Insight On Changes To HRE Province Decisions?

Insight On Changes To HRE Province Decisions?

  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

ktx2skd

First Lieutenant
13 Badges
Apr 24, 2011
247
1
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Leviathan: Warships
Wondering about the thought process developers had behind AI logic for the HRE province decisions over the game's history. Specifically at 5.2 it can be seen that:
  • AI is programmed to never remove provinces from the HRE (I somewhat recall they were able to in some earlier version).
  • AI is programmed to never attempt adding provinces to the HRE with a human Emperor (some unused logic in files can be observed).
This makes a human-led HRE 100% static outside of player actions, and even when AI-led you would hardly see any changes. For example:
  • No matter how fringe the political situation is, say for example 999 infamy, lowest relations, and lowest trust, towards or between the Emperor, electors and/or other notable HRE members, and a very consolidated HRE of mostly unlawful territory, no AI will seek leaving the HRE or removing any provinces. That also applies to foreigners, say an invading France or Poland, who will place themselves under repeating pressure by the penalties of unlawful territory.
  • Aside from the Emperor "releasing" an HRE-neighboring country from his opposition during a peace settlement, there is very slim chance the current conditions will allow for any non-Emperor AI to attempt adding territory to the HRE, especially that there seemingly isn't any AI logic to seek setting-up the conditions for being able to attempt adding territory. They just attempt if the option happens to be available.
I'm curious to know if there were "incidents" in previous game versions that made the developers take this direction, or if it's about some aspect of history or realism that I'm unaware about. I just doubt there wouldn't be a motive behind this static of a design.

====================
HORIZONTAL LINE BEGIN
====================

For context's sake, I analyzed the potential for the HRE's expansion at the starting game, which I'll share below. Please note it assumes very minimal acquisition of land to occur by any country, so that the starting positions can be really evaluated. I'll start with the easiest cases, and with more or less clock-wise spin on the map.

From the very start you can only expect the ability to incorporate 18 provinces:
  • 1 in Holstein.
  • 1 in Aquileia.
  • 1 in Urbino.
  • 15 across the French vassals, Provence, and Brittany.
As time goes by & some of the more routine changes in territory occur, one has a good chance to become able to incorporate the following 19 provinces:
  • 4 in Denmark.
  • 4 in Croatia.
  • 2 in Transylvania.
  • 1 in Ragusa.
  • 2 in Venice.
  • 4 in Naples.
  • 2 in Sicily.
On the more circumstantial situation of the dismantling of the French region, you can expect up to 20 additional provinces to become viable, split between the following countries:
  • Normandy, France as an OPM, Champagne, Nevers, Dauphine, Toulouse, Guyenne, Armagnac's west half, Foix, Navarra, and Aragon (if they've lost enough territory over time).
Lastly, on the most-conditional end, there are another 38 provinces for potential incorporation, although these are almost-impossible to become viable without very deliberate human intervention. They are anchored on the Orthodox provinces located at Europe's east.

These provinces should require either acquisition by a Catholic who owns a core, or converting its original owner to Catholic. Sometimes it would require acheiving independence of the region as well. The easiest way to describe these provinces are:
  • The 9 Russian provinces owned by minors, two provinces of which require independence from Muscowy, and 8 of the 9 Polish-Lithuanian provinces already-cored by else than their owner, and the 21 Orthodox provinces within the regions Eastern and Western Balkans
====================
HORIZONTAL LINE END
====================

That's it for the analysis. Be it with or against my case if I had any, it's always good to work from above a foundation.

...

Hmmm, I guess maybe one day I'll get real, modify the HRE files, and try my own version of the things, see how it goes...

EDIT: Added to the ending of "Aside from the Emperor "releasing"" paragraph.

- KitCat.
 
Last edited:

Kovax

Field Marshal
10 Badges
May 13, 2003
8.203
2.746
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
I've noticed the lack of expansion of HRE provinces, but didn't follow whatever discussions were made at the time about it. Aquileia usually makes an effort to incorporate Istria, but that's usually the ONLY addition I ever see that isn't driven by the player.

What I've also noticed is that an HRE country will annex another HRE country, and then almost immediately move its NF and use Magistrates to remove the other country's cores. This does very little for them, because it's still not THEIR core, so they're still suffering the "illegal HRE province" penalties and subject to having the province demanded by the current Emperor. Unfortunately, what it does do is turn the province into a poison pill for whoever owns it for the next 50 years.

I've seen Austria vassalize and diplo-annex Aquileia, then remove their cores, and end up with 4 illegal provinces that cannot be released. That alone is +1.00 Infamy per year, more than a lot of countries can shed. A small cluster of 2-4 provinces in Teutonic Order territory often end up as coreless illegal HRE provinces as well, when the TO removes all other cores from the provinces. In one game, Bohemia demanded the 4 former provinces of Aquileia from Austria, one by one, and ended up with all 4, in addition to one of the two in Italy from Milan (Pisa and Siena) and another from Burgundy (Namur), leading to +1.50 annual Infamy gain. The AI seemingly cannot avoid doing this, and it inevitably results in a handful of coreless provinces being passed to each new Emperor in turn, until they either become unelectable and lose the throne to the next "victim", or reach "Dishonorable Scum" depths.
 
Last edited:

ktx2skd

First Lieutenant
13 Badges
Apr 24, 2011
247
1
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Leviathan: Warships
Are you sure about all of this? I've spent quite some time on 5.2 this last year, and at least in there I'm yet to observe the AI using the "remove cores" decision, or annexing vassals when both parties are HRE. Also, the algorithm behind "demand province" seems to indicate an 80% chance of refusing the Emperor's request.

I'm also curious if they might've/could've changed the logic of "demand provinces" at some point to not needing to rely on cores, as in at least one Burgundian mission I've found out the code relies on "immediate previous owner", bit of a pickle to an unaware person facing a less-than-typical scenario.
 

Kovax

Field Marshal
10 Badges
May 13, 2003
8.203
2.746
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
In two of my last three campaigns, Austria diplo-annexed Aquileia, and in both cases it removed Aquileia's cores from 3 of the 4 provinces within days. After that, it never removed the last core, possibly because it ran out of Magistrates and the AI turned its "all or nothing" attention elsewhere. I've also seen the Teutonic Order remove Riga's core in game after game. Those seem to be the only ones that happen frequently, however.
 

ktx2skd

First Lieutenant
13 Badges
Apr 24, 2011
247
1
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Leviathan: Warships
Hmmm. Core-wise, I gave the nations you mentioned a check just now, and I think I know what's going on:

The AI is probably not using the "remove core" decision, but in fact the cores are getting auto-deleted upon annexation. The rule for annexed nations is that they lose their cores on anything in a different continent or with a different culture (culture group I think). Aquileia has only its capital matching its Italian culture group, while the rest is two match Austria, and the third matching Croatia.

Riga on the other hand has its only province in mismatch with its state's culture group, so yeah those will self-destruct if annexed I suppose...

As a side-note I was just testing something now, and I had rebels defect to me on cultural basis, but they didn't build me a core on the land they defected with, and they defected to me from someone of my same exact culture... and we both were HRE so yay unlawful territory.

The game just never stops being weird, does it...