• 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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Epilogue 1.




Ok, so we ended the game in a Personal Union under king Boris II Rurikovich. But let us ignore that for the sake of my ego, shall we?
Fact is that most of the game, I couldn’t afford to have even +2 Advisors, let alone +3. The reason is quite simple, I think: France needed a large army that could be ready at a moment’s notice. This might be different if you’re playing a peaceful trade-colonialisation game. But even then, I can’t imagine ever spending 40 ducats per month on a single advisor.




Diplomacy. We ended the game with a prestige of 92. Not bad for a nation under a PU, right?




Nice income, tax base of 834, no inflation. Having a large number of warships and army are by far the main expenses.




Trade. It is here, more than anywhere else, that France is really dumped on, compared to earlier versions of the game. Because the trade from Africa passes Western Europe first, before going to Bordeaux, France loses a huge amount of potential income. This has been a problem since the start, and it never let up. Note that I had to keep a merchant in Bordeaux to limit the amount of trade lost to competitors. Grabbing all that West-African land really paid off, as did securing the Genoa trade node. But with only about 25% of our income, I feel like it could have gone better. Maybe I should have transferred to Antwerpen after all, but that is a 300 DP investment.




Technology. I did ok, I guess. The main reasons why I didn’t get to 32 Diplo, were our many wars, with a lot of costly peace deals, and the simple fact that every single continental province in France had at least a marketplace. Most had several trade buildings. A couple of them even had Canals and a Road System. And I still could have done it, if I had not chosen Trade ideas.




This brings us seamlessly to the Ideas tab. Offensive, Defensive and Quality, plus an inborn bonus of one kind or another, really is a winning combination. Economic and Administrative Ideas are really useful, but Admin Points are so very important for coring stuff, and they don’t exactly feel glorious. I have to say, that Trade “feels” more useful to me, even though it really isn’t (compare the various “merc” bonuses in the Administrative Group, for instance, which really saved my bacon in that last war against the Empire). I’m just sorry that I didn’t get to finish the group. Guess it’s true what they say: “War is bad for business”.




You will notice that I skipped a tab, but the only thing worth mentioning, is that I did not use any policies, simply becaue I did not feel like I could afford the expense in Monarch Points.
Rebels have been always present. In the next epilogue you’ll see just how many cultures comprise France. It should therefor come as no surprise that I had to use a lot of Military Points to supress the radicals. I must have missed at least 2 Ideas because of it.




Religion. Not much to say here. After the initial religious turmoil, I have never had any real problems here.




The French military is legendary in Europa Universalis, and rightly so. There are very few nations that can go one-on-one against her armies.




My main subjects. Outremer has always been satisfyingly reliable, both as a source of extra troops and income. Speaking of income, if any of the devs were to read this, those incomes could lign up a lot better.




Moving on to the Ledger, here is the countries page, sorted by prestige. Only 4 points seperate France and Russia. Great Britain comes in a close third.




Score, sorted by total score. Again, note Russia and Great Britain in second and third place.




France (blue), Russia (olive green), Great Britain (red), Spain (yellow), Portugal (green) and the Empire (white).




Technology, sorted by Admin Tech. Only Bavaria and 1 or 2 other minors have managed to get all techs maxed out. Naples had not 1 tech maxed out. Note that neither Russia nor the Empire made it to the list, which means they had a maximum Admin Tech of 29. Too many culture conversions? Who knows. Fact is that France is among the top nations.




Catholics come in first, followed by Orthodoxy as a distant second. Sunni is the only islamic religion in the world, while Hindu are still widespread enough to be respectable.




The Franch provinces with the highest tax. In 5th place we have Porto: 5th highest tax, highest production value. One of those provinces that are worth it going to war over. Luxemburg, in the mean time, only has a base tax of 6 ducats, but an actual tax of 16.31 ducats. Quite the catch.

Epilogue 2 will follow shortly. See you then!
 

loup99

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Interesting. A shame though that you did not get "la fille ainé de l'église" 100% catholic.
 
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misterbean

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Interesting. A shame though that you did not get "la fille ainé de l'église" 100% catholic.
Those Mali provinces proved harder to convert than I thought, unfortunately.
 

misterbean

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Epilogue 2.




We start off with the best generals in the world. Stanislav Rumyantsev, you may recall, is the Russian general who came to my help during our war against the Empire. They have another great General in the top-3. Another testament not to take them lightly. Maybe it is good after all, that I didn’t get to fight for France’s Independence.
My current generals are average, by France’s standards, but I still have 3 of them in the top-15.




From 1591 to 1820, France has prospered under the leadership of the Habsburg-dynasty, but, let’s be fair, none of them have been exactly top-notch material. If I had had a 5-5-5 for 40 years, I might have maxed out Diplo Tech as well.




Ok. This is one of those screens we have all been waiting for, hasn’t it?

Well, Russia is number 1, but that’s no surprise. The Ottomans, even though they are by now the Sick Man of Europe, are still a force to be reckoned with.
The Empire is living so far above their standards, in terms of men under arms, that I am wondering if perhaps I missed a war near the end.
In fourth place, we have France. We are not at our force limit because I wanted to declare War Of Independence, so I scrapped some units that were too far out of the way to be picked up in time. I had planned to rebuild them in France proper. On the other hand, for the first time in a long while, France’s MP pool is maxed out. With nearly 458,000 men to spare, and the abiity to call on 16 to 32 mercenary companies at any one time, we just might have made it after all.
Great britain comes in at number 5. That is the advantage of being one of the richest nations on Earth. They can afford to have almost twice the numbers their Force Limit permits. Even for France, that is something to be jealous at.
Spain and Portugal have obviously been rebuilding their army at a tremendous rate.




With 66 Heavy Ships and 119 Light Ships, only 2 nations can really stand up to France’s navy by this point. If the War Of Independence had been fought, they would have been a vital part of my plan. It is very doubtful whether the Empire would have allowed them access, so the Russians would have had to come by sea in order to get to Paris. Even with Scandinavia’s fleet added in, I still would have outnumbered them. We might have been able to sink a whole army of troops on those transports, and all the while, the Warscore would have been ticking in my favour.
Well, we’ll never know now, will we?




France’s armies were in France or en route to France.




Great Britain had the biggest income of the whole world, with a trade income that is more than 5 times that of France. What surprised me, were the meagre winnings (relatively speaking) of the Ottoman Empire. They should, by all accounts, have control of Constantinople, Oman, Egypt and Tunis. How is it possible that they couldn’t capitalize more on that wealth of trade passing through?




Last year’s income breakdown. Production alone encompassed almost half of France’s income.




Some pie charts for you to look at. France's main exports included grain, wine and cloth.
About 25% of our people were Cosmopolitan, about 13% were Lombardian (all those Italian provinces) and 8.5% were Mali descendents. A more wide diversity of cultures is not possible, with people from all over western europe calling France home.




Last year’s expenses broken down for you.




Also very interesting to study, here are the most successful Trade Nodes in the world, sorted by total wealth passing through in one way or another.
The London Node is number one in the world, with more money exchanging hands here than in Novgorod and Samarkand put together.
Lübeck, just about the richest node at the start of the game, finished in a more than respectable 5th place.
Antwerpen and Bordeaux are not even visible in this part of the list. I really should learn how to do better in trade. Maybe something for my next AAR?




On the other hand, France dominated in Ivory, Cloth, Wine, Salt and Naval Supplies. Not too bad.




A look at the current wars. Ming and Japan will cease to exist, I think, while Portugal and Spain have, once again, turned on each other, now that they have nobody else to pick on anymore.




And the final scoreboard. France ended in the top-5 of every major aspect of the game, and, with over 19,000 points, has more than made its mark on history.

Join me next time when we explore what the world of 1821 looks like. Maps galore! See you then!
 

loup99

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Interesting summary, but how did you get English-cultured provinces?
 

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Interesting summary, but how did you get English-cultured provinces?
There are a couple of provinces I conquered in South America that French Guyana wouldn't buy from me, for some reason.
 

misterbean

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Epilogue 3: The World Of 1821.




Well, here she is: the shining blue marble I helped shape.

Britain’s position, strangely enough, is almost the reverse of our timeline. They have Canada and the American midwest, with only a select few colonies elsewhere, while France is the one with the capablity to project power to the 4 corners of the world.

Spain and Portugal never lost their vast colonial empire, which can be attributed mostly to the fact that, for all intents and purposes, their European influence (specifically Spain’s)has been significantly less than OTL.
They hold undisputed command of the Pacific Ocean and South America. Amazingly enough, the Aztecs have survived in TTL, as a protectorate of the Spanish crown.

The Indian subcontinent is united under the flag of Hindustan, while Japan has almost completely been taken over by Spain, and is expected to be fully annexed in the coming decade.

The Ottomans still reign supreme over North Africa and the Arabian peninsula, but they have lost Persia and their influence into the Central Asian region is almost nonexistent. In their stead, the Mughal Empire reigns here and is working to subjugate Baluchistan.

Poland, Lithuania and the Austrian Empire still carry vast power in Europe, but they are completely surrounded by enemies: France, Russia, Scandinavia and the Ottoman Empire ensure they will never be able to spread outside of Europe. It is believed that their downfall is just a matter of time.

And then we have Russia. The Tsar rules the largest empire in the world. Ranging from the outskirts of Europe to the Pacific, with a complete hold over Malaya. Once they complete their takeover of Ming, Manchu is expected to be next. With both their own vast military resources and their new subject of France, there is no telling just how far their influence will reach by the dawn of the 20th century.
They are truly the real winners of the past 400 years.




The religions of the world consist mainly of the various Christian dogmas and the Sunni faith. The Hindu religion still carries a large faith in the Far East, and should not be underestimated.




The world’s trade values have been colour-coded: from lowest to highest, they are dark red, light red, yellow, blue and green. Note the vast wealth of the Chinese region, when compared to Europe, where only England and Paris stand out. This is the biggest financial gain for the Russian empire. With an undisputed hold on the region, enormous wealth is flowing into Moscow.




The Technological mapmode. The Ottoman empire has fallen behind in Administration, but is up-to-date with Diplomatic and Military Technology. To the north of them, Crimea is a backwards nation (20-22-22), who have only managed to survive through their connection with the Ottomans.
Note also the primitive African nations of Ethiopea and Kilwa who have not only managed to survive history intact, but are prospering in their own right.
Hindustan is large, but would not survive a major war against any European power. They are closely linked to Great Britain, but it is doubtful whether that would save them in case of a determined push by Russia or France.




Let us focus on France itself. In North America, the fully westernised Shawnee Nation has been lost as an ally. It is feared that the British will try to use this to their advantage and subjugate our proud friends.
In Africa, Mali has managed to survive by sheer luck. Had France not fallen under Russian dominance, their fate would have been sealed.




The best thing to come out of the Union with Russia, is that it ended centuries of rivalry with the Iberian peninsula. The only one that still truly hates France, is the Empire.




In France itself, the people happily continue with their daily lives, confident in the future and the power of their nation.





Manpower map. As you can see, I have done my best with army buildings, especially in the north of the country. Every province has, at the very least, barracks. Several of them have 3 or even 4 levels of army buildings.




Finally, we have the Accepte Cultures. As I showed you earlier, France consists of a multitude of cultures: from Dutch in the north, to Portugese, Castilian and Catalan in the sourth, from Breton and Norman in the west to Lombardian and Austrian in the east.
Question: do any of you ever go through the effort (not to mention the Monarch Point cost) of culture conversion? If so, what would be the benefit?


The world seen in more detail:
















Conclusion.


As we come to the end of this wild joyride, I am feeling very nostalgic. Looking back at this AAR, it has been a true privilege to play and write. From the earliest start, kicking out the English, through the bloodfued with the Burgundians, that seemed neverending, and the wars against the various European powers, finally managing to find out way into the colonial era (when I started colonising so late, I would never have imagined that we could still have such a vast global empire), and into the (mostly) cold war against Austria and Spain, I have had a blast.

And, of course, I have learned a lot from this AAR.
Writing an AAR gives you an added incentive to keep playing, even when the chips are down and it seems like the whole world is breathing down your neck. When most of my campaigns are limited in duration and scope, your dedication and comments have given me the drive that is sorely lacking in my private games. I thank you all for this.

Did you know, that this campaign, La Douce France, has been my very first Ironman game ever? Well, it was, and it has been a revelation.
On the one hand, there is something to be said for the simple need to accept whatever fate dishes out. Whatever your decisions, there is no turning back, for better and for worse, and this forces you to be very careful.
On the other hand, that is also its main disadvantage. Without the almost divine advantage of being able to reload when a war is going badly, I found myself being a little too careful at times, and a little too cocky at others.
This is more true for an AAR than for anything else. After all, you have a certain responsability to your audience, and the risk of a single corrupted save spelling the early end of your AAR is everpresent.
I don’t know if my next AAR will be Ironman. I don’t know that it will. Both have advantages, so we’ll see when we get there.
Because there will be a next AAR someday soon. Seeing your name as an AARtist, does give one a sense of accomplishment and great satisfaction, especially with a faithful number of readers and commentators.
At one point in the past, I had lost the drive to write. The will to create. This AAR, more than anything else, has allowed me to find that part of myself again. It is wildly exhilirating to post a new chapter every single time.


As for France, I have made some mistakes. It is fairly obvious that neither Portugal, Spain or Great Britain are a match for French military might.
The only two real threats, I feel, for French dominance, are Burgundy and Austria. Burgundy can be dealt with early on. Usually, they will vanish after the last duke has died.
That leaves Austria. I think that, if I were to replay the whole series, I would focus a lot more on taking out Austria early on, before they annex half the HRE and become too big to be safely dealt with. After that, the fractured German states can be dealt with in a much more leisurely pace.
I am terrible at chaining wars. If one were to go for a World Conquest, France would certainly be a prime candidate, but you would need to be able to chain wars together, so that you can systematically take down your biggest enemies in as short a time as possible. Especially where the HRE is concerned, the emperor’s duty to defend the Empire from outside threats would seem to make this frightfully easy in the hands of a true expert.
This is a skill I have yet to master, along with how to dominate trade. In my defense, though, when PI redirected the trade routes towards the Western Europe Trade Node, Bordeaux was hit the worst.

Another thing to consider, is the vast wealth outside of Europe. Maybe France could focus less on wars in Europe and more on gaining territory outside those confines. Who knows how big my empire would have been, if I had taken Exploration as one of my first ideas?

I am sure there are other lessons that I could talk about, but they escape me for the moment.
Like I said, I fully plan to start a new AAR soon. It may be EU4, it may be HOI 3. CK2 and V2 are quite improbable, since I am really bad at both of these games, but never say never.

At any rate, you can be sure to see me again soon. See you then!


The End.
 
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SacredDatura

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It's been a real pleasure to read as well! Your updates are always engaging and very easy to follow (conciseness is underrated). I learned quite a few things about EU4 by reading this AAR, especially earlier on.

I think for AAR-writing, Ironman is, on the balance, not a good idea. Yes, I suppose it removes the urge to reload when you get a real awful defeat, which makes things more interesting for us readers, but it does mean you can't undo just honest mistakes, like unintentionally accepting a white peace or something like that.

Despite the bummer of getting subsumed by Russia right at the end there, I think the AAR actually ended at a very interesting place. I kind of want to know what happens next in a world dominated by the Franco-Russian world empire.
 

loup99

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I not use cultural conversion: it is simply not worth the cost and is only worth it if you have a surplus of diplomatical points. I regret that you did not get: one more spanish province (which would had made the border look a bit better) Castilla la Vieja, the two HRE enclaves in your territory and the benin provinces. Would had been interesting to see what had happened in Victoria 2..

Anyway, thank you for this AAR! It has been a pleasure to follow you along with it and I look forward to your next AAR (maybe not so much if it is HOI though as I do not own it and find it a bit too hard). For ironman, Blackfish is right, it is not the best when writing an AAR as you easily end up with corrupted saves.
 

misterbean

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It's been a real pleasure to read as well! Your updates are always engaging and very easy to follow (conciseness is underrated). I learned quite a few things about EU4 by reading this AAR, especially earlier on.

I think for AAR-writing, Ironman is, on the balance, not a good idea. Yes, I suppose it removes the urge to reload when you get a real awful defeat, which makes things more interesting for us readers, but it does mean you can't undo just honest mistakes, like unintentionally accepting a white peace or something like that.

Despite the bummer of getting subsumed by Russia right at the end there, I think the AAR actually ended at a very interesting place. I kind of want to know what happens next in a world dominated by the Franco-Russian world empire.
I not use cultural conversion: it is simply not worth the cost and is only worth it if you have a surplus of diplomatical points. I regret that you did not get: one more spanish province (which would had made the border look a bit better) Castilla la Vieja, the two HRE enclaves in your territory and the benin provinces. Would had been interesting to see what had happened in Victoria 2..

Anyway, thank you for this AAR! It has been a pleasure to follow you along with it and I look forward to your next AAR (maybe not so much if it is HOI though as I do not own it and find it a bit too hard). For ironman, Blackfish is right, it is not the best when writing an AAR as you easily end up with corrupted saves.
Playing Ironman does make every decision feel more immediate, but in an AAR, not really the best solution. Guess I will have to go for self-discipline from now on.

If the Russians hadn't stepped in when they did, I certainly would have annexed Mali. Who knows what would have happened if Scandinavia hadn't broken the alliance when they did? I just might have been able to make a quick grab of those 2 or 3 provinces.

My next AAR will probably be another EU4 AAR, actually. I have played HOI so often, that it has lost its grandeur for me.
Loup99, maybe HOI 4 might be something for you, as it seems that they are making a real effort to make everything easier to understand this time around.

At any rate, I am going to hold off starting a new one until after AOW has been released. Must be sometime soon now, right?
 

The Number 9

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Thank you for this AAR. It was a real pleasure to follow it. Each upadte was fine to read. I will look forward the next one too, even if it will be from HOI that I do not own (maybe I'll give a try on HOI 4).
 

loup99

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My next AAR will probably be another EU4 AAR, actually. I have played HOI so often, that it has lost its grandeur for me.
Loup99, maybe HOI 4 might be something for you, as it seems that they are making a real effort to make everything easier to understand this time around.

At any rate, I am going to hold off starting a new one until after AOW has been released. Must be sometime soon now, right?
Sometime soon, yes or atleast before Christmas. ;) You might want to play somewhere in the ROTW that is being overhauled? Maybe West Africa or India? And HOI4 does definetly interest me, but I might had been able to get Hoi3 if it wouldn't be knowing that it's sequel is soon-to be released.
 

misterbean

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I did play as Viyajanagar once, but that was 2 expansions and 6 patches ago:p
There's plenty of fun stuff around, but I am thinking that maybe I would try something a little less warlike. Portugal, Spain or England. Definitively a big colonizer. And a naval powerhouse. doesn't leave a whole lot of nations, does it?
 

loup99

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I did play as Viyajanagar once, but that was 2 expansions and 6 patches ago:p
There's plenty of fun stuff around, but I am thinking that maybe I would try something a little less warlike. Portugal, Spain or England. Definitively a big colonizer. And a naval powerhouse. doesn't leave a whole lot of nations, does it?
Britanny? Spain should be funny too with the new expansion and the changes to curia, the reformation and 30 years war mechanism. Castille or any Spanish nation can always get a PU with naples and become an important italian player. Portugal is a bit too isolated to me, but it is of course your choice...
 
Last edited:

misterbean

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Portugal and England are fun nations to play, because it's a whole different vibe, but they might make for boring AARs.
Brittany, huh? Never played them, because of the BBB next door. They do have a nice starting point for heading west,with Brest. Hmmm. Might be doable, if I go completely unhistorical.
 

Hootieleece

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How about a Colonialist Denmark? After inheriting/integrating Norway you would be in a good position to Colonize Canada and Eastern US. Also you would have enough wars to fight in the Baltic to keep an AAR interesting.
 

SacredDatura

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A Timurid game might also be interesting, especially with the area getting such a reworking. A large but fragile empire at the beginning with the potential to head east to India, west to the Levant and south towards Arabia/Africa. The Ottomans will be a threat for a while, and Russia will pretty much always be a match for you unless you specifically work to block their Siberian expansion early on.

I'm also partial to Poland. A decent-sized nation with similarly varied options for expansion, though it doesn't look like AoW is revamping Eastern Europe significantly.
 

loup99

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How about a Colonialist Denmark? After inheriting/integrating Norway you would be in a good position to Colonize Canada and Eastern US. Also you would have enough wars to fight in the Baltic to keep an AAR interesting.
Sweden is even funnier with more events if you want to colonise in the north and have a bit more challenge... (not biased at all) :p
 

misterbean

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How about a Colonialist Denmark? After inheriting/integrating Norway you would be in a good position to Colonize Canada and Eastern US. Also you would have enough wars to fight in the Baltic to keep an AAR interesting.
A Timurid game might also be interesting, especially with the area getting such a reworking. A large but fragile empire at the beginning with the potential to head east to India, west to the Levant and south towards Arabia/Africa. The Ottomans will be a threat for a while, and Russia will pretty much always be a match for you unless you specifically work to block their Siberian expansion early on.

I'm also partial to Poland. A decent-sized nation with similarly varied options for expansion, though it doesn't look like AoW is revamping Eastern Europe significantly.
Sweden is even funnier with more events if you want to colonise in the north and have a bit more challenge... (not biased at all) :p
Good suggestions all.

I have in the past dabbled a bit with the Timurids, and I think that forming the Mughals will not be so easy anymore. Good challenge, different feel.

Poland sounds interesting. Elective Monarchy, Lithuania, the Teutons, and Russia, of course. Plenty of warfare, and at least I wouldn't have to worry so much about a navy.

Sweden is a fun nation to play. I did manage to break free and take over most of Norway and Denmark once. A definite possibility for (late) colonialism into Canada and beyond.
 

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Great reading and learning material, misterbean. It was a joy to follow.

Please post a notice in this topic for a new AAR, as I intend to follow that too, whatever you choose to play. :)