Melee unit |
The Japanese unique unit.
Quick - Regular - Epic - Marathon
- Special traits:
- Shock I promotion
- Great Generals II promotion
- May build Fishing Boats while Embarked
The legendary Japanese Samurai are one of the most deadly units prior to the Industrial Era. They not only fight better than anyone else on open terrain, but also help produce Great Generals a lot faster than other units. Use them to gain an advantage in combat during the Medieval and Renaissance Eras.
As if that weren't enough, as of the Fall 2013 Patch, they can also build Fishing Boats on appropriate resources when embarked!
The Samurai upgrades to the Rifleman, not the Musketman like the Longswordsman it replaces. That means you will still need a source of iron for each unit until you research Rifling in the Industrial Era.
The Japanese samurai were arguably the best pre-gunpowder warriors since the Roman legions. Emerging in the 12th century, the samurai were a warrior caste sworn to follow the code of Bushido, which held bravery, honor, and loyalty above life itself. Samurai typically carried two swords, the single-edged katana and the shorter wakizashi, the latter used in the "seppuku" (suicide) ritual. These swords were far superior to the equivalent Western longswords, the Japanese weapons-makers having mastered the art of combining high- and low-carbon steel. Some also carried bow or spear, and later, firearms. Depending upon the era (and the samurai's wealth and status) a samurai might wear padded cloth, lacquered, or metal armor.
The Samurai were completely dominant for a few hundred years over Japan's military, before the influence of the Portuguese and gunpowder allowed arquebus-equipped Ashigaru (peasant) infantry to be developed and completely changed the face of war in Japan. However, at the beginning of the Edo Period in which Japan entered a period of isolation, all firearms and instructions to build them were destroyed, leading to the reinstitution of the samurai. Still, as Japan was unified and completely at peace, the samurai did little other than write poetry before Japan was brought into the Industrial age by the Meiji restoration, which abolished the Samurai class and the feudal system completely.