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I am an EU/HOI/Victoria veteran but never bothered buying EU II. The AAR is from my third game started in EU III Gold v 1.3 without modifications. Its main purpose is to serve as a kind of tutorial for newbies - I found the tutorial coming with the game not too helpful. This justifies the choice of Burgundy as one of the 6 western European main powers from that time period (the others being England, Austria, France, Castille and Portugal).

Burgundy is a good choice for a newbie and at the same time a challenge.
Plus: Country is rich in taxes, starts with a good monarch and really decent choices for advisors, a textile manufactury and an university for bonusses on government and production research, a trade center. Access to the noth sea from the start.
Minus: Country is separated into two not connected parts, capital does not have sea access therefore unable to colonize from scratch, sea access via waters controlled by England and France, tight manpower compared to France, buffer state between German minors ripe for force unification by Austria/France/Poland, lots of English and France cores thus bound for the inevitable "keep the core" wars, fully decentralized considerably raising stability recovery costs (and time).

Start date: 1473 instead of 1453. Why? The tech achievements (notably land tech 2) could most likely not be accomplished starting 1453. With Liege and Friesland 2 more provinces are already Burgundian lands. The AI choice for Conscripts as the first national idea makes up for the lack of manpower nicely.

Goals (not necessarily in that order):
- Prevent Frances grow into central and south Europe
- Inherit all of Burgundy heartlands (Burgundian culture) which necessities the annexation of Lorraine
- Get ahead of every major power in tech, especially land (I always liked to be ahead of the pack in strategy games). Burgundy is in fact best suited of the major European powers to do so as its richness comes from packed provinces in Europe which means it does not need THAT an awful amount of them to rip tons of money from production (tech cost is directly linked to number of provinces controlled)
- Receive and hold position as HRE emperor thus keep as many German minors alive as possible and keep good relations with them
- Add most if not all Lombardian provinces to Burgundy as soon as possible. This way you easily establish an additional accepted national culture (they are all rich thus reaching the 20% tax treshold for an accepted national culture fast), you get access to the Mediterranean, you effectively separate Austria from France, you solve the manpower problem finally and you receive enough universities to overtake the world in government tech without actual budget investment (following Italian provinces start with an university - Parma, Pisa, Romagna, Ferrara, Piemont, Modena, Florenz)
- Add most if not all cosmopolitan provinces to Burgundy effectively reducing France in Europe to a stretch at the Atlantic coast
- Conquer India in the late 17th century

The most daunting task for a newbie will be to wage his/her first wars against France and to conduct them effectively.

Okay. Targets set, 1473 - Start.

Look around - as expected. Austria, France and Castille have the "lucky" tag (they belong to the 8 starting nations receiving a little extra boost by trade competition advantages and generally mor positive events from game developers to present the player - you - a late game challenge). Did not bother to find the others (you have to study the trader chances in the trade centers one by one. Some will show an extra green 10% labeled "Luck". These are the lucky countries :rolleyes:

First things to do - hire/exchange advisors and move a slider.


You can move one of 8 sliders one notch in one direction - except the first one (Aristocracy - Plutocracy) which is limited by your monarchy type and will most likely stay that way for a long time.
In principle the slider moves have a tremendous long term effect on gameplay. Keep your mouse over the sliders for a moment to study the tooltips presented. You want to warmonger? Move sliders so that the effect decreases war weariness, increases army morale and/or manpower allowance, decreases stability costs. You want to colonize early and intensely? Move the sliders that provide additional colonists and missionaries (i.e. towards mercantilism and narrow minded). You want to be the tech leader? Prefer innovative and decentralization.

As one of the goals for Burgundy is tech leadership, the first move is one notch towards innovative. Burgundy is already fully decentralized so this looks like a perfect contribution to lower tech costs.

Lessons learned: Every decision has a price! In Burgundys case, which strated decentralized and moved fully innovative in the course of the game, the price is an extremely low amount of yearly colonists when Burgundy started colonizing late 16th century.

First investments - army units, with a focus on knights. Especially early in the game (up around land tech 15 to 20) knights do considerably bigger morale as physical damage than the infantry and moves much faster. You can always build additional infantry at or short before the start of a war, so cavalry is the army core of choice especially for a rich country.

First trade moves: Send additional traders to Flandern and Isle of France. Bad move - (small) waste of money.

Lessons learned - for big countries or/and warmongers trade only gets an option after the number of contenders (small countries) gets vastly reduced, you are at high trade levels and able to boost yout traders chances by national ideas and advisors. And at peace! As rules of thumb (peacetime, positive stability, reasonable reputation): 1 of 2 traders will make it for chances shown in the trader send screen bigger 65% but will not live long, 1 of 2 will make it beyond 75% and stay for some time, 2 of 2 may make it beyond 85% and even stay for years, even with best chances possible (95% and above) a monopoly (6 traders) in a high value TC will only last a few months. Without advisors the most influencing factors for trade are your image, your stability level, your trade level and the effect from slider settings.

First diplomatic moves - alliance offers to Portugal and Aragon, royal marriages to Austria and England. If you want to focus on france, you will be glad for good allies, especially when you plan to go without a fleet for a long time (which Burgundy can afford to do). Long term goal is to keep good relations with Austria to secure eastern borders and an alliance with England and Portugal. As it turned out later that was not going to happen.

First small scale aggressive war started 1475 - Lorraine (allied with Palatinates=Pfalz). After a couple of months Lorraine was fully occupied, the peace terms included 2 provinces - Barrois and Metz - to reduce Lorraine to the one province minor allowing the annexation in the next war. Burgundy always will fight fast and limited wars to avoid war weariness and revolts.

Lessons learned in the war: Even good leaders on the other side do NOT turn the tide against overwhelming odds :p. A screenshot overview of Burgundy in 1482 will be the starter for the next issue. And there is nothinbg more annoying than an ally already sieging a province you want to take (first in place seems to be siege leader).
 
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coz1

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A good start and with an enjoyable country. I myself have been playing a recent game with Burgundy, though I am using the Magna Mundi mod (a little side-AAR about it can be found in the comments of my current EUIII AAR on Brandenburg.)

I am surprised you are going with the early annexation of Lorraine, but only because I have found them to be a truly reliable vassal and ally in wars (and early on they were helpful to get into war with France before they took Calais back from the English and gave me a permanent CB.) However, when I finally did diplo-annex them, I had to fight a round of wars with the HRE (that's surely MM events, though.) But some of the smaller countries you make vassals will be great partners in your wars vs France and in Italy, I'd think.

Interesting gambit, by the by, going into Lombardia. I am keen to see how that works. Good luck. I'll be following.
 

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If you started a few years later, you would've had Lorraine as well. But also occupied with rebels and at war with Austria as well I think. It was the war that got Charles the bold of Burgundy killed (the last duke) and led to Habsburg rule over the Low countries.

I started as Burgundy and Charles survived, winning the war and the empire surviving.
 

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punterke said:
If you started a few years later, you would've had Lorraine as well. But also occupied with rebels and at war with Austria as well I think. It was the war that got Charles the bold of Burgundy killed (the last duke) and led to Habsburg rule over the Low countries.

I started as Burgundy and Charles survived, winning the war and the empire surviving.
i started with austria already having conquered the low countries once. was the easiest game i've ever played in EUIII :D
 

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Isle of France.
It's Ile de France (didn't mean too be a party breaker but Isle of France is just to funny :D ) don't ask me WHAT Ile de France means, it's french, but it isn't Isle of France.
 

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Ahura Mazda said:
It's Ile de France (didn't mean too be a party breaker but Isle of France is just to funny :D ) don't ask me WHAT Ile de France means, it's french, but it isn't Isle of France.
lol, it does mean isle of France. :rofl: (the word isle actually comes from French/Latin)
But it means not a litteral island, more a core or centre. ;)
 

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Mygreatlord said:
i started with austria already having conquered the low countries once. was the easiest game i've ever played in EUIII :D
You also could play it a few years later when emperor Charles V rules the Low Countries (and is HRE, king of Spain, Latin America and a couple of other places). The guy is supposed to have said that the sun never sets over his empire...
 

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Thanks for all the advice on starting dates :) - but I did not want to make the game a cakewalk, just chose a starting date that was IMHO better suited than 1853.

For Lorraine as an ally - it shows just the same annoying tenedency as when in an opposing alliance - declaring war on everybody and nobody on a regular schedule thus dragging you in wars you actually do NOT want to fight. If at reasonable strength I meanwhile prefer to be not allied to anyone but vassals - everything else has mixed results but most noteably drags me into wars when I have other plans.

This is especially true for the armyless one province minors where the AI declares wars the day after you accepted an entry into your alliance. Which is really a stupid AI routine - the AI should at least check if she even has a chance of gaining something, which necessities an army.
 

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punterke said:
lol, it does mean isle of France. :rofl: (the word isle actually comes from French/Latin)
But it means not a litteral island, more a core or centre. ;)
Indeed. The accent circonflexe (^) indicates as disappeared s. So île is isle, fête is feste, etc.
 

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Burgundy1482-1500 (1)

I forgot to mention the first war with France, which occurred by accident. They were involved in a war against a North Italian alliance and I suddenly saw all their armies disappear from sight. Not one single regiment in all border provinces! I took the opportunity (and a loan), made a short build program and - strike. Was a stunning success, when I loaded 10 of their provinces with sieging armies of 2000 infantry and kept 2 striking armies against their (slowly!) returning armies in southern France. Took less than a year for them to accept a peace which netted me Champagne, Caux and Lyonnais. Which proved to be a (small) mistake btw.

Out of the war - France has just one sizeable army left:



Lessons learned:
Never let an opportunity pass even when you are not fully prepared. I WANTED to keep France at bay thus used the possibility to strike when they were fully involved in a war somewhere else.
BUT if you want to keep the door open to future wars with low stability hits (just -1 if you have a core on their lands and no other diplomatic intercourse like military access), never demand all of your cores :rolleyes: . Because you then have to wait for an event handing you another core on their lands. This is likely to happen between France and Burgundy - but you lose the initiative OR have to accept higher stability hits. With the high stability raise costs of Burgundy (remember - fully decentralized, on the way to innovative) this will cost you economically.


The situation January 1482:


National ideas - if you do not get money from trade, you have to take it from production


Burgundy has an army of roughly 24.000 men, no fleet, loses around 80 each year (I try to always keep inflation at around or less than 0.15% - thus 1% in 6 to 7 years - which should be more than matched by income growth). Burgundy is investing in infrastructure (workshops), waiting for the truce with Lorraine to expire, is (result of the war against France) allied with England and Palatinates/Pfalz and has royal marriages wherever it could get one. As a result it has the worlds highest prestige and the thirdbiggest income already (closely following France and the Ottomans)

A word on advisors: I have two 6 star - tech investment government and tech investment trade - allowing me to cut budget investment to 0 and still making good progress. The third one is a 4 star artist for improvement on stability, which due to a lot of warfare will rarely reach +3 but I´ll try to keep it at or above 0. You will most likely never or very rarely get a set as good as that again.

And if an experienced user could tell me how to insert a screenshot here, I would provide one or two :).
 
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Morgon1988 said:
And if an experienced user could tell me how to insert a screenshot here, I would provide one or two :).
Well it's not that hard. If you have a screenshot, which should be done either by a programme or Paint Screen and copying it to Paint + save. It works in the F11 key. There are also tools here somewhere around to do some nice screenshots. Then, go to www.imageshack.us , register log in and upload. Open the screenshot(so only it will be seen), copy the link, in the Message options you have a little picture icon (the one with the mountain and the sun) - input the screenshot link. And there you go :) You can also do it manually by inputting


I hope i explained it detailed enough :cool:
 

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Thanks "I am the Spoon". I hoped there would be a possibility to input it directly? The link thingie was what I wanted to avoid, but well ...
 

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Indeed there is - as I am the Spoon suggested, choose the IMG tags and copy and paste them into your post. This will show the image as you would like.

I use photobucket myself, but I've heard of lot's of other hosting sites. You might scroll around the first couple of pages in the main AAR area. There have been countless threads on screenshots. Check out the fAARq as well, though the screenie section is incomplete. Finally, I think there are some linked threads listed in the "welcome to AARland" thread also in the main AAR section. Alll should be of use. :)
 

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Morgon1988 said:
BUT if you want to keep the door open to future wars with low stability hits (just -1 if you have a core on their lands and no other diplomatic intercourse like military access), never demand all of your cores :rolleyes: . Because you then have to wait for an event handing you another core on their lands. This is likely to happen between France and Burgundy - but you lose the initiative OR have to accept higher stability hits.
You can simply fabricate a claim on a province and you have a CB. It will cost you money but it’s worth it because it saves you the additional stability hits.
Good job so far. :cool:

Joe
 

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Thanks Joe, I know. But that´s hard to pull off without spies - and Burgundy starts with 0 and gets 0 :).

Thorsten
 

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Burgundy1482-1500 (2)

We have reached 1489. In a few short wars - too easy to mention in detail - Burgundy made two German minors vassals - Cologne (which had annexed Muenster before) and Palatinates. Watching France gobbling Swiss in 1489, Burgundy prepared for war again as the route to the North Italian countries was threatened to be blocked. Besides its vassals Burgundy could count on the help of the English, Portugese and Mecklenburgians, France seems to have alienated a lot of countries.

The help of them all made the victory inevitable - they successfully sieged and captured a couple of provinces in the course of the war. Thus the war - started in June 1489 - ended in November 1492. In separate peace deals France had ceded Normandy and Armor to England, Orthe to Mecklenburg. And the Burgundians made a bold move - instead of rounding their territory they demanded and received Auvergne, Languedoc and Toulouse. The second university would boost government tech, the inroad in French lands making the next war even easier. And Lorraine was no longer - the Burgundian heartlands now united.

Due to war taxes and generally a healthy economy, the war was a sure net gain. Burgundy, despite having to take one loan, was the richest country not only in Europe, but in the world. The January direct taxes exceeded 320, the total yearly income was around 635. Stability kept a concern, again at 0, but that was the only one. Burgundy was still allied with England, which proved to be a mixed blessing in the years to come.

Lessons learned:
Warfare. I found it easiest to work with dedicated siege teams and some striking armies, one of them all knights. If an enemy is beaten, follow up even if your army is at only half morale or less - the enemy armies are at 0 and shall get no time to recover. If you manage to have a 5:1 ratio or above and a decent leader and you run into a freshly build 1,000 men regiment, this one disappears immediately. And btw - any successful siege nets 1 point in army tradition.
Vassals. Keep an eye on your relations with them. Whatever you do, the relations do not get better after reaching +100 without incentives (bribery). And if they support your wars and do not receive something, the relations deteriorate fast. In the aforementioned war Cologne hold 4 French provinces at peace deal but gained nothing. I payed for that (and for not monitoring) in one of the next war, where they unexpectedly did NOT join. This is of minor importance for a big power like Burgundy, but can spoil your day playing a mid sized country like Saxony and the like.
Allies. Normally only useful when they have a land connection to the country youre at war with. Ive never seen a naval invasion of more than 1,000 men at a time - stupid to watch that 2,000 rebels hold Malta forever :). BUT - if the enemy is distracted eleswhere - like me keeping French armies on the run - the reinforcements coming in can make sieges quite successful. This way England quietly captured 3 provinces from France and settled with a deal to keep 2 of them.
 
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Well fought wars and I entirely agree about vassals. Always give them lvoe after a war even if you were kind and got them some extra territory at the peace table.

And it sounds like you'll need to war with France again if they moved into Swiss lands. Burgundy cannot allow that to stand.
 

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Burgundy1482-1500 (3)

The years following 1492 were used to build infrastructure (temples mostly), restore reputation and prepare for the next steps.Which gives the opportunity to look at some of the game mechanics:

The Holy Roman Emperor. The elected emperor gains useful advantages, not necessarily critical one, but still useful. With the election the elected country loses only 4 (instead of 5) % of prestige every year, gains 0.5% manpower allowance per membership country (a good reason to keep German minors alive). And has free access to any membership state without military access granted (which allowed Mecklenburg as the HRE holder to grab the province of Orthe in the last Burgundian-French war).

Events. May be clasified as bad ones, good ones and mixed. The most usefuls event for a country with many provinces are the ones providing stability (+1 and +3) as this can be translated in +10 to +30% more taxes sometimes dozens of years earlier than by normal (budget fed) stability re-gain. Other useful ones provide temporary growth bossts of inhabitants n one province, deliver an additional fortress level for only 30 ducats in random provinces etc. There is one kind of event that seems to be triggered by advisors - a random, one time 1.000 ducat investment in a technology (has to be a 6 star advisor for that event to fire as far as I noticed). The mixed events e.g. often demand an exceptional slider move in one direction (I often noticed decentralization and aristocracy), otherwise a -1 stability hit occurs. Other mixed ones provide a random core in a neighboring country at the expense of relationship with that country. If you decline, you lose 1 point in prestige. Note that the AI seems to always take the Core, you may notice that when suddenly a temporary war reson (CB) flashes up for no apparent reason. Check your border provinces with the country you gined a CB for - one of it will have an additional core set for that country. The bad events make you lose money, demand lower taxation or a local rebellion occurs etc. Overall the events do not have a real impact on gameplay for main powers like Burgundy except the two outstanding - the +3 stability gain event and the "gain a Core in a neighbour province" event.

After this little explanatory sidetrack lets go back to Burgundy. The quiet time between 1492 and 1499 was not wasted. Burgundy hired new generals at the end of the Burgundian-French war in preparation for the coming and prepared for intervention in Germany by guaranteeing the independence of several minor states as well as gaining military access just in case. This guarantee is a mighty weapon as it delivers a reason for war against any country attacking the guaranteed one but needs constant checks. First it automatically expires after 10 years, second it is useless if the guaranteed state is dragged into alliance wars (so not directly attacked) and third the guarantee seems to be not applicable for diplo-annexation.

But its main goal was to open the way to the North Italian states. Burgundy had gained a Core on Bern as a result of an event, but it would either need two wars to get it out of the way - a first one to reduce it to a One Province Minor (OPM), a second one to annex. Or it has to be vassalized - which might be the better option as between the first and second war Burgundy needs to ensure noone else grabs the OPM in the meantime - which the AI tends to do a lot after such a country has just lost a war.

But just as Burgundy was ready for the attack in 1499, somthing else needed immediate attention - one of the guarantees fired (with a tremendously positive impact) ...
 

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Maybe a few screenshots would be nice...
 

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Screenies will come by tomorrow.