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  1. #1
    Sergeant dralasite's Avatar
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    A few silly newb questions..

    Well, a newb to EU3. I've played plenty of other grand strategy. (Particularly Crusader Kings and Victoria 2.)

    Bucked my normal habit of trying to make my first game as hard as possible (and fought the urge to pick the Cherokee, which seems like a fairly hard way to start the game, especially since I imagine I'll be constantly fighting off Europeans before long.) I went with England in the Grand Campaign. It seems like I need to get Trade to 7 and Government to 4 before I can go colonize places. Both of those are at 4 now. I've been starting wars with France while I wait to get Trade to 7. However, I have the following question: Colonization seems to be the main point of EU3. The sooner I can colonize (and especially if I'm the first major power to be able to do so) the more of an advantage it seems like I'll have. So, here's my question: Is it worth it to just stop fighting, disband the majority (but not all. I'm not an idiot.) of my army and just put every cent I can into getting Trade to 7? Seems like it might be worth it to put myself in debt and take out loans if needed. I also got an advisor who gives me a plus to Trade and that seems to have helped quite a bit. Any opinions? I don't think I need anything else to start colonizing after Trade gets to 7.

    Also, what exactly is the point of sending merchants out to trade centers? They don't seem to be doing very much. I stopped sending them out as a test, and nothing seemed to change in the game. I had initially assumed it would bring in more money, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

    If it makes a difference (and it might), I'm playing with all the expansions. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Colonization is an important part of the game for nations such as England and it is a good idea to target the Quest for the New World national idea as soon as possible to start this. However the process of colonization itself is quite slow due to the finite number of colonists available, waiting for your settlements to develop, and colonization range starting small so you should not concentrate solely on this aspect. Being the first nation into the new world is a benefit but you can also take provinces off of other nations that have established them at a later date.

    England is in the good position of having the best navy in the game so if you keep your wits about you you can fend off most naval assaults on the mainland before they land.

    Merchants in the early game are not always cost effective as the market values are low so it may be worth waiting a while to send anymore.

  3. #3
    Major Balou's Avatar
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    That I can second: as England it is wise to stay in the Hanseatic league and trade mainly in Lübeck and Antwerp. These CoTs have a decent value from the beginning and therefore the share of merchants trading in them is quite good.

    Concentrate on your navy in all accounts apart from colonial ambitions. The latter are best started with colonising the Azores and the Canaries.

  4. #4
    Trading:

    If you're going to be conquering stuff and taking land from other nations, you will rack up infamy. Any significant infamy will kill your free trade chances, so you should carefully consider your long-term strategy before you start spending a lot of money placing merchants. If you plan to be a conqueror, give up on free trade, be a mercantilist, and only place merchants in trade centers you control. If you go about your conquering business wisely, you will control one or two before long, and you can buy a center of trade in London (or wherever your national focus is) for 500 gold so long as the COT it trades in is worth 500 and you are not in a trading league. Careful: there is a trap. Lubeck is probably worth more than 800 early on, and Antwerpen less than 800, and London is trading in Lubeck, BUT . . . if you resign from the Hanseatic trading league in order to make London a COT you will most likely suddenly find that London is now trading in Antwerpen, it's not worth 800, and you can't build your COT.

    Colonization:

    First thing, colonization really ain't the main point of the game; Europe is the primary focus. However, you can definitely power up and make a killing in colonization if that's the way you want to go. The thing about early colonization, though, is that it is severely limited by your naval range and trading range. So unless you have a specific strategy in mind, speeding to Trade 7 so you can get Quest For The New World right away is probably not worth doing. You won't be able to colonize the new world for a long time: the only colonies within range are The Azores (which Portugal will probably nab before you ever get a chance), two provinces on Greenland, and a few islands off the west coast of Africa. You'll be just as well off waiting until you get your 2nd National Idea at Government level 9 and make sure your trade is up to 7 by then. Your naval range will be slowly improving all along, and it's a little better by then--just don't let naval tech lag, either.

    Just grabbing those islands will not extend your colonization range, which is based on your closest "core." A province becomes your core after 50 years (or sometimes after special events or missions, but those aren't applicable here). So a super-colonization effort would consists of speeding to Level 7, colonizing one of the African islands--Cape Verde is best if it's available--so you can colonize Africa and the Carribean 50 years later after it cores, and/or seizing one of the Greenland provinces so you can colonize North American 50 years later after it cores.

    But if you really want to colonize right away, there's a quicker way: Colonize Greenland and one of the African islands and use them right away as naval bases (except do them one at a time, not both at the same time). Colonize Greenland, and then as soon as the colonist arrives and is successful in establishing the colony, you can use it as a port. Base an explorer out of Greenland right away, and discover the North American coast. Sail up and down the east coast (because you have a chance uncover terra incognita over coastal provinces every time an explorer passes) until you discover the Creeks. Stage an invasion of 5-10 regiments through Greenland. Let the ships and regiments rest in Greenland to recover from the attrition they took getting there (travel in coastal waters as much as possible to greatly reduce attrition), then load the regiments back up and invade the Creek. They don't have forts so you will seize their coastal province as soon as you land your troops and can immediately dock your ships there for refits. Conquer the Creek, which is infinitely doable, and voila you have a colony in the Americas by 1450-ish which you could never have established via straight colonization for decades to come. Once your colonies core, you will be able to use regular colonization all over North America, and I'm not sure how far your range will extend down South America, but you will be in range of the Caribbean for sure.

    Then do the same thing in Africa, using your Cape Verde (or whatever) colony--and if you want to do Africa first, that's fine. Base an explorer out of Cape Verde, discover an African tribal nation, and let 'er rip. (One of the African tribes will make you rich, but since I don't know how to use the "spoiler" features I see on here sometimes, I won't tell you which one.) If you like, you can then use your new holdings as a naval base to keep on pushing east. You can follow through on this strategy as much as you want, but once you have established these advanced basis for explorers and fleets to work out of, the world is your oyster. If you really work it, you can conquer Bali by the mid-15th century and be set up right in the middle of the Spice Islands.

    One more thing: whereas Britain is usually a big bad boy conqueror type who goes mercantilist instead of Free Trade, if you want to go the Free Trade route you can make a killing by using this strategy to enter the Far East early. There are rich trading posts in the East and Middle East and you can beat everybody else to them by more than a century. Grab that market position in Nanjing when you can. Just remember to keep your infamy low if you're doing it that way.

    Oh, and there are no silly noob questions, only silly noobs.
    Last edited by glen55; 30-07-2012 at 00:51.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by dralasite View Post
    Well, a newb to EU3. I've played plenty of other grand strategy. (Particularly Crusader Kings and Victoria 2.)

    Bucked my normal habit of trying to make my first game as hard as possible (and fought the urge to pick the Cherokee, which seems like a fairly hard way to start the game, especially since I imagine I'll be constantly fighting off Europeans before long.) I went with England in the Grand Campaign. It seems like I need to get Trade to 7 and Government to 4 before I can go colonize places. Both of those are at 4 now. I've been starting wars with France while I wait to get Trade to 7. However, I have the following question: Colonization seems to be the main point of EU3. The sooner I can colonize (and especially if I'm the first major power to be able to do so) the more of an advantage it seems like I'll have. So, here's my question: Is it worth it to just stop fighting, disband the majority (but not all. I'm not an idiot.) of my army and just put every cent I can into getting Trade to 7? Seems like it might be worth it to put myself in debt and take out loans if needed. I also got an advisor who gives me a plus to Trade and that seems to have helped quite a bit. Any opinions? I don't think I need anything else to start colonizing after Trade gets to 7.

    Also, what exactly is the point of sending merchants out to trade centers? They don't seem to be doing very much. I stopped sending them out as a test, and nothing seemed to change in the game. I had initially assumed it would bring in more money, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

    If it makes a difference (and it might), I'm playing with all the expansions. Thanks!
    (n.b. - wrote more than expected. jump to bottom for nice summary)

    First: You very astutely observed that colonization is one of the main points to EU3. It is definitely important to get Trade Tech 7 asap for the Quest for the New World national idea. However, especially in singleplayer, the AI is not terribly efficient at colonization, so while you should not waste time getting the requisite tech for that idea, you can afford to wait until Government Tech 9 to get it as your second idea. It's a better use of the first idea, especially if you're also fighting France to entertain yourself in the interim, to pick something you can use until colonization time and simply spend your second idea on QftNW. So get Govt Tech 4 and take your first national idea - make it economic if you're ignoring the continent, Military Drill if you aren't - then start researching in Trade Tech until you start getting penalties for early research (you'll see them as "This technology is X years ahead of its time" on the tooltip for the research area in question on the Budget window), then stop to pick up Production and Land Tech until the penalty goes away, then research Trade and Government Tech to 7 and 9, respectively, switching from one category to another when you hit the early research penalty again. (Milestones for Production and Land Tech are 4 and 5, respectively; PT 4 gives you Constables, which, when built everywhere, give a significant boost to your annual income, while LT 5 unlocks two new infantry units which are significantly better than their initial counterparts.)

    In short: Colonization is important, but you'll get there quickly enough in singleplayer just by focusing your research on Trade and Government Tech. It's definitely not worth taking out loans over.

    Second with regard to military downsizing, the optimal path for reducing military costs is to keep higher numbers of regiments at lower maintenance. You can adjust your maintenance on the Military window. The AI, when calculating which countries to attack, will look at (and weigh heavily) how much of your force limits you have in active troops, but *not* the maintenance of those troops in question. So if you have a force limit of 20 regiments, the AI will think you stronger if you have 20 regiments at 50% maintenance instead of 10 regiments at 100%, even though the price and effectiveness to you is the same. If you don't reasonably expect rebels, you can keep maintenance at 0% for maximum income, but I've personally found 50% optimal because you can put down rebels easily, you take less time to get to 100% maintenance if you get attacked and have to move the slider to full maintenance to fight the war, and you're still saving significantly from full maintenance, even if not as much as you could at 0%.

    Third, with regard to merchants: When I said colonization was one of the main points, I did mean one, as in there are others of equal importance. I regard the trade system, being representative of the evolution in economic policymaking and the uniting of local trade markets across an ever-expanding global network during the colonial era, to be every bit as integral as colonization in getting the full EU3 experience. Unfortunately, because the actual economic management of the game is a bit deceptive at first, it's hard to notice at first glance. Explaining trade makes more sense in light of the general economic system so I'll cover that.

    EU3's economic system operates on a monthly basis. Every month, you get a certain amount of income from up to five difference sources. First one is taxes; all provinces produce tax revenue of varying amounts. If you click a province, you'll see its tax value. That value is the annual value, so you get 1/12 of that per month. The second one is production income; all provinces produce a certain trade good, and your working class citizens, in producing that good, generate revenue for the crown. Just like taxes, you'll see the annual value of the production in the province by clicking the province, so divide by 12 to get the monthly revenue. If the province produces gold, it's treated a little differently and filed under Gold Income, which is a third area of income and also found on the budget tab. If the province is overseas, then it does not have a production value, but rather a tariff value. Tariffs are the fourth source of income; they act like production income, but run on different modifiers. And, finally, there's trade. The production value of a province is derived from its trade value, which can also be seen on the province window. That trade value gets sent to the Center of Trade to which the province is tied. The sum of all trade values of all provinces tied to the COT constitutes the COT's value. When you place a merchant in the Center of Trade, your merchant takes home 5% of the COT's value (multiplied by your trade efficiency) as trade income.

    The reason you didn't notice a bump in your treasury is because your monthly income, by default, is invested in research. What you would have noticed is a bump in your research investment. You can more clearly illustrate this by playing a short (i.e. 20 years and stop) game as Holland. Boot it up, cancel your alliance with Hainaut on day one, and you don't have to worry about military matters. Then look at your budget window to start; you'll notice that your income is pathetically small, because you're just a 2-province minor. (You're actually rather rich for being a 2PM, but objectively you're still poor.) Now, take those 20 years and trade nonstop. (Make any slider moves toward free trade until full, then put them in plutocracy.) By the end of those 20 years (if not sooner, from adjusting your budget), you'll be able to check your budget window and find that your income is MUCH higher, because you've been trading.

    Of course, while a higher research base is nice, this doesn't matter much if you're going broke because you don't actually make money. So what can you do to actually get spendable cash instead of automatically-invested research? There are two things. The first is your annual census tax. When you hit the start of a new year, all your provinces pay their total tax value (modified further by other factors) directly to the treasury as a census tax. This is how you can afford to run your inevitable (at least for a while) monthly deficits. The second is minting. You've probably noticed a seventh slider after the first six (five techs + Stability) for the treasury. When you increase this slider, you cut down your monthly expenditures by holding on to some of your money instead of researching with it. This is called minting. Minting is good to a degree - especially come colonization time, you basically need to mint to keep colonial expenses from utterly destroying your economy, and later on you'll want to mint at least a little bit to maintain a strong military to match the AI (which is notorious for minting almost all of its income to maintain the highest possible troop levels). However, minting will cost you some tech advancement compared to not minting, and minting past a certain point will cause inflation. I have found the best minting strategy for the first half-ish of the game to be to mint about 10% of your income (which means getting inflation reduction of -.1/yr; hire a 5* Master of Mint and this is covered); you'll find yourself with an initial surplus, which gets spent on heavy early colonizing, allowing you to reap better dividends from your colonies, and then later surpluses which can be spent on expensive manufactories when the cash is available.

    Basically, you have to mint to get actual treasury benefits from trade (or anything else), and you need to have a sizable treasury to afford colonization. So hire a 5* Master of Mint, move your sliders toward Free Trade and start trading everywhere once you have about a 70% chance to place merchants in COTs.

    ETA: Wow, mega tl;dr. Summary:

    1. Colonization is a big deal but not worth taking loans and killing all your units to achieve ASAP. Start by keeping high numbers of regiments at low maintenance and focusing your research on Trade and Government tech; aim to take Quest for the New World with your second national idea, not your first, as the AI is incompetent and you won't miss out on anything important (if anything at all) by waiting. (It's definitely more valuable to use that first national idea on more pressing needs instead of putting it off a while to get QftNW a decade earlier.)
    2. You were getting benefits from trade, possibly (assuming your merchants stuck) - but it was going to your research investment (default location), not your treasury. You need to mint to take home some of that money. Hire a 5* Master of Mint asap (you can create one with 100% cultural tradition, or possibly find one already available for hire), move the treasury slider as far to the right as you can without accruing inflation, and you're good.
    3. To make your trade awesome, move all the way to Free Trade with your government policy sliders asap. By the later 1400s you should easily have 5 (later 6) merchants in every COT you can find and reach, which will basically make you insanely rich for the rest of the game.
    Last edited by President_Eden; 30-07-2012 at 01:01.

  6. #6
    use your missions to conquer france-use your alliance with portugal to neuter castille, then betray portugal-you are now effectively the only major power with access to the americas and you have all the money you will ever need to colonise there.....

  7. #7
    Sergeant dralasite's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies so far. I don't know nearly as much about EU3 as I thought, since some of the replies have confused me slightly. Done warring with France for now. (Burgundy decided to declare war on me right after my war with France ended. Those opportunistic bastards. They took almost all the land I'd won from France.) I just got the Conquer Ireland mission, so I suppose I'll go after them next while I try to work out what's next int he big picture. Redid my sliders since I was neglecting everything else for Trade, obviously a bad idea.

    I feel like I'm doing this all terribly wrong. Very odd as I felt like I was on top of everything this morning when I started playing. I'll read over the replies a few more times and work out what I need to do next.

    I have most of next week off and I get an odd feeling my vacation is going to be mostly EU3.

    Thanks again, everyone.

  8. #8
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    One very important note. Do not start a bunch of colonies at once. Colonies costs A LOT in upkeep to before they become selfsufficient, and haveing to many will kill a lot stronger economies than England. (I did that mistake back in IN. I owned all of France and most of Iberia+ north of italy, I was robbing natives of their cash left and right, and I still couldn't support all of my colonies withouth minting at times). When you get a sizable oversea empire it wont matter much tough, but thread lightly at first.

    Also make sure you have one big or small ship for every oversea province you own, or you will loose part of the income. If you have 8 ships and 10 colonies you will only get 80% of the income. Transports and galleys do not count as ships in that regard.

  9. #9
    before you do anything else, conquer ireland and at least vassalise scotland at game start-if you arent planning to abandon continental europe, you should go govt 4 for military drill, then land 5 for men at arms-with a commandant and grand captain as advisors, you should be able to dominate france and anyone else who seeks to interfere with Henry V`s grand ambition. this game rewards aggression and investment, so define your objectives and get stuck in-and never, ever, forget to have the fun.

  10. #10
    Sergeant dralasite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simon chatfield View Post
    before you do anything else, conquer ireland and at least vassalise scotland at game start.
    I thought about it, but I'm worried about getting too much infamy. I ended up taking a chunk of the Ottoman Empire and most of Bulgaria during a Holy War, though I'm not sure how much that's helping.

    Trying to get Ireland diplomatically right now, but it's not going so well. Again, trying to avoid Infamy. Already got a lot of it during my wars in the Ottoman Empire.

  11. #11
    Opportunistic conquering, as in you taking Bulgaria, should be avoided. You are getting provinces with a wrong culture, wrong religion, without a land route to your capital which means you won't get much taxes but a lot of revolts. Revolts mean you'll have to keep troops in Bulgaria and you won't be able to lower maintenance much.
    Basically Bulgaria will slow your tech while giving a CB to countries in the area.

    Colonial bases being the exception, having a lot of scattered patches of land is usually not the most efficient way to run your empire.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dralasite View Post
    I thought about it, but I'm worried about getting too much infamy. I ended up taking a chunk of the Ottoman Empire and most of Bulgaria during a Holy War, though I'm not sure how much that's helping.

    Trying to get Ireland diplomatically right now, but it's not going so well. Again, trying to avoid Infamy. Already got a lot of it during my wars in the Ottoman Empire.
    There should be two very useful missions: 'Conquer Ireland' and 'Vassalise Scotland'.

    The first will let you conquer Ireland for reduced infamy and then grant you cores there once completed. The second gives you a vassalisation CB (so less infamy again) which lets you vassalise scotland in one war - without the mission it costs too much to do in one go. So I would keep cancelling missions until you get these two. Once you've got Scotland as a vassal you can wait 10 years and start trying to diplo-annex. 50 years after that you'll be able to form GB. Also, it helps to have your house in order on the British & Irish Isles - that way you are safe in your own back yard.

    As for the OE territory? I wouldn't bother with that too much, there's much more tempting stuff elsewhere. See perhaps if you can release Bulgaria as a vassal. As a general rule of thumb (that I play by at least), if you don't have a core on something it's better off having it as a vassal

  13. #13
    If you're worried about Infamy, then take the 6-Infamy route to uniting the British Isles. Start the game with the Vassalize Scotland mission and complete it; the Subjugation CB it gives will let you force Scotland to become your vassal for 0 Infamy. Then, use the large Prestige gains from that to start adding countries to your Sphere of Influence (look to HRE states, you don't want to do this with Irish minors because you will eventually be absorbing them). Do this until your 10 year cooldown between vassalization and annexation runs out, then demand Scotland's annexation; the SOI boost will give you higher Diplomacy and allow you to pull it off. This costs 6 Infamy, which hurts a bit, but you'll live. Once that's done, wait for Lothian and Aberdeen to core, then Form British Nation to change to Great Britain. GB gets cores on all of Ireland, so you can Reconquest all of Ireland for 0 Infamy. (You'll also get a core on Orkney.)

  14. #14
    Sergeant dralasite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Jojo View Post
    Opportunistic conquering, as in you taking Bulgaria, should be avoided.
    Okay. So, in that case, should I just get rid of the provinces? I could actually form the country of Bulgaria at this point. Would it be possible to form the country then make it a vassal or something? (Thinking that, that way, I'll still get some tax income from them but don't have to worry about maintaining anything.) Otherwise, I suppose, I could try selling it back to the Ottoman Empire or something. As far as I know, there's no way to just release provinces.

    And, just to save making multiple posts:
    Quote Originally Posted by President_Eden View Post
    If you're worried about Infamy, then take the 6-Infamy route to uniting the British Isles. [...] You can Reconquest all of Ireland for 0 Infamy. (You'll also get a core on Orkney.)
    Wish I'd known about that last night before I just marched into Leinster. (Though I did have a CB on them.) One province country, should be easy to conquer, right? No, as it turns out Castille was guaranteeing its freedom, and it was allied with Brittany, France and The Hansa. They all decided to attack me. And The Hansa kicked me out of the trade league. It took me forever to get everyone to agree to peace. This process was not helped by Lithuania, my ally, calling me to war against the Teutonic Order. (And then getting caught up in an attack by the Golden Hoarde while I was in Lithuania.) Anyway, when everything was said and done, I was up to 12 infamy, which I'm pretty sure is a LOT. Also lost a ton of Prestige. (went from 2 to -70. I'm not even sure what I did to incur that loss.)

    So, in other words, I've completely screwed up everything. Seriously thinking about restarting the game. I do have a few things going for me. (eg, I'm getting +40 government tech just on bonuses, combination of an advisor plus a few lucky events. I don't invest any funds in that and it stills goes up way faster than any of others.) But I think the things going for me are outweighed by a 12 infamy and -70 prestige.
    Last edited by dralasite; 01-08-2012 at 20:19. Reason: Added reply to another post to avoid spamming the thread with posts

  15. #15
    12 infamy isn't a gamebreaking thing for a mercantalist country like England starts as. The bad effects of infamy, other than the trade chance modifier in unowned CoTs, only kick in once you are above 50% of your limit with the worst requiring 125%. As a mercantalist nation you have little chance to trade in unowned CoTs anyway and your limit is likely in the high 20s/low 30s at this point. It also degrades fairly quickly. The -70 prestige is a bigger problem as it will cause other problems as well as making your military weaker but again, will degrade over time. You can help it greatly by getting a prestige advisor and winning some easy wars (the other Irish minors, assuming they don't have annoying guarantors, are prime candidates). 420 years is a long time so don't feel like you have to get everything done NOW.

    Prestige loss occurs when you lose battles or sieges, have core provinces you aren't contesting (you start with some in France), lose wars, and a big one is failing to honor an alliance call to arms.

  16. #16
    Your situation sounds salvageable, but I'd be inclined, were I you, to call this a learning experience with getting down the basics of the game, save the game under a random title and leave it for now. You can come back to it later if you want, but you'll probably do better to restart, try a different strategy and see if you learn more from the game with a cleaner start.

  17. #17
    Sergeant dralasite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brifbates View Post
    Prestige loss occurs when you lose battles or sieges, have core provinces you aren't contesting (you start with some in France), lose wars, and a big one is failing to honor an alliance call to arms.
    Yeah, I have a bunch of cores I abandoned because they seemed too hard to keep up. That's probably what's doing it. One of the reasons I honored that call from Lithuania (despite already being in a war and dealing with revolts in the middle east) is because my prestige was dropping so fast, I didn't want to take a hit by refusing to answer. And I also conceded defeat to get Castille and Brittany to leave me alone, which was probably two giant hits.

    I'll get this figured out soon. Victoria 2 was at least as confusing to me at first. (Damn factories. I couldn't, for the life of me, keep any of them around at first in V2.)

    Quote Originally Posted by President_Eden View Post
    Your situation sounds salvageable, but I'd be inclined, were I you, to call this a learning experience with getting down the basics of the game, save the game under a random title and leave it for now.
    I agree. Probably gonna restart with England and try to do it right. (Mainly by reforming Great Britain before I start attacking the continent.)

  18. #18
    If you're following the strategy I outlined, my recommendation is to sell Calais to France, Labourd to Navarre and Gascogne to Provence/Brittany (ideally) or, if you can't get them to say Likely to any money amount, sell Gascogne to Armagnac. Sell all 3 at the highest price you can demand with a Likely chance to succeed; the goal is firstly to get rid of the provinces, secondly to do so for a decent price. Once you're off the mainland you'll be able to blockade any continental threats with your big fleet pretty effortlessly. You can get rid of the Prestige drain from unwanted cores in the war with Scotland, as well; France guarantees Scotland's independence, so after you subjugate Scotland you can offer France your core claims in a peace deal.

    ALSO, important note before you start traipsing around in Edinburgh: Scotland has an event that fires somewhat frequently (once every 2 years or so) if at war with England early in the game. It's called The Highlanders Arrive. You'll know it because 12,000 pissed off Scots show up deciding they want your head on a pike and your blood in their goblets. Not fun. Be sure to build an army of 16000 before you go in. Switch your preferred cavalry to Latin Knights for the defensive morale boost, build units until you have 4 cavalry regiments and 12 infantry regiments, gather them in Northumberland, and when you attack, destroy the Scottish army (should be based in Lothian), then immediately run toward the Highlands. If the event fires before you get there (you'll know because aforesaid Scots spawn in the Highlands), DO NOT ENGAGE THEM IN THE HIGHLANDS. The area is mountainous, as you can see on the map; that terrain malus is really harsh. If you can get there first it's a huge boon for routing the enemy, but if not then let them move to Fife or Ayrshire (mostly plains territory) and defeat them first on the plains. If they retreat to mountains after that it won't be an issue because you will beat the hell out of them in the initial battle.

    Keep track of their allies, too. You ideally want to put as many carracks in sea provinces as Scotland's various allies will have in harbor. For instance, France usually has ~6 ships in Caux to start, so put 6 carracks in Dover Channel (sea province where Caux's harbor lies) and you've got them. Do the same for each prospective power that could join in.* Don't forget to call Portugal into the war, either; they usually don't land troops in Scotland (allowing you to get all the warscore), but they'll use their strong navy to reinforce you in sea battles.

    *: Unless it's Scandinavian powers. They use galleys, which are laughably bad compared to your carracks. What I like to do with them is split off as many carracks as is needed to cover everyone else and use the remaining ships to sit in Skaggerack; they usually won't even engage you if you do that, and then their ships can't get through and unload people.

  19. #19
    Get rid of your alliance with Lithuania. You're no use to them and they're no use to you. As England I really wouldn't bother allying with anyone, unless you are wanting to to try and maintain a balance of power i.e. not letting France get too big.

    Also you don't need to sell your continental holdings, if France declares war on you and occupies them, just use your fleet to stop them reaching Britain and eventually they'll white peace as your blockades drive up their War Exhaustion. I like to hang onto Calais at the very least for sentimental historical reasons anyway, just imagine if Queen Mary hadn't lost Calais! Controlling both sides of the channel seems significant to me :P In reality the inhabitants of Calais were all replaced by English settlers when it was captured in 1346, so the culture there should be English - the rest of the march was a wasteland created by ceaseless war - so I like to enact a settlement policy there!

    Anyways, enough rambling.

  20. #20
    OT iconoclast StephenT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dralasite View Post
    As far as I know, there's no way to just release provinces.
    True. If you control enough provinces of a country that's no longer on the map, you can release it again as a vassal; or you can sell the provinces to another country. Those are the only ways. Note that you can usually "sell" a province for zero money - giving it away for free - if you just want to get rid of it and nobody is willing to buy it off you.

    Conquering random areas of the map, especially in poor areas like the Balkans or North Africa, is a suboptimal strategy. You get dragged into useless wars and revolts, you probably have to spend more on troops and wars defending the land than you get in income from it, and it slows down your tech speed. If you set Bulgaria free as a vassal, you'll get a small income from them still, and more importantly they'll send their own troops to participate in your wars. (Though unless you're fighting a war in the Balkans, they're probably too far away to help much.)



    One province country, should be easy to conquer, right? No, as it turns out Castille was guaranteeing its freedom
    It always pays to read the text on the 'declare war' screen. "Castille is guaranteeing them and will intervene on their behalf. France is the Defender of the Catholic Faith, and may intervene on their behalf. They are part of the Empire and Austria may may come to their defence.") And yes, if a large country intervenes, it can then call in its own allies and dogpile you.



    This process was not helped by Lithuania, my ally, calling me to war against the Teutonic Order. (And then getting caught up in an attack by the Golden Hoarde while I was in Lithuania.)
    You realise you can agree to join a war to help your ally, but then not actually do anything to help them? Offer them morale support, but don't send troops to Eastern Europe unless it suits your own strategy.


    A couple of other points you mentioned:

    1. Disbanding troops can cause AI nations to declare war on you opportunistically, as they perceive you as weak. Just lower the maintenance instead.

    2. Merchants bring in monthly income, which by default goes into your tech research. Small trading nations like the Netherlands or Hansa are usually the most technologically advanced in the late game, assuming they survive. The money you get to spend yourself comes from your yearly income, which mostly comes from province taxes.

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