Donderbuss Cavalry S2TW Icon
Donderbuss Cavalry
Donderbuss Cavalry S2TW
Appears in Total War: Shogun 2
Belongs to Otomo Clan
Type Missile Cavalry
Ammunition 10
Soldiers in each unit 20/40/60/80
Attack skill 12
Charge bonus 15
Anti-Cavalry Skill 0
Armour 3 (Mounted)/6 (Dismounted)
Defense skill 2
Range 50
Precision 45
Loading speed 25
Morale 12
Produced from
Cost 800 SP/800 MP
Upkeep 200
Turns to Train 2
Unit Cap None

Donderbuss Cavalry are a type of missile cavalry in Total War: Shogun 2.


This special cavalry unit is armed with the fearsome donderbuss, a musket with a short, flared barrel used to fire a hail of projectiles at extremely close range.

The donderbuss actually makes them an effective counter to many other cavalry at close range and, as might be expected, their firepower against other units is formidable. Like mounted gunners, donderbuss cavalry can move quickly across the battlefield and use skirmish tactics to stay out of trouble. Being samurai, they can defend themselves in close combat, but should not be sent into melee without good reason. Like many horsemen, they are vulnerable to fire from massed infantry archers.

Historically, the term “donderbuss” was an early term used to describe what is now generally called a “blunderbuss.” Literally meaning “thunder pipe”, the name exactly describes the incredibly loud noise when it was fired. A forerunner of the shotgun, the donderbuss was intended to fire lead or brass balls or, when these ran out bits of metal, nails, stones or even coins. The bell-like muzzle was flared in order to increase the spread of shot, and also to make it easier to pour gunpowder down the barrel when on horseback or riding on a cart. The donderbuss barrel was much shorter than other weapons of the time to make it handier and easier to load. Eventually, in the West it was replaced in mounted use by the “dragon”; in Europe these were used by “dragoons”, a military term still in use today.

General InformationEdit

Donderbuss cavalry are very short-ranged firearm cavalry. They make up for their poor range with devastating firepower. Should they manage to position themselves and fire without taking too many casualties, a single volley can maul or even outright rout many unit types.

Donderbuss cavalry need to be micromanaged closely to maximize their potential. Their short range means that anti-cavalry troops can close the distance quickly. In addition, their devastating firepower can cause deadly friendly fire if left unattended.

Donderbuss cavalry have decent attack and charge values, though they suffer from very poor defense. Firing a volley and then charging the weakened and shaken target can be a valid tactic, though donderbuss cavalry suffer badly in prolonged melee fighting.

Like other matchlock units, donderbuss cavalry shine in defensive sieges. They can dismount to man the walls as infantry, where their weakness of short range is remedied by the close quarter nature of most siege fighting. Their donderbuss weaponry can be used to maximum effect by firing downward into crowds of soldiers, and they can quickly rout most troops attempting to climb the walls in short order. Their higher than average armor means that they can also withstand enemy archer fire relatively well for some time. Toward the end of successfully fought defensive battles, they can then remount their horses to chase down routing foes.


Unlike most other faction-specific units, Donderbuss Cavalry do not bear the Otomo Clan's name despite being unique to the Otomo Clan.

Total War: Shogun 2 Cavalry
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