This game is kicking my backside

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Jeff Goddin

Recruit
Nov 5, 2019
2
0
And I love it! Just playing everything default, Castille and England mostly so far, trying to colonize rapidly. Beginner mistake, I know now. Such a learning curve. I'd like to get to the point where I know from experience what people mean when they say the endgame is easy. So many hours. But every play I learn something new.

And I'm a longtime fan of the genre. MOO, Railroad Tycoon III, I'll never give up these great old games. But I always quickly get good at "winning" them. I don't even know that EU is a game, since it has no win conditions. Yet it keeps me coming back, trying again, play tighter, I know eventually I'll be able to manage a colonial empire without falling too far behind on everything else. Why do they let me mint????

So, just curious, I got it on GOG and just IN, and so far it's frustrating as hell and I'm far from feeling satisfied, so of course I want to keep playing it. But maybe I should move on to DW or EU4 or some other game. But is EU3 In Nomine good enough by itself to be worth the playtime? I know significant changes were implemented after IN, and I'm not sure the consensus is that the game got better. I mean, everybody loves EU4, but I'm an old gamer, I don't mind cumbersome UI. For me, the game itself is what's important. Rogelikes/Angband with the simplest graphics imaginable are compelling enough for me. Which EU iteration is actually the best game?
 

Kovax

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I'm still rather fond of the HTTT expansion, but the final Divine Wind expansion adds enough functionality that it's probably preferable. Be aware that the "Complete" edition is anything but complete: you still need the final expansion or two, which one distributor sells as the "Collection Expansion". "Chronicles" is the complete collection, including Divine Wind.

As for the endgame being "easy", that's only if you don't consider the revolts. Once you blob beyond some point, there's no other country or alliance that can touch you, but you'll still be hard-pressed at times by scattered rebel spawns threatening to spin off portions of your empire as independent countries, especially in the New World (where the game is clearly programmed to try to create all of the historical countries, whether they make sense or not).

Learning how to use the diplomatic and development tools, and what pays and what doesn't, takes a lot of experience, and what works for one country may not be the right move for another.

Note that your king is VERY important in the beginning, as his stats are one of the largest factors for determining research speed and the odds of diplomatic success, such as +12 points for the king's personal input and +8 for taxes, plus possibly another +3 to +18 for a skilled advisor in one field of research. That will be eclipsed by increasing economic prosperity and development, to the point where the king is practically irrelevant.

One important aspect is knowing the limits to expansion and development: The Infamy limits should NEVER be exceeded, unless you're large and powerful enough to take on practically the rest of the world single-handedly. The rest of the world won't all gang up on you at once, but the increased revolts may be worse than that. Once you research a few tech levels, you'll need to expend Magistrates to construct improvements, so blobbing too quickly too soon will leave you with a bunch of undeveloped provinces, falling steadily behind in technology compared to the one-province minors (OPMs) and small merchant republics. You want slow but steady expansion, with enough time to consolidate your gains (playing "tall", rather than "wide") and pacify the province to an acceptable risk level before biting off the next chunk. Finding the right balance between "tall" and "wide" depends on your own country, as well as those around you, and the hardest point in the game is where you're "semi-large" enough to be considered a threat, but not big enough to stand on your own without strong allies.

Having several vassals and sphered countries (once you can afford the Prestige to include a few small countries in your sphere of interest) not only provides assistance in wars (if allied), it boosts the chances of several types of diplomatic actions, such as annexing a vassal, although annexing a vassal will significantly damage relations with your remaining vassals. France is a powerful country at the start in large part because of its swarm of vassals. Royal Marriages and Personal Unions are another way to expand without war and Infamy, but they're generally unpredictable: request several Royal Marriages with suitable targets and just hope for the best.

The worst part, in my opinion, is the "targeted" missions: each mission gives some benefit for its completion, and the typical chance of a particular type of mission is something like 10 out of however many valid chances there happens to be. A few mission types which can occur in certain situations have a 100 chance, so the odds of them happening are really high, and there are a few with a 1000 chance. If those circumstances occur, it's next to impossible to get any other mission, no matter how many times you reload. One of those missions in DW is "Make [country x] vote for us", and Bohemia is the most frequent target country. Problem is, Bohemia will ALWAYS vote for itself, so the mission is next to impossible to complete. Reload, and reload again when the same mission occurs. 30 reloads later, I finally get a different mission. Other than a few frustrating details like this, EU3 is a phenomenal experience.
 

Jeff Goddin

Recruit
Nov 5, 2019
2
0
EU4 with all DLC is $238 on Steam?!? No thanks! Spent the extra $25 on GOG to upgrade to DW. Lots of little differences I need to pay attention to, like Caux now has its port on the Straight of Dover instead of the Channel, so I can't block France with just one fleet... Well I only got about maybe 30% up the learning curve with IN, so hopefully it won't be too hard to adjust and get up to 50% with DW, after say, 500 hours?

Heh, yeah, I read much of your Hungary AAR and realized there's no rushing this game, could take six months for a single play. And that's not even a little daunting for me. The reason I spent so much time with Railroad Tycoon III was its depth (and also the hundreds of good user scenarios and mods.) I know it's not thought of as a strategy game, but I played Gran Turismo 2 for thousands of hours for pretty much the same reason. Come to think of it, I guess I treated GT2 as a sandbox. Winning was easy. Understanding how to win with the least power, pushing it right to the limit of impossibility, that was hard. Digging into the guts of the game in ways nobody in the world was doing, long after GT4 was out and GT5. Nowhere in the game is the information available, but I can tell you what tire dimensions most of the cars in that game had, and I could show you on the track how it made a difference. Lots of spreadsheets, both games.

Well, wish me luck. Started with England again, accepted an alliance from Aragon, and trounced Castille first thing, keeping a pro
vince either to provoke Castille or sell it back, we'll see. Did build about 10-12 Chevaliers or whatever they're called, hopefully that won't screw my military maintenance too much...
 

Etrutian

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Holland is the best.

Go full free trade asap, get a guy to surpress inflation and print money and then start vassalizing neighbors.

Rush mil tech and get gunpowder before 1500, then invade france with guns and win the game from there.
 

Kovax

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Careful not to overdo the Chevaliers, Western nations get a penalty if they field more than something like 40% cavalry. Eastern tech can field up to 50% without penalty, and hordes can field all-cavalry armies if they wish. In the beginning stages, cavalry rules, but as foot troops improve with higher tech, the gap narrows. Eventually, you'll only want 2 cavalry per army, just to wrap around the flanks, but the rest can (or should) be Infantry, and in the later stages artillery will gradually become worthwhile to field.

Note that England can stalemate just about any war by denying the opponent passage across the Channel, as long as you keep enough foot troops to deal with any revolts at home due to war exhaustion. My usual first move is to max out the Production Research slider, until I can build Constables. Once you start building your first province improvements, your tax income snowballs, and eventually you find yourself with enough funds to afford a huge army and navy. England starts with a University, so you'll get a Government tech increase rather quickly as well, increasing tax collection efficiency.
 

Maxim Rommel

Recruit
Nov 27, 2019
2
0
And I love it! Just playing everything default, Castille and England mostly so far, trying to colonize rapidly. Beginner mistake, I know now. Such a learning curve. I'd like to get to the point where I know from experience what people mean when they say the endgame is easy. So many hours. But every play I learn something new.

And I'm a longtime fan of the genre. MOO, Railroad Tycoon III, I'll never give up these great old games. But I always quickly get good at "winning" them. I don't even know that EU is a game, since it has no win conditions. Yet it keeps me coming back, trying again, play tighter, I know eventually I'll be able to manage a colonial empire without falling too far behind on everything else. Why do they let me mint????

So, just curious, I got it on GOG and just IN, and so far it's frustrating as hell and I'm far from feeling satisfied, so of course I want to keep playing it. But maybe I should move on to DW or EU4 or some other game. But is EU3 In Nomine good enough by itself to be worth the playtime? I know significant changes were implemented after IN, and I'm not sure the consensus is that the game got better. I mean, everybody loves EU4, but I'm an old gamer, I don't mind cumbersome UI. For me, the game itself is what's important. Rogelikes/Angband with the simplest graphics imaginable are compelling enough for me. Which EU iteration is actually the best game?
Must have divine wind expansion. İts not just an expansion it s new shell for old game. Eu3 without expansions so archaic.