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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

bleakie

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I have just started a new Ottoman game, aiming at getting the "Definitely the Sultan of Rum" achievement.
After starting the game for 10 years, I found a unique opportunity that would allow me to step into the affairs of western Europe.



So I decided to attempt a world conquest.
It may fail miserably, but there will be much fun trying it.
By the way, this is my first AAR, so I will start with an easier style, which is to go game-play oriented.
This is 1456. War is raging on in Morocco. Here we go.



Campaign plan

When I started this game, I was not going for WC. Therefore, western Europe was not part of the plan.
At game start, I had 2 medium term goals.
The first goal was to unify southern Balkans and Anatolia, for a solid power base.
And the second goal was to annex the Mamluks, for the ability to fight in 2 fronts.
The reason for my choice is that I think playing defensive is a better approach with the 1.2 changes.

With the 1456 circumstances and WC as my new goal, my plan actually does not differ too much.
I just need to add a third goal: kill the colonizers.
It means annexing Portugal, British Isles, most of Castile, and the western half of France.
Taking so much land in Europe takes time, so I need to prioritize.
Portugal is definitely the first, and I will place Castile as second, England as third, and France as the last.
This arrangement is to minimize the risk of two or more of the early colonizers jumping on me, which I may not be able to overcome.

Central Europe, the Steppes and Persia have to wait, because my hands will be full with the early colonizers to handle.
I will only be able to open new fronts when I fully integrate Egypt and Syria.
New plans will be made when I achieve that.


Modified objectives after reaching 1653

WC seems to be beyond my reach by 1653. To keeps things interesting, I have modified the game objective from the simple world conquest to the following.

Primary objective: To minimize the number of provinces held by others. The target is tentatively set at 150.

Secondary objectives, with ascending order of difficulty:

1. The "Definitely the Sultan of Rum" achievement.
2. Dissolution of HRE.
3. The "Unify Islam" decision.
4. Ownership of every Muslim province.
5. Conquest of everything outside Europe.
6. Ownership of 1000 provinces.
7. Conquest of everything non-German.


Table of content​
Chapter 0: What happened before 1456 (1444-56)
Chapter 1: The Moroccan War (1456-59)
Chapter 2: Egypt, Iberia and Venice (1459-72)
Chapter 3: War for Syria, and the Second Iberian War (1472-79)
Chapter 4: Tying up the Loose Threads (1479-92)
Chapter 5: Crossroads (Strategy review, 1492-96)
Chapter 6: The Road to the East (1496-1502)
Chapter 7: A Throne, a Grand Alliance and a Coalition (1502-11)
Chapter 8: Grinding through the Routine (1511-23)
Chapter 9: Dawn of Colonialism, a Key to the North, and a Chaotic Regency (1523-36)
Chapter 10: A New Level of Intensity (1536-48)

Chapter 11: The Timurid War, and a Centennial Report (1548-52, Country report)
Chapter 12: A Round of Old Enemies, and the Collision of Two Worlds (Strategy update, 1552-58)
Chapter 13: The Muscovite War (1558-64)
Chapter 14: Internal Problems, Wars of Containment, and a Fresh Wave of Expansion (1564-81)
Chapter 15: A Modified Plan, and the Last Years of Ibrahim I (Strategy update, 1581-89)
Chapter 16: Following the Trail, and Blasting the Blob (1589-1602)
Chapter 17: The Ottoman Empire in 1602 (Country report)
Chapter 18: Westernization (1602-14)
Chapter 19: Marching towards a Golden Age (1614-27)
Chapter 20: A Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire (Part 1) (1627-40)

Chapter 21: A Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire (Part 2) (1640-53)
Chapter 22: The Ottoman Empire in 1653 (Country report)
Chapter 23: The Last Years of the Golden Age, and a Succession Crisis (1653-65)
Chapter 24: The Long Regency (1665-80)
Chapter 25: A Decade of Actions, and the Fall of an Empire (1680-92)
Chapter 26: Managing Operations (1692-1706)
Chapter 27: The Ottoman Empire in 1706 (Country report)
Chapter 28: The Operations in the 18th Century (Part 1) (RotW, 1706-1812, partial)
Chapter 29: The Operations in the 18th Century (Part 2) (RotW, 1706-1812, partial)
Chapter 30: The Schemes in Europe from 1706 to 1750 (Europe, 1706-50)

Chapter 31: The Ottoman Empire in 1750 (Country report)
Chapter 32: Scavenging the Borders (Europe, 1750-82)
Chapter 33: The Final Cleanup (Part 1) (1782-1812, partial)
Chapter 34: The Final Cleanup (Part 2) (1782-1812, partial)​

Note: This campaign was played with version 1.2 and 1.3 (up to 1.3.2).

Edit: Since the game has been updated to 1.9 (and I am too lazy), the proposed strategy discussion (for the game played in version 1.5) is canceled. I apologize for that. Placed the announcement here to avoid necroing.
 
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birincikalite

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I think you should just get Religious then Holy War all the way to Iberia, meanwhile PU muslims .
Well going the other way around works too of course.
 

bleakie

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Chapter 0: What happened before 1456

I have always wanted to write an AAR, but the release of 1.2 the new mechanics have shaken me.
When I started this new ironman Ottoman game, I decided to go conservative and focus on my neighborhood.

My opening move (after initiating the siege of Albania) was to declare war on Candar and Karaman, who did not have allies.
Byzantium formed an alliance with Serbia, so I picked the mission to conquer Constantinople and used the conquest CB on them.
It is to prevent more alliances from complicating the matters.
Serbia dishonoured the call of arms, so Byzantium stood alone in a war against me (Athens is too weak to be counted).
The provinces of my targets fell one by one. I annexed Albania, Candar and Karaman.
I took Constantinople and vassalized the Byzantines, hoping that Greek rebels would defect to them.
With the Byzantines under vassalage, their vassal Athens broke free.
Dulkadir was isolated, most likely due to its central location in Eastern Anatolia. I grabbed the opportunity and annexed them.

During all these conquests, I built 2 heavy ships, and lots of galleys and cogs. A strong navy will soon be important.
An event gave my claims on the Genoese lands in the black sea, but Crimea conquered them before I can act.
In the western frontier, Bosnia annexed Serbia after a short war. I would just leave them be at the moment.

My eyes were now fixed on the Mamluks. I took the "Conquer Levant" mission to get free claims on the Syrian and Palestinian provinces of the Mamluks.
I allied Hedjaz, hoping that they will not help the Mamluks in my war against them.
Then it's war time with the Mamluks! War goal was to seize Judea.
Only Aq Qoyunlu joined their side.

I started by laying a carpet of sieges on Aq Qoyunlu and signing a white peace with them with the "occupied and besieged province" bonus.
I hired 6 mercenary regiments, waited for the Mamluks to come to me (I could see their armies because I blockaded their Mediterranean ports).
2 quick stack-wipes followed.

With most of the Mamluk army wiped, I spread my army to siege Syrian provinces. I didn't have enough armies to carpet siege, so I needed to pick my targets. I left half a stack to kill any emerging regiments in Egypt.

After 2 years or so, I secured a 70% warscore. I took Judea, Negev, Hawran, ducats, and half of their trade power.
With the 2 truces, Ramazan became isolated, so I seized the chance and annexed them.
My plan was to recover the manpower and crush the Mamluks again after the truce ended.

Then I saw that Portugal declared on Morocco for Tangiers. Castile and Aragon joined.
I improved my relation with Morocco, and pressed the "Enforce Peace" button after reaching 100 relation.
Portugal naturally refused, and now I led the war against them.

I acquired military access and fleet basing rights from Algiers, and sent 20k troops to Algiers.
The Christians just crushed the Moroccan forces, and were spreading to siege the provinces.
That's why I could initiate many 17k vs 10k battles and cleared the 40k Christian troops in Morocco.
This brought me to the starting screenshot.
 
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bleakie

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Chapter 1: The Moroccan War

The beginning screenshot shows the scene where I just cleared the 40k troops the Iberians have loaded on Morocco.
I am sorry that I did not keep screenshots, but the climax of the war was already over.
The massive casualties of the Iberians shook their faith in the war.
In particular, Castile is no longer interested in the war. I sign a white peace with Castile in March.

The next step is to peace out Aragon. To do this, I need to occupy some of their islands, or retake occupied provinces in Morocco.



I have no problem traversing the seas with my fleet because the enemies' fleets have problem co-ordinating their moves.
This is one episode of strange AI naval movement which I took advantage to.



While the sieges of Aragonese holdings are in progress, some of my armies are idle. Time to besiege some Portugese lands.



This is the last of a series of successful sieges that makes Aragon agree to a white peace.





Now only Portugal remains.
A natural next step is to have a carpet siege.



Their annexation cost is about 270%, I will need at least 4 wars to vassalize them.
With the BB concern, I cannot take too much land at once.
I decide to take 2 provinces only, Madeira and Porto, along with breaking the alliances with England and Castile.



Now, with the access to western Europe, I have a chance to stop the colonization of the major colonizers. But this will wait.
Hedjaz have jumped on the Mamluks and seized 2 Syrian provinces, causing my "Conquer Levant" mission to fail.
So I picked up "Conquer Egypt" instead.



Time to strike...
 
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bleakie

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I think you should just get Religious then Holy War all the way to Iberia, meanwhile PU muslims .
Well going the other way around works too of course.
Thanks for commenting. I have already taken the religious idea group and the first religious idea, so the next wars will be fought with Holy War CB. For any WC attempt, stopping colonization is essential because you don't want to take the coring cost or the overextension of the 200 colonies after 200 years. That's why taking a province from Portugal is so important.
 

might

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Is the waiting strategy viable when trying to vassalize Portugal (occupying province for 5years I think, and then the annexing cost drops)

How are you going to go about personal unions, they seem too random for a WC
 

bleakie

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Is the waiting strategy viable when trying to vassalize Portugal (occupying province for 5years I think, and then the annexing cost drops)
Short answer: No.
Long answer: You get the war exhaustion penalty for not seeking a peace despite winning the war if you let the war last for more than 6 years. If you want a significant warscore reduction (like 20% or more), you will probably have max war exhaustion. Which gives +20RR and probably halves the income. I am not good enough to survive that.
Even if the warscore is something like 105%, taking one more province and waiting for 5 more years seems to be a better solution.
How are you going to go about personal unions, they seem too random for a WC
I only got 4 diplomatic relations, and I am not planning to grab diplomatic or expansion early, because I need exploration to ensure that no one else colonize. I have a RM with Crimea, but I do not expect getting PUs in the next few decades.
On the other hand, diplo-vassalization becomes much easier if you know what you are doing. I will focus my diplomatic game on vassals rather than PUs.
 

bleakie

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Chapter 2: Egypt, Iberia and Venice

Before waging another war with the Mamluks, I need to transport my troops from Iberia to Syria.
While I am doing this, a favourable defection happened.



First payoff for keeping the Byzantines as vassal.



This event gives me mixed feelings.
While I welcome the free stability, losing piety is not the thing that I want now, especially I am converting some high base tax provinces.
By the way, the alternative is to gain 25 piety and lose 1 stability.
Let's turn back to the Mamluks. With claims over all of Egypt, I used the Conquest CB and set Rashid (the province with Nile Estuary bonus) as the war target.
Aq Qoyunlu and Tunisia joined the Mamluks.



This battle ends in 2 days. While I am happy with the outcome, it is another example of how unbalanced early warfare has become.



This is the battle that destroys the remnant of the Mamluk Mediterranean fleet.
At the beginning of the first war, their fleet was almost equal to mine. This is a milestone of my long journey.



99% for 4 provinces, including Rashid and Alexandria. The Mamluks will no longer be a significant threat to me.
My next target is to seize 2-3 more provinces from Portugal. So I spend 2 years to gather a 40k force in Porto.
Meanwhile, Castile inherits Brittany without going through the PU stage. It gives Castile more resources, but will make France more hostile towards them.





My 5-5-6 starting ruler dies, followed by a 2-0-3. At least he has 2 admin, if he is 0 admin I will find a very difficult time.
Soon after the truce ends, Portugal, Castile and Aragon form a triple alliance. I hope that one of the links will break when I declare war.



No luck here. The numbers do not look good on paper, but I am sure that I can defeat the enemies in detail.
The decisive battles and the overseas possessions of the Iberians are not a good combination.
My plan works out well, except this:



This battle puts an end to the dream of getting a high-end peace offer. At least my warscore from battles is high enough to give a decent peace.
But I need to fight more if I want to achieve the purpose of this war: to snatch at least 2 more provinces from Portugal.
I just need to do 2 more things. The first thing is to peace out Aragon.
To achieve this, I besiege all the Aragonese provinces in Iberia and blockade all the coastal provinces of Aragon.
This is tricky because a Castillian stack is still alive and my armies are too depleted to fight.
But at the end, Aragon accepts my concession of defeat. Mission accomplished.
It is very close, because 6 Aragonese regiments have landed on Istanbul and laid siege. Defeating them will require hiring mercenaries, which is very expensive.

The rest is to occupy the provinces I want to get. With my armies slightly reinvigorated and consolidated, I smashed the remaining Castilian stack.
Then I can lay siege on the target Portugese provinces.



The war objective is achieved, but my manpower is depleted and my armies are close to shattering. Time to rest and recover.
But wait...Venice is diplomatically isolated, and my fleet can prevent Venetian troops from leaving the Adriatic Sea. What an opportunity!



I want 4 provinces from Venice, but their warscore total exceed 100%.
In addition, I do not want to fight any battles (to conserve manpower), so I will not touch the Italian provinces.
Taking 4 outlying provinces and blockading the rest gives ~60% warscore, enough for Crete and Cyprus.
I can wait a bit longer for Naxos, but since I have to fight 2 wars anyway, I decide to end the war early.



By now, the truce with the Mamluks is over.
Even though my manpower has not recovered yet, my 30k armies should be more than enough for another round...
 
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Why attack The Mamluks instead of say Serbia, dont you want to finish christianity before 1650
 

Nzill

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Why attack The Mamluks instead of say Serbia, dont you want to finish christianity before 1650
I think they changed the religious CB to last beyond 1650. Might be wrong, but I do believe I read that.

Also, interresting AAR!
 

Seelmeister

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That is some very careful management of your weakened troops, you are really trying to squeeze everything you can from each unit of manpower! A promising start, with both the Near East and Iberia guaranteed to keep you busy. Good luck!
 

bleakie

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Why attack The Mamluks instead of say Serbia, dont you want to finish christianity before 1650
2 reasons: Holy War is 75% AE, and is usable after 1650.

I think they changed the religious CB to last beyond 1650. Might be wrong, but I do believe I read that.

Also, interresting AAR!
That is some very careful management of your weakened troops, you are really trying to squeeze everything you can from each unit of manpower! A promising start, with both the Near East and Iberia guaranteed to keep you busy. Good luck!
Thanks for the compliments. I am making steady progress, hopefully I can block colonization before the colonizers take off. Portugal and Castile have picked exploration as their first idea group, so I have to act fast. For the manpower problem, the integration of Egypt and Syria is my medium term solution, but in short term the only solution is to limit the number of meat-grinders to one, and hope for the best.
 

bleakie

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Chapter 3: War for Syria, and the Second Iberian War

I declare war on the Mamluks, using the cheap colonialism CB. Aq Qoyunlu and Tunisia join the Mamluks, as usual.


The Mamluks never recovered from the loss of the last war, as they should.
I took half of their non-colony base taxes, and all the vital trade provinces last time, they should feel the difference.
It is a cakewalk, just that winning sieges take time.
A few years later...


I grab all adjacent provinces in Syria, and 2 provinces in Egypt.
This is the best I can think of without antagonising the neighbours too much.
It is fortunate that no one joins the anti-Ottoman coalition after this war.
(At the moment, only the Mamluks is in the coalition against me, which means the anti-Ottoman coalition is practically inactive)
Releasing Syria as my new vassal also helps a bit. Plus I can save a significant amount of admin points.


The only downside besides the diplomatic relation slot is that my African provinces will remain as colonies until I re-annex Syria.


My admin points are not growing fast enough. The inquisitor will help me reach admin 7 faster, and convert some high base tax provinces.


With the new inflation mechanic, this event has almost become a no-brainer.
0.5 inflation is just 18.75 admin points, trading it for 40 diplo points is a very good bargain.
By the way, the ultimate no-brainer should be the "Improvements in Production Technology" event, with obvious reasons.


Castile joins Aragon, while Savoy, Lithuania and a bunch of minors joins Naples. Portugal is not invited, perhaps due to their reluctance to join the war.
This is a godsend. Soon I will have another round with the Iberian triple, a distraction is the best gift I can hope for (maybe except a French-Iberian War).


This injection of manpower is another gift from the RNG god. With 41k troops in Iberia, it's the time to strike!
Since Portugal is allied with England, I cannot declare war on them directly. Instead, I choose to declare on Castile.
Portugal, Aragon and Provence joins Castile. Granada do not want to join me, so I do not force her to join.


The opening battle does not go well for me, but I still have local superiority thanks to the diversion of Naples.
I split my army into two, and use them to hunt the smaller stacks for a while.
I try to get a favourable battle with the 20k Castilian main stack, but I cannot get the battle unless I attack in a mountainous province.
This is how I wasted months marching and counter-marching. This cannot continue.
So I switch my strategy. I start 3 sieges in Portugal, and use a large stack to guard them.


After a few trials and errors, I set up this hammer and anvil, finally luring the Castilian stack to battle.
The result is stunning.


With this important victory, I can spread my sieges, even sending a small army to siege the Canaries.

In the seas, I manage to defeat the Castilian-Portugese fleet several times, and captured a few big ships.
In the next war, their fleet will not be a threat, unless someone else intervened (England in mind).
But dominating the Atlantic means scarificing the home waters, which are under the blockade of the Aragonese fleet.
At least their troops are tied in Italy and Iberia, so my home provinces should be safe.
In fact, Naples and her allies is causing so much trouble to Aragon that I am able to sign a seperate white peace with Aragon in the final stages of the war.

With most of Portugal and the Canaries occupied, now I can sign a favourable peace, gaining Braganca, Beira and the Canaries, and breaking the Iberian trio.


I achieved 2 important objectives in this war: vassalization cost for Portugal is now below 100%, and Castile will not reach Cape Verde before I grab it.
Castile breaks their alliance with Portugal after the war, probably because of her weakness after the war.

With the truce in effect for 5 years, it is time to turn my attention to the east.
Venice and the Mamluks lack capable protectors, and they will have to accept the consequences...
 
Last edited:

bleakie

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Chapter 4: Tying up the Loose Threads



When I am transporting troops to the right places, this event happens.
+10% infantry combat ability is a valuable bonus, with easier battles come less casualties and more manpower.
The other choices give a reduction of galley cost. I am slowly replacing my galleys with early carracks, so lower galley cost is not a big help.

The wars with Venice and the Mamluks are easy.
Venice manages to pull OPMs Genoa and Modena to the war, while the Mamluks have Tunisia and Aq Qoyunlu as lieutenants.
These weak alliances are too weak to pose a threat to me.
With both wars starting in early 1481, favourable peaces are signed after a little more than a year.




Venice gives Corfu and Naxos to my vassal Byzantium, while the Mamluks hand over the rest of Syria and 3 more Egyptian provinces.
With the territorial changes, Venice is ousted from Greek lands, and the Mamluks is one war from annexation.

Have you noticed that Athens and Trebizond is staying around for a bit too long? Now it's the time to change that.



They are immediately sold to Byzantium because they already have cores in Athens and Trebizond.
With the last of the Byzantine cores claimed I start the annexation of the Greek state.
(In fact the process was started a few years earlier, and I was unaware that vassals do not accept provinces when being annexed. I restart the process because of that)

My next move is to have another round of Iberia.
Castile reforged their alliance with Portugal when I was busy cleaning up the east.
That means I can get Portugal into war by declaring on Castile, without triggering the response of England. Not a bad thing at all.
Ideally I can vassalize Portugal, but I have no way to reach the Azores, since I need 500 more admin points to get admin tech 7 and the second idea group.
I will have to settle for something else this time.

When I am ready to declare war on Castile, I find that their manpower pool is drained, and their troops decimated.
I have to thank France for doing this favor for me.
This makes my work incredibly easy.



Without a way to reach the Azores, I cannot find a way to vassalize Portugal in this war.
The warscore against Portugal is not high enough, while they refuse Castile to negotiate for them before Castile will give Portugal away.
So I have to accept taking Galicia as the consolation price.



But even that has a consequence. Castile finally decides that joining the coalition against me is a good idea.
Now they stand between me and the Mamluks.
When I declare war on Castile for the last provinces, Castile becomes war leader.
I need to make some extra effort, but my goal is achieved without too much troubles.



During this war, I experience a few noticeable events.
Firstly, the "Veneto-Turkish Conflict" DHE fires, which makes me choose between decreasing relation with Venice by 100, and ceding Alexandria to Venice as compensation.
Naturally, I refuse to give up my land, and Venice may fight me for no strategic benefit in the coming decades.
Secondly, my 2-0-3 ruler dies, replaced by a 1-4-1. It is not bad at all.
Because soon I will need to fill the diplomatic idea groups and staying afloat in diplomatic tech at the same time.
Thirdly, the Iberian Wedding fires, making Aragon the junior partner of Castile.
Aragon does not join the war this time, but will do so for the next few wars, at least until the union breaks after another generation.

After the war, I take a few years of peace, refilling my manpower and racing to admin tech 7.
In the peace period, a defection surprised me:



The Byzantine peasants decide that the Pope is a better lord than the vassal Emperor.
My immediate thought is to fabricate a claim on Cyprus, fight the Papal States and give Cyprus back to the Byzantines before annexation is complete.
But I soon find that the Papal States are guaranteed by Milan, who is an ally of France.
With a big war ahead, I choose to give up Cyprus at the moment, and wait for a better opportunity.

In early 1492, I finally get admin tech 7 and unlock the exploration idea group with the first 2 exploration ideas.
As a bonus, with 3 ideas unlocked, the first Ottoman NI is also unlocked, giving me +3 tolerance to heathens and +33% religious unity.
This is a screenshot that shows my selection of ideas.



I can finally reach the Azores. Time to subjugate Portugal once and for all.



England joins Portugal, and Castile does not join because the truce is still in effect.
The vassalization of Portugal is a certainty, but how should I deal with England?

I can choose to:
1) Leave them alone, and focus on Castile in the next couple of decades.
2) Take one province from England, so that I can use Holy War CB on them in the future.
3) Dismantle England as much as possible, while staying out of the British Isles.
4) Dismantle England as much as possible, and steadily consume the British Isles.

Which is is best option? Time to think carefully.
 
Last edited:

Grundius

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Great AAR, will be following to see if you pull this off! Good luck.

I would dismantle England to keep AE in that region low. You do not want to fight France yet, or do you? Or does AE in England not affect France?
 

bleakie

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Great AAR, will be following to see if you pull this off! Good luck.

I would dismantle England to keep AE in that region low. You do not want to fight France yet, or do you? Or does AE in England not affect France?
Thanks for the support. The AE generated in Iberia and the British Isles does affect France, and I am using the AE of France towards me as a measure of whether I can take more provinces in western Europe. At the current stage, fighting France brings me no benefit at all, so I will not do it for the next few decades.

And for the England question, my logic on AE is somehow different from yours. I will explain it in the coming chapter.
 

bleakie

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Chapter 5: Crossroads

In the last 35 years, the overall direction of the game was clear.
Smash the Iberians, take 2 provinces, transport troops to the East, smash the Mamluks, take a slice, transport troops to the West, repeat.
With Portugal one war from vassalization and the Mamluks annexed, I need to find new directions.

Firstly, there is western Europe.
Castile is the only member of the anti-Ottoman coalition, so they will be my primary target.
England has already annexed Scotland and most of Ireland.
I will need to take care of them soon, but an English-Castilian coalition against me is the least thing I want.
Castile has to be neutralized before I can do much to England.
Burgundy was neatly split between France and Austria by the event, now they are deeply engaged in rivalry.
I hope that this balance can be maintained for the next few decades.

Secondly, there are the colonies.
With the first 2 ideas in the colonization group, I can start colonization.
High priority targets like Cape Verde, Bermuda and Fernando Po must be colonized when the first opportunity arises.
Secondary targets are Brazil, Newfoundland and the Caribbean, outposts will be established and the rest will be slowly colonized.
Speed-wise, I will not go for more than 2 colonies at a time, in order to control the colonial maintenance.

Thirdly, there are the eastern neighbours.
Syria is my vassal, and will be integrated soon.
Aq Qoyunlu is a 3 province minor, and will be a pushover.
Qara Qoyunlu has conquered Georgia, and is blocking my path to the Steppes and to the Persian region.
A sizable Persia broke free from the Timurids, but they are still not fully formed yet.
Hedjaz is the dominant player in the Arabian peninsula, and controls the western half of Arabia.
This region will be where I cultivate the next wave of vassals. There are a few very useful tags for this purpose.
I hope that most of the Middle East will be under direct Ottoman control by 1550, except perhaps dirt poor Arabia.
Meanwhile, I will attempt to penetrate the Caucasus, with the medium-long term target of conquering the Russian provinces.

Fourthly, there are the northern neighbours.
Until now in this game, I have not conquered a single province in the north.
My manpower shortage and fears of residual AE spreading to western Europe meant that I should avoid opening hostilities in this direction.
Serbia has annexed all the minors between me and Hungary, but is not powerful enough to pose a serious threat.
Poland has annexed Moldavia and now shares a short border with me, but both Poland and me decide to pretend that the border is an imagination.
I hope that this front will remain silent for a few more decades, and I will start to consume Serbia after I can afford to open a new front.

Lastly, there is Africa.
The Berbery States are still divided.
Hopefully they will remain so until I have the spare diplomats and diplomatic relation slots to vassalize them peacefully.
And Ethiopia is to be ignored, because of their extremely poor provinces.

These are the directions that I will follow for the next few decades in the game.

With these directions in mind, let's go back to the game itself, where we stopped at the beginning of the war with England and Portugal.
The opening phase involves a lot of naval actions.
The Portuguese navy is almost non-existent, so it is basically me versus the English Royal Navy.
For some reason, the English separated the light ships from the main fleet, which I have fully taken advantage of.



The English are trying to sneak an army into the Mediterranean, and I intercept them right at the Straits of Gibraltar.
This is the second battle with the main English fleet, which results in total victory for me.
Now I can freely transport my troops for the rest of the war.
When I occupy all the provinces of Portugal, I can finally vassalize Portugal:



I decide that mostly maintaining the integrity of England serves the best interest for me.
It is because minors are very sensitive to nearby conquests, and will join the coalition against me for my conquering of a single province.
So, I come up with this peace deal:



A single Irish province to give me a Holy War CB on them, and the release of Wales to delay their recovery.
But even that is enough to make Munster join the coalition against me.
It does not matter too much, I shall take them in a future war with Castile.

During the war, my campaign had 2 important breakthroughs.
Firstly, I started the colonization of Cape Verde.



And secondly, I annexed Byzantium to my realm (without Cyprus).



These two events mark the beginning of Ottoman colonization and the full integration of southern Balkans respectively.
The game has entered a new phase.

I shall end this chapter by posting a diplomatic map on 28 Feb 1496.

 
Last edited:

RMcD94

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  • A Game of Dwarves
Damn I love how fast this is, when you have to wait days for updates in some threads tearing through a century so fast is awesome.