NI 8 was scientific revolution, then I changed Patron of the Arts for Smithian Economics and a 3 point stab hit.
With lots of Fine Arts Academies, I didn't need it anymore.
Then I got a nice BB removing event!
I made peace with Prussia:
Give me land and cash, give up cores.
I made a similar deal with Castille, and also warned Sweden who I knew would attack them.
Castile absorbed their vassal Finland ad Sweden invaded them. I wiped out the Swedish Army and let Castile beat on them for a while.
I got a free University in London and another -1 stab hit, then made peace with Flanders:
I jumped into a couple wars via PG/warnings, beat up a few people and took their lunch money.
Then I started a war with the French!!! It would be the first of many aimed at their colonies, which I could get for the discout price of 1 BB each.
At the same time I started a war v Scotland who I had a core on.
I had a nice event giving me more free money because I obviously didn't have enough, and Scotland was annexed.
The war V France took a heavy toll. My armies did tons of assaulting and fighting, but the huge attrition I took could not be sustained for long.
I had naval supremacy, but wasn't sure where the French navies were running around. One of my fleets took a pounding when his main naval force hit a small group of transports with only light warship support.
The attrition drove up my WE very fast and made me bring the war to a quick close, taking some territory in North America.
This shot shows the fight in France right before the end of that war:
My next target was the Inca, who would be gobbled up by someone else if I didn't do it first.
As that war was going on, I got some free land tech!
And that was that.