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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Communique of the National Liberal Party

The National Liberal Party does welcome the New Order Coalition to the Politics of Japan. We hope the Coalition will cooperate with us for the betterment of the Japanese Empire and the defeat of the traitors that reside in Edo. Futhermore we ask the Minister of Justce to explain the policy differences between the National Liberal Party and the New Order Coalition.

Lord Tanabe Shinzou
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Japanese Empire
President of the National Liberal Party
 

unwealdy

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2
Communique of the National Liberal Party

The National Liberal Party does welcome the New Order Coalition to the Politics of Japan. We hope the Coalition will cooperate with us for the betterment of the Japanese Empire and the defeat of the traitors that reside in Edo. Futhermore we ask the Minister of Justce to explain the policy differences between the National Liberal Party and the New Order Coalition.

Lord Tanabe Shinzou
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Japanese Empire
President of the National Liberal Party
We feel association with the KAP and the Edo Regime has tarnished the name of the NLP, and furthermore we feel a more liberal citizenship policy is needed given the heroism of Gen. Atakshir and our brave Ainu allies in the North. Should the NLP satisfy these concerns, we will be more than happy to disband and join said party.
 

naxhi24

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((The civil war has concluded with the losing side being overthrown by a communist rebel force and loosing a major battle which decimated their army at the same time. Details about this shall be posted tomorrow))
 
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The Japanese Civil War Pt.2: The Edge of Oblivion

The trench stalemate would last for a month as the forces of both sides began to mobilize for the coming conflict. In terms of numbers, while the Militarists had more troops, the Imperialists had more men. The reserves of the Imperialist army easily outmatched the Militarist army. However one advantage that the Militarists had was leadership. Five generals of the Imperial Army had join the Militarist side, while only two remained loyal. As the stalemate in Kansai continued, both sides prepped their troops for an assault.


The first move came from the Militarists. The Militarists pushed on the front lines of Nagoya and Fukui. The Imperialists held their line as the Militarists pushed on in great fever. The Imperialists would cause the Militarists 30,000 casualties while suffering little on their side. The Militarists were forced to withdraw. As this was going on, the Imperialists began to ship their colonial army in Korea to Japan, fighting off commerce raiders sent by the Militarists to intercept the transports. The mobilized units began to move to the front. The Imperialists had mustered together over 400,000 reserves in the fight against the Imperialists, while the Militarists had only 300,000. Again, the Imperialists had the numerical advantage, but numbers do not win wars.

The Militarists would back up their army with a large army of reserves, and sent 141,000 men into Nagoya to fight the Imperialists. Kusanagi Miroki ordered the assault, believing his numbers superior to the Imperialists. As the assault began, Miroki had the advantage, and pushed back the Imperialist line. However, reserves being mobilized in Chubu were sent straight to Nagoya. The Imperialist numbers rises significantly as the Militarists suffered mass casualties. At the end of the day, 60,000 militarists were dead, wounded, or captured. Kusanagi was forced to retreat back into Nara. He hoped that the reserves from Kyushu and Chugoku would arrive in time to back up their army. However that would never come.

The Imperialists were ordered on to attack Nara in a mass counter attack. The Militarists were caught off guard and forced to retreat to Kyoto. As they rested in Kyoto, the Militarist army wondered what to do. They argued over retreating away from Kyoto and fortifying Kyushu and Chugoku, but before they could, word reached them that Kusaribe Kinzo had ordered the Imperialist army to bypass Nara and Osaka and attack a reserve army in Kobe. At the same time word reached the Militarists that two large armies were converging on Kyoto. Kusaribe got them in a pincer movement, and the entire Militarist army was surrounded. Yamagata's ordered the Kyoto force to engage in Kobe. Soon 244,000 Militarists were on the field in Kobe. The Imperialists moved with haste to get all their armies into Kobe, but made sure to capture Kyoto, the capital of the Militarists. Any militarist official caught in Kyoto was either hanged or thrown in jail. With the fall of Kyoto, the Imperialists were one step closer to victory.

In Kobe, 500,000 men were pitched in brutal and bloody battle. Surrounded, the Militarists fought with a zeal never before seen. They weren't fighting to win, they were fighting to survive. The Imperialists pressed on, and wave after wave of Militarists were gunned down. Blood was flowing through the grasses of Kobe. It was said that the ghost of Matsui Hideki, the rebellious Daimyo of Kobe, was seen butchering soldiers left and right in defiance of the western armies. The Militarist line collapsed, but they broke through. The Militarist fled, scattered, into Chugoku. Out of 240,000 men, only 60,000 Militarists were still standing. The Imperialists lost only 120,000 men, but they could afford casualties with their high population. The Militarists fled to Matsue, and bunkered down. Kusaribe ordered his troops to occupy Japan and keep the Militarists in Matsue.

Then, something happened. Jacobin rebels rose up in Kansai, disrupting communication between the front and Edo. The Jacobins were hostile to all, but were hurting the Imperialists more. Along with Jacobins, partisans loyal to Yamagata began causing havoc on the armies. Picking off foraging parties, disrupting food lines and communications, and other things. This, along with the harsh winter, would dramatically harm the Imperialist war effort. The soldiers on the front began to fall to attrition. As lack of food and the cold set in, the Imperialists slowly began to loose men. Still, the Imperialists easily would crush the Militarists if the order came.

That order though never came.

------------------------------
Player Actions Needed: Wait
 
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((Fake suspense is fake.))
 
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The Japanese Civil War Pt.3: The Turnaround

Kusaribe Kinzo was optimistic. Why wouldn't he be? His enemy's army was scattered like leaves in the wind. All of Japan opened up for him to control, and he had the superior army on the field. He could best the Militarists easily. But, his overconfidence would be his weakness. As the armies of the Emperor began to occupy southern Japan, Kusaribe choose to ignore the Militarists in Matsue. He had three armies that could outnumber the Militarists, why should he bother engaging? He left command of the occupation of Japan to the individual generals marching through Chugoku to go through Kyushu and Shikoku and capture them. Once the rest of the country was secure, the armies would wipe the Militarist army in Matsue off the face of the Earth, ending the civil war. By now, Korean colonials and the last of the reserves were in Kansai and Chugoku. Even with attrition taking its toil via partisans, the weather, and rebels, the Imperialist Army still had the numerical advantage. One Imperialist army in Chugoku had more men then the entire Militarist Army. The scene in Matsue though was grim. The troops were weakened, hurt, and the naval blockade had reduced their provisions. They wanted to return to their families, to end this conflict. Talks of mutiny emerged through the ranks of the Militarist army.

One man in particular did not want to be hung or imprisoned. That was General Atakshir. Atakshir had received a message that Hokkaido had fallen to the Imperialists, and the Ainu were being rounded up and imprisoned. He had received word that his family was being targeted by the Imperialists for supporting a traitor and instigating rebellion. The Ainu General decided that he had nothing left to loose. He would die in a blaze of glory, or by his own hands. Then, a stroke of luck happened. The Japanese fleet led by Date Munehiro was ordered to blockade the Seto Straits to prevent escape into Shikoku, but failed in hunting down the treacherous steam transports that defected to the Militarists. Against Munehiro's wishes, the battle fleet stayed. The steam transports though had other plans. After docking in Manila, they loaded up the colonial army there and went around Japan to get to Matsue and avoid being seen. They brought fresh troops, supplies, and food. Word also reached Atakshir that the German allies of the Militarists had captured Sakhalin and were using it as a base of operations to ship supplies into Matsue. Atakshir knew that all they needed was a symbol of hope. He took the Steam transports and shipped off up past Hokkaido and down towards Kanto. In a bold move, he landed forces in Edo, and his meager 1,500 soldiers began assaulting the city. Kusaribe ordered an entire reserve army back to secure Edo and protect the Emperor. The reserves met the Militarists, but were pushed back repeatedly. Atakshir made sure that no man would retreat, and his soldiers, mostly Ainu, followed him into the grave. Atakshir would hold out for a month against the Imperialists outside of Edo. Finally, the line broke, and Atakshir and his men were butchered to the last man. It was said as he laid dying, Atakshir looked north towards his homeland. He extended his hand towards that direction, murmured something in Ainu, and died. Atakshir's sacrifice would make him a legend among the Ainu people for years to come.

In Matsue, the situation was still grim. The forces of Matsue tried to break out, but failed to do so, and suffered 20,000 casualties in the process. Kusaribe said enough was enough and decided to put all his troops against Yamagata. The siege of Matsue would begin. The scene in the Supreme War Council Room was grim. Outnumbered 2 to 1, the Militarist army was out of its league. Even with attrition hitting the Imperialists, they had more men who had higher morale. It looked as if everyone in this room was going to die. Word reached them that the contingency in Shikoku had surrendered, and that they were all that was left. One man shouted “Let us surrender now, perhaps we can be sparred of torture!”

Yamagata stood up, took a cane, and beat the man over the head repeatedly. As the man laid moaning with a gash in his head, Yamagata stood in front of the Council, and uttered these words.

“I have fought Russians, Italians, English, Spanish, and everything else this world has thrown at Japan. I am not one to shy away from a fight. We are the sons of Amaterasu! We were born to die! Whoever wishes to fight and receive glory in this life or the next, follow me. Those who wish to rot on the sidelines stay here.”

With that, he picked up his gun, mounted his horse, and rode off to what seemed like certain death. The next morning, as the Imperialist gunners began to load up their cannons for the siege, they spotted a large cloud of dust. As the dust cloud got closer, it was revealed that they were soldiers! The Militarists were charging right at them! The guns began to boom heavily and rapidly, as soldiers awoke to prepare themselves. The Militarist army charged forward, some reports claimed they saw Date Munenari, Oshiro Kazuki, Hosokawa Mitsuhide, and the Emperors of old riding alongside them. They slammed into the surprised Imperialist Army, and began to cleave their way through the Imperialists. Soon, the Imperialists had suffered casualties in the thousands. They began to flee, but Yamagata would not have it. These men betrayed him, threw him in a jail cell to rot, all for the sake of greed! He would have their heads. The Militarists pursued the Imperialists out of Matsue, as the counter attack shook them to their core. When the dust cleared, over 150,000 Imperialists were either dead, wounded, or missing, while 40,000 militarists suffered similar fates. The Imperial army was smashed, and scattered. Both sides though were in no position to keep fighting. Then, something happened…

Imperial Japan had practically bankrupted itself fighting the war. While the Militarists had been earning credit from their German allies, the Imperialists had expended their entire treasury in fighting the war, and began to rack up debt. They decided to implement cost saving measure in factories, and implemented laws to increase taxes and increase output. In the end, the people who were not fighting grew discontent. Communist rebels began to form across Imperial Japan, in protest to the taxes and dangerous working conditions all in the name of cost reduction. Socialism was unpopular in both sides of the war, and communism was outlawed in both. As the guns boomed over Matsue, the Communists rose up. 36,000 communist soldiers stormed Edo. By the end of the day, they had Kusaribe Kinzo’s head on a spike, along with many members of the Imperial Government. Some individuals like Dr. Satake Hiroshi fled abroad to escape the communists. Emperor Meiji would be taken out of the city by his loyal guard. Ito Masaki though had other plans. He approached Yamagata and offered surrender. All he wanted was to see the Emperor retain absolute authority. The Emperor backed Yamagata as Yamagata was the only hope he had of getting back his throne. Yamagata agreed to the Emperor, and soon, the Emperor ordered whatever remaining loyal men left to join Yamagata in his crusade against the red tide. Yamagata swiftly move through Japan with new troops at his side, and eradicated the communists. He also managed to capture many Imperialist officers and leaders. By the end of the year 1902, Yamagata had Japan firmly in his grasp, and the Emperor’s approval. The Imperialist government was shattered. Yamagata now reigned supreme. After four years of fighting, 500,000 to 700,000 were either dead, wounded, or missing on both sides of the conflict. Japan was in ruins, and now a New Order must restore stability to the nation

------------------------------
Player Actions Needed: The Militarists have won the civil war! Now Maxwell must decide the fate of the country. The gameplay section of this IAAR is over. Once Maxwell submits his plans for the future of Japan, I shall write an epilogue and conclude this game. If your character was not mentioned to have been killed and you are a militarist you may decide your fate
 
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((What a lame series of events.))
 
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Nobunage was sitting in a field. Against all odds, they had won the war! Nobunage would never forget the battle of Matsue, in which he fought on the frontlines. This old man would go down in a blaze of glory! And he would not use a gun, no he would go down with his katana in his hands! Some of the old Imperial Guard decided to follow him. As he charged fowards, slaughtering imperials, many were frightened; this old man, charging at them with a katana, seemed to be one of the greatest warriors in Japan. The quickly assembled defence of the Imperials broke fast with them charging into their lines. Many Imperials died while trying to defend their lives in vain, as the Imperial guard slaughtered them all. Nobunage ordered his men to go charge into the Imperial flanks, which managed to crush another Imperial brigade. Doing the same thing over and over again, the Imperials were crushed at the end of the day, leaving nothing behind of their army. Weeks later, peace was signed. Nobunage would take some rest now. A lot of rest...

Count-General Nobunage Tadakaka has died in his sleep.​
 

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Ito Masaki though had other plans. He approached Yamagata and offered surrender. All he wanted was to see the Emperor retain absolute authority.
((Seeing as I offered terms of surrender, does that mean I'm still alive but just imprisoned by the Militarists, or have I been executed as one of the Imperial leaders?))
 

naxhi24

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((Seeing as I offered terms of surrender, does that mean I'm still alive but just imprisoned by the Militarists, or have I been executed as one of the Imperial leaders?))
((Whatever the victors decide, hopefully alive))
 
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((Naxhi, first of all, I wanted to thank you for the game. I will give my views below on the mechanics but I enjoyed playing up until the end.

On the things you did well, the general flavour was very good up until the Russian War. The Boshin War was a highlight and it showed that a lot of thought had gone into preparing the mechanics of that event. The mood tended to blur into a generic Victorian mood after that which may be expected from people who are less familiar with the unusual times Japanese society went through from 1880 to 1920 with a strong split of old and new as a virtual half/half of extremes. The industrial mechanics worked very well in promoting investment as did the conversion of money to power and bonuses for success. The military characters also worked well.

Some things that did not go as well as intended. Although not unusual to post-1945 Japan, the monolithic dominance of the NLP was out of place and killed off the tension of elections and the enjoyment of opposition players. Whilst Militarists and Industrialists had active roles, Politicians struggled to find anything useful to do. Assassinations were a little too capricious so that at times it was more like an episode of Dexter than an AAR.

Finally, I hope you don't interpret this as a negative, but you tended to lose control of the game once you announced it was ending.That was a fair enough decision but players started to do actions out of character simply because they knew the end was nigh and there was a closing window to do crazy things that had not been done yet. In particular the Coup and the Civil War were poorly handled. I say this knowing that you had not anticipated them. As an observer, you appeared to waiver between sides as to how to keep them happy up tot the finish line but not wreck the storyline. As I mention below, it appeared to catch out on the hop as there was not the level of thought of the Boshin War present in how a coup or civil war would be fought. My one moment of sour grapes and disillusionment as a player is knowing what the map looked like at 5 November 1998 (and even 9 April 1900), and knowing as the Imperialist Chief of Staff what orders I gave, and seeing the retcon of your version. It is just very disappointing as a player to engage in a game, play by the rules but have the results changed on you because of a sense of regret or guilt. As a final comment on this point, I would note that the other IAAR's I have been in have also struggled with coups and civil wars, and I do not profess to know the magic formula to make them work in the context of Vic2.

Some food for thought for the future IAAR's, as part of the learning experience of this game:

1. Bonuses should have a finite life. Family bonuses in particular tend to entrench people into positions of power as per the NLP in this game but even lifetime bonuses can be dangerous in allowing people to dominate to the exclusion of others. One option is the possible depreciation of a bonus with old age, with a chance of loss every 5-10 years after age 50 as the young start to supplant the old. Another option is that instead of a fixed bonus, the player is given PP as political capital to be spent on specific votes (including elections). Political capital can be earnt performing quests or doing a particularly good job, and lost by stuffing up (eg. a Minister's portfolio excelling/failing, a General winning/losing a major battle, an Industrialist investing in a new type of factory). This could be a very good carrot and stick approach for a GM to move the game forward and break up any ossification of the system (such as giving political capital to the opposition if Dissent is high).

2. I know you want to move away from classes, but allowing Dual classing should be considered. It was a significant disappointment that you reversed your decision to allow Politicians to change to Generals in the Civil War after Sakamoto rolled excellent stats. It was ahistorical to shut this down and left a bad taste in the mouth that the game was being retconned. As I noted above, politcians frequently became involved as generals in wars, just as generals became involved in politics in peace. To do otherwise made no sense. Using old D&D logic, it would be simple exercise for someone to make a once off decision either at the start of the character or during its life to become a dual class who is good at both but not great at either.

3. Coups need more thought. Firstly they should be rare. There were in this game but it is important to remember there is always a significant threshold to whether a coup will start which is more than a player standing up and saying I am starting a coup. As GM you need to look at the wider environment to work out whether people would take the player seriously or dismiss them as a lunatic. This can involve multipliers such as any crisis, the Dissent score, any player conflicts, social mores, etc. The Coup in the case was just ridiculous because the NLP already had 88% of the Diet and was effectively toppling itself. To expect the populace or the armed forces would regard it as serious strained credulity. Similarly the military police Counter Coup was incredible in the truest sens of the word and appeared to be a case of staircase regret.

4. The Civil War mechanism needs to be thought out ahead in detail. The game really fell apart here because it bwas evident that the rules were ad hoc and arbitrary in reaction to OOC rather than the historical context.You don't need to tell the players at the start of the game how Civil Wars work as that preserves the uncertainty of taking this step for the players but you need to have a clear idea of how it works, in picking sides, the setup and how 2 sides can fight when there is only 1 player on the computer. The Civil War here had many lessons on what not to do. Firstly think about the setup in the overall historical context. In particular, it made no sense to give Kyushu to the Militarists when it is the home of the KAP and Hokkaido to the Imperialistgiven the Ainu seperatitsts. A simple half half may be neat from a sandbox perspective but one of the benefits of the Boshin War mechanic was the piecemeal split based on local loyalties, as also happened in the Englsih, French, Spanish and Russian Civil Wars (and in the border states in the ACW). Next, once you make the rules for running the War, let every know so they can plan. Also give them all of the information which they would be expected to know. I sent a number of PM's to you which were never answered, I was never given the Imperialist OOB and I found out the mechanics second hand. Next, once you make the rules, don't change them. It only creates resentment and confusion. I planned as per the original instructions of moving each army only one province per month. By the time the change of rules to a free for all was communicated to me, you had jumped ahead 18 months. Which leads to my next point that the lines of communication need to be established and clear. The Imperialist orders given in November 1898 were to pursue the defeated army until it disintegrated and then disperse to occupy the provinces. I won't get into an argument as to what transpired between you and Keinwyn but clearly the lines of communication were substandard and were little more than Chinese whispers. This may be fun for a game but shatters the sense of participation as my input was essentially not implemented. As a positive, I think the "wishes" to each side were a good idea but I think you should reduce the number from 10 as it was too many, you should impose a set menu of what type of wishes can be made and exchanged wishes between the sides before they are implemented so to give each side that chance to make counter wishes. Off the top of my head, I would suggest 5 wishes all up with 2 to be used as counter wishes. This avoids the embarrassment of each side wishing for the same thing. It also avoids the absurdity of of a major event which would draw publicity before hand suddenly dropping from the skies. Finally, there are some inherent problems playing 2 sides by yourself. As a matter of commonsense, the Imperialists had won by November 1898 and as GM you ought to have played in the spirit of the campaign instead of arbitrarily parking the entire Imperialist army in one province until attrition whittled it down to make it a contest again. It also appears to me wholy unrealistic to expect you as GM to implement the hit and run diversionary strategy which I communicated or a because you could hardly be taken by surprise.

Thanks again for the game and I look forward to your next effort.))
 
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Japan's Future Pt.1: The New Order

"Frailty to Strength, Chaos to Order, Uncertainty to Decisiveness", those where three tenets Yamagata had to deal with as his New Order became cemented in Japanese society. As the Militarists successfully marched into Edo, Yamagata had a bold new ambition to where he wanted to take Japan. Endowed by his victory, Yamagata set forth to redesign Japan in his own image. The first step was to redesign the way the government worked. This would be seen as Yamagata implemented a new constitution, one radically different then the one Date Munenari implemented. This new constitution provided for supreme authority to derive and be invested in the Emperor, laying his authority and personage as the foundation for the Greater Japanese Empire and its unity as a state. As such his powers and authority were expanded to allow him to rule by decree should he see fit, and to provide that he is the expression of the Japanese people's will. The Privy Council was re-organized into the Imperial Advisory Council (which the Emperor appointed initially but will later be responsible for appointments to itself alongside him as well as have a say in the Imperial Household and matters concerning it, etc.), of which the original membership was the lead members of the Militarists. The Imperial Diet remained in its current form, albeit with a modification to 600 seats, and the alterations in its duties and responsibilities to that of firstly to the Emperor above all else, as well as the restriction of its laws and guidelines to be responsible to that of the Emperor's discretion (largely rendering it to more of an advisory body than the true legislative authority, with that devolving to the Imperial Advisory Council and Yamagata's Regional Council). The Regional Council itself was formed with the Military Governors of Hokkaido (to be held by an Ainu), Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kyushu, Philippines, Korea and the Supreme Commander (who was elected by the council for life until dismissed by them, or by Imperial Will). Although ostensibly formed to co-ordinate the regional military divisions and better co-ordinate during national emergencies in reality the Governors acted as the main executives in their provinces (alongside the regional and prefecture elected authorities) with broad powers and reporting directly to the Supreme Commander. Political parties were allowed so long as they did not attempt to criticize the Emperor, Yamagata or the policies and guiding tenets of the New Order. Favor was naturally given to the National Liberal Party, but also to the New Order Coalition. Yamagata would serve as Regent of the Empire until 1905 (to ensure the implementation of his plans and policies) whereupon he stepped down and was named Warlord of the Empire by the Emperor, its exact powers vague but with the specification that he carried the 'voice and will of the Emperor in his actions' (ie. the power and prerogatives of the Imperial Person) whilst also remaining Supreme Commander. Political power was concentrated in the 'Four Prince' Families: Yamagata, Kusenagi, Uesugi and Tanabe. Uesugi Mochinori was made Prime Minister of Japan, and Kusanagi Miroki the leader of the new Imperial Advisory Council.


((Talk about a mouthful))

As for the fate of those who fought against Yamagata, well, most members of the Imperialist society who were caught were given strict sentences. The worst punishment was death, the less punishment was 15 years imprisoned. The only man to escape punishment was Ito Masaki, the man who brought the surrender to Yamagata. Yamagata also gave a posthumous pardon to Kusaribe Kinzo. The rest were not so lucky. Kishiwada Daichi was hunted down and executed, Satake Hiroshi was sentenced to death in abstentia. Asano Yoshinaga and Yamamoto Gonnohoye, the two generals who fought against Yamagata in Kansai and Chugkoku, were executed. Nishimura Masaru was sentenced to life imprison. Matsuzaka Daisuke and Kanu Tetsuo were sentenced to 15 years imprison, and Shimazu Nariokia was sentenced to ten years imprisoned. Yet, the biggest outcry of all came from Yamagata's decisions on the fates of the Sakamoto and Date family. Date Munehiro's father, Date Takamura, was sentenced to five years in prison and barred from the political process upon his release. His son though, Date Munehiro, was sentenced to death. Meiji pardoned Munehiro though, for he knew that any dead son of Munenari would destroy the fragile stability in the nation. Same thing went for Sakamoto Ryoma, who was also sentenced to death. Meiji had both men reinstated to their prestigious positions, but made sure they had no political power to appease Yamagata. What historians now call the "Night of Blades" was considered by many to be the defining moment where Yamagata took full and utter control of the nation. As regent of Japan, he had the power to implement policies and served as judge, jury, and executioner.


(The Execution of Kishiwada Daichi)

In 1905, Yamagata would step down as regent, where he was made Warlord of the Empire. The position was granted to him by Meiji as part of the Imperialist surrender, though he constantly overrode Yamagata's authority. Meiji viewed Yamagata's new position as a modern day Shogun, and Yamagata ruled as such. The military swore loyalty to him and the Emperor. Yamagata would see his new military in action on the island of Formosa in 1908. The Qing Empire was fighting a war between itself and its former vassals. In this time of opportunity, Yamagata struck at the Qing Empire, and took the island of Formosa, now modern day Taiwan. This was a quick and decisive victory, one that forever damaged relations between the Qing and the Japanese. The Qing were powerless to stop the encroaching Japanese on Taiwan, and took no actions to ensure that Japan loose Taiwan. Along with their new German allies, the Japanese expanded into ports across China, and helped exert influence on the Chinese state. The age of the new Empire was finally dawning. For the next four years, Yamagata would make sure that Japan was the dominate force in Asia, and that all Europeans wishing to stake a claim in Asia had to go through Japan.


(Japanese soldiers on Taiwan)

However, Yamagata would only see the height of the Empire he created. In 1912, ten years after he took power, Warlord Yamagata Michitsura passed away at the ripe old age of 92. He had ruled Japan in one way or another for the past 20 years. In his steed, Yamagata Hideyoshi, Michitsura's eldest son, inherited the title of Warlord of the Empire, with Kusanagi Miroki receiving the title of Supreme Commander. If the Emperor had any doubts over Yamagata making a new Shogunate, this whipped most of them away. A hereditary position of leadership made the position of Warlord inheritable, just like the Tokugawa Shogunate. Meiji made plans to undermine and defeat this system of power before it grew out of control, and attain absolute power for himself. That never came, for that same year, Emperor Meiji died of uremia. The same day, Yamagata Hideyoshi decreed a resolution commemorating Meiji in his role in the Meiji Restoration. A shrine was built to honor Meiji in an area of the Imperial Palace. Meiji, the man who fought tooth and nail for the Emperor's right to rule, who fought for a unified and modern Japan, was dead. The Meiji Restoration, which started with the Boshin War, and ended in 1912, was over.


(Funeral of Emperor Meiji)
 

naxhi24

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Japan's Future Pt.2: Then and Now


Emperor Yoshihito, better known today as Emperor Taisho was Meiji's successor to the Imperial Throne. Taisho was not Meiji in any shape or form. He was mental challenged. He had neurological illnesses which made it almost impossible for him to carry out his duties. Unlike his father, he had a lack of articulation and charisma. It was even rumoured that when addressing the Diet in 1913, he was reported to have rolled his prepared speech into a cylinder and stared at the assembly through it, as if through a spyglass. Because of his many issues, Taisho was kept out of the public eye, leaving all the work for the country to be done by the Militarist heads. The Militarists had already entrenched themselves as leaders of the military and political system of the new Japan. Taisho's reign only solidified that entrenchment even further. The Uesugi and Tanabe families ran the Diet, and the Yamagata and Kusangi families ran the military. It was a complex oligarchy in a sense, with all answering to Yamagata and to the Emperor. Not much happened during Taisho's reign. Most of Yamagata's business was to manage the economy and repair the damage done by the civil war. While they did expand their influence throughout Asia, Yamagata did not do much externally. Taisho's reign would last from 1912 to 1925, when he died of a heart attack. In his steed came his son, Emperor Hirohito


Hirohito was much harder on rebellion and his policies were much more in favor of the Warlord's agenda. In 1932, he was almost killed by a Korean activist. In 1936, junior officers tried to coup the government, but were crushed by the New Order. To say that Hirohito backed Yamagata and his oligarchy 100% is still up to debate by many historians. However no one can deny that Hirohito had the same ambition as his Warlord. In 1931, a small bomb was planted on a railroad track owned by Japan near the city of Mukden in Manchuria. The bomb didnt even do its job as a train passed over the damaged track minutes later. However, Hirohito and Yamagata used this as context to invade Manchuria. Invading Manchuria had always been a big part of the plan of the Militarists for decades. Now that it was an independent force from the Chinese, that desire was pushed greatly. The Japanese overran Manchurian defenses and established a puppet government in Manchuria. That point signified what became known as "The Rising Sun Expansion". During the next six years, Japan fought and created puppet states across China. In 1937, Japan invaded the Qing Empire, and quickly crushed the inferior Chinese. Communist rebels though used guerrilla warfare to weaken the Japanese force, and the Qing vassal states opposed the invasion of China by backing the Qing. The only nation to submit to Japan was the state of Qinghai, which had been a loyal state to Japan since the late 19th century.


(Japanese troops in China)

The Japanese though would be drawn into a much bigger conflict. Germany was still a big ally to the Japanese since the Civil War. The Kaiserreich though was in a bit of its own conflict. The Commune of France, the Communist French state that formed in the early 1900s, had invaded Belgium in 1939 to take back land from the Kaiserreich. In response, Russia also invaded to take back land that Germany stole from it. Initially, the Germans had much success, even when the British joined the war. The armies of Germany squashed Russian and French invaders and even managed to occupy much of France and Russia. Britain was bogged down by conflict, so Japan saw it as the right time to expand its influence while the Europeans continued to fight. In 1940, Japan invaded Indochina, and proceeded to seize Siam. No nation could oppose it as it marched south into Malaysia and the Philippines, eventually capturing Jakarta and Batvia. One nation though took this as an act of aggression, the United States of America. The US was neutral in the world conflict, but saw Japan's increasing expansion a threat. It blockaded oil from Japan and froze all its assets. Yamagata Hideyoshi saw this as an act of aggression. In his own words, it was "Glory or surrender". The Japanese chose glory, and the Imperial Advisory Council approved a daring mission. The Japanese would bomb the US naval forces at Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack. On December 7th, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, severely damaging the Pacific Fleet. However, America was one of the only nations Japan had not fought a war against. Japan had beaten most of the other European powers in battle before, but it never really fought against America. The USA declared war on Japan shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Great War (For a war had never been seen of this magnitude in all of the world) saw the USA and Japan square off in the Pacific. While Japan had a very good army, the USA had one thing the Japanese did not, industrial might. American factories outproduced everything compared to their Japanese counterparts. When seven aircraft carriers were being built in America, only one was being produced in Japan. The oil embargo also struck hard in Japan. The Americans were also much better equipped. The Americans would crush the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Midway in 1942. After that, Japan would end up fighting a war of attrition. America would embark on an island hopping campaign capturing island after island from Japan. Eventually they managed to secure airbases to bomb Japan from, and many Japanese cities were reduced to rubble based on the bombings. In 1945, American scientists successfully tested an atomic bomb, and used two on Japan, targeting Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ironically the two homes of the two generals who opposed the military in the Civil War. This was the end for Japan. However the militarists would not allow it, but by will of Imperial power, they retired, as long as Hirohito promised to maintain their honorary titles and prince-ships. In 1945, Japan surrendered. A western power had successfully beaten Japan. America set forth to rebuild Japan.


(Japan under occupation of the Americans)

We will skip over the cold war where America and her allies squared off against the Commune of France and Communist Western Mainland Europe, nor shall we go over the defeat of the Kaiserreich and partition of West Communist Germany and East Democratic Germany. Japan did not do much during that time, no real point in discussing it. What we will discuss is the fate of the colonies of Japan. Manila was given independence and merged with what use to be the Spanish colonies to form the Republic of the Philippines. Chinese territory was given back to China, though Taiwan says it is a separate country from the communists in China who took power after the war. Korea had an interesting tale. Korea was given independence by the Americans after the war. However, Kim Il Sung, the leader of the communist party of Korea rebelled and almost took over the entire peninsular. America and the UN managed to push the Korean Communists up north, and in a truce, created North Korea and South Korea. The two nations are divided to this day.

Today, Japan has one of the largest economies in the world thanks to efforts done during rebuilding. It is a democratic constitutional monarchy, though the militarist princes (as they are called now) still retain a lot of political clout in the Diet. Yamagata's family would still be seen as prestigious, and live a life of luxury to this day. The current Emperor of Japan, Emperor Akihito, is limited in his power compared to his forefathers, but still is influential in Japan. Japan today is one of the most technologically advanced countries on Earth, though it uses its technology for peaceful purposes.


(The Current Emperor of Japan, Akhito)

Japan never forgot about its past though. The glorious age of Samurai, the Restoration, the NLP and the Liberals, men like Date Munenari and Yamagata Michitsura whose stories are told to children at night, the Imperialists and Militarists, men like Sakamoto Naotari whose legend lives on today as the greatest warrior of Japan, these are all remember by the Japanese state. Without these events, Japan would be a radically different place today. In all, Japan had gone from being barbaric to being a technological wonder in a spam of a few short years. Japan had changed drastically over the course of the 19th century, and though suffered major setbacks, still grew into a superpower. When one is Under the Rising Sun, one sees only advancements, achievements, and glory.

And so, our tale concludes...
 
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On December 7th, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, severely damaging the Pacific Fleet. However, America was one of the only nations Japan had not fought a war against. Japan had beaten most of the other European powers in battle before, but it never really fought against America. The USA declared war on Japan shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Great War (For a war had never been seen of this magnitude in all of the world) saw the USA and Japan square off in the Pacific. While Japan had a very good army, the USA had one thing the Japanese did not, industrial might. American factories outproduced everything compared to their Japanese counterparts. When seven aircraft carriers were being built in America, only one was being produced in Japan. The oil embargo also struck hard in Japan. The Americans were also much better equipped. The Americans would crush the Japanese fleet at the Battle of Midway in 1942. After that, Japan would end up fighting a war of attrition. America would embark on an island hopping campaign capturing island after island from Japan. Eventually they managed to secure airbases to bomb Japan from, and many Japanese cities were reduced to rubble based on the bombings. In 1945, American scientists successfully tested an atomic bomb, and used two on Japan, targeting Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ironically the two homes of the two generals who opposed the military in the Civil War. This was the end for Japan. However the militarists would not allow it, but by will of Imperial power, they retired, as long as Hirohito promised to maintain their honorary titles and prince-ships. In 1945, Japan surrendered. A western power had successfully beaten Japan. America set forth to rebuild Japan.
((This seems vaguely familiar...))
 
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Riccardo93

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The Date clan retained substantial political influence under the Yamagata dictatorship, and often would flagrantly show their disdain for the neo-Shogunate (which were largely tolerated due to the Date clan's ties to the Imperial Family and their long-standing political influence). Date Takemaru, having been displaced in 1902 by the Yamagata, and his son, the future Prince Munehiro, maintained full disdain of the Yamagata clan, and were held to be their most steadfast and obstinate rivals, oftentimes working behind the scenes to undermine the regime. Munehiro in particular was vicious in his condemnation of the regime, writing diatribes and polemics lambasting the quality of the officer corps, the army, the bureaucracy, and above all else his beloved navy. His sons would continue in such a direction, openly condemning intervention in the "European War," and the failures that Japan suffered through merely vindicated the Clan. After the end of the war, the Date, like their rivals and allies amongst the martial nobility, retained their prominence (and indeed some would argue experienced a resurgence in the 1950s and 60s, due to a long-held belief that Date Munenari was the last of the democrats to govern Japan). To this day, the family is considered a symbol of Japan's imperial might, and the Marshal Prince's name and accomplishments are lauded and paraded about amongst neo-imperialists and traditionalists throughout the nation (whilst his fairly benign paternalism is quite generally admired).
 

naxhi24

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My Closing Thoughts

*Takes a swig of Gin and downs a Tylenol.*

WOW! What a ride that was! I never expected running an IAAR to be this difficult, but at the same time a lot of fun. However, while this game had its ups and downs, it had a lot of downs sadly.

I had hopped for this game to become a great IAAR, but I only disappointed myself. While I do find pride in this game, this game just was not as satisfactory for me, I didnt feel like I accomplished what I set out to do, and undershot. This game is not a failure in the slightest sense, a failure implies I gave up completely and just abandoned it. No, but it was not to my liking, and not to the liking to others as well. While many do show their gratitude for this game, I feel bummed the way it turned out. Its like not getting into the college you want but getting into other colleges.

Problems with the Game:

I. The Ending was TERRIBLE: I would not hesitate to say this game concluded terribly, with the massive upheaval the civil war caused. The ending just made people rage, quit, and generally grow discontent with my skills as a GM. I did the Civil War for the sake of RP, and it didnt turn out okay. I regret doing a civil war, and regret destroying Maxwell's coup just for the sake of RP. @Maxwell500, I apologize for doing that and putting you all through that terrible mess

II. Class Systems are broken: This is a problem that was in Power to the People as well, with the class system being bugged and all that stuff. My class system ended up the same way, with it being almost broken. Davout brought up a good point in saying how a duel class system would be neat, but I feel that classes in general are broken. Instead, for the sake of RP, I hope to just let the players choose who they want to be. Instead of forcing them to choose what they want, they can just say "Hey look I am a general now!" or "Hey look, I am a politician now!" without having to deal with the mechanics involving classes.

III. Depth is better then Mechanics: This is more of a lesson I learned then a problem. The game got too bogged down by mechanics, and thus destroyed depth. It prevented players from making their own decisions or choosing multiple paths, and streamlined what paths they could go down. Instead of complex rules, there should be more depth to the game, allowing players multiple options on how to go about a situation rather then telling them what they can and cannot do in regards to a situation.

IV. I was a weak GM: I admit it, I often caved to player demands. I had no spine. When I finally did get a spine, I ended up breaking it with the civil war. Players have even called me out on it during the game. I guess I just need to go with my gut and let the players deal with it then just listen to whatever they said.

V. The balance of power: The NLP never got removed. This is a problem that is hard to fix, since you cant determine if everyone is going to go to one party and if that party fractured. This is mostly due to the massive amounts of bonuses given out by me during the game, preventing the NLP from loosing power. Bonuses will be limited in the next game.

Things the Game did Right:

I. The Boshin War: My biggest moment ever. This was THE thing everyone liked. I just wished I could have done the same thing for the Civil War. I totally intend to use similar systems in my next IAAR, but with less multiplayer and separate nations.

II. Uncivilized Nation: This was the first attempt at an uncivilized nation, and I am proud to say it worked well. Though, the Uncivilized mechanics were easier to follow then the Civilized mechanics allowing for more RP, I feel that this system worked well.

III. Good Emperor: *Patting Self on Back for this* I always was told that my Monarch was more active and better then previous IAAR monarchs, so good for me I guess.


Anyway, I do hereby announce that this IAAR is officially over. We managed to get to a specific date, and the game was drawn to an official and proper conclusion. I do apologize if the game was scheduled to stop earlier then 1936 or 1912 in this case. I thank you all for participating. I do plan on doing another IAAR in the future, but after UtRS, I intend to take a few weeks to prepare the next game. I learned from my mistakes and intend to create a more RP-friendly and in-depth IAAR then this one. For those of you who liked playing this, I enjoyed your support, and for those who did not enjoy it, I hope you can support me for the next game.

Thank you all.
 
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naxhi24

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If you want to partake in another IAAR while the next one is being produced, I highly suggest Albion and Empire, an IAAR made by @99KingHigh. It is an IAAR that has only started and is set in post world war II Britain. It uses the Vicky 2 New World Order Mod.
 
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