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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

CatKnight

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Alright, it's time to get back in the saddle. Losing with the Teutonic Order hurt, but it wasn't a true reflection of my skill. At least that's what I told myself when I loaded up the CK II 1337 scenario as England, ignored the Hundred Years War and instead stomped on Ireland. I felt better.

So, this AAR won't be like most of what you see. Its closest ancestor is possibly Three Countries, One Goal by Storey back in EU2. At least it's the one I thought of while preparing this. Hence, I'll borrow freely from his intro:

Storey said:
This is not a character driven AAR.
This is not a story driven AAR.
This is not a comedic AAR.
Well all right there might be some humor at times but it isn’t going to be the focus of this AAR.
This is not a cute cuddly want to take home type of AAR.

There will be no deep inner meaning causing the reader to have to read between the lines in order to figure out what the hell this is all about.
This will be a RANDOM AAR - meaning I will let the RNG determine my starting country. I will then play for a number of years determined by the chart below. When done, I will let the RNG pick another nation for me, and so on.

Number of Years: Every 5 years*, roll 1d6:
5 years: 2+ (83% chance)
10 years: 3+ (56% cumulative chance)
15 years: 4+ (28% cumulative chance)
20 years: 5+ (9% cumulative chance)
25+ years: 6+
*Turns with an odd number of years (1444-1450 for example) will be rounded to the nearest 5.

This way, I won't be quite sure when my turn is ending, so won't be as tempted to play towards an artificial deadline.

My goal is to see what 'vanilla' EU4 has to offer across the entire timeframe of the game and the entire world, without a human player completely dominating or (like my last effort) getting destroyed.

Ironman is off, though I don't plan to reload unless absolutely necessary. Lucky nations are off, as I'm not convinced the monarch bonus isn't excessive - though that means Europe will go nuts. No bonuses for either side. The only mod I'm using is 'Colorblind' since it makes certain things stand out more.

Let's begin, shall we?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter I - MALI (1444-1465)
* Religious Disunity
* Bringing it Together
* Napping Towards Glory
* The Black and the Red
> Interlude I <

Chapter II - LAN XANG (1465-1490)
* That Was Fun
* Pettiness
* Still Alive
* Laotian Captivity
* Living Dangerously
> Interlude II <

Chapter III - TRIPOLI (1490-1505)
* My Muslim Brothers
* Vengeance Deferred
* Warmongering for Fun and Profit
> Interlude III <

Chapter IV - BENGAL (1505-1510)
* Death of a Tiger

Chapter V - TIMURIDS/MUGHALS (1510-1540)
* Whack a Mole
* Visiting our Neighbors
* A World of Hurt
* The Sound of Fur Flying
* Forward the Imperium
* Discretion
> Interlude IV <

Chapter VI - SAVOY (1540-1555)
* Fight Damn You!
* New Plan!
* Caretaker
> Interlude V <

Chapter VII - LUXEMBOURG (1555-1563)
* Let's Make This Fast
* Oops

Chapter VIII - MOROCCO (1563-1580)
* Uniting Barbary
* Thanks for the Memories
* The Desert Hyena
> Interlude VI <

Chapter IX - JAPAN (1580-1590)
* Call me Hideyoshi
* Domestic Problems

Chapter X - RUSSIA (1590-1610)
* It All Belongs to CatKnight
* Overextension!
* Giant in the Playground
* Revenge!
> Interlude VII <

Chapter XI - SHAN (1610-1615)
* No We Shan't!

Chapter XII - OMAN (1615-1625)
* The Valiant Die But Once
* The Mad Emir
> Interlude VIII <

Chapter XIII - HUNGARY (1625-1630)
* Standing at the Crossroads

Chapter XIV - DUTCH WEST INDIES (1630-1645)
> Interlude IX - The Colonial Game <
* Making the Boss Do His Job
* Give me Victory
* What Can Go Wrong?
> Interlude X: Halftime! <

Chapter XV - MANTUA (1645-1655)
* In the Dice of Johan We Find Solace
* Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

Chapter XVI - AUSTRIA (1655-1675)
* Color of Blood
* A Little Help From My Friends
* For Want of a Nail
* In Soviet Austria
> Interlude XI <

Chapter XVII - PALATINATE <HRE> (1675-1695)
* The Empire Strikes Back
* The Emperor's New Wars
* How Not to Make Peace
* Triering Too Hard
> Interlude XII <

Chapter XVIII - NAJD (1695-1700)
* You Najd, Bro?

Chapter XIX - YEMEN (1700-1725)
* Like a Bad Neighbor
* Westernizing on a Budget
* Dances with Event Generators
* World Cup!
* Elimination Round
> Interlude XIII <

Chapter XX - PORTUGAL (1725-1730)
* Bullying

Chapter XXI - HUNGARY II (1730-1750)
* Kicking Anthills
* Hungary for Turkey
* A Step Too Far
* Glory to Arstotzka
> Interlude XIV <

Chapter XXII - BAVARIA (1750-1765)
* Knife Fight!
* Where Are We Going?
* Death of a Mitrehead
> Interlude XV: One Year Celebration! <

Chapter XXIII - CATALAN CANADA (1765-1780)
* Politically Incorrect
* Events Gone Wild!
* Zzzzz

Chapter XXIV - MAINZ (1780-1800)
* Here There Be Dragons
* Ancient Threats
* Let It Burn
* Doing it With Style
> Interlude XVI: Art of Maps <

> Interlude XVII: Decision Time <

Chapter XXV - NETHERLANDS (1800-1821)
* Humping the Empire
* Delandaing France
* The Unbinding of Isaac
* The Final Countdown

EPILOGUE (The World in 1821)
* Pretty Charts
 
Last edited:

CatKnight

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CHAPTER I: MALI
Part 1: Religious Disunity (1444-1450)



Situation Report

So, first up is Mali. This should be great! Yes, we're dealing with a West African state with abysmal (0/0/0) tech, but I'm also by far the largest and strongest state in the region. Historically the Manden Kurufaba is just now reaching its peak. The Songhai Empire is just getting warmed up, while the Ashantai are an afterthought.

How bad could it be?



Oh dear.

We have no diplomatic relations: The Ashantai are at -45, Songhai at -3. No ships, but we do have 13,000 spearmen. Hm...our revolt risk is pretty high. What's the religious situation?



Oh dear.

Alright, so our immediate goals: The Songhai are our only neighbors strong enough to cause trouble. I'm going to take them out, while working at home to get that revolt risk down.


First Steps

If I'm going to deal with my neighbors and not wreck Mali in the process, I need CBs. Fortunately I get a mission to conquer Gao, Songhai. I send a diplomat to Kumasi, Ashantai to forge a claim, while my missionary goes to Cayor on the coast to begin introducing people to the wonders of worshipping Allah.

Musa III becomes our new general (F1 Sh 3). I'm not really trying to get rid of him, since with that heir it doesn't matter. I also hire an artist (+1 Admin, -10 Stab)

Only a few days into my reign, I see my first European ship: The Portugese are exploring off the West African coast. Sure, just keep on going.

In January 1445, it's time to cause trouble.


Chewing on Songhai



It's not much of a war. In January-February I demolish the sole Songhai army and destroy it one month later. Fresh recruits actually manage to cause a little trouble, but by April the fighting is over.

This is a good thing, as while we were bravely massacring Songhai, a rebellion broke out in Cayor with our conversion 93.7% complete. We try to convince the Senegambians to rejoin our peace loving empire by opening madrassas, but they remain unconvinced.



In October 1445 the rebels seize Cayor. About two weeks later Musa's army finally arrives, but our missionary is already dead or fleeing. I send another to Mussina in the east.

By Feburary 1446, all of Songhai has fallen. You know what that means.



My mission to conquer Gao is worth 5 prestige. My next one is even nicer: Defeat the rebellion to get +2 stability. Cayor falls in June.


Consolidating

So, we have a few options for our next mission: Integrate Goa. Considering how quickly we're gaining Admin, we should be ready to try that in about 15 years. Ally with Hausa. Who? Oh, the green mass beyond Songhai. Annex Ashanti? Now you're talking. That mission gives me a CB, so I recall my diplomat.

On a lark I try to get an alliance with Hausa, and succeed. We autobreak it one month later as for some reason we really don't like them. (-108 relations).

So, I have my CB on Ashantai but I'm going to wait. Those revolt risks look frightening, especially with 42% overextension, and I need to get my religious situation stabilized.

Fortunately my missionaries hit their stride. By the end of this session 5 provinces have converted at 8-9 months per.

In August 1446 artists are unhappy because, being a desert nation, I refuse to admit sand paintings are a valid form of expression. I execute the worst of the sand painters for -1 stab (now at +1).

This brings out the rebels in Bambuk and Cayor (again). We're no longer distracted with Songhai, so they're easily crushed. Through 1447 Wolof and Gabu also try their luck, and both of those rebellions are smashed as well.

In 1448 we begin coring Dendi, one of the ex-Songhai provinces to start bringing down my overextension. I also move the army from a central location to Gabu near the west coast, as there are a number of Animist provinces over there I can be converting.

Speaking of animists, one of them is in my government and Sunni officials are not happy.



Tough.

Later that month Tademekka revolts. This is a little more serious: Tademekka is the easternmost former-Songhai province. My army's on the west. I can't keep having my army march back and forth across half of Africa, so I recruit 8 more spearmen.

More correctly, I HIRE 8 more merc spearmen as I apparently wasn't paying attention. Well, my budget is still positive so I'll deal for now. They replace the army at Gabu, while Musa III's army takes care of business then settles in Timbuktu.

The rest of 1448 is quiet. 1449 sees Hausa getting trampled by some nation called Kanem Bornu. I ponder interfering.

Nah.

By January 1450 the religious situation is a bit more stable. Rebellions are still a bit dicey (the numbers in each province represent percentages), but that's coming down as well.




The Dice of Fate:

Length of reign: 6 years
Roll to continue: 5
Continue? (Y/N): (Need 2+) Yes
 
Last edited:

tnick0225

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Legolas

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I recently read through Beyond Tannenberg, and was impressed.

This looks equally interesting.

Will be following.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Was it really that long ago? I remember Storey's AAR. Yours is , if anything, even more ambitious.

I wager you will get the Teutonic Order. Game's not going to let you get away that easily.

An interesting start with Mali. One thing to note is that revolt risk really doesn't work that well. Revolts seem to spawn in low risk provinces more often than high, though I'm still on EU3 and it's my experience - looking at the Eu4 AARs it would seem EU4 hasn't fixed that, which would mean the event is bugged.

Good luck with this.
 

CatKnight

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tnick0225: Welcome aboard!

WastelandENT: Thank you. I tried something vaguely similar in EU2, but never got around to posting about it. The 'Random Nation' selector makes things so much easier.

Legolas: Welcome aboard! If these are 'equally interesting,' well.. thank you. It will be for different reasons though, as this will be a much more relaxed game. (I hope.)

Chief Ragusa: I know, it's hard to believe. Where has all the time gone?

The rebellions seem to be working right so far. I know there have been alot of complaints as to size, but so far they're manageable.

Regarding the TO - it wouldn't surprise me. I happened to check the main map to see how they're doing: They're already down 3 provinces to Pol/Lith.

Danasher: Welcome!

Belgiumruler: Thanks and welcome aboard.

bjoernd: Thank you. As I mentioned, I give a lot of credit to Storey. During that time period he was experimenting with a lot of different ways to write AARs.
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER I: MALI
Part 2: Bringing it Together (1450-1455)


Internal Workings

It's 1450 and tensions at home are still a little unstable for a new offensive. We talked about our revolt risk last time. Our Overextension is still at 42%, and Dendi won't core until 1458.

Our missionaries continue to do the work of Allah. Five more provinces will convert this turn, leaving just one in the hands of Animist savages.

The first thing we do is make our heir, Uli Keita, our second commander. Given his ruler stats (1/1/1), I wouldn't cry much if he died. He's a pretty good commander however (F1 Sh1 M2) and is in charge of the mercenaries I accidentally hired.

In August 1450 we begin coring Tadmekka. This will take until 1460. Some shady people stop by and make me an offer I can't refuse. I do, actually, and gain 5 prestige in the bargain. (now at 47)

In September, a revolt in Dendi is duly crushed. Then, the largest setback of this session occurs: In June 1451 10,000 people in Bambuk would rather die than become Muslim.

Uli tried to oblige them in August with his mercenaries, but suffered a humiliating defeat. Dad came over to save the day and Bambuk joined the Muslim brotherhood half a year later.

Losing so many mercs actually helped the Mali economy, so it was time to fix that permanently. Slowly, as my rather anemic manpower allowed, I began switching in regular regiments.

In August 1452 merchants (I don't know which merchants with -100% provincial trade efficiency and no access to trade nodes, but so be it) complained that the Ashanti were being mean to them. Recall I already have a Conquest CB on them and have no need of the diplomatic CB this offers. Instead I tell the Ashanti it's okay, we make up over whatever West Africans drank during this time period, and they're grateful. (+50 relations, they're at +1).

It's a ruse of course. A useful ruse as it sets off an agricultural revoltion in Wasuju which I exploit for +1 taxes. I'm simply waiting until one last province is converted, and...ah, there we go.


Home by Winter



On June 21, 1453 we inform the Ashanti ambassador that we changed our mind, we're actually rather upset they made fun of merchants, and we're going to kill them now. We crush their army, who retreats into Terra Incognita and gets eaten by lions. The walls of Kumasi fall quickly, so we assault and win. It's over by November.



So, for our next mission we can either Integrate Gao (still requires a lot of Admin points), Integrate Kumasi (not as many as Gao, but still alot), or ally with Kanem Bornu. Wait...who?



It seems they thrashed Hausa pretty thoroughly, though Hausa survives with that one province you can see in the SE of the Ashanti picture. Kanem Bornu is..somewhat large, and has moved up to the top of my list of targets.

Not today though, nor perhaps for some time. My Overextension is now 64%, and my manpower is poor since I'm still filling Uli's army with regulars. Strangely the ex-Ashanti aren't happy with the current arrangement, especially when missionaries move in to tell them why worshipping animal gods is SO out of style.

In August 1454, a former Ashanti diplomat makes a determined effort to merge the two faiths, explaining that maybe Allah is the sun, and Mohammed is an eagle who sends messages back and forth. Once more the Muslims are thrilled. Once more I don't care.



People in Dendi (this is their third rebellion) let me know that this just won't do, neither will my -100% piety. Uli's 'new' army, not quite full strength but buoyed by an excellent year resulting in +907 manpower went over to explain things to them.

In February 1455, Kumasi (the former Ashanti capital) converted. This left just Gao, but that's for next time.

The Dice of Fate:

Length of reign: 11 years
Roll to continue: 5
Continue? (Y/N): (Need 3+) Yes
 
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Legolas

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Well, yes, this is interesting in a different way.

Lions armed with rocket launchers? Oh my, the images this conjures in my mind... Something like this, perhaps? :)
 

Nikolai

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Another AAR? I can but sub.:D
 

Stuyvesant

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Any AAR that starts with paying homage to Three Countries One Goal has my attention. :)

Was it really that long ago? I remember Storey's AAR. Yours is, if anything, even more ambitious.

I wager you will get the Teutonic Order. Game's not going to let you get away that easily.
Chief Ragusa: I know, it's hard to believe. Where has all the time gone?
Time flies indeed. :) The Teutonic Order would be a good evil-computer choice for the RNG - especially if, say, in 100 years it's a newly-independent one-province revolter state that just broke away from Novgorod and has Lithuanian culture and Orthodox religion. :p

Now, if this were Storey playing, he'd get to be Crimea. Obviously (ah, it's been too long since I could make a nonsensical Crimea joke).

Liking the action and thoroughly enjoying your style, in particular your variations on 'Here There Be Dragons'. :)
 

tnick0225

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This is entertaining beyond belief I think...As much as I'm enjoying the African game you got going I'm looking forward to the day you switch nations and to see what kind of crazy state will be next.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Now, if this were Storey playing, he'd get to be Crimea. Obviously (ah, it's been too long since I could make a nonsensical Crimea joke).
Storey would get to be whoever was occupying the Crimea and suffer never ending revolts.:rofl:

The Malians are very expansionist. Now they are up against the Kanem Bornu (I can't see them on a map and not remember Duke of Wellington's excellent AAR) and according to the map have lions armed with rocket launchers. Nothing to frighten the valiant Malian warriors. They don't know what rocket launchers are.

Long may those Portuguese and other westerners not stop to make withdrawals from the Bank of Mali.
 

CatKnight

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Legolas: Very nice mini!

riknap: Working on it. Slowly.

Nikolai: Welcome!

Stuyvesant: It'll be funny if I get the TO. I may just kamikaze Poland out of spite if that happens.

tnick0225: I agree. This is fun, and approaching a climax, but it'll be good to move on. After thinking about what you said, I upped the odds of changing: 5 years, 2+ to continue, 10 years 3+, etc. I suspect I'll average 15 year reigns over the course of the AAR, which was what I wanted.

Chief Ragusa: I think you're right. Especially given that rebels seem to need tweaking, I could easily see 100K Crimean nationalists devastating his empire. And yes, long may the Portuguese or any other Euros stay away.
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER I: MALI
Part 3: Napping Towards Glory (1455-1460)



New Kid in Town

Let's begin by saying this is a somewhat boring session. Go ahead and grab a blankie and some warm milk (or a toddy.) Why so boring? Because we're not going to take on Kanem Bornu right away. I have one province coring in 1458, another in 1460, and that should bring my 64% overextension (and resulting revolt risk) down to reasonable figures. I will hope the dice are kind and aim to stomp on K-B in 1461 or so.

At first it looks like I'll get some help.



This is great! They'll defect to me! Mansa (Emperor) Musa III....



I mean Mansa Uli II will happily welcome them into the fold. In an effort to appeal to a broader section of society (and get rid of that +1 RR) he begins liberalizing the government, inviting more input from its member tribes. Kenta Tuore (F1 Sh2 M3) is appointed Farim-Soura (Commander of the Northern Army) to keep an eye on Songhai.

In October 1455 Tuore gets his first test: 13,000 Gao animists decide they don't want to be Muslims. Tuore headed over with 8,000 men to teach them the error of their ways, and was pushed back with heavy casualties.

Much as Musa had to do with Uli, so now Uli rescued Tuore by bringing 13,000 fresh men on scene. Following a particularly vicious battle with 2,300 loyalists and 5,600 animists slain, he beat them back in January.


Neighbor Troubles

1456 saw escalating tensions between Kanem-Bornu and Mali. The former was having trouble putting down their revolts: The 'patriots' in Gabor were joined by peasants in neighboring Katsina. In April the patriots decided Dendi needed to join the..uhm..someone's crown.

Dendi had seen three home-grown revolts and didn't need any help being difficult. Uli rushed there with 12,000 men, and after a pyrrhic victory with 4,000 dead or wounded, pushed the patriots back into Kanem Bornu where they belonged. Into Katsina to be precise, whereupon the peasant leader and that of the patriots had a discussion.

Patriots: We fight to liberate the Maliese people against the corrupt K-B government!
Peasants: We fight to reduce taxes!
Patriots: We will need taxes to win our war against the neighboring Maliese people!
Peasants: Wait. You're liberating the Maliese...
Patriots: Right!
Peasants: From the Maliese...
Patriots: Right!
Peasants: So you can fight more Maliese...
Patriots: Right!
Peasants: ... Die!
The patriots fell in July. K-B in turn crushed the peasants in February 1457. They returned briefly in 1458, but by now the crisis had passed.


The Home Front

Meanwhile, April 1456 saw the birth of Abd al-Rahman, Uli's much more capable son. By age two he was talking nursemaids into giving him sweets. By age four he was beating his father at 'Warhammer 1.4K'. I doubt we'll still be here when he grows up, but at Adm 1/Dip 6/Mil 6 he's a few solid steps in the right direction.

Gao converted to Sunni in May 1456, unifying the empire federation in faith. Over the next few years Gabu, Cayor and Wolof, the troublesome western provinces, would see a massive influx of Maliese settlers to crush the native Senegambian culture. Dendi cored in August 1458.

Not everything went well, at least if you were a Muslim cleric. Like his father, Uli believes converting the federation to Islam is more than enough of a show of faith. When Castillan adventurers offer to trade the secrets of the west, it's too good to pass up.



We go one step further when mobs target unbelievers and we tell them to knock it off. (-25 Piety)

By October 1459 it's looking like time to teach the Kanem-Bornu a lesson about being neighbors. Their heir is dead after provoking a rocket launcher armed lion. Their ruler, Kedai is an idiot. (A1 D0 M1) I begin moving Uli's larger army to the border when the Ashanti decide to be uppity.

In November they rise up in Kumasi with 7,000. Tuore gets a chance to redeem himself...and fails miserably. Once more Uli needs to run over and save him.

It is now January 1460. Tadnekka is 93.3% cored. I don't quite have enough Admin points to do something about Kumasi yet, but their day is coming. Once Tadnekka is settled...as well as this pesky rebellion...it'll be time for a war.

If the dice let me.


The Dice of Fate:

Length of reign: 16 years
Roll to continue: 6
Continue? (Y/N): (Need 4+) Yes
 

Nikolai

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How does the dice work? We vote? You roll a dice in your home? :)