How is Japan not nerfed yet?

For so many years Japan has been written about for a nerf and it still has yet to happen.
Their musketeer speed is OP
Their culverin-horse archer is OP
Their samurai are OP
Their daimyo is OP
The way they collect food and gold with no risk to villagers at all is OP
Their explorers blocking your hunts with shrines is OP

Every single game against them is the exact same, you either are fortunate enough to play someone stupid enough to waste their units, or they will wither away your advantage and eventually overcome you because they have more paths around what you’re doing than you do as a Euro civ.

It is not even worth playing if your opponent is Sweden or Japan, literally just resign at the beginning unless you’re already playing those civs because it’s a waste of time 1v1




I agree with most of what you say except for the samurai and cav archer being op. They are strong units but they only become op when used with the other units japan has to offer. In my opinion japan would be perfectly balanced if they removed heavenly kami and make the daimyo attack aura reduced but then give them a card in age 4 that makes the daimyo have the aura as good as it is now and ship a daimyo with it.

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The design of Japan was “units with strong base stats” + “easy access to one of the strongest universal stat buffs” + “safe economy”.
This is imo a very stupid combination, but if any of them is removed (e.g. the units have weaker base stats than their counterparts), the civ would have a very different gameplay. I don’t think they would completely overhaul the well-established play style of an old civ.

The better way to balance them is to give their opponents more gameplay options against them, instead of “if you do that exact one thing right, you win, otherwise you lose”.

EDIT: also there is the classic problem of “units with too many functions/bonuses”, which became a thing in TAD and became a bigger problem in DE. Ashigaru is a superior musketeer in all respects stat-wise and they also have higher speed, and they can even be easily buffed further. Not to mention the musketeer-type is already one of the most versatile unit types in the game or even in the series (high hp + high melee + ranged), so any bonus with the musketeer should be handled with care.
Same with sepoy, but they are a little better because they lack later improvements. That’s not a good design imo. Take other unique units for example. Janissary has more hp and melee but sacrifices their range damage for those, and they still cost more, and they are still very cost-effective.


I completely agree, when I see a Japan or Sweden opponent I essentially feel it is hopeless and half the time I will just immediately resign without playing. I only do that because I hate playing vs them so much and I feel that they are so incredibly unfair and OP. If I decide to play the game, it often ends up being my last game for that day because I hate playing versus those civs and I will stop playing in disgust. If I quit immediately then I can still play longer. It isn’t just because I don’t like the civ matchup, I play a variety of civs and I only would quit against Japan or Sweden, because its not cool to do in general you should be able to rise to the challenge and figure out how to beat whatever matchup, but these two civs just seem broken at my average skill level.

I feel that their ability to easily spam buildings all over the map and easily and safely get resources needs to be severely nerfed. The developers would likely have the best idea how to nerf their economies. You cannot tear down their resource producing buildings fast enough to offset the cost of the opponent rebuilding them. Also, you are spending money on siege units, he can spend money on speedy ashigarus/caroleans to easily wipe out your siege units. Honestly I have no idea why they have not been nerfed.


japans and swedens units are just too strong. thas my main problem with them. overly pop efficient army ruin noob games in post imp.


Japan has been needing a nerf for a long time, they are a very strong civ. But how to nerf them is an important question that needs an answer to.


Once, I proposed that the animals in the sanctuary could be hunted by the settlers, to prevent them from stealing your hunt. Another popular nerf, was to reduce the speed of the ashigaru from 4.5 to 4.25 or directly 4.
A more powerful nerf would be to change the torii gate, instead of receiving 1 samurai, receiving 2 ashigarus or 2 yumis.
You could also review some very ops mechanics, such as the bonuses that are received from wonders, the consulate and shipments from the metropolis.


1 Samurai is easier to deal with than 2 Ashis or Yumis. You can kite the Samurai, but the other 2 can harrass your Vills from Range.

It is funny too, since Samurai were historically Archers, and adopted Guns quickly. Swords were never a battlefield weapon, and it would have made a lot more senser if teh Samurai was an heavily armoured but slow Archer, than a Melee unit.

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Do you have any sources for the claim that samurai never used their swords in battle???

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That would be a solid buff.


It is well known, swords were always like pistols for the vast majority of cultures around the World: sidearms.

The only culture to ever use Swords as a main weapon, were the Romans, and historians debate thet the Shield, was the actual main weapon of the Legionnaire.

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Katanas were the close quarters weapon used by samurai in battle. Yes they used other weapons like spears and bows but katanas were used. Of course they didnt just march into battle katanas in hand like they do in AoE3, but this is a video game and there are other units that Japan has in game to cover those battle styles.

Please tell me Claire Ryan wasnt your source for the katana info.

No, it was several books on warfare.

I do not even know who Claire Ryan is.

This is arguably wrong. Swords were very much common until firearms became the norm, and that was around WW1.
Even in the time frame of the game, many nations did not have enough resources to mount all their units or arm them with bows or firearms, and spears are difficult to handle in battle. Swords are easy to make, require little maintenance and are easy to get the hang of.

Many melee brawls were fought with swords or similar short length melee weapons.

Spears were probably the easiest to handle…just amass them in formations.
The main samurai melee weapons on the battlefield were spear/naginata. Katana was more for emergency use (when you lose your main weapon), self-defense and street brawls. The kind of sword that can be used as the main weapon was the odachi or nodachi (greatsword), and THAT is what is difficult to handle.

Think about the amount of metal you need for a sword versus a spear, and the strength and quality it requires.


Well, let’s ignore that just 21.
Maybe a single ashi or yumi, as long as they nerf their stats. Mostly to prevent them from having early siege power. Ideally, though, it would be to remove the unit bonus and just keep the Military Rickshaw.

I’m not talking just about the samurai.

Once you make the sword, it essentially lasts forever, spears can be broken.
Also, spear formation can be broken by sword fighters, because they can push the spear aside.

Look, I get that people feel Japan is OP, but nobody is going to take you seriously when you complain about the samurai of all units, which is one of the worst units in the game and arguably the worst unit added in TAD. A batch of 5 samurais costs a whooping 1000 resources in age 2 with torii gates. That’s a lot of resources.

I personally don’t think Japan is OP. But the frustration of playing against it can be reduced by reworking some of their units. Not direct nerfs or buffs, but reworks.

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If you extend to every soldier throughout history, spears play a even more dominant role than swords, from hoplites to tercios.

Not exactly. Swords would degrade if you use them too much. Sword production also requires high quality metal and craftsmanship.
Spears, on the contrary, can be easily mass produced. That’s why you have legends with heroes wielding their iconic swords, but less frequently spears. Because swords were rarely used in battle so they are not replaced like spears.

That is much more difficult than it sounds, otherwise the battlefield would not be dominated by spears and pikes most of the time.
In 15th people actually tried to mix swordsmen (rodeleros) or halberdiers with their pike formations to “break pikes”. But eventually the melee part of infantry evolved into pike-only because others were not that effective.


I am sorry, friend, but it was the same for all cultures, except the Romans.
The Sword was never a battlefield weapon, it was always a backup, like the Pistol.

The only Swords that were primary weapons in History, were 2-handed Swords, Gladius and Cavalry Sabers.

Even Infantry Sabers and Navy Cutlasses were never used as a main weapon, since a soldier armed with them is at a serious disadvantage against one armed with a Spear or Firearm, and Swords are useless against Armour.

Swords were more for Dueling than anything else, and they are far harder to use than Spears.
Humans have been using Spears for close to half a million years, and swords for less than 6000, so Spears are much more of an instinctual weapon for us.

The Sword, on the contrary, is a weapon that is only effective if you take decades to master it, which is why it was always associated with elite warrior classes/castes. It is one of the most difficult weapons to effectively use, and one of the worst for any battlefield.