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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

TonyJoe

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1509-01-06regencyforLongqing.jpg


Unfortunate news; your House of Ming really needs to start breeding healthier monarchs not to mention better administrators.

A question about the image above - I've seen similar displays for rulers without heirs, presumably showing the potential successors to the throne. How do we know which of these will actual succeed or is it somehow random?
 

sad king billy

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I think you misunderstand: that's a list of all the royal marriages they currently have, and what the current succession situation is in those nations: the name of the heir, or from what House the next ruler will be, or with whom they'll form a PU.
 

knul

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Episode 7: A new World


1509-06-18MerchantFractures.jpg


Longqing's regency starts well: in June we get the merchants fractures event, in which we can choose to move towards Mercantilism, Free Trade or to abstain. Of course I choose a Free Trade move in order to strengthen the Enuchs. I'm extremely happy with this event, as is basically shaves off 13 years from the date at which the factions are balanced.


1512-04-19DiscoveryofthenewWorld.jpg


Another historical date: in 1512 the New World is discovered. By sailing at the north end of the map I managed to get to the other side. I quickly sail southwards and manage to dock at the Zapotec empire, securing my explorer and opening the possibility to explore South America


1513-01-16Discoveryofeasterncoast.jpg


But not only the American west coast sees action: in 1513 a Chinese ship from Europe discovers the eastern end of the New World. Now three Chinese explorers are active and discover land after land.


1514-09-25allofamericasmapped.jpg


Soon, in 1515, the whole coastline of the americas is mapped. European influence besides Great Britain is completely lacking.

In 1516 I move a step towards Centralisation. Now the Innovative and Centralisation sliders are at the correct position to Westernise. Too bad both the regency and Longqing have an ADM 5 rating, exactly the right score to NOT be able to Westernise. Grrr.


1518-05-17Merchantshipwrecked.jpg


Here we see a nice example of an event that for every other country is a tiny nuisance but for Bureaucratic Ming it's quite a setback. Normally losing a merchant isn't that shocking, but for us it will take decades before we can replace this merchant (who has traded for more than a century, he certainly earned his investment back).

Also, Longqing gets the throne in 1518. Exploration of the world seas continue.

In 1522 we get to choose our third National Idea. Personally, I don't really know what Idea to get, so in the end I just get Bureaucracy. We have a big tax income, so its 10% tax income bonus might come in handy. Besides this, a new heir arises:


1522-11-15newheirZhengde.jpg


AARRRRGGG!!!! I WILL PERSONALLY STRANGLE THE NEXT ADM 5 HEIR THAT DARES TO SHOW HIS FACE!


At least we don't have to suffer Longqing's inadequate presence anymore. In 1527 he dies, leaving as his legacy another short chapter in the history books and a world almost completely mapped.


Stats

Nothing special. The economy continues to grow slowly, even with a 20% reduction in trade income.

Code:
The regency (1509-1518) and reign (1518-1527) of Longqing Ming (total 1509-1527)

			Current value		Change during reign		Change since 1399
Provinces		56			0				+2 (+3.7%)
Yearly income		1892 ducats		+126 ducats (+7.1%)		+1054 ducats (+125.8%)
Yearly income/province	33.8 ducats		+2.3 ducats (+7.3%)		+18.3 ducats (+118.1%)
Inflation		0.9%			0.9% 				0.9%
Maximum manpower	122K			+3K (+0.8%)			+37K (+43.5%)
Army (inf/cav/art)	44 regiments (35/9/0)	0				+5 (+12.8%)
Navy (B/S/g/t)		51 ships (38/0/0/13)	-1 (-1.9%)			+2 (+4.1%)

Next episode: Missed opportunities, rebels and frustration
 
Last edited:

Haramir

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It's always when youre ready to westernise that the good king dont arise,

Will you be able to make every step of westernisation with one good king?
 

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well i did see the fun behind discovering europe, but was it really important to do so? What is your overall plan behind it? if any
 

knul

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It's always when youre ready to westernise that the good king dont arise,

Will you be able to make every step of westernisation with one good king?
Theoretically, it's certainly possible. If this happens in the game, you'll have to wait and see :)

well i did see the fun behind discovering europe, but was it really important to do so? What is your overall plan behind it? if any
Yes, it was necessary IMO. At least, there is some plan behind it. You'll see why in the next episode.

I admit, exploring the whole of Europe and the Americas is more for the fun than out of real necessity, but when you have some explorers, why not use them?
 

knul

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Episode 8: missed opportunities, rebels and frustration


I am pleased to start this episode with some good news.


1522-11-15regencyforzhengde.jpg


An ADM 6 regency! We can finally Westernise! YAAAAY!!! But first, let's take a look on how to Westernise.


1527-11-15bWesternisationrequirements.jpg


First, you need the correct slider settings, at least -2 Centralisation/Decentralisation and at least -3 Innovative/Narrowiminded. In previous episodes I've shown an effective way to obtain this. Take Patron of the Arts to get Architectural Developments and use your slider movement opportunities to move towards Centralisation.

Second, your need a good monarch, having a ADM score of 6 or higher. Sadly, there is little you can do to influence that, other than making ADM 5 or lower monarch generals and let them engage in combat so that they die quicker. Mainly you'll have to be patient.

Third, you need a stability of 3. This isn't so important for the first Westernisation step, but as the Westernisation decision lowers stability by 5, it is the main hindrance for enacting the next Westernisation steps.

Fourth, you need to border a nation of a higher tech group.There are several strategies to accomplish this requirement:

  • Wait until an AI nation of a higher tech level obtains a neighbouring province.
    The problem with this approach is that you have no control. I prefer to be in control as much as possible, leaving as little to change as possible. Also, it could take a long time until some European country decides to grab some neighbouring territory. Not really an option.​
  • Conquer a province that borders a nation of a higher tech level.
    A good strategy in many cases, as it can be quite easy to do so, especially if European nations have conquered/colonized next to weak RotW states that you can easily beat. However, as I can't get the Temple faction in power yet, this is not an option for the moment.
  • Colonize a province that borders a nation of a higher tech level.
    Again, works well in a lot of situations, if a suitable province is within colonization range. But again, without the help of the Eunuchs we cannot colonize. Besides, no suitable province is within range for quite some time, and I want to Westernise now.​
  • Sell a province of your own to a nation of a higher tech level.
    And here we have the winner. The option to sell provinces is always possible when at peace. This option has basically no requirements, as opposed to all the other options. Perhaps that's why some people consider this a bit gamey, but for Ming it's basically the only option.​

So that's why I wanted to explore Europe. In order to Westernise, I need to sell a province to a Western tech level nation. Of course I can wait until the AI decides to mosey towards me, but I want to control when I can Westernise. It's too important to leave it to chance. Westernisation is easily important enough that I am willing to use a National Idea slot to contact Europe so that I can Westernise quicker.

The fifth requirement for Westernisation is that you need to be 25 or more combined levels behind the neighbouring nation. This too can only be solved by being patient. Luckily, we are already more than 25 levels behind the Western nations. Having only 40% research speed hurts.

I decide to sell a province to Holland. Basically you can take any Western nation, but I prefer smaller weaker countries. I chose Holland because it feels historical to grant them a trading post which aids in the spread of western weapons and tech and because I am a Hollander :)

So I try to sell Xiamen to Holland for zero ducats. I haven't build anything in Xiamen as I knew from the start that I had to sell a province and I chose Xiamen for this. Basically any coastal province works, but I would advise against selling a high income province, as you won't be able to develop this province for a long time. The chance of Holland accepting is "very unlikely", so I expect quite some rejections, but at some point they'll accept.


1529-09-10Provincesaledeclined.jpg


As expected, they reject the first offer. Apparantly our Regency Council is considered to be quite feminine, by the way. Anyway, I continue sending diplomat after diplomat with sale offers.

And Holland rejects. Again, And Again, And yet again. They reject, they say no, they shake their heads, again and again.

They reject our sale FOR FIVE YEARS! Only after 5 years, in 1532 they finally accept our offer! I've never had this much difficulty selling a province. Lady Luck was clearly not with me on this day.


1532-04-14HollandacceptsXiamen.jpg


This poses quite a bit of a problem. We only had 12 years regency and after that Zhengde would seize the throne and prevent us from Westernization with his inadequate ADM 5. We have lost 5 of these years to sell the province. The missed opportunity here is that I should have sold the province beforehand, so that I could immediately Westernise. Oh well, we live and learn.

(By the way, in 1529 we had another domestic slider move which I used to move towards Free Trade).

1532-10-01WesternisetoMuslim.jpg


So we Westernise to the Muslim tech group. And there was much rejoicing. This tech group offers a considerable improvement compared to the Chinese group. The -5 stability hit means that we lose the Mandate of Heaven.


1534-09-26Stabilitycosts.jpg


We now have -50% tax, a +50% stability cost from "Mandate of Heaven Lost", a -20 ducats/month stability investment penalty from the same and a +50% stability cost from "Western Influences". In short, it's difficult to regain stability, and we need a +3 stability to Westernise again, to Oriental. With about 20 months per stab point during "Mandate of Heaven Lost" and about 10 months/stability while having the Mandate of Heaven, this will take some time.


1537-10-30ZhengdeMingtothethrone.jpg


But sadly, we are only at stability 1 when Zhengde takes over from our beloved regency, halting Westernisation for now. Luckily his heir Longwu II has ADM 6, DIP 8 and MIL 8, so we have to hope that Zhengde kicks the bucket quickly.


1538-01-15Xiamenrebels.jpg


However, other problems arise. The dutch have problems holding onto Xiamen. With Nationalism, intolerance towards heathens and low Legitimacy, the revolt risk in Xiamen is sky high. The province is too far from Holland's other territory for reinforcements to be shipped in. And as the rebels are patriots friendly to us, we cannot engage them. You will also notice that Zhengde is put to work in the army. The only way to get dispensation from conscription to have a ADM of 6 or higher, so he's out of luck.

Also, in 1538 and 1541 we get extra magistrates from Examinations, which are put to good use to build some more workshops.

In 1541, Xiamen defects back to use, including the freedom fighters that made this wonderful thing happen. Grrr. I start trying to sell Xiamen back to Holland. Better news arrives in the same year: we are now able to build Universities.

I like building Universities more than the other manufactories. Unlike in EU2, there is no monetary benefit of building different kinds of manufactories: the price rises 20% with each manufactory, no matter the type. Universities have an advantage over other kinds of manufactory because of the class of XXX, that gives a magistrate or +10% cultural tradition with a mean time to happen of 300 years per university (240 years at stability 3). Also, during war there is the XXX speech, which gives either 1 or 3 magistrates with a mean time to happen of 125 years. Magistrates are very useful in Divine Wind, so I grab any opportunity to get more. Last but not least, the Government tech tree is very good, so extra investment there is always a good thing.

I build about a dozen universities until money runs out. My rule of thumb is to build manufactories until they cost about 3000 ducats, as it takes about 50 years for a manufactory to return an investment of 3000. I think that I can use the money for better purposes if it takes more than 50 years to earn the investment back.

We manage to convince Holland to take Xiamen back in 1542, with only a year of negotiation. If only it was this quick the first time!


1544-08-19Eucuchfactionleadsagain.jpg


The year 1544: after almost one and a half century, the Eunuch return to power! As the influence from sliders becomes more and more balanced, it will become easier and easier for other faction to rise to power. Because Zhengde has DIP 7 against ADM 5, the Eunuchs are able to regain pole position.

I immediately send colonists to Taiwan and Guam. In all my exitement, I initially forget to send out merchants, but in a few years Ming's traders are sent to more Centres of Trade. In Divine Wind you can now only trade in CoTs within trade range, so many profitable CoTs (read: European ones) areen't available to me. Another nice feature of this expansion.


1545-03-26eunuchoffersservice.jpg


In 1545 we are treated with a faction influence event, a Eunuch one, which offers a welcome change of scenario after all those Bureaucrat events. Eunuch offers his service is a basic strengten/weaken event, with the choice between +5/-5 influence and some extra's, a redundant statesman in this case. As I like having the Eunuchs in power for some more, I strengthen them.


1545-06-30Longwu2tothethrone.jpg


Zhengde did what was expected of him, die early. In 1545, after 8 years of ruling, he buys the farm, leaving the Empire in the capable hands of Longwu II (ADM 6) and his heir Jiajing (ADM 7). Complete Westernisation is within our grasp!

Stats


From the stats it's noticable that I didn't build any army buildings, but built workshops and universities and expanded trade. We gained Taiwan and Guam but "lost" Xiamen. The gained troops are the defected freedom fighters from Xiamen.

All with all a good reign, I think.

Code:
The regency (1527-1537) and reign (1537-1545) of Zhengde Ming (total 1527-1545)

			Current value		Change during reign		Change since 1399
Provinces		57			+1 (+1.8%)			+3 (+5.6%)
Yearly income		2117 ducats		+225 ducats (+11.9%)		+1279 ducats (+152.6%)
Yearly income/province	37.1 ducats		+3.3 ducats (+9.8%)		+21.6 ducats (+139.4%)
Inflation		1.7%			0.8% 				1.7%
Maximum manpower	125K			+3K (+2.5%)			+40K (+47.0%)
Army (inf/cav/art)	52 regiments (42/10/0)	+8 (+18.2%)			+13 (+33.3%)
Navy (B/S/g/t)		51 ships (38/0/0/13)	0				+2 (+4.1%)

Next episode: horsing around
 
Last edited:

RioBrancoBaron

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I liked the idea of your AAR. I'm planning to buy DW as soon as I have the time to play it, I just hope that P'dox will have it balanced by then.
 

knul

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Thanks for the encouraging words, it's good to hear that people enjoy this.


I've just caught up. A great read. Enjoyable and informative. Even though I'm not vanilla player and I don't own DV I'll be following. The factions system is fascinating. Though the exploration the way it is, I mean being so easy, doesn't appeal to me.
I agree, exploration is too easy, but that hasn't changed from previous editions. One thing that makes exploration easy is that it is so easy getting Military Access from any country. Without that, I couldn't explore that far without colonies, and colonies are bound to colonization range.

I think that if the AI is only willing to give you military access if they border you OR if they border a country that has given military acces to you, exploration will slow down quite a bit.

*EDIT* Scratch that. Just make the AI refuse to give military acces if its nation is outside you colonization range would do the same with a much simpler rule.

I liked the idea of your AAR. I'm planning to buy DW as soon as I have the time to play it, I just hope that P'dox will have it balanced by then.
There is a lot of discussion on whether DW sucks or not, but IMO DW is innovative in a lot of ways. What I like about Paradox is that they innovate and DW is a good example. Divine Wind revamped the whole building system, introduced two new internal politices systems + the new horde mechanism and a lot of smaller changes (like limiting access to CoTs within trade range).

Some of these changes are not completely balanced, but I trust that some of the bigger problems will be patched.

Sweet, westernization.
Yes, sweet, sweet Westernization. But we're not there yet! We need two additional Westernization steps to be fully Westernized and then we need to get rid of "Western Influences"m which in my experience always takes a couple of decades.
 
Last edited:

Timmie0307

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Very nice AAR indeed! I like the factions scheme for the Chinese, very interesting to see how you cope with westernization. It can indeed be very frustrating to have everything in place and just have to wait for the right ruler. Just like getting a 5.4 for a test, while you need a 5.5 to pass :p. Are you going for World Conquest or more for total domination in Asia and stop foreign influences?

Tim
 

knul

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Very nice AAR indeed! I like the factions scheme for the Chinese, very interesting to see how you cope with westernization. It can indeed be very frustrating to have everything in place and just have to wait for the right ruler. Just like getting a 5.4 for a test, while you need a 5.5 to pass :p. Are you going for World Conquest or more for total domination in Asia and stop foreign influences?

Tim
I have some ideas on what I want to do and of course I won't tell them yet, but I can tell you that I won't go for World Conquest.
 

knul

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Episode 9: horsing around

I'd like to start with the news that the pictures in my AAR are now in PNG format instead of JPG. This will increase the quality and readability of the pictures, hopefully to your enjoyment.

Right, here's a picture of the current state in Europe.


1547-01-02mapofeurope.png


France has beaten up Castille and taken quite a chunk out of the Iberian peninsula. Castille reacted to this by conquering provinces all over Europe: Ireland, Bretagne, North and South Italy, the Baltics, Northern Germany and the Middle East all see Castillian invasions and conquest. One has to wonder what the master plan is of the Castillian royals. Oh, and they conquered Northern Africa, but that's just what Castille does.

A bit to the East we see a sprawling Austria, but probably not for long as it is considered Dishonourable scum. Eastern Europe is completely dominated by an enormous Lithuania.

In 1545, Longwu the second rises to the throne. With ADM 6 and MIL 8, he is exactly what we need. This is what we have waited for.


1545-06-30westernizetoOriental.png


We are now in the Oriental tech group whose members are primarily eastern European countries, not the Far East. Again, we lose the Mandate of Heaven with all its associated problems.


1545-07-024thNationalideachurchattendance.png


With our fast research speed it's again time to choose a new National Idea. I really want to Westernise again quickly, so I choose Church Attendance to reduce the high stability costs we have.

Also, a nice event takes place.


1545-10-23opposingmilitaryschools.png


For this campaign I want to go Offensive, so I choose this. Normally I go Defensive for the better forts and cheaper artillery, but this time I don't feel like going Defensive. Remember, the Offensive/Defensive slider is one of two sliders that have no impact on Faction influence, so for Ming it doesn't really matter if you go Offensive or Defensive. We finish the year with a terrible tax barge sinks.


1545-10-31taxbargesinks.png


One of those events that make Mandate of Heaven Lost an even worse situation to be in. For some strange reason the Temple faction is either strengtened or weakened by this. Doesn't make much sense, really. We have the choice between losing half a year's income or gain 2 inflation. As we are swimming in gold, I choose the first option.

In contrast to dynamic 1545, dull 1546 sees nothing interesting happening so we'll continue to 1547, which sees the second defection of Xiamen to us again. However, selling it back to Holland isn't an option, as we are still at war with the Mongols. But this will be the last time, as the Enuchs allow us to send colonists to settle the mongolian steppes. We'll have to wait for the settlers to finish off the horse warriors. The rest of the forties is uneventful, save for regaining the Mandate of Heaven in 1548.

Finally, in 1551 the Mongols are defeated, putting an end to a longtime harmless enemy. Farewell easy prestige! So now we can sell Xiamen back to Holland, right? Eh, they have been annexed by France, so no such luck. However, the Castillians are very quick to take the offer, so we sell Xiamen to the Castillian kingdom in the same year.


1551-10-23xiamensoldagainl.png


As you can see, rebellion risk is very high and the Castillians have no way to bring their troops to Xiamen, so I expect Xiamen to defect back to us shortly.

But that's no problem anymore. Time to push a fun button!


1551-10-23bWesternisetoWestern.png


Pushing the Westernize button is always satisfying. We are now completely Westernized and are part of the best tech group available: Western. One great thing of the Western tech group compared to say the Oriental group is the neighbour bonus. All these little HRE minors have incredible high tech levels that provide a backwards nation like Ming with enormous research investment bonusses. We now have a income of about 130 ducats/month, while all the neighbour bonusses combined form an investment bonus of ~350 ducats/month! We will now gain tech levels incredible fast and it won't take long to catch up with Europe.

With Westernization behind us, we can take some risk with Longwu II. I make him into a general so that we can do this:


1551-10-23militiaact.png


Militia act is a wonderful decision for us now. Centralisation is always nice, +6% Discipline is fine and, especially for us, a shift towards Quantity is a good thing as it strengthens a weak Temple faction. The year 1551 was truly a good year.


1553-03-15ridingaccident.png


In contrast, 1553 isn't a bucket of fun. Our great heir Jiajing dies in a riding accident. I blame the Eunuchs for this, as I have had enough of their rule. And it works.


1553-03-20Templefactiontakesover.png


The Temple Faction arises as the dominant force in the Ming Empire for the first time in history! Of course, I declare war immediately, as I am itching for some action. After that I decide what country to declare war on. As we have some cores on Manchu because of and old Border Conflict, Manchu will become the first to feel the might of Ming. Bali, Shan and Tibet stand by their ally and declare war on me in return.

This mighty alliance scares Longwu so much that he promptly resigns his post as general and retreats to a mountain monastary. Unlucky for us, he leaves no heir to inherit the throne. The Ming dynasty has died out and a new dynasty, the Yuan dynasty, gains the Mandate of Heaven.


1553-12-19YouyiYuanrisestothethrone.png


Hopefully the Yuan dynasty is a bit more healthy, otherwise all the episodes will be quite short.


Stats

We have gained two provinces from the Mongols. Economy has worsened compared to the beginning of the reign, as we started with the Mandate of Heaven and ended with Mandate Lost and stability at -1. As the bulk of our income comes from taxes, the loss of the Mandate of Heaven hurts quite badly.


Code:
The reign (1545-1553) of Longwu II Ming

			Current value		Change during reign		Change since 1399
Provinces		59			+2 (+3.5%)			+5 (+9.3%)
Yearly income		1792 ducats		-325 ducats (-15.4%)		+954 ducats (+113.8%)
Yearly income/province	30.4 ducats		-6.8 ducats (-18.2%)		+14.9 ducats (+95.7%)
Inflation		1.7%			0	 			1.7%
Maximum manpower	131K			+6K (+4.8%)			+46K (+54.1%)
Army (inf/cav/art)	56 regiments (46/10/0)	+5 (+7.7%)			+17 (+43.6%)
Navy (B/S/g/t)		51 ships (38/0/0/13)	0				+2 (+4.1%)


Next episode: end of an age
 
Last edited:

sad king billy

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so, when will you change the title to Yuan AAR?
 

knul

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No Ming in Ming?
Surprised? In my games I almost always change dynasties at some point in the game. True, it's a bit early but there has to be only one monarch death without heir to make it happen.

so, when will you change the title to Yuan AAR?
Naah, would only be confusing to new readers :)

And here goes the Ming dynasty...

It's a shame that Longwu died without heir AND before army modernization.

EDIT: Scary France, Austria and Lithaniua.
Military modernization in my experience always takes a couple of decades, so I didn't count on Longwu II to do that.

Austria isn't that scary. It has huge Infamy and is almost continously under attack. Now France is really powerful, something to watch out for.

Long live the Yuan empire
Well, our Emperor doesn't have an heir, so it could be a one-man dynasty. :D