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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

naggy

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I can tell you, from experience (I led a 6 province Provence into taking down France), that Rastar has an outside chance at taking Ming at this point. The big question isn't troop numbers - it's manpower. Also, being able to draw Ming stacks onto your territory (where you can scorch it) would make it easier.

I'll give him 30% odds on taking down Ming at this point. The army size difference is deceptive since Ming won't bring them all down at once.
 

unmerged(7509)

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I'm a cautious player, som I'm in favour of waiting. Azugal makes a very good point: You may be able to win this war, but can you really hurt Ming so bad that they won't steamroll you in five years, when they have not just been in a war?

On the other hand their WE looks promising, so this is no doubt Ming in a weak spot, but Ming in a weak spot is still a lot stronger than Malacca.

Weighing the pros and cons I would say you should leave them for now.
 

Carmagnola

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Let me get this straight: you plan on declaring war on who? I know, I've read it several times now, but still not sure you mean the same Ming as me. You know, "The Dragon", those guys with the biggest army in the world, tons of manpower, a huge, partly unexplored territory, wealth beyond your dreams etc.?
And all this without an advantage in tech, or drill NI or even a half-decent leader? :eek:

Well, I'll say go ahead, I really want to see this. You have so far proven a master of brinkmanship, so it may be you know something we don't know and have skills far beyond ours. And your soldiers (poor things) have a very inspirational precedent in the armies of the Prophet taking on the Byzantine and Sassanid empires (even though they're still clueless as to where those places may be). This feat would be no lesser than that. Just don't count on their armies being far away as much of an advantage: you're in for a long ride, and they'll come and get you eventually.

But this is such an epic undertaking that should you end up crashing and burning, it would be worthwhile telling the story. Besides, any good epic needs a moment of burning pain and hopeless defeat, and if you're this good, it may be your only chance for that in this AAR!
 

aldriq

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Reckless me: Do it, do it, do it! You'll never get a chance like this.... you'll have to fight them sooner or later, better now when they are down... if you neutralise Ming now Asia will be yours a lot quicker.... you know it's going to be such fun... :D

Cautious me: Don't do it! Their manpower will recover a lot faster than yours.... they have a lot more money to out-merc you.... the AI has the annoying/clever habit to stop any wars as soon as the human player attacks it.... remember Dai Viet, what makes you think Ming's fleet won't pay you a visit in Malacca with a few regiments? .... the cost of this war will outstrip any gains, far more efficient in the long run to go for easier targets first.... you know you're gonna regret it... :(
 

Vann the Red

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You are a wildman, Rastar. I would never do it, but then I never win that much, either. Good luck to you.

Vann
 

Rastar

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Kami said:
UPDATE! WAR!

Plz :)
Glad you like the AAR so far :)


I'm trying to get updates out every 2 days, and should have the next one done (along with complete feedback) shortly after I get off work...so in about 5 hours. This one has been a bit of a challenge, as I am playing the game right now on very slow speed settings ;)
 

PrawnStar

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Still struggling to weigh up the pros and cons of war against Ming. Really must install Complete instead of doing RL :)

If they can be hurt badly do it, otherwise tiptoe around. They'll still be there in a couple of centuries once you have huge Westernised armies.
 

Rastar

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Feedback

Kentti: Truly spoken. It would be odd to go conservative at this point. Would have to claim that my medication was finally working…


Kami: Great point. I am counting on a few friendly rebels in vassal land if/when Ming occupies it. So far, BB is not impacting the merchants much. This is a huge difference from 3.0.

On Japan, my guess is that they might join in if I succeed and Ming is crushed, but they won’t early in the war or if I fail. Japan has been really quiet this game and has had lots of alliances for a long time, so there never has been a good opportunity for me to ally with them. Japan and Ming both have huge fleets, so would love to see them have a big naval battle.


Azugal: Glad you are liking the AAR so far! My total vassal troop count is around 22k, with Dai Viet fielding the biggest army. Besides them, most of the troops are in 1-3k stacks and some of my vassals are busy with rebel problems. I do think they can be helpful right at the beginning in sieges down south, but expect little after that.

Ming’s rich lands are mostly their core provinces on the coast. Those are the ones I want. The plan (hope?) is to give them a smackdown and never give them a chance to recover until all the good land is mine.


Demon1: Yeah the vassal club isn’t particularly picky on members, is it. If you have some money and are willing to give it to me, you are in :D


Oddman: Flying excrement is a real possibility. I wonder where that saying came from, as have trouble seeing it ever actually happening :rofl: If things go wrong, I will let them go that way. Frequently losing teaches me more than winning, and this would be such a spectacular loss that it would be extremely educational.


Enewald: Yes, BB is becoming less and less of a concern. If I do this war, the only real BB worry is Japan DOWing me in the middle of it and doing a sea invasion.


Naggy: 30% odds eh? Perhaps a friendly wager would be in order. I have the odds at around 80% :cool:

On attrition, I share your enthusiasm for scorching. However, if my plan works then Ming’s big stacks will first hit their own occupied provinces and after that hit vassal land that is 2 provinces deep and then be lured back north…so won’t be that many opportunities for scorching.


Rasmus40: Yes their current WE is a big factor in my thinking. They still have their 8 ADM king with great WE burn-off, so it would take many years of war to get WE that high if I had to start from 0.


Carmagnola: heh heh…yeah I do mean the Dragon. The unexplored territory up north is a bit of a problem, as it limits my ability to siege nearby provinces and not get rudely surprised.

Thanks for the comments on brinksmanship. Yes us Sunnis do like to whip the masses into a frenzy with all sorts of religious inspiration. In the standard “night before the battle” speeches, I think there is even a mention of 72 virgins…


Aldriq: Interesting comments. Which voice is speaking louder, the reckless you or the cautious you?


Vann the Red: Many thanks!


PrawnStar: Yes you should definitely install the Complete version. RL is way overrated :D
 

Rastar

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Update – Ming, Ming, Ming!!!​


4/1441 So, it appears that my loyal readers aren’t particularly surprised that I would choose the aggressive path. And I do have to agree that it would be really out of character for me to take a pass on this one :rolleyes: So naturally, I take a really deep breath and DOW Ming.


These next several years will be played at very low speed. If you want to dance, you have to be ready to move out the instant Ming sends a big stack toward you.


I also accept peace with Maja. Occupying their capital didn’t get me enough warscore for a vassal, and since I can’t see their other 2 provinces this is as good as it gets. And of course, I have a lot better uses for those 5k of armies than beating up on Maja.




Here is what I expect to happen in the first year of the war.
1. Ming will quickly peace out their other war.
2. Ming will then send almost all their armies down south.
3. Most of Ming’s armies will be grouped up in 10-20k stacks.
4. I will win 6-12 sieges down south before Ming arrives in force. The only help I am expecting from vassals is in this phase, where they will hopefully siege a few provinces for me.
5. I will win 2-3 sieges on the Manchu border and 0-1 sieges on the Tibet border.
6. Once Ming arrives, they will drop big stacks on the occupied provinces and suffer huge attrition. They will also assault frequently, so sieges will not last that long.
7. We will see a couple rebel pops in Ming’s recently won territory. These provinces are mostly in Siberia or near Manchu, so they will be a long ways from Ming’s forces in the south.
8. The odds of a sea invasion are quite low, both because Ming has a huge land border with my vassals and because almost all of their armies are in inland provinces.
9. The only fighting I will do with Ming is sniping 1-2k stacks. I will run like a little girl from all of Ming’s large stacks.
10. My goals in the first year are to drive up their WE, drain their manpower pool and stack size through attrition, and give their big stacks something to do when they arrive (namely siege back their land).


Here is what I expect to happen in the second year of the war.
1. The most important thing is that at some point Ming will win back all the sieges down south. What happens after that is absolutely critical. If all their stacks head further south into my vassals’ land, that is very bad. If some of their stacks head elsewhere, that is very good. So, my focus in the second year will be trying to convince some of Ming’s stacks to head somewhere else.
2. Ming’s stacks are most likely to head elsewhere if I have a lot of land occupied near Manchu/Tibet and if there are a lot of rebel stacks up north.
3. With Ming’s WE rather high by this point, I expect the AI to prioritize “win back sieges” above “siege the enemy”. However, “siege the enemy” will be a much shorter march than “win back sieges”.


5/1441 Here are the jobs of all 24k troops, with screenshots showing positions 1 ½ months into the war.


First off, the 3k troops hanging out in Manchu finally get to do something. These guys need to siege lots of provinces, and there are no Ming troops visible anywhere. I suspect Ming will focus on the south and leave these guys alone for quite a while.



Up north there is a lot going on. Ming has 49 regiments in a single province headed home, and there is lots of attrition damage. At the top of the screen, Ming has also created a 28-regiment mega-stack and made their king the leader.


I have 2k of armies here. One unit is hanging out with nothing to do. He will eventually head north to siege provinces north of Tibet like Urumqi, but right now his job is scouting.


The other unit is headed to Yumen to siege. You may wonder if this is suicidal, but I think they will be ok. The AI tends to give units incredibly long marching orders, and then rarely alters them until the units arrive at the destination. I believe all their armies will march right past my unit sieging Yumen.


Now, I have noticed that the AI has a tendency to “rethink” their plans whenever you first load the game. If I quit the game and reload, there is a risk that some of their armies will reroute and kill the siege unit. In order to prevent this from happening, I will keep the EU3 application running for days if necessary until my fun with Ming is finished.



And in the south, we have lots and lots of action and 11k of troops. So far we have 8 provinces under siege (all the red and green circles) and plan to siege 3 more quite soon (the blue X’s). The 3 red circles are tropical provinces where I am suffering attrition. While this is painful for me right now, it will be much more painful for Ming when they want to win back the sieges with big stacks. As you can see, my vassals are helping out a bit and are sieging 2 provinces. Yeah, guys!


Ming only has 2 regiments in view in the extreme right, and they are both headed northeast.




And here are the rest of the troops. The 5k on the boats will remain on rebel killing duty. I still have a lot of provinces with high RR, so cannot afford to send all my troops to fight Ming. The 3k of troops on land will join up with a couple of extra regiments and form a stack focused on defending siege regiments.


Ming only has a few regiments down south, and I can’t let them interfere with sieges. This mobile group will battle 1k-2k stacks and keep them away from my sieging troops. It will also snipe any new army builds. The stack is small enough that it should be able to move around freely inside Ming’s territory without attrition damage. My one general (shock 2 maneuver 2) goes with this stack.



7/1441 Golden Horde accepts a white peace with Ming. The Horde was the alliance leader, so that war is over. That was expected, but still not fun to see.


We are now sieging 13 provinces and the vassal kids are sieging 2 more.


Ming’s WE is up a full point, going from 12.90 in April to 13.94 today. That is a lot of increase in 3 months. Once we win a few sieges, we will have a nice additional source of WE.



9/1441 The first of Ming’s big stacks shows up, and I run away as fast as I can. That is 5 months after the DOW and a bit earlier than expected, but I did get quite a few months of carefree sieging.


So far I have won 1 siege, which is just barely visible on the left of the screen. I have also managed to snipe a few 1k armies with the “siege protection” group.


In the blue oval at the right, you can see progress on the siege at Yumen. Yes, all of Ming’s armies did march right past that regiment, just as I had hoped.


And at the bottom in the notes, Ming has embargoed us from their nice rich COT. No surprises there.




10/1441 The Manchu border is going decently well. We have won one siege so far, and the siege in Liaodong is almost done. Ming did send a small stack our way that disrupted another siege, so we danced out of the way. In the middle bottom of the screen, you can see a 5k pop of peasant rebels.



10/1441 The southern border is also going well. We have won 3 sieges there and are getting close on 6 more.


Ming’s big stack is about to attack my vassals in Viet Bac. There are 2 vassals there and combined they have 7k troops, so they should keep Ming busy for a little while. Ming is also sending a few armies my way in Wenshan, so my siege protection group is headed there to defend.



10/1441 And just for comic relief, Ming goes for the seaborne invasion with a 1k stack on Maka. Check out the protection squad of 49 galleys…overkill perhaps?


The goon squad of galleys will hang out for a while looking for a fight and then get bored and leave. At that point I will bring in my troops and kill the siegers. We may play end up playing many, many rounds of this. I don’t want to leave troops on the island as that will just cause Ming to send bigger invasion forces.


In random other news, Ming’s troop count is down to 125k…woohoo 3k less than in April. At this pace I just might finish the war before 1821.

 
Last edited:

Rastar

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Update – Ming, Ming, Ming!!! (continued)​

12/1441 The mega-stack shows up and heads for vassal land. This means we now have 2 big stacks down south. Rather surprised to see them go to vassal land rather than winning back their own occupied land, but oh well. Thang Long will be an excellent place for them to soak up the attrition.


I now have occupied 9 of their provinces, and 3 others are getting close.



2/1442 Things look pretty good up north. A couple of rebel pops are about to beat Ming’s regiment and siege Hovd. In the upper left, I have a new siege going.


On the right, we spent the year-end census tax money on recruiting 4 additional regiments.


My favorite part of this shot is in the middle. The entire Ming army marched right past my siege in Yumen and never once detoured, so we were able to complete the siege. Hahahaha!



2/1442 On the Manchu border, things are good. We have won 2 sieges, although Ming is now working on getting one of them back.


The big news is that an 18-regiment stack decided to head our way. This is unexpected but good news, as that keeps 18 regiments a long ways away from the south. My 1k siege army in Chengde will start running away from them very soon.


Down at the bottom, the 5k peasant rebel pop from a few months ago is still at work, and they should win that siege any day now.



2/1442 Down south, things are getting a bit hairy. Ming now has 4 large stacks in the south (the dark red circles) and lots of tiny stacks wandering around. Even if I wanted to, I do not have enough armies to challenge any of those large stacks. In total, Ming has about 61k of armies visible in this screenshot.


My stack sniping group (green circle) is doing great work. Quite a few of Ming’s tiny stacks are seriously depleted, so I have been getting a lot of over-runs.


We now have 11 provinces occupied across all of Ming, while Ming has occupied 1 of my vassals’ provinces. However, this number is going to go down quickly. Ming is sieging back 4 provinces and will assault frequently, while I will not be winning any more sieges soon.




3/1442 Ming’s WE is now 16.20. This is up 3.3 points since July, so 0.41 per month. Great progress there, particularly considering their @#$!&# king with 8 ADM is still alive. As a result, RR in their core provinces is 5.1%, and it is as high as 26.7% in their newly won territory.


Ming has 64 provinces and about 15 of them are recently won, so we should start seeing a steady stream of rebel pops.


We are now a year into the war, and I need to unpeel my eyeballs from the screen. This entire year has been played on rather slow speed. In order to be effective at dancing, I have to spot enemies headed my way within a few days of when they start moving. Now that Ming’s troops are all over the place, this next section will be played at even slower speed than before. Yes it’s rather tedious, but otherwise the 1k units get overrun very quickly.
 
Last edited:

Vladislav

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Wow, talk about a true underdog story. :p I have to see how this turns out.
 

Enewald

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And how long shall your people sustain the war?
You need to make a coup in the Ming capital. :D
 

unmerged(111870)

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very nice - And thanks to the hippies in the golden horde for the wimpy peaceout.

Thought about infiltrating their adm ? Would be nice to spot their troops BEFORE they jump out of the FOW .

Now we just need to see some defections and Japan joining in on the fun :D
 

naggy

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oddman said:
Hm. If Ming occupies your vassals, can he force a peace with them (or annexation of)? That would be bad, especially the annexation.

Otherwise, very curious to see how things will turn out.
No. For Ming to do anything to his vassals, they have to go through him diplomatically. No matter how bad it gets, he can just throw vassals under the bus to sop up war score.
 

Azugal

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Great progress so far, and an excellent update. :)

I think the secret is going to be how many provinces you can beseige off him with your small stacks, and how quickly you can do it. I am thinking that you need to keep them moving around and beseiging new provinces. Otherwise, you are toast unless a lot of provinces rebel awfully soon. :)