Sword of the Samurai
- Get as much land as you can to start. Family advantage? Land.
- Pick your home province based on the fact that later in the game you WILL be fighting other provinces and will start off very weak and have to start overrunning others FAST to make your army bigger. Basically, don't be in the middle with 5 neighbors. Have land.
- You can raise most of the other abilities in the home screen. You do age and will eventually die, so get a wife and pump out kids.
- Matchmakers will show up to offer you brides once in a while. Take the bride with the best honor you can find, but I've never been able to not take an honor hit from marrying. You may have to rescue her, which involves an easy top down mission.
- Get all the soldiers you can on your current land first, then increase taxes until you can't anymore to get more land at the expense of honor. Maxing out swordplay is good practice, and makes the dueling game way easier. You are maxed out when the option to practice goes away. Same with generalship, though it takes a while it's worth it.
- Traveling: Traveling alone lets you have random encounters, which you can solve or ignore. Doing these is a main way to grind honor.
Traveling as a ronin means you are up to no good. If you go to someone's house as a ronin, you can fuck with his people's morale in a top down mission, or assassinate him in a top down mission that leads to a duel. If you find him without raising the alarm you can cut his throat as he sleeps, but I have been able to do that like twice. If soldiers who have seen you get away, game over. This, also, has happened to me like twice. Traveling with your troops: The only time you will do this is when your lord announces that he wants someone to fight a battle for him. DO THIS ALWAYS, it's the only way besides tax raising to get more land.
- If someone tries to assassinate you or kidnap a family member of yours, you will awaken in your room, the whole house visible. When you go outside, Ninjas will pop from nowhere. They have throwing stars and swords. When you see a yellow swordsman, that's the invader. Kill him with arrows, if he gets too close you have to duel.
- F1 (I think) shows you info on the other guys, and where you stand. When your Lord dies, (and he will, even without "help") the highest guy usually wins.
- Take advantage of the first "level" (Samurai) to train up. If other guys get elected Hatamoto, it doesn't matter, life goes on. When you get to be Hatamoto (Assassinate him when you have full sword, honor, generalship, and land which does max out) the game continues the same way. The other Hatamoto are your rivals, head guy is Daimyo. Your formerly huge army is now two guys and a dog with a sword taped to his back. Commence land gathering techniques, top off skills same deal as before except everyone has a two story house.
- You will probably start getting old somewhere in your struggle to be Hatamoto. You'll know when the option to retire shows up. Your son is probably middle aged or older too. Do what I did here: You want a good long life as a Daimyo. Retire. Your son will take over, and he blows plus he's too old. Chill and maybe try to get land until you get a wife. Chill till you get an Heir. Chill till he's a Young Adult and you're old. SAVE. Now retire. Now you have a nice young samurai with his whole life ahead of him. You'll have to train him back into Superman. Do it, then kill of the Daimyo. There is no one to elect you, so others will support you or another. If everyone picks you, you win. If not, you fight a battle. Sabotage and assassinate rivals as necessary to ensure everyone sucks but you.
- This is getting long as hell, but the Daimyo game is different. How you start depends on luck, so keep 4 or 5 saves. Your army will blow, but the only way to get more land is to invade, and FAST before your neighbors start getting big. Save, and attack someone. If he's got a big army, load and attack someone else. If everybody is too strong, load your Pre-Daimyo save and try again. F1 still gives you a report on your neighbors. When you feel like you have enough land and are unstoppable, declare yourself Shogun. Others will support you, but probably not. Now you'll battle. If you win, game over.