The Japanese cavalry did not use shields. Developers, reflect it in the game, please


this is upcoming japanese cavalry in AoE4…

and this is, how it should japanese heavy cavalry properly look,

You can check also Total War Shogun 2 for inspiration

Light Cavalry - Horseman

Yari Cavalry (Heavy Samurai cavalry) - Lancer/Knight


Interesting that you’re drawing inspiration from Shogun 2, which (apparently) reflects the Sengoku period. I have no idea what “age” Japan is drawing from in AoE IV, but it’s unlikely to be as late as the 1400s - 1600s.

Short version: yes, the Japanese used shields, yes, even mounted Japanese warriors used shields, but no, they weren’t round. So, 50 / 50 on the correction.

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used shield for guns and earlier. small ones but get obsolete its usage because the armor is much better on blocking arrows. so it’s still incorrect

[quote="GorbMort, post:3, topic:239372]
Interesting that you’re drawing inspiration from Shogun 2, which (apparently) reflects the Sengoku period. I have no idea what “age” Japan is drawing from in AoE IV, but it’s unlikely to be as late as the 1400s - 1600s.[/quote]

Age of Empires is set arround 900 - 1500s
Shogun 2 main campaign is set in Sengoku Jidai period - it can be inspiration for castle (III) and inperial (IV) age
The Rise of Samurai expansion is set in Gempei War 1100 - 1200, this can be inspiration for fedual (II) or castle (III) age

I wrote , that japanese cavalry did not use shields, not Japanese soldiers in general

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The units you linked were a part of the base Shogun 2 game, no?

Regardless, the Sengoku period lasts from the 1400s well into the 1600s, so I don’t think it’s a good for for AoE IV.

I know, I’m just clarifying that they both did. There’s little evidence to support round shields, but mounted units using hand shields (Tate-style, or a modification of) definitely happened.

Saying “they did not use shields” is incorrect.

Better question should by why are you using total war game as your source for information?

Artist take liberties and alter things to look much cooler or heroic or what ever their reason is.

If you want to make an argument that japanese cavalry did not use shield, then find real life source which claims that and quote it.

Im fairly confident without even going into research mode and find stuff that shield were commonly used or provided to any form of unit that could use them what ever it was cavalry or infantry. Its pretty clear why this was the case it provided protection. As long as the concept of shield was invented by that civilization and Im fairly certain japanese had invented shield too.


If you want units from the 11th century campaign, here they are. Still no shields.

Are we really relying on Shogun 2 here?

I’m back on my phone, but mounted units with shields existed historically. This is not the same as saying “circular shields are okay”. I hope that I’m making myself clear.

There are lots of little things I hope the developers can polish up, and they’re not limited to things that haven’t even been released yet. But I do want to push back on historically-inaccurate assertions, especially if the only primary source anybody is using is another video game.

No shade to the Total War team here, as all video games will ultimately fall short of 100% accuracy. The point here is simply to be accurate when suggesting ways AoE IV can be better.

First reason is you asked for them (images of units NOT from base Shogun 2). Forgot?

Also because there is a simple logic of “shogun 2 DOES represent Japanese units more faithfully” so they provide some convenient direct visual references.
You are free to argue against that. Then we could spend more time and refer to actual sources.

Classic strawman in every AOE forum.
Nobody ever asked for 100% accuracy. But everyone immediately throws out that term whenever it comes to asking for +1% accuracy.

If I were you I’d also spend 10 long long posts debating the definition of “accuracy” which may also be different among people. But I don’t have the time.

But there is still a difference between more accurate and less accurate.

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I don’t think I did ask for them, no. There being an expansion set earlier in Japanese history is downstream of relying on a video game as a primary source, when actual historical sources justify the existence of shields (different shields to what the screenshots of the Sultan’s Ascend are currently depicting).

Classic strawman. I never claimed anyone was asking for 100% accuracy. I was just emphasising that I wasn’t demanding it of the Total War series either.

I completely agree. That’s why my next sentence was:

To satisfy pedantry, I will next time correct “accurate” to “more accurate”, if that helps.

I suggest that when you decide to reply to me, you work out beforehand if you actually want to debate the topic, or just argue with me. Because the latter is a complete waste of time. Cheers.


Japanese typically wore shields on their armor rather than wielding them in their hands, even cavalry.

Still, the reason they have shields is so they match every other civ’s cavalry for visual clarity. If they wanted to give Japanese cavalry with no shields, then they should just make them unique replacements.

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There are several reasons why the use of shields could have been limited by the Japanese.

Firstly the focus on primarily two handed weapons. Large bows, guns and polearms.

The above point along with good enough armor, that allows the use of these weapons without sacrificing too much protection. They did have very large shoulder pads for some of the earlier armors that are almost like shields.

Other forms of protection like the standing shield that seems to have been quite popular, similar to how pavises were used for European crossbowmen.

There are rectangular shields that were used when defending against gunpowder.

But round shields is a no, having some shields might be ok, but would be more interesting to have some standing shields for infantry instead.

It doesn’t seem like the norm is to use a shield for Samurai or if used the shields are larger pieces to be placed in front of formations. And lastly in some specific cases.

And 100% historical accuracy isn’t the factor, but representing the civs in somewhat authentic way is preferable. Example is having units wield weapons and armor that is appropriate and has some historical basis, while looking appropriate.

Authentic enough, example: European knights with Katanas and mg42s arent authentic to the period nor appropriate for a European knight.

Another example: A norman knight or infantryman with plate armor greaves and heater shields, arent authentic or appropriate either. Having ‘chainmail’ and a ‘kite shield’ however is.

Also regarding gameplay clarity: Players will learn the unit even if it doesn’t look 100% as other civ units look, even if they are not unique.

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We already see this type of inaccuracy for visual/gameplay clarity. The devs went with an art direction that makes units easily and quickly identifiable based on type. While I’m not an expert in Delhi or Chinese history, I highly doubt their cavalry used the same shape/type of knight shield (or lances for that matter) as French or English knights. All units of the same type have the same base kit, and the round shield is a core visual identifier for the Imperial horseman units.

I don’t know what the game is, but I don’t think the naginata was used usually on the horse back.
It’s a weapon used on foot to combat against other infantry and strike cavalrymen, somehow similar to the halberdier. You seldom hear about “halberd cavalry”, right?

As far as I know, before the yari dominate the battlefield, the weapon Japanese warriors usually used to melee combat on the horse back should be the tachi, an other type of Japanese sword than the katana.

That should be rarer. So a yari (which is the weapon of the cavalry in the base game) is more appropriate than naginata in this campaign. I’m just referring to the usage of shields here.

But there are still depictions of naginata on horseback. Some legendary. And it’s still a little different from halberds because halberd heads are much heavier.

In order not to divert: shield usage is even rarer in those sources.

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Delhi and chinese ‘knights’ dont use the same shield as French or English what? Also there are variation in weapons across civs.

We can complain and/or suggest that they dont either way.

See how much the game industry has devolved…
AOE2 has two units carrying the exact same round shields. One counters archers. The other is countered by archers.
AOM has two axe units with opposite roles, two lance units with opposite roles, three lions with different roles, four sword units all with completely different roles.
AOE3 I’m not going to mention because that game is a “failure” so obviously every one of its designs explains why it fails.

Now, 20 years later, some players will not be able to tell and remember the type of one unit forever if it is not given a round shield.

In AOE4 you already have completely different looks for all units between civs (which is good BTW), and some people after successfully remembering all those different models still need a round shield to distinguish units.

(Disclaimer: I’m not saying the former cases are easier to distinguish and remember. But they are still easy enough and could be naturally remembered in the first hour of learning the game. It’s so natural that I never find it a problem in any game.)

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Yes, both cavalry units, I posted are from base game of Shogun 2

Why do You think is not good?

Sengoku Jidai (1400 - 1600) took place simultaneously with other events portrayed in AoE IV - Hundreads Years war (1340 - 1440), Siege of Kazan (1552) in Moscow campaign

Sengoku Jidai was peak of Japanese fedual military history, I think we should take it into consideration

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Uploading: 骑兵.jpg…
Similarly, the Chinese cavalry did not use shields.The Light cavalry.

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Good qustion actually, I want to say it by myself

Yes, total wear is just the PC game, I do not say. it is “master source”, but the fact is, that its developers made a proper job to represent the era and associated research

This game (TW Shogun 2) is actually good source of information - there is in-game encyklopedia and descriptions with lot of informations about the era

And we do not speak about the art here, but about PC games