Sunday, April 30, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 17: 1573-1582: Five Million Rebels

The game fucked up again with most of my subjects not joining my war. I fucking hate bugs. Nothing is as immersion breaking as bugs that require reloading.

The bug is 100% reproductible, so if I start another war with New Prussia's claims from same save, I get same subset of my subjects joining. No difference if I try claim on different province. It works if I try West Indies' claim, so I do that instead.

I'd suspect it might have something to do with high number of subjects, but DDRJake had same bug with just 3 subject.

Havana wargoal was much worse, as it forced me to wait for my war fleet to sail all the way from China before warscore could ticking - otherwise I'd have it immediately.

Aztecs seized my colony on island off Alaska coast. That's first time I see AI use this function. In reverge, I burned down their two colonies in Brazil.

I didn't want to constantly flip the screen, so before Ming truce was over I just grabbed Carribean and one fort from the Aztecs, for a bit over 50% warscore.

And then Ming war suffered from the same stupid subject not joining bug. I disabled scuttage on the few vassals who had it, tried again, and this time everybody joined. But not sure if that's directly connected, or just gets another roll of the RNG.

Ming was busy fighting Rajastan, defending their no longer existent tributary of Mong Yang, from Rajastani conquest of Bhutan, which was mine for quite some time now. Because I held it, neither side could get ticking warscore, so their silly war continued.

Amazingly when Ming was losing to me and Rajastan, the Aztecs declared war for mandate of heaven on them.

The Ming war was hilariously quick and easy - I took 253% overextension for it.

I got the usual local separatist revolts, for which I was prepared - and also 1735k peasant revolts. Like, what kind of bullshit is this? I really didn't want to fight them, so I gave them 20% autonomy every provine with peasants as primary rebel type. It sounds painful, but really it's just 34 years to get it all abck at my current autonomy loss rate - or 12 at peace if I were so inclined.

I get so much of my income from trade, that autonomy isn't even really that big of a deal.

Then I got 800k particularists, who wanted 30% autonomy in a bunch of other provinces. I can live with that. It also increased influence of merchant guilds, so I had to revoke all their toys.

And of course everybody else rebelled too. The most annoying of them were separatist revolts in provinces which were never anybody else's cores to begin with. Trade company region provinces unfortunately keep their wrong culture, and apparently that can spawn separatists now.

I'm not sure how many rebels I got. Something close to 4-5 million. And that's with -2 unrest advisor.

I integrated 15 more vassals, and used ally-then-tributarize technique on the remaining independent New World and Central African minors.

Even after I crushed all rebels, that's not the end of my problems, as now merchants have 85% influence, and are on course for plutocratic coup - even after I revoked their land. Best I can do is destroy my own trade income for a while, but even that it's not really clear how effective will be at avoiding the coup.

World conquest progress:
  • own: 6122 ⇒ 7125
  • vassal: 5542 ⇒ 4899
  • colony: 590 ⇒ 710
  • tributary state: 3061 ⇒ 3408
  • foreigners: 6815 ⇒ 6337
  • uncolonized: 1321 ⇒ 1211

Another Aztec war with so far to go before reaching their forts

 Ming's armies were busy with Rajastan, so nobody was really even defending

First Sunset Invasion, and now this?
So far ticking warscore is to Ming's advantage, as wargoal is Ming's capital

This is totally reasonable
In the future I'll stay under 200% OE - truce breaking is less painful than this

At least this I can totally handle
Most of those castles fell, so I have a lot of separatism everywhere, but I slowly recovered
In the end I lost like 400k-500k troops and had to rely on mercs for final months

After some integrations and expansion

Friday, April 28, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 16: 1564-1573: Tributary Spheres

I discovered that age of reformation's "+1 blockade impact on siege" actually gives +1 to all sieges - including inland ones. That is simply amazing.

As 4th idea group I picked espionage - just actively avoiding religious/humanist for a change, and I'm way past the point where diplomatic/influence would matter. Espionage is actually quite decent - extra diplomat, province trade power, advisor cost, liberty desire reduction, corruption reduction, and some spy bonuses. It's not very focused group of bonuses, and they're not huge individually, but it helps big empire in many ways.

I didn't feel like waiting 15 years to fight Ming, so I attacked their tributary. I couldn't make Ming cobeligerent, but I grabbed 3 low development border forts anyway.

Ming lost Ainu, Korea, and Ryukyu as tributaries, but established Blackfoot instead thanks to their Alaska colonies. Oh come on, that was my plan. Sadly by the time I got West coast colony, Ming and Aztecs settled everything there so I couldn't make anyone there my tributary.

Ming then attacked Korea to reestablish tributary. Korea was allied with the Oirat, so instead they lost Oirat immediately. Even with zero mandate penalties however, Ming won, reestablished overlordship over Oirat (but not Korea), and got some of Oirat's land in process.

It was a sweet opportunity for me, as Ryukyu was allied with Ayutthaya, so I could get some land without getting Ming involved.

And once I finished coring Ming's forts, I wanted to get Ming involved, so I attacked Ligor to separate peace Ming and reset my truce with them.

My tributary Yarkand which I defended and separate peaced twice got full annexed by Rajastan. Instead I asked my allied Jianzhou horde to become my tributary, as let's face it - they're so behind on tech, they'd be a completely worthless ally anyway. As our borders were now much closer, and they lost a good chunk of land to Korea, they ended up agreeing to that.

And I almost got Tengri Horde island of Falklands as one more.

Ming tributaries are now:

  • 7dev Mong Yang
  • 12dev Oirat
  • 16dev Kucha
  • 35dev Anxi
  • 46dev Blackfoot
  • 113dev Kham
Not exactly an impressive collection.

I annexed 20 more vassals. World conquest progress is now:

  • own: 4875 ⇒ 6122
  • vassal: 6092 ⇒ 5542
  • tributary state: 2625 ⇒ 3061
  • colony: 559 ⇒ 590
  • foreigners: 7672 ⇒ 6815
  • uncolonized: 1396 ⇒ 1321

Ming minus a few forts 

Byzantium and Ming vassals much reduced.
Ming ate some Oirats at least, so they're not losing everything yet.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 15: 1559-1564: Aztec Revenge Time

I integrated another batch of 10 vassals.

I had to suffer 192% OE for a while, so obviously every rebel came out, and my manpower went very negative.

I thought it would be better now that I had only one round of that instead of 3 or 4, but really it didn't, everyone rebelled, and second rebellions don't happen due to -100 recent uprising.

If they removed or toned down "recent uprising" mechanic and instead reduced rebel spawn to match, that would lead to more interesting choices. Right now, everyone's going to rebel once no matter what.

I still did a bit better, by raising autonomy on provinces I really didn't want to fight like islands or random low development provinces not next to castles, and then defending castles against rebels if possible. In the end it took just two years to get country back under control, and I had to merge my army down to size, but I didn't hire a single merc.

Well, +30% manpower from my national ideas finisher definitely helped here, I didn't have that previous time.

After that, it was time for the payback against the Aztecs. I called in Inca, all my CNs, and tried to use my navy well.

Of course AI had no interest whatsoever in engaging my fleet, so I had a choice of either babysitting them, or giving Aztecs pretty much naval superiority. Attempt at using "hunt enemy fleets" mission failed just as miserably as you can imagine. Naval power is just as useless as in real life.

While Ming had the most effective fort system at protecting their country, Aztecs had about the least - with all forts clumped together in Mexico with smaller second clump in Arizona, and most of their country completely unfortified. What it was good at was preventing me from getting any warscore - as forts were so deep inland, mostly on mountains, and they wouldn't actually engage me.

Aztec war turned out to be much more tedious than I expected, so I took very little - Panama area for Venezuela with 2 forts, and one province for New Prussia with center of trade.

Another reason why I let Aztecs get away with just 65% warscore worth of concessions was that Rajastan attacked my tributary Yarkand again, and flipping back and forth to manage both was just not fun. That's unfortunate about Paradox games - wars are fun only as long as they fit on the screen.

I separate peaced the Indians again, taking 3 fort provinces, just to make future wars less tedious. The game could really use a feature where I could outright demolish any forts I occupy - or dismantle them via peace terms.

My ally Jianzhou who attacked Korea when Ming was too busy to defend them got wrecked by Korea alone. That's what being 4 techs behind on mil does. Korea got back their borders, and Jianzhou's vassal Buryatia became independent - I offered them protection in this dangerous part of the world.

Rebels everywhere
Yue and Ming separatings decided to join forces so I had to fight 2x 39k stacks on one province 

Just check out where the forts are
I thought Incas and my CNs would help her,
but I had to ship troops from Africa and do everything myself
All my allied did was cost me warscore from battles

 Aztec march Muisca has tech 8, Aztecs have 12, and I'm at 13
But they still have nasty forts, so these were key peace terms

I established new tributaries in Kamchatka, and a base towards Alaska
Korea (tech 12) got back their land from Jianzhou (tech 8)

Original plan was seizing land for New Prussia and West Indies,
but such unfortified lands are just free warscore so whatever 
All that is just a side show for now, Ming and cleaning up Europe are priorities

Monday, April 24, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 14: 1550-1559: The Second Ming War

I integrated 10 more countries, and moved my trade capital to London.

That together with age bonus of +33% goods produced (Polish in vanilla) got my trade income to 350 - majority of my total income. My trade network is still disconnected, collecting in English Channel and Bengal - with some side collections in Bordeaux and Safi.

I wanted to recover before upcoming wars, so all I did was tiny bit of expanding while keeping it under 100% OE. I even let many truces with my usual targets lapse.

I got to 0% OE, got rid of mercs, had 100k manpower reserve, Ming was at 10 mandate and falling fast, so it was time for the second great Ming war.

Before that I wanted to break alliance between my tributary Malacca and Ming's tributary Ligor. Unfortunately since Paradox half-assed their implementation of tributaries, I couldn't ask either side to break that alliance.

I also wanted to invite Jianzhou into my war, but they were bankrupt, at -3 stability, with growing fresh debt, and no horde unity. Hordes have such massive penalties when they're big AI has absolutely no way to keep them stable - and huge horde bordering Ming is the only way Ming in vanilla can possibly lose mandate. I sent them some money to maybe help them recover for third war, but I'm not exactly holding my breath here.

Ming had 140k troops to my 360k, but very low mandate does nothing against Ming's 25 forts - some kind of distributed Great Wall.

As soon as I attacked Ming I also declared on Ayutthaya and Mong Yang, but this time only getting less than 100% OE from each.

Even with all the penalties, Ming's ability to spam mercs and throw overwhelming forces at my army sieging their forts was still quite respectable.

I invaded from the North-West steppes and from the South coast. Ming completely focused on defending Northern approach to Beijing and they won a lot of battles - helped by compeltely ridiculous zone of control system.

Last fort before Beijing fell in North and South in same month. Their fort system was so effective that Beijing was the second last fort to be sieged - the only one after that was one on border of Manchuria.

I had a choice what to take - either strip their forts, or go as far along the coastline as I can. Because it's still really unclear to me if stripping forts would force me to wait for coring first line of provinces before I can core the next (and doing that at very high overextension is a horrible idea), I took coastline and just 2 provinces up North.

That leaves Ming with a ton of forts, and very hard Northern approach, but only Nanjing stands between my Southern armies and Beijing now. If Jianzhou joins, only one fort in Shenyang could possibly stop them. And it's still 5 forts fewer to deal with.

I got age objecive Asian trade (with Chinaware) from Ming occupation. I doubt I'll get unify culture group one before end of the age, so that's pretty much it.

During last months of the war, Jianzhou noticed that Ming's armies are all obliterated, and attacked their tributary Korea, and Ming bailed out on that.

With Ming weakened so much, I need to make plans to deal with all other great powers. The list is currently:

  • Ming
  • Aztec
  • Deccan
  • Rajastan
  • Inca
  • Nubia
  • Shiba, who almost unified Japan (with only one daimyo bugging out and becoming independent)

Byzantium after last war is no longer on the list, while Jianzhou, Arabia, and Egypt are big enough to be on it, but are behind on institutions, not quite having figured out colonialism.

I think I should do something about the Aztec, like attacking them directly. Inca have bigger army than Aztecs anyway at same tech, and my colonial states have 56k on paper at least.

By the way - EU4 desperately needs frontlines, even if just to keep armies in outliner organized. I'm using army labels as sort of frontlines, but every time I split one army loses the label, so I need to reapply them every now and then.

And amazingly Ming started to colonize Alaska.

Two front war
Southern front was busy with Ayutthaya and Mong Yang, so was delayed
Still got to Beijing same time as Northern front

Ming ignored the South completely, focused on just the North
It was a decent strategy
Ming fleet did nothing of value, and they lost half the coastline, so I built them for nothing 

The borders look quite OK. Eliminated bottlenecks and their fleet.
They're still at over 1000%  warscore worth of provinces - and even more overextension
I'll probably fight them a few more times before I'll even consider taking their mandate

Technology map
Aztecs developed for institutions, everybody else is behind on admin/dip, but usually OK on mil
That's still much worse performance than High American had before institutions

Jianzhou fell behind real hard, techs at 4/6/8 vs Ming's 13/13/13
Even with massive penalties, Ming armies would probably just wipe them.
Oh and they have zero horde unity, so they get overran by tribal rebels
Maybe I should just take over their lands directly?
They clearly can't manage them.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 13: 1541-1550: Stabilizing the Empire

It feels like unifying whole empire in one go would be too big a step, and diploannexing them for mana would be silly, so I decided to just add intermediate option - integrating one member vassal for 10 IA during peace time. It feels like reasonable gameplay.

I spent the first 250 IA to integrate:

  • Britain: Cornwall, Hwicce, Lothian, Northumberland, East Anglia, Wessex, Oxford, Essex, York, Kent
  • Denmark: Fyn, Jylland
  • Sweden: Smaland, Uppland
  • Germany/Netherlands: Oldenburg, Brandenburg, Meissen, Holland, Brunswick, Loon, Cologne
  • Poland/Rus: Lubusz, Mazovia, Kurland, Polotsk

That cleaned up the borders, and let me start setting up my trade system properly.

Having so many vassals also causes micro problems - for example to transfer a bunch of provinces to same vassal, I need to scroll the tiny list every time. And whenever I load a game or go to peace I get spammed by 50+ marriage offers.

My 12 dev tributary Yarkand - whom I got mostly so Ming doesn't - got attacked, so I had to defend them against Rajastan, Deccan, and friends.

Conveniently I already had troops on India's East border. And my war fleet, originally meant to challenge Ming, but then finding out it's still only half as strong as them, made a good showing fighting against Indians.

I separate peaced for a bit of land with two estuaries and center of trade, so I'd get another merchant, and let them do whatever they want with Yarkand - whom they peaced out for reparations.

That got me over 100% again, something I wanted to avoid until I recover my manpower. Right now I'd be near zero if I replaced mercs with regulars.

I have adequate mana, so my expansion rate is limited by OE. If I want to stay below 100% OE, and average core takes 18 months, that means about 650 dev a decade. Sadly with Anxi the OE x CoreTime product was way higher as I needed to core previous provinces before next ones would be in coring range - final being 5th, or taking nearly 8 years to core.

Normally I wouldn't do that, but I absolutely needed land connection with Ming up North, and coring rules are rather inconsistent - sometimes I'm allowed to jump cores, sometimes I'm not, so I wasn't even sure if I'd get penalized.

My tributary Malacca attacked Ming's tributary Ayutthaya, Ming joined, but I wouldn't let their troops pass. That didn't help them, as Ayutthaya was still a good deal stronger than Malacca. That's 27 dev added to Ming tributary bonus.

I don't think I could have helped in any way, and Malacca's cores instantly expired by a bug. Not a huge deal, Ming is going to hit zero mandate by 1508 or so.

Their best plan to recover was to spam requests asking me to become their tributary, hoping I'd misclick one of them. Pretty clever for AI.

Printing Press spawned in Goldingen, which used to be Kurland before I annexed it.

Somehow in a fight between Portugal and Portucale Asturias got released with Mahayana religion - which was otherwise not seen on the map, so if I get that and develop a bit I will be able to harmonize it.

Imperial War Fleet was meant to fight a different war, but it did well

That's a new bug
Not even vassal whose claims I pushed joined
I peaced them out by console,  as it was too silly

West Africa looks nice now

Friday, April 21, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 12: 1529-1541: The Great Ming War

I discovered pretty much everything that was discorevable, so Age of Discovery ended.

What followed was weirdly named Age of Reformation. What's reforming again? I guess Imperial cult keeps evolving, it incorporated Vajrayana and (Sunni) Muslim beliefs, and is now in process of incorporating the Hindus. Next on the list are Pagans and Theravada, eventually Shinto and (Coptic) Christians.

Start of new age (modded to start in 1530, now I think 1520 would be more in line with vanilla), and I immediately lost -30 bonus to liberty desire from my tributaries, so Maya, Egypt, and Castile decided to take a break in sending to tribute until I bribed them to give me a break and continue. Except Castile, they'll pay for it.

Also Sinope and Connacht were disloyal because of what their previous overlords did to them. Liberty desire modifiers are now inherited, I'm reasonably sure they used to be reset, and I'd call new behaviour a bug, but nothing a bit of prestige spending wouldn't fix.

And my colonies are now much worse. No more +50 settler growth, no more +1 of each kind of dev on completion.

As long as previous age existed, I had ability to raise free war taxes, but since you actually need to remember to press this button, I only did it once, so I wasted something like 5k gold by just not having a reminder for it. I'll be sure to do it better next campaign.

I had some fun in Africa and Middle East. Sadly I lost a lot of troops, as they got cought in Egypt's one province exclave while coming back from a war, and would suffer attrition for 15 years if I didn't just disband them. I wish there was a way to just force exile own troops in such cases, but not even console can help.

But the real target is Ming. They had following 20 tributaries, with 1659 dev before I started messing with them:

  • Jianzhou horde - 333 dev (+35 vassal Buryatia)
  • 14 Indochinese minors - 805 dev
  • 2 other hordes  - 157 dev
  • Tibetan minors - 150 dev
  • Korea and Ryukyu - 118 dev
  • lands I now held that used to belong to Ming's tributaries - 61

Well, I attacked Ming tributary horde Anxi, bringing Jianzhou as my ally. That instantly kicked huge chunk of their tributary development out of the war - and started ticking up their big neighbour horde disaster.

I hoped it would make Jianzhou separate-peaceable as former tributary, but sadly this bug didn't happen this time. I think that's because it's not former tributary of war leader. Maybe.

I built 20 carracks, more troops, and started slowly moving them to Indonesia, hoping Ming will ignore that.

So next war was Khmer, Lan Xang, and Taungu. And then Annam. And then Champa. And then Dai Viet. And then Pegu and Mong Yang (which wasn't really annexable). Then Sukhotai and Ava. And finally Manipur.

Ming was already at war with me, so it couldn't defend them. Now it was still hostile, so it could just walk over and attack me - but it was distracted in Anxi and Jianzhou.

I got 571 development worth of Ming tributaries for myself. I didn't really have a luxury of staying under 100% overextension, best I could do was stay under 200%. I had 45% coring discount (10% HRE, 10% national ideas, 25% administrative), so at least it cored in half time too.

Jianzhou unfortunately took most of Ming's wrath and bailed out early, but as long as they're not Ming tributary, it doesn't even matter.

In all that my navy - far bigger than I ever had - was just a minor annoyance against Ming navy.

Rebels of all kinds overran my country. My armies becme dominated by mercenaries, but overall it went just fine.

And of course I couldn't just let other countries coalition me, so while I had this huge war, I fought France, Kerman, Castile, and Byzantium with Nubia.

In the end, Ming got reduced to 9 tributaries, worth total of 677:

  • Anxi horde leftover - 25
  • Ayutthaya - 196 - I didn't touch them as they were allied with my tributary Malacca, but they broke it
  • Kham - 134 - amazingly has one province in trade company region, so I can just fabricate on them
  • Korea - 111 - can't fabricate as not in trade company region
  • Kucha - 16
  • Ligor - 13 - still Malacca's ally
  • Mong Yang - 120
  • Oirat horde - 55
  • Ryukyu - 7 - can't fabricate as not in trade company region

60% of their tributary development destroyed in one war. Well, it was a huge war.

Because Ming is bordering me from both sides and Jianzhou, they're losing mandate so fast it will go to zero in about 15 years.

Ming's crisis stopped ticking because they have truce with Jianzhou horde, but it will hopefully resume soon enough.

Back to alchemy after 100 year break
Immortals have a lot of time 

The main Ming war
I won day one when they lost Jianzhou as tributary
Everything else was just extra

Saryupara's independence revolt was enormous
It failed, and as side effect, Byzantium had less than 40k troops left when I attacked

Jianzhou served as a good distraction
Not like I needed them, eventually my vassal swarm got Anxi
War in Indochina and rebel whackamole I had to do myself

Occupied but waiting for annexation, as I really didn't want to go over 200% OE and I needed to annex them in specific order
Even that spawned huge number of rebels

The rest of my empire was just as bad 
I suspect there were probably over 1 million rebels
I have zero manpower and 100k+ mercs.
My final idea wil give me +30% national manpower modifier, so it probably won't be that bad.
I don't think I'll need to do that again anytime soon.

Ming's tributary sphere completely destroyed

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 11: 1521-1529: End of Age of Discovery

It's good that I managed to unify empire 6 months before my truces started to expire, as next unification window would be probably ten or fifteen years later - after all wars are over and I'm done coring. I couldn't even offload overxetension to vassals, as non-imperial vassals bug out when you have imperial vassal swarm.

Ming had decency of rivaling me, so I'll be able to get some power projection. From them becoming invalid rival one month later.

And I was wrong last time, I actually kept imperial ban on Deccan - their provinces did not leave empire, not sure why I was confused.

So I just kept attacking everyone. AE is high, but they can't join coalition if they don't exist. I gradually cancelled some tributaries, which after 5 year truce lets me attack them. I'm fine having tributaries in faraway lands, but it's silly that they'd hold lands in Europe.

My vassal swarm is huge. Our total army was 1300k - even with typical AI mismanagement there's little our enemies can do.

France, Byzantium, and my other targets were being wrecked so effectively that everybody around wanted to join.

I spent my money on manufactories, including those built in vassal territory. And I didn't even notice that it also lets me build in my tributaries' lands, which I definitely did not want. Probably wasted ridiculous amount of money this way.

I actually have a plan to deal with Ming. Here it is:
  • attack Anxi, calling in Jangzhou - Ming will defend them, burning all troops, while getting disaster due to enemy horde bordering them - sadly it won't tick when they have truce
  • while Ming is busy, attack their various tributaries in Indochina - there are some alliance issues (a few are allied with my tributary Malacca), but I should be able to get big chunk of land
  • hopefully it will at least slow down their mandate growth, which is currently at +0.22/month
Or I could just let my vassals destroy Ming - it's a long trip, but it's not like they have anything better to do. That would be somewhat boring.

Next age starts in a few months and its goals are:
  • Embrace Protestantism or Reformed as your state religion - completely impossible, so never
  • Humanist or Religious - I just don't want to do it this time, so never
  • Convert 10 Provinces - I have really awful missionary strength, and I should harmonize rather than convert, but I'll probably get to 10 pagan provinces converted, and then stop and harmonize pagans too, possibly done, or if not I'll get it soon
  • Gain at least 5 colonial nations - already done
  • Convert another nation - already done many times
  • Gain trade bonus in Silk, Spices, or Chinaware - this will be quite hard, but possible. I have 4% Silk, 3% Spices, and 2% Chinaware or required 20%. I could attack my tributary Sunda for spices and center of trade to ship it to Zanzibar. Or I could take enough Chinaware provinces from Ming.
  • Unify Culture - only after I integrate vassal swarm, and even then it will be hard, as there's one Prussian province in deep India, and Nubia is Prussian primary culture and colonizing (they didn't have a single Prussian province originally, but Prussian rulers)

 Africa almost completely discovered
Air, Kongo, and Madagascar all on hit list
I don't plan to leave anyone except Egypt (tributary) and Nubia (too big)

Europe dominated
France almost destroyed
Byzantium still big, but lost their capital

Middle East
I'm mostly expanding here to have high supply route to China and India
Also to create truce timers so they don't coalition me

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 10: 1518-1521: Imperial Unification

There's a new mechanic I discovered. Trade company provinces have 0% min autonomy, ignore non-accepted cultures, and get +100% trade power. At penalty they get -100% tax and -100% manpower.

So no tax and no manpower right? Not even close, because all modifiers except autonomy are additive, so any building you build will be as good as if that province was your accepted culture state - which is huge, as new state limit is really horrible otherwise.

Oh and I finally figured out why a few campaigns ago my colonized provinces wouldn't convert to my culture and religion even though they weren't assigned to a trade company - apparently they changed it and simply being in trade company region is enough. So Cape has this massive ahistorical Fetishist Khoisan population.

So some uncolonized provinces are in colonial regions, some are in trade company regions, some are in regular regions, and they all behave in a different and undocumented ways. Exact borders between them vary every patch. Fun.

I got administrative as 3rd idea group, so I can expand into Africa faster. I'll probably get influence as 4th for unjustified demands discount, as I'll need some creative CB usage to challenge Ming's sphere.

I noticed that I'm really close to passing 7th reform, so I added all my North France provinces to HRE, and that left countdown of very few malcontents.

Almeria - a big blob in Spain, which I long thought was non-member, actually turned out to be part of the empire. They started as 2 province minor, and expanded to 12 provinces and a non-imperial tributary. And since they've been very close to all the anti-French AE, they really didn't like me.

Fortunately I had tools - influencing nations, bestowing imperial grace, gifts, and improving relations, and by August 1519 everybody was willing to vote for unification, even two remaining heretics and a lot of former coalition members.

That left just two issues. First I needed to wait for Ural to integrate or they'd bug out to 300% liberty desire, but that would conveniently finish before any of my truces expired.

And second and much worse was Africa-Bavaria war. It started in 1497, Africa had wargoal at +25 ticker, and nothing whatsoever happened - presumably because they couldn't demand anything as there weren't any forts there, but wouldn't accept white peace as they had massively positive warscore.

I couldn't even enforce peace, as I was allied to Africa, and if I broke it and waited 5 years, well... That would be another mess because then they'd absolutely hate me. I could probably mess with their war using condottieri, but it was all just so dumb, so I white peaced them with console.

And on 1 January 1521 I integrated Ural, and next day I got 4th colonial nation of Canada, and passed 7th reform, getting nice vassal swarm.

That had a few funny side effects:

  • Byzantium's vassal Trebizond became my vassal
  • Almeria's nonimperial tributary Asturias became independent
  • Africa's nonimperial vassal Djerid became independent
  • Deccan's 3 imperial provinces they got from diploannexing Turkestan simply left empire
  • All imperial vassals and tributaries became my vassals

I thought I'd get claims on Turkestan, like you normally do when someone refuses to become your vassal, but it seriously doesn't matter, and I have better things to do that first another great power for literally 9 development in wrong direction.

By the way I pondered cheesing France into empire by giving them back Paris, but that kind of plan had to be done 200 AE ago. Or back in CK2. Right now I can just eat everyone, use vassal's armies to conquer them, and my vassal's mana to core their land.

I have a much bigger project in mind.

So this forces me to send troops to my colonies
And once I do that, next steps become much clearer

My empire in Europe
I need to destroy any competition

Global empire
They seriously ought to make vassals and tributaries a different color
They also seriously need to increase max zoom out, as it already doesn't quite fit

Monday, April 17, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 09: 1507-1518: Failed Ming Challenge

I passed Proclaim Erbkaisertum on December 1515. The next one creates vassal swarm, and needs to be passed unanimously, so it will take a while.

Some testing revealed a bug that if I vassalize HRE, then all non-HRE vassals (Ural) will have 100% liberty desire, as they count strength of HRE vassals.

This is highly problematic, as it means I need to integrate Ural before 7th reform and stop making new vassals until I pass the 8th and lose all bonuses. Having vassal swarm is probably optimal for power level, so it's a shame. I could spend over 400 prestige to placate them temporarily, but it's a really a bad solution.

I kept fighting Mali, and I got a strange coalition of Portugal, Egypt, Deccan, and nobody else. It took some creative diplomacy to make them disband. I also discovered another bug - I guaranteed Portugal, then made them my tributary. That made guarantee impossible to cancel, but still wasting a relations slot.

I reached Indonesia in 1510, a good deal ahead of schedule, with just threaten war range from Madagascar. I'm a bit surprised I didn't need to colonize Diego Garcia or Mauritius, or take any other stops in between.

I discovered Ming, but I couldn't make them my rival. They passed 2 of 5 reforms (in vanilla they'd have 4 or 5 by now), and were completely surrounded by 23 tributary states.

I had a few plans to be a border:

  • fabricate on coastal province bordering Ming from the South, held my Dai Viet, threaten war, get border
  • fabricate on coastal province bordering Ming from the North, held by Jiangzhou, threaten war, get border - turns out Ming's border is exactly where trade company regions end, so I'm just one province too far
  • fabricate on Pegu, attack them, fully conquer, and get border this way
  • go through Ural into Anxi

The first plan worked with some creative diplomacy, and in March 1518 I got border with Ming, which increased price of tea, sugar, and chinaware, and gave me nice CB.

What I hoped would happen would be Ming's mandate falling down real hard. Unfortunately that's not how it works at all.

It doesn't count all my development, but only development of lands it borders - so of that one Dai Viet province, and nothing else. Even worse testing revealed that if I connected my capital to theirs through Ural, it would still only count my Asian provinces.

So the whole anti-Ming plan finished way ahead of schedule (exploration / expansion finishers allowing overseas fabrication plus threaten war work very well together), and I still managed to fail miserably.

This means that in vanilla pretty much nobody can challenge Ming - Western Europeans don't count, Russia almost doesn't count (its Siberian provinces are too poor), Japan or some Indonesian regional power won't really count.

That leaves pretty much:
  • big Manchu horde
  • big Mongol horde
  • big Timurid horde
  • Indian blob
And that only with Fun and Balance increased penalties for bordering non-tributaries. In vanilla, you'll at most stall their progress.

Even if somehow their mandate goes to 0, or someone takes their mandate, that causes zero unrest, they keep their tributaries.

And war for Mandate of Heaven won't even allow me to transfer or cancel their tributaries without paying massive amount of bird mana. And I can't attack them directly to cancel or transfer that.

It's all ridiculous on so many levels. It's like they hired DDRJake for PR not QA.

I had a few more ideas, and ran into even more game fails - I allied Jianzhou (apparently it's totally fine to ally other countries' tributaries), and hoped that would make them want to go independent, but nope. There's no way to support independence of tributaries, their relative strength counts only them not me, and Ming took Danish -30 subject liberty desire age bonus (which at least expires 1530, but even that won't be enough to make Jianzhou disloyal).

So maybe they could help me attack Ming? It's possible in theory, but they'd never accept as it would destabilize them.

I guess I could simply send a lot of troops over and attack Ming. They have no allies, and their tributaries won't defend them, so I only need to defeat their 120k army, 23 heavy ship (101 total) navy, merc spam, and 24 forts. 

So updated plan:
  • create 7 colonial nations - adding Canada, New Prussia, Colombia, and Australia to existing Brazil, West Indies, and La Plata
  • keep fighting Mali
  • integrate Ural so I can pass 7th reform safely
  • avoid getting more AE in Europe, so I can pass 7th reform
And as for Ming:
  • and Jianzhou integrates their vassal Buryatia, conquers more of Korea and other hordes, and new age starts, they might just become disloyal, so I could kick at least them out of Ming's sphere
  • I could expand a lot harder in Africa and Indonesia, and then just march my armies from Malacca onto conquering spree in Indochina
  • I had a silly idea of conquering some provinces and selling them to Deccan, so they wreck Ming's mandate not me. In theory just 9 provinces would be needed, but it would rely on AI wanting all that land.
  • I could conquer Central Asia - it wouldn't count my European provinces, but there's a lot more development there than in Siberia. Together it would be nice supplemental front.
  • Whenever I fight Ming I could just stall that and attack all their tributaries freely. It doesn't work like HRE, where you can't do that. The only thing I could do would be conquer and core them myself, but it's still doable.
  • Invading Ming and destroying their prosperity would also help reduce their mandate a little.
Ming's tributary system is huge

Sunday, April 16, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 08: 1496-1507: Peace in the Empire

Byzantium, great power number 3, is no longer my valid rival, and I don't even see Ming, great power number 2. My explorer is in process of circumnavigating the world. Hopefully he'll find that Ming everybody's talking about, and maybe I'll be able to rival them. I wish there was any way whatsoever to mod possible rivals.

Aztecs developed Renaissance on Cuba. Which seems extremely pointless as it spread to Jamaica which is owned by my colonial nation, after Maya gave it to me peacefully. They got into another war with the Incas, and this time they lost, but in both cases these aren't big border changes.

I got colonialism in Hamburg. If I get printing press, I'll probably get every single institution origin. I even managed to get all 11 age bonuses - 7 regular ones, and 4 tag specific ones. The last few are rather useless.

Thanks to tiny colony in Delaware I managed to make half of North American countries into my tributaries.

I got into fight with Byzantium, with Khiva as non-cobeligerent, but actual main target. I got 4 provinces for Ural, bringing me a bit closer to Ming. I don't want to send any troops this way, as it's all atrociously low supply land.

I got a good chunk of Byzantium including 4 castles and 2 centers of trade, and that spawned a big 26-member coalition against me, and made empire members outraged.

There's actually quite a few coalitions around. Holland, Almeria, Kiev, Pannonia, are all coalition targets, maybe some more. And some countries are both in coalition and target of coalition.

I politely asked Kongo, Kiwa, and Mahafaly for trade ports, and they all obliged. I should be able to rich Indonesia in a decade.

I passed 4th reform Enact Gemeiner Pfennig in September 1501. I got to 50 authority in 1506, but everybody's outraged at my annexation of Byzantine lands, so I only passed Ewiger Landfriede in December 1507 with 65 authority. There's still 5 ongoing wars, but they shouldn't last too long.

This is still very fast pace, and next reform allows me to hold imperial vassals without using any slots, so I'll be able to extend my diplomacy. 7th is the hardest, as I need unanymous vote, not just majority, and I still want to expand into Byzantium and France. I guess I could always vassalize countries manually.

I want to reduce size of the coalition - so far I allied Arabia, which is a nice way to make countries leave coalition, and they're rivals of my future inevitable enemy Deccan. Now I'm improving relations with various mid-sized empire members and spending money influencing them - once only small countries are left coalition should fall apart.

France got a golden era.

Then Mazovia, Itil, Rus, Kiev, Bolghar, Azerbaijan, and Arabia all got golden era on same day - presumably whichever day they got map of America from me. And a few more countries later.

My empire currently has:
  • 115 provinces of demesne, worth 1445 development
  • 159 imperial princes
  • 1 non-imperial vassal Ural
  • 2 non-imperial allies - Inca and Arabia
  • 2 strong trade companies - West and South African
  • 3 weak colonial nations - Brazil, Caribbean, and La Plata (Canada, and Colombia in progress)
  • 26 tributaries on three continents

War with Mali was very easy, their troops fought Benin

War with Byzantium and Khiva
Nubia weirdly actually send some troops to defend Byzantium

Byzantine armies ignored own lands and decided the real war is Far North

Meanwhile I'm sieging down Byzantium
I managed to sink their whole fleet piecemeal, but tech 9 happened mid-war, so everybody will rebuild their fleets anyway

Peasant reinforcements. Peasants even captured Constantinople (war goal as Sinope's claim).
I took it second time without fighting the peasants to keep Byzantium busy at peace.

Incas and Maya attacking Aztecs and their march Muisca
Incas won but only a few provinces

My empire and its allies

Saturday, April 15, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 07: 1487-1496: Reforming the Hofgericht

I decided that the best direction of expansion is all of them. So I ended up with different policy per theater.

In South America, I allied the Incas as we both hate the Aztec. Conquistador is searching for lost cities of gold. I'm setting up as many colonial nations as possible, and avoidance of military conflict.

In North America, I threatened Maya with war over Jamaica. Then I got Maya and Creek as tributaries. I'll settle some random colonies soon, to turn other North American minors into my tributaries - they're High American tech group, so conquest would be hard.

In Wesern Europe, the policy is crushing France every truce timer. There's some coalition risk there, as Spanish minors are mostly same culture and religion as France, so perhaps I should just conquer them too.

In Eastern Europe, I'm just ignoring Byzantium, as it's more able to defend itself - especially on sea, and it's just less worth the effort. They have gold mines in Serbia, so I'll deal with them eventually.

In Africa, the policy is to to settle random islands for extended range. I have a settler traveling to Cape now, and from there on the plan is to seize key Indian Ocean islands as well as East African coastline and gold mines. And of course fighting everybody as soon as practical - I plan to chain Mali war into cleanup of all Western African minors, and then as soon as I get expansion finisher to bring war to Kongo.

In the Far East, I cancelled some tributaries to conquer 4 of them to setup big Ural as vassal instead. Deccan got empire member Yaik as vassal, but they lost it soon after. They're still holding imperial lands formerly belonging to Turkestan as well as other land, so I'll deal with them at some point. Just ticking warscore might be enough to get those provinces and avoid having to travel all the way to India.

Ural instantly got golden age - as they discovered America (they got my maps as I annexed and released them), embraced Renaissance in their capital state, and were present on two continents (Europe and Asia). That's quite impressive, as it's only the 3rd golden age after Byzantium and the Aztecs. Well, I could have it too, but it seems pointless that early.

I discovered a new bug - France was allied with my tributaries Asturias and Aragon. And game decided that means I can't separate peace them "You cannot negotiate separate peace with someone who is a former subject of the defender". Well, they were mine not theirs. And same again fighting Komi and Yamalia.

I passed third reform in February 1496. It was a few years late, as I was at war or overextended, and wasted a lot of authority this way.

I got two more free cored provinces due to disappearing empire member core bug. High development Somerset in English channel node, and some irrelevant Carpathian county.

The mythical Horse Island!

French Moroccan coast seized
Big Ural vassal - it's not realistic Ming plan yet, but dominating Central Asia is a backup plan in case coastal expansion around Africa takes way too long

Friday, April 14, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 06: 1476-1487: African Gold

France took two more provinces in war with Bavaria. I attacked them, took my claims in English channel, freed Sardinia, used that age ability to transfer overlordship over Brittany for half cost (long time ago I wanted Brittany for extended colonial range, then I discovered vassals no longer increase range), but without a good CB those African provinces would be too much bird mana, so I let them have them for now.

I got 1000 development, so I'm now a double empress, which gives me amazing bonus of freely accepted 3 cultures which don't exist any more. Much more useful was +5 to state limit.

In September 1479 I managed to pass first imperial reform.That's free CB on Deccan and France (holding imperial vassals like Byzantium doesn't count),  -5% construction cost, and -5% development cost.

Then I passed second reform in October 1486, for +1 diplomat, and +1 diplomatic reputation.

That needed some proper celebration, which required some gold, and Mali had 3 mines, which I could conveniently get in a single war. Sadly I could only core coastal provinces, and only after that next tier, so it was long low level overextension.

On another upside, I got enough Muslims that I'll be able to embrace them into imperial cult someday. Like, my family has been practically running Sunni and Shia caliphates for about 500 years, we solved doctrinal disputes between Sunni and Zikri, and one of past caliphs was a Buddhist woman, so it all makes perfect sense.

I attacked Byzantium with the most useless CB, as that allowed me to break their alliances on day zero and get some power projection. Weirdly the "can transfer subject at half cost" ability I get from age bonus worked, even though CB disables the regular version. This time our fleets were about even, or at least we thought so, as neither side attacked the other.

Since there was no better way, I took over their two vassals as mine, and instead annexed my two old vassals to free some relations slots.

Elector Wales made elector Scotland a tributary, so that was another authority problem I'll need to fix. Right now they're losing so many wars I can't even intervene as there's nothing left to occupy.

Total monthly authority gain is:

  • +0.53 from 159 princes (out of original 170)
  • -0.10 from Scotland being Welsh tributary
  • -0.02 from 2 heretic princes
  • -0.02 from 5 provinces occupied by foreigners (3 by Deccan, 2 by France). There's actually 1 more occupied by Luxembourg, but since they're my tributary, that somehow doesn't count.
At current pace, unification should happen around 1560. Or around 1545 if I deal with Welsh problem.

Deccan declared war on Ming tributary Anxi, so they're having a fun war over there. I want to reach Ming, but current plan is to aggressively push around Africa. This requires expansion ideas finisher (or a lot of no-CB wars, or a lot of colonists wasting time instead of setting up colonial nations). Some quick calculations suggest I won't get border with Ming before 1550 or so.

I could do it much faster going through Central Asia. That feels like a distraction from my colonial plans, but I have spare force limit for another army or two. That won't be enough to challenge Ming, but I can attack various minors. That 3 development 100% devastation province I accidentally got might be quite useful for this.

The Aztecs started golden era. Probably because extra production I gave them in their capital as converter bugfix made it over 30+ dev province goal.

That's second golden era after Byzantium. AI presses this button as soon as possible, but requiring 3 age goals makes it pretty hard.

The Empire requires your gold

I couldn't choose "Prussian vassal" but I could choose "Prussian Vassal"
And they say capitalization doesn't matter

Colonial Empire
First tiny Colonial Nation of Brazil, with Caribbean in progress
I have no hope of getting any value out of them until I get full control over English Channel or Sevilla

My demesne, vassals, and tributaries (annoyingly same color)
Royal marriages blue
"Russian Russia" is not even part of Russia, it's Rus

Thursday, April 13, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 05: 1469-1476: Everybody Meddles in Imperial Affairs

I did some testing and Confucian harmonization makes other religion's peasants treated as true religion (except you can't culture convert them), but it doesn't seem to affect foreign relations. So I should have started doing harmonizing it a decade ago, since it takes 33 years per religion, disregarding random events.

It's getting harder to deal with remaining infidels. Initially my vassals aligned themselves into alliances by religion, so when I fought 10 of them, that meant 10 conversions. Now it's all much more mixed, so 10 rebellious vassals might mean 2 convertible infidels, 2 too big infidels, and 6 others caught in the conflict.

Fortunately I have another tool at my disposal - enforcing religious unity. They'll mostly reject, but I'll have a CB. The downside is that it's a -25 opinion with every infidel for every use. Fortunately the whole thing times out after 25 years of not using it (quite a few modifiers have no timeouts, just slow decay, they can be seriously annoying), but I'll need to wait a while for authority to accumulate anyway. Another upside is that it gives just slight discount on wargoal, so I can convert primary war target up to 133% warscore, and that's actually quite a few countries.

I got into some such fights, and that brought Damietta and Ming tributary Anxi into it. I hoped I'd be able to cancel Anxi's relations with Ming in the peace deal, but no such luck.

At the same time I had to deal with Pannonia as soon as possible, and they brought in France. Fortunately now that I actually remember how to play this game, I stackwiped French army without too much trouble, and did similar things to their navies even though on paper theirs was larger.

One thing I really wish was possible was somehow hiding labels for all neutral armies, so I can actually see all the enemy stacks. CK2 does it, even though there it's actually really awful and makes raiding harder - as neutral armies go instantly hostile, so you really need to know where they are.

While I was fighting infidels after infidels Byzantium attacked Sinope - infidel vassal. Their timing was pretty smart. I had no easy way to send the troops - Byzantine navy was stronger than mine, as they've proven in two big battles, and I'd have to siege my way there through many forts even if I committed everything from day one, which I didn't. In the end, since I wasn't warleader, Byzantines just sieged one OPM, and got themselves a second imperial vassal.

At least I got huge relationship bonuses for actually doing my job and defending empire and I managed to convince 4 countries to joined the Imperial Cult - including (with some serious diplomatic shenanigans) Bavaria, who'd otherwise be far too big to flip by any war.

Meanwhile France got Sardinia as tributary state in another war. That's total of 8 provinces held by non-members.

All that leaves just 6 infidel vassals, down from original 95 - Algiers, Galich, Crimea, Sinope (under Byzantium), Ulster, and Itil.

That's ETA for unification about 1540. Or it could happen even faster if I removed a few more infidels and pushed back against France, Byzantium, and Deccan. I could maybe finish it before next era starts in 1530, so I can face Ming without distractions.

I still want to attack Mali for gold mines and Maya for Caribbean colonial nation, but I was just so busy all the time.

My armies are finally getting artillery, so sieges should be a good deal faster.

Country of Kaffa off the map declared independence war against Nubia, which turned into the most epic war so far. Attackers were: Kaffa, Deccan, Egypt, Rajastan, Ajuuraan, Mysore, Gondwana. Defenders were: Nubia, Khiva, Baghdad, Arabia. Both side had bigger army than I do, by a significant margin. All for a 15 development country.

So far Kaffa is winning. They're most notable for having the last Chrisitans anywhere, but their overlord made them Confucian, so not sure it will last long enough. Then again, Confucians have just the weakest missionaries of anyone, so maybe I'll find some when I arrive.

Both France and Ming's tributaries are meddling in imperial affairs

This was once entire French army 

War of African Colonialism

Too many infidel distractions to be able to deal with Byzantium properly
And now we have truce until 1483
ETA for first reform is 1480, so I'll have some sweet CBs on them

Great Kaffa War for Independence

Empire and its 8 missing provinces