- −10% Construction cost
- +25% Domestic trade power
- −5% Technology cost
- −10% Stability cost modifier
- +10% Production efficiency
- +10% Ship durability
- +10% National manpower modifier
- −10% Idea cost
- +10% National tax modifier
- +10% Infantry combat ability
This close connection to Ming China was to remain until the downfall of the Ming in the mid-17th century - as was Korea's subordinate status in the relationship As followers of Confucianism, Koreans viewed China as being at the heart of the Korean world, and Joseon Korea came to be in some ways even more sinicized than China itself - a 'little China'. For their part, the Chinese viewed Joseon Korea as the 'country of courteous people in the East.' For as long as Ming remains the undisputed claimant to the Mandate of Heaven, the maintenance of these strong bonds will remain vital to the survival of the fledgling Korean kingdom.
The achievements of the first century of Joseon rule were considerable. In the early 15th century, the border regions of Gyeongseong and Yukjin were taken from the Manchu, allowing the Koreans to unite the territory which would form modern - day Korea. There was also a flourishing of academia and knowledge. In particular, the hangul alphabet was introduced in 1446. Unlike the Chinese alphabet, it was designed to be both easy to learn and east to adapt to the Korean language, making its use far more convenient and allowing a far broader section of society to read scholarly texts. Further notable progress was made in the fields of agriculture, gun powder and the codification of the law, and major efforts were made to survey and recorded the geography of the land.
However, threats to the Korean kingdom remain from both within and beyond its borders. At home, Korea's peasants remain poor, and both peasant uprisings and insufficient tax receipts are likely to become a problem if nothing is done to rectify the situation. Furthermore, although the upper class of yangban elites has for the most part been united, the cracks in this façade are already beginning to show and could erupt into factional strife at anytime.
On the foreign front lie threats aplenty. To the north await the warlike Manchu - although presently divided, should they come to be unified under a strong leader, and invasion of Korea might follow swiftly. Similarly, across the sea to the east lies Japan, a nation of warring daimyos and would-be shoguns. Korea must be vigilant, lest a united Japan sock to expand its power across narrow channel of the Korean Sea. Finally, although Korea basks in the shadow of the Ming Empire, woe betide the Joseon prince who wakes the dragon!
- Main article: Korean missions
- Main article: Korean events
Korean events focus on their historic internal affairs and potential expansion into Manchuria.
Found Hall of Worthies
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Bring the brightest scholars in the nation together under one roof.
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Korea starts the game in a safe position, making them an excellent choice for beginners. They are a powerful tributary of Ming, which ensures security from the outside world so long as you pay tribute to your Chinese overlord. Their only other neighbour is slightly weaker Jianzhou to the North. Korea starts with an excellent but old ruler (6 administrative - 5 diplomatic - 5 military) who even has the scholar trait, and a below average heir who should be disinherited. Korea has a strong economy and can afford to hire advisers early on. This gives Korea a real edge in the scientific race and Korea can very easily get early innovativeness from the first techs if you ask monarch points from the estates. They are at least guaranteed to get military tech 4 before their neighbours, should they want to wait for that early advantage before expanding into Manchu land.
Whether you attack immediately or at military tech 4, it is advised to ally at least one of the other Jurchen tribes to quickly conquer the region. Your neighbour Jianzhou is the strongest of the four and your first target, but any of Korchin, Yeren or Haixi will make up for a solid friend during the early game, until you eventually turn on them too. This should be relatively straightforward as you are stronger and they tend to be extremely unstable because of their weaker economy, Horde government and constant warfare. It is safe to ignore agressive expansion if you fully annex these nations one by one in quick succession, as there will never be enough outraged nations to form a coalition. A similarly easy target will likely be Buryatia, as they possess a goldmine. Do not be afraid to take loans if needed, especially to deal with revolts, as this early phase is key to consolidate Korea into a major power. Whether you prefer an expansionist or a tall playstyle, these early conquests will remove all threat to the peninsula and significantly boost your economy by ensuring complete control of the Girin node and a goldmine.
These regions display new cultures that you should accept, namely Manchu and Buryatian. There is also the possibility to shift to Manchu culture that might very easily become dominant to form a stronger nation, but this leads to a regular Manchu and Qing game. There are many Tengri provinces in the region, and the player should therefore start harmonizing the pagan group. This will ensure that unrest problems do not meet Korea in their future expansion.
Once these first steps are over (or while they're being completed), the options will vary depending on the goals of the campaign. Korea has the possibility to play a passive and peaceful colonial game (towards Indonesia or North America), to agressively expand in Siberia towards Europe, or to claim the Mandate of Heaven from Ming. Of course, one can do several of these, but playstyle and priorities will dictate the direction.
No matter what, it is generally advised to take Exploration ideas early on to benefit from the unique starting position of Korea. Of all the countries of the world, they are actually the best placed to discover America. By many aspects, they are a Portugal of the Far East, being medium-sized, stable, protected by a big friendly neighbour, and on the edge of their continent. Conquering the Kamchatka minors gives colonization range to Alaska very early on and means that the player can spawn the Colonialism Institution. The North American trade (and the treasure fleets) can be directed from California to Girin and from Mexico to Nippon, which makes it very profitable for a Korean colonizer.
Exploration ideas also allow to colonize Taiwan, and from there the islands of South East Asia. Those are richer but you will need to move your trade capital to benefit from all their resources, and it would be even better to move your capital outside Asia (an Oceanian island is the easiest choice) to make Trade Companies all over Asia if you chose to expand in that direction. This option is less natural for Korea, but is still extremely strong and it will quickly make you the richest nation of the world if you play it properly.
Whether you colonize or not, it is advised to conquer Japan at some point in the game as they will steal a significant amount of your trade income if you let them unchecked. A Korea that also controls Manchu territory and has developped for institutions should be a lot stronger than Japan and have a clear technological edge. This should be relatively easy, especially if you do it early before Japan has unified. If the Ainu still exist at this time, the player can annex them first to get a bridgehead and then start their war on Japan. It is important to note that the Sea of Japan is an inland sea, making Galleys more cost-effective than Heavy Ships.
One is also free to expand westwards. The land is a lot less valuable, but this will allow you to tentacle around Ming to reach extremely profitable areas like Persia and India, and this will put you at odds with major powers like Russia or the Ottomans and make the game a lot more challenging.
The final question to handle is clearly the one of the relationship with China. It is not required to claim the Mandate from Ming to complete "Turtles all the way down" but it then forces you to take a very specific idea set of Naval, Maritime, Exploration, Offensive, Quality and Humanist to get all the needed ideas and policies. One can decide to accept Ming's rule for the entirety of the game and trade monarch points for the assurance of a peaceful game. The likely expansion of countries like Russia might indeed challenge an independant Korea later in the game. The other option is obviously to turn on Ming, either to destroy them or to Claim the Mandate. This is the quickest way to get "Turtles all the way down", and it is mandatory for "Choson One". This difficult task will require a specific idea set to challenge the might of China, like Offensive or Quantity to get a more even Force Limit. A Korea that also controls Manchuria and Japan and is backed by a strong colonial Empire should be able to challenge Ming if played properly, and turn into the world's greatest power.