The second year of our campaign begins with a rush on Huiji to the south.
This allows us to conduct diplomacy with the Shanyue. After a few gifts, they’re feeling friendly, and are contributing officers and troops to help our cause. (Sadly, we can’t use their officers as city governors.)
As suggested, we patch up relations with our friendliest-looking neighbors. We now have alliances with Sun Ce to the southwest and Zhang Chao to the north.
I’ve leveled up to become level 2 noble, which allows me to appoint another advisor. We’re doing a domestic focus for a while, so I’ve appointed Chai Tea Latte to help promote economic development in our cities. China will be awash in ben-wa balls and artwork in no time.
As always, we need to bring in more officers to help manage the territory we’re conquering, and I’m resorting to attempting to poach disloyal officers from other warlords.
Some notable recruits include:Chen Gong,
who’s reasonably well-rounded;Dong Xi,
a fierce warrior who drowned IRL and whom Koei Tecmo gave the trait “Helmsman” to rub it in, I guess;Fan Neng,
who died when Sun Ce yelled at him and he fell off his horse;He Qi,
who’s skilled in water warfare and really flashy;Pan Lin,
a Shanyue officer whose outfit looks He-Man inspired;Xu Huang,
considered one of the Five Elite Generals.
By the beginning of October (and yes, I’m introducing the Gregorian calendar as soon as I remember whatever weird thing it does with leap days), we’re firmly in control of eastern China south of the Yangtze.
Elsewhere, there’s a mad scramble for the north central region, with Yuan Shao, Cao Cao, Yuan Shu, and Lu Bu all warring with each other.
Thanks to avoiding open conflict and allying with the Shanyue, we now have the largest army in China, although we lag behind Yuan Shao in money, supplies, and officers.
The city of Jianan sits undefended to our south. It’s in a mountainous region and would take some time to capture, potentially bringing us into conflict with Shi Xie
(unless we spent some time and money buttering him up).
We outnumber Liu Biao (to our west) three to one and have more officers than he does, plus he’s using a lot of men to chase down bandits in his territory, so if we’re willing to chance a river crossing, we could strike against Chaisang (south of the river) or Lujiang (north of it).
Or we could focus on economic development and build fortifications.
What do you say?