Saturday, August 5, 2017
Shogunate of Japan has 25 daimyo vassals. I never played anywhere near it so picking Yamana, as my script says they have best ideas, and they're relatively strong with 4 provinces.
Tests show that Japan gets HRE-level AE, and daimyo vassals can join coalitions against each other. At least non-daimyo like Ming can't join such internal coalitions. And weirdly sengoku CB they get on each neighbouring daimyo gives 50% AE discount for claimed provinces. That was a thing for everyone once, right?
Also Japan lost its gold mine somehow and now only has one mountain. That doesn't seem accurate.
As everyone had CBs on everyone else, but you can't just call your allies into a clean multiside war, Japan turned into a total clusterfuck. Turns out I didn't need to worry about coalitions, as nobody was ever at peace long enough to join one. I didn't need to worry about rebels either - increasing autonomy, same religion, same culture group, was just enough.
I managed to conquer about 1/3 of Japan so far, and then I had to stop and dev push Suo for 75% of Renaissance, so I'm at 157 dev now. I couldn't really expand faster as I'm limited my paper mana, and I did a silly thing of focusing on sword mana early, something I regret already but can't cancel for 25 years.
Being one tech ahead of most of Japan and getting 100 tradition foreign general by event really helped me with my fights. As I was pretty poor I sold all my boats almost immediately, and that didn't really cause any problems with new silly strait mechanics. By EU3 mechanics that would be totally non-viable.
Number of daimyos rapidly fell down to 11, with multiway mostly overlapping alliance of me, Uesugi, Date, Satake, Toki, and Tsutsui winning most of our wars, and remaining minor daimyos not having long to live. I'm now sitting on very long truces, then again I'm really behind on paper mana as well.
Initially I was really confused as I don't know province names, I don't know daimyo names, and there's absolutely zero overlap between them - not like in Europe where at least Ulm is in Ulm. I even started campaign by drawing a bunch of diagrams. Fortunately the problem is rapidly solving itself.
After minor daimyos got annexed our alliance fell apart, as AI just can't stop itself from picking a rival, even if the only possibilities are its allies. So instead of fighting whole East half of Japan at once, I could crush them separately.
After I conquered all the daimyo except the shogun and an OPM I had very long truces with, I had a quick final war and then I became one true empire of Japan, a good deal faster than I expected. I decided to switch from Yamano to Japanese ideas, so the whole "play daimyo with best ideas" thing got nowhere.
My ruler is shogun, the "emperor" still not showing up. I don't remember where, but I've once heard a story that the first Europeans to visit Japan translated emperor as "Japanese pope" and shogun as "Japanese king" or something like that. That sounds more accurate than current terminology that pretends "emperors" ever had any real power.
All the coring and stab hits cost me a ton of paper mana, so I'm two techs behind on tech, even after I spent buckets of bird and sword mana on getting Renaissance.
So now it's a question what to do next. I rivaled Korea as it was the only option and married Ming as I'm not going to fight them. I couldn't attack Ainu as I wasn't independent, but now it will be a quick cleanup.
I have zero ships but building up to my force limit now.
I can't take admin idea group right now, and mil ideas even with better aristocratic seem like a bit of a waste. Of dip ideas diplomatic/influence won't make much difference that far from Europe, I'm in no position to make any use of trade yet, so exploration is pretty much the only choice.
• take my rightful place as 6th great power already
• or become Ming's tributary (seems like they're not interested), then try to eat Korea and Ryukyu
• try to get colonialism institution
• maybe expand into Malacca - there's plenty of space for vassals to give my paper mana a break
• or settle New World via Kamchatka and Alaska
• ignore Ming and take Yeren horde, which isn't their tributary
Colonialism spawning is per province that fullfil the criteria:
• old world province
• owner discovered new world
• connected to capital
• not 1 tile island (sorry Ryukyu)
• capital or CoT or 12+ dev
So to increase my chances I spent a lot of sword and a bit of bird mana to get as many 12dev provinces as possible, and it paid off.
Ming rivalled me, and just to make sure I got the message took exploration ideas and sent colonists to Taiwan to compete with my colonists.
I cleaned up Ainu and Kamchatka tribals, allied Yeren (not sure if good idea, but I don't like having zero allies), and I've been sending colonists towards Indonesia.
Next step can be any of:
• fabricate some claims and invade Indonesia
• double war Ryukyu/Ming and Korea (for Jeju island), so I can simply win on sea without facing Ming's armies.
• send colonists to some worthless land in Alaska or Siberia
I decided to go exploration into expansion as my first two groups. Even with improved military ideas, it still feels like a waste. Next I'll probably take religious or admin or maybe trade.
I really didn't feel like fighting Ming - they built too many heavy ships, so I'd be spending huge amounts of money to compete with their 3x higher income (which doesn't even include tribute).
They decided to put their whole army on Taiwan with lovely 5% monthly attrition, so they had zero manpower and a ton of dead mercs. Right now Ming army is 60 mercs + 30 regulars. Nobody else even has 60 anything. People say HOI4 has retarded AI, but that's only because it can't loan and mercs like EU4 AI.
I sent an explorer to Siberia and then New World, but really the direction of colonization, diplovassalization, and war was Indonesia.
I setup 7 vassals - Siak, Sunda, and Pagarruyung by capture and release, Kutai by force, and Luwa, Buton, and Ternare by diplomacy. Then I fed them all the land I could to save some paper mana. Sadly I can't expand much further as Brunei and Malacca are Ming's tributaries now.
I got into alliance with Vijayanagar, but that's probably will be of little use due to distant war penalty.
I failed to deny anyone colonialism. It leaked from me to Ming via Ryukyu (also more slowly Yeren), and Europeans got it independently thanks to Castilian New World colonies.
You can deny spread of institutions by having negative opinion of your neighbours, but sometimes you miss an OPM and the entire plan fails.
So now other than some minor cleanup of Indonesia, my options are:
• take loans, build enormous fleet, fight Ming and its various tributaries
• colonize towards Africa, try to conquer that
• backstab Yeren, and conquer them and Buryatia
• screw all of that, turn towards New World
Sphere of influence map mode showing great powers and all their dependencies.
I was wondering why Ming is doing so well, and then I remembered they are in their golden age, and it will last until 1548.
My entire anti-Ming plan was based on idea that they won't just throw all their money on massive shipbuilding program, because which land based power would be dumb enough to do that? Well, Ming did just that.
So how about a different plan, of alliance with Korea and Ayutthaya, so I could undermine their sphere from within...
Before I could do anything Ming decided to support my disloyal vassal Siak, who allied 3 other of my disloyal vassals, and they declared war on me. Korea was still a bit away from alliance, and Ayutthaya instantly dishoroned. At least Yeren and Vijayanagar honored our alliance and provided a bit of distraction.
Well, so after all I took 1500 in loans to build ships. Weirdly Buryatia offered a small loan too. I don't remember ever seeing that. Obviously I never repaid them, and that didn't seem to even cause an opinion hit.
I was really surprised but apparently it's possible to just separate white peace rebellious vassals individually. Even more weirdly independence of vassals I peaced out still remains part of the main wargoal, so I can't use that to just release one and keep the rest - which was for a while a backup plan in case Ming invades mainland Japan.
Ming decided to blockade Java strait with most of its fleet. It was annoying, but that was also all their transports, so my home islands were safe. Their troops were busy fighting Yeren, so none walked down to Indonesia.
I couldn't let such a great opportunity go, so I declared wars on Ming tributaries Ryukyu, Brunei, Malacca, and Korea.
Unfortunately I lost one of my vassals to Pasai, as they attacked during rebellion, and even after rebellion ended I wasn't added to the war.
After the war I sold most of my navy to India to repay some of the loans. I'm still over 1000 gold behind, with no manpower, and big coalition against me, which even Ming could join any time.
I really need some peace and quiet. At my current income if all goes well, I'll be able to repay my loans in 10 years.
By the way I have no idea wtf they did to AE, but Mamluks, Ardalan, Kilwa, and Gazikumukh all want to join. Like what?
I had so many problems with my vassals, and I really didn't want another Ming-supported rebellion, so I made Sunda into a march, spent some excess sword mana to develop a few of them, and it worked for a while.
I got gold mine by event in Echigo, and I instantly dumped all by mana into it. Between this, adding some new states, successful end of missionary work, and other peace time improvements I increased my monthly income from 50 to 75 (and profit from 5 to 30). That's still only half of Ming's income, even though we're quite close in development.
As I was close to repaying the last loan, Korea decided to attack me, and Vijayanagar instantly dishonored. WTF is wrong with AI allies these days? They're at peace, don't give a shit about Korea etc.
I took a bunch of land from Korea to get border with Ming and Jianzhou as march.
Unfortunately 3/7 vassals are disloyal again. The only way to fix that would be to go to war with Ming, but coalition including Ming, Bengal, fucking Hormuz, and a lot of Ming's tributaries makes it difficult.
If I could get Bengal out of coalition, ally Bahmanis as replacement of Vijayanagar (Bahmanis is Shia so doesn't care about my wars with Indonesian Sunnis), then maybe I could try attacking Ming to break the coalition and deal with rebellious vassals? It would require at least 5-10 years of peace.
There's also a problem of printing press coming, and due to Echigo gold mine I don't have any mana saved for that.
Subject liberty desire levels are ridiculously high. Apparently my old fix no longer works because they moved some files around - and then applied even dumber levels, now counting marches together with vassals, even though separate relative strength counting that was literally the only reason to use marches.
Well, fix reapplied, and numbers much more reasonable, I still had a problem with Ming-supported Ternare and their ally Kutai - so I released Ternare then rediplovassalized them. Then I asked them to go Shinto (+100% liberty desire), released them (resets it), and diplovassalized them for third time.
Another thing is that turning vassal into a march or back resets forced religion modifier, which is probably a bug.
I spent another decade simply stabilizing, annexed a vassal, setup CN in Australia, some colonies in Africa, tributary in Benin. Once printing press spawned I dev pushed Kyoto for it.
Coalition against me disbanded, and Ming actually asked if I wanted to be their tributary. A bit late for that now. I'm nearly first great power, printing press or 40dev stands between me and Ming, but it's somewhat fictional as they have 142 income to my 98.
Ming managed to expand far into Central Asia and established enormous tributary network. So far it avoided conflict with Ottomans (3rd GP) Russia (4th GP), and Bengal (8th GP).
Ming is also tech 13/13/14 to my 12/12/12 as I wasted a lot of mana dev pushing, so it's not a great time for war yet. I've been really patient with institution button, instead just doing institution advancement edict to get the price down.
Of course the great showdown with Ming will happen at some point.
Ming managed to get wrecked by Chagatai, forced to release their vassal 2-province Timurids. Later Ottomans lost to Mamluks. Like what the hell is going on? Some military access problems and ticking warscore to weaker country?
I got that incident that allows me to go Catholic, and originally I even pondered going Shinto into Catholic into Coptic, as Coptic is the best relgiion, but since I already have tributaries and plans to take China, it really wouldn't do.
I officially became 1st Great Power, with Ottomans 2nd and Ming falling 3rd - even though they had most development, and actually best tech - silly calculations are just obsessed with institutions.
Well, I can't delay it forever, time for Ming war. It required really good coordination to get all the ships (up to 30 heavy and 60 light) built, repaired, and gathered just in time for the war - at exact time I get mil tech 14 (Ming had it faster) and then to make sure I get that influence idea that reduces AE just as I'll be taking land from Korea.
War went so-so. Because I didn't fight any wars in ages and didn't take any military ideas, I had the shittiest generals ever - like literally 0/1/1/0 tier - while Ming had some real good ones. For a while most of my army was distracted by Koreans.
I didn't even take everything I wanted from Koreans, as Ming's army won a major battle and I just had good timing for a few days to get something close enough.
Ming's navy was in the New World, so my naval investment turned out to be an overkill. They tried to return later and I chased them into a tile far from any land into a huge battle with 70-72 ships.
After Beijing fell I spread out and tried to siege things down while Ming's army was absent in Central Asia, Yeren, and New World. Unfortunately they came back, wrecked my army again in a huge battle to relieve fort of Datong. I didn't really feel like fighting after that, so I took just two states - including Beijing - and some petty cash. They're probably quite happy that they got away with such lenient terms, I just didn't want >100% OE.
Ming's new capital is in Yangzhou, which seems like Nanjing's port. That's going to be a bit awkward to reach. Hopefully the next time Bengal will be willing to help me, but considering AI debt levels, maybe not.
After the war I got second gold mine event. Initially its fish manufactory was making some goldfish, but some cleanup event destroyed that creative business.
So far I had two narrow victories over China, which I milked hard by expanding into their tributary sphere. But really, I needed to strike Ming itself.
Before the war Ayutthaya somehow decided it doesn't want to be Ming's tributary any more, while my tributary sphere of New World and African minors kept growing. Eventually Ayutthaya joined it to - these might be minor countries but there's 35 of them.
Bengal and Bahmanis turned out to be completely useless allies, and wouldn't join my war. Yeren did, once I repaid their debt for third time or so.
The amount of pain mountain bastions of Datong and Taiyuan caused was even worse than in previous war. Ming even managed to invade Japan twice.
It was painful for everyone, but it had to be done. After the war I took two mountain forts which caused me so much pain, setup two Chinese minors as vassals, and got some bits of land to connect it all better, full 100% this time.
Even gravely wounded Ming is still enormous, and the Russians are coming too now.
Losses were huge, but it was worth it. I think I lost 3 or 4 sieges of those damn mountain forts to relieving armies. At least it wasn't too hard to take the flat coast.
Partition of Ming. I'm trying not to get excessive AE so Ming's tributaries voluntarily join me after leaving Ming.
I feel tributaries should be limited to same continent or having land connection to your capital. It's really silly how much influence I have in Africa and New World with what's basically a bunch of trade stations.
Truce with Ming was far too long for my liking, so I attacked Chahar to bring Ming into the war, and then Korea to clean them up. And then I got 1/2/0 regency council for a 2/1/3 12 year old ruler.
Well, next war with Ming. I couldn't call Yeren this time, as they still had the long truce with Ming, but did it really matter? Bengal and Bahmanis kept being worthless.
Before the war I downsized my navy by selling some excess ships. Maybe this was premature as I lost a bunch of heavy ships in the war too.
Ming managed to sneak troops from New World and land in Japan twice more, and they've been somewhat obnoxious, but not even close to what they could do before.
After the war I setup third Chinese vassal and reset truce timer attacking Chahar, and soon after second war.
During second war Bengal - who refused to join any of my wars - decided to attack Tibet and get Ming into it. They even used the trick of allying Ming's tributary and attacking another tributary, and so Hsenwi fell out of Ming's sphere, and later fell into mine.
Ming this time couldn't invade Japan, so instead they marched to Malacca. That was the strategy I was worried about during our first war, back when Ming was supporting my rebellious vassals. Now it's a bit too late.
After the war they got beaten so bad they're no longer a valid rival. Well Russia reached Pacific Ocean, so I guess I have a replacement ready.
Portuguese Colombia asked me to support their independence, but didn't do anything with this support, so I cancelled it.
Global trade spawned in Valencia in Genoa node. Not sure how, English Channel mostly has far more value, it was just temporary luck.
Absolutism started and I didn't really prepare for it, so now I'm slowly waiting for opportunities to increase it. I'd like to take the mandate once I go through Court and Country.
A quick test suggests that I couldn't hold the mandate anyway, as I border Russia and a lot of other big nontributaries worldwide, so my mandate would be wrecked.
A few more wars with Ming, and a few truce timer resets.
Other countries like Bengal, Ayutthaya, Dai Viet etc. figured out Ming is too weak and started poaching its tributaries - until its tributaries figured out Ming is a two province minor and all left.
Ming still has vassal Afghanistan - they rebelled with Ottoman support, but somehow the war was not conclusive enough, and they remained Ming's vassal.
Between one war with Ming and another I messed up my stability and started Court and Country disaster.
I was also a bit impatient and went >100% OE during taht war so had to fight about a million rebels, but it went much better than in my previous campaign. I didn't need to hire even one mercenary whole campaign so far.
Meanwhile elsewhere Ottomans finally annexed Serbia - with reconquest CB of all things. And somehow Bosnia has been the HRE since 1569. Balkans are weird.
I could take Ming's mandate now that I finished the disaster, absolutism cap would fall from 110 to 100, but that's all right, it no longer does anything over 100.
There's just this one problem called Russia, who'd damage my mandate too much. They have force limit 318 vs mine 233 - at one third of my development. And that's not even counting their many European allies, so it won't be an easy war.
My sphere is impressive, but I'm not going to have any mandate unless I remove Russia and setup some tributary or vassal between us. I probably waited too long with it.
Just one million rebels feels so easy after my previous experience.
So patch 1.22 broke support independence for colonies - they get absolutely no liberty desire from supporters, or from own relative power, on the other hand they get crazy much from own development and from tariffs. That change is fairly horrible.
Well, it was not going to be a good war, but Russia had to be attacked. I prepared as well as I could:
• I invited Denmark into the war promising them land
• Russia got into war with Ottomans (technically #2 great power)
• I used claim CB on some Pacific coast province to get easy ticking warscore
• For the first time this campaign I actually hired some mercs.
• Even sent my warfleet to Europe to blockade their capital in St Petersburg.
And that wasn't enough. Denmark got wrecked (but somehow stayed in war, and only broke our alliance when land I promised didn't happen). Ottomans gave Russia two provinces to stop their war. After that Russia sent all their troops, wrecked every army I had, and the only thing saving me was that ticking warscore, so I took 44dev in Ural and setup march Perm there.
During the war Russia had two siberian frontiers ongoing. They can't be seized, and I could burn them for 5 sword mana, and they'll recreate them next day, for 20 bird mana. Not even the usual travel time. This feature is ridiculous, fortunately that's the last they can use them.
After that I got dragged into some Aztec minors independence war, which I ignored, and vassals I officially supported lost. Not big deal.
Then I got dragged into a war between Castile and one of my New World tributaries. They had naval superiority, and in some magic way when I got into 20 vs 4 heavies fight (with a bunch of accompanying ships), they won. Fortunately by that time my doomstack were already in the New World, so Castile gave up and I got 1 worthless province for all that trouble.
I politely asked Vijayanagar for a port, and if Indians won't all become my tributaries I'll have to send troops over.
Manufactories spawned in England, which feels really unfair, as I spammed them crazy much. At least they'll spread very fast to my lands.
I think I'm ready to claim the mandate of heaven. If I understand correctly only Russia's Siberian provinces will count against me, so the biggest problem is solved.
It was a really nasty war. Fortunately they were distracted at first, so I had a head start.
This fight was pretty easy, but it delayed my Indian plans by a few years.
Half of Indians sphered and Russia cut in half. It's time to claim the mandate of heavens!
Russia has a lot of military modifiers:
• national idea +33% manpower, +50% force limit, +5% morale, -10% fire damage received
• quantity ideas +50% force limit, +50% manpower, +20% manpower recovery, -10% cost, -10% maintenance, +25% mercs
• offensive ideas +20% force limit, +5% discipline, +2 leader pips
• tsardom government +20% manpower
• advisor +10% force limit
• Enserfed Peasants, +10% manpower (permanent)
• Armed Cossacks +15% force limit (temporary)
• a button to get about 4k streltsy infantry / year
• policy for -25% merc maintenance and +25% available mercs
That added up to 330 force limit, 178 max mercs, 2k monthly manpower growth, and various modifiers to make them fight better. And 2/3 of them were trapped on wrong side of Ural, so could someone please attack Russia? You won't get a better chance!
Instead Buryatia joined Ming's war against me contrary to what tooltip said, and Russia took advantage of their laps in tributary status to attack me. I had to rush to occupy as much as possible before Russia, just to limit the damage.
I got some but not enough of that, so I went to second war against Russia while fighting Ming and friends.
This was an extremely painful war, but I had to 100% them - as a reward I established snake march of Novgorod splitting them into one more part taking away 8 forts, and getting such tributaries as Riga, Livonian Order, Lithuania, and somehow France.
Russia got wrecked enough that they're no longer a valid rival.
Oh and here's the fun story:
• as daimyo my dynasty is locked (as Yamana initially)
• as Japan my dynasty is not locked
• as celestial empire my dynasty is locked again
The thing is, early on as Japan my ruler died without an heir and Lumburi dynasty from whichever Manchu tribe I was married to (Jianzhou or Yeren probably) took the throne. So in a way, it's Manchu ruling China, sort of.
My mandate is a bit low, as I got first celestial reform, but I'm still bordering far too many non-tributaries like Russia, Vijayanagars, and various colonials (do they count?). I refused the event to switch to Confucian, same as I refused Catholic before.
Attempting to "protect" Buryatia. Unfortunately Russia captured their capital and its huge gold mine, so I had to just extend the war.
None of that would have happened if tooltip didn't lie. It said Buryatia wouldn't join Ming.
Painful first stage. AI can walk through Perm's forts, and it did a few times. It simply considers them important enough to siege.
Russia never lost its armies on both sides of Ural, but its allies lost interest - Lithuania and whichever German minored dishonored, Bosnia when Ottomans sieged them in separate war. Aragon invaded China, I had to go back to deal with it. Eventually I sent ships over to Aragon to blockade it to peace them out, but I didn't have enough warscore to break their alliance with Russia.
I rarely play that late. At this point in the game forts are pretty much impossible to take without spending 50 sword mana on a barrage, even with maxed out (20) artillery.
Fort snake march is extremely ugly, but that was the only way for Russia to lose its forts, and if I didn't take them next war would be just as painful and cost just as much mana.
Actually my plan wasn't fighting Russia, it was fighting Vijayanagar and maybe Mewar, and making all South Asian minors into my tributaries peacefully.
Dominating Russia and India is pretty much the end game. Technically Ottomans are still my rivals, but I doubt we'll ever fight - they'll probably be considered too small after India and Russia wars anyway.
I attacked Vijayanagar cobeligerenting Mewar. The problem was that tooltip lies, and all my Indian tributaries who were also their allies joined against me.
Due to fort spam I had to spread my armies, and I lost a few battles, but outcome was never an issue. I took a bunch of forts, and my extended range made a bunch of new countries willing to join my sphere.
I could continue fighting Russians and Indians over and over, but it's pretty clear any challenge in this campaign is gone, so I'll just end here.
#hoi4 #kaiserreich as Combined Syndicates of America.
So this time as red America. As usual soon as war started I rushed to grab as much land as possible. Before the enemies showed up I took Washington and New England, getting rid of whole frontline.
My enemies got a lot more volunteers this time, and compared with shitty militia everybody uses even a few divisions make a difference.
I could only advance with a series of relatively small pockets, but unlike AUS I had plenty of militias to hold all fronts, so I finished it by May 1937.
I had choice of 4 capitals - Chicago, New York City. Philadelphia, and Washington. Last one would cost me 100pp, so I kept Chicago.
After that WK2 started - Entente took over Panama Canal, and Mittleeuropa expanded to include both PSA and Russia, so basically I need to world conquest just to get my lands. WC it is then!
CSA probable deserves a nerf, they win every time even as AI. The key was grabbing land between me and AUS as well as New England - that would reduce frontline length and give me free troops to use offensively.
After that I basically advanced from Washington along the coast.
I need to fight all major factions. I inherited fraction of US navy, so even getting my troops over will be a challenge.
Third Internationale seems hopeless, and I'd rather not join a faction to avoid silly peace conference fails.
#hoi4 #kaiserreich as Combined Syndicates of America.
First target was Yucatan Pact, ruled by Radical Socialists. I'm not entirely sure what's the difference between Radical Socialists and Syndicalists, but they're different, therefore there need to die.
My small navy was at least bigger than Mexican navy, and I had enough medium tanks for that parts of my army, so between two naval landings and come coastal advance it was crazy one sided.
Sadly I didn't occupy any tiles in Panama by the time they capitulated, so Panama needed a second war.
Pacific States of America ended up joining peacefully when workers' strike overthrew their government, so I might not have to fight Mitteleuropa.
Well, time for Entente. There was one naval doomstack battle where I lost 18 old destroyers, 1 light cruiser, and 1 heavy cruiser, while sinking 5 carriers, 7 battleships, 4 battlecruisers, 16 light cruisers, 4 heavy cruisers, 19 destroyers, and 43 planes. I wonder what happens to remaining planes on sunk carriers - knowing the game, they probably just return to storage.
I'm not even sure why it was so one sided. It was my whole fleet (except subs) vs only about half of Entente's fleet, and my ships were heavily damaged afterwards, but it was still unexpectedly good performance.
After that I discovered that ship repair is faster if I split damaged ships between naval bases - the opposite of how naval supply system works where highest level of naval base counts and others are ignored.
I've been trying to figure out naval combat system and it's super dumb. My doomstack fleet couldn't protect my convoys against a single ancient destroyer somehow.
I tried to use my naval and air supremacy to invade Newfoundland and Cuba somehow, but that was a disaster that cost me 9 divisions. Game having shitty interpretation of the orders (10 divisions attacking 3 tiles is always 8/1/1, ffs) had something to do with it, but generally small islands are far too difficult to take.
Fortunately I didn't have to do anything, as Austria managed to take Rome, kicking out last major Entente power out of the war, so all my work was done. Well, except Hawaii, but let's not worry too much about such minor things.
We need to deal with:
• larger than usual stack of starting penalties
• inevitable attack by the Axis of Egypt, Hashemite Arabia, and usually Persia
• rebellions by Kurds and Cyprus
• long term possible attack by Russia
• puppet rebellions
• parts of focus tree being marked as "Work In Progress"
On the upside we have 3 puppets - Albania, Armenia, and Tripolitania, and fairly safe Balkan border.
Germans sold me Crete for some pp, which I released as puppet. Kurds rebelled, but achieved nothing.
Egypt and Hashemites attacked, but took their sweet time, and I was very much ready. They had rebels pop up in random places, which is a fun idea, but in practice it meant there's a lot of pre-pocketed divisions. I walked from Tripolitania to Alexandria while half of enemy army tried to guard Suez Canal crossing, crossed Nile upstream, and got to Cairo without much trouble. Persia did not join any of that.
I got a compromise constitution with the parliament - I suspect optimal path is to just dissolve it, as usual in this game. I told my German and Austrian creditors that they can shove it. While trying to root out corruption and reform government a coup happened, sultan died, and his heir took the throne.
I did a quick war with defenseless Oman. War with Bulgaria was like from CK2 - with both monarchs leading armies.
Next war was Persia. Albania and Tripolitania decided to rebel mid-war. Still can't get Albania, as I don't want to naval invade for no reason, so got Azerbaijan as a new puppet instead.
The game decided to arbitrarily fuck up and would not deliver steel imports from anyone in Europe or arbitrary 3/4 of the world (couldn't see the pattern), really limiting my production. I suspect if I get a direct border with mainland Germany I should be able to import their steel, so that means I need to get Vienna.
For some reason wars against Bulgaria and Persia were going far worse than I expected. Against Bulgaria I was defending and had 4:1 K:D, which was tolerable, but still way below 10:1 or better I expected. Against Persia I was attacking into mountains, and I had more losses than kills, which is such a rare situation.
No idea what's going on. By this time I usually have space marines, but all the Ottoman penalties really delayed me and I don't have a single tank and only just started building some planes beyond my starting WK1 collection.
Even without tanks, 7/2s should be somewhat competent. I guess I don't have doctrines finished, only one support company, no general staff etc., while AI by now trained theirs to veteran and researched all that, so it all adds up.
Preparation for a 3-way war. 2/3 of Hashemite VPs are one tile away from my border, so main thrust there while cavalry tries to get the third. Egypt can be invaded from Tripolitania on flat ground while holding Suez (later I added naval invasion to Alexandria, but never executed it). I wanted to simply hold Persia border in difficult terrain until those two surrendered.
In the end Persia didn't join, the rest of the plan worked flawlessly.
I wasn't prepared for those rebel spawns. Persia didn't join, but I wasn't sure if they won't surprise attack me, so I only took half of Persian frontline troops, Alexandria naval invasion, and some cavalry to deal with rebels.
This war was all easy. Bulgaria/Persia on the other hand, way harder and I have no idea why.
Belgrade Pact attacked Danubian Federaton, who puppeted Greece, but left rest of it.
Plan is to get Belgrade Pact and my rebellious puppet Albania, then get Vienna. After that I need that one Suez Canal South tile, and if the only way to get it is to destroy German Empire, so be it. Or maybe I'll get Crimea/Caucasus from Russia. Or Tunisia from Entente.
There's a good deal of restoring to do, and since focus tree says that sultan is also the caliph, we have totally legit claims to a lot of historically caliphate lands.
Internationale losing WK2 so hard even London fell is rare.
I dealt with Romania, Serbia, and rebellious Albania. After that I decided to make a detour and take Ukraine, but bastards got into war with Poland and rest of Mittleeuropa.
Germany managed to take Kiev first, but somehow Ukraine capitulated to me, and I was able to get most of it - except some totally reasonable border states Poland took, and two completely pointless Black Sea border states Germany took just to annoy me.
For sake of nicer borders I took useless lands from Ethiopia and Somalia - and Germany and Austria were both sending volunteers against me. Like I needed another reason to take Vienna.
For Austria war, they have::
• 2875k army, 43k artillery (and on average more modern than mine, congrats on that AI!)
• 8.4k light tanks, mostly crazy outdated
• 3.2k fighters, 360 bombers
• 4 battleships, 5 heavy and 9 light cruisers, 26 destroyers, 18 subs
• 110 mil, 110 civ, 18 naval industry
• 1917k army, 27k artillery
• 6.5k medium tanks in dedicated divisions (only 11/48 finished training)
• 2.1k heavy fighters, 520 captured fighters, 240 captured bombers
• 4 battleships, 1 battle cruiser, 2 heavy and 15 light cruisers, 14 destroyers, 4 subs
• 171 mil, 160 civ, 21 naval industry
The way I expect it to go is that Austria will keep suiciding their troops until it runs out of them. I thought about naval invasion to speed things up, but we're too close.
One of the most annoying UX crap about HOI4 is that when deploying planes, every captured 5 interwar fighters create a new line, and only 3 are displayed at time, without any order.
I got a brilliant idea of just donating them to my puppets so they can stick them in a museum or something, but apparently I can't donate captured equipment, only what I produced. WTF game, just how shitty can your UX be?
You can deploy them somewhere irrelevant, but it costs you a lot of manpower to just babysit them there. That's what I eventually did, but as minor countries it's not really possible.
Fancy naval invasion plan.
Game only allows selecting tiles next to a single naval tile per invasion, but doesn't actually follow that later. Those two divisions going East because narrow point of Crimea touches both zones.
Now imagine naval invading Panama and game deciding it will send half the troops around Argentina to the other ocean.
Can't play Turks without taking another go at Vienna.
I absolutely love simple terrain map mode mod.
5 tiny uncrossable mountain chains in Romania really mess up the frontlines.
The optimistic plan is to push along coastline of Greece West and East, coastline of Adriatic, and go for Lwow - the only areas without mountains and major rivers blocking the way.
But most likely AI will keep attacking me for months before I'm able to do anything.
After that Entente (with Russia) or Mittleeuropa? Unless I run out of manpower first, which is a possibility.
Then I tried to break through Galicia, but game's dumb supply system decided that it won't let me do it - so I had to withdraw, secure what game considered proper supply routes, and only then send the tanks through.
I doubt they'll ever fix it, so maybe I should plan with its faults in advance instead of patching problems only after my army has to fight at half supply for weeks.
I almost lost Serbia as I forgot to cancel frontline orders of my troops which were supposed to just sit in place while Greek and Galician fronts advance. Even with static frontline orders AI will start reshuffling and by the time I noticed Beograd was nearly surrounded, and without fresh troops arriving from Greek front I'd need to hide behind next river. Instead I used them to push a bit until reaching some river border, and stopped there.
Once that got Galicia's supply and Serbia's frontline AI fixed, I managed to get the tanks to break to, and then South using flat two tile corridor between two major rivers (Danube on the West, one of its tributaries on the East) as natural path of attack. Counter-attacks were really impossible thanks to the rivers, even though my tank army was really tiny compared with number of Austrians on both sides. I wish game displayed names of rivers, I don't really know most of the small ones, but they're very important.
Meanwhile Adriatic army managed to break through mountains of Montenegro and from there on it was unopposed walk to Vienna. Even if they didn't, 2/3 of Austrian army was encircled, so that wouldn't be too hard.
After getting Vienna I decided that's enough for this campaign.
Tanks drive South through Budapest meeting Beograd's small push North was the most fun part of the war.
Overall in recent patches AI is much more aggressive, and previously overpowered strategies (7/2 superior firepower, all-mil industry path etc.) got nerfed just a bit, so the game is to a degree more challenging and enjoyable than it used to be.
Of course that was of little importance, as Serbia preemptively attacked me, with Romania joining. Fortunately nobody told Romanians beforehand, so I rushed Bucuresti, getting my troops bleeding hard, but eliminating them amazingly quickly.
That opened a one tile gap in Serbian frontline just far North, so I railroaded all my Romanian front troops there, and rushed Beograd (suffering the usual losses to keep Serbian army pinned), winning that in weeks and paying -300pp for the privilege of not just white peacing them.
After that came long wait until world tension got high enough that I could start fabricating. I got Albania, Greece, and after that choices were very limited - Russia/Ukraine, Austria-Hungary, or Turkey.
Russia/Ukraine would take forever even if I succeeded somehow. Turkey would take forever due to straits. That leaves only one possible direction.
Playing without xp-free division template changes, as I'm wondering if it's making AI somehow dumber. I forgot just how hard it was to get that early XP. I wasn't really planning that, and wars I had so far involved very little fighting, so now my first tank divisions will come out in May, 4 months into the war.
Starting small and at inevitable war with everyone.
I think Danubian Federation is a new way for Austria-Hungary to reform. They have a lot more troops and planes than I do, but that's pretty much a given in the kind of wars I tend to fight.
Mitteleuropa fights Russians and Internationale, so I don't expect them to do well.
AI in AUS campaign was very passive. Austria had none of that. They were vicious and in two months lost 822k of their initial 1086k army. I've never see anything that aggressive.
The war took from 22nd of January to 2nd of July, and Austria never for a second completely stopped viciously attacking, even when all hope was lost - but it slowed down a bit out of necessity, and had 0 manpower at current law level.
All of Austria had far more mountains and rivers than I expected, and I had regular 7 infantry / 2 artillery with just support artillery and maintenance, nothing fancy like marines or mountaineers or tanks or engineers.
Just as soon as I won, my whole focus tree completed. I think that's the first time I've ever had this happen - Bulgaria has really tiny tree, even smaller than most generic trees. Well, if that doesn't say I won the game, I'm not sure what would.
The only focus that was not taken was demanding Thrace from Turkey, but that requires Turkey to be 80% losing some other war, and they white peace out all their enemies before capitulation progress reached that level.
I finally finished training tank divisions (3 mtank 3 mot) last few weeks before war ended, but with poor supply and weak state of Austrian army I didn't even deploy them.
I like those short one afternoon campaigns, much better action to time ratio than a month of CK2 or EU4.
About the point where Austria fell. Tank divisions still not ready. It's crazy how few non-mountain non-river paths there are.
And as usual AI decided to naval invade me. Before that Greece naval invaded me. Why is AI so in love with sending troops to their death?
This short campaign is just Constantinople short of perfect borders.
If I had focus to join one of WK2 factions, I'd probably do it, but without such possibility I'll just end it here.
A nice thing about Kaiserreich is how neat and simple tech tree is after Road to 56. The less nice is how complicated focus trees are, so I needed to figure out what those choices even mean eventually.
The war was a lot of fun, fighting with militia, and nothing even resembling 7inf 2art. I had to leave gaps in frontline to even have enough 6militia units for some offensive. But my enemies suffered from similar shortages, I had a lot of military factories in my focuses, so I managed to win - first getting Washington, then going up Atlantic Coast, and then rolling West.
Mexico tried to use our civil war to grab some land, but that war stalled, so they got nothing.
After we won, just days before WK2, somehow 80% of US was not our cores, and it only slowly became it by events, events costing pp. I find this annoying.
I had some time to setup proper division templates and for increasing my armies drastically. Going from 2 to 80 mil factories feels good.
There were two probems - Pacific States joined the Entente, so any war of reunification meant conquering Canada. And French Syndicalists took Berlin, asking me to join Mitteleuropa and the war. How about no?
As Canada was the only major power in Entente, and their whole population is within a few day's walk from AUS border, I got not only Pacific States and Canada, but most of Entente's lands, where I setup a bunch of puppets.
Coming next - revenge on Mexico. Eventually I'll need to fix Europe, but I have fraction of original US fleet.
EDIT: And I got Mexico and Centroamerica, and couldn't be bothered to continue beyond that point.
So we start as least populous, and least industrial part of the US. Pope sent two divisions, but they did nothing. At least we got a lot of militia - 300k vs 500k each for both our enemies.
Quick land grab moved borders here. Maybe expansion West was a bad idea, and I should have focused exclusively on pushing North - I don't really have enough troops to even man frontlines I have, but then neither have my enemies.
The decisive fight - Syndicalist armies never recovered from losing that many divisions. 1 division of French volunteers delayed fall of Boston for months, as somehow volunteers ignore supply system, and it was regulars to my under-equipped militias.
After surprisingly quick war against Entente I setup own faction (needed console to invite own puppets). West India is in my faction as well. I think my best route to victory would be moving my armies to India and going to Europe from there - I don't think tiny African colonies will be of much use.
To quote the game: Our society runs on nepotism, lines are replaced with bribes, generals are sons of the rich elite, we are led by fools and charlatans.
By December 1938 I managed to win civil war an New Persian Empire against monarchists and nationalized British-held oil fields. All that getting to 29 factories. Then I conquered Iraq and Afghanistan, while Saudis got all British and Independent Arab minors by events and wars.
I got event asking me to move capital to Isfahan, and sure, why not. That managed to completely fuck up my supply everywhere. It didn't just move it around, total supply went from 146 to 92, and I literally couldn't put my army (total supply use 97) anywhere.
This is the biggest bullshit I've seen hoi4 supply system do so far, so I edited save game to move my capital back. And then I did some testing - apparently maxing out my capital region supply's would increas my total supply to 537. Yeah, the system makes zero sense.
Well, I guess I'll be building infrastructure in capital now, before that I built it in frontline region which actually had infrastructure problems.
I fought Turkey guaranteed by Romania (with its puppet Bulgaria). Mod is quite poorly debugged, as midwar I got event by Turkey asking me to join their faction, and that's not even the first such silliness.
I couldn't push into European part of Turkey's faction, so I attacked Saudis instead. And then Soviets attacked me.
They were already at war with Poland which was already a draw with equal million of dead bodies on each side; as well as in Mongol-China war, also with about even losses, just half as much.
Well, if that's the case, I accepted invitation to Axis and WW2 it is!
A bit earlier Germany has "Kick Italy out of the Axis" focus, which can be followed by "War with Italy". Of course since this is vanilla-based faction system Italy just rejoined next month anyway after being kicked out. Kaiserreich just disables the whole thing, and makes it purely focus/event-based, and that's really the only way if you want to do cute things like this.
Soviet idea of fighting three front war wasn't really great, but then I had one of my armies just sitting next to Constantinople. Soviet war was frontline-less chaos, with encirclements, counterencirclements, divisions marching forward thousands of kms without any backup on assumption that any attempt to cut them can be answered by even more severe cut againsnt the cutters.
I think AI in 1.3 was more competent - it was really obsessed about keeping integrity of its frontline, which was exploitable, but this chaos? Is it good for them? Supply system was acting up too.
The game managed to crash twice, which was annoying, but not a huge deal.
I still have a bit of focus tree left - demanding Syria from France, and CB on Britain for Palestine, and then I can be the Saoshyant. I might as well do so - US is in civil war with Communists winning, so WW2 can end without US invasion.
Fun Turkey war. I need to rebuild simple terrain map mod, as guessing which tile is which terrain type is too hard.
Constantinople survived far longer than Moscow.
It was chaos of pockets and counterpockets. I'm pretty sure AI is worse than before.
Here's new AI fail. I put 3 divisions each on every border tile, then told it to plan attack.
In 1.3 it would say OK and move nothing since it's already balanced (or even if it was just more or less balanced).
Here it decided to reshuffle anyway. That burns equipment (since AI won't use strategic redeployment), causes massive delays, and if you want to autoassign new units to attack order, every new unit will now cause a reshuffle.
None of these problems existed in previous patch.
Somehow, they managed to make AI worse.
Poland and China got a good chunk of Soviet Union. Germany took most of Romania and Bulgaria, but I at least took the coastline.
I really ought to finish this map by cleaning up the Middle East, and maybe India too.
Not sure if it's mod or just new patch, but Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania etc. tend to overperform nowadays (assuming they fight, Czechoslovakia surrendered without a fight this time).
Mod giving Germany CB on Switzerland really fucks up France, as it makes Maginot Line meaningless.
I got Poland, Greece, Lithuania, and Latvia, finally getting to use tanks and planes (my army was really behind). France willingly gave me Syria, but Jerusalem focus doesn't even give event offering UK to resolve it peacefully, all I get is CB.
I ended up getting all Allies lands my tanks could reach. Then it's a choice of attacking China faction, or attacking the Axis. As China war would be rather boring, I'm going to go fight Axis. Awkwardly that includes Siam, Yunnan, rebel Norway, German-controlled South Sweden, as well as all of Continental Europe West of me - Albania, West Bulgaria, West Romania, Germany, Italy, Spain.
I can't really win the war, as I have literally zero ship technology. We don't know know how to build a galley. And we don't know anything about paratroopers. So it's going to be quite awkward waiting for the Allies.
What I like about the mod is that it gives a lot of extra resources by focus trees, making late game much nicer than vanilla / Kaiserreich. I'm still getting shortages, but they're not crazy shortages.
It was most severe bloodbath, with Axis losing 12M men of their initial 10M, and vicious fighting using every terrain feature like Sudetenland fortifications as well as waves upon waves of men to slow me down.
The key moment in war was when Axis Spain declared war of Colombia out of nowhere, making Communist US who guarantees all South America join the Allies. Seriously mod? And then Democratic Japan joined the Allies as well, not even sure how.
Well with everybody basically defeated I don't think there's much point continuing. Waiting years until I research ships and then naval invading UK, US, Sicily, and Japan sounds rather boring.
Norwegian Civil War and some fighting in the unusual place was rather welcome.
UK invaded Germany as AI obviously put all troops on player border.
Annoyingly they surrendered France to Allies not to me.
France fixed that soon enough and capitulated as soon as it lost Paris. With Rome fallen, Spain defenseless (they had half their army in Norway and half in Italy), and UK expeditionary forces destroyed, I can leave my enemies with a bunch of islands and call it a day.
I had only 35 days to get everything in place for Rheinland troubles. It's hard to plan anything before that gets resolved one way or the other.
Britain supported us, and Hitler folded. A bit of a shame, since it would have been a real fun war. And time wan not on our side - Germany starts with 40 military factories to our 6, not to mention what they'll get from focuses, Austria etc.
Nationalists won Spanish Civil War, Japan attacked China, Germany attacked Switzerland (who created own faction, so we couldn't even join, wtf?), China attacked British Raj.
After taking Switzerland Germany demanded Slovenia, Britain bailed, so I left Allies and created faction with Yugoslavia by event.
My whole plan was to seize Rhineland fast. Unfortunately Swiss war magically remilitarized Rhineland without any ability to intervene. The idea that Yugoslavia might defend itself for a while also failed, as Croatians backstabbed them, and that gave Germans pretty much free encicrement of entire Yugoslav army in Slovenia. Then nobody moved, even though Croatia and Yugoslavia had close to zero army.
I was slowly pushing Germans when they managed to D-Day me in two ports because notifications about naval invasions are so shit. I managed to just deal with that and break through Switzerland into Munich, when Italy joined the Axis.
That was real awkward. I got Rome with my 9 motorized + 1 light tanks rush. First time I'm using them, and they performed better than expected.
Unfortunately the mod had a silly idea of giving everybody a law with 0.2% weekly national unity for 150pp, so absolutely everybody had 90%, and Italy wouldn't capitulate with just Sicily.
Mod stacked so many pp penalties against me, I couldn't increase my recruitment laws past limited conscription. And I couldn't pass war economy (got to partial mobilization by focuses at least). I had to delete a lot of divisions mid-war - and by the time I got to 150pp I didn't fulfill criteria for choosing it.
So annoying. In this case if I knew, I could have prepared for this. But it's really dumb that even at 100% war tension and while at war with zero manpower I can't just change the laws.
Even my small army (80 divisions by end of war) was enough - I held the line with 3/4 of it, pushed with 1/4. I pushed South Rhineland, Switzerland, Munich, Rome, South Italy, Venice, Croatia, Austria, North Rhineland, then straight for Berlin, and only another D-Day dealt with Sicily.
After that Soviets attacked Latvia, who joined British factions. And Poland created their own. So presumably Soviets would rampage Europe, but if nobody wants to join my faction, what can I do.
So new AI complaints:
• Somehow frontline AI is now a lot worse, and is crazy aggressive about reshuffling to "balance" the frontline, causing pointless delays and attrition. 1.3 did not do that.
• Czechoslovakia had more divisions than me, but did not move one tile in the whole war, and was happy to sit on its forts.
• Yugoslavia, Netherlands, Belgium were just as passive. Luxembourg had zero army, so not blaming them at least.
(some extra comments for each pic)
In theory Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were on my side. And later Netherlands and Belgium.
In practice I did over 90% of fighting. The only thing AIs did was reinforcing my frontline after I connected to them capturing Zagreb and Vienna - and probably more due to glitch where frontline autoexpands than any serious intention to help.
Somehow game decided to give Vienna to Czechoslovakia, even though their troops were nowhere a few tiles away, and they didn't have claims or anything.
Yugoslavia got their land I liberated as it was their cores, so that makes sense.
Napoleon would be proud. He'd also find a way to get extensive conscription.
I got prince of terror minister, who doubles noncore manpower in new patch, so I got something from the colonies. Sadly only some countries have that option, so some minors just got a lot easier, others didn't.