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The Shiji, Book Two: Project Kaguya

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Stories & Tales' started by Sima Qian, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. Marsden

    Marsden Keeper of the HoF Annex Hall of Fame Staff

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    Tokugawa shouldn't have made fun of his do. :nope:

    I think you'll hold up well against Persia, the AI doesnt handle war well in general, and naval invasions in particular. Just watch out if he has marines, that can be dangerous. I don't have to tell you, but its usually good to let their ships get within range of the coast and blast them with artillery. You might not kill them, but they will retreat. That's one of the things I really like about Conquests, you can sink them with bombers after the shore battery softens them up(red-lines).:goodjob: :goodjob:

    BTW, If I didn't say so sooner, great story. I liked the art work in the first one much more, but the story is just as good. Great job!
     
  2. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    I'm actually not too worried about either of them at the moment. Persia doesn't have oil, and Babylon doesn't have any extra to spare (not after I destroyed Samarra). So the best ships they can muster are going to be frigates and galleons. I'll be fighting them back with destroyers and battleships :lol:

    So that little tundra island of Hakodate has paid off big time :)

    As a matter of fact, I haven't built a single artillery for the whole game so far. All I have is a catapult that I brought with me to Berlin (when I captured the Great Library), so that has been upgraded. Since this is monarch level, I can probably get away with fewer artillery, and since the map is archipelago, I can rely more heavily on offshore bombardment with ships and planes in carriers.

    I've either built or rushed airports in every city by now, so I can quickly move troops anywhere I want fairly quickly. Hannover looks like it's in deep trouble, since the Persians are so close by, but I'll be sending some infantry over there soon enough.

    As for the artwork, I'm trying to keep them within theme by the civ I'm playing, and although scenes from anime series probably aren't the most appropriate form of Japanese art, they're fairly easy to find on the Internet, so I kind of compromised. I restricted my selections to two series, Inuyasha and Gundam SEED, since those are the only ones I'm aware of that contain references to the legend of Kaguya-hime.
     
  3. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    Oh, and in case anyone was wondering why I was attacking cities with infantry, it's because I don't have any units with a higher offensive rating. I don't have saltpeter, so I can't build cavalry, and frankly I don't want it either since then I won't be able to build samurai for a GA.

    Spoiler :
    But the way I fight this war is going to change drastically in the next update!
     
  4. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

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    :woohoo:World WAR!!!
     
  5. BuckyRea

    BuckyRea Boldly Going

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    Off to War!! Oh this shall be grand fun! And such a thrill for the ladies to see your lads in uniform
    Go get 'em, boys! And be careful there, soldier. Loose lips sink ships
     
  6. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    Chapter 14: Thrust into Modern Times



    Kaze o itami / Iwa utsu nami no / Onore nomi / Kudakete mono o / Omou koro kana
    Like a driven wave / Dashed by fierce winds on a rock / So am I: alone / And crushed upon the shore / Remembering what has been.


    Minamoto no Shigeyuki (10th century A.D.)​

    Even with the rest of the world allied against Persia and Babylon, Tokugawa was not about to take them lightly. Persia, in particular, was the strongest of them all, and also the leaders in technology. The industrious Persian workers had been the first to ever lay railroad tracks, and Persian cities were by far the most productive in the world. Japan had to prepare for a major showdown.

    But first, Tokugawa noticed that his country had once again fallen behind in terms of technology. Fortunately, Persia was not alone in technological dominance. The next time he went to visit Alexander the Great, he noticed that the Greek leader had removed his bow-tie for a more formal suit, and also donned a fancy pair of glasses.

    "How is it going, Tokugawa? Are you doing well in the war against Babylon?"

    "Certainly," replied Tokugawa. "We have destroyed two Babylonian cities already, Samarra and Nippur. How about you?"

    Alexander was somewhat taken aback by this, since in several decades of fighting Babylon, the Greeks had only managed to destroy Shuruppak, while the Japanese military had done twice as much in the short span of just ten years. But he was determined not to expose any of his weakness to the Shogun.

    "Ahh... I was just checking," stammered Alexander. "You see, we were a bit concerned that you were not making a very dedicated an effort to fighting Babylon, but it seems that you've been doing much better than we expected."

    Not making a very dedicated effort. Tokugawa pondered how Alexander could possibly be qualified to make that assessment, but there was other business for him to deal with, so he kept his mouth shut for the moment. Then he had an idea.

    "Japan honors its mutual protection pact with Greece," he said. "Do you expect more from us?"

    "Well, it would be nice if we could turn this into a formal alliance," suggested Alexander. "You know, a 20-turn commitment and other things."

    "I am not sure if we are prepared for that," replied Tokugawa.

    Alexander tried something else. "Ahh, I see. So you want some kind of incentive then. Say, how about offer you a discount on the new technology of electronics?"

    This suddenly made the offer seem much more appealing to Tokugawa. He had heard many tales of the power of electronics, and the incredible devices that could be constructed from wires and circuits. After some negotiation, the two leaders reached an agreement that left both of them very satisfied.


    The discovery of electronics made it possible to build hydroelectric power plants, but in all of Japan's territory, not a single river was to be found. Seems like we are out of choices for now, thought Tokugawa. We will have to look into other energy sources later.

    He soon realized why Alexander had so readily given him the technology. A major river, the Acheron, ran right through the center of Greece until it emptied into the sea by Athens. The Greek city of Sparta was at a prime location along the Acheron, right by a waterfall where the waters plunged several thousand feet from atop a high ridge. It was the perfect spot to build a great hydroelectric plant, the Hoover Dam.


    Darn, I really wanted that, if only I had the chance, thought Tokugawa. But this is still better than the Persians getting it. In fact, Xerxes was the only other leader who had ever displayed an interest in the Hoover Dam, and now, with no other Great Wonders to which he could transfer his work, the Persian leader was stuck with building a basic hydro plant that could only provide enough power for his capital.

    Tokugawa would not allow the Persians to even catch their breath before he dealt them another crushing defeat. The city of Matsuyama, now a major naval base, guarded the narrow strait that ships from Persia's eastern coast had to pass through in order to reach Japan. It was here that Persian frigates and galleons had attempted to sneak by Japanese defenses, but Tokugawa would not be fooled. A modern Japanese destroyer had no trouble sinking the outdated sailing vessels that Xerxes had ordered through the strait, and even when Persian ironclads showed up, they still failed to pose any challenge to Japan's naval supremacy in the region.


    Tokugawa himself felt so certain of his navy's victory that he personally traveled to Matsuyama to observe the battle. With great pleasure, he watched the Japanese fleet hit the Persian vessels with shells so large that their hulls were instantly blown to pieces. Haha, he laughed while observing the flaming debris as it slowly floated away from the scene. This is what happens when you try to fight a naval war without oil, Xerxes!


    It was with great relief that Tokugawa had learned of Persia's lack of oil, as it turned out the fuel was used not only by ships and planes, but also powerful new armored combat vehicles known as tanks. These machines were much stronger attackers than infantry, as they could charge into battle with little fear of injuring their passengers. By this time, the Greeks had developed a few tanks themselves, and they were willing to share their new invention with Japan, although at a hefty price.


    While Xerxes' ships were stranded in their home ports in the east, and busy dealing with the navies of Greece and Germany in the west, Tokugawa found an excellent opportunity to destroy the Persian colony near Fukuoka. Just recently, the Persians had sent an expedition from Ergili to attack the Russians at Astrakhan, but the Shogun could not help but laugh at the pathetic force that Xerxes had gathered. Like those warriors are ever going to have any chance, he snickered.

    Ergili was only a minor annoyance, as the only purpose it seemed to serve was to interrupt the Japanese borders on the world map. A few new infantry recruits were more than enough to overwhelm the poorly equipped defenders, making it unnecessary for the new Japanese tanks to participate in the battle.


    Instead, the new tanks that had been built in or shipped to Fukuoka were dispatched to the other target on the island, the tiny Babylonian settlement at Izibia. A lone column of rifleman was all that guarded the city, and they were quickly wiped out by the Japanese attackers. It was the first battle ever won by Japanese tanks, and Tokugawa was certain there would be many more such victories to come.


    Sure enough, he did not have to wait long before it happened. Xerxes had landed a force south of Matsuyama to attack the Russian city of Riga, and the Persians even managed to capture it. Catherine the Great was not pleased, but the Russian forces in the region were not prepared for any kind of offensive action. It was at this point that the Shogun offered his assistance.

    "We can deal with the Persians in Riga," he informed the Czarina. "And while we're at it, I think we will eliminate this liability of yours once and for all."

    Catherine would have protested that she still intended to keep Riga for her own purposes, but it was too late. The Japanese tanks stormed the city and decided to escort its citizens back to Matsuyama, where it would be "safer" for them if they could work on the Shogun's land.


    Surprisingly, all this time the Persian city of Samaria, a tiny enclave surrounded by Germany territory, had held up against the combined attacks of Bismarck and Alexander. Curious, Tokugawa asked his commander in Bremen to investigate, and it was not long afterwards that Minamoto no Yoritomo had something quite interesting to report.

    "The Persians have formed a great army in Samaria," he wrote. "I believe they have won so many battles against the Germans and Greeks that they have rallied under a great leader, and now they will be very hard to take down. I even sent some of my tanks to help them out, but even those had to retreat from battle after a while."


    In particular, the appearance of a Persian army in Samaria infuriated Otto von Bismarck, who was frustrated that even after surrounding the city for many years, he could not take it. It was a continuous drain on Germany's resources, and finally the Chancellor decided that he could no longer commit to the war with Babylon. All of his efforts would now have to be concentrated against the Persians, who had, in the meantime, overrun his island colonies at Stuttgart and Bonn.


    So much for that, mused Tokugawa. Maybe there's actually a strategic benefit for keeping Hammurabi alive, even if just for a little bit longer.

    "Tokugawa-dono, I have a request."

    The Shogun turned to find his advisor Toyotomi Hideyoshi waiting for him. "What might it be?"

    "We need to keep better communications with our troops. I fear there is a serious time delay between when you give your orders and when your generals can carry them out."

    Tokugawa nodded. "Would you know of any solution to this?" he asked.

    "No, but I can find someone who does know," said Hideyoshi. "I think it is time that we talk with Alexander the Great once more, for he has a curious new invention that allows for almost instantaneous communication with our troops in the field."


    The invention, it turned out, was a device called the Radio. Alexander was quite proud of this achievement the Greek engineers had made, but was also willing to share it with the Japanese. Tokugawa bought some of the samples that Alexander offered, and then showed them around to the heads of the zaibatsu companies, who were true industrial powerhouses by now. In time, the radio was developed into more advanced electronic devices, such as the television, the electronic calculator, and Tokugawa's favorite, the Walkman.

    And even more significantly, it was the radio that brought Japan into the modern age at last, with a new hope for the future. The Greeks and Persians had gotten there first, but Shogun Tokugawa was certain that Japan would soon catch up and overtake them.

    ... to be continued
     
  7. conquer_dude

    conquer_dude Imperial Slave

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    Excelent update. Seeing Alexander oto much in the modern age hurts my eyes though. Ahhhh!
     
  8. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    Maybe it's because Greece has a tendency to get really tough in the modern age. Scientific + commercial traits are incredibly hard to beat in terms of research potential.
     
  9. ThomAnder

    ThomAnder Deity

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    Can BuckyRea edit his post/picture please, i personally find that post VERY offensive (the second picture).
     
  10. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    Wow, I didn't get a good look at it first, but now that I can actually tell what's going on, I'd second that motion. It is a very sensitive scene, and might offend quite a few other people.

    Good call there, ThomAnder.
     
  11. Marsden

    Marsden Keeper of the HoF Annex Hall of Fame Staff

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    Sima Qian, I hope you did not think I was being overly critical. The artwork is very appropriate to the story, I was just saying I enjoyed the classical art in the other more. And again, this story is very different from the last, but it is very enjoyable to read and I check this forum several times a day when online to see any new chapters.
     
  12. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    Chapter 15: Xerxes the Incensed



    Oto ni kiku / Takashi no hama no / Adanami wa / Kakeji ya sode no / Nure mo koso sure
    Famous are the waves / That break on Takashi beach / In noisy arrogance / If I should go near that shore / I would only wet my sleeves.


    Yushi Naishinno-ke no Kii (11th century A.D.)​

    After the destruction of Izibia, there were no other targets within easy striking range of Japan's military. Matsuyama strait was kept clear of Persian ships, and Russian Cossacks in Sippar came to the aid whenever Persian units landed near Hannover. Bah! muttered Tokugawa to himself. Catherine is stealing valuable combat experience from my infantry.

    The war was now going quite badly for Babylon, who had lost Uruk by now, leaving Kish encircled by Russian troops. But so far most of Persia was still unscathed by the war, as only Ergili and Riga had been lost. In fact, it was at Bonn and Stuttgart that Xerxes' troops had inflicted a crushing defeat on the Germans, who soon found themselves forced off that island. The German navy was yet to be modernized, as Chancellor Bismarck had only recently acquired a source of oil, the deposits that had been formerly claimed by the Babylonian city of Samarra, now all but a pile of sand in the desert.

    "Xerxes still thinks he is winning the war," the Shogun said to Hideyoshi one day. "We will have to punish him, and make him regret all the trouble he has caused for us. Where should we strike?"

    "The Persians are probably weakest on their island in the south, where they have just overcome the Germans," responded the advisor. "It won't be easy for them to send reinforcements there, and I'm sure we can get help from Bismarck."

    But Tokugawa was far more confident of his military. "Bah, I bet the Germans can do that on their own. I want to hit the Persians hard, and where it hurts the most." He examined the map of Persia, and pointed out a location. "Right here."

    It was the city of Hamadan, on the northwestern tip of the Persian island. Toyotomi Hideyoshi gasped. "Are you sure we can do this?" he asked. "Remember, this isn't going to be anything like taking Berlin with longbowmen. Xerxes can send in huge reinforcements by rail--"

    "My mind is already made up," interrupted the Shogun. "Hamadan shall fall to our glorious armies, and we will seize the Persian incense for ourselves. Wouldn't that be great for our people?"

    Minamoto no Yoritomo was recalled from Bremen to lead the invasion. It was a mixed force of infantry and tanks, escorted by one of Japan's newest and most powerful battleships. Tokugawa was so sure of victory that he even ordered a group of settlers to join them, so that a new city could be built atop the Persian ruins once the smoke cleared.


    Getting a foothold on the island turned out to be a lot easier than Hideyoshi had imagined, as the most powerful troops that Xerxes sent to get rid of the invaders were Persian marines. Yoritomo had little to fear from a few rifle-toting men who probably belonged on boats rather than on land, and they were quickly mowed down by return fire from the Japanese infantry. Not a single tank was damaged during the Persian counterattack.

    But taking the city proved to be a much greater challenge. For it was during the Battle of Hamadan that the Japanese military first faced heavy bombardment by enemy artillery. "Quick, find cover!" shouted Yoritomo. He was too late. A massive shell had already exploded in the middle of his infantry ranks, sending body parts flying through the air and leaving a bloody mess upon the ground.


    That night, as Yoritomo's men buried their dead in their mountain campsite, they uttered a prayer to the kami of war, hoping for better success in the next day's fighting. Yoritomo had brought along a rather modest set of artillery himself, and he swore that he would use them to seek vengeance from the Persians.


    As if the heavens had indeed intervened, the next attack upon the city was a flawless victory. The garrison of Hamadan, thinking the Japanese had retreated, had let down their guard, and by the time they were awakened by gunfire, Yoritomo's tanks had already stormed into the city, destroying everything in their path. They did, however, discover the Persian artillery that had caused them so much trouble before, and Yoritomo decided add them to his own forces' set of equipment.

    Before the end of the day, every building in Hamadan had been demolished, its citizens had been taken captive by Yoritomo's army, and all that remained was the smoke that rose from the craters left by Japanese bombardment.


    The destruction of Hamadan sent shock waves around the world, as it was the first defeat suffered by Xerxes on his home territory. Persia, still considered by many to be the most powerful in civilization the world before the battle, was suddenly disgraced. Xerxes was furious that his own military had allowed this to happen, and vowed to wipe out the Japanese and rebuild Hamadan. "It's not over yet!" he declared.

    "Of course not," laughed Tokugawa. He peered at the pathetic new settlement that had been built further to the south by a few survivors who had escaped from Hamadan. "What is Xerxes think he is doing? Asking for double the payback?" Completely unimpressed, he ordered this new city destroyed as well, which Yoritomo's men accomplished quite easily.


    Meanwhile, the Japanese settlers had moved into place, and under the protection of the infantry, they were able to build their new city with little disruption from the Persians. They settled on a hill right next to the ruins of Hamadan, where they found plenty of the fragrant incense that they would burn in honor of the gods that had guided them to victory.


    Word of this incense soon reached mainland Japan, where the citizens clamored to get their share of the luxury good. Tokugawa soon bowed to their demands, and hired a team of engineers to construct an airport in Nagasaki so that the incense could be transported by cargo planes back to the other Japanese cities. But more importantly, it also allowed him to airlift troops onto the island of Persia from their training grounds in Japan.


    "Absolutely unaccpetable!" screamed Xerxes as he berated his military leaders. "How the hell did you allow the evil Japanese to build a city on Persian land?" Hearing no response, he sent his top commander directly to the execution block. The rest of them, shocked, promised that they would work hard to recover the lost territory.

    It would come at a price, though. The diversion of resources to fighting the Japanese at home spelled the end of Xerxes' support for his armies defending Samaria. The city was eventually taken by the Greek cavalry, as Alexander was a much more competent strategist than Bismarck and would not be so foolish as to order his riflemen to attack. The Greek leader, seeing no more Persian targets within easy reach, decided it would be a good time to offer peace to Persia, and Xerxes glady accepted.


    Meanwhile, the Germans had recovered the cities of Stuttgart and Bonn, and were ready to pounce on the Persian colonies at Tyre and Sardis. But Xerxes could not bear to think of the loss of Tyre, as it supplied his infantry divisions with their crucial rubber supply. Faced with such a difficult situation, Xerxes had no choice but to ask Bismarck for peace as well, to which the Chancellor grudgingly agreed.


    Alexander and Bismarck had politely declined to renew their mutural protection pacts with Japan, claiming that the war had been too much for their respective economies to handle. Shogun Tokugawa acknowledged their withdrawal from the war, and by this time there was really quite little they could do to help him other than harrass the remnants of the oil-less Persian navy.

    Russia still remained committed to the war against Persia, but Tokugawa knew that Catherine was much more interested in fighting Hammurabi. Kish had been destroyed at last, and now the Babylonians were down to five cities on the peninsula that they called home. This may be the beginning of the end of Babylon, thought Tokugawa. But who will actually put them out of their misery?


    Toyotomi Hideyoshi had been concerned that the exit of Greece and Germany from the war with Persia would make things more difficult for Japan, but Tokugawa seemed to have no end to his arrogance and confidence. "We shall send army after army to destroy the Persians," he declared.

    "Excuse me," said Hideyoshi, "but I believe we need a new great military leader if we wish to have another army."

    The Shogun grinned at him. "Not anymore. Minamoto no Yoritomo has not only done such an excellent job of commanding his army, but he is also a fine instructor of leadership skills. We now have built a great military academy in his honor, where our future army commanders shall be trained."


    Xerxes now had much more to fear than just the loss of Hamadan and his incense. The very existence of the Persian civilization was in jeopardy.

    ... to be continued
     
  13. conquer_dude

    conquer_dude Imperial Slave

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    Is Germany polite with you!?
     
  14. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    Yes, Germany is polite. Russia and Greece are gracious. Persia and Babylon are, of course, furious.

    Germany's attitude sure has changed a lot. They started off annoyed with me, gradually went up to cautious after trading and RoP, then went to furious when I declared war on them and captured the Great Library. More trading with them got it up to polite, and after the MPP it was all the way up to gracious as well. Now they've signed peace with Persia, and they're back to polite.
     
  15. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    Chapter 16: Rise of the Kyosanto



    Se o hayami / Iwa ni sekaruru / Takigawa no / Warete mo sue ni / Awan to zo omou
    Though a swift stream is / Divided by a boulder / In its headlong flow / Though divided, on it rushes / And at last unites again.


    Emperor Sutoku (A.D. 1119-1164)​

    Despite the victories that had been scored by Yoritomo and others, the war had begun to take a toll upon the Japanese democracy. Upon seeing the depatarture of Greece and Germany from joint action against Persia, many people began to question the purpose of remaining at war. "We have brought incense to our markets now," they argued. "What more would we need?"

    Shogun Tokugawa could think of a thousand other reasons to continue fighting, but without the support of his people, it would be truly difficult. At first he felt he could convince them with his own ideas, but it was a select minority of antiwar activists who spoke much louder than he could. They appealed to the emotions of pity and compassion in the Japanese people, and told tales of how terrible the war was and the awful casualties that both sides were suffering.

    Pity and compassion my arse, thought Tokugawa. Are these the feelings that can cause people to riot in the streets? In fact, the demonstrations were so intense in some cities that the local governors were unable to keep them under control. Civil disorder broke out in Kagoshima, which lost all productivity and commerce.


    "What the heck are you doing, leaving your infantry division camped out in the mountains?" Tokugawa asked the governor. "You think those warriors you left in the city are going to do anything for you?"

    The governor immediately brought the infantry back to Kagoshima in an attempt to restore order, but there was no noticeable effect. Crowds still gathered in the major throughfares, chanting, "All we're sayin' is give peace a chance!"


    The Shogun sighed. Apparently it would take a lot more than mere words to convince his people otherwise. He needed a radical change in the system of government. In 1725 AD, after a small but vocal minority of lawmakers staged a filibuster to block military funding, he declared the dissolution of the Kokkai, the Japanese legislature, plunging Japan into anarchy.


    Over the next five years, Tokugawa traveled the country delivering speeches to whip up support for the war, while secretly he ordered his subordinates to arrest, kidnap, or assassinate all of those who voiced opposition. Even though the war had been unpopular, the Shogun himself was still a very inspirational figure to the Japanese people, and was greeted with cheers everywhere he went. Either that, or they feared the police that had gathered around them at each rally, silently observing the audience for signs of trouble.


    It was the help of a small faction within his government that Tokugawa found exceedingly useful. The Kyosanto, the Japanese Communist Party, was very active not only in spreading nationalistic propaganda in support of the war, but also in carrying out the secret missions to eliminate Tokugawa's opponents. By 1730 AD, the Kyosanto was the only political group that still wielded any power, and although Tokugawa retained the honorary title of Shogun and remained the head of state, all the real power of Japan was vested in Kyosanto leaders. This was rather unimportant, as they had almost no disagreement between them.


    With the order restored, Tokugawa was finally free to meet with his military leaders to discuss the next direction the war would take. They agreed that even though Persia was a more immediate threat at the time, as Xerxes still attempted to attack Nagasaki from time to time, it was clear that Babylon would have to be dealt with soon.

    After a long hiatus of almost two decades, a new invasion of Persian territory was launched, this time targeting the city of Gordium. There were few citizens remaining in Gordium, as Xerxes had now drafted most of them into the military, and the defenders who had remained had little motivation to resist. The first shots had barely been fired when they surrendered to Yoritomo's armies and abandoned the city.


    The battle of Gordium was the first major engagement after the revolution, and Tokugawa wondered if this event would still cause people to speak up against the war. But as the news feeds from the front lines continued to report the glorious victories of Japan, while filtering out all the ugly details of casualties and prisoners, the response from the citizenry was quite enthuastic. Each enemy division that was wiped out and each city that was destroyed was celebrated as proof of Japan's uncontested position as the mightiest civilization in the world.


    ... to be continued
     
  16. machia

    machia Warlord

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    Do you plan to stay commie for the rest of the game, or turn to demo later?

    I was wondering 'couse with demo you'll get higher production on your core in order to build the Space Ship. (In communism you'll get corruption)
     
  17. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    It's something I'm doing for the wars, and also to sort of boost productivity in some of the far-out islands. Believe it or not, I can actually get some shields from them.

    As for whether I'll switch back, that'll depend on when I can get the wars to end. But I'm not afraid of the AI running away with a space race victory, since this is just a monarch level game. The hardest part was probably over when I nabbed that coal colony back in Chapter 13.

    The other civs are in communism too, so it should kill their research rate for a while.
     
  18. Takeo

    Takeo Shogun

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    Great story! Keep it up.

    :lol:
     
  19. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

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    Chapter 17: Hammurabi's Back Door



    Oeyama / Ikuno no michi no / To kereba / Mada fumi mo mizu / Ama no Hashidate
    By Oe Mountain / The road to Ikuno / Is far away / And neither have I beheld / Nor crossed its bridge of heaven.


    Lady Koshikibu (A.D. 999-1025)​

    Following the destruction of Gordium, the war in Persia hit a snag. The Japanese tanks had difficulty moving through the hills and mountains toward their next targets, and their artillery support had to slowly catch up with them. Not ready to admit defeat yet, Xerxes sent wave after wave of marines, some of whom were surprisingly strong and defeated a number of tank divisions while forcing others to retreat.

    Minamoto no Yoritomo sent requests to Kyoto for reinforcements, but they fell upon deaf ears. The Kyosanto leadership had some different priorities, and as long as the troops around Nagasaki could hold their ground, Yoritomo would not be getting any help. Instead, they focused on a completely different target.


    By 1754 AD, intelligence agents from Naicho had confirmed that Babylon was on the verge of collapse. Russian forces from Uruk and Eridu had razed the city of Nineveh, while Greece had picked up the oil reserves around Ellipi. If something was not done fast, they reported, Catherine and Alexander would walk away with all the spoils of war, leaving none for Japan.

    Shogun Tokugawa did not like this idea. "We have destroyed three Babylonian cities," he argued, "but we have gained nothing from this war. Catherine has added three new cities to her empire, while Alexander has added one. Shouldn't we deserve better rewards than this?"

    Toyotomi Hideyoshi was still optimistic. "The big prizes are yet to come," he commented. "Remember, the Great Wonders are in Akkad, Ur, and the Babylonian capital itself." Tokugawa wasted no time in his preparations. With that, tanks were ordered to be airlifted to Lagash, the nearest Japanese city to Babylon, ready to launch a surprise attack.


    Before the governor of Lagash could even ask why his island was still defended by archers, the tank divisions embarked and sailed westward, escorted by battleships. By 1755 AD they had reached the Babylonian shore, and camped comfortably in the grasslands outside Ashur.


    News of the landing sent Hammurabi into a panic. He had already devoted all of his resources to fighting off Russia and Greece in the north, and could not spare any troops to deal with this new threat from Japan. He sent a messenger to meet them outside Ashur, begging for peace, but Tokugawa already had his eyes set on the Babylonian wonders.

    Ashur, whose defense had long been neglected because the front lines seemed far away, was easily taken and destroyed by the Japanese tanks.


    From Ashur they advanced unopposed along the road to ancient city of Ur, which unsurprisingly was just as poorly defended. It was in Ur that Hammurabi had first tried an experiment with granting universal suffrage to his people, but Tokugawa was not interested in any of that. His people were perfectly satisfied with the rule of the Kyosanto, or at least they did not dare speak out against it.

    Hammurabi had made a last-ditch effort to draft the citizens of Ur to defend the city, but the only effect of that was to make them more unhappy than before, as they stood little chance against the Japanese tanks. But even their unhappiness was soon to end. Tokugawa found no use for this particular Great Wonder, so the city was destroyed as well.


    It was at Ur that Tokugawa's troops finally came within sight of the wonders of Babylon, for there very tips of the Pyramids stuck out from the horizon. It seemed well within their reach at the time, but the Shogun would not let them rest yet. Greek ships had arrived off the coast and were bombarding every inch of Babylonian soil. To him, it seemed that there would be some competition for Hammurabi's wonderful capital, and he would not allow Japan to lose this race.

    And it was the tank divisons that had just destroyed Ur that Hammurabi set eyes upon for the first time. In the thousands of years that had past, the Babylonian leader had never seen a glimpse of the Japanese military, as it was his inept commanders who had handled the far-off wars. Most of them had been sacked after the losses of Lagash, Samarra, Nippur, and Izibia, but now there was nobody left for him to blame but himself.

    As the gunfire drew closer to his capital, Hammurabi climbed to the top of the highest pyramid and held out his hands to the sky, hoping for divine intervention. "Anu, lord of the heavens, may you swoop down from the sky and destroy these heathen villains!" he called, holding up a golden goblet of wine as an offering. "Mighty Tiamat, may you swallow this filty scum into the great oceans!"

    He grew thirsty after shouting for a while, and took a sip of the wine. Instantly he felt the world swirling around his head, and before he knew it he was tumbling down the steep slope of the pyramid, totally unconscious.


    But it was not the Pyramids that Tokugawa was after; in fact, if that were the only Great Wonder in Babylon, the city would have met the same dismal fate as Ur and Ashur before it. Nor was the Great Lighthouse of any interest, as by now the dilapidated tower was little more than a tourist attraction. There was only one wonder that saved Babylon from destruction: the trading company of Adam Smith, which offered to pay all the costs of maintaining Japan's harbors and airports if only the city be spared.

    The Japanese soldiers got out of their tanks and searched the city for signs of Hammurabi, but found nothing. Little did they know that the Babylonian leader had been rescued by a few fleeing citizens from the bottom of the pyramids, and they produced a stretcher upon which they carried their injured king to their last city, Akkad.

    Tokugawa allowed his troops to rest for a while in Babylon, partially to recover from some injuries that they had suffered at the hands of the defending infantry, and partially to keep order in the city as all of the remaining citizens were in open resistance to Japanese rule. We will shut them up soon enough, he promised to himself. All that remains is to find Hammurabi, and give him his final gift.

    It did not take long for them to spot some activity west of Babylon, as Russian Cossacks had finally caught up with Hammurabi and laid siege to Akkad. Remarkably, they were driven back by the Babylonian defenders, and the commotion they caused caught Tokugawa's attention. There he is, Tokugawa noted. There we shall go.


    For some reason the Copernicus's Observatory had been kept in perfect working order all this time, even though the Babylonians were no longer doing any meaningful scientific research. Tokugawa did not have any respect for it, however. Hammurabi must have spent so long looking at the skies that he forgot he was still upon this earth, he thought. We will not let this worthless observatory distract us. And so Akkad was razed.

    Hammurabi, however, had still cheated the Japanese of their last goal. The injuries he sustained from falling down the pyramids were severe, and it was already too late when he was brought to Akkad. With no competent medical staff available to resuscitate him, the Babylonian leader was finally laid to rest in the lake outside the city, where he would become food for the fishes.


    Thus, in the year 1764 AD, the once glorious civilization of the Babylonians had come to an end. Catherine and Alexander offered their congratulations to the Shogun for finally wiping out their mutual enemy.

    There was still one order of business left in the region, as the destruction of the Babylonian cities left a source of spices outside the borders of Russia and Greece. Tokugawa ordered some of the captured Babylonian workers to build a colony there to claim the resource, while the rest were worked to death building roads to connect it to the city and an airport through which it could be sent back to Japan for the citizens to enjoy. From this day on, Japanese food would never again be the same.


    With the war against Babylon over at last, Tokugawa lifted the restrictions on non-military production in the cities of Japan. The markets were once again well-stocked with consumer goods, and visitors were at last allowed to return to worship at the temples and cathedrals that had been shut down for most of this time. Mobilization was no longer necessary to continue the fight against Persia, now struggling to defend against further Japanese attacks.


    And what had Minamoto no Yoritomo done all this time in Persia? He destroyed another city, of course. And with Arbela out of the way, there was no longer any purple border on the map that touched the blue ones outside Nagasaki.


    Tokugawa knew exactly where to go from here. Watch out Xerxes. You're next.

    ... to be continued
     
  20. tupaclives

    tupaclives Tupac Lives on!!

    Joined:
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    :clap: fantastic update Sima! This story is fantastic!
     

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