The year is AD 1636. The Manchus have just established the Qing Empire and Huang Taiji was made the new and first Emperor. The old Ming empire is besieged by rebels - the peasant armies led by Li Zicheng attacking from the west and those by Zhang Xianzhong from central China. Mongols from the North are also harassing the border of the no longer powerful Ming.
The player controls the Manchus, with their capital located at Shengjing (former name of Shenyang or Mukden). In order to become the ultimate ruler of China and win the scenario, the player needs to eliminate all enemies or occupy 90% of the entire territory.
A good suggestion is to defeat the Koreans first -- they have long been a loyal ally to the Ming Chinese.
(The scenario is based on real historical events as well as geographical features. The map centers at the Forbidden City.)