Thursday, January 13, 2022

Montferrat: Part 20: 1680-1688: Roman Empire Restored

It was time to clean things up and press up the Restore Roman Empire button.

The main reason why it was taking so damn long is that I didn't want to break any truces. So while that was going on, I was doing some casual conquering in Africa and Indonesia.

I finally got Imperialism CB as I was about to get that last province, so I started mass declaring cleanup wars on random island nations I couldn't have taken before due to lack of convenient CBs. In just one last year before clicking the final button, I removed about 12 countries from the map.

At this point nothing stops it from being a World Conquest. There's still 133 years, and I already control 55% of global development.

At current admin efficiency (60%), staying at optimum 100% OE all the time (32% OE per 100), and -45% coring time, I'd be able to core about 188dev per year, or the whole rest of the world in a bit less than 65 years. Not even counting client states, another 10% admin efficiency discount, and optionally going over 100% OE, as I have permanent +3 stability, +11.5 tolerance of true faith, -9 base unrest, and will get more once I get other monuments.

It's basically impossible for true faith provinces to rebel, and I can convert about 10 provinces a year. Nearly 2000 land and naval forcelimit each, nearly 2000k max manpower, 5000 monthly income (at 650 expenses).

I think that's the closest I got to EU4 WC, as actually going for WC would be stupidly tedious, and Fun and Balance arguably makes it even more tedious, giving everyone two more ally slots, so wars tend to spillover more.

Anyway, here's what I think of 1.32.

The worst parts of 1.31 got fixed (AI deleting own armies at peace, all the issues with moving dev to capital, ridiculously broken monuments etc.), so game is in reasonably playable state, but it's much less balanced than it used to be.

Here's the full list of monument bonuses I got, and getting newly conquered province from zero to max level was trivial at this point (8500 gold and 350k manpower - both basically meaningless at this point):

  • Administrative Efficiency: 0.05 (Alhambra 3)
  • Admiral Cost: -0.1 (Murud-Janjira Fort 3)
  • Advisor Costs: -0.55 (Parthenon 3, Pyramid of Cheops 3, Santa Maria del Fiore 3)
  • Aggressive Expansion Impact: -0.1 (The Grand Palace of Bangkok 3)
  • Appoint Cardinal cost: -0.2 (Saint Peter's Basilica 3)
  • Army Tradition: 0.5 (Tower of London 3)
  • Autonomy: -0.1 (Borobudur Temple 3, El Escorial 3)
  • Average Monarch Lifespan: 0.1 (Mausoleum at Halicarnassus 3)
  • Burghers Loyalty Equilibrium: 0.1 (Bara Katra 3)
  • Caravan Power: 0.73 (Aït Benhaddou 3, Bam Citadel 3)
  • Church Power Modifier: 0.3 (Duomo di Milano 3, Notre-Dame Cathedral 3)
  • Clergy Influence: 0.1 (Saint Peter's Basilica 3)
  • Clergy Loyalty Equilibrium: 0.5 (Duomo di Milano 3, Hagia Sophia 3, Pyramid of Cheops 3, Sankore Madrasah 3)
  • Culture Conversion Cost: -0.25 (Borobudur Temple 3)
  • Curia Powers cost: -0.1 (Saint Peter's Basilica 3)
  • Diplomatic Relations: 1 (Petra 3)
  • Diplomatic Reputation: 3 (Alhambra 3, Petra 3)
  • Envoy Travel Time: -0.33 (Petra 3)
  • Fabricate Claims Cost: -0.5 (City of Khami 3, Petra 3)
  • Global Trade Power: 0.25 (Aït Benhaddou 3, Belem Tower 3, Suez canal 3)
  • Governing Capacity Modifier: 0.25 (El Escorial 3, The Grand Palace of Bangkok 3)
  • Governing Capacity: 100 (Royal Palace of Caserta 3)
  • Idea Cost: -0.15 (Pyramid of Cheops 3, Saint Peter's Basilica 3)
  • Improve Relations: 0.15 (Versailles 3)
  • Income from Vassals: 0.3 (Alhambra 3, Versailles 3)
  • Institution Spread: 0.5 (Sankore Madrasah 3)
  • Liberty Desire in Subjects: 10 (Alhambra 3)
  • Max Accepted Cultures: 1 (Borobudur Temple 3)
  • Merchants: 2 (Bam Citadel 3, Bara Katra 3)
  • Missionaries: 1 (Holy City of Jerusalem 3)
  • Missionary Strength vs Heretics: 0.03 (Holy City of Jerusalem 3)
  • Missionary Strength: 0.01 (Stonehenge 3)
  • Monthly Fervor: 2 (Duomo di Milano 3, Notre-Dame Cathedral 3)
  • Monthly Piety: 0.002 (Hagia Sophia 3)
  • Monthly Splendor: 3.5 (Mausoleum at Halicarnassus 3, Santa Maria del Fiore 3)
  • National Tax Modifier: 0.2 (Versailles 3)
  • National Unrest: -2 (Borobudur Temple 3)
  • Naval Force Limit Modifier: 0.3 (Murud-Janjira Fort 3)
  • Naval Maintenance Modifier: -0.2 (Murud-Janjira Fort 3)
  • Navy Tradition: 1 (Murud-Janjira Fort 3)
  • Nobility Influence: 0.1 (Versailles 3)
  • Nobility Loyalty Equilibrium: 0.1 (Versailles 3)
  • Papal Influence: 5 (Duomo di Milano 3, Hagia Sophia 3, Notre-Dame Cathedral 3)
  • Possible Advisors: 1 (Parthenon 3)
  • Prestige Decay: -0.01 (Santa Maria del Fiore 3)
  • Prestige: 4.0 (Doge's Palace 3, Holy City of Jerusalem 3, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus 3, Royal Palace of Caserta 3, Tower of London 3)
  • Reform Progress Growth: 0.45 (Doge's Palace 3, Royal Palace of Caserta 3)
  • Religious Unity: 0.1 (Notre-Dame Cathedral 3)
  • Republican Tradition: 0.5 (Doge's Palace 3)
  • Resistance to Reformation: 0.5 (Duomo di Milano 3)
  • Sailors: 0.25 (Belem Tower 3)
  • Ship Trade Power: 0.3 (Bara Katra 3)
  • Stability Cost Modifier: -0.25 (Stonehenge 3)
  • Tariffs: 0.2 (El Escorial 3)
  • Technology Cost: -0.15 (City of Khami 3, Sankore Madrasah 3)
  • Tolerance of Heathens: 1 (Stonehenge 3)
  • Tolerance of Heretics: 2 (Hagia Sophia 3, Stonehenge 3)
  • Tolerance of the True Faith: 3 (Hagia Sophia 3, Notre-Dame Cathedral 3)
  • Trade Efficiency: 0.1 (Aït Benhaddou 3)
  • Trade Steering: 0.2 (Bara Katra 3)
  • Treasure Fleet income: 0.2 (El Escorial 3)
  • Vassal Force Limit Contribution: 0.5 (The Grand Palace of Bangkok 3)
  • War Score Cost vs Other Religions: -0.15 (Malta Forts 3)
  • Yearly Absolutism: 1 (The Grand Palace of Bangkok 3)
  • Yearly Corruption: -0.1 (Parthenon 3)
  • Yearly Patriarch Authority: 0.005 (Hagia Sophia 3)

And there was a bunch of extra decent monuments available in HRE and South East Asia for the taking I just didn't get to yet. The stuff open for grabbing includes +10% goods produced in Amsterdam, -2 unrest in St Petersburg, +1 missionary in Ostlandet, two more pope mana monuments in HRE, +2 diplo slots in Pegu, -10% tech cost in Korea, and the list goes on and on.

I think the key issue is just how easy it is to stack all those bonuses. If you were limited to only a few monuments per country, that would be a lot better. In CK2 price goes by 40% for every monument you already control (by 80% for each of same category), and CK2 never overflows with gold the way EU4 does, so I don't think that would even work. Maybe just make every monument require spending a accepted culture slot on it?

Somehow Catholicism became the strongest religion, but only on condition that you control curia during Council of Trent, or AI makes so many non-stupid choices, as conciliatory choices are just so ridiculously weaker than harsh choices, it feels like basically a fuck you to the player. You lose curia RNG, AI picks all the bad choices, deal with it. Especially −10% War score cost vs other religions (which you can absolutely stack with -15% from Malta monument, -20% from age objective, and some other discounts) is stupidly good bonus AI will happily throw away for weak −10% Curia powers cost.

Hilariously people online usually whine about the opposite case - where they were playing heretics, or allied with heretics, and Pope took harsh positions while they'd rather have conciliatory.

Funnily enough, I was completely overflowing on Pope mana even after having modifier for controlling Rome that was supposed to prevent me from getting any Pope mana.

Beyond that, there were other issues, like the unguarantee exploit (which AI was also using), AI endlessly pointlessly pillaging each other's capitals. The game overall feels really clunky, with so many poorly connected systems, and UI not being sure what it should do. I think the time is right for EU5.

That's what controlling 55% of the world looks like. Including historical Roman Empire borders, nearly the whole New World, Africa, Middle East, most of Indonesia and nice chunk of India.

This was a very casual game, never no-CBed anyone, only broke one truce (to get PU over Austria), never intentionally went over 100% OE (a few times slightly by miscounting), didn't rush destroying HRE etc. If you want a WC, it's really easy in this patch, just takes way too much patience.

I got really good RNG twice - random Byzantium PU, and controlling the Curia during Council of Trent.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Montferrat: Part 19: 1671-1680: End of the HRE

The colonial conquests continued. Surprisingly some HRE minors decided to coalition against me again, but it was not even a nuisance, so I didn't bother guaranteeing/unguaranteeing them.

I was getting fed up with the 4D chess I needed to get all the relevant HRE provinces, so I did the chain calculations once, and declared war that would drag all 7 electors in. It was only a 12-long chain of cobeligerencies, and far too much time spent drawing diagrams on paper. Maybe I should write a war optimizer script, can't tell for sure if this is even the optimal one.

There was just this tiny problem of actually winning the war with basically the entire HRE. It was super tempting to do some force conversions, or get some land in this war, but really I needed to do the responsible thing and peace out all those damn irrelevant countries.

At least I white peaced the ones that would do it. AI is incapable of fucking off when it should, so I ended up 100%ing and force converting a lot of minors. The HRE finally got dissolved in 1680, without HRE armies even really getting defeated. They just went on an adventure sieging my French and Spanish provinces while I occupied 7 electoral capitals.

That meant 7 provinces needed to restore the Roman Empire.

The war to abolish the HRE involved nearly the whole HRE, so I think that was fair.

The usual strategy (ally 4-5 electors, fight emperor and their 2-3 elector allies) is drastically easier.

I don't even have that much AE here, only about half of HRE, exiled Castile (now Peru), and some Indonesian minors want to coalition me. I control 49% of world's development, and I just eliminated the biggest remaining challenge, so I don't see coalitions able to do much.

Montferrat: Part 18: 1661-1671: On the Verge of Roman Restoration

I was overflowing with mana of all kinds, so I tried my best to stay at just below 100% overextension so I'd have a way to spend it all.

Anyway, HRE was a big problem. HRE has three big issues:

  • higher AE - that's actually the easiest to work around
  • demand unlawful territory
  • stupid restrictions on declaring war on HRE member if at war with emperor or allied to emperor - this can mostly be worked around

Demand Unlawful Territory is the most annoying feature, but it was also the easiest to work around. If you stayed at war until you cored it, emperor couldn't demand it. Unfortunately they changed it in 1.32, and now war does not protect you at all. It wasn't in the patch notes, so I ended up checking Paradox forums, where a lot of angry players complained about it, but devs said it's intentional.

This is extremely annoying as that's completely uncapped relationship penalty with all HRE members, including my PU junior Austria, and my ally OPM Pope who respawned in the HRE (with all the butthurt about Australia wiped out). Taking 10 provinces means -250 penalty, on top of all the other penalties, not really reasonable.

So my options:

  • force vassalize 4 electors, become HRE emperor
  • dismantle the HRE - actually quite hard if I cannot ally electors
  • destroy the HRE by taking the whole HRE by force
  • ally the emperor - not really possible anymore
  • expand through vassals - technically possible, but such a massive hassle
  • declare new war against the emperor while the provinces are coring - that's the only thing that still blocks the request

Then I thought about it some more, and it's just dumb the way it is, even though there are workaround. This penalty needs to be capped by the mod. Just as Tordesillas penalty. The problem isn't that HRE Emperor demands some territory - that makes sense. The problem is that this request can be spammed and the penalty is not capped in any way. EU4 has a lot of really stupid opinion modifiers, and the Fun and Balance mod fixes a bunch of them, but not in any systematic matter, just whenever I find something obviously too annoying. Maybe I should do a full rewrite of opinion tables.

Technology for town halls happened, so I spammed them everywhere, and from this point on I'll never have any governing capacity shortage. Basically courthouses make territories cost no capacity (25% base, -25% courthouse), but territories are shit. Town halls make trade companies cost no capacity (50% base, -50% town hall), and these are good. And there's tons of spare capacity to assign to states as well (100% base, -50% town hall; you can lower it with state house but there's no need).

As the right tech got unlocked, I started building canals in Suez and Panama, but these cannot be sped up by throwing more men and money an them.

I'm quite close to finishing things. It's just one war each with Aragon, France, Cilli, and Flanders, but awkwardly the emperor Bohemia wants to get involved in all of them. Oh well, I guess I'll fight them 4 times.

Mostly expanding in Africa to find something to do with spare mana.
There's not really that much point to this expansion, I have way over 3k monthly net profit and all the manpower I might want, but feels bad to waste mana.

Yellow everywhere, with about 8 converted provinces per year.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Montferrat: Part 17: 1643-1661: Roman Rome

So I decided I'm going to change decision to reform Rome to allow subjects to own designated provinces, it's really stupid otherwise. Not even sure it will matter, it's just Wien which I might wait far too long for.

Anyway, Austria war was very easy. The whole HRE wanted to coalition me, but after I guaranteed-unguaranteed the few big countries there for free truces, the rest were too afraid. It's not even that much AE, it's the -100 hegemon opinion penalty, and no longer having +25 from estate privileges (as it costs too much absolutism) that even made it a possibility - otherwise it would be pretty easy to avoid any AE issues.

I didn't even have that much AE elsewhere, as my expansion in India was mostly core returns. I still wanted to clean up Persia, now it's much easier with Holy War CB. And after 2000 years of Roman-Persian wars, we finally won! I did some side wars in Africa as well.

It was time to end this, so after some I attacked Aragon and Pope to finally take over Rome. That hilariously gives -10 yearly papal influence, which is supposed to remove it completely, but I have +11.75 base, thanks to monuments etc. I don't think it was even possible to get that pre-monuments, at least not without custom ideas. And that's more than I had before, as -200 opinion with Papal States gives -100% yearly papal influence. But fear not - I still had all the bonuses all the time, as I get so much by event every time I convert any province, and I'm doing this non stop.

One weird thing happened, I took Savoy's HRE province in the war, and got request to return it from Brandenburg, even while I was at war. So this extremely long standing mechanic (or exploit if you prefer), that you could completely avoid "unlawful HRE territory" penalty if you stayed in another war while coring it, finally got fixed?

I'm overflowing with paper mana and governing capacity, so I went on a global conquering spree. I took French Australia, most of West Africa, good chunk of India, and whole British Isles.

I maxed out my economic hegemon bonus, got to monthly income of 2650 and very rapidly increasing, and between myself and my subjects, I own 42% of the world, which I guess is nice twenty years before Imperialism CB and without a single coalition war. I don't even know what to do with all the money - all the monuments and manufactories are built or finishing (got new ones in Rome and Zimbabwe), my 500k strong army only costs 200 a month, maxed out advisors just 30 thanks to how high advisor discounts from monuments stack, I've been spamming trade company investments, but even that is half done by now.

I guess maybe I should try to restore Rome, instead of doing all that Indian stuff.

I think these were more or less ancient Roman borders

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Montferrat: Part 16: 1629-1643: War to Unite Two Romes

I ended up unlocking religious CB in super late 1633

HRE became officially Catholic in 1635.

I got my income over 1000 a month and proclaimed myself economic hegemon, slowly getting economic benefits, but instantly getting -100 with everyone. My monthly income has gone over 1200 since then and keeps climbing.

I forgot about Treaty of Tordesillas and sent colonists to Australia, causing Pope to break our alliance and totally hating me. The whole thing was just bad gameplay by me, as I could have spent some bird mana to take French colonies in a peace deal instead, but I was sort of wondering how that treaty really worked. Turns out it's totally stupid, -50 per colonized province, yearly decay of 1, with no max and no time limit.

Switzerland also broke our alliance due to some bad event on top of hegemony penalty, and them being Reformed heretics.

I popped a Golden Era, as it's not like I'm going to continue this beyond 50 years anyway.

I got a coalition against me, and now that everyone -100 hates me, I can't really fix it with diplomats. But I can guarantee then unguarantee them.

I managed to install my dynasty on thrones of Poland and Austria. Austria had a succession without an heir, so I attacked them, with full truce break, as who even cares about AE?

By the way this war is extremely counterproducive - if I PU Austria, I won't be able to take over Wien (which for some reason is needed for restoring Rome) for 50 years, and someone else, likely Bohemia, will become the next HRE emperor anyway, not me. Also massive coalition coming. Mainly I'm trying out the new features to see how strong they are in practice.

What I need for Restoring Rome button, not much:

  • finish integrating Leon (almost done)
  • PU Austria and finish integrating them, that's 60+ years
  • conquer Aragon (my former ally, but as they also allied Austria that's over now)
  • conquer Pope (that has some serious penalties, but then again, I already have huge penalties due to hegemony and Australia problem)
  • France, Savoy, Cilli, and Flanders

Another thing - playing this way (hegemony and PU Austria war) I really have no way to destroy the HRE - I can't ally any electors, and getting 7 in the same war is nearly impossible as they tend to rival each other. It used to be possible to start multiple wars, but now you cannot declare was on HRE member if you're already at war with the emperor, to prevent exploits.

Meanwhile my monuments are all close to finishing their upgrade to tier 3, and it's a lot of monuments.

Montferrat - Austria alliance lasted nearly 200 years

So far my opinion of hegemony is that it's probably fine for World Conquest attempts, and probably a bit later; not really for casual Roman Restoration games. That -100 opinion penalty with everyone is just dumb.

Montferrat: Part 15: 1613-1629: Roman India

Nobody seemed to care about my aggressive expansion, so I just kicked Castile out of Europe completely. Now they're in Peru.

I got to 5th idea group, and I really ran out of good ones:

  • It couldn't be any diplomatic ones, as I didn't even finish trade, and I was hurting like crazy on bird mana. Mostly due to annexations, and due to paying so damn much on CBs without Holy War.
  • I could take Religious for Holy War CB now, but Imperialism CB is coming ~1680
  • Innovative is bad as innovativeness is so easy to get anyway, and advisor cost discounts from monuments make them nearly free anyway
  • Humanist was always bad, I guess max promoted cultures +2 got a bit better
  • Economic is bad unless you spam development cost reduction, and I just don't like that
  • I guess Offensive for siege ability? But I'm really not struggling on that. And I've been spending my sword mana on absolutism. They only times when sword mana is in short supply are when game starts and when absolutism starts.

In the and I did the boring thing and picked religious, as I'm low on bird and sword mana, and everything else in admin ideas is just bad. I'd be so much better off if I picked it earlier instead of trade.

The heir I requested from Aragon did not get the throne, dying or something. What a waste. So I'm trying it again with Poland.

I got a bit distracted and diplovassalized Khorasan and force vassalized Vijayanagar, both with a huge number of unowned cores. I need all of Iraq for Restoring Roman Empire, which already makes no sense, so why not take a chunk of India as well? Those wars in the east were a lot more hassle than ones in Europe, as I can't have my allies do all my work. Oh well.

In Europe I just got Lisboa and their monument slot, I'll need to clean up remains of Portugal and France eventually. Other than them, it's just Fars, allies Pope, Aragon, and Austria, and HRE-protected Provence, Cilly, Savoy, and Flanders who hold land I need for the Roman Empire button. I'm not really sure how I plan to do the cleanup, especially since my target-allies are also cross-allied so I cannot easily drop just one, and occupying Rome would cost me a lot of bonuses.

My monthly income is over 750, and at 1000 I'd be able to go economic hegemon. Bonuses for that are so good (+20% gov capacity, +25% goods produced, -20% autonomy in territories; also merc stuff, but mercs become obsolete long before anyone gets hegemony) they might be worth -100 relations with everyone else.

Military hegemon bonuses are much weaker, but still totally respectable too (-10% province warscore cost, +20% siege ability, -3 unrest, +10% movement speed; also -20% attrition but there's hardly any in recent patches), but it takes army of 1000k, and I barely have 238k of my 454k force limit - I get people to build me monuments, not fight wars. But both are achievable by late 1600s.

Meanwhile naval hegemony is just stupid. It takes the dumbest thing imaginable to achieve, having 250 heavy ships, which nobody ever needed in history of EU4. And the bonuses are ridiculously bad (more sailors, blockade efficiency, subject liberty desire, naval engagement width; and I guess "artillery damage from back row" might be worth tiny amount) there might just as well be no bonus.

For some crazy reasons I need Iraq for the decision, and alliance chains of various holders go all the way to India, so one thing let to another and I took a good chunk of it. Just one war with Fars and then I can ignore that part of the world forever.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Montferrat: Part 14: 1599-1613: Monumental Exploits

I had a war with Castile coming, with extremely rare colonialism CB, that let me grab their colonies and colonial nations for cheap, and I got really close to containing them all to Europe, but warscore was just tiny bit lacking.

I had to demote Occitan, as too many accepted culture slots are taken by:

  • Bedouin for Petra
  • Castilian for Madrid monument
  • Egyptian for Pyramids
  • English for London monuments
  • French for Paris monuments
  • Greek for Parthenon

Bedouin of these is especially dumb, as it's such a shitty culture. The rest at least are somewhat significant.

I pressed the "request relative as heir" on Aragon to ask them to get my Palaiologos dynasty on their throne for 90 favors. This gives me 20 AE with every Catholic country, and there's a good chance they'll get hunting accident or whatnot, but it's a new button, so why not try it once.

I got Global Trade spawning in Pisa. The requirements (highest trade share in most valuable trade node) are such that if you don't get Global Trade spawning for you, then you're playing the game wrong.

England was getting wrecked by everyone so I force vassalized what was left. They're not getting London back, but a few years later I got them their cores from France and Scotland.

Anyway, let's get to the exploit I accidentally discovered. I asked Ayutthaya if I could just buy Bangkok, with monument already worth 1000 gold in it - and they sold the whole province, with one of the best monuments in game, for 780. Conquering provinces takes monuments down a level (so I'd need to rebuild it, pay 1000 + 10 years), but not any other change of ownership. Like Paradox forgot to update the charter trade company button to count monuments. Once fully upgraded it gives -10% AE, +15% government capacity, and like that isn't enough +1% yearly absolutism and +50% vassal force limit contribution. Insanity.

Oh wait, can I do more of that? They aren't actually that many monuments which are coastal, not religion-locked, and not in capital, but I also bought:

  • Murud-Janjira Fort in Chaul from Bahmanis (just some naval stuff, but +1 naval tradition translates to more trade income) - just sold without any issues
  • Bara Katra in Dhaka from Bengal - they wouldn't sell as they were threatened attitude, so I allied them, bought it, then broke the alliance with zero consequences

I also unsuccessfully tried to buy some from Majapahit (I had too many provinces nearby), Japan (they were too powerful), and Korea (it was their capital). If I knew about it before, I would have had all those monument provinces by now.

Age of Absolutism started, and I have no idea what's the meta at this point. I revoked some estate privileges, including the new one for +25 relations with all other Catholics. It's overpowered as hell early game, but at this point it doesn't really matter anyway. I have enough spare sword mana, that I guess I'll just spend that. It also increases +2.5 a year - +1 from high crownland, +0.5 from government reform, and +1 from that monument I bought from Ayutthaya and upgraded to tier 3.

Unfortunately there aren't any monuments that the much more desirable give max absolutism, so I'll have to revoke a lot of great privileges. I could then do Court and Country and grant them again, but that seems like such a hassle.

Right now it's possible to get (it's capped at 100):

  • +65 base
  • +5 great power
  • +5 empire tier
  • +5 max religious unity
  • +10 max legitimacy
  • +15 very high crownland
  • +10 from two government reforms - Royal Decree and Political Absolutism, and they're both best picks unless you want a Parliament, which honestly isn't really worth it

So it's a total of 115, that's a budget of 15 to be spent on estate privileges, with no buffer for low legitimacy or low religious unity issues. Which is a shame as just mana privileges are 3 times -5, and Strong Duchies is -10. Going Court and Country would give me total estate privilege budget of 35. Alternatively some countries get extra max absolutism from ideas, government reforms, or mission rewards, so they need it less.

I was wondering why Religious Leagues weren't starting, and it turned out my code is messed up and they can start for every religion except Protestant. The previous time I played the Reformed league started which made sense, as there were some Protestant and Reformed electors, so I thought it was working. And now it's too late anyway, Saxony was the only Protestant elector and they got converted to Catholicism anyway, and by 1625 the whole league system expires. I saved Austria a lot of trouble here. Too bad, League Wars are always great fun.

I wish there was some mode that shows every country, except subjects get their overlord's color, and wastelands are colored too. Right now the only way to do that would be console-integrating subjects.

Also my vassal Leon setup New Leon in Florida, and is setting up another one in Columbia. That's the only way to get multiple CNs per colonial regions, and I'd get double the bonus if both are big enough (mostly another merchant, other bonuses don't matter all that much).

This is the weakest Reformation ever, and it's not even my doing, mostly HRE Catholics were really aggressive and destroyed two Centers of Reformation early. I guess I destroyed two more and I was Catholic Defender of the Faith all the time, so heretics couldn't attack back.

I think Catholic might be the strongest religion in the game now, but only if you actively engage in Pope game.