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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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King Nothing

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Maybe you changed to trade mapmode so you didn't have to find Lübeck exactly but instead could click any province that is trading through Lübeck? :)

And I think you are pretty much alone on selecting starting advisors based on short term goals. I think that's were we differs. In the beginning you have to snatch the best advisors for the long term since we only have one opportunity to change them for probably a very long time.. Sitting there stuck with a 2 star statesman instead of a 5 star of some other tech dude is quite bad in the long run..
 

Darth Moose

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So this is what I've made out of it. I think it should please everyone :) and be helpful to the newcomers.

* Depending on your strategic goals, a natural scientist or a land reformer are equally important as a statesman for being starting advisors. If you are going to war soon, a land reformer can help you to get better land technology ---technologies will be explained---. Natural scientist are important too as they will help speed up production technology which you need to get workshops.

What do you think?

I gave those two as examples, the other two are equally useful too :). My point was to choose the best advisor for long term benefits. Once the game advances a few years, my favorite advisor is the Diplomat (I am a conqueror after all).

At some point we will talk about random events, right? We should remember to mention that 6 star advisors have very beneficial special events that trigger for a country (once per advisor type per game).
 

naggy

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I gave those two as examples, the other two are equally useful too :). My point was to choose the best advisor for long term benefits. Once the game advances a few years, my favorite advisor is the Diplomat (I am a conqueror after all).

At some point we will talk about random events, right? We should remember to mention that 6 star advisors have very beneficial special events that trigger for a country (once per advisor type per game).

1.) 5/6 star advisors trigger Great Man events, but 6 star triggers them more often.

2.) I think that tech advisors are a very good safe pick for a new player, in that they aren't going to need or make the best use of most of the other bonuses. I love using the +TE advisor early (whose name escapes me), but then I know what I'm doing at trade. A new player, who's trying to figure out the basics of the game, probably is not going to get the same mileage out of such an advisor that an expert would - hence my statement that experience will probably change your mind.

Over the long term, my #1 advice to players is that you should pick NI's and advisors that shore up a weakness first, and complement your strengths and strategy second. Players who are very good at war don't need Military Drill, however, a player who has more trouble with war shouldn't hesitate to take it over an economic NI, since an economic NI doesn't do much good if you get overrun. Commandant advisors (+ discipline) are great if you need a boost in combat, and diplomats (- infamy) will give you more flexibility, but if you lose the war, you aren't going to need help burning infamy.
 

unmerged(111223)

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These policies can be changed once every 11 years, but that can be decreased when we change to a better government. Certain events give free slider movements. For now, centralization is the most important slider movement we can choose. So put that centralization slider towards the left. Now every slider movement can come with two negative effects and one positive. What did you get?

I'm going to jump in and be pedantic here - as far as I remember centralisation/decentralisation is the exception as centralisation only has negative effects, whereas decentralisation only has positive effects. Obviously this is to balance the fact that centralisation is better in almost every way.

Personally I don't like to centralise straight away as your chance of getting rebels is actually quite high (2/3?) and if a 10k stack of rebels pops up in your capital at the start of the game without you having time to build any extra troops you're in big trouble. Although it probably doesn't matter as much if you're a larger nation like England.

Sorry about the nitpicking - this AAR is pretty interesting, keep it up!
 

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Maybe you changed to trade mapmode so you didn't have to find Lübeck exactly but instead could click any province that is trading through Lübeck? :)

And I think you are pretty much alone on selecting starting advisors based on short term goals. I think that's were we differs. In the beginning you have to snatch the best advisors for the long term since we only have one opportunity to change them for probably a very long time.. Sitting there stuck with a 2 star statesman instead of a 5 star of some other tech dude is quite bad in the long run..

Well that's why we pause the game again in October 1400, to pick the even better onces.

I gave those two as examples, the other two are equally useful too :). My point was to choose the best advisor for long term benefits. Once the game advances a few years, my favorite advisor is the Diplomat (I am a conqueror after all).

At some point we will talk about random events, right? We should remember to mention that 6 star advisors have very beneficial special events that trigger for a country (once per advisor type per game).

Yep, I agree with you here. However there aren't any 5 or 6 stars available at games start for that are any beneficial. Let's hope that changes in one year time.

1.) 5/6 star advisors trigger Great Man events, but 6 star triggers them more often.

2.) I think that tech advisors are a very good safe pick for a new player, in that they aren't going to need or make the best use of most of the other bonuses. I love using the +TE advisor early (whose name escapes me), but then I know what I'm doing at trade. A new player, who's trying to figure out the basics of the game, probably is not going to get the same mileage out of such an advisor that an expert would - hence my statement that experience will probably change your mind.

Over the long term, my #1 advice to players is that you should pick NI's and advisors that shore up a weakness first, and complement your strengths and strategy second. Players who are very good at war don't need Military Drill, however, a player who has more trouble with war shouldn't hesitate to take it over an economic NI, since an economic NI doesn't do much good if you get overrun. Commandant advisors (+ discipline) are great if you need a boost in combat, and diplomats (- infamy) will give you more flexibility, but if you lose the war, you aren't going to need help burning infamy.

Good advise Naggy, thanks. When we reach GOV tech 4, a thorough breakdown of the NI's will be given and what one can choose. Depending on my game goals, I don't always make my weak side better, but increase my strength more. So...to get a bit of discussion going, what do you think is a good starting NI for a rather peaceful colonizing England? I don't know yet.

I'm going to jump in and be pedantic here - as far as I remember centralisation/decentralisation is the exception as centralisation only has negative effects, whereas decentralisation only has positive effects. Obviously this is to balance the fact that centralisation is better in almost every way.

Personally I don't like to centralise straight away as your chance of getting rebels is actually quite high (2/3?) and if a 10k stack of rebels pops up in your capital at the start of the game without you having time to build any extra troops you're in big trouble. Although it probably doesn't matter as much if you're a larger nation like England.

Sorry about the nitpicking - this AAR is pretty interesting, keep it up!

Nah, nitpicking can be far worse than what you did :D. Yeah I had some doubts about those events regarding the Centralization slider. Will change that. About the first move towards centralization, I think it's safe too as a big nation. It's not something I'd recommend though if you're small.
 

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So...to get a bit of discussion going, what do you think is a good starting NI for a rather peaceful colonizing England? I don't know yet.

Well, since you've said you won't be minting, National Bank is probably out. In that case, my choice would be Patron of the Arts. A good, solid National Idea for any occasion.
 

naggy

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So...to get a bit of discussion going, what do you think is a good starting NI for a rather peaceful colonizing England? I don't know yet.

National Trade Policy is an excellent starting NI - +10 TE also gives +5 compete chance, and the TE bonus ends up giving you about 1/4-1/3rd more trade income early given everyone's low starting TE.

Since you're peaceful, you don't need Military Drill, and Press Gangs isn't useful yet, nor are the colonizing NI's (since you need QfTNW to make use of them anyway). Other good early options are National Bank (much easier to learn the economy your first time if you can mint a little), Patron of the Arts (fastest way to good advisors, linked to some of the best NI-related events in the game), or Church Attendance Duty (if you want to go for Papal Controller).
 

Mico94

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Patron of the Arts is generally the best 1st idea for any nation
(except heavy trading (NTP in that case) and conquering nations (military drill then)
 

Darth Moose

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My first NIs, and reason for using them:
- Military drill - countries like France, Brandenburg and Ottoman Empire - superior morale means victory with fewer troops, and thus being able to face enemies on multiple fronts.
- National Trade Policy - Almost all nations. 10% trade efficiency is a huge boost in 1400, and as a bonus it also increases the compete chance by 5% (due to the 50% of trade efficiency rule).
- Divine Supremacy - Castille or other nations that don't border heathen countries, but would prefer to go the religious war route for low infamy expansion. Countries like the Ottomoans or Muscovy don't need it, as they border plenty of heathen countries. Unam Sanctum would also allow this, but DS is more suitable, as it gives a 5% papal influence bonus (Catholics) and 0.5 missionary bonus for converting those heathen provinces.

For your England, I would go with NTP. PoA is a good idea, but I would take it as a 3rd or 4th NI. It is particularly good for a narrow minded country to move innovative. The 3% cultural tradition bonus is great, but there are a few great early (pre-1450) cultural decisions that you can take which help to build cultural tradition. If you are going to be mostly peaceful, then you don't need to worry about losing CT fast due to the war penalty. Also, do you really need 100% CT this early? There are a lot of western tech group countries at the beginning, so there will be lots of advisors that can be recruited.
 

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Maybe you changed to trade mapmode so you didn't have to find Lübeck exactly but instead could click any province that is trading through Lübeck? :)

And I think you are pretty much alone on selecting starting advisors based on short term goals. I think that's were we differs. In the beginning you have to snatch the best advisors for the long term since we only have one opportunity to change them for probably a very long time.. Sitting there stuck with a 2 star statesman instead of a 5 star of some other tech dude is quite bad in the long run..

If the initial advisors are locked for the first year couldn't you choose stability boosters for a short term boost then swap for something longer term 11 months later before you lose the monopoly on them or is the up front purchase cost to high to make that worthwhile?

Castille accepted my alliance offer then immediately issued a call to arms against Granada and Morocco. I got the Conquer Ireland Mission and Navarra and Connacht both asked for royal marriages. Unfortunately both their families have really ugly daughters. I helped out Castille by liberating the province of Ifni :)
 
Last edited:

naggy

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If the initial advisors are locked for the first year couldn't you choose stability boosters for a short term boost then swap for something longer term 11 months later before you lose the monopoly on them or is the up front purchase cost to high to make that worthwhile?

Not worth the cost, really. Early on, stability is cheap.
 

Rhadok

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Good god...I've never picked Patrons of the Arts as a first idea. Never. Hmm..guess I've been missing out then rather badly!

Good recommendations all. Although about the NTP NI, as a member of the Hansa, don't we use their compete chance even if ours is higher?
And yeah Silverlock, you immediately see that your game goes far more different than mine. Great replayability!
 

King Nothing

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For a newbie I would actually suggest National Bank, even though I know you don't want to. And I don't pick that as the first either so it's not my minting policy that's speaking. For a beginner it is simply difficult to do without even if they try to follow the advices given here.

Other than that. For a peacefull nation that is in a trade league I can't really see any other than PotA for now.

Not worth the cost, really. Early on, stability is cheap.

That is basically Rhadoks strategy in this AAR but with statesmen instead.. And going for that strategy I would say stability is more important than government tech for the first year. For England I think stability is expensive enough that it will last a whole year..
 

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I bet you cannot annex Scotland in one war

Something went horribly wrong!!

For a newbie I would actually suggest National Bank, even though I know you don't want to. And I don't pick that as the first either so it's not my minting policy that's speaking. For a beginner it is simply difficult to do without even if they try to follow the advices given here.

Other than that. For a peacefull nation that is in a trade league I can't really see any other than PotA for now.

I too am leaning towards National Bank, but it's lost its powers because of the recruit-able Masters of Mint. When we are still playing IN, my first NI was always NB. Didn't even had to think :p.
 
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Chapter eight:
Prepare for War
Casus Belli, A change of Mission, Your First Fight

9Unpause.jpg


This is where we left off in chapter 7. You can click the messages away by clicking on OK. ---If you want a message to appear differently, simply right click on it and decide how you want it to display.---

There is something peculiar popping up in the lower left corner there. Do you see it? It's a message with a crown. If we don't click on it, it will disappear automatically after exactly one month after it's first appearance. We can't change that. Some very important messages are displayed this way which we need to keep track of.
  • Royal marriage proposal. That's the message we see now.
  • If someone asks for military access.
  • If someone asks us for trade rights.
    [*]If someone wants to vassalize us.
    [*]If someone wants to diploannex us
    ---Yes, I've got proof of that.---
  • If we receive a Call to Arms by one of our allies, when we guaranteed someone, when we warned someone, when we are Defender of the Faith and a heretic or heathen attacks our religion or if a member in our SoI is attacked.

The Call to Arms ---henceforth: CTA--- is the most important message that get's overlooked this way. So we need to pay attention too!

Now what to do with that royal marriage proposal? Left click on it. Then read what it has to say and courteously decline. We don't want to marry anyone just yet. ---If you see a message like this in the lower left corner, right click it to dismiss it at once.---
You can unpause now again.


Ah, something interesting happens!
1Crusade.jpg



This was on the 31st of October. So what's a Crusade exactly? Well to put it easy, a crusade was several times called in history to unite the Christians to fight the heathens. So how did EU3 modeled this phenomenon?

Well, if you click the message away and let the game run again, you will see this.
2newcb.jpg



It says we gained a Casus Belli. I mentioned before that a casus belli ---henceforth CB--- is a 'legitimate' thing to declare war over. I guess you know about former US minister of defense claiming Iraq had some powerful weaponry? That's a CB, be it not completely legitimate. So what are these?

From the HT³ manual. ---The bold CB's are the strongest in the game, as they can give you provinces at a very reduced infamy rate.---
  • Defected Province.
    When rebels cause a province to defect, you gain this CB against the recipient of the province. Lasts for 12 months. Can demand back the defected province at 0 infamy, double prestige and half the peace cost.
  • Cancelled Loan.
    Triggered when a country cancels a loan from you, lasts for 12 months. Double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding money.
  • Discovered Spy.
    When a foreign spy is discovered, this Casus Belli is given for 12 months. Double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding money or the revocation of cores.
  • Disloyal Vassal.
    When a vassal declares war on its suzerain state, this Casus Belli is given. Zero Infamy, double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding vassalization.
  • Imperial Liberation.
    The Emperor of the HRE gets this CB against anyone who annexes a country within the HRE. Lasts for 24 months. One fourth the normal Infamy, double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding HRE provinces, releasing vassals and annexed nations, reducing the SoI and demanding gold.
  • Diplomatic Insult.
    Given against countries who insult you. Lasts for 12 months. Double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding money or the revocation of cores.
  • Claim on Throne.
    Granted when you claim a throne. Lasts while the throne is claimed. Allows the formation of a Personal Union, annexation, and the taking of provinces at one tenth the normal Infamy, double Prestige and half the Peace Cost.
  • Alliance
    Granted against all countries that are at war with your allies, but not with you. Lasts while this is the case. Double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for release of vassals and countries, reduction of Sphere, revocation of cores and gold.
  • Dishonoured Call
    Given against countries that dishonour a call to arms. Lasts for 36 months. Double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for gold and revocation of cores.
  • Conquest
    This Casus Belli is granted immediately when you get certain missions, when the mission requires you to conquer some provinces. A quarter of the normal Infamy, double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding the target provinces.
  • Subjugation
    This is another Casus Belli that is given by missions; in this case when the mission requires you to vassalize a country. Zero Infamy, double Prestige and half the peace cost for vassalization.
  • Religious Unity
    Given to the Emperor of the HRE when a country refuses his demand for Religious Conformance. Zero Infamy, double Prestige and half the peace cost for demanding religious conversion.
  • Reconquest
    This is the daddy of all Casus Bellis, active against any country that holds at least one of your core provinces. Zero Infamy, double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding core provinces.
  • Nationalism
    This is a late game Casus Belli that becomes available at government tech level 30. Itallows you to declare war on all countries with provinces of your culture group. Half Infamy, double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding those provinces.
  • Imperialism
    This is another late game Casus Belli, but rather than requiring a certain tech level, it is available for five government types; Revolutionary Empire, Revolutionary Republic, Enlightened Despotism, Republican Dictatorship, or Absolute Monarchy. It allows you declare war on anyone. Three quarters Infamy, and Peace Cost for annexations and demanding of all provinces.
  • Revolutionary War
    In the late game, monarchies and republics with the idea 'Revolution and Counter' get this Casus Belli against each other. Quarter Infamy and half the Peace Cost for annexations and demanding of all provinces.
  • Colonialism
    This becomes available against countries with distant overseas provinces bordering your own, but it requires the 'Quest for the New World' idea. Quarter Infamy and half the peace Cost for demanding those overseas provinces.
  • Restoration of Union
    When a Personal Union is broken, the old suzerain state gets this Casus Belli for ten years. It allows the restoration of the union in the peace treaty.
  • Liberation
    Countries with the 'Bill of Rights' national idea get this Casus Belli against nations that can release at least one state, or a vassal. Triple Prestige and half the Peace Cost for release of vassals and countries.
  • Holy War
    Muslims and Christians get this Casus Belli against countries of a different religion group, but it requires them to be neighbours, or that they have 'Unam Sanctam', 'Divine Supremacy', 'Empire' form of government, or are the Defender of the Faith. It is also given against the target of a Crusade. The Holy War Casus Belli is disabled after 1650. One quarter the Infamy, 50% more Prestige and half the Peace Cost for annexation and demanding of all provinces.
  • Cleansing of Heresy
    This is the 'Unam Sanctam' Casus Belli, given against countries of a different religion within the same religion group. It is also given against countries with the 'Heretic' modifier. One quarter the Infamy, double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding provinces of our religion or a forced conversion.
  • Border Friction
    This Casus Belli is sometimes triggered by a certain event, when a foreign National Focus is right on your border, and not in their capital. Half the Infamy and Peace Cost for demanding their provinces with the National Focus effect.
  • Excommunicated Ruler
    This is given to Catholics against excommunicated countries. One quarter the Infamy ---only in your own culture group, changed since beta April 2010---, 25% more Prestige and half the Peace Cost for all normal peace demand options.
  • Trade Dispute
    The Trade Dispute Casus Belli is active against countries that embargo you, and is also always active for Merchant Republics against each other. Double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding gold, revocation of cores or that the enemy joins our Trade League.
  • Imperial Ban
    Once the Holy Roman Emperor has passed the 'Reichsreform' HRE decision, he gets a Casus Belli against all countries with at least one province within the HRE, but who are not HRE members. 10% Infamy, double Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding the release of vassals, countries, or HRE provinces.
  • Violated Sphere of Influence
    This Casus Belli is given for 24 months against anyone who meddles with a country in your Sphere of Influence. Double the Prestige and half the Peace Cost for demanding the annulment of treaties, reduction of Sphere, or simply gold.
  • Dishonourable Scum
    Countries that exceed their Infamy limit will trigger this Casus Belli against them for all other countries. It allows for most peace options at a very reduced Infamy cost. One quarter Infamy and 75% Peace Cost for all normal peace demand options.
  • Colonial Conquest
    Countries of a religion that is designated as 'annexable', i.e. native tribes, can be attacked with this Casus Belli. 20% Infamy and half the Peace Cost for annexation and demanding of provinces, plus release of vassals, countries, reduction of Sphere, gold, and revocation of cores.
  • Obscure Documents
    This Casus Belli is triggered by 'Fabricate Claim' spy action, for 12 months. Allows the formation of a Personal Union in the peace.
  • Trade League War
    This Casus Belli is given to Merchant Republics when a member of their Trade League leaves. It allows them to demand gold, or a return to the League.

So if we want to start a war, we need to be sure to have CB against another country. If we really want, we can declare now on Morocco via the Holy War CB. We won't do that now however.

Castille was able to declare a Crusade, that's because they were the Papal Controller. I won't go into detail here about that, but that's why they can declare a crusade. It also means that they can excommunicate Catholics. Again, this will be explained later.

Now the benefits of a crusade are quite nice. If we would go to war, these are the benefits.
whatifcrusade.jpg


Those are very powerful bonuses. We don't need them yet. I just wanted to talk about a crusade.


Okay, do you remember our goals? One of them is to form the United Kingdom. If we want to do that, you can see in the National Decision tab of the Coat of Arms menu, we need some provinces from Scotland. Our current mission to vassilize them is not enough. Luckily for you, I know that there is Conquer Scotland mission available for England. With that, we gain the Conquest CB rather than the Subjugate CB. In order to gain that mission, we need to lower our relations with Scotland to below +50. Now we have a relation of +60, so it's time to send another insult! You can only do that on the 14th of November, as you can only use a diplomat once a month in every nation. Because we send out a diplomat on the 14th of October, we need to wait a month. Wait until you can send another diplomat to Scotland and give them a proper English insult about their blue faces! Make sure the relations are below +50 like in the screenshot.

3insult.jpg
3insultrelations.jpg



Okay, we now can cancel our current mission to vassilize Scotland. You can cancel the mission in the National Decisions tab of the Coat of Arms menu.
4cancelmission.jpg
5cancelledmission.jpg



As you can see, canceling a mission costs us a bit of prestige and can only be done once every 5 years. So whatever mission we get now, we'll get stuck with it whether we want it or not. We can only hope we will receive the Conquest Scotland mission! ---You may have noticed, I won't be telling you when you can pause and unpause anymore. Just take your time.---

Immediately the day after we cancelled our mission, we get a new one. I wonder what that one will be?
6newmission.jpg



Yay! I'm in luck today. What mission did you receive?
I'm happy with this mission as it provides free cores. ---Cores will be discussed after we've beaten down the Scots.---

Now our troops are slowly intercepting the rebels that popped up. We just need to wait until they get there. Then the battle will commence! Ah, it's time.
7yourfirstbattle.jpg


Naggy will be providing some very interesting reads about warfare and he's a much better EU3 scholar than I am. So for now, battles are divided into phases.
  • It starts with a fire phase. Fire is responsible for the number of deaths after we developed gunpowder. There simply isn't much fire coming out of a halberd now is there? :).
  • After fire, shock comes into play. Shock is in the early game very important for killing other soldiers. Once we've developed gunpowder, shock is beneficial for lowering enemy morale.
  • These phases follow each other up a number of times. Every battle must have at least 4 fire and shock 'rounds' before one can retreat his forces out of the battle. That is in 12 days, which means every land battle last at least 12 days before you can call the retreat. If no-one retreats, the battle is finished when someone's morale has dropped to zero or has no more forces.

Naggy will be explaining everything you see in that little battle screen. We just wait until the battle is over.

Okay, the battle is over! Who do you think has won?
8firstvictory.jpg



---The effects you see in different colors will be explained in the next chapter, the war against Scotland---
That's right, we've won! We killed a bunch of his army, but not enough. After each battle, the loser must retreat. If he can't, he will be annihilated at once. So where ever the enemy is going, we need to follow him. If we make sure we arrive there first, he will probably die in an instant. If you want to know where the enemy is going, simply hold your mouse above his army. You can see I did this too in this screenshot.
9inpursuit.jpg



Now let's see who won this time.
12deathrebels.jpg



We did! The rebels are destroyed. Darth Vader can learn from us :).

If we want to conquer the Scots, we need to recruit some more troops. 9k are not enough. We will increase our troops with 3 regiments of infantry and 3 regiments of cavalry. Now how do you recruit new men?
Click on the province of Cumbria and look for the button I've highlighted here.
11howtorecruit.jpg



Click on the highlighted button and make 3 cavalry units. Also make 3 infantry units in Northumberland. It should look a bit like this.
10cavalrymake.jpg



As you can see, the units are created after each other in one province. This means it takes longer before all the units are created. It's possible however to create several units in more provinces so an army is quicker raised.

Our 9k stack of troops should be enough to defeat the Scottish army, the units which we've recruited shall be needed to siege their provinces. Which means we don't need to wait for our reinforcements to declare war...

So let's quickly move to chapter nine: The War for Scotland.

Ho there, wait a second! I've got something special arranged just for you. Naggy, one of our experts on trading in EU3, is willing to write an article about trade and production! Now how cool is that? The article is an intermission, it has nothing to do with our game we're following, but provides a great insight in the 'hidden clockworks' of the game. So I urge you to read this special intermission: Trade and Production before going to chapter nine.
 
Last edited:

naggy

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[*]Excommunicated Ruler
This is given to Catholics against excommunicated countries. One quarter the Infamy, 25% more Prestige and half the Peace Cost for all normal peace demand options. ---Something changed in the latest beta, regarding culture. Can anyone freshen up my memory?---

25% infamy only for provinces in your culture group.

Also, an important note: Not all CB's that reduce costs for taking provinces also reduce cost of annexation (Holy War is a good example).
 

naggy

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Intermission - Trade and Production

Intermission
Trade and Production

Howdy! I'm naggy, and Rhadok has asked me to write the article on trade. In doing so, I'm also going to explain production, because the two are intertwined.

Now, I'm going to give the broad formulas behind how things are calculated - not to make you feel that you need to go crunch numbers to understand the economy (you don't), but so that you understand what effects the economy.

In EU3, the trade and production chain is this:

A province produces a good.
  • The amount it produces is based on population, and that amount is capped at 1 unit for overseas provinces.
  • The good that a province produces is based on the province's original resource (for provinces that are settled at game start), or an event chain based on the province's location (for colonies, or for slave-producing provinces when slavery is abolished).
  • The province will have a Trade Value based on the following formula: base price * # of units * (global demand/supply) * (local trade income modifiers + global trade income modifiers). Much of this is out of your hands, although you can influence trade income modifiers as time goes on with decisions, marketplaces increase trade values by 2, and several buildings provide large boosts to demand for colonial trade goods (spices, tea, tobacco, etc).
  • The province will have a production income based on the following formula: trade value * Production Efficiency (PE). At game start, England's PE is a paltry 20%, but as the game progresses, technology and decisions will improve this significantly.

Here in London, we see that London produces grain, a relatively low-price good. The price, as defined by global supply and demand is 3.1 (supply is much higher than demand at game start), and London produces 1.9 units due to her relatively high population for 1399. You'll notice that 3.1 * 1.9 certainly doesn't equal 8.3. So, mouse over the Trade Value, and you'll see that the trade value is increased by a marketplace (+2) (which normally requires much higher trade tech to build) and your prestige (+0.7%). ---This is a good illustration of one of the many areas of the game that having favorable Prestige will aid you!---

london.png


The province then trades their trade good in a Center of Trade (CoT). There are several factors that determine where a province trades:
  • who owns the CoT (preference goes to the province owner, countries in the same trade league, countries of the same culture/religion, and countries with good relations)
  • distance (preference for closer CoTs)
  • embargoes (a province will not trade in a CoT owned by a nation that its owner has embargoed).

On the Trade League map for England, you'll see that we trade in Lubeck due to our membership in the Hanseatic Trade League, despite Antwerpen being closer. If we build a CoT in London, our provinces will shift trade there. If we leave the trade league, we'll trade in Antwerpen (the grey on the trade map). Notice that above, I use the word "preference" - all factors are considered together, and since it's all under the covers, it's not clear how each criteria is weighted. Your provinces might trade in a rival's CoT, if your nearest CoT is far away, and theirs is next door. What is important is that you manage your CoT's so that as many of your provinces as possible trade in CoT's that you dominate with merchants (preferably, your own!).

trademap.png


Merchants are sent to the CoT by nations, which take a piece of the CoT's value home.
  • A CoT's value is calculated by adding up the trade value of all provinces that trade there. CoTs give their province a hefty tax and manpower boost based on the CoT value.
  • A merchant will bring back income based on the following formula: CoT Value * # of merchants/20 * Trade efficiency
  • If a nation has a monopoly (6 merchants), they get the income from all empty slots. Thus, if you have a monopoly in Lubeck, and only 5 other merchants are there, you get 15 slots of income!
  • A nation cannot send their merchant to a CoT whose owner has embargoed them, and their existing merchants there are likely to be out-competed. However, before you start embargoing the world, keep in mind that embargoes reduce your trade efficiency - use them surgically to cripple an enemy's trade.
  • When sending a merchant, the merchant placement chance is used if there is no monopoly and there are open slots. Once the CoT fills up, the compete chance is calculated, by comparing the two nations relevant statistics.

Here, from a screen shot taken before we sent merchants to Lubeck, we see how Compete Chance is calculated. Here, the only modifiers are our ruler's administrative rating, our stability, and our Trade Efficiency. Advisors, infamy, owning a CoT that isn't a core province, the number of merchants you have placed worldwide, and decisions can also affect our compete chance. Before sending a merchant to a CoT, check your compete chance against other nations - if it's consistently low, consider looking elsewhere to trade. Remember - your compete chance is not only your chance to displace that nation's merchant, but it also will determine the ability of other nations to displace your merchants!

---Your goal should be to trade in the largest CoT(s) where you have a favorable compete chance. If you prioritize trade technology and trade-related policies and decisions, you can dominate CoTs and gain a lot of wealth.---

compete.png


Trade is best understand as split between internal and external trade:
  • Internal trading is boosted by Mercantilism.
  • External trading is boosted by Free Trade, and is heavily crippled by owning a CoT that is not your core province, and by having infamy.
  • Conquerors should prioritize Mercantilism, since they will often have large penalties to trading abroad. Peaceful nations can become amazingly rich with Free Trade.
  • The Mercantilism slider enables more beneficial decisions and triggered modifiers (which are automatically applied if you meet the criteria - more later), but Free Trade enables more beneficial events, heavily increases the value of colonial goods, and can let you bring in far more income than your nation's size would otherwise allow.
  • Whichever choice you pick, you are best served by maxing out the slider.

As an idea of just how rich you can get via trade, here is a screenshot from a save game from where I was playing the Hansa - I loaded up as Mecklenburg to see how they got so rich:
h24meck.png


From the outliner on the top right, you can see that they have 62 merchants placed, and with a little bit of minting, the AI of a one province nation has amassed 5553 ducats while leading the world in technology after 115 years!
 
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Enewald

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Damn Mecklemburg...
No wonder the AI messes up everything by embargoing everyone. :p