Chilly;s AOEIV Civilization Concept - The Japanese

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What makes this faction stand out?

Quality over quantity is the name of the game. Japanese units are powerful but few in number due to high costs. Additionally, the Shogun hero unit allows Japan to quickly adjust against counters by erecting different Banners.

Notes on the concept:

This is a total overhaul of my previous Japanese faction concept. Last time, I put too much emphasis on the different Japanese clans, and ultimately created a faction that lacked identity, so this time I changed up everything.

  • In addition to their units costing more, Japan’s also limited by the Shrine, which replaces the House.
    • The Shrine costs 100 wood, which is 2x as expensive as a regular house, while providing the same housing space.
    • For Shrines to be maximally efficient, Japanese players will need to spread them out over the map, which means they will have to defend a larger area.
    • Shrines are somewhat of a cross between Japanese Shrines in AOE3, Swedish Torps in AOE3, and Rus Hunting Cabins in AOE4.
  • The powerful “Yabusame” armored horse archer unit is a crazy OP unit available in Age 2. They are meant to help Japanese players establish map control early on.
  • Since Japanese units cost so much, it can be very difficult to transition into alternative compositions to deal with counters. The Shogun’s “Command Banner” ability is designed to offset this. The Command Banner’s aura gives nearby units bonus damage against specific unit types, allowing a Japanese composition to address counters more efficiently.
    • For example, an army of Spearmen with the “Bonus Damage vs. Armored units” may fare a little better against Men-at-arms than normal.
    • The Command Banner is also meant to offset the lack of Crossbowmen and Lancers.
  • Samurai are a stronger Man-at-arms unit with very high attack speed. This makes them a natural pairing with the Shogun’s bonus damage buff.
  • While this concept features 6 unique units (tied with China), 2 of those unique units are gated behind Landmarks, and 1 of them cannot be controlled. So in reality Japan only has about 4 unique units.
  • Japan has a very powerful super-late-game. A maximized Shrine trickle means less villagers population, meaning more military units. This reflects well with history, as Japan had a hugely powerful military at the end of the 16th century which they took to invade Korea with.
  • As usual, this concept does not look into Water/Naval at all. All AOEIV concepts should be able to stand on their own on land.


More Concepts

For more concepts please check out my website: Chilly’s AOEIV Civilization Concepts


Always nice to see another take on a Japanese concept. Great work you did there, the art is very well done!

If I may, I think the concept would make your version of Japan a bit underwhelming and not powerful. How would they fare in the early game? Shrines are a cool concept, similar to the Torp in AoE III but very expensive for an early start, requiring to max on wood early provided you have a 10 populations at the start.

Also, I feel like they could do with more unique units, a bunch for instance, that could depend of the age up you chose. Similarly to the Chinese dynasties, it could be interesting to have to chose between different Clans aging up. Right now, I feel like there isn’t too many units really available. Add to this the fact that they don’t really seem to have a counter to armoured troops, which could mean they’d be shredded in case of an early push in Castle or something.

Japan also has an important rice culture as well + the fishing; I think the Naval could be an important aspect of the civ considering its important medieval story, post Mongol invasions of the XIIIth century.

Just my thoughts of course, great work as stated :slight_smile:

I’ve been so lost into Baldursgate 3 atm, things like these help reviving my interest in AoE4 hahaha.

Great to see this put on this forum!

If I understand your translation correctly:

  • Ottomans don’t have Horse Archers which is a shame, but it can be argued that Horse Archers don’t really fit their design goals. In contrast, in this Japanese concept, the faction needs a powerful mobile early unit to help secure map control.
  • Japanese did use large Ballistas yeah.