The Samurai Invasion of Korea – Playing Manchuria (Deity)
Fu Manchu does not have any relation to Far-eastern culture. Unlike other Steam achievements, Emperor Fu Manchu does not do an as good job combining historical facts with pop culture.
As a quantum of solace 😉 here’s yet another thrilling chapter of Chinese and Far-eastern history: China, as we know it in the west had been conquered entirely several times in history. But instead of suppressed, Chinese culture prevailed and eventually (time and time again) made the conquerors become Chinese themselves.
Same with the Manchu. Nurhaci, whom you’re playing in this scenario, unified the Jurchen tribes and established the Eight Banners, an organizational structure for both military and society. In 1616 after proclaiming himself Khan of the Jin-Dynasty, he launched his attack on Ming-China. His sons completed his conquests and renamed their people to Manchu.
Ironically: After Beijing fell and Ming-China was defeated, though not completely conquered, many Han-Chinese joined the Banners of the Manchu. In the end, when the newly established Qing dynasty claimed the rest of China, it’s Bannermen were only 16% Manchus and 75% Han-Chinese.
The Qing dynasty ruled China for almost 300 years from 1644 to 1912 and mostly adopted Han culture. Not forgetting their origin, they protected the Manchu way of life in the respective provinces.
German and French names of this Steam Achievement:
DE: Kaiser Fu Mandschu
FR: La Mandchourie sourit
Emperor Fu Manchu – Strategy
First (failed) attempt
Playing the Manchu in the “The Samurai Invasion of Korea” scenario seems very straightforward: You are the only civilization who can build settlers and found new cities, so overwhelming your enemies should be easy.
Especially after seeing the Deity AI play the Manchu I had high expectations. So you’ve got your capital, improve it in the best possible build order, use workers to build city improvements around and connecting roads to the existing Chinese-Korean road network. Your initial army is big enough to take out plenty of surrounding Barbarian encampments. Thanks to your unique trait, those defeated units join you and fight for the Manchu! This way I could attack China already in turn 12!
Getting stronger and stronger with every promotion and every newly produced unit, I fought for Beijing already in turn 63, which is 1623 AD. Although suffering heavy losses, Beijing fell in turn 67, July 1625. Overall I didn’t even produce many units, because I had assumed with China, the strongest opponent falling so quickly, the rest of the game would be a walk in the park. I was wrong.
I had underestimated several things:
- It’s 24 tiles between Beijing and Uiju, so even fast units take several turns and moving an entire army takes even longer, check out the Samurai Invasion of Korea Map
- Korea held the ground against Japan this long, so it wasn’t even easy to capture the Korean cities
- Everything south of Pyongyang was captured by Japan, which was incredibly strong by now
So in the end I captured Pyongyang in turn 98 and fired some shots at Japanese Haeju. But I was far away from capturing Seoul and thus lost the game.
Winning the second attempt
With the above learned the goal is clear: We have to fight both campaigns at the same time, consisting of (at least) 4 cities each: In the Western campaign, conquering Ming China, we have to capture 1. Liaoyang 2. Ningyuan 3. Shanhaiguan and 4. Beijing. The Eastern campaign targets 1. Uiju 2. Pyongyang 3. Haeju and 4. Seoul (and potentially Hamhung in the very northeast).
Emperor Fu Manchu – Initial Social Policies
To be honest: You won’t get many Social Policies throughout this game. So using the initial ones wisely is crucial to win this (at least on Deity, but it won’t hurt applying the same principles for lower levels of difficulty). I went for the following initial policies:
- Organized Religion – +1 Happiness from Monuments and Temples
- Citizenship – for the free worker, because your land is barren
- Honor (complete the left tree first)
- Warrior Code – for the free General
- Military Tradition – +50% XP for all units
The above selection is a nice balance countering your main problems: With China you’re fighting a powerful enemy starting ~turn 10-15. You need veterans quickly – thus the left Honor tree. You might get a Happiness problem through your conquests – thus organized religion. And finally: You are the only “nomadic” people only starting to settle. Different from Japan, Korea and China your land is primal with no roads, no improvements, thus the worker and +25% on improvement speed.
After that, for the rest of the game, complete the Honor tree:
- Discipline – +15% bonus for melees flanking each other
- Military Caste – Happiness and Culture from city garrisons
- Professional Army – Happiness from defense structures and decreased upgrade costs
- Meritocracy – Happiness for each connected city
Emperor Fu Manchu – First Steps
In your capital, build a Watermill and a Worker first. Then come Stables and you can start pumping out Banner Cavalry!
Send your clan south to found Yenden between the Iron and the Horses halfway to Korea. Found it on the northern tile between those 2 resources, because you’ll also need to get the Furs three tiles north. Have (on of) your worker(s) build a road from the capital to Yenden, as this is your marching route (also have a look at the Samurai Invasion of Korea Map).
The initial units enlarge your army by heading out in all directions and defeating the barbarians nearby. There are some Banner Cavalry, Crossbowmen, Pikemen and a Trebuchet around.
After the road to Yenden is finished, extend it straight west to Liaoyang and then south to Uiju. Your first troops should move to Liaoyang right away. I declared war in turn 11 and captured it in turn 12.
Emperor Fu Manchu – Chronology of Conquest
Applying the usual tactics, building lots of roads and saving veterans (whilst sometimes sacrificing rookies), I continued the march on both Beijing and Seoul almost synchronously:
In the above order, driving the conquest deeper into crumbling Ming-China and Joseon-Korea, I was able to beat the game in 6 hours and 9 minutes of playtime.
Other than the AI playing the Manchu, who settles half of the northern part of the map, after Yenden I only founded one more city: Xingjing in turn 51. I built it just NW of the capital on the west bank of the river, to get the Dyes and Wheat but still in range of the horses east of the river.
Once the resistance is broken (in my case after the fierce battles for Ningyuan), you only have to deal with the units China produces. Which is still a lot, but the main army defending the first cities is destroyed. Resistance will flare again when approaching Beijing – mainly due to the geography. There’s no way to surround it, so you can only move very slowly against the Great Wall perk of the Chinese. Use the range and logistics of your Banner Cavalry to kill units from a distance. Bomb Beijing from afar, which is possibly from 2 hills north of the city, whilst your main host deals with reinforcements from the south.
Although the Japanese have a strong occupation force in Korea as well, there’s much smoother sailing here. Your highly promoted Banner Cavalry can outmaneuver and shoot the Japanese wherever possible. Capturing Seoul in time should be easy if you time your progress with the western conquest.
Emperor Fu Manchu – Conclusion
Playing the Manchu still surprised me! This wasn’t the first Deity game in a scenario, but still: The success in the West blinded me to the challenges in the East in my first attempt. In the end I lost it and it wasn’t even close! That was annoying, but also nice, because it proved that not everything in this scenario is a piece of cake.
Winning the second attempt, hereby proclaiming myself “Manchu Emperor” (no Fu), brought a deep satisfaction! 🙂