The summer grasses —
For many brave warriors
The aftermath of dreams.
— Matsuo Bashō, early modern Japanese poet
Recruited from the Castle, Retinue Saburai are medium-strength infantry units, with some of the best stats available on hand for sword-type units. These erstwhile warriors can be found overseeing Castles and Fortresses for the Japanese, although as a rule they are vulnerable to firearms — whose position, ironically, they have taken over. Still, as a fast-training medium melee specialists, these units can be used to take on a variety of roles, from pursuing archers and holding lines to hounding heavy cavalry. Additionally, they also do quite a number on buildings if left to their own devices too, since they have an even greater bonus against buildings compared to normal Espadachines. Think of them in the same way as you would think of using Poland's early medium infantry — slow to train but very resistant to anything your opponent could send up, bar gunpowder infantry and massed heavy cavalry, perhaps. Like all late-game Japanese units, however, Retinue Saburai require the Imperial Mandate upgrade in order to be made available, and even so you must still research them.
The growing decentralised nature of Japan also saw the rise of a military social class called the Saburai or Samurai, who followed bushido, or the "way ('-do') of the warrior ('bushi')", and soon a retinue of Saburai became the mainstay of every person of importance, or whevero had power and standing and sought to protect them. Eventually, these saburai, much like the knightly warriors of Europe, coalesced into groups or "clans" headed by warlords who had influence over a certain location. Unlike the romantic archetype of a cultured and wise warrior that Western culture often so envision them to be, these Saburai were little more than hired brutes who are even seen by some Japanese today as political usurpers led by self-serving subverters of authority.
- Unique medium-to-heavy infantry unit for Japan, recruitable from the Castle, replacing Arquebusiers.
- Power Tools Saburai — As a fast-training heavy sword unit, these units can be used to take on a variety of roles, from pursuing archers and holding lines to hounding heavy cavalry.
- Mandate — Retinue Saburai require only Imperial Mandate and five levels of Military research to be unlocked, so the Japanese are capable of fielding Imperial Era-strength cavalry right from the early Imperial Era.
- Holding The Fort — As they can be recruited from Forts and Castles, Retinue Saburai are very useful in filling in any weaknesses in your army in the late game, resources willing.