Update: 01/10/21

Recently read a post “Why we hate Japan as a civ”, and also there was a poll to see which was the least liked civ “If you could remove a single civ from all 16 which would it be?”. So I d like to make this post to create something, that maybe Devs will take in consideration for future patches/updates.

Japan is represented as Sengoku Era, early Edo period, most units using the traditional samurai armor, however AoE 3 spans from 1400s to nearly 1800s (civs like Aztecs and civs like USA), so would be nice to have more balance, units, cards and other periods like Edo and Meiji.

A little bit of history…

Is a short period in which the Shogun lost the support of all clans, and many Daimyos tried to conquer Japan and become Shogun. While also many Clans traded with Portuguese to acquire gunpowder and some converted to Christianism.

EDO PERIOD 1600s - 1800s
Was the period in which Japan unified under Tokugawa Ieyasu and finally found peace within at least, because they invaded Korea twice, also in order to stop Christianism from spreading they isolated them.

In this period, most samurais stopped using armors, and started to follow more strictly codes like “Bushido”, also they “picked” the katana as the representation of the Samurais.

Was a period after the English killed the Emperor and Shogun while bombarding from their ships, and the new ones started a civil war that the Emperor won. In this period Japan started its industrialization and began to abolish the samurai class privileges, eventually samurais ceased to exist.

Now after this, next post will contain the changes that I originally posted plus the ones in comments.

1 Like

EDITED: 01/10/21


Shrines are small temple/altars. In game expand population limit by 10 and give a trickle.

  • Shrine: 0-14 Food/ 0.1 Wood & Gold, +0.07 Deers (Small animals) / +0.11 Cows (Herdables)
    1 Shrine produces: 0.07 x 4 + 0.14 = 0.42 x 3.5 (Tempo Reforms IV) = 1.47
    20 Shrines produces: 0.42 x 20 = 8.4 x 3.5 (Tempo Reforms IV) = 29.4
  • Factory: 5.55 to 7.75 x 2 = 15.5


  • Split functions, shrines no longer giving population and to have a new house building.
  • No longer have the 75 villager cap, shrines build limit to 4, expandable to 8 with cards.
  • Consulate to have a factory or one being deliver by revolution.

Tea houses funtion as taverns for Asian cultures, were people could gather, drink, gamble and many other things.The dlc civs have less buildings than Europeans, this is and advantage and also a loss.

New building from which we can hire and improve mercenary units, and special consulate units.

Asians civs have their Explorers as the only unit that can heal besides consulate related units and also we need to upgrade them to do it, while all other civs have a Monk/healer unit and upgrades related.

  • Monk units that heal and also adding their “improvement” of healing.
  • Temple no longer have mercenary related units/upgrades.

Be a fort, have attack and being able to garrions units, have upgradable defenses like canonsm being able to build units as a fort,


To affect all “samurai” type units: Yumi, Yabusame, Naginata, Samurai.

Expand/Rework available mercenary units, to include, Monks, Wokou pirates, Nanban (Portuguese mercenaries).

As african age up support, cards that strenghts economy, military or other aspects.

Delievers a unique heroe unit: Hattori Hanzo (has stealth)
Improves Shinobi and Ninja: +10% Attack and range.
Shinobi and ninja can be hired from Castle & Barracks using food, wood and gold respectly,

Delievers a unique heroe unit: Mori (Increases health & damage of ship while garrison)
Improves ships: +10% Attack and health.
Wokou pirates can be hired from Barracks & Wokou junk from ports.

Delievers a unique heroe unit: Otomo
Improves gunpowder units: +10% Attack and Health
Portuguesse Pikeman and Cannoniers can be hired from Barracks.

Delievers a unique heroe unit: Hojo
Improves buildings: +10% Attack, +20% Health
Increase the limit of castles by 50%

Delievers a unique heroe unit: Date Masamune
Unique improvements to economy: +10% gather rate all resources for villagers
Increase the limit of Shrines

Delievers a unique heroe unit: Ikko-Ikki Monk
Improves Naginata Sohei, Yumi Sohei and Yamabushi: +20% Attack, health and range.
Sohei and Yamabushi can be hired from Temple using food, wood and gold respectly.

Units -40% Cost, -20% Health, +20% Movement Speed and Training time.
(Visually all units no longer use armor, and instead use uniforms, kimono or other things used during Edo period, theres already models of Edo time retainers in the home city).

As European civs to have an option to “revolt” instead of advancing into the Imperial Age (5), in this case in which you can chose with whom to side Emperor or the Shogun.

Granting you new units related to this time period. Skirmishers and the like.

by Jonasnee8581, Skirmisher unlocked by choosing Meiji

Imperial Infantry
Short ranged skirmisher
Cost: 55 Gold and Food

Hp: 250
Resist: 30% ranged
Speed: 4.5
Ranged attack: 16 range, 40 damage, reload of 2.0, 0.67x multiplier vs cavalry, 2.0x multiplier vs light cavalry and 2.5x multiplier vs ranged infantry

Siege attack: 6 range, 40 dmg

Melee attack: 20, ROF 1.5, with the same multipliers as melee, uses bayonets or swords

Respawns after being killed (as Ras prince).
No longer have shipment points and unable to recruit units.
Have skins unlocked through playing, events and so.

Aura: +10% health of nearby units and buildings
Can and build barracks.

Aura: +10% attack of nearby units and buildings.
Can build castles and hire samurai.

Aura: +10% gather rate of nearby villagers/buildings.
Can build town centers

Sankin Kotai: +10% health and attack speed of nearby units/buildings
Can rebuild wonders.
Posible Skins: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Note: or as commented by Moonshadow7475: to keep auras as they are, but being able to train consulate isolation units.

As commeted by: Jonasnee8581, to split units into 2 types samurai and ashigaru.

  • Ashigaru: (Age II) 1 pop cost, cheap with specific bonus vs x. Cost Food and Wood
  • Samurai: (Age III) 2 pop cost, expensive and versatile. Costs Food and Gold

Cheap and fast training unit, bonus vs Cavalry.

Cheap and fast training unit, bonus vs light infantry

Overall good unit, bonus vs shock infantry. When in melee to use katanas.

Increase health, armor and hand attack, change wood cost to gold.
Attack speed: 3.0 (from 1.5)
Correct hit and run animation exploid and simetrical bow (should be asimetrical)

A short range version of the Ashigaru muskeeter, with a devastating shot, armed with a canon like matchlock, good vs heavily armored units and good hand to hand combat.

Heavy infantry, good resistance vs ranged and melee, low bonus vs cavalry

Formerly “Samurai”, armed with a nodachi, a long katana (equivalent to a dopelsoldner or skull knight), halved bonus vs cavalry, greater area attack.


Light cavalry armed with a katana, fast and cheap, bonus vs villagers and artillery.

Heavy cavalry, good resistance vs melee and ranged.

Wear samurai armor. Also have to comment that before bushido and Edo period, samurai main weapon was bow, and as mongolic tradition too. So I find wierd that they are Age IV.


As the sohei naginata but armed with a bow, great range but slow attacks.

Armed with 2 katanas, good resistance vs melee


This is why japan has 75 villagers instead of 99.

I think having all those auras might make the stronger than they are right now.
Personally i’d leave the aura untouched (they don’t stack after all, despite what many people think).

What i’d do is make each daimyo train units from the isolation consulate instead, each having a bunch of 2. This would make japan army more diverse, which it surely needs.

This should probably be titled “Japanese Rework” not “Make Japan Great Again” lol

Shrines should definitely be a building separate from houses with a smaller build limit. They already gather resources and deny hunts to other players, they don’t also need to be a super cheap house. Houses that gather resources is one of the stupidest aspects of the game. At least Torps eventually run out of resources, but Shrines and Kancha houses are just a really lame design.
Shrines (or at least the shrine wonder) could even act as the temple building you’re suggesting.

Daymios should just be the explorer/hero unit of the Japanese instead of their weird monks. Training units could be an upgrade card but it could be more limited to certain armies similar to Chinese banner armies. Something like an army of 2 Samurai and 3 Yumi, or 4 Ashigaru and 1 Flying Arrow so you’d need to invest a lot of up-front resources and couldn’t just dump 10 artillery in the back of someone’s base. Having them respawn like a Ras and making the wonder that ransoms them act like a fort instead would be a good change.

Another thing not entirely specific to Japan would be to give the Asian factions their own tea plantations instead of coin from rice paddies. They could even have settings to shift the fraction of export gathered (similar to mountain monasteries with influence).


i see someone has been playing shogun 2.

anyhow while in general i think japan could make a few pretty big changes, i think a more realistic change would be for a buff to Meiji restore.

Meiji restore:

if you age up with Meiji rather than with a wonder you get Access to Imperial infantry.

Imperial infantry

a short ranged “skirmisher” unit available only in the imperial age

cost: 55 gold and 55 food

Hp: 250

resist: 30% range resist

speed: 4.5

ranged attack: 16 range, 40 damage, reload of 2.0, 0.67x multiplier vs cavalry, 2.0x multiplier vs light cavalry and 2.5x multiplier vs ranged infantry

Siege attack: 6 range, 40 dmg

melee attack: 20, ROF 1.5, with the same multipliers as melee, uses bayonets or swords

1 Like

as for units in general, and now i am really coming up with wishful thinking in a complete rework style, i would replace the roster with the following:


units from the barracks are separated into 2 groups, ashigaru and samurai units, ashigaru are available from age 2 while samurais at large are available from age 3, ashigarus cost 1 pop and are only good at their specific role while samurais are more versatile but always cost 2 pop.

Ashigaru spearman, cost 40 food, 40 wood and 20 gold, very effective vs cavalry

Ashigaru musketeer, loses its bonus vs cavalry, instead this unit is purely a support infantry unit, becomes slightly cheaper, no bonuses vs anything.

Samurai Archer, cost gold and food, a tanky archer unit with high dmg, including in melee, 22 range.

Naginata Samurai, cost food and gold, a very tanky single target melee heavy infantry unit, resist vs both ranged and melee, good dmg but relatively low multiplier vs cavalry. can destroy buildings with ease.


Yabusame, same as currently

Katana cavalry, basically replaces the the current naginata rider with relatively similar stats, instead of a card increasing their multiplier the card would instead give them a small AOE attack.

Yari cavalry, anti cavalry melee heavy cavalry unit, bonus vs all enemy cavalry but low stats otherwise.


fire rocket, long ranged anti infantry siege infantry unit, uses a rocket launcher.

mortaru, same as current

casted cannon, anti cannon artillery unit, Japanese culverine essentially.

Yes they have less villager population but I wouldnt consider “balanced” having 75 vil and shrines that at full produce 29.4 per second vs 15.5 of two factories that you had to send at age 4 taking 2 card slots.

Also this villager cap could be change to match that of other civs to 99. And this cap is felt late game while the rest of the game we had a “free” factory since the begining card free.

That said per example if we had cap limit of 4 shrines + wonder (+2) =

  • 4 x 0.07 + 0.14 = 0.42 (1 Full Shrine) x 6 = 2.52 (4 Full Shrines + Wonder) x 3.5 = 8.82 Food
  • 4 x 0.07 + 0.1 = 0.38 x 6 = 2.28 x 3.0 = 6.84 Gold/ Wood

Now 0.07 stands for deers and “small animals”, its 0.11 for herdables like cows.

  • 4 x 0.11 + 0.1 = 0.54 x 6 = 3.24 x 3.0 = 9.63 Gold/Wood

So to sumary we get nearly a 1 factory with 6 shrines, there could be cards to expand this limit or althogether get a factory from the consulate as was saying or a factory from Meiji restoration (revolt).

To be honest dont know how the game is structured in terms of Explorers, sometimes they have the same skins like Ras princes and others are totaly different.

Auras well I really dont know how much overpowered they would be, my idea was to make them more unique, so maybe other players would choose 1 daimyo card or all or some.

I believe that Shogun was the only one training isolation consulate units due the background of Tokugawa, using spies and the like, but those units arent that good, the tetsubo guy is quite weak, the shinobi and ninja are more tactical, the Hatamoto is quite strong but has high pop cost.

Ah well, couldnt hold myselft from using the catchy phrase xD, and nobody likes “rework”…

I like your ideas and agree, ransom could certainly help, would be nice to be able to produce “tea” instead of being a trickle.

That would be nice, and althought I really dont like pop limitation, this would limit the size of samurai armies, the gold cost in Ashigaru Spearmen (Ashigaru Levi the one was saying, just different wording) could be deleted to match other early game units.

Ashigaru muskeeter, historically speaking had great impacts in battles were they stopped calvary, more specifically during Oda - Takeda battles, and from then on more Daimyos started using them. So I wouldnt take their bonus vs cavalry but maybe reduce it, to not be better cavalry killer than spearmen.

I like your Yari cav would be nice.

the battle of Nagashino did see Oda musketeer lines stop an enemy cavalry charge, but they were behind a wall and protected by spearmen, similar to how infantry was used in europe during the 30 years war.

guns had also been widely used before Nagashino.

1 Like

Updated main post.

Unique improvements to bost hand combat of samurai units and other upgrades related.

Comment please ideas, what you think, etc.

Japan has been ‘great’ for many many years already, I would propose nerfing them hard so that they are the weakest of all the civs. Then you will get different players playing Japan, those who like underdog civs. The current Japan players (lets face it most Japan players just want to win, they don’t necessarily like Japan civ anyhow) can just move to the new top civ, Sweden or an African civ, they can easily switch to whatever the newest top dog is, they won’t miss Japan at all. And everyone else can stop getting irritated by having to play against Japan as they are now. I would say it would be a win win situation for everyone.

1 Like

I agree for the Daimyos to become the explorer, not the weird monks.

1 Like


Wow, your rework post was just impressive! That looks like such a cool and balanced Japan civ.