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Second Lieutenant
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Mar 15, 2007
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Welcome to The Pagan's Progress: A Ryukyu AAR, I was encouraged to write this AAR after mentioning my last game as Ryukyu in a thread about the playability of small, weak nations after the release of patch 1.3. This AAR is as much an attempt to show that it is actually possible to play a successful game as a one-province, vassalised and pagan nation as it is an attempt for me to write my first AAR (hopefully I won't screw up too badly!).

Before I begin with the actual game, I'd like to give a brief summary of the history of Ryukyu (as I doubt too many of you know much more about the Ryukyu Kingdom than I did before I googled myself wiser :p ):

The Ryukyu Kingdom used to be three kingdoms until they in 1429 were unified under King Hashi and founded as the Ryukyu Kingdom, though apparently they were a tributary state to the Ming Dynasty as far back as 1372. The Ryukyuan religion is one based on ancestor worship aswell as the respecting of the relationship between the living, the dead, and the gods and spirits of the natural world, they also believe in the spiritual superiority of women over men, therefore priests are traditionally female (which would actually make them priestesses instead, hmm...).

After being a tribute state to Japan aswell since the Japanese invasion of 1609, they were eventually annexed into Japan in 1879, today there still exists a movement for Ryukyu independence with a considerably big support in Okinawa.

Now, to the actual game... this game will be played with patch 1.3 vanilla EU3 on Very Easy difficulty (shh!) and it starts... Now.


New Year's Eve, 1454. A secret meeting is taking place somewhere in the Okinawan capital of Shuri, hidden from the eyes of the Ming envoys. King Sho Taikyu has gathered together his most trusted servants and advisors to discuss and plan the eventual break from their liege, the Ming. Taikyu knows that a declaration of independence would infuriate the Ming and could very well mean total enslavement of his Kingdom by the Ming if not executed at the exact right time. Therefore it is decided that the break of liegeship will be declared during a time of Ming struggle, preferably in wartime...

ATTENTION! After having had to restart the game (due to stupidly forgetting to save), taking all new pictures and changing the accompanying text where neccessary, I found that the majority of the pictures had been "boxed" due to a mistake in Paint I have no way of re-taking them so a number of the early pictures will be a bit funny, I've now found out about the F11 button screenshots so all future updates (read: ones made after 7th of July 2007) should be optimal.
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Part 1: Planning Ahead

Part 1: Planning Ahead

The Ryukyu are nor numerous or prosperous (despite their god given gift of porcelain production), therefore it is of utmost importance to find some alternative to Ming vassalship in order to survive and grow, because of that, Sho Taikyu orders two of the most skilled businessmen of the Ryukyu islands to sail to the Ming and set up business, in order to get the Ryukyu economy growing (apparently the Ming province of Jiangsu is a place where incredible weath is to be made).

The Ming belief is rubbish to us and likewise that of our suspecious northern neighbour, Japan. Yet somewhere beyond the vast Ming mainland, there is a nation whom we see eye to eye with on several matters, apparently they have a rather savage history of world conquest, but that certainly seems a thing of the past as they seem much less of a threat today. As an act of goodwill, we give them our word that we will do ours to ensure the survival of our Oirat Second-cousins-thrice-removed of faith.

On the 1st of January 1455, something unexpected happened.
The Ming opened their hand to us, offering mutual allegiance to King Sho Taikyu, this was a gesture of honour coming from the Ming but how would that fit into our plans? Maybe this could actually work to our advantage... if the Ming have pledged their alliance to us, it would be very hard for them to break it and declare war. With hidden joy, we accepted their offer.

The Japanese continually made us feel rather uneasy, we were sure they were planning something sinister and that they had all but good intentions. We sent them a formal warning, to be on the safe side even if our unease was nothing but paranoia.

Some time during the last year, the Oirat allied themselves with the Mongol Khanate, something which agitated quite a bit, firstly because we ourselves were hoping to form a bond with the Oirat once our vassalisation was a thing of the past and secondly because we had no idea what kind of trouble the Khanate would bring upon our Second-cousins-thrice-removed of faith. When the news of a war against the Manchu, Korea and - our liege - the Ming, we were devasted. There was no doubt that our sole Pagan friend in Asia was doomed and their people would be slaughtered beneath the Ming warmachine. We mourned for the Oirat for weeks without end...

The 11th of January, 1456. We decided to warn the small islands of Bali and Sulu, if we were to expand we would need money from somewhere, we didn't exactly like the idea of stealing from other small islanders like ourselves but we had little choice in the matter.
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Part 2: Rise of a Nation, Decline of Another

Part 2: Rise of a Nation, Decline of Another

The Oirat were being assimilated bit by bit into the Ming Empire...

13th of May, 1457, the cowardly Khanate left the Oirat alone in the war against Ming, Korea and Manchu.

The business our merchants had set up in Jiangsu was doing fantastic and we had managed to expand to the Japanese trade centre of Settsu aswell, so we would be able to take loans from rich businessmen within our own country without having to worry about paying it back (as we would just be able to take an additional loan to repay them), so that is just what we did.

1st of September, 1457. The court of Sho Taikyu was expanded with two advisors, the first, Huangyou Menglin, was a Colonist and his job was to help Ryukyu grow, as it would need to if it was to survive in these dangerous times. The second, Masahito Ötomo, was a man who was apparently suffering from a never-ending migraine headache, his job was to better the rest of the world's perception of the Ryukyu.

The fruit of our colonization effort was beginning to pay off. We landed a ship full of Ryukyuans on the nearby island of Taiwan, opposite the Ming mainland. Hopefully the native Taiwanese wouldn't take offense to our arrival on their island, we had no intention of leading a massacre against them merely to expand our empire, besides, we could hardly amass an army large enough to withstand an attack from the thousands of people living on the island.

the Oirat was all but totally enslaved by the Ming, left with only it's capital and it's southern-most province.

The 16th of October, the Ryukyu businessmen made a great expand into the Muslim trade centre of Malacca. Also, our colony in Taiwain was growing even further.
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Part 3: A Call To Arms!

Part 3: A Call To Arms!

The day we were waiting more finally arrived! The Ming were declared war on by the Kazakh and were requesting our assistance in the war, going to war would mean we could levy war taxes on our people and thereby increase of income, so we honoured our alliance with Ming though we would only support them in this war formally, as Kazakh was much too far away for us to do anything about.

As was decided that one fateful New Year's Eve, our vassalship was declared expired. The Ming would be too busy to deal with us and would likely let it pass once the war against the Kazakh was won.

The 1st of July, 1458, a defining moment in Ryukyuan history took place. We took a great leap forward by embracing some new concept about questing for new worlds, something which apparently would be a neccessary for our future colonization efforts.

The Chagatai finally gave in to the Ming and the war was now almost won, as The Ming were advancing towards the lands of the Kazakh.

The Kazakh were soon to follow and we were able to take advantage of their immense fear of the Ming and demand a peace offer of 50 ducats (a fortune for a small nation as Ryukyu!) before Ming made the final peace offer. The war was now over, Ryukyu free and expanding fast.

The next year, we had built a galley and hired an explorer to aid us in this quest for new worlds, they set sail towards the south the 11th...

7th of October, the Japanese declared war on Korea (Manchu coming to their aid), had this been later when we would have a proper army, we might have been able to take advantage of this and invade the Japanese islands, yet at this stage we were far too fragile.

Come May the following year, we had discovered several islands which apparently were called the Philippines.

June, the Ming had ended the war with Kazakh...
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You certainly picked a tough nation to play, allhough the sea will shield you somewhat from others seizing your capital. I expect QftNW as first NI?

Do you plan on changing religion anywhere in the game? Remaining Pagan will put you in the unfortunate position of not being able to lose even one siege of your provinces....
Part 4: The Colonial Nation of Ryukyu

Part 4: The Colonial Nation of Ryukyu

2nd of May, 1461.
A truely great man entered the court of Sho Taikyu, Qara Suren Chinua was a cunning fox who could use his tongue to sway a man from one opinion to the exact opposite with ease.

In September, our first loan was to be repaid. Despite the loss of a few merchants, we were still hugely successful in our overseas trade businesses, so we could easily take another loan to repay our first.

The colony we had set up on Taiwan (now several years ago), had turned into a full fledged city with the help of the native Taiwanese and was now considered a Ryukyu province.

November 1462, the Owl-of-the-Ocean, under the command of Sho Ho Sa, had discovered several islands north of Japan that had not yet been touched by civilization, hopefully we would - with the help of the natives there - incorperate them into the colonial empire of Ryukyu(!) and teach them the wonders of civilized life.

January 1464, our colonists had begun setting up settlements in the Philippines, primarily in the province of Samtoy. So far the native Philippines hadn't shown any signs of major discomfort by our arrival, hopefully it would go as with our colonization of Taiwan.

The Japanese-Korean War eventually ended, despite large movement into both the Korean and Manchu lands by the forces of Japan, it ended in a draw.

In April, a Japanese envoy arrived at Shuri castle (which for some reason doesn't count as a fort in EU3...) bearing an offer of mutual alliance with Japan. We had no desire to sign such a document and therefore sent him on his way again.

10 years after the seeds of a fully independant Ryukyu had been planted, we were well on our way to success, already we were the 4th richest nation (not something we had really begun to feel or notice yet though) in the whole of the known world.
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Very interesting choice, quite difficult too, I'll see how this developes, suscribed
Grundius said:
You certainly picked a tough nation to play, allhough the sea will shield you somewhat from others seizing your capital. I expect QftNW as first NI?

Do you plan on changing religion anywhere in the game? Remaining Pagan will put you in the unfortunate position of not being able to lose even one siege of your provinces....
Well, changing religion from Animalism is currently not possible ingame and I don't feel like cheating, so I'm staying Pagan, anyway, being Pagan is part of the fun ;) . In my last game as Ryukyu I had a nice strategy to avoid my provinces being grabbed from me but I'd rather wait and let you see than tell it now.

Also, thanks for the comments and being my first voiced viewer :p
Wow , I've always loved Okinawa (though not as much as Boracay - high fives an invisible Karasuman -) and to see these tribal people expand through Asia reminds me of watching Trick ! Audacious , Ambitious , and ... Ambidextrous ! XD Good luck ! I'll be waiting to see how this turns out !
canonized said:
Wow , I've always loved Okinawa (though not as much as Boracay - high fives an invisible Karasuman -) and to see these tribal people expand through Asia reminds me of watching Trick ! Audacious , Ambitious , and ... Ambidextrous ! XD Good luck ! I'll be waiting to see how this turns out !
Thanks for sticking around, I'll be continuing the game today, though the next next update/s might not be ready until tomorrow.
Soarom said:
Interesting and refreshing AAR. I'm gonna follow this.

ZachMayo said:
Very good. I've always taken a liking to the humble play of small nations.

Thanks for the comments, glad to have you around :)

EDIT: I'm sorry, I feel like the world's biggest idiot right now... when I launched EU3 today to load the game I realised something incredibly frustrating, idiotic, horrible, stupid and embarrassing: I forgot to save the game, I'm afraid I'll have to start the whole AAR over (I suppose it serves me right for disabling autosave...).

Again, I'm awfully sorry, I'll try my best to catch up what I lost.
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Interesting challenge - I suspect I'd do the same as you and hide under Ming's protective shield.
PrawnStar said:
Interesting challenge - I suspect I'd do the same as you and hide under Ming's protective shield.
It certainly is the least dangerous way to play Ryukyu (and me being a bit of a coward, that works pretty well :eek:o ).

Thanks for the comment :)

Note: I'd suggest everyone to re-read the AAR as the prior episodes have been updated to fit with the game. If there's still something odd or wrong somewhere, I'd be happy to know about it.
Part 5: The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

Part 5: The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

3rd of May, 1466.
The now wealthy businessmen who had set up trade all over south-eastern Asia chose to honour Sho Taikyu by donating a much appreciated (and much needed, as the national treasury was running low) sum of gold. To return the favour, the three head merchants who had set up trade in each of the known trade centres, Sho Taikyu declared their families noble families and promised each of them lands to rule (at least formally). So it was that Lord En Kanamura, the man who had set up business in Malacca, was given Taiwan, Lord Gen (whose business was in Jiangsu) was given the still growing land of Samtoy to govern and the last headmerchant, Kei (of Settsu) was promised lordship of the first new land the Ryukyu would gain.

By August, the Owl-of-the-Ocean had uncovered even more untouched wilderness which would one day be land of the Ryukyu...

In October we were dragged into another war by the Ming (another war in which we would only formally be a part of and not actually participate).

July the following year, our explorer who had served us so well, Sho Ho Sa passed away due to is old age. He was replaced with a younger but also more inexperienced man by the name of Sho Shitsu Ke.

May, 1468, we were able to squeeze a nice amount of gold out of the nation that we only formally were at war with, their leader cannot have been a wise man.

A couple of months later and Ming left Lan Xang shattered.

In 1469, the Mongol Khanate was assimilated into the Ming, like so many nations before and so many will in the future.

Headmerchant Kei was finally given his full lordship and was now Lord Kei of the Kurils. The natives of the Kurils were of the same faith and also shared similar culture to ourselves, so relations were friendly from the start when our colonists arrived to the islands.

January, 1470. Sho Taikyu died without a son, he declared on his deathbed that he wished Lord En Kanamura of Taiwan to succeed him, as the Ryukyu would likely still be nothing but a couple of small islands under the vassalship of Ming had it not been for him and the other merchants who had made Ryukyu prosper. Sho En Kanamura appeared to be a great leader, his businessman skills would serve to boost the Ryukyuan economy even further, making the now struggling Ryukyu trade businesses regain their foothold of the three south-east Asian tradeposts. Sho Taikyu's relatives were given lordship over King En Kanamura's former lands, Taiwan.
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