The Koreans are mainly a defensive civilization with strong naval and gunpowder capabilities.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
Their ability to gather stone faster than other civilizations allows them to build up their defense quickly. Their towers upgrade automatically, and with the Eupseong unique technology, they gain +2 bonus range in the Castle Age, allowing them to attack units from further away and to take the enemy down before they get too close. Also, if against an aggressive team such as Celts or Goths, it is a good idea to try and establish defensive buildings around their base as early as possible to disrupt their economy. With each advancing age, the range of Korean towers increases as well as upgrading automatically, make it increasingly detrimental to the enemy. Their unique technology Shinkichon increases the range of Mangonels.
The Koreans already have an innate bonus that improves Mangonel range, so this adds even more to it, allowing them to outrange towers and castles. This lets them substitute Mangonels for Trebuchets and Bombard Cannons if the player is low on resources, as they are much more expensive. The War Wagon, the Korean unique unit, is a powerful and heavily armored but somewhat slow cavalry archer. They are effective support units and can last a long time in battle due to their durability.
The Koreans also have a strong navy and their second unique unit, the Turtle Ship, is very powerful and can take down and easily destroy enemy navies even if outnumbered. The Koreans have access to all gunpowder units, though they cannot research the Elite Cannon Galleon upgrade. They can also research most infantry and archer upgrades allowing them to wield an effective foot army.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
The main weakness of the Koreans are their inability to research many Monastery technologies, most importantly Heresy and Redemption. Also they are somewhat weak at attacking. In contrast with their defensive bonuses they lack any offensive bonuses that can potentially turn the tide of a battle. As such they are a disadvantage when taking the fight to an enemy. Also their cavalry is weak, missing the Paladin and Camel Rider in addition to the Bloodlines, Blast Furnace, and Plate Barding Armor technologies. As with the Vikings, due to their naval unique unit the Koreans are missing one of the mainline ships, in this case the Demolition Ship. However, the large attack and durability of the Turtle Ship makes up for this.
Koreans possess some of the strongest ranged unit in the form of Siege Onager and War Wagon, but those units take a lot of time and resources to be upgraded and massed effectively. Korean Bombard Towers and Castles also cost a lot of stone. This means that if a Korean player doesn't expand quickly, they will face trouble later when they must spend resources to replace the fallen units and repair the structures. Also, when the gold runs out and the game enters trash war phase, Koreans will struggle because their Hussars and Barracks units lack the final attack upgrade. In addition, Korean Hussars also lack durability because Koreans don't have access to Bloodlines and Plate Barding Armor.
The Koreans also lack the Heresy and due to the Korean's dependence on gold heavy and expensive units, this makes many of their units vulnerable to conversion.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Koreans have one of the best navies in the game, combined with one of the best defenses in the game. They received many buffs in The Forgotten, but even before that they were a very powerful civilization on water maps.
In early game and especially in maps without water Koreans may try to make a Trush (Tower Feudal Age rush), The stone gathering bonus and the extensive line of sight of their villagers allows for this and in " The Forgotten " expansion Koreans received a buff that allows to create fortifications faster. If the trush succeeds the player must advance to the Castle Age as soon as possible in order to automatically upgrade the towers attacking the enemy village
Koreans are highly wood-intensive, and extra Villagers should be tasked to lumber starting in the Feudal Age. They are weak outside the Castle Age, so it is recommended to Fast Castle. With free Tower upgrades, faster stone mining, and other such defensive capabilities, making strong defenses should be a priority.
On the sea, it is important not to fall into the trap of making only Turtle Ships. Turtle Ships are just another ship, albeit a strong one. They need support from Galleons to function properly, and generally the player should have at least some Galleons before even starting Turtle Ship production.
Land military is primarily dependent on what resources are available and what the opponent is doing. War Wagons are a valuable asset to a Korean army, but forgoing variety for quantity is a game-losing mistake. Lacking Blast Furnace, Plate Barding Armor and Paladin, Korean players may struggle to think of what other units to use. The answer is that it mostly depends on what the opponent is using. Cavaliers can deal with Skirmishers easily, which are the number one enemy of War Wagons. Champions make good all-around back-up, although they do not get Blast Furnace. Halberdiers help with enemy Cavalry which can also threaten War Wagons. Additionally, Korean Siege Onagers are among the best in the game, and should be used. The player must be careful to not to hit the War Wagons, as they are very large targets.
Strategy changes in The Forgotten[edit | edit source]
Koreans' new unique tech Panokseon improves the movement speed of Turtle Ships that without it, they are very slow. Both Korean unique units costs are reduced (Turtle Ships now cost 180 wood and 180 gold, while War Wagons now costs 110 wood and 60 gold) and the creation time of War Wagon are also reduced, allowing more of these units to be produced quickly. Their team bonus was changed, now Mangonels and Onagers have a reduced minimum range instead of a larger range. Koreans also received a building speed bonus for their fortifications (25% faster), improving their defense capabilities, as this building speed bonus plus Treadmill Crane allows to their villagers to build these buildings at a +45% speed.
Strategy changes in The African Kingdoms[edit | edit source]
The Panokseon technology cost is now reduced to 300 wood and 300 food, making this technology more affordable. Also, their Turtle Ships now don't require a Castle to be created at the Dock. The new general technology Arrowslits further improves the attack of the powerful Korean towers.
Strategy changes in the Definitive Edition[edit | edit source]
Koreans lose their ability to build fortifications faster, and Watch Towers' HP is reduced to 700 in the Feudal Age (in the Castle Age, they still have 1,200 HP). Despite this, their Tower rush is still a viable tactic, just a bit harder to make it and succeed. This ability was replaced with a new bonus (Military units, except Siege weapons, cost -15% wood). This new bonus enables them to make an archer rush, as they are now cheaper (their archers can also better support a Tower rush), a Cavalry Archer rush in the Castle Age, better defense with the Halberdier and Skirmisher line (of course, this also makes them better in "trash wars"), enables them to spam more War Wagons for the same wood, and, probably the most important, their entire navy is cheaper (including the Turtle Ship), so they can save also much more wood in naval encounters. It is important to note that this wood discount was increased to 20% in update 39284, further improving the viability of their mentioned options while both the War Wagon and Turtle Ship got their wood costs adjusted to balance them.
In update 42848, the Koreans have a new civilization bonus where all their archer armor upgrades are free. In exchange, their civilization bonus of additional range for their towers was moved to a new unique Castle Age technology, Eupseong, which replaces Panokseon. This allows the Koreans to perform a Feudal Age archer rush due to the strong synergy with their wood discount for military units and allows a somewhat viable (if not optimal) cavalry archer rush in the Castle Age. In addition, their Turtle Ships get a small permanent movement speed boost to offset the Castle Age unique technology change.
In update 44725, they now have access to Elite Cannon Galleon.
Alliances[edit | edit source]
As a defensive civilization, Koreans make great support, with their stone mining bonus, their free tower upgrades and bonuses, and the quick construction speed for fortifications (this last only in the HD expansions, but not in the Definitive Edition), so they can stand at the front line, defending the team by turtling themselves and the team. Korean towers are also highly valuable when an ally intends a Wonder or relic Victory, because of their greater range (LOS boost for their towers from their Ethiopian allies also helps).
Korean team bonus is especially useful for civilizations that have Siege Onagers, and even more if they also have a buff for this unit. Originally, the team bonus added more range to the Onagers, but it was changed in the forgotten for a lower minimum range, enabling the Onager to defend itself better against infantry. Celts, Teutons, Slavs, Ethiopians, Aztecs and Mongols benefit from this team bonus.
As a naval civilization, Koreans also benefit from the Viking team bonus and having Portuguese, Vikings and Koreans on the same team can make the most diverse naval army in the game, having the only 3 unique naval vessels (the Turtle Ship, the Caravel and the Longboat). Malay allies also improve the vigilance and fast-response ability of the Korean navy, as they provide allies with far sighted docks, an alliance with Japanese is also helpful as this improves their Galleons.
Koreans benefit from team bonuses that boost the Onager, like the Celt team bonus that improves the Siege Workshop work rate. Mayan team bonus is also helpful, as it will give them cheaper walls that can aid in the construction of heavy fortifications, with powerful Korean towers protected by walls. Malian allies also grant an efficiency bonus for Korean Universities, hence making fortifications of Korean players improve quicker.
Since the Definitive Edition, the Koreans now have cheaper Archers, Halberdiers, War Wagons, and ships, due to their new bonus (military units, except siege, costless wood), the player should consider an alliance with civilizations whose team bonuses improve Archery Range units, like:
For better Halberdier spam, allying with Goths is very helpful. Of course, because of this new bonus in the Definitive Edition, it is even more helpful to have civilizations with naval team bonuses like the ones cited before (together with Sicilian allies that provide enhanced Transport Ships with extra defenses and capacity).
Compared advantages and disadvantages[edit | edit source]
Advantages vs other civilizations[edit | edit source]
Disadvantages vs other civilizations[edit | edit source]
Situational advantages[edit | edit source]