Chapter 9: It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum... and I'm all outta gum. 1709-1723
This chapter has been ready for ages, but been delayed for… well, my laziness mostly. Here we go.
Finally, I seem to be unable to make headway without getting some extra CB’s. Thus, I swap to Republican dictatorship, which gives me the imperialism CB against all countries. Annexing those annoying OPMs just got much easier. And in July 1709, I annex Sokoto, the last non-Brunei province in Africa. Meanwhile, some events give me casus belli on both Portugal and Bavaria. However, I decide to attack Sweden instead, as they are not member of the Superfriends (i.e. Catholic member of HRE: Bavaria is the protector of catholic faith and Milan is the Emperor).
War starts in August 1710: Sweden is joined by Poland, Switzerland and Trebizond. A month later Castille declares war as well and I attack Persia in addition to other meanies. The war goes very well, except as I have no land connection to Poland, I land 20 regiments there. I win the initial engagement but the larger Polish army forces me to make peace with Sweden before I’m wiped out. Trebizond and Castille become OPMs, Persia is annexed and I gain most of the Swedish territory and Warmia from Poland.
The war with Poland showed that I’m spread quite thin and cannot really build infinite amounts of troops. To gain some focus, I decide to remove my troops from the British Isles, but to do so I need to conquer GB first. Thus I declare war on GB and Burgundy.
In Apri 1712 it’s all over. GB is left with 3 provinces (two wars) and Burgundy cedes 4 provinces. I could not take more as I had to take the provinces with lvl 4 forts. Elsewhere, Norway Finland, Muscowy and Riga put up a brave fight but it takes a total of 8 months of 1713 to capture everything: Norway and Finland are annexed, Riga becomes an OPM and Muscowy cedes 4 provinces – those Russian provinces are getting expensive!
As an afterthought, I also conquer Crete in 1714. Also, I do another blitzkrieg by punishing Creek, Cherokee, Burgundy, Luxembourg and Ragusa. War last a whopping 5 months: Burgundy cedes some provinces, Cherokee becomes an OPM, the rest are annexed.
Luckily, every now and then the AI makes some decisions for me – such as Trier and Flanders declaring war in 1715. War ends in 6 months after bloody assaults against lvl 4 forts.
After being sidetracked for a while, I find a way to get into war with Milan without angering Bavaria. I declare war on Transylvania, Milan (sphere), Normandy (ally) and Burgundy (protector of Protestant faith). The only country with an army is Milan, so everything else is just there for the decoration.
However, I just cannot seem to finish off Milan’s armies – something always survives to fight another day. Thus, they get reinforcements while I assault forts and grind my armies to bloody pulp. However, I build more and keep cycling my armies to and from the frontline. Also, Milan aren’t short on troops either.
Especially it’s tough in the Balkans, where Milan has built lvl 3 and 4 forts and supply limits are low. Attrition is pretty horrendous, but by 1717 Milan is ready to give up, ceding most of the Balkans (those damned forts!) and some provinces surrounding their capital. By then others have either been annexed, or in the case of Burgundy, made to cede provinces.
Even though my WE is high, I need to keep going. Yet another blitzkrieg in 1717 (lasting 4 months) reduces Burgundy to a TPM and GB into an OPM. Operation Relocate from the British Isles successful! I start to ferry nonessential troops to Bavarian border while reducing WE to acceptable levels.
In September 1719 I’m ready to march into death (I just don’t know it yet) and declare war on Bosnia, Milan (ally), Portugal (guarantee) and Muscowy (protector of Orthodox faith). On paper, it seems very easy and by January 1720 Muscowy has already been captured (but as they are the alliance leader, I need to leave them for last). Portugal doesn’t have many troops, so I just march and assault.
However, in March 1720…
That one man just murdered approximately 50 regiments single-handedly as the other regiment had just been built. I thought long and hard what may have happened and the only possible explanation is that even though I won the previous battle, I did not have enough morale left for it to be nonzero. Then the newly recruited regiment either had a modicum of morale or that one man had some morale left, thus winning by default. Nevertheless, it was rather impressive. I’m feeling rather smug about that, actually.
However, the Milanese Chuck Norris is just one man. In January 1721 Portugal cedes 11 provinces for peace, Milan 9 and Muscowy 4. It’s over.
After which I continue to smash Castille and Portugal – who have a total of 2000 men, all in Toledo. By September 1721 Portugal has ceded yet another 9 provinces and Castille has been annexed. Elsewhere, while I’m setting up to attack Bavaria, Muscowy is splintering and a new country, Nizhny Novgorod declares independence. In joyous celebration, I declare war on them and Ukraine in October 1722. By March 1723 Nizhny Novgorod is annexed and Ukraine cedes 4 provinces.
I also have managed to recruit some decent generals during the years:
On second thought, let’s keep Bavaria waiting. Instead I declare war on the British, Burgundy, Normandy and Milan in April 1723. And as an omen, I get hit by two inflation-increasing events, giving me 6% inflation. I react by building a hundred tax assessors or so.
As I just had fought a war with Milan, they have no army to speak of. In November 1713 I’m done, although I’ve still managed to lose men by, well, being stupid. Again, I’m sure I was supposed to have morale left as I had won the previous battle but hey ho. There's a million more from where those came from.
GB is annexed, Burgundy becomes an OPM, Normandy is annexed and Milan cedes 7 provinces. I take everything that has lvl 3 forts as they are harder to assault. I really had to take on Milan now, since they are the emperor and everyone who is left is an HRE member. They have managed to set themselves up as emperor for life, so I can’t even get someone else to grab the crown. I’m better off with a weak emperor around.
Bavaria, next time…
World map in 1723.