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“Well-armed and plentiful, these troops are effective at tearing down enemy buildings. These unique Japanese soldiers deal more damage.”

Ashigaru is a level 8 Japanese unique Heavy Infantry unit unlocked in the Enlightenment Age. Its predecessor is the Nodachi Samurai and can be upgraded to the Shizoku. It is researched in a level 7 Armory. It replaces the Fusilier.

General Information[]

The standard Heavy Infantry's default A.I. or purpose is to destroy the closest building (excluding walls), but they may fight back when attacked by an enemy troop. They're excellent at taking down defensive Heavy Cavalry (noticeably on cavalry at an age lower than them) and are able to destroy buildings quickly. However, their disadvantages are that they have low health, meaning that they can be killed very quickly. They can get destroyed easily by Splash Damage Structures such as Catapults or Mortars and Multiple Target Damage Structures such as Redoubt or Machine Gun. They are also weak against other Heavy Infantry (and even Ranged Infanty} spawned by the City Center, Garrisons, Ambush Traps etc.

  • As a Japanese unique unit, Ashigaru has 20% more damage than the standard Heavy Infantry they replace.

Historical Description[]

'Ashigaru' are Japanese infantry. Originally armed with polearms or spears and swords, by the 16th century they were equipped with matchlocks, known as 'Tanegashima.' While the Japanese 'Yumi' (bows) of the era were superior in virtually every way to these early firearms, a soldier could be trained to use a matchlock in a fraction of the time it took to learn how to fire a bow, and this would prove to be a decisive advantage.

Attacking Strategies[]

  • If these units are used in large groups and not in heavy fire, they can be devastating and can destroy a base easily.
  • Catapults or Mortars, with their splash damage, are devastating against these units and can kill a group of them in a few hits if in the range of the impact. Spread the units around so that the mortar would have to hit each infantry to kill it and that its impact would not affect other infantry as well, or deploy a few Heavy Cavalry to destroy it.
  • Redoubts or Machine Guns buildings can likewise be devastating against these units, if it is not dealt with appropriately. Keep the units away from it until it is destroyed or position them to destroy it quickly.
  • If a group of these units are under fire from Catapults or Mortars or Redoubts or Machine Guns buildings, consider using war tactics such as Sabotage or Protect and destroy the buildings as quick as possible, or use Demolition beforehand to eliminate these threats. You may also consider using Heavy Cavalry or other units to destroy these threats early on.
  • The Missile Silo can eliminate a group of these units quickly. Don't group them together so much that will attract the Silo attacks. Or you could deploy them after the Silo is destroyed, sabotaged or distracted by other units with high HP.
  • Use Ranged Infantry or Machine Gun Infantry to support them, so they don't perish easily to defenders.
  • They can be used as a distraction for many defenses and can help protect ranged infantry such as Ranged Infantry from defenses.
  • A group of them can easily overwhelm single target defensive towers, but are vulnerable against machine gun buildings.
  • While using an army entirely composed with Heavy Infantry can decimate enemy bases early on, this strategy becomes less useful as you advance ages as your opponents will use more powerful defenses with AOE effect such as the Missile Silo.


  • The word "Ashigaru" means "light feet" in Japanese
  • Historically, they were conscripted peasants mass-trained in simple weapons such as the Yari (Japanese spear) and the Arquebus
  • They became important during the Sengoku Jidai period, when changes in military technology (specially the introduction of firearms and gunpowder by the Portuguese) transformed Japanese warfare from small scale conflicts (or even duels) between samurai to large scale conflicts between armies
  • The evolution pattern of the unique Japanese soldier carries the player from the bushi to the samurai (warrior nobility), then to the Ashigaru (mostly peasants and militia; professional soldiers, at best). In other words, the unique infantry unit in the game devolves from a warrior elite class, to a conscripted mass model