Bow Kobaya S2TW Icon
Bow Kobaya
Bow Kobaya S2TW
Appears in Total War: Shogun 2
Belongs to Nearly all factions
Marines 30
Seamen 5
Hull strength 100
Speed 12
Maneuverability High
Morale 11
Produced from Harbour
Special abilities
Cost 150
Upkeep 50
Turns to Train 1
Unit Cap None

Bow Kobaya are a type of light ship in Total War: Shogun 2.


A bow ship is small, fast and manned by archers who bombard enemy crews.

The ship’s purpose is to stay on the edges of a fleet, quickly moving to key points to provide fire wherever necessary. Its speed means it can avoid being boarded by soldiers from heavier, more powerful ships while harassing them with arrows. The crew of this vessel is not expected to launch boarding attacks, only soften up a target for other friendly ships. They also have the ability to fire flaming arrows for a short period of time, which are much more devastating than standard arrows. Ironically, the archers are also vulnerable to missile fire as the upper deck of the ship has no protection.

During the Sengoku Jidai, ships were mostly made from wood, occasionally augmented by thick bamboo or iron plates. This made them inflammable, and it was quite common to set fire to a vessel prior to boarding it. Archers would use fire arrows, or bombs would be thrown, all in the interests of making life as difficult as possible for the defenders. However, boarding actions were the most important tactic of war at sea, and everything else was subordinated to them. This was just as well, as incendiary weapons lacked the power of cannons, which were hardly common. Japanese naval warfare never went the same way as European naval tactics, with ships becoming gun platforms and fighting at a distance for the most part.

Strengths & Weaknesses

  • Fast moving ships with missile weapon armed crew.
  • Small crew number makes then vulnerable when boarded

General InformationEdit

As the name suggests, this ship type hosts archers. This ship type is small, swift and maneuverable, making it useful for catching routing ships and forcing them to surrender via boarding action. However, they in turn are vulnerable to boarding actions, especially from Sengoku Bune ships that sail along the wind.

Mori Bow Kobaya have +1 morale and 10 more archers per ship.

  • Battle Speed - This increases a ship's rowing speed for a short period of time.
  • Flaming Arrows - This unit can fire flaming arrows for a short period of time. Flaming arrows have a greater damage effect and can set fire to flammable objects. Flaming arrows don't function in wet weather.
Total War: Shogun 2 Ships
Light Ships Bow KobayaFire Bomb KobayaMatchlock Kobaya
Medium Ships Medium BuneSiege Tower BuneSengoku BuneWako Medium Bune
Heavy Ships Heavy BuneNihon MaruO Ataka Bune
Cannon Ships Cannon Bune
Galleons Nanban Trade ShipThe Black Ship
Trade Ships Red Seal ShipTrade ShipWako Trade Ship