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Thread: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

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    A Veteran Wargamer Member kiwitt's Avatar
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    Default Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    A question for people who have played STW/MTW/RTW.

    Are the samurai the best swordsmen in any of the above games ?

    In Medieval, you've got the JHI as the best infantry unit. I was wondering whether the Samurai in STW are even better.
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    Chief Sniffer Senior Member ichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Pumped up Warrior Monks seem to do quite well. Vulnerable to arrows unless armored, but otherwise pretty tough.

    Towards the end of one game I had built the Temple Complex, the highest upgrade building, in a province that also made gold armor and weapons. I took the Monks from that province and gave them to an 8 star gen, went up against the Hojo Horde. In the woods they made a lot of dogfood out of the Hojo cav.

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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    STW is a bit different to the rest.

    Less unit variety while better balance.

    Samurai are deadly and you can only build them after triggering the great swordsman event (rather easy if you know what to do).

    But the units overall are much more paper-scissor-stone balanced.

    Spears beat Cav beat Sword beat Spears.

    But for best swordsman it has to go to the sword saint. A unit of one that is a sword machine.
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    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    It's a bit difficult to compare units between the games (I play STW and MTW). The primary swordsman in STW is the No Dachi unit. They don't use shields (no units in STW use shields ... well, in the Mongol Invasions campaign, the Korean Skirmishers do). Thus, MTW swordsmen have better defense statistics than do No Dachi. No Dachi do not do well against cavalry units at all, but tear spear and archer units of similar honor (valor in MTW) to shreds. No Dachi have an excellent attack rating, poor defense rating, and are very vulnerable to missle fire of any kind.

    The Kensai is an elite unit consisting of a single warrior. It is expensive to produce, but stat-wise it is far superior to any other individual warrior. One Kensai can kill over a hundred men in a battle if used carefully. They are vulnerable to musket fire however, and this is how I usually deal with them. Some MP players will use a low honor Kensai as general (I don't because mine tend to get shot, and I prefer a cav gen for mobility, usually). Because their kill rate is so high, a Kensai gen can gain several honor points in the course of a single battle (thus improving their stats during combat).

    Statwise, Warrior Monks are almost identical to No Dachi. The primary differences are in defense value (base of 2, as opposed to the No Dachi's base -2, at least in the original stats), and that they inflict a moral penalty of -2 to any unit they target as long as that unit doesn't belong to a Christian army. In Shogun MP, this last comment is irrelevant as all armies are considered to be Buddhist. I've heard it said that Warrior Monks are a bit slower than No Dachi (perhaps in their charge speed), but I'd have to look at the stats to be sure. I attribute the Warrior Monk's superior defense value to the fact that they use Naginata as a weapon, which is defensive by nature and has a longer reach than the large no dachi sword. However, the monk's defense rating is no where near that of the Naginata Infantry unit's (a base of 6 in the original stats), so I imagine them to use Nagimaki instead of naginata (essentially a similar weapon, but with a shorter shaft). It would have been interesting if the polearm bonuses used in MTW were applied to the naginata/nagimaki in STW. This would have made the monk and naginata units much more deadly (which would have required additional balancing so as not to invalidate other unit types).

    The Battlefield Ninja units use swords for melee. They are an elite unit consisting of 12 men, very similar to the muslim Hashishin in MTW. They are second only to Kensai in melee combat effectiveness man for man, but are easily defeated in open combat by monks and no dachi. Because of their high cost and the fact that they can be seen moving in MP, they are rarely used (except on the Yamato map ). They cannot be seen until they attack against the AI however, and can be very effective in a campaign if used creatively.

    Cavalry Archers use swords for melee, but like in MTW, it is not usually wise to use them in hand-to-hand combat, except when chasing down routers. This is doubly so in MP, as it's usually cost-ineffective to bring Cav Archers with honor exceeding 1. This makes them flighty, and they tend to run quickly if caught in a melee skirmish. In SP campaigns however, you'll often have Cav Archers with upgraded armor and honor of 3-5 under a good general. These can be used to melee-attack ranged units in particular without risking an early rout. Samurai units routing (as opposed to peasant ashigaru) is not something you want to happen, as it affects the morale of all nearby samurai and ashigaru units detrimentally.

    Finally, Heavy Cavalry use swords in STW. This heavily armored unit is expensive, but pretty sturdy. Their main nemeses are Yari Cavalry and Yari Samurai. Heavy cav are slow compared to the other cav types, both in movement, charging, and manuevering. Because of this and their high cost, most MP players tend to favor Naginata Cavalry for assault. Those that bring Heavy Cav most often use them in supporting roles when attacking, or for protecting the musket line.

    In summary, I don't think it's practical to compare swordsmen across the boundaries of the games. They were designed within the context of their historical setting, and additional stat detail was applied in MTW. I think if you could match No Dachi against the better-armored and shielded MTW swordsmen, they would lose, despite their arguably superior skill. It would be a case of "technology" overriding ability.
    Last edited by Togakure; 04-22-2005 at 07:11. Reason: changed Turkish to muslim re: Hashishin
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    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Quote Originally Posted by TogakureOjonin
    they inflict a moral penalty of -2 to any unit they target as long as that unit doesn't belong to a Christian army
    Aha, so what you're saying is that in a straight fight between a Shogun army and a Medieval army, the moral penalty inflicted by the Warrior Monks wouldn't be an issue because there are no Buddhist factions in Medieval. HOWEVER, a unit of Christian fanatics, Knights Templar would be able to inflict damage on any Christian factions in Shogun. Also the Inquisitors could also finish off any troublesome Christian characters on the strategy map.
    Such a meeting would probably result in a very high number of casualties due to arrow fire. A unit of longbows would tear through any Shogun foot unit, due to their total lack of shielding and in many cases armour. At the same time, the superior Samurai bows would also inflict heavy casualties on non heavily armoured or shielded Medieval troops.

    Now theres an idea for a mod, Medieval vs Shogun.
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    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    If you compare directly with the unitstats in STW and MTW then the dreaded Warrior Monk has same combat power as Feudal Men at Arms so not that good really.

    You would definitely need to do some statchanges for the STW units if you want them to be any good compared to MTW units.


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    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Khalifah
    ... Now theres an idea for a mod, Medieval vs Shogun. ...
    Heh, yeah I've always thought it would be interesting to create an "alternate history" mod where it was the Japanese instead of the Mongols that came rampaging west with interests in dominating the known world. There doesn't seem to be nearly as much interest in developing mods that aren't "historically accurate," (sic) however. Oh well, it's a neat idea.
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    A Veteran Wargamer Member kiwitt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Thanks for that. I will try to find a second-hand copy of STW Warlords Edition.

    Maybe some-one could add "mercenary" samurai (i.e. ronin) in one of the Eastern Provinces, after the mongol invasion. (i.e. the stories of the west have reached Japan, and some adventurers have come to explore. And if they are "Ronin", the masterless Samurai seems apt after the Shogun battles.
    Last edited by kiwitt; 04-19-2005 at 23:17.
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    Cellular Microbiologist Member SpencerH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Its been quite a while since I played STW-MI but I dont remember "the great swordsman event" or "the Kensai".
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    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    The Legendary Swordsman event occurs when an individual warrior gains a certain amount of honor in battle (I don't remember exactly how much). A really cool video of a samurai performing a kenjutsu kata plays (he's inside a dojo with a misty outdoor view in the background). This event occured in the original STW as well as in WE/MI. Once this event was triggered, you could build a Sword Dojo and its subsequent improved versions, and could train No Dachi swordsmen once it was completed.

    The Kensai unit was introduced in STW WE/MI, so if you played the original then you wouldn't have seen it.
    Last edited by Togakure; 04-21-2005 at 20:38.
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    Cellular Microbiologist Member SpencerH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Thanks for that. I must've seen it since I certainly built No Dachi but I never played any mods.
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    A Veteran Wargamer Member kiwitt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Thanks TogakureOjonin. I must really get a copy of this game now.
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    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Best thing about Samurai in STW, IMO, is the Samurai archer. Far superior in ranged lethality to the MTW archer, when you command them to draw their swords, they are only marginally inferior to the spear armed yari samurai. With only a little extra in their favour - height, numbers, a good leader etc - they can win in close combat. Protected by spears, they very efficient counters to dangerous enemy foes like No-Dachi, monks and cavalry. They make bridge battles particularly murderous.

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    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Oops ... all that writing and I did forget to mention Yumi Samurai ... . Thanks SimonAppleton, for adding this in.

    Yes, Samurai Archers can be very useful in SP campaigns in particular because you end up producing them with good upgrades and base honor. In MP, because of their base cost, it is expensive to upgrade them to the point where they melee well. As most Yari Samurai and No Dachi are in the H5-H6 range (monks H3-H4), you'd have to upgrade archers significantly to get them to the point where they could compete effectively with these. Hence, most use them strictly for ranged capability when they use them at all. They will outshoot muskets 1v1--until their ammo runs out. Then they are only useful in filling gaps in an emergency, and flanking weak or wavering units (and the remaining muskets will mow them down if left on the front line without arrows, as muskets almost never run out of ammo in a battle).

    Muskies are favored in MP, though many bring 1 or 2 archers to complement their ranged line (of 4 muskets). They can shoot over the heads of units in front of them, whereas muskets cannot, so this can be a handy ability in many situations.
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    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Just a quick point TogakureOjonin, I think Hashishin are muslim wide, rather than Turk specific. I could be wrong though.

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    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    I think you are right. There is a little announcement box that comes up early in the Egyptian campaign, describing the Hashishin. I've never built them. The infrastructure required is up there, and I just haven't had the need for them when playing the Egyptians (I haven't played a Turk campaign yet). Good to point that out, thanks.
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Quote Originally Posted by TogakureOjonin
    Yes, Samurai Archers can be very useful in SP campaigns in particular because you end up producing them with good upgrades and base honor. In MP, because of their base cost, it is expensive to upgrade them to the point where they melee well.

    Muskies are favored in MP, though many bring 1 or 2 archers to complement their ranged line (of 4 muskets). They can shoot over the heads of units in front of them, whereas muskets cannot, so this can be a handy ability in many situations.
    Samurai Archers in original STW were better in melee than what they are in WE/MI. In addition, guns were much weaker in original STW, and they didn't fire at all if it rained. In MP, there were players who were quite good at using Samurai Archers in melee, and they didn't like the weakening of the unit in WE/MI. It had been turned exclusively into a shooter, and had to go up against guns that had increased 300% in firepower.

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    A Veteran Wargamer Member kiwitt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    I have found a second hand copy of STW+MI and am bidding for it now. Wish me luck in getting it.
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    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Puzz3D
    Samurai Archers in original STW were better in melee than what they are in WE/MI. In addition, guns were much weaker in original STW, and they didn't fire at all if it rained. In MP, there were players who were quite good at using Samurai Archers in melee, and they didn't like the weakening of the unit in WE/MI. It had been turned exclusively into a shooter, and had to go up against guns that had increased 300% in firepower.
    I haven't played the original STW since WE/MI came out, but the more I hear about it, the more I think I need to dig it up and try some custom battles with it to experience the differences.

    I very rarely use guns in campaigns, even with WE/MI, as archers are so prolific, and effective in both ranged and melee roles at the honor and upgrade levels at which you tend to find them. When I first played MP I tried using archers, but the muskets everyone brought just shredded me once I ran out of arrows, so I quickly converted over to musks in order to survive a battle.

    Yes I agree, the Samurai Archer is underpowered and overshadowed severely by hyper-powerful muskets in 1.02. I played a few "muskets disallowed" games this week (archers, CA only for ranged), and they were a refreshing contrast to the typical 1.02 battle. I tend to use archers a lot more when using the 1.03 stat.

    Interesting to know that WE/MI muskets are 300%stronger than those in the original STW. Thanks for commenting, Puzz3D.

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    Cool Kiwitt . Maybe you will try MP with us Shogun Diehards sometime (Toga hopes ...)? Whatever the case, have lots of fun with it. I've definitely gotten my money's worth.
    Last edited by Togakure; 04-22-2005 at 22:55.
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    A Veteran Wargamer Member kiwitt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Looks like, I won the Auction. I'll be picking it up soon. I give you guys a review. NOTE: I am a strong MTW fan, but have always had a soft spot for the "Samurai" honour.

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    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Are there any plans afoot to bring out Shogun Total War using the Rome engine? As a mod obiviously. I know there is a Sengoku Jidai mod, but that seems to be going down the 'realism' root, which is a disapointment because I thought the simplicity of Shogun made it a far superior gaming experience to the later games which are overloaded with units.

    Bring back Shogun. Same units, same provinces, same buildings! Same raw strategic combat.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Duke John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Well, you already provided a plug for Sengoku Jidai, so I thought why not explain it a bit more. While we strive for realism it actually means more simplicity. The whole techtree concept and 100+ units is alot of mumbo jumbo to give players more variety. I think that it's just a lazy and easy way out since developers only make the game lasting by giving players one little bite of a cookie at a time.

    Really if you want simplicity then keep the Sengoku Jidai mod in mind.

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    Lord of the House Flies Member Al Khalifah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Ah, thanks Duke. I guess I kind of made my opinion without looking too deeply into the issue. I just got a bit scared because there seemed to be a lot of threads where people were arguing how long a Yari should be (18ft 6 ridiculous! everyone knows they were 18ft 61/2 etc) and I thought it was going down that road of over realism in the place of game play. My mistake, let me explain.

    I'm not trying to say that I despise realism in games. I hated all the stupid head hurling and screaching women units in Rome, they really let the game down. I love a highly realistic game experience as long as the realism doesn't get in the way of the gameplay. Too many units can mean I don't have a clue what the units in my army actually do, let alone the ones in the enemy army. They can also lead to the "aha... I slaughtered your 1,000,000 Persian spearmen because my ultra-unique-mega-Suma-Susa-Sumo-Samurai with +10 armour +10 attack and +20 magic........ I must be the greatest strategic mind in the history of the world" effect. I prefer the chess-style/rock-paper-scissors style of Shogun, where non of the units ever really became obsolete because each one was the master of another. They forced you to think about terrain and army composition.

    And at the end of the day, why bother making a war-game too realistic anyway. I'm only going to ignore the constraints of historical warfare anyway and most likely so is the AI. If I play the Confederates at Gettysburg, I'm not going to lose because it would be unrealistic not to.

    I'm still awaiting the mod very keenly because I love the oriental style of warfare. Its on my list along with Blue Lotus. Just don't worry too much about whether the Hojo should be able to have 18ft yari before the Summer of 1536 and after the Autumn of 1542. Go for the gameplay and you can never go wrong.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Duke John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Ah now I see what you mean. Discussing the length of a yari is indeed far from interesting/exciting to a normal person. But the trick for modders/developers is to make a game in which that kind of detail isn't detracting from gameplay. Once the Sengoku Jidai mod is finished you will not notice that we have discussed the length of a yari, but hopefully you will notice the love for samurai warfare that has gone into it.

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    A Veteran Wargamer Member kiwitt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    I have downloaded all the patches for STW including the Statswapper2.0 file. Does this include the 1.05 stats ?
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    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    There are recent threads in the Sword Dojo about this, several started by Hellas1. I've explained about the patches and swappers etc. in them. There are several so you may have to bounce a bit, but the info's there.
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    A Veteran Wargamer Member kiwitt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Yes I have been bouncing around in Sword Dojo. I am looking forward to playing it.
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    Member Member Cha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    If you consider the stats of the units in the game then STW: WE has the strongest army.

    -Musketeers who are protected by samurai units in STW: WE can wipe out any army from MTW and RTW. But STW: WE is a different time from MTW and RTW so that would be an unfair technological advantage.
    -The samurai archer's range was increased in the expansion for the balance of the game. The guns originally had a longer range than the archers.
    In additon to that, the samurai archer is good at a melee battle when compared to other archers.
    -The units of the samurai's cavalry, infantry, and firing units all had the same number of men while it was different in MTW. The cavalry units of MTW have less numbers of men. This makes the samurai's cavalry cheaper than the cavalry in MTW. The samurai's army wasn't like that in reality but it feels good to have a lot of cavalry.
    -The samurai unit doesn't lose morale points when outnumbered. I've beaten two players with only 2 musketeer, 1 yari samurai, and 1 cavalry unit left. One of my musketeer units had only 9 men left.
    -The Korean units had archers with compact bows and a powerful navy but they didn't appear in STW: WE. You can see Korean ships in a few maps but they have no effect to the battle. These ships should have catapults.
    Korean melee units couldn't fight well. After Korea was unified the Koreans forgot how to fight well in a melee battle. Korea had good cavalry and infantry during a time period equivalent to the later era of RTW and the Early Period of MTW. After that, Korea became a sad fighting force.

    -An advantage that MTW has is that MTW units will try to avoid enemy units when they rout. This gives them a better chance to rally.
    -The parvise arbalesters in MTW are missile units with good defense. If it wasn't for Shogun's musketeers, parvise arbalesters would be a big threat to the samurai.
    Last edited by Cha; 04-26-2005 at 07:27.

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    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    Good information. The only point that I disagree with is about being outnumbered affecting morale. According to the strat guide, and having been in so many situations where I watched morale drop because my guys were outnumbered (usually followed by a mass route and defeat), I think being outnumbered does affect morale somewhat. Perhaps not as much as in MTW/VI.
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    Member Member Cha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Samurai in STW ... how good are they ?

    I can beat you in STW!
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