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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Quanfinigon

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Mod: EU3+ 1.06, can be found here: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?583989-(MOD)-EU3-Plus
Difficulty: normal
Lucky: off
Start: Jan 1, 1400 (earliest start date)

Goals:
Conquer as much of the world as possible.
Don't go over the infamy cap.
Laugh at how dumb the AI can be.

As with most of the posts here, this is my first AAR, so constructive criticism is welcome. I wanted to have the title be something clever like geAARgiAAR and the dragon, but then it looks weird and sounds like I'm playing Jar-Jar, and nobody wants that. Alas.
I'm using EU3+ mostly because I've gotten bored of SP vanilla, and learning new rules as I go adds some spice into the game. I then looked at several nations and was about to post a few of them here for you to vote on, but I noticed some very interesting "features" of the Georgia start that make it less awful than vanilla where you would just get dumped on by the two biggest hordes. Even so I had to play through the opening many times before I could avoid dying in the first war.

Next post: Georgia's stAARting position.
 

Quanfinigon

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Part 1: Setup

0sUGdVM.jpg


Fairly standard world map. But what's this, an already-shattered Golden Horde? Seems wonderful, but turns out GH has a PU over Crimea and is allied to Kazan, so being broken up hardly matters. Oh, did I forget to mention, this mod got rid of a few of the horde mechanics. GH and Timmies are tribal and cede provinces normally with tribal conquest, although many diplomatic options aren't there, such as vassalizing. They still declare war a few days after starting, so this isn't the special advantage I mentioned earlier. I'll get into that in part 2.

Nd6Xwn0.png


Hire some helpers. Lucky that I got a fort defense boost, he's better than ANY of the other advisors for my initial plans.

RhKMTvc.png


Economy not so great, I have one merchant in Kaffa and most of my money is from the gold in alania, which is enough to make some inflation on its own. Put everything into stab and mint because I'll be taking a lot of stab hits soon and Georgia is not an OPM to recover it for free.

wjgKMeP.jpg


Pretty awful sliders. I move from -5 to -4 on Free Subjects and take my first stab. Sliders in EU3+ are fairly interesting, and one of the only mods I've seen without anything too overpowered.

pKB3o4S.png


Some more changes to watch out for. Everyone seems to start with 3 NIs. The first two are perfect, I really need the firt defense and leader siege, plus morale is nice. Trade Policy I will swap out as soon as I have the stab for it, because with 0.8 merchant per year I won't be trading any time soon. Legitimacy only affects RR and stab cost, so it looks like there's not too much penalty for ignoring it (this turns out to be very wrong). Next, notice that this mod is unpacked over the new QMXZ 5.2, so manpower is super low. I'll have to be very careful when engaging because losses take a long time to recover.

xuYlHpm.png


Cultural Tradition has no decay so it zips straight up to 100, but each time you recruit an advisor it drops to 0 again. Interesting. Also, no culture decisions like national epic, tapestry, or painting. Maybe if I were western?

qod6JPR.png


First missions: vassalize Trebizond, the OPM next to me. Exactly what I wanted, but it'll have to wait a few years because the hordes are coming soon...
 
Last edited:

Quanfinigon

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Part 2: Running circles around the Hordes

First let's take a look at the first map again:

hKwxlsj.jpg


This is the fort level map mode of the world in 1400, and the primary reason I decided to play Georgia. The whole country starts with level 2 forts, and are surrounded by level 1 forts. The only other place like this is switzerland, but you can't fight hordes all the way over there.

The other fun map to look at is tech levels, where I start at all 3, and the hordes are all 2.

Once all my prep from the previous post is done, I unpause and immediately get hit with an event!

vyRYAus.png


Interesting. I turn it off permanently, because I like seeing all the strange things the AI does with its borders in the late game. Plus with the way infamy and CBs work, they won't be doing too much blobbing anyway.

A few more days, and I'm at war.

knZBahb.png


Even though the DW horde diplomacy is turned off, they still like attacking anyone. The Timurids don't attack me because they went after Qara Koyunlu and a few others instead.

I don't have many screenshots of this time, but I'll summarize my strategy here, and you'll get to see it in action in the next war. Basically, I have +20% def from advisor, +5% def from slider, +25% def from idea, and most importantly level two forts. This means when I wait for the enemy to start sieging my forts, then go around them and siege the enemy forts, I will win my sieges far sooner.

Ryazan allies me at some point and joins the war, which is very important because I'm getting only half of the hordes' forces.

k2kMc8A.jpg


With the first war, I don't have nearly the manpower or forces yet to do this to GH directly, but I do manage to declare tribal conquest on QK (who is also fighting the Timmies), grab five provinces and peace out for three of them before I've even lost one to GH.

You can kinda see in this pic my army has just lost in Kartli and is about to get wiped when they arrive in Qarabagh.

vuz41B8.png


Having my army wiped is no good, so I peace GH by giving up the three provs I just took for 52% warscore when I was only losing by -8%. Nothing else was accepted, and that war would only have gotten worse for me. No big deal though, I'll just take them back again later. Furthermore, I've also gotten the most important thing out of the QK provs, which is a few of the mongol unit types, which are a lot better than the eastern crap I start with.

Truces are 10 years, which is easily enough time to go vassalize Trebizond for my mission. It's also plenty of time for things to happen around me, such as the Timurid TSC while they are at war with most of their neighbors. I also got two of those nice coring events in this time, so I declare reconquest on the Timmies when they have only ~15k troops around to speedbump me.

wxs6SDa.jpg


I don't have many screencaps from this time because I didn't actually decide that this game was going to be an AAR until I saw that I was doing better than expected around this point.

7CNVqeK.jpg


Truce is over, and war again! My allies were Byzantium, Ryazan, and Muscowy, so I ended up getting less than a third of the enemy army in my face, plus I have mongol units instead of eastern, plus I started with my forcelimits instead of building up to it. Even so, I still can't really face the hordes in the field because my manpower and general are pretty bad.

I attack Azerbaijan that I previously released, and take back two of the provs (annex was greyed out even though it's only 3 total). Then I let the GH siege my homeland while I walk around them to siege theirs, and mine go faster, again.

0g8DhfA.jpg


I only had 11% warscore because GH had so many allies in the war, so I settle for Kouban. Astrakhan and its cot will have to wait.

Then comes another 10 year truce, which isn't even enough time to bring my manpower to maximum.

CBXew6v.png


This is the kind of nonsense war I have to put up with to keep my allies friendly. Bonus points if you saw the war with Milan a few pics above this.

Next post will have better screenshots, since I actually start grabbing events and battles for you.
 
Last edited:

Jape

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Very interesting choice of country, Georgia is a tough nut to crack but you've got plenty of people willing to give it a go! I'll be following, and good gains so far, you've been absorbing the Golden Horde's attacks very well.
 

Grundius

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Well-played start. Is there anything Georgia can form in EU3+? I am a sucker for unifications ;)
 

Rabid

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EU3+ AAR = auto subscribe :p

Having 2/3 of your starting NIs as good military ideas is a rare treat in EU3+ and very useful, Siege Engineers is probably one of the best ideas in the whole mod given how much more important sieges are in war compared to vanilla.
 

unmerged(271387)

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I love EU3+ and as such i will follow
 

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Since I've never really tried a game starting in the Caucasus, I'm definitely going to have to follow this thread and see what you can do with the nation. So far, you seem to have expanded quickly.

Anyways, were it not for the fact that you gamed them effectively, I'd agree that the reduced Golden Horde isn't nearly as gimped as one would initially suspect. Obviously, they're smaller, but the Horde begins the game severely overextended (especially in EU3+, with its mechanics), and most of the provinces it's lost are fairly low value. At the very least, Crimea and Kazan can serve as decent shields for their ambitions.
 

Quanfinigon

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Part 3: From Medium to Major

fLP0hNg.png


After 18.9 years, I finally get my second slider move, and I pick aristocracy because it's got PE and reduced army cost. More importantly, I don't want to go free subjects, centralization, or innovation right now because I have rebel problems and need to keep revolt risk down.

Sadly, my burghers and merchants don't like my choices and I lose yet another stab.

duOQmIb.jpg


The king is dead! Long live the king! This 3-6-4 is better than the 3-4-3 guy I started with, but only a little.

Apparently EU3+ has leader traits like CK2. Fortunately they aren't nearly as broken as MEIOU (+/- 50% tax rate; really gigau?), so it doesn't affect my gameplay at all.

Now let's see if Alexander 1 can recreate the empire of his namesake.

8ZecdXNh.jpg


Trebizond was rated at unlikely for annexation, but with manpower low and still at truce I had nothing better to do. They accept eventually, which completes my mission, but I lose yet another stab for it.

The screencap doesn't show that I did in fact get a core there, probably because it was a mission, or in my culture group, or something.

obYsiGg.png


My next mission was to convert Yerevan. Even with a core and low RR, this is a bit too expensive (30d just to place the missionary) for my tastes. Canceled!

This one is my favorite mission. I wish I could get this one every time I dropped negative, I really do. Did you know I haven't invested a single ducat into tech this game?

NnPtIqrh.jpg


Truce is over again. GH wars me but doesn't have an army at my border. I declare on Jalayirids to get them in a separate war (guaranteed by GH) but can't send anything after them until after I'm king in the north.

Here you can see my fast-siege tactic in deployment.

TLGxkwt.jpg


Another interesting mechanic in this game is the patriots. As you siege an enemy home province, it has a chance to spawn patriot rebels on the defender's side. When you lose the battle, patriots disappear and you can go back and start the siege over again.

It slows me down a little, but I'm taking everything else so fast it hardly matters.

zefUzZph.jpg


GH and Kazan have put nearly their entire armies into Muscowy (my ally) and Crimea is distracted with Byzantian Kaffa, so I take most of GH without having to fight too much. You can see Jalayirid, Crimean, and GH armies in my territory but they haven't won anything yet.

I peace out right now because with hostile sieges at 100% I'm worried about warscore going down.

rGNU3Tb.png


I had 80% of GH occupied but with allies it only works out to 40% WS, which is exactly enough to take Astrakhan, finally.

At this point my border provinces are almost all newly acquired level 1 forts so my initial strategy won't work as well in future wars. However, I have a much larger army, and I was winning sieges more than 3x faster anyway, so this doesn't make it that much harder.

JhaGIPk.png


More damn stab hits. Is cursing allowed on the forum?

"The repercussions will take years to repair." Oh how right you are, event-giver...

9RNYUiB.png


With Astrakhan under my control I'll be able to finally get some merchants into play, right?

Nope.

4pIl1rsh.jpg


Jalayirids fall quickly, as they only have 4 provinces and 16k troops. Wait, what? that's the same as my forcelimits at 8 provinces.

Tribes are silly.

Rhq7tTO.png


In the mean time, I just noticed my infamy going down slower than it should. Seems like Astrakhan costs 5 more BB than I thought. Oh well.

gZH4VbJ.png


Two years later, J's allies finally white peace, and I jump from 30% to 70% WS, which lets me take what I wanted. The one in the middle was Capital, so I content myself with 1 prov and vassalize.

Their 4th province was Medina (next to Mecca) somehow, and I didn't feel like walking all the way over there just for some more WS.

Pe38zGa.png


With my 13th province, I get some nice buffs. I wonder when overextension will hit.
 
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Rabid

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Serfdom, Aristocracy and Tradition also improve your administrative efficiency in addition to the usual slider effects so bear that in mind when choosing which path to take. In EU3+ large land empires actually have a good reason to be repressive and controlling as IRL :)
 

Grundius

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Seems like a tough mod EU3+. But you are doing well. Keep it up!
 

Quanfinigon

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Very interesting choice of country, Georgia is a tough nut to crack but you've got plenty of people willing to give it a go! I'll be following, and good gains so far, you've been absorbing the Golden Horde's attacks very well.

Georgia is a great pick for me because it has the best combination of things I tend to go for in eu3: challenging fights, constant expansion, and not a tiny start.

Well-played start. Is there anything Georgia can form in EU3+? I am a sucker for unifications ;)

I really doubt Georgia can form anything, but I'm not sure. Nothing showing up in decisions so far. Georgian, Armenian, and Greek comprise a culture group so maybe I can form byzantium eventually?

EU3+ AAR = auto subscribe :p

Having 2/3 of your starting NIs as good military ideas is a rare treat in EU3+ and very useful, Siege Engineers is probably one of the best ideas in the whole mod given how much more important sieges are in war compared to vanilla.

Absolutely. I was quite shocked to discover my sieges finishing in a few months when my own forts were standing after years.

Since I've never really tried a game starting in the Caucasus, I'm definitely going to have to follow this thread and see what you can do with the nation. So far, you seem to have expanded quickly.

Anyways, were it not for the fact that you gamed them effectively, I'd agree that the reduced Golden Horde isn't nearly as gimped as one would initially suspect. Obviously, they're smaller, but the Horde begins the game severely overextended (especially in EU3+, with its mechanics), and most of the provinces it's lost are fairly low value. At the very least, Crimea and Kazan can serve as decent shields for their ambitions.

Do they actually start with overextension? They aren't very big and don't start with noncores. Kazan and Crimea have very large armies of their own and always join the wars; I just wish Poland and Lithuania would get involved like they do in vanilla.

Serfdom, Aristocracy and Tradition also improve your administrative efficiency in addition to the usual slider effects so bear that in mind when choosing which path to take. In EU3+ large land empires actually have a good reason to be repressive and controlling as IRL :)

Good to know. This is my first EU3+ game, so any more tips would be helpful :)

I love EU3+ and as such i will follow
Interesting, Georgia seems to be doing ok, major power and all. Keep it up.
Seems like a tough mod EU3+. But you are doing well. Keep it up!

Yay, I have fans! :blush: