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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Emeny

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Hello and welcome! Today we shall be following the progress of a humble nation known as Montenegro.

For those of you unfamiliar with them, Montenegro can be found here:

MontenegroStart.jpg~original

It's so cute!

But this is not where our adventure begins. You see, for 60 years Montenegro was left in the hands of a tyrannical ruler who, while quite capable, was completely reckless and had a total disregard for the future after his passing. This ruler will remain nameless (cough cough), but let's have a look at what they have managed to achieve.

Montenegro1.jpg~original

Montenegro2.jpg~original

Fantastic! Who can argue with results like that?! Montenegro must be unstoppable!

But just to be sure, let's take a moment to have a closer look:

Montenegro3.jpg~original

Not too bad. Wait, what's that inflation there?

Montenegro4.jpg~original

Oh dear. Before events you can only GET 1% inflation per year, and that's not counting any inflation reduction. The previous ruler must have been minting more often than not!

Montenegro5.jpg~original

That core percentage...


Welp. That's a bummer. Still, they are only charts. Maybe the reality is better than it seems!

Montenegro7.jpg~original

Uhh. Well we are paying tribute to the horde, so that's something. Looks like most everybody else hates us, though. And no wonder, considering we have broken our infamy limit.

Montenegro12.jpg~original

I guess this explains our Revolt Risk. We just entered a peasant war and have 8 years of smugglers to deal with.

Montenegro6.jpg~original

Well, we are about as advanced as the hordes. And 6 years to fully recover a point of stability at full investment. Ouch.

Montenegro8.jpg~original

At least we have some very nice advisors, and hopefully that admin stat will help to get some of this stuff under control.

Montenegro11.jpg~original

Sliders aren't too terrible. Seems like the focus was mainly on quality though.

Montenegro9.jpg~original

Our army. All 25 regiments. Well we got this far, so surely they have some skills!

Montenegro10.jpg~original

And that description sums it up pretty much perfectly. Sigh.

I suspect a couple of you have developed sinister grins at this point. I can't blame you; I probably would as well, if not for being the one who has to actually do this! Why do I agree to these sorts of things?!

Some quick notes:
  • The game is DW 5.2 (QMXZ!) on normal with lucky nations off. Everything else is default and unchanged.
  • Generic house rules apply: No cheating, reloading, overly gamey/cheesy techniques, reloading, abusing bugs and most importantly no reloading. If I crash and burn, so be it! Less work for me. ;)
  • No forming anything. It's Montenegro or bust.
  • As always, feel free to speak up if you have questions, concerns, want to tell me what I did wrong, ect ect.



Anyway, enough of that. Onwards, before I change my mind! Will Montenegro continue on its path to greatness, or will it crumble under its own weight as all empires tend to do?


Update!

Beyond all reasonable expectations, including my own, we have not only manage to survive our predicament but also begun to thrive in our own right. As such, I have decided to add some "bonuses" at specific intervals, just to keep things interesting.

  • 1500 - Difficulty changed from normal to hard.
  • 1550 - Difficulty changed from hard to very hard.
  • 1600 - Badboy wars. The infamy limit will be reduced to 0 and the purelynasty events will be removed. Basicly infamy will once again function as a warning flag for the AI.

If you would like to suggest a "bonus" you think is suitable then feel free to send me a PM! :happy:


Another update!

We have some new post-westernisation goals:

  • Lose the top spot in inflation (The hordes don't count for this)
  • Disband the HRE
  • Annex Austria
  • Push the heretical forms of Christianity out of Montenegro for good
  • Win a war with at least 50% warscore against each of the European big bads (France, Spain, Great Britain)

Once these goals have all been completed the AAR will be considered successful!
 
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Personguyfellow

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I am equal parts giddy at the prospect of an enemy-led Montenegrin Empire and anxious that you not abandon your Timmie AAR.

And yes, Montenegrin is the correct adjectival form of Montenegro. I looked it up!
 

Emeny

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I am equal parts giddy at the prospect of an enemy-led Montenegrin Empire

This had me confused for a moment! I thought perhaps I was unclear on how the game was set up, but I suspect you were simply too giddy to control your fingers while typing my name. ;)

The timmies are still my priority, but I've not had much help working out how to preceed with that yet. And Montenegrin, huh? Makes sense to me.
 

unmerged(88716)

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Nice work with Montenegro.
I'm trying something similar with Ragusa.
Well, not to fall so much back with technology, but it's always a fun game to start small.
Did you form your own COT to get more money? Monopolys from your own COTs would give you some speed in tech research.
 

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I love Montenegro and all, but why is it already so big? I wanted to see a build up of it?

Well, judging from Montenegro's current position, if things go horribly awry it might shrink a bit, so you can watch it build back up later. Or just watch it get bigger and bigger until the whole world fears the mighty Empire of Montenegro!

Either way, it's an interesting start! Montenegro rarely seems to get much attention.
 

Emeny

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@moonsik: I'm not sure if your used to mods, but I am nowhere near able to make monopolies. I doubt I could even afford a CoT, though I'm also currently in a trade league anyway.

@Webstantine: Well there is actually a bit of backstory to this one. This save is from a failed attempt at one of ATBKINGs challenges and I literally had no intention of playing it past this date. (Which is why its on normal and not very hard.)

The idea behind this AAR isn't just to show that OPM can grow big and conquer lots of things. I'm sure there are plenty of AARs who have done just that. Rather, it's to take the reins of an empire of the verge of colapse and try to hold it together against all odds. Times are tough to say the least, and in the hands of the AI our dear Montenegro would vanish almost in an instant.

But just to make you feel special, have a couple progress pictures I took for the challenge. :)

MontenegroHungry.jpg~original

Claim throne + pray to GOD.

MontenegroCastille.jpg~original

War with Venice drags in DOTF Castille. I am being extremely stubborn, but they are pretty much out of troops at this point.

MontenegroWar.jpg~original

Another big war. Bohemia is the Emperor.

MontenegroDogpile.jpg~original

Everybody wants a peice of the Ottomans.

MontenegroFailure.jpg~original

Karma for Hungary, probably.

@MondoPotato: Welcome! I must admit I am something of a fan of your work. Though I don't often enjoy historical AARs I do admire your skills at writing. I hope this goes well so you stick around and teach me some things, but honestly I have no idea how long it will last. It is really set up to fail and there are plenty of countries that will dogpile me if they see any weakness, so if I do any shrinking it will probably be a lot. :p
 

Emeny

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Chapter One​


First things first, we need to drop that infamy down under the limit before we attract any unwanted attention. Hungry was recently integrated, and will make a fine ally without taking any of our precious cores.

Montenegro13.jpg~original


With that taken care of, we can look to the economy. First order of business is recovering some of that stability. With the release of Hungary and infamy cut in half, the cost should go down dramatically.

We have a huge stack of cash, but income is pretty poor. We will have to spend it carefully. The tribute to the horde is very minor and removes one of our major threats. Besides, it would costs 2 stability to break and we can't afford to capture any horde territory anyway so that shall stay for now.

We are also going to have to start chipping away at that inflation sooner rather than later, but getting a strong economy first is far more important.

Montenegro14.jpg~original


The first step to a strong economy is religious unity, and with a good admin ruler and plenty of missionaries we are in a good position to go a-converting.

Montenegro15.jpg~original


The next thing we will need to deal with is our god-awful military force. Our current forces are barely enough to keep the rebels under control, let alone deal with any sort of invasion. Our regular troops are near useless however, so let's have a look around to see if we can't find a better option.

Montenegro16.jpg~original


That's more like it! It seems those Ottomans have powered ahead in tech with the loss of their Greek provinces, and we happily reap their benefits by recruiting 8 of their infantry and a couple cavalry. That's really all we can afford for now.

Now that we have some troops to handle ourselves with, let's have a look at what the rest of the world is up to. Our two biggest threats, Bohemia and Austria, are unfortunately allied to each other. This could be disastrous if they were to attack us in unison. The most we can do for now however is send out warnings and guarantees to try to split them up. Austria doesn't completely hate us so they can have a nice guarantee.

Montenegro17.jpg~original


England also doesn't utterly hate us, so they can have a nice guarantee too. We really need to find a strong ally somewhere so we can at least appear somewhat threatening.

Montenegro18.jpg~original


Hopefully sometime soon too, as Austria is currently in control of a pretty scary HRE. Bohemia next in line is even worse, as they are looming far more threateningly over us.

Montenegro19.jpg~original


But enough worrying about what might be. Since our advisors are all young and fantastic, let's see if we can't use our culture to make some more cash. We can always use more cash.

Montenegro20.jpg~original


We also aren't likely to be completing this mission any time soon. Perhaps another would be more useful!

Montenegro21.jpg~original


Well I guess that's everything we can do for now. As we don't own a CoT there is not much point is sending out merchants as our compete change is next to nothing outside our borders. Time to *gulp* unpause...

Good news! The world didn't suddenly implode! And also even better news: our new mission.

Montenegro22.jpg~original


It's really about time we removed this blemish from our empire, but we should really have a look at how their ally Sicily would react before we go diving into a war.

Montenegro23.jpg~original


Can't get much better than that! Sicily has managed to not only get into a war with the Emperor, but France as well. To battle!

Montenegro24.jpg~original


They still honour the call though and leave us outnumbered. I suppose there is nothing to do but quickly annex Achaea and bet on France feeling grumpy today.

Come to think of it, that's a pretty safe bet. Let's get some war taxes going.

Montenegro25.jpg~original


Some buildings probably wouldn't hurt either. So far the people of Montenegro have seen nothing but armouries.

Montenegro26.jpg~original


It turns out that wasn't enough to placate them, as more rebellions break out over being forced into yet another war. At least the rebels are helping.. kind of.

Montenegro27.jpg~original
 

Emeny

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Chapter Two​


The war with Sicily continues with little incident. Troops from France and Austria seem to be keeping them busy, so we are left with just a couple minor naval battles. Achaea is quickly conquered and annexed, completing our mission.

Montenegro28.jpg~original


The next mission is... less than helpful. Thanks game. At least Sicily is happy to accept white peace, so we can start clearing up those rebels.

Montenegro29.jpg~original


Our peasant war also progresses, giving us the next event in the chain. I'll happily take a free subject move for a slight temporary loss of max manpower. Not to mention the Revolt risk.

Montenegro30.jpg~original


Things are looking slightly better now.

Montenegro31.jpg~original


We also get the cash from buying up all those advisors coming in. Always happy to see that! It's just a shame our tech group is so small now, for some reason...

Montenegro32.jpg~original


We also gain a point of stability! Just under 4 years for another one.

Montenegro33.jpg~original


Another event with some cash, which is always welcome. We are getting pretty lucky with these events, eh?

Montenegro34.jpg~original


To top it all off, we get the fantastic great man event from our alderman, who was hired pretty much solely for that purpose. Our stability is now back up to +3! Next up for research is government, heading all the way to tech 9 and a new idea.

Montenegro35.jpg~original


Some ominous news arrives from Austria however. What are they planning..? It's not like we would have any interest in their CoT anyway. Just look at that thing.

Montenegro36.jpg~original


It's pretty quiet for a while until we finally get a province to convert. It's only Corfu, but still. It's a start. Our economy needs all the help it can get!

Montenegro37.jpg~original


1464 begins with us reaching gov tech 5! We power on towards 6, letting neighbour bonus drag the others along. We also get the unfortunate "Scandal at the court" event. It's a stab hit either way, so we will just take the prestige hit as well.

Montenegro38.jpg~original


I have been trying pretty desperately to get our manpower back up to a reasonable amount, but all the rebel hunting is actually draining it faster than we gain it. I really hope that peasant war ends soon...

Montenegro44.jpg~original


Sometime after we hit land tech 5 through neighbour and leader bonus alone. We are so behind...

Montenegro41.jpg~original


We also get a slider bonus though, so time for some centralisation! We are still not at the government limitation for it, and maybe one day I'll even manage to actually westernise.

Montenegro40.jpg~original


It kind of figures that we end up with the stability hit, though. Kind of a shame, but we can let it regain naturally for now.

Montenegro39.jpg~original


It's another peaceful several months before anything else happens, though I can't complain. We are still in no shape to get involved in more wars.

Montenegro42.jpg~original


Oh well. Let us leave our dearly beloved and fairly stupid heir's fate in the hands of the gods!

Montenegro43.jpg~original


Ahh... Well, back to the uhh... bedroom then, I guess.
 
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Emeny

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Chapter Three​


It's thankfully been pretty smooth sailing so far, but we are still pretty vulnerable and I think I spy some dark clouds ahead...

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The new year begins with fantastic news; The end of the peasant war!

Montenegro61.jpg~original


Revolt Risk is reduced significantly, hopefully meaning a drop in rebels that will allow us to recover some manpower. We also get a nice boost to our tax income!

Montenegro45.jpg~original


It's not all good news though. We also get a particularly harsh event and both options are pretty terrible for us right now. In the end I decide to go with the inflation as going in negative stability and spending a good 8 years or so getting it back up sounds pretty unpleasant. We are already so far behind, and until we fix that we won't be able to even start working on our inflation.

Montenegro46.jpg~original


Not long into 1468 we finally see the problem with smugglers starting to decline.

Montenegro47.jpg~original


We also see another stability point regained! We are back up to +2, though still focusing investments heavily into government.

Montenegro48.jpg~original


All is well so far and when we reach 1470 income is finally back into positive territory!

Montenegro49.jpg~original


Another silly event tries to bring us down, but we haven't seen much spy activity yet. Hopefully we can ignore things for now and it will be fine...

Montenegro50.jpg~original


And it is! For, you know, a while. Uhh... I hope you all brought umbrellas, because this would be a great time to hold them towards the fan. Even without a CB, Bohemia was far too tempted to resist trying to gobble up some of our lands.

Montenegro51.jpg~original


So much for trying to reduce inflation! We dive right into full panic mode, and start minting like there is no tomorrow! And indeed, if things go badly then there very well might not be...

Montenegro52.jpg~original


Enemy forces flood across the border en mass while we flee like scared little girls. Even Hungary is unwilling to meet them!

Montenegro53.jpg~original


We mustered the best of troops under our most capable general and advance north to protect Kiev; probably the most valuable province we own. Even the capital is expendable next to this!

Montenegro54.jpg~original


The battles goes surprisingly well. Incredibly well in fact, and we are even able to run them down after a clear victory. (On the last day of the month!) These Ottoman troops really are quite amazing!

Montenegro55.jpg~original


An opinion that is shared among the enemy, it seems. After seeing the battle play out so poorly for their war leader, Sicily reconsidering supporting their ally and sends us a peace agreement. It's kind of harsh, but a clear sign of their reluctance and we use our temporary advantage to gain something more reasonable.

Montenegro56.jpg~original


Milan quickly follows suit. We are only outnumbered ~5-1 now!

Montenegro57.jpg~original


No such luck with Austria however, so we bring our entire force down upon a small section of theirs. Victory seems likely, but even so we are losing land and manpower rapidly. If that runs out we may end up with more unwanted external interest.

Montenegro58.jpg~original


As if things weren't bad enough already, our ruler shows his wartime inexperience and loses his nerve. Perhaps the pressures of being compared to the previous ruler got to him?

Montenegro59.jpg~original


It seems Bohemia has taken pity on us, and offers us a fairly reasonable peace. Pressburg is a Hungary province, so not a huge loss, and Albania is a core.

Montenegro60.jpg~original


Should we accept...?
 

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Consolidating doesn't sound so bad, your country is in a pretty poor shape. You could probably make better use of the truce than they can, I think you should take a step back now in order to take three ahead later.
 

Lord Curlyton

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Do you think you can get Austria out of the war in any way, shape or form that isn't crippling to you? If yes, get them out and focus on Bohemia. If no....well, you'll have 10 years to try and form a useful alliance and get ready for Round 2.
 

Hughrocks123

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Of Course, there will be a time to attack Albania later. I think it is in your culture group, so it won't go away either.
 

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Some good points being made on both sides! The gamble is, of course, whether or not I can get Austria out of the war without having to take a similar or worse deal than what Bohemia is offering, and that I'll still have enough juice left to then take on Bohemia directly. If not, I doubt Bohemia will be offering such a generous peace deal again.

But alas, ATBKING knows me far too well. Update will be sometime tomorrow!
 

unmerged(540854)

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This is an interesting read so far. Once your economy is more stable will you go bankrupt on purpose to reduce inflation (after just having made peace with the biggest threats ofcourse, don't want them moving in during to two years of low morale.) or will you keep picking away at it with advisors and a bank?
 

Emeny

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@Gruzmog: I wasn't planning on it, nope! It does seem like a decent way to take a big slice out of inflation, but it's not necessary by any means. Are you sure it only lasts for 2 years, though?
 

Emeny

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Chapter Four​


The Bohemian offer for peace is boldly rejected; This would be a grand war to utter defeat. Let's just hope it will not be on our part.

The battle against Austria goes well and they quickly offer a peace deal of their own for another Hungary province and some cash. But well, if we won't accept such a deal from Bohemia than we won't from Austria either. For now we press onwards!

Montenegro62.jpg~original


As the war continues we get some heartening news: Bohemia has gotten itself into another war with a few other bordering nations. This is a welcome distraction to say the least!

Montenegro63.jpg~original


Chasing down Austria troops has taken a harsh toll on both our current forces and manpower pool, but good progress is being made. We have overwhelmed several of their armies and in one case managed to completely wipe them out.

Montenegro64.jpg~original


Thoroughly bloodied, Austria offers a peace that is much more to our liking. With them now out of the war we may actually have a change of pushing back against Bohemia!

Montenegro65.jpg~original


But first we must deal with Aquileia. Their army is defeated in Dalmatia and ran down in Croatia, then sieges establish in their homelands. They shouldn't be bothering us too much now.

Montenegro66.jpg~original



With that done, and our armies back to full capacity, we can start our push against Bohemia. Manpower is basically drained at this point and Bohemia has far more troops than us so we shall have to be wary of casualties.

Montenegro67.jpg~original


Once again the Ottoman troops excel in battle and some well timed victories allow us to do massive damage to the Bohemian forces. We also spy our allies of circumstance, making their own push from the north.

Montenegro68.jpg~original


For the first time since the war began we are no longer outnumbered, and Bohemia tries to buy us off with a white peace despite holding 4 of our provinces. We will have none of it!

Montenegro69.jpg~original


Our king seems to have a found a effective way to relieve his stress from the war, and soon a new heir is born. He is quite similar to the previous heir.

Montenegro70.jpg~original


Our friends in Brandenburg are not quite as stubborn however, and are quick to accept white peace when it is offered. Now alone in this war and with a severely diminished army, we charge forth for a climactic battle in Bohemia's capital. Bohemia will be fighting with everything they have left, and a loss here could easily turn the tide against us.

Montenegro71.jpg~original


The fates are on our side however, as a hard earned victory is gained. Not only that, but the timing was fantastic and we prepare to chase the fleeing army to its end. We can't celebrate just yet, though.

Montenegro72.jpg~original


The final Bohemian army is successfully ran down and we can now start establishing sieges throughout their nation.

Montenegro73.jpg~original


The glorious news starts to spread across our country, and one of our ministers in particular is hailed as our savour where our ruler had been lacking.

Montenegro74.jpg~original


Our armies were spread out and Bohemia is now completely under siege. There is little they are able to do at this point.

Montenegro75.jpg~original


We are now nearing government 6, and an embassy would be a huge help if we are to take any of the land. We decide to take advantage of our glorious victory to establish some war taxes and once again turn minting back up to full.

Montenegro76.jpg~original


Aquileia is an Austrian vassal, but as Austria has already left the war we are free to interact with them however we wish. Don't mind if I do!

Montenegro77.jpg~original


Bohemia is now fully occupied, but we stall the peace deals for a bit longer in order to raise some magistrates (and maybe to max out their war exhaustion). Do orthodox countries have to deal with HRE demands? I guess we will find out...

Montenegro78.jpg~original


It seems that Ratibor can't wait that long though, and attempts to defect immediately despite not even having a border with us. Well.. it will probably be fine?

Montenegro79.jpg~original


And with that, it's time to forge a proper peace deal. Ideally we want to weaken Bohemia as much as possible, so splitting their empire in half seems like the best option. Hopefully some of those provinces will manage to revolt back to Poland.

Montenegro80.jpg~original
 

Lord Curlyton

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Excellent play! Break the Bohemians like that and they likely won't recover. Though I'm betting your next HRE will be Austria, though...