When I used to think about the Nobunaga’s Ambition series, I tended to always focus on the conquering and battling portions. For some reason, my mind would always associate it more with the grand battles that could occur, where multiple troops could be directed to overtake enemy spaces in a quest to gain control of the entire country. With all the time I’ve spent with Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension, I’ve come to better appreciate all the management opportunities available. Everything comes down to how well you’re preparing your own empire, and the game encourages you to constantly refine and update your realm.
When Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension begins, you only have access to the very basics. Your initial plot of land isn’t very large. You haven’t stimulated any new concepts, which allow for hybrid or advanced buildings. Your basic production options are farms, paddies, merchants’ quarters, warriors’ quarters, forges, and lumber mills. You have a handful of dedicated facilities, like inns, temples, shrines, gardens, guard houses, theaters, tea rooms. Military facilities are limited to spaces like training grounds and hunting grounds. You have to make do and ensure things are properly placed to play off of each other and encourage production. Rice paddies need to be near rivers, if you haven’t stimulated irrigation, while forges and lumber mills require designated iron sand and forest resource spaces. Exchange shops need to be along roads. Early on, you might not be able to start putting together the layouts you need for facilities’ satisfaction to rise and proper growth to appear.
These initial buildings help you begin to learn about placement. The umber mill doesn’t just do best when it is near a forest, it also works well when by a river or water mill, for water control, and either armory or warriors’ quarters. Farms and paddies perform better when next to a water source and faith-based building. Spaces like inns and merchants’ quarters need to be near roads and sources of entertainment. You begin to see a need for districts, where major sources of faith, production and military facilities will be near water or in the center of your kingdom, while things that drive popularity, trade, and population will be near the roads. I liked to place Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension’s military and safety-related facilities in the center, to ensure as many places as possible benefited from their influence.
Once you’re able to afford stimulating concepts in your kingdom, it’s to your benefit to immediately begin investing. All of the new buildings are much better investments, due to their output and influence, and there’s no sense wasting time in getting these better places built. To help make it easy for you to understand how these things go, here’s a list of all the concepts available, what facilities or items they provide when they’re chosen, and how much you need to invest to stimulate each idea.
- Westerner: Westerners’ quarters (commerce, barracks) and cathedrals (faith, innovation) become available for 960 gold, 320 lumber, and 200 iron.
- Gunnery: gunsmiths (gunner squads) become available for 800 gold, 120 lumber, and 320 iron.
- Commerce: traders (traffic) become available and you can trade within your domain for 540 gold, 240 lumber, and 120 iron.
- Tea: golden tea rooms (martial arts, entertainment) become available for 800 gold, 480 lumber, and 160 iron.
- Theater: Noh theaters (entertainment) become available for 525 gold, 70 lumber, and 315 iron.
- Courtly: nobles quarters (crops, commerce) and noble mansions (traffic, safety) become available for 420 gold, 490 lumber, and 105 iron.
- Old Gods: shrine towns (commerce, wood) and Hachimangu (traffic, faith) become available for 700 gold, 280 lumber, and 210 iron.
- Expert: armories (martial arts) become available for 560 gold, 140 lumber, and 280 iron.
- Irrigation: reservoirs (water control) and irrigation become available for 1000 gold, 400 lumber, and 100 iron.
- Law Code: courthouse (safety) and lookout towers (martial arts, max popularity) become available for 1200 gold, 150 lumber, and 400 iron.
- Equestrian: ranches (cavalry squads) become available for 600 gold, 300 lumber, and 120 iron.
- Temples: temple quarters (crops, barracks) and head temples (faith, innovation) become available for 600 gold, 240 lumber, and 120 iron.
In every single case, the new buildings unlocked by these new concepts benefits and improves your Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension empire. Take the water mill and reservoir, two possible water control facilities you may want to place in your empire. While the former comes at quite a stimulus cost and requires nearly double the resources to actually build, it is worth it. A standard water mill only slightly increases adjacent areas’ water control, which might not help get a space beyond the third or fourth level. A reservoir will greatly increase water control and help get areas attached to it through famines easier. A warriors’ quarter or merchants’ quarter is fine when you’re first building up your domain. Warriors’ quarters only provide more conscripts, while merchants’ quarters offer only an increase in commerce. Temple quarters provide conscripts and crops, miners’ quarters give conscripts and iron, hot spring quarters give conscripts and wood, nobles’ quarters increase crops and commerce, Westerners’ quarters increase commerce and conscripts, and shrine towns offer commerce and wood production. The second you can offer better production spaces, you should. You should probably even be replacing your old spaces with one that can do double duty, in terms of production, so you can insure optimal outputs.
Carefully plotting things out, replacing outdated buildings, and investing in your future matters so much in Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension. You can have a perfectly laid out land that makes the best use of every resource. Each facility can level up easily, increasing outputs that ensure you’re in a prime position of power. Getting a domain set just so lets you focus on battling enemies and engaging in endeavors that will help make the country your own. The game gives you the tools to making an empire that’s also a well-oiled machine.
Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension is available for the PlayStation 4 and PC.