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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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I support PrawnStar on this one. Excellent and quite historically well played for a nation like the Netherlands. but you should really look out for a decently sized ally that can help you out if France/Sweden/Castille ever come after you...
 

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Enewald said:
Good to have higher prices. :cool:

How many inhabitants do those colonies have?

I mean yours.

And those spanish raiders should be pushed back, as should the border.

Good question...went ahead and did a little "census".

The United Provinces of the Netherlands

Total Population: ~2.75 million

The Low Countries: 2.5 million
Antwerp - in excess of one million

America: 180,000
Mexico City - 39,376 (largest city in New World)
Campeche - 21,680

Asia: 28,000

Africa: 17,000

comagoosie said:
Castile has a huge navy, especially for the AI :eek: :eek:

Also you seem to have an abnormally small army despite your income size, maybe you should consider building it up?

With you economy strong, should you consider expanding into tougher territory?

Manpower's been a big part of it, I only just took National Conscripts a few years before that comparison. I try to be efficient with the use of my forces - I've got 10 regiments in America and 6 in Asia, with the rest protecting my home provinces, since any fight overseas is going to be decided by my navy. Also, since I'm going with Free Citizens/Naval/Quality sliders, my infantry is pretty expensive, about 12 gold for one regiment. Because of that I rely a lot on mercenaries to fill out my armies.

Also, the largest armies there are a bit distorted. I think Great Britain's is almost 1/3rd mercenaries, which means that every single one of them lost to attrition is gone for good. They've got an army of 50,000 sitting in London, unable to leave the city because the countryside only supports 25k, while all of the British Isles have six transports to take them to the Continent. Of all the big armies, only France is in any way professional and organized, but if they were to fight me: a) they have no fleet, and I blockade them to a quick peace, and b) Great Britain is the HRE, and will side with me :)

Qorten said:
I support PrawnStar on this one. Excellent and quite historically well played for a nation like the Netherlands. but you should really look out for a decently sized ally that can help you out if France/Sweden/Castille ever come after you...

I'm a little worried about either France-Sweden-Milan or worse, Sweden-France-Bohemia-Naples coming after me, but for the time being the British Emperor keeps them at bay, and my wooden wall evens the odds a good bit. Castille though is a paper tiger - if you notice, they've got 105% inflation. Which means, despite the size of their army (smaller than mine) and navy, their 211 gold a month is actually 100. Portugal would tear them to pieces while I dealt with Great Britain.

There's talk that I should go after tougher fare, and that's what I intend to do. First off - defeating the Chinese hordes with 6,000 men. Then, a little trip to Calais. With all the money in the world, the Dutch can afford to hire the best ;)
 

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You really did a lot of updates the past week! I hadn't had time to regularly read it, so it was quite something to read at once. That was great, since I could read it immediately and didn't have to wait :). Great updates, and really my compliments for the maps. Well done!
 

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Chapter 31 – Gunboat Diplomacy (1645)


cityningporivereh6.jpg

Dengzhou Harbor, 1630

In the 1640s the long running conflict between the Empires of China and Japan heated up, inadvertently drawing in the United Provinces. Under the trade agreement signed with the Ming Emperor, all Dutch trade went through the port of Dengzhou, on the tip of the Shandong Peninsula in the Yellow Sea. The remote location allowed “western contamination” to be kept to a minimum, while still being close enough to the capital of Beijing to allow a steady transfer of goods. However, it left Dutch merchant ships open to attack from Japanese privateers, which were launching constant attacks on the Chinese coast. The Japanese Emperor saw anyone who traded with his enemy to be a threat, leading him to authorize attacks on Dutch shipping. The impressive Japanese Navy was more than a match for the Dutch West Indies Flotilla, leaving the Dutch unable to fully protect its merchantmen. The Governor of the Dutch East Indies appealed to the Ming Empress Makata, asking that a southern port be opened so that the Dutch Navy could provide better escorts for its merchants.

The Empress was not about to give favors to those she saw as “insolent tributaries.” Historically, the Ming Emperors saw themselves as rulers of the world, with all other nations beneath them. Instead of seeing Dutch commerce as an equivalent exchange between equals, they perceived it as vassals delivering tribute to the Heavenly Throne, to which the Emperor would magnanimously respond with gifts. This misunderstanding meant that the Empress saw Dutch attempts at maintaining neutrality in the war as treason. In addition, the Dutch wars against Ming client kingdoms in Indochina had thrown the region into turmoil and disrupted the Imperial administration there. And now the Westerners were making impudent demands on Her Imperial Majesty! Not only was the Dutch request refused, but the Dutch delegation in Dengzhou was imprisoned, and demanded 20,000 taels of silver for their release.

polosudimage1216qp8.jpg

East Indies Flotilla arrives at Lantau Island, 1645

The Governor decided to begin trading through the south despite the Empress’ refusal, and dispatched the Indië Korps Mariniers under Colonel Lefevré to secure the island of Lantau at the mouth of the Pearl River. The Indië Korps Mariniers, or Indies Marine Corps, was formed out of the old East Indies Company regiments when the States-General took over the Oriental colonies. Composed almost entirely of colonial troops from Africa, Acadia and even the Americas, it had gained a reputation as an elite fighting force during the Sunda Islands and Malay campaigns. Unlike traditional European regiments, the unit consisted mainly of musketeers and swordsmen with very few pikes, and favored skirmisher tactics instead of rigid square formations. Pike squares and heavy armor would lead to a quick death in the thick jungles and swampy plains of Indochina.

The 6,000 men of the Korps arrived at Lantau Island in early 1645, and quickly established a fort and warehouses to form the nucleus of a new trade center. Leaving behind a small garrison, Colonel Lefevré set off with the unit to map the Pearl River and establish contacts with the southern Chinese cities. There was no sign of Ming troops in the region, so he felt that his small force could travel unnoticed up the river and report on the situation. The Korps made good progress up the river, reaching the city of Shaoguan in the upper reaches of the Bei River. The officials of Shaoguan welcomed the Dutch expedition, and were enthusiastic about the potential trade opportunities presented by the Colonel Lefevré. The warm reception convinced Lefevré to encamp outside the town, while the trade envoys accompanying the expedition negotiated with the city government.

It proved to be an ill fated decision. While staying the Shaoguan, the Heavenly Lightning Army passed through the province, on their way to put down a revolt on the Yunnan frontier. Mainly composed of Mongolian cavalry from the northern provinces, the Heavenly Lightning was the Empress’ shock army, feared throughout the Empire. When the commander heard that a foreign army was squatting on Imperial territory, he diverted his troops to drive them out. The Korps had little warning that the Mongols were approaching, receiving word only moments before their arrival. There was just enough time for the Dutch Marines to pull back to a rocky hill outside of town before the Mongol cavalry attacked. The Dutch positions prevented the Mongols from launching a cavalry charge, forcing the attackers to dismount and attack on foot. The Marines poured musket fire into the advancing Mongols, preventing them from getting close. The Mongol commander was eventually forced to withdraw in the face of heavy losses.

1stbattlecl2.jpg

Battle of Shaoguan

While the Marines won the engagement, they now found themselves cut off from their transports on the river. With the Ming army between them and safety, Colonel Lefevré decided to march north, hoping to lose the Mongols in the Nanling Mountains. Despite having no maps of the region, the Korps set out, taking pains to break pursuit. After several months they came down out of the mountains, arriving in the central heartland of the Empire. It was also the central assembly area of the Imperial Armies. The Celestial Dragon Army was waiting for them in Chenzhou, 30,000 strong.

The Korps had no choice but to fight the waiting army, relying on their skirmisher tactics to strike and fall back. Despite being outnumbered 6 to 1, Lefevré’s troops managed to slaughter the Ming troops, effectively fighting a guerilla war from the wilderness. The military governor of Chenzhou eventually panicked in the face of his losses, retreating back up the Royal Road toward Beijing. When word reached Empress Makata, she had the entire headquarters of the Celestial Dragons executed for cowardice.

2ndbattleds5.jpg

Battle of Chenzhou

With the defeat of the two largest armies in the Empire, the Korps Mariniers were dangerously close to the regional capital of Guilin, and threatened to cut the Royal Road to the Yunnan frontier. With the southern border threatening to revolt, the Empress was forced to give in to the Netherlands, agreeing to open the south to Dutch trade and releasing the Dengzhou delegation. A perpetual lease was signed for the islands of Lantau and Hong Kong, establishing a Dutch colony at the mouth of the Pearl River. The Indië Korps Mariniers returned to Lantau as heroes, having won against overwhelming odds.

Next – Fighting another Emperor
 

EUROO7

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Superior technology won the day!

And would this other emperor be the Holy Roman One?

Great Britain?
 

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EUROO7 said:
Superior technology won the day!

And would this other emperor be the Holy Roman One?

Great Britain?
Japan? :p
Nice job, the Dutch United Provinces as won the day!
 

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For clarification, that was Land Tech 30 (Gustavian Infantry and Gallop Cavalry), against Land Tech 17 (Chinese Footsoldier and Chinese Steppe). I honestly think I could have marched to Beijing with those 6,000 troops, I didn't expect the Ming to be so feeble given how everyone says its a challenge to "build a fleet and conquer the Ming." The only thing that prevented me was the lack of maps of inland China, it would have taken me a decade of marching to reach the Forbidden City.
 

EUROO7

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Ming is easy to defeat in it's original form. (i.e. Not westernised)

If your troops were equal, theirs would be annihilated after first battle.
 

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So after a trade-related war with China, the west gets its hands on Hong Kong. Sounds strangely familiar :)

Great job.
 

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You gave them a good ass-whooping! Now let's punish the filthy Japanese for their imprudence and vicious attacks on innocent traders!
 

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You are going from strength to strength in the Orient.
 

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Nice job of the Korps, strenghtening your position in China, I'm almost sure the other empire is Japan, but maybe I'm wrong.
 

unmerged(87106)

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Nice job in China

Fighting another Emperor, eh? This could be the Netherlands greatest victory or worst defeat



:) asd
 

Alteran

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Nice job defeating China with only 6k, the corp was truly an elite force. Great AAR, I've tried Brabant once, but Burgandy didn't fall, I did :rofl: