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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Kagemin

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Introduction:

Now that I've gotten somewhat used to the changes 1.12 brought with it, I'm looking forward to a longer campaign, and this time one that shows me some of the new stuff from the Common Sense expansion.
I didn't really feel like playing in Europe again, and while I originally I had planned to do a Tibet campaign next to get both the new Theocracy and the new Buddhist mechanics, I decided to save that for another time.

After looking around for a bit I decided on Ceylon. They're Buddhist, the achievment provides a nice mid-term goal, and they're in a good position for a trade (and possible colonization) heavy campaign. They're also facing a pretty tough start. Viyajanagar (from now on being called "V-J") not only blocks the only direct route of expansion I have at the start, they also have a vassal on my little island. And while they're not the most stable of nations they still start off big.

My plans and goals for this campaign:

The first steps will be to unite my little island, and then get a foothold in mainland India. While it may be tempting to just no-CB some weak nation a little further away I don't really like doing that, plus I don't want to split up my realm like that.
That means I'll have to get a jump on V-J sooner rather than later. And for that I either need an alliance with their early rivals, Bengal and Orissa, or attack them on my own when they get caught up in another war.
There are a couple other small nations on the south and southwest coast of India, but with how freely V-J hands out warnings it will probably be just as hard to take those.

I'll try to get vassals of each culture group and feed them a lot, while working my way northwards.

Since I'm starting as the only Buddhist nation in all of India, and plan on conquering and converting all of it, I'll need ways to make both these things easier. Religion will be a strong pick for that, but Administrative ideas would be very strong as well for the cheaper core creation. The diplomatic ideas have a similar competition, between Exploration and Influence (colonization vs cheaper annexation cost). Military will most likely be an early-ish Aristocratic pickup again.

I haven't decided on anything yet, but as of now it looks like I'll grab admin ideas first and only get the first 2 ideas from it, then Exploration, and depending on my point situation Aristocratic/Religious as the next two. Influence would also be nice at some point, but I'm not in too much hurry to annex any vassals I will pick up.

As I already said, one of my goals for this campaign will be to get the "Buddhists Strike Back" achievment, which will require all of India to be Buddhist, and me directly owning all of it (no nation forming either).
Depending on how long that takes me something like the "Jihad" achievment might be my next goal, so going up to 500 Buddhist provinces. Last time I set my goals too low, so I'm rather going for something bigger this time.


I think that's it, next post will be the first chapter of the actual campaign. Feel free to comment or ask any questions. ;)
 

Kagemin

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Chapter 1: Getting off my little island

I already wrote a bit about the starting position, most things happened as expected. V-J, Bahmanis, and Orissa all were mutual rivals, I couldn't yet select any rivals of my own, and V-J sent warnings to all the small nations on the southern coast (including poor old me). They allied and guaranteed Malabar, the only 2-province nation in that region, besides me. They also started hostile to me and covet my lands. :eek:

So first off all I arranged my (3) merchants. I don't have the power anyhwere to do anything sophistaced yet, so I just send them to directly collect in the 3 nodes I can reach, my home node Ceylon, the upstream node of Bengal, and the downstream node of Goa (I actually tried it out to make sure, but collecting everywhere really did earn me the most money).

Then I send my diplomats to work. I need good relations with Bengal and Orissa, an alliance with either would help a lot, even if the different religion makes that a bit more difficult. I did get a relatively early royal marriage and then alliance with Ayutthaya to the far east, but that's more for the psychological effect than the hopes of them doing anything.
I also started to fabricate a claim on Vanni, the one province on my little island not belonging to me yet.

slppir.jpg


Nothing interesting happened for the first couple years, so I just kept on improving with everyone close by and everyone who might help me against V-J later on.

Another couple years later V-J got into their first war, against Orissa. Orissa declared on them though, and got mauled pretty badly, but I figured it was the best chance I'd get for the time being. So I declared war for Vanni, and hoped that with the crossing and a decent general (my king had 3 shock as a general :D), and with V-J being busy elsewhere, that'd be enough.

jkg681.jpg


It was, but barely. Also had to sacrifice my whole fleet to delay the whole enemy army coming at once. One of V-Js allies derping around with an exiled stack helped too.:p

Shortly after that I realized another difficulty I was going to face, culture.

nb3sc2.jpg


Turns out I belong to the east-Aryan culture group, and everyone else of that culture is really far away. With how poor my starting provinces are I don't have any problems accepting other cultures early on though, so it's not all that bad.

While I was waiting for the next opportunity something good happened. My 40 years old 2/2/2 heir died, and got replaced by this fine young man (at least I think that's a male, gotta admit that I don't know anything with these names... :confused:):

nv17y8.jpg


Since the earlier war cancelled the warning I got from V-J that also gave me the opportunity to get a foothold on the Indian mainland. Required some creative use of military access and my one newly build transport, but I annexed the OPM Madurai when noone was looking. With my army being gathered on the mainland now the next war against Venad was much easier.

2pq2xle.jpg


I also got my first vassal out of this.;)

With that I finally was big enough that Bahmanis and Orissa finally started to notice me. They still rivalled each other, and with how badly Orissa got mauled earlier (and didn't get a breather from their other enemies) the choice was pretty easy:

2vjydtd.jpg


Feeling much safer with this, I think I'm in business for good now. All in all V-J alliances network still is stronger I think, at least when they're defending, but it's looking pretty good now.

One thing I didn't mention yet is the Karma system. Each war and each annexed province reduces my Karma, and the discipline penalty would hurt. I'm going for every +Karma option I can get from events, but even with that I can only barely avoid the penalty. Guess in the long run I'll just have to ignore it and live with it...:rolleyes:

Next time we'll try to slap around V-J a bit, so look forward to that. ;)
 

Darth Samuri

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Your off to an interesting start! One of my most fun games has been with ceylon, although its been 2 or 3 patches since I played them. If you take colonization you can pretty much get all the indian ocean before the europeans arrive. I managed to build a pretty big empire without ever taking a single province in india.
 

Kagemin

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Your off to an interesting start! One of my most fun games has been with ceylon, although its been 2 or 3 patches since I played them. If you take colonization you can pretty much get all the indian ocean before the europeans arrive. I managed to build a pretty big empire without ever taking a single province in india.
I actually did start with Exploration (despite what I wrote earlier about my plans for ideas :rolleyes:). Not taking any provinces in India is not gonna happen though. :p

Anyways, off to
Chapter 2: Shift of Power

With the alliance with Bahmanis secured I was looking forward to my first "proper" war against V-J, other than waiting for the truce to run out there was not much to do. I was considering attacking Kochin, the last of the OPMs here in the south (they were guaranteed by V-J), but that would have called some more people in the war I didn't really want to fight yet.
Lady Fortuna was smiling on me, and V-J got into some rebel problems shortly before the truce ended.
t9a26t.jpg


Between that and my alliance with Bahmanis the omens for the war were good, even with V-J having allied Mewar, who are starting to become pretty big further north.

zmxspf.jpg


9krpm0.jpg


I was considering taking either Goa or Velanadu in the peace deal (the provinces on the border between the seazones in the west and east), to have some more options for expansion already, but ultimately decided against it. I didn't really want to overextend (in terms of spreading out my realm, not the actual mechanic) too much yet, rather have everything close together still.

After thinking some more about the whole idea situation I decided to go for colonization first, against my original plans. The earlier I can get admin the more points it will save in the long run, but if I got it now I'd be really starved on admin points for a long time, between advancing the idea (even if it's just the first two unlocks) and coring.

am4emr.jpg


My money situation isn't great yet, but good enough that I can support a colony. I won't need Influence yet (I might end up annexing Malabar before getting the cost reduction, but any further vassals should be far enough in the future). Of course that also will push religious ideas even further back, but I don't really feel that I need it that urgently. I can (mostly) keep up with claiming all the provinces I'm taking still, and I don't really have any problems converting yet either. Later on I will probably need more and stronger missionaries, but I should still be able to pick religious ideas up when I hit that point.

With V-J just gotten beat up there was nothing preventing me from taking Korchin (there other big ally Orissa wasn't feeling like doing anything about it either), more food for my vassal.
208zj89.jpg


Further to the north was having some troubles after getting pulled in a coalition war in which they defended the target, Malwa (the snaky grey-green nation directly north of them).
28rfxav.jpg


I'm actually fine with that, they're pretty big and most likely my next big rival after V-J.
Whoops, shouldn't have said that aloud...:oops:
2u6lh8p.jpg


Time to look for some new allies, I went with Orissa and Malwa for the time being. They're both (back) down to middle powers at this point, but they're the best I could get at this point and close enough that they'll most likely be of actual help.

Truce with V-J ran out once again, and neither ally was willing to join the war. Looks like I'm in it alone this time. :(

wu5jt0.jpg


Luckily this looks much worse than it actually was, turns out my allies are indirectly helping me after all:

2rzt99f.jpg


They're busy fighting their own wars against V-Js biggest allies, that's was all the help I needed. ;)

b9ghnq.jpg


That's all I felt comfortable taking for now, as I already found out the hard way unrest is a real problem still, since I'm conquering into different religion and different culture group territory (I'm at roughly +23 unrest to start off with in the new provinces).

And that's it for now, here's the current situation in India:
bhm6wi.jpg


I think I'm playing it pretty slow, but I'm still happy with the first ~50 years. Malwa and Orissa are my allies, as is Ayuthayya to the east (I could probably drop them by now...). If I'm not mistaken Ava managed to form Shan, they'd be willing to ally me too. Will probably happen once I expand further north.
V-J should be gone soon, I'll probably take a province bordering Bahmanis in the next war, so that I can get started on them before they get any bigger.
 

Darth Samuri

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Where are you planning on colonizing first. the spice islands or africa? If you go for the cape you should be able to westernize pretty soon.
 

Kagemin

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Yeah, I think the Cape will be more benefitial. And if I get that and all the islands chances are I'll get the Spice Islands as well, before the Europeans can reach there.
About westernization, as I understand it the Goa event can still fire for AI nations, not yet sure if I really want to go for that though.
 

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do you have wealth of nations? I am not sure but the cape might be trade company area.
 

Soviet Onion

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If you annex goa before portugal gets a core, you can westernize off the core they get.
 

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do you have wealth of nations? I am not sure but the cape might be trade company area.
Yeah, definitely Trade Company territory.

If you annex goa before portugal gets a core, you can westernize off the core they get.
If I annex before the event happens it won't happen at all.:p
Looks like the event got changed a little, here's the trigger for the Vasco da Gama event:
Code:
trigger = {
     tag = POR
     num_of_ports = 1
     2030 = {
       has_discovered = POR
       range = POR
       owner = { ai = yes }
That means it can only fire if Goa is held by an AI, no?

So it looks like I'll have to go to war either way if I want to westernize. I think I'll just have to see what happens around the Cape and decide how to best do it then.
 

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Chapter 3: Opening New Paths

Since V-J was still the only nation I could expand into (my vassal doesn't feel like fabricating claims on Bahmanis even after they became my rival, and I don't have the naval power to get enough trade power in another trade node to fabricate a trade conflict either) there was little else to do than waiting for the truce with V-J to run out and colonizing the islands one after another.

hstgjk.jpg


Oh well, guess I can loot some of Bahmanis' provinces to pass the time. :p
That's pretty much all I did that war. The main war was fought further north, I just looted and sieged Bahmanis, and then went home again when they got peaced out. Didn't get anything from the peace deal, but with no claims I didn't really expect anything either. I white peaced out the next opportunity as well.
The war kept on going for a pretty long time and crippled most of northern India, in the end a peace was struck in which Malwa had to pay some 50 ducats and everyone went back to what was left of their homes... :rolleyes:

One last look at the big Timurids, soon they'll be gone:
2h5o7qa.jpg

Also note Hormuz in Arabia, they continued to conquer most of the starting area of Oman over the next couple years. :eek:

A couple years later my heir tragically died (I was terrified that my godly ruler kicked it at first), luckily my king still has some other relatives to step in:
6zsqis.jpg

I'm pretty happy with this dynasty so far, hopefully they'll keep it up.:D

And then once again my truce with V-J ran out, so we nibbled on them some more:
2j5ws2.jpg


nqb8e1.jpg


Two important things here, which will accelerate things from now on. One is that I took Goa, so I can start fabricating on Bahmanis now and declare war on them once the opportunity arises.
The second is my new vassal, Kathiawar (the red dot in the northwest). They used to be bigger, and I plan on not only restoring their old borders, but will even try to add some more to that.
2ro715h.jpg


Gujarat (the nation currently owning those provinces) is currently losing a war, so that'll be what we start the next chapter with.
 

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Chapter 4: The Waiting Game

Turns out we're not starting this with a war. While I was waiting for Gujarat to take some more damage before attacking them, my king died and kept me in a regency council for a little over 10 years.:( Lots of fast forwarding in this chapter, I'm still at a point where I have to wait for good opportunities to expand.

Neither Gujarat nor Bahmanis were really in a vulnerable position after this, so I waited a bit longer and finished off V-J at the next opportunity:
nbvync.jpg


2wqqy2w.jpg


That's the whole south consolidated under my ruler, now I'll have to wait for an opportubnity to push further north again.
2rcaipd.jpg

Maybe I can get something out of this?

2qvhag2.jpg


Not too much sadly, Bengal turned out to be a much bigger powerhouse than I anticipated. I almost fully sieged Bahmanis, but when Orissa showed no interest in making peace and Bengal started to march on me I had to peace out with what little I could get. At least I could break the alliance, hopefully that will make things easier in the future.

Shortly after my king died again. :rolleyes: Neither the king nor the heir are really terrible, but after getting such a godly ruler early on I was hoping for a bit more. Oh well, gotta make do with what I get.

A few years later it was time for war with Bahmanis again.
34pgk6u.jpg


I reached my main goals in that I completely cut them off from the sea and fed my vassal a bit more, but Gujarat joined Bahmanis in the middle of the war so I had to finish it a little earlier than I would have liked.

6oo02s.jpg


I decided to start the annexation of my big vassal at this point. I think I'll make better use of their land and the relations slot when they're gone, and if my math isn't totally messed up I should get almost all their provinces to accepted culture.

To the east Orissa broke their alliance with me, but I got a good replacement:
2rfwllv.jpg


Malwa never really recovered from the coalition wars against them, but as long as I still have the royal marriage with them (their king has to die at some point, right? o_O) I don't think I'd gain anything from breaking the alliance with them either.

This Gujarat - Bahmanis alliance will most likely be pretty troublesome, so once again I'll have to wait for an opportunity to strike there. At least I have something else to do in the meantime, Orissa ain't too strong and has no strong allies either...
 

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Chapter 5: Securing the Center

I seem to have forgotten to take any screenshots for a couple years, but the only things happening were Orissa getting partitioned between me and Bengal (I attacked them and took the southern half, then Bengal swooped in and took the rest), and some more colonizing in the Indonesian region and around the Cape. The Europeans are still very far away, at this point I'm not even sure anymore if I should westernize at all. :confused:

The next big war was against Bahmanis once again, luckily they rivaled Gujarat at some point, breaking their alliance. They still had some other strong allies, but so did I. :)

w7eaee.jpg


I focussed down the allies first, kicking Bengal and then Jaunpur out of the war as fast as I could.

4zvzpj.jpg


29qod41.jpg


Which meant I could take a nice bite out of Bahmanis:

despyg.jpg


I'm still be being very careful about not taking too many provinces at once, with how far I am below my force limit rebellions would get really ugly. The annexation of Malabar will be finished soon as well, which will really tank my religious unity, so better safe than sorry...;)

Shortly after almost the same war was repeated again, since my ally Pegu decided to attack Bengal. It was a pretty tough decision, but I accepted.

28vazyx.jpg


It was pretty costly, but it crippled my current main enemies in India, and I even got a little out of it.

352hu90.jpg


Pegu forcing Bengal to return some cores to Garjat was nice too, and since I finished the annexation of Malabar in the meantime I figured a new vassal would make sense:

b6evf5.jpg


Bahmanis was running low on decent allies at this point, so the next war was pretty easy even on my own:

ets7cn.jpg


2w24gvc.jpg


I also started feeding my newest vassals some provinces, the recent wars left several indpendent small nations in this region, so that meant easy pickings. :p

And this is what I can sea from the world so far, will be very interesting how Europe developed on its own.

2hd3cly.jpg


At least eastern Europe seems to have gone a little strange. Lithuania is pretty big and has a nice little enclave on the Caspian Sea, and I noticed that they were fighting Prussia at some point. o_O
Hormuz just keeps on expanding as well, and the hordes are being a little odd as well I think. Uesugi being about to finish uniting Japan is a nice touch as well imo. :D
 

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Chapter 6: Good Progress

Lots of warring now, the stronger I get the less I have to wait for opportunities. :D

First one is against Malwa and Bengal:
2meu2y0.jpg


14wvj28.jpg


Still not taking as much as I could, but I'm strong enough now that there shouldn't be any problems left in India. The only potential problems might be Persia if they continue to grow (they have 2 provinces in the Indian region already), and if any of the hordes blobs into northern India.
Then again, by the point I get there it probably won't be a problem regardless...;)

Next up is Gujarat:
29ogwvr.jpg


Persia and Hormuz are very strong at this point, but they have a weak navy, so I focussed on the east first to get Bengal out of the game and unite with my allies Ayuthayya and Pegu. Blockaded Hormuz and Persia the whole time, so by the time I focussed on them they were already down to medium war enthusiam and didn't take much to accept a white peace.

Also cleared out another of the small nations near me while Mewar was helping me:
nb93zo.jpg


Their province went to my vassal Garjat.

With Gujarats allies being peaced out one by one I could get a lot from them in the peace deal:
157m2vt.jpg


Finally taking the vassal there earlier pays off. :)
I would have loved to take the Indian provinces Persia holds too already, but they were still very strong and my allies lost their war enthusiasm quickly at that point, and I didn't want to fight them on my own (yet).

At some point during these wars my heir died, but I got fairly lucky and got a good one from an event:
71sevo.jpg


Hopefully he'll survive to take the throne...

2lt3cqx.jpg


Another one down, I think soon I'll have to backstab Mewar...

But first we'll mop up some other countries:
xeqv02.jpg


Some more for my vassal:
257g6ko.jpg


And some more for me:
mrzq79.jpg


Pegu I'll have to backstab too at some point, their two westernmost provinces are part of the Indian region. :(

I got another chance for an easy war against Malwa:
2rz4379.jpg


And with that Garjat reached the peak of its usefulness, time to absorb them:
zm000o.jpg


I was a little surprised how cheap the annexation is, I don't even have Influence ideas. :eek:
When they're gone I'll have to get another vassal further to the north, not quite sure yet if I'll go for Delhi or one of the Tibetan nations.

The next moves will most likely be to finish off Bengal and Gujarat, and it looks like it'll be time to backstab Mewar then. Don't like doing that, but there's no way around it sadly, they're far too big to diplo-vassalize. :(
 

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You're making very good progress, you've started to snowball by the looks of it. The last time I played in India was as Vijayanagar, I conquered and vassalised most of India before 1550, but this was back in 1.7 before Art of War and the world overhaul. Could you show the religious map? Also what are your plans after India?
 

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You're making very good progress, you've started to snowball by the looks of it. The last time I played in India was as Vijayanagar, I conquered and vassalised most of India before 1550, but this was back in 1.7 before Art of War and the world overhaul. Could you show the religious map? Also what are your plans after India?
bgpl02.jpg


Not quite sure yet what I'll do after India tbh. Maybe mess with the Europeans or Ming just for the heck of it, or maybe I'll just start the next campaign right away. Gonna see how it looks when I'm there.
Also, apparently Buddhist nations can't form a variant of Hindustan, I had some plans for that originally. :(
 

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Even if there was such a decision, you should have stayed Ceylon, for Ceylon is way cooler than any Buddhistan.
 

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Even if there was such a decision, you should have stayed Ceylon, for Ceylon is way cooler than any Buddhistan.
Yeah, but I might have combined it with "The Sun never sets on the Indian Empire else". ;)
Oh well, there are still a couple other Indian nations I want to play at some point, can always get it then.

May combine it with the land of eastern jade achievement? :)
Oh, didn't even think of that before, thanks for the tip. Noone's in western America yet, and I can reach Hawai already, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
On the topic of colonizing, here's a small preview:
2nutyzd.jpg


And now for the rest:

Chapter 7: Slowing Down a bit


I couldn't really decide on what to do next for a while after the last set of wars. For the time being I just built up some more, colonized south east Asia, New Zealand, and the Cape, and didn't really do much at all. After a while Jaunpur got dogpiled by their neighbours and rebels, so I decided to join the fun as well:

244o4lz.jpg


21kffjr.jpg


In 1605 finally the first European nation decided to get somewhat close to me:
2nqgrir.jpg


They proceeded to colonize a few small islands towards the Spice Islands after that, I focussed more on getting the richer colonies first than completely trying to lock everything down. Might make for an interesting colonial war later on if I feel like it (or GB does). I don't think I'll bother with westernization though. I'm not that far behind, and with all the small islands I have rebels might be a real problem during westernization. My mainland and connected island chains are well covered by forts, but that still leaves a lot unprotected.

Next up were Bengal and Gujarat again. Since Persia was occupied in other wars and they had 2 Indian provinces I pulled them in too:

34yvclc.jpg

That's another one gone,

wrhspe.jpg


and here's hoping Persia gets the message and stays out of India from now on. :p


The provinces I fed them during the process made the annexation take a little longer, but finally Garjat has been absorbed. This also made me big enough to finally turn into an Empire:
k46udh.jpg


I also took the Indian provinces from Shan in the meantime, apparently I forgot to make any screenshots from that. At first I considered releasing Assam as a vassal there, but then I decided to just keep it for myself. Unrest is not a problem in that area (since Shan has the same religion as me), and I found a much better candidate for a vassal:
34fz2j8.jpg


Man, Tibet really is a poor area... o_O

Now I just need the 2 westernmost provinces from Pegu and the whole east and northeast is secured. Since Pegu is allied with Ayuthayya I'll have to work around that though:

actkxg.jpg


2jb7ckx.jpg


I fought both wars very sloppily, was much too overconfident and split up my forces more than I had to, took far too many losses because of that. In the end it was my superior fleet that allowed me to get what I needed out of the wars before they could really turn against me, I fully blockaded both nations until their war enthusiasm dropped low enough:
8yyeko.jpg


1j5evr.jpg



Having no manpower looked like the perfect point for some more wars, so I decided to end Bengal too while I'm at it:

2s1p105.jpg


And then my ruler died, and I somehow failed to notice that the heir didn't have a strong claim... :rolleyes:

idyv4w.jpg


So I'm out of manpower, my religious unity is tanked from having annexed my vassal and a bunch of new territory, legitimacy is down... whoops. :oops:

At least my newest vassal helped me (whether he wants to or not :p), so it's not all bad:
o69pnp.jpg


Guess that means a couple years of waiting again. I deserve that though, I just didn't pay enough attention to various things during this session.
 

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Sorry for the long break, had a lot going on and didn't really find the time to write up the rest until now. The campaign is finished now (gonna start something new on the 1.13), so I'll keep the rest a little shorter:

Chapter 8: Wrapping things up

It was mostly more of the same in India, just with me being the biggest regional power, and having some internal problems (2 weak claim rulers in a row really can make things difficult if you want to keep expanding).
ffbjgp.jpg


ivl2cp.jpg


Somewhere around this time I also realized a very big mistake I've been making this campaign, allowing Mewar to grow this big and be around for so long. Not only do their national traditions give +50% core creation cost, they also picked up Aristocracy for another 50%. I was paying 400 to 500 admin points to core some of their provinces, and that's with admin ideas and having claims. :eek:

Speaking of costly expansion:
4grm9h.jpg


I kept feeding them some more land of Mewar, so in the end the annexation took almost exactly 100 years, with progress being between 2 (after having annexed another vassal) and 6 points per month.

I also have no idea how or when this happened:
vxdz44.jpg


Looks like my vassal somehow managed to get a vassal of his own without me noticing it. o_O

I also kept expanding in south east Asia:
5xtsae.jpg


Having taken these two provinces from GB also allowed me to westernize, and despite my earlier thoughts on that matter I went for it. Shows again how well I plan ahead sometimes. :p

124ingj.jpg


Yeah, rebel problems, looming Civil war, yada yada. I still had to do it and see how it currently works out. All of mainland India and all the connected island chains are well covered in forts, but the isolated islands might be a problem. Still, I felt safe enough to at least try it.

Another won war in India:
15z41gh.jpg


I managed to pick up a very strong ally in Russia, sadly it didn't last long and they rivalled me once I finished westernizing.

wbeyhs.jpg


And then it was done without too much trouble:
dfknl3.jpg


Had to fight a couple rebellions and accept demends of some particularists that wanted more autonomy for maybe 4 or 5 islands, but it was much easier that I thought it would be.

Since the ongoing problems with my legitimacy and the looming Civil War were really starting to annoy me (and both my current ruler and heir were pretty bad), I finally had enough and just triggered it:
b9hz85.jpg


10xbl2d.jpg


This was looking great, I might get an easy way out of the Civil War and a good ruler from this, the new fort system should make things pretty easy:

ke9c8o.jpg


Sadly my overzealous vassal killed that pretender, and all the ones I got after were terrible, so I decided to keep my dynasty in the end.

2l9kwsn.jpg


Since I was still at +2 stability when the Civil War ended I decided to make good use of that stability boost and declared a quick no-CB war on Khorosan:

13zc2lh.jpg


That the whole western border secured too now.

I used that one province I took deep in Mewar territory before the civil war to get a jump on Kashmir:
29p2h3m.jpg


That's only one left, annoyingly the worst one I could have saved for last (as I wrote before, the +coring cost was really bad). Here's from a little later to show how bad it was, these provinces weren't even that rich (the highest developped provinces still were in the 20ies):
1zee3gw.jpg


Good thing you can only get one Civil War, I had some really bad luck with my heirs after the great rulers I had very early in the campaign:

dxlnpf.jpg


I also started annexing my other vassal, Koch, at this point, I first wanted to time it so that it finishes at the same time as the other annexation but disregarded that after some thought (I have high enough diplo rep that I don't have to worry too much about it).

23qz47m.jpg


Not even 1000 points for that, Tibet and the surrounding area really is dirt poor...

And then somehow this happened:
bhd6wn.jpg


I didn't quite get how they managed to do that (Russia was still strong, so they didn't get dogpiled and collapse), but everything that keeps this giant Russia from my borders is welcome to me.

Since it was pretty much just waiting for the annexations and converting now I focussed some more on the colonial game to pass the time.

2czznr.jpg


Trying to grow my colonial nations, getting some more of the islands, etc.

And then after almost 100 years I finally finished annexing Kathiawar:
10q9lwx.jpg


They were worth just over 4000 points in the end, and with all the expensive provinces I fed them they were stuck at like admin level 13 in the end... :oops:

At some point one of my colonial nations in America decided to attack a Russian CN, which quickly escalated into a full blown war. Luckily I was allied to Ming at that time, so we managed to beat them back:
2nsp92v.jpg


And then, in 1751, it was finally done and I converted the last Indian province:
2m5nnu8.jpg


In the end it took longer than I expected it to be, as I already said that was mostly the fault of the order in which I went. If you open more fronts earlier (I pretty much just rolled everything up going north from the south), and take out the nations with Rajput traditions (increased coring costs) early it should be possible to finish it much earlier.
Surprisingly enough the converting never really was a problem. I did take religious ideas, but even so 12 months for the richest provinces felt incredibly short (most provinces took around 8 months in the end).

And here's the diplomatic map to finish it off:

290pq2c.jpg


Other than having to take the two provinces from Pegu at one point I stood by my brethen all game long, and once I was westernized Ming was no longer a valid rival for me (and vice versa), which allowed us to become good friends as well).

I guess I could finish getting all of south east Asia under my control in the remaining ~70 years, butI think I'll rather start a new campaign under 1.13. Not quite sure where yet, but Saxony and going for the Meissner Porcelain looks tempting, so probably either that or a Theocracy somewhere.
 

Rabid

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Jan 4, 2008
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Saw this linked from another thread of yours, just wanted to say that it was a good writeup and it looks like you had a fun game. No mention of the Karma mechanic - did you just suck up the discipline penalty after a while?

If you still are looking for ideas for your next game, 2 interesting Theocracies are Magdeburg and Aquileia (releasable from Venice, maybe Austria as well, I never tried). Notably they're the only states which start as Theocracies and can form Prussia and Italy respectively and retain the Theocratic government. Maybe a little easy compared to something like Ceylon, though. There's always that Ibadi theocracy down in North Africa :p