Samurai Invasion – Fear the Turtle Steam Achievement Guide

The Samurai Invasion of Korea – Playing Korea (Deity)

800px-Turtle_boatIn this scenario you’ll be playing Joseon Korea to get the Fear the Turtle Steam Achievement. Historically those invasions (yes, there were two!) took place between 1592 and 1598. The Japanese invasion army counted 158.000 troops and during the war they mustered 320.000!!! Meanwhile Korea only deployed 84.000 and was supported by never more than 60.000 Ming-Chinese troops.

This overwhelming superiority at land allowed Japan to quickly conquer big parts of Korea, starting at Busan in the Southeast, all the way up to Seoul and Pyongyang. Meanwhile the superior Korean and Chinese Navies harassed the Japanese supply lines at sea, eventually leading to a military stalemate. Joseon’s civilian-led Righteous Armies were amongst the first to wage Guerrilla warfare against the occupiers.

Getting the “Fear the Turtle” Steam achievement will pretty much resemble historical events – your navy, mainly Turtle boats, will impede the Japanese forces and together with fierce resistance in the North (after losing most of your cities in the invasion) you will diminish them and drive them out of your country!

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

Fear the Turtle – Strategy

Initial Build Order and the Japanese Invasion

Right in my first attempt I played this on Deity difficulty. It’s easier than expected. Set Gangneung to produce wealth – it’ll fall early enough. Nevermind Busan – it won’t even produce wealth. Daegu and Jeonju produce Pikemen. This is the fastest, cheapest units you can get and they’ll help you defend Seoul even as you lose those cities. The North can produce more expensive units or even infrastructure as shown in the second picture above.

Seoul is well defended, a big city with walls, hard to capture for melees. Focus fire from the city and defending Hwach’as on incoming Japanese Trebuchets. Let the other units shatter on the walls of Seoul! Use a Great General from your initial military successes (or the Great General from the Honor Tree) to fortify Seoul with a Citadel. Place it exactly 1 tile east of Seoul, so no unit can march there and raid it in one turn, thanks to the Han River.

One thing you have to decide very situational: If the Japanese throw a lot of units at Mokpo – save your units and leave Mokpo to the Japanese. In my games I only lost it once (out of four times).

So far and no further – Throwing back the Japanese

I just realized how short a “guide” this will be. Once you’ve stopped the Japanese at Seoul, there’s little more to say: Improve your infrastructure, save the Righteous Army militia you receive for free every 10th turn and start liberating your country!

To me the order of liberation, proven in four (or more?) playthroughs is

  1. Jeonju (easy access from Seoul)
  2. Daegu (coming with many units at once from NW via Seoul and W via Jeonju)
  3. Gangneung (low production city, but you don’t want Japanese in your back)
  4. Busan (winning the game)

Following these steps, I liberated the last Korean city in turn 46, winning the game (on Deity difficulty) before even half the turn cap had passed.

Disclaimer: Of course, if you lost Mokpo in the SW, you’ve got to liberate it, too, in order to win the game.

Fear the Turtle – Conclusion

I played this scenario right after I was on a 4 week Korea + Japan holiday. What an amazing trip. Replaying history was a lot of fun. I had been in Seoul, Daegu, Busan, all three fascinating cities, and liberating them felt really great!

The scenario however could be a lot harder. After all it shouldn’t have been Korean ground forces defeating the Japanese. But the AI is just not smart enough to move as a single body. Instead they send units towards you one by one, so defending Seoul is really easy. Bottom line getting all those “Samurai Invasion of Korea” Steam achievements is an easy catch, still fun enough and a nice excursion into medieval Asian history.

The Samurai Invasion of Korea – Beyond Korean Liberation

A while ago, on a gaming.stackexchange post I had read the question whether it was possible to conquer Japanese and Manchu cities, respectively the capital, to win the game. Well well, here’s the answer:

If you don’t liberate the last city (which makes you win and ends the game), you can of course wage war with the Manchu in the North and Japan. On Deity difficulty I had reloaded my game some turns before capturing Busan. Leave it be, destroy all Japanese units around it and march on.

Your fleet will secure the ocean for some melee units to pass safely. Use your Turtle Boats to bomb the Japanese city defenses and march (sail 😉 ) in with a melee unit. I managed to capture Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Kochi from the Japanese. They better Fear the Turtle indeed! In the North progress is much harder, since the Manchu have a gigantic army. I only managed to Nanling, which they founded close to my border, and Qinghe close to their capital. There my attack got slowed down to a crawl.

While I had 11 turns left, China liberated Busan for me 🙁 and the game was won and over…

5 thoughts on “Samurai Invasion – Fear the Turtle Steam Achievement Guide”

  1. It’s pretty easy to win as Korea on deity in 17 turns. And it provides you with the deity achievement for the Korea scenario. Just give Busan and Gangneung to Manchuria in turn 0 and the Japanese invasion is stopped. Now you have time to build hwachas in your most productive cities to defend yourself and to reconquer Busan and Gangneung. In the year 1600 you will win the scenario.

  2. The alternate victory path you alluded to is indeed possible. I just got it on Immortal difficulty, but it took me until turn 95, so it’s pretty much pointless. The Japanese and Manchurians were much tougher than I was expecting early on, so as soon as I realized I was going to have to grind out a 100-turn victory anyway, I reoriented my entire approach toward seeing if this was possible. For most of the game Japan controlled the Korean peninsula below Pyongyang and my units kept them there, since I wasn’t interested in trying to penetrate their absurd war machine. The bulk of my efforts went into fighting the Manchurians and trying to get to Kyoto. I suppose that if a player was planning for this from the start, it could be achieved much earlier than turn 95.

    With the Manchurians, obviously I just had to slowly hammer my way through their cities, which took FOREVER and frequently felt like it might not even be possible. One helpful thing there is that if YOU declare war on THEM, you get to control when peace is established. They can’t make peace with your ally if you started the war. So I was always able to do as much damage as I felt was possible or feasible before accepting a peace agreement.

    The Japanese were trickier but ultimately easier. It requires an intense degree of micromanaging your transportation moves. The first thing I did was take Nagasaki, which just required a lot of caravels and one musketman with the amphibious promotion. From there my first though was to cross the little channel over to the big island and fight my way to Kyoto, but it was so packed with Japanese units that it wasn’t feasible. Next thought was to capture Hiroshima as a beachhead the same way I captured Nagasaki, but Japan had beefed up its naval defenses and had more ranged land units around Hiroshima as well, and with the meager damage that caravels do, it wasn’t working. So my final and successful approach was to just bypass most of the island altogether. This meant taking a large force of caravels, as an escort for a bunch of musketmen and cannons, through a long stretch of ocean. But the whole convoy could only move as fast as the embarked units, because you need to maintain an airtight perimeter so Japanese ships can’t sneak and kill them. Eventually it arrived at Kyoto, which has very unfriendly geography for an invader, and I just started bombarding them with the caravels and cannons. I lost a lot of units, but eventually wore them down and took the city with a musketman. Victory notification was immediate.

    I do kind of wonder how much sooner I could have done this if I’d been building toward it from the start. But at the same time, a lot of what I did you still have to do. You can’t just ignore Korea, because you do need Seoul to get this victory. At least I assume you do. I took it somewhere around turn 85 just to be safe.

    1. I guess I should clarify: I was playing as China, not Korea.

    2. Wow! Thanks for putting in so much effort explaining the approach! Good stuff! 🙂
      If you played China it’s more for the China blog post, but no matter. Must have been a fun game!

  3. You can start with 20 extra gold buy selling the workshop in Busan, its not like you are gonna use it.

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