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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Storey

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I don’t fire up EU II very often anymore but when I do I usually play multiple countries. So here is an AAR played on Hard-Normal patch 1.06.

This is not a character driven AAR.
This is not a story driven AAR.
This is not a comedic AAR.
Well all right there might be some humor at times but it isn’t going to be the focus of this AAR.
This is not a cute cuddly want to take home type of AAR.

There will be no deep inner meaning causing the reader to have to read between the lines in order to figure out what the hell this is all about. This is simply a study in tactics when playing a rotation of three countries in ten-year turns. How good will the AI be when it has to pick up the pieces that I leave behind and visa-versa? The focus is more on what the AI does rather than what I do. I wrote a similar type of AAR in EU 1 and the AI was mixed in how it did so lets try it again. Oh and I’m adding a little twist in that I’m giving the same goal to all three countries.

Domination of the Mediterranean and Black Sea provinces.

Whichever country owns the most provinces bordering or in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea wins. I won’t DOW any of the countries I’m playing. Now if the AI DOWs me, well all bets are off and I’ll take what I can get. I’ll try not to go past very bad reputation. No cheats.

Okay whom to start with? Byzantium? Nah that would be too easy. All right maybe it would be too hard with the Ottomans drooling at the border looking for an easy meal. How about Georgia! I’ve never tried Georgia so what the hell there’s always a first time. Everyone strap yourself in and please remain seated until the all-clear sounds.


1419 Georgia


Foundation: A support garment used by females to fool males.
Oops sorry wrong definition.
Foundation: The basis on which a thing stands, is founded, or is supported.



Okay first of all Georgia has two provinces and they’re both orthodox. One of the provinces has a port, which is a plus. Alas I have no ships. Hmm, I start with a leader but his stats are only 3-2-2. Big deal.

I have three goals this turn.

1) Build up the infrastructure.
2) Expansion (I know what a surprise)
3) Get my ass in an alliance that can give me some help because I know that one of the Islamic countries is going to eventually attack me. Since patch 1.06 alliances have become very important for small countries. I just have to figure out which one to join. But in the meantime you need a good foundation if you want an empire.

As for the domestic sliders I’ll probably spend the next few turns adjusting the Mercantilism slider for more merchants. Trade is the best way for a small country to make money.

Finally in May 1419 I get a diplomat and declare war but on whom?

Yep you’re right Genoa. They have two orthodox provinces next to me and I mean to get at least one of them.

September 1420

The dust has settled and it’s all over. It was a very easy war with me not fighting a single soldier or sighting a single ship from Genoa. It could be because they became embroiled in another war in the middle of this one. Anyway I won and the province of Kerch joins the Georgian Empire. I then spend some time doing the usual infrastructure building (tax collector in Georgia and Sochi. I’m still looking around for an alliance but that’s going to take awhile to happen.

December 1420

I’ve been searching around for an alliance and the pickings are slim to nil. I’m staying away from any of the countries in the Balkans because they will probably drag me into a war with the Ottomans. Not that I’m afraid of the Ottomans, no not me, no way. Anyway I finally decide that the Poland, Lithuania and Bohemia alliance is the best one to join (actually the only remotely rational one I could find) so I start sending gifts.

March 1421

I now belong to that potently potent powerhouse of an alliance headed by Poland. There is one little problem with it though. On one hand they have enough power to help in a war but on the other hand none of them border me so they will only be of help if the Golden Horde DOWs me. Well it’s the best I can do for now.

August 1423

Ak Koyunlu declares war! Well isn’t this great, all my alliance members decline to join me. However I decide to use this to my advantage and quickly form a new alliance with Lithuania. Lithuania is the closest to me so maybe they will be of use in the future. Meanwhile I start looking with unrestrained greed at the gold province of Armenia but I have a little problem. It’s the 20,000 Ak Koyunlu troops marching from Armenia towards me. Several bloody battles are fought but Ak Koyunlu gets the better of it and besieges my capital.


July 1424

I lose control of my capital, Georgia. Ak Koyunlu is heading for Sochi. I lose another battle and suddenly Ak Koyunlu asks for $60 for peace. I agree. Hey I never said this was going to be a study of battle tactics! Okay I’m one for two in winning wars but sometimes you have to know when to quit.

January 1426

I notice that the Ottomans and Candar are besieging Trebizond. The Trebizonds aren’t going to last long it seems.

December 1426

Trebizond pays 1 ducat and grants military access to Candar for peace. They survived? Cool, I think I’ll try to get them in my alliance.

March 1427

After a few gifts they join my alliance. If nothing else they could prove a distraction if I’m attacked.

December 1427

Just great, Trebizond declares war against Dulkadir. The Mameluks and Qara Koyunlu join Dulkadir. Lithuania bails out and I do the same. I don’t feel comfortable with only three years left in this turn and with the odds against me. I ask Trebizond and Lithuania back into my alliance and they accept.

July 1428

Trebizond pays Dulkadir $41 in indemnities and the war ends. So much for fighting to the last man.


And so ends my first turn as Georgia. I left all my troops in Kerch to hopefully put down any rebellions. I know it wasn’t the greatest display of game ability but I think if Georgia can hold on to Kerch and keep its alliance together they might have a chance. Now on to the next country. Who will it be?

Victory count totals 3.
 

unmerged(9046)

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Nice start. I am curious who your other two victims, err, nations will be!

:D
 

nalivayko

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Yes, nice start, you survived, that's what matters.

I am going to start guessing about the "victims": Gotta be one Muslim major in N Africa (possibly Tunisia) and one Catholic - Aragon, Naples or Albania.
 

Amric

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This looks interesting. I shall be watching to see what else you can do to wreck...erm, um...enhance your 3 choices!:) Nah, you've done quite well for only 10 years. I'm looking forward to more from you.
 

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Originally posted by Storey

This is not a cute cuddly want to take home type of AAR.

Oh look how sweeeeet it is! Mommy, I wanna take it home! Pleeaaase? :D

I guess the next countries are Algier and some Italian state...
 

Storey

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Stroph1 Thanks for dropping by. What you can’t guess who’s next?

Nalivayko A good guess but not quite right.

Amric Actually it doesn’t take much to wreck um enhance a country you only control ten out of thirty years. I do both as you’ll see.

Valdemar We both know the work it takes to do a more detailed, serious AAR. This is indeed meant to be a lighthearted easy read. I might slip in a story every now and again but then maybe not.

Sorcerer You came damn close to guessing the next country but a strange thing happened as you see.
 

Storey

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Unstable: a. My old girl friend.
b. Decomposing readily. Highly or violently reactive.

The Mameluks

All right everyone stop for a moment I have a confession to make. The first and I hope last cheat has occurred. I was really going to play Algiers but a funny thing happened on the way to Algiers. I loaded up the game and found that Algiers was allied with Morocco and at war against Castile. No big deal I think. I have 30,000 men (way over my manpower limit) and several ships. I have $87 in the treasury. Since Castile hasn’t landed any men in North Africa I set my maintenance down to 50% and move my treasury slider all the way to the right. I wait for February to arrive because I’m curious to see how much it’s costing me to keep this many troops around and I see I’m losing $38. Yikes. I disband enough of my troops to get under the manpower limit and wait for March to come along and see that now I’m losing $18. Okay I’m close to panic level one and I quickly disband all my ships and just keep 7,000 Calvary. April comes around and I’m still losing $3.6. Now some of the more intelligent of you will have picked up on the fact that I should have looked a little more closely at the financial window. When I did I realized that Algiers had already taken out three loans. Just to satisfy my morbid curiosity I disband all my troops I was still losing $2.3 a month. So I had to admit that even I wasn’t going to be able to crawl out of this hole. So I moved to sunnier climes.

Ah the mighty Mameluks. At first glance they look ridiculously easy. They have a COT and a dozen provinces. That large dark green belt that crosses the mid section of the Mediterranean seems to go on forever. Well it isn’t as good as it looks. It reminds me of when I was a child and I would go out to the back yard where I would turn over rocks, mainly because I didn’t have a hell of a lot to do back then. And under these rocks would be all manner of slimly skittering bugs and worms who tried to flee from the sun light. Just so did the Mameluks true nature appear to me when I looked closely at them

The state religion is Shiite and none of their provinces are Shiite. Go figure! So you have to balance Christian, Sunni and Orthodox. Not a problem you say? Ah but how long before one of the provinces is converted to Shiite? Balancing four religions present a problem that makes it prudent not to promote tax collectors, at least not in the beginning. Their COT is rather poor and most of their provinces don't have two cents to rub together.

My goal this turn is to annex Tunisia. Why? Well because it’s there of course. All right I happen to also find that I am already at war with them so I’ll take advantage of that and crush them.

The Mameluks are in an alliance with Dulkadir, Qara Koyunlu and The Hedjaz. Not bad but I may have to tinker with the alliance. With my domestic sliders I’ll probably concentrate on moving innovative to narrow-minded and hope for some spontaneous conversions. Also I’ll move Aristocracy to max it out for cheap Calvary

1429

I start with my land forces marching toward Tunisia’s two provinces. I move my fleet to port because I get my butt kicked in every naval battle I fight against Tunisia. Karaman declared war upon Dulkadir. Teke joined the war on the same side as Karaman. Qara Koyunlu, The Hedjaz and the Mameluks joined the war on the same side as Dulkadir. I really don’t think I’ll pay much attention to this war.

July 1429

Dulkadir accepted peace with Karaman on the following terms: Dulkadir pays $28 in indemnities. Well that was short and sweet.

January 1430

We have initiated a siege in Tripolitania.

February 1430

We have initiated a siege in Tunisia. Sorry that’s as exciting as the war gets folks.

May 1431

We have lost control over Aleppo to Rebel Scum. We have lost control over Cataract to Rebel Scum. The peasants in Lebanon are revolting! We lost a battle against Rebel Scum in Aleppo. We have lost control over Syria to Rebel Scum. Now my mom didn’t raise a fool, contrary to what some of you think, and even thought war exhaustion was up to +6 I thought this was a lot of revolting for the situation. Then it hit me and I looked at the religious sliders and found out why I had so many revolts. They were all out of whack. I know I know I should have checked them first thing. That thump you just heard was me hitting myself on the side of my head. I adjusted the sliders and the revolts stopped occurring but I still had to repair the damage by retaking the provinces I lost to the rebels. That took until February 1434. In the meantime I had other business to attend to.

May 1431

Tunisia accepted our generous peace offer and Tripolitania is now part of my empire. Okay now I have to wait for five years to annex them but in the meantime.

December 1431

Qara Koyunlu declared war upon Timurid Empire. Dulkadir, The Hedjaz and the Mameluks join Qara Koyunlu. The Kaliphate joins the Timurid Empire. I don’t really want anything from this war but if something comes my way I’ll take it.


May 1432

I finally capture the province of Iraq from the Kaliphate. To get out of the war I accept $23 from The Kaliphate. I still have the Timurid Empire to hassle with.

November 1432

Mameluks agree to pay the Timurid Empire $75 just to get them out of my hair. I really didn’t have to pay them anything since I wasn’t in any real trouble but there wasn’t anything that they had that I wanted and I’m a little paranoid about revolts. Stay focused is my mantra.

July 1436

Okay all revolts are over and five years have passed so I DOW Tunisia.

February 1437

We captured the province of Tunisia. Tunisia accepted our generous peace offer and they are annexed. What a fun little war that was.

August 1437

Georgia joined the war on the same side as Lithuania in their war against Tver. Well that’s not particularly good news because Trebizond dishonored the alliance she had with Georgia and Lithuania.

Trebizond entered a Military Alliance with Georgia and Lithuania. Had me worried for a moment there but it looks like I left Georgia’s relations with her allies high enough to survive the first test.


Yep that’s it for this turn. I added two provinces and actually build a tax collector in the Capital but that’s going to be the only one. Now on to the third country, which is?

Victory count 12.
 

unmerged(7996)

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Good stuff Joe.:) Love the game term definitions.

The Alliance was one of the first AARs I read here...darn good one too. This current setup (not allies), reminds me a little of our old PBEM games. Play any of those since our last Med campaign? I've been out of the loop for a while....and probably won't be back in anytime soon...SCUBA lessons, PE review course and a motorcycle this summer.

Looking forward to the unveiling of country #3? I'll cast a vote for rampaging Ragusa.:)

I hope the AI holds things together for you. BTW, I'm pulling for Georgia so far...hopefully they'll be under your steady hand when the Horde disintegrates.:)
 

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Minor countries are a lot more marginal in these later patches. Georgia is difficult because of lack of resources, Mamelukes because they can't bring their resources to bear.

So who's next - Oman? No, wait - Bremen! :)
 

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You've given yourself a hard time so far, picking those weak countries, now you should choose Aragon, they're fairly stable, and have a nice amount of holdings in the Mediterranean.
 

Storey

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Backpack it’s good to hear from you again. I think if Georgia can survive two rotations they might have a chance of becoming a local power. But for winning the game they are definitely the dark horse in this race. Your summer sounds like it’s going to be more fun than mine. And no Ragusa didn’t make it in the game.

Director tell me about it. I don’t know if I could play the Mameluks for an entire game. It might be too frustrating. I suppose I could make Lebanon a vassal? That would get me down to three religions and would help tremendously but I won’t give up any province that borders the sea. Yep I’ve certainly picked a couple of difficult countries to start with. At least the third is a little easier. Wrong on both your guesses.

Fuhrerdammerung I didn’t pick Aragon for three reasons. The first reason was arbitrary. I didn’t want to take any country that already controlled islands. The second was because they are a little too strong. I wanted more of a challenge. The third reason is because they could get annexed by Spain in an event. They do play a prominent role in the early part of the game though because they are one of the major villains threatening my last pick.
 

Storey

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Boring: a. My uncle Fred.
b. Uninteresting and tiresome; dull.

The Papal States

I haven’t played the Papal States before, which surprised me. How could I have overlooked them for this long? Anyway they certainly have the most potential of the three members of this game. I wanted at least one European country and also I wanted a country that had real potential to have a chance to survive a war with the big boys. I’m thinking mostly of Austria but early on Aragon is a problem to be considered.

Now I look around and what do I find but they have annexed Sienna. Cool! They also are at peace at the moment. They have a slightly tarnished reputation. They are in an alliance with Albania and Naples. Albania heads the alliance.

My goals are to just try to build up the infrastructure and I’m not too happy with an alliance with Albania. I think I’m going to have to do something about that. I’ll be moving several different sliders with the Papal States. I’ll start with moving the land/naval toward land.

January 1439

We entered a Royal Marriage with Naples. I only mention this to show how stupid I can be. (I know I don’t have to keep proving it) I continue my mistake by sending several gifts of money to improve my relations with Naples. I’m hoping to ditch Albania and get Naples in an alliance in the near future forgetting that Aragon would have something to say about that.

September 1439

Genoa declared war upon Georgia. Milan and Savoy joined the war on the same side as Genoa. Lithuania joined Georgia. What happened to Trebizond? It looks like the first real test of Georgia’s AI. Good luck!

March 1440

Venice entered a Military Alliance with Naples, Albania and Papal States. Well this helps!

January 1442

Naples went with Ruled as Vassal in the Aragon Inheritance of Napoli. Okay I’m a fool. What was I thinking of? A lot of money flushed down the drain.

Aragon went with Rule it as an independent Kingdom in the Aragon Inheritance of Napoli. Naples became Vassals of Aragon. Well sometime in the future I just might have to take by force what I couldn’t get by peaceful means.

April 1443

Our Military Alliance with Albania and Venice expired. Time to assume the leadership of my own alliance. Venice entered our Military Alliance and no I didn’t ask Albania to join.

August 1443

Ottoman Empire declared war upon Albania. Man I’m brilliant or what! I dodged that bullet. The Ottomans are growing at a fast rate this game and I don’t want to take on the Ottomans right now. I spend the next couple of years improving my relations with several European countries. You can never have too many friends.

July 1445

Lithuania accepted peace with Genoa on the following terms: Lithuania pays $50 in indemnities. I don’t like the sound of this. Georgia is still at war but I don’t know what’s happening. Lithuania declared war upon Muscowy. It doesn’t appear that they asked Georgia to join. I’m only loosely following the other countries so I could be wrong.

September 1448

Mameluks joined the war on the same side as The Hedjaz in their war against The Kaliphate and Timurid Empire. Once again into the breach my friends, or was that onto the beach my friends? I can never remember.

Okay so I only upgraded a couple of forts and added a few tax collectors but I think the Papal States might be a little war monger so I’ll wait and see what they do next turn before I start declaring war on someone.

Victory count 4.
 

nalivayko

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MORE :eek:

Ok, I was wrong, Mamelukes and Papal States - nice choice. You have Pope competing with former slave guards not to mention womenizers and drunks from Causasus. I did enjoy that miss about Naples - at least it's better that trying to befriend Hungary or Norway :D
 

Amric

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Now that we know the three countries I have to say that the choices are interesting and I shall enjoy it as you continue on your quest.
 

Sorcerer

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Hey, my guesses were pretty good this time.

When do you play your games? 3 am? :D Anyways, you should make a checklist when taking over a new country (I wonder why you haven't done this before, with your playing style).

Religious sliders? Check.

Treasury? Check.

DP sliders? Oh shit, I forgot... ;)
 

Storey

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Valdemar I’ve made more mistakes than I’ve told everyone about. I have some pride you know. :D


Nalivayko I really felt like an idiot when it happened. It’s one of the few events that I know about in Italy and I go and forget it.

Amric Thank you. I hope you enjoy this study of who’s more incompetent, the computer AI or me.

Sorcerer I still don’t have a check list. That would be too boring and yes I still on occasion forget with surprising results. :D

Joe
 

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Calamity
a. The first name of Jane
b. A disaster or severe affliction

Georgia 1449

Snap shot of the sliders.

Aristocracy 8
Centralization 2
Innovativeness 4
Mercantilism 7
Offensive 4
Land 6
Quality 4
Serfdom 9


I come back to find Georgia in a dire situation. Georgia is at war with Lithuania and Trebizond against Genoa, Milan, Savoy, Croatia and Austria. How the hell Austria got involved I don’t have a clue. Revolt risk is at 8% and rebels are besieging Kerch. I have 13,000 infantry besieging Kaffa and one transport left in my fleet. One loan has been taken out and is due in November 1450 and I only have 18$ in my treasury. I cut costs as best as I can. I disband my transport and lower my land maintenance to 50%. My slider is all going to the treasury which comes to around 1.5$ a month.

My goals: First thing is I have to get out of this war and get my war fatigue down. Paying off the loan is then my next main priority. A loan with a small country is crippling.




January 1449

Trebizond declared war upon Dulkadir. Lithuania dishonored our Military Alliance. I also dishonor the Military Alliance with Trebizond. I don’t want anything to do with another war. Stability loses aren’t a problem to recover from at this time so I can take the hit for breaking the alliance. Besides I can reform the alliance and get them to join again if I want. What? Lithuania refuses to join an alliance with me! I have +107 relations with them and they don’t join. %$@#!

February 1449

Lithuania asks Georgia to join their alliance. I agree even though I don’t like losing the leadership of the alliance. I don’t have any diplomats and waiting until I get one could give Lithuania time to join another alliance.

September 1449

I capture the province of Kaffa from Genoa. I can now us my army to put down revolts, which at starting to be a problem.

September 1449

The Mameluks cave in and pay the Kaliphate $225 for peace. At least they didn’t lose any territory.

December 1449

Genoa agrees to pay me $25 for peace. Okay first mission accomplished I’m at peace.

May 1450

Trebizond flexes its muscle and annexes Dulkadir. Way to go Trebizond!

July 1450

Papal States joined the war on the same side as Venice in their war against Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans? Ahhhhhh, help! Cross your fingers or chests and pray for the Papal States.

October 1450

I had to take a loan to pay for the first loan. Hopefully I will be able to save enough in the next five years to repay the loan.

June 1454

The Golden Horde has been hit by revolts for the last two years and finally the Crimea declared independence from the Golden Horde. Well now I can’t pass up this opportunity. Crimea has no allies and no money!
Georgia declares war on Crimea. Lithuania dishonors my military alliance. Damn it! Wait a minute, I ask and Lithuania rejoins my alliance and the war. Great I lead the alliance again. I decide that it’s time to get Trebizond back in the alliance and they accept and join the war. We’re all just one big happy family once again. All’s forgiven.

July 1454

Qara Koyunlu entered a Military Alliance with Mameluks and The Hedjaz. These three seem destined to form and reform an alliance but they just can’t seem to hang together for very long. Hmm, just like Georgia, Lithuania and Trebizond.
I have initiated a siege in Azow. Lithuania actually helps out by besieging Crimea.

January 1455

The people of Tunisia declared independence from Mameluks. Damn it all to hell! Tunisia declared war upon Mameluks. Qara Koyunlu dishonored a Military Alliance she had with Mameluks and The Hedjaz. So much for that version of the alliance. I captured the province of Azow from Crimea.

February 1455

The Ottoman Empire accepted peace with Venice on the following terms: Corfu, Istria, Ioni and Dalmatia to Ottoman Empire. Ouch! At least the Papal States didn’t lose anything but the Ottomans continue to get very strong in this game. I just notice that the Ottomans have annexed the province Emilia in Italy. They are getting too close for comfort.

June 1455

Tunisia accepted peace with Mameluks on the following terms: Tunisia pays $14 in indemnities. Tunisia will have to give up military access. Tunisia has to change religion. The Mameluks couldn’t just annex them? No that would make too much sense.

July 1455

Lithuania captures Crimea. Crimea accepted our generous peace offer and we now have added Azow to our empire.

August 1455

Lithuania declared war upon Muscowy. Trebizond dishonored our Military Alliance. This is the weakness in my alliance. Trebizond and Lithuania hate each other so if one goes to war the other bails out of the alliance. I don’t know what to do about it since I like the alliance as it is. Georgia joined the war on the same side as Lithuania. I ask Trebizond back into the alliance and they refuse. They have +126 relations with me and they refuse!


September 1455

Venice declared war upon Genoa. Papal States joined the war on the same side as Venice. Milan, Savoy, Austria joined the war on the same side as Genoa. Maybe getting Venice into an alliance with the Papal States wasn’t such a smart move?

November 1455

I pay off the loan! Finally I can start lowering the treasury slider and putting everything into land development.

March 1456

Lithuania accepted peace with Muscowy on the following terms: Muscowy pays $109 in indemnities. Peace at last!

April 1456

Trebizond joined our Military Alliance with Lithuania.

November 1457

Genoa accepted peace with Papal States on the following terms: Genoa pays $30 in indemnities. Well it’s about what I expected.

January 1459 and I have close to 200$ in the treasury. Lithuania asked me to become a vassal and I politely refused. I added one province and righted the economy so I hope that Georgia will manage to prosper until I get back. Not a bad turn considering what I was faced with at the beginning. Yea I know I’m patting myself on the back.

Victory count 4
 
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