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Thread: Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

  1. #1

    Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

    Settings:
    EU 1.08/IGC 2.0k
    Normal/Normal
    Free Ireland, Norway, Bretagne. COT in Skane, Anglia and Moscow. United Prussia.
    Playable nations: Spain, England, Turkey, Russia, Prussia, Austria, France and Nippon

    Part I: 1492-1514

    Edo
    Midnight, Jan. 1, 1492

    My lord sleeps fitfully.

    He tosses and turns, and groans softly to himself. The calming tea I had made for him seems not to have the effect it has had so many other nights. Perhaps because the chill wind from Yokohama Bay has made this winter evening cold. Or perhaps my talents, like myself, have grown so dull with age.

    I am a wizened old crone, long past her prime. And for anyone in my profession, I should have long ago retired to the more honorable profession of teacher, even if it is a teacher in the floating world. But unfortunately for me, it seems one old man has become fond of this old woman. It is perhaps my fate that that man happens to be the most powerful man in all Japan.

    I blush sometimes to think how it must be to the Empress, left alone on this wintry night in a drafty castle, while her husband finds solace in the home of another woman. I am nobody, but perhaps that is why he comes. To pour his worries out to a woman who has no power, to bend the ear of someone who has been trained since childhood to listen.

    Already when he arrived, he was in such a state. All he could do was complain. About the poverty of his state. About its backwardness. About its isolation on the edge of the world. To our west was China, a massive empire whose riches he could only dream to have. To the south, the Thais and the Vietnamese, who would just as happily shake his hand as stab his back. To our north and east, a vast and icy unknown. Almost sobbing, he said the yearly income of our proud nation was a mere 100,000 ducats, not even enough to pay the monthly upkeep of our vast armies. And certainly not enough to fund any of our scholars in their inquiries and investigations. Any of the warring families would be happy to see him toppled in a military coup, and one of their own installed in his place. He felt his light was fading.

    I told him he needed rest. I had the servants warm a bath for him, and massaged his feet gently to put him to sleep. My lord closed his eyes, and lay his head on the wooden pillow. I undressed and lay beside him, and myself fell asleep listening to his breathing.

    An hour ago, he awoke, sweating. His eyes were wild, I had thought him possessed by a demon. His grasped my arm tightly I felt it drained of blood. As I made the tea to put him back to sleep, he told me animatedly of his vision. He had dreamed of metal birds that screamed through the sky, of vast flotillas of floating iron. Of hundreds of battles, between thousands of men. Among them, a strange race he had never seen before, of pale-skinned men. He saw the banner of the Rising Sun – our banner – hoisted high over foreign cities. But what made him weep with fright as he woke was not this vision, but the last one. He had seen the rubble of his castle, the ruins of Edo. And the strange pale men bending over the Emperor’s shoulder. He had seen defeat.

    As he sipped his tea in silence, he was still weeping. As he drew his kimono around him to shut out the cold, his eyes met mine. They had turned suddenly sharp and cold. He said: “We began too late. We must begin again. Now.” And then he lay back down into his dreadful sleep.

    And thus it began…

    In 1492, Japan was gripped by a great frenzy. The emperor had emerged and declared that a new day had dawned. No longer would we be trapped in these islands, warring amongst ourselves. Our destiny lay beyond, in the great lands of Asia, to which we would bring our civilization.

    The first task would be the building of a navy. Our armies numbered almost half a million: 195,000 men camped on the Edo Plain alone, led by the great general Hosokawa. Another 195,000 were barracked near Kyoto in Honshu, still another host of comparable size was quartered in Kyushu. Yet there was no way for us to project our power unless we had the ships to carry them. Our shipyards could indeed together shape a mighty armada. But our problem was that we had no means to pay for them. The most we could afford was to build between 3 to 4 vessels a year, on the measly 100,000 ducats we had at our disposal. Unfortunately, it looked as is Hosokawa might spend his last active years not besieging castles but overseeing the shipwrights and sailors as they cobbled together the beginnings of a Japanese navy.

    Three years later, and our first flotilla of 10 troop transport ships is docked at Edo. National enthusiasm for our fledgling navy is so high that the people of Kyushu decide themselves to build a warship, and give the captaincy to one of their own, a former fisherman named Hondo. Since the emperor felt that the navy could not yet be sent to battle, he asked Hondo instead to map the surrounding seas. He also believed a naval base needed to be built, on the wild island of Formosa, in advance of an attack on China. The 10,000 horsemen he transported on his new navy made short work of the natives. Unfortunately, the boatload of prisoners that followed them never arrived.

    In 1501, the aged emperor died suddenly, his dream far from completion. His son continued the cause, and by 1505, Japan had three sizable fleets, docked in Kyushu, Honshu and Edo. By this time, the fervor whipped up in the populace produced another adventurer, who this time was sent along with the colonists to Formosa. The following year, Fujiwara, a former nightsoil collector from Edo, founded a naval base in Kaohsiung.

    1505 was also the year of revelation for Japan. It appears the court had been for years quietly sending gifts of silk to the Vietnamese court at Hue, and in a secret ceremony, married off one of the daughters of a prominent clan to the Vietnamese emperor’s nephew. In April, the emperor revealed that Japan had joined the Vietnamese-Thai alliance. It made many uncomfortable to know that we were being led abroad by a bunch of poorly civilized thugs who could not be counted on, but the message was unmistakable: Nippon was finally emerging from its long isolation.

    In 1507, Hondo dies, having mapped the waters north and east of Japan. His remaining ships dock in Kaohsiung, were they join the 10 ships transferred out of Kyushu carrying what would become the first strike force of Japanese soldiers in the coming war against China.

    In a meeting between the emperor and his advisors and spies, the point was raised that the most logical target of a war would be the land of Korea. First of all, its inhabitants were not Han Chinese, and thus would welcome their freedom from Han servitude. Secondly, its separation by two sea zones from the home islands would facilitate the transport of our armies across the Japan Sea. Either of the two provinces of Yalu and Kwongju would make an excellent base of attack on the rest of the Middle Kingdom.

    The emperor thought quietly, and said: “That is exactly why we should not attack it.” He placed a thin finger further south, at a tiny insignificant tropical island called Hainan. A hubbub arose among the assembled worthies: was this the goal of a war Japan had been preparing for over a decade? Well, who could argue with a god? Yet privately, the nobles worried.

    On Dec. 20, 1510, Nippon declared war on China. The emperor grinned when the Vietnamese ambassador at court delivered his country’s promise of support, and barely blinked when told the Thai envoy had decided to send his regrets. No matter, he thought, the Vietnamese are the key to our entire enterprise.

    Japan’s army of thousands and fledgling navy were being paid half wages, and fed half-rations. Full support for just the army would cost Edo 24,000 ducats a month, ducats the emperor did not have. Morale was low. With his forces barely in shape for any war, much less with China, the emperor was putting the fate of his whole nation on the line. The bet was all or nothing.

    The siege of Hainan commenced as soon as war was declared. Japan’s spies reported that nearly all of China’s armies were headed south. It seemed however, that their destination was not Hainan – they would have to cross water – but the nearest adjacent enemy territory, the pestilential Red River delta around Hanoi. From the battle stations on Hainan, the emperor received regular reports from spies disguised as fishermen in the Tonkin Gulf: China was throwing its entire might against the Vietnamese citadel, and more men were dying from hunger and disease than from battle. From over 100,000 men, China’s main army had been cut by two-thirds.

    Now, he said, we strike.

    Men and cannons were sent to Kwongju and Yalu, while another diversionary force landed in Shantung, to draw the attention of the Chinese armies from the siege of the two Koreas. The war on the mainland, which lasted for nearly three years, would be known as the Cat-and-Mouse War. Having been drawn down into the land of Dai Viet, the bulk of the Chinese army had to travel all the way north to engage Nippon. Not only that, but the emperor activated a unique strategy, which depended on losing more than it did winning.

    Given the low morale of the forces, the standing order at every engagement was to retreat as soon as the enemy initiated battle. That way, loss of troops would be minimized, while at the same time slowing the enemy army. Engaged by some 54k soldiers in Shantung, the diversionary force quickly retreated into Chansi to besiege Beijing. Engaged there, the soldiers retreated into Tianjin. And so on. The technique worked to surprising effect in Korea, where an army retreating from Kwongju added to the forces besieging Yalu, hastening the fall of the city’s walls.

    The Shantung force under the adventurer Fujiwara successfully tied down the main Chinese army and bought time for the other two armies to capture Yalu. Fujiwara then laid siege to Hunyang as a small regiment each of cavalry and infantry were detached from the victorious Yalu besiegers to pin the approaching Chinese forces across the Yalu river. The remaining cannons and infantry then moved on to reduce the walls of Kwongju’s garrison.

    On Dec. 15, 1514, Nippon’s first great war against China, the Cat-and-Mouse War, ended in a checkmate. Beijing sued for peace, granting Hainan, Yalu and Kwongju. These three provinces – the Koreas alone had populations near the size of Edo and Honshu – in addition to the naval base on Taiwan and an infant colony in Luzon had expanded the Japanese empire’s size by two-fold. And this had been accomplished on the nearly no money at all (although Edo had to borrow from its merchants 200,000 ducats a few months before the end of the war) when both naval and land forces had their funding cut in half.

    We had indeed begun.

    Ending stats: Nippon 2nd in victory points, behind Spain

  2. #2
    Field Marshal

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    Awsome!

    I like having a different view of things.

  3. #3
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    Very interesting and well written. There should be enough to keep you busy in the coming years until the Europeans show up and then the fun really begins.



    Joe
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    Desert Tides or how I learned to swim in quicksand Adventure
    A Tall Tale Told on a Cold Night Fantasy

  4. #4
    Originally posted by Storey
    Very interesting and well written. There should be enough to keep you busy in the coming years until the Europeans show up and then the fun really begins.



    Joe
    Indeed. Already worrying about how to deal with the inability to build fortresses or promote officials to reign in inflation -- can't earn more than 100d a year, can't touch the slider even a little bit or inflation goes mad.

    Oh, and yes, you're right, there's that "-200 Everyone and their mother has a permanent casus belli against Nippon" thing...

  5. #5
    Second Lieutenant Belisarius's Avatar

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    Originally posted by Dipo


    Indeed. Already worrying about how to deal with the inability to build fortresses or promote officials to reign in inflation -- can't earn more than 100d a year, can't touch the slider even a little bit or inflation goes mad.
    Well, a work around you can use is to edit the save game. Add officials in there to the city, and deduct the corresponding money. You can also build manufactories that way, as well as fortresses.

  6. #6
    Althistorian das's Avatar

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    Hey! That man just stole my idea!

    That was my idea! I only forgot to begin game, but it was my idea!

  7. #7
    Althistorian das's Avatar

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    Okay.

    Okay. Good. Give us some screens of Nipponian Empire. Please!

  8. #8
    Admiral of the Kings Fleet Warspite's Avatar
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    Very well written, helping to keep the story captivating. Your doing well it seems also, hope to hear more of the emerging Japanese.

    What a Game!

  9. #9
    Part II: 1515-1535

    January 1, 1515
    Edo

    My name is Watanabe Junichiro.

    I was born in Edo 22 years ago. To say in what district and in what house would reveal too much of my dishonorable origins. Yet I am not afraid. Why should I? I am a child of the floating world. I do not know my father, and I am sure he does not know me. Thus I have no father’s honor to protect, and no secrets to keep.

    My mother was an old woman when she had me, and I hope that in her twilight years I helped relieve some of her loneliness amidst the false laughter and chatter she was forced to put on, like a mask, every evening. I slept on a threadbare tatami mat in a corner of our teahouse. I was not always asleep, and I grew wise before my years.

    When I was 13 winters old, my mother died one cold night in the teahouse, on the mat beside me. When I woke, her body was stiff and cold. The landlords of the teahouse in which she worked promptly turned me out into the streets, where I lived by my wits. And learned much about the world around me.

    I learned that we, Nippon, were not as great a nation as we wished ourselves to be. We talk about the superiority of our race and our civilization and our empire, but our poverty and lack of land and resources is known throughout Asia. Our nation is hopelessly feudal, we cannot advance or develop our backward bureaucracy. Every year, the tax collectors deposit 100,000 ducats into the emperor’s treasury, and pocket the rest. We thus must make do with that for any of our expenses. We have even lost the ability to build the great castles that dot our land, and everwhere in our empire except in our home islands we are vulnerable.

    Abroad, we have two small friends and one great enemy. The Siamese and the Vietnamese ally with us not because of any great loyalty, but of our common fear and hatred of China. In the last, great war, we have seized from the Middle Kingdom the island of Hainan and its port of Haikou, as well as the the land of the Koreans. We have built colonies in Taiwan and the island of Luzon, that are growing fast. An adventurer of ours is exploring the unknown lands north of Manchuria, while another is charting the spice-rich seas south of Luzon. In 1516, the great Fujiwara sent news to Edo that he had discovered a land its natives called “Kamchatka.” The city had been readying a great welcome for him when news arrived that he had died in those same frozen wastes.

    Yet none of this is still enough for us to really call an empire.

    Nippon in 1515

    From 1515 onwards, our land strove mightily to repair the losses we had suffered in the Cat-and-Mouse War (losses, we are proud to say, that pale compared to number of bodies of Chinese buried in the Red River delta) as well as ready ourselves for the next war against China. In Edo, our artisans worked round the clock to cast new cannons – a long, laborious and expensive process that would take many months. Whatever money remained was used to expand our navies. While our armies were large – 105k in Edo, 95k in Shikoku, 85k in Sendai and 72k in Honshu – our soldiers were poorly paid and ill-fed.

    I would know, for I was now one of them. The police had caught me as I was picking the pocket of some merchants in an Edo market. I remember nothing of the beating they gave me, or why they turned me over to the local garrison commander, but in a strange trick of the mind, I only recall the conversation the merchants were having, which was why they were so distracted. They were discussing the discovery by our explorer Shinden, in the South Seas, of a trading post on the island of Buru that belonged to a pale, ill-washed, hairy race who called themselves “Portuguese.” That day was Jan. 8, 1520.

    I wasted my youth as a private in the garrison in Edo, which I considered little more than a slave colony. Five years after I was arrested and sent to this hell, I and thousands of other soldiers were drafted by a megalomaniac and paranoid commander to reinforce the city’s walls. As if any Chinese flotilla would dare sail into Yokohama Bay and disembark its troops right into the mouth of the tiger. The effort took four years of my life, but in 1529, Edo’s walls were indeed thickened.

    Soon after, I found myself on a boat to Kaohsiung, in the service of general Mori (4/1/4/1). The word from command was that the emperor was mulling the possibility of renewing hostilities against Beijing, and the Imperial Army was being prepared for an invasion of the Chinese coast from our island bases. The time seemed ripe for our alliance with Siam and the Viet was strong (expensively so, I knew many bales of silk had been loaded at the docks headed for Hue and Ayutthaya).

    What gave our commanders pause was the knowledge that the Chinese had commissioned a talented commander name Qi Jiugang, who was heading a force of 50k encamped across the Yalu river from our 22k horsemen in northern Korea. Perhaps if our force was paid and fed properly, then our own Mori would be a match for him. But that was not the case, and we feared for our comrades in the north.

    Once again, Nippon would have to strike with cunning. In December 1530, we declared war on China.

    The conflict would be later be known as the War of the Paper Tigers. It would end with victory over China, but along the way, our Imperial Army would also be humbled. From Haikou, a force of 30,000 troops was sent into the undefended province of Guang Dong, while my own battalion in Taiwan was shipped straight to besiege Fukien with Gen. Mori. Another force from Kyushu was scheduled to land in Chansi and besiege Beijing itself. But when the underpaid captain saw a flotilla of 17 Chinese ships in the Yellow Sea, he turned straight back and headed for the Yang Tse delta. Thus instead of Beijing, the Imperial Army found itself besieging Shanghai. Meanwhile, Thai and Vietnamese regulars were pouring into Yunnan, where they engaged Chinese soldiers encamped there.

    Up north, our cavalry camped outside Seoul steeled themselves for the sacrifices they would have to make in the name of the emperor, and of Japan. Small parties of 1,000-2,000 men periodically crossed the river to harass Qi Jiugang’s forces in Liaotung, as well as a smaller army based in Hunyang. They employed the legendary tactics from the Cat-and-Mouse War, to devastating effect: advance, engage, retreat. Then advance, engage, retreat again. The strategy would be so dishonorable if it were not so effective.

    Once again, precious time was bought, enough time for both Macao and Shanghai to fall. Unfortunately, my force under Gen. Mori was the least effective. Gen. Mori decided to assault Canton directly. I distinguished myself in the assault by being the first to charge directly at the gates with my sword. My bravery, I see now, was perhaps foolhardy, but it shamed my comrades into following, and the battle was won that day. I was promoted to Gen. Mori’s personal assistant.

    Unfortunately, Chinese spies sent runners to Gen. Qi, who immediately veered his troops around and embarked on a Long March for the south. Our troops were hastily evacuated from the southern coastal cities, and sent north by sea, in the hopes of being able to land in Chansi after Qi had crossed the Huang Ho. Once again, a Chinese flotilla frustrated our plans, and many of our troops had to land in Korea and make their way into Manchuria, although one detachment was able to land in Tianjin, and besiege China’s trade center. Time, which we had so much of in the last war and which worked to our advantage, was slipping out of our hands.

    We also had problems at home: some of the great clans had decided to withdraw their support for the emperor’s war, resulting in a collapse of our stability. Fortunately, our single religion (Shinto) and devotion to the emperor meant no revolts in any of our cities despite rock-bottom stability and our ongoing war.

    Down south, one by one, our hard-fought captured cities fell to Gen. Qi’s assaults. We were soon left with only one province in Manchuria in our hands, Liaotung. Our depleted forces went after Liaoning, Hunyang and Kirin. We felt like snakes, constantly attempting to evade Gen. Qi, who had after reconquering the south, force-marched his men up into Manchuria. Eventually, we were able to bring down the three provinces, but evacuated our men as soon as Gen. Qi started marching into them.

    When the news arrived that Beijing’s loyal citizens had decided to reinforce their walls, the emperor decided that China’s capital was now out of reach of our now tiny forces on the mainland. There seemed no way we could get ourselves in a position to demand three territories from China. We accepted the next offer of peace from China: two provinces in Manchuria bordering the Yalu, which were Liaotung and Hunyang.

    While the War of Paper Tigers resulted in gains for Nippon, we had also been exhausted. Our stability was 0, our armies at low morale. Many lives had been lost to Gen. Qi. Furthermore, we looked on with alarm as our spies brought news of another expanding empire to the south: the Portuguese, who brought technology far advanced than ours. If we are to win the next war, we must do so with our full resources. And even that might not be enough.

    Our emperor promised the Imperial Army that the next war would be fought at full pay, so we could face our enemies on the field with honor. No more this strategy of retreat and defeat. Yet I, battle-scarred, hungry and famished, was not alone in doubting him.


    Nippon in 1535 (note spreading green at the bottom)
    Last edited by Dipo; 13-05-2001 at 09:54.

  10. #10
    Admiral of the Kings Fleet Warspite's Avatar
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    With all due respect, this is not an aar, rather it is a perfectly crafted story, situated in the oriental theatre. BRAVO BRAVO (claps hands) I love it and I hope to see more like it.

    Your battle strategy of attack-assault-retreat, i think i know what your game plan is there. Great idea. I think i will use it in my Italian game to keep the heathens locked up in tyrol where they will rott and whither away. (105k enemy in tyrol will dwindle quickly)

    Anyways, keep up the story line.
    What a Game!

  11. #11
    Althistorian das's Avatar

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    Sreens had problem!

    Those links won't working. Try to add screens without links.

  12. #12
    Admiral of the Kings Fleet Warspite's Avatar
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    anxiously waiting for your next installment dipo,

    i think after my italy aar i will try a asian aar as this one is very interesting. ill be hear all day, waiting for your next post dipo hehe its called work
    What a Game!

  13. #13

    Don't worry...

    It's coming...

    Unfortunately, the workweek has begun again.

    Once I get some time to myself, I'll write the next installment and post it ASAP.

  14. #14
    Captain T. Fournier's Avatar

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    Nice (and hard) work.
    And I really like your choice of characters. For once the storytellers are not the powers behind the throne (or next to it) but just ordinary folk.

    Btw, don't you get some more revenue from the conquered chinese provinces ?
    TROF

  15. #15
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    How much money are you getting yearly from your Japanese provinces? Now with more Chinese land it looks like you might have a chance against the Portuguese. Don't forget the Portuguese are very greedy. Just make friends by paying a few bribes and when the time is right hit them hard! Great aar.



    Joe
    The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach.

    Desert Tides or how I learned to swim in quicksand Adventure
    A Tall Tale Told on a Cold Night Fantasy

  16. #16
    My first Korean and Manchurian provinces probably added 25% more to the 100d I was initially getting from the five home island provinces. The problem, though, is not as much income (I can set the slider up to full and get a lot of monthly money) but inflation!!! Infantry and cavalry are cheap, but cannons and ships are bloody expensive and I don't want them to get any pricier.

    Also, there's an interesting in-game quirk I've discovered w/ regards to Europeans and Japanese, but I'll leave that until my next installment...

  17. #17
    Admiral of the Kings Fleet Warspite's Avatar
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    thats no fair man, you cant leave us hanging like that
    forget your free time, your shackled to this aar for your readers

    look forward to next read
    What a Game!

  18. #18
    Scary Bald Bloke ! Genghis Khan's Avatar

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    Talking Great "Story"

    Love the way you have characterised it. Thoroughly looking forward to the next instalment. When's it due ?

  19. #19
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    Dipo typed
    "My first Korean and Manchurian provinces probably added 25% more to the 100d I was initially getting from the five home island provinces. The problem, though, is not as much income (I can set the slider up to full and get a lot of monthly money) but inflation!!! "

    I may be wrong but inflation might be your biggest enemy. Without the ablitiy to improve your infrastructure your stuck with it for the game unless you get a random event. (Deflation) Unless you edited the game to allow infrastructure upgrades. If not WATCH OUT!!!

    Joe
    The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach.

    Desert Tides or how I learned to swim in quicksand Adventure
    A Tall Tale Told on a Cold Night Fantasy

  20. #20
    Voortrekker Sir Andrew's Avatar
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    This is a very fine AAR. That's probably an insult. This, as was said in an earlier post, is a superbly crafted story.
    We few...we happy few...we band of brothers.
    - Shakespeare, Henry V

    1 Student
    Nationality: Dixie
    Religion: Protestant
    Ideology: Moderate
    Issues: Interventionism, Moralism
    Militancy: 2
    Consciousness: 9

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