The Yamato Destiny: A Japan HTTT AAR
State of the Nation: 1399 to 1499
State of the Nation: 1499 to 1599
State of the Nation: 1599 to 1699
State of the Nation: 1699 to 1799
State of the Nation: 1399 to 1821
Cautious Opportunism: 1399 to 1478
The waiting game: 1399 to 1421
To the mainland: 1421 to 1441
The opening of Manchukuo: 1441 to 1478
The Chinese civil war: 1478 to 1668
New World Order: 1478 to 1497
The Great Realignment: Part I, 1499 to 1519
The Great Realignment: Part II, 1519 to 1522
The Great Realignment: Part III, 1522 to 1524
The Long Peace: 1524 to 1580
The Three Chinas: 1580 to 1582
Against all Comers: 1582 to 1591
The Nanchang Incident: 1591 to 1605
The Bozhou Strip: 1605 to 1619
The Golden Age: 1619 to 1631
The Mandate of Heaven: 1631 to 1668
Further afield: 1668 to 1777
To the South Seas: 1668 to 1701
Rangaku Kotohajime: 1701 to 1744
Winds of Change: 1744 to 1748
A bigger pond: 1748 to 1770
Self-strengthening: 1770 to 1777
Taming the Lion: 1777 to 1785
Tides of War: 1777 to 1782
Annus Mirablis: 1782 to 1783
Springtime of Nations: 1783 to 1785
The Great Austrian War: 1785 to 1800
Into the Maelstrom: 1785 to 1788
Opening moves: 1788 to 1790
Triumph and Disaster: 1790 to 1795
Novus Ordo Seclorum: 1795 to 1800
The Japanese century: 1800 to 1821
Brave New World: 1800 to 1808
Journey's End: 1808 to 1821
Interlude - The Battle of Hinggan
Interlude - The Court on the Yangtze
This is the first AAR I've written for anything and initially I didn't intend to write one for this playthrough. I'd been toying with the idea of doing a Japan AAR and this was the second test game I played to see if I could actually handle it. It turned out so nicely I thought I'd try and stitch an AAR together from whatever saves I made as I went along.
This is the lazy way of doing things and has a few drawbacks. Firstly, I don't think I've got any saves of mid-war situations: I tend to save before I declare war, but not after and not when someone declares war on me, so don't expect any exciting pictures of battles or sieges (UPDATE: In the interests of narrative I've decided to re-fight some of the wars).
Secondly, the nature of an after-the-fact AAR detracts somewhat from the tension. I'll try to keep a degree of suspense, but will probably not manage a PrawnStar-style white knuckle ride.
More seriously, it means that I can't benefit from anyone's feedback. I'm still learning the game (this is my first proper run through with a non-Western country) and I certainly don't play optimally. That said, please feel free to point out what I could have done better and I'll take it into account for next time.
This has been a lot longer than I intended it to be! I hope some people are still reading.
I'm trying to play as 'realistically' as possible in a foreign policy sense. As an expansionist young power in North East Asia we'll be looking to expand onto the mainland nearest to the home islands. I realise that it might be easier to beat up on Brunei or one of the smaller South East Asian states, but if Japan wants land it has to get it from Korea, Manchu or Ming.
I'll also want to westernise at some point, partly because I haven't done it before and partly because as a Civ player it horrifies me to think of being so far behind in technology.
This won't be a world conquest. I'll stick to a 'natural' expansion onto the mainland and anyway didn't want to overextend myself and fall further behind on tech.
I'll be playing on normal difficulty, lucky nations on historic and using the HTTT 4.1b patch.
Part I: Japan in 1399
So here we are at the start of the game. Emperor Gokomatsu Yamato sits on the Chrysanthemum Throne and the Ashikaga shogun has inexplicably chosen to retire just seven years after defeating the break-away Southern Court.
This screenshot has a few key points. Firstly we're Shinto: this comes with a rather nice +0.50 morale bonus, but a truly awful -20% national tax modifier. However, since Shinto is bound up in foundation myth of both Japan and the Yamato house we won't be switching out of it.
The second key point is the diplomatic summary. Manchu and Korea as natural rivals, Ming as the big threat. Can't argue with any of that at the moment.
We also have CBs on the Oirat Horde (who we can't get to) and Ryukyu. I'm going to ignore both of these for now as I don't see the need for another base tax 2 province.
Also, the 'realistic' rule means no day zero DOWs on Korea or Manchu. It's not like Ming would have historically stood by and let me carve out a little empire for myself on its doorstep.
And here are the sinews of war themselves. As usual my first move is to get stability to +3. No early war means no need to mint for an army. We'll get to +2 in May 1400, which is pretty good going.
The godawful Chinese technology group is another matter. Japan techs at 40% the rate of the Western tech group. At full investment it will take until June 1429(!) to hit Gov 4 and our first NI.
At our current stability we're making 38.57 ducats annually which isn't too bad considering there's nothing to spend it on.
Emperor Gokomatsu is nothing to write home about and has no legal heir. I'm going to do my damnest to keep the Yamato line going and won't be switching out of monarchy unless completely necessary.
And that's where the Ashikaga shogun went! He's become a diplomat (and possibly a Catholic cardinal). Poor man's obviously mad - he doesn't even remember where he was born. No early war means nothing for Yoshimitsu to do, so he'll be retired at the first opportunity, which will give us even more lovely money.
Japan starts the game with a large navy and a small army. We're at just over a fifth of our land force limit, but near the naval one. This would be good if the local bully (Ming) didn't start with an even bigger navy. They have all galleys, I have 18 and 9 carracks. I don't know if this gives me an advantage, but I don't want to risk it all and then find out that it doesn't.
For now I'm going to sit on these numbers and let the cash pile up.
I nearly cried when I saw these for the first time. Full serfdom, +2 narrowminded, fully mercantilistic. Quality over quantity is nice, since we'll be relying on superior morale to win our wars. I do not want to get involved in a war of attrition with Ming!
Our first slider move is towards centralisation, which provokes a 'large' 4 regiment revolt that our current forces handily put down.
Over time I'll look to get the sliders in a position to westernise. I'll get centralisation to 0 and then work towards innovative and free subjects.
And this is how the near abroad looks. Korea and Manchu are my natural rivals, although I don't have a casus belli on either of them and I couldn't get border friction even if my monarch was a good diplomat. For now it's the waiting game...