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Mandarbmax' Shinuyama

Oh ya, I know a thing or two about Shinuyama.

Fuck Tengus.

Fuck most of your summons. You will be too busy dumping your gems into the greatest thug in the game: the Bakemono Wight Sorcerer. Those guys are disgustingly good! Let me start at the top though.

You start the game with a BANG! by recruiting ultra cheap Bakemono of one variety or another to expand with while simultaneously using Noppera-bo to assassin expand. Even with kinda bad scales you can get some pretty great expansion and with good scales you will do great in expansion. Seriously, those snot goblins barely cost as much as they should outside of mountains and when you get the big discounts they are frankly OP. Just drowning people in your favorite flavor of them works wonderfully.

Whats more you can crank out scouts from all highlands and mountains on the cheap too. Crank them out as fast as you can and enjoy ghetto Eyes of God as a national perk.

Why I love Shinuyama

  • Insanely good troops
  • Perfect scouting
  • Assassins
  • Super strong stealthy raiding
  • Bakemono sorcerers
  • Plenty of diversity summons


Bandits are cheap and effective human troops who you should use if you need disciplined stealthy troops. Take note of the fact that the archers have pretty solid melee abilities too. They are like budget tower guard! Just make a big blob of them and set them to fire and they will guard your mages way better than real bodyguards could.

Then their big brothers the Dai Bakemonos! Absolute melee supremacists with outrageous stats and equipment, and you can spend a few extra resources to give them a bow and all they lose if a point of def skill! A big blob of those around your mage line will absolutely shit on anything that flies back to stomp your mages, zotz, birds, even manticores, And holy shit do they take buffs well, but I'll get to that later.

Further in the glorious troop department you have Kappas for taking lakes and cracking UW forts (1.7 siege strength/20g isn't bad). Warning: Kappas don't take buffs super well so they don't hold up as well later on. Still fine troops, just not as glorious as the rest of your nation

Your last troop is the O-Bakemono. They kinda suck. Shitty armor means they need buffs to not die, and undisciplined means they don't sit still long enough to get buffs. But low resource and recpoint cost mean that you can crank them out in an emergency if you need power fast. Most of the time just get Dais instead

So great, you have a roster of cost efficient troops who fill a broad variety of roles with options for chaff, elites, attack density, attack quality, stealthy, UW, mage line defenders, spam archers for flaming arrows, and knock off gladiators making shinuyama a Strong nation even without looking at the mages But we haven't even gotten rolling yet.

You can buff them
You can buff them really well
You can buff them even while stealthy raiding.


Every Uba can cast Mossbody to point buff, the N randoms can cast Wooden Warriors, and the W randoms can cast Quickness for free. Burn some gems and you can cast Mass Protection, Wave Warriors, Quickening, and with a Thistle Mace even Mass Regeneration!

Slap some Earth Boots on an E1 shaman and you can Summon Earthpower up and cast Legions of Steel and Strength of Giants for free and Marble Warriors if you spend gems

All of a sudden a basic Bakemono-Sho who only cost you 5g Gold has 18 body prot (10 head), swings for 20 damage with attack skill 13 and has def skill 11, gets off 12 attacks/square each turn, takes half damage after taking protection into account, and then 75% of the time 15 points of that damage get shaved off thanks to mossbody! Oh, and he regenerates too.

Your Bakemono-Sho can now fight god, all in a stealthy army, and that is without Marble Warriors. Now slap those buffs on a Dai Bakemono archer with Flaming Arrows and you have a solid wall of fuck you.

And if you don't care about being stealthy you can even wheel out a Bakemono Sorcerer with some Earth Boots to drop Weapons of Sharpness. Weapons of sharpness + Quickening will let you kill super combatants. Papa Illearth can't withstand that. Most nation can't kill Papa Illearth with thugs and magic, let alone with troops.

Every one of your armies is now pretty much super combatant proof in the late game.
And flier proof
And troop proof
And probably sacred proof.
Either they blow you up with magic or they go home in a body bag AND WE ARE STILL ONLY HALF WAY THROUGH THIS CRAZY TRAIN!


Lets talk about your commanders a bit

Noppera-Bo are assassins with nice att and def so they do well in melee but where they really shine is when you give them a 3 gem (thank you Dwarven Hammers) Amulet of the Dead and/or a Bottle of Living Water if you really want to splurge and suddenly she isn't just one skilled assassin but in fact actually an infinite stream of skeletons, who keep coming faster than they can be killed eventually dog piling even hardened generals.

Bakemono chiefs absolutely style on indy commanders by being the same price but better statted and stealthy.

Kappa Chiefs swim.

Shuten-doji are very interesting. They are excellent generals with 80 leadership and give formations. They are light thugs with great stats, an innate life drain attack (they keep it even when given a new weapon), 15 invulnerability, and a sleep aura! Slap some light armor like a Kithaironic Lion Pelt on them and they are decent light thugs you can embed in your army for extremely strong sleep auras on the front line. You can even splurge on them with a Frost Brand and/or a Vine Shield and either have them as hard points in your battle line or just have them solo PD

Bakemono Shamans are shitty little mages you use to forge or provide fire/earth magic for stealthy armies. They are upkeep efficient researchers too but your still probably want to do your research with Ubas because Ubas have more utility. You can slap 3 fire gems on a bakemono shaman and tell him to Phoenix power and summon a full sized fire elemental for a stealthy way to pump out fire elementals either for raiding or for supporting an army. With a jar of fire they can Phoenix Power and spam Fireballs too.

Ubas are incredible mages and on any other (lesser) nation they would be a nation defining strength like the Boudas of Machaka. With water 11death 11nature 11random1100% they are formidable mages for only 135g. By shifting into ghost cat form and then shifting back in battle they can follow stealthy armies around and support them with full paths. W randoms can cast water elementals to raid or mossbody, quickness, wave warriors, etc. to support armies. N randoms can cast swarm or creeping doom to raid or drop wooden warriors/mass protection, foul vapors, poison ward, and sleep cloud in support of armies. If you are willing to spend a turn unstealthed you can have them hold a thistle mace for relief, howl, and mass regeneration too (you can use a scout who never unstealths following them around to carry the thistle mace). D randoms can spam horde of skeleton to raid or shadowblast to support armies. E randoms mostly just research though

Bakemono Sorcerer

Now we get to the second half of the nation: the Bakemono Sorcerer.The Bakemono Sorcerer is an 8 path mage! Let me say that again for the people in the back:

8 fucking paths!
In any fort!
And holy to boot!

These bad boys are amazing! They drop all sorts of big spells from Flaming Arrows to Army of Gold to Darkness to Acid Storm. You name it, they cast it! They do forging and rituals too. They can make all sorts of nice boosters, even Staff of Elemental Mastery is not out of the question.

At 390g Gold they are a bargain. But being expensive, slow to recruit, often in dangerous big battles, and clinically old as balls you will never have enough of them even though they are any fort. But that is ok, because for the low low price of 15deathgem gems you can Twiceborn them!

Now when they die they come back as a stronger, tougher, more durable wight. Not only do you get to keep using them as a mage but they stop being old, they get extra HP, they get poison and cold resistance, they get 0 fatigue, they get more map move, they get a chill aura, and they get more strength.


Fun fact: When they stop being old their shitty att and def skills go way, way up and you can thug them out. They are almost the pantokrator's perfect thugs. You can slap them up with all sorts of buffs.This is a long list. You will be more constrained by casting time, scripting slots, and how many fluffers you can send along with them without risking an HP rout. That was a really long list so lets take a second to discuss the implications of all of these spells, because all of them are important.

Buff 'n' Fluff

  • Ironskin / Iron Warriors
  • Legions of Steel
  • Strength of Giants
  • Regeneration
  • Enlarge
  • Fire Shield
  • Phoenix Pyre
  • Soul Vortex
  • Summon Earthpower
  • Iron Will
  • Quickness
  • Breath of Winter
  • Temper Flesh / Liquid Body
  • Mossbody
  • Blessing
  • Anything you get indy mages to cast on them too
  • Ironskin gives 20 natural protection, just about the same level of protection as full plate mail, and this will stack with armor protection
  • Legions of Steel gives +3 armor protection to all pieces of armor, even small ones like Bracers of Protection or the head protection from the Flame Helmet. Even without those items this lets you bring your protection up to super high levels.
  • Regeneration gives 5hp back to you per turn so that any chip damage that gets though your now super high protection will not wear you down
  • Enlarge gives an extra 30% HP! Congrats you now have 53hp and regenerate 6hp a turn!
  • Fire Shield will cook anyone who attacks you and as such is great for dealing with skeleton hordes, Howl, or Swarm spam
  • Phoenix Pyre (not to be confused with Eternal Pyre or Phoenix Power) lets you come back to life when your HP runs out at the cost of some fatigue. As long as you don't get too tired (and being undead you don't get tired easily) and your soul remains intact you can't die. Laugh at gifts from heaven communions!
  • Soul Vortex sucks the life out of everything around you and gives it to you in the form of HP and fatigue! Combos nicely with phoenix pyre if your opponent is using anything living to fight you.
  • Summon Earthpower gives -4 fatigue a turn with no cost or downside other than having to take the time and fatigue to cast it in the first place.
  • Iron Will gives +4 MR on top of the 17 MR that a Wight Mage already has. A big help but not enough to rely on against communions without further MR boosts.
  • Quickness gives +2 att, +2 def, and doubles your rate of attacks and movement at the cost of double encumbrance each turn. As a Wight encumbrance is 0 so this is pure good for you
  • Breath of Winter gives an increased chill aura which puts everyone around you into a coma if they aren't cold resistant. This helps you form a protective cocoon of hypothermic militia when facing an army.
  • Temper Flesh/Liquid Body make you take half damage from physical sources such as swords, axes, spears, etc. It applies after protection though.
  • Mossbody gives a 75% chance to apply -15 damage to all incoming attacks and applies after Temper Flesh/Liquid Body so unless you take 31 damage after protection you don't take any damage 75% of the time.

A note on HP routing: keep your fluffers' HP total below that of the guy you are fluffing.

A note on fluffing: Do it! Fluffing makes a world of difference. Send an Uba or two and a bakemono shaman to cast Mossbody/Enlarge/Regeneration/Quickness/Iron Will/Iron Warriors/Blessing for every fight that might be even remotely dangerous. It will make your thugs so much better.


Now lets talk about gearing these big boys.
Gearing thugs gets talked about a lot and there is no shortage of contention about how to do it best. Imho people over think it; just give some decent armor and whatever resistances you need and go to town.

Slap a Flesh Eater on there if you can to prevent unlucky morale rolls from routing you and maybe an AP weapon to counter-counter thugs if you really want to. But you don't need to worry too much about all this because in spite of their outstanding power and not insignificant cost, these Wight thugs are replaceable and will pay for themselves after only taking a few provinces. Gear them as much as you can but don't worry if you can't gear them perfectly, that takes a lot of gems and they are only ~400g units after all, and you did already invest 15d gems into twiceborning them.

Best Practices

Some notes on best practices…

  • Try really hard to get into at least just a bit of blood magic with some scout bootstraping so that you can forge Flesh eaters to prevent your awesome thugs from running away from the turn timer in fights they could easily win.
  • Fluff your thugs! It makes a big difference
  • Use thugs, small raiding parties, and stealthy Uba raiders to take provinces and use armies to take forts once you push the front forwards.
  • Hit as many provinces as you can each turn to baffle and overwhelm your opponent so they can't form a coherent response to anything.
  • Be careful of the ravenous swarm; it hard counters wight thugs.
  • another great use for the enlarge spell is reducing trample damage
  • I'd focus on some basic buffs first, stuff like flaming arrows, legions of steel, strength of giants, wooden warriors
mandarbmax-shinuyama.txt · Last modified: 2021/04/21 15:49 by joste