Tuesday, December 12, 2017
EU4 White Sheep Persia
White Sheep Persia: Part 01: 1444-1454: Kurdish Renaissance
Cradle of Civilization came out, and there are a lot of minor mechanics. I thought of campaign to try a bunch at once:
• start as Aq Qoyunlu - 55dev Sunni tribal federation (new government type)
• become Persia - Shia feudal theocracy (another new government type)
• play with new Muslim and merchant mechanics
• interact a bit with local powers - Timurids, Ottomans, Mamluks, and Qara Qoyunlu, who all also got new mechanics
The goals are:
• reform tribal government (needs admin tech 8 plus buckets of paper mana)
• form Persia, which requires non-tribal. Persia creation criteria are weird, as you need to be Persian culture group except for some reason culture Turkish Aq Qoyunlu is totally fine too.
• go Shia (forming Persia has unique event for this)
• completely wipe out 4 aforementioned competing countries
• control everything Persia ever controlled or tried to, including Greece
• maybe unify Islam at this point, as that's just 10/14 provinces are in Greater Persia area, 2 are Sicily, and only last 2 in Spain/Morocco are awkward
• avoid colonization for reals
For more fun merchant game I switched trade nodes so English Channel and Constantinople are the two end nodes.
Before unpausing I deleted my fort, allied Mamluks, married Ottomans for protection as well, pissed off Dhimmi, made Ulema more powerful to speed up conversions of Copts.
Somewhat disappointingly tribal federation doesn't have free CBs. First war was fabricated one on Hisn Kayfa and Dulkadir, who conveniently found itself at war with the Ottomans as well. Of course AI didn't give a shit about Ottomans, and sent all troops against me.
I managed to get Hisn Kayfa, but Ramazan killstole Dulkadir, and Copts revolted with more troops than me, in mountains. Funnily enough Dulkadir won its independence revolt, which I then used to take it all over.
Well, I was pretty much stuck, so I didn't even take tech 4, just went straight for developing Renaissance in Urfa in 1454. Now I'm a bit weak and behind most of my neighbours in mil tech, but I got to 112dev, of which 55 was starting, 29 conquered, and 28 dev pushed.
Stuck between Ottomans, Mamluks, Qara Qoyunlu (with vassal/ally swarm), and Timurids (with vassal swarm). There's plenty of minors, but usually aligned with one great power or another. Like I'm sort of in Mamluk sphere.
Cultural and religious clusterfun is just as bad in 1444 as in 2017.
1-province Ramazan conquering 4-province Dulkadir and then losing it to revolt, whom I attacked day one was sweet. I don't remember the last time that happened, rebels are generally too weak.
Timurids fell apart as they're basically scripted to, so Persia is sort of open except for Qara Qoyunlu on the way.
For small fun things I attacked my "rival" Trebizond who were besieged by Ottomans and peaced them out almost right away for some free power projection.
White Sheep Persia: Part 02: 1454-1474: Fall of the Black Sheep
I got into fight with Ramazan for one province and to humiliate Karaman and break their alliance with the Mamluks. Unintentionally I ended up sitting between Ottomans and Mamluks, preventing direct war. Would it be good or bad if one of them crushed the other? Hard to tell really
Also at mil tech 3 when bigger countries around me were at 5. After that it was pointless waiting. Favors took forever to accumulate (it takes 10 years only when you're already stronger than your ally, 20-50 years when you're weaker), and nobody went to war with anybody else except against tiny countries.
Golden Horde attacked Shirvan allied with Qara Qoyunlu, so I thought I'd see some action, but they just casually dishonored.
Ajam was the only country I could maybe all promising land, but they went into deep debt.
Qara Qoyunlu had 2 vassals and 6 allies, so they were really hard to deal with. Of course that's just mod making things harder.
It was a miserable wait. Finally Mamluks annexed their vassals and got border with Qara Qoyunlu, so I promised them land, and I got Ajam into war with both 10 favors and promise of land. Somehow Qara Qoyunlu got 6 shock general, and AI allies were AI allies, so it was pretty painful, but it was a make or break of my country.
As result of the war:
• Shia Mashriqi Mushasha became my vassal
• Shia Azerbaijani Abadil became my vassal
• Gilan handed over buckets of gold
• Hormuz handed over buckets of gold
• I waited for Mamluks to separate peace out so it wouldn't destroy our alliance
• I took a lot of land from Qara Qoyunlu, all for myself, and Ajam can go to hell
As result of the war I got deep into debt and corruption, but I kept Mamluk alliance, and Qara Qoyunlu got reduced from being much stronger than me to being about my tier.
A surprising new power emerged - the Great Horde made all Caucasus minors into its vassals and tributaries, and even allied Karaman to block my expansion.
There was far too much waiting, but I finally broke Qara Qoyunlu. Now Qara Qoyunlu, Ajam, Timurids, Transoxiana, Hormuz, Golden Horde, Nogai, Uzbek etc. are all approximately about my tier, as secondary powers. Everybody else is allied with one or another of them, but I'll probably find some way to expand East towards Persian heartlands.
Ottomans and Mamluks are far ahead of any of us, and probably very annoyed they can't fight it out. Then again, AI blobs were all crazy careful this campaign, none of the usual suicidal wars.
White Sheep Persia: Part 03: 1474-1491: The Great Sheep Power
I managed to get the Great Horde to join my war for favors.
It was really mostly an excuse to get them busy, so I can take over Karaman. I didn't take all that much land, but all together it got to the point where I got my first coalition - including the Ottomans. It got bored really quickly, but it could be a sign of things to come.
Mamluks called me into their conquest of Medina, for which I got 40 favors. The system is actually almost OK, if only it had "offer to join wars" functionality.
After that I got into war to completely crush Qara Qoyunlu - and somehow it was far too close, with their allies Fars and Mazandaran punching far beyond their font size. Mazandaran became my vassal, Qara Qoyunlu got most convincingly wrecked, and Jewish bankers got really happy about interest I've been forced to pay to fund all my wars. I didn't want to waste Mamluk's favors, but maybe that was a mistake.
Now I'm finally on great power list. Ajam is a very obvious next target.
I feel I have zero chance of going professional. I have neither money to train my troops nor manpower to do without mercs. Maybe I could go quantity for my second idea group and enjoy professional peasant army?
It took far too long to more or less unite both sheep lands. Ajam can probably tell how much of a target they are.
Ottomans are strongest power after Ming, but they're a bit locked with this super cautious AI.
Arab minors are eating each others, so fewer countries to coalition me I guess.
White Sheep Persia: Part 04: 1491-1505: Thousand years to figure out the right Caliph
I had a great plan to attack Ajam, but they allied the Ottomans. I took two worthless provinces from Haasa instead, but everybody dogpiled Haasa to prevent me from getting the rest.
I noticed that Najd is super close to diplovassalizable, but Mamluks got them one month before me. This is the first time ever AI does it like that.
I tried various shenanigans to go Shia early, but in the end I went naturally over 50% Shia after diploannexing Mushasha. Due to awkward timing I then instantly fell belowe 50% Shia.
It also broke all my alliances, and Mamluks took some effort to convince to ally back. Fortunately Ottomans were at war during that time, and didn't take the great opportunity.
The religious shift pretty much wrecked my country, and I already regret taking quantity as second. I was sort of planning to use quantity ideas to try no-merc army for profesionalism, but I'm still very low on money.
I'm also very low on paper mana, and it will take about 1000 to go non-tribal, so taking religious as third is going to be painful. Then again, playing a non-colonizing campaign really opens new possibilities of idea group picks.
There's a fairly convincing Ottoman-led coalition against me. I'd like to expand into Timurid land, but there won't necessarily be much left by the time I get there.
After two converter campaigns in a row I was confused why Aztecs and Incas weren't great powers.
I wonder about going into horde lands. Being closer to Poland and Hungary could lead to nice anti-Ottoman alliance.
Then again Ottomans are allied with France, Muscovy, and Tunis, so I can't really outdiplomacy them.
White Sheep Persia: Part 05: 1505-1515: First Ottoman War
I feel that dev pushing Renaissance was a bad idea - I'm just a bit outside Europe, and it was bound to reach me just a few years later, and that delayed me by like 10 years for not that much long term gain.
Colonialism awkwardly spawned in Yorkshire, and I'm not dev pushing that. But there's a problem - because England has no land on the continent, and hates all 3 countries across the channel, it doesn't spread to Europe at all! Fortunately Portugal seems to have joined independently, so I'll get it eventually.
I was just chilling out, when Ottomans, Ajam, and Tunis attacked me and the Mamluks. My other allies Afghanistan and Hormuz dishonored our alliances. WTF is wrong with AI this patch, it's not even trying to roleplay?
It wasn't a coalition CB, as mod removes that nonsense, but I still couldn't separate peace Ajam as they were a coalition member.
I got a lot of money from France and Austria. France being allied with the Ottomans. I really don't like what they did to the AI. It's too calculating, and not roleplaying enough. But it still cancels sieges at 49% to go somewhere else.
In the war 120k troops died on our side, and 148k on enemy side, and all I got was 10 years of reparations from the second richest country in the worst - about 8 on top of my 22. This also broke coalition against me.
After that I got into a series of small wars, in which I:
• fully annexed Qara Qoyunlu and Baluchistan
• converted Anizah to the proper faith
• converted and vassalized Khorasan
• broke Ajam from Ottomans and took one mountain fort from them
• Afghanistan returned most cores back to Khorasan
My plan against inevitable next coalition is to wreck everybody as soon as truce timers allow it. They can't join coalition if they don't exist.
Army professionalism is surprisingly varied, ranging from Ming's 0% to Swiss 47 and Orissa's 55%. Median is 16% and I'm at 13% without drilling even once.
I'm definitely going religious for next idea group, there's no way I'm going to save my way out of Sunni heresy otherwise. Even with a lot of events giving provinces missionary strength bonuses, I'd only finish converting by 1600s if I stop expanding now. Or I guess I could conquer Mecca and Jerusalem, but I'm not fighting Ottomans and Mamluks all at once.
Muslims also have a way to spread religion in trade node using merchants, but I'd need 50% in a node for that, and I'm nowhere near that anywhere.
I pretty much surround Persia from every direction, and Ajam just lost most of its friends (including Transoxiana to some dishonoring some horde alliance chain).
Newly Shia Anizah is a possible vassal.
Habsburgs rule Austria/HRE, Castile/Aragon/Naples, and (electively) PLC. If game had EU3 style PUs it would mean imminent Ottoman doom.
White Sheep Persia: Part 06: 1515-1527: This! Is! Persia!
I was really excited about using that new ability of merchants to spread religion, but requirements are really harsh:
• you must be in Muslim group
• you must have merchant present
• you control over 50% trade power in node (not just total of all countries of your religion)
• node is in trade company region
That's basically nowhere except Indonesia. Maybe you could manage to get it in India. Or China, but you'd need to take over Ming's coastline without Mandate of Heaven CB, as Muslims don't get that.
It sort of makes sense that Ottomans shouldn't use it to convert Balkans, but I'm quite annoyed by all the features which are basically locked to a specific country or very small number of them.
So I was pondering religious, but I somehow stacked so many modifiers that I got over 70% religious unity even without any ideas.
I spent about 1000 paper mana to reform out of my tribal federation into an iqta, and took trade ideas. Iqta has sweet ability to press button to get buckets of money. Tribal federation has button that gives horses, but criteria are way too hard.
Iqta stage lasted just 6 years, after that I became Persia and feudal theocracy. I did not take Persian ideas, as Aq Qoyunlu are way better. Here's comparison - Aq Qoyunlu:
• +1 diplomat
• -20% coring cost, -10% stab cost
• +10% morale, +20% cavalry combat, +1 leader shock, +25% manpower
• +10% goods produced, -10% land maintenance, -20% cavalry cost
• +1 prestige
• +10% morale, +15% cavalry combat, +15% manpower, +10% manpower recovery, +5% morale recovery, +5% discipline
• +10% goods produced, +20% caravan power, +10% tax, +5% production efficiency
It's like more or less comparable economic and military bonuses, and then diplomat and coring cost are replaced by +1 prestige. That's not even close.
Persian ideas are bad, but feudal theocracy is pretty sweet. I got extra missionary, +1% missionary strength, +2 tolerance of true faith. And buttons that give very strong bonuses for mana: -15% construction cost for 5 years for 50 paper mana, -20% dev cost and +1 dev in capital area for 50 bird mana, and a bunch of instant claims for 50 sword mana, for a poor version of Deus Vult.
As a Muslim I have access to +1 missionary from Defender of the Faith (if only it wasn't so expensive) - and eventually a few more once I get Mecca and Jerusalem. So I don't strictly need religious. Then again, which other ideas could I even take as 4th?
What I need is to save some money, press that button, and then spam buildings.
Meanwhile elsewhere, Castile/Aragon/Naples, Portugal, and the Pope were fighting Tunis and Ottomans, and Tunis won. Castile/Aragon then formed Spain. Colonialism just reached Cyprus, so I'll get it by 1550s maybe.
There are some really weird alliances here - Ottomans got France, Morocco, Tunis, Hormuz, and Muscovy.
Mamluks allied pretty much everyone to their South, me, and Morocco.
I have Mamluks, Hormuz, and Great Horde's tributary Samtshke, whom I planned to diplovassalize, but they developed their provinces way out of range. Khorasan and Anizah are my vassals.
All those overlaps between obvious rivals' networks. Then again, I never officially rivaled Ottomans.
White Sheep Persia: Part 07: 1527-1543: Unification of Persia
As Persia, it was time to think big. I allied Poland, and attacked the Great Horde. That went a lot worse than I thought it would, mostly because I kept forgetting that hordes getting +25% shock damage in flat terrain.
Very late into the war Ming decided to give Great Horde's ally Chagatai some free condottieri, but they never reached the frontlines.
I made myself Defender of the Shia Faith, which is basically saying that I'll defend myself, my ally Bahmanis, and Yas and Afghanistan whom I both convinced of who was the rightful caliph.
Ottomans declared themselves Defender of the Sunni Faith, but that only works on same continent as their capital, so they're literally just defending themselves.
I got Timurids as new vassal, they have a lot of Eastern cores. At some point I'll need to turn West or South to get all my campaign goals, but these are difficult directions.
I sacrificed 10% army profesionalism for two deliveries of new manpower. It was either that or merc up and lose it anyway. I'm not sure it's wort going for it's much harder, and alliance chains extend very far. I could backstab Mamluks or Hormuz I guess, but then who'd help me when Ottomans come?
Morocco and Mamluks attacked Tunis and Ottomans. Predictably Ottomans won, but only because I forgot I gave Mamluks military access. If I didn't, Ottomans would be stuck, Mamluks would have wrecked Tunis, and that would be it. I swear I used to be better at this game.
Circassia tried to sell me a 12dev province for 400 gold. I did not take it.
Ottomans are backed by France, Muscovy, Tunis, and Hormuz, so I really can't attack them.
Afghanistan and the Great Horde are softest targets. Maybe I could wait for Ottomans to be busy, but every time that happened so far I was even busier. Even then without fleet it would be extremely painful.
Backstabbing Mamluks or alliance chaining + backstabbing Hormuz seem much more promising.
I could also wait for HRE leagues to trigger (after 1550), then if I move my capital to Europe I could do some shenanigans. I suspect Austria, Commonwealth, Spain, and me will be Catholic side, France, Ottomans, and Muscovy Protestant side, but it could really go many ways based on network of alliances and rivalries.
White Sheep Persia: Part 08: 1543-1550: Fall of the Great Horde
I was fighting a minor war against Transoxiana and its Indian friends, and Gujarat had a 5 siege general. First time I'm seeing one, and they don't have any special abilities for that. It was really annoying how fast they sieged and unsieged everything with him.
I had a fun 87k vs 78k battle in this war, very narrowly won.
I then had to overlap a lot of wars to destroy Afghanistan, and Circassia and the Great Horde.
Muscovy and Ottomans guaranteed the Great Horde, but guarantees aren't called for cobeligerents, so I attacked their tributary Circassia. Circassia was also allied with Muscovy, but they were fighting Commonwealth, so they dishonored.
Ottomans sent condottieri to the Great Horde, but then changed their mind, and attacked Circassia instead. Between both of us, so little was left of the Golden Horde Muscovy is probably going to just clean it up.
Afghanistan was easier. I got all cores for Timurids, split Yarkand from Chagatai, and got some money from India. I'm not even seriously trying to avoid coalitions at this point.
My alliance with Hormuz broke by event. Mamluks and Commonwealth are rivals, so I might lose one or the other at some point too.
I got this ridiculous Persian event that gives 12 base tax, 12 production, and 6 manpower.
The printing press spawned in Trier, so it will be a while until I get it. Renaissance is only just on Ming's borders, and Colonialism is only halfway through India, so this time it's going more or less historically.
I'd really like to find a way to deal with Hormuz without involving Ottomans, but the only decent alliance chain would involve basically all of India instead.
Ottoman army is bigger and fights better than mine, but somehow my morale is highest in the world, and spamming barracks finally fixed my manpower problems.
I guess fighting Ottomans, wiping out their whole army, and forcing them to merc up would erase their professionalism, so that would be a thing. If I could get Mamluks and Commonwealth to both join, it would be glorious, but somehow I doubt that.
White Sheep Persia: Part 09: 1550-1562: Coming Great War
I did a bit of drilling, as I was finally not real low on money. I even got one general from 2 to 3 siege. I upgraded diplomatic advisor (in his 30s, with 50% discount from estates) to level 4, it seemed worth the money. Those new buttons are not game changers, but they're occasionally nice.
I had such obscene bonuses to development cost on my capital, and such overflowing sword mana, that I pushed it to 40dev, getting free printing press. I didn't really have to, it only made a few years' difference, but i was the last time I could get that -20% dev cost from inviting minorities from abroad, as there are no Shiite provinces living under infidels anywhere in the world.
New coalition formed, with Ottomans, Hormuz, Delhi, Sind. Then Ottomans got bored, it dissolved, and I attacked the bastards, cleaning up Ajam, getting my culture group province from Sind, and breaking Hormuz's alliances.
Sadly the Mamluks then instantly guaranteed Hormuz. I thought about distracting them with another war, but the only one they wouldn't consider too distant would be against the Ottomans, or one chaining to the Ottomans.
So in 1566 I'll have 3 choices:
• attack Hormuz and the Mamluks
• no-CB Arabian minor to distract the Mamluks, attack Hormuz
• attack Ottomans and friends using Mamluks, attack Hormuz while fighting the Ottomans. I won't be able to call in the Commonwealth as they still have truce with the Ottomans.
I can't say any of them are particularly fun, and I changed my mind on which of them is the least unpleasant a few times already.
I built up my army to 120k, even bigger than Ottoman's 106k or Mamlukian 80k, but they'd be bringing a lot of buddies, so it won't be an easy war. And I still don't have even a single ship.
HRE Leagues triggered, with Austria, Spain, Commonwealth, Denmark, Hungary, Bohemia, and a lot of minor powers on Catholic side.
Protestant side was much weaker with Ottomans, Muscovy, France, Sweden, and random minors - basically Ottomans and their allies.
I think I'll remain in Asia and skip the whole league conflict.
Ming tried to conquer Bengal's jungle fort of Mong Yang, and as result had to cancel Arakan's tributary status. Silly Bengal, just take war reparations.
Everybody's stuck now and nobody's expanding. AI no longer does its usual random suicidal attacks to break such stalls.
That "allies undermining you if you expand too fast" thing they were talking about in dev diaries in definitely real - Mamluks guaranteed Hormuz against me twice. I don't think this improves gameplay in any way.
Great Horde is more understandably guaranteed by the Ottomans and Muscovy.
I vassalized Samtskhe after something like 50 years of trying, and then almost vassalized Kazakh, but they got Nogai as OPM tributary, and that blocks it. Multan is another potential vassal.
White Sheep Persia: Part 10: 1562-1569: The Great War, Sort of
I was running some scripts on the save game, and amazingly the Palatinate has higher total AE than me. It's actually just a bit under 50 with everyone in HRE, so no coalition risk.
I finally figured out a plan to deal with Mamluk guarantee of Hormuz - I'd attack Great Horde, calling in Mamluks. They'd agree as Great Horde is guaranteed by Ottomans and Muscovy. Then I could safely attack Hormuz, and Great Horde is weak, so it will be easy to end that war with white peace.
Of course that fell apart in no time, as Commonwealth decided to attack Great Horde, Ottomans, and Muscovy first. I managed to occupy most of Anatolia, but my army took ridiculous beating.
Everybody else did as well, and Ottomans, Muscovy, and Commonwealth lost most of their professionalism to merc spam. Ally AI was retarded as usual - I was fighting Ottomans full time, so they had easy way of just separate peacing them for war reparations and then wrecking what's left easily, but why would AI ever do the sensible thing?
It wasn't completely useless - I got 6 provinces (48dev) and Commonwealth got 5 (40dev).
Halfway through that fight Mamluk guarantee of Hormuz turned into a full alliance, and they soon reestablished their alliances with Delhi and Bengal as well. My options are now reduced to no-CB some Arabian minor and fight Hormuz and half of India with a third of my manpower, or waiting another decade.
There's been about 1.5 dead Persian peasants for every 1 dead Turk mercenary. At least they're less professional now.
Great Horde is the only country that got seriously wrecked by the war, others lost one unimportant province each. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing that I border Commonwealth now.
White Sheep Persia: Part 11: 1569-1584: Freedom of the Greeks but not the Protestants
I took as my ideas: administrative, quantity, trade, economic. All highly questionable other than administrative.
I took stab hit to distract the Mamluks, and went to war against Hormuz, Arab minors, and half of India. The biggest action was 60k vs 67k battle of Roh against Delhi and Bengal, which I extremely barely won, it was enough to distract Indians for a while. I feel I never have enough troops to cover whole area of the country, and my forts are just temporary distraction for AI. At least I haven't noticed any blatant zone of control cheating yet.
I never built a single ship the whole campaign, so I couldn't get any of Hormuz's islands to 100% them, and so the only way to get anything out of the war was by getting all their allies out first - including invading Bengal's capital. It was very painful, but very profitable.
Religious Leagues war triggered, far more even than I expected, with 602k on Catholic side and 511k on Protestant side. The only major neutral countries in Europe being Burgundy (who soon had own war with Netherlands independence) and ironically the Pope.
Simultaneously nearly all of India went to war, with my two Indian allies on opposite sides, and calling me in. I took Mysore's (former Bahmanis) side, tried to avoid the fighting, but Indians kept invading so I separate white peaced a few years later.
With world on fire, as soon as my truce with the Ottomans expired, I attacked them calling in the Mamluks.
While I had two other wars, two province minor Mahra decided to coalition me, so without waiting for the second member I declared instant war on them, but I couldn't really send many troops there. It would be so inconvenient to think about coalitions that I don't. The whole Sunni world from Jolof to Brunei hates me to varying degree, and the only way out is to unify all Muslims under Shia faith, somehow.
The Catholic league had huge naval superiority, so it sunk the entire Ottoman navy, and I could walk to Constantinople. With that I somehow 100%ed Ottomans, released Greeks, and took two annoying border forts in Anatolia for good measure.
Emperor completely obliterated the Protestant League. The official faith of the HRE is now Catholic, but HRE is in very poor state, and Protestant zealots sacked and force converted Vienna. Territorially the biggest winner is Protestant Denmark who joined the Catholic league before flipping.
I got my capital moved to Isfahan by event. It turns out I was able to intervene in league wars without capital in Europe just fine, just a bit indirectly.
Right now the plan is to instantly declare war on anyone who even checks what "coalition" is in a dictionary. I sort of hope that if I stop expanding East, India will somehow get over it, and I'll be able to focus on more interesting directions.
I'm also thinking about making Ottomans release Bulgaria or Crimea next time.
At least it took Europe just 9 years to sort it out, not 30.
Same time as these major wars there was also Burgundy vs Netherlands, Mongolia vs Korea, Great Horde vs Kazakh, and Mahra/Hormuz/Adal/Aden vs me.
If EU4 had HoI4 style war merging it would be full blown world war.
Finally peace in our times. Ottomans lost Tunis, who allied Mamluks and me instead. They also lost France.
Greeks already got to 20 corruption, I have no idea how.
White Sheep Persia: Part 12: 1584-1592: The Inevitable War of Spanish Succession
21 countries have >50AE on me, 13 of that >100AE. This isn't really sustainable, and the only way out is to eliminate those nasty countries.
First target was what was left of the Great Horde. Muscovy guaranteed them, so I used it to split them from the Ottomans.
Then OPM Hadramut.
Then Kazakh and Multan to convert them to the right religion. It doesn't affect AE they already have, but will reduce any future gain.
All that while reseting a bunch of truce timers with countries I didn't want to fight like Delhi.
Mongolia (Tengri/Sunni, but counts as Tengri for AE purposes) removed what was left of Chagatai.
Mamluks vassalized what was left of Hormuz. Not outcome I wanted, but it gets them off potential coalition members list.
I went over my relations limit to ally Bengal, gave away influence nations money like candy in India and East Africa, and even got an event where I gave away a lot of manpower to Mamluks to keep them happy just a bit longer. That got me into an easy war in India, weakening potential coalition members and strengthening my allies.
Pretty much no way coalition could form without Ottomans.
I got CoT in Indus node, so I finally spammed light ships to get trade power there to maybe use merchant to spread my religion, but at max force limit I only got 36% trade power. Ships are really weak. Then I noticed the divert trade power vassal interaction, and managed to get just over 50% by diverting their power. I'm not sure I'll be able to convert anything, as they're just one year away from being annexed.
A fun thing happened. Commonwealth (739dev), ruled by Von Habsburg and still elective, got PU over Spain (907dev). Austria/HRE must feel real jealous. The PU was challenged by Muscovy, who's weak and I forced them to break all their alliances except Odoyev and Oldenburg. Ratio of forces is 455k vs 107k, and wargoal is Madrid, so you can probably take a pretty good guess how it's going to end.
The only question is if Commonwealth will be satisfied by a quick beating, or if it will try to carve up Muscovy. I want to fight Ottomans in less than 4 years, so I guess I'll need to help, and it's going to be my 3rd invasion of Muscovy in a decade.
Meanwhile, after many previous failed tries, Ming managed to finally win a war against Bengal, taking over Hsenwi. Some thing never change, no matter which timeline you're in.
My alliances are mostly there to make strong countries overlook my AE. Keeping Mamluks as allies at >150 AE is quite a feat.
There are still 17 countries who could coalition me, but they're all allied, someone's vassals, or tiny, except Ottomans, Delhi, Oudh, and Adal.
This war is the kind of suicidal attempt AI never does, except in this case by event.
Another question is how loyal Spain is going to be to the Commonwealth. I suspect not so much.
White Sheep Persia: Part 13: 1592-1604: Conquest of Constantinople
In next HoI4 patch troops will get acclimatization to hot/cold traits. With third invasion of Muscovy in less than 10 years, I'm sure my troops would have it by now.
Muscovy had all merc nearly pure infantry army at 0% professionalism vs mine 59%, so they fought really poorly, even disregarding how bad their numerical situation was.
What I didn't even originally noticed is that Muscovy decided to challenge Commonwealth/Spain PU while already losing a war to Sweden. This is seriously amazing. This is also quite awkward, as Sweden took Moscow before I reached it, so we were denied quick 100%.
Muscovy was wrecked, I got 3 provinces worth so little Muscovy counts them as -9 AE. More usefully Muscovy lost Perm as a vassal.
Sweden didn't take anything for itself, just made Muscovy release its other two vassals and restore all Kazakh's cores.
I like one-sided wars, so I attacked Ottomans as soon as truce expired - which by the way was 2 months before tooltip claim it would, how many patches and this bug is still unfixed. Calling in Mamluks, Greeks, and Commonwealth/Spain. The only Ottoman allies were leftovers of the Protestant league. Fun 534k vs 177k fight, and Spain alone could sink all enemy fleet. Not like in mattered, under new stupid rules Greek control over Edirne meant I could cross any time I wanted. I didn't do anything cute this time - just took Constantinople and a bunch of CoTs. I took 136% OE for a while, didn't even cause that many rebels.
I used the fact that Mamluks were distracted to remove their ally Aden from the map, and converted Mogadishu doing so.
I had massive stacked building cost discount (-5% renaissance, -15% feudal theocracy button, -10% economic ideas), so I spammed manufactories everywhere. As result Persia node is the richest node in game, and so Global Trade spawned in Mashad.
This is what I should have taken from the Ottomans in previous war.
Spain is disloyal partner under Commonwealth, but nobody supports them just yet. They'd probably be able to win independence war unless I intervened.
Great Britain finally formed. It's a reasonable bet that Russia will never form, HRE won't get rid of heretics or unify, and Ming won't explode.
White Sheep Persia: Part 14: 1604-1613: Age of Absolutism
I vassalized Multan, and went to a quick war against Delhi and Mysore, finally managing to unify my culture group 5 years before relevant age ends.
I did some heavy trickery involving alt-tabbing to Excel and then reloading peace conference when I was off by 10 to get Ajuuraan as my vassal. They're a theocracy, so no royal marriages, wrong religion, AE, and distance penalties together made it really tricky.
In the process I gave Shia Funj a bit of land from Sunni Beja. I could have returned a few more provinces, but I missed new age by a few months, and lost -25% warscore cost on infidels bonus. Beja was not terribly bothered, returning cores doesn't cause truces, so they just attacked Funj right away, restoring it to previous OPM borders. I could have guaranteed them I guess, but I'm already over my limit. Oh well, you can't win every time.
I got over 60 absolutism and started Court and Country ticking year one of the new era. Disaster start March 1613, so ten years of fun. I had to wreck my country quite hard to get there, so every estate hates me. Autonomy decreased penalties last until 1640, so it will be a bit messy, especially if I try to do so without hiring any mercs. That 85% professionalism looks nice. Then again, I can cash 5 professionalism for 86k manpower. 86k mercs would cost 13 professionalism on top of extra cost, but only to hire, reinforcement would be free, so if I kept them for a few decades it would actually work better, at least if I ended up really desperate for manpower.
Commonwealth called me into their war against Muscovy, but didn't give me any land. Oh well. All I really wanted want border with Perm, as there's a gold mine there, but I think I reached the point where gold mine wouldn't even matter much.
I needed to be at war until ticking stopped, so I attacked Gujarat and made them Shia. Most of their provinces are already Shia thanks to my merchant, so it's silly that their ruler wasn't. Gujarat would be a nice vassal with all those cores, but I'm over limit and they have -130 AE on me.
I think diplomatic ideas would make nice 5th group.
I'm going to attack Ottomans on the clock, and maybe use Mamluks for the last time. They allied Tunis again, so Mamluks will have something to do.
Defender of the Sunni faith cycles between Ottomans and Mamluks - Ottomans are irrelevant, as they'd only defend European Sunnis, who don't exist. Now that Mamluks got the title, it's really annoying, as it stops me from cleaning up East Africa, as a coalition prevention measure.
Goals for the age:
• 5 universities - done
• 200 force limit - done
• 90 absolutism - as soon as Court and Country finishes
• 5 accepted cultures - I could, but I really want a big one like Syrian or Egyptian. Bedouis was OK, but they split it into 6 pointless microcultures.
• 3 trade companies - I could either move my capital to Europe, which I don't want to as it sort of goes against idea of being Persia, or conquer all of African coast including West Africa, which might happen before end of age, but probably won't
• be part of victorious side of religious league war - I sort of was, but game doesn't see it this way
• be emperor of China - no way unless I flip religion to Eastern or Pagan, but that would be quite hard - Tengri/Shia is closest I could do, but I don't think there's any way to flip to Tengri except as OPM
Political map didn't change that much, so here's religious map. PLC is over 30% reformed, but they're cool with that. New world colonies are all Catholic.
I'm permanently at about 90% religious unity, bonus missionaries without religious ideas have trouble keeping up with constant influx of new infidels.
White Sheep Persia: Part 15: 1613-1623: Court and Country
List of countries with enough AE to potentially coalition me shrunk to just 13, two of them being my vassals.
The disaster was ticking so I didn't want to do anything crazy. I passed time converting some minors in Central Asia. My AE targets for next half century are pretty much all Sunni, so countries to my East will soon forget my past expansion.
For the next war Ottomans allied Tunis, France, and peasant republic of Dithmarschen. I had Commonwealth, their disloyal junior Spain (who wouldn't even defend own forts from France), Mamluks, and Greeks on my side. I messed up timing and had ongoing minor wars while truce timer expired. I keep forgetting about that bug that you can't call AI into your war when you're in a different war because it wrongly thinks it would be "called into multiple wars". It's been in the game since forever. Like other AI bugs, unfixable with mods.
Ottomans did far better than could be expected of them, sieging down Constantinople, Warsaw, Roussillon, and nearly off Greek lands before I could get to the frontlines and do something about it. The war was nastier than it should be at this stage, and they were very close to separate peaceing Commonwealth, but in the end, they had no chance of winning.
A much bigger disaster is that Mamluks broke our eternal alliance just after the war. 219 AE was finally too much.
The whole Court and Country disaster was ridiculously underwhelming. It was nearly the most peaceful my country has been. It probably helps that I stacked -11 unrest, -7.5 tolerance of true faith, and -100 in every particularist province by accepting their demands.
So what's going to happen next? Something tells me Mamluks are going to lose a lot of their 62% professionalism. I'm at 97% myself.
White Sheep Persia: Part 16: 1623-1631: Conquest of Jerusalem
I needed to do something about the Mamluks. So DoW Adaled, cobeligerents Mamluks, Mogadishu, Kilwa, Mahra, non-cobeligerents Beja, Morocco, Antemoro. On my side Commonwealth, and their disloyal partner Spain who did nothing at all.
Enemy's ally Tunis was losing its war to Brittany and Pope over some West African colonies, so didn't join this time.
As the first thing I do whenever a war starts is drafting terms of peace deal, I discovered that province warscore cost game displays in province dialog is rounded down, but game uses a few decimal places in actual peace deal terms, so I couldn't get quite what I wanted.
Speaking of bugs, Mamluks tried to invade North Iraq, and after losing one battle shattered retreated by my count 13 provinces from Sulimaniyeh just next to Kirkuk to Kharkov in East Poland.
That kind of nonsense used to happen in version 1.0, I haven't seen it in years. I chased them and captured them North of Kiev. Then they withdrew just one province as they were supposed to. My chasing stack was so far from frontlines I sent them to fight Uzbek and Yarkand in a tiny side war instead. And then since Mongolia broke up with Ming, I got a few more Kazakh cores from them as well. I'm sort of helping Ming here, by shrinking their non-tributaries.
The rest of Mamluk army was in Central Arabia, not sure doing what there. I fought all that at speed 2, once war doesn't fit one screen, it's pretty hard to micro everything properly.
What I got:
• Maheran - fully annexed into my vassal Ajuuraan
• Yarkand - went Shia
• Uzbek - fully annexed into my vassal Kazakh with core returns
• Beja - returning a lot of provinces to Funj second time, Funj then agreeing to become my new vassals
• Mamluks - taking a lot of land including Jerusalem, Mecca, 3 CoTs, and 5 forts. Somehow never ran out of manpower, so as professional as ever.
• Mahra - fully annexed
• Kilwa - separate white peace, as Portugal invaded them first and took border provinces with Ajuuraan cores
• Adal - took their coastline, most of their forts, and CoT
It cost me buckets of bird mana - a lot more than amount of paper mana I need for coring. Maybe I should have taken influence not diplomatic to halve that cost?
I misread triggered modifiers, and only got +1 missionary for Jerusalem. The other one requires both Mecca and Medina. Oh well, next war.
Now that my short truce with Kilwa expired, I wanted to attack them, but Mamluks keep redeclaring themselves Defender of the Sunni Faith, so they'll join every single damn war in Africa. There really ought to be some timeout after losing that claim.
Ming decided to support Spain's independence. It sounds rather useless, but then again Spain can probably defend itself against AI Commonwealth.
My counter-coalition strategy is working amazingly well, as number of countries with enough AE is down to 9, and of that Gujarat is already my vassal, and Yarkand would like to be, but they're involved in some minor Indian wars. The rest will get removed from the map soon.
War against Sunni East Africa, pretty much. Tunis capital being sieged by Brittany over some colonies next to Kongo was unexpected surprise, they'd have made the war a lot harder.
The war lasted very long time, as 100% from fully occupying war leader only counts if they don't occupy something else. Mamluks invaded Commonwealth, occupied a bunch of provinces, and Commonwealth was just, yeah, whatever. I started tagging them as targets, and eventually they figured out what to do.
It took them like a year, but I had to wait about as much to core Mamluk lands before I could peace out Adal, so it wasn't too bad.
Great Powers. Notably missing - Ottomans, and Mongolia no longer under Ming. Portugal with its big colonial empire I can't see was briefly a great power as well.
White Sheep Persia: Part 17: 1631-1637: Spanish War of Independence
I got into a quick war in Africa. It was so painful on bird mana all I took was Medina for an extra missionary, Ajuuraan's remaining cores, and most of Adal.
Spain with Ming's support declared independence war on Commonwealth, supported by me, Venice, Mainz, Savoy, and Livonian Order. It was a nice world war. I had no intention of invading Spain, and Commonwealth could handle it on its own just fine, but it definitely messed up with my war against the Ottomans.
Ming invaded me with all their troops. That did nothing to defend Madrid, but it was sure annoying. Spain invaded me in Africa instead of defending itself. Over 300k Chinamen died, pointlessly.
Meanwhile, I had to fight Ottomans, Tunis, and France almost alone, with only Greeks to help me. The opening was good, as I captured half of Ottoman army with almost zero morale, but they did another stupid 15 province shattered retreat. And then again a while later. There's nothing about this in any recent patch notes. There seriously needs to be much more reasonable limit of how far they can go.
It was the first war with level 6 forts - I hate those. But not as much as once fixed bugs from early patches returning.
Ming troops from the other war reached me at about the same time. But the worst part of fighting on my own was total enemy naval supremacy. Ottomans hold a bunch of islands I couldn't reach, and kept spamming mercs and dropping them around. I even recruited a small transport fleet in Mediterranean, but that was under assumption my allies will provide safety and I'll just need to drop some troops on Ottoman Rhodes or Mamluk Cyprus. That didn't work out this time.
And that new feature that you can level up advisors up to +5, best thing this patch. I'm using half-cost level 5 paper and bird mana advisors whenever I can. And even just getting level 1 advisor of type I want and levelling them up to level 3 is so much better than endlessly rerolling.
Spanish War of Independence with terra incognita lifted. Ming's losses to attrition were just as bad as could be predicted.
I tried to avoid fighting them as I had another big war going, but damn Ming kept running around, and I finally got one of their doomstacks in Yemen. By that time it melted away to half size.
Commonwealth has the usual randomly scattered fortifications, so it's protected from Baltic and Balkans, but anyone can walk to Warsaw from Bohemia, Ukraine, or Muscovy, and there's no fort in Warsaw so it can fall in a month with good rolls.
If Ming didn't try to siege my lands, and just walked straight for Warsaw, then maybe they'd have a decent shot at this war.
White Sheep Persia: Part 18: 1637-1650: Conquest of Alexandria
Without terribly much conviction, I remade my army into six 20inf 4cav 15art stacks. Armies need to fight major battles (2 stacks at a time), sieging forts (1 stack borrowing half of artillery from second), carpet sieging (where infantry needs to separate and spread out), and not dying to attrition while standing still (every stack separately). It makes it pretty complicated even when manower, money, and force limit are not major issues, and this composition is not great for anything in particular.
Of course as soon as war started, all the stacks were total chaos again. And I needed to recruit another stack just for rebels.
Bullshit shattered retreats got even worse this time, with Mamluks retreating 16 provinces, from one next to Bahrain, through North Iraq and Syria all the way to Rosetta in Egypt. But that's 10 provinces by alternative route, passing through my fort. So does AI select target within 10 provinces (ignoring ZoCs), then selects a path of any length afterwards? This was how early patches' "Ottomans withdraw walking around black sea" nonsense worked, just back then it was blockaded straits not ZoCs.
Mamluks got to 86% professionalism, among the highest in the world. With all the shattered withdrawal they lost their land before they lost troops, and it's not possible to hire mercs in ally territory. Maybe it should be, it's not crazy.
A big problem I had was one uncolonized province West of Funj in terra incognita. AI kept going through it to invade my East Africa. I tried to buy or steal maps of it from everyone, turns out nobody knows this province except Tunis somehow.
I was really tired of invading Tunis over and over whenever I fight Ottomans or Mamluks, so I took their coastline and passage into Sahara. I can just put some forts there.
From Mamluks I took the rest of Aleppo node (except Cyprus with separate fort) and North African coastline. After that I was finally able to move my primary trade port to Constantinople. There's still a lot of trade leakage, but this can be fixed later.
All this cost me over 1000 bird mana, tanked my religious unity to 78%, and there was no way to get the deal I wanted without 153% OE, even doing it in batches. I even lost my Defender of the Faith and 1 of the missionaries, as Mysore stole my title.
By some spectacularly bad timing I tried to diplovassalize Oudh, and got involved into a war against Ming again. Oudh got attacked by Orissa, I sent alliance offer ignoring that because Orissa is tiny, but it turned out it was allied with Ming. This resulted in a lot of dead Chinamen again, somewhat fewer but still a lot of dead Persians, with nothing to show for it. Even more unfortunately I foolishly transferred Oudh's cores held by Orissa to Oudh without checking their development, and after the war they became too big to vassalize, at least for now. It's at -7 reasons, so I should be able to get there eventually.
Just one month after Ming war started, Delhi formed coalition against me, so I attacked them immediately before this stupid idea spreads any further. West Africans joined as well, but before I was able to deal with that, they changed their minds.
As I was getting into position to strike the Ottomans and nearly wipe out their country, Commonwealth called me into their conquest of Moscow. On enemy side - Ottomans. Damn. I was really annoyed, so I sieged down Moscow, and early separate peaced them for war reparations, and breaking that Ottoman alliance for I don't know which time.
I was quite annoyed by slow spread of map knowledge - that's one of the few remaining things that still depend on tech group, so I started buying and stealing them pretty hard.
Two English CNs revolted, with French support.
Manufactories spawned in Delhi of all places, but they'll spread very fast everywhere. They sort of fixed AI building logic this patch, so at this stage pretty much every province has manufactory.
The remaining campaign goals are:
• wipe out Ottomans and Mamluks - it's going to be 2 wars each
• reestablish borders of Achaemenids - just Egypt and some cleanup missing, Greeks are not my vassal, but they're in my sphere, so that's close enough
• unify Islam - 3 places in Spain and 1 in Morocco missing - this will be awkward as it means conflict with my biggest ally, not to mention my lack of real navy
Mamluk army all withdrew to Tunis, where they joined Moroccan and Tunisian armies and they were all doing their silly dance of going in my direction, cancelling day or two later etc. for months. It was so annoying I changed my original plans (of getting whatever I had claims on to minimize bird mana cost), and just took North African coastline instead, all the way up to fort in Kef which is being sieged now.
At least East African minors are all gone, just Kilwa left there, but Kilwa doesn't even like the Mamluks.
White Sheep Persia: Part 19: 1650-1664: The Greatest War
EU4 ledger seems to be bugged this patch. On religions patch it shows how many provinces changed religions since last reload, instead of actual total. It's a tight race against Catholics, who are expanding by colonization about as fast as I do by conversion.
I didn't have any good pick for 6th idea group, and I was overflowing on paper mana, so I took religious after all.
I got Air as vassal, so at least some of the West Africans can learn who's the rightful caliph.
Next Mamluk war I made Tunis and Morocco cobeligerents, which brought in Songhai, Mali, Brunei, Kilwa, (Catholic) Kongo, Antenomoro, and most awkwardly the Ottomans. Oh well, I might start another one with Kanem Bornu while I'm here.
From using Mamluks to maybe make Ottomans think I'm not worth attacking to fighting both of them at once, plus a few other regional powers, we came far. The saddest thing is that EU4 has no way to tag someone else as also cobeligerent when they join, or add wargoals.
Brunei landed in India, which was basically undefended. I tried to land on Cyprus three times, with first two stacks getting wiped. Sadly my transport fleet is tiny, and half of it is in wrong place, and Mamluks recruited a lot of troops there.
I took 140% OE during the war, and then without finishing all cores 110% OE more.
In the grand war:
• got Morocco as vassal
• took whole North African coast
• converted Mali, Ashanti, and Kanem Bornu
• took a bit more coastline from Kilwa
• pretty much obliterated the Mamluks, including finally taking Cyprus
Then the real war started, against rebels. I still took a quick detour to convert Mossi.
Ming decided, out of on its own free will, to take some provinces from Mongolia and get border with my vassal Yarkand, so scheduled annexation resulted in their near zero mandate turning into definitely permanent zero mandate.
Hungary saw just how puny Ottomans were, called in Austria, France, and other allies, and took almost all their Balkan possessions.
And just as my truce with Ottomans expired and I prepared to deliver the final strike, Hungary decided to guarantee them. WTF?
Hungary became great power after taking Bulgaria from the Ottomans and they're already being nasty to me. I don't think AI changes made the game more enjoyable.
There are currently 11 Shia and 13 Sunni countries, but two of them are on my kill list. Of course by sheer size, we're dominating. A bit embarrassing that Sunni Bengal is still a great power, but that's not really Great Persia region, so I'll let them live.
White Sheep Persia: Part 20: 1664-1669: The End
If Hungary wants to guarantee Ottomans, let's see how well they'll do.
I wanted to call in the Greeks, as they deserved to take part in the final blow, but they had some unrelated truce. So instead I only called in the Commonwealth to show Hungary how silly their claim to Great Power status was.
Hungary actually punched a good deal harder than I expected, but attacked from both sides, they had no chance, and I made them release Serbia just to punish them. Ottomans ended there.
Mysore called me into a silly war against Orissa and Ming. Guys, I have no place to properly bury so many dead Chinamen again! They probably didn't want to die without even a chance of proper burial, as none crossed my borders this time.
Since there was just one thing left to do, I revoked truce with the Mamluks, and fully annexed them.
And that's all. I got all of Unify Islam goal except 3 provinces held by Spain, as I'm sure my good ally Commonwealth will ensure good treatment of any pilgrims who would like to visit.
In those last decades Portuguese CNs became independent as United States, Louisiana, Brazil, and Brittany's CN became Colombia. Not really surprising with both their home countries getting wrecked in European wars - Brittany's capital in literally in 4dev Cameroon.
Some notes about the new patch:
• Ability to promote advisors is like third biggest balance change in all of EU4 history after absolutism and forts. It generates obscene amounts of mana for totally reasonable monetary cost while letting you choose 3 hand picked advisor bonuses instead of letting RNG pool decide. Obviously paid mod feature.
• Professionalism allows converting sword mana or money into manpower without going merc route, but rate you'll get is proportional to your max manpower, so it synergizes with quantity ideas etc. instead of undermining them
• Drill feels completely pointless
• Exploiting development is just really dumb and pointless
• New merchant mechanics were a lot lower impact than I expected.
• New Middle East map has surprisingly high number of varied interesting starting points and potential goals like forming Rum, Persia, Timurids, Mughals, Arabia etc., while blobs got nerfed just the right amount.
• It sort of integrates into steppes / India / China mechanics like going Golden Horde, Yuan, Hindustan, etc. Weirdly Europe is now the least interesting place to play, with extremely punitive AE levels preventing anything interesting other than colonizing.
• Extra Muslim mechanics and government types were quite nice. They are quite powerful.
• Now that Persia is no longer wasteland, region plays a lot better with the institutions than before
• AI is way too careful resulting in frequent stalls. Probably the "AI now more pessimistic when estimating help from allies before declaring a war." part in patch notes did this.
• I don't like own allies undermining you thing. It made perfect sense when Ottomans used guarantees and alliances to contain me, or even when Hungary tried, but my best allies Mamluks? It's not good gameplay and not good for immersion.
• Another round of merc nerfs was much deserved, but mercs are still potentially extremely strong, just require more finesse than AI spam approach.
• Slight Ottoman nerf was well deserved.
• There was a secret Ming nerf, with reform cost increased from 50 to 70, so reforming now inevitably results in periods of negative mandate. Can we get major Muscovy nerf too please?
• There really needs to be some timeout after losing Defender of the Faith before being allowed to claim it again. The Mamluks kept spamming it sometimes 3 times same year.
Great Persia, with Morocco, Air, and Gujarat as vassals.
Newly released Serbia trying to look inconspicuous.