TheMeInTeam

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We have threads about the large changes made to expansion in 1.4, however the point of this thread is to highlight the fastest, most reliable, and most cost efficient approaches to expansion in various portions of the world as of patch 1.4. I will do my best to update this thread as ideas are presented in it, in an effort to aid everyone adjustment (including my own) to the new rules and mechanics. First of all, some basics:


1. Cede --> Core: The oldest method. Currently the only modifiers I am aware of are 25% claim and 25% administrative ideas discount, adding up to a max 50%. This is the fallback method of expanding, when there exists no alternatives.

2. Vassal --> Annex: The patch restricted this approach, but did not eliminate it. You can't vassal someone in a tech group that is 50% slower than yours (or more), those instead become protectorates. You also can't diplovassal someone with more than 30 base tax. Vassals no longer buy provinces as readily as before; they must want to conquer it or have core/claim on it, so plan accordingly.

3. Colonize --> Core: Still viable if you're OPM and move capitol, are willing to create a colony nation, or only intend to get a foothold with a few provinces.


Regions + Strategies:

- New World: If you are a tribe, you want to colonize and vassal feed as much as possible. If you're a large western power, you likely want a huge colony here for the trade power (screw over the Western Europe node); if your stranglehold is large enough you can collect all the value before it gets there. If you're an OPM you can consider moving your capitol here for more land; the discount of core creation on "heathen primitives" will make it barely more cost to core than self-sustaining colonies. Finally, if you're Inca/Aztec/etc you want to grow by vassaling any non-tribal guys, possibly after feeding them.

- Africa: African nations will behave like Incan/Aztec; you want to centralize power ASAP to yourself and get enough money to expand more with ADM 4. Pre-feed future vassals until they're just under 100% war score. Colonial nations will look to treat this area similarly to the new world: colony for trade power or move capitol depending on one's own size. Somewhat interestingly, the Nomad group is unique among the old-world groups in that they can vassal these guys, so it might be well-worth a steppe horde visit to Africa considering that Nomads start at tech level 3 across the board, and can just store diplo power while waiting for ADM 4.

- Europe: No colonizing if expanding within this zone! This area holds some really high tax provinces, so admin ideas are appealing. IMO, however, you're either a world power and can tangle with the combination coring cost + select vassals or you expand somewhere else. This was and remains one of the harder places to make rapid gains without lucky PUs or something.

- Middle East: Aside from the enormous Ottomans which need to be broken up with releasing nations often, many provinces in this region are inexpensive enough that you can core them with the cost reductions. Pre-feeding a select vassal or two can help.

- India/China/SEA: If you are Ottoman, Eastern, or Middle Eastern, you can still vassal this area, and the large number of claims, empire growth/changing hands will allow you to feed vassals traditionally more than other areas. Otherwise, this area is likely better suited to protectorates or a colony. If trying to paint the map, this area is mostly an "annex" area for establish western mega empires, though try to snake a muslim group vassal in as far as possible at first.

- Russia: The protectorate rules make the Nomads problematic to vassal, so they're going to be annexed unless you're Muslim.

Some general strategies:


1. Fabricate claims often, so you have more claims and reduce the burden of ADM. The gimped vassal feeding will free up diplomat availability; use that would-be annex time on fabricating all kinds of claims.

2. Administrative ideas are going to be more common now IMO. The combination of money influx from expanding (IE more viable mercs) and need for more old-school coring will merit taking this somewhat early. At least it has decent events, too.

3. If at all possible, feed war targets to ~100% war score (a bit less) so that the vassals you do take give you more bang for the investment.

4. If you're not abusing colonies to the max enough to merit taking exploration, you want diplomatic and expansion ideas, which will help you annex smaller vassals more rapidly and will allow you to have more vassals.
 

grisamentum

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1/2. Be Russia. You can vassalize everyone in Asia, and you get a 15% coring discount, too. Alternatively, do the Poland->Prussia nonsense and stay Eastern but with insane-o troops.

Also, wait: You can't diplo-vassalize someone with more than 30 basetax? WTF? Ever? Even as Austria with crazy diplo rep bonuses?
 

TheMeInTeam

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1/2. Be Russia. You can vassalize everyone in Asia, and you get a 15% coring discount, too. Alternatively, do the Poland->Prussia nonsense and stay Eastern but with insane-o troops.

Also, wait: You can't diplo-vassalize someone with more than 30 basetax? WTF? Ever? Even as Austria with crazy diplo rep bonuses?

I'm pretty sure that rule was intended specifically to block Austria's nonsense :). Eastern tech group is a 20% penalty, while Nomads have a 75% penalty. This 55% difference means that Russia gets protectorates. I mentioned the ability of non-Western to still vassal India/China/SEA in that region.
 

TheMeInTeam

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Oh yeah! Less gamey exploits of the game mechanisms and more real strategy. I love it!

Make no mistake, I'm a super cheese weasel. I'm aiming for max gaming within the current constraints. For example, pre-feeding future vassals is potentially very powerful, especially when colonies are involved since colonies carry next to no value in peace deals.
 

grisamentum

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I'm pretty sure that rule was intended specifically to block Austria's nonsense :). Eastern tech group is a 20% penalty, while Nomads have a 75% penalty. This 55% difference means that Russia gets protectorates. I mentioned the ability of non-Western to still vassal India/China/SEA in that region.

Yeah, the Nomads are one thing. Although it might be best with them to conquer a little bit, then convert to Sunni Islam, then diplo-annex them. It makes conquering the Ottomans much easier and lets you get a bigger tech discount, too.
 

grisamentum

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Yeah, the Nomads are one thing. Although it might be best with them to conquer a little bit, then convert to Sunni Islam, then diplo-annex them. It makes conquering the Ottomans much easier and lets you get a bigger tech discount, too.

Oh wait, I'm an idiot. You cant diplo annex them if you can't vassalize, huh. Oh well, Admin group it is, then.
 

Bibor

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Hey TMIT, good post.

Here are a few tips, some old, some new.

Fast Expansion works pretty much the same as in 1.3.
There are three phases: 1444 to 1580, 1581 to 1644, 1645+.

1444 to 1580 - this is the period when cores from initial conquests across the world still exist. During this period you can break down France, Russia and split up all countries to sizes you can vassalize. This period works exactly like it did pre-patch. DoW, vassalize, integrate, repeat.

1580 to 1644 - this period works like it did in 1.3 as well. Wherever you are, Europe, Middle East, Asia, you'll be still busy vassalizing, but coring provinces will become a necessity, as some countries will simply become too large.

1645+ - this is what I call "the vassalization plateau". If you did everything well, 200 years into the game you'll be hard pressed to find vassalization targets and coring will become a norm. There are some "1944" cores out there (Bulgaria, Croatia, to name two), but your best bet are personal unions. Pre-patch, it was entirely possible to peacefully vassalize larger countries at this stage, now it's impossible to do so.

On Vassal Feeding

Vassal feeding still exists, but there are two additional factors: vassal leader's personality and claims. Aggressive personality vassals will now be your long-time companions, as they will accept provinces more willingly.
Claims will play a huge role now. It's not uncommon to see a released OPM claim everything around it. Vassals tend to claim many adjacent provinces, so give them time to do it. Claims have a duration, so plan your wars accordingly. This strategy might prove more useful now with the changes.

On Westernization

With the new mechanics, it might be advisable not to Westernize as The Ottomans or Eastern Tech, as you will not be able to vassalize in India and/or China.
 

Andy_Dandy

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All real strategy is gaming of mechanics. Do you even sun tzu bro

Well, that's what patching and further development of the game is all about; nerfing no-brainer exploitive gameyness that requires little deep thought strategy. Consequences of game mechanisms that was unintended in the first place, or that has proven to be game breaking in very negative ways.
 

Chevaresqye

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Well, that's what patching and further development of the game is all about; nerfing no-brainer exploitive gameyness that requires little deep thought strategy. Consequences of game mechanisms that was unintended in the first place, or that has proven to be game breaking in very negative ways.

Let name something that requires deep thought. The game does not break at all since the number of players never drop. Could you show me the PDS declaration that vassal feeding was never intended? Rather OE is no-brainer gamey mechanics, since annexing 4 province can throw a span continent Empire into internal turmoil hell, a feature that has no realism base.
 

Groxs

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There is still a minor problem with russia.
You can only vassalize to West(Lithuania,etc) and North(Novgorod, Sweden), East(Sibir) ist either colonizing or Nomands, South(Crimea, Golden Horde, Kazan) are Nomands till Ottomans. So u have to Annex/Core all the way down to Ottomans and then the Ottomans are the only ones you can Vassalize. I have to find out whether the Turk OPM are nomands or Muslims....
 

aitaituo

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Currently the only modifiers I am aware of are 25% claim and 25% administrative ideas discount,

There's an additional -10% from the third HRE reform and another -5% from Enlightened Despotism, in addition to various unique national ideas. I think -90% is the best you could get as Italy or -88% as Ottomans.
 

Andy_Dandy

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Let name something that requires deep thought. The game does not break at all since the number of players never drop. Could you show me the PDS declaration that vassal feeding was never intended? Rather OE is no-brainer gamey mechanics, since annexing 4 province can throw a span continent Empire into internal turmoil hell, a feature that has no realism base.

OE has both realism base, and most importantly makes a whole lot of sense gameplay wise.
 

Chevaresqye

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OE has both realism base, and most importantly makes a whole lot of sense gameplay wise.

Then explain why conquer a Ottoman province will make Austria lose Papal Influence, hurt trade income in America, and destabilize the whole realm?

When the Ottoman annexed Egypt and Syria in one go, why did not they doom by overextension. The OE mechanics has no base on realism or historicity. Why people want to rebel after their country conquered a rich province?

Such gamey mechanics does not help gameplay either. Nothing interesting come from the system. The system is just a unrealistic and arbitrary cap, sits there doing nothing.
 

Bibor

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Then explain why conquer a Ottoman province will make Austria lose Papal Influence, hurt trade income in America, and destabilize the whole realm?

When the Ottoman annexed Egypt and Syria in one go, why did not they doom by overextension. The OE mechanics has no base on realism or historicity. Why people want to rebel after their country conquered a rich province?

Such gamey mechanics does not help gameplay either. Nothing interesting come from the system. The system is just a unrealistic and arbitrary cap, sits there doing nothing.

Except for the Mamluk example which everyone seems to be bringing up, borders didn't historically shift drastically in a single war. As vassals, yes, as cores, no.
As for the Mamluk historical example, The Mamluks were a ruling military caste, not a nation with a complex feudal system stretching back hundreds of years.
Unfortunately, EU4 can't handle this (just as it can't handle PUs properly; England got under a PU with a Scottish king, not the other way around), so The Mamluks are represented as a nation.
 

Chevaresqye

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Except for the Mamluk example which everyone seems to be bringing up, borders didn't historically shift drastically in a single war. As vassals, yes, as cores, no.
As for the Mamluk historical example, The Mamluks were a ruling military caste, not a nation with a complex feudal system stretching back hundreds of years.
Unfortunately, EU4 can't handle this (just as it can't handle PUs properly; England got under a PU with a Scottish king, not the other way around), so The Mamluks are represented as a nation.

Still not suffer any significant negative effect like OE system. With the OE mechanics, conquering Paris will make your whole country want to rebel.
Mamluks aslo had hundred years of history. Delhi has hundred years of history. Ming has hundred years of history. Common Wealth has hundred years of history. Novgorod has hundred years of history. History shows that failure in one war can make a whole nation disappear.
EU4 don't handle those properly, and OE cannot handle those properly.