Saturday, November 18, 2017
Bengal: Part 01: 1444-1450: Opening moves
So the modpack for this campaign is:
• exported Oman CK2+ campaign (1000-1350), with some edits to cover missing century and inevitable bugfixes
• some hacks to make "historical" events, missions, and decisions work (they're normally mostly disabled in converter games)
• trade node map edited so Oman, Constantinople, and English Channel are end nodes (not Genoa or Venice)
• latest Fun and Balance
Campaign outline plan is:
• playing Buddhist Bengal
• form Bharat, conquer India
• wreck Ming, become emperor of China
• wreck Oman, take over all Indian Ocean trade
• take administrative ideas first, maybe stay away from colonization for a change
• watch Europe burn - I'm hoping Spain and Russia appear (Great Britain can't as Anglo-Saxons can't form it)
For some historical background - empire of Oman, offended by Hindu caste system, conquered South, Central, and West India from the Hindus, and setup variety of Jewish merchant republics and Jain feudal minors. After Oman's withdrawal, many of its minors fell, so India is now a mix of 4 religions, and 11 cultures in 4 culture groups, not counting some Khazars and Lithuanian Ceylon - which actually happened centuries before Oman got involved.
Buddhist Bengal, ruled over by the ancient Pala dynasty, managed to avoid any conflict with Oman. Current queen is 29 year old Devavati, 2/1/4, secretive, and obsessive perfectionist. Her 6 year old relative rules in Orissa.
Bengal starts as 20th power with 143dev, and would actually just qualify for 8th Great Power in its 1350 borders, but Orissa gavelkinded and Bihar got good chunk of bordergore cleanup.
For Bharat it starts with 7/10 needed provinces, requiring Koch from Kamarupa, Cuttack from Orissa, and Bundelkhand from Delhi (with Bihar standing on the way).
Here are random ideas I got - nothing special:
• opener: -20% infantry cost, -15% cavalry cost
• +15% privateer efficiency
• -0.5% prestige decay
• -20% diplomatic annexation cost
• +15% manpower recovery speed
• +0.15 yearly inflation reduction
• +1 tolerance of true faith
• +10% religious unity
• bonus: +1% missionary strength
Overall nothing special. I could stack that annexation cost discount with influence ideas for -45%, but that's wrong kind of campaign for it.
So first war was conquest of Kamarupa, getting me first required province. Then I showed strength against Ava for some mana. Then took Cuttack from Orissa and humiliated them for age bonus.
Renaissance spawned in Alexandria, so maybe it's not completely hopeless. Oman took Alexandria, so if it spreads there, it's just Baluchistan and then West India. It might plausibly reach me by 1500.
I got a ton of tributaries, to deliver me desperately needed manpower.
I was taking a break when Ming's tributary U-Tsang attacked my tributary Nepal.
The first huge obstacle to my plans is that Bihar became Ming's tributary, and I need it to access last province I need to form Bharat. I guess I could fight Ming, they're only 5x stronger than me.
I'm mid-tier power stuck between Ming and Oman. If both of them leave me alone while I conquer India, this will be easy campaign. Otherwise, maybe less so.
This mix of religions and cultures sure helps with AE, but then hurts with unrest.
I got a few strong allies, and a ton of minors as tributaries. Nepal is at war with Garhwal, so they looked like a good target, especially if AI somehow ignored me.
For now I'm blobbing rather slowly, but due to so many mid-tier powers having similar development, I jumped from 20th to 9th place already.
Bengal: Part 02: 1450-1462: Bharat
War between U-Tsang and Nepal concluded really quickly.
I wanted to threaten Bihar for one province, but they'd have none of it. Fortunately Ming tried to force tribute on Hsenwi, who were allied with Ayutthaya and Mong Yang, and they were losing. I planned to take advantage of their distraction, but another one of my tributaries got attacked by Ming's Lan Na.
Lan Na war ended, and I had decent shot at tech 5 before anyone else, so I just attacked Bihar. 19k vs 95k troops, not that bad. Ming only sent limited forces, so it was more like 2:1 against me, which with tech advantage resulted in fairly one-sided war.
Ming embarassingly ended up white peacing Hsenwi as well. Well, I had to milk it for all it was worth - getting 105% overextension in process, and having such mana shortage I only finished coring it all 7 years after annexation.
In 1459 I became Bharat.
U-Tsang started another war against my tributary. Ming's sphere and mine are fighting a lot.
Right now I could go on a conquering spree, but I'll probably be better off spending next 1500 or so paper mana on admin tech 5 and first two admin ideas to get double discount.
Ming sent one stack over, I had to fight them a few months before unlocking next sword tech. Against all West Indian minors it was a series of stackwipes, and Ming got exhausted with the war and white peaced out.
It went a lot better than expected. I'm still very far from able to challenge Ming in a fair war.
6 Old World Great Powers and their spheres. I rushed Bharat as it gives me permanent claims and therefore big mana discounts on all of India. Now I'll probably do nothing for about 10 years while getting next tech and admin ideas.
Ming got another tributary in India after I annexed Bihar, so that's a bit annoying.
Renaissance is spreading through Oman, but I'll probably have to dev push next two institutions.
I'm doing really poorly with age objectives. I thought I'd dev push Renaissance and get 30dev province objective this way, but now it seems too wasteful. I guess 5 CoTs (2 so far), presence on second continent (no-CB African minor), or conquering Oman's capital for 30dev province are possible ideas for later.
Bengal: Part 03: 1462-1475: Turns out I'm not Ming-tier just yet
I had abundance of sword mana, so I used it to develop my capital up to 30dev for age objective.
I finally could reduce autonomy everywhere, build some temples.
My 2/1/4 queen abdicated to her 2/3/4 son. There's no good way to import agnatic/cognatic settings from CK2 right now, gender chances are hardcoded per culture.
Ming's tributary Orissa attacked my tributary, which reduced Ming's presence in India to one province. Another Ming's tributary Lan Na got annexed fighting my tributaries. And their U-Tsang attacked Guge second time.
The sphere vs sphere fights are really interesting. AI aggressiveness is crazy high among Ming's tributaries - do they think that Ming is going to help them or what?
The calm was broken when Ming attacked Hsenwi the second time, and I was called to help them. Their 90k vs my 32k and 25k by Hsenwi and its other friends. Not best odds. And those retards went charging into Ming's forts instead of playing defensively.
Fortunately all I had to do was defend minors' forts, and ignore what Ming's blockade of my coast was doing to my war exhaustion. Ming was soon forced into infinite merc spam - it will be nice when next patch nerfs it a bit.
In the end it was extremely painful, I ended up deeply in debt, with hugely negative manpower, and with rebels overrunning my territory. A far better strategy would be to throw Hsenwi under the bus when Ming atacked and build power base in India first.
Oh well, at least I got admin ideas now, so once my country recovers a bit I'll be able to expand in India.
Getting my country wrecked to defend Hsenwi feels like very poor use of my resources. Ming won't even care for all the mercs who died in its pointless war, and they'll repay their 3 loans in no time.
Ming is about 3x-4x stronger than me depending on how you count, and minor AI allies were all idiots.
Bengal: Part 04: 1475-1486: Conquest of South India
I went into South India to conquer more land. It turns out I can core through my tributaries same as through my vassals - but I can't take land bordering them. So it only half works.
The first war was against Tamilakam and some minors, and it went relatively smoothly.
I was still slowly recovering after Ming war - Ming had zero trouble and repaid its loans ages ago. When it finally seemed like I could be getting ready to do something, I got called into multiple wars.
I accepted, decided I'm going to do absolutely nothing about it, and went to war against Maharastra, Jewish Ceylon, and random minors. They had nearly double my numbers, but were one mil tech behind, so it wasn't too bad.
Ceylon tried to invade mainland, then they'd withdraw to their island whenever my troops came to fight. It was overall fairly painful but very profitable in land and gold. 9 provinces I took had 5 forts. I think it's not even AI, it's the converter.
Converter bugs also caused one province to be of "noreligion", I'm not sure what exactly caused that so I console fixed it instead of investigating.
Renaissance reached Baluchistan, but is moving extremely slowly from there. It also reached my South India provinces via Omani Maldives.
Just as I almost paid off my loans, I need to start saving for Renaissance. And then maybe to create some kind of a fleet.
Hopefully Ming leaves me alone for a while, and there aren't any coalitions in spite of fairly high AE.
My lands are split into 3 part bordergore, and I seriously considered getting Saurashtra to turn into 5 parts just to be closer to Renaissance in Baluchistan.
I lost my last 2 light ships to misclick in Ming war, so the only way to walk between parts of my empire is through tributary lands of Udayagiri and Kalyani.
I had a nice alliance with Rajputana going, but it broke by event while I was in their war. The one with Maharashtra broke up randomly too a while back. All my alliances just keep dying like that.
I'd be best off allying Ming and dividing our spheres in South-East Asia, but AI Ming wouldn't agree to that.
Those random Itilian Separatists are from one Khazar province - leftover from Omani Jewish India plan. It was also noreligion, maybe some Jewish heresy didn't convert properly?
Bengal: Part 05: 1486-1498: The Renaissance
So for I don't know which campaign in a row, I keep forgetting that I took free wartaxes bonus. It would have saved me crazy amounts of money. I haven't seen a single person streaming EU4 ever remember this either. There should really be some kind of free war taxes alert.
As Buddhist at permanent -100 karma, I have ministers resign like every other year, and that's extremely annoying. It feels like it's bottom tier religion. Karma is extremely negative for expanding, and what else is there to do?
I had some wars in India, intervened in some South-East Asian wars. I've been rapidly increased in power, it feels like I'm about half as strong as Ming, and a 3rd Great Power, even if it's very distant 3rd behind Oman and Ming.
Wait for the Renaissance was far too long, and I think I'd have been better off if I just dev pushed it day one. Even though I sort of neighboured Oman where it spawned - it still took very long time to spread from its origin in Alexandria to Maldives. I still had to take a big loan to pay 1100 gold for it.
I'm surrounded by tributaries on almost every side, so I might start having troubles with expanding soon. I could cancel some, but if I cancel and Ming offers protection instead, that's going to be quite painful. Normally I'd just colonize my way out of the problem, but I'm going to try just one campaign where I don't rush exploration ideas.
Time for some paradox math!
Spread via Baluchistan on which I counted didn't happen at all. If it wasn't for Maldives I'd be waiting until 1550 probably - and even that took some serious shenanigans to get in 1498 - natural spread would probably be 1520 or so.
Ming will probably catch up fast - I have good relations with my tributaries, so they'll get it quick, and then it will creep its way to Ming borders. Once I inevitably dev push colonialism, Ming will get it quite fast as well. I think older westernization system led to far better gameplay.
Sphere boundaries. India is almost all me and my tributaries, and soon I won't have anywhere to expand, unless I build a big fleet and no-CB someone in Indonesia or Africa.
Bengal: Part 06: 1498-1504: How Hsenwi Won Against Ming
Ming attacked Hsenwi once more. It had 84k troops to my 35k. Hsenwi's 9k and Ming's vassal Mongolia didn't really matter. Stupid Hsenwi charged into Ming's forts and got itself stackwiped before war even started properly. At times like that I wish war leader switching was still in the game - it's just Ming vs me, but somehow some minor with no army is war leader.
I really hoped Hsenwi's ally and Ming's tributary would join on our side - and hopefully after that switch spheres - but they dishonored, exhausted from previous war.
I took next mil tech 6 years ahead of time. A big chunk of my army was waiting for rebels at 90% to popup, but they were taking their sweet time.
Ming took full advantage of its bigger army, and while I was trying to protect Hsenwi it invaded my lands from the North. It's all really asking for a fort, but since AI cheats with zones of control, and I'm low on money it probably won't get one.
Those idiots kept fighting even when warscore war 42% for us, and got Ming to cancel some irrelevant overlordships. They didn't even take war reparations, which would be the smartest deal.
Colonialism triggered for Incas in Argentina.
That seemed surprising, but here's how many countries took different idea groups:
• 66 economic
• 53 religious
• 40 espionage
• 36 administrative
• 23 diplomatic
• 20 humanist
• 19 trade
• 16 offensive
• 10 defensive
• 6 quantity
• 2 exploration
• 2 influence
• 1 innovativeness
• 0 aristocratic, expansion, maritime, naval, plutocratic, quality
The only two countries which took exploration are Incas, and Portugal, which got reduced to OPM with zero ships.
Converter setups different weights for idea groups, so I checked out vanilla, and it's actually the same, except some hardcoded tags have very high priority to pick exploration (Portugal, Castile, and Spain get 1000x factor; a bunch of others more modest factors). That's a bit silly AI railroading, and in this campaign none of these tags even exist.
Other than nobody taking exploration, and everybody taking espionage, these choices look sort of reasonable I guess, at least as much as AI choices ever do - top tier ideas like religious, administrative, diplomatic, and humanist are very popular, and bottom tier ideas like maritime and naval are not taken at all.
I wasn't interested in waiting, I just dev pushed a province next to my capital up to 40 to start it in 1503, just five years after the Renaissance. It will take a while to spread, as I don't have high dev core - good provinces are scattered randomly all over India.
Other than 4 provinces to clean up, I'm now fully enclosed by my tributaries from each side, so I can't expand any more.
My choices are to get cancel some of them, which feels like violation of some roleplaying rules, get exploration ideas after all (well, I just dev pushed colonialism), or no-CB some Indonesian and African minors.
Or I guess I could fabricate on Maldives and attack Oman, but that feels way too silly.
The main plan was to sit on three border mountain provinces in Hsenwi and let Ming bleed. I had to recall my rebel fighting stack and faced 100k of rebels everywhere.
Because EU4 has no meaningful attrition anymore, and there's infinite merc manpower, Ming just happily invaded through Bhutan multiple times instead.
Ayutthaya dishonored Hsenwi's call to arms, and Khmer is too far to join my sphere, so Ming remains with its sphere intact really. Khmer will either rejoin after timer, or just get conquered by Lan Xang.
Bengal: Part 07: 1504-1517: Indonesian Expansion
I took colonization after all, and just massacred all natives preemptively. It costs obscene amount of sword mana, it used to be nearly free in early versions.
The reason to do so is that in trade company regions any unmasacred natives become majority culture/religion - but if there are 0 they'll be your culture/religion. Now if you can form trade companies you can safely ignore this, but if you're on same continent then you suffer penalty, but get nothing out of it.
I got crazy in debt again, as I needed to deal with dangerously corruption (caused largely by heretics), and by my need to create a proper fleet. And that before the inevitable 1000+ gold to embrace colonialism. I even seriously considered loaning up for colonialism, then bankrupting myself, but penalties for that are pretty steep.
So I went to war against Pasai, as it had gcold mine. For the first time the whole capmaign I was able to call in an ally - Ayutthaya. That actually backfired, as they just lost most of their troops, but somehow game thought they contributed a lot, so they ended up with about 400 gold and then white peaced out. That's really devious.
Soon I had to fight them, as they allied Malacca, so I hoped they might still have some of that gold left, but by then they spent all that money!
I finally got enough money - from gold mines, tributaries, war reparations, savings, estates, and every possible source I could think of milking of - to repay bank loans, but 1250 gold to get colonialism is soon on the horizon.
Ming and Oman finally figured out what this campaign is about and rivalled me.
By some silly events leftover from vanilla, Persia went Shia. Totally my fault, I mass enabled these historical flavor events, there's really no good way to check them one by one.
HRE passed its first reform. I doubt they'll do any more, reformation is delayed a lot in converter games, but it still happens.
I feel like I should move my capital to South India, it's crazy exposed where it is.
At least I force converted Champa from a wrong branch of Buddtism, so that's one objective for the next age done.
Ceylon has to go. They control crazy levels of India trade with their 3 CoTs and merchant republic Jew bonuses - and control over Ceylon gives me desperately needed +1 missionary to deal with my religious unity which is usually in 60%-70% range.
Udaygiri has a gold mine, so that's a possible target too. The rest are fine I guess. I used to have a lot more tributaries, but they mostly conquered each other.
Bengal: Part 08: 1517-1529: Ming Wins This Time
I revoked tributary protection from two Jewish countries in South India, and invaded both. That accidentally resulted in over 100% OE and rebellions everywhere. I mostly just didn't notice, if I knew I'd just sit on one of two wars for 2 extra years instead.
I had to go into deepest debt yet to hire mercs to defeat about million rebels, and then Hsenwi got attacked once more! This time by Ming's tributary Kham. Nobody touches my Hsenwi! So I was taking a beating fighting in the Himalayas, but it seemed like it was going to work.
And then, when I was 2000 gold in debt, at one war, with almost no army except a handful of mercs, with crippling corruption, and overran by heretics and rebels, Ming attacked Hsenwi once more. You know what Hsenwi? I tried. More than any other ally would. And I'll definitely avenge you someday.
Using my favourite Great Power metric of income, Oman's first at 125, Ming's second at 110, ERE is third with 86, and I'm fourth with 82. By game silly metric of dev and institutions, I'm first, but that's not even close.
It seems I'm the first country to embrace colonialism, even Incas where it spawned didn't yet - but it spawned in some Argentinian coast province, probably very low dev, so it's going to take forever to reach their core.
Right now I need to cleanup Ceylon and Malacca, rebuild my country, catch up on tech as I'm 8/9/10 and 11/11/11 is supposedly just two years ahead. Actually due to the war institutions spawned everybody is behind on tech, and printing press is going to add to this hell.
Even with three missionaries from achieving both Buddhist objectives it doesn't look like I'll ever dig my way out of 60%-70% religious unity without taking religious ideas.
Ming finally got what it wanted. I'm in such a mess getting into another Ming war would set back my country by decades.
I'd probably still do it if it would make me war leader. I miss this.
Meanwhile my tributary Nepal is enormous at 267dev. I don't terribly want to cancel them, but AI at this size tends to become disloyal.
Bengal: Part 09: 1529-1539: Recovery
Ming started its Golden Era just to celebrate their victory over Hsenwi. Ming also established tributary over Bhutan just over my border.
What was left of Hsenwi ended up getting completely annexed by Kachar. You will be missed.
I got called into two sphere wars at once - it one of them I was able to annex Bhutan. I built one castle there, and another on the coast, it should maybe slow down AI at least until it remembers it can cheat.
I expanded my sphere into Madagascar and East Indonesia, while Ming expanded its sphere into what's left of Malacca - all very awkward.
My corruption is finally zero, my loans are almost all paid, I replaced all mercs by regulars, and I'm "only" 4 techs behind optimum. Rebels are still rebelling, but not as crazy as before.
Thanks to some lucky event modifiers I managed to get my religious unity up to 73%, but it feels rather temporary. I still feel that taking religious next would probably be the best way, except paper mana is the most restrictive one. Trade and expansion are another ideas. Or military idea I guess, but I never really take them, even though they got a bit better recently with siege abilities added.
On the other hand, unless I'm really lucky with printing press, I might be forced to do another dev push, setting me even more behind on all mana types.
Buddhism is such a shit-tier religion, at -100 karma - which you'll inevitably have - that mtth for minister resigning event is 21 years. So all the good half-price estate and event ministers keep disappearing.
Here's colonialism 29 years after spawning. Nobody got it form spawn point, and it doesn't seem likely that anyone will.
Here's colonialism 39 years after my dev push. Ming doesn't have it yet, and is 3 techs ahead of me.
The spheres expanded into Indonesia. I don't have any good plans for dealing with Ming, and I can't expand too fast due to paper mana shortage. Right now my best idea is to catch up on tech, get religious ideas to make my mixed religion mixed culture country stable, and invade East Africa for gold mines.
Maybe if I could get Lan Xang to join my war against Malacca, and just time out Ming, that would lead to something useful.
Plans for Oman are much more straighforward - build bigger fleet, be defensive on land, and use my permanent claim on Maldives for 25% ticking warscore. Except right now I'd get absolutely nothing of value this way. Maybe make them release something. Long term I could take over East Africa, blockade Red Sea, and wreck them this way.
Importer revealed land but not sea of Europe, it looks so silly. By the way some Catholic Occitan country formed The Knights, and they currently control South half of France. Probably another minor quirk caused by my converter hacks.
Bengal: Part 10: 1539-1550: South-East Asia is even worse than the Balkans
So I was thinking about all the ways I can wreck Ming, and apparently getting to admin tech 12 by 1550 by strictly budgeting paper mana is most promising of them all.
I got event for temporary -10% admin tech cost discount, so I was definitely on the right track, and achieved the right tech in 1545. I even developed 4 provinces up to 20dev just to increase my chances.
I made great preparations for 1548 war against Ming via Malacca / Ayutthaya, calling in Lan Xang, but my spherelings got me involved into multiple wars earlier, and all those plans went to hell.
All the overlapping wars erupted that:
• Kham vs Kachar & Nepal & Bharat
• Mong Yang & Lan Xang vs Kham
• Taungu vs Kachar
• Ayutthaya & Kedah vs Taungu & Bharat
• Sukhotai vs Taungu & Bharat
If I was at least war leader in wars I got called into, I might salvage something useful out of that.
At least by 1549 the wars were over, and I succeeded with my plan, as printing press spawned in South India. And I even managed to start religious ideas - sadly the CB is at the end.
So I guess it's time for Ming war now, even if it won't be as good as I wanted.
On subject of just how shit-tier Buddhist religions are. Karma is supposed to increase by +25 whenever you accept call to arms. And Buddhist as Eastern religions can have tributaries, which is about the only good thing going for them. But you don't get karma for accepting call to arms from your tributary, even though the popup says so (ally call to arms seems to work).
So the countries in these wars were:
• Nepal - my tributary
• Guge - my tributary
• Kham - Ming's tributary
• Kachar - my tributary, got coalition against itself
• Mong Yang (that blue thing East of Kachar) - just got gold mine from Kham, was Ming tributary, but agreed to be my vassal
• Taungu - was OPM, grew to 7 provinces in three wars where I was saving its ass
• Sukhotai - Ming's tributary, was 5 provinces, now 1
• Lan Xang - my ally and Ming's tributary, I hope to break its Ming relations
• Dai Viet - Ming's tributary
• Champa - Ming's tributary
• Ayutthaya - Ming's tributary and Malacca's ally, I wanted to cobeligerent them to connect my land
• Kedah - my tributary, then we went to war, then Taungu forced them to be my tributary again in peace deal
• Malacca - Ming's tributary and my target
As well as a lot of fallen countries.
Bengal: Part 11: 1550-1562: Converting the last Heretic
My ally Lan Xang turned into Luang Prabang, presumably just getting admin tech 10 which unlocks most of such relabellings. Whatever they were called, there was no way to call them into Malacca war, they were just too exhausted after theirs.
So instead I asked OPM Sukhotai and Ming's tributary to become my vassal, and attacked Ming on my own.
• Bharat - 90k troops, 15 heavies, 23 lights
On enemy side:
• Ming - 161k troops, 23 heavies, 27 lights
• Ayutthaya - 21k, 2 heavies, 6 lights
• Malacca - 8k, no fleet
• Malacca's noble rebels about to siege their capital - 11k
Within a month Malacca was 100% occupied, and Ayutthaya's fleet was on bottom of Gulf of Siam. My new vassals were probably already regretting it, as they got sieged by Ming in no time as well.
Ming couldn't walk through Bhutan due to fort, so they took slightly longer and even more attricious route through Guge and Nepal instead. I miss old military access rules where they couldn't just do this shit.
It was overall painful as Ming was fighting on three fronts - North-West India, former Hsenwi, and Malay Peninsula, and even once I sunk Ming's fleet which it foolishly divided I could have my armies in at most two of the three, with one or another being left for enemy to ravage freely.
Fortunately Ming lost its patience only a bit over 100k dead Chinamen later with nothing to show for all that.
In the end, it was not even worth it, Malacca lost its remaining 4 provinces, Ayutthaya lost 4 provinces, Luang Prabang remained Ming's tributary. I got a lot of gold, but that only about covered my investment. Ming got a bit embarassed, but its mandate wasn't challenged in any way.
I thought about invading East Africa, but apparently they have all the up to date mil tech, and as many troops between them as Ming. Institutions were the second worst idea EU4 ever had, just after zones of control. This is the kind of stupid nonsense that happens as a result. It's really annoying because old system worked just fine, making Africa militarily backwards.
At least I sent exploration mission to Africa in case I want to fight wars there later.
I'm about to get Deus Vult, and Deus very much Vult that African gold is turned into Buddha statues.
After that I'll take another shot at undermining Ming's sphere.
My country is finally stable with every last heretic converted. Religious ideas are amazing, humanist have nothing on them.
Here my troops are in Malay and Hsenwi regions, leaving West India undefended. There was constant shifting between 2 of the 3.
Forts in Bhutan and Dhaka forced Ming to take the long route, and its fleet got sunk early, so I had somewhat better mobility to somewhat balance fewer troops.
There was no way I could actually invade Ming. 9 forts, mostly in really awful terrain visible here, and that's just its distant periphery.
The big picture.
I only recently noticed that due to converter issues Japan is only half-colonized.
Europe is fun, with France divided between Liege and Knights with Aztec minor stuck between the two.
Conquest of East Africa will be necessary not just for golden Buddha statues, but also to challenge Oman once I'm done with Ming.
Bengal: Part 12: 1562-1573: Nepalese Disloyalty
I used overwhelming force against Sofala to establish good foothold in Africa. And that exploration mission definitely helped too, I could actually see their provinces. It's not meant as any kind of major conquest, just to give settlers in South Africa access to gold mines to they can make proper Buddha statues for proper temple worship.
Nepal grew to 395dev and stopped paying me tribute. I let them go, and they instantly became 7th great power. 359dev Iraq becoming 8th great power made the whole region pretty crowded as well - especially as Khwarizm would be one too if it wasn't for institutions.
Oman became even more enormous getting PU over 716dev Roman Empire, 372dev Tunis, and 27dev Jazira. So much me splitting it up.
Kachar turned into Manupur, in another pointless name change caused by interaction of converter and Fun and Balance mod.
All my plans to go to another war with Ming over Ayutthaya pretty much died due to more local wars.
Instead Nepal is a much more important target. They were allied with two of my tributaries - Manipur and Ratapur. It was an amazing war, as I was able to take two provinces from Maniput needed to get border with Ming and tank its mandate, and also get some nice mountain forts from Nepal to make it harder for Ming to just invade.
Nepal lost its great power status in one war, but Luang Prabang told Ming to go to hell, and it's a new great power now.
Just while I was coring 120% OE Maniput became Ming's tributary and attacked Taungu. I used a fun double peace trick to destroy them. I took all their provinces in separate peace except those I transfered to Taungu. So I took a bit under 100%, and Taungu had instant 100% warscore, and together we took like 150% or so.
Taungu and Champa completely misunderstood this trick and I lost -10 trust with both for it. You just can't please AI sometimes.
Administrative + religious is such a nice combo, I got through 120% OE with just 5 minor revolts on newly conquered territories.
Fortunately Sofala broke up with Ajuuraan, otherwise it would take twice as many Africans, all at up to date tech.
If this was just this one time AI does something as stupid it would be fine, but it's been endless series of suicide attacks. Even not counting me, Kham would get wiped.
The only sort of logical explanation is if AI believes Ming is going to help it.
Oman/Tunis/ERE, Iraq, Luang Prabang as new great powers. Nepal was one, but got wrecked and now fighting Baluchistan and Guge+Khwarizm for survival.
Ming mandate is falling down fast, but there aren't any great ways to dismantle it. Any approach via the old Hsenwi route will result in massive attrition, and naval landing feels unsafe as I can only land so many troops, and they can match my navy.
Maybe colonize Taiwan for naval bases to launch attack from?
War goal for mandate is taking capital Beijing, which is really bad for me. Or I could go Deus Vult, that doesn't give warscore discount, but wargoal of winning battles might be easier to get.
Bengal: Part 13: 1573-1580: Fall of South China
The new great power Luang Prabang still loved Ming, even though Ming hated them for no longer being their tributary, so they'd never join my war against Ming.
I allied Korea as well, but it wouldn't work either, as they were still a tributary. At high liberty desire, so it probably won't last long, but not just yet.
It wasn't going to be the best war, but there was really no point waiting, so I just attacked Ming outright for mandate and Beijing.
It was 130k troops, 15 heavies, and 27 lights on my side vs 170k troops, 20 heavies, 26 lights, and 20 galleys on Ming's. And somehow Chinese coast counts as inland sea for galleys, so I had to avoid that. I can't say it makes terribly much sense, as no other coastal sea got this treatment, other than obviously inland ones.
I had two ways in towards Beijing - first I could try to get naval supremacy and land on Chinese coastline directly, or I could force my way through line of difficult forts and then follow weakly fortified coastline.
I tried both. Naval warfare was hard. Ming kept most of its navy together, and by some crazy tag order thing, Ming is one day faster than me. When it says we arrive somewhere same day, they actually move first - which made it really awkward to chase their navy where every day matters.
I managed to win some naval battles, but with really nasty loses, and it took 2 years to replace lost heavy ships, so navy just did combat and blockading.
As for trying to quickly siege Dehong against -1 terrain, Ming threw all they could in multiple waves, I got a few unlucky siege rolls, and I had to withdraw everyone from losing battle at 49% siege chance, with about even losses of 45k on each side by that point. After that it was a bit of offence and defence, where between Ming penalties and AI skill levels their loses were a lot higher than mine.
I took a drastic step of taking quality ideas. I don't even remember what was the last time I took any military ideas. Not really because they're that useful, mostly because I have mana paper/bird shortage, and I'm going to be fighting some nasty wars anyway. I'm not sure which of military idea groups is actually best.
Once Ming got beaten back a bit Luang Prabang changed its mind about them, and agreed to join me halfway through the war. And then I discovered that both my plans were real bad, as I could have simply asked for military access through Luang Prabang and walked through coastal farmlands to Canton, and from there easily to Beijing. I swear I was good at this game once.
Ming merc spammed hard, always had places to shattered retreat to, so it never went below 100k troops, and even in last months of the war it kept winning major battles. No matter, I 100%, setup Miao and Yue, gave some extra land to Mong Yang, which I started annexing, and started moving my troops in position to reset truces by attacking Dai Viet, and then white peacing them in no time.
For a brief distraction I finished off Sofala. It's not high priority, but I suppose by the time Ming completely collapses I'll be ready to fight Oman.
Next level forts just got invented, so if Ming starts spamming those, next war will still be painful. I took
9 forts from them (12 more to go), leading to a bit of bordergore, and they won't have too much time to build them for next war I guess.
Forced my way through bad terrain instead of simply asking Luang Prabang for military access. Real embarrassing.
Ming managed to invade India via Guge, and even got my fort and beaten up army I sent to relieve it.
What I too is more or less occupied territory, plus 4 more forts just outside it.
Bengal: Part 14: 1580-1586: Ming in Six Parts
Luang Prabang attacked Ayutthaya, tried to call me into their silly war, and I just dropped them, as that would delay conquest of China by 15 years. And after all, if Luang Prabang claims to be a great power, surely they can show it on the battlefield without my help, right? I'd be denying them this great chance. They ended up white peacing, which I guess is actually pretty decent result against Ming.
Just like before Kham attacked Guge and me, now Guge attacked Kham and Ming. It's crazy on every side.
The bordergore I inflicted on Ming is just amazing, mostly to take 8 of its nasty forts. Usually I restrain myself a bit and balance reasonable borders with power level objectives, but I want to get rid of Ming as soon as possible so I can start working on Oman.
Fortunately with just 4 forts remaining and no navy, next time I'll be able to clean it up a bit with a lot less difficulty.
England became the HRE, as previous emperor Franconia, still ruled by Karling dynasty, got a queen, and there are few Catholics remaining in it. The leagues are big, but there's no open war between them. They'll probably time out with Catholics winning by default.
So that's what's left of Ming. Korea is unsurprisingly independent now. I want to clean it all up, and I think I'll just destroy China, there's not that much value in late game emperorship.
A big question I ignored until now is how to get Chinese trade. I'll probably need more merchants, so maybe go trade ideas next.
Meanwhile in Europe. Some notable countries are Papal Spain, The Knights of South France, merchant republic of Magna Graecia, and reverse Sweden-Finland.
Nobody went Reformed, Papal Spain is the only Reformed area. Protestantism is basically half of HRE and nowhere else.
Bengal: Part 15: 1586-1598: First Troubles with Oman
Oman got itself another PU - after ERE, Tunis, they got Portugal, which is now a 3dev OPM in Africa, and Oman can't even see their only province. Invisible PU, first time I see it.
The whole colonization thing really isn't going anywhere this campaign. Aztecs, Incas, Cherokee, English and Leon are the only countries doing any New World colonization at all, and with huge delay. In Asia it's just me and my tributary Ternare.
I reset Ming truce thanks to Dai Viet, and simultaneously attacked Ayutthaya and Kham to clean them up. And then Malindi and Nepal.
Ming invested in more modern navy and managed to sink 11/18 of my slightly older heavies with their 6.
After that I did even more aggressive truce reset, not waiting for coring to finish. I also called my ally Champa into it, which made them no longer Ming's tributary, so I offered them protection instead.
So I was ready to crush what was left of Ming in 2-3 more wars, when Oman decided to attack my tributary Baluchistan. This is really awkward, and they've not been too loyal to me, sometimes refusing to pay up their due. Not to mention they're sitting on a lot of my permanent claims.
The best thing is that it breakn Khwarizm-Oman alliance, so maybe I'll be able to get a new ally in the region.
The war with Oman is coming, but not just yet.
I colonized Kyoto and got the usual "fall of the shogunate, have some mana" event. I guess they could have some druid shogun or something, living in a forest.
HRE apparently went some kind of pragmatic sanction and elected Karoline I Karling of Franconi as new empress, ending brief time of English non-Karling rule.
My overall plan is to more or less destroy Ming by 1610 in two more wars (they'll have maybe capital left over after that), then finish Court and Country by 1625. Only after that I can deal with Oman.
I don't think I can realistically become emperor of China, any border with Oman would instantly zero my mandate, and it's not really avoidable at this point.
Best plan against Oman is to build up big fleet, as their juniors and probably half of their own will be in Mediterranean. Then I can sit on 25% ticking warscore from Maldives, and do something with it. That's still far ahead.
Bengal: Part 16: 1598-1613: Age of Absolutism
I refused to come to Baluchistan's aim, and allied Khwarizm instead to support me from the West.
Global trade spawned in Harer, in Oman. No idea why, there are so many move obvious provinces in Gulf of Aden trade node. It's just non-coastal 6/9/2 with nothing special on it.
Next war against Ming was very different - I stack wiped everything they had in two battles first month. Awkwardly their two remaining forts got upgraded to next tier. I stripped them of all the coast and those new forts, including one in Beijing, so my navy can stay closer to Oman, just in case.
I tried to expand in East Africa, but Ajuuraan had 47% of warscore worth of money, so that slowed it down a bit.
I had some free time, so I broke up Ouchi into a lot of tiny daimyo who all wanted to be my tributaries.
Age of absolutism happened, and this time I was extremely prepared. I accepted demands of particularists and nobles just year before, then mass decreased autonomy everywhere, for 57 day one absolutism. Then some self inflicted stab hits to get Court and Country started.
I just missed one small thing - I needed to be at war for 34 months, and I forgot to leave myself OPM enemy. So the least bad option was Korea. At least I could use this obscure Buddhist ability that making countries release nations costs no bird mana because something.
Oman probably noticed that I was busy with internal and foreign conflicts, and used this to attack my tributary Maheran. Once more time, can't help you here.
While waiting 10 years for the disaster to end, I'm cleaning up remaining work in Asia - breaking up big countries, making small ones my tributaries, or annexing if they refuse. I left Ming as OPM just in case I somehow want to become Emperor of China later, but I seriously doubt I'll ever want that.
The disaster gives me +2 unrest in addition to spawning rebels directly. All 3 estates hate me - merchant guilds and nobles as side effect of fast absolutism strategy, monastic orders due to an unfortunate misclick. Estate problems could be avoided, but fast absolutism, milking them for 150 mana every 20 years, and never getting them unhappy would mean alt-tabbing to Excel a lot.
And there's +10 unrest from recently decreased autonomy pretty much every province, and there are still huge numbers of separatists. And yet, thanks to religious ideas it really doesn't even seem that bad. My tolerance of true faith is +5.5, and I could increase it to +6 with some legitimacy boosting.
Oman inherited Tunis. Oman and ERE between them have 3x my army and navy size, and 1.75x my income. It's not too bad, as I beat back Ming at such odds in Hsenwi wars, but only when not busy elsewhere.
Catholics are doing well in Europe. Catholic League won in HRE without a war, and the last remnant of Sunset Invasion fell, quite appropriately, to The Knights in 1606. Protestantism is limited to about half of HRE, and Reformed got wiped out completely.
That's what Oman sends against a 6-province minor. It's a good deal more than my entire army, and they also have naval supremacy to block me.
They're not afraid of me at all, and for a good reason.
Bengal: Part 17: 1613-1624: Court and Country
After Korea and Luang Prabang have been cut to size, they happily accepted their position as my tributaries - but maybe I didn't beat them enough as they're still around 50% liberty desire, and keep my diplomats busy improving relations instead of doing something more useful.
I won Court and Country, and got to 91% absolutism. I'll get to 100% in a few years.
I'm definitely not going to be emperor of China, so I destroyed what was left of Ming. Leaving behind OPM at 500 AE is risky, as once fight with Oman starts, it would make it too easy for them to start a coalition.
I got CoT from Ajuuraan in Gulf of Aden end node, but not collecting there just yet. I took expansion ideas next, which start with colonist and merchant, another merchant from global trade institution, and one more on its way from Australia CN.
Brunei, which was pirating in my key nodes, got incorporated into the empire, and Taungu agreed to hand over their CoT in Bengal node. I think I'll incorporate the rest of Taungu in a few years.
With all that I have income of 310 (will be even more once overextension goes away), not much behind 370 Oman and ERE have together. I might develop my gold mines a bit more, build even more manufactories, and overall invest in even stronger economy to match them.
Things look a bit less well in terms of 452k vs 187k max manpower, 635 vs 225 land force limit, 339 vs 212 naval force limit. I think my fleet would be able to dominate half of their fleet, and my allies Iraq and Khwarizm could distract Oman for a while, so maybe it's winnable.
It's not even about land - forcing them to break PU is worth a lot of dead mercs.
I still have a huge number of unhappy peasants everywhere due to my absolutist reforms, but that should pass over next decade or two.
So technically I'm allied with Khwarizm and Iraq, so it would be three great powers vs one. In practice there's enormous gap between us as the rest of "great powers", with Aztecs distant 3rd at half our size, and 4th+ GPs just nowhere close to the same league.
I can imagine that even if both agreed to fight together, they'd just pointlessly suicide their troops, and I have no way to build good defensive line against Oman - Africa is flat, and only good mountains in West India are in Baluchistan.
Oman would also undoubtedly receive huge help from my rebels.
Bengal: Part 18: 1624-1630: Victory over Oman
Oman was integrating ERE, with due date in 1651, and all my allies refused to even consider joining any wars due to attitude towards enemies. I don't think I have any way to prevent that.
It's not a great situation, but I can either go to war and see how it goes, or wait another century just sitting on my ass.
203k troops (plus 76k vassal troops) and 30 heavies on my side vs 535k troops and 56 heavies on theirs. I split them between Africa and India, and waited.
AI opened with big naval battle for Coast of Maldives, where it lost 30 ships to my 7. I suspect AI still thinks of naval battles like they used to work before game introduced naval combat width. It charged 20 heavy 9 light 21 galley 51 transport into my 30 heavy 30 light stack. This would maybe work under old rules where all ships fired simultaneously, not any more.
On land AI decided to cheat zones of control and walked over my forts like they weren't even there. That was of very little help to them, as first three battles were stackwipes with 115k to 14k K:D ratio.
After that they lost interest in another invasion - and it turned out that Ajuuraan hated both of us, so nobody in Africa had military access.
The microing necessary to win the war was crazy. I walked my army from India to Oman's capital, and just as they were ariving dropped 80k from Africa.
Total losses were 55k and 8 ships vs 165k and 134 ships.
After that I only took Oman's capital and remaining CoTs in Gulf of Aden end node, so I now have all 3. Their humiliation is complete, and the victory is total.
My income is already 400 to their combined 330 before I even core, statify, and optimize that new land.
Sure, there could be more wars to achieve 100% control over the end node, but short of quick digging Suez Canal they have no way to challenge my navy, and with a bit of patience I could reduce them to Mediterranean power. They know it perfectly well too, as they've chosen Nablus as their new capital.
Initial disposition of forces. At this point I didn't have naval supremacy, and I didn't know which way Omani troops would arrive. Actually I never got full naval supremacy, I kept my navies together for safety, so Oman a few times almost landed on Maldives.
It turns out Ajuuraan didn't grand anyone military access, and for some reasons ZoCs bugged out (like that's news), so I couldn't walk through uncolonized land to the nearest fort.
All action was on the sea seen here (plus a bit to the South), in North-West India, and then around Oman's capital.
Tributary fleets are providing me visibility at random, that was useful.
AI casually walking through Khandesh fort, but my stack caught it there. It was first wipe, and then two more around South Konkan down South, and around Garhwal up North.
I thought this was just the first wave, so I rushed to eliminate it before the rest of over 500k Omani and related troops rush in and overwhelm me, but nobody else came. The only other fighting was after I crossed into Arabia, and that was a rather sloppy battle.
This small amount of land gives me about half of Oman's trade income.
The two Gulf CoTs are very high supply mountain provinces, so I can put 2x 40k there without attrition, and massacre basically infinite number of enemies if they try to take it. And they come with strait to Africa. It all makes Oman's non-Mediterranean holdings completely indefensible in any future war
Oman's former capital is a CoT in Hormuz node. It's not terribly useful for defense on its own, but with a few more provinces it's two more straits. I could have waited a bit more for warscore to tick up so I could grab Hormuz as well, but it seemed like a win-more.