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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Xhosa: A one-province pagan minor takes on the world.

PART ONE (1419-1438)

[anchorlink=Foreword]Foreword about 1.07 March 2, 2004 Beta[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Background]Background[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Goals]Goals[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Choices]Initial Choices[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Zulu1]First War with Zulu[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Zulu2]Second War with Zulu[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Prepare_Zimbabwe]Preparing for War with Zimbabwe[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Zulu3]Third War with Zulu[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Zimbabwe]War with Zimbabwe[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=King_Dead]Zimbabwe's King is Dead[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Annihilated]All Enemies Annihilated[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Zulu_Attacks]Completed Siege in Zimbabwe, Now Attacked by Zulu[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Two_Sieges]Simultaneous Sieges in Progress[/anchorlink]
[anchorlink=Finish_Part1]Siege Complete in Natal, Finish off my Enemies[/anchorlink]


[anchor=Foreword]Foreword about 1.07 March 2, 2004 Beta[/anchor]

I have found it necessary to repeat that the 1.07 March 2, 2004 beta (last 1.07 beta) and the 1.08 vanilla are identical except for the ability to merge units in motion. I only used this ability to reduce the tedium of having hundreds of tiny armies running around. There is one time I merged to raise morale in the Kongo. A time or two, I merged some troops to form a cover force; but basically the game would be the same in 1.08.

You can find the same information in the 1.07 Summary of Beta patch changes up to March 2/04. I use the 1.07 March 2/04 beta. The list of changes up to the last 1.07 beta looks very similar to the list of changes between version 1.07 vanilla and version 1.08 vanilla. In fact, I did a Windiff and the only differences are the instructions for installation of 1.08, the placement of the new features and straits information to the top of the 1.08 information, and the little ***** boxes around each header in the document of 1.08 release notes.

Luckily, fraese was good enough to play along with the 1.08 April 21, 2005 beta and reported back that everything worked out for him until I no longer heard back after he had conquered Oman. See posts #16 and #62.


[anchor=Background]Background[/anchor]

Scenario: Grand Campaign of 1419
Version: "EU2 v1.07b BETA Mar 2 2004."
Difficulty: Very Hard
AI Aggressiveness: Aggressive
Majors: Xhosa substituted for Byzantium.

Self imposed rules:
No voluntarily taking bank loans except as repayment for other loans.
No loaning out money for any reason.
No intentional turbo-annexing.
No game or scenario editing.
No merging troops or ships to cause them to move faster or stop retreats.
No reloading from a previous save game, except as required by game crashes.
No provoking game crashes.

The following is an account of a successful world conquest (WC) campaign using Xhosa. This screen shows Xhosa's initial position and DP sliders. Xhosa is a one-province pagan minor near the tip of South Africa. The desire is to accomplish WC with one of the most difficult countries. American nations may arguably be more difficult due to "whiteman penalty", relative late discovery by Europeans, and lesser manpower potential. However, there are only two pagan nations that begin as one-province minors, Zulu and Xhosa. Both nations are of similar difficulty. On the plus side, Zulu begins with a port, a little more income, and a land connection to Zimbabwe's territories. Xhosa has grain production, friendly relations with Zimbabwe, and potential land connections to fair, taxable colonies. For reasons of AI competence, Zulu is actually tougher to start a game with; but I had already tired of using Zulu in games where I found WC attainable. I tired of the red flags that so often caused my failure in being alerted to Portuguese presence. My favorite color is blue; and Xhosa's flag is my favorite shade. There's really not much difference between playing Zulu and Xhosa; so I choose Xhosa.

The game is played using the last 1.07 beta version. There is little difference between this last 1.07 beta and 1.08 vanilla. I prefer some ability to reorganize troops in enemy territory without ending up with too many tiny armies; so I use the ability to merge troops in motion only to avoid the tedium of managing dozens of tiny armies.

I should point out at the outset that WC with Xhosa is not likely. After the first sixty years of game play, with the best management, approximately one in twenty games have the potential to result in WC. I should know; I replayed the early years each time that I decided to choose a different tactic for later game play. I point out every detail in the early years; every little thing is important when there's not much to work with. As my power grows, I'll describe less of the micromanagement.

Xhosa begins with a decent monarch (7,7,7), a mere 25d, and little else. Xhosa's initial annual income is near 11d from all sources. Xhosa knows of only two other nations, Zulu and Zimbabwe. There is no army; but it is advantageous that the neighboring state of Zulu has no army either. Xhosa has permanent CB on Zulu. Nearby Zimbabwe begins with only 1K infantry led by King Nyatsimha (2,3,3).


[anchor=Goals]Goals[/anchor]

The first major goal toward WC is the annexation of Zimbabwe within the first twenty years of game play. The manpower is a must for supporting a decent size army capable of making gains in the greater world. The gold is not necessary; the nearby CoT of Zanzibar will eventually do nicely to aid income. The gold inflation (about 0.14% per year) is not welcome; but it is not nearly so bad as in earlier patches. It is possible to make a go of it and not take Zimbabwe's capital; that costs one more badboy point, but allows for some peace cash. Or you could annex Zimbabwe and allow Zimbabwe to form from revolt losing the gold; that means fighting any number of rebellions to get one where you want. Then you are deprived of the best manpower and tax you can expect to receive, not to mention the gold. You also have another enemy on your border. The odds are already stacked against me; I'll just annex Zimbabwe and not mess around. That's easier said than done.

The second major goal toward WC is obtaining a port for shipbuilding. Although there's nowhere to sail at present, I need to plan ahead for the day when the knowledge of the greater world becomes available. It is possible to annex Zulu's port of Natal. Eliminating Zulu means a land connection to Zimbabwe territory for more tax, the port is good, and more manpower and tax from Natal are a plus also. On the other hand, annexing costs a lot of badboy points for one province and deprives you of having permanent CB, useful for manufacturing CB against allies in future. The Zulu are also a good source of inflation free peace cash. I opt to colonize my own port.


[anchor=Choices]Initial Choices[/anchor]

Xhosa knows a good number of South African provinces ripe for colonization; unfortunately, changes must be made to domestic policies (DP) before colonists will be available. The decision of what to do with the DP sliders in 1419 is a tough one. Moving toward Land for cheaper military is out since I want to colonize. Moving toward Serfdom or Quantity helps reduce costs also, but the morale is needed to fight Zimbabwe. I am torn between moving toward Narrow-mindedness or Free Trade for the colonists. Or I could move toward Aristocracy for more reasonably priced cavalry (16d instead of 18d) and improved badboy recovery; then I could make changes to gain colonists for the next ten years. To start, my monarch is pretty good; I'm already losing one badboy every five years. I expect to gain only two badboys in the first decade, so speeding badboy recovery isn't going to matter for this DP choice. Unless there is an early opportunity for an attack against Zimbabwe, I don't need to build cavalry for ten years; so I can choose Aristocracy later. To choose Aristocracy now would require me to choose Narrow-Mindedness later for the colonists I want. I shall attempt to remain at 4 or 5 on the Narrow-Mindedness/Innovativeness scale changing only if required by event. A more gradual increase in colonists by moving toward Free Trade is my choice. I expect one colonist every five years. The cost of merchants means little to me. As a pagan, trade is not expected to be profitable outside Zanzibar. Once I get five merchants in Zanzibar, I'll pretty much stop sending them.

So the DP slider is moved toward Free Trade for 0.20 colonists per year. Game speed is set to extremely fast for now; events are few and far between early on. Religion sliders for Christian, Moslem, and Pagan are all set to maximum; sliders for Konfucian, Buddhist, and Hindu are all set to minimum. That gives me maximum tolerance for most of the world. Until I get to the East at the end of the game, I'll never need to touch the religion sliders again. Land and naval maintenance are set to 50%, not that it matters, as there is no military yet. And investment is set full toward land tech. I intend to put all effort into researching land tech until reaching land 14. Trade as a pagan is of little use because pagans seem to have serious difficulty competing against any non-pagan nation. Any CoTs you ever own become nearly worthless; so even embargoes don't help. I intend to embark upon WC as soon as possible; getting infrastructure five is just no longer valuable for WC enthusiasts. Once you embark on WC, there is no sense placing governors because in inflationary terms they cost more than they help as you continue to expand faster and faster. There isn't even any reason to reach trade 1 or infrastructure 1 sooner; I cannot afford to do anything until after my monarch's contribution will give me the first levels anyway.

Land tech is the way to go. With an all-out effort I can keep closer to European land tech levels. That will save me much expense; and with the new penalties to tax income, replacing troops becomes difficult due to build capacity. If not for near tech parity, protecting a far-flung empire may be impossible with my only real build capacity way down in South Africa. As a plus, good land tech gives me the ability to perform assaults to conquer the native nations in South America. Without assaults, I wouldn't attempt to conquer the South American nations, which can provide a significant increase in income. And without assaults, how could I ever hope to quickly conquer Africa when the BB wars begin? So here I am with my one little province, no army, in the middle of a map of white; and I'm dreaming of my continental invasions of huge empires in a distant lands. Snap out of it, right? How can I even conquer Zimbabwe?

To conquer Zimbabwe requires a sneak attack immediately or in about the tenth year of the game when Zimbabwe spends most of its treasury on tax collectors. To succeed in the attack, I need money to raise and maintain an army. I am unable to take a loan due to too low of income; but it is possible to take loans in months after looting. I like to play without taking voluntary loans; so I'll plan to attack Zimbabwe in ten years. Until that time, I'll need to work on raising the cash. As I have noted, Zulu is a good source of peace cash. Zulu begins with some money. After nearly 10 years while unable to build troops in war, Zulu manages to accumulate 300d in their treasury.

The answer to my financial needs seems simple; I eventually need to win a war against Zulu. The AI is seriously incompetent in managing Zulu; I expect that Zulu will not put up a fight at all. To win the war, I need at least 5K troops to complete a siege. Cavalry are way to expensive. Using infantry, it is not possible to invade without movement attrition. So I must build 6K infantry; but I can afford only 2K infantry at the outset. On April 1, 1419, I commission the building of 2K infantry; I'm not paying to support the troops any longer than I have to. I'm going to need to loot and use my pitiful census tax (2.5d) to pay for the other 4K infantry.


[anchor=Zulu1]First War with Zulu[/anchor]

I want to begin burning up my badboy as soon as possible. I gain a diplomat on May 1, 1419, but wait until end of May to DoW Zulu. I begin marching when 2K low morale infantry are ready on June 1, 1419; that's why I began building them in April. Give Zulu too much time and they might actually respond to my DoW by building a warship. I'm not afraid of the warship; but that drains Zulu's treasury. So the 300d I need would not be available when I need it.

On July 8, 1419 my infantry arrive in Natal. The unit of 2K is now 1980 men due to movement attrition; movement attrition is the reason building 1K infantry would not be sufficient. Natal is covered; it's now too late for Zulu to do anything. By the way, playing Zulu and DoWing Xhosa, an AI playing Xhosa responds by building 2K cavalry. The newly built cavalry can usually be defeated with 1K infantry and 1K cavalry, which costs a Zulu player a little more and drains the targeted enemy's treasury, delaying the 300d payoff; but essentially the game is the same. Even if not for Zulu's AI mismanagement, it is still possible to win the war.

Once my men have arrived in Natal, I disband all but 1200. I click "cover" and disband the 780 men that I do not want to pay to support. I could keep the 780 men to be of use in case of rebellions due to random events; but the combined chance of an event and chance the troops would be of use is not enough for me to end up getting more inflation to pay for their upkeep.

So now I increase my treasury by looting Zulu's capital in Natal. For July 1419, I pull the investment slider in the budget window all the way to mint money for the treasury; and I close the budget window. I gain 5.8d for that month. Then I return the slider to full investment in land tech. The next looting season is August 1420.

On March 4, 1421, I get a pleasant surprise. A good government policies event improves trade and infrastructure investments by +250d each. That's nice, because I really need to reach trade 1 and infra 1 before annexing Zimbabwe; otherwise the tech costs go up due to having more territories and greater isolation. Normal monarch contribution to the techs results in getting the techs in 1436, which is fine; but there are bad events that drop trade investment or hurt your monarch's contribution like insanity. That could push the time for annexation out.

I loot again in September 1421. A dialog box with pause comes up on June 1, 1422; a white peace with Zulu results due to the fact there has been no fighting and there has been no siege progress for over three years. The war is over; the reason for the war was to loot three times for 15d extra. I started with 5d remaining from my initial 25d after building infantry. I had some census tax come in, some monthly income minted along with the loot, and had some support expenses. I now have 26d in the treasury. One badboy, and a war for 15d doesn't seem that good, but the badboy will be erased before it matters.

Now that I am at peace, it is time to take advantage of my good +125 relations with Zimbabwe. I invite Zimbabwe into an alliance for purpose of gaining a CB against them later. Zimbabwe probably would have invited me had they known where my capital is. The reasons for not inviting Zimbabwe into an alliance sooner are that before my war with Zulu, I didn't have diplomats to spare; and during war with Zulu, I wouldn't want to bring Zimbabwe into the war. They would build up army, learn about Zulu's whereabouts, and would steal the siege of Natal using King Nyatsimha.

It is possible that Zimbabwe might refuse my invitation. But that doesn't matter, as there is plenty of time to try to get Zimbabwe into an alliance before I really need the alliance. Zimbabwe accepts my invitation. It is reassuring to see at a glance that Zimbabwe remains nearly defenseless. There are only 990 infantry in Sofala. If there is a rebellion in Zimbabwe, troops are built in response. If Zimbabwe were to have just 6K troops before I was prepared to spring my attack, I would resign the game. Due to the importance of keeping tabs on Zimbabwe's possible troop buildup, I have set the dialog box option to notify in case of rebellions in other countries.


[anchor=Zulu2]Second War with Zulu[/anchor]

I still need to win a war against Zulu. There is a very slight chance that Zulu builds 5K cavalry on the day white peace results. In that case, only loans can further my goals. But Zulu hasn't started building troops; so I break truce and DoW Zulu a second time. The stability loss is not too big a deal because a level of stability costs only 29d and my monarch contributes 14d per month toward stability recovery. I fiddle with my troops to reinitiate the cover in Natal. It is time to loot again in October 1422.

On November 23, 1423, there is another pleasant surprise. I choose to accept a petition for redress, which raises DP Centralization by +1. This costs four stability; but again that's no big deal. I loot again this month, November 1423.

Then on January 1, 1424, my census taxes bring in just enough to reach my 40d goal for building 4K infantry. That there is just enough money isn't a concern; waiting to loot once more is an option. Inflation is 0.4%; I stop minting the loot I receive. I commission my 4K infantry, which are completed and begin marching on March 1, 1424. On April 8, 1424, the troops arrive and siege progress begins in Natal with 5160 infantrymen.

The siege progresses rapidly. On August 10, 1425, my forces gain control of Natal. Notice that at the extremely fast game speed setting, dates do not always work out as they should. I started the siege on the 8th, so I should complete the siege on the 8th as well; but no matter.

On September 1, 1425, I divide my forces to stand guard in case of unprovoked rebellion events. I leave 2K infantry to guard Natal and send the remaining men back to my capital. If there is a rebellion, the best chance for minimal damage is by being there the day the rebels appear. Due to slow African movement times, it is not otherwise possible to send infantry to fight rebels the first month of the rebellion. On October 8, 1425, I have 3129 infantry in my capital of Transkei; and there are the 2K infantry remaining in Natal.

On October 3, 1426, I get the best event I could hope for. An exceptional year eliminates my 0.4% inflation and gives me 100d in my treasury. Somewhere along the line, Zulu had an event that added 25d to their treasury because they are a year early in reaching the 300d limit. Note that a one-province nation does not accumulate more money for peace after reaching 300d. Anything substantially more than 300d can only be obtained if the nation begins with more than 300d or an event or gift causes the treasury to be greater than 300d. On November 1, 1427, an early peace with Zulu means slightly lower war exhaustion than I would normally be prepared for when fighting Zimbabwe. My treasury is now 399d; that is plenty considering I could make due with 300d. I make Zulu my vassal so that I still have access for my troops; but unlike military access, I can declare war with troops still in their territory. I leave the 2K infantry in Natal. Now I wait until 1429 to build cavalry and attack Zimbabwe when their treasury is low from building tax collectors.

On July 27, 1428, an internal trade ordinance raises base tax in my capital from five to six. A little more census and monthly income is nice; the added build capacity is sure to be useful someday.
 
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Part One Continued

[anchor=Prepare_Zimbabwe]Preparing for War with Zimbabwe[/anchor]

In October 1428, I commission 1K infantry that I know I'll need for simultaneous war with Zulu and Zimbabwe. On July 1, 1429, it is time to make a DP slider change toward Aristocracy. The price of cavalry drops from 18d to 16d. I commission 4K cavalry at the new lower price. When the 4K cavalry are completed on April 1, 1429, I use split and reorganize to create a tiny band of 40 horsemen. The 40 men are important; I need the 40 men to offset the men lost to movement attrition for a different band of 4K cavalry later on. I also create two units of 1020 infantry in my capital, needed for surviving two months of movement attrition, resulting in exactly 1K troops. I also need infantries of 2060 men, and 20 men, leaving 9 men remaining. I'll explain my reasons for the specific troop sizes later. I send my two cavalry units to Natal.

I need more cavalry, but my manpower is limited and only recharges at 1K per month. It takes three months to build cavalry. On April 1, 1429, I build 3K cavalry more. I am nearing the time for war.


[anchor=Zulu3]Third War with Zulu[/anchor]

In May 1429, my badboy has reached absolute zero; not even the smallest fraction remains. The plan is to DoW Zulu, invite Zimbabwe, then DoW Zimbabwe with CB when they refuse to honor the alliance. Zimbabwe is sure to dishonor the alliance. Zimbabwe doesn't know of Zulu's capital; and the AI never honors alliances when a capital is unknown.

The timing is important. I want to start burning badboy as soon as possible, but I'm not ready for war with Zimbabwe. The aim is to gain some badboy in May but extend the CB against Zimbabwe as long as possible. On May 30, 1429, I DoW Zulu breaking vassalization and breaking truce. A siege begins in Natal using units of 3960 and 40 cavalry along with 2K infantry.

On July 1, 1429, I have completed 3K more cavalry. I send the 3K new cavalry and 3109 infantry from my capital to Natal, leaving 1020 infantry in my capital. The cavalry are due to arrive the very month while the infantry will arrive the following month. This is important; because any more than 9K troops in Natal will cause supply attrition. The 3960 cavalry in Natal are sent to the uncolonized Inhambane to prepare for a blitz on Zimbabwe's borders. The tiny unit of 40 cavalry is sent back to the capital. On July 27, 1429, 3K cavalry arrive to add to the 2K infantry in Natal so that the siege continues; the 3960 cavalry unit is not in the siege as it is on the way to Inhambane.

On August 1, 1429, my large 3921 cavalry unit reaches Inhambane and is attacked by natives. I flee immediately to Zambezia. I do not wish to kill the natives in Inhambane. I intend to make use of the natives to remove Portuguese settlements in the future. If the natives did not attack, I would need to attack them; my men must be in retreat toward Zambezia. The reason is: I am sending my 3K cavalry unit from Natal to follow the first cavalry unit. There is an overlap of time that both cavalry units will be in Inhambane. If natives were to attack the second cavalry unit, both units would get caught in the battle; supply attrition would be quite a bit higher. On August 1, 1429, I send my 3K cavalry unit in Natal to ride toward Nampuia through the provinces of Inhambane and Zambezia. Natives are most likely to attack in Inhambane if a unit ends its movement there. I am just passing through. If I can avoid confrontations with natives in Inhambane from now on that's fine. I also send the remaining infantry unit of 1020 men in my capital to Natal. I commission 4K more cavalry.

On August 3, 1429, I request Zimbabwe aid me in my war against Zulu. Zimbabwe dishonors the alliance; they don't know of Zulu's capital. This was nearly the last possible day to request my former ally's help.

On August 9, 1429, infantries of 2040, 1010, 20, and 9 men arrive in Natal. I merge the 2040 men with the 2000 men already in Natal for a main infantry of 4040 men. Siege progress continues in Natal with over 5K infantry. I am at the supply limit of 9K in Natal; the infantry from my capital are not due to arrive until the following month when the 3K cavalry will be gone.

On September 1, 1429, my second cavalry of 2970 men arrives to pass through Inhambane toward Zambezia and Nampuia; the natives are not restless. On the same day, I begin marching my main infantry of 4040 men toward Zambezia through Inhambane; I really do not want these infantrymen to be stopped by natives in Inhambane.

On September 8, 1429, the 1010 infantrymen from my capital arrive in Natal. On September 11, 1429, my large cavalry unit has crossed the Limpopo River to Zambezia; a pitiful band of 500 natives attack. In two days, the natives are reduced to less than 100. I flee to Nampuia. No point in fighting to the last man; once below 100, the natives are gone never to return.

On October 1, 1429, stability increases to -1. I have more than enough stability to DoW Zimbabwe. On October 11, 1429, my second cavalry of about 2900 men arrive in Zambezia on the way as reinforcements to Nampuia. Two days later my first cavalry unit of about 3750 men arrive in Nampuia to do battle with natives having only 2000 infantry. That is low considering there could be as many as 3500 natives in the first attack at Nampuia. The native strength declines rapidly; so I'm on a fast track to war with Zimbabwe. I cannot DoW Zimbabwe until the natives are pretty much eliminated in Nampuia. In this case, there's no doubt the natives are a push-over; if there is any difficulty, my reinforcements in the form of the second cavalry will certainly take care of the job.

I need to wipe out natives in Zambezia and Nampuia because I need to be able to freely place my troops in those provinces for the coming attack on Zimbabwe. Also, it is important during battles with Zimbabwe that the natives be gone so that Zimbabwe's troops will retreat to Nampuia then retreat to Zambezia then back to Nampuia and so on. If natives are present, it is impossible to corral Zimbabwe's retreating troops in this manner. Zimbabwe gets plenty of income; I must stop troop building by covering all enemy territory. It is better to fight Zimbabwe's troops outside of their homeland, so that one lost battle doesn't allow my enemy to build reinforcements. Also, supply attrition penalties are equally applied to both combatants' troops.

On October 16, 1429, my main infantry unit of exactly 4000 arrives in Inhambane passing through on the way to Zambezia. It sure is nice that the natives didn't attack. If they did attack, I would retreat toward Zambezia. Two days later, when the natives disappear, I would split my 4K retreating troops into one 2K force sitting in Inhambane and one 2K force retreating to Zambezia. Then I would similarly split the retreating 2K force, leaving me in control of 3K infantry in Inhambane. If there were less than 4000 men, I could not split twice and would have control of fewer men. If there were a tiny bit more than 4000 men, I would needlessly suffer higher supply attrition.


[anchor=Zimbabwe]War with Zimbabwe[/anchor]

I pause the game on October 17, 1429. I reduce game speed from extremely fast to above normal. My stability suffers due to the good relations as I DoW Zimbabwe. I am ready to blitz Zimbabwe. There is no particular hurry in getting into enemy territory. If an AI nation is DoWed by a nation that it does not border, and there is no immediate threat, the AI waits a few months before building any troops. Once there is an enemy presence inside the AI country, the AI is quick to commission troops. The objective then is to coordinate the movement of troops to arrive in all border provinces on the same day.

Zimbabwe's undefended border provinces of Chibuene and Nembire can simply be covered by a minimal number of 1K troops each. I have a 1010 infantry unit in Natal able to reach Chibuene in exactly one month. A small portion of the cavalry in Nampuia can reach Nembire in exactly one month and five days. Cavalry in Nampuia and Zambezia can reach Sofala in one month and five days; but the infantry in Inhambane takes two months and 15 days to reach Sofala. My main infantry of 4000 men are immediately redirected toward Sofala. I have about a month to a month and a half to take care of the natives in Nampuia then place my other troops in motion.

Sofala is the focal point of the attack. It is essential that at least one battle against King Nyatsimha be won. Hopefully, all 990 enemy infantry in Sofala are annihilated, so the king dies. King Nyatsimha's slight shock advantage can be troublesome if he manages to survive long enough to meet up with a significant number of his troops built in the far inland provinces of Rozwi and Zimbabwe.

On November 1, 1429, my third cavalry unit of 4K is complete and has combined with the 40 cavalry there to form a unit of 4040 men. I send the 4040 cavalry to Natal. When the natives in Nampuia are nearly eliminated, I stop my reinforcing cavalry in Zambezia from advancing toward Nampuia. On November 12, 1429, the natives in Nampuia have been annihilated; that took longer than expected. All troops are ready for action.

Winning the battle in Sofala is by no means a certainty. To improve the odds, I attack in waves. I know my infantry will arrive in Sofala on January 2. It is better to enter enemy territory before census tax arrives so that less enemy troops are built. Also, it is preferable that my cavalry attack first since they have the best odds of annihilating the 990 enemy infantry. My infantry have an attack penalty due to crossing a river; so I rely on them as a last resort and to boost morale. It's good to have a number of days between waves. I attack with two waves of cavalry. The infantry follows to arrive at the beginning of the month on purpose; I don't want supply attrition to reduce my troops while in this battle. I choose a coordinated arrival date for the initial landings in Chibuene, Sofala, and Nembire to be December 21. I will follow with a second wave of cavalry in Sofala three days later.

In November, army maintenance is raised to 100% in preparation for the attack; support costs are 7d per month. On November 16, 1429, having over 3000 men in Nampuia, I can use reorganize, split, and merge to form a small cover force of at least 1031 cavalry in Nampuia; I am suffering 3% supply attrition in Nampuia.

For example starting with 3600 men:
Reorg => 2600, 1000
Split => 1300, 1300, 1000
Merge => 1300, 2300
Split => 1300, 1150, 1150
Merge => 2450, 1150
Reorg => 1450, 1000, 1150
Merge => 1450, 2150
Split => 1450, 1075, 1075
Merge => 2525, 1075
Reorg => 1525, 1000, 1075
Merge => 1525, 2075
Split => 1525, 1038, 1037
Merge => 2563, 1037

I send the about 1040 cavalry unit toward Nembire. The over 2500 remaining cavalry in Nampuia I send to meet the enemy in Sofala. On November 19, 1429, I send the approximately 2900 cavalry in Zambezia toward Sofala. On November 21, 1429, I send 1010 infantry in Natal toward Chibuene; after one month of movement attrition there will be 1000 men exactly. Chibuene must be covered with exactly 1000 men to avoid supply attrition. The 1010 infantry cover force remaining in Natal is backup in case something goes wrong in Chibuene and I need a replacement 1000 infantry. The 20 infantry in Natal can always be combined with 1000 new troops produced in Transkei, making exactly 1000 men by the time Chibuene is reached. My third cavalry unit of 4040 cavalry arrives in Natal five days later; siege progress is reestablished in Natal.

On December 3, 1429, the third cavalry unit of 4040 men in Natal is sent to ride to Sofala passing through Inhambane; hopefully they get past the natives the way the main infantry unit did. Note that I leave a little later in the month so that my infantry will be out of Inhambane before my cavalry arrive.

December 20, 1429 is one day before the initial strike against Zimbabwe. On December 21, 1429, troops land in Chibuene, Sofala, and Nembire. Exactly 1000 infantry arrive in Chibuene; important because any more than 1000 would cause supply attrition.

The attack in Sofala goes well in the first days. Should morale break rapidly, I would flee toward Nembire; Nembire has higher supply than the uncolonized provinces. And from Nembire I can reach Rozwi where there is sure to be a battle about the time morale would be fully recovered. But in this case, morale remains decent so the second wave of cavalry encounters a battle in progress on December 24, 1429. I have a very decent 186d in my treasury. But I don't know how things will turn out yet. I may need to build much more cavalry to win this war. So I mint the loot of 8d from Chibuene, Sofala, and Nembire.

On January 2, 1430, my main infantry of 3920 men arrives to raise moral in Sofala. The battle has been a close call up to this point. Now victory appears certain as the morale bar for my men is well above half. By now Zimbabwe, has wised up; troops are being built in the far inland provinces of Rozwi and Zimbabwe. On January 3, 1430, my third cavalry unit of exactly 4000 men is passing through Inhambane on the way toward the enemy troops in Sofala. The third cavalry unit is not due to arrive in Sofala for a month and a half; so they do not represent an attack wave but rather a late attack if all else fails. The cavalry are of course necessary for dealing with enemy troops currently being built. The exact number of 4000 men is intentional so that I may split them twice in case of contact with natives. In the case of an early victory in Sofala, I don't need to split because all the cavalry would be able to retreat toward Sofala. No retreat is necessary; the natives do not attack.


[anchor=King_Dead]Zimbabwe's King is Dead[/anchor]

I keep a close watch on the battle in Sofala. Things could go sour at any moment. If I were to lose involuntarily, my men would run to Nampuia. If I see panic, I need to voluntarily retreat to Nembire. On January 5, 1430, the first battle against Zimbabwe is a complete success. The enemy infantry is annihilated. Zimbabwe's king is dead!

Now I fix my sliders. I stop minting and lower maintenance to 50%. Things are going quite well; and I have plenty of money (190d). I don't need to bother minting the tiny bits of loot anymore.

Zimbabwe has failed to start building troops in Sofala. Only the provinces of Rozwi and Zimbabwe have troops being built. Hovering my cursor over the blacksmiths building the troops, I see the estimated completion times. I determine that Rozwi is building no cavalry; but at least some cavalry is being built in Zimbabwe. My cavalry can reach both provinces before troop builds are completed; I am intent on preventing Zimbabwe from building any more troops than are currently being built. I send my largest cavalry unit in Sofala of 2823 men to Rozwi; the other cavalry unit in Sofala of 2218 men, I send to Zimbabwe. Usually, I send a larger amount of cavalry to Zimbabwe since my enemy has more build capacity there. But in this case, Rozwi is only building infantry and so will complete very soon. After quickly defeating troops in Rozwi, I have a month to get my cavalry to Zimbabwe. My infantry I use to cover Sofala and split the remainder to march on Rozwi and Zimbabwe, 1288 men each. A little less troops will arrive at the destinations, because my troops are suffering a 3% supply attrition in Sofala this month.

On February 1, 1430, troops are nearing their destinations. In February 1430, all of my troops arrive at their destinations. The third cavalry unit of 3920 men arriving in Sofala, I send on to Nembire. I know that the troops being built in Rozwi will retreat toward Nembire; the AI retreats toward the least number of enemy troops. I want troops built in Zimbabwe to retreat to Sofala; so I need to leave Sofala less defended than Rozwi by the time the Zimbabwe troops are built. Sofala has better supply than does Rozwi. Also, I'm trying to corral enemy troops to the uncolonized provinces of Nampuia and Zambezia; the shortest route from Zimbabwe to Nampuia is through Sofala.

Only 1000 enemy infantry are built in Rozwi. They fight my cavalry for a while. But when my infantry arrive, the remaining 300 or so enemy infantry flee to Nembire as expected. My cavalry's morale has taken a bit of a beating. I need some time to recover morale before going to Zimbabwe, so I wait until March 1, 1430 to move the cavalry. I keep Rozwi covered with my infantry, and send all the 2700 or so cavalry to Zimbabwe. A month later nearly 5000 cavalry plus 1250 infantry are in Zimbabwe. In Nembire, there are also nearly 5000 cavalry.

In April 1430, the enemy encounters in Zimbabwe and Nembire go well. A decent 5000 infantry and 1000 cavalry were built in Zimbabwe. On April 9, 1430, after seven days of fighting, Zimbabwe's remaining 3300 infantry and 650 cavalry flee; I cannot tell from the graphic where the enemy is retreating. There are slightly more infantry covering Rozwi than are in Sofala. I am sure to expect a battle in Sofala; but I send my smaller cavalry unit in Zimbabwe of about 2100 cavalry to Rozwi, just in case. The other cavalry in Zimbabwe, of about 2600 cavalry, I send for battle in Sofala. Again my army's morale has been hurt quite a bit; so I intend to bring a majority of higher morale troops from Nembire.

I merge my forces in Nembire and create a cover force of 1200 men capable of suffering some loss, remaining large enough to maintain the cover; a tiny enemy force is still on the way to Nembire. A unit of 3700 cavalry or so is sent toward Sofala, but will still be present in Nembire when the enemy arrives. The tiny 300 enemy infantry meets my nearly 5000 cavalry in Nembire several days later and is annihilated in one day of fighting; I take no losses.

In mid-May, my troops have arrived at their destinations. There are now about 6250 cavalry in Sofala in addition to the 1176 infantry cover force; I will suffer 2% supply attrition in Sofala. Knowing the exact date of victory in Zimbabwe and knowing troop movement times is important. I expect my enemy to arrive on the first of June; I now raise maintenance to 100%. Zimbabwe's troops will have had two month-endings to recharge morale. Their morale will be only about 65%; but I cannot take chances. I must not lose in Sofala, or a substantial number of Zimbabwe cavalry could be built there.

On June 1, 1430, Zimbabwe's troops arrive in Sofala. The battle lasts a nail-biting 16 days. Zimbabwe may have land 1 while I have only land 0; but I don't expect that to matter so much. Despite my having all other advantages of position, superior numbers, and superior morale, the battle is a close one. I suffer few losses; but morale reached weakness and is now at about half. On June 17, 1430, Zimbabwe's troops, reduced to less than half, retreat toward Nampuia where I have no presence. Now I reduce maintenance to 50%; I can afford to lose a battle in Nampuia. I send my larger cavalry unit in Sofala to Nampuia so that supply attrition will be less overall.

On July 1, 1430, I send the cavalry in Rozwi to Sofala since they may be required for a second attack in Nampuia if the first attack fails. I also send the remaining cavalry in Sofala to Nampuia. On August 1, 1430, about 5800 cavalry await Zimbabwe's remaining 1500 infantry and 250 cavalry, expected to arrive the following day. The battle is quick and decisive.


[anchor=Annihilated]All Enemies Annihilated[/anchor]

On August 6, 1430, after four days of fighting, the last of my enemy's troops are annihilated. Only if there were an "enthusiasm for the army" event for my enemy would I need to fight more troops. I'm pretty confident that the 167d in my treasury is much more than I require for taking care of expenses until I capture the gold in Zimbabwe. I send a colonist to Nampuia at a cost of 59d, leaving 108d in the treasury.

Nampuia is not my choice for a port capable of building ships; the tax is too low. Table is the choice for my first colonial city; tax is much more profitable. However, I like to claim Nampuia early, so that Portugal doesn't colonize it and deprive me of the national waters. I may be reducing chances of a successful game by colonizing Nampuia. So that I can exchange maps, I need Portugal to colonize something nearby by 1470. I have not known Portugal to discover only Nampuia and not discover any other nearby province. It is possible, but not likely.

About 4000 cavalry make their way to begin a siege in Zimbabwe. I lack only 1K troops, which would allow siege progress in two provinces simultaneously. I'm not building more troops; I want to keep maintenance costs down and preserve my treasury as much as possible. About 3000 cavalry wait in Sofala, a fairly centralized location, to react to any potential surprises.

During the following year and months waiting for completion of the siege in Zimbabwe, the colonization attempt in Nampuia fails, and I reach land 1, trade 1, and infra 1. On December 13, 1431, the province of Zimbabwe is captured. Now the gold income from Zimbabwe will pay for my monthly maintenance expenses; I don't need to pay the expenses from the treasury. I can spend all my money without being forced to take a loan to pay for maintenance. I have 73d in the treasury. I send a colonist to Nampuia and build 1K infantry in Transkei, leaving 4d in the treasury. I forgot I had trade 1 already and could send a merchant to Zanzibar; no matter, my census tax isn't enough all by itself to place merchants. The entire 4d isn't devoured in maintenance costs; so I can place a merchant when census tax comes at the end of the month.


[anchor=Zulu_Attacks]Completed Siege in Zimbabwe, Now Attacked by Zulu[/anchor]

The next siege I must work on is in Natal so that white peace isn't declared with Zulu; it's already been two years since there was siege progress in Natal. On December 28, 1431, there is a serious hazard. Zulu gets an "enthusiasm for the army" event; 5K enemy infantry pop up in Natal. My tiny Natal cover force might win the initial battle but isn't large enough to suffer losses and keep Natal covered. Well, I am headed for Natal anyway.

On January 1, 1432, I remember to use my census tax to send a merchant to Zanzibar. I send the 3000 cavalry in Sofala to ride toward Natal through Chibuene; it takes exactly one month for cavalry to arrive in Chibuene. Arriving in Chibuene early in the month allows the cavalry to make it to Natal before suffering supply attrition. The cover force in Chibuene must not suffer attrition; an exact 1000 men must be maintained in Chibuene. The 4000 cavalry in Zimbabwe ride toward Sofala. I leave the infantry in Zimbabwe as insurance against possible unprovoked rebellion; if rebels cover Zimbabwe, I lose the gold income and I am forced to take a loan to pay for my troop maintenance. Slightly more than 1000 infantry in Zimbabwe is not very good insurance against rebellion; but even this small force can often beat rebels with low morale. On January 5, 1432, I win the battle against Zulu in Natal; but my small band of 900 infantry retreat to Transkei, as do the nearly 4900 enemy infantry. A smart AI would build some troops in Natal immediately.

In February 1432, my 900 infantry fight a battle against the nearly 4900 Zulu infantry in my capital. I think that maybe if I win the battle due to differences in morale, I may be able to keep the enemy morale low and continue winning battles, bouncing the enemy back and forth until annihilated by my advancing cavalry. Well, I quickly lose the battle and there are only about 240 of my infantry left to retreat to the uncolonized Ciskei. A day later my new 1K infantry are produced. There's no point trying to fight the enemy Zulu; I just flee to Natal, made possible because I have the 1000 men. Well, it's no worry. My cavalry arrive in Natal; the Zulu have not begun building any troops and are staying put in Transkei. Since there are less than 5000 enemies in my capital, they are no threat unless they try to attack me in Natal. I had good news this month; I established a colony in Nampuia.

On March 1, 1432, I send my large cavalry unit from Sofala to Natal through Chibuene. In April 1432, my large cavalry unit of nearly 4000 men arrives in Natal. I have a good chance to win a battle against Zulu should they try to attack. In fact, I could attack them to clear my capital. I figure it's best not to provoke them. I choose to leave well enough alone; if the Zulu advance on me in Natal, I'll charge them with my cavalry. I don't like missing out on my capital's income and having my population reduced; but at least I don't need to worry about unprovoked rebellions in Transkei.

After a few months, I'm satisfied that the Zulu are going to stay put. I can bounce some cavalry around to work on siege progress in Chibuene and Natal at the same time. You see, Chibuene has such a low supply that you wouldn't want to have many troops there at the end of the month. Arrive on the first of the month with some over 4000 cavalry, establish the siege progress cannon fire, and get back to Natal before the end of the month. During this process I reach naval tech 1.


[anchor=Two_Sieges]Simultaneous Sieges in Progress[/anchor]

On October 25, 1433, I get my own "enthusiasm for the army" event. An infantry unit of 5000 men pops up in my colony of Nampuia. Good, now I can get to work on other sieges.

On November 1, 1433, I capture Chibuene. I send the 1000 infantry Chibuene cover force to Natal to improve my odds should Zulu attack. The 5000 enthusiastic infantry in Nampuia are sent to Sofala. I intend to concentrate efforts on siege progress in Rozwi. I like to complete sieges in Rozwi and Nembire before Sofala because it doesn't take much to deal with possible rebellions in those provinces due to the low supply levels. Rozwi and Nembire only allow the placement of exactly 5000 men without supply attrition. Shortly after the 4950 enthusiastic infantry arrive in Sofala I use some split, cover, and merge tricks to generate the exact number of infantry I require to siege Rozwi, allowing for one month of movement attrition.

For example to get 50 men from 2600:
Split => 1300, 1300
Cover => 100, 1200, 1300
Merge => 100, 2500
Split => 100, 1250, 1250
Cover => 100, 1250, 1200, 50
Merge => 2550, 50

In the 1.08 versions, merging in enemy territory is not possible. In 1.08 it is required to have at least 2000 and some number of infantry in controlled territory to split and reorganize to generate the exact numbers of infantry required. Alternatively, 2000 infantry and some number of cavalry are required to create small cavalry units. I have over 2000 spare cavalry in Natal. I could send them to Zimbabwe or Nampuia and do the split and reorganize thing; I don't want to bother.

I send the required infantry to Rozwi. The cover force in Sofala is increased to 1200 infantry. The remaining infantry, I send to improve odds against possible rebels in the province of Zimbabwe.

On April 24, 1434, there is an unprovoked rebellion in Natal. The siege in Natal is nearly complete; if the rebels win, Zulu's government could collapse. My war with them would be over, costing me another badboy to reestablish the war. Luckily, I beat the rebels suffering only minor losses.


[anchor=Finish_Part1]Siege Complete in Natal, Finish off my Enemies[/anchor]

In the early part of 1435, sieges complete in Rozwi and Natal. My troops in Rozwi can now concentrate on a siege in Nembire. With the siege complete in Natal, there is finally total safety in attacking Zulu's troops. I time the attack such that cavalry and infantry arrive near the end of the month, with infantry providing a second attack wave. My 6300 cavalry and 1900 infantry cause some supply attrition to the nearly 4900 Zulu infantry. I win the battle and the remaining 2000 or so Zulu infantry retreat back to their capital. Since I control their capital, my supply level is decent there and I need not worry about supply attrition. I can repeat the end of the month attack without attrition concerns. In the second attack, my 5800 cavalry and 1700 infantry annihilate the remaining 2000 Zulu infantry. I send the remaining infantry and infantry still in Ciskei to guard my capital against possible unprovoked rebellion. I also send 1191 cavalry from Natal back to my capital. The primary 4191 cavalry unit is sent to Sofala to continue the siege there. Late in 1435, I lose a level of centralization due to "Non-enforcement of Ordinances." Easy come, easy go.

In February 1436, I capture the remaining enemy provinces of Sofala and Nembire. On March 1, 1436, I annex Zimbabwe. War exhaustion stands at +7% revolt risk in non-core provinces. Revolt risk, once 1% in Zimbabwe's capital and 3% elsewhere, is now eliminated. Tech costs increase by 20% due to more provinces and greater isolation (fewer known nations). I will not reach another tech level until after discovering much of the world; the greater isolation is of no concern. The army support limit soon doubles from 11K to 22K due to the increased manpower and improved grain production of Chibuene. Maximum manpower is now 15K, 14K of which improves military support instead of only 4K. Military maintenance costs at 50% drop from 2.8d/month to 1.1d/month. Rebellions in Zimbabwe could no longer force me to take a loan; monthly income exceeds 1.1d without gold. In future I will get enough in census tax to place merchants in Zanzibar at 3d.

I remain at war with Zulu. Zulu offers 234d for peace. I need to wait to get at least 250d to place tax collectors in all provinces except low-tax Chibuene. For a tax collector in Chibuene also, I intend to wait for the full 300d payoff. In the next couple of years, I annually loot Natal for 5d applied toward land tech 2. I successfully place merchants in Zanzibar each year using census tax.

On August 1, 1438, Zulu finally have enough money in their treasury to satisfy me. I offer peace, making Zulu my vassals, and taking the full 300d peace cash. Vassalship is important so I have access through Zulu territory. Zulu divides my nation; I have no means for moving troops by ship. Again, I prefer vassalship to military access because I want to DoW Zulu with troops inside their borders. Using the 300d peace cash, I build tax collectors in all six provinces. The tax collectors don't cost more than 50d each because inflation is only 1.2%, mostly from gold inflation. War exhaustion remains at +7% revolt risk in non-core provinces. If stability remains high, and war exhaustion drops, I do not anticipate much if any revolt risk when my tax collectors are fully promoted. Badboy is now 7.150.
 
Last edited:

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---- January 1, 1419: Xhosa's Starting Position.
---- January 1, 1419: DP slider toward Free Trade, Merchantilism = 8.
--------------------: Stability dropped to +1.
--------------------: Reduce army and naval maintenance to 50%
--------------------: Maximum tolerance for Christian, Moslem, and Pagan.
--------------------: Maximum investment in land tech.
--- February 1, 1419: Stability increased to +2.
------ March 1, 1419: Stability increased to +3.
------ April 1, 1419: Commission 2K infantry.
------- May 29, 1419: Xhosa declared war upon Zulu.
------- July 8, 1419: First Infantry (1980 inf) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
--------------------: First Infantry reduced to 1200 men, 780 disbanded.
------- July 8, 1419: We have initiated a siege in Natal.
---------- July 1419: Mint loot from Natal (+5d).
-------- August 1420: Mint loot from Natal (+5d).
------ March 4, 1421: Good Government Policies happened to us.
--------------------: +250d trade, +250 infra.
----- September 1421: Mint loot from Natal (+5d).
------- June 1, 1422: A White Peace was signed between Xhosa and Zulu.
------- June 1, 1422: Zimbabwe entered our Military Alliance.
------- June 1, 1422: Xhosa declared war upon Zulu.
--------------------: Stability dropped (x5) to -2.
------- June 1, 1422: We have initiated a siege in Natal (fiddle with troops).
------- July 1, 1422: Stability increased to -1.
-- September 1, 1422: Stability increased to 0.
------- October 1422: Mint loot from Natal (+5d).
--- November 1, 1422: Stability increased to +1.
---- January 1, 1423: Stability increased to +2.
------ March 1, 1423: Stability increased to +3.
-- November 23, 1423: We went with Accept Petition in Petition for Redress.
--------------------: Stability dropped (x4) to -1.
--------------------: Centralization +1, Centralization = 6.
------ November 1423: Mint loot from Natal (+5d).
---- January 1, 1424: Stability increased to 0.
---- January 1, 1425: Commission 4K infantry.
------ April 1, 1424: Stability increased to +1.
------ April 8, 1424: Second Infantry (3960 inf) arrive in Natal.
------- June 1, 1424: Stability increased to +2.
----- August 1, 1424: Stability increased to +3.
---- August 10, 1425: We captured the province of Natal from Zulu.
---- October 8, 1425: Capital Guard (3129 inf) arrive in Transkei from Natal.
--------------------: Natal Guard (2000 inf) remain in Natal.
---- October 3, 1426: Exceptional Year happened to us.
--------------------: Inflation to 0%, 100d to treasury.
--- November 1, 1427: Zulu accepted our generous peace offer.
--------------------: Zulu pays 300d, Zulu are now our vassals.
--------------------: Treasury 399d.
------ July 27, 1428: Internal Trade Ordinance happened to us.
--------------------: Base tax in Transkei increases from 5 to 6.
---- January 1, 1429: DP slider toward Aristocracy, Aristocracy = 9.
--------------------: Stability dropped to +2.
------ March 1, 1429: Stability increased to +3.
----- April 27, 1429: First Cavalry (3960 cav) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
----- April 27, 1429: Tiny Cavalry (40 cav) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
------- May 30, 1429: Zulu cancelled Vassalization with Xhosa.
------- May 30, 1429: Xhosa declared war upon Zulu.
------- May 30, 1429: Stability dropped (x8) to -3.
------- May 30, 1429: We have initiated a siege in Natal.
------ July 27, 1429: Second Cavalry (3000 cav) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
------ July 27, 1429: Tiny Cavalry (40 cav) arrive in Transkei from Natal.
----- August 1, 1429: Stability increased to -2.
----- August 1, 1429: First Cavalry (3921 cav) arrive in Inhambane from Natal.
----- August 1, 1429: We are attacked by Natives in Inhambane (1000 inf).
----- August 1, 1429: We lost a battle against Natives in Inhambane.
----- August 1, 1429: Commission 4K cavalry.
----- August 3, 1429: Zimbabwe dishonored your Military Alliance.
----- August 9, 1429: Main Infantry (2040 inf) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
----- August 9, 1429: Natal Cover (1010 inf) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
----- August 9, 1429: Tiny Infantry (20 inf) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
----- August 9, 1429: Leftover Infantry (9 inf) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
-- September 1, 1429: Second Cavalry (2970 cav) arrive in Inhambane from Natal.
-- September 8, 1429: Chibuene Cover (1010 inf) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
- September 11, 1429: First Cavalry (~3850 cav) arrive in Zambezia from Inhambane.
- September 11, 1429: We are attacked by Natives in Zambezia (500 inf).
- September 13, 1429: We lost a battle against Natives in Zambezia.
--------------------: Remaining natives are less than 100, gone for good.
---- October 1, 1429: Stability increased to -1.
--- October 11, 1429: Second Cavalry (~2900 cav) arrive in Zambezia from Inhambane.
--- October 13, 1429: First Cavalry (~3750 cav) arrive in Nampuia from Zambezia.
--- October 13, 1429: We are attacked by Natives in Nampuia (2000 inf).
--- October 16, 1429: Main Infantry (4000 inf) arrive in Inhambane from Natal.
--- October 17, 1429: Xhosa declared war upon Zimbabwe.
--------------------: Stability dropped to -2.
--- October 25, 1429: We won a battle against Natives in Nampuia.
--- October 25, 1429: We attacked Natives in Nampuia (~1200 inf).
-- November 12, 1429: We annihilated Natives in Nampuia.
-- November 21, 1429: All troops have been mobilized to attack Zimbabwe.
-- November 26, 1429: Third Cavalry (4040 cav) arrive in Natal.
--------------------: Raise army maintenance to 100%
-- December 20, 1429: One day before the attack.
-- December 21, 1429: Nembire Cover (1019 cav) arrive in Nembire.
-- December 21, 1429: We have initiated a siege in Nembire.
-- December 21, 1429: First Cavalry (~2500 cav) arrive in Sofala.
-- December 21, 1429: We have engaged hostile armies in Sofala (990 inf).
-- December 21, 1429: Chibuene Cover (1000 inf) arrive in Chibuene from Natal.
-- December 21, 1429: We have initiated a siege in Chibuene.
-- December 24, 1429: Second Cavalry (~2900 cav) arrive in Sofala from Zambezia.
------ December 1429: Mint loot for Chibuene, Sofala, and Nembire (+8d).
---- January 1, 1430: Stability increased to -1.
---- January 2, 1430: Main Infantry (3920 inf) arrive in Sofala from Inhambane.
---- January 3, 1430: Third Cavalry (4000 cav) arrive in Inhambane from Natal.
---- January 5, 1430: We annihilated an army of Zimbabwe in Sofala.
---- January 5, 1430: We have initiated a siege in Sofala.
--------------------: Stop minting, reduce army maintenance to 50%
--- February 1, 1430: Troops are moving to cover far inland provinces.
--- February 4, 1430: First Cavalry (2174 cav) arrive in Zimbabwe from Sofala.
--- February 4, 1430: We have initiated a siege in Zimbabwe.
--- February 9, 1430: Second Cavalry (2739 cav) arrive in Rozwi from Sofala.
--- February 9, 1430: We have initiated a siege in Rozwi.
-- February 16, 1430: Third Cavalry (3920 cav) arrive in Sofala from Inhambane.
-- February 18, 1430: Zimbabwe Cover (1250 inf) arrive in Zimbabwe from Sofala.
-- February 22, 1430: We are attacked by Zimbabwe in Rozwi (new 1K inf).
-- February 25, 1430: Rozwi Cover (1250 inf) arrive in Rozwi from Sofala.
-- February 25, 1430: We won a battle against Zimbabwe in Rozwi.
----- March 23, 1430: Third Cavalry (3881 cav) arrive in Nembire from Sofala.
------ April 1, 1430: Stability increased to 0.
------ April 1, 1430: Second Cavalry (~2700 cav) arrive in Zimbabwe from Rozwi.
------ April 2, 1430: We are attacked by Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe (new 5K inf,1K cav).
------ April 9, 1430: We won a battle against Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe.
----- April 19, 1430: We are attacked by Zimbabwe in Nembire (~300 inf).
----- April 20, 1430: We annihilated an army of Zimbabwe in Nembire.
------- May 14, 1430: First Cavalry (~2100 cav) arrive in Rozwi from Zimbabwe.
------- May 14, 1430: Second Cavalry (~2600 cav) arrive in Sofala from Zimbabwe.
------- May 15, 1430: Third Cavalry (~3650 cav) arrive in Sofala from Nembire.
------- June 1, 1430: We are attacked by Zimbabwe in Sofala (~3300 inf,650 cav).
------ June 17, 1430: We won a battle against Zimbabwe in Sofala.
------- July 1, 1430: Stability increased to +1.
------ July 17, 1430: Third Cavalry (~3450 cav) arrive in Nampuia from Sofala.
----- August 1, 1430: Second Cavalry (~2400 cav) arrive in Nampuia from Sofala.
----- August 2, 1430: We are attacked by Zimbabwe in Nampuia (~1500 inf,250 cav).
----- August 6, 1430: First Cavalry (~2050 cav) arrive in Sofala from Rozwi.
----- August 6, 1430: We annihilated an army of Zimbabwe in Nampuia.
--------------------: All enemy troops are annihilated.
--------------------: Send colonist to Nampuia, (success 37%, -59d)
--------------------: Teasury 108d.
-- September 6, 1430: First Cavalry (~2000 cav) arrive in Zimbabwe.
-- September 9, 1430: Plague! happened to us.
-- September 9, 1430: Stability dropped to 0.
- September 11, 1430: Second Cavalry (~4100 cav) arrive in Sofala from Nampuia.
---- October 1, 1430: Stability increased to +1.
--- October 11, 1430: Second Cavalry (~2000 cav) arrive in Zimbabwe from Sofala.
--------------------: Siege progress begins in Zimbabwe.
--- October 27, 1430: We failed in our Colonization attempt in Nampuia.
---- January 1, 1431: Stability increased to +2.
---- January 7, 1431: Nampuia Cavalry (~950 cav) arrive in Sofala from Nampuia.
------ March 1, 1431: Stability increased to +3.
------ April 1, 1431: Land tech 1.
--- November 1, 1431: Trade level 1. We can now place Merchants.
--- November 1, 1431: Infrastructure 1. We can now place Tax Collectors.
-- December 13, 1431: We captured the province of Zimbabwe from Zimbabwe.
--------------------: Treasury 73d.
--------------------: Send colonist to Nampuia (success 38%, -59d).
--------------------: Build 1K infantry.
--------------------: Treasury 4d (forgot to place a merchant).
-- December 28, 1431: We are attacked by Zulu in Natal (5000 inf).
---- January 1, 1432: Send merchant to Zanzibar (-3d).
---- January 5, 1432: We won a battle against Zulu in Natal.
--------------------: Cover force in Natal flees, less than 1K.
--- February 1, 1432: Merchants successfully expanded trade in Zanzibar.
--- February 1, 1432: Nampuia Cavalry (~2950 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Sofala.
--- February 5, 1432: Zimbabwe Cavalry (~4000 cav) arrive in Sofala from Zimbabwe.
-- February 11, 1432: Natal Cover (~900 inf) arrive in Transkei from Natal.
-- February 11, 1432: We are attacked by Zulu in Transkei (~4900 inf).
-- February 13, 1432: We lost a battle against Zulu in Transkei.
-- February 13, 1432: Transkei has been besieged by Zulu.
-- February 14, 1432: We lost a battle against Zulu in Transkei.
--------------------: 1K new infantry flee to Natal.
-- February 14, 1432: We successfully established a new Colony in Nampuia.
-- February 25, 1432: Nampuia Cavalry (~2950 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
-- February 25, 1432: We have initiated a siege in Natal.
------ March 1, 1432: Cavalry rush to protect the siege in Natal.
----- March 22, 1432: New Infantry (990 inf) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
------ April 1, 1432: Zimbabwe Cavalry (~3950 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Sofala.
----- April 21, 1432: Natal Cover (237 inf) arrive in Ciskei from Transkei.
----- April 27, 1432: Zimbabwe Cavalry (~3950 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
----- August 1, 1432: Natal Cavalry (~4500 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Natal.
---- August 26, 1432: Natal Cavalry (~4500 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
---- October 1, 1432: Natal Cavalry (~4450 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Natal.
--- October 26, 1432: Natal Cavalry (~4450 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
--- December 1, 1432: Natal Cavalry (~4400 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Natal.
-- December 26, 1432: Natal Cavalry (~4400 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
--- February 1, 1433: Naval tech 1.
--- February 1, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4350 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Natal.
-- February 24, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4350 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
------ April 1, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4300 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Natal.
----- April 26, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4300 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
------- June 1, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4250 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Natal.
------ June 26, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4250 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
----- August 1, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4200 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Natal.
---- August 26, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4200 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
---- October 1, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4150 cav) arrive in Chibuene from Natal.
--- October 25, 1433: Enthusiasm for the Army happened to us.
--------------------: +5K infantry in Nampuia.
--- October 26, 1433: Natal Cavalry (~4150 cav) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
--- November 1, 1433: We captured the province of Chibuene from Zimbabwe.
--- December 8, 1433: Chibuene Cover (990 inf) arrive in Natal from Chibuene.
-- December 23, 1433: Enthusiastic Infantry (4950 inf) arrive in Sofala from Nampuia.
-- February 21, 1434: Enthusiastic Infantry (3665 inf) arrive in Rozwi from Sofala.
--------------------: Siege progress begins in Rozwi with exactly 5K infantry.
----- April 16, 1434: Sofala Infantry (~1100 inf) arrive in Zimbabwe from Sofala.
----- April 24, 1434: The peasants in Natal are revolting against Zulu!.
-------- May 4, 1434: We won a battle against Rebel Scum in Natal.
--- January 23, 1435: We captured the province of Rozwi from Zimbabwe.
-- February 25, 1435: We captured the province of Natal from Zulu.
----- March 23, 1435: Enthusiastic Infantry (2970 inf) arrive in Sofala from Rozwi.
----- April 23, 1435: Rozwi Infantry (1980 inf) arrive in Nembire from Rozwi.
----- April 26, 1435: Natal Cavalry (~6300 inf) arrive in Transkei from Natal.
----- April 26, 1435: We have engaged hostile armies in Transkei (4893 inf).
----- April 28, 1435: Nembire Cover (~1200 cav) arrive in Sofala from Nembire.
----- April 29, 1435: Natal Infantry (~1900 inf) arrive in Transkei from Natal.
-------- May 6, 1435: We won a battle against Zulu in Transkei.
------- June 1, 1435: Nembire Cover (1176 cav) arrive in Zimbabwe from Sofala.
------ June 13, 1435: Natal has been besieged by Zulu.
------ June 23, 1435: Sofala Infantry (3020 inf) arrive in Nembire from Sofala.
--------------------: Siege progress begins in Nembire with exactly 5K infantry.
------ June 26, 1435: Natal Cavalry (~5800 cav) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
------ June 26, 1435: We have engaged hostile armies in Natal (~2000 inf).
------ June 29, 1435: Natal Infantry (~1700 inf) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
------- July 3, 1435: We annihilated an army of Zulu in Natal.
--------------------: All enemy troops annihilated.
------ July 28, 1435: Loot Cavalry (1191 cav) arrive in Transkei from Natal.
----- August 3, 1435: Natal Cavalry (4150 cav) arrive in Inhambane from Natal.
---- August 10, 1435: Natal Infantry (~1500 inf) arrive in Transkei from Natal.
- September 16, 1435: Non-enforcement of Ordinances happened to us.
--------------------: Centralization -1, Centralization = 5.
- September 18, 1435: Natal Cavalry (4025 cav) arrive in Sofala from Inhambane.
--------------------: Siege nearly complete in Sofala, now continuing.
- September 23, 1435: Natal Cover (235 inf) arrive in Transkei from Ciskei.
-- February 16, 1436: We captured the province of Sofala from Zimbabwe.
-- February 25, 1436: We captured the province of Nembire from Zimbabwe.
------ March 1, 1436: Zimbabwe accepted our generous peace offer.
--------------------: Full annexation of Zimbabwe by Xhosa.
------- May 27, 1436: Loot Cavalry (1191 cav) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
------ June 26, 1436: Loot Cavalry (1191 cav) arrive in Transkei from Natal.
---- January 1, 1437: Send merchant to Zanzibar (-3d).
--- February 1, 1437: Merchants successfully expanded trade in Zanzibar.
------ June 29, 1437: Loot Cavalry (1191 cav) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
------ July 26, 1437: Loot Cavalry (1191 cav) arrive in Transkei from Natal.
---- January 1, 1438: Send merchant to Zanzibar (-3d).
--- February 2, 1438: Merchants successfully expanded trade in Zanzibar.
------ July 26, 1438: Loot Cavalry (1191 cav) arrive in Natal from Transkei.
----- August 1, 1438: Zulu accepted our generous peace offer.
--------------------: Zulu pays 300d, Zulu are now our vassals.
--------------------: Place a tax collector in each of six provinces (-300d).
--------------------: War exhaustion +7 RR in non-core provinces.
--------------------: Inflation 1.2%, mostly from gold.
--------------------: Babdoy is now 7.150
 
Last edited:

Rythin

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If the natives did not attack, I would need to attack them; my men must be in retreat toward Zambezia. The reason is: I am sending my 3K cavalry unit from Natal to follow the first cavalry unit. There is an overlap of time that both cavalry units will be in Inhambane. If natives were to attack the second cavalry unit, both units would get caught in the battle; supply attrition would be quite a bit higher. On August 1, 1429 I send my 3K cavalry unit in Natal to ride toward Nampuia through the provinces of Inhambane and Zambezia. Natives are most likely to attack in Inhambane if a unit ends its movement there. I am just passing through. If I can avoid confrontations with natives in Inhambane from now on that's fine. I also send the remaining infantry unit of 1020 men in my capital to Natal.
Smart one.
 

ForzaA

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did you write that whole "events" list yourself (stabhits badboy etc. etc.) or are you using some program that reads it for you?

.. this will be very interesting to follow :)
 

unmerged(3931)

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ForzaA said:
did you write that whole "events" list yourself (stabhits badboy etc. etc.) or are you using some program that reads it for you?

.. this will be very interesting to follow :)
The "events" list is mostly ripped from the "history = {}" section of the save game. I log a lot of events so I can write an AAR. Also, exact battle completion dates, troop arrival dates, siege start dates, etc. are important to scroll back and find during game play.

I edit the history to make it more readable and remove the irrelevant bits. I use the old DOS "Brief" (B.exe) editor. It has a good deal of options when doing find and replace.

In this case I also added troop sizes and other useful bits of information. The game log, and a few snapshots of time in the form of save games, I use a to create the events file. And the events file I use as a guide to write the AAR.

I started the game months ago. I don't remember much about what actually happened. I have to piece it back together from 424 MB of zipped up save games and the log files. It's like being a real historian in a way.
 
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Fremen

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Nice start and also a great description of the tedious micro-mgm needed for such task...
So what will be your next targets? Going south to reach Table or more north conquering? Or just wait for Portugal for map exchange?

Also, I wonder if it is possible to have a WC with Xhosa (or any minor pagan nation) under 1.08? What do you think?
 

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Wonderful, simply wonderful.
 

Desertfox

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Whether or not he will reach WC will depend on how fast he can break his isolation. If he gets a conquistador shortly after 1500 so he can move north and go on a conquest spree, I`d say it is definitely possible. He is well behind in tech, but in the Muslim area of the world there are plenty of small, weak countries that can be crushed with ease. If he does that a few times his income will rise considerably.
Also he can wait until he gets in contact with Portugal, make an alliance, and exchange maps. That`ll give him access to a lot more places, including the Americas.
But if it takes too long to break isolation, the Europeans will be too high tech and have conquered too much of the world. Plus there is the hard deadline of 1819. Manpower will be problematic along the way (luckily Zimbabwe gives a lot) but he potentially has access to all the manpower of mainland Africa, Asia and Europe (unlike the American pagans) so if he is able to make some progress, this problem will solve itself eventually.
In my WC with Maya in patch 1.4, halfway the game (after I reached Africa) the rebels killed more of my troops than the enemy armies. Since rebels are toned down considerably in patch 1.7 plus betas, he should be able to progress with much less manpower.
 
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unmerged(29041)

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I will also follow this very promising AAR. It is likely to be as educative as World Conquest for Dummies. The list of events and battles is very illustrative. I might even try my first pagan after it ;)

Thanks for sharing, Tom.
 

unmerged(15337)

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Just when I thought I was a pretty good player, along comes a world-class expert who puts me in my place. :D Thanks for teaching me some humility. :p Seriously, even an Africa conquest with Xhosa would be impressive, and the thought of a WC sends me staggering. I'm anxious to see how you fare during the next segment.
 

unmerged(17581)

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Whoa! :eek: How'd you make your post the way it was in your first post, with the links taking you down to a section of the post?
 

unmerged(3931)

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Fremen said:
So what will be your next targets? Going south to reach Table or more north conquering? Or just wait for Portugal for map exchange?
All three: colonize Table while waiting for Portugal to exchange maps then move north. You picked up on my foreshadowing.


Fremen said:
Also, I wonder if it is possible to have a WC with Xhosa (or any minor pagan nation) under 1.08? What do you think?
The 1.07 version I am playing is so close to 1.08, it's really the same thing. The 1.08 version came out one or two weeks later, right? Judging from release notes and the discussion on the board, the only differences I know of are the troop and ship merge capability while in motion, which I do not abuse. And there is a difference in strait between Denmark and Sweden; by the time I get there, that isn't going to matter at all. Without the ability to merge troops in enemy territory in 1.08, reproducing my efforts gets much more ugly in terms of micromanagement, I'm sure. But is it possible to do? Absolutely.


Desterfox said:
Whether or not he will reach WC will depend on how fast he can break his isolation. If he gets a conquistador shortly after 1500 so he can move north and go on a conquest spree, I`d say it is definitely possible.
Breaking isolation is important. But then, so is discovering a path enabling me to do more conquests. It's the same thing; but I'm not counting on a conquistador, slim odds.


Desterfox said:
Also he can wait until he gets in contact with Portugal, make an alliance, and exchange maps.
That's the ticket! An alliance isn't necessary with Portugal; but it is with Spain.


Desterfox said:
Manpower will be problematic along the way (luckily Zimbabwe gives a lot) but he potentially has access to all the manpower of mainland Africa, Asia and Europe (unlike the American pagans) so if he is able to make some progress, this problem will solve itself eventually.
Yes, Americans have some serious manpower problems to overcome. I've got land connection potential to so much manpower. Manpower is more important for support than for troop building in the new patches. For a few reasons, WC with American pagans in the new patches is probably more difficult. WC with Maya has always certainly been quite an accomplishment, talk about world class players.


Desterfox said:
In my WC with Maya in patch 1.4, halfway the game (after I reached Africa) the rebels killed more of my troops than the enemy armies. Since rebels are toned down considerably in patch 1.7 plus betas, he should be able to progress with much less manpower.
I believe my rebels are just as bad as in 1.08, same tech and morale and all. I'm surely not getting off easy in that regard. You probably mean the rebellions occur with less frequency. That is so true; and it does make quite a difference in requirements of a standing army. I can use 10K troops to guard all of South America, Central America, and the Carribbean from rebels. My losses aren't too much different overall; but I require less of an army presence. In earlier patches, larger armies were less expensive to support and war exhaustion was much easier to eliminate.


anonymous4401 said:
Whoa! How'd you make your post the way it was in your first post, with the links taking you down to a section of the post?
That's a new thing about "anchorlinks" I learned recently from looking at the FAQs. To see the actual coded text of a post, click the "reply" button below that post. The text box for your reply shows the quoted text of the post in question just as it was entered.
 
Last edited:

fraese

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I'm playing along in 1.08, it's worked out the same so far - off by a couple of days due to events. Took 3 tries. Very nice :)

I'm a bit new, so I didn't know you could control the province enemy troops retreated to. That seems to be the key in defeating Zimbabwe; if you can be pretty sure of where they will go, then you can have someone there before they arrive and that improves the odds a lot.
 
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Rythin

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fraese,
If you have troops in every province adjacent to the one in which you fight, enemy armies disappear after losing a battle.

Just a trick, use it from time to time.
 

Van Engel

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I echo what Jwolf said. :( Good luck. :)