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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
Hi all,

I've been away for a while, as my interest in EU2 waxes and wanes. However, I thought I'd start a new AAR and try my hand at something different. As my unimaginative title says, I've selected Bengal as the country to play as. It's my first foray into the game as a non-European nation.

Settings are AGCEEP 1.56 on hard/aggressive. No firm objectives yet, although expansion into the Indian subcontinent is always desirable. Primarily this will be a gameplay AAR since I'm not much of a writer. Any readAARs are welcome to make suggestions as to what to do and how to do it.

bengal_1419_a.jpg


Our humble nation begins with 4 provinces, fortunately these are moderately wealthy provinces and we have a CoT as well which is a nice bonus to begin with. Our stability is as bad as it could be and our treasury is low. We have 15,000 troops in Howrah. Our tech situation is bad, we are at level 0 in everything. This is our starting position and we shall see what heights the Bengalese can scale from here.
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
Thanks Olav. Glad to have some interest.

1419
Bengal starts at full negative stability. Our advisers inform us that it will therefore cause no additional stability problems to adjust our policy sliders, so we immediately increase our Aristocracy, in order to build cheaper cavalry.

We are peaceful so we drop our army maintenance down to 50% to save money, and we also begin to invest exclusively in Land and Infra tech. Trade and Naval will be not far behind for the first set of research improvements so we aren't overly concerned about this yet.

Our advisers also note that we can easily improve our standing among the nations by resolutely holding on to the province of Santal. Why not, we ask?

Finally, near the year's end we enter an alliance with the Bahmanid Empire.

1420
We invite the nation of Jaunpur to join our alliance. They have just been hammered by Delhi and are grateful for the nominal protection we afford. I say nominal because while our 4 provinces are rich, our manpower and support limits are very low. We have no grain provinces. This is identified as a problem for the future.

1421
Our crack research team discovers Infra 1 and we immediately mint gold to fund the building of tax collection agencies in our provinces.

1422
Our allies, the Bahmanids, declare war on Vijayanajar. We agree to join, thinking little of it, because we want to raise war taxes to further the building of our tax agencies. Little do we know at this point how soundly the Empire will be defeated by its southerly neighbours.

1424
Having noted how our status increased at our first declaration of keeping Santal, we do so again. From here on we will declare this intent every 5 years for as often as we remember.

1426
A well to do family offers us a gift to the state. We are glad because we need to sue for peace from Vijayanajar. The Bahmanids have left us high and dry by getting out on their own as quickly as they could. Fortunately our tribute is accepted and peace is restored without cost to either our armies or territory.

1429
The government is reformed to improve central administration from the capital of Howrah.

1430
bengal_1430_a.jpg

An unexpected bonus for us? We'll take it. We invite our new vassals to join our alliance.

1431
bengal_1431_a.jpg


1434
A new ruler arises in Arakan and haughtily renounces the vassalization they have with us. We knew it was too good to be true. They are still allied though so not all is lost.

1436
bengal_1436_a.jpg


In midsummer we suddenly spring a declaration of war on our neighbours Orissa. We have no cause to do this, it just seems right. They are allied with weak Haihaya and faraway Gujarat. Our three allies agree that our non-cause is just and they help us assail our perceived enemies. We bypass the city of Odisa to attack the single province of Haihaya. It falls most swiftly to our attack. We make peace with them, or rather, we force it.

bengal_1436_b.jpg


1440
Again we add more power to our central government. At the same time our industrious researchers publicly announce that both Infra 2 and Trade 2 have been attained. How wonderful! We continue in the desire for Infra.

1441
Arakam continues their trend of disrespect toward us and they make a separate peace with Orissa, stealing Yanam away from our designs. We pledge to make them pay one day, but turn a blind eye for the moment. A few months later the conquest of Orissa is complete. We allow them their capital, but we take Berhampur and Palakimidei from them. Two more rich provinces, but alas no grain yielders.

Our nation now looks like this;
bengal_1441_a.jpg
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
You know, I think I did but for some reason I didn't do it. Unfortunately I seem to only have the original 4 cores, so no they aren't Bengali per se. Culture and religion match well enough though.

I haven't had an option to force convert yet so I don't know the answer to that particular question. At some point I need to convert my own provinces I think.
 

unmerged(108041)

Second Lieutenant
Jul 18, 2008
102
0
Glad to see another AAR from you Anarion.I followed the first two but wasn't registered so I couldn't comment.
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
Glad to have another reader on board HC.AFC. Welcome!

1442
bengal_1442_a-1.jpg

Our advisers note the corrupt tax collection in the province of Ganges. The people appeal for relief from this agency. Our coffers seek to encourage it. Despite the risk of rebellion, improved tax revenue can't be ignored. We choose taxes. [This event fired 3 more times thus far, all in Ganges. I won't be recording it every time, but I found this interesting.]

1446
Our expert military academies report that they have improved our means of warfare. Sadly, other nations accomplish this feat around the same time. We all reach Land 2.

1450
Further reforms take place in Howrah's central administration. Bengalese government has now moved significantly away from regional authority and into a single rule from the capital.

1452
A traitorous noble arises and seeks to exert more than his due authority. Our response is swift and violent. The noble is summarily executed, further reforms to the government occur and the noble's assets are seized for the state. Aristocracy - 2, Centralization +1, Gold +100.

1457
bengal_1457_a.jpg

For a third time in as many decades the Arakanese slight our friendship and trust. This time they have gone too far, raiding into our territory. We let the matter slide for now, but our memory is long indeed and Arakam will get their just reward one day. It may be soon, it may be later but one day, Arakam, one day....

1459
bengal_1459_a.jpg


1461
Orissa still holds their city between our main provinces and the ones we captured from them two decades ago. Odisa is now the home of the first arts centre in India. Our covetous eyes gaze longingly at this city. Sure, we don't have a cause for war, but that didn't stop us last time.

bengal_1461_a.jpg

We don't even ask for our allies help, they will only interfere. Orissa is weak anyway.

1465
Perhaps not as weak as we thought. It takes for years of battles and siege to capture Odisa but at last the feat is achieved. At the risk of general outrage around us, we annex the Odissans, thus linking our territories.

bengal_1465_a.jpg


It costs us 7 BB in total to achieve this, but the risk is worthwhile and our allies are strong enough to discourage attacks, for now.

The Bengal Empire, circa 1468:
bengal_1468_a.jpg
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
No, it was not at 0. My BB at this point is 12/38 = tarnished. It could be tricky going forward. However, there aren't a lot of strong nations around. Vijayanajar is, but they have to go through my allies to reach me. Aside from that there is Delhi, Tibet and maybe Burma the latter two being my buffer from China. We will see though. It was a calculated risk.
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
1470 - This year marks a change in military policy. Too often our armies are defeated by enemy forces with superior morale. We opt for a Quality improvement to counter this problem.

1471 - The evil Gondwhanans send a diplomat to insult our honourable rulers. This affront cannot be countenanced. Immediately we plan how respond. We have 18 months in which to do this. We send a small cavalry army with our most experienced leader to the Bahmanids. We will use it to try arrive first to a siege while letting our allies do the work.

1472 - Preparations complete...
bengal_1472_a.jpg


A slight wrench in the plans. Delhi declares war on our allies in Jaunpur. We now have a two front war. Our cavalry armies are sent into Delhi instead. Our allies will have to deal with Gondwhana. However, our raiders have arrived first in Malwa to oversea the Bahmanid siege there.

1474 - With the help of Jaunpur and Haihaya the Delhian league is soon pushed back with heavy losses. Bengal armies occupy Bihar, Raipur and Awadh. Delhi and their alliance leader, Sindh, offer separate treaties. We accept both, adding Bihar to our lands.

bengal_1474_a.jpg


Meanwhile Rajputana has joined Gondwhana, but the fools have no armies to protect them. They are a much easier target then the mountain forces of Gondwhana. We offer terms to the latter to force them out of the war while our cavalry invades Rajputana.

bengal_1474_b.jpg


1476
bengal_1476_a.jpg

Please note Bengal rulers seem to change even more often then I post them. I haven't put up every one, nor will I in the future. Just a select number.

1477 - The conquest of Rajputana is utterly complete. We request the province of Bikaner because it is the grain yielding province we so desperately seek. This improves our support limits and manpower.
bengal_1477_a.jpg


Bengal Empire, circa 1477
bengal_1477_b.jpg


The war against Rajputana was a defensive one, they DoWed us by joining an alliance with Gondwhana. So our BB increase for taking their province was small. Bihar was also a defensive acquisition from Delhi. Our BB is a bit high though so hopefully we'll get a few years to let that decrease. If you have forgotten, our vassals are Haihaya (blue) and Rajputana (red).
 

unmerged(84806)

Lt. General
2 Badges
Sep 30, 2007
1.346
1
  • Divine Wind
  • For The Glory
Excellent work in the two-front war. Dehli is never an easy opponent to deal with. Your alliance seems very strong now. It has a big drawback though, as many of the wars you will be fighting in the future will be offensive. At least that is my experience when I am in powerful alliances.

Nice to know that the war against Rajputana was defensive. I have always thought that those who joined the defensive side were also "defensive". Anyway, it justifies taking Bikaner due to only 1 BB (and of course securing some grain :)).
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
Olav, thanks for the reply. I'm finding that the Bahmanid Empire is very aggressive. Half my wars have been started by them. Also I thought the same about you about defensive wars but I'm certain I only got 1 BB for taking that province from Rajputana even though I DoWed Gondwhana initially.

FYI to all, though I stated I was playing hard/aggressive I took a look at my settings and it is actually very hard/normal.

On to the update...

1481 - We continue our policy of military reform. Set Land +1 in our domestic sliders, further improving army morale and decreasing the cost of land units.

1482
bengal_1482_a.jpg


1484 - Our allies, the Bahmanid Empire, once again get busy on the warfront. Their repeated forays are giving us little time to rest on our laurels. One day we will need to rein them in.

bengal_1484_a.jpg


At the same time our other allies, Jaunpur, declare war on Delhi and Sindh. Grrrr! Yay! Another two front war with the same enemies as before. Our goal this time is to end the wars as quickly as we can.

1486 - After quickly occupying a couple provinces belonging to Delhi, the Delhian league offers us a truce and some gold. We accept eagerly, though doubtless our warmongering allies are less thrilled. Too bad for them. A quick war with few losses for us is the best kind at this point. [Side note: occasionally in my eagerness I click Accept before taking a screenshot. This was one of those times. It will happen again no doubt.] Immediately after this, the damn Burmese and their Lan Na and Tibetan allies declare war on us. They are as sick of our wars as we are. Too bad for them they have few armies and can be trounced.

1487
bengal_1487_a.jpg


We've been pursuing a policy of war without combat in the other part of the conflict, leaving our allies to deal with Gondwhana. They are more than capable and eventually Gondwhana offers the following peace treaty, ceding territory to our allies.

bengal_1487_b.jpg


1489 - The campaign against Burma was swift and brutal. After capturing their four provinces we find ourselves with a succession of juicy offers, both from Burma alone and from Lan Na. Once again we exploit this by accepting both.

bengal_1489_a.jpg


Our strong position and good relations allows us to forge a stronger relationship with Jaunpur.

bengal_1489_b.jpg


1490
bengal_1490_a.jpg


1492
Bahmanid Empire runs into a spot of bother and has an ongoing rebel problem. Actually it has been going on for a while, we only notice when several provinces declare independence from them. This leaves their new acquisition of Malwa defenseless and it too rebels and declares independence. We race a cavalry army there before they can even start building an army.

1493
Malwa province is captured by us. We offer to continue their independence if they will agree to become our vassals. They wisely agree.

bengal_1493_b.jpg


1495
Our land tech reaches level 3. There is widespread rejoicing. As a celebratory act we exchange maps with Arakan, giving us more knowledge of the IndoChina peninsula to the west of us.

Our next update will begin the 1600's and we'll see how Bengal fares in the new century. If you are counting we now have as vassals: Rajputana, Malwa, Jaunpur and Haihaya.
 

unmerged(84806)

Lt. General
2 Badges
Sep 30, 2007
1.346
1
  • Divine Wind
  • For The Glory
I would have thought the war against Burma, La Na and Tibet would have caused some problems, but you solved the situation very nicely! Cheeky move getting two tributes at the price of one. ;)

It sounds to me that you're in a quite comfortable situation now, with no enemies that can harm you. However that could change quickly if the Mughals show up... :) How is Vijayanagar doing?
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
I didn't put much detail in on that war because it was so short. Basically, Burma and Lan Na tried to capture Arakam leaving me free to capture all Burma's cities. Arakam is hard to capture because it has a decent fortress and low supply limit so they had no luck.

My biggest problem right now is that I have little respite from wars to do other things. Vijayanajar is not a problem to me because I have the buffer of the Bahmanids between me and them. Burma and Sindh/Delhi are the ones that bother me.
 

CatKnight

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Good job so far! I think you do need to rest for awhile and try to get your WE/BB back to reasonable levels.

I'm waiting for the war with Arakan. They've certainly provoked it.
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
Thanks for your comment CatKnight. If my allies will be nice enough to let me rest I'll be happy. I have until 1581 to pay back Arakam so I have lots of time yet.
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
1495-1503 - We manage a whole 8 years of peace, allowing a few points of BB to come off and our war exhaustion to disappear. We focus on research and rebuilding our decimated forces. Alas, before we would wish it, our warmongering allies to the south, the Bahmanids, declare war on Delhi. Well you might ask why Bengal keeps them around and indeed the Sultans begin to wonder about this themselves. Nonetheless we go back to war, because Delhi has no armies to speak of and this will be an easy conquest. Arakan continues their trend of non-support. This time we won't invite them back. Malwa are much more suitable allies. Arakan's dishonour is added to their litany of crimes against us.

1505 - Bahmanid's make a separate peace with Delhi, taking one province from them. Suits us fine, as our armies have control of everything they possess and are currently sieging Delhi.

1506 - The Sultan takes a massive gamble...
bengal_1506_b.jpg


Delhi has little choice in the matter, but how will our neighbours respond?
bengal_1506_a.jpg


Our lands around Bikaner are strengthened by this maneuver and our power is greatly increased in terms of wealth and manpower.
bengal_1506_c.jpg


Also it gives us leverage to make an offer to the Bahmanids that they can't refuse.
bengal_1506_d.jpg


Perhaps this will discourage them from their wars. Our other vassals are mostly peace loving, warring only when we ask them to. As we anticipated it is the Burmese who act first and declare war on us, together with Tibet and Lan Na.

Fortunately Tibet is the alliance leader and they are peace loving. It takes only a few months to exact a tribute from them. We do this by sitting our army in Santal and allowing their attackers to break against our defensive positions.

bengal_1508_a.jpg


After this war with Burma and Tibet we achieve a position that discourages our many enemies from attacking us for a long time. Another decade of peace will follow this.

1511 - We direct our military academies to focus even more on land battle. Heck, we haven't even built a naval unit yet.

1516 - Our CoT in Santal closes, but we gain a new one in Ganges.
bengal_1516_a.jpg


1519
bengal_1519_a.jpg


In this year we also arrive finally at land tech 4. And here we will leave it for the time being.
 

unmerged(84806)

Lt. General
2 Badges
Sep 30, 2007
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Well that was almost a 100% increase in territorial possessions for you. Not bad! But now you have to link up the western provinces to your capital, and that could be a challenge considering the "belt" of capitals in between. Maybe you could use one of your vassals to annex Delhi, and in turn diplo-annex the vassal?

Is that Portugal in Cochin? Maybe you should build a fleet and try to take if from them. A new CoT wouldn't hurt your economy. ;)
 

unmerged(62305)

First Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2006
246
0
Olav, I have military access through Delhi that I got for my very first war. I've never canceled it and I've never started a war with them. It's a handy exploit to be able to siege provinces and have MA with them.

It is Portugal in Cochin yes. And that might be something to keep in mind for the future. Good idea!