Consisting of 26 territories spread out amongst Japan to the north and Australia to the south, the Pacific is a major waypoint between Asia and the New World. Polynesian peoples first emerged on the western end of the Pacific, before spreading far and wide eastwards into the Ocean. While many who moved eastwards to found colonies on the many smaller islands around them have maintained the old ways, those who remain in the Spice Islands gradually developed a syncretic culture, combining Indian cultural practices with Islam to form a culture of their own.
Although the many islands of the Pacific lack supply centres for conquest, many of the island surrounding Australia are nonetheless very rich in resources, particularly whales, fish and spices, which are vital to any seafaring nation such as the British and the Japanese. Although the Pacific in theory stretches from the Bering Straits near Kamchatka all the way down to the South Pole, it is however the southern hemisphere which is the real meat on the table. The many archipelagos here do not just host many treasures, but also form a bridge of islands ranging from the South China Sea and onward to South America. The only problem however is how to get there — for most of the game, the Pacific only hosts a handful of supply centres, and is also very isolated from most of the world except Southern Asia and Latin America.
The most vital part of the Pacific region is the southwest, where most of its supply centres are located. The islands of Sumatra and Java are very densely populated, and also possess rares, so they should be taken where possible (although the stingy Dutch might have most likely taken them first). Australia and New Zealand are also places of strategic interest for very much the same reasons, so flag these areas as quickly as possible if you can.
Five major powers dominate the Pacific, in the form of the British who have taken Queensland for their own; the Japanese in the northern reaches of the Pacific; the Bruneians, who are the largest Malay Muslim sultanate in the region; the Spanish who have taken Luzon, Mindanao and the Marianas for their own, as well as the League-affiliated Dutch who have long plied the waters of the Spice Islands to fuel their industry and power in Europe. It goes without saying naturally that those who control the Pacific also pretty much control Asia and Latin America.
Although the Australian colonies of Queensland are dwarfed by the ports of India or the major cities of Europe, their location on the Pacific allows for future expansion into the Pacific region should you choose to expand there.
Explorers and passers-by into this still-unclaimed place speak of gold-bearing rock being discovered here. While this may be true, the land by itself is sufficient and large enough to provide for a new colony.
Geologists who have visited the coast of this vast land think that there is a potential for iron mining here. Additionally, the land here, being covered with shrubs and grassy plain, is ideal for supporting civilisation in this territory.
Recently settled by a penal colony, the remoteness of Tasmania makes it a wild and rugged land where enforcment of law is still in a rudimentary phase.
This territory is the northern island in an archipelago called Aotearoa by local natives, but is known as New Zealand to outsiders.
The southern island of the Aotearoa archipelago, called "the land of greenstone/jade" by its inhabitants, is substantially larger than its partner to the north, Te Ika-a-Māui. The rich resources of this island and its location as a waypoint between its northern sister-island as well as Queensland, Tahiti, and the Malvinas have made it a major trading post in the Western Pacific.
Dominated by a massive lonely plain, the exotic species which lurk here might also be of interest to us as well for study.
The heart of the largest Malay empire to date, the sultanate of Brunei as well as its dependencies of Sabah and Sarawak are located here. Because it is the capital, merchants seeking acces to Borneo's pepper markets must also come here to purchase it.
The eastern half of Irian is also known as Papua, and is heavily forested. We can expect to harvest a great deal of timber here.
Staunch in their beliefs, the native defenders of this island are all warriors to a man and will not yield easily to outsiders.
This is the beating heart of Western economic prowess in the Far East — a major economic powerhouse and naval base which feeds the exotica of Asia into western markets half a world away.
Rough and unsettled, this territory forms the southern half of Borneo, and is also known for having substantial deposits of bauxite whcih could be refined to make aluminum.
Heavily forested and located on the eastern end of the Spice Island archipelago, West Irian however has resisted most attempts to colonise it so far.
Carved out of igneous rock, Sulawesi and the neighbouring Maluku islands are at the heart of an archipelago of lushly clad volcanic islands, and is the source of some of the world's most prized spices.
Small and somewhat deficient in natural resources, Timor has become slightly far more interesting following Portuguese efforts to harvest sandalwood here.
Kyushu's links to Japan via Shikoku and Yamato; the Yellow Sea Coast as well as Taiwan to the south means that it is a vital gateway for the Japanese into the lands south of their island home. All foreign trade with Japan is conducted from the port of Nagasaki on this island, due to shogunal dictate.
Despite having plenty of space, the extreme cold of Hokkaido discourages human settlement — although the increasing importance of sulphur in the world economy may soon change that.
This island hosts a massive copper mine, which should be sufficient in produce to meet Japan's needs.
The northern half of the island of Japan is occupied by the capital, Edo which has acted as the political centre of the Japanese empire for over two centuries.
This region is named after the tribe from which the Japanese people were descended from, their home being mainly in the southern end of the island of Honshu, bordering Shikoku to the south and Kyushu to the south-west.
The Marianas are dominated by the small island of Guam which governs a highly strategic archipelago which is positioned midway between east and west, allowing for the replenishment of ships heading across the Pacific. Aside from being a strategic crossroads between the many major islands of the Pacific, the Marianas are also the haunt of whalers seeking their prey in the deeper waters of the Pacific.
Ruled by an ambitious dynasty of Polynesian war-chiefs, the Hawai'ian archipelago is now one of the most powerful and and civilised Polynesian kingdoms in the world. The volcanic soils of Hawai'i make it extremely fertile, ideal for growing a variety of cash crops.
This island is surrounded by several other smaller ones, forming a massive archipelago of inlets, bays and secluded pirate outposts. The Spanish, perceiving the problems in policing this restive territory, instead chose to play one clan off against another, and concentrate on the production of tobacco on the mainland.
Despite this archipelagic sector's propensity for volcanic activity, much gold can be found under the hills of Luzon. Luzon's access to the South China Sea also allows it to function as a staging point for the ferrying of cargo and troops as well.
Only discovered about a decade or two ago, the island of Tahiti and the surrounding aarchipelago have all converted to Protestantism and introduced a single unified and absolute monarchy here. Tahiti's central location in the southern Pacific makes it one out of the many different island links between Australia and South America.
This archipelago just off the coast of Australia is heavily forested and located near migratory routes for whales, making it ideal for whalers.