This is a detailed strategy for 600AD Japan to complete UHV1 (1600AD), followed by a suggested conquest order and foreign policy to achieve UHV2 & UHV3. Thanks to Leoreth & the mod community for creating this great experience. Screenshots are from current git version, played at epic speed, regent difficulty. Overview: A 4 city start utilizing despotism and liberal whipping, transitioning to a specialist republic economy. Cultural goal is achieved around 1600 using culture slider aided by 2 cathedrals, 2 great artists (1 settled, 1 great work), and Himeji Castle. A strong economy (0% gold slider) aided by great merchant trade missions allows Japan to maintain tech parity / tech lead with Europe. Following UHV1: Immediately settle central Manchuria, conquer Korea. 1600s-1700s: conquer China using high level samurai. Mid 1700s: enter industrial age & civic switch to democracy. 1700s-1800: conquer SE Asian mainland (Indochina / European colonies). 1800s: settle North America West coast. Begin industrialization (Zaibatsu). 1850s-1900: conquest of USA (vassalize). Civic switch to communism. Early 1900s: State Party! 1920s-1940: conquest of remaining Asian goals (Indonesia) using biplanes/Zeros. Start some world wars. 1940-End: gain and/or maintain tech lead. Setting & Goals: Japan starts as an isolated and protected archipelago with plenty of food and happiness resources. Upon reaching the industrial era, Japan’s core expands to include all tiles on the home island south of the dye resource. UHV1 Tranquility & Peace: Have an average city culture of 6000(normal speed) by 1600 AD without ever losing a city. UHV2 All the World Under One Roof: Control or vassalize Korea, Manchuria, China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines by 1940 UHV3 Flying Geese Paradigm: Be the first to discover eight Global and eight Digital technologies. UP Modernization: after researching all medieval technologies, if 3 nations are willing to trade a tech to you, it is cheaper (-50%) for you. (reduced cost to research, to trade for, or to steal via espionage). UU1 Samurai: Heavy swordsmen that have leadership (double XP gain) UU2 Zero: Fighter half cost, bonus to ship attack, can avoid intercepts. UB Zaibatsu: factory half cost, free engineer, water tiles +1 commerce. Introduction: The early game is dictated by UHV1; achieving high culture using few cities with limited conquest. The great difficulty is developing a strong economy under these tight constraints. Plentiful food and happiness resources allow for a despotism whip opening to build infrastructure. Because Japan is relatively isolated and protected, minimal amounts of military units are required for safety – thus saving on unit expenses. To aid UHV1, Japan will construct its special wonder Himeji Castle which does the following: city walls and castles add a %culture bonus for all cities, and all military units garrisoned at the Himeji Castle create culture (2 per unit?). After building all necessary/culture infrastructure (cathedrals), transition to a republic specialist economy. Run culture slider & use great artists to achieve UHV1. The mid game is the conquest of mainland Asia featuring samurai. City raider 3 samurai slaughter arquebusier / firelancer city defenders. Stability and core expands mid-conquest when Japan enters the industrial age. After pacification & assimilation, mainland Asia will be the production and commerce engine of the empire. Rapidly industrialize with cheap Zaibatsu & coal plants. UHV3 requires Japan to become the tech leader. Competitors for tech lead are England, America, Russia, and the dominant continental European power (Prussia, France, Austria etc.). Disrupt their research through war – either outright conquest, or defense pact shenanigans (world wars). Become best friends with England, form a defense pact and steal their techs from their Indian (or Australian) colonies. For England and the other tech rivals, I suggest becoming friends and starting defense pact shenanigans (world wars) to retard their research. Settling on the North American West coast removes America as a tech lead competitor. America will declare war and get conquers upon researching railroads. World war and the conquest of America will follow. Adopt state party, steal/research to become tech leader. Start another world war to finish UHV2 conquest. Research (and conquest as desired) to the finish. Domestic affairs: The UHV1 puzzle: Great artist great works (culture bombs) give a huge amount of culture to a single city, but does not scale from % modifiers. Relying on culture bombs dictates only 1-2 cities. More than 2 cities require scalable culture from the culture slider. To run a decent culture slider % without sacrificing research requires a gold stockpile. Gold stockpiles can be gained via great merchant trade missions to the Buddhist holy city (Azimabad). How many cites to build – the 4 city solution: 1-2 cites: UHV1 is easy to accomplish via great artists, but economy will be extremely weak. 3 cities: better economy. 4 cities: can build cathedrals. If 2 cathedrals are built in the capital (+100% culture), the average culture / turn will be greater than the 3 cities start. Has the best economy, but great artist culture bombs are less effective. We rely more upon the culture slider, less upon great works (only 1 needed). City locations: Despotism whipping relies on food. I suggest the following: (capital) Edo/Toukyo south of the river. (4 food, 2 metal mines, 2 silk). Hiroshima on the tea. (2 food, after Korea defeated gets Korean rice). Kagoshima on the gold. (clams and whale) City 4: Botankou on the Manchurian coast directly south of the deer. Has only 1 food resource but surrounded by forests for lumbermills/chopping. Located in the Confucianism religious core area, Confucianism typically spreads here around 1200’s. Occasional barbarian Keshiks may visit – ensure a crossbowman is garrisoned. Specialist prioritization: Prioritize merchants before scientists/statesmen. Trade missions are more valuable to UHV1 than research boosts. Post UHV1 I suggest settling Manchurian Chichiharu north of the horse, and Aomori on the home island silver hill (becomes core later). Civics: Initial infrastructure: despotism, citizenship, manorialism/caste, redistribution/regulated trade, clergy Early specialist economy: republic, meritocracy, caste system, regulated trade, monasticism, conquest. Use despotism as required during plagues and spreading Confucianism. Industrial (Conquest & large empire stability): democracy, constitution, egalitarianism, free enterprise, tolerance, nationalism. Late game: adopt central planning, secularism, and STATE PARTY when possible. Religion: Stay Buddhist until Itsukushima Shrine built, then switch to Confucianism for forbidden palace & easier China conquest/stability. Research: Japan’s unique power begins in the renaissance. It is perfectly valid to ignore techs like optics and scientific method until others trade it to you at half price. Mid game Asian conquests are against technologically backwards opponents – can delay military research for later. Foreign affairs: Edo & Hiroshima will have weavers so I suggest trading silk for cotton with the Turks/Mongols. Early game tech trading to the Asian neighborhood can be good. Just don’t trade much with China/Mongolia – you need to conqueror them later. When the Mongols spawn, play nice and give them something useless like theology. Due to Japan’s UP, you should keep generally friendly relations with most folks until the late game. Keep in contact with Europe by leaving a scout/explorer envoy there. Thailand can become a good stable vassal during the Asian conquest. Up to you how you want to deal with them. Become best friends with the tech leaders and involve them in defense pact shenanigans (world wars) to disrupt research (battlefield Europe). Prioritize espionage on England and America to steal tech. Their cites are closest to Japanese colonies.