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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

knul

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Imageshack, always the best solution
Well, I've uploaded all images to Imageshack and changed all the links. Have to say, I hate that Imageshack changes my file names. I have them nicely order by ingame year/month, with photobucket they are nicely ordered when I order on filename. With Imageshack I have to search which image belongs where in the episode. Frustrating.

I personally hate imageshack because of small photoes.
I select the option to not change anything. I edit the screenshots so that their width does not exceed 800 pixels or the height 600 pixels.

Well, it's 1557, and any moment now the Europeans should be tentatively knocking on your door (if they haven't already), asking for ever more money and land. If the last few updates suggest anything, you shouldn't be too far behind.

I'm currently in 1660 in the game, so I could tell you what will happen. But I don't :)
 

knul

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Episode 7: ambitions fulfilled

Jim: A fine day to watch some Single Domination. Don't you think so, Bob?

Bob: Every day is a good day to watch Single Domination, especially with such pleasant company.

Jim: Awww....

Bob: Yes, I'm not afraid to admit, I think our audience is quite pleasant.

Jim: Oh. O-o-okay, moving on. While ADM and DIP power gain is twice as high as MIL, our contestants still have managed to improve their military technology.

Bob: The invention of Matchlock (11) increases the firepower of infantry, opens up new types of cavalry and artillery and allows the construction of Barracks and weapon manufactories. Quite a powerful technology.

n42l.png

1559-07. Our soldiers are armed with muskets and lightning.

Jim: Infantry has now as much firepower as artillery but still has a combined multiplier lower than the enormous cavalry shock multiplier.

Bob: Not only the military got stronger. The diplomatic Idea Diplomatic Influence is adopting, improving Ming's reputation. As this is the 18th Idea, the 6th National Idea is unlocked: Bring Back the Headtax, which increases national tax by 10%.

Jim: Ming has quite a lot of economic National Ideas. I mean, -10% stability cost, +10% to production efficiency and +10% to trade and tax income is strengtening Ming domestically.

Bob: But the military NI's are probably the strongest, +33% fort defense and +5% Discipline is quite something, but wait for the last NI...

Jim: I'm filled with anticipation to the brim!

Bob: Alas, we have to wait a bit, as the embarassment of the court by the new Emperor lowers stability and 160 ADM power is spend to recover.

Jim: No matter, it will only delay the inevitable. And look, I'm proven right! The economic Idea Nationalistic Enthusiasm has been adopted, reducing army maintenance by 10%. Only two more Ideas...

Bob: They now have gained Flexible Negotiation, making unjustified demands easier to make. By filling the diplomacy Idea group, Ming also now has a lowered impact of diplomatic actions on stability.

Jim: One more Idea...

Bob And now, in 1566, they adopt Smithian Economics, increasing production efficiency by 20%. Fulfilling the economic Idea group also grants our contestants the ability to lower inflation by spending 200 ADM power.

Jim: Yes! Ming has now all National Ideas!

uki8.png

1566-05. All National Ideas unlocked! Why is there no achievement for this?

Bob: The eight NI is really powerful: Create the Eight Banner Armies, which doubles Ming's manpower to a wonderfull 100.000!

Jim: Wow.

mkxy.png

1566-05. Banner armies. I didn't know Paradox uses Google Translate.

Bob: As the Chinese Ambitions have been fulfilled, Ming also get 30% better relations over time.

Jim: This must be a wonderful moment for our contestants.

Bob: They must be itching to use their new Banner armies, as they invade the Oirat horde to get a single province in the Tibettan highlands.

Jim: Ayutthaya, now allied with the Oirat horde, joins the war. However, due to rebellions in Ayutthaya, the enemy alliance can only muster about 20 regiments in total.

Bob: And while both enemies have the same military tech level as Ming, none of them has any Military Ideas. Seeing how much Ming gets from Defensive and National Ideas, this is a nice benefit for Ming.

Jim: After four years of fighting, Ming has completely occupied the Oirat horde's lands, has taken over Ayutthaya's capital and offers a harsh peace. The Oirat horde has to hand over their last Tibettan province and 300 ducats, plus they have to convert to Confucianism!

asoa.png

1571-06. We now have all the prayer mills we could ever want.

Bob: This creates the third Confucian country in the world!

Jim: That was diverting. So what's next?

Bob: They have have adopted the Mining Act, which increases tax and production income plus strengthens mercantilism at the cost of reduced trade income.

77v9.png

1571-07. Mercantilism is part of a balanced breakfast.

Bob: Another change of policy is the designation of Korea as a rival. Ming has now the Oirat horde, Ayutthaya and Korea as rivals.

Jim: Relations have really gone sour, I suppose.

Bob: I see the Ming ambassador to Korea starts to make claims.

Jim: I smell a war...

Bob: But not before some technological improvements. Staying true to the import of foreign terminology, Ming has invented the Spanish Square (12), which increases infantry shock, greatly increases supply limits and introduces the Asian Arquebusier.

Jim: This will make Ming's armies even stronger. Korea has military tech level 11, but has no military Ideas.

Bob: And now the royal marriage with Korea has been cancelled. Another 150 ADM power spend on stability...

Jim: Indeed, war is coming.

Bob: War is declared on Korea! With three claims, this can be a significant expansion for Ming.

i2n.png

1576-06. Korea is not stronk

Jim: Korea has been in almost constant war with the Oirat horde and has recently lost two provinces to Japan. That explains the high war exhaustion, I guess.

Bob: The war progresses nicely, the claimed provinces are captured...oh look, there!

Jim: Near Beijing?

Bob: Yes! The Korean army has been annihilated!

Jim: After three years of fighting, Korea hands over the three contested provines.

9m0.png

1579-08. This image is outlawed in DPRK. Please turn yourself in at your earliest convenience if you have seen this image. All glory to Glorious Leader Person!

Bob: But now overextension is at 78%, making life difficult for our contestants.

Jim: They react to it, it seems. They switch to the Templar faction for 20 MIL power and start coring the Korean provinces for a total of 200 ADM points.

Bob: And that is with the -100% cost reduction the Templars provide.

Jim: So everything goes well. The Oirat horde and Korea hav been crippled, Ayutthaya is contained, all is well.

Bob: Well, Jim, you better take a look at this map...

bdhe.png

1581-12. Far East: encirclement by Japan and Assam.

Jim: Oh dear, Japan has taken advantage of the weakness of Korea!

Bob: And there is a rising power in the south: Assam.

Jim: Well, things could be better. What will the future bring? Better watch next time, dear viewers!
 

BogMod

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No sign of the Europeans?
 

Enewald

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Any plans for going towards Siberian fur production/trade?
 

Gaizokubanou

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What are your plans regarding 1664 China Nation event? There is a bug with it that completely breaks balance in favor of Ming with that event as of right now.
 

knul

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No sign of the Europeans?
No, not yet. I would have mentioned such an important event.

Any plans for going towards Siberian fur production/trade?

Maybe. Maybe not :)

What are your plans regarding 1664 China Nation event? There is a bug with it that completely breaks balance in favor of Ming with that event as of right now.
I do not know about this bug. I will look into it. Thanks for the warning!

*EDIT* Can you provide a link to the bugreport or otherwise provide info on this bug?
 

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I do not know about this bug. I will look into it. Thanks for the warning!

*EDIT* Can you provide a link to the bugreport or otherwise provide info on this bug?

It's rather straightforward. You noticed how Factions provide the buffs that you can rotate in and out to balance out the "Inward Perfection" debuff, right? If you accept the 1644 China nation event (I think only requirement is that Ming exists and Manchu doesn't exist), the game turns your Ming into Manchu (wtf indeed) and gets rid of your "Inward Perfection" but for some reason, doesn't take away your Factions... so you get the Faction buffs in full.

Which means you get to do whaky stuff like instant and near free coring with Temple faction, build buildings and get paid with Bureaucrats and free advisors and crazy cheap techs with Eunuchs (if you get westernization on top of it it's like 190 per tech).
 

knul

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You should deal with Japan before Europeans arrive. And Assam too.
Why?

It's rather straightforward. You noticed how Factions provide the buffs that you can rotate in and out to balance out the "Inward Perfection" debuff, right? If you accept the 1644 China nation event (I think only requirement is that Ming exists and Manchu doesn't exist), the game turns your Ming into Manchu (wtf indeed) and gets rid of your "Inward Perfection" but for some reason, doesn't take away your Factions... so you get the Faction buffs in full.

Which means you get to do whaky stuff like instant and near free coring with Temple faction, build buildings and get paid with Bureaucrats and free advisors and crazy cheap techs with Eunuchs (if you get westernization on top of it it's like 190 per tech).
Ahh, that bug, now I remember. That would indeed ruin the game. Don't worry, I wont turn into overpowered Manchu :)
 

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Episode 8: Forbidden City

Jim: Welcome back, dear Domination enthusiasts!

Bob: Good to have you all here.

Jim: Last episode, we saw that Japan was aggressively expanding into Korea and has become a neighbor of Ming.

Bob: And thus a potential enemy.

Jim: They already see Ming as a rival. Our contestants drop the Oirat horde as a rival and instead appoint Japan as one.

v27u.png

1582-06. Ming diplomacy.

Bob: Very good.

Jim: So then, another war? I mean, this is all a lead up to...

Bob: They have switched to Bureaucrats for 30 ADM power.

Jim: What? Why?

Bob: Apparantly to start a huge construction effort. Forty constables, to be precise.

skke.png

1582-07. I love the new building screen. The ducats are the expected increase in income.

Bob: And now 15 armories, 12 workshops and 5 trade depots.

Jim: Wow...

Bob: In the next round, construction start on 27 temples, 15 training fields, 4 workshops, 5 docks and 2 drydocks.

Jim: Impressive...hey, they have finally converted Ulanqab after, what, must have been a century or so?

Bob: Pay attention, Jim! They are now constructing 64 markets! This is unbelievable!

Jim: Well, they were sitting on a pile of 18.000 ducats, I guess they figured they should use it for something useful.

Bob: And it certainly helped. Before they constructed all these temples, constables and workshops, the Bureaucrats were running with a monthly -25 ducats deficit, but now they break even. Also, total manpower has increased by 25%.

Jim: Nice.

Bob: They cannot be stopped: 12 barracks and 5 docks. After the barracks finish, Ming can now draw on 138.000 manpower!

Jim: It seems the building craze is over, for now. The switch is made to the Eunuchs, for only 10 DIP power.

Bob: Well, cash reserves have dropped to 8.500 ducats, half the original amount. Still, that hasn't been wasted money, as Ming's income has grown substantially:

0cmi.png

1587-12. Income has skyrocketed. Remember, this is under Bureaucrat rule.

Jim: Very nice.

Bob: The return of investment of this construction blitz is about 3% per year, looking at this graph. As this includes non-economic investments in army power, this looks to be a good move of our contestants!

Jim: I don't understand a word you're saying, but I see that monthly surplus is now 40 ducats, even with the new 8 regiment army.

Bob: Sadly, the Emperor cannot enjoy this for long, as he croaks. He is succeeded by Houcong I.

qqfi.png

1588-02. Long life the Emperor.

Jim: His first act is the order for a new technology, Canal & Shipyard (11). Counting House and Spy Agency (11) follows quickly. Both techs introduce new buildings and little else.

q3fp.png

1589-10. Technology.

Bob: Very useful if they go for another construction blitz.

Jim: That has to wait, Bob. First, there is war!

dpjc.png

1590-10. DoW on Japan.

Jim: Japan has become Dishonourable Scum and Ming has managed to get three claims without being detected. The DoW was a complete surprise.

Bob: While Japan might have superior infantry, with only 18 regiments I doubt they can resist the Banner armies for long. Still, our contestants bring the Templars into power.

Jim: The Japanese seem to understand that. They do manage to blockade and win a minor victory on sea.

Bob: Don't think so. They have landed 8 regiments into Ming-occupied Korea, but from the left come 26 Ming regiments...and they're wiped out! A nice victory for our contestants, resulting in a whopping 7 warscore and finally start ticking the warscore for a superiority war!

Jim: And there! Another Japanese army wiped out for 2.5 warscore!

Bob: Watch! Almost all of Ming's forces are engaging 25 Korean patriot rebels! And they wipe them out! Damn, those Templars do not kid around.

Jim: It's been four years of Ming victories and Japan finally surrenders.

e47h.png

1594-02. North Korea is our Korea.

Bob: Four provinces and some cash, nice price. As overextension is now 48%, four cores are ordered for 120 AMD power. After this, the Eunuchs take the reigns again, for the price of 20 DIP power.

Jim: Check this out! The Emperor holds a sales of titles and rakes in 1500 ducats!

Bob: Seems that he really likes swimming in money.

Jim: What Ming is really swimming in is technology. Wharf (12) has been researched, introducing naval equipment manufactories and trade companies.

Bob: That's not really a saying, you can't swim in technology like you can in money. Well, you can't literally swim in money, but...

Jim: Also, Trunnions (13) is researched, improving artillery and introducing regimental camps. Not that Ming needs the manpower... Nine more artillery regiments of demi-chambered cannon are recruited.

Bob: I see that 20 new galleys are being build, as well.

Jim: Forget about that, check this out! Europe has been discovered!

zw8g.png

1594-12. The West.

Bob: Interesting...a big Ferrara and Sweden, GB has formed but Wales still exists...

Jim: I'm looking at the tech analysis and it doesn't look too good. It seems Ming is about 7-8 tech levels behind Europe.

bmlr.png

1597-07. Country overview, sorted on income.

Bob: This just in! Japan wants to sell their landlocked Manchurian province to Ming for 300 ducats!

98fv.png

1597-08. An AI selling a province to me?

Jim: Our contestants agree. A quick hop to Templars and back to Eunuchs for 10 DIP and MIL power ensures a low cost on coring the 4 Base Tax province. Well, that was easy.

Bob: Another "gain" made in the area is the alliance and marriage with the newly formed rebel nation Manchu.

Jim: Sadly, this cannot prevent the Emperor's death.

Bob: However, the new Emperor, Qi I, has 6/5/2 skills!

Jim: He's the best Emperor so far!

ki6z.png

1601-11. Qi is qrazy qood.

Bob: It's no suprise the first technology under his rule is Fine Academiy (12), which gives a unique building lowering stability cost by 5%.

Jim: He also commission the research of Grand Shipyard & Road Network (13).

Bob: Nice, a Jin Era event increased stability to three. Hey, the Bureaucrats have gained power...looks like it's construction time again!

cmyd.png

1603-03. The Forbidden city. I've been there twice myself. Very impressive.

Jim: Oh wow! The Forbidden City has been build! That is excellent!

Bob: I agree completely. Qi also orders the construction of armories in every province that hasn't one yet.

Jim: Small but nice detail: Manchu has become Ming's vassal.

Bob: Again a building frenzy...tons of training fields, some markets...

Jim: And then again a sudden change to Eunuchs. But I see our time is up. Goodbye everybody, see you next time!

e148.png

1604-11. Map of Asia.
 
Last edited:

Vladislav

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Looks like you might have Russians breathing down your neck before too long. :)
 

Enewald

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First time ever I see AI selling province. :eek:

Time to beat Muscowy before they reach the sea?

Also I find it kinda sad how France has larger income than a Chinese Empire... :(
One day, they shall make China Universalis game, but it is not this day...
 

unmerged(773375)

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Can you include your heir stat at every new emperor? Just curious to see hows the heir stat.

I havent played a lot due to save game problem before and quite busy in RL. what triggers the european discovery? Did some of their explorer reached you or some event did? Thanks.
 

knul

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Looks like you might have Russians breathing down your neck before too long. :)
Indeed, but they are not the most impressive Russian empire I have seen :)

First time ever I see AI selling province. :eek:

Time to beat Muscowy before they reach the sea?

Also I find it kinda sad how France has larger income than a Chinese Empire... :(
One day, they shall make China Universalis game, but it is not this day...
I don't have colonists :(

Can you include your heir stat at every new emperor? Just curious to see hows the heir stat.

I havent played a lot due to save game problem before and quite busy in RL. what triggers the european discovery? Did some of their explorer reached you or some event did? Thanks.
I have no idea what triggers the spread of discoveries. I didn't get a "discovery by Europeans" event. As for heir stats, I will see what I can do. The coming episodes I cannot change anymore, as I played forward and I can't reload earlier periods.
 

cellblock

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Good read. Playing as Ming myself. I just got an idea on how to westernize quicker. Get an exile army with a conquisador and march to Europe, get a province and core it. Would this be possible?
 

RebBrown

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Imgur.com is a great host for images and has good management tools for users :) great AAR btw!
 

Nikolai

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Congrats with the award, knul! :)
 

knul

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Good read. Playing as Ming myself. I just got an idea on how to westernize quicker. Get an exile army with a conquisador and march to Europe, get a province and core it. Would this be possible?
Nice, but no cigar :) You cannot core provinces outside your colonization range.

Imgur.com is a great host for images and has good management tools for users :) great AAR btw!
Thank you RebBrown, Imgur indeed looks much, much better than imageshack. I like tne interface also much, much more. BTW, Spoony fan? Or does "Roll Fizzlebeef" ring a bell? ;)

Congrats with the award, knul! :)

Thanks for alerting me, Nikolai! Wow, I am WritAAR of the week! It's very nice to see people enjoying my work so much. So in return, another episode!
 
Last edited:

knul

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Episode 9: West and East

Jim: It's time for another fine episode of Single Domination.

Bob: Hi guys.

Jim: So how's the empire?

Bob: Well, the stability is at level 3 for some years now, which is unprecedented. This has already let to two converted provinces. On the flip side, Japan has been fully unified as the last Daimyo has been assimilated.

Jim: I see that those training fields are doing nicely. Manpower has risen to 189.000, as much as the two largest manpools combined, France and the Ottomans.

Bob: The navy is also prospering: The Galleas (14) has been researched. Although the knowledge that a nation like France is three tech levels ahead casts a bit of a shadow on this advancement.

Jim: Nah, don't worry, our contestants are doing fine. Look, they have now researched Improved Drainage (13), increasing production efficiency by 10%.

0W7iZx3.png

1608-11. Tech.

Bob: Hey, there's the first destabilizing event in ages.

Jim: That ends an age of 11 years of maximal stability. In reaction, our contestants shift power to the Bureaucrats.

Bob: And it's not to regain stability, but to get more buildings. The whole country is covered under the construction of military buildings, mostly barracks, at the astonishing cost of 4.000 ducats.

Jim: I don't get it, Ming has plenty of manpower, why build more manpower buildings?

Bob: I don't know either, Jim. I hope our contestants have a plan.

Jim: And now they're building docks and drydocks! But their navy is already strong enough to even defeat Japan!

Bob: To be fair, they are also building a lot of trade depots to strengthen trade, which makes sense. Even more so that they don't build them in the western steppes, as Ming does not collect or tranfer money from the Yumen trade node.

Jim: By now the treasury has dropped to a historical low of 1700 ducats, so the Eunuchs are called in to rectify that.

Bob: What's even more important is that Treasury Office & Town Hall (14) has been researched. Of course, this means...

Jim & Bob: New Idea Group!!!

Jim: It's always exciting to see what they choose as their new Idea group.

CytzHmE.png

1615-02. Exploration.

Bob: Exploration? I didn't see that one coming!

Jim: I'm very surprised as well, Bob. We will see how this turns out.

Bob: They adopt Colonial Ventures and have gained colonists for the first time.

Jim: And he's send to Taiwan tout suit. I see they have already found some delicious tea there

Bob: Very nice. They have also adopted Quest for the New World, I see.

Jim: Hey, they have hired an explorer and gained fleet basing right in Swahili.

Bob: Closer to home, Taiwan has become self sufficient in just four year. Settlers are now send to the cold north of Manchu.

Jim: I see the complete Light Ship Fleet is send to Swahili. They start exploring the African water.

Bob: Meanwhile, the Idea "Overseas Exploration" is adopted, increasing colonial range by 50%.

Jim: Also, it seems Manchu is annexed. Anyway, back to more interesting things. Such as Ming's first overseas colony.

ePEJB1a.png

1622-05. This cape gives me hope.

Bob: To keep the colony save, no less than 16 regiments are send, a third of the whole armed forces.

Jim: Bold move, as Ming also declares war on Dai Viet. Assam and two other South Asia nations join against Ming.

Bob: Still they can only muster 15 regiments, only half of Ming's local forces.

Jim: Ow, the Emperor Qi has just died and he wasn't even 50. His ADM 6 skill will be sorely missed.

Bob: His son, Youyuan I, has 3/4/5 skills. As he has no heir, Bureaucrats take leadership. To take advantage of the situation, star forts are build along the coast.

Jim: My, this is a weird move: all the advisors have been fired!

giwm9eQ.png

1624-05. Empty government.

Bob: Weird indeed. While this will save quite some money, I do not understand why our contestants would do this.

Jim: What I do understand is the Idea "Land of Opportunity", which will increase the growth of colonies.

Bob: Oh no! Japan has attacked Ming and brings 44 regiments!

Jim: Damn, that's a big setback. Ming makes a quick peace with the Dai Viet alliance, gaining a single province in the deal.

Bob: That's not bad, actually.

Jim: The two armies are quickly brought up north, where the Japanese are sieging. The Templars are now leading, so to make the armies as strong as possible.

Bob: And it works! Look, they are repeatedly beating the Japanese armies! And the first one is annihilated! Now the second one! Wow, Japan has only two regiments left!

Jim: The armies start sieging. The colony in Africa, Xhosa, has meanwhile become self-sufficient and is being cored.

Bob: The Japanese surrender, yielding two provinces Ming has claims on and revoking a core on Ming.

k2CwTdR.png

1627-03. Peace with Japan.

Jim: Overextension is now at 50%. Coring is started as the Templars are still in power. However, a switch is made to Eunuchs.

Bob: A couple of new technologies are now researched. Textile Manufactory (15) and Tenaille (14) provide some building options, but nothing more.

Jim: Then again back to Bureaucrats, as there is still no heir. Also, Korea has been annexed by the Oirat horde.

Bob: As there is now a bit of a lull in the action, shall we show some maps to the audience?

Jim: Great idea, Bob!

z9abmxl.png

1629-01. Map of Europe.

Jim: Great Britain's civil war has just ended, resulting in a grown Wales.



auLbYwc.png

1629-01. Map of South Asia. Yes, today I had little creativity in image captions. Sue me.

Bob: The great nation of Vijyanagar has been fragmented. Pegu not only became independent from Ayutthaya but took a bite out of it as well.

Jim: And we have a new heir, hurrah!

Bob: What's less fun is that rebels have formed Manchu,

Jim: Not good. It required some fighting to get Ming's core province back again, leaving Manchu as a one-province minor. Good thing is that a bunch of Manchu cores have been revoked, though.

Bob: Inside sources tell that annexation whas out of the question due to overextension, while DIP power was too weak for vassalization.

Jim: On a more positive note, two new technologies are presented to the public: College & Mint (16) and Maurician Infantry (15).

hrLM0Pf.png

1633-04. Tech.

Bob: ...Look! Look Jim!

Jim: Oh...!

jJccf8E.png

1634-04. The New World.

Jim: They have discovered the new world! Oh my, they really have turned this timeline alternative.

Bob: According to the archives, it did take the lives of four explorers to cross the Pacific.

Jim: This is amazing. There is literally nothing in the world that could be more amazing...

K7Nr4I6.png

1637-07: Westernization button

Jim: Oh.

Bob: See you all next time!