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An Exhortation to Learning (take II) Options · View
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 7:52:39 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 636
Much of this will be familiar, since it's just copied from the first run.

Xunzi wrote:
The gentleman says: Learning must never stop. Blue dye derives from the indigo plant, and yet it is bluer than the plant. Ice comes from water, and yet it is colder than water. Through steaming and bending, you can make wood as straight as an ink-line into a wheel. And after its curve conforms to the compass, even when parched under the sun it will not become straight again, because the steaming and bending have made it a certain way. Likewise, when wood comes under the ink-line, it becomes straight, and when metal is brought to the whetstone, it becomes sharp. The gentleman learns broadly and examines himself thrice daily, and then his knowledge is clear and his conduct is without fault.

In 1445, Korea is a mostly agricultural nation, producing mostly grain and fish, nestled between China and Japan. Luckily, that year happens to be during the reign of its most famous leader, Sejong the Great. That’s his posthumous name; during life he is called 이 도, or Yi Do. (I will follow the Asian habit of family name preceding personal name, rather than EU4’s ordering.)

Navigator is not great, and his son isn't particularly impressive either. But I won't complain about 6/5/6.

He had two older brothers, the first an avid hunter who ‘chose’ leisure over leadership, and the second a monk who chose piety over leadership. Even after his father Taejong’s abdication, the transition of power was gradual, with the full force of Do’s reforms not beginning until Taejong’s death in 1422.

In the historical timeline, the most important of Do's reforms is the whole-hearted adoption of Confucianism, making use of wise ministers from any social rank. Followly closely is the Hall of Worthies, a research organization where the king can put the great minds of Korea at work at solving the problems of the realm.

One of their first major works is the creation of a written script for Korean, called Hangul. Korea used Chinese characters, making literacy a high threshold only passed by the highly educated. With Hangul, there are only 28 characters used to construct blocks that can perfectly represent any syllable; a clever person (who speaks Korean) can learn to read and write it in an hour. Hence the custom idea set, The Scholar:

In this timeline, Korea won the Prussian Government type at auction, and in an Asian context this matches most closely to the state of Qin under Duke Xiao and his successors. Do also invites talented scholars, administrators, and generals to Korea, to help him transform a hard people on a harsh border into the tiger he knows they can become.The reforms are more Legalist than Confucian, with Xunzi having pride of place instead of Mencius.


That’s the protagonist of this AAR. But what about the wider stage?

China, the cradle of civilization, is ruled by a brilliant emperor, but nevertheless the feudal lords grow restless. The Empire, once united, will divide. Each of the Four Ancient Capitals of China has a different ruler, many of whom control the loyalty of more land than the Emperor.

Nanjing is where the Shu Emperor Xie Zhangzong (6/5/5) makes his home, and is the highest development province in the East. But while the Shu hold the nominal loyalty of the feudal lords, and their beginning army is strong, their inability to ally any states in China (because they're all tributaries, who aren't called to the defense of their overlord) makes them unusually weak.

Beijing is the capital of the state of Yan, ruled by Si Zailun (2/6/4). It likewise is a jewel of great renown.

Luoyang, in the state of Liang, is ruled by Jin Huoxi (2/3/3).

Xi’an, in the state of Shun, is ruled by Sima Fu (5/2/2).

Further south, Hangzhou in the state of Wu is ruled by Sima Ciran (0/3/2). Most prosperous of the states that are partially independent of Shu, it is a prize to be fought over.

Even further south, Guangzhou (Canton) in the state of Yue is ruled by Jiang Chun (5/2/3), played by Gutrage. Another powerful state, they are likely to spread Chinese Confucian rule over Vietnamese Buddhist land that has long been within the sway of China.

And yet further to the south, the Muslim Sultan of Brunei Sulayman Bolkiah (4/4/2), played by laxspartan007, seems likely to unify the many islands of Indonesia.

To the West, Chengdu is ruled by Ouyang Qizen (4/0/1), played by Blayne. Xi is one of the largest states in China, and his ambitions are the talk of the Shu court, with the Yi and the Chu already seeking allies to protect themselves.

To the East, Japan is likewise shattered, with the many daimyo all vying for the Shogunate, to ‘serve’ a powerless emperor. The Empire, once divided, shall unite. Oda Hisanaga (3/4/3), played by Hadogei, is a daimyo with merely one province and 10 development to his name, but the weight of history behind him.

To the North, the Jurchen tribes ride restlessly over the steppes. While Korea’s army outnumbers any of them, it does not outnumber all of them, and our Confucian brethren live uneasily under their rule.

The Odes wrote:
O harken, all ye gentlemen,
Don’t always be at ease and rest!
Perform your office steadfastly.
Love what’s correct and upright best.
The spirits will thus hear of this,
And they will make you greatly bless’d.
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 2:44:16 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 636

I Ching wrote:
Whenever we allow ourselves to be drawn off balance, away from the strength of quiet integrity, we are in conflict. ... Through balance, patience, and devotion to inner truth we rise above every challenge.

While Korea's starting monarch has excellent stats, his traits weren't particularly useful (navigator and tactical genius is not quite a winning combination), and at the first month's tick he picked up Indulgent. Not exactly an auspicious beginning to the session. And as much as Yi Do is good, Yi Hyang is terrible; a miserable 2/1/1 who Prussian government raises up to a still questionable 2/1/4.

But such problems are solvable.

The first few years are spent in quiet preparation, fabricating cores on neighboring provinces. Korea has a beginning forcelimit of 19, largest in Asia, but not so large that defensive alliances can be trivially overcome. In test games, the two bordering countries of Yan and Jianzhou allied each other; thankfully, in this game they remained at arm's length, and this meant I was able to launch a war against Jianzhou, which took far longer than hoped, as the first provinces I needed to siege had forts in mountains, and splitting up made me vulnerable to Jianzhou's smaller but not inconsiderable army. The war was eventually won in 1451, and I took all four provinces that bordered me, which dropped its development low enough that it could no longer be rivalled.

Yi Hyang dies shortly after the war ends, and Yi In becomes crown prince. 1/6/6 with a weak claim, one sees a story in the combination of the 1, the 6, and the weak claim; perhaps a nephew who schemed his way into the king's good graces while not sufficiently convincing the rest of the state, and not particularly interested in the bureaucratic deployment of power.

Shortly thereafter, he develops the Cruel trait. Seeking to put that to use against Korea's enemies instead of Korea's people, In is appointed to a generalship, and is solid, particularly his 2 siege. (Fittingly, he later develops the Ruthless leader trait.)

Meanwhile, the Renaissance spawns in Leon. I take the opportunity to invest heavily in Gyeongju, and Busan outshines Beijing and Nanjing, hitting 37 development. This is actually already more than 10% of my national development, meaning I could immediately adopt the Renaissance; I don't have the cash until a few years later, after some successful wars. Leon ends up embracing the Renaissance considerably later, as he has to wait for it to spread to other provinces. Incidentally, large city and embracing Renaissance become my only age objectives accomplished so far, and are likely to be the only ones I accomplish until I discover America, unless I somehow find myself in a war with a rival where humiliation is better than taking provinces.

The Japanese player, for mysterious reasons, picked Oda, a one province minor, and a raiding idea set. Not here the first session, his sub decided that he needed to raid to have any chance of getting anywhere. Given the huge disparity in power between Korea and individual daimyo, mainland meddling in Japan is banned until 1500 or Japan meddles in the mainland. The GM agrees that raiding qualifies, and so I begin preparing for an invasion of Kyushu (as Owari, Oda's province, is too far away to directly affect). Higo is first to fall, annexed in early 1455. In early 1458, Oda is annexed by Tokugawa, and the sub switches to spectating. In late 1458, Yi Do dies, and Yi In takes the throne, ruling from the battlefield. In 1460, Ryukyu is annexed. Around this time, Manchu becomes an accepted culture, with Kyushuan following rapidly.

While the wars are successful, a misstep while dealing with the Honshu ally of a Kyushuan power causes me to lose half of my army, and the wars have eaten much of Korea's manpower. What remains of the army returns to Kyushu to drill, and I begin the slow process of rebuilding, waiting for manpower to trickle in. In 1462, the Japanese coalition led by Shogun Tsuitsui Kosen declares war. The fort is garrisoned, the army ceases drilling, and I ponder my next move as the Japanese armies flood in. My fleet was at 0 maintenance, and so even if it had been in the Seto Inland Sea it likely wouldn't have prevented them from crossing from Suo to Chikuzen, as they could have just sunk it. An early battle is forced, and I retreat to mainland Korea. With my superior navy, now that a few months have passed they have no hope of invading me further, but they've gotten enough battle warscore that the clock is ticking.

The army is reassembled. I can only land 10k troops at a time, and the coalition has something like forty thousand troops. I land in Uzen, the northernmost Uesugi province, and conquer south to the fort in Etchu. An attempt to land reinforcements in Echizen fails, as they are caught by coalition troops, but the transports that delivered that doomed army take away the main force, which is then able to fight a major battle and retake the fort in Chikuzen. After Bungo is sieged, Kyushu is safe until they assemble a meaningful navy, and their battle warscore is just shy of the 10% they need for ticking warscore.

But the Shogun will not accept a white peace, and this war seems as good a time as any to finish consolidating Kyushu. So another landing is prepared, beginning in Tango. The coalition forces ignore it during the siege, and then once the siege is completed I suspect it might be beneficial to go directly for Kyoto. This proves to be a mistake; once I am locked in, the coalition forces begin assembling, and the army is eventually stackwiped after a series of battles. The ticking warscore begins ticking again--but my position in Kyushu is secure, and I begin rebuilding for yet another attack. At the end of the session, the war has been going on for about eight years.

In 1470, Korea's king is still fairly young at 43, and his 16 year-old heir Yi Dan is 6/2/6 and Strict. Korea is one of the three countries at tech level 6-6-6, but many others are not far behind, with six countries all at 5-6-6.

The Odes wrote:
Solitary stands the russet pear tree,
With its leaves so luxuriant.
The king's business must not be slackly performed,
And my heart is wounded and sad.
The plants and trees are luxuriant,
But my heart is sad.
O that my soldier might return!
King of Men
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 6:02:24 AM
 Legatus legionis

One Year Membership MedalTwo Year Membership Medal

Joined: 11/23/2007
Posts: 8,294
Location: Nowhere
The Shu, though controlling little territory directly, hold the

The? The? Not the dreaded "the the" of the Rightful Caliph, presumably. Please finish this sentence and then cross-post to Paradox. Smile

But such problems are solvable.

Big Grin

Read my blog.
Norway Rome The Khanate Scotland Scotinavia Christendie the Serene Republic has always been at war with the Bretons False Empire Caliphate Persians Russians English Hungarians Oceanians Saracen Jackal! Death, death, death to the Frogs barbarians infidels necromancers vodka-drinking hegemonists Sassenach nomad menace Yellow Menace heathen Great Old One!
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 8:56:27 PM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 636
King of Men wrote:
The? The? Not the dreaded "the the" of the Rightful Caliph, presumably. Please finish this sentence and then cross-post to Paradox. Smile
That was me not knowing whether or not Shu would have its tributaries, and apparently forgetting to edit that afterwards Tongue
Posted: Monday, February 19, 2018 1:26:54 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 636

I Ching wrote:
It is a time when great progress can be made through effort of will. ... Progress as a tree does, bending around obstacles rather than confronting them, pushing upward steadily but gently.

Bonus: Satsuma occupied by Shinto Zealots. It's not like I needed that harmony anyway.

This session goes rather well for Korea. Chinese troops join Korean troops on Kyushu, the blockade of the straits is lifted and the coalition forces rush in, to be summarily destroyed. Kyoto is sieged, and the war ends in June of 1474, with the rest of Kyushu transferred to Korea. As part of the peace deal, Yi In takes the shogun's personal daisho, and begins wearing it as a show of Korean supremacy. Nearly 60,000 troops died on each side of the war that lasted for over a decade.

With the war finished, the Seongsi System is put in place. To explain it, let us begin with the Book of Lord Shang, which describes Qin's rise to power:

The Book of Lord Shang wrote:
Duke Xiao said: "Excellent ! I have heard it said that in poor country districts, much is thought strange, and that in village schools there are many debates. What the foolish laugh about, the wise are sad about; the joy of a madman is the sorrow of a man of talent. One should, in one's plans, be directed by the needs of the times - I have no doubts about it."

Thereupon, in consequence, he issued the order to bring waste lands under cultivation.
It goes on with detailed reasoning as to why this is the right move for Qin at the time. In short, they had lots of land that wasn't being fully utilized; by forcing people out of the cities and into the countryside, they would both build up their ability to support an army and the willingness of their population to fight, and then would be able to use that to conquer broadly.

But times have changed; it is not enough to hand a peasant a spear and send him onto the field. The Korean army needs men who know how to manufacture and aim cannons, and the state needs an army of literate bureaucrats. Thus, King In issues the order to cultivate townships across Korea, with the hope that this will lead to economic development and, paradoxically, increased centralization compared to just dumping all royal resources into the capital.

This reform is more like the reforms of the Prussian government, designed to make legible the vastness of the countryside so that everything can be managed directly. Widespread schooling leads to increased literacy, superior tax records, and superior registry of potential soldiers, as well as moving many educated people out into the countryside, where more of their talents will be spent in positive-sum struggle against nature instead of zero-sum struggle against each other.

In's fearsome reputation pays off; once Jianzhou conquers Girin from Haixi, the Koreans threaten war and Jianzhou, powerless to resist, turns the province over to Korean control. This marks a third center of trade, and yet another grains province to feed Korea's growing army, but is otherwise unremarkable.

The remaining years of In's life are spent at peace, drilling troops in preparation for wars against Chinese powers. Jinshi's assistance against the Shogun was to be repaid with Korea's assistance obtaining the Mandate of Heaven from Xi, but as it happened the Mandate passed to Khotan first, and now may pass to Kuru, moving further and further west. Korea's depleted manpower returns and the war loans are paid off. Yan, Korea's longtime rival, is expanding to the North, and Liaoning is historically Korean. Preparations are made to fight for its return In 1478, Exploration ideas are unlocked, and in 1479 cannons are added to the Korean military, much to In's delight.

In 1483, Quest for the New World is unlocked.

Busan, 1472 wrote:
The poster outside the tea house promised excitement, wealth, and the defense of Korea. Some young men crowded around it, mostly to speculate on how they would spend the recruitment bonus. Yun Yonsan sighed inwardly at their faces; many of them had been but infants when the Shogun launched his punitive war on Korean Kyushu, and now they were men, old enough to die on the coasts of Japan like so many others.

"It is only because of Yi In's expansionary wars that the fractious Japanese managed to turn their swords from each other to use on us," his friend complained. "What is the point of conquering a few islands to the East, instead of pressing further north?"

Yonsan had been an officer in the navy, and had left a year ago to visit his elderly mother at her home. His friend was still an officer in the army, part of the skeleton crew at Busan Castle.

"But the north is already enough of a wall; only a few cities of note remain on the border, and then beyond that the Jurchen tribes roam over endless steppes, unable to mount an army that could challenge ours."

"As if there were a Japanese daimyo that could challenge our navy! By such logic, we could ignore the islands as easily as we ignore the steppes."

Yonsan shook his head. "But beyond the islands is only ocean. If we conquered the islands all the way to their eastern shore, then we would have an unreachable fortress, with our navy defending us from invasion by sea and northwestern forts defending us from invasion by land."

"Only ocean? Surely there is eventually something."

"Eventually, sure. You have heard of the Europeans that once paid tribute to the Shu Emperor, before they were deposed by the dastardly state of Xi. Even on their westmost tip, the distance to them by going east is thought to be double that of the distance by going west." He traced out the rough placement of the continent on his teacup.

His friend laughed. "And how do you know that?"

"Do they teach you nothing in the army school? One knows the Earth is shaped like a ball because ships leaving harbor eventually disappear 'beneath' the waves, regardless of what direction they travel in. One can determine its size by measuring the shadows of two identical columns in Busan and Bangneung, and from their different lengths and simple geometry calculate the size of the ball. From the account of European travelers of their journey to kowtow, we can estimate the distance from Leon to Nanjing, and thus see how much space there is between Nanjing and Leon the other way."

His friend nodded, impressed. "But that only tells you that Leon is distant, not that a second Japan doesn't lurk just beyond the first. We know the steppes turn to inhospitable and impassable ice at the top of the ball, and so can be confident that it is enough of a wall. But we haven't even mapped the north coast of Japan, and if you think such islands could pose a threat to us, how can you be so sure?"

Yonsan sat in silence, for a moment. "My friend, you make an excellent point. The Ainu peoples of Hokkaido are even less threatening than the Jurchen, but what lay beyond them is not known to me, or to our king, and yet this bears directly on the defensibility of all of Korea. I have much to think about."

In June of 1484 I succeed at the Recover Manpower mission, and begin preparations for war. Yi In passes in October, and Yi Dan (6/2/6) takes the throne. Raised by a cruel father, Dan's Strict nature is unsurprising, and Dan places the Tsuitsui daisho in a shrine to his father's memory, to symbolize his focus on domestic development over costly foreign wars.

The timing is somewhat amusing, tho, as the last decade of In's reign was peaceful rebuilding, and one year into Dan's reign Jin decides to launch its war on Yan. Korea is called to arms and deploys its armies, rapidly occupying the northern half of Yan.

In 1490, having conquered what I wanted, I peace out. By the session's end at 1502, Jin still doesn't own Daming, suggesting they didn't get what they wanted out of the war, which is somewhat unfortunate.

Since the army is already to the north, a war is declared on Jianzhou and by 1491 the last of their provinces is annexed. This likely represents the end of Korea's expansion directly northward, tho Ilan Hala is an excellent province to have a fort in and is already Confucian.

The Kurils are colonized, and Kamchatka conquered, paving the way for exploration and colonization further north. Yun Yonsan discovers the coast of Alaska in September 1499, just narrowly before Colonialism appears.

By my count, the number of eligible provinces for Colonialism by country were:

Latin Empire 19
Korea 18
Leon 16
Afer 14
England 10
Yngl, Inc 8
Bretonnia 7
The North 2

How did Korea get so high? Well, the requirements for colonialism are 1) a port, 2) 12 dev, 3) the owner has discovered America, and 4) the owner has the second Exploration idea. So here's a development map of Korea after ~20 years of the Seongsi system:

Good ol' Busan; everybody loves Busan.

Yes, that pale orange is 12 dev. Wink On the mainland, I missed only the state of Hamgyeong, which is likely to become a territory anyway (as it's two mountains and a hills, bleh), and hadn't checked to make sure that Kyushu counted (which it does; you only need one land connection, even over straits, to not be considered an island). Sadly, it spawns in Friesland, a lucky roll for KoM. All that development still means Korea is development leader in Asia, beginning to approach the stature of the Quraishids and Kuru, but still distant from Khazaria (and, by extension, the other unmet European powers who are roughly double Korea's development). But it also means that Korea's tech leadership is lost, as it's currently 8-7-8, whereas others have even reached 8-8-9.

The Odes wrote:
He called his superintendent of works;
He called his minister of instruction;
And charged them with the building of the houses.
With the line they made everything straight;
They bound the frame-boards tight, so that they should rise regularly.
Uprose the ancestral temple in its solemn grandeur.
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