One of the vaguest parts of the game is how to combine units and what happens when you do. The manual provided with Shogun Total War does not give any insight into the workings of combining units and armies. So this guide attempts to clear up some of the issues regarding the combining of units and armies.
The first thing that can be very confusing is where the units or armies must be in order to combine them. To combine any army or units they must be in the same territory at the BEGINNING of your turn. You cannot take a unit from a neighboring province and move it into the territory with your other army and combine all in the same turn. You must move the units into the same territory in your first turn. On the next turn you can do the combining.
The next step in combining units together is to put them in the same army together. Take the one unit piece on the strategy map and drag it onto the other unit or the other units army. Now click on the army you just added to. At the bottom of the screen will be a list of all the units in the army you just clicked on. Drag the unit you want to combine on to the unit you want to combine it with. You should hee a stacking click noise. You have now combined two units.
What if your have a unit in one army and you want to combine it with a unit in another army. It doesn't make sense to combine both armies then split them up again. So what you do is click on the army that contains the unit you want to combine into another unit. At the bottom of the screen will be a list of the units in that army. Drag the unit you want to combine out of this window and onto the province the army is in on the strategic map. The unit will end up with his own piece now. Then take the piece you just put on the strategic map and drag it onto the army that contains the unit you wish to combine it with. Click on this army and at the bottom of the screen you will see the list of all the units in the army. Drag the one unit you wish to combine onto the unit you want to combine it with.
Now what if you did exactly as above but when you went to put the unit you wish to combine into the army that contains the unit you want to combine with you got a message saying that the army has 16 units already! Don't worry simply drop that unit you were trying to move into that army onto the province in the strategic map. Now click on the army that was full that contains the unit you wish to combine with. At the bottom of the screen, drag the unit you want onto the province in the strategic map. The two units are now single pieces on the strategy map. You can drag one on top of the other to form their own little army. Now click on this new army and you will see the 2 units at the bottom of the screen. Drag them on top of one another. You have now combined the 2 units. Take the piece on the strategic map representing this new combined unit and drag it back on top of the army you wish to combine it back into.
Morale and Honor
There is more to a unit than just the number of soldiers in it. Each unit has an honor rating and a morale rating. So what happens to these stats when two units are combined? Well, after much speculation, debate, and finally brute force testing the members of the Shogun Total War Community have figured out how this works. Each soldier in the unit has an honor and morale rating. The unit Honor and Morale ratings are actually an average of each soldier in the unit. So when two units are combined, this new unit's honor and morale rating is re-calculated based on all the soldiers just combined. So despite what you may hear, it doesn't matter which unit you drop onto the other. It will come out he same.
What to keep in mind
When combining units and armies always watch your numbers. Remember you cannot combine two units that add up to more than your Maximum Unit Size set in your preferences. Also, every army can only hold 16 units. Look at your armies from time to time after your battles. The computer does do some rudimentary combining of your units in your armies after a battle but not a very intelligent job. So check for units that can be combined after a battle. By combining understrength units together, you reduce the amount of work you have to do on the battlefield during your next battle. Its much better to have one unit of 60 archers to control instead of having two 30 unit archers to control. Also, by combining these units you free up one of the 16 spots in that army for a fresh new unit of 60 men.
Electronic Arts, Creative Assembly, and Dreamtime Interactive are working on a patch that will improve the unit management capabilities for the player. Combining units will have the option to take a unit of say 34 and a unit of 38 and combine them to make a unit of 60 and a unit 12 (assuming 60 max). This is much more helpful. So when they imnplement this new patch We will update this guide accordingly so check back.Written by