Introduction

WolframS67

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Pick a major nation. Destroy all and everyone just from the start.

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

Main goal: Get the two French achievements "Better than Napoleon" and "Big Blue Blob" asap

Introduction

"Big Blue Blob" (BBB) is owning 100 provinces as cores in Europe before 1500
"Better than Napoleon" (BtN) is owning Berlin, Moscow and Vienna as cores

After playing several small nations lately, like Cornwall, I thought it was time for a change. So I started with a major nation, to be able to go to action immediately. For test games I often use England and France, but on Ironman I haven't played with France at all. And as I did some horrible things to France with GB (fka Cornwall), I switched sides now.

This AAR will be much smaller and lighter than my previous AARs. For one, because this campaign contains just some 40+ years. Also because it is pretty much straight forward: War, war, war. The game has moved forward to 1.30.3. So a lot of details of my game could be outdated. Nevertheless I hope my general approach or the story of conquest in itself might be interesting for the readers.

eu4_1.png


The start will be to declare Reconquest on England asap, that is the 11.Dec.1444. I don't want the "Surrender of Maine" event to trigger. The MTTH is 12 months, but I have seen it happened in Dec.1444. So there is no time for preparation and I have to ally with the best I can get on the start.

Whenever I start a new campaign I jump into it fairly naive. But I save a Backup from the very first day, before I do anything. Especially the diplomatic situation is very important, because my strategy for the first war is largely dependant on it. Regulary I discover after a few years in the game, I forgot something or could have done something essentialy better. With the Backup I can reload from the start with the same starting conditions. Much later I am too curious and try several restarts to intentionally get different diplomatic setups.

Now I can conclude, I got a very good setup, as I allied The Papal State, Castile and Burgundy. With Burgundy willing to join versus England on the promise of land.
I will come back to other diplomatic scenarios after the war with England.

I knew the general recommendation for BBB is to go for Scandinavia or the Balkans. But I wanted to start as flexible as possible and get footholds for expansion in several regions. In the very beginning I had no special thoughts about BtN at all. All changed when I realized how fast I can get to Moscow.
 

HistoryDude

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Hmm, this looks interesting...

Subbed! Let us see the Rise of France!
 
Portugal and England

WolframS67

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Portugal and England

France holds 27 provinces = 73 to go for BBB.

First the diplomacy. I cancel the alliance with Provence and the guarantee of Scotland. Both are future victims and I want to have the option to attack them asap. So I let the truce timer for them start. I ally Burgundy, Castile and The Papal State.
The Papal State is mostly for Papal Influence and having good relations with him to avoid an excommunication. Allies get way less AE from whatever I am doing soon.
Castile is a good ally in any case. I can use him against Aragon later and I prevent a Castilian-English alliance this way. The short term benefit is that I have vision on his lands, so I can follow the Portuguese movements.
Burgundy. He desires English provinces, so I can use/abuse him immediately. Sooner or later I will turn against him, as his lands are rightfully ours, not?

eu4_2.png

The most important department in our game: the military.
Artillery comes to the game in 1479. That is 25 years from now on; half an eternity. While we have hundreds of sieges to do. But France starts with two scripted generals, both very good. Jean Bureau is a real "Master of Sieges", as he has +15% siege ability on top of his 3 pips. Almost OP.
Navy: Very important. As many forts are coastal, it is vital to get the -2 malus for sieges nullified. Plus the possibilty of a naval barrage. Later with a flagship I can turn the blockade into a +1 bonus. A strong navy means naval superiority, means a high mobility for the troops with transports, etc.
For the start I disband the 4 Lights and convert them into sailors. France has 4 ports and I want to have 4 new Heavies asap. I order 2 on day 1 and once I get 200 sailors I will start building the next, so after a few years I will have 6 Heavies. A 6/0/0/8 fleet is not strong enough to challenge the English fleet (10 Heavies in a cluster) in the first war, but it is enough to savely transport troops to Scotland to invade England from the north. Moreover we will need a fleet in the wars to come with Scotland and Denmark.
Morale of armies: The French King gives +5% and by recruiting 8 infantry up to force limit I will get another +5% from the mission reward. The best initial military advisor I got for this game is a Quartermaster, giving +33% reinforcements, which is fine.

eu4_3.png

So England got Kildare and Navarra besides his starting alliance with Portugal. Navarra very often falls into a PU under Aragon in the first years of the game. So maybe he will just drop out of our war, maybe not. Burgundy wants to join on the promise of land. But first I will ask him for Mil Access, place the 2k on Calais and only then I call him in.
Very important: Before the war I have to flag every hostile province as vital interest. Really everything, not just Calais. I forgot to do so in one run and then Burgundy was crying, as I had little interest to give him Kent and Sussex. If I have signed his provinces of vital interest as vital for myself and he doesn't occupy them, he is fine with getting nothing. Well, I am fine with this too.
I have high ambitions for this war, as I want a province from Portugal and then a complete victory against England, to get some province close to Scotland in addition to the return of all my seven cores.

eu4_4.png

First I concentrate on Normandy with Caux as the war goal. Burgundy and his subjects will help me sieging Calais.

eu4_5.png

Normandy is completely occupied. I got an early wall breach in Caen and assaulted the fort to take it down in Mar.45. The "Master of Sieges" is in Calais now, leading the 2 regiments. Flanders with 8k and Brabant with 9k are also there on the fort.
The English fort in Labourd (Gascony) is always a hot spot in these wars. It is woods, so -1 terrain. Besides my 30k+ troops there is a 17k-stack of Burgundy close by, while one Portuguese army has to retreat home already. So I take the chance to attack the 15k of England. However battles on Mil Tech 3 are very costly in lives. After such encounters I consolidate my regiments and start to fill up with Mercs. I don't spare expenses for this war. Time to take care of the economy will come later.
In one of my previous runs I tried to make every friendly stack attach to one of my armies. But it is Burgundy and his 4 subjects. All have several armies, with many small stacks. Some are unwilling to attach at all, other stacks do attach and then go elsewhere, before I can realize, what is happening. In this run I did without attaching in the early stage of the war. As a consequence Burgundy ignored my proposal to siege Labourd and some isolated stacks are already running through Aragon to reach Portugal. Sigh. Playing with AI-allies is often a real test of nerves.

eu4_6.png

Calais has fallen in Sep.45 and everyone moved south. Half of my army is sieging Labourd or guarding it. Burgundy attacked a weakened English stack in the mountains of Nafarroa. Sigh. As I expected something like this, I already moved the other half of my army through Narbonnais to Aragon. So I could come over to help Burgundy. Meanwhile some smaller stacks have attached, so I can use them to siege Navarra's capital fort in the mountains.

eu4_7.png

The siege of Labourd was over in Feb.46. The main stack of Burgundy went to lay siege on Évora. I put a 1k-stack on the fort as well, in case he goes away. The "Master of Sieges" sits on Lisboa, with a Dutch 11k-stack attached. In the Low Countries England has landed 18k troops. For the moment I am just waiting here. The action is soon to happen in Nafarroa again. As I have made significant progress in the siege, I decide to stay stubborn and take the battle despite the -2 from the mountains. There is a second army of Portugal and some smaller stack of England in the fog of Aragon, so numbers are about equal. My second scripted general already died, but Flanders has a 2/4/0/2 leader, attached to my 1k-stack for the siege of Nafarroa.

eu4_8.png

We won the battle in the mountains, but again some thousands of my troops left their lives. The starting configuration of my regular army was 30/8/0. Now it is 16/4/0, plus 16 Mercs. With the next tick in Aug.46 the fort fell and I could peace out Navarra seperately.
Almost as expected Burgundy run away from the siege of Évora. My main army has taken over. Jean Bureau is still on Lisboa, supported by some Dutch. Numbers are sufficent for the Portuguese to not attack me.

eu4_9.png

The English are in the north. I suppose, I started the battle before the other English 9k-stack could complete its landing. Half of our troops are from Nevers and Brabant rushes over to aid with his 11k as well.

eu4_10.png

I sent over my fleet (4/0/0/8) for the blockade of Lisboa and in Apr.47 the fort surrendered. But I had to concede 2 transports for this effort, as my fleet is still not good and vulnerable. Anyway, I had enough warscore to get the peace deal with Portugal, I wanted. The annulation of his alliances with England and Castile, as well as the province of Aveiro. That is the only province I can take and have the time of truce below 10 years. So now I have a foothold to expand in West Iberia, which is far away from the HRE and thus "low AE land". Portugal's coastal provinces are rather well developed, but West Iberia contains some low developed ones inland, which means eventually backstabing Castile. We will see. It is an option and one of my goals early game was to have a lot of options for expansion.

Another 17k-stack (leaderless) of England is about to be murdered in Normandy. Currently my fleet is docked for repair in the port of Bas-Poitou. Soon I will ask Scotland for Mil Access and Fleet Basing Rights to start the transfer of my troops over to the Island in small portions. At this stage of the war England's home defense is very weak, as he has lost so many soldiers on the continent and he is not able or willing to rebuild his army appropriately.
The day before I became the new Papal Controller. Lucky? Well, I was the only candidate. AIs don't use Estate interactions, like "Send Emissary to the Pope" and AIs don't invest PI in the election, if they have less than 2 cardinals. If the first Pope dies early a Human French player is almost guaranteed to become the next Papal Controller. That is what happened. -20% AE, an extra diplomant and other cool stuff for some years. Very good.

eu4_11.png

I have made the naval passage 3 times already. One regiment works as a look out in Finistére (Brittany). If I am still unsure about the English Heavies, I can sail through the open seas and west of Ireland to the North Channel. When I dropped my first 6k somewhere in Scotland (like Argyll), theoretically England or Kildare could rush over and kill them. But I have never seen them trying to do so. They prefer to stay at home and wait.
Things got complicated as Scotland declared war on England in Nov.47. Something like this often happens; I wreck an AI and another AI tries to profit from my efforts. Bad luck for Scotland I already had enough troops on the border and was able to reach Cumbria and the fort in Northumberland first. Now it is Scotland's job to help me in the siege.

eu4_12.png

Northumberland was done in Jun.48 for a total warscore of +80%. I had to continue the war a bit and occupy some unfortified provinces to make England willing to give me more. Besides the return of my seven cores, I take Cumbria and Northumberland. It is one nice marshland fort for me and a border with Scotland. Moreover I now have a wedge between England and Scotland. It prevents both from taking land from the other, as AIs are shy to take unconnected provinces. I forced the return of Mann to The Isles just because I could do without diplo costs and for some little prestige.
At the end of the war I have 10 loans for a total of 1.8k ducats in debt and 16 Mercs. But the result was very well worth the investment, I think.
Next war? I don't want to spend my resources on the Irish miniors yet. Brittany is protected by Aragon. So now I have the eternity of 16 months of peace, as the truces with Scotland and Provence run out in Jan.50. Lets see then, who is next.

Addition:
Now I want to expand a bit about the different diplomatic starting scenarios for France, as mentioned in the Introduction section.
Burgundy willing to ally France happens regulary. The same for Castile. But sometimes they hate each other, so it is not possible to ally both right from the start. In this case some diplomacy will do over a few years to get them both, if the player wants to. An even better constellation than I got in the game is, if Castile is willing to become an ally and to join the war on the promise of land. Now it is possible to abuse him as I did with Burgundy in the game.
But what if neither Burgundy nor Castile are interested in joining the Reconquest War? Well, in this case, just go alone. And because I hate to profit from a good setup, I had to prove myself, I can do it in a bad setup as well. Kind of.

eu4_13.png

Like this one. Burgundy rivaled me. I allied Castile, but they won't join. As before he gives me vision on the Portuguese troops which is helpful. The best strategy I found is this: Ignore Normandy, ignore Gascony, concentrate on Portugal in the first stage of the war. I declare on Maine, because it is the only non-ZOC province. But actually I am just waiting for Aragon to give Mil Access to someone, so I can move everything via Narbonnais to Portugal.

eu4_14.png

I took down the fort in Évora, sat on Lisboa, occupied the rest of main Portugal and waited a few months. Now I can get rid of Portugal for a White Peace.
In the next stage I repel all English and Tyronish troops from the continent. As these stacks have nowhere to hide, I get a lot of stackwipes. Stage 3 is liberating all stuff England has occupied so far. Even if he got one of my forts, it doesn't matter much. Stage 4 is occupying the English provinces in the French region, including Calais with the fort.

eu4_15.png

Stage 5 is the invasion of England from Scotland, like in the game. As here I have no Burgundian ships to distract England, I am really careful and choose a very long route from Narbonnais to Inverness. The English navy is mostly busy blockading ports and as before I have 4 Heavies, so I can survive an encounter. But here the English ships didn't move away at all.

eu4_16.png

Tyrone went out of the war, because he was attacked by another Irish minor (and was betrayed by England). This time I found a 14k-stack of English Noble rebels in Northumberland. I let them siege for some months, then attacked and killed them, so I could take over their progress in the siege. So here we are. Same peace deal as in the game and almost at the same time. Interestingly for about the some costs, as here I have hired 20 Mercs. I didn't get a province from Portugal, but its value is limited anyway, as we will see later in the game.
Allthough this war looks way more difficult than the one in the game, it is infact somewhat easier. As I don't have to care about stupid AI-allies running around with weak stacks or leaving sieges without reason, etc.
 
Last edited:

volksmarschall

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God bless the BBB! :p
 

HistoryDude

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Good opening moves...

So are you playing the more successful start, or the less successful one?
 

WolframS67

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God bless the BBB! :p

Oh yes, he will.

Good opening moves...

So are you playing the more successful start, or the less successful one?

The story goes on with the maingame, I reported first. Burgundy is our ally and 1 province in Portugal is ours.
I have completed the entire campaign a few days ago. While I started to review screenshots and backup-saves in preparation for this report, I couldn't resist the temptation to see, if I have learned something and could do the first war all alone. With the extra knowledge, how the game continues and ends, it is easy to improve on the beginning, I think.
Anyway, like in my report with Cornwall, I want to start every new section with a map of the current situation. I hope it helps readers for orientation.
 
Provence, Scotland and Brittany

WolframS67

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Provence, Scotland and Brittany

eu4_17.png


France holds 37 provinces = 63 to go for BBB.

eu4_18.png

01.01.1450, so it is the time for a new war. I start on Provence. The English-Scottish war is still going on and I would prefer them to peace out, so I don't have to compete with England on occupations of Scottish provinces. And my Curia Controller may die, so I want to make use of it asap.
Thus I excommunicated Provence in late Nov.49, placed my troops on his border and grabbed the perma claims on him from the mission tree. Still the AI-Provence has a mothballed fort and his army is on reduced morale, because of minimum maintenance. Sigh. Sometimes the game is too easy.
I call The Papal State in, as he would like to have the provinces of Provence and Forcalquier. Somehow I will reach them first and as before I have signed these provinces as vital interest for myself. So the job of The Papal State is to take care of Ferrara, I will do the rest and take everything. In the end The Papal State will be fine with it.

eu4_19.png

Provence, Lorraine and Ferrara already lost all their troops. Being one of the first to take Mil Tech 4 clearly helped hereby. Although I put the National Focus on Admin on day 1 of the game. Besides the free fort in Anjou, I could take down the other fort in Barrois with an assault, following an early wall breach in Mar.50. Now I work on the capital fort's in Forcalquier and Lorraine. The Papal State tries to siege the level-3 fort in Ferrara. Some of my troops move west to meet my transports in Bas-Poitou or Contentin to pay a visit to Ormond in Ireland. I am building up my fleet, whenever I get some sailors to order a new ship.

eu4_20.png

The next war is about to start.

Forcalquier was done in Aug.50, but Lorraine resisted until Feb.51. Cork (Desmond) allowed my troops in and so I could start the siege on Ormond some months ago. The capital fort just recently fell into my hands and I peaced out the Irish minor for some money. The Papal State made no progress in the siege of Ferrara, but the Italians were willing to accept a white peace. So I am on 100% versus Provence and Lorraine now.
With the Excommunication CB I obviously want to fully annex Provence. But Barrois is HRE-territory. I used a non-Ironman test game to check, if the Emperor would send me a demand for unlawful or not. He does, but not for the tag of Provence, as he is not a HRE-member, but for Bar, a dead nation at the start of the game. Which makes sense. Means, I have to be at war during the coring of Barrois. So I have to start a new war anyway.

I have filed a claim on West March recently. The Scottish Noble rebels have made some progress in the siege of the fort in that province. I would like to take that over.
3 days later Provence accepts his full annexation and his former junior partner Lorraine becomes an independent nation.

eu4_21.png

That was not the plan!
First the rebels succeeded in the siege of West March just one day after my war declaration. So I changed my plans and tried to rush to the Scottish capital of Lothian, as the fort in West March is neutral now and I can move past it. Ok, some Scottish defenders in Lothian, but the surprise was to find out 24k English also heading for this province. England had months and years to kill the Scots. But only now he has the courage to attack. But I came first and so the English are my indirect ally in this battle.

eu4_22.png

Some days after the murderous battle of the last picture, England signed peace with Scotland. Just for some money and the liberation of The Isles, a good deal for me. I killed the Scotish Noble rebels as well and concentrate now on the occupations in Scotland. The Isles are still in my war, so I have to take care of them too. Sligo and Munster will come thereafter.

eu4_23.png

West March is done and so I can send my Heavies to support the sieges of Lothian and Inner Hebrides. My main army (23k) is already crossing the strait to Ireland.

eu4_24.png

And on to the next war.

Scotland is completely occupied. I peaced out The Isles, Sligo and Munster. All with the same method. My army on his capital and my fleet blockading his port. Enough for the minors to leave the war quickly. My warscore on Scotland is just +57% because of the presence of Livonian Order. But I can demand already, what I want. I just wait for most of the cores from Provence to be finished, to not get over 100% OE.

Brittany: As the willingness of Aragon to defend is close, I start the war now. And yes, the fort in Finistère is mothballed. Brittany has 11 regiments, probably on minimum maintenance. So I can safely move in with my 11k and take his only real fort for free.

eu4_25.png

No need to visit Livonian Order. Sutherland, the most northern province, is the key in this deal. Because it neighbours three Norwegian islands.
Routine in the Breton War; army dead, everything but the capital occupied and Jean Bureau works on the level-1 fort in Nantais. The rest of my army is on the way to the secondary participant Utrecht.

eu4_26.png

Utrecht is reached, his army run away to somewhere in Germany, I am sitting on forts. As I want the Dutch out first, my fleet is over there for support.

eu4_27.png

The forts in Nantais and Utrecht gave up their resistance and Utrecht handed me over some money for the permission to go out of the war. So now I can end the war with Brittany. I decide to take "only" three provinces and keep him alive. Full annexation would have given me a base AE of 30.8, this way it is just 19 base AE. After about 8 1/2 years in the game my diplomats haven't spread the good news all over the HRE, that France loves all and everyone and deserves to be loved too.
I go for these provinces in the French region at all, because I want to have some kind of power base. For now I raise autonomy in all distant provinces (Portugal, Northumbria and Scotland), to not create rebels all and everywhere. I make states in the areas of Provence, Lorraine and Brittany, but I don't spend Adm points for full cores, so everything conquered is and will stay at 50% autonomy. It gives me at least a little something. But way more than the distant stuff with 100% autonomy, which gives me nothing.

I could have remained seated on Brittany for 2 or 3 years and then fully annex him, but I want to go on to a bigger fish and have some AE in reserve for this.
 
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HistoryDude

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The French are doing quite well still. Will your next target be HRE states? And, after that, Poland-Lithuania?
 

DensleyBlair

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I just caught up with your Cornish campaign and enjoyed it a great deal. Excited to follow your progress here.
 

WolframS67

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I just caught up with your Cornish campaign and enjoyed it a great deal. Excited to follow your progress here.

Thank you and welcome!

The French are doing quite well still. Will your next target be HRE states? And, after that, Poland-Lithuania?

I hope the next section will give the answer, where I intend to expand the most.
HRE: I made an exception for Barrois, because of the 50% AE reduction with the Excommunication CB.
It is way before 1490, so no event "Shadow Kingdom". Thus Savoy, Genoa and Milan are all still in the HRE. Austria is the emperor and at normal strength with the usual bunch of allies, like Hungary. So I don't have any plans to go for HRE-lands for now. Too much AE and too much resistance.
Lithuania is an interesting idea. But it is Catholic and as usual in a PU under Poland. I will have better options.

My campaign is dictated by the rules of the game and the oppurtunities I will get. Haters of border gore will not like what I am doing.
 
Scandinavia

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Scandinavia

eu4_28.png


France holds 49 provinces = 51 to go for BBB.

eu4_29.png

Scandinavia, a wonderful region for BBB. So many low developed provinces, so far away from Germany!
My fleet is now 8/0/0/11, including a flagship (+1 siege on coastal forts) since May.51. 3/0/0/1 more are under construction. My army is 36/4/0 with 8 Mercs. Denmark and his subjects (Norway, Sweden and Holstein) have 51/15/0 regiments and 4/20/24/39 in ships. Not an easy walk in the park, but clearly doable. Of course if the AI-enemies would cluster their troops and navies, I would lose bitterly, but they won't. Key will be the naval control in the Öresund, so my troops can move forward from Jutland to Sjaelland and then to Skane. But first things first.
Orkney island is the wargoal, a 2k-stack will walk over from Sutherland and quickly take it. The situation in Northern Germany is confusing, sorry for the bad picture.

eu4_30.png

But just a bit later and Oldenburg is already out. I asked East Frisia for mil access and fleet basing rights. At the start of the war I had a 9k-stack out at sea, used the port of Ostfriesland and moved over to Oldenburg. The German minor just recently collapsed to rebels and had no army. As before, a stack on the province, my fleet giving +25% warscore for blockading his port and the minor instantly accepts to leave the war.
Next stage will be to naval transfer all my troops to Ostfriesland, ask some Germans for mil access and walk over to Holstein, Schleswig and the first real fort in Kolding. With the transports I can also quickly unblackflag the exiled army, which is on its way back from Oldenburg.

eu4_31.png

Holstein's 7k-army didn't run away in time and so it is dead now. While my fleet is 9/0/0/12 atm, the total hostile is 4/19/15/32. So reduced by 17 ships, including 9 sunk Galleys. Shiping around with weak fleets is a specialty of the AI. After some rest, my navy will set sail to the Öresund, so the progress of both sieges will be increased by 21%.
Denmark's 18k-army will just keep watching me. He has another 11k behind the scenes, maybe in Sjaelland or Lund. The Swedes (18k) and the Norwegians (15k) won't come over, AIs don't coordinate.

eu4_32.png

A little word about assaulting of forts, as I did it again, here in Holstein. Before the age of cannons, sieges last several months. So occasionally I get a wall breach early, with the progress still negative. That is a good moment to use the assault button for 5 mil points. But first a little preparation. For a level-1 fort the maximum infantry participating effectively is 5k, the game informs us. So I send in about double that number, here 10 regiments. Next I split off all above the effective maximum and command it to leave the province. So here I have two stacks of 5 regiments. The one with the general stays in the siege, the other pretends to go away.
Now I press the assault button. The siege stack starts the assault, losing some soldiers and some morale every day. But the other stack is uneffected, it continues walking. Now comes the trick, but it is very micro-intensive. Each day I consolidate the assaulting stack and balance it with the walkers. That way each day exactly 5 regiments at maximum number are assaulting. If the assault takes really a long time, it might be necessary to exchange entire regiments, because the walkers keep their full morale, while the assaulters might run out of it. In the end the fresh morale of the walkers decides the assault and the fort will fall.
In the picture I lost about 1.3k for a level-1 fort. For level-2 forts it is about 2k to 3k, according to my experience. Sometimes very well worth the investment.
Now lets wait for Kolding, where Jean Bureau, the "Master of Sieges", is at work.

eu4_33.png

A stack wipe. That was the rest of the 18k standing for months in Vestjylland in admiration of my sieges. On 11.Jul.54 I got the control on the fort in Kolding. In general I avoid unnecessary battles, it just costs resources. But here I knew I could kill the entire Danish stack, so I went for the battle.
As you can see, I first occupied Ostjylland. For the reason that I wanted to cut off the return path of the Danish army before attacking.
The rules for ZOCs are difficult to mysterious for hostile forts already. The rules for occupied forts are even more mysterious. Even after I got the control of the fort in Kolding, the Danish army in Vestjylland could move freely and past the fort like to Sleswig or even move through it to Ostjylland, if wanted. So if I immediately attack in Vestjylland, I win the battle, the Danish army is on 0 morale and starts a shattered retreat. From Vestjylland to Kolding, then to Ostjylland, then to Fyn and then to Sjaelland and so on to safety. To prevent this I have to close the two straits to Fyn. Besides a fleet in the Öresund, I need the control of one side of each strait. Controlling Ostjylland besides Kolding gives me that.
Long talk, but I hope now it is clear what happened. Occupation of Ostjylland, attack in Vestjylland, winning of the first battle. The Danes can't cross the strait and have to stop in Kolding. My army follows; stackwipe.

eu4_34.png

Slowly moving forward. I won't assault this time, as I have significant siege progress already and a level-3 fort needs 15k infantry for an assault. Expensive.

eu4_35.png

I took my time. Sjaelland was done on 4.Apr.55. Thereafter I recruited some new regiments in France and sent back some others to have a 20k-stack for full rebel suppression. If I take provinces in the peace deal, my OE will give my local unrest above 5 and I won't be able to reduce the progress of rebel factions by army suppression anymore. My fleet did the warfare and atm it is "the enemy has lost 68 ships". My main army is now over the strait for the next fort in Lund, the other troops will be transferred to Sjaelland soon for backup.

eu4_36.png

Lund 30.May.56. As I want something from Sweden, I have to take down one of his forts as well. So let's sit on Elfsborg.

eu4_37.png

That is what I want. Viborg, most to the east in the Gulf of Finland, absolutely. It is the key province to reach the "land of milk and honey", the lands of the Orthodox. Novgorod and Muscovy, in short: Russia. Elfsborg is the only province I can core immediately. So in the construction of the peace deal, I start from here. The other provinces connect Elfsborg and Viborg with minimum AE and a lot of low development.

eu4_38.png

Elfsborg 28.Sep.56. I splitted my fleet to blockade the remaining capitals of Stockholm and Akershus to squeeze out some more warscore. A little cash, war reparations and the 10 provinces I have just shown, are mine now. Novgorod is my new neighbor. Coring of Elfsborg can start.

Coring range and problems: As all the new stuff doesn't have a land connection with my capital in Paris, I have to work with the coring range. It equals the colonial range, which is 160 atm. Using the colonial (range) map mode, the game says Elfsborg is at a distance of 138. This is thanks to my core in Northumberland. So I can start the coring of Elfborg,. But just Elfsborg, as all other provinces exceed the range of 160. No surprise.
The big question is: What can I core, after the core in Elfsborg is done on 13.Oct.59? As I don't care much about Rovaniemi the more specific question is: Can I core Viborg?
The game says Viborg's distance is 313, but this is from Northumberland. After I get a core in Elfsborg it should be 313 - 160 = 153, right? Unfortunately not.
As I was sceptic and wanted to know exactly, parallel to the main game I started a non-ironman game and simulated the situation with console commands. The result was, that after coring Elfsborg I can core the next 4 provinces Dal, Värmland, Dalaskogen and Hälsingland. But not even a core on the port of Hälsingland would allow me to core Viborg directly thereafter. A highly unpleasant surprise.
So should I reload and take another peace deal? I simulated this situation as well. Taking a connection from Elfsborg to Viborg via Stockholm is possible, but concering the coring problems it isn't much better. No reload.
Next idea is to move my capital to Elfsborg, once it is a core province. Costs a hell of a lot of admin points and is completely ugly. No.
Can I release something? Yes, Finland has cores in Savolax and Viborg. That helps. But first I have to file a claim on Neva (St.Petersburg) by my spies in Novgorod. Relying on a stupid vassal to do so would be foolish in my mind. Newa is the next key province, as it borders the city of Novgorod, already in the hands of Muscovy.
So, I will release Finland, but later.
 
Last edited:

HistoryDude

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You are attacking Russia, I see.

Don’t you have to conquer Germany to get Better than Napoleon?
 

WolframS67

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You are attacking Russia, I see.

Don’t you have to conquer Germany to get Better than Napoleon?

For BtN I "just" have to take Berlin and Vienna, not entire Germany. So for Berlin I can construct it backwards. Berlin from Brandenburg, Greifswald from Pomerania then something in Skane or Bornholm from Denmark. Eflsborg (Sweden) is not so far away from that.
 
Portugal (2nd) and Novgorod

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Portugal (2nd) and Novgorod

eu4_39.png


France holds 59 provinces = 41 to go for BBB.
In Oct.56 I allied Poland (+subjects Lithuania and Mazovia).

eu4_40.png

So it is round 2 with Portugal. Some years ago Portugal attacked Granada and got two provinces, especially Málaga with a fort in the mountains is ugly. In the last months I transferred my troops back from Scandinavia to France. Just one of my armies is in position, a second is on the way from Gascony. Portugal has 23 out of 27 regiments. If I want to start the war, it must be now. The 10-year restriction for Portugal concerning alliances with England and Castile is about to end. In Jan.57 all forts (Évora, Málaga and Ceuta) except Lisboa were mothballed, but in Febuary he turned them on again. When I was in Castile, but still several provinces away. At least, I won't get everything for free. Just a +1 bonus, for garrison below half the maximum.

Including the Danish War and its peace deal I am quite pleased with my play in this campaign so far. But then I started to misplay it. Well, kind of. I should have concentrated on the east, Russia. So I should have started to spy on Novgorod at latest in 1455. Grab Viborg in the peace deal in Oct.56, take the claim on Neva, release Finland and start the war on Novgorod. A few years later Muscovy, who has still 3 vassals and holds 46 out of 71 regiments now in 1457. I have 49 out of 50 regiments.
To be honest, I had no clear game plan at this stage of the game. First BBB, could be in the range of 1470 to 1490. Thereafter BtN, could be some more 30 to 50 years. Very vague.
I am far away from truce cycling. England, Scotland and Brittany are the only nations really angry with me. AE in Germany is -25 to -40, all the Irish minors are about -50, but I have established good relations with all of them. Also I want to take Adm Tech 5 soon and in general keep up with the Adm Techs, to open the slots for the Idea Groups. So I don't have the admin points to take big fat provinces like Lisboa or Porto and core these. Thus no real reason to attack Portugal.
I suspect, I shied away from a confrontation with Muscovy for now and tried ballancing expansion for BBB with building some kind of powerbase. Besides provinces in France, that is land in the English Channel trade node, so England. The truce with the archenemy is up in Dec.62 and if he re-allies Portugal, I have to fight Portugal and his forts anyway.

My setup for the Portuguese war, seen in the picture above, is also a mistake. I don't need to siege down Évora, I should have headed for Málaga straight away. Then Ceuta and Lisboa. I assume, I had no plan, which provinces to demand at the end of the war from Portugal in this moment.

eu4_41.png

All the Portuguese troops are in the south, I caught 5k in Beira. My fleet is now 12/0/0/16, Portugal can't match that anymore with his 5/2/0/15, so I can support all my coastal sieges. I picked Espionage and filled out the 1st idea for better spies and some reduction of advisor costs.

eu4_42.png

Évora 13.Aug.57. The job of the army in Madrid (22k) is just to accompany the Portuguese. No unnecessary battle, just telling him, he can't go where he wants to.

eu4_43.png

Lisboa 25.Jan.58, Málaga 3.Jun.58. As now I want to grab Ceuta, I have to cross over the strait, fight the small stack and sit on the fort, till it falls. The accompaniment of the Portuguese army in the north continues.

eu4_44.png

Ceuta has surrendered, so I can take over Málaga, Gibraltar and Ceuta. Two forts out of the hands of Portugal, 2 more provinces for BBB and 1 age objective, because Ceuta is in Africa.

eu4_45.png

Finland got released on 1.Jan.59 and I have two claims on Novgorod. Some troops are in the area, while some more are on board of Transports. I have arranged mil access by Poland plus Lithuania and fleet basing rights in Poland. So I could drop off the 16k-stack in Memel and start walking over. It will be blackflagged the moment I start the war, because Lithuania is just the subject of my ally. But one job was to check Novgorod's fort in Luki; no hostile troops here. This army can come over to Finland next, to unblackflag itself.
I have disbanded my last 4 Cav and 8 Mercs after the end of the Portuguese War, finally. A little relief for the economy. It is at about 10 loans for a total of 3.5k ducats in debt.

eu4_46.png

A siege stack on Luki, my main army on the capital fort in Soroka, lead by Jean Bureau. After the occupation of Neva and Ingermanland, Novgorod's navy got wrecked in the Baltic Sea. It is now retreating to Soroka, my main fleet takes the same long way to get the blockade in the White Sea. Novgorod's army has decided to occupy something in Sweden. Worthless stuff, as I have deleted the fort in Elfsborg years ago. I don't need a complete victory, because I can't take that much from Novgorod anyway. Oh, Livonian Order with his budy Riga have recently declared war on Novgorod as well, opportunists.
On 7.Aug.59 our Heir Louis has died by accident. We are heirless with King and Queen being 56 and 54 years old. I have one RM with Castile, so atm his dynasty would be installed on the French throne. BTW Castile is heirless as well, with his King at 54 years. Game says: "Succession war between France and England".

eu4_47.png

Luki 18.May.60, Soroka 26.May.60. I just demand the 3 provinces, I can core immediately, because they are adjacent to the cores of Finland. OE is at 57, coring of Neva is scheduled to be completed for 27.Jan.63. Without that core I can't take any province inland in that region. So to start a war on Muscovy now would be pointless. England is the first of my former victims to come out of truces, in Dec.1462.
Looks like 2 1/2 years of doing nothing. A clear indication, something in my planning got off track.
 
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HistoryDude

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You're still doing very well. Perhaps a cleanup of the inevitable bordergore is in order once you get both achievements?
 

DensleyBlair

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I continue to be impressed by the rigour with which you conduct these campaigns. In all honesty, I only understand what you're doing half as well as you deserve, but I know that I like watching you do it. :)
 

WolframS67

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You're still doing very well. Perhaps a cleanup of the inevitable bordergore is in order once you get both achievements?

Yes, let's talk about bordergore in 1487. I could always solve it by releasing vassals, feeding subjects or returning provinces to former owners. But I think this is not what you have in mind?!
These achievements are simplified by PDX. It would be more realistic if BtN would require e.g. to own Berlin, Vienna and Moscow and have a land connection to Paris for all. Would be way more demanding and challenging. I would have to continue the game for several decades to get this.

I continue to be impressed by the rigour with which you conduct these campaigns. In all honesty, I only understand what you're doing half as well as you deserve, but I know that I like watching you do it. :)

If the AAR is enjoyable without understanding everything, this is good news for me! Meaning normal text and pictures make up a good story on its own.
Some text sections are really hard stuff, I know. Like about ZOCs of forts or the coring rules.
I pick up a lot about the game by reading the forum or watching videos. So I want to give some of my experience back to the community this way. Also I tend to forget details and as some situations of the game are beyond Wiki, I like to document my findings. So I can come back to my AARs to refresh my memory, in case I have similar situations in future games.
 
Brittany (2nd), England (2nd), Scotland (2nd) and Livonian Order

WolframS67

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Brittany (2nd), England (2nd), Scotland (2nd) and Livonian Order

eu4_48.png


France holds 63 provinces, incl. Ceuta in Africa = 38 to go for BBB.

So indeed more than two years of doing nothing. In the beginning I played for options of expanding, especially Aveiro in Portugal was therefore. At the moment I have given up this strategy.
Aragon (with subjects Naples and Navarra) is just allied to the minors Ferrara and Ragusa. Together with Castile I could attack him and get a foothold in Italy from Naples. Yet most of the Balkans are already divided between Hungary, Austria and the Ottomans.
Ireland: 6 independent tribes have survived. Leinster and Thomond went under the umbrella of England and became his vassals. I could easily attack any of these minors. But each of them is allied to some other(s) and so I have to siege down two or more capital forts, just to take one or two provinces with 5 to 8 development. And then I would have to appease the remaining tags.
Several of the Irish minors and The Isles indicate, they would like to become my vassal. But I am already two above my relation slots (-1 temporary, thanks to an event). I have to pay millions of dip points for "unjustified demands" and try to unlock the ideas from the Espionage Group.
So I have refused all these options lately and saved some resources in the last two years. Nice fat provinces for economy in Britain and France, ugly skinny provinces for BBB in Scandinavia, Russia or the Baltic. That is the overall strategy now.

eu4_49.png

Unfortunately just a few months ago Brittany and England agreed on an alliance. As I still have a truce with Brittany, I can't co-belli him. So taking his lands would be expensive and I will let him go, for this time. At least England didn't re-ally Portugal and looking at their mutal opinions, this possibilty was unlikely anyway.
After the first war with England, this one is fairly easy. England has 36k troops with a FL of 49, I have seen 20k in Ireland. My fleet (13/0/0/16) is superior to his (12/7/0/26), so I can block the strait in the Irish Sea, if I want to. By taking the fort in Northumberland away from him in 1448, I can rush into hardcore England with my troops. I will reach the mothballed fort in Montgomery in December with my best general, so I get the occupation for free. Oh yeah, I called Burgundy in on the promise of land. Calais is the wargoal, so he can do that for me. AIs will always transfer the wargoal to the warleader, even if they would love to keep it.

eu4_50.png

Dead army, capital sieged, ports blockaded, so AI-Brittany wants out. See you in 6 years from now, Brittany, but without England at your side.

eu4_51.png

The first battle with 15 English regiments occurred in Lincolnshire, the AI doesn't understand ZOCs and refuses to hide in Kent behind the fort of London. So this army is annihilated now, some single stacks soon to follow.

eu4_52.png

Calais 11.May.63, sitting on London. Most of my army is in Ireland already. Leinster, the capital of the English vassal, offers some more nice warscore. And I want a lot of lands from England. The 12-fleet of England in the Coast of Holland is Heavies only. I have no interest to battle with, may it keep on blockading some Dutch ports.

eu4_53.png

eu4_54.png

London 24.Sep.63, it is enough already. Six provinces with a total development of 64, 4 CoT in the English Channel plus 2 forts. AE list looks fine. Except Aragon everyone is on truce. Well, in the recent months my diplomats have taken 11 nations in West Germany and the Low Countries off this list. The extra diplomat from Espionage Idea #2 got unlocked in a good moment lately. An easy and quick war, basically the fruits of all the work in the first war.

eu4_55.png

Trade income has increased. English Channel (4.14) is close to Champagne (4.46) already. Although all new provinces are in territories, thus 75% autonomy, as coring is in progress. I will spend the next 300 dip points on changing my trade port to the English Channel and accept English culture. Currently I have 11 loans with 3720 ducats debt.

In short, a word about economy: The more I play, the more I go extreme with my economy. My only goal in the balance is to prevent a forced bankruptcy. Automatic bankruptcy is, if the monthly interest exceeds the monthly base income. Base income is the income in the first six rows, from tax up to vassals. Just everything without earnings from other non-subject nations.
So what matters is the ratio of these two numbers, interest to base income. Atm this is: 11.61 / (41.74 - 2.93) = 29.9 %.
The game translates the information about a possible bankruptcy into the maximal number of possible loans with the current loan size of 373 ducats. It says, I could take up to 36 loans atm. While I have 11, partly with a smaller loan size.
Even with army and navy at full maintenance, like it is now, it takes about 22 months until I have to take another extra loan. So, however I look at my economy, I consider the current situation as comfortably stable.

Thus increasing my income, here by trade, doesn't have the idea to get a green monthly balance or to pay back my loans. Well, in the very, very long run eventually. The idea for now is to reduce the ratio (interest/base income) and thus to move a bit away from bankruptcy. So that I can continue to play in a state of constant war.

eu4_56.png

Free PU on Castile.
Any reason for loud cheers? Possibly, if I would play for World Conquest. But I don't do in this campaign. Playing with subjects is not the part of the game, I enjoy the most. Sure, subjects are a bit more controllable than allies, but for example now I have to take care of Castile's rebels (like Granadan separatists) etc. For now I look at the picture and conduct a count of Castile's forces. I see 42 regiments and 36 ships. Let's come back to this over the time.
Best news is, Aragon refuses to contest the PU. Seems he is scared of France.

eu4_57.png

Next war. Livonian Order (LO) with this usual friends and Scotland, who brings in Sligo. Technically LO was also in my first war with Scotland, but we didn't crossed swords. So I consider this my first war with LO. Denmark already declared on LO for the island of Ösel, so I have indirect allies for this war. My Novgorodian separatists go to play with the Muscovites, as planned.

eu4_58.png

In the west I killed 6k Scottish, started to sit on Lothian and just box in the remaining Scots on Orkney island. For the moment I have some Danish naval support, but I will split my navy to get a proper fleet over to here.

eu4_59.png

In the east I waited for another army, occupied the war goal Ingermanland and now siege the fort in Reval, which blocks any further movements. Hostile armies have run away, maybe they are heading for Denmark. I told Castile to stay passive ("zzzz"), yet he has sent over some ships.

eu4_60.png

First I got out Sligo. This time a simple naval blockade was sufficent, as he was under siege by Clanricarde in another war. Now Scotland, after winning the siege of Lothian. I don't want to take much from him, as my AE in this region is still a bit high, after the massive robbery from England. Just some money and Orkney island, which Scotland regulary gets from Norway by event. I can use my old claim here.

eu4_61.png

Reval 5.Feb.65, a minor naval battle with the usual AI disaster.
Most importantly, we get a new Louis.
This creates a tricky situation. His values are ok, 9 points are average and the strong claim will be good for legitimacy. But the royal couple is fairly old now. Let's imagine they adopted a grand-nephew or something like this.
If King Charles VII dies now, we get a Queen-regency until Louis will be 15 years. So if then Marie d'Anjou dies too, before she comes to the age of 75, I will get a regency-council. In this case I am forbidden to declare wars; almost a nightmare scenario.
I could disinherit poor Louis, but what if I get another new Heir in the next 2 or 3 years? The situation would be worse than it is now.
Otoh if the Queen dies before the King, I could arrange a lot of new RMs. Everyone wants to marry mighty France. As a result I would get a new Queen, highly likely younger than 30 years. So in this case Charles can die, whenever he likes. The young Queen will be capable to reign for 15 years, until Louis is adult and can ascend to the throne.
I decide to keep Louis.

eu4_62.png

Liefland, LOs capital, 31.Jul.65. Riga and TO were done in separate peace deals before, without sieges. I can't remember exactly, why I only demand one province from LO, just the wargoal Ingermanland. AE in this region and warscore are not a problem. I suppose, I wanted to save points, like for the next Adm Tech to come on 1.Jan.66. But I should have taken at least Reval with the fort, for all the efforts I have made in this war. Although I got cash and war reps from all 5 participants, on the whole this isn't much.

The saved Dip points are for this: On 1.Sep.65 I change my trade capital to Caen in the English Channel node. Next month trade income increases to 13.16 ducats, although coring of the English provinces is still ongoing until Oct.1466.
 
Last edited:

HistoryDude

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Well, France is doing very well... yes, these achievements should probably be harder.

Maybe you can use Castille to create a colonial empire?

Also, why don't you have a bunch of rebels? Or a defensive pact against you?