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Thread: Yet this will go onward the same: the Yamato Destiny

  1. #21
    Private Gorluck's Avatar
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    Really nice idea! I'm following you

  2. #22
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    I like the "bankroll the other guy's war effort" method of diplomacy, very sneaky!
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  3. #23
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    I'm excited to see that the conversion is done, and the game is finally underway. All that empty uncolonised space will make life interesting—do you plan to colonise aggressively in the Great Eastlands, or leave it to other nations?
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  4. #24
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorluck View Post
    Really nice idea! I'm following you
    Great to have another reader.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    I like the "bankroll the other guy's war effort" method of diplomacy, very sneaky!
    There's more to come:



    I'm not sure that it's having too much effect, but it's also a cheap way to increase relations, costing only 1DP for a 20-point boost as opposed to 2DP for a 15-point boost. Strategically the aim is to strengthen potential allies while weakening foes. In the screenshot above I'm funding Scotland as they're a good counterweight to the UK.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Taylor View Post
    I'm excited to see that the conversion is done, and the game is finally underway. All that empty uncolonised space will make life interesting—do you plan to colonise aggressively in the Great Eastlands, or leave it to other nations?
    Aggressive colonisation for now. As I see it, the Court Party are physiocratic in outlook, so will try to grab as much land as possible. Population growth is another consideration. We're seeing numbers of around 100k a month and I haven't even researched medicine yet. Colonies provide somewhere for that excess population to flow.

    Good to have you following this, especially as you're the reason I restarted work on it.

    No update just yet. 1837 is played through and I've edited the photos together. Just need to write the whole thing up, which should probably be done by the weekend. What I had thought of as being a shorter update turned out to be rather long.
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    Yet this will go onward the same: the Yamato Destiny - Continuation of the last AAR in Victoria 2. Last updated 17th October 2012

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  5. #25
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    I think this is the first AAR where I've seen the 'keep a war going by financing it' model in use - do you have any feeling if it actually keeps the AI interested in its war (given how relatively unimportant money is in the Vicky economic model) or is it really just a trick to buy influence?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  6. #26
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    I think this is the first AAR where I've seen the 'keep a war going by financing it' model in use - do you have any feeling if it actually keeps the AI interested in its war (given how relatively unimportant money is in the Vicky economic model) or is it really just a trick to buy influence?
    I'm coming to this game of the back of a session as Two Sicilies where I found money extremely tight in the first few years (and more fun for that). For the smaller countries in the early game (i.e. before all the major technology boosts to output) the funding could mean the difference between solvency and bankruptcy.

    I only really noticed the buying influence effect when I started doing it. It's a nice bonus, but I really started off wanting to prop up countries who were fighting GPs I consider a threat. Austria in particular is a great worry. As the only German GP it's got sole use of the Unification war goal and is using it liberally against Bohemia, which is a Czech-cultured country. It basically means that Austria can carve up Bohemia infamy-free.

    From an AAR point of view a strong Austria will keep things interesting. From a Japanese government perspective it's a very unwelcome development. France is the only state in Europe that Japan has positive relations with (and very good relations at that), so a GP Austria with more of Germany isn't a good thing. Hopefully they'll get dragged into a war with France or Russia, but I may need to sphere Bohemia to keep them safe.
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  7. #27
    Ok, activating the mod now, if it decides to unfreeze sometime I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the upload and good luck with the AAR. Very nice.

    EDIT: Plays well, had a mini madurai game. Also, being able to browse that map at my leisure has really explained so much about the initial layout. I especially like the virtually 100% overseas empire of Aragon being controlled by the tiny sliver of land they have in the Iberian peninsula. As always I'll be following your AAR. Keep it up!
    Last edited by Blxz; 23-09-2011 at 07:00.

  8. #28
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    1837: Entangling alliances

    The charge of deviating from the principle of non-intervention all turned upon this. This charge came from two quarters. It came from the opposite benches, and it also came from a quarter which entitled it to great respect, namely, from many thinking men, who thought that it was unwise to interfere in the internal affairs of another people; that the treaty was a deviation from that principle, and that they, therefore, were induced to look with suspicion upon anything which exceeded the precise terms of the engagement of that treaty. Now, he distinguished the quarters from which this attack came, because he could not suppose that Gentlemen on the opposite side were converts to the principle of non-intervention, seeing that they were the party who for twenty years and upwards were interfering with the internal affairs of France—who made this country pay for subsidizing one-half of Europe also to interfere—and who were parties to an alliance which was based upon the principle of interfering with the affairs of every country in Europe.

    State opening and Emperor's speech

    In contrast to 1836 the Court party began the year in a more confident mood. The war in Morocco looked certain to end in Japanese victory and the budgetary catastrophe that confronted the treasury last summer and autumn was now little more than a bad memory.



    True, reserves had fallen from over £110,000 to just £34,000, and debts now stood at £75,000, but despite this, day-to-day budgets were in surplus and the Finance Minister confidently announced that the outstanding loans would be paid down by the late spring. Officially the debt was blamed on too-optimistic forecasts, which had predicted tax revenues of £2.4 million a year: current projections for 1837 were for only £1.4 million in income tax, but gold from Caozhou would add an additional £250,000.

    For this reason, it was decided that the budget would remain unchanged for 1837. With elections not expected until 1840 the Cabinet felt no need to cut rates for the time being. More good fortune was to come in March when gold was discovered in Kobe. Although the find was not on the same scale as the deposits in Caozhou it added to the increasingly positive atmosphere at the Finance Ministry.

    Better was yet to come in the shape of the conclusion of the Moroccan war. Diplomats had been meeting in neutral Fez throughout late 1836 and by January 1837 the Sultanate was ready to concede to Japan's terms.



    To the Cabinet the affair was an outstanding victory. To the men of the Moroccan Expedition it was a less triumphant affair - of the 15,000 who had landed in 1836 less than 8,500 remained. The Empire stood down its forces and the Kongo Expedition was ordered to return to Italy having spent two months afloat and having taken no part in any of the fighting. To the bedraggled columns making their way south to Japan's new African colony this seemed like a good deal.

    Japan's African adventures aside, 1836 had seen an international move towards disarmament as the costs of modern warfare became more widely known. From its peak of 137 brigades the Russian Empire had cut its army down to just 68, leaving France the chief military power of Europe. Japan now fielded the third largest army of the Great Powers, but in the Empire's case its geographical dispersal diminished its impact.



    At sea it was a different matter, with Japan mustering more ships than the next three powers (the UK, France and Russia) put together.

    Beyond the civilised world, Sindh and Madurai were considerable powers in southern Asia, both with larger - if less professional - armies than Japan. This suited the Empire's policy of resisting European encroachment as each would present a formidable obstacle to all but the Great Powers. Japan had been working to agree a treaty of co-operation with Sindh which would give the Empire's traders priority access to Sindhi markets while guaranteeing the Empire’s aid in the event of foreign aggression.

    Even as the treaty was being negotiated, Sindh took advantage of its new found security to declare war on Khorasan. Previously restrained by fear of Madurain aggression while its attention was diverted, the Sindhi court calculated that in the worst case Japan would protect its new interests. It was not to be the last time in 1837 that the Empire's friends would take advantage of it in this way.



    With Sindhi attention focused northward, Madurai looked to solidify its control of the mouths of the Ganges by striking against Deva Bengal, whose repudiation of its alliance with Khorasan left it suddenly vulnerable. The Foreign Ministry was not unduly perturbed by these developments: two strong states in India would be less difficult to control than a handful of squabbling minnows whose disorder could only invite the predations of the Europeans.

    In Europe itself the British had tired of their efforts to subdue Gelre and re-conquer Ireland, much to the delight of the Diet. However, almost as soon as peace was signed Britain launched a fresh war against Leinster, which had shaken off British influence at the start of 1836. Ireland too was to have little respite, as Scotland declared its intent to unite the Scots settlers of Ulster with their homeland.



    The Foreign Ministry responded to these announcements with less alarm than they had to the British wars of 1836. Leinster would receive a subsidy, but following their failure against Ireland a British success here was thought unlikely. However, instead of extending the subsidy to Ireland, Japan would instead fund Scottish efforts. A counterweight Great Power in the British Isles was seen to be very much in the Empire's interests.


    An Emperor at bay

    When ambassador Teramachi was summoned to the Palazzo Pitti on March 5th he little suspected the nature of the discussion which was about to take place. Instead of the anticipated exchange about the state of Europe and the resurgence of Austria, Teramachi was bluntly asked if Japan would support Milan secession from the Holy Roman Empire.

    To add insult to Modenan emperor’s injury, the d’Este family were not only claiming their right to leave the empire, but sought the ‘return’ of the city of Nice as compensation for past services. At best the Milanese claim to Nice was obscure, and the territory itself only reachable from Milan by sea, but nevertheless the Duke would not relent.



    The timing could have been worse, but not by much. Japanese forces in Milan, which had stood at 45,000 men at the beginning of 1836, currently stood at one-third that number. The Kongo expedition was shortly to return, but the remainder of the European Army was still in Morocco and was barely one-half of its original 15,000 men.

    Ambassador Teramachi temporised: secession would mean a war with Modena at the very least, and he would have to confer with the heads of the military mission before a decision could be made. The Milanese foreign minister replied that he understood, but added that Duke Ascanio d’Este would publicly announce his intentions later that day whether or not Japan reached a decision.

    Both men knew the situation that this put Japan in. Milan alone had insufficient resources to beat Modena, but Japan depended on the Duchy as a bulwark against Austria. In 1819 Milan had taken advantage of this fact to subjugate Tuscany. That war had seen Japanese forces defeated by Modena at the battle of Romagna, which had taken place after Milan had concluded a separate peace. Only Modenan war weariness and its willingness to agree a ceasefire had prevented the destruction of a major part of Japan's European forces.

    Now Milan was acting in the same rash manner, confident that Japan needed its European ally as much as it needed the Empire. Teramachi was eventually forced to admit that they were right, although the decision was made easier by the fact that Modena's allies refused to honour their commitments. Although nominally subject to the Holy Roman Emperor, they argued that such obligations only pertained to conflicts north of the Alps: this war was a purely Italian affair.



    Even with this good fortune, it was clear that Japan would be hard pressed. Modena alone fielded 24 brigades against a combined Tuscan-Milanese force of just nine. Japan had five brigades in the Army of Italy, another five on their way back from the Kongo expedition and a final five at around half strength in Morocco. In total, the allies could field perhaps 24 brigades of their own, but the final five were at least three month’s sailing from Italy.

    On hearing the news from Europe the War Office arranged for new levies to be raised to shore up Italian defences and to garrison Morocco. However, the prime minister forbade the dispatch of any existing forces, insisting that the security of the Empire must come first.



    Even at the soonest, new troops could not leave their depots for three months – four in the case of the artillery – and the voyage between the port of Hainan and Italy would take longer still. The Cabinet authorised an increase in defence spending in an effort to increase troop morale, but the money would have little immediate effect.

    In Milan, the Army of Italy was ordered to reinforce Florence where Milanese general Vittorio Giardino was defending against a Modenan army of almost 30,000 troops. Any hopes that Japanese sea-power could offer a decisive edge were dashed when Urbino announced that it would permit the Holy Roman Emperor to march through its territory. Modena could now bring all its forces to bear against Milan: forces augmented by 9,000 militia who rallied to the imperial standard.



    Despite the bad news, victory in the battle of Florence went to the allies. With the Japanese command lacking a clear leader, General Giardino was free to conduct the defence as he saw fit, and against the poorly-led Modenans he was able to inflict a decisive victory, made the more certain by the devastating fire from the Japanese field guns.

    General Giardino followed up his victory with a drive towards Modena, hoping that the capture of the enemy’s capital would bring the war to a swift end. He easily brushed aside the remnants of the army which had attacked Florence, while Japanese troops drove off the smaller Modenan columns which had invaded Milanese territory. The arrival of another 30,000 Modenan troops in Tuscany was a cause for concern, but as they seemed intent upon the siege of Siena they were left warily alone.

    Late April saw the arrival of the Kongo Expeditionary Army: 15,000 fresh Japanese troops to reinforce the 11,000 survivors of the Army of Italy. The return of the navy allowed Japan to set up a close blockade of the peninsula, providing a boost to allied morale and adding to Modenan concerns.



    The remainder of the fleet was split into two. The transports, escorted by two warships, would return to Morocco to bring the troops stationed there to Italy. Admiral Osumi would remain in Leghorn with the rest of the fleet in case the enemy attempted to break the blockade.

    With Japanese forces now numbering ten brigades it was decided to appoint an overall commander to improve co-ordination and avoid those questions of seniority that had at times threatened to paralyse operations. Brigadier General Shinsaku Suzuki was chosen for the job: despite his reputation as something of a ladies’ man he was a competent soldier who commanded the respect of his men.



    Suzuki’s first move was to break the siege of Siena. Although some criticised the general for not attempting to link up with the allied force trying to dislodge the main Modenan army from its siege of Florence, it was widely recognised that committing more troops to a battle which looked a long shot from the outset risked the success of the war.

    Although Suzuki’s first victory was far from stunning, his instincts proved correct. The allied army was soundly defeated at Florence and forced to retreat. Meanwhile, the Modenan army moved to recapture their capital from its Milanese garrison. This gave Suzuki the initiative. In a series of forced marches he drove Modenan forces from Florence, Lucca and Leghorn.



    As Milanese forces attempted to recapture their fortifications in Lucca, the Modenan army, fresh from the liberation of its capital, attacked in force. General Giardino’s battered force of 14,000 faced 25,000 Modenans. General Suzuki, marching to the sound of the guns, brought his remaining 24,000 Japanese to bear and by September 1st had secured a devastating victory.

    Modenan forces never recovered from their defeat at the second battle of Lucca. Within days of the fight Emperor Ennio Gonzaga sent word that he would accept Milan’s terms.

    However, the war had been so costly to Japan that it was felt that to simply allow Modena to walk away without making some form of reparations was unacceptable. General Suzuki’s victory in the battle of Massa ensured that Japan was in a position to dictate terms.



    The toll the blockade was taking on the Japanese navy had highlighted the urgent need for European bases. Establishing a presence in Morocco would help, but as the war had illustrated the distances involved meant it could take months to bring troops and ships to the front. Milan's lack of suitable anchorages and the d'Este's erratic approach to diplomacy made a powerful case for an independent Japanese presence in the Mediterranean.

    No-one in government believed that such a demand would be well-received in Europe. The conquest of Morocco had awakened memories of the Great Austrian War and Emperor Higashiyama's interventionist policies. In light of the likely uproar it was decided to limit territorial demands as far as possible. Japan would ask for Sardinia, a poor territory outside the Holy Roman Empire and separate from mainland Europe.

    By early December Modena accepted the inevitable. With no army, abandoned by its nominal vassals in Germany and under blockade it seemed that nothing could improve its position. Milan's secession from the Holy Roman Empire was formally acknowledged and it gained possession of the city of Nice, while Japan received Sardinia.



    For the navy, the peace could not have come soon enough. Once again Japan's overstretched supply lines had proven inadequate to the strain of nine months of war. Of the 22 ships which had taken part in the blockade not one had escaped damage. As they limped back to Sardinia it was clear that it would be years before they could be brought back to full fitness. Construction of naval facilities on Sardinia was ordered to begin immediately, but even optimists thought it unlikely that these would be completed until the early 1840s. Japan's naval dominance in the Mediterranean was more questionable than ever.

    On land too the war had sapped Japan's ability to fight. From a force of 45,000 just over 26,000 remained, and some brigades had been destroyed completely. The Empire's ability to respond to a fresh crisis in Europe would depend upon the arrival of reinforcements.


    Domestic affairs

    Despite the turmoil in Italy, 1837 was a quiet year for the majority of the Empire's subjects and citizens. A bumper tea harvest promised increased prosperity, while the expedition of the Japanese Botanical Society to Makassar provoked a flurry of interest amongst the scientific societies of Kyoto and Edo.



    In June the heavy-handed tactics of colonial police in Legazpi caused an outburst of protest that was taken up by liberal members of the Diet. Called to answer for police actions, the Colonial Minister's promise of a full inquiry did little to calm matters, but the act itself made both sides more cautious for the time being. Allegations concerning another Chinese bank were largely ignored by the Cabinet, who believed that people would learn to accept their place in the Empire given sufficient time.

    Of greater concern was the growing problem of unemployment. Japan's venture into industrial production had created a demand for jobs that its few factories were unable to satisfy. Poor farmers and labourers began to move to the cities seeking work, and though in most cases the numbers were small, in some areas thousands had gathered.



    Officially, the Cabinet held that as new factories were opening every month the problem would soon disappear. Unofficially, the Interior Minister was asked to ensure that every city had a contingency plan to deal with possible unrest.


    Foreign affairs

    Bohemia's woes deepened in 1837 as Magdeburg seized Posen from the ailing Duchy, whose control of its own territory was now limited to the shores of the Baltic and a few scattered outposts.



    Magdeburg’s gains were welcomed in Japan as it was plain that Bohemia was unable to resist Austria. The more territory that could be kept out of Austrian hands the better.

    In India, Sindhi forces had successfully expelled Khorasan from the Indus valley tributaries of the Satluj, Chenab and Jhelam. In the east, Madurai had also seized control of the upper Ganges delta, although Deva Bengal had retained the south-western mouths for the time being.



    Having successfully concluded a treaty with Sindh, Japanese diplomats had been directed to conclude a similar agreement with Madurai. Such a deal would give the Empire an effective monopoly on the output of nearly the whole of India.

    Perhaps the biggest change of the year was the eclipse of the Ottoman Empire. Its defeat to Russia had been only the latest in a long line of military defeats that had seen it driven from Anatolia and the Levant. In their stead, diplomats now spoke of the rise of Brabant, whose lack of military power was compensated for by its cultural achievements and growing industrial output.

    By the close of 1837 the Cabinet had good reason to be satisfied. The only cloud on the horizon was the success of Austria's Bohemian war, but after two years of fighting it was thought that Japan's old enemy would be too exhausted to take advantage of the Empire's weakened European position.



    Best of all, with two wars successfully concluded the Court's policy of involvement in European affairs and pro-military leanings seemed vindicated. Support for the isolationists in the Diet seemed to have abated somewhat, and prime minister Ito could breathe more easily for the time being.
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  9. #29
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Very interesting; your game converted much more neatly than mine did, it would seem!
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  10. #30
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    Well, you're a better ally than I would have been. Good for you.

    Since Japan is top dog prestige-wise, I would have let Milan face the thousand nations of the Holy Roman Empire all by themselves. If Austria eats them, it shouldn't affect Japan's security posture as long as France is still friendly. There's no way Austria + Modena could best MegaFrance even if it had both arms and one leg tied behind its back.

    Maybe it's just because a lot of the V2 inner workings are mysterious to me, but all those unemployed factory workers seems like a harbinger of great unpleasantness.
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  11. #31
    Great stuff, I expected to see you expanding into southern india perhaps with an annexation of madurai or something. Just sphereing though? I guess it does fit in with your roleplay reasons. I like the justification of everything. lets hope from an AAR reader perspective that the isolationists don't win government!

  12. #32
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    I love the geopolitical intrigue! I have infrequently funded wars in past games, but had never really considered it as a viable method of quickly raising relations. That's a good trick, if you can spare the cash.
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  13. #33
    Apart from the first few years in smaller countries, cash is almost never a concern. Throwing less than a 100pounds a day is easy for almost any country no matter how small by about the 1850's.

    EDIT: Also Dewirix, I have been playing the save you sent me and have found something. Large parts of the north american continent, mostly west of the great lakes, are uncolonizable with a life-rating of 3. Unless I am mistaken there is no way to get those areas even with all technology. This is probably a leftover from the original game where it starts already controlled by the USA. You might want to go in and edit the files a bit if you continue to play your AAR through. Good luck and hope to see an update soon.
    Last edited by Blxz; 26-09-2011 at 13:19.

  14. #34
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    Ok, activating the mod now, if it decides to unfreeze sometime I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the upload and good luck with the AAR. Very nice.

    EDIT: Plays well, had a mini madurai game. Also, being able to browse that map at my leisure has really explained so much about the initial layout. I especially like the virtually 100% overseas empire of Aragon being controlled by the tiny sliver of land they have in the Iberian peninsula. As always I'll be following your AAR. Keep it up!
    I think Trebizond has to be my favourite of all the colonisers. Unfortunately, from what I've seen they get destroyed by the Colombians in pretty short order. I'd think this was more of a shame if it wasn't for the fact that this makes Colombia the most successful of the New World states (not that there's much competition).

    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    Great stuff, I expected to see you expanding into southern india perhaps with an annexation of madurai or something. Just sphereing though? I guess it does fit in with your roleplay reasons. I like the justification of everything. lets hope from an AAR reader perspective that the isolationists don't win government!
    I think the Isolationists are losing out, but it would probably make for a somewhat less adventurous foreign policy with them in charge. Sphereing is consistent with Japan's eighteenth-century foreign policy, which pretty much put a halt to aggressive expansion in favour of internal development. The exploitation of the US west coast means that land isn't exactly at a premium.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    Apart from the first few years in smaller countries, cash is almost never a concern. Throwing less than a 100pounds a day is easy for almost any country no matter how small by about the 1850's.

    EDIT: Also Dewirix, I have been playing the save you sent me and have found something. Large parts of the north american continent, mostly west of the great lakes, are uncolonizable with a life-rating of 3. Unless I am mistaken there is no way to get those areas even with all technology. This is probably a leftover from the original game where it starts already controlled by the USA. You might want to go in and edit the files a bit if you continue to play your AAR through. Good luck and hope to see an update soon.
    There are still a few bugs to be worked out. I'm fairly sure I saw those provinces colonised in the test game I played (Sindh -> India), but that might have had something to do with the US forming and firing off Manifest Destiny. I'll have to check back on that though. It's also impossible to form India without being able to colonise the LR 3 province of Diego Garcia as that's a core province.

    Edit: Checked it and you're right. There's a big part of the US that's uncolonisable. Might be others too. I'll probably just edit the save file for my game, but I'll have to fix it for the mod. Looks like I'll have to release a patch!

    I'll update the files at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    Very interesting; your game converted much more neatly than mine did, it would seem!
    I did spend something like six weeks making sure it did, so it's not too surprising. One mistake I've spotted is that Burma should be Taungu, but they're in the game now, so they'll have to stay as they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Taylor View Post
    Well, you're a better ally than I would have been. Good for you.

    Since Japan is top dog prestige-wise, I would have let Milan face the thousand nations of the Holy Roman Empire all by themselves. If Austria eats them, it shouldn't affect Japan's security posture as long as France is still friendly. There's no way Austria + Modena could best MegaFrance even if it had both arms and one leg tied behind its back.

    Maybe it's just because a lot of the V2 inner workings are mysterious to me, but all those unemployed factory workers seems like a harbinger of great unpleasantness.
    Being a good ally is what makes for an interesting AAR. It was a tense little war, despite the low stakes on my part. It would have taken months to get anything from China/Japan to Europe, so I had to make do with what I had, which was a little bit less than what Modena could bring. Added to this, some of 'my' brigades were actually Milanese and Tuscan, and they made some questionable decisions.

    Milan was created by the Empire at the end of the Great Austrian War, so there's a symbolic justification for keeping it around. Especially given Austria's rampage in Bohemia. Although I'm friendly with France we're not allied, and given the difficulty in establishing GP-GP alliances we may never be. Until I acquired Sardinia, Milan was my only 'in' in Europe, and borders directly on Austria.

    As to the employment situation, I think it's OK for the moment, particularly as I have such a gigantic population it's really just a drop in the ocean. If the unemployment rate continues to rise they'll start agitating for reforms or revolt, either of which will make for some interesting situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Selzro View Post
    I love the geopolitical intrigue! I have infrequently funded wars in past games, but had never really considered it as a viable method of quickly raising relations. That's a good trick, if you can spare the cash.
    It's very situational as you can only use it when someone actually goes to war, but it does seem to work fairly well. However, I'd guess that you'd usually want to use it when you're trying to cosy up to a bigger state, in which case it could get rather expensive, at least in the early stages of the game. Blxz is right to say that money becomes far less of a concern later on.
    Last edited by Dewirix; 27-09-2011 at 00:14.
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  15. #35
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    1838: Family ties

    I do not mean, in making this assertion, to justify the aggression of one state over the other, or to bring in Grotius or Puffendorf or Vattel, to sanction, to justify, or even to excuse those attacks of a powerful nation on a weaker one, which for centuries are recorded in the page of history to the disgrace of former governments, and the degradation of human nature

    State opening and Emperor's speech

    The Cabinet began 1838 in buoyant mood. Their hawkish stance in Europe had produced a victory which strengthened the Japanese presence on the continent, preserved the Empire's honour and bolstered the Court's reputation for competent leadership. To cement its popularity the Cabinet ordered that the consumption tax be cut by five per cent for all classes.



    Prime minister Ito believed that the budget could withstand the associated drop in revenue. With no plans for further conflict in the foreseeable future, Japan could instead concentrate on domestic politics and strengthening its existing commitments. In truth the victory over Modena had come at the price of two brigades permanently destroyed and the remainder short on manpower.

    The raising of new formations for Europe had begun on news of the war's outbreak in March, but the government had found it difficult to acquire the necessary armaments on the open market. Japanese industry was accustomed to producing at a more leisurely pace: suitable for replacing lost or damaged equipment, but not up to the task of meeting the demand for tens of thousands of firearms in short order.



    Thus it was that the government made its first essay of an industrial policy. The Finance Ministry agreed to a partnership with local businessmen to establish the Imperial Arsenal in Sizhou. The state was selected because the government understood that a separate group of entrepreneurs were already well advanced in their plans to construct an ammunition foundry – news that had already caused several thousand landless labourers to congregate there in search of work. The two new factories would be complementary and would it was hoped more than quadruple the number of firearms that could be produced each year.

    Although the Sizhou Arsenal was the government's creation, industrialists throughout the Empire were already well advanced in their adoption of the factory system. At the beginning of 1838 Japan was fourth amongst the great powers in terms of factory production.



    The Empire's victories in its two recent wars had further burnished its prestige, while its military potential remained unmatched. All told the Cabinet could be well satisfied with the progress of events. Even should Austria emerge greatly enlarged from its war with Bohemia - and all signs were that it would - it was unlikely to be able to match the sheer size of Japan's military.

    The two remaining concerns were the long supply lines between the Empire proper and Europe and the possibility of falling behind in an arms race. The former could be ameliorated by good planning, but the latter was less tractable for the time being. In order to strengthen the military the Empire needed to focus on its education system, but while it did so it enemies could bring new weapons to bear that Japan could not match.


    Prodigal sons

    Despite its success at home - and the international prestige that came with it - Japan's ruling dynasty, unlike its European counterparts, had spread little beyond the limits of the Empire. One of the few exceptions to this rule was Lan Xang; a former Japanese vassal ruled by a cadet branch of the Imperial family since the seventeenth century.

    Despite their common origins the kings of Lan Xang had pursued a different path than their cousins on the Chrysanthemum Throne. Unlike Japan, Lan Xang had remained isolated from western influences and the Yamato family there had come to increasingly identify themselves with their Lao subjects.

    The last major upheaval to have troubled the country had occurred in the 1780s, when Japan had intervened to protect King Lohajaya against Khmer. Thanks to the Empire's assistance Lan Xang had ended the war territorially enlarged and had since seemed content to enjoy the fruits of Japan's exertions.

    As far as the Empire was concerned the alliance with Lan Xang was an obligation - almost a burden - but one that Japan was more than capable of bearing. The situation was to change on 11 January, when Lohajaya II declared war on Ayutthaya.



    For the second time in as many years Japan had been surprised by the actions of one of its allies. As far as the Cabinet could see Lan Xang had no right to demand the territories which it was now claiming as its own, nor much hope of decisively defeating Ayutthaya. Once again, Japan's protection was being abused for the benefit of its allies.



    Knowing the importance of the family connection, the government immediately signalled their intent to stand by Lan Xang and assist in the war.

    This led to a panic in the Foreign Ministry over the possibility that Madurai would come to Ayutthaya's aid. The intervention of one of the major Indian states would widen the scope of the war considerably, transforming an annoyance into a serious regional conflict.



    Fortunately for both parties, Madurai decided that the time was not right to challenge Japan's leadership in South East Asia. In fact, allies from both sides proved decidedly reluctant to commit to the war, with the exception of Burma whose ruler, Zalahtinyan Thet-Naung, asserted that it was his right to lead the coalition.

    Diplomatically this was a bold, if not reckless move given Burma's position relative to the Empire. As it was, the Cabinet was only too happy to hand responsibility for the war over to a third party. The government had not sought a war this year, and certainly not one in the mountains and jungles that made up the present battlefield. Japan would not stand by and allow Lan Xang to be conquered, but it was loath to expend blood and treasure on another foreign war.

    Fortunately for the government the circumstances seemed to favour a policy of inaction. Not two weeks into the war brought the news that Malacca sought to benefit from Ayutthayan weakness.



    With so many enemies and no friends it seemed impossible that Ayutthaya could prevail.

    Leadership of the Army of Southern China was given to General Masujiro Kuroki, one of the Restorationists generally supportive of the government and fiercely devoted to the Emperor. Kuroki was aloof and somewhat unapproachable, with little love for the common soldier. He drove them hard, subjecting his troops to fierce discipline and punishing them for the slightest misdemeanour.



    To the surprise of many, Kuroki also proved a capable commander and his regime inspired an esprit de corps amongst his men. However, in accordance with his brief he did little more than establish a covering position along the Yom river against the unlikely event of an Ayutthayan attack.

    Lan Xang's forces were virtually wiped out early in the war after they attempted to drive Ayutthaya from Nakhon Sawan, despite the latter's superior numbers and defensive positions. In the event it made little difference to the outcome. Ayutthaya was beset on all sides, with Burma invading from the north, Malacca from the south and Japan landing a marine brigade in Chanthaburi and sending out columns to occupy Prachinburi and Nakhon Ratchasima.

    By late November Malacca had achieved its war aims and offered a peace settlement that Ayutthaya was in no position to refuse.



    For the coalition the war would drag on into 1839, but the outcome looked certain. Japan had every reason to be satisfied with the progress of the conflict. It had shown itself a competent ally and had occupied three provinces, while at the same time it had fought no battles and lost no troops.


    Foreign affairs

    The war against Ayutthaya was not the only conflict that Zalahtinyan Thet-Naung was involved in. In April his victory over neighbouring Shan was sealed by a peace treaty that saw the borders of Burma extended into the valley of the Thanylin river.



    The territories gained more than doubled the size of Burma, giving fuel to Zalahtinyan's pretensions to regional dominance.

    More worryingly, 1838 also saw the conclusion of Austria's Bohemian war. The final result was a cartographer's nightmare which greatly extended Austrian territory in northern Germany, including giving it a presence on the Baltic.



    Only Magdeburg's possessions prevented Austrian territory from forming a continuous corridor from the Adriatic to Germany's northern shores. The government in Kyoto eyed the new maps warily and began to make plans to strengthen ties with the larger German duchies.

    In August, Scotland completed its conquest of Ulster from Ireland.



    Unlike Austria, Scotland was viewed as a potential ally and its victory was cause for some satisfaction amongst the Cabinet.


    Domestic affairs

    On the home front Japan's industrialisation continued apace, with more factories opening throughout the year. September brought another piece of good news, with the discovery of gold in Japanese-held Sardinia. Prime minister Ito remarked that it had taken mankind thousands of years to find gold on the island, while Japan had achieved this feat in only nine months.



    The unlooked for windfall lent further strength to the government's decision to take the island into the Empire's hands, although it did little to persuade foreign powers of Japan's benign intents.

    Benign intent was less in evidence in Tongchuan, where a dispute over a temple had escalated into violence as the local authorities attempted to demolish what they insisted was an illegal new building. An angry crowd gathered to defend the temple, which had been paid for by local subscription.



    Attempts to calm the crowd failed and the local militia was called out. Unused to policing large gatherings, they quickly lost control of the situation, culminating in their opening fire on the demonstrators. While the official account only acknowledged one death, rumours circulated that the true figure was much higher. The Interior Minister warned his Cabinet colleagues that the building restrictions introduced two years ago had caused widespread resentment and might well produce more such incidents in future.

    Because of the newfound militancy among its Chinese subjects, the government backed down in the face of protests in two southern Chinese provinces over education policies.



    Such moves were fiercely criticised by Restorationist deputies in the Diet, who warned of the creeping Sinicisation of the Empire. They argued that concessions now would only make matters harder to handle in the future.

    Thankfully, the remainder of 1838 passed off peacefully, both within the Empire and for the Army of Southern China stationed in Lan Xang. The capture of three of the four provinces demanded by King Lohajaya II promised that the war was nearing its end. Perhaps 1839 would bring Japan the respite it sought.

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  16. #36
    Yearly updates? This could be a long AAR. How are things going on the technology front? It seems like those are very small RP boosts from those events.

  17. #37
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    I greatly enjoyed reading the original HttT AAR, as you know, thus I'm very glad to see the V2 part of this AAR now. The world looks brilliantly different from a vanilla V2 map, so much room still for colonisation, especially in America, hopefully you are able to nab most of the land there. The first few updates have been relatively action packed, although this mainly due to demands from the ever vexing AI allies. Still, Japan has performed well in all of the wars and gained useful outposts in Europe and North Africa. I found your supporting other nations at war via subsidies a rather good idea, especially as your economy is so strong at present. Well, rather good that is apart from your support of Scotland. Don't support the rise of such a benighted nation!
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  18. #38
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    Yearly updates? This could be a long AAR. How are things going on the technology front? It seems like those are very small RP boosts from those events.
    I'm hoping that yearly updates aren't too slow for people. The shorter bursts of gameplay suit my playing style and help me focus on details rather than getting lost in the broad sweep of events.

    Technology is proceeding slowly at the moment. I think I've made a mistake by not going for Ideological Thought straight away, but I rectify that in this update. I'm currently getting 5.55 research points a day, which means that it's pretty slow going right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    I greatly enjoyed reading the original HttT AAR, as you know, thus I'm very glad to see the V2 part of this AAR now. The world looks brilliantly different from a vanilla V2 map, so much room still for colonisation, especially in America, hopefully you are able to nab most of the land there. The first few updates have been relatively action packed, although this mainly due to demands from the ever vexing AI allies. Still, Japan has performed well in all of the wars and gained useful outposts in Europe and North Africa. I found your supporting other nations at war via subsidies a rather good idea, especially as your economy is so strong at present. Well, rather good that is apart from your support of Scotland. Don't support the rise of such a benighted nation!
    The American land-grab is well underway.

    Supporting allies is pretty much where the fun is at the moment. I have the idea that if I go for it then I could probably conquer the whole map, but I really don't have the skill, the patience or the inclination for that sort of thing. I like the idea of being a beleaguered PM or Foreign Secretary being forced to respond to events, and the game is surprising obliging in that regard.

    The support for Scotland is strategic. We're not going to get our own whisky distilleries until at least Inorganic Chemistry.
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  19. #39
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    1839: The means of production

    At one period, every interest of the country was in a state of prosperity, the working classes were employed, and the manufacturers reaping profit; whilst at another period, and frequently, in a few months, adversity commenced, and went on advancing, until, at length, all interests felt it, and the country was in a state of depression, the working classes being thrown out of employment, or the wages of those who were in employment considerably reduced. In course of time, they saw the country again gradually restored to prosperity, but it so happened, that it never remained in the same state for two years together.

    State opening and Emperor's speech

    Despite the costs of an ongoing and unanticipated war the government was in a stronger than expected financial position at the beginning of 1839. Mindful of the election next year and the fact that both isolationist and restorationist sentiment was still running high; the Cabinet assented to a further reduction in the consumption tax.



    It was hoped that the end of the present war would allow for still greater reductions in next year's budget, especially given the rapid pace of industrialisation which was proving a much readier source of funds than had taxing the many thousands of artisan workshops scattered across the Empire.


    The Ayutthayan war

    The war Japan had not wanted was nevertheless proving a useful training ground for Japanese commanders if nothing else. The new year saw Tomasaburo Kido promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and given command of the small - but so far very effective - Japanese occupation force.



    General Kido was regarded as a thoughtful, if unspectacular commander: prone to overestimate enemy capabilities and thus apt to be overly cautious. That said, the destruction of Ayutthaya's armed forces rendered such defects moot. The two brigades under Kido's command represented the sum total of the Empire's commitment to the war, all other forces already having been returned to home soil.

    Although the war was to drag on until early April, by this point Lan Xang had already concluded a separate peace, leaving Japan with little stake in the conflict’s outcome. However, it was deemed politic to continue hostilities until King Zalahtinyan of Burma could formally settle the matter.



    The peace settlement radically altered the map of south east Asia; Japan's allies both gained access to the sea, while Ayutthaya was split in two, having lost territory to Burma, Lan Xang and Malacca during. While the war had seemed inconsequential to the Empire, to its other participants it had been a significant and often brutal affair.


    The Factory Act

    Of more concern were challenges that did not permit a military solution. Japan's rapid adoption of the factory system had already seen the Empire become one of the most industrialised nations in the world in terms of output. Despite this, Japanese society remained predominantly agricultural, but the continuing introduction of new crops and farming techniques was leading to an increasingly desperate scramble for land.

    The losers of this competition had begun to move to the cities in search of work in the new factories that were springing up. However, the number of migrants was proving much greater than the supply of jobs, strengthening the hand of factory owners who could use the threat of unemployment to force their workers to accept otherwise unacceptable conditions.

    Although the government had no wish to intervene in private arrangements between individuals the negative effects that such behaviour - and high unemployment in general - was having upon local communities meant that the Court felt it must do something to address the problem: thus was born Japan's first Factory Act.

    On 14 January, Emperor Kashiwabara promulgated the Rescript on Manufactories. Under the guidance of the government, new factories would be established in accordance with each local economy's ability to provide both labour and raw materials.



    To head off protests from local investors that private enterprise was being forced out of business, the government provided additional funds to expand existing factories. In some regions, notably Suzhou and Wenzhou, the state was forced to undertake massive programmes just to meet the demand for work.

    Despite this, the harsh conditions in the factories had led to workers to form combinations, or “unions”. Although almost certainly illegal, it was difficult to discover these organisations’ membership until they took overt action, by which time it was generally too late to prevent a crisis.



    For this reason, the Interior Minister proposed the establishment of a network of police informants within the factories. These would report on suspicious activity and allow the authorities to better anticipate trouble. Some within the Cabinet objected to such methods as an affront to personal privacy, but the prime minister endorsed the policy as a pragmatic response in light of the circumstances.


    Foreign affairs

    If 1839 saw the affects of land-hunger in China and Japan begin to reach critical levels, it also pointed the way towards a solution. The colonial ventures begun in the Great Eastlands produced their first fruits, with the successful establishment of two new Japanese colonies, one securing the northern coasts and another pressing further into the forbidding interior of the southern desert along the Mexican border.



    Seeing the success of these settlements, and mindful of the value a thinly-settled continent held for the densely-populated Empire, the Cabinet approved plans to extend colonisation efforts further east. For the time being no attempt would be made to link the northern and southern colonies, for the intent was to fence off as large an amount of territory as possible, then colonise the rest at leisure.

    Japan was not the only country to be establishing colonies. Castile had managed to extend its hold on the northern bank of the Heilong and now had a weaker - but still considerable - presence further inland. In light of its new proximity to the Empire, and the not-quite-hostile nature of the two countries' relations the decision had been taken to formalise diplomatic ties with a view to a possible alliance in the future.



    Having concluded its negotiations with Madurai, the Foreign Ministry had turned its attentions further afield. The alliance with Milan was the cornerstone of European policy, but brought with it little profit and much expense. Thus it was decided to more tightly bind Milan to Japan's economic interests: since the Empire was already committed to Milan's defence it was thought right that the latter should contribute more to meeting that cost.



    September brought the news that Münster's recent cultural outpourings had captured the attention of Europe. All the talk in the Paris salons was of the latest fashions from the duchy, with the result that the small state now wielded much greater political and diplomatic clout than any save the Great Powers themselves.


    The armed forces

    The reinforcements raised for the European theatre were now assembled in southern China and placed under the command of General Kido, fresh from his service in the Ayutthayan war. The new brigades would bring Japan's Milanese garrisons up to 57,000, to which a further 15,000 troops in Morocco could be added with reasonable speed.



    However, the problem of actually transporting such a force to Europe remained. The transport fleet was dispatched from the Mediterranean, but it would have to sail via Morocco, Bourbon and Java before finally arriving in Gauzhou. The long sea voyage was likely to take a significant toll on the ships involved, but it was hoped that most would be in good enough condition to make the return journey.

    For those that weren't, the upgrades to the Empire's naval bases would soon provide the facilities needed to effect substantial repairs.



    The first such upgrade was completed by the end of the year, although distant Seattle was hardly the most useful spot in the present circumstances. Nevertheless, it was hoped that works to the other dockyards would soon be completed, allowing the Empire to bring the navy to the highest state of readiness.


    Domestic affairs

    June saw the development of new theories of education, which it was believed would improve the general standard of teaching in the new church schools. Although time would vindicate this hope, an unlooked for side effect of improved knowledge was a greater desire for personal betterment, which in turn encouraged some to leave their homes in search of new opportunities on the frontier.



    The government now focused its patronage on efforts to better articulate its political ideals in a logically robust and defensible manner. The challenge of organised labour led the Cabinet to fear that it risked losing the war of ideas, and thus it sought out the means to state its case in the most effective and indisputable manner possible.

    Although the government faced challenges from the unemployed and factory workers, it was on safer ground where its electorate was concerned. The mid-1830s had seen the Isolationists in the ascendancy, but by the end of the decade this trend had been reversed.



    Indeed, an equal if not greater concern to the Court was the rise of the Restorationists, who now occupied the greater place in voters' affections. As long as the other two parties could be kept in competition it was likely that the Court could continue to hold the ring, but allowing one to grow at the other's expense could spell disaster for the Ito Cabinet.

    The Empire ended 1839 at peace externally and prosperous internally. The new year would see elections to the Imperial Council, from which the Cabinet was selected. Elections which the Court party intended to win: only time would tell if their confidence was well founded.

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  20. #40

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