Japanese Civilization Concept

Before we start, I must clarify that I have been thinking about this after playing for a few months. But it seems like respected Herr Skadidesu had already posted, and I have many ideas about units that very similar to him before I read the article.

his thread: Japanese Civilisation Concept

Below are my brief concept for Japanese, since I understand Japanese language and have much easier access to data about their history. I guess I can offer a little bit more:

Japanese(710~1598 A.D.)

Dark age, Nara era(710~794 A.D.)
Feudal age, Heian era(794~1167 A.D.)
Castle age, Heike, Kamakura era, and(1167~1335 A.D.)
Imperial age, Muromachi era until Toyotomi regime ends(1336~1592 A.D.)

Civilization Bonuses

  • Switch ruling clans by the buildings built, and gain different bonuses accordingly(explained below)
  • Fishing Boat upgrades are free. Fish provides 20% more food.
  • Melee damage techs take longer and slightly more expensive to research, but adds more status to heavy units.
  • Shrines can make the buildings within its influence to work 20% faster. However, shrines can’t be built too close to each other.
  • Elite Army Tactics is replaced by Seiei Hohei Senjutsu(精鋭歩兵戦術), which has the status increased by 35%


There are three factions(or clans) which are important to medieval Japan. By building buildings, players earn points for a clan. The one with the highest point will be the ruling clan. You will gain its bonus while losing other clans’ bonuses.
By switching between different clans, you may achieve different tactics and play styles.
Each clan has 3 tiers of bonuses, the tier is improved by constructing different landmarks, all start from tier 1.

Fujiwara Clan (藤原)

Clan mainly formed by bureaucrats, focuses on local economy and shrine. The default ruling clan.
If the score are equal, Fujiwara clan will be prioritized above all.

  • Tier 1: Economic units(except merchants), and religious units train 15% faster. Economic techs 15% cheaper.
  • Tier 2: Economic units(except merchants), and religious units train 20% faster. Economic techs 20% cheaper. Economic units, religious units, and buildings have 20% more HP.
  • Tier 3: Economic units(except merchants), and religious units train 25% faster. Economic techs 25% cheaper. Economic units, religious units, and buildings have 25% more HP. Villagers drop 10% more resources.
    Buildings that counts toward Fujiwara, and their points: TC(6), all resource gathering depot except docks(1), shrine(2), university(6).

Taira Clan, or Heike (平家)

Short living yet a strong warrior clan which changed the tide of Japanese history, focuses on melee infantry, primitive siege, monastery, and merchant.
If the score is equal to Genji, Heike will be prioritized.

  • Tier 1: All Infantry and merchants are 10% cheaper.
  • Tier 2: All Infantry and merchants are 15% cheaper, all infantry LOS +3 tiles.
  • Tier 3: All Infantry and merchants are 20% cheaper, all infantry LOS +4 tiles, merchants return 20% more revenue.
    Buildings that counts toward Heike, and their points: Market(5), barracks(3), blacksmith(5), Monastery(5).

Minamoto Clan, or Genji (源氏)

The root of Shogunate, starting from Kamakura shogunate they had found. It had been a tradition that whoever leads the shogunate must have Genji legacy. Focuses on mobile warfare and navy.
If the score is equal to Genji, Taira clan will be prioritized.

  • Tier 1: Cavalry and ranged infantry move 5% faster.
  • Tier 2: Cavalry and ranged infantry move 10% faster. Ranged units fire 10% faster.
  • Tier 3: Cavalry and ranged infantry move 15% faster. Ranged units fire 15% faster. Samurai got 15% more HP.
    Buildings that counts toward Genji, and their points: Dock(5), Stables(2), Archery range(2), Siege workshop(2) Outposts(2), Keep(8).

Unique Units

Trying to avoid stereotypes, and those units that are not special enough.
With their unlocked age along with their names.

Foot Scout (japanese name: Hikyaku 飛脚) I

Scouts on foot, identical to normal scouts. Since horses are luxury to medieval Japanese, these runners acted as couriers.
Should also be in other civs where horses aren’t common. And since they’re not cavalry, they won’t be countered by spearmen.

Samurai, or Ara Musha(荒武者) II

Replaces man at arms.
Fearless Japanese knight on foot. Armed with a sword. Can charge into enemy rank. Have higher damage and speed, yet slightly lower armour than normal MAA.
Can switch to Yumi busha or Kiba busha by paying resources and time, just like Rus vessel mechanic.

Mounted Samurai, or Kiba Musha(騎馬武者) II

Replaces knights.
Japanese had mounted samurai earlier than common mounted soldiers in history. In game their horsemen will be unlocked in castle age.
Armed with bow and sword. While charging, instead of lance, mounted samurai will fire his bow at enemy, stop his opponents’ movement if he is also charging toward him.
If without any bonus, they move slower and have lower armour than normal knights.
Can switch to Yumi busha or Ara musha by paying resources and time, just like Rus vessel mechanic.

Samurai archer, or Yumi Busha(弓武者) III

Replaces crossbowman.
Using Wakyu longbow, these bow can easily pierce armour, yet cannot shoot as far as English longbow.
Comparing with normal crossbowman, they have higher base damage, shoot faster than crossbow, yet lower bonus damage against armoured units. They will draw their swords and engage in close combat if opponents are close enough.
Have more armour and HP than other crossbowman, yet still not recommend to use them in close combat if not necessary.
Can switch to Kiba musha or Ara musha by paying resources and time, just like Rus vessel mechanic.

Japanese also have normal sized bow, so don’t worry about archers.

Shrine maiden, or Miko(巫女) I

Japanese Shinto priestess, trained from shrines. They have an aura of increasing economic units’ armour by 2(including themselves).
Comparing with normal monks, they’re more fragile, cannot carry relics. Yet heals units faster, and moves faster. And they cost wood instead of gold to train.

Monk soldier, or Sohei(僧兵) III

Japanese Buddhist priest warrior, trained from monastery. Armed with naginata to beat cavalry.
Sturdy unarmoured infantry. They are expensive, but have higher base damage and HP than spearman. And slows down enemy units nearby.
Also functions as normal monks.

Combat vessels:

Size from small to large are: Kohaya(小早) II, Sekibune(関船) III, Atakabune(安宅船) IV
Notice that medieval Japanese lack professional navy, water battles are mostly done by pirates or irregulars. So their status won’t be top tier.

Unique Building

Shrine or Yashiro(社)、Jinja(神社) I

Shinto shrines, function as mini version of monastery which trains miko, providing all economic upgrades(beside from their original researching place), and can garrison 1 relic. It can make the buildings within its influence to work 20% faster. However, shrines can’t be built too close to each other, and cannot built near your monastery(or temple). The influence will not expand.
A shrine Landmark could replace the existing shrine directly without destroying it.

Tsuiji(築地) Fortification III

Replace stone fortification, these walls are sturdy and must be destroyed by siege engine, yet are like the “stone version” of palisade walls. Infantry cannot climb onto it or move on them.

Unique Technologies


Great Inari Shrine (concept from Fushimi inari shrine伏見稲荷大社) I->II

A giant shrine, all shrines can now increase the food drop off from farms by 20%. Fujiwara bonus tier +1, point +10.

Rokuharamitsu Temple(六波羅蜜寺) I->II

A giant temple, unlocks Sohei earlier. Heike bonus tier +1, heike point +10.

Oyamazumi Shrine(大山祇神社) II->III

A giant shrine, can garrison 2 relics, each relic increases the armour of all Samurai by 1. Genji bonus tier +1, point +10.

Itsukushima Shrine(厳島神社) II->III

A giant shrine, instead of miko, trains all foot military units including Sohei. Heike bonus tier +1, point +10.

Golden Pavilion Temple(Rokuonji鹿苑寺) III->IV

A giant temple, now no matter which clan you switch to, Fujiwara bonus tier 1 is always active. Fujiwara bonus tier +1, point +10.

Osaka Castle III->IV

A keep which can only be damaged by siege weapons except rams. Genji bonus tier +1, point +10.

Unique Technologies

Syncretism (神仏習合) I

Allow monastery to be built within the influence of shrine. Monastery can also train miko.

Divine wind, or Kamikaze III

When Mongol invaded Japan, A large number of their transport ships were sunk by a typhoon. That typhoon was then called Kamikaze, the divine wind which saved Japan.
All battleships and siege weapon got bonus damage against transport ships.

Shinobi III

Shinobi, or ninja, are trained spies, assassins and scouts starting from late 12th. Unlike in fiction stories, they’re tasks are gathering information. And rarely included in standard combats.
Upgrades your foot scouts into Shinobi, now unless they attack or getting too close to enemy, they’re invisible to enemies and can only be detected by TC, outposts, towers, keeps, and other scouts.

Uchikatana() III

Sword more specified for foot combat, ara musha and yumi busha +6 damage in close combat against foot unarmoured units.

Honganji(本願寺) III

The center organization of Japanese buddhism warriors. Aim to form a peace land of people.
Further increase the HP of monastery and Sohei, Sohei now also decreases enemy foot units’ damage by 25%.

Three array volley, or Sandanuchi(三段撃ち) IV

In 1575, by mass use of arquebus volley, and dividing gunners into three groups, taking turn firing and reloading to achieve suppressing firepower. Oda Nobunaga’s force defeated the Takeda clan’s cavalry, which were said to be the strongest mounted force in Japan.
Hand cannoneer reload time -25% and/or got bonus damage against cavalry.

Improved Castle Building IV

The improve of Japanese castle building starts in late 15th.

Keeps and TC HP+1000.


I guess that’s all for now. All the stuffs can be further refined. And maybe I could give some advice on Japanese voice lines if needed, since it’s also one of my main language.

What do you think about it? Would it be too complicated? Or could it be more complexed or easier?


I think that the civs that are in the game are all pretty well rounded, and if you have a civ that is good on land and bad on water to the extent that they were historically it would make for a really unfair civ especially on land maps.
Also the samurai sound similar to Landschneckts just without the aoe damage. You also have to remember that this civ would be incredibly hard to balance. Also Japan’s forces lacked siege, and this would mean that it would need a unit that has the capability to take down siege and keeps but be overpowered like the grenadier on the latest patch. Personally I think that a much more viable civ would be the late Byzantine empire for the dark age and age 2 transitioning into the ottoman empire in castle age. With a focus on trade and gunpowder.


I like your concept except for the invisible scout thing since we already have stealth forests for that. Maybe make them undetectable by scouts and towers if they are in the stealth forests.

Of course I know the hardship of balancing. And I didn’t say anything about bad on water, just say their navy will be generic.

True, now I see it could be exploited into an unfair gameplay. Would correct it if come up with a better idea.