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Samurai Wars Tactics


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Although there’s a lot to be said about tactics, and while difficult to master in the heat of battle, the basic concepts are quite easy to grasp. From a simplified viewpoint, medieval battles are just more advanced versions of the rock-paper-scisssors game. Each unit can beat enemy units of a certain kind, but get beaten by others, and the objective is to engage the right combination units.

In Samurai Wars there’s a number of unit attributes that the simulation uses to calculate combat.

movement speed

Cavalry move much faster than infantry. Light (missile) units move slightly faster than heavy (melee). This means that it is the faster unit that has the choice to decide if and when to engage in combat.

weapon distance

Missile units kill at a far distance. Melee units must be in contact with the enemy in order to kill. There’s however a big difference between Katana, Naginata, and Yari units due to the distance between the soldier and the blade of the weapon.

  • Katana units hold the blade close and can easily attack in any direction. But as the Katana soldier must move in closer than the Yari, he's more exposed to the enemy kill zone.
  • Yari units hold the blade at a distance, and properly applied can attack the enemy with lesser exposure. This relies on having a well organized spear wall to fend off the enemy. The disadvantage is vulnerability to flanking.
  • Naginata is somewhere between the Katana and Yari.
unit competence

Samurai units are more competent. Ashigaru are less competent and route more easily.

Some tactical rules of thumb:

  • Use missile units to attack melee units (kill at a safe distance)
  • Use infantry missile units to defend against cavalry missile units (infantry has better kill power)
  • Attack the flanks or rear of a unit, especially true for Yari units.
Another important tactical concept is the concentration of force. That is, if you for example have two units and the enemy has two, it's better to pick them off one by one than to attack them one-on-one. Two units should easily defeat just enemy one unit, and can then move on to the next one.

Finally there’s the concept of combined arms. This means combining units of different type to achieve something that’s better than just the sum of it parts, much like chess pieces protecting each other on the chess board. For example, engaging the enemy with a yari unit and locking him in combat while flanking with your cavalry. Or protecting your archers against cavalry with a naginata unit.

There’s much more to say about tactics but these are some starting points.

Formations and Strategies for Samurai Wars
All About Commanders
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aaaaaaaaaaawww yeah, time to go 360noscope sum nubz


Does attacking something from a flank do more damage than an attack from the front (I know for Yari but other things like cav), or attacking something from a flank while it is engaged in melee? Because honestly I can never seem to find out

Any advice for a new player?

Easy win tactics:

1)All archers foreward with melee units behind them. Horse archers on flanks with cavalry and 1 spear unit.
2) Send horse archers, who have longest range and engage enemy archers to slay them for afar. Protect your unit with the cav and spear near.
3)Send all units closer, try to surround enemy in a semi-circle.
4)Melee units foreward, archers in back
5) Engage with all army, position archers near enemy while the melee units engage to pepper them down.
6)Remember that if you can win many skirmishes then you will win the main skirmish.
7)A long game increases the chances to victory. Do not haste.
8)If you are defensive 100% , you will lose.


Other than line of sight, what advantages do you have for being on higher ground? In the game


You also have a slight advantage in melee.