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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Kovax

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Note that I didn't push the slider to Free Trade either, but Infamy has a very significant effect on the success of my merchants in my own CoTs, and at this point, I've got no shortage of those.

There were a couple of serious real-world interruptions last night, so this will be a very brief report:

7/1797 - Hungary declares war on the Mongol Khanate over a border dispute for the province of Tara. Korea, Manchu, Pegu, and Madurai honor their agreements with the Mongols, and join the war against Hungary. Hungary gains a Border Dispute core on Brittany's province of Kisarna. Hungarian troops take control of Kyzl Kum from the Mongols.

11/1797 - Tara, Tashkent, Kypshak, and Kerey are in Hungarian hands, but only constitute around 4% war score. Pegu lands troops on Bone in the islands around the East Indies, days before its fort is due to complete. Hungarian troops in the nearby islands board ship to recapture the province.

12/1797 - Bone is retaken, and the troops re-board, to take the war directly to the enemy. The tech differences are enormous, and one Mongol army of 14,000 men has already been wiped out by 16,000 Hungarian troops with only slightly more than 100 casualties in return. On the other hand, between Mongol Khanate, Manchu, and the other combattants, there are still close to 60,000 troops to contend with.
 

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This session turns half the world into an absolute mess, then sets up for what may be the final major confrontation of the campaign.

1/1798 - Hungary grants Pegu's request for a white peace.

2/1798 - Mongol Khanate surrenders to Hungary, and Hungary gains the province of Tara.

10/1798 - Two more provinces culturally assimilate, one in Asia and one in the New World. Ulaszlo has been of age for a couple of years, so Istvan VII becomes a general, to hasten the succession.

12/1798 - Prussia's king dies without a legitimate native heir, and Hungary inherits Prussia (2 provinces).

2/1799 - The Hungarian colony in Pose is wiped out by unruly natives. Troops are dispatched to punish the perpetrators. Hungary gains a Border Dispute core in Brittany for the province of Labourd on the coast of Europe. Brittany's king is still illegitimate, and a war to force a personal union is looking like a possibility, despite Portugal, since Portugal is clearly having problems.

3/1799 - Another Border Dispute, this time for the province of Georgia, also owned by Brittany. 5000 Hungarian troops arrive in Pose, and are immediately set upon by 5400 native tribesmen. Spears are no match for modern rifles and machineguns [ Oops, more like rifled muskets and cannon, I've been playing too much Vicky2 ], and the native attackers are gunned down in the fire phase without a single casualty in return. New colonists are sent. Portugal's king dies, and the country breaks out in numerous revolts, with -2 Stability, a regency council struggling to control the country, and war exhaustion over 17 points, in addition to steep religious and cultural modifiers. Hungary can now annex another vassal, but there are a couple more vassals to bribe before that happens.

4/1799 - The revolts by Castillian and Grenadan Nationalists, religious fanatics, angry peasants, and other assorted rabble in Portugal's home territory spill over into Hungarian territory in Spain, and the local garrison army has to call in assistance from one of the armies in North Africa. Rebels blanket Portugal's colonies, including several Separatist armies that Hungary needs to deal with quickly, because the Portuguese army isn't even remotely able to respond.

6/1799 - Brazil declares independence from Yaroslavl (yes, they have a colony in South America, despite having been landlocked the entire game), receiving provinces from Portugal, Naples, and Toulouse in the process. Yaroslavl, Portugal, Naples and Toulouse are automatically placed at war against Brazil, and Naples brings Hungary into the conflict due to the Personal Union. 8 of Hungary's vassals and allies join the war.

7/1799 - Louisiana declares independence from Portugal, appearing as 4-5 provinces in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, entirely from Portuguese provinces. Hungarian troops nearby quickly enforce surrender terms on Brazil, which cedes Diamentina, converts to Catholicism, and relinquishes its core claims on Patos in South America, the island of Martinique, and two provinces in Africa (why Brazil has cores in Africa is beyond me). As a defender, Hungary gains 3 Infamy for the annexed province. To stir the pot and make things livelier, Denmark declares war on Norway, both calling in a number of small allies.

9/1799 - Portugal gains a Border Dispute core on a Hungarian province. Hungarian troops begin pulling out of Portuguese territory, as it becomes apparent that the only way to solve the unrest is to put it all under Hungarian control.

3/1800 - The situation changes abruptly. Istvan VII passes away, and Ulaszlo II (7/7/6) inherits the throne of Hungary, as well as the throne of the much-reduced HRE, and Naples, Holland, Savoy, and Wurttemburg are all inherited and incorporated directly into Hungary. Much to my dismay, however, the new heir is Matyas (3/4/6), which will very likely cause issues with the number of non-core provinces if/when he inherits the throne. Portugal, with its throne open and no prospective legitimate heir, refuses a Royal Marriage. Hungarian agents are tasked with the well-worn process of dredging up "Obscure Documents", and succeed, but are discovered, causing a point of Infamy. The process is repeated for Brittany, and the result is the same: success, but another point of Infamy. The stage is now set for a final confrontation for control of the planet, by declaring two wars simultaneously.

4/1800 - Hungary diplomatically annexes Auvergne (3 provinces), linking the Spanish provinces directly to the main body of Europe. This results in 3 more Infamy (now a little below 7), and severely damaged Relations with all vassals, which will take time and diplomats to heal. It will also take diplomats to restore a few Royal Marriages, and to declare a couple of wars, after breaking Military Access with two more diplomats. This may take a while, but I've got a year until the CBs expire.
EU3_MAP_HUN_1800.4.3_1.jpg

At the moment, the plan is to declare both wars on the same day, and only call Hungary's allies into the harder war, rather than risk having some of them refuse to join a second war. I really don't expect to inherit Portugal and Brittany before the end of the game, since Ulaszlo's pathetic stats make it unlikely that he'll inherit anything, and time is getting a bit short for a second succession after him.

Not sure I'll have a lot of time tonight to dedicate to the game, so the next installment may only touch on the opening stages of what will probably be a long war, thanks to the huge number of scattered provinces owned by both rivals, and the 90% war score requirement to enforce the war goal. Fortunately, I've got troops on many of the borders already, thanks to the constant need to crush Separatist revolts no matter where they occur.
 
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Thanks to the rain last evening, I ended up with a little more time than expected.

5/1800 - Liguria culturally converts to Hungarian, adding another cultural axis of advance into the heart of Europe. The Papal State joins Brazil against Portugal, Brittany, Toulouse, Genoa, and all of the other allies fighting Brazil.

6/1800 - Hungary completes another level of Land tech, and upgrades to Drill Infantry a day before the end of the month to limit the window of vulnerability until some Organization is recovered. Military access through Brittany is cancelled.

7/1800 - A colonist is expended to culturally convert Grain Coast, a former colony of Naples. An insult from Hungary to Brittany brings Relations under 100 points. Meanwhile, Portugal has managed to restore its Stability back up to 0, but is still suffering from more than 11 war exhaustion. Hungary's merchants are taking a lot of abuse due to Infamy, and there are 5 Hungary-owned CoTs with less than 6 Hungarian merchants in place, with only one spare merchant left in the pool.

9/1800 - Hungary sends an insult to Portugal, reducing Relations significantly. Checking Portugal's and Brittany's alliances, Genoa will inevitably join the war, as well as Urbino. Other countries are less certain, due to current wars. Another 12,000 Hungarian troops are raised for the inevitable conflict.

1/1801 - The die is cast. Hungary declares war on Brittany. Hungary calls its allies to war against Portugal. Portugal has roughly 65,000 troops, Brittany has around 20,000, with Genoa adding another 20,000. Navarra adds another 4,000, and Urbino joins Brittany and adds another 5,000.

2/1801 - Several of Genoa's provinces are quickly taken by assault, and Genoa offers white peace. Hungary is perfectly willing to let them go without penalty....this time. A Hungarian army of 16,000 troops fares poorly against 15,000 of Brittany's troops in their capital, and the Hungarians break off the fight and retreat into a neutral province with Military Access, where Brittany's troops can't follow. A second Hungarian army arrives a week later and demolishes Brittany's main army: 15,000 of their 20,000 total troops gone.

3/1801 - After dealing with 8000 Castillian rebels in Leon, recently driven from Portugal's territory into Hungarian land in Spain, two Hungarian armies converge on 25,000 Portuguese troops besieging Beira, their main army. Another group of 9000 Portuguese troops are engaged and defeated in Toubkhal in North Africa, and chased toward Fez. Brittany's and Portugal's armies dispatch several independent brigades throughout the colonies and in Spain, and begin sieging multiple Hungarian provinces. Several are easily eliminated, but others need to be pursued. A few Hungarian armies are divided up in to smaller groups, to facilitate sieging or to cover a wider path while chasing down stray brigades. Vendee, Brittany's capital, falls to assault. 8000 more Portuguese troops are eliminated in Panama. Brittany dispatches a lightly escorted group of transports (2 Large, 2 Small, and 14 Transports) into the Baltic. Hungary's modest sized Baltic fleet engages them until the larger Hungarian British Fleet can reach the battle.

4/1801 - Portugal's main army is broken in Beira, pursued, and destroyed. At sea, the die rolls go badly: Hungary's Baltic Fleet (2 Large, 4 Small) takes heavy losses and the surviving ship flees to port, 4 ships sunk and one captured, with no enemy ships sunk in return. At this point, too late, I remember NEVER to attack a transport fleet while they're unloading, because they're all but invulnerable until the troops are ashore. Brittany's troops land on Osel, and a couple of days later Hungary's British Fleet arrives, sinking the entire enemy fleet after only a brief exchange of fire. A Hungarian army is dispatched to remove the small Brittanian force from Osel. Genoa gains a Border Dispute core on a Hungarian province.

6/1801 - Croatia culturally assimilates, becoming Hungarian. Urbino's small army is finally cornered, engaged, and eliminated.

7/1801 - Urbino's two provinces are taken by assault, and Urbino surrenders to Hungary, renouncing its claim to Abruzzi and cancelling its treaties with Brittany. Hungary's wars against both Brittany and Portugal are now over the 50% war score mark, since both scattered colonial empires have the same problem as Hungary: not enough Magistrates to adequately develop all of their provinces, and therefore having mostly low-level forts that are easily taken by assault. As the number of enemy brigades drops to single digits, and the easily reached clusters of enemy provinces fall, the remaining scattered provinces and islands take more time and effort to reach, and the rate of capture slows down. The Papal States agrees to white peace against both Portugal and Brittany.

Thanks to its large clusters of colonial provinces, as well as some limited assistance from Hungary's allies, the conquest of Portugal is proceeding slightly faster than that of Brittany, which is smaller and weaker, but much more widely scattered, and with several huge sub-arctic provinces that take a long time to cross. The outcome isn't in any doubt, with only a few thousand troops left for Portugal and one last brigade in hiding somewhere for Brittany, but a few provinces with fortifications are taking a long time to advance above 0% progress, and there are plenty more remaining to besiege or assault.
 

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Logged onto the forum, hit "Reply", and went for my notes.....and no notes. They're probably sitting on my keyboard at home, where I'll spot them on my way out of the house....except that I obviously didn't spot them. Anyway, this will be from memory, without dates, until I bring my notes and edit this post, so the exact order of events may be questionable, and a few important details may be inaccurate or missing. [ Edited a day later with dates, extensive corrections, and additions - having the notes with me helps. ]

9/1801 - With Portugal's army and navy essentially gone, and only level 1 forts in just about every province, the provinces rapidly are taken by assault, one after another, as quickly as my army can get to them. Since most of them are in clusters, reaching the clusters and defeating the local troops has consumed most of the time so far. Now, taking them by assault with the existing forces goes rapidly. Brittany, on the other hand, has less provinces, widely scattered, with a lot more Level 2 forts which require a higher concentration of troops to assault, or else a long siege. Portugal reaches and exceeds the war score needed to enforce the primary objective, while the score against Brittany barely changes.

10/1801 - Portugal surrenders, becoming a junior partner in a Personal Union under Hungary, and cancelling core claims on a list of 5 provinces.

4/1802 - Two more of Brittany's colonies are spotted on the coast of Siberia after some searching, directly east of the Kamchatka peninsula. Troops in the West Indies board ship.

12/1802 - 4 more of Brittany's ships are engaged and sunk off the west coast of South Africa, leaving them with only 2000 troops hiding in some unspotted province, 4 combat ships, and a handful of transports, but still not ready to accept Hungary's demands. Revolts in Naples' former provinces in Africa reach catastrophic levels, exceeding one per month, and two full armies aren't enough to handle the repeated uprisings in the 8 rebellious provinces. More troops are diverted to Africa.

1/1803 - Brittany's colonies in Siberia are taken, and another island colony falls to a brief assault, tipping them over the edge by around 3 points. Countries will frequently accept demands less than 10 higher than the war score (although this doesn't always apply at low war scores below 10 or so, and Diplomacy may affect it), so 83 war score is sufficient for the 90 point PU demand plus two 1-point core revocations.

3/1803 - Brittany surrenders, entering a Personal Union under Hungary and withdrawing 2 core claims. Hungary allies with Portugal, which is still at war against Louisiana and its ally Toulouse.

5/1803 - Portugal calls Hungary to arms against Louisiana and Toulouse. This was expected two or three months ago, so the troops are just waiting for the order to advance. Toulouse's troops occupy about half of Portugal's provinces in Spain, as well as several colonies, and Louisiana already has most of the North American west coast under its control, or at least had, until revolts snatched some provinces away from them. The war score stands at -8, and Louisiana immediately demands Hungary's surrender and the ceding of 6 provinces and other concessions. This is clearly someone's idea of a bad joke.

7/1803 - Sweden declares war on Denmark, both parties dragging in a host of small allies.

2/1804 - Toulouse's forces in Spain are eventually chased down and destroyed, its main army engaged and eliminated in its capital, and all of its lightly fortified European provinces taken rather quickly. War score changes to a positive 10 or so in less than a month. Louisiana offers white peace, and is again rejected. Toulouse does have a significant presence in the New World, with widely scattered colonies, mostly in ones and twos, and it takes a surprisingly long time to reach some of them, although the end result is pretty much inevitable. Meanwhile, constant repeated revolts in the Caribbean Islands provide a distraction, slowing the process to a crawl. Hungarian troops make slow progress up the North American west coast, taking the long string of poorly fortified Portuguese provinces back from Louisiana without any significant opposition.

The next month and a half are spent in crushing revolts and making diplomatic gestures (mainly bribes to help them rebuild their armies and police their own provinces) to Brittany and Portugal. Despite the steady stream of revolts, Hungary pauses to upgrade its troops from Drill Infantry to Mixed Order Infantry. Once Organization recovers, rebel bashing resumes. Another month, and the Cavalry is upgraded as well, putting Hungary's army on par with the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Another manufacturing plant is constructed, this one costing well over 10,000 ducats, thanks to the large number of existing factories, universities, and art schools.

8/1804 - Hungary reaches Louisiana's own provinces in the Pacific Northwest, some only minimally fortified, others with no defenses at all. Toulouse offers to surrender 14 provinces to Hungary, for an absurd 42 Infamy, which is immediately rejected, and then agrees to Hungary's slightly more lenient terms (only a few war score less), ceding Languedoc, revoking core claims on 6 provinces and converting to Catholicism. As a defender, Hungary gains 3 Infamy for taking the province.

9/1804 - Mecklenburg converts to Reformed, trashing its relations with Hungary.

11/1804 - Louisiana accepts Hungary's terms: convert to Catholicism and renounce core claims on 12 provinces, 10 of those in Hungarian territory.

Other than Genoa, with their extensive and expanding colonies in the South Pacific and Siberian coast, as well as their main cluster of provinces in Africa and a few isolated provinces in the Americas, there are no other significant rivals. Genoa has been beaten repeatedly, and are no real military threat. Munster has added several colonies in the Pacific, and could be a nuisance once again, but not a threat. Denmark and Sweden could offer some token resistance, but ultimately there is no further challenge other than rebels, which WILL become a major concern if/when the current heir takes the throne with NO pips in Administration and practically a book's worth of non-core provinces. That WILL invoke an "Overextended" penalty, boosting revolt risk further, and the large number of "Founding Father" events over the past couple of decades will insure a massive number of Separatists in those revolts. At this point, I don't care about inheriting the PUs, I'm hoping that the current ruler survives until 1836. I've had enough of revolts.
 
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Not much to say: nearly a year of putting down revolts, restoring Relations, and trying to keep my new PU partners afloat, as well as building another handful of ships to offset the newly settled provinces in North America, East Indies. and South Pacific.

12/1804 - Another large Austrian revolt requires the combined response of two full armies.

9/1805 - Hungarian troops move toward the borders of Khiva and its allies: Morocco, Genoa, and Mamluks. It is not certain whether war will be declared on Khiva to complete the link around the Caspian Sea, or on Morocco to connect the sizable enclave there in North Africa to Egypt, and through there to Europe.

10/1805 - The invasion is postponed for a few months, as Hungary completes yet another level of Land tech research. Cavalry is upgraded to Latin Lancers.

11/1805 - Infantry is upgraded to Napoleonic Square, and it will be another 2 months until Organization is restored sufficiently for the resumption of war plans.
 

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In last night's lengthy session, I gained a bit more respect for the word "cascade".

3/1806 - With its armies restored to full organization after the upgrades, and a momentary lull in the wave of revolts, Hungary declares a war of Imperialism against Khiva. Kokkand, Morocco, Georgia, and Delhi honor their alliances, and Swahili joins the fight as defender of the faith, taking control of the war. Days later, the Mongol Khanate declares war on Kokkand. Hungary gains a Border Dispute core on Brittany's province of Patagonia Oriental.

4/1806 - Iraq and Ethiopia join Swahili against Hungary.

6/1806 - Hungary grants Kokkand's request for white peace, and Kokkand exits the war to focus its attention on the Mongol threat.

7/1806 - Oman allies with Swahili, then joins the war and takes control from Swahili, bringing in a couple of its own allies. Hungary gets a Border Dispute core claim on Romagna, a province of Urbino. Two fully loaded Hungarian transports find themselves cornered by 24 approaching Omani combat vessels off the coast of India. Hungary makes hasty arrangements for military access through Maduri, and the transports are able to reach the sanctuary of port before the Omani fleet reaches them.

8/1806 - Morocco surrenders, renouncing claims on a Hungarian province and two more in Portugal.

9/1806 - All three of Khiva's provinces are occupied by Hungary. Khiva gives up Atak, its isolated capital, to Hungary, as well as renouncing core claims on two provinces. Hungary gains two Infamy for the province, which completes the encirclement of the Caspian Sea by making a land connection between Gurgan and Kara Kum.

10/1806 - With its war objectives satisfied, Hungary settles with Oman, which agrees to cancel its alliance with Syria. Further west, 18,000 Candari Nationalists manage to defeat 16,000 Hungarian troops in Bithynia.

1/807 - 32,000 Hungarian troops engage and defeat the 18,000 Candari troops in Bithynia, chasing them down and eliminating them.

11/1807 - Hungary declares a war of Reconquest against Syria over the disputed province of Badiyat-ash-Sham. Oman once again takes control of the war against Hungary, and Georgia, Hedjaz, and Adal honor alliances with Syria and/or Oman.

12/1807 - Georgian troops lay siege to Hungary's province of Dagestan, and Syrian troops begin sieging Aleppo, while Hungarian troops reach Damascus and Badiyat-ash-Sham. Syria's troops are crushed in Aleppo. With one of its two provinces occupied by Hungary, Hedjaz settles for white peace.

2/1808 - Syria surrenders, turns over Badiyat-ash-Sham to Hungary, and withdraws its core claims to 2 provinces taken in an earlier war. A spy-sponsored revolt mission against Hungary actually succeeds (after at least 30-50 failures), although it's insufficient to provoke an actual revolt.

5/1808 - Another major Nationalist revolt breaks out in Hungary, making 4 large revolts in progress that are difficult to handle with a single army, with 12-19 brigades of rebels or nationalists in each. That makes a total of 6 Hungarian provinces under siege simultaneously, in addition to the various revolts in Hungary's PU partners' territories. It appears that 505 brigades aren't quite enough, and more troops are recruited. I may need to boost army size to 18, possibly 20. All of this is with +3 Stability, 100 Legitimacy, 0 War Exhaustion, and playing as "relatively nice guys" with low Infamy. I'd REALLY hate to deal with the revolts in a Horde game by this point in the timeline.

7/1808 - Adal offers white peace and exits the war. A large 19,000 Nationalist rebel army in Perm is attacked by 16,000 Hungarian troops. The rebel army runs out of morale first, but the Hungarians also break before the retreat option is available, and BOTH armies flee the province in opposite directions. A second army is called in, but will take time to arrive. A massive rebel stack of 21,000 Austrian Nationalists is crushed by two Hungarian armies.

9/1808 - The rebels from Perm are attacked by a second Hungarian army, defeated and chased to Samaria, but don't arrive until the following month.

10/1808 - The Nationalists from Perm are engaged again. As before, both armies break, but the Hungarians run away while the disorganized rebels continue the siege. The first Hungarian army returns and finishes off the broken rebel force without a fight as the month ends.

11/1808 - Another Hungarian advisor passes away, and there are 30+ Level 3 Natural Scientists to choose from. Whatever happened to the mostly random selection in the earlier expansions? This borders on useless, since you can't assign more than one advisor of the same type. A new Sergeant Major General is created, using a combination of Cultural and Army Tradition points, but with only 3 skill, to provide Army Tradition. Aquileia's king passes away, and a new king rises to the throne, leaving the King of Hungary as next in line until/unless an heir is produced.

6/1709 - Kartli's walls are breached, the province is taken by assault, and Georgia surrenders, renouncing 2 core claims. I really think I'm going to wipe either them or Iraq out in another 5 years, because they've both been a royal pain in almost every war in the region for the better part of a century. Oman accepts Hungary's mild terms to end the war, cancelling its alliance with Syria, since it has nothing that Hungary wants at full Infamy cost.
 

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This was a longer playing session, but not all that much in-game time passed due to the constant stream of revolts, particularly on islands, requiring frequent stops or slowdowns of the clock while moving transports into position, loading troops, moving the loaded transports, offloading the troops to fight, then bringing them home again. Doing that for 3 or more simultaneous rebellions, only to have fresh ones break out while you're finishing with those, gets old.

8/1809 - Sandomierz converts to Hungarian culture. Paraguay declares independence from Portugal, with only a single province, and Hungary automatically takes control of the war from its PU partner. Another "clubbing baby seals" war, and I'd feel terrible about such a ridiculously one-sided fight if it were against a Human player.

10/1809 - Hungarian troops, already on board ship after a revolt on nearby islands, land, defeat the tiny 2000 man Paraguayan army in a Portuguese province adjacent to their own province, and then take Rio Grande by assault. Paraguay accepts annexation. As a defender in a war of independence, Hungary gains no Infamy. I like "free" provinces, but if they had rebelled with 10-12 provinces, it would have been an unhappy situation. Brazil still has around 5-6 provinces from when it formed from various "donors", as they were too large to re-conquer in one war.

12/1809 - Level 61 of Government tech is completed, allowing another National Idea. Hungary adds "Esprit de Corps", giving a +25% boost to troop Discipline.

2/1810 - Hungary gains a Border Dispute core on Nice, owned by Hungary's vassal Provence.(2 provinces).

4/1810 - The crown icon appears, meaning that it's time once again to annex a vassal. Unfortunately, there hasn't been enough time (or Diplomats) to restore the damaged Relations with all of Hungary's current vassals to where they should be. A few last minute boosts are needed in some of the more critical vassals.

8/1810 - The formerly English province of Marches converts to Hungarian culture.

9/1810 - Hungary diplomatically annexes Provence, since Nice is already a core. Relations with HRE vassals plunge by -125 points, those with non-HRE vassals by -100, and Relations with non-vassalized HRE states dip by -25. Diplomats are sent to repair a few of the most extreme situations back to positive Relations. That and revolts will occupy most of the country's time and attention for the next year or more.

1/1812 - All HRE Electors but one (a heretic, with a -1000 modifier to their voting preference) are back to positive Relations, and support Hungary over the next closest competitor by several hundred points. Merchants are still recovering from the fairly modest Infamy that has just been shed, and I've got at least 3-6 merchants kicked out of my own 16-17 CoTs at any given time, typically with 0 or only 1 merchant left in the pool. During the previous session, Hungary gained a Border Dispute core on Urbino's province of Romagna, so Hungary declares a war of Imperialism against Urbino. A revolt instantly breaks out in Hungary's province of Abruzzi. The 8000 rebels exceed the size of Urbino's entire army, which preempts any Urbino move to besiege the province. Sicily honors its alliance with Urbino, approaching Hungary's former Naples provinces in the south across the strait, and Hungarian troops in North Africa board their waiting transports, while an army pushes down the "boot" from the north.

3/1812 - The main Hungarian Fleet with 20 ships engages Sicily's 12 ship fleet in the Bay of Napoli, while the Hungarian transports move into position south of the island. The two Hungarian ships of the Ligurian Patrol fleet join the fight, and the Aegean Fleet stationed in Thrace piles on with 20 more ships. One Hungarian frigate is reduced to a mere 12% condition, and several others suffer minor damage (none below 75% condition, and most at 100%), while the entire Sicilian fleet is converted into coral reefs on the bottom of the Mediterranean. The main fleet returns to its station in Gibraltar for repairs, while the practically undamaged Aegean fleet moves to blockade Urbino, and the small Ligurian Patrol fleet guards the transports while they unload troops onto Sicily. The weak Level 1 fort in Romagna province is taken by assault with hardly any effort, and Urbino's army in Ancona has nowhere safe to run in the face of the advancing Hungarian troops, with 8000 angry rebels behind it.

The wars are no longer a challenge, but revolts are gradually increasing in both size and frequency as my total land area expands and population densities increase. Basically, I'm working harder just to maintain my current empire, while fresh conquests are relatively trivial, but limited by Infamy and the availability of Magistrates and Missionaries to make the new provinces useful and more passive. I'm down to 1 former Austrian province still in need of a Missionary and a couple more conversions still in progress there, several more provinces from Auvergne and other post-French splinters with missionaries but yet to convert, and a couple of former Persian provinces still in need of missionaries.

Conquest in the East has been restrained largely by the lack of Missionaries; expansion in the West primarily by Infamy. Settlement in the north-east is proceeding a bit slower than anticipated, but I expect to run into one of the Chinese factions in another province or two, and hope to reach (and conquer) Louisiana's two provinces on the Siberian coast before the end of the game, giving Hungary an unbroken string of provinces across Asia to the Pacific. The link-up with the former Moroccan enclave requires 3 more provinces from Morocco, or only two if I inherit Portugal. I'm pretty certain that either Iraq or Georgia is going to vanish shortly, no matter the Infamy price, as both have been constant nuisances but not quite worth 4 Infamy each to get rid of, at least until recently.
 

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Rebels remain the biggest threat, and the more provinces you own, the more province events you get, many of them leading to revolts.

4/1812 - With Urbino's army destroyed by Hungary, Papal State declares its own war to conquer Urbino. Sicily surrenders to Hungary, cancelling its alliance with the Papal State. Urbino's province of Ancona is taken by Hungarian troops, and Urbino accepts the inevitable. Hungary annexes Urbino's two provinces, gaining 4 Infamy.

6/1812 - Oman declares war on Persia, despite not sharing a border and Persia being landlocked.

8/1812 - As the fog of war lifts in places explored by others 50 years earlier, it suddenly becomes apparent that my estimates of Louisiana's Asiatic holdings were understated. Instead of 5 provinces on the west coast of North America and 2 more on the Siberian coastline, there are actually 7 in Asia.

5/1813 - Hungary gains a Border Dispute core on Grao Para, a province of Portugal separating two large Hungarian areas of South America. A diplomat is sent to Portugal, restoring Relations to within a couple points of their previous level, so as not to upset the Personal Union. The previous revolt of Paraguay is repeated, only this time Hungary owns the province and responds immediately. The rebels are Paraguayan Nationalists, rather than Separatists, so that explains why they only took a single province the last time.

8/1813 - Chilean Separatists revolt in East Africa, gaining cores on all of Chile's historical provinces as well as one province in Africa. If successful in Africa, it would automatically acquire all of the South American provinces from whoever owns them. I REALLY hate the "Separatist" mechanics that were added to this game, putting revolts in places that aren't even remotely near the area they're "liberating", rather than having uprisings throughout the claimed area. Further east, Hungary declares war on Iraq, which is joined by Khiva and Oman as expected. What is unexpected is that Oman does not take control of the war, but Khiva (down to 2 provinces) does, bringing in Hedjaz and Kazakh. Hungarian troops scramble to meet the new threats.

9/1813 - Mongol Khanate declares war on Kazakh, leading to a host of small countries joining the war on each side. Kazakh lays siege to the Hungarian province of Khawarzam, and Khiva besieges Marv, but Hungarian troops advance unopposed into the capital provinces of both Kazakh and Khiva. Iraq's province, Sharizhor, falls to a Hungarian assault, but there is no hurry to annex the province until the remaining 0.4 points of Infamy dissipate. Hungarian troops crush the seriously misplaced Chilean revolt in the African province of Urungwe.

10/1813 - The Caribbean has been in continuous revolt for the past couple of years, and a second revolt this year is crushed on the island of St. Thomas, with the heavily stressed Hungarian force in the region racing from Rio Grande to St. Thomas, to Caracao, and back to St. Thomas without a break, to put down one uprising after another. Kazakh offers to renounce its claim on Alimuly and pay 10 Ducats to end its participation in the war; Hungary accepts the offer. Hedjaz pays a token sum for peace with Hungary.

11/1813 - Iraq (the province of Sharizhor) is annexed by Hungary for 4 Infamy. Khiva surrenders, withdrawing its claims on Atak and annulling its alliance with Georgia, which ends the war.

One more thorn removed, and Georgia may be next after the truce expires in another year, and then probably a year more until the Infamy from Iraq is gone. Before or after that, I may declare war on Louisiana for a province on the Siberian coast, to begin settling provinces from that end to link up with the settled region expanding toward it from the west. There are still those provinces of Morocco to think about.

So many provinces, so little time, and so few Magistrates and Colonists. This entire campaign was seriously delayed back in the 1500s until I managed to inherit Bavaria, and even then, the alliance between Austria and Poland made expansion to the east problematical until relatively late in the game. In a "snowballing" game of expansionism, any delay at the start is crippling. I got my share of big breaks, but didn't get the first serious boost until 50-100 years into the campaign.
 

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The next year and a half are almost entirely dedicated to putting down revolts, building and reorganizing fleets and armies, and utilizing diplomats, colonists, missionaries, and magistrates as they become available, while the 4 points of Infamy from the annexation of Iraq burn off. The short span of in-game time and the short report don't reflect the length of the playing session, in which there was a LOT of reorganization and movement conducted, without much to say about it.

2/1814 - Hungary passes a decision to create the India Tea Company, providing trade efficiency and compete chance benefits to Mercantilism, as well as a slider move toward it. That brings Hungary's Mercantile setting to -5 (full Mercantile), and reverses the gradual loss of seats in domestically owned CoTs. At this point, Hungary has at least 5 merchants in every one of its 17-18 CoTs, but 5 of those need another Merchant to regain a lost 6th seat, and there are no spare merchants to send (automatically).

1/1815 - Spy attacks have increased to several per month. The biggest offenders have been Hesse, Navarra, and Luneburg, but they only managed one successful mission (which still failed to provoke a revolt) over the entire year of 1814, and none so far in 1815. Besides, I've got more than enough revolts to deal with already. Hungary's Infamy drops back below 1 point, and troops and fleets begin to position themselves for an anticipated encounter with Louisiana and its allies later in the year, which has several uncompleted colonies in Siberia which could be taken for 0.8 Infamy each.

2/1815 - Two existing armies are split in half, and the four halves brought back closer to full 16 brigade armies with freshly raised brigades. One army heads from the capital region toward the distant frontier steadily closing in on the Siberian coastline, while another heads off to reinforce the existing army near the Gold Coast of Africa, in the event that Genoa gets involved in the next war.
 

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This was a much shorter session than last, but no less to report. That's what I get for being distracted by a "Great War" in Victoria 2 until late, leaving little time to squeeze in some EU3 before catching a few hours of sleep.

4/1815 - Ruthenia finally culturally converts to Hungarian after a couple of centuries of exposure to it. Spy attacks continue in force, none successful.

5/1815 - Matyas I (3/4/6), showing no signs of administrative ability whatsoever and pitifully little diplomatic savvy, ascends the throne of Hungary and the HRE upon the death of his father, much to the dismay of the rest of the kingdom. The Personal Unions continue. Matyas II (5/8/5), of roughly average ability overall, is the new heir at age 20. Matyas I becomes a general, in order to make some use of his only saving grace and hopefully hasten the next succession. Relations with 6 of the 7 the Electors are at least positive, but rather minimal, and there are still no competitors to the Imperial Throne within 200 points, other than with the one heretical Elector.

6/1815 - Government tech research yields an advance to level 65, allowing another National Idea. Hungary gains "Shrewd Commerce Practice", granting a substantial 10% bonus to Merchant Compete Chance, and hopefully reversing the slow but steady erosion of merchants placed in domestic CoTs due to competition from several Merchant Republics. Loaded troop transports arrive off the coast of Louisiana's Siberian colonies, and an army approaches the main Louisiana region on the North American west coast, but will not arrive until the beginning of the next month. Troops are in place adjacent to most major areas of both Toulouse and Navarre, in anticipation of them joining the war on the side of Louisiana. Two diplomatic offers for Royal Marriages with Hungary's new king fail, and one succeeds: the ONLY possibility with at least a "Maybe" chance. All others in Europe are either "Unlikely", "Very Unlikely", or "Impossible"; apparently nobody wants to deal with his rudeness and prideful ignorance.

Half of the Siberian provinces of Louisiana are finished colonies, and half are still incomplete. I expect to take one complete colony and two of the adjacent incomplete colonies, giving me a long contiguous stretch of coastline from which I can colonize inland to link up with my main colonization thrust across Asia. Any of Louisiana's Asian provinces can be culturally converted with a single colonist. I WILL create an empire to span the entire Eurasian landmass, even if there's no way that I can conquer anywhere near all of it.
 

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Another session of playing bully and beating up the little kids in the playground.

7/1815 - Paraguayan Nationalists rise up for the third time in the last couple of years, and Hungary diverts a transport fleet from its Louisiana/Toulouse destination to deal with it. As usual, the path requires a lot of micromanagement, because the ships will otherwise divert out into open waters and take damage. Münster declares war on Morocco.

8/1815 - Hungary declares a war of Imperialism against Louisiana. Navarre and Toulouse join Louisiana against Hungary, and Toulouse takes control of the war as anticipated. Hungarian armies are already stationed adjacent to Toulouse's other allies.

9/1815 - As expected and hoped, Hesse joins Toulouse against Hungary, and two Hungarian armies immediately begin to advance toward its well-defended capital. The province of Toulouse is besieged by Hungarian troops, while a second army destroys Navarre's army in its sole province and lays siege to the Level 4 fortifications. Louisiana's poorly protected capital of Salish is taken by assault, and half of their total land forces destroyed on the spot. Toulouse's other ally, Tver, joins the war, and once again, a Hungarian army is already stationed in the nearest province, just waiting for the signal to advance. Hesse's 18,000 troops are defeated by 32,000 Hungarian troops, pursued, and eliminated. All three of their provinces are placed under siege, but the Level 4 fortifications will take a while to surrender. Hungary seizes Louisiana's incomplete colony of Udskoye on the Siberian coast, and advances toward the next province with a completed colony. A colonist is sent to culturally convert Udskoye and bring it closer to completion. Tver's army is wiped out, and Novgorod declares its own war against Tver, bringing Toulouse and Muscovy to the defense of Tver.

10/1815 - All opposing land armies are eliminated.

11/1815 - One of Louisiana's incomplete colonies reaches 1000 colonists and becomes a finished colony, eliminating the possibility of taking it for 0.8 Infamy instead of 2. Hungary adjusts its war expectations downward for Louisiana, and upward for Hesse.

1/1816 - Louisiana cedes the province of Jugjur (adjacent to the seized colony of Udskoye) to Hungary, and breaks its alliance with Toulouse. Hungary chooses to settle a Border Dispute incident with Portugal over an inconsequential New World colony.

2/1816 - Meissen allies with Toulouse and joins them against Hungary. Meissen's small army lays siege to Dresden.

3/1816 - A newly completed Hungarian transport ship is attacked and sunk by Navarre's fleet at Land's End, and the Hungarian main fleet races to catch the Navarran fleet before it reaches its home port, without success. The port is blockaded, and Hungary's British Fleet joins the blockade.

5/1816 - Tver's province is taken after a relatively brief siege. Tver accepts Hungary's demands to convert to Catholicism and to renounce claims on 6 provinces, two of them in strangely remote locations.

8/1816 - Toulouse and Novgorod settle for a white peace.

9/1816 - Trier converts to Reformed, seriously damaging Relations with its Hungarian overlords. Hungary sends a diplomat to begin repairing Relations.

1/1817 - Hungary gains a Border Dispute core on Hawran in Syria.

10/1817 - The siege of Navarra succeeds, and the Navarran fleet is driven out of port into the waiting guns of two larger Hungarian fleets. All 6 of Navarra's ships are sent to the bottom, with only minor damage to the Hungarian fleets. Navarra agrees to convert to Catholicism and renounce its claim to Labourd. With no land or naval forces left to oppose it, Hungary's war becomes a waiting game until the remaining besieged garrison of Hesse's capital province surrenders. Surrender progress for Hesse sits at 100%, while Meissen's Level 6 fortification remains at 0% siege progress. Infamy from Louisiana's province is gone.

12/1817 - The garrison of Hesse's fortress finally gives up, and Hesse accepts vassalization by Hungary, causing 4 Infamy. With that 4 Infamy already, Hungary settles with Toulouse for the cancellation of Toulouse's claims to 5 provinces and the breaking of its alliance with Mongol Khanate.

There may be either one long or two shorter provinces remaining to settle between the recently taken provinces on the Siberian coast and Hungary's overland expansion deep into Asia. Unfortunately, I can do nothing there until the undiscovered land becomes visible, and I don't have "QftNW" as a National Idea since I changed it to something else back in the 1400s.

I've got a core to claim in Syria to exploit, infamy-free, and two of Morocco's provinces that I can take to create an overland link all the way to my capital, once I burn off some Infamy. I'm considering Trier as my next diplomatic assimilation, although Relations with my remaining vassals are already strained, and hopefully annex Hesse a decade after that, which will complete a northern path across what little remains of the HRE. I had seriously hoped to annex all of the HRE without using the HRE mechanics to convert my own country into the HRE, but there's simply no way that I can do that without going way over the Infamy limit. It took me FAR too long to get myself out of the HRE, long after it became much more beneficial to be out than in.
 

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It was a long time since I completed an EUIII game, which I hadn't done since the Heir to the Throne expansion, so I wasn't certain whether the end date was 1826 or 1836. Either way, I'm running out of time.

2/1818 - Hungary declares a war of Reconquest against Syria over Hawran. Kokkand takes control of the war, while Morocco and Adal honor their alliances with Syria.

3/1818 - Al Karak and Hawran are assaulted and taken by III Honved. Syria, already in the middle of a war against Oman, surrenders Hawran and withdraws its claims to Badiyat-ash-Sham. Georgia sends a warning to Hungary. Hungarian troops take Figuig by assault in Morocco.

4/1818 - Hungarian troops successfully assault Kyzl Kum in Kokkand, and advance toward Kokkand's capital of Samarkand. Kokkand accepts mild terms, breaking its treaties with both Syria and Swahili to end the war. Hungary immediately receives a call-to-arms from its vassal Muscovy, which is at war against Polotsk, Luneburg, Yaroslavl, and Nizhny Novgorod. Hungary takes control of the war, and four of Hungary's allies jump into the war as well.

5/1818 - 19 Flemish Nationalists rise up in Hungary's province of Brabant, and the army headed for Luneburg is diverted to assist in taking down the rebels first.

6/1818 - The province of Uchurskoye is discovered in Siberia, which only covers 2/3 of the gap between the steadily advancing frontier from the west and newly acquired Hungarian provinces on the Siberian coastline. A colonist is dispatched. 16,000 Hungarian troops engage 10,000 of Polotsk's troops in Smolensk, inflicting nearly 7000 casualties while suffering only around 2100, yet both armies run out of morale and the Hungarian army is forced to rout.

8/1818 - After 2 months of chasing from province to province, Luneburg's 5000 man army is pinned between armies of Hungary and its allies, caught, and exterminated., but leaves behind a trail of 9 looted provinces in its wake, since it only takes a moment to loot a province completely, as long as you arrive first. A second Hungarian army engages and easily destroys the 3000 remaining troops of Polotsk's main army.

10/1818 - Kazakh sends a warning to Hungary. Yeah, I'm really scared.

11/1818 - The province of Butalsk is discovered, which, once settled, would provide a continuous path of Hungarian provinces from the Atlantic, across Europe and Asia, to the Pacific. A colonist is sent. Khiva decides that it's currently fashionable, and also warns Hungary.

12/1818 - Verkohzehkoye is discovered, a huge but poor province directly south of both Uchurskoye and Butalsk, which would bypass both.

1/1819 - Mexican Separatists spawn in Cahokia. Troops are sent.

2/1819 - Hungary accepts Nizhny Novgorod's request for a white peace.

7/1819 - Sweden cedes 2 provinces to Finland. The King of Sweden, already with a weak claim, loses enough Legitimacy to make an Obscure Documents maneuver a possibility, but the low value of their remaining provinces doesn't make it worth the effort, since Denmark has already taken the better pieces. Yaroslavl's only province falls to siege by Muscovy, and Hungary demands conversion to Catholicism and the revocation of 5 of their 6 core claims; accepted.

1/1820 - The siege of Polotsk's province of Kholm reaches 100%, while the province of Polotsk itself and Luneburg both remain under 50% progress.

3/1820 - Kholm falls, and Luneburg reaches 50% siege progress.

7/1820 - Polotsk's fortress walls are breached, but Hungary will not press for surrender until after Luneburg surrenders and accepts vassalization, with Hungary's vassal controlling the siege of Luneburg, making an assault unlikely.

12/1820 - Muscovy peaces out separately with Polotsk, accepting white peace.

December 31, 1820 - A new pop-up appears. The game is over. I wasn't sure of the end date, but apparently it's at the end of 1820, not 1826.

With 2 major Personal Unions still in effect, a line of provinces crossing all of Europe and Asia all-but complete (colonies started, but not completed in 2 provinces), and every HRE state larger than 2 provinces either annexed or vassalized, I'd say it's been a successful but ultimately disappointing campaign. The failure to achieve a Personal Union with either Austria, Bohemia, or Burgundy early in the campaign (the first major HRE states, Bavaria, wasn't inherited until 1479), followed by a LONG time to Westernize and then to exit the HRE due to several weak kings, left little time at the end to exploit the advantages gained. The lack of early wars between Ottomans and Mamluks made an early campaign to spin off Bosnia and Serbia, then Bulgaria, too expensive to consider at the time, and it was a while before I was able to get past Poland to exploit the Golden Horde's vast territory in the East. I got my fair share of lucky breaks, but they mostly came later than "expected".

On the other hand, I played this rather conservatively, and should have started a lot more wars while Infamy was still at a point or so, which would in most cases have burned off before new peace terms were signed. I didn't jump on Austria a little ways into the game while it was weakened by internal dissent and excessive Infamy, even though I had other issues which made it seem like a questionable move at the time, and because I was still hoping to use it as a counter to France after Burgundy failed to halt them.

Joining the HRE could have been a very positive move if any of the 3 "big" countries (Austria, Bohemia, Burgundy) had been inherited early, but without that, it would have been better to have become Emperor while an outsider, and not have had to worry about illegal HRE cores, as long as I controlled the Imperial Throne of the HRE.

AAR COMPLETED
 
Last edited:

marko river

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Wow, well done. I see you wanted to complete more, but still a full AAR to 1820.... that shows personal determination.
Are you taking a break or have a new AAR in mind?
 

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It'll be a while before I pick up EU3 again, I'm about burned out on it, playing half an hour to two hours almost every day since May. There's a Burgundy game I started a year ago, and might decide to get back to in a month or two, but it's probably better to just restart at this point, because my train of though has long since derailed. I have Zero intention of doing an AAR for it. Burgundy is in much better shape than Hungary for pure military exploits, since Hungary starts out with low population and weak Eastern tech, but a skillful diplomatic ruler with connections that allow easy formations of Personal Unions in the chaotic starting years, while Burgundy starts with excellent slider positions, higher populations, and rich lands, with a lot more goodies nearby for the taking...
...except that France also wants those goodies, and has even more troops to take them, and diplomacy seems to be a lot tougher in the West.

I already have a Victoria 2 game going, playing Austria, but again, no AAR. Last session as Prussia > North German Federation > Germany was "mostly" successful, leading the second-place UK by almost 2000 points, but I couldn't form Greater Germany by incorporating Austria because of a couple of early events (Austria formed A-H early, for one thing, Bavaria became a Great Power on its own, for another, and took some effort to cut down and bring back into my sphere), as well as an alliance between France and Austria, later adding Russia to the mix, that took a crisis war to break.
 

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A few months after completing the AAR, I decided to recycle my hand-written notes of raw information that I drew upon for my entries: 26 sheets of lined paper, with 2 lines of small text for each line on the page. Two ball-point pens were used up in the process before I switched to pencil for the second half of the AAR.

I eventually got back to that Burgundy game I had started almost two years back, and that's like switching to easy mode after playing Hungary. They've got excellent starting slider positions, wealthy and well-populated provinces, the ability to keep their techs just about on the cutting edge, and an easy path to becoming the HRE's Emperor. However, just like Hungary, it doesn't pay to inherit the entire HRE by passing the last reform, since your culture is NOT the Germanic one of the HRE, and all of those HRE provinces you inherit will lose their improvements. Worse, the next thing that happens is that you "become" the HRE (which is Germanic), so all of your own provinces will also lose their improvements as your country is "inherited" by the HRE. That would set you back 300+ years worth of Magistrates in order to undo the damage.

Once you break France by releasing its vassals and then annexing a few provinces (declaring war on them while they're already fighting England helps), it turns into a casual stroll in the park, and from there on there's not a lot that can really threaten you on land. That campaign is now up to around 1570, I'm already taking a lot of the territories in the east that my campaign as Hungary didn't reach until the mid 1600s, and I have already inherited or annexed France, Bohemia, Hungary, Savoy, and a long list of smaller states, plus have Castille and Bavaria in Personal Unions. Turned out, Ming had actually become bigger than Burgundy (reaching all the way to Astrakhan and a couple of provinces to the west of it) and fielded more troops (well over 100,000 by 1560), but one short and one-sided war between Ming and Burgundy and their vast empire practically disintegrated. The tech disparity was overwhelming, and my Burgundian armies easily took on twice their own numbers, stack wiping them with only a few hundred casualties in return. I'm just waiting for the opportunity to force a PU on England, as I've got them completely outmatched on land and just about equaled at sea. I suspect I'll get tired of the lack of challenge by 1600 and put it aside, like several other campaigns that were essentially "won" long before they were completed.

Next campaign will most likely be some relatively small eastern country, possibly Dai Nam, for the drastic change of perspective and situation.
 

marko river

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Like I said before, I neer get past 16th centurty. I played Sicily once, trying to be "mafia" and vassalize as much as possible without conquering any province. And once I started Orleans. Other than that, Eastern Tech group is as far west as I go. Playing Catholic and in Wester Tech even as OPM simply means less of a challenge. Starting with a biggy, well, I don't really expect AI to be that good. And that is a thing, AI is not a challenge. You have a challenge by having much harder start point.

Do report on Nam campaign.
 

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Just started a Die Nam campaign last night. I'm not sure whether to do an actual AAR (somewhat leaner than my last), or just a few posts as progress reports, along with a few tips for other players as it goes. The initial start looked good enough (several highly skilled advisors for hire, but none of them useful, so they'll be hired by other countries and I'll get cash), then it all fell apart, and near the end of the session that suddenly turned out better (in some ways) than if things had gone as planned.

Picture this: My neighbor to the west, Lan Xiang (spelling?) declares war on Champa to my south, both parties calling in distant allies that have no effect on the war. Champa steamrolls Lan Xiang easily, destroying their army and occupying the entire country, then demands cash reparations and the breaking of all alliances, since they had already built some threat by taking a province from the country to their west. Meanwhile, rather than taking advantage of the war to attack Champa, I've been tied up against a Pretender, who easily breaks my army and takes control of the country (my army matched theirs in numbers, but lost EVERY die roll by at least 5 points). It turns out that he's a significantly more capable ruler than my starting one (almost average, rather than pathetic), which would be great if not for the 20 Legitimacy that the usurpation of the throne leaves in its wake. With the new despot in power, I then declare war on defenseless and unallied Lan Xiang, but don't bother to call in my ally Manchu and risk them refusing and breaking the alliance because of the -2 stability hit for lack of a CB. A month later, Lan Xiang unexpectedly allies with Manchu, and Manchu (my sole ally up to that moment) joins the war on the side of Lan Xiang and takes control of it. Fortunately, despite the disparity of forces on land, I've got a bigger fleet than Manchu, so they can't easily transport enough troops at a time to really threaten me. Only a couple of months after that, Lan Xiang surrendered a province and became a vassal (without fighting any battles against me), so now I'm stuck in a war that I can't win, but can probably stalemate indefinitely. Not a single country in the whole region has remained at peace in the first year-and-a-half of the campaign.
 

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Make that Dai Viet, not Dai Nam (as it's called in Victoria 2). Played to around 1470 (it goes faster when you're not stopping constantly and writing everything down), and there's no way I would ever want to document the absolute mess that SE Asia turned into in that brief time span. Suffice to say that I reached 17 provinces by 1420, and have spend the last 50 years building forts and putting down the constant revolts until they became cores.

Ming overextended and then imploded, with -3 Stability, +5 revolt risk due to losing the Mandate of Heaven, -100 Prestige, a continuous string of bankruptcies, and high war exhaustion creating 20%+ revolt risk in most of its provinces, and Wu now controls about 20+ provinces in the south of China. Manchu grabbed a handful of Ming provinces in the north until Korea started taking them away, and several hordes are now grabbing provinces, while the few battered remains of the Chinese army are busily lifting sieges from a host of rebels, without daring to actually engage the stronger rebels.

Now I'm starting to encounter the Islamic states, and the tech disparity is already becoming obvious, compounded by my large quantity of only minimally upgraded provinces slowing research. By 1500, the West will have overshadowed the Muslim countries, and the Asiatic countries will have fallen behind into near-irrelevance. Unless I can Westernize, it's going to be a rough campaign.
 

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After playing Dai Viet to the 1650s, fully Westernizing, and inheriting both Ming and Wu (together comprising about 75% of China) and Vizayanagar(?) (covering most of India), as well as taking Alexandria and several other provinces in Africa and the Middle-East, it got too easy. At one point, I ended up briefly occupying most of Portugal over some minor dispute in Asia, and only France, England, Castille, and Austria remained as credible threats.

So....I restarted, with yet another Hungarian campaign. This time around, it played out VERY differently from the AAR. I made roughly the same initial Royal Marriage offers (Bohemia, Poland, Burgundy, and England) in hopes of an early inheritance, and allied with Austria at the start, giving me some early protection. I then formed a RM with Austria , and later in the year accepted the call into Austria's war against Milan and Aquileia (joined later by Genoa), in which Aquileia was vassalized by Austria. Assisted Austria in several battles, gained some Prestige, and occupied a few provinces in both Aquileia and Milan, plus Genoa, but demanded nothing, because I DON'T want to grow any larger at this point.

Bohemia went to the defense of Burgundy against France and its herd of vassals and small allies, and ended up annexing Bar and some other small state in the process, giving them a moderate amount of Infamy, and leaving Austria as the next likely Emperor. The Bohemian Emperor was then killed in the war, and Hungary became the senior partner in a Personal Union with Bohemia. The King of Austria became the new Emperor. Outstanding, but now the problem was getting into the HRE before inheriting Bohemia, otherwise those would become illegal HRE territories and I'd have to fight Austria over them. Burgundy was my initial hope to be the next Emperor, because they start with nearly as many provinces as Hungary's 12, and a couple of early missions can easily put them above that (hence the early Royal Marriage to boost Relations with them). The Emperor will NEVER admit a province of a country that's larger than his own. Unfortunately, Burgundy got savaged by France, then England, losing provinces to both, and then lost a war with Brabant. Meanwhile, France annexed all three provinces of Provence, followed by all of Brittany. That's one potential avenue ruled out.

The next decade passed without serious incident (aside from an annoying Peasant War in Hungary). Bohemia diplo-annexed Silesia. Austria diplo-annexed Aquileia after 10 years of vassalage, bringing it from the initial 9 up to 13 provinces. A couple of months later, the Hungarian province of Erszekeuvar was admitted by Austria to the Empire, followed by Pecs a few days later. Hungary was now an HRE member, and the inheritance of Bohemia would therefore grant me cores in all of its provinces, including those it acquired from Silesia, which are also listed under the same cultural group as Hungary. With the heir (having outstanding 7/8/8 skills) turning 14, it was time to turn the current king into a general to potentially hasten the succession. Hopefully, I won't inherit Bohemia until AFTER they research level 5 of Land Tech, which would allow me to recruit Men-at-Arms (instead of my weak Eastern foot troops) that I can't match until somewhere around Land Tech 13. This is what I was hoping would happen in that first AAR, but in that campaign the Personal Unions within the HRE simply failed to materialize in the first century, and not long after that point I had practically outgrown the need to be in the HRE.

With that little HRE detail out of the way, and Transylvania diplo-annexed (for a mission-granted core) I took advantage of a revolt and change of rulers in Montenegro as an excuse to draw its allies Ragusa and Wallachia to war. I had to borrow to afford the 100 ducat investment in researching/forging an "Obscure" claim to the throne, but it worked. Ragusa and Wallachia joined Montenegro against Hungary, and were both reduced to vassals, while Montenegro was forced into a Personal Union per the original C-B.

Thanks to that little war, I've got a few points of Infamy, but it's not enough to prevent me from being the top choice to replace Austria as head of the HRE, since they're at 14 Infamy and growing by +1 annually due to the illegal non-core provinces of Aquileia, and two others gotten by Imperial request from Bohemia. Worse, Austria has already removed Aquileia's cores in 3 of the 4 provinces (the player requires a National Focus adjacent to the province, the AI doesn't need to meet the requirement, and that has been a problem in several games), so whoever holds each of them is going to suffer 50 years of +0.25 Infamy for holding an illegal non-core HRE province. Basically, I don't want to become Emperor, but may not be able to avoid it unless I can pick up a few more points of Infamy or reduce my Relations with a majority of the Electors before the current Emperor passes away. Austria's descent into "Dishonorable Scum" territory is inevitable due to the illegal provinces, now that they cannot be spun back off as a vassal. If I were to become Emperor, I cannot avoid making the random-occurring Imperial demands for those provinces, and they're poison to anyone who holds them.

I don't expect to continue this as an AAR; it was posted just to show a more "ideal" set of circumstances, given the same approach, which only partially succeeded in the original AAR.
 
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Androktonos

Corporal
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Sep 7, 2018
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  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
Another busy evening with a short session:

The sieges of Venice and Treviso were successfully completed by the end of 1413, but Venice would not accept any terms above "white peace". Athens was then sieged and occupied, and Venice offered Treviso and a small sum of reparations to settle with Hungary, but would STILL not accept even the most minimal terms if offered by Hungary. I recall from a previous game that they won't accept terms until/unless their fleet is broken. Hungary accepted their offer, since it was what they wanted anyway, gaining control of the gateway to Vienna and thereby blocking any future attempts by Austria or Milan to conquer it. Vienna is a high-value non-HRE province, and waiting a couple of years to take it, until after Vienna gains a military tech level and changes its troop type to Men-at-Arms, would allow the recruitment of some Western troops to match the rest of the HRE for most of the century. Treviso was taken too soon for that, and still has the basic military level 3 militia which are already becoming obsolete in the HRE. With Hungary's heavily Mercantile slider position, owning a CoT would be highly beneficial, as no merchants so far since the early half of the first decade have been able to remain in a CoT long enough to recover their placement cost.

In 1414, Byzantium declared its independence from Vienna, making the eventual annexation of Venice one step easier. Venice is now down to Venice itself, Moria, Crete, and Athens, with the latter three all suffering from high revolt risk. All but Crete are accessible by land, thanks to Hungary's military access treaties, vassalage, and Personal Union with all the intermediate states. If Crete revolts, that puts the complete annexation of Venice within the realm of possibility when the truce expires, but at the moment, the majority of their army (or what's left of it) is bottled up there by Naples' fleet. I think I know what my spies will be doing once Venice and Naples settle, and Venice moves some troops to deal with rebels in Moria or Athens, but it appears that Venice won't accept any terms from Naples while its own fleet still exists.

In 1415, the King of Burgundy, Emperor of the HRE, passed away, and Austria's young prince became the new leader of the HRE. Burgundy's Infamy had been well into the "very bad" range, mainly due to several illegal provinces turned over by Bavaria (Franken, Augsburg, and two provinces of Wurtemburg) and a couple by Milan (Pisa and Sienna), plus at least 3 of its own doing (2/3 of Brabant and 1/2 of Liege being non-core annexations). Within a year, Burgundy had relinquished 4 illegal provinces to Austria, and Austria began accruing a small amount of annual Infamy from the acquisitions.

At this point, Austria, England, Bohemia, Burgundy, Naples, Pommerania, Brunswick, and Bavaria are all being run by regents or lack a legitimate heir, and Hungary's king or heir are either the prospective heirs or second in line in all of them. Unfortunately, with a mediocre heir of its own, Hungary's odds of actually inheriting any of them are low. There are also 3 countries being run by kings with weak claims, which would seem to invite an "Obscure Documents" incident, but at this point all 3 have multiple alliances with strong countries that Hungary should not be taking on at this stage of the game, and they're too remote to defend even if they can be forced into a PU and annexed. With 23 Royal Marriages, anything can happen at any time, but in most games it only happens once or twice, if at all. I'm not counting on it.
You meant Venice instead of Vienna, didn't you? Certainly a very interesting campaign. I've never played as Hungary but I'll give it a go.