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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Androktonos

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Sep 7, 2018
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  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
This is my Byzantine campaign. We are close to the XVIII century and the hegemony is total over the rest of powers. I have only screenshots from the mid XV century and from the current moment (late XVII). I lost the previous screenshots but I expect to tell you clearly what and how happened.

FIRST MOVES: BUILDING UP SOME POWER TO ATTACK THE OTTOMANS

God bless the Timurids, without them I do not know how Byzantium could develop. We started with a quick war against Epirus to take Ioannina before the Neapolitans could react. After that, the turkish minors who were defenseless without alliances or guarantees. Morocco and some Arab countries joined them, but it was a total conquest. Meanwhile, all revenues were being minted to build enough galleys to block the Dardanelles in the future conflict against the Ottomans, with consequent inflation (more than 5.0). I was wrong to bet on Innovation too soon, since I forgot the edict on alcohol tax.

Ottoman war exhaustion was very high, and their armies cornered on their eastern border fighting an all-out war against Timur's. In any case, it was a very hard war, due the poor performance of the Byzantine army and the presence of Bosnians and Serbs who matched my numbers, their better kings-commanders, and no Belisarius had yet emerged. They were a hard nut to crack, but after advances, setbacks and skirmishes, they were destroyed and all the European part of the sultanate, occupied. I was quite lucky, since rebels emerged who made Edirne and Macedonia defect to my side. The Ottomans were expelled from Europe, except for not being able to break their ties with their Balkan vassals as the war score was not enough. I was quite disappointed to see that Bulgarian culture was not accepted. Over time, after many decades of settlement policy, they would become Greeks.

BECOMING THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SUPERPOWER

  • RECONQUEST OF CYPRUS

We were allied with Austria and decided to attack Cyprus. France fulfilled its guarantee (they were also Defender of the Faith). I was quite concerned due to the poor performance of the army so far, but the imperial army sank the French expeditionaries and captured powerful ships that would be very useful in the future. Meanwhile, I tried to support the Austrians in Tirol and Aquileia, where the French were leading the way. With many precautions, we expelled them, and the byzantines were even able to disembark in Provence.

  • INTERVENTION IN THE BALKANS: PROTECT CROATIA

We had guaranteed the independence of some crucial countries of our environment; preventing a Balkan power at our gates was a priority, so I did not hesitate to help the Croats in their conflict against the Hungarians. It was a surprise that the Neapolitans went over to the other side, but they would end up losing their autonomy as my vassals at the end of this war. We took the Transylvanian cores, which we then liberated as vassals, so that Hungary was weakened. The collateral effect was the irruption of Bohemia, which also took its share of the Hungarian pie.

  • LOOKING FOR WEALTH: THE WAY TO ALEXANDRIA

Our borders were already quite impressive, but not the economy. In those conditions, it was impossible to try to compete with Venice, and even less with Castile for the Mediterranean domain. We could not keep merchants in Venice, despite being members of their trade league, so that the revenues of the trade were close to zero. Something had to be done, since I was not happy that my provinces were enriching a foreign CoT. I put my eyes on Alexandria, and after waiting for the right moment, I jumped at the neck of the Mamluks. The wealthy northern Egypt fell under our control.

At this time I annexed the rest of the Ottoman territory, besides opening a direct way to Egypt through the coast of Lebanon, after a brief and victorious war against Syria, to obtain the maximum income from the new acquisitions and to ensure communications to suffocate revolts. In any case, this was a help but not the final solution, since the value of Venice was still in 2000 (even after the abandonment of my provinces) while Alexandria was worth about 700. More daring and expeditious actions had to be carried out , since I watched concerned how the western powers began to take a dangerous technological advantage.

bizancio politico.jpg

bizancio diplomacia.jpg


THE ASSAULT TO THE WEST: THE EMPIRE IS BACK

  • THE WARS OF NEMESIS: VENEZIA AND CASTILLE

The imperial navy set sail to the castilian naval HQ some years before of this events to scout them; the reported news were fearsome. More than 20 carracks, and a great number of support ships were dock at Murcia. Despite the economic suffering, we continued mining coins to keep up with the production of carracks and galleys. Until then, we had expanded as much as possible without upsetting the 2 great naval powers of the Mediterranean, but now it was necessary, otherwise the stalemate would end the burgeoning Empire. Castille was the Defender of the Faith, there was no alternative if we wish make Rome great again.

When it was reported from the imperial arsenal of the launching of the last ships, war was declared on Rhodes. As expected, Castille intervened, but they came incautiously to the Eastern Mediterranean, where their ships and unfortunate soldiers embarked found their grave. When I was sure that the Castilians were stuck in their country, without a fleet to move them, we simultaneously declared war on Venice and the kingdoms of the Peloponnese. I was not going to sign the peace for another Defender of the Faith (especially England) to stick his nose in Byzantine affairs.

This second conflict was especially profitable; Some Italic nations entered the side of the Greek kingdoms, which opened the gates of Italy to the Empire after several centuries of absence. The wealthy lombard provinces were the target (with their high taxes their culture would be accepted without a doubt). Venice was reduced to the minimum expression, but I had the prudence to force them to convert to the Orthodox faith (I wanted to annex them, and I did not feel like facing another Western superpower if I could avoid it). Sardinia and Parma were annexed, in addition to the vassalage of Piedmont (Savoy) and Aquileia. Furthermore, Western units could now be recruited in Italy, which somewhat diminished the deplorable state of the imperial armies.

  • THE GERMANICS ATTACK THE IMPERIAL BORDERS (DEJA VU)

Austria had broken our alliance by not helping us in past conflicts, and now attacked the north of Italy (Mantua) due to a mission. They were crushed and Tirol released, although they would reconquer it years later while we were busy on other fronts.

As I said, stopping the expansion of potential threats was a priority, and Bohemia was the most important to be the Emperor. They attacked Poland and we joined the conflict. It was the hardest war so far, where we only obtained pyrrhic victories or crushing defeats. Our national manpower was detroyed, and the situation became dramatic when the French joined the party. Fortunately, they accepted an unconditional peace, and a time later, the Bohemians too. Important reforms had to be carried out.

  • GROWTH AND INTERVENTION. PAX BIZANTINA

To alleviate the great technological deficiencies that were already patent, there was no other way to keep improving the economy. First, I diplomatically annexed Naples because of a mission; I was not particularly excited about the Sicilian culture, but its provinces seemed profitable enough, and I hoped that, in addition, they would begin to trade through Alexandria. Immediately, I had the opportunity to annex Venice, which I did immediately; this was a great injection of funds for investments, even though many provinces stopped trading through Venice.

And again, a subjugation mission against Mantua gave me possession of practically all of northern Italy. However, being Bohemian the Emperor, I had to face them again and their ally, France. Like the previous conflict it was painful as hell, although we were better prepared.

Since then, much of the XVI century passed mostly in peace, focused on constantly reforming the army from the Italian cores and improving the economy. Some intervention in Russia to prevent the formation of the homonymous nation, diplomatic annexation of Georgia and the colonization of Kaffa. After that a series of chain events followed one another: I defeated a powerful Poland, it was almost annexed by Bohemia then. We helpt the Bavarians against these dangerous Czechs, and we beat them up, which caused Brandenburg became the regional power, for a short time, because they made the mistake of attacking my new ally, Silessia, and they were so weak that their neighbors walked through Berlin when the Byzantine armies evacuated the country.

Bizancio diplomacia 2.jpg


Bizancio politico 2.jpg


  • THE LITUANIAN GIFT. THE EAGLE FLIES EUROPE

During the past years, the Lithuanian throne passed to the Palaiologos. In 1584 we inherited Lithuania, but not any Lithuania; it was an immense empire that stretched from the Baltic to almost the banks of the Caspian, from the Sea of Azov to the gates of Moscow. I decided to liberate as vassals the different nations that made up this legacy, since I have tried to promote the greatest possible cultural cohesion (we recover stability in just 2 months), and they are always a great help in wars taking care of the sieges or simply bothering and making the war front larger for the enemy.

Needless to say that the modernization of the fleet was a priority, and after discovering the War Galleons and the Frigates (much earlier than any other nation), we took advantage of the long-awaited mission: reconquest of Rome. It was a long war of more than 10 years, however, it was not as hard as you would expect. France, England, Brabant Austria, Siena, and some others tried to keep the Pope in the Vatican in vain. During the first years, I was afraid that the Castilians would take advantage of the situation, since they had some Casus Belli against me, but they did not have the audacity. France imposed respect, its possessions were in Spain in the south and Flanders in the north, but its armies were crushed, and as you can see, has been split in half as Mecha Frieza. England was totally invaded, but only Wales and Northumberland could be liberated; It is not finished yet. Both nations are colonial powers, which I suppose gives them a considerable income, although for a time they will be diminished by destroying their navies (bye, tariffs).

SOON

I just changed the form of government to Merchant Republic; in my opinion, despite the shortage of magistrates, it is the best form of government to obtain a bestial income. It allows for the adhesion to the League after the wars, and to declare a new war when they break the treaty, which allows destroying a nation every 10 years, having it under control, and exploiting its resources in the CoT, although I am in favor of focusing on obtain commercial rights in order to gain more market share. Despite not having set foot in America, much of the colonial trade is exploited through my centers (some of my vassals have developed very well, and I have been getting important trade rights of Portugal and others).

I will attack Castilla, since I want to destabilize it, and obtain Andalusia and Cairo. The latter will give me a base on the other side of Africa to attack India, another of my objectives and that will be my only objective outside of Europe. I also want to dismember Yemen, conquer Mecca, and force small sheiks to trade through my centers. The same can be said of Persia, it has colonized the steppes; Incredible as it may seem, and despite the enormous tradition of conflicts among Romans and Persians, no conflict has yet erupted. I guess it's normal when mutual respect reigns.

Of course, I will remain vigilant to avoid the formation of Russia, HRE, the United Kingdom, or any other power that begins to stand out dangerously.

Bizancio tecnología.jpg


As you can see, Byzantium is not an oriental power of obsolete technology. I am allowing production to fall behind, since it is the least important, to carry out Westernization when possible, although it is not really necessary.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Certainly maintaining a very useful edge over your neighbours.
 

brovahkiin

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glad to see, EU3
also I have to say, as an american Bizancio just sounds hilarious to me
that all rhymed:D
 

Androktonos

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  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
Impressive work :) The Byzantines have always been one of my favorite starts in the EU series, and I still have a certain fondness for the third game. Do let us know how things end up, if you're still playing.
Unfortunately, my PC crashed and I lost the game and screenshots. I remember the HRE was destroyed in 1704, annexed Piamonte-Sardinia (it was a colonial power), so the Empire had some strongholds in America. I had a war against Denmark and took its two american CoT (Mexico and Pensacola), which boosted even more my income. India was totally conquered and converted, and I was preparing expeditions against China when my PC died...I enjoyed it so much, although I prefer the beginning when I was struggling. It becomes a bit boring when you are too powerful.

P.S. I also changed the government to Republican Dictatorship since I needed a more agressive policy to conquer some provinces, and was close to change it to Constitutional Republic (magistrates).
 

Specialist290

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Ouch! That's unfortunate to hear. Hope you recovered everything important, or at least had it backed up. Computer crashes are no fun :(

And I totally understand the bit about the game getting too boring when you're too powerful. I tend to start a new session whenever I snowball too quickly myself, simply due to losing interest.