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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Generalmotors

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So I played Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldova on easy/ normal and I won (i. e. forming Romania, then reaching a point where noone and no alliance can defeat me in war,... and then got bored and left the game before literally coloring the map in my colour,... because it was doable)
...
by applying what I call brute force, i. e. annexing all the weak neighbours right from the start, then making loans loans loans and looking for opportunistic ways to expand the territory, then conquering a province with an Atlantic shore, and then reaching America before the Usual Empires colonise it, then trying and reaching India and western China, for the money and the manpower.

Question.
Is there another way to conquer the world starting with a Romanian kingdom?

Because it is frustrating to bet all on huge underteched armies and also, it is not fun to rely on the Austria vs France equilibrium.

How do I compete with Austria and France without overexpansion?

Merci beaucoup.
 

Kovax

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The usual saying is: "If you can't beat them, join them". I've allied to and supported one of the more powerful Western powers in more than one campaign as an Eastern country, which is generally a safe bet until you can Westernize and compete. You're never going to go toe-to-toe against a 30+ province major without becoming a major power yourself, because you simply can't field enough troops otherwise to beat multiple stacks of 20,000+ men.

Unfortunately, while Hungary or Poland can sometimes work their way into HRE membership with a little bit of advance planning (and remaining smaller than the current Emperor's own country), Romania's capital is simply too far away for that to work. To add to the dilemma, you're stuck with Eastern tech, which becomes woefully inadequate against the Western tech group in about a decade or two, and is already behind against the Ottoman and Muslim tech groups. It's not until around 1500 that the Eastern tech group begins to close the gap a bit with the West. If you can raise relations with the HRE electors and become a "large" country, it's possible to be elected as Emperor of the HRE without actually being IN the HRE if/when Bohemia, Austria, and Burgundy all build enough infamy to make themselves unelectable. That position gives you massive amounts of additional manpower to work with, and once certain reforms are passed, a massive income boost as well. You can lose that position just as quickly as you get it, though.

Basically, blobbing your way to victory by sheer numbers is the only other real alternative I know of in that situation.
 

Generalmotors

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The usual saying is: "If you can't beat them, join them". I've allied to and supported one of the more powerful Western powers in more than one campaign as an Eastern country, which is generally a safe bet until you can Westernize and compete. You're never going to go toe-to-toe against a 30+ province major without becoming a major power yourself, because you simply can't field enough troops otherwise to beat multiple stacks of 20,000+ men.

Unfortunately, while Hungary or Poland can sometimes work their way into HRE membership with a little bit of advance planning (and remaining smaller than the current Emperor's own country), Romania's capital is simply too far away for that to work. To add to the dilemma, you're stuck with Eastern tech, which becomes woefully inadequate against the Western tech group in about a decade or two, and is already behind against the Ottoman and Muslim tech groups. It's not until around 1500 that the Eastern tech group begins to close the gap a bit with the West. If you can raise relations with the HRE electors and become a "large" country, it's possible to be elected as Emperor of the HRE without actually being IN the HRE if/when Bohemia, Austria, and Burgundy all build enough infamy to make themselves unelectable. That position gives you massive amounts of additional manpower to work with, and once certain reforms are passed, a massive income boost as well. You can lose that position just as quickly as you get it, though.

Basically, blobbing your way to victory by sheer numbers is the only other real alternative I know of in that situation.

Thanks.

What if I play an orthodox romanian province like Wallachia? Was not the religion a condition to become Emperor of HRE? I mean, if I am orthodox, can I get elected HRE emperor? I did it once... but I think that in that game I started as Transylvania, which is catholic.

((I am currently playing Wallachia, orthodox kingdom. I am quite big, very big, on the way to both of the Indies, but undertechnologized and overextended and fielding ridiculously huge armies in order to fight wars in 3 directions (Italy, India, Russia) and I am annoyed by my style, (and by Portugal), hence my initial question.))

In theory, I could try to conquer very early some province from Morocco and fast forward the way to America, but in practice, I cannot because of the particular location of Wallachia, without a starting coastal province, and proximity of Turkey Poland etc.
I never was allied with a big power VERY early on, but I did notice that alliances are not reliable IF you are smaller than the allies and you really need them at some point.

It seems that your answer might be one of the few possible ones. If catholic, right?
 

Kovax

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"Heretics" get a -1000 penalty to their election chances, so it's all but impossible to beat the typically 300-400 score needed to swing the vote of an elector of a different branch of Christianity (making the Imperial succession rather volatile during the Reformation). Non-Christians are ineligible.

Gaining a border with a Western nation opens up the Westernization decision, but the other conditions (mostly the slider moves) may take a century to do, and it's generally the better part of a century or longer before your techs fall 20 or more total levels behind that neighbor's. I found that enacting Imperial government allows for a few more Government slider moves without the associated revolt risk for being past the limit (the next government type which allows the extra slider moves doesn't happen until Government tech 31 or something like that), and the required Narrowminded/Innovative slider moves will make it harder to recover from the inevitable Stability hits. I prefer to go for the government reforms first while I grow big enough to enact Imperial administration, and THEN start on the Innovative slider moves. I've been able to enact the initial phase of Westernization as early as around 1510, but in most Eastern campaigns I don't get a suitable king capable enough to enact the reform, or some other condition isn't met, until mid-century. Note that going through the Stability and revolt risk due to Westernization simultaneously with the Reformation can be annoying.