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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

EU4 Shattered Reconquista Campaign AAR

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-19 21:20:36 UTC

Shattered Europe scenario starts in 1399 (EU3 start time) instead of 1444. That's all awesome, except technology dates have not been changed, so it takes 41 years before people can research tech level 4 and get their idea groups without penalties.

I think I'll need to do two things:
• rescale technology optimal times to match Shattered Europe's extended timescales
• reduce ahead of time penalty from fairly ridiculous 10%/year to something sensible like 5%/year (for regular Fun&Balance as well)

I also probably should have made mission pack condition "owns core province X" not "owns province X", but that doesn't matters all that much.

EDIT: And all of that is done on dev branch.

Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-25 20:02:40 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Pre-campaign notes.

Shattered Europe introduces a lot of Western/Eastern tech Muslim and Pagan states in Europe, and I was briefly tempted to play as one of them, but I've played multiple campaigns as Muslims recently (625 Sunni Caliphate Zero in 625 EU 4 Extended Timeline, 2013 Shia Bahrain in EU4 Extended Timeline, 1310 Sunni Ottomans in CK2), EU4 Pagans don't have any interesting mechanics, while Catholic powers have a lot of interesting content, which I normally don't bother with as they're too powerful, and it's my last chance to play with current curia mechanic before it's gone.

Take a guess which of the usually hilariously overpowered countries (now reduced to a minor power) I'm going to play as.

Goal of the campaign is to unify my country's region, kick Muslims out of parts of Europe where they shouldn't occur, and do some serious colonization. Also I need to control the curia and crush reformation. I'm not sure where I'm going to stop - if my mission pack is working like it's supposed to the game will keep giving me new interesting content as it goes, instead of just hard stopping.

Some random notes:
• Sunnis start with full 5 holy sites in this mod right away. Breaking their hold on at least one is going to be really important.
• Other than emperor Bohemia, none of the Catholic countries are real major powers. Poland and Hungary are far behind, everyone else starts really weak.
• Western/Eastern tech Muslims are potentially going to be even worse than vanilla Ottomans, thanks to their piety bonuses on top of best tech.
• With 10% longer time between techs and more missions granting points, monarch points are somewhat less important.
• I thought about going with random new world (I even hacked timelapse visualizer to work with it), but I'm inclined against it since it's pretty buggy and results are rather disappointing.
• Am I going to make my own random new world engine someday? Probably not, but weirder things happened :-p

Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-25 20:55:36 UTC

Damn, I need to fix one more thing before I can start playing Shattered Europe - apparently the mod breaks all estuaries / centers of trade in Europe...

Lovely, I wonder if it would be faster if I wrote scenarios myself instead of trying to fix other people's scenarios... (my plans for the campaign stay the same as soon as I fix it)

EDIT: Fix for this issue is now ready. Hopefully nothing else standing between me and campaign.

Post 4 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-26 23:19:54 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 1: 1399-1403

And back to EU4. What I'm playing is EU3 scenario ported to EU4, with ton of fixes by me, and then the most recent and shiny version of Fun and Balance. Mid-game modding will probably happen - pre-game modding happened quite a few times already when I was ready to start playing, but then noticed something wrong at the last minute. I'll let random OPM inherit OPM France, but if France respawns and gets randomly reinherited again, I'll have to fix it.

Goals of the campaign:
• finish reconquista by kicking out Muslims out of Iberia and unifying all minor kingdoms under my rule
• protect people of Italy, France, and British Isles by placing them under my enlightened Catholic rule
• good Catholic people already under protection of the Holy Roman Emperor can remain under it as long as he remains true to the faith - otherwise Spain will be the Emperor to save them
• turn Mediterranean Sea into Great Catholic Sea
• turn Atlantic Ocean into Great Catholic Ocean
• ensure peace and safety of the rest of Catholic Europe
• save the souls of new world and Africa
• ensure safety of pilgrimage by controlling the holy lands
• burn Muslim holy places to the ground, replace their heathen temples with holy churches
• if technologically feasible, build a canal around island of Africa and connect Africa with my capital (not necessarily in Spain) by land
• crush all heretics (silly Greeks can keep their silly version of Christianity if that can't be helped)

Basically world domination (not necessarily conquest) except for Asia and Eastern/Northern Europe which I don't care for much. I might end up intervening there anyway, who knows.

Ideas planned are exploration, then religious, then who knows. Expansion is not so great these days since it gives only +1 colonist not +2, and I don't want to rush to Asia so I won't use that CB much (partial westernization nerfs it hard anyway).

Non-negotiables of the campaign:
• One True Faith - and no alliances with the infidels unless it's absolutely necessary to save their souls
• King appointed by God (no republican silliness - elected mayors are one thing, but if Jesus wanted rulers to be elected, he'd divide apostles into political parties).

Anyway, the key parts of 420-year campaign are the first few days.
• 13-10-1399: I took mission to form alliance with Portugal, sent diplomats to Portugal and Aragon, and started recruiting more units, set Badajoz and Zaragoza (two Muslims power I neighbour) as well as Granada as my rivals.
• 16-10-1399: sent alliance offer to Guyenne (Toulouse would be better, but they don't like me being allied with Aragon)
• 17-10-1399: "Death of France" event triggered for Orleans, making them inherit OPM Frane
• 20-10-1399: Accepted alliance offer from Bourbonnaise, sent alliance offer to Armagnac
• 21-10-1399: Recruited general (2/2/2/1), made my ruler into another (0/0/1/0), took mission to finist the reconquista and attacked Zaragoza before they can get any allies! All my allies were happy to join.
• 24-10-1399: Started fabricating claims on Galicia
• 25-10-1399: Started fabricating claims on Navarra
• 23-11-1399: Accepted alliance offer from Dauphine, called them into war since it was still early.
• 24-11-1399: With Portuguese help battle of Burgos is won.
• 26-11-1399: WTF? I got event which turned Leon Sunni - it gave me choice of doing nothing, losing 1 stab and going Sunni myself, or losing 1 stab for some bonuses to convert Leon back (+30% missionary strength, -75% tax, -75% manpower for one year). The mod hates me.
• 11-01-1400: Alliance offer from Normandy - sure, why not.

And so it went. Army from Burgos retreated one province to Castilla La Vieja, where it lost, then it bounced back to Burgos where it got stack wiped. By 1400-02-25 all 6 Zaragoza's provinces were sieged so they couldn't recruit any armies, but only 2 sieges had enough attackers to progress in any way. I'm playing different game since I've seen how DDRJake does it.

Of course I got random event for another -1 stab soon. And Cantabria flipped temporarily Sunni (am I even getting that -1 stab tne event is threatening me with? I'm just at -1 not -3 I ought to be...). And then Cantabria got it again... definitely not losing any stability for that contrary to the tooltip. And Leon next month. Seriously, this needs fixing.

I got Lux Stella event, with choice of 5/1/6 Alexander, 6/1/6 Caesar, and 5/6/4 Johan as heir. Johan it is, hopefully he doesn't die in infancy.

Then I got an event that traced my dynasty to Julius Caesar, giving me a choice of +5 prestige or +5 legitimacy. It's so much fun when positive random events work, and negative ones are bugged (but seriously, I'd be getting -5 stab in a year if they worked, someone probably messed up FROM and ROOT when porting from EU3 - I made the same mistake a lot in my early days of modding since it's not intuitive at all).

October 1402, all of Zaragoza is occupied, but I can only realistically take 3 provinces (as well as 171) - what's worse only 2 of them are going to be connected to my land, the 3rd whichever that would be is going to be disconnected, since Zaragoza's capital lies between me and them. So how about I attack Galicia while this war is running, with Navarra joining them, and then I'll call all willing allies to arms? (declared war mid-war to prevent any alliance chains in case Navarra became war leader since they were allied with some of my allies too - but waiting less than 60 days so I could call everyone else in).

And while I'm there I can as well fabricate on Foix.

And so, on 21-10-1403, Navarra became my vassal, Galicia got annexed, and now I can work on coring Pirineo.

Muslims of Sevilla and Granada are fighting each other (and Granada is small enough to be annexable in a single war for them), which is fine by me. Mallorca and Zaragoza are in coalition against me, Granada and Sevilla are at war with each other. A serious risk is intervention of North African Muslims - Morocco has 16k troops and Algiers has 7k, neither of which I want to see anywhere near me.

I could wait about 18 months for all the provinces to finish coring. Navarra is a bit useless as a vassal since they're Basque, and of all 3 Basque province in the world they hold 2 and I hold the 3rd (which is Sunni and I have no idea how to convert them). A big problem is that I have neither theologian nor inquisitor available so I can't really do any conversions yet (other than flipping back from that silly event).

I'd say so far it's going pretty damn well, but it might get messier, especially if Muslims setup a coalition against me, and especially if that coalition ends up including Morocco as well.

Post 5 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-27 01:43:53 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 2: 1403-1407

Let's start by listing my big mistakes so far. The game has been going really well, but that doesn't mean I played anywhere near optimally.

I need to conquer all of Iberia, and I also need to get admin tech 4 (for idea group) and 3nd exploration idea (1st is +1 colonist, 2nd lets me recruit explorers and conquistadors, 3rd is just colonial range, but Spain is overpowered and gets free colonist and +2.5% discipline) as soon as possible, not to mention I'd rather have positive stability instead of current -1 and I'm going to be at permanently low religious unity for very long time to come.

This means I can't core everything left and right, I need vassals in the right culture group - the mod adds a ton of cultures to Iberian peninsula, fortunately they're all same culture group, so at least it's not a huge deal.

And that means I need free diplo slots - but so far I've been allying and royal marrying anybody willing to do so. That provided some early game safety network, and I couldn't have won that war without my allies help, but I need 2-3 vassal slots to expand. Do I really need Burbonaisse, Dauphine, and Normandy?

Another dubious thing I've done was force vassalizing Navarra, who's Basque culture group, and can't really help me expand. Why didn't I vassalize Galicia instead, and feed them some provinces? In short term, they don't neighbour any provinces I might want to expand to, but there's a lot of coast they could eat.

Did I mention that I really want Naples and Pope as my allies, and I couldn't get them before because I was too weak?

If I grow really large, Aragon might get diplovassalizable, as could French minors, and maybe even Portugal, but right now they're nowhere near that point.

Normally I wouldn't mind going 2 or even 4 over my diplo limit, but I desperately need to start exploration ideas, and while my finances are not too awful, I can't really afford any advisors just for +1 bonus (and none of them have relevant bonus).

Eventually I'll have nice second source of monarch points in mission rewards, but right now I'm locked at reconquista mission (which I might cancel at some point if eternal coalition prevents me from finishing it).

Anyway, the first war was againsh Badajos - and I realized I can't really vassal feed anything - pretty much everything is wrong religion even if it's right culture, and I don't have missionary power to even convert that before vassal feeding. So coring the hard way it will be. So I took 3 provinces and 138 gold (tribute from Muslims is pretty much basis of my economy) and called it a day.

At this point coalition against me included entirely reasonable Sevilla, Zaragoza, and Mallorca, but also totally unfair Foix, Toulouse, and Auvergne. So I took the waiting game - I got Foix and Toulose out of the coalition by improving relations, cored some provinces, got mil tech 4 (adm and dip will wait forever - not that I'd even take dip unless I was overflowing, ideas are way more important)

And right now Morocco and Algiers went to war against each other, each pulling in half of Iberian powers (Morocco/Sevilla/Tunisia vs Alrgiers/Badajoz/Zaragoza/Mallorca/Sicily/Sardinia). This is pretty awesome, as it splits the coalition - unfortunately Naples and Portugal are in separate wars so wouldn't join my war. I have two choices:
• go against Sevilla/Morocco/Auvergne
• wait 5 month for truce timer to expire, then go to war against Zaragoza/Mallorca/Algiers/Auvergne
(Badajoz gets into neither of them - they're in coalition against Sevilla not me)

End goal is either Granada released as vassal, or Zaragoza released as vassal, I'm really coring far too much.

If it wasn't for unfortunate situation with Portugal, Naples, and Auvergne, it would be perfect opportunity. The way it is, I need to sleep on it.

By the way I'm at -30 to vassalize Aragon and -32 to vassalize Armagnac (both 2 provinces of 8 base tax total) - I could peacefully expand quite a lot there.

EDIT: Actually, I checked and Zaragoza is too big to vassalize in one war, but Grenada's 5 provinces are just 96% warscore, so the question is not whom to attack, just go now or wait for Naples/Portugal to get their act together.

Post 6 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-28 21:08:04 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 3: 1407-1410

Now I understand what happened to France - it was a Shattered Europe event, and it also removed all French cores in France region. They still have cores in Cambray, Vlaanderen, Ghent, and Antwerpen (since they're outside France region), but without cores all over the region my plans to setup France as a supervassal are completely worthless. No worries, I have plenty of other ideas how to break the game in half.

Oh and speaking of glitches, due to some EU3 map porting issues Shattered Europe currently has 4 gold provinces in Austria region (gold got moved around at some point, somehow both old and new gold provinces got kept here). I'm working with @gbasood to fix such issues, so this will go back to vanilla levels in future versions, but for this campaign, I'll need to ensure Austrians have proper Catholic guidance and take all this gold into safe keeping so they don't build a golden calf and condemn their souls. It's all for their own good.

Here's balance of power in Iberia region (one of Navarra's provinces is technically outside, but let's not get too technical) - in province count and base tax.

Christian side has total of 18 (88):
• Castile - 11 (53)
• Navarra (my vassal) - 2 (5)
• Portugal - 3 (22)
• Aragon - 2 (8)

Muslim side has total of 19 (127):
• Sevilla - 10 (60) - 5 (24) of that are Granada's cores
• Mallorca - 2 (11)
• Zaragoza - 3 (28)
• Badajoz - 4 (28)

Basically the Muslims are still way more powerful than us, and they have really strong allies in Africa. It's even worse than numbers suggest as they have almost perfect religious unity (except for Lisboa which is Ibadi), while we're suffering from huge Muslim minorities, as well as a lot of nationalist nonsense.

I need 525 adm and 516 dip to get explorers, which at current pace would take nearly 9 years of not spending that on anything - or slightly over 7 years if I get +1 bonus due to power projection over 50 (it's at 44 now).

Also why the hell was my national focus set to military? These are the most worthless points of all, I must have misclicked something... Actually, the game must me screwed, because if I misclicked it, I couldn't change it for 25 years, and I can change it to something else... That changes things a lot, national focus on dip and power projection over 50 would give me something good to do while waiting for coalition against me to go away. Or I could set it to adm to have and continue expanding by conquest. Anything is better than mil it got set to somehow...

If I somehow manage to get break Sevilla is half and setup Granada as my new vassal, that should be enough to make my dominance over the region secure for the time being. Of course dividing spoils of wars before I even declare one is a tiny bit premature.

So war with Sevilla it is! Sevilla started at 20k troops, Morocco at 18k, and 25k of rebels spawned within my territory -  way more than my 10k or so, so I based my strategy of following assumptions:
• until they release Art of War rebels are basically irrelevant
• Morocco won't bother to transport its troops across from Africa
• Other Muslims at war with Sevilla can kill its armies
• If things go bad, loans and mercs

Almost everything went well - I even got control of 9/10 sieges - sadly Badajoz got to Grenada first. Oh well. I had everything else occupied, so I separate peaced Morocco by conceding defeat, then I got some amazing spoils:
• 4 provinces to spawn Grenada in (sadly Grenada is cut into two halves)
• Toledo and its gold mines (and to connect with half of Grenada)
• 9 gold just for good luck
• thanks to some improved relations, bribery, not releasing Grenada for a few months to improve my base tax ratio, and recruiting completely unnecessary units, I got Aragon and Armagnac to barely accept vassalage

The game hit me with -1 stab event (defensive vs offensive) during the war so I'm at -2 (424 to go up to 0), with uncored Toledo (123 points), and I'm not going to do either of these things since I desperately need next admin tech, which I'm going to get in July 1413 if everything goes well, and by then I'll have enough diplo stored to go straight to 2nd idea (I moved my focus to diplo, and I'm one above the limit already).

As for other bad events - Morocco and Algiers joined coalition against me. Badajoz is still in coalition against Sevilla, so that's exploitable, but they have a few more months to change their mind until our truce expires.

I should probably strike against Badajoz while I still can (they're only allied with Mallorca and Algiers), and then cancel "finish reconquista" mission and focus on colonization.

Post 7 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-28 23:17:30 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 4: 1410-1417

Just to make sure Badajoz doesn't change its mind and re-coalition from Sevilla to me in 3 months until our truce is up, I didn't quit the game.

So I attacked Badajoz, and that pulled Mallorca and Algiers into it. Algiers didn't bother joining, on the continent it was easy, unfortunately then it failed miserably since Mallorca decided to keep its 7k stack on Mallorca itself, and with my 3 cogs there was no way to do anything about that.

Since I didn't control Mallorca's capital, and didn't have all that much warscore against them, I couldn't vassalize them (if heir capital was that one province they held on the continent, it would have been a completely different story).

So I decided to screw that, I took Lisboa only, started coring Lisboa, and Toledo (this delayed to 1417), canceled reconquista mission, sent my armies to fight Sunni zealots in my territory (sadly they can't be sent away). They also spawned in Granada's territory, so I thought maybe I'll use DDRJake's trick to send rebels some money so they go away? And they did. I'll abuse that while I can, it goes away with Art of War anyway.

Hopefully once I start getting missions, they'll have some decent rewards. And of course Badajoz entered the coalition, so my only good opening was gone - the only way I'm going to fight anybody there is if they have another war between each other, so there's no point wasting my mission slot waiting forever for that.

Coring of Lisboa and Toledo went without any issues, unfortunately missions I had offered were really awful, such as:
• Italian Ambitions (conquer a province in Italy, does NOT give you a single claim)
• vassalize Foix (OPM which would actually accept, but I'm already over my limit)
• conquer Ceuta (so much fun fighting coalition for that)
• create a proper fleet (not a bad idea, but I don't care for naval tradition right now).

Fine, I'll make "proper fleet" while I'm waiting anyway. Which ended up really awkward as my limit increased when I annexed Navarra. Oops. Anyway, that's done what's next?

• Create army for our nation - no way in hell I have manpower for that.
• Become Papal Controller - eventually, right now lack of religious unity penalties pretty much prevent that.
• Finish the Reconquista - nice to see at least I can resume that any time.

Oh, awesome, I waited unitl January 1417 to get admin 4 and I unlocked 3 exploration ideas right away, and even had points to spare to recruit an explorer - and got a mission to explore something.

My explorer found Azores right away so that's one colony, but it took him forever to discover another island - and I really didn't want to settle in Africa anywhere near Morocco just yet.

Mission to vassalize Foix reappeared, so I took it, diplo limit is after all just a number. I was really close to vassalizing Normandy as well, since they got reduced to OPM my England taking half of their land, but then wild coalition war appeared!

What's going to happen? We'll see soon. They only outnumber me and my vassals 2:1, and a lot of their armies are in Africa, so if my allies all bother to join (I'm not too sure about Naples, and Guyenne recently broke alliance because it desires my provinces) it ought to be quite winnable.

Post 8 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-29 01:22:33 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 5: 1417-1424

Naples betrayed me and didn't come to my defense due to debt (I even tested if giving them a ton of money changes that - apparently they instantly decide to reject so it doesn't).

Still, getting attacked by a coalition is one of the best CBs to get since you get ticking warscore for doing nothing. Unfortunately there's a downside that I need to 100% occupy all coalition members in the war to get 100% warscore and half of them are overseas.

The good news is that I managed to defeat the Muslims at sea with some modest losses, so there was no risk of massive troop landings from Africa. Remaining Muslim navies were just 1 heavy and 1 light ships stuck in port, to be destroyed later once the port is takes by my armies.

The bad news was that my vassals and allies completely refused to coordinate with me, which cost me some big early battles, and ended up with 27k Muslim stack ravaging the country. Seriously, allied reinforcement walked all the wait up to one province next to the battle, then noped, the war would have been won early if they just joined.

If I can't count on my allies, I can always count on mercs. Enemy doomstack tried to repeat their river crossing maneuver, but this time my line held, and their individual armies scattered to all corners of Spain - only to die separately.

11k Algerian, 6k Mallorcan, and 17k Moroccan soldiers loopked helplessly at the slaughter through their binoculars (let's disregard curvature of the Earth for a moment, it's more poetic this way).

I even sent explorer back to explore - and Madeira was founded mid-war. I got +1 stab event at cost of some reform desire, on the other hand my legitimacy completely tanked due to events and annexations, so rebels spawn pretty much constantly. Anyway, I don't care for "reform desire" at all - if heretics want to "reform" the holy church, my armies can deal with this just fine.

Normandy bailed out of war, then accepted vassalization since they were at peace. I'm totally fine with this. Normandy seems a bit far away, but I basically plan to unify France by diplomacy. And I have some special plans for Normandy, with their core currently held by England, and their border with pagan Brittany.

Thanks to discounts from being a defender, I managed to get Badajoz as a vassal (sadly still Muslim, and really hating me), remaining core returned to Grenada, and Alicante from Mallorca, then taken into administration by Badajoz.

Azores finished, and the only available province was Rio de Oro. Fine, Morocco has truce with me, I'll probably be done before our next war... And natives stack wiped me 4k vs 4k, at full funding, with (crappy) general. How the fuck?

Madeira is almost finished, but the only things I'll have in range by that point are 3 African provinces between Morocco and Mali, all with huge numbers of very angry natives.

Anyway, the game started glitching quite hard - power projection is down to 0 for no reason and I have no available rivals (Sevilla and Zaragoza are still listed as my rivals and I can't unset them since I only recently rivalled them). And annexation of Grenada stopped and its ETA is listed as "Unknown". Quitting the game and reloading doesn't help in any way.

I'm not sure what the fuck. Canceling annexation and restarting it helps (just wasting my progress and having to get relations back to 190), but I'm still at 0 power projection after that.

Even disregarding glitches, I'm in a pretty crappy situation right now. I guess I could cleanup African coast with mercs, which would be pretty damn expensive - for a big standing army there I just don't have any manpower, what little I had left after wars I lost to that stack wipe in Rio de Oro and in fights against Sunni zealots.

I can't convert anything right now, so my religious unity and intolerance are killing me. I'm at 4 exploration ideas, and at 6th I'll also get Spanish idea with +2% missionary strength which might do something toward turning the tide. Diploannexing some French minors might also change Catholic to infidel ratios, but they're all wrong culture, so it's not that amazing.

If my king were kind enough to die, my legitimacy would reset to high values, and the heir has really great stats.

In long term, if I don't get overran by rebels, some nice things will start happening:
• I might get colonial range or missionary strength advisor
• higher adm tech unlocks some missionary strength bonuses so I could start turning my country around
• higher dip tech extra colonial range
• higher mil tech makes African natives less of a problem
• after 1450 damn event that flips my provinces Sunni at random (and then Sunni zealots start spawning before I can convert them, so they stay Sunni forever and I lose a ton of manpower) will stop happening

I could go for religious ideas second, but only 4th idea gives missionary strength, so it's really slow.

I really hope glitches don't kill this campaign before it gets started properly. So far things look really good on the map, but really bad internally. I keep ignoring internal affairs out of habit as they're so easy in vanilla, and they're only a big deal because Fun and Balance makes them a good deal harder.

•EDIT*: Power projection glitch is not too awful - I still have 49 power projection, which is pretty low as I just vassalized 3rd rival, but feasible, it just isn't displayed in UI at all, so I don't see the breakdown, but bonuses seem to apply elsewhere correctly. I should be able to add Morocco as 3rd rival, no idea why I can't. Switching tag to other countries, their power projection seems to work fine. So I guess it's not overly terrible, a few patches ago rivals basically never worked.

Post 9 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-29 20:15:47 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 6: 1424-1429

OK, I get the Grenada annexation glitch - one of their provinces is occupied by rebels, and I didn't notice that's actually their capital. Now that makes sense, it would make a bit more if someone told the tooltip too.

Anyway, merc expediction against African natives was successful, disregarding all the mil points and money it cost me. Aragon and Grenada integrated, Auvergne accepted becoming my vassal, I could probably get Dauphine and Toulouse sometime soon too, and a lot of other minors as I go. A bit of a problem is that they really dislike each other, so I can't really work on two at once as then I'd get allied to rival penalty on both, and nothing would come out of it. Guyenne stopped desiring my provinces and got back to being my ally, but they're too big to diplovassalize anytime soon.

It's going to be slow diplomatic / colonization game until I get to exploration idea 6 when serious missionary work starts to turn my country into something else than permanent Afghanistan, and then the real fun will start when I... no need to spoil everything just yet.

Various Muslim power decided to avoid full frontal assault, and instead to break me my supporting independence of Badajoz. At least Morocco had decency to leave the coalition (Algiers could do so as well), and it was the only one I'm really worried about...

And Badajoz revolted, supported by Algiers, Morocco, and Zaragoza... Good news is that this is not a coalition war, so I should be able to defeat Badajoz and Zaragoza no problem (unless Morocco and Algiers rebuilt fleets much faster than I expected and start dropping stacks after stacks on me). The bad news is that my colonies next to Morocco into which I've put so many resources are pretty much guaranteed to be taken, the best that could happen is that Morocco decides not to burn or takeover them, and just holds them for a while for better warscore. AI usually avoids aggressive colony takeovers or burning, especially since Morocco shouldn't have any colonists yet, but then who knows, I might be screwed here.

I'm also wondering if I should just attack the remaining Muslim minors in a separate war now a day before I peace out this one, so I get to fight just Sevilla and Mallorca (assuming Ottomans' pretenses to be defender of the Sunni faith are completely baseless, which they might not be, they're really huge over there).

There's an extra complications, as apparently this is a weird CB where I can't vassalize anybody supporting independence with separate peace or negotiating with my vassal, so I won't be able to get Zaragoza as a vassal.

Best case scenario is that Morocco remains passive, my colonies survive somehow, and I take Valencia center of trade from Zaragoza and get Badajoz back as a vassal? That's not terribly amazing. Is there at least some positive relation modifier from winning rebellion to make sure that doesn't happen again in 5 years?

Post 10 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-29 21:36:32 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 7: 1429-1432

The war started with Guyenne dishonoring our alliance because they're in debt - this is just lovely.

I was forced to take a loan almost right away - not a huge deal. Weirdly Sevilla decided to attack Badajoz - and Morocco became war leader on that, what? That's a nice clusterfuck over there.

Anyway, armies of Morocco and Algiers were standing in Sus for two years taking double digit attrition before they even considered moving to Rio de Oro - by which time it was a proper city. (20k went down to 12k, taking most of their manpower with it).

In the peace deal, I took 24 gold, breaking their deals with Morocco and Algiers, and all territory of Zaragoza. All that at 0 dip and 0 AE - the only problem was pretty massive overextension and war against Sevilla in which I was not the war leader.

Also I accidentally insulted Foix instead of improving relations with them, why would these two buttons be next to each other in the GUI?

Anyway, Morocco got bored with the war, got Sevilla to accept defeat, and then Dauphine accepted my overlordship, and 6-province Catholic Zaragosa (at 0% religious unity) being spawned as my new vassal.

I also got 6th exploration idea, so now I can finally start serious converting, and setting up 3 colonies simultaneously. I even decided to generously give Guyenne another change and reestablished our alliance.

I'm currently losing 2.5 gold/month even at minimum army maintenance. Colonies are expensive, and all the rebellions and local autonomies are taking their toll.

Fortunately serious missionary work has is going on, and it will only get better on admin tech 6 and 8 - and then even more so after 1450 when Muslim missionaries event stops triggering.

Current stats: of 21 inland provinces, 12 are infidels, 10 have local autonomy, 5 have nonaccepted culture, and one with gold mines is currently sieged by rebels. Sadly even overseas it doesn't look too great, between 39% religious unity, legitimacy of 6, and only +0 stability (better than I usually have), a bit of WE, and +1RR from Advancement of True Religion Act my base revolt risk is currently 7.29. Tolerance of 3.12 only gets me halfway to safety.

My shitty 60 year old 3/2/2 king with no legitimacy refuses to die, even though he's a general in the colonies. If my 5/6/4 strong claim heir dies before the king, I'll probably write CK2 style plotting expansion pack for EU4.

Now I also think that extra missions shouldn't trigger if original country exists. "Portuguese English relations" would sort of kind of make sense if Portugal was my integrated vassal, but with Portugal simply not owning Lisboa they're just dumb.

Unsubjugated Muslims have only 5 provinces left in Spain - and not even for any effort at my part, they keep starting wars they end up losing, I'm just trying to colonize here.

Post 11 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-30 02:19:41 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 8: 1432-1438

Some things I've been doing must seem a bit weird - why Normandy as a vassal? Why so much effort into expanding into Africa while Spain still has a ton of unconquered Muslims? Why am I basically ignoring South France, even though it would be easy conquests either diplomatically or by force. Didn't I say that I want to turn Mediterranean into Great Catholic Lake?

I totally plan to do that, but turning Atlantic into Great Catholic Ocean is just way more tempting, and completing exploration ideas gives me some really broken CB on all Pagans - including ones in Europe. That unfortunately doesn't include reformed pagans of Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, and Iceland would definitely be on my short list as secondary route to New World, but it's still pretty good CB.

And Normandy? At first I wanted to give them conquered Brittany into administration after some missionary work, but then I remembered that it's different culture group... Oh well, it still gives me return vassal cores CB on England, so that's always something.

Anyway, the old king died and 100 legitimacy 5/6/4 king Johan de Trastamara rules now at age of just 30 - his heir Juan being 6/4/5. Wow, is this game going a bit too well? Of course it is, heir falls ill, dies, replaced by 4/1/0 with average claim.

Anywa, Guyenne decided to go hostile and break our alliance once more when I reloaded the game... And since we're no longer royal married, how about you give me some land so I can connect my French holdings together?

Guyenne didn't really have any serious allies - 3 province Champagne, 3 province Flanders (which abandoned them), and OPMs Alencon, Avignon, and Nevers. With allies like this why would anybody break their alliance with Castile? Their whole armies put together were just 24k and 2 ships.

Actually maybe instead of just Perigord I'll take a nice route all the way to Normandy? I did zero AE in France after vassalizing Navarra, and all that diplomacy just tanked my legitimacy.

Sadly Alencon and Nevers both got occupied by Provence (Naples's PU junior, I'm getting 2 allies for price of 1 here), so I couldn't give Alencon to Normandy, or get connection through Nevers to Champagne.

I got Guyenne as vassal, Avignon with its ridiculous level 4 fort for Dauphine, and some petty cash from everybody else. I seriously considered vassalizing Champagne here as well, but that would only make sense if I had land route there, and that had to wait. Anyway, that part of France is just a distraction right now.

And here's 7th exploration idea... Hello Brittany, let me introduce you to our lord Jesus Christ. None of Brittany's Pagan allies even bothered showing up, even though technically they joined the war, and I didn't call any of my allies to avoid repeat of that mess with Provence stealing my sieges. Full blockade, crush their stack, siege everything.

Wait, Toulouse broke alliance with Naples? You're aware you have Guyenne's core, right? Surely that cannot be allowed. Actually it can since you can't return cores if they're your capital, so I just wasted 100 dip to annex them fully, and got far more AE than was reasonable. They were allied with Savoy and Milan, both just tiny bit above 100% to vassalize, even if I actually wanted such thing (Savoy maybe, Milan is just way too far for now). Both Toulouse's provinces went to my vassals, giving me pretty good amount of control over West and South France.

My first colony in Brazil got established - it gave me choice of ruthless/trader/peacenik policy towards natives - I thought that's a single colony random event, but that apparently changes event chain in every single colony forever, so I took the time to check the file, and it looks that if you always have at least 1 unit in your colony, ruthless is what you want. If you don't, peacenik is what you want. But generally, always keeping at least 1 unit prevents a lot of bad events and generates random good events, so you want that anyway.

Also hello mil tech 6 and adm tech 6 (+0.5% missionary strength). I'm finally on time with at least two of technologies, diplo is still stuck at 3. Any reason not to take religious as second idea group?

Hopefully French minors won't coalition me, as that would be extremely annoying. Coalition is down to just Sevilla and Mallorca, but both are allied with Morocco I don't particularly want to fight. My religious unity is finally over 50%

I'm 2 over my diplo limit, which doesn't bother me too much, as I got to New World, so diplo tech or diplo ideas aren't really all that high priority. I'd happily go 5 over diplo limit if it served some good purpose - like setting up a Catholic vassal in Ireland or Muslim vassal in Tunisia (Moors have ridiculous coring cost penalties and no good spawnable vassals).

Fun things are going to happen, a lot of fun things.


Post 12 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-30 23:53:20 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 9: 1438-1444

I wondered if I can make my Castile more powerful in 1444 than one from original timeline was in 1444. I'd say achievement unlocked on that, even disregarding colonies. And speaking of colonies - it seems that I've completely blocked everybody else's routes to colonization pretty quickly, So I can go for 100% New World Conquest.

At some very high tech they'll get enough range (and AI cheats and gets range bonuses, otherwise it couldn't colonize anything), but by that time it will be very very late, and once I get Iceland, British Isles, and Western France, there's not that many places anybody could send colonists from. Iceland being reformed pagan and therefore immune to my CB, and African natives being a lot more effective at this low tech are the only imperfections in my plan.

Anyway, surprisingly large coalition against me got assembled after these minor French wars:
• Sevilla, Mallorca, Algiers in the south
• England, Berry, Burgundy, Flanders in the north
• Tuscany, Venice in the east

Seriously, most of these countries have no business whatsoever being in the coalition, especially Venice and Tuscany are ridiculous.

Country conspicuously missing from this list - Morocco. So I attacked Morocco under some silly pretense, vassalized Tunisia, annexed Mallorca, got 2/4 Sevilla's provinces, and some nice stash of money. Oh Morocco, yeah, you totally managed to siege Rio de Oro and Arguin, congratulations, how about I say you won this one and we're done for the time being? Awesome.

Now my diplomats work on integrating Zaragoza and Dauphine into my realm since I'm 2 over my limit. Once it's done, maybe I can convince Portugal to join as a vassal? It's not terribly close right now, but we're getting there.

Coalition turned into Burgundy, Berry, Savoy, Sicily (Muslim), and 2-province leftover of Sevilla - nothing to be worried about, but countries go in and out of the coalition a lot. My tech is at 7/5/7 so religious ideas are coming soon.

What comes after that? Maybe Wales, maybe Kongo, maybe it's time to start attacking African countries for money (this got abused in EU3 so hard they made it generate inflation in EU4 to nerf it). No country has more than 1 cardinal, and I have 1 cardinal and 2 candidates, so maybe I'll get lucky here this time.

Random conversions to Sunni will stop happening after 1450, so I'll finally be able to make my missionary work stick, hugely helping my realm cohesion. Having 2 Muslim vassals (and probably setting more in the future) is somewhat borderline with the kingdom of God I'm trying to setup, but they're still better off this way than under total infidel rule.

Post 13 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-02 00:51:48 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 10: 1444-1448

Change of plans. I need religious ideas for the Catholic Lake strategy, but I need diplomatic ideas for the Catholic Ocean strategy, and that has far higher priority. Also I don't need Foix as a vassal, Guyenne has core on their only province anyway.

Then assuming my annexations go right, the setup would be:
• Badajoz, Tunisia - Muslim vassals
• Portugal, Naples - allies (and I really hope to diplovassalize Portugal)
• Brittany, Gueynne, Normandy - Catholic vassals
• 3 free slots (and I'm totally comfortable with going 2-3 above the limit if it serves some purpose)

Then I could maybe not annex anyone for 20 years so annexed vassal modifier clears out and I can annex Muslim vassals? I can feed them a bit in these 20 years - all of these vassals have some expansion potential.

So as soon as first annexation finished I sold Mallorca to Badajoz, broke vassalization of Foix, and attacked Northumberland / Leincester / Tyrone. All got fully annexed - Northumberland released as my new Catholic vassal, bits of Ireland I'm going to feed to Brittany as soon as they get converted. Religious ideas would definitely help here, but one can't always have everything, at least not right away.

Portugal was really impressed by this performance and accepted vassalization peacefully. Wales is still Pagan, but they're an war with Scotland which has claims on every one of their provinces (some mod event gives British minors ton of free claims on each other) and losing hard, so they might very well be gone anyway. I wanted to conquer them all in one go to avoid the remaining Pagans joining any coalitions, but it would be too much OE to hold Wales and Ireland at the same time.

I've been extremely unlucky with curia in spite of decent chances - all my cardinals and candidates just kept dying. I'll get there eventually, next Spanish idea gives me +3 annual papal influence on top of +14.50 I already have, compared with Papal States +14.75, which is presumably the highest number.

As soon as I get 2 more vassal slots (less than two years) I'll setup new vassals. Kongo is a pretty obvious one, then I could feed them anything in Subsaharan Africa as soon as it's converted.

I want to use my now free admin points to setup colonial Mexico by conquest, but that will take a while as my colonial range just barely reaches Barbados.

Not sure what to do with the last slot yet. French minors are a bit pissed at me and a bit too big, even though most of them got bored with that coalition nonsense. HRE countries won't generally accept vassalization. I could do something silly like conquering Pagan Finland, no idea what would be strategic value in that at this point... I'm sure I'll think of something, if I run out of ideas I can always just ally pope for some papal influence points, and pope would totally accept vassalization if we ever got to +190 relations (not that simple without royal marriages).

Also, after all the annexations and some stability reducing events my income is solidly negative, so maybe I should scale down my armies?


Post 14 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-04 00:48:52 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 11: 1448-1456

Kongo will not escape Jesus, but feeding them the rest of Africa would actually be somewhat difficult as they can't core outside their colonization range, and at low diplo tech and no exploration ideas their range will suck.

So Finland first. It doesn't really fit in any grand strategic plan, but it never hurts to spread God's message to people who haven't heard of it yet. Also Orthodoxy got beaten so hard by Muslims already, that a slight push by me, and their nonsense will end. Not anytime soon maybe, but establishing some presence in right neighbourhood is good first step.

Then Morocco and Sevilla - that put all of Spain under my rule, unfortunately I had to give one already cored province to Badajoz and another to Tunisia for them to even have range to administer any of the newly conquered lands. I had a mission for Ceuta which would give me 200 admin on success, but it costs 285 to core, so it's not actually all that amazing. I suspected Kongo might have coring range problem, but from Tunisia to Tangiers seemed pretty close.

While I was doing this I also conquered Foix for Guyenne - they didn't have any allies, but I took some AE as Guyenne couldn't be bothered to siege their own core, so I had to take it myself.

I accidentally spawned Brazil (I'm not going to bother with adjectives, no other country will ever have colonial states) - apparently one of provinces in La Plata region is actually part of colonial Brazil, so they have 5 provinces not 4 as I thought. Which is a shame, as gold was discovered in Rio Grande and I wouldn't mind holding to it for a while longer.

By the way, rebels are ridiculous in my mod. I'm having five stacks of 70k rebels total. If it wasn't for rebel negotiations (which next patch removes) it would be totally unplayable.

Anyway, all this was minor detours compared with my Big Plan:
• Step 1 - attack Berry
• Step 2 - vassalize their ally Venice
• Step 3 - return Venetian subject core CB on Albania (which is Sunni)
• Step 4 - don't give it to Venice, spawn vassal Byzantium instead (which will spawn as Catholic because Albania is Sunni, not Orthodox)
• Step 5 - take over half of Eastern Mediterranean before Byzantine cores expire

Sounds totally solid... wait, is 2 province Venice even vassalizable in one war? How the hell is their total province score 170%... Oops, they are not 2 provinces, they have 3 more in Greece.

So plan B:
• Step 1 - attack Berry
• Step 2 - take some Byzantine cores owned by Venice
• Step 3 - spawn vassal Byzantium (which will spawn as Catholic as all Venetian provinces are converted)
• Step 4 - take over half of Eastern Mediterranean before Byzantine cores expire

That's actually even better, since I don't particularly need vassal Venice right now, and it would put me 1 over limit for no good reason. There's just one more problem - Venice has way bigger navy than me, so direct landing on their islands is probably a very poor idea... I guess I can spend some money on galleys, my navy and army are both really tiny compared with my force limits.

The war was not going terribly well - Sunni zealots and other assorted rebels kept spawning, and I had to fight them if I wanted to convert my lands (it's past 1450 now so they'll finally stay Catholic once converted - at least until reformation comes). Venice obviously became the war leader and had a lot of troublesome buddies like Champagne, Savoy, and Switzerland - and it even invaded Ireland.

I only got Berry for Guyenne and Athens for Byzantium in the war. Now I have return vassal cores CB on pretty huge area (in addition to huge number of Byzantine cores; Novgorod and Sweden hold some Finnish cores; England holds Normandy's core; and Provence has some of both Brittany and Normandy) - and as long as I get in at least one war against Ottomans (and Timurids for 2 more provinces, but that's optional) before 1499, Byzantine cores not only on Greek but also on Bulgarian and Turkish territory will persist. I don't need to rush with conquest, just do a core refresh.

My manpower is basically all gone again. Coalition against me is Champagne (they'll get over it), Wales (they won't get over it), and Algiers (they won't get over it, but I might get some alliance chain trickery to deal with them anyway). Religious unity fell back to only about 50% after Brazil spawned and I lost some high base tax Catholic provinces. In 1467 it will be 20 years since last vassal annexation so I'll start the next batch - presumably Guyenne, Tunisia, and Badajoz.

To be honest I'm still not totally sure why I thought Finland was a good idea. Sometimes I do opportunistic conquests for little strategic value. It would be quite funny if that turned out to be some kind of brilliant strategic move one day.

Post 15 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-04 14:38:33 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 12: 1456-1463

I just needed to wait for rebels to take Ceuta so I could accept their silly demands, then give Ceuta to Tunisia for administration. That's a nice trick by the way - do not start coring or harsh treating anything with high revolt risk - get local autonomy there first via rebels, only then core safely.

Time to attack a bunch of Balkan minors to expand Byzantine power base. It's nice that it alliance chains right to Venice, so I can get Corfu and Naxos while I'm at it before Venice rebuilds its fleets (my fleets took some moderate beating too). Ragusa paid me some nice cash to not siege them as well - extorting money from rich and weak is always fun.

5 separate wars were really successful - I got Crete, Trebizon, Albania, Epirus by full conquest in four minor wars, then Naxos/Corfu/Morea/Rhodes as core return in the primary war. The game decided that since I control Trebizon (briefly, before giving it away to Byzantium), Timurids are now my valid second rival.

I got control over curia as well, sadly that wasn't enough to be able to excommunicate anyone. This time something different:
• Algiers - the one-country coalition against me, since England conquered Wales (Scotland had 2/3 of Wales occupied first, but England DOWed them, and it was that)
• Scotland - to give my vassal Northumberland something to do
• Samiland - to give my vassal Finland something to do
• Morocco - not really planned, but Mamluks became war leader in my war against Algiers, and at the same time crusade against Sicily expired, so I could call for crusade against Morocco for nice CB and good crusading bonuses.

Mamluks sent some much bigger than expected stacks, and counterdoomstack strategy wasn't really viable in Algerian desert, so I let them get away with just Fez and Tlemcen, not taking Oran center of trade I really wanted.

Morocco on the other hand gave up everything except their capital and Canaries (which I didn't bother sieging).
Finland dealt with Samiland on their own reasonably enough - I just sent a blockade for the last province to finish things faster.
Northumberland had a lot more trouble with Scotland, so I sent troops from Africa there to finish it off, and vassalize Scotland (I was surprised it was actually in vassabizable range, I thought I'd just get a few provinces for Northumberland). 2 vassals from same culture group are not amazing, but between two of them they might be able to handle England on their own maybe.

By the way "Can Fabricate Claims on any overseas province" thing I supposedly got from my ideas doesn't seem to be doing anything whatsoever. That screws with my plans a bit - especially the one to conquer Iceland, and use that colonial range to start settling North America from Greenland/Newfoundland direction. Any ideas?

The next step was conquest of Kongo, but now that I know I can't just fabricate claims on African coast to feed that to Kongo (even disregarding range issues), I'm not even sure if that's such a great idea any longer.

What would be good alternative plan if Africa is no go? Instead of setting up colonial nation by conquest like Novgorod did, I plan to set them up first by settlement, then autofeed them conquered lands - that's going to cost me a lot less admin points and a lot less manpower, butt it will delay things by a few decades.

I need to refresh all the vassal cores before 1499 - that means war with Timurids, Ottomans, Sweden (under Denmark), and Provence (under Naples - my ally currently). Cyprus, Crimea, Achaea, England, and Novgorod have right culture group cores, so they're not urgent. Direct DOW on Ottomans or Timurids would be nice power projection, as I'm at 24 currently, and reaching 50 is a realistic prospect, but they're all big and scary.

Brazil started colonizing on their own. That might be good enough reason to setup La Plata and Colombia as additional colonial nations.

Thanks to my efforts Catholicism now controls nice diagonal belt of territory from Finland to West Africa, except for south Spain / Morocco region which is only vassalized by me. Orthodoxy is pretty close to dead outside Novgorod and nearby Russian minors.

By the way I'm pretty sure I'll end up with capital in Constantinople this campaign, like in most of my campaigns. It's just such an obvios place to put capital of the world.

Post 16 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-04 22:42:50 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 13: 1463-1474

Nothing happened until 1468. I was just coring, settling colonies, converting heathens, and waiting for annexed vassals modifier to expire - in preparation for some mass annexation of Portugal, Guyenne, Tunisia, and Badajoz.

I even completely dishonored Naples's call to war against Ferrara which I got excommunicated earlier - that would derail my plans far too much. I even got pope to grant me a divorce to free a relations slot.

All that time I was preparing for war against the Ottomans. I even allied Hungary, who immediately dishonored the alliance.

War started with ambush of by 36 ships (25 galleys, 10 light ships, and 1 early carrack inherited from Portugal) on 21 Ottoman light ships in Gulf of Satalia to establish naval dominance - they sent 34 ships as reinforcements, but by that time it was simply too late, and they noped back to their capital, while I got 4 new captured ships.

The opposing alliance was everybody who was anybody in the Muslim world - Ottomans, Golden Horde, Jalayirids, Nogat, Qara Qoyunlu, Crimea, Croatia, Ukraine. It was 121k and 70 ships (74 after initial battle) vs 232k and 84 ships (63 after initial battle).

Good news:
• Timurids and Mamluks both hate Jalayirids (large horde in Arabia, 40k soldiers this time, somewhat relevant in EU3 timeline, not so much by 1444 EU4 start) so they probably will stay out of the war
• hordes and other Ottoman allies are are seriously behind on military tech at 6-7
• Ottomans are slightly behind at mil tech 8, I'm up to date at mil tech 9, so I have some solid advantage soldier to soldier.
• Some of these ships are Jalayirid ships in Indian ocean, and presumably won't come all the way around Africa.

Bad news:
• Timurids, Qara Qoyunlu, Crimea and Golden Horde have clear path to European parts of Ottoman territory through Ukraina and conquered parts of Hungary
• Polish vassal Moldavia would probably let their armies through anyway out of fear
• and almost the entire Ottoman army is in European part of their empire as well

Anyway, otter than declaring the war and setting up some blockades I had no intention of doing anything about it for now. Huge hordes were coming, taking massive attrition along the way.

How about building 19 more galleys just in case? I'm not terribly enthusiastic about mass shipbuilding now, as I'm at tech 9/7/9, and diplo 9-10 is where new ship types come, but I'm sure a lot of my ships will get sunk in this war. And of course immediately afterwards Ottomans decided to challenge my supremacy on the seas, and failed - changing ship ratio to 69 to 35. Subtracting 9 Jalayirid ships it's now 69 vs 26. I can live with that.

Guyenne got annexed, Ukraine had very high war exhaustion (presumably from unrelated causes) so I just conceded defeat to them to get one country out of the war - and hopefully make the hordes take even more attrition while they negotiate passage of troops through Ukraine or Moldavia (Moldavia unfortunately seems to let anybody who wants through).

Galleys done? OK, no more dicking around, have fun over there in the Balkans, blockading all the things and landing everyone in Asia. Thank you Mamluks and Timurids for supporting crusading effort. They weren't 100% supportive and let Crimean and Nogai stacks through, but they were relatively minor disruptions.

Qara Qoyunlu? You totally got me, you won, are we done now? Thanks. A painful 27k vs 40k naval landing to protect Trebizond convinced Nogai to quit with similar concession (it seemed better when I landed, but they kept coming. Crimea, having taken similar beating, took just white peace. Golden Horde got convinced to drop out by concession of defeat and some blockades.

At this point the enemy was just 24k Ottoman sarmy and their 7k Croatian vassals (as well as technically 61k Jalayirids, good luck that happening). Too bad I've chosen Monastir as war target instead of picking a target in Anatolia, so warscore was ticking the wrong way. Oh well, time to cross.

I got Provence to return just Anjou to Brittany - their capital has cores on it of both Normandy and Brittany, and Normany even had it sieged, but their total warscore cost was 104% somehow... Oh well.

Back to Ottomans - everything was awesome, and I still totally lost to them 34k vs 31k. I so forgot about ridiculous bonuses Ottomans get, even being one tech behind is nothing for them. Well, what good is all colonial gold in the world if I can't hire enough mercs to win this war? Oh wait, that's exactly what colonial good is particularly well suited for.

Ottomans were extremely aggressive, while I was transporting troops very slowly with my undersized transport fleet, but eventually it worked pretty damn well. Ottoman peasants threatened to undo my great work in Anatolia, but with some spare cash they could be convinced not to be hostile to me, so they just stood around taking attrition.

After some extremely painful time sieging European parts of Byzantium, I finally got what I wanted - 5 provinces for Byzantium, just enough to cut Ottomans into 4 pieces - Serbia/Bosnia/East-Hungary part, Constantinople-and-surroundings part, Thesaly part, and bulk of Anatolia. If rebels currently so rampant in Ottomans territory turn out to be of any use, Ottoman collapse might be even worse.

So Timurids - I've heard you hold 2 provinces which rightfully belong to Byzantium, are allied with Achaea which holds 3rd, and are currently losing a war to Mamluks? Amazingly I'm still at 15k manpower (most of the war was blockades and mercs), and I only got 2 WE during the whole war, so I don't have any reason to slow down.

Texas is spawning soon - then they'll get some Maya territory as a gift (probably wiser not to give them 300% OE right away). The ocean will be Catholic, but there's no rush.

Badajoz weirdly started colonizing Bermuda - so much for me being sure nobody will ever setup any colonies.

Meanwhile Protestant heresy started spreading throughout Europe. I was pretty WTF at first, then I remembered it's triggered by Catholicism reform desire (pretty much time since start of campaign), not by year, so Protestantism happening 45 years earlier is actually expected. Already 9 countries and 58 provinces fell to the heresy.

In 8 years I'm forming Spain and going for religious ideas. This heretic menace needs to stop.

My power projection is only 44, which feels embarrassing after dealing this kind of beating to the Ottomans.

Post 17 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-05 02:44:51 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 14: 1474-1478

Affairs of state are currently focused on 3 core issues:
• integrity of the realm - it's just filled with Muslims, nationalists, uncultured people (like the French), areas with local autonomy, various vassal states - all that needs to be brought together into unitary state of Catholic Spanish people
• Catholic Ocean - sending colonists, creating proper administrative structure for them, crushing all heathens, and preventing any illegal settlement. Right now it's restricted to rich temperate zones, but it will need to expand to more difficult areas as well.
• Catholic Lake - ensuring naval supremacy of the faithful, removing Muslims from these ancient Christian lands, setting up culturally appropriate local Catholic administration if necessary (like Duchy of the Greece, also known under traditional name of Byzantine Empire), and in long term perspective liberating holy lands.

This already busy agenda unfortunately got another item:
• Crushing the heretics - while Albrecht of Bavaria, Holy Roman Emperor, stays true to the Catholic faith, he does nothing to stop spread of heresy, and 9 countries already fell to it - Denmark, Pskov, Nevers are not his personal fault (especially since Pskov was formerly Orthodox, and Denmark was ruling over openly Norse Sweden and Norway so their Catholicity was always questionable), but Tuscany, Oldenburg, Bar, Aachen, Ansbach, and especially elector Bohemia are completely inexcusable. Heretics even crossed my borders and spread their vile lies in two of my provinces - not like I had any reason to expect better from uncultured French peasants living there. I must immediately extend my protection to all lands west of Holy Roman Empire, and if the emperor doesn't get his act together I'll also extend my protection into it, with or without electors' consent (one of electors is completely illegitimate anyway).

But first, the Lake. Timurids are extremely vulnerable already fighting Golden Horde and Mamluks, and my demands are extremely very modest - unfortunately the game killed province cost cap (why, fuck's sake, why?), so that costs 32% instead of 15% or so it would in older versions.

Sadly Golden Horde bailed out taking just one province, so I decided to bail out as well, taking just 2/3 of Byzantine cores (one held by Achaea, second by Timurids, third is now cut from Timurid mainland) and 79 ducats. The important parts got achieved: +10 power projection from declaring war on a rival, ridiculously low +3 pp (decay -1/year) from them losing that province, refreshing timers on the last core, and some map exploration. Mamluks didn't feel like pushing their luck either, took just their two cores back and called it a day. There was no need to overextend myself, especially since the other war was going surprisingly poorly.

Oh yeah, the other war. Orleans conquered province from Provence on which Brittany and Normandy both had cores, so I DOWed them - bringing into this a lot of minors, including 2 Protestant OPMs I had to bring back to the true faith.

Unfortunately while all of their armies were relatively small individually, they've shown remarkable coordination is staying next to each other in Central France.

Not that it helped them all that much - merc recruiting spree and my armies coming back from the East crushed them in direct battle, then I convinced Bar and Nevers to repent their sins (as well as donate some money for charity managed by me as penance), Naples to become my vassal, and Orleans to release one province to Normandy and release Alencon OPM.

That did nothing to stop spread of heresy - Saxony, Thuringia, Teutonic Order, and even my colony on Bermuda all went Prostant time I was sorting things out in France.

Not sure where to go next. Italian minors are really pissed at my vassalization of Naples and joined a coalition. Pope is also somewhat pissed, but he allied me anyway (won't accept vassalization anytime soon).

I took a mission for Sicily, but that will alliance chain all the way to Mamluks and Golden Horde. Hungarian rebels got a few provinces to defect, so now Ottomans are in 5 rather than 4 parts. They're still allied with absolutely everyone (see extra map), but between Hungary blocking half the way, and Poland finally annexing Moldavia and blocking the other half it's not that clear how much access hordes are going to have.

I could just take it slow for a while. In just a few years (or I could do it right away, penalty isn't that awful in the mod) I'll have new idea group, most likely religious unless I change my mind at the last minute again to expansion or something. I'll also have admin 10 to form Spain, getting rid of a lot of silly culture penalties (I culture converted all Basques already). Colonization will continue (hopefully with no further nonsense like Protestants in Bermuda). Vassals will keep getting annexed, heathens will keep getting converted. Time mostly benefits me.

Most obvious ideas:
• avoid fighting anybody scary, just beat up random minors - Novgorod for Finnish cores, Ragusa or Mali for cash, Morocco for sense of completion, some low level Protestant containment strategy etc. - unfortunately it's not always easy to judge who's easy to beat up - 4-province Orleans ended up harder than Timurids who usually have biggest army in the world
• holy warring Mamluks (or alliance chain Sicily/Algiers to Mamluks) to setup (Catholic) Tripoli - or even just go straight for Jerusalem, since moderation is overrated.
• keep kicking Ottomans while they're down
• become the emperor while fixing as much Protestant issues as possible

Muslims are not really a problem. They're numerous, but they'll only keep falling behind on tech. Natives are obviously just a matter of time, and Africans of only slightly more time. It's hard to tell if Protestants will become a long term problem or not.

Ottomans and friends

Post 18 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-05 13:06:59 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 15: 1478-1483

I had to double check events to see how spread of Protestantism works - in EU3 its start date was fixed to date range (event couldn't trigger before 1500, and then increased its chance in 1515 and 1530 if it was late), in EU4 it's based on reform desire.

This lead to obvious followup question - was end date for spread of protestantism event date based so I'm going to get 3x as many events as normally because it triggered so early? Turns out in EU3 and EU4 files it's identically based on years since religion got activated. So everything is fine this time - but it didn't have to, they something do silly things in porting, like making events depend on high War Exhaustion, which was really easy in EU3 but pretty much impossible to achieve in vanilla EU4 (and so Fun and Balance restoring WE levels closer to EU3 also fixes a lot of these events).

This makes it easy. I was seriously wondering how am I going to 100+ years of provinces flipping to Protestants nonstop after I suffered through 50 years of provinces flipping to Sunni, fortunately I don't have to. Also having religious idea lowers the risk by 3:1, and being defender of Catholic faith by 5:1. I wish to do both, unfortunately taking defender of the faith means I'd no longer be able to strategically concede defeat in any war, as that loses me the title, and I'd need to repay 500 gold to get it back every time. I'm nowhere near the point where I can reasonably make such trade-off.

By the way this makes already silly reform desire mechanic even more pointless - reformation events at least lasted longer or shorter based on how early they start, you'd get something for it, but delaying or hastening both start and end date by the same time is pretty much meaningless, especially given how minimal control over it you really have (you'll move it by 1-2% whole game, and then it's mtth by reform desire bands anyway, so you might not even change which mtth band it gets). Silly mechanic is silly.

Anyways, Novgorod looked a bit stronger than I thought they'd be, so that's out.

Mamluks need to wait for religious ideas - I could pay ahead of time penalty since it's not too unreasonable, but my king is just 4/1/0 with medium legitimacy (at least heir is reasonable 4/3/3 with strong claim), so it's bad time to waste points. National focus changed from diplo on admin, it will all have to wait.

And getting involved in HRE is going to be messy, since any alliance or vassal I setup could still go Protestant at moment's notice. I'll give containment strategy a few more years to prove itself.

That leaves Ottomans, but we still have truce. Well, I white peaced Crimea early, so why not alliance chain here? It actually loses me 10 power projection, brings Qasim into the war, and sets up ticking warscore against me, but I don't plan to take it slow this time - nope, buy all mercs (I mean, all infantry mercs at current tech level, buying obsolete infantry, cav, or artillery mercs is extremely rarely sensible), block every port day one, drop all my army in Corfu and Naxos with orders to strike as soon as possible.

Hordes had a lot of access - they could go through Ukraine, one isolated Ottoman enclave in Maramaros, Transylvania, then back to Ottoman territory - and between Timurids not hating Qasim, and Ottomans no longer being blocked from accessing Anatolian possessions of Byzantines now that they got second core them. The result was that Anatolia got swarmed, but in the Balkans I had some really nice force ratios.

It turned out I severely underestimated staying power of the hordes, and my armies took some serious beating - I don't really know why it was going so much worse than in my Novgorod campaign where I was wiping stacks twice my size, and here I can barely win 1:1 with severe losses.

I'd probably let Ottomans get away with this if only they agreed to give Maramaros or Temes to Hungarians, sealing hordes's route into Europe, but no.

Fuck you then. Jalayarids - I concede defeat. It doesn't matter militarily as they don't have access anyway, but that shift relative strength of alliances as AI understands it. Ukraine? Have a cookie. Golden Horde? Would a few more battles convince you to go home with just a cookie? They would? Awesome. Qara Qoyunlu? Another cookie, I'm in a cookie give-away mood. Qasim was getting really tired so they got a cookie eventually as well, leaving Ottomans and Crimea alone.

I cut them in the most painful way possible in the peace deal - they're not separated into 8 separate parts. I formed Spain, setup Jesuits, built larger transport fleet with new ship types, setup alliances with Poland and Austria in addition to the pope. The only bad news are that I had to take a loan during this war, and Ottomans are no longer a valid rival. Bar went Protestant even after I made them repent, fortunately Lorraine was fed up with that as well, so they just took it over, so number of heretic states is just 10 Protestants and 3 Orthodox - 13 too many.

Anyway, the English have colonized Antigua - I have no idea how the hell they have range that far that early, even with AI range cheats. Anyway, that cannot be allowed, except for the small complication that they're allied with the pope, and I'd rather keep that alliance for now.

In other news - Sicily just allied Ottomans a few days after our big war. This could be pretty hilarious, unfortunately AI tends to dishonor alliances when it's in the kind of deep ship Ottomans are at the moment, for good reasons.

Post 19 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-05 21:32:30 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 16: 1483-1487

I was working on getting Pope to accept vassalization so I could go to war wih England without breaking that alliance, but I didn't micro it hard enough, delayed it by one month, had to resend diplomat for improve relations one extra time, and then of course 7 days before I can send diplomats to vassalize the pope he gets into some fucking unrelated war. You win this time England!

Fine, I'll pass time crushing Morocco - as well as setting up Catholic vassal of Fez. I was considering who to setup as vassal in North Africa - Tunisia vs Tripoli mostly, and trying to figure out why Tunisia didn't lose cores on Grenada which is wrong culture group for them, but then Fez with one core on Ceuta appeared... I can totally do that, as well as give them a bunch of random already cored provinces to ensure they have range.

I got a pretender - some nonsense like 0/1/2. It would be fun if I could plot to get a 6/6/6 pretender take over the throne, but that never happens anyway.

I finished off Morocco, declared crusade on Sicily, then declared war onthe Mamluks. Sicily is allied with Ottomans and Mamluks (as well as Algiers for what it's worth), and it's anybody's guess which one of them would become war leader - I can deal with one of them just fine, fighting both, and pretty much every single horde in the world would just be crazy.

And here's the big war! Pope of course finished his literally one day after I declared mine... Oh well, the English will finish their damn colony.

Now-Protestant Denmark's PU over Norse Sweden and Norway ended, so I declared war on newly independent Sweden right away, before it could get any alliances set up - not that it's terribly likely, cross-religious alliances are not common.

I got ridiculously little in this war - apparently:
• if my vassal fully occupies another country, I can't annex them at all in direct negotiations
• holy war CB applies to every province, but only in negotiations directly with target, against other countries I don't even get a discount on my claims

Oh well, Sicily goes to Naples, two irrelevant bits of Algerian desert as well as 104 gold go to Fez.

And I had to help Finland, since they were getting beaten hard, fortunately Sweden didn't take too much convincing to hand over Aland to their rightful owners.

The heretic menace is spreading - there are currently 14 Protestant, 5 Reformed, 3 Orthodox, and 1 Coptic countries - worldwide only 54 out of 175 countries follow the true faith, and only 254 provinces (out of however many there are, ledger totals include unsettled too), compared with 144 of various heresies and God only knows how many total heathens. Unfortunately many provinces held by my vassals got infected by that too, and they don't have the kind of protection people living in lands directly administered by me would have.

Worst of all - even the Holy Roman Emperor is now a heretic! Every single heretic in their god-forsaken empire is going to burn as soon as I finish dealing with illegal English settlements and throwing Ottomans back into Asiatic steppes.

As for good news, La Plata is now a colonial nation. I'll setup a few more - Mexico, Colombia, Caribbean, and Louisiana, but so far I avoided any fights with natives as I don't have any resources to spare.

It also looks like the Golden Horde is settling Siberia.

Post 20 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-06 01:26:38 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 17: 1487-1494

Wars against Sweden, Algiers, Sicily, and Mamluks were really simple.

Will war against England be just as easy? Almost. The English had 4 light ship squadron in the new world, sinking and killing my explorer, and preventing my troop landing on Antigua - I started recruiting a 20k New World Army, supported by 5 heavy, 10 light, and 10 transport ships. Excessive? Not when they're meant to conquer every single pagan province in half of the world with minimal outside assistance. Of course their first target is just 7k rebels in a yet undeveloped colony. It's fine to target practice on something small at first.

Other than that all English armies were crushed, Protestant Holland (105% warscore to convert, I miss EU3 sometimes...), Catholic Brabant, and Catholic Friesland white peaced, Protestant Oldenburg returned to the true faith. I'm applying some pressure against the heretics, it just doesn't seem enough.

England gave up 5 provinces in Britain, some gold, and seized war target colony (it's actually pretty cool that I can fabricate on colonies, I can get war target without any siege - nowhere near as cool as fabricating on whatever I damn want overseas, but still better than I originally thought). Notably missing from this list is their colony in Antigua - theory under which I operate is that seizing English coast is much more effective means of ending their colonization attempts than taking colonies one at a time, and wars are going to proceed on 5 year timer now.

What's the English response to that? Almost immediately declaring reconquest war for Paris, why not? Trade goods produced in London are apparently massive balls. Of course they lost, they had to release Cornwall and give Normandy's core to Orleans... I'll get it for you eventually Normandy. That's 2 coastal English provinces fewer for me to conquer... hopefully nobody else in Europe gets any silly ideas (it's going to be a long while until I fully seal New World coast).

Anyway, time to beat the Ottomans some more! Of course my allies are completely worthless and won't join - Austria is overran by Protestant zealots and Sunni zealots simultaneously from both sides, Poland by just regular peasants.

The war followed the usual script - I show up with full force, blockade everything, crush Ottomans, then hordes start coming in waves after waves - each wave failing to break me, and going back to steppes, but my armies getting depleted and in no position to pursue them all the way. Eventually hordes get tired of that beating and let me get away with conceding defeat.

Between negotiating with rebels and negotiating with the hordes my prestige managed to reach -70, just as I was conquering the most valuable province in the whole world (which got me +3 prestige). Yeah - war against half the Muslim world for one province at 100% warscore.

I could break this cycle if I gave back Maramaros to Hungary - that would block most hordes from coming anywhere near the fight the way Jalayarids are already blocked, and further wars would be get a lot easier. I just never really have enough warscore to spare for that.

I had a mission for Constantinople (from Fun and Balance), now I have a mission for Jerusalem (from vanilla). I'm still not convinced going for Judea right away is a smart thing to do, but it would mean full set of holy sites and extra +1.2% missionary strength and +1 prestige/year for every Catholic country, as well as extra bonuses for holding it for me.

Maybe Byzantines could even legitimately convert Constantinople with that? They're at -1.5% missionary strength and they'll get +3% from completing their national ideas, and they still haven't passed the decision that gives them +1% missionary strength forever you need Theologian to pass. They'll also probably pass reestablishment of theme system as soon as they get their cores, for +6 base tax in Constantinople (and -3% missionary strength) as well as extra manpower and some lesser bonuses. Hopefully they'll convert it before pressing that button, otherwise it's going to be really awkward. Preparing 26 base tax capital for me? I can totally get behind that.

Sadly Austria, Bavaria, and Magdeburg all fell to the Protestant heresy. At least Venice took over Montenegro so it's one Orthodox country down. It's hard to plan counteroffensive, as spread of Protestantism just slows down gradually, it doesn't have instant cutoff like Islam events had in Extended Timeline. I could just keep pushing until it breaks, but it will take a while. I wouldn't be terribly opposed to heretic emperor managing to pass second HRE reform before I depose him either, and my interventions would probably crush his Imperial Authority, so there's some benefit to waiting.

Mexico is now my third CN, and my newly recruited army is standing next to Maya's borders. I have a pretty good idea what's going to happen next. I'm setting up CNs in Louisiana and Eastern America (what should that be called?) next to have nice base from which to start conquests. Caribbean is going to spawn from captured English colonies, so no effort needed. Colombia and Guyana I'm keeping under direct administration for the time being to have some base for recruiting units - it's not that much further from West Africa, so they'll get their CNs in due time.

Peru it seems I'll need to setup by direct conquest with direct coring - there's not that much space for setting up CN first, and it's all really awkwardly located. - Colombia region goes all the way to Incan border along the coast - there's just 1 free coastal province in all of Peru.

Next diplo tech I'll be in range of Cape, so Africa might start seeing some action too (including super-Kongo plan). I can't imagine getting anything else than expansion for my 4th CB. Trade would be nice for extra merchants, but expansion gives me merchant already, and setting up a ton of trade companies via expansion could give me a few more. I don't plan to conquer Asia, but taking a few coastal COTs for free merchants feels totally reasonable.

I don't really have any idea what I'm doing with trade. Sevilla node is my capital and trade capital, I'm transferring from Genoa and protecting trade there, I'm collecting in Bordeaux, and pirating in Caribbean (with fleet that's generally there to protect my transport from Englishmen and natives, but it can pay for itself while not at war). There could be some much smarter setup.

Post 21 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-08 03:07:02 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 18: 1494-1505

I declared war on Maya for about half of what they had - I could go for full annexation, but then I'd need to babysit Mexico fighting rebels for decades anyway - 104% OE sounds like about sensible level. It turned out to be somewhat high for my CN, but not too crazy. Simultaneously I started another against Orleans for cleansing of heresy, with Normandy's last core being a nice bonus.

None of that changes the fact that heretics are still making progress faster than I can burn them - of the "Reformed" instead of "Protestant" variety these days. Why do they even bother making such distinctions when in the end they're all going to burn in the same hell?

England got easily beaten again, this time losing their colonies, their possessions in France, small bit of coastland, while their ally Ferrara had to return Bari to Naples - nice opportunity here, as Ferrara is in HRE so this kind of war for one province would be somewhat silly otherwise, now I can annex Naples just fine, if I need to feed someone Italian provinces I'm sure pope will happily eat them.

So far Fez has shown remarkable levels of disinterest in coring their provinces (to be fair they have some truly atrocious ruler and everything there is 200% coring cost), so crusade for Jerusalem does not seem like the best of ideas. Ottomans are still a few years off. England hilariously allied itself with OPM Cornwall on which I have claims so I could presumably just reopen the war right away, but they'd probably dishonor that. In any case, I don't care if England exists as long as they remain Catholic and stop any illegal settlements. Go fight French minors or something if you're bored in London, New World is mine.

I have time to kill, why not get Finland's cores back maybe? Now that I think of it, I actually do have some brilliant strategic plans for Finland, almost as good as recreating Byzantium by attacking Berry. They will be revealed in due time, and I'll pretend it was subconsciously my plan all along, all the way back to 1448 or so when I attacked Finland.

Wait, what is this? Illegal Norwegian settlers? So much for my awesome plans - but since step two was "conquer Jamtland to get border with Sweden" I might as well make that step one - as while I'm at it snag 2 Norwegian colonies in Canada, Bergenshus COT, and Trondelag, the Norse holy site from CK2 I so fondly remember playing as a count as. Fun times these were.

Fine, so the plan was:
• Return all Finnish cores held by Novgorod
• Holy War Norway for just enough to get border with Sweden
• Holy War all of Sweden and feed it to Finland since it's accepted culture there (fallback - spawn Gotland)
• Sometime during these ways setup Scandinavian culture and Russian culture vassals, and get relevant borders with everyone I need to, especially Muslim hordes
• use these borders to conquer hordes of Eastern Europe with holy wars
• and to strike into heartland of heresy on Southern Baltic shore

I'll do something like that, just out of order.

Anyway, I didn't feel like I can expand much more right away, so I just got good people of Champagne and Luxemburg back into the holy church, for which they thanked me with generous donations for further Christianization efforts.

Enough cored already that I can start another war? Hello Sweden. Trivial war, they had no allies, so I took some coastland for Finland.

Next plan was a quick war against the Ottomans - the only goal being return of one low base tax province to Hungary, so hordes would no longer have any access to Balkans.

And of course that was an instant miserable failure - a while ago Timurids got beaten by Jalayirids, so all the hordes now had free access to Anatolia, even if roundabout one through Jalayirid and Mamluk territory, so it didn't even matter that I could fully occupy all of Balkans, it would be another slow grind. Novgorod also let the horde through into Finland, but that was not really anything I cared much about.

And in that time two English colonies in the Caribbean were getting ever closer to city status, so I absolutely had to DoW England pretty much right away, splitting my forces. I white peaced them after a while - they were just a distraction from Ottoman war which turned out to be far bigger than I expected.

Ukraine white peaced after enough beatings. Golden Horde suffered from a really sweet stackwipe in everyone vs everyone battle - tech difference starts showing, but I still had to concede defeat to them. Without the Golden Horde it wasn't really much fight. I even invated Crimea for Kaffa, and helped Poles (who are heretics and will all go to hell) fight Sunni rebels - they might burn in hell, but at least they won't let horde troops through, unlike Sunni Moldavia which might spawn there instead.

So in the end Hungary got one province, Byzantium got 5 from Ottomans and 1 from Crimea.

Norway seems to have given up on colonization, but England went right back to it, and now Protestant Holland is trying as well - all the way on Bahamas... I really underestimated AI colonization range, I'm used to playing with (much lower) human values. Holland is also technically part of the HRE, so I won't be able to delay this conflict for much longer.

As for heretics - just like Austria before, Poland fell to Protestant rebels. I was trying to setup some Catholic allies in the region against Muslim hordes and heretic emperor, and tried to go for countries strong enough to withstand heretic pressure themselves, apparently I was mistaken about that.

Number of heretic countries is ever increasing and is now at 28 - Orleans I converted fell to Protestant pretender, in addition to the usual mess with HRE minors. At least Ansbach returned to Catholic faith out of its own free will. And surprisingly Maya went Catholic. I feel very ambivalent about that, I'd much prefer if their lands were under direct administration by Mexico, but I doubt I can get Mexico to do that on its own.

I have 5 CNs now - La Plata, Brazil, Mexico, Caribbean, and Florida, and 6th (Louisiana, unless I come with a better name for it) is spawning in a few years. Canada sometime after that.

I have a lot of ideas of what I want to do, but urgent matters keep taking precedence.

I have a good idea for end goals of this campaign:
• Not a single heretic province or country anywhere in the world
• Nobody except me is allowed any colonies in the New World or Africa
• Every single populated province in Europe, New World, Africa, and Middle East Catholic (exact geographic definitions of these areas don't necessarily need to correspond to game definitions, definitely all coastline from White Sea up to about Persian Gulf)

It's as simple as that.

Post 22 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-09 03:11:08 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 19: 1505-1511

Here's some secret military tech:
• None of my armies are attached to any territories ever. If rebels spawn and army is nearby, they get crushed. If no army is anywhere close for a year or two, enjoy your local autonomy.
• Each colony has 1k (or 2k if natives are really nasty) protection stack
• New world army, its transports, and heavy ships (really silly now that England can barely put any boats up) are located in some nice central location close to where I want to strike - sometimes I divide it into two, since I have 2:1 troops to transports ratio
• Light ships generally just pirate
• One stack of 24 transports ferries between Ceuta, Languedoc, Tunis, Naples, Epirus, and Constantinople
• Second stack of 24 transports ferries between Normandie, Wessex, Trondelag, and Aaland
• Transports generally follow these routes and armies walk the rest, it's just less micro (once you get used to it), less attrition (during long sea travel or waiting for transports in low supply limit province), less exposure to enemy fleets, and it's very fast
• This means armies walk through France if needed to move from one ferry network to another
• European Armies - all move from front to front as needed - but I usually arrange successive wars in nearby fronts, so I'll move armies Scandinavia to France, then France to Greece, not Scandinavia to Greece. If they need to go all the way they way through France between ferrying points
• Galleys and light ships move between fronts as needed. This unfortunately means one of ferry fleets is usually unprotected.
• In theory light ships are meant to protect trade in Genoa during peace time, but I rarely bother as peace doesn't last too long
• I'd love to get land route between Finland and Constantinople, but that does not seem terribly likely anytime soon.

Anyways, I made alliance with Polotsk (that's like 8 provinces in Belarus region, Catholic enclave at 60% religious unity or so, squeezed between Protestants and Sunni hordes) - hopefully they will remain Catholic unlike Poland and Austria, and declared holy war for Jerusalem, which as good Catholics they joined!

The Golden Horde and Ukraine of course joined on infidel side, as far as they're concerned wars against me are good way to farm prestige at no risk - as well as Algiers and Mamluks' vassal Ramazan - which is actually really relevant as Byzantium needs it for +6 base tax in Constantinople decision, even though it's not their core (to be fair in vanilla 1444 start none of Turkish Anatolian provinces are Byzantine cores any longer).

Even Mali joined as defender of Sunni faith - since declaring yourself one mostly takes gold, and they have plenty of that. I considered sending my New World stack over to Africa, but I have other plans for them. At least Brazil did some blockading of Mali's coast. Maybe it would be a good idea to invest some money into upgrading forts on West African coast? I wanted to do that before for wars against Morocco but Morocco fell completely before I ever had spare cash for it.

My certainty about my naval supremacy was seriously tested - I split my fleet to blockade everyone at once, and Mamluks and the Golden Horde apparently had done enough ship building recently to sink a lot of my ships while I was busy fighting Algiers. It's not helping that a lot of my ships are obsolete designs from early days.

Polotsk didn't last long - overran by the hordes it paid some tribute to the Mamluks and got out of it. Algiers didn't last long either - separate peaced for Oran COT.

Unsurprisingly Hungary repaid me for giving them back their core by giving the Golden Horde military access. So much for that plan. I was winning in the Middle East where it mattered and losing everywhere else - Mali occupied a bunch of provinces in West Africa, Ukraine in Finland, Golden Horde in the Balkans after defeating Polotsk. None of that was much conciliation for the Mamluks who gave up Ramazan, Judia, and some bits of Syria - not the most important part (Aleppo COT), but enough to get a border with Timurids.

All my attempts at creating buffer zone between me and the hordes - either in Balkans or in Anatolia - have been at best a temporary success, and for most part a miserable failures, so it's really time to take the war directly to the hordes. I release Syria as a vassal and started Holy War against the Timurids (this trick is pretty basic - CBs are recalculated on monthly tick, so even if you lose border with someone you still have until end of the month to declare relevant wars).

Timurids territories in Caucasus were already split from them mainland by other hordes, so the fight was pretty quick - I took over their ally Cyprus, and 3/4 provinces of cultures which should be acceptable for Byzantium. No reason to wait forever for warscore to tick enough for the 4th.

Meanwhile I'm colonizing South Africa, conquering assorted tribes in North America (4 tribes of 11 provinces so far), and trying to get Champagne to accept diplovassalization. Byzantium is turning hostile now, but it's nothing some bribery and diplomacy won't be able to fix.

Number of heretics is 28 states and 157 provinces, which is somewhat embarrassing for me - and Norway now went back to colonization, going all the way to St. Helena. All this suggests I should give Muslims a break and focus on getting things in Europe in order. At least Protestantism pretty much stopped spreading, now it's only really Reformed.

Post 23 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-10 03:52:43 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 20: 1511-1515

At this stage of the game longer truces wouldn't be all that bad, as long as they only applied with primary target not all participants and weren't bugged as hell like in vanilla. I just have far too many wars I want to simultaneously wage, and truces are not really relevant any longer - by the time I get into fights with everybody I want to, half of my truces are already gone. Like coalitions, OE, naval attrition, and other such highly annoying mechanics - longer truces could be developed into something workable, instead they were applied as a buggy "stop having fun" kind of hack.

One thing which would be nice would be land corridor between Byzantium and Finland. My ally Polotsk stands in the middle of such potential corridor, I still have military access though Poland and Hungary, and if Ukraine gave Poland back their core and I conquered a bit of South Baltic coast and forced Novgorod to return cores to Finland... it would be sort of doable, I'm just too busy with so many other fights, and it would involve helping heretic state.

Anyway, I was a bit worried that Holland is in the empire so it might be hard to get into war against them without escalating it too much - but silly Dutchmen allied themselves with England. So 3 wars it is: against England/Holland for colonies, against Hainaut to burn some Calvinists, and against Orleans to burn some Lutherans.

By the way HRE electors are 4 Catholics (Trier, Mainz, Cologne, Palatinate), 2 Protestants (Bohemia, Saxony), and 1 Reformed (Brandenburg) - in EU3 there's no way in hell HRE would see succession of Protestant emperors, these voting penalties for being a heretic are far too low.

Orleans and Hainaut renounced their sins, England released Wales and got reduced to just London.

Now holy war against Sweden, and separate one against Norway - they were briefly both coalitioned against me, but got tired of it. Weirdly Denmark took over as war leader against Norway, but I could still negotiate against Norway directly. I've seen it occasionally, not sure what are the rules. I fully annexed Sweden and Norway, and got Denmark to release two (unfortunately heretic) HRE OPMs just to spite them.

Now the hard choice what to do with all this land:

Releasing Sweden as vassal:
• I get return cores CB on 4 Danish provinces
• Feeding in Norwegian (including 3 North Sea islands) provinces would be slower
• I could annex Finland pretty much as soon as I give them back Novgorod's cores

Releasing Norway as vassal:
• I'd need to give them 4 provinces I already cored, leaving myself with no possessions in Scandinavia
• Swedish culture is accepted by both Norway and Sweden, so I can get rid of that real fast
• They could colonize for me
• I'd need to give them one province in Canadian colonial region for the time being

Coring Norwegian lands directly:
• +100% coring cost is pain (535 for 14 base tax) - I'm not terribly hard pressed for admin points, but it's a waste
• Managing nationalist rebels on North Sea islands would be massive pain
• I'd need to hold to Swedish lands longer, as I can only feed Finland so fast, so >100% OE for a while
• Nobody to feed Danish lands to assuming I want some (hint: is any of Denmark coastal?)

On balance Norway as vassal sounds a bit better.

The next step was getting these Finnish cores Novgorod holds. A pretty big issue is my fleet. I totally stand by my claim that proper fleet composition is light ships and transports - right now I'm at 5 heavy, 41 light, 3 galley, 57 transports (out of force limit 217) - many of them in the New World so can't help. Novgorod and their buddies Hansa between two of them have 28 heavy, 48 light, 0 galleys, and 17 transports. Naval supremacy is not going to happen this time. If I had 60 transports and 140 light ships that would be a totally different story, but I'm fairly reluctant to do mass upgrades, I need money for mass construction of military buildings to ensure adequate manpower, and it's only a few techs until new ship types come.

Anyway, while my navies stayed docked, all my European armies were crushing Novgorod, Prussia, and Pskov. Hansa even landed 7k troops in something Chesapeake for some reason, only to be crushed by my stack.

Simultaneously with this war I was conquering 3 more native tribes for 4 provinces. 3rd of them just to get nice path to Hansa's landing party really.

I let them get away easily - with just 3 Finnish cores and Pskov going Catholic. I could have made Pskov my vassal and cut Novgorod from Baltic Sea completely since they have just one province there. That might still happen one day. For now, Finland served Scandinavian half of its purpose with conquest of all Norse people in Scandinavia and a vassal to feed Danish lands to, and as for the other half of Russian strategic purpose, I need to annex Finland before I can execute on that.

There's small argument for keeping Finland a bit longer - there are still 4 Estonian culture provinces I could feed them, but they are all poor with total basetax of 7 so I can core them directly if I ever feel like conquering them, and cleansing of heresy CB on Novgorod is pretty important for what I want here.

Another interesting thing - so far I've 100% respected boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. For how much longer? Protestant Bohemia is the emperor again, and passed second reform. When is the time to move it and take the throne?

Number of heretics is unchanged at 28 states (3 force converted, Venice went Protestant, 2 OPMs I forced Denmark to release were both Protestant), but heresy is receding from 157 to 148 provinces. Catholicism is finally largest religion by province count, overtaking Sunnis for the first time.

Post 24 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-10 22:49:29 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 21: 1515-1522

Do you remember what I said that I'd be OK with longer truces? That's only if they applied to primary war target, and if "do no colonize anything for duration of the truce" was a possible demand.

Now let's see what the game would be without truce timers. Bohemia, how willing are you to defend your empire? Totally willing? Good. Its allies are not? Oh well, maybe another time.

Meanwhile Orthodox Montenegro seceded from Protestant Venice - time for some soul saving intervention there too. Of course the game decided to be buggy shit again, and exiled all my units which were on neutral HRE territory (where I can legitimately be as I'm at war with emperor).

And so Switzerland and Montenegro went Catholic, and Bohemia released Silesia as independent Catholic state. Plus the usual petty cash for me. Silesia's provinces were 6 base tax Protestant Breslau, and 4 base tax Catholic Ratibor (capital) so I thought they'd go Protestant - especially since in real history Breslau should be where Silesia's capital is, but game thinks Silesia's capital is Ratibor according to the files, and in any case rule for religion choice on release are a bit weird.

Then final war against England followed - England was fully annexed, one English and one Dutch colony seized. The Dutch of course started colonizing pretty much next day, but I'll do something about that in due time.

Next was some cleanup in Northern France - taking non-HRE territory from Orleans, Nevers, and Hainaut. I wanted all non-HRE territory, since it's a massive pain to wage war against HRE and have to walk around random minors.

Meanwhile I did some more native conquests - some of them even seized my colony in Canada, which weirdly grew into full city while under occupation. I did not know that's how it works (it definitely sends colonists back).

Weirdly 2k Peasant revolt in Guadelupe owned by my CN defected to me, which of course was instantly ceded back to CN, and I got 2k infantry for free.

Now Burgundy, most powerful Reformed state - how about you repent? This is my second war against the emperor, and second failure to get emperor's allies into this. This one is easy - cleansing of heresy doesn't allow war leader changes - and in any case Bohemia and Burgundy are about equally strong so it wouldn't change anyway. Previous one was more complicated - Bohemia actually became war leader, but war leader changes don't autocall allies - they need to be called manually - and Bohemia didn't call anyone as they were in another war already, so they'd refuse.

I was already at +3 stability and I got +1 stability event - well, why not burn that free point at no-CB war against Maya, saving me from having to wonder if Catholic natives are OK or not.

I quickly white peaced Friesland, took another Dutch colony in separate peace (it's 37 diplo or 25 mil - right now I'm weirdly low on mil, high on adm, and extremely high on adm - mostly due to building spam, and having to pay for 4 leaders out of limit of 2 - due to broken rival system I can't even get to 25 power projection).

Then it was a series of brilliant strategic moves as they had a ton of troops, were one mil tech ahead of me, probably some extra bonuses, there were rivers everywhere, and it was generally not the kind of one-sided war I tend to go for if given free choice.

As a result of this war, Burgundy returned to the true faith; Archbishop of Trier, Holy Roman Elector, became my vassal; and a small coalition of German heretics got setup against me, giving me a hint that maybe it's time for some crusading instead.

If only I knew the answer to the puzzle "If I holy war Algiers, would Mamluks become the war leader?", I'd know what to do next. In any case, it's going to involve some Muslim bastards going to meet Muhammad in hell.

Number of heretic states fell from 28 to 26, and provinces from 148 to 129. They're not broken yet, but relentless pressure it effective.

As for the rest of the world - Catholic Hungary has been unusually effective at beating up Sunni Croatia (created by Ottoman rebels) and Protestant Austria. For a while I was worried it will collapse completely. Timurids settled down, so now Jalayirid and Goden hordes are two biggest Muslim powers. In any case, Muslims keep fighting each others in silly wars, but then how is that different from what Christians are doing?

Post 25 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-11 23:20:53 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 22: 1522-1526

Surprise surprise, some tiny border skirmish in the Balkans turned into a huge war:
• Ottomans, Crimea, Golden Horde, Jalayirids, Yemen, Qara Qopunlu
• Timurids, Ukraine, Transylvania, Mamluks, Nogai, Wallachia

That's pretty much every Muslim state of interest except for Mali and Algiers to the far West, and Qasim horde to the far North.

So many possibilities here, including but not limited to:
• attack Ottomans (return Byzantine cores)
• attack Mamluks (holy war or return Syrian cores)
• attack Algiers (holy war) - sadly Mamluks (as ally) or even Mali (as DotF) could become war leader here
• attack Jalayirids (holy war or return Syrian cores)
• attack Mali (holy war) with their stupid pretention to be "defender of the Sunni faith"
• some combination of the above

I've seen Mali declare itself DotF and do nothing multiple times - I guess that might be because it didn't discover remote countries like Ottomans at beginning of the game maybe, so it can't be called into their wars? Not sure, but probably all discoveries have spread by now anyway, so separate war on Mali regardless of everything else here sounds reasonable. I've upgraded forts on West African coasts to their max possible level for a reason, so they won't just overrun them, and if I can spare some troops I can always get petty cash or bit of coastline from Mali here. So that's war #1.

Then I declared on Algiers - that was a double trick - Mamluks joined as war leader, but they couldn't call any allies as they were in another war together already, and somehow in holy war I can negotiate with both war target and war leader at full holy war discount (but it doesn't apply to any other countries...).

In any case, it was all trivial - Mali was way behind on tech so I got some quick stackwiped, Algiers had tiny armies, and Mamluks got beaten by hordes so hard I just rushed in cleanup crew. Sometime mid-war I even asked the pope to retroactively declare that a crusade as I forgot to do that earlier.

As outcome of these wars, Algiers got fully annexed, Mali lost both its coastal provinces, and Mamluks lost all the coast from Dumyat to Aleppo.

And then in their other war Mamluk/Timurid alliance got basically crushed - Mamluks were forced to release Tripoli, which I'd be crazy not to holy war as soon as the monthly tick brings me relevant CB, and Timurids were forced to release Armenia on which I already had claims, so I didn't even have to wait for the tick.

That's a lot of very easy progress on African and Mediterranean coastline.

Now I have until end of the months to holy war CB pretty much anybody on the other side since Armenia bordered all of them, and I just gave it away to Byzantium.

In other news, heretics lost 3 more provinces (129 to 126) while keeping their 28 states. I'm considering if I want to declare myself Defender of the Faith or not. It would hugely help generate easy Imperial Authority once I become emperor (wait for heretic OPM to attack Catholic OPM, take war leadership as DotF, force convert attacker and all their allies, easy IA), right now it would probably just involve me in HRE mess for little value.

I tried to mess with trade a bit. Between CNs and Western Europe trade node I have no idea how to make any trade money from the new world. I tried to forward from Carribean -> Western Europe -> Sevilla but that was barely making 1 gold.

I gave some provinces to South African Trade Company and got free merchant for the trouble, so now I'm collecting instead of pirating in the Caribbean for a lot more money - the other 2 merchants are in Genoa (transferring to Sevilla where my trade capital is) and Bordeaux (collecting). That's relatively successful setup. I'm going to get a few more merchants from expansion ideas, trade companies, and East India Trade Company decision. It's good to be western tech.

There's also interesting issue with Constantinople. It's Sunni and base tax 20 - that's -10% difficulty. If Byzantium gets all its cores it will use decision to give it +6 base tax (and extra -3% difficulty). I'd get -2% on top of that since I don't accept Turkish. I have 3 choices:

• just annex without base tax bonus, convert at -12% difficulty - I can do that, but base tax 26 capital is just so damn tempting
• wait for Byzantium to convert at -10% difficulty, then give them all their cores, then annex
• give Byzantium all their cores, annex, convert myself at -15% difficulty

Byzantium has 9.2% missionary power and once they get all ideas they'll get +3% bonus. If they got inquisitor or theologian (or 3 stability) they could go over 10% threshold already, but they're lazy bastards.

I have crazy 14.7% missionary power. I could go up to 16.7% with inquisitor but that's not terribly reliable.


Post 26 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-12 17:38:56 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 23: 1526-1534

Actually, change of plans, I could defeat Ottoman and their horde friends, but it would be painful, and it's extremely non-urgent as I can't annex Byzantium until they convert Constantinople anyway, and the hordes will only fall further behind on tech - or reform like Timurids in which case they'll lose half their force limit while catching up only somewhat.

What should not wait in New World and Africa - with countless souls crying for salvation! All my colonists are working hard building town from Tuat to Cape, each one with a church obviously, and it's time for my soldiers and missionaries to do their part as well, liberating Africans from inevitable damnation their Pagan, Sunni, and Coptic rulers are dooming them too.

First war set: Kongo (released as vassal), Mutapa (released as vassal), and 6 provinces worth of North American natives. Unfortunately one of these provinces is completely uncorable province in Canadian colonial region I'm stuck with for a while - a good reason to spawn Canada CN fast and let them be stuck with it.

By the way, Mexico has been stuck with similar province for very long time - it neighbours Louisiana, so Louisiana could core it or me (since subject cores extend your range), but CNs don't extend each others' coring range, and it's separated from Mexico by uncolonized lands. Very awkward situation. Mexico has been colonizing - but it prioritizes high base tax provinces further south to these deserts, not aware how coring ranges work. I could help them, Africa and Canada are both much higher priority right now.

Second war set: Kilwa and their vassal Mogadishu (holy war before monthly tick, about half taken to be fed to Mutapa), Benin (to be fed to Kongo). Easy victories. Kilwa was Sunni and too big to annex in on go, so I took just Mutapa's core to the south and coastline to the north, leaving a gap including their capital as well as Zanzibar COT on an island in the middle. They instantly coalitioned me (together with the Golden Horde, HRE minors got bored already), so I probably won't be able to get them in 5 years.

Meanwhile I got crazy "Casa de Contratacion" event: some one-off gold (I had to take a loan as I was unprepared, it was about 710) for permanent +5% settler change and +25 global settler increase. WTF? Spain not overpowered enough yet? These modifiers keep stacking higher and higher.

At this point OPM Ajuuraan was fighting slightly larger Adal, which escalated into a war engulfing the entire Muslim world, and I had a chance to strike at Jalayirids - huge horde holding Mecca and diplomatically isolated except for their OPM ally Ajuuraan.

I thought about it for a while, then decided against it, since my fleets and armies were scattered all over the world, and I'd need to really quickly disengage from provinces I just conquered - presumably by releasing two more vassals as neither Kongo nor Mutapa had any easy access to these provinces, still being blocked by potentially hostile states and bloodthirsty natives. This is tolerable as long as I keep my armies on babysitting duty for a while until they get cored.

War was also made difficult by my transports being in Mogadishu, Benin, and the new world - I couldn't even get 18k stack I inherited from Scotland to the continent. Now the obvious solution would be to recruit some more transports, but new transport type is coming at tech level 14 in 10 years, so I'm strongly inclined to wait, especially since my transports are seeing far more combat than is healthy for them.

Fine, I'll wait, convert things... and Mutapa can't core provinces even two away because they're still dip tech 6 so it won't buy it... Seriously Mutapa? At least Kongo is at dip tech 7 and will take Benin all right.

Anyway, I did some quick conquests of Orleans and Nevers, hoping to get their heretic allies into this as well, but they refused. Other than that I mostly waited for things to core.

I took expansion 6 years ahead of time (which amounts to +30% penalty, or 180 adm in this mod), so I'd have a colonist for 6 extra years. Feels totally reasonable to me.

And the Golden Horde dropped out of the coalition... By the way this makes me wonder if AE decay (2x faster than vanilla) in the mod is actually a good thing. I'm extremely unfond of permanent coalitons vanilla sometimes turned into, but it feels way too fast, especially stacked with +10% from prestige and +25% from diplomatic ideas.

And so:
• Canada spawned as CN, so final showdown with North American natives is coming
• my truce with Kilwa expired (and they're conveniently allied with Ajuuraan who's conveniently about same size so it probably won't become war leader, letting me get both countries without involving Jalayirids)
• my East Africa trade company got 50% trade power giving me extra merchant (I tried Caribbean->Western Europe->Sevilla again, gains me 6 extra gold for one extra week, then everybody jumps on Western Europe and I'm worse than collecting in Caribbean and not having 4th merchant - so he's transferring from Tunis instead).
• Iceland started colonizing in Guyana, so now I have CB on them - letting me eliminate last Norse state without getting into no-CB wars
• Number of heretic states fell 28 to 24, and provinces - Coptic Funj going Sunni by event is the biggest change - and super annoying one, as before I thought I'd just force convert them and be done with it. Heretics now down from 126 to 120 provinces.
• Golden Horde's Siberia colonization effort is shockingly effective, someone should do something about them

Post 27 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-18 03:30:26 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 24: 1534-1540

Colonial wars continue:
• Kilwa/Ajuuraan
• Iceland
• Powhatan/Fox
• Iroquis/Abenaki/Cree

Everybody except Fox got fully annexed. Other than a few close calls where 20k+ natives tried to attack my 3k sieging stacks (which then survived just fine until CN reinforcement showed up) and one battle lost to rebels (who spawned in my territory so at my tech level) it was extremely one-sided.

There's some kind of rule that 20% of fighting creates 80% of expansion or so. It took me far less effort to conquer southern half of Africa and big chunks on the new world than just one province of Constantinople. On the other hand, isn't Constantinople worth about as much as half of Africa?

I wanted to go for Adal next, as it lost its alliances with Mamluks in one of big Muslim wars, so it was free 3 provinces, but Jalayirids attacked them first, and it has little strategic value anyway.

What has huge strategic value is the HRE. Sadly it's really hard to trigger decent alliance chains. Other than Holland for their illegal colonies and electors I didn't really care much for other potential fights. Small heretic countries were nice, but I can do them just as easily after I'm already emperor, since then they'll give me IA instead of costing Bohemia some.

Two wars I got into were:
• Cleansing of heresy against Denmark, supported by Austria and Hungary
• War against Bohemia (technically against Holland), supported by Burgundy, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg

I pretty much have to get into war against the emperor every time since that's the only way I can have free military access all throughout HRE territory without negotiating twenty different agreements.

• Burgundy returned (non-HRE) core to Champagne
• Oldenburg returned to the true faith, with some penance money
• Mecklenburg returned to the true faith, for free
• Holland returned all their illegal colonies
• Bohemia paid some war reparations
• Hungary white peaced

There was one really close moment, my big army I sent to convince Austria and Hungary to quit the war lost and due to retreat bug didn't move and was about to get squad wiped - fortunately Byzantium won their battle in next province and rescued my army which was fighting at 0 morale and was about to get squad wiped.

During the war my king died, with 4/4/4 65-legitimacy heir Fernando VI de Trastamara inheriting the throne, with some pretender raising in South Africa with 9k stack. Yeah, good luck with that.

Protestant Poland managed to crush Sunni Ukraine - bringing me pretty close to nice land route from Constantinople to Finland, unfortunately Polotsk decided to break our alliance out of nowhere.

So far number of heretics fell from 24 states and 120 provinces to 21 states and 114 provinces. The next target are heretics of Novgorod.

Post 28 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-18 21:02:39 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 25: 1540-1545

I converted Novgorod to the true faith, taking their only Baltic province in process. I became best buddies with Denmark, helping them fight Protestant zealots spawning everywhere. Novgorod might need some help too - unfortunately their problem now is invasion by Qasim horde, not just random rebels, and I can't really get involved in that.

Of course then Denmark instantly lost most of my goodwill by starting illegal settlements in Canada... It seems that control over every single port in the world is the only reliable strategy.

Meanwhile I got 2 more North American OPMs - the thing stopping the remaining 11 or so conquests is mostly large uncolonized spaces between my CNs them. Especially in case of Canada CN, which has really impractical shape.

Catholic Mainz (elector) was under attack by Protestant Hesse, and it was really awkward, as Catholic OPMs electors are my best bet at becoming the HRE. I declared myself Defender of the Faith to prevent similar incidents in the future, allied Mainz (hoping to get relations to +100 so I can get enforce peace against Hesse), and Mainz had good sense to call me into the war even though it already started - I guess it was less than 60 days.

The war wasn't particularly hard - I was war leader, but even within HRE pro-Mainz side was stronger than pro-Hesse side - even emperor supported me here.

As result:

• Meissen become Catholic, with 121 gold penance
• Magdeburg became Catholic
• Elector Palatinate released Alsace, and ended vassalization of Wurzburg (that's probably still a bit too big for vassalization, but getting there)
• Protestant Hesse released Protestant Frankfurt - who then weirdly instantly converted to Catholic even though their only province was Protestant - and then converted to Protestant a few days later.

Time for more wars!

• Cleansing of heresy against Reformed Lorraine - nearly instant victory
• Total conquest of Incas - long overdue
• Some minor heretic burning against Protestant OPMs Knights and Venice

Unfortunately Novgorod lost pretty much everything to Qasim. Unfortunately? Maybe I'll convince them to become my vassals, they have cores over half of Russia...

Brunswick accepted vassalization, and now I'm working on Ferrara, Pomerania, and Novgorod (that's extremely unlikely to work, I should probably just do that by force).

My missions have been: build bigger fleet / get province in India / get province in Indonesia for decades now. I'll probably get a few COTs over there just so I can have some new missions. I could build a few more ships once I get next diplo tech unlocking new light ships, but I'm at 187/445 and 147 more ships feels a bit excessive.

Muslims are a massive pain - instead of fighting each other, they are now best buddies, and Jalayirids took over Defender of the Faith from Mali. If I could at least rival Jalayirids, Golden Horde, and Qasim - seriously game, they are all huge and border either me directly or my vassals.

My best idea right now is to get Novgorod as vassal by war as soon as truce expires, and maybe get Ceylon/Kochin from Vijayanagar for trade company - then go for total war against all Muslims, as I'm not seeing anything short of a total war getting anywhere.

Heretic territories keep shrinking from 21 states and 114 provinces to 17 states and 103 provinces.


Post 29 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-19 02:21:07 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 26: 1545-1552

The game sadly still fucking exiles at DoW, so there went my plan to drop some troops in Gujarat to avoid getting into fights with Vijayanagar's navy. On the other hand their navy just sat there in the port so I sent mine to blockade Kochin... Unfortunately they figured out I have mostly transports while they have war ships, so they sunk most of my Indian fleet. I'll send a bunch of ships there once I get next diplo tech level (in 1555 or so).

My plans to vassalize Novgorod by force were actually impossible (and seriously, the fucking game should just display province warscore cost somewhere, so I don't have to save / check warscore / reload) - Novgorod might be just 3 provinces of total 14 base tax, but two of them are COTs.

So instead I tried to do that diplomatically (which counts only base tax, not COTs etc.), but getting to +190 with someone you can't royal marry is hard, especially if there's some bad blood between you. Fortunately I got this awesome ease tensions event for +60 relations with all neighbours, getting me Novgorod and Pomerania. Ferrara was at +200, but they were defensive instead of friendly (for that matter threatened would work too).

I wanted to strike Muslims, but Denmark betrayed true religion again, so I needed to intervene before things got out of hand. Prussia and Denmark converted, Holland and Denmark handed over 6 illegal colonies.

Electorate of Palatinate lost another province in a war, and just like Ferrara they might be just about diplovassalizable with some luck.

Anyway, heretic burning will have to wait a bit, there's no much unfinished business with all the Muslims out there. They're in very dense alliance network, so how about I'll just declare war on all of them?

• Qasim (return cores to Novgorod), supported by Jalayirids, Nogai, Qara Qoyunlu, Ukraine
• Mali (holy war), supported by Hausa, Kanem Bornu
• Ottomans (return cores to Byzantium), supported by Golden Horde (unfortunately became war leader, I hoped Ottomans were still big enough to avoid that), Chagatai, Crimea
• Mamluks (holy war), supported by Ethiopia, Fun, Transylvania

The hordes were endless, but fought really poorly - first battle of Novgorod was 38k vs 22k, immediately afterwards second battle of Novgorod was 86k vs 112k - with their losses exceeding 2k a day at one point.

As defender of the faith I was also called into some HRE nonsense, defending against Brandenburg  / Danzig / Luxembourg / Hansa.

Time to end the wars. I wanted to fight all Muslims, but not necessarily to the death:

• Mali gave me over ton of cash, and 2 coastal provinces held by their vassal Hausa
• Qasim gave me some cash, and gave Novgorod 2 cores
• Golden Horde gave me some cash, and cancelled treaties with the Ottomans
• Mamluks gave me all 4 provinces on Mediterranean coast, including Rashid COT
• Danzig returned core to Prussia
• Brandenburg returned core to Silesia

Unfortunately Funj and Ethiopia are both worth over 100% warscore each, so I can't vassalize them, or cleanse heresy, or any such thing. It would be really sweet if one of them took a few provinces from the other.

These wars burned about 100k of my manpower reserves. It's OK to do so occasionally, but I should avoid making habit of it.

After the war Prussia joined the vassal club. Unfortunately Palatinate instantly got into reconquest war, which if successful will make them too big to diplovassalize, and Ferrara is still defensive even though we've been at +200 relations for ages. Diplomacy is hard.

Electors are divided so I probably won't need 4 votes, but I'll probably need 3, as Bohemia is elector and they are supported by Saxony, and tie breakers go to current emperor.

Caribbean is fully settled so at least that's over. Holland of course started colonizing again in Panama - and Dutch peasants flipped one of Caribbean islands to Holland. There's a reason next patch adds connections between these damn islands, AI is too dumb to deal with revolts otherwise.

As for heretic burning stats, 17 states and 103 provinces went down to 16 states and 98 provinces.

Future plans are probably another attempt at intervening in HRE against the heretics and hopefully getting 3rd elector by force if my diplomatic attempts with Palatinate fail.

I'm not too convinced that next round of wars against the Muslim will be much easier. If nobody becomes defender of the Sunni faith over the next 5 years (or someone rich but weak like Mali does), I'll be able to do focus on just some part of the Muslim world (West Africa or Egypt or Ottomans). With powerful defender like Jalayirids or Golden Horde it will be another round of total war - hopefully at least without having to fight heretics at the same time.

Post 30 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-19 21:38:06 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 27: 1552-1559

My Canada CN got itself in a fight against some native OPMs, got itself beaten in the process - not only losing one province to natives, they even released OPM Norway in the New World, and returned one province to Denmark. WTF game?

As if that wasn't enough bad news, Palatinate successfully annexed Alsace, getting them way out of diplovassalization range.

OPM Crimea tried to escape the Golden Horde, and Qasim was already supporting their independence, so I decided to throw my support behind them as well hoping to mess with the Golden Horde, but Crimea chickened out and switched to vassal attitude.

So far not much luck.

I got myself into another HRE war, burning manpower like crazy, and converting Hesse and elector archbishop of Cologne. Cologne soon after accepted diplovassalization, getting me to 3 elector votes. Now when is that heretic Bohemian bastard going to kick the bucket, so a true Catholic emperor can bring peace and prosperity to the empire?

Sadly the missions didn't get any better: after get province in India, get province in Indonesia, get province in Australia, my choice is still: build bigger fleet (I made it somewhat bigger, but not the kind of size mission wants), get province in China, and get majority trade share in Malacca node. Such missions seriously distract me from my real goals here.

I needed to let my manpower recover, so instead of getting into another fight against HRE heretics or Muslim hordes I took it slow and just sent my troops to conquer Kanem Bornu (released as new Catholic vassal) and almost all of Songhai. In due time they'll expand to Mali as well.

Muslims were undergoing another clusterfuck (Golden Horde's tribal conquest of Qara Qoyunlu, pulling everybody into the war), so I managed to get into war against Qasim for Novgorod's cores, supported by just Nogai and Ukraine - and then into war against Ottomans alone. All four were on the same side of some Muslim on Muslim fight, but broke alliance for some reason mid-war. 10 cores and tons of money resulted.

Now I'd like to strike against the other side of that conflict. Unfortunately Jalayirids and Golden Horde are big, scary, and allied with each other. It would be awesome if they finally conquered what's left of Qara Qoyunlu, as that would give them shared border, and nothing gets in a way of alliances faster than that.

We reached the point where hordes can't really defeat my army in open combat. Unfortunately they can still burn all my manpower, and I'm now down to just 32k (out of 385k max), so it's a fairly poor timing for another total war against all Muslims.

By the way the thing I'm doing with Novgorod right now - that was half of my Grand Plan Finland, except I thought I'd use some other Russian minor like Pskov and holy wars for it. The other half of Grand Plan Finland was to release Norway and feed it as much of Sweden and Denmark as I can be bothered to.

Louisiana CN wanted to be a bit dickish. so they cut Mexico CN from their one uncorable province completely. Now Mexico will have permanent 12% overextension under end of times. I've seen similar things happen in random new world, not in regular one.

Protestant OPM Estonia rebelled away from Denmark. Knights turned Protestant for the second time for no apparent reason as well - is this some bullshit event they have? Anyway, total number of Protestant states fell from 16 to 15, and provinces from 98 to just 80. In other words only 12% of Christians are heretic.

Post 31 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-19 23:09:17 UTC

And so second playthrough of Borderlands 2 (with all the DLCs) is done.

The game is decent. Gaige is fun, Psycho is awful. Levelling system is pretty bad, but not Oblivion level bad, so that's something. Publisher will go to hell for all the season pass bullshit, regular DLCs weren't bad enough, so they decided to make them all even more obnoxious?

I even tried a bit of coop multiplayer, but it's not really my thing. Single player and PvP are the only legit ways to play games.

The only remaining campaign of anything I'm playing is EU4 Shattered Europe, and that's 2/3 done, so I'll need to look for new games to play soon. (or spend less time gaming and more time doing something else, that's technically also a possibility I guess)

Post 32 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-20 01:31:28 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 28: 1559-1562

I've just noticed that Protestant Saxony got annexed in some war a while ago, and Protestant Bohemia designated Catholic Ansbach as elector. What? There are a few heretic countries left in HRE, but none are Bohemia's allies, and that must count for more. And now Ansbach is being attacked by the Palatinate in a conquest war, so we might end up with elector roulette.

Anyway, manpower is just a number, total war time.
• Holy war on Mali / Songhai - because defender of the faith, coalition
• Overseas expansion on Jalayirids - OMG, I forgot I'd get that CB, they're nomads in Asia, nomads in Europe like Golden Horde don't count for it. Also included: Golden Horde (and their vassals Crimea and Muscovy), Chagatai
• Holy war on Mamluks, supported by Ethiopia, Transylvania
• Claim on Estonia
• Claim on Knights, supported by Estonia

And as usual with my "total" wars, most of these wars were just for alliance breaking or pure opportunism.

• Mali/Songhai just paid me some cash (and lost their silly DotF title)
• Estonia went Catholic
• Knights went Catholic (and broke alliance with Venice)
• Chagatai and Golden Horde white peaced - it was actually pretty impressive, my vassals invaded Golden Horde territory and were doing surprisingly OKish, I was even tempted to get some money out of it but I was bleeding manpower too fast, so I decided to cut this war short
• Jalayirids lost 13 provinces - including Mecca - and 291 gold.
• Mamluks got fully annexed - for 7 provinces.

I had to setup new vassals Iraq and Hedjaz on conquered territory. During the war my manpower reached negative territory (if you subtract necessary reinforcements from the pool) - fortunately that was at point where serious fighting was already over.

Fight against Muslims is going really well. I'm definitely going for all of Africa, Arabia, and Balkans. Golden Horde I don't care all that much for - I'm definitely going to take Black Sea coast. Land connection from Novgorod to Constantinople thorugh Moskva and Kiev is a nice to have.

Heretic count fell from 15 countries / 80 provinces / 12% of Christendom to 13 countries / 77 provinces / 11% of Christendom.

It would be really nice if 69 year old heretic emperor considered maybe dying, but apparently Satan keeps him alive to torment the faithful. As soon as I become the emperor heretics' days are numbered.

I'm at 16/12 relations, and even with +2 from emperorship that's bleeding a lot of diplo points. It's probably time to integrate some non-HRE vassals like Syria, Incas, Prussia, and the Pope. Apparently event that gives -1 stability and makes all Catholics hate me triggers only once, not a lot like I thought, and opinion penalty is just -20. If I knew it's so small I'd have annexed the pope ages ago.

Post 33 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-27 00:22:51 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 29: 1562-1570

And I'm back to crush the heretics!

OPM Maya went Protestant, solving my dilemma if I maybe want to leave them there. Some time later Oldenburg converted to Reformed. Seriously people, how many heretics do I need to burn for you to learn?

I took time to integrate excess vassals - Inca, Pope (-1 stability for me, new Pope spawned in HRE territory), Prussia, and Syria, waiting for my manpower to recover and truces to run out.

Then I holy warred Qasim for some lands for Novgorod (and getting closer towards direct land route from Novgorod to Constantinople), and new-world-respawned Norway since Denmark lost some war and was forced to break their alliance.

Norway got annexed, central bit of Qasim got taken for Novgorod (now Qasim is divided into 4 parts). It was fairly easy, as Golden Horde wouldn't allow any of Qasim's allies through (that, or they just didn't bother), and my tech advantage over hordes keeps increasing.

I did a quick war against Mali for just Timbuktu as it's 14 base tax COT.

Time to end unfinished business:

• War against Ottomans for last Byzantine core (as Byzantium finally got 21 ideas, converted Constantinople to Catholicism, and that's the last one they'll need to reestablish theme system for +6 base tax in Constantinople).
• Cleansing of heresy against Coptic Ethiopia
• Overseas expansion against Jalayirids, allied with the Golden Horde, and supported by surprising DotF Aceh.

Notably missing is anything in Europe, as I'm still waiting for 74 year old heretic bastard to go join Satan.

Anyway, Ottomans got hilariously got allied with respawned Pope, so I ended up at war with the new pope - and able to pass Statute in Restraint of Appeals for -1 revolt risk and -10% stability cost for -1 diplomatic reputation and temporary -60 with all Catholic neighbours (notably not my HRE elector vassals, none of whom I neighbour).

I overextended myself a lot, and my armies had trouble supporting each other with very long travel time between provinces. As a result I took far more losses than I ought to my manpower fell from +100k to -20k (= +20k, 40k needed to fully resupply). Aceh even attacked my provinces in Indonesia, but my 2k stack left there to fight natives managed just fine. My African fleet did a lot worse - winning against Aceh's fleet but losing about 1/3 of its ships.

Ottomans peaced out easily since I wanted just one core, Ethiopia took a lot more effort, and then I got military access to protect their 3 missionaries (presumably +2 from Counter-Reformation) to prevent any falling to Coptic rebels nonsense. Ethiopia might even be borderline vassalizable with some effort, but first I need to make sure they won't flip back to heresy.

Jalayirids lost 5 provinces in Persia, which I released as vassal (so now I have return subject cores CB on Timurids for half their lands if I wanted to expand there - not sure if I do), 7 provinces in Arabia (to be distributed between Hedjaz and Iraq), and 3 coastal provinces in Africa, so now I have somewhat awkward route around Africa though strait into Arabia, as Ethiopia still has last African coastal province I don't hold.

Golden Horde took a bunch of land from Ukraine and Qasim, but in war against me they were doing really poorly even against undercommitted forces. I'm really tempted to crush them to connect my lands.

Heretics ares still at 13 countries (2 up, 2 down), and their province count fell only slightly from 77 (11% of Christendom) to 74 (10%). Coptic and Orthodox countries are all gone, and their last remaining provinces will soon convert.

Heretic bastard Karel von Habsburg is 77 year old and refuses to die - it actually makes some sense as he's 2/1/1 and stats like that are known to give massive longevity bonus.

As soon as he dies (and my manpower recovers a bit, it's really surprising I have such manpower issues 170 years into campaign after blobbing so hard - in vanilla I wouldn't, but Fun and Balance gives serious bonuses to hordes and doubles makes alliance networks a lot more dense, so wars are not trivial), I'll strike at the heart of heresy in Germany.

Post 34 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-28 00:05:46 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 30: 1570-1578

I did some investigation of force conversion. Apparently it works until death of current ruler - so force converting a country with 30 year old ruler has decent chance to stick, force converting a country with 60 year old one not really. And Ethiopian ruler is pretty old... Anyway, I just diplovassalized them, if they go Coptic so be it, I can annex them in 10 years and clean it up.

I was killing time fighting Qasim for a few border provinces when finally the heretic bastard died at age of 80, and I became the new Holy Roman Emperor. The Empire is a mess - 173 years into the campaign only 2 reforms passed, and current Imperial Authority stands at 12%. 2 electors and far too many minor princes are open heretics, and Hungary and Poland hold a lot of imperial provinces. At least Denmark got serious beating and got kicked out of HRE territory, but it was mostly me and Hansa, not heretic emperor.

Cleanup started with minor wars:
• Holland (conquest of overseas colonies) / Austria / Mecklenburg / Thuringia
• Riga (cleansing of heresy) / Danzig (not HRE)

I converted Riga, Thuringia, and Holland to the true faith - as suspected I get country size dependent IA based on all provinces country holds, so I got +20 for Holland, not +3 I would if it only counted its European HRE provinces. Pretty good.

I was passing time fighting natives when Holland and Denmark attacked Friesland. That can't be! Unfortunately I can't enforce peace against someone I have truce with, and I can't kick junior partners out of war this way, so I just DoWed Denmark directly - with a lot of its buddies including Hungary. It was all too much for my old emperor - after lifetime of fighting heretics across the world he passed away, leaving the task of unifying Holy Roman Empire to his son Diego.

It was a bit of an embarrassment for my colonial policy that Holland managed to spawn a CN - I was pretty sure its 4 provinces around Panama were all Mexico region, and its provinces down south were Peru region, turns out Holland managed to make 5-province Colombia CN.

Not that any of that matters, all Dutch and Danish colonies except 2 are now mine, and heretic Brabant will release equally heretic Utrecht. I can't fix everything in one war.

This was all enough to get to 69 imperial authority, and institute 3rd reform by 36-14 vote. HRE unification is just a matter of time. Not even that much time, as I can add a ton of provinces to HRE for a ton of IA - strangely all of Africa, but not Scandinavia (since Denmark is on the way). The only reason not to rush it are large-ish heretic states like Bohemia and Brandenburg which would probably not agree to vassalization even at +100 IA (but then they're not that big, so it's not completely unreasonable).

Number of heretic countries fell from 13 to 12 - a few converted, but heretic states keep losing wars and falling apart into smaller states. Number of provinces fell from 74 (10% of all Christians) to 53 (7%), mostly thanks to Ethiopian and Dutch missionary efforts.

I'd love to deal with the Muslims too to connect Constantinople with Novgorod, but the Golden Horde is now defender of the faith, not any silly country like Aceh or Mali, so any kind of war there would be extremely awkward.

The campaign is pretty damn close to finished. 7th HRE reform, and some corridors to connect Scandinavia/Novgorod with HRE (via South Baltic coast - mainland Denmark can stay there if it wants) and Constantinople (via Russian/Tartar steppes, including last bits of Black Sea coast in Muslim hands) are pretty much the last remaining goals.

There's some cleanup in New World and Africa, but balance of power there is so ridiculously skewed I'm counting this as pretty done even if map says otherwise.

Post 35 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-28 21:54:27 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 31: 1578-1580

I wanted to rush HRE unification a bit, so I added a lot of provinces to HRE for some IA, enforced religious unity on Austria, Bavaria, Brabant, Utrecht for some more IA, and passed reforms 4 and 5, disallowing internal HRE wars. As I'm outsider emperor, I can do as much warring as I'd ever want.

Now this all means -100 opinion with remaining heretics (Brandenburg, Bohemia, Saxony, Frankfurt, Oldenburg) for 25 years, as well as some multiple of -25 with converted countries, depending on their orfder. This modifier doesn't clear on religion change, so I won't be able to pass 7th reform until 1603, probably. Now 3 OPMs I don't care much for, and Oldenburg is Brabant's vassal so they might end up annexed and converted, but I'd like to include Brandenburg and Bohemia in my united empire.

Math suggests that if I rushed max IA, currently Riga (due to recent war), as well as Bohemia, Brandenburg, Frankfurt, Oldenburg, and Saxony (every remaining heretic) would vote against, but these are not crazy penalties.

All that will be finished in due time. For now Muslims. The Golden Horde declared itself Defender of the Faith, so let's see how good they are at defending it. Sadly they were allied with Jalayirids, so I couldn't attack Jalayirids directly with better CB.

As side shows:

• No CB war against Protestant Maya
• Holy war against Ottomans (sadly Nogai too over as war leader)
• Holy war against Qasim
• Holy war aginst Mali

Yeah, Ottomans are now reduced to side show.

None of the wars were particularly difficult. I was really tempted to go against Timurids as well for some Persia's cores (more to help maneuvering around than for any eastward expansion), but there's little value in stretching everything too thin.

As result:
• Maya got annexed
• Ottomans gave me 2 provinces for small vassal Serbia (my allies Palatinate occupied Srbija and Zagreb, preventing me from doing something more fun)
• Qasim gave 3 provinces to Novgorod
• Jalayirids returned 1 core to Iraq
• Mali gave 2 provinces, and released Ashanti OPM since I had spare warscore
• Golden Horde gave 5 provinces where I setup vassal Crimea

Golden Horde still has 2 Black Sea ports I want, and a few provinces held by infidels block Novgorod-Constantinople land route.

And so in this very short time 12 heretic countries got reduced to 7, 5 of them my future vassals and 2 others I have cleansing of heresy CB on. 53 heretic provinces (7% of all Christians) is now just 41 (5%). Coptic heresy for that matter got completely eliminated, making devil's work of sorting heretics into different parts of hells easier.

Post 36 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-31 03:16:44 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 32: 1580-1588

I diplovassalized Styria since they had some cores held by Hungary and were about to get a lot bigger, then I added a ton of my provinces to HRE for some IA and passed 6th reform.

This made HRE heredihtary, which is fairly irreleant, but also freed a ton of vassal slots since HRE vassals no longer count to diplo relations limit after that, so I can diplovassalize countries one at a time at my leisure now - especially since in current patch it no longer requires royal marriage first. I always wondered if HRE unification by passing 6th reform and then diplovassalizing everybody separately was viable - I think it now is for some special unofficial achievement, before recent patches you'd need to royal marry to diplovassalize, then break royal marriage afterwards (or wait for it to expire) so it wouldn't count against your diplolimit.

Sadly while doing this I discovered I can't add African provinces to HRE, so I can't really rush 7th reform by adding Africa to HRE like I planned. Not that it matters much as I have a lot of other sources of IA, but I did not know that, even thought I played HRE game like twenty times between EU3 and EU4.

I attacked Montenegro for Serbia's core to work around my truce with Hungary. They were only joined by OPM Venice (peaced out for ton of cash) and Hungary. Styria and Serbia got their cores back, and I got a bit of cash.

After the war I diplovassalized Silesia, Utrecht, Savoy, Liege, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Hesse (not all at once obviously).

For next idea group I went for influence.

Brabant annexed Reformed OPM Oldenburg, getting rid of another heretic state. Unfortunately OPM Provence went Reformed instead. Golden Horde finally stopped being a horde - at tech 14/13/14 it's about time.

Time for a bit more fighting.

• Cheyenne, one of 3 remaining tribes in New World. Stack wipe, assault their 1k fort, war over in a month.
• Holy War Mali/Ashanti for a bit more land - left only enough Mali to make them annexable next war.
• Return Crimea's cores against Golden Horde (supported by Jalayirids) - only took Crimea's 3 weirdly disconnected cores for a lot less than 100% warscore
• Return Persia's cores against Timurids (supported by DotF Aceh) - got all of the cheap ones, left 3 expensive ones

Once I've dealt with that, I diplovassalized Austria, Baden, and Aquileia - I don't think this is a particularly good strategy, since I'm going to pass 7th reform one way or the other - but it's a strategy that wasn't possible before, so I might just as well give it a try.

And then Byzantium finished getting annexed, so I moved my capital to Constantinople making Africa no longer distant overseas, but as long as trade companies control all provinces it might just as well be since I'm getting almost no manpower or taxes (except from North Africa where there are no trade companies possible).

Number of heretic countries is still at 7 (2 outside HRE - Poland and Danzig), but province count fell from 41 (5% of all Christians) to 30 (4%). I mostly avoided fighting heretics since that would interfere with my diplovassalization strategy.

It's almost over.

Post 37 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-10-31 23:53:11 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: Part 33: 1588-1592 (final).

The Empire was ready for unification, the only thing remaining were some demonstrations of Emperor's authority as it was just 3%.

First, heretics in Provence, supported by Genoa, Milan, Modena, Pisa, Siena, Pope (ironically), and Venice needed to be dealt with. OPMs didn't take much convincing to get out of the war - blockading fleet and sieging stack were usually enough to get them to white peace. Savoy got one of their cores, Milan released Parma, Provence returned to the true faith, and my IA increased to 22%.

After the war Wurttemberg, Tirol, Friesland, and newly released Parma all accepted vassalization. Novgorod got annexed, last 2 remaining native tribes got conquered.

One more demonstration? No time! Adding all Byzantine and Novgorodian provinces to HRE for 100% IA now. Who's still against? Brandenburg and Saxony. Would a small gift be enough to convince you otherwise? It would? awesome.

And just some remaining unfinished business:
• cleansing of heresy against Poland (no allies)
• cleansing of heresy against Danzig (Polotsk)
• return Bohemia's cores against Hungary
• conquest of Ragusa

All these wars ended in total triumphs, and since kings of Danzig and Poland are both fairly young, they'll probably manage to convert their countries before they die.

While I was at it I was called into defending Polotsk from Ukraine and Ottomans. I got 5/9 of Ottoman territory, so now I can walk from Constantinople to Madrid on dry land, even if not through coastline as such, and I fully annexed Ukraine and released it as a Catholic vassal.

And then with standard IA farming (releasing vassals on territory previously added to HRE, then pressing unify button same day), on 23 October 1592 Holy Roman Emperor of Both Romes, Emperor of New World and Africa, Protector of Holy Lands, and Defender of the Faith Diego I de Trastamara achieved total victory.

Total Victory

Before 7th reform.

Before 8th Reform

Total Religious Victory

Before 8th Reform

Total Victory and vassals

Post 38 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-11-01 00:14:58 UTC

EU4 Shattered Europe: post-campaign notes.

AI rebalance (for greater willingness to separate peace and for higher great power ally count) was great success. It was last minute hacks, and AI ended up way better than any EU4 campaign I played before.

Mission pack was basically a failure. There were a few good ones, but I had the same really awful missions for Far East basically all the time, and some were really inappropriate (like Pope's "Build Academy of Arts in Rome" which was impossible to do, since it did not consider I might already have one elsewhere). It's salvageable, but it would require another pass of manually going through missions and checking if they make sense in other contexts, and possibly lowering their weight if you're a different country.

Better rewards for generic missions were totally fine (and I was spared +1000% republican tradition bug).

Generally I'm happy with rebalance part of Fun and Balance, and return subject core CB. Extra content (missions, holy site system) needs serious work. Reformable countries can probably stay since they're just optional achievements more than any major mechanic. 1.8 will no longer need return subject core CB since vanilla now has it. I'll need to reevaluate if I want to keep them, move them into submod, or just drop them.

Speaking of extra content, I'm still so tempted to add CK2-style intrigue system to EU4, and thanks to my work on programming mission pack, I have some idea what I was doing wrong the first time.

There were a bit too many monarch points. Due to 10% longer time between techs, higher tech point production for republics, higher max points saved (1500 instead of 999), and lower penalty for ahead of time (5%/year instead of 10%/year) Western countries were basically overflowing (some countries being 2 techs ahead of time was not uncommon sight) and lower tech groups (even hordes) were surprisingly good at keeping up instead of falling behind more and more. I think Shattered Europe scenario, and any other 1399 start date scenario, should just make techs 10% more expensive so tech spending / year is about the same. (or add more techs, but that's a lot more work).

Republics could use a small nerf. They got buffed by recent patches a lot, and by Fun and Balance, and they might be just a tiny bit too good now.

I probably need to take extended break from Paradox games. They take crazy amount of time. I have over 100 games on a list of what I want to try, not to mention non-gaming stuff I want to do, and how long one EU4 campaign takes is just insane. Even other strategy games like Civ5 or vanilla XCOM are ridiculously fast in comparison. On the other hand EU4 tends to be much longer than CK2, so maybe one last CK2 campaign wouldn't hurt...

I'm pretty sure I'll release updated Fun and Balance version for EU4 1.8. There's a bunch of minor tweaks I want to do, and update shouldn't be too hard. No promises on this happening anytime soon.

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