Hi everyone! I'm amateurgamer88. This is my second Deity game on Marathon so I accept that there are chances that it can be a trainwreck. My last game as Denmark, as shown in my photojournal, showcases how OP Denmark was before their nerf recently. As the title suggests, I am going to play as Japan. Do note that this is my first time playing this civ on VP so it should be interesting. Why am I playing Japan? I haven't played this civ before and I want to see how the changes to Golden Ages affect this civ. I don't expect an easier game this game but we'll see. After all, Japan has some interesting options while Denmark, at least the version I played, was just outright broken. I know I'm not a great player so I appreciate any advice as I want to learn more. I have many areas lacking so feel free to point them out to me. I like to improve more as I actually want to eventually win some deity matches. As a result, I'm doing these photojournals so people can see what I'm doing wrong and give me constructive criticism. An additional note is that, due to various reasons, I have to play this game windowed so, in later eras, you'll see the various things like gold, resources and etc overlapping. I also have to lower my graphic setting so my game can run smoother. I apologize for that but it's the limitations I work with. Spoiler Game Settings : Deity (8) Difficulty Marathon Speed Standard Size, 10 civs, 24 city states Frontier (Large Continents) Strategic Balance No events, vassalage, ancient ruins, tech brokering and tech trading Disable Nuclear Weapons No Morocco, Byzantium, Austria and Spain (due to them showing up too often in my past games) The Patch used in this game is 12-18. Spoiler Initial Thoughts on the Civilization : Shogunate: Extra and from defensive buildings and military training buildings sound very strong. Regardless of what style we play and what victory we go for, we need those buildings, though some put more emphasis of course. Certain buildings like Walls and Barracks can be so crucial if early wars are necessary. Getting more benefits from them just seem so nice. Getting Great Writer, Artist and Musician points in the capital from birth of Great Generals and Great Admirals seems rather interesting. You can abuse this if you're lucky and get those circumnavigate the world CS quests to get 2 or three admirals at once. Great General can be acquired through clearing encampments. Overall, I'd be curious to see how strong (or not) this can be. Dojo: This UB replaces the Armory and apparently doesn't require Barracks. I honestly don't see a situation where you don't want the extra experience for your units. Units trained in cities with this UB gets 5 more experience than an Armory and provides a very unique promotion. I guess it works a bit like what the Indonesian UU has but I'm sure they made it quite unique. Looking at the civilopedia, this UB seems to give 3 and 5 as well. In addition to that, it gains and once your units promote? I guess you get instant yields in all your Dojos when you promote units which means stacking buildings like Order with the Barracks and Dojo can be quite powerful. Or maybe I just misunderstood that altogether. Samurai: Here I get another Longswordsman replacement since I played Denmark last. The Samurai can get you GG faster, works for your UA, and gets experience more. The promotion for more experience does seem to stay after upgrades so, if that's the case, I can see you get some really strong units if you know how to keep them alive. The CS is quite nice as it's almost as high as a Knight and we all know how powerful Knights can be. I also like the fact that Dojos come at the same time as Samurai so that makes Steel that much more vital. Spoiler Starting Location : Let's see the starting location. While I would've preferred to get Walls and Barracks as soon as possible, I think going for Calendar is the right path to connect those Wines for a religion. I need to see how the rest of the map seems before I decide what I'm going for. We know this is going to be a war heavy game. After all, the wars in Epic and Standard speed don't seem fun to me but that's probably just me. I will settle in place as that will get me two Wines immediately and I'm on a forested hill.