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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Anzavur

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My first and definitely last wc. Formed with Ottomans, approxtimately signed the vassal reform like 1550, added Spain, GB, Denmark and Portugal to HRE before last reform. The funny thing that i forget to ae so annexed Karaman and took provinces worth like 160% overextension from Mamluks in one war. That triggered the Muslim coalition which from Mali to Sulu and they forced me to release couple nations. Except that the campaign was easy like i didn't even go over 100% oe and managed to complete it like 1770.

 

eoncommander

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An Ardabil --> Persia game for the Shahanshah and This is Persia! achievements:

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Syria, Georgia, Garwhal, Nepal, and others are my vassals; Bahmanis is allied (but for some reason hasn't formed Deccan).

I managed to steal a bunch of Ajami provinces as they were getting wrecked by Timurids, then won the first defensive war against them by the skin of my teeth. After that it was smooth sailing. I formed Persia in the 1520s.

Some weird goings-on in Europe, with a big Brandenburg the emperor for a century; Urbino flipping to Protestant, conquering Rome, and becoming a major (Old World) colonizer; France taking, and keeping, southeastern England; and Ragusa, somehow, still guaranteed by the Ottomans, even after migrating inland.
 
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enKage

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Where the heart (as Dahomey make sure every province in Sahel and Niger is owned by fetishist country) is on every youtube list of hardest achievements. Sincerely, despite the fact you start with 3 dev and awful and young leader, IMO it is crazy easier than Rise of the whte sheep (as AqQuyunlu in 40 years or so make sure QQ don't exist and hold Tabriz). Dahomey I did at first run, AQ as far as I remember at 6th and bankrupt. Dahomey is still very playabble, my AQ was unplayable after achievement. As Dahomey everything depends on player (or mostly everything), AQ is very RNG (If QQ eats Shirvan and Ajam early - pretty common every game - restart) I don't think it is only a matter of slightly better skills now.

Anyway. The key was feeding Zazzau and Mossi for favors. One noCB on Macina+Kong+Jolof, so I could vassalise Kong and Jolof and have acces to Mali / western part.
One braketruce 1495, when finally all remains off Jenne Mali and Songhai were allied, so I could noCB only once.
Kanem Bornu, Jolof, Timbuktu are subjects, forced converted. I had to wait till 1499 though for positive relations with Timbuktu to force convert.

dahomey.png
 

enKage

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Oh, lovely Kazan ideas. I have a lot of nice reminescence with Kazan->GH, as this was the game, when accidentaly I conquered everything except Iberia, France and north of HRE. This was the very first moment I realised that I can do WC

---------------

tall Busoga
2,5k dev in cental Africa, remaining 400 spread along Madagascar and western indian coast
busdev.png
 

Sybot

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Wow, I just noticed that my last post in this thread was less than two weeks ago, I'm really churning through games during this lockdown. Normally it takes me like a month to get through a full-length game.

Anyway, just finished Hoarder and African Power. I spawned Colonialism, managed to beat the Europeans to the Cape, and after that the East Indies, ensuring that I had more money than I had any idea how to spend.

I didn't conquer much north of the Equator until Imperialism, which turned out to be somewhat of a mistake as I had to fight a couple of Hellwars against the Catholic Alliance that had swept into North Africa (Portugal, Granada, Papal State), and then the same plus France after France PU'd Portugal. I was also amused by Russia imploding without any intervention from me, France blocking GB by inheriting Scotland, and really thankful for the Ottomans not taking any African land so I didn't have to fight them on top of everything else.

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Sultan Tolan

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For the first time, I tried out a serious horde play and woo I'm shocked how good hordes are military wise!

Mongol Empire
1588345243543.png


I started as the Golden Horde because of the Gold Rush achievement and I got that around the 1480's. After that I quickly started to expand into all directions. I mostly concentrated on Persia to get that sweet trade money and later on I got the Novgorod end node as well. From then on I just started rebuilding the old Mongol Empire borders and essentially I got what I wanted, the restoration of the old Mongol Empire. At last of course, I also achieved The Great Horde. :D
 
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DPKdebator

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20200503005414_1.jpg

Yesterday I finished a campaign as Venice, and I think it turned out pretty well. Expanding on the Italian peninsula was difficult due to the web of alliances present (plus the fact that I allied Spain), so I focused my efforts more on the Balkans and Ukraine. I captured some provinces in Crimea first, and did a sort of east/west strategy to slowly link my territory together. I went heavily for military ideas and technology, so I had a pretty strong military for Venice. With the Ottomans I wouldn't have beaten them in a regular war for much of the game, so I went a different route to take land from them. In this game the Ottomans had a lot of trouble with instability and rebellions, so I would build up spy network to try and get groups to split off of them. Eventually a rebel group would break away and declare independence, and I would conquer them before they had a chance to become allies with anyone. Through this I was able to take almost all of Rumelia, and I took the rest of it (including Constantinople) and part of Anatolia in a war. In various other wars I picked off areas such as Provence, much of Tunisia, Estonia, and southwestern Ireland. My final alliance web at the end of the game was Spain, Portugal, and Russia, and my vassals were The Knights and Wurzburg.
 
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NURBS

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This is a map I created of my first completed game ever. It's also my first successful Byzantium run.
 
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Liwei

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The mighty Malaya Empire. Korea is my vassal here. This was a really fun run, I've never been this rich. I beelined for the Cape to deny the other colonizers access to the Indian Ocean. The Ottomans were the only one to try colonizing in Indonesia, but by the time they did I was strong enough to easily beat them in a war. I was able to do seven colonies at a time with the amount of money I was making.

 
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Th3R10t

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Finally finished my Semien -> Israel run with help from a mod that allowed me to form nations from the CK2 converter.
Map.png

Political.png
Not ironman, because of the mod, but this game was a huge learning experience, especially since I thought I knew the game pretty well.
It was a pretty crazy game, with the Ottomans somehow vanishing by 1555, throwing my plan of attacking the Mamluks for the provinces I needed alongside them out the window.
I had no less than 3 posts asking for help, but for the most part, I ended up solving those issues my own way in the end.
The posts, and how I dealt with them:
Went back to 1503 and avoided annexing my vassal and starting wars in the area to keep my diplo rep and the Mamluks opinion of me up. That was enough to keep them from rivaling until I could convince them to ally. That left me free to expand until I was ready to take them on.
Due to it being very difficult to get the full benefits of the disaster without any DLCs, and most of my rebels being seperatists, I took the generic mission that reduces harsh treatment cost and used that for absolutism, avoiding the disaster. After the initial push, I added more slowly when I had spare military points and ended the game with 80. Honestly, after seeing how powerful it was in the lategame, I have no idea how I managed without it until now through 3 previous complete games.
OK, so maybe I hadn't invested quite as much as I could have into manufactories and workshops. Once I started dumping everything into them, income shot up. Add the lategame conquests, some well placed light ships, and I was over 550 a month by the end.
Today is my last day of isolation, so it'll be a bit until my next full run, but once 1.30 comes around I'm hoping to finally go for Mare Nostrum.
 
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sbytheway

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Just finished my first Poland run. Went for all the Poland relevant achievements + a load of espionage and diplo ones i'd never bothered with, got 9 total.
Decided early on that I was going to do a fairly limited amount of conquering, keeping to where the mission sent me, and that I was going to use Marches to take the crap territory nearby that I wouldn't be able to state. Livonia, Tver, Georgia, Turkey and the Mamelukes are all my Marches (client in case of Turkey).

Ended up as the largest bastion of reactionary absolutism in the world but with all the cultures present in my empire as accepted (12 accepted plus some....repainting...in the Balkans). I have 80%+ cavalry combat ability (love the synergy with the Cossacks), ended the schism with the Orthodox church, brought Catholicism to Egypt, Jerusalem and Mecca, won the league war for Catholicism against the Ottomans, broke them, and my proudest achievement is that I properly developed Ukraine/Ruthenia. Eastern Europe is no more a depopulated wilderness but is the workshop of the world, unified and with by far the worlds largest manpower pool! :D

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Bonus round:
China is a mess and we ended up with a Sunni Argentina because Portugal kept deporting Moroccans
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20200514201424_1.jpg
 
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Yross

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My latest WC, Mayan Aztec Horde. It went really smooth to be fair.

eu4_71.png

eu4_73.png
eu4_74.png


Here's the strat if you want :

- Start as Tlapanec (other tribal neighbourg or Aztec are ok, but Tlapanec is the strongest of them) and ally rivals/Enemy/people that want land of the aztecs.

2- Go to war and full annex them (your ally will try to stick to you if you activated the command, so you can carpet siege Aztecs once there fort is down) And you can go way over your force limit and take loans, as you will ditch that nation later.

3- Full annex Aztecs and release and play, you are now tribal Aztecs.

4- You overlord (Tlapanec) will probably be the target of a coalition soon after, hope that they release you once it's over (don't build troops,as you want to loose that war).

5-Attack Otomi and take Metztitlan.

6- Attack Chichimeca and 100% them to have them enforce religion on you. You are now animist without the primitive restriction to embracing institutions.

7- Develop Mexico for Feudalism, and Texcoco for Renaissance and embrace both.

8- Attack and 100% Huastec to have them enforce religion on you. You are now Mayan.

9- ????? Do what you can to pass reforms.

10- After passing the last reform, vassalize either Chichimeca or Guamar (it's better if they were not annexed until now and are still tribes). Share knowledge to have them embrace institutions.

11- As they should have reform their tribe government they are now tribal and you can reform your religion from them (if you border them).

12- You are now a Tribal Mayan Aztec, so enjoy, conquer Mexico, wait to pass all government reforms to become a Horde and enjoy all the bonuses from your government and your religion


I reformed my government around 1600, so i had to conquer everything from meso-america (didn't take the andes or other nation during the reforming part) in only 200 years. I tried to do a one faith/one culture, but i'm not an expert at this and my "religious" vassal (Najd, Sindh, Novgorod) were not really willing to convert anything even with 50 ducats/month of subsidies. I started by attacking Africa > China > East/southern Asia > Muslims > Europe. I think i was really lucky on that game, as there was no great colonial nation, i took all of their colonies without triggering a single coalition of the game. Anyway it was really fun, i should try harder for the one faith/culture next time.
 
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szypul

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These Banners Need a Saga -> Qing

Could have formed Qing earlier, but I wanted to stay Manchu until I get banners achievement, as Tengri hordes are great at fighting wars. And fought I had to, every few years there was a coalition war:
 
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Sybot

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My last game before Emperor. I've been avoiding playing any games in Europe in a long while, so I'm really glad for the release date announcement.

Went for Cotton Kandy, Land of Eastern Jade, and Buddhists Strike Back.

For the most part I was focused on India, but my Indochinese allies kept getting into wars with Malacca and giving me a bunch of territory in the peace deals, including the cities of Malacca and Brunei themselves. Then they gave me Malacca as a Tributary for some reason. I attacked the Revolutionary Ottomans to try and grab that achievement, but Poland beat me to it so I took Iraq instead.

The Timurids managed to form from the Mughals, and they were a valuable ally in the midgame, but they were a paper tiger wracked by constant rebellions so when it came to turn on them they were easily dealt with.

When I finished the achievement I was in the middle of an annoying war against the Portuguese-French Union with colonies spanning all of the Americas, spamming ships constantly, so I think I'll call it here.

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XxNovaStarxX

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About a month later half of Europe and the Ottoblob declared on me. Top Ten Images Taken Moments Before Disaster.
 
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Sunlg103

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The most unassuming, lowkey empire I've ever done.

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With well over 3000 development, and every island province under my direct control (except for the Iceland which is owned by my vassal Norway). I completed the "Empire of Mann" achievment. It doesn't look much to the world on the map, but even though I sport global naval dominance and troops everywhere my monthly balance is 800 gold/month.

Released as a vassal of England and the start. After my independence i turned into a pirate republic and was from there on out economically safe (raiding the English channel has some insane value). The first 100 years or so was dedicated to eating the british isles, and turning on Denmark to get access to the Lübeck trade node (more raiding). In the first war I also took one Norweigan core (they had been integrated) and released for cheap reconquest since I, at that time, had quite a problem with AE.

Eventually I managed to ally Aragon and Austria, which I kept as friends for a very long time. Around late 1500 I set my eyes on the world, colonising the Carribean and islands around Africa. When I got my trade companies set up on Madagascar I was pretty much too powerful to be stopped and it was basically just a question of how fast I could conquer and colonize.

2 things markedly slowed me down. First of all, colonising. There are alot of uncolonised provinces and since I had pretty much monopolized colonization in the old world by taking the islands, the AI couldn't help me that much since they lacked ranged for a long time. During late 1600 i was spending about 700 ducats a month just on colonial maintence. Second, I had a hard time finding all the islands since clicking on the achivement always brought me to the same island I lacked so I had to take it before I could find the next one I needed. Since I was a republic and stability cost is high, i decided to speed 5 it and wait for truces to run out.

I kept my capital on the province of Mann which hinderd me from being the spawning point of both industrialization and the enlightenment and as I usually do when going for an achivement I mostly kept to what the achivement demands (not every game has to be a WC and RP is fun). The only exceptions here being the Cape (free merchant) and Canton (was planning on making a client state until I realised it couldn't be done with oversees provinces).

All in all, a fun achivement, however not too hard I would say. The inital challange is by far the hardest and once you got the british isles under control, you will probably have it quite easy being rich and powerful.
 
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eoncommander

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Najd into Arabia
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Pretty fun game. I did have to hold on to the tribal federation government until I formed Arabia in the mid-17th century, which was annoying. I've been allied to the Ottomans and the Mughals for about 200 years, and they've been rivals for the entire time, so that's been interesting (I managed to snake up to Shirvan to prevent them from bordering each other). Ming is a vassal - I grabbed them late on and fed them all of their cores. Hadramut is also a vassal; I left them alone because their NI gives them a colonist and that seemed too good to waste.

Europe was pretty normal; Bohemia blobbed a ton and the Papacy took over most of Italy; a very snaky Ruthenia did form in the east, out of the ashes of Poland-Lithuania, which was neat. Ming collapsed early on, in the first couple decades of the 16th century; the emperorship migrated slowly southward, going to Yue, Dai Viet, Khmer, and finally Ayutthaya, until I annexed them.
 
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