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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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I missed it ... where is the last onoccupied province?
The AI never got the chance to get back on its feet.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Venetian conquests resume. You can't form Italy; stay Venice.Georgia isn't Catholic and you're likely to get a forced conversion mission on them. This is one vassal you won't keep. Burning through infamy at 2 a year makes me question why you would want to release Georgia. Ah well, we'll see where this goes.
 

diegoami

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I missed it ... where is the last onoccupied province?
The AI never got the chance to get back on its feet.
I am not sure what you mean - you mean the last province held by Venice in the nigtmare test run ?
If so, it was Konian - everything else was occupied.
 

diegoami

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Venetian conquests resume. You can't form Italy; stay Venice.Georgia isn't Catholic and you're likely to get a forced conversion mission on them. This is one vassal you won't keep. Burning through infamy at 2 a year makes me question why you would want to release Georgia. Ah well, we'll see where this goes.
But the cardinal thinks we should form Italy.... And as I didn't got the infamy reduction last time, that is a mission I will feel entitled to cancel.
 

diegoami

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1614-1615 : Van, Medina, Guyenne

Another French stack is defeated in Vermandois. The siege on Nemours is lifted. Meanwhile, we support other revolts in Northern France.

We occupy Van and we defeat another time the Irak stack.

In September 1614, we peace Irak. Irak cedes Var.

We can now colonize the Horde provinces.

In the same month, Medina falls.

In October 1614, the Haasa accepts our peace offer and cede Medina.

We are still at war with France and Yemen. We destroy a Syrian stack in Judea.

At last, we manage to bring relief to Armagnac and we defeat the French stack there. We rout it in Toulouse.

Yemen accepts a white peace.One reenforcements stack of ours gets caught by rebels (that we probably supported) and routed, while I wasn't paying attention.

Meanwhile, we are colonizing the Pacific.

Veince is making 16200 ducats a year. Around March 1615 we reach a good war score with France.

We peace, we make France release Guyenne. I am sorry, France, you had your chance. Why did you have to help Cyprus who opened a COT in front of our nose ?

Therefore, this is Europe in March 1615. Everything seemed to be going well for Venice.

The Doge Moro startled when he heard particularist rebels were revolting in Diego Garcia. He had to think of his nightmare. In it, particularist rebels made Venice collapse, and the Republic never recovered. His aides could not understand why he got so excited after hearing this news, obviously, he hadn't told them about the nightmare.

So he went to the cathedral to meet his friend, the Cardinal Alvise. The bishop looked even more upset than himself. In fact, he started : "Mose', my son, I have got very bad signs. I think they are from our angel. You better sit down. You won't believe what I am going to tell you...
 

diegoami

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The cardinal Alvise did not tell the doge Mose what the signs were.
He made him sit. He said.
"Close your eyes. I'll show something - something that was even worse than your nightmare. I had a vision while I was sitting there, in the same place where you sit now. Concentrate. Do you see it?"
The doge Moro closed his eyes. Suddenly, it was there.

The doge cried. "What is that? It is even worse than my nightmare !". The bishop replied: " I cannot tell for sure. But I assume, this way the angel lets us know his power. He can do things beyond our imagination. Stay there. The image in your mind will change.

"NO! Stop!". It stopped. "Why does it happen? What does it mean ?"
"I can't answer that. You had this nightmare, you had the visions. You see, God, or the angels, is giving you signs as well. You must know how to interpret them." - and he walked away.
That night, the doge couldn't sleep. He was drowsy. And suddenly, an image flashed on the wall.

It took a while to digest that. But combined with the visions he had had today in the cathedral, and the nightmare two years before, he knew what he had to do.
He would have to convince the Council of Ten, though, and it would not be easy.
 

Malurous

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Finally caught up again, you went on quite an updating binge during that nightmare, didn't you? :D

That was a very interesting feature. I'm a bit shocked that AI Venice did quite that poorly. It's not just that it couldn't deal with rebels, later on it couldn't deal with other AI nations either. The Protestant conversion was the killer there when suddenly any province could defect. Venezuelan Venice was pretty epic.

Looking forward to seeing where you're taking this now!
 

diegoami

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Finally caught up again, you went on quite an updating binge during that nightmare, didn't you? :D

That was a very interesting feature. I'm a bit shocked that AI Venice did quite that poorly. It's not just that it couldn't deal with rebels, later on it couldn't deal with other AI nations either. The Protestant conversion was the killer there when suddenly any province could defect. Venezuelan Venice was pretty epic.

Looking forward to seeing where you're taking this now!
Yes, you worded it right, it was an "updating binge". Better than a movie !
It was quite schocking for me too, I am not sure myself what to make of this :)
 

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The next day, the Doge Mose wasn't so sure of himself. The cardinal kept talking about "an angel" - but that was definitely not the visions he had had.

In his vision, there was an infernal machine, in the future, that they called "electronic computer" - something so technologically advanced that it was unfathomable in the Renaissance. And you could play games on this computer. And in one of this games, that they called "Europa Universalis", you could actually relive the history of the past, and modify it. And the Venice and the world they were living were part of this game.

Of course, he didn't tell the cardinal about this. People had been burnt at the stake for much less. So on that day, he left for Württemberg. He would meet Raphael von Leyen, who was a Natural Scientist and worked as advisor in the Duchy. After a week he got there, he met van Leyen and he explained everything to him.

"I am not sure what to make of this" - said the scientist. "I know it is not allowed to say that in your Catholic and narrowminded Venice, but we know that we are not in the center of the world and that there are several planets in the universe. Maybe there are parallel universes and in each universe, depending on many factors, different paths are taken. Maybe what happened in your nightmare was real, it was just another universe."

"But in my dream all of these parallel histories are fictional. It is a game - people choose a country and relive the history in it - just a different history. In their world, Venice never became a great power - it just stayed a minor power and even lost her independence. The world we live in is just nor real" - told the Doge.

The natural scientist continued : "But this world - this fictional universe, how you call it - is important to you. I will use my power of imagination and draw the consequences of what you said. If the player in your game can choose to lead any country in the game, and if it is just a game to him, what could he do when he thinks he has already won the game ?"

Raphael von Leyen continued : " I'll tell you. He could stop playing - or he could switch to another nation. He could sit and watch how his nation develops without his help, and that was your nightmare. In your nightmare, you were Naxos, you told me. I could think of another scenario, when the player chooses a nation, in our "fictional" world it might be for instance Bohemia, and he would try to dismantle the nation he was playing before.

But of course it would not be easy. If he is an human, he is bound to be emotionally attached to the nation he is playing. And since men are social, some other people may be watching his game. If he told them he is playing as Venice, what would they say if he suddenly switched to another nation in the middle of the game? But anyway, I think that's what your visions in the cathedral were about.

Considering this scenario, though, I would say that, as long as you know that the player is actually being Venice, you should spare no effort and destroy as many enemies as possible. You might not prevent this "country switch", but you would have a much better chance to survive when and if this switch happened. In my opinion, the nightmare that you had was a test run in his game and was as real as the world we are living in - only in that game, the player was just watching, while now he is actually putting in some real effort to make Venice great."

"I really hope you are wrong " - said the Doge - " but you sure made a lot of sense. You helped me a lot. How can I thank you? ".

"It is nothing - we Württembergian owe Venice a lot, we pay tribute, sure, but you gave us two provinces and it's all good. We certainly like you better than the emperor. Assuming this world is real..." - chuckled the scientist.
 

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Interesting turn of events! But Bohemia is bound to stop being the emperor upon the death of the king, due to the lack of electors... so perhaps it would be prudent to wait until he kicks the bucket to deak with smaller nations? On the other hand, prudent but less epic ;)
 

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you could post this to... don't know where to actually. maybe to the 5.2 subforum? one of the main goals of Paradox should be the creation of an AI that can actually maintain its strength.
The position in which the AI took over was as wors as it can get from the point of view on how the provinces were spread out. Many exclaves all over asia, and long, snaky strings in the middle east.

That means looong walkways, looong times t transport troops overseas, and many chances to get dragged into wars due to the myriad of neightbors Venice has. Also the neighborhood of hordes amplifies all this.

The AI is not really good with such a nasty spread of provinces. If it had been a more solid form, less caucasus, but a united asia minor, and no hordes, it would not have ended so bad.
 

Malurous

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The position in which the AI took over was as wors as it can get from the point of view on how the provinces were spread out. Many exclaves all over asia, and long, snaky strings in the middle east.

That means looong walkways, looong times t transport troops overseas, and many chances to get dragged into wars due to the myriad of neightbors Venice has. Also the neighborhood of hordes amplifies all this.

The AI is not really good with such a nasty spread of provinces. If it had been a more solid form, less caucasus, but a united asia minor, and no hordes, it would not have ended so bad.
This is absolutely true, but the problem is that major AI colonization tends to lead to random bits and pieces of land here and there, so the end result isn't that different from what Venice had here. We had a good case study during that nightmare where Venice kept pretty much no troops in her heartland, when maintaining control there - considering that it was continuous and relatively defensible - shouldn't have been so difficult. Likewise, we've all seen the globe spanning British or Iberian AI empires who, when trouble starts, fail at home first. Making the AI make better choices about when to destroy stacks first, when to siege, when to assault and what kind of stack sizes to use in different situations is probably quite complex, but I think diegoami's experiment, above all, shone a bright spotlight on a serious flaw in decision making that should be simpler - prioritizing keeping the heartland safe.

I agree that he should post this somewhere, but I don't really know where either. What I do know is that it would be good to discuss it somewhere else in the EU III side of things.
 

diegoami

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I agree that he should post this somewhere, but I don't really know where either. What I do know is that it would be good to discuss it somewhere else in the EU III side of things.
Let me know when you find out where we can post it. Personally I think the AI should be moddable, if everybody the community were able to create an AI I am pretty sure we would see very awesome AIs pretty soon. But I understand the problem is very hard, think about how long it took to create a good AI for chess and chess is immensely simpler than Europa Universalis.

Anyway, if it isn't obvious by now, my goal now is try and create an empire who would be easier to manage by the AI - and make another test run, either as observer or even as enemy. That is my way to keep being motivated for this AAR, who would otherwise end up boring me.

I am not interested in a world conquest after all. I fear a world where there is only one country - even it that country is Venice. No diversity, no innovation ! That is what killed the Roman and Chinese empires - according to this book.
 
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diegoami

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Aftre the conversations with the natural scientist van Leyen the doge Moro was convinced that a war with Bohemia was Venice's first priority - and the crusade with the Ming in Asia would have to resume as soon as the truce expired. It was also necessary to vassalize the electors, and the first one would be Bavaria, a long time enemy of Venice.

But he had to convince the council of ten. Religion and Filosophy would not cut it - so he brought his manuscripts to a typography and created a book. It was called "Possible scenarios - a study of how things could go wrong for Venice". He would tell that a council of professors - whose names he could not tell - had analyzed current trends and had reached some conclusions. The premise was at the some time in the near future, Venice would be suddenly ruled by incompetentents.

He printed several copies and gave them to the councillors. He gave them time to read it - and then he organized a meeting. It went better than expected.

"I am not sure I understand it right " - began the councillor Flangini. " We have two scenarios here. One starts two years ago, before the war with France and goes all the way to 1821. What about the other scenario?"

" I am glad you asked " - replied the doge - " It is a more pessimistic scenario, less thought out because there was less time for it. It does not go all the way to 1821, and it assumes Bohemia, Great Britain, and other countries declared war on Venice at the same time, and the German-speaking vassals betray us".

"That never happens " - told the councillor Priuli.

"Well, it was a hack, if you excuse the expression, but it is a possible scenario - if the player " - the Doge began and then stopped. He could not go there. " If someone really stupid governed the vassals. It was just a scenario...

"I am curious now " - said the councillor Flangini - "What happens in the more pessimistic scenario ? Do we lose the war with Bohemia ? "

"No we don't " - replied the doge - " but Venice is crippled and provinces defect much quicker than in the first scenario. ". The Doge didn't even know why he said that, it felt as if though something had hijacked his brain. An image suddenly was there, in his brain.


... and then another. And another.




Luckily, the councillors went back to the first "scenario". "So, assuming we believe this scenarios. What do you propose ?" - asked the very practical councillor Dolfin.

"Well, for one thing, as the cardinal Alvise told me, we should try and consolidate our empire. We cannot be sure that the future generations will be able to handle that. Remember what happened to the Roman empire. And then, we should weaken our enemies, as long as we are strong and united, and we know what we are doing. What would have happened if the Romans had subjugated all the barbarians before they got weak ?"

"They chose not to " - said the councillor Flangin. "It would have been too costly. "

"Exactly. That is what we think too. But our enemies don't care about costs. Starting from Bohemia. And as long as there is an empire, we will never be safe. Do you understand what I mean ? "
A sigh was heard. Everybody was fearing and expecting that. After a long pause, the councillor Zeno, who hadn't talked so far, quipped : "We are a naval power."

"But we did invade Spain, Great Britain and other countries."

"That was different " - replied Zeno - " we didn't encroach there. We just got the colonies and no mainland provinces. Well, apart from Andalucia. But you are talking about vassalizing all of the electors."

"You know we can do it " -said the doge.

"Of course. But it would be costly. Wouldn't be smarter to go on waging holy wars ? Those provinces don't ruin our reputation, you know. Vassalizing the electors will. And you know about the house rule."

"Good that you mention it. We will have to remove the house rule about reputation"

The Doge feared that moment. But nobody replied. And, as you know, silence means consent.

"So, do we all agree ?". Everybody nodded, including the councillor Zeno. The meeting was over.

House rule about infamy has been removed.
 
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diegoami

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Interesting turn of events! But Bohemia is bound to stop being the emperor upon the death of the king, due to the lack of electors... so perhaps it would be prudent to wait until he kicks the bucket to deak with smaller nations? On the other hand, prudent but less epic ;)
Yes :) And it wouldn't fit in with the story.
 

diegoami

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1615-1616 : War with Bohemia (1)

In May 1615, the spies sent fresh information from Bohemia. Bohemia had several stacks, it would not be an easy war.

As Mose' Moro prestige was very high, he was reelected into office. In October 1615, war was declared on Bohemia and Bavaria. This simultaneous declaration of wars are not possible in Multiplayer, I just learnt, I wonder if there should be an house rule about that : only one declaration of war at a time. That should slow expansion a little, but it is too late for this AAR.
Thank you a lot, Unam Sanctam.


In November 1615, overextension again. Why do we get that ? Well, through our occupied provinces, India is connected to Europe. Fancy that.

Obviously, Bohemia is very aggravated. We are the attackers, but it is Bohemia who attacks us ! Us and our vassals. The vassals' troops are wandering somewhere in Central Asia.

Of course, we did position a lot of troops in Northern Italy, taking care of not getting attrition. Some will be unavoidable, though, when we invade, Bohemia has very wicked stacks.

Due to our continous wars, we have a pretty good general pool. We defeat the Bavarians in München.

And even if our reenforcements don't come in time, we defeat Bohemia in Ostmarch. Power of generals and of being the defender.

Obviously, we will leverage our naval power as well. Brittany and Sweden are also in this war, too bad for them, they lose their navy.

We get a core on Silistria. The Bohemians renew their attacks and it seems we somehow miscalculated and it turns out to be closer than we expected.

Unexpectedly, we lose the second battle in Ostmarch. They sent in a fresh stack, who defeated our exhausted army there. We will have to retreat to Wien, but we won't be routed, our army is much bigger.

But the overall situation is worrying, the stack in Pressburg will get outnumbered soon.

The stack in Pressburg loses the batlle. I should have retreated it. As it is, the stack splits and we won't be able to avoid a rout.

Because I feared attrition, I left some troops behind. Obviously the Bavarian theatre does not need these troops, so they will help their comrades in Bohemia. I hope they will come in time.

As expected, one of the retreating stacks is routed in Pecs. A minor defeat, it is the overall situation who is more important.

The much more important battle in Wien is won. Bohemia has a lot of troops in this theatre, but we should be able to outnumber them soon.

We swap the troops. The army who was victorious in Wien is sent to Linz, to deal with the stack there. While other fresh troops gather in Wien and will take on the brunt of Bohemia's forces.
Meanwhile, Bavaria's main stack is routed in Oberpfalz and Bavaria is effectively out of combat.


The battle of Linz is won - sorry about the tooltip. But now another huge Bohemian stack is coming in through Pressburg.

The care you take to prevent attrition ! The stacks in Sopron and Pecs will be ignored - for now.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Silence is never consent. Nor is it an admission of wrongdoing.
The AI dogpiling Venice is rather impressive. Sad to see you ditch the infamy house rule, but you'll have to to vassalize all of the HRE electors at the same time.
 

diegoami

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1616 : War with Bohemia (2)

But in Sudety, at last, we rout a Bohemian stack. That was a huge stack to begin with.

In Ostmarch, too, the enemy is pushed back.

Meanwhile, we form a new advisor team. The Global Tariffs advisor actually gives us about 45 ducats more a month.

Our allies are taking care of Brittany.

The stack in Sopron is engaged and will be pushed back.

The war is now brought into Bohemia's territory.

In Bohemia's capital, another major stack is destroyed.

Good news from the Bavarian theatre as well. München has fallen - the other provinces will follow suit soon.

News of a crushing victory in Moravia comes in too.

There is no reason not to declare war on Bulgaria and claim our core in Silistria. We do that.

Now, in May 1616, the biggest enemy is not Bohemia's army. It is attrition. At the end of this war, it will be high, and combined with overextension, it will bring us a lot of rebels. Rebels can take down an empire ruled by incompetents.

A stack catches us by surprise without a general, but we push it back.

There you have it - rebels. They are actually pretty annoying, when your troops are committed somewhere else.

Obviously, Bohemia throws at us everything they have. We defeat them in Breslau and we will be easily be victorious in Ratibor as well.

As Bavaria is fully occupied, they are vassalized. One of the electors has been vassalized.

The truce with Ming has expired. We declare war on Ming and on Vijanagar.

In Sieradz, another battle.

We are in a crusade with the Mings. Meanwhile, Venice's income has climbed up to 18230 ducats a year - probably due to our land connection to India. Looking at this ledger it seems impossible there could be a way to actually lose this game, but we know the AI would manage it.

In November 1616, we lose the effect of overextension - and also our income goes back to around 15k ducats. Not sure why, there still seems to be a land connection and cannot identify any rebel stack who is blocking the path.

Sure, the war with the Mings is going on as well. Playing very slow and pausing all the time - this is how I make it. I would never be able to pull this in Multiplayer, of course.
 

Tallfellow

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I seem to remember that you don't have to vassalize the Electors, i think you just have to occupy them to Dismantle the HRE.