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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

thebigj_a

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So in the new patch, you can set your army to retreat several provinces away and they're invulnerable till they get there? That doesn't seem at all fair. The enemy should be able to cut you off, as often happened in RL.
 

naggy

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hmm i never found how to merge regiments before ...
thx for that

i'll add one thing : don't assault with all infantry armies , as a cheap mercenary newly created, retreating army , or rebel uprising will wipe you if the assault is failed

I'll get to that when I explain assault strategy. Losing your giant army to 1000 peasants showing up for work is rather embarrassing. :)
 

naggy

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Chapter 7
Naval battles and Blockades

You'll notice that we've pretty much ignored the navy so far in our tutorial.

This is for two reasons:
1.) Most naval conflicts in the game will be one-sided. The AI will keep their ships in port if you put a dominant fleet nearby, and generally only will pursue battles they think they can win. Thus, remaining conflicts are hunting down transports, clearing pirates, and wiping an enemy fleet once you occupy the port (forcing them out).
2.) Naval conflict is rarely actually necessary.

This is somewhat contrary to history, where great naval battles determined who had control of the seas in an area. However, in most cases, you don't actually need to fight a battle to control the seas - if you bring 50 ships to the AI's 20, the AI will hide in port, leaving the sea to you as long as you keep your 50 ships hanging around outside their port.

Naval strategy, then, is about:
1.) Penning the enemy's navy into port(s), so that you can roam the seas at will.
2.) Hiding from dominant AI navies.
3.) Blockading the enemy once their navy is wiped out/penned in
4.) Blocking straits.
5.) Luring enemy navies out to kill them.

Penning in a navy/hiding your navy

The AI is not suicidal, thus, if you sit a large navy (50% more ships is a decent rule of thumb) outside their navy's port, their navy won't leave. This means that you are now dedicated to keeping that navy there!

If you start a blockade and don't leave enough ships to pen them in, or if you move the fleet for any reason, the AI will come out, and immediately hunt down any stray small navies you have.

Tips:
* Naval range is based on your nearest owned core port, and your tech level. Don't use this strategy if you are outside naval range (hover over the sea province, and it will tell you.
* If another nation declares war, and it has a better navy than you, run and hide immediately. The AI will stick all their ships in one navy, tack on an admiral, and try and kill your navy.
* The AI does not use its navies cooperatively, so don't worry about 2 nations combining navies to hunt you down.

Blockades:

Blockades are available once you reach Naval Tech 9, and are a way to slowly strangle an enemy nation. Blockades have several effects:

* Blockades cause (.18 * blockade percentage) war exhaustion/month.
* Blockades reduce tariffs (overseas income) by 100%, tax by 75%, trade income by 75%, supply limit by 1, and increase ship and regiment recruitment times by 20% in the blockaded province. For a nation like England that is mostly coastal, this can be a death blow.
* Blockades give a small percentage of the income lost above to the blockading nation. This can be improved by the Naval Fighting Instruction national idea and the Privateer advisor, but this is generally considered to be worthless.

Your nation's naval range will determine where you can post blockades without fear of taking attrition. Again, mouseover the sea province you want to put your navy, and it'll tell you if you're in range.

The main risk of blockades, is that if the enemy's navy breaks out, or if another nation declares war, they'll run around killing off your blockade fleets.

Blocking straits

Some land provinces are connected to other provinces over a body of water, considered a strait. Notable straits are the the straits controlled by Denmark, and the Bosphorus. A nation may freely pass armies along a strait, as long as no enemy (or pirate) fleet is in the adjacent sea zone!

For nations like Denmark or the Ottoman Turks, blocking the straits splits their nation in half, letting you freely take whichever side is loosely defended. The AI considers protecting the straits a high priority, so make sure you pen their navy in first, or have a dominant navy sitting in the adjacent sea zone.

If an army's only retreat path is across a strait and they are forced to retreat, they will be wiped out. If they start to retreat and the strait is later blocked, they return to combat (and are wiped out if they had 0 morale).

--- A tactic that is sometimes considered gamey is to occupy an island that has a strait (such as Corfu, Rhodes, Western Isles, Fyn/Sjaelland, Guangzhou, Venice), then leave to let the AI reoccupy it. When their army arrives, block the strait, and their army is now trapped. ---

Luring out navies

If you place your main navy just out of sight of the enemy navy's port, then send a small navy into the province outside their port (25% the size of their main fleet should do it), their navy will come out to fight. Send your main navy in to catch their fleet and crush it!

Pirates!

Who can forget those lovable rascals, the pirates!

Once nations start reaching Tech Level 9, pirates will begin to spawn in coastal sea zones adjacent to settled provinces (piracy in Alaska in 1500 just doesn't pay).

As long as you keep at least one ship in port, the adjacent province is considered patrolled, and pirates will not spawn. If the port is near the edge of one sea zone, it may have the range to patrol the next sea zone over (you can tell by mousing over the sea province).

For colonial nations, you will just have to live with keeping ships in many colonial ports to keep pirates away. For the most part, as long as you keep your ships in the appropriate provinces, pirates won't spawn...

...until something disrupts your ships, at which point pirates will start spawning, and you'll have to go clean them out and put your ships back in ports.

Here's a screenshot of the naval tooltip:

ct7navy.png


At the top, we see the supply range/max range, and the port that supplies that sea province.

Then we see how long it's been since it was patrolled (you have 35 days to patrol before pirates start spawning), and what fleets have been patrolling. Remember - a ship is considered to be patrolling even while they're getting drunk and chasing women in port.
 
Last edited:

King Nothing

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I just have a couple of things to say. First thing. This is great work from your part. :) BUT.... I'm not really sure I can recommend it to a newbie actually. There is a lot of detailed info here. More than a lot I would say.

And then the nitpicking. Or this first isn't nitpicking but the rest is. :)
You forgot to mention the absolute number 1 way to avoid attrition. Fight on your land. Should always be among the top advices for beginners to this game. :)
Perhaps you should also make a note that it's very easy to teleport generals so there is often no reason to have more than 1 in the stack that is currently fighting something difficult. The rest can do without.
Naval range is from the closest core port. You forgot the core part. And in the second to last sentence above you wrote 33 days instead of 35. Fingers are sometimes slipping. :)

EDIT: And I forgot one thing. In my ongoing game the English is sending out 4 ship blockade fleets even though I have a 15 ship fleet in one of the ports. So either your assumptions about the naval AI is wrong or this is something special for this game since I play the Cherokee..
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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In some mods there are Channel Islands, a sure death-trap.
Venice is in many mods a isle, also defensible with a fleet.

could you tell how the WE from naval battles is calculated? It can be from 0 to 18 or more in some battles.
 

sprites

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I just have a couple of things to say. First thing. This is great work from your part. :) BUT.... I'm not really sure I can recommend it to a newbie actually. There is a lot of detailed info here. More than a lot I would say.

And then the nitpicking. Or this first isn't nitpicking but the rest is. :)
You forgot to mention the absolute number 1 way to avoid attrition. Fight on your land. Should always be among the top advices for beginners to this game. :)
Perhaps you should also make a note that it's very easy to teleport generals so there is often no reason to have more than 1 in the stack that is currently fighting something difficult. The rest can do without.
Naval range is from the closest core port. You forgot the core part. And in the second to last sentence above you wrote 33 days instead of 35. Fingers are sometimes slipping. :)

EDIT: And I forgot one thing. In my ongoing game the English is sending out 4 ship blockade fleets even though I have a 15 ship fleet in one of the ports. So either your assumptions about the naval AI is wrong or this is something special for this game since I play the Cherokee..

if you have 10 big ships and the AI get 25 (england) , it will not split fleet into stacks of 4 ships that would be easy to sink , but if you lose your navy , the AI will do it
 

naggy

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I just have a couple of things to say. First thing. This is great work from your part. :) BUT.... I'm not really sure I can recommend it to a newbie actually. There is a lot of detailed info here. More than a lot I would say.

Remember - it's supposed to be done after doing Rhadok's tutorial and initial play-through.

And then the nitpicking. Or this first isn't nitpicking but the rest is. :)
You forgot to mention the absolute number 1 way to avoid attrition. Fight on your land. Should always be among the top advices for beginners to this game. :)

I plan to demonstrate that when I actually start kicking down France's door. Hopefully the 100 - 10 supply limit comparison also demonstrated that.

Perhaps you should also make a note that it's very easy to teleport generals so there is often no reason to have more than 1 in the stack that is currently fighting something difficult. The rest can do without.

True, but you can't teleport generals unless they're in an owned or occupied province and not retreating. I'll demonstrate it in the tutorial itself.

Naval range is from the closest core port. You forgot the core part. And in the second to last sentence above you wrote 33 days instead of 35. Fingers are sometimes slipping. :)

Fixed.

EDIT: And I forgot one thing. In my ongoing game the English is sending out 4 ship blockade fleets even though I have a 15 ship fleet in one of the ports. So either your assumptions about the naval AI is wrong or this is something special for this game since I play the Cherokee..

Weird. Maybe chalk it up to sometimes the AI just does something insane?

Enewald: Ooh, Venice is an island in HTTT, forgot that as a key strait. The only certainty I have about WE is that it scales either based on your force limit or army/navy size (leaning towards first).
 
Last edited:

King Nothing

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Remember - it's supposed to be done after doing Rhadok's tutorial and initial play-through.

I plan to demonstrate that when I actually start kicking down France's door. Hopefully the 100 - 10 supply limit comparison also demonstrated that.

Yes. But you are doing quite a bit of number crunching here. That's not for beginners, that's probably not even for most regular players..

Ahh.. Good. But I must say it looks kind of strange that you don't mention the number 1 advice in a numbered list like that. :)

if you have 10 big ships and the AI get 25 (england) , it will not split fleet into stacks of 4 ships that would be easy to sink , but if you lose your navy , the AI will do it

They sure do. And have done so in a bunch of wars now. GB have about 30-50 big ships, I have 10-15, I group mine together in one navy, GB divides in a bunch of 4-ship fleets and start blockading and I smash them one after eachother. They even stay with these small fleets right outside the port my 15-ship fleet is resting in..
 

morningSIDEr

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Curse you! After reading this, and watching the vid, I'll forever feel bad about each and every pirate I crush in EU3, thinking of them now as the muppets (which is quite an appropriate comparison)!
 

naggy

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Chapter 8
Conquering Scotland & preparations for France

So, after all the dry explanations, it's time to put all that information to use...

When playing a special nation, it's helpful to know what missions and decisions to expect. Missions are meant to serve two goals: the AI is coded to try and complete most missions, so they serve to push the AI in a semi-historic direction, and they give players an incentive and boost when following historic (or historically plausible) actions.

England starts out with 5 key missions available:
1.) Vassalize Scotland (requires relations w/Scotland >50)
2.) Conquer Scotland (requires relations w/Scotland <50)
3.) Conquer Ireland
4.) Recover Normandy
5.) Occupy Paris (must be at war with France before 1475, and have not occupied Paris via this mission before).

Importantly, the last two are not available to Great Britain, so if you want to get the Occupy Paris mission, you have to do it before forming Great Britain. For an AI England, the Occupy Paris and Recover Normandy missions are meant to keep England involved in the Hundred Years War more than it otherwise would be.

Missions are determined based on the factor in the mission file - most nation-specific missions have a factor of 1000 or greater, meaning that they are far more likely to appear than a generic mission (which have factors between 1-10).

So, with this information in mind, I make the following starting moves:

For my starting slider move, I move towards Centralization. My personal preference is to move Centralization if I'm playing a medium/large nation, Innovative if I have to westernize, and Free Subjects if I'm playing a very small European nation - the reasoning is that a Large Revolt or Pretender can easily be too large for me to handle early in the game if I'm playing a small nation. True to form, I get a large revolt - 5 heretic regiments rise up in Calais. Since there's a chance I'll be at war with Burgundy soon, I'll leave them there for the time being.

--- Every rebel type has different goals. Heretics will not defect to other nations or attempt to form a new nation. ---

My relations with Scotland start at 110, so I insult them once to drop my relations to 60. I still need to drop relations more to avoid the Vassalize Scotland mission (that I don't want).

I check the available advisors - your starting advisor pool is based on the size of your nation, so England usually has a decent choice. Not this time - I take a 3 star Diplomat (-.15 infamy/yr) and a 2 star Ambassador (+1 diplomatic skill). I plan to replace them next year when everyone's unused advisors come on the market.

Next, I check the Disputed Succession icon. This icon only appears for Monarchies, and lets you keep track of monarchies within your religion group that have no heir, or have a heir with a weak claim. While I might otherwise suggest picking the strongest nation, my current plans are going to keep me busy for the next 10-20 years. Thus, I can't expect to have time to force a personal union, but I might be able to claim a throne on an aging king and snag it if he dies before getting a heir.

ct8dispsucc.png


Hesse is my choice - by mousing over the king's name, I can see he was inaugurated in 1376, and has no heir. A king that has reigned over 20 years is much more likely to die relatively soon, and is an acceptable target for claiming the throne and hoping for no heir. I send a marriage request.

Finally, I move my navy out to sea, halve my naval maintenance (no one around can come close to matching my fleet, so I'll skimp on maintenance for a year or two), and build some regiments. My hope is that my first real mission is to Conquer Scotland or Conquer Ireland, so I build 2 cavalry in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and 5 infantry in the provinces south of those two. I am building my army on the assumption that I will fight France, for which I need one full-sized field army (14 regiments to start).

--- Cavalry take longer to build than infantry. One trick is to start building cavalry a province or two back from where you'll need it, then infantry behind that. That way, once the infantry is built and moved forward, the cavalry will soon be built, and everything is ready about the same time. ---


I set the speed to 2 and unpause the game. On October 15, I get two important messages: my first mission is to Recover Normandy, and Hesse rejects my proposal.

ct8hesse.png


Diplomatic missions can only be sent once per month to a nation, so I have to wait until November 15 to send another insult to Scotland. I don't want to cancel my Recover Normandy mission yet - I still don't meet the criteria to get Conquer Scotland!

I speed up and wait a month. On November 16, I insult Scotland. On the 17th, I cancel my mission, and on the 18th...

ct8conqscotland.png


God shows how offended he is by kilts and haggis. (All missions are "divinely inspired".)

Whenever you get a mission to conquer something, the game will tag the appropriate provinces for the Conquest CB. If you declare war with the conquest CB, only the tagged provinces will be covered by the infamy reduction!

In Scotland's case, the mission only covers the Lowlands region (the 4 provinces listed) - the two Highlands provinces (Highlands and Western Isles) will cost the full war score to take, and cost 4 infamy apiece. However, since I need to own and have a core on Lothian (Scotland's capital) to form Great Britain, I'll eat the extra infamy to annex Scotland in one go. (Without a CB, Scotland is probably too large to annex in one war).

December 3: As my army sails to Cumbria, Austria kicks off the party by excommunicating Milan. As a Catholic nation, I need to pay special attention to my relations with the pope - if my relations with the Papal States drops below 100, and my papal influence drops too low, I can be excommunicated. Excommunication reduces your tolerance of the true faith by 3 points (which lowers population growth and increases RR), cripples relations with all other Catholic nations, and gives all Catholics a free CB against you.

December 18: My army is in place, and a month has passed since the insult. I declare war on Scotland. I outnumber their army, 7000 men to 2000 men. As you can see, their army is helpfully standing at the border for me to kill, but as soon as I declare war, they'll start building new regiments (which will be helpless against my numbers).

ct8dowscotland.png


--- When declaring war against a nation, each nation that has an option to join the war (via alliances, guarantees, warning, Sphere of Influence, Defender of the Faith, or being Holy Roman Emperor) will individually decide whether to join. When a nation joins the war, the game checks to see if it is sufficiently larger than the existing War Leader to take Leadership. ---

As Scotland is what is considered a minor nation (hereafter referred to as a minor for short) and I'm on an island (where France is unlikely to actually show up), my war plan is to shatter their army and then split up to siege their provinces. France joins the war, and starts besieging Labourd and Gascogne, which I ignore for now.

Since Rhadok has covered the conquest of Scotland in his AAR (and beating Scotland with 7:2 odds with 7 more regiments forming should be a cakewalk), we'll skip to...

ct8annexscotland.png


We receive 12 infamy, but more importantly, 50 prestige due to the prestige boost from taking our Conquest targets!

Notes:
* Portugal dishonored my call to arms, and is not involved in the war (and is no longer an ally.) This means I don't have to worry about them snagging a province from Scotland, but also means I can't expect help against France.
* On June 12, 1400, I got a Boundary Dispute event. The Boundary Dispute event is a semi-rare province event that gives you a core on a neighboring province owned by another nation. Having a ruler with a high Diplomatic rating makes this happen significantly more often. In this case, I got a core on Navarra, which will let me annex them for free when I get to it.
* Scotland did not have an alliance with Burgundy. In 5 runs (4 test runs and this one), Scotland had their starting alliance with Burgundy still active by the time I declared war 3 of 5 times. This will affect my invasion of France somewhat - in my favor. I'll explain what options I would have taken had Burgundy been in the war.
 

naggy

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naggy

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Hm. Since when can nations this large be annexed? I believed there was a 3-province maximum (pagans excepted).

Before 4.1b, the limit was 1 province, except for pagans. 4.1b changed it so that you can annex a nation as long as their provinces do not add up to more than 100 war score (modified by CB).
 

oddman

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Before 4.1b, the limit was 1 province, except for pagans. 4.1b changed it so that you can annex a nation as long as their provinces do not add up to more than 100 war score (modified by CB).

Thanks - I must've been confused with Victoria, which has a 3-province limit. Well, this explanation is clear - and an important one it is, too!
 

ForzaA

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4.) Once you get Government Tech 8, you can establish Grain Depots in grain provinces in your National Focus (it costs 5 magistrates). Each grain depot gives +5% national manpower and +10% force limits (at the cost of -50% trade value in the province, not so bad for a grain province with low prices anyway). While one isn't very much, having several add up quickly.

And how do you propose getting several? The decision, in vanilla (latest beta) is limited to one per country (it checks that no province you own already has a depot)

--

On the bright side, now I finally know how to get those pesky Scots on board quicker :D
 

naggy

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And how do you propose getting several? The decision, in vanilla (latest beta) is limited to one per country (it checks that no province you own already has a depot)

I read it as it checks that the province doesn't have a grain depot already...better go fix that. I never needed manpower bad enough to build more than one, so I never checked to see if I could.
 

thebigj_a

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How can Portugal snag a province? If they capture one, but you demand full annexation, you'd get them all anyway, right?

This reminds me of a question. I've noticed when fighting with allies, and they take a province, in the demand tribute screen, I can demand that province, but I get the infamy. I assumed that meant that I'd get the province (and so haven't done it, I'm watching my BB). Is there any way in negotiations for my allies to get those provinces they captured themselves? Sometimes I want my vassals to be a bit stronger, as a buffer or whatever. Up to now I've always just kept the war ging until they make a seperate peace nd take the provinces, but that's a big drain on my exhaustion.
 

Chief Savage Ma

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How can Portugal snag a province? If they capture one, but you demand full annexation, you'd get them all anyway, right?

You cannot demand full annexation unless you control every single province of theirs. If an ally controls one, you have to wait until they declare peace and then capture that province for yourself to annex the nation.