I only achieved 4/7 age of reformation goals, and got 10/11 bonuses - but that included all the good ones, and even some worthless ones, so not exactly complaining.
I captured Kyoto and got some event, that said something about daimyos becoming independent, but Japan kept its one vassal.
I accepted Greeks and 2 Chinese cultures, just to avoid silly "Empreror of China in name only" disaster.
In October 1603 Byzantium got "internal conflicts", a "decade of utter chaos", but I ended it in August 1604 by full annexation.
Fighting Aztecs I got into huge naval battle with 17 heavies on each side, which I somehow won. I messed up that war, with all troops going South, and very few North, and Aztecs attacked Northern armies and actually beat them.
It seems like Aztecs deleted a lot of forts this time before upgrading to next level, so once my Southern armies broke through it was quite easy.
After that I just waited a bit, as it was absolutely essential that I'd start new era while at peace. I even let Ming truce lapse for 2 months.
Well, and here was the idea: go to max absolutism (90 in my case asap). Sadly what I could do was quite underwhelming, I could only decrease autonomy in a few provinces for +10 absolutism, and do one harsh treatment for +1, at cost of 90 sword mana, which is not exactly amazing exchange rate.
Actually, I had a sweet idea. Whenever I load the game every vassal offers me royal marriage, which reduces legitimacy, so I can spend 100 sword mana to strengthen government for +2 absolutism. Well, 21 is a decent level to get week one. All that gave me 8.5% admin efficiency, on top of 10% from technology.
I got to 100% mercantilism. I had so much money, I just paid for manufactories in every possible province in my tributaries - good chunk of their trade leaks to me, so it's not completely crazy.
World conquest progress:
- own: 9138 ⇒ 9664
- vassal: 4016 ⇒ 3941
- colony: 974 ⇒ 1192
- tributary state: 3632 ⇒ 3852
- foreigners: 5291 ⇒ 5036
- uncolonized: 1031 ⇒ 896
There's 11 independent foreign countries left.
I start with 3 age goals fulfilled:
- 3+ trade companies
- 5+ universities
- 200+ force limit
Three more will be in progress:
- be emperor of China
- have 90+ absolutism (I suspect getting China will reduce my max to 80 as +10 of my max is from legitimacy which I'll lose, so it might be impossible without shenanigans)
- have 5+ accepted cultures (I have only 4, I'd need new states to get another)
I think this event does nothing if Japan is already united, but thanks for free mana
The only way to save them from their internal conflicts was full annexation
Aztec borders pushed a bit so many times, still very far from their core territory