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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Stuyvesant

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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?

Based on CatKnight's earlier works, I believe the characters are developed based on the game's ADM scores (well, the rulers, at least), while he uses events the game throws at him to further flesh them out.

As far as the updates go, I approve of the latest's title. :) And that Geisha scene was memorable. Heavily reminds me of a cutscene in the original Shogun: Total War.

It seems that, even with mediocre Daimyo, the Taira clan's future is very bright. One wonders what they could achieve with a competent leader...
 

Storey

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

I had to go to the tech forum and finally when I changed the folder that EUIII down loaded to I was able to get it to play. Might be a Windows 7 problem.

Sad that the war AI is performing as poorly as you say. Still as always I'm enjoying your story. Nice to see that your imagination hasn't been negatively affected by an incompetent AI.:)
 

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I've just caught up with this after the Christmas break and very much enjoyed doing so. I particularly like how you weave in-game events into a wider and historically-inspired narrative.

Sorry to hear that the game isn't providing enough of a challenge at the moment. It looks like some of the AI has come from Vicky 2, but I don't remember it being much of a pushover in that game. Maybe the mechanics aren't similar enough for a straight port to work without issues. At the beginning of V2 attrition in hostile territory is a major issue, which means small siege stacks that can be quickly gobbled up, and the POP system means that armies are built all over the place.
 

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loki100: EU3 characterization hasn't changed much since IN. The addition of heirs only means you have an idea what's coming (and that there are more regencies.) As Stuyvesant said, I rely heavily on a monarch's ADM stats. I then roll on a table for one or two personality traits and see if I can blend everything together. From there I'll rely on missions to tell me the monarch's goals, and events to help flesh out and build his personality and the narrative.

Stuyvesant: I've not been able to rely on the ADM as much since DW either gives daimyos a penalty or uses a different score, but fundamentally correct. I was certainly thinking of Shogun: Total War when I wrote about the geisha. S:TW was one of my favorite games for a long time. If Creative Assembly hadn't insisted on Steam I would probably still be playing.

Storey: Sometimes making up a plausible excuse for the AI's stupidity is a great exercise in imagination! (Or insanity - take your pick.)

Dewirix: That's a good analysis and you might be right. I don't remember the V2 combat AI being so....exploitable either. I remember one fun game as Belgium where I began picking on Morocco, so Spain wandered over and kicked my butt right back to Flanders.

gabor: Before I forget, I need to withdraw an earlier point I made to you. I argued that maybe there were four clans in DW because the shogun mechanics required it.

Well, MEIOU is going to try and prove me wrong. They're still working on their port, but the early Japanese graphics suggest they're going to succeed in porting their clans over. I imagine there will be some balance issues and tests to make sure everything works right, but it's doable.

As for relative power...Hm. I'll withhold my answer to the end of this next post.
 
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CatKnight

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tairasmall.png


Part II: Toki Yorinobu
Chapter 3: First Among Equals (1501-06)

In This Episode:
Code:
Toki Yorinobu - Taira Clan Daimyo (1490-1503)
Ashigaka Takamochi - Taira Clan Daimyo (1503-)
Yamana Tadastune - Minamoto Clan Daimyo (1477-1502), Shogun (1477-1481)
Mori Yoshitsuna - Minamoto Clan Daimyo (1502-)
Shimazu Kamatari - Tachibana Clan Daimyo (1491-1505)
Shimazu Nogayobu - Tachibana Clan Daimyo (1505-)
Imagawa Naritsune - Fujiwara Clan Daimyo (1492-)

Asakura Yoshitada - Taira Clan General
Toki Takamitsu - Cousin of Yorinobu, Master of merchants operating in Kyoto
Toyotomi Shumei - (Diplomat 4) - Envoy to the Emperor

Ashikaga Yoshimasa - Ashikaga family Daimyo, Shogun (1449-1473)
Go Tsuchimikado - Emperor

[b]Families:[/b]
Fujiwara - Uesugi (also Taira), Hojo, Takeda
Taira - Ashikaga, Asakura, Toki, Oda, Uesugi (also Fujiwara), Sasaki, Hosokawa

[b]Terms:[/b]
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.
Buke - Nobility			Eta - 'Filthy mass' - the lowest caste, people compelled to take 'unclean' jobs.  Outcasts.
kimono - robe like garment	Seppuku - ritual suicide where you cut open your stomach and disembowel yourself.
Kanrei - Deputy			- Sama - An honorific suffix given to a superior, roughly equivalent to "Lord/Lady" or "Sir/Madam"


The Calm Before the Storm

Following Yoshitada's ascension to hatamoto of the Imperial family, life continued as it did before isolated rebellions threatened Taira rule. Yorinobu spent little time outside Inabayama Castle in Mino province. Mino's strategic location in the center of Japan guaranteed its importance - trade between the Fujiwara and lands south either had to go by sea - always risky, above all as the Fujiwara were not clever sailors - or through one of several toll roads in Mino that brought coins and other valuables to Taira coffers. Friendly merchants received chits that reduced the toll or, better yet, were encouraged to try their luck in Kyoto.

Perhaps the latest round of the Sengoku saga began, for during the hot summer of 1502 a number of skirmishes erupted along the Fujiwara/Taira border within Uesugi lands. At first fighting was confined to the Uesugi themselves, split during the last war and seeking reunification by force. Then other Fujiwara allied families such as the Hojo and Takeda took the field. Rather than help their brethren, they instead raided south taking caravans and looting toll booths.

It took much to rouse Yorinobu's anger, but interrupting trade and the influx of tolls qualified. He sent a stern warning to Lord Imagawa: Order his men to stand down, or he would put an end to the raids and take Uesugi lands by force.

1502-Provocations.jpg


Imagawa Naritsune was no fool. He knew a clash between armies would be a close run thing, while Yorinobu had the resources to stay at war longer. He confirmed alliances with the Minamoto and Tachibana against the 'tyrant in the center.' He sent an envoy to Mino counseling caution: Naritsune would try to stop the raids, but any retaliation would lead to war with the entire country.

One could argue Lord Toki wanted to give peace a chance to reign and so stood down, but that is not how people perceived his backing down. Warriors saw this as further proof that he wasn't fit to lead the clan. Buke from the northern Oda and Asakura families took matters into their own hands and issued Naritsune a stinging rebuke: "Only in Edo," wrote one, "does one find samurai led by an eta." (Dip Insult by event - not that the Fujiwara needed a reason to hate me.)

As tensions escalated along the border, Yorinobu's reputation for stinginess and inhospitality once more earned him trouble. Once more it was his refusal to help a wandering priest (Traveling Monk: Refuse to help -1 stability) that earned clan wide ire, especially when people learned Lord Toki went one step further and had allowed several shrines to fall into disrepair and disgrace.

If reports are to believed, in Echizen a group of leading citizens, perhaps supported by a monk, approached the Asakura family daimyo and rebuked Yorinobu's greed. Naturally they were put to death as such is treason, so the reports say. Knowing this as we do, it's unlikely anyone of the lower castes would have dared to speak out in such a direct manner and one must wonder if this was the Asakura's attempt to warn Lord Toki while still appearing loyal.

Regardless, the plan failed. Yorinobu responded by sending Taisho Yoshitada and his army to restore order. Yoshitada's presence sparked the rebellion he was supposed to avoid leading to a series of bitter clashes.

It quickly became obvious that the peasants, though doomed to defeat, were remarkably well trained. The Taira later learned that the Imperial guardsmen who rebelled years before came here to stir trouble and hopefully avenge themselves on Yoshitada.

While they fought, Kisada, the former commander of the traitorous guardsmen, completed his master stroke. While peasants supported by his men detained Yoshitada, he snuck into Inabayama Castle like a faithless ninja with his most trusted men. They found Yorinobu in his private rooms studying a proposal from the Ming envoys to once more try to start trading in Nanjing. Yorinobu cried out, but he was no fighter and Kisada easily beheaded him. As guards stormed in and fought his retainers, Kisada held the lifeless head by its topknot, walked onto the balcony overlooking the courtyard, and flung it into the midst of Taira soldiers. He then avoided punishment, though not death, by following it.

What happens next is one of the great tragedies of the Sengoku era, tragic in that it was so unforgivably wrong. When Asakura Yoshitada learned of his master's death it is said he screamed and rent his kimono. His rage knew no bounds and the next morning when he stormed the last rebel stronghold in a reckless manner with only ten samurai for company there was no mercy.

That evening he committed seppuku citing his failure to protect his lord. Certainly under most other circumstances this would be correct and honorable: Many of Yorinobu's guardsmen did precisely that. Yoshitada forgot one thing though: He was the emperor's hatamoto. His life belonged to Go Tsuchimikado. By taking it, he deprived his emperor of a valuable resource. He brought great shame to the Asakura family and his spirit is rarely called upon in ritual anymore. (Yorinobu and Yoshitada died on the same DAY.)

Once more the leaders of the great families converged on Inabayama Castle to negotiate and determine who should lead them. There quickly emerged two prevailing attitudes:

The first, supported primarily by the Toki and Hosokawa, was that the Taira was prosperous and victorious against all enemies without resorting to 'warlords' who would ruin Japanese society and tatter its honor beyond repair. No reason to change therefore, and so they supported Toki Takamitsu. Takamitsu led the largest merchant house in Kyoto and so knew as much about money and trade as his predecessor. Even better, he was Yorinobu's cousin and restoring some form of familial dynasty could only bring legitimacy to the Taira clan's claims.

The second group consisted primarily of the weaker families: The Uesugi and Ashikaga, Oda and Sasaki. They believed it was time to take the offensive and try to dominate Japan. They argued it might actually bring peace sooner by subjugating the other three clans, and if the weaker families received holdings and honor so much the better. In a nod to the past and their own attempt to win legitimacy, they turned to Ashikaga Takomachi. Takomachi's grand-uncle was Yoshimasa, the last of the Ashikaga shoguns.

After several days of wrangling it became obvious this would not be an easy decision and might split the clan entirely. When word reached Inabayama Castle of a skirmish on the Oda/Hosokawa border, Takamitsu summoned the leaders to the castle's great hall - where he submitted to Takomachi.

Most argue that Takamitsu feared power, or assassination, or that he didn't want to be daimyo, or perhaps made some sort of financial deal, or any one of a dozen motives - usually negative - to his submission. I choose to believe Takamitsu was expressing his love and loyalty by preserving the clan at the cost of his own ambition. Certainly Takomachi thought so and appointed him kanrei and second in command.

1503-Takamochi.jpg



Call of Destiny

Lord Ashikaga Takamochi saw himself as the prototypical samurai, and perhaps he was. Short in stature but an excellent warrior, in public Takomachi remained stoic and calm, but private reports indicate he valued his friends and was quite affectionate to his family.

Family was the focal point of Takamochi's existence: Not just his immediate kin, but the Ashikaga as a whole. He took Shogun Yoshimasa's ill reputation as a personal blow and felt it his duty to repair his family's reputation. The best way to that end was to rule wisely as shogun. Failing that, he would settle for making sure the Ashikaga were never again considered a minor offshoot - a conquered remnant within the Taira clan.

When a small detachment of Uesugi samurai detained (robbed) a Taira caravan on the border of Mino province, Takamochi didn't hesitate.

1504-Destiny.jpg


While Lord Imagawa and his army struck at Toki holdings in Shinano province, Takamochi led his armies through the north and center of Fujiwara lands. Takamochi himself led the attack on the Uesugi strongholds in Kozuke, making himself the first Taira daimyo to lead an army since the clan's founding. His second army scattered along the east coast impeding supply lines, raiding villages, and when possible reducing castles as they went.

Lord Imagawa's grand anti-Taira alliance didn't work out. It is true the Minamoto joined in, but Lord Shimazu Kamatari once more allied with the Taira. While he still considered them the greater threat, Kamatari believed he could win lands off the hapless Minamoto while Takomachi focused on the Fujiwara.

Kamatari's decision made the northern campaign much easier. Mori Yoshitsuna, the new daimyo of the Minamoto, rallied his men and tried repeatedly to cross to Kyushu or Shikoku islands, but the Tachibana fleet was too powerful and easily scattered friendly transports. For his part Kamatari waited for an opportunity to cross into Nagato somewhere he'd have time to prepare defenses before Yoshitsuna's army caught them.

The end result was a standoff, and when the Minamoto offered to leave the war in July 1504 the allies accepted. It was just as well, because for once the Taira were losing. Badly.

In the north, Lord Imagawa Naritsune was the more experienced commander and easily reduced Shinano in April followed by Echigo in June. When wandering priests once more sought shelter at Inabayama Castle, Kanrei Toki Takomitsu rebuffed them yet again, not out of stinginess so much as fear the Taira would have to raise more men to maintain the status quo.

For his part, Takomachi remained resolved on his course of action. In July Kazusa and Kozuke provinces fell to his armies levelling the field. After Etchu fell to Naritsune's army in September, reestablishing Fujiwaran dominance, Naritsune decided to end the war once and for all.

On September 19, 1504 Naritsune's army of eleven thousand marched into Izu province where Takomachi waited. Hasty reinforcements brought the Taira army up to nine thousand. Takomachi might have been more inexperienced, but he was no fool and deployed on a steep ridge with spearmen in front to nullify Fujiwara's 2:1 advantage in horsemen.

Insults ensued, followed by a handful of challenges though none involved the respective daimyos. Finally Naritsune dismounted his samurai and redeployed them within the ranks of spearmen to help fortify the line. Then he began his ascent. Takomachi answered with bows and slings, but records indicate they had little effect against the determined attack.

1504IzuBattle.jpg


The ridge did however, and at the last moment Takomachi ordered a charge. Horsemen poured forth, and since the Fujiwara weakened their spear line by interspersing it with swordsmen, they managed to penetrate three ranks deep before being repelled. As they regrouped, Takomachi's spearmen thrust into theirs. Fierce fighting ensued over the next two hours with little give or take. Fighting downhill gave the Taira an advantage however, and by evening their enemies were retreating to camps at the bottom of the ridge. By morning the Fujiwara army vanished leaving behind 2,500 slain to 1,900 Taira.

Naritsune 'retreated' to Kozuke to try and retake lost Uesugi lands. Takamochi spent several months regrouping and training his men. Finally, marching through a blizzard in mid February 1505, they surprised the Fujiwara encampment.

For this second engagement Takamochi had reinforced his army to eleven thousand, while Naritsune had twelve. Naritsune still had a massive advantage in horse, but surprise was total and panic gripped the common spearmen. They fled, and deprived of their support most of Naritsune's samurai 'tactically withdrew' as well. Over the next three days a series of clashes resulted in 900 Taira deaths and 1,800 Fujiwara. Over the next four months Takamochi dispersed the Fujiwara entirely and took Naritsune captive.


That's Ashikaga-sama!

After this, Lord Shimazu Kamatari of the Tachinaba grew ill and withdrew from the war. (Not really, but they didn't do much) A short time later he would die and be replaced by his son, Nogayobu.

Lord Ashikaga learned of a peasant revolt in Tanba along the Minamoto border where commoners protested the need for increased taxes in time of war. He hurried across country even as soldiers fought to reduce the last Fujiwara strongholds and easily restored order. It was there he received a message from Toyotomi Shumei, the envoy to the emperor. Go-Tsuchimikado wished to speak with him about the future of Japan.

Takamochi reached Kyoto in August 1505 and paid proper respect and fealty to the Chrysanthenum Throne. Later that night the emperor applauded Takamochi's proactive approach to restoring order to the Empire and asked him to take the title of Kampaku. This would allow all of Japan to see that the emperor favored Taira and hopefully induce them to support Takamochi as shogun.

1505-Kampaku.jpg


(To become shogun I need the support of all other daimyo. Allies vote whether or not to support you, and Tachibana did. Other clans need to be 'forced' to agree in peace terms, hence the casus belli (which extends to all three clans but only lasts one year. If I'd known I'd get the prestige I need from the battles against Fujiwara, I wouldn't have white peaced Minamoto.)

It's worth noting, but only in the interest of squashing ridiculous rumor, that it is not at all true that Takomachi housed his eight thousand man army within Kyoto and induced the emperor's cooperation. Such are the lies told by the jealous and weak, and there is no evidence at all to support such an outrageous claim.

After months of celebrations and plans for the upcoming year, word reached Takamochi and the emperor that the last Fujiwara stronghold had fallen. It was then that he forced Imagawa Naritsune to sign a humiliating peace.

1506-Peace.jpg


Kozuke was, of course, the home of the Uesugi who triggered this latest war. Their lands were forfeited to Takamochi's supporters within his own family. Totomi was one of the richer Fujiwara provinces, and held the last strongholds of the Imagawa. Naritsune therefore not only seriously crippled his clan, but destroyed his family's chances of being anything but an unfortunate footnote in history.

*******

gabor: That would be a yes. Current stats:

Taira: 16 provinces, about 43 base tax
Tachibana: 11 provinces, 34 tax
Minamoto: 5 provinces, 20 tax
Fujiwara: 5 provinces, 17 tax
 

loki100

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entertainingly murky .... if this wasn't set in Japan one would almost describe it as Byzantine. I like the civil war casus belli, a guarentee of mayhem if ever there was.
 

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loki100: You would think so, but since the civil war CB only lasts one year and we were already fighting it fizzled.

gabor: Exactly! Such talk is treason.
 

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tairasmall.png


Part III: Unification
End of Sengoku (1506-13)

In This Episode:
Code:
Ashigaka Takamochi - Taira Clan Daimyo (1503-), Shogun (1510-)
Mori Yoshitsuna - Minamoto Clan Daimyo (1502-)
Shimazu Nogayobu - Tachibana Clan Daimyo (1505-)
Imagawa Naritsune - Fujiwara Clan Daimyo (1492-)

Toki Takamitsu - Takamochi's kanrei (deputy)
Toyotomi Shumei - (Diplomat 4) - Envoy to the Emperor
Uesugi Noritsune - Taisho clan General
Ashikaga Tsunekujo - Taisho clan General

Go Tsuchimikado - Emperor (1464-1508)
Go Kashiwabara - Emperor (1508-)
Otomo Tsuruchi - Tachibana clan Admiral

[b]Families:[/b]
Minamoto - Mori
Taira - Ashikaga
Tachibana - Miyoshi, Amago

[b]Terms:[/b]
Seii Taishogun - "Great general who subdues barbarians" - Shogun
Kampaku - regent for a child emperor.  Used in game to represent someone sanctioned by the emperor to be Shogun.
Heimin - (loosely) a commoner.  Low caste.		Ikko-Ikki - peasant mobs (armies) trained by monks
Mon - a badge or emblem.  The butterfly at the top of this post is the Taira 'mon.'


Preparations

For three years following the Fujiwara campaign peace reigned in Japan, unless one counts the occasional heimin uprising or bandit raid, which no one of any consequence would. Lord Ashikaga Takamochi won much honor especially after becoming kampaku, but he also made his neighbors nervous, and he didn't want to give his adversaries an excuse to unite.

Quiet years, but Takamochi never stopped planning and preparing. He still needed Minamoto support to be named Shogun, and there was no point in asking. Lord Mori Yoshitsuna inherited his predecessor's ambition as well as politics and still hoped to reverse his clan's fortunes. The Taira therefore prepared for war forsaking other interests.

1506-Frugal.jpg

(The first ronin option costs 44g and gives me an advisor. The second gives me 5% land tradition. The garden would have cost about 105g to create. Too expensive.)

The autumn of 1507 resulted in an unusually rich harvest. When Takamochi's officials rightfully asked for their share of the yield the peasants refused, claiming they'd earned the excess bounty and planned to enrich themselves at the clan's expense. (Agricultural Revolution in Echigo: +1 tax) Such dangerous claims couldn't be allowed of course, so Takamochi sent an army under Uesugi Noritsune (F3 S4 M1 Sg1) northward, and a series of clashes through the winter reminded them of their duty. (A revolt broke out a few months later.)

In 1508 Go-Tsuchimikado, the Son of Heaven, died to be replaced by his son Katsuhito. Katsuhito took the name 'Go-Kashiwabara' at age 44. (I assume by pure chance, EU3 matches history here. Go Tsuchimikado's son DID take the name Go-Kashiwabara, though in our world he took the throne in 1500.)

For the first and last time, the four daimyo of the clans formed after the Onin War met as equals to swear fealty. Publicly the four remained cordial with thirty years of war apparently forgotten. Privately Lord Shimazu Nogayabu promised to defend the 'weaker' clans from 'unfound aggression.' Meanwhile, the emperor confirmed Takamochi's position as kampaku after exacting a promise to 'maintain the peace of the realm.'

Both promises were doomed by the politics of the day. When the time came, Go-Kashiwabara had little recourse while Lord Shimazu still saw an opportunity for growth.


Shattering the Minamoto

In August 1509, Takomachi's armies swarmed across the Minamoto border. In the north, Uesugi Noritsune led nine thousand soldiers while Takomachi struck the south with an equivalent army. As I've hinted, Lord Shimazu forsook his promise to help the weaker party and instead attacked from the west. Lord Mori led his army into Iwami province in a futile, but courageous effort to stave off defeat.

It took less than a month for the Taira armies to sweep the frontier clear of Minamoto supporters. By Spring 1510 three of five provinces were in friendly hands while the Tachibana reduced castles in the last two.

In April, the Amago family in Iwami warned their Tachibana masters that without relief they must surrender. Shimazu Nogayabu chose not to abandon his attacks. Takomachi therefore demonstrated along the border with overwhelming force.

1510-Exploit.jpg

(Since the new AI tries to avoid disadvantageous battles, all I have to do here is threaten to attack. Once Minamoto commits to moving, I cancel mine. End result? Their siege resets. I did this twice to ensure we'd win all our sieges before they could get one. Exploit? Heck yeah. Check the Flagland/Ulm AAR for even nastier tricks.)

The only battle of consequence took place in September when Lord Shimazu challenged Lord Mori in Iwami. The two armies were roughly equal in size (15,000 vs. 13,000) with ashigaru predominant. The Tachibana army met their enemies on an open field where they could use their 2:1 cavalry advantage and flanked the Minamoto. Lord Mori was no coward however, and fought with the determination of one trying to save his honor and prospects. His men didn't share his determination and after several hours retreated in different directions. Over seven thousand Minamoto were captured or killed at the cost of five thousand Tachibana. By the time the first snows fell his army ceased to exist. (Destroyed in pursuit.)

Through the winter the Tachibana and Taira debated Minamoto's fate. Shimazu Nogayubu wanted to make sure his clan didn't come away empty handed as it had so many times before and demanded Aki province. Takamochi agreed. (Actually I waited several months to see if Tachi. would peace out. If so, then I could have finished the Min. off or taken another province.)

According to Nogayubu's complaint to the emperor in the summer of 1511, Lord Ashikaga Takamochi promised to repudiate his goal of becoming shogun. It seems unlikely he agreed to forsake his life's goal. Indeed, when Lord Mori signed the treaty that split his clan's holdings in two and crippled his own family, he publicly endorsed Takamochi as the only man who could restore peace.

1511-MinamotoPeace.jpg

(I gave Tachibana a province because, as long as I'm showing you my feelings for the DW AI, I thought I'd try to get the two isolated provinces to defect to me via patriot rebels. Unfortunately neither of the two border provinces offer them.)


War of the Seii Taishogunate

Takomachi caused quite a stir in Kyoto by rushing through the ceremonies and celebrations that accompanied his ascension. At the time courtiers heavily criticized his breaches of etiquette and apparent lack of respect. Their complaints are justified, but as you know only because they did not understand his reasoning at the time. Takomachi wasn't showing disrespect to the emperor, but rather the opposite as he rushed north to follow his new duties.

As I have written, the Fujiwara never recovered from the last war. Ikko-ikki overran much of the north which Lord Imagawa Naritsune lacked the resources to fight. Traitors turned on him paralyzing his government and several families seemed on the verge of forsaking their clan. Therefore with no regard to his personal comfort or safety he rushed to the Fujiwara border. Unable to find rightful authorities (or much of any authority at all), he invaded to restore order. (At the start of the war peasants owned one province and had a 3K army. Fujiwara had 1K and was building a second regiment.)

This was the excuse Shimazu Nogayubu was looking for. Citing his already broken promise to defend weaker clans and calling Takomachi's ascension a 'travesty of justice' and 'lapse in judgement' he attacked the Seii Taishogun and therefore became a traitor.

1511-TaiShogun.jpg


Such treachery caught Takomachi by surprise. Nonetheless he remained resolved to help his Fujiwara neighbors and deployed his army to destroy the Ikko-Ikki and reduce the castles of those families ready to revolt against Lord Imagawa. Proof of Lord Shimazu's lies came almost immediately when, rather than seek out the 'bully' and push Takomachi out of Fujiwaran lands, he asserted his claim to Settsu province in general and Osaka in particular.

1511-Settsu.jpg

(About two months after the war started and with Settsu under siege.)

Through the summer of 1511 this pattern continued. Taisho Uesugi Noritsune succumbed to lung sickness in April leaving the conduct of the northern campaign to Takamochi. In Inabayama Castle Toki Takamitsu, his kanrei, ordered fresh levies to meet the Tachibana threat and placed them under the command of Ashikaga Tsunekujo. (F4 S3 M0 Sg0)

Upon learning of Tsunekujo's ill-experienced but determined army forming in the heart of Taira lands, Shimazu Nogayobu trembled and determined to get out of the war with his ill-gotten gains as quickly as possible. He ordered a direct assault on Osaka itself resulting in much several thousand civilians killed and a dozen buildings burned. The Taira butterfly mon still flew over the city for several months before defenders succumbed in October.

This was the low point of the war, but by no means the end, for October also saw Tsunekujo's army take the field. They avoided Nogayobu's men as they advanced to Yamato, instead descending on Tachibana raiders in Harima and Bingo. (Two battles against isolated units, destroying both.)

Tsunekujo rushed north then and linked with his master's. Takamochi, having reduced the rebels and restored Lord Imagawa Naritsune to Edo Castle, marched south having received promises of future Fujiwara support. Their armies linked and on December 17, 1511 met Lord Shimazu at Iga.

1511-December.jpg


Takamochi's army numbered about eleven thousand vs. thirteen thousand Tachibana. Takamochi dismounted his samurai cavalry, deploying them on ridges flanking his spearmen to rain arrows down on the advancing enemy.

1511-Battle.jpg


Nogayobu hoped to use sheer mass to break the spear formation and ordered his horsemen forward. As they advanced some samurai abandoned their posts on either ridge leading to skirmishes. This delayed Nogayobu's men long enough to disrupt their charge, so the Taira spearmen advanced leading to a mass melee.

Through the morning Tachibana reinforcements advanced towards the main melee north of Iga, but scouts warned Nogayobu of Tsunekujo's presence on his left flank. Dreading a flanking maneuver, Nogayobu ordered his men to pull back. Both sides lost about two to three thousand men.

In the spring of 1512 Lord Imagawa, honoring his promise to help Takomachi, attacked their 'protectors' thereby denying Nogayabu all excuse for fighting the shogun. Rather than taking the opportunity to make amends at the cost of some minor indemnity he chose to fight on relying on his fleet to defend Kyushu and Shikoku from Taira attacks.

1512-FujiSwitchTeams.jpg


The Tachibana navy was mighty, consisting of six heavy warships and six transports, but its commander was an undisciplined fool. When Otomo Tsuruchi learned that the vastly inferior Taira navy was blockading Iwami he rushed north. Though Tsuruchi won the subsequent battle, this allowed Takamochi to requisition a number of fishing vessels and trading junks and invade Shikoku in force.

(I forgot to take pictures, but here's another neat exploit. My navy was vastly inferior and had no chance of forcing a crossing onto the southern islands. When I moved it into open waters however, the Tachibana obligingly moved their fleet to intercept which gave me time to cross the strait.)

By May 1512 the Taira liberated Osaka, fought local garrisons for all of Shikoku, and with covert Minamoto support (Patriot rebels) sieged all of Tachibana's holdings on the main island. Nogayabu fled before Takomachi's army and, rather than defend his people, attacked Harima. (The main Tachibana army moved from Shikoku (island) to Kyushu, then all the way back up Honshu to the border. Part of the new maneuvering AI I think.)

Through the hot summer of 1512 things remained at an impasse until another naval diversion (See above, though now I lose my fleet) allowed Takamochi to recross onto Honshu. This led to the final battle of the Sengoku wars.

This time it was no contest: Takamochi's army was reinforced to eighteen thousand including six thousand horsemen, while Nagayobu's army hadn't increased beyond thirteen. On October 6 the two armies clashed on an open field near the Minamoto border. The demoralized Tachibana ashigaru abandoned their lord and were cut down by samurai cavalry. Lord Shimazu's own samurai fought bravely enough but proved unable to reform a coherent line. Rather than one large melee therefore, the battle broke down into six or seven clashes with the Tachibana constantly outnumbered and outmatched. Over the next few weeks Lord Shimazu's army disintegrated.

The war continued for another few months on paper, but there would be no more battles. In February 1513 Lord Shimazu begged for leniency and paid homage.

1513-WeWin.jpg



Victory

Two months later, Takomachi moved his personal residence, much of the clan's functions and fully half of the Taira army to Muromachi district in Kyoto where his ancestor held court. After consulting with the emperor on matters of defense he summoned the other three clan daimyo and requested they abandon any claims to the shogunate and dissolve the clans to unite Japan.

Ashikaga Takomachi said:
For thirty-five years our empire has experienced continual war. It is time to come together and put aside our private grievances.

Lord Imagawa Noritsune had already sworn fealty. He quietly consented then withdrew to his private rooms.

Lord Mori Yoshitsuna saw a chance to perserve his family's name. By 1513 he knew the Minamoto could not win, and that with his family's holdings crippled in time the Ouchi would dominate clan affairs - if a new war didn't destroy them entirely. Better to be a willing supporter of a thriving shogun, than lord of a dead clan. After a brief consultation with his advisors, Yoshitsuna dropped to his knees and presented his swords.

Faced with the wrath of all three clans and the probable loss of all lands outside of Kyushu in a future war, Lord Shimazu Nagayobu saw wisdom. After securing a pardon for his treachery, he also conceded defeat.

The Sengoku wars were over.

********

COMMENTS: I stated a few posts ago that I'd stay with this until I felt victory was inevitable. I am now stronger than the other three clans combined. Were I to continue, you'd see one or two posts where I let my Infamy die down. The Minamoto wouldn't survive another war, and I've proven I can beat the Tachibana. My Shogun influence rating actually went up after the war, so that's in no immediate danger.

Some end game stats:

Taira: 19 provinces, 51 base tax (59.5 with Fujiwaran vassalage)
Tachibana: 10 provinces, 30 tax
Fujiwara: 5 provinces, 17 tax (8.5 with vassalage)
Minamoto: 3 provinces, 16 tax

There's not much I can say without being snarky. An AI that's so easily taken advantage of is no fun to fight against. I am simply not in the same league as EU3's best players. This shouldn't be happening.

A similar thing happened late in EU2's patches (1.09) before being fixed at the very end. I hope it gets fixed. There's decent potential here - but it's not here yet. I'll be pulling back to HttT (or IN and MMP) for the near future.

Thank you everyone for reading and commenting. As always, you're the best part of these AARs.
 

loki100

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that was an interesting insight into DW ... its a pity about the AI changes, as you say you can see the potential, but as with V2 at the moment its leading to an AI that is very easy for the player to manipulate.
 

aldriq

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Now that I finally managed to catch up with this AAR you go and finish it?! :(:rolleyes:

You did an amazing narrative job out of a poor setting (and AI). I don't see just 4 clans being able to provide even a minimum of the depth and intricacy this scenario would deserve... at least 8, I'd say, but ideally 12-20. Then again I'm not sure if the province density in EU3 would be enough to make those numbers reasonable. Let's hope future patches make for a better vanilla experience. In the meantime, there is always mods... :)
 

Stuyvesant

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AI deficiencies notwithstanding, this was an entertaining story. Japan was plausibly reunited (story-wise) and it was a logical endpoint for the AAR. Thanks for the entertainment.

Looking forward to your next foray, whatever form it will take. :)
 

Dewirix

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A very good end to the AAR - it's a shame you don't want to play on, but you've picked a good point to wrap things up.

The AI does seem fairly spoofable, but forcing it to raise sieges when you begin to march against does actually make sense. If you've got more forces and they're going to lose the fight anyway, why hang around to lose the battle? It would have been a different matter if you only had local superiority as the AI would eventually have brought up greater numbers and would no longer have been susceptible to the trick.
 

unmerged(90806)

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I enjoyed reading this enormously and even if you feel you managed to dominate the islands a bit too early and a bit too easily, you succeeded in weaving a good story into this game.

Honestly, I can't wait to see your next aar. With you playing a game which will be, hopefully, more entertaining for you. After all this is all that matters. :)

Ps; you actually gave me an inspiration for a try with a Japanese minor MM game, playing with the question; 'Do I want to become Japan?' in mind. :)
 

unmerged(209891)

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Nicely done! I enjoyed the style of this AAR.
 

RioBrancoBaron

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I've followed it since the beginning. It's a shame that the AI is so easily exploited that makes the game be no fun.

I've enjoyed your style of writing and I hope to see you writing another AAR in the future. Ming maybe? I saw somewhere that they've changed some stuff there too. Anyway, thanks for the nice story.
 

Darthvegeta800

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Any chance of you doing another Japan AAR aiming for:
1) Japanese Unification with a roleplay element.
2) Invasion of Korea. (Hideyoshi failed... you shall succeed!)
3) Defeat China or dominate Asia.
4) Keep Europe out.
5) Maintain a militarist Shinto state throughout. With choices that and NI's that suit Japanese history.

That might be challenging AND fun!
 

Storey

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As always an enjoyable read. I'll pass on buying DW and not just because of the weaknesses you've pointed out. Besides I might be busy trying out CK2 when it comes out.