Battles play a vital role in Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence. Although it is not necessary for players to declare war to strengthen their position, enemy lords may attack castles, towns, and settlements to increase their area of influence and grow their wealth. Defeating enemy fiefs can also strengthen the overall standing of the player’s chosen clan, so growing a strong, well-equipped and well-trained, loyal army is key to successfully completing the game.
Players can enter the battlefield with one or multiple army regiments, call on banner-men, allies and subordinates, and strategically use the terrain to the advantage of their clan! Battles are resolved in multiple ways, including a remote, birds-eye view of the map where there is free control of individual armies or combinations of allied forces, and a close-up view option that offers more control of individual units.
The first option allows for a Multi-faceted Battle with various fronts and skirmishes across the map, and allows control of the chosen clan and its allied forces. All battles are in real time, so this offers a better overview of the map, as well as ally and enemy movements.
With the second option, players can strategize further using information such as terrain particularities and current weather conditions. Close-field battles also offer the player the chance to take the role of the Grand Commander which opens up the option to use officer ‘Traits’ and ‘Tactics’. Traits are passive special abilities that automatically take effect when the officer is present. They can be learned when the officer levels up or through his/her retainers and can affect strategic, military, or diplomatic situations, among others.
Tactics are actions unique to each officer that can be used to strengthen the army or weaken the enemy for a short period of time. A few available Tactics are ‘Bondbreaker’ (a power that makes enemy soldiers fight each other), ‘Incite’ (which nullifies the enemies strengthening effects), and ‘Against all Odds’ (which limits the army’s speed but greatly increases their strength). Tactics can be used at any time during a conflict by expending ‘Command Points’ – a metric of the army’s energy levels.
Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence offers a multitude of options for tactical warfare and allows the player to choose how each skirmish or conflict should be resolved. Players can opt for negotiations or diplomacy to gain friendly allies and weaken the enemy forces if battle is not the best strategic option.
ABOUT NOBUNAGA’S AMBITION
Having celebrated its 30th year anniversary, Nobunaga’s Ambition is one of the longest running franchises for KOEI TECMO Games in Japan, and during its lifetime it has received high praise by an ever-growing fan base across an array of platforms. Now, its latest chapter, Sphere of Influence, marks the series’ return to North America after 6 years of absence.
The game is named after one of the most prominent and infamous figures of the Sengoku era (Warring States) of Japanese history, Nobunaga Oda. He fought to realize his dream of a united Japan and a new world. Though he fell before his dream was accomplished, he left behind a revolutionary legacy of castle towns and technological improvements, developing culture, modern warfare, and a new system of economics.
Hailed as one of the best installments in the franchise’s history, this extremely intricate, deep, and meticulous strategy game is set against a backdrop of a fragmented nation. Players take the mantle of a Daimyo, a feudal lord of the Sengoku era (15th-16th century Japan), and fight for the great ideal of uniting the war-ridden country under one rule, thus becoming the first Shogun.
Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence has been rated T for “Teen” by the ESRB.
Part time employee of a major video game retailer.