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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

coz1

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Now that was some excitement! Nice work lending a hand to Austria like that. You may have to turn around and do the same when you get back to Vienna. ;)
 

merrick

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I haven't posted in this before, which was a mistake, because an AAR this good deserves support.
Good playing, good writing and an interesting insight into the (un)thinking of the AI. Here's hoping Austria & Hungary never end up DOWing each other (hint: do not take a boundary dispute that gives you a core on your "other" country).

Oh, and that is one scary Burgundy. I approve, of course, but I think the Austria might want to look for an alliance with France.
 

VILenin

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Whew! Having those two heavyweights team up against Austria was a little too hairy. Lorraine must be destroyed to prevent their anti-Austrian diplomacy from wreaking further havoc! :mad:
 

aldriq

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coz1 - I know, the worst case scenario would be Crimea DoWing Hungary and dragging her allies (OE and Kazan), that would mirror the monster bullying of France+Burgundy in the west in the previous turn and would most definitely require Austria's help.

merrick - Thanks for your comments! Don't worry about me asserting boundary disputes, it'll be the AI who'll do that, as it does in 99% of the cases regardless of relations. I'm afraid that possibilities of alliance with France must have been blown up by the previous war, I should start thinking of approaching Castille/Aragon/England to counter-balance Burgundy. Amazingly France was still alliance leader in the war, despite the massive territory loses to Burgundy in recent years. That probably means that France can still field more men but Burgundy is a "lucky" country, I'll have to check that in the ledger.

VILenin - It was really nasty, Lorraine deserves nothing less than being burnt to the ground and her fields sowed with salt, but I suspect it'll be annexed by Burgundy before that. The new emperor will certainly be busy trying to protect Austria and the rest of the HRE from Burgundy.
 
Last edited:

Lord Durham

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This is a good read. Five years per country appears to be a reasonable balance. The AI doesn't have too much time to royally bugger things up, though I could be wrong. However, there's no accounting for how the AI thinks... or doesn't. :)

Burgundy looks pretty serious. I'd seek out some strong western allies.
 

VILenin

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aldriq said:
VILenin - It was really nasty, Lorraine deserves nothing less than being burnt to the ground and her fields sowed with salt, but I suspect it'll be annexed by Burgundy before that. The new emperor will certainly be busy trying to protect Austria and the rest of the HRE from Burgundy.
Well, if you can't get Lorraine then clearly it's Burgundy that needs destroying, before they absorb all of your member states! :eek:
 

aldriq

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Lord Durham - Thanks. Castille is probably the best option as it is also growing at the expense of France and will soon have a border with Burgundy.

VILenin - I agree, but I'm in no position to face Burgundy yet, Austria needs to grow some more.

Austria 1485-9

The situation is not particularly bad, stability at +3 and no mercenaries in the army. This time it is the land investment bar that is maxed out, much better choice than trade at least, maybe the AI is learning after the last war?




The army is not very strong though, with only 15K men I'll definitely need to strengthen it. I start counting Burgundy's regiments and lose count at around 77 :eek: how can they field so many soldiers? I'll need all the manpower I can get from the HRE.


In may I get a really good event that allows me to prop up my relations with other empire members. Bavaria should be ripe for diplo-annexation soon. Unfortunately Karl I is not great at diplomacy -I try to annex Ansbach and fail- so I'll leave annexations to the AI this time.




In the meantime France becomes the favourite target of Europe, involved in 3 wars



Everybody wants a slice of the pie (even I would join in the fun if it wasn't for the truce). By the end of 1485 it's pretty clear that France is not going to be a major power in this game. Through 1486 she cedes more provinces to Castille and Burgundy.



South of the Danube Hungary does very well out of the war with Venice, getting 4 provinces!!



Later in 1487 I get a call to arms from Mantua. I was already eyeing up Venice to start expanding in Italy but Milan and Savoy are just as good having a casus belli.



The war is a bit more annoying I thought it would be but in the end I get Nice for Austria, Padua for Mantua and Milan becomes a vassal. With my armies landlocked in Milan at the end of the war I decide it is a good time to DoW and finish off Venice.

By the end of 1484 with two provinces occupied I send a tentative offer over the warscore and I get away with it. This time I prefer to end this war before the end of the turn. Besides 3 provinces is probably just bad enough for Austria's reputation, bearing in mind that the AI will keep on annexing vassals during the next 5 years.

 

Capibara

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:D France is falling!!, That's nice always, well AI Hungary did well against Venice and must say that so did you getting those province, keep it up! and do just the same with Hungary
 

aldriq

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Hungary 1490-4

If Austria is in a delicate position with monster Burgundy threatening the empire, Hungary's situation is no less precarious. Since crimea and the OE became allies there is very little room for expansion. Money is scarce so minting is the only way out, however inflation is already at 8%. The 5 new Adriatic provinces are a nice acquisition but will be virtually worthless for 25 years. Oh, and a new peasants' war is in effect, lots of rebels to keep the otherwise idle armies busy.



The relations with Poland have deteriorated below 0 and Bohemia is not powerful enough to allow an attack on the mighty OE-Crimea pincer (Crimean border: 19K men, Turkish border: 30K men). This turn I'll try to keep a low profile and build up better relations with Poland and maybe Lithuania. Besides, the badboy after the huge Adriatic land-grab is 10 so better to leave it to cool down.

Oh well, there is always someone worse off, look at poor France!




During 1491 and 1492 and over all my expectations, Austria chain-annexes Ansbach, Bavaria and Saxony :eek: I don't want to think of the BB that I'll have to deal with when I get back to Austria in 1495.



In 1493 Hungary gets the first invitation for one of her provinces to join the HRE. A free boost of relations with Austria and +2 prestige? Yes please! Two more provinces bordering Austria join later in the turn, but not the capital yet.




On the diplomatic front, I manage to get a royal marriage with Lithuania but I don't get very far with Poland, until this event fires.



By then I had already lost military access through them and Venice's last province in the Balkans was besieged by the Ottomans, so I decided to release Albania as a vassal. There is not much point in keeping a poor orthodox province I don't have land access to and which is a massive target for the OE. But of course it is Poland who DoWs Albania as soon as it becomes independent, I wave them good bye and hope for the best, they are annexed in a month. At least now Poland should be the next target in line for the OE, if they can drag Lithuania in there is a chance of defeating the Ottomans.


In 1494 Mantua or Modena get Austria involved in a war against Venice, very convenient for Austria as she gets Verona and Venice is vassalised. The only bad news is the death of the emperor, Karl I. Luckily an Austrian successor, Leopold VIII, immediately takes his place.



So it seems that both Austria and Hungary although seriously outnumbered have managed to avoid their respective nemesis so far. We'll see what the turn of the century brings.
 

Capibara

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I didn't expected Hungary update as well, but nevermind, I'll just say it was a good turn as with Austria, although no provinces were annexed,you should try to expand in Italy Sicily looks like a tempting target, but we'll see. I'm looking forward on how will you manage BB with Austria.
 

aldriq

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Capibara said:
:D France is falling!!, That's nice always
Yes, but Burgundy has the potential to be even worse that France. I just hope Castille takes her new expansion policy in France seriously enough to challenge Burgundy on the south while Austria keeps it at bay on the HRE/north Italy. Hesse, Brandenburg, Savoy and Milan are going to be the hot pressure points next turn.
 

coz1

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Firendly relations continue between the two powers, which is nice and useful. I'd say shame about France...but I wouldn't really mean it. ;) And even though you likely gained a few BB points, at least those diplo-annexations were handled by the AI as expected.
 

aldriq

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coz1 said:
Firendly relations continue between the two powers, which is nice and useful. I'd say shame about France...but I wouldn't really mean it. ;) And even though you likely gained a few BB points, at least those diplo-annexations were handled by the AI as expected.
The only consolation is that Burgundy must have even bigger BB, and is currently at -3 stab, so there is always the chance that some minor they swallowed may rebel. That said, I'll need to be a lot more careful with stability in Austria now, recovering it will be a lot harder after all those mass annexations.
 

Storey

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It looks like your five-year turns are working out better than I thought. It does help in stopping the ai from getting too destructive when it controls the country. It might be interesting to go and find three countries that are in an alliance at the start of a game and play them. Keeping them in the alliance would be the first task though it might be dangerous since they could eventually diplo-annex each other if the conditions were right. :eek: Still that could be part of the fun. :D

Joe
 

merrick

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So Hungary is going strong (despite being hemmed in by power-blocs) and Austria is blobbing away like mad. Letting the AI do the annexing while you clean up afterwards seems to be going well. And it's been a full cycle since you had to rescue your other country - nice work!. Any chance of the hoped-for Austria-Hungary alliance?
 

BBBD316

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I forget is it against the game rules to get an alliance between Austria and Hungary?
 

aldriq

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Storey - You say that but actually I'm starting to feel a bit constrained with the 5-year turns. So far I haven't fought any long campaigns and I've been lucky with the AI handling of small wars, but that won't necessarily be the case for much longer, at some point in the 1500s I'll probably have switch to 10-year turns. With just two countries it should still be manageable -in your case with three the game time unsupervised is 20 years, plenty of scope for the AI to be naughty beyond repair :)

Yes, with two countries there is no risk of diplo-annexation, with three there is, unless at the end of each turn you insult the previous country in the cycle, but then the alliance wouldn't last long :D

merrick - Thanks! Austria has to catch up in the blobbing race with Burgundy. The AI definitely uses different rules for diplo-annexing, Karl I is only a 3 star diplomat (unless being emperor really increases your chances).

BBBD316, merrick - To be honest I was so overwhelmed by the HRE events that I completely forgot to ask Austria for an alliance now that they are at 200 relations. I'll try asking Hungary first thing next turn.
 

aldriq

Part Time Warp
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May 30, 2007
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Sweboy said:
I thought you said in your intro that no alliances between the two countries would be allowed.
No, no explicit exclusion in the OP. I only expressed my preference to keep the countries focused in their respective theatres. I'll try the alliance to see if I can get it at 200 but chances are it would still be "impossible".