry points, possibly exposing your army from multiple angles and multiple other clans. Moving an army away from a territory also may have local repurcussions if those units were a garrison keeping your peasants in line -- especially true if there are religious problems in that land. Keeping your army where it is might be better than to move them out to the land next to you. If you're at war with more than one clan and you conquer one of their lands, you may wish to consider making that territory in to a vassal. By doing so, you will create a complex diplomatic relationship with the new clan and your other enemy. This could be useful if the other clan's army is superior to yours and you need a couple seasons to recover from a battle. The vassal clan's land can be treated as a temporary safe zone from your other enemy because they cannot enter the vassal's land without going to war with them first, which is unlikely right away, giving your troops replentishment and a season or two to recooperate and possibly get reinforcements from your other lands behind your borders. Complement this strategy with some ninjas pestering their armies and you can turn a battle from their favor to yours and give you the advantage of choosing when to attack them and possibly even where. You may also wish to make peace with an enemy if his lands are inaccessible or after you take one of their provinces. Sometimes you can trigger a daimyo trait for negotiating peace which will garner you a bonus to all diplomatic relations. Peace is also a nice way of slowing down your own expansion which is exactly why this section exists. You may wish to slow down your expansion for political reasons, all other clans look poorly on your clan if you expand too quickly. You will get a "territorial expansion" penalty for every province you capture. It will slowly go away over the seasons, but if you conquer too many too quickly, it can very rapidly degrade your political relations with other clans to war, especially with any clan that was already unfriendly with you for whatever other reason. Making peace with a semi-conquered clan will ease this up a bit. You have little food surplus and a land near you has an upgraded castle or upgraded markets. Taking in the new land to your empire could help your income but could deplete your food surplus to negative values. This isn't a terrible thing, but is something to consider if your food situation can't be fixed sooner or later. It would be a shame to burn a merchant guild, but might need to happen if you're that low on food surplus. ====================================== |6. Unit Information | ====================================== This guide will only cover the basic units that can be used in the campaign, there are additional units that aren't unlocked yet or only available in custom matches or other online modes, those will not be listed here. Certain clans also get special units that are basically the same as their generic counterpart but have a little special difference like a special ability or a minor boost to their base stats. The handling of these special clan units is essentially the same as the normal unit. In Shogun2, each unit has general stats, but also serve as a general counter for some other unit or possibly multiple units. Spamming only one unit may not be the most ideal use of resources, but it can work depending on your strategy in battle. Rather than list out their raw stats, I will explain how using each unit can be effective while watching out for its specific counter. ~~ Katana Samurai ~~ No-Dachi Samurai ~~ Samurai Retainers + These should be the bulk of your assault forces. Their swords are strong and cause well above average damage to every other unit in the game. Their base morale is also higher than many units making them almost fearless in combat. They will have to take some abuse before routing is an option. In the case of samurai retainers, these are your freebie defense units when your castles are under attack or when you need to break a siege on your castle. Use them as sacrifice while causing some decent damage for what they are. Sword units are incredibly powerful against yari units, so definitely send swords against spear units. - Their general weakness is the same as other infantry, susceptibility to long range like archers and to flanking other units. This could mean that enemy cavalry can make its way behind your sword units while they are busy chopping up the enemies and flank you or strike from behind causing substantial casualties. Incoming cavalry charges also generally cause a lot of damage to our beloved sword units. ~~ Yari Ashigaru ~~ Yari Samurai + Conscripted melee units that should be a bulk of your army in general. These guys are very strong against enemy cavalry of all types, including enemy Generals. The samurai version are basically beefed up ashigaru units with a bit more morale, so if you can afford them, go with those. Otherwise, stick to hiring any peasant that volunteers for your forces and give em spears. They don't know that they are used as cheap distractions and meat shields. - All infantry troops do not fare well to any ranged attack, especially archers. You will need to close the distance quickly and use loose formation to minimize casualties while you approach your targets. Make sure you close the formation back up when melee action begins to happen. Many times spear troops, or any infantry, will be engaged with the enemy and both sides will be raining down arrows on the battle area killing enemies and allies alike from friendly fire and enemy fire. *Yari Wall: This will get spear troops packed close and get ready for an incoming attack boosting their attack power - very powerful against cavalry charges *Rapid Advance: Yari samurai can give themselves a quick boost to movement ~~ Bow Ashigaru ~~ Bow Samurai ~~ Bow Warrior Monks + In any conflict, if you can outrange your enemy, you can win with minimal casualties. This definitely holds true for your archers. They are your all around offense, defense, and anything in between. Defensively, you can camp them in your walls at your castles to provide a huge wall of death for incoming enemy forces wanting to take control of your fort. Offensively, you can position them just to where you can pick off enemy troops before they get to your troops for melee carnage. Fall the archers back or use skirmish mode and provide range support for your infantry that fight. Truly, with upgraded accuracy or using samurai and monk archers, you can win whole fights before any enemy even gets to you, especially if you have fire arrows. Another bonus of archers is that most of them can deploy defensive measures if you are defending. These measures are small walls that stop enemies from advancing and can catch enemy arrows. - Manueverable enemies like cavalry will cause problems for the slow archers. Archer's ability to fight melee isn't completely helpless but they are the worst in the game at it. If you get caught up fighting up close, your archer units are probably done for. Additionally, even if they stay out of it, their arrows can kill a lot of your own troops while they are going at it with the unit your archers just happen to be targeting. *Fire Arrows: Ignites some arrows for a short while to cause a ton of damage *Whistling Arrows: Monk arrows can demoralize all troops that these scream over, this includes your own units as well. ~~ Naginata Samurai ~~ Naginata Warrior Monks ~~ Onna Bushi + For the most part, naginata troops are bulky tanks that deal decent damage. These guys (or gals for the Bushi) are like average all around, but don't really excel at anything. You could spam them and just tank enemies, but are seemingly too costly for that in general. They can soak arrows a bit better than their sword counterparts and do a bit better against horse troops than most other units including sword troops, but not as good as spear units. - Sword units do the charge role better and for seemingly more cost effective prices. If you want to kill horses, spear units do that better for way cheaper. I suppose their niche becomes a wall of death that moves slow and can tank arrows while killing some horses as a side benefit. *War Cry: Monks can demoralise and debuff enemy units nearby with this *Second Wind: Onna Bushi can restore nearby units' stamina with this move Note: The only way to get Onna units is for a castle or better to be under siege, they are a garrison unit like samurai retainers and disappear after the battle. ~~ General + High morale, which is something we could only hope for since they are helping lead your troops to victory -- well in theory. Limited numbers of troops in this unit but they cause heavy damage to every unit they fight with, except yari or naginata troops. You can use Generals for their excellent support abilities as well with their Rally, Inspire, and Stand & Fight ability. Aside from their abilities they make excellent flanking units since they are technically cavalry units. Weave around the yari troops and strike from behind or sideswipe enemy archer units for maximum affect. - Spear units will make short work of generals like any cavalry unit. Charging head on in to a wall of spears is asking for suicide. If your General dies, expect the entire rest of your army to suffer a fairly major morale loss as well. Of course, a dead General will undo all your hard work leveling him up as well, so weigh carefully your options in combat before you use him like any other standard military unit. *Inspire: boost one units morale and improves their accuracy/melee abilities *Rally: All of your units within close radius of the General are enhanced *Regroup: Tells units to fall back to a certain place or reinforcements to go to when they arrive on the battlefield *Stand & Fight: The General will dismount and become immobile, all friendly units within a decent radius will have their melee, ranged, and morale boosted. ~~ Great Guard ~~ Light Cavalry ~~ Yari Cavalry + Cavalry units get a nice movement boost because of the horses allow for you to perform quick strikes or other manuevers against enemy units. Particularily, you can use cavalry to rush archers or position yourself behind enemy units to wreck them from the flanks or from behind. Each mounted unit has the basic idea of the unmounted version in terms of what they are good against in combat. - Fear any spear or naginata unit, they will trash you. Even yari ashigaru will pose quite deadly. If you are fighting another human and they active their wall of spear ability, any head on charge from horses will be met with almost certain death for almost your entire unit. *Second Wind: Great Guard can restore allies stamina with this *Wedge Formation: Great Guard can use wedge formation to better penetrate enemy units when charging them. ~~ Bow Cavalry + Like all horse mounted units, they have great movement speed and are a ranged unit to top it off. This could be a lethal combination if used right. - For the most part, they are too expensive for what they do and are very vulnerable to spear troops. Fortunately these troops should almost never been in melee range to anyone, they should use their speed to get away from everything so that they can get back to raining down arrows on their targets. ~~ Katana Cavalry + All the benefits from your sword units mixed with all the benefits from cavalry units. - All that awesome has a hefty price, and like all cavalry, you will likely meet your doom running up against any spear units. Unlike other horse units, katana cavalry has a decent fighting chance against spears and naginata, not great, but better than any other horse unit. ~~ European Cannons ~~ Hojo Cannons + Incredibly long range devastation used in siege combat for the most part - Must be Christian and have a nanban trade port to build them, once built they are terribly weak to really any unit that can reach them while they are delivering their payload to their target. Cavalry will pose a huge problem since they move rather quickly across the battlefield. If they close that distance, you're done for. ~~ Fire Projecting Mangonels + Similar to cannons without the nanban and religious requirements - Not quite as long range as the cannons and similar weakness to the cannon troops. ~~ Fire Rockets + Mobile siege weapons, splash damage and devastation everywhere! - Terrible accuracy, very expensive, take a while to research on the tech tree. All units will destroy these guys if they get close, so keep them away from any incoming enemy units at all cost. ~~ Matchlock Ashigaru ~~ Matchlock Samurai ~~ Matchlock Warrior Monks ~~ Imported Matchlock Ashigaru + Probably one of the most devastating ranged units in the game. The christian versions have higher accuracy and better reload times. All in all these guys are more deadly than archers but in general carry less ammunition. Like archers, they can deploy defensive measures during defensive deployment to stop incoming attacks. - Ammunition might run out sooner than expected, once they are out, they are basically worthless on the battlefield. Unlike archers, they have a hard time shooting units inside forts or behind walls. They are also very expensive. They are also vulnerable to cavalry when they can close the distance. *Fire By Rank: Somewhat allows a continuous round of firing by having the first rank of troops shoot, then kneel, then the next rank shoots, etc. *Rapid Volley: Samurais can boost their rate of fire with this *Increase Range: Monks can temporarily boost how far they can shoot ~~ Firebomb Throwers + These guys cause a ton of damage in close range proximities. When blasts go off, enemy forces take a morale hit as well as fairly heavy casualties. You can also use them to disrupt walls that enemy forces might be hiding behind in sieges. - Unfortunately for them, they are somewhat like suicide bombers, their own attacks can kill themselves and take a lot of any units nearby with them. Once they are out of ammo they are basically useless. All enemy units that survive the inital blasts will destroy any firethrower left alive. ~~ Kisho Ninja + The battlefield ninja can be incredibly potent in all battle scenarios. They sport higher than average statistics at melee ranges, as well as use terrifying explosive devices similar to what the firebomb throwers use. When scaling castle walls, none of them fall off and die unlike every other unit in the game. They also remain hidden in more cases than any other unit. If you play as Hattori, your kisho ninja can hide even while walking in the open! Their stealth ability allows them to disappear for a short while anywhere on the battlefield, allowing your unit to disappear just at the right time to cause a major disaster with stealth killing other units. Their blinding grenades also can be used to almost cripple any nearby units in terms of accuracy and overall effectiveness. Used correctly, kisho can even some unfair odds and mangle enemy forces so that your main force has an easier time cleaning up. - Their numbers are dismal and likely won't last long fighting larger units without some backup. It is definitely not recommended to use them at all like normal military units, though they can hold their own if they have to. Because of this, they can be hard to master on a hectic battle field since they require a bit more micromanagement to be used very effectively. They are also fairly expensive to recruit and maintain. ~~ Naval units The basic idea for all your naval units is to try to gauge how many archers you have (or cannons) versus your enemy ships. Try to keep your distance from enemy vessels if you outnumber their own ranged forces on their boats. If you are losing the ranged war, attempt to board their ships. Good targets for boarding are ships with few melee attackers. If you have researched fire arrows, your bow kobaya ships can use those to sink enemy ships by lighting them on fire. Ships with low hull strength seem to catch fire, and thus sink, more quickly than those with higher hull strength, yet it isn't impossible to get the bulkier ships to sink in this manner. Ships with cannons also tear apart ships with low hull strength. For example, if you're raiding the Black Ship with bow kobayas, you will be sinking left and right as their cannons smash your boats all over the place. Well, to be fair, almost ALL of your boats, regardless of hull strength will be sinking frequently against THAT ship. If you're versing the AI, you can usually manuever your boats such that the enemy ships get caught on each other, or stuck behind an island as they are giving chase to your boats. Use this to your advantage by fleeing around islands or moving off to the side of their incoming navy. If you can wedge enemy boats behind each other or behind land masses, you can allow for your long range abilities to kill off their leading boats in a much easier manner than just sailing straight on in to their forces. You can also sacrifice one of your own boats by positioning a boat (ideally a weak one about to surrender) right in front of an enemy ship. The idea is to get their boat "stuck" on your boat. When your ship surrenders, it won't be moving anywhere, which is perfect if you happened to position it immediately in front of the enemy boat. The enemy boat will very likely now be stuck on that dead mass of a ship in front of it because for a ship to change direction they must be sailing forward, a direction where you just happen to occupy permanently -- these darn boats need a reverse! Unlike land battles, and as mentioned above, controlling your boats can be problematic since they can't make immediate turns or change directions easily. If you do not want to be boarded, try to keep your distance by sailing away from enemy boats well before they get to you if they are incoming. Try to get multiple of your boats to attack single boats of theirs in much the same manner as land battles. Fortunately, naval units seem to surrender faster than land forces, and once they start surrendering, you can focus your forces on another boat. The general name of the game is to keep your faster ships moving away from the larger boats so that their ranged attackers can kill the slower ships troops without too much danger on your own forces. Should the time come and you wish to board an enemy vessel, you will need to think about the following thing: TIPS WHEN BOARDING ENEMY SHIPS: Your ship MUST be positioned so that the side of your ship can be put up along the side of your target enemy ship. Boarding will take a long time or fail all together if you issue the board command when your ship is facing straight on in to the enemy ship. The AI will attempt to roll up along the side of the enemy ship for you, making multiple corrections to where your ship needs to sail so that it can pull up along side of the enemy ship, a ship that is moving all over the place as well. Your best shot at successfully boarding an enemy ship is to issue this command when your ship is off center from the enemy ship, nearby, and your sides are already somewhat near each other. Getting just close enough will trigger your boat to throw grappling hooks out to the target ship and the two boats will collide with each other allowing for your men to jump over and let the slaughtering begin. Oh, the boarding process can also be interrupted if the target ship's side moves away from your boat's side before the hooks are deployed. At the same time, if another boat (including your own) bump your boat or the victim boat just enough, it will usually knock that boat just enough away to cancel the boarding as well. You can use this to your advantage if the enemy is trying to board you and you don't wish this to happen, get other boats in the way and bump them away! Some battles will definitely be impossible to win here if you fight. Trade ships are terrible against basically every other boat in the game. If you have several trade ships fighting one or two other boats, it isn't impossible to win in an all out fight, but you will probably take a disproportionate amount of casualties. In the campaign, your trade ships will likely get attacked en route to a trade node or while they are on the trade node. The important thing is that you are the defender. If you really wish to win in a cheesy way, run your boats to the corner of the map, then tell them to sail as fast as possible around the borders of the map. The enemy, assuming they aren't bow kobayas, will give chase to you around the map and usually be unable to catch up to you. Do this for the entire duration of the combat for an easy, albeit temporary, win. This is not a permanent solution to the enemy naval problem, because you are in danger of just being attacked again next season. So, while this solution is "ok", don't completely rely on it to enable hassles-free trading for the whole game. You will likely lose a boat or two as well if they get caught in the running process, so you might get whittled away sooner or later as well. This is most useful if you just need to stall the enemy long enough for your own navy to come in to assist while saving as many of your trade boats as possible. Naturally this tactic works for any defending navy that you wish to have a more or less "free" defending win with, it just take a little while and a lot of combat fast forward to do. ====================================== |7. Battle Guide | ====================================== Welcome to the other major portion of Shogun2! This section will cover almost every aspect of combat I can think of. Right away, think about this, almost any battle *is* winnable. That's right, even in battles where your troops are heavily outnumbered, you can still pull a glorius victory out of your... well, you know where. If you're interested in general naval combat, check the Naval units information above in the previous section. This section will tackle some scenarios and tactics regarding land battles. The best tactic in combat is learning when to fight and when to run away. This holds true for the campaign as well, learn when you should back away from a fight if you don't believe it is a good idea. Hopefully, after reading this section, you will be a little more well informed to help you make these decisions. So, a battle is beginning and we need to talk some battle tactics. We'll cover the attacker first, after all, you want to conquer Japan! <***> Attacking another army <***> Your goal is to defeat or route every single enemy on the battlefield within the time limit. Some battles, like the battle for Kyoto, might need a bit longer to win. I would recommend bumping up the time limit to 40 minutes as a default, remember that you can always speed up the battle time in the battle, but you can't extend your time. Therefore, give yourself that extra time as that extra option to take a little while longer if necessary. First you will want to deploy somewhere, see the section on "Where to deploy" for some ideas. Unfortunately your deployment zone is a little more mysterious than when you're defending. Knowing that you must defeat the enemy within the time limit or face automatic defeat makes your forces be aggressive. You will have to charge or approach the enemy forces sooner or later lest you find yourself defeated by default. But, how in the world can we kill that force over there if they are turtling up? You have to be tricky and use ranged forces when you can. If you can pull some of their troops towards your troops, this is a good sign, attempt to get the defenders as unorganized and away from their group as possible. If you're versing the AI, it is usually possible to lure a unit or two away from their herd by baiting with your own unit. For example, you plant your army away from theirs, and send your General out, JUST OUTSIDE their archer's range. Usually they will take the bait and start moving forward. Just keep luring them back to within your own archer's range so that you can start making the first kills and softening them up. If you lured their whole army, well, refer to the section on "Incoming enemy armies". You can also approach with your archers. Put them in loose formation so that incoming enemy fire will cause minimal damage. Remember, the defender is likely bulked up on a hilltop or smooshed together. If they are on a hilltop you have a bit of a disadvantage because they will be able to shoot you from a further distance, this is where loose formation helps eat less casualties. If you can, try to ascend the hill within trees to help shield you even more from incoming arrows. Once your archers are in range, tell them to attack the closest units they can. Your job is to harrass and kill as many of their troops as possible before they grow impatient. Fortunately for us, a defender with units bulked up in a mass works in our favor, archers become more effective when units are all bundled up in the same vicinity. You will likely cause deaths to other units you aren't even targeting which is always a good thing. The less they have, the better for you. Eventually something is going to happen. The defenders will start to advance on your archers or you will run out of ammo. See the section about "Incoming enemy armies" for some ideas on what to do if that is the case. If you run out of ammo and they are still turtled up see the section on "Attacking the turtle with no ranged". Everyone plays battles a bit differently, this general strategy assumes each army is relatively ranked the same with similar upgrade levels. If you find yourself fighting an enemy force that is larger/better than yours see the section "Fighting against the odds". <***> Defending from another army <***> By default, the defenders have the advantage in almost any circumstance. They can win through two conditions, by wiping out the attackers (or routing them) or stalling long enough for the time limit to run out. If you're the defenders, this is where a longer time limit might work against you and might be a good reason why you don't want the battle time to be 60 minutes. The first task you will want to do is deploy to the most favorable position possible on the battlefield. See the section on "Where to deploy" for good ideas on where you might want to deploy to. As the defender your archers may have the additional ability to deploy defensive measures. Select your archers and on the right side of the screen you might see a button "deploy defenses" or something like that. If you don't see it, make sure you're only selecting ONE archer. To deploy the measures that archer must be on flat land (not on rocks or something) and cannot have other units in the way. They will erect a small battlefield wall in from of them to help shield against incoming enemy arrows and provide a small blocked path from incoming melee fighters. Once you've picked a spot to deploy, gauge where the enemy could be coming from. If you're playing on lower difficulty levels, you can see on the minimap where they are, if you're playing on higher levels, you won't have that luxury. Regardless if you know where they are coming from, you will want to find your best spot to defend and use it to the best of your ability. Almost under no circumstance should you rush out to attack the incoming army unless you have a crazy plan or you are trying some strategy. Sometimes it may come to pass that your force and their force will compete for a better tactical position (like up a hill) that was between your two deployment zones, in which case, see the section on "Running for that hill". Once the enemy is within range of your forces, things can get a little hectic. Check the section on "Incoming enemy armies" for more information on what to do at this point. -> Where to deploy <- If you're the attacker, deployment is kind of a mixed blessing, you can pretty much assume the defenders will deploy near or on the "best" tactical position on the map -- something you will have to take from them. Usually the best places to deploy as the attacker is a best guess to help in your own strategy of guessing where the defenders will deploy to. A generic attacker deployment is just dropping your troops close or on the nearest hill and closest to the defender's assumed deployment spot as possible. Remember there's a timelimit working against you, so you probably don't want to deploy across the entire map and then have to wear your guys out by the time they can get in to combat. Worn out troops seem to fight worse than fresh troops. We can make a fairly safe assumption that the defenders' troops will be standing around nice and fresh waiting for the fight you will be bringing. So, long story short, the less distance you have to cover, usually the better. If your army ambushed the defenders, you have a major advantage. You will have a very generous deployment zone that encases the entire defender deployment zone. If you can manage to surroud the enemy army, check the section "Playing with morale" to help win you the battle, even if the enemy forces outmatch your own. During this setup you may wish to consider deploying on any nearby hill just outside the defender's zone simply to deprive them of taking it for themselves. If you are the defender, you will very likely want to deploy close to or on top of a hill or in some forests, both if possible. Knowing that the attacker must come to you, you can take advantage of any terrain advantages well ahead of time before the attackers can get to you. If you choose an open field, ideally on a hill, set up your archers with the defensive measures to help stop incoming melee fighters as they have to run up the hill or at you. If you can manage to be up a hill, your archers will get a bonus to how far they can shoot, which directly translates to how many casualties they can inflict before the melee madness starts. Sometimes it won't be possible to deploy on to the most ideal hill on a battlefield. In which case, if you want a hill, deploy close to it and run for it the second the battle starts. If you're the attacker, that hill might not be useful for you because the defenders might not be anywhere near it. This isn't to say that the hill could be useful if you can somehow trick the defenders in to coming up or at the hill, but it would take them some convincing to do that and some worthy bait. <***> Incoming enemy armies <***> So your army is about to confront the enemy army head on and basically all sanity and "micro" goes out the window. This is a very crucial moment in combat. If you mess up here, you can suffer a terrible loss, or achieve a heroic victory. The basic idea is to have your armies positioned so that each of your units attack the enemy unit where your unit has the upper hand. You may wish to refer back to the unit information section for a quick look at what units are good against what. I'll put a quick list here for fast reference. Swords beat yari Yari beat cavalry Naginata are average Archers kill anything (but should flee when anyone gets too close) Generals act as cavalry Cavalry are good flankers, rush and flank archers if possible If you can position your spear troops in to your front lines right as the enemy forces are upon you, they will provide a nice meat buffer for your frail archers, your General(s), or other units that don't like the up close and personal touch. Personally, I like to have the yaris initially engage the incoming forces, then run my sword troops in to the mix right as combat starts for that extra attack power. You will need to watch for enemy cavalry units, they love to run around that wall of fighting to kill your own archers or even run straight for your General. Knowing this ahead of time, try to keep a yari unit back for that last moment management to intercept any such attempt. If you can manage that you will pretty much destroy any flank from a horse troop. Even better, if he tried that risky move with his General, his troops will suffer a major morale loss when he kills himself on your spears. See the section about playing with morale for more info on this. So your armies have mashed together and there's a tanglement of confusion happening, nobody is listening to your orders, and basically it's total chaos. This is normal. Your units usually will not disengage whoever they are fighting to move somewhere. I have had luck with setting them to guard mode and then telling them to move. However, they take some major damage and morale hits when they back away, so it better be worth it if you choose to do this. Plus, sometimes they just end up back engaged with the unit they broke away with anyways. This is part of the reason you will want to put your yari ashigaru up there first. They can take the brunt of the incoming damage while you manage your other troops and their movements. During all this combat, there are a couple things you need to watch. 1) Your troop's morale levels 2) Head count for each unit (refer to their card info at the bottom) 3) Where your General is 4) Where your archers are firing 5) Probably other stuff Ok, first thing you need to watch is your troop morale levels. If these start to drop, position your General near that unit to help inspire them to keep fighting. If your unit's morale drops too low, they will route. Once your unit has routed, they will become uncontrollable as they flee the battle. This is bad usually for a couple reasons. First, the unit they were engaged with now can engage another unit of yours probably causing 2-to-1 ratios, which is usually always a bad thing in battle. Second, other units see your other unit routing and sometimes they get the big idea that running is a better idea than fighting, so they also start taking morale hits. This problem can quickly become unmanageable when your units start fighting more than 1 unit at a time as described above, further giving a morale hit to that poor unit fighting 2 or more enemy units now... which leads to them wanting to route... as you can see, this leads to a slippery slope of your armies giving up in mass. Try to keep morale levels high by keeping your General nearby, you can see his radius of influence by that blue circle on the ground when your General is selected. See the section on playing with morale for more information on the morale system. The next thing you need to watch is head count which can be seen on your unit info cards at the bottom of the screen. Since there is a lot of madness going on in the battlefield, you might not be able to clearly see what person belongs to what unit and what they are doing. The head count is a nice way to quickly see which of your units are losing badly and losing lots of heads. This will be an early indicator where in your wall of troops a hole will be forming soon if they don't get some backup. If you can't afford to back up that unit, you need to do some quick thinking and change strategy to keep it up. Once a hole forms in your wall of soldiers, bad things might be coming soon in terms of your troops starting to route and getting attacked from their sides as enemy troops start "leaking in" to your troop lines. Keeping track of your General is a good idea as well. If he dies, your entire army suffers a massive penalty to their morale. Troops with low morale die faster and have a higher chance to run away. You probably don't want either of these things to happen, so keep the man alive as long as possible. Frequently other players or even the AI will attempt to kill your General with some archers or even flank some horses in behind your wall of troops to kill your archers and General himself. If he get stuck engaging an enemy troop, pray that it isn't an enemy yari unit, because if so, you're probably done for. If your General engages any other unit, him and his bodyguard can usually fight pretty well, so you're not guarateed to lose him if he does some fighting, but he definitely shouldn't be used very often, if ever, for front on attacking any unit if he doesn't have to. Instead, if you can manage, you CAN use him like any other cavalry unit and attempt to sneak around the enemy wall with him to flank his archers. If you can manage to even attack from the rear on any of his troops with your General, you will do good damage to his forces. Just remember, keep an eye on what he is doing always and what he ends up fighting... looking away even for 5 seconds can leave you one dead General and possibly a lost fight. The next thing to keep track of is just where in the world your archers are firing! At first, fire and forget is a fine idea because you want them to kill anyone and everyone. This quickly changes when your troops end up fighting it out with each other. Assuming your archers didn't accidentally end up in the front lines of a fight (they are probably done for if so), and are firing just wherever they want, you may be killing a lot of your own troops with friendly fire! You may wish to tell them to manually attack the enemies archers or try to pick off the enemy General, or any bundle of enemy infantry that is behind his front lines to soften them up. If they keep targeting enemy units that are in a tango with your own, some of those stray arrows can land on your own troops' heads and kill them too! This is particularily bad if you aren't watching your General, he ends up in a fight with a unit your archers are targeting, and you end up killing your own General. Shameful display! With all that taken in to account, you will probably want to figure out what else you want to keep track of during combat, but what I mentioned above are the basics. <***> Attacking the turtle with no ranged <***> I can't lie here, a mad dash in to a pile of enemies is probably the hardest type of fight to win. The turtling army is probably well positioned as described in the above sections and you are at a major disadvantage by having to close the distance. You must close that distance if you want to kill them all. It could be possible to lure some of their archers or even melee troops away from their herd with a bait unit, if so try to ambush any lone troops that fell for it, but aside from that you need to break those defenders en masse! If you have superior numbers, rank, and gear, a head on charge could work. If none of those apply, a head on charge will likely be met with failure. Remember, we have no siege or archers here, only melee troops making this even harder. The defenders probably have a couple archers, making this even worse. If they do have ranged units, as your units approach, try to keep them ALL in loose formation for as long as possible before melee clashes start breaking out. About a second before melee breaks out, put your units back in close formation, otherwise the enemy infantry will tear your units apart. Remember, loose formation is good against enemy ranged, terrible against enemy melee. So, what about how to approach? Well, if you're outgunned and the defenders aren't moving anywhere, the head on charge will probably not work. The only other way to force an approach is to attempt to approach from multiple sides. Since you have no archers, you don't have to worry about friendly fire. If your troops are helplessly outnumbered, any tactic you try when attacking probably won't work unless you get very lucky and the enemy makes quite a few tactical mistakes. Really, your best bet is to win by demoralizing their army, short of that, you probably won't win. Check the Fighting against the odds and Playing with morale sections for your best shot at this. <***> Fighting against the odds <***> Enemy army has more numbers, better weapons, higher rank? You will definitely not win just colliding your armies in to each other and hoping for the best. You need to develop some tactics. Your own will be your best, but I will describe a couple here for you to get started. -Lure Try to lure units away from the rest of their army. If you're fighting the AI, this is a bit easier than against another person. Frequently he will send his General or some other small task force to deal with any troops you may have "accidentally" left behind. Use that time to launch an attack against that task force, rather than his whole army. Luring can also be used in small skirmishes with a couple units involved, at any point in time you will see an enemy army chasing one of your armies trying to engage it. If you have a nearby unit idle or not in combat yet, consider falling back with your targeted unit, while moving your other unit towards the incoming unit. Try to position it such that the enemy unit will engage your own unit and exposing the back of the enemy to your helper unit. If your helper unit can engage the enemy from the rear while it fights your original unit from the front, you will likely kill a lot of that unit quickly, or even route them immediately, giving you a quick "win" over that entire unit. Remember, time is important in combat, if you can route their unit quick and save some seconds or even minutes, do it, you don't have time to waste if you are outnumbered! Apply this basic strategy to their whole army and you can win some impressive battles. -Use your General Use the General's rally ability and inspire ability right before combat gets hectic. Rally boosts all units stats in the radius by a bit, making them a more formidable force, as well as boosting their morale a bit. If you are outnumbered, morale hits will likely happen frequently, use rally when a bit of your units are reconsidering the fight as a good idea to save them from all routing for a little while longer. Inspire can only be targeted on one unit, try to use this on one of your best warrior units or the one that is engaging very uneven odds. Inspire boosts that one units' attack output by quite a bit and it stacks with Rally. When the battle is going badly, you should consider using your General as your special military operations unit. Keep him out of battle yes, but attempt to move him to the REAR of enemy units engaging your troops. Yes, your troops are probably doomed before long since you're outmatched, but if you can get your General behind the enemy and attack from the rear, even if those enemies are yaris, you can cause a morale shock to that enemy. If the shock was big enough, your General will suffer little, if any, casualties and route that enemy unit. This won't always work, so try to pick on enemy targets that are more likely to route -- ie ashigaru or any enemy unit that is already not at full morale. You can see the enemy morale by that colored "life bar" on their unit information banner on the battlefield. Any enemy unit that is middle or less (orange/red) should be an excellent target for this tactic and can quickly rebalance your odds at winning as they start routing. -Sacrifice one to save the many If the superior enemy approaches, position a single unit out in the open and move the rest of your forces off to one side or both sides of your sacrificial unit. The idea is to bait the enemy in to picking off that lone unit. If that lone unit is an archer, even better, because they can harrass the enemies while baiting, so even if the enemy doesn't take the bait, you get some "free kills" while the enemy chooses which army of yours to move toward and attack. The idea here is that if you can manage to pull their army toward the bait unit, you can flank them from the sides with your entire army. You may still not have enough power to take them, but an initial morale shock of this flanking action could tip the scales heavily in your favor. If you have to let your bait unit die to keep some enemies busy, so be it. Think about it this way, if you can keep 3 enemy units busy with one of yours, that takes away 3 units fighting the rest of your army at once. Your goal is to keep them split up as much as possible until you can muster enough strength to kill their remaining forces. Yes, you will not be able to win all battles. If you can position your measly troops against crazy odds just right, and use good tactics, you can kill a ton of units per 1 unit of your own. <***> Running for that hill <***> Based on deployment set ups, sometimes there's a nice hill in the middle of the field directly in between your forces and the enemy, nobody clearly has the hill yet. You need to decide immediately if you wish to try to take that hill and if you can get ready fast enough to compete for it should the enemy also wish to make a dash for it. If you're the attacker you will probably want to go for it simply to deprive the defender from setting up on there. If you can manage to take the hill, that leaves the defener likely in an open field or a forest. They may fall back to a different hill further back, in which case you might not be able to stop them, but at least you stopped them from getting an initial setup. The time involved for the enemy to get a different hill might be all the time you need to make a crazy dash at the enemy army itself while it is in transition and not setup to turtle yet. The last thing you usually will want is to let the enemy army pick the best spot on the map and get all set up for you, so weigh your options carefully and see if you can bring the attack to them before they have a chance to setup somewhere on the map. If you're the defender, a very high priority should be on a hill. Fortunately for you, you don't have to have the one in the middle. The attack has to come to you, but if that hill is the only good spot on the map, you will probably still want to consider taking it. Move quickly if you decide to take it, try to get your archers forward and get ready to have a battle over the hilltop if necessary. If the attacker takes the hill, that could deprive you of the best tactical spot on the map, leaving you with a less effective turtling strategy (if you so choose to do that). Nothing says as the defender you can't take the fight to the enemy, in this case, you may wish to go ahead and attack the enemies head on for that hill. Two armies in motion will come down to some quick thinking and management of troops, use your archers if you have any to pick off anyone coming in to range and fall them back or even off to the side to lure incoming enemies away from your forces, split up the enemies and slaughter them. That's my hill! <***> Friendly fire <***> Any ranged unit has the potential of killing themselves and your own units. Siege, firebomb throwers, kisho ninja, archers, matchlock... they can all kill your own units. This means you should manage them a little bit when combat starts up melee style, try to minimize friendly casualties. You can sort of see which of your units are under friendly fire by checking their info cards. If you see incoming arrows on their info card at the bottom, and no enemy archers are firing at that unit, then you're shooting your own guys! <***> Playing with morale <***> Probably one of the more confusing and potent aspects of battle in this game. The morale system *will* make or break some of your battles. At first, in the campaign, all your military units will basically run away the moment they think they can't win, which is very often. This frustrates newer players to the series because "my troops just run away". Well, your units are more or less like real people, anytime they think "this $*!@ ain't worth it!" they will run away. Ashigaru units are peasants that work almost for free, they have low morale and thus run away quickly if things aren't overwhelmingly in your favor. Ok, so every unit has a base morale. This base morale is the general likeliness of that unit to up and run away when things start going bad. There are also things that cause morale shock, or an instant large drop in morale. Try to avoid these things, and yet inflict them on the enemy as much as possible. Here are several basic things that cause you morale problems: -Enemy total forces are larger than our total forces -Our unit fighting against an enemy unit with more people in it -Our unit fighting 2 or more enemy units at the same time -Our unit is under attack from multiple directions -Fighting any enemy with no ally unit nearby -Taking some casualties -Having less than half my original troops left in my unit -Nearby units taking heavy casualties -Nearby units are routing! -Debuffed by an enemy unit (war cry for example) -Enemy General ability (instilling fear) -The majority of your total forces have been wiped out or routed -Army was victim to demoralization by an enemy monk agent before combat Here are some things that cause morale shock for the army or panic in a unit -Your General of captain unit dies (army wide shock!) -Entire force takes sudden and large amounts of casualties (army wide shock) -Unit being attacked from the side (flanked) -Unit being attacked from behind Some things that BOOST your morale: -Your General nearby -Friendly units nearby -Our forces outnumber the enemy forces -Our unit outnumbers an engaged unit's forces -Our unit is fighting the same unit as another friendly unit -Inflicting heavy casualties against an enemy unit -Enemy forces as a whole have taken heavy casualties -Our unit has personally caused an enemy unit to route -Having a monk embedded with your army -The army is led by your Daimyo -The army is led by a general with morale boosting abilities -Unit was trained in a province that boosts morale -Being inside your castle during siege Playing with morale now becomes a game of boosting your own morale while destroying the enemies'. If forces begin to route on either side, there is a nasty rippling effect on that army as you can see in the things that demoralize your troops. Once one unit routes, they convince others that it is a good idea to flee to live another day. Winning uneven battles can be accomplished by exploiting the fear in men and crippling them with morale. Yes, if the enemy outnumbers our troops, we have an initial morale penalty. Fortunately, if you can route some enemies or kill them, you will start getting morale boosts and turn that right around. -------------------------------------- |7a. Night Attack [007a]| -------------------------------------- This is a bit of an enigmatic ability that your Generals can get. If you are Hattori clan, all your Generals get this ability for free. Basically, with this ability you can trigger night battles when attacking the enemy forces. At night, your General will get a +1 command bonus during the battle while any enemy General without Night Attack will suffer a penalty (or so it would seem). Night attack is useful because only your target army can partake in the battle along with your own if you have this ability. So, if there are two army stacks somewhere on the map, and you only want to kill one stack at a time... night attack the one army. Assuming the reinforcing army does not have Night Attack, they cannot reinforce the other army! Beware, this works the same with your own armies and allies if they lack the ability as well, shutting them out from helping you as well! To get this ability on a General, you need to put 3 skill points in to the Ambusher ability on their skill tree as they level up. It has been rumored that enemy forces being attacked at night also get a minor morale penalty, so that can always help if so, assuming their General lacks Night Attack of course. -------------------------------------- |7b. Hiding [007b]| -------------------------------------- During combat it is possible to hide your troops. You can see if a unit is hiding if they have a little green icon with a ninja in it on their unit card. Hidden units allow you to ambush enemy troops and give you the chance to use their stealth aspect for your own strategies. Basically, a hidden unit cannot be targeted by enemies. Your units must be discovered in order to be targets of attack, this is especially effective from hiding away from enemy archers, if they can't see you, they can't shoot you. So, how to hide your troops? The easiest way to hide is to put them in forests. Some units can hide in "shrubs" as well, so find little bushes on the ground to use this. Kisho ninja I believe hide ANYWHERE on the battlefield as long as they aren't moving. Additionally, kisho can activate stealth with their ability, rendering them hidden for a small amount of time anywhere they are and doing any action as well, including battle! Things that uncover your hidden troops: -They use long range attacks (archers start shooting) -Enemy units get too close -Your hidden, non-kisho, units move You can use hiding as a way to set up sneak attacks and close distances on unwitting archers that pass nearby on their way to attack your other troops that could be in a clearing nearby. -------------------------------------- |7c. Sieges [007c]| -------------------------------------- There is a bit of a mix up of terminology here. In the campaign you can BESIEGE a castle or assault it. When you assault a castle, you go to a SIEGE battle mode. Ok, now that this is straightened out, let's talk about the difference. When you BESIEGE a castle, you attempt to starve them out. You will want to use this strategy to get the enemy army away from their castle defenses, those darn walls and towers. More information can be found on the Province capturing section for this attack strategy and when you might consider using it. Sooner or later you will want to assault a castle, or your castles will be under direct attack. Read on for all the info. When a castle is under attack, some local forces will automatically be generated based on the castle level, think of these troops as some super loyal guards that patrol the town domestically only and will help fight off enemy intruders. At the very least Samurai Retainers will be generated, but at very large castles several ashigaru, retainers, and even Onna Bushi can be generated. Knowing this, based on your castle upgrade level, you don't have to keep as many actual army units in this castle to defend so you can use them elsewhere. ASSAULT MODE Here, we want to add a new castle to our growing assets for our clan. The goal is to annhilate the enemy forces, route them, or capture their flag. Oh, we have that bothersome time limit as well failing us all if the time alloted expires, so we can't waste too much time. In this mode, the defenders will generally have several advantages over our forces. They have a wall or several walls we must overcome and possibly have guard towers that have pretty good accuracy ready to shoot us down as we approach. Your strategy for assault will likely vary a lot based on what units you have in your assault force versus what units are defending. The basic idea is to position your archers outside the enemy castle lobbying arrows over their walls to kill off as many defenders as possible before you have to move in your infantry. If you can lure enemy troops OUT of the castle that could work very well in your favor, but for the most part, that will almost never happen since inside the castle is the best tactical position when siege battles are playing out. What you will need to watch for is where defending archers are garrisoned. Archers implanted up in the castle walls can devastate your incoming troops all but killing them off and/or routing them well before they can make it to a castle wall. It is possible to position your own archers at angles against defending archers. What you don't want to do is put your archers straight in to defending archers firing paths. You will take heavy casualties but also inflict very small kills back at them. The walls they are hiding behind will soak up almost 90% of your incoming arrows causing little damage to the archers behind the wall. Therefore, if you can distract defending archers with a unit or two of your own out in front, and position an archer or two so that they can fire on those defending archers from a 90 degree angle your archers will be able to kill them must easier without having to shoot through a wall to kill them. Fire arrows, use them. If you have a healthy dose of archers and they are all letting loose firey infernos, you have a high chance of erupting defenders and their flimsy walls in to flames. This same holds true for seige weapons if you brought those along. Defenders can't use walls to their advantage if those walls just happen to be blasted apart and on fire. Before you assault a castle, you may wish to use a ninja to sabotage their castle gates. When you do this, you have the remaining of THAT season to assault that castle since the enemy will repair the gates when the next season begins. What happens when your ninja is successful is that the gates that bar entry into the castle courtyards will be opened for you to use. If the gates are closed when your troops approach, you have a couple options. You can scale the walls, but you will take some troop deaths as they have some climbing accidents and fall off, as well enemy archers can pick off climbers with arrows if they start firing on climbers. Or, you can assemble a unit or two outside a gate and use improvised explosive devices (home made bomblets). If it is raining, or if you're unlucky, sometimes using these bomblets can take a while for the gate to catch fire and burn up, all that time that ticks by usually translates to deaths of your units outside the gate or elsewhere. Plus, if you burn down walls or gates, you will have to fix those problems you caused assuming you win the assault once you return back to the campaign map. Sure, burning up everything is fun, but if you win, you gotta clean it up too crippling that castle from building or recruiting for a season. Weight your options here carefully and if you don't wanna bust up this castle which will soon be yours, then scale the walls instead. If the gates are open, well, just walk right in. Enemy forces will usually attempt to bundle up near the gates when you approach or attempt to enter the courtyard. If your archers are positioned outside the walls firing in, you will definitely need to watch where they are shooting when your troops enter the castle area. Their friendly fire can cause a lot of problems for your troops while fighting enemy defenders. Depending on where enemy units are positioned, you may wish to attempt to get the battle over with quicker and have one of your own units capture the enemy flag. There are several flagpoles inside a castle. Each flagpole represents something different. The flag near the Tenshu, or castle itself, is the flag that you can capture to instantly win the battle. Usually, this flag will have a unit or two near it or within close distance just in case you go for the flag... but if you can lure them away and leave it unguarded... to capture a flag, you must put a unit in the flag radius. The Tenshu flag takes 60 seconds to capture. During that time, if an enemy unit enters the radius, the timer will fluxuate based on how many of your troops are in the radius versus the enemy troop numbers in the radius. Whoever has more troops in the radius will start becoming the owner of that flag. Other flags include castle gate flags and guard towers. By default, all of these flags are controlled by the defender. If you manage to put a unit or two in that flag radius, you can control that access point or tower as well. This tactic is useful to convert a guard tower or two of theirs to help you instead. Or, if you don't want to bust up a castle gate, but allow access to your other troops (like mounted units on horses who can't climb), scale the castle walls, then capture a gate flag to allow you to open the gate from the inside and letting in your other forces. A general strategy is to simply put your archers/seige outside the castle and kill off as many of their troops inside as possible until you run out of ammunition. Almost always the AI will never come out of the castle, so you don't usually have to fear a counter attack. Use fire arrows to cause more damage in short bursts and inflict more death on those poor suckers walled in there. If you do this, once they are out of ammo, you can either withdraw them or put them in close formation and march them in to the castle as a lead in for your other more powerful melee troops. Sometimes on the campaign map you might not want to sacrifice your archers, so making them route once they are out of ammo might be a better choice, otherwise just send em in to eat the initial defenders power. When you start moving in your troops, consider scaling walls from multiple angles so that you can surround the defenders inside. Almost always defenders will relocate themselves near walls that you are almost done scaling so that they can pick you off as you come over the wall. Plus, when a wall is busy other troops can't scale that same section of wall. Based on how many units you have wanting to get in on the action, you may be forced to scale multiple locations at once anyways. Try to scale with naginata or sword troops first since they can usually take a bit of a beating and allow enough time for more of your troops to get over the walls. If you're playing it conservative, yari ashigaru of bow ashigaru also make for good first climbers as sacrifice and allow time for your more powerful attackers to climb in other locations while the defenders are busy killing off your fodder. If you control a gate or it was busted open, those gateways will usually become very busy and likely won't allow more than a unit or two to get bundled up inside there since the defenders will likely rush any compromised gate where your troops are coming through... in which case you still might consider climbing nearby walls anyways to surround that clumping of troops in a gate. The basics of combat still apply more or less once your troops are inside the castle as the battle guide talks about. What you don't want to have happen is have your units fight their opposite (check the unit information section). Sometimes when assaulting, you won't have total control over what units end up fighting what other units because of the cramped space inside the castle area, so try to be mindful of what defender troops are near what walls and try to scale your own units accordingly. If you are decidingly losing the battle once you're inside, a mad dash for the flag with any unit available unit might be your best shot for the win. Assaulting very troublesome castles might take more than one assault to conquer. Sometimes enemy armies are well trained and very large. Use the advantage of your archers and seige to soften them up once, twice, heck maybe even three times with assaults each season until your are comfortable with sending in your infantry to take it over. Once your ranged runs out of ammo withdraw all your troops and do it again next season. Try to take as little casualties as possible from their own ranged troops or kill them off if you can in the first salvo of assaults. The next follow up assaults then could focus on killing off their infantry walled up inside with your remaining ranged troops. DEFEND MODE Your castle is under attack! Your goal is to route or eradicate the assaulting forces. Thankfully the local garrison is willing to help as well by providing a couple defending units for free. They aren't well trained, but we'll take em. Right away you will want to put your archers inside the walls in positions most likely to be approached by enemy forces. If you are fighting the AI, it is seemingly most effective to position your archers in the walls where their incoming MELEE troops are coming in from. What will happen is that the AI will somewhat blindly approach and attempt to scale your walls with melee forces. During this time, your archers will be picking them off left and right. If they aren't near a General or well trained, you can usually kill or route whole units at a time before they even get up your castle walls. To put archers in walls, select ONE archer unit then move your cursor near a wall. A picture of a yellow polygon will appear under your mouse, when that happens, right click and your archers will be put "in the walls". If you are in deployment phase, they will be put there instantly, otherwise your archers will go from wherever they currently are and will run to where you indicated to the walls. Don't forget that you can position archers inside and above the castle gates as well. If attackers make it over your walls, they will start killing off your archers if they are defending on that wall, it might be a good idea to have them fall back if possible and have a nearby melee unit approach and attack any of them that happen to make it over. Remember that if you kill off a good enough portion of an enemy unit, their morale will suffer badly and likely start routing. You can also position melee troops on your walls. They will attempt to fight off and kill enemy units that make it over that wall immediately. You will have a couple seconds of advantage when this happens because single people from that unit will make it over leaving a large portion of your unit to handle them on a very unfair basis, but this advantage won't last too long as every couple seconds pass, more of that unit will make it over the wall and begin fighting. To protect all your troops inside your castle from archers outside, put ALL of your troops in loose formation to defend as best as you can from incoming arrows. You may wish to send a small, and hopefully agile, task force out of your castle to rush their archers. Cavalry work best for this, but a small cadre of yaris or really any unit could work that you can spare. The timing is important if you do this. You probably won't want to send a couple units outside when they have melee troops nearby, perhaps wait until they start scaling your walls, THEN run out to kill archers with any force you think you can spare. If a unit is climing a wall, they will likely be stuck climbing that wall until they are over the top, dead, or start routing. Take advantage of the fact that their melee troops are busy and left their archers basically undefended. Just remember that if you put all your troops in loose formation to put them back to close formation to fight the melee troops that make it in your castle. If you forget, you will take more casualties from melee than you probably would have liked. If you are fighting the AI, he will usually keep his General outside most of the time and at a good distance from your castle. If you send a small task force out to kill archers, his General will likely come to help. If you have a yari unit out there, this makes for a perfect combo in your favor. Killing his General, and his archers at the same time will definitely work to your advantage as you cause morale shock to all his troops even in your castle. All in all, you have a lot of advantage being in your castle, you have time to position your troops based on the enemy deployment, put your archers where you see the enemy coming from, and have the option to launch a counter attack against his ranged when you feel it is best. You have walls they must scale and possibly guard towers shooting them down with arrows. Plus, you get some free defending units on top of all of that. Sure, there will be some battles that you probably can't win, but you can sure cause a lot of damage to his troops even in these battles. Don't forget to Rally your troops if you have a General once his melee forces make it over your walls, that will help a ton to route and kill the enemies. If you don't have a General, be mindful of where your Captain unit is - having a morale shock on your own troops if the captain dies will make them fight worse. Try to position your melee troops near the walls where enemies are scaling. They will lose some troops during the scaling process anyways, but you will want to intercept them the moment they come over your walls. Left unchecked they will start to capture guard towers, your Tenshu, or try to attack your other forces from behind. Don't let those things happen if you can help it. Loose formation troops that are under archer fire, then close that up when melee begins to break out. ---------------------------------------------------- |7d. Weather/Time/Terrain [007d]| ---------------------------------------------------- There was a bit of weather information sprinkled in other sections, but here is all the information compacted in to one place. When you're the attacker, you have up to 3 chances to set when to attack, this gives you a chance to select a weather situation that could benefit you and hinder the enemy. For whatever reason, this aspect (choosing when to attack) is seemingly totally broken for muliplayer campaigns, be it from a bug or by design, who knows. So, how do you pick weather as a strategy? Easy, try to match up your army with what would benefit you the most, or short of that, pick a weather than would make the enemy army suffer the most. Dry has no adverse affects on anything Rain disables fire arrows, makes burning things harder (like castle doors) Snow decreases charge bonuses? (I'm not totally sure about this) Fog affects all ranged accuracy and units get auto-hide bonus at a distance Rivers impede movement, slows down troop movements Night time* decreases morale in armies without a General with Night Attack Night time* also disallows non-Night Attack *You can't pick night attack during the battle setup, you must have picked it on the campaign map when you're first attacking and only armies with Generals with the Night Attack ability can make this selection. The check box for "Night Attack" is located near the button to "Play Battle". See the Night Attack section for more information. Using this information, try to set the attack up to benefit you the most if you're the attacker. Have lots of archers? Avoid rain. Enemies have lots of archers? Try to attack during a rain storm. Enemy has lots of cavalry? Try to attack in winter to slow them up a bit and decrease their effectiveness. Fog now also enables hiding with your units at a certain distance, try using this when setting up ambushes. This is a little difficult if you're the attacker since the defender isn't enticed to attack you, but it could work with some ingenuity. ============================================ |8. Mastery of the Arts | ============================================ This is the "technology" aspect of the campaign and requires a bit of explaining. First and foremost, yes it is normal that your game will be long over before you research everything. I have NEVER finished a campaign researching everything. I usually have most of one tree, and like half of the other, but we'll elaborate on that in a moment. Ok, so basically mastery is broken in to two parts. Research in to "Chi" arts and "War" arts. Chi arts are your domestic abilities and War arts reflect your ability to train and conduct war affairs. If you're relatively new to the game, I would highly recommend researching the first 2 layers of each branch immediately so that you have a basic foothold both domestically and militarily. What to research really is a question of what is your position in the campaign. In the early game, if you're expecting to fight immediately, researching basic war arts is a must. For example, one of the first war arts gives a +1 morale boost to all of your troops. Without this basic art, your troops start at half morale in the beginning of the game, likely leading to shameful displays more often than you'd like. The general idea is that you will want to focus on Chi arts as much as possible if you don't need the war arts. If you want a specific military unit, like Hero units, you could very well spend most of the game only researching the tech needed just to get that unit! So, setting a goal for yourself early in the game is a requirement. If you'd like more koku, you will want to persue the Chi arts a lot. There are several arts that increase your clan-wide tax rate and allow you to upgrade your farms. Both of these will substantially increase your economy. Since upgrading farms takes several seasons per each upgrade, and are fairly expensive to upgrade, you will need a bit of cash to even start the upgrade process. When researching a farm upgrade art, it might be best to increase your tax rate in preparation for a mass upgrade in all your lands to afford the upgrades all at once... a farm upgrade art does you no good if you can't afford to actually construct the upgrade itself! Once done, you may consider dropping your tax rate back if you hiked it up for these upgrades. If you'd like better military units, you will want to persue the War arts. You will definitely want to focus on arts that take advantage of your clan's ability if there is one applicable. For example, Oda gets cheap ashigaru, the spear mastery arts provide boosts to newly trained spear units with free experience. Cheap, more effective yari spam? Yes please. The same idea holds true for sword weilding units and the sword arts. If you're traversing the war art tree, look for ones that benefit you the most and exploit your clan's abilities. You should consider disbanding "old" units and replacing them with newly trained units after a war art upgrade. For example, disband an old katana samurai as you recruit a new one after you get the sword mastery art which provides the new recruit with a "free" experience level. Of course if your economy can support both units, you may wish to keep both around. If you'd like more tranquility in your provinces, chi arts also have various arts that passify your populaces with clan-wide happiness. Likewise, there are various arts that increase your daimyo's honor and General's loyalties. If you're having a hard time keeping your men loyal, researching more of these arts will help you out. A daimyo with high honor will usually result in more loyal Generals. These arts will also help a bit when there are religious differences inside your lands, reducing the number of local garrisons you will need to passify the populace from your religious differences. At a glance, here is what each art tree will do for you: <> Chi Arts <> + Economic boosts (farms, taxes) + Unlocks higher tier economic/religious buildings + Art research bonuses + Clan happiness + Daimyo honor + General's loyalties + Agent actions become more effective/cheaper + Unlocks bigger/better castles (better bushido research) <> Bushido Arts <> + Higher troop morales (less routing is always good) + Better newly trained units + Unlocks higher tier military buildings + Seige weapons + Faster army/navy campaign movement + Army special abilities (fire arrows, spear wall formation) Is researching all of the tech possible? Yes, it is, but it requires good management of your territory, a balanced approach to war, and squeezing as much bonuses as you possibly can from all of your resources. It will also likely require the longest game setting to allow you enough time to get set up right. ----------------------------------------------------- |8a. Maximizing Art Research [008a]| ----------------------------------------------------- So, you REALLY want to try to research EVERYTHING? Ok, but this isn't for the feint of heart. Like I mentioned above, I have actually never accomplished this, but this is, in theory, how it would work. The only reason I never seem to research everything is that I usually conquer the campaign before enough seasons have gone by to get everything, even on the longest campaign setting. First, you will want to note the provinces that have Philosophy specialties. You want these provinces, and very badly. Unfortunately, Kyoto is one of them. Usually taking Kyoto is a trigger that starts you down to the end of the campaign so your time might be very limited at this point, making research all that much harder to "finish" before the end of the game. This is usually what happens to me before I finish my arts. The 5 provinces that have philosophy specialties are: Kyoto, Settsu, Tsukushi, Suruga, Kozuke To the far west is Tsukushi. In the middle of Japan is Kyoto and Settsu. Just to the east of the middle of Japan is both Suruga and Kozuke. Clearly, clans that start near the middle of Japan have a major advantage over other clans, they start near 4 of the 5 schools! Once you acquire a territory with philosophy, you will want to upgrade those Schools immediately when you can afford them. Each upgrade provides amazing bonuses to ALL your art research in both Chi and Bushido arts alike! Schools provide +10% to all, Library provide +20%, Confucian Academy will provide +33% research to all art researching! If you can manage to capture 3 or more of these and upgrade them to Academies, that's an amazing +99% research rate to all arts, effectively cutting down all research time in half. It is unlikely you will get all 5 territories due to the distance involved with that fledgling 5th one, but if you can manage 4 or all 5, you will be almost unstoppable in terms of research (and probably militarily as well if you have all 5 anyways). You will need several Chi arts researched to upgrade these schools and if you wish to maximize your research, you should heavily emphasize getting all of them. (2,3,8,15) You will need the following arts mastered: "Way of Chi", 2 seasons "Zen", 3 seasons "Tea Ceremony", 8 seasons "Calligraphy", 15 seasons The seasons is how long each will take you assuming a 0% boost to Chi art research. Meaning in the worse case scenario, it will take you *at least* 28 seasons to enable upgrading to academies. Realistically, you probably will not want to immediately go down to that art since you still need to allow for war time and capture those schools in the first place, meaning you will likely need at least a couple economic arts and bushido arts to support your conquest. The priority is such that you want as many acadamies as early as possible since that art research bonus will be with you the rest of the game, assuming you retain control over those provinces of course. Schools are great for their boosts to all arts, but there are aspects of the game that also focus on one side of the tech over the other. Assuming you stay buddhist, you will want to build and upgrade as many temples as possible alongside all your marketplaces, possibly snubbing your sake dens in favor of temples. A basic temple is +3% chi art research. Unlike schools, these only affect your chi research progress. This is useful to help speed up that side of your technical dominance in the game. To build a temple, you will need Zen to be researched, which is fine, since you need that anyways on your way to Calligraphy. Try to get this fairly early if you want to maximize your tech. Possibly more importantly, a Temple allows the training of the Monk agent. See the character section for more information. The Monastary upgrade requires the art "Essence of the Spirit", but provides a 5% boost to your chi arts. Next, a Temple Complex requires the art "Scholarship" and some incense trade good, but bumps your chi art research rate up 10% for every Complex. If you can muster the time required to make one and get the required arts. The Famous Temple will also give you a 15% chi research boost, but you can only build one of these. You will likely not have enough time to get all the requirements for this for the nominal boost to chi for what it is worth. Now to change gears and focus on Bushido arts. Aside from schools, you may want to upgrade your castles in every territory to bump your bushido research rates. Each upgrade provides a very small boost to bushido research, but each upgrade dips fairly heavily in to your economy by taking away food surpluses. Normally, you will not want to upgrade your territory castles that aren't on the frontline, but if you want to maximize bushido arts you may have to make some compromises here as you can afford it economically. This doubles true if you've been opting for temples instead of markets or sake dens for your chi research. Remember, you will need the chi art "Epic Architecture" to construct your final castle (and provide the biggest boost to bushido research). Your other big contributor to bushido will be your Generals/Daimyo. <> Maximizing research with characters <> For chi arts, you can train up to 5 monks. These monks, as they gain ranks, can utilize some of their skills that directly contribute to your chi rates. On the left side of their skill tree is: Pilgrim (+3% chi @ level 3) Spiritual (+3% chi @ level 1) Meditation (+3% chi @ level 1) Enlightened (+9% chi @ level 1) If you got all of those things, by max level, your monk is cranking an amazing +18% to chi research per monk! For bushido arts, each of your Generals can contribute. Each General has one major bushido contribution factor, and fortunately it is near to top of their skill tree. This skill is poet. Poet (+3%, +9%, +12% bushido mastery at level 1,2,3) It is a good idea to put almost every General you have max the Poet skill and to recruit as many Generals as you possibly can (see the agent section for tips on how to recruit Generals) ====================================== |8. Game Problems [XXXX]| ====================================== There are definitely many problems with the game. For a more complete understanding and possible solution, you should probably check the totalwar support forums and look for your unique problems. Since this is a guide for the game, I will attempt to convey the most frequent problems from what I could gather from my own play experience and from what is seemingly the most prevalent game issues. I will repeat my blurb from the disclaimer now. *** If you are unsure, incapable, or in any way have no idea what you are doing, stop what you are doing and immediately try to seek the counsel of someone else that knows more about computers than you do. I remove myself from any responsibility that you do to your own system. *** Ok, now let's get to the issues: -- Do I really need Steam to play this? Yes, I don't particularly like it either, but you must have steam to play. -- My game causes a blue screen of death on start up This happened to me too. I had to upgrade my gigabyte motherboard's BIOS. It was kind of scary thinking that I had to flash my motherboard to get a game to work. Under much hesitation, I eventually took the leap of faith and upgraded my motherboard one version to the latest (and probably last) version of their software. Surprisingly indeed, my game stopped BSOD'ing. I must advise a lot of caution if you attempt to do this. If you don't do it right, you can cripple your entire computer permanently. You've been warned. Inform yourself as much as you can about your own hardware BEFORE you try to do an incredibly risky upgrade like this. If you've never opened your computer before and looked at the parts, this will be a good time to start. I will not be held accountable for anyone bricking their system. -- My game crashes during game play -- My game's graphics are glitched up Make sure you are running the most up to date version of your graphics card driver. Additionally, it was identified multiple times that your sound chip driver also needs to be up to date. For whatever reason older drivers for your computer do not get along well with this game. -- In coop campaign, my game desyncs constantly This happens to me and my friends all the time as well and it drives us crazy. The only temporary fix that sort of works is to have the game host send your save game file to the other player over the Internet somehow, like over a website or email, ftp, messenger, whatever. You can find your save game files in the following directory: %APPDATA%/USERNAME/Application Data/The Creative Assembly/Shogun2/ save_games_multiplayer/ The %APPDATA% is your application path based on your version of Windows. On windows XP, %APPDATA% is simply "Documents and Settings". Once you find that folder, your save game will be called: multiplayer_campaign_<hex codes>_<TURN NUMBER>.save_multiplayer If your game crashed, the most recent save is likely the autosave file, which is conveniently called: autosave.save_multiplayer Have your friend put whatever save file you want to load in their own save folder and then try rehosting again. This solution does not always work, but has saved us a couple times from always desyncing. It is possible that the game desync is linked to unit size somehow and large battles, we seem to have less (or no) desyncs when we play with small or medium sized armies as opposed to large or ultra. This is likely not the only culprit for this plaguing problem. In theory Creative Assembly will patch up as many problems as they can find on this and help us all, until then we're stuck with this broken solution. -- I can't select units from the battlefield when they are reinforcements This is a known issue and should be fixed in the next patch. You can select your units from the unit cards at the bottom, or clicking and dragging a box around them on the battlefield. You can only not single click the actual unit on the battlefield, or gift any reinforcement units to your ally... at least until the next patch we hope. -- My game doesn't work AT ALL or goes straight back to desktop! Verify your game files with steam and see if that helps. The progress might get stuck for extended periods of time. One time I tried to verify my game files it took almost 20 minutes to finish! ====================================== |9. FAQ [0faq]| ====================================== Will you add an Avatar Conquest section? This isn't my preferred method of gameplay and I feel that this mode is complex and involved enough to where a whole separate guide could be needed just for this aspect of the game. If someone out there was willing to write up a detailed guide just for this mode, that would be perfect, since I don't really plan on making one. This document is long enough as it is. When should I auto-resolve a combat? This is mostly personal preference. If you know for sure you're going to win, then auto-resolve is usually the fastest way to "get it over with". I usually auto-resolve when I heavily outnumber the enemy and play all other fights. Frankly, it isn't worth the load times to go to the battle field over killing less then 200 enemy troops for me. Unless of course my army also consists of less than 200 troops. I suppose the same holds true if you're helplessly outnumbered and you know you won't win the battle, auto-resolve sort of speeds up that process. However, with manual battle you have the chance to pull a win out against crazy odds; auto-resolve you basically have no chance to win, so the choice is up to you. On the contrary, if you auto-resolve large combats, especially when you have vast superior numbers and reinforcements, you will almost always win. The game will assume ALL your forces from all stacks are fighting all at the same time, unlike when you actually play the battle. If this works to your favor (ie, you heavily outnumber a garrison with reinforcements), you can easily pull a major win with few casualties. Likewise, do not auto-resolve a combat where the opposite is true and the enemy has more stacks than you, you will almost always loose. What difficulty should I play on? I definitely recommend playing on easy then bumping it up from there as you win campaigns. If you're a Total War veteran, you can probably start on normal and be ok, or one notch down from normal just to get the hang of it. Total newcomers to the product line will likely die, even on easy. Practice some battles, then try again after reading the guide about campaign strategy! What is the best clan? This question is too subjective. If you're starting out, pick a clan that claims the starting conditions are "easy" in the game, read the guide for that clan, and play. Eventually you'll probably try them all if you like the game, so there really isn't any "best" clan per se. I suppose you could say there are some clans more suited for certain strategies over another. For instance, if you like spamming Ashigaru units, the Oda clan would likely be your "best" fit because of their clan ability. I beat the campaign as Hattori, why didn't I get an achievement? For whatever reason, there is no achievement for the Hattori clan beating the campaign. My best guess is that it would be somewhat unfair that only people with the Limited edition could get that achievement so it doesn't exist for anyone. What are all the achievements? Check gamefaq's cheat section, they are all listed in there. How do I capture the Black Ship? This is a beast of a boat, don't even bother unless you have a couple stacks of navy ships. Once you think you're ready, try to kill as many of their sailors as possible, when they are low on troops left onboard, attempt to board it with a medium bune. If you win, you get the boat! If the ship surrenders or gets caught on fire, it will just run away so you will have to try again. You can also autoresolve the fight in hopes the AI randomly allows you to capture it, but that's no fun is it. If you play the battle be aware that the boat is VERY slow to turn and can only unleash its cannons on you from the sides. A word of warning, if you're seeing the sides of this boat, it can sink your ships or make them route in one shot at a VERY far distance. Why don't other clans trade with me? Check the section about trading and politics in the guide, there are many reasons clans might be unwilling to trade with you and it is likely a combination of reasons can be found in there. If you're still unsure, the other clan simply might not like you and possibly ready to start war with you soon! Why did a clan that is friendly or very friendly go to war with me? This is a complicated answer, but basically, from what I have found is that your friendly clan had no other options with who to attack. They had nowhere to expand other than in to your lands! This also can happen if they are at war with someone on the opposite side of your territory and they cannot reach them other than through YOUR land. They have no choice but to take your land from you to get to their enemy. If you notice this could be the case, try to wager a military access negotiation with them before they go to war with you. For whatever reason, the AI almost never seems to wish to ASK for military access, they just go to war instead. So, try to be aware of what other clans MIGHT need and cater to what they could need to fight their own battles. This also becomes very likely towards the end of the game as you grow too much in power too quickly or Realm Divide is triggered. The final other reason I can think of is that your friendly clan was asked to go to war with you by A DIFFERENT clan - possibly one of their allies or trade partners and definitely a clan that is already at war with you. At which point the clan in question will consider who they like more and who provides a better strategic partner, then declare war on you if you seem to be the better target. Remember, you can do this to other clans you are at war with, ask other clans to join your war against your existing enemies. The AI can do this against you as well. An enemy of my enemy is my friend. How do I patch my game? Steam more or less automagically does this for you, which for better or for worse, is the only reasonable way to make this happen. How do I get monks to cause revolts? Check the agent section of the FAQ, but basically, you need to rank up your monk to have a higher chance at success. You will also have a better shot at it if that target province has existing unrest in it and no enemy agents are there to get in your way foiling your plans. If possible, assassinate enemy agents in that town first, then try to incite revolts. Why does everyone hate me? Check the politics section, it gets a bit complicated. Remember, everyone wants everyone dead at the end of the day, so of course everyone will eventually cause you problems. What you will want to do is help them focus their problems on each other rather than yourself. Some of this is random luck and is a bit uncontrollable. Try to mind your actions when you declare war on other clans, that can cause ripple effects to other clans you didn't realize they were trading with, or worse, could have been allied with! You'll quickly gain a lot of enemies if you aren't mindful of other clans' politics as well as your own. How do I make more money?! You need to start early in the game to set up for the long haul. Establish foreign trade if you can using trade ships to those anchor nodes on the map. Try to trade with other clans as soon as possible before diplomacy falls apart. Don't just recruit a ton of troops, their upkeep will kill you in the end. Read the section about economy for more information on making money and keeping it. When does the son come of age? This is seemingly random. I've had my heir be 19 years old and he still wasn't a "man" yet, whereas his younger brother at 14 was a General already. If this happens to you, you may wish to consider making the General your heir instead if you think you need one soon, or just wait it out. Can any clan trigger Realm Divide or just my clan? Only a player clan can trigger Realm Divide. This is even true if an AI clan captures Kyoto itself. Realm Divide will only happen if you trigger it through the two normal ways, see the section about Realm Divide for more information. How can I stop my troops from routing all the time? Morale is crucial in this game to understand. Read the battle guide for more information, if your troops lose morale, they have a chance to run from the battlefield. Unfortunately, if some of your units see other units running, they will sometimes think that's a good idea and also start running, even if they are at full capacity! Should I upgrade my markets? Read the economy section, in general you do NOT want to upgrade your markets because they consume your food surplus, well I hope they consume from your surplus anyways! Is diplomacy worthless after Realm Divide? Short answer is yes, however there is kind of a work around to this. Read the Realm Divide section for more information. How do I get more Generals? Read the agent section where Generals are covered. How do I talk in game? Press Y to talk. Steam also allows you to use their chat system if you have that enabled and you can chat to your buddies using shift-tab. Careful when trying to chat during load times you might accidentally do something or your text gets cut off since the chat seems to lose focus or do some other goofy behavior at times when you're in the middle of chatting. Why are all my vassals and allies attacking me all of the sudden?! You are probably in Realm Divide. Normally a message event will pop up saying that all of Japan fears you and basically wants to run you in. It has; however, come to pass that the event message doesn't show up on occassion. Read the Realm Divide section to understand more on how it is triggered (either times) regardless if the game tells you or not. Help, a reinforcing army, or the enemy army is stuck at the edge of the map?! The AI has some issues. If they are friendly, they may be waiting for your armies to get closer to them so that you can approach the enemy together. Similar idea with the enemy, they may be stuck in some strange AI cycle attempting to lure you away from where you currently are. I didn't program the AI, so I can't be sure. Normally if I send my army to the edge of the screen near them, or with a bait unit (like a General), it will usually unstick whoever it is for whatever reason. ====================================== |A. Final Words [finl]| ====================================== If you're new to the game, play some practice custom matches to get use to battle. If you're autoresolving all your fights, you're missing out on basically half the game. You can pull some amazing battles out manually playing them and getting better at it in the meantime. I hope you enjoyed the guide. I will likely update it a bit with the standard spelling corrections or other aesthetic makeovers. If I get any requests for something else I'll consider adding that in as well. Hopefully we'll get some patches from Creative Assembly to fix up the multiplayer.