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Kensai
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Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:39 am

December 1858

The showdown against the American Militias and Partisans will be played this December as our Guard Corps under Katamori will make a sweeping move to clear the central part of California. Although they have again the quantitative advantage, we are confident we can get them with our superior training and morale. Commander-in-Chief Takenaka insists in clearing this part of the State sooner than later.

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The battle was a close call, but we managed to dispatch the Californian defenders.

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Daimyo Katamori has been congratulated! The Tairo had decided to promote him in the name of the young Shogun! This will probably mean that he will surpass Takenaka in the hierarchy and be the new C-in-C.

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In Europe the Italians were quite disturbed by the Austrian advances against the French. In a crisis were they played a hard stance, war was inevitable. Now Austria will have to find on two fronts, divided only by the neutral Swiss. Can the Italians take advantage of the Austrian insistence in France? The Italians sent an ultimatum and are now mobilizing... The Piedmontese King will be C-in-C.

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The newly arrived Japanese forces from Kyushu island make a sweeping movement to the South in order to completely surround and overwhelm Northern California. Katamori will seek battle once more, in order to open the way to lay siege on San Fransisco. An imperative goal if he wants to have his growing armies supplied. We need an advanced logistics center to have supplies brought in from Japan.

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Katamori has the battle he wanted against the field defenders of San Fransisco. By late December he strikes with force. In the early parts of the day, only the Guards commit, but later in the day the siege artillery pounds and scatters the defenders.

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Takenaka, now with fewer forces to command, tries hard to keep the Americans from regaining the Los Angeles coaling station.

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Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:33 pm

January-February 1859

It is winter in this new continent, but the Tairo has given orders to assault San Fransisco and get this naval base as soon as possible. California is the only State in the Western USA so far, and if its major city falls, it will probably be easy to conquer as we could bring more supplies and troops. We have to take care of reinforcements in Japan as most of the field armies have been sent to America.

Soon, Choshu's powerful battleship squadron will be ready to defend Japan. The Ryukyuan are investing more ships as well.

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The area around the bay of San Fransisco has been secured by Katamori, although elsewhere Itakura was not as successful. But this is the most important part of our campaign. With the area secure, we can bring Nabeshima's siege cannons and start bombarding the city's fortifications. To that we can add the ships from our naval blockade which can bombard too. There are naval and fort cannons in San Fransisco, we have to be careful before we approach.

Thankfully, the Indians keep the Americans occupied as well. The Apache are quite the nuisance!

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We seem to have secured in military control the major parts of coastline in the West. Our supply lines are open, albeit we don't have too much of supplies to push.

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After passing all January pounding the city, General Katamori has given the order to assault the city fortifications and take it. Nabeshima's howitzers have wasted the Americans for good. Unfortunately, we had a serious loss in the sea. Our naval units received return fire from the cannons of Alcatraz Island that were protecting the Bay and had to retreat damaged. The supermodern Ironclad of ours, present of Napoleon the 3rd himself and named after him got so much damaged that it had to be scuttled. The rest of the fleet is returning to Los Angeles and hopefully back here to be repaired, once we get the city and its infrastructure.

I could not go wrong on this. Two siege cannons and pioneers give +3 "breach" bonus. Needed two turns to breach the city. :p

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Itakura, apart of his losses is still a remarkably good Daimyo and manages to live off the land. He is a master logistician after all. He sits in the important Los Angeles coaling station shadowing the American forces that have retaken San Diego. The Americans seem to have two divisions there, we cannot possibly hold them forever.

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This land is rich and we hear it all the time! In nearby Nevada territory, they have found gold. We should not worry about it too much, though, by taking Sacramento and the Californian gold mines we can have much of it for ourselves.

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It took four days of almost continuous battle for the assault to be successful. But with our heavy artillery, there was no serious risk of not prevailing. In the end, the city is ours! Hurray!

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In Europe we heard that Wallachia and Moldovia have united to form Romania! Not that we care much.

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Unfortunately, as we had San Fransisco secured, we learned that the people of Oregon have decided to apply for Statehood, even if we occupy much of their territory. This seems to have beefed up their spirits and we got a beating in the Willamette Valley by General Twiggs who moved there, near Portland. Oregon is now the 33rd State of the USA and it will not negotiate anymore to become war booty.

We got overwhelmed for now, but at least we made them bleed as well.

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loki100
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Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:32 pm

well done, so the west coast is under your occupation - all that remains is to ensure the Americans agree to this?
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Kensai
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Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:44 pm

Well, at first I need to make sure I can keep what I have conquered. The Americans have just lost an objective city of theirs, which means the AI will be eager to take it back. Also, Seattle seems to be a "strategic city" for the Americans (although in PON this feature might be deactivated), which means if I take that they would want it back as well. The Americans have been proposing peace terms every few turns but it is not satisfactory. What can Japan possibly gain by a year or two of reparations and a landlocked colony?

I need a higher warscore in order to be able to ask for Washington Territory at least? After February that Oregon becomes a colony you cannot ask for it anymore, so I guess Washington should be the next goal. But now with the logistics center of San Fransisco I would like to entertain the idea of consolidating my position in the West Coast. Poor Johnston in Day 4 of the San Fransisco battle, he might have wanted to stay in the area but after the fall of the city it was impossible.
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Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:35 am

March-May 1859

In order to avoid any more revolts from the citizens of California, we move troops to occupy the areas not completely subdued. Nabeshima will move against Sacramento and try to assault it in the following fortnight. With his siege cannons he won't have too many problems.

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The Americans will definitely react now that they have lost their Westernmost State. Thanks to the bad routes and the Indians, it is not easy to reach us, but their 3x power ratio worries us. At least, we managed to conquer the objectives we had set for this expedition.

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Indeed, Saga Domain's siege expertise means that the heavy artillery is used to effect to disperse even the most movable troops.

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The Mori Clan Daimyo of Choshu has reached Seattle and will probably try to assault it in a conservative way. Nonetheless, his forces are not that many and the Americans may push him back. In the South, Katamori is moving to reinforce him and get back Portland. We should not allow the new State of Oregon organize its defenses.

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Crafty President Scott is trying to sell us hot water for a peace arrangement. He wants to give us a fraction of our expedition's costs as reparations and the Territory of Montana, which is inland and full of Indians!!! Obviously we deny this "offer".

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In Europe the situation is quite interesting. Austria is fighting a two-front war... beating France but losing against Sardinia-Piedmont which has reached the fortifications of Venice!

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In the South, Itakura has decided to retreat without giving battle. The American divisions are far too strong there. We have lost Los Angeles and the Southern logistics entry. Thankfully it is not critical now that we have the much larger port of San Fransisco. All our ships have moved there after doing some shore bombardment where appropriate.

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The Tairo has asked for a Militia Corps to be prepared as the last "field forces" are leaving for California. The new Edo Militia shall protect the Shogunate in case of insurrections at home. Hopefully, we have all Daimyos supporting our cause.

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The two marine divisions are boarding the Choshu armada with direction to Seattle. Essentially these are the last units we send.

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Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:49 am

June 1859

The pieces are set for the summer offensive against Seattle. We need to take this city and deny the Americans once and for all an important exit to the Pacific (although they will still have the reconquered tiny Los Angeles). Last months' attempts to capture it under the Choshu Daimyo had failed, the enemy had overwhelming forces. He has been order to fall back to Portland, as Katamori's Guards will take care of the assault.

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In Europe an astonishing Austria seems to have broken the French defenses and is reaching the outskirts of Paris. Many cities in between have fallen, other are resisting, but the war for Napoleon the III looks lost.

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The Guards Corps of Katamori had to cross the Columbia river under fire, not an easy task. The 28th Division of the enemy was holding pretty fortified positions. But we prevailed given the quality of our troops. American General Twiggs is still in the area, but his position has been weakened. We expect him to fall further East, in Indian territory. The Indians are harassing them, keeping their supply lines under continuous threat, but we want their territory as well.

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Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:06 am

July 1859

The French came to terms. Under the danger of having their capital sacked, Napoleon's Generals decided to stop this silly war. As war reparations the Austrians got an island in the Pacific, essentially their first colony. I wonder what they want to do with New Caledonia, it might rebel as it seems as the Austrians don't have soldiers in place and it will take some time to send.

This is also dire news for the Italians. Now that the Austrians have beaten the French, they can send their armies to steamroll the Italians. They have like 7x their power in armed forces.

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General Katamori manages to oust Twiggs from Seattle. The last city of the Northwestern coast is ours at last. The American General will have to fall back inland now.

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With the most parts of the West Coast under our control, Tairo Naosuke decides to oust the Indians as well. We have decided to declare war on them and have the land for our own uses. This includes the island of Hawaii as well. The Americans seem to be at odds with these tribes as well.

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The Pacific Ocean is huge. We need to improve our ways to transverse it with our ships. Sails ships are notoriously slow when the trade winds are not in our favor. We need to implement paddles and the power of steam!

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The fighting with the Kingdom of Hawaii has started. In these early days of operations, it is difficult. The fight is ferocious, but our samurais resolved. Although outnumbered 1 to 4, we know we can prevail due to superior tactics, morale, and firepower. The fight is mainly close-quarters as the Hawaiians sport primitive weapons, with few exceptions. This gives the opportunity to some of our most hardcore mounted samurais to score kills with their katanas, just like the olden days. :p

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Anachronistic pic, but given the superiority of our troops to the native Hawaiians, some of the most traditional samurais decided to wear the armor of their forefathers as they mow down the poor tribals...

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Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:28 pm

August-September 1859

Supply carts are being filled in our logistics center in San Fransisco and sent to the various fronts.

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Those empty (for example after the assault on Seattle) take the return trip home. The fall of Seattle means we can now return our ships in the ports. Seattle will be administered by the Mori clan, but Katamori will stay a little bit longer to control General Twiggs who has fallen back. There will also be an attempt to conquer the lands of Oregon further East. This means going against both American and Indian lands.

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Is is remarkable that we have closed the gap with the Americans, but we have to also acknowledge the fact there is a civil war sentiment brewing in their lands. They cannot leave the Eastern states to take care of us. We also see that the Austrians are so many times more powerful than the Italians.

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The colonial reality of 1859. We are now influencing the Hawaiian islands. We can also see the Austrians in New Caledonia!

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Two American Corps of the 12th Army are bounced off the Central Coast of California as they try to close in San Fransisco from the South were we have less troops. Fortunately for us, our entrenched troops repulsed them. These troops were reserves coming under the Federal mobilization.

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The middle part of the battle was the most interesting. At first Takenaka was holding the lines with his cavalry alone, but later Shimazu's army came decisively South and broke the American offensive.

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By September we try to consolidate our position and deny the Americans any further attempt. The Americans are not in position to replenish their losses and will be effectively on defensive from now on. Or so we hope.

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The Mori clan of Choshu moves further inside Oregon. Little resistance is encountered by the Indians.

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The Americans are now taking overall the Indian tribes' land. In the East we cannot see anymore the Cherokee. This will help them maintain better supply lines with the West.

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Well, by September the situation in Italy has completely changed. The Austrians, bringing reinforcements from the victorious French campaign can now dedicate to destroy Sardinia-Piedmont. In fact the Italian King has been isolated in Venice while the Austrian army has taken back Milan and has made the Italians retreat in other positions. It does not look good for S-P.

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Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:31 am

September-October 1859

By Late September, the Shimazu Daimyo heads further South to hand down the retreating 12th American Army. This army had horrendous casualties in the last battle, when they were on offensive, now they will probably be surrounded. On the East the Apache are hostile to all of us.

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In Central California we seem to be the sole masters for the moment. Nonetheless, North of San Fransisco there are American raiders that need to be taken care of.

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In Oregon, the Mori Daimyo of Choshu domain has done half the survey of the inner lands. Our military control of these relatively remote areas is almost complete. Both the Nez-Perce and the Americans defeated. He still needs to pacify the High Desert though.

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In Los Angeles, Nariakira manages to oust the remnants of the I and IV American Corps. This important Southern node is back under our control. Nonetheless, I am noticing that albeit the three depots (in Portland, in Los Angeles, and in Seattle) our forces have a real hard time to get the supplies they need. Essentially Takanika, the old Commander-in-Chief that I have left in San Fransisco together with the supply carts does NOT manage to get them all filled. As soon as the supplies arrive from Japan they get propagated and eaten by the forces in the field.

We are in a position that we have brought so many troops in the United States that we cannot effectively feed them. This may give serious problems in the coming winter months. If we run out of supplies, terrible losses may accrue.

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Spain had an incidence with Morocco these past months and a war erupted. Spain is prevailing, as expected. We, as Japan, might be at odds with Spain in the future because of the Philippines.

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Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:29 am

November-December 1859

The Americans have been pushed further South to the borders of Mexico. Brigadier General Jesup is probably unable to challenge after the previous devastating defeat we delivered to his 12th army. Shimazu Nariakira is now free to move against the Apache Indians in the East, getting their territory. Although that land is mostly desert, we still want to claim it for us.

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Just out of Portland, in the fertile Willamette valley of Oregon, the two newly created State of Oregon Cavalry finally get defeated. It was quite difficult to catch them, but as they fled they were hit by our artillery and entrenched positions. Our marine division prevailed with no casualties.

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Instead of finding Indians in the Desert, we were attacked by American mounted partisans. The Americans were once more dealt with. We opened fire with our artillery and they surrendered en masse.

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We know there is a presence of Indians in the desert, but they don't make themselves shown albeit our patrols search for their villages. They will probably flee further East as they are severely outnumbered by Nariakira's unit. Indeed, Apache Indians are harassing the Americans in Maricopa, perhaps they will join them.

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We consolidate our control over the entire State of California and we are trying to convince the locals to leave the Union. There is smell of Civil War in the entire USA... Our troops move to regions that are not entirely covered and are in risk of revolt.

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In Oregon, by early December the Mori Daimyo returns to Portland. He has managed to pacify the entire East Oregon, although we have not enough troops to have entirely under control without the risk of armed uprisings.

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In Hawaii we build a military outpost and prosecute the locals that tried to resist us. We want to declare the Hawaiian Kingdom a Vassal of Japan, sometime in the future. We are not there yet.

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Sardinia-Piedmont's capitulation is imminent. Vittorio-Emanuele's defeat in Venice and elsewhere leaves no chance. Essentially the entire campaign was doomed the moment France made terms and Austria could move their armies against Italy. Almost the entire Piedmontese territory is under Austrian control or direct threat. Torino is under siege!

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The commander-in-chief of our American expedition, Katamori, is asking for the creation of a fort in Seattle. This way we will control the area better and make it a staging point for potential invasion of British Canada or further East. Unfortunately, the ways to reach inland are notoriously bad and will take many days, especially in winter. For the moment we wait. We are expecting a very hard winter as we are running out of supplies.

I have beefed up my commercial lines in the Pacific MTB (to the detriment of trading with Brazil and Argentina) but it seems they are not enough to bring the supplies our almost 100K troops need. :(

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Kensai
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Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:08 am

January 1860

Our expedition is now in its hardest moment. The lack of enough supplies has caught up with the demand of our almost 100K troops in the West Coast of the USA. As much as we have concentrated our commercial ships in the Pacific MTB, not enough supplies pass through to feed all these soldiers and their officers. The wintertime is not helping either. These last days we got serious "hits" because of lack of supplies.

The battleships refitting in the San Fransisco shipyards are almost ready. The Americans are still harassing us in the various MTBs, but our losses there fortunately are limited.

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It is not that Japan is not producing enough war supplies, it is its inability to propagate them in the overseas theater of war. There is only one hope now, that the American Civil War starts (have checked the events, it is "ready to fire" at any moment) and somehow my forces get relieved in the West, as the bulk of the American forces will have to retreat and deal with the secession.

The State of California is almost entirely firm under Japanese control and we hope for a "special arrangement".

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:11 am

February 1860

The harsh winter and the attrition losses were devastating setbacks for our expeditionary armed forces in the West Coast of Northern America. However, we are not hopeless, as the Americans have a much greater problem now. The Southern American States, quite disheartened on how Washington has been waging war with us and other serious matters (Indian affairs, slavery in the South, tariffs, etc) decided to secede from the Federation and create their own "Confederation". The Civil War of the Americans has started!

This is the perfect opportunity for Japan to conclude this war in the United States with ideal conditions and potential gains. We have decided to grant independence to the State of California as long as they don't reunite with the Federation. In fact, the new California Government is more keen to collaborate with the Confederate States of America due to their reactionary stance. Not everyone in California agreed and there was an autonomous US force forming in San Fransisco to put resistance in this evolution. Eventually, though, the pro-slavery sentiments prevailed and California, eager to gain its freedom back, agreed to collaborate with us.

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Japan is free now to move North, gold has been found in Washington. We know we cannot wage this war forever as the State of Oregon remained loyal to the Federation and swore to drive us out no matter the cost. Perhaps we can convince the USA for the Washington Territory to have a buffer overseas colony between British and Americans. Or at least, we can get hefty war reparations for many years to come.

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It will be difficult though. Now the United States are serious about saving their Union. This is not a simple war in a far away land, anymore, this is now a conflict φορ their very existence. They have to fight both us and their brethren in the South. Their mobilization is astonishing. Can we stop them?

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This is the current situation in continental USA. We can see the Confederate States of America vying for their freedom, the new independent State of California, and the Japanese gains. We can also see some predominantly Indian regions.

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The pro-slavery States united in a Confederation denying the government in Washington. Can they prevail?

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In the West, Japan has decided to give the State of California its independence in order to focus in Oregon and Washington territories. At the moment the United States seem to respect California's decision for neutrality, albeit knowing it is friendly with the South.

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The United States of America will never allow California to be independent long-term (hence the permanent CB), but they tolerate them for the moment given the immediate threat in the South. The Confederates, as long as they exist, have vied to protect California. Japan will have passage and supply rights in California, but other than that shall move out in the near future.

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THE END
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Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:19 am

This is the last "aggressive" event of the chain, obviously there are some more to conclude the Shogunate era and reunite Japan's story with the "historical" one, including restoration of the Emperors. I had a lot of fun playing this alternate reality story, mainly because I was the underdog. The USA so early in the game, albeit its much more advanced armed forces in respect to Japan, is not in position to protect its most remote areas, especially so when played by an AI. But as you see, the Japanese campaign is far from over. It is really hard to KEEP what has been gained and supplying the many troops needed to drive away the Americans from the West is nearly impossible.

I would love to continue this alternate reality campaign in PBEM. I want to see a player audacious enough to play the USA and defeat BOTH the Confederates and the Japanese menace (played by me) in the West, eventually reuniting continental USA, including California. It is a hard nut, but if anyone is interested, say so here. I will be advertising this offer in the PBEM section in a week or so. I will also put the save games online for anyone to continue the campaign, either as Japan or as USA. Even as CSA, but this means we have to fix somehow the "invisible map" bug.
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loki100
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Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:06 pm

fascinating stuff ... as you say, the long term challenge will be to keep your gains, especially once the Civil War is over.

Interesting to see your game had an Italian-Austrian war. As Christophe has reported, the problem is the huge size of the Austrian army.
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Kensai
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Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:02 pm

loki100 wrote:As Christophe has reported, the problem is the huge size of the Austrian army.


Indeed, confirmed. We must do some research on this matter cause Austria in early PON seems quite the juggernaut. Especially in AI vs AI wars. I was quite surprised it beat France AND Sardinia-Piedmont at the same time so early in the game. Yes Austria was historically powerful in the early 50s, but not so much as to win both of them. Dunno, it might have been some bad rolls in the battles, but it was a surprising victory to be honest.
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Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:04 am

Nice game! you proved that your mod work in the better way: playing it. :thumbsup:

What could happen to Japan in this alternate history? I think that the Union will reunite all the country again, but Hawaii will be a japanese island. The american-japanese rivalry is ensured, maybe in a few years the US will be back for the vengeance and Japan should to rush for the westernization and mantain the control of the Pacific.
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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Kensai
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Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:28 pm

Thanks, I had fun playing it. Being the underdog in an AGEOD game is always fascinating, even if you know more or less the events. I am really not sure what will happen with Japan in the future, this is up to the players who play to decide. As promised: here are the save games so anyone can try to play as Japan and continue the war; as Union to win the Civil War, reunite California, and bounce Japan; and as the Confederates to do the surprise and win the Civil War. Unfortunately this latter is just a shell, as there is this bug with the map, at least in my game. Try to play a couple of turns with your setup and see if for you the CSA is playable. You need to crunch at least a turn for the map to update.

I will be looking for a player in PBEM to try to see if I can gain anything as Japan while he tries to win the Civil War and regain control of Continental America.

http://speedy.sh/Hh4vK/Shoguns-Defiance.zip (5.8MB)
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Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:08 pm

Kensai wrote:Indeed, confirmed. We must do some research on this matter cause Austria in early PON seems quite the juggernaut. Especially in AI vs AI wars. I was quite surprised it beat France AND Sardinia-Piedmont at the same time so early in the game. Yes Austria was historically powerful in the early 50s, but not so much as to win both of them. Dunno, it might have been some bad rolls in the battles, but it was a surprising victory to be honest.


Yes it is, but it lacks good leaders. I think this reflects history quite well - it was always the Habsburgs' problem that they would have had the means to be powerful, but hardly ever the brains to successfully make use of it. One can count successful generals in the Habsburgs' service on one hand. And some were hired help, not homegrown. OK, I raise my hand and count: Rudolph I, he won one big battle against superior forces, didn't do much fighting afterwards. Maximilian I, stood his ground quite well and had a knack for artillery which was just being introduced in field combat. Wallenstein, hired help from Bohemia, not even an officer but more of an entrepreneur in the war business, and a cruel bastard most probably who bought victories with blood (or hunger, or disease). Eugene, hired help from Savoy, he was quite brilliant. Radetzky was said to be good, but he managed to lose in Italy nonetheless, have not investigated what the exact resaons were. Tegethoff and Juan de Austria do not count as generals. The Spanish in the Spanish Habsburgs' service do not count either, being Spaniards. People like Frundsberg or Laudon do not count as military genius if you ask me. So, 5 it is, one handful - but I am open to discussion about this :)

In general the Habsburgs and their Austrian administrative staff did what they can to hamper their military. Neither did they make good and thorough plans nor did they take care of all the ground work which is the basis for military success. I am sure everybody knows the story of the staff that decided not to introduce breechloaders, because the thumb soldiers would just go trigger happy and waste all that expensive ammunition. Do you know their successors said more or less the same thing when an Austrian inventor tried to sell them a new war tool that fires a lot of rounds automatically (yes, a machine gun) just before the start of WWI? Around the same time, a tank was developed, but no real Austrian cavalry general has any use for such, right?

In my game as Austria, I find it quite easy to dominate the area, and with the right training program (means send generals to kill, kill, kill to gather xp), priority for technological develpoment and a sensible build-up of armed forces I have just overran Prussia within 3 months. So yes, a well-managed Austria is THE super power in PON, and would have been in reality as well.

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Kensai
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Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:18 am

Yes, it should be the superpower in the early game, but a game needs balancing which sometimes has priority to other types of abstraction. As I said in different threads, I am generally very pleased in how all nations are abstracted in PON (including USA with its low population, Japan with its backwards techs, etc), but if the game is on AI I am expecting Austria to lose 4 out of 5 times in Italy and in Germany in order to abstract the historical reality. Of course, in rarer cases it is perfectly legit to see Austria prevailing.

loki100 proposed something very nice: to give balance by changing the ratio of "foreign" (Czech, Hungarian) units in respect to German ones. This will give more penalties to the Austrian armies and abstract the difficulty of commandeering such multiethnic armed forces.
Care to unify Germany as Austria? Recreate the Holy Roman Empire of the 20th Century:

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Egg Bub
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Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:23 am

Were you using any other mods for this AAR?

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Kensai
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Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:57 pm

No other mods.
Care to unify Germany as Austria? Recreate the Holy Roman Empire of the 20th Century:

Großdeutschland Mod

Are you tough enough to impersonate the Shogun and defy the Westerners? Prove it:

Shogun Defiance Mod (completed AAR)

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