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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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probably because Aragorn successfully invaded France

Either that's a typo or the 'Lord of the Rings' just got a sequel. :)

I fear that you can't forcibly dismantle the HRE while campaigning to run it... Oh, wait. Yes you can. It just makes you Richard Nixon.

Not that that's a bad thing. (Yes it is! It is! It is!)

Looking forward to more doings from Savoy. After all, if Spain likes you, you can't be all bad. (Yes you can! You can! You can!)
 

DennisRoos

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Either that's a typo or the 'Lord of the Rings' just got a sequel. :)
Well, there are some who consider France more evil than Mordor. They share the endless hordes, the eager conquering of their neighbors, though I don't think the king of France had 9 evil undead kings bound to him. He would just annex them instead of vassalising their kingdoms. :p

On the topic of the campaign, you're doing great! A nice selection of possible goals, a large ally in Spain, and you're not a pathetic OPM like Bengal. I hope you can keep the momentum and lead Savoy to greatness, or at least a new tag or title.
 

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Nice bit of vinegar in the prose (do you work for Apple, perchance, or just feel that way? :)), decent setup with Savoy, already a few wild swings in the goals you're trying to achieve... This makes for a very nice read AND holds an awful lot of promise for mayhem in the near future. You've got at least five more years, I assume some parts of the HRE are going to feel your wrath before your tenure is over. :)
 

Storey

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In August I find out Mainz now favors me for the imperial throne: Awesome. Let's see how old Emperor Rudolf is anyway. Hopefully there's an election soon! Then I can...

What do you mean he's nine!?

Now that's a disappointment. :( I was looking forward to the political intrigue that becoming emperor would bring with it. Oh well conquering your neighbors will just have to do for now.:)
 

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McGrey: Unfortunately the poisonous snakes from Lan Xang didn't get past Mali's lions-with-rocket-launchers, but I'll keep trying. Glad you enjoyed the humor.

Donasin: Well, the throne will never be mine as long as Rudolf lives. :mad:

Chief Ragusa: Yep, good read on the situation. If Spain stays friendly I can get a lot done.

tnick0225: The crown's going to be an issue. So we can try to make Savoy strong enough not to be worth fighting.

Sir Garnet: Honestly I'm not sure what I do with the Imperial throne. Forming Italy is very tempting, albeit likely to annoy people. Cutting Burgundy down to size and becoming the dominant power in 'France' is also a thought.

eugene171: Thanks!

Director: Lord of the Rings, Book IV: Subverting the Electorate. Hm...no, doesn't sound right.

Dennis Roos: Lord of the Rings, Book IV: The Witch King of France? A little better...

Stuyvesant: My shot at Apple was based on a parody 'rap' pitting Steve Jobs against Bill Gates.

Gates: "Well Steve, you steal the work that other people do. / Did that fat beard (Steve) Wozniak write these raps for you too?"

We definitely took a few wild swings last round and this. Let's see if they land.

Storey: Oh, still plenty of room for political intrigue. I just have to do it Richard Nixon style. That's not a bad thing, right Director?
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER VI: SAVOY
Part 2: New Plan! (1545-1550)


All Dressed Up...

It is early 1545. High on our agenda has to be finishing off Switzerland and so getting a land connection to my stolen liberated provinces. While we're at it we need to continue working towards being emperor.

The latter is going to be a little problematic. Palatinate and Milan are solidly on my side, but Mainz keeps telling me no while her eyes say yes. Or vice versa. Regardless I keep a diplomat busy topping off my relations there while I look around for trouble opportunities to help my good buddy the Emperor.

In January Palatinate force-converts Baden to Catholicism, irritating the Protestant Emperor. Sorry son, can't help you there. What I can do is guarantee Switzerland however, so no one bothers them until I'm ready.

Through the summer of 1545 St. Gallien and Zurich convert back to Catholicism as well, further isolating the boy king while lowering their RR dramatically. In fact, everything's going well until Wurtemburg destroys Baden entirely in September.

You may be next, pal.

No, no, I must stay on target as Mainz reminds me in November after they peace out with Switzerland by forcing them to annul their treaties. Palatinate continues to take advantage of the boy emperor's brilliant leadership by attacking and ultimately conquering Gelre. The boy declares himself a man at the tender age of 15 in February 1546. I congratulate him by sending a rag doll.

Still, Mainz seems to be favoring Saxony more often than not late, so I'm going to use the tried and true method of winning the electorate: Take hostages and create vassals! It's kinda like elections in a modern democracy except more honest.


...With Noone to Kill

My target: Trier, all OPM of it. To get there I need MA through Wurtemberg as well as Palatinate. Between Wurtemberg, Switzerland and Spain I'm losing 3 dip points per month from what we generate, but hopefully this is temporary.

Even better, I notice in September 1546 that Trier happens to be at war with the Emperor over religious differences. Good, that means they won't interfere.

The war ends in October, over a month before my troops are in position. As I ponder whether to wait for Saxony to get into another war, they ally with Trier. Well, I might as well go for it. And bring some friends, just in case...

154611WarTrier_zps7c8b0dfd.jpg


It's not much of a war: I march into Trier before November is out. The Imperial army is still recovering from its last war and only musters 5,000 when it runs into Puritan Heretics in Koblenz and loses. In April 1547 Trier surrenders.

154704TrierPeace_zps7df9e8bb.jpg


This is when I find out the mechanics have changed wildly since EU3. First, Trier only gets +50 when deciding whether or not to vote for me, and so they still favor Saxony. Further, every other elector now has a -50 penalty when deciding to vote for me because I'm more honest about my politics than most people. How's that fair?

Then, the icing on the cake: Palatinate decides they'd make a pretty good emperor, so they will no longer consider anyone else for the throne.

My God, I'm going to have to vassalize all you bastards!

First thing's first though. Stay on target. Stay on target. Breathe in.

'Your heir has fallen ill and dies.' Sorry, Vittorio. Breathe out.

'Mainz has insulted you.' Don't worry Mainz, I'll talk to you later. Breathe in.

'Palatinate has insulted you.' Grrrrr......

In June 1548, we declared war on Switzerland. Switzerland had only two allies: Papacy and Venice. Big deal. I don't even bother calling in my allies, nor do I bother with a screenshot. Move into Bern. Split my army into two to siege Waldstatte. Wait.

Notice that 30K Burgundians are coming down on Bern like the hammer of God.

154807BurgundyInvolved_zps0d1ad636.jpg



F***!!

As you see we won the first battle, pretty handily. That's when I notice Burgundy has a SECOND 30K doomstack heading my way. Time to call my trusted allies to arms! Spain accepts. Palatinate accepts for reasons that make sense to them. Tuscany accepts because, hey, Burgundy's nowhere near them. Everyone else tells me to get stuffed. Crap!

Oh, and the Papal/Venetian fleets are out in force. They're blockading Nice, which I'm not too worried about. They also sink two of my four trade caravels. No!

Several tense months pass, with the Burgundian second army gathering strength on their border. It buys me time: Time to regroup my army in Waldstatte: Bern can wait. Time for the Spaniards to show up in force. They siege Bern and Burgundy moves doomstack # 2 to crush them. I know if I move my army into Bern to help, they'll just stop their movement so I play a bit of a dirty trick: Wait for the Burgundian stack to actually engage, then move my army in to save the day.

In November we fight possibly the biggest battle of this AAR.

154811BernII_zps8511669f.jpg


It's a terrific (horrible) battle, and forces the second Burgundian doomstack to retire. Unfortunately stack # 1 is back in action, and now the AI decides to just merge them.

154901Setup_zpsf0449f87.jpg


Fortunately this picture proves deceptive: DAYS after I take it, Breton and Spaniard reinforcements bring it up to 53K in Waldstatte. The Burgundians think about it, then move their army back to home territory to recover further.

It's now late winter 1549, and the Spanish AI has noticed that for whatever reason I'm in charge of the siege at Bern, therefore I can go ahead and take it on my own. Spanish and Breton armies start heading home. I made sure they hadn't peaced out: Nope, they were just going to let me fight my own battles. The nerve!

Waldstatte falls in January 1549, so I move everyone to Bern. A peasant revolt breaks out in Auvergne, but they're just going to have to wait, as here comes the doomstack and I'm not sure I can take them. I grit my teeth and wait for it, hoping the Spanish army will do SOMETHING, but they don't appear interested. We collide starting in April.

This was a feint though, and in fact the same dirty trick I pulled on them. Once I'd tied down the Burgundian army, the entire Spanish mass turned around and piled in. From April to November the two armies pound each other: It's obvious early on we're going to win, but Burgundy's 8K artillery proves hard to kill.

154911BernIII_zps6889d4a5.jpg


I ask Burgundy for peace in exchange for Waldstatte. They say no. So I chased most of their army into Franche-Comte and destroyed it.

On December 22, 1549, Burgundy surrendered. We took Waldstatte and 60 ducats, and immediately began coring all our Swiss provinces.


Aftermath

This frightened Palatinate enough to break our alliance. My heart bleeds.

In February 1550 we destroyed the peasant rebellion and moved our army to restore Auvergne (which had fallen to their treachery) to the fold.

As for where we go from here....I guess the first question is: Are we still here?


Johan's Dice

Reign: 10 years
Roll: 3
Needed: 3+
Continue?: Yes

Close. Too close. Fine, let's do this:

155502MissionEmperor_zps6611fa3e.jpg
 
Last edited:

tnick0225

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Burgundy attempted to put up a fight. I wonder if we'll see a Savoy led HRE...

Some good tense moments though I thought for sure Burgundy was going to destroy your stack! Crafty spanish AI learning your tricks :)
 

Stuyvesant

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Storey: Oh, still plenty of room for political intrigue. I just have to do it Richard Nixon style. That's not a bad thing, right Director?
"I am not a crook!" ;)

Very dynamic (i.e. bloody) update. Lots of action, overall those wars went in your favor. It does seem like your political end goal, to become Emperor, is slipping away from you. But hey! Your single-minded pursuit of that goal makes for great entertainment!

It's interesting to see how the game gives you a challenge in each location (some more doable than others - see Bengal), but how the circumstances of those challenges vary wildly based on your location (and attendant tech levels/adversaries). A testament to all that EUIV has to offer.
 

verdas

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As well as the negative hit for having a vassal elector, the electors will dislike you annexing a HRE member, so be aware of that. Honestly, you may just want to release Trier after improving relations (since you can boost +200), since they aren't really benefiting you right now.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Those were some punishing wars. You linked up your Swiss lands and have a mission on the last one. Building a fort in Lyonnais provides free army tradition and necessary with Burgundy on your border.

Milan and Mantua, dishonoured. A couple more vassals in waiting, advancing the plan to form Italy. You've got two elector votes. You will have Trier once you've improved relations. You need two more. Effectively it's
one more, with the palatinate voting for itself. Assuming Brandenburg is the seventh elector, winning them over should be straightforward. Another vassal. Then kill the emperor at the head of his army. Then
kill Switzerland.

Shame about your heir. Here's hoping for a great one.
 

Avalen

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Finally caught up with this! I have to say that this is a marvelous AAR, marvelous enough for a shy lurker like me to come out of hiding! Your game has been interesting enough that I might end up playing a game like this myself.

Now I'm just left thirsting for more! Looking forward to seeing what you'll get up to with another five years.
 

InnocentIII

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Leaving the Mughuls a flaming wreck surrounded by implacable foes, that would have been fun. But the trouble with Coalition wars isn't the fighting, it's the peace deals. No way to charge each small fry an exit fee, or bribe the biggest of the lot to let you beat up on the rest at your leisure. No. You have to slog through everyone at once just to pick up one or two decent provinces.

Fun updates, Johan made a good choice in Savoy.
 

Sir Garnet

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No man knows the hour of his end. This is in 5 year chunks, but this format gives a good sense of the urgency felt by ambitious historical rulers to accomplish their goals without foreknowledge of how long they had left (and the fear things would crumble in the hands of less worthy successors if all was not put on a firm foundation).
 

DennisRoos

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You seem to do very well. I have to ask though, how can the Emperor be nine? I thought only independent male monarchs of age could be elected, unless the Erbkaisertum reform was passed, but it hasn't passed here yet. Or was that only in EU3? I remember losing my Imperial title if I got a regency council, even if all the electors supported me.
 

CatKnight

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tnick0225: I thought for sure Burgundy was going to stomp on me. I love Spain. Best Blobs Forever!

Stuyvesant: Yes, being emperor has become more difficult. It may simply not be feasible to take the throne militarily anymore, which is probably a good thing. Well, I suppose I can be a pain in the emperor's side instead.

verdas: I explore releasing Trier in the next post. Honestly, it's more or less a wash.

Chief Ragusa: I'm not quite sure how EU4 handles dishonoring alliances. It appears they can ignore 'calls to arm' during offensive wars without penalty, the alliance only breaks if they fail to help defend you. We'll look at the electorate with the next post, it's a little more complicated than that.

Avalen: I'm glad you're tempted to try this. It's fun, though sometimes aggravating (Bengal, Lan Xang).

Innocent III: Exactly. If I could have carved the coalition part piece by piece, it'd be easier to risk it. Having to negotiate with the largest member makes it a bit of a slog.

Sir Garnet: I agree. On the one hand, I'm more aggressive this game than others. On the other, I'm trying to avoid handing over 'flaming wrecks' so the AI can hold it together once I leave.

Belgiumruler: Well, if Burgundy learns to mind its own business we'll have no trouble!

DennisRoos: It must have changed, Dennis. I wasn't paying attention when Rudolf was elected, so have no idea how it came about, but he was nine when I took over Savoy.
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER VI: SAVOY
Part 3: Caretaker (1550-1555)


The End of the Dream

It is 1550 and we need to take a year or two off and think about things. We do have a new heir, Pietro (A4 D3 M3) but he's a long way from adulthood and our legitimacy is still low (60).

First thing we do is retire all my mercenaries: We inherited 1 regiment of tercio infantry, and brought aboard 5 more when it looked like crap was about to get real with Burgundy. Once they're gone we recruit four infantry and two cav. Through the first part of the year everyone settles in Auvergne to retake it from peasant tax evaders.

We're already rebuilding the two caravels lost during the last war. Our diplomatic corps is strained, with 8 relationships vs. only 6 allowed. Let's see what we can cull:

155002AllyUpdate_zpsbb4d3317.jpg


Not really as bad as I thought when people started insulting me and the Palatinate broke our alliance and threw their hat in the ring for emperor. In fact, to determine what MA to cut I need to see who my next target is going to be:

155002HREUpdate_zps1220e73d.jpg


Trier's voting for us, and I think we can win back Milan in time. Perhaps the Palatinate also once they realize the only one who wants them to be emperor is themselves. Rudolf's a young man now, we have plenty of time to fix this. Incidentally, if we released Trier, then Milan would probably vote for us but I'd lose Trier. No gain there.

Mainz has gone from uncertain to REALLY not liking us as emperor. They're a possible target. They're allied with Saxony, but we saw how well that worked for Trier. Then I realized we might as well go after the emperor himself: With access through Wurtemburg and Mainz we can get to Saxony. Our truce runs out in 1552, which gives me time to get a little more done first.

Rudolf himself provokes me by demanding we hand over Waldstatte to Imperial jurisdiction. They're going to core before the turn's over: No.

In June Pietro dies, and we once again have no heir. This makes the clergy unhappy: We ignore them and gain 10 prestige but lose 10 Papal influence. For awhile we were in a bidding war with Spain for one of the cardinals, but just couldn't keep up, so this doesn't hurt.

Apparently ignoring them was the right thing to do, as God rewards us with a son: Giano (A5 D1 M3).

In October Rheinlander patriots in St. Gallen decide they really don't want to be part of Savoy. We're still sieging Auvergne, so I detach a siege army and the rest march over: 23,000 meet 7K, and the rebels retreat into Milan. Later on they come back and we destroy them.

Auvergne fell in November 1550, so we settled in to wait for the truce with Saxony to end, or perhaps another opportunity to present itself.

Then we ran out of time.


Getting Comfortable

In October Carlo died, leaving a regency (3/2/2) of feuding nobles trying to lead in Giano's (age 1) name.

This is really the end of Savoy's bid for power: Three more turns will pass before Giano comes of age and we can declare war again. I'll be very surprised if we're still here. In fact, wait here. Time for a sandwich.

Ah, that's better.

Our stability drops to -1 and we don't currently have the Admin points to fight it off. Well, since our bid for emperor is over for now (and we lost the mission to do so), let's take a mission to get it back to 0. Shouldn't be too hard.

Since we aren't going to be fighting for a long time: Can't DOW, alliances too strong for anyone to seriously consider coming after us, we might as well build things up and work towards Savoy's long term viability. First: Level 3 forts all along the Burgundian border, followed by armories in Lyonnais and Savoy.

Over the next few years we use our diplomats to do what we can for and with our neighbors, influencing our relations in Auvergne, Spain, Milan, Austria, Palatinate and even Burgundy. We're not doing anything else with them.

In September 1552 our merchants report they are suffering. Rather than have one return from Tunis, we give them some support and lose 10 Dip power. For fun I check on the HRE electorate, and it's still a mess: 2 votes for Saxony, 1 for Bohemia, Austria, Savoy, Palatinate and Bavaria.

February 1553, and now it's Waldstatte's turn to decide they don't want to be cored. Once more we crush the 10,000 man army, but the whack a mole gets ridiculous and lasts an entire year. We defeat them. They go to Milan. Milan, or once Spain, crushes them. They come back to Savoy. It might have ended sooner, but a second revolt in St. Gallen joins forces with the remnants.

For some reason this irritates Austria, who enters a coalition against us: A coalition of one. Go for it.

Please go for it. We want action.

No?

Rats.

Through the spring of 1554, Waldestate, Zurich and St. Gallen all core. The first gets a missionary to chase out the Protestants, while the latter are indoctrinated in the advantages of Occitan culture.

Nobles allied with Wurtemburg in September, and young Giano responds by forgetting himself on their ambassador's best doublet. (CB: Diplomatic Insult, which of course we can't use.)

November comes, and with it enough Admin points to get back to Stability 0. This completes our mission. The next one, restoring our manpower to max, should also take care of itself in time. Finally, we hit Military-13 (Trunnions), which lets us replace our artillery with chambered demi-cannon.

Well, we won't be able to fight for awhile yet, but we can still build up. Get stronger. Build up our alliances. Perhaps win the Imperial game diplomatically. Or perhaps we can...


Johan's Dice

Reign: 15 years
Roll: 1
Needed: 4+
Continue?: No

...just move along.
 

CatKnight

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INTERLUDE V: (1555)


On the one hand, I want to say we're leaving Savoy too soon. All we managed to do was thrash Switzerland twice, vassalize Trier and bloody Burgundy - and Spain did most of the bloodying.

155501Savoy_zpsa236e20a.jpg


On the other hand, we still had eleven years or so of regency ahead of us, and we'd probably both get tired of sending diplomats to electors and neighbors while building a few buildings, so fine.

Colonization is still pretty pathetic. Other than that Spanish enclave up by Iroquois territory, this is it:

155501Colonization_zps6eeb9009.jpg


Spain and Portugal are the only players, and they're far behind schedule. In fact, since they're only attacking Mali's southeast enclave, I don't even know if they'll have enough war score to win there either.

Other than Spanish and Portugese interlopers, you can see Mali is stable.

155501Mughalplus_zps42020552.jpg


So are our Mughal brothers and our Lan Xang relatives-we-don't-talk-about. Not much going on.

155501Europe_zps061a3751.jpg


Turning our attention back to Europe, you can see things are settling down there as well, albeit in some odd shapes compared to the real world. Tripoli's stable. The Livonians still have holdings well into Finland. Burgundy did take a small chunk out of France and will probably finish them off in the next few years. I wonder if they'll turn into France at that point.

I marked the borders of the smaller HRE members to show what a hodge-podge Germany still is as well as to highlight the location and size of some of the nations we interacted with as Savoy. Some larger states are starting to form, such as Palatinate, Mainz, Wurtemburg and Ulm.

So where do we go from here? Hm, it seems as if we're going back to Europe. Well, that's fine. There are plenty of fun states to choose from. England, Spain, Burgundy, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Norway, perhaps even...

155501Luxembourg_zpsa93b7680.jpg


Oh dear Johan!
 
Last edited:

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