Ranking every nation, easiest to hardest

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(200028)

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OT Moldavia discussion:

Not that this is of serious consequence, but after going into the game to more thoroughly examine Moldavia's situation, one thing to note is that their sliders are very bad, in my opinion; granted, they are of the same caliber as those of their neighbors. However, being Mercantilistic, and trading through Constantinople is rather advantageous, seeing as how Byzantium in 1399 is able to be annexed in one war. It would be difficult, but perhaps you could sign MA with the Ottomans, building an army above force limit, fully minting (once you get to Stab 3), and taking loans if necessary, to build it. Once your army is on the border of Byzantium, cancel your alliance with Poland and then declare war on Byzantium, leaving your homeland open to invasion. If you are lucky enough to have occupied Constantinople before all of your provinces back home are occupied, then you could annex the Byzantines, offer your vassalship back to Poland and if they accept, you can repay your loans and you will be 'dormant' in a much stronger position.

That is until the ripe opportunity to strike happens. I will go ahead and give this scenario a try, and post my results later.
 

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OT Moldavia discussion:

Not that this is of serious consequence, but after going into the game to more thoroughly examine Moldavia's situation, one thing to note is that their sliders are very bad, in my opinion; granted, they are of the same caliber as those of their neighbors. However, being Mercantilistic, and trading through Constantinople is rather advantageous, seeing as how Byzantium in 1399 is able to be annexed in one war. It would be difficult, but perhaps you could sign MA with the Ottomans, building an army above force limit, fully minting (once you get to Stab 3), and taking loans if necessary, to build it. Once your army is on the border of Byzantium, cancel your alliance with Poland and then declare war on Byzantium, leaving your homeland open to invasion. If you are lucky enough to have occupied Constantinople before all of your provinces back home are occupied, then you could annex the Byzantines, offer your vassalship back to Poland and if they accept, you can repay your loans and you will be 'dormant' in a much stronger position.

That is until the ripe opportunity to strike happens. I will go ahead and give this scenario a try, and post my results later.

Yep, their sliders are awful... gotta lot of moves to make if you plan to Westernize, and at the same time going Free Trade helped me tremendously with them. And yes, they have two higher base taxes with wool... but wool still blows and the event doesn't pop nearly enough to make up for it.

And relying on the GH to vassalize you isn't, well, reliable. In most of my runs, they were more than happy to just overrun and kill me and never negotiated. Poland seems pretty willing to re-establish an alliance once you get un-vassalized from em', and I did just that to give myself a little aid. I buddied up as much as I could to Hungary, annexed Wallachia, and waited for opportunistic times to strike at the Ottomans, whom you'll regularly get missions against early on that'll result in cores on Bulgarian provinces.

Westernizing, sadly, feels like a must. Bohemia (or Austria) can and frequently will splatter Hungary with relative ease, and having either of them gunning for you isn't the warmest and fuzziest of feelings. On the plus side, much of the South Slavic lands are dirt poor, and the ol' scorched earth defense works pretty well if you're still stuck in Eastern tech like I was when Bohemia first came calling. I ended up with this before I put the game down, as I still try to decide if taking a bunch of those lands up north is worth the horrible looking borders or not.

EU3_27.png


Sadly, Milan took Constantinople ages ago and have been Emperor for most of the game, and is typically allied with both Castille and GBR, so I haven't had a chance to wrestle it away from em' quite yet. And then I got side tracked with games as Kazakh and Norway.


Also, I love Norway in my game with them. So much potential, so long as you can fight off Sweden. I almost feel dirty that I did so by allying with both England and The Hansa, and letting their armies essentially win the wars for me early on.
 

yequr

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What if the Ottomans don't show weakness though? In my current attempt, it's 1450 and they've been strong (>20k dudes) all the time. Well, they did lose the vassalization of Bosnia and Serbia against GH, but during that time I had a regency, and the OE quickly recovered and has started colonizing... I have managed to get this
q347ih6o.jpg

together and feel like an AI for the somewhat random losings and grabbings of provinces because a DOW from Hungary very shortly before Bohemia and some others destroyed them reduced me to capital and Wallachia (the province, although I regained Oltenia rather quickly breaking a truce which didn't matter because I was at -2 stab anyway - meanwhile, Budjak quickly went to GH) and left me with high WE and generally in a junk position. My only vassal is Croatia (I somehow became leader in a defensive war, and they had no allies), and only since recently. Everyone is either allied with OE or guaranteed by Bohemia and Poland (who is weak right now, but I would go to -3 stab, which could ruin everything since I'm still not set up for big rebel hunts and just barely got out of my last low stab phase alive...). Slider is at +3 FT, but my merchant chances are still awful. Only 2 techs ahead of Qara Koyunlu. Inflation is low at 1.8 but not really manageable. I can't afford to get either NTP or National Bank because my troops are so trashy.

Only current real objective besides waiting for opportunities is waiting for Bohemia to get a core in Ersekuvjar, become emperor, add it to the HRE, so I can add Carpathia and then Bessarabia to the empire. Relations are excellent, but...
 
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I got extremely close. I did have to take a couple of loans in order to give gifts to the Ottomans, because initially their likelihood of giving me Military Access was "Impossible". Needless to say after two gifts this became a "likely" and I managed to achieve the permission to traverse their lands. Once I had built up my army and moved it to the Byzantine border, I canceled my vassalization with Poland after giving them Military Access. I was fortunate enough to not have ever been attacked by them or the Golden Horde. A month or two before I had declared war on Byzantium, they had declared on Achaea, so I knew I would have to take their capitol quickly if I was to annex them. Constantinople had a level 3 fort, so I knew that my 9,000 man army was not going to make it in time. Needless to say, I didn't. They annexed Achaea, and, the worst part of my luck, was that out of the blue, 17,000 Byzantine Revolutionary Rebels spawned in Constantinople and promptly routed my army. I decided to use spend my time taking the Peloponnese, in hopes that once the Revolutionaries had occupied Constantinople they would become "successful" and disappear. Well, after a decade of fighting rebellions and CtAs from Byzantium, they still hadn't been successful, so I resolved that they never would. They weren't leaving Constantinople once they had occupied it, so I wasn't sure if they needed to occupy more land. Although, it's odd enough to have Revolutionaries in the early 15th Century.

I decided then to time a bankruptcy just right in order to take Constantinople in time before my morale hit. I fully minted and took as many loans as were possible, building thousands of more troops, and ended up having a competent 14,000 man army (remember, they had 17,000), just months before my bankruptcy. After several "hammer and anvil" strikes, I, by a graceful stroke of luck, managed to entirely destroy their army. Fortunately, my timing was right. I went bankrupt just after having arrived in the city.

It was sometime after I began siege of Constantinople that I realized that due to their having annexed Achaea, their combined warscore was 101%, which nearly brought a tear to my eye. So, in hopes for annexation, I decided to take the Peloponnese, and have them revoke a lot of cores. I actually broke the truce immediately after, for a stab hit of -7, just to attack them before they got any guarantees or anything. Besides, they only had one province now. (I had some powerful allies, so I wasn't afraid of being attacked either). Now, for the real frustrating part. I quickly besieged them, and after a couple of years, I got their fortress to the "they will surrender any day now" stage, for over three years. Now that is just terrible luck. Regardless, I would have made it, but as those years added up, rebels started overcoming me, and I eventually collapsed and had to force a White Peace with Byzantium, when perhaps I could have taken their province the day before I collapsed, annexed them, and then won the wager. I don't think I need to explain how irritated I was afterwards.

Maybe it was too much of a gamble to begin with, and taking Wallachia initially would probably have been a better way to go.
 

EnzoValenzetti

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It's probably slightly easier as Ottomans or a horde.
Is it even possible to do a WC with Ottomans or any other non-catholic nation without being a horde or collapsing into one? I also don't think tribal succession crises count as "easy".
On the other hand, the fast WC ever has been done by Ottomans.
By collapsing into a horde.
The Prawnstar WC was impressive, but it could have been done faster with other nations (note, I personally couldn't have done it faster )
Not a whole lot faster without abusing personal unions I think. You just can't reduce infamy any faster.
Yes...but that AAR doesn't prove that it isn't easier as Ottomans(who have better tech, buildings, early access to hordes, and can Holy War Europe) or Golden Horde(who can just sieze provinces after occupying them for a few years)
But don't have access to the infamy reduction through cardinals.
 

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They start allied with Aragon, and Aragon DoWs Navarra with Subjugation CB on Day 1. Sicily will not have it and, if they get there first, annex them.
Solution: as soon as it lets you, offer terms of forced vassalation to Aragon.
 

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You can't, probably because it would be highly exploitable. Still, the sicilian risk of Navarra is not that high compared to what threatens other nations, and even if they are first for some reason despite having to sail quite far (which really shouldn't happen if you disband/evacuate your regiment), Aragon can still vassalize you since they're the war leader ... or at least I think they can.
 

Darkath

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I had quite a tough time with norway. You start in an union, the country is dirt poor, and your 2 brothers (Sve and Dan) will want to annex you. The only advantage of the country is Iceland that can be used as a launchpad for NA, but i'm often reduced to just that before i'm able to colonize.
 

alexti

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Is it even possible to do a WC with Ottomans or any other non-catholic nation without being a horde or collapsing into one? I also don't think tribal succession crises count as "easy".
Of course, it's possible. But not as fast as with hordification. With a regular play you're limited by number of diplomats so you're probably looking at 1510-1520 WC. Hordification route is not easy, but it is faster. In WC "easy" and "fast" are often different things :)
 

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I had quite a tough time with norway. You start in an union, the country is dirt poor, and your 2 brothers (Sve and Dan) will want to annex you. The only advantage of the country is Iceland that can be used as a launchpad for NA, but i'm often reduced to just that before i'm able to colonize.

Funny you speak up about Norway... it's the nation I started with after I got side-lined by indecision with Moldavia -> Romania.


I'll agree that Norway is one of the harder European nations, at least in the harder half. But it's a far cry from Moldavia. All you have to do is beat Sweden once. Spend the early game trying to win over some powerful allies (I got England to love and ally me), and put Sweden in their place.

Not to mention, you have provinces that are already low supply and are mountainous, meaning they take forever to walk through AND you can get massive defense bonuses out of them. Get a general with three or more shock and take the Military Drill NI, then scorch your crappy, crappy provinces to soften the Swedes up and then let them jump you in the mountains. Best case scenario: you wipe the floor with them and effectively end the war right then. Worst case scenario: you inflict heavy casualties before getting chased off, leaving the Swedish army to choose between either finishing you off or turning around to stop the allies you should've gathered from sieging their homeland. Without any reload-scumming, I dealt with Sweden with ease this way on my first attempt with Norway.

Denmark seems happy to leave Norway alone if Sweden is still around (and Sweden very well may go for them first), and if you can handle Sweden then Denmark should be cake. And once you get over that single Swedish roadblock, the game opens up completely for Norway. Trading is recommended, because most of your provinces suck. I think Jämtland has fur, and if you colonize Lappland and Kola (I did) you can probably snag some more fur or even iron, but that isn't much. But devoting slider moves to Free Trade and snagging some trade NIs can alleviate your early game financial woes and let you fund your navy and colonization projects. Iceland gives you a nice leg up on colonizing, and you can be sending brave Norwegians to re-claim Vinland as early as mid 1400s.... and yeah, you're mostly looking at fur rather than the snazzier stuff in the Caribbean, but that can come later if you wish. And the navy? After Sweden is either too minor to ever be a concern or a footnote in history at the end of the Middle Ages, you're the next safest country from invasion after England. You'll only have one real land border (even if Denmark has the southern tip of the peninsula, it doesn't mean jack if they can't get their troops across the Sound), and odds are that border will either be:

1. Novgorod, who are eastern tech and often beleaguered by Mongols/Teutons/dwindling vodka supplies. Or...
2. Finland, who are your best of friends and closest of allies after you freed them from Swedish rule. Because you did make it a goal to free Finland in the first war with Sweden, thus robbing them of the world's biggest supply of fur (giggity) and some manpower, while insuring that any future wars will see the Swedes fighting on two fronts, right?

Norway has a tougher than average start, granted... but that window of difficulty is very brief. You literally only have to overcome a single nation that can field maybe twice your numbers to put yourself into position to become a dominant force.

Just remember these steps:

1. Get allies.
2. Use allies and terrain to beat Sweden.
3. Free Finland.
4. Kick Sweden around some more.
5. Become a trading powerhouse.
6. Build a wooden wall to protect your shores.
7. Colonize a bunch of cold, snowy places.
8. Mission to get a core on the now 3PM Sweden? Yup, time to make Johan cry. Again.
9. ????
10. Profit.
 

Darkath

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The problem is, i never seem able to get enough money to field even the shadow of an army as early norway, even using trade. In my previous game, Sve literally kicked me out of Scandinavia, i had to move my capital to Vinland as soon as i could so that i give them Arkhensus to stop the relentless DoW. Sweden formed scandinavia and i was only able to take back norway (then scandinavia) when i was strong enough in america. Still at one point i was reduced to half iceland + half gröenland and a few colonies in america :p
 

EnzoValenzetti

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Of course, it's possible. But not as fast as with hordification. With a regular play you're limited by number of diplomats so you're probably looking at 1510-1520 WC. Hordification route is not easy, but it is faster. In WC "easy" and "fast" are often different things :)
In 5.2 with infamy events, and the slow manpower increase? Any example of someone actually doing this?
 

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In 5.2 with infamy events, and the slow manpower increase? Any example of someone actually doing this?
What infamy events? I haven't seen anything new in 5.2. Slow manpower increase makes one play more carefully, but Ottomans has sufficient military superiority to fight war with minimal losses - just need to watch for attrition. I've played (the last beta before 10 year truces) until about 1460 and got North Africa, Middle East and large portion of Europe (and I had a lot of cores at the unconquered part - due to forming Germany). At this point manpower is not a problem anymore. With that pace I'm guessing I would expect to finish in 50-60 years. In the later betas truce length is probably the biggest factor. Though with careful planning it shouldn't affect final timeframe much.

I am not totally sure if hordification is possible in 5.2 - it seems there are contradictory reports.
 

ByeNow

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Navarra is easily one of the strongest countries in game because of sliders, you can colonize the entire Americas before it gets colonized by anyone else (assuming SP)
 

ByeNow

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Sardinia seems to be one of hardest. Day 1 dow from savoy and even if you survive a dow from aragon 2 months in
 

qlum

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I have not played enough nations to say a hardest and an easiest but I have to say Georgia in 1399 is fucked, I tried it once and I saw huge armies from the tirumids and the golden horde march in on day one, sure you could pay them off for a while but if you don't you die in just a few years.

the papal states I found particularly easy after a somewhat rough start being permanent papal controller does have its perks though that was a while ago.
 

funshine

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I have not played enough nations to say a hardest and an easiest but I have to say Georgia in 1399 is fucked, I tried it once and I saw huge armies from the tirumids and the golden horde march in on day one, sure you could pay them off for a while but if you don't you die in just a few years.

the papal states I found particularly easy after a somewhat rough start being permanent papal controller does have its perks though that was a while ago.

What i did in my Georgia game is kind off lame and requires a bit off luck was bribing up Muscovy and after that ryazan get a royal marriage and a alliance when i peace out with the hordes Muscovy offered me a vassalisation and i accepted that.

When the golden horde attacked Muscovy i canceled my vassalisation and golden horde made sure that i became a vassel off them now your safe for a while i was lucky enough to get a condede defeat with the hordes so i didnt have to buy any tribute but im down to 2 provinces .

http://i.imgur.com/SyuYNYO.jpg

Edit : i tried it again this tactic and tried to keep some more provinces but i failed to get into a vassalisation with muscovy but i payed tribute to hordes and except timurids and the attacked me after 5 years and now im there vassal the might had a misson on me for that .
 
Last edited:

EnzoValenzetti

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What infamy events? I haven't seen anything new in 5.2. Slow manpower increase makes one play more carefully, but Ottomans has sufficient military superiority to fight war with minimal losses - just need to watch for attrition. I've played (the last beta before 10 year truces) until about 1460 and got North Africa, Middle East and large portion of Europe (and I had a lot of cores at the unconquered part - due to forming Germany). At this point manpower is not a problem anymore. With that pace I'm guessing I would expect to finish in 50-60 years. In the later betas truce length is probably the biggest factor. Though with careful planning it shouldn't affect final timeframe much.

I am not totally sure if hordification is possible in 5.2 - it seems there are contradictory reports.
The events giving you stability hits, doesn't that cripple WC attempts in which you go over the infamy limit?
 

alexti

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The events giving you stability hits, doesn't that cripple WC attempts in which you go over the infamy limit?
Oh, I don't go over infamy limit anyway. I don't think it's a good idea for number of reasons (increased stability cost is one of them) - better to keep infamy around zero.