Visual Basic for Applications, which I've done more with in the past month or so then ever before. I'm still learning the ropes (and in fact now I've got it to do what I want I've pretty much left the rest of it alone), but it's sped up the conversion process considerably, even if my wife thinks I should be learning .NET instead.
The most distressing thing from my novice point of view is that I can spend an hour or so struggling to write a program to do what I want and when it's finished its about ten lines long. Were I writing in plain English I'd have banged out about 2,000 words in the same time.
Thanks to making a computer do all the hard work I've managed to get the POP tweaking done in a handful of days rather than the weeks or months it would have taken to do it manually. I think a manual approach would probably provide better overall results, but you can't argue with timesavings like that.
Close is right. As of now I've pretty much done everything I was planning on doing, save finding a good way to represent the HRE. In the end I might just end up coming up with some plausible reason for its collapse. Part of the problem is that it's absolutely huge, stretching from western France to the Baltic States and incorporating the modern Netherlands, all Italy bar the Papal States, and chunks of the Balkans. I do have some wiggle room as Modena is the HRE, but Austria is quite clearly the regional hegemon, so I might play up the tension as Austria going rogue and wrecking the whole show.
Apart from that, everything's pretty much done. I've shifted versions from my test to a 1.4 beta (June's I think) and made a few tweaks as needed. I'll hopefully be able to start the AAR off sometime this week. We have visitors this weekend though, so I can't guarantee anything.
The potential snag is that both Madurai and Sindh look like very interesting games. Either of the two could form India, and they're well-matched (25 brigades for Sindh versus 27 for Madurai, but the latter is more spread out). If I actually managed to finish the Yamato AAR I might go back and do an Indian unification game.