Thursday, May 11, 2017

God Empress of Prussia: Part 24: 1639: The End

There's no challenge left, and I couldn't really think of any meaningful additional goals, so I'm just ending this megacampaign, 769-1639, or 870 years, 375 of which under God-Empress Weslikan IV, who's 389 years old by now.

As final post, here are stories of my tributaries Jianzhou and Bunyoro.

Jianzhou is in extremely dire situation:
  • Near-zero horde unity (and decreasing -3.5/year), so repeated tribal rebellions
  • Near -100 prestige
  • >90% corruption
  • Only +5 income at 283 development
  • -25 expenditures - half of it due to being over force limit (just 26) and paying interest
  • Near permanent bankruptcy an a result, and every bankruptcy risks another civil war disaster
  • >97% devastation and >75% autonomy in every province except around capital fort which reduced that
  • 4/6/8 tech with zero ideas taken ever, while civilized countries are at 19/19/19
  • literally no institutions except feudalism, so total penalty to tech was +189% institutions, +90% corruption, +50% bankruptcy, with zero hope of getting there; completely swamping -75% neighbour bonus, -5% tributary bonus, and -10% tech cost from some event
  • 15% inflation as it all above wasn't enough
I've never seen country so ran into the ground, and I don't think it was even possible before devastation and corruption systems. And the only reason other AIs like Korea didn't just destroy Jianzhou was because they were my ally and then tributary.

I don't think there's any way for AI to recover from this. I tried sending them money, even building free manufactories in their territory, it was all hopeless.

It would be hard even for player - best I could think of is just deleting armies and one ship, taking loans or debasing currency, spending all on institutions (3 were embraceable, Global Trade would spread there soon too), and going bankrupt as many times as necessary until all were embraced.

After that just avoid building armies and further bankrupcies, try to pay back corruption and inflation. Building a bunch of low level castles could reduce devastation - even if autonomy has to stay awful.

From that point on, neighbour bonus can really help catch up in tech, and maybe after that there's even a way to reform out of steppe horde. I guess if it goes well, there's hope to turn it into a functioning country by the time for Vic2 conversion.

And a second story - of Bunyoro. Institutions fall into groups:

  • first four spawn (or are pre-spawned) in specific places, usually Europe, and if you're not in Europe
  • last three can spawn anywhere, so they are super easy to get - especially Global Trade is trivial as any center of trade gets it
So it's really no surprise that Bunyoro in deep Central Africa has Global Trade. But how the hell it still lacks anything before that?

Well, they only spread from neighbour provinces, but its only neighbour is Karangwe, and they're rivals, so spread is very slow. And then Karangwe's only neighbour is Buha, who presumably was a rival for most of their history, as there's only so many rival slots they have.

And then there's some uncolonized land - amazingly borders over Lake Tanganyika counts as neighbouring provinces for sake of institutions spread.

After which it starts all over, with multilayer rival sandwich - until it finally reaches European colonies.

And that's only thanks to 1.20 rules. If the whole campaign was in 1.21, trade company provinces would not get the institutions just because their owner embraced them, so none of Central Africa would ever see anything - at least not until it comes province by province from Europe.

It seems that Central Africa would be quite a challenging campaign.

So a few thoughts about new mechanics:

  • absolutism is overpowered, if you care about late game, even without cheesing things
  • Court and Country is pretty much mandatory crisis to self-trigger if you care about late game
  • absolutism means republics got nerfed silly, as well as constitutional/elective/English/Dutch monarchies, and any government type that doesn't use legitimacy
  • Ming is overpowered
  • unless you're in East Asia and can do it early, actually taking over Emperorship of China feels like mostly a bad idea - by late game losing 20 absolutism (+8% admin efficiency, +1% discipline, -10% foreign core duration) is probably worth more than Emperor bonuses you'll get, and you have to jump through silly hoops to get there
  • the whole age goals and bonuses system is seriously underwhelming

As for tributaries:
  • Tributaries are super useful - but you only get them as Confucian, Buddhist, Shinto, Steppe Horde, or Emperor of China
  • Buddhist varieties still seem like awful religions, being penalized for expanding in game about expanding
  • Confucian seems underpowered, but at least it's unique. Price to pay for harmonizing is quite steep, so you might want to take religious, and mix conversion with harmonization.
  • Steppe Horde is absolutely awful government type
  • Empire of China is only worth it if you can get it early
  • Shinto got unique mechanics, but I still have no idea what they are - and I really have no clue if Japan is any good
As for megacampaigns:
  • Early CK2 was really fun
  • Last few centuries of CK2 were rather boring, as I was blobbed as hell
  • Then it became fun for a while in EU4, but only because I did this ridiculous level of nerfing
  • And then it became boring again
  • CK2 and EU4 are both such long games that straightforward converting after them feels rather silly
  • I have a feeling that something like Vic3 to HoI4 could be fun, as you can start as tiny country, grow into medium tier power, and then there's still fun game ahead. Then again, there's no such converter, and no Vic3 in the first place.
  • Highly gimmicky CK2 campaign could turn into nice EU4 campaign. Like random character every generation tier gimmicky.
  • I'm not sure EU4 even supports meaningful gimmicks
  • a lot of EU4 content (unique events, ideas, missions), is disabled in converted campaigns, even if tags match
Some campaign ideas:

  • start in Ming tributary area, or near it (Japan, India, or Indonesia), play as tributary for a while, and fight for mandate against initially overwhelming Ming
  • just let CK2 play itself for a while, convert, and have fun with that - possibly as High American minor, or as whichever weird religion/culture combination seems like fun
  • deep African minors might actually be interesting - different parts of Africa having different strengths and challenges, but institutions always being a problem. There's big choice to go Sunni or Coptic, or remain Fetishist (which got some unique mechanics recently)
  • CK2 trying to go through as many religions as possible within same dynasty might be fun, now that switching is so much easier in latest patch and its updated secret religion system (released after I finished CK2 campaign)

Institutions are so silly they had 5th institution before any other

Failed state of Jianzhou

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