|Imported Matchlock Ashigaru|
|Appears in||Total War: Shogun 2|
|Belongs to||Most factions|
|Soldiers in each unit||30/60/90/120|
|Produced from||Nanban Trade Port (Otomo Clan only)/Nanban Quarter (other clans)|
|Cost||450 SP/450 MP|
|Turns to Train||4 (non-Christian)/2 (Christian)|
Imported Matchlock Ashigaru are a type of matchlock infantry in Total War: Shogun 2.
These ashigaru troops are armed with matchlock arquebuses and pepper the enemy with long range, mass volleys.
The role of matchlock ashigaru is to unleash massed gun volleys upon the enemy, keeping them confused and, in the process, weakening them enough for a frontline charge. Once fired, the matchlock guns take a long time to reload, but their range, noise, and effect on enemy morale more than compensates for this lack of speed. The smoke and fire they produce can be very disorientating to enemies, particularly when targets are dropping all around. When the main fighting starts matchlock gunners should retreat behind melee troops. They do not have the training to fight in close combat and have no defence against a cavalry charge.
Historically, it was considered a great honour for any samurai to fire the first shot of a battle. The honour traditionally fell to the samurai archers, who opened most battles with an archery duel. However, the Sengoku Jidai introduced the European arquebus, guns which required much less skill to use than the bow. The archery duel became an exchange of gunfire and, as the guns were largely carried by ashigaru, the first shots were now fired by simple foot soldiers. The ashigaru gunners were led by a teppo ko gashira, a man chosen for his skill and courage, who ordered when to load, when to fire and signalled his superiors when the enemy had been weakened enough for a charge to be attempted.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Good range but shorter than bow units.
- Devastating damage.
- Low accuracy, reload rate and morale.
- Very vulnerable to cavalry and in melee.
Imported Matchlock Ashigaru are the first matchlock units available to most factions. In contrast to other matchlock units, who need to research the late-game Gunpowder Mastery bushido art or at the very least make a Powder Maker, Imported Matchlock Ashigaru require a Nanban Quarter, which can be obtained without research as soon as a faction has access to a port and converts to Christianity. The Otomo Clan can build Imported Matchlock Ashigaru with only a Nanban Trade Port, and as it has one at the beginning of the campaign, it can immediately begin training Imported Matchlock Ashigaru.
Compared to regular Matchlock Ashigaru, Imported Matchlock Ashigaru have -25% men, are much more expensive to train and maintain, have slightly better accuracy and reloading skill, but have poorer morale. They do not benefit from the bonuses the Otomo Clan, Oda Clan, or the Ikko Ikki confer upon their Matchlock Ashigaru; however, the Otomo Clan can recruit them from the very beginning of the campaign, allowing them to have a significant presence throughout much of the early game. Imported Matchlock Ashigaru gain a 50% discount and are recruited twice as quickly if the clan training them converts to Christianity.
As with regular Matchlock Ashigaru, Imported Matchlock Ashigaru fire bullets that ignore armor, making them ideal against heavily armored targets; their matchlocks also inflict a heavy morale penalty on their targets. However, their poor reloading skill make them vulnerable to being rushed by melee troops after they fire off a volley. In addition, as matchlock units, they must be carefully positioned with an unobstructed view of their targets to achieve maximum effectiveness. Their poor armor make them a poor choice for fighting bow-armed units. Finally, their melee stats are abysmal, and they cannot be expected to do well against dedicated melee troops in close combat. However, they are superb at manning walls during siege defenses, and they can inflict a good number of kills so long as they retreat to safety before being targeted by melee or missile attacks.
Later in the game, Matchlock Samurai outclass Imported Matchlock Ashigaru in every category save cost.