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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

raphi1985

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France on normal difficulty.

M1.png


Diplomatic-Mapmode (all subjects / no allies):

M2.jpg


Muscovy with 600k troops : )

M3.png


Fairly pretty borders?

M4.png


High Dev Powerbase:

M5.png
 
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klingonadmiral

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I give up. Russia sucks. @Deliberus

eu4_331.png


Game was going well(-ish) until ~1730 or so, but then ~of course~ the revolution had to fire in the one country I could not counter. I also was unable to get to anywhere of value except Persia, because even taking a few grains of desert sand is apparently enough to trigger a coalition from Turkey to Bengal.

After this game, i'm pretty sure that Orthodox is actually F-tier. Bonuses are good, but as it works largely on a per-province basis it forces you to take the awful Religious ideas.
Still, the coalition probably would not have dared attack me if the cancerous revolution mechanic wouldn't have dropped my forcelimit down from ~700 regiment to ~450 currently.

The mission tree is also pretty damn awful. Conditional Post-Revolution Administrative Efficiency, lol.

Also look at my treasury. 7k ducats, and bleeding ~200/month because I'm over my forcelimit. In my runs with actually good countries that got into the lategame (Austria -> Germany, Bahmanis ->Deccan->Hindustan), I was at the money cap at this point.

@Deliberus I would still have handily beaten your Russia attempt though, but my patience for having to deal with sabotage has run out.
 
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masochist

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Frustratingly failed Mughal world conquest with Illinois as the only remaining independent nation.

Got slack mid-game so ran into issues with ADM points, stability and truce timers in the last 20 years.

Anyway, that is my final game with EUIV. It's been seven years of fun.


Screenshot 2020-11-29 120113.png
 
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Deliberus

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Frustratingly failed Mughal world conquest with Illinois as the only remaining independent nation.

Got slack mid-game so ran into issues with ADM points, stability and truce timers in the last 20 years.

Anyway, that is my final game with EUIV. It's been seven years of fun.


View attachment 657199
aww shame it's your last game, no plan on returning?
 
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Miganto

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Not my empire, but the AI achieved the 'hard' achievement (forming Qing) in 1617 - i'm the golden horde and hadn't gone to war or allied them, so have only barely influenced them by being aggressive towards some of their enemies.

They're pushing in to Japan and Ming at the same time for the 50 years following that.


1606683605308.png


Also in this game,
- Sweden beat France in a PU war for Britain and is now the main powerhouse in the game.
- During the religious wars (which never fired), the HRE had Brittany as the emperor with only 2 princes as all but 5 members were heretics.
- Greece exists on Cyprus, with no allies, no truces, no wars for nearly 100 years, completely surrounded by the Ottomans.
- The Ottomans and Mughals went to war due to a 2 province minor ally that Mughals had. It lasted 20+ years with hundreds of thousands dead and ended in a white peace.
- Spain owns 80% of North America and 50% of South America, Portugal has Australia, NZ and 1/5th of South America.
- Brittany owns most of West Africa

Oh and the Ottomans just took Exploration and are now taking over Indonesia and South east Asia :)


It's been a really fun and interesting game, seeing how Europe and the far east have dealt with little player interaction :)
 
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Deliberus

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I give up. Russia sucks. @Deliberus

View attachment 657148

Game was going well(-ish) until ~1730 or so, but then ~of course~ the revolution had to fire in the one country I could not counter. I also was unable to get to anywhere of value except Persia, because even taking a few grains of desert sand is apparently enough to trigger a coalition from Turkey to Bengal.

After this game, i'm pretty sure that Orthodox is actually F-tier. Bonuses are good, but as it works largely on a per-province basis it forces you to take the awful Religious ideas.
Still, the coalition probably would not have dared attack me if the cancerous revolution mechanic wouldn't have dropped my forcelimit down from ~700 regiment to ~450 currently.

The mission tree is also pretty damn awful. Conditional Post-Revolution Administrative Efficiency, lol.

Also look at my treasury. 7k ducats, and bleeding ~200/month because I'm over my forcelimit. In my runs with actually good countries that got into the lategame (Austria -> Germany, Bahmanis ->Deccan->Hindustan), I was at the money cap at this point.

@Deliberus I would still have handily beaten your Russia attempt though, but my patience for having to deal with sabotage has run out.
Lol ok

















1606683640889.png

For anyone who wants the save files: https://mega.nz/folder/9Ys0XaSa#iYikMyNDM6xU7T5itMtoDA

Ottomans were quite a challenge, blobbed harder than usual, blocked me from expanding for a quite a while by guaranteeing PLC and being DotF for Sunni (which is why Crimea and Perm still remain on the map for quite a while).

The high point of my campaign is when Ottos declared war on me and had 400k troops against my 200k. Safe to say, it was tense. I pulled out my trap card god general from Siberia, raised another 2 stacks of full quality infantry and went to war with Sweden behind my back with their 90k troops. Was a very costly victory. I basically sat at 2k debt at the end of the war with the Ottos European holdings all occupied and at 25% devastation (while they sat at 7k debt lol).

Safe to say I got quite bored during the 1700s as conquest was becoming tedious and I decided to just play tall for the most part after that with -95% development cost.

As of 1821:
1.6k monthly income
1.6 mil standing army
1.2 mil reserve manpower pool
5142 development (with 10,644 development max without penalties)

I'll be taking a break for a little while as that game tired me somewhat
 
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Sybot

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The mighty Switzerlake! Poland is my vassal, and Lucca is my march guarding my coastline. I made really good use of liberating vassals for reconquests, doing this for Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Poland, Serbia and Bulgaria. It was kind of necessary as Austria and Bohemia had between them added most of that land to the HRE.

After unifying Switzerland and pushing into Northern Italy, I basically never ran out of money. Condottieri were dispatched across Europe to bring in even more delicious cash to help build up my lands. Every province has a manufactory and university, all of Switzerland proper was at least 30 dev, and my troops were basically unstoppable. In my last war against the Ottomans I managed to win a 190K vs 90K fight to claim the last few provinces I needed. It's a really fun nation for playing rich and tall. France and the Pope were my allies for most of the game, both decently powerful sticks to keep HRE coalitions at bay.

eu4_17.png
 
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Miganto

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Not my empire, but the AI achieved the 'hard' achievement (forming Qing) in 1617 - i'm the golden horde and hadn't gone to war or allied them, so have only barely influenced them by being aggressive towards some of their enemies.

They're pushing in to Japan and Ming at the same time for the 50 years following that.


View attachment 657389

Also in this game,
- Sweden beat France in a PU war for Britain and is now the main powerhouse in the game.
- During the religious wars (which never fired), the HRE had Brittany as the emperor with only 2 princes as all but 5 members were heretics.
- Greece exists on Cyprus, with no allies, no truces, no wars for nearly 100 years, completely surrounded by the Ottomans.
- The Ottomans and Mughals went to war due to a 2 province minor ally that Mughals had. It lasted 20+ years with hundreds of thousands dead and ended in a white peace.
- Spain owns 80% of North America and 50% of South America, Portugal has Australia, NZ and 1/5th of South America.
- Brittany owns most of West Africa

Oh and the Ottomans just took Exploration and are now taking over Indonesia and South east Asia :)


It's been a really fun and interesting game, seeing how Europe and the far east have dealt with little player interaction :)


and this is how i've ended it ~1790;


1607006565527.png


The final few years were converting all of Punjac lands to Sikh before releasing it to get the Sikh Pun achievement as a side thing.

Great Horde => Golden Horde => The Caliphate => Mongol Empire (super briefly to see if it did anything useful) => Punjab (side achievement)

Gold Rush => Pyramid of Skulls => Turning the Tide => I'll graze my horse here.. and here.. => Just resting in my account (I went espionage to lower aggressive expansion) => The Great Khan => Over a Thousand => Hard Bargaining => Dar al-Islam (didn't realised this existed until late, so rushed right for it near the end) => Master of India => Global Hegemony => Sikh Pun


Had a lot of fun in this game, was very difficult with luck and money at first, then the Ottomans being a threat always, plus the Timurids expanding so hard they collapsed under a coalition (that was the turning point), playing a trade game, going into China before having claims (didn't realise I would!), supporting GB's independance from Sweden and ruining Sweden's rep (when they finally broke free, a coalition destroyed most of Sweden).

Oh and Portugal took over Japan after Qing had a large war with them [I ignored Japan as I have that achievement]

I wasn't trying to expand / wc or anything except for the achievements mentioned, I find horde-play/expansion very micro intensive so was getting tired near the end but the achievements helped.
 
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Arizal

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I present to you... the Mikmaq empire!

It's now 1810, the game is almost over. I am a far cry from a world conquest, but all the Americas (save some colonies in western Canada) are mine. I also own most of the British Islands and Scandinavia, Portugal and the South of Spain, most of the Coast of Africa from Western Africa to Mozambique. I also have Australia and many oceanian islands.

The Incas (almost invisible), Yaka, Finland and Leinster are my vassals.

Meanwhile, France inherited Poland and, with the Ottomans, is as strong as me, and you can notice Revolutionary Persia. The Revolution started in Cairo and migrated to Malaya. The Americas are free from this scourge.

Religiously, most of the Americas are totemists.

My goal with that game was only to survive to the 18th century, so I'm glad it turned out better than expected :)

20201204170036_1.jpg
20201204170048_1.jpg
20201204170059_1.jpg
20201204170107_1.jpg
 
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Fire and Ash

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Terra_Mariana.jpg

Terra Mariana
An achievement so hard to get that only 0.6 of players have done it.

I did it. It aint much, but I did it after many many retries.
ahKmrnU.png


HKEOJeq.png


yiOaSOQ.png


If you're still interested then here's how I did it. I went into this knowing it would be tough, but I had no idea. The one good thing about this achievement is that the start is fairly simple.

1. Rival the Livonian Order. The order will get one or two allies. Scotland and the Teutonic Order. In my many, many attempts, Scotland only allied the Livonian Order a few times, but even when it did, they never helped out in a war.
2. Improve relations with Muscovy & Denmark. Denmark tends to be against allying you, but something seems to happen at about 110 relations and they can be allied. About 3/10 runs they still refused to ally you. If that doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world, but it's pretty useful if they do.
3. Denmark will go to war with the Livonian order by 1448. It can be really tempting to dow them now, but don't. The Teutonic Order start with a great general and even building up to force limit they will stack wipe you. I've played with mercs and going over force limit and I could not beat both Orders. Instead the best option is to wait for the Teutons to be unwilling to support the Livonians in another war. Focus on carpet sieging. If you're luck you can take all the Livonian Order. It will set you back in adm and cause an unhealthy amount of AE, but you have to do it. Times I haven't done this the territory I've left has been taken by Lithuania/Poland/Muscovy. The worst case would be Muscovy as you need them as an ally.
4. Moment you peace out, ally Demark. In most runs Denmark will take a moment to update and understand that we now hold provinces they want. Before that happens they are almost always willing to ally. Ally them. Denmark will dow you within months if you don't. The alliance will break almost immediately, but the truce will give you much needed breathing room.
5. Muscovy still won't ally you so rival Novgorod. This is impossible without at least most of the Livonian Order territory. Avoid taking territory from Novgorod, you want to keep Muscovy happy. If you don't the Lithuanians/Commonwealth will attack you. Hell Poland + Lithuania at this point are much stronger than Muscovy that most of the time even if you do ally Muscovy and they attack you, you will lose.
6. I've yet to determine if this a run breaker, but good runs tend to be highly dependent of Poland's decision to PU Lithuania. I got incredibly lucky and Poland choose not to PU Lithuania. This led to me and Muscovy being able to beat Lithuania and take some territory.
7. Around this time The Teutons will get the Danzig or War event Danzig will get released, war between Poland & Teutons will happen. Weird things happen at this point. Danzig starts out just prior to the war allied & guaranteed by Poland. During the war they lose the guarantee and Poland in my run didn't want to help. I took some territory from them, but I couldn't annex them outright. AE rears its ugly head.

At this point you should be in a position to slowly expand and exploit times of weakness. I finished the above by around 1470. I then didn't do anything for about 100 years. Poland & Lithuania allied and remained pretty good ones, which was a pain as all the territory I wanted, they now held. Denmark dow'd me twice during that time and both times I was able to beat them, the last time forcing them to renounce their claims. Sweden...oh poor Sweden. I know they look strong now, but that's a recent thing. That was the end of their 6th War of Independence! During their many wars, I took Gotland from Sweden. I probably played it too safe for a while, but I was terrified at that the thought of losing my progress at this point. It didn't help that Muscovy didn't once want to join me in an offensive war. It wasn't until they formed Russia they choose to help me. Not that I think they were selfish, more that for about 100 years they were 7k in debt. My war against Lithuania went great. The island of Osel is a perfect trap if you have naval superiority. The AI loves marching an army to Reval via Osel and getting their whole army caught.

You're going to have to play fast and fickle with allies outside of Muscovy/Russia. At times I was able to ally Poland to defeat Denmark and then Denmark to defeat Lithuania. Muscovy/Russia can't always be there for you and you will need an ally. Early on tried to get into the HRE and managed to ally Austria, but by the point I got Danzig I was already too high in Development to get in. In between wars you'll want to dev up. My dev is only 480, but I would guess at least 150 of that is from deving up. My choice of ideas reflect this. Even with less dev than Poland I had more armies. Another part of that was Baltic Trade node. It's not the best in the game, but it's pretty damn good. My early wars gave me control of a lot of the high trade value provinces, so my income was pretty high early on.

This biggest set back to this run was the League War. I got dragged into it fresh out of war with Poland and Lithuania. This war was disastrous and the outcome continues to be. Not only did the Catholics lose the war the HRE has been crippled by it even almost a hundred years later. Most of the HRE wasn't protestant, they were reformed, but the war ended with protestant victory. Even not much of the HRE are still reformed. This led my best hope for an ally in Germany, Austria, getting neutered and Poland by itself having more than enough manpower to take on the the weak emperor. It's gotten to the point that if I carry on I'm tempted to get the religion idea group and just eat all of Germany. I don't think the HRE could stop me.

I'm not sure what I'll do now. Riga is pretty much an emerging power. I could take Poland or Lithuania without too much issue, or many I could try for India and build a colonial empire. Idk. This achievement was very difficult, but I would recommend it for people who want to learn the diplomacy/dev game.
 
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Kushite Restoration run.

j0S3KKn.png

zOLm613.png


No where near as difficult as my last run, but managing Malmulks while bordering them is always a spicy time. My main issues with this achievement was figuring out the best way to counter Malmulks Manpower. For a while now its felt like the Ottomans struggle to expand against the Malmulks, so it's often up to you to figure out a way to grind them. For me that was Hordes. About 1500 I changed to a Steppe Horde and built a lot of cav. The Nomad unit type is glorious. I was able to beat armies almost twice in size, but the best part was the tribal conquest cb. I let them siege down whatever and waste manpower to attrition while I sniped stacks. This worked pretty well right up until 1630. Due to error on my behalf, I let my tributes expand, Kaffa primarily, which ended up blocking my easy raze land. I dow the Malmulks to get some more territory to raid, but even with the victories I had, they were still pumping out a 100,000 army to my 60,000. The pip disparity was disappearing and Malm entered a Golden Age which made me wipes much harder. If I had handled my tributes better, I honestly think sticking as a Horde would have been a great idea. Hordes are so strong, even in Africa where there isn't as much dev, the low core cost means you can expand really fast. I finally swapped to monarchy in 1650 which around the same time is when the Ottos finally remembered the rump Malm state I've made. It was like vultures over the corpse. Najd, Ottos & Mughals descended on them and tore them apart. I swiped what was left of Egypt in the next war and that takes me to present. Achievement gained. Feeling good.

Interesting thing i noticed. Swapping from Horde to Monarchy gave me Eastern units, not African.

Plan for the future. Culture shift to Egyptian, form Egypt. Nubian ideas aren't very good. Secure my econ and take the remaining coptic holy sites. Even if I fail at this point, I'm happy I got the achievement I wanted. I do think Ethiopia is the much stronger choice for copitc nation, so maybe it would have been better to do the Pester John achievement first, then this, but I'm happy.

Question for others. I considered taking religion early, to give me an easy cb, but considering my rapid expansion, I couldn't justify the adm cost. Do you take religion early and if so what conditions make it worth it?
 
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enKage

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If you went into horde, religious is useless especially with imperialism close, better go humanism and Trade Company everything too big to convert. Forming Egypt gives you nothing, it is just a color and requires admin20. Culture shift is OK, levantine group is huge and better have nationalism than imperialism versus Ottomans.
Note when you (or others) completely kill mamluks and turn Sunni for Iqta, you would be able to adopt mamluk goverment, which is pretty nice.
If you stay Coptic, you still can form Arabia, but Arabian ideas are not great either

Personally I would rather culture shift to Yemeni and form Yemen, which has ideas superior to both Mamluks and Arabia and belong to levantine group too. You still have time to do Yemeni achievement, depending where Castille / Portugal expanded

BTW Nubian ideas are not bad
 
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Blust

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Odoïev > Ruthenia

Great name placement. Managed to put my dynasty on France and Russia but was too lazy to enforce PUs so we stay buddy the whole game. Went for a full discipline small army (64k men with 135%) and stack wiped Ottomans army of half a million everytime they attacked me and my allies (suicidal Otto). Pretty fun run

ruthénie.png
 
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mysticdueler

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Odoïev > Ruthenia

Great name placement. Managed to put my dynasty on France and Russia but was too lazy to enforce PUs so we stay buddy the whole. Went for a full discipline small army (64k men with 135%) and stack wiped Ottomans army of half a million everytime they attacked me and my allies (suicidal Otto). Pretty fun run

View attachment 663008

You should destroy the Ottomans if for no other reason than the color (Same-color CB). That just ain’t right!
 
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Sunlg103

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I recently came back to EUIV and decided it was finally time to form the Roman Empire and pick up the "Mare Nostrum" Achivement.

Starting as Savoy I followed the mission tree, formed Sardinia-Piedmont, and then Italy. As Italy I had to beat up the Ottoblob with his 600k standing army around 1650 (I know, I shoulnd't have let him grow that much), and the combined strenght of Spain/Portugal who controlled the entire New World between them. I managed to get both Austria and France into a PU with me rather early and as such I wasn't really in any danger, rather it was mostly wars of attrition that I eventually won. I took my time, beacuse, well why not?

Roman Empire Mare Nostrum.png


As for the Wide/Tall debate... Why not both?
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I also decided to stay true to the "Roman Catholic".
Roman Empire religion.png


But most importantly, I knew the roman culture is considerd it's own culture group and only converts your primary culture. So I decided the roman ideals had to spread somewhat...
Roman Empire culture.png
 
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This was probably my most dysfunctional empire ever.

I decided to try for the "Ture Heir of Timur" achivement. I started as Afghanistan and had a good early game. Quick wars, not much lost. I played the alliances and rivalries well, and eventually I got into an alliance with the Ottomans by ditching my earlier Mamluk friends. Not much happend over there so I'm not to sure it made all that much a difference.

Anyway, about the year 1500 I started being more agressive, trying to juggle the truces and actually got me an extra diplomat from ideas. All progressed well and the real stress begand the last 15 years. By that time I was constantly at war with someone and I was starting to feel the clock ticking. That was when my first real crisis began. I tried to peace out Vijijanagar and was hit by the "You can't have less than -999 diplomatic monarch points and this peace would take you under that". Locking me out from taking the peace I wanted. I hadn't followed the mission tree as I thought strategic wars were more important. But all of a sudden I realised I needed those claims... Yikes.

Luckily I had 3 claims so I took them and had to rethink my plan. I took out Jaunpur, and then I had to have 3 back to back wars against Gujarat to get the claims on Bahmanis. Another 3 back to back wars on Bahmanis to take them out and a war with Orissa. Finally I had to have 5 (!) back to back wars against Vijianagar and Andhara to take them out and another war with a 2 province minor Jaunpur. That was alot of trucebreaks. As you can imagine it was quite taxing on the admin points I often had to wait months to be able to go from -3 stab to -2, and after every war it got even more expensive since I got more and more OE.

I also got quite the bad rep for trucebreaking. This shot was taken after the run was finished. As you can see, even Sweden disliked my actions, and they couldn't even see me! I fought 3 coalitions the last 15 years but the only scary one was the first. It stretched from east Asia to the barbary coast to the horn of Africa. After occupying almost all my country i managed to peace them out by sacrificing the Ottomans. The other wars had to few members so I just let them run around.
True Heir of Timur even Sweden.png


Even so, I had so many vassals and had to take a few strategic provinces anyway. I barely made any diplo points. When the last war was to happen I ran into a slight problem. The mission tree didn't give any claims on Ceylon or the coromandel coast. It was 18th of October 1549... Was the run over after all?
True Heir of Timur what do you do.png


I was desperate so I was ready to try anything. And I remembered that declaring bankrupcy sets all your monarch points to -100. I wans't sure it would work, I never declared bankrupcy while being in negative points before. But behold. I just printed some 900 diplo points and got myself the achivement!
True Heir of Timur you declare bankrupcy.png


Now on to more relaxing campaings I think...
 
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Davisx3m

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(To the west in Iran is my vasall Fars)

Nearing the end of my campaign, managed to grab Sikh Pun achievement and Pirate Bay of Janjira achievement, been a really fun campaign.
Ending the game have seen some whacky changes though, almost all of the big-shots are becoming revolutionary, never seen it spreard so much.

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And now I too became a republic!

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NikolaTheGreat

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Denmark -> Scandinavia

This might be the longest game I have played. I started in march and stopped and picked it up from time to time. It is probably the best game I have played in EU4. It was a slow start with the PUs on Norway and Sweden. If I remember it well I concentrated on the Baltic first with France as an ally. Somewhere along the way I got PUs on France and Great Britain. The biggest problem in the game was the HRE. I had a good colonial empire, strong allies(but Castile was only good as a deterent, because they never defended me), a fine army and navy, but I couldn't dismantle the HRE as soon as I would have liked it, because Ragusa became an elector and was guaranteed by the Ottomans. It was quite a hassle to destroy the HRE. Well, in the end I did it, but Austria had good allies in Sardinia-Piedmont and Castile, the Ottomans were really strong. I could win a war against them, but I couldn't really take to much, as I did fight in Africa, India, China, Indonesia and Japan. India was a dream unfullfilled as Vijayanagar got to strong. Economicaly was this my best game as well. It would have better had it not been for some alliances, but in the end I am satisfied.

The world
Scandinavia1.png


The political map mode
Scandinavia2.png

The religieous map mode(And yeah, I was catholic and it was great. Usually I don't go catholic, but it paid of.)
Scandinavia3.png


Scandinavia4.png


Scandinavia6.png

I got to this force limit somewhere close to the end of the game and manpower problems stopped me from using it.
Scandinavia7.png
 
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klingonadmiral

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I feel like I've already shown my WC attempt here. Like, months ago. Can't find it however, even after looking through my posts in this thread. Anyway, after not touching it for 2 months or so I decided to play another 18 years:

1610:

eu4_339.png


1628:

eu4_337.png


Iraq, Ardalan (pink OPM next to Iraq), Kazakh, Sibir and Hadramuth (bunch of islands) are vassals.

Next wars are annexing Oirat and putting pressure on the Mamluks again, before starting work on the Ottomans.

The biggest singular threats currently, aside the Ottomans, are probably the PLC and Two Sicilies with a PU over Castile.
 
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