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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

misterbean

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Chapter 25: Adapting to a Changing World.

This session starts with patch 1.6, and that becomes immediately obvious for a number of reasons.




First Kathiawar asks for Military access. They are on the modern-day border between India and Pakistan. They are at war with, among others, Portugal, and allready have 1 province occupied. What do they expect to do? Go on a massive counterattack? I accept, just for laughs. It would be hilarious if they actually landed troops in Portugal.




The second reason that the new patch becomes obvious, is because the second-largest navy in Europe, the Spanish, decides it would be fun to send privateers to harass me in the Bordeaux trade node. It gives me a CB, but my army and MP are in no shape to go to war just yet.

Third reason. My income drops from +16 or so, to barely +0.85 ducats. In order to stay afloat, I will have to replace my advisors with less expensive ones. I have no idea, why that happened, but I was not amused.





I stop for lunch, and when I fire up the game again, the game ends my alliance with Brabant and happily tells me that “You broke the alliance”.
As you can see, it reacts as if I send a diplomat there, which I did not. Then there is the massively stupid relations hit of – 162 because they desire 3 of my provinces. That is 150 years of peaceful coexistence down the drain. Thank you, PDS. And, by the way, they were about to get another Habsburg on the throne. Yeah, a second chance at a PU with the same country in the same game down the drain. Thank you very much.

I am still reeling from the surprise, when it happens again, only this time with Savoy. “I” break the alliance, again. For some reason, they only get a -12 relations hit because they want Nice. Why is that? I know that Nice is not Antwerp or Holland, in terms of taxes or trade power, but the difference between -12 for one province and -162 for 3 baffles me.

In a slight fit of rage (ok, maybe not so small), I divorce Brabant and end the game.

It takes a couple of private sessions as England and Venice before I feel comfortable enough to play on, this time under the hotfix 1.6.1.

And, with that, it’s back to business.

I am still losing money, but the worst seems behind us now and I am hoping that the global economy will recover on its own. For now, I have my army at half-maintenance. Any further rebuilding will have to wait.
Just in case I have to take a loan, I unlock Boockkeeping, giving me -1 interest per year.

With all that economical upheaval, I have neglected the diplomacy. Envoys are send to Improve Relations with the Ottomans, Russia and Austria. My last envoy is send to fabricate new claims in Spain; the old ones will run out in a couple of years.





Yamasee grows enough to become part of Outremer in June 1632, and I get to work on Seminole, the last province on the East coast of the northern Americas.

The king dies in August, and is succeeded by Louis XV, who is a 1-2-5. His father had been about the reverse of those numbers, so that evens out nicely. A pretender rises, but is quickly taken care of.




Cardinal Richelieu is the last of my high-level advisors to go. As I have only +2 advisors available, I will spend the rest of the chapter without a Diplomatic Advisor. That costs me 36 DP per year. Thank you, PDS.

Oh, right, business as usual. I forgot.

Antwerpen is converted just in time for Christmas, leaving me with only 2 heretic provinces: Ferrarra and Île De France.

The Papal State gets annexed by Spain and Tuscany, that 3-province minor, sees fit to rival me. How is that possible? I thought they were supposed to rival people in their own weight class? Let’s face it, they are not even in the same league as France.

The British colonies have reached Connecticut. I am half tempted to start a colony in Massachusetts, just to rattle their cage, but decide not to. It would be kind of hard to defend in case of war.




September 1634. Austria loses a war against Sweden. I don’t think I will be counting on them in case of war. 228 Ducats is a lot of money, even for Austria.

Ferrarra is converted in 1635. I send my missionary to Paris. It will take a long, long time before he finished his work there. I spend a ton of Admin on increasing my stability to +3. Every little bit helps.

Brabant loses a war against Austria and is forced to release Gelre as a sovereign state. I try no to care.

A random border dispute gives me a claim on Cuneo. Good, because I had run out of CBs against them. You never know what it might be good for.




I RM and Ally with Lüneberg, who have grown to a respectable size.

June, 1637. I get Military Tech level 19. Among the choices of new infantry, I select the Gustavian Infantry.


I select the mission to colonise Powhatan,w hich will give me 5 years of colonial enthusiasm.

Things are finally on the mend again. I am, once again, making enough money to be able to finish expanding the army, but I am hoping to save enough money so that I can build a Grain Depot. It costs 802 ducats, but the benefits are not to be sneezed at: 10% Land Force Limit and -10% Land Maintenance. Or should I take a loan for that?
A Royal Palace would be nice. I would really like to have a Legitimacy higher than 45 again.

Save up or loan? Choices, choices.




Here you can see the new French army and navy.

This is a rather short chapter, but it has been very eventful, even though not a shot has been fired in France. Maybe next time, I will be a bit more active again. See you then.
 

loup99

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Well things did definetly change a lot in this single chapter and you seem to never run out of "thanks" to PDS. Did the patch affect any of your rivals? Also, did your dip relations limit lower?
 

misterbean

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Well things did definetly change a lot in this single chapter and you seem to never run out of "thanks" to PDS. Did the patch affect any of your rivals? Also, did your dip relations limit lower?
In my case, I kept all of my previous rivals. It's just a shame that the power projection doesn't work retroactively.
As for diplo limit, no, I still have the same limits as before, I think. Why do you ask? Is that a thing now?
 

loup99

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As for diplo limit, no, I still have the same limits as before, I think. Why do you ask? Is that a thing now?
No, but I read in some dev-diary that thew french traditions had been changed (amongst others) to only have 5 instead of 6 in the beginning (this might not be accurate though, I was just wondering).
 

misterbean

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Yes, they have lost a slot. I missed it completely. That does mean that France starts the game over their limit now, which means that, for a rational player, the most obvious choice at game start would be to drop the Scottish guarantee. I have played England into Great Britain until 1512, and the guarantee is still there. Doesn't the AI start with an extra slot becuase it's "so bad at them"? If so, then a French player gets hosed.
I am just going to come out and say that, to me, it feels like bad design, if you have to make the aI cheat in order to be competitive. We all know that it does. It always has. I have never liked it. I never play my own games with Lucky Nations for that exact reason; I don't want benefits, but I don't want the AI to get it either. Take my last war against Austria and Savoy, for instance. How will I ever know that I messed up, or that I just got wasted by a better AI, or that the game cheated on me? I still cringe when I think about general Haemrich.
 

MiniaAr

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I'm just playing a French game at the moment, and being over the limit is actually not really an issue. I even took an alliance with Castille and got at 7/5 relations. With a lvl2 advisor, and by not taking diplo ideas first (I took Economic), the loss of DIP points isn't an issue. In fact, just at the end of the HYW, you should have improved relations with 2 vassals to start the annexation right away. I picked Orléanais (only one province) and Armagnac (3 provinces after I gave them Labourd in the peace deal) and they were both annexed in a couple of years. Not using DIP points to reduce WE is essential.
 

misterbean

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I'm just playing a French game at the moment, and being over the limit is actually not really an issue. I even took an alliance with Castille and got at 7/5 relations. With a lvl2 advisor, and by not taking diplo ideas first (I took Economic), the loss of DIP points isn't an issue. In fact, just at the end of the HYW, you should have improved relations with 2 vassals to start the annexation right away. I picked Orléanais (only one province) and Armagnac (3 provinces after I gave them Labourd in the peace deal) and they were both annexed in a couple of years. Not using DIP points to reduce WE is essential.
Thanks for the info. It may come in handy yet.

To be fair, you seem to have made the transition to 1.6 better than most... I decided to stay in 1.5.1 for now to continue my current Spain game without the trauma.
I thought about it, but I was worried that it would mess up my Ironman save, so I decided to go with it.

Allright, true believers, I know it has been a while, but I have recently discovered a website where I could download all the handbooks for the Marvel Super heroes RPG (mid '80s tabletop for you kids out there), which I haven't played for over a decade, and it made me feel like a kid again. So, I am going to continue this epic one of these days. Don't worry, I am not going anywhere.

edited to add: And if you get the "True Believers" reference, then you can proudly say that you know your comic book history.
 

Seelmeister

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All things considered, the transition did not appear to be too challenging. How much of your lost income do you ascribe to the presence of Spanish privateers off Bordeaux? The CB would indeed be a costly one, but next time the Spanish are distracted it wouldn't be a bad idea to clip their sails and send a good proportion of their fleet to the seabed!
 

volksmarschall

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I just wanted to leave a comment saying that I've been reading this and think your AAR is great misterbean, even if not fully caught up!

Cheers!
 

misterbean

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I just wanted to leave a comment saying that I've been reading this and think your AAR is great misterbean, even if not fully caught up!

Cheers!
Lucky you, then, that my updating has gone missing in action, because I've been really busy with RL stuff :sad:. Thanks for the compliment.
 

misterbean

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I have just finished a session. New chapter should be up sometime tomorrow.
 

misterbean

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All things considered, the transition did not appear to be too challenging. How much of your lost income do you ascribe to the presence of Spanish privateers off Bordeaux? The CB would indeed be a costly one, but next time the Spanish are distracted it wouldn't be a bad idea to clip their sails and send a good proportion of their fleet to the seabed!
I'm sorry, Seelmeister, I seem to have completely missed your comment.
A lot of my trade is being siphoned off by a threeway embargo by Spain, Portugal and Great Britain. Spain keeps sending pirates and then cancelling them again a couple of months later. But the game seems to be recovering now. At the end of the session described above, I was back up to 20 ducats and change per month.
 

volksmarschall

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Lucky you, then, that my updating has gone missing in action, because I've been really busy with RL stuff :sad:. Thanks for the compliment.
Hahaha! Yes, it will give me better comfort and time knowing that I can get through page 7 (Victory and Defeat) without the worry of you getting to, like, page 15 or 16 or something! :p Even though it is somewhat hard not to glance about on what's going on in 1630...
 

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Hahaha! Yes, it will give me better comfort and time knowing that I can get through page 7 (Victory and Defeat) without the worry of you getting to, like, page 15 or 16 or something! :p Even though it is somewhat hard not to glance about on what's going on in 1630...
I know what you mean. Coming in late to an AAR has both benefits and problems. I once spend 2 nights catching up to an AAR that had 40 chapters and was only halfway...
 

misterbean

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Chapter 26: Taking back Liguria.

After a long time of rebuilding both France’s strength and my self-confidence, I am ready to take back what was stolen from me.

With that, I send about 40 regiments to my Italian holdings, end my alliance with Venice and cancel my military access to their land.

Venice failed to grab any additional allies in the 6 weeks it takes to do this. Their loss. I declare war on 9th of April, 1638, alongside Austria. My troops start moving into position, while Venice calls on their allies, Baden and Portugal. I am somewhat dimayed to find that Portugal takes over as war leader, but that’s ok. Since they no longer are allied to Spain, I have really very little to fear from them. I am just glad that I have 33,000 men in Outremer.




My trade fleet is ambushed on their way to dock, and it becomes apparent immediately that their light ships and diplomatic tech are more advanced than mine. I send out the combat fleet (18 heavy ships) to save them.




On that same day, I get a new heir; a very nice 4-4-4.




Powhatan is colonised and I get some very nice bonuses. My next mission is a mistake: make Sweden my friend. I should have checked. If I had, I would have realised that there is no chance of getting our relation up to 125. I will later cancel the mission.

By the end of the month, most of Venice is being sieged and the forces of Baden have been annihilated.




Good news and bad news. The fighting in the Gulf of Cadiz has ended. I lost 5 light ships. Portugal loses 22.
On the other hand, the Ottomans attack one of Austria’s allies. They call me in and I become war leader.
They send about 80 regiments on a straight course to my troops in Venice, forcing me to end all sieges. I slam them with everything I have, sending them running all the way to Albania.
They are Military tech level 18. I am 19. For a moment I am tempted to keep it going, but they have a huge army and the Russian forces are still assembling at home. I don’t want to make the same mistakes I have made in the past and spread myself too thin.




Funny AI. I am 24 points ahead, but they refuse a white peace. Being war leader, I gladly concede defeat. The Ottomans walk away with 10 prestige, but without the wargoal. I don’t care. My goals are clear and precise and nothing will get in my way this time.
Russia is so impressed with my “handling” of the war, that they offer an alliance and a royal marriage. Of course, I accept. Two of the three biggest armies in the world have joined forces. Life is good.

I have so far ignored Portugal, other than completely blockading their continental holdings. Brazil sieges my 2 South-American colonies, but I am not impressed. Their time will come.




Eventually, they send a reasonable fleet to break the blockade. Another massive victory for La Royale.
The fighting is over for now. I have 42 regiments standing by in Navarra (Portugal has military access through Spain) and my 21 transports are send to ferry them over to Galicia when Austria sends 23 regiments to Portugal.
A random “Bountiful Harvest” gives me 296 ducats, which is more than welcome since I am bleeding about 14 ducats per month.




After Austria has slammed the Portugese army around for a bit, they begin sieging the southernmost province and my army takes over the lead.




Seriously? 19 transports, unescorted, to land 1 regiment in Galicia? Ok, Portugal, your loss.




I spot a small trade fleet in the Channel and make quick work of them. Might as well make the most of it, while I can.




After all the naval battles, Portugal’s naval supremacy is wrecked. It will take a long time to rebuild.




When Porto is occupied by France, it’s time to start negotiating the peace deal. I want Elsass (becaue it is the only part of modern-day Northern France that I am still missing) and Liguria (to connect my holdings). Porto turns out too rich to add to the deal. I could invade Brazil, but I am unsure if the costs would outweigh the benefits.




Instead, I go for this. I am sitting on a treasury of over 1300 ducats. These are spend to build a war college (adds 0.5 army tradition per year and an extra free general), 5 heavy ships, 12 light ships, 6 infantry, 1 cavalry and 1 cannon.
I sell Friuli to Austria for 40 ducats to make sure that I don’t antagonise them anymore than I have to (they had a claim there).




Here you can see my Ideas. I should really finish Exploration and Defensive, but I am always running behind in tech.




Spain and Great Brittain are at war. Maybe I could take advantage of the opportunity? Spain, however, is allied with Austria. They would not join a war on my side, which probably means that they would join on Spain’s side. I will wait for a better moment. Maybe the British will force Spain to end the alliance with Austria in the peace deal. One can always hope.




How about that alliance, boys? Anyone stupid enough to attack me now? I don’t think so.




My trade income is hampered by my overextension, mostly, but because the British and Spanish have withdrawn their ships to safer harbour during the war, I have the most power in Western Europe, Bordeaux and Antwerpen.




I leave you with a rather scary prospect. The Spanish king is 54 and has no heir. When he dies, a Von Habsburg will take over. If things work out for them (not so much for me), they could find themselves in a PU with Austria, especially if they lose a lot of Prestige in their war.

We’ll just cross that bridge when we get there. See you next time!
 

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You did the right thing not overdoing it with the Ottomans... in my current game I did and 20K wasted manpower later I discovered their friends the Crimeans coming with a massive doomstack just when I thought I'd dealt with the Ottoman bulk :(
 

misterbean

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You did the right thing not overdoing it with the Ottomans... in my current game I did and 20K wasted manpower later I discovered their friends the Crimeans coming with a massive doomstack just when I thought I'd dealt with the Ottoman bulk :(
The Ottomans and the Russians are the only 2 nations with bigger armies than mine, and the Ottomans were only 1 or 2 tech levels behind, which does not leave much room for error.
 

volksmarschall

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I think it is a fitting irony that you are allied with Austria, one of France's historic and most pronounced rivals from the 16th century until the 18th with the rise of Prussia! :p Although the Habsburg marriage with Spain might be something you find to be more a pain to deal with than helpful to you even if Austria is your ally?
 

misterbean

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I think it is a fitting irony that you are allied with Austria, one of France's historic and most pronounced rivals from the 16th century until the 18th with the rise of Prussia! :p Although the Habsburg marriage with Spain might be something you find to be more a pain to deal with than helpful to you even if Austria is your ally?
I'm more concerned with the alliance itself, actually. I doubt that Spain's prestige will drop low enough for any real issues to crop up. I signed the alliance to free my hands with Spain, but things happened.

BTW, very nice Avatar.