Reliving the Restoration (for n00bs!) -- A Japanese AHD Tutorial AAR

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

morningSIDEr

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September 1, 1932: Let's do this!

I was about to ask, let's do what?! (sadly I cannot see any screenshots, perhaps problems at my end, or perhaps you have gone over your monthly view limit), when I read the name of the last screenshot when creating this quote. To war with the Dutch then! I think...
 

Avindian

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I was about to ask, let's do what?! (sadly I cannot see any screenshots, perhaps problems at my end, or perhaps you have gone over your monthly view limit), when I read the name of the last screenshot when creating this quote. To war with the Dutch then! I think...

You're absolutely right! Not sure why you can't see the image -- anybody else having similar problems?
 

morningSIDEr

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You're absolutely right! Not sure why you can't see the image -- anybody else having similar problems?

The screenshots are appearing perfectly now. Perhaps it was a problem at my end (quite possible) or some temporary blip with Imageshack. Regardless I'm glad I can view them once again!
 

Avindian

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The screenshots are appearing perfectly now. Perhaps it was a problem at my end (quite possible) or some temporary blip with Imageshack. Regardless I'm glad I can view them once again!

Good!

I find myself with some unexpected time on my hands, and since the screenshots for the next update are already done, I'm going to update now!
 

Avindian

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Chapter 18: Is a success a success, if nobody ever gets to hear about it?

September 22, 1932: Well, this war won't be the big success (ha ha!) the Russo-Japanese War was for me. Those sneaky Dutch have Gas Defense!

engagingthedutchenemy.jpg


October 2, 1932: Dai Nam is in revolution. Now you tell me.

October 19, 1932: I sign an alliance with Cambodia.

November 5, 1932: The Dutch have all but one of the army techs, gas defense, and my army in this instance had too many tanks and airplanes. Result:

medan.jpg


There is a silver lining here -- I've got other armies snapping up Dutch provinces (or at least occupying them), and it's much easier for me to funnel more troops to the theater than it is for the Dutch.

November 26, 1932: 50 Dreadnoughts vs. 2 Transports. I think you know how that one goes.

The Transports lose.

December 23, 1932: Honestly, I don't know how this army got built this way, but I really deserve to lose the second battle of Medan. I've got 16k infantry, with 10k artillery, 20k airplanes, and 4k tanks. In other words, the airplanes and artillery are completely exposed in the front rank.

January 30, 1933: I get what I deserve.

medan2.jpg


Again, I can replace the casualties, the Dutch can't, but this is still a pretty disappointing loss, caused entirely by my lack of paying attention.

February 16, 1933: I call in the Chinese. This kind of war they can't really screw up, since the AI will likely just end up occupying territory for me.

April 4, 1933: The Koreans also get the call. Again, I'm expecting they'll either a) pull occupation duty or b) just throw themselves against the Dutch with my support. Give my armies the infantry they need, in other words.

April 28, 1933: That is, of course, if my economy holds out.

thedutchwareconomy.jpg


AHD does a much better job of modeling the effects of a war on your economy; I can't tell you how many times in vanilla I could run a war on a profit without even trying. I'm doing it now, but with 100% tariffs, it won't last long. I'm literally buying time here.

May 11, 1933: I'm back in the red again (told you!), but I finally have a battle I'll almost certainly win. My odds of victory would improve immeasurably if the RNG would give me Gas Defense.

June 2, 1933: I research Synthetic Polymers to help with my attrition issues in this war.

syntheticpolymers.jpg


August 28, 1933: That's it, Netherlands. You're in for it now! I just called in Bali!

September 27, 1933: A quick review of the war shows I'm at -9% war score. Ouch. I really can't blame this one on anyone but me. That's what I get for building giant tank and airplane armies with no infantry to show you how tanks and airplanes work. :) Still, very salvageable, since I can occupy their provinces pretty quickly (thanks to those same airplanes). If those fool Dutch don't think I'll invade Holland, they've got another thing coming!

November 12, 1933: I take out another loan. I'm already over £1 million in debt.

January 2, 1934: Our athletes win at the Olympics, leaving me to wonder why these brilliant athletes aren't in the army. Shot put + cannonball = certain victory!

January 13, 1934: My first real win!

tapakutan.jpg


January 31, 1934: A follow up battle, with fewer casualties, gets me more war score (+.6). Who knew?

February 26, 1934: Ping-ponging the Dutch continues.

March 11, 1934: I'm reaching the bottom of the barrel, cash wise. I can only rustle up another 116k in loans. Something drastic has to be done.

March 16, 1934: I trap the remaining Dutch troops in Atjeh. They are doomed.

encirclingthedutch.jpg


April 4, 1934: I stop funding Steamer Convoys. This would cripple my fleet, but I know I've only got about eighteen months left in the game, and the Dutch have been pretty thoroughly wiped out.

April 5, 1934: I'm actually making money now. Slowly but surely.

April 13, 1934: The Dutch stack is wiped out -- as that was the entirety of their army in SE Asia, I'm pretty confident of victory, provided I can occupy provinces fast enough.

June 16, 1934: As I research Electric Furnace, a thought occurs:

After Cheap Steel, the metallurgy technology path really becomes almost useless.

electricfurnace.jpg


I haven't checked the numbers, but I'm pretty sure steel isn't terribly profitable after about the 1920s.

October 9, 1934: How to win a naval battle despite minimal supply:

Step 1: Use 96 Dreadnoughts and 48 Cruisers.
Step 2: Sink 19 of 20 Dutch cruisers hiding in port.

I'm pretty sure they were just throwing rocks at the end of that battle.

January 18, 1935: I take out another 20 cruisers for two of my own. I'm pretty sure these are the only modern warships I'll ever lose.

February 3, 1935: I get sassy -- I can pick up the rest of Brunei (provided the Dutch surrender) for 1 war score. I can handle that, right?

takemoreland.jpg


February 22, 1935: I honestly have no idea how the Liberals won this election.

anunexpectedresult.jpg


MIL is a bit higher than usual (over 1), which is the most likely cause, but I just don't have the screenshots to thoroughly explain it. Sorry. :(

March 18, 1935: A reactionary rebellion breaks out. One of the positives of this game, in a really big way, is that I've almost completely avoided serious rebels.

April 29, 1935: I'm really just researching techs for fun at this point.

modernarmydoctrine.jpg


September 1, 1935: Dear RNG,

I hate you.

Avindian.

screwyourng.jpg


December 15, 1935: A successful Fascist seizure of power in the NGF. I didn't expect this one bit.

January 1, 1936: I think it's fitting that, while I could have won this war, I didn't, because I ran out of time. Most of SE Asia is captured, but I'm pretty sure I'd have to invade Holland to actually win this one. I'd do it, with another three or four years. I'm still calling it a moral victory.

imcallingthisoneawin.jpg


If I have time, I'll update with lessons learned, maps, and pretty screenshots tomorrow evening, Monday at the latest. If you have special requests for screenshots, let me know!
 

Avindian

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Selzro

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September 1, 1935... The RNG has a sense of humour.

I've noticed something in AHD which is probably a bit of an exploit. If you go to war with a country and make peace, you can't influence it afterwards for 5 years while your truce lasts. But if you had built up friendly relations and 100 influence before the war, you can use it to put them in your sphere after the war ends, after which you can keep influencing them like any sphereling.

Not that this would have helped with the Netherlands. Such a small frontage gave their, smaller, armies, all the advantage they needed to use their quality against your quantity. Massed infantry with artillery support, and a few airplanes just for the recon value, would have been more helpful, I suppose. Otherwise, lots of armour supported by artillery might pack an even bigger punch at such small frontage. It's been a while since I last fought with such advanced units.
 

Avindian

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September 1, 1935... The RNG has a sense of humour.

I've noticed something in AHD which is probably a bit of an exploit. If you go to war with a country and make peace, you can't influence it afterwards for 5 years while your truce lasts. But if you had built up friendly relations and 100 influence before the war, you can use it to put them in your sphere after the war ends, after which you can keep influencing them like any sphereling.

Not that this would have helped with the Netherlands. Such a small frontage gave their, smaller, armies, all the advantage they needed to use their quality against your quantity. Massed infantry with artillery support, and a few airplanes just for the recon value, would have been more helpful, I suppose. Otherwise, lots of armour supported by artillery might pack an even bigger punch at such small frontage. It's been a while since I last fought with such advanced units.

Your exploit is one I've taken advantage of many a time. :)

You are absolutely right about the Netherlands approach!

I've posted here before about this, but thanks to some (gentle) urging, I'll give you the fancy banner on the AARlander -- it's good stuff!

 

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Really enjoying your exploits as Japan. I have a Japanese game going myself and I am trembling on the brink of war with Russia. Your story does NOT fill me with confidence in the outcome of said war.

I've concentrated more on economic and production techs and (after early conquests of major powers like Hawaii and Brunei) concentrated more on building up a sphere of influence. I've been greatly helped by the series of revolutions in the UK and stymied at every turn by Russia, who never seems to fail.

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and let you know I've gotten a lot from your tale.
 

Avindian

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Really enjoying your exploits as Japan. I have a Japanese game going myself and I am trembling on the brink of war with Russia. Your story does NOT fill me with confidence in the outcome of said war.

I've concentrated more on economic and production techs and (after early conquests of major powers like Hawaii and Brunei) concentrated more on building up a sphere of influence. I've been greatly helped by the series of revolutions in the UK and stymied at every turn by Russia, who never seems to fail.

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and let you know I've gotten a lot from your tale.

I'm delighted to have you along! I've almost never seen revolutions in the UK in AHD... not sure why, but I haven't. Very peculiar.
 

unmerged(248351)

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Hmm it seems that your decision to rush for the naval techs gave you a huge naval superiority, but cost you in other sectors. I'm not sure how poison gas works in the game. I've seen the enemy with a +3 gas attack modifier even after I had invented gas defense. I'm very curious to see how Japan has fared in terms of score, industry and social composition of its people.

April 6, 1923: It is only at this point that I realize "Hey genius, without Canned Food, you can't build dreadnoughts."

Yeah, you'd think that dreadnoughts are built out of steel, but no, they just recycle used aluminum cans.
 

morningSIDEr

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August 28, 1933: That's it, Netherlands. You're in for it now! I just called in Bali!

The Netherlands are doomed!

...or they would have been with a few more years of the game left to run. Good stuff as ever, a pity you ran out of time, the Netherlands proved very adept in defence though.
 

Vrael_1492

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This has been a very fun AAR to follow (as all yours are ;)), and I have learned a bit that I didn't before. Just too bad neither mine, or my brothers computer wants to run the game :(

Now, I am looking forward to any new AAR you are thinking about, and of course updates on the other ones :)
 

Avindian

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Hmm it seems that your decision to rush for the naval techs gave you a huge naval superiority, but cost you in other sectors. I'm not sure how poison gas works in the game. I've seen the enemy with a +3 gas attack modifier even after I had invented gas defense. I'm very curious to see how Japan has fared in terms of score, industry and social composition of its people.



Yeah, you'd think that dreadnoughts are built out of steel, but no, they just recycle used aluminum cans.

Exactly. That's the secret!

I've lurked on this one, but now that it's all over I'll step in and say how even though I've pretty much mastered Victoria 2, I still learned stuff from this, so well done. Also, if possible, I'd like to see a picture of the poor NGF.

It's... surprisingly in good shape. Worse than normal, but in okay shape. You'll see it in the world map.

The Netherlands are doomed!

...or they would have been with a few more years of the game left to run. Good stuff as ever, a pity you ran out of time, the Netherlands proved very adept in defence though.

Indeed; the Dutch were a tougher challenge than I anticipated.

This has been a very fun AAR to follow (as all yours are ;)), and I have learned a bit that I didn't before. Just too bad neither mine, or my brothers computer wants to run the game :(

Now, I am looking forward to any new AAR you are thinking about, and of course updates on the other ones :)

Sorry to hear about the PCs. :(

Glad you've gotten something out of it; I know I have!

I'll have the last (for real this time) update here in a few minutes.
 

Avindian

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Endgame: See, it's the end of the game. Hence, end game.

We'll do a quick tour of some game screens, then I'll officially end the AAR with some thoughts on what I've learned from this tutorial. May I remember the lessons and not instantly forget them the moment I play another game of Vicky 2.

Production:

productionendgame.jpg


A "funny" thing happened on the way to the end of the game. My electric gear factories used all of my rubber. Therefore, I ended up building zero automobiles or airplanes. Shame, too; they were super profitable (as you'll see here in a bit). The only two high tech goods I ended up making a lot of were electric gear and telephones. I somehow played an entire game of AHD with no steel factories; weird!

Budget:

budgetendgame.jpg


If I was actually at peace (damn diplomat lag), this would look much better.

The ribbon (featuring technology!):

ribbonendgame.jpg


The only tech branch I maxed out on, FYI, was industry. Commerce and culture were relatively weak. I researched all Army Techs except the one I'm working on and the artillery techs; Navy Techs were solid, but not perfect. (I've purposefully chosen not to include the screenshots -- I can include them later if somebody is desperate to know.) Good numbers on the ribbon all the way around; I'll break them down a bit later.

Reforms:

politicsandreformendgam.jpg


While hardly a model of modern republicanism, Japan is certainly no longer an absolute monarchy. CON hardly changed at all this game, partially because Press Rights never changed. With low CON, MIL also stayed pretty low, and I really had no problems with rebels. I didn't do this intentionally, but it did work. Note the issues: if I played another 100 years, I doubt the Liberals would win even two more elections.

My population:

populationendgame.jpg


Less than 50% farmers, but some serious Clergy bloat. I've honestly not seen that in AHD. My best guess is that my low military spending prevented people from becoming officers.

The trade window, for yuks:

tradeendgame.jpg


If there's one trade good the AI doesn't handle well, it's barrels. Look how crazy expensive they are!

The top sixteen powers of the world:

topsixteenendgame.jpg


I finish a respectable #6. Throughout the game, I was as high as #2 a couple of times. China leapfrogged me, which was disappointing but hardly unexpected.

Army and navy:

armyandnavyendgame.jpg


I stopped naming units towards the end of the game. :) I'm particularly proud that I never mobilized once in the entire game.

Countries sorted by ships:

countriesbyshipendgame.jpg


I wonder what happened to all of those Dutch ships. ::evil grin:: That is an insane literacy rate for Russia. I think they've tweaked the literacy formula pretty significantly; even countries like the Ottoman Empire are still over 90% literate, countries which start at 10%. FYI, the following countries still had slavery in 1936: Egypt, Tunis (which survived :eek:), Sokoto, Khiva, Gran Colombia, Cambodia, Dai Nam, Luang Prabang, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay,and Uruguay.

RGOs by income:

provinceproductionincom.jpg


There I go, ripping on Sulfur and it barely misses the top 10. For Japan, it's all about Gold and Tea.

factorycashendgame.jpg


I'm really, really surprised at which factories still make money. A cement factory is more profitable than telephones! I wonder how much of my economy was crippled by my lack of rubber.

The wonderful World In 1936 Overview:

worldin1936endgame.jpg


And two maps, one of the world and one of just the important (Japanese) part.

worldmap1endgame.jpg


worldmap2endgame.jpg

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So here were my goals:

1. Westernize.

Did that. I could have done it easier, but I did do that.

2. Try to recreate, as effectively as possible, the pre WWI Japanese Empire.

I sphered Korea and picked up Taiwan, among many other things. I'll call this one a win!

3. If I have time and the skill, go for the WWII Japanese Empire.

This... not so much.

4. Introduce some measure of voting. (I am doing this solely for instructional purposes).

Nailed it!

5. If possible, defeat China and Russia, as the real life Japanese did. (Should be no sweat, right? ... Right?!)

I beat China and lost to Russia. 50-50.


What went very right (and why)

1. In AHD, naval techs pay off huge. They'd be even better if it were possible to get a war score over .1 from one, but hey, let's not be picky. My navy absolutely dominated for the last third of the game.
2. No rebel problems. The key here is keeping CON low.
3. My China plan worked to absolute perfection, as I knew it would. Formosa really is an easy target.
4. I didn't die or fail horribly.

What went disastrously wrong

1. The Zulu.
2. Armies that lacked infantry (worse, I warned you against that very problem.)
3. I completely missed the Rubber shortage.
4. I never even touched Johore.
5. I should have Westernized earlier.
6. Most of my wars.

I really do hope you learned something from this AAR; I love to teach and love AHD (and Vicky 2), so this was a great idea and a lot of fun to write. Please let me know if you have any questions; an announcement re: my next AAR will be coming soon!
 

alhoward

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Well that was... anticlimactic. And you didn't get Java after all... Terrific summary. I get a kick out of people under-performing though, so all is well.
 

Selzro

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This has been very instructive as well as entertaining. Since my first AHD game was with Japan and earlier in this AAR I was comparing it with Avindian's game, I'd like to show some screenshots I've salvaged from it for a comparison of tactics. Since it's a large-ish post with lots of pictures, I'm putting it in spoiler tags to be discrete.

Since I wasn't planning on writing an AAR, I didn't bother much with screenshots. This is the earliest one I could find, but it's quite indicative of a difference in priorities. My Japan went with the Meiji Restoration right off the bat, which allowed it to westernize rapidly. By 1871 an opportunity had arisen to take over Johore, or rather the government of Japan realised the tremendous threat Johore represented to their nation, as this screenshot clearly demonstrates.



Another important difference seen in this screenshot is that I was researching Analytical Phliosophy right when it became available. The gains from such an aggressive pursuit of the philosophical branch were two-fold: first, it netted Japan lots of prestige; from 44 in 1871 it would go up to 87 in September 1872, after the end of the War of the Johoran Menace. Second, it speeds up research significantly. How significantly will be seen a few screenshots later, when I show the tech level at the end of the game.

Thanks to that early prestige boost, Japan was a GP by 1872 and had carved out a nice little empire for itself in South-East Asia by 1890:



Industrial score was already 510 in 1890. I'm not completely sure what causes industry to spike in some games and to lag in others, but I remember that I pursued industrial techs almost as aggressively as cultural ones. Korea was quickly placed in Japan's sphere, but other than that there was no effort to provoke China or Russia either then or later. Taiwan remained Chinese throughout the game and Russia actually became a very good ally of Japan.

The game was relatively peaceful from then on. A notable exception was a war with Portugal, from which Japan took East Timor and a colony in Africa bordering Transvaal. Since any GP bordering the latter gets a conquest CB some time around 1900, to simulate the Boer Wars, Japan took that opportunity to conquer Transvaal and its gold mines. Between that, Johore, and local mines, Japan swam in gold during that game. Here you can see the world map in 1936, as well as the map of Japan and its holdings:





As in Avindian's game, the UK displayed an appalling inability to colonize. Tag-switching to them, I noticed that although they were otherwise very technologically advanced they refused to research Nationalism & Imperialism, not even by 1936. I have not noticed that behaviour in subsequent games of mine, but it looks like the same happened here. I had submitted a bug report at the time, and I hope that the next patch will make sure this is seen much less often. Another thing to notice is that in my game Spain dominated the scramble for Africa. In Avindian's game Spain, although a competent colonizer, was beat by the NGF, which took the biggest and most profitable chunk of Africa. In both his and my game, however, the NGF suffered in Europe. In my game, it ended up having to fight an alliance of France, the UK, Austria, Italy, the Ottoman Empire, Sweden and some smaller states. This was the result:



By the end of the game, Japan was an industrial powerhouse. I can't remember where I got my rubber from - maybe Vietnam or some other colonies, maybe some from my SOI - but there was enough to produce electric gear, automobiles, airplanes and barrels in large quantities.



I went through the entire game without any steel factories as well, though in my case it wasn't even manufactured by artisans (at least in 1936). As for technology, early westernization and the aggressive pursuit of cultural techs paid off:



Keep in mind that this result wouldn't have been possible without Japan's already high starting literacy. Still, it shows how technological progress is easier in AHD thanks to techs getting cheaper as they get older. A country like France or the NGF should have little problem researching all techs, provided it does not neglect the philosophy branch.

Finally, here are the top 16 nations in 1936:



The top 2 nations are the same as in Avindian's game, and with very similar scores. Scandinavia didn't form in my game (it very rarely does), but instead Spain remained a GP for much of the game, in part due to the obscene amount of prestige it got out of colonization. 5 prestige per province adds up quickly when you paint Africa yellow. Japan and the Chinese Empire have almost perfectly switched places between the two games. As for a comparison of the two Japans, Avindian's has a population of 16.82M souls, while mine has 24.16M. A significant cause of that discrepancy was probably the conquest of much of South-East Asia in my game. I also had a significantly larger army but smaller navy. There were 44 dreadnoughts in my fleet by the end of the game, but I had done most of my fighting with older ships in earlier decades. It helps that I didn't antagonize any of the GPs, that I can remember, so any wars fought were relatively minor.

In short, one can't say either game was better, since they were played with different goals in mind. Avindian wanted to fight China and Russia, while I wanted to avoid those two and instead focus on South-East Asia. Through East Timor, that led to an African adventure and the Japanese-Boer War. Abu Dhabi was picked up along the way as a refueling base (and there was lots of oil for that purpose there). Our political progress was similar, the only difference being that my Japan ended up with wealth voting by 1936. Avindian's Japan ended up with a stronger navy but a weaker economy.
 
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