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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Introduction

WolframS67

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Instant play as a released vassal of England.
Without sabotage. On very hard.

Settings: Ironman
Version: 1.29.5 / 1.29.6
Diff: VH
DLC: All

Main goal: Get achievement "One Night in Paris"

Introduction

Start:
eu4_1.png

The minimum: 1 province with 3 development

So, let me explain the starting conditions.
In the net the by far most "recommended" strategy for released vassals is to first damage the overlord before starting to play as the subject. The "Sabotage Start".
That is if you want to play as Wales or Mann then start the game as England, disband the army and the fleet, delete forts, take loans, waste Monarch points, break alliances, release other subjects like Normandy and Northumberland etc. Just everything that comes to mind to make it easier to get independence from a weakened overlord.
A cowardly and sissy attitude; not my style of play.

A second recommended strategy is the "Double Release" (or "Delayed Start") of a vassal.
Start as England, release the vassal, but don't play as it for now. Grant provinces to the vassal, which gives him new cores. Play 10 years as England as you like, than annex the vassal. After the completion release the vassal a second time and this time choose to play as.
The more provinces the player has given to the vassal in step 1, the more time is needed for integration. But that way it is easy to create a player controlled Cornwall that is even bigger than its overlord England.
A clever move, but clearly not what I had in mind for this campaign.
I want to start with the bare minimum.

The goal: "One Night in Paris"
eu4_2.png

  • start as England
  • do not form another country unless it is Great Britain
  • own and have a core on Paris
The starting condition is fulfilled.
Playing as a released vassal is not a formation. So Cornwall will be eligible for the achievement. I "just" have to form GB, conquer Paris and core it.

So lets see what we need to form GB:
eu4_3.png

In addition the country must have its primary culture in the British Culture group (English, Scottish and Welsh). Cornwall is Welsh. Well, reality fans might hate it, but this is the setup of the game. [It is planned to introduce the Cornish culture in 1.30]

So as a 3-dev country I have to get independence from a 330-dev overlord, then overthrow Scotland and England to form GB. Finally I have to take away the capital from one of the strongest nations in the game.
Sounds crazy, if not impossible?

Before this campaign I have played Wales for the "Home and Away" achievement. Same starting conditions (instant release / no sabotage).
eu4_4.png

It is similar. Take provinces on the islands + Paris. Well at least I don't have to interfere in Italy for the conquest of Rome this time.

But Wales starts
eu4_5.png

with 4 provinces and a total development of 16. That is more than five times bigger than Cornwall.
So will it be possible to succeed with the tiny Cornwall as well?
Can I use the Wales strategy or do I have to go new ways?

Savescums: I take random events as they come. You will see this, I hope. Actually I consider handling bad or unexpected events as a major challenge of the game. In worst case I finish a session and come back another day with a fresh mind, willing to deal with the new, not so ideal, situation.
Reloads: Rarely, but yes, this happens. Sometimes it is a misclick, sometimes it is a detail I planned but then forgot and sometimes I might have another (poor?) excuse.
Restarts: It is actually run #5 I am reporting. I also had 5-6 starts with Wales. Not necessarily because of total failures. I was very interested in testing different strategies (or variations of a strategy) for gaining independence. More details on that later.

Lets see what we start with:
eu4_6.png

The random ruler contributes 11 M-points per month. Good! For balance I put the National Focus on Mil.

Far away, but still interesting:
eu4_7.png

Cornwall has its own National Ideas.
  • Start: +10% Production efficiency, -10% Recruitment time
  • Idea 1: -2 National unrest
  • Idea 2: +1 Attrition for enemies
  • Idea 3: +2 Tolerance of the true faith
  • Idea 4: +20% Privateer efficiency, +10% Chance to capture enemy ships
  • Idea 5: +20% Land force limit modifier
  • Idea 6: +15% Movement speed
  • Idea 7: -1% Prestige decay
  • Finish: +10% Morale of armies
Could be worse. Two ideas to reduce unrest, 3 useful mil ideas and a bit of money. +20% FL and +10% morale are the highlights, but coming late.

The first thing to do next time is to prepare for our independence.
 
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Seeking Support

WolframS67

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Seeking Support

eu4_7a.png


So in 10 years, on 11.Nov.1454 England would like to annex us. Which won't take long, because of our enormous total development of 3. To stop this we have to increase our Liberty Desire (LD) to 50%. Thus we need friends to support our independence. One supporter would be enough to go over the 50% LD threshold.

Lets see:
eu4_8.png

As we got a 5-years truce with the overlord, noone can support us now. If the truce is over the -1000 modifier will go away. So the best candidates are the enemies of England (Burgundy, Scotland and Denmark) and France. France hasn't declared England as a rival, but they hate England like hell.

All I can do is to Improve Relation with these countries and see what happens in the next 5-10 years. Actually the campaign can fail at this point, because the possible supporter must not have a truce with England, must be at peace and must have an open relationship-slot. (It is -20 per "too many diplomatic relations". And I get some maluses already for my weak Cornish army and navy strength. Not possible to compensate everything with a good opinion.) At the start of the game Denmark has 3 subjects and Burgundy has 4.

In my Wales run it was really close, as France allied Scotland, they went to war with England over Maine, resulting in a truce beyond 1455. Burgundy had too many relations and Denmark was at war with Novgorod for years. But gladly they finshed that war some months before Nov 1455 and were willing to support me, which saved my campaign at that moment.

Some early administration of Cornwall:
With just a capital province the Estates have no land and thus low influence. Just one thing I can do:
eu4_9.png

Choose "Feudal Nobility" as free Tier 1 government reform. This gives +5% Nobility influence, for a momentary total of 30%. From there I can run the program: the interactions "Call Diet", "Grant Generalship" (Meriasek Pendennnis 4/1/3/0), "Recruit Minister" and finally "Demand Military Support" for 150 Mil points.

eu4_10.png

As I think "Autocracy", giving -10% on unjustified demands, is a far better government reform, on day 2 I take the drastic step to change the Tier 1 reforms. For the price of +10 corruption.
I will pay it down in the coming 10 years for 0.15 ducats a month. My consideration was better to do it now, when I have low development. Moreover I don't expect to happen much in the first 10 years. I might get 1 or 2 supporters for my independence to prevent the annexation. For starting the Independence War I will need more support, thus more than 10 years.
So no need to rush for Mil Tech 4 or teching up at all until the corruption penalty for all power costs is low or gone at all. Well, the problem with these decisions is that you never know exactly what will happen in the years to come.

Other than that I will hire Infantry to force limit if manpower is available (that is 3 regiments) and Transports for them if sailors are available.

Lets see the economy:
eu4_11.png

Merchants are placed in Champagne to transfer (0.07 ducats) and in English Channel to collect. As a subject nation I don't get 1 base ducat tax per month, but just 0.5 ducats. Plus I have to pay vassal fee to England. But even with the extra costs of reducing corruption the balance looks ... great. Well, seen from the perspective of a very small country. Please note the gigantic loan size of 1 ducat. Game says I can take up to 349 loans. Aha.
All in all that is not the economy for expansion or to challenge England, but for now it is fine.

So lets start the game and wait for events and news around the world.

eu4_12.png

Maybe one of the best events I ever had?
15 months in the game and I "expand" by 33% for free! Cornwall now proudly holds a total development of 4.

eu4_13.png

So the cowards of England give away Maine without a fight to France. Important for me is the Eng-Fra truce ending in April 1451. I smell a strong supporter.
Alert observers might have spotted from the pic that England got an heir already. So unfortunately for me no War of the Roses shaking and weakening England. At least for now.

eu4_14.png

Not good. Really not good. Long term: The prospect to fight the Ottomans for the conquest of Paris is not appealing. Short term: France is guaranteeing Scotland (scripted) and is holding alliances with Provence and Brittany already. So now they are maxed out on diplo slots. Hmpf!
Very surprising to see an alliance between two countries of differnt religious groups that early in the game.

eu4_15.png

Aha, Burgundy starts the action. Besides the starting alliance with Portugal, England could get Irish OPM Tyrone to join. Of course I will chill in this war. Burgundy with its 4 subjects has a reasonable chance to succeed, I would say.

eu4_16.png

We got an heir and a Queen. 1/4/6 for the heir is good. "Average" legitimacy is a bit of a concern though. Sometime ago England used "Influence Nation", giving us an extra Dip point per month. Many thanks for that.
On 5.Sep.1448 Denmark started a Conquest War in the Baltics against Livonian Order, Teutonic Order and Riga. But I need them to integrate Holstein anyway, before they are willing to support me. At the moment: Too many diplomatic relations.

So how is the Burgundian War going?
eu4_17.png

Quite well for England.
Both armies (23k and 18k) are on the continent. Tyrone has 4k in Brabant as well and 4k at home. Portugal is very active, their entire army is in the middle of France. England occupies Flanders and Picardy, while Burgundy only holds English-Gascony. Nevers' army is dead, Holland's and Flanders' are severly reduced. Brabant's army is complete, I can't see them atm. Both Burgundian armies are on the way to Portugal. Seems they have given up fighting the enemies and are going for counter-siege.
Burgundy and subjects still have a lot of forts to offer some resistance. But the numbers are clearly in England's favour. About 70k to 42k soldiers and a highly superior fleet.
I would like to see England in more trouble, if not losing. But no sign of it for the moment.

eu4_18.png

Good news! One slot open for Cornwall to get a French helping hand. When their truce with England is over in April 1451.

eu4_19.png

After sieging down Evora, but not Lisboa, Burgundy peaces out Portugal seperately. England loses the alliance with Portugal. Good.

On 16.Apr.1450 Scotland joined Teutonic Order in their defensive war against Poland, Lithuania and Mazovia. Besides their lordship over The Isles, the Scots are allied to Desmond and Brittany. Too many diplomatic relations.
On 1.Jan.1451 the Renaissance came to live in Siena. Italy is very far away from Cornwall in those days.

eu4_20.png

Ehh, yes please. Immediately!
Our LD will be 100% next day.

So lets have a look at the Burgundian War once more:
eu4_21.png

Burgundy is on "low". Their armies unblack-flagged in Gascony, but they stay there. Either they avoid fighting the enemy or France is denying mil access. Brabant has disbanded their entire black-flagged army! England has taken some forts in the meantime and they are working on more (Den Haag and Dijon). Tyrone has transferred the other half of their army to Brabant.
A complete disaster for Burgundy.
Can't resist to comment that the seperate peace with Portugal was a serious mistake of AI-Burgundy. They got rid of 20-22k Portuguese soldiers, but if they can't fight England + Tyrone anyway, this didn't help at all. Otoh they lost warscore for the occupation of Evora and they could have sieged Lisboa and Ceuta, to lessen the warscore.

My new best friend France has 45 regiments, England 41 and Tyrone 8. So here is the question:
Shall I declare Independence War now? If so, what is my strategy? Or better wait for more support?
The answer ... next time.

Key dates:
05.09.1446 Start of Burgundian Insult War on England: Burgundy, Holland, Brabant, Flanders and Nevers vs England, Portugal, Tyrone and Cornwall
01.04.1451 France supports Independence of Cornwall

Edit: Added first picture.
 
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Fighting for Freedom

WolframS67

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Fighting for Freedom

eu4_22.png


So to get independence in a war with the overloard it needs 23% peace deal score and at least one province not under the control of the enemies.
The first condition is not so problematic as England holds 3 forts on the continent and France (or other supporters) usually can occupy all of them after some time.
The occupation of Cornwall is the problem, as my army can never ever defend it against the English. So what about a liberation of Cornwall by my friends?
From my 8-10 opening runs with Wales and Cornwall one experience: No matter how strong my support, the English navy is stronger and can prevent any naval invasion. In earlier versions this might have happened, but with Rule Britannia (RB) and Golden Century (GC) it is not possible to count on it anymore in the timeframe 1450-1470. England chooses the Naval Doctrine "Wooden Wall" and can build a powerful flagship very early.
In fact the AI-naval-handling is still very awful. One problem is the composition of AI-fleets. If a nation has a transport fleet with troops on board it is not accompanied by an approriate protection. Just a few Lights usually. The Heavies (or Galleys in inland sea) are very far away. The second problem is AI-countries don't coordinate with each other. This is true for the armies, but even more for the navies. The result is England keeps its 8-10 Heavies together and sails around its home island. If Danmark comes with a say 1/5/1/15 fleet (transporting 13 regiments or so) they get destroyed and if France tries it 3 months later with a 3/3/0/2 fleet they get destroyed as well, obviously.
Watching this is either horrible or very funny. Depends on the point of view. As a strategic player I have to take it as it is. At the moment I have no navy myself to exploit the poor AI-naval-handling, but later in the game I would like to.

So what about inland help?
Scotland is not much of a help as a partner in war as they are almost always run over by England and even lose provinces to them in a seperate peace deal. I can use them for distraction and delay, that's about it.

Next idea is that I take care myself to take control of occupied province(s) away from England. That is how I succeeded in a side-run with Wales:
eu4_23.png

Here I got the support of Denmark, France and Austria (after Burgundian Inheritance), plus their subjects. No successful naval invasion, but ...
The Rebels did the job for me!
That wasn't an accident. Before the war I put my army and navy to safety. England quickly occupied all of Wales. Intentionally I stayed at -3 stab and high war exhaustion. Most of England's army went away to France (to no avail but lose battles). Unrest grew fast, rebels popped up, England watched and let them siege down Wales' capital. Total English control of my provinces broken, independence possible. Voila!

Bad news: This strategy doesn't work for Cornwall.
It is just 1 province instead of 4. Not creating enough unrest. Rebbels don't pop up in 5 years.

Ok, if England lets a 10-stack of rebels siege for months, they might don't mind me doing the same? Idea: I black-flag my army (e.g. in Scotland) and come back to Cornwall to siege it back, once the English army is gone away to France.
I have no pics on this, but I couldn't make it work. England always left some troops behind in the South and they attacked me the moment I started sieging.

Next step in the train of thoughts: I have to prevent the occupation of Cornwall at all.
The only chance arises if all of England's armies are on the continent and for one reason or the other don't return to the island. That is how I did it in my main-run with Wales:
eu4_24.png

England was at war with Burgundy and the moment I got the support of France, I declared war for independence. England was in deep trouble in France and lost their entire army to Burgundy/France.

eu4_25.png

I tried to occupy all non-ZOC provinces and at the same time killing all new recruited small stacks, while France took care of the warscore by sieging the English forts on the continent.

eu4_26.png

With the Independence in the hands I tried to siege down London. I failed about this, as it gave England time to recruit and consolidate enough troops to threaten me. But I peaced out in time to become a free nation.

So is this the solution for our situation with Cornwall, as England is fully busy on the continent?
If I look at the last pic from the last report (01.04.1451) and compare it with the start of my Independence War with Wales, I can see a lot of differences. Now England is doing well against Burgundy (+40%), while in the Wales-run they did badly (-40%). Now the Burgundian war is quite old (more than 4 1/2 years), so they may peace out any time soon.
With Wales it was more than 10 years later in the game, so my economy and my manpower were much better. I could use 4 provinces to breed soldiers, so I even built horses, to help killing the upcoming English small stacks.

Thus the answer is: No, this is not the right moment to start the Independence War. But yes, I did it. It was one of the situations for testing. I made a Backup and put it aside, expecting to return to it soon, because an Independence War must fail clearly. But maybe I can learn something for the future?!

Before I (finally) unpause the game again, I would like to give my final take on the strategy to get the independence.
For Wales the Rebel-strategy as well as the Wait-for-the-right-moment-strategy (as shown above) are fine. For Cornwall the best and only reliable strategy is: "wait until someone sets you free". Hope England loses a war clearly and the winner demands the liberation of Cornwall in the peace deal. That is how my first two side-runs with Cornwall went. Here the small size of Cornwall is actually an advantage; the release doesn't cost much score in the peace deal. In contrast to Wales. With its 4 provinces it seems already too big.
Seen from that perspective I was somewhat unlucky in the current run so far. England refused to fight for Maine (= chance #1) and Burgundy is bitterly failing in its current war (= chance #2).

So lets go to War!
But with a cool head, meaning to not forget important actions before the war.
eu4_27.png

In the Diplomatic Feedback screen I set England to "friendly".
Lets think ahead: We win the war and get independence. France will be our ally. Some years after the war the truce will be over. France might attack England (e.g. for Normandy). They call in their allies, that is us too. Could be disastrous, seen our isolated position on the island. Even if not, I have to fight for France that might give me one province in the end, while taking the most for themselves. I don't want that. Either I want France to fight for me, so I can take the most out of England, or if I feel too vulnerable I want to stay out of this new French-English war at all.
By setting England to "friendly" I prevent this scenario. AI-allies will not call me into wars against countries I am "friendly" with. For the "friendly" setting I need an opinion of at least +50. So I have to do this now, as England will not be happy about my hostile actions towards them coming very soon.
Actually meanwhile this "setting to friendly" is a cornerstone of my diplomatic game. I send my diplomats to all and everyone to improve relations. It helps to get alliances or mil access in situations that seem far away now, but can suddenly appear.

It is time:
eu4_28.png

I start into the war with -3 stability and +4 War Exhaustion. On a note for perfection I could have sent an insult to England before, to avoid the extra +1 War Exhaustion because of "good relations". My war plan is (as with Wales) first to occupy as much non-ZOC provinces as I can. If England recruits new troops I will try to find them. My manpower can support 6 regular regiments and in addition I will hire up to 4 Mercs. The job of France is to siege the three forts in Calais, Caen and Labourd to get up the war score.

More adminstration:
eu4_29.png

I develop up my province from 4 to 20. It is the first day of independence, so I don't have to pay the extra +50% dev cost for being a subject anymore. But as a consequence of my early change of government reforms I have to pay +3,5% for every click, because of some still existing corruption.
With my bigger city I increase my income, my force limit goes from 6 to 8 (reducing the extra costs for "above FL" somewhat), my loansize is now 10 ducats (helps to keep inflation in control) and I get the Renaissance started plus progressed every month now.
Mil Tech 4 has to wait some time, but this is not the moment to outplay an about even numbered AI with mil quality anyway. I keep 270 Adm points and hire a Stab Cost Advisor just for one month to stab up to 0 again. Reduces unrest and interest for my debts to come.

eu4_30.png

As suspected England peaces out against Burgundy. He gets Picardie; one more fort for the French to take control of. Even more interesting is a check of our war screen on the right. Tyrone has just disbanded his entire army and England one of his two! I can see scenarions where disbanding an offside army is a good move, but here and in general it is just stupid. Actually in this moment it is not good for me, because England will now try to rebuild these troops at home, which is a major threat to my small army still under construction.

eu4_31.png

Stumbled into the first new stack.

eu4_32.png

A regular check of the ledger gives me some helpful information. The 22 existing regiments are the stack in Calais. It contains already 13 Mercs, as I know from a former check of this page. So England ordered 10 new Mercs. But I don't know where. If I am next to I can go to the province of their recruitment to force the cancelation of the production (kill of the unborn). Next best is if I fight them when they are young (low morale) and seperated.

eu4_33.png

After killing a few more single stacks, I found a group of them. Already a bit late, but still in time. Obviously there are millions of ways to win the war for AI-England. I can't reach 2 provinces because of forts. Kent in the South-East of London and Carmarthen in the West of Wales. If the AI just recruits there and waits for a larger stack with full morale to gather, it is game over for me. But as long as the AI lets me alive, I will keep on fighting.

eu4_34.png

After several months the English Navy has arrived in the Straits of Dover, containing 18 transports. AIs almost never use ports to transfer troops. Soldiers just walk over the water. But instead of bringing the 22-stack home to England, the transfer happens in the other direction. France has taken down the fort in Caen and sent half of his army away south to Labourd. So England decided to fight for Picardie. France has better generals and is on Mil Tech 4. Part of the 7k-stack and the 1,8k-stack were ordered from England to the continent to help in the battle.
No sight of Tyrone's 3k soldiers. Probably they are happy guarding their home province in Ireland.
Excellent news for me, as I can continue to fight the English small stacks. By the way I have taken 14 loans (=140 ducats) so far. Reinforcing Mercs costs something, but who cares for money right now.

eu4_35.png

England won the battle for Picardie and abused it by sending his troops into French territory to siege Chartres. Lead by a general with 0 siege pips. France will catch the smaller leaderless stack in Valois. On the island, England stopped for a moment to produce Mercs. I use the rest period to finally occupy some of their breeding grounds.

eu4_36.png

The siege stack of Chartres tried to help, but they came late and the quality is clearly on the side of the French. Back to Calais please.

eu4_37.png

The English army remains seated in Calais. Watching the French siege in Picardie and too shy to cross the waters, maybe. I concentrate on the area around London. After the fort in Labourd has fallen, we have enough warscore already to force my independence. But of course I will continue and try for more now.

eu4_38.png

France makes good progress on Picardie (with 3 siege pips), while I pseudo-siege London and make no progress on Montgomery (Wales) with 0 siege pips.

eu4_39.png

Picardie has fallen. The English escape to Burgundy, Calais is under siege. England is on "low" and now I have sufficient warscore (+61%!) to take a province for myself. Pale in Ireland, as I can demand that without occupying a fort. I grant France their fair share, as I don't want them to lose any trust. But I keep an eye on the Norman coastline for myself in future wars, so I give them Alencon and Labourd in Gascony. In addition I will get some money to help with my 17 loans.

eu4_40.png

Deal sealed. War over. Freedom!
Incredible.

Next time I am going to look for expansion. I haven't taken Pale without a reason, not?

Key dates:
02.04.1451 Start of Cornish Independence War on England: Cornwall and France vs England and Tyrone
25.04.1451 End of Burgundian War on England
05.03.1453 End of Cornish Independence War on England
 
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WolframS67

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Addition to "Fighting for Freedom":
Some weeks have passed since I played the "Incredible War of Cornish Independence" in the original. Out of memory I used 1 reload. A few months in the war my army went too much to the North suspecting new Mercs there. But they were in the East and quickly outnumbered me. So I had to go back one step.

In the last days I have reviewed pictures and old saves, to write the report and analyze the situation.
After posting the last chapter I replayed this interesting war using a save from Jan.1451 to see what of my original run was luck based and what I could do better. I played the first two new runs in the footsteps of my previous game. After the peace with Burgundy England disbands one army and starts to merc up on the island. From there I have little scope for errors. England starts with +10% Infantry CA, which I forgot for the report. So one or two steps in the wrong direction or one or two lost close battles (like that of Gloucester 18.09.1451 shown above) and it is game over. In the first new run I got annihilated and in the second I came to the same war score as in the game (+61%) and got the same peace deal. Despite France sieging Picardie leaderless, while Mr. Siege (Jean Bureau with 3 siege pips) was just watching adjacent for over a year (hmpf).

In the third new run I asked Burgundy for Mil Access asap after my war declaration.
eu4_41.png

This prevents the English army to be black-flagged after their peace with Burgundy. Now AI-England decides to keep their army alive. I also took Mil Tech 4 and developed Cornwall to 15 only. Now my armies have much more time to carpet siege every unfortified province in England.

About one year later:
eu4_42.png
At some point England started mercing up again. But I got what I wanted.

In summary:
The way I played the war in the game is risky (at best 50/50) and also rather stressful, playing whack-a-mole for about 2 years. So in the original run I got somewhat lucky. With the trick to prevent the dissolution of the English army the war is winable (probably always) and with a more relaxed play. To my surprise.
But I'm not angry that I didn't see this trick in the game.
 
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Life as an Irish Minor Part I

WolframS67

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Life as an Irish Minor Part I

eu4_43.png


So I got Pale and thus a nice foothold in Ireland. 12 provinces just waiting for us to be taken over. The conquest of Ireland as a minor is much more a diplomatic task than a military one. But there is some work to be done.

First some administration:
eu4_44.png

I do not want any rebels early in the game. Maybe until Mil Tech 7 (1479), but clearly not now on Mil Tech 3. The potential rebel stack is 8k, while my current army is only 6k with low manpower. Pale has 20.4 unrest stemming mostly from separtism, war exhaustion and not-accepted culture. Long talk: I immediately increase autonomy, not even waiting for coring and stating. Now with 10.4 unrest the uprising is projected in about 10 years. Until then most unrest should be ticked down, so I won't see Meathian (= Pale's) Separatits at all hopefully.
Downside is Pale is on 100% autonomy, thus contributes nothing to my little realm for the moment.
Something good about Ireland is every province has its own group of separatists, so no accumulated unrest from several province. Less likely uprisings. Well, tribes.

Now for the work:
eu4_45.png

For every Irish nation I check their allies, their rivals and which provinces they desire urgently (= vital interest = the red ones).
Then I try to find a weak spot and a constellation to attack the weakling.

Leinster is the selected victim:
eu4_46.png

Leinster is only allied to two other Irish minors (Offaly and Munster). Kildare and Desmond hate them and have red interest in their province. I want allies to do the work for me (that's what they are for, not?) and I want them in quickly. With the vital interest I can call them into the war on the promise of land and I don't have to wait years for 10 favors to tick up.
I don't select rivals unless I have a very specific reason. Here I have rivaled Leinster and with a scornful insult I can impress Leinster's enemies. Both helps to get alliances with Kildare (white with red cross) and Desmond (black with white ship; province Cork).
Other than that I fabricate claims on Leinster, Offaly and Munster, while improving relations with Kildare and Desmond.

eu4_47.png

News from other nations. France wants to grow and they have even setup for the war. I am not on friendly terms with Burgundy yet. Probably because of my 17 loans France doesn't call me in.
Some time in 1453 England allied The Papal State and Castile. Later Friesland as well.
Meanwhile I got Royal Marriages (RM) and alliances with Kildare and Desmond. I have to wait for the coring of Pale, claims, manpower, money etc before going to action.

eu4_48.png

Normal, but not good for me. Castile + Aragon + Naples as ally of England. I have made friends with Scotland for RM and alliance. This should help in case England gets naughty with his new friends. By the way our truce with England ends on 1.Sep.1464.
In the meantime I have taken government reform Tier 2 "Strengthen Noble Privilegs" for +15% manpower and (finally) Mil Tech 4.

One more detail before going to war against Leinster:
eu4_49.png

In the tab "Diplomatic Feedback" I claim all provinces of the enemies as vital interest for Cornwall.

Lets start it:
eu4_50.png

My army is up to force limit (8k, all infantry) and in position. Munster will dishonor, as they are 20 ducats in debt (lol). Offaly is allied to Leinster and Munster, so I can set them co-belligerent for free.

I want both provinces for myself and I don't want Kildare and Desmond to lose trust about it. Although I call in both on the promise of land.
How does this work?
In the main peace deal I can take every province occupied by me and claimed as vital interest and my allies are ok with it, if they don't have occupied anything. Kildare has set Ui-Failghe (Offaly) on red as well (see above). If Kildare gets first into this province, they will keep the occupation for themselves and won't transfer it to me. So I have to be first in there, which will secure me the occupation. Without setting Ui-Failghe to red before the war by me, Kildare would expect me to transfer the occupation to them. Otherwise they will express their dislike, if I grab that province in the main peace deal. In that case I could still make a seperate peace deal with Offaly, but that costs Diplo points.
The Wargoal is different: No matter who comes first, my allies will transfer the occupation to me, the warleader. Even if they have vital interest in the province.

After all that diplomacy stuff my military actions are now clear and simple:
My army goes to Ui-Failghe to the West. AI-armies at peace are either drilling or on low maintenance. So because of low morale easy targets at the start of a war.

eu4_51.png

I stackwiped Offaly's army in Ui-Failghe with the help of Kildare (so we had the 2:1 superiority). Leinster's army went to my province Pale. I waited for Kildare's and Desmond's armies to be close enough to attack, while leaving a minimal stack in Ui-Failghe. My new general Ricatus Connor (5/2/2/0) became "Master of Arms" (= +10% Infantry CA), which comes all in very handy in these battles.
Leinster survived the battle in Pale, but they will be caught for stackwipe in Laighin by Desmond and me. Actually I try to arrive on the battle field just a bit later than my allies. Keeps my loses small. The rest of the war is sitting on level-1-forts.

Lets not forget about some administration:
eu4_52.png

I develop Cornwall up to 30. More everything from the province, age objective fulfilled and Renaissance almost done. In the background the sieges continue. While my allies take most of the attrition, my army tries to recover in Pale.

Another province ready to be taken over:
eu4_53.png

I can attack Ulster as well with the "help" of my allies Kildare and Desmond. Well, "help" means they can't defend Ulster as long as they are on my side of the war with Leinster. So it is one on one with the victim on low morale as usual.

eu4_54.png

Ok France, noted.
Meanwhile my army stackwiped Ulster's. As I did not outnumbered them 2:1, I first won the battle in Ulaidh (Ulster) and then killed them in Pale. Now it is sitting on the capital fort again. I have also embraced the Renaissance lately.

eu4_55.png

Huh, what a stroke of luck!
Tyrone declares war on Ulster. Sligo, who has eaten Clanricarde earlier, joins them. Kildare and Desmond are willing to defend Ulster in this war.
This is triple AI-stupidity. First, someone sits on the wargoal and has no reason to go away ever (that's me). Second, the defenders outnumber the attackers (8k + 8k vs 5.4k + 6k). Third, it allows an easy combination creating much more trouble for the attackers soon.
With the exception of a single stack I will remove my army from Ulaidh. That makes my siege incomplete, but it triggers Tyrone to come over with his army. So, in this case even my enemies do the work for me. Very fine.

eu4_56.png

About one year later the siege of Ulaidh is finally done. I have united my army and placed them savely. Now I can execute the simple combination of demanding the forced vassalization of Ulster. Thereby I join the defenders of Ulster vs Tyrone and automatically take over the war lead. Three more provinces ready for grasp. Kildare is already sieging Sligo's capital Sligeach. Very good, none of my friends has any interest in the enemies' provinces. They will transfer occupations to me.

eu4_57.png

Time to finish the first war, demanding Ui-Failghe (now Midlands) and Laighin (now Leinster). Coring can start.

eu4_58.png

With my manpower close to zero, I don't want to engage in any serious battle. But as the war vs Tyrone is defensive I can call my other allies for free. Time for Scotland to do something for me. The united forces of Scotland, Kildare and Desmond do their job and beat Tyrone's. Sligo's are locked in and will be defeated next.

eu4_59.png

On 21.Aug.1461 I already signed a seperate peace with Sligo. Coring of the provinces Sligo and Connaught is already in progress. Now the capital fort in Tir Eoghain (Tyrone) has fallen to Desmond and my vassal Ulster. So I can take that province too. Aggressive Expansion (AE) is very moderate.
In a few years I could conquer 5 provinces and gain one OPM vassal. Cornwall has grown to 71 total development.

More of my adventures in Ireland ... next time.

Key dates:

10.05.1457 Start of Cornish Conquest War on Leinster: Cornwall, Desmond and Kildare vs Leinster and Offaly
01.04.1459 Start of Cornish Conquest War on Ulster: Cornwall vs Ulster
08.05.1460 Start of Tyronish Conquest War on Ulster: Tyrone and Sligo vs Ulster, Desmond and Kildare
06.03.1461 End of Cornish Conquest War on Ulster; Cornwall joins Ulster in the Tyronish Conquest War on Ulster
11.03.1461 End of Cornish Conquest War on Leinster
22.02.1462 End of Tyronish Conquest War on Ulster
 
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Life as an Irish Minor Part II

WolframS67

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Life as an Irish Minor Part II

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So strictly seen we are not an Irish minor anymore, but the only Irish major holding 6 provinces (+ 1 via our vassal Ulster) out of 13.
But the general strategy is the same as last time. Looking for weaknesses, outplay AIs diplomatically and grab as much as possible. Ormond is supposed to be my next victim, as they are isolated after I have removed their ally Tyrone from the map.

eu4_61.png

Hmpf. My spy network in Ormond was close to 20 to make the claim, but Kildare strikes before. Before taking over all the provinces last time, I have improved relations with all the minors and set them to "friendly". So at least Kildare won't call me in. Well, ok I have to wait for more expansion. But just a bit.

Time for some administration:
eu4_62.png

Coring of Leinster and Midlands has just been done. I have made the area "Leinster" into a state, developed up Pale from 8 to 10 and assigned it to the Burghers, while the Clergy got Midlands. In a year I will assign Leinster to the Nobility. So from now on all Estates have good influence and I can press all the buttons (= state interactions). Although Pale has still an autonomy of close to 100% now I get full production, trade and sailors out of the province.
For Tyrone, Sligo and Connaught I have raised the autonomy immediately after taking over, so they have 100% now. For Midlands and Leinster I raised it only after coring. That is why their rebel progress is on 40% and 80% respectively. A bit risky, but presently I have the unrest in check. Increased stability, Irish is an accepted culture and my army is on "autonomous rebel supression". Rebel progress will tick down.
A year ago I got out of debts. Strict austerity (no advisors, army and navy on minimum maintenance), high tax income from Cornwall and some small subsidies from France allowed me to pay back 17 loans over the years. But for now I have only infantry and transports, so expenses might go up some time in the future again.

External affairs: Kildare has eaten Ormond, I dissolved my alliance with them and we are mutual rivals now. Clearly a preparation on my side to attack them. Kildare is allied to Thomond (their neigbor in the West). Thomond is also allied to Tyrconnell (in the North). Desmond is still my ally. And Munster is allied to ... no one.

eu4_63.png

I waited until coring of the other provinces was completed. Desmond wants Munster's province Deas-Mhumhain. For years they were to shy to attack Munster one on one. As Deas-Mhumhain has a real fort (lvl 3), it comes very handy Desmond willing to do most of the work for me again.
Lately I have taken Adm Tech 4 and Mil Tech 5.

eu4_64.png

I didn't expect this. On 22.Dec.1459 Charles I Lancaster (6/2/4) became King of England at the age of 15. He got no heir for years, but with the ruler's stats it should have been good. I suspect AI-England was a bit careless about its stability and/or legitimacy. So the disaster ticked up monthly and started now. I will watch closely to see if I can benefit from it.

eu4_65.png

The siege was successful much faster than expected. Deas-Mhumhain will now be part of our realm under the name "Desmond". That is a bit confusing as the nation "Desmond" (sitting in Cork) still exists. I hope I will try to be clear about which "Desmond" I am talking about for the next time. If devastion is gone I will demolish the fort in the province Desmond.
Meanwhile France pays us some ducats for the Renaissance and I have taken new loans to build a fort in Midlands. In general I like to have some forts around. Not necessarily covering everything, but a lot of my provinces. It stops or slows down rebels by events or war enemies, even if this seems totally unlikely for the moment. Here I have a short term idea with this investment.

eu4_66.png

Pretender rebels are still active, but the English keep cleaning after. Somewhat of a stalemate momentary. Of course I pour some oil into the fire, supporting the rebels with some money.
I had some up and down events, like "Local Traders demand Aid" giving me +4 unrest in Connaught and Sligo, "The Levee" = +20% nobility loyalty and -10% tax income etc., "Political Crisis" = -25 legitimacy or "Build a Great Palace" = +20 legitimacy and +10 prestige.
On 1.May.1468 I took Adm Tech 5. To get it, I left some of the provinces as half cores. I also didn't tech up in Diplo at all. So now I could choose Diplomatic ideas and fill out the first two of them, for +1 Diplomat and +1 Dip Rel. Hardly a surprise, as I am talking about the importance of diplomacy so much.

After long preparation it is time for another war:
eu4_67.png

Truce with Kildare is over, castle in Midlands built and Mil Tech 6 researched. I declare Thomond as co-belligerent, so they bring in Tyrconnell. My ally Desmond only desires Ormond. Thus no rushing for first occupations, as Ormond is the wargoal. So it is 2 vs 3, well maybe 2.5 vs 3, if I count my vassal as half a force. Kildare and I are on Mil Tech 6, the others on 5.
Here is the reason I built the fort. It will prevent the unification of the enemies' forces. I will first strike on Thomond and then take on the two others, but in separation.

eu4_68.png

After stackwiping Thomond's army in Tuadhmhumhain, I went north to catch Tyrconnell's. Then back again as Kildare's considered it best to occupy my southernmost province Desmond. After this defeat they will be stopped by my fort in Midlands at latest. The rest of the war is waiting for the level-1-forts to fall.

eu4_69.png

England has upgraded heavily to finally fight a decisive battle against its Pretenders; including some 15 Mercs. That are the last rebels for now. England has an heir and is on +2 stability. The Pretenders still occupy the Norman coastline including three forts.

eu4_70.png

I take everything in the main peace deal. Better to pay 0 Diplo points than taking some small money from the minors in separate peaces, so I can proceed with Diplomatic ideas, I think. AE is not a problem for the moment, only England cares.
With the exception of OPM Desmond and my vassal Ulster, Ireland is completely conquered. Cornwall has grown to 115 total development.

Where to go next?
Desmond is allied to Scotland and me. England is allied to Castile, The Papal State and Münster. Scotland is guaranteed by France, as well as allied to Desmond, Brittany and me. Brittany is allied to Scotland, France and Utrecht.
The answer ... next time.

Key dates:

01.12.1464 Start of Cornish Conquest War on Munster: Cornwall and Desmond vs Munster
06.12.1465 End of Cornish Conquest War on Munster
01.05.1470 Start of Cornish Conquest War on Kildare: Cornwall and Desmond vs Kildare, Thomond and Tyrconnell
15.12.1471 End of Cornish Conquest War on Kildare
 
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Adventures in Scotland Part I

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Adventures in Scotland Part I

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So after we have conquered almost all of Ireland the question is: Where to expand next? In addition to the alliance blocks (see at the end of the last report) lets look at troop numbers (current regiments/FL): Cornwall 11/13, Desmond 7/10, Scotland 18/30, England 39/51, Castile 47/53, Brittany 10/16 and France 47/70.
Brittany is protected by Scotland and France, that is out of question. England's ally Castile started a war on Tunis in early 1468. That is not going well (-19% WS), because Ottomans are defending their fellow Muslim brothers. Nevertheless Castile is far from dishonoring a CtA in case I attack England. Moreover they always bring in their juniors Aragon and Naples. In England the flames of the pretender uprising are almost extinguished. Unless something special happens this looks not appealing.
My ally Scotland maybe? Directly impossible, as they are proteced by France and Brittany. But if I declare on Desmond it would be me against Desmond plus Scotland. Moreover I could abuse my alliance with Scotland for a surprise attack. Meaning I place my troops on Scotland's, declare the war on Desmond, my armies won't be black-flagged as Scotland is still my ally, they join Desmond and we are immediately in battle. With the Scots on low morale. They also like to mothball their only fort in West March. Nevertheless together they could muster up to 40 regiments.
Anyway I will quit my alliance with Desmond. During the next 5 years of truce I will keep the outlined idea in mind. Integrating Ulster is also on my to-do list. Just have to improve relations a bit to start it.

eu4_72.png

Aha, England has transferred all his soldiers to the continent to recapture the three forts in Normandy. Reminds of the situation in "Fighting for Freedom".
But that war was risky and here it is even worse. France will get a lot of pressure by Castile and the other friends of England. While I have absolutely nothing to siege the English forts on the island.
No, this is not the right moment to start Conquest War. And no, I didn't do it this time.

I could pick up Diplomatic idea #3 for another diplomat and unlocked National idea #1, for -2 unrest. Very useful. Lately I selected Provence as rival. Chances are not bad, they simply drop out of rivalry. Provence is fairly small, excommunicated and many keep an eye on their lands.

eu4_73.png

No new rebels occured, so after the liberation of the last occupied fort, England got out of the trouble. Almost at the same time in my Wales run they couldn't defeat the rebels and had to declare bankruptcy, which was an invitation for me and my allies to come upon them. This time England is much more stable and has really strong friends. A real challenge.

eu4_74.png

Coring of the 4 latest provinces is completed. This time I didn't increase autonomy because I picked the age ability "Feudel de Jure Law" recently. I got two (!) events kindly asking me to grant more autonomy to Pale. So back to 100%. Meanwhile I have more and more modifiers to control unrest. But the profit from the provinces in Ireland is really low.

eu4_75.png

5 days ago our old Duke died. Duncan ascended the throne, immediately presenting a very good heir. Duncan's average claim wasn't a problem, as my legitimacy was in the 40s anyway. As his stats are the mirror of Gwefawr's (6/4/1) I put the national focus on Adm. We are one tech behind in Admin, some of the provinces are half cores and hopefully new provinces to core are coming. A renewed RM with France has just resulted in a new Queen.

In the meantime: On 5.Dec.1474 I arrange an alliance with Brittany. Integration of Ulster finished. On 18.Sep.1475 France and Brittany go to war against Burgundy and Mecklenburg. Burgundy lost all its subjects in previous years.

eu4_76.png

England makes the move I was talking about! Declaring on Desmond with Scotland being the true target. After dozens of sarcastic remarks and somewhat derogatory comments about "AI supidity", a really clever move by AI-England. England's army is on 38/51 regiments. Starting the war with half the army in Calais, well. Scotland has reduced (!) his army to 13/30.
Suddenly I realize a problem. England just needs Lothian and Aberdeen to hold all key provinces to form Great Britain. Ok, Adm Tech 10 (1518) is far away, but if they do so, I must remove England/GB totally from the map, to be able to form GB myself. Not to my liking. So what can I do?
My truce with Desmond ends in Mar.1477. I am a bit above my force limit of 13, as I kept the 4 infantry inherited from the integration of Ulster. Re-allying Desmond is not possible, as he dislikes me. Would be way too risky anyway.

eu4_77.png

Lets rent out our army. Well, almost for free, but it is for a good cause. Everyone is on Mil Tech 6 and at max manpower.

eu4_78.png

The terrain is hills in both Scottish border provinces West March and East March. Together we have a chance to defend against the English, I hope.

eu4_79.png

That is what I was thinking about. Defensive terrain.

eu4_80.png

But what is Scotland doing? Donkey. Goes with a wounded stack onto the fort in Northumberland, which is marsh-land. England with a fresh stack approaching from the South. I have lost 20% of my men and some morale in the first battle. This is time for recovery not for rushing forward, Scotland.

eu4_81.png

So here we are. The first Scottish stack has already retreated from the battlefield, pounded in the ground. The second English army has reached its destination of forced retreat and is turning north again. The main question is not "Can I win this battle?", but "What will happen after the battle?".
I assume the chances to win less than 50%, but still substantial. So far I have lost 40% of my army, continuing would increase the losses heavily. If we win, Scotland will insist on laying siege to the fort in the marsh. Negative terrain and bad reinforcement rate. England can attack us with both his stacks. Desmond shows no signs of moving his army over to Scotland. Oh yes, AIs don't coordinate. Before long we are bleeded out and have to go away anyway.
So in this situation I decide to abandon the battle. Aware that this can be a preliminary decision in the war already.

eu4_82.png

I went to my homeland, to get the maximal reinforcement rate. As I am only in this war with Condottieri, Cornwall is neutral. So England could block the strait with his navy. But I am not thinking about a return to Scotland anymore. England, the lucker, got a wall breach in the second phase of his siege on West March. Now he is using "Assault", so the fort will fall in his hands very soon. It was mothballed before the war, thus now it has low garrison. I forgot about that. My bad.
So Scotland's and my forces are separated, the war is lost in this moment. Moreover my entire army is in danger now. No other fort I can hide behind. I will keep standing in Ulster, hoping England will shy away from attacking across the strait and into woods. 13 months until I can revoke my Condottieri arrangement, that is a long time.

eu4_83.png

Uff, England goes for easier prey: The Scots. And he is still busy sieging the capital fort in Lothian. Out truce with Desmond is up, but all my troops are under contract. 7 months until revocation.

eu4_84.png

So I have made it to Oct.1477. Condottieri contract is cancelled. Desmond commits suicide in Scotland. England is still unsuccessful with his siege on Lothian. I declare war on Desmond. My 2nd army is led by Wella Trevithick (0/1/3/2). Finally I got something to siege and I can even use my transports for a blockade of Cork, as Desmond's navy run into England's.

In the meantime: On 15.Nov.1477 France makes peace with Burgundy, gaining 4 provinces (Hainaut, Cambrésis, Dijon and Franche-Comté).

eu4_85.png

England signs a seperate peace deal with Scotland. 4 provinces, including Aberdeen and the fort in West March, now appear in the red of the English. But Lothian is still Scottish. Bankruptcy noted. I dissolve my alliance with Scotland.
What will I do when Cork falls into my hands?

eu4_86.png

Some things have happened here. On 4.Nov.1478 my siege of Cork was done. I considered briefly the possibility of Desmond's force vassalisation to get into a defensive war against England. Then I could call in Brittany and France. They would take care of English Normandy, but would not come over to the island. So my 15k alone against more than 40k of England, plus his naval superiorty. No way.
Fairly quickly after my fort occupation England realised the futility of a further continuation of his war, so he peaced out for some money.
Now my turn. I just asked Desmond for "Concede Defeat", giving me 10 prestige. Why not taking over? My main goal in the years to come is Scotland. He still holds the alliance with Brittany and the guarantee by France. So a direct attack could be difficult. But he might ally again with Desmond. If not, my truce with Desmond is shorter than England's, so I can conquer Cork in a few years once more.

A lively period. England is the winner, Scotland the loser. Deserved, for his dumb move to Northumberland. My involvement with Condottieri was ok, I think. I was a bit too optimistic about it and it contained more risk than initially thought. But in the end I could at least prevent the English conquest of Cork.
With the exception of the integration of Ulster I didn't expand. Cornwall is now on 124 total development.

Next time, will it be the time for our conquest of Scotland?

Key dates:

04.07.1474 Gwefawr I is dead; Duncan II Fane (1/4/6) new Duke of Cornwall
18.03.1476 Start of English Conquest War on Desmond: England vs Desmond and Scotland
30.10.1477 Start of Cornish Conquest War on Desmond: Cornwall vs Desmond
16.11.1478 End of English Conquest War on Desmond
17.11.1478 End of Cornish Conquest War on Desmond
 
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Adventures in Scotland Part II

WolframS67

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Adventures in Scotland Part II

eu4_87.png


So last time England stopped our expansion on the islands. Now we have truces with Scotland until Aug.1483 and with Desmond until Jan.1485. Not so much to do in the years to come.

eu4_88.png

But it is important to check regulary to know "What if?". Both France and Brittany are not willing to defend Scotland against me. The reasons are (shown in detail for France): their attitude towards me, the bad Scottish dip rep (because of 0 legitimacy by bankruptcy) and some debts in case of Brittany. It is close, so I will keep an eye on it to direct my war preparations for 1483. Desmond has no allies for the moment. News will inform me about changes.

eu4_89.png

Time for leisure and arts, it seems. Not every event is bad.
Meanwhile I started the construction of the first two Heavies, financed by loans. A long way to challenge the English navy, a first step taken. I have taken Diplomatic idea #4 (+25% Improve Relation) and rivaled Scotland. Tech status is 6/3/7. Mil Tech 7 introduces artillery. Cannons are helpful for sieges and open up the backline in battles for murderous use. AIs don't make good use of both aspects. The more the game progresses, the easier to outplay the AI militarily.

In the meantime: On 5.Mar.1481 France declares war on Nevers. Brittany joins France, while Cologne, Provence (my rival) and their junior Lorraine decide to help Nevers. In Aug.1482 the game allows Desmond to rival me. I take the chance to counter rival him. On 5.Apr.1483 France wins his war easily and takes Rethélois, Barrois and Forcalquier. On 17.May.1483 Provence inherits the throne of Lorraine, so he gains the provinces Lorraine and Trois Evechés.

Lets take the chance:
eu4_90.png

Scotland is out of bankruptcy and his dip rep has improved a bit. But Brittany (shown in detail) is more in debts than before and the French King is "malevolent", so it will be one on one. My navy is 4/0/0/10 and my army 13/0/1. As I have naval superiorty against Scotland's 3 Lights, my boats can observe the Scottish army. All troops are on Orkney with low morale. Although I have to start with a naval invasion across the Irish Sea into Argyll, I don't expect much of a resistance.

eu4_91.png

Another good event. W.Trevithick (2 siege pips) and the cannon work on the capital fort in Lothian. R.Connor (5/2/2/0) with the "1st Army" just block the Scottish; mutual battle avoidance.
Lately I have taken Diplomatic idea #5 (+2 Diplomatic Reputation) and spent a number of excessive Mil points to develop some Irish provinces a bit.

eu4_92.png

The war ends without any land battle and I grab all 5 non-island provinces. Especially Lothian is very valuable (CoT and key province to form GB). AE is no problem, as I was so peaceful for so many years and Scotland is far away from everything except England. Overextension (OE) is 52.
I have to watch the Gaelic (=Highlander) Seperatists, as they would pop up with 18 regiments, while my FL is only 16. Moreover there is a problem with Perth. It is inland without a core-connection to my capital. Thus I have to wait until the core of the neighboring Lothian is done, so I can start the coring of Perth. Only after the finish of this, I can make the area "Highlands" a state and use the "Feudal de Jure" state edict. This is scheduled for May.1489.
Power Projection (PP) is above 50 for the first time in this game. Provence is my only rival for now, as Scotland is eclipsed.

Time to complete Ireland:
eu4_93.png

I don't expect Desmond anymore to ally with someone I could indirectly attack. So lets integrate the last Irish province.

The looming disaster is "Civil War". I regulary forget about this. Average province autonomy above 30 is normal, if starting small and conquering some land. Legitimacy below 50, well it is 49. Hmpf. But the ticking up of the disaster is slow; only +1% per month and only as long as I have OE > 10. Otherwise it stands still. So in general I have quite a number of years to completely get rid of it. No need to panic now and waste Mil points to raise legitimacy to above 75. Nevertheless something to keep an eye on, too.

eu4_94.png

As the area "Munster" is already a state, I can give Cork (copper and CoT) to the Burghers, even before coring. Some time ago I granted Ulster to the Nobility.

Two easy wars this time. Cornwall has grown to 193 total development.

The almost traditional question: Where to expand next? England, our ally Brittany, or even somewhere else?
Lets see ... next time.

Key dates:

01.08.1483 Start of Cornish Conquest War on Scotland: Cornwall vs Scotland
05.11.1484 End of Cornish Conquest War on Scotland
08.01.1485 Start of Cornish Conquest War on Desmond: Cornwall vs Desmond
30.09.1485 End of Cornish Conquest War on Desmond
 
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The Number 9

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You did very well so far. I'm interesting to see how you'll manage the next steps.
 

WolframS67

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Small Cornwall vs Mighty England, Round 2

WolframS67

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Small Cornwall vs Mighty England, Round 2

eu4_95.png


So by almost completely taking over Scotland we lack a target for our next expansion again. Lets see the candidates.
The "Somewhere else"; Norway: Because of my holding Sutherland in North-Scotland I can fabricate a claim on the Faroes, so Norway. An attack would include his overlord Denmark plus subjects and allies. That is Sweden, Holland and East Frisia. That means a lot of troops and ships against me. My army is 13/0/2 and my navy is still 4/0/0/10, far from good enough.
The "Archenemy"; England: He holds 40 (33/7/0) out of 57 regiments and 9/18/0/29 ships alone. Plus his strong allies. So nothing new here; without a clear signal of weakness impossible to attack.
The "Remaining"; Brittany: He is on 11 (7/4/0) out of 16 regiments and on 5/8/0/9 ships. I can handle that. Problem is, he is allied to Utrecht, France and me.

eu4_96.png

Huh, war against Ottomans? No, I haven't gone crazy. I just check the French willingness to defend his allies. And this is not that high (malevolent). That is the signal I need, I will dissolve my alliance with Brittany. Nevertheless, I have to be careful not to remove all my helpers for a defence against England. So first I sign an alliance with Flanders. He is just a 2PM, but part of the HRE and allied with Burgundy and Savoy. Not a great ally, but the best I can get at the moment. My only other ally France should be willing to defend me against England. Despite his malevolent King he likes me and hates England very much. Means; lets always improve relation with France to maximum.

So now we have truces with Brittany until Jan.1491 and with Scotland until Oct.1499. It is not clear whether I can attack Brittany and Utrecht in 5 years, but it looks like a good chance. BTW Brittany has still his starting ruler, who is 71 years now. If he dies a noble from the French dynasty will follow. Sharing dynasty is irrelevant for CtA, Wiki says.

eu4_97.png

Some years late, but now I have just taken Adm Tech 7. Well, conquests devour Adm points. As I have almost 1000 Mil points, I clearly choose a Mil idea group. I decide for Offensive and fill out the first idea, which also unlocks National Idea #2. Defensive is also very helpful in early game. I guess in the end it was idea #6 (+20% FL) that attracted me to take Offensive this time. Some more militrary investments: I started to build a fort in Argyll at the English border and ordered 2 more cannons. Also my army is at full maintenance to execute "autonomous rebel supression" in the Highlands. Until the coring of Perth is finished (May.1489) I can only try to prevent the Gaelic Seperatists to make more progress, currently at 70%. All in all I am at 5 loans for a total of 385 ducats debt for now. A while ago I picked the age ability "Transfer Subjects", which includes "Claims bordering Claims".

eu4_98.png

There goes our expansion plans. <curse>. My dreams of 5 nice provinces and a strong foothold on the continent, destroyed. At my last check some months ago it was still "a noble from House de Valois succeeds". The succession tier must have changed lately to "direct inheritance". <curse again>. Moreover I have 3 claims on Bretonish provinces, now held by France. Highly likely I will get border friction events, costing me 5 prestige each to remove a claim and ease the tension with France.
Meanwhile I have officially declared England my rival. Helps to keep PP above 50. I consider it unlikely AI-France declaring war on England, as his other ally Ottomans won't be interested and he will consider the English allies as too strong.

eu4_99.png

So this is the start of the Castilian Conquest War on Florence for Pisa: Castile, Aragon, Naples and England vs Florence, Venice, Milan, Savoy and Lucca. Not a too difficult war for Castile, it seems, as the Italians are only minors. But it will be interesting to see what England will contribute to this war.

Meanwhile the coring of Perth is finally completed, the area "Highlands" a state and the "Feudal de Jure" edict is on, so rebel uprising progress ticks down. "Civil War" stopped at 54% progress and has gone to the background. It is still active, but with 0% monthly progress. I shouldn't forget about it.
Diplomatic idea #6 (-20% Province war score cost) is bought. By event the province Kildare got +1 base tax. I have invested some Adm points to create full cores on the former Scottish provinces, "Highlander" is an accepted culture and I have given Lothian (cloth and CoT) to the Burghers.

eu4_100.png

Aha, England has upgraded to more than 50k soldiers. One army is already deep in Southern France, the other walking over water to take transports. Likely they will ship over to Aquitaine and march towards Italy as well. So the time has come to strike?

eu4_101.png

The second English army has indeed disappeared somewhere in Italy. So, yes, I do it.
Although the partners in war are almost the same as in 1472, some things have changed. My old siege general W.Trevithick is gone, but H.Connor (2/1/5/2) has replaced him and I have invested in 6 cannons total. The AI is not very good with sieges in general and at this time of the game even the large nations don't have large amount of artillery. England 6, France 5, Aragon 3, Castile 2 and all the others even less. So I expect to siege down all 4 English forts on the island (West March, Northumberland, Montgomery and London) in reasonable time. I hope Castile, his juniors Aragon plus Naples, as well as England will be busy some time with the Italians. That war is still in its first year.
On the other hand: On paper we are outnumbered 2 to 1 in land units. England's navy is 14/19/0/30, so mine with 4 Heavies is no match for that.

eu4_102.png

The problem is this: The enormous land mass of the enemies. It will be tough to create war score. The decisive reason I declared the war is simply the lack of alternatives to expand. So lets go the hard way.
My war strategy is simple: Carpet siege every unfortified province on the island and then work on the 4 forts. The first one with a stack made of the cannons and the siege general, for a +5 bonus, while another stack with pure infantry starts on a second. The war goal is Devon, next to Cornwall, so I will profit from ticking war score. Other than that it will be: Cheer or cry for France.

eu4_103.png

76k is very impressive, France. But the next enemies are ... a million miles and a bunch of forts away. Burning 3.8k manpower every month for nothing. First cries. By checking the Italian provinces, I can see Castile and England are committing at least some of their forces to sieges over there.
I have just taken Mil Tech 8 (+0.25 Infantry fire, +0.8 Cavalry shock) and about half a year ago Offensive idea #2 (-10% recruitment time).

eu4_104.png

One English army in Picardy. First they battled with a Venitian in Calais; nice to have indirect allies. Now the French, that have better discipline, much better morale and reinforcements on the way, after occupying Caen on 19.May.92. First cheers.
On 22.Apr.92 the fort in Montgomery fell into my hands. That was the easiest, because non coastal. Cannons have been rolled over to London.

Picture puzzle:
eu4_105.png

About half a year later. London is almost taken (+64% + wall breach), siege on Northumberland is in the early stage. France with one army on Picardie, but the other ... deep in Spanish heartland. More cries. England's minor allies have sent their stacks to France: The Papal State, Cologne and Münster. What nice targets for the 35k, if they would return to their homelands instead of wasting time in Burgos. On 25.06.92 the French fort in Narbonnais was sieged down by Aragon. In between some small Italian armies. Florence's just stumbled into Aragon's. The yellow stripes in Italy also indicate, Castile has occupied much of their enemies' territory in the other war (+59% WS).
Our war score is +4%, fairly low. Naval superiorty and thus naval blockade give something for England. Caen gives +2.8%, Montgomery +1.3%, while Narbonnais gives -4.8%. This is due to the big difference in the land mass of the opposing war partners. I hope for some gains in WS when taking London. But it will be hard business to get something out of this war.

eu4_106.png

On 25.Jan.93 I won the siege of London and on 4.Jun.93 the one of Northumberland. Now my cannons are busy with the last English fort on the island, in West March. France made progress on Picardie and has moved his southern army back to southern France. He is not attacking the weak stacks, but at least trying to recapture Narbonnais. The sieges of Münster on Caen and the Papal State on Chartres don't seem impressive at the moment. War score is better now, +17%. London gives just +5.8%, but ticking WS is +8.4% for Devon.

In the meantime:
With all the occupations in England I could fulfill the generic mission "Global Dominance" (= strongest trade power in homenode + richest node), granting me +15% trade efficiency for 20 years and +30 prestige. Nice.
On 8.Oct.1493 Castile signs peace with the Italians and takes 4 provinces. Meaning some hostile armies soon to arrive somewhere around France and no more small Italian helpers.

eu4_107.png

Oops, English armies made it back to the island. The southern is strong (19/3/6), but locked itself behind the fort in London by choosing Kent as place of landing. I saw it late, but against the English navy I had no chance to prevent it anyway. Another small stack landed in Cumbria, next to the fort in West March, I have been sieging for awhile. My old fighter R.Connor has died. I made Duke Duncan into a general (5/3/3/2). A very good one. His heir Coll would be the better ruler anyway.
On the continent France occupied Picardie on 08.08.93 and has moved this army into the South. Two battles with Aragon and Cologne with mixed results. No progress on the recapture of Narbonnais, as he has lifted the siege in between. Sigh. In northern France the Papal State is on remarkable +35% siege progress in Chartres.
I will toast the 4 infantry in Cumbria with the temporary aid of the cannons, move back the artillery stack to West March and continue the siege, which will be at +50% again. But at this stage of the war I have to worry about the warscore. Not much I can do to increase it, while France is more in danger to lose warscore than to gain.

eu4_108.png

The problem is, England is only willing to give me 4% peace offer value in the deal (out of 19% WS). He considers "relative strength of alliance" with +13 into his favor. Well, actually he is winning, but doesn't know it. I want him to give me at least 10% to achieve my minimum war goal. So I will wait a bit. Length of war and ticking WS will be in my favor. If he sieges London and gets to positive values of progress, I will sign a deal. Could be a white peace, more or less.

eu4_109.png

Oops again, as a Castilian army landed in southern England too.
As expected I cracked West March on 6.Feb.94 and the Papal State Chartres on 7.Apr.94. Cheers for France, as he liberated Narbonnais quite fast on 3.May.94. The enemies have sieges on 4 of our forts, all in the beginning. War score is now +25%, it is a bit fluctuating because of naval blockades while England moves his ships.

As England agrees to give me exactly 10% peace offer value at this moment:
eu4_110.png

I sign the deal demanding England to break the alliance with Castile. My minimum war goal. Although I didn't have high hopes, it is somewhat less than expected before the war. But it could have gone even worse.

So before May.1504 England and Castile can't form a new alliance. Meanwhile I have 7 loans for total debts of 686 ducats. No gains from this war.
Cornwall is at 194 total development.

I have to think about a (new) strategy against England in the years to come.
More about it ... next time.

Key dates:

10.09.1491 Start of Cornish Conquest War on England: Cornwall and France vs England, Castile, Aragon, Naples, The Papal State, Cologne and Münster
27.05.1494 End of Cornish Conquest War on England
 
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cm_spitfire

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This is great; really enjoying following the challenge! And it looks like I might learn something from you in the process. KUTGW
 
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WolframS67

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This is great; really enjoying following the challenge! And it looks like I might learn something from you in the process. KUTGW
Thank you and welcome!
The next part is not so spectacular, more a setup for futher actions.
 
Fighting for Others

WolframS67

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Fighting for Others

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So, we have truces with Scotland until Oct.1499 and with England until Jul.1500. Scotland holds 4 low developed provinces. Well, more a few rocks in a lot of water. He has no allies, but is still guaranteed by France. The malevolent French King has died, so at this moment France would defend Scotland against me. We have to keep an eye on it, but that is neither urgent nor important.
England, there is our focus on. May.1504 is the date he might form a new alliance with Castile. Possibly instead he will enter an alliance with Austria, the HREmperor, because they are on very good opinions mutually. Otoh, England still holds a RM with Castile, so both are maxed out on diplomatic relations.
Sofar I have attacked England twice in this game, when his armies were on the continent, to occupy his heartland provinces. Now I have to count on the fact the English armies will stay on the island in the timeframe Jul.1500 to Apr.1504. He holds 50 (37/7/6) out of 58 regiments and 14/19/0/30 ships, while my FLs are 20 for land and 23 for naval units. Thus I need another strategy for my next attack. But it requires serious investments. So I will wait some years first to get a clearer picture about some of the eventualities for England (alliances/military strength and placements).
Therefore, not much to do in the near future, it seems.

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Unless, something else happens.
Holland declares Conquest War for Gent on my ally Flanders.

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So it is Holland, Brabant, Denmark, Norway and Sweden vs Flanders, Burgundy, Savoy, Milan and me. Milan is in a PU under Savoy. Sweden's LD is lower than 50%. Denmark has even some more holdings in the Baltic. I accept the CtA, but it is clear this is a completely lost war.
I made a mistake by not anticipating this scenario. Once I allied Flanders to get a bit of extra help in case England attacks me. This was no longer a danger and at latest after my peace with England I should have dissolved this alliance.
But I failed to check possible threats for Flanders and now I have to deal with the current situation.

eu4_114.png

The good news are: I am in no danger. The hostile AIs will not try a massive naval invasion into my territory. I place my entire army in Scotland to wait, in case they might try a modest one and at the same time exerting some rebel suppression. My navy can use this war as practice. It is headed by D.Trescothick (1/4/4/1), not a bad admiral. Like me Norway has 4 Heavies, the others even less. As I won't go into inland seas to mess with the galleys, I can battle with every single of the hostile fleets. I just have to watch out not to run into several of them at the same time. Already I could capture one Light, so my fleet is now 4/1/0/10.
The bad news are: No ticking down monthly autonomy and war exhaustion. I have to run army and navy on full maintenance, so despite some temporary French subsidies I lose some ducats every month.
The warleader Flanders is already 100% occupied.

In recent months I have filled out the last Diplomatic idea (-10% Dip Tech Cost), unlocking National idea #3 (+2% ToTF) and Offensive idea #3 (+1 land leader fire). On 4.Jul.95 Burgundy signs a seperate peace with Holland after the fall of Luxemburg.

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Duncan has died and Coll II Fane takes over as new Duke of Cornwall. As he had a strong claim, my legitimacy jumps to 100. So the problem "Civil War" has solved itself, finally.

In Apr.96 I have taken Adm Tech 8 and Pomerania declared war on Mecklenburg. That is a complication for our war, as Mecklenburg called in Holland, while Bohemia joined Pomerania. In Sep.96 Poland tried to enforce peace, which was rejected. So Poland joined on the side of Mecklenburg.
But any hopes of Flanders were thwarted, when on 2.Oct.96 Savoy signed a seperate peace with Holland too. So it is only me on the side of Flanders, however I won't change my behavior. I will rather wait for the 5-year mark (Aug.1499) or sign a white peace, if Holland is willing to.

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The House of Gethin from Ulster presented us with a Queen and an heir. As Arthnou is not very capable, I kick him out of court.
During the last months I captured some more ships, so my fleet is now 4/3/0/16.
On 14.Oct.96 I entered an alliance with The Palatinate, a medium power in Germany. He holds 109 development and is allied to Austria, so I hope he is more a help than a liability, as Flanders has been.

eu4_117.png

Arthnou, the bad, has left, Arthnou, the worse, has arrived. Moreover he comes with just an average claim. As I don't want to run into negative prestige, another disinheritance has to wait.
On 4.May.97 Francois de Valois came to age and took over the throne of France from the Queen regent. He became "cruel". Meaning a -20 modifier to honor CtAs, so no French defense of Scotland to expect against me.

Bohemia did indeed occupy some of Holland's provinces, but on 23.Aug.97 Pomerania peaced out Holland for some money.
After completing Diplomatic ideas I can tech up in Dip with a lot of discount and thus reduce my payment for "unbalanced research" more and more. So I have taken Dip Tech 4 recently and Government Reform Tier 3 (-0.05 monthly autonomy) as well.

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Very good. Provence is still my rival, which will now likely be eclipsed after the war. France wants 5 out of 7 provinces from Provence. He might call me into this war, once I am out of the Dutch war. I wouldn't mind it, giving more PP and the chance to earn some favors.

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Exactly 5 years after its beginning the Dutch War ends. War score jumped to 100% at this date, as the war leader has been occupied completely. Flanders removed from the map. As a reward I get 48% Revanchism, giving me e.g. +24% tax income, -2.4 unrest. Nice stuff, but it will tick down monthly.
During the last years I lost 2 Lights and captured one more transport, so my fleet comes with 4/1/0/17 out of the war.

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One month before this I indeed got the CtA by France against Provence and accepted it. But before I engage there, I want to take over the 4 rocks in the water, before England does.

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A short war and nothing worth noting about. In the end I have to fight the leftover Norwegian Seperatists from Scotland. Now (around 1500) this is not so problematic anymore and I will have just small losses from this battle.
Meanwhile I choose the age ability "free War Tax" and teched up in Dip to Tech 5.

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Provence itself is occupied entirely, so only Portugal is left. Time to help my best friend a bit. Somehow he managed to get into an unfavorable battle against the remaining Portuguese army (sigh). I have sent him my cannons and my general to rescue. Some days later I spend Mil points for Offensive idea #4, to benefit from its effect (+100% prestige from land battles).
As France has no interest in the Portuguese provinces, I signed them as vital interest for myself. Sending a merchant to Sevilla gives me some extra money once Porto and Lisboa are in my hands.
On 17.Jul.00 I entered an alliance with Holland. He is on 106 development, so another medium power in the HRE, is allied to Denmark and has won a war against me. Like my alliance with The Palatinate, no deal for eternity, but not bad for the moment.

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I am showing my economy including 14 loans for a total debt of 1426 ducats, because I have decided to make some serious investments now. England hasn't signed an alliance with Austria and is holding 50 (37/7/6) regiments and 14/19/0/30 ships, just like in 1495. So I prepare for a war with him. Holland feels threatened by England, so he won't join an offensive war, but of course France is very willing to do so. With my land FL of 21 I can't challenge England in battles, but I can challenge his naval superiority. I pay 175 ducats to take the Naval Doctrine "Wooden Wall" (+1 combat bonus in home sea tiles) and order 5 more Heavies, including a flagship (+50% cannons on flagship, +3 fleet engagement width, +1 siege bonus on coastal forts). As I said in a very early chapter: The AI naval warfare is not good and exploitable. Well, 9 Heavies is the bare minimum for me to give it a try.
But all comes with a price. My interest is already 30% of my income and the maintenance for the new navy will burden my coffers even more. From now on I have to consider the possibility of a bankruptcy some day seriously.

In the meantime: As a further preparation for the war on 1.May.01 I change the national focus from Admin to Military. I want to take Mil Tech 9 (+0.25 Mil Tactics, new infantry units) in Jan.1505 and then complete the 3 remaining ideas from Offensive. To partly compensate for the loss of Admin, I hire a level 1 Treasurer (+10% Tax), so my point generation is 6/8/8 now.
On 10.May.01 the Reformation starts in East Frisia.

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France is cracking down hard on Provence, gaining 63 development. I receive 11 Favors and 34 power projection. Very kind, France.

A long period of wars, mostly for others this time. Cornwall has grown to 207 total development.
Coring of Shetland is scheduled for 15.May.1503. Is this the date for a new war with England or will some event make me change my mind?
The answer ... next time.

Key dates:

18.08.1494 Start of Dutch Conquest War on Flanders: Holland, Brabant, Denmark, Norway and Sweden vs Flanders, Burgundy, Savoy, Milan and Cornwall
04.10.1496 Duncan II is dead; Coll II Fane (3/6/3) new Duke of Cornwall
07.07.1498 Start of French Excommunication War on Provence: France vs Provence and Portugal
18.08.1499 End of Dutch Conquest War on Flanders
01.09.1499 Cornwall joins France in the French Excommunication War on Provence
01.10.1499 Start of Cornish Conquest War on Scotland: Cornwall vs Scotland
15.04.1500 End of Cornish Conquest War on Scotland
27.10.1501 End of French Excommunication War on Provence
 
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Small Cornwall vs Mighty England, Round 3

WolframS67

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Small Cornwall vs Mighty England, Round 3

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So, the preparations for the next war with England are underway. Our truce is already up and I want to start the war before May.1504 to prevent a new English alliance with Castile (including his juniors Aragon and Naples). I am waiting for my new Heavies to be built and the cores of the former Scottish provinces to be finished (15.May.1503).

In the meantime: On 1.Jan.02 Colonialism starts in Cádiz, the most southern of Iberia. This institution is a real crawler. Either I have to wait until it is present in a neighboring province or develop it myself. But that is a problem for several years in the future. On 13.Feb.02 I enter an alliance with Portugal. Same idea as before. A medium power, probably not much of a help, but also not much of a burden. On 12.Jan.03 the end for 2PM Provence has come. Savoy takes over Nice and demands the release of Lorraine. I lose a rival without getting PP.

Nine years of peace and preparation have an end:
eu4_126.png

Lets see the numbers: England 50 (37/7/6) out of 64 regiments and 14/25/0/30 ships, Cologne 22 (13/5/4) out of 28 regiments, Münster 17 (8/7/2) out of 19 regiments and 3 Heavies, The Papal State 17 (13/4/0) out of 17 regiments. Me 22 (14/0/8) out of 22 regiments and 9/0/0/15 ships, France 85 (60/11/14) out of 95 regiments and 12/7/2/17 ships.

Strategy on land: The other way around. One English stack (19k) is in Aquitaine, but as most troops are on the British island, I concentrate on the continent. Wargoal is Picardie, I could fabricate the claim via the age ability. So first I want to occupy English Normandy with its 3 forts. Then I would like to take on the German allies Münster and Cologne. But I need to see what France is doing, as the combined land forces of Münster and Cologne are too strong for my army, which is specialized on sieges (+2 pips general).
England will occupy all my lands. A price I have to pay. A lot of devastation and war exhaustion to come.

Strategy on sea: Sink English Heavies and get naval superiorty. I can not count on the French fleet to be much of a help, because the AI-naval-handling is bad. France loves to sit with his Heavies in the Mediterranean (Narbonnais).

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Frist strike on the seas. I caught an illcomposed and leaderless English fleet on day 1 of the war. One Heavy sunk, the captured Light will be converted into some sailors. On land the English 2k-stack is walking to my fort in Argyll. I will delete it to deny him warscore. Very sad for my investment from just 15 years ago. But that is the way it goes sometimes.

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I have just sieged down Caen and roll my cannons over to Calais. The entire French army has conquered the war goal Picardie and is moving east, highly likely to Germany.

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My capital has fallen into enemies' hands on 21.Oct.03. But otoh I could occupy Calais fairly quickly on 10.Nov.03. My navy helped out for a blockade bonus (neglecting the -2 coastal malus and offering +1 bonus from the flagship).
France indeed moved to Cologne, sieging the capital Köln. Almost all of Münster's, Cologne's and The Papal State's troops are in South France, as well as the English 19k-army, originally placed in Aquitaine. So I decide to visit Münster. I can't reach his capital, but the fort in Osnabrück and some unfortified provinces.

On 01.Oct.03 I researched Dip Tech 6. It offers nothing but Dock and "steal maps", yet it is another step closer to fill the gap to others nations.

Time to talk about naval battles a bit:
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Several times I have accused the AI of bad naval-handling. Here is one reason: Ill-composition and seperation.
The English fleet (1/19/0/0) I have wrecked in the first days of the war got an reinforcement. With 0/4/0/30 ships, a typical transport fleet. No admiral. The other and really strong fleet (12/0/0/0) remained seperated in the Channel. In fact, that one just battled with a French fleet, lost two Heavies, but inflicted also severe damage to the French.
Back to the Irish Sea, this also shows a second reason: Staying out on seas, when disaster is coming.
All those 54 English ships should have gone to port, the moment I sailed in with my fleet. But they stayed out, still leaderless. My admiral M.Locke (2/4/4/1) highers the naval engagement width (EW) by 10 (4 maneuver pips * 10% of 25) to a total of 40. So from my side the 9 Heavies (=27 EW) and 13 Transports (=13 EW) participate at the same time. Transports are ideal fillers, as they don't offer much cannons, but hullsize, so durability. While the English EW is just 27, because of costal sea tile (base of 25 + 10%). An enormous advantage on my side. If you look at the base morale, it is 2.4 to 2.8 for the English. My base morale is fairly bad, as I lack Dip Techs 7 & 8, offering 0.3 & 0.2 morale respectively.
But base naval morale is not that important, losses decide naval conflicts.

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Two days after I have sunk the English flagship, I voluntarily give up the battle. Why? I avoid losses. By going to a port I can get the monthly tick of repair and I can detach my most damaged ships. For that I give away a bit of prestige and warscore and even give back some morale (at least half of maximum) to the English fleet.

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On the 1st of the next month I sail out again, leaving my most wounded two Heavies behind. This tactic (give up and come back) is an exploit of a third reason of bad AI-naval-handling: AIs are unable to do same, namely to detach wounded ships and send them for repair into a port.
Thus the English fleet is full of partly damaged ships, which now get sunk quickly and this causes a chain reaction of losing morale. Morale hits by lost ships are higher than the usual daily blows taken in the battle. That is the reason for: base naval morale is not that important, losses decide naval conflicts.
In the course of this conflict with two battles England lost 1/17/0/14 ships, while I did lose none. Well, in this case I got the late "support" of 16 French transports and the English fleet was horribly weak from the start. But the "give up and come back"-tactic also works against strong fleets consisting of Heavies only. Unfortunately I don't have photos from such conflicts in progress, so it is this one, I try to demonstrate AI-weaknesses in detail.

Back to the land warfare on the continent:
eu4_133.png

I was lucky to take down the fort in Osnabrück at +35% progress. It has been the last phase I wanted to spend at this siege, as the enemies have turned back. I can see Münster's troops. My ally The Palatinate is not in the war, but gives me vision, so at least he is of some use. I suspect Cologne's troops are not far behind. Together they have more than double my numbers. France armies could not help me in time, as they are blocked by the fort in Köln. In case you wonder about his siege progress, coming from +14% to -7%. AI-France lifted the siege for some days. Sigh.
But I have already placed a 1/0/0/20 fleet in the port of Oversticht. Ready to take the siege stack on board. Captured English Transports come in very handy now. A 2k-stack is splitted off and takes a long, but safe way via Brabant and Trier to help the French sieging Köln.

Time for a radical change of strategy:
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Back to the British island. Originally I wanted to delete the fort in Midlands (centre of Ireland) as I did in Argyll. But then I realised England is moving all his troops (except the Aquitaine stack) to Ireland. AIs are attracted by forts like flies. So I can trap the entire English in Ireland, if I control the strait Ulster-Aryshire. Therefore I will place my Heavies in the Irish Sea and occupy Aryshire. That is where my 20k-stack is heading for.
Of course England could prevent my plan, if he concentrates his 42k-troops in Ireland and returns via the strait to Aryshire before my occupation.

eu4_135.png

But that is too high thinking for the AI. After controlling Aryshire I sent the cannons to the fort in West March and the rest is carpet-sieging the Scottish provinces. I even naval-invaded the Isle of Mann. This will drive out the 0/6/0/16-fleet. More prey for my Heavies.

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Two months later. The single stacks returned from Scotland and Mann. The siege of West March just ended, while England is still busy with my fort in Midlands. As I said before, with the advent of artillery (1479) it is possible to outplay the AI in sieges more and more. England has 9 cannons in Ireland, but only 5 are participating in Midlands and his general has no siege pips. Plus I use the Defensive Edict and a Fort-Defense-Advisor for a short time.
On the sea I scrubbed the fleet of Mann, sinking another 14 ships to the ground. But then I made a mistake. I sent most of my Heavies to help a French fleet in The Channel against the English Heavies. France "only" lost 4 of his 16 Transports, but my fleet had to dock in a port for repair. So England is sailing his remaining 9 Heavies into the Irish Sea. Good move. My 7 ships will move away in time, but for now I lose the crucial control over the strait.

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Another two months later. On 13.Nov.04 the level-3-fort in Köln was cracked by France with the help of my siege general. Seven days later I signed a seperate peace with Cologne for money, war reps and annul the alliance with England.
Instead of moving to the nearby Münster, France ordered all his troops far away to the southern parts of his country. Hmpf.
In England my cannons rolled over to the next fort in Northumberland, while my fleet is still recovering. I can do so, as England has still not sieged down Midlands and is not threatening to cross the strait. Here we also see the French Heavies in action. After a short visit in The Channel they have moved back to the Mediterranean, at least blockading Roma for the moment.
War Exhaustion has exceeded the mark of 5, unrest is growing somewhat. The time for taking Mil Tech 9 (+0.25 Mil Tactics, new infantry units) without penalty has come, so I will do.

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After long resistance on 24.Jan.05 Midlands had to surrender. Thereafter the English soldiers tried to cross the strait, so I had to start the naval conflict in the Irish Sea with the 9 English Heavies. With the "give up and come back"-tactic I was able to push back the English into the port. One hostile Heavy and two of my ships were lost during the battles, but I got back the control of the strait.
I aim for a 100%-victory now.

Meanwhile I transferred the two continental infantry back to the British island. One stack is sieging in the South, while I sent the other north to manipulate the return province for the fort in Northumberland, so the 12k-stack can invade into the South. Just at that moment the siege of Northumberland succeeded and the way is clear for everyone anyway.

eu4_139.png

Four months later. I recaptured my capital, carpet sieged the unfortified English provinces en masse and started the siege of London. Part of my navy could help in the siege of Cornwall for the blockade bonuses. In case the English Heavies try to break out, I will be back in the Irish Sea.
On 26.Jul.05 I could add Dip Tech 7 (+0.3 naval morale). Helpful, although the tough naval battles should be passed for this war.

eu4_140.png

I made good progress on London and also started the siege on the last English fort in Montgomery (Wales). England has occupied Ireland entirely, his navy stays in port and thus his armies are still trapped. His 19k-stack in Southern France has moved back and forth on the fort in Labourd. So now he is on -42% progress, when one year ago he was on +7%.
France has splitted his armies. A 18k-stack has returned to Münster and is on +64% siege progress on the capital. Münster's army is down to the 5k-stack, as he joined Saxe-Lauenburg in a defensive war against Pomerania and Bohemia.
The majority of the French army ignored the English in Labourd and moved east to Italy. Now he is battling the remainder of The Papal State's army. Thereafter he can go to Roma for a siege visit. I want the English allies out of the war, to get maximum value from England in the peace deal.

A while ago I have taken the rewards for the mission "Expand Cornwall", that is +3 development for my capital Cornwall. Actually I wanted to use this mission after my capital moves to London, the day I form Great Britain. But now I realised this generic mission will be gone for GB. So I should have taken this bonus decades before. Well not that important of a mistake.

In the meantime: On 21.Jan.06, one day after the occupation of his capital, Münster is willing to sign a seperate peace for money, war reps and the cancellation of its alliance with England. On 14.Feb.06 the fort in London falls into my hands. On 11.Mar.06 I can also sign a seperate peace with The Papal State. As France refused to move his troops into Central Italy, I get only war reps out of the Pope. But now England is isolated in the war and on -99% war score.

Time to harvest the fruits:
eu4_141.png

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I can be extremely greedy, as I called in France just for favors and my AE is also fairly low all around. So I want all the key provinces to form GB (Aberdeen, London, Oxford and Hampshire), three forts (West March, Montgomery and London), two Centers of Trade (Gloucester and London) and four more provinces to connect the holdings.

A major breakthrough on our way to Paris and a major blow to England. Cornwall has grown to 303 total development. For now I can't upgrade to Kingdom-rank, because I lack +50 prestige. A little bit of a pity.

93% overextension, 7.5 war exhaustion (after one purchased reduction), 11 new provinces with separatism, devastation everywhere and 19 loans for a total debt of 2026 ducats. It seems I am in need for some internal management and consolidation.
More about it ... next time.

Key dates:

01.06.1503 Start of Cornish Conquest War on England: Cornwall and France vs England, Cologne, Münster and The Papal State
12.03.1506 End of Cornish Conquest War on England
 
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cm_spitfire

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Fascinating detail on the naval engagements! One of those areas that I really don't look at anything beyond type of ships & quantity.
 
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The Number 9

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Excellent !
I tend to not focus enough on the naval side too, it's an aspect I could improve.

Now it's time for a thing I enjoy the most, internal affairs. With all your overextension, ... let's see how you managed that. :)
 

WolframS67

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Fascinating detail on the naval engagements! One of those areas that I really don't look at anything beyond type of ships & quantity.
Excellent !
I tend to not focus enough on the naval side too, it's an aspect I could improve.

Now it's time for a thing I enjoy the most, internal affairs. With all your overextension, ... let's see how you managed that. :)
Thanks for letting me know what you are interested in, very helpful.
Sorry for the break of some weaks. I hope I can continue the report now with the usual rate.
 
Unrest, Bankruptcy and Reformation

WolframS67

Second Lieutenant
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Sep 27, 2018
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Unrest, Bankruptcy and Reformation

eu4_143.png


After our phenomenal victory over England in the last war, we have even overtaken him in development (303 vs 267). Yet with force limits it is looking not so bright (25 vs 49). I tried to isolate England by forcing him to break alliances with Cologne and Münster. But on 16.Mar.06 England signed a new one with Austria (with a PU on Hungary) and on 18.May.06 renewed the one with Castile (with PUs on Aragon and Naples). So England is still a force to be reckoned with. For now we have a very long truce until May.1521.
As I have conquered all necessary provinces to form GB, lets have a first look at the final goal of the game: Paris. France has 677 development, a force limit of 96 and is still enjoying the alliance with Ottomans from 1446. The moment for backstabing our best friend is far away.
A while ago Denmark integrated Norway. So my last possible road for expansion is now Denmark (with a PU on a loyal Sweden) via the Faroes. As in 1486 I am hopelessly outnumbered on land and my 8 Heavies are not good enough for an offensive against Denmark with his 8 Heavies and 32 Galleys alone.

Thus my foreign policy for the next years is: Be cautious and friendly to everyone, except England of course.
I make use of the free Danish relationship slot and on 15.Mar.06 enter an alliance with the Scandinavians. Besides France I now hold alliances with Denmark, Portugal, The Palatinate and Holland.
Not before 1518/19 I need to think about preparations for a new war with England. I have to see the constellation then.

But it is the time for a lot of internal politics now:
eu4_144.png

Finally on 16.Mar.06 I disinherited Arthnou (2/2/0), "The Worse". With a long time of peace negative prestige is not a problem. +39 prestige was not far away from +50, to upgrade to Kingdom-rank, but with no war in sight, no realistic chance to come to +50.
I have also hired a level-2 Master of Mint. He comes with a slight discout (-25%), recruited from the Burghers' estate interaction. Admin points are my big problem at the moment. I can't even core Devon and Somerset now and have to wait for points. As I conquered into new states, I will only get halfcores on 7/11 of the new provinces. So I need more Adm to make full use of e.g. London. To form Great Britain I need Adm Tech 10. Now I am at Tech 8, so two more technoligies to research, with the penalty from Colonialsm growing. About 1200 more Adm points. Seen from this perspective my decision from 1501 to change the national focus form Admin to Military doesn't look good anymore. It was cautious, maybe too cautious, as I didn't need Mil Tech 9 or more Offensive ideas in the last war at all. Too late to cry about spilled milk, lets deal with the current situation. All in sequence and forming GB will come later.

A shy look at the economy:
eu4_145.png

19 loans for a total of 2126 ducats debt and a big fat red balance.
After the greedy land grab in the last peace deal, I have 93% overextension, about 7 war exhaustion and 11 provinces with max separatism. Local unrest is up to 16. I haved enacted the "Feudal de Jure" edict, where possible. The biggest bunch of coring will be done in Jan.1508. In expectation for a possible rebel uprising I increased my army up to the FL of 25 (15/0/10). Moreover I need my soldiers at full maintenace to make full use of their rebel suppression ability. That explains most of my high expenses.
The modest income is mostly due to high autonomy (like 75% in London) and the lack of economic buildings. I never built any, so I just own the few I could take over after conquests (like a market and a temple in London). That is a price I have to pay for investing so much into military and being in debt for a long time.
Interest is now more than 30% of the income, probably rising. So a controlled bankruptcy is a serious consideration, but of course only after all coring is done.

In the meantime: On 01.May.07 I fill out Offensive idea #5 (+20% siege ability) and thus unlock National idea #4 (+20% privateer efficiency, +10% chance to capture enemy ships). On 15.Sep.07 Holland signs peace with Münster. My ally has attacked my former war enemy in May.1506. So after a quick war he takes 4 provinces and Münster has to release OPMs Bremen and Brunswick. Good to see an ally on the winning side.

How about unrest now?
eu4_146.png

The worst is over and no rebels uprised. Cores constructed in 8/11 of the new provinces, so overextension is vastly reduced and I bought down war exhaustion once. The four new areas (London, Scottish Marches, Wales and West Midlands) are turned into states, thus now I can enact the "Feudal de Jure" edict for these areas as well. As highest unrest is 4.0 I can put my army on full maintenance again and this way reduce the rebel factions' progress to 0 by the armies' ability.
My Nobility is disloyal because I got "Social Mobility", probably the worst regular event in the game. I sided with the Burghers, as I usually do, as they are the most important estate for me. Then I compensated the -20 loyalty of the Clergy from the event with the estate interaction "Seek Support". The Nobility will have to be annoyed for about a decade, it seems.

In the meantime: On 15.Apr.09 Castile ends his war versus Siena with the full annexation and on 18.Jul.09 declares a new war on Florence.

Bankruptcy executed:
eu4_147.png

I pressed the button, just declared bankruptcy and got rid of 2428 ducats debt. Before that I spent all my points on geting a full core on London and 9 extra development, like in Cork with the trade good Copper. With a ratio of interest to income at about 33% I could play on with taking debts for the entire campaign I guess. But it is just a good time for bankruptcy.

On a note for perfection, as the truce with England lasts until May.1521, I could have taken even more loans and built a number of buildings contructed in a year, like temples, workshops, marketplaces, barracks etc. Wait exactly 5 years after completion and only then declare bankruptcy. Results in 11 years of doing nothing. Better play, but boring.

Worst of bankruptcy is probably going to 0 legitimacy, giving +2 national unrest. Taking -3 stability is also hard, but recovering from low legitimacy is more expensive / time consuming than stabing up. Plus I already gained +1 stability from the event "A traveling minstrel" in 1508.
Actually I have two disasters ticking up. Civil War with a monthly progress of +0.5% and Internal Conflicts with a monthly rate of +1.5%. But I can stop both when I am back at +1 stability. Civil War will disappear with 75+ legitimacy and Internal Conflicts, if national unrest is less than 0 (now at +4).
Local unrest is up to 7 again, but for now my army is at minimum maintenance, while at new FL of 28 (18/0/10).

Cornwall has a new ruler:
eu4_148.png

On 19.03.11 the old Duke Coll II Fane died heirless and Ricatus II de Valois (3/5/5) became the new Duke of Cornwall. So we got the French dynasty on our throne and in case of another heirless dead Duke, we will fall into a PU under France. Which would be ... interesting. Because then I could gain support from France's rivals like Castile, declare independence and eventually take Paris in that war. But for now this is speculation. Our new Duke is young and brings in nice 13 Monarach points per month. Low on prestige and legitimacy I can arrange RMs for free and we get a new Duchess from Denmark. Falling down to -2 stability is a step backwards, I even regret more the change of the national focus to military some years back.

Progress of the disasters:
eu4_149.png

Internal Conflicts is halted and stopped at 47.5%. I invested points in +1 stab and +20 legitimacy. The old Duke was "cruel", giving +2 unrest national unrest, which is gone now. While in Aug.1511 I got the event "A Consort of the People", choosing -2 unrest for the lifetime of new Duke Ricatus II. So now national unrest has vastly improved from +4 to -1.46. My army is back at full maintenance to reduce rebel progress, for now in former English provinces. Potential rebel uprising should be under control now for the time of our bankruptcy.

On 01.Jun.11 the Age of Discovery ended, while the Age of Reformation started and on 07.Sep.11 Florence became a vassal of Castile.

A fresh new look at the economy:
eu4_150.png

In Oct.1514 bankruptcy finished without further ado. 329 ducats in the treasury and a nice green in the balance. What a relief. I already hired a level-1-admin-advisor (Natural Scientist = +10% production efficiency). Trade and production income should even increase more, as I can grant London to the Burghers now. I had to wait some years to do so, as influence of that estate was fairly high. Lately it has reduced as "Granted Admiralship" run out.
I lost 1 base tax by event in Ulster and in Nov.1512 another event "Influenza!" in Inverness cost me -50 adm points. On 01.Nov.1514 I could finally stab up to 0 and halt the disaster "Civil War" at 30.5% progress. At the same date I reached Dip Tech 8 (+0.2 naval morale). Things are back to normal and I might even invest in some buildings in the near future.

Some news from other affairs: On 12.Oct.14 I rivaled Brabant in addition to England, as the Flemish had the courage to announce Cornwall in Nov.1511 as their rival already.
On 14.Jan.15 a new heir is borne: Coll (1/1/3) with an average claim. Another candidate to be sent to the cloister sometime, I guess. At least the possibilty to become a junior partner of France in a PU is gone for the time being.

My army back in action again:
eu4_151.png

On 21.Aug.15 I rented out my 1st army (10/0/10) lead by Jago Flamank (4/2/4/1) as Condottieri to Cologne, who was in a Conquest War against Saxony. Money reward is decent (1.2 x maintenance), it is more army tradition and having fun making me such arrangements. As most sieges were done already, I looked for somewhat favorable battles. Here I got one against a 14k-stack of Trier (7/6/1) in woods terrain. Trier's military tactics are really bad (0.9), because of too much cavalry. Very suitable I lately got the event "Military Reform", giving me 200 mil points, +20% morale of armies and -10% cost for Mil Tech until 03.Nov.25.
Unfortunately my general died in the heat of the battle. After the initial 12 days I will leave the battlefield, although I am still "winning" by morale. Without the general I take much more losses than I would like. So I use the same tactic as I did in naval battles already.
A note on Condottieri in battles: Independent of the maintenance slider of the nation, Condottieri are always at full maintenance payment. Alright, but the maximum morale Condottieri use in battles is influenced by the slider. If the slider is at minimum (to reduce payment for the non-Condottieri), the Condottieri just fight with 0.51 max morale. Meaning they start with full morale (like 3.9 here), but the morale damage they deliver on their enemies is based on the low max morale of 0.51 and thus is greatly reduced. That is obviously a bug. To counter this I always have to remember to put the slider to maximum, if I go to battle with Condottieri. This wasn't the problem in the current engagement, just want to mention.

On 22.11.15 Castile (+ subjects Aragon, Naples, Florence and Castilian West Indies) declared another Conquest War in the Mediterranean, this time on Tunis. Ottomans honored their alliance and joined to help Tunis. In Apr.1516 I choose to take +1 stability in the event "Saints performs Miracle". Nice to have some good events for a change.

Cornwall joins the Reformation:
eu4_152.png

Just some days ago, on 03.Jan.19, news reached us, in Loon (Brabant) a new Christian school called "Reformed" was founded. So I decide to convert Cornwall to this new branch. I receive 304 ducats, a CoR (Center of Reformation) in London and -100 prestige. Well, after several disinheritances and a bankruptcy I am used to highly negative prestige.
I get so many benefits from the conversion, like getting +2 Tolerance of Heretics (ToHer) instead of -1 in the Catholicism. Or the spread of Printing Press from 1550 on. In the current situation I can produce Fervors on a reasonable rate and use them for something useful, like +10% morale (for land and naval units). Contrary to Papal influence. But the main reason is, I want to get to the "Golden Era" fairly quickly now. One age objective ("Join the Reformation") fulfilled. With the +10% missionary strength for 10 years I will start converting at least 10 provinces to fullfill "Convert Provinces" as well. A third objective ("Convert another Nation") is noted and hopefully kept in mind, if I am in a war with a Catholic minor.
The main downside of the change in religion is the malus in the opinion towards Cornwall of all Catholic countries. For monarchies the modifier changes from +25 to -20, so a total malus of -45. But as I have been so peaceful for a long time I can take it, without losing an alliance or even triggering a coalition.
As only my province London is of the "True Faith" my religious unity (RU) is now just 53%. But it will quickly improve. I start the conversion of the capital Cornwall (33 dev), taking 8 months and it will increase the RU already by 5.8%. The two CoR in London and Loon will help me converting more of my provinces. Theoretically I am in the trigger stage of the disaster "Religious Turmoil", but with 0% progress. It will be cleaned if my RU gets to +75%, which I should achieve in a few years.

On 01.Jan.18 I researched Mil Tech 10 (+25% flanking range, new units for cavalry and artillery) and in Apr.1518 I got another +1 stability event, "Saints Proclaimed". With +2 stab the national unrest caused by the short termed low RU is limited.

Fighting for others once more:
eu4_153.png

Already on 26.Aug.18 I signed a new Condottieri contract. Ottomans hired our troops, 1st army (10/0/10) led by G.Locke (3/6/1/2), for 1.8 x maintenance. That is good payment, but I am already watching with suspicion Castile's ambitions on their neighbors for some time. So I welcomed the chance to go against England's powerful ally in support of Tunis and Ottomans. But this war has been a big a disappointment so far. I expected Ottomans to come to Italy to take care of Florence and Naples, as they often do. However, Ottomans' troops were all busy in Georgia, as they were on an offensive war with Qara too. Thus I felt a bit lonely in Southern Europe and refrained from sieges in Spain or Italy. I laid ambush in South France to catch bypassing troops. Here I could engage a 5-stack of Aragon. But, what the heck, I can't even kill such a weak army? Ok, the enemies get some extra morale, because the Curia Controller has called for a Crusade against Tunis. But my army definitely lacks strike power.

On 01.Jul.20 I picked Offensive idea #6 (+20% land force limit), my FL is now a respectable 38.
In the meantime: On 01.Aug.20 I could tech up in Diplo to 9 (new Heavies). My Tech status is now 8/9/10. On 12.Mar.21 Castile signs a peace deal with Tunis, in essence only asking the Africans to break their alliance with Ottomans. No land grab, although Tunis has been occupied entirely. Probably length of war and the Ottomans' threat to take serious action after the finish of their war with Qara, prompted Castile to accept such a weak deal.

Many years of internal management this time. But our nation has now a healthy economy and is much more stable than before. Cornwall has grown a bit by developing to 311 in total.

Truce with England is about to end. A new chance to attack?
Lets see ... next time.

Key dates:

01.10.1509 Cornwall declares bankruptcy
19.03.1511 Coll II is dead; Ricatus II de Valois (3/5/5) new Duke of Cornwall
12.01.1519 Cornwall converts to Reformed
 
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