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

  1. #201
    Excellent stuff! I was away for a month doing a hike and I caome back to about 3 or 4 updates. Really good to see you back into the AAR again, and with such gusto.

    That said, roleplaying aside, do you plan on committing Japan to a huge war at some stage? Your previous comments to someone else about Milan for example....I would love to see Japan tested against France and/or Austria again. Afterall, you did say you had taken to much of the continental USA for this game to be too challenging. Hopefully you can find some roleplay reasons somewhere down the line. (I like the Magdeburg clause)

    Either way, good luck with balancing your updates and baby.

  2. #202
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Hi everyone - not quite ready with the next update yet, but I should have something ready for the end of the week. My gaming time's been monopolised by World of Tanks, but I've got what I was aiming for there so I've now got more time to devote to this AAR.

    Anyway, this post is a reminder for those of you who haven't done so to vote in the AARland Choice AwAARds 2012 (Round 1).

    This isn't a plea to vote for this AAR. The support I get from you guys posting here is reward enough in itself. The awards are a great way to highlight the superb writing and gaming that goes on in other parts of this forum that you otherwise might have missed.

    Here are the AARs I've voted for this quarter - if you get a chance to check them out, you should definitely do so.

    Favorite Narrative AAR, HoI (1-3):
    Favorite Comedy AAR, HoI (1-3):
    Favorite History-Book AAR, HoI (1-3): The Great Patriotic War by loki100
    Favorite Gameplay AAR, HoI (1-3): Air Force OOB Planning for Germany, The Wunderwaffe 1944-49 by Valentinan‎

    Favorite Narrative AAR, EU (1-3): The Grey Eminence - A Narrative/History AAR 1399-1821 by Ashantai
    Favorite Comedy AAR, EU (1-3): Deshtined to Fail - A Khandesh HttT AAR by morningSIDEr
    Favorite History-Book AAR, EU (1-3): Porta Atlanticum by Chris Taylor
    Favorite Gameplay AAR, EU (1-3): The Historic Inevitabilty of Epic Failure by PrawnStar

    Favorite Narrative AAR, CK (1+2):
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    Favorite Narrative AAR, Vicky (1+2): A Special Providence by Director
    Favorite Comedy AAR, Vicky (1+2): Subcontinental Subtleties: An experimental comic AAR by Selzro
    Favorite History-Book AAR, Vicky (1+2): The Birth and Rise of the Ishida Shogunate: Volumes 1 and 2 - An A-H Japan AAR by Tanzhang
    Favorite Gameplay AAR, Vicky (1+2): Last Tango in 1.3 - An Argentine AAR by InnocentIII

    Favorite AAR, Open Category: Who put the stranded Admiral in charge? - Siberian White Short Campaign PBEM
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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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  3. #203
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    Keep up the good work Dewirix!
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  4. #204
    Caught up to this great AAR, keep up the good work always good to see Japan AARs, it doesn't look like the empire has much competition at this point, what a powerhouse!
    Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can? - Sun Tzu

  5. #205
    Still involved here Dewirix? I can imagine it being a little tough to make the time to create these detailed updates with your current new (ish) family member. Hope some free time finds it's way to you soon.

  6. #206
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    Still involved here Dewirix? I can imagine it being a little tough to make the time to create these detailed updates with your current new (ish) family member. Hope some free time finds it's way to you soon.
    Still involved, although not a great deal of action for the past month or so. That said, I did start editing the 1854 pictures this morning before work, although I only got two done. It's not going to be a giant update, what with the Patriotic Union's focus on consolidation and aversion to foreign adventurism, but there's a few nice developments that I can get my teeth into.

    I think I may have established a modus vivendi for writing the AAR now. My wife's just gone back to work, with the result that I've got no free time between 8am and 8pm, but we've started to put William to bed at around 8-9pm, which should give me a little while to edit screenshots/write.
    AAR in progress
    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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    The Yamato Destiny: A Japan HTTT AAR

  7. #207
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malurous View Post
    Cutting taxes and sending money all around the world - the Patriotic Union might have to wish for some more gold findings!
    Indeed, especially if the Empire gets dragged into a war.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Good stuff, I like the marked change the Patriotic Union is already making whilst in government.

    Potentially very worrying considering some of Magdeburg's neighbours. Well, worrying for you but sure to prove a great read for everyone else!

    The continued use of subsidies to manipulate wars is a good strategy, Japan certainly has the economy to fund such a practice. I am rather surprised by just how filled with war 1853 has proved though, clearly the other nations know of Japan's reluctance to intervene! That Japan suffered another rebellion is cause for concern, although thankfully this was another lacklustre effort in the Jacobite mould. I simply hope the reactionaries are suitably cowed considering what has happened with the previous rebellions considering their numbers.
    A reactionary rebellion would be interesting to say the least. I'm not sure that right thing to do wouldn't be to let them win, especially since they'd have the tacit - if not active - backing of the Emperor. On the other hand, I don't really want to play a reactionary absolute monarchy for the rest of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    Excellent stuff! I was away for a month doing a hike and I caome back to about 3 or 4 updates. Really good to see you back into the AAR again, and with such gusto.

    That said, roleplaying aside, do you plan on committing Japan to a huge war at some stage? Your previous comments to someone else about Milan for example....I would love to see Japan tested against France and/or Austria again. Afterall, you did say you had taken to much of the continental USA for this game to be too challenging. Hopefully you can find some roleplay reasons somewhere down the line. (I like the Magdeburg clause)

    Either way, good luck with balancing your updates and baby.
    Ideally, there will be at least one major war before we're done, probably against Britain. I also wouldn't be surprised if Russia chances its arm again, although they probably won't have the same threat in terms of technological lead. A war with France would be fun, especially if it's France AND one of the previous two, but there would have to be a diplomatic upheaval to make that a likely prospect.

    Challenge-wise, keeping the army small seems the best route. It's already the case that the Russians can bring more men to a fight when we're both fully mobilised.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelz View Post
    Keep up the good work Dewirix!
    Thanks. I'll try, although as you'll have noted the going is slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by TreizeV View Post
    Caught up to this great AAR, keep up the good work always good to see Japan AARs, it doesn't look like the empire has much competition at this point, what a powerhouse!
    At the moment, the Empire is at much greater risk from internal factors than external ones. That said, although Japan is unlikely to lose territory any time soon, it could easily lose a European war.
    AAR in progress
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  8. #208
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    1854: Above the fray

    ...that Austria has not felt that sympathy with Russia that might have been expected ó that, on the contrary, she has felt the interests of Austria to be involved in the further aggrandisement of Russia. She has, far from using her influence in promoting the views of Russia, been using all means to resist the aggression of Russia...

    State opening and Emperor's speech

    When the Diet of 1854 opened, memories of the Kobe rising were still fresh in the deputies' minds. While everyone was agreed that radical egalitarianism had been the cause of the revolt, the manner of the state's response was hotly contested. For the Loyalists, the answer was simple: the new administration was dangerously weak and its conciliatory stance served only to embolden the malcontents. A failure to maintain a hard line against sedition was putting the stability of the Empire at risk.

    Unsurprisingly, this view was not shared by the Cabinet, and still less by Prime Minister Oyama. In their view, the Loyalists had, by their partisan approach, fractured the Japanese polity and eroded respect for the rule of law. However, the Cabinet was divided over the best response to this, with Oyama advocating a clean break and a return to more moderate government, while Finance Minister Iwao believed that a more gradualist approach should be adopted. While Iwao shared the Prime Minister's objectives, the anger the Loyalists had provoked would take time to dissipate, as the Kobe rising had shown. In the interim the government had to be prepared to act forcefully when the situation demanded it.

    For now, the Cabinet presented a united front, deploring the violence that had occurred, but maintaining that the Loyalists were to blame for their incendiary policies.

    The Budget for the year was unchanged on 1853, although the Finance Minister was able to assure the Diet that the deficit had fallen from £730,000 per annum to a projected £591,000. As things stood, this would still mean that the Empire would exhaust its reserves within three years, but for the meantime the government believed that the state had no business hoarding taxpayersí money.



    Finance Minister Iwao was determined to go further than this. The Court Party had made low taxes a cornerstone of their ideology, and had managed consistently to put this belief into practice: in 1843, the tax burden on the lower orders had been just a third of its present levels.



    With this in mind, Iwao convinced the Cabinet to support a cut in the army payroll, which the Loyalists had inflated from £380,000 a year in 1843 to a staggering £2.57 million in 1854. This fifteenfold increase in spending was more than any other factor the reason for the high burdens the state bore.

    Predictably, the Loyalists reacted with outrage to the announcement, accusing the Cabinet of pawning the Empire's security on account of their own avarice. Prime Minister Oyama responded by announcing an inquiry into corruption within the War Office after it came to light that the payroll had increased far more than the muster rolls had.


    Domestic affairs

    Given the upheaval of preceding year, it was perhaps inevitable that 1854 would be quieter. Governors and the army kept a close watch for sedition even as the Interior Ministry did all it could to defuse tensions. Whether it was the stick or the carrot that proved more effective will probably never be known, but for their part the Cabinet were happy enough just to accept the results.

    The year brought to a close the final phase of the education reforms that had begun over a decade and a half earlier. The War Office were quick to point out that the previous administration had committed to strengthening the armed forces as their next priority. However, the Cabinet held that they were not bound by the promises of their predecessors and instead determined to bring forward legislation to encourage the development of railways.



    From experience of Europe, the Cabinet were familiar with the benefits that a rail network could bring, but Japan's legal code was unable to provide investors with a means of buying up all the land they needed. Because of both this, and of highways regulations that might also hinder the new railways, not a single mile of track existed anywhere in Japan. The Cabinet therefore determined to introduce a Railways Act that would promote the development of a network and - it was hoped - boost the economy.

    The Foreign Ministry was kept busy throughout the year in their efforts to counter a renewed Russian attempt to challenge Japanese influence in Sindh.



    Their efforts eventually bore fruit, and in September the Russians were once again declared persona non grata at the Sindhi court.


    Foreign affairs

    While the Empire enjoyed a peaceful year, the same could not be said of Europe. The Anglo-Scottish war that had broken out over Ulster had developed into a bitter trans-continental struggle that seemed sure to end in victory for Britain.



    From their vantage point in Northumbria, Japanese military attaches observed the British invasion of the Lowlands and reported to their masters in the War Office that it was unlikely that Scotland could field enough troops locally to repel the assault. This impression was confirmed in May, when the British announced that they were widening their war aims.



    Predictably, the Loyalists exercised themselves about the need to confront the British menace, but Prime Minister Oyama would not hear of it. The war had no direct bearing on any of Japan's vital interests and to ask the Empire's citizens and subjects to expend their blood and treasure on behalf of a nation that could hardly be described as a friend was out of the question.

    There was better news to be had in April, when the Tsar delivered an ultimatum to Vienna to cease hostilities against the Teutonic Order. The war, which had already gone badly for the Austrians, now looked set to worsen still further.



    The Austrian army, which up to this point had done little, was quickly brought up to full mobilisation, but all this served to do was to provoke the Russians to follow suit. Now, 225,000 Austrians faced 600,000 Russians. To the Empire, these developments could not have been more welcome. It suited Japan to see two of its enemies embroiled in a major war, and the fact that the outcome was unlikely to upset the status quo was better yet.

    Japanese diplomacy fared less well elsewhere. At the end of January, the Ottoman Empire, riding high after a series of short victorious wars, declared its intent to annex Candar. Although it seemed unlikely Candar would be forced to concede, their success against Cyprus suggested that the Ottoman's were in with a chance.



    Following the policy of strengthening Russia's neighbours in Asia, the Foreign Ministry duly arranged a subsidy for the Porte. However, the declaration of war was from the outset opposed by the French, who considered Candar to be a client state of theirs and had little love for the Ottomans.



    In July, fresh from a victory in the war against Aragon, the French declared they had exhausted diplomatic options and would resort to the battlefield to protect Candari independence. In Japan, the Foreign Ministry found itself again placed in the position of distributing subsidies to a state fighting against an Imperial ally. Despite this, the decision was taken to continue the payments in the hope of retaining at least some goodwill from one of the parties.

    The Ottoman preoccupation with Candar provided the Egyptians with an opportunity to expand at the expense of their weaker neighbours.



    Unlike Candar, no-one was willing to come to Funj's aid and Egyptian victory seemed inevitable.


    End of year

    At the close of the year, Japan's internal politics seemed more settled than they had been in 1853. Externally, the growing power of Britain appeared as but a distant threat on the horizon, while the Austro-Russian war meant that both those powers were too distracted to menace Japan's allies.



    For the first time in many years, the Patriotic Union did less badly in the elections to next year's Diet than did the Loyalists. That said, their control over the assembly was steadily being eroded, but Oyama was determined to demonstrate the wisdom of his pacifist stance.
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  9. #209
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    good to have you back, Dewirix!

    I am curious about this war between Russia and Austria... any chance somebody will be able to domesticate that mess in Central Europe?

  10. #210
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    great stuff as ever, really like the tone you have with this. Not least reporting most of the stuff as 'wars between nations of little importance to us'. Not so sure you are correct to dismiss the prospects of Russia winning against Austria so easily though.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  11. #211
    Another update. Glad to see it and here's hoping you can settle into a regular groove again.

  12. #212
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vasziljevics View Post
    good to have you back, Dewirix!

    I am curious about this war between Russia and Austria... any chance somebody will be able to domesticate that mess in Central Europe?
    I don't think so. I haven't checked this for a while, but Austria's probably sitting on North German states, which means it's unlikely that anyone else can form the NGF. It might be possible for Germany to form via revolution, but I'm not too sure about that either.

    Obviously, it's not in Japan's interest to allow Austria to form Germany, but if I find myself at war again I might see if I can use a free people wargoal to hive off North German states. Ideally, the NGF would be formed by Magdeburg, which is in my sphere, as a counterweight to Austria.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    great stuff as ever, really like the tone you have with this. Not least reporting most of the stuff as 'wars between nations of little importance to us'. Not so sure you are correct to dismiss the prospects of Russia winning against Austria so easily though.
    Thanks, and good to see you're still following given my hiatus (and that goes for everyone else too). The Russian war against Austria is an intervention, which means that neither side stand to gain anything from a Russian victory as the only wargoal they can have is Status Quo. This means that two of my biggest rivals are having a nice little war for no gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    Another update. Glad to see it and here's hoping you can settle into a regular groove again.
    I hope so too, but I can't guarantee anything right now.
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  13. #213
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    1855: The fruits of peace

    I have been in possession of power; and I can speak from experience of its advantages and its dangers. Its advantages are all for the public, and its dangers are for the individual who adopts that as his principle of Government. I have myself seen disaster converted into victory, and discouragement into enthusiasm. I have seen public confidence re-established; I have seen public prosperity carried to an unexampled extent, beyond the point which at any previous period it had been known to attain;

    State opening and Emperor's speech

    The Diet of 1855 was the last full session before a general election, and the Patriotic Union were determined to a man to use this opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of their administration. Finance Minister Iwao's Budget duly contained further cuts to the tax rate: the Cabinet could now claim that they had slashed 20% from the consumption tax since coming to power, and few doubted that further largesse would be on display in 1856.



    Despite further tax cuts, the Finance Ministry was confident it would have a sufficiently large surplus for any pre-election sweeteners that might be needed. The deficit for 1855 was projected at just short of £20,000 and with the Exchequer in credit to the tune of £1.65 million and the economy booming this sense of certainty was well founded.


    Domestic affairs

    Prime Minister Oyama had made domestic affairs the centrepiece of his electoral strategy: in his eyes, the Patriotic Union had brought Japan peace and prosperity in contrast with the wars and civil strife of the late 1840s. One of Oyama's proudest achievements was the government's success in tackling the unemployment that had plagued the Empire. By 1855 this seemed to be well under control.



    In truth, the Loyalists had made great progress in bring down unemployment by the early 1850s, but in the public mind their administration was associated with rising numbers of landless labourers and the disorder that this had inevitably brought. It was also a matter of perceptions, since Oyama was far more visibly concerned with reducing unemployment than his predecessor had been.

    But it was the passing of the Railways Act in early 1855 that would have the most profound impact on the economy of the Empire. The legislation was greeted with great cheer by Japanese investors, who drove themselves into a speculative frenzy almost before the Emperor's signature had dried. Government plans to finance the construction of a railway between Kyoto and Edo were quietly dropped after it became clear that private firms were only too willing to pay for the line themselves.



    In China, railway companies were able to make even more rapid progress as local governors turned a blind eye to the underhand methods employed to acquire the necessary land. Even in the Home Islands, where the rule of law was more strictly adhered to, by the close of the year every state was playing host to a railway project.

    Gratified by the success of the Railways Act, the Cabinet turned their attention to other matters. The War Office had continued to lobby for military reform to bring the Empire's forces into line with their European rivals. Prime Minister Oyama was instinctively hostile to this suggestion, but Finance Minister Iwao and his allies eventually carried the day, arguing that war was less likely if Japan could show the world it could defend itself.



    The War Office drew up plans that would see all infantry formations adopt the Murata Type 12 rifle. Previously, rifles had been issued to the light troops alone, but the invention of the Delvigne ball in the late 1840s meant that the weapons could now be loaded much more quickly. Equipped with these new weapons, the Imperial Army was confident that it could outrange forces using smoothbore muskets and stand toe-to-toe with the best equipped Europeans.

    By mid-1855 the vast frontier regions of the Great Eastlands, which had seemed so limitless 20 years earlier, were now becoming scarce. The settlement of the Oregon interior in April left only one region to be claimed, while the closing of the Washington frontier meant that all but the northernmost reaches of the continent were either colonised or in the process of being settled.



    While there were still regions of the world where Japan could expand, with the exception of New China these were small islands of limited commercial interest. Instead, the Cabinet decided to focus its efforts on expanding the administration of the Empire at home. Many of the Chinese provinces were almost as lawless as the wildest frontier region, but far more populous.


    Foreign affairs

    The summer of 1855 was to bring the most serious test of Prime Minister Oyama's dedication to a peaceful foreign policy. In late June, a detachment of Japanese soldiers from the Army of Morocco were conducting exercises along the valley of the Asif n'Ifni when they discovered a force of Modenan colonial troops in the process of building a bridge across the river. The Japanese commander, Lieutenant Honda, demanded to know why the Modenans had crossed the border, only to be told that it was his men who were trespassing.



    Seeing that the Modenans were not about to back down, and not having the numbers to force them to retreat, Lieutenant Honda withdrew to Ifni to inform his superiors. General Enomoto, the senior officer in the European theatre, was mindful that a state of truce still existed between Modena and Japan following the end of the 1851 war. Unwilling to put the Empire in a position where it appeared to breaking its word, Enomoto referred the matter to the War Office in Kyoto, adding that Japanese scouts believed that the Modenans were conducting surveys of the headwaters of the Asif n'Ifni with a view to building a dam. The General's dispatch noted that were such a dam to be constructed it might threaten the water supply to the Ifni garrison.

    Despite the Government's attempts to suppress news of the incident, sympathetic officers leaked it to the Loyalists, who demanded that Japan respond to the provocation with force. Even within the Cabinet, Finance Minister Iwao argued eloquently for military intervention, but Prime Minister Oyama was not to be moved. Oyama noted that the territorial concessions made by Morocco had never precisely defined the boundary between Japanese and Modenan territory, making a resort to force questionable under the terms of the current truce. Moreover, the Prime Minister argued that he had little doubt that the Army of Morocco could recapture the headwaters of the Asif n'Ifni if the situation demanded it. While this blend of principles and pragmatism was able to secure the support of a majority in the Cabinet, the Loyalists exploited the public perception that Japan had blinked first, and would go into the 1856 election fired with new purpose.

    In August, Austria and the Russian Empire agreed a peace treaty after a short but bloody conflict. While Russian victory had looked certain from the moment they intervened to protect the Teutonic Order, the Tsar's army had suffered far higher casualties in the struggle.



    By the end of the war, Russia had retired some 28 brigades from its roster. While some of the decline could be attributed to the Russian economy's inability to support such a vast army, the War Office estimated that casualties had to be in the region of 100,000 men. Austria, though badly outnumbered, had fared much better, with losses running at around a third of the Russian total. All in all, the Cabinet were satisfied that two of Japan's rivals had fought each other to a standstill without anything to show for it other than bruised pride and a butcher's bill.

    The year also saw the end of the Khorasani war that had proved so disastrous for Japanese policy in central Asia. Although the outcome was far from good, the fact that Manchukuo emerged as the overall victor provided a silver lining.



    Of all the belligerents, only Manchukuo was able to make territorial gains from the fighting, and while it was obvious that Khorasan was in no position to resist future Russian aggression, wiser heads recognised that such ambitions had been unlikely from the outset.



    Provided Japan could retain the influence it presently enjoyed in Manchukuo, the territory gained by the latter could serve as a better check to Russian expansionism.

    Far from the Pax Japonica, Egypt's war against Funj resulted in the rapid annexation of the latter in July 1855. For a government that had begun to embrace westernisation such military success could only reinforce and legitimise that process.



    Not content with its victory over Funj, in less than a fortnight Egypt was at war again, this time against the hapless Morocco. For now, the Great Powers were willing to overlook Egyptian aggression, provided it did not impinge on any of their interests.

    The consequences of straying into territory that had already been claimed by a Power had been made clear in June, when the Ottoman Empire called off its attempt to annex Candar in the face of French pressure.



    The Ottoman military had proved more than a match for the smaller state and had conducted a successful seaborne invasion before French troops intervened to enforce the "independence" of their client.


    End of year

    The elections to the 1856 Diet were closely studied for any clues they might give to the outcome of the Imperial Council vote later in the year. The Patriotic Union had run with the slogan "Patriotism, Peace and Prosperity", stressing the economic benefits of their isolationist policies. The Loyalists had used the Agadir Incident to stoke up opposition to the same policies, while the Liberals had concentrated on the need to cut tariff levels.



    If the Diet elections were anything to go by the Patriotic Union would hold the majority of seats on the Imperial Council, but with the poll six months away Oyama was determined not to rest on his laurels.
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  14. #214
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    nice mix of pre-election bribes and some complex diplomacy. Can see the attraction to concentrate on developing the Chinese provinces if you can ..
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  15. #215
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    nice mix of pre-election bribes and some complex diplomacy. Can see the attraction to concentrate on developing the Chinese provinces if you can ..
    One of the nice things about Victoria 2 is that there are some definite downsides to being big, and this is one of them. I've only got so many National Focus points to go around and China is huge and not very well served for clergy or bureaucrats.
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    1846-1856: State of the Nation

    It's been ten years since the last State of the Nation, so high time for another one. Things have gone pretty well for Japan, although I was unpleasantly surprised to have the reactionaries foisted on me. However, this proved a blessing in disguise as I was able to pass my first reform thanks to skyrocketing militancy levels.


    The competition in 1856

    Japan's absolute lead over its competitors is greater now than it was in 1846, but we've fallen behind in prestige and are now lagging both Britain (boo, hiss!) and France. I said in 1846 that I'd probably fall behind here, and I was right.



    Military scores are also much closer, although part of that is due to the fact that Britain was still at war with Scotland when this shot was taken. Worryingly, the British field more brigades than I do and still haven't mobilised yet.

    The Japanese navy remains the second largest in the world, after that of France. I'm not sure about the quality of the French Navy, but mine's mostly Man o' Wars with a few newer steam ships and commerce raiders.

    We're not doing too badly for infamy right now after an initial spike caused by taking Sardinia and Western Morocco.

    The eighth GP slot has been hotly-contested throughout the decade. Current holders Brabant have been there for a while, and actually have some industrial heft, which is more than can be said for fourth-placed Great Power Castile.

    As you'll note from Scotland's war exhaustion, they're taking a bit of a hammering in the war with Britain. I'd like to help them out, but our relations are poor (although I've been improving them of late as diplomatic points mount up) and as a GP I can't sphere them.



    Province-wise, Japan's still in third place, although France has now overtaken Russia to claim the top spot. In terms of factory-building, the Loyalist regime put a bit of a break on things with their Planned Economy, but things are picking up again.

    Literacy has risen from just 17% in 1846 to 21% in 1856 and the pace of change has increased more rapidly as the education techs were researched towards the end of the period. I'm still waiting on Darwinism to fire (2% chance per month), and when it does I hope to see even better progress.

    That said, France has increased its literacy rate by 7% over the same period, which given its size is remarkable. The British, by contrast, have seen a 4% fall, which is just plain weird.

    The Japanese army has increased by 35 brigades in the past decade, but the navy has grown faster, adding 70 ships to its roster.


    Vital statistics

    Overall score



    Despite not really focusing on it, prestige has still risen pretty steadily over the period, driven mostly by colonisation and the occasional war. Both these factors are unlikely to play a big part in the immediate future, so we can expect this to stagnate in the near future. Likewise, the province count is not going to radically change from hereon out.

    In terms of factories, you can easily see the point at which the Patriotic Union took charge in 1852 and capitalists were free to build again. This is mirrored by the sharp decline in military score as an Anti-Military government was installed.


    Economics



    The most striking feature here is military spending. Once the Loyalists took over this rocketed from around £1,600 a day to nearly £7,000. It's the comfortably the single biggest expense for the state, and if the Patriotic Union could cut it without making thousands of Pops unemployed they would.

    Annoyingly, education spending has been stubbornly slow to increase, but admin spending is rising, reflecting growing numbers of bureaucrats. For now, this is a good thing as I need to up admin to increase promotions.

    Worryingly, industrial subsidies have ticked up of late, but with unemployment falling I'm hoping I'll have the slack needed to shut the most unprofitable factories.


    Society



    It doesn't take an expert to identify 1852 as the key date here. Consciousness and militancy both begin falling, while the population decline that characterised the entirety of the 1840s went into reverse. Say what you like about the Loyalists, but they've definitely left their mark on Japan.


    Military



    Here you can see the reason for the massive growth in military spending. I'm unsure as to whether this is due entirely to the Loyalists, but since I'm blaming them for everything else they can carry the can for this too.

    Iím not really intending on expanding the army at the moment. Itís certainly big enough for the Patriotic Union (at least where the Isolationists wing are concerned), but I might make additions to the navy, if and when I research ironclads.


    Research



    Not the most interesting of graphs this. Literacy rates are going the right way, but too slowly for my liking and part of the blame must lie with the fairly flatlined rate of growth in the number of clergy. As I said, I'm pinning my hopes on the bureaucrats (how often do you hear that?) to sort things out.

    Research points are doing fairly well and we'll get another nice boost post-1860. My current objectives are another level of railroads, the next philosophy tech and some army and naval techs (I want ironclads soon).


    Politics and society

    The rise of the Liberals has been the political story of the decade, if overshadowed by the tussles between the Loyalists and their conservative opponents. Since 1846 the Liberals have seen their representation in the Upper House increase by nearly 14%



    With militancy still above 1 there's still a little conservative support for reform, but with only 10% of their deputies backing the Liberals it looks like further changes are a way off. Since voters are mainly concerned with the parties' war policies this doesn't look like a huge issue.

    I'm hoping that a few more years of peace should damp down the support for Jingoism, but it remains to be seen whether or not I'll actually get that.

    From a demographic standpoint, the urbanisation of Japan continues apace, as does assimilation of non-Japanese groups. In 1836 the Japanese constituted just 6.2% of the Empire's population, but this figure has now risen to 15%. Interestingly enough, the Beifaren have proved much less susceptible to assimilation than the Nanfaren.

    1836


    1846


    1856


    Shinto remains the second largest religion in the Empire, but despite almost doubling in size over the decade it's a long way behind Mahayana Buddhism.

    Iím still hopeful that the Liberals can win control of the Upper House before the Socialists turn up to smash their electoral chances. Time will tell.


    The wider world

    Last but not least, here's the world in 1856. Colonisation of Australia and parts of Africa has begun, but Japan was too late to the punch so we'll not be taking part in either of those races.

    Eurasia and Africa


    Manchukuo is the big winner of the Khorasani war, making it a key buffer state between Russia and Japan. The Great Game will be played out on the Mongolian steppe.

    The Americas


    Japan has a solid hold on the western seaboard of North America, although the region is lightly defended to say the least. The British actually have their capital in America, so any war is likely to see Japan start at a substantial disadvantage.

    The world in 1856


    Thanks for following, and see you again for the 1856 update!
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    great stuff, really like all the detail. Its great to see the shift of your population away from farming and I don't think I'd appreciated just how bad that population outflow had been. Still no matter how much of a threat in some ways the British are, you now have such massive industrial might.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

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    I love the detail you go into in your analyses of stats and trends. I never really play this way in Vicky2 so it is interesting to hear and see some of the different effects that I normally don't pay attention to.

    I'm glad I still check this thread; it's so very interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    great stuff, really like all the detail. Its great to see the shift of your population away from farming and I don't think I'd appreciated just how bad that population outflow had been. Still no matter how much of a threat in some ways the British are, you now have such massive industrial might.
    Well, the graph is on a fairly limited axis, so it probably looks worse than it is. That said, as I think Blxz pointed out upthread the number of emigrants would probably have been next to impossible for commercial shipping to accommodate.

    As to the British, I don't see them as an existential threat, but they could make life very unpleasant for me in North America. Japan's combat power is split between the armies of China and Italy, with scattered forces elsewhere. I'm willing to bet that the Brits have most of their forces in North America and could come gunning for me even as I struggle to ship in reinforcements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blxz View Post
    I love the detail you go into in your analyses of stats and trends. I never really play this way in Vicky2 so it is interesting to hear and see some of the different effects that I normally don't pay attention to.

    I'm glad I still check this thread; it's so very interesting.
    Thanks. I don't generally play Vicky2 in this way either, but one of the advantages of taking things at a slow pace is that there's time to stop and take stock.
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    1856: Patriotism, Peace and Prosperity

    I rely with Confidence on the manly Spirit and enlightened Patriotism of My loyal Subjects for a Continuance of that Support which they have so nobly afforded Me; and they may be assured that I shall not call upon them for Exertions beyond what may be required by a due Regard for the great Interests, the Honour, and the Dignity of the Empire.

    State opening and Emperor's speech

    The previous year had brought mixed fortunes for Prime Minister Oyama and his administration. The Railways Act had proved a roaring success and the decision to lower taxes had had the desired effect on the government's popularity. However, Oyama's response to the Agadir crisis had vacillated between confident aloofness and short-sighted optimism - a fact not lost upon members of his own Cabinet.

    As far as Oyama was concerned the Patriotic Union had won the 1852 election on the pledge of avoiding the foreign adventurism that had defined policies of both the Court and the Loyalists, and the Prime Minister was determined to cleave to this principle regardless of public opinion. Despite this, Oyama's idealism did not blind him to political realities, and as such he resolved to ensure that the third part of the Patriotic Union's election slogan - Prosperity - took centre stage.



    Perhaps awkwardly for the Prime Minister, it fell to Finance Minister Iwao to announce that the Patriotic Union would cut back the consumption tax to the historic lows it had briefly attained in the latter days of the Court Party's rule. The alliance between the two men and their respective supporters had largely been driven by the need to oust the Loyalists from power. With that goal achieved, Iwao was chafing against Oyama's isolationist stance.

    Despite these tensions, the Patriotic Union would hold together for the time being. From its inception it had been designed to win elections, and with one due in six months' time it would have been foolhardy to hand the Loyalists a chance to paint their opponents as a squabbling mob.


    Domestic affairs

    Whatever the future held for the government, for now it was able to point to its record of strengthening the Empire internally. The 1856 Budget finalised the appropriation order for the army's Type 12 rifles, and as soon as the Finance Bill was passed in late July the weapons were shipped to the troops.



    The rapid spread of railways throughout the Empire were a clear sign of the success of the government's legislation to encourage their development. However, it was becoming apparent that the 1855 Railway Act was struggling to cope with the pace of change. It had been believed that Japan would take to the new form of transport gradually, and the Act had been framed with this in mind, but now that every part of the Empire looked set to be connected new rules were needed to govern co-operation between competing lines and adjudicate on rights of way. Mindful of the need to capitalise on investors' enthusiasm, the government set about introducing a new Bill.

    The Great Eastlands settlement drive moved one step closer to completion in February, with the result that only one part of the Japanese-claimed zone remained formally uncolonised.



    Even here, settlers and pioneers were busy establishing a Japanese presence, although it would take until 1858 for the Great Eastlands frontier to be formally closed.

    Freed of the task of administering the vast resettlement programme, Japanese bureaucrats were able to turn their attentions inwards. While the Home Islands was already well along the path to the creation of a modern civil service, the system in China had changed little since the wars of conquest of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and in many case the conquering Japanese had simply co-opted the still-older procedures of the Ming.



    The result was a ramshackle mess of local particularism in which nepotism and corruption ran rife. Prime Minister Oyama believed that much of the unrest of former years was driven by the practices of officials who cared little for either the people in their charge or the long-term well-being of Japan. The Cabinet ordered that the two most populous provinces in China would become models of a new Imperial administration based upon an ethos of public service.



    The path to civil service reform was eased by the continuing decline in anti-Imperial sentiment under the Oyama administration. Although sporadic outbreaks of unrest still occurred, by the standards of the late 1840s they were rare indeed.


    The 1856 election

    The continued peace and technical progress enjoyed by the Empire formed the centrepiece of the Patriotic Union's election strategy. Oyama was determined to once again campaign on a platform that would strengthen his own isolationism against those in the Cabinet who wanted a more active foreign policy.



    The Prime Minister went so far as to tacitly encourage pacifist movements in the electorally-important Nagoya state. Although Oyama believed in the necessity of a military deterrent, he calculated that support for the pacifists could shift the centre ground of the debate in his favour. In the key state of Edo the Patriotic Union made much of the vastly increased military spending presided over by the Loyalists, reminding voters that their taxes had enriched the armed forces even as it left Japan with little to show for it.



    Liberal agitators chose to remain aloof from the debates on military policy, instead concentrating on social and economic issues where there was clearer ground between them and their more conservative opponents. The Nagoya liberals called for an end to the existence of state-sanctioned religion, while in colonial New China their brethren went further, demanding an end to all religious involvement in state matters. In each case their efforts were marginalised by the Patriotic Union and Loyalists' common support for the supremacy of Shinto.



    On the social front, liberal demands for the franchise to be widened to include Chinese subjects who met the property qualifications were stymied as the majority of the current electorate were in no mood to dilute their influence. Similarly, calls for a relaxation of tariffs provoked a backlash from industrialists that served only to strengthen the present system.



    While the qualified success of the Oyama government probably meant that victory in 1856 was inevitable, the scale of their triumph was a shock. The Loyalists found many of the tricks they had employed in the 1850 election - such as the exclusion of candidates and hostility in the official press - were now turned against them.

    The result was catastrophic for the Loyalists, who failed to win a single place on the Imperial Council. Candidates affiliated to the Patriotic Union would now fill 47 of its 50 seats.


    Foreign affairs

    While the Empire was consumed by the 1856 elections, the long war between Britain and Scotland dragged on. Although the British told all who would listen that they had the upper hand, the Scots had managed to clear the Lowlands of enemy troops and were consolidating their position in Ireland.



    Despite this, the Royal Navy's control of the North Atlantic denied Scottish colonies in the Great Eastlands any hope of assistance, with the result that the British made steady progress against the now-isolated garrisons.



    By July, Britain was ready to announce a further extension of its war aims: the province of Quebec was added to the list of demands alongside Ulster and Wales. In Japan, the Foreign Minister reported that Scotland's leadership had used the war to bind public and private endeavours more closely together, partly in response to growing discontent with the ongoing conflict.

    Britain's request to use Japanese bases to conduct operations against Scottish possessions in Asia was met with a firm rebuke from the government, even as efforts to improve relations between the Empire and Scotland continued.

    The other major event of 1856 was the Bohemian Putsch. After the disastrous Austrian war of the 1830s the Bohemian state had lurched from crisis to crisis.



    Finally, elements in the military and aristocracy had had enough and chased out the moderate government. From now on the Duke of Bohemia would rule personally, although in this case "personally" meant at the behest of his new advisers. France and Japan were among a handful of states that formally protested this development, but none saw any advantage in intervening.


    End of year

    The year closed with the Patriotic Union ascendant. Its control of the Imperial Council was uncontested save for a handful of liberal-leaning deputies. However, in a sign of troubles to come the Diet elections saw marked gains for the liberals, although here too it was the Loyalists who suffered the steepest decline in support.



    While Prime Minister Oyama could be satisfied with his electoral success, the very weakness of the opposition could prove the Patriotic Union's undoing.
    Last edited by Dewirix; 17-10-2012 at 18:18.
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