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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

misterbean

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Darn. I of course meant to type perfidious Spain instead of France.
Don't worry about it. I knew what you meant and I agree: it is always great fun to take your biggest rivals down a notch.
 
Last edited:

misterbean

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Chapter 34: The trouble with Colonial Nations.




I am going to be honest: I have always been jealous of England’s ability to go wherever they want through the power of the Royal Navy. I want that. After last chapter, I think it is fairly obvious that there are very few nations who can survive a 1-on-1 encounter with France on land.
They only thing that is keeping me from becoming a true superpower, is the most powerful navy on Earth.
I will never have the biggest one, because of my naval force limit, but I can have the most powerful one.

Next Diplomatic Tech level will give me the most powerful ships in the game: Threedeckers. That’s what I want. But they cost an arm and a leg to build and maintain.
I have no choice but to wait for that tech.
By the same token, Austria’s ability to keep those reforms coming is starting to become a little worrisome. I shudder to think what will happen if they manage to pull it through to the unification of the Empire.



After giving it some thought, I decide to end my rivalry with Great Britain. Instead, I rival Austria, who might be a bigger problem waiting to happen. Further clashes between us are inevitable.
Note also that the game calculates the Ottoman army as 12% weaker than mine, even though they are bigger.

With Cahokia, I grab the last possible colony for France on the entire American continent. There are some African and Oceanic colonies still possible. I start in Africa, with Wogodugu. This gives me a bigger border with Mali, who has a couple of gold mines I would like very much.

The “National Bank is in Trouble” event gives me a choice between losing 2180 ducats or gaining 3 inflation. I have only 666 ducats, and I don’t want a new loan, so I go for the inflation and burn some Admin Points to get rid of most of it.




Russia is at war with Ming and gives me a very impressive display of power.

June, 1705. Portugese Mexico and New Spain go to war. This will eventually draw both their overlords in. Good for me. It prevents them from getting an alliance going.




Napels makes a grab for Corsica alongside Spain, and ends up at war with Austria and friends.
What is more disconcerting, however, is that I got no notification that Outremer is at war against The Thirteen Colonies. This is one of those instances where I question the historical validity of Colonial Nations. I can’t imagine a colonial governor to declare war by themselves, without prior written consent of the royal court.
I don’t know if I have said it before, but I preferred the good old days where colonies were yours. You decided when, or if, you went to war against another nation over their colonies. And I think you got more money out of it as well. Money, in game as well as real life, makes the world turn round. And it pays for a humongous army and navy.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitive benefits as well. Less micro being one of them, obviously, but still…

Time to reinforce them, before I get pulled in. With my Grain Depot finished, I can train an extra dozen regiments. I will send those the America, where they can join up with the 10,000 men I still have in the area.

Austria wants military access. Of course, I deny them. After all, they are my rival now. In the middle of August, Savoy honours their alliance with Napels.




My men are just about ready to ship overseas, but I never get the chance. Of course, the first thing GB does, is to plant a giant death stack in front of Poitou. There goes my opportunity. Why didn’t the game warn me? I have the messages set to pop up and pause whenever any nation goes to war. Maybe I clicked it away by accident.

At first, it looks like Outremer’s 18 regiments, together with my 10 regiments, will be strong enough to pull it off. Then, Britain lands 30 regiments in the south. And 18 more a couple of days later. I get cut off after a couple of battles and decide to disband the regiments, rather than suffer defeat at the hands of the English.




I colonise part of New Guinea. Spain has the other colonies, on the other side of the jungles and the mountains, but you never know when it may come in handy to have a base in the general area.

I grab the Quality Idea that gives me better naval morale in January, 1706.




This is a perfect shot of the British blockades. I will eventually try to break through in the Channel, trying to draw that doom stack away, but I will lose a bunch of Light Ships and the damnable fleet never even moved.
I land in the Maldives, an island chain in the middle between Kilwa and India, at the cost of a bunch of ships, but that is the extend of my involvement.




The king is dead, long live the king.
In the mean time, Outremer manages to hold their own. They have gone from -8 WS to +9 WS by this point.




Outremer and French Louisiana get into a border dispute. The king’s first official business is to sort out their differences for them at the cost of 50 DP. Aah, kids. Don’t you love them?

By August, 1708, Outremer, by this point fighting on their own, has managed to reach a staggering 11% WS.




By all rights, we should have lost this war. The mere fact that I can pull this rabbit out of the hat, is nothing short of miraculous.

A bountiful harvest gives me 569 ducats, enough to pay off my last debt.


By January, 1709, only Spain and Savoy remain in the coalition. Things are looking up.




Russia declares war on the Uzbeks, and I find myself at war with the Ottomans. We will finally get a showdown between the three largest armies in the world, where 826,379 men go at each other’s throats.
Remarkably enough, or perhaps because they hate the Ottomans even more than they hate me, Austria gives me military access and my entire army marches to war.




I win a battle where the Ottomans have massed too many cannons in one place. This is the only really big battle I got involved in during the whole war. I guess the Russians had them more spooked than I did.

In other news, I finally decide to grab the last colony on the island of Madagascar. You never know when it will come in handy.




Portugal wins the war against Spain in may, 1713. It would seem that Spain has managed to outpace itself. Hausa, right next to one of my African colonies, is independent again. And has no allies. Hmm.

I get a claim on Mali, who has westernised.

There is not really much to tell about the war against the Ottomans, as most of my forces are sieging their European holdings. I can’t cross the Bosporus due to the Crimean fleet blocking the straight, so I have send 80,000 men to take the detour around the Black Sea.

Miltary Tech 25 in january, 1714 means better artillery.




By oktober that year, we win the war. My men can finally come home again.
I send an army to West Africa and declare war on Mali.




Since everyone is starting to relax again where France is concerned, I play the diplomatic card.

The Malinese army is still no match for French steel. Neither is their navy. It is fun to finally be on the other side of the medal for a change.




September, 1718. Austria creeps a little closer to becoming very, very scary. I will have to do something about them some day.




Mali finally gives in. They had level-5 forts in some of those places, and those are a b***h to siege. But I got what I wanted. One of their gold mines is now property of the French royal court.

Hausa will be next, but that will be for next chapter. See you then!
 

loup99

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Less micro with CN's, no way! If you conquer any native they are not going to be able to control the land and you are forced to leave a 20 regiment in the new world. Great to see that the French Empire now stretches over 6 continents!

Just a minor note too: You seem to always write "oktober", isn't it spelled "october" in English (for me it is fine though as I'm half-swedish ;) )?
 

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Less micro with CN's, no way! If you conquer any native they are not going to be able to control the land and you are forced to leave a 20 regiment in the new world. Great to see that the French Empire now stretches over 6 continents!

Just a minor note too: You seem to always write "oktober", isn't it spelled "october" in English (for me it is fine though as I'm half-swedish ;) )?
It is written as October in English, but as Oktober in Dutch. Good catch!
As for the CNs, I meant that, this way, at least, you don't have to spend Monarch Points to improve local infrastructure. Personally, I much prefer the old system, even though it might make getting 100% WS against the overlord even harder if you don't have a proper navy.
 

misterbean

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Chapter 35: Target Practice.


As previously discussed, I am planning to build a huge combat navy. That is where the Malinese gold mine came in. For the past 10 years or so, I have avoided spending any more money than I have to. This means that, at the start of this chapter, I have over 3000 ducats sitting in the treasury, waiting for the day when I will have Diplo Tech 25.

In the mean time, I fake a claim on Austria, and extend my global reach.
Case in fact: Hausa. This two-province minor is sitting on the West African coast, between me and a Portugese colony. They will have to go.

Before I can do that, however, I unlock Naval Drill. This Quality Idea gives me 5% bonus on Navy Morale Recovery. Lacking naval ideas, this will come in very handy, I think.

The war against Hausa started on 20th of September, 1720. It was not so much a war, actually, as it was a training mission for new recruits. No allies, a tiny army, 2 provinces. Easy pickings.

In the meantime, Scandinavia is making another pass at Poland, along with Russia. This time, Poland gets help from Portugal, Austria, and a bunch of HRE princes, Lüneburg among them. I can’t help but wonder as I write this, how high the Scandinavian AE is. These guys don’t let up.

I grab another African colony, thereby connecting Ivory Coast with Whydah.




Crete declares its independence from the Ottomans. They must really have been weakened in our war to let that happen.
More importantly, I finally get Diplomatic Tech 25. I waste no time starting a massive shipbuilding program. Have I mentioned before what great fun it is to have such a long coastline? When they are done, I will have a grand total of 61 Heavy Ships, most of them modern Threedeckers. Even Great Britain doesn’t have that many heavy Ships.
Of course, the price for these shipsis just as huge. My monthly income will drop to a mere 11 or ducats. Will they be worth it? I like to think so.

The rest of the money is used to build a Glorious Monument, an Admiralty and a Royal Palace.

Hausa is annexed in Oktober, 1721, giving me the freedom to move my troops around with relative ease.




While I wait for my cores to finish, the ships are done. Combined with the light ships, I can now field a huge navy. Then I realise that, for all intents and purposes, I have little experience in effectively waging war on a global level in EU 4.
I really should find a practice target.




Vijayanagar should do nicely as a first test.

My last Twodeckers (11 of them) are still good enough to escort the transports from Ceylon. The initial landing is unopposed. They have only 8 regiments in the Southern half of the country, completely seperated from the rest by Hindustan, who obligingly give me military access.

Spain leaves the coalition against me at last.




As you can see, Vijayanagar is not really equipped to deal with European aggression. They are only Tech level 20 and they don’t seem to have that much Manpower to spare. The army in the picture is full infantry. Maybe money is the issue, as well. Whatever the case, the war is a walkover.




Lithuania gives up Grodno to Russia when it peaces out of the war and Hungary breaks free from Ottoman oppression. It won’t last: by the end of this chapter, the Ottos will have restored “order” and annexed both Serbia and Hungary again. Still, it is perhaps a sign of things to come. Are they turning into the Sick Man of Europe? One can only hope.
The massive troop deployment of Scandinavia and Russia is truly a sight to behold. The fact that they are plowing through Austria, is only the icing on the cake.
You may notice that there are Austrians sitting in Tirol. That is normal. Tirol is still a HRE province, after all and the emperor can freely enter all HRE lands when at war with an outsider.




A nice little victory, and the South Indian Trade Company becomes more than a bit richer.

But they were not really what I had in mind as target practice. In preparation, I move 36 regiments to South America, and bring the total forces in Africa up to over 30 as well.
This takes a lot longer than expected, but with these sailing vessels, you cannot expect them to cross the Atlantic in a couple of weeks, like you can in Hearts Of Iron.
What I wouldn’t give for Béarn, Dunkerque and a couple of destroyers right now. I could probably sink the entire Royal Navy with just those 2 ships.
Sweet dreams…

Then, in June, 1727, I am ready for a real test. Time to declare war.




As usual, the French army outclasses the Portugese defenders. I smash them around a couple of times at home and start carpet sieging the place.
At the same time, I invade Portugese Brazil and launch an attack on their African colonies. The Asian holdings will have to wait until I can move the fleet there to protect my landings.




Aah, sweet, sweet revenge for all those times someone with an actual navy sank my trade fleets. Now I dominate at sea, as well as on land.

There was very little opposition. I think that I got most of their troops in Europe itself. Portugese Brazil tried to put up a fight, but in the end, they too fell short, and were fully occupied.

I failed to take any screenshots of the war, for which I do apologize. In my defense, I was too focused on what my fleet was doing.

But, in short, after running clear across the Portugese in Brazil and Africa, I send my now huge navy (I like the sound of that) to the other side of the world. They pick up the troops in India and launch an invasion of the Phillipines. Then, picking them up, I put in a secondary landing in Brunei, who are Portugal’s Malayan ally.




I didn’t have to make the effort. With only a Warscore of 82 or so, Portugal begs for mercy, and I grab a couple of colonies all over the world and give Algiers their land back. It’s an expensive peace deal, but well worth it. The global French holdings gow, and I fullfill my mission to get a foothold in the Spice Islands. I could have taken more, but I don’t want to push my AE and OE to the breaking point.

So there you have it. A war unlike any I ever fought before. Now, to be honest, I was surprised to find Portugal’s naval response so lackluster. Brunei had, according to the ledger, 23 heavy ships of their own. Ten again, when faced with 62 heavies, what can you do? The same thing I always did: park them in your ports and wait out the storm.
If I ever get into a major war against, say, the British, I cannot expect them to cave so easily.
In all, I am quite happy with the performance of my navy and I hope this marks the end of British undisputed leadership in the world’s oceans.

Then comes the pain of it all: finding my troops again, and making sure they are all collected and accounted for.




While I am still working on that, I get a random event. I decide to go for the 2.5 Mercantilism. The alternatives were 10 Prestige and legitimacy (not really an issue right now) or lose 2.5 Mercantilism while winning 190 ducats.

In March, 1733, I get a new Mitary Tech, and, with it, new infantry and cavalry. I opt for the Blue Coat Infantry (a nicely balanced unit) and Reformed Latin Hussars for cavalry.




Social Reforms. Who knows? Maybe the peasants will love me enough not to revolt. The money is more than a little welcome. I am losing almost 14 ducats per month now. Such is the price of war, I guess. Well, until I get done coring my new holdings, I don’t plan on going to war anyway. I can safely reduce my military spending.







The French empire in May, 1733.


A random event gives me a claim on Trier. A nice little bonus to keep in mind.




Well, that was unexpected. Four years of Regency follow. I do hope the AI doesn’t decide now is the time to strike.




Algiers loves me so much, after giving them all that land back, that they ask for an alliance, which I accept, with some reserve. They have had a falling out with the Ottomans, and I think I could use that to my advantage.




In march, 1735, I get this little gem. No more slavery in France. All colonies previously “fabricating” slaves, will now produce something else. One of my African colonies even turns up an old gold mine. What is the real gem, though, is the bonus on technology and stability.

The last thing I did, was to unlock Diplo Tech 26, which increases colonial growth by +25. Not very helpful, since most potential colonies are taken or out of my reach, but it is nice to have.

Well, that is all for today. Next time, we will sit out the regency, and, who knows? Maybe Austria after that? See you then!
 

AdamonEU4

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Wow I just read through this whole AAR today and I have to say it is great, I'm definitely looking out for every entry. Just wondering, have you upped the tariffs in your colonies at all, they can produce quite a bit of juicy extra income actually, also I suggest taking trade as one of your last idea groups, those extra merchants could really link up a huge trade route from your colonies to your home node bringing in loads of income.

Anyway keep it up.:D
 

misterbean

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Wow I just read through this whole AAR today and I have to say it is great, I'm definitely looking out for every entry. Just wondering, have you upped the tariffs in your colonies at all, they can produce quite a bit of juicy extra income actually, also I suggest taking trade as one of your last idea groups, those extra merchants could really link up a huge trade route from your colonies to your home node bringing in loads of income.

Anyway keep it up.:D
Marathon read, huh? Awesome! Welcome to France :)

I haven't decided what my last 2 Idea groups will be. Trade will probably be one of them, now that I have stuff coming in from all over the world. I have not increased tariffs. I do get random events giving me the choice between increased tariffs or 50 Monarch Points for all 3 groups. I always go for the MP. Maybe I could increase tariffs to help finance my armed forces. Good suggestion.
 

volksmarschall

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Freedom to the serfs! The Revolution calls all to great freedom now, instead of a Habsburg Princess getting her head whacked off, a Habsburg King of France can now! :p (Not that I would want to see that happen to you in the game, although, it would certainly add a certain historicity to the game and AAR instead of just a monarchical rule!

Looks like the Ottomans have been enjoying the rise of France on the other side of Europe!
 

misterbean

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Freedom to the serfs! The Revolution calls all to great freedom now, instead of a Habsburg Princess getting her head whacked off, a Habsburg King of France can now! :p (Not that I would want to see that happen to you in the game, although, it would certainly add a certain historicity to the game and AAR instead of just a monarchical rule!

Looks like the Ottomans have been enjoying the rise of France on the other side of Europe!
In all honesty, I don't know what the exact effects of La Revolution would be in game terms, so it might actually be beneficial in some way.
As for the Ottos, with the way things are going, I have no doubt that we will eventually clash again. I'm just sorry Russia didn't guarantee Serbia or Hungary. oh, well.
 

Mr. Slade

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The trouble with colonial nations... is that they're filled with colonists!

Great read, btw.
 

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Why can't you match the British fleet? I find it is fairly easy even as France to build a number of heavy warships to easily crush their forces.
 

misterbean

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The trouble with colonial nations... is that they're filled with colonists!

Great read, btw.
Thank you.

Why can't you match the British fleet? I find it is fairly easy even as France to build a number of heavy warships to easily crush their forces.
Yeah, I read another thread in EU 4 forum where many people were saying that. I must be having this 1 exception to the rule, then, because up to this point, neither Spain, nor Portugal, or myself, have been able to upset them. Now, though, with 62 threedeckers, I am hoping to change that.
The couple of times when we have clashed, my ships were obsolete, or too spread out, or they had a great admiral. Plus, obviously, they have full Naval Ideas. I do not.
 

BogMod

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Obsolete will do it...but numbers with an admiral and you can usually do it. I tend to have my heavy ships sitting in one place nearby so as soon as war breaks out I can have them move out and ravage the seas. Keep them from gathering their own forces. Still good luck!
 

loup99

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La France règne sur les mers! Funny to se that very little Crete tesxt behind the huge Ottoman letters. The French Revolution would definetly be favorable , atleast if you can turn into a Revolutionary Empire.
 

misterbean

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La France règne sur les mers! Funny to se that very little Crete tesxt behind the huge Ottoman letters. The French Revolution would definetly be favorable , atleast if you can turn into a Revolutionary Empire.
That would be something. Which makes me wonder: is there a Napoleon-event? If so, do I need Corsica to get him?
 

loup99

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That would be something. Which makes me wonder: is there a Napoleon-event? If so, do I need Corsica to get him?
Not sure, but I think that you should conquer it to be on the safe side. ;) Historically it was bought by the king Louis XV in 1769 out of the republic of Genoa.
 

misterbean

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Not sure, but I think that you should conquer it to be on the safe side. ;) Historically it was bought by the king Louis XV in 1769 out of the republic of Genoa.
ok, so I still have time. I can't believe I forgot Corsica. Even without L'Empereur, it's part of today's France, so it should have been taken long time ago.
 

loup99

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ok, so I still have time. I can't believe I forgot Corsica. Even without L'Empereur, it's part of today's France, so it should have been taken long time ago.
The same with Savoy, but it was IRL aquired through a referendum in 1860 after Napoleon III's war against Austria during the formation of Italy.
 
Last edited:

misterbean

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The same with Savoy, but it was IRL aquired through a referendum in 1860 after Napoleons war against Austria during the formation of Italy.
Well, that's Vicky 2, then. So I am off the hook on that one :laugh:

TBH, I was intending to do something about that Savoy anyway. It bugs me that they have managed to survive for so long. Next chance I get, after the regency (I hope).
 

GreatUberGeek

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Abolishing slavery??? Don't you know, there'll be a revolt in Haiti! :eek: