Total War: SHOGUN 2

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  • Play to the strength of your clan. You can recruit cheaper Katana units and Samurai are one tier higher than Ashigaru equivalents. Samurai get special heavy armor the Ashigaru never gets and their arrows penetrate more easily. Ashigaru arrows have trouble piercing that armor.
  • Pay attention to garrison troops you automatically get when your provincial walls get attacked. They are completely expendable in all cases and eat up losses your vets would take in their stead. You build up the forts to get more troops, recruitment slots, replenishment, and archer towers that automatically fire on the enemy, and that eats up one more food for each upgrade. That don't get a bonus from your clan.
  • Try to have two cavalry units attack an isolated enemy that is NEVER EVER a Yari spear unit and have the one facing their back at full charge for heavy damage and immediately have them disengage to cut losses. That charge is used up and you are only going to lose troops by having them melee. When that enemy is chasing those horses, have your other cavalry charge for full damage in their back and repeat.
  • Places with trade routes you take over give you lots of money if you can build multiple trade ships for them. Ten is the most per trading spot, but each one gives lesser returns. I wouldn't really bother with the fancy ships and stick to the smalls and medium ships to absorb enemy navies.
  • Building up provinces with upgraded buildings that eat food are newbie traps. Food determines growth for each province, per turn, and you should only construct foodie buildings (upgraded) when you have Metsuke (build markets) who can settle and increase income. It is smart to have five of your richest provinces have all of the hungry buildings with five experienced Metsuke with the income growth skills to settle them for the rest of the game. It is a dumb mechanic, since those buildings make lots of money and eat your food, while your excess food provide the same growth when you get one or ten provinces. If you take a province that eats up more food than what you are storing, you will starve your clan.