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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

atwix

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COALITION DODGING.

Dodging coalitions is an art. Especially if you start in Europe. Asia is easy to blob, due to different religions and how they look at taking heathen land.


@Florryworry made youtube tutorials on this topic, if you like watching video rather then text.

links:

part 1:

There is a few important things here, especially if you take the situation where you invade Europe after conquering rest of world, when that entire continent considers you as heathen.

part 2:



So, lets talk about BEST way to spread AE in Europe. @ikkiks wrote the following in his native american wc AAR, and I'll use it here.

CHAPTER 1: AE and Coalitions

Let me explain a little bit about how AE works. It mainly considers 4 factors: Distance, Cultural group, Region and Religion.



Here we have 5 regions that are really easy to conquer with little AE. One by one:

Great Britain: It's an isolated area with its own cultural region. So, the first factor Region only affects the islands. Distance will only affect a few nations because Burgundy and France are huge and are basically the only close nations.

Iberia: It's another isolated area with its own cultural region. To the south, you have a huge Sunni region. So Religion prevents it from gaining much AE. Distance will only affect France. So, you're pretty much fighting only the three nations here.

Scandinavia: Another isolated area. Denmark is a little bit tricky because there are many Germans near. But Sweden and Norway don't affect many nations from Distance. Religion prevents the Russians from getting that extra high AE, although it will be affected a bit for being a Heretic, not a Heathen. Distance will also matter, but only to Russia.

Russia: Here what matter most is Religion. The Sunnis won't care for the Orthodox Russia. Russia has a region of its own. And Distance will only affect a few nations, like Poland-Lithuania, Teutonic and Livonian orders, Norway and Sweden.

Ottomans: Here we have the Sunni equivalent of Russia. The only one who will care for it are their Sunni neighbours, which aren't strong and the Ottomans themselves usually are the ones to beat them.

There are a few other factors in AE, such as:

Allies and subjects: they receive less AE than normal. Vassals receive no AE.
HRE: extra AE for taking a HRE province.
Direct target: the target of your actions will get double the AE.
Co-belligerent: taking land from no co-belligerent also increases the AE.
Being allied/subject: allies and subjects receive less AE from your aggressive actions.

So, the strategy is to pick one or two of these regions and focus only on them.

important things to avoid coalition:

1. DIPLOMATIC ideas group is the most POWERFUL idea group to take in west europe if you want to blob. it gives diplomats and fatser AE decay on nations.

2. The idea to is to PREVENT coalitions by using diplomats to improve with EVERYONE that might go below 0 opinion and +50 AE when you take a peacedeal. Use peace screen icon for that. if you hover over coalition icon, it tells you how much ae you get with what nation, and who joins coalition. Look at how much AE they get, and improve relation with this amount +10 or 20 to be safe (from relation decay vs AE decay putting nation under 0 again). It is micro heavy, but it works wonders.

example: player plays scotland, and wants to annex entire england. if you do NOT do the above, the entire west side of hre and france *will* join coalition. if you do as above, you can full annex england WITHOUT getting any coalition, EVER. trust me ;)


It doesn't matter if england has 300 AE, as long as the rest of Europe doesn't have more than 50 and negative opinion of you (aka outraged opinion).

3. manage truces. The AI can't join a coalition if it has a truce with us. So, as long as you keep Iberia in a truce, England can't form a coalition with them against you, for example.

4. Deus Vult, the last idea from religious group, works wonders, especially for all Orthodox and Coptic countries. It will mean -25% AE and less bird mana cost in peace deals..

5. allying is a solid way of eliminating possible coalition members. As in, your allies won't join the coalition against you unless you get insane AE with them, and they receive reduced AE from your actions. It's a preemptive measure, but it works great with big countries. For instance, ally France and they won't mind you prancing in Italy if you improve relations.

6. A player can focus on obtaining a lot LESS AE also, with diplo vassalising, to avoid the forming of coalitions. Take influence idea group, and then do a 100% peace deal on a big nation. Don't take a load of land, but instead RELEASE nations out of the big nation, that are UNDER 100 development. You can usually diplo vassalise thosereleased nations right AFTER the peace deal, which will save you a LOAD of AE.

Diplo vassalising in this way can really help in avoiding coalitions.


A similar strategy is to take ONE core of a long dead nation wioth lots of cores (Guyenne, Styria, Khorasan...) and then release them as vassal. Next war, do RECONQUEST of those cores, and you will gain onl 25% AE when compared to using conquest CB.


7. Another MAJOR mistake is expanding the wrong way for your religion. It is imperative that you grow big and powerful INSIDE your religion land, and then bash other religions head on.

Sunni Ottomans should to expand east and south without allies and load of vassals, by using your tech advantage.
Christian Ottomans into HRE must focus WEST, using allies like France, going for the areas listed in screenshot above. If you don't do this, the AE you get for taking wrong religion land will lead to huge coalition potentital VERY quickly.

So, the big word has fallen. Coalition.

CHAPTER 2: COALITION

What are the current rules for joining a coalition?

1. 50+ AE
2. No truce
3. Negative opinion/outraged

isnt true anymore.

I had some small nation in the coalition. I knew Austria will join when there truce ends. So i quickly improved relation, so they ended up at +7 when the truced ended. I was happy. For some days. because they still joined the coalition.
nothing changed, but ever since patch 1.17 the rules for joining and leaving coalition have been bugged. Nation with positive opinion can join too, if they are outraged and went from negative opinion outraged to positive opinion outraged.

it is still 4 nations needed with 50+ae, no truce and negative opinion for the POSSIBILITY of a coalition, but ever since patch 1.17 a coalition will form of 2-3 membes even if the fourth and the other eglible nations are in a war.

them joining/leaving coalition at positive opinion can get buggy too sometimes. Sometimes nations don't go from outraged to neutral/friendly/hostile/threatened when their opinion goes from negative to positive. restarting client helps.

same for nations not leaving coalition at positive relations. Coalition members will still automatically leave at +50 opinion, and if they have been in coalition for more then 2 years. But sometimes they leave below +50 also.

Restarting client fixes problems/bugs like this usually.


Hi. Could you elaborate on the effects of relative strength when it comes to coalitions? I know that army size matters when AI decides if they should join a coalition, so a massive army is advantageous in that regard. But I don't know any specific numbers and wonder what else is relevant?
If 4 nations have 50 ae with you and negative relations while NOT being on truce with you, a coalition can form. Note that nations at war get counted too.. This is why you sometimes see a coalition of 1-2 nations form. It's buggy. Normally, 4 nations form a coalition when everyone is at PEACE but this got bugged some patches back and it never got fixed.

The basic rule for coalition forming or not (provided 4 nations can make one) is your standing army combined with your military rating. Al and subject troops/tech/rating counts also. IF you are at war with other nations, this gets counted also (aka, coalitions will form faster if 4 nations are eglible to form one against you, and you will see them forming it AFTER you end up in another big war).

Military rating evaluates the land warfare capabilities of a country.
Modifier Rating

Mil Tech +0.2 per Technology level.

Mil ideas +0.1 per idea + +0.25 per bonus.
Generals +0.025 per pip for each general or conquistador (counting rulers/heirs). Max 5.00.
Military quality +0.15 per +5% combat ability (sum of all types).
Discipline +0.15 per +5%.
Standing army unknown effect
Morale of armies +0.5 per point.
War exhaustion -0.2 per point.

I tested it, and I found out army maintenance slider plays a role.
If you lower it, the coalition can declare faster. Got that idea from a DDRJake stream, where coalition declared the day AFTER he lowered army maintenance.

Which led to the theory now, that it is in fact military rating that AI looks at( combined with ongoing war enemy strength), when deciding to declare colaition war or not. Because military rating goes DOWN if you lower maintenance slider.

The basic rule for AI ATTACKING takes your allies and subjects forces/military rating into account also, and your current wars.

If you declare on major alliance web, expect a big coalition to form the next week, if it didn't before. The reverse is also true, if you get OUT of a big war after coalition formed, it might actually disband.

So, if 1. you and your allies are fighting a BIG war together, or 2. if you lower army maintenance or delete troops, coalition becomes more eager to attack you, if they have more troops etc.

You can observe power of coalition when you are at peace by using 'Threaten War' UI.

One more way to assess your military strength is to use rivals setting window - there you have it specified in one, concise number, relative to your potential rivals. it is certainly not perfect method but gives you some insight.

You can play with it and see it changes with your manpower quantity, army maintenance level, technology level, morale/discipline bonuses etc.


One of the factors used in calculation is a "Relative coalition power". This is dependant on military rating most likely. You can do some tests by using console. Just start non-ironman game as e.g. Ottomans (they have cores in foreign nations at the beginning of the game - no need to fabricate).
  • For the nation to leave coalition their strength must be lower than 10% (around 5-6%). Strength measured in Threaten War view.
  • The coalition will attack if their strength is greater than 100% (usualy >120%)
I suppose some console testing might shred some light on all this..

CHAPTER 3: Coalition handling tips

Here are some things I DO know for sure :)

1. use diplomats to improve relations with everyone who will get severe ae from your (future) conquests.

2. look at peace deal screen, hover over ae icon, see who will join coalition. send diplomats to them. +100 relation isn't usually needed, I usually recall them if the result of the peace deal would leave the target nation at +20 opinion after the peace deal (while having +50 ae with you).

3. if a nation will go into negative opinion AND has 50+ ae with you, they can join coalition against you if they do NOT have a truce with you and if they are at peace.

BUT: if they come out of truce you got a couple of days until they join coalition. Declare right then, and plan for it. Which leads to the very important point 4.

4. IMPORTANT! TRUCE ROTATION to avoid coalitions!

A. popups for truce running out. ACTIVATE THIS in interesting tab of your message settings. combine this with making any nation on truce an interesting nation.

and making SURE you got this when truce runs out.
----->a. a cb against them (holy war for the win, taking bridgehead (port) provinces to get this cb needs planning)

----->b. make sure you can core it or give it to vassal with 'grant province' subject interaction (needs cossacks dlc).

----->c. army near them to crush 'm. Blitzkrieg for the win. Bridgehead port provinces are very helpful for this as you can offload troops before the war begins, which removes the need for navy.

----->d. a claim to threaten war. Sometimes you can dismantle a coalition by asking provinces with threaten war.. One of the factors that affects the willingness of a country to cede province, when Threaten a war, is a relative coalition strength. This is the easiest accessible estimate of force I know. So, it is good idea to do the day truce runs out. Make claims if you can bully coalition members to give you land.

B. study alliance patterns.
There is ALWAYS a weak link to a coalition, to execute point in D. below, or to make big coalition member non co-belligerent in another war. It is WORTH it to score an annul alliance peace deal on them just to come back after peace deal runs out.

C. keep an EYE on the truce icon. See WHAT nation will come out of truce WHEN. Then check if they are at war. If so, you can STALL a declaration until their war ends, as they can only join a coalition when at peace. Make sure you got popup/pause for peace deals for any war of coalition members. This means activating popup/pause for ALL wars ending and beginning, as coalition members might be co-belligerent in someone elses war.

If they aren't at war, then combine popup for truce running out with free diplomat and instant war declaration. FIRE that war, and invade when ready. Important! It is better to declare the war then to see the nation joining the coalition. And stomp 'm when your other wars come to an end. Usually, the ai will focus on some fort FAR away from their homeland, and will get completely cut off.

D. As of patch 1.18, the 'greater power' diplomatic interactions can help with truce rotation. You can intervene in a war involving greater powers in the coalition, and put them on a truce, and this can lead to other members of the coalition leaving it out of fear of attack, or because the coalition as a whole gets too weak to attack you. Or you can break the Alliance of allies of coalition partners to make it easier to attack the coalition.

Recap: attack nations that *can* join a coalition the day they come out of truce; you need to attack/dismantle coalitions when they rise, and prevent others from joining it.

If you can not do that due to no cb, then you did it wrong. Take bridgehead ports to get holy war on everyone who might join coalition, and declare.

Or, fabricate claim and threaten war. for a worthless province, as the idea is to get a truce easier.
truce rotation is the most important thing here. all the rest is mandatory to do THIS right. Like using diplomats, ae mapmode, peace deal window to see who might join coalition etc..


5. prepare to do multiple wars at once, multipe theaters, and prepare to MICROMANAGE. without it, you are dead. Popup pause for armies arriving in province destination combined with moving them one province helps. Blitzkrieg wars...


6. use gifts/influence nation to get a temporary relation bonus. It can be WORTH it to do so, if it keeps nations out of a coalition, before doing a major AE peace deal. And then go for the gifted nations.


7. Do NOT use forts too much.. I have found that having a fort on capital is useful to avoid the idiot AI landing little stacks to try to siege it from across the world. It depends where the capital is though, you probably don't need that as Busoga.. Let the subjects you feed in the coalition area KEEP all (or most) forts though. The ai nations will siege THOSE, which means less war exhaustion for YOU in (coalition) wars. Forts are useless, especially if your capital is FAR away. Only forts near straits hold any merit, or near chokepoints.

8. if a big nation is on island, like England, then try do take a bridgehead province ASAP. Land 200-300k troops before the truce runs out, and then overrun their capital.

9. using holy war/revolutionary cb/other superiority cb on a BIG nation can be helpful, as big battles will give you BIG warscore (holy war is superiority war, giving warscore from battles). One can do a quick blitzkrieg and end the war, only to put them in truce again. This depends on what OTHER nations need to be put in truce. only press attack if no other big nations can join coalitions in the years to come.

10. try to vassalise nations that got stomped. Retake their cores. Plan ahead. If one can vassalise France or PLC that got eaten alive by neighbour, you can do reconquest for little ae. You can threaten war then for vassal cores, to get nations on a (permanent) truce. But i bet you need to be hilariously big to threaten war versus sizeable nation. It does work in late game continent invasions.

11. The HRE. Protestants can be kept out of coaliton for a LONG while if you attack nearby catholics, as long as you send diplomats in advance to do +100 relations. One can conquer entire catholic milan out of HRE, only to see protestant switzerland keeping postitive relation with 80 ae, when sunni nation conquers closeby. Combine this with gifting if you roll in ducats.

12. use BIG allies as attack dogs to help out in fights. Keep using them until their use is gone, and then betray them and eat them LAST on admin efficiency three.

13. Important! annul alliance peace deal.. This can cause rival changes, and neighbours jumping the nation after you make peace. Creating some mayhem in the target continent helps to dodge coalitions, as nations at war can't join a coalition. Read some aar of mine to see why annul alliance peace deal can be golden. Stomp a big nation, only to annull alliances. Come back after that once truce runs out after 7 years. Taking land in seperate peaces will ALWAYS cost more monarch points and AE, so it is usually not worth it. I do say 'usuallly', as taking a port bridgehead to get holy war on the co-belligerent nation can be good seperate peace deal too. Combine this with STALLING the war versus their allies, and declare on them AGAIN while their allies are still busy in the OTHER war versus you.

14. IF you end up fighting a punitive war defensively, having 51% warscore will lower all nations war enthousiasm by 30(!) because they will lose 'coalition war +30' war enthousiasm when you reach 51% warscore. As punitive war is superiority war, make sure you win all battles, and make sure you get ticking warscore from winning enough battles. Note that declaring INTO a coalition does NOT give all the nations the +war enthousiasm from coalition wars.

15. pay attention to WHEN you sign peace. Since the full yearly AE reduction happens on January 1. Reaching 50-52 AE in late December (before 31st, peace deals take a day to go through) is usually safe (depending on the yearly AE drop) because countries won't have time to join the coalition, but the same peace deal can be disastrous earlier in the year.

16. it is good tactic in big coalitions to declare war to some isolated OPM or other small country, full occupy ASAP and wait until war exhaustion and and lenght of war do the rest, you can white peace after 1-3 years even with half country sized by co-members.

17. Pay attention to controlling Papal Curia and Excommunication CB -20% AE, additional diplomat and 50% AE Casus Belli are very good in terms of AE reduction.
Also, a country can't join coalition if its already in coalition - can be abused (especially inside HRE) if you feed allies too many development.
Can be combined with reconquest tactics mentioned: Feed your ally to high AE -> break an alliance (of course better before coalition declares) -> vassalize -> reconquest. Make sure your former ally will keep cores on the lands conquered (same culture or state).

18. Keep prestige high. Every 10 points of prestige means -0.1 AE per year for every nation in the world, as well as -1% AE impact when conquering new provinces.

19. rotate your war zones nicely, as say Castile, nobody cares what you do to Russia, nobody cares what you do to the Ottos, two very valuable placed to expand into early in the game to give Europe a chance to forgive and forget. The idea is to expand in the CORNERS like Scandinavia, Iberia and Ottoman land. The nations in the MIDDLE will get little ae.

20. WATCH how your allies are doing. If your allies will dishonour an alliance due to growing debt or a war going bad, help them out! Or else, the AI WILL take advantage and attack with coalition the moment your allies will dishonor their alliance with you.

21. IF you lose BADLY to the coalition, there are a few things to consider.

You can do 'offer' peace deal in coalition war, that gives land of allies immediatly at start of war, IF your allies have cores of coalition members. Two or three provinces might save you, as they count for double warscore as your allies are non-cobelligerent). If coalition occupies ally forts, you can offer to release nations inside your allies als, provided ALL the cores of said releasable nation are occupied. For double amount of warscore, as they are co-belligerent.


----->a. you can give up stuff from ALLIES, provided they own cores the coalition wants returned. If ally forts are occupied, you can get away with giving up load of land of ally. you can also offer to release nations out of your allies, provided the ai occupies all the cores of said nation inside your ally.
IMPORTANT: you can also RELEASE NATIONS out of your allies to end the war fast, but this *requires* coalition to occupy ALL cores of the dead nation inside your allies land. the moment they do that, the releasable nation inside your allies will appear in "release nations" section of the 'offer peace deal" red window tab.

----->b. you can give up land of your religion and YOUR culture, or of your culture group, or of accepted cultures. You KEEP your cores then, allowing for few AE reconquest war.

---->c. it is always best to RELEASE nations of your culture group when making peace with coalition. If you release nation with your culture group etc, you will LOSE a load of AE with coalition. And then you reconquest your cores back.

---->d. ceding land loses you AE, cancelling vassals loses you AE, releasing countries loses you AE, but returning cores does not lose you AE. This is something I found a long time ago and I found the inconsistency strange.


22. There is the question of What if 2 coalition blocks form that will want to dow you? Well you just need to make sure that they either sync up OR you are big enough where 1 entire tech/religious group has to join before they feel confident in DOWing. Good ways to do this is to just build enourmous amounts of infantry back-up since they'll look at troops numbers and ally someone huge like the ottomans or ming. They won't do much good; but they will make the coalition members pause untill everybody joins; and then you pay them off and truce break some people. Which leads to point 23.

23. Having diplomatic ideas helps alot with this since it reduces stab cost by 2 to only -3stab. You can actually plan your entire strategy around this and get -90%stab cost reduction ( you could get more but it wont help) and truce break and get back to stab 1 for .... 40 admin. 40. admin. Right o_O

24. Sometimes you can return core of allies' land immediatly IF the nations that dowed own cores on your allies land. DONT PEACE INSTANTLY!
Make sure you get SOME war contribution. You will get Revanchism if you do. Which is amazing especially if you have loans, since it lowers interest.

25. Watch out if nations are on the verge of joining coalition, and IF any peace deal will make you border them. Some malus -that kick in AFTER bordering them- aren't calculated in peace deal tooltip. It shows that you had positive opinion, peace deal shows nation x won't join coalition, but then "wants your provinces"; "have cb" or some other malus kicks in after you border them due to said peace deal. watch out for this situation, as it can make it "look" like they joined coalition at positive opinion.

26.
Instead of dealing with coalitions, one can focus on obtaining a lot LESS AE also. Take influence idea group, and then do a 100% peace deal on a big nation. Don't take a load of land, but instead RELEASE nations out of the big nation, that are UNDER 100 development. ou can usually diplo vassalise thosereleased nations right AFTER the peace deal, which will save you a LOAD of AE.
Diplo vassalising in this way can really help in avoiding coalitions.


27. the current AI behaviour is very favourable if you fight a coalition, provided that you're having space marines and enough troups. They're so careful now, that if you have over a certain limit of soldiers close to each other, and your troops are overpowered enough, distant members of the coalition will hide in their lands, and the nearby members won't dare to attack you in that case. Only AI's such as Prussia, Sweden or France might be daring enough to start a fight. Really fun to fight a coalition that way.

It doesn't matter by how much they outnumber you. If you got powerful units, winning a coalition war by picking the small fish one by one is the way to go. Don't forget coalition war is a superiority cb, and you get warscore with battles. Go get 'm!

28. A player can build a spy network in a neighboring country "A", that is not in the war, and that will reduce AE with country "A" when I take land from country "B". If you are hovering around the coalition threshold then this can be useful, especially combined with improved relations. Of course, you never have enough diplomats but that's a separate problem.

1% reduction per 10% spy network, for total of -10% AE at 100% spy network.

I honestly bet noone ever builds spy network for this though ;)

notr that you get 2% siege ability in a nation for each 10% spy network!

the above are both paid mare nostrum features though.

29. Breaking a coalition into 2 different wars can be a good way to be able to act with impunity when blobbing. Declare war when a couple of the nations have joined the coalition with like good old holy war and take 100%, dow second block later and call your allies to stomp them really hard. Even if you can't call you allies the war should be much easier than fighting them all at once. Good to keep in mind in cases when just popped out from truce with all of the coalition at once because of a previous coalition war.

30. Better Relations Over Time modifier is very helpful with AE as it makes it decay faster. Easiest way to increase BROT is with the diplomatic advisor, or diplomatic idea group.
 
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atwix

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if anyone wants do discuss, add, remove points, feel free to do so :)

The intent here is to expand the thread like PU guide.
 

bbqftw

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Remember that if everything goes terribly, having big allies to release land out of is always helpful.
 
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atwix

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Remember that if everything goes terribly, having big allies to release land out of is always helpful.
good point, i'll add it :)
 

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I find it very useful to pay attention to when you sign peace since the full yearly AE reduction happens on January 1. Reaching 50-52 AE in late December (before 31st, peace deals take a day to go through) is usually safe (depending on the yearly AE drop) because countries won't have time to join the coalition, but the same peace deal can be disastrous earlier in the year.

Is it possible to know exactly when a country will leave a coalition peacefully? In my experience it can take a while after a country falls below 50 AE before they leave a coalition.
 
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JCan

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Does building a spy network reduce AE?

I'm trying to think of other ways of bringing AE down apart from through adviser bonuses and ideas/policies.
 

atwix

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pay attention to when you sign peace since the full yearly AE reduction happens on January 1. Reaching 50-52 AE in late December (before 31st, peace deals take a day to go through) is usually safe (depending on the yearly AE drop) because countries won't have time to join the coalition, but the same peace deal can be disastrous earlier in the year.
added.
 

TheMeInTeam

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Remember that if everything goes terribly, having big allies to release land out of is always helpful.
Releasing primary culture provinces is decent too, easy reconquest later usually. Giving ally stuff is usually better.

Also, I have found that having a fort on capital is useful to avoid the idiot AI landing little stacks to try to siege it from across the world. It depends where the capital is though, you probably don't need that as Busoga.
 

atwix

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Releasing primary culture provinces is decent too, easy reconquest later usually. Giving ally stuff is usually better.

Also, I have found that having a fort on capital is useful to avoid the idiot AI landing little stacks to try to siege it from across the world. It depends where the capital is though, you probably don't need that as Busoga.
added in.
 

Nostri

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- it is good tactic in big coalitions to declare war to some isolated OPM or other small country, full occupy ASAP and wait until war exhaustion and and lenght of war do the rest, you can white peace after 1-3 years even with half country sized by co-members,

I used this tactic to do more conquest late game whan I was running out of time for my goal and did't have time to wait for AE reduction
 
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it is good tactic in big coalitions to declare war to some isolated OPM or other small country, full occupy ASAP and wait until war exhaustion and and lenght of war do the rest, you can white peace after 1-3 years even with half country sized by co-members,
added
 

JCan

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Does building a spy network reduce AE?

I'm trying to think of other ways of bringing AE down apart from through adviser bonuses and ideas/policies.
Sorry to bump, but this is the case, right?
 

atwix

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If you own Mare Nostrum it does reduce AE.

Spy Network in target country reduces AE you accumulate with that country. (Up to 10% IIRC).

At least it no longer increases by up to 20% :p
 
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Pay attention to controlling Papal Curia and Excommunication CB -20% AE, additional diplomat and 50% AE Casus Belli are very good in terms of AE reduction.

Also coutry can't join coalition if its already in coalition - can be abused (especially inside HRE) if you feed allies too many development.
Can be combined with reconquest tactics you mentioned: Feed your ally to high AE -> break an alliance (of course better before coalition declares) -> vassalize -> reconquest. Make sure your former ally will keep cores on the lands conquered (same culture or state).
 

bbqftw

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Releasing primary culture provinces is decent too, easy reconquest later usually. Giving ally stuff is usually better.

Also, I have found that having a fort on capital is useful to avoid the idiot AI landing little stacks to try to siege it from across the world. It depends where the capital is though, you probably don't need that as Busoga.
that only works for a couple of cultures that have a bunch of tags to release out of, though. Not to mention you have to release twice as much land to sate the coalition than if you released stuff out of your allies.
 

TheMeInTeam

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that only works for a couple of cultures that have a bunch of tags to release out of, though. Not to mention you have to release twice as much land to sate the coalition than if you released stuff out of your allies.
I did say the ally was better. It's still a useful thing to keep in mind when you have it.
 

atwix

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Pay attention to controlling Papal Curia and Excommunication CB -20% AE, additional diplomat and 50% AE Casus Belli are very good in terms of AE reduction.

Also coutry can't join coalition if its already in coalition - can be abused (especially inside HRE) if you feed allies too many development.
Can be combined with reconquest tactics you mentioned: Feed your ally to high AE -> break an alliance (of course better before coalition declares) -> vassalize -> reconquest. Make sure your former ally will keep cores on the lands conquered (same culture or state).
added
 

bleakie

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Keep presitge high. Every 10 points of prestige means -0.1 AE per year for every nation in the world, as well as -1% AE impact when conquering new provinces.

Also, the points about truce rotation should be integrated as a coherent paragraph.
 
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Keep presitge high. Every 10 points of prestige means -0.1 AE per year for every nation in the world, as well as -1% AE impact when conquering new provinces.
added

Also, the points about truce rotation should be integrated as a coherent paragraph.
heh, I'll try