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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

diegoami

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1616-1618 : War with Bohemia (3)

Overextension is back in November 1616. Our land army tradition caps at 100% and we recruit another general, who wins his first battle in Plock.

We start "Commedia dell'arte performances" to reduce rebel risks. In January 1617, this is the situation in Bohemia and Ming.


Regrettably, our war exhaustion is already pretty high, at 4.75.

In February 1617, we annex Vijanagar. In the long term, we are planning to release it as a huge vassal, who would help Venice deal with rebels in India and would never betray the master, should there ever be incompetent leaders in Venice.

In April 1617, Bulgaria cedes Silistria.

I understand, though, that catching all rebels can be tricky . I begin to understand the AI. In April 1617, Mayombe is occupied by particularists.

In September 1617, there comes a time of peace. After expanding our influence, we peace the Ming. Our infamy gets very high, but we have a plan.

We peace also Bohemia. No, we won't dismantle the HRE at this time. But we've come nearer. In the next war, I will try and occupy the electors and see if I get the option to dismantle the HRE.

Well. We do have some troops in Bohemia. They slowly retreat.

Europe in November 1617

We learn more about patrolling routes. For instance, the frigates in Delaware are actually covering the West Bermuda Sea - I don't need to station boats in Bermuda.

Meanwhile, the fine arts academy in Uteve is complete. The next mission will be build a University in Thrace.
As we are planning to release vassals we start peacing the Hordes. Chagatai is peaced, since we are not colonizing there in this round.

In November 1618, we queue a university in Thrace.
 

diegoami

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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.
Maybe. But may colonial empires were actually like that, for instance the Portugal Empire. And I am not convinced. The AI could not deal with revolts anywhere, also where provinces were connected : in America, in Africa, in Europe....
 

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Maybe. But may colonial empires were actually like that, for instance the Portugal Empire. And I am not convinced. The AI could not deal with revolts anywhere, also where provinces were connected : in America, in Africa, in Europe....
The problem is the way the AI deals with revolts. It takes the nearest "idle" army and marches/ships it to the revolter-povince. But once an army is in march, it is set untill it arrives and then sieges the province if it is already taken. Only then it becomes idle again.

It doesnt stop an army from marching for half a year to Perisa from Bulgaria even if 3 days after it started marching a army nearby got available, and it doesnt reackt to developments on the way. It will just march by a revolter-province because its on way to quell another revolt and draw another army from far away to quell that one the 1st army just marches by.

This means the longer and snakier a country gets the exponentially more time its armies spend stupidly marching all around the map, instead of actual fighting / sieging.
 

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The problem is the way the AI deals with revolts. It takes the nearest "idle" army and marches/ships it to the revolter-povince. But once an army is in march, it is set untill it arrives and then sieges the province if it is already taken. Only then it becomes idle again.

It doesnt stop an army from marching for half a year to Perisa from Bulgaria even if 3 days after it started marching a army nearby got available, and it doesnt reackt to developments on the way. It will just march by a revolter-province because its on way to quell another revolt and draw another army from far away to quell that one the 1st army just marches by.

This means the longer and snakier a country gets the exponentially more time its armies spend stupidly marching all around the map, instead of actual fighting / sieging.
So the AI actually uses the same function that "hunt rebels" uses? That one can give very silly results, if certain armies are busy and the country has a bad shape (also, too few actual armies). Something like an Iberian garrison running around the entire Mediterranean to squash a Morrocan rebellion (because the Morrocan garrison already fights in the Congo..) Venice's stacks would always be in transit to yesteryear's rebellion, and being pretty large, they would always be busy. A land connection (military access would be enough) would then be detrimental often enough.
 

diegoami

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So the AI actually uses the same function that "hunt rebels" uses? That one can give very silly results, if certain armies are busy and the country has a bad shape (also, too few actual armies). Something like an Iberian garrison running around the entire Mediterranean to squash a Morrocan rebellion (because the Morrocan garrison already fights in the Congo..) Venice's stacks would always be in transit to yesteryear's rebellion, and being pretty large, they would always be busy. A land connection (military access would be enough) would then be detrimental often enough.
So I guess there are actually two things that the AI cannot deal with : rebels and attrition. If the AI were able to deal with that, I guess its performance would improve dramatically. Nothing new, I guess, but personally I did not expect such a spectacular fail. Or did you ?
On the other hand, it does simulate human history :p
 

diegoami

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diegoami

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The doge Moro was happy with Venetian's progress. He felt he had come closer to a situation where he could actually be confident that Venice could survive even if ruled by incompetents and still be number one.

There was a lot of work to do, though. Anyway, he was pretty excited - he had gotten a letter from his friend Ralph von Leyen. "You won't believe this - you'll have to see it. We'll be there in a week - get ready to be surprised."

After a week, Ralph von Leyen arrived. He wasn't alone, he had taken his friend Gasto Grimaldi, another natural scientist, who worked for the Bavarian court. Bavaria was by now a loyal vassal of Venice. Hey, there are only loyal vassals.

"You can talk freely - I trust Gasto like myself. I have talked to him about your nightmare, and how you thought that we are all in a computer game and nothing of this is real. Gasto was working on a project of his, which I think it is very advanced for this time. He reversed engineered what you called "a computer game".

"What ?" - The doge was astonished. "Yes " - continued van Leyen - " you told the council that it was a panel of professor who made a simulation, taking into account current trends, and tried and find out how the world could look in 1821. It turns out, it is actually possible. We could run such a simulation. But I warn you, assumptions are made, like random events and decisions, and history will turn differently every time. But it can show you the weak points in your empire and see what you can do about it. But Gasto will tell you more."

"In effect " - said Grimaldi. " The computer is huge, I cannot take it to Venice. It is a mechanical computer - we do not know what electronics is. The regency council financed it and we were able to builld a prototype, but if Venice financed us we could build a better model and you could run these simulations any time."

"I run such a simulation - starting from 6 November 1618. "- continued Gasto Grimaldi " I know, not much has changed, but in science you can't make only one experiment. Ideally, you should make several experiments. Such a simulation takes the computer several hours and it strains him. Do you want to see the results ? It is surprisingly similar to your nightmare. "

"Sure " - the Doge was anxious.
The scientist handed him a book. It contained gorgeous images.

"First, I will show you a snapshot - how the world looks in 1750 according to our simulation. "
Well, in Asia.... you lost everything. You have a still a vassal in India, Gonkwar.

This is how it looks in Europe. You lost almost everything here too. But it looks somewhat better than your nightmare.

It is your vassals who saved your ass several times. Someway, you are allied with France. The other vassals have a way to reach your mainland and help with rebels. Styria is independent here too.

This is because you collapsed and you become reformed.

In Africa, you lost a couple of province to Mantua -

And in America, to Savoy and Sardinia. They defected - after your force conversion.


The doge frowned. He was hoping the simulation would turn out better, but it was obvious there was still a lot of work to do. "Can you show me the world in 1821?"
"Sure " - replied Grimaldi - " but remember that this is just a simulation. Many things are random. But anyway, this is how our simulation shows the world in 1821".
It is better than your nightmare, but it looks hardly satisfying. I won't comment on these images, but they speak for themselves.








The doge shook his head. "We are not ready - we are not ready. " - He repeated several times. " But I am impressed by your computer. I will need to come to München and see it. Does it have a name ?"
"Yes, it is called Z1 " - replied Grimaldi - " The master artisan gave it this name. We needed 200 artisans to build it."
 

diegoami

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1618-1621 : War with Morocco, Fez, Persia

In the same month, we get a call to arms from Tunis - against Candar. Declaring a Holy war is not an option. We join the war, hoping it will end soon since we don't have a stake in this war.

We are in control of the war, but don't even raise army maintenance. We defeat the small stack from Savoy in Liguria easily.

An embassy is built in Kalmykia. After a couple of small battles the war with Candar is over in May 1619.

By October 1619, a couple of provinces from the Hordes have defected to Venice : Uralsk and Baysaktu.

We support Baroque Music, to reduce the revolt risk. A Fine Art Academy has some use after all.

We get a core on Ohio. The provinces Kyril Kum, Tashkent and Bukhara defects to us too and we peace all the Hordes. We now will try our policy - release vassals. Vassals are good - vassals never betray. The Doge was obsessed by that. The vassals Aceh, Ceylon and Madurai were released. That has the added effect of reducing infamy, 2 per province, which means that since getting an infidel province costs only 1 infamy we could get actually use this effect to expand indefinitely in the Infidel territory. Though it may not appeal to some and it is actually painful to give up rich provinces. But infamy is low again, at 7.3 .

The peace with the Horde has the added effect of taking us out of overextension. We declare war on Fez, Morocco and Iran in October 1620, we wanted to declare war on the Ottomans at the same time but we had good relations and it would have cost us stability. The Ottomans, the Haasa, Adal and the Mameluks join the war too.
Ottomans are peaced pretty soon.
In March 1621, Morocco is annexed.

In May 1621, we defeat the Mameluk's main stack.

and we annex Fez.

and we defeat Persia's main stack.

Adal is peaced. The Persians are reengaeged in Khuzestan.

In August 1621, we vassalize Algeria. That country has cores over Spanish Africa.

The persian stack is routed in Luristan. We get overextension. We peace Persia and get Ajam. Will overextension go away ?

We peace Songhai and then we release another vassal, Nagpur. It is painful. But this is the path we have chosen.
 

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1621-1622 : War with Bohemia and Spain (1)

I am not sure how it exactly happened, I wasn't really paying attention to rebels, but one stack of mine gets routed by Astrakhan rebels. Does it mean that the AI is justified in having trouble with them ?

This means that I will attack Spain. They will pay for that.

Meanwhile we have another front with them. They got three provinces from Adal in a war.

Obviously, we now use Andalucia as a staging board.

The Wu have declared independence - that cannot be tolerated. They can be born only when we release them. War is declared on them as well.

But am I getting as stupid as the AI ? I lose a province to the Nogai Nationalists. Are rebels really that annoying ?

Well, anyway, I engage the main Spanish stack and then this war should fight itself.

The main front with Spain is obviously Africa. They own cores of Fez and Morocco and if we get them and then we released those countries, they would get pretty big.

We rout the Spanish in Castilla La Vieja. Spanish will be carpet sieged, but revolters pop up in Andalucia, a province the AI would not be able to defend.

The truce has expired. War is declared on the Ming. We must keep troops busy.

The truce with Bohemia, and by extension on the Palatinate who was liberated from vassalage in the last war, has expired as well. We declare war on the Palatinate as well, who is an elector. Maybe not the wisest move, considering the many fronts we have opened, but I have reached the point where I consider the biggest enemy to be myself and I have to try and find new ways to feel challenged in this game.

But of course, I did that because Spain is a goner by now - you just have to wait for the last provinces to fall.

I expect Bohemia to be still recovering from the last war. In fact, at first, they send a pretty pathetic stack for their standards.

The Swiss have been lured into Italy by a small stack and should also be wiped out soon.

But the battle of Wien is lost. But other troops are converging there and will catch the Bohemian stack with low morale.

Well, we are at war with Polotsk, who is even the war leader. They are bigger than Bohemia. Since Muscowy is at war with them too, they get war subsidies, money is something I definitely have.

Well, right, this is the diplomatic map in December 1622.

And as I correctly expected, the second stack arrives in Wien in time to wipe out the Bohemian stack.

In the other front the goal is obviously to vassalize The Palatinate - who is an elector. Now infamy is an afterthought - we burn it releasing vassals.



Wars are always easier when you have the advantage at sea.
 

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1622-1624 : War with Bohemia and Spain (2)

By February 1623, two other Bohemian stacks have popped up

February 1623 in Spain.

The Battle of Sudety is won but the one in Moravia is lost.

I made a major mistake here. I should have kept an army in reserve, to cover the retreat of a defeated army. My retreating army is routed in Ostmarch. Serves me right for having too many fronts.
I claim the title of Defender of the Faith, I need the morale boost. The Bohemian troops seem to have very high morale.

Spain is peaced and they have to cede 5 colonies (forgot to make a screenshot) But in Bohemia another army has to retreat. We will have to reorganize our forces.

Meanwhile the Palatinate becomes a vassal. 2 electors down, 5 to go.

Fresh troops arrive in Ostmarch in July 1623 and they revenge their comrades.

The tide turns. Another Bohemian army is defeated in Pressburg. We have much more reserves, of course.

After the battle of Moravia Bohemia has virtually no army. Which is a pity, by now 100k troops have been comitted to this theatre.

Meanwhile, we don't forget China.

We check the other electors. Brunswick is a TPM and can be useful as a vassal, we are already at war with his allies, so war is declared on Brunswick as well.

Meanwhile, the university in Thrace has been built. Next mission is blockade a port. Our WE has now reached critical level. I admit I am not micromanaging very well, it just gets tedious after a while.

One stack of ours is also helping Moscowy against Polotsk.

In December 1623 we annex Wu, after the provinces occupied by Ayuttaboy have disappeared.

The blockade mission is accomplished and the next mission will be colonize Taranaki in New Zealand.

In May 1624, Brunswick is vassalized. 3 electors down, 4 to go. But war weariness is over 6, the dismantlement of the HRE won't happen in this war.

In September 1624, everybody is peaced. The Ming cede 4 provinces, Bohemia and Polotsk have to release some countries. We get dangerously close to the BB limit.

So now we have a Venetian Ming. Inside of it there are two COTs.

Europe in November 1624.

The Cherokee, who had declared war on us, are peaced pretty soon. We can then release Viyjanagar and lose a lot of infamy. Shouldn't that be illegal ? Too bad we made them give up some cores.
 
Last edited:

Memento Mori

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Nice, but you have to hurry up with Bohemia, before the current king kicks the bucket :p

Can you give us a table showing which CoTs you and your vassals own and which ones are still to be taken?
 

gremlok

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If you are getting bored why not stage a civil war? Can you release Brazil, Mexico, USA etc. at this time and then immediately declare war on the despite the truce? You'll be facing instability, revolts everywhere and a fight to reclaim the American territories.
 

diegoami

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Nice, but you have to hurry up with Bohemia, before the current king kicks the bucket :p

Can you give us a table showing which CoTs you and your vassals own and which ones are still to be taken?
In the next update...
If he does, I am certainly not worried by Hesse.
I like how you lost some 25k men in a battle in Bohemia for 0 WE...
I like to think they surrendered, they have been given the honours of war and have come back to their families.

If you are getting bored why not stage a civil war? Can you release Brazil, Mexico, USA etc. at this time and then immediately declare war on the despite the truce? You'll be facing instability, revolts everywhere and a fight to reclaim the American territories.
I can't release them now and I am not doing that - maybe in a side story...
 

Malurous

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Gotta say, "AI proofing" your country is a pretty hilarious goal. :) It might be impossible, but fortunately the longer you take the less time it would have to mess things up anyway. ;)
 

diegoami

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Gotta say, "AI proofing" your country is a pretty hilarious goal. :) It might be impossible, but fortunately the longer you take the less time it would have to mess things up anyway. ;)
Maybe. But it also has the side effect of making your country easier and less tedious to manage.
 

diegoami

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1624-1628 : War on the Empire (1)

Fez is released as well.

In January 1625, the Papal State is diplo-annexed. And the Catholics are denied their desire for a Catholic state. Gods doesn't punish us for diplo-annexing the Papal State, so the cardinal was right - God wants us to be strong and spread the Catholic Faith, fight the Infidels and the Heretics, and the Papal State wasn't doing anything about that. So it had to go.

Meanwhile, Taranaki is colonized, but I would soon lose the colony to natives. The next mission will be build a Fine Arts Academy in Liguria, but I will build a Naval Supplies Manufactory there instead and fail the mission.
Being at -1 stability, I recruit an artist. Culture is good - as an effect of Baroque Music.

Overextension is back in December 1625 - to remove it I peace the Timurids, I don't care abut colonizing hordes who are not going anywhere. Looks like even provinces who are being sieged "connect".

Since infamy makes stability expensive and I would be doing that anyway, I release Morocco. Too bad I made them release cores in the distant past. Now if the Northern African provinces defected, they would defect to either Morocco, Fez and Algiers, who are all vassals. We are all family now. Anyway, that is what happened in the "nightmare".

We are waiting for WE to go down - so that is why we are at peace for a change. In November 1626, the State receives a gift. 8227.15 ducats. It is obvious that God is happy with us because we are releasing vassals and we read his signs right.

So a new Venice, a Venice that now includes Roma and Romagna, can build a Naval Equipment Manufactory in Liguria.

To appease God we build a textile Manufactory in Venice, to show how much we worship him. Hopefully he won't get angry at us for failing a mission on purpose.

We know what God wants us to do next. He wants us to declare war on the Heretics. And the Empire is the mother of all Heretics, and all of the electors and the Emperor are heretics. Three electors have been vassalized : Bavaria, Brunswick and The Palatinate. Now we will occupy the other four and the emperor. The other electors are : Lüneburg, Alsace, Hamburg and Sachsen.

The emperor does not join the war so it will be an easy affair. So we declare war on the Ottomans as well - they will be annexed.

There are a couple of notable battles, in Oberpfalz...

... In Schwyz...

Baden, who was our ally but joined our enemies, will be vassalized. We need infamy to burn, too, we are currently at 0.00.

We need to dislodge the German stack from Pfalz. In August 1627, we defeat them.

Astrakhan is the defender of the Sunni faith and is trying to help the Ottomans. Which means more glory for us.

The Swiss main stack is routed and we white peace short after that.. Brittany is peaced and they give us 275 ducats.
Situation in September 1627. The elector Elsass is occupied and we are seiging another elector, Sachsen.

The troops of Bar and Elsass are defeated.

In Pfalz we rout the Hessian army. Since we want to want to get rid of the German problem once and for all, we vassalize Würzburg as well.

By February 1628, Sachsen is occupied as well. We have moved on to Lüneburg - now the vassal Brunswick comes handy.

At last, Bohemia has joined the war. But it has not recovered from the former wars yet, so occupying it is not a problem.
 
Last edited:

diegoami

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1628-1629 : War on the Empire (2)

In May 1628, the Ottomans are annexed. We took care of removing their cores from Bursa and Bythinia, so when the Ottomans will be released, we will keep those strategic provinces.

Lüneburg is occupied (by our ally Aragon, but that shouldn't be a problem) and we move on the last elector, Hamburg. Regrettably Aragon comes before us, but we brought 10k cannons and the town should fall soon.

Situation in Europe in August 1628. Hessen is peaced and vassalized as well.

In December 1628, Hamburg falls and the empire can be dismantled. Where is your emperor now ?

As a bonus, I have now a bunch of German minors as vassals. Now who would want to mess with them - and us?

Now let's see how many COTs I control. I am much closer to my goal than I thought, actually.



It is a good thing I checked this, now I can update the COT priorities.
There are still some pockets of resistance, for instance Köln.

Situation in March 1629

Techonologically, we are average. Our income is now around 19500 ducats a year.
 
Last edited:

Malurous

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Hehee, well done! That's one major player out. :)

You're surrounding your main holdings with vassals, are you going to take that even further? I.e. vassalize Savoy & Switzerland or release vassals in that area?