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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(56909)

Paradox Developer
May 11, 2006
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The Long Way Home
Developer's HtTT AAR, Byzantium GC.

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Introductions
Let's face it: Things have been better. A statement like that is usually followed by the consoling counter-point that they have also, at some point or another, been worse, but in our case that's not really true. Things have never been worse. The glory that was Rome has -- over the course of Arabs, Crusaders, Seljuks, and the various other barbarians that are want to plague the city on the Bosphorus -- been reduced to merely the City of Constantine itself, and little Morea tacked on for... hrrrm... strategic depth and goat cheese. Things have been better...

I put food on the table
And roof overhead
But I'd trade it all tomorrow
For The highway instead
Watch your back if I should tell you
Loves the only thing I've ever known
One thing for sure pretty baby I always take the long way home

-- Jones, Norah -- "The Long Way Home"

... and we'll be taking the long way home.


Presentations
Greetings, dear community! I am Brother Bean, a recent Paradox employee, and I have found myself, for the past few months, working hard on bringing you the latest expansion to what could be the finest strategy game ever to hit the stalls (That's not just company propaganda either, I really do like the game!), EUIII, and, more specifically, the new expansion Heir to The Throne. My main task these past months has been to go through the history files -- bestowing dynastic information upon unsuspecting monarchs and heirs -- and writing new decisions and events related to the new mechanics we've been tacking on to enhance this already great game. My first task on this arduous work week ahead of me is to write a HtTT AAR, to show off some of the new concepts, and try to not completely bungle up that reputation of mine that King has been ridiculously hyping in another thread. Let's get to it!

So. First thing's first. Where in the world is Brother Sandibeano? Stuck in Constantinople with the Memphis blues again. I'm playing Byzantium. Small two province minor desperately holding on for dear life on the western shores of the Sea of Marmara, surrounded by fledgling crusader states and the beast that is the Ottoman Empire. Byzantium has a great pre-history as the onus of eastern Christianity, the legitimate successor state to the late Roman Empire, and a still living link between the sunlit world of the ancients, the darkness of the present medieval era, and the unknown future ahead, but all of those things are relatively moot points at the moment, as the Ottomans have us very much by the proverbial balls. IRL, Byzantium would carry on for another 54 years or so before it fell to the Ottoman Empire, so any improvement on that track record could be considered a success. We do, however, have grander ambitions than that.


House rules:
  • Byzantium must at all times attempt to be the Defender of The Faith, and to honor that commitment unless it is completely suicidal to do so.
  • Byzantium may never steal provinces illegitimately from Orthodox countries.
  • The Holy Roman Empire must not form.
  • If the HRE does form, we must destroy it.
Dubious interpretations of these rules is my personal prerogative. Also, I will throughout assume basic familiarity with the game concepts of EUIII: Complete, and focus on showing off features that are new in HtTT. Let's roll!

Phoenix Rising

Well my goodness gracious let me tell you the news
My head's been wet with the midnight dew
I've been down on bended knee, talkin' to the man from Galilee
He spoke to me in the voice so sweet
I thought I heard the shuffle of the angel's feet
He called my name and my heart stood still
When he said, "John go do My will!"

Go tell that long tongue liar,

go and tell that midnight rider,
tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter,
tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down.

-- Cash, Johnny -- "God's Gonna Cut You Down"

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Oh Hai neighbors!

Byzantium's starting position in the GC is perhaps not the strongest possible, but a lot of the weakness is deceptive. You start with a shitload of unclaimed cores, so declaring war is never much of a problem in the early stages of the game. We start the game by taking our sliders one step toward land, and setting government research to full speed ahead. We get a three star Commandant from the land slider change, and before we unpause we declare war on Achaea, Naxos and The Knights who say Ni, using the "Reconquest" casus belli, which, as you can see from the tooltip, is pretty damn nice.

Specific Casus Bellis are a new and great feature of HtTT. Back in the days when Casus Bellis were more or less boolean values -- either you have it, or you don't -- war resolutions often times didn't make sense, or, rather, the wars themselves didn't. This time around things are different. Some CBs are better than others, and if you have two separate casus bellis against the nation you want to justly wipe off the face of the map, you'll have to weigh the pros and cons of using either CB.

In our case, we can annex these crusaders for absolutely free, as they occupy provinces that were, before the Latin Empire of the 1200s, integral parts of the Eastern Roman Empire. It's time to throw off the latin yoke (Protip: The greek minors tend to get into all kinds of strange alliances, and receive a bundle of guarantees from various latin states, so declare ware before the computer has time to issue such nonsensical edicts.)

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We convert our Monarch to a leader, load up our three starting regiments on the byzantine fleet, and land in Morea, where Achaea has initiated a siege with their one regiment army. We outnumber the enemy three to one here, so it doesn't matter much, but Achaea should probably be dealt with first. They can siege one of our provinces, and we want these wars over and done with. We knock their army out and start sieging Achaea. Back in Constantinople we recruit another cavalry unit. We also raise wartaxes and...

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... conduct a population census. One of the great new features of HtTT is the National Focus, and the new Magistrate resource. Provincial decisions now cost magistrates to enact, some more, some less, and a lot of decisions -- like this population census -- can only be enacted in a province affected by the National Focus. In combination, these two features give the development of provinces via decisions a whole new dimension of pacing, momentum and strategy, especially as magistrates are fairly hard to come by. By enacting this decision now we sacrifice long term economic growth for a big boost in the short term, and situations like that abound in this system. As you can see, the pop census is sweet stuff.

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Achaea falls before the might of the Imperial army, and Manuel moves on to siege Naxos and Rhodes. As these vile crusaders have clearly overextended their welcome in the Eastern Mediterranean (And lack allies and guarantees), we decide to take back Cyprus while we are in the neighborhood. We also raise some more regiments in Constantinople, and there we are. We've more than doubled our amount of provinces, and the size of the Byzantine army. Still no infamy, and we haven't been minting much either. The extra income from the population census, and those war taxes, have done the Empire good. While Manuel returns triumphant to Constantinople, for some well earned R'n'R, strange events are transpiring in far away Georgia...
 

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Last edited:

Monnikje

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Interesting not only to see a Byzantine AAR, but also seeing this first HttP AAR over a week before its release :).

You're doing very well! Nicely gobbled up all those crusader states. Onwards to kicking the Ottomans out of Europe!
 

enkhuush

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Justifying your 0 day war declaration is acceptable and all pictures are working. Also it seems Thrace haven't got CoT and you're sending merchants to Venezia. There is one question. Can you explain how infamy calculated when you annexed all these OPM?
 

Darkrenown

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Oh you get to do a BYZ beta AAR and not me...*mutter mutter*

Nice stuff though, but some images are missing.
 

Azugal

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Nice! Now get the pictures working and post the next chapter! :p

Yes, we're an impatient lot here. :cool:
Can you explain how infamy calculated when you annexed all these OPM?
My guess is that because he had cores and thus a reconquest CB on them, he didn't get any infamy.
 

unmerged(56909)

Paradox Developer
May 11, 2006
398
0
Georgia

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Poor Georgia. She's been raped by the vicious Timurids, and is now fighting a losing war with Candar. The Byzantine Emperor decides that it is time to intervene to help our Orthodox brothers. We start by asking for military access, and ship the army of to Imreti.

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We then wait in Imreti... I mean... hrrm... sadly do not make it to poor Georgia's side before Candar has recieved Imreti in a war resolution. (I declared my war after the Candar-Georgia affair had been settled in Candar's favor, so I could take Imreti off of Candar.)

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And then take a few provinces of off little Candar in a quick and uneventful war. We have also built up a few more ships, and expanded the army. Remember that our forcelimit increases at a fairly high rate as the Byzantine reconquista steams on (About a half a regiment or so per province), so our army can get in gear for the big one, Turkey. Taking Imreti gives us a bit of infamy, as we do not have a core on the province. Declaring war on Candar was a bit risky, since it had wound up in the Ottoman sphere of influence.

Sphere's of influence is a new concept for HtTT. By spending prestige, you can draw foreign nations weaker than yourself into your sphere of influence. Doing so gives you a CB on anyone who meddles with the country in any way. A great way to get CBs if you find yourself pressed for one. I could have gotten myself a war with Turkey here, but Turkey has other, more pressing matters to consider, so I felt it was worth the risk. Like Castro many years later, Manuel proudly declares: "History will absolve me."

Turkey
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Turkey. Land of Sand. Three houses have come to Anatolia...

Johnny Turk has gotten himself into dire straits. Fighting a war with the English has cost him his navy, and the Byzantine fleet now outnumbers his. This means that any future war will be fought with the Bosphorous blocked off by the Byzantine Navy, and Turkey effectively split in two. The English Royal Navy may have a tradition consisting of nothing save rum, sodomy and the lash, but apparently that is what it takes to get results. The Byzantine Emperor decrees that the Byzantine navy shall from here on also adopt the proud traditions of rum, sodomy and the lash.

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I come old friend from Hell tonight
Across the rotting sea
Nor the nails of the cross
Nor the blood of Christ
Can bring you help this eve
The dead have come to claim a debt from thee
They stand outside your door
Four score and three

Did you keep a watch for the dead man's wind
Did you see the woman with the comb in her hand
Wailing away on the wall on the strand
As you danced to the Turkish song of the damned

-- Pogues, The -- Turkish Song Of The Damned

And it's on! We've also moved our National focus over to Trebizond, to help quell the revolt risk a little bit in our new eastern provinces. You can't move it too often, but being able to put a little bit of a dampener on the riotous mood in newly acquired provinces is one great way of using your national focus. Revolt risk is fairly high in Imreti, which is obviously also affected as the national focus radiates from Trebizond to all neighboring provinces. In declaring war on Turkey we did have the choice between Holy War CB, as the Ottomans are vicious infidels and we are a glorious Empire, and Reconquest CB, as the vicious infidels unjustly occupy our glorious provinces. We went for Reconquest, because it's frankly better. Then again, you do not always have unclaimed cores.

Note that the Ottomans cannot get to our Eastern provinces because of the Timurids, and that we have the straits blocked off, giving us free reigns in western Ottomania, or whatever they call it.
 

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unmerged(25822)

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Who can get a "sphere of influence" and what determines how big this is ? also is it visible on (political) map or provincial window ?

BTW You are very lucky that the Serbian army hasn't arrived yet , usually they are starting to roam asap after Ottos get DOWed .
 

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House rules:
  • Byzantium must at all times attempt to be the Defender of The Faith, and to honor that commitment unless it is completely suicidal to do so.
  • Byzantium may never steal provinces illegitimately from Orthodox countries.
Dubious interpretations of these rules is my personal prerogative.
We then wait in Imreti... I mean... hrrm... sadly do not make it to poor Georgia's side before Candar has recieved Imreti in a war resolution. (I declared my war after the Candar-Georgia affair had been settled in Candar's favor, so I could take Imreti off of Candar.)
You certainly got the dubious interpretations part right... :p
 

Grubnessul

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Now that's how a true Roman Emperor acts!

One question tho, where did you get all that money in your first screenshots? In my experience, that is quite a lot of money for a small country as Byz
 

Kubelwagen

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Bold moves, sir. Eager to repeat them when HttT is released :D
 

COGlory

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Byzantophiles are going to be very, very happy

I AM so happy.

On facebook I saw the word "Byzantine" next to Paradox and instantly clicked.
What is the "Force limit." Is it new? I seem to remember nothing about it.
 

LordofSaxony

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Looking good so far, I've enjoyed the read. Those eastern provinces look like they would be hard to keep. When I play as the Byzantines I try to build in a "building block" format by only taking lands that are next to the majority of my other lands to guarantee easy access with my armies. If you happen to lose your fleet those provinces over there may have to fend for themselves.
 

sprites

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  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
that's nice for bysantium , that would have cost something like 13.5 BB in IN :D
i'm gonna love those 'reconquest' CB