Page 1 of 13 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 245

Thread: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

  1. #1

    Default Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Foreword: For your enjoyment, a sample of the music of All Under Heaven has been compiled to coincide with this preview. We recommend that you fire up the music so it can complement your reading of the preview. All music is the original work of RobinCato. Find the music here(right-click and open in a new tab):

    Listen Now (or Download it Here)

    Finally, as we realize that this thread contains a massive amount of relatively large images(in both size and resolution), we've taken to providing an alternate thread for those who don't want to wait for the long load times. The alternate thread uses the ImageShack thumbnail function, so you have to click each picture, but it should load faster for those with slow computers. That thread is closed for discussion, all comments should be made in this thread.

    Thumbnail Version



    ^ Go to Index

    The fall of the North was a major blow to the Chinese consciousness. The Central Plain or Zhongyuan (中原) is still considered by most Song literati to be the cultural heartland of China, home to the capitals of all the major dynasties and the final resting place of all prior Song emperors. The undoubted shock of fleeing South and becoming refugees in their own lands has been made worse by the fact that Jurchen barbarians now rule the North.

    The retreat from the old Chinese borderlands finds the Song rulers in a new homeland, 'South of the River' — once a land of long-haired savages, but now long settled by Han emigrants from the Central territories. The new capital's name: Lin'an (“Temporary Safety”) reveals that some in the Song court still feel the shift South might only be a defensive holding position, and that ambitions to reclaim the North will one day be fulfilled. Whilst recent revanchist voices like the general Yue Fei and his supporters are thought heroes by some, the vast cultural and political uprooting has had some surprising consequences for the dynasty.

    Militarily, the strategy of Song rulers 'buying' peace from its warlike neighbors has paid off. Emperor Gaozong, who laid foundations of the Southern Song, and the incumbent ruler Xiaozong, both recognize that the sprawling Inner Asian empire of the Tang collapsed due to the excessive power of provincial warlords. A strong military posture is not desirable and neither conscription nor recruitment of troops can suffice. Gaozong and his successors adopted the zhao’an policy, which offered peace to various roving bands of brigands. The Song court also granted them legitimate status as regular troops, overlooking minor abuses in local matters. With these reforms, the ranks of the Imperial forces has now reached millions and internal security is settled.

    Under Emperor Xianzong relations with Jurchens have returned to a more acceptable footing, instead of suffering the humiliation of being the inferior 'filial' relation in past peace treaties. Xianzong's sympathies with idealists at court prompted a recent resurgence of border warfare, with Jurchen forces suffering heavy losses. Sporadic fighting for nearly two years in the Huai river valley led to a military stalemate. The outcome, in 1165, allowed the Song's designation as a vassal state to be dropped and the dynasty now maintains a near equal footing with the Jin, though still deferring to their 'dynasty' as the senior one.

    In contrast to what some believe has been a weakening of the Chinese military spirit, the economy of the Song has blossomed. The standard of living has risen sharply. Peasants on new land and townsmen in new trades and industries, all are better off than in the 'Golden Age' of Tang. A huge middle-class of merchants and other literates, who are not scholar-gentlemen literati, has arisen. Luxuries are widespread and prices are rising steadily. Interregional trade is flourishing with merchants progressively becoming more specialised and organised. Partnerships are common with business ventures even set up as stock companies with shareholders and managers. Credit is widely available, not merely through usury but from brokers, wholesalers and warehousemen. Guilds have arisen representing many trades, such as the rice guild, their leaders dealing directly with government in matters of taxation. Foreign trades also reaches new heights. Song merchants sail all the Southern Seas and beyond, and have reached India, the Persian Gulf and even as far as Fatimid Egypt to trade. Huge Song ships powered by oars and sails, and using the recently invented compass dominate East Asian maritime commerce.

    Against this backdrop prosperity, the scholarly elite or shidafu have undertaken an epic intellectual project: to integrate a newly invigorated Confucian utopia into the fabric of Song society. Both popular and philosophical Buddhism, transmitted from India, and esoteric homegrown Daoism, transmuted by popular folkways from the woods, springs and mountains are being woven into a more conservative yet dynamic synthesis. Whether this new philosophy, referred to as Daoxue (The Study of the Way) can reach beyond the world of the court and scholars' studio and into hearts of the laobaixing, the commoners (老百姓; lit. "old hundred surnames") and form a real 'national' ideology remains to be seen.

    Innovations in other more practical areas have given the Song dynasty advantages over its predecessors. Chinese science and engineering has reached an efflorescence of observation, speculation and technology. Industrial development in traditional areas such as iron, silk, lacquer, ceramics and even books has reached the highest level of perfection. Printing, invented shortly before this time, is coming of age, and a true form of fiction in vernacular Chinese has began. A whole new kind of poetry, freer and more musical is being developed and sophisticated more subtle plays are being written and performed. Music, which Confucius held in such high regard, is now analyzed and systematized.

    Alchemical researches resulting from the revival of Daoism provides the Song with new knowledge and protoscientific practice. Vast illustrated herbals, pharmacopoeias and manuals of medicine, acupuncture, massage, physiotherapy have now been compiled, as well as many encyclopaedias. Song thinkers make advances in diverse fields such as sericulture, metallurgy, geology, climatology, archaeology and gunpowder warfare. This new attitude of scientific inquiry is best summed by the philosopher Zhu Xi (1130–1200) as the "investigation of things [leading to] the extension of knowledge."

    Despite such impressive social and cultural achievements, some still yearn for the military dominance of the Han and Tang eras, where the Chinese were the masters of East Asia and when they truly ruled 'All Under Heaven'. However, in the wake of the collapse of the Tang empire and the rise of the appeasement-based diplomacy, the old areas of Chinese influence have been filled by fierce newly assertive independent states. Now, not only the Jurchens to the north but the Tanguts, the Kingdom of Dali and the Dai-Viet all now force the Chinese to recognise their own imperial sovereignty. It would require a radical re-alignment of government to usher in an expansionist policy.

    Whilst it is disturbing to many of the shidafu that the Song's territory is a shadow of its former self, their own pursuit of a highly aestheticised way of life and the low footing of the military class make these ambitions hard to realise. Yet victory can be defined in many ways, even without occupation of the Central Plains, the new cultural strength of the Chinese cannot be underestimated.

    ^ Go to Index

    Song China. Burgeoning metropolises. The bastion of civilization. A land of ancient tradition and modern development. The land under heaven. Its rivers and plains, mountains and forests, jungles and cities, have served as inspiration to generations of artists and historians, and home to billions of people across time. We invite you to experience China in the 12th Century.

    The Chinese cities during the Song were, without a doubt, the greatest and largest cities in the world at that time. From the simple country abodes to the majestic Imperial City, Chinese cities were a sight to behold.

    This is a first look at the map area occupied by the Song Dynasty in AUH. What you see is a completed version of the map, however, there is still much to be refined to "pretty it up"; such as new mod-specific textures, forts in strategic locations, rivers, starting positions, and more. The map is by no means finished, it is a continuing endeavor to make it more aesthetically pleasing, historically accurate, and ergonomically conducive to campaign play.

    ^ Go to Index

    The peoples of China, the Han Chinese, comprise the largest population demographic in the world, with some numbers estimated higher than the entire population of Europe. These people, though referred to as one ethnicity, and united in spirit, are a diverse grouping of regional denizens. From the Central Plains to the mountains of Shu-Ba, to the lakes and rivers of Jing-nan; people living in all parts of China have distinct characteristics that set them apart from one another.

    Gameplay: In AUH, we classify 9 'ethnic groups' from the Song Chinese perspective. These groups act as traits, giving more information on the background of a character, and potentially giving them certain predispositions towards other traits and attributes. Groups are made available with the entering of a new character into the faction based on the regions the Song currently hold. If a region an ethnic group is based in is conquered, that group no longer appears in the ethnic pool until parts of it are re-conquered. These classifications in brief are as follows:

    Liangzhe ~ This man's ancestors have been dwelling in the Eastern provinces for countless generations and their well-cared burial mounds still stand proudly among their prosperous rice fields. A people of able farmers, the Liangzhe men are patient and industrious. When given the opportunity, it is these virtues they apply to what they value the most: self cultivation and study. Relentless in their quest for knowledge, they easily become masters of the "eight section dissertation" and of the commentary of the 5 classics. That's why, along with the Min-Yue, they provide the imperial offices with most of its Jinshi. However, these brillant thinkers share the idea that "the man of virtue has no enemies" ("Renzhiwudi") and thus deeply despise those foolish and rude militarists who dream of reconquering the North. If the North is to come again under the power of the great Song, it will be the result of virtue and diplomacy and not the consequence of war.

    Min-Yue ~ Perhaps it is due to their culture resulting from a mix of influences between North and South; or perhaps it is the consequence of the peculiar geography of their small homeland set between majestic mountains and the boundless seas; but the Min-Yue are open-minded people, receptive to external ideas and eager to explore new horizons. Proud of their naval traditions, they make exceptional sailors, explorers and traders. And the human thought being one of the most challenging areas of exploration, they rank among the first as well when it comes to mastering the art of philosophy, hence their good results at the imperial exams. However, if "curiosity kills the cat", it can also lead to heterodoxic thought. The same enthusiasm that makes the Min-Yue literati famous can also lead them to their downfall. And case in point, if "using the old to create the new" is a well-known confucean precept, there are some limits to creativity. Challenging the imperial legitimacy is such a limit...

    Jing ~ A land of lakes and rivers, the Jing area covers the three provinces (“circuits”) of Jinghu-Bei, Jinghu-Nan and Jingxi-Nan, along the middle course of the Changjiang. The Jing area is best known for the superb skill of its people in all sorts of naval trades. Great swimmers and mariners, they know how to take advantage of waters and marshes for trading and defensive purposes. However, as the half-flooded Jing area is mostly unsuitable for horses, the Jing men generally make poor horsemen. Fortunately as long as they remain behind their high walls and large waterways, this will remain a minor issue. On the spiritual side, the Jing people are known for their dynamism. Since the Zhang clan has established his headquarters on Dragon & Tiger Mountain in nearby Jiangnan, daoist cults have been flourishing in the area.

    Shu ~ Alt. Chuanxi Silu. The Shu area is a natural fortress, surrounded by high peaks and narrow gorges. There, far away from the capital, live the resourceful Shu people, who keep a persistant record of autonomic rule, from the days of Gongsun Shu, in the Han dynasty, to those of Meng Zhixiang, just before the advent of Song Taizu. At ease in their mountain passes, the Shu men fight like tigers when it comes to preserve their independance. When at peace, they are especially successful in industrial enterprises such as salt and iron extraction. This man is the perfect exemplification of the Shu citizen. A wise ruler would better have him on his side than on the enemy's! But this man's loyalty won't come at a cheap price.

    Guangnan ~ This man is typical of the Song settlers who are confined to live in dense spaces in Guangnan's northern hilly border region, the Leizhou peninsula region, Qiongzhou, and the small administrative center of Jingjiang Fu. He lives among a vast sea of aboriginals, thick tropical jungles, swamps, various wild beasts and, most threatening of all, malaria. Although he has been living here for a few generations and is used to the tropical weather, like the rest of the settlers and most people north of the Nanling ridge, he is still vulnerable to malaria, which is often of the third degree and fatal. Elephants remain a problem for these settlers as they try to make a living supporting themselves through agriculture in these confined areas; more often than not, herds of wild elephants, sometimes in the hundreds, will emerge from their hideouts and eat the harvests or destroy the crops. Some learn from the local Tai aboriginals how to kill these elephants for their ivory and trunks. Foreign merchants from faraway lands across the sea are not a strange sight to those exiles living in the small, malaria-free city of Guangzhou. The Song exiles are accustomed to making a living by becoming skilled merchants as there is currently no place suitable for agriculture.

    Northern Refugee ~ This man's forebears once lived a happy life in the northern plains, but like millions of other refugees, they had to flee Kaifeng before the Jurchen horde, leaving most of their friends and belongings behind. Although he never saw the Yellow River, this man sighs deeply every time he hears a northern melody. And now, he dreams of revenge and rises a cock's crow to train at flourishing the sword and spear. Someday, when these effeminate southerners will have lost the emperor's ear, he'll taint the river in red with barabarian blood. The Jin will pay! Northerners hate the barbarians. And since most of them lost their fortune during the Jin conquest, they're less likely to despise a military career which could both feed them and provide them with an opportunity to avenge their fathers. If there was to be a new Yue Fei, he would be found within their ranks.

    Three other lesser ethnic groups are also included: The Hui, Chinese muslims primarily living along the coast as traders; The Northern Han, Khitans/Chinese/Jurchens living in Jin north china; and Barbarians, all the peoples living in the uncivilized border regions.

    ^ Go to Index

    The Song saw the rise of a new class of official, the scholar-official or shidafu, those who had achieved office through proficiency in written exams. This created what could be described in some sense as a meritocracy, a system under which (somewhat) equal opportunity was granted to those who studied and could count themselves among the educated. Official positions were granted by and large based on proficiency and experience, and rarely due to family association. Those who attained office through the position of their family were granted "protected" status, a classification looked upon with distaste among those who earned their office on their own merits.

    This system is best personified by the famous scientist Shen Kuo (沈括). Kuo initially obtained office through "protection" in a small local post, as recognition for the merit of his father, an official in Hangzhou. He would later go on to take the official exams and earn the jinshi degree, which would make him eligible for positions of greater importance within the bureaucracy. Perhaps one of the most interesting persons in Chinese history, Kuo dabbled in everything from topography to astronomy, medicine to calculus. It would be wrong to discredit his personal characteristics as causal to his achievements; but if the position of the Song period as one of the greatest cultural and scientific periods in Chinese history is any indication, the civil system employed was highly conducive to these advancements, and bred the men who would achieve them.

    Gameplay: The jinshi examinations will be represented in-game for all Song officials. Failure to pass the exams within a set timeframe after gaining position will result in 'protected' status, which confers multiple penalties to ability and popularity. Exams can be taken in any settlement with a form of academy and occur automatically; results are based on innate abilities, level of formal education, level of the academy, and random chance. Passing the exams earns the character a jinshi degree which confers benefits and removes the penalties of 'protected' status; there is also a small likelihood of passing at the top of your class, which gives even greater bonuses. Some characters will already have a protected office or have passed the jinshi exams by the time they achieve position, which is mainly true for older men.

    ^ Go to Index

    Perhaps one of the most well-known figures of Song times was Qin Hui (秦桧). He is not known for his achievements, his personage, or his policies; rather, he is commonly vilified as the evil opposite the good war hero, Yue Fei. This is perhaps the fault of historiographical bias, coupled with the need for a direct antithesis to the character fashioned as the paragon of virtue, but with all myths lies always a kernel of truth. Qin Hui was a strong Peace proponent during the early 12th Century, he had the ear of the Emperor and with it he fashioned Song diplomatic policy to coexist with the Jin rather than seek to oust them. In this pursuit he was instrumental in the negotiation of the Treaty of 1141, which would see an element of peace and prosperity prevail amongst the Song for a time.

    But to that end he used his power zealously, and most accounts corroborate he was principally involved in the assassination of Yue Fei, who at the time was seen as a national hero, and would later grow from a man into a symbol. Yue Fei was a man of reportedly common origins, a military man who commanded the respect of his men and the adoration of the people. His incursions into the Jin territory and his string of military successes rekindled the possibility of war at the court, he brought with him the hope of once again calling the Northern Plains home.

    It is perhaps unfortunate that this tale became so fully ingrained in the Chinese consciousness as the embodiment of base treachery and heroism, so as not to be analyzed in the context of the time. Nevertheless this historical relationship turned myth, acts as the perfect example of the two warring opposites present at the court in Song times. Yue Fei, the acclaimed general, the war hero, the common man turned idol, with a simple but lofty cause of "recovering our mountains and rivers" (還我山河) inspired Chinese for ages to come, to fight to restore one China. And Qin Hui, the astute statesman, the powerful councillor, the man turned into a caricature, with the complex and unpopular goal of maintaining peace as had been the foreign policy for two centuries before the coming of the Jurchen. These two men define Song internal politics for generations to follow. War or Peace?

    Gameplay: In AUH, this complex political interchange is represented by an equally complex system of party affiliation. Every named character in the Song Dynasty develops an affiliation, War Party or Peace Party. This affiliation among other factors helps to determine the overall affiliation of the Song towards war or peace, measured on a percentile scale adding up to 100. Each 10% incremental move towards one party or another gives differing factionwide bonuses and penalties to reflect the implications of the political situation.

    Affiliations may change over time, but it's not something which should happen with regularity. Generally younger characters are more impressionable than older characters, so as a character ages it will become less receptive to a political change of heart. Characters which have recently switched affiliation are also more receptive to switching back for a short time after. When a character is "adopted" you won't be able to see their affiliation, it will develop a few turns after they've gained position. This is to prevent the vetting of a particular affiliation as it would have been an impossible undertaking.

    The character by character affiliation serves some lucrative functions, but it's the country affiliation which is paramount to the Song player. The Song start off with a heavy peace bias, a reflection of the roughly 40 years, excepting the incursion of Prince Hailang, that the Song have acquiesced with the Jurchen and allowed the military institution to decay. Recruits will be sparse, elite units will be completely unavailable, competent military officers will be few and far between, and the population will be averse to war. While the Song military when optimized and mobilized can match up with the greatest military institutions of the day, the challenge the player will face is to bring back the failing institution from the brink before the nation succumbs to external or internal afflictions.

    ^ Go to Index

    The position of Chief Councillor, at other times known as Prime Minister, was one of enormous power throughout much of Chinese history. As with the case of Chief Councillor Qin Hui, this power was abundant in Song times as well. The Northern Song had endeavored to limit the power of any principal officer by breaking up the three main administrative bodies -- those concerned with civil adminstration, military forces, and fiscal control. The idyllic implementation of this system might be likened to that of the US separation of legislative, executive, and judiciary.

    By the 12th Century however, this system had broken down. Starting with Qin Hui there followed a number of men who held concurrently the highest ranks in all official branches, and were known colloquially as quanxiang, or "All-Powerful Chief Councillor". These men, notably Han Tuozhou, Shi Miyuan, and Jia Sidao, came to dominate the court from the early 12th Century until the eventual collapse of the Song towards the end of the 13th Century. They held what could only be described as absolute authority by proxy; most of the Emperors after Xiaozong did little to curtail their power. And so it was that the later Song Emperors took a back seat to their chief officials in the matters of state, for better or for worse.

    Gameplay: The 'faction leader' under player control as Song is not the Emperor, due to various complications with appropriately portraying the Imperial family in a TW game. Rather, the player will take control of the Chief Councillor(or Chancellor), the highest civil position in the land and one of great (and notorious) power during the Song era. The 'faction heir' signifies the man most likely to succeed to the position; limitations force us to allow this to be seen and the global name to misrepresent the actual position(or lack thereof). The man who will become the next Chief Councillor is based on either their civil attributes(if Peace Party dominates the court) or war attributes(if War Party dominates the court), so often times the eligible officer with the most valued attributes at the time will succeed as the next leader. Due to gameplay limitations, this succession can only be approximated to the second succession, so if War Party begins to dominate the court it will take a couple successions to show the effects of this.

    The attributes of the Chief Councillor will have a direct effect on the Party system. With the ear of the Emperor, the Chief Councillor can greatly strengthen his agenda and push the court towards his party affiliation. Additionally, his abilities act as a modifier for actions which push the court affiliation towards his party by strengthening its effects, and lessening the effects of actions which push it towards the other party. Furthermore, there will sometimes be opportunities to order the execution of key proponents of the opposition. This option is a double-edged sword however, as while you've removed some of the spokesmen in the court against your party, the people see it as barbaric and revolts could become a serious issue based on how well you covered it up. The Chief Councillor is not immune to switching party affiliation, but it's less likely than members of the court. If a Chief Councillor switches affiliation, the repercussions could be drastic and cause others to follow suit, effectively steamrolling the court towards the opposite affiliation and destabilizing the country.

    Visually, the Chief Councillor appears differently based on his primary attributes. A Chief Councillor with higher war attributes will appear like a regal general, while a Chief Councillor with higher civil attributes will appear like a noble statesman. The Civil General/Chief Councillor are shown in the Culture section; The Military General/Chief Councillor are shown in the Military section.

    ^ Go to Index

    For those with little formal education, the quickest way to power and the higher echelons of Song society was to join the military. If a man had a successful career in the military he had a sure path to success in politics. Exam-drafted scholar-officials came mostly from prominent families and could rely on their clan status to advance their careers and place in society. Many Song military officers did not have this advantage, and owed their status in society to the advantage that military power granted them.

    Despite military examinations, rankings, and posts running parallel to those of the civil order, the shidafu nonetheless viewed military pursuits as uncultivated. Scholar-officials often commanded troops and wielded military power. Ultimately, even the emperor at times must resort to the use of violence, although this was seen as a necessity to rein in rebellious elements of society and dominate violent barbarian tribes. The aim of war was to force these elements to submit to the emperor and become transformed by the superior wen (culture or civilization) of the Chinese.

    Jiangyuhou (将虞候), Chengju (承局), or Yaguan (押官), in descending order of rank, would be the most junior officers in early-to-mid Northern Song armies. These officers served on the staff of the Du (都 lit. 'company'), which usually numbered around 100 men and was commanded by the Junshi (军使), in the case of cavalry, or the Dutou (都头), in the case of infantry. The Du was the basic combat unit in the army, in that there were no smaller permanent units.

    During the Wang Anshi reforms, the Dui (队 lit. 'platoon') of 50 men was introduced to replace the Du. Under the new system, the Junshi and Dutou were renamed Yongdui (拥队 lit. 'platoon commanders') and were required to follow in the rear of their Dui with sword drawn, ready to slay anyone who tried to flee from battle. In the front of the Dui, holding a big flag to lead the men into battle, was a junior officer called the Qitou (旗头) -- he was selected based on his physical strength and courage, as well as his skill in using the flagpole as a spear once the battle began. He was followed closely by another junior officer called the Yinzhan (引战), who was also specially selected for courage and martial prowess, and whose task was similarly to lead the men forward by personal example. The Dui system was essentially continued under Southern Song, except that the Yinzhan came to be renamed as Yadui (押队).1

    Captain & General:
    View Images



    Ordinary soldiers were merely recruited or conscripted rural farmers, while surrendered bandits and mercenaries also joined the military to escape persecution. Soldiers were denied official status by Confucian scholars, as they did not belong to one of the 'Four Occupations'. The shidafu were wary of condoning or legitimizing men whose existence revolved around the uncivilized practices of wu (violence).

    The Song's standing army was split into the Xiang Bing (廂兵), the local provincial forces, and the Jin Bing (禁兵), which formed the Imperial army.

    ^ Go to Index

    Cut off from its traditional access to horses, the infantry of the Song dynasty is more diverse than previous dynasties. As a result many new hand to hand and missile weapons were developed. The ratio of infantry to cavalry in some Song armies could be as much as 10 to 1.

    Xiang Bing (廂兵) : Provincial troops

    The Provincial army was not a cohesive military 'army' in any modern sense. Each province had its own defense forces comprised of local militias and conscripts, tasked with maintaining security in the region and at times defending against invasion. The bulk of the Song military was comprised of these units and administered by local military officials. These armies were sometimes referred to as jia jun("Family Army"), not because they were privately funded, but because the military organization caused armies to take on the characteristics of their leaders. This is most notably displayed in the Yue jia jun, the men who fought under General Yue Fei, but his military prominence was an exception rather than the rule, as many of those appointed to lead provincial armies were lecherous and inept.

    Gameplay: The provincial troops are what you would expect from a locally drawn up army; quantity over quality. The Chinese population levels insure there were always men fit for military service, but it was not always the fit men who joined the provincial army. Institutionally the military was seen as a sordid affair, but to the common man it did provide a venue for making a living outside agriculture. This is reflected in-game by the relatively low cost and maintenance of provincial forces, as well as the ability for provincial forces to be drafted in newly captured border regions, where more professional troops would be impossible to draw up in the short term. Consequently, they are little more than fodder to a drilled and experienced military corps.

    Provincial Infantry:
    View Images

    Dao Militia

    These commoners are forced into battle when their home is threatened. While the Song's general culture was anti-military, their people would certainly still fight for their existence when under direct threat. Armed with a trusty dao and a wooden shield, they form the backbone of the Song's defense.
    View Images

    Spear Militia

    These commoners are forced into battle when their home is threatened. While the Song's general culture was anti-military, their people would certainly still fight for their existence when under direct threat. Armed with a spear, they form the backbone of the Song's defense.
    View Images

    Nu Militia

    Crossbows need little in the way of training to operate, making them ideal for massed militia units. Chinese crossbow technology has reached its peak during the Song. It was the primary weapon of the Song forces. These soldiers are often the core of the Song provincial army; they are armed with a crossbow, a large pavise shield, and a dao for close combat.
    View Images

    Zhu Huoqiang Militia
    (bamboo firespear militia)
    What the Song people lacked in fighting experience and warlike culture, they made up with their economic power and world class technology. The Song army is one of the first in the world to extensively use gunpowder weaponry.

    These are the most basic form gunpowder weapons, essentially a large firecracker attached to a bamboo stick, more effective in scaring and confusing opponents than causing actual damage. Yet this was a cheap and effective weapon for the militias lacking proper military training to confuse and tie down better trained opponents until reinforcements arrive.
    View Images

    Xiang Bowman

    The Xiang Bing (廂兵) are the local or provincial forces of the Song. Having seen the previous dynasty ruined by local warlords, the Song made sure provincial troops would prove to be no threat to the Song court. By staffing the local forces with weaker and older soldiers, the Xiang forces were much closer to militias than an actual standing army.

    These bowmen are made up of the more skilled men within the Xiang forces. However, the Song lacked the natural archery skill of their northern foes, and these troop reflect that weakness.
    View Images

    Tu Huo Qiang Militia
    (handgunner militia or firespitter militia)
    The first major step in the transition from simple explosives towards guns and cannons was the Tu Hou Qiang. As the experience of gunpowder use in warfare became extensive, the military engineers began conceiving new weapons to tap into this new technology.

    These primitive guns are still enough to allow even common militias to kill a well armored enemy warrior.
    View Images

    Jin Bing (禁兵) : Imperial troops

    The Song dynasty's rulers have made a point of making sure the majority of its Imperial forces (both in terms of quality and quantity) are centered around its capital, Lin'an, and heavily monitored by officials. In this they remain extremely successful, there has not been a single serious military rebellion in the Song's entire existence. However, the military effectiveness of the Song is compromised because of this policy, and the border zones remain susceptible to raids and banditry due to the lack of able patrols.

    Gameplay: In contrast to the provincial militias, the Imperial army was by all accounts a veritable military force. However, and there is always a however, its effectiveness was historically limited by the range of operations it was allowed to perform and what it encompassed. Political situations in the Song will have a great effect on where it's possible to train Imperial units, which will be explained later on in the preview.

    Imperial Infantry:
    View Images

    Imperial Guard

    These men are members of the powerful Imperial army. They are well armored and well trained, armed with heavy axes and a shield. They are the common shock troopers of the Song army.
    View Images

    Imperial Firelancers

    The Song's military is inherently limited by the lack of horse supply and its political intent to suppress all potential threats of a coup. They make up for this lost effectiveness elsewhere. Technology was one of the obvious means.

    The fire lance is the most common gunpowder weapon used by the Song, In the hands of the well trained and well equipped Imperial Spearmen, it provides an additional explosive burst just before engaging their foe. They are a formidable force.
    View Images

    Imperial Crossbowman

    The crossbow represents the Han Chinese solution to counter the more skilled nomad archers of the North. Having been developed and perfected for over millennia, Chinese crossbow technology has reached its peak during the Song. It was the primary weapon of the Song forces.

    These soldiers are the core of the Song imperial army, wielding a crossbow to whittle down their foe, and an axe to fight effectively in melee.
    View Images

    ZhanMaDao Infantry

    Confronted with the powerful heavy cavalry of the Khitan and later Jurchen people, the Song struggled to find a weapon to counter these iron-clad beasts. Most traditional weapons prove ineffective in melee against them. The ZhanMaDao (lit. 'Horse-cleaver') was one of their answers.

    Picking the bravest, strongest soldiers within the ranks, and arming them with massive two-handed swords, these men represent the best infantry of the Song dynasty can offer. In battle, their aim is to charge into the fray and cut down anything that gets in their way.

    The elite forces of the Jin dynasty was said to have only feared two kinds of Song troops: the ZhanMaDao and the ShenBiNu.
    View Images

    ^ Go to Index

    The Song dynasty having lost its traditional cavalry recruiting areas to the Khitan and Jurchen invasions have had to rely on an infantry and archer heavy army. With armies no longer supported with Turkic cavalry as in the case of their predecessors the Tang dynasty, the Song have taken to recruiting from urban landowners and their retainers in order to make up for their dearth of cavalry. While not having as numerous horses as the Mongol tribes or as trained horse archers and heavy cavalry as the Jurchen, the Song make up for this weakness with the level of their armored cavalry. With that in mind a Song commander should consider wielding their cavalry in a much more defensive manner than their Jurchen or Mongol foes in order to guarantee success, as overconfidence has lead to many a defeat not only against the Liao but their Jin successors.

    Gameplay: Scarcity makes what horses are available a valuable asset to use intelligently or lose at peril. The Song player will want to pursue trade agreements with the northern horse nations if they expect to secure a decent supply of horses. A lack of any horse producing provinces or trade agreements with nations that breed horses in surplus will cripple not only the military mobility of the Song forces, but also trade and production in the nation, both of which rely upon horses as pack or labor animals. Based on a variety of factors a player will get a number of war horses and domestic horses, and when they have been used or allocated the player will be unable to recruit more cavalry.

    View Images

    Light Cavalry

    These troops are provincial militia men lucky or rich enough to have their own horses, however due to their shortage the best mounts were reserved for the more heavily armoured catapharacts. It would be hard now for Southern Song general to muster an effective fighting force of light cavalry. These troops wear partial leather lamellar and carry lances and daos, and are used mainly as scouts or to harry unarmoured rebels or border tribes. A qualified general would not pit them against Mongol or Jurchen cavalry without support, as despite their equipment these soldiers’ steeds are sub-par at best with speed taking precedence over endurance.
    View Images

    Armored Cavalry

    Drawn mainly from the provincial elite and landowners rich enough to afford one or two horses, these horsemen are generally well equipped. Armored in leather lamellar and shields they serve as a powerful component to any Song army. Capable of chasing horse archers or charging into Jurchen infantry effectively, these medium cavalry are well armed with daos and lances. Battle hardened but not invincible these soldiers have a superb moral and can weather a flight of arrows while charging into any enemy. While the hereditary military vigor has been chastised by Song scholars, in few other units will one be able to find fervor as high as in these soldiers. An adept commander would conserve these troops until his infantry have pinned down the enemy, resulting in a victory not seen since the likes of Yue Fei.
    View Images

    BeiWei Cavalry

    An armoured horse is a horse that will live longer, and the scarcity of horses means that maximizing the utilization of horses is a key element of Song military doctrine. Covered in iron lamellar and armed with lethal poleaxes, the BeiWei form the elite regiment of the Song's imperial cavalry, and also serves as a bodyguard to generals. Their tank-like attire means they have to operate as a hammer to the anvil or to protect vital points, unable to pursue common enemy cavalry forces effectively; but what they lack in mobility they make up for in shock value and pure weight of massed charge.
    View Images

    ^ Go to Index

    Under an economic and cultural renaissance, the Song dynasty was bound to make a few innovations in the field of its military, but nowhere was this advancement more pronounced than in the area of siege warfare. With a variety of foes such as the Jurchen and Liao siege warfare became increasingly important in order to prevent the cities of north and central china from being captured. Catapults such as the Hudun Pao were used defensively in order to break the backs of invading Jin or Mongol armies. Using a variety of projectiles the Song dynasty applied shrapnel to a devastating effect in warfare. Other weapons were also in development with flamethrowers and crossbows designed to break the moral of any besieger. With this mighty arsenal is there any nation that could possibly break through the impregnable bastion of Xiangyang?

    Gameplay: Unlike European warfare, the development of 'siege weapons' in China served a primarily defensive purpose. With their great cities and fortifications, arrows were not sufficient to defend against raiders from the north. This will be reflected in their recruitment and upkeep, with a low starting pool, slow replenish rate, and a large upkeep when outside settlements. Essentially, to use siege weapons offensively the player will have to sacrifice mobility, cost, and defensiveness in some settlements.

    Siege Weaponry:
    View Images

    Sijiao Catapults

    The Hudun Pao (虎 蹲 砲) or "Crouching Tiger" Catapult, is a medium-sized catapult appearing first during the middle of the Tang dynasty. The Hudun Pao has a simple triangular frame and fires relatively light projectiles, the most common being explosive grenades to do wide area damage to the attacking army arrayed outside the city walls. It is a powerful catapult for its size, with its simple frame allowing for rapid deployment and yet being sturdy enough for a wide variety and range of projectiles.

    This variant of the Hudun Pao is mounted with wheels. The stable triangular frame of this particular catapult lent itself readily to the addition of wheels. Traditionally Chinese catapults are sunk a few feet into the ground for stability.

    As the Song are not used to besieging cities, the Hudun Pao is used defensively, usually firing against encamped enemy troops outside the city walls. The arched trajectory of the catapult made hitting troop concentrations or attacking artillery for maximum damage with exploding bombs or shrapnel-type projectiles more achievable.
    View Images

    Sangong Chuangzi Nu

    The "Sangong Chuangzi Nu" or "Triple-bow Little Bed" arcuballista was the pinnacle of Chinese multiple bow evolution. Fitted with crosshaired "gun" sights and firing bolts metres long, these giant crossbows can devast nomad cavalry, helping defend the northern frontier against the increasingly powerful enemy. Special regiments of SanGong Chuangzi Nu teams called "Chuangzi Nu Shou" or literally "Little Bed Crossbow Hands", were formed in A.D. 1016.

    The siege crossbow trigger was a direct derivative of the handheld crossbow trigger mechanism, scaled upwards in proportion to the draw weight of the bow. By ingenously mounting multiple crossbow arms on together onto a single frame allows these weapons a higher rate of fire, achieved by alternating the firing and loading of the arcuballistas or by doubling the number of bolts fired through having them armed and fired at the same time. The normal operating range of a multi-bow siege crossbow is over 500 yards. Up to a certain distance, the bolts were armour piercing; these weapons were much feared because of their penetrating power.
    View Images

    Meng Huo Yiu Ju

    "Strong Fire Oil Spurter"

    Gunpowder-impregnated fuses for flame-throwers were one of the first uses of gunpowder in warfare in China. The Pen Huo Qi, or continuous flame-thrower was invented ca. A.D. 919, after having acquired the knowledge of the 7th century Byzantine 'spurting' flamethrower. The invention of this continuous flame-thrower is possible because of the dual piston bellows/pump developed a millennia ago during the Han dynasty. A true flamethrower, it could project a continuous unbroken flame of naphtha when it was slow-match ignited with a low-nitrate gunpowder composition.

    Whilst often mounted on walls as a defensive device this version is mobile and is used on the battlefield to harass and charge enemy troop positions, projecting a sheet of flame forward to shield advancing infantry following behind it.
    View Images

    Fort + Watchtowers + Military General/Chief Councillor:
    View Images

    View Images

    Group Renders(will expand screen):
    View Images

    ^ Go to Index

    Southern Song culture has its own unique aesthetic, with its art often focusing on evanescent pleasures and the transience of beauty. Lin'an, the Southern pleasure city turned capital, set amid hills and waters, wreathed with private gardens, canals and whimsical bridges, scattered with Buddhist temples and dominated by its great West Lake, stretching off into infinity, provides much of the inspiration for its artists.

    Emperor Huizong established the stylistic direction for what was to become the Imperial Painting Academy in the early twelfth century, and it continued the high technical standards established by him. The portrait painter, the painter of flowers, birds, animals, detailed studies of landscape and the genre painter of human activities, all strove with intensity on the precise rendering of the subject.

    Decorative arts too, achieved new heights of elegance and technical perfection. Like painting, the pottery responded to two different aesthetics—that of the imperial court and that of popular culture. Pure, ethereal celadons, otherworldy Ting ware plates, stoneware bowls and jugs with brown hare’s fur or oil-spot glaze, Chün-ware with a purplish mottled glaze are all among the most prized and subtle pieces.

    The Song sensibility was polarized between meditation and an intense, active curiosity about all the myriad things of life and the riddles of nature. A new kind of poetry is emerging, with Su Dongpo (蘇東坡) as its the acknowledged first master. He founded the haofang school, which cultivated an attitude of heroic abandon. A more modern form of drama and quieter, more subtle plays are performed and a new genre called 'Song' is born.

    Song architecture is known for its towering Buddhist pagodas, enormous stone and wooden bridges, its lavish tombs, and palatial architecture. Literary works on architecture have blossomed into maturity and represent a more professional outlook, describing dimensions and working materials in a concise, more organised manner.

    Song culture is rich and sophisicated. The profusion and advancement in the visual arts, music, literature, and philosophy are being ushered in under the direciton of officials whose strict and extensive examination process makes them the most educated in Chinese history , while general Chinese culture is greatly improved by widespread printing, growing literacy, and general appreciation for the various arts.

    Priest ~ Merchant ~ Chief Councillor(Civil) ~ Diplomat ~ Princess ~ General(Civil)

    ^ Go to Index

    In Song times, the "three schools" who cohabited for centuries formed, from the point of view of the common citizen, an integrated ensemble of organized beliefs. An official could be Confucian within the courthouse precincts, and carry on his ancestral worship, while using Daoist charms to exorcise his home from evil spirits and illness, and calling Buddhist monks to recite sutras over the deceased body of his parents. These three religions had separate orthodox followings, particularly a large Buddhist demographic in the southwestern regions. But the three would come to be amalgamated into one macro-religion during the 12th Century, termed Neo-Confucianism or Daoxue.

    From Buddhism, the idea of "retribution" inspired people to believe they would be judged in a "hell". And from this trial, the conditions of their rebirth would be decided. Still, it was a rather Confucian organization that would assess their past life. The judge, a former official of the living world pursuing his official career in the other-world, would render his sentence in a way similar to living magistrates. Then it would be Daoist spirits such as the "God of Mount Tai", who would inscribe the length of the deceased's future life on the "Register of Life". Another spirit, the "Old Man under the Moon", would organize the reincarnated man's future marriage. And the "God of Literature" would influence his career.

    Gameplay: The Song were going through a time of religious discovery and progress. The Neo-Confucian debate gave birth to three competing schools of thought: Gongli, a populist view of ideology that emphasizes strong government and recognition of empirical social realities; Xinxue, the School of Mind, which emphasizes subjective intuitive means to pursuing ideological conclusions; and Lixue, the School of Principle, which emphasizes objective and rational means to pursuing ideological conclusions. All of these schools will be represented under the Daoxue umbrella, as well as traditional Mahayana Buddhism. AUH takes a new approach to religion, decreasing the temple structure as a vessel of conversion and relegating it to a population serving structure, and increasing the importance of religious agents representative of influential groups of practitioners, as well as the importance of the state in dictating religious orthodoxy and the strictness of conversion adherence. This will be explained in-depth at a later date.

    ^ Go to Index

    Most everyone is familiar with the premier 'wonder' of China, one of the seven great wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Wall. But there are other constructs which are not so massive or world renowned, but nevertheless important for their architecture, regional significance, or cultural relevance. These 'wonders' adorn the landscape as a new kind of strategy map feature, giving a uniqueness to the land which they occupy. In time the Great Wall will be among them, and preliminary work has been done on it; but the sheer amount of work that is involved in the modeling, rigging, positioning, and utility of it warrant a future standalone look purely at its functionality and aesthetic features(not to mention it's in Jin territory!). Here's a look at the wonders which adorn the Song landscape and give the drab expanses of terrain a bit of regional flavor.

    Battle Map(Gate in-game + Shengmudian render):
    View Images

    ^ Go to Index


    This video was made by Toboe, with soundtrack by RobinCato. Units are in-game units from All Under Heaven, featuring the Song Dynasty and Mongols as opposition.

    (We recommend you click to watch this on YouTube, so you can watch it in full screen, comment, and rate it)


    You are free to use these signatures to show your support for the mod. We also welcome anyone who wants to create signatures for the mod, and suggest you submit them in AUH: Fan Art and Media.

    Coming Soon!

    Team Needs

    AUH is in need of able people to help develop the mod in a multitude of areas. Currently the team consists of between five and ten people with varying skills, all of which have commitments and only so much time to dedicate to the mod. Progress, as such, is necessarily hindered due to a lack of contribution compared to the scope of the project.

    If you feel you can help contribute to the development of the project, please PM Augustus Lucifer or PM Yelü Dashi. For more information about team needs and what is required of team members, please see this thread. All help is appreciated.


    Only for items shown in this preview

    Yelü Dashi (Units, Buildings, Other)
    Wundai (Buildings)
    stefaneke (Flamethrower Engine)

    Yelü Dashi (Units, Buildings, Other)
    Wundai (Buildings)

    Augustus Lucifer (Gameplay Sections, Implementation)

    Yelü Dashi (Base Mapping, Positioning, Rice Paddies Texture)
    B. Ward (Refining)

    RobinCato (Original Music)
    Toboe (Video)
    sud commander (Signatures, Other)

    Preview Compilation
    Augustus Lucifer (Text, Formatting)
    Yelü Dashi (Text, Images)
    Xuande (Text)
    Shadowcry (Text)


    Argent Usher's Real Horses
    Charge's MapMod
    Rusichi Total War (Horses, Texture Elements)
    Three Kingdoms (Campaign Model Elements)
    Blue Lotus (Campaign Model Elements)
    Europa Barbarorum (Inspiration for ethnicities)
    Civilization Fanatics' Forums [Chamaedrys, Deliverator, DWOLF, GeoModder, Walter Hawkwood, Xenomorph]
    China History Forums [Yun, General_Zhaoyun, Various]
    All the people who contribute tools and tutorials or help out in the workshop

    1 Accredited to Yun of CHF (

    We hope you enjoyed the preview.
    Last edited by Augustus Lucifer; May 06, 2010 at 10:04 AM.

  2. #2
    Augustus Lucifer's Avatar Life = Like a beanstalk
    Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Mote of Dust

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    If anyone has input, questions, or concerns pertaining to the content in this preview, this is the place for them.

  3. #3
    Indefinitely Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Alpha maps are very noticeable.

  4. #4
    Father Jack's Avatar expletive intended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Ratae Corieltauvorum

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    simply stunning work. I cannot wait.
    Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Quote Originally Posted by Banzai! View Post
    Alpha maps are very noticeable. what's your point ?

  6. #6
    Sigma's Avatar Ducenarius
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Are those hand cannons, hollowed bamboo stalks? other than that, great work.

  7. #7
    Indefinitely Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Quote Originally Posted by Yelü Dashi View Post what's your point ?
    Black jaggies. You should ask SigniferOne how to solve it.
    Last edited by Banzai!; August 25, 2009 at 06:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Manco's Avatar Dux Limitis
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Incredible preview.

    Have some imaginary rep! (since I can't give any)
    Some day I'll actually write all the reviews I keep promising...

  9. #9
    D.B. Cooper's Avatar Tribunus
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    I thought this mod was dead/dying for awhile, glad to see it's still kicking.

    Awesome preview.

    edit: Big too, my browser is still loading it.
    Last edited by D.B. Cooper; August 25, 2009 at 07:05 PM.

  10. #10
    Legio XII's Avatar Semisalis
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Columbia, SC

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty mean talk about a huge amount of quality work...I love it!

    I too thought this mod was nearing death, but am so glad to see that I was wrong!

    +rep to all involved

  11. #11
    James the Red's Avatar Campidoctor
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Awesome stuff, really great work!

  12. #12
    Paradox596's Avatar Libertus
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    dose wit work on steam?

  13. #13
    Smeel's Avatar Semisalis
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    I don't think i'd ever seen so great units in M2tw before. It's just awesome! Good work!

    For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to
    (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Amazing preview! I was in here yesterday looking to see if there were any updates, and now this! Newsied on MR!

  15. #15
    Nikos's Avatar VENGEANCE BURNS
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    WOW, incredible!
    Learn about Byzantium!
    ,Ex Content Writer,Ex Curator, Ex Moderator

    Proud patron of Jean=A=Luc
    In Patronicum sub Celsius

  16. #16
    Kjertesvein's Avatar Remember to smile
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Tournaments Joined
    Tournaments Won

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    First I doubted clicking, because I thought it was Rome, but... GOD "¤%¤%"¤#DFW¤% DEAM that's a huuge preview and lots of great materials and sollutions. When can I download:p?
    Thorolf was thus armed. Then Thorolf became so furious that he cast his shield on his back, and, grasping his halberd with both hands, bounded forward dealing cut and thrust on either side. Men sprang away from him both ways, but he slew many. Thus he cleared the way forward to earl Hring's standard, and then nothing could stop him. He slew the man who bore the earl's standard, and cut down the standard-pole. After that he lunged with his halberd at the earl's breast, driving it right through mail and body, so that it came out at the shoulders; and he lifted him up on the halberd over his head, and planted the butt-end in the ground. There on the weapon the earl breathed out his life in sight of all, both friends and foes. [...] 53, Egil's Saga
    I must tell you here of some amusing tricks the Comte d'Eu played on us. I had made a sort of house for myself in which my knights and I used to eat, sitting so as to get the light from the door, which, as it happened, faced the Comte d'Eu's quarters. The count, who was a very ingenious fellow, had rigged up a miniature ballistic machine with which he could throw stones into my tent. He would watch us as we were having our meal, adjust his machine to suit the length of our table, and then let fly at us, breaking our pots and glasses.
    - The pranks played on the knight Jean de Joinville, 1249, 7th crusade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finn View Post
    This is the only forum I visit with any sort of frequency and I'm glad it has provided a home for RTR since its own forum went down in 2007. Hopefully my donation along with others from TWC users will help get the site back to its speedy heyday, which will certainly aid us in our endeavor to produce a full conversion mod Rome2.

  17. #17
    pspguy123's Avatar Protector Domesticus
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Columbia, South Carolina

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Look like a finally have a reason to install MTW2!!!

    EDIT: I just jizzed in my pants.
    Turkish secularism is infinitely better than Saudi theocracy

    پاکستان زنداباد
    Pakistan Zindabad!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    we are beautiful
    we are doomed

  19. #19
    René Artois's Avatar Dux Limitis
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Why have i not heard of this mod until now, it looks great and i can't wait to use hose siege engines. I also like how you have made the campaign better with the new governing features, to me this really makes it appealing as most mods do only reskin and new units tops. Well done! i shall be passing some reps your way my friend!
    Bitter is the wind tonight,
    it stirs up the white-waved sea.
    I do not fear the coursing of the Irish sea
    by the fierce warriors of Lothlind.

  20. #20
    Reverend Scott's Avatar Senator
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Missouri, but from California

    Default Re: Preview Scroll Three: The Song Dynasty

    Most excellent-eagerly awaiting release.

    ( Let me know if you need beta-testers )
    Proud Beta tester for 300 Warlords of Sparta
    Proud Beta tester for Hic Est Lacedaemon
    Proud Beta tester for British East India Company - The Indian Mutiny (BEIC)
    Proud Beta tester for American Civil War - The Blue and the Grey 2.65-3.0

Page 1 of 13 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts