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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Avindian

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Long time lurker, first time AAR poster. I had the idea for this AAR when reading a book for my doctoral exams -- Russian Path Dependence by Stefan Hedlund. He argues, not very convincingly in my estimation, that Russia was so late to democracy because it was doomed by Mongolian and Orthodox influences -- I won't bore you too much, but the point is that he suggests that if Novgorod or Lithuania had "formed" Russia, things would have been more democratic much sooner.

Thus, this AAR. I don't have DW yet, I'm going to get it tomorrow, so that will give an opportunity for some posters to give me some feedback before I update this weekend (ideally) :)

I'll play on normal settings, lucky nations set to random. I must never change from a republic of some kind, although I reserve the right to change republics, naturally.

Here are my goals --

Short Term
1) Neutralize Muscowy
2) Swallow, or at least vassalize, the Russian minors

Medium Term
1) Form Russia
2) Westernize
3) Eliminate the Golden Horde

Long Term
1) Capture as much of the twentieth century Russian Empire as possible in the time allotted
2) Capture Constantinople

So, since I have time before I get the game, I wanted to pose a couple of questions to you, the community:

1) Should I have hard "term limits", i.e. no more than two terms with any ruler, regardless of ability?

2) Anything I ought to watch out for with DW? In HttT, I formed Russia as Muscowy pretty easily. It'll be harder with Novgorod, since I don't have the manpower Muscowy does (or Liberum Veto), but I think it shouldn't be too bad.

My style will be mostly gameplay, possible narrative here and there. First update should be sometime this weekend, provided Uncle Sam gives me my sweet, sweet, tax refund.

Author's Note: If you notice a problem with an image, please PM me so I can correct it. I switched image hosts in the middle of this AAR.
 
Last edited:

Tallfellow

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I say, go for Jerusalem, Rome and Mecca while your at it :D
 

Ashantai

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I think you shouldn't bother with term limits until you get down to the more advanced Republics. After all, the real-world Doges didn't have timelimits, and never had to be re-elected.

Gaining the Turkish straights is the most important goal I think.

Depending on how you go for time you could also try to become Master of the Baltic and ensure access to the Indian Ocean (two important goals for Russia historically).
 

Avindian

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Feedback​

Tallfellow -- If I have time, I'm all over it :D

Ashantai -- Huge fan of the AAR you've got running now! The Baltic is definitely on my to-do list; we'll have to see about the Indian Ocean.

That's one vote against hard term limits so far.
 

Eber

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I'm looking forward to this! Russian AARs are always interesting, especially when you do not take the usual route of Muscowy.

I also vote against hard term limits.
 

Avindian

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Feedback​

Eber -- Glad to have you along!

Boris ze Spider -- Really enjoyed your AAR! Thanks for the warning about Lithuania, I'll be sure to keep my eyes open.

Good news! I got DW a little earlier than expected. :D I'm going to play around with a test game before getting started for real, just so I can get used to the new interfaces and all. It shouldn't be too hard, since I have Vicky II. I'll have an intro type update later today and then the first official update this weekend.

Three votes for no term limits -- I'll give you all until the first non-intro update to vote.
 

Ashantai

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One other thing to remember is that your eastern provinces can eat up a lot of time for the enemy to invade. Those far eastern ones are good traps for the enemy. Make sure you put a unit in an adjacent province so the AI doesn't assault the province and they'll be tied up for months there.
 

Avindian

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Introduction

Ashantai -- Thanks for the advice!

So here is mighty Novgorod.

intronovgorod.jpg


Our biggest threats are the Golden Horde, Lithuania, Muscovy, and Sweden.

Here are our relations, and I notice something new to Divine Wind:

introrelations.jpg


Tribute to the Golden Horde, eh? I wonder how much of a difference that makes. On to the economy!

introeconomy.jpg


Not too bad, it'll probably get bigger as time progresses, though, so I'll need to keep an eye on it.

Here are our sliders:

introsliders.jpg


I'm worried about the Centralization slider, but that's a later problem. Everything else is pretty good; I'll probably go with a move towards Quality, since I'll have some issues with manpower early on.

My mighty army and navy!
introarmyandnavy.jpg


The key decision and what I need for it:
introrussia.jpg


And our first mission!
intromissionp.jpg


Kostroma is currently in the possession of Muscovy. I'm not sure whether or not I'm ready yet, but the good news is that the Golden Horde is already at war with Muscovy because of the new horde mechanics in DW.

So, a question to my followers -- go straight for Muscovy (after building up the army) or pick on a minor first?

There's still time to vote on the term limits question as well.
 
Last edited:

Eber

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I think it's a toss-up. If you go after Muscowy now, you probably could win since they are already at war with the Horde. However, attacking them will weaken them even more to be able to defend against the Horde, which you do not want to eat up more land.

I say, leave Muscowy alone until you know you can DOW them without any help. Attack Tver, Pskov and Yaroslavl first. You NEED to make sure you get those provinces before Muscowy. Also, occasionally the Teutons have a bad habit in trying to take Pskov. So, unless these three minors have a strong ally (such as Muscowy, Sweden or Lithuania), attack them. Yaroslavl first, then Tver (since they are a two province minor) then Pskov.
 

Ashantai

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Having said that, in DW the Golden Horde can't grow, so you're better off taking land now so that you're ready to fight the GH in time.
 

Avindian

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Chapter 1: A bit of luck and a bit of skill

The first thing I do, as soon as I unpause the game, is move the slider toward quality, taking a stab hit in the process.

chapter1slidershift.jpg


I take Eber's advice and avoid Muscovy for now. Instead, Yaroslavl is my first scheduled target.

chapter1insultyaroslavl.jpg


I also send a colonist for a refreshing beverage (sorry, couldn't resist) :wacko:

chapter1refreshingkola.jpg


Perhaps anticipating my horrible pun, I don't actually get a colony there until 1401.

Shortly after my insult to Yaroslavl, the not-entirely-unexpected happens:

chapter1pskovwar.jpg


Those are alliance offers from Denmark and Ryazan -- I accept the one from Ryazan.

Then, things take an interesting turn --

chapter1thankstver.jpg


Thinking quickly, I sprang into action by doing...

Absolutely nothing. This was a perfect opportunity. Instead of taking two stab hits (my only CB at this point is on Muscovy for Kostroma), I can eliminate two minors at once. I'm a little worried because Tver has some powerful allies (Teutonic Order), but, there's not much to do until Tver wins, so I build my army and twiddle my thumbs.

By the time I can do something about Tver, I peek at the Teutonic Order, and look what I find:

chapter1ahhah.jpg


Since they'd have to be pretty beat up to get that mission, I go ahead and DOW Tver. Much to delight, TO dishonors the alliance and it's just me/Ryazan vs. Tver. (Ryazan's contributions consist entirely of going bankrupt and WPing out).

I get a pretty slick new event while I finish off Tver:

chapter1trade.jpg


These are somehow trade related -- there's different events for different trade goods. I'm not sure how I got them, but the Fur one gives you extra prestige and Copper decreases reinforcement time. Good to know. That's Tver's army being obliterated in the background.

Before long, victory is mine, and I add three shiny new provinces to my republic, one of which I need cored to form Russia:

chapter1huzzah.jpg


Huzzahs all around!

That's the end of this update. I'm about two wars ahead of this (mid 1405) at this point, and will probably play some more tomorrow, with another update likely this weekend.

I did forget to show a screenshot of my court -- I've got a 4 star land tech guy and a six star diplomat -- some extra good luck there!

I decided not to bother with term limits yet, since there was overwhelming (well, sort of) protest.

As a general rule, would you guys like longer, less frequent updates, or more like this one?
 
Last edited:

Avindian

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Having said that, in DW the Golden Horde can't grow, so you're better off taking land now so that you're ready to fight the GH in time.

I quickly learned this, to my great delight, and you'll see what I do later on!
 

Eber

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Having said that, in DW the Golden Horde can't grow, so you're better off taking land now so that you're ready to fight the GH in time.

Oh really? I did not know that. I haven't gotten DW yet since it hasn't come on mac and I was foolish enough to buy HTTT on mac. :p Question, why is it that they can't grow? Is DW more historical in the sense of giving massive penalties to the Horde because realistically they did fall?

Also Avindian, great job! It worked out perfectly,though be careful about your infamy. I haven't played Novgorod before (always Muscowy) but do you have cores in Yaroslavl, Tver and Pskov? Looking forward to your next update!
 

Avindian

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Oh really? I did not know that. I haven't gotten DW yet since it hasn't come on mac and I was foolish enough to buy HTTT on mac. :p Question, why is it that they can't grow? Is DW more historical in the sense of giving massive penalties to the Horde because realistically they did fall?

Also Avindian, great job! It worked out perfectly,though be careful about your infamy. I haven't played Novgorod before (always Muscowy) but do you have cores in Yaroslavl, Tver and Pskov? Looking forward to your next update!

The only thing a Horde country can to do a non-horde is vassalize them or demand tribute. They're constantly at war with all neighbors who aren't paying tribute or at truce. So, for one gold a year (and I found out it doesn't change with economy size), the Golden Horde can't attack me! Good price.

I'll get those cores when I form Russia, but the only non-Novgorod core you get at the beginning is Kostroma.
 

Ashantai

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Well done! :D

Russia games can often come down to luck, and I think that you hit paydirt this time.

As for style; whichever you feel comfortable with!
 

Eber

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The only thing a Horde country can to do a non-horde is vassalize them or demand tribute. They're constantly at war with all neighbors who aren't paying tribute or at truce. So, for one gold a year (and I found out it doesn't change with economy size), the Golden Horde can't attack me! Good price.

Really?!? I don't know if I like that. So does this mean the Horde always have high WE? I feel as though this a system that is easy to manipulate. It's great for Russia though.
 
Jul 15, 2007
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Muscowy rules, Novgorod sucks... low manpower, low tax provinces, only COT saves them (without it they would be weaker than muscowy in everything). Also muscowy have some fine missions, that novgorod does not have. Still nice AAR, it is supposed to be a challenge.