- +10% National tax modifier
- +1 Land leader maneuver
- +25% National manpower modifier
- +20% Cavalry combat ability
- +20% Religious unity
- +0.5 Yearly army tradition
- −2 National unrest
- −10% Land attrition
- −20% Infantry cost
- −15% Core-creation cost
Taungu is a one province minor in Indochina. It is the primary nation of the Burmese culture. It borders and is a tributary of Ava to the North, and it borders Mong Pai to the North-East, Lan Na to the East, Pegu to the South and Prome to the West.
Historically it unified most of modern Burma, conquered or made subject of much of the rest of Indochina, and became a major regional power.
- Main article: Taunguan missions
Taungu's mission tree allows for very rapid conquest of the entire Indochina area. The major obstacle is getting a good start. Taungu starts as a landlocked OPM tributary of Ava, surrounded by a lot of two and three-province nations, most of which are also tributaries of Ava. These will inevitably form a tight set of alliance webs, possibly even with the nearby major nations of Bengal, Ayutthaya, Khmer and Lan Xang. Luckily, since most countries in Burma are tributaries of Ava, the Ming and their desire for tributaries won't be an issue most of the early game.
Taungu will struggle for trade income early on. While the provinces in Burma produce many profitable trade goods, the trade node has only a single trading hub, and the majority of Burma's trade will be drawn downstream into the very powerful Bengal trade node. Taungu's mission tree encourages moving the national capital to Pegu—completing this mission effectively resolves Taungu's early-game trade income problems, as Pegu is part of the Bengal trade node.
While Taungu's national idea group eventually provides a reduction to coring cost, the Influence idea group can be useful for expansion through vassals in the early game, as it pairs well with the Mandala System reform and Taungu's Theravada Buddhist religion. Demanding core returns or releasing nations as part of a peace deal will never cost monarch points for Buddhist nations, regardless of the original CB used and regardless of who the cores are being returned to, and it is crucial to maintaining neutral Karma balance.
The start of Taungu's mission tree requires you to conquer Prome, a neighbouring OPM. The other branch requires the conquest of the entire Lower Burma area, which is initially held by Pegu. The other neighbouring targets are Lan Na and Mong Pai, as well as the overlord Ava. Attacking Ava should be delayed until after most of its tributaries have been conquered. Depending on the starting attitudes, early war against any of these targets (except Ava) can range from easy to nigh impossible. A good way of starting is to ally the rivals/neighbours of your neighbours, and calling them into war, promising land. Whether to actually give them land depends on which countries you are allied to and which you are attacking - with the exception of Pegu and Prome, you'll eventually get permanent claims on the entire Indochina region. Not giving away land means you'll take a trust hit from everyone and prevent you from promising land to allies for a long time, while giving it away means making a future enemy stronger, not making yourself stronger, and sometimes causing issues with military access and coring opportunities.
Should Taungu secure enough territory to complete their initial missions and become an empire, they may still have difficulty pursuing further missions to expand into Indochina. The majority of the countries in Southeast Asia are likely to be tributaries of Ming, barring unusual circumstances such as Ming collapsing into civil war, any attempt to expand north into Tibet or east into Siam will inevitably involve hostile relations with Ming. Patient players may still find opportunities to continue expanding into Southeast Asia without directly drawing Ming into war, such as drawing tributaries into war as co-belligerents by attacking their non-tributary allies, or offering an alliance to a tributary in the middle of defending against another tributary: they will call Taungu as a co-belligerent and Taungu can either persevere until the end of the war in the hopes that the primary defender will give them territory as part of the peace deal, or Taungu can attempt to get as much direct war score as possible before withdrawing in a separate peace. Trying to become a tributary of Ming is another possible method to open further expansion against their other tributaries, but Ming is more likely to see Taungu as a rival—especially if Taungu has achieved an empire rank through their mission tree and seized parts of Bengal. Ming may even join coalitions against Taungu in some conditions.
If Taungu is not yet ready to risk a confrontation with Ming, safer options for expansion may include continued westward expansion into India. The province of Pataliputra is particularly noteworthy: it is a useful province as it provides The Conquest of Bodh Gaya modifier for Buddhist nations. though these provinces are downstream from the Bengal trade node and less profitable in regards to trade income. Utilizing expansion ideas or colonial ideas (or a no-CB war) to expand into the Malacca trade node is particularly profitable, as trade power in Malacca can be directly transferred into the Bengal node, and the nations in Sumatra and Java are not likely to be under Ming's protection. Malacca is also important because trade from the Siam node needs to travel through Malacca first before it can be collected in Bengal. Regardless of whether Taungu chooses to expand into Malacca or not, keep an eye open for the inevitable arrival of colonial trade companies from nations like Portugal, Spain, or sometimes the Mamluks in rare cases. While colonizers from Europe or Arabia are unlikely to declare war on Taungu, their presence in Malacca can harm Taungu's trade income by diverting significant amounts of Malacca's trade away from Bengal (or pushing it past Bengal towards Alexandria, in the Mamluks' case). Additionally, if a nation following the Sunni religion gains significant power in the Malacca node (usually either Malacca or Pasai), they are highly likely to make an alliance with either the Ottomans or Mamluks, making war with them significantly more costly and tedious.
Taungu's mission tree encourages Taungu to consider war against Ming. Even if the player has no interest in seizing the Mandate of Heaven, hostilities with Ming will be difficult to avoid: the majority of the nations on Taungu's eastern borders are likely to be tributaries of Ming, embargoes from Ming will be significantly more harmful to Taungu than vice versa, and they are unlikely to leave Taungu in peace.
There are a few ways for Taungu to prepare for war with Ming. Taungu's mission tree gives them an opportunity to grab a technological advantage through early institutions, by allowing Pegu to be developed at a significantly reduced cost. If the Center of Trade in Pegu is upgraded to level 2 before the Conquer Lower Burma mission is completed, completing the mission will instead upgrade Pegu's Center of Trade to level 3, granting a −10% Local development cost. The Move Capital to Pegu mission also gives Pegu the unique "Kanbawzathadi Palace" modifier for an additional −15% Local development cost. Edicts, prosperity, and estates can add further reductions to development. If the player is exceptionally lucky, Pegu may also benefit from a temporary monsoon event or a Theravada event to further reduce development costs. All in all, this means Pegu can be developed until institutions like the renaissance become present, without needing to wait for them to arrive from Europe, and that in turn leads to a technological edge over Ming.
Further information on challenging Ming can be found here.