For 40 years, the Nobunaga's Ambition series has propelled the turn-based grand strategy RPG simulation genre to new heights. In 1983, the series released its first of many games to come, maintaining a relatively steady stream of releases until the latest Nobunaga's Ambition: Taishi in 2017. Now, the 16th entry of the beloved series is out, and fans of traditional feudal Japan settings like myself can’t sit still. Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening follows a powerful Japanese leader called Daimyō and tasks him with conquering and unifying the Warring States of 16th-century Japan.
You’re free to choose nearly all aspects of the game, which translates to lots of strategic thinking and planning ahead. You can choose time periods and the clan you’ll rule over, typically starting with a small clan and nurturing its people to their full potential. As you can imagine, being the head of a clan isn’t like a walk in the park. You’ll have to make tough economic and diplomatic decisions and sometimes be forced to use military force to unify the country.
No worries, though. We’ve compiled Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening best tips for beginners to help give you a head start so you can forgo the gruesome pain of learning the ropes and jump straight into enjoying the fantastic grand strategy playthrough Awakening has to offer.
5. Take Time Going Through the Tutorial, It Helps
From the get-go, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening dumps on you an information-heavy tutorial to help you learn the ropes. It’s quite a lot to remember in the short amount of time the tutorial runs for. There are menus to explore, mechanics, units, and a massive map to wrap one’s head around. All of this is shown to you via speedy run-throughs and texts that help explain how each element works.
Despite how overwhelming it can seem and how tempting it is to forgo absorbing so much information, it’s pretty useful down the road. So, try to take down notes. Or simply to pay attention to the core gameplay illustrations. Because, for one, the tutorial cramps everything you need to know about the game and delivers it to you right up front. And two, all of it actually comes in handy when navigating the game.
4. Make Good Use of Retainers
You didn’t think unifying the whole of Japan was entirely up to you, did you? The good news is you do get help from people called retainers. These are AI officers capable of thinking and making decisions as per their own judgment. Their role is to advise you on the way forward. They do so by submitting proposals to you, which you can choose to employ in your battle strategy.
As far as retainers go, try not to ignore their submissions completely. In fact, some of the suggestions are pretty grand and can save you a lot of trouble. They can recommend promotions and gold expenditures or advise you on whether a tactical assault makes sense. In the long run, retainers save you money and headaches down the road.
While at it, you may want to take note of retainers who come through with feasible plans. Then, promote them so they get a boost of their skills and abilities. Say, a retainer has helped you win a battle. You can promote them so they receive buffs like quicker refills of their Equipment Gauge Restoration meter.
3. Landholders Should Stay Close
In addition to retainers, you can delegate “lord” and “landholder” roles to people in the clan. While lords are heads of castles, landholders manage their own territories while also helping lords with their duties. Lords and landholders work in tangent with one another, with the landholder role running more extensively.
Now in real life, it may make sense to spread out landholders so they cover as much land, and thus territory, as possible. However, it can cause more harm than good because landholders and lords often rely on one another. Essentially, the closer they are to each other, the easier they can work together to improve the clan’s status, resulting in stronger territories against enemy troops.
Speaking of lords and their castles…
2. The Way of the Castle
Castles have varied roles. Some are built as a defense base to withstand siege attacks. Others are more of a “helper” base to support the main base. So say enemy troops invade a defense base, and the castle starts to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of enemies, they can draw more soldiers to protect it from falling from the helper base.
There’s also a “resupply” base. This helps provide additional supplies to marches and soldiers on long-term expeditions who may pass by on the way to their next battle. Castles also work in tangent with one another, the same way landholders and lords do. So, strategic placement of castles (and landholders) is necessary to effectively run civil affairs and protect your clan from enemy invasion.
1. War Tactics
Since you can employ four war tactics: joint, ranged, bolster, and feint, it’s important to consider them all extensively before making a decision. If you’re an aggressive type of player, you may want to go for the first three.
A joint attack combines all troops, marching them off toward the same target. On the other hand, ranged spreads out your troops to march toward multiple castles of the same enemy clan and attack them all at once. Lastly, bolster sends out backup to allied troops in another province.
If none of the aggressive tactics work for you, you can use feints to lure the enemy out of the safety of their borders and find creative ways to take them down. Often, feint helps to save as many of your soldiers as possible, seeing as the enemy troops won’t have the protection of their castles. Still, if your troops aren’t strong enough, they can get easily wiped out.
On the flip side, several war tactics help create plenty of room to choose a defense strategy plan wisely. Precisely, where to deploy your defense and how to intercept enemy troops at the points where they expect it least.