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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

mechanical_Critter

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Played on eu4 1.29,

Common Sense
Mandate of Heaven
Wealth of Nations
Dharma
Art of War
Cossacks
Third Rome
Cradle of Civilisation

Normal difficulty

Ressources

Full album of screenshots

Reddit post
Cross post

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This campaign was initially a test for Oirat's capabilities, obviously bolstered in the 1.29 patch. I wanted to test all that, and after a few years it turned into instead a rush towards the restoration of the Mongol Empire. I had a soft goal of 1544 (100 years to restore it), turns out in rushing to meet that time near the end of it, I accidentally overshot at little bit.

Needless to say, this isn't by any mean an optimal campaign. It was played with no restarts no exploits and no savescums (edit: also, no loans and no debase) mostly in the same relaxed way as it started. A better played, a more dedicated player, one with a better plan, or all of the above, will certainly have a good shot at not only beating this, but even do much better. It is my personal belief that it's possible to accomplish this before 1500. It should be much, much harder to accomplish.



========================


No books were read in this run:



Opening moves:

First, I became a Ming tributary. I never actually paid the tribute, of course, but this enabled me to go deal with the hordes on the west first. I rivalled Chagatai and Uzbek. Unluckily for me, Uzbek allied Kazan and Nogai, so when I declared on Chagatai (+ ally Uzbek) I didn't book Uzbek's as a cobelligerent. I took his money, but I took 75% of Chagatai (and his 25% money). Funnily, Uzbek is still alive, and got a magnificent wannabe Timur the Lame with excellent stats:



At this point, Ming had broken the tribute, and the truce is about to run out. But I was fully prepared for war. It is very crucial to always dow for the Mandate of Heaven CB and nothing else. With the events that benefit Oirat in 1.29, this war is rather trivial to win. To give you a perspective, the Nomadic Frontier disaster never fired, because the wars were just too one sided… Find straggler stacks to stackwipe, find the emperor or his heir and win, then go to Beijing and siege them down to get a free combo deal with an occupation on all the north of China (minus the 3 provinces that Mongolia has cores on, sad).

I took Beijing, his money (only gold, not war reps), and Shun's cores -1, taking the Mongolian provinces too (took them for myself, razed them then gave them back to Mongolia). I razed everything, destroyed all forts, and

I released Shun, and put it as a march. Releasing Shun ensure that all the events involving Shun and the rebellions will not fire. I'm really, really not sure it's the best but I haven't tried the other path.

Ming was at that point rebel factory. There were way too many Jin rebels so I decided to release Jin from my lands so they wouldn't bother me too much.

After I quickly killed Korchin (took the money of his allies as always) I turned my attention to Ming again. Truce is FAAAAR from running out, but my cores are finished, so I took the opportunity to kill Kara Del / Sarig Yogir, calling in Ming. Took Ming money (at this point he was bankrupt, but still not exploding past the nations he had already spat) and that reset the truce, killed those, then killed Yi and an OPM Xi with tons of cores. I released Xi and marched him.



This is after the third war on Ming, which was even easier than the previous war. I took his money again, I'm sitting at a very comfortable 5k gold. In hindsight, this is a justification to tackle Ming after you've dealt with the western hordes: I didn't have any downtime, and I was very happy to be able to chain 3 wars against him before the Bank of Ming™ was closed.

This position is not without issues though. Due to having 4 vassals, I've got some liberty desire issues (therefore my prestige isn't at 100), and integrating Mongolia is taking so long (it will be ongoing until 1468ish). In hindsight, it might be perfectly valid to take their cores for yourself instead of giving them back to the vassals.

Lastly, my next move was to finish off Chagatai. I got the combo deal of Yarkand with it (for entirely free since I was annexing their overlord), which also explains why that first war is imo rather efficient.

Next, to form Yuan I only needed to have no EoC existing, and to be an Empire (if I didn't care about giving up horde, I could have simply take the mandate, and seize the provinces needed from my vassals). So here my plan was to… wait ^^ Ming was bankrupt, sitting at zero mandate for a while, so after cleaning up Xi's cores, I decided that maybe Ming would collapse on its own and give way to a smaller EoC that I could in turn full annex immediately. Which didn't happen for a long while, so there's definitely some improvement possible here. First, I took the time to consolidate:



Obviously the goal is to reform MGE so I needed to make my way on the west. I was rather careful to not take any useless lands in Asia, so that moving the capital in Europe could be done later simply by virtue of having more dev there (complying with the handbook's instructions!)



In 1497 I was able to form Yuan. One of the revolter tag had taken EoC from Ming and I could fully annex them.
Interestingly, I still didn't meet emperorship threshold when I killed the EoC, so I had to eat a bit more land before upgrading my gov and forming Yuan (therefore the coring in progress is not in China).

If you look closely, where was my vassal Jin I don't have full cores. It's because annexing them was 480 points and would have taken an eternity… so I broke vassalisation with Jin, waited for the truce to be over and full annexed them the old fashion way.

While consolidating and rushing down the West, I would basically follow the same two principle everywhere: raze everything, take everyone's money. War reparations being only worthy on secondary war participants. I even got a lucky event encouraging me in this path of naughtiness



Still, despite all that gold influx, a horde economy is very strongly geared to have a big deficit. This is why the early Ming wars are so important, never again will you find such opportunities to fill your coffers for later expansion. I paid down inflation when adm points were finally flooding, but I was still surprise to see my budget not in a deficit in one month. Probably due to tributary money, but I'll take it!



In that respect, the Beijing trade node is an excellent one. While I didn't fully use its potential, having only 2 merchants, I was able to recognise that instead of steering all the nodes feeding into it, one could make them feed each other and slowly spiral down Beijing: Girin (which feeds into Beijing) -> Korea -> Yuangzhou (which feeds into Beijing) -> Xian -> Beijing provides a natural configuration extremely beneficial to snowball one's trade.

Anyway, after some consolidation I was able to round up all the provinces, but I was left in 1530 with an overgrown Timurids despite already two wars. I decided to go for the most aggressive strategy to round them up in time. First, I declared on them, took their money and as much land as possible. Without waiting for any coring to complete, I broke the truce and declared again. This time, I took only lands. Namely, all the Persia region. That enabled me to release by decision the Ilkhanate, and to have all my rebellions quenched. I trucebroke immediately again as almost no coring was in progress, and took the rest of the Khorasan region.

A few maps to complete the post:








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Idea groups:

1. Humanist -> very obviously, for rebel management. This idea group is exceptionally good for hordes and allows you to conquer without really slowing down. Also as a horde it's completely fine to take an adm group first while going ham, razing provides you with the adm points to do so. Having 20% CCR in traditions help.
2. Admin -> CCR% to shorten the coring cycle. The rest isn't too bad either.
3. Influence. In hindsight, this was a huge misplay, as I should definitely have gone for Diplomatic. Diplomatic allows for easier trucebreaks, the province warscore is exceptionally good when you already have a -40% modifier. I went for it to ease the diplomatic annexion of the vassals, in a second part where I'd move my capital to Europe.
 
Last edited:

akngn

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First, I became a Ming tributary. I never actually paid the tribute, of course, but this enabled me to go deal with the hordes on the west first
Interesting. I opened my Oirat campaign with a war with Ming. Recruited some cavalry from tribes estated and rest is all known. I went to deal with western hordes later (mainly for Yarkand gold mine).

I wonder what happens if your can get your old ruler dead and get that 20% morale 25% siege ability modifier with a young ruler now.

the Nomadic Frontier disaster never fired, because the wars were just too one sided…
Yeap, never managed to fire the disaster. Wars ended too fast.

I decided that maybe Ming would collapse on its own and give way to a smaller EoC that I could in turn full annex immediately. Which didn't happen for a long while, so there's definitely some improvement possible here. First, I took the time to consolidate:
My Ming exploded rapidly. I had to deal with some alliance networks. I am not sure which one would be faster though. It is much faster to finish wars against a crippled Ming.

Obviously the goal is to reform MGE so I needed to make my way on the west. I was rather careful to not take any useless lands in Asia, so that moving the capital in Europe could be done later simply by virtue of having more dev there (complying with the handbook's instructions!)
I bumrushed South East Asia and from there India on my run so my capital was locked in Asia for whole run. Tried to relocate it to America for true one tag but for some reason game decided Pegu was a good place for new capital.

First, I declared on them, took their money and as much land as possible. Without waiting for any coring to complete, I broke the truce and declared again. This time, I took only lands. Namely, all the Persia region. That enabled me to release by decision the Ilkhanate, and to have all my rebellions quenched. I trucebroke immediately again as almost no coring was in progress, and took the rest of the Khorasan region.
Congratulations for giving this decision a purpose. Persia becomes my powerbase for most of my campaign so I never want to release it. This was very neat.

3. Influence. In hindsight, this was a huge misplay, as I should definitely have gone for Diplomatic. Diplomatic allows for easier trucebreaks, the province warscore is exceptionally good when you already have a -40% modifier. I went for it to ease the diplomatic annexion of the vassals, in a second part where I'd move my capital to Europe.
I don't I take this idea since idea group nerfs. It become really niche. Even start where I fair bit of vassal feeding I am much happier with Diplo.

How far are you to finish mission tree? Oirat has two very strong permanent modifiers and if you also got them this might be a very smooth run from where you left. I was conquering without a though (mostly following the AE to avoid coalition) when I finally hit the Europe I was holding whole South East Asia and India. I liked your expansion path better.
 

mechanical_Critter

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I wonder what happens if your can get your old ruler dead and get that 20% morale 25% siege ability modifier with a young ruler now.
I think that's a good point. Esen Tesai is ~50 and is a general, so definitely at dying risk. Luckily for me, he didn't die at an critical moment (he lived through the siege of Beijing and even the next war). In fact he lived quite a long life. Very fortunate for me.

My Ming exploded rapidly. I had to deal with some alliance networks. I am not sure which one would be faster though. It is much faster to finish wars against a crippled Ming.
My Ming spat 2 nations after/during the first war (broke when we peaced out) then a few other tags… but it was way slower than I had anticipated. Allowed me to bank a bit more cash, definitely favourable in that regard.

As for alliances networks, I had a bit of trouble with Ottomans allying Muscovy, in hindsight I could have just sep peaced Otto with trib release, but I wanted his money ^^

How far are you to finish mission tree? Oirat has two very strong permanent modifiers and if you also got them this might be a very smooth run from where you left. I was conquering without a though (mostly following the AE to avoid coalition) when I finally hit the Europe I was holding whole South East Asia and India. I liked your expansion path better.
I made sure to get all claims as you see, and the province WS. I'm of course far off getting the Yam restored.

For capital relocation purposes, it says I have 400 dev in Europe and 1400 in Asia. I messed up a bit in the Caucasus, which I thought was in Europe. But actually only SOME of it is in Europe :l
 

mechanical_Critter

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All in all very impressive! Is your realm stable now? And is the income situation better (6k bank, but still) or will you rely further upon war economy?
I used that gold to build a bunch of manufactories, together with the generic mission usage. I don't think it's gonna be enough but - I didn't need a single loan so far! something that I should mention ^^