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CatKnight

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Comment: Before we go any further, do any of you have a good image hosting service you'd recommend? I am NOT paying Photobucket for the privilege of AARing.
 

Camtheman

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Yup, I recently hit the bandwith monthly limit (that didn't exist previously?) on Photobucket too. Gonna dump them like a one night stand, even though I've been with them since 2007.

Shame, really.

Go to Imgur, better features, no bandwith limit that I found...

Either way, can't wait to see what you do with the Timurids, a lot of military power yet unstable and economically garbagey.
 

draik

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I believe imgur would be the best bet - it's a very solid image hosting service, and it's used to high traffic since it is so widely used, especially on Reddit.

Keep up the great work CatKnight - your struggles against the RNG gods have amused and entertained us all!
 

CatKnight

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Webstantine: Definitely exciting! I was NOT bored.

OsirisDeath: Revenge may come in time, but I have a plan.

Nikolai: Much better than some of the other places he's sent us!

Chief Ragusa: Our ruler isn't bad, but the rest is true. As I said, this is not going to be boring.

Stuyvesant: Cow, the other white meat. :) On the one hand, I didn't like losing as Bengal. On the other hand, I don't know how I could have possibly turned them around - or had fun doing so. Maybe if all my powerful neighbors simultaneously imploded. I'm happier here.

PhilUK: One of my primary goals here is to not lose anymore land - easier said than done with all my internal issues.

saintsfan92687: When I first loaded up I actually looked at your idea - it looked good to me. As you'll see though, I had no reason to worry about Punjab. Embarassing Orissa a little would be nice, but as I told Osiris, I have a plan.

tnick0225: Oh yes, I can make things happen. And the game can make things happen to me.

EnigmaUN: It's odd that you say that: The first time I started a 'random' game to test the viability of doing this, I wound up with the Aztec Empire, than Dai Viet - so it's not just one pattern. I did notice European (Christian) nations seem unusually rare.

psyciceman, Camtheman: Thanks. I've run close to the limit before, but this is my first time I actually drifted over the line. I got around it for this post by opening a second Photobucket account, but it's a pain in the butt moving between the two. I'm going to give imgur a long look. Camthe - yes, the Timurids have tremendous assets, but using them without flying apart at the seams...not so easy.

Canuckassassin: As psyciceman said, I just use the random nation button. Then I load as that new country and save so I don't forget.

draik: I'm glad you're enjoying it!
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER V: TIMURIDS
Part 1: Whack a Mole (1510-1515)


First, a quick apology for running silent for a few weeks. Work's been a bit 'interesting' the last few weeks, and when I'm focused on that it's hard for me to focus on writing. That, and I knew I needed to be on my game to give the Timurids justice. Let's see here...


Executive Summary:

Welcome to the Timurid Empire! Large, powerful, and horribly mismanaged. We got here just in time.

151004Setup_zps71b70ecc.jpg


Babur III, despite having a bit of an elephant fetish, is definitely up to the task of keeping our empire together and moving us forward. Ahmad simply doesn't understand operational or grand strategy, though as a tactical commander (F1 M2) he's not so bad.

Our relations are almost unilaterally poor, something to do with having CBs on every single one of my neighbors, not to mention an event that fires once per year or so promising riches and giving a claim on a neighboring territory.

On the other hand, we do have one ally (Golden Horde), one vassal (Punjab), and a handful of RMs/MAs.

Our army consists of 47 regiments with a 43 maximum. Of these, 25 are eastern archers, 19 eastern steppe cavalry, and a bit of a surprise: three bronze mortars. I considered disbanding the mortars as out of character, but couldn't find anything that actually said it slowed the army down in EU4. I do end up getting rid of three mercenary infantry regiments.

Our navy consists of a carrack, a barque and a galley. Well, we're not going to win any naval contests so I end up keeping the barque for trade protection and disbanding the rest. Incidentally, the reason I'm disbanding at all is our economy happens to be in shambles: Five loans, negative cash flow. Enough said.

It should be no surprise we have stability problems. Oh, our overall level is fine (+1), but we have five active rebellions, a fair number of wrong culture provinces, and five wrong religion provinces - only two of which our missionaries can actually do something about.

151004Timurids_zps8f17c635.jpg


For the first time all game though, I'm going in with a concrete plan. I want to form the Mughal Empire. If I can pull that off, alot of Timurids' tribal problems should vanish and I think they're large enough they might stand the test of time.

Of the provinces I need, one is owned, Multan owns one which I control, Gujarat has one and Delhi two. The Delhi ones are especially nice because, even though I don't have cores, I do have a mission abjuring me to wipe the idol worshippers off the map. Can do.


Action Plan:

I have three issues as we hit unpause.

1) I'm in the middle of a war that doesn't really help me form the Mughal Empire. Furthermore, I have a rather large army off the above map. It's time to bring them home.

151005PeacePunjab_zps4305da73.jpg


No problem. I get what I want and can move troops home to whack on the rebels. Speaking of which:

2) I'm down to three rebellions after the peace, but more are probable: We use our missionary on one province (though it's going to take awhile), and begin systematically dealing with the wrong-culture provinces. I also find a neat decision:

151005SectPractices_zpsbd9655b2.jpg


Yes, sex bad. Abstinence good.

Wait, that doesn't sound right.

3) Our economy is in shambles. Getting rid of the mercs and warships helped, but we need more. I can use Admin to reduce our inflation from 4.5% to 0.5% - probably earned pillaging my enemies. I also pay off one of our loans. Then I notice our merchants are...oddly placed.

We have a merchant in Persia, which isn't the worst decision but a little out of the way. We have one in Kashmir directing traffic to Samarkand, where we collect from - except we have a perfectly good 'home' node in Indus. After some judicious shuffling I move to Indus/Kashmir/Basra and begin collecting from all of them. By the end of this turn I go from -5 ducats/month at full maintenance to +10. This isn't entirely a good thing as you'll read, but it's progress.

While Ahmad goes around whacking rebels, I have Babur stand aside as commander - I don't want him to die. We also switch our rivals around to Gujarat and Delhi - who we actually want to fight - and Qara Qoyunlu, who hates us anyway (-200 relations) and doesn't border us. No sense needlessly antagonizing people when I have a plan.

We also cancel our MA in Bundelkand to save on the diplomatic penalty for too many relationships. We don't need them anymore.

In May, revolters in Jangladesh kill two regients. They eventually fall to Ahmad, as do some Mongol 'patriots' that cross over the border from the Oirat Horde. People complain about the heavy handedness of a regional governor, so I execute him since -33 prestige is less painful right now than -1 stability.

1511 passes fairly quietly. Our army isn't at full maintenance - I can't afford it. In August we take the plunge however, as the Punjabi have raised 15 rebel regiments. The battle is actually somewhat anti-climactic.

151108PunjabiRevolt_zps9ee2ecec.jpg


Fortunately by then we're only running -2 ducats/month at full maintenance, and even that goes away once we finish retaking rebel provinces. By January 1512 the Timurids are stable, the coalition against our warmongering ways has drifted away, and so it's time to remind them why a coalition was actually a pretty good idea.

We have two choices of course: Delhi and Gujarat. I choose the latter - Gujarat's the bigger and more damaging target, but they happen to be in a nasty war with Nepal and Bundelkhand. Of Gujarat's two allies, Jaunpur is entirely occupied by Nepalese forces, while Multan is the country we just stole Punjab from: No army. Truce. They're not going to help. Gujarat has 15,000 men to our 40 odd, and 144 available manpower.

Even better, we sign an alliance with Kazakh. I don't expect them to help, but their size may convince someone not to take advantage while I'm busy. Let's do this.


Corporate Warfare

The plan was simple.

151208DoWGujarat_zps2777102b.jpg


Simple, but perhaps poorly executed. The western armies would start sieging, while the eastern army would sit back and hopefully find the main Gujarati army.

I'd forgotten about our undermaintained lone barque, who immediately fled for port before three carracks. The carracks blockaded us for awhile, but ultimately it didn't signify. Neither did some uppity nobles demanding privileges (-10 prestige) - I gave them the honor of leading our regiments.

By November 1512 both western provinces are under siege. My main army was lured away with the hope of thrashing 3K Gujarati, and found the whole army. Unfortunately their army had enough of a headstart to avoid battle. I ended up getting MA through Jaisalmer (the country south of Multan), and finally Multan itself to buy myself enough flexibility to protect my sieging armies. By early 1513 I thought I had a pretty good setup.

151303HunterKiller_zps75954b5f.jpg


Gujarat decided to test my design by attacking Upper Sind from the south. The Sind sieging army actually defeated Gujarat on their own, but by then my Hunter/Killer stack was in the same province. Over the next few months I chased the Gujarati around to their doom.

151305GujaratArmy_zps8422c3de.jpg


It probably should have ended there, but notice that small Gujarati army northwest of Roh? Well, after Roh fell I decided to give that small army to Khan Babur the Elephant Lover and hunt it down. We won the first battle. The second battle in September destroyed them - and my leader. Pandemonium followed.


Setbacks

151309TribalCrisis_zpsed527538.jpg


Fortunately the event is bugged or unclear. The pretender stack did show up, but none of the nationalists did.

My first instinct is to ignore this and finish Gujarat off, but after a month spent pondering I realize I can't. Not with that +10 RR sitting out there. The Gujarati are only now thinking about rebuilding their army, so I take a huge chance and move my hunter/killer army north to deal with this upstart.

It actually pays off, for in November 1513 Upper Sind surrenders. Gujarat's more than happy to give me Roh in exchange for leaving them alone.

For the rest of the turn we play whack a mole.

In January 1514 we finally catch the pretender and deal him a crushing defeat, finishing him in two battles. This takes care of the immediate problem, but Mongols, Punjabi and Kashmir separatists have all chosen to roll the dice. This is how quickly a horde can fall apart.

151401RebelDie_zps7e07eb84.jpg


It's about now, while my now fully unified army starts thrashing rebels - always weeks after seizing the province and starting ten years of nationalist sentiments - that Nepalese officials let me know that Timur the Lame didn't get his name from any injury, but from his personality. They then dare us to do something about it. I have no interest in fighting Nepal, and even when they join a coalition against us - they're the only member. Good luck with that.

We break the backs of the rebellions pretty quickly. Eradicating them takes an annoying amount of time however.

151410RebelStomp_zps29e701fd.jpg


(I included the Papal shot because this is the first time in all my EU3/4 games I've seen them win Papal Controller.)


Ongoing Opportunities for Growth

It is now June 1515, and on the one hand we're stronger than ever: We are one easy war away from having all the provinces we need to form the Empire, and can surely put together enough points to core them in time. No rebels, no one hates us enough to actually do something about us - certainly not with Kazakh standing by.

On the other hand, from a height of 47 regiments, we're now down to 37 - with 497 manpower. We can and have won, but we're starting to weaken and I don't want to trash their economy with mercenaries just when I have everything more or less fixed.

I think one more quick, glorious war - then sit back and whack rebels until we convert and take stock then. Does that sound good to you Johan?


Johan's Dice

Reign: 5 years
Roll: 3
Needed: 2+
Continue?: Yes

Sweet.
 
Last edited:

Stuyvesant

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Great update and a very welcome change of pace (after the last few sessions) of being able to actually influence events. Oh and your Babur/Babar conflation is much appreciated, for I am a man of simple pleasures. :)

151005SectPractices_zps47b15419.jpg


Yes, sex bad. Abstinence good.

Wait, that doesn't sound right.

Does Babar have a speeth impedimenth, perhaps? ;)

The plan was simple.

Having been thoroughly indoctrinated by phargle's Knut Knytling adventures, I have a Pavlovian reaction as soon as I read those four words: I immediately wince, without even reading what comes next.

I think one more quick, glorious war - then sit back and whack rebels until we convert and take stock then. Does that sound good to you Johan?


Johan's Dice

Reign: 5 years
Roll: 3
Needed: 2+
Continue?: Yes

Sweet.

Sweet 'ndeed!
 

Roflpotamus

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I love the idea and execution of this AAR.

How does the random number selector determine your next country? Do you pull up a list of tags and just count them off or what? If so, where do you get this list of tags?

Thanks!
 

OsirisDeath

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I love the idea and execution of this AAR.

How does the random number selector determine your next country? Do you pull up a list of tags and just count them off or what? If so, where do you get this list of tags?

Thanks!

With the "Random Country" button in the selection menu =)
 

unmerged(58610)

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Almost didn't get to stick around. You just had to do it, didn't you? You just had to go for a tribal succession crisis. Please refrain in future from trying to kill off really good rulers by putting them in charge of armies. Just say no. Abstinence really is the best policy. Smooth sailing on your plan to become Mogul, well maybe not for your fleet, but just a simple war against Delhi and you'll have all the provinces you need.
 

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I was thinking a 1 would be rolled and you'd find yourself in Delhi lol.

Great to see you actually being able to do something with a country this time around...and maybe even improve them a little bit.
 

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Second image is the same as the first, two elephant one, I think the second one is meant to be missions or something.
 

InnocentIII

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Looks like I picked a good day to get all caught up. Great read so far, looking forward to the inevitable return to Byzantium ("why did I let you live?").
 

Storey

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Fortunately the event is bugged or unclear. The pretender stack did show up, but none of the nationalists did.

I've seen this issue show up (or not show up would be a better way to put it) in some of my games. Reports of revolts popping up everywhere and my hair stands up on the back of my neck and then... nothing. Where’d everyone go?
 

Director

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Holy Cow is right. You actually got a workable setup this time instead of an udder failure! Good administrative skills must be why they summoned you to Timurid-Land, I think - you did a great job of getting the country on a solid footing. Sort of like making mayonnaise without eggs, but still an achievement.

The war was off to such a fine start, too... then Junior just HAD to play with his little crossbow while Daddy Babur was 'working out' his problems with the neighbors. ("My offer is... nothing." WHING! "AAAaaaaaahhhhh!" Thud. "While my father is... indisposed... gentlemen, let me ask you. Would you like a 'quarrel' from - ah - with me, too? No? Good... Very good... Do not let me detain you...") But it doesn't look to me as if the new ruler will fit in with the local culture seeing as his military skill of '0' makes it almost impossible for him to hold a weapon without maiming a bystander. His name's not really Ahmad, you know. That's what everyone mutters whenever he hands down some gem of military wisom like, "We should ride our horses backwards to confuse the enemy!" "Ah, mad!" "What was that, noble advisor?" "Merely praising your glory by intoning your people's affectionate nickname for your wisdom, Your Highness!"

Of course he will need a course in Sects Education before he re-considers one of his father's decisions on religious matters. Sects Appeal is a serious business.

Babur's name made me think of Hajji Giray I, whom I haven't heard from lately. Historically wasn't he the one who did what you are trying to do? Or was that some other Shade of Giray?

Storey and Chief Ragusa and Machiavellian and Stuyvesant and CatKnight and me... the combined forum age of the writer and readers has to set some sort of record.

Really enjoying this, CatKnight!