The Yamato Civilization are primarily an offensive civilization on both land and water. With their improved ship hit points, and cheaper cavalry, they make excellent early rushes in short games and can also defend early rushes from enemies, making them a good choice in early gameplay. Their bonuses have a much more impact from Tool Age onward so it is advised to use the bonus speed of the Villagers as much as possible.
The Yamato are one of the few civilizations that are effective in both short and long games depending on the type of stategy used. A defensive strategy is possible from Stone Age to Bronze Age but as the Iron Age sets in, their defensive position will slowly decline since they cannot improve their Towers beyond the Sentry Tower upgrade. Because of this, the Yamato fare much better offensively throughout the game even after the Iron Age. If the computer controls this civilization in Iron Age with sufficient amount of surplus resources on land as in deathmatches, their entire army will consist of Cataphracts and Heavy Horse Archers.