Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #4778: CogneatoSwitch's NES Nobunaga's Ambition "17 Fiefs" in 33:18.38

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Nobunaga's Ambition
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Nobunaga's Ambition (USA).nes
Branch: 17 Fiefs
Emulator: BizHawk 1.9.1
Movie length: 33:18.38
FrameCount: 120100
Re-record count: (unknown)
Author's real name: Alan Hayashi
Author's nickname: CogneatoSwitch
Submitter: CogneatoSwitch
Submitted at: 2015-07-26 22:30:39
Text last edited at: 2018-05-10 19:16:08
Text last edited by: ThunderAxe31
Download: Download (9815 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:
This submission has been cancelled in light of my latest video: #4785: CogneatoSwitch's NES Nobunaga's Ambition "17 Fiefs" in 23:24.39

A brief run-through of the classic Japanese Strategy game, Nobunaga's Ambition

Game objectives

  • 17 Fiefs
  • 10 Seasons
  • 12 Wars (9 Attacks, 3 Defenses)
  • 62 Fief commands
  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.9.1


I've played Nobunaga's Ambition since I was 6, but only recently have I gotten the tools to TAS it.

The game takes place in feudal Japan during the Sengoku era, also known as the Era of War. The player plays as one of the daimyos fighting to unify Japan.

Japanese history shows that Oda Nobunaga (the game's namesake) had conquered most of Japan by 1582, and is considered the first of the three unifiers of the era, succeeded by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, which seemed to affect the ideal starting fief.

Since Hideyoshi rose to power from peasantry, he cannot be selected as a daimyo, despite being credited for unifying Japan, however, both Oda and Tokugawa are selectable.

The game starts with a series of menus to setup the game. In this case, I chose 17 fiefs and a difficulty of 1, since they would yield the fastest video. I'd like to try again with 50 fiefs at some later point.

Fief by fief comments

Fief 8 (Tokugawa)

Of all the starting fiefs, fief 8 (Tokugawa) and fief 17 (Oda) had the best starting statistics. I chose fief 8 for its access to weaker fiefs.

Fief 7 and 3 (Imagawa and Hojo)

These fiefs were conquered quickly by assassinating the lords and out-bidding the neighbors. After that, I was unable to assassinate, so instead I adjusted the taxes to improve income until I could attack.

Fief 16 (Takeda)

The attack on fief 16 was pretty straight-forward. Attacking from fief 7 was best since fief 7 was isolated, allowing me to use all my men without fear of being attacked.

Fief 17 (Oda part 1)

I was attacked by fief 17, but I was able to manipulate the AI to layout their troops so poorly I was able to kill their leader in the first turn. I immediately counter attacked afterward, winning the fief. I was lucky enough to have fief 17 as the first turn of the next season to fortify my new land.

Fief 4, Fief 2, and Fief 1 (Uesugi)

By this time, Uesugi had taken over fiefs 1, 2, and 4, but the lord himself resided in fief 2. After fief 2 depleted its troops, I had enough troops to take fief 2, but found when I did the lord would flee to fief 4. So I attacked fief 4 first and then attacked fief 2 to kill him, winning fief 1 in the process.

Fief 6 (Anekoji)

Shortly after taking over fief 4, I was attacked by fief 6. I counter attacked as soon as possible, winning fief 6.

Fief 5 and 13 (Asakura and Kitabata)

Another round of assassins got Fief 5 and 13. Fief 12 was also up for grabs, but I was unable to bid on it because I didn't have a neighboring fief.

Fief 9 (Oda part 2)

Oda was now positioned in fief 9, which had access to many of my fiefs and was a great threat. I didn't have enough men and gold in the same place to launch a single attack to take over fief 9, and moving the resources would have taken 2 seasons, so I opted for two separate attacks, the first one losing. This maneuver was the biggest trade between time and seasons.

For my second attack, I lead the army personally, which moved my lord to fief 9. This was done so I could have more money to bid on future assassinations.

Fief 10, 12, and 14 (Tsutsui, Asai, and Ashigaka)

More assassinations.

Fief 15 (Miyoshi)

This was by far the most difficult battle. I had expanded too quickly, which made it difficult to get enough men and gold in the same place to attack. Plus, Miyoshi's troops has superior training and arms, making attacks with fewer men fail.

However, I managed to gather enough troops by sending gold from all over to fief 10, and moving men from the newly acquired fiefs 13 and 14. I also played much more defensively than usual, which ultimately gave me enough troops to win.

Fief 11 (Saya)

The last fief was more or less a formality. I had moved my remaining men to fief 9, where I launched an attack of 379 men against his 52. He didn't have a chance.

Possible improvements

I haven't quite figured out when bidding isn't allowed. For example, I was able to assassinate fief 11 earlier, but I wasn't allowed to bid. Perhaps I'm not allowed to win by assassination? Or maybe I needed to move my leader to that portion of the map?

I also could have optimized my second battle against Oda better, perhaps employing a bait and counter strategy to reduce his troops instead of two frontal attacks.

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