Saturday, August 11, 2018

Millennium Dawn Libertarian Nigeria

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-08-03 23:56:26 UTC

Millennium Dawn: Libertarian Nigeria: 2000-2006

The mod is much less complete than Kaiserreich, with very few countries having focus trees, and generic focus tree being fairly weak, but at least quite flexible - letting everyone switch ideology, which most countries did.

Units are completely different, with mobile units having really high combat width. Everyone's units seem crazy bad. Obvious builds for 20 combat width:

• 10inf + support art - 850 IC, 145 soft attack, 17 hard attack, 45 org, will get wrecked by any tanks, but ridiculously cheap
• 6inf + 2art + 1tank + supports - 2.5kIC, but will wreck pure infantry
• 5inf + 5tank - 9.4kIC, 295 soft attack, 210 hard attack, super slow, but amazing punch
• 4mot + 4tank or 3light mech + 4tanks + or 2mech + 5tanks: weaker than padding with infantry: around 200 soft attack, 165 hard attack, faster, 11k-13k IC
• 10tank + supports - 18.5kIC, horrible org, but doctrines can help a lot

Doctrines are just as badly balanced as in vanilla, and 10tank divisions are far better with superior firepower than with mobile warfare.

I'm really not seeing why mot/mech would be of any use. Spamming 10inf, and then as many 10tanks as possible really seems like the best way, especially for nations with a lot of manpower.

First war against Benin wasn't exactly exciting. Then Togo. At least I'm learning geography of Africa. Then Cameroon was a bit better war, at least I needed to concentrate on one point. Then Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Central African Republic, the smaller Congo, and Sudan. Nothing was anywhere near challenging.

I diplomatically supported Israel and PRC, not sure if it does anything meaningful.

A lot of things were happening diplomatically - Chechnya War, 9/11, Grexit, US quitting NATO, half the countries flipping ideology - but none of that affected the map much, so it felt like a world where nothing happens. Fights between Africans generated nearly zero world tension.

The only real war was Sweden attacking Estonia, neither actually fighting, then Estonia joining NATO by event, and then Norway getting Sweden.

I ended up with 126 factories, and army that's mix of 10inf divisions, some 5armor 6mech (width 40) divisions, and a few leftover 6mots. It was completely wrecking every AI army regardless of their size.

I ended up having 7th biggest army in the world thanks to cheap infantry - with 720k troops and 2.7k tanks (of global 85k). The only thing stopping my total conquest of Africa was just how slow fabrication is. It'd probably take until 2020 or so, and by then my army would probably be fully mechanized.

Overall, the mod feels extremely unfinished. Nothing requiring player attention ever happens, and AI minors offer very little resistance, so where's the game? Road to '56 was a clusterfuck with a lot of low quality parts, but at least things were happening there all the time.

I guess getting into fight with majors like NATO, China, or Russia might be more interesting? That's probably it for me and this mod for now.
#hoi4 #millenniumdawn

I wonder if I'l remember any of those names in a week. Nigeria starts with 8 insanely expensive divisions (4x 6mot, 3x 6mech, 1x 2xtank 1xltank 6xmech), I ignored all that and started spamming 10xinfantry with all supports (from initial 4xinf template and expanding that), and once I had enough turned my mech/tank divisions into 3xtank 6xmech.

Those templates are extremely bad. All weird combat width. Mixing MBTs and light tanks in same division is just pointless with HOI4 industry system. And the support of choice is hospital? For country with nearly infinite manpower?

Is that at least what Nigeria uses IRL?

I got a lot bigger, and captured a lot of industry as HoI4 gives tiny countries way more than they have IRL, and their generic focus trees adds ridiculous amount of industry (for countries with 3+ states, up to 8 civ + 8 mil factories, a lot of resources, and who knows what else - at least smaller countries a bit less, but it's still crazy much).

None of the fights were terribly interesting, figuring out proper templates was about the only serious thinking required. I guess if I left the game running for a while until all minors got their industry going I'd be able to expand into an even stronger country. I really only needed first war asap to get rid of civilian economy.

I guess anyone who naively tries to use horrible starting templates will find the mod far more difficult.

Friday, May 25, 2018

EU4 Holy Celestial Russian Yuan

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-21 16:41:34 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 01: 1356: Introduction

Playing with 1356 mod and the yet-unreleased Fun and Balance version for it.

Starting as Muscovy - a 71 dev principality with 23 dev vassal Galich, tributary of the Great Horde like everybody else in the region. The goals are:
• fully colonize Siberia
• form Great Yuan for ideas (5% administrative efficiency). Russia has #1 ideas and Yuan #3 on my ranking (American ideas are #2), but that's largely thanks to that idea that gives Siberia for free, and late game that does nothing without moving capital to another continent.
• be Celestial Emperor with max mandate
• and simultaneously hereditary Holy Roman Emperor with max imperial authority
• also with clean borders, nice trade etc.

This will require a minimum of 2 religion, 1 culture, and 2 tag changes, but I expect the full list will be more likely:
• go Catholic - for HRE
• form Russia - for Siberia
• make HRE hereditary
• go Sunni - to get Dhimmi
• go Confucian (or other Eastern) - access to mandate wars
• get mandate
• go Mongol (or other Altaic) - required for Yuan
• form Yuan - for ideas
• go some Chinese culture - to get more value out of China
• flip Sunni - to get Dhimmi again
• then perhaps some kind of Christian back

For 5 religion, 2 culture, and 2 tag flips, minimum. Oh and did I mention Yuan currently exists, so it will need to disappear before we can reform it?

For quick introduction to 1356. The most prominent countries are:
• Great Yuan - Chinese mandate holder currently fighting revolting Chinese minors, and with mandate ticking down to 0, resulting in likely Chinese civil war lasting centuries
• Delhi - huge Sunni power in North India, likely to unite it all, or at least becoming one of main bloms
• Mamluks - without Ottomans to oppose them likely to become the problem
• France and England - with tons of vassals and junior partners each and fighting Hundred Years War
• Majapahit - somehow ruling over 24 vassals who will inevitably rebel - that might have some historical basis, but that's not how this game works
• Great Horde - liege of Russian principalities including us, with huge Crimean revolt
• Lithuania - last Romuva power in the world
• Bohemia - emperor
• Ottomans - 46dev, very far from
• Byzantium - 42dev, with level 6 fort in capital, and pretender rebels
• Denmark, Norway, and Sweden - currently separate, but with events which could setup some PUs

The mod includes Hussites as early reformation wave, but it's a bit RNG dependent and depending on how that goes you can see extremely early reformation, or extremely early Bohemia reforming the HRE.

All countries get their vanilla missions, even if they don't fit perfectly. Only Denmark and England got some changes so far, and I'm not even sure what changed. The mod is sort of early version.

Fun and Balance mod some minor trade map tweaks since last update to help East Asians colonize Pacific sides of New World, but they're not terribly likely to matter much here.

I love new early bookmarks. A bit disappointed by limited visibility - I guess it makes sense but fun things are happening out of view and I won't even get notified.

Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-21 16:43:52 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 02: 1356-1366: One Novgorod Down, One To Go

Two Golden Eras happened first month, and a few soon later (England, Mamluks, France). The whole Age of Feudalism could use some tweaks.

I had some cores to get back, so I started war with Nizhny Novgorod, Odoyev, and Beloozero.

That was a surprisingly fun war, multiple frontlines, complex terrain, trying to siege and prevent enemy from joining forces at once. I ended it up deep in manpower hole.

I got generic missions "Build to Force Limit", "Trustworthy Allies", "Acquire Subjects", and "Expand Muscovy".

Majapahit fell off great powers list, I don't see them on the map, but I guess 24 vassals strategy isn't working.

Yuan still exists but lost 2/3 of its land already. Somehow our overlord Great Horde lost Great Power status, presumably due to institutions, but then got it back. Novgorod told them it will no longer pay anything. I could stop paying too, but the costs aren't that high, and they protect me from Novgorod and Lithuania.

I finally unlocked tech 2, so I can fabricate claims. No-CB war really tempted me.

As Novgorod was is inevitable I wanted to ally Poland or Sweden, but they're not interested.

This is most beautiful name placement. Mamluks' name look really neat spreading over wasteland too.

England beat France so hard it got coalition against it, but it looks somewhat half-hearted.

Bohemia is already close to passing the first reform (mod changed minimum IA from 50 to 75).

Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-21 20:32:15 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 03: 1366-1379: Free from the Tartar Yoke

A great Russian war started, sides were about evenly matched:
• me, my vassals Beloozero and Galich, my allies Rostov, Pskov, Smolensk
• Murom, Ryazan, Novgorod, Novgorod's vassal Perm

Just before that, as I needed money, I stopped paying tribute to the Golden Horde. They broke our tributary status, but that did not trigger 5 year truce I was expecting. Instead I got attacked while fighting Novgorod and two Russian minors. Ouch.

Somehow with lucky rolls I managed to finish Russian war within a few months. I got reparations, money, and cancel subject on Perm from Novgorod, and fully annexed Ryazan and Murom.

After that the Great Horde found itself at war with not just me but also most of Russian minors. 3:2 strength rate for us. So predictably they did very poorly. I defeated them in some minor battles, sieged their capital and another fort, got 80% worth of land from them, as it was rather awkward going for 100%, and my mana was too low to core it anyway.

And with these wars the Great Horde lost its Great Power status, while I gained it. It sure doesn't feel like it yet, I'm deep in manpower hole, with shitty economy, and with no mana to core what I just took. But at least the Russians were finally free. Well except Tver and Yaroslav, but everything in due time.

I got "Tame the Steppes" mission this way. So now I have permanent claims on a lot of land North and South.

I managed to diplovassalize Rostov. And I got my alliances with Sweden and Hungary.

Moldavia was fighting Crimea, so I allied them mid-war to try to join it, but joining wars is nearly impossible, and they wouldn't just call me in. It could be an useful ally to have, or at least it could let Hungarian troops move through more easily.

Bohemia managed to pass the first HRE reform. I need to hurry.

Perm which I released from Novgorod is getting wrecked by the Great Horde now, but I didn't feel like I can afford saving them. My truce with Novgorod is almost up.

It was a nice big war. It could have been much nastier if I had to fight Great Horde, Novgorod, and all the minors at once.

Name placement still implacable. France and Ottomans are growing fast.

Yuan lost empire to fairly small Qi, but it's a huge multiway war with no end in sight. My bet is on Ming, as it has cores everywhere, so it can use reconquest CB instead of suicidal take mandate CB. But if they take mandate early, it could be another round of civil war.

Persia went Shia by event. Between Eretna, Jalayirid, Persia, Bahmanis, and a bunch of minors it's very decent Shia shart.

Post 4 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-21 23:17:14 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 04: 1379-1392: Time of Troubles

Great Horde conquered most of Perm and reduced the it to tributary OPM, thus regaining its great power status for a while.

Novgorod fought well, supported by Livonians, and Yaroslav. Sweden fought very poorly, so I didn't see it fit to reward them for their failures with land. So they broke alliance, but a while later asked me back. Exes and Ohs...

The Great Horde was fighting other hordes for God knows what cause, so they were easy prey in our next war. Still my armies got completely wrecked by 2 enormous stacks of their tribal rebels both popping up just where my armies were traveling. This and rebels popping up everywhere forced me to lower my professionalism and get a lot of mercs.

That finished the first set of hordes claims, I completed "Subjugate Kazan" even though Kazan doesn't technically exist (but Kazani culture does, so I guess), and got another batch of claims.

And when I finally thought I'm done with this, 40k nobles rebelled by event. If they ever make DLC with dead rebel counter, I'll totally pay for that. I'd say I had about 200k in endless rebellion after rebellion, and Great Horde even exported a bunch of Permian rebels.

Since I was ridiculously low on paper mana I took administrative ideas as first group. I was also tempted by:
• humanist - since I can't convert minorities for like a century or two
• quantity - for manpower issues
• aristocratic - partly for manpower issues, but also to get extra diplomat, siege bonus etc.
• innovative - for tech cost discount, as I'm low on all mana

Somehow nothing in diplomatic groups seemed too relevant.

Ottomans attacked Byzantium and got Constantinople.

Bohemia passed Pragmatic Sanction, letting women inherit the HRE, and now one actually does. Is that really what you want Germans? A Bohemian woman?

One of many batches of rebels and freshly recruited 9k of mercs to save me. I feel like I might be wasting too much time here, I need to go Catholic sometime soon and get access to the HRE.

All that rebel infested land is not getting me there.

Revealing terra incognita to check what's up in Asia.

Qi is Chinese emperor, somehow with tolerable mandate given their small size thanks to their equally small neighbors.
Yuan still exists as Macau and two Manchu provinces. Somehow Chinese Civil War took pause and nobody is fighting anybody.

Japan on the other hand is Ashikaga-Hakateyama civil war.

Majapahit went from great power with 24 vassals to OPM on Bali.

Ottomans are definitely on the way towards becoming the menace we know them as.

England is doing really well, it integrated its PU over Gascony, and took some land in Ireland and Scotland.

Post 5 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-22 13:54:38 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 05: 1392-1409: Discovering Steppes with Dead Peasants

I got into a fight with Perm. Great Horde decided to protect them, so I humiliated them for next age's bonus, and took their money again. I'll need all that Sunni land at some point, but right now it'd be more a burden than an asset.

War with Novgorod was where the land I wanted was. Turns out that AI still cheats with forts - I had so many forts I mothballed the second line and only had those active which Novgorod could reach. Of course AI just magically walked over my first line of forts.

I tried to export some Permian rebels to the Great Horde, but Tver was still their tributary, and I somehow forgot that I grant them access, so they foiled my plans. At least they got successfully exported to Novgorod, so I took newly spawned Perm as an OPM.

Another Great Horde war I got event that let me reveal a bit of the map. A lot of other hordes helped them, my allies Hungary, Moldova, and Circassia decided that they can't be bother joining even with favors. Like the game has favors system, and same time it has this old system of AI deciding if it can be bothered to join or not. And they're completely unrelated.

After losing a big nasty battle to what seemed like every horde coming at me at once, and with allies I counted on not joining, I let them get away with giving me just two border provinces.

A truce with Livonian Order was due, so I wanted to finally get my hands on some Catholic land, and they got double guaranteed, by Lithuania, and somehow Bohemia.

So I'm a bit stuck now. I'll remove Novgorod for sure, and maybe another attempt at dealing with hordes will do better, but I need to face West. I'd also love to get even more visibility over steppes.

My army somehow has no regular troops any more. Mixing streltsy infantry (10% extra fire damage, cost stab), merc infantry (fight worse, but cost no manpower), and cossack cavalry (10% extra shock damage, no downside once recruited).

Cossacks and streltsy can be recruited with free manpower but they use regular manpower for reinforcement. All this recruitment results in far too much cavalry, both for my budget and for optimal fighting.

The game threatened me with succession war over me between Hungary and Sweden, but then changed its mind. I don't remember ever actually getting randomly PU'd.

Bohemia passed second reform.

France attacked England with coalition CB, and England wrecked them.

Byzantine separatists liberated Constantinople from Ottoman occupation and returned it to Byzantium. That was not expected. But the Ottomans are back occupying it, so it was just a small detour.

Macedonia declared independence war from Serbia. Some things happen in every timeline.

Ming became a great power, but didn't take China yet. I hope it doesn't get destroyed by a glitch.

Here's religious map for a change. I'm definitely bothered by the lack of Hussites. Lithuania is still Romuva, and Catholic Hungary took over most of the Balkans.

I could convert horde lands to get some tolerable religious unity, but that's going to screw my future plans. So far it's sort of on track, but it feels extremely slow. I guess I could attack Lithuania directly, they have some randomly spawned Catholics too.

Post 6 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-22 20:20:12 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 06: 1409-1434: Disappointing Catholic Peasants

Lithuania and Bohemia guaranteed Livonian Order, so I can't get any Catholic peasants this way. But Lithuania is Romuva, and their provinces are mix of Catholic, Orthodox, and Romuva, so that's a low AE way to get some Catholic lands.

That was a huge war, me Hungary, Teutons, and Pskov, against Lithuania, Poland, Tver, Galich-Volhynia, and Polotsk. 97k vs 66k.
I got a few Catholic provinces, got Catholic rebels, and then discovered that even as other Christian I need majority Catholic provinces to flip. Damn.

So in 1417 I got first stack of Catholics, with just 2/85 provinces being Catholic. Babysitting a single stack as it's trying to decide what to do with its life, this is extremely painful. There must be a better way, right? They got to 8, mostly resieging already Catholic provinces over and over after I tried to unsiege them. I vaguely recall Florryworry mentioning something about rebel type merging, but it's not documented anywhere.

Since it was never going to get over 50% this way I attacked Livonian Order to acquire more Catholic peasants. Bohemia, Norway, and Teutons were defending them. Pskov and Sweden joined my side, but Sweden was getting overran by 25k Hussite stack and Hussite center of reformation. Hungary, Moldavia, etc. were as worthless as usual, and refused to join my wars.

The Catholic rebel stack died only managing to increase Catholic province count from 2 to 9. It's not completely worthless, as I can try to trigger them over and over, but seriously. That got me to 16/92.

Ottomans got Constantinople second time, and started their Golden Era. Then they attacked Georgia, they asked me for help, but seriously, I have major religious reorganization to do, so sorry about your loss.

Second stack of Catholic rebels managed to wipe out Pskov's and Riga's drilling armies, and was absolutely horrible at converting. Got 1 province before getting themselves killed.

Well, third stack spawned, and another war to maybe get a few more peasants by conquest. It's now extremely clear that what I should have done was going for Catholic lands ASAP, and leave all the Orthodox and Sunni land for later.

I got to 26/97 Catholic, still very far from what I want, and I let Catholic rebels rampage everywhere, unfortunately also 1 formerly Catholic province went Hussite. Somehow I got myself over 1600 in debt, and at 25 monthly income before any expenses I have no idea how I dig myself out of this hole. Perhaps bankruptcy would be easier.

Somehow Cossack estate is bugged. Estate loyalty is supposed to drift towards 50%, but it drifts towards 49.9%, and its main action requires 50%+ loyalty. No other estate has this issue.

Sweden went full Hussite. I got event to declare war on Sweden or suffer stab hit. WTF? I'm their ally, and I'm not even Catholic. After that Denmark, Oldenburg, Holstein.

Bohemia, so far unconcerned, passed third reform.

Some nice dashed Catholic lines. I guess conquering Teutons would do something to get me over 50% Catholic. I can't even conquer Sweden anymore, as that's a new heresy.

Lithuania is amazingly still Romuva.

So far I'm still at zero manpower, in massive debt, and far behind on mana. What went wrong here? It's possible the way mod rebalanced techs etc. makes everyone a lot poorer. Or maybe I played super rich countries last few times, and all that cavalry is costing me too much.

Post 7 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-22 22:31:18 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 07: 1434-1445: Catholic Muscovy and Age of Discovery

I decided not to go bankrupt. The only alternative I saw was a gold mine just over my borders. I feel embarrassed that I didn't take it earlier. The whole plan was to siege their capital and the only fort before their other horde buddies show up. Sadly that's not recipe for properly crushing them.

And then I noticed "Accept religious shift" decision, which simply let me shift to religion of my capital. Huh, where did that come from... Apparently I added it to Fun and Balance, presumably inspired by equivalent CK2 decision, and completely forgot about it years ago. Fine, pressing this at 25.5% Catholic. So I no longer need to do any Sunni shenanigans, I'll just move capital to Beijing or something, go Confucian, and tank zero religious unity.

Without it, I might be able to shift Catholic, but going Eastern religion afterwards... No idea how.

Well, Religious Turmoil disaster was ticking, so I took another loan, pronounced myself Defender of the Faith for extra missionary, and started working. I got Religious Turmoil disaster, took tolerant option (+1 heretic tolerance, +50% stab cost) instead of eradication (-2 heretic tolerance, +2% heretic conversion, rebel stack). I had enough missionary strength anyway.

I massively developed the gold mine to 5/11/5, and it increased my income by 12%. It might yet let me repay those loans.

I took aristocratic ideas, possibly first time ever. I wanted to go quantity, but let's try something different this time. Since I can convert through capital definitely not taking humanist third.

Ming decided to vassalize Qi, emperor of China. That's basically broken AI, and it would break the campaign, so I used fairly nasty console hacks to deal with it - made them attack their vassal with correct CB, and then surrendered Qi with appropriate terms.

Bohemia allied 6/7 electors, Hussites sort of got inside the HRE, but just barely, so without my intervention or really rapid Protestantism they'll get the whole damn thing hereditary.

Got religious unity to 60%, need 90% to end the disaster, so I'll convert the Sunnis too. This will properly stabilize the country, so no point bothering with humanist.
Also have awful legitimacy and prestige as my ruler died without heir so Pomeranian's Gryf dynasty took over. I don't remember ever marrying them. It will go away next succession.

Some notable things:
• Ottomans developed close to historical borders, and facing Mamluks
• Mamluks never embargoed Venice, and didn't build marketplace in Alexandria (which is not even CoT any more, wtf?), so they never started their mission chain
• Naples and Navarra (with Normandy PU) pretty big
• England did amazingly well for itself. Got all islands and South half of France.
• Yuan still exists and Ming wants to make them their tributary
• I don't think Chinese Civil War works very well in the mod.
• I can't finish Novgorod mission as Kola is uncolonized, so my last claim is unfulfilled. Sweden gets a colonist by trigger for that, so I'm waiting for them.

Post 8 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-23 23:31:16 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 08: 1445-1458: Religious Turmoil

Bohemia attacked Poland and Lithuania, and they had no other allies except some very busy HRE minors, so I joined the pileup. It's awkward that I'm helping Bohemia this way. That got me such obscene amounts of money I repaid all my debts and still had some leftover - and I also took a lot of land anyway, and humiliated Poland just to be sure.

The new gold from wars system makes milking HRE minors harder, but you can get so much from majors now it's crazy. Lithuania went Catholic soon afterwards, so the nearly AE-free land is no longer there.

Amazingly Poland white managed to peace Bohemia, and even take two provinces from Teutons in it.

Hordes were really close to not helping each other, but I was a few months too late and their wars stopped. There was another opportunity soon, and I cobeligerented everyone to get maximum number of capitals uncovered, sent some troops East for maps. That cost me far too many dead peasants, but

Cossacks got obscene influence by events, but since I was already in Religious Turmoil disaster, and disasters block each other, that was actually fine. It's going to take a while, I'm at just a bit over 70% unity.

I allied some electors, but they're still not so sure about voting for me. Even with Hussitism spreading a bit further Bohemia is well on its way to passing 4th reform soon. I feel like maybe I'd have a chance to get two votes if I took diplomatic or influence, and that only because new Bohemian emperor lacks heir. Properly crushing Bohemia is the only way.

England became Britain because mod forgot to update their adm tech requirements to match longer timeline.

I feel with Catholic conversion and reaching 1444 the first stage of the campaign is done. The goals for the next stage are:

• achieving high degree of religious unity
• creating strong but affordable army, probably involving a lot less cavalry, and soon a bit of artillery
• fixing my economy so I can sustain my country without relying on war reparations
• securing path to the HRE, conquering land from Teutonic Order, Lithuania, and possibly Poland
• defeating hordes properly and starting on the path to China (ignoring hordes and Siberian path is also a possibility)
• breaking Bohemia's alliances with electors, currently 6/7 (otherwise it's too hard to overcome penalties for not being in the HRE)
• forming Russia when tech 15 happens

Giving Ming mandate made it quickly go to zero, as Ming is not compact and neighbours everyone. China is basically broken in this mod. Oh well. No idea how Yuan got some land back.

The game removed free missionaries from Jerusalem, Mecca/Medina etc. in 1.25. Like seriously, why? Not even a word in patch notes as far as I can tell. All holy site triggers just commented out without explanation.

That makes religious ideas much more valuable, as it's no longer possible to get free missionaries this way. Also harder to stack prestige modifiers for permanent +100 prestige, which would definitely be useful for HRE game.

Post 9 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-25 01:01:49 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 09: 1458-1470: War of the First Coalition

I have Ming a lot of free mandate by console. It's not their fault that mod didn't really fix Mandate of Heaven's mandate system. I thought once about playing Extended Timeline around time of fall of Yuan, but decided against it when AI observe game showed just this kind of silliness.

EU4 is nowhere near CK2 level of scriptable, but I feel the system should be something like this:

• For every Chinese minor, free core event for any Chinese culture province they occupy. That should work, as there's already an event for this for same culture group and religion against infidels, I even got one core on Orthodox Belarusian province held by Lithuania this campaign. Without this, coring speed is just too slow to end Chinese Civil War in under 200 years. On the other hand pre-made free cores cause AI to use reconquest CB, and that breaks China.
• For emperor, free mandate for every Chinese culture province they conquer. I'm not sure if that's scriptable. If not, maybe free mandate every time they declare unify China war. Or at least like 25 years of like +0.25 monthly mandate modifier when new country takes it to give them some time to set things up. Mandate should not be a problem while you're making progress unifying China.
• Event to ask all minors in East Asia if they want to be tributaries whenever a new power takes throne of China. Mostly to guide AI on the right path, strong or distant ones should probably still say no, but various Korchins and Champas might reasonably decide that sending a bit of mana to get big protector is a perfectly reasonable option.

Once China is mostly unified, this system becomes basically vanilla system.

Back to Muscovy. I attacked Great Horde preparing for a big fight, but their biggest ally Transoxiana white peaced first months due to rebellions. Disconnect between joining logic and peacing out logic sometimes results in such issues.

Not like it mattered, since I attacked Sibir mid-war anyway and Transoxiana rejoined. Sadly I lost Defender of the Faith due to not defending Castile from Morocco. Oh well.

I did proper wrecking, vassalizing Crimea, getting good chunk of Sibir which will be useful for future colonization, and reaching Astrakhan. That accidentally got me over 100% OE as Crimean separatists spawned against the Great Horde, occupied Crimea fort once I peaced them out, and I couldn't transfer it to my vassal Crimea.

This caused massive amount of rebels, and a Sunni coalition. To prevent Lithuania from joining as well, I attacked them as soon as truce timer expired. The solution to both these problems is merc spam. And I actually hit merc limit.

Still far behind on manpower, with rebels spawning everywhere, I got hit by coalition war. Ottomans, Mamluks, Poland, Bohemia, a lot of hordes. Balance of forces is surprisingly even, but I'm actually two mil techs behind as I rushed to get aristocratic.

I'm sure it will be fine. It's even more than fine, as it instantly breaks Bohemia's two elector alliances. It would break their Palatinate alliance too, if bastard honored our alliance.

This war should be winnable, I'm just not sure if winning it is worth it. I guess I could also suffer for a while to exhaust them, then make some minor concessions to make them go away.

Post 10 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-27 00:08:01 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 10: 1470-1486: Fall of Lithuania

The coalition war ended with very little bloodshed. I tried fighting while two mil techs behind and very low on manpower, did extremely poorly, so I just agreed to the terms. Hungary returned one province to Wallachia, and another to Byzantium. That's what this was all about, right? Hungary's aggressive expansion.

Sadly Bohemia reallied all the electors the war made them break up with almost right away. Even passed 4th reform, and I'm not making any dent in that voting block. Ottomans soon annexed Wallachia. So it was a bad war.

I also discovered why such a huge coalition. Teutonic Order joined the HRE, and then Mazovia did as well. I didn't notice that, annexed Mazovia, and was confused by all the hate. I think if it wasn't for that, only Sunnis would coalition me, and many like Mamluks were borderline and possible to get out of it. So basically it would be Ottomans and some minors.

Teutons broke Lithuania into tiny Russian principalities, so I cleaned up that region.

After that I took a brief detour into Siberia, getting me all the way to Buryatia's gold mines in armed exploration. While that was going on I got into war with the Golden Horde and its horde buddies, and while that was going also with Avaria who was trying to create second coalition, and their Mamluk buddies.

That went fairly poorly again. My troops were fighting quite well, but Mamluk numbers were inexhaustible, and any kind of offensive meant sieging mountain forts. Fortunately somehow my allies Sweden and Hungary decided halfway through that actually they're totally fine with joining the war, so Avaria got eliminated. I felt like I might be able to fortify Western Caucasus pass, but I only have the lowlands, Ottomans control the hills, and I don't feel like fighting them for it.

New coalition already forming, between Poland, Bohemia, Ottomans, and Gazikumukh. I need new allies to deal with it, and weirdly Mamluks are interested, now that we killed like 100k of each others' troops.

Renaissance cost me all my savings, and then building some barracks, churches, and workshops ate a lot again, but it finally feels like I have some sort of real economy going, even if only earning as much as countries half my size.

For third idea group I took religious. Without free missionaries from various holy cities, it became even more important than before.

I thought about taking diplomatic or influence, but I'm doing so poorly on my HRE goals, it's probably not worth the trouble for now. At least soon I'll be able to form Russia and start colonizing.

Ming got massive injection of free mandate by console twice, but they're back to zero. The mod really needs to implement some alternative mechanics for it. Not sure if I should help Ming even more aggressively by console (like by giving them free tributaries or even annexing Chinese minors), or not.

If I ally Mamluks, nobody's font size will be able to challenge ours.

The plan for HRE now is to somehow break Poland for easy Bohemian border, then start kicking minors (Saxony, Silesia etc.) out of Bohemian land.

The plan for China is to colonize Siberia, and provinces a few tiles below it for wider route. I might venture a bit further south for trade and forts, but I can't get any trade from Persia up North.

I could get Indian trade through Samarkand node, and that comes with free merchants from trade companies, but that's still like a century away at best.

Post 11 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-27 20:44:55 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 11: 1486-1498: Russia Enters Age of Reformation

I allied Mamluks and Transoxiana to discourage coalitions. Brandenburg got me into their war with Pomerania, getting me on opposite side as Sweden. I separate peaced that to take Vyborg from Sweden, and got me "Unite Home Region" mission. All Brandenburg got for that was war reparations.

Ottomans supported by Poland attacked Byzantium supported by Naples and Hungary. I joined it by attacking Poland as well. Their provinces were ridiculously overdeveloped so I only took three.

I got admin tech 15 a bit ahead of time, formed Russia, and was able to instantly establish 10 colonies, all maintenance-free. Russian ideas are #1 on the list for a reason. Broken as hell, at least as long as you're near vast uncolonized area.

As soon as I formed Russia I threw Transoxiana under the trampling horse, and allied Sweden again.

With Hussitism still raging on, Protestantism spawned in Hesse. Then Shadow Kingdom hit. So at least I don't have to worry about Bohemia reforming beyond 4 it already passed, but still no way to replace them as emperor.

Elsewhere, Brabant got hit by coalition war led by Utrecht, and won. Track record of coalition wars this campaign is not too great. Castile got completely annexed by its neighbours. Which feels weird, as for a while it was vanilla-sized.

That list of 10 colonies, it's just ridiculous, and gets me way ahead in font size race. Campaign goals are happening very slowly, not even close to HRE or China.

Also I've been on permanent negative manpower for so long, I can't hire even one artillery, while other countries prematurely switched to late game army composition with 40%-50% artillery. I wonder if that's because mod never adjusted tech at which that's supposed to happen.

Post 12 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-28 21:29:51 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 12: 1498-1515: Hungarian Succession War

Colonization of Siberia was progressing at very rapid pace. I had a bunch of minor wars at my Southern border mostly for sake of improving trade network.

And then king of Hungary died, Britain got a PU, and I got a popup to challenge it. While at two wars in Central Asia. With no allies, with big debt. 95k vs 210k troops, and 0 vs 233 ships. Damn. At least I had some manpower, at least when the war started.

After I ended my Central Asian wars prematurely, one for cash payout and a few worthless provinces, the other with white peace, I managed to get OPM Palatinate into the war. Then Teutons joined it thanks to "prepare for war" button, so basically at double favors cost.

Mamluks, Sweden, and Bradenburg wanted to do nothing with saving Hungary from British tyranny, and Pope and treasonous Hungarian nobles joined on the enemy side. So much for my alliance network.

Enemy armies walked through Teuton lands and broke through fort of Wizna, but soon I called Teutons in, unsieged Wizna, called in 30k with magic Russian button, got my Central Asian troops home, and basically trapped them all in Livonian area. In battle of Osterode, 68k vs 43k, their army was forced to retreat to Ezel island.

Instead of keeping island crossing safe there, Britain basically abandoned it, and Teuton's tiny fleet overwhelmed what they got there. It's surprising to win a naval fight against Britain without having a single ship.

My brave OPM ally Palatinate also bailed out before that happened. After losing their army and ongoing siege of Wien kicked Austria out of the war. Next stage of the war were plains of Hungary.

After that I had to invade Pope and Burgundy to get them out of the war. It was painful, I spent massive amount of money, manpower, and even sword mana to shut up rebels for a while. England and Portugal wanted to continue the fight, so I had to invade British South France to finally convince them that I'm the rightful tsar of Russia and king of Hungary.

I had to check save game, as in-game there's no information about anyone who peaces out halfway, but 172k of our peasants and 248k of theirs died in this war. This might be my first random PU ever in any EU4 game (not counting Denmark, or PLC which are scripted). Not even sure if I had any in EU3.

Just as the war was ending, over 70k rebels erupted, wanting to install some pretender on Hungarian throne. That's peasant's fate, to keep dying.

This war was a surprise, but even before it started I realized I need to pivot this campaign hard. I need far too much diplo reputation and far too many merchants to get from just ideas.

I'll need to take exploration ideas to get +2 diplomatic reputation from trading in ivory, +1 from policy (that's more that diplomatic or influence would give me), and a lot of merchants. It will take a while, but that's the only way HRE can be saved, and the only way my trade can stop leaking.

HRE is now majority heretic, but unfortunately all the electors are still Catholic, so Bohemia will have no trouble getting reelected. I guess I could wait for leagues to trigger and go Protestant. That feels a bit crazy. Then again, this whole campaign is a series of metamorphoses.

If king of Hungary died just 3 months earlier I'd maybe be able to get my allies in.

Normally I'm extremely willing to bail out of costly wars early, but this is the kind of war where I'd totally be willing to rule over ashes in both countries, as long as I won.

Hungary doesn't border me, so Poland is not long for this world.

Awkwardly PU juniors don't seem to increase colonial range. I think vassals used to in early patches, but IIRC they removed that too.
So I'll need to conquer myself some land in Western Europe (Genoa is allied with Poland...), or fight my way to Indian Ocean ports (resulting in likely Delhi-Ottoman-Persia-everybody coalition), or just be patient, colonize Siberia up to Pacific, then hop islands to East Africa where ivory is for diplo rep. Right now the plan is to do all three.

This is HoI4 style encirclement. Teutons weren't sure how fort ZoCs work, so they just spammed so many forts until they got there.

Brandenburg was fighting Poland and Ottomans over that bit of land, so wouldn't help me, but that's at least legitimate excuse. Sweden and Mamluks simply said it's too far for them.

Post 13 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-29 17:41:39 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 13: 1515-1526: Russian Africa

There was a lot of unfinished business to do. I moved my capital to St Petersburg, costing me far too much money. I took enough of Poland to connect me with Hungary, and one province of Italian coast to get me in range of West Africa. It turns out it was just tiny bit too far, fortunately third colonial idea extends my range, so I got a colony there.

I needed missionaries so I embraced counter-reformation, even though mana cost is quite significant.

I fought Transoxiana, and Delhi protected them. That was really bloody, with my units forgetting how to shattered retreat and getting stackwiped (not a single fort there, it was some different bug). In the end Delhi got too exhausted, and thanks to age ability "-25% warscore cost from religious enemies" I managed to fully annex Transoxiana, get a bit beyond Samarkand, but that's already almost big coalition risk, and still very far from the coast.

Delhi then guaranteed Chagatai just to annoy me even further. It wouldn't even be the right direction, just some border cleanup. I could force my way through, but the locals are very effective at making it costly.

I tried to vassalize Khorasan to get their cores back, to maybe expand there with low AE, but my diplomatic reputation is not good enough to get them, and even if I did, alliance and guarantee networks from Ottomans to Persia to Delhi with various minors on the way would make it extremely painful.

The third way of colonizing Siberia to Pacific worked a bit better, I was actually surprised nobody tried to burn down those colonies. They weren't exactly well protected. Trying multiple ways at once, something was likely to work.

Mamluks attacked Ottomans calling me in. On Ottoman side Tunis, Persia, Aq Qoyunlu, and Hormuz. I'm not terribly convinced that's a good idea, but it's a chance to attack Ardabil, guaranteed by Ottomans, and allied with Persia. My main contribution to the war effort was giving Persian troops somewhere to run around, so they left Mamluks alone.

I managed to just barely squeeze enough diplomatic reputation to get Khorasan as vassal, and took Eastern Caucasus approaches with 3 mountain forts. Then I managed to sack Constantinople, and betrayed Mamluks for gold, as those bastards didn't help me when I needed it in war of Hungarian Succession.

I wondered about using my warscore to break them up with Persia instead, but that's too long term thinking for someone 2k gold in debt, and with 3k overdue for next institution.

The war would be winnable, at fairly painful cost, but Mamluks were a bad ally previously, and I didn't like how many Turks and Persians were running around my country.

Mamluks were too stupid to even do their part - kicking Tunis, Hormuz, and Aq Qoyunlu out, and actually sieging down wargoal (Cilicia), so it would be all on me to win this, and I'd get none of the reward.

My seizure of Western Caspian Sea coast and mountain forts in it enraged a lot of Middle Eastern minors, hopefully they'll get over it before my truces with Ottomans, Persia, and Delhi expire.

Post 14 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-29 23:38:28 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 14: 1526-1537: Great Imperial War

In Mamluk-Ottoman war I left, Mamluks lost 4 provinces to Ottomans and 2 to Aq-Qoyunlu. I got some gold, and Morocco took 3 provinces from Ottoman ally Tunis, so our side did OK except for Mamluks themselves.

I destroyed some old forts and put them in more sensible places. Chasing enemy units all around the Russia is not much fun, and attrition for enemies has been reduced to basically zero.

Well, it was time to deal with Bohemia. Attacked them, and 5 of their elector allies. If my relations with Palatinate weren't broken in previous war I'd be able to dismantle the HRE in this war.

France joined, Sweden only when I paid their debt. Teutons and Mamluks would had no interest.

The deal offered to all electors was the same - break relations with Bohemia, and give me as much gold as you'd like. From Bohemia I took gold, kicked Silesia out of them (at painfully high bird mana cost, I hate how expensive this option is compared with straight conquest), and wargoal province to weaken them a bit further.

This rearrange electors, but not in the way I wanted. Bohemia and Brandenburg were each voting for themselves, somehow Lorraine got one vote, and Luxembourg got 4 votes. That's slightly better than the entrenched Bohemia, but only just.

I tried improving relations with 4 electors who seemed like they could maybe be of some use, but it didn't seem like it was getting anywhere. I got +1 diplomatic reputation from policy, but it seemed like I'd need +4 more to get any votes at all, assuming my legitimacy, prestige, relations and everything eles is maxed out. Well, ivory trade is coming soon.

It's close to last time I can decide to go Protestant and wreck HRE with leagues, otherwise I'll need to stay nice.

Mamluks just called me into another war against Aq Qoyunlu and Ottomans, this time without the rest, so I guess I might try getting closer to India.

Lan Xang took mandate from Ming. It's silly because it's so minor. If Xi takes it, I might let them annex other Chinese states by console.

My lines of forts were setup more sensibly this time, so everyone was swarming Hungary instead.

Before the war, Brandenburg and Luxembourg were my allies too, but they're too strong, and have imperial ambitions, so it's against my best interest to keep them.

After the war I dropped France (who lost provinces to Luxembourg in this fight), and allied Palatinate (OPM), Mainz (OPM, theocracy), and Cologne (theocracy), so maybe they'll vote for me? Salzburg (another theocracy) is a possibility too if I get a free slot.

Post 15 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-05-04 12:11:09 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 15: 1537-1551: Kongo Wars

I had a neat plan. Release Mazovia in Warszawa, so it adds itself to the HRE, conquer it and rest of Polish provinces, culture switch Polish, form Poland, move my capital to Warszawa by decision, sneaking my way into the HRE. Well, it would have been even easier with St. Petersburg (other than forcing me to sell multiple provinces for the path, but no tag switches needed), but I totally missed that chance. Unfortunately they closed all capital move loopholes in 1.23. Damn. This campaign is a lot harder than expected.

My army composition this campaign has been about the worst ever - because my army grows in bursts of wrong unit types by button presses instead of by sensible recruitment. This together with how big "insufficient support" penalty is (basically making it better off to disband cavalry than have them hang around) makes my army surprisingly awful.

Well, Mamluks dragged me into another massively painful war against Ottomans and Persia, half a million people dead and they took one 9dev province. I took Khorasan's cores from Persia at least.

As soon as that finished, I started what I always wanted - Kongo and Far East expansion. Kongo doesn't contain any meaningful ivory, but all the minors were allied with Butua in East Africa who does, so it was good to get that out of the way.

There's a lot of Central and East Asian minors I want to conquer, but all are allied or guaranteed by Ottomans, Delhi, or one of the Chinese majors. It's really awkward, as my army is third in Africa, third in Caucasus, and third in Far East, so if I fight anyone I'll be at a local disadvantage.

At least I managed to snipe was Ardalan when it got involved in some war on the wrong side of its guarantor. I could either wait for such opportunities, or recruit more soldiers and have a proper showdown.

After all my efforts, Bohemia still won elections, with 2 votes, with Luxembourg, and Palatinate getting 2 as well, and somehow Lorraine getting one. I hoped the emperor would at least switch, allowing me some different shenanigans.

All electors remained Catholic, so basically all my attempts at getting into the HRE the nice way failed. Even ivory and diplomatic or influence won't be enough. If nothing useful happens by age of absolutism I guess I'll just force my way in. Annoyingly I can't even start messing with China before I make myself HRE hereditary emperor.

At least my economy and manpower finally seems to be in order.

Ottomans are allied with Persia and Delhi, and overall there's very dense network of alliances and guarantees all the way to Korea.

I'd like to confront them all directly, but there's no good opening.

Post 16 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-05-04 21:14:07 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 16: 1551-1566: End of Siberian Frontier

I picked a fight with Aq Qoyunlu and Ottomans to distract them, then moved in against my actual target, Persia. After massive piles of peasant bodies on both sides, I got Khorasan access to Indian Ocean, as well as 6 forts, 5 of them in mountains.

Then after some minor Kongo fights, I did the same thing - distract Delhi, then attack countries in its sphere. Delhi's army was fighting ridiculously poorly, and I was baffled why.

And then another one, cleaning up Ardabil, and taking all money Persia had as well as their Ottoman alliance.

End result of all that will be either big wedge between Ottomans and Delhi letting me crush either of them whenever I want with the other one unable to help, or a massive global coalition to stop me.

I got 2 merchants from exploration, but so far only 5% global ivory trade of 20% needed. I don't have any strategic good bonuses except furs (+0.5 annual prestige) yet.

I remembered that I can buy 1 diplo rep from the pope, so I'm about 3 diplo rep away from getting 2 HRE votes. So ivory and influence ideas, and keeping OE low during elections, and I might, well, still lose to Bohemia as 2 votes are not enough. But it's a start.

I started setting up a CN in North America, as pope granted all good South American lands to Portugal. I guess I could try Australia and Alaska later. There's nobody left for Siberian frontier, so it's a fine time to switch ideas.

If anyone I could tag switch to had +2 diplo reputation in their ideas, I'd be extremely tempted. Sadly options are Aachen (not formable), Austria (formable by Styria only), Rome (WC project), and Jerusalem (formable by Provence, Cyprus, or The Knights only). So I guess going Occitan, becoming Provence, then conquering Palestine and becoming Jerusalem is an option. There's also time limit on Jerusalem, before absolutism.

I even looked at any +1 diplo reputation countries which wouldn't be too much hassle to switch to. Muscovy is one, but that ship has sailed. Same with Russian minors, generally not formable. Khorasan has it once I annex them. I guess I could go Norway without too much trouble, and that's no diplo rep but an extra colonist.

My African and Asian empires highly visible. I have a very cunning idea on how to flip Eastern religion, but first I'll need to become hereditary HRE emperor. Then again, my cunning ideas have very poor track record this campaign.

The Fetishish part of Africa will all go, and that should be enough for 3 merchants and ivory bonus. I'll probably leave African Sunnis alone for coalition reasons. Well, unless my ivory calculations are off.

I have less of a plan in Asia, just opportunistic land grabs. I'm definitely cleaning up Tengri and Buddhists, as these are bottom tier religions. Not sure if I'd rather go Confucian or Shinto for my China wars.

Post 17 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-05-05 22:09:53 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 17: 1566-1585: New Russia

I finally got decent manufactory suggestion script working. Value of manufactory is increase in trade income plus increase in production income. Game calculates trade graph monthly, and that data goes into save file, so I can get perfectly accurate trade value information by just linear interpolation of saved data. In-game that's not available in any way whatsoever.

Then I need to add production information. That's not cached, so I need to redo all calculations from scratch. I only properly included half the factors (autonomy, current price, estates, workshops), and just ballpark estimated the rest (prosperity, tech, ideas, largest producer bonus, merchant republics, corruption, war exhaustion etc.). Ironically production income gain is displayed exactly in-game, so OCRing a screenshot for production + save game for trade would get exact numbers. Or just including twenty more factors manually.

Script's numbers were very surprising, suggesting about huge number of places with 50 year or better ROI. Novgorod is still only third most valuable trade node after the English Channel and Alexandria.

Back to the game, I did the similar distract war / actual war trick against Shun, Korea, and their tributaries. Unfortunately I miscounted OE and suffered 101% OE for no good reason.

My African armies were bored, so I gave them holidays in North America. Because institutions broke natives, the moment I got a border with those bastards everyone chain westernized ten tribes deep, literally one day after previous tribe, getting all the institutions and a lot of techs for free.

I took influence ideas for +2 diplo rep. Ivory got to only 14% of required 20% even after all that effort. I think I overestimated how easy it would be. My only strategic goods are furs, iron, and copper. I'm top producer of ivory, livestock, salt, and wool, but not enough to get the bonus for any of them yet.

It seemed like maybe I'd start to get somewhere in the HRE, but I got dragged into war between electors. After that 4 electors are just close to voting on me. Ivory and getting that vote at time when I'm at 0% OE, 100 prestige, and 100 legitimacy might just work.

Great Britain got PU over Burgundy. Portugal challenge that and failed. The way PU wars are setup, challengers always always lose since defender gets the junior and all their allies, and challenger is on their own in offensive war.

After that Portuguese Mexico and Portuguese Brazil rebelled against Portugal, with Mexico only winning. I'm not sure how that worked exactly, independence wars are all or none normally. Britain also took over Portuguese Caribbean.

Hsenwi took over China from Lan Xang. Ming got fully annexed by another Chinese minor. I'm quite annoyed that Xi, who's obviously the main power in China at 796dev, is not even trying (4th GP after me, Britain, and Delhi).

I weakened Persia so much everyone piled up to take as much as they can. In retrospect it seems pointless, what I wanted was land in Indian trade nodes, and I got close to none.

Here's the HRE 229 years in. Bohemia still in charge somehow. Cologne, Salzburg, Mainz, and Palatinate are still my allies.

Oh and Sweden broke our alliance due to that silly border claims event firing over and over. It's really incompatible with the new mission system, which gives permanent claims like it's candy.

Cologne, Austria, and Salzburg expanded recently, while Brandenburg and Bohemia shrunk a lot.

Post 18 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-05-07 23:59:18 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 18: 1585-1594: Hereditary Holy Roman Emperor

I finally got ivory bonus, and just as predicted that resulted in 3 votes. That was some extremely long term plan. I got Albenga in 1516, and that set me on the path to ivory bonus nearly a century later. It would have been far easier to just take diplomatic into influence, but I can't say no to good colonization.

In 1588 I got just barely elected. The empire's a mess with 23/36 princes heretics, 10 provinces in foreign hands, wars raging endlessly, many won by heretics.

I couldn't even end my own wars for a while due to OE limit. In 1594 I finally cored everything, and passed two reforms at once. I don't think I can even do that much about the heretics. Passing the reforms disables wars against other princes, and enforces religious peace, and in any case a lot of them blobbed far beyond 100% warscore cost, so I can't even convert them easily.

Maybe I'll pick up some minor fights like with Sweden, France, or Venice to slightly reduce extent of the heresies, and get that Finish claims mission done.

Absolutism starts soon. Also Imperialism CB. The mod forgot to move it, so it's still at dip tech 23, which is just a few years ahead, and already there for the Ottomans.

Ottomans and Delhi are just slightly below coalition joining limit, so I don't have to worry much, but a lot of minors in Africa and New World hate me, so it would be nice to clean this up.

And now that I don't need to stay Catholic, I can start thinking about further metamorphoses.

Post 19 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-05-12 00:17:54 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 19: 1594-1609: North German Federation

It was time to celebrate my emperorship with a nice war with Sweden. I setup Finland, flipped two HRE OPMs, and released Pomerania, sadly heretic. Meissen went Catholic on their own.

I did some border cleanup in Persia, Africa, and Central Asia as well. I'm not in China yet, but I got most of Mongolia and Manchuria regions. I got into one war with two biggest Chinese states to distract them from their tributaries, but then I white peaced them, with major losses on both sides.

But really, I had to decide what I'm going to do with the HRE. I decided to play Vic2 and diplovassalized whoever I can, but set them to passive so they don't get involved in my wars. Vassal swarms are somewhat OP.

Out of 38 member, there's me, 20 vassals, 6 free cities impossible to diplovassalize anyway, and 11 countries I'll still need to do something about. As my vassals flipped Catholic - some by event, some by interaction button (not sure how that event works), that decently increased my IA gain.

I should be able to diplovassalize a few more. The rest are mostly possible to convince through Revoking the Privilegia. Only Austria would be a definite no without major military intervention.

I got policy for cheap culture conversion (-25% adjacent province, -25% religious ideas, -20% policy, and some discounts from admin efficiency), and dumped a lot of points into reeducating peasants.

I just got imperialism CB nearly a century early thanks to mod coding mistake. The era of absolutism is coming soon now, so I'll focus on Court and Country.

Main benefit of diplovassalizing minors is that I won't have to fight them when I'm breaking apart Austria and recovering lost imperial land.

It would be really nice to get control over English Channel instead of leaking so much trade from Novgorod, but that feels like a bit of a distraction from main goals in the East.

Post 20 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-05-18 22:13:10 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 20: 1609-1626: Court and Country

I tried something, but AI invented a new cheat. I attacked Pope, cobeligerenting problematic HRE members. They didn't join right away, instead they joined a few weeks later - as non-cobeligerents, so I couldn't do proper country release.

Unfortunately there's no real workaround that I know of, so I released my vassal swarm at the damn cheaters. It delayed absolutism by a few months. Even worse I didn't notice that Aquileia held by Austria was actually non-HRE (HRE map mode is really bad at showing that), probably due to the Shadow Kingdom, so I lost a province of the empire.

I still got 3 vassals, took some land from Venice, broke down all problem countries except Austria, Lubeck, and Switzerland. Sadly the only way to do that was returing land to my vassals, and that generated ridiculous coalitionable level of hatred from half of Europe. Oh well.

Well, might as well clean up the rest of outstanding European issues. I got 4 more vassals, and got all provinces except ones held by Britain.

While I was waiting for Court and Country to finish I integrated Hungary and Khorasan, finished my African affairs, started colonizing Malacca node, and took big chunk of Mexico.

The mod makes HRE a lot harder by moving minimum IA for reform from 50 to 75. It sounds simple enough, but excess IA gives extra reasons to vote for reform, so that is now down from +50 to just +25 at 100 IA. That's equivalent to massive 5 diplomatic reputation points.

Under vanilla rules I should be able to get everyone to vote for reforms. With the mod, there's no way to get Austria without breaking them down further, and it will be a big challenge to get Lubeck and Switzerland. So unfortunately this forced me to take diplomatic ideas, 3 diplo in a row.

Next will probably be humanist to help me shenanigan, but that's a few techs ahead. This campaign was supposed to be about transformation shenanigans, and due to slow HRE I barely did any of that.

As for other world news, Aragon and France fought succession war over OPM Sicily.

5 out of 8 great powers choose green, Portuguese really similar shade of green. Fortunately Portugal is currently getting wrecked by Andalusia, so that problem will go away.

It turns out the old "move capital to an island to not lose any mandate" trick no longer works. This campaign is endless list of discoveries that something got nerfed (often deservedly). I border most great powers, so I'll need to think about setting up some long term buffer states, especially against Delhi.

But first I need to finish HRE reforms. I don't want to delay it forever, so if the only way is to get everyone's vote except Austria's, I'll just conquer Austria the old fashioned way.

Post 21 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-05-19 09:21:35 UTC

Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 21: 1626-1634: Revoking the Privilegia

I had a few years until annexed vassals modifier expired, and until I could fill the rest of diplomatic ideas.

So first, some unfinished business with Austria - Bohemian cores they hold. I also took some land from Portugal, but mostly just went on high speed.

After that I allied three problem countries - Austria, Lubeck, and Switzerland, and thanks to +10 diplomatic reputation I stacked as well as buckets of gold got everyone to vote for me.

Now at this point there was supposed to be the whole form Yuan become China business, but:

• the campaign took far longer than expected (1356-1634 is 278 years)
• China is derped - U-Tsang holds mandate, nobody wants to challenge them
• my non-HRE vassals (Finland and Yuan) are derped, counting HRE vassals to their power
• there would be zero challenge whatsoever
• the fun tricks I planned to use got nerfed

I think it's best to end this without technically achieving the goals.

As for my original plans:
• I was going to vassalize HRE before changing religion, otherwise hard to get the votes at -20 penalty
• Take Constantinople, move capital there
• Go Sunni
• Take some Confucian lands, start Dhimmi revolt - possibly a few of those
• Hopefully have them reach my capital (can't move it out of HRE, so can't move it out of Europe)
• Go Confucian
• start gathering tributaries
• move capital to Cyprus or something to avoid neighbouring non-tributary penalty
• take China from whichever minor holds it
• go Uzbek culture, form Yuan
• then switch to some Chinese culture so all of China is accepted
• pass some reforms, clean up borders, have a nice finish

Unfortunately island capital trick no longer works, so instead I'd need to keep blobbing until no other great power is left, and I don't really find that late game blobbing terribly fun. Can't win them all I guess.

Overall, I quite liked the 1356 mod for novelty value, but they really need to sort out China and Hussites, right now both mechanics are doing poorly. It's not even modders' fault, mandate mechanic only does anything when Ming-sized China exists with nobody to challenge them, and it's difficult to see how to fix it.

From Colombia North it's my CNs, Peru, Brazil, and Rio Da Prata are revolting from Portuguese rule. All look about equally green.

No interesting wars between AIs are happening, everyone just uses imperialism CB on random minors. I hoped I'd get some openings to move against Ottomans, Delhi, or China when they're busy, but AI is such a coward.

Nearly everyone converted to accepted culture, Muscovite, Polish, or Uzbek. In the end, none of that mattered.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

EU4 Mamluk Roman Empire

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-03-30 18:50:22 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 01: 1444-1451: The Great Turkish War

My favourite part of the new mission system is that you can do one mission set, then change your tag and get a completely new mission set, even multiple times.

Sadly most of the world has no missions, so I started writing a series of tutorials, and maybe someday Dai Viet into Shan into Tibet into Nagaur into Bharat will be a mission pack rollercoaster adventure, for now we're limited to Europe.

So the plan is: Mamluks into Coptic into Orthodox into Byzantium into Roman Empire. Or maybe I'll change my mind along the way and become France or Russia or Qing or something. I've heard that they massively rebalanced late game economics, so it might be more interesting than usual. Or maybe starting as a great power I'll blob so fast that the campaign will end before it even gets going properly.

Mamluks actually start with just 5 missions, and we won't even get Coptic missions when we go Coptic (without using console). We start with vassals of Hedjaz and Fadl, fairly pointless guarantee on Cyprus and Medina.

So, start by rivalling Ottomans, Venice, and Aragon, working on diplovassalizing Medina, and milking estates.

Embargo on Venice got "Alexandrian Trade" mission. That got me some claims on Arab minors, so I did quick wars to expand my vassals and cleanup borders. That completed "Pacify the Bedouins", and unlocked claims on Turkish minors.

You can probably guess what kind of tricks I used to achieve "Build to Force Limit" mission.

I got "Trustworthy Allies" with Medina and Tunis, then "Acquire Subjects" (already done with what I got when game starts, but it's second in chain). I then diplovassalized Medina, and got a surprise event which let by vassal Hejaz integrate my vassal Medina, saving me a diplo slot.

I was somehow first country in the world to all tech 4, getting +6 innovativeness. Well, the somehow was very obvious - I milked all estates for 150 mana each day one, and AI never does that.

Ottomans were sieging down Candar and Karaman, and I did not approve of that, so I attacked their ally Aq Qoyunlu, cobeligerenting Ottomans. It was sort of bad idea, as I had no allies, zero manpower, and Ottomans had twice my navy.

At least I managed to relieve Candar and Karaman for a while. It was extremely painful.

I was deep behind on body count, but somehow Qara Qoyunlu finished their silly war, so I called them in promising them land. They got absolutely nothing, and were not too happy about that.

Now that someone willing to die for me was in the war, I attacked Karaman and vassalized them. Ottomans annexed Candar. As Aq Qoyunlu was the war leader and they felt really painful about being 100% occupied, they were willing to give me a lot of Ottoman lands.

After that I got "Expand Mamluks" mission. I'm one province away from completing "Subjugate the Beyliks", but that one province was not really worth it. So it's 7/20 missions in 7 years.

There was a surprise Byzantine-Georgian war over PU over Imereti.

My original plan for the campaign was actually different. I wanted to take Crete from Venice via claim, then fabricate on Morea, force vassalize Byzantium, and use reconquest CB to fight the Ottomans.

Now I need to rest for a while. The Ottomans aren't broken, but they lost half their naval force limit, and they don't have any Bosporus crossing, so there's some hope there.

I increased autonomy for all those newly conquered lands, as I really didn't feel like wasting time with rebels.

The opening. Crete then Byzantium, then reconquest seemed like a reasonable plan. I don't think it was viable with the kind of navy Venice and its league puppets have.

The expand South and go Coptic still seems like a perfectly viable idea.

Two main ways EU3 (or early EU4) was better were no zone of control silliness, and war leader switching.

I'd totally guarantee Karaman, Candar, Byzantium, and everybody else threatened by the Ottomans - if only that would make me war leader in a defensive war (or if there was some kind of HoI4 style peace conference system based on war contributions). Being in any war as non-leader is a total waste of time otherwise.

Ottomans just tasted some of it, being cobeligerent minor. They were beaten quite hard on their own (which doesn't matter whole lot as merc spam is on), but I'd maybe get 30% warscore worth of their land, not 99%.

I still want to vassalize Byzantium, but they're at war with Georgia over Imereti while defending against Venetian conquest of Morea; and I'm really behind on manpower and war exhaustion.

Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-03-30 22:26:30 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 02: 1451-1468: Force Limit is Just a Number

Byzantium got reduced by Venice to an OPM, so I offered them my protection. There was some rumors among Arabs of a coalition against me, so I cleaned up borders a bit.

I also discovered that Ottomans and Venice both build their navy to near twice their naval force limit. I guess that's actually totally reasonable, considering how dependent they both are on naval supremacy.

Fortunately for me, they got into a fight over Ragusa, so counting on their fleets being distracted fighting each other I declared on Venice to get back Byzantine lands.

It went extremely poorly. Ottomans decided to surrender, giving Venice Ragusa, Epirus, and naval supremacy.

I tried to fight with what I've got, ended up having to run away from Greece, losing far too many troops there, and then getting Constantinople sieged.

Well, I too can play "build galleys way over force limit" game. Especially since after I finished mission "High Income", there was a mission for 30 galleys (or 10 heavies, but who has money for that). 45/25, exactly like the Ottomans. I'm somehow even low on sailors.

It was extremely painful, somehow even more than my Ottoman war, but in the end I managed to convince Venice to give back Byzantine cores. They wouldn't even consider handing over Naxos, Corfu, or Negroponte.

Well, with so many galleys it would be silly not to attack Ottomans now. They're allied with Crimea, Hisn Kayfa, Aq Qoyunlu, Morocco, Tripoli, Tunis, and Tlemcen, but I have Poland/Lithuania willing to join on my side, so it should be about even.

Unfortunately countries on this list also have galleys, and Poland will be useless here, so it's not at all guaranteed that I'll do great.

I also discovered that the new patch now has -1000 "recently broke promise to give land" modifier, which feels a bit heavy-handed.

This would have been an easy war, if Ottomans and Venice fought each other longer. I very quickly reached the point where I was willing to concede defeat, but AI just doesn't do that any more, so spamming mercs (or in this case galleys) is the only way out.

Neither of us had access through Ottomans, so Venice shipped a stack onto Constantinople a few units at a time. Then were then stuck there once they lost naval supremacy.

It's good that I improved relations with everyone, so Ottomans couldn't get a coalition against me going.

Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-03-31 01:47:00 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 03: 1468-1483: Coptic Africa

It was time to attack the Ottomans directly. A glorious war, me and Poland vs Ottomans and tons of minors.

Our 86k troops and 94 ships vs their 73k troops and 102 ships. Actually naval situation was a lot worse as Baltic and Red fleet ships were useless.

Somehow Ottomans weren't expecting this war. Mothballed castle in Selanik fell before the first battle, and 26 enemy ships got sunk right away.

Sadly total lack of preparation affected both sides - Egypt got fully occupied by North Africans, and Syria by Aq Qoyunlu about as fast as Ottoman Balkans by me. It wasn't terribly fun, ending the war at >10WE, but I got what I wanted, and then built a castle in Benghazi to protect Egypt from the West, so it won't happen again.

After that I sailed all the way to the Baltic to sell my galley fleet down to force limit. I got about 2/3 of the money back. It takes so much clicking I'd probably be better off just disbanding them all.

After that it was finally time to expand into Coptic East Africa. I need to flip Orthodox or Coptic. For that I needed to be majority Orthodox or majority Coptic, which is going to be pretty damn hard even with Dhimmi rebels on demand. The key problem is that rebels can't swim, and all the Orthodox peasants are in Greece.

I only embraced Renaissance in 1476, and yet got to 22% innovativeness already. It's a lot easier than I expected with proper mana management (as long as you're strong and in Europe or close to it).

I discovered that vassals will only accept up to 99%, not 100% like I expected (bad events start at >100%).

My vassals were getting restless, so I annexed Hedjaz, even though it will make religious conversion so much harder. It will take very long time to annex Byzantium due to negative diplomatic reputation, and that's only one step on long way towards becoming the new Rome.

On the upside, that gives me time to complete more generic missions. I got 9/20 so far, and I think I'll get to about 16 by the time I become Byzantium and get fresh mission set.

There's another problem that there are now 5 countries which want to coalition me - Ottomans, Aq Qoyunlu, and 3 Coptic minors. Shuffling truces might become quite painful.

Poorly placed forts cost me a lot in this war.
I rarely do much fort planning, as borders tend to move a lot, and good placement for one war is often waste of gold for the next.

I'm more or less reverse Ottomans. Flipping Greek won't be too hard, it's just going to cost me obscene amount of paper mana to unstate and restate Egypt (one of the reasons I started with administrative ideas).

Flipping religion will be difficult, as it counts majority of peasants in all land, not just in states, and they need to be specific religion - even if I get Christian majority between Coptic and Orthodox that won't be enough.

As I took influence ideas second, I'll have long self-inflicted period of very low religious unity soon.

Post 4 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-03-31 20:24:27 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 04: 1483-1503: Egyptians and Greeks

I finished mission "Build Buildings". It feels like pretty good guidance, 5 temples and 5 workshops are a good idea to build as soon as you can. Then you should follow it with barracks spam and marketplaces in CoTs/estuaries. At least they didn't troll the player with mission to build +50% sailors buildings.

I decided to take a proactive approach to dealing with potential coalition members to my South. Number of outraged countries reached 7, so a detailed plan whom to eliminate when while saving as much precious bird mana as possible was needed.

I couldn't call in Poland into another war against the Ottomans, as Polish king was cruel. That makes no sense, cruel king should be happy to kill some Turks. Qara Qoyunlu started its war with Georgia just a month ahead of my truce (they joined midway), and Adal was too far. AI allies are so useless.

Fighting on my own, I finally destroyed what was left of Aq Qoyunlu, and finished "Subjugate the Beyliks" mission. Then I took the rest of Ottoman Balkans and setup a miniature Georgia of my own. I need someone to preserve Orthodoxy, and maybe convert some Turks for me.

I finished "Yemeni Trade", which required a bunch of conquests in Yemen area, but also being strongest trade power, which I managed to squeeze with only 20% of the total. That was the last of Mamluk's unique missions, but there's still quite a few generic missions to do.

My alliance with Qara Qoyunlu ended with 2 events for "you have a claim, -50 relations" about a month apart.

Venice was losing two wars to Albania/Hungary/Austria, and to the Pope, so I did a quick one on them and seized their remaining Greek lands. Venice still ignored their force limit, and had twice my fleet, but it was split in half and randomly wandering between protecting Venice, protecting Corfu, protecting Crete, and trying to blockade Alexandria, so in the end it achieved none of those goals.

Poland called me into their war against Hungary, France, Cyprus, Albania, and Riga. With some loot from that war I finally managed to get "Build a Treasury" (2000 gold) mission. Poland as a typical shit AI ally gave me zero land, even though I marked Albania and Cyprus as vital interest, fully occupied them, and had higher war contribution than Poland.

I finally integrated Byzantium, getting me "Conquer New States" mission. I'm now 19% Orthodox, 4% Catholic, 1% Coptic, and I need to get that over 50% Orthodox, somehow. Georgia as an Orthodox vassal could be part of the plan. Dhimmi rebels could be another part.

Back in EU3 Coptic and Orthodox were the same religion, so I'd just integrate my vassals, and between the two I'd be over 40%.

My states are 32% Greek, so getting that over 50% to switch primary culture will just waste me some paper mana, but otherwise be painless.

HRE somehow managed to squeeze in 3 reforms before Protestants got entrenched.

So the plan is something like: go Greek, go Orthodox (most difficult step), go Byzantium, then go back Egyptian (way better culture group, not even close).
Then maybe go Coptic for better bonuses, or Catholic for HRE crown.

The easy part of the plan is to feed Georgia tons of land, hope they convert it, then integrate. Hard part of the plan is to somehow use Dhimmi rebels, they'd be straightforward enough except for the small issue problem of the ocean.

Post 5 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-01 01:51:48 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 05: 1503-1515: Eastern Roman Empire Restored

Going Orthodox was guaranteed to be a huge hassle. Well, step one is attacking Ottomans, and feeding Georgia some land.

After that I setup a huge Orthodox revolt - 11 tiny stacks of 90k total. I started 19% Orthodox, and wow, it went really smoothly. Rebels walked over Bosporus without anyone stopping them, and others teleported themselves from Greek islands to Egypt without any hassle. Blockade pauses teleportation, but randomly passing ships never bothered to stop it properly.

I got over 50% in 1508, usually keeping about 10/100 provinces occupied by rebels at any time. Eventually they kept running into my or vassal troops, until rebels were down to just last stack, at 56% Orthodoxy. I ended my war with Hassa (silly trick to delay rebel demands), and accepted switching faith. That cost me a lot of devastation, and a lot of conversion pain ahead.

After that I unstated a lot of land, which was huge waste of paper mana, but otherwise fairly easy. Going Greek, becoming Roman Empire, then re-stating some land and going back Egyptian, so I'd accept all Turks and Arabs. I even accepted Bulgarians, that's how tolerant I am.

Missions I didn't finish before reset:

• 80k army (got to 65k), Unite Home Region (done, but previous one blocks it)
• 75% trade power in home node (extremely hard in Alexandria), expand overseas to 3 trade companies (not going to happen unless I take exploration or move my capital to Europe)
• 20 manufactories (probably would take a long while), 1000 dev (got to 874)

Out of 27 Byzantine missions, I had Recover Greece, and Recover Bulgaria out of the box. Actually I had a bunch more, but they're locked due to wrong order.

After that I took a break from fighting to get some mana back. Hungary attacked Albania, Austria betrayed them, so I took the other half of Albania for myself.

Right now I have a huge pile of permanent claims, and they'll only result in more permanent claims. The real fun will start when Catholic Europe starts talking about coalitions against me.

Post 6 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-01 17:29:11 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 06: 1515-1525: Fall of the Ottomans

One of the best things about the new mission system is that it rewards cleaning up borders. One leftover Ottoman province? Can't get the mission reward. Maps would be prettier and all the games would be a bit more enjoyable with more such mechanics.

I had a quick war with Cyprus and its Italian buddies. Now one of the things I'd most love to see is some alert on top of the screen saying "battle is going to start". So I wouldn't run with -2 penalty into Genoese troops just because my map was scrolled to Cyprus at that time. And then again in Georgia because I was looking at the Balkans. It didn't help that I was somehow 2 mil techs behind those bastards, it might have had something to do wasting tons of mil on bribing my vassals with development and such silliness.

I destroyed all forts in the Balkans to let the Orthodox rebels roam free, and now I had Italian stacks roam there instead. After the war, I put a couple on fairly random spots, maybe they'll work. I'd be much happier to do so if there was some indication if ZoC works or not. Also if AI didn't blatantly cheat. That got me "Recover Eastern Islands" mission.

Poland called me, Castile, Bohemia, and some minors into a war against Denmark, its juniors, Austria, France, and friends. All over some irrelevant province on the Baltic coast. Total 252k troops and 186 ships vs 145k and 169 ships.

I happily helped them fight Hungary before, as weakening Hungary was in my interest, but I didn't really care either way who won this one. French and Austrian troops were a bit of a hassle in the Balkans, but I can live with it. In the end Bohemia lost 7dev province to Saxony, Poland got two provinces from Denmark, 7dev and 3dev. 334k men and 90 ships died for this.

Tunis and Fezzan kept raiding my coastline, so I took a small detour. Raiding is a really stupid mechanic, as I can't just patrol the coast to prevent that. They all had those annoying Berber tradition modifiers to make them massive pain to core, but I'll have to do it at some point. Tunis will disappear in the next war.

I fully annexed Ottomans somehow squeezing it 100% warscore, even though tooltip said their total worth was 105%. There's a lot of those secret modifiers. That got me "Recover the Coastline", "Western Anatolia", "Central Anatolia", and "Reestablish the Theme System" in one go.

Soon after that I got "Convert Asia Minor" (which actually just wants the coastline), "Recover Antioch", and "Recover Jerusalem". I could even get next one down that chain, but no need wasting patriarch authority here.

The last province of Ethiopia disappeared as well.

Now I have a few big directions to expand to:

• Hungary, fighting half of Europe
• Castile/Aragon/Naples, fighting half of Europe and my ally Poland
• my rival Qara Qoyunlu, which might even avoid coalition, as they're Shia so nobody cares
• Crimea, just to get the whole coast

This time the French were very willing to die for whatever's that Danish province east of Danzig.

If you labelled that "Ottomans" instead, it would be fairly close to historical. Well I guess IRL Burgundy was gone at this point.

Post 7 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-01 21:32:04 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 07: 1525-1537: The Regency

I got a consort regency for 4 year old emperor.

The newly spawned Coptic nation of Funj got involved in a war between East African Sunnis in approximately zero time. My ally gave me two provinces this way.

My ally Ajam was allied with Crimea, so I attacked Qara Qoyunlu calling in Ajam, then attacked Crimea. This is reasonably coalition-proof as nobody cares about Shiites, and Crimea is quite far from other Sunni.

I was about to give Ajam all of Mazandaran, to get rid of potential coalition member, but they surrender to Qara Qoyunlu before siege ended.

I got absolutely nothing from Crimea as Muscovy jumped on that war and sieged everything first. Of course as with all good AI cheating, it took all the land without occupying any fort.

The war was so painful I ignored claims, and just bordergored Qara Qoyunlu out of all their mountain forts, splitting them into 4 disconnected parts.

Poland got into another fight with Denmark, this time grabbing 46dev worth of provinces and other concessions, then they pressed the Commonwealth button.

With Denmark doing so poorly, I decided on a whim to support Swedish independence, but then again, it's not like I can do much about it.

Somehow Castile inherited Aragon but lost PU over Naples, then formed Spain. Muscovy is just one admin tech away from forming Russia

The only usual great power which does poorly this time is England, which still didn't get Scotland, even though Scotland is basically undefended.

My army got divided into 4 stacks of 12k infantry, 4k cavalry, 4k artillery each. So I'd finally finish that "80k army" mission if I still had generic ones. Also 75% trade power in home node, and 1000dev. Pretty hard to mod that without messing up the whole mission system.

If Sweden chickens out of their independence war, I might go after East Africa, just cleaning up the borders a little and setting up trade company for +1 merchant.

Coalition concerns pretty much force me to destroy Qara Qoyunlu and Persian minors now. That will make Timurids hate me, but that's just one, and my ambitions to the East are limited. I'd like it if Crimea disappeared somehow, and I don't particularly want to take their crap lands.

Europe will soon get into HRE League conflict, so any alliance system they have will get rearranged. I'd probably benefit from taking the Protestant side, to either force religious peace and get emperorship; or to simply divide Europe into as many religions as possible to reduce my AE.

My definite targets are Spain, Hungary, Venice, Genoa, Naples, and the Pope, but there's no great opportunity.

Muscovy is my new rival, but to be honest we don't really get in each others' ways. I even cut part of Qara Qoyunlu so they can have it. Caucasus and Zagros mountains are reasonable East borders for me. Someone just needs to tell Hormuz they're on the wrong side.

Post 8 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-02 01:01:47 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 08: 1537-1545: East African Adventure

Bohemia became the emperor. That would be awkward as I'd rather oppose the emperor, and Bohemia is on our side of the alliance network. Well, I'll just wait for the league alliance reshuffling before I start messing with Europe.

Sweden declared their war of independence, getting me and Muscovy vs Denmark, Hungary, and Pomerania.

I had a silly idea of sailing my galleys to Sweden, but Danish fleet showed me error of my ways. Well, distracting Hungary is contribution enough.

I knew Sweden was going to ignore my contributions completely, so after I mostly occupied Hungary, I negotiated with Denmark, and got two tiny Hungarian provinces - one was missing to complete "Recover Albania" mission, and Kosovo next to it was a literal gold mine next to it (which upgrades to late game coal).

Soon Muscovy bailed out, renamed itself "Russia" to hide that shame, leaving Sweden alone. Sweden on its own lost, mostly to Hungarian troops.

Spain and Commonwealth attacked Morocco while I was busy, and I'm not losing Commonwealth for Morocco, that's for sure.

I backstabbed my ally Adal, setting up a new Orthodox vassal Marehan. That increased list of haters to 10, so coalition is not that unlikely.

The Middle East looks just as messy in multi-side war as in every other timeline. Qara Qoyunlu fights two wars plus Great Horde rebels. Timurids fight Mushasha, who's Qara Qoyunlu's ally in some wars. I want to join when my truces expire, but not even sure on which sides.

My Orthodox icon ran out, so I took reward from "Recover Alexandria" to refill it. That's 12/27 so far.

I need all of Hungary south of Danube for my missions, and also for clean borders. Somehow the game wants to forget that Dacia episode as well.

The Middle East looks extremely realistic.

Post 9 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-02 03:38:11 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 09: 1545-1556: Timurid Wars

I tried to reduce my haters list. Of 11 haters on it:

• Mushasha got annexed
• Luristan got vassalized by Timurids
• Kilwa decided that they don't actually hate me all that much before our truce ran out
• Malindi, Crimea, and Timurids got placated

So it was going well, but as soon as I finished Qara Qoyunlu war OPM Avaria joined the list. I can't win. Except by winning so much there won't be any haters left. For now it's really up to Timurids, if they want a coalition, they'll find enough minors. If they don't, minors are too weak to bother.

Fortunately my problem got solved by Ajam, who organized an anti-Timurid force of itself, me, and Delhi. While Timurids were already fighting Russia. Pretty clever for AI, I've seen a ton of dogpiling on someone already in too many wars this campaign. I could totally use a long truce.

I even got 3 provinces for my trouble. Delhi got 2, and Ajam took 11 for itself, so as the war's majority contributor I feel maybe this peace deal isn't entirely fair. Also a bit dumb, Ajam missed just one province to form Persia, and it could have easily taken it.

Well, the only clay I want in this direction is just the coastline leading up to the strait to Arabia. If locals want to form Persia, Mughals, or Greater Kyrgyzstan, so be it.

I made great progress in Italy. I diplovassalized Siena - 28dev OPM. Then 64dev Mantua. And 31dev Florence. That's a lot of valuable Italian land for 0AE, just cost me three slots. They're all a bit unhappy about change of religion.

Protestant league can form starting 1550, with 10 year mtth. Three weak electors are Protestant, and Austria flipped Reformed after it lost emperorship, so it's not getting it back. Bohemia as the Emperor, just like in good old EU3.

Meanwhile Japan formed and is at war with China already.

Timurids looked pretty scary, but lost 16 provinces in our war, and Russia is going to take some more for sure.

I'd really prefer if Ajam took that damn Mazandaran, as it has claims on it, and Mazandaran has no allies. That would get one hater off my list.
I even tried to give them Mazandaran once before in our common war with Qara Qoyunlu, but they peaced out mid-siege.

I'd love to deal with my haters now, so I can safely focus on Europe without getting a surprise coalition from Timurids to Kilwa to France.

I've also been surprisingly enjoying humanist ideas. I keep saying they're crap and you should always take religious, but close to zero rebels ever is pretty nice and I'm still converting the peasants pretty fast.

Post 10 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-02 16:20:32 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 10: 1556-1568: Religious Leagues

I ran some scripts, and Bohemia accumulated more total AE than me. Well, in such case it's all good.

As my and Ajami troops were exiled in Timurid territory, I attacked Hormuz, getting Ajam and Timurids into war again. It was pretty funny, seeing troops in same province, exiled troops going West to get un-exiled, fresh troops going East. Russia white peaced Timurids instead of going for easy land, so I had to do everything myself.

It was a bit awkward as everyone's coring had to pause. I gave half of Mazandaran to Ajam.

The new military access rules are so stupid, that just because Russia provided military access to Mazandaran, that granted access to everyone on their side, even long after Mazandaran got kicked out of the war. But not to us. Like seriously game, you might just as well remove the concept of "military access" from the game completely, these rules are almost as bad as ZoC rules.

After great success I got most of the coastline I wanted, and gave Ajam what it needed to form Persia. But now they're outraged by my "aggressive expansion". Come on... Well, soon Mazandaran got itself into another of my wars, so I gave the rest of it to Persia.

I had some minor fights in Africa, just trying to wipe out remaining Sunnis to prevent any coalition nonsense.

Crimea conquered Theodoro, but then it surprise respawned, maybe by rebels. I tried to quickly snipe it but Genoa was a few days faster.

Protestant leagues formed, so I joined, then I was informed that non-Protestant country can't be league leader, so my cunning plan to force religious peace so I can become emperor completely failed.

Commonwealth called me into its war against Russia and Hungary, which was already won, but I got one Hungarian province this way. If it continues like that, Danube will be the border again by 1820 or so. Then I got a province from Russia as well.

As soon as that war ended, Commonwealth joined the Catholic league and broke our great alliance.

As it was totally pointless I was about to leave the league in September, but they pulled the trigger in February. 373k and 333 ships on Protestant side vs 379k and 371 ships on enemy side. With archbishop of Trier being the league leader, as all serious countries in the league like me, France, Denmark, Hungary are not actually Protestant.

I'd totally win this as war leader, but I really don't see this working. I'm not even sure if I should try fighting it out, or let my side lose.

I'm only in this damn league because the wiki didn't mention that Orthodox country can't become Protestant side leader, and there's now 5 year timeout on leaving, which it also forgot to mention.

I'm not even sure what I could do if I wanted. Warleader archbishop of Trier is too far inland to save (were there ever Protestant archbishops anyway?).
I could maybe go against Crimea and Commonwealth's awfully placed forts. If that distracts Commonwealth, Spain is distracted by France, and Spain's colonies ignore the war, then our HRE minors still lose to their HRE minors plus Burgundy?

At times like this I really miss warleader switching.

Post 11 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-02 23:41:48 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 11: 1568-1579: The Nine Year War

Fun and Balance changed time until 100% from full occupation from 5 years to 2 years. That wait can be frustrating, but over various wars with minor warleader I feel this change was causing problems more often than it was helpful, so I'm reverting it now.

There was a lot of overlapping wars.

Almost all of Europe was fighting the league war, so I decided to declare on Pope, cobeligerenting Austria, and bringing in Scotland and some random minors.

The wars started boom in the ship building industry. Amazingly my old and obsolete fleet somehow did extremely well against Venice and Spain and all their friends. Part of it is AI being bad at ships, part is my +15% galley combat ability naval doctrine. Overall -15% naval maintenance modifier is probably stronger overall, unless you're really into galleys, as I tried this campaign.

It was a very awkward war, as I had to fight hard or my side would lose. But I didn't want to fight too hard, as my ideal outcome is white peace after everybody's extremely exhausted. I failed the balancing act, and in the end we won, but Bohemia blobbed a good deal as well, so they got something for losing emperorship.

It felt really weird that I was defending Hungary from the Commonwealth instead of jointly invading from both sides as usual. Then I mostly fought in Italy and Balkans, and on the seas. Even though I was the strongest country, I wasn't strong enough to take everyone on simultaneously.

At one point Protestant Zealots taking over Danish capital were almost enough to take Denmark and therefore Sweden out of the war, greatly reducing our forces.

Really late I invaded Commonwealth through Moldavia, as everybody was really taking forever. I wonder if there's any good way to force a draw.

I decided that AE is just a number, force vassalized what was left of Austria, took Rome, and 3 of Florence's cores. All that generated up to -73 AE with HRE members, but as long as they're fighting the league war they can't coalition me. And then half of them will have truces.

Trier was very impressed by my lack of concern with AE, so it gave me 6 provinces from Naples, 1 from Spain, and 1 from Commonwealth, getting me OE over 100%, fighting rebels and two coalitions in the middle of league war.  That doesn't resolve the situation, just flips it once, Catholics could to have another go at it, especially since I'm out.

In the end my shenanigans failed, and Protestant became the official religion. 1681k soldiers and 585 ships lost during this war, not even counting all the minor wars surrounding it.

But it wasn't end for me. I was forced to start new wars while this one was raging.

Theodoro got released again this war, so I grabbed it quickly.

Russia derped and unguaranteed Genoa for a few days, so I instantly attacked them as well. I got "Recover Caffa" mission this way.

Avaria prematurely declared coalition against me, so I had to DoW them immediately, with OPM Qara Qoyunlu joining.

A much more serious issue was Timurids joining the coalition, so I had to trigger a war there too, annexing Mahra.

And Hormuz in another war just to be sure they don't join.

As if loss of Commonwealth wasn't bad enough, Persia decided to go Shia and cancel our alliance as well.

At least Crimea got eliminated during league wars.

So the new leave these 18 haters:

• Timurids - 212
• Persia - 127
• The Papal State - 106
• Kilwa - 102
• Naples - 97
• Venice - 76
• Salzburg - 74
• Spain - 74
• Switzerland - 70
• Commonwealth - 68
• The Palatinate - 64
• Bohemia - 63
• Augsburg - 61
• Saxony - 60
• Ulm - 60
• Genoa - 55
• Milan - 54
• Hungary - 51

Not great, but I got almost half of Italy in bits and pieces.

To save some WE during long war I pronounced myself Defender of the Faith. This is a bit awkward, as that's basically a promise to defend Russia. Speaking of Russia, it broke to rebels, with a lot of horde nations reappearing.

Entire continent devastated just to decide the official heresy of the fake Roman Empire.

I'm seriously tempted to join the other side now, maybe I'll get a lot of clay again. Then again, while this is fun, it's not a very efficient way of getting clay.

Newly vassalized Austria has some cores, but all targets are in the HRE, so that would be another huge war.

Another idea would be diplovassalizing Savoy, they have some non-HRE cores.
Or maybe getting one province from Spain and spawning Aragon there, then reconquest?

Well, I don't even know what the realigned alliance network will look like.

Post 12 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-06 17:13:44 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 12: 1579-1596: Second Nine Year War

After very brief break to refill my peasant pool, I got into a fight with Switzerland, France, and friends for Austria's cores. I "lost" a lot of battles by strategically withdrawing then enemy reinforcements arrived. That meant decent K:D ratio and much deeper peasant pool.

I took 3 cores back including gold mine, and made Montferrat Orthodox. Montferrat later agreed to become my vassal.

Many nations broke out of Russia to the South, and mostly to weaken Russia I grabbed Circassia and Great Horde.

In July 1587 Bohemia declared religious league war on Alsace. This time it was 338k troops and 278 ships on Catholic side vs 388k and 341 ships on Protestant side. Russia and newly formed Great Britain (Scotland still existed in minor islands) pretty much replaced me on Protestant side.

That's no good, I don't want Protestants to win, I want heretics of all kinds to keep fighting each other indefinitely.

I planned to join the Catholic league once I recovered a bit more, and I didn't expect them to start a war as they were clearly weaker, but they did it anyway.

Well, I can still attack Protestant league members in unrelated wars to keep them distracted.

Russia was already in a big war with Persia and Nogai which it was winning, but when it suddenly turned into a two front war, it took Russian forces out of the Protestant league, and made them lost them both.

I fought Hungary and Pope, and got "Conquer the Balkans" mission done. Later Crimea spawned and even got expanded by core returns, so I got a good chunk of land there as well.

This obviously meant coalition issues. The Timurids became the Uzbek using Fun and Balance decision. And then became Bukhara using vanilla decision. I guess they were trying to figure out which map color suits them best. It feels a bit silly in this case, perhaps I should tweak those decisions a bit.

The newly formed Bukhara and Kilwa got into a coalition against me, so I attacked them for a quick white peace just to reset truce timers.

Kilwa got itself annexed five years later, and I faced coalition of Bukhara and a lot of HRE minors - with a long queue of haters who were just waiting for the league wars to finish before joining.

Fortunately Persia decided to attack Bukhara on its own, in some Shia-Sunni nonsense, so obviously I joined to kick them out of the coalition. It's still ongoing, but so far it's going really well.

My worries about Catholic side getting wrecked were totally unfounded. Protestant side got absolutely crushed. Russia was busy losing, Hungary was wrecked by me, Great Britain used this whole was as excuse to grab land in Ireland and Scottish minor islands, so what was left of the league was at severe disadvantage.

Not only Catholic side flipped religion and grabbed huge swaths of territory including Paris, force conversions nearly eliminated Protestants out of the HRE. There are 20 Catholic (including all 7 electors), 14 Reformed, 2 Protentant, and 1 Orthodox (my vassal Austria) members.

Denmark is Protestant league leader now, but without any electors left, it's 60 months mtth and Catholics win completely. Unless I keep Bohemia permanently at war, but I'm not that kind of committed to the cause. Bohemia can also very effectively prevent such war by simply joining coalition.

Well, if leagues don't achieve religious peace I can always try to dismantle the damn thing.

The second League War, also lasting 9 years. It might have something to do with AI "length of war" penalty vs "religious league CB" bonus.

Protestant side had more troops and ships, but they were a lot more peripheral, and HRE itself as well as nearly regions like France and Hungary were overwhelmed by the Catholic forces.

Huge land grab by the Catholic side. Burgundy/France look surprisingly neat now. Commonwealth/Russia total bordergore.

Great Britain and me both used this war to opportunistically grab a lot of land.

Almost no traces of Protestantism outside Denmark. England being Anglican now weakens it even more. Reformed is doing surprisingly well.
All 5 Pentarchy seats are Orthodox.
Sunni Persia flipped Shia by the usual event.

Post 13 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-06 21:31:55 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 13: 1596-1606: War of the First Coalition

Wurzburg of all the countries declared coalition war on me. Members were:
• Wurzburg
• Bohemia
• Spain, Spanish La Plata, Cuba, New Spain
• Commonwealth
• Naples
• Venice
• Ulm
• Switzerland
• Salzburg
• Augsburg

And Trier joined as their regular ally.

Total of 342k troops and 170 ships vs mine 222k and 139. Subtracting Spanish colonies, that's quite close to even, and CB is defending my capital. Then again, half my army was busy fighting Bukhara.

The war was going poorly. I was one mil tech behind, shattered withdrawal logic betrayed me sending my stack in dumbest possible direction right into enemy occupied province getting me completely undeserved stackwipe, and my fleets were much outclassed by Venice and Spain.

I tried building a huge fleet, but it wasn't quite as effective as I hoped. Second attempt worked a bit better, but it only got the sea from enemy controlled to somewhat contested.

Supremacy on the land was completely impossible, as AI can do infinite merc spam. I was >100k manpower at all times, while AIs had a total of 171k of mercs - basically most of their armies were infinite mercs. So this definitely disproves the idea that mercs are not all fine because late game economy got rebalanced is obviously fake. It's definitely getting nerfed by half.

Eventually after 600k and 109 ships lost on my side and 757k and 121 ships on their side, I agreed to release 3 OPMs for peace (Hisn Kayfa, Bitlis, Kharabakh). They're getting eaten as soon as truces expire.

It was totally worth it, as during this war I declared on Tripoli, Sardinia (both somehow spawned from Spain, it seems related to some colonial war, not sure the details), Savoy, and Genoa.

Ten years is a long time for people to get over past transgressions, so list of haters is now reduced to just Bukhara, The Papal State, Commonwealth, Naples, Salzburg, Bohemia, Venice, Hungary, and Spain. A few of them definitely getting annexed at first opportunity.

During the war Catholic League officially won. I think it's not supposed to, as emperor was at war, but maybe wiki is outdated. Well, I guess I'll have to abolish the HRE.

3 OPMs. First time ever I see Kharabakh. Persia was helping me in my war even though it was getting totally overran by rebels, and now Khorasan exists.

I don't really care who holds all that wasteland. Maybe I could take a bit more coastline if there's a good opportunity.

Post 14 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-07 01:56:17 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 14: 1606-1618: Empire from Khorasan to Majorca

I nerfed merc limit in half. Mercs are still crazy good, but it restores a bit of sanity. For example my limit is now 47k out of total 189k force limit, rather than ridiculous 95k. Now mercs can supplement an army, the only way to go merc-based is to take relevant ideas (some number of administrative, quantity, aristocratic etc.)

I got into a fight to destroy Hungary and Papal States, and in process I turned 4 HRE minors Orthodox. It's questionable how much staying power that's going to have, but opportunity cost is very low. An attempt to get my heavies to blockade Britain to kick them out of the war faster failed quite convincingly. The Papal States respawned in Koblenz later, fortunately with AE reset to zero.

When absolutism happens I followed the standard spawn particularists, accept demands, then mass reduce local autonomy to get to 84% absolutism day one at zero mana cost, and to 95% soon after with some sword mana. I don't even really need Court and Country, 100%+ absolutism would be nice, but it's mostly a buffer for bad events like legitimacy loss.

Once that was out of the way, I got into another war against half of Europe to clean up Naples. In this war I grabbed a bunch of provinces from non-cobeligerent Bohemia and Spain, so I got "Recover Western Isles", "Recover Tripoli", "Recover Tunis", "Secure Southern Italy", and "Reclaim Sicily" same day. Just 8 more missions to go.

I briefly allied Burgundy, but then Netherlands broke out of them, and I decided they're not really worth it.

Bukhara formed a one country coalition, so I attacked them, grabbed some land, returned one province to what's left of Khorasan, and diplovassalized them. Now Persia is fully enclosed by me, and I can attack Bukhara for Khorasan's cores without annoying the Indians. The idea that Delhi or Russia might destroy Bukhara for me doesn't seem terribly likely.

If haters ever give me a break, I need to start planning how to dismantle the HRE. It has just 15/35 Catholic princes, and non-Catholics can't be electors, so I could wage a few wars to reduce elector count to just a few, then dismantle it easily. Unfortunately the easy to flip countries in the South are mostly Reformed already. Catholics are mostly in the North, and I don't have good CBs on them.

Alternatively I could ally all electors who aren't Bohemia's allies, and try one big war. This is faster, but somewhat fragile if alliances change mid-war.

Persia is probably not very happy about getting enclosed. Nogai wants to become a vassal too, I guess that would deny that land to Russia and Bukhara, so i's something.

In the West borders are almost clean. Venice and that one French province break my connections.

Post 15 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-07 18:54:01 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 15: 1618-1626: Great HRE War

I made Khorasan Orthodox and then designated them a march. That cheesy trick from previous patches where that would wipe out +100% liberty desire from enforcing different religious group apparently got fixed. Oh well, I doubt I'll need that land anytime soon.

I revoked those 3 OPMs coalition made me release. It wasn't much hassle, back in EU3 they'd get automatic alliance with war leader who forced their release, so Wurzburg? Then again in EU3 war leader would have switched, so they'd be allied with the Commonwealth. Also back then AE was infamy, so I'd get it no matter where they are... Well, very different game in so many ways.

I reorganized my army into 5 stacks of 20inf, 4cav, 16art, which might actually be reasonable close to optimal. That needed 5 generals and 1 admiral, out of my 4 limit. Sadly my empress was a female, and that comes with inability to lead armies, but she had decency of having a male heir. Still going over the limit.

I went over my limit and allied 5 electors - Lorraine, Verden, Trier, Brandenburg, and Palatinate. That means I just needed Bohemia and Saxony.

In theory enemy alliance was quite strong. In practice Commonwealth bailed out in one month due to rebel issues.

And November 1623 HRE ended. Mid-war Lorraine, Trier, Verden, and Brandenburg all agreed to become my vassals. I returned cores to Brandenburg and Austria, took states Bohemia and Silesia to connect a bit, and annexed new Papal States into Trier.

There's a long queue of minors who'd totally be interested in becoming my vassals.

Since none of that land is HRE, there's a mix of 4 religions, and Bohemians are not Germans, there was shockingly little concern by anyone about those conquests. Commonwealth and Bohemia definitely care, Spain, Venice, and Salzburg still sort of care, everybody else is OK with it, and busy using their newfound independence to plot against their neighbors.

There's one more hater on the list - Bukhara - and that truce is about to expire turning this area into the Great March of Khorasan.


Hungarian rebels might win now, and that would be pretty good, as I'd like Bohemia to disappear. The whole land grab there was both to connect to Brandenburg, and to help the rebels.

In terms of bordergore, my land is in 6 parts now:
• main part (including Austria and most of Brandenburg)
• Italy
• Provence/Avignon
• Verden and one disconnected province of Brandenburg
• Trier
• Lorraine
If I diplovassalize Palatinate, that will grow to 7 parts as it's in pieces after losing a war.
I don't need huge amount of land, but I'd like to clean it up. Normally I don't vassalize at random like that, but I needed those allies to dismantle the HRE, and then it was easy to vassalize.

Post 16 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-07 22:16:18 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 16: 1626-1634: Fall of France

There were two small fights to do - expanding my Khorasan march by crusting Bukhara, and connecting bits of my empire together by attacking France, who just so happened to have Lorraine's core blocking its way to Trier, and coastline between Avignon and Italy. Neither have any significant allies.

Nothing big, but I expanded my army to 240k to fight both fronts at once. Mostly because I didn't look at the ledger, and I didn't notice that France was somehow down to 11k troops compared with Bukhara's 92k.

Annoyingly Brittany with a lot of friends attacked France the same time, so I attacked Milan, who was allied with them. It went like this - Spain sieges French province, transfers to Brittany, I siege it for myself, Spanish troops just look at what's going on confused. As a bonus Milan was also allied with Saxony, so I made Saxony return province to Palatinate to connect them, and then diplovassalized Palatinate.

As result of those wars I got my first Atlantic port, fort in Roh on Indian border, and nearly connected my country into just 3 pieces, even if some of those paths are very awkward.

Somehow I missed how much land I could feed Montferrat, and ended up at 109% OE. Fairly little came out of this.

In some case of stupid my vassal Trier went Catholic and released Papal States in Koblenz.

Hungarian separatists had extremely good chance at establishing Hungary in Bohemian lands, but instead they kept crossing into my territory.

A coalition attacked, just Mecklenburg not me. What's going on, seriously, they got to 219dev by 1630s, and most of those were Denmark and post-HRE. Their only significant ally Commonwealth dishonored so I joined the pileup. I only took Brandenburg's last core to connect it to Verden, and some spare cash.

A coalition against me is Commonwealth, Spain, Venice, and Switzerland. Could Commonwealth just leave me alone already?

I'm trying to decide on 5th and further idea groups after administrative, influence, humanist, and trade. Of the usual picks it's a bit late for exploration/expansion, and I'm converting everyone without religious. Economic would be OK for spamming buildings, but I'm halfway done already. I don't even need any manpower for quantity. So diplomatic I guess. Or maybe offensive for siege bonuses.

If you zoom in carefully you can see what's left of France. Sweden is independent now. Russia is busy fighting Ming.

If I destroy what's left of Bohemia I'll be able to finally connect my empire, and I pretty much have to or they'll coalition me.

Post 17 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-08 14:30:59 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 17: 1634-1650: Great Bohemian War

My armies did some missionary work in Germany. A while ago it was possible to annex someone and still convert their capital, that was fun. I have much better uses for AE budget, so I just converted a bunch of minors.

As defender of the faith, I'm protecting all the Orthodox OPMs in Germany. So even with HRE gone, I pretty much took his responsibilities - enforcing peace and religious unity.

My East African trade company wanted more trading opportunities, and there was nobody there except for some heathens, so I sent some troops to build trade posts, and churches, and explain benefits of civilization to the locals. No actual war anywhere.

Level 6 forts started popping up, so I took offensive ideas to speed up sieges a bit. It's basically +20% siege ability which is otherwise really hard to get. Also +1 leader fire, +1 leader shock, +5% discipline, and some nonsense like "+100% prestige from land battles" and "-10% recruitment time".

Not completely sold on this, but quantity seems like a waste this late. Next maybe diplomatic.

Well, the peace lasted long enough, time to fight Bohemia, cobeligerent Spain and Saxony, getting on the action Commonwealth and half of Europe.

And then second war with Venice, since it mostly has the same allies anyway. It was actually race against time, they were allied with cobeligerent Spain, but while allies of main target all join next day, ally of cobeligerents only join when called which can sometimes take over a month.

I did the usual, find weakest link in enemy alliance chain, kick them out. When I got Venice I did missions "Northern Border", "Annihilate Venice", "Eternal City", "Recover Northern Italy", and "Recover Lombardia" in one go. Then "Restore the Pentarchy" when my icon expired, as I was an patriarch authority cap.

There was a surprise, as Salzburg, Scotland, Potiguara, and Kongo all joined mid-war. Spain was really hard to deal with, as no matter how many heavy ships I built, theirs were a lot better.

For all the trouble I got most of Spanish Mediterranean coast, a bit of Cape where I'll setup my second trade company, nearly destroyed Bohemia, and converted Saxony and some OPM to Orthodox, including Wurzburg, damn leaders of the first (and so far only) coalition.

I have just two missions left, and then there's this "Restore Roman Empire" button, which requires directly owning all of France, all of Iberia, and some bits of Morocco, England, Lowlands, and Austria, in addition to places I already have. Should be doable by 1700 or so.

French Canada declared independence war, without anybody's support. It's a shame there's no way to support war that's already ongoing (except for some extremely limited cases), but I can totally see level of player frustration whenever Ottomans surprise joined their up to this point easy war. Once they won they now hate me because they want my East African coast. All right.

That striped area in Spain is my last mission, but I only got half of it this war, as there were forts and Cape to take, and Catalonian coastline to connect to it. My country is finally in one piece.

I never managed to defeat Spanish or Venetian navy properly, removing their coastline to crush their naval force limit is pretty much the best way I found.

Other than minor border cleanup here and there, I'll probably just follow Restore Roman Empire decision goals.

Post 18 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-08 19:16:31 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 18: 1650-1657: Reorganization of Germany

Germany was still organized along feudal lines. I couldn't stand seeing peasants taxed so heavily that every count gets his own level 6 fort, so I streamlined it along more modern lines, with land incorporated into smaller number of stronger duchies. There was naturally some degree of chaos during reorganization, fortunately my armies are good at resolving such petty squabbles.

At one point there were 7 such reorganization efforts simultaneously.

Sadly like all progress, it had a lot of detractors. The list is:

• Burgundy 370 - to be reorganized
• Switzerland 317 - to be reorganized
• France 314 - left for New World completely
• Saxony 313 - to be reorganized
• Netherlands 306 - to be reorganized
• Aachen 304 - to be reorganized
• Commonwealth 299
• Spain 281
• Nassau 278 - to be reorganized
• Utrecht 248 - to be reorganized
• Sweden 166
• Great Britain 147
• Denmark 134
• Scotland 120
• Portugal 118 (in union under Great Britain)
• Munster 94 (the Irish one)

And many already organized anti-progress coalition led by the Commonwealth. They don't have the numbers to challenge me, and Russia is completely unconcerned by my German efforts, so perhaps I should ally them.

There was also minor reorganization efforts in East Africa, and it's all done now. It was annoying chase all the way to Ethiopia, as I couldn't actually annex Mutapa until my coring of Burgundy finished, so they were sieging provinces along the coast and I was running after them and unsieging for almost two years.

I also randomly inherited French outpost in West Africa, perhaps I should bring light of civilization there as well. Right now I'm a bit short on mana.

Verden, Brandenburg, Austria, Palatinate, Lorraine, and Trier are all my vassals.

Burgundy trying to camouflage as me; Denmark is trying to camouflage as Commonwealth. Maybe that's what it takes to survive.

It's a lot more aggressive than I originally planned (Saxony, Switzerland, and a few others were so close to diplovassalization), but I need all of French and Iberian regions for the decision, so coalition of all of German minors was pretty much inevitable, and so I just preempted it.

I thought I would need Moroccan lands too, but I confused the map with Unify Islam map. Taking Spanish North Africa is enough there.

I almost got French colonial nation in the deal, but natives destroyed it a few months too quick.

Post 19 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-13 23:26:14 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 19: 1657-1673: End of Spanish Colonial Empire

The coalition disbanded on reload. Well, that makes things easier. I fought most of Europe, without too much trouble.

Norway got released somehow, and they agreed to become my vassals. It was mostly a potential coalition member out, but I somehow found time to get their cores back. More because I need to get rid of Sweden than for land's sake. I also allied Russia, again mostly to prevent them from joining some future coalitions.

It's been repeatedly shown to be that my navies are garbage, Spain was just crushing me no matter the numbers, and even Utrecht somehow beat my heavy fleet. Which in a way shows how much like the old Roman Empire I am. At least I managed to beat Commonwealth's, which felt nice.

It would really help if the game had any kind of transparency with naval combat. Since Mare Nostrum the rules have been completely obscure. Before that it was an obvious "bigger fleet wins every time" system, so it makes sense that they wanted to go for something more sophisticated, but that's such a UX fail. Not even wiki knows.

To save some paper mana I tried to attack Mocorro to get them to revoke cores on Spain they had, but somehow that wasn't an available option. That applies to both their Moroccan culture and Berber culture cores equally, so no idea really. Maybe because I was at war with Spain already?

I discovered that they accidentally removed that AI cheat which let it ignore stability breaking peace offers, so given enough warscore I could ask for an island fort to -1 stab them every month. Not like that did anything useful, mostly it made me feel a bit better about those damn island forts.

In the end I couldn't even get Sjaelland from the Commonwealth, as there was no way to break through Spanish navy. So instead I took a bunch of forts from the Commonwealth - now Brandenburg even has a bit of Prussia.

More important was taking Spanish coast, hoping that their navy would be less of a problem next time, and maybe even to make their CNs rebel. As Kongo somehow allied Spain, I took a bit of Kongo coast in this war, diplovassalized Yaka, then conquered whole nearly the Kongo basin for Yaka.

My plan worked really well, as Cuban War of Independence erupted and Spain got completely crushed. 4 of 5 Spanish CNs rebelled with British support, the rebels had huge superiority of both armies and navies, Spain was suffering own peasants on top of that. Not only they lost most of colonial empire, but most of Leon is now British. Spanish Peru remained loyal, but they're getting wrecked by natives.

While Spanish Empire was collapsing, I had a few cleanup wars. For a minor mistake I didn't notice that Netherlands had colonies in Africa, so I accidentally kicked them out of Europe instead of properly annexing them. They're following France which is still a North American inland OPM.

All that completed all my missions, leaving just Roman restoration button, for which I'll need all of Iberia, all of France, Fez, London, and York. It's a bunch of wars, but the only real problem is the British Navy. And any coalition involving Great Britain.

Switching to Cuba's perspective for a nice screenshot. It was extremely one-sided. Commonwealth had the only significant army on loyalist side, but no real fleet to transport it. Spain and Burgundy were half landlocked with no military access.

The only potential advantage Spain had - its strong and big navy - got completely overwhelmed by British even stronger and bigger navy.

Yaka and Norway as my new vassals. I'm pondering setting up Jolof or Air or someone in West Africa, but not quite there yet.

New World is halfway to self-governing now between natives and former French and Spanish colonies. English / Portuguese PU still has loyal CNs, but will it last?

Spain is somehow still a Great Power, but probably not for much longer.

Post 20 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-14 10:39:38 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 20: 1673-1685: First British War

I started a Golden Age, my first ever. It's not like this campaign is going to take much longer than 50 years, so might as well.

I took diplomatic ideas as my 6th group. I'm low on paper mana, and military ideas are fairly. Not even sure what to take as 7th if I get that far. Espionage? Aristocratic? Naval?

For the next war Spain managed to setup itself another CN in Alaska, which quite soon revolted.

What was left of France got destroyed by natives. They were the hardest hater to reach, so that's helpful.

Great Britain was allied with Russia, and protected by a huge navy. So I called Russia into my war against the Commonwealth, and attacked Britain with CB on their Spanish holdings to get nice ticking warscore for free.

Britain also tried to support independence of one of my vassals. Like I don't have enough reasons to fight them. I wanted to use the old trick and force them to release Wales, which would then get diplovassalized giving me great base to attack them next war, but that now apparently requires taking some forts in Wales area. Even if minor I wanted to release was fortless itself. Damn.

Well, I had to sit on ticking warscore to get anything anyway, so I took over Sweden, and more of West African coast.

Great Britain got their English Civil War event, and that lasted like a few months with one province being sieged, then unsieged. It seems that the Commonwealth got Court and Country and chickened out.

In the end I only managed to grab some minor British and Portuguese colonies in Africa and Leon, nothing of any serious value. At least the Commonwealth is now properly landlocked.

I'm not really sure what's the best way to screw Britain, since spamming heavies doesn't work. Like spam heavies even harder? Take naval ideas? Simultaneous landings from multiple directions so at least one sticks? Annex that Irish OPM to get a base? Attack natives to establish my own colonial empire so they lose theirs, and good part of their naval force limit with it?

Of course all those plans might become suddenly irrelevant if British AI just derps for a while and like sends their navies to China or something. It's been known to happen.

I feel a bit like Napoleon here. Damn British navy.

English Brazil, English Colombia, and both Portuguese CNs want independence, but they can't all ally each other as they have different direct overlord. I guess if I got myself some CNs then I could support such rebellion.

European majors got beaten so hard that now India holds 3 GPs. Oh and this game desperately needs a way to change colors mid-campaign. That British red and Roman purple look too similar.

Post 21 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-14 19:42:15 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 21: 1685-1696: Roman Restoration

I increased my navy to 4x 25 heavies, 3x 40 transports, and 2x 50 lights. It's far from being able to destroy Great Britain, but it's a start.

I expanded my Central African vassal Yaka to maximum possible size. That leaves Rwanda area unconquered, but it's just uncoreable due to one province uncolonized gap, and Rwanda itself would be a waste of a slot.

Similarly I setup Timbuktu in West Africa. In the process I got myself over 100% OE as absolutism and vassals make any kind of late game OE math too painful to bother with.

I destroyed what was left of Denmark, Burgundy, and Morocco. I thought I might be able to get Spanish CNs when I finally remove Spain, but all of them rebelled. Oh well. Not that it would have worked, they had a Pacific island outside my coring range.

Great Britain became dictatorship under Cromwell, which I expected to break their PU over Portugal, but unforunately not.

Well, no matter, there's only one way this campaign ends. I send 3 stacks of 25 heavies + 40 transports to land in Britain in three different places. And two distraction stacks just in case.

Britain was trying to conquer formerly Spanish CN in Alaska, so some of their fleets were busy.

I completely missed that Britain had 115 heavy ships - more than double their previous numbers - so their plans to just spam harder was same as mine. And 91 of them were parked in Britain.

I had massive losses to distract that doomstack long enough, but all three landings reached their destinations. Reinforcing the landings with more troops ended up with further massive losses.

By the time I got 80k to Ireland, Scotland, and Yorkshire, I lost 24 heavies and 45 lights.

It wasn't the end of it. I hoped British army would be distracted with its colonial war, but instead the whole Yorkshire landing of 80k got stackwiped. At least Irish and Scottish landings were unopposed, and with both ends of the strait takes I could walk between the two, with 160k soldiers.

There was no telling how long that war would last, so I ordered 100 more heavies and 80 lights. And two 20inf 4cav 16art stacks to replace the losses. I quite like this build.

With landing sites secure remaining British troops could do very little. I only needed from them rest of Portugal, London, and York, but I also took the Irish-Scottish bridge - obviously a marvel of ancient Roman engineering, and some random African provinces for a change.

And that's how it ends.  With enough fortified sites on the island British navy means nothing, and a war or two and all British CNs will start defecting.

Now for some post-campaign notes.

Late date:
• that's the latest date I ever played to, and my first time reaching imperialism CB (not counting Extended Timeline mod)
• also my first time taking Golden Age
• taking bird idea group as 6th is uniquely bad, as that's when you want to rush dip tech for imperialism CB - possibly that's best time for
• next era would trigger in 1710, and coal would trigger a few years after when enlightenment is embraced - at this point it would be completely irrelevant
• 100% professionalism late game with drilling pretty much never is easy, just play long, recruit generals when needed, and take professionalism in all events for it.
• manpower was overflowing all the time, but that's probably because Orthodox is OP, and I avoided most stupid wars - I didn't use slacken recruitment standards even when at 100% professionalism
• so my theory was that not doing Court and Country means 95% absolutism cap, not much less than 100%. Except then you get bad legitimacy and it's down to maybe even 75%. Given how easy it is, it's probably worth it after all.

New patch features:
• naval policies add nothing to the game
• I got 65.2% innovativeness, it's very easy to get good chunk early game (6 from first techs and 7 from ideas nearly guaranteed, twice as much possible) as basically any mid-sized country by milking estates (tiny countries can't really milk for full value), unless you start in desperate situation. In the middle it's impossible to be first to any tech, or to any idea. Late game once HRE minors are gone it's easy again.
• I don't think innovativeness adds much to the game.
• I enjoyed the new mission system, but then again, I played as some of the countries with good missions. For most minors it's a big downgrade, as they'd lose idea group specific missions with no replacement.
• the game desperately needs mission packs for smaller countries
• it's from a few patches ago, but Mamluk government was pointless - 2 of 3 buttons are based on ruler culture share, so they do literally nothing if you pick a Circassian ruler, so in the end you get a bit of manpower and gold buttons at cost of low legitimacy. Russian, Persian, and Aq Qoyunlu governments all felt like they tried a bit harder.

• mercenary limit nerf I added mid-campaign reduced ridiculous levels of merc spam to just high levels of merc spam. For example Ming now has 150k of mercs instead of 300k for 600k force limit. Amazing idea.
• according to the numbers, they significantly rebalanced late game economy. In practice I didn't feel it. Maybe because I was in such a nice part of trade network, took trade ideas, and setup a lot of trade companies.
• I ended up building manufactories is every single province possible, and huge number of workshops, churches, barracks etc. Money was overflowing with nothing useful to spend it on.
• if I started as a small country outside Europe in bad trade situation I might feel different, but then there are no missions for them

Early Operation Sealion. That 93 stack is the main British war fleet, huge number of ships got sunk just to distract that.

It seem than in the new patch AI will always keep most of its war fleet at home defense duty (Venice and Spain did the same), so I should have helped British CNs achieve independence when they asked - I wouldn't face the main British fleet anyway.

Total losses were just 202k and 138 ships on our side vs 143k and 76 ships on their side. Considering the situation it's a totally respectable ratio.

Than 3k is the last remnant of 80k Yorkshire landing force. Now that I think of it, I should have sent a few boats around Britain before the war to check how many troops and navies they had and where. I just assumed that they'd be fighting in the colonies as Britain was at war, and that was typical AI behaviour in previous patches.

Purple vs Red. How good is your eyesight? That small colony in North America is my Norwegians.

If you want to continue playing pressing this button is actually quite awful, as it turns your whole primary culture into new "Roman" culture in new culture group, so you lose every other culture from your group as accepted. I guess it's fine if you're Greek, they no longer accept anyone anyway. Not like it matters much at this point.

I wouldn't even get any coalition for it, as only Commonwealth, Great Britain, and that Irish OPM cared.