v2-3, trans Griffith (1896)


Unit type

Foot Archers

Age Available

Dark Age

Trained At


Production Cost

  • Pop. Cost: 1
  • Resource Cost: 40 Timber; 50 Wealth
  • Ramp Cost: 1 Timber; 1 Wealth




  • Outranges towers
  • High L.O.S.

Hit Points

  • 80 Hit Points
  • No Armour


  • Movement Speed: Slow
  • Creation Speed: Rather Slow

Technological Requirements/Upgrades

Available To


Japan have access to Noblewomen, who are archers. These are wives and daughters of prominent warlords and warriors and they are armed with a yumi, one of the most powerful bows in the game, as well as trained to such consummate perfection in the way of kyudo, the art of archery. All other archer units normally tend to be outranged by towers, but Japanese noblewomen are of such spirit and status that their arrows are capable of outranging towers themselves.

Equally to note is that their low rate of fire also makes them prey to other archer units, particularly those of a tough constitution such as the huntsmen recruited by East European factions, or the Anglo-Cumbrian longbow archers whose weapons, while not as powerful as the Japanese yumi, have a high rate of fire. In such an event, the only way to prevail over others would be to ensure that you have had more archers than the enemy to begin with, capable of withering down the first wave of archers with a pre-emptive strike. Thus, Japanese noblewomen should go into battle escorted at all times, and trained and used in groups no smaller than 4 units in size.

In short, the Japanese noblewoman is a devastating unit against tower rushers, who normally expect to prevail against archers. While this gives them a good edge against buildings and posibly even units, the yumi that they carry is not an easy weapon to master: its size, although granting a potentially devastating power and by far having the longest reach in the game insofar as Dark Age archers are involved, is rather unwieldly, and so your noblewomen are capable of firing only so many shots - each shot has to be perfect in order for it to count! Thus, while the Japanese female archer units excel well against most melee infantry and towers, they however can be easily taken down the same way as all other archer units.

Although war and its corresponding craft was seen in Japanese culture as the preserve of the greater sex, this did not prevent the emergence of warrior women. Some individuals in the mediaeval era could and did descend to the battlefield as warriors, often in the service of a lord or to accompany their own spouses on the battlefield. One such woman was Tomoe Gozen, who reputedly accompanied her own husband to the field in the late 12th century.

Unit summaryEdit

  • Light infantry unit with exceptional range, strong against towers and melee infantry, but must be protected from cavalry and archers.
  • If used correctly, Japanese noblewomen could be a potential life saver when raiding. Clearly, the best strategy would be to escort your noblewomen archers over to an enemy city, and cover them with melee infantry - Japan's melee units are often second to none.