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Beeline to samurais

Babibo

Immortal
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
150
Location
France
Hi Civ fanatics !

I recently set up an Immortal Tokugawa game and I wondered how to beeline Samurais. I built the Great Lighthouse which helped a lot, so I thought I could easily arrive to Civil Service + Machinery before my neighbours would be strong enough. However, by the time I had Samurais (around 250AD), my neighbours had Crossbows.
In such a case, I think it is a better idea to use the catapult as the main attack force, and macemen as the clean up force, which would not be a very good use of samurais.

How do U play the japanese ? Is there a smart lightbulbing path to have the Samurais earlier ?

My research path was Currency (very helpful considering my neighbours were on other continents but close enough for trade routes -> +3 :commerce: per trade route)
Then a merchant lightbulbed Metal Casting (I wanted the Colossus, but that was probably a bad idea), Machinery, Code Of Laws, Civil Service.
 
Hello! Tokugawa is one of my favorite leaders, although I myself don't adopt a beelining approach for Samurai.

Looking at the big picture, Tokugawa's Aggressive trait makes both his Swordsmen and Axemen very good attacking units. The presence of Samurai as a Macemen replacement means that both Swordsmen->Samurai and Axemen->Samurai are excellent unit upgrades, as the gold cost is exactly the same as with ->Macemen.

For example, I normally consider Axemen->Macemen cost-efficient if the Axemen have reached 10 XP. With Tokugawa's Samurai, however, an upgrade of Axemen->Samurai is easily cost-efficient at 5 XP, which is much easier to attain.

With beelining, you need to pay special attention to the Machinery tech path. Certain wonders might make a bulb of this more convenient, but I haven't tried this method myself.
 
Don't worry about getting CS/Machinery first, focus on disconnecting your neighbors' iron before they can build many crossbows.

Doubly good if you can do this, because it will also block knights AND cuirassers. Essentially making your maces close to immortal in the field until gunpowder, and even then muskets aren't terribly good against aggressive maces with first strikes. They'd need rifling or MS (remember, that no iron = no cannon too :p).

Careful, though, enemy copper allows them to still build maces, though you'll have the advantage there.
 
I've never played as Japan, but a big bonus is that you can probably get away with a couple fewer siege, since you have stronger attackers in Samurai. And the fact that they get extra first strikes means that they will not get as hurt in mop-up, meaning a longer lifespan.
 
My first win on Monarch was with Japan. Such a lovely UU!!!

Oracle might be good to bulb MC. Building mids and a GE will help towards machinery. Not worked out the other techs you need .

You may want COL from oracle as this helps economy.

If you go upgrade route of units you may want to do a early rush with axe/swords. Then again a barracks and a general in a city will get you close to 4-5+ xp in your military pump city.
 
I've never played as Japan, but a big bonus is that you can probably get away with a couple fewer siege, since you have stronger attackers in Samurai. And the fact that they get extra first strikes means that they will not get as hurt in mop-up, meaning a longer lifespan.

Exactly...in pre-Renaissance wars, the strongest units availble to non-Japanese civs are Trebuchets and Musketmen. Both of these units have limitations, and Samurai are in direct competition with both of them while being available earlier in the tech tree.

That's what Samurai are, basically...they are "in the mix" with Trebuchets and Musketmen while being available significantly earlier. Trying to push them back even earlier, at the expense of your economy, can be counterproductive.
 
I wondered how you push for maces at *expense of economy*.

CS can't be too early. After that it just few techs away.

Fastest way i ever got to maces was on Monarch. I built GLH [for some tupid rason but at l;east it gave merchant points], Oracled out MC, when used merchant to bulb most of CS. That left just Machinery to go through.

Although CS with oracle when using super capital might be faster.
 
If you go upgrade route of units you may want to do a early rush with axe/swords. Then again a barracks and a general in a city will get you close to 4-5+ xp in your military pump city.

5 XP Swordsmen and Axemen make great units for upgrading to Samurai. Not only do the units gain 2 free First Strikes, but they also gain free Drill I, which they keep even after they become Riflemen. I wouldn't say the same thing if they upgraded only to Macemen, however.

In order to settle the GG, however, you need to earn it first. Since most players go with a Medic 3 for the 1st GG, the settled GG wouldn't arrive until you earned your 2nd GG. At that point, however, the GG would be there most likely to produce 5 XP Samurai out of the gate, since you probably would have unlocked Samurai by then.
 
I wondered how you push for maces at *expense of economy*.

CS can't be too early. After that it just few techs away.

Fastest way i ever got to maces was on Monarch. I built GLH [for some tupid rason but at l;east it gave merchant points], Oracled out MC, when used merchant to bulb most of CS. That left just Machinery to go through.

Although CS with oracle when using super capital might be faster.

That's exactly what I was referring to. Unlocking them early may require wonders, which are not that reliable without Industrious or the appropriate production-boosting resource.
 
Sulla showed the CS slingshot and its easy with super capital with either marble/stone in BFC build SH
Bulb CoL with GP and Oracle CS and he did that on Emperor
 
Exactly...in pre-Renaissance wars, the strongest units availble to non-Japanese civs are Trebuchets and Musketmen. Both of these units have limitations, and Samurai are in direct competition with both of them while being available earlier in the tech tree.

That's what Samurai are, basically...they are "in the mix" with Trebuchets and Musketmen while being available significantly earlier. Trying to push them back even earlier, at the expense of your economy, can be counterproductive.

Knights are decidedly pre-renaissance, and own the !@#$ out of everything else except pikes (but will tend to beat pikes soundly after minimum collateral). They get bonus points for ignoring every first strike the sammy has no matter what.

However, they come later and need iron. Try not to allow opponents to build knights :p. Crossbows are more manageable since at minimum you can build them too, otherwise the cheaper longbows or horse archers work just fine to deal with xbows (which are not favorable city defenders).

Ultimately though wars in this era seem to be about siege. Getting to the AI before castles is a big help.
 
In my successful games Japan, I have had to play very aggressively, nearly constantly at war. You get a little behind in techs, but the promotions make up for it. I use espionage to steal key techs.
I may try for 1 or 2 Wonders max if the opportunity presents, partially to get GPPs in a core city. The rest can be conquered.
I also like to build Grenadiers to promote to Machine-gunners. At this point in the game you should have enough settled GGs to make CG3 Grenadiers for upgrade.
 
5 XP Swordsmen and Axemen make great units for upgrading to Samurai. Not only do the units gain 2 free First Strikes, but they also gain free Drill I, which they keep even after they become Riflemen. I wouldn't say the same thing if they upgraded only to Macemen, however.

In order to settle the GG, however, you need to earn it first. Since most players go with a Medic 3 for the 1st GG, the settled GG wouldn't arrive until you earned your 2nd GG. At that point, however, the GG would be there most likely to produce 5 XP Samurai out of the gate, since you probably would have unlocked Samurai by then.

Not that much of an advantage, as Toku is Protective, so his newly build Riflemen get Drill I anyway. Most likely it is there to prevent upgraded units from actually being worse than newly build ones.
 
Knights are decidedly pre-renaissance, and own the !@#$ out of everything else except pikes (but will tend to beat pikes soundly after minimum collateral). They get bonus points for ignoring every first strike the sammy has no matter what.

However, they come later and need iron. Try not to allow opponents to build knights :p. Crossbows are more manageable since at minimum you can build them too, otherwise the cheaper longbows or horse archers work just fine to deal with xbows (which are not favorable city defenders).

Ultimately though wars in this era seem to be about siege. Getting to the AI before castles is a big help.

And Ballista Elephants, who beat the !@#$ out of Knights.
 
Not that much of an advantage, as Toku is Protective, so his newly build Riflemen get Drill I anyway. Most likely it is there to prevent upgraded units from actually being worse than newly build ones.

City Raider 3/Drill 1/Combat 1 Riflemen is really what I was referring to there.

Anyway, a lot of the advantages of Samurai are temporary (namely, the 2 extra First Strikes) and last only pre-Riflemen. Once you get Riflemen, then you're leveraging the combined bonuses of Aggressive and Protective.
 
Actually BE (and if you're on the offensive, their garbage ability so WE in general) run into a similar problem vs knights as pikes: minimal collateral will knock their str into a range where the knights win. Like, say, 3 cats and your stack D is toast.

Of course, since we're talking about the AI this almost never happens. Nevertheless, knights are quite strong in their time...the problem is that the AI prioritizes this line in every game, making them less useful by the time you get there (that and cuirassers trump them so fast...when cuirassers first came out some people felt them weak, but they're actually quite devastating since they beat all pre-renaissance units in the field, and are favorable against longbows after culture D is off).
 
My problem when playing Toku is that I can rarely get to Samurai during a window where they will be better than just pushing to Gunpowder and drafting Muskets. I will still build a pile of them to upgrade to CR Rifles later, but overall, I cannot seem to get a strong enough empire to leverage the Samurai quickly enough, and I play at Epic speed. Its one of the big reasons I read Artichokers games, they help a LOT, trust me.

But we were just discussing how strong PRO Muskets can be in the PRO thread, and Toku's are the best non UU Muskets in the game, by far. I tend to play Toku with this in mind, using Samurai as a stepping stone to CR only, and not really as a war tool.
 
Actually BE (and if you're on the offensive, their garbage ability so WE in general) run into a similar problem vs knights as pikes: minimal collateral will knock their str into a range where the knights win. Like, say, 3 cats and your stack D is toast.

Of course, since we're talking about the AI this almost never happens. Nevertheless, knights are quite strong in their time...the problem is that the AI prioritizes this line in every game, making them less useful by the time you get there (that and cuirassers trump them so fast...when cuirassers first came out some people felt them weak, but they're actually quite devastating since they beat all pre-renaissance units in the field, and are favorable against longbows after culture D is off).

City attacking between Engineering and Gunpowder is not a good idea. As you say, the only thing the defender has to do is sit in his castle and when the SoD appears below the walls, sacrifice a few Catapults and then use six or so Knights to Flank the Trebuchets to oblivion. Thanks for trying, but those CR3 maceman are not going to beat Longbowmen with a 190% defense bonus.

But of course the Ballista Elephant is not a unit for offensive warfare, it is a unit for counter attacking. Add Ballista Elephants to the above scenario, and you would first turn the Knights in the SoD into a pile of horse mince, then collateral the Pikes, flank the Trebuchets, and whatever is still left of the stack you can wipe out with your city defenders. That why when you are in that kind of situation you intentionally provoke your opponent into attacking you, it's a way of turning two or three Medieval Wonders worth of your opponent's hammers into a bunch of XP for your units.
 
I have a Toku game finishing up right now. I really wanted to Smash my neighbors in with Samuri but the map made alot more sense to Chariot Rush Ragnar, befriend Saladin and Sulimein with shared religion and then rex into a bunch of islands since I had the Great Lighthouse. My poor samuri were just for parades. I need to stop using too much water on my maps, it limits the AI too much.
 
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