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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

CatKnight

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Chief Ragusa: As long as Ayutthaya has 11K + running around I can't really compete with them. Now if someone (Ming) would come along and destroy their army, then I'd happily try again.

Stuyvesant: I was actually thinking of Highlander, but I like your quote a little better than mine.

tnick0225: Slapping Ayutthaya. That would be a neat trick, wouldn't it?
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER II: LAN XANG
Part 4: Laotian Captivity


Watching the World

I'm bored.

But Cat, you're saying, you're playing EU4! You like EU4! Don't you?

Yes, but Lan Xang is starting to get on my nerves. For those of you just joining the party, let me summarize.

148001Status_zps35204869.jpg


I could cheat, of course. I could change the die roll and you'd never know. You might even applaud. That defeats the purpose however, so let's see what we can do.

We have a vassal in Lan Na, an ally in Pegu, and that's about it. Dai Viet and Ming like me, but I still don't like that they eat with their left hands. I hear they don't even use forks in Ming. How backwards can a celestial empire be?

I spend 1480 trying to convince Ming of the wrongness of their ambidexterity by declaring Oirat Horde and Japan as rivals. "Your rival is our rival," we tell the Ming emperor. He responds by picking his teeth. With his left hand. We are so aghast that our king dies, throwing the country into a A3 D0 M3 regency!

The regents barely have time to settle in before Thammikarat takes over in April 1481. He is a genius! Well, except in military tactics where he thinks a flanking maneuver is a dirty trick. Kinda like some women I know.

148004Thammikarat_zpse64d4c72.jpg


Thammikarat's heir is his brother. At least I hope it's his brother, since he's 12 and our new king is 15. We send a diplomat to Lan Na to try and soothe tensions caused by our attacking and forcing their king to pay homage.

In November Ming warns Assam and Shan not to start any nonsense. For some reason our nobles think this is a good reason to ask for money.

148011NoblesareJerks_zpsf7d388a7.jpg


Tham. believes this is a result of diplomatic failures and so we increase our Dip Tech to level 4. This unlocks docks, which we have no use for, a marketplace, which would be nice if we actually had decent trade capability, and extends our range by 100. The last is actually useful, as now we send a merchant back to Canton to earn his keep. I'm not sure how much he brings in, which means it's not much.

Lest you think I'm entirely idle, every six months or so I check to see if I like Ming or Dai Viet yet. Sometimes I send a diplomat to remind them that they like me. I also see if Ayutthaya would like to host a rebellion, but the numbers aren't promising. They seem to have weathered the storm.

Then, in September, Kachar declares war on Shan.

148209KacharShan_zps5383ee6a.jpg


My initial reason for taking this pic was to show you a bit of AI nonsense. Well, Kachar had a plan. By the end of October it's actually Nepal, Pegu, Orissa and Kachar vs. Shan, Ayutthaya and Manchu.

Is it time to roll the dice? I watch to make sure: I can't afford another loss, not as an OPM with a OPM vassal. Ayutthaya's 11K army passes through Pegu territory on the way to help Shan. Perfect! Then another 9K cover three of Pegu's provinces.

Oh dear. I've built the army back up to 5K, but I know what will happen: Ayutthaya will turn right around and crush me with its 20K while Shan burns. I watch, hoping Dai Viet will jump in. That would make it worth it. That's when Japan gets uppity.

148211Meh_zpse7e14510.jpg

Wat.

This appears to be a bugged event, as I get no claims on them, nor they on me. I think they just stopped by to tell me there's a new Ashikaga in town. Or perhaps to admire my Lan-ness.

The war lasts for nine months before Kachar decides this was indeed stupid and peaces out for a trifle. They have to annul their treaty with Pegu, which is fine because I really want Pegu concentrating on the bigger problem.

In the meantime, we hit Admin 4, which means a new idea. We go for Offensive Ideas, because that +1 shock leader sounds nice. I don't take the idea right away however, as we're close to getting Military-4, and with a Mil-1 ruler it'll be decades before I could try again.

In September 1483, Ayutthaya warns Pegu not to start anything. Good, good, keep their attention on you. In fact, Pegu renews their RM with us (again!?), while I get an RM going with Lan Na as my way of saying 'No hard feelings, just keep paying us half your taxes and we'll forget the whole thing.'

Diplomatically we're surprisingly stable. So stable that our merchants get whiny.

148411Bourgeoisegetswhiny_zps54e94d95.jpg


Giving in would be -50 Dip, and take 7 months to recover. This takes 8 months. It's also a bit of a mistake as my stability has fallen to 0, and boosting it a bit would be nice. However, I'm getting a little tired of being pushed around. Plus, they are calling themselves 'Bourgeoise.' That's French, and anything French in Indochina sounds like a bad idea.


Johan's Dice:

Length of reign: 20 years
Roll to continue: 6
Continue? (Y/N): (Need 5+) Yes

Johan and I need to have a talk.
 

tnick0225

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tnick0225: Slapping Ayutthaya. That would be a neat trick, wouldn't it?

It would be indeed! And damn Johann's dice are pretty evil...I was thinking for a minute that you were going to chance it during that war! lol...but I suppose the safe route is better. Looking forward to seeing if anything else changes for Lan Xang.
 

Director

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So glad I stumbled across this. I'm feeling my way through a Venetian game and swearing at everything HRE, so I understand your frustration. I couldn't take the frustration that is Lan Xang, I'll admit.

Perhaps you'll get to reincarnate as Leinster. Or - as Stuyvesant has already said - CRIMEA! If there's any mercy to be had you'll draw Spain or France, but we both know that Paradox is fresh out of that.
 

EmprorCoopinius

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I just stumbled on this gem, very interesting concept. I have to say I admire your dedication and honesty. I would have fudged at least a Scotland by now. Good luck in the next 5 years.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Staying for another 5 years. Ho ho ho. You now have 20k Ayyuthayans to be concerned about. It's only a matter of time before they come at you. The die wants you there for the coup de grace. You'd probably have had Dai Viet assistance in any war.

Perhaps the Japanese event is a suggestion that you look further afield to recruit allies to your anti-Ayythayan coalition.

I'd do two things. Replay the turn you've just had doing war and second see what happens in the next 5 years. If nothing, decide to get another die and "re-roll".
 

Gen. Marshall

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Random AARs are always good. And, as I've heard, CatKnight AARs are always good as well. So count me in ;)
 

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Has Johan found a special hell for you with these dice rolls?
 

Stuyvesant

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[It's also a bit of a mistake as my stability has fallen to 0, and boosting it a bit would be nice. However, I'm getting a little tired of being pushed around. Plus, they are calling themselves 'Bourgeoise.' That's French, and anything French in Indochina sounds like a bad idea.
There's wisdom in them there words. :)

Must admit I was fairly certain you were going to 'Suicide By Ming', so I must salute your persistence. Here's hoping that this will be your last stretch of five years - or that Ayutthaya unexpectedly implodes and leaves behind a bevvy of rebel-wracked OPMs. I suspect the latter might be a little much to ask in a mere five years, though.
 

CatKnight

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tnick0225: Hm, this turn can be summed up as: The more things change...

Director: Good to see you!! Leinster wouldn't be bad. Crimea's actually pretty strong in this game. I'd probably use them to smash Georgia and really torque Storey off.

EmprorCoopinus: Thank you!

Chief Ragusa: Unfortunately the distance penalty for allying makes getting help against Ayutthaya difficult at best.

Gen. Marshall: Thank and welcome

BBBD316: The dice have at least.

Stuyvesant: You and rho were right: If Ayutthaya attacked again, the plan was indeed to suicide by Ming. I guess they've decided torturing me is more fun.
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER II: LAN XANG
Part 5: Living Dangerously (1485-1490)


Setting the Snooze Alarm

I'm bored.

If you want to see... oh, I've already said that? Very well.

So, I start off by looking at Ming's neighbors. I have MA through them, so maybe there's a cheap win out there for an OPM like me. Manchu...Korea...Oirat. Hm. Ah, Kachar! Two or three provinces. On the far side of Shan. Who are their allies? A few nobodies and Orissa, who's gobbled up the entire Indian east coast.

Alright then. Can I ally with Dai Viet or Ming yet? No? I shuffle some diplomats around to keep my relations high with everyone, then look in on Ayutthaya to see if it's worth trying to stir up trouble.

148501Rebels_zps55eede79.jpg


Right.

1485 passes quietly. In fact, I could have walked away for a few minutes and been perfectly fine. I wish the game let me know - I could have made a sandwich. Salami or roast beef I think. Fixings depend on the meat of course, though pickles usually figure prominently. A nice soda, pop, cola, or whatever you call it on your end of the planet to finish things off. Hm...I'm getting hungry.

Oh, it's January 1486 and my fort is feeling neglected.

148601FortNeglected_zps49d81e7a.jpg


I tell it to see a therapist and get back to watching my game. I hit Military-4 in June, then in September Ayutthaya starts some nonsense with Aceh and Makassar.

For the next year or so, I watch their war as well as I'm able. Ayutthaya quickly sieges Malacca, which I expected. What I'm waiting for is any sign of countersieges, or any sign at all suggesting Aceh and Makassar are invading the Malay peninsula. I want to fight Ayutthaya, but I don't want to do it alone, and I don't share Chief Ragusa's faith that the other AIs would just pile on.

I watch. And wait. Malacca falls and I wait some more. I'm about to risk the throw anyway, realize Ayutthaya is still allied with Shan, and sigh.

Then Dai Viet gets bored.

148712DaiViet_zpsd41ad387.jpg



Fun with Dai Viet

Alright! 16K pretenders rise up in Thong Lung and Viet Bac. Unfortunately these are the provinces on the Ming border, so just taking advantage of the chaos will not do. On the other hand, if the pretenders can take out the Dai Viet army then maybe I can sneak in behind their army and seize a few provinces.

In September 1488 I declare war. Lan Na joins me, while Pegu teams up with Dai Viet. The armies are 7K versus 16K. If I'm lucky, most of those are Pegu troops that can't get to me.

148809DaiVietWar_zps2da8adb2.jpg


Well...no. 11K actually belong to Dai Viet, who try to ambush me in Viet Bac. Fortunately I notice them in time and stop my advance. We stare at each other for a few seconds. I'm confident they can't get to me, when...

...they start marching through Ayutthaya!

Pause the game. Glare. Start going through the log. When the hell did Dai Viet get MA through Ayutthaya? I declared war on September 16. They received access on September 22. Oh, that's just great.

Fine, I can play. While the DV army moves on Luang Prabang, I move my army towards Viet Bac. They stop their march. I stop mine. New plan. If I can stop their marching until the pretenders are done, then they can march into Viet Bac, the two armies can destroy each other and I can pick up the pieces. Brilliant!

In November my peasants get uppity. I tell them to get stuffed. One month later the AI figures out my cunning plan, and rather than going back to Viet Bac they finish their march and siege my capital.

Cut to February 1489, and Thong Lung falls to the pretenders. I back my army out of their way and sit on the Ming border while they plot their next move. That's when I realize Luang Prabang is in serious trouble. My poor neglected fort has found a way to get revenge, and I have to risk everything on a battle fought at 1:2 odds.

148905DaiVietBattle_zpsf8441f89.jpg


Right.

Luang Prabang falls in June. I have to pay Dai Viet 36 ducats and end Lan Na's vassalization. Just great.


Lan War II

So there's six months left, and I'm planning to nap my way through the turn and hopefully out of Indochina. I reaffirm alliances with Pegu and Lan Na. All is forgiven...

...until October when Lan Na cancels the alliance and declares us rivals again.

Fiction is full of stories where the weak, the frail, the bullied turn out to be the best examples of humanity. Their suffering has taught them humility and gentleness.

Bull. It just makes them angry and bitter, and if there's a weaker kid on the playground?

I lose SEVEN stability on November 29 declaring war. Then I pay to raise my stability back to +1. Then I beat their army for awhile.

149001LanNaBeating_zps25238297.jpg



Johan's Dice:

Length of reign: 25 years
Roll to continue: 2
Continue? (Y/N): (Need 6+) No

We're outta here.
 
Last edited:

CatKnight

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INTERLUDE 2
1490


Welcome to my party! I'm celebrating leaving Lan Xang behind!

149001LanNaInterlude_zps0011c83f.jpg


Other than that disastrous first war, we didn't really do that badly. Honestly there simply wasn't much we could do.

Let's see how well Mali's held up.

149001MaliInterlude_zps5c5d3306.jpg


Nothing gained, but nothing lost either. The lions with rocket launchers are still out there. I'll take it.

Onto everyone's favorite continent:

149001EuropeInterlude_zps81aadc24.jpg


France is pretty well smashed. England still has trouble with Cornwall. The Ottomans are doing well for themselves. The HRE is a mess.

So, where do we wind up? Are we an OPM? Do we have any neighbors at all?

1490TripoliInterlude_zpsa000e28b.jpg


Hm...I think we can work with this.
 
Last edited:

Legolas

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That Morocco looks menacing. Hopefully your first war as Tripoli doesn't go as badly as the last incarnation :)
 

rho

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Two neighbours, both of whom are significantly more powerful than you. What could possibly go wrong?
 

unmerged(58610)

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Mali is still there? I am shocked. You left Lan Xang a OPM after 25 years of almost terminal boredom. I would have expected Dai Viet to have annexed you. I'm equally surprised Ayyuthaya didn't move in for the kill.

Tripoli promises to be another country where you can put your feet up, make all sorts of assorted sandwiches and leave the game running. It's a buffer between the Moroccans and Mamluks. I suppose it could have been worse. You could have found yourself with one of the native American states.
 

Stuyvesant

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Fiction is full of stories where the weak, the frail, the bullied turn out to be the best examples of humanity. Their suffering has taught them humility and gentleness.

Bull. It just makes them angry and bitter, and if there's a weaker kid on the playground?

I lose SEVEN stability on November 29 declaring war. Then I pay to raise my stability back to +1. Then I beat their army for awhile.

SEVEN. That number (and its all-caps scream) says it all. :) At least you bailed on Lan Na while viciously stomping someone even more pitiful than your own nation.

Have fun with Tripoli. Some dangerous neighbors, but perhaps you can lure the Ottomans into a coalition against the Mamluks and tear up Egypt? Otherwise, there's always Cyprus to push around.
 

CatKnight

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Legolas: I intend to be very nice to my neighbors!

(Most of them.)

rho: Let's not go there. :laugh:

Chief Ragusa: Tripoli is going to be a lot more exciting than Lan Xang, if I don't get turned into an OPM again. I'm VERY surprised Ayutthaya didn't move in for the kill. Maybe the AI knew I was serious about death-by-Ming.

Stuyvesant: Yeah, I think I'm starting to take this game personally. More of that to follow :)

birincikalite: I'd love to see it! Just be careful, you could wind up in a situation like I did with Lan Xang with almost nothing to do, or you really could wind up in the New World or Kongo without neighbors to speak of.
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER III: TRIPOLI
Part 1: My Muslim Brothers (1490-1495)


Looking Around

Alright, I know some of you are pretty down about Tripoli's chances. Granted we're not working with the Ottomans or any of the other big boys but, compared to Lan Xang, Tripoli is downright luxurious.

First, our leadership:

149001TripoliIntro_zpsc8bf8280.jpg


Again, not too bad and his heir is actually decent. My techs are 6/5/6 - much better than Lan Xang's 4/4/3. Our fleet's on the weak side however, and our army only has 3 regiments. Both need to strengthen if I'm going to do anything but cower.

Our big problems are Morocco and the Mamluks. Actually this reminds me a lot of Lofman's Cyrenacia stuck between Carthage and Rome on the one hand, and Ptolemic Egypt on the other.

149001TripoliDip_zps1e84cc28.jpg


And it seems the Ottomans will be filling in for Lofman's Selucids as my long range supporter. Having the Ottos as an ally is a major boon, while Algiers and Yemen don't hurt. It looks like Yemen dragged me into a war on the Arabian peninsula. Yeah, let's not do that for awhile.

Neither Morocco nor the Mamluks hate me, which is good as I apparently have CBs on both of them. Sorry, unless one of them gets mauled in a war I'm setting my sights elsewhere...and what better place to start than my rivals?

Tunisia: Allied with Algiers, so not ideal. Then again, with a little player skill (hah!) I can keep ahead of both nations' armies. Problem: I don't have the cogs for a decent naval invasion, so hopefully Morocco will give me MA.

Cyprus: Allied with Mamluks. Oops.

Ragusa: A little larger than the others, and I would again have to deal with my lack of transports. Fought a war with Bosnia, and warned by the Ottos. Even if I won though, I'd have to convert their province. Hmm...

Oh! Tunis has a trade node? Sold!

I have a truce with Tunisia until December 1491, which gives me time to prepare. Morocco grants me MA pretty much instantly, and I take the mission to placate the Mamluks to keep them off my back. I then build 2 infantry to bring our army up to 5. The Tunisians have 1, Algiers 3.

In April we hit Admin-7, Noble Republics. This opens up a new idea slot, and like Lan Xang I take Offensive Ideas, because again I like the idea of +1 shock leaders. In fact, I activate the Bayonet Leaders idea (Offensive-1). One diplomat goes to Tunis to forge a claim, the other to the Mamluks to begin 'placating.'

September sees unruly mobs targetting unbelievers. In Mali I put a stop to that nonsense, but here I already have a +31 piety. Piety translates to army morale, and apparently stomping on unbelievers makes my army very happy. Go figure.

In February 1491, nobles warn me that my offensive ideas are offensive. I tell them not to be so defensive and lose a stability (at 0). For some reason this makes the Mamluks very happy, for they offer me an alliance. Yes, please!

I'm now allied with the two strongest Muslim powers on the board, completed my mission to placate said Mamluks, sign a royal marriage with them because they ask nicely, and take a new mission to get Morocco to like me more. We're already pretty cordial, but it doesn't hurt to try.

In May we forge our claim to Tunis. This is too much excitement for Sultan Muhammed, who dies leaving his somewhat more competent son in charge. I need to try to keep Thabit alive though, for his brother/son/cousin/other is a 4/0/1 waste of flesh. Thabit's first move is to sign off on Diplomacy-6, which means once I'm finished working off some aggression I can create an embassy.


Tunisia (Part 1)

On December 9, 1491, we declare war on Tunisia.

149112TunisiaDoW_zps4e4171b9.jpg


The Ottos, Mamluks and Yemen stays out of it. Algiers, on the other hand, sees which way the wind is blowing and joins our side. This means Tunisia stands alone. Their army marches into Algiers. After a short delay, because I didn't remember the AI likes to keep their armies at half maintenance, I attack Tunis and siege it in February.

There's really no surprise to it, no glory. 3 Algiers regiments join the siege in April just so they can share in the attrition, but with their port blockaded the Tunisians surrender by September. No half measures this time.

149209ConquerTunisia_zps843c6eec.jpg


Algiers and Morocco aren't nearly as torqued off about this as you might expect. In fact, this is as close to bloodless as I've ever gotten. I don't have the Admin power to begin coring Tunis yet, but that's okay as they only have a 1% chance of revolting.

No, my new plan is to build two cogs. I've just noticed Cyprus has no allies anymore, so I'm going to go over and stomp on them. They have a Level 3 fort, so if I send 4 cogs over I should be able to land troops and (if needed) get out of the way of the Cypriot fleet.

Since I can't fabricate a claim though, I'll need to use 2 stability to start the war. This means I want 250 or so Admin to absorb the cost, as I really don't want to fall below 0 stab. Fortunately with Thabit around this is going to take just over a year, so I settle in and get comfortable through 1493.

January 1494 comes. I have the admin I wanted. Bring my fleets to Tunis, and....

...wait, what?

...How did I lose so many so...?

...

...

I'm okay. Just give me a minute.

...

...

THOSE F***ERS!


Tunisia (Part 2)

Sorry, no pictures. I think I was too stunned. Allow me to paint you a picture though. After 25 years of getting your butt handed to you in SE Asia, you're finally having a good run. One easy conquest - do I dare try for two in a five year span? Well, why not. I mean what can possibly go wrong WHEN THERE'S ONLY ONE PERCENT CHANCE OF A REVOLT AND A F***ING REVOLT SHOWS UP ANYWAY AND ROFLSTOMPS YOUR ENTIRE GOD DAMNED ARMY!

Get that valium away from me. I told you I'm fine.

So, 6K FRICKING Tunisian patriot rebels show up on my 5K army. By the time I hit pause they're down to 3K. I figure - OK, I'm going to lose, but I'll make them bleed first. Next thing I know my army is DESTROYED by these...

Storey, if you're out there, I found your Crimeans!

You know what? FINE. Cyprus gets a few years reprieve. I spend the next four months buying 5 mercenaries. Why mercs? Because I don't want to give these CRIMEANS time to take my fricking city and start the Nationalism train of death! By May we're ready. March in. It's only now that I realize the Tunisians are being led by SHAKA F-ING ZULU'S ANCESTOR WHO HAS 6 SHOCK!

149405TunisRevoltII_zps79a48f06.jpg


It used up my entire treasury to buy those 5 mercs who spend the rest of the year trying to find their stomped on, hollowed out ...PARTS... and I'm probably taking a metric s***load of loans next year to buy even more, because...


Johan's Dice:

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

THIS MEANS WAR!
 
Last edited:

OsirisDeath

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Yeah, is that 1.2 already?
If yes: occured several times to myself.
If not: Oh man, thats really some bad luck. And that rebel leader is a freakin' guerilla genius oO

Hope you're getting out of this asap and stomp on Cyprus =D