Jim: Welcome everybody!
Jim: While the contestants are already in timeline EU4, the match hasn't started properly. So what do you say about some pre-match analysis, Bob?
Bob: Well, Jim, I think that's a great idea. This way we can bring our viewers up to speed to what challenges the team is facing.
Jim: That's the idea. However, with such a large nation, surely the challenge isn't that big?
Bob: Perhaps, but let us look in detail at the Ming nation. Shall we start with its economy?
Jim: As expected, Ming has quite a large economy. Lots of tax income, with production income coming in at a nice second place. Wait, why is that trade efficiency so low?
Bob: I don't know. What I do know is that the team has already hired some expensive advisors. Look at that! Three quarters of the nation's income goes towards those! The army and navy are quite inexpensive, so it leaves Ming with a nice surplus.
Jim: Seeing that these advisors gobble up all the money, shall we take a look at the government?
1444-11: Ming government
Bob: No wonder that the advisors require so much income: two level 2 and one level 3 advisor! Too bad that the Emperor Qizhen Zhu is a very weak one, with only 1 ADM/ 1 DIP/ 1 MIL score. His heir is not much better: 1 ADM/ 1 DIP/ 2 MIL.
Jim: Our contestant will have their work cut out, then. Even with expensive advisors, they will have only moderate Monarch Points for the beginning decades. A gain of 5/5/6 is adequate but not stellar.
Bob: What helps is that the goverment type, Celestial Empire, gives a nice -3 revolt risk, keeping the peasant docile. At least, as long as the government works welll...
Jim: Wait, the ADM gain is 5, but shouldn't it be 6?
Bob: Hmmm, you're right. Perhaps one of the national modifiers has lowered it? Let me see...ohh, dominating the tea trade gives ming a 33% discount on advisors, very nice... Hey, what is this? Inward Perfection?
1444-11: Perfect is the enemy of good.
Jim: Wow....just wow...
Bob: That's gotta hurt.
Jim: Indeed, Bob, indeed. Ming has a major penalty to...everything basically. Double building and advisor costs, income from production and trade is halved, manpower and army size is also halved, technology costs 50% more...
Bob: For the viewers at home, Ming's tech group already makes their technology 60% more expensive compared to the Western nations.
Jim: ...discipline is a joke, diplomacy is laughable...Our contestants will have major difficulties overcoming these problems.
Bob: Ah, chin up, Jim, not all is bad. Remember, Ming has factions: the Eunuchs, the Templars and the Bureaucrats.
Jim: Thanks Bob, you're always a shining light in the darkness, but how will those help our poor contestants?
Bob: Well, as you know, I am a bit of an expert on extra-dimensional Asian countries.
Jim: Of course I know that, so why do you remind me?
Bob: So I happen to know that in this timeline, these factions can offset some of Ming's Inward Perfection penalties. Alas, as only one of them can be in power, not all penalties can be lifted, but it will certainly help.
Jim: So you did already know...why didn't you tell us?!
Bob: I didn't know the penalties were that harsh. Believe me, Jim.
Jim: Of course. Forgive me for doubting you.
Bob: No worries, Jim.
Jim: Okay, then. Let us take a look at each of the factions. First: Eunuchs!
1444-11: The Eunuch faction.
Bob: As you can see, Eunuch focus on trade and diplomacy, nullifying all the penalties from Inward Perfection to trade and diplomacy. Furthermore, they are a boon to technological development, despire their preference for the here and now. The 75% cost reduction not only nullifies the negative influence from Inward Perfection, it even goes beyond! With Eunuchs in power, Ming's technology is only 35% more expensive than Europe's.
Jim: Sounds very good. But how can the Eunuchs get into power? At the moment, the Bureaucrats are firmly in the saddle.
Bob: The team can direct its efforts towards domestic diplomacy. In chronology terms, this means that by spending 10 DIP points, the Eunuchs get a bit of power. If they have the most power, they get to rule and their bonusses take effect.
Jim: I though the Emperor ruled?
Bob: Indeed, but the factions are a significant force in traditional Ming.
Jim: Can our contestants ever remove this influence?
Bob: Only by westernizing. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. First, we take a look at the Templars.
1444-11: The Templar faction.
Jim: So the Templar negate all the military drawbacks for the Chinese. And add a nice bonus to war exhaustion loss. Clearly they are the guys to go to when the going gets tough. I assume that spending MIL points increases their influence?
Bob: Bullseye, Jim. And now, last but not least, the Bureaucrats!
1444-11: The Bureaucrat faction.
Jim: The Bureaucrats focus on internal development, I see. Eliminating the penalties to building and increasing stability, while restoring the tax and fertility of the Emperor..wait what?
Bob: Don't ask.
Jim: Okay, I shudder at the thought...Anyway, their bonus for religious unity overtakes the penalty from Inward Perfection, so under the Bureaucrat rule, there will be less religious trouble. You know Bob, this tour of the faction did indeed lift my spirits. Watch out, world, here come the best contestants of Double Domination!
Bob: Erm, Single, Jim
Jim: The best contestants of Single Domination! So, it seems we have covered most aspects of the Ming government.
Bob: One last thing. Ming has a Chinese Tradition.
Jim: Say what?
Bob: It means that Ming has a unique national bonus, which becomes stronger when it attains all seven National Ideas.
1444-11: Chinese Tradition.
Jim: Nice. While more trade power in the rich Chinese trad nodes isn't useful if the Eunuchs are not in power, cheaper Ideas is certainly helpful, seeing that Ming will have difficulty keeping up in the tech race.
Bob: I agree completely, Jim.
Jim: Well, this is all good and well, but I suspect our audience wants to see action! Worry not, next time we will see our contestants riding the beast that is called Ming. Don't miss it!