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Khan of the Crimea
Oct 21, 2002
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In this post: the beginning of Part I of my mini-AAR. The second half of Part I will be posted immediately afterwards. Coming later: Part II, and possibly screenshots! I apologize for the lack of screenies, but at the time only Print Screen was available to me, and when I alt+tabbed out of the game it crashed. I didn't want to take any chances. I've now downloaded a handy freeware app Kevyinus pointed out to me, and I may go back, start a new game as Milan, and take some quick screens of various game features. Enjoy the AAR! :)

- - -

For my first spin in the EUIII demo I chose Milan 1492, a handy medium-sized nation with a center of trade, three universities [a type of manufactory], and a strategic location for dominating the Mediterranean. I have three mainland provinces, centered on Milan and Genoa, plus the isle of Corsica. I also start with one advisor, who boosts my production tech research by a few ducats every month.

I begin by checking out the interface, paging through menus, toying with all the fiddly bits, and figuring out how the game works. Then I decide what gameplay path to take. I have a truce with Venice which will last five years, but unsure what this means and sure Venice hates my guts, I decide to spend those five years preparing for war should they choose to jump on me after the time is up. I ally Mantua and Modena, and also engage in royal marriages with them and with Sicily (which includes Naples) too. Tuscany is allied to Venice, so I ignore them. Urbino, a dinky land along the opposite Italian coast between Venice and Sicily, offers a royal marriage and I accept.

I notice I only have 45 ducats, and spend them chucking merchants into my center of trade, into Venice's, and off to Portugal. They spend much of the rest of the game quietly dropping out without telling me, before I remember the place in Game Settings where I can have the game let me know when this happens. My money mainly flows into research, though, and I reap huge rewards. By the time I had to quit in 1498, I had level 7 government, production, and naval tech, among other things.

I hired two more advisors. One added to my government tech, but one (a philosopher named Ponce de Leon) added each year to my prestige. For those who haven't played, prestige is like EUII's victory points: the sum total which comes out of good gameplay and ranks you against the European greats. I started with 2 prestige, but Ponce de Leon gradually began to build this number up.
 

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Khan of the Crimea
Oct 21, 2002
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In this post: The rest of Part I. Part II to be posted later

I bided my time fiddling with sliders and controls just to see what happened after hiring Ponce, until my allies summoned me to fight against one-province Urbino. I had a royal marriage with Urbino, but Sicily and Modena are bigger and I'm not dumb. My army arrived just in time to join the assault against the little dukedom's capital - which fell to my non-friend, Tuscany. Here, gentlemen, is an example of how EUIII's complex series of alliances can cause World War I-style madness. Tuscany had declared war on Urbino (or the other way around, I don't know) and brought ally Siena into the fight. Then Siena dragged in Sicily, who dragged in me.

[Another gameplay note: the computer now guesses at your odds when you're about to send a diplomatic proposal. I wanted to ally with Siena, but the window said the odds were "impossible". Never mind!]

Tuscany annexed Urbino, so I had to ask them and subsequently Modena for military access, so I could get my little army (3,000) back to Milan. Little armies are, thankfully, the rule in EUIII. Everyone is familiar with some Medieval: Total War-style game they played where their armies were larger than the total medieval population of London, but in EUIII, at least around 1500, an army of 4,000 is pretty darn big. In fact, I don't see any reason for getting a much larger army than that. Cool beans! :cool: Even cooler beans: you can change your army's name if you so choose.

Sometime after Tuscany annexed Urbino I reached government tech 5. When you reach an odd-numbered gov tech, you can pick a new National Idea, or basically a big friendly bonus. I contemplated "Quest for the New World", which would give me the ability to buy explorers and conquistadors, but I instead chose "Patron of the Arts", which gave me a 2% prestige increase every month. My prestige began climbing, and without having expanded at all in military terms, I soon found myself in the world's top 20.

I also found myself with about 100 ducats, so in about 1495 I sent a colonist to an unoccupied African province (forgot the name - just south of Morocco, produces grain). Success! The next year he was followed by another going to a province farther south with ivory (forgot the name again - two to the right of Sierra Leone, which was a French colony in my game). But then my king died and was replaced by a regent council while the heir grew up. I discovered (this is a neat idea!) that I had to reinitiate all my royal marriages. Then I sent off merchants after finally realizing they'd all been competed out of their markets.

Now it was 1497, five years after game start. My truce with Venice was nearly up. It was time for ... war.

Coming soon: The second and final part of my demo mini-AAR! :) Find out how I get in a war, how I fare, and ... why the word Papacy is in the title of this AAR :cool:
 

Stuyvesant

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Thanks for whetting the appetite! Not that I was ever considering NOT buying it when it comes out, but it's nice to see some more details about the actual game play. :) Since it is the area you're playing in, I wonder how many countries/provinces there are in Italy? The existence of Urbino suggests there's more to Italy than in EU2.
 

Henning

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Yeah EU3 AAR:s :D Soon they'll be all over the place. :D
Will you make a full AAR after game release?
 

billy bob

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Nice. Could you give a screenie or two? :D
 

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Khan of the Crimea
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Hey everybody, glad you're reading! Guess what I have - screenshots!:

milanstartor6.jpg


This is Milan's starting position. Three mainland provinces - Lombardia, Liguria, and Parma - all with university manufactories [denoted, I think, by the little round buildings with the red roofs that are next to the cities], and the island of Corsica. I have a fairly sizeable navy of galleys and cogs in Liguria's harbor, plus an army of 3,000 in my capital city. Neighbors: Savoy, Switzerland, Venice, Mantua, Modena. You can also see parts of France, Austria, and Tuscany.

milankingme8.jpg


Milan's court at the start of the game. Giovanni Galeazzo is clearly not too gifted at war (note the scores are out of ten not five, though - I think he's either a three or a four), but he's a great diplomat - which explains the success of my strategy in Part I! Check out the Great Men box to see what you can do with these guys. Besides these tech investors there are philosophers, diplomats, artists, monks, and others. Also note my starting stability was +1, and that capital cities are denoted by little, hard-to-see crowns on top of the flags.

Sorry about the quality - they were saved as JPG once, then I edited them and they got re-JPGed so they do not look as good as the real game. As for the graphics, I don't care much since my engine can handle them; they aren't gorgeous but they serve their purpose and I really didn't pay too much interest to them at all.

Stuyvesant - Italian countries in my game: Milan, Mantua, Venice, Modena, Siena, Tuscany, Papal States, Urbino, Sicily. Genoa existed in 1453 (when I exited it said that my king before gamestart had conquered Genoa, which is an odd thing for it to say but whatever...). I can't say about the provinces not visible in this screenie ... would have to go back.

Henning - Yeah, looks like I'm going to be writing a lot more AARs of this game :D . I've done a lot of EUII AARs too, and there's a link to a Victoria one in my sig, though it doesn't tell much about gameplay ... yet.
 

Need_87

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billy bob said:
Nice. Could you give a screenie or two? :D

...or more? :D
 

AmbassadeBelgie

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Good stuff! EUIII, I'm drooling**
 

unmerged(11600)

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[homer]hmmmm, donAARs![/homer]

Can't wait to get to play the game myself!

-Pat
 

Dr. Zoidberg

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An AAR from my boss?! Awesome :D
 

Snake IV

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Demo AAR, nice.

A screen of Italy maybe would be good for those that doesn't know how it look.
 

stnylan

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Excellent to see EU3 has coaxed you back into the market-place, so to speak :)

Nice early going.
 

Sling Shot

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Hajji Giray I said:
<snip>
Genoa existed in 1453 (when I exited it said that my king before gamestart had conquered Genoa, which is an odd thing for it to say but whatever...).
<snip>
That's because each country has a history file.

Good luck anyhow!
This reminds me of the demAAR I was planning as France. My goals were to become Holy Roman Emperor and Papal Controller before the game ended.
I got so caught up in the game that I forgot to take notes and screenies. :eek:o
 

unmerged(59737)

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In my Milan game I vassalized Savoy on the first try. Perhaps you should try it on a few members of your alliance; surely they could use Milan’s solid hand at the tiller? ;)
 

unfoundlime

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I played as Milan in my 1st demo game as well, I was able to ally with Austria right off the bat. Austria made me the 8th HRE elector within the 1st year without anything more than an alliance, and royal marrage.
 

coz1

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Looking good, Hajji. Can you explain again about having to re-up on your RMs? I didn't quite understand that.

Excellent explanations of the gameplay and nicely written thus far! Keep it up.
 

unmerged(11366)

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coz1 said:
Looking good, Hajji. Can you explain again about having to re-up on your RMs? I didn't quite understand that.
Sure! I found that, after my king had died, I no longer had any royal marriages. I clicked on Modena and then Mantua (and Savoy? think so) and offered them royal marriages again - they accepted, and relations were back to normal. :) Now that I think about it, this scheme actually doesn't make too much sense, but whatever ...

I'll soon have the second and final part up, and then will go in and take a screen of Italy. It's really cool to read your comments, Fulcrumvale and unfoundlime: seems like a lot of people chose Milan for their first game, and we all came up with different strategies. Becoming an HRE elector in one year is really something else! For some reason in this game I had a paralyzing fear of war, so I just spent my time diplomatizing :)p) and trading, until finally - well you'll read that part in my next post.

By the way, thanks for the explanation, Slingshot. Sorry to hear about your demAAR :D - it would have been interesting! Ah, well. You learned that it's an awesome game, eh??!