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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

misterbean

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Chapter 27: Guardsman of Europe.​




I am 5 minutes into the game, when Austria gets into a bit of trouble. They politely ask if I would be willing to lead the war, so I call in Russia.


While my armies are marching north, my Bordeaux trade fleet gets intercepted by Britain’s trade fleet along the Coast of Brittany. It’s 18 of theirs against 20 of mine, but the Royal Navy has a ton of morale on me, so I send my heavies to save them.
Out of the nowhere, a giant doomstack descends on my poor ships.
The result? Well, check for yourself…




This demands revenge! Obviously, there is no way in hell that I will ever make it to England, so I do the next best thing. For the past 50 years or so, I have had 33 regiments sitting in Outremer. Now, at last, they will see some action. Half of them are send off towards British Mexico, and the other half goes on a rampage in Newfoundland.




Funny thing happened on my way to New york. The war against Spain seems to have finished while I wasn’t looking, and these Newfoundland units (still in exile) were on their way home. Since they will be torn to shreds the moment they enter any home province bordering mine, they decided to stop and watch on the sidelines. I never knew the AI could do that. Very nice to see.
Eventually, they will go through Indian territory and get shredded anyway.

Now, let’s be honest. I couldn’t care less what happens in Europe. I can get my hands on the Hudson Estuary, in Manhattan. That would be more than worth it by itself.




I ravage a small British army of 10 regiments. Vengeance for sinking my ships!




Eventually, the peace deal is signed.




I don’t know how long a province stays inhospitable after a tribe wanders away, but I feel like this might be a bug. I have a possible mission to colonise Connecticut, but I can’t. By the time this chapter ends, 9 years later, it will still be inhospitable. Anybody knows if this is normal?


The king goes crazy, I lose 138 ducats and a pretender rises at the head of 17000 men. Business as usual.





March, 1645. 200 Marriageable women are send to Tuscarora. This impresses Tuscany to the point that they end the coalition against France. Great news, since Tuscany has been reduced to a 2-province minor after a series of wars against Naples and Spain. Unfortunately, they are still a part of the HRE, and I don’t fancy a rerun of my last argument with Austria (one of their current leaders is a 6-6-5-1 general…).




Spain, Portugal, Naples and Austria are all intertwined in an alliance web that makes any kind of grandstanding on my part virtual suicide. I have all but given up on the whole idea of Spanish conquest by now, so I start annexing Aragon.




Mercenary Recruitement is one of the many ideas I like in the Administrative branch. It’s not just the 50% more mercs, but this also raises my normal Land Limit by about 15 regiments.

Feeling safe behind the white-yellow backs of Spain and Austria, Napels thumbs its nose at France and rivals me. Grrrr. If only…




February, 1647. Austria calls me to arms against Bohemia and Sweden. This gives me an idea. Austria can’t go to war against me while on my side in another war, right? There is only one problem. Contrary to the last war, Austria stays warleader this time. I will have to move fast if I want to attack Spain.
I get slowed down by a 30-regiment Swedish army descending on Holland, but start moving my troops into position.
Tuscarora becomes a city, and I send my colonists to Apalachee and Guyana.

Remember how I started integrating Aragon? Well, I didn’t. The integration finishes before I can declare war on Spain. Never mind, I can always call them back into vassalhood (I think) after the war.

I have the opportunity to get Military Tech level 20, so I upgrade my cannons to Swivel Cannons and postpone the war for a week. While I am waiting, I manage to snag Supply Trains (33% reinforce speed bonus), the second-to-last Defensive Idea.
And then, Austria ends the war against Bohemia for a measly few ducats. I am too late.




Hey, isn’t that supposed to be my trade node? Great Britain has 66 (!!) Light Ships patroling Bordeaux. How on earth am I supposed to compete against that?
I could turn things around. In Holland, I have about 42% of all trade power. If I make Antwerpen my trade capital (no more penalty for collecting in a node that is not my capital), switch my merchant around, and forward trade from Bordeaux to Antwerpen, I might be able to start making descend capital again. However, it costs a staggering 300 DP, which is a bit costly right now.




I get Admin Tech level 19 in 1653, and finally get the last Exploration Idea. 25% Bonus to my Naval Force Limit, which goes up to about 130. Almost as much in total as the amount of Light Ships Great Britain has. This realisation makes me feel terribly small. And more than a little jealous. As if I don’t already have a RN-complex from playing Germany in HOI3 so much.

***sigh***




I colonise Sierra Leone in Africa in 1654. Right next to Mali. This could be good. There is still a surprising amount of real-estate for grabs in Africa, and not all of it useless either: according to the ledger, there is at least 1 more province empty with a basetax of 4. Who knows? I might even make it into the Pacific by the end of the game.

So what do you guys think? Should I save up 300 DP to move my Trade Capital to Antwerpen or Holland or is that a fool’s errand?

edited to add: I just checked with the Quick Questions-thread. It seems that stuff like Connecticut is reported bug, due to versions being stuck with old base tax or something like it.
 
Last edited:

Ygor

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I've been following this for some time, I'm delurking a bit to let you know I'm enjoying your AAR. Now that France's got its historical borders, the challenge will be to beat Great Britain at the colonial game, should be interesting.

And if there's a lot of money to be made by moving your trade capital, go for it! That's what monarch points are for, after all.
 

misterbean

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I've been following this for some time, I'm delurking a bit to let you know I'm enjoying your AAR. Now that France's got its historical borders, the challenge will be to beat Great Britain at the colonial game, should be interesting.

And if there's a lot of money to be made by moving your trade capital, go for it! That's what monarch points are for, after all.
Thank you and welcome.
 

Seelmeister

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I'd move to Antwerp. The difference in your income from removing the malus will be noticeable, and a small trade fleet of your own can leech from London, recuperating some of those lost Bordeaux ducats. I'd suggest that your increased naval support limit should be used to that end. However, whether you are transferring or collecting in Bordeaux, that large British trade fleet is going to limit it effectiveness. Do any of your allies have enough if a fleet to level the playing field at sea? The best way to nullify a large trade fleet, in my experience, is an equally large heavy ship fleet...
 

misterbean

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Great Britain has 43 heavy ships and 107 light ships. They are still 54 below their force limit of 239.
France has 22 heavy ships and 60 light ships. I am still 26 below my force limit of 130.
fighting them at sea would not be a very good idea. I think that I will start spamming light ships while I wait for 300 DP. Then I will make Holland my trade capital.
 

volksmarschall

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Should have joined the war when you had the chance! :p Darn, I was hoping for a new 30 Years' War with Austria purging Bohemia of heresy like that, and your plans to sucker punch Spain.

It's interesting to see the colonial race. It would appear you are lagging in the navy department as evidence by Britain's rather, well, man-handling of your navy, but that could be easily attributed also to their very fine admiral while you had none! :eek: But at the same time, it seems, unlike OTL, you have the land advantage, colonially and militarily, against the British in NA. I guess the race for empire in NA will be just as intense as it was historically. And this time, I want to see French soldiers marching into Canada and taking Montreal, or whatever the city would be called since it was colonized by Britain first!
 

misterbean

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Should have joined the war when you had the chance! :p Darn, I was hoping for a new 30 Years' War with Austria purging Bohemia of heresy like that, and your plans to sucker punch Spain.

It's interesting to see the colonial race. It would appear you are lagging in the navy department as evidence by Britain's rather, well, man-handling of your navy, but that could be easily attributed also to their very fine admiral while you had none! :eek: But at the same time, it seems, unlike OTL, you have the land advantage, colonially and militarily, against the British in NA. I guess the race for empire in NA will be just as intense as it was historically. And this time, I want to see French soldiers marching into Canada and taking Montreal, or whatever the city would be called since it was colonized by Britain first!
Yeah, I was stupidly slow regarding the opportunity against Spain. As for the navy, I am 2 Diplo tech levels behind GB and I haven't checked their ideas, but I have yet to see a game where GB didn't take Naval early on.
My only fear regarding their NA colonies was to find a tonload of troops there, but that didn't happen.

A good investment in the navy might pay for itself just on trade...
all too true, of course.
 

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Plus I'm pretty English/GB ideas give them naval battle modifiers. Always hated that when playing as the Dutch. But then again, the Britannia was meant to rule the waves. I had to take naval ideas to compensate with my rivalry with them. Although for the Netherlands, that makes sense. For France, I'm not sure since you are in the awkward position to be the great power on the continent, but also, with a little help (ideas and early colonization) can also become one of, if not the premier colonial power in NA if King Henry VI and those incredible stats of 0 in all categories rules for a long time and allows you to beat them to NA.

I'm of course intrigued if you try for a balance or go for continental superpower.
 

misterbean

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When I play France privately, I usually go for continental superpower, but for this game, I thought I might spice things up just a bit. I already have a bigger colonial empire than usual with France. Of course there are limits to how much you can do without weakening yourself on land too much.
 

misterbean

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Chapter28: Buenos Dias, Señor.

It is time to start rebuilding the navy. The first thing I do, is to get rid of my heavies. Why? They are obsolete, so they wouldn’t contribute that much against an actual naval power, and they cost a ton of money to maintain. In their place, I start building light ships. These are obsolete as well, but their only function is to ferry trade back and forth. They will have to do until I get better designs.

While all that is going on, I lose a point of stability in a random event. It takes me a couple of months to realise, that this means that the conversion of Île De France comes to a grinding halt. I will have to keep my stability at +3 if I ever want a chance to finish the job.

A boundary dispute gives me a claim on Desmerara, the British colony in South-America bordering Suriname, my latest acquisition. Good, it gives me a way in, if I need it.

Then, I get a warning that I have a loan coming due. Really? I had forgotten all about it, and it is a big one: 755 ducats!
As a consequence, I stop spending money as much as I can. If only I had thought of that, before I started building all those ships!

Agust, 1655. I buy the last Defensive Idea.




I can’t help but feel a bit of joy, when I see this. Brabant and her allies have bitten off more than they can chew when they tried to annex Luxemburg. If you hadn’t wanted all my provinces, I could have helped you.

A year passes by where I sit on my hands, trying to come up with the money to pay back my loan. My army is at half maintenance, my navy at zero maintenance.
Utrecht asks for a Royal Marriage. After thinking about it for a while, I decide to go for it. Add an alliance, some expensive flowers and an advisor spending a couple of months at their court and France has a vassal again. What’s more, Utrecht is an Elector, too. Sadly, they do not vote for me, but a man can dream, right?




Austria asks for my help in the Imperial war against Venice. Don’t mind if I do. 2 years later, Venice cedes Brescia to Austria. This splits them in two, so I start fabricating a claim on Lombardia.

As a Christmas-present to the bank, I finally manage to repay my loan in late December, 1658.

I get Diplo-tech level 18. I know I wanted to go for Holland as my Trade Capital, but I am already 2 levels behind everyone else. I want to catch up to the rest of Western Europe first.




A look at the state of affairs in India. The Timurids will obviously not form an empire this time. Could Baluchistan do it, I wonder. Hindustan has formed and goes to war against Vijayanagar, who have made an alliance with Portugal.

Loire becomes Reformed and the pope is understandably upset. Why do this to me?

I get Military Tech level 21, which puts me back on an even keel with both Austria and Spain.




Sierra Leone becomes a Penal Colony in 1660. 25 Years of settler increase? Yes, please.




Cowabunga!
The money goes to a bunch of market places in the Bordeaux node and a couple of level 5 forts on the border with Spain.




Administrative level 21 in August 1661, and I am still one level behind one of my neighbours. I blame the king, who steadfastly refuses to die. Don’t get me wrong. 1-2-5 is nice, but I would have liked it to be a bit more evenly distributed.

Holland becomes protestant and gains 15% nationalism. That can’t be good.




Here we go again, and this time, it looks like Austria will be busy for a while. It’s too bad about Lüneburg. They are a rather large ally. Thankfully, after the war, I manage to renew the alliance.

But…

This time I waste no time in declaring war on Spain, even with my armies out of place. I am so fast that I even forget to take a screenshot of the declaration. What’s even better is that Spain’s ally Savoy joins the war. This couldn’t work out better!

Suriname becomes self-sustaining in 1663.

For the past 100 years or so, Spain has been sending privateers to the Bordeaux Trade node. Now, I see a golden opportunity and power drop my entire trade fleet on them. The results? See for yourself.




Sweet, sweet revenge! The war itself is almost too easy to mention. A humiliation of the Spanish army in Aragon, followed by a stackwipe in Cadiz. Game over. They try to get something going, of course, but I have kept an army of 23,000 troops roaming the southern country side, killing them left, right and center.




Don’t ask me why I build it, because it seems like it only brings bad things (including another 755 ducat loan), but it is Versailles, you know? I just wanted to see if it was part of an event chain.




Austria wins her war. The very first thing the Archduke does, is to break off the alliance with France. This sounds like interesting times ahead.




They are now hostile to me and the relationship is at -15, even with relations boosted to the maximum. There is no way to repair that kind of damage.




After a mere 2 years, the war is over. I could have gone for a peace treaty that was less aggressive, I guess. Give some more stuff back to their rightfull owners and break off the alliance with Austria. That kind of deal. However, this gives me a long-overdue French land bridge to Galicia and by taking Savoie, I ensure that the next time Savoy gets in my way, I will be able to vassalise or annex them outright.
The price is 104% Overextension and a frightfull amount of AE.

At least, repaying the loan I got for Versailles is not a problem now that I have 1200 ducats in the bank.

I don’t have enough Admin Points to core everything, so Savoie has to wait a couple of months. Austria demands the Imperial lands back, but I refuse.

Sierra Leone becomes self-sustaining and Spain enters a coalition against me. Haven’t had one of those in a while.

The OE costs me another point of stability in an event (there goes Paris again!) and I figure that it is only a matter of time until Austria and Great Britain join the coalition, but I have found my second breath. Let them come! I will destroy any who oppose me!

See you next time!
 
Last edited:

volksmarschall

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Well, looks like the Ottomans have carved out, just about their historical borders by the look of things!

Also, very good victory over Spain! I suppose this is, just like at Rocroi, the event that will put them on the backburner and cement your position in Europe. I doubt you'll have to worry about Spain to your south any further? And looking at the map, good for Baden!
 

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Well, looks like the Ottomans have carved out, just about their historical borders by the look of things!

Also, very good victory over Spain! I suppose this is, just like at Rocroi, the event that will put them on the backburner and cement your position in Europe. I doubt you'll have to worry about Spain to your south any further? And looking at the map, good for Baden!
Algiers is still around, and it encompasses both Algiers and Morocco, so the Ottomans still have some work to do, but since they have been sworn allies for the past 150 years or so, I doubt that it will happen.
As for Spain, I checked before my last save. They are back up to 62 regiments, but their MP pool has taken a nose dive (18,000). It is going to take them a while to recover.

Good catch on Baden. They have been like this for several decades now. The only province they lost is Alsace, which, obviously, I had to get.

For those of you keeping count: historically, the province Savoie was split with Sardinia-Piedmont (I think) in the Vicky-era, but since I can't split a province, I had to take it whole.
 

volksmarschall

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Algiers is still around, and it encompasses both Algiers and Morocco, so the Ottomans still have some work to do, but since they have been sworn allies for the past 150 years or so, I doubt that it will happen.
As for Spain, I checked before my last save. They are back up to 62 regiments, but their MP pool has taken a nose dive (18,000). It is going to take them a while to recover.

Good catch on Baden. They have been like this for several decades now. The only province they lost is Alsace, which, obviously, I had to get.

For those of you keeping count: historically, the province Savoie was split with Sardinia-Piedmont (I think) in the Vicky-era, but since I can't split a province, I had to take it whole.
I always get a nice kick when I notice a small minor AI doing decently well for itself, all things considered. Especially the 1 or 2 province minors compared to the minor/regional powers, say, like Bavaria or Bohemia, not quite a "Great Power," not really deserving of the "minor power" status either.

Over so many EUIV games, I've learned, always being confused why my manpower in a deadly war drops to >1000 while the enemy is still in the tens of thousands, mercenaries are actually not that bad of a gig all things considered. It saves manpower, saves money (in peacetime -- just disband them after), and its now how I play. 18,000 for Spain still isn't too bad, but I doubt, after your thrashing of them, they'll be a serious problem for you, if not more than just an annoyance nuisance. Do you also have the second largest flee in Europe now? I presume England/GB would be #1, Spain probably #2, but after the war, it seems like you may have overtaken them?
 

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I always get a nice kick when I notice a small minor AI doing decently well for itself, all things considered. Especially the 1 or 2 province minors compared to the minor/regional powers, say, like Bavaria or Bohemia, not quite a "Great Power," not really deserving of the "minor power" status either.

Over so many EUIV games, I've learned, always being confused why my manpower in a deadly war drops to >1000 while the enemy is still in the tens of thousands, mercenaries are actually not that bad of a gig all things considered. It saves manpower, saves money (in peacetime -- just disband them after), and its now how I play. 18,000 for Spain still isn't too bad, but I doubt, after your thrashing of them, they'll be a serious problem for you, if not more than just an annoyance nuisance. Do you also have the second largest flee in Europe now? I presume England/GB would be #1, Spain probably #2, but after the war, it seems like you may have overtaken them?
ok, let's talk possible strategies.

attacking GB won't upset the HRE too much, but there is the little matter of their naval mobility.
Spain is under a truce, so maybe now wouldn't be the worst time to go after Austria. They have Poland, I have Russia. They have a 6-5-?-? general, I have double the numbers. If I were to win, it would have to be without getting anymore AE or OE in the peace deal. Cut them down to size.
Portugal's only ally right now is Viyajagara, and I do have a land connection to them. There is a definitive possibility there, but I would have to get more troops to the colonies first.
And we still have Venice. If I grab all their lands, using the current rules, that would put a serious dent in the Austrian economy.

As you see, my options are many. "We are legion" and all that.
Then there is Sweden, who owns practically all of Scandinavia, and who is someone to watch carefully. No doubt Russia will call me in at some point to hit them hard.
 

loup99

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Good that you did that Versailles thing as it can lead to interesting and prestigious events, if I remember correctly. Austria was a very ungrateful ally so they or the HRE can be a good target for the end game. Maybe you should try to get to (when your are no longer over extended) India to form some trade companies?
 
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misterbean

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Good that you did that Versailles thing as it can lead to interesting and prestigious events, if I remember correctly. Austria was a very ungrateful ally so they or the HRE can be a good target for the end game. Maybe you should try to get to when your are no longer over extended India to form some trade companies?
That might not be such a bad plan, actually, to get more money coming in before going to war again. Something I hadn't even considered, TBH.
 

loup99

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That might not be such a bad plan, actually, to get more money coming in before going to war again. Something I hadn't even considered, TBH.
It would be historical too as France had some Indian enclaves before the disastrous Seven Years War and later regained parts of them in American Independance War to finally loose them in 1947 with the formation of the independant India.
 

misterbean

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It would be historical too as France had some Indian enclaves before the disastrous Seven Years War and later regained parts of them in American Independance War to finally loose them in 1947 with the formation of the independant India.
I had no idea they had colonies in India proper. Good to know.

You got your war with Spain in the end :) And at this point you should be able to withstand pretty much any coalition anyway. I vote for India too. Just be careful with your precious navy :eek:
Yes, I did get it and it helped to solidify my hold on Bordeaux. As for the navy, I will never learn to tick that box that makes them dock in event of war, I'm afraid.