Episode 2: Jianwen Ming kicks off the game
Our first emperor is Jianwen, with the stats ADM 6, DIP 4 and MIL 6. With a well entrenched Bureaucrat faction, his stats don't matter for the faction balance. His heir Yongle is a bit weaker, with ADM 4, DIP 4 and MIL 5.
In this AAR, I will document a couple of important statistics so that you, dear readers, can see how the nation grows economically and in military. At the start of Jianwen's reign, the nation's condition is as follows:
The three numbers for army indicate the amount of infantry/cavalry/artillery regiments, for the navy the numbers represent the amount of Big Ships/Small Ships/Galleys/Transports. I will also show the yearly income divided by provinces, as that is a rough indicator of the quality of the economy, as research and stability costs are greatly dependend on empire size.
Yearly income 838 ducats
Yearly income/province 15.5 ducats
Maximum manpower 85K
Army 39 regiments (28/11/0)
Navy 49 ships (36/0/0/13)
The first thing I do is a move towards Free Subjects. Luckily, the slider event wasn't a loss of stability, a nice start. The reason for making thise move is that I want to weaken the Bureaucrats. With a weaker Bureaucrat Faction it becomes more likely for the Temple Faction to lead, enabling me the option to declare war.
Research will first focus on Government tech in order to get the first National Idea slot. I fill up my advisor slots with a couple of 5-6 star advisors, as Ming gets a lot of good advisors at the start.
At last, the game starts.
To the north are two horde nations, the Oirat Horde and the Mongol Khanate. Hordes are also a new feature in Divine Wind. Horde nations are always at war unless they receive tribute or due to a truce. I immeadetly pay the Oirat Horde (grey) a tribute of 1.2 ducats/month, so that we can concentrate on the Mongol Khanate (green). Their armies are much smaller than mine so they are easily defeated even without me having Military Drill.
I quickly send colonists while the Eunuchs are still in power. Only Ordos and Dornod were succesfully colonised before the Bureaucrats forbid me to send more colonists. One colonist failed, so at most I could have gained 3 provinces. I also manage to get 5 merchants into Nanjing before the change in leading faction.
This is one of the new events for Ming, Examinations, a faction influence event. In this event, which only fires when the Bureaucrats are in power, you can get some magistrates, Legitimacy, Prestige and some other things or you can get a nice boost in research, with both options giving the Bureaucrats more influence. At the moment I think tech investment is the better option, as it represents more than a year in investment.
In May 1407 I get the first strengthen/weaken event. The first option gives the Bureaucrats +5 influence but costs me all my treasury, so I choose the second option. This weakens the Bureaucrat faction with -5 influence but with 56 Influence they don't have to worry about losing the lead.
When the factions are balanced in domestic slider influences, I hope that by using events like this I can select which faction will lead. However, that dream will have to wait for many decades!
In 1405 I reach Government tech level 4 and thus can select my first National Idea. As you can see, I have chosen Patron of the Arts. There are three reasons why. First, I think that the best first National Ideas are Military drill, National Trade Policy and Patron of the Arts. I can't trade (well) for a long time, so no NTP, and Ming starts with a strong enough military that Military Drill is not necessary. Second, it's important for Ming to be able to hire high level Grand Marshalls at a whim. Third, Patron of the Arts enables the Architectural Development event.
This event gives you the option to slide 2 steps towards Innovative. In episode 1 I stated that we needed 18 slider moves to obtain faction balance and Westernization. That is without taking the Innovative slider changes into account. I count on the Architectural Development event to fire at least twice before all the other slider moves have completed. Architectural Development only fires with Patron of the Arts and a ADM 6 monarch, with a mean time to fire of 30 years. I could be stuck with ADM 5 or worse monarchs, but I still think that counting on this event to fire twice in say 180 years is a save bet.
Another Examinations event in 1409 (at April 1st!). Now I choose the first option, as Government tech is less important for the time being.
The Chagatai Horde becomes a neighbour in 1410, having won a war against the Oirat Horde. I pay them 1.8 ducats/month in tribute to keep them off. Why do I pay them instead of fighting? Because it costs more in army maintenance to fight them than to pay tribute and since I can't send colonists, there is little for me to gain in war with the hordes.
In September 1412 Dornod and Ordos have defected to me from the Mongol Khanate and we reached Production tech level 4, enabling me to build constables. After using magistrates to buy a lot of paintings, they will now be put to work in tax collection. Good timing too, as my cultural tradition is at 100% To top it off, the second slider change is available, which will be a move towards Free Subjects. A busy month!
In 1413 yet another Examinations fires, giving me some magistrates to play with. Say what you will, the Bureaucrats are active.
Some foreign news: the Taira Daiymo is annexed in November 1420. It looks like I have to face a unified Japan quite early.
In 1425 I get my second slider move and once again I make a move towards Free Subjects. This time I lose stability, but with a level 6 artist and the Mandate of Heaven that's no problem.
In 1426 the first Chinese University is build! Patron of the Arts is already paying off! Also, as you can see, the Oirat Horde has driven the Chagatai Horde away from my lands, so that I only have to pay tribute to them. I would have send a gift to the Oirat Horde if they didn't only care about iron and gold.
Friday the 13th is really an unlucky day, as at april 13th 1429 the heir Yongle dies at the ripe age of 69. Apparantly his brother Xuande dies from a heart attack upon hearing this news, as he dies the same day. Young Hongxi is now the next in line, but will likely ascent without the Mandate of Heaven as his claim on the throne is weak.
In 1429 we have Examinations again. More constables are build with the magistrates gained.
A very welcome Architectural development event happens to us. Exactly after its average time of firng, 30 years, nonetheless! We only need one more Architectural development event to be ready for Westernization regarding Innovation (we still need 5 moves towards Centralisation to be completely ready). The only downside to this wonderful event is that the Temple Faction is weakened by it, so we have to wait for the Temple Faction to gain leadership.
In 1436 the Temple Faction speaks up for the first time. I can get +5 influence with the Temple Faction, but as you can see the balance between the factions is still heavily in favour of the Bureaucrats. A +5 bonus to the Temple faction wouldn't change leadership, so I let the ambassador go in peace.
The event the Class of 1437 of Bozhou University happens. These the class of xxxx events are a very nice side benefit from universities, which either give a magistrate or +10% cultural tradition. I choose the +1 magistrate.
In 1438 I get to move a domestic slider once again. I again move towards Free Subjects and once again I lose 1 stability. Still, Ming is in good shape to take this stability hits.
Another Faction event happens in 1443:
The Literati Publishes event either helps us with getting cultural tradition and Bureaucrat influence or losing both cultural tradition and Bureaucrat influence. I just take the cultural tradition as there is no way to remove the Bureaucrats from power yet.
Seems that I wasn't overly optimistic to expect at least 2 Architectural Developments during the first 160 years. On the other hand, I didn't expend Jianmen to reign for more than 50 years!
The next decade sees little action. In 1446 another literati publishes. In 1451 it's time to move a domestic slider, to Free Subjects of course, and again I lose 1 stability. Seems that I am particulary unlucky with my Free Subjects events in this campaign, but then again, I don't need the -2% inflation event. Better bad luck here than were it matters!
After a reign of 56 years, Jianwen joins his ancestors in 1455, leaving the empire in the reasonably competent hands of his son Hongxi, who lacks the support of Heaven. Hongguang must be a nephew or something of Hongxi, not his son, as Hongxi is only 7 years older than Hongguang.
At the end of each monarch's reign, I will give a short overview of the change in the major national statistics. At the end of Jianwen's reign, the nation's condition is as follows:
The big income increase is mainly caused by having some trade income (none at the start) and by building 42 constables, 22 markets and a university.
The reign of Jianwen Ming (1399-1455)
Current value Change during reign
Provinces 56 +2 (+3.7%)
Yearly income 1345 ducats +507 ducats (+60.5%)
Yearly income/province 24.0 ducats +8.5 ducats (+55.0%)
Inflation 0% 0% absolute (0% rel.)
Maximum manpower 100K +15K (+17.6%)
Army (inf/cav/art) 39 regiments (28/11/0) 0%
Navy (B/S/g/t) 49 ships (36/0/0/13) 0%
All in all I think Jianwen will be remembered by his very progressive policy, giving more freedom to the serfs and giving the intellectuals more room to develop new ideas. Hopefully Hongxi's reign will be as lengthy and prosperous as his father's!
Next episode: Hongxi at the helm