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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Javaslinger

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I appreciate the effort involved, BUT that part where you had us set up our message preferences was TORTUOUS! Opening 20 tiny windows to read 4 different things on eleven lines on each??? wow...

there must be a better way...
 

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I appreciate the effort involved, BUT that part where you had us set up our message preferences was TORTUOUS! Opening 20 tiny windows to read 4 different things on eleven lines on each??? wow...

there must be a better way...
Where are those stored? Maybe it could be set up in a file to be hosted?
 

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Nice to see it's going :D
:D I keep my word! Most of the time...;).

This is a great idea, and it's very informative. :) I'm sure that more than a few people will be helped greatly by this AAR.
Thanks, I believe that as well.

very nice,
but AFAIK the narrowminded slider doesn't increase the number of colonists you get,
it affects colonial growth & colonist cost (+ other stuff) tho
Yes an old mistake. Will correct that one.

that will benice for the new players :)
Thats why we are here for, isn't it? :)

I suppose it is good for new players. Will you continue? Like you would do: How to fight in war : Tutorial ?
Yes, of course! It will all be covered.

I'll be following closely. This is perfect for me.

However, I warn you with this much detail you may grow bored with it sooner than later and it will whither on the vine.

I hope not!!

Keep up the great work.

Javasligner
Great, my first real follower :). Well, before you learn how to run, one must learn to walk, and before you can walk, one must crawl. So, yes it's a whole lot of info, but if I leave that out...no, it should be as complete as possible.

I appreciate the effort involved, BUT that part where you had us set up our message preferences was TORTUOUS! Opening 20 tiny windows to read 4 different things on eleven lines on each??? wow...

there must be a better way...
Im open for suggestions! I thought this as the 'best' way, but I big screenshot with all of those messages would be better. I just cant make that myself.

Where are those stored? Maybe it could be set up in a file to be hosted?
You mean a .rar file containing all those files? That's brilliant! Will make that one.

Now, back to the AAR!
 
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You mean a .rar file containing all those files? That's brilliant! Will make that one.
I meant as in if it's stored in a .txt file like most everything else. Then you could provide the .txt file.
 

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Chapter Three:
Diplomacy

So, you are still there? I'm honored! Let's dive right into the diplomatic aspects of the game.

Click on any nation and you will see the same thing. For this AAR, I've chosen Scotland.


Like before, we start above and work our way down. As you can see, I've selected Scotland, which is a Kingdom. The scale means their stability, which is at +1. Next to that is their rank number. You cant really win this game, but you can be called 'winner' when you are ranked #1 at the end. This rank is connected with prestige, which shows 0 for Scotland.

Now for the shiny buttons!
  • Declare War. It does what it says really. Click here if you want to declare war with a nation. Don't do that just yet.
  • Royal Marriage. Ask for a ladys' hand here. Now why would you do that? A couple of reasons.
    1. Your relations with that country goes up ---will be discussed later---.
    2. You have a chance to get into a personal union or even inherit them.
    3. It gives them an incentive not to attack you, as it will give the attacker a -1 stability loss ---a stability loss will henceforth be called a stab hit--- when declaring war.

  • Offer Alliance. When you want to be friends with someone, ask for a alliance. When in an alliance, those nations tend to help each other. Now don't go thinking that they will help you with every little war you start! The AI thinks this over. It will determine how many stab hits it has to take, what your infamy score is and how much trust you have earned with them. They can decline a Call to Arms ---you asking for their help when declaring war--- very easily. For this game, ask an alliance with Castille. ---We do this because we will be war war with France soon. Castillian forces are maybe able to get some land from the French.--- Please note that alliances are not set in stone. They can be broken at almost any time, except when in a war together.

  • Issue Embargo. We will get into embargoes when we'll discuss trade. For now, its good to know that you will lower relations with a country you embargo, you will get a reduction in research process, reduced trade income and the country who is embargoed will get a casus belli ---henceforth: CB. Reason for war, will be explained--- against you.
  • Offer Trade Agreement. A trade agreement is a agreement with another country where you decide not to compete with each other in a CoT. It reduces trade efficiency a lot, so it is not a lightly step. As we are in the Hansa trade league, we won't be making any trade agreements anytime soon. This league gives us their compete chance which is very high when we want a spot in a CoT.
  • Offer Vassalisation. Being a vassal you are reduced to a Duke who holds allegiance to his master, the King. You will also be limited in your diplomatic actions. It is possible to ask another nation to become your vassal, they just won't accept likely. Would you accept that someone is superior than you?
  • Proclaim Guarantee. When you want to defend a nation against any who attacks them, use this action. Most players use it to declare to the world that the piece of land they guarantee is soon to become their own. The guarantee is meant to stop another nation attacking that particular nation.
  • Send Warning. You can warn a nation not to go to war with any of your neighbors. For example you warn France not to go to war, otherwise they will face the might of England. Suddenly they declare war on Scotland, now you get a CB to battle France. However, if they declare war on, say, Aragon, you will not get a CB as it isn't one of your neighbors.
  • Expand Influence. Use this when you want to expand your SoI. You must have at least 10 prestige before this button lights up. Note that not every nation can get into your SoI. Furthermore, they can break out of it if they grow strong enough.
  • Ask for military access. Use this action when you want to go through somebody else's land. As an extra benefit, you will get an extra increase in relations. Sometimes you can go through another man's land without asking for permission. This happens when you are at war with the Emperor. You do suffer high attrition rates however so ask before you march!
  • Give Military Access. Same as above but the other way around. I use this action mostly as a symbolic action to get relations back up, but sometimes the AI ask it, for example when they own a province they can't get to without going through your empire.
  • Send Gift. Here you can directly influence the treasury of another country while simultaneously increase relations. It's your number one action to get relations higher. The price variates between nations. The bigger, the more expensive. How much the relations increase is dependent on your rulers' diplomacy rating.
  • Send an Insult. The opposite of sending gifts. Want to get relations down? Start shouting :). As for gameplay, send those Scots a proper English insult!


  • Claim Throne. When legitimacy is low of another countrys' king and they have either a heir with a weak claim or no heir at all, you are married to them, and have a higher prestige than them, you can claim their throne! This has some drastic effects though.
    1. All your relations with every nation you are married with will drop with 100 points.
    2. Your legitimacy will be reduced by 20 points. (Not sure, can anyone back me up?)
    3. You will get a CB to put the country whose kingdom you claimed in a personal union under your rule.
    4. you will risk a succession war with other claimers.
    5. If there is no heir, the king dies, and you have higher prestige than the target nation, you may form a personal union without resorting to war.
  • Loan offer. Here you can offer a loan to someone. Very helpful in multiplayer, not so in single player. Leave this option alone.
  • War Subsidies. Directly give an ally extra income on a monthly basis for a certain period to fight a common enemy. We probably won't be using this.

    Now its not in the screenshot but there are other diplomatic options.
  • Sell province. You can sell your provinces to anyone you want.
  • Join/Leave trade league. This option will pop up when you select The Hansa. Here we can either leave them or join them if we've left before.

    There are several special cases.
  • Offer trade rights. This is only applicable for trade league nations. It basically means that a certain good we produce ---like fish--- is directed to Lübeck if the Hansa asks that. We get an increase in production bonus, but lose trade income in that particular province.

    ---For almost all of the above, with the exception of Declare War and Embargo, you will get an increase in relations but a decrease in relations if they decline your proposal. Ask with care!---

  • Excommunicate. When you hold the power of Papal Controller, you have the ability to excommunicate someone. This will lower your relations with them and gives every Catholic nation a CB on them. Sound cool huh? Well, we can be excommunicated too! You can only excommunicate Catholics who have a very low relation with His Holiness the Pope. The trick to avoid excommunication is to be at +100 relations with the Papal States at all times. If we ever declare to be Defender of the Faith we won't get excommunicated. Also note that after 1650 excommunication becomes obsolete.
  • Call for a Crusade. Every heathen ---Muslim, Hindu, Buddha. As long as it isn't in our religion group--- nation can be subject of a Crusade. When the Crusade is declared, it gives every Catholic country a CB versus them. When this CB is used, the Catholic country gets some very nice bonuses. A crusade cannot be called after 1650.

I told you all about the diplomatic actions and how they influence relations. Now, what are relations exactly and how do they work? Should you fear or love them?

Let's take a look to our relations with Scotland again.


Here we see the ruler of the country and his statistics ---henceforth: a kings stats---. We will delve into them in the next chapter.

There you see it: 'current relation: 60'. Relations can range from +200 ---your best buddy!--- to -200 ---your most hated enemy---. So the number is a indexnumber where it scales your friendship. It's dynamic, it changes every year. Check what happens if we hold our mouse on our relations with Scotland.


Here you see the change in relations every year. If we do nothing, our relations will automatically go up towards +100. We are both neighbors and are not in a war versus each other, our current ruler diplomatic skill is high enough to receive a bonus when dealing with foreigners ---later more on rulers' stats--- and we both belong to the English culture group. Besides these positive modifiers, there are also negative modifiers. These occur when we are excommunicated, have a different religion or have a high infamy. When we are at war with someone, our relations drop too.

Now there are also static relations. Look up Portugal.
See what happens if we hold the mouse on our relation with Portugal?


Here, the relations are static. This is because they have reached the +100 threshold. Beyond that threshold, we must actively improve relations.

Everyone above +150 can be considered your friend, but the AI doesn't take relations very serious. An AI ally can decide not to follow you in a war you started, even though you have 200 relations. This is because they don't trust you enough.

Trust is difficult to acquire. You can see that Scotland doesn't really trust us, but Portugal does. Trust is divided into different tiers:
  1. They trust us utterly. The highest tier. They are your best friend and believe you are a living saint. The chances are that they will follow your lead wherever it leads them, against any foe.
  2. They trust us implicitly. When it says that, they will probably follow you through every war you start. Even when relations are lower then 200.
  3. They feel we are highly trustworthy. They think they can trust you. The chances that they follow you in a war are improved.
  4. They are willing to trust us somewhat. Don't count on them that they will follow you. It can happen, but don't rely your great battle plan on their involvement. As England, every European nation starts in this tier, with the exception of Portugal.
  5. They trust us to uphold our bargains. This means that they don't trust you. Maybe a bit, that you are a fair ruler. But nothing more. Expect nothing from them.
  6. They view us with distrust. They don't like you. Every diplomatic action you take is suspicious.
  7. They expect us to break every deal and alliance. This is uncommon, but can happen. When we are viewed like this, you will probably not get any diplomatic action through.
  8. They would not trust us to die properly. The lowest tier. They rather trust an untrustworthy thief who's mission in life is to break promises than you! It is very unlikely they will ever trust you even a tiny bit.

You can gain a trust level with a particular country if you honor a Call to Arms when they declare war and you are allied. You lose trust when you decline.

I have emphasized trust with war, but that is not entirely true. Trust is taken into account with every diplomatic action. When trust is low, they are reluctant to marry with some one of your family. When it's even lower, you can't ask them to march through their lands, would you give military access to some lord you know you can't trust? So be honorable ---that is, keep your infamy score as low as possible--- and help your allies. Then the world is likely to trust you. Break alliances or worse, break truces, and you are seen as untrustworthy.

Now we've concluded this chapter. Time to look to how you rule a country in the Coat or Arms menu. Part One. Overview, Court and Technology.
 
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Javaslinger

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There is a file in the 'Interface' folder called 'messagetypes.txt' which I think contains all of those changes.

Perhaps you could simply host a copy of your file for us to download and past into our 'Interface' folder. Much, much easier...
 

Rhadok

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There is a file in the 'Interface' folder called 'messagetypes.txt' which I think contains all of those changes.

Perhaps you could simply host a copy of your file for us to download and past into our 'Interface' folder. Much, much easier...
It's in the root folder Europa Universalis. Will upload it now to a hosting site.
[edit] Done, made a link in Chapter One together with a small description.
 
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Duke of Awesome

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for youre 20 legitimacy hit im fairly certain thats true.
 

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i think you need to be at 100+ relations with the Pope to avoid excommunication tho
 

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Chapter Three:
Diplomatic Actions


[*]Send Warning. You can warn a nation not to go to war with any of your neighbors. For example you warn France not to go to war, otherwise they will face the might of England. Suddenly they declare war on Scotland, now you get a CB to battle France. However, if they declare war on, say, Burgundy, you will not get a CB as it isn't one of your neighbors.
Got to be nit picky here. Burgundy is England's neighbor at the 1399 GC start. To be accurate, Burgundy borders Calais and has a core on it as well.

So you might want to change the example to Aragon or some other eastern neighbor of France.
 

unmerged(211761)

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Wish I had one of these when I started. Took me two or three weeks to find and understand things such as the military maintenence, cultural tradition and other concepts.`

Great job.
 

Rhadok

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Got to be nit picky here. Burgundy is England's neighbor at the 1399 GC start. To be accurate, Burgundy borders Calais and has a core on it as well.

So you might want to change the example to Aragon or some other eastern neighbor of France.
Of course, you are right. Forgot about Calais there. Changed to Aragon.

Wish I had one of these when I started. Took me two or three weeks to find and understand things such as the military maintenence, cultural tradition and other concepts.`

Great job.
Thanks, I'm not done though. Whole lot of things to be said..
 

Enewald

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Maybe I will learn something. :p

Such as why losing provinces is an objective??? :eek:
 

Rhadok

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Maybe I will learn something. :p

Such as why losing provinces is an objective??? :eek:
Well..would be nice if veterans learn something from this AAR! Though you don't sound like you will..;).
Check the link A_Dane provided on page 1. We've discussed it there :).

Thanks for this. I'll be following in the hope to improve my game.
Great, thanks! I do hope you got some nice information you didn't know about. If you have any questions in particular after reading a chapter, don't be afraid to ask! Then that information can be edited in the chapter so others won't be asking the same question again.

Finished chapter 3. What do you think so far?
 
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Speaking as a pretty old-time EU player myself, I think this AAR is absolutely wonderful, Rhadok. I've never been a really super-detail oriented player, so it's nice to read in to the details you've given. The message settings bit in particular is a good example of how helpful this kind of tutorial can be, as that's something many, many players would likely not even think about for a long while.

One thing I personally can't wait for is whenever you get to colonization. I'd love to see an explanation of what logic to follow when starting out colonizing. Reading the forums, one can get the sense that lots of players don't know where to start colonizing, when to start, how to properly follow through, etc.

Thanks for the great work!