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.