Civilization 5 The Samurai Invasion of Korea Scenario Strategy and Achievement Guide

The Samurai Invasion of Korea Steam Achievements

Painting of defense of Busanjin Fortress
Painting of defense of Busanjin Fortress

The Samurai Invasion of Korea Scenario for Civilization 5 comes with 4 playable civilizations (Japan, Korea, China and the Manchu) and 9 Steam Achievements. On this page I’ll write about the Samurai Invasion of Korea strategy for all achievements, but will also talk about the 2 Korea-specific Steam achievements that have been added with the Korea DLC.

First of all: This scenario is a wonderful piece, set in the little known medieval history of Asia (most of our history lessons was about Europe of course, maybe a bit about the Americas, when it concerned Europe, but Asia was mostly left out completely…).

Unlike for other scenarios, these achievements are no big challenges. It’s mainly winning with each faction and on different grades of difficulty. Below you’ll get an overview of the achievements as well as a brief explanation on the less complex ones. For orientation, have a look at the Samurai Invasion of Korea map.

Here’s the list of all Steam Achievements for the Samurai Invasion of Korea Scenario (plus two more Korea-related achievements) ordered chronologically how I did them:

Fear the Turtle

Unlocked 2 May 2015 @ 1:09am

Win the Korean Scenario as Korea

My first game of this scenario. I started on Deity right away. In my first attempt I didn’t play well, so I restarted after 20 turns. This time I defended Seoul with a citadel and never lost it once. Also Mokpo in the very southwest never fell. After winning I reloaded and left Busan to the Japanese for a while to conquer some Japanese cities (without winning and ending the game). Here’s how that went.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Fürchtet die Schildkröte
FR: Impressionnante tortue

Honoring the Ancestors

Unlocked 2 May 2015 @ 1:09am

Win on Deity

As you can see in the achievement timestamps this was the first game I played. Instant Deity victory! Wasn’t even that hard.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Ehrung der Ahnen
FR: Honorer ses ancêtres

Seoul Power

Unlocked 2 May 2015 @ 1:09am

Win before 100 turns as any power

This achievement will be granted if you fulfill any civilizations goal before the scenario ends. Of the four playable civs this only works for China and Korea, for they will win, once they control all their (most likely only Koreas) initial cities.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Seoul-Power
FR: Pouvoir de Séoul

Civilization 5 Samurai Invasion of Korea Deity Winning in Turn 46 + 3 Steam Achievements
Getting 3 Steam Achievements in the first game!


Unlocked 2 May 2015 @ 2:24am

Lose as Korea

One of the hardest and most boring and actually also a little buggy achievements, I found. Why you ask? Well: Doing this achievement meant 100 turns of disbanding units, doing nothing but skipping turns. And for what? Only to see overly powerful Japanese fail to conquer a Chinese coastal city. Seriously: They struggled for years to capture some Chinese cities and then got conquered by the Manchu. None of them ever threatened Chinas victory by score, because they were unable to advance even until Shanghai.

The only good thing: Even though China has a higher score than Japan, you’ll lose this scenario, granting you the achievement. Somehow the team score is not counting. Luckily.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Taekwon-DOH!
FR: Toute puissance

So I disbanded all my Korean units immediately do make it as easy as possible for Japan. I also never fired shots from my cities. They even advanced into Chinas territory quite fast, capturing the first 2 cities. Unfortunately they didn’t make friends with the Manchu…

Japan had great chances to even conquer the coastal cities of China, something I could never do, due to Chinas naval superiority. But the failed, as the AI almost never hits cities with strong enemy units around it. This is vital though, as China has the Great Wall, hugely impeding Japanese movement in their territory.

In the end Japan made peace with Manchuria, giving them Ningyuan and blocking their way to Beijing. In the end I got the Teakwon DOH! Steam Achievement, although the final score said my team won:

  1. Team 2 – 18921 (Wu Zeitan – 18771 + You – 150)
  2. Japan – 14489
  3. Manchuria – 4870

Turtle Power

Unlocked 2 May 2015 @ 8:18pm

Sink an Ironclad with a Turtle Boat

This is one of the achievements that can not be done in this scenario. To me, that’s a bit misleading also considering the order of achievements in Steams overview. This can only be done in a normal game of Civ playing Korea.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Starke Schildkröte
FR: Pouvoir de la tortue

To achieve this, I played one game as Korea, settler difficulty, small map, only one opponent, but definitely leave city states active. Being predominant in this game, the AI was not a problem. The only remaining challenge is to build and keep (don’t upgrade!) your Turtle Boats until one of the city states or your opponent (less likely) has Ironclads. Then rush in, bombard the Ironclad with Frigates or whichever units you already have and finish it with the Turtle Boat!

Civilization 5 Turtle Power Steam Achievement
Getting the Turtle Power Steam Achievement while attacking a city state

The Choson One

Unlocked 2 May 2015 @ 10:12pm

Win as Korea

As you see at the timestamp, this achievement also didn’t trigger when winning as Korea in the scenario. So I had to play an amazing single player game as Korea (of course settler difficulty, because I rarely play single player – no more achievements to gain 😉 )

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Der Auserwählte
FR: L’élu des Joseon

After making the Turtle Power Steam Achievement as described above, of course winning the game was piece of cake. Nonetheless I waited to the very end for several reasons. In rarely a single player game (even on settler) had I been this dominant. Seoul was a city of 48, which is my biggest city in Civilization 5 I can ever remember. It supported all 18 specialists (which is the maximum, because there are no further specialist buildings) and was still growing!

I was close to having all social policies and getting a new one every 2nd turn (thanks to my overwhelming culture and the +100% culture boost from completing the World Fair).

Also this might very well have been the only game where I managed to build ALL world wonders. The AI didn’t even get one!

Civilization 5 The Choson One Steam Achievement World Wonders
Seoul alone had 43 World (and National) Wonders!

Yow Ming!

Unlocked 28 May 2015 @ 12:16am

Win as China

Played China on Deity. Won the very first try again. Read on details in the China Deity strategy guide.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Oh Ming!
FR: Yow Ming !

Samurai Delicatessen

Unlocked 2 Jun 2015 @ 12:14am

Win as Japan

Same here. Actually you could do these achievements on any level of difficulty, but what’s the point? I played Japan on Deity and here’s how that worked: Samurai Invasion of Korea – Japan Deity Strategy.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Samurai-Delikatessen
FR: Délice de samouraï

Dragon Emperor

Unlocked 14 Jun 2015 @ 3:26pm

Win on Emperor

There won’t be a guide for this: Just go for emperor and liberate Korea. I found these to be fastest playing China, because you’re not attacked first hand, can build up production capacities and finish this game quite fast. See the quick start guide below.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Drachenkaiser
FR: Empereur dragon

Send all your units to Korea immediately! Two of your special Chinese Crossbowmen and a cannon can make it in time to defend Haeju! This is essential, as from there you can easily liberate Seoul immediately after the first wave of incoming Japanese is defeated. Improve your cities at home and produce reinforcements to deal with the rest of the Japanese invaders.

A Righteous Victory

Unlocked 15 Jun 2015 @ 1:57am

Win on Immortal

Same as winning on Emperor difficulty. Only with a little less Happiness. Again, I’d recommend playing China.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Ein rechtmäßiger Sieg
FR: Une victoire vertueuse

With the experience of the Emperor playthrough (not to mention the initial Deity win 😉 ) I was able to liberate Korea from the Japanese even earlier than playing on the easier level of difficulty.

Emperor Fu Manchu

Unlocked 21 Jun 2015 @ 11:00pm

Win as Manchu

After having won all the other games and having made the achievements, this was my last game. Playing the Manchu in this scenario adds another aspect – settling cities – to the game, as other civs are not allowed to do so. Most surprisingly this wasn’t the walk in the park I had expected. Read why in the Samurai Invasion of Korea – Manchu Deity Strategy.

German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Kaiser Fu Mandschu
FR: La Mandchourie sourit

The combatants of the Samurai Invasion of Korea

Here’s a little overview on the playable factions of the Samurai Invasion of Korea scenario for Civilization 5. As usual with scenario overviews there’s some background information and historic context for each civilization.



civilization-5-leader-mongolian-genghis_khanStatus: Achieved (Deity)
Nurhaci – Manchuria

Eight Banners: Upon destroying a Barbarian encampment, the former camp guard joins your side.

Check out the Emperor Fu Manchu Steam Achievement Guide.



civilization-5-leader-japanese-oda_nobunagaStatus: Achieved (Deity)
Oda Nobunaga (historically Toyotomi Hideyoshi)

Bushido: Units fight as though they were at full strength even when damaged.

Here’s the Samurai Delicatessen Steam Achievement Guide.



civilization-5-leader-korean-sejongStatus: Achieved (Deity)
Sejong (historically Seonjo)

Righteous Army: Never eliminated from the game, even when they lose their last city. Periodically receive free units to retake their captured cities. These include Turtle Ships and Archers enhanced with the ability to withdraw before facing a melee attack.

Have a read through the Fear the Turtle Steam Achievement Guide here.



civilization-5-leader-chinese-wu_zetianStatus: Achieved (Deity)
Wu Zeitan (historically Wanli Emperor)

Art of War: The Great General combat bonus is increased by 15%, and their spawn rate is increased by 50%.

Checkout the shortest of the four guides (because it’s the easiest game): Yow Ming! Steam Achievement Guide


Samurai Invasion of Korea Strategy

The Samurai Invasion of Korea scenario for Civilization 5 is solely about warfare and conquest! There’s no religion, no research. So all you have to do in terms of economy and improvements, is get your cities built up, so you can pump out as many military units as possible.

There’s a bit of a wonder race going on, as you can build Himeji Castle and the Porcelain Tower. Playing either Japan or China, the respective other will be your biggest contestant in trying to build it. With focus on production, improvements and chopping some forests, it will be possible to get at least one of them!

General Strategy and Combat Tactics

  • Civilization 5 Samurai Invasion of Korea ScenarioAs usually: build roads! support your army with workers to easily exchange injured veterans with fresh meat from behind!
  • Move slowly in China – even if you could destroy a Chinese unit, keep the formation!
  • Protect your veterans – to defeat China (on Deity, which is not required 😉 ) you’ll need some logistics + range veterans.
  • Don’t mess with the Manchu / Japan – if you’re playing one of them, leave the other alone! You don’t need another war.

Anything more detailed is mostly fraction and civilization specific and will be covered in the detailed guides linked above.

Social Policies and Happiness in The Samurai Invasion of Korea

Social Policies don’t matter much in this scenario. Once you chose some policies to get your Happiness above zero, focus on Honor as usually. The rest is up to you, but won’t make much of a difference.


The Samurai Invasion of Korea is really cool. The games won’t take as long as just any Into the Renaissance game, but are equally thrilling! Especially on high levels of difficulty defeating China is a huge challenge! Fortunately none of the achievements require it, as you can make the Deity achievement playing as Korea or China yourself.

Having played this scenario right after a 4 week trip through Japan and Korea, it really felt like reliving history. Great game, nice civ-specific adjustments and game mechanics!!!

12 thoughts on “Civilization 5 The Samurai Invasion of Korea Scenario Strategy and Achievement Guide”

  1. you can easily achieve lose as Korea by choose give up the game in menu. hahaha

    1. Noooooo! Nooooo! I mean: Really??? Does that really trigger the achievement? Oh boy, that’d be sooo lame.
      (Anyways: Thanks for the hint! 🙂 )

  2. I thought I should start with loosing as Korea so I followed your advice to just dispand units. I played diety and turned on “auto end turn” to make it a bit quicker… but when the game was over, as you mention, China will win the points race and your team will win. So I gained “Korea lost”, “Korea win” and “Diety win” in the same game 🙂

    Fear the Turtle
    Win the Korean Scenario as Korea
    Unlocked 25 Apr @ 4:29am

    Lose as Korea
    Unlocked 25 Apr @ 4:29am

    Honoring the Ancestors
    Win on Deity
    Unlocked 25 Apr @ 4:29am

    1. Wow, interesting. A bit weird, but a good tip that definitely will save people time 🙂 Thanks!
      (Approved your comment, but removed link to the website provided, since it ended in a 404 error, which in turn ain’t good for this site.)

  3. Interestingly, you can also get the Barbarian Warlord achievement as the Manchu if you don’t already have it (which I didn’t). Apparently Bismark was Manchu or something.

  4. I’m a novice player, so playing on deity is a bit intimidating- I found it incredibly easy to win as Korea on Immortal simply by spamming boats from the northern Korean cities, sending them south of the Korean peninsula, and instantly destroying embarked Japanese units– cheese, but an effective way of cutting off all but the Wajo reinforcements, and letting me build up units in Seoul to push and reclaim the rest of Korea by around turn 70. Your guides are fantastic, thank you so much!

    1. Hi Tariq! Thanks for sharing your experience playing Korea! 🙂
      I found this scenario to be the easiest on Deity, because the difference is not that big. Why not give it a try, just for fun?

  5. Great guide! Easier way to complete the Turtle Power achievement is to just build your own Ironclad, gift it to a nearby city-state, then pounce on it with Turtle Boats.

    1. Hahaha, Ryle, thanks for sharing! This is so blatantly obvious: I seriously didn’t even get close to that idea! Good stuff! 🙂

  6. Thanks for nice guides Robert Kalweit. One thing about the “Taekwon-DOH!” achievement. You can get it by just retiring. I opened up one of the saves where I got “Fear the Turtle” and retired, giving me the achievement. No need to wait out all the turns 🙂

  7. Wonderful guides as always. One thing to make the Deity win even easier (although it’s a bit cheesy) is to sell Busan and Gangneung to the Manchu before Japan can capture them. Also sell buildings, so you can buy a longswordsman. The Japanese army is now split up, since they are not at war with the Manchu at first, so you can easily defend even Daegu and Jeonju with a citadel. Eventually Japan will dow the Manchu, but you can easily capture back the 2 cities on turn ~25.

    1. Hehe, nice one. I have never even thought about this! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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