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I do believe that the DLC gave Byzantium the flavor it was needing, it does make the start harder forcing you to plan out your resources more strategically I waited until the Ottomans were attacking Venice who had a good start so they had the same amount of troops. When the Ottomans had no reserve manpower I attacked with Hungary and Serbia and they just got destroyed. Ottomans hid their troops so they didn't get stack wiped so they weren't instantly deleted once I had returned all my cores allowing me to get another war out of them before they were taken apart by a Georgia that somehow managed to spread all over the Caucacus.

The pronoias are a very nice mechanic and very strong I used them to blob out Iberia and part of Italy without having to worry about the diplo annex times.

Allies: Hungary, Denmark, France, Russia

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America gained independence from Britain in 1620 it let them just explode everywhere, it's the largest I've ever seen them.
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My first HRE run.

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Scotland, Bulgaria, Gaeldom, Kiev and Jolof, Antemoro down in Africa are vassals. France and Poland are PUs. Lithuania and Portugal are allies. Spain is RM but they don't trust me enough to ally me (but they have Habsburgs on the throne, so I was hoping for a free pu lol).

I started as Austria. I actually revoked the privilegia by 1560, but I wanted to get the AEIOU achievement, and unfortunately that implies waiting for the Age of Revolutions to proclaim the Renovatio Imperii.

In general, I did everything well. I got the BI, I pu'd bohemia and hungary through the mission tree, I reined in Italy. After that, the pope voluntarily joined in the empire, so I could use expand empire cb on a diminished Naples.

The first center of reformation appeared in Lorraine, so after they had converted to protestantism, i used my border and holy war cb to force convert them and remove a potential peril. Unfortunately, the two other protestant centers appeared in Denmark and Sweden. I could not do a lot about that as my navy was almost non-existent. A reformed center appeared in Switzerland: In my first war I took that center for me and converted it back to catholicism, but I had to fight them three times to force religion on them. They kept converting back.

As 1550 loomed, I rushed the reform that made the empire hereditary. Brandenburg was my main elector-ally and they were protestant. I feared that if the leagues triggered, things would get ugly. France hated me, Ottos hated me. Spain and Lithuania were my allies, so I was confident of winning, but if I could avoid the religious wars, all the better.

However, making the empire hereditary also made the empire sign a religious peace. This made the pope to get out of it, but at least, the drain of IA from heretic princes was halved. Also, by this time I inherited Bohemia, with its absolutely marvelous monument. Before this, I got down to 0.12 IA increase. After inheriting Bohemia and signing religious peace, I never went down from 0.25 IA increase.

After this, I managed to approve the revocation of privilegia with every prince voting in favor, so everybody became my vassal, and after that, everything became a tedious grind to the age of revolutions.

Shortly after revoking the privilegia, France asked to RM me (They were threatened by me. But no alliance, because historical rivals). Just a few years after that, I got them in free PU. Amazing. The next 180 years were used to complete the mission tree. The colonization missions were kind of hard. Especially because Vijayanagar had grown and conquered almost all of India. I got some of my stacks wiped. But as soon as the vassal swarm got military access all the way through India, the war was over. Spain and Portugal were using me a lot for their wars in the East Indies, so when it was time to complete the mission A Roman Empire, I did it by declaring Expand Empire on the pope, who was allied to Spain, Portugal and Lithuania. Of course I curbstomped them all and I took the provinces that I had claims on (from Spain and Portugal) and the pope I simply forced them to join the empire. After this, my trust with Portugal and Spain was abysmal. Portugal eventually accepted my alliance back, but my trust with Spain was still in 11 when I took this screenshot.

The age of revolutions in this game offers you a totally new, completely fun (not at all fun) mini-game to play with: Whack-a-mole. As France was a subject, the UK had been curbstomped by me and Spain, and the Ottos had been expelled from the Balkans, naturally the center of revolution appeared in Wien. And then it spread the revolution to all my provinces. Every single one of them. It even prioritized my provinces in China than Spanish or Ottoman provinces. So for the next 30-40 years, my whole game consisted in crushing all the rebels that appeared, all around the world. Not fun at all. But after that, the center of revolutions disappeared, I could complete the corresponding mission, I fought to useless wars against Russia and Ottos to fulfill the conditions for the Glory to the Habsburgs mission, and after that, I united the empire.


Achievements unlocked: The pen is mightier than the sword, Electable!, AEIOU, A Kaiser not just in name, The Ostenders.
 
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My first HRE run.

View attachment 1056219

Scotland, Bulgaria, Gaeldom, Kiev and Jolof, Antemoro down in Africa are vassals. France and Poland are PUs. Lithuania and Portugal are allies. Spain is RM but they don't trust me enough to ally me (but they have Habsburgs on the throne, so I was hoping for a free pu lol).

I started as Austria. I actually revoked the privilegia by 1560, but I wanted to get the AEIOU achievement, and unfortunately that implies waiting for the Age of Revolutions to proclaim the Renovatio Imperii.

In general, I did everything well. I got the BI, I pu'd bohemia and hungary through the mission tree, I reined in Italy. After that, the pope voluntarily joined in the empire, so I could use expand empire cb on a diminished Naples.

The first center of reformation appeared in Lorraine, so after they had converted to protestantism, i used my border and holy war cb to force convert them and remove a potential peril. Unfortunately, the two other protestant centers appeared in Denmark and Sweden. I could not do a lot about that as my navy was almost non-existent. A reformed center appeared in Switzerland: In my first war I took that center for me and converted it back to catholicism, but I had to fight them three times to force religion on them. They kept converting back.

As 1550 loomed, I rushed the reform that made the empire hereditary. Brandenburg was my main elector-ally and they were protestant. I feared that if the leagues triggered, things would get ugly. France hated me, Ottos hated me. Spain and Lithuania were my allies, so I was confident of winning, but if I could avoid the religious wars, all the better.

However, making the empire hereditary also made the empire sign a religious peace. This made the pope to get out of it, but at least, the drain of IA from heretic princes was halved. Also, by this time I inherited Bohemia, with its absolutely marvelous monument. Before this, I got down to 0.12 IA increase. After inheriting Bohemia and signing religious peace, I never went down from 0.25 IA increase.

After this, I managed to approve the revocation of privilegia with every prince voting in favor, so everybody became my vassal, and after that, everything became a tedious grind to the age of revolutions.

Shortly after revoking the privilegia, France asked to RM me (They were threatened by me. But no alliance, because historical rivals). Just a few years after that, I got them in free PU. Amazing. The next 180 years were used to complete the mission tree. The colonization missions were kind of hard. Especially because Vijayanagar had grown and conquered almost all of India. I got some of my stacks wiped. But as soon as the vassal swarm got military access all the way through India, the war was over. Spain and Portugal were using me a lot for their wars in the East Indies, so when it was time to complete the mission A Roman Empire, I did it by declaring Expand Empire on the pope, who was allied to Spain, Portugal and Lithuania. Of course I curbstomped them all and I took the provinces that I had claims on (from Spain and Portugal) and the pope I simply forced them to join the empire. After this, my trust with Portugal and Spain was abysmal. Portugal eventually accepted my alliance back, but my trust with Spain was still in 11 when I took this screenshot.

The age of revolutions in this game offers you a totally new, completely fun (not at all fun) mini-game to play with: Whack-a-mole. As France was a subject, the UK had been curbstomped by me and Spain, and the Ottos had been expelled from the Balkans, naturally the center of revolution appeared in Wien. And then it spread the revolution to all my provinces. Every single one of them. It even prioritized my provinces in China than Spanish or Ottoman provinces. So for the next 30-40 years, my whole game consisted in crushing all the rebels that appeared, all around the world. Not fun at all. But after that, the center of revolutions disappeared, I could complete the corresponding mission, I fought to useless wars against Russia and Ottos to fulfill the conditions for the Glory to the Habsburgs mission, and after that, I united the empire.


Achievements unlocked: The pen is mightier than the sword, Electable!, AEIOU, A Kaiser not just in name, The Ostenders.
Nice campaign. Was there anything they you'd do differently next time if you played Austria again?
 
Nice campaign. Was there anything they you'd do differently next time if you played Austria again?
Thanks!

Yeah. Don't follow the mission tree. With Austria, revoking the privilegia is priority number one, and everything else can wait. Also, don't fight wars far from your vassal swarm. They're OP. The colonization missions go against this principle. Maybe also annexing bohemia asap for their monument. It made my life way easier when i inherited it.
 
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My 83rd EUIV run: Najd.

And now back to the Middle East again! This time I wanted to try out something in Arabia proper. If you're wondering why I didn't form Arabia and the Caliphate, it's because I have reserved it for my Hedjaz run in the future.

I started my run with attacking Jabal al-Shammar, they were an easy target with no allies. I recruited a free company and stackwiped their army. In the meantime, the Mamluks annexed Anizah, so I had to either attack al-Haasa or Dawasir. I knew that I could become the next target for the Mamluks as they usually conquer the Arabian tribes one by one, so I sent my diplomats to improve relations with Aq Qoyunlu and the Ottomans. Luckily, I was able to ally them both in time, before the Mamluks decided to attack.

Dawasir was allied with Hormuz, so I decided to attack al-Haasa, which was allied to Medina, a perfect opportunity to snatch it without causing a war with the Mamluks. I managed to annex them both, except that Hormuz managed to snatch Zufra province. But delaying my war with Dawasir was no good, they had made an alliance with the Mamluks. Attacking Hormuz wasn't an option, too, they were allied with Ajam. The only option was to attack the Mamluks and call in the Ottomans and hope that my forts hold long enough for the Ottomans to overrun them and save me. And they did! I had to reload many times, my army was trapped in Bahrain, but in the end the plan succeeded. I managed to annex Hedjaz and take Tabuk and former Anizah's lands.

Now I could start slowly paying off my loans and embrace Renaissance. After I had recovered a bit and annexed the 2 Shia minors in Asir, it was time to attack the Mamluks again. While I still couldn't challenge them, I was at least able to keep them at bay and await the Ottomans without letting them occupy any of my lands. I took from them Jerusalem and Tadmor. That way I gained a border with my rival Qara Qoyunlu. Now I could take most of Iraq and then in the next war with Ajam, I was able to take Basra and connect my newly gained territories from both sides around the desert.

After that I expanded further in Yemen and Hormuz, while dealing with my former allies the Ottomans (they decided to desire my land without even sharing a border). Later on, after I didn't need Austria and the Commonwealth as allies, I allied Tunis and Songhai. I helped them to fight off the Europeans and carve out empires of their own.

01. Najdi Empire.png
02. World map.png
03. Score.png
04. Najdi Empire.png


My vassals: Egypt, Lebanon, Hisn Kayfa, Luristan, Mahra, Adal, Warsangali.
My allies: Tunis, Songhai.

USA decided to invade South America. Sadly, they didn't finish their conquest of Peru before 1821.
Illinois also went crazy expansionist against Colonial nations.
 
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Well now this was probably the most fun campaign i've had full conquered the Ottomans in three wars which dramatically sped up how fast I could do everything.

Allies: Poland (PU Sweden), Lithuania, Austria

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I feel like Influence is very important for this strategy since it costs so much to diplo annex your subjects since you don't have access to the byzantine pronoias unless you go through the whole trial of culture swapping to Greek or Georgian to get the gov type

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First time playing Sweden, went for the achievements (got Sweden is not overpowered, Lion of the North, Super Trooper and the non-specific colonial governors ones).

Quality / Innovative / Exploration / Expansion / Offensive in that order

Also accidentally trigged court and country disaster but it's easy for Sweden to get the 20 max absolutism bonus because you already have an event or permanent mission modifier giving 20 additional absolutism, ensuring that being over 65 absolutism is a lot easier. Could easily get around 150 or 155 absolutism if i removed the estate privileges.

Fun to play as.
 
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I was inspired by the EU4 stream lol I haven't played Bavaria for real before this time I played with it seriously had a lot of fun with it, Austria started out allying both Munich and Ingolstadt and refusing to ally me. So I just had them destroyed when I allied Bohemia and Poland. I likely would have pushed on and conquered France but the game was starting to get really laggy because of how much of Europe I owned

Landshut > Bavaria

Allies: Poland, Sweden, Aragon, Mamluks, Portugal, Castille, Bohemia

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Whatever they did to the Ming AI has stabilized them a lot, they're the most stable I've ever seen them

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I was inspired by the EU4 stream lol I haven't played Bavaria for real before this time I played with it seriously had a lot of fun with it, Austria started out allying both Munich and Ingolstadt and refusing to ally me. So I just had them destroyed when I allied Bohemia and Poland. I likely would have pushed on and conquered France but the game was starting to get really laggy because of how much of Europe I owned

Landshut > Bavaria

Allies: Poland, Sweden, Aragon, Mamluks, Portugal, Castille, Bohemia
Always good to see Bavaria with its natural borders.
 
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My 84th EUIV run: Riga.

At first I was thinking about doing Livonian Order -> Livonia run, but decided to go with Riga instead. Mainly because I watched a year old Riga guide on Youtube and got inspired by it. I ended up with only directly owning 22 provinces, beating the previous Florence->Tuscany record in which I had 25.

The first thing I did in my run wasn't to prepare for war, but build up relations with Austria to join the HRE and develop Riga to 15 dev, then expand infrastructure and do the mission ''City against the State'' to get the first awesome modifiers for Riga to dev it up even further.

While I was able to do ''Raise Riga's Defense'' for a while already, I had to wait for the proper time. It came when the Teutonic Order got bogged down in a war with Sweden and its independence supporters, I was able to attack the Livonian Order without it joining the war. Luckily, Poland was busy, too, so I didn't have to worry about it snatching some provinces. I ended up vassalising the Livonian Order and took 3 provinces from them, that were historically (at least partially) controlled by Archbishopric of Riga. A problem arose later with the Teutons, I couldn't attack them because they were allied with a strong Hungary (I was allied with them, too). I had to wait for their disaster to start and hope that Poland doesn't annex them fully. Luckily, it was left with 2 provinces and by that time I had finished ''Develop Our City'' mission, making Riga the most valuable city in the world and giving me +20 FL. Now I could try to challenge the Teutonic leftovers and Hungary with my ally Brandenburg. Sadly, the Ottomans used the opportunity and attacked the distracted Hungary and so did Venice. After the disastrous wars, Hungary got PUed by Austria, my new ally.

After vassalising them I was able to challenge Poland with Austria's help and reconquer Teutonic cores. Now I was surrounded by 2 vassal states and I could focus on devving up further and selling indulgences until the Reformation. While I could have stayed Catholic, I decided to go Protestant, because Riga historically became a Protestant city, so I became a Protestant Archbishopric. It also allowed me to try out the unique feature of destroying heretic churches. After I had stabilised my country again, it was the right time to make a small colonial empire. I picked Exploration as my 3rd idea group. While I was a bit late, luckily, most of the Caribbean islands were up for the grabs. Of course later on I had to conquer some of the islands from Portugal, Friesland and Holland, but with naval superiority it wasn't that hard to achieve.

I ended up with the following colonial nations:

Neu-Ösel (Caribbean)
Neu-Semgallen (Mexico)
Neu-Kurland (Colombia)

Later on, I also purchased and fought over some key trade centres in Africa and India. Controlling those key provinces allowed me to become an Economical Hegemon well before 1700s. By 1821 Riga, my capital, ended up with 106 dev. The highest for a single province that I had achieved since Leviathan.

01. Rigan Empire.png
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03. Score.png
05. Home region.png
07. Colonies in South America.png


My vassals: Gotland, Finland, Novgorod, Livonia (I should note that since I became Protestant and the Teutonic Order became Prussia on its own, it would look totally off, if they remained as the Livonian Order, instead of secularising, so I did it manually for them, for cosmetic looks and realism), Prussia.

My allies: Tuscany, Greece.

Austria PUed Great Britain and later on integrated it.
Oirat survived and carved out a huge steppe empire.
I fed Egypt a bit too much against the Ottomans, they grew too huge and became Arabia.
It seems like USA and Canada become independent in almost every run in 1.36.
 
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Brunei has a really nice start in the Asia region allowing for fast expansion had plenty of fun with this and had a surprise occur. Palawa formed Australia, so I kept them around as a buddy instead of eating them it did mean that it was harder to achieve economic hegemony but I got there in the end.

Allies: Australia (Palawa), Tunis

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Portugal got sacked by Britain when they conquered South Africa from them and with Spain becoming revolutionary everyone attacked them, Tunis ended up taking nearly everything and ended up conquering most of Portugal

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Naples > Two Sicilies > Italy.

Sometimes I really hate Ottomans, so I had to ally them. Had no choice. GB absolutely shit on France so I needed a fried against them. Ended up killing my score in the end when they became the Navy Hegemon. First time I actually saw Egypt form, and Aragon stuck around for the entire game.

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My 85th EUIV run: Berg.

I was inspired to do this on run by looking at a map of the Confederation of Rhine. And while I was already a HRE member in my previous Riga run, I didn't become the Emperor like I did here. To compete with Austria I had to grow in size and become an Electorate myself, but to do that, I had to first make an alliance with them. For some reason, even though I got my relations up to +135, they still didn't become friendly and it took me like 20 years until we became allies. In the meantime, I had already annexed Cologne, but I wasn't able to become an Electorate yet.

The Reformation was already in full swing, when I came up with a real plan to become an Electorate, 2 Electors were already voting for me - Palatinate and Augsburg, both were my allies. I could convince Trier as well, but wouldn't it be better to take their Electorship status for myself? To reduce AE I gave one of their provinces to Palatinate and then with favours returned it back immediately to my newly gained vassal Trier. Since I couldn't afford to pay 6,000 ducats, I simply requested Austria to transfer the Electorship to me and they agreed. Now in like 20 years, when the Austrian Emperor finally died, I was elected as the Emperor, but I had a long way to the top. The League War was nearing and only 3 reforms were passed. Like 150 years later, in the early 1700s, I was finally able to make all my HRE subjects into vassals and become an Economical Hegemon.

01. Berger Empire.png

02. World map.png
03. Score.png
04. Berger Empire.png


My vassals: All HRE members.
My allies: Scotland, Portugal, Greece, Sokoto.

I was also allied to Persia, but they desired my lands and broke the alliance.
 
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