Samurai suggestion

Ok so the Samurai’s specialty is supposed to be to counter other UUs in the game, however realistically they can only do that against melee UUs because any ranged UU will just shred them before they can close the distance. Now you could give them more pierce armor to help with this but this would have the undesirable effect of also buffing them against normal archer units and just turn them into another Huskarl. So why not give them the ability to switch from melee to ranged attack like the Ratha. Honestly if any unit in the game should have this ability its the Samurai and we know that Samurais were also good archers too. This would mean they could really live up to the expectation of being a UU counter unit. Thoughts?


This has been suggested before and iirc the devs even considered that possibility originally. However there is huge problem with that as an infantry archer unit would be broken if you just add a ranged atk irrespectively of bonus with UU. So to balance them you’d probably need to add archer armor class in which case samurai die to skirms which would render the unit pretty useless. The way I see a melee and ranged Samuel would simply be a balance nightmare.

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Hmm I don’t know, what if you make it their ranged attack doesn’t do much raw damage but a big amount of bonus damage against UU armor so that there is never any insentive to use them against other units. So all other normal counters against infantry like other ranged units and even knights could still be used.

The other alternative would be if its too hard to balance the same unit having both kinds of attacks. You could simply give the Japanese two different versions of the unit both trainable in the castle. A melee Samurai with a sword, and an archer Samurai with a bow. These would then have different armor classes, so the archer one has archer armor and the melee one has infantry armor. That way when the Japanese player is against a civ with ranged UU they can make the archer Samurai and when they are against melee UU they can make the melee one. We could give the melee one also some other bonuses to help justify making it so that the default isn’t always the archer version. Maybe with bonus damage against buildings like champion line? Faster attack from Japanese civ bonus etc…

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To keep balance simple, it is better to reduce Samurai cost. 10 food reduction is probably enough. or maybe 5 food + 5 gold.

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Let’s think about it in another way. Is berserker supposed to counter cavalry? cavalry archers can still kite them though. If berserk is not supposed to counter cavalry, you can use them as stronger infantry. Samurai is in a similar situation here, they are just good infantry with the extra ability to counter UU.

The only reasonable buffs are making them not slower than foot archers, also with no more than 2 pierce armor.

Too bad Japanese don’t have access to Yasame towers to help them out vs ranged UUs :wink:

Hmmm yea but Japanese also already have good champions so just having another good infantry option with an incidental anti UU bonus kinda seems a bit underwhelming, which explains why noone ever goes for Samurai in a competetive game. Also I don’t know about the comparison with Berserks, to me the unique thing about berserks was always their healing ability, sure they do bonus damage against cavalry but I never thought of that as their main purpose just a nice little additional cherry on top. They also get Pikemen with extra 20% HP so they have more than one way to counter cavalry. The main unique thing about Samurai on the other hand which also no other unit has is its anti UU abilitiy so why not actually make it more viable as an anti UU unit?

EDIT: Also I just double checked and ALL Viking infantry get bonus damage against Cavalry so thats not really the berserk’s specialty so its not really a valid comparison.

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I made a thread about this as well.

I agree that it would be quite difficult to balance, although I maintain it could be done (some possible leads in the linked thread). I see it as an interesting design problem that’s attainable, yet hard enough to discourage enough people from wanting to open that can of worms.
That said, I fully expect the devs not to bother with all the trial and error that would entail. TBF I’d be thrilled with 1 more PA on Elite, and perhaps a small speed boost. That gives it a lot more of the effect I’d like without all the balance calculus.

There’s a ton of wiggle-room between the 8 base PA of a Huskarl and the 1 of a Samurai (even considering the final armor tech). For better or worse, devs have handed out high PA to units like candy since AoC. Sure, it’s not the most original solution, but it’s the best combination of high effectiveness and low disruptiveness I can think of. I still like the idea of a toggling Samurai, I just don’t think it’s realistic.

A little too simple IMO (but better than nothing). This solves the problem of Samurai providing questionable cost-effectiveness (lategame) relative to swordsman line, but doesn’t solve the problem of Samurai being insufficiently differentiated from swordsman line, or of being unable to use its bonus in a meaningful way vs. most UUs (the latter being what most people seem to want to address when they suggest changes to the Samurai). Japanese lategame has a lot of cheap units to rely on, would be nice if they had more of a power unit (besides HCA) in the Samurai.


Yea but that’s the issue, to give it more pierce armour would buff it against all archer units which I don’t think is a good idea. I think it should only be good against ranged UUs but still weak to normal archer units.

Another idea would be that instead of a range attack toggle, how about making the samurai a mounted unit but still with a melee attack? That way it can still be a UU killing specialist that can take care of melee units and still be able to close the distance quickly enough to take care of ranged UUs as well. It can also have a base attack that is lower than Knight line so that it’s not just a Knight substitute but a truely specialist assassin of UUs that does most of its damage through its bonus damage against UU armour. It can also still have a fairly low pierce armour so it doesn’t just become another mounted anti-archer unit.

Don’t think +1 PA is going to fundamentally upset its being countered by Arb, Hand Cannoneers, or Cav Archers, (and IMO performing slightly better vs. these units + ranged UUs is acceptable anyway).

Also a recent thread about that:

Think it’s a fine idea, and fully solves the issue of Samurai not being able to engage with units it has a bonus against. Don’t have high confidence in the devs being so bold as to try it, but I think it would be very cool.


Exactly. Samurai and Champion almost have same role. This is also true for Berserk and Woad Raider to some extent. Although both have better stats than Champion in most cases making them more pop efficient than Champion.

I like simple.

People who are against it provided a logic. This will make them closer to WR.

Maybe giving both non-elite and elite 1 more PA will be the best call.

Disagree. If you just give pierce attack = 1 to the Samurai’s ranged mode, they will never use it except for chip damage on approach. Samurai will always be better in melee mode. However, it will greatly improve Samurai vs ranged UUs who currently don’t interact with them.

I think the reason the devs won’t do this is that it is a lot of work for a unit that already exists and may cause unrelated bugs such as infinite relic attack for lithuanians.

I think if the samurai ranged atk had a slow RoF, say 3 like a skirmisher which is about half the rate of their melee atk, it’d give them some response to archer UUs without making them OP. Archer UUs typically have lower health so +12 damage is a larger proportion of their HP so the lower RoF might be balanced. 3 might even be too fast. Regardless it’d be slow but you’d be doing 15-20 per shot against archers.

As some small compensation perhaps they could have very low frame delay and/or faster travelling arrows. Historically it seems weird that’d they be bad archers, but gameplay wise they kinda need to be I think. If they had normal ROF they’d NUKE archer UUs. It’d be like giving samurai 20-30 bonus on their melee atk. So those small buffs I think would make them “skilled” archers but only very slightly better in-game.

Should be enough that they do well against archer UUs without just outright obliterating them, but are otherwise not good archers, which would also be a problem given their relatively high HP.

I think in practice it could also function like a more micro intensive charge atk. 8ish range you take a shot, switch back and charge in for melee.

Definitely subject to numbers tweaking but that’s the general idea.

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Honestly, samurai should have been either Cav archer or mounted cavalry units because that was what they are historically. Samurai on foot using katana on battle fields comes out purely from Hollywood fantasy and pop culture. If they become mounted units, it will basically fix the archer issue. I think they should become mounted melee cavalry instead of cav archer because the Japanese already have FU cav archer but lack usable cavalry so this should be a good replacement for knight but at the cost of requiring castles.


Samurai being infantry can benefit from civ bonus. Mounted Samurai can be 2nd UU. Besides, they should take less dmg from UU anyway, like shotel against cav.

Not really as far as I know. European knights also fought on foot if needed, so did samurai.
Before the Sengoku period, samurai used bows as basic, and switched to swords when approaching and charging; since then they often used matchlocks and spears, but swords remained a major point of theeir standard equipment on the battlefield.

Because of the lack of armor, it’s questionable that being a melee cavalry can help against ranged UUs, but likely to greatly enhances the part they are already good at against melee units.

The Japanese shouldn’t have useful melee cavalry in the late game. This is the weakness that their civilization should have, also historically accurate. While their current cavalry are already stronger than one of the Koreans, this is not quite accurate, by the way.

In my opinion, being foot archers is the most helpful.

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Or give them a mounted anti archers units similar to Genitour. We can call them the “Ainus” (no pun intended).

This article is interesting to discuss a new UU, or maybe new bonus to their Cav Archers ?

Did they even meet at this point or do you just not know what an Ainu is?

Also I don’t get what you mean with “no pun intended” in this case.

Think about what “Genitour” and “Ainus” sound like.

I don’t get it either, but Ainus isn’t a word; the plural is the same as the singular, as with almost all Japanese words.

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