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    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
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safferli

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I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse.
They were built only to serve.
-- George Bernhard Shaw

Welcome to my new AAR; it will be a short one. The inspiration to the title and the country came while reading Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, by Simon Winchester. Fastnet lighthouse, or An Charraig Aonair as the Irish name (meaning "the rock that stands alone"), Hvastann-ey in Old Norse ("Sharp-Toothed Island"), is located on the south-western tip of Ireland. It was the passing point of virtually all ships leaving the UK to sail to the USA. As it was the last glimpse of home soil that Irish emigrants saw, the name "Ireland's Teardrop" stuck. A last good-bye, a last tear when leaving friends, family, history, and their roots behind, in search of a better future in the New World.

I will be playing Munster, the EU3 home country of this rock. The object is (of course) to unite Ireland, and then start on a colonisation game -- simulating the emigrants that left Ireland.

  • game: EU3:DW, patch 5.1
  • mods:
  • objects: unite Ireland and then colonise the entire North American continent
  • rules:
    • no obvious cheating, save/reloads, etc. (full disclosure: this AAR took about 5 complete re-starts to unify Ireland)
    • I may only take QftNW as fifth NI (Gov tech 22, historical year 1565)
  • settings: low AI aggressiveness, no lucky nations, spread of land provinces 75 years



Table of Contents
Chapter 1: First Moves
Chapter 2: Badboy Scum
Chapter 3: Peace, flowers, and pancakes
Chapter 4: Steadily, carefully, and slowly
Chapter 5: Onwards, towards England!
Chapter 6: War against the English
Chapter 7: A sense of déjà-vu
Chapter 8: Good things come to those who wait
Chapter 9: Once more, dear friends, once more!
Chapter 10: Friends in need...
Chapter 11: Eireann go Brach!
Chapter 12: Damn, featureless deserts
Chapter 13: Repealing the Irish Alliance Doctrine
Chapter 14: Northumberland and Ireland united against a common enemy
Chapter 15: Northumberland and England united against a common enemy
Chapter 16: Outmanoeuvring Charles I
Chapter 17: Second Battle of Cumbria
Chapter 19: Exploits galore!
Chapter 20: Why does that Welsh flag have my mother-in-law on it?
Chapter 21: Mistakes are made...
Chapter 22: Nudges, and crossroads
Chapter 23: Early war catastrophes... ahem... incidents
 
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safferli

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Chapter 1: First moves


This is Ireland, Munster is the province in the Southwest. To the North, we border Connaught and to the East Leinster. Ulster is the other remaining free Irish province, and Meath is the last remaining Irish province, currently in English Hands. Damn Strongbow!




Our country is not much to write home about. A max manpower of just 1,000, and not even that is currently available. We must grow to greatness and unite Ireland, by force. With normal troops out of the question, the king enlists the help of 1,000 mercenary cavalrymen.



Also, before the grand game starts, the possibility to shape the country is offered to the king. We chose to move towards more Free Trade. We have heard of the untold riches of trade, and we desperately need those riches! Even with our aggressive expansion policy limiting our trade trade for decades to come, setting the country on a trading path is a long-term process. We'd better start now!

Plus, we get a 33% chance of a nice advisor that can be sold off into slavery. Lucky us, we get such an advisor.




This is the state of the court, three advisors of middling competence. While they are eager to assist us in the courtroom, they do not know what we have in mind for them, yet. They will all be sold into slavery, as that is the only source of income for a long time available to us. Plus, with our pitiful income, we cannot even afford those 3-star advisors. The monthly expenses would break our neck.




Diplomatic overtures are sent. We arrange a royal marriage with Brittany, who are of a similar culture to us. Also, insults are sent to Connaught and Ulster. Let's hope they don't put too much weight into these insults, and do not come to the only conclusion: an attack is imminent!




As soon as the mercenary cavalry regiment is raised, we DoW Connaught and take the -2 stab hit (the insult was to lower relations. All Irish kingdoms start at >100 relations, so a DoW would cost an additional stability point). The expenses are killing our treasury. But it's a price we will have to pay. If we do not take what's available of Ireland now, a web of alliances and guarantees will make conquering impossible with our joke of an army.




The army maintenance is high, and we need to take up loans (pitiful sums again, 4 or 5 ducats are all that the EFSF is willing to provide us). With the battle of Connaught won due to the power of the cavalry army, we set to siege the province. While sieging, the maintenance is reduced to the minimum. Mercenaries complain, but the king is not moved. At minimum maintenance, we can just barely afford our 2,000 men army...




Meanwhile, we spam advisors and put them up for sale in a year's time.




The first paychecks arrive in October 1400:



As soon as our manpower reaches the maximum -- 1,000 men -- we use the slavery income to buy a regiment of infantry. Loyal to the Munster crown, and less expensive than the mercenary regiments, these men will form the backbone of our army. Sadly, we cannot yet get rid of the expensive mercenary regiment. Their combat power is more than quadruple that of our normal troops.




We win the siege of Connaught after 441 arduous days.




Connaught accepts our offer (well, they cannot refuse), and Connaught is incorporated into our country, doubling our province count!




The first step towards uniting Ireland is made. But there is no rest for the Irish! The ink on the peace treaty of Connaught is not dry, and a declaration of war is sent to Ulster. Our combat-hardened troops move further north, into the lands of the kingdom of Tyrone. Will they succeed?


 
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tamius23

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I'll follow this.

1. I like the wiggly borders.

2. I've never spammed advisors to sell them later. Seems profitable by the looks of things.
 

Malurous

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Considering the author, I'll really have to follow this. Your Papal State AAR was at least one of the first and quite probably the first AAR that I followed from the start (I had read other stuff but had always started reading when the AAR was well under way, lagging way behind the updates). I think I commented once too, working on my single digit post count. :D

So, most definitely subscribed. And it's not just nostalgia either, that's a great start and Irish minors are always cool. ;)
 

Avindian

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Really excited to follow this one; I'd especially like to see you survive for more than 50 years :)
 

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Wow, so many replies and expressions of interest, thank you guys (and gals)! :) I plan to do updates Mon-Wed-Fri, so expect the next chapter tomorrow. Meanwhile, you might like to read The Economist's Christmas article on the lighthouse. A nice read, and nothing "heavy", as it's one of the Christmas articles (which a always great to read, highly recommended each year!)

tamius23

Spamming advisors is not the best thing in terms of money -- you'll get more if you wait a bit and create better advisors. But Munster needs all the money it can get. I took 2 or 3 loans to fight the first two wars, and each loan is a pitiful 4 ducats. That's about the price of one of these 1-star advisors, so you can see that each and every bit helps!

loki100

Honoured to have you on board! :) The restrictions are part of how I often play the game (no colonisation at first). For the case of this AAR, they're not as binding: I want to colonise the north American continent, and in most cases only England and France are there at first. In order to guarantee Ireland's survival, you need to crush England hard, so hard it will never colonise. So that's one contender already out of the game.

Innocent Beard

Welcome, nice to have you! :)

Malurous

Glad to have you aboard again! My Papal States AAR was very successful it seems. So much that I am afraid I can't live up to the expectations... But I'll try my best!

Uladh88

And a warm welcome to you as well! :)

Oxea

Good to have you then! The idea to this AAR came about half a year back, when there were lots of "how do I survive with an Irish minor" posts in the EU3 forum. I thought, I'd just make an AAR and then refer all to it. Let's hope this one is educational, though I did miss out on taking a lot of screenshots. It's been a while since my last AAR, and you do forget to press F11 so easily!

blsteen

You're right, survival of Ireland depends a large part on when the English get their Conquer Ireland mission. With the mission overhaul mod that is no different, but it is a bit easier: The Irish mission has a slightly lower base chance, so England will go after France and Scotland first, on average. Saves a few reloads.

In this game, England got the Reconquer Normandy mission first, that held them off my back for a while.

Avindian

Hehe... I've played a bit ahead, so that I can guarantee the formation of Ireland in this AAR :)
 

safferli

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With the war against Tyrone going flawlessly, army maintenance is again set to minimum and we allow ourselves a peek at England. Any survival ambitions we have depend on how England copes. Sooner rather than later we'll need to fight England, and we want -- no need -- strong allies and help. Scotland and France are our best hope. The more they hit England, the less we need to do it.

Erm well, Scotland seems the wrong place to look.




Yep, this is bad...




After losing the war, Scotland is looking for help against England and offers us an alliance. Oh no, we can't accept that. We need to hit England when they're distracted, and not when the Scottish AI thinks the time is right. The offer is politely refused.




All the while our troops had besieged Ulster. With the fall of the fort, Tyrone is annexed.




As you might have guessed, the last independent country left in Ireland is targeted next: Leinster. They have 2,000 men, but we have increased our army to 4,000 men by now. And no more mercenaries, they are too expensive for us and we are not yet manpower constrained. That will change once we're at war with England, though!




Sometimes, just sometimes, random events can help you. We gladly take the move to Plutocracy, a long-term goal for our slider settings.




With more provinces (even though non-cored), we have higher force limits and more income. Our yearly income is enough to support our army at minimum maintenance, with war taxes. We're on the right track!




After a quick ping-pong the Leinster army is defeated, and we lay siege to the enemy province. After 261 days the fort surrenders. Much faster than our last sieges that all lasted over 400 days. Our larger army allows us to siege fortresses faster.




We annex Leinster immediately afterwards.




But, danger looms. Our reckless expansion without any valid CB has not only greatly destabilised our country, but also racked up a large amount of Infamy. We break our BB limit with the annexation of Leinster:




It's only a bit, so we can only hope that no-one attacks us while the BB is burned off. If you examine the BB details, you'll notice that our low legitimacy (we got 20-point hits with each non-CB DoW) is a reason for the low Infamy limit. We marry off as many Irish daughters as we can find. Europe is swamped with Irish princesses named "Deirdre".




Legitimacy is rising as a result. The world begins to see our King as the legitimate Rí ruirech.




Can Munster survive as badboy scum? Will England attack? Find out in the next update, on Friday!
 

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Very nice. Can't wait to see how you beat England.
 

Malurous

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Good stuff. Hopefully the BB burn goes without trouble. Of course, the next step is the most difficult one...

I like the simple image borders by the way, quite classy.
 

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Ah, you started your new AAR you were talking about. Definitely not an easy goal you've set for yourself, but all the more fun when you succeed. Will follow.
 

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....definitely wish you the best gainst England ... iuno how much longer i can bear looking at that horrid gray ... i mean ur IRISH for gods sake! :p
 

Avindian

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I remember how terrified I was as Novgorod--> Russia when I accidentally broke the badboy limit; I can't imagine how it will go for you! You've got me on the edge of my seat!
 

tamius23

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You seem to use non-CB wars. How quickly can you recover the stability you lose?

I've barely ever declared war without CB.
 
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