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Thread: Sforza!!! - A Milan AAR

  1. #41
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    Very impressive work. Your cores are growing and you get more and more strength in Italy, also I think it was clever to use the Pope’s problematic war for your own gains and get more money and property. Great work
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  2. #42
    Very good update showing the gameplay nicely. I look forward to finding out how you deal with the border dispute.

  3. #43
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    Funny: we each used the exact same plan for expansion (same countries as vassals, even).
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  4. #44
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    On Trading

    Milan is supposed to be a major trading power – it was historically, anyway. As it is, I’m being less successful than I have any right to be!

    I sent a merchant into my own CoT at Liguria, hoping I might be able to get a monopoly and thereby draw some decent income from vacant spots rather than from the value of total trade there. I don’t know what happened – this may deserve some analytical attention – but the appearance of my one additional merchant (added to the 3 I already had there) presaged some sort of gold rush for the 8 vacant spots that existed there over the summer of 1474. Suddenly, by October, all but 1 was filled!



    Even more bizarre – I lost this new guy to competition a month later!

    I don’t recall if I used the term “4-play” in the Strategy Guide or not – probably not – but that’s what I call the “swarm” tactic when I send 4 merchants at a time. I will switch off between a “2-play” merchant swarm and a “4-play.”

    A 2-play provides the opportunity for one merchant to open a spot through a successful compete, and for the 2nd merchant to take that open spot. It is my educated belief that sending 4 at a time further increases the mathematical chance that you’ll have a successful compete, and therefore, increases the chance that you’ll have an open spot to go into. My testing with this concept has generally yielded better than what I have gotten with 2-plays.



    My availability for advisors had up to now been pretty low – a lot of advisors who I didn’t want, but none that I did. Finally, the advisor pool opened up, and I replaced my 2 previous advisors with 3 expert merchants, who together give me +.8/yr merchants. This just counteracts my penalty to merchants from Mercantilism policy, which I have addressed and will continue to address in the direction of Free Trade.

    If any advisors with tech investment (esp. trade tech) had been available, I would have preferred to have 1 or 2 of those, but there were none.



    For whatever reason, after having a relatively easy start to the game, my opponents have now awakened to the fact that they’re in a trade war, and that they’d better treat it that way if they intend to have any success. I keep battling to keep my merchants in CoTs, but I’m having trouble placing more than I’m losing – I’m actually losing ground, in the net.



    My income from trade keeps revolving between 1 ducat and 2 ducats per month, averaging out around 1.4 ducats or so. I’ve decided I just can’t count on this income to be reliable, and since I’m starting to maintain decent balances in my treasury, and I don’t want to encourage inflation, I’m just leaving my budget at a slight loss most of the time. I’ll make it back up at “Christmastime” (when I get new census taxes at the end of December).



    By March of 1477, we’re down to just 2 merchants in Venice again (down from 5 just 2-3 months prior!) due to competition. I’m hoping that soon (by 1480) I’ll have an extra trade tech which will help our compete chances. I’ll also be choosing a national idea to help out. In the meantime, we may need to find a less popular CoT in which to trade.

    I'll post feedback in just a few minutes here (give me 30, just to be safe!). Watch for it!
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  5. #45
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Wellington
    Just caught up. Definitely a solid start. I look forward to finding out if, as in EUII, you will be plaything for Austria and France to fight over.
    Shokan & DoW, I’m actually figuring that each of them will have somebody bigger than me to play with! Burgundy is keeping France’s attention on the one end. And you’ll see soon who’s keeping Austria busy.

    Garuda, I agree -- I enjoy learning as much about history as I do with Paradox games. Contrary to the opinions of others, I don't think that will lessen with the reduction in historical events with EU III. I think that we'll keep learning lots about history, less from events, but more from what readers say in the comments.

    As for sending a ship to spy on Rome -- yeah, I definitely could have done that, and maybe should have, but I wasn't actually that concerned about it. In retrospect, I think they probably weren't under siege, or else the war wouldn't still be underway well into 1478.

    Olaus Petrus, the Boundary Dispute event is an interesting addition with EU III, and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out. I think it benefits minors alot more than the majors, because the majors are generally more able to stomp about with or without casus belli, and they benefit less, relatively, from the core status of a single province.

    That WAS rather an impressive Boundary Dispute, though, eh?! Sounds more to me like a Sforzish trick!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrumvale
    Funny: we each used the exact same plan for expansion (same countries as vassals, even).
    I think geography steers people into similar strategies in those early days. Italy seems like kind of a weird animal -- almost like Germany at the start of Victoria -- where everybody seems to like each other! Which, of course, can be a problem when you're bent on conquest! In the Beta AAR, I romped on Tuscany. I'm not certain, yet, whether I shall do that again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coz1
    Excellent work assisting the Papa like that. And I do so love those core events. If anything, they are incentive to expand.
    Indeed! Expansion should be coming up on the horizon... should be fun!

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  6. #46
    A tough trade situation you find yourself in. I enjoyed that section, lots of info since I haven't really bothered with trade in the demo yet. Doesn't look to be much change from EUII but the free slot indicator I like.

  7. #47
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    Interesting read. I agree with DoW about the free slot indicator, that would be really useful to have in EU2.

  8. #48
    Meddler Supreme Sapphire's Avatar
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    Good progress When I played Cyprus, I found getting merchants into CoT rather easy especially after taking Shrewd Commerce Policy

    Maybe you will find it easier to maintain hold when you take Shrewd Commerce Policy?

    Cheers

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  9. #49
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    All looks good. Trading is certianly quite cut-throat in the opening decades.
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  10. #50
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Yes, I am definitely going to have to bone up on my trading technique. I was actually doing rather well to get in on trade using onesies and twosies, but the minute I turned my back for a moment, they would disappear like leaving a sandwich unattended around a dog.
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  11. #51
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    Tough competition.

    It seems to be that trade competition in EU3 is more difficult than it was in EU2.
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  12. #52
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    I take it that if you swamp a COT with traders you don’t run the risk of being banned from that COT as in EU II? I have to admit that I usually just pass on even trying to get any trade income since I don’t like the repetitive clicking but still it will be interesting to see how your trade empire expands. So how long before you annex your first vassal? Are they all in an alliance with you? Otherwise you might lost them if they get into a war with let’s say Austria.

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  13. #53
    Lord Marshal Tem_Probe's Avatar
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    Looks like an interesting AAR. Helps to sate my taste for EU3 while I wait to upgrade my computer then purchase it. Will be following this
    Respectfully submitted,

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  14. #54
    Sergeant devoncop's Avatar
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    Congratulations..and a comparison

    Hi.

    Great AAR first off!

    I am up to 1546 with Milan and after a peaceful start the Papal States behaved in a very unholy way (typical for the time and swallowed up most of Venice and Sicily.I guaranteed what was left of Sicily,Modena,Sienna and Savoy to gain CB should his holiness contine and allied with Sienna who by 1520 was jumped by the latest antichrist in Rome

    My other allies,the powerhouses of Cyprus,Crete and Naxos (I had to look that one up at first!) jumped in to help and I now have possession of all the Venecian ex provinces from their unholy occupier apart from Venice itself where the Pope has his sole enclave.Sienna has retaken everything South of her territory including Rome.

    France and especially Austria have expanded to the north of me and I am now doing a bit of grovelling to Austria to try and keep her at least onside!
    Great game.I want that Border Dispute event though!!!

    It is cool to see how the games differ so much.

    I love the way that allies are more consistant in EU3 than TW2 (which is why TW2 lasted about 2 weeks with me before I sold it!) without being totally reliable.

  15. #55
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    Very interesting to read about trade, and also see how it can work. That sure is a trade war, but I think you make some good points about the amount of merchants one should send. I will try to remember that and use it in my own games. Other than that you seem to be making good progress and Milan is getting stronger and stronger in Italy it seems
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  16. #56
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    So trade is worse now? That much competition is ridiculous. But you are sticking with it at least.
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  17. #57
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    I'm surprised you didn't take the Traditional Italian method of competing for CoT spots.

    "Nice merchant you have here in the Centre of Trade... It'd be a shame if anything happened to it.. accidents do happen, capisce?"

  18. #58
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    In July 1477, Austria declared war on Hungary, creating a major conflict relatively nearby. The result, from our perspective, could either increase Austria’s power to threaten us, or reduce it. We hope for the best, especially as all of Austria’s allies dishonoured their alliance!

    Near the same time, Tuscany declared war on Urbino. While we don’t necessarily have a dog in this fight, since Tuscany seems to be the foremost thorn in our side in both, Venezia, and in our own CoT of Liguria (4 active merchants), we decide to embargo them in protest. We’ll see how that works out.

    In September of 1477, we were actually reduced to only 1 merchant remaining in Thrace. Trade has just gotten so fierce – that’s why I’m hopeful my embargo will have some result in our own CoT at least.



    Aragon also declared war on Sicily, one of its perennial enemies, and Castille and Navarre join with them.

    In October, we start trying to improve relations with the various electors of the Holy Roman Empire. Riga and Mainz are our first targets. At this point, it appears that Saxony is our primary rival for the throne, so we will go after some of their closest friends, trying to ingratiate ourselves through state gifts.



    Income from several various sources – from vassals to taxes – has increased quite a bit. Trade income being the exception – it’s down! Rather embarrassing for a trading power, I’d say… But I haven’t really gotten to distance myself from my neighbors in trade technology, or trade policy, or anything, so maybe in time I’ll be fine in this area.



    And, finally, it comes to be that we get to demonstrate the real meaning of Sforza!
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  19. #59
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    Heh, becoming emperor could give you nice advantage over your enemies. I like the idea of Italian emperor ruling the Roman Empire.
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  20. #60
    Good luck becoming emperor, but more importantly getting that trade income back up. It should be near number one.

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