Playing my second campaign, quite a different locale from my first one in Japan. Just looking for a few pointers before I get too far and make big mistakes!
(tl;dr at bottom.)
- Normal difficulty, normal aggression.
- Inflation off.
- Game is slightly modded to give all tech groups except nomad and new world a higher slow limit (25).
- Core in 25 years (left over from my Japan game, where I was colonizing.)
I used the easy January 1405 start date. I've taken it up to 1449/1450 and have run into the Golden Horde on two sides. Wasn't sure what to expect from them but they've been beating up everyone in the north so far. (Ignore the GH rebels in the map - they clear them out quickly.) I fought them off the first time until they conceded but they had way higher numbers after that (30 unit stack at one point; my force limit is 36), so I've immediately conceded since. Unfortunately, I'm back to negative prestige, as I wasn't able to get back all of my cores. Four Greek ones are outstanding: GH + vassal have one each and I'm not really looking to extend further to get them. Crete and Cyprus I can probably get through patriots. I have one 6/6 fire/shock general from all the fighting up to now and around 68% military tradition currently. Not sure how much generals help against huge numbers?
I wasn't set on Westernizing but from cheating to preview the land tech units, I've seen that Eastern tech appears to be quite inferior. I'm able to recruit Azab infantry and Musellem cavalry right now from the former Ottoman lands and those are much better than even up to around Eastern land 13 or so. I have a 7/7/8 heir (0 years old) and about 46 years until I have the right sliders, barring events. Castille grabbed two non-Greek cores east of me before I could but that might be good, since they're a western neighbour and could help buffer GH and Mamluks. (Mamluks seems to be doing ok against GH right now.)
I don't really have a plan, just looking to see what I can do, so for now it seems I should max mint and leave my tech lagging. My tech is all 5 and Castille is already in the 7s, so 46 years should probably do it. I'll try to convert all the Ottoman lands to Orthodox while I wait, before I lose my missionaries. (I have a mission to convert everyone that gives +3 stability on success, if I could time it right.) With the extra money, I suppose I could go over the force limit and try to give GH some of their own medicine.
Everyone around me is allied all over the place, so I don't think any conquest is in the cards right now, unless it was to the south. I don't have any allies currently. I should have lots of money for gifts, so I could fix that.
Sorry for the length. Basically:
- Any Byzantium specific advice?
- Horde tips?
- Leave Castille alone, bunker down and Westernize? If I have to enter naval combat, should I just stack carracks? Other threads seem to have various advice about carrack/galley ratio. The Ottomans were afraid of my mighty galleys but I don't think Castille will be.
- Any especially bad things about Westernizing that will pop up?