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ESOC Maps Team
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ESO: Durokan

12 Jun 2015, 21:28

*Disclaimer* This guide is an older one (2010), only the late double barracks build is still viable according to h2O

Japanese, An Introduction
This guide is going to take you through what I view to be the civilization that I have the most in depth understanding of. At times this guide will be very specific and it is essential that you do not overlook the significance of anything stated in this guide. If I did not think that it was a valuable asset to your Japan game play then I would have left it out of this guide. That being said, I hope that this guide will bring people to a more complete understanding of just how complicated this civilization is and just how much optimization goes into real "Japan Laming".

I would also like to take a moment to introduce how you should view Japan. The goal of the civilization is to take the biggest economic lead that you possibly can without losing the game. Let's say you perform the deck check trick. If you have noticed he has sent 2 villagers and you sent have kami, you already have priceless information on what he will be opting to do. From this point on, you know that all you need to do to win is keep your shrine count up and not over do it. You will continue to watch his cards. If he sends 600 wood, then you send 600 wood and play the harassment game. But if you see a military shipment or a fast Japanese consulate, you know that you want to be playing very defensive. Don't feel like losing those 2 shrines you have on distant hunt is going to cost you the game, because odds are you will be entering the early game with almost double the economy of your opponent just by your first 2 card decisions alone. You need a very short window of time for that to kick in and you're set.

With other civilizations where this trick cannot be used, one can make some assumptions such as the first card with all European civs is 3 villagers. If they do not send this then you simply smile to yourself and take a free advantage in the early game. Do not go out of your way to adapt to unorthodoxy in a person's play. The main adaption you will be making is how much economy you opt to get and when.

Useful Techniques

This section of the guide might be more suited for every match-up because these tricks can be useful to any player. I will be referencing these tricks throughout the guide and I believe some formal definition of what exactly these tricks are could go a long way in the reader's understanding of the guide.

How to not lose a game you have won

This is a skill set people often lack. When most players are in the lead they get excited and start to do stupid things. The right way to play as you take the lead is to think to secure the lead. Make him click the resign button; don't try to destroy all of his buildings. Here are some things to do while in the lead that will keep you there.

1. Use the map control you have to take natural resources longer; don't let him hunt or mine gold. Starving is very, very strong in Age of Empires 3.

2. Don't engage in fights you're not absolutely certain you will win. Good players will try to force you into fights if they are desperate and pinned. Even if the fight looks good, it can't hurt to pull back if you really are that far ahead. 5 more units out of a stable or barracks could tip the fight and give him a chance.

3. When you're in the lead grab more of an economic advantage. Economy is long term, army is short term. If you're ahead you can plan for the long term, so you should do it.

The Deck Check Trick
This was mentioned above. It is specific to having a Japanese opponent. One of the things that is crucial while playing Japan is using your explorers as an integral part of constructing your economy. This often leaves your scouting lackluster at best. One of the tricks in the mirror to get around this is deck checking. When an opponent sends a card that is offered 2 times, the 2x disappears in the upper right hand corner. This is visible by the other player if they simply check the deck for the missing 2x. Combining this trick with knowledge of what cards are viable means you can know exactly what card order your opponent is going for.

I want to take a moment to tell you what you can learn from deck checking for age 1 and age 2. In Age 1 if the opponent opted for 3 boats, 2 villagers, or if both the 2x remain, then the only good choice that remains is Heavenly Kami. If the opponent sends 300 wood, or any other card, you're just automatically ahead anyway. In Age 2 you can see if a 2x is missing from 600 wood, 4 villagers, unit shipments, boat shipments, and orchard wagons. If nothing is missing, odds are high they sent a Daimyo which means some sort of all in rush is the only chance they will have for victory. Checking the orchard rickshaws when you are low on food can let you know if your opponent may have miss played and went late on their orchards. During this window of time they will have almost no military production so you can use this to make a strong timing push.

The card order, an explanation
Many people may wonder why the card order is so strict for the build orders I present. There are a few hard constraints on the card selection that should be obvious.

1. You need 2 orchard wagons. If you don't send this card you cannot gather food without spending thousands of wood on mills and upgrades.

2. You need to upgrade your units. Having weaker units just doesn't work. If someone is ahead of you in upgrades, you don't fight.

3. You need Heavenly Kami. Every other age 1 card offers less in resources gathered and spent. There is no reason to send any other card.

This all being factored in we have the following.
Kami, X, X, X, X, X Orchard rickshaw.

Notice we only have 5 card choices between Kami and the time we need the wagons. During this time you will need to fill two of those with upgrades. This leaves 3 slots remaining. The choice becomes which way you will use those 3 to take an economic lead. Obviously the goal of Japan is to take an economic lead and ride it to victory. This is why we start with the economy cards, holding off on those key upgrades until the final moments.

Villager Fighting
This is a revolution that really made my Japan play unstoppable when other people tried to counter with all in rushes. The idea is to use your villagers in combat that is near a source of garrison. The 3 key concepts of this are to "jam" your villagers in between counter units to draw fire, re garrison low hp workers to prevent real economic loss, and to make sure your villagers are in hand attack to increase damage output.

Steps to a successful villager fight
1. Bait the enemy army near your town center and garrison as many villagers as needed
2. Set the rally point to a location that will block, say the enemy pikes from hitting your cavalry, or keep the enemy cavalry from engaging on your skirmishers, or a position that will put his mass of crossbows in hand attack.
3. This is the tricky part. You want to unload now, but you want to reload workers that did not come out on the right part of the town center. Many works will come out in the back and on the sides relative to where you want, you need to re-garrison those workers and then dump them out again and repeat until your re-garrison only puts 10 workers in side. This creates a giant unified blob of villagers that are going to punch for 10 damage each and soak up at least 150 hp of damage
4. Micro the battle by making sure that your units are not fighting direct counters and that workers are always punching while popping low ones into the town center. The main focus is on the workers they gain the most from babysitting.


This technique makes you win a battle that you at best would have lost your whole army, with just enough of theirs left to let them run away happy with the economic damage they did from garrisoning 20-25 villagers of yours. I cannot stress the importance of this technique enough. The ability to villager fight is game changing and I have won countless games that I would have otherwise lost to all in's with this ability.

Cover mode Clubs
This is a simple idea, when you are fighting ranged units vs ranged units and need to make up ground, send your clubs into the fight and put them in cover mode. Their hand resist turns to ranged resist, and they will turn the battle for you if your opponent does not micromanage well. Since this is counterable, it's more of a last ditch effort than a go-to strategy at the highest level of play.

House fighting
This is another way to make your opponent have to play as well as you to keep up. You continually bait attacks on a building (shrine) with your musketeers, making sure to retreat if the enemy gets in range. This technique makes your opponent have to constantly look at his army, and if you're the better player you're going to come out ahead in more of these exchanges every time. This is an example of creating multiple points of conflict for the opponents attention.

Building placement
There are 2 competing considerations when placing buildings in your base.

1. Make sure you have your economy as sheltered as possible.
2. Make sure that you have room to drop a new orchard rickshaw.

Depending on the match-up, 1 make become more important than 2. If you know the other civilization wants to rush you, then obviously you don't need to worry about getting new orchard rickshaws since you will probably know if you have won before ever running out of your original berries.

Here's an example of a solid placement when you're not under too much pressure. If you're under a lot of pressure then everything needs to just get a little closer to the tc.


Japanese Exploration
This is not so much a trick as it is needed for every strategy in the Japanese arsenal. When you explore you need to know that your explorers are the biggest way you can influence your economic start. Japan is one of only a few civilizations that can build villagers while aging and can use their explorers to build economy (shrines). These two things combine and make your explorers your tools to either making a sub 4 minute age up or aging up at 5 minutes with a major score deficit.

The first thing you want to do is send those explorers out to look for key treasures. The two resources of choice are wood and food. You need to know the map. Know what treasures can come up and find the ones that are going to offer the biggest reward with the least time to pick them up. Here is the order of importance:

1. Villager guarded by 5 coyote, CDB by 4 wolfs. (You can get the best treasure in the game faster than anyone else with divine strike).
2. Wolf/cat like animal guarding wood/food treasures in any numbers. (best way to jump start aging is a 60 wood treasure or a 90 food treasure).
3.The rare 205 or 190 food treasure guarded by infinite monkeys (same reason as 1 you get this fast).
4. In base treasures that are food /wood based
5. In base coin/XP based treasures (Yes even the free beaver pelts worth 30-50 coin take a back seat to finding food and wood on the map). You can always teleport back home instantly or use a villager to pick up the beavers if your opponent is in your base, and while he is racing that villager for 30 coin you can smile to yourself as you confidently take a villager treasure.

The next thing to think about is Shrining. When you're in that crucial phase of the game where you're advancing to age 2 and dropping as many shrines as possible, you want to make sure that your explorers are only making shrines that have 3 or 4 animals around and that they are not both working close to each other. This makes it so you can almost alternate, while one is building the other can be moving to the next patch of animals so right when you get that 75 wood you are dropping another "meaningful" shrine on the map.

If you're not shrine booming then the emphasis is more on positioning the few shrines you have so that they are far away from conflicts or safely guarded by your army/tc. This means that if you're facing that irritating all in crossbow pike rush, your houses are almost in the back of his base so that he has to choose to fight at your town center or run all the way around to kill one shrine. These choices are killer for the opponent and often put you ahead.

The market order
When you get a market this is simply a list of the cost and order of the techs you will be getting. The reason behind going food first is because you have the most villagers gathering food at the time you start market upgrading. For 5 and 6 it depends on where you are in your unit production cycle and how crucial that army is. If you have a really slow start (Explorers didn't get much done) often times the level 2 all upgrade is what should be delayed since it is rather costly.
1. Level 1 food: 25 W 25 G
2. Level 2 food: 65 W 65 G
3. Level 1 All: 50 F 50 W 50 G
4. Level 1 Mining: 40 F 40 G
5/6. Level 2 Mining/Level 2 All: 100 F 100 W/ 150 F 150 W 150 G

How to make units properly
This applies to anytime you are making the same unit from multiple production buildings. Always keep the buildings synced. If you accidentally start making a unit from only one facility or somehow there is an imbalance in production, fix it as soon as possible. Syncing production may feel like you are losing productivity but you lose a lot more of your time trying to figure out which barracks is almost done, or am I over queuing one barracks, etc. For example if you try to make an xbow batch from 2 raxes and you have 70 food 80 wood and only one starts, cancel it and wait until you can start a full group, or if you have 2 xbow queued at one barracks and 1 at another, cancel one. The problem is that you can accidentally queue one unit at that same barracks over and over. So if you do the 70 food 80 wood thing 3 times you end up with 3 xbow at one barracks and zero at the other. This is highly inefficient.

How to use your shrines properly
Shrines gather most effectively on wood since your market upgrade plan is to avoid upgrading wood chopping and because villagers chop slowly. That being said if you ever need wood, most of the time you will want to have your shrines on wood.

Food or gold? This is a question that is more difficult to answer than one would think. Villagers gather food and gold at a very close rate if they are forced to use berries. This means that shrines are just as good at both. You now need to make sure you have just enough food to make it until your next berry shipment and also that you are able to always have gold. If you have poor mine placement try to have less villagers mining it with your shrines on gold more often. If you don??t start with two orchard rickshaws, you will need to be on food for a fair amount of time because your food source will run out too soon.

The balance between food and gold is another thing to consider. When you are in a phase of the game where wood is not needed, you will need to oscillate your shrines from food to gold and gold to food. It costs a lot of resources to move villagers from a berry bush to a gold mine, they bump around, and they have to walk. These are all lost resources. If you manage your shrines well, you can buy time to adjust your villager balance with new villagers from your town center.

The starting villager assignments
When the game loads you should be frantic, you have no idea how bad the other person's computer is or how much time you will have, the first thing you do is number your explorers 1 and 2 [control groups 1 and 2] and your extra orchard wagon (if you have it) as 3. Then you right click those off to where you think the best path of exploration is for your map.

After dealing with explorers quickly make sure that you are gathering both your food and wood crates fairly quickly, whether that means garrisoning 2 of the 4 on that food crate and dumping them to the other side to get on wood, or some other trick. As soon as you get 200 wood your villager should start placing your consulate. This is crucial because in order to do this optimally you will want one villager to build it but you need to have time to avoid getting housed as well. You need 307 wood to make the consulate, pick Portugal, then make a shrine.

Pavilion guide
There are 2 modes worth using, ranged attack increase and speed increase. I suggest hotkeying the wonder for fast changes. You will always have the wonder set to speed. This is so your army is mobile as a priority. If you thought ashis were fast without any upgrades, then you boost that and your army becomes an amazing raid force that is positionable. The difference is small, but it pushes ashis over the edge and makes them villager killing machines. The only time it should be on attack is when you are actively engaging in a massive fight. One where you will be standing for a while. 10 musket vs 10 musket is not a big fight. You should probably be running from that anyway since he will send reinforcements.

Raiding with ashi is generally a death run. If your ashi get close enough to shoot at villagers, that is what they do until they die. If you get warded off before then its fine to run but don't let 2 villagers get away to try and save your 6 ashi.

Japanese * Late Double * RE Patch
Pr 49/ 2600 ELO, Played Japan mirrors exclusively for months
Introduction to the strategy

This is one of 4 strategy guides I will be writing about Japan. I used this strategy as the core of my Japan game in WCG. It is solid against any strategy and it wins games. This strategy will assume that you are playing in a Japan mirror at first and then at the end, modifications that the user should take will be listed. This format will work well as this strategy was originally developed for Japan mirrors, and because the changes needed to adapt to other civs/ inferior Japan builds are generally just changes of units. From here on out I will be assuming Japan mirrors.

The Deck


Once again its all about what you can get away with. Japan doesn't need military shipments in the mirror and they are by far and away the weakest cards Japan has. Their economy is so great and the card choice is so controlled that you don't have room to waste a shipment on 5 muskets that you could just make anyway.

With decks I am often very lazy. This deck works for for just about every situation you will find yourself in. Against more aggressive civs you may take out the age 2 plantation upgrade to add 5 ashi. I personally avoid sending more than 1 military shipment in a game, as the other cards at Japan??s disposal are much stronger.

Your card order is without much variation:
Kami, 600 wood, 4 vil, 4 vil, ashi attack, daimyo, orchard rickshaw.
If you are staying age 2: team eco theory, orchard rickshaw, nothing
if you are age 3: age3 ashi attack, refrigeration, orchard rickshaw*, economic cards*

*You will try to send as many long term cards as possible with Japan, if you're ahead, just keep building that economy. In AOE3 it's pretty hard to lose when you just have more than your opponent.

The Build Order
This is where we start getting very specific, probably more specific than any guide you will read. I will cover everything you should be thinking and doing with your units. You are to follow the card order presented above, significant card timings will be roughly detailed, but it is expected that when a shipment comes in you pick the right card immediately.

Age 1
Be sure to read the starting villager assignments section of this guide, as it details how to properly start, including how to get your port consulate up properly.

As villagers are nearing completion of their crate collection, you will need to dump them onto wood or berries. This is just as important, you need to know if you can expect wood from treasures or not, and gauge your gathers by that. If you start with 300 wood, you always send 1 to chop the extra 7, it's too low of a cost to risk getting housed. If you start with 200 and are expecting 40-50 wood in treasures maybe you put 3 on wood and wait to see how it pans out, adding more if needed or pulling some if you run into more wood. Using shift click really makes this task more manageable.

Obviously the easy part from here on out is the standard "just to make villagers and put them on food" while you are waiting for the 680 food that you need to age. Obviously you will be aging with the shrine wonder, it simply offers more than any other wonder the Japanese have. If you are ever close to having a villager finish and building your wonder at the same time, always make that next villager and wait, Build your wonder with one villager and place it near a large patch of hunting if possible unless you have livestock. Getting that wonder on hunting means you get 2 extra villagers, remember just how valuable that is.

On the Way Up
While aging make sure to use your explorers as specified in the general section. Make shrines whenever you have 75 wood and always try to make them meaningful ones. Once you have a stable flow (You have started producing a villager with the wonder already down) leave only 6 workers on food and put the rest on wood. Also change your shrines to wood. This will allow for steady worker production with maximum wood income. Do not make a market, just make shrines.

Age 2
Here is where your multitasking and game play will start rolling. When 600 wood arrives take your workers off of wood and put 9 on gold and the rest on food. Then start canceling the port consulate. As the wood starts to pour in, keep making shrines until you have 150-170 shine pop and also pull 2 villagers off of either food or gold (whatever will help you balance your resources for ashi production best) to drop two and then later pull a 3rd to drop a market (if you haven't already done so).

As your market finishes (see beginning for explanation of market techs) and you have your shrines all queued up, watch your wood total. Usually I am able to get into the 150-170 range around the time I have started my third market upgrade. This means I will need 290 more wood to finish my upgrades. When you notice your wood total nearing that you should change your shrines from wood to food or gold. At this point we are about to make the transition to start using our 30-50 villager economy.

Now that your barracks have finished you should have at least 160 food and 80 and you are ready to make units out of your barracks. I suggest control grouping them to a key so you can make units while watching your own. This is particularly useful for house fighting which I described above. Your goal is to switch your shrines and workers around while making 10 ashi at a time out of your raxes to go and siege his shrines down for map control ,or maybe just to harass villagers. What you do with the units against other civilizations will be detailed at the end.

Around this time you should be 3 cards into your build order and coming up fast on ashi attack, around the time your first batch is almost done you should also be looking to change your consulate from ports to japs.

With the consulate I suggest saving export until you reach 250 for the 10 batch training, because by the time it reaches 250 your economy should be just about ready to switch to 20 musket at a time training. After getting the 10 batch you should know the only unit worth making is the clubman and it should be used as either a tank in cover mode or to raid houses/shrines/small targets. At around the time this happens you will be sending your Daimyo as well. It is crucial you do not lose this unit, it is an upgrade card that you only get 1 of, per age. Losing this unit in a mirror means you literally have to win the game on the spot because of the army disadvantage you now have.

Another important side note is that when you are reaching late colonial, you may be either running out of gold mines or food, and that you should be using your shrines to generate what you feel you will run out of the fastest. In age of empires 3 the person who mills first generally loses.

As you start to cement an advantage it may also be smart to change your shrines back to wood to replace shrines you have lost and increase your shrine pop. The nice thing about Japan is that if you're in the lead you can pretty much liquidate your lead into immediate economic advantage through shrines. Always keep that at the back of your mind.

The choice to go to Age 3
Japans age 2 army is unique because of 3 things.

1. It is highly upgradeable
2. It is complete
3. It is stronger in end game colonial than any other civilization.

This means that you are not racing to get age 3, instead you are using it to cement your advantage. Say you managed to get off a nice raid killing 3-4 villagers putting you ahead, later on you win an engagement and come out ahead. Instead of going for the kill you should be happy to know that he cannot possibly push you out in the time it takes to gather 1200 food 1000 gold. Because both parties will have 20 musket advantage at their base (supply line distances) you can snowball this with your lead to take age3 and win.

Now that we have established why to go age 3 we will talk about how to do it.

This is another one of those transitions where attention to detail is everything.You will be aging with golden pavilion for the upgrades. You want to set your shrines to wood and gather 750 wood and then change it back to gold as well as probably try to get 20/20 shrines. You can check this by clicking on a shrine then mousing over it's picture in the bottom of your screen. While aging you want more people to be mining gold because you will need 650 gold just for upgrades.

If you are not in the strong position odds are you won't be able to get age 3, so I will discuss your goals as if you are trying to cement a lead.

Right when you get up you will want to upgrade your ashi at the barracks and get the musket attack and hit point upgrades from the pavilion. When you hit age 3 is when Japan really shines. It is hard to lose when you have an age advantage. The ashigaru musket gets exponentially stronger. You are about to pump 5 upgrades into it with the card you will send and the inherent upgrade in the pavilion. From here you are going to try to use the speed of your units to attack from as many angles as possible, sending 5 muskets around each side while trying to pressure if possible.

Once you start reaching this phase you will also want to look above at the pavilion settings guide for more information on how to get the most out of this wonder. You will also start to find that if the game remains close you are going to need to transition to mills. At this time I try to get the wood upgrades because you will be need to chop a lot of wood to make the transition and get the upgrades, but your economy should continue to grow because of all the economy cards you will be sending.

If you are playing against other civilizations the main thing that you will want to change is to usually make more yumi and cav to mix in with your army, also if the civilization is very aggressive this particular build may simply be too much economy. As I stated in the intro the goal is to do as much economy as possible without losing. This strategy is probably too much economy for an all in french rush that is well executed. For example, you might need to make less shrines, delay market upgrades, make 1 rax 1 stable. The core of this build is still very solid and if you can go double rax yumi against France with success, it could very well be viable. Obviously if you plan on playing yumi heavy, then your shrines will be on wood longer and your villagers may linger on wood, so getting that first wood upgrade at the market is also a strong move to make. Obviously if you are going yumi heavy, you can substitute ashi attack with yumi attack, but only if you never intend to incorporate a large ashi force.

Japanese * Bank Build * RE Patch
Pr 49/ 2600 ELO, Played Japan mirrors exclusively for months
Introduction to the strategy
This strategy is the most difficult strategy to execute with Japan, the timings are very tight and everything matters. If you do the slightest thing wrong you will probably lose the game to an inferior strategy. It requires a lot of practice and a lot of comfort controlling the game with a military disadvantage. I will be running through the Age 2 phase of this guide by noting the timings where you have a military advantage and when you do not.

This strategy is the most economic strategy and I would only use it on maps like Siberia where the rush distance is great and you can shrine all over the map. It is not good vs civs that will pressure you at all as it is simply too much economy.

Practical uses for this strategy are definitely in 3v3 random. If your two partners can hold while you execute this build order you can run the entire team into the ground by raiding all 3 players constantly.

The Deck

This build doesn??t plan on ever sending 600 wood. That is what makes this build stand out, and it is also what leads to the deep complications of playing the build out properly. One may ask what the purpose of using this deck is, surely we could replace 600 wood with some other card, perhaps 5 ashi. That is because you cannot know if you will be safe to do this build until you are sure he is playing economically. At the time of your first age 2 card is when you either commit to this or the late double strategy. This is the same reason the late double has 300 export in it.

The order: Kami, 4 villager, 4 villager, 300 export, ashi attack, daimyo, orchard rickshaw,
If age 2: eco theory, orchard rickshaw, none*
if age 3: ashi attack, refrigeration, Other economic based cards or daimyo(if you lost it)

Note*: If the game is very close or you are at a very low shrine pop, send 600 wood. The idea is not to send a card that will have such a small impact on the game that you??re better off saving it for when you hit 3.

Age 1
Be sure to read the starting villager assignments section of this guide as it details how to properly start including how to get your port consulate up properly.

As villagers are nearing completion of their crate collection, you will need to dump them onto wood or berries. This is just as important, you need to know if you can expect wood from treasures or not, and gauge your gathers by that. If you start with 300 wood, you always send 1 to chop the extra 7, it's too low of a cost to risk getting housed. If you start with 200 and are expecting 40-50 wood in treasures, maybe you put 3 on wood and wait to see how it pans out, adding more if needed or pulling some if you run into more wood. Using shift click really makes this task more manageable.

Obviously the easy part from here on out is the standard "just to make villagers and put them on food" while you are waiting for the 680 food that you need age. Obviously you will be aging with the shrine wonder, it simply offers more than any other wonder the Japanese have. If you are ever close to having a villager finish and building your wonder at the same time, always make that next villager and wait, Build your wonder with one villager and place it near a large patch of hunting if possible unless you have livestock. Getting that wonder on hunting means you get 2 extra villagers, remember just how valuable that is.

On the Way Up
While aging make sure to use your explorers as specified in the general section. Make shrines whenever you have 75 wood and always try to make them meaningful ones. Once you have a stable flow (You have started producing a villager with the wonder already down) leave only 6 workers on food and put the rest on wood. Also change your shrines to wood. This will allow for steady worker production with maximum wood income. Do not make a market, just make shrines.

Age 2
As expected, until now this guide has looked just like the late double. Your first two cards will be 4 villagers, send them ASAP. Here is where things start to get even more complicated. Your goal is to have at least 110 house pop when you hit age 2. This means your population is displayed as X/110. If you are not yet there then keep chopping wood with all your villagers except 6. Once you get to 110 house pop building (if you are at X/90 and you have 2 shrines being built or if you have X/80 and 3 shrines foundations set) then you are going to build a barracks.

The period of advantage
During this time you will have your barracks up before the late double gets pumping, at this time you will have a small window where you could kill 1-2 shrines before they will have enough army to beat you directly.

Once you have your barracks , pull anywhere from 4- 5 villagers off wood, put them on gold and put all the rest of your villagers on food. You can choose based on your food and gold balance whether your gold miners will be building the barracks and market, or if your food gathers will. This is a small tool to help make your resource balance consistent. If you started with the 100 gold crate and got some gold treasures then you probably want your gold miners to make the barracks. This is crucial to getting 5 ashi out each time. Your first villager shipment should be nearly arriving, you will want to put those 4 villagers on gold for a total of 9 on gold and the rest on food.

Now your wood income is purely from shrines. You want to build a market when you get enough wood. Then you want to research the 2 food upgrades and the first mining upgrade before you continue making shrines. After that you can either build shrines or research at the market. The market upgrades are more potent but require you to spend resources that could be spend on army/tc production. The ideal situation is to be constantly making 5 ashi and villagers while squeezing out the other market upgrades when your economy is able to do so.

The period of Disadvantage
At this time the late double is at its strongest, it has stopped producing shrines, has all the market upgrades and is focused on spamming 10 ashi at a time. Here you want to be using your muskets to do house fights. The goal at this phase is to keep them from killing your shrines with a small force. While they are winding up to siege run, in and try to poke a musket down then run out quickly.

Your shrines are still on wood and will remain there for most of the early game. When you are about 75% towards your 3rd age 2 shipment cancel port consulate. Your third card is 300 export and you will want to be able to choose dutch as fast as possible. Once you get to dutch send the bank wagon and then cancel the dutch consulate. Add a second barracks around now as you will need it to spend all the resources you have. You only want it for the 4 villagers from the bank and then you want to get to Japan consulate as fast as possible.

The period of Advantage
This is around the time when the bank??s added coin and the extra shrines become so obvious you cannot possibly lose. Usually when looking at the graphs after the game one will notice its around the time you have 4000 more resources gathered. The advantage you gain is that huge.

The entire time you should be building shrines. When you are maxed on shrine pop and have 2 barracks down you will be able to switch off wood. This build is so strong that if the game goes late into colonial you can be making almost 30 ashi in a batch (requires 3rd rax).

From here one can refer to the late double on an explanation of how to advance to age 3 as well as how to play out the later phases of the game. Remember that whenever you have a shipment send one from the card order in the guide.

[Japanese * The Daimyo Rush * RE Patch[/font]
Pr 49/ 2600 ELO, Played Japan mirrors exclusively for months
Introduction to the strategy
There are many ways to play a more aggressive Japan, I will argue this one is the most efficient way to go about playing Japan in this way. Although other methods may seem more stable, this one will offer you the ability to rebound with the strong Japanese economy and unit upgrade oriented game play that is the core of their game.

This strategy will focus on fielding a large army that is also upgraded and backed by a strong single cavalry unit. Yumi and Ashi will be the core of your army composition and the goal will be to either use the versatility of the daimyo to survive early pressure or apply some yourself to contain your opponent and then secure your shrines.

The Deck

The deck will be slightly different as we plan on being more aggressive we will squeeze in the 5 ashi and 5 yumi cards cutting cigar rolling.

This strategy will involve shipping military shipments, but not as fast as you would expect.

The Build Order

This strategy is very different from other build orders I have presented and the differences will be noticeable from early colonial.

Age 1
This strategy will not be using port consulate, only kami will be sent. Start out normally, building only one shrine and scouting as explained in the introductory section.

Now you will be simply gathering food and sending kami as soon as possible. When kami arrives you can then drop extra shrines if you started with 300 wood or found more along the way.

As usual with Japan, we are not in a hurry to get to age 2. Build your wonder once you have 800 food and stable villager production with only 1 villager.

On the way up
Now that you are aging get a stable worker production and move all but 6 villagers off of food to wood. Build shrines as you do with any other Japanese build, when you are bout 80% aged up, start saving wood for a barracks. It is better to get an extra shrine and have to wait a few seconds to begin your barracks in age 2. You should have around 50-70 shrine pop before hitting age 2.

Age 2
As we enter age 2, one might think a rush means quickly getting those unit shipments and aggressive units going. That is a major misconception that many lower level players make. The most effective rushes still start with something to get their production rolling. We will be sending 600 wood as our first card while our barracks is building, and once the barracks is started we also will shift more workers to food, keeping our shrines on wood to get some yumi out.

Right as soon as the barracks finishes start making yumi, it is crucial to get 5 out of each batch and you will need to balance your economy accordingly. As 600 wood arrives your next card is going to be the Daimyo. You will need to keep your yumi defensive if there is a threat of cav from your opponent, otherwise you can use them to protect your shrines during this window of time. Now that you have your wood, gather it in the usual way with 4 workers from your food source and drop down a market and a consulate. The rest of the wood can be used on yumis and to build an extra shrine if your shrine pop was only 50.

The One unit that Makes this strategy possible
The daimyo is it, this strategy is just like any other Japanese rush strategy without him. It will be either economically crippled or lack unit versatility and numbers.

Some relevant situations
1. Defending Euro all ins

Here is your first taste of how to deal with Europeans. One of the most annoying things people do against Japan is the Xbow pike double rax all in. They send 700 wood 600 wood 8 xbows 3 hussar and never let you take off. This strategy is very hard to beat if it is played well, but I will discuss some misplays your opponents may make and how to take advantage of them.

If your opponent gets really aggressive and starts getting near your town center you can use your town center to whittle his pike numbers down while your daimyo is coming. Timing the daimyo with both sets of minute men and your next 5 yumi and 5 consulate clubs makes your army go from 5 yumi to 10 yumi 9 pikes 4 muskets and a super hussar (2 huss). If they have 5 pikes left you can micro them down super fast with the tc taking out 1 and the yumi+ minutes taking out 2 while your daimyo keep the crossbows slowed. If they overextend against you, you automatically win the game. It is crucial you get your daimyo to keep the xbow slowed to let your army swarm him. This works very well against dutch skirm+8pike harass as well.

This nice thing about this build is that you don??t have to waste 200 wood on a stable so if you get the daimyo out it is a unit shipment, and upgrade card, and a stable wagon, and a shipment point all in one. If you are not lucky enough to catch him under your town center then simply continue to make yumi and use the daimyo as a stable keeping him safely behind your town center while producing units.

2. You take the aggressive position

If your opponent is not forward basing on you then you can generally skip making cav in favor of getting some ashi out to cover yourself and add damage. The goal is going to be to make 20 yumis for their long range, and maybe more if they are making all crossbows or skirms.

As you get out your first 10 yumi, your daimyo and clubs you should be looking to move forward. After you get 250 wood, stop gathering wood and transition to gold to make ashi or cav. Your 5 yumi card should be on the way now and you will end up with 20 yumi total, from there you want to start making ashi or cav from your daimyo, while using your yumi to harass. The clubs should be able to keep you safe from cav until you start adding ashi. You will be using your army to contain him [your opponent]. Try to poke at hunters and keep him garrisoning, never go under a town center, it is best to just continue making him bell then running away.

If you really stabilize outside of his base then you can send the military rickshaw wagon forward to your daimyo and make a barracks from it while sending villager cards. Remember if you stabilize with military, to contain him all you need to do is shrine the whole map, while keeping him in. Even if he breaks your contain, you can always fall back and just outmass him before he is able to get to you.

As you noticed all of these situations center around the daimyo, a unit players don??t use often enough because it is very difficult to use and the price of letting it die is very high.

Late game
This strategy is in the late game phase once you have either made your contain or made it past the initial card order I listed. If you are ahead here then all you need to do is play smart, don??t rush to age 3 until you're really far ahead and get those shrines +market upgrades. If you're losing then you probably will need to make something happen militarily to come back.

Recorded games
- Files are attached as well as linked
You can click on recorded games I have uploaded on the side of this post and look for my Japan mirrors. ... try1294319 Late Double
One against iamgrunt on sag shows both of us doing the same build (he copied me from group stage :( ). ... try1294319 Bank Build
To see how to play age 3 japan in the lead watch vs iamgrunt on siberia.

Also there are 2 civilizations that you don't beat.

You just don't beat iro, it's not possible no matter how good you are to win against iro if they make the right calls you just lose. India is like this to a lesser extent.
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France iNcog
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ESO: status = SAVED!!1²

12 Jun 2015, 21:55

what the frigate this is pretty big

added to wall
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12 Jun 2015, 22:00

incog wrote:what the frigate this is pretty big

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posted a banner in the strategy thread, you should also add my bwkic thing
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Switzerland _venox_
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13 Jun 2015, 20:39

naise gaid
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12 Jan 2016, 01:56

bumping this as it was lost when we switched sites
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09 Jun 2016, 17:09

BR Army are Amazing...
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10 May 2017, 11:00

Great guide! Japan has become one of my favourite civilizations in this game.

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