• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

merrick

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I've been mostly away from EUIII for a while, partly for lack of time and partly because I was frankly a bit burned out on IN 3.1. Every game in Europe seemed to turn into me versus France, every game in East Asia turned into me versus Ming and most games in the middle turned into me versus Timurids. When you've fought the same superpower two or three times it can start to get a bit old. But the final appearance of 3.2 and the promise of HttT tempted me back. I played a few games in 3.2 and got the idea of writing a (fairly) quick AAR to pass the time while waiting for HttT (and the patch, because let's face it, Paradox's record with their v.0 versions is less than outstanding).

<An elephant enters stage left, to remind the author to stop meandering and get to the point>

But which country? I don't want to fight France, so not Europe. I don't want to fight Ming, so not East Asia. That leaves the Muslim world or India, and I couldn't think of a suitable country in the Middle East (they're all really small and difficult, or too big to be a challenge once you've got out of Tribal). India, on the other hand... I've always liked playing Indian countries, and the set up in India, with the Hindu/Muslim split and lots of medium-sized countries, means plenty of action from the start and the chance for almost any country to do well. And there haven't been too many Indian AARs. India it was, then – but which country and what objective. Indian games, in my experience tend to peter out when you unify the subcontinent and all that's left is a long slow grind against the superpowers to the left and right of you.

<The elephant re-enters, carrying a banner saying “We Apologise For the Delay”>

So I was looking through India, trying to pick a country. Vijayanagar – done that, Deccan – someone's done that, Delhi – too easy, Khandesh – too hard, Rajputana – too random (it all depends if the Timurids break nicely, or stay together and stomp you), Bihar – a possibility, Orissa – could be, Gondwana – cool flag. What do I know about Gondwana?

Pretty much nothing, as it turns out, apart from it being a smallish Hindu state that usually dies quickly and having a really cool flag that several people use as a forum avatar. I'd never played it, and no-one seems to have done a Gondwana AAR. That omission needed fixing, but what could I try to do with Gondwana? And then a bumper sticker hit me.


(For those of you not in on the joke, Gondwanaland is – or rather was – the Mesozoic-era supercontinent including (left-to-right) South America, Africa, Arabia, Indian, Antarctica and Australia.)

I have a mission! Re-unite Gondwanaland with Gondwana!

And now the boring pseudo-legal disclaimers <Elephant looks depressed>

Since including Antarctica guarantees failure (like I need a guarantee), I will count it as a success if I control merely South America, Africa, Arabia, India and Australia (I will also count it a minor miracle, but that's another post).

Game will be 3.2 final, Normal difficulty and standard settings.

AAR style will be mostly gameplay with random attempts at humour.

I will update at least once a week, hopefully more often.

I promise not to quit on the AAR, unless it's met with complete indifference. I make no promises not to get crushed in ten or twenty years, in which case you can all have a good laugh.

Please don't expect wild expansion too soon. After all, before I even reach the sea, I must first turn a weak Indian minor in a stronger Indian ... minor.

Onward Elephants! To Battle! <Elephant wakes up and tries to look optimistic>

Optimistic Elephant

QUick P.S: First post is hopefully tomorrow. Screenies may be delayed as the ancient webhost I've been using since 2003 has developed ... issues ... that its new owners seem in no hurry to fix. Or I may resort to Photobucket.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(74857)

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I will definitely be following this. I love playing Gondwana - not just because of the flag, even though it helps - but also because of the crazy cultural situation. The country looks relatively well polstered with all those tax 5 provinces and such, but when you look at the map, it is right in the middle of a cultural edge with impressively 3 different culture groups for a 3 province minor. That, and the fact that you lack a harbor, really makes it a tough country to play.

Good luck :)
 

Ashantai

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This looks great! :D
 

Qorten

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Cool, a new merrick EU3 AAR! I'll have to follow. I find your Papal States AAR still among one of the best gameplay AAR's ever in EU3.
 

Nodscouterr

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These elephants you speak of, they sound interesting...
 

merrick

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Starting off small

First up, thanks to everyone who commented, and double thanks for all the expressions of support - I just hope my play and writing live up to expectations....

Ohh-Kay! We're off! Forward Elephants!

So what have we got? Not so much... <Elephant stops and takes out a map>


We're the grey thing in the middle. Arounds us (clockwise from top) are Bihar(purplish), Bengal(dark blue), Orissa(orange), Vijayanagar(light blue), Mysore (yellow-green), Deccan (mid-blue), Khandesh (greeny-brown) and Delhi ((olive green). Bengal, Deccan, Khandesh & Delhi are Muslim, the rest Hindu. Delhi & Vijayanagar are the biggest and scariest. Bihar has a CoT.

Gondwana starts off as the smallest and weakest of the Hindu states (well, OK, not quite true since in 3.2 Mysore and Travancore are independent states rather than Vijayanager vassals, but it's close). It has three mediocre provinces (each with a different culture), one whole regiment, a generous 1,600 manpower and a support limit of 4. It also lacks sea access, allies and immediate CBs. The first won't be a problem for the moment. The second shouldn't be a problem – there are plenty of friendly Hindu states about to do the heavy lifting in the early wars. The third really shouldn't be a problem with multiple Muslim states within hitting range. My plan is to start or join Hindu-Muslim wars and play jackal at the feast until we're big enough to afford an army.

We may have the weakest army, but we have the coolest flag. And Raja Narsingh Rai is MIL 7. He'll get a chance to use it shortly, but even jackals need allies and armies. I check for advisors – 6-star Statesman? I'll take that! - recruit a cavalry regiment, take a slider push to Free Subjects and send alliance offers to everyone who might be useful – Bihar, Orissa and Vijayanagar.

Bihar's in, Orissa's in, Vijayanagar's in. And we get an offer from Mysore. Sure. Never too many allies. First mission pops up and it's to liberate Jharkhand. Which is in Bengal, which has allied itself with Deccan but not Delhi. Interesting. And now Rajputana wants to join the alliance. Great!

It takes until the middle of 1400 until I build up enough manpower to raise a second regiment. It sums up Gondwana that after two regiments and one advisor, I don't have the money, even with minting, to hire advisors in October. I pass the time spamming Royal Marriages to my allies. Before the regiment is done, Deccan has gone to war with Khandesh & Gujarat. Bengal has no allies? No, they've signed up with Delhi. Forget Bengal. Deccan, on the other hand...

Make my king a general and he's shock 3. Khandesh is sieging Nagpur. That doesn't help – I want to siege Nagpur! Orissa DOWs Arakan. Why Arakan? They aren't even close. But it's a chance to raise wartaxes and – Arakan is guaranteed by Bengal? I'm in!

My cavalry wins the race to Jharkhand. Bihar is beating up Bengal's army. All good. And then Mysore decides to go after Deccan – solo. Sorry, Mysore, but it's like this...

The infantry sieges Jharkhand while the cavalry pushes on to Bangala. Bengal doesn't contest. Travancore, of all strange people, has mounted an amphibious landing in Chittagong.

Now it's Rajputana, DOWing Gujarat. Gujarat's only allied to Kashmir and neither can get at me so it's safe to honour. Take Jharkhand. Take Bangala. Bangala's the capital and I don't want disconnected provinces beyond it, so I peace out for Jharkhand, triggering the mission to give me a core. Result!

Jharkhand (Bihari) give me my fourth culture in four provinces. If I manage to snag a Marathi province from Deccan, it'll be 5 in 5.

Thanks to the core, Bihari becomes accepted immediately. We're a multicultural lot, we elephants.

Next mission is “protect against Deccan”, who have a scary 6600 men. I have a plan for Deccan, and it ain't outbuilding them (my support limit is now 5).

Khandesh has got itself vassalised but Gujarat has taken a province from Deccan. Deccan is invading Mysore. Orissa annexes Arakan. Tibet and Assam join the dogpile on Bengal. I have the money and manpower for another cavalry regiment, then sit back and wait for the war in the north to finish up.

Bihar takes a province. Orissa take a province. Gujarat drops out of the war with Deccan to concentrate on getting conquered by Rajputana. Deccan is grinding down the Mysore army – they have 10,000 men under arms but their stability is trashed and war exhaustion is rising. I play the cool elephant and wait. Eventually they'll either lose their army or win and disband.

Thanks to wartaxes, I have plenty (relatively) of money so I go to the advisor bazaar and hire a 2-star Commandant. Every little helps when you have four regiments and 2,000 manpower.

Assam takes a province from Bengal. The rebels hit Deccan and Mysore gets out with white peace. And they want an alliance again. Sure. No hard feelings, Mysore.

Just waiting for Deccan to finish their battle and see if they disband... What the? Deccan is at war with Orissa and Travancore? When'd that start? Anyway, it makes the decision easier. Full support, DOW, and charge. Bihar is in, Vijayanagar is in, Rajputana is in, Mysore is out. Make your mind up, Mysore! But the stars are looking bad for Deccan, 10,000 men or no.

It starts out great. I get the siege in Nagpur and Bihar shows up to help. I siege Maharastra, build a new regiment, siege Ahmadnagar. Orissa and Bihar are sieging the Deccan capital. Deccan is making it as easy as possible by charging its army into Vijayanagar and Orissa instead of trying to break the sieges. Then Deccan jinks back West and obliterates my siege force in Ahmadnagar. Their King is Shock 4, which is probably why they haven't managed to lose a battle yet. Next the Deccan Death Stack – still about 9,000 of them - runs right over Vijayanagar's main army and sieges their capital. Vijayanagar takes this as a sign to peace out for Raichur Doab and go attack the Maldives. Orissa makes white peace. This could get interesting.

Deccan's army comes back, beats up my new siege force in Ahmadnagar and tears into the big stack sieging their capital. I throw in everything and Bihar & I just win. The capital falls, Deccan is retreating, Ahmadnagar looks tempting, but they still have 8,000 men to my 4,000 or so and I decide I can't risk Bihar going floppy on me. So I make peace for Maharastra (base 12 tax!) and Nagpur and take stock.

Gujararat gave up Baroda to Rajputana while all that was going on and I'm actually at peace.


Rajputanan is green-grey top left. Delhi has grabbed a province from Nepal and is invading Tibet. The red thing in Bengal is Assam. Note that Orissa's Arakan conquests are revolting already - India has rich provinces and low manpower, so rebels can be a bigger threat than armies.

It's 1405, I'm up to 6 provinces, my income has roughly doubled (to 5 ducats/month), I have 5,000 manpower (when it recovers) and a support limit of 8. It'll do.

 

Murmurandus

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*trumpets with joy*
 

merrick

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The best-laid plans of mice and elephants....

Once again, thanks to everyone who has read, and double thanks to every one who commented - it means a lot.
This time round, you should get something to laugh at - mostly my play.

If you recall <elephant pricks up ears and looks interested> we were last seen in 1405, feeling good about ourselves and looking for the next lucky victim. The obvious one is Khandesh, a wealthy 1-province Muslim vassal of Deccan with no allies. Deccan is still at war (with Travancore) and starting to get serious revolt problems. But first we have to reinforce the army (currently at half strength), burn off War Exhaustion and build up some manpower reserves. <elephant sits back down again and looks bored>

Before 1406 starts, Delhi has taken a province from Tibet and made peace and Deccan has made peace with Travancore and then collapsed anyway to mass revolts. Three of their remaining four provinces break away as Hindu Maharasthra – not necessarily good for me, as it costs more to DOW Hindus than Muslims. The good news is that the last rebel stack clobbers Deccan's army, and we complete our mission. A new mission pops up and it's “Annex Surat”.

Surat is a Gujarati province on our western border with no connection to the rest of Gujarat. Currently it's rebel-controlled, and Gujarat has no army. On the other hand, Rajputana has a truce with them, so DOWing could cost us the alliance. Rajputana can be a dangerous enemy, and we've already got three allies, so we couldn't invite them back.

Hmmm.... Gujarat is allied to Sind. Rajputana does not have a truce with Sind. If I could rely on Gujarat honouring its alliance, that would be perfect, but if it doesn't I'll be struck on the wrong side of Gujarat, watching Rajputana beat up Sind. Still, there are worse fates...

Manpower has recovered slightly. I order up another cavalry regiment (now up to 4, and 2 infantry) and wait for it to be ready.

Before it is, Rajputana DOWs Sind. Gujarat does indeed honour the alliance, as do Kashmir, Deccan – and the Mamelukes. I join (as does Bihar), rush troops into Surat, charge my cavalry clean through Gujarat to grab the siege on the CoT of Kutch – and then realise that the Mamelukes are the alliance leader, and I can't negotiate with either Gujarat or Sind directly. Sure enough, as soon as I win the sieges, the dirt-eating Rajputs make peace with Gujarat and Sind for a handful of ducats and my army is stranded in Rajputana.

In case that wasn't all enough fun, Deccan got turned Hindu by revolt and auto-peaced out as well. Drat and drat. <elephant covers ears and tries to hide>

In fact, I'm so miffed that I actually ask Delhi for military access on the off-chance of being able to get the troops home – and they grant it! I suppose it all goes to show – you can't expect too much from your allies, but occasionally you can hope for a little something from your enemies. After all, everyone can't always be on the other side.

I bring the troops home and DOW Khandesh, as per original plan. This time, everything goes like clockwork – apart from Bihar dishonouring the call to arms for some odd reason. Deccan defends its vassal and one of my regiments gets to Golconda one day ahead of the Vijayanagari army. I storm Deccan's capital with Vijayanagar's troops, wrap up things in Khandesh, annex Khandesh and vassalise Deccan. The Mameluke war ends painlessly while all this is in progress, and peace reigns again.

For one day, as Orissa has just DOWed what's left of Bengal. Bihar, Mysore & Travancore are with them – and Delhi & Gujarat are on the other side.

Arrrgh! The odds would be about even, I want the war with Gujarat – but I wouldn't be alliance leader, Bihar has no army and Orissa and the others are in the wrong place to help against Delhi. Delhi has 16,000 men to my 6,000 and the border is wide open. I grit my teeth and decline. <The elephant looks hurt, and pointedly turns its back>. I don't feel good about it myself – that's another alliance down the drain and a prestige hit – but even if I could be sure of winning, the odds are too high that Orissa would peace out and give me nothing.

I feel slightly better about the decision when Delhi clobbers Bihar and takes Oudh province in a matter of months. <The elephant looks disgusted. I remind it that (a) Bihar betrayed us first and (b) it could have been us.> Once Bihar drops out Delhi can't get at the others and it all ends in white peace.

I get a slider push and go for Centralised (a mistake, but I thought it would let me take the Militia Act decision). I get “Local Pretender” - 8 rebel regiments with a killer leader. I have to spend my cash reserves on two more cavalry regiments to face them on equal terms. Ping-pong ensues, while my treasury heads rapidly to zero. In the middle of all this, I hit Gov 4 and my first National Idea. After considering and rejecting National Conscripts (manpower isn't worth much without money, and I can't afford the troops I have), National Bank (inflation hasn't been a problem), Military Drill and a couple of others, I take the beige option and go for Bureaucracy. Money is always nice, and my tech needs all the help it can get.

The ping-pong continues and I end up having to disband a regiment and mint for a couple of months to avoid a loan. My treasury is in the single digits and I'm making about 5 ducats/year at minimum support. Time to take stock.


Maharasthra is the dark blue lower left. Surat is the disconnected yellow province just above it.
Yes, Delhi really is that big.


It's 1412. I'm up another province and a vassal but down two allies. Delhi is bigger than ever and has guaranteed all the remaining Muslim minors. The elephant is looking disappointed. That could have gone better.



P.S. Since polls and quizzes seem to be the style around here, here's a quick question:
What was the other big chance I missed in that session?
 

Qorten

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Bihar dishonored the call, so that gives you a CB doesn't it. Apart from the -1 stab for being the same religion, you wouldn't have suffered. and might even have gotten a province with CoT from it. Just my guess.

You're going strong but Delhi is a problem until it hopefully collapses because of too many non-state religion provinces at some point.
 

aldriq

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Glad to have you back in AARland! Nice job so far, even with spoilt plans. I agree with Qorten on the Bihar CoT, but then again Kutch would have also been nice (and a coastal CoTs would give you needed colonists for later).

Go! Go! Go! Gondwana! :D
 

Enewald

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Pulling the continents back together with elephants? :cool::cool:
 
Oct 28, 2009
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Pulling the continents back together with elephants? :cool::cool:
what for? they (continents) are already sitting on four elephants, so it would be enough to unite all elephants on this side of the Earth to convinces the other ones to step closer :rofl: