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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

kebzero

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Alrighty, then... Here we go again, another day, another AAR.

Ming
1399 Grand Campaign start
EU3 In Nomine v3.2b.
Very Hard difficulty.
Lucky Nations on random.

House rules to be followed:
* China must stay dynastic. No republics; rulers are bestowed by the Mandate of Heaven, not the people - unless they protest wildly with pitchforks, that is.
* No 'foreign' units - the Chinese unit group is where we start, and where we will stay. No conquering Sweden and building Gallop Cavalry. At least, not the latter part.
* We will use quite a few gamey exploits, though. This is my first time on any difficulty setting higher than 'normal', and my first go with lucky nations on in any way. I claim the right to play how the game rules permit, regardless of how the game really shouldn't let me. :)


Game goals, in increasing difficulty:
* Westernize - achieved
* Secure all of Asia - achieved
* Spread Chihan culture around through the use of animist and shamanist rebels - achieved
* World Conquest - achieved
* World Conversion - achieved
* World Culture Conversion - achieved

[strike]The latter two are probably completely unfeasible given Ming's disadvantageous start with regards to Europe and the lack of religious decisions, but we'll give it a go.[/strike]


So, what are Ming's advantages?
* Ming is the 'France' of Asia, there will be no real competition until well into the 1600s, barring our expansion outside Asia.
* Ming is large and rich from the beginning, and starts with one of the richest Centers of Trade on the planet.
* There are nearby Shamanists and Animists to exploit.
* Relation with the Oirats mission.

...as for the disadvantages...
* Ming is in the Chinese tech and unit groups, meaning poor teching and inferior units, especially in the later game.
* Europe is far away, meaning there's little hope of stopping the colonizers from mapping out the world and spread out.
* Starting with a rich CoT, it is difficult to split off new coastal CoTs for more colonists.
* Ming starts as Confucian, and have next to no religious ideas. Missionaries will be hard to come by. Confucian also applies a nasty tax income penalty, greatly curbing Ming's potential.

As the game turned out, the following eight random nations were awarded the 'Lucky' tag at start:
* Aragon
* Burgundy
* Byzantium
* Castille
* France
* Milan
* Sweden
* Timurid Empire


....well, at least the game didn't pick Japan or Manchu. With luck, perhaps they'll all keep each other in check until I get there. :)


I believe I'll follow a similar model as my two previous AARs - I will play relatively far ahead of where the published AAR bits are in time, in order to keep the parts coming at a steady rate - barring protests, that is. I know a Ming AAR won't be particularly interesting for most readers, and I won't claim much narrative here either, beyond perhaps the short and silly. If you have any requests regarding this AAR, please let me know - just be aware that I'm decades ahead of the 'published' game dates, more often than not.


Chapter Index
1 - Starting Gambits
2 - Securing Animists
3 - Matters of borders and faith
4 - Protecting the Oirats
5 - Moving Westward
6 - Minor Setbacks
7 - Trouble in Liaodong province
8 - Into Russia, With Loathing
9 - March 1450 - 50 Years of Play Overview
10 - The Sacking of Moscow
11 - Western Intelligence
12 - Animism and You, or How To Make Chihans, The Hard Way
13 - The Parisian Exchange
14 - East, West, and the Middle Kingdom
15 - The Undeclared War
16 - Stalling Castille
17 - More Ming Donation Drives
18 - Overview of Imperial Ming Holdings, March 1480
19 - Dealing with Devils
20 - The Pre-Industrial Revolution
21 - The First Iberian Campaign
22 - Visiting Ireland
23 - The Second Iberian Campaign
24 - State of the Middle Kingdom, February 1500
25 - Imperial Troubles
26 - The Lone Fight
27 - Upgrading the Ming Arsenal
28 - The Scottish Counter-Reformation
29 - Robbing Hoods and the Sheriffs of Jiangsu Forest
30 - The End of an Era
31 - Cores in America
32 - Byzantine Phoenix
33 - 1525 Ming SitRep
34 - Just Another Day in Ming China
35 - Rearranging Africa
36 - Danzig and War
37 - Making Pagans
38 - Iberian Encirclement
39 - The Slow War
40 - Austria Rising
41 - Li'l Drummer Boy
42 - Status of China, 1550
43 - Sunrise, Stalled
44 - War on Wales
45 - Javanimism
46 - Austrian Audacity
47 - The Last Buddhist Stronghold
48 - The State of Ming, 1575
49 - Muscowite Ghosts
50 - When Milan Went To Egypt's Land...
51 - Lithuanian Concerns
52 - Swedish Reforms
53 - Slight Spy Mishaps
54 - Pillaging Anatolia
55 - The Ming Dominion, 1600
56 - The Irish Question
57 - Dealing with dougnut holes
58 - Subsidising Ryukyu
59 - Value for our money
60 - Mayan Victories
61 - Consolidating outside Europe
62 - Chipping at the European Trio of Pain
63 - Austrian Ambivalence
64 - Ming Progress, 1625
65 - Austrian Abandon, French Crusade
66 - The Slow Rout
67 - Gradual Progress
68 - The Decline Begins
69 - Troubles At Home
70 - Onwards to Italy
71 - The Much Belated Conquest of Rome
72 - Pope Adolf
73 - The End of Trier and others
74 - Emperor Erno
75 - Land for Sale, Part I
76 - Reach of Ming, 1650
77 - Land for Sale, part II
78 - Land for Sale, part III
79 - Operation Austria Begins
80 - Grinding Austria
81 - Munching Minors
82 - The Return of Denmark
83 - Sinking Austria's Navy
84 - The Pope, Take Two
85 - Liberating Germany from Poland
86 - Scaring the Iroquois
87 - The End of the Empire
88 - State of the World, January 1700
89 - Boosting Vassals
90 - The Cape Verde Botch-up
91 - Clergy for sale
92 - Pagan Reintegration
93 - Danzig and war
94 - The state of Ming, January 1725
95 - Selling even more land
96 - Not just Cheesy, but Corny
97 - Order at the Court
98 - 'One China', embracing the world
99 - Someone get the Fat Lady on stage!
100 - "We Are The World..."
-end-
 
Last edited:

kebzero

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Part 01 - Starting Gambits

EU3_1.jpg
Ah, Ming China. Land of the Great Wall, dynasties with the Mandate of Heaven, the finest silk, porcelain and lacquerware - and noodles. Never forget the noodles. Noodle is king. Good thing we have an Emperor.


EU3_2.jpg
All is not bliss, however. Look at this noodle-wannabe. Worse still, the upstart has deceived no less than fiftyseven thousand peasants that he is the rightful ruler of China, and not our beloved Jianwen.


EU3_3.jpg
Jianwen does have an impressive array of hopefuls seeking admition to the Ming court, however. Three brilliant men are selected, and as others arrive precisely a year later, they still outshine all possible choices.


EU3_4.jpg
Our slider settings are not that bad, but for our long-term survival, we must go west. The tales of the empires far to the west, beyond the Silk Route, have been around for many hundred years and many dynasties - yet, China has strived for inward perfection, rather than outward expansion. Emperor Jianwen is determined to see that change - but first, he must lay a foundation. An imperial decree calls for more scolars to study the wonders of nature, the refinement of wood and metal, and the application of new wisdom. As a result, Ming becomes more innovative. Jianwen's summons calls forth a talented Naval Reformer - however, at a mere four stars he cannot match the men already hired for the court.


EU3_7.jpg
Then, Jianwen sends out emmisaries. The Oirat Horde, though powerful, is offered our protection.


EU3_8.jpg
Korea is given the same offer, as Japan has indicated an interest for the peninsula.


EU3_9.jpg
Far more importantly, however, is to secure the islands south of Japan, before any of our northeastern neighbors go after them.


EU3_10.jpg
After a day, Heaven dictates us to remove our vassal Khanate. So be it.


EU3_11.jpg
The landing in Okinawa is profoundly uneventful. Once achieved, Ryukyu's fate is sealed.


EU3_12.jpg
The upstart noodle is proving substantially soggy, and tough to chew.


EU3_13.jpg
No matter how hard he tries, Emperor Jianwen is forced to spit him out, for the time being.


EU3_15.jpg
A new approach is the result - many smaller armies, retreating and rejoining the battle as the morale dwindles. This way, at least portions of our army regains morale and gathers fresh recruits while the main battle rages on for months on end.


EU3_16.jpg
Korea sends word of their intention to intervene in the Okinawan conflict. This is not exactly received well at the Ming court.


EU3_17.jpg
Despite horrible casualty rates, Emperor Jianwen finally succeeds in biting over the noodle, chasing him south.


EU3_18.jpg
The inept commander of the garrison in Handan failed to hold out, and his life is thus forfeit. Our pursuing forces do manage to break the upstart's forces again, and a long chase to rout the force entirely begins.


EU3_19.jpg
All across China, the pursuit lasts. Finally, at our far southern border in Xishuan Banna, the struggle ends. With this internal matter settled, it is time to turn our focus outward.


EU3_20.jpg
As we take control of Okinawa, Korea forfeits their claim to the islands.


EU3_21.jpg
However, rather than take the islands under direct Ming rule, we offer the local rulers a remarkably generous offer, and an unprecedented chance for greatness. It remains to be seen if this gambit will pay off - but if it does not, it is an easily rectified gambit.
 

unmerged(70585)

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A new Kebzero ARR :)

I am so here,

plus as someone who has never played at china or ever seen ming do anything impressive, I'm looking forward to watching this piece of cheese ripen.


How did you not just throw in the towel, when you saw that pretender stack?:eek:
 

TonyJoe

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Yay! You chose Ming, my hoped for choice. This should be very interesting, especially since the European colonizers will actually colonize during this game.

Can you explain the Oriate Horde trick? I think you went into some detail about it during your TO AAR but please remind us.

I'm glad you're back.
 

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Finally!

I want to see the empire of China stretch from Ocean to Ocean! (And no cheating by colonising america. I mean the old world.)
 

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Are you going to convert to Hinduism?
 

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Why did you vassalise someone not your religion group? That means you can't diplo-annex!
 

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Very nice work with the pretender!
 

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Are you going to convert to Hinduism?

It is rather very easy to convert early game....

Plus I know it is too late but Ming starts with a very high rated explorer around 1403 or later IIRC. Get military access from a few nations in Africa and annex/take a province from Granada which sets you up to Westernize very early in the game as well. I know that in my Ming game a while back (3.0 WWM), I was able to be a fully Westernized Hindu Ming by 1450 :eek: ...
 

nsahn

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Why did you vassalise someone not your religion group? That means you can't diplo-annex!

I believe kebzero intends to sell them island provinces in the hopes that Ryukyu will convert them to Animism. This appears to be the only way to get Animism/Shamanism onto islands.

Subscribed. Good luck! (for whatever date you are at)
 

kebzero

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i will be following this aar,i just like your aars:)
Thank you. Hope this will be worth your while. :)

I take it you approve? :)

A new Kebzero ARR :)

I am so here,

plus as someone who has never played at china or ever seen ming do anything impressive, I'm looking forward to watching this piece of cheese ripen.


How did you not just throw in the towel, when you saw that pretender stack?:eek:
May it be a decent read. :)

Ming is actually quite easy to play... at least until you bump into way more advanced Europeans. You can Westernize for the tech levels, but your units will only be about half as good as the Latin ones. Still, with the same tech modifiers, it'll be that much less of a gap.

The starting rebels are daunting, but after a few hit-and-runs, they are no problem. You can reinforce - they can't. It's not like they'll have time to conquer all of China before you've recuperated. :)

Yay! You chose Ming, my hoped for choice. This should be very interesting, especially since the European colonizers will actually colonize during this game.

Can you explain the Oriate Horde trick? I think you went into some detail about it during your TO AAR but please remind us.

I'm glad you're back.
I figured I'd best play Ming now, in case the finished 3.2 patch closes some of the loopholes I'll use in this game.

As for the colonizers... yes, they are far away... That makes them a little safer.... :)

Ming and Manchu have a mission that basically is about pushing your relations with the Oirat Horde above +150. They can get it whenever relations are below +100, and since it's a country-specific mission, it has a factor of a thousand for being picked (the random missions rarely have a factor above ten - or more often, two). The reward is -10 BadBoy points and +1 Stability, and the mission can be done an infinite number of times. All you need are some diplomats to either boost or deteriorate relations.

In earlier versions of the game, the border was +200 relations, which made it even more of an exploit. By sending a diplomat on the last day of the month, you'd complete the mission at +200 relations, the month would roll by, and relations would drop to +199... enabling the mission again. With the 'fix', you'll have at least one other mission in between the Oirat missions. Not that much of a loss, you're almost assured this mission every five years. :)

Castille can do something similar with the 'Finish the Reconquista' mission, but that requires a bit more trickery, and also comes at odds with their 'Spain must be Christian' mission. Still, in their case it is -20 BadBoy and +50 Army Tradition, so the pay-off is better.

Glad to be back. :)

Finally!

I want to see the empire of China stretch from Ocean to Ocean! (And no cheating by colonising america. I mean the old world.)
Pardon the wait. :)

Coast-to-Coast China is certainly our long-term goal... however, a World Conquest cannot ignore the New World.

I didnt really folow your last AAR, but you just have to love the cultural coversation exploit :D.
I do hope to use pagans this game too. With no need to worry about BadBoy, paving the way for them is so much easier. Doubt I'll reach Europe, but I can hope. :)

Are you going to convert to Hinduism?
Absolutely! That's one of the cheesy exploits I referred to. The world shall be as Hindu and Chihan as I can make it. :)

Why did you vassalise someone not your religion group? That means you can't diplo-annex!
It's funny... You're right that I can't diploannex them, but eventually I got the flag for 'you have a good chance of diploannexing...' on them. :)

As for the purpose, nshan is correct. I'm gambling that they might send missionaries of their own to some of the islands - Indonesia, Ireland, Britain, Crete, Cyprus, Socotra, Iceland, Ceylon - that sort of thing. I've never seen AI animists or shamanists convert provinces, but they rarely get the chance to. If it doesn't pay off, it's a problem easily fixed by annexing them and any lands I've sold them.

Very nice work with the pretender!
Thanks. I'm almost prone to thinking those rebels are included to delay Ming from Day 1 wars... :)

It is rather very easy to convert early game....

Plus I know it is too late but Ming starts with a very high rated explorer around 1403 or later IIRC. Get military access from a few nations in Africa and annex/take a province from Granada which sets you up to Westernize very early in the game as well. I know that in my Ming game a while back (3.0 WWM), I was able to be a fully Westernized Hindu Ming by 1450 :eek: ...
Way too late to start over, aye. I'm presuming the explorer is Zeng He? I was very fond of him in EU2, I recall. If I'd thought about it, I might have done that. It would certainly belong to the cheese that is China. :)

1450 is quick, indeed... but I believe a dedicated Ming can make that happen without sailing around Africa. It would take some luck, though.

I believe kebzero intends to sell them island provinces in the hopes that Ryukyu will convert them to Animism. This appears to be the only way to get Animism/Shamanism onto islands.

Subscribed. Good luck! (for whatever date you are at)
Correct you are. I've no idea if it'll work, but I've nothing to lose. :)

Thanks for subscribing, and thanks for the luck. I'm approaching the 1480s in playing, and I'll need all the luck I can get. The AIs in question certainly have that tag... ;)
 

kebzero

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Part 02 - Securing Animists

EU3_22.jpg
With peace and some stability regained, we officially Denounce Neo-Confucianism, to increase our missionary gain. The gain in national revolt risk is a grim trade-off, though. This is also the only religious decision tied to Confucianism.


EU3_24.jpg
Our loyal vassal is coerced into signing an alliance - more for their protection than anything else. Japan and Korea both crave their islands.


EU3_25.jpg
Our diplomats have been busy, guaranteeing much of South East Asia, the Sunni nation of Arakan included. It is December 14th, 1402, and Ming China roars to Arakan's defense.


EU3_28.jpg
There is the small matter of getting there, though - as well as our immediate war objectives. January 1st, 1403, we declare war on Taungu. Lan Xang sees reason and stays out of the conflict, the rest join in to their doom.


EU3_29.jpg
While we have to fight on many fronts, this should prove a manageable war.


EU3_31.jpg
Taungu is first to succumb.


EU3_32.jpg
This is why Taungu was so important - two of the South East Asian animist provinces were within their borders. The last is in Assam - and as you can see, some rebels have already spawned and wandered into Bengal, converting Chittagong.


EU3_33.jpg
However, disgruntled nobles far to the north take advantage of the lack of troops in that area to present the Emperor with terms for reforms, wishing to exploit the populace further. Emperor Jianwen opts to enter a compromise. To strengthen the aristocracy is to strengthen the diplomatic corps, and not of too much consequence. However, more serfdom means slower technological advances. Forces cannot be spared from the south, so the nobles get what they want... for now.


EU3_34.jpg
Dai Viet is trimmed down. Ming does have a mission to conquer them anyway, and as long as they hold their last province, it will show up at some point.


EU3_35.jpg
Emperor Jianwen's call for modernization comes through.


EU3_36.jpg
Orissa and Bihar have been giving Bengal a hard time, and that has hurt our warscore, since we were alliance leader. We opt to end the war before Bengal gets in more trouble - and at the same time, end the vassalage of the Khanate. Since our goal is to eliminate them, this is no great loss.


EU3_38.jpg
We claim a fair chunk of the Tibetan plateau for China.


EU3_40.jpg
It's August 18th, 1404. Time to pursue our divine mission. The False Emperor must die!


EU3_41.jpg
...but Emperor Jianwen is nothing if not fickle. We cannot complete the Khanate mission in one go anyway, and we opt to gamble. We luck out - the Oirat mission is easy and very rewarding, and we plan to perform this mission any number of times necessary. As a start, we send the Oirat leaders some tasty noodles. They'll be cold by the time they get there, but it's the thought that counts.


EU3_44.jpg
A noble dies, and we take this moment to reverse some of the earlier interference from the nobility.


EU3_46.jpg
May 14th, 1407. China has further needs, and Assam might fulfill them for us.


EU3_47.jpg
Apparently, the good Horde appreciated the cold noodles. We are instead tasked with removing Dai Viet from the map.


EU3_48.jpg
Shan is forced to surrender much of their holdings.


EU3_49.jpg
Lan Na also surrenders.


EU3_50.jpg
As does the Mongol Khanate.


EU3_51.jpg
Assam is also trimmed down. We do not take the provinces on the far side of their capitol province at this time; their easternmost provinces hold what we want most - one animist and one hindu province.


EU3_52.jpg
All this triumph is too much for poor Emperor Jianwen. While enjoying a good meal, he merrily laughs from all the good news pouring in from the fringes of his growing empire, and ends up choking on a hot noodle. The court mourns, and Yongle I ascends to the throne. The imperial chef is ordered never to serve noodles ever again.


EU3_53.jpg
Emperor Yongle I is off to a good start, and while he continues Jianwen's expansionist policies, he also supports internal reforms.


EU3_54.jpg
The peasantry takes note, and petitions the Emperor directly. To the surprise of the nobility, the Emperor accepts the petition, causing quite an uproar.
 

Darth Moose

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I learned a lot from your There Must be Order AAR, even though I didn't start reading it until you finished. I'll be following this one :).
 

TonyJoe

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Thanks for the info on the Oriate Horde trick. That could be really powerful given the requirement to stay below the BB max.

So you're not a European nation with euro troops but you do have a far larger population base and will no doubt soon westernize. What do you think your chances are of attaining WC in this game?
 

whitesoxfan

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I suggested Golden Horde, but oh well. Looks like you're not worrying about the bad boy limit here, which changes things. Too bad you won't get a monopoly on the Americas. If you could get to the Iroquois or Huron, though that could results in the conversion of the new world.
 

sprites

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good to see a new AAR ^^
lucky timurids? at least you'll have some decent opposition before europe :D