Shogun: Total War – Definitive Oda Clan Guide

Here’s my guide for the Oda clan! It includes a detailed turn by turn description for an optimal opening strategy as well as some more generalized thoughts regarding the mid and endgame.

Guide to Oda Clan

Setting the Table

Now as you all probably know, clan Oda is one of the more difficult clans to play as in the Sengoku Jidai campaign and I’m told the 1580 Oda campaign is the most difficult challenge that is offered by this game. The primary reason for this challenge lies in their central location. Clan Oda has a southern border of Kawachi, Tamba and Wakasa and these provinces are neighbored by a couple rebel provinces and clan Mori. The rebels won’t be there for long as it’ll only take Mori a couple turns to take their land. Oda’s northern border is held by Owari (which is your capitol), Mino and Wakasa and your northern neighbors will be clan Imagawa, Uesugi and some more rebels in Echizen.

This is all very precarious because Mori will be expanding in your direction and Imagawa will start looking towards Mino once they’ve taken Shinano on turn one. If you don’t reinforce your northern and southern borders your neighbors will sense weakness and attack. Unfortunately this requires simultaneously reinforcing five provinces (Owari, Mino, Wakasa, Tamba and Kawachi) which is quite impossible in the time that you have to do it.

There’s more, Ise and Yamashiro are both held by rebels and they just happen to be inside your starting territory. …also those provinces are garrisoned by Warrior Monks and Samurai Archers. …oh and the only soldiers you’ll start with is Yari Ashigaru and Samurai Archers. And these two provinces will be a problem for you. They will build their forces and they will be aggressive when an opportunity presents itself.

OMG This Is Impossible!

So how could you possibly prevail against such odds? The gist of it is this, you can attack Ise on turn one with four archers, three YA and your Daimyo without leaving any province undefended (except Kii). Once you’ve taken Ise you’ll have access to a Buddhist Temple. This Buddhist Temple is a lot like the Legendary Sword Dojo in Tosa and the Tranquil Garden in Awa in that these buildings will never be randomly destroyed during the initial conquest of the province. This is incredibly useful because this means that you will be producing WM’s by turn three (once the siege in Ise is ended).

However just because you’re now producing WM’s doesn’t mean Yamashiro is going to be a cakewalk. You see now that the Ikko-Ikki rebels in Yamashiro just witnessed you wiping out their brothers in Ise they’ll be coming for you. In my experience the Yamashiro rebels will attack Kawachi or Tamba as early as the summer of 1531, which is five turns into the campaign!! This means you’ll have to attack first. I find that as long as I’m attacking Yamashiro by the summer of 1531 I’m good. But this is going to draw a hard limit on how many WM’s you can get trained up for that battle. By hard limit I mean one, you’ll only be able to get one WM ready for this battle. But that’s okay! It can be won using a similar strategy to the one I use in Ise.

And What About The External Threats?!

While dealing with these internal threats it’s important to focus on reinforcing Mino. Even at the cost of leaving Owari virtually undefended. There’s a funny thing about A.I. psychology that will allow you to do this. Because the only enemy province that borders Owari in Mikawa and because Mikawa and Owari are both river provinces that tends to mean that Imagawa won’t usually heavily garrison Mikawa at this stage in the campaign. Because they consider it be difficult to take. Which consequently means that if Mikawa doesn’t have a sizable army to defend then it also won’t have a sizable army to attack. Which means that Owari will largely be safe at this point in the campaign.

I even leave it “undefended” during a few end turns with a unit in the training queue. The reason why reinforcing Mino is so important is because Imagawa is going to take Shinano on turn one and they’ll continue to put most of their soldiers in Shinano to either defend it or to attack from it. And the only province of ours that borders Shinano is Mino. Luckily Mino is mountainous so hopefully that’ll help if Imagawa decides to attack but the idea is to reinforce Mino quickly enough so that that attack never happens in the first place. Ideally I’ll have my internal rebel situation sorted out in the first year and then I’ll push on through the rest of southern Japan without even having to worry about a northern war because I’ve never presented myself as an opportune target.

Turn by Turn

Now I’ll present my turn by turn advice, however for this guide it’ll be a lot shorter then my other two guides because the only specifics that really matter are the first five turns.

Turn 1

Move Daimyo, YA and SA from Owari to Ise. Move YA from Kii to Ise. Move SA and YA from Yamato to Ise. Move SA from Iga to Ise. Move SA from Omi to Ise. Move YA from Omi to Iga. Move YA from Kawachi to Yamato. Move SA (heir) from Tamba to Kawachi. Move YA from Mino to Omi. Move SA from Wakasa to Mino. Move Emissary away from Imagawa and keep him moving because he’ll be hunted by ninja’s. Train YS in Owari. Build Castles in Tamba and Mino. Build Tea House in Owari. Set taxes to very low.

During the battle in Ise I average around 115 losses while killing most of theirs. In the video I get really lucky and only loose 45!

Turn 2

End siege in Ise. Move YS from Owari to Mino. Train YS in Owari. Set taxes to punitive.

With an average harvest I made 2,420 koku.

Turn 3

Train WM in Ise. Train Shinobi in Owari. Move Daimyo’s army from Ise to Iga. Move YA from Iga to Omi. Move YA from Omi to Mino. Build Castles in Kawachi and Wakasa. Build Spear Dojo in Mino.

Turn 4

Move WM from Ise to Iga. Move Shinobi from Owari to Ise. Move YS from Owari to Omi. Move YA from Omi to Mino. Train YS in Owari and train WM in Ise.

Turn 5

Move Daimyo’s army plus WM from Iga to Yamashiro. Move YA from Yamato to Yamashiro. Move YS from Omi to Yamashiro. Move SA(heir) from Kawachi to Yamashiro. Move WM from Ise to Iga. Train YA in Owari and Mino.

I was able to kill their entire army (420) and lose only 62.

From here you’ll be in a decent position but Mori will come for you soon so I suggest you going for him first. I think I’m attacking him by turn six for seven.

Are We Are Going North or South?

I personally like moving south first for a few reasons. First off, war with Mori seems inevitable. Unlike Imagawa who’ll only end up bordering Mino and Owari (and for previously mentioned reasons only Mino will need a concentrated garrison), Mori will be bordering Wakasa, Tamba and Kawachi and all of these provinces are too far away from Owari to be reinforced quickly enough to dissuade clan Mori from attacking you. Secondly when I’m playing as clan Oda I like using guns. I personally prefer using a heavily armored infantry core of Naginata, YS and SA and Muskets while playing as clan Oda. Also I like the money that is provided by the Portuguese Trading Posts and the Churches. However since the Portuguese land in the south first and work their way north it’ll be better for me to move south first in an attempt to meet the Portuguese halfway.

Therefore my first priority in my war with Mori will be to take Mimasaka. This is their capitol and once it’s taken their clan will be crippled. Once I hold the Harima – Mimasaka – Inaba line I’ll feel pretty safe from clan Mori. Then I’ll mainly focus on taking Shikoku. I know that once the Portuguese land in Hizen they’ll eventually make their way down to Satsuma and eventually on to Tosa so I’ll hope to meet them there.

Closing Thoughts

I’ll move my heir to my northern border just so that I have at least one good general on that frontier. In my experience clan Oda has quite bad non family generals. I haven’t received anything higher than a one star general in the first five years of the campaign. That’ll leave all of the heavy lifting to Papa Oda and Sonny Oda who both start the campaign as three star generals. By keeping my son in the north I should eventually be able to train up another decent general or two during my wars with the southern clans.

Once I can train guns I’ll disband all of my monk units and destroy any remaining Buddhist Temples. This part is simply for a bit of role play. I know I can technically have both WM’s and Teppo in my armies but I’d rather not simply because trade with the Portuguese will require our clan to convert to Christianity and the Ikko-Ikki monks won’t be liking that. If you’re curious the army comp I like to use with the Oda is this: 4 SA, 4 Guns, 4 Naginata, 3 YS and 1 YC. It’s heavy metal and it’s a lot of fun.

Oh and I almost forgot, I will be taking Echizen as soon as I can. It’s garrisoned by a WM and SA so if you attack it with a large enough force they’ll simply retreat to Kaga. Echizen is simply amazing to defend. If you haven’t fought an epic defense battle in Echizen you’re really missing out.

Written by Khan of Steppe

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