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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Pigzhu275

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Chapter 2: Divided, They Fall

1450-1455:

The Chinese Subcontinent was still divided, and Zhen Shaybanid of the Ceyna Republic had been re-elected to office after his first forays into subjugating the other warring states had gone spectacularly well. The main opposing contending nations for Chinese hegemony were the northern state of Meiguo, which was centered on the rich capital city of Beijing (40 development), the inland rival states of Feilong and Guangdu, the Mongol influenced state of Daxiao, and finally there was the enormous empire of Benin which dominated the northern steppes. Many of these nations were embroiled in war: Daxiao was being invaded on two fronts from smaller Chinese states, Guangdu was being invaded by the enormous Tibetan-Buddhist Empire of Liang, and Benin's enormous Tengri-nomadic population was revolting against the Chinese central government. It looked to be a good time to continue expanding.



With the Beninese Empire focused on domestic issues, it was unlikely that they would be much use in helping Ceyna in war. It was time to end this alliance and use the extra diplomatic slot elsewhere.


Within a few months the Daxiao Kingdom had completely ceased to exist; they had been absorbed by the two smaller states of Majaprahit and Kasanje. Guangdu had also completed their war with the Liang Empire...and was somehow successful in not only winning the war, but had also grabbed four provinces off the larger and richer empire. Zhen had been making the most of his nation's peace, and had approached the Princedom of Hojo to offer them a place in our grand republican empire.


With Hojo as our new vassal, the neighboring Kingdom of Feilong lost their one and only ally and they were now a tempting target for further expansion. If they were allied with either the Guangdu or Liang we wouldn't want to declare war, but seeing as how the Feilong had rivaled most of the other nearby comparatively strong nations...


*stomp stomp*


Zhen Shaybanid wins the mandate to rule for a third term.




Another short campaign had ended in victory! The huge AE penalty reductions from the 'Unify China' casus belli allowed us to remain under the threshold for sparking retaliatory coalitions (the Feilong provinces being below average in development helped reduce AE even more), but we were still skirting close to the point where one might form if we decided to go for another similar sized bout of expansion.

Still...it seemed that most nations outside of the Chinese subcontinent had no concerns with what went on in our part of the world; whether one looked at the northern tribes, the south east asian Buddhist Kingdoms, the Tibetan Empire or even the bickering daimyo of nearby Japan, most non-Chinese nations had nearly 0 AE accumulated with us. This meant that if we could destroy one or two more of the major Chinese powers, we would likely be strong enough that no coalition would form against us since whatever ragtag assembly the minor Chinese states would form could not hope to overcome us and our loyal vassal princedoms. It was time to get to work.



Guangdu was our next target. The Buddhist Kingdom of Sus joined against us since they were allied with the Guangdu, but they only had one fort which we had a number of lucky early rolls on, we were able to force them out of the war fairly quickly. We decided not to push our luck and AE by grabbing unclaimed land from Sus and instead took all of Guangdu at the end of the war. The nations of Majapahit, Wayansas (a OPM chinese state), Meiguo and Benin were starting to worry about our continued warmongering...

Since we had passed 300 development, we were able to increase our government rank to Kingdom. Among other wonderful benefits attained from this upgrade, our government was now called a Grand Republic. Even after giving the Hojo Princedom a few of the provinces, we were starting to see quite a few nationalist rebel groups forming.



Finances after 10 years of warmongering aren't too bad when you loot extensively and demand gold after every war.

China was not yet unified, but Ceyna had emerged as the dominant regional power that looked able to eliminate other chinese states within a few years more. Could Ceyna avoid the threat of a coalition and subjugate her neighbors? Would Zhen Shaybanid rule supreme? Would we get another chance to play as Ceyna and find out?

Do we continue playing as the Republic of Ceyna?
We need a 3 or higher on our 6 sided dice to continue playing.
*rolls digital dice since I don't have real ones*

Dice roll = 6 ; Continue = YES
 
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Tom D.

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Another 5 years as the mighty Ceyna. China is almost fully yours. Are you actually able to form Ming? If so, would you do that?
 

DragonOfAtlantis

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If you make it to six consecutive turns as a nation would you auto change or keep the required roll at six?
 

Pigzhu275

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If you make it to six consecutive turns as a nation would you auto change or keep the required roll at six?
I am thinking that if I happened to roll that many consecutive turns as a nation maybe I will automatically change. Other tag-switch AARs that I have read don't do this since it can make you play differently knowing that you will be switching, but since this is a random world and I want to visit as many of the custom nations as possible I think too much time as one country would be a bad thing.

I have not 100% decided though and would love to hear what you and others think.

Another 5 years as the mighty Ceyna. China is almost fully yours. Are you actually able to form Ming? If so, would you do that?
No, for some reason Chinese states can't form Ming to my understanding. The minor Chinese states in my game have Chinese national ideas but still can't tag switch :(

I totally would switch if possible, but since I can't I will have make my goal leading Ceyna to being the last Chinese state standing in the time I have.
 

Pigzhu275

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Chapter 3: Bidding the East Farewell

1455-1460

Benin, Majapahit and Meiguo remained to oppose our republican hegemony over China. Of course, there were other Chinese states which dared to remain independent, but they were inconsequential and would surely bend the knee if the other major states fell. Still, we had been fortuitous in the wars of earlier years; some nations had rivalled all around them or had their alliances broken in earlier wars, or were being dogpiled by neighbors and were left as easy pickings. The Beninese Empire would not be so easy a foe to overcome.



Majapahit had allied themselves with the Sharjah Buddhist Kingdom and the Beninese Empire, which made them difficult to try and invade. Benin had likewise allied with Sharjah, and also with our own ally of Cyprus in the Korean Peninsula which would make attacking them suicidal at our present strength. Southwards expansion into Southeast Asia was possible (indeed, this was what Tibetan Liang was currently doing), but this would only yield wrong culture and religion regions of little value to us, and at great cost. Waiting to strike Majapahit and Benin would have to wait until one of the two or their allies was in a weak position…


Saxony in China = shout out to Meissner Porcelain

The easiest route of expansion was to start gobbling up the minor Chinese states that had yet to embrace an alliance with nearby major powers. Some of the minor states even had friendly opinion of us, perhaps thinking we meant them no harm. How nice of them.



In the north, our Cypriot ally and the Guarani Horde were chopping apart the Chinese custom nation state of Meiguo. Ideally Guarani will grab most of Meiguo since they are currently friendly with Ceyna because of shared hatred of the Beninese Empire means (which means they could be a good replacement ally for Cyprus if they continue to ally up with our enemies). In Japan, an enormous war for the emperor was being waged, but nobody cares about that part of the world so we aren’t going to post a screenshot of that.



Much more important is crushing minor Chinese states. The Chinese Kingdom of Shirvan will die an especially painful death since they continue to carry their Caucasion ideas and +50% coring cost traditions from half way across the world. Thankfully they have not begun developing their provinces.

Important news arrived while we were subduing the minor Chinese states:

‘GRAND CONSUL ZHEN! WE HAVE CONTROL OF THE CHINAWARE TRADE!’ ‘That’s great news! What bonuses do we get? Tea gives advisor discounts, and grain gives more forcelimits...chinaware gives us…’ ‘NOTHING’ …



A third minor war was started against the OPM of Leinster. We didn’t bring the wars with any of these nations to an end quite yet since we still had a large amount of overextension left from our previous wars with the Guangdu Kingdom to deal with first. Manpower was starting to fall surprisingly low. The main Ceyna army was composed of 60% mercenary infantry, 40% regular infantry and 100% regular infantry to conserve manpower…so why was manpower so low? Then I realized that I had forgotten to replace the regular infantry in my second army with mercs so it was 100% regular soldiers and was bleeding manpower. Ironically Zhen Shaybanid himself was leading this army presently so he had slipped up big time not noticing this error.




To the North, the Guarani Horde has grabbed six Manchurian provinces off of the Meiguo Kingdom and left what remains for the Cypriots.

Another election cycle had rolled around. Some…tactical errors notwithstanding, Zhen Shaybanid was still seen as an effective leader so there was no surprise that he was allowed to continue to remain in office as Grand Consule. After the many ceremonies and congratulations of victory were completed in the capital, Zhen remembered that he had three wars sitting at 100% warscore waiting to be completed. Back to work.



The war chest was full once more after the latest round of conquests, but unrest in some regions had finally grown too much and rebellion was upon the Republic!



And more rebels!



It was at this time that Grand Consul Zhen Shaybanid began to think he may have taken on more than he could handle. Would Ceyna pay the price for his impatience and poor decisions? Wait… where is Gazikumkh and why do they hate us? I don’t think I’ve seen that nation all game.



Ah.

Looking at the current situation, poor management of manpower and mercenaries means that continued military expansion is unwise, seeing as there is a hostile coalition waiting to pounce on any sign of weakness. We need time to recover, so we take the mission to regain manpower and look for diplomatic routes of expansion while revolt risk ticks down, autonomy declines and manpower rises. Coincidentally, this gives us time to survey some other parts of the world, such as South East Asia and Indonesia.



In the faaaaar bottom right corner is a 2 province minor nation of Byzantium, hanging out and blending in with the large Gelre Kingdom that makes up the rest of the purple provinces in Indonesia. The Tibetan Empire of Liang has declared war on Muscovy and begun snaking down into this region to grow ever stronger, and a number of small states have already fallen since the game start ten years ago. Alas, we fail to find routes of feasible expansion for Ceyna. Our tech levels are 3/4/4 so we are still far off from being able to adopt the first group of national ideas as well.



Ceyna was still in a dangerous position; a coalition was in place which included all of the major Chinese nations that Ceyna wished to eliminate (Benin, Majapahit and now also Meiguo had joined) and most remaining Chinese states were on the brink of joining the coalition as well. A prudent and intelligent ruler would be needed to guide Ceyna on her final steps to uniting what was left of the Chinese Subcontinent. Would we be there for Ceyna’s final triumph or fall?

Do we continue playing as the Republic of Ceyna?

We need a 4 or higher on our 6 sided dice to continue playing.

*rolls digital dice since I don't have real ones*

Dice roll = 2 ; Continue = NO

We need a new nation! There are 32 nations left (to our knowledge) for the randomizer to choose from so let us see what we get!



Next time:

Kingdom of Kaqria


*Screenshot from 1444 so we can see next week how well the nation has done in AI hands...

Kaqrian Traditions
-1 revolt risk
-20% merc maintenance costs

Kaqrian Ideas
+1 colonist
+40% blockade efficiency
-15% heavy ship costs
+10% ship durability
+1 merchant
+1 tolerance of heretics
+10% trade efficiency

Kaqrian Ambition
+5% discipline
 
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Tom D.

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Saxony in China = shout out to Meissner Porcelain
This feels so wrong, as is Byzantium and Gelre in Indonesia o_O...

‘GRAND CONSUL ZHEN! WE HAVE CONTROL OF THE CHINAWARE TRADE!’ ‘That’s great news! What bonuses do we get? Tea gives advisor discounts, and grain gives more forcelimits...chinaware gives us…’ ‘NOTHING’ …
No way man, I had that too in my Flanders => Netherlands run. I thought it was a misleading tooltip, you don't know whether there is a real bonus attached to it? I thought so, otherwise it should be a bug.

Good chapter, I like Kaqria, despite its difficult name ;). Let's see if they managed to expand a bit.