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Managing the Manchu

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Jason
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Managing the Manchu

Post by Jason on Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:01 pm

Following on from a question from Nexus, and a comment from Stuart, I thought I’d do a (not so) short piece on playing a Chinese position.

The historic situation: Am sure you all know this but just to recap.  The early 17th Century was not a good time for the Empire, rebellions and foreign invasions caused chaos and the Ming Dynasty was now in its death throes, proving to be all but useless.  The last Ming Emperor committed suicide in 1643 as rebels seized Beijing, leading to a new dynasty being proclaimed-the Shu.  However the Manchus, a tribal grouping to the north of the wall, decided this new dynasty made no difference and carried on its attacks against the Empire.  In 1644, a supposedly loyal Chinese general call Wu Sangui opened the gates of the First Entrance under Heaven, allowing the Manchus through the wall and quickly taking Beijing and (in theory) the Empire.  
The Chinese tend to view history as circular so (in hindsight though I doubt at the time) see the replacement of a weak old Imperial dynasty by a new powerful one as somehow ordained and the natural order of things.  This doesn’t mean everyone accepts the new dynasty and the next 40 years are interesting for the Manchu as they establish their power in China .  At first they rely on generals formerly loyal to the Ming, such as Wu Sangui who is one of three sent to control the southern part of the Empire.  These three generals seem to have done a good job of dealing with Ming sympathisers but also built up their own powerbases and in 1673 rose in open revolt against the Manchu. Luckily for the Manchu, their Emperor was Kangxi, considered by some to one of the greatest Chinese emperors and sticking to the tradition of the first emperors of a new dynasty being capable-the revolt does come close to overthrowing him at one stage but by 1681 he and his forces crush the revolt…at least on the mainland.  The rebels had allies among pirates in the south and it wasn’t until 1683, when Manchu forces land and occupy Taiwan (first time China had done so it seems) that the pirates are finally crushed.
A brief situation with the Russians in the 1680s is resolved by the Treaty of Nerchinsk (apparently the first treaty in which the Chinese acknowledge another power is their equal) whilst the raiding Zunghars are crushed in the late 1690s.
Kangxi seems to known how to win people over to a degree, and had some success with the native Chinese population.  Whilst the Manchu did treat the native population as separate and inferior in many ways, at the same time they adopted many Chinese mannerisms (and had started to long before they took the empire) and even won over the intellectual elite by commissioning projects for Ming-period scholars to undertake.  Kangxi remained emperor until 1723 and was remarkably effective, his successor (his fourth son) reigned until 1735 and carried on the work of his father whilst his successor (his son, Qianlong) reigned until 1796 and  is also considered a great emperor.  This doesn’t mean the 18th Century was a time of milk and honey for China but it had put behind it the chaos of 17th Century and hadn’t yet become the weakened and corrupt nation of 19th Century (and as it appears in Scramble).
Of course, foreigners are looked down upon (Jesuits, until Rome screws things up, are respected though) and trade is closely monitored and restricted.  The Manchu seem to want to appear more Chinese than the Chinese in the early 18th Century and restrict foreign influences but at the same time allow limited contact…and as the British find out at the end of 18th Century, see nothing of value in what those Barbarian traders from Europe have to offer.

China in game in 1700.    China is divided into five, consisting of the four core provinces of Kwantung, Manchuria, Shansi and Shantung, and the Kingdom of Korea (which I think has a bit more freedom than the core provinces).  The population of the empire is in excess of 120 million; each of the core provinces has 30 million subjects and I don’t know the population of Korea but I just know it is a lot smaller (perhaps 5 million?).  This does seem in-keeping with the historical records, a census of 1660 gave a population of 120 million and another in 1762 gives a population of 200 million-the general feeling is the population declined in the 1670s and 1680s due to the revolts in the south but recovered soon after.  Each province is ruled by a governor whilst Korea has its own king; the position of Emperor is not played, if it exists at all it is an “Agema”-run position.  
The governors and king positions have a considerable amount of independence and leave to run their positions as they want to.  There is not a sense of you having to follow an agreed plan or common strategies.  Having said that, this aspect of the game has changed somewhat in different games I’ve played Chinese positions.  When I first played a Chinese position, in G2, it was stated clearly that you couldn’t revolt or declare independence nor could you attack other Chinese players.  These rules do not seem to be written in later games, such as G9, but you have the feeling that if you tried it, you wouldn’t get far!
Honour is a tricky one in Chinese positions.  Again, going back to G2 it was clearly stated that the way to increase honour was to shower gifts on the Emperor-problem is not every gift would result in an increase in honour and if 1 honour point = £5,000 a year…and a gift costs £5,000…well the maths got complex!  Again this doesn’t seem to be a written rule in later games but it still seems the most effective way of increasing honour in a Chinese position…just keep track of what gifts you have given before (and other Chinese positions have gifted, when they are played), repeats are not well received!
With a population of 30 million, a Chinese position is equal to just about any other in theory…however I do feel (if I may offer a slight criticism of Richard) that the recruit base is too low for such a population.  When playing Scotland I’ve found recruits are roughly 0.5% of population, 0.25% when playing Russia and 0.1% when playing China.  It does lead to the slightly daft situation where Russia, with just over half the population of a Chinese province, gets more recruits.  Maybe not such a problem if you play this as a war game but a bit of an issue if you want to go in for nation building, trade development.
Trade is another area where the game has evolved over time.  In G2 only Portugal could trade with the Empire, via Canton; in later games trade is only via Canton but open to all…and it has been possible (in G8 for example) for governors of other provinces to get imperial permission to open up a port to trade.  The Chinese ability to trade has also changed, in G2 I always found it hard to develop Chinese trade, in G9 I have had considerable success and now feel I am one of the major trading nations in the Far East (will be interesting to see what the trade table says when it appears in game) and I believe the same has happened in G8.  Part of this has been down to finding Chinese technologies and crafts that are suitable for trade investment.

Chinese Technology in game.  This is a rather interesting one.  As I said above, in terms of population a Chinese province is on par with-or beyond-any major European position, but in regards the more obvious military technologies, it is perhaps nearer an African position…at least at first glance.  The Chinese have firearms, obviously, but they only have matchlocks at the start of a game, and artillery is not on carriages.  Whilst there is a large army, for example in G9 a province has over 200 foot battalions and 500 mounted squadrons at the start, most of it is inactive and only a small minority have firearms-most infantry only have spears…and there is no artillery!  So an early priority can be getting access to flintlocks and western style artillery, but if you equip your forces with such barbarian weapons, your honour might suffer so once you have the skills you might need to produce more “Chinese” designs.  A process that can take a couple of years really…and that’s once you find a foreign power you are willing to trust enough to allow them to send you missions to teach you how to make flintlocks and artillery.  So any military rearmament can take a couple of years to begin.
Having said that, a Chinese position has access to a range of unusual weapons.  Rockets are the ones most players might be instantly familiar with but there are repeating crossbows, both as a form of ‘battalion gun’ and as a hand weapon.  The hand weapon version is an old design, from the 2nd Century AD it was designed to be issued to new conscripts who could use it with minimal training and was still in use in the late 19th Century. Range is limited, in game about half that of a musket, but you can get off 10 shots in 15 seconds…so think WW2 sub-machine gun.  Add in an air force (kite units) and a Chinese position has a range of weapons available.
Naval power is another issue for a Chinese position.  At the start of the game the Chinese navy hardly exists, if it exists at all!  Historically China seems to go between periods of naval power and expansion and almost trying to forget the oceans exist.  The 15th Century was certainly a period of the former, as perhaps was the late 17th Century when dealing with Taiwan and pirates, but the early 18th Century is more a period of ignoring the sea.  This is reflected in game with no navy at the start of the game and there are limitations on the ships you can build-though as ever this has evolved through the games.  In G2 the initial rule was you could not build ships capable of carrying more than 20 guns though ships could carry rockets.  An early research breakthrough was the ability to build a much heavier armed war junk (an SoL though only armed with 40 cannon) based on a historic design.  As the games have evolved the rule has changed so that you can build junk versions of all ships except SoLs; which given the rather robust nature of junks does suggest a battle between a fleet of heavier armed war junks and western style SoLs would not be that one sided.  Further naval technologies that have been ‘rediscovered’ have included paddle wheels.

A Chinese Gameplan.  Playing a Chinese position is difficult.   You start from a low level of military technology, even if with some lovely ‘unusual’ weapons, and you are a team player-in a team where the other positions are rarely occupied, and despite Stuart’s claim, there is no “Imperial Love-in”…in fact the inactive positions are quite hostile to active positions as I have learnt-offering to help arm inactive positions (on the theory that if I give them modern weapons, if/when the barbarians attack they might better defend themselves) went down very badly.  So you are in a position where you can try and develop your own province but have to accept that the rest of your ‘team’ is going to be a long way behind you if you are attacked (unless you end up in the unusual position of at least one other Chinese position being played).  The most obvious Chinese position to play is Kwantung-in the south, easy access to the Pacific and round to India, has Canton and Macao in its territory.  If you have an active Portuguese player in game at least Macao can be a way of opening communications and getting aid.  Manchuria is the second option, though it is much further north and so harder to get access to the Pacific etc, at least it shares a border with Russia (and so an excuse to open communication).  
Communication is a difficult one for a Chinese position-who do you talk to?  As mentioned above Kwantung and Manchuria do have one European nation they can try and talk to but the Far East is rarely well populated.  The Spanish are in the Philippines and the Dutch in Indonesia, the  Portuguese have an isolated outpost in Timor and there is a small English settlement in the area…but unless you are lucky and someone is playing Japan (and you don’t want to smash hell out of each other), there aren’t many nations to communicate with-so it can be a lonely position.  Of course you can just try writing to various nations and see if you get a response, sometimes Europeans will if they sense a trade opportunity.  Moghul India is an option too, they face similar challenges to China in some ways and if you are both committed to limiting the barbarian build-up…

On the plus side, at least early in a game, no European power has the resources to do much in the Far East so a Chinese player can start to build up a strong position.  Of course, given the various weaknesses in the Chinese position this can take a few years!  Perhaps a Chinese position best suits someone interested in nation-building, producing a powerful state infrastructure with doctors, vets, etc, research into various technologies, rearming its army, developing a navy…

The approach I have always tried to follow has been the Chinese one of avoiding out-and-out colonialism and conquest, rather aiming for building up a ring of client states and influence.  So, not invading Indo-China but making friends and using gifts and preferential treatment as a way of influencing them, with a small number of forward bases (rented on favourable terms) to create a forward protective ring to limit barbarian expansion.  Of course, territorial expansion is not out of the question…Singapore does not need to be European, it could be Chinese…and why should Chinese fleets not reach Australia or the west coast of the Americas?  Building up trade is part of this-create a strong trade in the Far East, expand this to India and even parts of Africa (did you know a lot of Ming pottery has been found at the site of Great Zimbabwe?).

So, a Chinese game plan is not about burning Venice to the ground or blockading the Thames (though a small group of junks visiting Europe on a good will visit isn’t out of the question), it’s about creating a great wall of  influence…a line on the map as it were, which when the Europeans cross they realise that whilst they are not excluded and may cross to visit and trade, they know these are land under Chinese protection and are not theirs to make into colonies and take advantage of…

Stuart Bailey
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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:18 am

Ref foreign trade with China in this period China had lots of products esp Tea, China, Silks, etc the rest of the world wanted. The problem was finding something the Hong Merchant Houses would take in return for their lovely goods.

Basically the Hongs will trade for Furs, Ivory, Opium and Copper but above all they want Silver. If you have Silver to pay for your tea this is good since the value of Silver is higher in China than the rest of the world but is a bit of a problem if you dont have any spare Silver mines.

Basically the Manchu/Mongol Banner Armies need to be paid in Silver so the Manchu want their taxes paid in Silver. But like the Ottomans who have the same problem a lot of the the bloody stuff then gets turned into Dowry Jewellery and spends the next 50 years round the necks of Mongol Ladies and Ponies rather than going back to merchants for food, drink, girls like it would with civilized European Armies.

Generally speaking in 1700 the world paid for its tea etc with Silver purchased from South America with Slaves and Manufactured goods & China had a positive balance of payments. The problem came later on when China started to use Opium as a way to relax rather than as a medical treatment and sky high demand lead to a negative balance of payments draining the Silver liquidity out of the Manchu Economy plus huge social problems. This in turn lead to a Government crack down on Opium and the Opium Wars in the 1840's.

In 1700 I think Opium is a problem for the future......but no doubt if someone start shipping lots Richard may bring the problem forward! But I also think getting hold of Silver should be a issue for China players who want happy Bannermen.

One Manchu Governor in G7 actually bought the entire Royal 5th of Spanish Silver Bullion for many years plus a lot of the other 4/5th of production. Seems that those poor South American Miners need a nice clean silk shirt etc to go to Church on Sunday and a nice cup of green tea before their shift!

Think non Europe focused trade of this nature makes a interesting change to the usual trades in Wine, Vodka, Cloth etc beloved of European powers.
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Jason
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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Jason on Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:35 am

Fortunately, at least in G9, silver hasn't presented iself as an issue and foreign trade is doing very well Smile To give some figures

1703 income is 400% of 1700, whilst income from trade has gone from 45% of income to 80% of income.  The growth industries have been things like magic lanterns, tea and singing bowls Smile   I hadn't considered buying up S American silver but will look into it Smile

But you're right, it does make a nice change on things in Europe when it comes to trade!  Opium isn't an issue yet, but if it is the English will be to blame I'm sure so I will just stop sending them rhubarb and they will all die of constipation.

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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by jamesbond007 on Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:17 am

Never played a Chinese position. Has anybody ever united and ruled all of China.?

Stuart Bailey
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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:31 pm

Jason wrote:Fortunately, at least in G9, silver hasn't presented iself as an issue and foreign trade is doing very well Smile To give some figures

1703 income is 400% of 1700, whilst income from trade has gone from 45% of income to 80% of income.  The growth industries have been things like magic lanterns, tea and singing bowls Smile   I hadn't considered buying up S American silver but will look into it Smile

But you're right, it does make a nice change on things in Europe when it comes to trade!  Opium isn't an issue yet, but if it is the English will be to blame I'm sure so I will just stop sending them rhubarb and they will all die of constipation.


Think that like Indian products the products of China esp its tea, silks, and fine quality porcelain will sale in most markets.

The problem seems to be finding something from poor uncivilized area's (the rest of the world esp Europe) that is actually wanted in China and India since Ships which spend half their time empty lose most of their profit.

Was recently reading a history of the English East India Company which shed some light on this issue since with demand for classic English cloth was rather low in China & India the Company basically paid for its Exports to Europe by working as a shipper of local merchants goods.  Seems that English wool did not sale well in Canton but the Hongs did like Indian fabric's & spices (Dutch did even better with Spices) and coffee from the Gulf.

Sometimes players running positions in China & esp India seem to view European Trade posts as invaders to be wiped out.  Think its better to view them as your export markets and shippers.  Perhaps even work at getting your own men on the board of some of the great shipping companies.

Think its also interesting to see how much International trade patterns developed to basically pay the Hongs for their tea and why fear  that the French would take over trade with South America and deny the English & Dutch access to the Silver they needed to pay for the Tea etc was one of the reasons for the WSS.

Oddly playing the Spanish Empire in G7 (& playing it as seperate Viceroys with their own interests & trades) am I the only Spanish Player who thinks having the Capital in an Iberian backwater is a liability!  And they should be based in hip happening trade cross road place like Milan, Flanders or even Manila or Lima.

Anyone else had a urge to take the King 150,000 Royal Catholic Troops & Catholic Priests and build a Spanish Catholic Utopia away from Heretics, Ottomans &  the French?  Looking out over the blue waters to the trade of China, Japan and India?  Pity in G7 such dreams seem to be stuck in the trenches.........bloody French!

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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:52 pm

jamesbond007 wrote:Never played a Chinese position. Has anybody ever united and ruled all of China.?

The 1st Emperor followed by the Han, Tang, Yuan, Ming, Manchu lots of different people.

But if you are asking has a player ever overthrown the Emperor and made himself Emperor of China in his place in a Glori du Roi game the answer is no.

Faced with 600,000 - 800,000 Manchu Bannermen and a all powerful NPC Imperial Govt lead by Richard l suspect it would need a Imperial Governor like Jason to spend years building up his position so it can defeat the other Governors, a very unfortunate accident which wipes out the Empire and the Royal Family leaving your son by a Royal Priness as the heir then a decade fighting to enforce the claim.

It may be a bit easier to someone to do it in srabble but no one has tried as yet.
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Jason
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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Jason on Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:54 pm

Not as far as I know. In G2 it was made quite clear in the position setup that you could not attack any other Chinese position and that the Emperor would never be a played position. Its not made so clear in other games but you do get the feeling that if you did try it, you'd suddenly come unstuck.

It makes sense historically as the Emperor in 1700 was proving to be the sort of emperor the empire expected Smile He'd dealt with rebels and external threats and was being a good civic emperor too. I think a rebellion against him would be unlikely at this stage Smile

In the game I think the structure is against such a thing too. All four of the core provinces are very evenly matched militarily, at least at the outset. They each have approx 200 infantry battalions and 500 mounted squadrons (not sure about Korea but its got to be a lot smaller), so if you do decide to start a civil war you are going to be heavily outnumbered, even if you've spent several years throwing every recruit you have into the military. I also suspect that there is an additional military force of some size that the Emperor has under 'his' direct command.
I also suspect that the Emperor has access to more modern weaponry than the governors. In G2 when I was trying to obtain the skills to make flintlocks and modern artillery, I had to ask the Emperor for permission to have 'orrible barbarians on my soil...he turned round and said no but I could buy flintlocks and artillery direct from his court (!) so if you did try to rise up, you might suddenly find those inactive other provinces also have lots of nice flintlocks, western artillery, etc...
In addition, honour really comes from loyalty to the emperor and giving him gifts, so rebelling against him would see your honour drop very quickly I suspect.

I did once ask to be given a second province to govern, thinking no one else seemed to want to play a Chinese position, and was given a task to bring extra territory under imperial rule, after which my request would be considered...unfortunately a real life problem occured (unemployment) and had to drop the game for financial reasons before I could complete the task.

I suspect a united China might be too large to be governable by one player, though I'd love to try it Smile I have wondered if the Chinese positions might benefit from a modified version of the double position that we have in Scramble. Given the way the game seems to prevent civil war in China and also most Chinese positions are vacant (think G8 is the only game where we have had a prolonged period of multi-Chinese positions active), could there be a 'caretaker' system? You play your main Chinese position but can take on a second province (for a lower fee) and keep it 'ticking over' if and until someone wants to take it on? You wouldn't be able to drain recruits and resources from the second province into the primary one but you would develop its infrastructure, organise and expand its military, etc. It would mean that if a threat to the bigger team position developed then the second province would at least have had some development and be able to pay its part.
Of course such an arrangement wouldn't appeal to a lot of people who might feel (quite understandably) they wouldn't want to put their time and money into developing a position that they could suddenly lose. But it could be an option to help develop the wider team.
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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Jason on Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:24 pm

Stuart Bailey wrote:
Jason wrote:Fortunately, at least in G9, silver hasn't presented iself as an issue and foreign trade is doing very well Smile To give some figures

1703 income is 400% of 1700, whilst income from trade has gone from 45% of income to 80% of income.  The growth industries have been things like magic lanterns, tea and singing bowls Smile   I hadn't considered buying up S American silver but will look into it Smile

But you're right, it does make a nice change on things in Europe when it comes to trade!  Opium isn't an issue yet, but if it is the English will be to blame I'm sure so I will just stop sending them rhubarb and they will all die of constipation.


Think that like Indian products the products of China esp its tea, silks, and fine quality porcelain will sale in most markets.

The problem seems to be finding something from poor uncivilized area's (the rest of the world esp Europe) that is actually wanted in China and India since Ships which spend half their time empty lose most of their profit.

Was recently reading a history of the English East India Company which shed some light on this issue since with demand for classic English cloth was rather low in China & India the Company basically paid for its Exports to Europe by working as a shipper of local merchants goods.  Seems that English wool did not sale well in Canton but the Hongs did like Indian fabric's & spices (Dutch did even better with Spices) and coffee from the Gulf.

Sometimes players running positions in China & esp India seem to view European Trade posts as invaders to be wiped out.  Think its better to view them as your export markets and shippers.  Perhaps even work at getting your own men on the board of some of the great shipping companies.

Think its also interesting to see how much International trade patterns developed to basically pay the Hongs for their tea and why fear  that the French would take over trade with South America and deny the English & Dutch access to the Silver they needed to pay for the Tea etc was one of the reasons for the WSS.

Oddly playing the Spanish Empire in G7 (& playing it as seperate Viceroys with their own interests & trades) am I the only Spanish Player who thinks having the Capital in an Iberian backwater is a liability!  And they should be based in hip happening trade cross road place like Milan, Flanders or even Manila or Lima.

Anyone else had a urge to take the King 150,000 Royal Catholic Troops & Catholic Priests and build a Spanish Catholic Utopia away from Heretics, Ottomans &  the French?  Looking out over the blue waters to the trade of China, Japan and India?  Pity in G7 such dreams seem to be stuck in the trenches.........bloody French!

I think I've also read that HEIC history-found it very informative and useful when I briefly played England a few years back. In game I've taken the approach as seeing Chinese trade as being link to imperial diplomacy, so it focuses on the Far East (lots of trade and hopefully influence among my neighbours), India and slowly expanding in eastern Africa. I only have a token trade in Europe, in fact it trades solely with Portugal as a way of showing the honour we give that barbarian nation by allowing them to have a presence at Macao. As to foreign trade with the empire, its really a form of tribute, a sign of the great respect you barbarians have for the Eternal Empire Wink Of course, being the great power that we are, China doesn't need it but tolerates it to allow other nations to show their respect (an imperial conceit of course but hey Smile ).

Interesting what you say about the capital of the Spanish empire, it would make more sense to have it elsewhere though I suspect a ruler who tried to move the capital would face a lot of resistance. Unless you're going to rule like a Russian Czar, I doubt you would manage to get the nobility and general population to go along with the move. As a project though, it would be fascinating, a holy-royal trading city rising in the East...

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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sun Jan 01, 2017 3:47 pm

Jason wrote:

In the game I think the structure is against such a thing too.  All four of the core provinces are very evenly matched militarily, at least at the outset.  They each have approx 200 infantry battalions and 500 mounted squadrons (not sure about Korea but its got to be a lot smaller), so if you do decide to start a civil war you are going to be heavily outnumbered, even if you've spent several years throwing every recruit you have into the military.  I also suspect that there is an additional military force of some size that the Emperor has under 'his' direct command.
I also suspect that the Emperor has access to more modern weaponry than the governors.  In G2 when I was trying to obtain the skills to make flintlocks and modern artillery, I had to ask the Emperor for permission to have 'orrible barbarians on my soil...he turned round and said no but I could buy flintlocks and artillery direct from his court (!) so if you did try to rise up, you might suddenly find those inactive other provinces also have lots of nice flintlocks, western artillery, etc...
In addition, honour really comes from loyalty to the emperor and giving him gifts, so rebelling against him would see your honour drop very quickly I suspect.



If anyone wants to have a go all "Jacobite" in China and overthrow the foreign Manchu yoke or just replace the Emperor Kangxi with their own character I think the following points need to be considered:

1) In the 1690's the Ch'ing Dynasty Army was based on 24 Banners.........8 Manchu, 8 Chinese & 8 Mongol Banners.

- Chinese Green Standard troops were viewed as inferior to Manchu/Mongol troops and included a lot more infantry than Manchu & Mongol banners who were mostly Cavalry. So its perfectly possible that the Banners were not the same size but if you work on the basis that 100 Battalions or 250 Cav Squ = a Banner & each of the 4 Provincial Governors has control of a Banner Army is made up of 4 Banners (2 Manchu & 2 Green Standard) that would seem reasonable.

- Ref numbers of recruits reason's why the % of Han Recruits are low is that in Southern China at least the Manchu are a foreign Army of Occupation. Plus they dont wish to flood their Army with non Manchu partly because it might upset core support and partly because they do not fully trust Han troops (The revolt of the "Three Feudatories" only ended 20 odd years ago and more recent revolts by Ming Loyalists have also shown they are not that Loyal). Would a London Govt want 80% of its troops to be Scots Highlanders even if it could raise the numbers? I suspect that the 8/8/8 split is a political call based on keeping forces in balance so a revolt by one can get crushed by the other two.

- Which leaves one thinking were are the missing 8 "Mongol" Banners????

2) Try Mongolia & the Steppe........putting to one side the claims of Jason and Manchu propaganda in 1700 the Manchu struggle with their Zhungar rivals for control of Tibet, the Steppe and Mongolia still has another 50 years to go. So if you do revolt and march on the Capital do not be that shocked if the the best and most battle hardened 1/3 of the Manchu Army suddenly shows up lead by General Fianggyu (Victor of Jao Modo in 1696) and Manchu Princes really pissed off that you have just "stabbed it in the back".

- For info the x3 forces which the Emperor Kangxi lead across the Gobi for the 1696 Campaign in the Zhungar heartland totalled 70,000 men and 300 cannon and he did 1500 miles in 98 days surviving snow, rain, sand dunes and drought plus a major battle. These are very tough troops and probably better than than Han Conscripts even with flintlocks esp on the North China plain.

3) As well as the rival Provincial forces & the Crack Army in Mongolia the Emperor can call on vassals in Napal, Annam, Laos, Siam & Burma and there is the Garrison of the Capital and the Imperial Guard & Imperial Artillery under his direct control.

- Not sure how large Kangi Imperial Guard is but based on Yuan and Ming examples think 10,000 to 30,000 elite troops would be reasonable. Plus consider these are Manchu Nobles the sons and family of your Officers........if you start killing the Guard your honour probably goes into free fall.

4) Dont think the Imperial Guard and the Army in Mongolia has flintlocks but what it does have is composite bows & lances used by men trained to use them from horseback from childhood. They also have cannon......siege type guns plus small mobile ones.


- Basically my feeling is that a direct revolt by a Manchu Governor is doomed..... if you revolt and try and hold your fortresses you will slowly be ground down and if you march on the capital your army is going to die in a arrow storm.

- Perhaps a player willing to play court politics for years could become Emperor or a Ming Loyalist could free parts of the south. But basically if you want to overthrow the Manchu in a Agema game I suggest you play Scabble.

In Scabble the Dynasty is not the force so you might have a better chance........but you might also have to try and deal with Brit Opium Traders and their rivals who might not favour a clean cut hero. These are not nice people!

Plus in the north a ancient and historic foe is starting to rise again..........for reasons know only to the fevered imagination of the Russian Foreign Office the Czar has decided he is the Khan of Khans & the Supreme Hetman. Its probably nothing to worry about:oops:
But the new Hordes do seem to be equiped with machine guns.
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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Jason on Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:08 pm

The only point I'd disagree with you on Stuart is the recruits. I've played Manchuria Province in one game (so home province of the Manchu) and the recruit percentage was the same as for Kwantung. If I wasn't so into the nation building aspects of the game, the recruit number wouldn't be an issue...only so many new units you can reasonably raise each year Smile

In Glory, the Chinese positions are best suited to those who are into nation building and who, frankly, are a bit more willing to play the long game as you develop your position-I think you'd struggle to invade anyone after a year or so Wink Think of the fun you could have, a Chinese presence in Australia, New Zealand or the western Americas isn't out of the question...
I do enjoy playing Kwantung in G9 and have high hopes for it longer term...and if anyoen fancies becoming a loyal governor of another province, they will find Lord Fong most generous at sharing the technologies etc he has obtained/developed Wink

Scramble could a get place to play the Chin-I think you can play the Emperor as a character, though quite how that would work not sure? Suppose you might be working to re-establish your power? Or as Stuart suggests, be a foul rebel, working to overthrow the Emperor...personally I'm all in favour of seeing those naughty opium dealers getting their comeupannce.

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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by jamesbond007 on Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:01 pm

Great write up on china and chinease positions.Very interesting. Thanks guys.
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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Deacon on Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:40 pm


Thanks for the insight Jason.

I would think conquering all of china ought to be doable, but difficult and time consuming. I think you'd need enough agents to help subvert the throne before you tried to seize it, and a very large and effective army.

Having tried this kind of thing before, it would be a lot to bite off...

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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Nexus06 on Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:20 am

Jason wrote:Following on from a question from Nexus, and a comment from Stuart, I thought I’d do a (not so) short piece on playing a Chinese position...

Well Jason

first of all thank you very much, your insight eastern game experience is surely opening new frontiers in my vision of the game!

I think that the game Richard created is really beyond the expectation in so many ways, but the greater strength is the degree of autonomy it leaves and the ability to accept talented minds like yours!

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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:54 am

Jason wrote:The only point I'd disagree with you on Stuart is the recruits.  I've played Manchuria Province in one game (so home province of the Manchu) and the recruit percentage was the same as for Kwantung.  If I wasn't so into the nation building aspects of the game, the recruit number wouldn't be an issue...only so many new units you can reasonably raise each year Smile

In Glory, the Chinese positions are best suited to those who are into nation building and who, frankly, are a bit more willing to play the long game as you develop your position-I think you'd struggle to invade anyone after a year or so Wink  Think of the fun you could have, a Chinese presence in Australia, New Zealand or the western Americas isn't out of the question...
I do enjoy playing Kwantung in G9 and have high hopes for it longer term...and if anyoen fancies becoming a loyal governor of another province, they will find Lord Fong most generous at sharing the technologies etc he has obtained/developed Wink

Scramble could a get place to play the Chin-I think you can play the Emperor as a character, though quite how that would work not sure?  Suppose you might be working to re-establish your power?  Or as Stuart suggests, be a foul rebel, working to overthrow the Emperor...personally I'm all in favour of seeing those naughty opium dealers getting their comeupannce.  


My guess is that for game purposes the x4 Chinese positions are broadly the same.  While in actual fact Manchuria had a lower population than the other three but provided a lot more recruits for the military.

Mind you a lot of the Manchu recruits from Manchuria would probably go to banner armies based in other provinces and Mongolia and the Imperial Guard.

Ref scabble dont think Chin is a player position ......rather its part of a Far East map zone zone in which players (via their x12 Characters) struggle in theory for control of provinces.  But in practice control of trade and railway/telegraph and putting their man/woman into the Government seem just as important to may players.

So in scrabble to become Emperor of Chin one of your characters..... probably a General, Politician, Diplomat or Rebel character is going to have to start in a fairly low position inside or outside the Chin Govt and work his way up. Or you claim to be Khan of Khans mass a huge Army with the most modern fire arms and invade after you envoy gets insulted.

We used to have a Triad Rebel character, now we seem to have a Imperial Gov of Canton hand in glove with the Opium Cartel and the Triads and a active Boxer Character who does not like Opium.  

If you fancy trying to get rid of the corruption and drag the Manchu State into the C19 while seeing those naughty opium dealers getting their comeupannce.  I would say its possible but probably really bad for a character's health.

Movements of this nature seem more advanced in India were various people want to get rid of the influence of lackies of a "C17 feudal relic"....The HEIC.  

Or it could be said that the India & the HEIC offers a model for Chin in Scabble for a would be Nation Builder with a trade company.  Since most of India is still ruled by the Great Moghul and Princes.  But slowly but surely the whole country is getting a Railway and Telegraphy system plus schools with Cricket Pitches and a All India Cricket Union.


Last edited by Stuart Bailey on Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Jason
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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Jason on Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:53 pm

Conquest via a game of Railway Tycoons? Well it's different I guess Smile Though I think you might not win the Chinese over with cricket. I always assumed the HEIC was also a naughty opium dealer too...I also get the feeling Scramble might be an easier game to play an individual (like the Triad rebel) than Glory.

On Glory, glad some found my initial post and the subsequent discussions of interest Smile

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Re: Managing the Manchu

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:45 pm

Jason wrote:Conquest via a game of Railway Tycoons?  Well it's different I guess Smile  Though I think you might not win the Chinese over with cricket.  I always assumed the HEIC was also a naughty opium dealer too...I also get the feeling Scramble might be an easier game to play an individual (like the Triad rebel) than Glory.

On Glory, glad some found my initial post and the subsequent discussions of interest Smile  

The HEIC in scabble runs Mines, Railways, Telegraph Lines, Ports, Shipyards, Textile and Chemicals plants, Paper Mills, Iron & Steel works, Light & Heavy Engineering as well as being a leading trader in Tea, Jute and other agricultural products! It is not a naughty opium dealer.....it only deals in opium under licence for strictly medical purposes!! We are the good guys.....honest Very Happy Sir Harry Flashman has been Knighted by the Queen and Lord Hardinge is a member of Horseguards, the Reform Club and the House of Lords so we must be the good Guys.

Think the Brits idea of victory in Scabble is when Lord Derby opens a International Cricket Conference with delegates from the Constantinople Cricket Club, All Indian Cricket Union, New York Cricket Club and the Hongkong and Shanghai Cricket Clubs at the meeting and W G Grace leaders a touring party to Peking along the Hong Kong to Peking Railway!

Fairly sure the Chin being a bright people will see the light over cricket. My worry is with the Americans and the Scots.

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