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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Shinkuro Yukinari

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I'm the only one feeling the need to share his games, but whatever.
This one was really enjoyable.
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Just in time.
I had to do two trucebreaks, but one of them was to get the Jolofian provinces in Guinea who were not needed and i could probably have avoided the other one if I played better. I also took the time to integrate my vassals, to have this nice looking little blue nation. The colour, the flag, everything is adorable. I have 95 core provinces before 1500 but I can't get more, so no "Big Light Blue Blob" today.

That's not especially hard once you did the initial expansion and can take on anyone alone, but god how hard it is to get to that point. There is a lot of luck involved with the alliances, you can't wait for someone to dishonor, you have to chain wars literally all the time. This is my fifth attempt after several deadlocked ones or mistakes from my part, and several restarts to get good inital setups.

The dynamic of the region was super enjoyable, a lot of action, similar sized nations, different alliance webs every time, very similar to India except it's a lot smaller so a lot faster to unify. I had played as Songhai and Mali before, but playing an OPM in that situation is really super fun.

I'm really tempted to do a real Dahomey run, or to play as another minor there. I killed this one to get the achievement, unfortunately:
rSmRhL0.jpg

I think I've never had that kind of tech, even as an American nation.

Good point is that does not prevent me from being a GP:
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I honestly think I never expanded that fast and that agressively before, even for the real "Big Blue Blob". It puts things in perspective. I multiplied my country by more than 200 in a mere 50 years. That was... intense. :p
Tips? I mean, you are kinda in a pickle with this one
 

Sfan

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My three best runs (and the final one) have been with that initial setup and the same path: Ally Mossi, Benin and Zazzau, rival Oyo and Dagbon, have Oyo only ally Dagbon. Get diprep as your fetishist cult.
I could declare on Oyo, with only Dagbon as their ally. I've encountered two options: either Mossi and Benin are willing to join, or Zazzau and Benin are willing to join, call them in with promess of territory. Give the southeast province to Benin so they border Nupe, the northern provicne to Zazzau or Mossi, get the other two, you now border Nupe too. Full annex Dagbon (either as non cobelligerant, or cobelligerant if they had no meaningful ally). That's extremely important, that "unlocks" you by giving you new borders, and that allows to call Benin against Nupe.
You now border your allies, Nupe, and Bonoman. Bonoman is usually allied to Mossi, so you need to call Mossi in another war, likely with favors, or wait until Mossi dishonors. In all my games, Nupe was allied to at least Katsina, and sometimes someone else (Yao in my successful run). Call Zazzau and Benin in, they'll both border Nupe and will likely rival. Get provinces from Nupe to get a border with Kano, break the alliances of the allies of Nupe. Kill Kano to border Katsina and Kanem Bornu, Kano usually have no allies (and in my last attempt they were actually already dead).
You now unlocked the east, Kanem Bornu and Katsina are relatively easy to take, and things will likely start moving because you destroyed the alliances, so Yao, Air, KB and Katsina will usually go to war with one another. You can pick their remnants any time. It should be time to get Bonoman, which means you border Kong, or more likely Mali who ate Kong. That's something that should be replicable consistently if you have the initial setup I mentioned, and be done relatively quickly. (by 1460 I'd say).
I went quite heavily in debt for my first wars but started swimming in money from the second one, by getting 100 ducats from each of Nupe, Katsina and Yao. As peacedeals is your main source of income, I found it more useful to give the first provinces you conquer to the nobility and not the clergy as one usually does. You want force limit more badly than you want money, and you have to increase autonoy because you can't afford revolts that would delay you too much. Later on, once you take the goldmines and develop them, you have a massive income to support the mercswarm (the issue is not so much the wars than the 20k men constant rebellions in Sunni land, so you have to use mercs or you'll run out of manpower).

Then, I guess it's time to look for new alliances depending on who is strong, who ate who, and who rivalled who. In my successful run, I could rival Mossi at that point who became irrelevant and just blocked me, and then ally their rival Songhai. Luckily in my game, Mali was only allied to Songhai, and Jenné and Macina both rivalled Mali. I think I was allied with Zazzau, Songhai, Macina, Jenné and Yao (Benin rivalled me). I don't know in which order I proceeded, but I ate Kanem Bornu and Katsina. Soon, Songhai had revolts and the combination of their opinion of me and their revolts meant they dishonored against Mali, I called Jenné and Macina, we crushed Mali two times in a row (the second time I had also allied Jolof). That's where I did a mistake, I was fighting wars in the east and dealing with revolts in the Sunni land taken from Katsina and KB while my allies fought Mali, and I let them get the occupations. I said screw it, and I full annexed Mali in that second war, feeding their land to Macina and Jolof who had the occupations, which is why I had to trucebreak to finish them.
At some point, Jenné attacked Songhai and called Macina and Timbuktu, I dishonored and everyone ate Songhai: Jenné, Timbuktu, Mossi and Zazzau. I attacked Mossi, released Songhai as a vassal.
I think at that moment we were around 1480 and there were almost exclusively my allies left. There was probably Jolof, Macina, Jenné, Timbuktu, Mossi, Zazzau, Yao and Benin, with only Timbuktu, Mossi and Benin not my allies. That's the point were things were really easy. I betrayed my allies one by one, doing reconquest wars for Songhai cores to make things cheaper. Yao, Zazzau and Benin were free to pick, Mossi too. At that point I had two alliance webs to face, because Macina and Jenné ended up rivalling each other. Jolof was allied to Macina. Jenné was allied with Timbuktu. Morocco was allied with both Timbuktu and Jolof. Jolof was 80% WS, Macina 140%, Jenné 80% and Timbuktu 45%, or something like that. That's what I mean when I said I overfed Jolof and Macina. I knew I would have to trucebreak Macina anyway so I kept them for the end. I attacked Jenné, full annexed them and Timbuktu as non cobelligerant. We were around 1490, and I wanted everything by that point (I had started integrating Songhai). That's why I just broke Jolof from Morocco instead of taking their Sahel provinces they had gotten from Fulo (I could have done that and avoided the extra trucebreak, you don't need the coastline). I got 100% from Macina, then trucebroke the two of them as soon as I finished coring (to avoid keeping provinces I can't core because I'm at war with someone who had a core there). So I could have saved a few years, but that would have meant I'd get 200% overextension, -3 stab and 10 WE at the same time. Let's avoid that if we can :D
I finished right after getting mil 7, so I could use cannons for the final wars.

Overall, the beginning is relatively straightforward with the good setup. The key is really to be able to get Oyo and a border with Nupe, and give Benin a border to chain wars immediately on Nupe. In runs where I could not get Oyo but only Dagbon, I was way too slow, and in one run where Benin did not want to join against Oyo and thus did not border Nupe, I lost against Nupe+Katsina+Air because I could only bring Zazzau. Another opening could be to go on Mossi immediately by trying to ally Songhai, but I have not explored it because Mossi usually had good allies at start, and I found good success with my starting moves.
Be mindful never to betray your allies, always give them land, you can't afford to be unable to call them in for several years, that fucked one of my runs. And set provinces of interest before the war to get the occupations.
I think I got to the point where I have to abandon Mossi and I border Mali 3 times, but in two of them Mali was too strong and had too good allies. My final one was successful because everyone rivalled them. In one of the others I was completely locked and I think I messed up. In the other one, Mali was allied to Jenné and Songhai, so I tried to go on Mossi, and later on call my ally Songhai against Jenné, but Mali declared on me during the war against Mossi and Songhai dishonored.
Basically, there are two turning points: initial setup, and how things look once you border Mali and built a powerbase. If you're lucky with the two of them, you can do it. Once Mali is dealt with and you cleared up the east, you're the uncontested superpower and you just have to betray your allies in the West/the North.

Generally speaking, important thing is to use mercs, at least after your second war, and to slowly increase their number by consolidating infantry after every battle and replacing regular with mercs. Manpower was tense early on. Increase autonomy BUT give provinces to the nobility, as I said. You can't lose resources on revolts early on, and as I said, you'd rather have Force Limit than tax income. Sunni land around Katsina will revolt anyway, and you want to decrease autonomy on the goldmines. That's the point where you can handle the revolts, the goldmines give you enough income to throw mercs. I developped all of them to 10 prod. The rest of my dip went in doing separate peaces, integrating Songhai and buying WE (you're constantly at war/in revolts, often with several wars to bypass alliances, without access to DotF or any way of reducing WE). My admin went in developping goldmines so that they could reach 10 prod, coring everything and stabbing 5 times at the end with the overextension and lack of religious unity. I focus on admin early, or else you can't get to +1 stab and core the Oyo + Dagbon + Nupe + Kano and you have to sit on OE. Then on mil. I get money from burghers and 150 adm and mil every time it's possible. Keeping forts you conquer can be a good idea to avoid the spread of separatism in the North East while your armies fight in the West. There are ones in Kanem Bornu, Katsina and Air on game start iirc, and that's the land always unhappy becaue they're Sunni and you won't accept their cultures (accept the cultures from the goldmines, obviously).
I guess I was lucky that I could avoid fighting Morocco, and that I had two 2 siege generals (rolled several ones, got others from nobility (you can safely ask for generals because no need for a diet, they'll be happy from you giving tons of provinces)). My ruler died in 1475 and I fell in a real regency for 9 years even if my ruler was not a general. I'm not ashamed to say the game instantly crashed.

That's exactly the achievements I like. You never face insurmountable odds but you are so pressured that you can't afford to lose any resource or to take too bad of a decision. Every ducat, monarch point and manpower count early game, and there are real choices you usually don't do, like "do I use more men to siege that fort to get more participation and thus more money in the peacedeal, or do I park one unit and let my allies siege it to save manpower?". There is not a lot of micro skill required after the first wars, but a lot of game knowledge to minmax resources and get around alliances. There is an element of luck but it's not that massive (It's not Electable --'), it has flavour (I'm getting seriously bored of the "start as an OPM and blob" ones, especially if they are more specifically "start as an OPM near the Ottomans and blob"), and there is the threatening timer. In many aspects, it's similar to Manipur as you are the weakest nation of a medium-sized area and need to unite it. No wonder both stand together at the top of my list of funniest achievements so far (alongside a few others).
 
Last edited:

dynalon

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Last game on 1.24, netting the Sweet Harmony, Choson One, and finally Turtles all the way down achievements. Now it's time to never pick Naval and Maritime again, although it probably would still have been way more crippling to take the Mandate of Heaven to boost the ship durability. Other than those two, the idea groups that I had to pick weren't that bad, either - Explo, Humanist, Offensive, Quality (with Admin thrown in as my 4th idea group).

Having a god king in 1444 really is a huge boon, since it allows you to attack the Manchu tags pretty aggressively as soon as you get the technological edge on them, even making a 1 vs 2 war against Jianzhou and Korchin as an opener easily doable. As soon as I've dealt with them (and taken the Buryat gold mine to fix my economy), it was only a matter of catching up to them Ming and eating their other tributaries as long as they would let me. First war against the Ming was around 1600, and even though I wasn't really consistent in shortening my truces with them, I had them annexed in 1680. EoC is one hell of a CB. :D After that, I only had a couple provinces left to take for Choson One, including a random Confucian province in the middle of India, presumably because I was allied and married with Bahmanis (who had conquered almost all of India at that point) for my first war against the Ming. Otherwise, I was just going for some general blobbing and nice-ish borders while I was waiting for the 7th idea group to unlock.

About America: I secured Alaska and California fairly early, but didn't go for Mexico fast enough, so Spain had already eaten more than half of the Maya and Nahuatl land and gotten themselves a very beefy CN. I was worried that it would attack my CN at some point, but I think they somehow got into a debt spiral and you can see the result. :D
 

gia257

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African power, castile PUed france and kept their grip on them despite their 100% LD. The wars vs the ottomans were bloodbaths (always ending on army wipe, them or me), had to grab offensive to stand a chance solo. Also I like the boot aesthetics. Russia needs a patch. it is going full infrantry for a while and that is only feeding the ottomans :/
20180318201750_1.jpg
 

Bergil

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After a lot of tries,
THIS!
IS!
PERSIA!
Started as Qara Qoyunlu and kept their ideas (chose military ideas to double down defensive/offensive/quality. Not sure I'd do it again)
Probably my proudest achievement yet in any paradox game (though I don't play that much)
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eu4_41.png

eu4_43.png
 

Sfan

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Can't finish my game, I can't resist to the idea of updating and it is a seriously boring one, which is why I've made so little progress. :(

After starting as the Mamluks for the Levant Turnabout, and forming Rûm because their ideas are vastly superior, I had to wait for that 100 professionalism, which made me filthy rich and gave me the idea of combining the ultimate tall and wide play, by doing a One Tag and a moneycap at the same time. Mamluks is not the best choice for that but that added some challenge not to have colonial nations.
I could have finished if I wasn't sick for the last few days and unable to do anything clever. Oh well, this is technically finished, everyone is below 2 wars except GB who is defender of the faith, so it's easy to refresh truce. It's just an annoyance to micro the end of this, especially if it prevents me from doing anything with Rule Britannia.
hMQfbh7.jpg


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The New world is almost entirely made up of French colonies, and France is my vassal for all their juicy cores.
JHjhOHC.jpg

I would have had time to annex them, pretty sure.

As far as moneycap is going, I was almost there, especially because I'm making money when debasing thanks to my average autonomy.
zfwpVYy.jpg


I'll likely roll back to get Parisian Pasha once I have a clearer mind, so I might finish it when I do that. We'll see.


Time to rule the waves now. As the one true country to do it. Betsimisaraka.
 

TheMeInTeam

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That's exactly the achievements I like. You never face insurmountable odds but you are so pressured that you can't afford to lose any resource or to take too bad of a decision. Every ducat, monarch point and manpower count early game,

You did it the hard way. The requirements of "where the heart is" are much easier than Taungu's achievement. All you need to earn it is to have only fetish nations existing in West Africa. You don't have to convert everything or even be the only TAG.

Yes, that does mean you can simply feed an Islamic vassal or two then hit "enforce religion" some time before 1500.

What you did is a challenge run far more impressive.



 

Sfan

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First Rule Britannia game. I had to pick that red nation who has an idea set almost entirely focused on naval warfare. I had no choice.


gebkblo.jpg

If we're not a Sea Kingdom, I don't know what we are.
For those who are not familiar with that extremely important tag and don't know their ideas by heart, they have many modifiers including +20% sailors, -20% morale hit when losing a ship, +10% embargo efficiency, +15% privateer efficiency, -10% sailor maintenance AND the crucial one, +20% chance to capture ennemy ships, the highest capture ships modifier of the game.

I had a lot of fun revolving entirely on my navy early game. I unified my island, deleted all land units, waited for Kilwa to attack me and I made them understand what RULING THE WAVES mean. I could grab Zanzibar just from ticking WS and blockading all their coastline, even without having a single land unit.

They kept on trying to attack me to reclaim it, but that just gave me reasons to steal all their money repeatedly.
JVcKloG.jpg

A typical war. Taunting them with my armies at 0 maintenance in Zanzibar, but NOPE, you can't cross that strait.

I used that unique game to explore options noone ever explores. After a standard Exploration, I picked Naval and Maritime. I also used that awesome casus belli to spice things up.
9gSTeDi.jpg


At some point, I got bored and decided to land, which gave me that wonderful name placement.
GFKi3sk.jpg


I kept on expanding, with increasingly better admirals as I filled Naval and Maritime. Up until I rolled that genius.
Di6MooB.jpg

Prize Hunter + 5 maneuver + Boarding Naval Doctrine + Betsimisarakan ideas = 60% chance to capture an ennemy ship in battle. I captured up to 13 ships in the same battle when fighting Ajuraan+Mamluks for that last war.

Their rulers probably were like "Dude, Where's my boat?". Well, it's MINE!
MgQixKo.jpg


Despite using those totally suboptimal tactics, I still managed to climb the GP ranks, mostly through colonization.
fELjXHJ.jpg


10/10, would steal your boats again.


If some people are interested, here is my Europe even if I will also post it in strange screenshots. For a first AI Europe in 1.25, things were VERY strange. I hope this is not a common trend.
zmBuDDv.jpg


Also, just noticed my Queen is called Tombola. She probably does not know what to do with her ships, so that may be why she decided to offer them in a lottery. :D
 

petertju

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eu4_16.png


Another VH achievement done, one that was on the radar for quite some time.

I didn't use the island blocking strategy. Especially with fewer nations in the Caucasus with HCC this is a better easier exodus strategy. At the start allying everyone around me to stay alive while expanding through Caucasus and Horde land.
While gaining strenght I managed to get an alliance with Hungary and Poland. With these two as wrecking balls I could win the first war and gain the Bosphorus. A second war led to a white peace because bad focus by allies (also partly my fault, focussed my own troops on the Caucasus front, while my allies managed to lose in the west ). Other problems arose when Ottomans allied Bohemians and Muscovy at different moments. But then two major victories, and it was just mopping up. Fun speed bump was when I was PU'ed by Muscovy... This cost me my two alliances, but I got Poland back to support independence. Hungary was then gangbanged by everyone around them.

I think this achievement took me 3 of 4 retries in total, not that bad :) Other fun things in this game, Brandenburg had Bohemia in PU for a long time, through this they gained most of North Germany, Brandenburg did lose it at a certain point and lost a lot of land. Bohemia then led the Protestant League to religious peace. Also Pomerania formed Prussia, Brabant almost had everything to form Netherlands and the Pope is killing everyone in sight.
 

Sfan

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A fairly more standard one, right when ANABELLA decided to rightfuly form Great Britain.
MPKRzpl.jpg

I'm so glad she is the one to do it.

enV37Qj.jpg

My colonies remain yellow, however. Let's keep some Scottish influence.

Time to find a way in the continent, now. Britanny is my vassal, but that does not help much with the fact noone wants to ally me. Oh well.
 

PrimeYuri

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I dont get it how to search something in this thread.
I remember there was a cool Netherlands-Empire once, how do I find it in this thread?

Just put Netherlands into search bar and click, this thread only. My Dutch->HRE WC is on page 631 btw with steam screenshots :)
 

Kagerou.Echo.三葉

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eu4_41.png


Colonial Brandenburg into Prussia into Germany. (Exploration-Expansion opener) Game got out of hand real quick after I contested succession war against France for the Spain PU, then enforced PU on Russia (Broke truce for that though). The only unfortunate thing here is that Schleswig-Holstein is still held by my long-time ally Denmark. (I'm tempted to DOW him for that)
 

Kagerou.Echo.三葉

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A shame we don't see the map because your empire is covered by the tab of your subjects :D

Im still playing it right now, got a Claim Throne CB on Denmark+Sweden, really tempted to eat a -4 stab to enforce PU immediately. Also muh Schleswig-Holstein, will post end-game state.