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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Malurous

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Speed - A Castille (mini-?)AAR


Rules:

Game will be played at maximum speed (which, with a Core i7, is relatively fast), pausing during a session isn't allowed.
Each session lasts for five minutes, with an alarm letting me know when time is up.
When a session starts, I immediately hit space and ram the + key to get to full speed ASAP.
When a session ends, I pause the game, save and take a screenshot. Potentially, I can also save a world map if the readAARs request.
I'm not allowed to click on anything other than the menu with save, quit etc. when the game is paused. I can, however, study whatever is currently on the screen as well as any screenshots I managed to grab during the session.
To make it extra masochistic, I'm not allowed to use an external keyboard or a mouse. Instead, I'm stuck with a pretty clumsy laptop touchpad and a keyboard with which you can't take a screenshot without using both hands.
Vanilla DW, all game settings normal.



Some background:
As some people around AARland know, I'm currently on an extended and quite busy work trip. Fortunately, in this case more work has equaled more income, and I have a shiny new laptop to show for it - one that's quite a bit faster than my old computer. Unfortunately, playing EU III has become a bit frustrating as the fastest setting leaves absolutely no time to react to anything (if I, while paused, double tap space as fast as I can, the game actually advances two days) and the second fastest is too slow for most non-complex gameplay.

So being the sane person that I am, I decided to try and play at that speed without pausing at all and make an AAR out of it. It probably won't be a masterpiece in any sense and the presentation might be a bit heavier on text than I like (because of limited time to take screenshots) but I'd imagine it'll at least be good for some laughs.

I chose Castille because it's pretty strong and doesn't have a neighbor that typically declares war immediately. That said, I played one test game (mostly to see if the message settings I customized for the occasion limit the popup spam enough) and Aragon declared war, destroyed my army and was sieging five provinces before the two minute mark.

Let's just say that I fully expect to fail big time here, but here's hoping that I can get a bunch of updates posted before that happens!
 

Malurous

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Session One
Oct 1399-Dec 1406

Having started the game, I look at my mobile phone clock: 21:03. I set the alarm to 21:09 and wait for the minute to change.

I have something between one and fifty-nine seconds and I'm not going to waste them. I make a couple of mental notes - my mission, current army size - and take a screenshot of the beginning.



No time to make any grand plans as the session starts. I learned from the short test game that if I start looking at what anyone else is doing or hiring advisors or some such thing, suddenly I'll be two years in with enemies on my back. It's also useless to look at all the alliances people are offering: even if I managed to accept one before the offer expires, I'd most likely miss any call to arms. So I start building regiments immediately, using the handy right click menu (which I typically never use, but opening the province menu for each regiment isn't an option here).

I'm not counting infantry or cavalry yet, I just need to get a good number of regiments built in order to keep the AI from spotting weakness and declaring war. Darn, missed the button in one case and hired a mercenary - I'll have to disband that when I have time. I also get an heir during this time, no idea if he's any good as I haven't had time to check.

When I'm happy with my buildup (I find out later that I had nearly doubled my army to a total of 15000, not counting the mercenary) there are still a few months left before I've played a year, so I check out the advisor pool. None of the highest ranked advisors are of an interesting type, and soon enough we reach October 14th and the advisors are gone. Didn't get one, that's a shame.

I send my armies to one province and merge, then disband the mercenary regiment. I create two armies, 4 cav 8 inf and 1 cav 2 inf, and start recruiting three more cavalry regiments and six infantry regiments in order to get a second "full" army. This time I actually make sure that I recruit the correct amount.

I check my force limit, 31 or something to that effect so I can still expand at some point. I also get the clergy/philosopher event and decide to go innovative, I have no idea where my sliders are but I'm quite sure Castille is on the narrowminded side.

Monarch dies 1402, regency council. Then some events.

I usually always play in the political mapmode. I find the time to switch to it in June 1403.

The next year and a half are spent looking at some diplomatic stuff and going through the advisor pool, nothing tangible comes out of either. In early 1405 I notice that I have a full magistrate pool so I commission a tapestry.

Galicia becomes Castilian culture in July and I celebrate with a screenshot.



I become Papal Controller, but I can't really do much with it now.

In 1406 I'm starting to feel settled in and make plans of war with Granada. Of course, this is just confusion as I fail to realize that there's a regency. It's probably a good thing that the alarm then sounds, giving me some time to consider what has happened so far.

Looking at the screen, it seems that Portugal and Aragon are at war, which is naturally interesting.




Time elapsed:
7 years, 2 months / 5 minutes
 

Sethanon

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This is an interesting idea gameplay wise! I will be following... for as long as you can hold out lol!

(Granada with only 3 provinces looks weak as hell btw)
 

Memento Mori

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It's quite funny, I also play with Castille right now and I'm doing exactly the opposite... playing at lowest speed :D The game takes me half a year and I', still in the 1700's but it's still fun, I hope your game will turn out like this too (of course about the fun factor, not the time spent on it ;) )
 

Malurous

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This is an interesting idea gameplay wise! I will be following... for as long as you can hold out lol!

(Granada with only 3 provinces looks weak as hell btw)
We'll see how long that is! :D Granada of course is the typical opening move for Castille - might not be quite as quickly done this time.

brilliant idea, this'll be fun to watch,

recognise the extra work=shiny new laptop but no time to play mechanic
It's just one example of the dilemma where one has to choose between having money and having the time to spend it. :D

I'm glad that you like the concept! It should at least help as far as having time goes - playing and writing that first update didn't exactly take long. ;)

It's quite funny, I also play with Castille right now and I'm doing exactly the opposite... playing at lowest speed :D The game takes me half a year and I', still in the 1700's but it's still fun, I hope your game will turn out like this too (of course about the fun factor, not the time spent on it ;) )
Hopefully! And well, you've seen my other AARs, I'm not exactly a fast player ordinarily. :) I don't necessarily use very low speeds, but normally I'm on pause most of the time - the fact that I'm used to taking my time only makes this harder.
 

Malurous

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Session Two
Dec 1406-Jun 1414

The second session feels decidedly more peaceful than the first one. Of course, the beginning was hectic because I had to do everything that you usually do while the game is still paused, but I think I've also gotten used to the pace a little bit.

I start by taking a closer look at the situation and also grab some screenshots. The heir appears to be A/D/M 9/5/5 and eight years old as of November 1408.



I look at the economy screen for the first time and start investing in Production tech for Constables.



To help with this, I hire my first advisor. I've been commissioning some more paintings and am able to get a four star Natural Scientist in 1410.



I get some negative event but get away with just a prestige hit. Events worry me a bit as I need to make the decisions so quickly.

I recruit another six regiments, two cavalry and four infantry, to bring total army size to thirty thousand.

Government tech 4 is reached and I spend a year or two choosing my first Idea. An economic Idea would have been useful as I'm going to need an edge there, but I feel that Castille isn't too shabby in that department anyway so I decide to take Military Drill. I'm going to be in trouble in wars, so hopefully the Idea can save my hide at some point.

We also get Production tech 4 in 1412, and I start building two Constables, one in Andalucia and the other in Toledo I believe. I had to rely on the income mapmode to find rich provinces - I can't use the ledger as it pauses the game and going through each province view takes too long.

The "aristocrats grateful" event gives me 100 ducats in 1414, and I'm about to build more constables with that cash when time is up.

In the map I notice that Aragon has Navarra now. The Aragon-Portugal war seems to have ended without land changing hands. I find it funny that I've been totally oblivious to these events during actual gameplay despite the fact that they took place in my immediate vicinity.




Time elapsed:
14 years, 8 months / 10 minutes
 

Malurous

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Till now everything goes smoothly, but what will you do when France DoW's?
Stuff like that is exactly what I, too, want to find out here. I suppose you'll find out when I do. :D Scramble, most likely, but the results we don't know yet.
 

tamius23

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How surprised I was to find the last post in the library update thread to be by you! I'll be following.
 

vasziljevics

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pf... that's quite a challenge you've set up for yourself - as far as I remember the only times I set EU3 to maximum speed is when I hit the '+' button accidentally :)
 

Avindian

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This is just a fantastic idea, although I admit as soon as I saw "Malurous" as the author I subbed :D

I, personally, normally play on max speed, but I've got a lot of auto-pause pop-ups so I don't miss the important stuff. I also abuse pause a lot. ;)
 

loki100

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this is a fantastically brave experiment .. in effect its you're forced to a really pared down game play mode. Be interesting to see how you manage if you do get to the stage of a colonial empire ....
 

mathl33t

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This looks entertaining. May I suggest memorizing some hotkeys? You can switch between map modes very easily with QWERetc, and you can bind armies to numbers. With a touchpad, I think using the keyboard as much as possible is a good strategy.
 

Malurous

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How surprised I was to find the last post in the library update thread to be by you! I'll be following.
Why is it a surprise? It's not like I don't write AARs. :D But yeah, you probably mean my recent inactivity - that's where making an AAR that takes about fifteen minutes to update really helps! ;) Good to have you here mate, I don't think I've seen you in my threads before.

pf... that's quite a challenge you've set up for yourself - as far as I remember the only times I set EU3 to maximum speed is when I hit the '+' button accidentally :)
Hehe. :) I played at max speed most of the time with my old desktop, but I tend to spend 95% of my playing time on pause, and the maximum speed on that computer is considerably slower. So yes, it is a challenge, and that's exactly what I want. :)

This is just a fantastic idea, although I admit as soon as I saw "Malurous" as the author I subbed :D
Thanks, for both parts I suppose. ;)

I, personally, normally play on max speed, but I've got a lot of auto-pause pop-ups so I don't miss the important stuff. I also abuse pause a lot. ;)
I normally have sieges finishing on auto-pause, other than that I just play with one finger on space bar. :p I might have to adjust and add more auto-pausing though - I don't react quickly enough at the new higher speed.

this is a fantastically brave experiment .. in effect its you're forced to a really pared down game play mode. Be interesting to see how you manage if you do get to the stage of a colonial empire ....
Indeed, if I get that far I certainly want to take QFTNW and head overseas. The thought of managing a colonial empire like this feels so chaotic that I want to experience it if I can. :D

And yeah, I really have to stick to the basics here. I sometimes start looking at some silly little detail and suddenly two years have passed, I'm not going to succeed that way.

This looks entertaining. May I suggest memorizing some hotkeys? You can switch between map modes very easily with QWERetc, and you can bind armies to numbers. With a touchpad, I think using the keyboard as much as possible is a good strategy.
Thanks, that's a very good suggestion. I'll have to look at the hotkeys and put them to use in future sessions! I guess I'm really dealing with an RTS here, and a fast-paced one at that, so might as well play it like one. ;)
 

Malurous

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Session Three
Jun 1414-Aug 1421

I start by building three Constables: one in Madrid, which is certainly a good choice, and the others in Asturias and some other province, which have at least decent tax bases. There might have been a better option out there, but it already took two years to find these.

Castille gets a king again about a year into the session. Alexander de Trastamara is quite an administrator.



We also get some heir not much later.

I start getting all kinds of tech levels. Land, naval and trade reach level 4 while production advances to 5 - apparently I've been investing all production ever since I maxed that slider to get Constables.

I also get a slider move and go Free Subjects. This gives a stab hit so I start investing in stability. I switch to land afterwards for the better infantry. The screenshot I took of the tech situation helps me here as I really wasn't sure off the top of my head whether I had adjusted the investments after regaining stability or not. Without the image I'd waste half a year checking it when the next session begins.



In late 1418 it's finally time for my first war. I declare Holy War on Granada (it's better than Reconquest as there's no core on Gibraltar), just less than twenty years behind the normal EU III Castille schedule!



Alliance leader Algiers calls in all kinds of other nations, but the popup spam is too much and I just tap enter repeatedly to get rid of it all. So no idea who, really.

There's no time to rearrange the armies, so I send a random army to both Gibraltar and Granada. Granada counters with a siege of Cordoba. Unfortunately, the one army left behind turns out to be the 6000 strong one - not enough to handle Granada's army. So I just send it to Almeria and let the enemy hang around in Cordoba. Note(s) to self: combine and/or divide armies in advance in the future, and even in a hurry it's probably smart to check which army is which before acting.

Cordoba is the first province to fall here, and Granada's troops press on into Andalucia. Gibraltar soon finishes so my men there head for Andalucia and win the resulting battle.

When Granada falls the army there heads to take back Cordoba. It and Almeria fall pretty much simultaneously (at least by this game's standards) and I annex Granada. Their army was still alive as I lost it somewhere in my lands, but that doesn't matter as I managed to occupy all their provinces.

I get both "Gift to the state" and "Benign neglect" close to each other late in the war, so I'm thinking of building more constables when Gibraltar revolts. I send an army in and during the battle the alarm sounds. Our end screenshot for this session is therefore a picture of general Campomanes' (who I hired at some point, he's useless) struggle against the nationalist rebels in the now Castilian south.



Looking at the picture, I also make a mental note that I should probably send merchants to Andalucia at some point.



Time elapsed:
21 years 10 months / 15 minutes
 

loki100

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love the things you are overlooking ... oh whoops its an idea to send a few merchants etc.

maybe an idea to make cookie-cutter armies, all identical and then its a case of grab enough of them for the job. Can't see how you will ever be able to cope with anything more specialised in any case.
 

tamius23

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Why is it a surprise? It's not like I don't write AARs. :D But yeah, you probably mean my recent inactivity - that's where making an AAR that takes about fifteen minutes to update really helps! ;) Good to have you here mate, I don't think I've seen you in my threads before.
Well, you have two ongoing AARs, so I thought it would be quite unlikely you would start another.

You play on such quick speed how I play at normal speed :D I often ignore things like merchants and buildings.
 

naggy

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That's about like when I get up to do something and come back to find I left the game unpaused, and everything has gone to hell.

Good luck!