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Thread: Gela's EU3 AAR for Beginners - A Guide

  1. #1
    custom luser title gela1212's Avatar
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    Gela's EU3 AAR for Beginners - A Guide

    So! Here we are. You've clicked on the link because of one of three reasons. You're either a fan of my writing style (unlikely), an experienced player hoping that I'm going to fail spectacularly so you can make fun of me (possible), or a player who wants to help comment/thank me for writing this (hopefully likely)

    Oh, and you could also be a beginner. But what are the chances of that in an AAR for beginners? Psh.

    I'm making this guide AAR for three reasons.

    1. I need a break from narrative.
    2. I need a reason to play.
    3. There's no comprehensive guide for beginners that is up to date. Most guides are for specific countries. In addition, many beginners don't know how to find the wiki. It would be better if it could be a bit more internal to the Plaza, eh?

    Now, a little bit about myself as a player:

    As anyone who has gone against me in multiplayer can tell you, I have a slightly... unorthodox playing style. Often times my tips get ridiculed because they go against the norm. But, if you look through my current AAR as well as any games I might have posted, you can probably tell these strategies get results.

    However, for some, my strategies aren't all that usable. That's why I recommend trying my tips out for yourself and seeing how they work. Perhaps you could combine some of my style with a more common playstyle and come up with your own. Any way I can help you, that's fantastic.

    Before someone claims that this is a guide and not an AAR, let me tell you something. There will be Action, I will be writing this After I play, and it will be in the form of a Report. Huh. Who would've guessed? (Yes, I messed up the order of AAR, don't kill me)

    So what country will we be choosing on our journey? Well, I'll probably mix it up. This will all be on one save file but I'll switch between countries when the need arises. We'll start off with a nation in the Iberian peninsula with great potential but requiring some help to get there. Can you guess who it is?

    Expect a beginning update tonight.

    Last edited by gela1212; 07-07-2012 at 03:33.



    Winner of Best Gameplay AAR (EU 1-3) Q3 2011
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  2. #2
    Captain Firehound15's Avatar
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    I probably fall into group two, so go and prove me and the other group two-ers that we're wrong!

  3. #3
    custom luser title gela1212's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firehound15 View Post
    I probably fall into group two, so go and prove me and the other group two-ers that we're wrong!
    We shall see. I've done a fair bit of watching guide AARs die, so this hopefully won't take the same path.

    Also, changing the first update from tonight to tomorrow. Too much stuff happened tonight to do it.



    Winner of Best Gameplay AAR (EU 1-3) Q3 2011
    Awarded WritAAR of the Week 6/26/11; 9/2/2013


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  4. #4
    Benevolent Imperialist flame7926's Avatar
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    Im a beginner, hopefully this helps me play better

  5. #5
    Lt. General generalolaf's Avatar
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    As a beginner(ish) hoping to start an AAR in the not-too-distant future, I'll be watching this one.
    Reasons Why You Should Play Any Character in CK2
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  6. #6
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Good luck! I'm in group one, actually, so I'm watching closely.
    A Blessing and a Curse: EUIV Narrative AAR! In Progress
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  7. #7
    Captain Kluska's Avatar
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    Awesome, man.

    Beginner myself in terms of long-term game-play and stratagems and such. I mainly mod the daylights of the game and play a little to evaluate the modding.

    ANYWAY! Unimportant.

    Can't wait to see what this AAR produces!

  8. #8
    General knul's Avatar
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    Good initiative, Gela1212. The community can always use a good introduction AAR for beginners.
    Current AAR: EU4: Single Domination: Ming, the first EU4 AAR ever to feature a non-European country!
    Finished AARs: EU3: Double Domination: Germany versus Japan. EU3: Yin, Yang and the ugly: a Divine Wind Ming AAR

    See an overview of my AARs at my Ink Well page.

  9. #9
    custom luser title gela1212's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flame7926 View Post
    Im a beginner, hopefully this helps me play better
    I hope so too! Glad to have you along.

    Quote Originally Posted by generalolaf View Post
    As a beginner(ish) hoping to start an AAR in the not-too-distant future, I'll be watching this one.
    Great! The more readers, the merrier!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    Good luck! I'm in group one, actually, so I'm watching closely.
    Ah, as always, pleasure to have you along Ashantai.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kluska View Post
    Awesome, man.

    Beginner myself in terms of long-term game-play and stratagems and such. I mainly mod the daylights of the game and play a little to evaluate the modding.

    ANYWAY! Unimportant.

    Can't wait to see what this AAR produces!
    I'm not entirely sure myself what it will produce. But we shall find out, won't we?

    Quote Originally Posted by knul View Post
    Good initiative, Gela1212. The community can always use a good introduction AAR for beginners.
    Indeed. Most of them are for specific topics, not a general overview.

    I have the screenshots now, just need to actually do the write-up.



    Winner of Best Gameplay AAR (EU 1-3) Q3 2011
    Awarded WritAAR of the Week 6/26/11; 9/2/2013


    "i don't like ppl coyping me" - iwanow

  10. #10
    custom luser title gela1212's Avatar
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    Lesson I: A King Must Know His Lands

    It seems it's time for the start of our adventure. As the title might suggest, this will be all about getting to know your country. In other words, it's sort of like everything you should do the day of a random English king's inauguration, or in other words, October 14th, 1399. Everything I state in here will be mostly for people that play the Grand Campaign, as that is the most common choice for players. However, don't forget to try out some of the other starting dates!

    Now, onto the beginning of our tale. Remember in the first post when I gave you a small clue about our country? Well, I changed my mind a bit. We will indeed be starting with that country, but only for a small amount of time. This may or may not be because I forgot to save my game with that country and didn't exactly want to play it again, but that's a story for another day!



    The star of our story is a nation named Aragon, the home of the Catalans. He has a much reduced size compared to a few years ago! However, this is 15th century Europe, not Hollywood, so.. that's not necessarily a good thing. Let's get to know our friend Aragon a bit better.



    He seems to have a strong dislike for his neighbor, Navarre. In fact, he wants to see his neighbor bow down before him one day! This is Aragon's current mission. Upon completion of his mission, he gains some rewards. Some nations have a lot of nation-specific missions that only they get, others get none. However, everyone has access to a pool of generic missions. "Vassalize Navarre" is one of our country's few nation-specific missions. As his guide, though, we can't let him rush headfirst into things. Let's check his policies before acting on anything.



    Ah.. he seems somewhat unruly, relying a bit too much on the lords and ladies to do what should be our work as the rulers of Aragon. I suppose now would be a good time to talk about sliders.

    Sliders are what dictate your policy. Though you would never tell from the name, they tend to slide from left to right. Now, your slider choice must be made wisely. Very wisely. You see, you only get one choice every few years. As such, you need to get your priorities straight. Overall, Centralization is the best slider. However, it's not very specialized. It gives some nice benefits though, like higher income, special events raising income, and inflation reduction once you get left of the middle of the bar. Its only drawback is maximum war exhaustion, which isn't really a problem compared to all the benefits. All the other sliders aren't so one-sided.

    As a general rule, unless you are very large and own your own CoTs, Free Trade is to be preferred over its counterpart, Mercantilism. Free Trade raises compete chances in trade, which is a big help as you'll see later down the line when we cover that aspect of the game. These are really the two most important sliders in the game, as income plays a large role in not just what you can do, but also in how well you can do it.

    For the moment, we'll take a move towards Centralization. I don't exactly know how it happens overnight.. we must've issued orders asking for the properties of some powerful nobles while smiling at the guards saying "Nothing could possibly go wrong!"

    Unfortunately, this is EU3, and something always goes wrong when you centralize. In fact, the best thing you can hope for is a stability hit most of the time, or for a revolt later in the game.



    The people revolt as I try to steal their rights out from under them. Who would've thought that would happen? As you can see, the enemy rebels have 7,000 men compared to my measly 5,000 Aragonese soldiers. It's time to raise some soldiers! In the top left, if you look next to the three men standing on nothing, you'll see a number. If I divide that by one thousand, that's how many regiments I can make without relying on mercenaries. This number is manpower. Manpower also refills your armies as casualties grip them. We'll talk more about this later.



    We don't have to worry about those guys yet, though, thanks to our handy-dandy pause button. Instead, let's talk about advisors. Advisors are little guys who give you bonuses depending on their occupation. We don't have very many terrific advisors, but we'll grab the land forcelimits guy. To fill up our other slots, we'll need to wait a year, or more specifically, October 14th, 1400. This is because advisors are very nationalistic and like to stick around in their homelands. After a year of being unemployed and moping around the city streets wishing he had a more useful bonus or a higher star rank, an advisor packs his bags and goes onto a world market.

    No, I'm not joking. He's basically purchased from his homeland to go help out another country. So a year after your game's starting date is a very special time, as large nations will flood the market with their multitudes of advisors that they didn't want and you can snag them. You have to be quick, though! The AI wants these advisors too. On the same day, your own people go up for sale, so you'll probably be making some money.


    Ask Yourself..


    1. Do I know what a mission is?
    2. Do I know what sliders do?
    3. Do I know what advisors do?

    If you answered no to any of the above, you can re-read the section involving them. If it still doesn't make sense, ask around on the forums or look it up on the EU3 Wiki
    Last edited by gela1212; 18-09-2011 at 03:02.



    Winner of Best Gameplay AAR (EU 1-3) Q3 2011
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  11. #11
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    A nice start!
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  12. #12
    General knul's Avatar
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    Nice start indeed.

    Some comments for the readers (gela1212 will know these already)

    - Centralisation is indeed a good slider to go. If you don't know what to do with your sliders, increase Centralisation. But there is one warning: early governments like Feudal monarchy have a maximum setting for Centralization (and other sliders), indicated with a red bar on that slider. If your slider setting goes beyond that maximum, you get extra revolt risk, something that will probably be explained by gela1212 later. For beginners, I would advise not to go beyond that maximum.

    -Something to remember about missions is that you can cancel them and get another one. So if you have a mission you don't like or can't achieve, cancel it. It costs a bit of prestige and you can't cancel missions quickly after canceling another, so keep that in mind.

    - From Heir to the Throne onward, you can create your own advisors by spending cultural tradition, yet another resource. This makes it infinitely more easy to get the advisor you want. Also, in the expansion Divine Wind you are only allowed one advisor of each type: you are no longer allowed to have three diplomats at a time!
    Current AAR: EU4: Single Domination: Ming, the first EU4 AAR ever to feature a non-European country!
    Finished AARs: EU3: Double Domination: Germany versus Japan. EU3: Yin, Yang and the ugly: a Divine Wind Ming AAR

    See an overview of my AARs at my Ink Well page.

  13. #13
    Lt. General generalolaf's Avatar
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    Great start! Some basics - which I knew already - but since the purpose of this is to solidify those I must say you've done really well. Looking for some more advanced tips in the future myself - but good luck!
    Reasons Why You Should Play Any Character in CK2
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  14. #14
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    great start ... good to see a beginners EU AAR
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  15. #15
    Centralisation is indeed a good slider to go. If you don't know what to do with your sliders, increase Centralisation. But there is one warning: early governments like Feudal monarchy have a maximum setting for Centralization (and other sliders), indicated with a red bar on that slider. If your slider setting goes beyond that maximum, you get extra revolt risk, something that will probably be explained by gela1212 later. For beginners, I would advise not to go beyond that maximum.
    Beware about centralization first, tough. As a little nation, it can hurt you, especially if you have rich provinces. Try to do that as Byzantium, and watch 10k rebels come knocking on the door.

    I don't think you can teach me anything, but I'll follow this anyway.

  16. #16
    As a beginner, I have been referred to this thread and find the content to be very helpful and the writing style to be essentially readable. Hope you have the energy and enthusiasm to persist withthe guide and that your various readers continue to post their considerations.

  17. #17
    custom luser title gela1212's Avatar
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    Lesson II: The Affairs of the Court

    The tale of Aragon, although it won't be our main attraction, is finally getting underway. You see, we've learned some of the basics of nation management and specialization. However, it's time to explore diplomacy! Yes, yes, I know you might want to go out there and just start crushing other rulers beneath your feet. But the destruction of others is far more fun when you have friends to destroy them with you!

    Diplomacy is an art, and there are lots of ways to combine the options provided to make something really formidable, or to keep yourself protected from a nosy neighbor. However, as a kingdom-type government, the main tool of our diplomacy is the Royal Marriage.

    So, what does a Royal Marriage (commonly referred to as an RM on these forums and possibly later on in this AAR) do? Well...
    • It raises relations with the target of royal marriage.
    • The amount of marriages you have slowly increases your legitimacy.
    • They're needed for personal unions (more on those later)
    • They increase your Holy Roman Empire vote points (more on those later as well)
    • A nation you have a royal marriage with will take a stability hit when declaring war on you.

    Now do you understand why these are important? So, back to the game. Our friend Aragon has finally managed to arrange some marriages with his neighbors!



    For the moment, we've gained stronger ties with three nations. It's important to remember, though, that there is a high chance of a marriage breaking when your king or their king dies. At that point you will need to reform most of your marriages.

    Enough of that sissy talk, though. We have rebels on our doorstep! We must show them what it really means to cross the d'Arago family! Indeed, we will have them on our spears by the night's en---

    I'm getting carried away. But we are going to deal with these rebels now. These deranged, misguided souls are particularists. Although there are many types of rebels (we'll talk about each type as they appear), you'll be seeing these guys a lot. Particularists want to decentralize you, basically reversing the work you've recently done. If they win, an entire slider move goes to waste! We certainly can't let that happen.

    Let's look at the situation our friendly neighborhood torch-carrying farm-burners are in.



    They're currently standing in the province of Girona, a mountainous land in the Pyrenees. As you may have noticed, I skipped a bit of time and now my men are magically there. This is a hastily thrown together army, so don't try to mimic it!



    It's time to bring fire and sword to our enemies! However, since this is for beginners, allow me to explain some of the basics of the battle screen. In the bottom left you will see two flags. One is that of the glorious nation of Aragon, and the other is the generic boring flag of the rebellious scum. To the right of that window you see troop numbers and their types. Because I was feeling particularly cheap today, I have mostly infantry. We'll talk about why that's bad later on. (Are you tired of hearing that yet?)

    The green-and-red bar is called morale. If an army's morale reaches 0, it automatically loses the fight and has to retreat. When in a war or just fighting rebels, make sure to watch your morale.

    Then we have the little die. The higher the number is, the more damage you deal, thus causing more casualties and faster morale drops on the other side. Next to our little die is a big fat -5. How'd that happen?

    You see, we decided to attack them while they were in the mountains. This is usually a very bad idea, but I decided to go through with it to show you what not to do.



    We did manage to win, but our casualties are terrible. That was practically the battle of the Alamo! Well, except, most of the rebels are still alive. A Phyrric victory to be sure. This is all because we decided to attack in the mountains, but they're not the only ones! We'll talk more about other types of terrain later on.

    So, as a quick recap, we forged strong ties with our neighbors and began to root out the rebels. I introduced a lot of concepts to you in this lesson, but don't stress if some of them seem slightly overwhelming! We'll talk about all of these in depth later; this was more of a cursory overview of several mechanics.

    Ask Yourself...


    1. Do I know what a royal marriage is?
    2. Do I know what royal marriages do?
    3. Do I know who particularists are?
    4. Do I know what morale is?

    If you answered no to any of these, re-read the section involving them, ask around on the forums, or look it up on the EU3 Wiki
    Last edited by gela1212; 18-09-2011 at 18:19.



    Winner of Best Gameplay AAR (EU 1-3) Q3 2011
    Awarded WritAAR of the Week 6/26/11; 9/2/2013


    "i don't like ppl coyping me" - iwanow

  18. #18
    custom luser title gela1212's Avatar
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    I just realized forgot to reply to my feedback. I hope you don't mind if it's backwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by batfink View Post
    As a beginner, I have been referred to this thread and find the content to be very helpful and the writing style to be essentially readable. Hope you have the energy and enthusiasm to persist withthe guide and that your various readers continue to post their considerations.
    I'm glad you find it useful! I hope I can continue this too! My goal is to be able to show this to beginners and say, "Here, this is an overview of the game," instead of having them stumble around in the dark and ask questions as they go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myrmidones View Post
    Beware about centralization first, tough. As a little nation, it can hurt you, especially if you have rich provinces. Try to do that as Byzantium, and watch 10k rebels come knocking on the door.

    I don't think you can teach me anything, but I'll follow this anyway.
    Ah, happened to me in my first game as Byzantium. I hated Thrace after that!

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    great start ... good to see a beginners EU AAR
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by generalolaf View Post
    Great start! Some basics - which I knew already - but since the purpose of this is to solidify those I must say you've done really well. Looking for some more advanced tips in the future myself - but good luck!
    They will definitely advance in the future. These next few lessons are going to be basics, but we'll get into more advanced topics as the need arises.

    Quote Originally Posted by knul View Post
    Nice start indeed.

    Some comments for the readers (gela1212 will know these already)

    - Centralisation is indeed a good slider to go. If you don't know what to do with your sliders, increase Centralisation. But there is one warning: early governments like Feudal monarchy have a maximum setting for Centralization (and other sliders), indicated with a red bar on that slider. If your slider setting goes beyond that maximum, you get extra revolt risk, something that will probably be explained by gela1212 later. For beginners, I would advise not to go beyond that maximum.

    -Something to remember about missions is that you can cancel them and get another one. So if you have a mission you don't like or can't achieve, cancel it. It costs a bit of prestige and you can't cancel missions quickly after canceling another, so keep that in mind.

    - From Heir to the Throne onward, you can create your own advisors by spending cultural tradition, yet another resource. This makes it infinitely more easy to get the advisor you want. Also, in the expansion Divine Wind you are only allowed one advisor of each type: you are no longer allowed to have three diplomats at a time!
    Though I did plan on talking about the first and third one later on, I completely forgot about canceling missions! I'll make sure to do a more detailed discussion of missions at a later date.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    A nice start!
    Thank you! I hope you enjoy my gameplay writing as much as you do my narrative.



    Winner of Best Gameplay AAR (EU 1-3) Q3 2011
    Awarded WritAAR of the Week 6/26/11; 9/2/2013


    "i don't like ppl coyping me" - iwanow

  19. #19
    Sergeant RabbitMan's Avatar
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    I've been trying to play EU3 for a while, and get frustrated by all the fiddly bits the game has. I'm hoping continuing to read this will make all the little details of the game make more sense.

    Thanks!
    --An Austrian in a Rational World; a Socialist when there isn't a Choice--

  20. #20
    First Lieutenant Concrete's Avatar
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    A good guide so far, don't be afraid of scribbling on the maps to better point something out, which in my experience has helped new players a bit.
    But so far your writing has explained everything equally well.
    Also good choice of country, a ton of options are open to them and they experience most.

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