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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Ashantai

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Excellent work! Following eagerly. :)
 

unmerged(205558)

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Hrmph... No dog killing why everyone has against fishes :'( <><
 

Enewald

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And yet again China is conquered by foreigners. What is thy dynasty name?
 

Dewirix

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DarthJF - That was the plan, although it didn't quite turn out like that as you'll see now.

Zeldar155 - Someone's got to get East Asia ready for the European onslaught and it wasn't going to be Ming!

Ashantai - Thanks, though I think this update in particular is an object lesson in not playing interestingly! :(

FinnishFish - We're an island nation - fish are easier to find.

Enewald - Besides Yamato? I suppose the Chinese will choose one and I hear Qing is going spare.
 

Dewirix

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The Long Peace, 1524 to 1580

Emperor Sakuramachi II, Aug 1522 - Mar 1546

The defeat of Ming completed the 'Great Realignment'. Before the five years of war that ended in 1524 Japan's presence on the mainland had been limited to her possessions in Korea and Manchukuo. Afterwards the entire coast of northern China came into her possession.

Diplomatically Japan's victories had left her isolated. Ming and Wu both keenly felt their losses at the hands of imperial troops and sought to regain lost territory.

Sakuramachi's diplomatic prowess could do little in the face of the international opprobium Japan suffered under. For the meantime any further plans to expand the empire must wait.

A further factor complicated Japanese plans in China. In 1532 the Ming dynasty lost control of the majority the country to rebels who proclaimed the restoration of Qin. Although Sakuramachi thought it ironic that the Chinese would want to associate themselves with such an ill-omened name the revolutionaries quickly moved towards creating a more efficient and effective state. This would prove problematic for Japanese ambitions.

stateofplay1580.jpg


Sakuramachi died in March 1546. He had come to the throne in a time of war, but left Japan a peaceful and enlarged realm. His burning desire to avenge his father had not been fulfilled however, but he charged his descendants to punish Wu for their temerity in striking down a Yamato.

The Emperor's last bequest to his son, Yozei, was to establish without doubt a Japanese claim to Yichuan, a rich trading province of the Qin which bordered the Japanese empire.

targets1580.jpg


Sakuramachi ordered that Japanese forces be made ready for war to 'reclaim' this rich prize, but died before he could put his plans into action.


Emperor Yozei II, Mar 1546 - Oct 1556

Yozei was much more of a military man than his father, and on the face of things should have been able to carry out Sakuramachi's designs to conquer Fengyuan. However, the new emperor was not as able a diplomat and Qin and Wu were able to make common cause against Japan.

diplomaticisolation.jpg


Japan was now the pre-eminent power in China and feared neither Wu nor Qin individually. Together however they presented a formidable alliance that could wipe out the gains made in previous decades.

comparisong.jpg


In his frustration at Japan's powerlessness Yozei became depressed and took to spending an inordinate amount of time drinking and at sport. Denied the opportunity to put his martial skills to the test he died after a decade on the throne from hypothermia contracted while on a deer hunt in Ezochi. Rumours that the actual cause of death was falling from the upper floor of Kyoto castle after a hard night on the sake were dismissed by the court as malicious gossip.


Emperor Sadaatsu, Oct 1556 - May 1576

The reputation of few emperors is the subject of as much scholarly dispute as that of Sadaatsu. To some he is 'the builder' - the emperor who laid the foundation for the next great phase of Japanese history, but to his detractors he is 'the idle', more given to the arts and pleasure than to his proud inheritance as a Yamato.

While it is true that Japan did not expand her borders during his two decades on the throne Sadaatsu is credited with reforms which fundamentally reshaped Japan's role and conception of herself in Asian affairs.

The emperor presided over a growth in technological know-how which, while modest in relation to what was to come, was an unprecedented flourishing for its time. Japan's emperors acquired a new role as patron of the arts and great men flocked to their court to serve in the administration.

tech1580.jpg


The period also saw great economic advances, with production becoming more focused on workshops rather than dispersed around a multitude of private homes.

sliders1580.jpg


At the same time Sadaatsu continued to encourage a freer, more innovative attitude amongst the ordinary citizens of the empire. Although the aristocracy kept a tight grip on power there was the feeling that access to the nobility was not out of the reach of anyone with talent.

The growing prosperity and intellectual energy of Japan strengthened her immeasurably. Sadaatsu was able to make use of the productive forces he had helped to unleash to bolster Japan militarily.

army1580.jpg


However, he was much more of a diplomat and administrator than he was a fighter. The war for which he had prepared Japan so well would have to await another emperor.


Emperor Momozono, May 1576 -

At first glance Momozono appeared an unlikely candidate as a martial emperor. Even less inclined to war than his father he was nevertheless a gifted administrator and would probably have been the target of the criticisms later historians heaped on Sadaatsu's door if it were not for the Yamashiro Incident.

provocation.jpg


For some time Qin spies had been making trouble within the empire, but their actions even when successful had been of only minor irritation. Yamashiro was different - the attempted spy ring implicated senior figures close to the court and had caused the death in suspicious circumstances of an imperial favourite.

Had he had his father's way with diplomacy Momozono might have been able to calm his outraged nobility. That he did not would set Japan on the road to war once again.

femgyaun1580.jpg


The empire still remembered its claim on Yichaun, now the court wanted more. A successful war with Qin would see the Japanese gain both Yichaun and Fengyaun. However, before that could happen Momozono - the least warlike of Japan's emperors - would have to face down both Qin and Wu simultaneously.
 

DarthJF

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So the Chinese realised that instead of fighting each other they should be fighting for foreign imperialists?

Rather long period of peace after rapid conquests. Let's see now if that economical expansion shall help you come on top in this war.
 

Dewirix

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The Three Chinas, 1580 to 1582

Emperor Momozono, May 1576 -

The Yamashiro incident had set Japan on a collision course with Qin, but it seemed likely that any offensive moves on Momozono's part would bring Wu into the war as well.

Try as he might, the Emperor could see no way of resoving this situation. Eventually it was decided that Japan had to take the plunge or risk stagnating out of fear of the consequences.

war1580.jpg


Momozono's war aims were simple, the first phase of the war was to be essentially a defensive operation, with Japanese troops holding the line against the superior forces of their combined enemies.

antijapan1580.jpg


When an opening presented itself Japan would pounce using local superiority to make up for the overall deficiency in troop numbers.

In a war as great as the one Momozono now found himself in sacrifices had to be made. Reluctantly he ordered that Henan province be laid waste to deny supplies to the oncoming enemy. The Emperor consoled himself that Henan was a Chinese province which not long ago had resisted Japan. Now it would serve her as the front line of the war.

henanscorch.jpg


The lone cavalry unit which had burnt the fields of Henan was immediately ordered to pull back as soon as the war became official. Fortunately it was able to reach the safety of Jinan before the enemy could catch up.


The Northern Front

Before Japanese attention could be fully focused on the south the Qin enclave of Xilin Gol had to be dealt with. In order to settle the matter quickly, Momozono dispatched 20,000 troops under General Yoshio Toda against the province's 13,000 defenders.

northfront.jpg


The Qin troops were poorly led and General Toda was able to put them to flight shortly after his arrival in Xilin Gol. Having nowhere else to go the enemy slipped past Japanese lines and into Chengde hoping that they could cross back into Qin territory before the General Toda could catch them.

They were too slow, however, and the battle of Chengde marked Japan's first major success of the war. The northern campaign had been swifter than Momozono and his commanders could have hoped for and General Toda was now able to bring his 20,000 troops into the fight for the south.


The Handan-Henan Campaign

The battles for the neighbouring provinces of Handan and Henan decided the course of the war. The Japanese had believed that the bulk of the Chinese armies would remain in Henan and on this basis had ordered the province scorched.

However, while Wu's armies were initially content to struggle on in the burned and battered province, Qin forces pressed northward in an attempt to link up with their comrades retreating from Xilin Gol.

Not wishing to see the northern front reopened Momozono ordered troops into Handan to cut the enemy's line of advance. Though they arrived too late to stop Qin entering the province they were able to push the intruding army back into Henan thanks to their superiority in both numbers and morale.

handan1580.jpg


Sensing that this was the opening he had been waiting for Momozono followed up the battle of Handan with a general advance on Henan. Initially it had been thought that many of the battered formations currently besieging the province would have pulled out before the Japanese armies arrived, but this was not to be the case.

Although it had not been conceived as such, the battle for Henan would be the decisive battle of the war. The memory of Oogimachi's fatal obsession with winning in a single blow was still in the minds of Japanese commanders as they advanced to meet the allied troops.

henan1580.jpg


In a reversal of fortune from the wars of the 1520s it was the ruler of Wu who participated in this battle rather than a Japanese emperor. While there was a certain amount of admiration for the man's bravery, Momozono's generals were quietly pleased that their leader left the fighting to professional soliders. In any event the presence of Anwang Gao did the Chinese forces little good.

battlehenan.jpg


At the same time as General Miyoshi was crushing the allied armies at Henan a smaller Japanese forces routed and then destroyed another of Qin's armies. The fortunes of war were decidedly in Japan's favour.

henanaftermath.jpg


Following the victory at Henan Japanese forces were ordered to pursue the broken remnants of the allied armies. Momozono's unlooked-for war was going better than he expected and he was not about to let the momentum slip from his grasp now.

cleanup1580.jpg


General Toki's victory in the battle of Yichaun was yet another great success for Japan and prevented Qin forces from recovering, but news of his efforts were overshadowed by reports from Anhui where General Miyoshi sealed his reputation by completely destroying Wu's northern army.

The allied forces had started the war far outnumbering the Japanese, but now the tables had turned. Japan had won the victories she needed to move from the defensive and to begin to realise her war aims.

statusnov1580.jpg



The Qin Campaign

Momozono's first move was to buy Wu out of the war. Although some of his nobility urged that he should not agree to a peace in which Japan seemed to lose face the Emperor argued that the greater aims of the war all lay in reducing the power of Qin.

There would be a reckoning with Wu, but for today their withdrawal from the fight would turn a Japanese advantage into certain victory.

peacewithwu.jpg


It is unarguably true that the Japanese forces were little troubled after peace was made with Wu. Qin formations were regularly wiped from the map and the loss of 2,000 soldiers at the battle of Guyuan has the dubious distinction of being the only total loss suffered by Japan during the war.

laterwar.jpg


The annihilation of Eje Xuan's army at the battle of Sichuan Pendi destroyed Qin's power outside the northwest of their country. Japanese forces were free to spread out and lay siege to the Qin heartland.

progress1581.jpg


The rest of the war was a matter of waiting for siege armies to reduce the defences of Qin's cities. It was clear that enemy's general populace were heartily sick of the war, while the Japanese capacity to fight was scarcely diminished.

journeysend.jpg


Japan now had the superior armies in terms of numbers as well as in terms of morale and training. All that remained was forcing her demands upon Qin.

peace1582.jpg


The peaced deal that followed was brutally punishing. Not only did Momozono insist that Qin surrender some of her richest provinces, but the cession of Fengyuan and Yichaun left the country divided into six parts with access to all controlled by Japan.

Qin's defeat had been so total that she could do nothing but concede.

japan1582.jpg


The war of the Three Chinas was over and Japan had emerged victorious. With the power of one of her rivals broken, perhaps forever, Momozono now looked to Wu and began to plan its downfall.
 

Enewald

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The map of China makes so much sense. Well, soon it will be prettier...
 

Dewirix

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Against all Comers: 1582-91

Emperor Momozono, May 1576 -

The great war between Japan and the combined forces of Wu and Qin had seen the empire emerge victorious, but while the power of Qin had been greatly reduced Wu had emerged more-or-less unscathed. Moreover, she could point to her peace settlement as evidence that she had won - had not the Japanese paid reparations to secure Wu's exit from the war?

Behind all of the politicking Momozono had another reason for wishing the defeat of Wu, for nearly sixty years the death of Oogimachi had gone unavenged and the Emperor was determined to honour the memory of his great-great-grandfather at the expense of his killers.

Once again Qin's ill-executed espionage provided the perfect excuse. Japanese coastguards discovered evidence that a recent pirate attack on the home islands themselves had been sponsored by Qin and the Emperor wasted no time in declaring war.

showdown.jpg


It had been only seven years since the last confrontation and from the outset the odds against Japan looked less imposing than they had. This was probably not the way Lan Xang saw things, but since clever use of royal marriages had put Momozono on its throne it could be relied upon to serve the interests of its greater partner.

Once again Henan served as the principle battlefield, with Japanese armies emerging victorious after turning back two Wu invasions. Due to the personal nature of the struggle Momozono himself took to the field and the Wu leader was forced to respond by leading his troops from the front.

earlywins.jpg


Although not martial by inclination, Momozono made up for in numbers what he lacked in skill and twice drove the Gao emperor from the battlefield. Following up on these successes the outstanding Japanese general of the war, Antoku Ukita, was able to take the fight onto enemy territory.


The Qin Campaign

General Ukita's great successes in the opening stages of the war culminated in the destruction of the last major Wu formation in the north in the much-contested province of Anhui.

anhui.jpg


The focus on winning decisive battles had not come without cost. Japan had lost control of Chengde to the Qin and Yichaun to Wu. Now the empire's forces had to concentrate on winning back these lost provinces and bringing the war firmly under their control.

It was clear that Qin's capacity for war was waning. Although Qin forces still laid siege to Japanese provinces they had already lost control of their capital and the great city of Nanking.

changzhi.jpg


It was only a matter of time before Qin sued for peace. Unlike the last war there would be no cheaply-bought settlement for Japan's enemies. Unlike the last war Japan would take territories from Qin that she had no legitimate claim to.

qinpeace.jpg


Despite the outrage the cession of Jiangsu would cause Momozono was adamant that Qin had not only to lose the war, but to lose it visibly. This time there would be no possiblity of anyone but Japan claiming victory.

afterqin.jpg


The withdrawal of Qin from the war left Wu at the forefront of the enemy coalition. Japan and her allies now had a clear lead both on land and at sea and now was the time to make Wu pay.


South Against Wu

Although the war in the north was going according to plan, events in the south were not developing to Japan's advantage. Wu and Khmer forces had easily overrun Lan Xang and though an effort was being made to liberate the capital no aid could be expected from Japanese forces. Momozono was wary of sending troops into hostile jungle without being able to bring overwhelming force to bear.

lanxang.jpg


The Qin campaign had given Wu time to rebuild a northern army and oppose Japan's invasion. Both Momozono in person and General Ukita led forces against the Wu and were rewarded with a string of successes that laid the path open for the occupation of the whole north.

wipeout.jpg


The Battle of Guangzhou saw a small Japanese army defeat the last major Wu force. General Ukita once again took the honours.

With the Wu emperor himself now in full flight only her garrisons were left defiant. Though they fought with a determination unlike that of that of Wu's field armies they were cut off and fell one-by-one.

occupation.jpg


Momozono had achieve all he had wished for at the war's start. Wu had been humiliated and would be forced to cede territory in return for peace. In the light of Japan's rapidly deteriorating international reputation the Emperor reluctantly decided to limit his demands to 'tidying up' the two states' borders.

peacewu1591.jpg


That Wu conceded to the Japanese demands showed the desparation they felt. Some in Momozono's court talked of going further - of conquering all of the coast down to Macao or Hainan, but for now Japan had won a great victory.

endgame1591.jpg
 

Ashantai

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Nice conquests of China! A nice period of peace is always nice too.
 

sprites

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you'll need some time to burn infamy after such glorious conquests! :D
 

Dewirix

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Enewald - Indeed, but I remained concern by all these Chinese pirates swarming round. Might need to control a little bit more of the coast. :D

Ashantai - Peace is always useful, but I think I might have been excessive in waiting for 56 years! Blame that on playing the game when you're tired and don't have the energy to fight a war.

sprites - Burning infamy is a priority, but tempting mission-driven conquests might intervene.

Matrim_Cauthon - As you'll see in the next update my naval tech is pretty dire.

I lead in Government techs (10 plays 7); Qin and I are both at Production 10 with Wu on 9; I'm only 6 for Trade and Naval; whereas Qin and Wu are 7 for each. We're all on Land 8.
 

Dewirix

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State of the Nation: 1499-1599

As the sixteenth century draws to a close it's time for a gameplay update. As you'll all have noticed the century was marked by a very long peroid of peace (1524-1580), but I still managed to expand the empire quite a bit - in fact more than in the previous hundred years.

As you may have noticed I've been replaying the wars from past saves to give a flavour of the battles as they happened at the time. Distressingly I've done rather better this time round, which is why my peace deals may seem a little forgiving compared to the military situation.

In particular, in my original playthrough the first war with Wu was brought to a hasty end when Ming declared war. I was rather upset to discover they were bankrupt - something I didn't find out until I'd already peaced-out with Wu.


Economy

Number of provinces: 45 (31 in 1499; 19 in 1399)

Annual Census Tax: 387.15 (146.86 in 1499; 69.69 in 1399)
Per province: 8.60 (4.74 in 1499; 3.67 in 1399)​

Everything here's looking better than the previous century. Japan has more than doubled in size since 1399 and tax take has done the same over the past 100 years. Tax return per province is also sharply up - reaching production tech 9 and workshops has visibly helped.

All this should make my tech-rate much better, but as we'll see in the next screenshot it's not all good news on that front.


Technology
tech1599.jpg


Monthly investment: 98.6 (40.0 in 1499; 20.6 in 1399)
Per province: 2.19 (1.29 in 1499; 1.08 in 1399)​

Things are certainly in a better way then back in 1499, when I was 6 in Gov, almost 6 in land and 4 everywhere else. In 1599 Japan has almost unlocked the next national idea. The plan is to take Ecumenism: this will eliminate the intolerance malus in Confucian provinces at the expense of losing influence with the Pope. I'm concerned about that, but it's the price you have to pay for being at the other end of Asia from His Holiness. :D

The monthly investment figures aren't quite as spectacular as the tax take, but have nevertheless improved pretty well over the last 100 years. Westernisation at some point is still the plan though as I can't keep up in the Chinese tech group.

Trade numbers have increased thanks to Japan now owning 3 centres of trade. I'm still -4 mercantilist and my trade tech is low so I haven't tried sending merchants to CoTs I don't own.


Military

Army size: 65/109 (32/45 in 1499; 6/28 in 1399)
Army upkeep: 19.1 ducats/month (9.1 ducats/month in 1499; 1.3 ducats/month in 1399)​

Manpower: 75,922 (33,498 in 1499; 15,274 in 1399)

The army's more than doubled in size since 1499, but Japan is much further from its forcelimits than a hundred years ago. The lack of any big predatory nations means I can relax a little on this. A declaration of war from one of my large neighbours would just be saving me the trouble of doing it.


Navy size: 68/81 (45/52 in 1499; 37/44 in 1399)
Navy upkeep: 3.5 ducats/month (2.4 ducats/month in 1499; 1.5 ducats/month in 1399)​

The navy's grown too with the need for small galley patrols to keep pirates away and the replacement of these ships with carrracks in the Grand Fleet. Navally Japan's unchallenged in East Asia now so these numbers probably won't change much in the next 100 years.

Armed forces comparison: 1499
forces1499.jpg


Armed forces comparison: 1599
army1599.jpg


Japan is approaching the point where she can field as many troops as her two major rivals combined. A simultaneous war against Wu and Qin is no longer the tricky proposition it was. In the back of my mind is the fact that these troops can't stand up to the much higher-land-tech Europeans, but I've got a while before that becomes an issue and I want to consolidate my lead in China first.


Home affairs
overview1599.jpg


Two bits of good news here: Japan has formed a personal union with Lan Xang and has formalised weights and measures. The latter gives a nice boost to income and lowers revolt risk. The former means I might inherit Lan Xang at some point. I'll release it straight away as it's pretty poor and a long way from the rest of the Empire, but that's free infamy reduction and a vassal is free money.

Little else has changed here. Still see Wu and Qin as rivals and threats. I agree on the first point, less so on the second.

The Court
court1599.jpg


As you can see by the age of his heir Momozono has been on the throne for some time - twenty-three years at this point. His heir's looking pretty decent too. All these high-admin rulers and no chance to westernise!

I've been pushing production tech pretty hard aiming to build workshops. Now that we've passed that point I'll begin bringing in diplomats to lower infamy. All these advisers are pretty old, so I'll let nature take it's course.

sliders1599.jpg


Two national ideas set and a third on the way soon. As you'll note from the sliders I'm fully innovative (another reason for Ecumenism as I'm not going to get any more missionaries) and have started to move towards centralisation. This will increase revolt risk, but I need it for westernisation and the boost to income and research is nice too.

As you'll note from the Economy screenshot I'm running at 4.5 inflation thanks to minting to pay for the wars. Centralisation will reduce that by 0.1 per cent a year without my having to do anything else. Well worth +1 RR.

charts1599.jpg


And here are the pretty pie charts. Shinto is still the dominant religion, but will start to lose ground as I add more provinces that I can't convert. The big change is in culture. Whereas Japanese was clearly dominant 100 years ago now it's the joint-largest minority along with Chihan.


World affairs

Japan in 1599
japan1599.jpg


World in 1599
world1599.jpg


The world's looking quite a mess these days. Europe is interesting to say the least! Maybe I should worry about what the Pope thinks of me.
 

Enewald

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I cannot believe you have more Shintoists than Confucian people. :p
 

PrawnStar

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Can't recollect but have you Westernised to Muslim yet? Pagan Oirats border Chagatai...