Civilization III: Complete – Intro to Medieval Japan

Medieval Japan is a new multiplayer mod. It combines the MPT style of fast, ancient era combat, with new features and quality of life improvements.

How Do I Host?

Due to new experimentation with different modding options, we’re able to use custom assets here! To host or play you DO NOT need any custom scenario folder. All the assets are contained in a regular install of Civ 3.

However, for these assets to load properly, all players need a biq with the same name as the one being hosted in their scenario folder. But only the name matters, not what’s in the biq. So, I recommend that hosts rename the MDJ biq to “5 MP Mesoamerica”. There should be spaces between the words, not underscores.

Everyone should have this biq installed when they install civ 3. So unless people have been messing with their scenarios folder, the mod should load without issue.

What Kinds of Games Can I Play?

Medieval Japan (or MDJ) is very flexible. It can be played as a teamer with any number of players, or as a cton (Free For All). A game lasts a maximum of 1 hour and 45 minutes (it is very quick). It is played with one city elimination.

This mod is balanced with continent and archipelago maps in mind! It is totally playable on those templates, and in fact, I’d recommend playing “random”. However, continents maps require good team play to be properly balanced. Otherwise on 3v1 setups, the “1” player may be just left to die.

For teamers, scoring rules are the same as MPT, but dead player scores are cut in half. Otherwise, due to the short turn limit (62 turns), kills would be pretty meaningless, since they often happen close to the end of the game.

For CTON, rules are the same as killer anc ctons. Players are ranked in the order they died in. For players alive when the turn limit runs out, placing is resolved based on score, with a 50 point bonus for each kill.

Archi CTON? No problem!

The distribution of bonus resources mirrors modern (sake is the same as modern’s sugar, for example). So generally, bad land types will have a lot of bonus yields, and starts are pretty balanced as a result.

Basic Abilities

In MDJ, you start with some abilities unlocked right from the start of the game.

  • The ability to build granaries
  • Diplomats, ROP, etc.
  • Map trading and communication trading
  • irrigation without fresh water

Regardless of government, you have 2/4/6 unit support, no despotism penalty, and 2 military police.

You start in the monarchy government. It has…

  • The commerce bonus
  • 150% worker speed
  • Corruption level the same as monarchy has in the base game (a bit better than despotism)

There’s another government option, called piracy. It’s not very good. It’s only really viable if you have a really crappy island or peninsula start. It has….

  • 6 flat unit support for free
  • No commerce bonus
  • 100% worker speed
  • +1 ship moves
  • A bunch of buildings that give you flat per turn gold.
  • A “shrine” building that gives bonus food, commerce, and shields in offshore tiles.
  • Communal corruption.

Resources and Technology

You start with the ability to see horses. With the metal working tech, you can see iron. With pottery, you can see Jade. With Gunpowder, you can see saltpeter.

If you have no resources, you can build catapults, spearmen, and stone crossbows, if you research their tech.

  • Jade unlocks units with “samurai” in the name.
  • Iron unlocks units with “ronin” in the name.
  • Horses unlocks units that have models that ride horses.
  • Salt unlocks gun related units.

Each of these resources unlocks something on its own. Salt unlocks an upgraded spearman. Jade unlocks an upgraded archer. Iron unlocks basically a swordsman (the ronin). And horses unlock the horseman.

  • Philosophy gives a free tech to the first civ to unlock it.
  • Sea Trade allows movement over sea tiles.
  • Double Worker Speed gives double worker speed.
  • Bridge Building gives the bridge building ability (normally unlocked at engineering).
  • Ninjutsu gives +1 ship moves (if you don’t already have it from the pirate wonder).

In the next era..

Ocean trade allows movement over oceans tiles.

At the end of the tech tree “Super Fast Workers” allows you to upgrade your workers. The upgraded workers have 2 movement, and no terrain penalties. These allow you to road across the map very quickly, and try for kills that you would otherwise be unable to do, given that the turn limit is 62 turns.

There are advanced units later in the tech tree, requiring 2 or 3 resources. Most of them are pretty simple, with their only abilities being blitz or amphibious. Notably, the ronin monk has no terrain penalties (so it doesn’t consume extra movement points crossing mountains, jungle, etc). And the ninja has the stealth attack ability. The ninja is not invisible.

Naval Combat

Ronin, ninjas, and arquebusiers all have amphibious assault. In addition, the Date UU (Samurai longbow) also has amphibious assault.

There are a few classes of ship. Note the fire cannon boat, it’s animated like a cannon but it is a naval unit. It has high attack, and some bombard.

This game mode is 1 city elim. To encourage players to do naval attacks, and plant island cities for resources, we have added a building called the trading port. This functions as an airport that can only be built in coastal cities. The idea is, if you plant a resource on an island, or take an enemy city amphibiously, you can use these ports to move units around without too much boat micro. They also help you trade resources with faraway allies, even if the coast isn’t clear.

You can unlock movement over sea and ocean tiles as you progress through the tech tree.


Unit balance is fairly similar to MPT, with some key changes to incentivize offence.

  • Boats are generally faster and easier to access.
  • Unit attack/defence stats are mostly doubled. This means that in practice, defensive bombard of the standard “archer” unit (stone crossbow) is cut in half.
  • It also allows us to be more precise with values. So for example, stone crossbows are 4/2/1s. But spearmen, instead of being 2/4/1s, are 3/3/1s. So their total strenjavascript:BBCode_H1Selection();gth is similar but it is easier to use them offensively.
  • Just keep this in mind. Cut the attack and defence values in half, and you will roughly know what the strength of this unit would be in MPT.

Upgrade Paths

These are all the units that upgrade in MDJ:

  • Stone Crossbow -> Samurai Archer
  • Horseman -> Mounted Samurai
  • Spearman -> Bayonet Infantry -> Arquebusier
  • Worker -> Fast Worker
  • Caravel -> Galleon

All unique units should upgrade normally.


Like MPT, Civs are specialized, with different playstyles, strengths, and weaknesses. They get unique units, 3 traits (every civ is religious, so basically 2 traits), and a “power”. Most powers are unlocked with a 5 shield small wonder that you can build as soon as the game starts. Myoshi and Ichijo start with their power unlocked.

Note that all wonders give a golden age. So consider doing one if you don’t have access to your unique unit. Golden ages last 12 turns.

Civs are often colour coded, so that they share a colour with the civ they most resemble in MPT.

  • Myoshi: Myoshi is a Persia clone. They are sci/ind, get +1 HP on the ronin (similar to the swordsman), and as their power, they can draft stone crossbows or samurai archers. Generally, they aim to build a giant doom stack, draft a bunch of archers for defensive bombard, and walk the stack through enemy land.
  • Imagawa: Imagawa are similar to Zulu. The bushi is a powerful mobile unit unlocked very early. Its stats are 3/4/2, and has blitz. Their power is battlefield medicine, allowing the bushi to be a huge nuisance in enemy land. However, Imagawa’s traits are mil/sci. So their ability to scale and be useful late game is limited if they don’t weaken the enemy early.
  • Ainu: Ainu are similar to aztecs from MPT. They pay 10 shields for their UU (an ashinagaru with +1 movement), but the unit also gets +1 HP and blitz. Ainu’s power is they get +12 gold per turn. They are militaristic and seafaring, allowing them to make plays even on continent and archi maps.
  • Tokugawa: This is the Celts clone. They have a ronin with +1 movement. Similar to the gallic swordsman, it is a little more expensive.They are commercial, which is a weak trait, but they are well poised to use it. They are agricultural, and their power is a free aqueduct in all cities. This allows them to get to size 7 and get the commercial bonus in as many cities as possible.
  • Oda: Oda has a late game unique unit (an arquebusier with +2 attack and +1 defence). But they are still strong early game. They are militaristic and industrious, and their power is double tech in their capital, allowing them to easily set up offensive plays earlier on. They can also use their power to tech towards their UU, or to a wonder that will give them their golden age.
  • Otomo: Otomo are industrious and expansionist. Their unique unit is a spearman, with +1 attack and +1HP, allowing a GA at their convenience. Their power is +25% shields in their capital. Altogether, they are total bullies that simply outmuscle any civ that spawns close to them.
  • Ichijo: Ichijo is an oddball civ. Their traits are weak, commercial and scientific. Their UU is accessed late in the tech tree. It’s expensive (35 shields), but is arguably the most powerful unit in the game. It’s a +1 move replacement for the samurai horseman, and also has blitz. But with many starts and positioning, Ichijo will struggle to live that long, tech that far, or hook that res. What makes them a flexible and dangerous civ, even early on, is their power. They start with 4 techs, some deep in the tech tree. Because of how prerequisites work, they can leapfrog over certain techs, allowing them to research, for example, bridge building or sea trade immediately.
  • Date: Date are agricultural and seafaring. They are a strong scaling pick on seafaring maps. Their power is the ability to build the hospital, which is quite useful on pangea maps. Their unique unit is a special version of the samurai archer, with +1 HP and the “amphibious” ability.
  • Hojo: Hojo are scientific and industrious. They get +2 ship moves as their power, making their boats extremely fast. Their unique unit is a bayoneteer with +1 HP (note that these upgrade to samurai arquebusiers!) All of these factors make Hojo extremely strong at hooking far away resources for their team, and keeping them secure.
  • Mori: Mori are expansionist and militaristic, and get a worker every 7 turns as their power. This makes them strong early game. Their unique unit is a ninja with +1 HP (Significant, since ninjas normally get -1 HP by default). This unique unit also requires no resources, don’t sweat too hard about your golden age if you don’t have the res you need.
  • Urakami: Urakami get a unique unit that gives +1 moves to their stone crossbow, at the cost of minus 1 defense. Still, they can use defensive bombard to protect each other, making them more flexible in how they’re deployed. Their traits are not great, commercial and expansionist. But their special power is a settler every 13 turns.
  • Uesugi: Agricultural and scientific, one of the best trait pairs. Their unique unit is a horseman with +1 HP. The window to use this is limited, as players quickly unlock better units. But it can get you a well timed GA, and give you map control. Their power is half priced upgrades. So these UUs all upgrade to Mounted Samurai at half price.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3012 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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