• 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

misterbean

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I just wanted to let you know that I have finished the game. Judging from the number of screenshots, I think 2 or 3 chapters and 2 chapters of epilogue.
 

loup99

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I just wanted to let you know that I have finished the game. Judging from the number of screenshots, I think 2 or 3 chapters and 2 chapters of epilogue.
Wonderful! I'm looking forward to see the final chapters and then if you plan on doing another eventual paradox AAR.
 

misterbean

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Wonderful! I'm looking forward to see the final chapters and then if you plan on doing another eventual paradox AAR.
I do. I had forgotten how much it strokes my fragile ego to see my name as an authAAR. :D
 

misterbean

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Chapter 43: The Empire Strikes back.

(You know I just HAD to make that reference at least once, right?)


We have a regency, so that is a perfect time to try something I have never pulled off before. I start to support rebels in Münster. It won’t pan out, though. No rebels will spawn, and my envoy will eventually get discovered and deported.
I realise I have the Empire set as a rival, but haven’t embargoed them yet. At least that is easily taken care of.




In April, 1787, the Shawnee manage to get fully westernised, and we immediately sign an alliance. There is no chance of a RM, though, and they are too big to vassalise anyway. But it’s nice to have an extra ace up your sleeve. You never know when you will need one.

Another ace might be Scandinavia. In August of 1788, they agree to an alliance and a Royal Marriage. With them and Russia, I can feel pretty secure in the future.




Time ticks by. It takes me until 1790 until Liège trusts me enough to sign an alliance. A stately gift of 175 ducats, a wedding and some prodding later, they are my newest vassal. This does put me over my limit, but in ten years time, that will be resolved.




I get regular Trade Booms throughout the rest of the game, which means that, most of the time, I am running trade at a very sweet 10% bonus.

Great Britain, now a Constitutional Republic, still considers me a rival. If I can shake that, that will be one less enemy to contend with. I send a diplomat to the court of president Richard York. Can you believe that? They may have lost the monarchy ages ago, but somehow, they have managed to keep hold of the reigns all this time.

Ming loses a bunch of provinces to Russia again, and is now confined to the southern coastline of China. Taiwan, by the way, is in the hands of the British.




7 may, 1792. Diplo Tech 29.





A little over a month later, a new king is crowned. Louis XVI. Yeah, that’s right. It is the 1790s, and we have a French king Louis XVI. How cool is that? Let’s hope he doesn’t end under the guillotine, like the RL one did.

In september of 1792, the Ashanti gently remind me that our truce is up, by embargoeing france. That little, backwards OPM in the middle of French West Africa thinks to embargo me? I do a quick check. They have no allies. None. How sweet.




While the Armee d’Afrique sieges their capital, and deals with some rebels, I get a new mission: protect against the Empire. They have an army of 239 regiments! Time to spend some money on extra units in France.
The Ashanti are annexed in July the following year.
Mali, however, is more lucky. They have joined a coalition that consists, among others, of Kilwa and Poland. Now, I hear what you’re thinking. Those are not the kind of nations I should fear. Kilwa, however, is allied to both Great Britain and Poland is allied to the Empire. So they manage to survive.




Oops. I think it’s time to get the men back home. I have a feeling I am going to need them.

My ships have barely left port when the call to arms follows. France is at war with the Empire, Spain, Naples and Portugal.

My Carribean fleet captures a single enemy trade ship, while my main fleet, en route to South America, smashes into a 33-ship Spanish trade fleet and sinks them all without losing to much as a single transport.

In the mean time, I move my 3 armies towards former Savoy. If I can make it there first, I might be able to stall them long enough in the Alps.




The first battle of the war ends in a victory, but there are 60 enemy regiments in Piedmont, commanded by the Napoli general, and 32 Imperial regiments in Lombardia. I will have to be very careful or I will be overwhelmed.




I have never zoomed in so close on a naval battle, but I must admit, those models really are quite impressive; at times, you can see the muzzle flashes when they fire their cannons at each other.
Unfortunately, the arrival of a large Portugese warfleet will sink most of my ships before I can respond.




What started out as a small skirmish between 2 armies, ended up being a huge conflagration that sends my armies running all the way to Paris. Time to hire mercs. Lots and lots of mercs.




3 months pass. My army manages to destroy the siege force in Dauphiné, but the presence of a huge enemy force nearby, forces me to turn back around to Paris. I am going to let them reinforce for a while, and hire more mercs.

The Portugese and Spanish are starting ot occupy my Iberian holdings, but there is nothing I can do about that now. I am trying to keep my army intact, aiming for small, isolated groups whenever possible.
However, the fleet has finally returned. After sinking a bunch of Spanish ships, they land 27 regiments, who were being run ragged in French Guyana, in Sardinia. From there, they can easily cross the straight to undefended Corsica and begin the siege.

By oktober, 1795, I have finally managed to get my troops in a defensible position, occupying the mountainous provinces of Wallis, Piedmont and Dauphiné. A perfect little triangle with easy reinforcement capabilities.
The sheer number of enemy forces surging all around me, however, is both breathtaking and really, really frightening.




An army of 135 regiments tries to dislodge my army in Wallis, and I am forced to send everyone into the fray. Fighting a defensive battle in the mountains with a general who has excellent Maneuver gives me great odds of coming out on top. It is still very close, however, as the Empire seems to have a neverending supply of extra armies to send in.
Thank God that the Iberians are sticking to “their own” provinces.
It is still a battle that will break the back of one of us.
The Russians are sieging Korea with about 60 regiments, and the Scandinavian army is up in North-Eastern Europe. I am alone.




The battle lasts just 9 days short of 3 months. A total of 219,309 enemies were send in. Standing against them were 136,449 French soldiers.
Only 101,524 enemies survive the battle. France is left holding the field, now securely in the hands of the surviving 89,336 heroes.
164,898 Men will never return home again. Note also the fact that the enemy lost almost all their cavalry, while I “only” lost little over half. I didn’t lose a single cannon, clearly indicating that my frontline never wavered.

After that, I get rid of the closest enemy troops in Bern and begint to lay siege to former Savoy. Corsica is fully occupied, and I ship the army to the mainland.




This is what the situation looked like most of the time. I have split the men into 3 large armies. The cowardly Empire no longer seems capable or willing to engage me head-on. What’s more, 12,000 Russian troops have finally found their way to France and are liberating Lombardia.
In Africa, Cameroon is occupied, and my fleet, now free from transport duty, begins sinking Spanish ships left, right and center.

60,000 Russians are sieging former Bohemian and Bavarian provinces.
I still count 164 regiments all around me, having fled the Russian steamroller.




Another massive battle that ends in shining victory, this time under the command of a Russian general.




I wanted to show you that the Empire was ready to cave in to our demands, never intending to let them get away so easily.
Then, in order to prove that I really am a supremely stupid scatter-brain, I click the “Accept” button instead of “Decline”…

To be continued!
 
Last edited:

misterbean

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Chapter 44: Going Out In A Blaze Of Glory.

After raging against myself for an hour or so, I decide to do what I would normally never do. However, the fact that the Empire is quite weak at the moment, and the late date, coupled with the huge amount of losses we have suffered in the war, makes me feel like Ihave no choice.

I break the truce.

I spend a ton of Admin and Diplo Points on stability and reducing war exhaustion, and then realise that there is one good thing to go with all the bad: all the enemy sieges are rendered null and void, and their armies are forced to go back home first, before trying again.

The only really dangerous part? I am now in a war against Spain, Portugal and the Empire alone. Success or failure will completely depend on how long the Scandinavians will continue their war.

I send my 3 armies to begin laying siege to Savoy again, and send my ships to land a fresh force in Sardinia again.




My hopes are quicly dashed. On the 1st of September, 1798, the Empire signs a peace deal with Scandinavia, and I am on my own. Let’s just hope that I can end it quickly.




On the 12th of December, the Ottoman Empire judges their neighbour too weak to put up much of fight, and declare their own war, eagre to get their own piece of the pudding.

This helps a lot, as most of the enemy forces turn towards their new foe. I don’t see a single battle.

By July, 1800, I unlock levée En Masse. That 50% bonus will be more than welcome, as a higher MP maximum, means more reinforcements per month. Remarkably enough, I still have over 89,000 MP in reserve after all that fighting.




I decide to cut my losses and run by march, 1801, because I can see the enemy gathering strength again just a couple of provinces away, while the Spanish and Portugese are about to cross over into France proper. It’s too bad I couldn’t take Cameroon a second time, but a Portugese army of 50 regiments meant I had to hide my army deep in the African interior.

With peace reigning again, I can finally begin integrating Liège, which finishes in 1802.
My new provinces are cored in 1803.

Ming once again loses a ton of provinces to Russia.

Most of my time is spend waiting to repay the 3 loans I incurred during the last war. Each of them is about 1900 ducats worth, so in total that is a big ticket. I am in luck a couple of times, when random events land me the opportunity to score hundreds of ducats on several occasions.

Of course, being a truce breaker does very little for our international credibility. This is proven when Naples joins the coalition against me.




The Ottomans bit off more than they could chew and end up paying the price of Austrian frustration.

Februari, 1805. Military Tech level 31.




Great Britain thought they could do what the Russians have been doing for the past century, but Ming proves that it still has teeth.

By September, 1805, my last loan has been repaid. I am once again debt-free.
This means that I have plenty of money coming in, so I decide to spend it on strengthening the navy, building a total of over 50 trade ships.




By may, 1806, I get Administrative Tech level 31.




Chocolate and wine lead to lower revolt risk. Who knew that easy access to luxury goods could make people happy?

Diplomatic Tech level 30 is achieved in 1807.




Algiers loses a war against the Ottomans alongside the Mughals. I lose an ally in Africa.

For no discernible reason, Scandinavia breaks off the alliance with France, citing “too many great power allies”. Too bad.

My next Admin Tech level is 10 years ahead of time. I have nothing else to spend my points on, and a ton of money, so I start building 20 or so government buildings.

December, 1812. Diplomatic Tech level 31.

The king dies on the 15th of May, 1813.

Then, 1 year later, in 1814, king Charles dies unexpectedly before his 30th birthday. The results are dramatic.




This is a huge bummer for me. After all the victories against any and all of our foes.
After building a global empire surpassed only by a few.
After 370 years of struggle, sweat, tears and bloodshed.
This will be how I end the game? Really???

I will freely admit, that I would have reloaded an old save right there, if it hadn’t been an Ironman game.
What an anti-climax.

But this is France. We have not lost a war in the past 300 years. We have never given in to frustration and defeat.
We are at war against Spain.
Spain, who, for the past 300 years, have send one pirate fleet after another against our peaceful trade ships.
Spain, who has united all of my enemies, because they were jealous of our success.
Spain, who wants to take this one, final chance at destroying French pride.
No, I say.
If France is to be someone’s subject, then let it be a respected ally and strong friend, but not Spain.
Never Spain.

We are at war, my friends. The last war of our glorious history!
Let’s make this a war to be proud of! Let Spain rue the day, they learned the word “France”!!!




The first battle of the war, is less of a success, mostly because, for once, the Spanish army moves faster than mine do, even at forced march.




When my other armies arrive on the scene, however, things turn out slightly different. Note that I was attacking into the mountains, but the Spanish forgot to bring their general.




Portugal gets called in. Good. Twice the vengeance! And I am in the right mood to crush some skulls right now!




This fight was more to do some recon than anything else. My main force is heading to relieve the sieges of Léon and Galicia.




It comes to a major clash in Burgos. Once again, we are victorious. At this point, my more logical half is starting to kick in, and I realise that it might have been better to let Spain win. Given how weak they have always been in a straight-up fight, getting our independence back would be easier than getting it back from Russia.
But after 350 years of bad blood, you can’t really expect me to listen to something so silly as sound strategy, can you?
Let this end!




While I am fighting, here is a look at my Ideas in June, 1816.




My navy is also out for blood: by the end of this war, the Spanish armada will be reduced to 2 transport ships.
Two. Transport.Ships.
Sweet, sweet revenge, how I love you!




The final peace deal of the game. As a Christmas present, Russia indulges French bloodlust and completely wrecks Spain. That, at least, gives me some comfort.




The final screenshot of the game (sniff sniff). With less than a year to go, I achieve final results in both Admin Tech and Military Tech.

I will have you know, that I was pulling every last soldier back to France when the game ended. Had it lasted just 1 year longer, I would have ended the game the same way I began it: in a war for independence. Alas, it was not meant to be, it seems.

Next time: the first part of my epilogue. See you then!
 

SacredDatura

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The Entente in another form, I suppose! Those HRE numbers in the last war were chilling, even after mauling them their armies were still bigger than yours. It really is a shame though that the game is ending. A war of independence against Russia or even another HRE war would have been cool to see.
 

misterbean

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The Entente in another form, I suppose! Those HRE numbers in the last war were chilling, even after mauling them their armies were still bigger than yours. It really is a shame though that the game is ending. A war of independence against Russia or even another HRE war would have been cool to see.
Yeah, I know. I had not taken the time to and from India and the Phillipines into account. Had I known that it would take so long to make the round trip, I would probably just have deleted the soldiers and trained new regiments in France.
As for the HRE, those are mostly HRE troops, but there are at least 30 Napolitaner regiments in there somewhere too. There is a reason why I ended it as fast as I could.
 

loup99

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You had a lot of luck with the Ottomans in the begining of the second update and it was good that you peaced out early even if your borders did not get completely fixed. :p Weird for Scandinavia: I thought that "too many great power allies" modifier was no longer affecting long-term alliances with relations over 100 between two "great powers". I loved the part of the update where you decided to fight for the union with Russsia: it was great words to start a last war to end a truly glorious campaign, even if it was not the last war we (or atleast I) expected, but I guess you had bad luck with dynasties since the beginning with a Habsburgs on your throne since a while.

Also I would like to thank you as I did in the begining, for proving that the BBB (France) can be played and even written about in an AAR in this game without it being a cakewalk and hopefuly more people than before in the EU4 AAR forums will follow your example and dare to play with the bigger nations in gameplay AAR's and not only the Albania's or Ryukyu's. ;)
 
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misterbean

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Glad to see my beloved Austria survived and flourished (to an extent).
Quick! someone get my Spymaster...oops, wrong game. :rofl:

You had a lot of luck with the Ottomans in the begining of the second update and it was good that you peaced out early even if your borders did not get completely fixed. :p Weird for Scandinavia: I thought that "too many great power allies" modifier was no longer affecting long-term alliances with relations over 100 between two "great powers". I loved the part of the update where you decided to fight for the union with Russsia: it was great words to start a last war to end a truly glorious campaign, even if it was not the last war we (or atleast I) expected, but I guess you had bad luck with dynasties since the beginning with a Habsburgs on your throne since a while.

Also I would like to thank you as I did in the begining, for proving that the BBB (France) can be played and even written about in an AAR in this game without it being a cakewalk and hopefuly more people than before in the EU4 AAR forums will follow your example and dare to play with the bigger nations in gameplay AAR's and not only the Albania's or Ryukyu's. ;)
The Ottos saved my bacon on more than one occasion through the ages with timely DoWs.

Don't understand the Sweden issue either. I restarted the game minutes before (after diner), so maybe some modifier failed to kick in on time? Whatever the case, they later did DoW the HRE, and won a minor victory. If my prestige would have been higher, maybe there wouldn't have been a PU?
As for playing/AARing France, I want to leave something for the final conclusion, but I have had a blast with them. I can see how an experienced player might go on a WC with them, or just focus on trade and stuff.

Glad you liked it.

edited to add: how did you guys like my double-header back-to-back grand finale?
 

loup99

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The PU in this case was not affected by your prestige, it was tied to the prestige/legitmacy of your potential union leaders (Russia and Spain).

Quick! someon get my Spymaster...oops, wrong game. :rofl:
A hint for a future paradox AAR by you? ;)
 

misterbean

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The PU in this case was not affected by your prestige, it was tied to the prestige/legitmacy of your potential union leaders (Russia and Spain).




A hint for a future paradox AAR by you? ;)
ok, thank you. Those things always confuse the heck out of me.

hah! That would be a short one. I love CK2. I adore the mix of RPG and Grand Strategy, but I s**k at it. I don't think I have ever been able to survive beyond my 3rd generation or so. Maybe someday, after a lot of practice.

Any chance you take this to V2?
I there were a decent mod for transfering my game to V2, I might even consider it. Still a bit sore about that PU.
 

loup99

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I there were a decent mod for transfering my game to V2, I might even consider it. Still a bit sore about that PU.
There is this but for POP's it requires a decent amount of work.
 

metalinvader665

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I've been following this one for months. It's kinda weird to see it end, especially in such a strange way (under the Russian thumb?). I'd have loved to see how you could beat someone as strong as the Russians.

Of course, you wouldn't have had all these issues if you'd just let the revolutionaries win a few chapters ago!
 

misterbean

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I've been following this one for months. It's kinda weird to see it end, especially in such a strange way (under the Russian thumb?). I'd have loved to see how you could beat someone as strong as the Russians.

Of course, you wouldn't have had all these issues if you'd just let the revolutionaries win a few chapters ago!
I am glad you enjoyed it. Beating the Russians would have depended on a couple of things:

1) Their inability to gain military access through the HRE, which would force them to come by boat.
2) If I could keep my navy alive, and together, I could take them out piece-meal.
3) In a War Of Independence, time is on my side. "All" I would have to do, is keep control of Paris to have a ticking warscore in my favour.
4) eventually, I might have been able to land in Scandinavia, who would almost certainly have been called to arms, and take them out of the equation, or, after their navy has been sunk, land a large contingent in Malaya, where I could find some bad terrain behind a river, and let them run themselves into the ground.

Yeah, those revolutionaries. I asked in the Quick Questions-thread, and a more experienced player than me, assured me that going republican would have weakened France. If so, maybe the war against the HRE would have gone entirely different too. I mean, I got the warning a few years ago. I checked, Charles was 22 when he ascended the throne. Who could have predicted that he'd kick the bucket so soon?
 

loup99

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Against the Russians you could had used the "Support Independance" diplomatic action as you might even had had a possibility to align the HRE, Spain or the Ottomans on your side as it is in their interest to avoid a big Russian blobb.
 
Last edited:

misterbean

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Against the Russians you could had used the "Support Independance" diplomatic action as you might even had had a possibility to align the HRE, Spasin or the Ottomans on your side as it is in their interest to avoid a big Russian blobb.
I checked. Nobody would have supported me.
 

loup99

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I checked. Nobody would have supported me.
Feels a bit weird as the AI does have an interest in having you liberated, that mechanic should be relooked at by the devs.
 

misterbean

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Feels a bit weird as the AI does have an interest in having you liberated, that mechanic should be relooked at by the devs.
Playing the devil's advocate here, but you have to realise that just a few years prior, France had broken a truce with the HRE. You don't do that lightly in EU 4. Let's say that they were more afraid of a free France than an expanded Russia.