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An Exhortation to Learning Options · View
Posted: Saturday, September 09, 2017 9:20:59 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662
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.)

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.

Most important of these 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:

Also of note is that in this timeline, Korea became the primary destination for Jews fleeing persecution and seeking better opportunities in the East. Like the Kaifeng Jews, they have significantly Koreanized over the centuries while maintaining their distinct religion. Highly concentrated in what few urban areas Korea has, in game we’re representing this by the province of Gyeonju, Korea’s most developed province, home to the port of Busan. (The Zoroastrians, being driven out of Persia by Muslim conquests and conversions, are following, like the Parsis who settled in India during our timeline, but haven’t yet arrived in sufficient numbers to be represented in a province.)


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

China, the cradle of civilization, is ruled by a weak emperor. Each of the Four Ancient Capitals of China has a different ruler, though all pay tribute to the Ming Emperor.

Nanjing is where the Ming make their home, and is the highest development province in the world.

Beijing is the capital of the state of Yan, ruled by Hu Houxi. It likewise is a jewel of great renown. (As part of shattering Ming, we assume the Yongle Emperor did not actually manage to move the capital.)

Luoyang, in the state of Xi, is ruled by Shang Song.

Xi’an, in the state of Shun, is ruled by Qiu Cijiang.

Further south, Hangzhou is ruled by the state of Tianlan. Most prosperous of the states that are partially independent of Ming, it is a power to be watched, hungry for the Empire.

To the East, Japan is likewise shattered, with the many daimyo all vying for the Shogunate, to ‘serve’ a powerless emperor. But an empire divided seeks to reunite.

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, September 11, 2017 1:36:00 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662

I Ching wrote:
The image of the hexagram Li is that of fire clinging to the wood that it burns. Without a supply of fuel, there can be no fire. Likewise, a person without a source of spiritual sustenance cannot give off light in dark and challenging times.

It is a time for moderation in every thing. Moderation of enthusiasm keeps you balanced. Moderation of despair deepens your understanding.

A true change of heart is possible when we accept the necessity of adversity. Peace comes when we discontinue the strivings of the ego.

A very eventful session for Korea. One of EU4's mechanics that I pay close attention to is the 'state' system, where you have a limited number of provinces that are fully useful, with the remainder being only a quarter useful. But the limit is state-by-state, not a fixed number of provinces; thus Southern Korea, with five provinces, adds much more development possibility than Hamgyeong, with three. Korea begins the game with two 5s, a 4, and two 3s; its immediate expansion opportunities are mostly 5s and 4s. (Contrast to Japan, which is mostly 3s with the occasional 4.) But this included some states that I would have to race others for--if Yan or Liang takes Shandong, then it becomes that much harder to take myself and harder to claim is a natural extension of Korea. It's not quite what the I Ching was suggesting, but I spent much of this session attempting to accumulate fuel (of the worldly sort).

Yi Do starts with Free Thinker and tactical genius; I decided to overwrite tactical genius (+1 maneuver for generals, meh) with Scholar in order to get a random option for the third. (In SP, I often get something like -10% construction cost). Sadly, in the only game that matters I got greedy (-10% tax income). We'll pretend this represents the high cost of his scholastic pursuits.

Why couldn't it be like CKII's greedy. Sad

His heir Hyang is also pretty poor, but there are ways to solve that.

He serves honorably (he gets +1 siege, and is otherwise comparable with the estate-granted general) and dies at some point (sadly, I didn't get a screencap of that).

1445 passes uneventually, besides building up to my forcelimit. Jianzhou to the north is weak, but has friends and enemies; the time to pounce is when they're in a war they can't handle. I discover that Qi to the west is astoundingly weak--apparently KoM forgot to grant them a military or something--and by late 1446 I've fabricated a claim on Laizhou which I translate into annexing their whole state of Shandong. (Five provinces, all of which were farmland, and two of which produce grain, that key enabler of force limits).

See that 40 AE?

In single player tests, I had typically allied Xi; now Xi is a player, who did not take kindly to my expansion into China. The 40 aggressive expansion is enough to wipe out the +25 same religion bonus, meaning Xi could quickly assemble a coalition and launch the first Chinese-Korean punitive war.

The war lasts for two years and was, I think, in Korea's favor in the short-term but not the long-term. Yan had lost control of most of their provinces, and Korea (even Shandong, I think) was untouched. A series of battles fought in Beijing (I believe) ended in Korea's favor, but just barely, with significant losses on both sides. Feeling the need to prepare for an expedition against the Manchu tribes, and expecting that the second set of battles would not be as mismanaged by the AI, I pursued peace with Xi.

Originally we struck a deal that would have given me Liaoning and I would have released Qi as a vassal; for some reason we weren't able to actually transfer Liaoning, so we went with a white peace instead, followed by an alliance and a royal marriage.

Which resulted in me getting a pretty nice consort.

During the first punitive war, the Renaissance begins (in the deserts of Mali, leading to a very slow spread outward). I had held off on beefing Gyeongju up to the point where Judaism could be harmonized until that would give me Renaissance points, and then invested until it was at 20 and promptly began harmonizing, which takes an exorbitant amount of time.

The Southwestern border secure, the army returns to the Northern Front, where I've accumulated the espionage to fabricate claims on three provinces and get a fourth claim from a mission. The bloody Korean Conquest of Jianzhou ends quickly with Jianzhou reduced to a three province minor.

While at war, Korea gets level 5 admin tech and selects exploration for the first idea set. It doesn't go particularly well; with the armies needed to deal with Jurchen rebels in the north, Pangasinan is overwhelmed by natives. (I went with Native Trading policy as most of the early places I can drop colonies have high populations, making the assimilation bonus pretty excellent, but as a middle-of-the-road strategy it lacks the speed of repression or the fire-and-forget of coexistence.)

After the war, Tianlan comes to the aid of Korea, which desperately needed more admin power to incorporate their new gains:

Xi's continued expansion to the southeast wedged Tianlan between Xi and Ming; walled in, Tianlan declared war. This put Korea in an awkward situation; allied to the defenders and married to the attackers, and with manpower reserves depleted from wars with the Manchu tribes, Korea answered the defensive call to arms but could only send forth the Korean fleet, which contributed to Xi's other war by sieging down Canton. (Somehow this earned me 23 favors.) This war takes two years and ends in another white peace (which earns me only 2 favors).

In 1458, Yan, in coalition with the Jurchen tribes, declares the second Chinese-Korean punitive war. This time Xi is on the Korean side, and puts their excellent general (Tang Xiang) to good use, and Tianlan accepts an alliance and also devotes their fresh army to the cause.

The session ends on July 1st, 1460. Yi Do is 60, his daughter Hyohye (an acceptable 4/4/4) is 7. All of Liang as well as much of Yan is occupied by Xi, but northern Korean is completely occupied and the coalition outnumbers the allies about 53k to 39k. If the stacks were in one area, and the terrain were on the side of the allies, perhaps; but it seems likely Korea will buy off the coalition with a king's ransom in gold and peace will be restored in Manchuria. In other news, the Uesugi shogunate has united much of Japan, and will likely finish the job next session, bringing yet another power into the mix.
Posted: Monday, September 18, 2017 7:52:40 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662

I Ching wrote:
A person who travels as a stranger in a strange land is wise to display an attitude free of arrogance and belligerence. Otherwise he is liable to meet with trouble and find himself unable to survive it.

Seek now to stay in quiet harmony with the Higher Power and to embody caution, modesty, and generosity in your actions. Do not drag out disagreements with others; conflict is a poison that grows more dangerous every minute you are in it.

The wanderer should not involve himself with inferior things. Cling to the essential and the correct in your thoughts and actions.

"Even with the coalition forces sieging Hejian, victory lies within our grasp." O Sado, one of Korea's top generals, said as he gestured at the war table. "We simply redeploy our army to Beijing and together with our allies we outnumber them--"

"That army is for the liberation of the North," another official interrupted angrily. "We shouldn't pull it out until at least Gangneung is back in our hands."

"But then our allies will be at risk! Until we outnumber them we should focus on their armies, not our lands."

"Enough." At the king's word both fell silent. "We shall seek a third path." He gestured towards Yun Ye. "You will take an honor guard and the treasury to Yan. Let us end this war immediately."

At the end of the last session, there was a large coalition war hanging over my head; every nation to the north was sick of Yi Do's wars of expansion. Xi coming to Korea's aid turned the tide, and Tianlan joining in also helped significantly. But there were 50k dead on each side, the Allies were outnumbered, and a huge slog remained to get enough warscore to actually take any provinces. So instead I simply paid up.

I also had been very worried about the size of my military--down to about 6k troops in field, with no manpower, I worried that a newly unified Japan might come knocking. But the 5k AAR reward, plus about another 5k from the Noble estate, meant that I was back up to full strength relatively quickly. I had met with trouble, and survived it.

The beginning of the session was quiet rebuilding. At a decent spot in tech, I focused on bringing the Renaissance to Asia. Gyeongju is, even at the end of session, the highest development province in the East, narrowly edging out Hangzhou. (Globally, Barad Dur tops the list at 41, Patna and Soyo have 40, and then Gyeongju and Stockholm have 37.)

In March of 1465, I get my first explorer and begin filling in the map. By the end of the session, the coast of Alaska is visible (and I accrue splendor accordingly). Appropriate, when the divination for the session was "The Wanderer."

The army had been sent to the Phillipines, where under its protection (and thanks to some helpful events) Pangasinan finally finishes colonization (in 1467).

Hyohye, Do's eldest daughter, young enough to be his granddaughter, is a balanced and competent ruler. But her father casts a long shadow that she cannot quite match, and he closely involves himself and Korea's finest minds in her education. The pressure leads to high performance, but at a cost.

Every ruler trait I've rolled so far has been negative. Sad But three out of three doesn't mean too much.

Uesugi finishes their major unification war; two tiny daimyo remain subservient, but otherwise the map of Japan is painted white. The foretold Japanese meddling on the coast comes--but as Uesugi is allied to Korea, it is a war against Yeren and Haixi. The peace with Haixi gives most of their land to Korea; the peace with Yeren in May of 1475 gives Japan the coast of the state of North Ilan Hala but otherwise further consolidates Korea.

A few short years later, in July of 1479, Yi Do dies at the venerable age of 79. Under his rule, Korea has over doubled in size. It has gone from a backwater to the (local) birthplace of the Renaissance, with a city to surpass any in the Orient. His ambitions came at a cost--not for nothing did some call him greedy--but at his death the people wept for days. The new queen is 26; her younger brother Yi Jung is not fit for the kingship (4/2/0), and so immediately appointed to a generalship and sent into the field.

He does well for himself fighting rebels, following in the footsteps of his elder brother Hyang.

In early 1484, the harmonization of Judaism completes. This encompasses both an incorporation of Confucian thought into the philosophy and religion of the Jews in Korea, aided by translations into Hebrew, and widespread adoption of some Jewish practices. Most notably, the expectation that every person in a synagogue read to the congregation is a natural fit for Korea's growing literacy, and the chavrusa approach to studying the Confucian classics electrifies the education of Korean bureaucrats. One imagines the melding of the two traditions in Gyeongju to have caused the sparking of the Renaissance, as well as heavy reinvestment of the community into the new region they call home.

Though really, this makes more sense as translating the Hebrew classics into Korean, since they're already Korean culture.

The view from Korea, in October 1485:

A solid wall of Korean control divides the steppes, and Korea has colonies both tropical and arctic. There are fewer and fewer minors in Asia; Yan will soon lose its last few states and be incorporated completely into Korea. Tianlan owns nearly the entire coast, Xi most of the interior, Candravamsas nearly all of the Bengal trade node, and Uesugi all of Japan (if you count subjects). Ming survives as a one province minor, but is still the Emperor of China. Next session, we unlock colonization of the New World, and Korea stands ready to continue its arctic colonization in Alaska, while the other Asian powers keep their local focus.
Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 1:45:01 AM
 Lieutenant Colonel

Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 662

I Ching wrote:
The image of this hexagram is that of a tree growing high on a mountain top. If this tree grows too fast, without first properly rooting itself, it becomes susceptible to being torn up and destroyed by the winds. If, however, it establishes a proper foundation and is content to grow gradually, it will enjoy a long life and a lofty view.
After the massive growth of the last session, for much of the early session I was struggling with rebels, and for the later bits involved with wars such that I never fully retained my balance. The winds were unkind to Korea, but not as unkind as they could have been, and it was mostly my mistakes with army management that kept my forces low.

Despite the rebels, the first order of business was expansion in the northeast. That gave me two important things: a gateway to Alaska (as Kagrygyn's port is unbelievably closer to Alaska than Penzhina's) and an infusion of cash.

All together, something like 500 ducats is looted from the tribes, which was almost enough to embrace the Renaissance on its own.

I apparently forgot to screenshot the end of the war with Chavchuveny.

Second order of business was beginning the harmonization of Vajrayana buddhism, present in the state of Eastern Mongolia. It gives +5% production efficiency, which is (for some unclear reason) also used for determining settler chance, meaning it's important to get that underway quickly. My harmony was already somewhat low because of harmonizing Judaism, and I also have Zoroastrianism to harmonize next--I decided that, well, harmony can't go below 0, and so I'm going to both convert a lot of Tengri provinces (useful for getting the '10 provinces converted' that grants splendor in the Age of Reformation, as well as getting more true faith provinces, and Tengri, as part of the animist group, only gives -0.5 unrest if harmonized) and harmonize Vajrayana followed by Zoroastrianism, and then recover back up to high harmony.

In 1489, Korea is the first in the immediate area to embrace the Renaissance, though Candravamsas has had it for all of the session.

Xi was subbed this session, and the sub didn't have the mod ready at the start time, and so as per the rules was picked up in a rehost at the 30 minute mark. Unfortunately, during that time AI Xi decided to take the mandate from Ming, and in 1487 Yue Shuang becomes Emperor. He dies within the year, and Bai Luzhen (presumably a consort) takes over. With three roughly equally powerful players in China, the mandate is something of a white elephant--the other players are unlikely to bend the knee, and then you’re looking at steady mandate loss.

After the rehost, now that it has a player, Xi is attacked by Tianlan. Unlike their previous wars, this one is for the mandate, which would result in a truly crippling modifier. Korea’s armies are scattered to deal with rebels and Northerners, but a 6k stack starts sieging in Jiangsu.

At the start of the war, Xi has a 27k stack (impressive, given that they started the session with only about 6k men) and Tianlan has two stacks of approximately 20k each, which are split to attack Xi from the east and South. But the opportunity to strike while they’re separated passes, and afterwards the two stacks are rarely more than a province apart as they walk through Xi. An attempt to siege down Hangzhou has to be called off, and the war proceeds inexorably.

The rest of the Korean army finally arrives, evening out the numbers, but the war is already at a late stage; Xi’s forts, taken by Tianlan, prevent the Korean army from joining the Xinese army and forcing a major battle. Tianlan, uninterested in fighting an even war, peaces out Korea for some provinces in Jiangsu, which will eventually lead to Korea holding its victory card there. Tianlan takes the eastern half of Xi, reaching a staggering 170% overextension, and forgets to take the Mandate.

This leads us to the 1490s. In 1491, Korea advances to miltech 8, leading to Asian Arquebusiers. Hyohye, now renowned as a conqueror, pays close attention to the education of military leaders to ensure that they correctly use this new technology.

Korea has two colonists in Alaska, slowly working their way eastward. Exploration ideas are finished in 1496, activating Korea's third national idea. As per the Scholar idea set, this is now an additional 10% reduction in each of the tech costs; add on to Korea's traditions of -10% tech cost, and it's no wonder that Korea ends the session as tech leader, with level 9 in all three techs. (I'm aware of four others at 26, and many have miltech 9, so it's not a huge edge.)

I had thought, at the start of the session, about investing a bunch of mana into getting as many of my ports as possible to 12 development, to increase the chance of colonialism spawning in one of my provinces. I decided to instead invest it in other things, and colonialism spawns in western France. This provides the opportunity to boost Suwon, the new home of Zoroastrianism (which has been banished from the Middle East), up to 20 dev so that it can eventually be harmonized. Once the first colonial nation comes online, it'll be about four years from finishing--which might be too slow, and so I may bump Suwon up further next session. (Low harmony is biting me here, with the 25% penalty, but it's mostly just canceling out other bonuses.)

In 1504, Hyohye becomes Expansionist, giving a much-needed boost to settlement. The Highly Developed Colonies boost gives +3 dev to colonies when they finish... so long as we're still in the Age of Discovery, which likely will come to an end shortly.

In 1507, the unmarried queen finally marries a Korean noble. What would have been normal if the genders are reversed is instead somewhat scandalous--she's 54, he's 16. At about the same time, Korea gets another female heir. Since Hyohye is too old to have children of her own, we'll assume she had an unmentioned daughter, who married Prince-Consort Jang Gyeong, and then died in childbirth, and so now the grandchild is heir apparent with her father as potential regent. Or maybe I should go with her robbing the cradle and having a miracle baby?

Also, there are apparently only two female names in EU4's Korean culture list, so this one is also called Hyohye. She's a mediocre 2/4/2, which is at least better than Yi Jung who she replaced, who had passed away some time ago.

In 1508, Xi loses a war for the Mandate of Heaven to Hsenwi, an unremarkable nation in Indochina that's allied to Candravamsas (Khan, absent for this session). Korea answered the call to arms but couldn't do much against Candravamsas, and so just knocked out Hsenwi's army and retreated, which wasn't enough. Now with the crippling penalty for having lost the mandate, Xi is rent asunder by rebels, with four different separatist movements with armies greater than the main government's, and the Civil War disaster well on its way to happening.

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