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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

naggy

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I'll be following this. I'm very interested to see the 1.2 changes in action.

So you have cavalry but can't create new units because you don't have the tech? It's even worse than the Malaccans in EU3 not knowing where Mecca is... :rolleyes:

Correct. The US starts in a similar position, with 3 dragoon units and no way to build dragoons.

Oh, and a teaser: I'm at war with a GP by 1842. Feel free to guess which one.
 

Dewirix

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############################################################
# Changes for 1.2 below.
############################################################
{snip}

* Pop Promotion
- Clergy will not promote to artistocrats if you fully fund clergy.

This suggests that 100% education spending is the optimal and will give you a faster literacy gain.

October 31: Tunis offers an alliance. Stupidly, we agree.

Is this the cause of the war with the GP you've mentioned? If so, fighting France for Tunis seems better than going up against Russia.

We've built up a small nest egg (that will be wiped out quickly), and it's time to invade! We assign our only general to our cavalry force, which will zoom down to Acre and form a forward monitoring force against any Egyptians that come up to play. The irregular brigades will split off and siege, and I'll keep the infantry around to back up my cavalry.

O2-1stGeneral.png


Don't be afraid at crappy general stats - the worst general you can roll is still better than none.

You started the war on low stockpile spending? How daring! I still haven't got used to the idea of running the stockpile on less than 100% if I can afford it, even though I'd routinely keep maintenance sliders low in EU3.

And there are some generals who are worse than nothing. 'Yellow' gives -40% morale and -4 to attack!
 
Last edited:

LordTempest

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From experience, I'd say Austria. They love to DoW the Ottomans when their armies are deep in Egypt.
 

naggy

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You started the war on low stockpile spending? How daring! I still haven't got used to the idea of running the stockpile on less than 100% if I can afford it, even though I'd routinely keep maintenance sliders low in EU3.

Not really daring - AI Egypt keeps their army in Cairo. It'll take them nearly a month for them to get close to my armies. Besides - I'll overwhelm them with proper infantry and cavalry.

And there are some generals who are worse than nothing. 'Yellow' gives -40% morale and -4 to attack!

I've never gotten Yellow. Whew!
 

naggy

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Chapter 3: From Aleppo to the Suez

January 13, 1857: One of my favorite event chains is the one for a Discriminatory School System. The flag gives a 1% hit to Research, in return for +5% assimilation rate. However, you also will keep getting the following event that gives Research Points in return for some MIL (which will burn away) and CON (which might). The RP bonus from the event far outweighs the RP loss from the flag.

o3discriminatoryschool.png


On the same day, Egypt's army appears in Alexandria, heading towards my armies that attacked out of Tobruk. I'm not particularly worried.

January 15: Persia is now in our SoI. I shift influence to Greece - I want to lock down my neighbors in my SoI for two reasons: they're easier to influence, and I don't want unruly neighbors if I get DoW'd by a great power. The downside to having Persia in my SoI is that Russia likes to attack it. In a month, they'll offer an alliance (which I'll accept).

o3persiasoi.png


February 1: The Egyptians close in, and decide to attack Siwa. Here, I display a tactic for drawing the AI into a battle in my favor: Siwa is a desert and has pitifully low supply limit. If I move my army there before the Egyptians arrive, I'll immediately take attrition right before the battle. That's no fun.

Instead, I time my armies to arrive 1-3 days after the Egyptians hit my brigade in Siwa. The brigade in Siwa will get hammered for a day, but then the rest of the armies will join in. If I had an available general, I could bring him in from Tobruk to cover my general-less brigade in Siwa.

I'll be slightly outnumbered (due to attrition already taken), but if I withdraw after the battle, I should be OK.

o3rumbleinsiwa.png


February 16: The battle of Siwa goes worse than expected. I got crappy rolls...however, they're almost out of org themselves, and can't pursue my army as it limps back to Tobruk.

o3bofsiwa.png


March 8: More + assimilation events...

o3minbuildingrestrictio.png


May 6: Rather than chase me into Tobruk, the Egyptians swing east and try to dislodge me out of Palestine. Instead, they learn why I kept my best troops in the front. Some chasing will wipe their army completely out - now they're down to brigades they recruit from remaining soldier pops.

o3bofacre.png


June 6: See why it was stupid to ally Tunis? We wish them luck...from afar.

o3tunis.png


July 11: A newly created brigade suicides in Al Arish - the AI doesn't wait a month or two to regain any org before charging your armies. The downside is that I believe this insta-kills many of the 3000 POPs that made up the brigade.

December 4: Freedom of Trade = money! Next up: Ideological Thought. I can't turn down 50 plurality in about 2 decades (which will net me about 1.5 RP/day).

o3freedomoftrade.png


On the war front, we're just occupyin'. My infantry and cavalry have gone home in case someone gets frisky, leaving the rest to irregulars.

o3occupation.png


January 11, 1838: Texas must have won the war with Mexico, because they've applied for statehood and joined the USA.

April 3: We finally get all the cores added to our war goals, and now add the state of Dumyat. Again - I should have done Dumyat first. C'est la vie.

April 14: Ethiopia has joined the fray while I was busy killing dialog boxes...they'll end up with access to the sea after the war.

o3ethiopia.png


July 8: Thrace hits 2000 craftsmen in the cement factory, and has 1.3% clergy. We're slowly getting there...

September 6: One of our politicians is bonking a European, and will be sacked for it.

o3lover.png


October 10: Maybe I should add this as a feature request: if you have a lot of war goals, it's easy to see a peace offer from the AI and not notice that it's missing one. In this case, it's missing my war goal for Dumyat. Thanks, but no.

o3peaceoffer.png


December 8: After occupying my way down the Nile, Egypt finally relents. The main outcome of the war? We have bigger text for Ottoman Asia - a worthy war goal!

o3peace.png
 
Last edited:

naggy

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OK, I have a conundrum, and to resolve it, I'll have to post a spoiler.

o3spoiler.png


9 months before this, I got a border incident event, giving me an Acquire State CB on Russia. Normally, the CB lasts one year, but there's a bug - if you save/resign/reload, the CB end date becomes 1/1/1 (thus it lasts forever). Since I don't want to be unnecessarily gamey, I want to use the CB as soon as I have the war score to ask for it.

What state should I seek to acquire?
Budjak (east of Moldavia, has 400K pops (useful for industrializing), crap resources)
Armenia (east of Kars, has <100K pops, 3 iron provinces)
Crimea (unconnected but reinforcable by sea, both of Russia's Black Sea naval bases)

I can't see literacy rates, etc, but you can bet Armenia is highly illiterate, and Budjak is probably only slightly less so.
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Armenia, it makes it less likely for Russia to get your Persia!
 

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I'd say Armenia too. You'll probably have more luck holding out in the mountains so should be able to snatch the regions you want which will halve the warscore you need to demand it at the peace table.

In my experience battles are heavily tilted towards the defender so you should be OK even if you are outnumbered.
 

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July 8: Our first leader is auto-hired...so of course, the game gives me an admiral.

I found it useful to manually hire, but auto-assign. The game does a decent job of assigning, and it's not much work to hire when you want to

July 26: I have paid off enough debt and am making enough now to justify increasing Education spending to 80% and military spending to 60%. Why those numbers?

Bureaucrat/Clergy/Soldier/Officer promotion % is based on spending in 10% increments, with a max benefit at 80%. Increasing spending from that point actually causes your people to start promoting up to capitalists/aristocrats because they have spare money.

good tip, thanks!

October 12: I've never had this happen before in any Paradox game. I almost reflexively said no, after all the annoying white peace offers.

(Where "this" is a nation offering to have itself be annexed).
Oddly, I've always had this happen. Maybe you aren't being patient enough? I usually get an offer like this within a month after the last province falls. Helps save on diplomats :)

To celebrate, we increase relations with Russia. I want relations over 40 to reduce border incidents - last thing I need is Russia getting an Acquire State CB on me.

Another great tip, thanks.
 

naggy

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Chapter 4: Expanding Eastward

With Egypt subdued, it's time to figure out what to do next.

In the east, Russia is trying to subvert my influence over Persia, so I'll devote influence to match them. Since Persia is already in my sphere, the evilest plan is to get 65 points of influence, and wait for Russia to hit 95+ influence at Friendly (right before they can remove Persia from my sphere). Then, I expel their ambassadors, which drops their influence to 0 and kicks them out for 365 days. We also start influencing Siam - I want to eventually invade it, and to do that, I need to keep UK from being friendly (so they can't intervene).

On the military front, we've built 7 transports in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea provinces, and moved 7 brigades down for them. We've also disbanded all irregulars and replaced them with infantry.

October 16, 1839: The Papal States offers an alliance. We accept.

January 1, 1840: We drop Russia's influence in Persia to Neutral so we can focus on Siam.

May 11: Hrm. We now have 2 generals of the same name. This won't be confusing at all..

o4generals.png


Sultan: "I have here a report that Shukru Bey lost a major battle in Kars. Which one of you did it?"
Shukrus (pointing at each other): "He did it!"

May 24: Our capitalists start building a winery in Bosnia. Might be because they can't build railroads yet...

June 9: With cash to spare finally, we start building a naval base in Kuwait. This will let us expand eastwards. Our first target: Sindh (500K pops). Afghanistan chooses not to help Sindh (seeing as they have no mutual border).

o4dowsindh.png


July 31: Sindh's army is destroyed...but they start building new brigades so they can die while I occupy their 3 provinces. I also run afoul of a bug here - there were 2 Sindh brigades, but only one was in the battle. The other just stands next to my army as it occupies Karachi.

o4bofkarachi.png


November 29: This is the outcome of the bug: I occupy Karachi, immediately lose it, and immediately reoccupy it (killing their brigade in the process).

o4occupationofkarachi.png


December 4: Sindh is annexed.

December 17: A look at the current budget situation - I'm slowly encouraging pop promotion with my taxes.

o4budget.png


January 1, 1841: The state orders a clothes factory in Bursa and cement in Kars.

February 11: Russia gets their influence in Persia back to Friendly. Bastards.

June 11: We switch to an interventionist party, so that our capis can flex their muscles. And in South America, Peru eats half of Ecuador.

o4peru.png


October 1: A border incident with Russia. Better my CB than theirs...

o4borderincident.png


January 8, 1842: The Ottoman court collectively runs back to their rooms to change their underwear.

o3spoiler.png
 
Last edited:

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n the east, Russia is trying to subvert my influence over Persia, so I'll devote influence to match them. Since Persia is already in my sphere, the evilest plan is to get 65 points of influence, and wait for Russia to hit 95+ influence at Friendly (right before they can remove Persia from my sphere).
I'm curious on your strategy here - why not just influence Persia to 100 after you get them in your sphere? Then when Russia removes you, you simply add Persia right back. Typically, the AI removes the player once, the player becomes master again, and the AI gives up for awhile. The only time this strategy doesn't work is if there are multiple states working hard to bring a target country into a SoI (something that typically happens with say, Spain if not a GP or China). However, Persia doesn't usually garner that type of attention, especially in the early game.
 

naggy

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Interlude: Pause. Think. Sip.

The early declaration of war by Russia has forced me to pause, look over the situation, sip some diet coke, and think about what to do.

When in danger, when in doubt
run in circles, scream and shout

Well, not that.

My main problem is that I will be outnumbered almost 3:! once Russia mobilizes. My population is less than 1/3rd Turkish and those Turks are somewhat spread out. On the other hand, Russia's population is over 1/2 Russian.

Mobilization only hits poor strata pops of primary/accepted culture. My national value is Order (4% mobilization), and you get 1 brigade per 3000 eligible people. Thus, you need 3000/.04 = 75000 right culture poor strata people in a region to get 1 brigade.

Due to the dispersal of Turks throughout my empire, I'll get 2 brigades if I mobilize. Russia gets 83. I start with 46 brigades (I immediately built 10 more), they have 63. Thus, I'll be looking at 56 brigades vs 146. Oh - they almost certainly have higher army tech than me, so they probably get convenient bonuses like "Slay Turk".

To make my life suck even more, the Russians have 2 fronts they can come at me:
Western Front:

ointwesternfront.png


Here, you can see Moldavia about to lose their entire army. (Fun fact! Moldavia can mobilize the same # of regiments as me.) There is a natural bottleneck at Turcea (marsh) and Braila (forest) where I hope to sucker their army into a defensive battle with a good defensive general. Unfortunately, I'll have to spread my army out to avoid attrition - I hope to force the fight in Braila, where I have more adjacent provinces to feed troops in from.

Then, there's the Eastern Front:

ointeasternfront.png


Persia has decided that its best course of action is to attack the Russian army...in the hills. With half their army marching away from the battle (6 brigades from Noshihr to Tehran, 5 brigades from Mahabad to Urumia). I'm sure this will go smashingly well (for the Russians).

My forts in Kars are not yet complete, and to make life even better, that's probably where the bulk of the Russian armies will come, since that's their war goal.

But, I have allies! France has 6 transports that I can see (for the 30 brigades + 100 mobilized brigades), Papal States has 1, and Sardinia-Piedmont has 3 (and their army is stuffed into Savona, taking attrition), so I can expect 10 brigades to arrive every 3 or so months. Maybe. Hopefully. (Russia has 6 ships in total, so they don't worry me. France might also be useful and blockade them!)

Watch them invade Archangelsk or something.

So there we go. Oh yeah...I have 7 brigades in Sindh, which I'll have to ferry back to Basra and march north.
 
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naggy

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That means you spend 100 influence per their 100 points.
Banning them when they have 95 points means you spend 65 points to wipe 95 of theirs, and knock them out for a year.

Efficiency.
 

badger_ken

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OK, I have a conundrum, and to resolve it, I'll have to post a spoiler.

What state should I seek to acquire?
Budjak (east of Moldavia, has 400K pops (useful for industrializing), crap resources)
Armenia (east of Kars, has <100K pops, 3 iron provinces)
Crimea (unconnected but reinforceable by sea, both of Russia's Black Sea naval bases)

Armenia - easier to defend, and 3 iron provinces is very very nice.
 

Alyosha

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That means you spend 100 influence per their 100 points.
Banning them when they have 95 points means you spend 65 points to wipe 95 of theirs, and knock them out for a year.

Efficiency.
Yes, it also requires you to tirelessly monitor the situation lest you make a mistake and let them get to 100; bring your relations up to 100 guarantees that even if you are distracted, your sphere is safe. Also, I've noticed that unless you build up the 100 point buffer, the AI sees an opportunity to build its own influence. Once you retake your sphere the AI usually won't come back for seconds for years.

In addition, your strategy requires you maintain vigilance on Persia; how does that strategy work when you've got a sphere of 10, 20, or even 30 countries? Are you going to monitor each for encroachment by a rival GP? That pause button will be worn out within one session.

Taking the extra influence to "lock up" (bring influence to 100) a sphered country is an easy way to maintain a large sphere of influence. Simply set the pop-up up warning you of losing a sphered country to pause the game, and you can open up the diplomacy screen and boom, that country is back in your sphere. Once you've brought a country into your sphere put your influence priority on low (unless a third GP is messing around) and pay most of your attention to your new targets.

Finally, banning or removing influence of another GP reduces your country's relations with that GP. While that's all well and good in regards to the Russians in Persia (who you ended up fighting anyway), that may be less welcome if you're competing against the UK in a sphere, or your ally France. Why reduce relations unnecessarily by banning?
 
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naggy

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In addition, your strategy requires you maintain vigilance on Persia; how does that strategy work when you've got a sphere of 10, 20, or even 30 countries? Are you going to monitor each for encroachment by a rival GP? That pause button will be worn out within one session.

Use the Influence option on the outliner. It only shows nations you're influencing, or nations in your sphere currently being influenced by other nations.

Taking the extra influence to "lock up" (bring influence to 100) a sphered country is an easy way to maintain a large sphere of influence. Simply set the pop-up up warning you of losing a sphered country to pause the game, and you can open up the diplomacy screen and boom, that country is back in your sphere. Once you've brought a country into your sphere put your influence priority on low (unless a third GP is messing around) and pay most of your attention to your new targets.

Hrm. Interesting strategy.

Finally, banning or removing influence of another GP reduces your country's relations with that GP. While that's all well and good in regards to the Russians in Persia (who you ended up fighting anyway), that may be less welcome if you're competing against the UK in a sphere, or your ally France. Why reduce relations unnecessarily by banning?

Good point. Didn't realize that it reduced relations.
 
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