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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Hallon

Second Lieutenant
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I like to take my time playing Europa Universalis, and prefer focusing on my economy rather than constant wars. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot more of the use of ducats and monarch points, and this is the result of that. How I turned this:

ny1444.png


Into this:

ny1805.png


The game started as any other English game by conquering Ireland and Scotland, and rounding out the 1400s by forcing France into a PU. 1500 – 1700 was mostly spent colonizing and conquering Africa. In the early 1700s I enforced PUs on Spain and Russia, and got a bonus PU on Circassia. After that I focused on India and China (Mingplosion had already happened).

Monarch points

I spent a total of 51 097 ADM points, 42 521 DIP points and 38 387 MIL points throughout the game, excluding points lost in events.

The breakdown is as follows:
  • Coring: 20 467
  • Technologies: 11 379
  • Ideas: 10 711
  • Developing: 7183
  • Stability: 1299
  • Parliamentary debates: 58
I abandoned expansion ideas to make room for humanist ideas, which added about 2000 points.

points - adm.png

  • Technologies: 13 934
  • Developing: 11 181
  • Integrating subjects: 5908
  • Ideas: 5112
  • Peace deals: 4444
  • Expelling minorities: 920
  • Leaders: 478
  • Promoting cultures: 375
  • Reducing liberty desire: 135
  • Parliamentary debates: 34
I never liked to use DIP points to pay for peace deals, but it turns out it’s only 10% of the total. Expelling minorities definitely doesn’t feel worth doing, except in very niche situations. Subject integration is a bit off due to temporary modifiers.

points - dip.png

  • Technologies: 14 091
  • Developing: 12 383
  • Ideas: 7228
  • Leaders: 2361
  • Strengthening government: 1317
  • Wall breaches: 859
  • Harsh treatment: 103
  • Reducing liberty desire: 72
  • Attacking natives: 49
  • Parliamentary debates: 43
  • Forced march: 41
  • Assaulting forts: 5
I normally use more points to harsh treament to increase absolutism, but I was capped at 70. I forgot to write down the cost of a few early parliamentary debates, but the amount was insignificant.

points - mil.png


Development

England starts with 333 development in 1444, I had 782 in 1560, 1048 in 1574, and after that it developed like this and ended at 12 336:

Development over time.png


The integration of France finished in 1650 and Spain was integrated in 1805. In 1805 my subjects had a total development of 8776.

Along with conquests and subject integration, I also developed a fair bit myself, in total 30 747 points:

Development.png


Technology

Besides the early game I typically teched up as soon as the ahead of time penalty went away. This is where most of my developing happened, while waiting for the penalty to expire.

Teching costs and timings looked like this:

Tech.png


Ideas

My tech order was Economic > Exploration > Expansion > Defensive > Humanist > Administrative > Offensive > Quality > Trade. I abandoned the expansion ideas at the end of the 1600s as almost everything had been colonized at that point, and I needed room for the Humanist ideas.

Idea timings:

Ideas.png


Coring

In terms of coring it's pretty easy to see that I barely did any conquest at all in the first 100 years, but sped things up towards the end.

coring.png


Said conquest resulted in the follow corruption costs:

corruption.png


Monarch point income

My average ruler was a bit above average, close to 3/3/3, but I did have some good ones (Frederick I <3).

rulers.png


I upgraded to level 5 advisors in the middle of the campaign:

advisors over time.png


The advisors were really cheap at the end thanks to a 30% advisors discount (the Meritocratic Recruitment reform, the Jane Austen event and the fur trade bonus, all giving -10%).

Colonies

In the past I’ve focused much more on the colonization of the Americas, but this campaign I only solidified the Thirteen Colonies and Newfoundland, and then went after Africa and South East Asia.

This resulted in Portugal and Spain going hard in the Americas, and I could essentially stop colonizing before the end of the 1600s, which allowed me to drop Expansion ideas. Afterwards I conquered Portugal and integrated Spain, getting their colonies for free.

colony maintenance.png


Buildings and trade company investments

I didn’t expect to see that buildings cost as much as they do, a total of 1 672 179 ducats, but that’s in part due to trade investments costing 515 000 ducats, which I have not played too much with

The total costs break down like this:
  • Trade investments: 515 000
  • Manufactories: 399 605
  • Workshops: 354 872
  • Churches: 130 337
  • Universities: 91 190
  • Forts: 82 605
  • Conscription centers: 52 348
  • Marketplaces: 35 683
  • Centers of Trade: 30 320
  • Barracks: 28 926
  • Grand shipyards: 20 095
  • Courthouses: 6641
  • Drydocks: 4400
  • Furnaces: 3827
I was running out of buildings to build in the 1700s, so I started to build courthouses, naval and force limit buildings to burn money.

1800.png


The breakdown of each century looks like this:

1400.png


1500.png


1600.png


1700.png


Military

This is how the military expanded over time, mostly to avoid the time penalties of transporting troops from Europe to Asia to Africa.

military.png


This is how the army distribution shifted over time:

army1.png
army2.png
army3.png
army4.png


And the navy:

s1.png


s2.png


s3.png


s4.png


Income

So what fueled all of this? The income of course:

total income and expenses.png

income close up.png


Above 100 income in 1540, above 500 in 1618 and above 1000 in 1662.


Stability


I see a lot of talk about stability, and how it’s impossible to keep it high. As you can see here I’m keeping at +2 or +3 almost at all time, and all for the low cost of 1299 ADM points. The spikes high spikes in the early 1700s were to recover from -6 stab hits from forcing Spain, and then Russia and Circassia into PUs. And no, I didn’t constantly use the Angelician +stab interaction. In fact I only used it a couple of times, all after the 1700s.

This, and my other games, seem to indicate that being at high stability will promote high stability.

It will of course cost you more ADM, and you’ll be stuck at 0 or +1 if you like to stay above 100% OE in the late game, due to high OE events.

stability over time.png


stability pie.png


Prestige

And while we're at it, prestige is also often talked about, most big hits are due to placating subjects and disinheriting heirs:

Prestige.png


The End

The end of the campaign looks like this, including all the colonies, PUs over Russia and Circassia, as well as the march Kingdom of Naples:

eu4_map_GBR_1805_07_13_1.png


If there's interest I might do another run focused on innovativeness to see how that would affect the end result. Now I’ll leave you with some wise words from an anonymous developer, maybe @Johan ?

pro tip - Copy.png
 

Hallon

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Very nice. I'm curious why you build so many heavy ships in the later part of your campaign. Or did you just get them from integrating your subjects?
Thank you!

Portugal had some annoying fleets around until around 1700, but after that I think I mostly built them to merge with transports fleets, just in case.
 

stnylan

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Very nice, informative, detailed - very detailed - but above all clear breakdown of your game.

Also I hope you have a fortunate and wholesome New Year.