Eurogamer (a site famous for its dead on review of Darkfall a PVP MMO stinker) has a hands on look at what Shogun 2 will bring to the table as it nears completion
"As you capture certain regions you'll attain more retainers," reveals Roxburgh.
"You can also take them into a battle with you to gain an extra edge. You have a certain number of retainer slots ranging from one to five - depending on what level your avatar is - that you can take into a battle.
"One option is to send a spy to check on the enemy during the deployment stage to see where they've positioned their troops. Or maybe you use a retainer to increase the strength of your spearmen because you know the opposition will be susceptible to spear attacks. There are around 70 retainers in total."