Song/Strategic Overview

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Faction Overview Strategic Overview History
  • Strengths: Strong early game cavalry traditions, access to added Food, very ideal for aggressive early rushing
  • Weaknesses: Technologically backward, very predictable gameplay

Following the fall of the Shang dynasty at the hands of the Zhou rebels, relatives of the line of the Shang kings were given fiefs by their new overlords at a place called Shangqiu, and were ordered there to maintain the traditions of their ancestors. In Bronze Dawn, the Song faction is no exception, for chariotry and agriculture form the mainstay of their power.

In war and in peacetime, Song is best meant for early expansion: their ability to ramp up Food production with each part of the map held, as well as their Attrition-resistant units mean that early aggressive expansion is the way to go. Food can be ploughed either into demographic growth to get your economy running, or it can be used to expand your empire and your army more efficiently — the more land you claim, the more food you produce and so the more units and research you can obtain.

Song's army, as mentioned before, is centred around the use of chariots - or namely, the Intiau-Chianki (Yin chariot). Because chariots are so powerful — they have higher reload rates, and are capable of dealing splash damage even at point-blank range — the Song often have a marked advantage in combat, particularly against other Chinese factions since they do not need a Nobles' Court to create their best units straight away, thus allowing them to very much run roughshod over other factions. To make things even better, Song chariots do not always need to be built, but can be spawned for free from each Stable built. Chariots in Bronze Dawn are expensive, perhaps more so than any other unit, so being able to create a vast number of them early on can provide you with an edge in combat. However, this too is where Song's biggest weakness lies — for while the Intiau-Chianki is a powerful unit, it is by no means better than the weaker but nimbler War Chariot or Hoahā-Chianki, thus dooming the Song to early chariot rushing for maximum impact. A good turtler, or someone with superior and cheaper units, such as either Xianyun, Yan or Choson can easily master the Song, especially simply by spam-building Bow Levy or Steppe Archers. This is further compounded in later eras, when counter-units for chariots, such as Crossbow Levy and Pike Levy emerge, making Song's signature unit more of a liability than an asset, especially since Song, being a minor state, cannot raise good cavalry units unlike Chinese factions such as Song or Zhao (let alone non-Chinese factions such as the Xianyun or the Rong). To make matters worse, Song, like many Chinese factions, has a fairly limited mercenary pool so her ability to respond quickly to threats or to exploit wartime opportunities is very curtailed. Researching Mojia may be the only saving grace that Song has, especially since Mojia-based units are quite powerful, especially against non-Chinese factions (you get improved siege and some experimental units) but in a war with larger, more powerful factions like Chu or Qi victory is less than assured.

So Song, while she does what she is capable of very well, actually is a very poor faction indeed for games with more than one player, and can easily be outperformed by other factions with good counter-chariot capabilities. All told, an aggressive early game is the best time for Song to shine — train up your levies to seize cities, and use your chariots as support to crush any and all resistance from infantry as quickly as possible before the enemy can respond. In the tech race, researching Mo Jia is a must the moment you can do so, in order to unlock more siege units to compensate for whatever you lack in Iron Age warfare.

Faction summary[edit]

  • Expansive faction, good for early rushing through Food production and chariotry.
  • Bend it like Ben-Hur — Take advantage of Song's ability to create free chariots as often as you can in order to overwhelm your enemies in the early game, especially if they are Chinese.
  • Peace and Love through Force of Arms — Because the Iron Age game is very backward for Song, researching Mojia to obtain the units associated with it is a must.
Strategic Overview
Basic gameplay Grand Campaign