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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

dresdor

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After seeing the “Three Mountains” AAR; I’m determined to do the Ryukyu achievement without using the same strategy (which was a good one, I’ll admit). So; the strategy then is to stay focused in the Asian theater, take out neighbors, and then take over the world.


Ryukyu challenge:

Goals: Expand Ryukyu into a World Conquering super power.

Immediate Goals (1399-1450):
*Build a navy to defend the “home Islands”
*Build up MP and Force limits by colonization
*Build up MP and tax base by conquering Indonesian neighbors.

Important Info:
*Ryukyu*
-Chinese Tech Group
-Starts with a Cog
-Starts with 1000 soldiers and 614 accumulated MP; max of 1k MP with a 14/month regain
-Starts with 3 units of cavalry in available mercenaries
-Assuming prevalent gold; will take 1 year per Carrack to build a naval force
-Least powerful nation in the area (by a long shot)

Potential initial targets:
*Makassar*
-Chinese Tech Group
-Starts with a fleet of 4 (2/0/0/2)
-Has 2k manpower
-OPM with a lvl 1 fort on their province
-Land Support limit of 2; Naval Support of 5
-sometime conquered by Majaphit or Brunei towards the beginning of the game.
->Seems like a strong version of Ryukyu. Initial starting navy might make it a hard target unless naval buildup can be attained prior to invasion.

*Brunei*
-Chinese Tech Group
-Starts with a fleet of 12 (8/0/0/4)
-Has 6.6k MP
-5 Provinces; only capital has lvl 1 fort
-Land Support limit of 6; Naval support of 14
->Strong naval force makes this a good candidate for a secondary invasion, but a hard primary target.

*Majapahit*
-Chinese Tech Group
-Starts with a fleet of 12 (8/0/0/4)
-Has 6k MP
-4 Provinces; one of which has a fort
-Land Support limit of 6; Naval Support of 14
-Not visible to Ryuku from the beginning of game
->Strong naval force makes this a good candidate for a secondary invasion, but a hard primary target.

With these targets, its clear some colonization needs to be done before they can be handled, improvements to force limits is a must…unless Makassar continues to exist, in which case it must be eaten as soon as practicable.


Notes about the AAR:
*Normal Difficulty
*Free Colonists, Merchants, and Missionaries
*Low Aggressiveness AI (More for their benefit than mine)
*All other settings are default

I will not be reloading…whatever happens happens.

Index:
Update 1: Welcome to the Island
Update 2: The End of the Beginning
 
Last edited:

dresdor

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Update 1: Welcome to the Island

Well, here we are…Okinawa in the Ryukyu challenge. There’s not much for me to do but build up my military; colonize; and pray that someone doesn’t steamroller me.

Let’s get some priorities in order:
1. I need Gov’t 4 ASAP for an idea…I need every advantage I can get.
2. Important areas of tech for me are Gov’t, Naval, and Trade. Secondary is Production and Land (Production Efficiency helps colonization chance, and Land is useful for conquesting, but I need national ideas and trade right now, and naval power will keep me safe).
3. I need 5-6 star advisors. This means using paintings to get culture to 90-100%. Advisors now should be Production tech, Gov’t Tech, and Trade Tech (impossible to get a decent Land or Naval tech advisor from culture, but I will be watching for one and snapping him up if I can get a 5-6 star). 5+ star is important for event triggers.

Sliders:
I need to move towards Centralism for Westernization and the obvious benefits
I should move towards Plutocracy, as I will be doing trading
I should move to Free subjects as low tech costs and army morale are important
I should move towards innovative for westernization and tech benefits
I should move towards Free Trade for better merchants
Offensive/Defensive should be in the middle; this might change
Land/Naval should be more towards Naval at this time
Quality/Quantity should move towards Quality for high discipline.

With this in mind, I move my 1399 sliders towards Free Trade (it is now +1)

I start building a carrack for defense. I also hire advisors (Treasurer, Statesman, and Natural Scientists…all one star loosers)



Because of slow MP gain, I need to build a unit every time I reach 1k MP. I also change my infantry to Asian Longbow.

I have the mission “Protect against Japan.” Given I can’t even build another army unit until I get 1k MP….I find it funny. Japan has 3k troops…I won’t be able to field that (unless I get mercenaries) for a while.

Oddly enough, Kyoto has a COT as does Setsu…Kyoto’s usually OK COT is now only worth about 7 ducats, and Setsu has taken over the rest of its value. Should be sorted out via stagnation soon enough. Nanjing is still super valuable, so we’re in good economic shape.

Makassar is already conquered. Oh well.



Building up culture for better advisors. No good ones have appeared naturally yet.

Go Ryukyu. Our military is 2k strong. Watch out Japan!



October 1404: An heir appears…good military skills; but crappy administrative. Guess that means decent tech investment for naval/land.

1406 fired my 1 star statesman for a 3 star one…should see tech go faster now.

Get an event in 1407 to gain a step towards Plutocracy.

There are no good advisors out there…its terrible really.

1409: moved towards centralization (now at +1). Local Pretender rose up…dunno if I can handle his mighty 1k army. Downside is the casualties mean longer time between recruiting new regiments. Good news is another carrack is underway (bringing our total to two).



March 1410: Finally get gov’t lvl 4; Going to select National Trade policy so we can get some better tech. It’ll probably change a lot (nice low stab costs mean lots of NI changing)

Some scouting shows a 19 ship (10/0/0/9) Brunei navy. This game is gonna be a special kind of FUN.



With some luck (and 92% culture) got a 6 star Trade advisor.



1415: Switched to colonial ventures to start colonizing Taiwan.

Got a +18 Natural Scientist



Have sent out 4 colonists so far and nothing….oh well.

Got a colony, finally. Also, slider move towards free trade (+2)

Colony at Sulu is producing Chinaware. Joy.



Taiwan colonized…inflation is going to be a problem as I’m minting at 50% atm

Taiwan is producing…Chinaware….I’m 3 for 3



November 1428; Sulu is self sustaining…yay!



September 1432: Taiwan has become a full province, and adds 6k natives to its population.

Centralized..now at 0

1446: QFTNW

Found Cagayan, and am colonizing it. They make Tea.



Explored past India. It’s 1450, and I’ve got three provinces (one core) and one colony. I’ve explored a good amount of area to expand colonies into. Inflation is terrible, up near 14. The Ming have it worse, ranging up near 20. Force limits are near 3, but should get better as I colonize more and get cores (first core is on Sulu, due up in 1469).

I’m considering taking out loans to build up some more carracks. I need about 14 in order to take out the average enemy fleet…which is about 700 ducats worth. Overall, my position is pretty terrible, but better than it was.

 
Last edited:

TonyJoe

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Nice work but it's slow going starting from such a weak position. Keep at it.
 

dresdor

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Nice work but it's slow going starting from such a weak position. Keep at it.
Yeah I'm questioning whether I'll get to WC by the end time just because of the slow start. Biggest problem going forward will be the lack of CBs against my enemies. -2 stab hit doesn't hurt much yet, but it (and the infamy) will just grow as a problem as the game goes on.

That said, I do have a nice navy in my current save.
 

dresdor

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you'll probably want to rob mutapa to help fund your colonies, and stability cost will be pretty important later on when you get big, especially if you dont reload
Colonies were just to build up initial MP and Force limits (though without Cores, and the way force limits work for non land-connected provinces, not such a smart idea after all). I'm looking for an opportunity to take over some of the nations either not on the mainland or that have a buffer nation between me and the Ming (who could destroy me whenever they want, but I'll not dwell on that).

Stab costs are still fairly low...not 1 month of Ruler contribution to stab restoring a point low, but low enough I could not devote any resources to it and regain fairly quickly (think I'm at 90 cost if I recall right, that's with no -stab cost improvements and very low legitimacy and prestige)
 

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Good luck.
Are you going to take Indochina before it becomes a network of forts?
 

dresdor

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Good luck.
Are you going to take Indochina before it becomes a network of forts?
I'm working first on getting to the point where I can wage war pretty much constantly without much penalty...getting onto mainland Asia without the Ming killing me is an important goal, as is relocating my capital to the mainland once I have a good number of provinces (for force limits as they will count as "overseas" otherwise and contribute little. Anything on Eurafricasia can be land connected to make everything count)

Inflation will be a big issue...its pretty high in the current save...I'm too embarrassed to say how high but I need to get it to drop before long.
 

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I am liking this so far. I do not believe you should move your capital. It is somewhat gamey and everyone who ever plays as Ryuku seems to do it. It would be way more interesting to see someone bring Ryuku to greatness without ever moving their capital.
 

dresdor

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86%??? How's Malacca, Aceh looking? If you're going to move though..Africa?
Not quite that bad...I'm behind a few AI nations for inflation, but it's riding near 20% Aceh has about 4 provinces, 2 of which have forts, they were getting beaten up my Majaphit (or whatever the red one is). They are guaranteed by Brunei, whose navy is just a bit too big for me to handle at the moment (19 big ships vs my 13, and a lot of cogs).


I am liking this so far. I do not believe you should move your capital. It is somewhat gamey and everyone who ever plays as Ryuku seems to do it. It would be way more interesting to see someone bring Ryuku to greatness without ever moving their capital.
Hmmm...it'd be a pain in the ass in terms of income, but I'll try not to move it. Should have an update later today
 

dresdor

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Update 2: End of the Beginning

Took a lot fewer screenshots this time, sorry about that.

Goals: 1450-1500
*Continue Colonial Expansion
*Start invading neighbors

1452 -> Cagayan is full province; colonized Samtoy
1453-> Natural Scientist advisor died, replaced with a 4 star naval reformer.

Santoy makes fish…oh joy



1455 Manila colonized. Santoy’s poor market goods makes wasting colonists on it pointless.

Manila makes Chinaware…soon I’ll be outproducing Ming.

August 1460 -> Manila is a full Province

July 1461 -> Santoy is a full Province

October 1461 -> Centralization (at -2)

1462 -> Colonize Visayes

June 1464 -> Visayes produces Tea…I like tea.

Cored on Sulu finally. Taiwan is up next in 3 years. Cores are good. It adds 2 ducats a year to my yearly tax, and gives me another port to build ships in.



Ships are up to 14; meaning I have enough to fight ship to ship with a few nations in the area. I will need a couple more to ensure superiority.

November 1471 -> colonized Tagoloan

February 1472 -> Visayes is now a full province.

Slider move towards innovative (+1)

September 1472 -> Taiwan is Cored. 3 cores is nice. Adds 5 gold/year to my tax income.

Tagoloan is producing spices! Whoot

Maguindanao is colonized…they also are producing Naval Supplies….meh

Time to start invading my enemies….I should also plan for westernization as soon as possible. I need 25 tech gap, though, and at this time in the game that’s probably not possible (running the numbers looks like 9 gap between me and Oman, the nearest visible higher group nation…
Looking at some info on force limits; I need to buff up my two new colonies to full provinces to make the most of what I have. Naval costs are a fortune when I’m 3x over the force limit (the minimum I need to handle the enemy fleets). Island defense sucks…as will transporting invasion forces any distance.

While I’m waiting for colonies to finish; I’ve instituted a massive building project. Docks, Marketplaces, Constables…buildings galore, which should improve my future economic stability (if I can ever recover from the massive inflation I’m putting myself under just to build up my navy and army)

March 1483; Slider move towards innovative (now at 0) for westernization.

November 1483: Maguindanao is a full province…Time for a fort

November 1485; finally time for some action. It is time to enact the first war in Ryukyu’s World Conquest. The Target is Majapahit, which is complicated by their use of the Military Drill NI. Scouting indicated their troops are all tied up in a war on another large island. If I can transport sufficient troops, their larger numbers should matter. If I can overcome their navy (we are really close in size and I’ve switched to the Superior Seamanship NI and have a strong admiral) I can prevent them from bringing any troops to defend their home territory. Then I just need to be sure to keep my home lands secure.

The plan is to invade a non-colonized territory shortly before the war. I can drop as many troops as I like there, and they will be adjacent to enemy territory. I only have to suffer some small casualties from fighting the natives (if they even rise up), and some attrition.



Oddly enough, their navy and army seems to have been destroyed somehow. They were only at war with a weakened nation that had 1 province left, and were winning…oh well, even better for me.

November 1489; Got peace with Majapahit. Three provinces closer to world domination (and easy access to Majapahit’s capital if and when hostilities resume.



Net result of that war is a 3k boost in MP, 3 boost in land force limit and 1 boost in naval force limit. Overall, a good showing.

Now the fun begins in earnest…uprisings and three provinces with 7%+ minimum RR

May 1496: Slider move towards innovative (-1). One more until I’m able to westernize.

September 1496; Time to see if Ryukyu can take on 5 enemy nations at once. Their navies are already at the bottom of the ocean, now I just need to sweep up their armies.

Consequently, you know you are winning when half your enemies send you white peace proposals at once.



Fall 1500: Makassar is now my vassal. The rest will fall soon.

October 1504: Net result of a screwed up war is three new vassals, but two potential vassals escaped because I stupidly vassalized the war leader…apparently the strongest nation is *not* always the war leader. Anyway, got three vassals now (Champa with 2 provinces, and two OPMs). This nets me about 23 ducats a year…not an insignificant amount when my tax income is about twice that. If I keep this development up, I’ll be able to reduce inflation soon (don’t ask how high it is, you don’t want to know).


Map showing my current territory and vassals


Overall my goals have been accomplished. I'm well on my way to being the major Asian power (Ming has me beaten, but if I am about even in power/defensiveness with the rest of the area). Now for some constant warfare.
 

TonyJoe

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Nice progress. So will you go for SE Asia and India before taking on Ming?
 

dresdor

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Nice progress. So will you go for SE Asia and India before taking on Ming?
I'm going to go after Ming as soon as I can; but will probably be after a bit of consolidation. Given at the beginning they have about 85k MP and a 42 Land Force Limit (and I know they had 40 large ships last time I checked) I need to be confident I can take them on before attacking. Not to mention they are currently allied with Manchu, which can't be a good thing for me. I've never played Ming so I don't know how their factions thingie impacts what they can and can't do...I've only played a Japanese faction once to mess with the shogunate, but don't plan on killing them for a while.

Bad news about India is that Vijayanagar controls most of it...and a good chunk of central Asia. Good news is the provinces I was able to see by sea have a 10%ish revolt risk, and these are provinces they have solo cores on.

I'm going to push up through the Malay Penninsula (if I think I can handle Brunei's navy) as well as continued expansion around my vassals.
 

sprites

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you are growing really slowly ...
Ming now build big ships? that's gonna hurt more than their 50 galleyx they had in previous patches ...
 

dresdor

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you are growing really slowly ...
Ming now build big ships? that's gonna hurt more than their 50 galleyx they had in previous patches ...
Yeah I probably expanded too slowly in the beginning. If I were to redo it I would start attacking the mainland rather than the path I took.

Ming has had a fleet of 40 carracks and 20 cogs since the beginning of the game (or as far back as I can recall). It's one of the things that made me wonder if my fleet defense strategy was worth it, since they can drop 20k troops anywhere they want among my islands with little I can do about it.

The next 300 years are going to be constant wars...should be fun.
 

Gaijin de Moscu

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I'd probably go with your strategy, if I were you. Colonize, build some power, and attack Ming.

Although when I played Dai Viet once I kept chipping away at undefended Ming backwater provinces and was able to grow fast... but that route could only open to you if you take out SE Asia quickly.
 

generalolaf

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I'll be following this. Good luck!
 

BootOnFace

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Colonizing seems to be a good strategy when you go for Three Mountains.