GOTM9 - Closing the Noose around Kyoto

GOTM9 Index

The Japan Campaign
- Introduction
- Planning
- Military orders
- Initial engagements
- Far off landing
- Coastal thrust
- Main advance
- Inland sea
- Consolidate the opening
- Secure the horses
- Western port
- Moving inland
- Battle before Edo
- Combat tables
- Yokohama and Nara
- Osaka
- Kyoto’s fate
- The gambit
- The battle
- Combat tables
- Mopping up

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Victory at Edo effectively destroyed the Japanese capacity to attack and disrupt our military units in the field. This changed the war in to a final series of chess moves and “set piece”/entrenched battles against mature Japanese cities. We would need all of our units at full strength and committed into the attacks in order to succeed.

Kyoto in the year 320 AD was a thriving city of at least nine pop points, located on grassland, with a river guarding its northern side. If we could sidestep the river barrier by attacking from the correct direction(s), then the city would give each of its units a fortified defender bonus of about two times (2x) their basic defense strength {1.10 (grassland) * 1.25 (fortified) * 1.50 (city size bonus)}. This would mean that spearmen would defend at a value of 4.12 while our war chariots would attack at a value of 2.00. We would need to use as many of 3.00 strength swordsmen as possible to be assured of a successful attack.

A quick map inspection towards Kyoto let me choose a route of advance from Edo that would keep our forces as clear of potential counter attackers as possible. Since we had just researched engineering, we could be reasonably certain that Japan did not have that technology and that would mean that the Japanese units could not smoothly use their roads to advance across the river that cut across the grasslands between Edo and Kyoto. Our units could advance up to the river and then cross over the river in the last turn before attacking directly into the town. We would risk being counterattacked during the final turn before the attack, but strong defensive units should shield our offensive strike power while chewing up some of Tokugawa’s potential defenders.

Click here to download the 300AD ending save fileIf you would like to pick up and play from this point in time, you may click here to download a Civ3 V1.21 save file that will position you right at the end of the year 300AD. Remember: Your replay results will vary slightly from the original game because the impact of the Random Number Generator will alter the play sequence a little bit more for each movement sequence that progresses.

A near disaster at Osaka
To the south of Edo, another large Japanese city lie just beyond our view. A forceful reconnaissance of this town in 310 AD revealed it to be Osaka and defended by regular spearmen at a population of five so they would only have the basic fortified defender strength of 2.75.

With all of our units at Edo healed to full strength, I felt we could take this town now and still free up sufficient forces to continue the primary attack on Kyoto. If I delayed this attack until after Kyoto was taken, then this town would become the new Japanese capital and that would place it closer to Edo and the other Japanese towns that we had already captured. Rather than accept the increased risk of cultural rebirth that might accompany the capital jump, and also to avoid any risk of a counterattack out of this town, I decided to push the reconnaissance into a full scale attack as a prelude to taking Kyoto.

This decision almost turned into a total disaster when Osaka turned out to be defended by five military units including three regular spearmen, one archer, and a veteran warrior. Because of this large number of defenders it took nine of our fast attack units to take the town and in the process only two of the units were left at full health to join the final assault on Kyoto.

Snapshot of units taking Osaka

The extra prize for taking Osaka was capturing three Japanese settlers all in the same move. This yielded six slave workers who immediately set to work clearing the forests northwest of the town.

Closing in on Kyoto
Click on this image for a large animation of the Osake Kyoto region (471 k)Committing most of our fast attack units to taking Osaka was not totally impulsive, because the vanguard of the attack on Kyoto would be shielded by a short stack of swordsmen and spearman who moved up one step at a time. In the initial steps, these foot units launched out of Edo and crossed into Japanese territory at a position that kept all units behind the defensive bonus from the river north west of Kyoto. The units had to clear one Japanese archer out of that location as they arrived but no units were lost in this task. Three fast attack units initially joined the swordsmen to provide quick response that could cleanup any counter attacking units if they appeared.

In 320 AD, this attacking force moved forward across the river and took up an attack position on the vineyard square that can be seen in the lower right of the animation above. This position was strategically located to allow the returning units from the Osaka attack to join the attack force, by following the shortest diagonal path from the cow that is just visible at the lower left.

On its own, this attack force would probably not be strong enough to take Kyoto. Even with the last minute arrivals, this stack only contained a total of nine units of which seven could potentially attack into the town with any effect. Based on the Osaka learning experience, I expected Kyoto to be defended by at least four and perhaps five strong defenders plus at least one catapult.

The next major sequence of moves was –

The Satsuma Amphibious Gambit to Assemble the Kyoto Attack


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