Category Archives: Song of the Dead

Our Doom and Our Pride: Eternal Fortress, Strong to Save

  • Second Bohemian War: Fought basically as outlined above, including the hyperbolic initial demands (Vinland and a list of states (not provinces!) that took up three lines of the chat), attack while I was busy in the Americas, defeat in and occupation of Germany, and incredibly lopsided defense of Finland at the Fortress City of Viborg, which by the way is now a thing.
  • Rocky Mountains War: The reason I was “busy in the Americas”, this was Golle’s and my misguided attempt to take some of Korea’s colonies. It turned out that not only does Korea have Space Marines – my troops could handle them, I believe – but also that Korea’s ally Occitania, which also has pretty good troops, had its entire allowed colonial force already in the Americas when we attacked. Between me and Golle we could obviously isolate France from the Americas, but that doesn’t really help when they’ve already shipped their troops across; and while my army is a match for either Korea’s or Occitania’s, I was outnumbered by the two of them together and the British Army seems unaccountably to have issued its units flashlights and T-shirts instead of proper smoothbore muskets and heavy woolen uniforms. Even so, we might have made a go of it if not for the treacherous very well-timed attack by Bohemia, supported by Leon. I lost my Hudson Bay colonies in the peace treaty.
  • Imperial Vassal Swarm: It turns out that there was, actually, some method to Yami’s apparent madness with the HRE: When you stack that many member states together, you can get a force limit nearing the full million – noting that Dragoon, the first power of Europe, has about half a million – plus something like 300k vassal troops; I confess it was a bit disheartening to see a Great Power’s worth of regiments descending on Finland in addition to Bohemia’s army and Leon’s mercenaries. I did recover a bit when it turned out that the Imperial vassals had the same military contractor as Britain, though – the lowest bidder, no doubt.
  • Viipuri kestää: I’ll just put up some screenies. Have a look at the casualties.

First Viborg, in which I smashed the Leonese field force.

Second Viborg, in which the Emperor led the siege personally to see that it was done right. And to give him his due the approach trenches were very professionally dug; my troops were immensely jealous of the splendid graves the Imperial troops were getting, with the nice straight walls and seven-foot depth!

Third Viborg, in which one of my stacks was caught without support by the entire Imperial army. Note the casualties in spite of this. And fear not, the ensuing siege lasted only the couple of weeks until I could bring up some other stacks; Viborg holds!

The Battle of Lauenburg (early in the war), in which the Leonese expeditionary force drove off my German garrison with no more than 2-to-1 odds (well, three to one in infantry) – their finest moment of the war.

A small counterattack out of Viborg.

Final result of the war. I assume that Yami’s corresponding popup was also labeled ‘Defeat’ in spite of the territories he gained.

Eurasia, 1772. Bohemia’s two new states form horns on a man (troll?) walking northwards, that mountain range is his arm and his nose points towards the Baltic.

Americas, 1772. Note the expansion of Korea.


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Our Doom and Our Pride: Brother’s Shield in Danger’s Hour

  • Not a Numerous People, and Nobody Loves Us: The history of the Ynglings, in the original Great Game timeline, is of course a completely logical extrapolation from the ingame events, devoid of authorial intent and merely following the dialectic in its inevitable working; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But some unkind people have suggested that it is not completely irrelevant that I was reading the Draka series at the time. Whatever the truth of that, it seems to be the case that the Ynglings, like the Draka, have a gift for making themselves unpopular wherever they go. In this game year 1746 we have 17 players, of whom 16 are not me; and of these, exactly half, eight people, have me as one of their rivals. And even this is somewhat down from the peak, when I had thirteen enemies – surely an unlucky number, in itself entirely sufficient to account for the Yngling Rike’s low position in the ranks of the Great Powers.

    Diplomatic position of the Ynglinga Rike.

  • The Dragon Wakes: It is generally good, in these megacampaigns, to have one or two loose-cannon players who will attack anyone, break up hugboxes, and stab any carelessly-exposed kidneys, just to shake things up a bit. Our Japanese player, Mark, is just such a one. In this particular week his greedy, beady little eyes happened to land on the Dragon of the East, China, then fifth of the Great Powers of the world, but first among the Asians; but this is random. Like the excellent loose cannon that he is, Mark might have chosen anyone for his target – any Asian, at least; our force-projection rules probably prevent any really efficient stabbing across the world oceans. Be that as it may, the chosen target was China, and the stabbers were Japan, Korea, Malaya, England – and the mercenary soldiers of the Latin Empire, a hundred thousand strong, probably the finest infantry in the world; but to the nations of Asia, an outside force, the first time that Europeans have been brought in to settle Asian disputes. Empires have ended thus; civilisations too; once the barbarians pass the border, “allies” or no allies, it is only a question of time before they tread the jeweled thrones under their sandalled feet.

    And then, having carefully arranged the war with overwhelming force and subtle treachery, Mark did not show up for the session.

    The remaining allies went ahead anyway: China stood alone, and they had the finest infantry in the world on their side; how difficult could it be? The demands were for nine provinces, carefully chosen to make a hundred percent of warscore. The invasion crossed the Luan He river, half a million strong, and were met by Chinese and Ayutthayan troops, also half a million strong; for China did not stand alone, and the allied war plan had not survived even to reach contact with the enemy. With Japan, the invaders might still have been sufficient to crush the Chinese armies swiftly and dictate their peace; as it was, there were three years of grinding, attritional war, and no end in sight.

    Until now I have been relating consensus history, dry agreed-upon facts. We now come to points of contention, areas where there is no consensus even of fact, much less law or morality. One side claims that the war was a gangbang, and the offered terms of peace crippling, that they would have made China helpless against the inevitable next war, and would necessarily end with one fewer Power in Asia. The other side claims that (without Japan) the war was even, and that there were no plans for another war and, moreover, in the next one the Latin Empire with its invincible Janissaries would stay out, leaving the fight as a purely Asian affair which even a reduced China would be well able to handle. You must form your own judgement of these competing claims, making note that one is presented by a Dragon Throne which is not noted for its attention even to verisimilitude, much less truth, when there is propaganda to be had; and the other is the work of the literal Prince of Lies, the Dragon that was hurled down from Heaven. At any rate, we in Europe who are of old acquainted with the work of our local Dragon, we believed – in the fog of war, and with time pressing – that a war of five players against two was indeed a gangbang, and that if the terms were not of themselves crippling they were certainly a good start at a cascading takedown. We intervened.

    Four nations of Europe declared their intention to defend China from partition and the Long Night: The Ynglinga Rike, Occitania, Leon, and Atlassia. We declared war on Malaya, bringing in its ally Korea and avoiding direct war with the Latin Empire; which was a mistake, as Dragoon simply turned about and allied himself directly with Malaya, then invaded Iberia across the Pyrenees, forcing the much-vaunted Roncesvaux Line (three layers of level-8 fortresses, mostly in mountains) in a year of blood and bombardment. Meanwhile, however, the invasion of the Malayan home islands had forced that reluctant conscript from the ranks of the invaders, and the combined Leonese and Yngling navies had gained control of the Indian and Chinese seas. The Yngling troops that had reduced Malaya to asking for an armistice were marching up the Yellow River, and meanwhile the Eight Banner Armies stood, as they had stood for four years, close to the prewar border, now drawn in blood, where the northern capital had changed hands five times.

    The facts remained, nonetheless, that the Janissaries of the Latin Empire are the finest infantry in the world, and that China’s casualties had run well into the millions. The Legions stood in Barcelona, and without the Leonese navy control of the seas might be lost. When the Koreans offered improved terms, the Chiense accepted, ending the greatest war this history has seen. Macau is a Treaty Port, and the Korean border has moved a few dozen miles southwards, towards Beijing; the total territorial changes might, or then again they might not, be sufficient to give each of the dead six feet of land. But were they tall men and needed seven, they would be out of luck.

  • Border Rectification Agreement: There were some states on my border with Bohemia that were, annoyingly, incomplete; a matter of six provinces. I decided to fix them. In addition to my territorial demands, I required Bohemia to build an army capable of fighting me seriously; Yami assured me – and I could hear the sincerity in his voice – that he would definitely do so. I have altered our borders; pray I do not alter them further.

    Two selected battles of the session – one immense attritional slaughter that would not look out of place in the twentieth century, involving the finest infantry in the world; one cuddly little border skirmish against some random Germans.

  • Copyrighted Unit Types: This isn’t an ingame tech, but it should be; when our player Dragoon is commanding the Latin Empire, then anyone else who uses the “Latin Dragoon” cavalry is clearly in breach of copyright, or at least trademark, and anyone found doing so will be required to pay reparations.

Eurasian players, 1746 – Korea missing although it was in fact subbed during the session.

Americas, 1746.

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Our Doom and Our Pride: Calm Amidst its Raj Did Sleep

The ninth session was not without events of interest, but no major player drama:

  • France Is Away, Post Cheese-Eating Memes: Khan was absent and subbed by new player Mike The Knight, who – since Khan has gone silent in all forms of communication known to man with the possible exception of smoke signals – will be taking over Occitania. He is, clearly, perfectly suited to do so by virtue of his name, for Occitania must necessarily be the centerpiece of any anti-Dragoon coalition; and for this task there can be no more auspicious name than ‘Michael’, who cast the Dragon out of Heaven:

    And there was war in Heaven, and Michael fought, and his angels; and the Dragon fought, and his angels; and prevailed not! Neither was their place found any more, in Heaven.

    The only possible improvement would be ‘Thor’, who once pulled the Midgard Serpent out of the sea, and who on Vigrid field will fight the monster, kill it, and be killed in turn by its venom. But as much as I despise the religion of slaves, one must be practical: Most of Europe is Christians of one stripe or another; the one exception outside Scandinavia worships the pansy Greek versions of the Indo-European pantheon, and both sexes shave. Sadly, Michael will probably inspire more courage on the field of battle against the finest army in Europe than Thor, even though Thor has a much better beard. All of which being said, if you’re reading this between me posting it and game time on the 22nd, and your name is Thor or a reasonable variant, feel free to pop up in our Discord and claim your free Occitanian player slot.

  • Raj Against the Dying of the Right: The off-limits rule for India expired in 1700, and all of Europe descended like the wolf on the fold; in fall of 1699 the waters around the subcontinent were filled with two-deckers and merchantment, waiting for January when they could offload their soldiers and begin the conquest. The actual fighting was over by March or so, when it became a question of who would occupy what, and how the various alliances could maneuver to maximise their share and get reasonably contiguous borders. The Ynglings came out of it with four provinces, but good ones, around Coromandel; the major winners were Dragoon, who got the southern tip (including Ceylon) as a vassal and territory up the spine, and Hadogei, who got most of the Ganges valley and the central region. Some salt was shed here, Hadogei feeling that his long patience as an Indian power entitled him to dominate the subcontinent, and everyone else feeling that if he thought so, he was welcome to bring an army to back it up, or even better, reliably show up every week to build that army.

    Vultures waiting for the word.

  • Oh Why, Oh?: In 1720 the Ohio trade node opened, but the land rush was less noticeable since it had to be conducted with colonists. Aside from the African interior which won’t open until Vicky, that leaves only Hudson Bay and the Plains region, both of which open in 1744. The off-limits mechanic has, I think, worked well to give everyone a chance to colonise and shoot natives; there’s been much more competition, less of a first-mover advantage, and less monopolisation of the colonial game than I’ve seen in previous Great Games. Nevertheless we might move up the schedule a bit next time.

    Eurasia, 1720; India is partitioned among the outside powers.

    Americas, 1720; note new player Astat in the 13 Colonies.

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    Our Doom and Our Pride: Angry Tumult Cease

    • Wait on Thee to Trouble It: Obviously there was going to be a coalition against Dragoon; I mean, why wouldn’t there be a coalition against Dragoon? He’s the biggest power, he’s recently fought against most of the secondary powers surrounding him, and his name is ‘Dragoon’, which is a very weak disguise for the fact that he is, in fact, the Dragon, that is to say, the Serpent, the tempter, the one who prevailed not against Michael when there was war in Heaven. Alas, this world is given into his power until the Second Coming, and he goes to and fro in the Earth, and walks up and down in it, his wicked works to accomplish. And this week he breathed temptation and fear into the heart of some weak player, and was told of the plot against him; and Took Steps. And Khan was called away from the game, and could not attend; and without the two hundred regiments of Occitania, the coalition dared not fight. And Dragoon went to each of the allies alone, and spoke of his terrible wrath; but spoke also soothingly, saying that for a mere token, not half the tribute he would extract in a true war, he would sign peace. And behold it was so; and the remains of Yngling Mexico were given over to Zirotron, and some other tributes also were paid; and there was peace in Europe, where the Dragon prevailed.
    • Internal Narrative Dissonance: I just realised that the severely Christian metaphors of the previous paragraphs don’t match my usual narrative point-of-view in which the Norse religion is taken as obviously true and I refer to the White Christ and the religion of slaves. That’s because I’m immensely tired as I write this, having been run ragged by the Children of Men, and have gotten a Christian slave intern to write my AAR.
    • Matter of Spain: I said there was peace in Europe, which wasn’t entirely accurate; Dragoon allied with Leon to extract a price from Khan (ably subbed by Vaniver), and took the bit of Occitania that stuck out into Iberia. Thus Leon has its Pyrenees border.
    • Pivot to Hardware: I disgustedly gave up on war and diplomacy, and turned to more peaceful matters; I finally managed to get a good exponential manufactory growth going, and now have manus all over Scandinavia, where they feed my English Channel trade. I also built a large number of universities.
    • Promo Process Reform: I changed the internal promotion procedures of Yngl, Inc, allowing people into the management track (for satellite offices) even if they don’t speak Norse. Thus I gained the Splendor bonus from having multiple promoted cultures.
    • Comoro War: I tried to participate in the partition of Kilwa, I really did. I bought a South African colony from Atlassia (subbed by Gutrage) for the range, and declared war even before my claim fabrication procced. I still wasn’t fast enough; Tazzzo and Vaniver split the whole coastline, and I ended up taking the utterly useless Comoro islands – and to get even that much I had to march an army overland from the Kongo, since both of them refused to give me mil-access. (The Kilwan interior will remain off-limits until Victoria). I suppose I got a little closer to India, but what I actually wanted was gold, ivory, and interns.
    • Pacific War: Yes, that’s a contradiction in terms, I can’t help what they named the ocean. The Asian powers conspired against Khan, and declared war for his colonies in the Pacific (including on the best coast of America); Vaniver sent his fleet and the largest army allowed by the rules, somewhere around 50-60 regiments – but he was fighting the whole of Asia, several hundred regiments total. Incensed at this treatment of our ally, who’d already had a rough session what with being attacked by Dragoon, Golle and I entered the war on Occitania’s side. (In terms of Realpolitik, honestly, we might have been better off joining the other side, and snapping up Occitania’s Atlantic colonies. But we were somewhat annoyed at the gangbang of five players against one, the one being subbed, and the five being an Asian hugbox.) We sent our respective fleets – mine, unfortunately, still in the process of rebuilding after the disastrous War of the Appointed Limits last session; I had held off until Dip 23, so as not to build ships that would quickly need upgrading – and I sent 40 regiments, not quite the maximum allowed by my force limit of slightly over 200. There were several successive naval battles off Sarawak, in which the Ynglinga Leidangsflåte blazed its old glory by defeating successive waves of lightly-armed Asian ships before finally succumbing to the sheer immense numbers of them; then the Royal Navy came in and blew the Asians out of the water. Meanwhile my 40 regiments had landed in Malaya, where they proceeded to fight a classic colonial campaign – that is to say, machine guns against muskets, or very nearly; Malaya somehow manages to be five tech levels behind Europe, and didn’t put up any more resistance than so many spear-chucking savages. However, having said I was entering the war to save Khan’s colonies, I stuck to terms that wouldn’t get me into renewed conflict with Dragoon (who has said he’ll protect Malaya against aggression), and peaced out for nothing more than the coalition peacing Occitania, plus Christmas Island. A convenient naval base in Asia will surely come in handy, and enabled me to activate the Ynglinga Øst-Indiske Handelskompani, the East Indian trade company decision.

    Some battles of the Pacific War. Note the immense numbers of tiny little Asian vessels, three men and a dog to each boat.

    Eurasian player map, 1694.

    Americas, 1694. Note Zirotron in all of Central America.

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    Our Doom and Our Pride: Appointed Limits Keep

    It was not a good session for me; I lost my victory card in the Rhineland to Khan, who also took Utrecht and Gelre to fill out his own VC; and then Dragoon attacked me for Mexico. Apparently I had annoyed him more than I realised when I invaded Kiche at the same time he did and took the gold provinces. There wasn’t any question of me fighting both Occitania and the Latin Empire on land, so I surrendered the Rhineland without combat, just as Khan did when Dragoon and I attacked him – you may be seeing a pattern here. However, the war for Mexico was colonial, meaning it couldn’t be fought in Europe, and I thought I might be able to win the naval war and wear down Dragoon’s expeditionary force, or otherwise force a stalemate; the more so as I was allied to Great Britain and between us we had a much larger navy than the Latin Empire. Unfortunately, a mere doomstack with 50% numerical superiority is apparently no longer sufficient to win a naval battle in this EU4 of early 2018. It is somewhat unclear to me what precisely went wrong; but the fact remains that Golle’s and my combined fleets were twice defeated by Dragoon’s. Theories for the cause include a series of very lucky die rolls; a better admiral (with 2 extra points of maneuver giving one or two extra heavies in the front line, and the Naval Gunner trait giving 10% combat ability); and considerably higher naval morale due to completing a mission, Defender of the Faith, Fervor, prestige, and power projection, in that order of importance. I also wonder if the old habit of just putting all one’s ships in a doomstack and seeking out the enemy doomstack to win or die is now bad tactics? Since you can’t fight with the whole doomstack all at once anyway, most of your ships will be wasted whether you win or lose; if you had several smaller stacks, then if you lost you could put in fresh ships against the enemy’s damaged ones. Against this is the risk of having your ships captured when you lose. It is not clear to me what the answer is.

    Eurasia, 1667. Note the closing up of Africa and the continued absence of Korea; happily, longtime peanut BootOnFace has volunteered to play this crucial slot.

    Atlantic, 1667. Mexico in Latin orange, a dramatic entry into the colonial game and a very visible loss of prestige for the Ynglings, not to mention those yearly shipments of gold.

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    Our Doom and Our Pride: The Yngling Main

    • How Many is a Brazilian?: To speak the utter and absolute truth, I had in fact intended to fight a war with Brazil this session, for the sake of the three provinces that would have turned Yngling Guyana into a fully-useful ten-province colonial nation. What I had not intended to do was to be attacked by Brazil, allied with Atlassia and also with the Latin Empire. With thirty Brazilian regiments, thirty Atlassian regiments, and thirty Space Marine Chapters Latin regiments on the South American mainland, there was evidently no way for me to win the land war, even with English support. My war goal, therefore, became to get out of the war without losing my Caribbean islands, which were also demanded; for this purpose I could at least use my fleet – which, however, was numerically superior to Ranger’s or Dragoon’s, but not both. I was, therefore, very happy but somewhat surprised by the battle of Cape Orange, in which my 55 heavy ships engaged 114 (!) enemy ones supported by 30 galleys, and emerged victorious. This was partly due to my highly superior admiral, who by my calculations should get 11 heavies into the line of battle against my opponents’ 9 – which by Lanchester’s Laws works out to a 50% advantage – and partly from Ranger neglecting to upgrade his fleet, so that his ancient carracks were facing my galleons. Even so, it seems possible that Dragoon might have won the battle if he had kept his nerve; but seeing Ranger’s ships sink like so many stones, he concluded that I had some policy or other advantage which was making my ships impossibly superior, and retreated, losing – in his own words – “only 4 ships, the rest escaped” from fighting a force half the size of his own. With the resulting sea control, I was able to seize James’s Caribbean islands (which I had intended to colonise myself, so I was quite satisfied to get them after all) and repulse two attempts to get troops into Cuba by stealth. The net result was that I lost Yngling Guyana, but gained exactly the two provinces I needed to turn my Caribbean colonies into a ten-province CN. I may actually have come out of the war stronger, in spite of technically losing, since I went from having two colonial nations short of the ten-province limit, to having one that was just over it.
    • Brokehemia: Already deep in debt from dealing with a disaster and the resulting rebellions, Yami decided to lean into it; he maximised his loans, spent the money on productive assets, and declared bankruptcy – trusting in his status as the Designated Buffer Zone of Europe to protect him from attack; to be fair, it’s not as though his armies could have fought off any of his neighbours even without the crippling morale penalty. This immoral defrauding of the investors who had in good faith bought Bohemian government bonds worked, of course, perfectly; for questions of right arise only between equals in power, and the strong do what they can, while the weak suffer what they must. Bohemia, it is true, is counted the least of the Powers of Europe; but its investors are – more accurately, they were – only wealthy men, merchants and nobles and perhaps even some capitalists, and they can no more fight Prague than they can fight Rome. Nevertheless, for this evil act there must be, sooner or later – and I choose my words with care – an accounting and a reckoning. How can men do business, if sovereigns can merely break their sworn word, and go unpunished?
    • Bohemoth: Yami also finally managed to integrate Poland into Bohemia, making him vastly stronger; Bohemia matters to the balance of power in Europe, now. It is still, I’d say, least among the powers; but it is no longer negligible.
    • Yue’re Fired: There was a war in China, when Blayne moved against his former tributary in Yue, which is somewhat similar to me moving against Bohemia – that is to say, the war was nasty, brutal, and short. Blayne claims that he originally intended only to take a few border provinces, and was goaded into the
      actually-applied crippling peace by the Discord chatter, in which
      several people did assert that he could either make the peace
      crippling, or face a coalition when the truce was over. The
      traditional cry of “Death to China” may also have been raised by
      some veteran players. At any rate Gutrage did not care to continue
      playing what was left of Yue.

    • Hermit Kingdom: The word ‘hermit’ comes from the Greek ‘eremites’, “of the desert”; hence it means to be alone, to inhabit uninhabited lands. We have unfortunately lost Vaniver to the pressures of Real Life ™, and thus Korea is now in truth eremitic, uninhabited.
    • Chili Con Khanage: I want to be clear that this is entirely Dragoon’s fault; obviously, left to my own devices, I would never dream of attacking someone with whom I have a land border and who has a bigger army than me. But Dragoon – whose chosen gamer name, you will observe, is cognate with ‘Dragon’, as in, “and the Dragon fought, and his angels” – Dragoon, I say, tempted me with an alliance, and there was the victory card, just inside Khan’s border, right on the Rhine… So I mustered the black-clad army of the Ynglings on the North German plain, and marched, as I have done before, upon Eindhoven. But, although the mercantile Ynglings of this timeline are hardly a match for the grim warrior nation that the pressure of constant defeat created in the first Great Game, it is also true that the Occitanians are no Burgundians. Khan, clearly overawed by the immense fleet of dragon-headed ships blockading his English Channel coast, surrendered as soon as he realised what he was up against, and Westphalia and the North Rhineland came into my possession without a shot fired.
    • How Many is a Mexican?: The Mexican trade node opened, and the wolves descended like Assyrians on Jerusalem; I was fortunate enough to end up with most of the gold provinces. However, in my preoccupation with chasing the spear-chucking savages out of their fortresses, I utterly forgot that South Africa had opened as well, and neglected to get a colony that would give me a stepping stone towards India.

    Cape Orange in non-Wiki form.

    Europe and the Americas, 1641. Note the Yngling blue in Mexico, and the disappearance of Yngling Guyana.

    Asia, 1641, showing the crippling loss of Vaniver.

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    Our Doom and Our Pride: The Road to Mandalay

    I continue my tour East of Suez, where the placeholder states await the coming of European administrations to drag them into the seventeenth century, replace slavery and burning widows with internships and hanging people of all marital statuses from oak trees, and generally speaking give the place a good tidying-up. This week, the powers surrounding the Bay of Bengal (and its reach), where the dawn comes up like thunder:

    • Ma, Alla Us!: Hadogei, defeated in Japan by a mighty fate beyond the power of man or god to withstand, to wit, being subbed in the first session, has cravenly quit the Sunrise Islands and sought refuge in the Ganges Delta, in the renamed country Mahavalos. He brings with him his Viking ideas and Manchu Banners bonus, and (presumably) a devouring, soul-eating determination to run still further into India if Korea looks at him funny. Fighting to the bitter end, evidently, is not in it.
    • Ayuh, They, Yah: New player Stiefellecker has taken Ayutthaya and given it the defensive Switzerland idea set and the Oligarchic Republic government; he has unified the Malay peninsula and much of Indochina, and with fort defense, enemy attrition, cheap WE reduction, and (if all else should fail) hostile core creation cost in his ideas he is ready to make anyone fighting in Vietnam have an extremely thematic experience. The Asian powers seem united in their determination not to give Europeans a foothold on their continent, however, which raises the question of where this defenively-oriented power can expand. It does however have the right colour, as well as ideas, for a turtle.
    • Brown, Ey?: Brunei is played by new player LaxSpartan, who demonstrated his Spartan-ness in the first couple of sessions by trying to support Mahavalos (then named Bihar and played by a transient whose name I forget) against a powerful AI; he then demonstrated his laxness by losing the war and plunging Brunei into immense economic trouble, which it has only recently climbed out of. It is now renamed Malaya, and is in the process of uniting Indonesia; it is not a very military power, having Friendly Colonist ideas (not to be confused with Golle’s Peaceful Colonist, they are not the same) and Swedish Recruitment as its only bonus, and Feudal Theocracy government.
    • Literary Device: Yue are clearly relying on linguistic confusion for yuer survival. Already there have been several classic comedy moments when somebody would say “Yue did (something bad)”, and the other fourteen players respond “Who, me?” “No, Yue!” “I didn’t, what are you even on about?” “Not you, Yue!” Meanwhile Yue are quietly cleaning the blood off yuer knife and looking for another kidney. Probably the solution will be to impose a roleplaying requirement and make everyone call each other “thou”; incidentally, authors who write novels in the second person will be up against the wall right after we’re done with the lawyers. Yue are a Chinese tributary and had probably better remain so; Yue have the early-peaking Racehorse ideas, and already we are past the peak effectiveness of cavalry.
    • Fine Print: I was finally able to embrace the printing press and restore my Great Power position, and thereby gained the ability to print some very fine letters, indeed. The Yngling position is that the Treaty of Tangiers rectified the colonial borders in South America as a matter of convenience for the Contracting Powers, making contiguous regions that are easy to administer and defend, with everyone getting lands or other considerations of equivalent value to what they gave up. No agreement was reached, or even suggested, as to the future inviolability of the new borders any more than the old ones; no treaty organisation was created to arbitrate colonial matters. To the extent that the colonial powers wish to dispute the borders of their settlements, they are free to do so without any violation of treaty or compact; pacta sunt servanda, by all means, but first pacta facta esse – agreements must be made.
    • No Peace Beyond the Atlantic: Golle and I attempted to dispute the colonial border of Elysium, the Atlassic colonial nation, in two ways: Golle wished to restore British Columbia, and I wanted to add three provinces to what will become Yngling Venezuela when I fully core it, so as to make a ten-province colonial nation that would give me all the bonuses. Our navies were able to close the Atlantic, leaving Elysium isolated from its motherland and, in principle, helpless even against just 25% of our respective force limits, since one-fourth of a European Great Power is about equivalent to one uppity colonial nation being generously subsidised by its overlord. Unfortunately, we had neglected to consider that Ranger could recruit directly in his colony, and so there was an Atlassic army as well as the Elysian one to contend with; the numbers were therefore about equal – and Ranger had a general of semi-divine ancestry, as shown in the screenshot. The result was a long-drawn-out war of attrition, in which we were able to win battles and inflict casualties but not to finish the deal; when Dragoon threatened to intervene just to have the war end, we gave up and offered the white peace.

      War of Columbian Restoration. Note the half-divine general on the Elysian side – the one thing that prevented us from enforcing our will. Even so we inflicted more casualties than we took; but we could not break an army commanded by a godling.

    • Vår Ære og Vår Makt: Having completed Maritime ideas, I was able to get Thalassocracy. As the Baltic is an Yngling lake it was no trick to be the strongest trade power in Novgorod, Lubeck, and the Baltic Sea; but to get the North Sea and the English Channel at the same time required some careful juggling of my light ships, a couple of Protect Trade edicts, and – as a last resort – asking Khan nicely to drop his retaliatory embargo on me for a few months.
    • Initial Colonial Offering: In 1594 another tier of trade zones opened for colonisation, namely the Caribbean, La Plata, and Australia, and there was a bit of a land rush. Golle and I have split the Caribbean islands between us, while Khan has got Florida. James, in Elysium, declared independence from Atlassia specifically so he could colonise without being adjacent to the target, and has managed to get the bits of the Caribbean trade zone that are on the South American mainland. Leon, AI this session, has done some colonising in La Plata, without making a great go of it.
    • Released from Reformatory: The end of the Reformation will arrive a few months into the next session. My accomplishments here were not so great as those of the First Age; the Wheel spins as the Wheel wills, but there are Ages yet to come in which my Splendor will surely grow.

    Splendor bonuses in the Age of Reformation.

    Europe and colonies, 1607.

    Asia, 1607, with the other half of the Khazarian Military Highway.

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