Shogun's Empire: Hex Commander – Beginner’s Guide
Shogun's Empire: Hex Commander is a strategy game set in feudal Japan, in the midst of a civil war. So, you should anticipate war! You will have to attack other clans, other clans will attack you. There is no alternative to this as it is indeed a civil war and freedom doesn’t come easy, especially when everyone is fighting for their promised land. Treaties will be broken and alliances will be betrayed. Honor is all a clan has left in the end, so you will have to fight to be victorious as well as honorable, and rise above the other clans.
Do not attempt to farm gold and rice – you are a warrior, not a farmer. Attempting to do so will result in your honor being lowered after every 6 consecutive months that no affirmative actions are taken. You are also making the enemy clans stronger as they too make their own actions, level up, recruit new units to grow stronger and dominate.
For the first 6 months of each campaign, enemy clans will gather their resources and grow stronger, so you don’t have to worry about a sudden strike – but you should be vigilant. Use this time to build an army and a healthy economy.
Don’t create too many armies – you’ll drain your vault and soon you won’t be able to feed your troops. Note that you don’t have to have an army in every province neighbouring the enemy. Armies can move 2 provinces in one turn (month), so if you deploy them wisely you’ll be able to guide your realm with a reasonable number of soldiers. An orange exclamation mark on the strategy map will show you vulnerable provinces exposed to attacks.
Units can be recruited from the unit command window and may be viewed in the command room. Standard units are provided without additional buildings required for recruitment. Advanced and higher skilled units require possession of certain province types such as castles, ports and stables. Only one count for ownership of these individual province types are required for recruitment.
Your Units can be upgraded with gold earned in game per the unit command window. Ultimately it is best to not do this if possible and to make your units upgrade in battle per making attacks with them until the upgrade requirement has been achieved, which is generally 3 attacks pending unit type.
HINT: If you have won a battle but some enemy units are still fleeing from the battlefield, you can chase them down and finish them off to provide your units with additional upgrade points. Brutal, but efficient.
Within each clan played, you can have multiple armies for primary attacks on other clans, as well as defense only armies if you choose. Armies should consist of multiple unit types as your enemy will also have multiple unit types. You should avoid armies consisting of multiple unit type counts such as cavalry units, as they are high rice consuming units and multiple counts of these are not necessary. Armies must be fed rice which can be purchased in the market with gold earned in game or accumulated per province production.
Movement and Counter Attacks
Each army can make one attack per month, as well as respond to a defensive mission when your provinces are attacked by neighboring clans. Multiple armies cannot attack one individual province. Each army can move a predefined limit across the map each month as well. Additionally, individual units can be moved from one army to another if the general assigned to the desired army can control additional units. When doing this, it counts as a move and neither army will be able to make additional movement for the current month the movement takes place in.
There are three types of treaties. When you first begin a clan, naturally your relations with the neighboring clans is set to neutral. When you declare war on a clan, or a clan declares war on you, you may opt to clear the “at war” status by signing a peace treaty with the clan in question.
Next, you may opt to sign an alliance treaty with a clan to have them periodically assist you with a battle against an enemy clan.
Lastly, you may opt to sign a trade treaty with the clan to generate income per trade. Do not get attached to your treaties with other clans, alliances will be broken periodically, as each clan craves power and control. Having active treaties with neighboring clans also permits the purchase of provinces from other clans.
You can declare war on a clan by selecting one of their provinces and declaring war per the political relations overview window, or simply by attacking them.
Attacks from Other Clans
Sometimes, almost immediately another clan may declare war on you. For the first 6 months of each campaign, you may attack whomever you desire without worry of adverse effects such as retaliation. Thereafter, they will attack you.
To avoid direct attacks and treaties being broken constantly, you must have an army protecting border provinces that are neighboring another clan’s provinces. Additionally, periodically when you end the month, adversary clans will attack a province of yours and you will need to defend it to avoid losing it.
The market is a place where you can buy rice with gold, or trade rice for gold. Prices are affected by your honor level, as well as the time of year. Prices are higher in the winter, and lower in the summer. So, buy and sell when it is most beneficial.
Is a precious commodity used to feed your armies. Beware, if you let your stores drop to low, your army units will get mad and desert your army.
Is the currency of the realm. It is used to buy rice, to upgrade units if desired, to upgrade provinces and it is needed for the recruitment of new army units.
Province Upgrades and Resources Production
Province upgrades are made with gold to increase the level of the specific individual province type, resulting in increased production of resources, or higher level units available for recruitment. Increased production therefore increases tax revenue of the resource produced at specific province types.
Villages produce rice. Towns produce gold and rice. Mines produce gold. Stables permit recruitment of cavalry type units. Ports permit recruitment of artillery and other specialized units. Castles permit recruitment of specialized types of Samurai units.
Additionally, early on it can be very helpful to demolish additional castles, ports and stables not needed for clan campaign objectives to increase rice production to feed your army while providing you with a small amount of gold. But beware, this will alter your province type counts resulting in higher taxes which will result in rebellions if you overtax your commoners. Once you have many rice villages, it may be wise to restore these provinces to their original state if demolished for rice production.
Taxes and Rebellions
Taxes are the source of revenue for your clan, aside from trade treaties. Rice taxes are received from villages and towns, while towns and mines provide gold taxes. Per the clan management screen, the percentage you tax a specific province type can be adjusted manually, or set to “automatic” resulting in very low tax income to avoid rebellions, resulting in a very difficult economy just to avoid rebellions.
Rebellions happen at random and have a percentage of occurrence pending tax level set, as well as your honor level.
As mentioned, very low taxes can prevent rebellions, while providing very little rice or gold. High taxes increase the rebellion rate while providing good income. When a rebellion happens, a province will be reduced to a level 1 as a result of angry commoners who were over taxed. Rebellions can be easily ignored or simply restore the province to the prior upgrade level. So, you must decide if you are going to be a tyrannical dictator, or a passive pushover, or find common ground between taxes and rebellion rates. Totally up to you, you are free to make your game as difficult as you desire. If you fail, you will just have to start all over, so try to find an equal median, even if it requires periodic adjustment of your tax rates to vary income and rebellion rates.
Is the utmost important skill of battle and will determine your success or failure rate. You must think logically for your actions and attacks. Placement of units is important. Waiting for the opportune time to attack is important as well. One of the 2 most important factors is learning to read the enemy’s behavior and seeing that you must take into account unit to unit combat and anti unit types. Then, use this to lead let’s say an enemy cavalry unit to your sword units, that are conveniently placed in front of yari units. When the cavalry unit is in range, move the sword units out of harm’s way and slaughter the cavalry unit with your yari units. Use bushes for cover to increase shields, as well as towers and other structures.
Unit to Unit Combat:
- Yari units beat Cavalry units
- Cavalry units beat Sword units
- Swords units beat Yari units
- Projectile units beat Armoured units (ex. Samurai)
- Shielded units beat Projectile units (ex. Archers)
- Artillery units have armour piercing features
- Mortar units can fire over walls
Though not the most honourable way to fight, retreating can be very strategic and prevent you from losing the game. Retreating when you are losing a battle will prevent you from losing your entire army. As well, retreating during a province defense battle will prevent the loss of your entire army, though you will lose control of the province and your honor level will drop by a small amount. But, you lived another day to regroup and conquer again.
Enemy army units level up just like your units do per attacks made in battle. If they are retreating and you allow them to escape, they will not only join the next army you fight, but they will also level up and be harder to beat. So, track them down and kill them.