GAME REPORT – 1836-7
Hello, all. This is a China AAR in VIP .2b. Hard, with Aggressive AI, and a ten-month autosave. China is, like everyone, not allowed to colonize until late (though it is much more restricted than most, not being allowed to touch Africa until the 1880s at best). There will be some surprise events which I’ve coded to represent the unique aspects of the alt-history of the game, but none of them are overpowering, and they interlock with the storyline of the Narrative Report of the campaign. My strategy: Industrialize cautiously, arm aggressively, and hope I can smack around some Englishmen in the 1840s.
I begin with a huge land area and a fabulous population advantage. For those of you who haven’t played the behemoth that is China, this is what it looks like:
Dmographics of Chinese Society:
The total population:
I’m not up-to-speed on techs, but I do have the fruits of a several-thousand-year history of being the most materially wealthy and advanced civilization on Earth: No Standard and Guild Based Production, as well as Publishing Industry, Mechanized Mining (added by me in the scenario file – if you think this is crazy, do some research on Chinese gold and coal mining, or charcoal burning), Basic Chemistry, Water Wheel Power and my one, lonesome military tech: the precious flint-lock musket.
My first diplomatic point is quickly spent throwing the growling Russian bear Mongolian peasants for a snack, netting me +10 relations and a little less worry.
Next, money: The way forward is obvious: the historical one. So I jack my 400-million man tariffs up to 100%, drop my taxes to 20% for all classes, and watch the cash roll in for a few days.
I love money!
That's the kind of budget I like to see on Jan. 10!
However, beneath the tons of cash I can extort from POPs buying their basic needs, the economy underlying this is not particularly strong. No sir-ee. This is my production screen on that same money-grubbing Jan 10:
So one of my priorities it to wait for the inventions to fire (factories are mostly activated via inventions in VIP), and get some cement, steel, and lumber factories up and running to use some of these raw resources. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait too long. In early February, the event allowing steel and cement factories fires, and one of each begins building in the south. Historically, the south was the area where industrial development took place without specific Imperial encouragement, and these factories represent the slow growth of industrial infrastructure among the prosperous cities of Kiangsu and Kwangtung (the two richest provinces, historically).
INDUSTRY!!! The way of the future?
Now, with some infrastructure in place, 3 Machine parts still in the bank, and a ton of money in the treasury, the Emperor decides it’s time to look outwards for expansion. But first: building an army that doesn’t suck…
<there will be a picture of the 8 divisions of the banner army, with about 10 org each, here>
An army that sucks…
The Tsar, newly pacified by tasty Mongols, is now offered Fish-Flavored Uighur-snacks for some military advice, which is sadly illegible because it is in Russian.
On the plus side, however, we get Post-Napoleonic Thought and Military Staff System for our Sakhlain and Turkestan claims, and within the month, Jominian Attitude fires.
SCORE! This is especially useful for China, because it can only build native-quality troops with very unreliable morale until it becomes civilized, and If I intend to kick on England (perhaps in India), I’ll need the staying power Jominian gives me. It might be a disadvantage later, but right now, who cares.
As my POPs run out of money, the income plummets at the same time as small arms begin to come onto the market, joining other expensive items like Wine, Liquor, Luxury Clothes, and Canned Food on my import list. Can you guess what I’m about to do?
Guns are expensive!
Stupid peasants, running out of money for me to tax…
However, the sheer amount of money I’d built up (35,000+) meant the training of the new Chinese army could begin apace. I trained hussar-cavalry in the plains-provinces of the Hunan and Anhui, to be historical, and Guards infantry in Shandong and Guangdong, for the same reasons. For more detail on this, read the fiction posts!
By the end of 1837, an army that didn’t suck had begun to emerge…
The New Army! Now with Horses!
What will I do with the Army That Doesn’t Suck as 1838 dawns on a much less rich (but much more dangerous) Chinese Empire? Tune in next time, and be sure to read the historical and fictional background in the other thread!
SPECIAL WORLD DIPLOMATIC BULLETIN UPDATE:
Elsewhere in the world, someone is quietly weeping, and it ain’t France (screen Nov 1836):Aldjazair is getting owned by France...