|Loan Sword Ashigaru|
|Appears in||Total War: Shogun 2|
|Belongs to||Ikko Ikki|
|Soldiers in each unit||50/100/150/200|
|Turns to Train||1|
Loan Sword Ashigaru are a type of katana infantry in Total War: Shogun 2.
Katana ashigaru are heavy, sword-armed infantry who form part of the main line and fight in melee against enemy infantry.
These foot soldiers carry katana: swords renowned for their razor sharpness and cutting power. The ashigaru form part of the main battle line and, once enemy infantry has been sufficiently weakened by missile troops, the ashigaru charge in and engage in melee.
Though ashigaru lack the swordsmanship of samurai, the sharp katana does most of the work. Once it cuts into an enemy, momentum carries it through, carving bone and flesh like silk. Because ashigaru don’t have the same social standing as samurai, their morale isn’t as good, and they are weak against cavalry charges or missile attacks.
In 1588, the Japanese regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi banned all peasants from owning arms to remove the threat of peasant revolts and to hopefully limit other daimyo’s attempts to seize power. This measure also meant the existing ashigaru rose in stature. Once they had been little more than trained peasantry who split their time between farming and soldiering, but now they were professional soldiers. While of a lower class than the samurai, they could fight in battle without worrying how their crops were faring.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Good in melee.
- Average morale.
- Vulnerable to cavalry.
- Vulnerable to missiles.
Along with Mori Wako Raiders, Loan Sword Ashigaru are some of the only katana ashigaru in Total War: Shogun 2. Available from the very beginning of the campaign, they are very cheap troops, and are highly effective against the Yari Ashigaru fielded by most armies in the beginning of the campaign. Loan Sword Ashigaru even fare well against Yari Samurai, winning in head on fights. However, Loan Sword Ashigaru have the weaknesses of other katana units, and are highly vulnerable to cavalry and ranged attacks.
Later in the campaign, the Ikko Ikki gain access to Katana Ronin, who are more skilled and better armored than Loan Sword Ashigaru. However, Loan Sword Ashigaru are still cheaper to train and maintain, and are often more cost effective.
Loan Sword Ashigaru have an extremely low upkeep costs, being 33% lower than that of Yari Ashigaru. In the long run, Loan Sword Ashigaru are the most cost efficient garrison troops, though in the short term Yari Ashigaru are better due to their cheaper initial recruitment costs.
While they are normally exclusive to the Ikko Ikki, Loan Sword Ashigaru can be bribed by Metsuke to serve under any faction. They are valuable targets for bribing due to their cost efficiency, though by the time bribing becomes a viable option (due to its high cost, it's generally not feasible in the early game) better troops are likely to be available.