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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

blklizard

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Been playing EU3 on a friend's computer and loving it (despite being a noob). Want to write my first AAR (not sure what style it will be), please enjoy.

Difficulty: Normal
Lucky nations to Random, all other settings default
Start year: January 10, 1356
Mod: Death and Taxes v9.3

As mentioned in the title, I will be playing as Castille. My goals are:

-form Spain and/or control Iberia peninsula
-head East to reach India
-Do note I will attempt missions

Rules:
-no cheating (including no reloading)
-will only cancel missions if they throw me too far off course from my 2 main goals
-did a little modification (crusades will only be 25% infamy and cleansing of heretics will only be 50% infamy)

Prologue
Chapter 1a
Chapter 1b
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Conclusion
 
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blklizard

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Prologue: The Beginning

Well now, we begin with the mighty Castille. At least we don't have to deal with so many vassals like France. We only have Granada.... Wait! We have a heathen as our vassal. I should.... Never mind, they might still prove to be useful yet. How about our king?



The king is disappointing. His heir isn't that much better. However, they will have to do. As for advisers, I will go with the treasurer and artist. I doubt I'll be invest much on trade myself and know I need some help with stability.



It's pretty obvious early on. I'm aiming for full stability. Stability = ducats and who doesn't like ducats.



Sliders, yum. Now, what should I do?



What a great mission! Just what I need to form Spain. Guess it's war!

EDIT: Thanks for your help, ATBKING!
 
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blklizard

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I apologize for my screenshots. Still trying to figure out the best way to take them and present them.

Chapter 1a - Solidifying Hold on Iberia

After some thinking, Mercantilism seems like the best option.



Now, back to the war against Aragon. Victoria is a must if I hope to form Spain. Let's see who I'm up against:



Can't say that the odds are by my side. Well, I have human intelligence by my side.

I apologize for missing a screenshot when I fought against Aragon's main army. I was able to eliminate them after forcing them to retreat. However, here are some other key battles:







Speaking of my vassal, Granada is doing an excellent job:



Now, the peace offers. I like the second one especially:



 

blklizard

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Chapter 1b - Solidifying Hold on Iberia

The sliders was a bit of a challenge and I had to weigh the pro and cons along with some foresight.

Centralisation looks great but two problems arise from it. First, there's a good chance of revolts and I want war with Aragon very soon. Secondly, I'm determined to form Spain and the decision gives me two centrilization which will put me over the slider limit by 1. Leaving this alone seems like the best.

Plutocracy is great in the long run but I don't want to deal with nobel rebels.

Free subjects would be nice but I don't want to Protestant Movement and Reformation to impact me too much and I think free subject promotes it.

Narrowminded seems like a good option. If I'm heading east, lots of conversions will be needed. This will hurt my tech but, since I'm western, I won't lack behind too much.

I'm aiming for a large empire, mercantilism should favour me more. Not to mention the extra inflation reduction from it.

I would probably pick defensive since it lowers revolt risk by 1 and stability cost reduction. Extra moral and leader shock seems great but I think picking military NI should make up for it.

Land vs. naval is a tough pick. Since I still need my navy, I probably won't touch this slider until I get a firm hold of land where I can start conquering eastward.

Quality and quantity isn't something I'm worried about at the moment. Later in the game, I will come back to it.


I declared war on Aragon on day 1 which explains my lack of allies. When portugal and Brittany answered the call, I got a bit nervous. The fourth nation, not shown in the screenshot, is Trinacria which is in personal union with Aragon. Luckily, they didn't work together that much and I chose to divide and conquer. I look to target Aragon's main army first. Got them to rout and finished them off in Valencia. My heathen vassal then went on to siege all of Aragon territory. I then focused on Portugal's army. They just assaulted Caceres and failed. I attacked them before they recovered all their moral and instant destruction. I then left one main regiment to siege Portugal territory while sending my king's troops to tackle Brittany. They just assaulted as well and it was easy pickings. All hope was lost for them when I destroyed their final main army in Alicante.

Granada went to to occupy much of Aragon and I managed to occupy one province in Portugal before deciding to accept white peace. Why didn't I take any territory? I want to be on the good side of Portugal and they were still in positive relations with me (probably at 10 or so) when I accepted white peace. I hope to either ally with them and/or form a personal union (most likely forced) to eliminate possible threat in my weak side.

As for Aragon, they had enough and agreed to my peace term. :cool: Now, I just need to feed them gifts and hope my ruler doesn't die too quickly.
 

Hughrocks123

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Another good update, hope those years of war didn't increase you WE too high.
 

blklizard

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Chapter 2 - Solidifying My Strength

My quest to control Iberia continues with my next mission. It seems like fate is by my side this time:



Will only 100 men holding the fort, it didn't take long before I finished the mission.



Unfortunately, the heir for our king isn't so fortunate. I did what I can but he decides to die.




It would appear that our king is heartbroken by the death of his son. He died soon after but there is some good news.



However, short reign seems to be popular in Castille. The new king died and we head into regency.

 
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blklizard

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Nice good start. I Look forward to seeing the rest. oh and your welcome!!
Thanks a lot! Glad I got someone interested in reading my AAR.

Another good update, hope those years of war didn't increase you WE too high.
Haha, the war was barely 2 years. There were only a total of 7 battles in total and Granada did most of the sieges. I doubt I got WE above 3.
 

blklizard

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Time for an update.



Above is the image of the Europe. Unfortunately, my game keep crashing in 1396 and so I went back to v9.3. Let's say things got a bit messed up. All personal unions, vassalizations and alliances became non-existent. For me, I lost Navarra and Granada as vassals. Some other nations are hit harder. France no longer have all their vassals and Poland lost their personal union with Lithuania. Poor Delhi lost all their personal unions (maybe Vijayanagar can form India/Hindustan this time). Not to mention that new alliances are made. Things should be interesting. Not all is lost though. With 200 relations with Navarra, a royal marriage and alliance results in:



I feel bad since this feels like cheating. :sad: I'll be avoiding wars in Europe if possible and I'm curious if France will survive.
 

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Unfortunately, my game keep crashing in 1396 and so I went back to v9.3. Let's say things got a bit messed up. All personal unions, vassalizations and alliances became non-existent. For me, I lost Navarra and Granada as vassals. Some other nations are hit harder. France no longer have all their vassals and Poland lost their personal union with Lithuania. Poor Delhi lost all their personal unions (maybe Vijayanagar can form India/Hindustan this time). Not to mention that new alliances are made. Things should be interesting.
You really shouldn't continue in a messed up game when it has been only 13 game years. You're so going to hate life should you find more broken stuff later. Just replay the beginning, show what went different and then once you get to 1369 it's back on ?

Good showing so far for the AAR itself :)
 

blklizard

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I decided to go with Nim2's suggestion. However, I will only show an update about some of the major nations. First, the map as we know it from Castille:



Castille's borders look a little different, isn't it? We began with a war, based on the first mission, to form a personal union with Aragon. In that war, we faced against Aragon, Trinacria, Brittany and Scotland. It was a little tougher for some reason but our vassal, Granada, got the job done. The mission following is subjugate Navarra. This little war was easy but what I found out from it was scary :eek:hmy: . France and England are allied. Don't ask me how but both nations refrained from attacking each other from day one. They were at war with Scotland and Navarra and that's how I found out. Soon after, I formed a personal union with Portugal :D. Glorious days! My king died February of this year and I inherited both nations. I got a defend against Austria mission, completed it and is now focusing on boosting my navy to complete the navy building mission. Made my government Empire so I can declare holy war like no tomorrow :p.

As for Italy, Milan expanded a bit and Sardinia-Piedmont was formed. Trinacria is now free to create their own future.

As for rest of western Europe, nothing unexpected happened. France annexed Provence. Burgundy loses wars since they're split. Austria defeated Hungary, took some land, forced Hungary to release their vassal Transylvania and most likely will, in the near future, end their personal union with Croatia.



As for northern and eastern Europe, things could get interesting. Muscowy has been weakened a fair bit (losing 2 valuable provinces). Lithuania is a Pagan nation and still going strong. They are currently at war with Poland. Poland was called in by Novgorod, became war leader and was immediately ditched by Novgorod. Don't blame Novgorod though, they are now at war with Sweden and Muscowy now.



The Ottomans are growing nice and retaking a lot of territory. They did lose a war against Byzantium and lost some cores but I doubt it will hold them back much. They also got some land in Greece.
 
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blklizard

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Chapter 3 - Let the Holy War begin!

Continuing on with our new start, fortune has indeed favour Castille. With the entire Iberia in their control, they feel invincible. Well, almost invincible. The English and French alliance is the only threat they really feared. Close proximity demands that Castille act fast in expansion to hopefully be able to tackle a possible invasion. For the moment, the nation is in regency and awaiting the heir to rise. Time sure flies, here she is:



Can't say I'm impressed but she will have to do. At least, she will enable us to declare war. The Castillian army has been itching for battle during the regency. Now, we built up our navy and await our next mission:



Gain core, money and fighting heathens. This cannot get any better. Let's prepare to.... You were assuming I would be attacking The Mamluks, weren't you? Nope, I think I'll head south first for a visit to Morocco. Leaving such an enemy so near our nation is never a good idea. Time for holy war!



Those silly Chobanids, they think they can do anything. Well, it might get boring so they can keep me entertained with their offers. The Mamluks don't look so well. With -2 stability, I'd say they'll be too busy fighting rebels. Morocco, I will show you no mercy :cool:.



Yummy! That was a pretty nice snack. Though, I wouldn't mind having more provinces taken. Let's not get greedy, I did get some of the richer provinces. As for The Mamluks,



They were silly for being war leader. Didn't face a single one of their troops and they still begged for mercy. Don't want you releasing anyone since I want your land. Let's just have you lose your vassal. Seriously, why do you having an Orthodox nation as a vassal? Yup, said the catholic nation with a Muslim nation as their vassal.

My goal in the near future is simple! Conquer North Africa and pay The Mamluks a nice visit. If they can get along with Orthodox, then surely they can get along with us Catholics. They have two nice provinces I really want: Alexandria and Judea :p. I better hurry before other Catholic nations decide to drop in on the fun.
 

blklizard

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http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?621630-Frequently-Asked-Questions Nr.5 should fix that Hudson Bay in Scandinavia map bug Iirc. And I hope for your sake that England and France don't stay best friends :D
Thanks! I didn't even notice that in Scandinavia.
SPOILER: England and France are still best buddies, I only hope neither England and France gets a core on me.

Chapter 4 - Obtaining Firm Hold on Africa

For some odd reason, I forgot to post this in the last chapter:



Poland got some provinces from Lithuania so Lüneburg should blob if they do inherit. For those who were wondering, Poland didn't form a personal union with Lithuania and Lithuania is still a pagan (though they became Catholic sometime later).

Back to our great nation, Castille. Looks like bad news:



As long as they stay away from the Middle East and Africa, I should be fine. I doubt I'll attack France.

Since I fear the English and France alliance, I better keep expanding. Why have one war when I can have two?





I know, I forget to do screenshots when the war first begins but you haven't missed much. I'm just teaching African nation my superiority.

As for the peace deal, it's pretty one sided:





I should be able to annex Morocco in the next war. North Africa shall soon be mine! For those wondering about how Europe looks:



Sweden is a blob. France is close to annexing all their vassals. As for England, I'd say they're not that far off from forming Great Britain. I'll end this chapter with:

 

blklizard

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Chapter 5 - Pushing Further Into Africa

(The chapters seem a bit dull for me so I'm changing up the style slightly.)

Beatriz, empress of Castille, wanted to make her mark in history. The easiest way for her would be to continue her holy wars. However, there are two things standing in her way. First, the truce with Morocco has yet to expire. Secondly, Venice, a small trading nation, has a province in North Africa and allied with Tripoli. While she had to wait out the truce, she needed to find a way to remove Venice from the picture. An excommunication should work fine. While it would be nice to rid them herself, she knew that her navy doesn't have superiority over Venice. Therefore, she just needed to wait for someone else to take the lead while she reaps the reward. However, that opportunity never came. Barely a year later, Croatia, who controlled the curia following Castille, decided to revoke the excommunication. Beatriz vowed to make the Croatian pay but she knew now was not the time.

In the year 1387, the empress of Castille declared the third crusade against Morocco. Her goal is to remove Morocco from the map and protect Castille's southern borders.



Knowing full well that Morocco won't be putting up much resistance, she also declared war on Tripoli.



Jalayirids was already in a war and needed peace to recover. Beatriz merely laughed at the Muslim nation's poor attempt to challenge her. However, Venice was a different matter. In naval, Venice does indeed have the upper hand. Beatriz wanted to see how her troops perform before deciding whether to call in Granada. The war with Morocco was very simple. Destroy, siege and wait. As for Tripoli, they didn't put in much effort either. They had to deal with The Mamluks from the east and clearly lost their entire army somewhere in The Mamluk territory. Luckily, the Jalayirids did do the empress a favour by forcing The Mamluk an early peace deal with Tripoli with only one province taken. Castille troops were quick to siege and Tripoli proved to be nothing more than a small chore. The Empress got bold from her easy wins against the Muslim nations and decided to take on Venice's navy head on. The result was a loss but, luckily, the losses were minimum. Seeing that she needed some help, she reluctantly called in Granada. Before she could coordinate a naval assault, some rebels spawned near Tripoli and her redirected her attention there. When the rebels were dealt with, she found the Granada fleet was annihilated. To her surprise though, Granada managed to land on Treviso and began the siege. She wrapped up her war with Morocco and Tripoli (lost the screenshot with Tripoli, sorry):



Once Treviso was occupied, Venice were finally willing to give up Kairouan. The Jalayirids were already longing for peace and a white peace was arranged. Beatriz felt great job with her accomplishments in northern Africa. She wanted to accomplish more and an opportunity came up a bit further south:



The first colony was established in Tuat and Beatriz believed this will be her empire's key step to controlling all of Africa. Following the war with Tripoli, she let her troops rest before starting two unsuccessful campaigns against The Mamluks. The first merely gained Castille the province of Lybia as the attrition dealt a serious blow to Castille's armies. Luckily, The Mamluks wanted a way out and were willing to give up something. The second campaign didn't start off that much better as the large rebellions in Egypt proved too much for Castille troops to handle. Alexandria and Delta were obtained. Many believed this was a great victory but the empress didn't think so. She felt that she failed her empire by being unable to push far into Egypt. A couple of years later, she died in bed with the regret of unable to push into Egypt.
 

blklizard

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Africa is yours for the taking. Keep it up!!
Haha, I hope so. Guess I'll give a spoiler to my readers. I will have a war with both France and England in the near future :p
 

blklizard

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Chapter 6 - Against the Odds



With the death of empress Beatriz, the crown is now passed on to her son, Enrique III. Enrique is faced with many challenges. Being a good son that he is, he wanted to finish his mother's wish of conquering Egypt. He knew that this wouldn't be an easy task. After all, his mother had two failed campaigns there. First, he needed to learn from the mistakes of his mother. Solving the problem of attrition is one key step to the conquest. He also knew that he needed to find ways to deal with the large rebel numbers there. However, he needed to focus on the big picture first. When he began looking over the map of the middle east, he knew that there is plenty of challenges there. First and foremost:



Enrique III decided to call this the Big Three alliance: Ottoman, Jalayirid and Golden Horde. All three Muslim nations can rival Castille in number of troops and the Ottoman has a navy that even made England's navy look mediocre. Getting into war with one of them could result in facing a very powerful navy and an seemingly unstoppable army. While Enrique III is sure he can win the war, he knows that he can gain nothing from it. Given that two of the Big Three guarantee The Mamluks, caution is a must to avoid getting into costly wars with the Big Three.



Much further north, Sweden appear to be a superpower. Enrique III wanted to keep an eye on them. The last thing he wants is an uncontrollable Sweden. Castille navy definitely isn't first rate and a war with Sweden, like the Big Three would be too costly.

Indeed, Enrique III see things aren't in his favour. To his immediate north, he has the France and England alliance. Their naval and land superiority makes them a deadly combination. Further north, Sweden is slowly developing into a threat that Castille may not be unable to handle. Enrique III is frustrated that his expansion is held in check by the Big Three. The longer he is unable to expand, the longer Castille will be weaker. Enrique III knows expansion is the only way to his nation's survival on the big stage and he must work hard to find the opportunities.
 

blklizard

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Chapter 7 - Mother, Please Rest Easy

Enrique III needs to find ways to overcome his odds. That meant he had to wait for opportunities to show themselves. The opportunity showed itself 2 years after he rose to the throne. Ottoman and Jalayirids decided to take some provinces from The Mamluks and Enrique III used this opportunity to declare the 3rd crusade.



There wasn't much challenge except for The Mamluks'. With their troops busy elsewhere, Castille troops were quick to start siege. Ottoman and Jalayirids annihilated the entire Egyptian army and that only made it that much easier for Castille. Word has reached Enrique III that both Cairo and Judea are occupied. The Mamluks knew defeat and finally agreed to disgraceful peace deal:



Enrique III has accomplished something his mother could only hoped for. With 7 provinces conquered, Castille now has a firm hold in Egypt. However, the young emperor knows that he still had to worry about the Big Three. Each provinces he, Ottoman and Jalayirids take from The Mamluks will put them closer to war. It was only a matter of time. Enrique III knew that confrontation is only a matter of time so he must grab as much of Egypt as possible and prepare for the worse. 7 years after his peace deal with The Mamluks, Enrique III was thrilled to hear that the Big Three started a new campaign in Egypt. Unwilling to be left out, the emperor immediately declared war to get a better holding in Egypt.



Unlike the last war, The Mamluks were alone this time facing against 3 powerhouse nations. The challenge for Castille wasn't the Egyptian armies but simple control more sieges than the Big Three. There were some gambles when only 1000 troops were ordered to siege provinces with large rebel numbers. Luckily, the gambles paid off and Castille now got a nice little territory in Egypt. :D



This not only isolated The Mamluk's capital but it served as a good position against the Big Three. Many of the provinces have high attrition and the extra room will allow Castille to outmaneuver their foes in the near future. Enrique III, upon hearing the great news, headed to the church in Toledo. He wanted to tell his mother to rest easy as he has accomplished what she has hoped for. The Mamluks, after being chewed up by 4 great nations, is now left with 6 provinces. One would think that the emperor would be looking to take the Big Three head on. However, he has bigger plans. Plans that will change the history of Europe and, possibly, the history of Castille.