(note, this might be a screenshot heavy one! 16 screenshots in the first 2 chapters )
This is being played on Divine Wind with the 5.1 beta patch and no user-made mods - even if I achieve it I won't get the achievement > : D
CHAPTER 1: Escaping the web (1399 – 1401) – done
CHAPTER 2: Exerting authority (1402 – 1410) – done
CHAPTER 3: The Calm before the Storm (1410 - 1429) – done
CHAPTER 4: With Peace comes War (1430 - 1454) – done
CHAPTER 5: To take down a giant... (1455 - 1462) – done
CHAPTER 6: Ryukyu's national pastime: Extermination (1462 - 1471) – done
CHAPTER 7: – (in progress)
So I’ve been interested in trying a Ryukyu World Conquest game ever since I saw the achievement for it. There’s a couple of AARs on these boards trying it at the moment, but I’ve been really disappointed with the progress of them – currently the only strategy people are going forward with is to exploit game mechanics in order to change religion and culture.
I can certainly see the reasons for doing it – Ryukyu has the rather unenviable problem of starting as Japanese with the Animist religion. As Ming China and Japan are utterly untouchable for a large portion of the game this means every single province is neither an accepted culture nor your state religion (not even a heretic - heathen all around). As an added penalty being an island nation of no importance you have no allies, no extra cores and no claims to... well anything really. If that wasn’t bad enough being Animist means that the entire ‘civilised’ world will have a colonial conquest casus belli on you, even though you’re a despotic monarchy and not a tribal.
If THAT isn’t bad enough you have enough money and manpower to support only your single starting army of 1000 men and 1 cog – which isn’t even built yet. Oh and Korea, Japan and a large amount of Indochina want you dead and have more justification than they’ll even need to take you down (and the strength to do it too!). Did I mention you’re in the Chinese tech group with an income on par with The Knights? The result of this being you’ll be taking a good 20-50 years to get your first idea, depending on strategy.
On the plus side you’re under Ming’s sphere of influence, so as long as you can expand to a second province you will NEVER lose a defensive war provided Ming declares – and for some bizarre reason Ming likes you (probably because it’s stupidly hard for Ming to expand and you’re a good reason for the Chinese to get territory from Japan, Manchu and/or Indochina). Though as soon as you break out of Ming’s sphere of influence Ming can and will declare war on you. Also the Animist religion means that with the right setup you can have religious CBs on almost the entire world, and a better-than-average chance of converting the regions once you capture them. You only need.. ohhh.. 900 or so missionaries to do it.
However to me I read this challenge as: Conquer the world as an animist OPM in the worst possible situation short of being a tribal. I don’t see it as ‘Conquer the world as a Hindu country in Indochina’. Taking 2-3 years to play the system and change capital, culture and religion is pretty much the same thing as not playing as Ryukyu – and I don't think it's in the spirit of the challenge. Is it possible to win the game as a Japanese animist Ryukyu? Lets find out.
To this end I have laid out the following goals:
- Okinawa is, and will always be the state capital of Ryukyu.
- The state religion will always be Animist.
- The world must be conquered during the regular time frame of the game from a 1399 start.
- All options (difficulty etc) shall be set to normal/default. Lucky nations are on and historical, which may bite me in the ass later (looking at you Mr Giant French Blob!)
- Whilst I would like to say ‘no reloads’ I think this is utterly impossible as animist Ryukyu. Your first few province captures will ALWAYS be non-core, non-culture, non-religion provinces and you cannot afford an army nor will anyone ally you. If you get a rebellion it is game over. Likewise if anyone declares war on you before you expand it is guaranteed game over – Ming will not protect you before they capture Okinawa.
Once I've gotten to a 2+ province country I'll no longer reload and roll with the punches. If I screw up I’ll take it as far as possible until I reach a point where I think it’s statistically impossible to conquer the world, or as much as humanly possible.
On a side note Ryukyu’s first mission seems to always be building a fleet, but you can’t afford the 2 cogs (or 2 infantry to make it worth it) so I’ll probably end up cancelling it before I get a second boat out. So as soon as you hit play the game starts rubbing in the salt.
Just before I start off let’s take a quick at Ryukyu’s starting sliders:
- Centralisation is lower than expected so that’s a nice start towards Westernisation.
- Aristocracy is pretty low as well, which isn’t really ideal. Money will be coming from Trade mostly (after the shaky start) and I just prefer all of the Plutocracy effects really.
- Serfdom could be worse, could be better. Free Subjects is, of course, the side you want to be on for a backwards tech country.
- Somewhat narrowminded but not too many slider changes to innovative, again nice for Westernising.
- 1 step towards offensive – I ALWAYS sit on 0 for this slider as I just find the events for offensive annoying (CONSTANTLY losing forts, bad for a poor country) and the penalties for defensive not worth the slider moves. Luckily there's a lot of slider changing events that fire for a -1 stability hit so this should sort itself out.
- Leaning towards naval is probably a good thing. The plan involves mainly islands and you are an island nation, so the bonuses for naval are probably more valuable than Land. Given the choice at 0 I’d take it to Land/-5 as that just suits my aggressive playstyle better but with all the slider moves necessary I’ll probably ignore it.
- Finally very heavy on the Quantity, as an island nation with no manpower. Fantastic. So I’ve got almost no men and the men I do have are untrained savages – this HAS to change eventually, and will probably be my major goal after I have the sliders in place for westernising (with a little dip to Free Subjects 1 first). For anyone saying the extra men from quantity will help: even an unrealistic (and unachievable) bonus of 100% extra men will at BEST give me 1 extra starting army, which I can't afford to buy or pay maintenance on. In affect all this slider does is make the 1 army I can afford for the next 3+ years much worse.