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Peter Ebbesen

the Conqueror
61 Badges
Mar 3, 2001
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The Timurid Scientists: A vision of the future

Imagine a solemn gathering of the foremost minds of the Timurid Empire. Imagine the lofty discussions, the penetrating insights, and the most splendid arguments, all for the greater glory of Allah (praise be his name) and the chosen successor of Timur Lenkh, in the golden city of Samarkand. As the mind's eye turns from the minarets and to a cozy room, cluttered with books, half-eaten meals, and charts of the heavens, the sound is cranked up a bit...

"We are in deep dung, my brethren", began the Chief Scientist, "and it is all the fault of the bursar". The bursar, a cost-benefit dieting poster child, begged to differ. "I didn't actually buy the lamp (extravagantly priced, I tell you, the kitchen's budget needs to be reexamined), I merely polished it. And, admittedly, answered its question. And I needed a better abacus, to fudge, sorry, nudge, the figures for our next research grant (which the khan dislikes paying, as well you know), to make my troubles go away."

"At which point the Djinn swapped the khan for the Arcane Logic Unit, as far as I understand, leaving us with no khan, no research grant, and a solar-powered abacus...", replied the Chief Scientist, gesturing towards the black perfection of the ALU.

An embarrasing moment of silence was followed by the quiet but dignified shuffle of slippered feet, as the gathered scientists rushed for the door. Elbows were employed in an unseemly manner and fists were raised. Fifth Scientist flattened Sixth Scientist with one mighty blow, while Third Scientist by accident (these things happen all the time) nudged Second Scientist through an open window, thus securing his own advancement. Second Scientist's early investigation into the theory of gravity proved, conclusively it was later agreed, that an earthly body full of hot air is attracted by the earth, rather than the air element, and thus an otherwise sad end to a brilliant career, was instead to the advancement of human knowledge in general, which just goes to show something.

Remaining was the Chief Scientist, who struck the Arcane Logic Unit with a whack of epic proportions, inadvertently activating it. A disembodied voice seemed to emanate from the box, as glistening panels unfolded seeking the light of the sun: "ALU beta0.004 reporting for duty, master. Congratulations on your purchase. <static> guarantees your complete satisfaction, and <garble-garble-garble> except as noted on page 3241 paragraph 4, subsectiction 2. This company is not liable for any damage caused by any use, misuse, abuse, or disuse of this equipment <static-garble>, including major bodily harm, death, dissolution, disintegration, discorporation, or collapse of major solar bodies. Remember to register. The licence will expire 1819 (Christian Calendar). Thank you for choosing <garble-garble>. Pose your question, master"

Now that was more like it was supposed to be, thought the Chief Scientist. His first question concerned the lack of a khan and the desire to maximize the research grant. The ALU had a solution, and a disturbingly insane grin took possession of the hitherho serene face of the Chief Scientist. As a result of this innocent request the course of the future was sent crashing madly down the wrong trouser leg of causality, or the continuum, or something, and God and man alike awaited the outcome.

The Rules:
EUII v1.03, Very Hard/Furious
No reloading except in case of CTD
No peeking in save games except to repair them in case of the stupid 'selectable country' bug in 1.03.
Having read MrT's Timurid AAR the ALU is able to offer cogent advice of future events. Unfortunately the ALU is still in the beta stage...

The Goals:
Maximize the research grant
Expand in an economically feasible way, really
Keep the various khans clueless
Survive until expiery of licence
Keep stability up and revolts down

Excerpt from "Timid Timurids? The post-Lenkh years":
"...In those days arose the system of competetive examinations for positions of authority overseen by the foremost scholars of the day. Few examples of early examinations are available for study, due to the near collapse of the Timurid Empire and the devastating fire of 1500."

Q: Who should rule our the mighty Timurid empire, savouring the unearthly delights of absolute power, with a new and enlarged harem, with his every care taken care of, and advised by the preeminent sages of the day (especially Chief Scientist, rather than that smarmy Second Scientist)?
A: Ghorge Bhush
A: Al Ghore
A: Yourself

"I don't really know, to be absolutely honest.", declaimed Second Scientist (recently promoted) to Third Scientist (ditto). "That question seems awfully loaded to me." Heh, not compared to the results of the poll. Every candiate got to vote. There were two votes for Bhush, eight for Ghore, and only one for Yourself, with the addendum: "me being Rûkh". Deeply impressed by his ability, Shah Rûkh was the new ruler of the empire, and he ruled firmly but justly, or at any rate for a rather long time, in which many things of great import happened, which enabled later scholars to write lengthy diatribes, so that's all right.

ALU report 1419:
Balance of Power: Aristocratic
Centralization: Decentralized
Wierdness Factor: Narrowminded
Trading: Slightly free trade
Offensive: Yes, very
Quality of troops: High
Freedom of peasants: Negligible

Stability: Anarchy (-3)
Inflation: 10%

State Cultures: Mongol, Afghan
Province Cultures: Uzbekh, Mongol, Persian, Afghan, Baluchi

State Religion: Sunni
Province Religions: Sunni, Shiite

Provinces: A lot
Core Provinces: Samarkand

Empire Rep: Extremely Bad

Centres of trade: Samarkand, Isfahan

Army (condensed): 35,000 men

Technology: Forget it, rock bottom.

Friends: Kaliphate (vassal)
Enemies: Qara Koyunlu & Ak Koyunlu

1) Maximize tolerance to Sunni & Shia Moslems to increase happiness.
2) Increase stability ASAP
3) Stay cool, expand trade and avoid wars. If you find a fork in the road, take it.

"Sounds fair enough, though I wonder what a condensed army is. Well, let it be so.", advised the Chief Scientist.

"...And he (Shah Rûkh) let Sunni and Shia live side by side, and his incredible wise diplomatic moves improved relations with the Uzbekh Kaganate, that statelet on the northern border, and when the clergy showed unhappiness, he appeased them, and when the Chagatai Kaganate declared war, and none could map their sand dunes, he defeated their armies and made them pay tribute, and as a stateman he allied with his vassal the Kaliphate. When nobles allied with the Kaliphate he showed restraint, though anarchy drew near. When Qara Koyunlu delivered an unforgivable diplomatic insult, he forgave and force-vassalised them, and forced them to pay tribute, causing great celebration and the spontaneous conversion of Tabaristan to the majority Sunni religion. In magnanimity unsurpassed, he granted Baluchistan home-rule, and forged an alliance of all three vassals: Baluchistan, Qara Koyunlu, and the Kaliphate. Great were the gifts to the state, and great was the rejoicing as stability was recovered in December 1427. A mighty leader, he had little need of the nonsensible advice of his supposed first advisor, the ill-named Chief Scientist, who was personally responsible for the few major military distasters of Shah Rûkh's reign....." - Second Scientist, "The early years of Shah Rûkh"

"...The dummy implemented most of our policies and spent his time in the saddle, dashing dashingly across the land, the great pillock. Of greater importance was the improving trade network, and, consequently, the greater grants allocated senior scientists with proven track records. I nudged policies towards cheaper land forces and more expensive ships, since we don't have any ships. Honestly, you would believe those morons could do so without my help. Oh, and the vassalisation of Gujarat (they insulted Shah Rûkh in 1428 with the same predictable result as Qara Koyunlu), was a great idea. Even the bursar was happy. And the loss of 20,000 cavalry fighting in Azerbadjan was not my fault, I wasn't there. My appointment calendar clearly shows that I was busy somewhere else the entire time. And those revolting peasants with their petitions of redress in 1434? I can't prove it, but "Great Windbag" the Second Scientist seemed suspiciously well-informed at the time, there's bound to be some collusion, not that I am pointing fingers, or anything. Fortunately our great Shah spent his time in the harem and never noticed anything untowards. And the special research grant upon the birth of an heir to the clown (1435) was a nice consideration, even if I do say so myself. I proved that yellow was the favourite colour of the Prophet." - Chief Scientist, "Diary volume XXXVII"

"...The 1430'ies were probably the most boring years of Shah Rûkh's rule. They saw the improvement of trading practices and infrastructure, the constructions of a few fortresses, and a disturbing tendensy towards peace. Had the fiery young tiger become a tired old goat or was Shah Rûkh merely biding his time? 1442 marked the turning point. In a fashion that would one be followed for decades to come, he sent missionaries to convert the Shiites of Isfahan and Hormouz to the true faith. Having built his armies, the Shah declared war on the Shiites of Oman and burnt their tradingposts in the Arabian peninsula. Losses were higher than estimated, but at the peace of 1444 he accepted tribute from Oman and establish trading posts in the old Omani territories. They would, in time, turn into truly valuable additions to the empire, rather than the waste of money some predicted. This year also marked the greatest threat to Timurid rule, as Delhi, Vijanagar, Mysore, the Uzbekh Kaganate, the Kazakh Horde, and Nogai declared war upon the empire. Greatly outnumbered but magnificently led, his gallant forces managed to defend the farflung reaches of the realm. Pursuing the pillar of charity he gave freely of the treasury to make peace with these treacherous foes, vicious dogs, and infidels. Then in 1447, Shah Rûkh, statesman and conquerer, died, in what was otherwise a truly excellent year. The succession was contested, but ultimately..." - Excerpt from "Timid Timurids? The post-Lenkh years".

"Well apart from avoiding wars, everything has turned out according to my schedule. I will consider this most deeply and consult with the ALU. Thank you, thank you. And stop gritting your teeth, Second Scientist. It is not seemly in a man of your advanced age", said the Chief Scientist on his way to his summer observatory in the new colony of Bahrein.

To be continued.

I'll be interested to read how you fare...trying to keep at high stab would have been nice but I'd already decided to play mean and nasty in mine.

I like the "hook" you're using to tell the story, and am looking forward to more.
High stab is nice but costly. The major problem, as will be shown in the next installments, is the scientists near-total neglect of military research. When they finally reach China, the army commanders are in for a chock. (Who needs land tech greater than 5 when fighting China (land tech 12) anyways?)

... And I really, really, really dislike the Nobles Ally with Foreign Power events, which are fairly frequent in this game!

I toyed with them once and found keeping stability up to be almost impossible. Hope you have better luck. Nice start.:)

Timurid Scientists: The peasants are revolting (you can say that again!)

ALU personal advice 1447
Foolproof Predictive Unit (FPU) activated. Due to unforseen circumstances an extended leave on holiday will increase your chances of survival by more than 2 million percent over the next few decades.

"Having chosen, by competitive examination, Ûlûg Bey to lead our glorious nation in 1447, I hereby apoint you, Bursar, to run things in my absense. Remember to maximize the Grants, keep stability up, rebellions down, and to keep Second Scientist from any real influence, and I will be well pleased. It is time for my fact-finding mission to the East to commence! Ready the horses and saddle the porters, I am off for the realms of India!", said Chief Scientist.

"...I was honoured, of course. Finally fiscal responsibility was in the hands of the right person. I immediately set the upkeep for the navy at half cost (some bloody idiots had built some warships in a bout of enthusiasm a decade ago). I freely admit that it was a hard choice when Ûlûg Bey suggested building an observatory for my personal use, since it cost us two loans, but posterity would have thanked me, were it not for the completely unexpected events of the coming years, such as the unfortunate death of Ûlûg Bey in 1449, and the premature collapse of the observatory during a rebel attack. And it is a complete fabrication that Ûlûg Bey choked to death on the budget. It was the harem that did him in; I swear I have seldom seen so pleased a corpse. And my judgement was proven sound again in the selection of Abd al-Latif, who did absolutely nothing of interest during his few months in power, whereas my financial policies turned this into an exceptional year with good sheep and better weather. And the minor events of this period which, viewed from a safe distance of years, do seem a bit destabilizing, are clearly not my fault, as opposed to the increase in army quality (which came at a hefty price in upkeep costs, I tell you!). I hate to say it, but the foolproof competitive examination system, was subjected to human error in the selection of mad Abd Allâh Mîrzâ, the disemboweller. But these things happen. I certainly don't blame Chief Scientist, who designed the system" - Excerpt from "Court-scientifical of the Bursar" (1500)

"... The five day war of September 1550 when the Timurids secured peace by sending tribute with unseemly haste, probably ranks as the high point of the reign of Adb Allâh Mîrzâ, the disemboweller. Tradition has it that he was between swords at the moment, having executed any number of supposed traitors, and didn't really feel like fighting those friendly Indians, when he had enemies everywhere. Paranoid or not, his actions during this year led to the dreadful near collapse of the Timurid Empire. Faced with the enemies his sick mind had for so long desired, now created by his hand, it is said he finally sought advice..." - Excerpt from "Timid Timurids? The post-Lenkh years"

ALU advice on: "How to deal with the traitors while maintaining a decent research grant"
Options are as follows:
A) Attack all the traitors.
PRO: This will create a stimulating revolutionary environment with new government paradigms and priorities, keep the army in fighting form, and maintain the population as a whole, while leading to remarkable new insights in the fields of science of crowd control.
CON: A few incidental murders will keep the turnover of freakingly mad Khans at a maximum.
B) Bribe the traitors.
PRO: Stability will be high.
CON: Initial costs estimated at 2100 ducats causing state bankruptcy. Grant will be minimized.

"State Bankruptcy for the sake of coddling a few traitors!? As opposed to the many benefits of getting rid of them. And anyone knows the a bit of fighting in the streets adds zest to life and coffee-house discussions. Those traitors will suffer our wrath, and we'll have the boys home for Christmas." - The advice of the Bursar

"...But as to whether his advisors were plain incompetent or whether he chose his own way, none can say. The execution of yet another bunch of traitors in 1551 was the final straw, and of immediate consequence was the plummeting of stability to rock bottom, the complete loss of the goodwill of Qara Koyunlu, 5 provinces under rebel control, rebel forces active in 9 other provinces, the desertion of all but 3,000 men in the army, the rise of an estimated total of 107,000 rebels. Hastily raised forces marched for the relief of Samarkand and Isfanhan as two or three fresh rebellions broke out a month. All available income was diverted towards bribing the populace and the coining of money for the raising of troops. It can truly be said that things went from bad to worse, when Vijayanager and Jodhpur declared war that fall, which makes finding a proper description of the situation when the alliance of the Uzbekh Kaganate, the Kazakh Horde, the Nogai Horde, and Sibir declared war that winter, somewhat difficult. Disastrous might not be too strong a word." - Excerpt from "Timid Timurids? The post-Lenkh years"

"...So I forked over 50 ducats bribing the Uzbekhs, who were alliance leaders. Now some might call that cowardly, but I call it prudent. And please notice that had we (as Second Scientist so snidely proclaims would be the better solution) chosen to bribe the traitors, we wouldn't have had any money to pay the Uzbekhs! ... Ok, admittedly we would have had an army to deal with them, but who knew what would have happened? We would only have outnumbered them three to one, which means they would have had to kill three of our soldiers, to hurt their economy as much (because of new recruitment) as our economy would be hurt, for every soldier we killed. And since they would probably not be capable of killing enough of our soldiers, our economy would, relatively speaking, be hurt more than theirs... No, I am not babbling, Chief Scientist. I am just a bit upset by these groundless accustations." -Excerpt from "Court-scientifical of the Bursar" (1500)

"...The decade following the Chief Scientist's ill-advised eastern holiday was a showcase of incompetent management by the Bursar, who, following proudly in the steps of his master, and even, occasionally, overtaking him, seemed unaware of what was going on outside the palace walls. He managed to pay of the loans taking to build the 'Bursar pre-memorial observatory', but so what!? The rebels had already burnt it to the ground, and he hadn't even noticed it, safely ensconced as he was next door to the harem, not that I am suggesting anything. No wonder that there was general non-enforcement of the ordinances. And the rebels, notice how he conveniently forget the thousands of serfs, artisans, merchants, and nobles, who took up the sword against tyranny, and were brutally crushed? Does he mention that the war against the Indians went on for five years, with ever increasing war exhaustion stimulating new uprisings? And that after five years of war, he only managed to get peace by paying tribute - again! Am I the only one to see a pattern here? I think not. The only remotely competent thing the Bursar did in this decade was accepting the proposal when the Cities demanded their Ancient Rights to perform executions as pay-per-view events, since the empire was entirely decentralised already." - From the testimonial of Second Scientist in the "Court-scientifical of the Bursar" (1500)

"...The reign of Abû Said (1457-1474) marked a change for the better. Following the flogging, dismemberment, and incineration of Allâh Mîrzâ, this man of action took up the sword and proceeded to cut a bloody swathe across the empire. During the early years of his reign all rebellions were put down, stability was recovered completely, and only a few minor rebellions marred the by now red streets of the major cities. A devout Sunni muslim, he lavishly funded attempts to convert the minority Shiites, and, amazingly, had some success. A few nobles even managed a magnificent gift to the state, which Abû Said honoured by enserfing a few more freeholders. He also convinced the newly converted people of Isfanhan to increase their fortifications. This effort was said to be divinely inspired, since it reached heights unknown to the rest of the empire. Many sheep, however, were still being unfairly treated by the newly enserfed peasantry, and the sheep revolt of 1465 generated such a measure of unhappiness amongst the peasantry, that revolts were soon breaking out on a monthly basis again. In the sphere of trade, Abû Said was not content with dominating the local centres of trade in Samarkand and Isfahan, he also sent merchants to Venice, Flandres, Tago, and Delhi. His reforms of 1472 aimed at strengthening merchantilism were poorly received, indeed protests of poor government policies were mentioned in every rumour that year. He had to divert many funds to regaining the good opinion of the people and recover the stability of the empire. The second to last year of his reign saw Qandahar in the grip of plague. Truly things weren't the same in the empire since he swapped the horse for the harem in 1469, though he stayed on top of current affairs." - Excerpt from "Timid Timurids? The post-Lenkh years"

ALU Timurid Geography 1464


To be continued.
Originally posted by Peter Ebbesen
Truly things weren't the same in the empire since he swapped the horse for the harem in 1469, though he stayed on top of current affairs." - Excerpt from "Timid Timurids? The post-Lenkh years"
If I swapped a horse for a harem, I'd be spending all my time staying on top of current affairs too. :D

Very nice AAR. Keep it up...
Very good. I really like the "excerpt" style you're using and I congratulate you on surviving the first killer event of the Timurid Empire.

Very much looking forward to your next "test".:)
Best AAR yet. I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face. Of course, the fact that I've worked for many years as a scientist probably contributed to my amusement--I know too many folk like the Bursar, the Chief, etc. :D

What I'd like to see is someone do an AAR with EEP 0.2. The Timurids get an IMMEDIATE "lose all your stability and have a revolt risk of +8 for 25 years" event under Shah Rukh. Then they get 5 years of breathing room before they are hit with the "Disintigration of the Timurid Empire" event. Unbelievably nasty. Anyone willing to fight through that many catastrophes has godlike patience.
good aar!
Originally posted by Marquoz
Best AAR yet. I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face. Of course, the fact that I've worked for many years as a scientist probably contributed to my amusement--I know too many folk like the Bursar, the Chief, etc. :D

What I'd like to see is someone do an AAR with EEP 0.2. The Timurids get an IMMEDIATE "lose all your stability and have a revolt risk of +8 for 25 years" event under Shah Rukh. Then they get 5 years of breathing room before they are hit with the "Disintigration of the Timurid Empire" event. Unbelievably nasty. Anyone willing to fight through that many catastrophes has godlike patience.

I've seen a few people like them in RL too. :)

The EEP Timurids sound downright nasty to play. The Scientific Timurids only turned hard to play when low land tech (due to no land tech investment, got coupled with a +8 war exhaustion, some time after the creation of the Mughal Empire. When rebels are beating the crap out of your numerically superior all-cavalry armies on plains on a regular basis, it is past time to invest in land tech.

Next installment coming up soon.
Timurid Scientists: The Lamp and the Tiger

The Bursar was always slightly perplexed when using the Arcane Logic Unit. Though it answered every question instantly, sometimes he felt as if it wasn't really communicating. But then, the rest of the world felt the same way when dealing with the Bursar, so on an average, it worked. On this particular occasion his request for a full in-depth report, with appendixes, on the state of the empire was answered thus: Upgrade needed. Invest in lamps.

"...Who can explain the perverse genius of Ahmad (1474-1494)? He seems a near contradiction in terms. He presided over an unheard of period of peace and prosperity with no wars. He was gifted, lavishly, by the nobility as a quid pro quo for his accepting their old rights of droit du seigneur, both in gold, and in warships, adding ten new warships to the badly understrength and completely unused navy. With the aid of the excellent minister, Sec-onde Sci-en-tiste, of unknown origin, he strengthened the merchantilist policies of his predecessor, and he converted several of the misguided Shiite provinces to the true faith. Yet he is also the man, whose ruthless, but fair, crushing of rebellions was inevitably followed by an influx of members of the Order of the Lamp, whose interrogative procedures when searching for used lamps, caused new rebellions to arise. The cause of his lamp-fixation is unknown. (However see Freud: The Ahmad Complex, for an amusing, yet fatally flawed, analysis)." - Excerpt from "Timid Timurids? The post-Lenkh years"

And Fifth Scientist spoke unto the Bursar, disturbing him amidst his pile of dirty lamps, saying: "Put down the polishing-cloth, and hie thee to the conference room, for lo! The Second Scientist is making his move at last, and readies to rig the coming election. Make haste, lest all be lost to his incompetent, yet nefarious designs."

Well, actually he said: "Get your ass moving, Old Windbag is going Homicidal on us", but somehow it is not quite the same.

"...And as a responsible gentlemen, and seeing the complete lack of guidance from the defendant (yes, that means you, Bursar!), I saw the need for immediate action. I pride myself on being a keen judge of character, and since Chief Scientist was still gallivanting somewhere in the east, and the Bursar was a basket-case, or dare I say it - a lamp-case ha-ha, I marshalled my mighty intellect to save the research grant and the empire. And though my improved questionarie did create emperors with a high level of mortality (100% within two years of accession), please notice the absolute dignity with which they faced being torn apart, disembowelled, filleted, and in the extreme case of Ali, buried in a sheep-slide in Afghanistan. No ordinary morons, could have done a better job." - From the testimonial of Second Scientist in the "Court-scientifical of the Bursar" (1500)

Q: I square bracket your name square bracket do solemnly swear to abide by the intelluctually superior rules as formulated by that magnificent scholar, Second Scientist. I will repeat the mantra, I am a mindless puppet at least twenty-seven times a day, dress sharphly, eat lots of yoghurt, mind my manners. I will without fail slaughter the infidels, crush the rebellious, and wear a funny hat. So do I, square bracket your name square bracket, pledge my horde.
A: Sign name.

- Evidence at the "Court-scientifical of the Bursar" (1500)

"...I would like to point out, that the way Babûr was kicked out by the palace coup (masterminded by the Second Scientist, August 1499, I have incontestible proof!), was nothing short of disgraceful. Babûr is not an elephant, huge and plodding, as the so-called concerned guardsmen claimed. If anything, he is a tiger. And the claims that I lied in the matter of the 1450 collapse are just that: claims. We don't celebrate Christmas, after all, so it takes a truly desperate man to claim, that I claimed, that we would have the boys home for Christmas." - Excerpt from "Court-scientifical of the Bursar" (1500)

As the sun set over the golden city of Samarkand, and the muezzins from the topless minarets summoned the faithful to the prayer, an Elephant was seen entering by the Eastern gate. On it, majestic and dignified, the Chief Scientist. In his wake, a hundred dancing girls, nineteen Hindu priests of various Gods, sixteen Buddhist monks, twelve Chinese Mandarins (or very nearly so), and lurking in the elephant's shadow, a Nipponese fisherman. Surely such an impressive party deserved an equally impressive welcome, yet none manifested, and the Chief Scientist's mood grew darker. Onwards through the city and into the palace itself the elephant strode. Parking the entourage in the stables, the Chief Scientist, in a state of wrath, advanced on the council room, where, coincidentally, the trial of the Bursar on charges of incompetence, misuse of funds, bad allocation of grants, sheer stupidity, and border-line lampomania, was just drawing to a close. Despite the valiant defense conducted by Fifth Scientist, the accuser, Second Scientist, seemed to have the sympathy of the court, though the jury, Third Scientist, was still deliberating with the council of peers, Fourth Scientist. President of the court was Second Scientist, ably assisted by Third Scientist and Fourth Scientist, the court drawn at random to insure impartiality amongst the top Four Senior Scientists. At the precise moment when Second Scientist, gloating most unpleasently, began to deliver the verdict, the door burst open, admitting the Chief Scientist and his elephant. Things went a bit downhill from there, but being men of peace, no lasting damage was done, though the elephant-shaped dent in the Second Scientist would takes decades to heal. The Bursar got a well done citation for his masterful work as well as an old lamp which the Chief Scientist had nicked from a Nipponese fisherman (and thereby hangs a tale). The Second Scientist was publicly critized unanimously, having lost his vote, and the Chief Scientist declared Babûr a tiger, not an elephant, and thus reinstatable, which was very fortunate, since Ali had apparently been lost in a recent freak sheep-slide.

ALU report 1500
Nipponese lamp spirit wish well spent:
The orange orange
Tumbles from the tree.
One has been upgraded.

Traitors neutralized.

Military losses since 1450:
Infantry: 129,874
Cavalry: 244,461

Military advice:
Don't use infantry. Too slow man, too slow.

Rebels slaughtered:
Integer overflow.

Avg. population growth:
Got to be kidding.

Size of Empire:
Same as 1450.

50 years of research in trade technology. FPU predicts the creation of monopolies any year soon, as long as funds aren't diverted away from research. No military research done.

"I can't wait till we can kick out those foreign merchants from our centres of trade", chuckled the Chief Scientist. "The extra income can be used to fund my new elephant theme park and research centre. I wish we controlled more research centres, like the poorly defended ones in Mascate or Zanzibar. Perhaps it is time to utilize the army in an economically feasible land-grab."

"...1501 was an exceptional year in many respects. The farmers and herders had a very nice year, and so did the soldiers, as Babûr took personal command of the army. His invasion of Oman with two smaller detached forces the following year caught the Omani napping. One force was sent marching into the heartlands of Oman, while the other was transported by the small Timurid fleet all the way to Zanzibar. Initial battles and sieges were so succesful that Babûr sprung the greatest surprise of them all. He relocated the capital to Kabul and declared his intention to conquer most of India for all the world to know. He also changed the empires name to the Mughal Empire, since Timurids were passé. Truly, on this day Babûr unleashed the tiger, as he resurrected the by now almost forgotten spectre of conquest. The Omani promptly surrendered all their land but Mascate, and Babûr declared war on Delhi.

The visit of Babûr to Panjab, 1505

Initial results were encouraging, but a major case of unhappiness among the peasantry forced the relocation of several army units to combat rebels during 1507-1509. By 1508, however, Babûr had occupied most of Delhi, and crushed the 30,000 man army of Sikander Shah in an even fight. Fighting continued througout the following year, but Delhi's fall was but a matter of time. Completely occupied by the end of the year, the peace treaty gave Babûr 150 ducats, Indus, Thar, Sindh, Bikaner, Panjab, and Chandigahr. This year also saw the first trading monopolies established, which would, in time, transform the economy of the Mughal Empire to a world player. A plague in Tadjikistan claimed many lives this year. During this war Jodhpur took the chance to annex the Mughal ally Gujarat, which meant that they were scheduled for punishment. And punished they were. Babûr declared war on Oman and Jodhpur in 1510 and annexed Oman the next year, adding Oman's fleet to his. Jodhpur was vassalised in 1511 and forced to give up their only possession, Kutch. Three years of breathing space were used to send missionaries in the time-honoured fashion, and the ordering of the empire. A bush-war on the western front between the Hedjaz and the Kaliphate, a longstanding vassal of the Mughal Empire, turned sour causing the Kaliphate to give up Basrah, thus cutting the connection between the Omani provinces and the body of the empire. But so far, Babûr's ability had matched his ambition." - Excerpt from "Mighty Mughals: Babûr the Tiger"

Before the wars of 1514-1523...


"...Well yes, there was a bit of a fight left in the Indians. We actually had to spend some time on developing better cavalry tactics. The ALU calls it level 3, state-of-the-art. Oh, you want to know about the wars, the gallons of blood, and so on? Well suffice to say, most nations considered us Dishonourable Scum, and had a tendency to attack us every now and then, even our vassal Baluchistan joined the rumpus. So out of self-defense we had to annex Mysore (March 1519), Jodhpur (May 1519), Vinayanagar (Mar 1522). And of course there were all those provinces Delhi lost, leading to their eventual annexation (May 1528), and Benghal lost a few, and so on and so forth. Oh, and we lost Ganges, newly conquered, to Atjeh. Quite boring, really. But these wars taught us something important, something to keep in mind always. People can get tired of wars. Very tired. And when they get tired, they revolt. We don't know why, since Psychology won't be invented for hundreds of years (according to the ALU), and the revolters always gets horribly put to death, but it is a fact. All being considered Babûr was one of my better choices. The grants grew rapidly (especially when we relocated to Delhi, the Bursar estimates that we had a 50% increase in empire-wide income during this period), and he only rarely complained about the lack of military research. Plus, and this is a great bonus, he assigned Second Scientist to the post of Supreme Sheep-Counter General, following the corruption scandal of 1522. That should keep him out of my hair for a while" - Chief Scientist: Dialogues XXXI

To be continued.
This is five-plus star all the way. Great stuff PE!

I notice you've headed much the direction I did when I played them...once you've got all those shields in India, it's hard not to take the whole shooting match and be done with it. I'll be interested to see if you continue to focus on acquisitions to the very-rich east (as I did) or return your attention to the Ottomans and Mameluks for your next victims.

Looking forward to the next...
Originally posted by MrT

I notice you've headed much the direction I did when I played them...once you've got all those shields in India, it's hard not to take the whole shooting match and be done with it. I'll be interested to see if you continue to focus on acquisitions to the very-rich east (as I did) or return your attention to the Ottomans and Mameluks for your next victims.

Spoiler Warning Disabled:
1. The Scientists, rational people that they are, decide to minimize the number of neighbouring nations to minimize the number of wars. There are a lot of small Asian nations...

2. If you peek in the top left corner of the 1524 map, you will notice a very blue province, shielded by Qara Koyunlu (my vassal). That blue blob is part of a 6-7 province Eastern French holding. Let sleeping dragons lie. Qara Koyunlu - the bicentenarian vassal.

3. The Chief Scientist has just visited the East (and returned alive with an elephant). Do you truly believe Second Scientist will be far behind?

Next installment withing the next 48 hours. Currently fighting at land tech 18 vs land tech 24 enemies in a +8 war exhaustion war.
:D This is such a great read that I'll print it out as well. Very interesting angle. I don't care much about the strategies used by the player; I'm more interested in the prose, and this is good prose. :)
Installment the fourth

The Timurid Scientists: The Sheep and the Rational Wars

Day of 2,044,101 sheep
I heard today that Humâyun was the new leader (such foolishness!) Despite my absence things seems to be going fairly well. I am proud to know, that I have managed the empire so well, that even Chief Scientist cannot screw things up (as is his wont).

Day of 4,102,443 sheep
#%#/&(! So we have grabbed Arabia, Jordan, Basrah and Medina from the Hedjaz. I know I should rejoice, but it should have been me entering Medina on elephant-back. Soon they will retake Mekkah and I will still be counting sheep.

Day of 5,804,825 sheep
Right, Chief Scientist is as financially irresponsible as the bursar (no wonder!) Declining the use of an exceptional court painter, just because he happens to prefer painting larger than life-sized ears on his subject? It is art, but I guess it just goes to show. The incorporation of 6000 little red indians in Goa shows what a good paint job can do! I also heard that he cracked down on a little bit of extra-curricular research (well he called it corruption) forcing us to take a loan!? What is the old nutter doing?

Day of 8,198,843 sheep
Q: What sort of idiot would lose two cavalry armies in the snow in Tibet?
A: Chief Scientist.

Day of 10,238,999 sheep
Guess who entered Mekkah on elephant-back recently. What's going on with all those wars. It seems that everybody and his little pony is fighting us these days. Back to the sheep.

Day of 14,885,769 sheep
Perhaps the reason for these conquests is to keep adding sheep thus making my task eternal?

Day of 19,504,227 sheep
OK! That's it, I've had it up to here with sheep. Humâyun got a state gift from the Nobles for keeping track of their sheep! And produced an heir to the crown finally. Took rather a long time about it. I guess the harem isn't what it used to be, when current affairs was the first wife. MEMO: Consider an exhaustive quality control by impartial expert (yours truly) upon return.

Day of 22,404,777 sheep
Enough already. Now we have annexed Benghal, snatched Santal from Arakon, and advanced our infrastructure. I'm declaring Benghal and Santal sheep-free and I'm returning to Delhi. Anyone who disputes my tally can go count sheep himself.

- From "Diaries of a genius, volume CIX"

ALU report 1543

Values computed on a scale of 0-10
Balance of Power: Aristocratic (9)
Centralization: Decentralized (2)
Wierdness Factor: Narrowminded (3)
Trading: Merchantilism (10)
Offensive: Shocking (10)
Balance of forces: Land (10)
Quality of troops: So-so (5)
Freedom of peasants: Negligible (8)

Stability: Very stable (+3)
Stability Cost: 1512/point

Provinces: 73
Core Provinces: Northern India (15 provinces) and Samarkand
Capital: Delhi

State Cultures: Afghan, Hindi, Mongol
Province Cultures: Afghan, Arabic, Baluchi, Bengali, Dravidian, Gujarati, Marathi, Mongol, Persian, Sikh, Uzbekh
Conclusion: The Mughal Empire is multi-cultured

State Religion: Sunni
Province Religions: Hindu (13 provinces), Shiite (1 province), Sunni (59 provinces)

Centres of trade (total value, sorted by):
-677, Delhi
-245, Isfahan
-227, Samarkand
-148, Mascate
-144, Zanzibar
Annual income: 2161 of which 400 cencus
Monthly income: 194
Monthly expenses: 25
Stability raising time: 9 months.
Inflation: 23%

Army (condensed): 225,000 men
Manpower: 38,000 fresh bodies/year
Support: 120,000
Losses to date:
-infantry: 454,669
-cavalry: 771,872
Navy (condensed): 26 ships
Losses to date:
-warships: 8

Land: 4
Naval: 2
Trade: 3
Infrastructure: 3

Rep: We are hated throughout the entire world
Friends: Qara Koyunlu (vassal since 1426)
- West: Aden, Mamelukes. France is shielded by Qara Koyunlu
- North: Uzbekh Kaganate, Chagatai Kaganate
- South: Seamonsters
- East: Arakon, Atjeh, Ayutthaya, China, Dai Viet, Malacca, Tangua, Tibet
Neutral: Korea, Nippon, European powers

"..My goodness, that upgrade sure made the ALU verbose. Now let us see, what it can do for advice.", said the Chief Scientist.

1) Reduce number of enemies based on force projections
2) Major unaligned powers in vicinity: France (NW), Russia(N). Maintain a demilitarized zone
3) Invest in land military technology. At tech level 5 infantry can storm forts
4) Invest in infrastructure technology. At tech level 5 inflation can be reduced
5) Walk softly and carry a big stick
6) Reform the Order of the Lamp

"...Invest even more in the army!? Keep it at the same level (5) as infrastructure? What folly is this? And France? Saladin kicked the Franks out. What are they doing eating up Georgia and parts of Ak Koyunlu? Oh wait, there is more..."

Geography of the Mughal Empire

"...I wonder which dye makes that deep purple colour..."

The Opposition

"...Abstact art. I hate abstract art. Those colours clash!... But look at the size of Dai Viet. Come to think of it, it just might be time for a council to delegate responsibility, before Second Scientist returns..."

In council scientifical gathered, the Chief, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Scientists debate the future. The bursar is present. The Chief Scientist is as long-winded as usual...

"...Our problem, Gentlemen is as follows. The elected leader takes care of diplomacy with our guidance, of course. This is, all considered, a good relationship. I.e. he takes care of the boring details, feasts diplomats, visiting royalty &etc. while we get to suggest proper decisions. Unfortunately this also means that the number of available diplomats, and their efficiency, depends upon the dummy. We've been fortunate enough to avoid really stupid dummies until now, excepting those chosen by Second Scientist, but we might get unlucky, and removing a dummy isn't that easy. The nobles complain, and it takes time from our research projects. Now consider this. Worst case we get too bright new diplomats per year, and that is by appointing the current head torturer as one of them, something only done in times of war. For the last few decades every single neighbour has attacked us whenever able. That is ten nations that tend to attack us in small alliances, but might do so on their own. A peace treaty generally lasts five years. In five years we get, in the worst case, ten diplomats. On average it takes two or three peace offers to make peace. So, worst case, we might need to expend twenty to thirty diplomats in a period in which we only get ten. (Damn, but I wish those diplomats were reusable, but no, once disembowelled or beheaded, they are gone for good.) So if we ever get a bad leader, we might end up in a neverending war situation. Fourth Scientist has done an analysis."

"Well, using a bit of extra-rebellious algebra I have done a study of the newly recognized phenomenon, war exhaustion. The general level of exhaustion in the population can be described numerically, and based on complex calculations I arrive at a simple formula to decribe the odds of revolt per month per province based on this (obviously this risk must be correlated with other factors, such as religious tension, the stabitility of the empire, and scary events, such as meteor showers). Basically we can expect war exhaustion to rise by 1% or 2% per year of continous war in our provinces. In other words, if we are at war for a hundred years, the war exhaustion will be 100%, or, possibly, 200%, and everybody will revolt every month, making research impossible. It is likely (or at least a fascinating theory) that war exhaustion has a maximum, but given that even a gentle 15-20% revolt risk per month will likely cause the empire to come crashing down, it is unprovable until the council allocates me a small country for experimentation. The public, being little wiser than their sheep, tends to forget past hardship as soon as we are at peace. Thus it is of the utmost importance, in view of our neighbours hostility, to keep wars as short as possible, and attain, with a reasonable frequency, periods in which there are no wars at all. As can be seen, the following charts clearly demonstrate...", the Fourth Scientist continued.

"...So in conclusion, and having heard all opionions, except for the lamp's, we have only one option. We most reduce our number of neighbours. Annexation seems the only viable option. Fortunately our army is in top shape, and our economy is going strong. Being a man of peace, I strongly advise at actually declaring war upon anybody, but any nation that declares war upon us, is going to get hurt. Inevitably, an operation of this magnitude, will require supervision from the front lines. I know that it will be a great sacrifice for whomever we chose to nominate. The deprivations of army life. The lack of decent fellows for philosophical discussions. The harsh conditions. The chances of getting your throat cut by some colourful native while being disembowelled in the midst of battle. Yet one of us must be chosen..."

As Second Scientist entered Delhi, he was greeted by a truly astonishing sight. Hundreds of dancing girls danced about him in gay abandon. A thousand guardsmen stood at attention. His name was chanted by the crowd of thousands throughout the city. Yet these events paled in significance compared to the sight of the gathered Scientists bowing before him. Of the Chief Scientist, weary with age and leaning on a cane, greeting him with the words... "My son, you have returned."

"My son, I hope I may call you so, for in truth that is how I feel, when I think of you. We may not always have agreed, but your courage, your dedication, and your intellectual supremacy has always been obvious to the best of us."
"I am moved, I.."
"Nay, let your words of wisdom delay but slightly, for I have matters of utmost importance to impart. I grow old, you see"
"Hardly old, Chief Scientist. You cannot be a decade more than 170 years!"
"Yet I feel my age, son. And now, that the great burdens of government falls heavily on my tired shoulders, I need somebody who can succeed me. Somebody who can take up the task where I left off. Yet looking at these fools, I despair of finding a successor."
"Let me bear the burden. No sacrifice is too great, in the cause of knowledge."
"Truly? It gladdens my heart to hear your thoughts, yet would you truly leave aside all thought of personal ambition, to lead the empire a giant step into the future, in the name of science?"

As we leave this touching scene the other scientists join the Chief Scientist in his warm welcome. Let us briefly imagine the appointment of the Second Scientist to 'bring the light of Science to the heathens'. Let us imagine his joy, when he is presented with, not one, but two complimentary elephants to keep him company. Let us imagine his noble sacrifice as he leads the armies of the empire, in an advisory position, naturally, through the gates of Delhi, waved on by the jubilant throng. And let us eavesdrop upon the parting words of the Chief Scientist, lost in the noise, as the tearfully watches his protegé seize his manifest destiny... "Good riddance to him. But he had one good idea, or so my spies tell. Let me forthwith commence the exhaustive investigation into harem efficiency. I hear that the nieces of the late current affairs, privy purse and rigid motion, have been employed. And we must keep the quality up, so to speak."

"...It was in May, 1543, that the Mughal armies finally found a through the desert to the Chagatai Kaganate, and it was also the year of the launch of the entire fleet of twelve warships and 16 captured transports for Atjeh. During these years the Mughal armies seemed to be marching, or sailing, everywhere. Consider the seizure of Aden and Hadramut from Aden in August, 1544, or the conquest of half of the Chagatai Kaganate in July 1545 after only two years of war. Even the entrance of the Mamelukes upon the scene of war this year, didn't face the hardened commanders of the Mughal armies. The amphibious conquest of Atjeh gained the empire Ganges, which had been reluctantly handed over during the last war - and the map of Brunei. It was during this war the Mekhran suffered the dreadful plague, and the court suffered corruption. But Humâyûn stamped out this corruption and strengthened the power of the aristocracy, a hard balancing act for a less accomplished statesman, but no less accomplished statesman was he. Did he worry when the brief three weeks peace of 1546, following a treaty with the Mamelukes, was broken by the simultaneous declaration of war from Arakon, Ak Koyunly, Atjeh, and Dai Viet? Which came but a week before a bright meteor lit the night skies, widely seen as a portent of doom. Did his hand waver when his empires' stability reached equilibrium, and hang in the balance? No, he did not! He sent his armies marching. The Great Asian War (traditionally called The Rational War, though none knows the origin of this tradition) was to sea Chin taken in 1548, the entrance of Ayutthaya, Tibet, and Taunga in 1549 opposing Humâyûn, and, even worse, the entrance of China in 1550. China at that time was a huge, well-managed, and fairly advanced nation. Their armies had better weapons, better drills, better leadership, and were more numerous. But they lacked the quality and determination of the superior Mughal cavalry, whose high moral allowed them to take insane amounts of punishment, before they broke and eliminated opposing armies. Nevertheless the war dragged on and on. The empire was stretched by the need to defend Iraq from the Mameluke and Ottoman armies, who had taken advantage of the war to launch a sneak attack. The Ottomans excuse was probably the flimsiest yet in the annals of war. One of their tradingposts in Africa was near a Mughal tradinpost, and they felt threatened. Yet despite of this the war continued, with fresh cavalry being fed into the grinder of Asia. In the North, the Chagatai Kaganate was reduced to their capital in 1552. Innovative training of the numerically inferior Mughal Infantry armies allowed them to start assaulting fortresses. The losses in these armies routinely reached 60% throughout a short campaign, yet more were ready to be recruited from the scum of the empire. 1552 saw the launch of the fleet for Malacca. In spite of these massive undertakings, some new subjects still clung to their simplistic Hindu beliefs (see e.g. NOT A BUG OF GOD: Conversion Scandal 1552) as four entire provinces resisted conversion! The following bloodbaths spurred the spontaneous conversion of the godfearing in Santal the following year, which was a truly exceptional one. Some say inflation was reduced by a full 10%! During the great war, no less! This exceptional year saw the raising of war taxes for the first, but certainly not the last, time and the annexation of Aden. But the greatest exploit of the year belongs to the Malaccan amphibious assault army. The twelve thousand cavalry rushed off the boats and straight into battle against an army of thirty-two thosand infantry and five thousand cavalry - and destroyed them to a man, losing only four thousand men. Of such stuff are legends made. 1554 saw Malacca give up two provinces and a princely 600 ducats. 1556 saw new reforms introduced to improve the quality of the Mughal army as a counterbalance to the techical superiority of the Chinese, the rising star of Bairam Khan as a commander of men, and the annexation of Arakon. But Humâyûn's time was up. At the height of his power, and with his armies crushing the remaining Asian opposition, he died suddenly, yet another happy victim of harem politics." - Excerpt from "Mighty Mughals: Humâyun the Conqueror

"...Certainly, I liked Akbar I. Chief Scientist, though old and frail, is certainly not doddering in his old age, whatever somebody might say, and I fully endorsed the election of Akbar. He was nearly as great a commander as Babûr had been, I believe the ALU evaluated him at 5/3/5/1 making 14, or 2*7, which being the product of two primes and one more than the distinctly unlucky 13, is an indication of fortitude. A shame he took that near mortal wound in 1558 and had to remain in Delhi rather than leading his armies, but such are the fortunes of war. I find it hard to sympathize with the Nobles who allied with China in 1557. China is a losing propositon, which should be obvious to anyone. I know, wise man say, and all that, but I am the wise man, and I say not!, so they should return to their rice paddies and let real thinkers manage the world, is what I say. I mean, consider our accomplishments: The peace with Dai Viet (who were still pretty strong at this point in time) giving us Mekong, just happened to link our eastern conquests with the empire proper, and Atjeh gave up every single province bar their capital in 1557. While what were the Chinese doing? They were overrunning our armies and provinces in the Chagatai Kaganate, losing tens of thousands of men in the deserts. According to Fourth Scientist's calculations War Exhaustion was at +8%, which caused a few incidental rebellions per month, but so what!? Consider 1558: Despite Akbar's wound we annexed both the Chagatai Kaganate and Malacca, and got peace with China by, temporarily, letting them keep to sand-filled and completely insignificant rebellious provinces. This gave us a little breathing space to marshal our armies." - Excerpt from "Second Scientist: All Quiet on the Eastern Front"

"...The mauling suffered at the hand of the Mughal empire was a direct cause in the breakup of Dai Viet in February 1562, as Annam, Champa, Luang Prabang, and Cambodia declared their independence. Obviously Akbar I saw this as a great opportunity. Fresh from execution some artisan troublemakers, his armies annexed Luang Prabang the same year. Their independece lasted a scant eight months. Atjeh, once powerful, was next to go, in 1563. It must be admitted that his army commanders made a major mistake when they made peace with Annam the same year gaining a single province, since Annam was the leader of the alliance of small holistic independent territories (SHIT), except for Champa. So he had to make do with annexing Champa as well - that year. Making neutral peace with Nippon and Ak Koyunlu, yet another few months passed raising new armies. August 1564 saw the strengthening of trading practices and the first trade embargo. Akbar I proclaimed that anyone in war with the Mughal Empire would be embargoed, which was greeted with you by the populace, and grudging acceptance by the merchants. The franctic stupidity, or as some would have it, the instinct of self-preservation, saw Mataram and Brunei declare war in 1564. The Mughal fleet was still small, but it was persistent and new ships had been added to the line from the conquered nations, and time would tell. The increase in army quality of 1566 was well received, but even as Khmer was annexed, Ayutthaya diplomatically annexed Tibet.

Extent of the Mughal Empire, 1564

The navy proved its' worth. Brunei gave Sabab and 340 ducats for peace in January 1568 and Mataram gave Surabaja and 140 ducats in May. Being no wiser than the other nations that had opposed the Mughal Empire they believed they would soon be declaring war all over again. Of such stupidity is farces made, as was amply probed by Makassars annexation that winter. Now 1569 saw a worrying development. Chinas technological superiority had increased yet again, and a number of armies in excess of 60,000 men each were on the warpath. They were the first to use cannon against the Mughal Empire, and the lesson taught was painful, as the few survivors of the 25,000 man cavalry army that struck and army of 45,000 infantry, 8,000 cavalry, and 130 cannon, testified, before their execution for cowardice in the face of extinction. But with enough cavalry even such armies could be routed and eradicated, or avoided when necessary, and China didn't share its' weapons with the allies. Thus Ayutthaya gave up Nepal, Laos, and Phuket in 1570, which year also saw the annexation of Annam, and the stripping of Lampang and Yunnan from Tangu. Yunnan was handed over to the Chinese for peace in 1571, the year of Akbar I's reforms. It takes a steady hand to make far-reaching reforms, strengthening the central government, the quality of the army, and increasing the tax-revenue, in a war-weary country - knowing that large segments of the nobility and the commoners will complain. But Akbar had a steady had, and though stability plummeted, the generous donations to various worthy causes over the next few years helped regain what was lost. Akbar must have been truly frustrated by Portugal, which refused peace throughout the period 1571-1573, and had declared war because of a few tradingpost infringements in south-east Asia (those tradingposts now burnt), but the annexation of Cambodia in 1573 helped stability a bit, by all accounts the empire was fairly stable - though the ever climbing war exhaustion was causing rebellions right and left. But that's what the homeland defence was for, after all, in those enlightened days. Finally Akbar threw in the towel and paid Portugal and Dai Viet for peace in 1574" - Excerpt from "Mighty Mughals: Akbar I, the Great"

ALU rebel report 1574
Asian Rebels

Indian Rebels

1) Exterminate rebels with extreme prejudice
2) Give peace a chance

"...My God! What a revolutionary suggestion. I had better see Akbar as soon as I am done with my current game of chess" - Chief Scientist: "Reminiscences, volume VII"

"...1574-1587? Business as usual, marching, countermarching, conquest, and annexation. They never learn. Raja Todar Mal was one of our more outstanding commanders, but so he should be. I personally taught him what little his inferior intellect could grasp concerning warfare, and taught him well, as is evident from his record. Just consider his defeat of a Chinese army of 38,000 infantry, 8,000 cavalry, and 30 cannon in the mountains of Bago with a 35,000 man cavalry army, when they were at land tech 12 against our tech 6. I wish they would hurry up on weapons development back in Delhi, but they keep getting delayed, by projects, which though undoubtedly worthwile, really ought to be suspended for the duration of the war. I am pleased to say that we retook the Kaganate provinces, recently tactically lost to the Chinese, during the rumpus, as well as a good bit more of real estate. I do wish these heathens had more time for science though. Every time I enter a city, the flee before we have time to settle our minor differences, and get on with the study of our mutual relationship. Some people have no sense of proper behaviour. From Delhi we heard, that Akbar had cracked down on religious dissenters and idol worshipers. They are not to be tolerated. So what else is new? And the stupid nobles allied with a foreign nation against the empire, so what else is new? I'll tell you what. They allied with our disaffected nobles from our faithful vassal Qara Koyunlu. That's even more stupid than usual. I hear they were actually surprised when they were ritually torn apart." - Excerpt from "Second Scientist: All Quiet on the Eastern Front"

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

"...Hmmm. Does he really think that nobody noticed the disgraceful peace with China of 1584, where we handed over Guanxi and Guangdong? Nice try, Second Scientist, nice try. But, unfortunately, he does seem to have a point army-wise. We are getting regularly overrun by the Chinese. We might need to divert research funds to land technology research...As soon as we have finished researching infrastructure level 4 in a few years time" - Chief Scientist: "Reminiscences, volume VII"

"...As Akbar grew older, his appetite for conquest grew. He finally annexed Dai viet in 1593 and Ayutthaya in 1597. During these years he was busy promoting legal councils whereever practicable, and invested hugely in the army. One thing was obvious: China was the next target. To secure the necessary freedom he gifted the Mamelukes lavishly and inducted them into the alliance with Qara Koyunlu in 1602, though some complained that this was poor politicies. Poor politicies? For more than 80 years these alliance partners were to keep the western front quiet, a result possibly even beyond Akbar's wildest dreams. Through the years Akbar kept raising new armies, and in summer 1503 Akbar was ready. His 140,000 all-cavalry expeditionary corps went rushing over the border one early morning. The Chinese surprise was complete. While smaller detachments besieged the fortresses, larger detachments destroyed Chinese armies seemingly at will. Akbar's army was slightly inferior to the Chinese equipment-wise, but man for man, they were superior soldiers. The Chinese wars were to last for seven decades with many unforseen, and unforseeable happenings, but Akbar I was not to know. Following the taking of Guizhou, Kachin, and Sichuan Pendi, in 1505, Akbar I, the Great, died from a blow to the head caused by a flying lamp. The perpetrator was never found. Though no slouch, Jahangir, who was soon to follow Akbar I, was no match for this great leader. Would the Chinese wars have taken a different and less bitter turn if Akbar had not died so suddenly? We will never know." - Excerpt from "Mighty Mughals: Akbar I, the Great"

The Invasion of China

...and in the shadows, the Bursar is marshalling his forces, the Order of the Lamp Martial...

To be continued.
An interlude from 1000 acs (after Chief Scientist)

A few billion people are watching the late night talk show AllahVision, as usual. AllahVision: The Talkshow with a Vision, is the talkshow of the millenium.

"...Joining us tonight on AllahVision, is a person I am sure you are all familiar with. It is my great pleasure to introduce my final guest, Chief Scientist."

Applause erupts as the stage crowd goes wild. Serenely confident Chief Scientist enters the stage, waves his hand in the traditional Scientists' Greeting and removes his sunglasses.

"Thanks, John. I'm pleased to be able to join you tonight. And what an audience today. Hey, audience, Uncle Chief loves you!"

Telephone lines are overloaded as franctic calls of miraculous cures start pouring in. Business as usual.

"Yes, Chief Scientist. May I call you Chief?"

"Sure, John. We're all friends, though I hear you have got some tough questions for me. Don't pull your punches, I can take it."

"All right Chief, for starters, how do you keep in so perfect a shape?"

"Clean thinking, healthy eating, and lots of bedroom gymnastics."

"Way to go! Let me try something tougher. How did the empire come to rule the entire world?"

"I hate to say it, but it was our manifest destiny to spread the light of science, and when you have a peaceful considerate aristocratic empire, and are attacked by autocratic bigots it sure is hard not to take them over. I know some people accused us of dreams of world domination, but the thought never crossed our minds in those days. And it did take half a millenium."

"Ooohh", goes the audience.

"By spreading the light of science, I guess you refer to the Order of the Lamp Martial?"

"They were the principal agency, yes."

"Well, Chief, on behalf of the people of the world, I would like to thank you for it. It sure makes for an easy command path. If I have a complaint, I call my local squire, who calls his Baron, &etc in principle all the way up to the Khan. Clean and efficient."

"Right, John. It is every subject's right to complain and even to revolt if needed. Just at it is the local government's right to execute you for treason or crush rebellions when necessary. Fair is fair, I say. And if some Baron is an obnoxious git, well he can get chopped up on prime time television, just like anyone else. Am I right or am I right, people?"

"RIGHT!", goes the audience.

"Ok, Chief. Now for the toughie. How come the empire thrives so well? On the face of it, it is completely decentralized, dominated by the aristocracy, with the masses enserfed (according to the bureau of public relations). How can that work? Wouldn't a centralized state by the way to go?"

"I'm glad you asked that question, John. But consider the following for a moment. Could you see me sitting in my little moon base directing every little action the government took? I wouldn't have the chance to know what was going on, and even less chance to formulate a coherent policy. The empire would split up at the first signs of trouble. Instead we have an aristocracy of talent enforced by sterilizing incompetent aristocrats. Letting stupidity breed is all right as far as it goes, but not for those who administrate. And this way people have local government, and if it fucks up, as has happened occasionally, the locals can institute their own aristocracy. The Khan will deal fairly with them. And please remember that anyone can become Khan! You can rise as far as your ability allows you to, due to the exhaustive examination system I have set up. Are you with me? Anyone with Uncle Chief, cry uncle!"

"UNCLE!", roars the audience and the viewers.

"Right, Chief. But do you really mean that? I mean, you are the man, the king of the hill Could anyone supplant you?"

The phone lines are red hot as viewers complain of these blasphemous utterings.

"Sure, John. Any Scientist with seniority can challenge me at any time. Fair is fair, after all."

"But you are the oldest Scientist in the world, at 1000+ years"

"I like to think of myself as mature, but essentially you are right."

"Which means that nobody can challenge you, so long as you are alive."

"Where are you going with this?"

"Well, at the fear of sounding morbid, anyone who would challenge you, would have to see you dead."

"That's not going to happen."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I said, that's not going to happen."
"But I mean, all men are mortal, aren't they."

"False assumption. Most men are mortal."

"Most men. Are you claiming to be immortal."

"Probably yes. I have made a deal with God and the Devil. My deal with God is that, so long as I am alive, I will do his work."

An awed silence has befallen the audience.

"and with the Devil, Chief?", whimpers John.

"Well, I told that old bastard, that should we meet after my death I would take over Hell and kick him to Kingdom Come, where he will be even less welcome. So far it has worked well."

Pandemonium ensues. Chief Scientist has done it again. As he leaves the awed studio workers behind, he turns his mind to the Bursar. The Bursar's Order of the Lamp Martial had better review the ratings for this show. Wouldn't do to let shirkers get away with not hearing his words of wisdom.
ALU requests feedback!

Ok, though it hasn't been published yet, the game has progressed to something like 1700, and somewhat spoily, I know, China, Nippon &etc are all gone, and the attention has been turning towards Russia and the Ottomans. The question is, what to do now?

1. Should the Scientists enter a period of peace and prosperity, a golden age the like of which has never been seen?

2. Should they go for broke and try to swallow up Western Europe?

3. Or perhaps it is time to strike out for the mighty Aztec Empire, and the rest of the Americas?

4. Or perhaps something else entirely?

The ALU is currently polling the future, having been upgraded yet again, in order to offer cogent advice. A freak coincidence caused it to receive the interlude from 1000 acs, so it knows that world domination will be achieved within the next 200-300 years or so, but nothing about how it came to be.

Please submit your advice and rationale, preferably in terms the Scientists (all or some of them) would appreciate. Good suggestions will be incorporated in the ALU reports.

Gotta tell you that these last few posts were fantastic! What a great writing style.


- suggest introducing homogenenaity to all adjoining land masses, earliest possible, reserving overseas operations until transport can be conducted with impunity.

- due to trend towards maximum religious entropy, suggest counteracting by ensuring provincial religious tastes are converted to most closely resemble state practices.

- sod the prol's:D

- artistically, attempt brash new painting whereby all of Europe, Asia, Asia Minor, etc are a single, startling shade of purple.

Well, PE... I'm awestruck. This reminds me of great novels like 'The Salamander War' (not sure about English title....) by Capêk and George Orwell's 'Animal Farm'. :)
As for suggestions to what to do, I leave that to others who actually manage to *win* a war. :eek: