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An extreme challenge: Five-star Ironman[]

Warning: This document contains heavy spoilers already onwards from the first paragraphs and in the setup of the whole description of the challenge itself. If you continue past here, you can never return to ignorance about the plot of Sengoku Rance. I recommend you postpone reading this until you have completed the game at least once.

Other disclaimers: This guide is not and will not be written in a very exact manner. I will write it in my own style and will not use time on strictly fact-checking every detail - instead I will try to dish out as much advice as possible and outline the general flow of successful games. The completion of the guide will be done gradually over probably several months, and will possibly halt altogether. In the latter case I will mark the article as unfinished.

...

Update to the introduction here in September 2019 follows:

This guide is a ready guide, with no huge missing gaps. I have succesfully completed this run and wish to share my story. Read at your own expense and leisure. Thanks and comments go to the /haniho/ thread at 4chan/vg. I recommend visiting there for high quality SR discussion.

This guide was made in the pre-MG version of the game, and with likelyhood I will not update it to match. I always prioritized gameplay, and I THINK MangaGaymers kept the gameplay intact. If not, they should be beaten to death by a sock full of shit.

My life situation right now does not allow gameplay to the MG version. If so, I will stream high challenge gameplay.

In the following guide, I prioritize critical information and outlines first, then expand on the graphic and explanative side.

This run took first 15, then the additional challenge another 26 more tries to complete. Some tries were more successful than others, some less so and ended quickly. It took time, perseverance (definitely that), and love for the game.

I was markedly made fun of for the whole endeavor by the "experts" of SR in 4chan. My most fun part of this whole fuckalot of gamethroughs was the part when someone in the thread went.. "What if Muri is secretly a genius? HAHAHA" and everybody laughed. Well, they don't laugh so hard when you got a grand in your pocket.

I have yet to see only one (1) person redo what I did, with small questions (he reloaded once when his waifu died), and others didn't even TRY what I did here. So I hope you try and be a shining star of an example and push the limits of what can be done in this game.

The above was added in September 2019. The rest part is intact. Hope you have fun with the game.

...

Some spectacular starts ended up in bitter disappointment and losses that were caused by a few badly thought actions, in reality several clicks wrong. One of the critical losses was in the final battle itself and was a matter of a couple of actions done wrong in emotional turmoil.

I've played the game about a couple of thousand hours and played through about 50-80'ish runs (about half of them on average shorter challenge Ironman runs). I suspect this guide could be used as a general "how to be good at Sengoku Rance guide" but as every writer, I leave the judgement and practical applications (outside the challeneges outilined) to You.

Also: Recently I started streaming gameplay on Twitch. Check out my channel at:

https://www.twitch.tv/murisandesu

Background: my motivation for doing this[]

I got tired of Rance's chirades. Why does this guy always risk it all on here and this or that bravado move, and always win?

ALCG0000 15 136

The answer I got up with it is: because you can reload and load always. So it got me thinking. What if you can't load and reload. What kind of tactics should and could you play. What Would Rance Do? (WWRD) in actual life?

I  wanted to complete the hardest, IMO most realistic difficulty, Five-star without bonuses, without reloading throughout the game. I tried my best at it from the first game onwards. I died. Many times. Then finally did it.

I found out this kind of playstyle (Ironman, no loading allowed) is very rewarding. It adds a layer of meaning to everything you do. If you lose a commander, he/she is lost forever.

The rush I got out of finally completing a 5SNB-Ironman run was exceptional. I wholeheartedly recommend trying this playstyle, especially if you are an advanced SR player. For the beginners.. I wish you luck and I commend your bravery. I like it that you try to win games as you live life: with one try. I've also lost a lot of Ironman runs on a lot of games, so I feel for you.

Rules of the challenge run[]

The rules of this challenge run "Five-star No Bonus Ironman", or perhaps 5SNB-Ironman, are as follows:

  • It is a second game of Sengoku Rance
  • It is Five-Star difficulty
  • You cannot use any bonuses
  • You must do the True history route (Kill The Monkey and IF-routes are outruled)
  • Ironman: You cannot load or reload based on your performance. You CAN reload if you made an obvious misclick (that means you meant to do something else than you did, for example meant to click on a commanders purple event but clicked on someone else by [drunken] accident, or such)
  • If Rance dies, or if there is game over for any reason like Kou dying in battle, you lose and have to start from the beginning
  • If you get sent to Alice's mansion (Were you not prepared to fight such a strong enemy?) you lose, and have to start over
  • No infinite time exploits or any other cheat or bug exploit is allowed (see below). I have interpreted this to mean, for example, that I must attack Honnouji no later than on Turn 100. A stricter ruling would be that you have to attack latest when Kou's events start looping (apparently 3-4 turns after she has been found). If you play right, I believe this is about Turn 98.
  • If there are uncertainties about what is right and wrong, I apply the What Would Rance Do (WWRD) principle. Usually Rance would abuse every possible advantage he could. But not in a way that seems to be in discord with the universe itself (like those looping Kou events, basically spending something like 20 turns preparing for Honnouji).
  • Some more examples from discussions at /haniho/
    • Blocking the DA with clever use of vassaling or beat a house that Xavier won't conquer to a pulp and use them to block the DA -> This is questionable, since in "real life" Xavier wouldn't just wait behind the vassaled countries and think he can't proceed. I would consider this cheating.
    • "Stalling manually" by making an ITA army [that autowins defensive battles due to using up all possible timeslots] -> I'd allow this. You could argue there is some reality in this in so that the ITA-users are master delayers, causing the enemy army to get spread out and ineffective.. or something. Also you still have to win offensive battles.
    • Letting Xavier take a bunch of land that blocks your path to Nagato, and, using Battle Permits to minimise the danger to your units, slowly work your way through it, using a bunch of your fans to grind events and SAT until you've got a broken army. -> I'd definitely allow this, this is just strategy.
  • That is pretty much it. The idea was to simulate a life where you have one chance, and one chance only, to win the war

Infinite time exploits short explanation:

  • Obvious cheats like screwing with a bug delaying gourd breaking when they should break, are of course not allowed
  • The most important non-cheating infinite time exploit happens when you have found Kou after turn 90 and Xavier has manifested in Honnouji. You can delay attacking Honnouji forever. My turn limit, as explained above, for attacking is the turn 100.
  • Stalling Demon Army by using Battle Permits (avoiding a BP attack on Nagato) has been suggested in 4chan/vg/haniho/ to be caused cheating or abusing the infinite time exploit. I'm slightly disagreeing on this point, and remember stalling the DA 2-3 turns to clear some dungeons.. although I don't remember if I had BP's at that time or not. For sure, if the stalling is done "manually", that is without BP's, I'd surely allow it.
  • Other cheats/borderline exploits might be discussed here at a later time. None have come up till now (2018-8-11). So just play the game.

Additional challenge, "True Sillfag" means the following:

  • True Route
  • Defeat Xavier before Sill is frozen
  • Hard mode: No savescumming and/or no "infinite time" exploits.
  • Super hard mode: All of the above plus Ironman.
  • I don't fucking care mode: All of the above, plus Sill has to deal the killing blow on Xavier
  • Basically all restrictions outlined above about the 5SNB-Ironman challenge apply

This guide will mostly focus on how you should go about the 5SNB-Ironman challenge. And at the end of the guide I plan to add a section which covers the differences when you add the True Sillfag challenge to the mix. I completed this challenge also on the "Super hard mode". I had Sill alive on the final battle, but chose to play it safe and just go for the Xavier kill. It is with (beating Nethack) one of the hardest things I've done game-wise in my life, so I'm content with it.

Pacing and conquer path: what you should do in each stage of the game[]

Outline of the conquer path[]

Below is depicted the rough outline of what you should be doing in each part of the game, also called the conquer path, in order to beat the challenge outlined above. I additionally linked the conquer path to the turn count for you to get a general outline of what to do when. I call it pacing.

If you are on the beginner level, you might want to learn the other parts of this guide first. Or other guides. Learn the deep down basics, then go for more advanced.

One more disclaimer at this point: I'm not claiming my strategy of progressing slow and steady at just the right pace throughout the map is the only working one. But it worked, and the different parts of the strategy: army recruits, army battle strategy, SAT choices, etc. support each other and are based on the same idea of progressing with low risk. The detailed rationale for waiting 20-25 turns in the start is explained shortly in the next section. In other words: "follow your heart" or "learn to play the game" or such lamenities mostly apply here.

ALCG0000 X Direction

The conquer path:

Conquer Oil field [About turn 25] -> Miko Institute [asap after Oil] -> Uesugi [asap after Miko] -> Kyo (Ashikaga) [Must be before turn 50, so if you have to, drop Uesugi conquer and get Kyo] -> Hara -> Mikan -> Mikawa (Tokugawa) [Attack at turn 60/61 when you get Battle Permits or asap otherwise] -> Imagawa (Hanny) -> Takeda -> Tanegashima -> Mouri (no full conquer, only Izumo and Akaheru) and Takuga -> Houjou [kill them on exactly turn 89] -> Texas (Asai-Asakura) -> (see below for Akashi/Tenshi/Iga)

My strategy contains no vassaling, with the possible (probable) exception of vassaling Tenshi after 90.

It is very preferable that you conquer Ashikaga before turn 50. Otherwise the gourd broken then will be Mouri's, and you have to leave Ashikaga unconquered (and unvassaled). Takeda's gourd can break, that doesn't matter since they are on your "kill before 90" list anyway. But if you let Mouri's gourd break at 50, it means you cannot kill both Ashikaga and Takeda before 90. If you kill Ashikaga, Takeda would be your 5th gourd (Owari+Uesugi+Mouri+Ashikaga+Takeda) and would initiate events. Leaving Takeda unconquered would be crazy, since they will declare war on you anyway, their blitzes will be hell, and Tourin is a prime recruit. IF you would rather kill Mouri when their gourd breaks at 50 and forget Ashikaga, you would have to go around Iga and Ashikaga from the south to kill Mouri, bulldozing Tenshi on the way and forgoing the chance to recruit Seigan + having the rioters for healing forgone (see later Money section on guide).

In other words, the turn 70 gourd is not a big issue, since Takeda's gourd breaks first of everyone and Mouri's breaks after Uesugis. So you only have to kill Ashikaga or Uesugi before 50 to prevent Mouri's gourd breaking. (Owari, Takeda, Uesugi/Ashikaga for the 50 deadline, then the remaining Uesugi/Ashikaga for the 70 deadline)

Going to kill Mouri early is still another route to consider, but in light of all things, I prefer to kill Ashikaga after Uesugi, and before turn 50, for the very nice early'ish SAT rewards and a good extra footsoldier (Kuge) with asset tech, which brings down the gold needed to be held each turn (for the max asset tech bonus of 2000gold) from 50k to 25k, given you recruited Naoe Ai.

Houjou [Kill them on turn 89]: after beating Takeda they declare war on you, but you can ignore them, concetrate in the war to the west, and just wear them down with Battle Permits. You should still capture and recruit Ran. When turn 89 comes, kill them off so you get them conquered when Xavier manifests. When you are preparing for Honnouji, do the Oil dungeon event so you can start waiting for Souun to join. Remember to keep one spot in the roster free and a lot of (5+) NP free.

Akashi: Take over in the several turns after the Honnouji battle and before the DA's appearance.

Tenshi: I would kill them somewhere around turn 80'ish, if True Sillfag challenge is in effect. If the game is vanilla 5SNB Ironman, keep them alive and vassal after Honnouji battle so you can possibly get Seigan who is very helpful for the last battle plus works as a poor man's Natori in army battles (Seigan has 25% damage from max troops compared with Natori's 30%). The 5% doesn't make the difference. Intead the difference between Seigan and Natori is made by the fact that Seigan's move hits much slower, and therefore stacks worse since Natori can quickly reduce the enemies' ability to cause damage to you.

Iga: is ignored and left for DA to take over. This will in all probability lead to DA attacking useless territories near Yamato, instead of concentrating on Africa, which is a huge advantage. This switch in priorities seems to occur after you take over Cairo. See below: you can choose something else to leave at your back, but I really recommend leaving one country at least alive. Sometimes, of course, you won't go fast enough through the map and have to leave many unconquered.

Texas: I often had to leave Texas unconquered at 90 because of lack of time. They are just basically a leftover where every other country is more useful to conquer at any given point. But they still contain several good rewards: +5SAT for youknowwho, Working Bee (the crown jewel of conquering them), a dungeon that is especially useful for true sillfag challenge for the extra Sill healing effect, and Yoshikage for a decent/good monk if needed (also true sillfag preference). Yoshikage has so-so or good stats, usually better than your generics you might (should) have captured earlier. The ones that matter late-game are Int (for withstanding lightning) and Spd (for dropping the enemies' guard often).

One eyed: ignored totally. Deemed too risky and costly in resources, mostly time.

Why wait for BP's before taking Tokugawa? Usually at this point, when you are finished taking Uesugi, Ashikaga, then Hara, and Mikan, it is turn 50 at best. It is a good time to wait, recover forces and gather money, tap SAT rewards, request reinforces and do some dungeons before the hell breaks loose again in the eventual fight against Takeda. If you fight Tokugawa land-by-land, you risk fighting their surprisingly tough units, of which at least one has assassinate. You should avoid fighting enemies with assassination and with extremely powerful front-row or back-row attacks, which increase the risk of losing commanders. Tokugawa is quite risky for losing commanders, so it is better to let BP's do the work of fighting. Also you will be fighting two enemies at once if you declare war on them, Tenshi and Tokugawa, of which Tenshi sometimes even triple-attacks in a turn (at worst I saw them quadruple-attack..). You might get hard pressed. Just take your time and keep Tenshi at as few territories as possible, and maybe just take one territory at Tokugawa just before you get BP's to help ensure the BP users help you progress far enough in Mikawa when 60 hits.

Instead of leaving Iga in your back, you can consider other choices, like Akashi. Akashi yields good SAT though, which Iga doesn't if you get Inukai. Although I never got him myself and don't think he could be a notifiable extra commander, that is, better than for example Goemon, Tourin, Ikkyu, Uruza, Maria, Kasumi... Anyway you can't really kill Iga nor Akashi before turn 90, since they have a gourd. So it is basically a choice of leaving Iga or Akashi, since demon army doesn't conquer Hannies, Tenshi or Texas, and Texas you can anyway take down if you have the time. In this case (and in my past games) I have usually chosen Iga to leave behind, because Akashi yields bigger SAT and shares borders with Izumo, as does Senkan Nagato, which could be a problem if you get attacked in Izumo from both directions. Akashi also borders Nakakuni which could be, in an unfortunate case, be taken over by two consequtive attacks. Iga also borders Mikan, but has 5 neighboring countries, putting (supposedly) their chance of randomly taking it over lower than Akashi taking over Nakakuni (which happened to me once). Tokugawa is out of the question because they will declare war on you with Takeda, and having a warring country next to Owari later game is annoying. They also won't be conquered by DA so that's that. So all in all, Iga seems the best choice.

Why delay the start? The rationale of getting popularity staff (and more)[]

My strategy seems very slow at start for many (all) people I have discussed my strategy with. Why wait 25 turns to start progressing? Delaying the start is such an integral part of my strategy that I have to explain the reasons why to start with. There are at least six main reasons for this.

One: Popularity staff. You will get Popularity staff usually between the turns 21 and 28, if you haven't conquered another country (one country like Oil). Popularity staff is worth, along the course of the game, easily 200.000 gold. Even a conservative estimate would be 150.000 gold. This is calculated by averaging 20 troops gained per turn times 100 gold / troop. I usually have the item on cannon troops, with a usual 140 gold / troop recruiting cost. If you get the Popularity Staff on turn 25, and finish the game on Turn 105, you get 80 turns * 20 troops / turn * 100 gold / troop = 160.000 gold.

You can compare this with the money benefit you get from progressing throughout the game for example 10 turns faster, say, having 5 countries with a total of 20 NP (average 4 per country) for 80 turns more than you would have if you delayed and got pop staff. Then the money from this would amount to 20NP * 60 gold/NP/turn * 80 turns = 96.000 gold which is about half of what you get from Pop Staff. Of course you can use the NP for having a larger army, which has many varied uses. Gold-wise, the Pop Staff seems well enough a better option. Also on the minus side for the fast moving strategy, see below reason five: you will have to fight unfairly large troop stacks with your early low stacks of 500'ish. And at this part of the game you just don't have the money to raise everyone's troop count. Unless you take the SAT bonus, which is of course an option but is away from something else SAT-bonuswise, like asking reinforcements.

Two: Capturing a buffer of commanders in prison, prioritized: getting Ikkyu. While you are waiting for the pop staff, you can also capture a lot of enemy commanders. It is easy in this stage of the game, where difficulty is so low. The crown jewel is getting Ikkyu. When I scout a battle with Ikkyu in the early game (or well anywhere), I go usually all-in with Defeated Warrior Hunters and Light Attackers and forget gaining territory. Ikkyu is basically another Tourin PLUS can with all likelyhood force-win any 3 army/castle battles in the game with Witty Comeback. Other priority targets for you to capture would be diviners, foot soldiers and remotely usable commanders with other special skills (like Asset Tech and Merchant, but especially Defeated Warrior Hunt, Pursuit Battle, Light Attack..). Also monks if you are doing True Sillfag. I suspect, although I haven't tried, that the Monks can also be succesfully used in many other parts of the game. Remember that 5 captures also can be converted into Pokkuru to raise Rance's level. This is important mainly for the final battle, but also the Honnouji battle where I lose once.

Three: Clearing Miso Katsu (MK) allows (usually) for you to rack up a surplus of affection and other usable items like unique motivation papers. I have no exact data on what is the probability to get a certain type of drop from MK, and didn't regrettably keep track on what dropped how often. You seem to get an affection item about 1/3rd of the time, I'd say. The affection item in question seems to be equally probable for all four types. This means that on average, when an aff item drops, you gain (4+3+2+1)/4 = 2,5 affection. In average you then get about 0,8 affection for clearing Miso Katsu, which is almost as much as you would get from just doing a Rance's room, plus of course you get the other items for the times you don't get affection items. About 1/3rd you get something almost useless like Seirogan. That is not even totally useless though, as it can be used for half-healing a unit with a 1000 troops or more later in the game, for example a tactician or Ninja having a Battle Permit. In this use, it would be worth about 3 gold / troop* 500 = 1.500 gold. Therefore at worst, money-wise, clearing Miso Katsu is a much better choice than doing Botan Hunt, which yields 500 gold the first time. Botan hunt's money yielded goes up by 50 every time you do the event. So if you do it 20 times, you get 1.500gold per one. So averaging that over the 20 times, you get about 1.000 gold per one Botan hunt if you do it 20 times. To get back to Miso Katsu, you could get also a good medicine for example, and that is worth something like 10.000gold upwards in late game, making the gold gain comparison vastly preferable for MK over doing Botan Hunt. Then the approximately last 1/3rd is something unpredictable, for example Motivation Papers or also books, if I remember right. It is very hard to put an exact value on Motivation Papers, but in the Demon Army war stage of the game, and possibly also earlier, they are totally life savers in many cases. MP's are a very unique but extremely useful item you can't get anywhere else in the game. The amount of drops could vary greatly. One game I get 9 motivation papers, other game only one but instead a lot of affection items. All in all, Miso Katsu re-clearing seems to beat any other activity you could do at this stage of the game.

Alternative reason three: You can use your spare fans for upping Owari's National Power, to get a good headstart in your army setup. Constructing NP gets gradually more costly in construction skill needed, so stacking it will get less preferable point-by-point. But it is possibly (probably) a good idea to throw in a point or two of NP if you have turns and fans and army commanders with construction to spare. Usually I don't recruit Hachisuka Muneyana, who has high Const stat, so my army usually seems to have something else to do. But it is very much worth considering.

Four: Creating a buffer for winning the next stages of the game. This is done by conquering every possible territory (all but one) in each of Kyo, Oil and Hara. That means getting 2/3 territories in Oil and Kyo, and 3/4 in Hara. Although this is something useful to do, one could argue it is not a benefit of waiting, but more of a way to mitigate the downsides of waiting, that is, to allow a faster progress when you start to move. The buffering works so that you don't have to defend your own country at Owari and can focus on attacking, as the countries mentioned will (usually) first prioritize clearing their own provinces you hold over attacking you.

Five: Game punishes you for moving too fast. Note that the game's difficulty level does not go up by turn, it goes up by conquering countries. So staying in Owari for 20 turns let's you rack up money (admittedly little) and slowly build troops for the (admittedly few) commanders you have, while the game on the enemy side stays easy and battles are very low-risk. If, on the other hand, you reach Uesugi in 15-20 turns, I can promise a painful game where you will struggle, as your troops stacks are so low that your commanders will quite often be deleted in the battles no matter what you do. At this stage you don't have BP's to avoid battles, you have to fight each battle manually. Once or twice I lost games and hair when I had to defend against ridiculously high troop stacks of Tenshi at Kyo (2.000'ish against my 500'ish) after I went too fast.

Six: Isoroku is a beast and you usually can't capture Oil under 10-15 turns in Ironman. Reliably capturing Oil under 10-15 turns is hard, since I haven't found a way to reliable capture Isoroku in under 10 turns. She basically blocks you from winning Oil castle unless you capture her or do 5-Oil, that is, capture Oil before Isoroku shows up, which works maybe 1/20 times (I don't know, never did it). If you have a strategy for reliable capture of Isoroku or getting Oil in Ironman under 15 turns, you can comment below. Now if you count the turn difference between pop staff start (25 turns average) and capturing Oil at 10-15 reliably, you get 10-15 turns. This is the max you can probably get as a headstart compared to capturing Isoroku and rushing forward.

It should be noted here that if you can get Oil in under 10 turns, it might be (probably will be) gold-wise preferable to push forward and forget Pop staff. The big If: this is preferable roughly IF you can keep up the 10-15 turns of headstart compared to the suggested conquer path and timetable above in this guide.

I've done the rough calculations about this, but regrettably didn't add them to the guide. I probably won't redo them. But you can think that if you can earn like 3000gold per turn, and hold a 15 turns of headstart, it is worth 45.000gold.

In effect, the game has an inbuilt mechanism to balance too fast and too slow progress, to regress towards mean considering the time/turns used in progressing. It gets exponentially (well ok, gradually) harder to progress fast, the faster you go.

In Ironman, this punishment from progressing too fast is especially annoying, since it entertains a very high risk of losing commanders in every battle that you choose to fight. And losing commanders is something that will gradually make you weaker, then ultimately will lose you the game.

So, what follows is my strategy and pacing of the game, following the outlined rules for 5SNB-Ironman.

Frequent loss-causing situations to avoid[]

Basically I play the game in a very risk-averting manner. Slow and steady beats quick and risky in Ironman style gameplay. Here are some places/situations where I frequently lost even very promising runs. And paired is some advice on how to avoid losing there. See at the end of the guide, section Bonus: Why did I lose?

  • Takeda final rush is a surprisingly hard battle, where I lost or almost lost about 10 times in total. Avoiding: Remember to upgrade Rance, that is to give AP and/or buy a lot of troops and/or give him books and elite troops SAT bonus before you beat Takeda. In my experience, it is enough for Rance to have 400'ish troops, 4 AP and the statistics 8ATK, 7 DEF, 7INT, 7 SPD. With this speed, Yamagata can't (in all likelyhood) hit you twice with Onrush before you can kill him. Go for him first. When upgrading Rance's stats (using books or money), remember that you cannot really field Rance in army battles after you get to Uesugi (see the 2nd bullet below). So buying troops would therefore be a waste of money and using too many books would be a waste of books. But you need Rance to have strong SPD stat for the final fight and Honnouji, plus having Rance on high level helps a lot in dungeons. If you upgrade his speed to 6 and then do elite troops SAT bonus, it won't be wasted. It might be preferable to the abovementioned strategy to just buy more troops instead of using atk, def and int books to make him 8-7-7. Even with lower stats like 6-6-6-6, I'd assume that with 4AP, 600 troops would win the battle. But speed is the most important to counter Yamagata so make sure you at least get his speed to 7 and get 4AP.
  • Fielding Rance too brashly (too late in game) in army battles. Another "classic" reason why I lost games. Avoiding: totally stop using Rance in army battles after beating Mikos, except for beating Kenshin easily, and possibly some very special situations like triggering Uruza's or Yuzumi's H-scenes in Akashi battles.
  • Losing other important commanders in battles. Avoiding: cannot be completely avoided. You will have to take risks to win the game and to progress speedily enough, and some of your commanders WILL be wiped out in the battles. The worst possible losses are Dousan, Natori and Kenshin because of their unique game winning / breaking abilities. Basically all others can be replaced. Also once I made Ikkyu my game winner by investing a lot on him early, then lost him, and quit that run. Things you CAN do: Rather lose foots than Natori et co. Recruit a lot of foots and capture a buffer of them into Prison. Get seal of the undying fox and put on your best commanders. Play SAFE and use my strategy of all-guard foot or two foot soldiers in each row (if you can spare the loss of attacking power) combined with an all-guard shiki diviner user. See army strategy. Playing this way will drastically cut your chance of losing anyone really important.
  • Mental issues: going on mental tilt after a big loss of a battle, a loss of a whole game, and losing coolness. Making bad decisions under mental stress. Playing too heavily drunk. So on. Avoiding: only play when you know you are not disturbed by others or distracted in general. Do not play drunk or excessively tired. Watch and think about your own performance. Try to notice when you are playing bad calls and/or getting angry, then stop and continue another day. At the hardest battles e.g. end game, if you find yourself too excited, remember in this game you have time to think. Take the time to calm down. If you see yourself losing several games early, study yourself a bit and if you see you are on tilt/angry, cut your losses, save your time and continue another day.
  • Neglecting dungeons and leveling up before Honnouji and/or the final battle. I lost once on Honnouji (Byakko) just because I didn't do any dungeons. Got sent to Alice's mansion which is a loss to me. So you have to do at least several before the Honnouji assault. Rance has to be I think above 50 but can't exactly confirm. Recruit easy but commander battle-good commanders like Nozomi who also costs 0. Then you'll be fine. Just remember to build this side of the army also.
  • Taking too big risks in offensive areas (for example Miko, Uesugi), while Owari has two fields conquered by enemy countries. Remember: enemy (Hara/Ashikaga) could easily double attack Owari. Avoiding: get Pursuit Battle for Ranmaru and clear Owari when it gets to the point that you have lost 2-3 territories there. Build a "buffer" in the first 25 turns by getting all but one territories from Hara, Kyo and Oil (enemy tends to clear their own country first of your influence, then continue taking over Owari.
  • In general, avoid all sudden-death situations if you can. This is one reason I don't attack One-Eyed and don't fight against the Mouri all-out battle. I also lost once against Inukai after doing "Inukai's boss" event and having low levels. Any risk of such kind can be avoided, so don't take the risk unless you are sure.

Additionally, below are some very annoying parts of the game that can cause you to lose (important) commanders, since I gave up a couple of times after losing Natori, Ikkyu or Dousan.

  • Tokugawa final castle. The assassination and strong fighters in frontline are the problem. Avoiding: field general foots in both front and backline, and an All-guard shiki user. Battle prep twice.
  • Facing Ninjas with Assassination (2) in army battles in general. Avoiding: scout and avoid these fights categorically if you can. Exception: if you want to capture Goemon and the scouting looks like you have a chance of hitting him with Light Attack. I'd really take the risk and did, didn't regret at all. Another exception: you basically have to defend your territories in Senkan Nagato in the last turns before DA appears in True Sillfag, even if Kikkawa Kiku appears.
  • Takeda castle fight if you didn't finish off Takeda before the 4 commanders join in the war. Avoiding: Kill Takeda in the turns before the commanders are introduced, if in any way possible.

Basically, if you lose too many good commanders, you will be at a loss to recruit more. Therefore it is important to protect your best commanders (see later in guide for a definitive list).

And the last tip on this note: post your games for comment. If you are faced with a big decision, seek feedback. Learn from your mistakes and try to accept, or at least consider, the feedback you get (even if given in bad or hostile form). I adapted some (a lot) of the even harsh criticism into bettering my game. Usually I didn't directly adapt the strategies suggested, but found a way or an idea to improve my play by adapting some part or feature included in the criticism.

Turns 1 to 25: The start of the game[]

Relax, you are in the easiest part of the whole game. You can lay back. My strategy at the start of the game centers on getting the popularity staff item. The rationale is explained above.

This won't be a turn by turn guide. BUT I have decided to stream and here is a combination of two videos of me doing this part of the guide according to what is written here. There is a run that I recently completed that is in effect and gameplay-wise (maybe not in purity) a perfect run through this guide. Check it out. In this run I got pop staff at turn 26. Beginning is split into two videos because of how much I could stream gameplay at once. The latter video ends in the end of turn 25. Scroll down for the beginning of 26. And.. sorry that the stream starts in quite of a wacky way.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415384600

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415393428

In practise, first two turns of the whole run I usually go for Dango Princess, Get Fuuka -- Turn 2: Prison, Get Kazuninja -- Turn 3: declare war and attack on Oil. I don't recruit Hachisuka since he sucks and you will probably soon capture better foots.

What works is that you attack once, defend once per turn and use one fan on something else. You should try to divide your limited team to two equal teams. Usually Rance, Shibata and a weak third backline is enough to win a battle early. So is Ranmaru, Maeda Toshiie and Niwa backline. For the first battle Rance goes into, buy him 230'ish troops.

Your goal overall will be to slowly gain ground in Oil, then Kyo, then Hara. If you feel unsure, you might want to (if you have aff items) let enemy attack Owari twice and then give Pursuit Battle to Ranmaru, then take back Owari. Then continue as usual. Capturing good commanders is another priority (see next paragraph).

In the very beginning, you don't have to scout and you will win with these teams. When after a few turns, you are hopefully making ground, you can spare some commanders like Fuuka or the Ninjaguy to scout first mostly while attacking with your turn's first fan. Look for chances to 1) Take out Isoroku so she runs and therefore next time is capturable, 2) Thereafter next battle capture her, 3) take out Ikkyu, with fielding Niwa in the battle.. I always stack battles with Ikkyu with Niwa and a surely winning team and forget the defence after the turn. It is worth it: capturing Ikkyu is a definite priority. 4) Capturing other good commanders like especially diviners.. or 5) capturing high troop stack footsoldiers if they seem vulnerable and you can knock them out reliably. In the first 3 or maybe 4 cases, you can forget the defensive battle and just go all in on the capture-hopeful attack.

Attacking twice per turn is, in all likelyhood, counter-productive, since you are wasting a fan on attacking and can't defend over the end of the turn, thus wasting a fan on an attack while you could defend without the fan spent.

Your first SAT bonus, if you haven't taken it yet, should go to Rance Attack. This makes Rance relevant in the early game. You might consider other options. About this, I leaned on the general 5SNB guide by SRWikiFag. But going this way (not taking Rance Attack) would imply not using Rance until he becomes unusable outside fielding against Kenshin (after Mikos).

You can use some of your spare fans mostly on depleting commander events at first. Then after Suzume joins, search Miso Katsu and if you have a spare fan per turn, search it. If you later have 2 spare fans and you took over all territory (except the last one) at Kyo, Oil and Hara, clear it twice per turn. Of course you can spend fans on upgrading commanders if you have the aff items and they need it (Katsuie's and other foots EIG or all-guard, a possible diviner's all-guard shiki, or perhaps Ikkyu's BRD1-2, if you catch him).

An alternative that you should keep in mind is constructing National Power. NP limits how strong your army can be. At this point, it is probably preferable to build at least one or two points of NP in Owari by Constructing. I'll leave it to your discretion (but do it! Next time I play this challenge, I definitely will).

Speaking of Ikkyu, you can get his satisfaction up +1 every time you field him with Rance, AFTER you have level him up at 7SAT once. I have had some inconsistencies with this, but this is basically the way it should work. Get him BRD1, and field him with Rance.

Your rewards from reclearing Miso Katsu will be, based on my experience, at average better than by doing anything else while waiting. See above (Why delay the start? Rationale of getting pop staff). You can start clearing and re-clearing Miso Katsu after you have taken all provinces that you can take from Kyo-Oil-Hara, or sometimes earlier also you can use your spare fan that you can't use attacking, on (re)clearing the dungeon.

After turn 20, 21. You have a chance of getting Popularity Staff given to you by a based hanny. If/when you get it, go ruthless and kill Oil. That marks the end of this section and the start of the next one.

The general rule about Pop Staff is that you should give it to the commander whose army recruiting cost is the highest AND the commander benefits greatly from troops. And keep in mind that you will want to bring as many as possible foot/diviner/ninja/tac/fighter commanders (one per each) to 1000 troops as you can.

With that said, I usually just give the pop staff to anyone who you can trust that can stay with you for a long time. That's all I can say at this time.

Turns 25'ish to 60: Mikos, Uesugi, Kyo, Hara, Mikan.[]

This part of the game starts when you get popularity staff. Your aim here is to proceed as quickly as you can past Oil and Mikos to kill Uesugi, then take Kyo, then Hara, Mikan and chill.

Here is a video example which is directly continued gameplay from the above section. From 26 to 35 first.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415393432

Actually there are not many specific things to write here about this part of the game. Some things to remember in every territory though.

Oil field. Attack and defend until you have taken two territories in it and the castle is up for grabs. If the enemies take more than two territories in Owari, you have to clear them before continuing. Giving Ranmaru the pursuit battle helps in this. The castle is probably easy for you in this part of the game, after you have captured and hopefully recruited Isoroku. Giving her the whirldwind shot should help you win the castle after one or two tries, depending how you luck out with the instakills. I don't like to rely on luck, so better yet is if you have Ikkyu, and have given him two upgrades to get Battle Rating Down 2. Otherwise just field your best damage dealing team and of course defend at the first line, and remember to scout. If you are having trouble taking down the castle, do a battlefield preparation beforehand. I almost always do at least one battle preparation before attacking enemy castles, just to make sure. Lost battles cost a lot.. not only a fan, but troops and the wiped out commanders might die. If it takes longer than expected and/or you get bad luck, don't fret. Don't start making bad calls just because you lost to bad luck.

In a few turns max, Oil should fall. If you are struggling very heavily, you can do a battle preparation, then covert action to put the enemy into political turmoil. Remember next time this won't work, and you must covert action (anywhere on map) twice to get back to the political turmoil possibility. If you are struggling extremely, get battlefield preparation +3 from a 2nd SAT bonus at this point (you should have that chance with my tactics from clearing and reclearing Miso Katsu), and then do battlefield prep once or twice before attacking the castle again. If you do this, you'll have to postpone recruiting Aburako Dousan, an extremely good commander, until likely the end of Mikos. See below.

After oil. Now you have Oil, and the chance to recruit one of the top 5 commanders of the game, Aburako Dousan, but you will be hard pressed for NP. See below in the picture how It might be preferable to manage your army so that you don't go over 500 troops on any of your commanders, to avoid them eating another point of NP. Now you have a choice, to recruit Dousan, and first her subordinates Ganko Ittetsu Tactician, Takuwan-sama Warrior, and Andou Kyuuri Diviner. From these men, almost always and usually even if I have another diviner handy, I recruit Andou Kyuuri FIRST. The rest will be fired later, and the pop staff goes on Kyuuri immediately after you can buy him some troops towards 500. He will be a game winner in the early and mid-game with pop-staff infused shikigami-attacks.

To get Dousan, you have to first recruit all of the abovementioned henchmen, with a total of 8 NP. For this, if you only have Oil, you will need both 500-management below, AND firing all of the excess commanders. You MUST have all three (Ittetsu, Kyuuri cucumber dude AND takuwan-dude) or you can't SAT-bonus-recruit Dousan.

If I have got Ikkyu at that point, recruited Isoroku and some other generic I want to keep, I might postpone getting Dousan until I win Mikos. The big IF here is IF you can win Miko castle without either Dousan OR Ikkyu. Usually (80% of the games) I manage to get Ikkyu and just use him to win Miko castle, so I can safely postpone getting Dousan. Anyway, after Dousan is recruited, I usually quickly do away with Takuwan-Sama (the fighter), because of his too low troop count at recruitment (you would have to buy him an obscene amount of troops which you can't afford at this stage), and high NP cost of 3. Ganko Ittetsu I usually keep until some time later, when I have some more useful generic, usually diviner with high SPD or a foot with good def+int, to recruit.

ALCG0000 Sill22 25 avoiding 500

When you are set managing your army and (I suggest) gathering the reward of imposing levy on Oil, you are free to advance towards the Mikos. One more thing you should probably do at this point is clearing Owari of enemy influence, so you can take a few hits while moving forward if enemy has gained ground.

Mikos. You need to clear the purple events (3) and then declare war. I usually declare war on Mikos as the 2nd action of the turn. Just let them attack you and defend Oil. Next turn attack once and defend your progress. Rance might be risky already to field in light of sudden game over if his troops are killed - use caution and scout if you use him. Attack once defend once. Until you get within striking range of the castle, so that you can either win the 2nd territory and still have a good team for the last castle (preferably a defending team with Ikkyu with Witty Comeback). Without Ikkyu (who can win the castle very easily with Witty Comeback if you play defence + insta killing units), you will need Aburako Dousan, a good deal of battlefield preparation and a great team + some luck. You have to have a way to cancel Natori's Miko attack or luck out blocking it with a all-guard diviner. There are many ways to win, the easiest being a defensive fight where you burn your and enemies actions with Ikkyu going Witty Comeback (no battlefield prep necessary). SRWiki-san plays a tactic with a lot of insta-killers - I don't prefer that.

With better or worse tactics, as long as you remember to clear Owari of enemy presence in risky'ish situations (the tipping point being two Owari territories lost - I have lost games when I took over Miko with risk and Hara attacked Owari twice, thus knocking me out), you will win sooner or later with the defensive and strength building (muscle buffing) tactics I have outlined. Provided you didn't lose like Ikkyu or Kyuuri who you invested heavily on, in which cases I forfeited the run once or twice and started over.

Here is the video that corresponds to about this area of the game. You start after taking over Mikos, and take over Uesugi. So this is 35-46 turns (ends at Ashikaga beaten):

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415406562

One more thing before Uesugi is, that you might be at 50 SAT by now. In later games, I usually got 50SAT and therefore the very important 3rd fan before going for Uesugi.. mostly by diligently getting all SAT possible, for example from dungeon clears and re-clears, Suzume and so on. At latest, you should be reaching 50 SAT when you take Mazo, and can H Fuuka. Also, you should probably be starting to request for reinforcements at this point. Although you don't have to take all the SAT bonuses from the earlier dozens to get the +Action Fan, I usually have spent most of them by then. Rance pretty much has to be given +1AP, but elite troops you should give only when you have upgraded his stats to about 7-6-6-6. You could also make this 6-6-6-7 if you can, since SPD is very important for commander battles. I've lost the game twice at Xavier and once at Byakko, so take leveling up seriously also.

Uesugi. As a rule of thumb, Rance gets risky to field at or after Mikos. The exception is of course the Uesugi battles where Kenshin shows up, which can be won just by fielding Rance alone. Most notable is the Mazo castle, where Kenshin is scripted to appear. So you can take over Mazo by first winning one territory, defending it overturn, attacking another territory with your best team (minus Rance) and then then just fielding Rance against the castle.

Once you got the castle, you cannot advance in Sado before inciting the disgusting mens' revolt. Said revolt is usually incited by attacking (and winning) at least once in Sado. You lose that turf. However, you should be getting an event there or one turn later, where the Uncle plots a revolt. Also Kenshin must go to train and come back. You don't have to win more than one fight in Sado. Then, for me, the revolt usually happened after Uesugi attacked Mazo and possibly was made faster by losing/cancelling that fight. I don't have an exact record, but attacking and winning once in Sado and then defending one turn in Mazo and next turn losing a fight usually did it. You might try just winning all of the defensive fights, but winning more than one in Sado is unnecessary.

After you successfully incite the revolt, and decapitate the messenger, you are on a 5 turn limit. It shouldn't take more than two turns here for you to win, unless you had to concede 2 territories is Mazo and/or Owari has territory/ies in enemy control. I lost here twice I think, while I somehow just didn't manage to gain ground in Mazo, while being attacked 3'ish times consistently per turn (in Mazo and in Owari). Most of the times though, provided that you kept Owari and Oil clean of enemy presence, and pushed their home countries to the last territory in the beginning of the game, you should have a good buffer to attack freely in Sado for a couple of turns. These fights should not be extremely hard if you paced the game right, and was able to build even two good teams.

After Uesugi, it's party time. Well, at least you get a little easier time at this point. You could be at about 40 turns here. Your goal from here would be to mop up Kyo, Hara and Mikan. Manage your NP and get Kenshin and Naoe Ai. Also be careful and clear enemy influence off Owari and Oil first if there is any left. This would be a good time also to request reinforcements and so on, use up some fans for SAT or critical commander upgrades (like getting All Guard Shikigami for diviners, or Enhanced Initial Guard or All-Guard for footers).

Kyo. There's not much to write about Kyo. With the army you have, counting out possible losses of important commanders, you should find it it easy to kill them. If you struggle hard here or later, and have progressed fast (perhaps faster than me), the first thing you should do is check your footsoldiers' troop counts. They might need buffing to deal with the ridiculously enlargening troop counts of enemy states from here onwards. Same thing goes for your offensive units. And I'm sure I've said this, but make sure to defend Owari by clearing it of enemy influence. You can usually leave one territory to the enemy (Hara and or in earlier part of the game, Ashikaga) there.

Here is the next video for what follows. Turns 46-61.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415413833

After you get Kyo, recruit Kuge Kiyoko (the foot anyway, I always mix them up) for the asset tech, and if you in any way can, try to keep your gold at the end of the turn above 25.000g, so you get the +2.000gold per turn from asset techs. At certain points, like getting a couple of battle permit users to 1.000 troops, will require you to use your gold and you might go below 25.000 or even to zero, but try to recover your savings as fast as possible.

Hara and Mikan. I have nothing interesting to say about Hara. They should be easy and you should be able to kill them fast. Take home and fuck Aki, she is useless otheriwse. Then continue onwards to Mikan. The only problem here might be that Tenshi can start being very annoying and aggressive after you take Mikan. The record of times I've had them attack me per turn is 4. And that was when I was having a war elsewhere (I think hannies). Very annoying. They attacking me 3 times per turn has happened multiple times.

Mostly at this stage (after you take Mikan) you should just gather rewards, build your army, so on. You can try to gain ground in Tenshi's home territory to make the Tokugawa campaign faster for the battle permits, but usually they'll forcefully push you back. Still, if you take even one castle of their three, that is of course easier to defend. Having your territory clear of Tenshi and having at least one of their castles is very useful for Tokugawa, so your Battle Permit wins will not go to waste in Tenshiland.

This will also usually be a good time to start doing dungeons. You WILL need them sooner or later. And since they do yield all kinds of rewards, why not do them when you have a lull in the pacing. At least do Hara's and Kyo's dungeons, and the Suzume events needed to clear Kyo. The others at Uesugi might be too hard. While you hold Kyo, let the Shinsengumi hannies pass and get Nozomi when you can. She costs no NP, can be used as a scout, helps dungeon fights and unlocks Mazo dungeon, and more/most importantly, unlocks the event where you can get the Immortal Seal of the Something item, in MAZO, which lets any one of your commanders surivive being annihilated in regular battles. A very good item, lets you use Kou in the end of the run. Take it now or preferably later. Now you have more things to do.

Also if you can, use fans on things like SAT bonuses or troop upgrades.. and wait for turn 59/60. Declare war on Tokugawa at turn 60 or 61 (when you get the BP's), or possibly declare war on 59.60, take one territory and defend it to get a headstart.

But especially, you have to finally groom up from one to three BP users.The BP users I usually use are Naoe Ai, Kanami, generic footsoldier captured at 1000 troops, Andou Kyuuri or another diviner you groomed up, and a generic fighter if I captured a high troop one or Kenshin. You get Kopa Mercenaries for this on turn 60 if you don't have a footer at 1000. This isn't a bad choice. The rationale for using Kenshin and Naoe Ai as BP users is simply that they can really use the troops. If you buy the troops for some generic loser you basically throw the money away. Also note that not every BP user is needed every turn, and so you don't usually have to burn Kenshin's turn on attacking.. but there are many cases where it helps a lot. Tenshi can suddenly quadruple-attack you while you are working on Takeda.. or the likes. Blitzing Takeda before they blitz you gets much easier if you have at least 3 BP-users. You don't really need 5, but 3 is already very good.

So, once you hit turn 60-61, you will get the battle permits. Equip them on as many commanders as you can, preferably at least two. It is time for you to declare war and attack Tokugawa, if you haven't already.

Turns 61 to 90[]

And so it begins. The part of the game where you have the cheat mode enabled- Ahem. You get the win-for-free tickets.. Ahem. So your generics can now 100% beat demons and enemy lineups of 15.000 troops with 1.000 troops.. and laugh while doing it. You get the idea. Although it is not always useful to use them, since you might win battles "manually" with much less losses, even gains in gold, they are the real deal. Winning with a BP costs you at most 4*1.000gold = 4.000 gold (when using anyone else except the foot and implying you didn't get at least -1 troop replenishment cost. Then the win costs 3.000g). Winning with the foot BP user is always preferable to the others, since it only costs you 1.000 at maximum. Use the other BP-users with caution. Kanami is the first pick to use since she is less useful in battles than the others and cheap(ish) to bring up to 1.000 since she joins with high(ish) troops and recruiting Ninjas doesn't cost as much as fighters or diviners. The diviner Kyuuri might be close to 1.000 at this point, and Naoe Ai's tactician troops are cheap. So just pick the one who is cheapest to raise to 1.000. You might have also been able to capture a fighter with 1.000 troops.

The Tokugawa battle and the later turns are spread to two videos in the video-guide section of this guide. First several turns follow. This is because I did split this part into two streams. The first part is just 61 to 63.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415413832

The next part is 63 to 69 (from Tokugawa towards before attacking Takeda).

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415421326

To start with discussing about 61 and fighting battles from here on, it is actually more preferable to fight manually than use BP's in most cases. You gain troops for your commanders, can win with less losses, can capture enemy commanders, etc. etc. But usually at this point, you want to win enemy countries fast and they have a lot of territories (especially Takeda), so the BP's are your thing.

Tokugawa. The Tanukis should fall to you in 2 turns. First turn attack once and let your (minimum 2) BP users do their work. Then defend overturn and next turn assault the castle. Or if you only have one, try attacking twice and defending once). The exception here is if Tenshi has cleared their home and possibly even won some territory in Kyo or Mikan from you, just when you are about to attack Tokugawa. Then you are of course more unlikely to win ground quickly by BP's and have to make do. Usually Tokugawa isn't that aggressive, so attack twice defend once (if you can pull it off) will in any case put you at striking range of their castle in two turns. Usually I didn't have to do this, and the 2-3 BP's did their trick.

I recommend at least one blast of battlefield preparation for Tokugawa's castle, maybe more if you struggle. It is one of the most dangerous ones because of very high damage and aggressive frontline, plus an assassinating Ninja in the back.

For the assassinating Ninja, I'd recommend fielding one or even two fast (high SPD) champions with preparation skills. This means at extreme: putting Natori and a good offensive diviner on the line. Backline I'd add a All Guard Shiki diviner, to guard for the front row and against the Ninja hits. If you can manage to go on preparation and drop the Shiki Guard before enemy Ninjas move, First Row: Dousan, a foot (Consider NOT fielding the best you have, but nonetheless one with troop count. This foot has a high chance of dying, but should still be able to save the first row and possibly suck in the assassination), and probably Kenshin.

But there are several problems with this lineup. It is an example of a very defensive line and might not deal enough damage. Basically you cannot win this castle without risk though. Note: I don't usually have Uruza at this point, but if you get her, it is a no-brainer to use her here in backline. One thing you can do is use only your best diviner here, drop All Shiki Guard asap, convert action with Dousan, and go offensive. Usually you will still have time to hit with that Shikigami since Uruza and Natori use up their moves fast, and possibly so does Kenshin (if needed at the end of the battle to hurry up, she can do Commander Charge with moves left).

Another possibility. Remember the item Undying Fox Deity's Charm? Here it where it comes really useful. You can guarantee surviving for three commanders by fielding a footsoldier with enhanced initial guard and the deity item. In a recent run, I put two foots, one in each column, and frontliner (Shibata) had the charm. Backline had another (not so importan) foot, who was expendable. If you want to be double safe, field another foot in backline with EIG. The others I fielded were a AGS (All Guard Shikigami) diviner and Natori. To the front row (!) I put Ikkyu to do BattleRating Down2 to move the battle slider, and Dousan who can Convert Action on the diviner to add defense against their aggressive frontline (and if Ikkyu should die, then use it on Natori.

One more example win with a picture below. I'm fairly sure that in this case, enemy assassination failed and I spammed All Guard Shikigami a couple of times to help the first line, leaving the backline Natori and Ikkyu to win the fight. Ikkyu has Battle Rating Down 2, which moves the battleslider a crapload and is invaluable in winning hard castle battles. It enables you to mostly defend, since you don't have to deal damage unless you wan't to soften up some enemy hard hitters like, maybe diviners or very late in game, lightning users.

ALCG0000 Sill7 66

In this next fight (pic below), I chose to field Maria. She deleted the assasinating enemy Ninja (Tadatsugu) with a triple-barrel Tulip attack before he could do his stuff. This was also possibly facilitated by Natori going into preparation, causing the assassinating Ninja to use a (nigh) useless ninja attack on her. The All Guard Shikigami dude spams Guard again with help of Dousan. I checked my screenshot two turns later: Maria had 730 troops (boosted by pop staff and possibly a draft paper).

ALCG0000 Sill21 67 tanukifall

So.. with some losses or none, you will steamroll the Tanuki Castle. Congratulations in advance.

Hanny. With that win you go towards the Hannyland. About hannies, there is almost nothing to say. They aren't really problematic to win against, but can still hit your backline hard since about this time their troop stacks are high AND they can 6x hit your backline if you get very bad luck. All-guard shikigami diviners are nice here. But in any case, your strategy should be to let the Battle Permit users do your work. Your action fans should go twice to purple events that let you unravel the mystery of hanny king for eventual +5SAT when you take the castle. So. After beating Tokugawa, do purple event in hannyland twice, let your BP users attack until castle, and take it. Even if your BP users attacked somewhere else, you should be able (with your army at this point) to manage a normal win in field + a castle win.

If you are unsure, spend three turns. First: two purple events and BP attacks. Defend with your army. Second: More BP attacks until castle, and defend. If you have extra fans, do something useful like giving someone important (diviner, foot, etc. a level up) or use a Rance SAT bonus. Third: One or two battle prep, assault castle with your best line. Probably you won't need any battle prep, but in case you are inexperienced or you read this guide for extra help for non-challenge runs.. indulge yourself, win easier.

Hannies will fall in 2-3 turns max. Then there is Takeda. One of the big challenges in the game, but actually very unchallenging in reality.. just a question of what you want to do.

Takeda. One of the supposed big bad enemies, but not really. The best way to stop Takeda Blitz (notorious) is to blitz them yourself. If you followed this guide, you have the battle permits, hopefully 2-3 BP users with 1000 troops AND Takeda has 3 territories, of which you only have to win two (Kai and Shinano only).

Here is the next part of the video-guide from an actual run (turns 69-80). It also contains a lot of what follows below.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415425048

Get one champ Light Attack before you go for Takeda. Read on.

The big question is BALANCE. The smart thing is to win quick in 5'ish turns before Takeda puts their brass tax into play, that is, their main characters start showing up in battles. The window is about 2-4 turns after you take one of their territories (Shinano or Kai). I usually go for Kai first since it is 3 territories only and Shinano ends with a Town, not a castle. Offensively take one field in Kai, and end turn. This will raise the probability that at least one of your (hopefully 3) BP users at full 1000 troops will take the other field in Kai. If Takeda attacks elsewhere, let them win. Just defend your Kai progress. Then next turn, if you have defended your progress, double attack Kai first with a field win, then with a battle prepared castle assault. Be certain to field your B-line to field, save A-line to castle.

So about the BALANCE. Your real question here is actually not if you can win quickly and laugh at Takeda falling easy, it is if you can capture cavalries or not. Cavalries are, regardless of the stats they are captured in, some of the best units in the game. Maria and Kasumi level. Hard hitting backline killers. You could say Maria and Kasumi are cavalry-replacers, but yea, you don't get cavalries in every game.

You should try your best to capture cavalries, even sacrificing progress or a one-turn conquer of a Takeda province if you are confident you can light attack a cavalry and kill it in a fight.

Prolong the fight with Takeda as long as you can, but attack and win territories mercilessly if possible. This takes balancing and weighing options.

You should probably take Kai fully first, then see by scouting what kind of fights you get. And get cavalries by light attacks and supplementing with defeated warrior hunt commanders (if you have any - Niwa should be long fired by now). It is ok to take risks to get cavalries. Especially risking commanders you would rather fire later anyway.. Here is an example of a fight where I took a risk and got a cavalry. Remember: when you are out for a capture, go ALL OUT. No holding back. You can let enemies take your territories even. Just get that cavalry.

If you manage to take Takeda in about 3-5 turns, before their brass tax join the fight. The last warning you will get is an overturn message that "Takeda blitz is preparing" or a something. Look out for that. It means you should kill Takeda now or they 4x or 5x attack you, making things usually complicated. Also if you can blitz Kai and Shinano without the leaders ever even joininig, the last castle is very easy. Especially if you went Kai->Shinano route since Shinano ends in a town, not a castle.

Long story short: get them with their pants down. Quick. But get Cavalries in the meanwhile if you can. If you, as usually, have to decide whether to prolong the Takeda campaign to get Cavalries or to kill them, just kill them. This is 5SNB and Ironman. Below is an example of a succesful capture. Notice Himiko in backline whose only purpose here is to drop the enemy guard so you can hit the cavalry hard(er). Ranmaru had Light Attack here. Exchanging Ranmaru for the Cavalry didn't actually make me sad at all, since Ranmaru needs a big investment to be usable in the late game. Usually the Uesugi Charge Unit does the trick if you want to use her late.

ALCG0000 Sill20 99 Ranmaru for cavalry..

As for delaying Takeda in the hopes of getting cavalries, you still really can't (usually or should not) afford for the enemy to do quadruple attacks and especially cause yourself to make another brick wall in the game in their last castle, with all of the tricky Takeda commanders defending at once. So just kill them quick, but keep your eyes open for cavalry captures.

IF however you end up against all of those baddies at once at last castle/town, use your best lineup. Others would suggest Uruza-Kenshin-Natori-Dousan combo. I would fill it with an all-shiki guard diviner and a good foot with EIG and/or All-guard. There is a screenshot below where I won it with a last minute Ikkyu Witty Comeback. That is another strategy. But for Ikkyu's witty comeback to hit, you need commanders who burn actions fast plus good defence. So for this strategy, field Kenshin, field Uruza if you have her by now. I usually don't..but you might if you pay attention to getting her. Field one all shiki guard diviner. Field definitely Dousan. And an all guarder foot. One choice could be to field Suzume, since she is unkillable and burns her AP when you need her to. The assassination could be a huge help if it goes through. But basically all you need to do is defend and guard Ikkyu. So you might want to field a double foot. There are many choices, but remember just to defend.

Takeda campaign will end in your win sooner or later. If you find yourself in a war of attrition against them, usually just let them win their attacks, win your battle permit attacks 2-3 per turn, and since their blitz only hits about once per 3 turns, you will gain back the ground. Just don't play defensive losses where you lose a whole commander or a lot of replaceable troops for a lot of money. Let them win since usually their attacks spread among your countries (defend if you can the last territory). Hit them where it hurts. Go for risks if you are 2 battles away from getting Kai or Shinano. Get the first of the 2 with your second lineup, save your best for the 2nd (castle or town). Then battle prep once, and field your best lineup.

Below is a prime example of a hard battle against Takeda last castle. Everything went wrong, but Ikkyu pulled off the Witty Remark on the last turn possible.. and no one died. Lucky? Luck favors the brave. But you should never come to this. Just kill them before this happens.

ALCG0000 15 76

After Takeda. With one of the major hurdles in the game cleared, you enter into a phase where it is gradually less and less preferable to fight actual battles as compared to using Battle Permits. But if you can win safely, it is still useful to fight manually (and same if you want to capture enemy commanders like diviners or possibly cavalries if they joined the enemy ranks).

This part of the game takes consideration. Usually always scout. If you judge that you can win the battle easy and possibly gain troops, do it. If you can't, and it looks dangerous, just drop it. Dangerous involves, for example but not limited to, an assassinating ninja, backrow diviners guarded by foots and you used Uruza, or the enemy has a very aggressive and fast front row with muskets.. so on. Or if the troop stacks are just too high so they can one-shot your frontline. Just drop it. Press X in right top corner.

Houjou, Tanegashima. The main strategy against Houjou is just to use BP's. There isn't much more to it. Use BP's, and take over one of their territories, perhaps preferably Edo since it is easier to defend due to the castles. Then move on to Tanegashima. There isn't much to say about them either. Use BP's and steamroll them. You will probably be done in a couple of turns. Meanwhile, if/when you can burn the necessary turns and battles against Houjou, capture Ran. You can check when Ran is capturable when you scout a battle against her, see if she still has the special attack Suzaku. Here is an example capture of Ran. It can be pretty tricky. But there is one exceptional trick you can use to capture her: assassination. I think that is what happened here but I can't be sure. I have successfully assassinate-captured her at least once. It means that in order to capture her, you can try your luck and even field Suzume against her alone. (Trick is courtesy of SRWikiFag)

ALCG0000 Sill11 88

Houjou should not be killed before turn 89. Do not take their last country even if you capture Ran and Souun goes missing. You should use all the available time to gather resources before the Honnouji event. Instead, leave them alive, and go west through Tanegashima. Tane falls quickly. Their last castle is a bit risky because of the man himself and especially Yuzumi, but you can just field a tough footer first line and get them from the back.

After Tanegashima it is Mouri time.

The video is from about this time forwards till you attack Honnouji. It extends until turn 92.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415447926

Mouri and Takuga. I don't usually fight any battles aside from the last castles of a country at this point. Especially avoid battles where Mouri's main lineup girls show up. You can basically only lose money as opposed to using Battle Permits. For a reminder, a BP win costs you at max 3000 or 4000. At this point I usually have got one SAT bonus with -1 troop replenishment cost. So just let your BP's do the work, and of course defend with your best lineups when they attack overturn. What is said here basically also applies for Takuga. At this point the difficulty counter is so high, that the troop counts of enemies are ridiculous and basically even enemy archers are a threat since they can one-shot your backline.

Take down Izumo, Akaheru, Nakakuni and Shikoku. At this point, somehow usually Akashi would have declared war on you, but you have to ignore them because they have a gourd and killing them would initiate the Honnouji event. It is slightly annoying since sometimes they randomly attack Nakakuni, which is shaky due to the only two territories in the country. But still, this part of the game should be no big deal to you. You have a very good lineup hopefully at this point to at least defend twice, and win thrice with BP's. The slight problem is that you might be in a 5-way war at this time (Houjou, Akashi, Mouri, Tenshi and Takuga), but the game seems to somehow balance the attacks in a multi-war so that only 1 or 2 of the countries take turns attacking you each turn. BUT, if they get a turn, they might attack many times. Especially Tenshi is annoying in this sense - as mentioned also earlier, I have had them quadruple-attack me in a turn, losing a whole country (think it was Kyo). Mikan is also shaky.

Anyway, you might have a temptation to do the all-out battle event against Mouri. I advice against this. Anything that might lead to an insta-gameover is wise to avoid. Also the battle contains a ninja on the enemy team. An assassinating ninja is always something to avoid in a battle, since you don't want to lose any of your top commanders who you would have to field in this battle.

The Mouri campaign does not actually end here in a win. You must stop and let them keep Senkan Nagato. The best possible situation is that you take Izumo, Akaheru, Nakakuni and Shikoku (killing Takuga off), and push them back to the last castle of Battleship Nagato.

At that point, if you get there before turn 90, the only country that you can take over is Asai-Asakura (Texas) without setting off the last gourd and Xavier remanifestation. If you have the time, do it. Even if you don't have the time to take them down before 90, you might want to declare war on them to give your BP users another target, since/if you already took down all the other enemy countries to their last castle. Something like 4 BP-users would be nice here at this point if you go for a 5-enemy war.

If you finish this part before turn 90 hits, go for dungeons and use pokkurus on Rance, basically get your team ready for the commander battles in Honnouji battle. So if you finish early, relax and power up your army also for army battles. Use SAT bonuses, gather more SAT, manage Prison, clear dungeons, so on. You will have time later also to do this after 90, but every turn and every Fan matters here. The two hardest things are yet to come: army battles against Demon Army and the last commander fights.

Before that, the Byakko/Xavier Honnouji commander fight is next. I lost the game there at least once.

So, with you far in the map, hopefully at least at Mouri or so, the turn 90 will come. Remember just to take out Houjou on turn 89. So on turn 90 last gourd breaks, and Xavier is unchained.

Before you go here, the 92-95:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415453411

Turns 90('ish) to 100[]

Preparing for Honnouji. After turn 90, when the 5th gourd breaks, of course everything changes. You find Kou missing, but you must delay searching for 3 turns to make some time for upgrades (read on), then find her on the 3rd/4th (not sure which). Usually you should use this time to clear dungeons, upgrade commanders, spend Rance's SAT upgrades, so on. Delay.

The video from here is to the end. I can't do better ATM.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415458763

After she is found, you still delay and do undone things as far as you can stomach it according to the WWRD principle. Clear undone dungeons at least. Recruit commanders who you think would help you beat the big bad demon. Talk to your most important commanders and give them items. Build some strength.

Keep the enemy countries at their last castle. You cannot attack at this point and so it is impossible to take over whole countries, but you can defend (remember to take Senhime out every now and then), and your BP-users most importantly can attack. When attacked, always scout and see if the battle is worth it. Remember that defending with losses that cost more than 3000-4000g are not worth it, since you can attack back with a BP next turn. But sometimes, if the enemy lineup is stupid, you can even heal your lost troops with Natori and win money in a battle.

At this stage, you should also get the action fan needing items. Like seal of the undying fox, and also Akashita Dog is really good if you can spare the time. Give it to Tourin, who can help any battle in a great way. Seal goes on Kou later so you can use her without risking gameover. Optimize your army.

After clearing a lot of dungeons, just before going to Honnouji, this is a good time to go for the Item Shop also. Usually it is not preferable to visit the shop many times, so you should centralize your visit into one. And this is the time, or slightly later after turn 100 if you didn't manage to clear the dungeons in time. Get Miko Charge unit for Natori, Cavalry +1000 for a Cav if you have one, and Uesugi charge unit for Ranmaru if you still have her. And some +SPD books if you can. Miko charge unit is mostly for the True Sillfag additional run, but it does help if Natori can also reliably pinpoint damage the enemy backline hard (once), and then go for Miko Wind.

About delaying the game and avoiding infinite time exploits, I have a strict rule I go by. I never attack Honnouji later than turn 100. After that I deem it cheating. So I never make Kou wait on the attack more than 7'ish turns after she is found, and that is also already kind of pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable delaying.

Honnouji battle. At turn 100 latest, go for Honnouji battle. You should be prepared by now. The tricky part here is definitely NOT the outside army battle, as they have scripted low troop counts and you should wipe them with ease, but the two consecutive commander battles. At this stage, if you haven't done dungeons, you will be killed, sent to Alice's mansion and therefore lose. Before Honnouji, you should fire enemies from Prison at groups of 5, and give pokkurus to Rance. This levels up both Rance and Sill, and he has Chaos, so he is the only one to give Pokkurus to. You should clear ALL dungeons that you can time-wise manage. See above.

Then go for it. It will probably be a lot easier than you thought, if you prepared well. The army battle you should do away with at ease. But as you get to the commander battles, take care. Fielding your best frontline against Byakko (the hippo or some such guy) might have consequences, since those commanders will be damaged and you cannot therefore be effective with them against the real enemy, Xavier the Demon big bad guy.

So you should field your somewhat capable guys and girls against the pitiful 1000 troop mikasashu enemies at early engage, then at commander battles, field something like Natori and such in backline, nobody but kenshin and Rance frontline. Do not use them, save them for Xavier bad dude.

As for Xavier, then you must defend Rance. This is good practise for the end game. Xavier and that useless Kentaro dude MUST be alive for you to deal damage to X. SO you must build your strategy around defending them with something like backrow diviners and frontrow foots (Katsuie or Senhime), with STILL making damage to the big guy. I post my final battle lineup here since I didnt save any screenshots of how I did this part ealrier.

ALCG0000 15 137e

I'll search for screenshots, but if you did enough dungeons, and gave Rance enough Pokkurus, you will win. And after that, the game changes. You have several turns free.

The Lull[]

After you take down Xavier, You have several turns to prepare before DA appears. Refer to the earlier parts of the guide. Take down Texas, Akashi, Iga now. At your leisure. Gourds no longer matter so you can kill whoever. If you want to be fast against DA, leave Senkan Nagato to Mouri. Defend and attack as you best see fit.

This is the last chance for you to get the Seal of the Undying Fox thingy. You need Masochist girl Ogawa for it. Hope you followed the guide and have her. You can fire her after you get it. I probably should have given you a warning before that this item is preferable, so you can use your forced character Kouhime.

The shitstorm: end game (Demon Army war and winning)[]

The war in DA is the topping of the cake. You should aim for the war to be short and fast. Before going into the war, I suggest making sure your Cover Action global sequence is aligned so that your next action will cause Political Turmoil. Turmoil will be caused every third time you do Covert Action on any country, so you can, for example, do CA twice on some useless sh*ts (who you didn't CA before, making you use less search/scouts) and then use the 3rd on DA (again if you must). But save it if you can.. for Cairo and Morocco.

Remember this playthrough. I couldn't yet chop it up to easier to digest parts, so just scroll towards the part where you face the DEMON ARMY.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415458763

When DA spawns, Kouhime will join you in several turns. After she joins, talk to her and get Protection Paper, one of the best army battle items in the game which bestows a guardian shiki to an army at start of the battle. IF you have 30 commanders when Kou is set to appear, you lose one. The alogirthm for this is unclear, but diviners seem to die first easily due to an unfortunate accident.

In general, keep your head cool and seek to gain ground if you aren't a super PRO and don't have the enemy pushed to Nagato already.

You can win it slow and steady. You can even "stall" the DA slightly, recovering. But remember, after you go towards Nagato, you risk losing your Battle Permits. Your permits will be given away as soon as your first BP user attacks Nagato or further into DA territory. I'm not sure if this applies into defending wins in Nagato. In any case, after you lose BP's, it will in high probability be ineffective gold-wise to defend against DA multiple attacks, trying to turtle it out. That's why you should have a good absolute minimum of 50kilos of gold stacked up for the last stage. Preferably 100k€.

When the battle continues after you lost BP's, or even at normal defensive battles you choose to fight, you WILL lose commanders against the DA. I'm thinking it is impossible to clear this end game without any losses. At least you should be mentally prepared to lose someone important. When I made it this far (5+ times), EVERY TIME I lost someone important here. Just hope (AND MAKE SURE IF YOU CAN) that it isn't Uruza, Natori, Dousan or Kenshin. Uruza and Natori are the God tier of the late game hardest army battles, followed by Dousan and Kenshin in the demi-god stage. This classification is slightly unfair, and is only meant for this part of the game.

On a slightly concurring note, I have heard a lot of players shit on Kojika. But actually, she is a really good extra replacement for a possibly lost all-guard shiki diviner. Commanders in this stage of the game come and go. You might lose some of your diviners also, and she comes READY with an all-guard shiki. VERY nice. You don't have to spend an action fan and SAT items to buff a generic all-guard shiki diviner, you can just recruit with one Fan and she is good to go. Keep her in mind. With my slow strategy, she seems always available at the late stage of the game.

It has been suggested on the /haniho/ of 4chan/vg by SRWikiFag, a long running SR Wiki author/guru, that stacking Initial Time Advance is a viable or even great or actually a broken strategy for DA defense. I tried adding some ITA users to my army in one run, but turned back instead of expanding the amount of the ITA'lians. I found a need to be flexible, to also be able to use those troops with ITA on the offence. But it was probably just a matter of honing that strategy further. There are probably some combinations of 30 commanders which work and give you a chance to utilize ITA-commanders without losing a big amount of attack power, if you give ITA to a specific profiling. At least a team or two, could help. You need 4-5 of them on a defensive battle to force a win. But I cannot be sure myself.

So.. You can either defend and win it over time, or you can blitz and win it quickly. Winning quickly, to save Sill, takes a lot of beating this lineup:

ALCG0000 Sill18 109b

In effectiveness, you have to win 5 times in a row. IF you followed my guide, and DA appears, you can take over Senkan Nagato by (just) beating one more time Mouri there.

You will, sooner or later, own Senkan Nagato.

Bad thing is, the Big Bad Demon Army is scripted to rush you with Shimizu homos for a total of 5 attacks, then usually 2 overturn attacks to follow. So if you want to be fast against the Demoness Armies, you rush Senkan Nagato as they appear, keep it, attack next turn into Cairo TWICE, and prepare for the FIVE ATTACK DEFENCE.

When you take Cairo at this point (ignore this rambling if you are playing regular games - this happens earlier), DA will blitz you no matter if you attacked or defended. The blitz includes 5 attacks by all Shimizu brothers and Agireda. I think you should only fight against the foot Shimizu, Iehisa the tactician and The Tosh (Musketeer). The strategies against each scould be easy to figure out if you can scout. Play Kenshin or Uruza against Tosh. Play tacticians against Iehisa and force him to remove buffs by spamming battle strategy yourself. Against footer, defend front line and attack backline by ranged (or Natori, diviners, etc).

If you are playing "regular" 5SNB Ironman, you can take your time and possibly even let this blitz take over your territories. Just don't go into risky battles where you risk losing badly and therefore risk losing important commanders.

If you get knocked out of Senkan Nagato, and didn't use your BP's to attack it, so didn't lose them, you can turtle for a while equipping only the right needed amount to clear your own territories overturn. Remember this is Ironman, you cannot reload if you lose your best commanders like Uruza. But you can lose a territory. Of course not counting True Sillfag challenge. Then you just have to go on, and probably just take what experience you can from the 90% inevitable loss, after losing Uruza or Kenshin or Natori.

Moving on, there is an interesting thing that happens around this point: the Shimizu brothers, if you manage to win enough ground, decide to make a plan against Rance. At this point they DISAPPEAR from army battles which is a really good thing. NEVER field Rance again (as you shouldn't have from a long time ago) and they stay disappeared. For good. Godbless.

Another thing that happens is the Zombies. Oh well. If they appear in front row (please please scout if you can), usually just don't fucking fight. Or if you are confident you can drop the guard shiki and the zombigreeneyes cant attack your troops for PERMANENT loss of trooops (which costs 30 times the gold as regular hits or usually more), then go for it. If they are in backrow it is lucky, since they are just damage bait for you to move the battle slider, and possibly take the place of a more dangerous unit.

In any case, sooner or later, you must venture into hell. No not Shikoku, Africa. You must gain ground in Cairo. Attack twice, defend once or twice. You probably, if you have a good and stable army, can manage the 3 attack-defences per turn. If you are in True Sillfag challenge, 3 doesn't cut it. You must attack twice, defend twice AT LEAST. The real trick in True Sillfag, the ONLY way I think to really win, is to gain two wins in Cairo, then use Covert Action in Turmoil stage.

Then you attack once with your B-line (and win), Battle Prep twice, and go for the Castle. If you are in "regular" 5SNB Ironman, you might wait out the lemons stage of the game so Shikibu stops appearing in the horrendous scripted appearances in every battle stop. Also, the enemy SEEMS to be scripted to ALWAYS cut you down to zero Cairo progress even with 5 attacks per turn, when Shikiboo is operating on the field. But. Covert Action works. You can attack, then CA to turmoil them, keep Cairo. This is of course after the enemy Shimizu homos have blitzed (see above).

Going into Africa, you shall meet enemies three, but none more dangerous than yourself at your full glory. The enemies three you shoul care about in this case are Bepcho, Isun and Xavier.

The first one is the boss of Cairo. Shogun Isun. The enemy lineup is basically a copy of a high troop stack Shikibu lineup (see above). Except Isun can always use Lightning at will. The Time killer, I think is a tactician / archer attacking type besides being a time chiller. The third backliner I'm not sure about, it is probably a lightning user. And the first liner is your usual run-of-the-mill attackers + footer. With the exception that front or backline might have cavalries. Watch out for blue enemies at setup/scouting. Here is a lineup I used to win on the Run#15:

ALCG0000 15 127c

Notice that I have fielded TWO tacticians. Kouhime of course has the seal of the undying fox thingy. The trick here is to field tacs so that your team has BUFFS. When they have buffs, according to AI rules, Isun will highly likely be forced to debuff you instead of doing anything useful like spamming lightning.

And the enemy Time Killer.. Can. Kill. Time. (woooo..) Anyways, this is not a problem if you field Kenshin and manage to hit them with Uruza's Accurate Shots: they can't do it more than once even if Uruza is late (they Advance Time and burn 3 time stacks in the middle, so in many cases if Isun hits you with Lightning and you didn't battle prep and can't deal enough damage or move battle slider otherwise, you LOST).

Anyway if you field the lineup above, and have battle prepped some, you probably win. My strategy here is to battle prep as RIDICULOUSLY as I can. This is the second hardest army battle in the game. Do NOT go lightly into it. You can easily spend a SAT bonus or two on taking the battle prep +3. Aim for at least 2 battle preps at +10 or rather +13 prepping. Then if you field those two tacticians, Isun probably won't Lightning strike you. If you can field Kenshin, Time Killer can't kill your time. Ikkyu, or rather if you have Tourin, can do Battle Rating Down2 asap and continuously. Your diviner can all-guard shiki defend. You might not even need Dousan. Or Natori. As seen above.

Here is another battle, another winning lineup in a True Sillfag game:

ALCG0000 Sill18 110b

I'm losing at the time of the screencap but I had +24% BP, which mean even an enemy lightning would do almost NO damage. Tourin can safely BRD2, Natoris nuke is about to hit, and Uruza can eat one AP off every enemy. This is a VERY effective lineup. Might be the best there is to fight Isun, and later the other bad (worse guy). Possibly it is the best lineup you can ever field in the game against anyone, if you replace Kyuuri with Souun. And possibly Kouhime with your fastest, highest stat-owning high-troop having footer.

Kou has high troops, that's going for her. Rest is up to your stat-booking. Use your best.

Result of above:

ALCG0000 Sill18 110c

Next, just keep attackin Morocco and defending Cairo. See pic below. At this time, the enemy's script of "clean Africa above all costs!" usually breaks and they might attack anywhere on the map if the DA controls countries for example Iga (Izumo in the pic) or some such. I think Iga is a very good territory to give DA. They have 5 bordering territories and I think that adds the chance of them attacking around Iga, not where it matters (Africa). Here it is Izumo.. but it worked out fine.

ALCG0000 15 129

Enemy spreading out attacks to meaningless territories (non-African) means you can attack Morocco much more freely and probably with much easier success than Cairo. So taking Cairo is basically the hardest part of the game.

Nonetheless, you will face Wispin. Last hard boss of the army battles in your struggle. Let's look at a winning lineup.

ALCG0000 15 133c

Look familiar? Yep it is almost the same linup as before except Souun has joined. Kou is replaced by Shibata as he might have better stats at time.

Does it seem unfair (+SR% means +43% battlefield prep)? Yes, it was. I didn't take any small sapling of a chance here. I took the fight to the last territory, I probably put DA in turmoil, and did 4 battlefield preparations of +13% each (two at turn 132, two at turn 133). The effect was a ridiculous landslide victory. The enemy did lightning and did about 50 troops damage to each of my commanders which was a laughable kids scratch. I knew I had won.

After you win this fight, your army has 99% done its job. It is time to focus on taking down the demon face-to-face. Here you must have your commander battle level high and statistics ready.

Preparing to beat Xavier[]

After you have taken Morocco, you can initiate the last fight by attacking Tenma Bridge in Morocco in a purple event. You are probably not in a hurry, BUT stalling here is risky and will probably costly. Still, enemy script here is broken and might cause them to attack anywhere but Morocco or Cairo.

In any case, you must prepare yourself for the worst and most challenging commander battle. You cannot win it with a half assed show. I maintain I have lost in the final battle at least twice.

Let me reiterate. You MUST take this part seriously AND level up Kentarou if/when you can. I hope you read through the guide until here to learn that you must level up your whole team to clear this hurdle. Now (if) you made this far and your team is ready, and you are confident.. clear all the remaining dungeons, fire all the remaining commanders in prison to get Pokkurus, use them on Rance, get all items from ITEM SHOP that you can that help you in commander battles, so on.

It is perfectly ok to stall and let DA attack wherever here, so that you can clear all remaining (easy) dungeons. They just can't take Morocco or Cairo, that is something you have to deny. Don't do Orochi or Gunagan, don't be a fool. Do all bitchboys events (Kentarou's adventures). All the Shikoku hunt ogres missions. Buff Rance as much as you can. Buff everyone as much as you can for commander/dungeon battles. Your army is well equipped for the last fight for sure, do not worry.

If you can, and have SAT bonuses untaken, usually here you should go for +3SAT for everyone. Then clicking on them to upgrade. On the other hand, capitalizing on that costs a lot of fans, which you might not have.

Rememeber you can delay the heavy rock guy destroying the world by an event, IF you are confident enough about your army being able to hold Cairo AND Morocco both.

In any case, sooner or later (usually fucking sooner, asap), you have to go in. I'm sure if you got this far, you can do this.

The last fight (Xavier battle)[]

The last fight starts. You have to first beat a diversion, which should be a no problem to you. But you must beat it with your B-line which won't then be available in the last actual fight in the game, beating big X.

And remember this playthrough. Scroll to the appropriate part. You can figure it out, I trust you:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/415458763

Here is a good lineup for the last fight:

ALCG0000 15 137e

If I recall right, itemizing goes as follows: Sooun has protection paper (so he can spam protection shiki on Rance),Tourin has that +100 damage item, Seigan has speed bug, Kenshin has masamune I mean murasame I mean that blade +10-20% damage.

The strategy here is super aggressive. Kenshin went all-out (used commander charge) on Xavier right away. Seigan replenished her AP. Souun protects Rance with shikigami. Tourin attacks Xavier. Rance and Kentarou both attack Xavier. Guards are ignored.

I won. Someone commented I got lucky - Xavier didn't use (in the 2 turns he got) Black Fire, the blanket attack-all move, just went for single attacks on Rance. I'm inclined to agree nowadays. Nevertheless, I won. Game over.

..but you might not win, so. Here is another winning lineup.

ALCG0000 Sill26 117d

This is from the last game I played. The True Sillfag victory. I started with this. Leila is there so she can deal damage or defend against X if needed. Torako is my Souun replacement, I couldn't get Souun this time. She has protection paper as I suggested above so she can live against one Black Fire (all hit high damage move by X) and continue spamming protection shiki on Rance. Kentarou gets moved to back as useless. Kenshin hits Xavier.

This lineup alone can't do it.. but I end up with this:

ALCG0000 Sill26 117e

Here we can see that to win the last fight, a BROAD lineup of high level champs should be utilized. You must balance and sometimes drop great army commanders to keep good commanders in commander battles. The last fight is the great redeemer. The fiery crucible where true heroes are forged. I lost here once or twice. Never underestimate it.

Last word of winning[]

The guide about the walkthru and about how I won SR 5SNB Ironman and with the added True Sillfag Challenge.. is now completed. Winning the True Sillfag Challenge was probably the high point of my life and my many careers.

I might expand the guide, and I will respond to your queries. I can do it here, or (preferably) you can go to 4chan / vg and search for haniho thread. I probably come there faster and answer your questions when I sober up. If I don't, there is still the wiki and the author (SRWikiFag) to cater to you. See the last entry of the guide.

Good luck and have fun above all. Enjoy your life.

Below are the specific sections of the guide where I took effort to explain how stuff works and how you win through game mechanics (how you build the army of one to last or some shit). Read these at your leisure.

My army building philosophy, general army strategy and battle-style[]

This section, one of the most important ones, covers army building and operations strategy. It centers heavily around winning battles with as few losses as possible, and at the same time, making sure as few of your commanders as possible die in your service, often causing you to replace them with worse commanders and losing all resources (money, action fans, affection items, books) you have possibly sunk into bettering them.

Army battles philosophy[]

“What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.”-Sun Tzu

An optimal strategy saves you resources (commanders to use in a turn) and MONEY (win with as little casualties as you can) plus helps you progress and GAIN resources. So this philosophy leaves us with two-three objectives of every army battle (with few exceptions):

1) Win the battle and gain ground

2) Win with as little (monetary) casualties as you can

3) Additional: capture enemy commanders (will be covered later)

4) Additional rare cases: perhaps loot some money or trigger beneficial events

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” -Sun Tzu

This essentially means that you should scout all battles that you can. In SR, you don't always have to, but almost always it helps and is worth sparing the one commander to do it (unless you know exactly what to expect like certain scripted castle battles). Scouting is all in all a superb advantage. It also gives you a bonus to Battle Preparation corresponding in % to how many points of search was needed to scout. Battle prep is a very powerful tool in winning battles.

I think giving a 5% battle prep is worth at MINIMUM like about 2 or so buffs, but distributed evenly to all your commanders. At MINIMUM you get 6 free defense buffs worth 5%. This is worth one 30% buff. You also get 6 free attack buffs worth 5%, and the same of Int buffs when damage is calculated (at least I think so.. here I'd need to look at the code.. but I don't really know how to do that). As far as I know, BP doesn't affect speed.

So, 20% battlefield effect (towers give this) would then equal at least 8 buffs, possibly as far as 16.

After looking at the wiki's formulae page, it is clear to me that buffs are not directly comparable to battlefield effect. In favor of battlefield effect.

Battlefield effect's extra towards damage is calculated last after all other calculations and ALWAYS affects the damage done (or avoided, depending on your point of view) directly by the %. Whereas buffs are inside a calculation formula that can and usually does cap at the (somehow adjusted) troop count of the attacker or defender. If you want to look into this, go to the wiki's formulae page and count certain scenarios of match-ups.

I give up on making an exact calculation. IMO battlefield prep of 10% is worth about 10 buffs or so. Maybe more.

Additionally, normal buffs go uneven and random when you field tacticians, so some of them might be wasted (like attack buffs on non-direct attacking troops). Battlefield prep is evenly distributed, and therefore a safer and (if you are an insurances guy: risk is costly) cheaper way of winning than distributing tac buffs which are random.

No matter what the maths are, about 20% BP makes it already VERY HARD for your enemy to beat you, if you have a sufficient (smallish) headstart in. At about 30-40% it is basically impossible for the enemy to damage your commanders for more than a few hundred troops.

“Who wishes to fight must first count the cost”

-Sun Tzu

This is covered in the money section of the guide. In any case, not all fights are worth fighting. Later in the game you could just cancel a fight that will in likelyhood cost you more than 3000 gold, and win it by fielding a Battle Permit User who can at most lose you 3000 gold.

“The wise warrior avoids the battle.”

-Sun Tzu

As said, a lof ot battles in SR are NOT worth fighting. They are mostly covered elsewhere, but you should avoid fighting battles with assassins unless you want to capture them (Goemon) and in the later game, avoid fighting ridiculously high troop stacks where you only can expect a huge damage to your troops and/or risk losing commanders.

You should always stack battles with a great team that can surely win. Fielding a half assed or too risky team that relies on unsure probabilities is, in most situations, useless and counterproductive. Go for CERTAIN wins every time you want to fight. In other times if you can't win and can spare the loss, press the X and let them win.

“Great results, can be achieved with small forces.” -Sun Tzu

This should be a different part of the guide but I'll leave it to someone else. Suffice to say, you should practise winning with the least possible commanders you can. Here is an example, where the title "some units are worth more than one" obviously applies to all 3 fielded.

ALCG0000 Sill26 53 some units worth more than 1

“Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”

-Sun Tzu

In SR, you are not in a hurry. Take your time to think about your move no matter where in game you are.

“Never venture, never win!” -Sun Tzu

In certain times, you have to take risks to 1) win or more likely to 2) improve. You MUST take risks and try new things in order to improve. It is impossible for me to make a guide covering each situation. Most of it you must learn yourself.

I took several times huge risks and many times lost. But never regretted. Refer to the last section of this guide. There is always something to be learned from losing.

“Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.” -Sun Tzu

This applies to the last part of the challenge. If you take 90% of the map, the diffuculty level will be so high that you will be fighting enemy stacks of 4000+ consistently. The critical position is ONLY when you risk losing a full country OR at the end of either of the challenges (although infinitely more critical in true sillfag), risk losing any territory in Senkan Nagato since the Shimizu blitz would then take it over the next time you gain ground in Cairo.

Ok.. enough philosophy.

Typical setup for a battle[]

This is a very important part of the guide. My typical and target setup for a normal battle I want to win with the least casualties is as shown in this picture and elaborated below it. Also shown is the typical (good) result that can be achieved: the win without any casualties. The desirable setup stands throughout the game, with the exception of very early where you can't really have enough all-guarders or all-guard shiki diviners.

Before you look at this pic, let me add that the combo of an all-guard shikigami diviner + Dousan is extremely powerful when you want to win without any losses, as that diviner can then spam 2-4 all-guard shikis along the course of the battle.

ALCG0000 Sill11 100

Setup explanation in text:

Back 1: Diviner with all-guard shikigami. Andou Kyuuri in pic.

Back 2: A hard hitting "game winning" commander 1. In pic Uruza. Can reduce enemies' action points. Additionally can cancel any or all enemies preparation, for example Souun+Ran diviners shikigamis.

Back 3: A hard hitting "game winning" commander 2. In pic Natori. Can move the battle slider ridiculously much plus cut down enemies' troops so any attack will do less damage to you.

Front1: A foot, with preferably All-Guard (priority1) and Enhanced Initial Guard (priority2). In pic Senhime. Usually both not achievable/ not practicable to give both to all foots you want to use, since many of them will/should die instead of other units. All-guard works better with the overall strategy of fielding all-shiki guard diviners than EIG, which consistently leaves your backrow vulnerable if in front row, and vice versa. On the other hand, fielding two EIG per fight would require for you to double your amount of footsoldiers in your army, to a whopping 8'ish. Nevertheless, you might want to keep one or two foots with EIG in your army for those battles where you absolutely need to make sure a commander doesn't get hit, as them and all-guard is not mutually exclusive.

Front2: Hard hitting first-liner or possibly also a very offensive backliner (like cavalry or Tourin) who can also take a hit. In this pic Kenshin with also the utility of cutting off one AP per enemy unless it is their only one. Works very well with Uruza if you have to win THAT SINGLE battle per turn (usually you'd spread them across the turn if you have to win more than one battle and it looks preferable. For example a fast Uruza, given her speed bug, can cancel some/many musketeers).

Front3: Hard hitting first-liner or utility (like Dousan or a monk in specific cases). Or just someone like Leila who can hit fucking hard (with her royal guard). Or a cavalry. See above: use your brain.

This setup, IF you can spare to field 6 and have the army configured, wins most of the battles in the game (excepting castle battles) with very little losses, unless the diviner gets hit early on (which WILL happen several times in a full length game - there are and will be a lot of coin tosses in this strategy.) Taking this risk and the diviner getting hit happens maybe twice or three times per game. Every time it is serious. In this stage I usually accept the fight as lost and go to damage saving mode, defending losses and guarding what I can, stopping any risks and needless costly attacks.

The problem (usual situation) with this strategy usually is that you don't have all the necessary roles. You have to make do, scout first, and see who you really need in all of the above roles to win, or can you drop some role and save the corresponding commander in the battle for later. For example maybe you don't really need all-shiki guarding diviners if enemy doesn't have any archers, ninjas, mikos etc who would deal damage to backrow.

In any case, you should aim to create "SETS" of above definitely winning teams, that is one of each a--guarding footer, all-shiki guarding diviner, 2 backliners, and 2 frontliners, along the game. Start with two half-assed teams with foots and hard hitting frontliners. Evolute to hard hitting backliners and maybe first one all-guard shiki diviner. Build into two teams of a full set about or around the time you fight Uesugi. Plus utilize the Ninjas. Usually you would have a very well working team or hopefully two teams who can win with no trouble per turn. Then you can comfortably progress, build your army and strenght with only little loss of money and troops.

Game winning commanders (backrow)[]

What I define as "game winning" (army battle winning) back row commanders. The idea is that they can move the battle slider enough to win the battle or almost constantly contribute remarkably to the army win.

  • Uruza (with accurate shots)
  • Ikkyu (with battle rating down 2)
  • Tourin
  • Natori
  • Cavalries (with battle rating up2, Onrush, Back Row hunt or pursuit battle if defending)
  • Maria (with Triple-Fire tulip and 500+ or more depending on game stage troops)
  • Kasumi (with atk books boosted to atk6, 500+ troops or more depending on game stage and Tri-Fire tulip)
  • Souun
  • Your own personal diviner who you can groom to be a game winner from the start with pop staff (elaborating later)
  • Goemon (Can boost the battle prep quickly +8% and then assasinate. Recommended for late game is to give him the working bee, have him spam battleground preparation until 24% or if needed cancel enemy preparation, and finish up with an assassination)
  • Naoe Ai (Borderline, but can do it if you let her be battle permit user and buy her troops to 1000)
  • Seigan? I don't have much experience successfully using him. BUT he is a really good unreplacable commander for the last Xavier fight. And he is a poor-man's Natori, albeit slower. Also he can be fielded both back and frontline (as can Tourin and Cavalries, and depends on your foot, all the others on this list).
  • Other offensive champs in backline, like NInjas, if you get them to 7ATK and buy more troops than 1000. In any case you should have some ninjas to counter enemy diviners.

You might notice I didn't include assasinating ninjas or Isoroku. Both have a tendency to fail regularly so you can't make sure you win with them. They are more like a handy bonus in cases where you maybe want to win big.

Maria and Kasumi aren't usually (by others) ranked so high. My reasoning and experience is that they deal damage HARD. They can basically delete any backrow commander at the conditions I gave (7ATK maybe even 6, and tri-fire tulip at higher than 500-700 troops stacks).  I usually can get both to near 1000 before lategame against DA, and they can take the lightning users out with one hit tri-fire tulip. At that time it's worth spending all their fans if they can take that lightning user out without guard. Even with guard in backrow, they deal a very good deal of damage with the regular attack.

The above means that the game has like at tops 10'ish really good backliners not counting assassinating ninjas like Suzume who can be a hefty addition or Isoroku. It also means by extension that you should really protect the commanders mentioned above.

Game winning commanders (front row)[]

Here are the corresponding game (battle) winning front row commanders. They can move the battle slider or in some other war substantially contribute to the victory.

  • Aburako Dousan
  • Kenshin
  • Yuzumi (with +2AP bee or a +1AP book)
  • Leila (do not underestimate knights attack x2 damage. Give her +1ATK somehow to 7 and she owns)
  • Motonari (very late game..)
  • ??? There aren't THAT many front rows who are 100% winning, so you can substitute if you can gather all backrow winners above, some of them to front row like Tourin, Seigan, or cavalries, who can take some hits.

Example armies[]

Your aim throughout the game should be to make an army to stand the test of time (the end game). This is an example of a good.. really good army in late game.

ALCG0000 Sill18 90b

The same run army at turn 61 where I attack Tokugawa. Usually though, you should use more foots.

ALCG0000 Sill18 61b

What follows is an early army and pay attention to the highlighted commander. This guy can win most of the battles for you at this stage. He does the shikigami attack to start with, hits with it, and can still do an all-guard shiki guard after that to finish. Usually, unless he gets hit while he is preparing the shikigami attack (you should all-guard with a foot to prevent this or just don't field him if there are 1-2 enemy ninjas), he hits every enemy hard and moves the battle slider, then makes sure you don't lose any ground by finally putting a shikigami guard (All guard Shikigami) on your every commander. At this stage yours, and consequently enemies', troop stacks are lowish, so having a unproportionally high troop stack on a diviner makes him hit especially hard, and effectively then makes him a battle winner. This advantage is slowly diminished as the game progresses. Later game (maybe Takeda and onwards) he might be used as just another All-guard Shikigami defender with the additional use that he (almost never) can be one-shotted by enemy archers and such with 1000+ troops. Very good, and therefore late game might be your first pick for the All Guard Shikigami in the battlegroup of 6.

In some games early-mid I might have even used him in the back with another all-guard shikigami user. Making him attack with shikigami, and the other diviner to shiki-guard everyone.

ALCG0000 Sill1 33b

Also below an example of a very early army. The emphasis on motivation paper is no accident. They are likely the most valuable drops you could get from reclearing a dungeon (if you have time). Anyway, notice Maeda T. and Niwa cut down to 484 or 485. This is the safe zone to cut your commanders which cannot be used later down to. At 500, they use another NP point. You can't let that happen overturn if you defend with them, so to be sure, cut them down to 485 before you end turn. They don't need more troops at the early stage of the game and for example the diviner with allguard shiki has so much more value than even 100 more troops on Niwa or Maeda.

Always at the start of the game, cut some non-essential and sometimes even essential commanders to 485 troops at the end of every turn, IF you can therefore recruit more commanders with the cost of 1 NP.

This tip applies to the rest of the game also with the limits of 500 and 1000 troops. Be smart about using your current NP. Also some captured foots are SO CHEAP in NP, many times costing only 1 or 2, compared to the scripted ones like Kuge Footsoldier or Senhime, usually 3 or 4 at least in NP cost.

This is extreme. Didn't work out finally. Titled "avoiding 500":

ALCG0000 Sill22 25 avoiding 500

-Might make another section about optimizing NP-

Tips on accumulating money and raising the troop count of your army[]

First of all: money matters. The more money you get in and can avoid getting out, the higher troop stacks you will have on the commanders that you want them on. The more losses you can replenish. The harder battles you can win. So on.

So here are random tips on random order for now:

Tip1: Win every battle on as little losses of expensive troops (non-foots) as possible. This is the most important tip.

Tip2: Play a defensive strategy on battles. Look to my army building philosophy and general army plus battle-style above. In short: play an all-shiki diviner in every battle you can, plus if possible, pair with all-guard foot below preferably with enhanced initial guard. The wins will come from backliners and frontliners hitting enemy (on some games, DON'T attack with front but keep the shiki guard) and you will take less damage as you have good defence.

Tip3: Use standby at times to preserve a shikigami guard.

Tip4: Use Rance's autoheal with standby to heal him to maximum at the end of battle, when you can burn both yourse and enemies' all other action points

ALCG0000 Sill20 22 rance autoheal to max

Another picture of healing Rance below. Maeda Guards to burn his action points, Ranmaru stands by and Rance stands by to autoheal him as much as possible.

ALCG0000 Sill19 20 Healing Rance

Tip5: Fuuka can be used to heal back about 20-30.000 gold in battles if you use her well. Also her large propaganda effort contributes about the same amount (see tip 9)

Tip6: Popularity staff is worth something like 150.000 gold. The calculations are in an earlier part of the guide "The rationale of getting pop staff.."

Tip7: Taking the SAT bonus of adding 50 troops per commander late game is worth about 100-150.000 gold.

Tip8: Keep up a war with Tenshi to use the rioters for healing at many situations (Fuuka or Natori, I didn't ever recruit another Miko, unless they randomly and rarely have some extra-useful passive skills). See below: the optimal fielding for healing off the rioters. Field Natori, a shikigami guarder, Footer or Kenshin, and Dousan, and of course the ones who need healing. Use Natori to all-heal. Use Dousan to only convert action to Natori. That way Natori should be able to do 4 all-heals in the course of the battle.

Variate according to who you have left at the end of the turn (but always leave someone, almost anyone, like Rance, to defend against Rioters so you don't lose a NP). I sometimes downright lost games to losing too many NP to rioters. Then you have to construct them back, losing fans.

ALCG0000 Sill21 66 rebels to heal

Tip 9: The large propaganda effort. Fuuka has this and it is surprisingly powerful depending on how far you bring Fuuka in the game. You might get extra troops about from 20.000 to 50.000gold from it.

Tip10 (not that good..): Recruiting someone with Merchant. Merchants give +5% to your earnings in a turn. Assuming you average a healthy 3000gold per turn for 50 turns, in this time the Merchant gives you 7.500 gold. Not worth spending an upgrade over, but remotely might be worth it if it is on an otherwise usable generic.

Tip11: One of the best, the Asset Tech. Relatively early, when you take Uesugi and then Kyo (could be about turn 40?), you can get two champions (Naoe Ai and Kuge Footsoldier Girl from Kyo) with this. If you can then hold a turnwise 25.000gold of gold stockpiled, you get +2.000gold per turn. In the say 60 turns that the game at least goes on until turn 100, that is 120.000 gold, a quite good amount.

Tip12: The SAT bonus of -1 troop replenishment cost. This is a good SAT upgrade pick to take during a run, the earlier you take one the better. Usually I take one before turn 30-40, another one before the end of the game (turn 90-100). If you take it on turn 30, expecting that you lose and have to replenish maybe 2000 troops per turn until turn 100 with an average savings on replenishment cost of -0,5 per one lost (foot soldiers cost 1 already and aren't benefited, others cost 4 which is cut to 3, making the average savings if you assume a ratio of 50/50 lost between foots and others, the benefit being -0,5 gold per one troop), then this would save you 0,5* 70 * 2000 = 70.000 gold. You are free to do your own calculations on this - usually I take one -1 troop replenishment SAT bonus fairly early.

Of course it should be mentioned, that most of these ways to save gold are non-exclusive. That means you should gather and utilize as much of these means to keep and gather money as you can.

Unfinished / to be expanded (possibly)[]

Under this section, I list the ideas and parts of the guide that I should probably expand on to make this a wholesome (how to win SR) guide.

Recruiting and commanders[]

Getting the best commanders in the game[]

Recruiting the others: generals and semi-generals[]

How to avoid losing commanders, and what to do when you lose one (replacements)[]

Usually along the course of the game you will lose commanders. It is unavoidable. See army strategy on how to play and win as safely as possible.

Upgrading commanders (books, affection items and bonuses, buying troops and leveling up)[]

SAT bonus strategy[]

The approximate order of SAT bonuses taken. Pros and cons.

The rationale for requesting Kanami -> Maria -> Rizna -> Uruza -> Leila[]

Winning different castle battles[]

The useful and consistent setups for winning different castles. Focus on the hardest (DA, possibly Takeda, etc..) or the most annoying (Raccoon dogs..)

When and how to do dungeons[]

Art of doing dungeons. Not easy. You also have to fit the dungeon doing somewhere in your game. Or you will lose a lot of benefits: items, levels for Rance & co, ogre bones for more items, SAT, etc. Dungeons are IMPORTANT. So Important that (as suggested by SRWikiFag), I kick myself if I can't complete this section before SR is re-released. Come to bother me about this in 4chan if you care

-----

Bonus: why did I lose (and win)?[]

Perhaps the best way to learn and improve is to learn from the mistakes of others. So I will post a short recap of why I lost each of the 15 first 5SNB-Ironman runs and the 25 latter 5SNB-Ironman-True Sillfag runs. Also now added are the 3 more runs I did while streaming.

The first runs "vanilla" 5SNB-Ironman[]

Basically #1 game I took very (too) serious, and ended up butting my head into Hara castle, then lost Rance to it around turn 40.

Games #2-#7 (about) I kept trying the same (attacking Hara first), and losing.

Games #8-#10 I did according to the guide, focusing on Oil field first, and failed by getting owned in Owari every time by Hara and Ashikaga while failing to get Isoroku captured.

Game #11 went better. I captured Isoroku by diligently defendging Owari instead of attacking, and vassaled Hara. I lost when Iga declared on me, and I tried to do the "Inukai's boss" event to get them out of the way, then died fighting.

Game #12 I took Ashikaga and decided to try my luck at killing Hara, which succeeded by fielding two diviners, one with advanced shikigami which basically won the match. Also managed to get Ikkyu which was a huge victory. Try #12 ended at defeat at Honnouji (Xavier's battle). Turn 75. Couldn't get Xavier lower than 500hp. Had been neglecting dungeons.

Game #13 was lost at turn 52. After losing Andou Kyuuri, Isoroku and later Natori in battles against Tenshi, I decided to give up. The mistake here was probably taking Hara before Uesugi. Tenshi troop stacks became ridiculous (2k+) and were seriously annoying.

Game #14 I got to a good start, and started clearing Owari of Tenshi influence. I got a few good fights in, then screwed up in a fight fielding Suzume and Rance. I got scared of Suzume dying, forgot to focus and in the end attacked an enemy fighter with Rance at 100 troops. Resulting in Rance's funeral. A real fuck-up (alcohol was involved). It was a game that wasn't progressing well though. Everything felt like a struggle. Biggest regret is that I used Ikkyu only at Mikos castle, not later, when I could/should have steamrolled Uesugi castle with him. In this kind of gamemode, better safe than sorry..

Game number 15 was successful and I won the challenge.

The additional Sillfag runs[]

Sill Try#1: Lost to Rance at front (Uesugi)

Sill Try#2: Lost to losing Oil after failing to give pursuit battle to anybody while going Oil->Mikos start

Sill Try#3: Lost to Rance at front (Mikos)

Sill Try#4: Lost to Rance at front (Mikos) AGAIN

Sill Run#5: Lost to Byakko after having a low commander level roster.

Sill Run#6: Lost early game losing Owari to Hara double attack while taking risk to grab Oil.

Sill Run#7: No record. Possibly same reason as #6.

Sill Run#8: Extreme frustration. Lost to not getting Kenshin who I thought imperative to an overall win. I played all my cards, couldn't get Kenshin in time. Lost Mazo to counter attacks. Had to defend Owari. Lost Kyo to Tenshi. Biggest mistake: NOT GETTING PURSUiT BATTLE!!!

Sill Run#9: [My record here contains about 10+ random swear words]. Rance dead at Takeda final rush at turn 65'ish while I'm comfortably expanding, 4 BP users and very good roster.

Sill Run#10: Screwed it by putting Rance in frontline again. This time against Mikos (front row had 3x 1000+ foot soldiers who went aggressive). Getting Kyo early strengthened Mikos considerably. It was a product of wanting to get pop staff (which failed).

Sill Run#11: Made it to the end, lost by not gaining ground in Cairo against DA and Shikibu.

Sill Run#12: Lost to losing Dousan at 30'ish turns, foolishly and riskily fielding only 4 commanders, gave up after.

Sill Run#13: In an act of extreme frustration, fielded Rance alone against Uesugi without scouting. Kenshin didn't show.

Sill Run#14: Rance loses against Hara early. Spear attack 2 footer with 700 troops. Having shit luck and/or being too tired today.

Sill Runs#15-17: Dark runs full of mistakes and frustration as above. I realize I had lost my mojo and can't successfully play, so I take a break.

Sill Run#18: Very successful run which ended in the final Xavier battle, after I didn't field a foot in front row and forgot (due to emotional stress/excitement) to defend with Teru who got switched in, in the last 1-2 turns before killing Xavier.

Sill Run#19: Run ended. Forgot to give Ranmaru pursuit battle. Invested on Ikkyu who couldn't force wins on castles alone. Took Kyo early which added pressure on Owari from Hara and raised the difficulty level too much too early. Couldn't proceeed to win at Mikos, then lost Ikkyu in offensive battle.

Sill Run#20: I lose the very first (real) battle. I decide to just do a redo.

(Sill Runs #21 to #23: I sadly cannot find records on these. Here are my guesses based on some screencaptures I did instead)

Sill Run#21: I must have lost this one on Takeda final struggle after forgetting to buy Rance troops and giving him 4 AP to beat the Takeda final rush.

Sill Run#22: Looks like I got popularity staff really early off a random drop in Miso Katsu, went fast, got greedy and probably lost the game to Rance dying or enemy killing Owari.

Sill Run#23: I got to the end and faced DA and tried my best to kill them in 10 turns. And failed. The run ended when I saw Shikibu appear and I dropped the game since Sillfag challenge cannot be completed after Shikibu appears and Miki gets lost. ( that was confirmed on an earlier run: even if you made it to Morocco, you can't start the Tenma bridge fight with Miki missing)

Sill Run24 and 25. These were tilt runs which I lost quickly to absolute stupid army fielding decisions in the first 5 turns.

Sil Run#26: I win. I might put this as a separate section but for now, as far as the most of the guide goes, the run #18 was overall best and ended up with the absolute best army anyone could muster for the end game in this Extreme Run, SillFag additional challenge.

But on the other hand the latest, if not with the best army, it was the 1 run where I won so that should be something to be learned from. Possibly I should add one whole section about the winning TSF (True SillFag) run, but it competes about guide worktime with everything else.

Additionally, I made three runs after I started streaming SR 5SNB Ironman gameplay. Not surprisingly:

New Sill Run#1: Ended after I screwed up Uesugi stage, surprise: I DIDN'T GET PURSUIT BATTLE and gradually dwindled into a loss, after losing Kenshin.

New Sill Run#2: Shame to admit, but yea it's a Takeda commander blitz loss. It's pretty funny how I still lost the two runs to the most COMMON losses above.

New Sill Run#3: Absolutely whack, my best run ever and possibly luckiest. Didn't lose anyone of consequence, walked through the map in record speed. Army was super impressive at end. What I DID NOT succeed at was holding Nagato against Shimizu blitz. BUT I took it back in one turn, Cairo in one turn, Morocco in one turn by utilizing Covert Action (Political Turmoil) twice. It is a VERY powerful tool for the end game.

For Next thing?[]

You can suggest this. Do I expand this guide? What section should be corrected, added upon, what should be covered? Comment below to the wiki, see my twitch channel or go to 4chan. Contacts below.

After this guide, I have done Kichikuou Rance, blind Ironman. I might make a guide, probably not though. KR isn't really a gameplay kind of game. Probably I'll slightly improve the current wiki (later..)

I'm looking for the next challenge.. I've probably done enough with SR 5SNB Ironman style.

Thank you for reading. Contact info and how to discuss this guide[]

End of line! Please contact me and discuss in any of the following ways:

1) Hannies' thread on 4chan: www.4chan.org/vg -> catalog -> ctrl-f -> haniho -> click -> post something (say you came by because of this guide!)

2) My twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/murisandesu

3) Or post a comment below.

As of April and May 2019 I'm actively monitoring all mentioned channels. See you,

-- Muri ("Impossible")

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