Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 01: 1356: Introduction
Playing with 1356 mod and the yet-unreleased Fun and Balance version for it.
Starting as Muscovy - a 71 dev principality with 23 dev vassal Galich, tributary of the Great Horde like everybody else in the region. The goals are:
• fully colonize Siberia
• form Great Yuan for ideas (5% administrative efficiency). Russia has #1 ideas and Yuan #3 on my ranking (American ideas are #2), but that's largely thanks to that idea that gives Siberia for free, and late game that does nothing without moving capital to another continent.
• be Celestial Emperor with max mandate
• and simultaneously hereditary Holy Roman Emperor with max imperial authority
• also with clean borders, nice trade etc.
This will require a minimum of 2 religion, 1 culture, and 2 tag changes, but I expect the full list will be more likely:
• go Catholic - for HRE
• form Russia - for Siberia
• make HRE hereditary
• go Sunni - to get Dhimmi
• go Confucian (or other Eastern) - access to mandate wars
• get mandate
• go Mongol (or other Altaic) - required for Yuan
• form Yuan - for ideas
• go some Chinese culture - to get more value out of China
• flip Sunni - to get Dhimmi again
• then perhaps some kind of Christian back
For 5 religion, 2 culture, and 2 tag flips, minimum. Oh and did I mention Yuan currently exists, so it will need to disappear before we can reform it?
For quick introduction to 1356. The most prominent countries are:
• Great Yuan - Chinese mandate holder currently fighting revolting Chinese minors, and with mandate ticking down to 0, resulting in likely Chinese civil war lasting centuries
• Delhi - huge Sunni power in North India, likely to unite it all, or at least becoming one of main bloms
• Mamluks - without Ottomans to oppose them likely to become the problem
• France and England - with tons of vassals and junior partners each and fighting Hundred Years War
• Majapahit - somehow ruling over 24 vassals who will inevitably rebel - that might have some historical basis, but that's not how this game works
• Great Horde - liege of Russian principalities including us, with huge Crimean revolt
• Lithuania - last Romuva power in the world
• Bohemia - emperor
• Ottomans - 46dev, very far from
• Byzantium - 42dev, with level 6 fort in capital, and pretender rebels
• Denmark, Norway, and Sweden - currently separate, but with events which could setup some PUs
The mod includes Hussites as early reformation wave, but it's a bit RNG dependent and depending on how that goes you can see extremely early reformation, or extremely early Bohemia reforming the HRE.
All countries get their vanilla missions, even if they don't fit perfectly. Only Denmark and England got some changes so far, and I'm not even sure what changed. The mod is sort of early version.
Fun and Balance mod some minor trade map tweaks since last update to help East Asians colonize Pacific sides of New World, but they're not terribly likely to matter much here.
I love new early bookmarks. A bit disappointed by limited visibility - I guess it makes sense but fun things are happening out of view and I won't even get notified.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 02: 1356-1366: One Novgorod Down, One To Go
Two Golden Eras happened first month, and a few soon later (England, Mamluks, France). The whole Age of Feudalism could use some tweaks.
I had some cores to get back, so I started war with Nizhny Novgorod, Odoyev, and Beloozero.
That was a surprisingly fun war, multiple frontlines, complex terrain, trying to siege and prevent enemy from joining forces at once. I ended it up deep in manpower hole.
I got generic missions "Build to Force Limit", "Trustworthy Allies", "Acquire Subjects", and "Expand Muscovy".
Majapahit fell off great powers list, I don't see them on the map, but I guess 24 vassals strategy isn't working.
Yuan still exists but lost 2/3 of its land already. Somehow our overlord Great Horde lost Great Power status, presumably due to institutions, but then got it back. Novgorod told them it will no longer pay anything. I could stop paying too, but the costs aren't that high, and they protect me from Novgorod and Lithuania.
I finally unlocked tech 2, so I can fabricate claims. No-CB war really tempted me.
As Novgorod was is inevitable I wanted to ally Poland or Sweden, but they're not interested.
This is most beautiful name placement. Mamluks' name look really neat spreading over wasteland too.
England beat France so hard it got coalition against it, but it looks somewhat half-hearted.
Bohemia is already close to passing the first reform (mod changed minimum IA from 50 to 75).
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 03: 1366-1379: Free from the Tartar Yoke
A great Russian war started, sides were about evenly matched:
• me, my vassals Beloozero and Galich, my allies Rostov, Pskov, Smolensk
• Murom, Ryazan, Novgorod, Novgorod's vassal Perm
Just before that, as I needed money, I stopped paying tribute to the Golden Horde. They broke our tributary status, but that did not trigger 5 year truce I was expecting. Instead I got attacked while fighting Novgorod and two Russian minors. Ouch.
Somehow with lucky rolls I managed to finish Russian war within a few months. I got reparations, money, and cancel subject on Perm from Novgorod, and fully annexed Ryazan and Murom.
After that the Great Horde found itself at war with not just me but also most of Russian minors. 3:2 strength rate for us. So predictably they did very poorly. I defeated them in some minor battles, sieged their capital and another fort, got 80% worth of land from them, as it was rather awkward going for 100%, and my mana was too low to core it anyway.
And with these wars the Great Horde lost its Great Power status, while I gained it. It sure doesn't feel like it yet, I'm deep in manpower hole, with shitty economy, and with no mana to core what I just took. But at least the Russians were finally free. Well except Tver and Yaroslav, but everything in due time.
I got "Tame the Steppes" mission this way. So now I have permanent claims on a lot of land North and South.
I managed to diplovassalize Rostov. And I got my alliances with Sweden and Hungary.
Moldavia was fighting Crimea, so I allied them mid-war to try to join it, but joining wars is nearly impossible, and they wouldn't just call me in. It could be an useful ally to have, or at least it could let Hungarian troops move through more easily.
Bohemia managed to pass the first HRE reform. I need to hurry.
Perm which I released from Novgorod is getting wrecked by the Great Horde now, but I didn't feel like I can afford saving them. My truce with Novgorod is almost up.
It was a nice big war. It could have been much nastier if I had to fight Great Horde, Novgorod, and all the minors at once.
Name placement still implacable. France and Ottomans are growing fast.
Yuan lost empire to fairly small Qi, but it's a huge multiway war with no end in sight. My bet is on Ming, as it has cores everywhere, so it can use reconquest CB instead of suicidal take mandate CB. But if they take mandate early, it could be another round of civil war.
Persia went Shia by event. Between Eretna, Jalayirid, Persia, Bahmanis, and a bunch of minors it's very decent Shia shart.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 04: 1379-1392: Time of Troubles
Great Horde conquered most of Perm and reduced the it to tributary OPM, thus regaining its great power status for a while.
Novgorod fought well, supported by Livonians, and Yaroslav. Sweden fought very poorly, so I didn't see it fit to reward them for their failures with land. So they broke alliance, but a while later asked me back. Exes and Ohs...
The Great Horde was fighting other hordes for God knows what cause, so they were easy prey in our next war. Still my armies got completely wrecked by 2 enormous stacks of their tribal rebels both popping up just where my armies were traveling. This and rebels popping up everywhere forced me to lower my professionalism and get a lot of mercs.
That finished the first set of hordes claims, I completed "Subjugate Kazan" even though Kazan doesn't technically exist (but Kazani culture does, so I guess), and got another batch of claims.
And when I finally thought I'm done with this, 40k nobles rebelled by event. If they ever make DLC with dead rebel counter, I'll totally pay for that. I'd say I had about 200k in endless rebellion after rebellion, and Great Horde even exported a bunch of Permian rebels.
Since I was ridiculously low on paper mana I took administrative ideas as first group. I was also tempted by:
• humanist - since I can't convert minorities for like a century or two
• quantity - for manpower issues
• aristocratic - partly for manpower issues, but also to get extra diplomat, siege bonus etc.
• innovative - for tech cost discount, as I'm low on all mana
Somehow nothing in diplomatic groups seemed too relevant.
Ottomans attacked Byzantium and got Constantinople.
Bohemia passed Pragmatic Sanction, letting women inherit the HRE, and now one actually does. Is that really what you want Germans? A Bohemian woman?
One of many batches of rebels and freshly recruited 9k of mercs to save me. I feel like I might be wasting too much time here, I need to go Catholic sometime soon and get access to the HRE.
All that rebel infested land is not getting me there.
Revealing terra incognita to check what's up in Asia.
Qi is Chinese emperor, somehow with tolerable mandate given their small size thanks to their equally small neighbors.
Yuan still exists as Macau and two Manchu provinces. Somehow Chinese Civil War took pause and nobody is fighting anybody.
Japan on the other hand is Ashikaga-Hakateyama civil war.
Majapahit went from great power with 24 vassals to OPM on Bali.
Ottomans are definitely on the way towards becoming the menace we know them as.
England is doing really well, it integrated its PU over Gascony, and took some land in Ireland and Scotland.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 05: 1392-1409: Discovering Steppes with Dead Peasants
I got into a fight with Perm. Great Horde decided to protect them, so I humiliated them for next age's bonus, and took their money again. I'll need all that Sunni land at some point, but right now it'd be more a burden than an asset.
War with Novgorod was where the land I wanted was. Turns out that AI still cheats with forts - I had so many forts I mothballed the second line and only had those active which Novgorod could reach. Of course AI just magically walked over my first line of forts.
I tried to export some Permian rebels to the Great Horde, but Tver was still their tributary, and I somehow forgot that I grant them access, so they foiled my plans. At least they got successfully exported to Novgorod, so I took newly spawned Perm as an OPM.
Another Great Horde war I got event that let me reveal a bit of the map. A lot of other hordes helped them, my allies Hungary, Moldova, and Circassia decided that they can't be bother joining even with favors. Like the game has favors system, and same time it has this old system of AI deciding if it can be bothered to join or not. And they're completely unrelated.
After losing a big nasty battle to what seemed like every horde coming at me at once, and with allies I counted on not joining, I let them get away with giving me just two border provinces.
A truce with Livonian Order was due, so I wanted to finally get my hands on some Catholic land, and they got double guaranteed, by Lithuania, and somehow Bohemia.
So I'm a bit stuck now. I'll remove Novgorod for sure, and maybe another attempt at dealing with hordes will do better, but I need to face West. I'd also love to get even more visibility over steppes.
My army somehow has no regular troops any more. Mixing streltsy infantry (10% extra fire damage, cost stab), merc infantry (fight worse, but cost no manpower), and cossack cavalry (10% extra shock damage, no downside once recruited).
Cossacks and streltsy can be recruited with free manpower but they use regular manpower for reinforcement. All this recruitment results in far too much cavalry, both for my budget and for optimal fighting.
The game threatened me with succession war over me between Hungary and Sweden, but then changed its mind. I don't remember ever actually getting randomly PU'd.
Bohemia passed second reform.
France attacked England with coalition CB, and England wrecked them.
Byzantine separatists liberated Constantinople from Ottoman occupation and returned it to Byzantium. That was not expected. But the Ottomans are back occupying it, so it was just a small detour.
Macedonia declared independence war from Serbia. Some things happen in every timeline.
Ming became a great power, but didn't take China yet. I hope it doesn't get destroyed by a glitch.
Here's religious map for a change. I'm definitely bothered by the lack of Hussites. Lithuania is still Romuva, and Catholic Hungary took over most of the Balkans.
I could convert horde lands to get some tolerable religious unity, but that's going to screw my future plans. So far it's sort of on track, but it feels extremely slow. I guess I could attack Lithuania directly, they have some randomly spawned Catholics too.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 06: 1409-1434: Disappointing Catholic Peasants
Lithuania and Bohemia guaranteed Livonian Order, so I can't get any Catholic peasants this way. But Lithuania is Romuva, and their provinces are mix of Catholic, Orthodox, and Romuva, so that's a low AE way to get some Catholic lands.
That was a huge war, me Hungary, Teutons, and Pskov, against Lithuania, Poland, Tver, Galich-Volhynia, and Polotsk. 97k vs 66k.
I got a few Catholic provinces, got Catholic rebels, and then discovered that even as other Christian I need majority Catholic provinces to flip. Damn.
So in 1417 I got first stack of Catholics, with just 2/85 provinces being Catholic. Babysitting a single stack as it's trying to decide what to do with its life, this is extremely painful. There must be a better way, right? They got to 8, mostly resieging already Catholic provinces over and over after I tried to unsiege them. I vaguely recall Florryworry mentioning something about rebel type merging, but it's not documented anywhere.
Since it was never going to get over 50% this way I attacked Livonian Order to acquire more Catholic peasants. Bohemia, Norway, and Teutons were defending them. Pskov and Sweden joined my side, but Sweden was getting overran by 25k Hussite stack and Hussite center of reformation. Hungary, Moldavia, etc. were as worthless as usual, and refused to join my wars.
The Catholic rebel stack died only managing to increase Catholic province count from 2 to 9. It's not completely worthless, as I can try to trigger them over and over, but seriously. That got me to 16/92.
Ottomans got Constantinople second time, and started their Golden Era. Then they attacked Georgia, they asked me for help, but seriously, I have major religious reorganization to do, so sorry about your loss.
Second stack of Catholic rebels managed to wipe out Pskov's and Riga's drilling armies, and was absolutely horrible at converting. Got 1 province before getting themselves killed.
Well, third stack spawned, and another war to maybe get a few more peasants by conquest. It's now extremely clear that what I should have done was going for Catholic lands ASAP, and leave all the Orthodox and Sunni land for later.
I got to 26/97 Catholic, still very far from what I want, and I let Catholic rebels rampage everywhere, unfortunately also 1 formerly Catholic province went Hussite. Somehow I got myself over 1600 in debt, and at 25 monthly income before any expenses I have no idea how I dig myself out of this hole. Perhaps bankruptcy would be easier.
Somehow Cossack estate is bugged. Estate loyalty is supposed to drift towards 50%, but it drifts towards 49.9%, and its main action requires 50%+ loyalty. No other estate has this issue.
Sweden went full Hussite. I got event to declare war on Sweden or suffer stab hit. WTF? I'm their ally, and I'm not even Catholic. After that Denmark, Oldenburg, Holstein.
Bohemia, so far unconcerned, passed third reform.
Some nice dashed Catholic lines. I guess conquering Teutons would do something to get me over 50% Catholic. I can't even conquer Sweden anymore, as that's a new heresy.
Lithuania is amazingly still Romuva.
So far I'm still at zero manpower, in massive debt, and far behind on mana. What went wrong here? It's possible the way mod rebalanced techs etc. makes everyone a lot poorer. Or maybe I played super rich countries last few times, and all that cavalry is costing me too much.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 07: 1434-1445: Catholic Muscovy and Age of Discovery
I decided not to go bankrupt. The only alternative I saw was a gold mine just over my borders. I feel embarrassed that I didn't take it earlier. The whole plan was to siege their capital and the only fort before their other horde buddies show up. Sadly that's not recipe for properly crushing them.
And then I noticed "Accept religious shift" decision, which simply let me shift to religion of my capital. Huh, where did that come from... Apparently I added it to Fun and Balance, presumably inspired by equivalent CK2 decision, and completely forgot about it years ago. Fine, pressing this at 25.5% Catholic. So I no longer need to do any Sunni shenanigans, I'll just move capital to Beijing or something, go Confucian, and tank zero religious unity.
Without it, I might be able to shift Catholic, but going Eastern religion afterwards... No idea how.
Well, Religious Turmoil disaster was ticking, so I took another loan, pronounced myself Defender of the Faith for extra missionary, and started working. I got Religious Turmoil disaster, took tolerant option (+1 heretic tolerance, +50% stab cost) instead of eradication (-2 heretic tolerance, +2% heretic conversion, rebel stack). I had enough missionary strength anyway.
I massively developed the gold mine to 5/11/5, and it increased my income by 12%. It might yet let me repay those loans.
I took aristocratic ideas, possibly first time ever. I wanted to go quantity, but let's try something different this time. Since I can convert through capital definitely not taking humanist third.
Ming decided to vassalize Qi, emperor of China. That's basically broken AI, and it would break the campaign, so I used fairly nasty console hacks to deal with it - made them attack their vassal with correct CB, and then surrendered Qi with appropriate terms.
Bohemia allied 6/7 electors, Hussites sort of got inside the HRE, but just barely, so without my intervention or really rapid Protestantism they'll get the whole damn thing hereditary.
Got religious unity to 60%, need 90% to end the disaster, so I'll convert the Sunnis too. This will properly stabilize the country, so no point bothering with humanist.
Also have awful legitimacy and prestige as my ruler died without heir so Pomeranian's Gryf dynasty took over. I don't remember ever marrying them. It will go away next succession.
Some notable things:
• Ottomans developed close to historical borders, and facing Mamluks
• Mamluks never embargoed Venice, and didn't build marketplace in Alexandria (which is not even CoT any more, wtf?), so they never started their mission chain
• Naples and Navarra (with Normandy PU) pretty big
• England did amazingly well for itself. Got all islands and South half of France.
• Yuan still exists and Ming wants to make them their tributary
• I don't think Chinese Civil War works very well in the mod.
• I can't finish Novgorod mission as Kola is uncolonized, so my last claim is unfulfilled. Sweden gets a colonist by trigger for that, so I'm waiting for them.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 08: 1445-1458: Religious Turmoil
Bohemia attacked Poland and Lithuania, and they had no other allies except some very busy HRE minors, so I joined the pileup. It's awkward that I'm helping Bohemia this way. That got me such obscene amounts of money I repaid all my debts and still had some leftover - and I also took a lot of land anyway, and humiliated Poland just to be sure.
The new gold from wars system makes milking HRE minors harder, but you can get so much from majors now it's crazy. Lithuania went Catholic soon afterwards, so the nearly AE-free land is no longer there.
Amazingly Poland white managed to peace Bohemia, and even take two provinces from Teutons in it.
Hordes were really close to not helping each other, but I was a few months too late and their wars stopped. There was another opportunity soon, and I cobeligerented everyone to get maximum number of capitals uncovered, sent some troops East for maps. That cost me far too many dead peasants, but
Cossacks got obscene influence by events, but since I was already in Religious Turmoil disaster, and disasters block each other, that was actually fine. It's going to take a while, I'm at just a bit over 70% unity.
I allied some electors, but they're still not so sure about voting for me. Even with Hussitism spreading a bit further Bohemia is well on its way to passing 4th reform soon. I feel like maybe I'd have a chance to get two votes if I took diplomatic or influence, and that only because new Bohemian emperor lacks heir. Properly crushing Bohemia is the only way.
England became Britain because mod forgot to update their adm tech requirements to match longer timeline.
I feel with Catholic conversion and reaching 1444 the first stage of the campaign is done. The goals for the next stage are:
• achieving high degree of religious unity
• creating strong but affordable army, probably involving a lot less cavalry, and soon a bit of artillery
• fixing my economy so I can sustain my country without relying on war reparations
• securing path to the HRE, conquering land from Teutonic Order, Lithuania, and possibly Poland
• defeating hordes properly and starting on the path to China (ignoring hordes and Siberian path is also a possibility)
• breaking Bohemia's alliances with electors, currently 6/7 (otherwise it's too hard to overcome penalties for not being in the HRE)
• forming Russia when tech 15 happens
Giving Ming mandate made it quickly go to zero, as Ming is not compact and neighbours everyone. China is basically broken in this mod. Oh well. No idea how Yuan got some land back.
The game removed free missionaries from Jerusalem, Mecca/Medina etc. in 1.25. Like seriously, why? Not even a word in patch notes as far as I can tell. All holy site triggers just commented out without explanation.
That makes religious ideas much more valuable, as it's no longer possible to get free missionaries this way. Also harder to stack prestige modifiers for permanent +100 prestige, which would definitely be useful for HRE game.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 09: 1458-1470: War of the First Coalition
I have Ming a lot of free mandate by console. It's not their fault that mod didn't really fix Mandate of Heaven's mandate system. I thought once about playing Extended Timeline around time of fall of Yuan, but decided against it when AI observe game showed just this kind of silliness.
EU4 is nowhere near CK2 level of scriptable, but I feel the system should be something like this:
• For every Chinese minor, free core event for any Chinese culture province they occupy. That should work, as there's already an event for this for same culture group and religion against infidels, I even got one core on Orthodox Belarusian province held by Lithuania this campaign. Without this, coring speed is just too slow to end Chinese Civil War in under 200 years. On the other hand pre-made free cores cause AI to use reconquest CB, and that breaks China.
• For emperor, free mandate for every Chinese culture province they conquer. I'm not sure if that's scriptable. If not, maybe free mandate every time they declare unify China war. Or at least like 25 years of like +0.25 monthly mandate modifier when new country takes it to give them some time to set things up. Mandate should not be a problem while you're making progress unifying China.
• Event to ask all minors in East Asia if they want to be tributaries whenever a new power takes throne of China. Mostly to guide AI on the right path, strong or distant ones should probably still say no, but various Korchins and Champas might reasonably decide that sending a bit of mana to get big protector is a perfectly reasonable option.
Once China is mostly unified, this system becomes basically vanilla system.
Back to Muscovy. I attacked Great Horde preparing for a big fight, but their biggest ally Transoxiana white peaced first months due to rebellions. Disconnect between joining logic and peacing out logic sometimes results in such issues.
Not like it mattered, since I attacked Sibir mid-war anyway and Transoxiana rejoined. Sadly I lost Defender of the Faith due to not defending Castile from Morocco. Oh well.
I did proper wrecking, vassalizing Crimea, getting good chunk of Sibir which will be useful for future colonization, and reaching Astrakhan. That accidentally got me over 100% OE as Crimean separatists spawned against the Great Horde, occupied Crimea fort once I peaced them out, and I couldn't transfer it to my vassal Crimea.
This caused massive amount of rebels, and a Sunni coalition. To prevent Lithuania from joining as well, I attacked them as soon as truce timer expired. The solution to both these problems is merc spam. And I actually hit merc limit.
Still far behind on manpower, with rebels spawning everywhere, I got hit by coalition war. Ottomans, Mamluks, Poland, Bohemia, a lot of hordes. Balance of forces is surprisingly even, but I'm actually two mil techs behind as I rushed to get aristocratic.
I'm sure it will be fine. It's even more than fine, as it instantly breaks Bohemia's two elector alliances. It would break their Palatinate alliance too, if bastard honored our alliance.
This war should be winnable, I'm just not sure if winning it is worth it. I guess I could also suffer for a while to exhaust them, then make some minor concessions to make them go away.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 10: 1470-1486: Fall of Lithuania
The coalition war ended with very little bloodshed. I tried fighting while two mil techs behind and very low on manpower, did extremely poorly, so I just agreed to the terms. Hungary returned one province to Wallachia, and another to Byzantium. That's what this was all about, right? Hungary's aggressive expansion.
Sadly Bohemia reallied all the electors the war made them break up with almost right away. Even passed 4th reform, and I'm not making any dent in that voting block. Ottomans soon annexed Wallachia. So it was a bad war.
I also discovered why such a huge coalition. Teutonic Order joined the HRE, and then Mazovia did as well. I didn't notice that, annexed Mazovia, and was confused by all the hate. I think if it wasn't for that, only Sunnis would coalition me, and many like Mamluks were borderline and possible to get out of it. So basically it would be Ottomans and some minors.
Teutons broke Lithuania into tiny Russian principalities, so I cleaned up that region.
After that I took a brief detour into Siberia, getting me all the way to Buryatia's gold mines in armed exploration. While that was going on I got into war with the Golden Horde and its horde buddies, and while that was going also with Avaria who was trying to create second coalition, and their Mamluk buddies.
That went fairly poorly again. My troops were fighting quite well, but Mamluk numbers were inexhaustible, and any kind of offensive meant sieging mountain forts. Fortunately somehow my allies Sweden and Hungary decided halfway through that actually they're totally fine with joining the war, so Avaria got eliminated. I felt like I might be able to fortify Western Caucasus pass, but I only have the lowlands, Ottomans control the hills, and I don't feel like fighting them for it.
New coalition already forming, between Poland, Bohemia, Ottomans, and Gazikumukh. I need new allies to deal with it, and weirdly Mamluks are interested, now that we killed like 100k of each others' troops.
Renaissance cost me all my savings, and then building some barracks, churches, and workshops ate a lot again, but it finally feels like I have some sort of real economy going, even if only earning as much as countries half my size.
For third idea group I took religious. Without free missionaries from various holy cities, it became even more important than before.
I thought about taking diplomatic or influence, but I'm doing so poorly on my HRE goals, it's probably not worth the trouble for now. At least soon I'll be able to form Russia and start colonizing.
Ming got massive injection of free mandate by console twice, but they're back to zero. The mod really needs to implement some alternative mechanics for it. Not sure if I should help Ming even more aggressively by console (like by giving them free tributaries or even annexing Chinese minors), or not.
If I ally Mamluks, nobody's font size will be able to challenge ours.
The plan for HRE now is to somehow break Poland for easy Bohemian border, then start kicking minors (Saxony, Silesia etc.) out of Bohemian land.
The plan for China is to colonize Siberia, and provinces a few tiles below it for wider route. I might venture a bit further south for trade and forts, but I can't get any trade from Persia up North.
I could get Indian trade through Samarkand node, and that comes with free merchants from trade companies, but that's still like a century away at best.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 11: 1486-1498: Russia Enters Age of Reformation
I allied Mamluks and Transoxiana to discourage coalitions. Brandenburg got me into their war with Pomerania, getting me on opposite side as Sweden. I separate peaced that to take Vyborg from Sweden, and got me "Unite Home Region" mission. All Brandenburg got for that was war reparations.
Ottomans supported by Poland attacked Byzantium supported by Naples and Hungary. I joined it by attacking Poland as well. Their provinces were ridiculously overdeveloped so I only took three.
I got admin tech 15 a bit ahead of time, formed Russia, and was able to instantly establish 10 colonies, all maintenance-free. Russian ideas are #1 on the list for a reason. Broken as hell, at least as long as you're near vast uncolonized area.
As soon as I formed Russia I threw Transoxiana under the trampling horse, and allied Sweden again.
With Hussitism still raging on, Protestantism spawned in Hesse. Then Shadow Kingdom hit. So at least I don't have to worry about Bohemia reforming beyond 4 it already passed, but still no way to replace them as emperor.
Elsewhere, Brabant got hit by coalition war led by Utrecht, and won. Track record of coalition wars this campaign is not too great. Castile got completely annexed by its neighbours. Which feels weird, as for a while it was vanilla-sized.
That list of 10 colonies, it's just ridiculous, and gets me way ahead in font size race. Campaign goals are happening very slowly, not even close to HRE or China.
Also I've been on permanent negative manpower for so long, I can't hire even one artillery, while other countries prematurely switched to late game army composition with 40%-50% artillery. I wonder if that's because mod never adjusted tech at which that's supposed to happen.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 12: 1498-1515: Hungarian Succession War
Colonization of Siberia was progressing at very rapid pace. I had a bunch of minor wars at my Southern border mostly for sake of improving trade network.
And then king of Hungary died, Britain got a PU, and I got a popup to challenge it. While at two wars in Central Asia. With no allies, with big debt. 95k vs 210k troops, and 0 vs 233 ships. Damn. At least I had some manpower, at least when the war started.
After I ended my Central Asian wars prematurely, one for cash payout and a few worthless provinces, the other with white peace, I managed to get OPM Palatinate into the war. Then Teutons joined it thanks to "prepare for war" button, so basically at double favors cost.
Mamluks, Sweden, and Bradenburg wanted to do nothing with saving Hungary from British tyranny, and Pope and treasonous Hungarian nobles joined on the enemy side. So much for my alliance network.
Enemy armies walked through Teuton lands and broke through fort of Wizna, but soon I called Teutons in, unsieged Wizna, called in 30k with magic Russian button, got my Central Asian troops home, and basically trapped them all in Livonian area. In battle of Osterode, 68k vs 43k, their army was forced to retreat to Ezel island.
Instead of keeping island crossing safe there, Britain basically abandoned it, and Teuton's tiny fleet overwhelmed what they got there. It's surprising to win a naval fight against Britain without having a single ship.
My brave OPM ally Palatinate also bailed out before that happened. After losing their army and ongoing siege of Wien kicked Austria out of the war. Next stage of the war were plains of Hungary.
After that I had to invade Pope and Burgundy to get them out of the war. It was painful, I spent massive amount of money, manpower, and even sword mana to shut up rebels for a while. England and Portugal wanted to continue the fight, so I had to invade British South France to finally convince them that I'm the rightful tsar of Russia and king of Hungary.
I had to check save game, as in-game there's no information about anyone who peaces out halfway, but 172k of our peasants and 248k of theirs died in this war. This might be my first random PU ever in any EU4 game (not counting Denmark, or PLC which are scripted). Not even sure if I had any in EU3.
Just as the war was ending, over 70k rebels erupted, wanting to install some pretender on Hungarian throne. That's peasant's fate, to keep dying.
This war was a surprise, but even before it started I realized I need to pivot this campaign hard. I need far too much diplo reputation and far too many merchants to get from just ideas.
I'll need to take exploration ideas to get +2 diplomatic reputation from trading in ivory, +1 from policy (that's more that diplomatic or influence would give me), and a lot of merchants. It will take a while, but that's the only way HRE can be saved, and the only way my trade can stop leaking.
HRE is now majority heretic, but unfortunately all the electors are still Catholic, so Bohemia will have no trouble getting reelected. I guess I could wait for leagues to trigger and go Protestant. That feels a bit crazy. Then again, this whole campaign is a series of metamorphoses.
If king of Hungary died just 3 months earlier I'd maybe be able to get my allies in.
Normally I'm extremely willing to bail out of costly wars early, but this is the kind of war where I'd totally be willing to rule over ashes in both countries, as long as I won.
Hungary doesn't border me, so Poland is not long for this world.
Awkwardly PU juniors don't seem to increase colonial range. I think vassals used to in early patches, but IIRC they removed that too.
So I'll need to conquer myself some land in Western Europe (Genoa is allied with Poland...), or fight my way to Indian Ocean ports (resulting in likely Delhi-Ottoman-Persia-everybody coalition), or just be patient, colonize Siberia up to Pacific, then hop islands to East Africa where ivory is for diplo rep. Right now the plan is to do all three.
This is HoI4 style encirclement. Teutons weren't sure how fort ZoCs work, so they just spammed so many forts until they got there.
Brandenburg was fighting Poland and Ottomans over that bit of land, so wouldn't help me, but that's at least legitimate excuse. Sweden and Mamluks simply said it's too far for them.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 13: 1515-1526: Russian Africa
There was a lot of unfinished business to do. I moved my capital to St Petersburg, costing me far too much money. I took enough of Poland to connect me with Hungary, and one province of Italian coast to get me in range of West Africa. It turns out it was just tiny bit too far, fortunately third colonial idea extends my range, so I got a colony there.
I needed missionaries so I embraced counter-reformation, even though mana cost is quite significant.
I fought Transoxiana, and Delhi protected them. That was really bloody, with my units forgetting how to shattered retreat and getting stackwiped (not a single fort there, it was some different bug). In the end Delhi got too exhausted, and thanks to age ability "-25% warscore cost from religious enemies" I managed to fully annex Transoxiana, get a bit beyond Samarkand, but that's already almost big coalition risk, and still very far from the coast.
Delhi then guaranteed Chagatai just to annoy me even further. It wouldn't even be the right direction, just some border cleanup. I could force my way through, but the locals are very effective at making it costly.
I tried to vassalize Khorasan to get their cores back, to maybe expand there with low AE, but my diplomatic reputation is not good enough to get them, and even if I did, alliance and guarantee networks from Ottomans to Persia to Delhi with various minors on the way would make it extremely painful.
The third way of colonizing Siberia to Pacific worked a bit better, I was actually surprised nobody tried to burn down those colonies. They weren't exactly well protected. Trying multiple ways at once, something was likely to work.
Mamluks attacked Ottomans calling me in. On Ottoman side Tunis, Persia, Aq Qoyunlu, and Hormuz. I'm not terribly convinced that's a good idea, but it's a chance to attack Ardabil, guaranteed by Ottomans, and allied with Persia. My main contribution to the war effort was giving Persian troops somewhere to run around, so they left Mamluks alone.
I managed to just barely squeeze enough diplomatic reputation to get Khorasan as vassal, and took Eastern Caucasus approaches with 3 mountain forts. Then I managed to sack Constantinople, and betrayed Mamluks for gold, as those bastards didn't help me when I needed it in war of Hungarian Succession.
I wondered about using my warscore to break them up with Persia instead, but that's too long term thinking for someone 2k gold in debt, and with 3k overdue for next institution.
The war would be winnable, at fairly painful cost, but Mamluks were a bad ally previously, and I didn't like how many Turks and Persians were running around my country.
Mamluks were too stupid to even do their part - kicking Tunis, Hormuz, and Aq Qoyunlu out, and actually sieging down wargoal (Cilicia), so it would be all on me to win this, and I'd get none of the reward.
My seizure of Western Caspian Sea coast and mountain forts in it enraged a lot of Middle Eastern minors, hopefully they'll get over it before my truces with Ottomans, Persia, and Delhi expire.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 14: 1526-1537: Great Imperial War
In Mamluk-Ottoman war I left, Mamluks lost 4 provinces to Ottomans and 2 to Aq-Qoyunlu. I got some gold, and Morocco took 3 provinces from Ottoman ally Tunis, so our side did OK except for Mamluks themselves.
I destroyed some old forts and put them in more sensible places. Chasing enemy units all around the Russia is not much fun, and attrition for enemies has been reduced to basically zero.
Well, it was time to deal with Bohemia. Attacked them, and 5 of their elector allies. If my relations with Palatinate weren't broken in previous war I'd be able to dismantle the HRE in this war.
France joined, Sweden only when I paid their debt. Teutons and Mamluks would had no interest.
The deal offered to all electors was the same - break relations with Bohemia, and give me as much gold as you'd like. From Bohemia I took gold, kicked Silesia out of them (at painfully high bird mana cost, I hate how expensive this option is compared with straight conquest), and wargoal province to weaken them a bit further.
This rearrange electors, but not in the way I wanted. Bohemia and Brandenburg were each voting for themselves, somehow Lorraine got one vote, and Luxembourg got 4 votes. That's slightly better than the entrenched Bohemia, but only just.
I tried improving relations with 4 electors who seemed like they could maybe be of some use, but it didn't seem like it was getting anywhere. I got +1 diplomatic reputation from policy, but it seemed like I'd need +4 more to get any votes at all, assuming my legitimacy, prestige, relations and everything eles is maxed out. Well, ivory trade is coming soon.
It's close to last time I can decide to go Protestant and wreck HRE with leagues, otherwise I'll need to stay nice.
Mamluks just called me into another war against Aq Qoyunlu and Ottomans, this time without the rest, so I guess I might try getting closer to India.
Lan Xang took mandate from Ming. It's silly because it's so minor. If Xi takes it, I might let them annex other Chinese states by console.
My lines of forts were setup more sensibly this time, so everyone was swarming Hungary instead.
Before the war, Brandenburg and Luxembourg were my allies too, but they're too strong, and have imperial ambitions, so it's against my best interest to keep them.
After the war I dropped France (who lost provinces to Luxembourg in this fight), and allied Palatinate (OPM), Mainz (OPM, theocracy), and Cologne (theocracy), so maybe they'll vote for me? Salzburg (another theocracy) is a possibility too if I get a free slot.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 15: 1537-1551: Kongo Wars
I had a neat plan. Release Mazovia in Warszawa, so it adds itself to the HRE, conquer it and rest of Polish provinces, culture switch Polish, form Poland, move my capital to Warszawa by decision, sneaking my way into the HRE. Well, it would have been even easier with St. Petersburg (other than forcing me to sell multiple provinces for the path, but no tag switches needed), but I totally missed that chance. Unfortunately they closed all capital move loopholes in 1.23. Damn. This campaign is a lot harder than expected.
My army composition this campaign has been about the worst ever - because my army grows in bursts of wrong unit types by button presses instead of by sensible recruitment. This together with how big "insufficient support" penalty is (basically making it better off to disband cavalry than have them hang around) makes my army surprisingly awful.
Well, Mamluks dragged me into another massively painful war against Ottomans and Persia, half a million people dead and they took one 9dev province. I took Khorasan's cores from Persia at least.
As soon as that finished, I started what I always wanted - Kongo and Far East expansion. Kongo doesn't contain any meaningful ivory, but all the minors were allied with Butua in East Africa who does, so it was good to get that out of the way.
There's a lot of Central and East Asian minors I want to conquer, but all are allied or guaranteed by Ottomans, Delhi, or one of the Chinese majors. It's really awkward, as my army is third in Africa, third in Caucasus, and third in Far East, so if I fight anyone I'll be at a local disadvantage.
At least I managed to snipe was Ardalan when it got involved in some war on the wrong side of its guarantor. I could either wait for such opportunities, or recruit more soldiers and have a proper showdown.
After all my efforts, Bohemia still won elections, with 2 votes, with Luxembourg, and Palatinate getting 2 as well, and somehow Lorraine getting one. I hoped the emperor would at least switch, allowing me some different shenanigans.
All electors remained Catholic, so basically all my attempts at getting into the HRE the nice way failed. Even ivory and diplomatic or influence won't be enough. If nothing useful happens by age of absolutism I guess I'll just force my way in. Annoyingly I can't even start messing with China before I make myself HRE hereditary emperor.
At least my economy and manpower finally seems to be in order.
Ottomans are allied with Persia and Delhi, and overall there's very dense network of alliances and guarantees all the way to Korea.
I'd like to confront them all directly, but there's no good opening.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 16: 1551-1566: End of Siberian Frontier
I picked a fight with Aq Qoyunlu and Ottomans to distract them, then moved in against my actual target, Persia. After massive piles of peasant bodies on both sides, I got Khorasan access to Indian Ocean, as well as 6 forts, 5 of them in mountains.
Then after some minor Kongo fights, I did the same thing - distract Delhi, then attack countries in its sphere. Delhi's army was fighting ridiculously poorly, and I was baffled why.
And then another one, cleaning up Ardabil, and taking all money Persia had as well as their Ottoman alliance.
End result of all that will be either big wedge between Ottomans and Delhi letting me crush either of them whenever I want with the other one unable to help, or a massive global coalition to stop me.
I got 2 merchants from exploration, but so far only 5% global ivory trade of 20% needed. I don't have any strategic good bonuses except furs (+0.5 annual prestige) yet.
I remembered that I can buy 1 diplo rep from the pope, so I'm about 3 diplo rep away from getting 2 HRE votes. So ivory and influence ideas, and keeping OE low during elections, and I might, well, still lose to Bohemia as 2 votes are not enough. But it's a start.
I started setting up a CN in North America, as pope granted all good South American lands to Portugal. I guess I could try Australia and Alaska later. There's nobody left for Siberian frontier, so it's a fine time to switch ideas.
If anyone I could tag switch to had +2 diplo reputation in their ideas, I'd be extremely tempted. Sadly options are Aachen (not formable), Austria (formable by Styria only), Rome (WC project), and Jerusalem (formable by Provence, Cyprus, or The Knights only). So I guess going Occitan, becoming Provence, then conquering Palestine and becoming Jerusalem is an option. There's also time limit on Jerusalem, before absolutism.
I even looked at any +1 diplo reputation countries which wouldn't be too much hassle to switch to. Muscovy is one, but that ship has sailed. Same with Russian minors, generally not formable. Khorasan has it once I annex them. I guess I could go Norway without too much trouble, and that's no diplo rep but an extra colonist.
My African and Asian empires highly visible. I have a very cunning idea on how to flip Eastern religion, but first I'll need to become hereditary HRE emperor. Then again, my cunning ideas have very poor track record this campaign.
The Fetishish part of Africa will all go, and that should be enough for 3 merchants and ivory bonus. I'll probably leave African Sunnis alone for coalition reasons. Well, unless my ivory calculations are off.
I have less of a plan in Asia, just opportunistic land grabs. I'm definitely cleaning up Tengri and Buddhists, as these are bottom tier religions. Not sure if I'd rather go Confucian or Shinto for my China wars.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 17: 1566-1585: New Russia
I finally got decent manufactory suggestion script working. Value of manufactory is increase in trade income plus increase in production income. Game calculates trade graph monthly, and that data goes into save file, so I can get perfectly accurate trade value information by just linear interpolation of saved data. In-game that's not available in any way whatsoever.
Then I need to add production information. That's not cached, so I need to redo all calculations from scratch. I only properly included half the factors (autonomy, current price, estates, workshops), and just ballpark estimated the rest (prosperity, tech, ideas, largest producer bonus, merchant republics, corruption, war exhaustion etc.). Ironically production income gain is displayed exactly in-game, so OCRing a screenshot for production + save game for trade would get exact numbers. Or just including twenty more factors manually.
Script's numbers were very surprising, suggesting about huge number of places with 50 year or better ROI. Novgorod is still only third most valuable trade node after the English Channel and Alexandria.
Back to the game, I did the similar distract war / actual war trick against Shun, Korea, and their tributaries. Unfortunately I miscounted OE and suffered 101% OE for no good reason.
My African armies were bored, so I gave them holidays in North America. Because institutions broke natives, the moment I got a border with those bastards everyone chain westernized ten tribes deep, literally one day after previous tribe, getting all the institutions and a lot of techs for free.
I took influence ideas for +2 diplo rep. Ivory got to only 14% of required 20% even after all that effort. I think I overestimated how easy it would be. My only strategic goods are furs, iron, and copper. I'm top producer of ivory, livestock, salt, and wool, but not enough to get the bonus for any of them yet.
It seemed like maybe I'd start to get somewhere in the HRE, but I got dragged into war between electors. After that 4 electors are just close to voting on me. Ivory and getting that vote at time when I'm at 0% OE, 100 prestige, and 100 legitimacy might just work.
Great Britain got PU over Burgundy. Portugal challenge that and failed. The way PU wars are setup, challengers always always lose since defender gets the junior and all their allies, and challenger is on their own in offensive war.
After that Portuguese Mexico and Portuguese Brazil rebelled against Portugal, with Mexico only winning. I'm not sure how that worked exactly, independence wars are all or none normally. Britain also took over Portuguese Caribbean.
Hsenwi took over China from Lan Xang. Ming got fully annexed by another Chinese minor. I'm quite annoyed that Xi, who's obviously the main power in China at 796dev, is not even trying (4th GP after me, Britain, and Delhi).
I weakened Persia so much everyone piled up to take as much as they can. In retrospect it seems pointless, what I wanted was land in Indian trade nodes, and I got close to none.
Here's the HRE 229 years in. Bohemia still in charge somehow. Cologne, Salzburg, Mainz, and Palatinate are still my allies.
Oh and Sweden broke our alliance due to that silly border claims event firing over and over. It's really incompatible with the new mission system, which gives permanent claims like it's candy.
Cologne, Austria, and Salzburg expanded recently, while Brandenburg and Bohemia shrunk a lot.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 18: 1585-1594: Hereditary Holy Roman Emperor
I finally got ivory bonus, and just as predicted that resulted in 3 votes. That was some extremely long term plan. I got Albenga in 1516, and that set me on the path to ivory bonus nearly a century later. It would have been far easier to just take diplomatic into influence, but I can't say no to good colonization.
In 1588 I got just barely elected. The empire's a mess with 23/36 princes heretics, 10 provinces in foreign hands, wars raging endlessly, many won by heretics.
I couldn't even end my own wars for a while due to OE limit. In 1594 I finally cored everything, and passed two reforms at once. I don't think I can even do that much about the heretics. Passing the reforms disables wars against other princes, and enforces religious peace, and in any case a lot of them blobbed far beyond 100% warscore cost, so I can't even convert them easily.
Maybe I'll pick up some minor fights like with Sweden, France, or Venice to slightly reduce extent of the heresies, and get that Finish claims mission done.
Absolutism starts soon. Also Imperialism CB. The mod forgot to move it, so it's still at dip tech 23, which is just a few years ahead, and already there for the Ottomans.
Ottomans and Delhi are just slightly below coalition joining limit, so I don't have to worry much, but a lot of minors in Africa and New World hate me, so it would be nice to clean this up.
And now that I don't need to stay Catholic, I can start thinking about further metamorphoses.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 19: 1594-1609: North German Federation
It was time to celebrate my emperorship with a nice war with Sweden. I setup Finland, flipped two HRE OPMs, and released Pomerania, sadly heretic. Meissen went Catholic on their own.
I did some border cleanup in Persia, Africa, and Central Asia as well. I'm not in China yet, but I got most of Mongolia and Manchuria regions. I got into one war with two biggest Chinese states to distract them from their tributaries, but then I white peaced them, with major losses on both sides.
But really, I had to decide what I'm going to do with the HRE. I decided to play Vic2 and diplovassalized whoever I can, but set them to passive so they don't get involved in my wars. Vassal swarms are somewhat OP.
Out of 38 member, there's me, 20 vassals, 6 free cities impossible to diplovassalize anyway, and 11 countries I'll still need to do something about. As my vassals flipped Catholic - some by event, some by interaction button (not sure how that event works), that decently increased my IA gain.
I should be able to diplovassalize a few more. The rest are mostly possible to convince through Revoking the Privilegia. Only Austria would be a definite no without major military intervention.
I got policy for cheap culture conversion (-25% adjacent province, -25% religious ideas, -20% policy, and some discounts from admin efficiency), and dumped a lot of points into reeducating peasants.
I just got imperialism CB nearly a century early thanks to mod coding mistake. The era of absolutism is coming soon now, so I'll focus on Court and Country.
Main benefit of diplovassalizing minors is that I won't have to fight them when I'm breaking apart Austria and recovering lost imperial land.
It would be really nice to get control over English Channel instead of leaking so much trade from Novgorod, but that feels like a bit of a distraction from main goals in the East.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 20: 1609-1626: Court and Country
I tried something, but AI invented a new cheat. I attacked Pope, cobeligerenting problematic HRE members. They didn't join right away, instead they joined a few weeks later - as non-cobeligerents, so I couldn't do proper country release.
Unfortunately there's no real workaround that I know of, so I released my vassal swarm at the damn cheaters. It delayed absolutism by a few months. Even worse I didn't notice that Aquileia held by Austria was actually non-HRE (HRE map mode is really bad at showing that), probably due to the Shadow Kingdom, so I lost a province of the empire.
I still got 3 vassals, took some land from Venice, broke down all problem countries except Austria, Lubeck, and Switzerland. Sadly the only way to do that was returing land to my vassals, and that generated ridiculous coalitionable level of hatred from half of Europe. Oh well.
Well, might as well clean up the rest of outstanding European issues. I got 4 more vassals, and got all provinces except ones held by Britain.
While I was waiting for Court and Country to finish I integrated Hungary and Khorasan, finished my African affairs, started colonizing Malacca node, and took big chunk of Mexico.
The mod makes HRE a lot harder by moving minimum IA for reform from 50 to 75. It sounds simple enough, but excess IA gives extra reasons to vote for reform, so that is now down from +50 to just +25 at 100 IA. That's equivalent to massive 5 diplomatic reputation points.
Under vanilla rules I should be able to get everyone to vote for reforms. With the mod, there's no way to get Austria without breaking them down further, and it will be a big challenge to get Lubeck and Switzerland. So unfortunately this forced me to take diplomatic ideas, 3 diplo in a row.
Next will probably be humanist to help me shenanigan, but that's a few techs ahead. This campaign was supposed to be about transformation shenanigans, and due to slow HRE I barely did any of that.
As for other world news, Aragon and France fought succession war over OPM Sicily.
5 out of 8 great powers choose green, Portuguese really similar shade of green. Fortunately Portugal is currently getting wrecked by Andalusia, so that problem will go away.
It turns out the old "move capital to an island to not lose any mandate" trick no longer works. This campaign is endless list of discoveries that something got nerfed (often deservedly). I border most great powers, so I'll need to think about setting up some long term buffer states, especially against Delhi.
But first I need to finish HRE reforms. I don't want to delay it forever, so if the only way is to get everyone's vote except Austria's, I'll just conquer Austria the old fashioned way.
Holy Celestial Russian Yuan: Part 21: 1626-1634: Revoking the Privilegia
I had a few years until annexed vassals modifier expired, and until I could fill the rest of diplomatic ideas.
So first, some unfinished business with Austria - Bohemian cores they hold. I also took some land from Portugal, but mostly just went on high speed.
After that I allied three problem countries - Austria, Lubeck, and Switzerland, and thanks to +10 diplomatic reputation I stacked as well as buckets of gold got everyone to vote for me.
Now at this point there was supposed to be the whole form Yuan become China business, but:
• the campaign took far longer than expected (1356-1634 is 278 years)
• China is derped - U-Tsang holds mandate, nobody wants to challenge them
• my non-HRE vassals (Finland and Yuan) are derped, counting HRE vassals to their power
• there would be zero challenge whatsoever
• the fun tricks I planned to use got nerfed
I think it's best to end this without technically achieving the goals.
As for my original plans:
• I was going to vassalize HRE before changing religion, otherwise hard to get the votes at -20 penalty
• Take Constantinople, move capital there
• Go Sunni
• Take some Confucian lands, start Dhimmi revolt - possibly a few of those
• Hopefully have them reach my capital (can't move it out of HRE, so can't move it out of Europe)
• Go Confucian
• start gathering tributaries
• move capital to Cyprus or something to avoid neighbouring non-tributary penalty
• take China from whichever minor holds it
• go Uzbek culture, form Yuan
• then switch to some Chinese culture so all of China is accepted
• pass some reforms, clean up borders, have a nice finish
Unfortunately island capital trick no longer works, so instead I'd need to keep blobbing until no other great power is left, and I don't really find that late game blobbing terribly fun. Can't win them all I guess.
Overall, I quite liked the 1356 mod for novelty value, but they really need to sort out China and Hussites, right now both mechanics are doing poorly. It's not even modders' fault, mandate mechanic only does anything when Ming-sized China exists with nobody to challenge them, and it's difficult to see how to fix it.
From Colombia North it's my CNs, Peru, Brazil, and Rio Da Prata are revolting from Portuguese rule. All look about equally green.
No interesting wars between AIs are happening, everyone just uses imperialism CB on random minors. I hoped I'd get some openings to move against Ottomans, Delhi, or China when they're busy, but AI is such a coward.
Nearly everyone converted to accepted culture, Muscovite, Polish, or Uzbek. In the end, none of that mattered.