Let's Japanese in... NOBUNAGA'S AMBITION: Sphere of Influence - Ascension

Time for my first proper Let’s Play ever. It’s a sobering experience when you go into it fully aware it might not even get off the ground for more than couple of updates, but I still want to do it if only because it’ll be educational and something new.

Game of choice, something you’ve deduced from the title surely, is NOBUNAGA’S AMBITION: Sphere of Influence - Ascension. I’ll get more into what it actually is down under and just want to say upfront I’m not not very good at this game. If I had to pin that on something it would be on my lack of experience seeing as I only have one half-finished game behind me. Mind you, I have played couple of previous Nobunaga’s Ambition titles to greater extent but I chose this one for couple of reasons I’ll also talk about later. To keep this part brief I’ll just say we’ll all be learning along the way and feedback from some of you who may have played is more than welcome.

一 Sphere of Influence? Ascension? What is this nonsense, you white devil? 一

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence - Ascension is, at the moment at least, the latest entry in a long running series of grand strategy games coming to us from Koei. Now, some of you might associate that name with Musou aka Warriors games where you wander across battlefields killing enemies in their hundreds, but Nobunaga’s Ambition and its sibling series Romance of the Three Kingdoms are proper Koei developed games as opposed to solely published and are decidedly on the slower paced strategy side of things. Think of them as Japanese Europa Universalis or perhaps more aptly Crusader Kings, yet one thing thing hold in much higher regard is historical accuracy wherever possible.

Instead of spending even more time putting together some ever clumsy description I’ll just let the official material work for me on this one:

The renowned historical simulation series returns with enhanced features in “Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere on Influence”. Take the role of the legendary Warring States Daimyo (Warlords) such as “Nobunaga Oda” and “Shingen Takeda” to work your way towards unification by making best use of domestic affairs, diplomacy and battles against the fierce Warlord neighbors.

The latest installment has numerous enhancements and features to it’s predecessor “Nobunaga’s Ambition: Souzou” by expressing the Warring era’s highlight, the “Battle of Sekigahara” in the highest quality ever to date in the franchise’s history. Also the numerous in game procedures required in making progress towards unification has seen a major revamp in all areas.

Yet as you may have noticed there’s also “Ascension” in the title up there. What does that mean? Well, it’s the improved version of the game as opposed to more traditional form of expansion Koei has been doing for the series for a long time. There is some debate about preferences here, but I think a lot of people will agree Ascension is a major addition to the game on sheer grounds that it adds Officer Play which has become a well known fact in RotTK series, but makes its debut in Nobunaga’s Ambition here.

In this release we include “Officer Play” for the first time in the series, allowing players to advance from retainer to Castle Lord and then on to Daimyo. Experience the reality of an officer of the warring states from differing perspectives!

I know this is definitely the reason why I chose to go with Ascension for this Let’s Play seeing as I have devious intent for that one in mind. :smiling_imp:

二 The Let’s Play 二

Taking into account the nature of the genre I’m going with a screenshot variant on this one. Nobunaga’s Ambition always has a slow start as you’re doing repetitive activities to improve stuff and some of that may be abstracted for the readers’ benefit. Combat on the other hand is real-time with pause which might be a tad difficult to get across so I’m not sure how to tackle it yet. Maybe I can upload battles as separate videos? My upload speed is dogshit and they would be unedited in their entirety… we’ll see.

As far as spoiler policy goes. Well, game does follow historic accounts in terms of major events and character decisions, but we’ll get around to those when game proper starts seeing as there’s a myriad of options to configure.

Which brings me to a more interesting part of the Let’s Play or most depressing one depending on what the call out ends up like - I’d like you to contribute characters for the game. You see, aside from historical characters you usually get in these games we can now not only CREATE custom officers but thanks to Ascension advance properly throughout history and perhaps even advance from a lowly retainer to might Daimyo running the country. Even couple of ranks in-between which are probably more interesting in my opinion. My idea for this Let’s Play is I’ll create my own character and take control of him as I go through this turbulent era, but all other characters can be introduced into the game alongside historical officers and I may run across them. Keep in mind that’s not set in stone because game offers the option of forming your own minor clan and starting from there. I will provide details for character creation most likely in the first post as I get my bearings.

What I’m trying to say is your input really will matter seeing as based on that we might take an entirely different route with the Let’s Play. Let’s see how it works out, shall we?

三 Update Schedule 三

Frankly I have no idea, but it has good 90% chance of being highly irregular because my schedule is problematic as all hell. I’d rather not commit to anything right now.

四 Table of Contents 四

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五 Cast of Characters 五

Remember to click on avatars for a more detailed look at characters’ stats and other information.

[details=Matsuyama Nuri - protagonist of the current game]>

Oda retainer. Well into his old age by the time clan was about to make its bid for power and rise from relatively recent independence. Warrior who felt his strength waning and still looked to make himself useful despite poor luck.

[details=Ichijo Kesano]>

She was formidable with a spear, and self taught before joining the military. She believed that the unification of Japan was imperative to progress. Died in the Battle of Anegawa.

Courtesy of @Fefnir

[details=Takashi Tadokoro]>

Formerly of the Tokita Clan, he was expected to be a mighty warrior. But he preferred to read and spent his time studying economics and diplomacy. It was not long before he was cast out.

Courtesy of @LoakaMossi

Here we go with putting down some basics.

If you’re not interested in character creation at all you can feel free to skip this post, but I’d still suggest giving it a read seeing as you’ll get the general idea of what constitutes a character in Nobunaga’s Ambition. I don’t think I’ll do much screen cropping like I am in this case purely to keep focus on what matters.

Still, do share what you think about it so far and please excuse my questionable English. I’m working on it.

[details=HQ - Character Creation]After a cavalcade of, well, just two logos to be honest intro starts playing.

Ah, good old reassuring theme and a somewhat uneven intro to be perfectly honest with you. Great beginning and end, though. All Nobunaga’s Ambition games share that Kou Shibusawa part.

We move on to the main screen.

It is worth noting the background is dynamic and changes when you start the game anew. This is also where we get out second whiff of traditional strong soundtracks these games have. Let’s break down the main menu while we’re at it.

  1. New Game – pretty self explanatory and I’ll return to it later for some brief info.
  2. Load Game – ditto.
  3. Edit Historical Officers – there is where we can change the existing officers, ranging from their portrait to more tangible things like abilities and tactics… neither of which I will be doing.
  4. Edit Created Officers – meat of the game with Ascension, so to speak, and something I’ll dedicate majority of this post to.
  5. Create Events – pretty robust tool for creating your own events in the game and also not something I’ll be tackling seeing as it’ll be busy regardless, but this IS a valid way to essentially “script” your custom clan into the game so it feels more legit.
  6. Officer Directory – where you get to look at officers and see what their art looked like in earlier games, etc.
  7. Feats – basically just a version of achievements that might return you some old unlockable portraits and such.
  8. Settings – your regular options menu.
  9. Exit – evacuate the premises.

Before I get to New Game I’d like to just share what Officer Directory looks like because I think it’s very neat and nostalgic that such an option exists in the game. Particularly if you’ve been with Nobunaga’s Ambition series from the very beginning.

Now onto mode proper.

There’s plenty of starting here, even more so if you bought the DLC, that will affect what current game will be like at that specific snippet of time. These things are called scenarios. Aside from tutorial itself, which is highly recommended if you’re a newcomer, there are historical and fictional scenarios present but I’ll go with Birth of Nobunaga for simplicity’s sake as things have not yet spiraled out of control.

Among the daimyo of the Sengoku era were many who held the rank of Shugo, regional leaders of the Muromachi Bakufu. Serving under the Owari Shugo was his deputy, and serving under the deputy was Nobuhide Oda. That this man’s child would one day climb to greater heights than either Shugo or daimyo was yet unbeknownst to all.

Now we swing back to the meat of this update – created officers and how to create them. When we click on the button we get this

so I’ll deal with each category in succession. And first in line are the faces Oh god, the faces. They’re spread over couple of pages which I’ve compiled into more manageable batches. Use letters and numbers for orientation within individual batch.



Moving onto the next category we have the character’s name.

Not much to add here except it would be great if you could go for actual Japanese names so characters fit into the setting. If in doubt go some sites like THIS, THIS or even THIS for some easily generated or even adapted ones.

More of your usual stuff. Male or female is simple and binary, but voice has a lot more options. Sadly I cannot really give you a preview of each one so I’ll list them instead just so you know what your options are. If anyone cares about it I’m rolling with Japanese voices.

Youth: Pure
Youth: Earnest
Youth: Bold
Youth: Planner
Youth: Patient
Youth: Friendly
Youth: Brave

Middle-Age: Earnest
Middle-Age: Bold
Middle-Age: Zealous
Middle-Age: Friendly
Middle-Age: Fierce
Middle-Age: Patient
Middle-Age: Planner
Middle-Age: Stern
Middle-Age: Clever
Middle-Age: Official

Old: Veteran

Female: Brave
Female: Wise
Female: Cheerful
Female: Tender

Father and Relative are entirely optional and if you really feel like getting into that feel free to coordinate with other interested users. Just keep in mind your age as character becomes an active part of the game at the age of 16.

Now we’re starting to add some spice to the mix.

Tenet defines the person’s feelings about innovation and affects how compatible you are with other people to certain extent. If your character is daimyo of a clan this tenet will also become the clan’s tenet. Tenets encompass quite a bit and matter for adopting technology, but that’s something only the daimyo has to worry about so I’ll leave that out.

There are three options to choose from:

  1. Neutral (NTRL)
  2. Conservative (CNSV) – opposes progressive
  3. Progressive (PRGS) – opposes conservative

Simply put Ideal is what officer cares about. This can also lead to higher or lower compatibility with others, but is not a game changer unless you specifically set out to min-max. Here are the options you have:


REQ Loyalty is, well, Required Loyalty and is in fact a figure you want to be as low as possible if you’re looking to recruit the officer seeing as it means A) he’s very easy to recruit and B) it’s very easy to maintain his loyalty afterwards. Don’t take this as gospel and give the number you deem appropriate for your character based on his personality, backstory, sense of duty, etc. Go crazy.

Tier classification cover C, B, A and S category and doesn’t really stand for much. It’s more of a tool for locating individuals through groups faster and has no real mechanical impact on the game. Go with whatever you feel fits.

Now we get to Tactics and lord have mercy there’s a lot to go through here. Tactics is your combat skill independent of abilities and everything else. Have fun.

Lifespan follows up.

Most of this is self-evident, but I would like to remind you characters become active as playable pieces at the age of 16 and childhood is off-limits. Also take into account your lifespan even if we’re highly unlikely to play for any extended period of time. I do appreciate the scenario listing so you just how old your creation will be able in every one of the, by the way.

We’re going with Birth of Nobunaga if it slipped your mind.

Condition is something you can perhaps skip over for this particular game. Something worth noting is that Ronin cannot be hired by clans so unless that’s something you’re specifically going for some reason I’d suggest avoiding it. Maybe there’s a story reason why your character would only look to join something ten years after game begins? Who knows.

Now we move page of the character creation.

And it’s time for panic.

We start off simple enough with abilities aka commonly known as stats.

LEA = Leadership
The higher this attribute the less damage units lead by this officer take in battle. Also their morale while under siege drops slower.

VAL = Valor
The higher this attribute the more damage your troops do in battle. Also if your Valor is higher then the enemy Leadership their morale will drop faster in sieges.

INT = Intelligence
This attribute is useful for all diplomacy options. Raising trust with other clans, appeasing tribes, spying on enemy fortresses, finding new resources in your territory and so on.

POL = Politic
This attribute is for all the development tasks. Developing your land, constructing new buildings, constructing better roads and so on. The higher the attribute the faster a construction task gets completed and the higher the rise in development points for crops and so on are.

Pretty clear, right? 50 is average and they can go up to 100. Please don’t go for OP characters, alright? :stuck_out_tongue:

This is where we get into real problems – growth type and traits. Why problems? Well… just look at the lot of em!

And that’s just a brief snippet of what’s offered. I would have very much liked to have ALL of this listed for you, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere online and there’s too much for me to comprehensively edit into some semblance of order so I’ll have to take the coward’s way out and ask you to describe your character’s nature, talents, profession, etc, so I can choose growth type and traits based on those. I do apologize to all the min-maxers out there.

And lastly we move to the third page of the officer creator.

Where there’s a bio window to fill if you’re up to it.

192 symbols max, spaces count. 48 symbols per line - must skip because of window limits.

I realize all this seems like it’s a bit too much, but here we go, courtesy of @Fefnir :




Growth rate/Traits:


Or if you appreciate your time you can just tell me basic information:

  1. Face (batch, letter + number)
  2. Name (appropriate)
  3. Birth information (year and lifespan)
  4. General gist of the character (concept, goals, stats, etc)[/details]

Now it’s up to you… and me if I don’t ditch on the updates. Good luck, everyone. :sweat_smile:

I wish I knew more about the period, but I ain’t saying no to a character creator.


Face: Female, D2
Name: Ichijo Kesano
Gender: Female
Voice: Brave
Father/relative: Gonna leave that blank for the time being.
Tenet: Progressive
Ideals: Justice
Loyalty: 3 (I don’t know the range of what would be “difficult” to recruit a character. 3 seems like a good “not too difficult but not immediately easy.”)
Tier: B
Tactics: Skilled Spearman
Born: 1514
Lifespan: 56

Birth of Nobunaga: 20
Viper of Mino: 28
God of War Descends: 34
The Struggle for Power: 37
Battle of Itsukushima: 41
Battle of Okezahama: 46
Dawn of Revolution: 53
Nobunaga Besieged: 56

Condition: Retainer
LEA: 48
VAL: 75
INT: 76
POL: 38
(I did a dice roll for these so if they seem to high I can change 'em. This is the general order of stat values, though.)
Growth rate/traits: Kesano fights with a spear, and I think she should be more defense-focused. She’s more the soldier type so if there any traits like that I’d go with those.
Bio: She was formidable with a spear, and self taught before joining the military. She believed that the unification of Japan was imperative to progress. Died in the Battle of Anegawa.

I’m gonna have to get this game at some point, this is pretty cool. I also need to learn more history.


You know you’ve done such a great job with your template I’ll add it to the post as default way to add characters. What’s her Tier, btw?

Great job. :grinning:

Thank you. I updated my last post with the tier and bio.

Face: Men Batch #1, F4
Name: Takashi Tadokoro
Gender: Male
Voice: Youth: Pure
Father/relative: Open to ideas
Tenet: PRGS
Ideals: Fame
Loyalty: 6
Tier: B
Tactics: Cheer
Born: 1518
Lifespan: 60
Condition: Retainer
LEA: 15
VAL: 5
INT: 81
POL: 79
Growth rate/Traits: Something that implies cunning in an off-the-wall and spontaneous way.
Bio: Formerly of the Tokita Clan, he was expected to be a mighty warrior. But he preferred to read and spent his time studying economics and diplomacy. It was not long before he was cast out.

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Thank you both. I’ve added/corrected these two characters and will probably give it this weekend if anyone else wants to join before I start working on proper update come next week.

I feel like I should apologize for how long this took to actually post, but I should probably figure out some faster method to get all the posting out of the way over handling it all individually. It’s not so easy wit screenshot LPs, I guess. And I have been busy with no idea what my schedule is going to look like in these coming months. Hang in there, guys. :wink:

I added relevant characters to second post just so they’re easily available. Sticking with our three custom characters for now and sadly new ones cannot be introduced into the game while it’s ongoing. Just in case someone else felt like they wanted their own character.

[details=Update 01 - Overture]Here we go at last with our first proper update. I took my sweet time with it, I confess.

But before that let’s some basic rundown on our setup and scenario we’re going with for this particular game.

In case everyone forgot we’re rolling with Birth of Nobunaga scenario and will, in fact, be playing as the Oda clan. Main branch, mind you. There are couple of other branches in the game and I’ll talk about for a tiny bit when we start playing, but let’s just say this is the one where Kipposhi aka Nobunaga Oda was born into. If you don’t know about the guy yet he’s kinda famous.

But at the time clan Oda is headed by his father Nobuhide Oda. Here we can see some basic stats for the clan and while it’s definitely not among the weakest with three bases and smack dab on the top of the bay our addition of three custom officers will certainly help it by bumping the number to nine officers.

After we click on the icon of the clan we want to play as we can choose which officer to start with. Position is what matters as there are three main gameplay styles: Retainer, Chamberlain and Daimyo. We start as a retainer and may progress up in ranks if do well and gain more honor. Our options are rather limited to start with, though.

Here we have some game options as far as difficulty and scenarios go. And by “some” I mean quite a bit of them, actually. Fortunately I’m just rolling with NORMAL difficulty so it’s locked out for me. I wish obtained honor for myself was also normal, but I guess game is still willing to give us a crutch on this difficulty.

As far as scenario options go I’ve changed some things around. Primarily, I’ve locked out in-game editing so there can’t be any cheating by editing officer stats and such even if I wanted to and I’ve enabled fictional sons and maidens because those two translate to more characters and some leeway from what will be a rather rigid historical scenario. It’s not like Samurai-ko didn’t exist historically even if they were far and few in-between their make counterparts.

Game gives us one last check before we start playing… everything checks out. Let’s get rolling.

Oh, one nice little touch is how Nobunaga’s Ambition gives you a random character’s bio during loading. Shame they fly by so fast on PC.

Wait a second. What’s this?


That’s right – seeing as we picked an actually relevant clan that has a story we get this cinematic of sorts that sets the groundwork for what Oda clan will be doing for a while. Also, this is where we find out Nobuhide Oda has had a son. I’m not sure if I want to do these in a video format from now, but they’re not that numerous and you also get to hear some of the rather good soundtrack Nobunaga’s Ambition features. Not to mention I’m bootleg as hell and do all my editing natively on Youtube to save time.

Into the game finally.

No less than immediately getting addressed by our Daimyo himself. It seems we’ve been given governorship over Kiyosu. This is how a Retainer starts off in a new game.

Another staple that quickly follows is the monthly report where everything that’s happened in the previous month is tallied for your perusal. Not so much in this case considering we’re just starting off but I’ll talk more about how game’s phases work as we go on because that’s our bread and butter as far as gameplay segregation goes.

Considering we’ve just started our lord has a new order – clearing additional land for Kiyosu so we can build more stuff. It’s important to note that while only the main character aka the player can give the final word on mission completion, so our lord can give everyone a new order, other officers in the clan can contribute to individual objectives. You’ll see this in practice very soon I’m sure because there’s no way a new officer can do all of it on his own and orders will only get more and more complex.

Offer 1500 gold
Offer 1500 supplies
Offer 800 wood
Offer 500 iron

I’ve found gold to be tight early on because you’re always spending it on things and it’s the hardest to come by when you take into account you don’t make much from your tiny assigned domain. Supplies is a relatively easy on because you don’t have much use for them early on, something that will change once you start mustering conscripts, and wood and iron are situational depending on your domain.

Speaking of which…

We finally get our very first look at the game! And there’s a bunch to break down and talk about. Before we delve into all of that there’s couple of ways to check out some basic stats about your domain:

You can simply look to upper left corner and see it alongside your mug. It should be noted that this toolbar gives you a trio of values you don’t get in other two views: HONOR, INNOVATION and LABOR. All in due time about those.

You can hover over the settlement itself which will give you a nice tooltip.

Or you can actually click on the settlement which will give you a nice sidebar from you can use the magnifying glass to explore further about your character or domain.

Sidebar and hovering tooltip provide you with extra values you don’t see at the top left listing: POPULATION, PROFICIENCY and POPULARITY. You can see what your income all-around is for all the resources.

Let’s click on that magnifying glass and see more details about our domain aka just Kiyosu for now.

If you look into it we can see a lot of information at a glance. Naturally, we don’t really need this menu that much when we have only one area to control and we’re a retainer, but if we get promoted and control more than one territory it will be extremely useful.

So what can we read from this?

Well, game can trip you at first because SOLDIERS count is basically a combination of your max militia and max troops which can be misleading seeing as it doesn’t represent the real state of things. We’ll get back to the military side of things when they become pertinent seeing as we can’t really swing our weight around that much.

Green values are maxed out for the moment, and our wood/iron and iron incomes will change depending on whether we have production facilities for those. It also says under resources that our territory can be upgraded to exploit lumber and iron, one of each. Our monthly income is pretty bad at 59 and autumn harvest could be better, but 460 is respectable. Keep in mind when they say autumn harvest they mean it. Harvest for other three season are separate and require investment to profit from.

If we click on Kiyosu we get its specific details which would, once again, be useful if we held more than one territory.

Which tells us more-or-less the same information we already gleamed from the overall summary with the exception that Popularity and Proficiency tabs go into greater detail. Idea is that good old Nuri here isn’t that great of a steward and he doesn’t have any traits that would be benefit him, but provided he sticks around enough and politics a bit he may acquire them. Also, he’s a new governor so people need to get used to him before that will start generating a tiny bonus. I guess he’ll have to do for now.

That’s probably enough explanation of stats for now. Can’t imagine how tired this has to be for you the reader when I’m tired of it. Let’s move on to what we can actually do and I recall seeing some faces floating about eager to talk to me.

Just a quick breakdown.

These are suggestions your fellow officers or even daimyo will suggest to you about what to build where or develop next. You can dismiss them if you will but if you thing there’s even a possibility you’ll do what they’re suggesting there’s no need to do so because you won’t be able to claim whatever reward they have in mind. And seeing they stick around usually for couple of months there’s no harm involved. That’s what blue dialog bubbles do, at least.

Now white bubbles on the other hand are straight up gains for you and there’s no reason not to check them out. Sure, they usually result in friendship increase with the relevant person but why say no to that? Sometimes you’ll luck out and maybe get a gift from someone or they’ll ask you for a trade.

Basically, these are both good and you want to see as many as you can. Onto the three we got.

Aww crap, head honcho himself has graced us with a suggestion. And it’s a good one we want to get to ASAP seeing as we need iron of our own and we can’t buy any as a lowly retainer.

Masahide Hirate is a fellow county representative very much like we are and he has sound advice – lumber is a second resource and just as important, but also way more common. Taking into account we have a forest this is a chance we do not want to miss.

On the other hand Hidesada Hayashi is a retainer without rank, but he seems to sympathize with us so why not extend a hand? There’s no deeper meaning to his message, though. It’s just a generic line from retainer to retainer. Strange to see such a young retainer so conservative, but I guess it’s a good point of familiarity with older Nuri here.

Speaking of all these people we should check out the clan roster before doing anything on our end.

We get to it by checking the icon in the top right corner.

And that leads to a whole bunch of information. I’ll just jot down some basics for now.

Bases clan Oda controls. Keep in mind bases and not just small fiefs that individual retainers control and governor. Which is why names seem off. I think this will be much clearer when we see the bigger picture later on.

Feel free to look at and compare stats of these three bases, but do note that while Nobuhide Oda is nominally lord aka daimyo of the clan he’s given two of his three bases to two chamberlains. This is our ticket to becoming a chamberlain in case we conquer more territory in the future or one of these two get replaced. Which is highly unlikely considering they’re both Oda.

Now we’ll check out the officers just so you know who’s in the employ and what they can generally do.

It’s a me!

There’s someone familiar. :slight_smile:

And another familiar face. :slight_smile:

All in all, clan Oda has a fair number of retainers with Substitute title. Which just means they don’t really have any official clan title. Catching up to Nobuhide with his Fame 6 is going to be rather difficult, but those with smaller values are within reach if newcomers apply themselves to orders and warfare. There’s even a retired acting chamberlain so perhaps that position will vacate soon? Who knows? I have no direct control over any of these officers and they do their own thing based on stats and personality so things should get interesting despite this being a historical scenario and following historical events.

One last thing I’d like to bring your attention in this list would be the treasures of which clan Oda has two.

They make for somewhat paradoxical descriptions considering they apparently come from the future and are property of Nobuhide’s son, but they’re clan heirlooms. These ones don’t bestow any influence bonuses, though.

Before we get down to building itself we can enable map info which will show us buildable plots very clearly. Is it nice to look at the landscape and budding town? Sure, but I prefer functionality and this is usually the mode I keep the game in.

Now onto building stuff. I’ve combined the tooltips from the same categories purely for convenience.

First up is trading.

Which is about as straightforward as it gets with the exception that you need to stimulate Commerce for it to become even usable. This particular trader doesn’t offer the option, but this is also where you can buy giftable items for a hefty sum.

Now stimulation is a bit trickier. This is basically research that unlocks new functions, buildings and affects the efficiency of certain things. Your daimyo’s aka country aptitude affects the cost of stimulation and you’ll notice that even with good discount it still costs an arm and a leg, and depending on the governing ability it will also usually take two months to finish. We want to do this at some point and it’s what people will keep suggesting to us based on their own ideas, but not exactly early on unless bankruptcy sounds appealing.

With that over with we move onto buildings.

We build stuff.

There are multiple categories here and I’ll talk about each as we get down to actual building, but for now it’s pertinent to say some production facilities require appropriately adjacent resource to be around.

While we’re at it let’s take the earlier advice to heart and build that Forge and Lumber Mill we were suggested to do. Starting with the Lumber Mill by choosing it from the list above and then we go and select placement

while paying attention to the bottom left corner where you can see couple of details like what the yield will be, what area facility will occupy and how well the services of the plot suit those of the facility. In the case of a Lumber Mill production increases with high WATER and MARTIAL ARTS as signified by a drop and crossed weapons, both of which are strong in this area making it a perfect spot. Regular yield is around 30 or so so this is really nice.

This gives us summary of the project. You’ll notice Labor cost. We have four available and building this will cost us two. As a retainer we get four labor points every month so we have to be careful about what we do with them.

Confirm and we get a, well confirmation. You go, me!

Facility pops up as work in progress and we can check it out. Sadly there is no undo button so we have to be careful not to screw up.

Now let’s do the same with a Forge.

We sadly cannot get ideal conditions for this one and if you look at diagram you’ll see neither of the highlighted areas is really emphasized. Still, we get a small boost in production over basic 22.

And with that we’re out of Labor points for the month.

There is still one last button we can use before ending our first gameplay month so let’s get to it. Good thing about is none of these functions available to a retainer cost any Labor points so you can do something with them every month.

Visit lets us, well, pay a social visit to any other officer.

I’m not sure but I think there’s some sort of boundary that’s applied to this seeing as you cannot visit literally ANY officer in Japan but perhaps those belonging to surrounding clans and such.

How much friendship we can get out of a single visit depends on couple of things, but primarily our Tenet and Ideals. As you may have surmised it helps to be in favor and have a network of friends. I’ve decided to pay visit to a fellow County Representative Masahide Hirate. Let’s hope we get along.

Grayed out button we cannot do anything with right now and hopefully never will is the Defect button. It’s pretty self-evident what that one does.

But you glorious bastard, some among you may be saying right now, there are two buttons you haven’t talked about yet – weird jigsaw pieces at the top and that vague C-shaped symbol at the bottom. Well, let’s check out the top one first. What it does? Well…

It takes us out to world map of Japan. As just a retainer this is way above our pay grade so I won’t get into it, but someday I may have to if our lord commands us to battle.

Let’s go back to our territory and press the bottom button now.

Which takes us into the second phase of the game. One of Military. Sadly, very much like global power plays and diplomacy this one is still beyond us seeing as we barely have a fighting force to begin with and we don’t a lift a finger without our daimyo’s says so. And I mean that quite seriously – we cannot do anything in this phase right now.

So let’s just advance time and let June run out.

First thing that happened was our visit to Masahide Hirate went splendidly.

Nothing like a backhanded compliment from your boss. Good to be noticed, I guess.

Matter a fact is best.

And after that I got surprised by the unlikeliest person.

It seems like young Ichijo Kesano needs some help with additional lumber. I don’t lack any right now, not to mention I built a very successful Lumber Mill this month, so I’ll give some to her.

She may be a progressive lass and I conservative old fart, but this could also be the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

But the best news in June was yet to befall me when Nobuhide Oda himself approached me.

Why, thank you lord. Nothing better than free Honor because that’s one thing you have to actually work for. Be it delivering on orders or exemplary performance in combat. Handing it out freely like this just for good governorship is a steal.

Just as June was running out I noticed a small child near the somewhat poorly placed Forge running in my direction.

Sounds reasonable and something I ought to consider. As facilities work and their work conditions are satisfactory they will level up to everyone’s benefit.

And so June ended with a council for July ahead of us.

Seeing as last month’s order is still active, one to clear additional land, our lord has not issued a new one yet.

Make no mistake, most of that lumber and iron income is from our two benefactors who were pleased we listened to their sound advice about building. Our monetary income IS what we have to get used to, though. Meager.

We did nothing of note directly so Report remains empty.

Log is where all the stuff from lats month will be listed, Be it buildings, alliances or friendships it all finds its way here as long as its relevant to us somehow. That sweet sweet free honor.[/details]

This has been another explanation heavy update just like the last one and only covered a SINGLE month but now I’m confident I can move on much faster and explain only new things. As a retainer we’ll be going through quite some time doing repetitive activities, but such is life for now.

I just hope this update made a bit of sense because it’s kinda difficult to break people into these games.


Here we go again lest you say I’ve deserted my fellow white devils in these strange lands. Unfortunately, my expectations about my job were pretty much on the money so these updates will be rather sporadic.

Let’s get down to it.

[details=Update 02 – Minutia]While we’re here I might as well show you what the loading screen looks like.

Just in case everyone forgot where we were – it’s July and we’re playing as Oda retainer with minor land associated with our name where we govern. As much as we can as lowly retainer, that is.

I use this mode for clear visibility so I can see what plots are active, what can be built upon, resources I have, etc. But wait. I see some smug kid on my fiefdom so let’s see what he wants.

I do wish we could place it at a better position, but it will cover the already existing Forge as well as whatever we build on the other side.

While we’re on the subject you may have noticed the MISSION button has turned orange and acquired a check-mark. This means we qualify to complete for at least one of the objectives.

Seems clear as day. Shame that with this and Theater built we’re at absolute zero iron at the moment… which truth be told shouldn’t inconvenience us that much, but still. I’d rather have than want something. We’ll also get good 50 Honor for it so that’s a plus.

Sure thing, boss. And while we’re at I might as well visit Nobuhide for my monthly courtesy call. Not a bad idea to get some browny points with the boss if you can help it.

It is actually worrying I’m not already at least friendly with my daimyo, but we’ll work on it.

And with that out of the way move to advance time to August…

No need to be so formal, my lord. Have I mentioned how much I’d like a promotion yet? Oh, just some underling humor.

And you better be grateful for it. You know, some would argue smiths don’t deserv-

FREE IRON? You’re alright, my good men. Just keep that kid out of the forge until he’s older, alright?

And so begins August. Let’s see what’s happening.

That absolutely sad income still hurts my soul whenever I see it, but thanks to smiths we’ve recouped some of the invested iron. This is still definitely a very weak economy we have going on, but provided it’s a single small fiefdom we can’t do much about it so gifts and incentives is what we’ll have to use to get by.

We had nothing to report specifically, but that Log is ever useful when you need a quick and basic summary of what transpired during the last month.

With that we’re back in the game.

And with surprisingly nothing to occupy our attention at the moment. No talking heads with advice or outstanding orders we can deliver – as limited as our options are this is when we get a taste of freedom. To do what exactly? Get some Paddies going on, of course.

As it says they need irrigation access we just so happen to have a nice little river running through our territory with even some outskirts so Paddies don’t interfere with other central facilities. You know what? Let’s construct TWO. We should feel it immediately next season and supplies are important as things go on.

Done and done.

Let’s visit our friend-to-be Hirate while things are still calm.

As I’ve said before I think our shared Ideal nets us double Friendship points.

With nothing else to do time speeds on to September…

It seems building that Theater to appease the smiths was a good idea in more than one way seeing as basic human greed is beginning to surface. Still, 500 gold is nothing to scoff at AND future profits from Merchant’s Quarter. Excellent suggestion and I’ll have to check out where to put the facility.

Pleasure as always. I think we’re really getting along.

I imagine he pitched me this idea during our social call. Commendable effort, but stimulating anything, especially concepts that don’t really benefit from clan Oda discount, isn’t feasible at this junction.

And something new as our forum rascal takes initiative:

We see other retainers can also take up mission goals for themselves. They also have it easier in a sense they announce beforehand what they’re claiming and can take a while to finish it as opposed to the player who basically has to claim and finish goals in one go. Such is our lot in life, I guess.

Showing our little domain is growing we’ve also received two visitors.

Morishige Sakuma is a young Oda retainer without a title so far, but like I said he’s young. Maybe he wants to learn from an old warrior? Insert your own joke where appropriate.

A rising statesman from Toki clan, Toshishige Saito seemed to really like our Paddy fields. Maybe he’s just scoping out the competition, but who can tell. Serenity is so hard to find these days.

As the month runs out season also changes and we get a neat screen effect indicating Autumn has begun.

Council for month of September begins.

Nothing new here except the costs for those two Paddy fields.

Now we’re cooking with fire – Paddies are immediately paying off because that’s more or less double the amount of we’d have gotten otherwise without them. It’s really a blessing that we have river access compared to certain other clans. And our friend Hirate got promoted to Chief so heartfelt congratulations to him. Maybe our friendship will start paying off soon…

And a very amateurishly edited image just so I can portray everything on one screen. Good stuff.

And once again we wonder what to do. Those two talking heads there are suggestions to build the Merchant’s Quarter and stimulate the concept of Law, respectively. We can acquiesce to one of those at least, but before that let’s check out the orange MISSION button again. You have noticed we have more than enough supplies to fulfill a goal.

Gathering supplies is never as glamorous as anything else so it nets us less honor but amusingly enough, seeing as merchants had such low standing in feudal Japan, neither is collecting gold. Still, we have the supplies and it moves us toward completing the mission. You can also see Takashi Tadokoro has claimed his own objective of gathering 800 wood so good luck to him.

Anything for the cause.

Let’s do good by that totally-not-greedy merchant and build the facility.

There is sadly no perfect spot where we can find the perfect synergy of influences for maximum profit so we’ll have to settle for this. It’s still higher than default.

There’s that. And seeing as we have one spot adjacent to the iron source we might as well just go ahead and build another forge there. Won’t be that much of a production and it won’t level up much, if at all, but every bit helps.

Before ending our active phase we decide to pay a visit to our now bit more influential friend.

It seems Kiyosu has become quite a meeting ground for people traveling and meeting. Not disappoint September also fares well.

Tadayasu Tominaga of Mitsunaira clan seems like someone we should considering we’re almost around the same age and our clans are so close to one another, yet we do not. Let’s hope future events don’t lead us down a dark path.

I have to remember to bring some mochi next time. It’s gonna be huge.

You know how it goes. You scratch my back and I scratch yours. I’ll take that gold now.

Can’t say I agree fully seeing as old ways have served us well so far, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, young Tadokoro. Good luck with that lumber.

October cometh.

Slow but steady increase in resources. Still preferable to straight up loss, though.


Fittingly named update seeing as you’ve seen a lot of month-to-month gameplay I actually have to deal with seeing as that’s the bulk of the game at this level. Good news is putting together these updates takes exponentially more time than it does to actually play Nobunaga’s Ambition so it keeps me spry with the output. :sweat_smile:

Everybody in Japan is just sidling up to Nuri, giving him their opinions on how good/bad the old way is.

Also, just a heads up, but a few of the images are broken. It’s the header, t5bnNIY and G3f7Ox5. That’s not just on my end, is it?

I’m seeing everything on my end, but Imgur is no stranger to screwing up here and there. I couldn’t get some images to show up in the previous update until they just did. Do share if anything changes.

Okay yeah, seems that was on my end. Everything works now.

The stars have aligned and that time of the month has come for me to peek my head and post another update. I don’t think making excuses will really help my case so let’s just get down to it.

[details=Update 03 – Furtherance]In case we forgot it’s still October.

I see my friend Hirate has something to share so let’s hear him out. He’s been more helpful up to this point.

Sadly this is still the time when we don’t have enough money to throw around at stimulating anything and I hate stalling people so I’ll refuse. There’s no drawback to this seeing as characters just offer you suggestions and these aren’t missions.

What to do next? Well, we get those four labor points every month so let’s put them to good use. I think I’ll go with the Water Mill to start. Why? You’ll see.

As you can tell positioning of the Water Mill will give those paddies a MUCH needed water so they can level up.

But wait – not a moment after I’ve confirmed the project Hirate paid me a visit.

Much appreciated and I will take you on that offer.

Our protagonist is a bit vague here, but in this particular case having assistance means that Water Mill is going to cost us 100 gold as opposed to 200. Which is tremendous at this point. Good man, Hirate.

Might as well spend the remaining labor points and play into my own hand with increased water supply by building another paddy adjacent.

I don’t think we have many more close friends so we’re on our own this time.

Before we advance time it’s only fair and proper we thank our friend for his help. I imagine Nuri brought over a fine quality sake.

And with that we advance… to war stage where we can still do nothing.

But fate had unexpected things in store for us.


Wait, you’re serious. Oh god. You realize Nuri is an old fart… wait, this is a political marriage to solidify two families. Yeah, that has to be it. All things considering I am looking for a leg up and marriage arrangement is a pretty big deal. Let’s do it.

Courtesy of fictional maidens and daughters probably has something to do with and to my defense I didn’t really delay it so I can look his daughter up but rather instantly accepted. Let’s hope we find each other agreeable.

And to make things further hilarious our visit kicks in in. Hello, father-in-law. Let’s drink.

I also imagine the drinks softened up Nui to hear his friend was taking over one of the mission objectives, but it’s no big deal.

At this point all objectives have been claimed or finished, making the eventual completion of the mission inevitable. Good. Time for another step for clan Oda.

I see what you’re doing, merchant. I’ll take your gold, but temper your expectations in the future.

With that month has run out and we move on.

Nothing extraordinary to note here. At least we’re not going bankrupt.

Another month and another building season. I’ll hit up another Lumber Mill to maximize on production since we have the capabilities.

Followed by a Paddy.

This one sadly won’t be influenced by the Water Mill, but it still has above average yield and it’s a plot neighboring the river so we’re going with it.

Not to let it slip my mind, let’s check out my wife. That came out wrong.

H-hold on a min-

I said wai-

Just a secon-


So you’re telling me I’m married to a 12 year old girl? Now I know it’s a political marriage for sure. Putting that aside her stats are on the average side, but her Tactic could be useful if she ever saw combat AND her Trait Golden Touch is something we could definitely find a place for in a governing positioning. We’ll have to find out how much a role wives have to play because I frankly don’t remember, though.

While we’re at it your spouse is listed on profile page.

We can also use this chance to get to know our wife. For the arranged marriage being what it is we barely know each other.

That wasn’t meant to be creepy, I swear.

It’s not long into the month before we are once again stopped by our daimyo in person.

Thank you, my lord. It’s comforting to hear stewardship isn’t overlooked in favor of combat glory.

And our other visit panned out as well.

You speak truthfully… wife. I don’t think Nui will live long enough to see how grow into a woman, but some things never change.

As winter rolls around game has another screen effect ready.


But even more importantly our daimyo took notice of us aka our honor has been accumulating steadily… mainly through his own contributions, alas. Still, we take what we can.

Toot the victory horn – we got promoted. Still a retainer, but clan title of Chief puts us on the same ground as our friend Hirate and will open up future advancements. Main thing to remember is that you cannot feasibly get control of a larger fiefdom until your clan conquers more territory. Which more than anything foreshadows the future.

But wait, a notice pops up.

No hard feelings. Your clan members are expected to pick up the slack because missions get a lot more complicated. Or should I say they get more goals you cannot achieve all by yourself.

Time for our regular meetup.

Whoa, so that 300 honor our daimyo gave us really must have been the catalyst for the promotion. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.


This one is on the short side, but it packed a few punches I didn’t see coming. That’s what happens based on how you build your social network in Nobunaga’s Ambition, though. The way things are looking up I think war is unavoidable soon and I have no idea how to handle combat. Raw video? I don’t think screenshots will really do it justice or portray just how bad I am at it.

We’ll see.

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Congratulations on your marria- “12 years old” Oh well that’s certainly a thing that can happen. Oh dear.

Video probably would be the best option, if the pacing is so fast.

Almost two weeks have passed which means it’s time to head back into the fray.

[details=Update 04 – Encounter]Last time we left it was December and things were heating up, I believe. So let’s just dive in.

Keeping it safe I’ll first do some building lest I forget to do so and waste my labor points. Strategic placement of a Water Mill should help improve nearby supply and wood production facilities.

That’s it and now we ca-

One again our father-in-law gives us a helping hand, resulting in once again saving 100 gold pieces. Much appreciated. With that I’ll also build one last Paddy in a lot adjacent to the river so we can get us much food as we can.

And that’s it for building facilities this month.

I have a feeling Nuri is feeling a bit estranged from his wife on, you know, account of her being twelve years old and all so so he decides to pay her a visit. Strictly supervised, of course.

With that out of the way I think I’ll branch out a bit and show you the map of Japan which is an entire section I’ve avoided up to this point, but also something that becomes really relevant as game goes on and things heat up.

As you can see this is the territory of clan Oda. Land within the blue borders, I mean. Keep in mind only three bases; Shobata, Nagoya and Narumi are clan Oda proper and counted as our territory. Blue flower icons are Kiyosu Oda clan which is a branch family of the clan, as was Iwakura Oda family until historically Nobunaga Oda made it the main branch some 20-ish years from now. At this point in history we are allies, though.

If we take a closer look at our three bases we can see they’re given to multiple chamberlains while Nobuhide Oda himself governs one.

Not to cause any confusion with the branch family our own Kiyosu fiefdom is assigned to Nagoya so we fall directly under Nobuhide’s purview. If you look real close you can see it on the map.

There are also some other things to show on the map.

If I toggle a certain option in the top right you can see the quality of roads ranging from 1 to 5. The thicker the line the better the road quality. Roads are more important than you imagine affecting some common sense things like speed of armies marching along but also affecting the rate of settlement growth. Basically, you want it as high as possible. Unless you’re really stuck as a mountainous clan in which case your roadwork top quality is 3.

One more matter I have to talk about are the tribes marked by purple icons. They come in multiple sorts and basically operate on support system.

At the moment they’re not that pertinent to us as a lowly retainer, but once we become more relevant regionally appeasing them may be a big thing seeing as once they support your clan at 75% they’ll send military units and if you get them at 100% support you benefit from their unique bonus depending on the type of tribe. For example, farmers yield extra supplies come season and such. Tribes can also be assimilated becoming a genuine settlement under your control, but their bonus is forfeit in that case as well. Seeing that we have FOUR tribes in our region it’s something to consider.

With all that out of the way we advance time.

I love these little events that give me free stuff. Building a Tea Room pays off, apparently.

Always a please, wife. Still feels weird saying that.

It keeps happening… which is good. It’s also our father-in-law so we’re keeping it in the family.

With that our mission is ready to be turned in come next month.

Hell yeah, it’s January of 1535.

There’s couple of things to check out here as well as something shiny.

It would be worth it for the return of investment, but money is always tight on retainer level so stimulation is still a no-go.

Wife apparently had the same idea, but same answer still applies.

Just as I hinted at before that Mission button has turned really orange and got a check mark which means mission is complete and can be turned in. So let’s do just that.

Never say no to honor and we actually actually worked for it in this case. Good stuff. Now we wait to see what the next mission will be as it will shape the future of the Oda clan. Also, if we had the money for it this is when we would expand Kiyosu’s land lots to build more stuff but that will have to wait.

With our coffers empty the way they are we’ll, well, just visit our lord daimyo and to improve our relationship.

Marking the shortest management phase ever we advance to army phase, but let’s just check a look before that.

Wait a second, that Okehazama fortification wasn’t there before. What could it mean?

Yes, judging by army stacks moving southward we’ve entered into a state of war. It’s funny because clans felt no need to announce war at the time and just marched. This surely didn’t result in conflicting alliances or anything. In our case we can see clan Oda has mustered three units which opens up a previously grayed out section in the information section.

Here we can see what comprises these three units.

Firstly it’s our clan daimyo himself with some damn fine adjutants of local forum make. I did not affect this in any way and Nobuhide chose them himself. Fact that he has adjutants unlocks more tactics for him to use during combat which is good news.

Remaining two units are headed only by two respective leaders seeing as they have no aids to support them.

We can see Kariya castle just on the edge of Oda territory is the target of this particular raid. As expected, Matsudara clan does not stand still and answers in kind.

Not sure how I feel about those odds, to be honest. As fate would have it lord Nobuhide seems to share my worries.

At once!

That actually sounds surprisingly worrisome. We’ll be the game breaker? Well, that remains to be seen.

Yes. You never ever want to avoid combat if you can help it because A) more honor and B) you don’t want to be left out of future battles for your inability to participate. As we’ll see we don’t have to go out of our way to be a tie breaker or anything as long as we do our part.

Here’s another screen I could talk about more than I will right now, but that’s appropriate considerate plenty of options are locked out for now. This is pretty much the most bog standard beginner unit you could imagine and we’ll field 200 soldiers which is our maximum at the moment.


Well, that didn’t exactly as planned, now did it? No worries because we survived. You’ll see that in Nobunaga’s Ambition it is far more important to do your duty than to be standing at the end of battles. Real time with pause works even if you did see me fumbling the controls couple of times there because things tend to get in the way of the cursor for some reason.

Such as this one where you’re pretty much meant to just scout the enemy and run away. Doing your quests is far more important than anything else, although not just hiding in the corner of the map seems to be a big factor as well. We’ll see this more in the upcoming battle(s) because this skirmish was just a simple taste of things to come.

In any case, our daimyo notices us contribution to the battle.

And then some.

Another get. This is a combat promotion which is even more ironic when you consider how we did in the last battle.

February rolls in.

Seeing that we finished our last mission Nobuhide Oda has a new one in store and this is a far more involved one.

Yeah. That’s a lot of objectives and I think I’ll be glad to have additional retainers working for clan Oda. Also… it takes us up north, so how will our invasion of Matsudaira unfold?


That combat video took way more than it should have, but here’s the update at last. And to think it’s only going to get more common from here. I think I’ll stop trying to min-max battles and just roll with the punches so comedy might ensue. :sweat_smile:

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You did a good job looking at the enemy for a bit. You should lead the army now.

Yeah, I really wanted to make it obvious what a tiny fish our unit was in that battle despite what the introduction text says. You can survive it and I’ve done that, but it really comes down to balancing the range of where you detect the enemy and where support can come and relieve you.

In most cases it won’t work out favorably for you. :expressionless:

Life sadly got in the way and travel will pretty much make this LP not feasible. I’d be grateful if @moderators could move it to the Twilight Zone.

Thank you guys for reading and participating despite my erratic schedule. :wink:

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