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Bushido - The use of Samurai

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by Diamondeye, May 8, 2008.

  1. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    @Bostock: Exactly. I have tried to let this shine through in the Techpath section, since once you have Samurai, you won't need anything stronger for attack for some time, so you can backfill with economic and civic techs.
     
  2. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    For me, playing as Toku has always depended on my ability to manage the Japanese economy, as Toku starts with little in the way of economic bonuses. I can see Toku either running an aggressive war-machine SE or a more passive REX & tech route with cottages. I just think he needs to focus on the money/research issues early, so that when the Samurai come, he can unload.

    Diamond: I too am a fan of the Combat line of promotions for certain units. A blend of Combat + Drill can really add up the firepower, since Combat is the only promotion that improves attack strength -- a key part of first strikes.

    A combat II / Drill II Samurai can be had at 5xp, delivering a 9.6 strength and 3-6 (I may be off here) first strikes. This is an incredibly flexible unit useful for field battles and city assaults alike. If you want to go bananas, try making multiple GG Samurai units with the Leadership promotion and see how many XPs you can rack up. You can end up with Combat VI, CR III, Drill IV, and Tactics ... on multiple units! Too bad Toku isn't Imperialistic.
     
  3. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    @Slobberinbear: C II D II Samurai would have 3-4 Firststrikes and 9.6 strength. That is still rahter good though, against a longbow with a total of 100% defense, its still 9.6v12 and 2-3 free rounds first. Not bad. Now think of archers or axemen instead... :evil: I love playing Toku, even if my tech is falling a bit behind early on :lol:
     
  4. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    This thread is making me want to play a game as Japan. People complain about the Japanese economy, but I think you just have to prioritise pottery and writing a bit more so that you can get a decent start on cottages and maybe a library. Then make sure you get IW to see where it is and expand accordingly.

    I'm not sure samurai would need seige engines in every case because you may want to fight a border war at first, just to get room for a few more cities. I guess that depends on the map. But, samurai by themselves should be able to do some damage.
     
  5. Crowqueen

    Crowqueen Token forum woman

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    I've tried Toku four or five times at Warlord and he really can't stand the pressure even of a relatively tame civ like Arabia. I should have leveraged Aggressive and gone on to destroy Saladin completely rather than just raze one or two cities in the way and wait until he resettled them, but with most other civs I can really race forward. (I didn't have the economy to keep the cities so I smashed them up...only to find he resettled later.)

    But ... I struggled big time and have given up for the moment to concentrate on Rome (trying to play every leader/civ before I move up to Noble just so I have a feel for the game at the higher levels). At WL you really should still outpace the AI but I've found it just too hard with Toku to get anywhere fast. However the combination of aggressive traits is just too tempting...maybe I should first try unrestricted leaders with Hammurabi for Agg/Org or Ragnar with Agg/Fin to get the hang of Bushido without the economic problems?
     
  6. Yesod

    Yesod Warlord

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    Man if youre playing on warlord, just build 4 warriors at the start and conquer 2 civs, You won't have any problems with Japan then. ;)
     
  7. Yesod

    Yesod Warlord

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    Im serious by the way...
     
  8. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    Hmmm. It might be good to try Hammurabi, but I suggest that you try to win as Tokugawa of Japan as well, before moving up.

    Try to play a game and report in a thread here, many players do that (mainly above Warlord, but that doesnt matter). I'd like to see what you are doing and what could be done better. If you don't want to start a thread by yourself, just use this one. I suggest you play the first round until you have a couple of cities out and Iron Working in place.

    Since I will be on vacation for something like three weeks with only a small pause in between, I wont be able to help ya out until like 19th-20th, but then I'd love to.

    :lol: probably true. Add a protective archer rush to that and you have conquest in the BCs :lol:
     
  9. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    Just finished a game on Prince, Normal as Japan that I started a few months back (I'm now transitioning to Emperor level :D). I was on a continent with Suleiman, Joao, and Pericles.. Peaceful guys, right?!? NOO!! I first trimmed Joao with Swords and Cats in early AD's. Suleiman then took Joao as a voluntary vassal and unloaded on me (I built almost all troops and his power was at least 50% higher than mine). I responded with about 30 Samurai with very little siege-I thought I was toast. Even with my tactical stupidity back then, the Samurai wiped out huge stacks of HA's, Axemen, Swordsmen, and Cats. The high Drill Samurai barely took any damage from siege either and Sully capitulated very quickly as I took a few cities.

    At this point, I found myself facing Pericles who was ~5 techs ahead and had a huge army compared to mine, but he was Pleased. Even worse, he took Joao as a voluntary vassal. On the other continent, Lincoln and Zara devoured Huayna who capitulated to Lincoln along with his large colony Suryavarman. At this point, I stopped playing. Yesterday I continued the game, built an army, focused on Joao and vassalized him and then wiped out Pericles - it all took 15 turns!! Ended up winning a low score Diplo win a few turns later as I was preparing a force of Marines, Tanks, and Transports to invade Lincoln (I even bribed Zara to declare on him) who already completed a few Spaceship parts. Lincoln and Zara were both Pleased and I was running against the tiny Huayna who built the UN.

    Japan really gets stronger as the game progresses. Samurai is also a good UU - very underestimated imo. First strikes and Drill promos in general are underestimated too.
     
  10. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    A few comments

    About Toku's early economy

    1) While his traits and UB do not promote good economy, his first 2 techs do, fishing and the wheel. Tech Pottery FIRST! Settle on teh coast or along rivers and cottage away. There is no reason you cannot have a good cottage base in the capital before the first settler.

    2) Get Sailing sooner than later and target the GLH. That will seriously help Toku's econom3) If you have stone, use the whip Walls trick to get extra gold.

    3) Make a run at the great wall and produce an early GSpy and steal enough techs to stay competitive.

    4) We know the Ais delay education, Toku needs it earlier for the universities and DO NOT trade it.

    Toku's UB

    1) 10% late game boost in production is not trivial

    2) Toku does NOT need coal at all (assuming you have oil) which means ALOT less unhealthiness during the modern era. IronWorks suffers but the 10% boost of the UB offsets it a bit. It also means he can freely build an industrial Park in all cities with little concern for unhealthiness.

    3) IMHO, the Japanese UB is much stronger than it get's credit for.

    The Samuri.

    1) To be honest I never sent my Samuri out into battle without other mounted units or some spears/Pikes. So not using the drill promotion benefits seam silly.

    2) As with Maces I prefer to promote them up the CR line. Drill promoted Samuri are somewhat wasted when promoted as any gunpowder unit from Toku get's it anyway.

    3) Promoting them up the combat line sounds like a decent plan for some of the force.

    4) Samuri are excellent for STARTING the military buildup/expansion era.

    So my general idea of Toku's game is to

    A) Work the early economy ASAP via the ocean or cottages on rivers.
    B) Beeline CS/Machinery/Education/Gunpowder
    C) Expand comfortably during the Samuri/Musket era
    D) expand agressively during the Infantry era, maximizing unit production and promotion.
    E) If desired, Toku has the strongest production base in the game for the space race.

    Sorry if I went of track and bit, but the OP seams more on Toku in general rather than the UU.
     
  11. Artichoker

    Artichoker Emperor

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    Don't forget Swordsmen! Swordsmen, when upgraded to Samurai, also receive the free Drill I promotion along with all other Samurai bonuses, and also benefit from the free Combat I promotion for the Aggressive trait.

    Personally, I like to delay Engineering when playing Tokugawa. The offensive power of Samurai is so great that you won't need Trebuchets (except when they get Castles, at which point you use the Trebs for their superior bombardment). Pikemen are mostly unnecessary, too, since your offensive stack will be so strong that their army's back will be against the wall...which means that enemy Knights will be on the defensive and forfeit all defensive bonuses.
     
  12. photophor

    photophor Chieftain

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    What is a 'slot building'?
     
  13. Onionsoilder

    Onionsoilder Reaver

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    Buildings that allow specialists. I.E., a Library has 2 Scientist Slots. A Forge has 1 Engineer slot.
     
  14. Supr49er

    Supr49er 2011 Thunderfall Cup

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    It's not a bad general strategy to build Libraries and get two Scientist Specialists working as quickly as you can.

    Welcome to the Forums photophor. :beer:
     
  15. Aleph_Strategy

    Aleph_Strategy Chieftain

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    I don't agree with this one. Darius and Cyrus are both very good, but for different purposes, whereas Mehmed 2 is truly awesome.

    And now for the article: Tokugawa is always one of the worst AI in all games I play. Never seen him lead a game...I wouldn't like a leader without economic bonuses, especially at higher difficulties where an extra hapiness, commerce or settler is vital. At Emperor and above Toku is extremely hard to play, but I think you mentioned that in the beginning...
     
  16. SlipperyJim

    SlipperyJim Prince

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    Don't judge Tokugawa by how the AI plays him. His AI is coded for extreme isolationism, which almost always makes him backward and pathetic. A human player doesn't have to make the same mistakes.

    I think that Tokugawa's economic strength is the same as Boudica's strength: Conquest! Crush your enemies. Drive them before you. Record the lamentations of their women as MP3s and sell them on iTunes! :crazyeye:

    Seriously, though, conquering a big empire should give you all of the strength you need. That said, Tokugawa needs to prioritize the economic techs to make sure that his big empire doesn't just become a big third-world cesspit....
     
  17. popejubal

    popejubal Emperor

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    Ditto.

    Aside from some really obvious UB's that border on overpowered (Ikhanda, Terrace, Sacrificial Altar), the Shale Plant is one of my favorite Unique Buildings in the game. The health bonus from not connecting Coal is amazingly good and I've even been lucky enough once or twice to have Coal pop up on a mined hill that didn't happen to have a road, so I got the tile production bonus without having to get the resource. :)

    Yes, cutting yourself off from Coal does make the Iron Works production bonus a bit lower (an extra +60% instead of an extra +100%), but the extra health in the Iron Works city means you can switch a couple of tiles to Workshops or possibly even support a couple of extra population points in the city if your :food:+:health: keep you below 20. Those missing :yuck: points have made up for the lost production bonus in most cases.


    Additionally, the lack of a Coal requirement means that you can build a Shale Plant to provide power in your National Park city. I can't stress enough what a big difference that makes. The National Park city isn't just a big GPP farm, it's also an outstanding city for your choice of Science, Production, Cash or (especially) Espionage. You can run a zillion Engineers in a National Park city when you're building Infrastructure and that extra +50% production bonus is a free :hammers: from each of those Engineers. Even without Engineers, you'll end up with enough population in the national Park and enough hammers from specialists in general that an extra +50% production is very nice.

    Japan is the only Civ that can have power in the National Park city before Hydro Plants and I have noticed that I often build my National Park city in a way that will allow me to maximize the number of forests and that pushes me onto a city tile that isn't next to a river. No river = no Hydro Plant and I'm not about to build 3 Gorges Dam just to give power to the National Park. Also, I don't often lack Coal across my entire empire, but it has happened. When it does, I yearn for Shale Plants.

    Japan is really a quite decent Civ as long as it isn't played by the ridiculous AI.
     

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