Lately i have been watching some replays from a japanese site and i found a very interesting japanese FI. This strat is quite popular in the asian community and some even made it to brigadier with it. First of all, why would anyone fi with japan:
- consulate units auto upgrade (besteiros / those clubs)
- japan lategame is maybe strongest of all civs
- port consulate makes aging / buildings cheaper which helps alot
- japan has awesome age4 shipments, and they can even send them twice
- japanese wonders are awesome, in age4 you get the big shrine which boosts your shrines, the golden pavillion who boosts atk of all units and the daimyo palace where u can retrain daimyo's and makes units cheaper / train faster. Huge bonusses.
Most critical cards are in this deck. Since it is a strat used by different players most have some slight variations in their deck. Notice there are no villie cards in the deck, we are going for 3 tc boom + shrines to get eco.
Editor note: The original deck by bart was lost, this is the deck I use nowadays, it contains enough card to transition into a standard game if the FI plan is failing. Bart's deck had a few different cards, most notably no 14 ashi/8 nagi if I recall correctly.
The build order
Japan is quite hard in the beginning since you need to task 6 vills on different crates or berries, control 2 explorers and depending if the map has berries control 2 orchard wagons. Always go scout with at least 1 orchard wagon. But dont go too far from tc, you dont want it getting killed, just scout some area behind tc or something.
Age1, u either start with 200 w or 300 w in both cases u want to get a discovery consulate to ally with the portuguese. With a 300w start you can chop 6 wood and start building the consulate immediately, ally with ports and make ur first shrine for 106 wood. With a 200 wood start you need to put more ppl on wood and you just make the first shrine for 125 wood and then chop the rest. Always be looking for wood treasures or other treasures, you can use the xp, it doesnt matter if you age a bit later.
Since this is a turtle strat first card is sumptuary laws. This trickle will help you a lot.
As soon as you have collected 680 food, go build the big shrine with 1 vill, try to keep constant villie production from tc so keep 6 vills on food, put the rest + the shrines on wood.
Make a market first and research first wood/food upgrades. Try to place building defensively creating a building wall.
By now you should be able to send your 2nd shipment, send heavenly kami, and wait for it to arrive before you start spamming shrines. Try to build shrines in defensive locations since you aren't able to defend them.
In age2 you got a shipment ready from the xp from the shrine spam, if you play vs an aggressive civ or rush send Enlist Irregulars, if you play vs a boom send 600 gold. depending on how aggressive the opponent is you can spam shrines till about 80-150 pop space. If you are done spamming shrines move vills from wood to food (dont forget 2nd food upg at market) and put the shrines on gold. Watch the amount of export you have, if you reach 400 you will be able to send the 7 besteiros which are your main defence for a while.
Soon you will have 1020 food and 1000 gold, (try to play around a bit so you get those numbers simultaneously) then its time to task 8 vills on the golden pavilion wonder to age asap. For defence you got the besteiros, mm from tc, tc fire
Now you get 6 yumi from ageup to add to your defences. Send 1000 wood and keep vills on food maybe some on gold and try to get 1700 food / 1200 gold to age to age4.
Collect the 1000 wood if it arrives asap and make 2 tc's (510w) from it in defensive locations ( use vills or explorers), next shipment in age3 can either be 1000 wood again or if you dont feel safe Intervention for more besteiros.
If possible you can now start training vills from 3 tc's
You get a lot of experience from reaching age4, so you probably got 2 shipments ready, send the age4 shogun followed by 4 flaming arrows twice. If possible try to do the tempo reforms upgrade (500f, 500 w, 500g) on the shrines, do the wood upgrades on the market. Your orchards run out by now so you have to transfer to mills, maybe you need to put the shrines on food for a while, if possible keep making vills from 3 tc's, make a barracks to do the yumi upgrades and keep your army in a defensive location (between 3 cm tc's your pretty safe)
Now the fun part start, make ur daimyo/shougn shipment delivery point and put them on stand ground mode, and keep them behind your army at all time. Ally with japanese on the consulate and research bushidos, and get some clubs. Now you can start training units from the daimyo/shogun, go for yumi/clubs/ flaming arrow combo and keep training units in the middle of a battle. Try to make nice batches of 10
Cards you might wanna send now:
Way of the bow (20 range yumi ^^)
Yumi atk (^^)
Bakufu (faster training from daimyo)
2 castle card (if you need to turtle harder , they auto upgrade)
Mortar range (these things blast away all)
16 yumi (nothing more funny then receiving 16 yumi in the middle of a battle at your daimyo)
The idea is to keep defensive between the 3 tc's untill you get a very strong army and then move out. With 75 vills, 200 pop space shrines you will have a very strong eco while with the daimyo/shogun army you will rip through anything. Hardest point is getting there. Yumi/clubs costs mainly food/wood while spamming flaming arrows costs little bit of wood and gold.
Always try to fight under tc fire, and time the MM with units you get, try to keep 10 vills in tc and put more in if he might target them. Try to trap him with mm, remember the left one is anticav, the right one is anti inf. Use extra unit shipments if needed, rebuild tc's if needed
for this strat its important to control your units in control groups, my setup:
1: ranged infantry (yumi, besteiros)
2: heavy infantry (clubs maybe ashi from shipment or mm)
3: cav (i dont have cav though)
4: flaming arrows
5: daimyo/shogun ( keep these guys alive!)
6: 3 TC's (i do select 6 and click vill to start training 3 vills a time)
http://aoe3.heavengames.com/downloads/s ... ileid=3034
vs otto ff
vs india 10/10 into semi ff
vs a brit constant pressure + boom
vs a port xbow/pike into fi
vs aztec(1) rush
vs aztec(2) pressure into fp boom and later seaboom
vs china(1) ff
vs china(2) 300 food rush
Hf laming !