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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: 662
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: 662

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: 8,493
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: 662
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: 662

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.
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 8:03:37 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662

I Ching wrote:
This is in fact a moment for which you have been preparing yourself for some time. A powerful energy has been accumulated - imagine a flood pressing against a dam - and it is up to you to direct its flow.

Overall, another good session for Korea.

The session begins with a reassessment of relationships. Korea remains the tributary of Jinshi, as part of their traditional support for the Tang ruler's claim on the Empire, but only pays nominal tribute, as Korea is no longer reliant on Jinshi for defense. Indeed, none of Korea's current neighbors pose much of a threat to it, and so the session is spent in waves of conquest.

This session's first wave of Korean expansion under Dan is mostly unremarkable. In 1503, war is declared on Qi, bringing in their ally Haixi, which had been reduced to a three province minor. Haixi's army is entirely absent, and Qi's smashed in an early battle. After a brief set of sieges Alchuka is annexed and Haixi is forced become Korea's vassal, and then the eastern half of Qi is absorbed.

At the beginning of 1504, war is declared on Yan, which lasts until November 1506. About half of Yan is ceded, and Korea now stretches all the way west to Beijing.

Thankfully, their Korean province names are much less crazy.

In 1510, the island of Hokkaido is annexed from the Ainu without a fight (as their army retreated to their holdings on Honshu), ending the first wave of Korean expansion for the session.

Strict, Well-Connected, Incorruptible, and with 6 admin and military skill, Yi Dan is almost the equal to his forebear Yi Do. All that admin is coming in handy coring this rapid expansion, and incorruptible is useful in dealing with the overextension.

In most runs as Korea, I take Exploration ideas first, because there's a considerable amount of work to do before one can even reach Alaska. This game I instead led with Defensive ideas, and pay the price accordingly--Kagyrgyn finishes colonizing in 1511, meaning I can start work on Alaska twenty years after it opens.

Dan dies in 1514, Seon I taking over. His stats are considerably worse, and I start to fall behind in admin tech, as his 1 means I can't both core all of my gains and advance tech at the regular rate. At least he's also Strict.

The second wave of wars begins in 1517. Korchin and Qi are both annexed, with Cicigar feeding Haixi. Yan is reduced to two provinces in 1520. At this point, Korea has basically reached its full extent on the Asian mainland, with only a few more states to incorporate.

With Eastern Mongolia, my first victory card, in hand, I have enough Vajrayana provinces to begin the harmonization process. I've been holding off on Shinto because my only expansion into Shinto territory so far, Kyushu and Hokkaido, is full of minority culture that I won't be able to convert once I harmonize, and so I've been converting them to Confucianism so that I can absorb Ainu and Kyushuan into Korean and just accept Togoku and Saigoku.

Yi Seon only reigns for ten years, and in 1524 he dies without a direct heir. Tang In, from the same dynasty as the rulers of Jinshi, takes the throne. As one might expect from such an unusual succession, his legitimacy starts out at 20, and because of several events, rapidly hits the minimum. His stats are pretty terrible--below average even after the boost from Prussian government--but he quickly has a son Seon, who is 2/5/6 and thus as soon as Seon comes of age I can abdicate and finally have a good ruler again.

At least Tang In's wife is a strong consort, and has some rather excellent friends. Half cost admin advisor, and it's even useful for colonization? I'll take it.

The third wave of expansion under In II is in the 1530s; a war against Japan brings four provinces, including all of Shikoku and a province on Honshu itself. Haixi expands into most of Yeren, and Jin loses three provinces. At this point, Korea is very nearly approaching its final borders in Asia, with only three states left to complete in the Beijing trade node, and the middle section of Japan to slowly absorb. Haixi now protects Korea's entire northern border, Korea's overlord of Jinshi covers the southern border, Japan to the east has unified, but too late to put up a serious fight, and the shattered states of Jin and Khotan lie to the west. But encroaching ever eastward is Korea's new rival of Khazaria, one of the three empire-tier players who straddles Europe and Asia. Both Khazaria and Korea grew by the same amount of development this session, but the prospects for next session seem quite different--almost all of the development left to eat in Korea's desired borders is in Japan, which might be off limits for a few sessions as AI protection to preserve the player spot. On the other hand, Khazaria can finish eating Khotan, expanding northward into Russia, and southward into the Persia trade node, that unlocks next session.

The Odes wrote:
Large flowed the Jiang and the Han,
And grandly martial looked the troops.
The whole country had been reduced to order,
And an announcement of our success had been made to be king.
When the whole country was pacified,
The king's State began to feel settled.
There was then an end of strife,
And the king's heart was composed.
Posted: Friday, March 09, 2018 8:32:34 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662

I Ching wrote:
There is nothing to be feared from others now. Be neither subservient nor forceful with those you encounter; simply meet everyone with tolerance and gentle goodwill. Those who look for the good in others find it there.

This week I was traveling, and so joined the session from my laptop in a distracting setting, unable to use my mic, and had forgotten my notes of things to do over the course of the session. So I think I misplayed several major things, but at least it’s better than AI running the country.

In early 1540, Tang In II dies and is succeeded by Tang Seon II, who rules throughout the rest of the session. Rather than a chronological recounting of the session, I’ll describe several major threads in brief.


The Harmonization process started last session, and was projected to end in 1557. Thanks to consistently choosing the “harmonize faster!” option in events, it actually finishes in 1547. Shinto is next up, but will have to wait until the Ainu culture is eradicated, which itself will have to wait because I forgot that the first step was developing one of their provinces such that they could be accepted. I’ll want time for my harmony to recover, anyway.

Of note is Se Seo, the advisor from the last province, who featured prominently in many events over the course of the session, mostly resulting in additional administrative power and stability, which was greatly appreciated because of…

Printing Press

As with Colonialism, this is an institution that rewards having many provinces above a particular development level. So I pushed as many provinces as I could up to 15, while keeping enough admin mana in reserve that I would definitely make it to 12 by the time 1550 rolled around. I make it by 1544, with plenty of time left on the clock, and it ends up spawning in a Chinese OPM close to the border.

With my major mana drains finished, I catch up on tech and finish out some idea sets. In 1569, with my 21st idea I get the Korean national ambition of 5% discipline.

Age of Reformation

The Age of Reformation begins in 1549, while I still had several colonies under construction. I think only four or five of my colonies got the ‘developed colonies’ boost, which is sad, but just a continuation of the decision I made earlier to hold off on exploration until the second idea (and not having mountains of cash to pour into extra colonies, like the European explorers did). Speaking of colonies...

Sudal Toji, and other colonies

Naming it ‘otter land’ made sense in the previous game, where the provinces rolled fur as their trade good, but I liked the name enough to keep it around. Korea’s first colonial nation isn’t much, two clusters of provinces along the Aleutian Islands and then at the border between Colonial Alaska and Colonial California.

I also would have spawned the Californian CN this session, except that I forgot it keyed off of 5 cored provinces, and so my uncored provinces taken from natives didn’t count (and I didn’t core them because I wanted the CN to take care of it). Three years after next session’s start, I suppose.

The Mexican CN will also come online early next session, as seven of the provinces in the Colonial Mexico region are in the California trade node, which we’re using to determining unlocks. After that, it’ll be a long wait until the Mexico node unlocks in 1631 (the Australia node, which opens in 1594, may also be of interest, but its trade doesn’t point towards Korea’s main trading port in Nippon or its secondary one in Beijing, and so it’ll only be valuable for the tariffs, and is a better fit for the SE Asian players anyway).

Emperor of China

August 6th, 1574, Hangzhou. Almost three years to the day after Tang Yijun ascended to the throne of Jinshi, he wrests the Mandate of Heaven from distant and trivial Shun. A defeated Sima Jianjun kowtows, acknowledging him as Emperor of China, and presenting his own ceremonial headgear as a gift. Tang Seon is also present, travelling from Hanseong to watch this momentous occasion with gifts of his own. Since the collapse of the Xie dynasty, Korea had backed the Tang of Jinshi, and this was the culmination of that long friendship.

But the actions of the new emperor are something of a surprise; he gives a speech lambasting the concept of the Mandate, which has been irrelevant for more than a century, passing from the Xie dynasty of Shu, defeated by the Tang, through Xi, Khotan, and then Shun, during which time China had arranged itself along new lines. The Tang emperors of Jinshi were emperors in their own right, not because of this broken line of descent.

With that he burned the court hat that had been presented to him by Sima Jianjun, and the shocked onlookers presented their own gifts of fealty. From Korea, a beautifully engraved gun and daisho; from Yue, a censor and chests of incense, from the governors of various provinces, all of the finest things China has to offer.

He returned to his ship and began the trip back home. As they stopped in the port of Nanjing, the ancient capital of Shu, Seon went for a walk through the stately districts with one of his trusted advisors, the Manchu Ma Yeongyang. A battleax of a woman, she had befriended his wife many years ago and had spent the last decade whipping Korea’s army into shape. He found himself replaying the Yijun’s speech in his mind. Something about the scene unsettled him, the 18-year old standing triumphant over the 30-year old lord of Shun, and himself watching from the crowd, about to turn 50. Were they not both Tangs? He was from a lesser branch, to be sure, which had been married into the Yi dynasty of Korea, taking over when that dynasty’s main branch died out. Was not Korea as formidable a state as Jinshi? And if Yijun would shatter the ancient order of China, then on what did the Korean loyalty rest?

“You know,” Yeongyang said, “this really is a nice state, and beyond the cities there are the ports, which control the last bit of the Yellow Sea not under our control. And another of the ancient capitals of China…”

Seon turned to her sharply. “Surely you are not suggesting a war with Jinshi.”

She shrugged. “I am merely observing the facts, like any minister should. This state is important to Korea, regardless of who holds it now.”

Unlucky draw from the victory card deck, it seems.

“Be that as it may, the rightful lord of Nanjing is blood and long our friend. It would take more than envy to upset such a relationship.”

She nodded silently, and they returned to the ships, and to Korea.

The Odes wrote:
The two youths got into their boats,
Whose shadows floated about [on the water].
I think longingly of them,
And my heart is tossed about in uncertainty.

The two youths got into their boats,
Which floated away [on the stream].
I think longingly of them,
Did they not come to harm?

Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018 7:41:20 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662

I Ching wrote:
Turn your attention inward and examine your own thoughts and attitudes for inferior influences and departures from the principles of the Sage. By withdrawing into solitude and refining your higher nature, you continue to grow while all else around you stagnates.

For much of last session, I had been considering a war with Yue over their Californian colonies. With Jinshi focused on expanding Westward, I was the only major power with access to the Western coast of North America, but had forgotten to lock the door behind me by colonizing islands in the Pacific, and so Yue snagged Hawaii and then Miwok, the CoT for California. I had been marshalling troops but unwilling to launch into a war while on my laptop and without doing any testing or diplomacy. But the diplomacy bore fruit, and so instead of a major realignment there was simply a minor one, where Atlassia paid Yue 250d for the loss of its Mexican province and me 600d to not cause trouble for Yue for the session.

I started coring provinces that I should have cored a long time ago at the start of the session, and so three years in Gugwa Sigmul Haean (Conifer Coast, stretching from Seattle down to just north of the San Francisco Bay) becomes a formal colonial nation. New Yue grows over the course of the session to cover the southern half of Colonial California. Geum Toji (Gold Land) also forms in Mexico, expanding into AI that were off limits. (It'll get edited back.)

In 1579 I finish out Quantity ideas, unlocking +50% FL (necessary given that I plan to keep a low number of provinces for the rest of the game, probably only slightly more than 100). I fight a brief war with Japan to humiliate them, which ends in 1580, and eclipse them as a rival.

In preparation for the unlock of Mexico next session, I begin the hunt for the Seven Cities, and pass by some Leonese explorers in the Pacific Northwest. By the end of the session I've gotten a bunch of prestige form having a dog explore with me, but heard nary a rumor of gold, and only the Hudson Bay remains unexplored.

Xiaoren is perhaps my favorite event in EU4, and one of the nicest things about Confucianism, even though the costs are serious enough that it's probably pretty well balanced. My heir at the time was 1/5/5, which is below average before adding in Prussian government, and replacing him with a younger 5/6/4 is well worth it. (Only four more monarch points, but that combined with the reduction in age is significant, and admin mana is probably my weakest at present.) My elderly king is immediately appointed to military command.

In 1485, Jinshi releases Korea from tributary status, and the states quickly become allies instead. Earlier, I had more Great Power points than they did, and didn't want to kick them off of the list; in 1485, in part because of the tech cost from Printing Press, Jinshi had risen to a comfortable 5th.

In 1590, Tang Seon dies and is succeeded by Tang Yonsan, with his brother Tang Sun immediately named crown prince. A few months later, I embrace Printing Press and become a Great Power.

In 1596, my truce with Japan has expired, and I discover that the Shoguness is a 16-year-old 6/6/6. (The chat suggested, 'make her your wife!', but sadly this isn't CKII) Hosokawa Ina, despite her impressive talents, presides over Japan's decline. Owari, Japan's most developed province at the time, is seized, as well as Ise, location of the Grand Shrine. Once this truce expires, the center of Japan will be seized, ending the Shogunate (as Kyoto will no longer be in their hands) and cutting them in two.

In 1600, Global Trade unlocks, landing in the Genoa trade node to no one's surprise, and Cagliari to the surprise of Dragoon (as Ranger had managed to get just slightly more trade power than Dragoon in the node). Knowing that it would appear on the other side of the world, I had prepared to develop it in Korea, tho Global Trade is pretty good at spreading globally (since basically every center of trade will have non-trivial growth).

In part I just had lots of mana waiting to be spent, and was looking for an excuse to finally enact this policy. So long as I keep developing at least 3 provinces a year, it's worth keeping around, and that seems like a highly likely rate. Hanseong joins the ranks of global cities, reaching 35 development, and Chikuzen grows to 40. The six cities of note in Korea are Chikuzen (40), Gyeonju (38), Gaizhou (37), Hanseong (35), Beijing (32), and Owari (31).

This development also puts me over 1k, and so I become an Empire. The cultural union is a joke, as Korean is the only culture in the Korean culture group, but the extra 5 states will be rather helpful in absorbing the rest of Japan.

In 1604, I unlock admin tech 17, the University, and promptly build many. At -20% dev cost, universities are a major part of my plan to play tall and are worth splendor in Age of Absolutism. Since I bought two splendor objectives in that age, achieving the objectives as soon as possible seems highly important, and basically my only options are Multiple Universities and Potential for a Large Army, with High Absolutism and Multicultural Nation perhaps being available later.

In 1605, with Kysuhuan and Ainu culture both eradicated (tho a handful of Ainu live on in Sakhalin) and my harmony raised to a sufficiently high level, I can safely begin to harmonize Shinto.

The session ends in 1607 and the future looks promising for Korea. Mexico unlocks next session, along with several other trade nodes, and my colonial nations seem well-poised to pounce. I suspect that Mexico will indeed grow into one of the major nations of the Americas, which will probably mean a GP come Vicky; currently unplayed, it's open to anyone who's interested in joining the game.

The Odes wrote:
Very grand is the ancestral temple; -
A true sovereign made it.
Wisely arranged are the great plans; -
Sages determined them.

What other men have in their minds,
I can measure by reflection.
Swiftly runs the crafty hare,
But it is caught by the hound.

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