View Full Version : What's your preferred army composition?

03-29-2011, 19:22
Has anyone developed a favorite formula for a full-stack army? What is it? I'd also be curious to know how many armies most people are fielding in their campaign games, once they get into full-on conquest mode.

03-29-2011, 19:52
For a full stack I use a strong core of my clan's prefered samurai. Usually this is Yari Samurai but I've also stacked Katana samurai in their place if my clan gets good bonuses for them. That's normally 3-4 units. Then 8 Yari Ashigaru, 5-6 Bow Ashigaru, a general and some light cavalry for flanking and running down routers.

Even if not a full stack that's the basic composition I run. A core of elite surrounded by Ashigaru supporters with some cavalry thrown in the mix. It typically works very well in battle.

03-29-2011, 21:05
For my conquering army I've become very fond of up-armored naginata samurai as my core. Cavalry doesn't scare 'em, and they mow through everything but katana samurai, with whom they hold their own. They also have some of the highest armor values in the game. So conquering, bribing or revolt/conquering a province with a blacksmith is now one of the first things I do, so I can crank out armored polearms of death.

I field a core of eight or so of my naginata, supported by bow ashigaru, a general and a couple of yari cavalry to do flanking work. A single unit of bomb-throwers is usually in there, since they can devastate a mass of infantry if you can work around the flank.

Lord Benihana
03-29-2011, 21:24
As Shimazu (only campaign I have tried so far) I have 2 field armies and the rest of my forces are mostly ashigaru in my various cities -gotta keep that populace in line

Each army has a 6 star general, and the only cav that I have are the 3 units you get for becoming Shogun. My main force is Katana samurai. I have won somme crazy lopsided battles against the computer's ashi spam with my concentrated force of katanas (6-8 units) and 2-3 ashi bows. I used half stacks with that make-up to get all the way to the shogunate... now I am starting to add some naginata samurais to the mix whil I try to take the final 20 regions to win my domination campaign.

03-29-2011, 21:54
Interesting. I'm currently operating two full-stack armies, and I went with pretty much all samurais--no ashigaru. (One or two warrior monks in each stack, and a ninja unit.) Any reason that this isn't a good idea? So far, I haven't run into money troubles.

03-29-2011, 22:10
Any reason that this isn't a good idea?
Hey, if you've got the income and don't have any cash flow problems, an all-samurai army makes sense. However, I find mid-campaign that anything less that three effective forces is problematic. Not including any ashigaru minders you leave behind to keep an eye on things. And most folks would have a hard time supporting three all-samurai stacks marauding around the middle of Japan.

Lord Benihana
03-29-2011, 22:13
Once you get north of Kyoto, there is a really nice bottle neck that - if you can hold it - allows you to only have to worry about enemies to the south of Kyoto... My 2 super armies are doing really well once I consolidated the southern 1/2 of Japan :)

03-29-2011, 22:31
I generally roll with the following


4x Katana Samurai
2x Yari Samurai
Naganita Samurai
No-Dachi Samurai
2x Bow Samurai
3x Bow Ashigaru
4x Yari Ashigaru
2x Light Cavalry

4x No Dachi Samurai
2x Katana Samurai
2x Naginata Samurai
2x Yari Samurai
2x Yari Ashigaru
3x Bow Ashigaru
2x Light Cavalry
Yari Cavalry
Katana Cavalry

Early armies regardless

4x Yari Ashigaru
3x Bow Ashigaru
2-4 melee samurai (whatever I can muster).

03-30-2011, 00:22
Just finished a Tokugawa campaign. The strategic position required more stacks than I can finance if I went all samurai, so my armies are based on an expendable core of about 5 yari ashis and 4-6 bow ashis, with a mix of light/yari cav and flavour-of-the-month foot samurai.

The Date AI fields some rather terrifying stacks of half katana and half bow samurai.

03-30-2011, 04:39
I exclusively use yari ashigaru and bow ashigaru (well, and generals), usually with 10 bow ashigaru and the rest generals and yari ashigaru.

Once I capture an ideal province - one with a Blacksmith, upgraded Castle, and some buildings, I replace the Yari Ashigaru with Naginata Samurai, but only as necessary. I typically have my Generals make a beeline for Ashigaru Commander skill.

Investing in building my own Naginata Samurai town would just be a waste. Building an encampment is pretty much the most I'll do, once I get the right province.

This is pretty much regardless of which clan I'm playing as. Even as Takeda or Date or Uesegi, I would still go for Naginata Samurai as the idea. Everything else is just too situational, weak, slow, etc. Would like to find a good way to incorporate a lot of Matchlocks, but hasn't worked out yet

03-30-2011, 05:24
In early game I never "rush" for samurai units due to recruitment time and cost. But later on I opt for balanced army of katana+yari samurai, but usually keep my archers as ashigaru, giving emphasis to the number of arrows rather than firing speed or accuracy (accuracy is of course improved by encampments and fletchers).
Then to top it all off my superior army composition, which I spend time acquiring and use to capture Kyoto, has 2-4 units of finest yari cavalry with incredible charge bonuses. These are just for the reason that I circle around my enemies and then charge through their archers. Their charge is actually so good that I can make them run through enemy archer unit with little to no casualties, enemy is left with more than 35% losses and I'm already preparing for the next charge.
Wedge formation is of course a must for this strategy.

03-30-2011, 11:47
In my first campaign, with the Date, once I could afford the time and had enough tech and buildings, my armies were basically all samurai. Was rather expensive though.

1 general, 2 cavalry, 3-4 samurai archers, 6 naginata, 4 no dachi, 3-4 katana, though sometimes even less archers. In fact, I got a message/achievement saying that I used so many swords units I got some sort of bonus or something, and one saying that I should train more archers. My only problem was when the enemy had lots of archers on a hill/castle and I was attacking. Hello night attacks.

I made mincemeat out of plenty of ashigaru armies, sometimes 2 at once. The Takeda, once they lost their home provinces, were about 90% ashigaru.

In my new Shimazu campaign, it's a small army of katanas VS full stacks of ashigaru. For financial reasons (18 turns, 2 provinces) I might have to include ashis to bulk out things. The big problem with the samurai units, is, if you have a sudden invasion, they rarely get trained in time.

al Roumi
03-30-2011, 12:11
I've been using what I think are pretty balanced forces in my Chosokabe campaign. Having conquered the southern Islands and now Honshu just beyond Kyoto, I have 4 and soon 5 full stacks. I'm just now building "consolidated land" farms and am running a 4.5-5k profit each year.

Starting with predominantly Ashigaru forces, I now use a roughly even split. The Ashigare are what I put in harms way most, Samurai are only commited at critical points of the battle. As Chosokabe I evidently have a lot of archers so my usual army is something like:

4 Samurai archers (deployed behind spear wall)
4 Ashigaru archers (deployed as skirmishers, falling behind the spear wall as combat is joined)
4 Yari Ashigaru (my "fixing" force)
2 Yari Samurai (deployed behind and to the side of the Yari Ashigaru line)
2 Naginata Samurai/Monks -or (rarely) Katana Samurai
2 Yari Cavalry
1 (either) mangonel or bomb throwers

Usually, the AI will charge me. I ensure this by either campaign map positioning of my force to fight a defensive battle, or prompting the enemy to advance by engaging and withdrawing my skirmishers. A mangonel can help prompt the enemy to attack from further away.

The objective of my tactics is to draw the enemy into range of my samurai archers and onto the spears of my Yari ashigaru wall. Usually the mellee doesn't go so well for the charging units which leaves my Yari Ashigaru to charge the enemy archers (who normaly stay behind their melee infantry as it charges) while my Cavalry and Yari Samurai flank and engage them before running the routers down (which my general also gets involved in).

The most challenging battles i've had are when the enemy force consists of more archers than mine and/or the enemy army refuses to engage. In these cases, I try to focus my fire on a portion of the enemy line and roll the line up with my Naginata, Yari Samurai and cavalry.

I've yet to even recruit matchlock troops but I can't imagine having more than 2 in the above line up. I'd probably swap them for some Yumi Ashigaru.

Bomb throwers are fun, if often dangerous to my own troops. I've mostly had them standing right behind my Yari Ashigaru line so that their minimum range is beyond the front of my line. I'm not sure how much this improves the safety of my troops in practice...

I also try to swap out mangonels and bomb throwers in my armies that attack and defend castles. Mangonels are great in siege attack, bomb throwers excellent in siege defence. Mangonels slow my armies down but are more useful to my open battlefield tactics.

03-30-2011, 14:12
A lot of Missiles because missiles are OP
Naginata or a mix of Katana and Yari.