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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Amric

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Hurricane Productions Presents: Anhalt, a Gameplay AAR!





I just can’t stand it anymore! I’ve had EU3 for a couple of months or so and have been waiting to finish my EU2 AAR. But since that has turned into the largest, and longest, story I’ve ever told I installed EU3 a few weeks ago. But I didn’t play it. Due to a domestic issue I separated from my wife for a couple of weeks. When I came back the manual and box were long gone. She’d thrown them away. So I finally get highspeed internet back and I patch to 1.3 and decide to play a German minor.

I do the tutorials. Every one of them. Why? Because without my manual I don’t know what I’m doing. I highly recommend them. It allows one to familiarize oneself with all the buttons and menus that the game has, and boy has it got a LOT of them! Now, I’m a vet of EU, and EU2, and I’ve played Victoria. So it is not all Greek to me. But there is a lot more that can be done than in good old EU2.

Now I’ve already played 30 years or so of the game. So these first parts are going to be from memory. I chose Anhalt because originally I had this concept of doing the whole Martin Luther and the Reformation, the religious wars that ensued and so forth. Which is a huge project. I already have one of those…So because this has been in my head and I HAD to write it or suffer more nights of sleep deprivation, this is going to be a game play AAR.

Since I generally tell stories, this is going to be a little bit different for me. Nalivayko told me a week or so ago that I am more of a writer than a gamer. Which is true, as far as it goes. But this can be a good learning experience for both you and me.

So here we go!

1453 is the starting year. I make sure the game is paused and take a look around. 1 k army. Check. Squat for manpower. Check. Saxony to my east and south east. Check. Brandenburg to my north. Pretty good sized, too. Got it. Hesse to my south. Okay. Hannover to my west. Check. My population seems to be a shade under 4500. Which I am hoping to God is the population of my capital. Or I am going to have a tougher time than I had anticipated.

Okay, time to look at my sliders. Government, Land, Naval, Trade, Production, etc. I push it far to the right for Government. I want my national idea, and I have to be Government level one to get it. Done with that. Go to my other sliders. You know the ones…Innovative-Narrowminded, stuff like that. Since I am small and will likely never have the manpower of larger nations I need an edge. What might that be? Quality, baby! I want it, and so I click it! I am now a hair more qualified for my troops than before. Well, one thing at a time.

I want a general. Why? Because I’ll take every advantage I can get to win battles. Am I looking for targets? Absolutely. Already have one picked out. Anyone who knows me knows I am an opportunist at heart. I am playing on the default normal settings. This IS my first game so I have no desire to be a masochist. Momma didn’t raise no fool!

Where was I? Oh, yeah. A general. I’m not all that rich, so it shouldn’t cost all that much. It doesn’t. Oddly enough, I got lucky. He has 1 star on shock. I’ll take it. Since my 1k is Latin Knights, this is a good thing. What to do next? I want more troops. But I don’t have 1,000 to make a new regiment. So I could do one of two things. Wait, or buy a mercenary unit of Latin Knights. Well I can’t.

Oops! It helps if I unpause the game. So I do. The days start winding past and I can buy a regiment. Which I do. I incorporate my two regiments into one army. Then I place my general in charge of them. Wow! I’ve got a lot of little dings going on and a whole pot load of little crowns appearing at the bottom of my screen. Let’s see what we have here?

A royal marriage with Saxony? You betcha! Brandenburg? Absolutely. Hesse? Not a chance. Hannover? Nope, not gonna do it. Mecklemburg? Of course I will. Geldre? Why not? Bavaria? Okay. Ah! An offer of alliance with Saxony! I’ll take it! I had planned on asking them to be my ally anyway, so this works out well for me. Mecklemburg asks me into an alliance as well. I can be in more than one alliance? Excellent! You couldn’t do that in EU2, so this is very good.

Now I can’t build any buildings yet. Nor can I do much of anything else until I gain more money and so forth. Oh! Advisors! I forgot about advisors! Let’s see what is available. Hm…..One for production. Another is a diplomat. Another is a diplomat. Another diplomat. Another diplomat. Getting the idea? Me too! I grab the production advisor. Why, when I don’t have any production to speak of? Because eventually I WILL, and I want that guy already in place. Plus it keeps anyone else from getting him. Diplomats seem to be a dime a dozen, but other than artists or trade advisors I haven’t seen any other production advisors. Granted I might have missed them in the early mad scramble for advisors of course. But I take the production guy.

So I wait for awhile. My manpower rises ever so slowly. Finally! I reach government level one! First national idea time! I go with the one that is mandatory conscription. Everyone must serve. Why? Because it increases my manpower base pool. Which again, I am tiny and since I went with quality this is going to help me.

Hey! I can recruit a regiment! So I do. Men at arms this time. It takes what seems forever to get them. But I do, finally. I incorporate them into what I am lovingly calling my 1st Army. Even though that is the default name for them I like to think I will have many more armies in time. What to do? Let me see……Oh, I know, Declare war!

Wait! On whom? Hannover! Why? Believe it or not, they have no allies! How this is, I don’t know. I don’t care. I had thought to go after Hesse, but they have an alliance with Burgundy. I do NOT want to be involved there. Nope. Not gonna do it. You can’t make me. So I declare war on Hannover. Yes, I take a stability hit. But I am a one province nation. I’ll get it back soon enough. Saxony and Mecklenburg join. Apparently there is no mechanism to decline asking your allies for help. Oh well.

I move my 3k troops into Hannover. A fierce battle ensues. Which seems to take days. Saxony had apparently sent their troops a split second after I did, for their army arrives moments<or so it seems> after I do. Hannover’s paltry forces are crushed. They had no general. More fools, they! I settle in for a siege. As it progresses there are some interesting little things that happen. They experience a food shortage. Then a water shortage. Of course this takes quite a while to happen. But there is no point to blathering on about a boring siege.

Finally the city falls. Hannover has been asking for a white peace numerous times. They asked for peace in exchange for about 10 ducats. I don’t think so. What do I do? I annex them of course. Yippee! Now I am a measly two province minor! Fantastic! I’ve taken Anhalt and I have doubled it’s size. Well, on the map Hannover is bigger. It has a higher population as well. So in reality I have nearly tripled it, at least in terms of population. For it shows Hannover at almost 15k to my nearly 4500. So all in all, this is a good thing. So I will get a little bit more in tax revenue. Of course it is a different culture and there is the revolt risk so I won’t be getting as much as I’d like, but it is definitely more than just what I was getting with Anhalt. All in all, I am pleased with my results.
 

Storey

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Nice going Amric. :cool: A few points of advice. Don't hesitate to hire mercenaries if things get serious, they can make the difference in a small country surviving. And don't worry about minting money. Inflation can be handled later with National bank. Yes you can't select if your allies join so always be ready to get to your target before they do. Also when playing a minor I make my king a general which if he's got a good military rating can turn out to be very worthwhile. ;)

Joe
 

unmerged(9046)

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Your first war was only against a size 1 nation (OK, it is bigger then you but still). Where is the agressive Amric of the past?

Nice start. Now your goal is to double in size every war...
 

Amric

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Sr. Toledo - Yeah, I kept thinking if I didn't start it soon, someone would do it and then yet another of my ideas would go up in smoke....:)

King of Sand - Good to see you again, KoS! I'll try to be somewhat entertaining....:)

Cohort - Good to have you aboard!

Storey - Thanks. I also just couldn't let you have all the fun! :) I'm never afraid to mint or use mercs....But I absolutely wanted that national idea as soon as possible. Next thing will be different. I kind of figured that about the allies...In fact, later on I found out the hard way, as it were....

Stroph1 - Even the aggressive need to start somewhere!!:) Don't worry, the Amric of old comes out fairly soon. And as a matter of fact, I DO increase in size for my next war....Double in size for every war? I sure didn't do that so far....some wars I increased, but in others I got dragged into them....And got out of them relatively quickly....but that will be further expounded upon in future updates. BTW, when are you going to write another AAR?
 

unmerged(58610)

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You annexed Hannover. Congratulations, you have just altered British history.

You seem to have got carried away in your celebrations. You said you took Anhalt. Silly me! I thought you were Anhalt. Perhaps yoou have an overly ambitious mercenary general.

Who are your advisors?
 

Grundius

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Nice start! Subscribed.
 

Zoor

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*subscribes* Good luck!
 

Amric

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Chief Ragusa - I don't remember the Production guy's name right off hand...He's the only one I have right now...When I said I took Anhalt, I said I have taken Anhalt and made it bigger, to paraphrase myself...

Grundius - Thanks. I will try to keep up the good works of Anhalt....

Jan Skrzetuski - Thanks. Hopefully I'll do okay. So far I have, but then later on you'll see I get myself in a slight spot of trouble...
 

unmerged(58610)

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So you did. I hope Anhalt will soon have more provinces and grow to the major power status it undoubtedly aspires to and deserves.

And that you're able to recruit a couple more who will have a good impact on your progress in the various techs.
 

Amric

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Chief Ragusa - Thanks. It's a pretty good bet that I will increase the size of my tiny nation. Either that or go down in flames with everyone marching into my capital to put my head on a pike.

Stroph1 - It's not a mouse. You aren't a cat....stop toying and start writing!:)
 

Amric

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All right. First war completed successfully. What to do next? Stroph, I am NOT going to go back to war immediately. I do mostly try to plan my wars carefully. I like winning. I like to wait for the perfect time to strike and then pounce like a starving tiger. Ah! My sliders! I have already gotten government 1. So I need to readjust them. Let me see. What to do. What to do…..Such a difficult decision.

Who am I trying to kid? I balance production and land as well as minting some money for myself. My stability continues to rise in spite of the paltry amount going into it. The joys of being small means it takes less to get back to a +3 rating. Tech costs are lower as well. How I pity major powers….As time goes on I will begin to quickly outstrip them in tech.

Merchants! I need to find my CoT. What a surprise, it’s in Mecklemburg. No problem. I click on the button for trade map. Then I click on the correct province. Where the CoT is….and I get the province information window. What the bloody…Now I realize I have NOT gone through every tutorial after all. I missed the trade one. In my defense, I had small children pestering me wanting to be fed. You do NOT let 3 small children under 10 fix their own food. Who am I kidding? I don’t let them make their own snacks! Why? Because my kitchen would look like a category 5 tornado went berserk. Not pretty. Okay, kinder were fed. But I had missed going through that tutorial. I do not want to save and quit just to go through one measly tutorial. Surely I can figure it out.

I think about it. I look around. I finally realize there is a button called Lubeck in that box. Right below where it says what kind of trade good the province produces. So I’m an idiot. I click it and up pops the appropriate window. A small icon showing a goofy hat wearing guy is what I click to send a merchant. I click it and what do you know? Another icon shows up that shows that I am sending a merchant. I do it again. Lo and behold another shows up. Now I have two merchants queued up. So two merchants are hustling to Lubeck to trade. So I close that window and look around.

Hm. Lunefeld is a bit north and east of Hannover. Lippe is to the west. Hesse is still right where it’s always been. I need more cannon….erm, highly paid professional soldiers. I can recruit a regiment. So I do. I leave it in Anhalt. Since it is still building I guess I have little choice, eh? I select the finest band of mercenaries around. Since the Free Company is fictional I have to use what the game provides. I take 2 regiments and put them together for the glorious 2nd army. I add the recruited regiment as soon as it is done. I now have an astounding 6,000 men in two armies!

I keep hearing about reinforcements one can get for regiments that have lost troops. I’ll have to look into that and how it is done. Unless it is automatic. The tutorial didn’t go into it. Oh well, onward and forward! I hire another General. Why? Because it took me about 30 years of game time to realize I could use my king as a general. D’oh! Yes, I had advice from my first installment to use him. But again, I’ve played some years ahead and it was a bit late… Use your monarch you dolt! Words to remember.

So….do I wait a couple of years for my revolt risk in Hannover to lower a mite, or do I scream Yippeekiyay and go nuts? Well loud shouts from daddy tend to scare my children and piss off the wife. So that option is out. Plan B…Whisper “time to die, scumbag’! Nope. Gonna wait. Must resist urge to declare war on someone. My hand twitches on the trackball.

I start clicking random countries to see what is going on in the hope it might distract me. France. Boring. Portugal. Hm…they lost Algarve and now are split asunder by Castile. Burgundy owns Calais. Norway and Denmark are deeply in love. Gotland is an independent country? Somehow this seems oh so wrong. Ireland…the land of one province ‘nations’. Scotland seems to have lost a couple of provinces to England. I can see ships passing by Bremen.

I want a harbor! I want adorable ships to float around so I can pound some other nation’s navy into soggy splinters. Well I am not close to the coast yet…There is still Hesse. Lippe and Lunefeld. All three look tasty. All, oddly enough allied to each other. Saxony has allied to Mecklemburg as well. So things are peachy.

I go and click on my target. I go back and get one more regiment of mercs. I add them to my second army. I move that army into Hannover. Helps if I am fully prepared. I click Lippe once more and just before I click declare war it grays out. Hey! What happened here! That little ding that announces that I have a ‘message’ from Mecklemburg. They declared war on Lunefeld. I honor the call to arms. I rush my 2nd army into Lippe.

I send my 1st army into Lunefeld. Their army is marching gleefully to Hamburg. How do I know? Because if you hover over an army it will tell you it’s strength and exactly WHERE it is going and WHEN it will get there! Who needs spies? Or CNN or Fox News? Not I! I have the handy dandy mouse pointer. It knows all, sees all.

My 2nd army in Lippe kicks butt and doesn’t take names. A battle I miss because I was gleefully watching 1st army besiege Lunefeld. Hesse marched into Hannover and marched right back to Hesse when Saxony invaded. Saxony sent another army into the province to the west of Hesse that Hesse now owns. When did that happen? I missed it. Oh well. Not my problem.

Hesse and Saxony duke it out. Saxony loses in Hesse province. Hesse invade Saxony. Get booted out by yet another Saxon army, which marches behind the Hessians and spank them in Hesse. The Hessians go back into Saxony where the Saxons spend a couple of years chasing them. Lippe finally falls. They offered white peace right up to the end. I smirk and annex them. I send the 2nd army to Hesse province. The Saxons are besieging that mystery second province.

I get numerous offers from Lunefeld for a white peace. I laugh and refuse. They finally offer a paltry 2 ducats when their capital falls. I gleefully annex them as well. Saxony has captured that mystery province. It’s not really a mystery. I just can’t remember the name off the top of my head and I’m too lazy to go into the game and look right now.

I finally capture Hesse. Hesse offered nothing. Not a single ducat. Saxony got the mystery province and I made Hesse into a vassal! I’d like to try and diploannex them. It’s not something I’ve been all that successful in doing, but I’d like to give it a shot. New game, new attempts at peaceful acquisition. Don’t look at me that way. It could happen!

So once again I doubled the size of my nation. Somehow, even though years of game time have passed before I started writing this tale, Stroph1 predicted that I would double the size of my nation with each war. Such prophetic words are kind of spooky. Do you have a spy in my house, Stroph? Do I need my own personal counter intelligence service?:)
 

merrick

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Amric said:
Must resist urge to declare war on someone. My hand twitches on the trackball.
Why resist? You know you want to .... :D

Gotland is an independent country? Somehow this seems oh so wrong.
Wait until they become the trader-kings of Europe with a higher income than France...

This looks like it will be quick, bloody, and fun.
 

unmerged(9046)

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Stroph1 - It's not a mouse. You aren't a cat....stop toying and start writing!

Actually, my son did something to my new computer and the CD drive doesn't work and I am trying to get it to work again.
 

CatKnight

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And the hurricane comes to EU3! Looks like you're having alot of fun, Amric!

:looks at his own copy sitting forlornly to one side: Maybe someday I'll have the puter to join you :)

So lessee....war 1: Start at 1 province, end at 2.
War 2: Start at 2, end at 4.

War 3: Start at 4, End at 8?? :)