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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Andy 1984

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Dear readers,

Today you are witnessing the birth of a new EUIII AAR. This one will attempt to maximize the amount of buildings constructed in Divine Wind, for buildings equal trade and therefore income. Frustrated by seeing globe-spanning Spanish/Portuguese empires barren of even the most basic infrastructure (as… say… toilets), this AAR attempts to do better. My current victim for this daring attempt will be England. Game settings are normal, including historical lucky nations and spread of land and sea provinces at 50 years. Inflation is obviously present. The game is Divine Wind 5.2 (BJLT).

This AAR was inspired by both qoou and Prawnstar. Qoou managed to maximize the amount of magistrates per year. By obtaining sixty of those vogons a year, he could easily obtain the greatest amount of income ever seen in the Hall of Fame. This was obviously made easier by the Dutch Bank of Amsterdam-decision, which increases global trade income by ten percent. Being English, we’ll have to forego that decision. England however has her own advantages. She starts of with two universities and eight churches. Those, and an incessant focus on triggering events that grant magistrates should give me an edge to make up for the Amsterdam Bank.
My second source of inspiration is Prawnstar, who more than showed us that infamy, if tackled in a clever way, should not stand in the way of a world conquest. I don’t intend to outsmart Prawnstar. In fact, personal unions seem to suit my gameplay more. Other than that, Prawnstar clearly showed me how strong England, if well-played, could turn out to be.
Four your information: I’m used to play heavily narrowminded, colonial campaigns as Portugal or Spain. I have some experience as a narrowminded Austria as well. But this campaign will force me to pick England, and to conquer as much as possible with innovative sliders, as innovativeness increases the prospering times-event, granting a university for 500 ducats. And universities give magistrates too. Hence… 


Since I'm not too great a player, and come nowhere close to the skills of qoou or Prawnstar, I'll need every bit of help from you guys I can get. Strategies to be followed, how to not blow up your economy in an overcolonization, pros and cons of certain government forms, and general (or even basic) advice on England.

When I started this campaign, I had already played for a couple of years. Until 1404, I don't have any screenshots. But I can easily get you any information you'd want to have. So feel free to ask.

Now then, to arms.




 
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Chapter 1: 1399 - 1404 War with France

Given that there’s no time to be wasted when erecting metropoles all over the globe, I decided to play the game for a five years already. A slider movement towards centralization, and the hiring of two three-star (land and naval) advisors and a four star stability-guy did the trick. At 14 October 1400, the stability-advisor was interchanged for a six-star banker. I like bankers. A lot. Part of it can probably be explained by being a banker real life myself. Ah well.

My initial mission is to recover Normandy against France. Not the very greatest of missions, but it will do for now. I sent alliance requests to Burgundy and Denmark in order to prepare for the inevitable invasion of France. Burgundy refuses, Denmark accepts. Day one, D-Day. France declares war upon Provence, bringing in Bohemia and Naples to her defense, and later onwards Aquilia and Aragon as well. I declare war a couple of days later, and bring in the Danish-Norvergian-Swedish-Holstein alliance, and Portugal. With France being lucky, it still is a remarkably though war. Over 35K French soldiers – not even counting the numerous vassals – battle the cog-drops of my Scandinavian allies. A first English expedition besieging Paris is sent routing, despite English superiority in numbers, good defensive terrain and my one and only decent general ahead of my army. I guess these kind of battles clearly show why France needs to be killed instantly. A similar set-up half a year later turns into a victorious defense. I manage to somewhat control Northern France, but over 20K French forces are running havoc in the South, mercilessly butchering anything Scandinavian or Iberian they can find. And I’m in no mood to go after their second stack of doom.

France can ultimately be subdued by warscore (battles in the North), Normandy recovered, but cancellation of my mission grants me the ‘subjugate Scotland’-mission. Scotland by the way, brought in by France, signs a white peace before even crossing my border.
1402: Peace with France for Caux and Normandy, as well as 75 ducats. Fair enough. My one and only general, Robert Knolles, died in the siege of Paris. I’m left without decent generals.

By mid-1402, Portugal is engaged in an all-out war in North-Africa. Pope Castile called for a crusade against Morocco, so I decide to join the fray by English Wars of intervention against Morocco (crusade), and Tunisia. 17 June 1402 saw a declaration of war on Tunisia, 12K soldiers embark shortly afterwards, and by 23 June 1402 I accept a peace offer of Tunisia for Gabes and 6 ducats. Medieval Blitzkrieg at it’s finest. The phoney war on Morocco drags on, with Castile, Portugal, Denmark and Holstein effectively occupying large swaths of desert sand, and me collecting crusade-bonusses.
Early July 1402 sees my first Holy War, directed at Tripoli. Tripoli brings in Ramazan and the Jalayrids. Tripoli is quickly overrun and forcefully annexed, a cog is captured and 5 English regiments got wiped out by an unexpected Jalayrid counteroffensive and English defensive austerity. Oops.
1403 sees the continuation of my inevitable chase East. I declare war on the Mamluks, but after suffering enormous losses against the tribal threat, I sign another white peace. No regiments lost, but I face now a truce on a potential holy war-target. Denmark had refused to join my assault on the Mamluks and is no longer considered an ally. Austria offers me a proposal for alliance. I accept, and am dragged into yet another war against Milan. My commitment will hopefully be one of moral support.

Important events:
- GOOD: Continuous war taxes and three weeping songs has seen war exhaustion around 4/5 points during most part of the game. Cash balances are around 500 ducats, mostly thanks to peace settlements, war taxes and the crusade.
- GOOD: My banker already triggered the advisor-related event, lowering interests with two percent for six years. I take the loan (190 ducats at 1%), knowing I’ll be able to extend it at favourable conditions in five years (April 1406). This will help me funding churches when I finally unlock them.
- GOOD: The war against Tripoli saw the capture of a cog. I don’t intend to build many ships myself yet.
- NOT GOOD: The cancellation of the mission gave me a five-prestige hit. Another potential fifteen prestige were lost on not having completed the recover Normandy-mission. I did manage to get the four Irish minors and Avignon into my sphere of influence. But if I get the Conquer Ireland mission next, I might have to eat my own sphere…
- NOT GOOD: I currently have no cardinals, and only burn 0.4 infamy per year. With this measly infamy-reduction, I may not even be able to conquer sufficient territory in order to spam only churches. North African conversions cost about 48 ducats each, for a punishing 4 to 5% annual chance of success. I therefore decide to not yet convert anything.




Edit: I quickly reloaded the game to get you a picture of Europe anno 1403, after the French and North African campaigns. It clearly shows French aggression against the Provence, and Scandinavian/Iberian occupations in Morocco.
 
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Rensslaer

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I'll keep an eye on this... I have an Australian friend whose broadcast/podcast handle is Bob the Builder.

Rensslaer
 

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I'm up for this AAR. Great idea to try and build an empire as opposed to just splurge everywhere. I believe judicious use of your prestige to sphere things will enhance magistrate numbers as will expanding the bureaucracy.
 

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I'll keep an eye on this... I have an Australian friend whose broadcast/podcast handle is Bob the Builder.

Rensslaer
I'm up for this AAR. Great idea to try and build an empire as opposed to just splurge everywhere. I believe judicious use of your prestige to sphere things will enhance magistrate numbers as will expanding the bureaucracy.
Many thanks for following Rensslaer and Dauth. Yes, I believe Qoou's sphere was complete by 1480.
How do you get 60 magistrates? Did he sphere all the HRE minors and spam colleges?
Sort of yes. Apparently he managed to obtain about 50 or 55 magistrates from colleges alone. 50 magistrates from colleges imply having 1000 of those. I'm still wondering how he could possibly have amassed the required magistrates to get 1000 colleges in the very first place.

For your information: 1000 colleges require 5000 magistrates. You can reach gov tech 21 around 1585. Quick guesses make me assume he must have had half of the required colleges by 1600, with the other half being erected somewhere in the seventeenth century. That implies 2500 magistrates over less than 200 years, or more than 10 a year. No matter how or how fast he did that exactly, it's an impressive achievement qoou pulled of.

Over my last Portugal>Spain>HRE-game, I did notice you can get easily over 10 magistrates a year if you're about the only colonizer though. But that won't happen for the first century of the game, and it will make budgetting your game quite a challenge. I guess I'll be recklessly overcolonizing around 1585 to get easy access to more magistrates... if inflation didn't kill me by then that is.
 
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Range

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I think this could be fun. I'm going to make a point to follow along.

Notation at the bottom of your last post: (Last edited by Andy 1984; 27-01-2013 at 00:52?) Welcome back!!!
 
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Part 2: 1404-1410 War with France

Part 2: 1404-1410 War with France


War with Milan is dull. I manage to capture Parma and Cremona, and quickly accept peace for 53 ducats before war-leader and ally Austria does something silly. It turns out Austria will, as a defender, suck up 9 infamy for Cremona, Verona and Brescia, thereby completing her mission.

My first university class of Essex. How proud I am of them! Sadly enough, with no technology to build churches yet, these youngsters are sent out to sow some flowers. For the same reason, a North African province gets a fortress lvl 1, and some cultural decisions are taken, being: heir introduced, an epic for my monarch, and a beautiful tapestry. Those should allow me to keep my cultural tradition at acceptable levels even when waging incessant wars. The prestige-boosts are nice.


After the Milanese war, I pick Patron of the Arts as my first national idea and start spamming churches. It was a hard choice in between Patron of the Arts for a chance on the prospering times-event, or the Bureaucracy, to trigger events on magistrates (and cash). But as I’m constantly at war, I’ll have no other option to boost my cultural tradition than by adopting Patrons. Other than that, it’s the shortest route to the Guild of St Luke-decision that could get me another 0.2 magistrates a year. I’ll therefore attempt to keep a financial reserve of 500 ducats in order to trigger those Prospering times-events, which sadly enough also forces me to keep an advisor slot occupied by a four star artist (stability). Ah well…


March 1406: France collapses. This is also the month in which I can change missions again. I wait for two more months. May 1406 sees the end of the truce with France, now being led by a regent. With no overpowered French monarch-general facing me, France is being declared war upon, my mission to vassalize Scotland being exchanged for the one concerning the occupation of Paris, and by 1408 two French provinces are taken by peace-treaty. During this war, Scotland, with tens of thousands of forces, ravages the northern part of my country. I’m mean enough to not kill any Scottish regiment. Irish minor, Munster (allied to Scotland), joins the fray but is defeated and forced to accept a white peace. I’m somewhat counting on Scotland, in times of peace deprived of all those nice income bonuses and cheaper regiments (resisting the English-triggers), has issues paying for her armies. With a bit of luck, it might actually go broke or face rebel-issues due to low maintenance. *evil grin*


April sees me completing my occupy-mission, and getting rewarded with cores all over Gallia.



In Western Europe, things do look more interesting. Castile manages to grab two provinces from Sicily, invades and obliterates Aragon with no casus belli, and obtains a Personal Union on Burgundy. She allies herself with Portugal and managed to grab three more provinces in North Africa.


A war of reconquest is therefore being declared on Burgundy. I'd rather face Burgundy now it's not (yet) inherited by Castile. Burgundian armies are being massacred in Calais, and a carpet of sieges is being laid out. To the south, Castile retaliates by invading Gascogne and Labourd in Southern France. With 35K Castilian forces on the Iberian Peninsula, there’s nothing I can do about that. The Royal Navy manages to keep the Castilian fleet in check by obtaining four different victories, which secures my African possessions. By the end of the war, I bring in my poor allies Portugal and Austria (who don’t really stand any chance either), and Castile finally accepts her crushing defeat. As in my first war against France, I noticed how over 20 points in warscore were gained through battles rather than occupying territory. Five out of six cores are taken against Burgundy, and a nice 125 ducats are being handed over. I figured out the conquest of cores would be of crucial importance to keep my prestige and income up high enough. This war also saw the capture of several Castilian vessels, including some carracks. The Castilian naval threat seems gone for now, and the Royal Navy crossed her forcelimits for the first time in history. Below a picture of the oddity of this war: Castilian and English ships sharing the same ‘neutral’ Portuguese port in the Algarve, and every now and then battling it out like true brothers.






Magistrate-gain is currently at 2.2 a year, thanks to an expansion of my Sphere of influence over some German minors, and infamy is being burnt at 0.4 a year, which is way too low. Inflation is at a steady 2.1 percent, and expected to increase soon.

Decisions to be made now concern the empire. With no magistrates available to build workshops or constables, and with zero trade income, I’ll be relying on base tax to keep my campaign going. I’ve already racked up two points of inflation, there’s colonization ahead of me, conversions in North Africa and probably some warfare as well. Forming France is expensive in the short run, as it comes with a punishing 1000-ducat capital-move, and several big hits on my stability, crippling any income from base taxes. But it’s also the way to get more cores in France, to gain the odd marketplace or church the French have, and to receive instant census-taxes on newly gained territory. Forming France equally comes with two nice moves towards centralization, and a one-point increase in base tax in a random province. At the same time, a capital-move allows me to join the empire, which gives me additional sources of buildings and cores. And in the very long run, a capital on the mainland allows me to have land-connections to Asia and Africa. The capital-move and therefore forming France seem like a no-brainer to me.

Another decision is to be made towards the Imperial administration. I decide that an Empire is worth it because of the holy war casus belli (even though I'm not running out of holy war targets yet), and because of the magistrate gain. I suck up the three hits in stability, assuming those stability hits may hurt my finances (and even magistrate gain) more than I'll be gaining out of it... I'm not too convinced about this move myself. Do you guys think I should have stayed a Fuedal monarchy until I could pick something better (administrative monarchy or noble republic)? Currently I'm still considering remaining a monarchy, but the additional infamy-reduction that comes with republics is tempting me.

Any thoughts and/or suggestions?

Thanks,

Andy
 
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Range

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Very interesting.

I always loved putting it to France. And, the capturing of enemy ships always makes me smile.

But, I don't see the screenshot of Algarve's port.
 

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I think this could be fun. I'm going to make a point to follow along.

Notation at the bottom of your last post: (Last edited by Andy 1984; 27-01-2013 at 00:52?) Welcome back!!!
Thank you.

And yes, still updating. :)

Following - I need to get better at this game.
I didn't say I'm better at this game than you are. Maybe a little crazier or more creative, but definitely not better. I mean, I lost 8 regiments in North Africa and launched a fruitless attack on the Mamluks. Not very skilled I think.

Very interesting.

I always loved putting it to France. And, the capturing of enemy ships always makes me smile.

But, I don't see the screenshot of Algarve's port.
Thanks Range.

Putting it to France seems like the only way to not get beaten by the AI. So I'm smashing them with every opportunity I have. Lucky nations are by default already badly overpowered, so a Lucky France is more than a serious match should we allow her to build up her military.

On the screenshot: I forgot to include it. Added it now.
 

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Chapter 3: 1410-1414 War with France

Chapter 3: 1410-1414 War with France

Around 1410, I’m still left in doubt whether enforcing personal unions before going to noble republic will be worth it. Subject nations would help me out greatly in the meantime in wars, but even a single non-inherited subject nations will not allow me to become a republic. These kind of situations might force me to integrate subject nations, thereby losing out on cores and more important, buildings. Once more, this will be a trade-off in between easy infamy reduction (noble republic), and magistrates (empire). I figured out it will take me till 1470 at least to be able to change my government form into a noble republic.

But first things first. Noble republics are way out of reach for now. So I’m now an emperor, sucking up the punishing three hits in stability in June 1410. That same month, war is declared on Provence, who just finished her mission “build an army for our nation”. I laugh at that. I border their two regiments with 15K English soldiers. No allies are being brought in by either me or Provence. Same story for Orleans. She brings in France as her senior. I decide to not bring in allies again. Truce with France would expire in 1413, so declaring war in 1410 does make me lose two years in the formation of France. But I’m desperate for more census taxes, so I attack. France joins the fray as expected. I’m happily surprised to notice I can use my reconquest casus belli on French cores now as well. Yay. This one won’t be settling for Orleans I guess. 

I’m equally surprised by the two stacks of about 15K soldiers that France manages to bring in from the South. I knew of one of those, but two is a bit tricky. I check the ledger, and one of those stacks seem to be led by a six shock-general. Those stacks merge and quickly approach my sieges in the North. At the same time I’m also surprised by a 12K stack from Brittany. While I knew they had significant forces left, I hadn’t expected them to join the war. And to make things worse, Scotland and Munster equally join the fray. Scotland will be left completely unopposed, capturing three of my homeland provinces and fielding over 25K soldiers in England. Munster will be allowed to control Meath, and to somehow drop 4K soldiers in England. Homeland defense? No can do. Accidentially I sign a white peace on Provence, hoping to get rid of the Breton forces as well. Provence accepts the white peace, and Brittanny turns out to be fighting on the French side. Ouch. I really need to stay focussed.

My recently acquired Burgundian territory is stormed by the French and her vassals. One church under construction is lost at Charolais. Two provinces are captured, a third one in Burgundy is besieged in a hopeless situation. My Southern French provinces… equally sieged by the French and her allies. And in Berry and Paris, I suffer two serious defeats at the hands of the French.
Withdrawal at Berry:


Luckily for me, the French decide to start sieging rather than wiping out about 70% of all my forces, and I scramble anything I have left to northern France. That includes my Homeland defense of 5K in England (left there to oppose the Scottish and Irish), and part of my forces in Northern Africa. Those were there to deal with potential rebels so as to not be forced to build a second fortress. I figure this ain’t working, so I decide to build that fortress. Upon completion, all my provinces will be having fortresses. It’s also the second building I erect that’s no church. Yay me.
With 23K French forces sitting on my lvl 1 fortress in Caux, and with only 18K Englishmen sitting on a lucky (+25% defense) lvl 2 fortress in Paris, the French beat me in sieging. They once more attack me head on, and during the first few weeks it looks like I’ll take another serious beating, this time without any option to retreat to a safe position. I bring in all and every man once more, sacrificing any other siege I have, and only because the AI doesn’t properly redeploys it’s forces on the ‘battlemap’ upon fresh arrival of my reinforcements, do I get the flanking-bonusses that will help me turn the tide. I lose 11K soldiers in the ongoing onslaught. The French lose 16K. For your information: my maximum manpower pool is about 35K. I field (in total) 48 regiments. But during this war pretty much all of them needed fresh recruits to fill the gaps.

Combined with the high attrition I’m taking and the numerous occupied provinces, my warexhaustion is skyrocketing. War exhaustion was already at 4.5 when I entered these wars. It’s 9.4 right now. I was smart enough to not take war taxes when I entered this war, but I do admit I’ve been minting in a desperate attempt to keep my coffers sufficiently filled for the prospering times-event, while recruiting fresh regiments so as to keep the French meatgrinder well-fed. France loses the battle and with it 27 of her regiments. Warscore at that time is -1% in favour or the French alliance. I make them an offer they can’t refuse:

They accept.

Peace at last. Notice the difference in actual warscore (-1) and peace offer value (+48). I’ve never seen an AI accept those kind of peace-deals. But I don’t mind seeing it now. 

Below a picture of my exhausted English empire after the war:


PS: The ongoing war with Morocco is a war of Moroccan aggression. They saw me occupied with France so they struck without casus belli. Portugal and Austria joined me. I’m currently hoping for this war to end as quickly as possible, so my war exhaustion can recover. By the end of the third French war, Brittany invades Provence with the reconquest casus belli. Since Brittany still has her forces left intact, she should be able to annex Provence, thereby making up for my earlier failure… being the white peace. Scotland was equally left with intact forces. I’m still awaiting their financial distress.

THE AFTERMATH:
• Morocco quickly understands it has nothing to gain in her rash adventure and offers me a white peace. With revolt risk eating away about a third of my tax income in core-provinces (9.6 points in war exhaustion), I happily accept.

• Five merchants are being sent to Lubeck. This cost me about 25 ducats, but they’re all competed out after four or five months. I lose out on it and decide to not trade until I have my own Center of Trade. That could be Paris, or it could be one constructed by myself as part of an English mission. Up till now, I’m still part of the Hansa’s trade league. Speaking of trade: I have equally granted trade rights on wine to The Hansa. Impact on my income is absolutely trivial. I’m desperate for cash and income.

• On income: I finally paid off my loan. I had accepted that loan on 0.3 ducats of monthly interest payments with my banker. Whether it is through firing my banker after (!) the extension of the loan, or the negative stability I got in to…. fact is I ended up paying 1.6 ducats a month on interests on my extended loan. With a monthly budget of about 32 ducats, and about 10 ducats monthly military maintenance, this is unacceptable. I now no longer have 500 ducats at hands, making the prospering-times event no longer possible. More churches are being constructed with whatever money I had left. Inflation is around three percent, and can once more be expected to increase soon. There’s also good news: France has built a constable at Paris. With a core on it, I could capture it in next war. COT+core+constable = a lot of money and therefore soldiers.

• The continuation of the French theatre of war is as opportunistic as can be expected from the AI. With the Breton forces left intact, and no significant war exhaustion inflicted upon them, they declare a war of reconquest on OPM Provence. Provence stands no chance and gets annexed. Luckily, Brittanny thereby makes up for my failure, and will hopefully secede two provinces next war, sparing me from another adventure against the Provence. More peace for me will hopefully come with more war exhaustion reduction, less revolt risk and more good events. For the same reason I was seriously considering becoming Defender of the Faith. Sadly enough, with my cash balances gone, and Castile having found another 500 ducats, my enemy becomes DotF for a second time in 14 years of gameplay. I don’t even want to know where they found that money. Plans to claim the title of DotF are buried for now. I’ll have to live without an additional 0.03 monthly war exhaustion reduction.

• On manpower: Even though I’m playing 5.1, continuous warfare, significant casualties and being forced to fight the enemy head-on more often than not, are detrimental to my manpower pool. Last war against Burgundy saw my manpower being depleted to a ridiculous 6K men. I guess it hadn’t completely recovered from last French and North African campaign, but still… The heavy fighting in the third French war, saw my manpower pool being depleted to a 13K men. I’m not saying I’m running out of bodies anytime soon, but I’m not even close to strong enough to fight Castile, Bohemia, Austria or other lucky nations on equal terms. And I can’t spend magistrates (or idea- or advisor slots) on army-buildings either. I’ll just have to suck it up.

• On magistrates: increasing my sphere over some German minors make me gain 2 magistrates a year at -1 stability. That could increase to 2.6 a year if I can get my stability back up. That’s not bad. The pace of my conquest equally satisfies me. I’m conquering faster than Prawnstar, and I’ve been racking up less infamy. Ok. I do abuse the AI for it, contrary to my inspirational colleague. But I’m very much ok with that.  If nothing else, I’m convinced world conquest is still within reach.

• June 1413 brings disaster. My heir falls ill. My current diplomatic monarch rating is four. The ratings of my adult heir are five. I decide to take my chances and pray for his life rather than waste another 20 ducats on medical follies that could have saved my son. He dies and gets replaced by a four year old, diplomatic skill of 4. April 1414, my beloved king dies, and I’m stuck with a regency council for the next ten years. Not only will I lose infamy reduction through this all. But I’ll be ruled by a woman once the child matures. That leaves me with no possibilities to claim the empire for now, and with it another potential 0.6 magistrates a year, tons of prestige and other nice-to-haves. Sigh.




As legitimacy dropped to 50 points, and as low legitimacy is making my revolt risks eating away even more tax income, I’m starting to marry just about anyone I can get my hands upon. Talk about promiscuity. I don’t like royal marriages when I’m no curia controller as they come with nasty stability hits in the (likely) event of war. But I’m left with no other option right now. Marrying everyone also gives me a nice 1% increase in prestige. It’s peanuts, but it’s better than nothing.



I know you're probably quite eager for strategy-updates rather than a continued mindless beating of France. I can tell you this: next update was too rough for me to be paying attention to long-term strategy. But the update afterwards does contain some strategic ideas, and an overview of magistrate-spending so far.

Many thanks for following,

Andy
 
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Range

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France must have been more war weary than you think. When I was playing Japan invading China, China wouldn't give up anything unless they were war weary and rebels were everywhere chewing them up.

I've seen strange things happen, but I wonder if Paris will stay as France's capital. Normally when a capital is surrounded (no attached province), a capital will be moved so its not always in constant danger of being captured. If that's the case, Paris is a great catch. Once it's not a capital it's worth to France drops.

Great post.
 
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ggtothemax

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not sure you can switch from empire to noble republic. as for conquering faster than prawn... 5.2 beta on very hard or GTFO
 

Andy 1984

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not sure you can switch from empire to noble republic. as for conquering faster than prawn... 5.2 beta on very hard or GTFO
Lol, true. :)

I'm very well aware my settings aren't as rough as his. I'm merely comparing his pace of conquest with mine to have an idea of how far I'll get, and of whether or not I should significantly up the speed of conquest. I figured if I'm going to spam colleges everywhere as from 1580, and custom houses as from ca. 1650 or 1700, I should have a lot of provinces by then. Gaining 50 magistrates through colleges still equals 1000provinces by 1600 or 1650. That still is an awful lot.
 

Andy 1984

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Chapter 4: 1414 - 1421 War with France

Chapter 4: 1414 – 1421 War with France


Another update on my great construction plans…. And another update on my not so great regency council and monarch.

1414 saw a continuation of peace, royal marriages (prestige gain) and the Austrians who defeated Brandenburg. Lucky nation Byzantium gets annexed by Achea (leaving lucky Ottomans to rule over the area), and the ‘lucky’-tag is given to Muscowy. This implies I’ll have to rush to Eastern Europe once my regency council ends. I can ill afford major Muscovite colonization into Siberia, as that will deprive me of a cheap expansion route. And as you know, I’m always eager for more provinces wherein churches can be built.

Out of necessity, I’m at peace. My new regent-queen is only four years old, so I may run out of newly acquired provinces to erect new churches, which means magistrates will go to waste. I decided to use this update to sketch you some details I haven’t been paying too much attention to earlier. Those updates concern budgeting and the political evolutions in Europe. With government tech 9 (mean time 1455) and the unlocking of a second idea approaching, I'm running out of time to stop colonization. Portugal and Castile are highly likely to pick Quest for the New World as their second national idea, and with it they could go on a colonization spree that I just can't stop. Each province they colonize implies the loss of a potential magistrate for me. Therefore, I do attempt to curb colonization before it really takes off. Portugal has been my most loyal ally ever since my first great French war. Their country is regularly occupied by either rebels or Castilians, they've been disbanding part of their fleet, and I assume their cash balances are pretty much gone thanks to my continuous call to arms. I'm bleeding my ally dry. Should Portugal colonize the new world, she won't take that many magistrates from me. That's good enough for now.

Castile on the other hand has without any doubt significant cash balances. While I’ve been minting like crazy to keep my French wars fueled, I was surprised by Castile’s wealth. By 1413 they had declared themselves defender of the faith twice. That’s a whopping 1000 ducats wasted, on top of their military expenditures which can’t have been much smaller than mine. To add insult to injury, the AI has less inflation than I do, and has conquered vast parts of the North African coastlines. In the long term, the major North African revolts she's facing, the poor territory she has conquered and the regular destruction of her fleet (and tariff income), will bring Castile's economy down. But in the meantime she could do far more colonization than I'm willing to allow. So I need to contain her to the Old World, or at least keep her exhausted and/or at war. For AI-nations at war are known to not send out colonists.

Some ledger-screens to give you an idea of my biggest foes. With my non-existing technological progress and my rather modest income, bringing down my European opposition is important.

I’m dirt poor. In fact, my income is even smaller than that of Castile. Don’t ask me how though, for I’ve been expanding greatly ever since day one. I guess they were racking in war taxes and crusade bonuses. Thanks to my queen-regent, I’ll have to forego those for now.


Army sizes. Notice how Castile is able to field well over 40K forces, and could easily outnumber me greatly should I invade her peninsula. I’m not even mentioning the defensive terrain penalties I’d be facing, her generals, or the fact that Castile’s forces would be quicker reinforced in the event of an English invasion. Outright war with Castile doesn't appeal to me right now. Other than that, I’m happily surprised seeing the Hordes with their big armies ranking on top. Quick infamy-free expansion in Eastern Europe is just better than having to PU some country over there.


My income consists mostly out of taxes. Keeping my war exhaustion within reasonable limits is therefore paramount. I admit I’ve not been doing a great job at that earlier.


Budgetting is hard when you’re over both land and naval forcelimits. These screens were taken during peacetime, with maintenance at the absolute minimum. My modest objective for now is to not blow up my inflation. I doubt whether I’m really good at that.



But there’s also good news. December 1414 saw me getting a gift of the state. A whopping 200 ducats earned. Yay me. Cash reserves at that day were a stunning 5 ducats. I’m desperate for cash.


That same month, Austria, who’s still beating up Brandenburg, asks me to join their war against some German minors. I have no other option but to follow them in this war. High war exhaustion isn’t as bad as high war exhaustion without strong friends. I decide to rack in war taxes, put my maintenance sliders to half… and go in the offensive against Baden and the Palatinat. The additional prestige gained from fighting is always nice. In July 1416 I make 25 ducats by means of a peace settlement. Baden was so mean as to initiate construction of a constable during my siege, denying me another 50 ducats. In retaliation, I assault the fortress and have the constable go to waste. Baden will undoubtly rebuild it.


For your information: around these months, I see several nations constructing constables. Those include the Portuguese in Beira, the French in Paris and Switzerland. Especially the constable in Paris (COT) looks most tempting. My own technology nowhere allows me to build constables yet.

In September 1416 I cancel my subjugate France mission. I kept it in the knowledge that I could forcevassalize and diploannex her should I wish to get rid of her (quickly). Seeing France can be forced to release all her territory in the South, seeing I have cores on her North, and knowing the ‘create a proper army/fleet’-missions cannot harm me anymore, I cancel my mission. I get to conquer Ireland instead. Nice.



December 1416. I finally unlock Production 4 and am now allowed to build constables. France declares on me.

I’m once more pulverized by the initial French assault, and by low maintenance sliders. A church under construction in Charolais (again) is lost. Tens of thousands of Highlanders cross my Northern border, and the Bretons join the fun, together with the French vassals. They face England and Portugal. Austria, having racked up over ten points in war exhaustion, lets me down. This ally is lost it seems…

It clearly shows how badly the French war machine is hit since last war. Instead of 27 regiments, they ‘only’ amass a doomstack of 21 regiments. And their previous 6-shock king from last war is being replaced by a ‘mere’ 5-shock this time. He’ll be facing my newest 2/2/2-general, hired at 50 percent land tradition. I once more scramble anything I have for a furious siege/defense at Paris. Over 35 regiments try to hold their own against 21 French ones. My men have to settle with half maintenance. Their simply was no time to up their paychecks in time. When the French get reinforced by another 13K Bretons, my forces are sent fleeing. France and Breton both having land tech 4, opposed to my measly 3, and France having military drill didn’t help.

French killer-kings



Defeat at Paris. In the ledger, you also note the sheer amount of enemy sieges I’m facing. Large territorial losses have made the blob just wrathful. I realize very well how close I am to losing all in this battle…

Due to low French morale, the enemy doesn’t instantly chase me, and I get to recover from excessive losses on own provinces, with the French depleted forces initiating a siege. They’re destroyed in a second major (costly) battle a few months afterwards. I learn from this battle fighting till forced retreat does have some advantages. :)

Sitting on my own provinces, I received 7 to 8K men a month reinforcements for my main stack in Northern France. France is sieging me, so isn’t nearly as able to keep up with my military build-up. The Bretons are initiating different sieges, and won’t be able to assist the French in their fights anymore. By August 1417, I rely on sheer numbers to smash the French stack of doom. That’s 21 regiments, or what was left of them, taken out.



More good news: December 1416 yielded another gift to the state. Another 200 ducats that we won’t have to mint (for now).


June 1417. With the battles for Paris still raging, the Palatinat asks for my support in another pointless war against Bavaria. The elector-state will have my moral support.


Due to so many provinces lost to the enemy, military maintenance is skyrocketing on my side. France, while unable to win the major battles, is still inflicting major damage on my budgets by depriving me of my forcelimits that I had already crossed during peacetime!


March 1418: The Palatinat accepts a peace with Bavaria. They release Ansbach, make some minor reparations and lose some prestige. As war leader, my phony war with Bavaria drags on.

April 1418: I sacrifice a country from my sphere of influence to make peace with Scotland. As before, Scotland has once more not been military opposed. Three provinces were captured by the Scottish, inflicting massive damage to my economy, war exhaustion and forcelimits. Irish Munster occupies Meath, but sees her own provinces occupied by a Portuguese stack of 11 regiments. I won’t peace out with Munster before the Portuguese completely break them!

December 1418: An event gives me a small amount of trade investment, unlocking Trade lvl 4. I can now build marketplaces, should I wish to do so. For your information: neighbour bonuses for this tech level amounted to 15 ducats a month. I’m not the most advanced European country...

February 1419: The lack of Homeland defense has finally paid off. Scotland goes bankrupt! How sweet. :D The wars in these first years turn out to be utterly devastating both our economies. With Scotland taken out this way, they won’t harass me anymore.


March 1419: The war with France is virtually over. Over the past few months, France has taken tremendous losses, Brittanny is unable to challenge my numerical superiority, and a Savoyard- Aragonese alliance goes in the offensive against an exhausted France. The South falls quickly, and Savoy forces France to release Bourbon as a vassal. As a result, I’m unable to claim my core on Bourbon for zero infamy. So we accept Bourbon cash. Things with Armagnac end in a similar way. It’s bad enough when you see Avignon actually occupying French territory.


Another humiliating peace is made with France, forcing her to hand over four cored provinces. My war exhaustion is at 13+, my manpower has taken severe hits, but France is once more broken (I guess).


January 1420, France is forced to sign another disastrous peace treaty. She loses out two more provinces, further reducing her strength.


In the aftermath of my war, the French will diplo-annex Auvergne. Former French vassal Armagnac will declare war upon current French vassal Foix, who calls in France. Armagnac gets annexed as a result, and the French war machine thriumphs again. France once again has ten provinces. Her allies are Tuscany and Switzerland… For obvious reasons I'd very much like to see France broken, so I can finally start to focus on a large-scale construction strategy. But for now, it looks like I'm forced to fight for survival rathen than for oddities like college-spamming.

July 1419: Bavaria accepts a white peace. I’m no longer at war and can finally bring back my war exhaustion. During this war I managed to increase my stability to +1. This significantly softened the consequences of revolt risk and income loss. High legitimacy helped me out as well.

October 1419: I initiate trade in Paris. My five merchants have seen fit to kick out five French ones. They’re there to stay this time. I also decide to cancel the wine trade rights I have with the Hansa, but I remain in their trade league for now. About 75 ducats worth in trade goods are traded in Lubeck. All other provinces and trade value I’m generating goes through Paris, which has now a COT of 400 ducats. I won’t miss out on the trade league bonuses.


September 1420: My four star artist dies. He is replaced by a two-star artist from the advisor pool. In the campaign, I have not yet recruited a single advisor, with cultural tradition at around 80%. All in all, two magistrates and one diplomat (heir introduced) were spent to get this cultural tradition this high, despite near-continuous warfare. Not bad. 

October 1420 triggers the kind of event I never had before in EU3. I happily accept because of the war exhaustion-reduction. In fact, I’m still eagerly looking at the Defender of the Faith-title for exactly the same reason. Decent war exhaustion reduction could enable me to levy continuous war taxes, solving my budgeting issues in the long run. I don’t take that title yet.


Late December 1420: God shows once more he’s on my side and he wants me to succeed. Another 300 ducats are added to a cash balance of about 110 ducats. I’ll be putting them to good use.

And therebye we conclude this update. The political situation in Europe has seen significant evolutions during my latest wars. Castile is grabbing some more land in Northern Africa. With Algiers being bankrupted, there’s no way stopping them. The Ottomans have waged all-out wars against the Scandinavians, Hungary, Poland, Brandenburg and the Hordes. All at the same time. And they faired pretty well, even though they had to release Saruhan. Further to the East, lucky Muscowy stands no chance against the onslaught of the Golden Horde. Golden Horde has been eating it’s way all through Lithuania, has occupied two Baltic provinces of the Teutonic Order and is sieging another three provinces of them. Her armies are still the most numberless in the world.
My only regret is that – due to the loss of my Austrian alliance – I was forced to accept alliance offers from Poland and Hungary. I’d very much prefer to backstab those two countries, so the Horde can take advantage of it.


The Knights are well on their way to beat me in my construction-madness. They already have a metropolis. Unluckily for them, they go broke in the course of 1419, shortly after their conversion to Orthodoxy. But I do give it to them: it does look cool.



Next update will focus on magistrate-spending and long-term strategy.

Many thanks,

Andy
 
Last edited:

Malurous

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Hi, the image limit for an AAR update is 20 (with any posts made within an hour counting as one update). Your latest post is over that limit - please make sure you don't do that again.
 

Range

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A lot of players don't like the trade market...but, I found I can't do without it.

And, you really took a beaten with Military maintenance after a couple of your provinces were captured. But, the gifts of state bailed you out quite nicely.

Good read.

And, what about Scotland?
 
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chgrogers

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Subscribing to see how it goes.

GL. Take out Castille or Force a PU they will ruin your colonial game.