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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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CatKnight

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Comment: *sigh* Apologies all. It shouldn't have taken a week to put together this small post. Work and the holidays combined to take up all my time.

anweRU: I've only played V2 a handful of times so it's hard to make comparisons, but you could well be right.

gabor: There are no constraints in peace negotiations: A war is a war.

As for comparing it to MMU's setup (or WWM, TN, MEIOU and no doubt others).... you can't. I'm not trying to defend the choice of using four 12th century clans rather than the myriad of families that fought in the Sengoku War. I disagree with it.

I can't speak for the developers, however some of the way the Shogunate is handled seems to work better with a handful of clans rather than 15+. As you've seen, Unifying Japan requires there to be only two daimyo left. Further, claiming a vacant shogunate requires the remaining daimyo to agree to your appointment - by force if necessary.

Change the mechanics however, and there's no other compelling reason for four clans that I can think of.

To be honest, the four clans - though inaccurate - don't bother me so much. It's not so different from mid-Sengoku in different mods I've played where a handful of clans have become regional powers. What bothers me is that, if you go forward to other starting dates, Japan NEVER unifies. For example, in 1789 there are still three clans. Since province histories had to be established for the new setup in the first place, I would have had everything controlled/cored by 'Japan' after 1603.

Stuyvesant: Perhaps it's because I'm not as experienced with Japanese (or Indian) names as German, but I tend to agree. In my three Teuton attempts keeping track of characters wasn't too arduous. Here...well, I can keep track but expressing who's who doesn't seem to be as easy.

Storey: Good to see you Joe! I was starting to wonder what ever became of you!
 

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Part I: Hosokawa Iesada
Chapter 2: Interlude (1481-1485)

In This Episode:
Code:
Hosokawa Iesada - Taira Clan Daimyo (1477-)
Imagawa Mitsunaka - Fujiwara Clan Daimyo (1477-)
Shoni Ronin - Tachibana Clan Daimyo (1477-)

Kinsue - (Spymaster 3) - Shinobi master
Asakura Nakoshimi - Taira Clan General

Otomo Kamitari - Tachibana Admiral

Hanami - Cherry Blossom Viewing					Origami - art of paper folding
Haiku - a type of poem: 3 lines with 5/7/5 syllables		Kabuki - 'dance-drama' - theatre style invented in 1603.
Shinobi - Ninja - covert spy/saboteur/assassin			Wako - Pirate
Bushido - Samurai's code of honor				Iajitsu - art of drawing your sword.  Important in dueling.


Hanami

Hanami. We have all had the opportunity to enjoy the festivals that accompany the yearly opening of cherry blossoms and witness their beauty. It is a time both for feasting and reflection, a chance to be with friends and consider the intricacies of life as revealed in its tiny petals. In Kyoto this usually happens in late March, spreading north to embrace all of Honshu within the next month.

For four years war frustrated Lord Hosokawa's ambition to hold a contest celebrating the arts during the height of festival in Osaka. As samurai returned home from war and turned to more peaceful avocations he decided it was time. Contestants from across Japan gathered to win honor and prestige for their families. Painting dominated, but calligraphy, origami, haiku readings and a type of theatre far removed from modern kabuki, but with its own charm, also boasted large followings.

Few were surprised when Lord Hosokawa won the painting exhibition. Some thought it not quite proper that the host should enter his own contest, but in truth his representation of the Inland Sea at sunrise is considered quite spectacular. The festival won much honor for the Taira Clan and established Osaka as a cultural center. (Nat'l Focus moved to Settsu). Ugly hints from rival clan members as well as a handful of incidents convinced Iesada to take steps to secure his realm.

1481-CherryBlossoms.jpg


He turned to a man named Kinsue, whose family name has not survived in historical records. Kinsue was a shinobi of some repute who promised to trouble his master's enemies without culpability while defending the clan against counterattack.

Kinsue opted for a covert offensive by first hiring the feared wako Iysutada. Iysutada spent the past several years raiding in the Sea of Japan and commanded a fleet of eight vessels. These he used to harass the Minamoto and Tachibana holdings along the northern Honshu and Kyushu coasts. His tyranny only lasted a few weeks before an allied navy under Otomo Kamitari pinned the pirates against the coast and won a decisive victory. They captured over five hundred sailors, decapitated them and placed their heads on spears along the shoreline as a warning to other pirates.

Next he supplied money and weapons to the beleaguered Uesugi who chose not to submit to their Fujiwaran masters. In July 1482 one thousand samurai and their retainers challenged Imagawa Mitsunaka for dominance. It wasn't much of a battle and here, too, Kinsue's plan came undone while continuing to remain undetected.

Kinsue's actions rankled Asakura Nakoshimi. As the senior commander of the Taira army, the shinobi's subversive acts troubled his sense of honor. Bushido does not preclude deception in warfare, as you are well aware, but Nakoshimi at least felt that the Code's pillar of Justice required one's enemies to know they've been targetted. He complained to Lord Hosokawa and offered to commit seppuku to show his sincerity.

Iesada refused, but also refused to release Kinsue from service or otherwise curtail his activities. In a fit of anger, Nakoshimi pointed at Kinsue and demanded an iajitsu duel.

This was a horrible breach in etiquette. As you know, Nakoshimi's life belonged to his master and so he had no business offering to duel without his lord's permission. As it happened however, Kinsue smoothly asked to answer the challenge. He accepted and suggested dawn the next morning.

The next morning retainers found Nakoshimi's headless body on his sleeping mat. The head itself was never recovered. There was little doubt who ordered the attack, but with no proof and Iesada unwilling to lose two retainers, the matter quietly passed. (Nakoshimi dies.)

1483-PoliticalCrisis.jpg


Victory during the previous war brought the Taira to the attention of powers beyond Japan. In 1483 hot winds blowing across the East China Sea blew a Chinese convoy past Kyushu into the Inland Sea to arrive in Osaka. They bore news of the slumbering Dragon as well as tea and chinaware from the coast.

For his part, Iesada believed Ming China to be the height of culture, an exotic land untouched by the violence of the past twenty years. He sent scholars and traders to Nanjing. Soon all of the Inland Sea prospered.

1485-TradeinChina.jpg


Wealth invites ambition however. The Tachibana prospered from their warm relations with the Taira and soon the riches and goods of China flowed into their ports as well. Soon Daimyo Shoni Ronin increased his army to fifteen thousand armed with state of the art weaponry including Chinese rockets, while they boasted the largest navy in Japan. He decided it was time to renew the war.

1485-TachibanaDoW.jpg
 

Stuyvesant

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Okay, just a few more glances at the map and I should at least be able to keep the four clans straight. ;) Are the Tachibana allied to you, or merely close? And, regardless of their relationship to you, does an attack by them on the Minamoto give you an opportunity to jump in and backstab Minamoto?
 

CatKnight

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COMMENT: I started another game as France, mostly so I could stock up on achievements and also get a better feel for how the game played.

I started by allying many of my little vassals then picking on Provence. Provence called in Naples (junior partner in Union) and Bohemia (HRE). Annoying but not unexpected. I subjugated Provence, then waited for Naples to figure out it couldn't win and give me a province or two.

Then it just got strange. Naples allied with and called in MILAN. So I allied with and called in Savoy. Both sides bowed out pretty quickly, but it suggests keeping cordial relations with as many countries as you can so you can hopefully call them into wars might be important. After awhile Naples brought in Sweden, Sweden took over leadership of the war and THEY invited Scotland. During this time I invite some of my vassals to the war - I could have done it all at once at the onset, but I was hoping not to use them and so tempt Bohemia or Naples to grab them.

Cascading alliances are interesting, but that reminded me much more of World War I than the Hundred Years War. It's hard to imagine how what was essentially a grab at a French core soon involved half of western Europe. As I said....interesting, but it doesn't seem all that realistic.

Meanwhile, much as I like playing vanilla, I'm being reminded how many more events MMU, WWM, MEIOU etc. has and I miss them.

Stuyvesant: Remembering the clans takes a little getting used to. I think of it as north-to-south: Fujiwara, Taira, Minamoto, Tachibana.

We're allied with the Tachibana, which means when the truce expires I get an alliance CB on their enemies. Of course, my daimyo DOES have a Military score of 1...
 

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tairasmall.png


Part I: Hosokawa Iesada
Chapter 3: Tea Drinking (1485-1490)

In This Episode:
Code:
Hosokawa Iesada - Taira Clan Daimyo (1477-)
Imagawa Mitsunaka - Fujiwara Clan Daimyo (1477-)
Yamana Tadastune - Minamoto Clan Daimyo (1477-), Shogun (1477-1481)
Shoni Ronin - Tachibana Clan Daimyo (1477-)

Kinsue (Spymaster 3) - Shinobi master
Kanetsune  (Theologian 1) - Shinto priest
Toki Motohiro (Master of Mint 2) - Head of the Tairan mercantile interests in Nanjing.
Asakura Yoshitada - Taira Clan General

[b]Families:[/b]
Amago - Tachibana and Minamoto

[b]Terms:[/b]
Kampaku - Regent for a child emperor, but see below		Kanrei - Deputy
Taikun - Independent lord, but see below			Tanto - Knife
Taisho - General


War Dance

The 'Tachinaba War' was but the second round of many in the Sengoku saga. Shoni Ronin sought to win lands and prestige while permanently weakening his Minamoto rivals. Many have argued Lord Shoni sought mere conquest and perhaps this is true, but in the last war he'd seized half of the Amago family lands. Daimyo and samurai, feeling no particular loyalty to the Minamoto cause, defected outright and asked to unify with those members of their family 'left behind.'

It was a curious war, one that shaped future strategy, for while the war lasted three years and involved three of the four major clans, there would not be a single battle. Instead Lord Shoni and former Shogun Yamana Tadastune spent the entire war sieging and countersieging and fighting the elements. As such, other than a handful of castles and forts that needed repairs, both sides emerged unscathed.

All of this was far from the mind of Taira Daimyo Hosokawa Iesada. Lord Hosokawa saw very little to be gained from the fighting and never heard whispers that he might be 'shy.' Instead he focused on life at court, spirituality and art as he had done his entire life. He relied on Shinobi less and instead turned to Kanetsune, a Shinto priest of some repute.

Kanetsune fell in with and encouraged his distaste for what was happening to Japan. He noted that the city of Kyoto, the jewel of the Empire, was decaying and broken due to bureaucratic mismanagement and dwindling resources. Autonomy for the four clans meant reduced taxes and so a reduced standard of living, while increased banditry and reduced trade cut into the city's fragile economy. The Imperial palace kept up appearances, but those with sharp eyes noted a slightly cheaper cut of cloth on the Emperor's magistrates, and cheaper metals interlaced with the steel of guardsman blades. (I noticed the Emperor had a mission to repay his loans. What the heck is he doing?)

The way to restore Japan's place in the sun, he argued, was to turn inward and work on what he termed 'inner riches.' Slowly his teaching gained ground even as Chinese trade dried up throwing the Tairan economy into a minor recession. (Increased competition from Nanjing makes it hard to maintain a presence there.)

1485-WayofTea.jpg

+3% Cultural Tradition/year until end of game

Iesada spent more time out of his cities and castles and earned a reputation for humility. In 1486 he announced his intent to visit each of the Twenty-Two Shrines first favored by the Imperial Court during the Heian period. The Emperor's staff makes offerings at these shrines, and in times of danger send messengers here to alert the guardian kami of Japan.

1486-Shrine.jpg


Twelve of these shrines are within or near Kyoto itself, and so it comes as no surprise that Lord Hosokawa sought an audience with the emperor. There he lay his claim to the title of Kampaku. As kampaku he would be a kanrei to the vacant shogunate and, most importantly, the heir designate. He would still have to win the acceptance of his fellow daimyo, but it would give him a great deal of precedence in any effort to restore order to Japan.

He argued, as I have said, that Japan was in chaos and needed a firm yet tolerant hand to bring the clan daimyo back to their sense of duty. The Taira, he said, were the only ones who hadn't attacked another clan and so had the greatest legitimacy. The Emperor agreed, but noted that Iesada was no warrior and the shogun was supposed to command the Imperial armies. "There are those who will not respond to kind words or reason," he informed Lord Hosokawa. "That is what the Imperial army is for, yet I do not think you would use it." (To be named Kampaku four things must happen: There must be no shogun. You must have a unit in Kyoto to stake your claim. There can be no fighting in Kyoto. You must have a prestige of 20+. My prestige at the time was 18.)

As consolation and appreciation for Iesada's peaceful aims, the Emperor gifted him with a chinaware tea set given to him by a Ming ambassador. He also named Iesada Taikun, or 'favored lord.'

(EU3 defines these titles incorrectly as you can see from the 'contents' section above. Kampaku is a term dating back to the Heian period and has nothing to do with being a shogun-designate. Taikun dates to the Edo period when the Tokugawa shoguns needed a title to call themselves to outsiders above daimyo, but below 'emperor' or 'king'.)

While Lord Hosokawa and his retainers honored the kami, the Tachibana slowly gained the upper hand over their Minamoto rivals. They had an advantage in numbers, which in this strange version of war meant they could siege two castles for each one Lord Yamana and his Minamoto commanders could attack. The Fujiwara couldn't help them: Having arrived along the Inland Sea with enough force to turn the tide of the war, Fujiwara daimyo Imagawa Mitsunaka made several attempts to invade Shikoku. Each time the powerful Tachibana navy stopped them.

(Well, the AI is still capable of being stupid. Fujiwara made at least 10 different attempts to march across the strait. Each time the Tachibana navy left port to block the strait.)

While some historians lament Lord Imagawa's stubbornness to the point of stupidity, I have another theory. He no doubt felt obligated to honor his alliance, and at any rate didn't want to be politically isolated. On the other hand however, he had no particular desire to fight the Tachibana, so chose a strategy that made it appear as if he intend to help, when in truth he expected to be stopped and wouldn't have to fight.

Regardless of the truth, the Tachibana and Minamoto traded castles from early 1486 until the summer of 1488.

Iesada returned from his tour of the Twenty-Two shrines even more determined to bring Japan together through peaceful means. Minamoto officials coldly turned his envoys away, but after several efforts he forged a defensive alliance with the Fujiwara. This irritated Lord Shoni somewhat until he was assured Iesada had no intent of involving himself in the present conflict.

He could do nothing about declining Chinese trade however, nor could he affect the kami in the sky. When a streak of light portended doom he tried to ignore it...

1487-Comet.jpg


...but the kami do not like being ignored. Neither do Shinobi. On a cold morning in December 1487 servants found him pitched over his family altar with a tanto in his back. They never found his head. Nor did they find the ninja master Kinsue, who left some time during the night.


For Want of a Daimyo

There would be no immediate successor to the title of clan daimyo. (I'm in a regency until 1491-92.) This would require gathering the heads of the Taira clan's noble houses, and in general they felt Lord Hosokawa spent his reign proving he wasn't needed. What remained of the unified clan administration migrated to Mino, a more centralized location within Toki lands.

In this time of war some looked for Asakura Yoshitada, the clan's senior general since Nakoshimi's death, to provide leadership. Yoshitada continued his so far very successful strategy of avoiding responsibility except when it came to war, so in time people turned to Toki Motohiro.

Lord Toki was one of the lesser house lords within his family. He sought to increase his standing by financing and supporting a number of expeditions in and out of Nanjing. He liked the Chinese, but he loved money and soon became wealthy. Of course this isn't the most honorable or noble of professions, and a number of his rivals within the Toki smiled when Chinese trade dried up and Motohiro lost a great deal of his income.

He soon placed himself at Iesada's disposal and gained access to the Taira clan treasury. He didn't find it quite as impressive as he'd hoped and so went to work repairing the clan's damaged economy. After Iesada's death he redoubled his efforts. He doubled the size of the Taira fleet and used them as escorts for Chinese traders.

1488-Navy.jpg


Under Motohiro money slowly flowed into Taira strongholds. (Current mission: Accumulate money) Not all was well however, for like his predecessor he tended to ignore the outside world. Months after Shoni Ronin forced a humiliating treaty on the Minamoto to unite the Amago lands, (+1 province) the Fujiwara broke alliance. As goods returned to port so he raised taxes triggering a peasant revolt.

In Tanba, the Ashikaga province seized during the last war, peasants under a man named Momoka began rioting in the fall of 1488. At the time Motohiro believed Yamana Tadatsune's agents from the Minamoto incited the rebellion, but no evidence has ever surfaced to that effect. Whatever the truth may be, Momoka captured three towns, dispersing the loot to his followers more or less equally.

As Motohiro had no real authority to give orders, he sent a request to Yoshitada asking for his 'valuable and proud' army's assistance. He agreed and descended on Tanba in October. Through the winter he fought numerous skirmishes before pinning the peasant leader in a ruined fort. Momoka knew a grisly fate awaited him and his followers if he surrendered, so he launched one last sortie into ashigaru spears and bows as well as samurai swords.

It was March 1489 by the time Yoshitada reported complete victory. One year later he'd respond to another rebellion: A distant relative of the Imperial line, Fugami, had amassed an army and sieged the Imperial Palace itself.

Kyoto never really recovered from the Onin War. Most of it burned in the fighting and many of its people fled. We've mentioned Kyoto's fragile economy and insular leadership which hindered any attempt at rebuilding it. The Imperial Guard, six thousand strong, quickly withdrew in the face of Fugami's determined assault and found Yoshitada's army.

Taisho Asakura Yoshitada didn't need an excuse to help his emperor and so, without even informing Motohiro, he marched into Kyoto. Fugami demanded he surrender to the true emperor of Japan. Yoshitada refused and so he spent the summer of 1490 in brutal street to street fighting. The glorious capital shattered under the two armies' murderous blows and it is said that by the end only one in five homes within the city were habitable, and only perhaps a third of those occupied. Those that remained in the city found themselves able to claim vast holdings - then spend every day worrying about being robbed, beaten, killed or worse.

Nonetheless after Fugami attacked it was a necessary evil, and by July the Imperial Guard rallied and joined their liberators. Fugami himself fell with an arrow in his throat that August and, over the next two weeks, his army quietly dissolved and fled.

Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado was suitably impressed with Yoshitada's loyalty and offered him the title of Kampaku, a title the general all but fled from. He refused politely, but with a desperation that surprised those who heard. The emperor wouldn't be dissuaded however, and told Yoshitada to think about it in a tone that made it clear he was no longer asking.

This frightened the Fujiwara envoys in Kyoto who sent urgent word to Mitsunaka. Lord Imagawa believed the only way to stop the emperor would be to make it clear that Yoshitada couldn't take care of his empire after all.

In October 1490, he launched the third round of the Sengoku wars.

1490-FujiwaraWar.jpg
 
Last edited:

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Interesting, I'd like to see the parties forces compared. Do you and your enemies have any NIs?
A pity about cascading alliences, in fact this wouldn't be so bad if wars were fought more like they really were back then and not like total, all-out conflicts.
 

Storey

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Storey: Good to see you Joe! I was starting to wonder what ever became of you!

There I was minding my own business when one day the earth opened up and swallowed me whole. It had a good chew on me before deciding to regurgitate me back to the confines of the Paradox forum. Other than a gnawed on posterior I seem to have come through the experience without any permanent damage.

Good to see you are still writing. :cool: I’ve just downloaded HttT but it won’t run so I don’t think I’ll upgrade and play DW. But it’s still interesting to see what Paradox has been up to. I’m thinking I’ll wait for MM and see what that’s like.
 

Stuyvesant

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'Taikun', is that where we got our 'tycoon' from?

Japan is in a pretty sad state. You do a good job of creating a world of dealing and scheming, a weak center that invites aggression from ambitious men.

So, you're at war, but the foremost man in your clan (at least according to the Emperor)'s expertise lies in warfare, so that shouldn't be too bad, right? Do you have the strength to administer a good mauling, or was the AI sensible enough to wait until the balance of power was firmly in it's favor?
 

CatKnight

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

gabor: All of Japan has the same starting NI in 1477: National Conscripts. Similarly, in game terms we all use Asian Longbowmen and East Asian Archer Cavalry.

As the war begins I have 10K infantry and 5K cavalry. I have one general (soon two) with F2 S3 M0 Sg1. The Fujiwara have 6K/6K, and their monarch/general is F1 S3 M2 Sg0. As for navies, it's EU3 default: carracks, galleys and cogs. (We can't build light ships) They have 5 CK and 3 CG. I have 2 CK 3 GL 2 CG.

OnisanT: Welcome!

Storey: It won't run? I thought HttT had the same requirements as IN/NA?

loki100: It IS confusing. There are a lot of names to throw about, especially since I'm not buying that there are only four major families in Japan. It might help to remember that in Japan the last name comes first. Further, I sometimes call each daimyo 'Lord xxxxxx', so Lord Yamana, Yamana Tadastune, and Tadatsune are all the same person.

Stuyvesant: Yes! Taikun eventually turned into tycoon. As for the sense of the AI .... hm.

COMMENTS: I don't want to spoil what's about to happen for you, so I added some comments to the end of my next post.
 

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tairasmall.png


Part II: Toki Yorinobu
Chapter 1: Fall of the Old Guard (1490-1496)

In This Episode:
Code:
Hosokawa Iesada - Taira Clan Daimyo (1477-1487)
Toki Yorinobu - Taira Clan Daimyo (1490-)
Imagawa Mitsunaka - Fujiwara Clan Daimyo (1477-1491)
Imagawa Naritsune - Fujiwara Clan Daimyo (1492-)
Yamana Tadastune - Minamoto Clan Daimyo (1477-), Shogun (1477-1481)
Shoni Ronin - Tachibana Clan Daimyo (1477-1491)
Shimazu Kamatari - Tachibana Clan Daimyo (1491-)

Toki Motohiro - see Toki Yorinobu
Asakura Yoshitada - Taira Clan General
Toki Yorimichi - Taira Clan General

Go Tsuchimikado - Emperor

[b]Families:[/b]
Minamoto: Yamana, Ashikaga (also Taira), Mori
Fujiwara: Uesugi, Mogami
Tachibana:  Amago (formerly Minamoto)

[b]Terms:[/b]
sensei - loosely: wise elder - a teacher or other professional		wako - pirate
buke - nobles - in this era usually samurai				bushi - warrior


War to the North

When Imagawa Mitsunaka, Daimyo of his house and the Fujiwara Clan as a whole, declared war in late 1490 he hoped one of two things would happen: Either the Minamoto, eager to enforce their claim on Settsu province, would attack from the south or the Tachibana wouldn't fight. Even if the Tachibana should honor their alliance, he anticipated their copying his tactic of agitating at the border and not really helping the Taira.

Subterfuge did not burn in the heart of Shoni Ronin, the Tachibana daimyo, hnoblowever. He committed fifteen thousand to their ally's defense. As for the Minamoto, if nothing else they knew how to repay treachery and so the Fujiwara stood alone.

1490-StartofFujiWar.jpg

Initial Troop Dispositions

Mitsunaka's rash attack spurred the great lords of the Taira clan into action: They couldn't go to war without a leader, so even as armies mobilized along the border envoys, samurai and their lords descended on Winter Court at Inabayama Castle in Mino province. There they debated who should lead the clan going forward.

Asakura Yoshitada, the clan's highest ranking general, was busy fighting and so could not gather followers to support his claim. Indeed, given his past tendency to avoid offices and the responsibility and prestige that went with them, it's doubtful he even wanted to be daimyo. This left competing claims from the incumbent Hosokawa house and their powerful Toki rivals.

After a time Toki Morohito emerged as the only viable candidate. As we've written Morohito perhaps paid too much attention to money and mercantile enterprises, but he had, for all intents, led the clan even before his ascension. The family daimyo paid homage to him and he took the name Yorinobou in honor of his deceased father.

1490-TokiYorinobu.jpg

Not much better

As I've written, the Tachibana campaign changed warfare during the Sengoku period. As they avoided battle, so did the Taira and Fujiwara. Mitsunaka struck down the center and attacked Shinano province. Taisho Yoshitada and his deputy, Toki Yorimichi (Both generals are F2 S3 M0 Sg1) counterattacked along the west and east coasts and began reducing castles.

Tachibana support came swiftly. In late November, barely a month since the first skirmishes, Shoni Ronin's army descended on Shinano. At the time his army numbered some 8,500 infantry and 5,700 cavalry, while Mitsunaka's army boasted 5,700 of each. Quick-marching through Taira territory robbed the Tachibana of much of their vigor, while steep hills nullified their advantage in numbers. Further, while Mitsunaka may have chosen his wars poorly, he was a decent tactician. (F1 S3 M2 Sg0) His spearman pierced the Tachibana center and entire units turned their backs to flee. In turn they ran into their fellows in back leading to great slaughter. At the end of the day the Fujiwara lost 800 wounded and killed, while Lord Shoni lost over six thousand.

Yet it did not signify, for in February Echigo province fell.

1491-FujiPwned.jpg


That spring the Tachibana returned, but now returned to their tactic of avoiding battle. Izu, Totomi and Kozuke provinces surrendered by June. Mitsunaka seized Shinano, but whereas he should have either sought to crush one or more sieging armies or broke his own force apart to attack more provinces, he instead commited his entire army to retaking Echigo.

There was little glory to be had, and when Edo Castle fell in September after less than a year of war Yoshitada imposed terms on behalf of the Taira clan.

1491-EndFujiWar.jpg


In the aftermath the 'rebel' Uesugi who troubled Mitsunaka's early reign (as opposed to loyalists in the interior) broke and joined with the Taira. Toki Yorinobu dispossessed the Mogami family and gave their holdings in Dewa province to Yoshitada in recognition of his bravery and service.

Within the month Mitsunaka died of a severe stomach illness. Some thought he couldn't live with his decisive failure, while others suspected poison. After several months his younger brother, Naritsune, replaced him.

Shoni Ronin received nothing other than thanks and continued promises of aid should they require further assistance. As fate would have it he never returned made it home. While resting at a shrine the attendant monk, no doubt maddened by the loss of his kin, solemnly informed him that the shrine's kami wanted him dead. He then pierced Ronin's flesh with a poisoned knife. The monk turned assassin died several days later. Once home, the Tachibana turned to Shimazu Kamatari who would call on the Taira's promise to help sooner than anticipated.


Interbellum

Similar to his predecessor, Toki Yorinobu was content to let his soldiers do the fighting (and dying) while he pursued personal interests. Unlike Lord Hosokawa, he had more than spiritual interests to bring to bear. Yorinobu continued his ambitious plan to have a 'cushion' of resources to maintain personal comforts in the event of protracted war. He then used some of this cushion to requisition two more warships. (Completed mission: Accumulate money. New mission: Win Naval Race vs. Manchu) He wrote his former sensei expressing his doubts about the Tachibana:

Toki Yorinobu said:
...and so you see, we have proven we can defeat the (Fujiwara). The Minamoto are of no account. No, I imagine that so long as our alliance holds, we (the Tachibana and Taira) will continue to strengthen. Then comes the climax, and with their greater fleet they can raid at will while we can do nothing. It will require money and ships to maintain our trade, keep our ports from siege (blockade), and so ensure victory.

As you know, Japan has little naval tradition. It has long been associated with wako and other unsavory elements. Other than coastal fishing there is little to be gained from the sea except for trouble in the form of a slumbering dragon or marauding barbarians. The Bushido Code is silent regarding naval warfare. Some samurai within the Taira noticed Yorinobu's obsession and asked him to recant. He sternly rebuked them.

1491-NvyResearch.jpg


Indeed he began to rely more on the commoner merchants he used to associate with before becoming daimyo. When they complained that the Dragon shut them out of Nanjing's wealthy markets and they must go bankrupt, he gave them money and bid them try closer to home. (Like Kyoto.) When they cried that samurai did not give them proper respect, rather than have the complainers hung Yorinobu upset the social order by siding with them.

1491-MerchantComplaint.jpg


I do not need to tell you how unhealthy this became. Yorinobu's trusted officials quieted whispers and smothered newborn plots while urging Lord Toki to reconsider. He refused, still certain that only in economic alliance with his lessers would he have the resources to deal with the Tachibana. Taisho Toki Yorimichi spoke with his superior, Asakura Yoshitada, and counseled a coup.

Yoshitada refused, but before he could stop the plot a revolt at his new estates in Dewa province called him away. Yorimichi marched on Inabayama Castle with two thousand samurai. Rather than attempt to seize the castle however, he sought an audience with his lord.

No record survives of what transpired at that meeting, though Yorinobu emerged pale and shaken while Yorimichi returned to his army. The next day he
'reiterated' his 'long held' respect for the buke in general and bushi in particular. He praised those who fought in the Fujiwara campaign and promised renewed support for 'martial pursuits.' (Completed mission: Naval race. New Mission: Bushido Code. I forget the benefits, but the prerequisite is Military Tradition 25%. I was at 22.8 at the time.)

For over a year, Taira samurai marched up and down Honshu looking for an excuse to show their prowess while Yorinobu refused to leave his castle and avoided friend and foe alike. It seemed to be an unhappy impasse until the Tachibana intervened.


War to the South

Shimazu Kamatari, the new daimyo of the Tachibana, worried about his Taira 'allies.' He did not appreciate his predecessor being left out of negotiations during the last war, nor did he care for their annexing virtually the entire western coast. This left him with two options:

First, he could repudiate the alliance and perhaps even turn on the Taira. This carried its own hazards, for it would isolate his clan. He managed to reforge an alliance with the Fujiwara, but even should that hold (an unlikely possibility) the Taira proved they could fight on two fronts if need be. Anyway, a bitterly fought contest must necessarily allow the Minamoto more time to recover, strengthen, and perhaps retake their lost land. Having seized the valuable Amago family lands, there was no hope whatsoever of bringing the Minamoto on board

The second possibility was to go after the weaker target and take more land from the Minamoto and their hapless daimyo, Yamana Tadatsune. Here the Tachibana proved their superiority twice, and a greater hold on the island of Honshu would no doubt benefit them during the eventual showdown. By maintaining the alliance with the Taira, Lord Shimazu made it difficult for Lord Toki to consider betraying him and impossible for the others to even consider.

At the last minute Lord Shimazu requested help from his 'allies' both to reassure them and bring more pressure to bear on the Minamoto. He hoped this would be a reversal of the northern war, with the Taira and Minamoto armies breaking each other while he snapped up the southern provinces including Choshu (Nagato), one of the greatest prizes in all Japan.

This time it would be the Taira left out of negotiations, and if by chance they arranged something on their own, the Emperor's wrath might come to bear. Go-Tsuchimikado's stance towards appointing either Asakura Yoshitada or Toki Yorinobu kampaku cooled considerably after the war over what he felt an unnecessary, and potentially dangerous land grab.

1494-StartofMinaWar.jpg


The first part of his plan fell through when it became clear that Lord Yamana preferred to take back lost provinces than try to stop the Taira onslaught. Caught in a hopeless position, Tadatsune chose to play spoiler and harass the clan who brought his such grief. He commited to a southern campaign even as Taishos Asakura Yoshitada and Toki Yorimichi invested his family's ancestral lands.

For Toki Yorinobu, the Tachibana 'request' was a blessing from the kami simply because it gave his restless samurai something to do and a chance to gain the prestige and honor they craved. Territorial considerations were secondary from his point of view, but in truth the decision was no longer his to make.

I have written it was a hopeless position for the Minamoto, for once more the Tachibana avoided battle while the Taira never had the opportunity to decide one way or the other. Lord Yamana successfully retook Iwami province, but by now every major clan holding was under siege or direct assault. In November he learned of an attack on the Ouichi holdings in Choshu leading to the war's only battle.

In November 1495, with much of his clan's holdings overrun, Yamana Tadatsune descended from the foothills in northern Nagato with thirteen thousand men. There he ambushed and slaughtered two thousand Tachibana in a battle not worthy of the title. This taught Lord Shimazu caution at least, and he spent the next several months actively avoiding Lord Yamana's army.

By January 1496 the two Taira commanders and their armies overran Yamana and Ashikaga territory advancing to the border of the Mori. Here they paused and negotiated.

By now Lord Yamana welcomed any treaty that would allow him to focus on the Tachibana, even a humiliating one.

1495-MinaPwned.jpg



Aftermath

While this would seem a decisive victory, it only complicated Toki Yorinobu's life.

First, Go-Tsuchimikado issued a stern warning and demanded Yorinobu come to Kyoto to pay homage. It might be true that the Emperor was nearly powerless in day to day affairs, and for all intents and purposes was the weakest contender for his own throne, but tradition and honor demanded he be obeyed. All he had to do was command Yorinobu's death, and if by some outrageous betrayal he didn't commit seppuku, the other clans would happily deal with the outcast and traitor. (My infamy is 14.3/31.6. By my house rules I can't go above 15.8)

Second, the lack of battle meant his samurais' gain in honor and prestige fell short of expectations. (I don't know if it's a bug, intentional design because I'm 'only' a daimyo, or what, but I'm getting very little prestige or land tradition out of these wars.) Taisho Toki Yorimichi, in particular, wondered if it was time for a change.

1495-JapanMap.jpg


*******
COMMENT:
I'm not going to lie. I'm disappointed.

Some of you have watched me struggle with the AI for years. I've grown to the point where in Vanilla I'm competent, but can still suffer a nasty reverse or two.

It looks like I've broken the combat AI. Since it creates one big stack and fights a war of maneuver, all I have to do is let it have its one siege, then swarm his territory. By the time he takes my province, I've taken two or three of his. Duck out of the AI's way as he moves his army back to take one I've stolen. Siege two or three more. Sooner or later I win.

I just gained four provinces without fighting a single battle or losing a man except maybe to careless attrition.

Unless there's signs of a massive upgrade, I may have to finish conquering Japan then go back to HttT. I like to win as much as the next person, but I expect to be challenged. :(
 

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your storytelling is really gripping, as always; but your disappointment somehow feels through it
I don't know DW, but if there's nothing more to Sengoku but just four vying states, starting with the same ideas, I'd say it's a letdown.

I only once played a Japanese minor in MM (Ouchi campaign, tried others too for brief games) but it was a blast and damn hard thing as well, as there are so many things to the set-up, some of which I could grasp only intuitively even with the constant consulting the manual. The advantage of MM Sengoku is not only many different daimyos to choose from (by different I mean with a really different feel owing to location, size, sliders and 3 initial NIs) but also internal (fragmented rule over prov) and external (Emperor, Bakufu) politics. Recommend trying, even though there are pirate issues in MMU.
 

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If you're not enjoying this, perhaps continuing is not a wise idea. I know you'll persevere, though. However, disappointed you are.
 

Milites

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If you're not enjoying playing, I'd suggest moving on to greener grass - despite the grand work you're presenting. I can only echo gabor in his assessment of the Sengoku Jidai mechanics in MM. It's tough, but really, really enjoyable games that come out of playing as the Japanese OPMs.
 

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It's a good read, even if you're not enjoying yourself much. I can understand that you want the game to present an enjoyable challenge, but I do hope you can find a way to continue this game. I'm finally starting to get the hang of most of the names, for one! ;)

Regardless: you do what you must and we'll read if you do decide to continue. :)
 

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GAH!!!

Twice now I've written personal feedback and twice now it's been lost. While I prepare my posts offline, I do the feedback 'live' from the reply screen.

GAH!!

So, with apologies for brevity:

gabor: I think DW still has potential and great ideas, but it's obvious that DW will need a patch or two to really shine. I played vanilla for awhile after losing my Vijay game during the move, and enjoyed spreading my wings and really kicking the AI around for awhile, but found I missed the events and challenge of MM and MEIOU.

Chief Ragusa: I'm not giving up yet, at least until it's obvious that I can't NOT unify Japan. The Minamoto are all but broken, the Fujiwara nearly so. The final showdown will be me vs. the Tachibana. If they fold easily than I've already won whether the game admits it or not.

Milities: MM is fun. It took me a very long time to accept that yes - most things that happen to you are going to be bad - but that's how it rebalances under the assumption you're smarter than the AI. My first game under MM..P.. was with Switzerland - a very bad choice. I thought that, being Swiss, I could just sit out the politics and watch the AI go at it for awhile as I learned the different mechanics. I ended up at war with the Austrian HRE with only my good buddy Burgundy by my side. THAT was a terrifying little war....and very memorable.

Stuyvesant: As I said, I'm going to stick it out for now. I can't win the 'Unify Japan' achievement since I didn't start in 1399, but I wouldn't mind being able to say I could have/should have won it. :)
 

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tairasmall.png


Part II: Toki Yorinobu
Chapter 2: A Series of Events (1496-1501)

In This Episode:
Code:
Hosokawa Iesada - Taira Clan Daimyo (1477-1487)
Toki Yorinobu - Taira Clan Daimyo (1490-)
Yamana Tadastune - Minamoto Clan Daimyo (1477-), Shogun (1477-1481)
Shimazu Kamatari - Tachibana Clan Daimyo (1491-)

Asakura Yoshitada - Taira Clan General
Toki Yorimichi - Taira Clan General

Go Tsuchimikado - Emperor

[b]Families:[/b]

[b]Terms:[/b]
Bushido (Code) - 'Way of the Warrior' standards of behavior designed, similar to the Chivalric Code, to limit unwanted behavior such as banditry or treason by establishing an ideal.

Buke - nobles				Yojimbo - bodyguard
Dojo - 'place of the way' - formal training academy	
Yoriki - police				Geisha - a female entertainer/companion.  Contrary to some belief, sex is/was rarely involved.
Okiya - a geisha house			Koku - in the Edo period, equal to the amount of rice to feed a person for one year and used as a unit of money 
Hatamoto - 'under the banner', 'bannerman' - a highly ranked vassal
Kampaku - regent for a child emperor.  Used in game to represent someone sanctioned by the emperor to be Shogun.


Showdown

As fighting between the Tachibana and Minamoto continued, escalating tensions between the bushi and Toki Yorinobu threatened to tear the Taira apart.

The war didn't long last enough. None could call it anything but a resounding success, but it hadn't cooled his samurai's ardor for battle. In fact there had been no battles, just a handful of sieges and the occasional skirmish. Victory without battle felt cheap and smelt of political double dealing.

I have no place counseling you on the Bushido Code or the mindset of samurai, however to explain their anger I shall hazard a brief discussion. While a samurai's life is devoted to service, many would agree (privately perhaps) that their greatest desire is to earn prestige and establish a reputation as a fierce and honorable warrior. This reputation does credit to their masters, teachers, ancestors, parents and kin, and it leaves a legacy for their children. While samurai can and do earn reputations for being a great artist or loyal courtier, for those with a martial bent warfare is the most certain path to the glory they desire. Lord Hosokawa Iesada's spiritual pursuits didn't suit them, no did Yorinobu's unseemly interest in trade.

There is nothing dishonorable about trade of course, but it is not something buke usually bother with. Samurai are ideally above such material pursuits, though even the rawest administrator knows it takes trade and the money that comes with it for a government to function. Further, the Bushido Code rewards direct, open dealings in most situations, whereas trade and politics often require subterfuge or lies of omission. Spurred on by Taisho Toki Yorimichi, who had his own plans for securing his place in history, the earliest kernels of a coup began.

Yorinobu knew there was danger but didn't feel he could directly act. In theory he could have demanded Yorimichi resign or commit seppuku, but without incontrovertible proof it would look excessive. Further, if Yorimichi refused there would be no recourse except for civil war with an uncertain outcome.

He attempted, therefore, to pacify his enemies. He appointed Asakura Masakado, the sensei who trained his senior general (Asakura Yoshitada), as honorary yojimbo and de facto master of the most prestigious dojo near Inabayama Castle and perhaps in all of Taira territory. (Sgt Major General-3, +0.3 Land Tradition) He also sent silver-tongued Toyotomi Shumei to Kyoto to soothe the emperor's temper and petition to eventually become shogun. (Diplomat-4, Infamy -0.2) He also granted Yorimichi several villages and a castle in Harima province, one of those just taken from the Minamoto.

This didn't change his taisho's ambition to become daimyo. He accepted the estates offered, made just enough friendly noises to give Yorinobu hope, then pressed his advantage. Lord Toki had no choice.

1495-Government.jpg


This wasn't enough for Yorimichi, but there was a major obstacle if he planned to launch a coup: Asakura Yoshitada. Here he badly misjudged his superior, interpreting Yoshitada's disinterest in offices and glory as weakness, when in fact it was Yoshitada's version of a highly refined survival instinct. Yoshitada believed someone who stuck their neck out in these times of trouble merely offered his enemies a target. Yorimichi urged him to step aside. When this failed he resorted to intimidation and threatening Yoshitada's daughter. He promised to consider it.

Two nights later Yorimichi hosted a geisha. He had a poor reputation in geisha society due to the liberties he tended to take, but the one known okiya who refused him service found itself accused by yoriki of housing Minamoto spies and subsequently burned to the ground. The next morning guards soldiers found Yorimichi with a hairpin jammed through one eye and his throat slit. At first they concluded that he had gone too far with his 'liberties,' but that changed when Yoshitada appeared hours later with several hundred of his own soldiers and forbade reprisals.


Yorinobu Unleashed

Popular sentiment at the time was that Yoshitada couldn't have acted alone. The threat to his daughter wasn't well known, and given Yoshitada's passive demeanor in the past many assumed that Toki Yorinobu ordered the attack, having purchased the general's loyalty by appointing his sensei to such a prestigious role. While ordering the attack would also be out of character for Yorinobu, he at least had a clear motive samurai could appreciate: Defending his throne.

Yorinobu refused to address the charge which only lent it credibility. He came to believe (correctly) that people expected a daimyo to be ruthless, so he simply ignored the matter and allowed rumors to spread. Officially he ignored Yorimichi's death and went ahead with plans for an upcoming festival.

1496-DeathnAftermath.jpg


Foreign affairs remained quiet. Freed of Yorimichi's designs he once more sponsored trading missions to Nanjing, and once more gave up with little to show for it. Relations with the Tachibana remained outwardly friendly if somewhat tense. The Fujiwara were distant and unresponsive, while the Minamoto continued to fight.

There would only be one more battle in the Minamoto/Tachibana war, when Yamana Tadastune risked everything on defeating and preferably destroying Shimazu Kamatari's army in Aki province. Both armies numbered about thirteen thousand, but Lord Shimazu's Tachibana held the advantage in horsemen and well trained swordsmen. Tadatsune's spearmen were poorly disciplined peasants and gaps appeared in his lines. Kamatari pressed as retreat turned into rout, and after two days hard fighting he'd lost 1,700 while Tadatsune lost 6,200.

This could have been the end of the Minamoto, but word reached Kamatari of trouble at home. Drought left farms on Kyushu baked and famine spread through the summer. Monsoons followed flooding the parched earth and adding to peasants' misery. In his bid to destroy Tadatsune, Kamatari taxed what little food survived and ignored their plight. Though rebellion is never justified, the peasant does not care for honor as we do. In 1497 revolts exploded across Kyushu.

1497-KyushuRebels.jpg


Lord Shimazu had no choice and sued for peace, giving up silver and other goods worth 17,000 koku (17 ducats) as indemnity.

Yorinobu returned to his policy of conserving money when possible and spending it only when it could lead to more. He encouraged buke to work with appointed advisors (usually commoners) to reform local administration. Sometimes this worked. Usually it didn't. Those times it did, such as newly gained provinces where the local nobility had been largely displaced, taxes increased. (Constables: +25% base tax in newly gained provinces)

His reputation began to suffer once more. As the years passed and memories of Yorimichi's assassination faded, samurai and merchant alike began regarding him as stingy and overly frugal. While it is true that samurai should disregard material goods, appearances must be kept up. He began refusing hospitality to traveling monks, warriors and priests while older buildings suffered from neglect.

1498-Austerity.jpg



Keeping People Happy. By Force.

None of this is to say Taisho Asakura Yoshitada's armies were idle during this period. Peasants and local samurai still loyal to the Fujiwara cause at Yoshitada's estates in Dewa made the same mistake Yorimichi did, sensed weakness and twice rose up. Twice Yoshitada marched eight thousand men across Japan and restored order amid the usual horrors which did little to inspire loyalty among his subjects but did inspire fear.

In June 1501, twelve years after saving Emperor Go Tsuchimikado the first time, Yoshitada returned to Kyoto to once more restore order. This time it was a civil war within the Imperial Guard itself as a bitter rivalry between rival commanders turned to bloodshed. The emperor ordered one of these commanders, Shoni Kisada, to stand down and answer for deaths his followers caused. Kisada refused and chased the 'loyal' guardsmen out of the city. He was days away from taking the Imperial Palace itself, with the avowed goal of asking (making) the emperor to see reason, when he learned the Taira army was entering the city's outskirts.

Reinforced by the 'loyal' guardsmen, Yoshitada's army numbered fourteen thousand. Kisada's army of four thousand evaporated rather than be slaughtered. His own officers captured him and presented him to the emperor to display their loyalty. Go Tsuchimikado forgave their treachery but banished them from his service. They became ronin, masterless samurai, and those who didn't kill themselves in shame, wandered the land.

Three days later Kisada escaped custody before he could be executed.

As for Yoshitada, the emperor handsomely rewarded his efforts. Over his objections, Go Tsuchimikado appointed him hatamoto to the imperial line. While he would still lead the Taira armies, this made Yoshitada the emperor's personal vassal. In a world without shoguns or even kampaku, this made him one of the most powerful men in Japan.

1501-Bushido.jpg


Not that he wanted to be.
 

CatKnight

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Around the League
News from the Land of Round Eyed Gaijin Scum - 1501


1501-Europe.jpg


Remember this is from a 1477 start, which explains why Austria is in the Netherlands for example. Lucky nations are on historical.

British Isles

England's made some headway into Scotland and Ireland. They're also in Brittany. That small nation sharing Ireland with Tyrone is Leinster.

France/Spain

France seems to be falling behind schedule, but given the late start date it might take them awhile to diploannex everyone. Similarly Spain hasn't formed and Granada is still alive.

NW Africa

Looks normal, except Castille is pulling its usual stunt of overrunning the area. That's them on the extreme bottom left.

Germany

Having been guaranteed all their early 'conquests,' Austria is the most powerful state in the area. Brandenburg appears to be second followed by Bohemia and Bavaria.

Italy

Nothing to see here: Naples, the Papacy and a bunch of city states.

Scandinavia

Ditto. Norway may have done slight damage to Sweden looking at their border, but the emphasis is slight.

Baltic

Thanks to an early war (I believe), Poland obliterated the Teutonic Order. The Livonians live on. Lithuania has been mauled with Polotsk and Smolensk (lightish green) emerging in its wake.

Russia

Muscowy's well on its way to Russia-dom, but Novgorod is still alive and somewhat powerful. I'm not sure how the Ottomans wound up on the north side of the Black Sea, but that could stop Muscowy in its tracks.

Balkans

Serbia's gone. Any Greek states are gone. Looks like the Turks are chewing the area up. I imagine that's much easier when you begin the game with the Byzantines already gone - one of the reasons EU3 originally began in 1453.

Anatolia and the Levant

The Mamluks have been busy and the Ottomans are penned in. Will it be enough to stop them?

Colonies

1501-Colonies.jpg


No Frogs yet - but it's early for them. I'm not sure why the English AI is setting up in Africa. Portugal and Spain are vying for the Caribbean trade.
 

loki100

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continues to be a fun read ... rather naive question (I'm badly behind with EU having not played a game since IN), is the characterisation in the thread coming out of the game or is it your narrative structure?