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Thread: Ayutthaya - The March of the Elephant

  1. #41
    Lt. General merrick's Avatar
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    Chapter 4d - Boromo Trailokanat (fl1477-1487)

    Domestic Developments

    Not all the progress made in Boromo's reign was his doing, or even occurred with his knowledge. Sometime in the 1470s one Chundak Pragoo, a metalsmith in Vientiane (1), developed a new method of forging blades, based, or so it is said, on the techniques of distant Nippon. The local merchants, confident in their new-found wealth and influence, quickly capitalised on his invention (2), and soon 'Sarakham steel' was renowned throughout the kingdom. A set of swords was presented to Boromo himself in 1478, and perhaps inspired him to order a general re-equipment of the army in the following year (3).

    Shortly thereafter, Boromo, still vigourous despite his years, firmly put down the unofficial practice of appointing provincial officals on the basis of wealth rather than talent (4). Taking advantage of the new-found prosperity and stability of the northern provinces, he continued to expand the royal administration in those regions (5).

    Even under Boromo's experienced eye, domestic harmony remained fleeting. No prime cause has ever been convincingly attributed to the revolt that broke out in Kwai province late in 1481, but it disrupted the region for several months (6).

    Colonial expansion continued apace during Boromo's last years. A permanent settlement was made in Sumbawa in 1483 and within a year imports of a previously unknown luxury - coffee - had grow to the point where the merchants could petition the crown to be recognised as a separate guild, rather than a branch of the tea-traders (7).

    An Old Man in a Hurry

    For once, the region around Ayutthaya was almost calm. Orissa had a brief quarrel with Bengal in 1478 and Mataram pursued an inconclusive naval conflict with Brunei in the early 1480s, but these were mere ripples on the ocean. Curiously, it was at just this time that the aging King of Ayutthaya became increasingly - an uncharacteristically violently - active in foreign affairs.

    Why this was so is uncertain. Some say he was consumed with a desire to set all in order before he passed on, others that he was struggling to maintain control of a court increasingly riven by factions. Boromo himself was characteristically reserved 'If it will be done, then it will be done by my hand, for it is I who reign in this place,' he wrote in the margin of a letter from one of his ministers.

    Whatever the reason, the change in direction was immediate and obvious. In 1481 he again expanded the ranks of his allies, bringing in Dai Viet to join Taungu and Cambodia. Shortly thereafter, a stream of honours, awards and costly gifts began to flow to the king and court of Taungu, a vassal-state previously considered too unimportant to merit a permanent ambassador (8).

    The new alliance effectively isolated Vientiane, however the last ruler of the mountain kingdom did not consider his situation perilous. Trusting in Boromo's pacific nature, he did not even dispatch a diplomat to settle the a minor boundary dispute that flared late in 1482. The King of Ayutthaya did not send a diplomat either. He sent an army.

    The war that followed was brief and one-sided. Despite early successes, the forces of Vientiane could not resist the Ayutthayan army. Luangphrabang was besieged in mid 1483 and fell early the following year. That summer, in his last public appearance, Boromo proclaimed the end of Vientiane's independence and the absorption of its lands into Ayutthaya (9). Possibly as a response to this act of aggression, the king of Assam sought protection in submission to Tibet (10).

    The diplomatic gifts were repayed manyfold the next year, when the last king of Taungu died and left his kingdom to Ayutthaya. Boromo, now ailing, was forced to receive the submission of the Taungese in his bedchamber. 'I have lived long enough,' he murmured. The last act to which he put his name, ironically, recalled the circumstances of his accession - the provision of official support for Buddhist temples and Buddhist teachings in Perak province (11).

    The Sun Goes Down

    It would have been fitting, perhaps, if the great King had died with his triumphs fresh. In fact, he lingered another two and a half years, too sick to rule, while rival cliques squabbled to govern in his name. A dispute between noble factions wracked Kwai province in 1485, and the increasingly heavy taxes and arbitrary 'justice' cause great distress among the merchant guilds and severely harmed Ayutthaya's trade (12).

    Boromo Trailokanat 'The Enlightening Sun' died at the end of 1487. None but the greybeards could remember another ruler, and it was accepted like a law of nature that his funeral should be the most magnificent in memory, history or legend (13).

    His sucessor took the name of Boromorajat III. He was the leader of the main 'Court' faction, and had skillfully bargained his influence to squeeze out his rivals from the military and the provincial nobility. His enemies whispered that the new King did not have the stature of a true monarch, that he was skilled only in intrigue (14).

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Notes
    (1) The city of Vientiane, the capital of Sarakham province, as opposed to the nation of Vientiane, which is situated in Mekong province and whose capital is Luangphrabang. Is that clear? (If not, don't worry. it won't matter long...)
    (2) Unexpected invention - weapons manufactory in Sarakham.
    (3) +1 Quality (now Quality 4). Probably not smart, but I was sick of losing to rebels.
    (4) Decline Sale of Offices.
    (5) i.e. Tax Collectors
    (6) Yup, good ol' Unprovoked Revolt
    (7) Monopoly Company
    (8) Taungu had a permanent CB on me, so relations had been sliding gently downhill for years. I'd given up on them declaring any more wars (I'd been hoping for an excuse to vassalise Pegu or Myanmar), and they'd been vassals for 40+ years, so when I could finally put together the cash to bribe them....
    (9) Reputation, which had improved to 'tarnished', went straight back down again. I'd rather have vassalised them, but they were already vassals of China and I was scared they'd be diplo-annexed if I waited any longer.
    (10) Keep an eye on Tibet. This get significant later.
    (11) I finally had the money (thanks to war taxes) to try a conversion again.
    (12) Two 'Unhappiness among the Merchants' events in two years, costing me 600d in trade research. When you're trying to research Trade 3 on 30d/month, that hurts.
    (13) Now 12 provinces, 4 colonies, 5 trading posts; monthly income 30d; no inflation or loans; tech 2/2/2/3
    (14) Adm Poor, Mil Very Poor, Dip Average. Ho Hum.

    Anibal - watch this space
    Judge - with hindsight, I made some serious gameplay mistakes around this time. Staying narrowminded was one of them - it seemed a good idea (colonists, low stab costs) at the time, but it ended up biting me.
    Director - welcome to my humble AAR! China is scary because they have (effectively) infinite resources. The AI may not choose to use them, but if it does... In my first game as Ayutthaya, I killed twice as many Chinese troops as I had in my army, twice as many again starved besieging the border forts, and I still got run over.
    jwolf - My colonisation plan was to grab every unclaimed province I could find, on the grounds that they'd end up Chinese, Portuguese or Dutch if I didn't. I'd have gone after Brunei, Atjeh or (especially) Makassar if I'd got an excuse, but no luck. I was slightly hoping that the island nations would start conquering each other, sparing me the BB cost of annexations, but they never really did anything. Mataram (like Champa) is Hindu, and I can't handle Hindu provinces as well as Buddhist and Muslim ones.
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  2. #42
    Not so idle

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    An annexation, more colonies, higher quality, conversion... the kingdom of Ayuthhaya (or Empire?) is growing and growing... a true power!
    Member of the International Native Speaker Resistance

    Proud owner of 50 2Coaties

  3. #43
    First Lieutenant Eustonian's Avatar

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    You MUST conquer Atjeh

    Its the gold that swings in its favor
    Confused newbie.

  4. #44
    Lt. General merrick's Avatar
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    Chapter 5 - Boromorajat III (1488 - 1490)

    Ayutthaya in 1488, on the accession of Boromorajat III

    Note the colonial expansion in Indonesia, and Boromo Trailokanat's addition of Taugu & Vientiane to the Kingdom


    Boromarajat III rose to the throne under troubled circumstances, and at first his grip on power was by no means secure. His first challenge came immediately after his accession, with reports of renewed hostilities between Pegu and Myanmar (1). Boromorajat chose to ignore the turmoil in Burma - and his generals' demands for further conquest - in favour of continuing his predecessor's historic policies of commercial and colonial development. The trade post in Salabanka was expanded to a permanent settlement, and trading missions dispatched to the great entrepots of China and India (2).

    Boromorajat's pacific policies did not find favour with the military nobility, or with many of their supporters at Court. Rumour and scandal proliferated in the febrile atmosphere, and the king was not spared. Late in 1488, his abrupt dismissal of the Champan ambassador for intriguing with dissident nobles led to the public accusation that Boromorajat was - of all things - pro-Muslim (3). This accusation was unfortunately reinforced the next year, when Boromarajat officially abandoned Boromo's legacy of encouraging Buddhism in Perak province, an effort which had achieved nothing except to alienate the inhabitants.

    Another of Boromo's legacies turned sour later in the year, when the former capital of Taungu erupted in a major revolt that drove out the governor and took more than a year to put down. Sensing the weakness of the crown, Boromorajat's opponents took the chance to press the claims of the provincial nobility against the Court. Political intrigue, however, was Boromorajat's metier. Publically, he conceded their demands, but behind the scenes he maneuvered deftly to render his concessions meaningless (4).

    1490 was a year of stability and rebuilding, relatively untroubled at home and abroad. It seemed that Boromorajat might go on to capitalise on his new-found security and truly stamp his mark on the history of Ayutthaya. Instead he died, suddenly, before the end of the year, and so was forever doomed to remain a footnote (5).

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Notes
    (1) Another epic of inaction
    (2) I finally had enough cash to start sending merchants to Ganges and Shanghai
    (3) Scandal at Court
    (4) Nobles Demand Former Rights - I accepted (+1 Aristocracy), and then immediately went -1 Aristocracy on the DP sliders
    (5) The Pegu/Myanmar nonwar outlasted him, by about a month.

    I'm away for the weekend, so next update won't be for a few days - Ciao!
    Last edited by merrick; 11-01-2004 at 22:30. Reason: Added screenshot
    EU3 AARs - Re-Uniting Gondwanaland - with Elephants! (completed)
    Screaming Popes (completed) , Resistance is Futile (completed)
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    EU2 AARs - Ayutthaya - The March of the Elephant , The Walls of the City , Piazza Genovese

  5. #45
    Field Marshal Judge's Avatar
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    Nice update.

    As for making mistakes: We all do and sometimes it is really refreshing to read about mistakes instead of perfect playing, makes the story more believable and interesting. When I look back on my stories I detect a bunch of mistakes, especially when the versions of the game have changed (centralization the most obvious one)

  6. #46
    Lt. General merrick's Avatar
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    Unhappy Unscheduled delays

    Hello again everyone

    I'd like to start the next chapter here - but unfortunately my home PC (or maybe ISP) is suffering from a major e-mail / internet access failure and I have no idea how long it's going to take to resolve.

    The first part of Chapter 6 is typed up - but I have no way of posting it.

    Sorry about this, folks

    Merrick

    P.S. Judge - thanks for bumping this off page 2
    EU3 AARs - Re-Uniting Gondwanaland - with Elephants! (completed)
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  7. #47
    Field Marshal jwolf's Avatar
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    We look forward to reading the next installment as soon as you can post it! I definitely agree with Judge that reading about mistakes in game play can be the most interesting part of the whole tale. Storey, for example, always has a great way to bring in his mistakes or other just plain crazy things that happen.

  8. #48
    Lt. General merrick's Avatar
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    Chapter 6a - Rama T'Bodi III (1491 - fl1500)

    Whatever was afflicting my internet connection appears to have gone away, so here's the promised next instalment:

    The Little Elephant

    Boromorajat III's death left the succession again confused, and this time the Court faction did not prevail. Instead, the prize was claimed by the commander of the Royal Guard, a cousin of the former king. Supported by the army, he successfully intimidated his rivals and took the throne as Rama T'Bodi III.

    Rama T'Bodi was a very different man from his predecessor (1). While Boromorajat had looked to the example of Boromo Trailokanat, Rama chose to model himself on the great War Elephant, Boromoraja II. No sooner was the throne secure than the war banner was raised and the soldiers mustered. Even as the trumpets sounded, Rama moved to bolster the Indochinese alliance with the hastily-arranged marriage of his sister to the Cambodian King.

    Everyone awaited a declaration of hostilities against Pegu or Myanmar, maybe even China. But Rama T'Bodi had a mind to outdo his predecessors' achievements overseas. The army, he declared, would sail against the still-unsubdued natives of Java, Sumatra and Borneo. The King spoke grandly of the glory to won and the rich lands to be conquered, and even proposed leading the army himself.

    The provincial nobility saw their chance. Taking advantage of the King's impeding departure, they once again advanced the claims that Boromorajat had denied them. But Rama T'Bodi was a very different man from his predecessor. He would brook no open opposition, and the delay to his plans further enraged him. Leaving the Royal Executioner to emphasise his decision (2), Rama T'Bodi set sail for glory.

    The Royal Expedition to the East

    Some delay was, however, inevitable and so the troops departed without him, arriving in Jakarta in September of 1491. Despite the King's desperate attempts to catch up with his army before his subordinates had time to win a battle, Bandung was swiftly secured against limited oposition (3) and a trading post duly set up before the end of the year.

    Rama T'Bodi (4) finally took command of the army of Ayutthaya off the coast of Borneo, early in 1492, and lead them in a successful assault on Kalimantan. He was less successful in Sarawak, being driven back twice before the province was finally secured. Nevertheless, the banner of Ayutthaya was raised over both provinces by the end of the year. With Sarawak secure, Rama T'Bodi took the chance for a purge of officers who had failed him earlier in the campaign (5).

    The new year was marked by the pacification of Jambi, conducted with Rama T'Bodi's usual thoroughness (6). With no more savages remaining to civilise, the King returned to Ayutthaya with his army later that spring.

    A Breathing Space

    Back in the capital, the King swiftly renewed hostilites with his old enemies, the provincial nobility. In October 1493, over strong domestic protests, he dismissed the noble Governor of Jakarta and replaced him with a local merchant (7). Matters might have gone further had the King not been distracted by a Khmer uprising in Mekong province. Leaving the Court, he rode north with the army and personally oversaw the dispatch of the hapless rebels. A few months later, it was the Buddhist monks of the highland temples who felt his wrath. A dispute over the nature of nothingness, which threatened to embroil an entire province, moved the King to offer to translate the disputants to the blessed state, immediately and in person (8).

    Meanwhile, the nation of Pegu, having apparently exhausted the attractions of war with Myanmar, declared war on Arakan early in 1494. The Arakanese were not amused, and responded with a successful invasion of Pegu. Rama T'Bodi, approving, invited the Sultan of Arakan to an alliance later in the year. The offer was accepted, and so Arakan joined the compact of Ayutthaya, Cambodia and Dai Viet. Nothing came of the war, however, the king of Pegu finally bribing his way to peace in mid-1496.

    Apart from the struggle beyond the border, 1495 passed quietly, marked only by the grant of further favours to the merchant class. Seeking to avoid a repetition the next year, the Court functionaries sought to distract the King by organising a great royal hunt, nominally to celebrate the founding of a permanent Ayutthayan settlement in Bandung. The Hunt was held to be a great success, especially for the Crown Prince of Cambodia, whose personal bag included five tigers, three buffalo, two rhinoceri and a stray Atjan diplomat (9).

    Expansion Abroad

    Early in 1497, believing that Ayutthaya's overseas possessions were now valuable enough to warrant investment in defence, the King ordered the construction of a fortress to guard the harbour of Jakarta. Domestic administration had, however, not kept pace with colonial expansion, and the following months were marked by the executions of a succession of officials caught profiteering on contracts to support the Jakarta garrison (10).

    These decisive actions earned Rama T'Bodi's great respect, even beyond the borders of Ayutthaya. From India to China, the merchants brought back reports of how the King of Ayutthaya was universally honoured as a great and powerful ruler (11). Basking in his success, Rama T'Bodi moved to expand his influence in the eastern islands, supporting a pretender to the throne of Makassar and offering diplomatic support to Brunei, who had declared war on the Hindus of Mataram early in 1498. The people least impressed by this were (ironically) the merchants, who complained (privately) that the King's sword-rattling destabilised the region and harmed their trade (12).

    By late 1500, another expedition seemed only a matter of time. However the plans of King and court and merchants alike were set at naught by a truly unexpected event. A brave sea-captain (13), one Tuggurt (14) by name, presented himself at Court, offering to take the flag of Ayutthaya to parts as yet unknown.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Notes
    (1) Adm Average, Mil Poor, Dip Poor. Technically, it's an improvement
    (2) Nobles Demanded Former Rights again. Not this time.
    (3) It was meant to have 10,000 natives, but only 1,500 showed up to the battle. Not that I was complaining, of course.
    (4) 4-1-3-0 Leader. Why a year after his sucession I don't know.
    (5) Reform of the Army (+250 Land)
    (6) The natives didn't oppose the invasion! (They were killed anyway, and a TP established, as before).
    (7) Petition for Redress from an unfortified colonial province. Rather than take the tax hit and have to send an army to recapture the province, I ate the -4 Stability. Ouch. Also +1 Centralisation (now Centralisation 3).
    (8) Suppressed Regional Heresy.
    (9) Great Royal Hunt, +50 relations with Cambodia, -50 with Atjeh.
    (10) Corruption eradicated.
    (11) Great Reputation. I now had 5 merchants in both Shanghai and Ganges.
    (12) Once more Unhappiness Among the Merchants (-400 Trade).
    (13) Random Explorer
    (14) Where do they get these names from?
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  9. #49
    Field Marshal jwolf's Avatar
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    Excellent update, as usual! The line I liked best was when the King offered to "translate the disputants to the blessed state, immediately and in person." I guess they got the message!

  10. #50
    Lt. General merrick's Avatar
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    Chapter 6b - Rama T'Bodi III (fl1501 - fl1512)

    New Horizons

    Incredible as it may seem today, the idea of voyaging beyond the limits of known seas had occured to no-one in Ayutthaya before this time, nor indeed to the citizens of other nations of Asia (there were some old rumours about a Chinaman called Zheng Ho, or some such name, but the Emperor's officials always denied everything). Nevertheless, once proposed, the idea caught the imagination of the whole nation, and most importantly the King, who directed that the full energies of Ayutthaya should be put behind this historic venture (1). Equipped with the best the kingdom had to offer, his ship filled with brave adventurers from Ayutthaya's proudest noble families and richest trade guilds, Tuggurt set forth early in 1501, heading for Flores and the great beyond.

    For more than two years, he made voyage after voyage, heading alternately east and north into the unknown, and for two years the nation waited. Other news came from the East, where Brunei was invading Mataram East Java. News came from the West, where Myanmar, feeling neglected, declared war on Pegu. News came even from the North, where the Dragon Emperor inspected a porcelain vase from the new Imperial manufactory and declared it perfect (2). But no great news came from Flores. Beyond known seas there lay, apparently, only more sea.

    A Time of Waiting

    A kind of lassitude settled on the Court. The Chinese ambassador reported smugly that expatriate artists and scholars were returning from Ayutthaya for lack of patronage (3). Early in 1503, the provincial nobility moved again to reclaim their authority from the sagging central government (4). This time, the King seemed unable to rouse himself to object. Finally, at the end of spring 1503, the long-awaited courier came from Flores. Tuggurt had returned again - from his fourth voyage - and this time he had found land. An island greater than Flores - known as Timor to its friendly natives - green and fertile and barely a month's journey to the east.

    This was hardly the 'great land of gold' he had promised the King, but it was enough to galvanise the Court. An expedition was dispatched at once to claim Timor, while Tuggurt receive a patent of nobility and instructions to explore further, faster. A permanent settlement was established on Timor by autumn, and within the month Tuggurt had returned from his next voyage to report another new island - which he called Ceram - in the seas to the north.

    It was a time of change in the eastern seas. The Sultan of Brunei, finding himself unable to hold Surabaja against fierce local opposition, made peace with Mataram (Makassar having taken the chance to wriggle free from Hindu domination) and turned his attention to the weak state of Champa. Encouraged by the new stability, a new wave of settlers set sail from Ayutthaya, heading both for the new settlements in the eastern islands and the old ones in Java and Sumatra. Early in 1504, the King declared the colony of Sunda worthy of recognition as a province of the Kingdom in its own right. Unexpectedly, this apparently mundane piece of adminstrivia plunged him into the first major crisis of his reign.

    Land or Sea?

    The business of populating the Eastern colonies - Jakarta, Sunda, Flores, Palembang, Sulawesi, Salabanka and now Timor - had been divided between the officials of the Court and the trade guilds of Bangkok. The settlers they sent were mostly drawn from the port districts of the capital, and the thickly-populated farmland around. These settlers - and their descendants - kept the ways of their homeland. They spoke Thai, they followed the Buddha, they lived, and worked and built as their ancestors had done. As long as the colonies were mere trade points, none of this much mattered. But as new province followed new province, questions began to be asked.

    The Thais of Ayutthaya proper populated no more than three provinces, a mere quarter of the land. They ruled, but could not dominate. Simple geography ensured that the non-Thai lands - Thai though their rulers were - would always carry weight in the Court. But Jakarta had become a fourth Thai province, Sunda was a fifth, Timor would be a sixth (5). If this went on, what would become of the Burmese of the West? The Khmers of the North? The Moslems of the South? Most of all, what would become of the nobles and officials whose dignities depended on their control of these lands? Were they doomed to be supplanted by new men and traders from the savage lands beyond the horizon? A cry went up from the provinces - the expansion must be halted (6).

    The crisis that followed wracked the country for years and drove Rama T'Bodi to frustration. He could cut off an official with a word, condemn a noble with a gesture - but here could not guarantee that their successors would be more tractable. He found opposition even in the capital - after all, if all the known lands were settled, Ayutthaya would have more overseas provinces than domestic ones. Would the river of trade turn away and flow east?

    In the end, however, sheer obstinacy won out. Firmly upholding the provincial rights of Sunda (7) against all attempts to reduce them, the King eventually outlasted his enemies. A few token concessions were made in the field of overseas trade (8), but the colonial program continued. Tuggurt, too, did his part, discovering Buru at the end of 1504 and Tindore the next year. The king sent him gifts and reinforcements and ordered him to keep going. The colonists went out too, Timor being recognised as a province as early as mid-1506 (a decision which only intensified the ongoing political upheaval).

    Threatened Stillness

    The world around was not entirely quiet. The local wars ground down to a sullen peace. China chose to concentrate its efforts against the barbarians facing its northern frontier (9) (to much relief in Ayutthaya). Tibet, however, shocked the world early in 1506, with the formal annexation of Assam. Rama T'bodi swore to oppose Tibetan influence in Burma, but the region was quiet for once and there was nothing he could do. He did manage to hold the local alliance together, though both Dai Viet and Cambodia rejected a closer relationship (10).

    Colonial expansion continued. In mid-1507, even as the Ayutthayan banner was raised on Tindore, a new expedition was outfitted in the new harbour of Timor. Commanded by one Meknes (11) - a native of Timor who swore to outdo the great Tuggurt himself - it sailed for the northern seas, and repaid its backers by discovering Samar the next year. At the same time, news reached the capital that China was once again at war with Manchu (12), and a few months later Brunei once again attacked Mataram. In these turbulent conditions, and with the kingdom itself so unstable, Rama T'Bodi had no time for the latest wandering monk to be hailed as another boddisavahta, and had the man summarily shipped off to Sumbawa (13).

    The Golden Year

    1509 is a year honoured in the histories of Ayutthaya. Early in the year, Tuggurt, who for many years and voyages had been slogging away east and south of Timor, sea by sea, reef by reef, cape by inhospitable cape (14), finally found the object of his great quest, a land in the far south 'as great as Borneo and Sumatra'. He did not long enjoy his success, drowning in a storm in the Arafuan Sea on his very next voyage, but the road south was open and the first Ayutthayan colonists reached 'Australia' (15) before the end of the year. Not to be outdone, Meknes mapped the great island of Luzon, and as if the heavens were blessing Ayutthaya's future, the year's harvest was exceptionally bountiful (16). Apparently believing the kingdom's future was set, Rama T'Bodi, now aging and troubled by gout, retired from his beloved army and returned full-time to the palace (17).

    Reality Returns

    1510 was a very different year. The Moslems of the south, long quiet, rose in revolt in Malacca and Johor (18). No sooner had the army gone south than the Burmese of Bago also rose. From abroad came more disturbing news, Myanmar being the next Burmese nation to accept the protection of Tibet. The revolts took most of the year to put down, and not even the elevation of Tindore to provincial status could lighten the mood. Early in 1511, Rama T'Bodi's health declined further. Delirious with fever, he raved against long-dead enemies and ordered the army to war-readiness against imaginary foes (19). Again, only the colonial program brought good news to the capital, Meknes voyaging from Nandewar as far as Wagga and Kangaroo Island and beginning to uncover the true magnitude of the southern continent.

    The Drums Beat

    In the spring of 1512, a diplomat from Myanmar saw fit to enquire after the condition of 'the mad King' (20). Sadly for him, Rama T'Bodi had recovered his faculties some weeks earlier, and his response to insult was unchanged. Summoning his allies (21), Rama T'Bodi declared war on the upstart Burmese. The forces assembled sent the weak ruler of Pegu cravenly bolting from his alliance, but Tibet stood by its vassal. The Great War had begun....

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Notes:
    (1) +1 Naval (now Land 2)
    (2) China Perfected Ming Porcelain. Anyone know what this does?
    (3) Declined Court Painter. Keeping Innovativeness low wasn't smart in the long run, but I wanted more colonists.
    (4) Nobles Demanded Former Rights Again. I let them have it (now Centralisation 2). There's no great virtue to Centralisation in 1.05.
    (5) And since the only way I was going to get more manpower was to breed it, it wasn't going to stop.
    (6) Political Crisis, for those who haven't guessed.
    (7) Just as things were calming down, I got a Petition For Redress from Sunda - yup, another unfortified colony. -4 Stability, now back to Centralisation 3
    (8) Refused Export Licences. I couldn't affort them.
    (9) China Repaired The Great Wall. See Note (2)
    (10) I tried to diplo-vassalise both of them. No joy.
    (11) Another explorer
    (12) I haven't bothered to note all China's wars with Manchu or Chagatai. This one turned out to be important.
    (13) Imprisoned Uncooperative Philosopher (now Innovative 2). I was still obsessed with colonists, conquitadors & conversions.
    (14) Exploring at Naval Tech 2 - sail forth, discover one new sea zone, go straight home before you die of attrition. Sail forth to the next sea zone, hope you don't meet a storm, repeat. And repeat. It took seven voyages to get to Australia.
    (15) Now you can call Ayutthaya a colonial nation
    (16) Exceptional year
    (17) The leader 'died', but the king kept on going. Ayutthaya seemed to go in for long-lived kings.
    (18) Heretics event. Not converting the Moslems when I had Boromo 'Exceptional Admin' Trailokanat as monarch (for only forty years) was another blunder.
    (19) Temporary Insanity of Monarch. Also +1 Offensive (now Offensive 9)
    (20) Diplomatic Insult, from someone neither Chinese nor allied to them. Here we go, before Tibet diplo-annexes anyone else.
    (21) Cambodia, Arakan & Dai Viet, in case you've forgotten. Myanmar had Tibet and Pegu (yup, Myanmar and Pegu were allies).
    Last edited by merrick; 18-09-2003 at 23:00.
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  11. #51
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    Very interesting. The Ayutthayaian's discovering Austrailia and Tibet being the great enemy. I look forward to the future updates.
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  12. #52
    Field Marshal jwolf's Avatar
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    Everything looks good so far. What is your land tech now, say as compared to China's?

    Have the Portuguese arrived yet? In my Dai Viet game they showed up at Sulawesi around 1520, then took fifty years to successfully develop it as a colony (and COT, naturally) because they wouldn't kill off the natives.

    Good luck!

  13. #53
    Maestro Director's Avatar
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    I think that's the first time I've ever heard anyone say that a Diplomat was bagged during a Great Hunt. I've laughed a lot over that one!

    The Chinese discovery of Ming Porcelain? Priceless chamber pots...

    Go Elephant Go!
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  14. #54
    Lt. General merrick's Avatar
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    Chapter 6b - Rama T'Bodi III (fl1512 - fl1517)

    The Great War

    The Ranks Swell

    At first, the 'Third Burmese War', as it was named, seemed a local affair, simply an ayyempt by the Ayutthayan alliance to wrest domination of Myanmar from Tibet. It remained that way for less than month. Before Ayutthayan armies had even crossed the border, the Court received an ominous missive from the Hindu west. The nation of Orissa, it declared, was now at war with Ayutthaya. No reason was ever given for this declaration, and since there seemed no obvious way for Orissa to act upon it, Rama T'Bodi chose not even to dignify it with a reply (1), concentrating instead on the battle now joined in the Burmese highlands.

    There Ayutthayan troops, advancing quickly, defeated the army of Myanmar before it could be reinforced from Tibet. Sweeping on to the north-west, they defeated the Tibetans as well and laid siege to Tibetan-ruled Assam. It was at this point that the ever-inconsistant ruler of Pegu chose to rejoin the Tibetan alliance, declaring war on Ayutthaya and send his army marching north to Mandalay, where Ayutthayan troops, supported by forces from Arakan, were now prosecuting a siege.

    A Tide of Victory?

    Their increasing numbers, however, did Ayutthaya's enemies no good. The Peguese army was soundly defeated outsude Mandalay, and subsequent efforts by Tibet and Myanmar to break the sieges of Assam and Mandalay respectively were equally unsuccessful. Ayutthayan forces entered Peguese Shan by August and laid siege to the provincial capital in the following month. From the distant north came word that China had crushed the barbarian Manchu and conquered no fewer than five new provinces. On hearing the news, Rama T'Bodi swore that the armies of Ayutthaya would be no less successful.

    No sooner had this declaration been made than news came of the first setback of the campaign. A local uprising in Assam had disrupted the communications of the army besieging the province, forcing it to withdraw to Arakan. Nevertheless, the winter of 1512-13 was a time of triumph for the armies of Ayutthaya and its allies. Attempts by Myanmar and Pegu to break the sieges in Myanmar and Shan met with repeated failure, and when the crazed ruler of Pegu, declaring his intention to burn the Ayutthayan capital (2), led his troops into Ayutthayan territory in Bago province, fresh Ayuttayan troops crushed his upstart army, pursued it into Irrawaddy, and laid siege to Pegu itself. Early 1513 brought a fresh series of victories over the forces of Pegu, now so lacking in coordination that they could barely be described as an army (3).

    Meanwhile the sieges progressed to the inevitable conclusion. Mandalay fell in April, the Arakanese contingent beating their Ayutthayan allies in the race to the palace strongrooms (4). Shan followed in May, and Ayutthayan forces gathered for a second invasion of Assam.

    Thunder From the Mountains

    The Ayutthayan commanders, however, had underestimated their enemies. Almost 20,000 Tibetans descended on Assam, brushed aside the Ayutthayans opposing them and marched on to Mandalay, where they laid fresh siege to the battered citadel. Rather than tackle this force head-on, the Ayutthayan commander chose to make a flanking march through the jungles of Shan province and attack Assam from the east. He successfully evaded the Tibetan main force and was able to begin siege operations by mid-August, defeating an attempted sortie by Tibetan recruits the next month.

    Reinforced by allied contingents from Cambodia (5), Ayutthayan forces captured Pegu later in the year. The good new was rounded off by reports of new discoveries in Australian, prompting the founding of a Guild of Australian Trade (6).

    Fire from the Sea

    Early in 1514, the war between Mataram and Brunei spluttered to an inconclusive close. Seeking fresh targets, the pirate Sultan of Brunei realised that the dispatch of the Cambodian army to the Burmese front had left the country's heartland open. His declaration of war, in February 1514, was followed swiftly by Moslem landings on Cambodia's unprotected coast.

    Despite the threat to Ayutthaya's unguarded colonies, Rama T'Bodi could see no honourable alternative to supporting his ally (7). No troops could as yet be spared from Burma, but they were promised as soon as they became available. Meanwhile the fleet was mobilised and attempts were made to improve the defences of Sunda (8).

    The 'Emperor' of Dai Viet and the Sultan of Arakan, however, were not of such stern fibre. Frantic diplomatic efforts eventually persuaded both of them to honour their commitments, but it was a nervous time (9).

    The new war opened badly, as raiders from Brunei destroyed the trading post in in Sarawak. News from Burma remained good in the spring of 1514, as the reinforced Ayutthayan army drove the Tibetans out of Mandalay in March and Assam fell the following month. Within weeks, however, the sky had darkened. A phony war became a real one, as Orissan troops poured into Arakan (10) and the army of Arakan return home to fight them. Weakened by the withdrawal of the Arakanese contingent, Ayutthayan troops suffered a series of stinging defeats at the hands of the Tibetans and their Peguese allies. Rejecting an honourable peace, Tibet again laid siege to Mandalay (11).

    The news of Ayutthayan defeats seemed to embolden the Muslim nations of the south. First Atjeh and then Makassar joined Brunei in their war on the Ayutthayan alliance. In Sumatra, the Atjans swept quickly through the island, destroying the trade post in Jambi and seizing Palembang.

    On the western front, the Ayutthayan army struggled to restore its position. By September, it was strong enough to re-enter Tibetan territory, defeating the Tibet-Pegu (12) alliance in Kachin and laying siege. Nothing, however, could prevent Tibet from restoring the long-fugitive King of Myanmar to Mandalay the next month (13).

    Reinforced by a strong Cambodian contingent, the Ayutthayans maintained their siege of Kachin into the winter. In December, needing a buffer against the Orissan armies who now controlled the whole coast of Arakan, Rama T'Bodi permitted the ruler of Pegu to return to his capital, subject to his surrendering Shan province and his treasury, and accepting vassalage to the Elephant Throne.

    'The War is Everywhere!'

    This partial victory did not calm the nation. The fall of Mandalay - the first time an Ayutthayan-held city had ever surrendered - caused widespread dismay in the country. Many openly awaited the moment when the Moslem of former Malacca would rise to join their brothers from Atjeh and Brunei, who now dominated the Vietnamese coast and were raiding deep into Cambodia. A new cult appeared in the provinces, preaching the coming of the Seventh Buddha and the End of the World (14). From the Elephant Throne, Rama T'Bodi ranted and raged, promising eternal vengeance on all his enemies, from the Maharaja of Orissa to his own 'traitorous' generals.

    News from the fighting contined to be mixed. Tibetan efforts to break the siege of Kachin were defeated in February 1515, but forces from Brunei took and burned the Kalimantan trading post in April. Cambodian forces finally took Kachin (15) in June, but shortly afterwards an Ayutthayan attempt to invest Mandalay was driven off by the forces of Tibet and Myanmar. A second attempt in August fared no better, and insult was added to injury when the retreating Ayutthayan forces were ambushed and mauled by local irregulars in Assam (16). Not until November could a revitalised army finally drive out the Tibetans. Once again the capital of Myanmar came under siege.

    By the winter of 1515, it seemed at last that victory in the west was near. The Arakanese successfully held their capital against a last-gasp Tibetan offensive (17), and the last army of Myanmar was scattered in February 1516. Seeking to avoid any further unpleasant surprises, Rama T'Bodi moved to maintain good relations with the remaining neutrals, Champa and, most importantly, China (18).

    The war in the south, however, remained threatening. Tanh Noah fell to Brunei in April, and the 'Emperor' of Dai Viet submitted to the Sultan. In July came news of the first Atjan landing on the Ayutthayan mainland. Ayutthayan reserves defeated the Atjans in September, but the same month brought news of a nationalist uprising in Laos, which defeated the forces sent to suppress it.

    'All to the South!'

    The original war ended in Sptember 1516, when Mandalay fell for the last time. The King of Myanmar was slain on the spot and his kingdom annexed to Ayutthaya. A second front unexpectedly closed shortly after. The Maharaja of Orissa, having achieved whatever it was he wanted, offering peace early in 1517, an offer Rama T'Bodi was happy to accept (19). Seeing the way to victory before him, the King was also happy to buy off the Champans when they attempted to exploit the situation in the same month (20).

    With Mandalay and Arakan now secure, Ayutthayan forces wee now free to turn against the invading Moslems. In a series of battles in the spring of 1517, they drove the forces of Brunei out of Cambodia and Dai Viet. Rama T'Bodi ordered the fleet readied to carry the war to the enemy, but his plans were nullified when Cambodia and Brunei unexpectedly made peace in May (21). The King's ambitions in the 'near seas' has to be contented with raising Bandung to provincial status and ordering it fortified (22).

    Realising that nothing more was likely to be achieved, Rama T'Bodi sent a peace offer to the High Lama of Tibet, offering to restore Kachin and retain only Assam. The High Lama found this acceptable, and so peace was declared after almost five years of bitter warfare. At the Victory Celebrations Rama T'Bodi sought to restore his international standing (23), proclaiming the marriage of two of his daughters - to his loyal Cambodian ally and to the self-proclaimed Defender of Islam, the Sultan of Delhi.

    Enter the Dragon

    One of the guests at the Vistory Celebration had an even more important announcement. He was the Chinese Ambassador (24), and his announcement was a declaration of war...

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Notes
    (1) I made sure not to call my allies - Orissa has a land border with Arakan.
    (2) I wish the 'Diplomatic Insult' event had an 'are they already at war?' check.
    (3) They were bouncing helplessly between my army in Irrawaddy and my army in Mandalay
    (4) Arakan made a separate peace with Myanmar for 26 ducats.
    (5) I was not impressed to see 12,000 Cambodians coming to starve my army in Irawaddy. Fortunately, the province fell as soon as they arrived.
    (6) Woolongong dicovered in 1513, Murrumbidgee in 1514. Monopoly company in December 1513.
    (7) I wasn't going to pass up a defensive war against Brunei, even if it did cost me some trade posts.
    (8) Fort in Sunda
    (9) Typical AI wittering - they dishonoured the alliance when war was declared, then jumped back in as soon as I asked them (see Pegu). Apparently the AI decides whether to honour or dishonour before checking whether a better alliance is available.
    (10) Did you remember Note (1)? Neither did I...
    (11) I offered a separate White Peace so as to free up troops to face Brunei and Orissa. No joy.
    (12) If I'd realised there were still live Peguese troops out there, I'd have forced a peace much earlier.
    (13) Should have annexed him while I had the chance. For some reason, I thought you couldn't make a separate peace with the alliance leader.
    (14) There is never a good time for a Wave of Obscurantism. This, however, was definitely a Bad Time.
    (15) Cambodia managed to steal the siege, I'm not quite sure how. Of course, they were supplying 80% of the soldiers...
    (16) Assam was rebelling impartially against whoever controlled it. There was another revolt in 1514, which the Tibetans put down for me.
    (17) Since their other two provinces were both controlled by Orissa, it was rather important that they did defeat the Tibetans.
    (18) Diplomatic move with Champa in December 1515, Royal Marriage with China the same month.
    (19) Orissa controlled 2/3 of Arakan with a large army, when they suddenly offered White Peace out of the blue. I accepted and they duly went home. Mysterious indeed are the ways of the AI.
    (20) Resolved a Boundary Dispute with Champa (which was slightly odd, since we have no border).
    (21) My allies finally let me down. Still, maybe in the long run it was for the best.
    (22) Bandung was now a city.
    (23) Reputation was now 'very bad'.
    (24) They broke a Military Access agreement and a Royal Marriage to do it. I hope their stability costs were huge.

    Good to see you Machiavellian. Did I remember to say how good your Hungary AAR is?
    jwolf - Since you ask, China's Land tech was about 7 or 8. Mine was 2.
    Your Portuguese were obviously faster than mine - I hadn't seen a hair of them at this point (and I was doing my level best to colonise all the unclaimed land before they arrived).
    Director - Good to hear you're enjoying it. I'm suprised no-one else has thought of that one - it semed fairly obvious, especially the way the relation shifts worked.
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  15. #55
    Not so idle

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    In EU2 we can lead three types of "war pieces": infantry, horse cavalry and artillery. It would be way too nice if we could have a fourth type: elephant cavalry...

    Like Director said: Go Elephant Go!
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  16. #56
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    China declared war.. That could be either really good for the Elephant throne or really bad, depending on how organized the Chinese hordes are and/or how commited to war the Emperor is.
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  17. #57
    First Lieutenant Hotdog Fish's Avatar

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    Wow, China delcared war on you even though you had a Royal Marriage and gave the Military Access, I think they're going to spend more time running around putting down rebellions (especially up north seeing as how they conquered all those Manchu provinces) so hopefully you'll be able to nip off a few southern provinces and sue for peace fast! Your BB must be freakin' huge though!
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  18. #58
    Field Marshal jwolf's Avatar
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    Let's see, you had a really tough war with your local enemies, and now China wants to pay a visit. Hmmm. Could be trouble. Eagerly looking forward to a good report! And the Chinese should be up to land tech 9 very quickly. Fun!!

    I think your colonial strategy is the right way to go. In my Dai Viet game, unfortunately their map knowledge shows MUCH less of Indonesia. I could see Borneo, for example, but not the straits between our lands. And I could see Sumatra, but not Java IIRC. In fact, it wasn't until I annexed Ayuttahaya in the early 1500s that I got to see most of Indonesia! Anyway, if you can grab most of the choice spots you may be able to keep Portugal, and later the Dutch, out of there. Good luck!

  19. #59
    Lt. General merrick's Avatar
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    Chapter 6c - Rama T'Bodi III (fl1517 - fl1523)

    The First Chinese War

    The unexpected Chinese declaration of hostilities was not followed by the all-too-expected deluge of Imperial troops. Indeed, the opening phase of the war was quite promising for Ayutthaya. Arakan, Cambodia and little Dai Viet honoured their alliance, and Ayutthayan troops were able to advance into Chinese territory against limited opposition. General Tifni's cavalry, striking to the north, surprised and routed several thousand Chinese recruits in Yunnan and settled down to a siege of that province. Meanwhile, a second army crossed Cambodia to lay siege to the isolated garrison of Da Lat. By December, Rama T'Bodi was feeling sufficiently confident to send a missive to the Emperor offering to overlook his rash declaration (1). The Dragon Throne was not amused.

    Just how unamused became clear at the start of 1518. The first development was an unexpected one. In a frightening display of the Dragon's reach, thousands of Chinese marines landed in Java and laid siege to the fort at Sunda (2). Even more terrifying was the news from the north, where scouts reported massive Chinese armies, tens of thousands strong, marching south through Guizhou and Hanoi (3). Menaced by a force more than twice his own strength, General Tifni hastily withdrew from Yunnan west into the plains of Sichuan Pendi. The legion that pursued him outnumbered the combined armies of Ayutthaya, and yet it was but the smallest of the hordes that the Dragon Throne sent forth (4).

    The Second Fall of Dai Viet

    The greatest of these hordes struck at Dai Viet. The self-named Emperor of that petty state had often been mocked for his pretensions, but there can be no doubt of his courage. Depite the odds against him, he valiantly swore to preserve his nation, or fall in its defence.

    To no avail. The Emperor, his army, his capital and indeed his nation lasted less than a month after more than 50,000 Chinese soldiers poured across the border (5). Panic seized the Court of Ayutthaya. With the Chinese apparently advancing at will from both north and south, several cowardly nobles abandoned their lands and duties and fled west, to the apparent sanctuary of the Sultan of Arakan (6). The defections spurred Rama T'Bodi to paroxysms of rage, but sadly his public declaration that 'every man of our nation shall consider his defensive postion to be his burial ground' failed to revive morale.

    A Single Field, A Single Day

    March 1518 brought still worse news. A messenger from the northern front reported that the Chinese had caught up with General Tifni and broght him to battle in the south of Sichuan Pendi (7). "I will do all I can," the General wrote, "but they are two against one." On receiving the news, Rama T'Bodi summoned his sword and his steed, and declared his intention of personally leading the nation's last reserves against the forces of the Dragon. When his attendants pointed out his age and infirmity, he cursed them for cowards and promised to show them how a King could die.

    As the Last Army of Ayutthaya marched out of the gates of the capital, it was met by another messenger, an exhausted man on a foundering horse. Falling to the ground before the King, he managed to gasp out a single word.

    Victory

    On the foreign fields of Sichuan Pendi, in the shadow of the Laotian mountains, General Tifni's cavalry had turned at bay. They could not stand, they could not flee, so the General had sounded the charge and led his men headlong into the massed ranks that faced them. For hours, he had rallied his tiring soldiers again and again and led them against regiment after regiment of fresh opponents, and for hours his men had followed him. They had fought, and fought, and fought, until men and horses alike were swaying with exhaustion and dyed with blood and not a single Chinese soldier stood to resist them. What was left of the Imperial army was fleeing madly down the Yunnan road (8).

    When news of the battle reached the Chinese capital - thousands of Chinese soldiers dead on Chinese soil, the Imperial banner left abandoned on the battlefield - it quite broke the Emperor's enthusiasm for the war. A fresh diplomat was sent to Ayutthaya, asking only a token indemnity (9). The offer was received in Ayutthaya as a gift from Heaven, and it was said that several palace officials were severely trampled in the rush to open the strongrooms. Rama T'Bodi, sword still in hand, ordered statues of General Tifni to be raised in every town in the kingdom. He even humbly assured the Emperor's emissary that he had no intention of 'disturbing the harmony of the world' in future (10).

    Colonial Expansion

    Through all this time of strife, Ayutthaya's overseas possessions had continued to grow and prosper - indeed the far colonies were among the places least affected by the war. The desire to escape devastated lands provided a ready flow of emigrants. By early 1519, two Australian settlements (Nandewar & Woolongong) had been raised to provincial status, the trade posts in Kalimantan and Sarawak had been rebuilt and a fresh colony founded in Jambi. Meknes continued to explore the coasts of the great southern land, mapping Yarra and Towoomba before his death in mid-1519.

    By 1523, there was a colony in Yarra, trade posts as far away as Luzon, and both Timor and the old colony of Flores had been recognised as provinces (11). The trade of the eastern island had become so important that the trade guilds offered to fund anti-piracy patrols in the major shipping lanes (12).

    Troubled Times

    Things did not flow so smoothly at home. The newly-conquered Burmese of Shan province rose in revolt in the autumn of 1518, and were joined by the turbulent natives of Assam a few months later. The second revolt, in particular, proved extrememly troublesome, defeating royal forces several times before finally being suppressed in May. The war had caused much disruption of the economy, and there was widespread criticism of Rama T'Bodi's lavish victory celebrations and his memorials to General Tifni (13).

    In response, Rama T'Bodi applied himself afresh to the domestic administration, appointing fresh officials (14) and sweeping away many outdated laws that restricted the prosperity of the people(15). Eventually peace produced the longed-for prosperity, and in 1521 the King's efforts were rewarded by an exceptional harvest (16).

    This proved only a brief respite. Late in 1522, the King's new focus on domestic affairs led him to be unnecessarily brusque with a trade delegation from Macassar (17), and shortly thereafter an overlooked son of the late king of Myanmar staged an uprising in Mandalay, drove out the garrison and regained control of his father's capital.

    These minor difficulties, however, were put in proper perspective in May of 1523, when China declared war again. Apparently the Emperor, having recently re-equipped his soldiers with fearsome new weapons known as 'guns', was anxious to test them.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Notes
    (1) As has been established before, I am a Wimp, at least where China is concerned. I thought getting a positive warscore and sieging two provinces might make the Chinese take white peace. Nope.
    (2) I was glad they landed there rather than (say) Bandung, where the fort wasn't finished yet. My second-greatest fear was the Chinese Marines rampaging through my undefended colonies.
    (3) My greatest fear was the old-fashioned stomp. I sort of ran out of optimism when I counted the first 100,000 Chinese troops.
    (4) 'Only' 28,000 (my total force was around 25,000, in three armies). The other big Chinese armies weighed in at 33,000 and 53,000.
    (5) I will be forever grateful to the Emperor of Dai Viet, that he distracted the big Chinese army away from me. But seeing a fort going down that fast was hardly reassuring.
    (6) While I could understand the motivation, this was not a good time for the Nobles to Ally with a Foreign Power.
    (7) Getting into plains provinces is easy. Getting out of them is slow.
    (8) I had 12,000 cavalry. The Chinese had less than 4,000 - plus at least 22,000 infantry. Thankfully, they chose to attack me in the only plains province in the region, but still, watching that little needle sway back and forth was just a little bit stressful.
    (9) China asked 25 ducats for peace. I paid.
    (10) I got an official Warning from China two months after the end of the war.
    (11) In case anyone's wondering why new colonies are growing faster than old ones, I was concentrating my settlers on colonies with native populations, and leaving the 'pacified areas' to grow by themselves.
    (12) Enthusiasm for the navy, 5 free galleys. I dispersed them to the sea-zones outside my major ports to stop pirates spawning there.
    (13) Poor Government Policies, December 1519.
    (14) Tax collectors, in every province that didn't have nationalism.
    (15) +1 Free Subjects (now Serfdom 5) in 1521, also Internal Trade Ordinance in Assam, 1522.
    (16) Exceptional year, 1521.
    (17) Scandal at Court.

    Anibal - Elephant Cavalry would be nice. Especially if it gets +5 Shock and ignores jungle penalties.
    Machiavellian - I think we can say that the Chinese Hordes were organised. (They must have raised all those troops for the Manchu war and not managed to lose them in the snow).
    Hotdog Fish - Good to have you along! I never found out what the Chinese were doing up North, but they seemed to have plenty of men down South. My reputation was only 'very bad' (what's that - 25BB or so?), but unfortunately it was also 'baddest boy on China's block'.
    jwolf - The Chinese have indeed reached Land Tech 9. Fun, indeed
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  20. #60
    Field Marshal Judge's Avatar
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    Glad to read that you managed to hold the Chinese at bay. They can be rather troublesome. Due to their massive armies it is a hell to fight them (at least later on in the game when they have fortified all provinces) and then you also have the logistic problem if you want to hit them on Chinese land. In addition your manpower is not exactly impressive.

    If you continue to develop your colonies you may be able to whack them later on especially when Manchu takes over and their technology will be the standard in China. I tried to assault them in that stage but failed because I had gone fully naval and my land forces were not able to get more than a draw with the Chinese despite a pretty good advantage in land technology. After that we had a dead lock situation in Asia for the rest of the game

    Edit: Took a look in your first post and saw that you are playing with 1,05 and that will of course help a bit since you should be able to get more trade income than if you use 1,07. Lower stab costs too. Glad to see that you don’t cheat and use Ebbesen´s manpower mod. The game is more of a challenge if you don’t use it.
    Last edited by Judge; 24-09-2003 at 09:13.

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