Sunday, 21 July 2013

Europa Universalis III Simulation: The Orient (China, Japan, and Korea)

For the next segment of my series of Europa Universalis III simulations (the other parts can be seen here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), I have decided to take a look at the much requested East Asian nations: the Chinese dynasties and Mongol hordes, the Japanese daimyos, and Korea.

The Orient

In 1399, Europa Universalis III's start date, much like Eastern Europe covered in Part 3, the East Asian mainland was just emerging from centuries of Mongol rule under the Yuan dynasty. The Red Turban Rebellion would put an end to this in 1368, establishing the Ming dynasty ruled out of Nanjing. China would see a golden age under the Ming, building works such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

Across the Yellow Sea, the Koreans, having also just gained their independence, would seek to push the Ming out of the peninsula. However, their armies sent to fight the Chinese would revolt at the border and establish the Joseon dynasty in a coup in 1392.

The Far East in the game's start date, 1399.

On the other side of the Strait of Korea, Japan remained relatively unscathed from the Mongols thanks to the famous kamikaze, or "divine wind" (the Europa Universalis expansion's namesake), two typhoons which would destroy the Mongol ships attempting invasion in both 1274 and 1281. Japan at the time was under the Ashikaga shogunate, which lacked much real power. As a result, the archipelago was divided among the daimyo, rival Japanese clans.

The mainland immediately descends into war in most games, with the Ming trying to incorporate Tibet into their empire (sound familiar?) and the Manchu trying to subjugate the remnants of the Yuan dynasty: the Oriat Horde and the Mongol Khanate. The Mongol Khanate are typically defeated by around 1460, but the Oriat Horde and the Tibetans are surprisingly capable in the face of a much larger enemy. Their frontiers tend to oscillate in and out of their control. These sporadic wars, which are typically never quite won, continue the entire game.

The Ming begin to encroach upon the smaller Southeast Asian kingdoms by 1500, however they never obtain complete dominance here either. The Koreans, much more adventurous than their historical counterparts, would also venture into Southeast Asia only to meet the same fate.

Starting in the early 17th century, the Koreans begin to slowly encroach upon their northern border with the Manchu, taking some of the adjacent provinces. Historically the opposite happens: The Manchu would force the Koreans into submission after an invasion in 1636.

By 1700, the Wu begin to show up in southern China in the majority of games. The Wu are actually a hypothetical dynasty, based on the Wu kingdom, one of the Ten Kingdoms. The Xia and Qin, the other hypothetical dynasties, do sometimes appear, but not nearly as often as the Wu (and not enough to show up on this map).

Interestingly, the Manchu never manage to cross the Great Wall in the majority of games as they do historically, with the Ming dynasty typically surviving until the end date.

In the Land of the Rising Sun to the east, things move at a slower pace but follow the same inconclusive nature. Very little happens until the last half of the 14th century, when the Taira clan begins to be dismantled as the Minamoto and Fujiwara make gains in the north and south. These two clans appear to be the most dominant.

By 1600, the Minamoto begin to advance upon the Tachibana lands to the south. From this point onwards however, no statistical outcome appears to have any sort of advantage over the other as there is very little change or movement.

Historically, not much can be said about Japan. The way Europa Universalis III models the daimyo is far from the truth, as there were many more than four clans vying for the shogunate. For a more accurate depiction (although much more limited in scope) check out Paradox Interactive's Sengoku.

Looking at the map at the game's end date, it is quite easy to see that not much changes (at least definitively) in the Orient, things look very similar to how they did in 1399. In reality, the dynasties of East Asia were much more fragile; hopefully this is modeled more accurately in Europa Universalis IV.

Whats next?

Please leave a comment on what you would like to see next! There are many locations yet to be covered: Germany, the Middle East, India, Italy, Southeast Asia, etc.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Europa Universalis III Simulation: The Eastern European Plain (Russia, Lithuania, Poland, and the Golden Horde)

After a one week hiatus (additional code and processing had to be done for this post), here is the next part in my series of Europa Universalis III simulations.

It was much suggested that I show more than just one nation in a video, so this is what I've done this time around. There was a lot of interest in Russia and the Russian principalities, so I've decided to picture the whole region: Muscowy, Novgorod, Tver, Ryazan, Yaroslavl, Pskov, Poland, Lithuania, and the Golden Horde.

Colour represents which country controlled the region the most.
Intensity represents how often this country controlled the region.

This works like an electoral map, a given region is coloured the same as the nation that controlled it in the most games. The intensity of this colour represents in how many games the region was controlled.

The Eastern European Plain

From the Mongol invasion of Russia in 1223 up until the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380, Eastern Europe existed largely under the dominance of the Golden Horde. The Battle of Kulikovo in 1380 would change this. Under the leadership of the emerging Muscovites, they along with Tver, Yaroslavl, Pskov, and other principalities, managed to defeat a much larger Mongol army. 

The fragmented Eastern European Plain in 1399.

A Ryazan-Lithuanian force, allied with the Golden Horde, arrived late to the battle, would return home upon hearing of the Mongol defeat. The Lithuanians would depart from their alliance with the Golden Horde entirely in 1386, their leader Jogaila converting to Catholicism and marrying Queen Jadwiga of Poland, forming a personal union between the two nations.

This would leave Eastern Europe in a shaky balance of power between the Muscovites, Polish-Lithuanians, Novgorodians, and Mongols.

However, in 1395 the Timurids would invade the Golden Horde, ravaging the nation. Their trade routes, which the Golden Horde depended on, would never recover. This leaves us at the year 1399, Europa Universalis III's start date, with a vacuum of power and Eastern Europe threatening to explode.

The expected explosion begins slowly in Europa Universalis III. The game typically begins with a modest expansion by the Golden Horde into the Caucasus, Balkans, and Central Asia. Judging from the quick recession of the Lithuanian eastern frontier, it is also not uncommon for the Golden Horde to expand into Lithuania. Historically, this does not happen; the Golden Horde would stagnate until around 1420, then begin to disintegrate.

By the mid-1400s, Poland begins to crumble. This is mostly the fault of Bohemia. Again, historically, Poland would retain its core territories up until its final partition in 1795.

Muscowy begins to breakout in the 1490's, asserting its control over its neighbouring principalities. This is reasonably in line with history: the Muscovites would annex Yaroslavl in 1463, Tver in 1485, and Ryazan in 1521.

Novgorod is never subdued in the majority of games however, something Muscowy would historically accomplish in 1478, following Ivan III's massacre of the city. This would frequently prevent Muscowy from forming Russia in the game.

Starting in the early 1500's, Muscowy typically begins their systematic conquest of the Golden Horde, which is completed by around 1575. It is difficult to gauge the historical accuracy of this, as the Golden Horde ceases to exist in 1502, however Russia had acquired the territories of the Golden Horde by approximately this time.

By the early 1700's, it is common for the Muscovites to have reached the Pacific Ocean, painting a fairly accurate picture of the Russian Empire at the time, minus Muscowy's tendency to conquer Mongolia.

Whats next?

With regional analysis now possible, there are many options for my next post. Please leave a comment and let me know what you would like to see!