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Japan's scenario map is dominated by mountains and hills, and most of the remainder is forest, with a good sprinkling of rivers. There are numerous islands, only a few of which can be seen without a trireme, and a very small number need navigation. Bonus tiles are generously arranged, differently for each game, and there are goodie huts on most islands except the very smallest.
The default version has Chinese, Dutch, English, Japanese, Korean, Mongol, Portuguese, and Spanish nations: i.e. mostly nations that colonized the Far East. Expect Spanish near the west, Chinese next to them, and Mongol near the north-east just past the Dutch and Koreans but with a lot of vacant land to the north.
Borders or no bordersEdit
There are no borders in the default options setup in the default ruleset (despite the "Borders" column in the nations screen), so if you build cities four steps apart you may get interlopers occupying your most productive grassland! If you want borders, remember to go to the options before you click "Start".
The main south-west island, Kyushu, is likely to be discovered early by the Spanish, visible from any one of four possible city sites, and colonized by them and the Chinese.
The main southern island, Shikoku, may be visible from early cities of the two westernmost nations but also from a possible peninsula city site that could be English. It can hold a dozen cities fairly comfortably.
The main north-east island, Hokkaido, may take a while to discover but is accessible by trireme and can hold a few dozen cities if the minimum separation is the standard, 2.
If anyone wishes to create a page for game reports, feel free! The best page name could be Japan scenario game reports unless there are now or are likely to be in the future other scenarios based on Japan.
- README on Gna! (2004)