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Friday, June 19, 2015
Casual Dutch Trade Game: Part 01: 1444-1451
I keep claiming every time that this game will be totally casual, but that never happens, I always end up accidentally blobbing like crazy. Let's give it another go - starting as 2 province minor under PU of one of the biggest blobs in Europe - Holland. With abysmally bad Dutch ideas.
The goal of the campaign is becoming king of Netherlands and getting dominant position in English Channel end node, maybe playing a bit with El Dorado and Protestant stuff.
If I end up conquering India, having 5+ CNs and every province in every end node, that will be a definite proof that I can't play this casually.
Well, first order of business sending a diplomat to claim Antwerpen, and getting support for our independence from Burgundy's rivals - France, England, and Austria. That gave our country 231% liberty desire, sadly capped at 100% for display reasons as it would be funnier to leave it like that.
Burgundy got allies of Brittany, and Trier. I had to pull the trigger as soon as possible even with silly 2k army as otherwise Burgundy would get more allies, and it would be just a lot more painful.
I peaced out Brittany for separately for some petty cash, then in main peace deal I got independence, money, and all lands of Flanders. And wow, the points are real. With one claim that's 159 bird mana in peace deal and 525 paper mana to core.
England was instantly -76 butthurt that they didn't get Picardie in this. Not only is this number absolutely ridiculous, I'd paying bird mana cost if I gave it to them instead of taking land for myself.
I thought about going to some pointless war so emperor would not bother me about illegal HRE land (not sure if they changed it), but pope attacked Tuscany, and Austria called me into war anyway. That's good. War won, Austria and France - who are best buddies forever this time - both went from defensive to friendly.
I got some silly allies like Pomerania and Cleves just for early protection, and Pomerania decided to attack Brandenburg, allied with Poland/Lithuania. Yeah, bad idea, but I'll join. Obviously they lost.
I got coalition against me of Utrecht, Oldenburg, Baden, Nassau, and Hansa. I think I got more AE from just fabricating a bunch of claims than I got from taking all of Flanders. Did they change that recently?
Well, time to break the coalition. Let's say by attacking Friesland, allied with Hansa. Friesland got vassalized and humiliated, Hansa is paying me reparations, Oldenburg left coalition on their own. And now I'm at +66 PP, so the points are rolling in!
It's been fun times, and my truce with Burgundy expired. Sadly I don't have CB against Burgundy, only against thein junion PU partner Brabant, so no free PP from declaring that war, and France which turned defensive might not join. It's still a good idea to attack them right away to prevent them from joining any coalitions.
As for patch features:
Movement lock is as fucking infuriating as I expected it to be. Of course not possible to mod the hell out of the game. If army is movement locked, and then gets into battle in province it was trying to leave, it will keep trying to leave the province after the battle as well.
There's a bug that breaks popup and pause when fleet arrives - you get that every time your fleet patrolling trade goes anywhere. That will make fighting naval wars take much more micro.
Achievements this episode:
• That's a Grand Army
• Until death do us apart
• That is mine!
• Brothers in Arms
Let's get this going.
Casual trade game as 2 province minor
Casual Dutch Trade Game: Part 02: 1451-1465
I won a quick war against Burgandy and friends, but with coalition against me getting ridiculous already, I just got tons of PP (146 before cap) and a bunch of gold.
Even then I was target of coalition of Alsace, Provence, Aachen, Baden, Brandenburg, Frankfurt, Hesse, Mecklenburg, Munster (German), Oldenburg, Trier, Savoy, Gelre, Liege, Utrecht, and the Hansa.
16 countries are too many, so I went over my relations limit to get alliances with: Austria, France, England, Poland, Milan, Pomerania, Cleves, Pope, and vassal Friesland to counter that, and tried to improve relations with more peripheral coalition members.
I actually pressed development button a few times - I had three development 19 provinces, so I spent a bunch of sword mana to get them to 20 while gaining manpower, and building slot in each. Then I built some temples with all the money I got from my wars. Then emperor passed first reform giving -5% discount on build cost and development cost, so I could have saved like 25 gold and 7 sword mana if I just waited a bit longer.
Cleves called me into hopeless defensive war, which I of course accepted, as some coalition members were allied with enemy, and truces are always nice. And instantly there was infestation of enemy stacks. Two forts I had did absolutely nothing - enemies could directly access my every province even if they couldn't go from one to another always. The whole system is just crap.
AI was amazingly incompetent. I was just chilling in my territory, and it had siege of Cleves nearly won multiple times, and every single time it abandoned it to go join some silly battle. Of course I couldn't counterattack as we had 25k vs theirs 40k, which are decent odds except AI wouldn't attach to me, and my own army of 12k was just nowhere near enough.
I got regency for 5 year old princess, so there's no chance of any expansion until 1569 or so. And sadly Austria lost imperial throne to Bohemia, so my alliance here got a lot weaker - and with me taking side of Bohemia's two rivals Poland and Austria there was no point trying to get another with Bohemia, it's a miracle that France and England somehow managed not to go to war yet.
Well, let's continue Cleves's dumb war. Enemy AI was dumb as fuck, it wouldn't let me white peace out, and it wouldn't take sit long enough in Cleves to take it. It had 0 warscore against me, which by rules of the game as applied to me means they can't request any concessions, but AI cheats, so it asked for reparations, which I was not willing to give. And they apparently removed Concede Defeat option, which was a decent workaround for AI stubbornness.
AI eventually took Antwerpen, and started spamming me stability reducing offers, which I cancelled by consoled because it's dumb nonsense with separate rules for AI and for players.
This retarded war ended up with Cleves paying Mainz reparations, and me losing nothing, just as I asked for over and over before (and what AI agreed to with all AI participants like Gelre just fine, beacuse they were at 0 individual warscore for years). Too bad, because I almost sieged through Mainz's capital, and I'd have 100% warscore against them. Warscore system, dumb at is always was, got huge deal worse in this patch somehow.
Anyway, coalition against me more or less fell apart, but there's still quite a bit of AE left so it could resume if I start expanding again.
I took exploration ideas and just recruited my first explorer. With my luck I won't have anything colonizable in range. Maybe no-CB Norway as soon as Denmark's PU over them ends due to negative prestige? The same would happen with Burgundy's PU over Brabant as well, assuming I don't take Brabant for myself first.
My princess Jakoba is still 12, so a few more years without any wars. Then I might take over some Burgundian territory, or just beat them for more PP and money.
I was in top 10 countries with highest income for a while, but I fell to #14 as war reparations stopped coming (these are only known countries, in reality Ming etc. are probably way richer than that).
Achievements this episode:
• The Princess is in this Castle
Casual Dutch Trade Game: Part 03: 1465-1476
It turns out absolutely nothing was in exploration range, so the whole rush was pointless.
I noticed that Brunswich got reduced to 5 development OPM with 33 development worth of cores. Well, at least one country has good sense to accept becoming my vassal. 2 relations over limit, like I care.
Cleves got into another defensive, this time against my rival German Munster, and I accepted again. This one we were actually winning, but I white peaced as soon as my duchess came of age and attacked Gelre instead.
Gelre taken for Friesland without any serious troubles. Sadly Burgundy got allied with Castile, Venice, Hansa, and generally impressive list of countries, so it was easier to attack Anhalt for Brunswick's cores, even thought it got Bohemia into the war.
Reconquest CB is just as bugged as ever, costing far more bird mana and AE than it's supposed to, so I had to wait at 100% warscore for bird mana to refill to get provinces which were supposed to cost 0 mana.
Next order of business was taking Utrecht. They were protected by The Hansa, which blobbed quite a bit, and by (German) Munster, whom I could beat up a bit for easy PP. It wasn't too bad, except for my war exhaustion going over 8 from all the attrition. That got increased by a lot this patch apparently.
Once I integrate Friesland, I'll have all the Dutch cores necessary except Breda.
I hope Bohemia passes second reform (one that gives -2 unrest now) before reformation happens - it will probably not be possible later.
I want to move my capital from Holland to much better Antwerp, but that's outside HRE, and I need +100 relations with emperor to add it. I should have done that back when Austria was the emperor, Bohemia is not too fond of me.
As I'm a duchy I'm eligible to become emperor, however with 22 year old duchess in charge, and only Austria having events that enable female emperors, that's probably not going to happen.
Poland lost its PU over Lithuania due to negative prestige. Rulers of Denmark and Burgundy are sadly still alive, as I'd just love for Brabant to become independent.
I'll probably keep diplovassalizing random OPMs. I mostly want English channel trade node, where I currently can't expand at all as its held by overly strong countries, and CoTs in nearby nodes like Bremen, Cologne, Lubeck etc. to feed my end node. And I need to unify all lands of Dutch, Flemish, and Walloon cultures. Beyond that, I'll need to blob a bit in the region just for sake of manpower and forcelimit, but i don't have any major expansion plans - Brunswick was just pure opportunism.
Achievements this episode:
Always ally baguette
Casual Dutch Trade Game: Part 04: 1476-1487
Idea groups I want the most now are diplomatic and maybe trade, but I'm suffering from severe shortages of bird mana, and relative abundance of paper mana, and I'll want religious by the time reformation hits anyway, so that's going to be the next group. Sword mana is going to be used mostly for development.
So the plan is probably exploration, religious, diplomatic, expansion, trade, humanist - or something like that. Before they split diplomatic/influence and religious/humanist, it was actually reasonable to take some military ideas, nowadays it's just silly.
I got into another war with Burgundy. Forcing them to braek relations with Castile, Venice, and Hansa and to give me Breda.
Next target was my somehow-still-rival (German) Munster. I really need to setup my keyboard so it has umlauts, it's annoying to switch layouts just to type it, but then if I remove them from the map that will also solve this problem.
The game eventually figured out that my rivals are a bit silly, and I had to switch to Burgundy, Scotland, and the Hansa.
I got Waldensian rebels twice my force limit... That was really painful, as they stick together and reinforce now, and I don't have infinite time if I don't want my provinces to randomly fall to rebels.
With half my army dead, I decided to attack Burgundy again anyway, taking just two provinces, but a coalition already started as soon as I lost half my army to rebels.
Coalition ended up being: Alsace, Baden, Frankfurt, Oldenburg, Wurttemberg, the Hansa, Hesse, (German) Munster, Aachen.
It wasn't just AE, I tried to keep relations with other HRE members reasonably high so they wouldn't join even at fairly high AE, but "Unlawful Territory" and "Annexed a member of the Holy Roman Empire" penalties on top of AE. It was not too great.
By the way I find it really silly that "Annexed a member of the Holy Roman Empire" is a massive penalty you get for diploannexing HRE member, but for annexing by force? Who cares.
But none of that HRE stuff is terribly important. Northern part of Burgundy, half of Hansa, and a few OPMs to connect all that is about the extent of my territorial ambitions in HRE, and it's not that urgent.
I finally got bird tech 7, so I can send my explorer a bit further away than before. None of that is likely to end in my range, so I'll probably need to beat Denmark and Norway for a few provinces.
France is -90 butthurt that they didn't get their claims in peace. This modifier is ridiculously large, especially when these are just claims not cores. With base decay -1/year and no time limit France will remain butthurt over this until 1562 or so. It was already stupid high, and they probably forgot to rescale it when changing from base tax to development. England is still -24 butthurt over not getting Picardie in my independence war - that's totally ridiculous.
I really need to tone this nonsense down a good bit.
Hopefully Bohemia will pass 2nd reform and then lose elections to Austria or someone before IA starts going down due to reformation and loss of Italy by events.
Achievements this episode:
• For the Glory
• True Catholic
Netherlands nearly unified
Casual Dutch Trade Game: Part 05: 1487-1497
I modded "Not given occupied cores and claims in the peace" modifier to reasonable levels, but it doesn't apply retroactively, so if France decided to break our alliance based on that, well, happens. It's still a miracle that I more or less single handedly ensured peace between France and England in the Hundred Years War by keeping them both busy fighting Burgundy every 5 years or so.
Bohemia passed second reform, which is more or less how far I want them to go. Reforms 3-4 are I don't care if they pass or not - they are positive, but bonuses are much smaller than for the first two. Reforms 5+ cannot be allowed to happen of course. Right after that kingdom of Italy left HRE by magic event.
I finally discovered some colonizable land - if you can call Greenland colonizable - but it was outside my range, so it was time to start some hopping. Denmark got reduced to OPM with almost no development, so I took it. That's pretty much useless land and not closer to the new world, but at least I can fabricate on Norway from there.
Milan called me into its offensive war againsh Savoy, which I accepted and even helped them with some of Savoy's OPM allies, but then right after the war they broke our alliance. Seriously AI? I hope France conquers you now that you're no longer in HRE. I allied Hungary instead.
I got into another quick war against Burgundy - just returning cores for my vassal Hainaut. I need such small wars just to make sure potential coalition doesn't expire their truces all at once.
Then I got into much more important business - war with Norway. They were allied with (Irish) Munster, which I conquered in this war (not cobeligerent, they were allied with Castile etc.). I also took land in Norway, and all the North Sae islands I could get. With all that, I have a chance to finally colonize something.
It's really nice that I don't have to siege random islands with no castles any more. Unfortunately from what I've seen in AI only games, AI will spam top level forts on completely worthless islands and bankrupt itself rather than just let this mechanic work.
My heir died in a hunting accident, so game thretens me with PU under France. That would be bad, as France is still much stronger than me, and I don't think many countries would help me with this. Then I got another Jakoba von Genf female heir by event. Is this like the only Dutch female name in game files? That's exactly what my previous duchess was named. The current ruler is duke Eberhard. All that pretty definitely tells me I shouldn't be even trying to get HRE throne.
I sent a conquistador to look for 7 cities of gold, he got murdered by first event, and all my troops exiled, so I had to send ships to unexile them. The second one is still ongoing - and my first colony on St. Martin is finally about to get established.
I think it's time to turn away from the HRE - I just need to complete the mission to take the rest of Dutch lands from Burgundy. Afterwards I'd like to force vassalize Scotland, which will put me on inevitable collision course against England. If I could convince France that they can take Gascony and Normandy while I take Britain, that would be sweet. There's of course this inconvenient problem that England has much stronger army and navy than me, but if I make ticking wargoal something like Calais, England will won't be able to do anything about it.
A few things really keep me in HRE: I still want north Burgundy (and they're in HRE), I even more want Hansa's CoT provinces, and I don't mind bonuses from first two reforms. I'll be able to press the button to leave HRE and form kingdom of Netherlands by paper tech 10, in a bit over 20 years. I probably won't do that right away.
And there's still the issue of league wars. This clusterfuck is going to be more entertaining from within than from the outside.
Achievements this episode:
• Cold War
Inevitable loss of England as ally is going to hurt
Just some explorers, conquistadors, and location of future colony
Casual Dutch Trade Game: Part 06: 1497-1506
So I did some off-campaign testing how new force limits work, and the conclusions are:
• tooltip lies (wow, really?)
• tooltip claims local autonomy doesn't affect force limit - but it definitely does
• local autonomy affects force limit from buildings and province modifiers (like center of trade)
• and even that doesn't add up, and number is 1 lower than it should be sometimes. It's most likely bad floating point calculations, followed by rounding down, so 10 is miscalculated as 9.999999, then rounded down to 9.
That makes my plan to just spam force limit buildings in worthless provinces I got from Norway not work, and I wouldn't mind some extra naval force limit .
Weirdly after patch all other building types giving tax, production, and manpower bonuses ignore local autonomy, as their bonuses are additive. It's just the reverso of how it used to be. These bonuses are proportional to development, so in low development high autonomy provinces it's pointless to build anything.
The only building that sort of works in such provinces are shipyards, but even additive +75% slower shipbuilding added to -50% faster shipbuilding is just not very good compared with just building some ships in your core provinces.
And all that is relevant, as I'd like to challenge England on sea without having to spam heavy ships.
I got into another war with Burgundy, and it's really annoying to not be able to just take whichever territory I want - all of North Burgundy would fit 100% warscore, but it would create coaliton up to Aragon and Venice, and probably antagonize both England and France.
In theory this means that AE is probably decently calibrated, as it feels somewhat excessive for small HRE state, and small HRE states have all AE penalties stacked against them. So presumably for everybody else on the map it's more or less OK.
Well, there's land a lot more interesting than HRE - Great Britain. Sadly England did not join - they had "-250 accepting would destabilize England" penalty, probably because they offered military access to Scotland, which is all nonsense but what can I do.
Of course England instantly went into hater mode and broke our alliance. Fortunately that at least made France like me a bit more, and England did not have enough AE to join the damn coalition.
Coalition is somewhat nasty: Alsace, Burgundy, Aachen, Frankfurt, Hesse, Cologne, Luneburg, Mainz, (German) Munster, Oldenburg, the Palatinate, Trier, Ulm, Wurttemberg, Nuremberg, Memmingen, and the Hansa. And there's a lot more countries that might join in the future - there are like three countries in HRE with less than -30 AE against me. If I stop expanding now, and keep max prestige, PP, and better relations over time advisor, all that AE should disappear by 1547. How cool is that?
I decided to leave my colony unprotected, choosing trade option, which supposedly reduced native attacks by a lot, but that was just bullshit, I got two attack almost immediately one after another. I mostly hate how AI cheats that and there's no way to turn off thin cheating.
I've built some castles - in Friesland and Artesië (I need to figure out how to English all names, there's option for that in menu but it's a lie), in addition to castles in Utrecht, Limburg, and Antwerpen. The one in my capital Holland is useless, but I can't delete it as long as that's my capital, and I can't get my relations with emperor to +100 to add Antwerpen to HRE and move my capital there.
HRE electors are split between Bohemia and Saxony about evenly. My best buddies Austria are sadly not in this competition. Catholicism reform desire is at just 69.3%, which seems slower than usual.
I'm tempted to just attack England under some flimsy pretext like Scottish claim to Ulster, then take London without a claim.
I just got to 301 development - actually I pressed development button a lot more times than I expected, every time with sword mana of course, so I could become a king even without my special decision. I still want a few things in HRE:
• North parts of Burgundy, but that's a bad idea as it would antagonize France, and after loss of England I can't afford that
• Hansa's CoT provinces, but there's whole coalition protecting them, and if I took that it would be all of Europe versus me
• A few random provinces like Oldenburg and Meppen for neater borders
Another question is - are kingdom rank and some special events worth losing -2 unrest, -5% build cost, and -5% development cost I get from membership?
By the way, I did a bit more off-campaign testing, and warfare got definitely dumbed down by a ton since 1.11. Since nobody can maneuver any more, and it's a lot faster to siege through enemy territory, big dumb stacks tend to win.
No achievements this episode.
Such tactics. Wow.
I had two uprisings in a row here
My alliances are well positioned against the coalition, but awkward against England
Casual Dutch Trade Game: Part 07: 1506-1516
The priorities were getting coalition down in size (starting at 17 members, but a lot more countries at risk of joining) and making sure France loves me forever.
I was trying to chill, but Pope backed by France attacked Milan, allied with Austria and Hungary, so I had to lose some allies. I decided to drop the pope. That made me seriously tempted to pass statute in restraint of appeals, but that -60 to relations with my Catholic neighbours... Well, France mostly. I had the same problem with "long pig" event where I spent 100 bird mana to avoid -50 hit to relations with my neighbours, that is again France. I'm not sure any of these decisions were correct.
I diplovassalized what was left of Norway, and that was very little.
After waiting 5 years for coalition to hopefully fall apart (it didn't), I decided to ally Castile, going over relations limit, and declared war on England after all for Ulster. Unfortunately Austria and Hungary did not join due to -60 attitude towards enemies. I really dislike this modifier, I want Austria to keep Venice (their rival and enemy) busy, not to fight England.
Dumb Scotland could sit in their capital while English troops were sieging Lothian, but of course they decided to attack 7k vs 34k. It wasn't going too well, Portugal and Aragon together decided to ambush Castile - showing once more how worthless fort system is. Castile's forts are in Galicia, Granada, Cordoba, Castilla Le Vieja and Toledo, so that costs they 5 gold per months and yet everybody from every single direction including from the sea can go straight for their capital.
Of course none of that matters, Scotland has properly setup border fort in Lothian, and they still charge English troops for no reason.
In big naval battle against England my 1 heavy (captured from Scotland), 34 lights, and 10 transports defeated English fleet of 8 heavies 10 lights and 12 transports. Unfortunately only 19 lights and 6 tranports survived on my side, while they got still 5 heavies left afterwards. Sure, it's a victory, but not a pretty one, and with Venice, Aragon, Genoa, and Aragon on English side that wouldn't even come close to ensuring naval supremacy. At least Teutonic fleet sunk politely.
The level of AI dumb was far beyond the usual incompetent. Poland had Teutonic capital at 49%, which would kick Teutonic Order out of the war, and likely with reparations, but they decidedto break the siege to chase 1k stack five provinces away. Fuck that.
And of course I have no idea where zones or control apply and why. France successfully sieged castle in Bearn, which was sieged by Aragon/Venice doomstack. Half of that doomstack freely crossed into France, because ignoring zones of control. And then when then halfstack decided to attack my army sieging Labourd, the rest of the stack crossed directly into Labourd as well to join them. Like what's even the point of the system?
Let's be serious here - the game would be better off back to previous system. It's fucked up to the point of unplayability far beyond the usual shitty QA. If they want to try doing that properly for the next game, more power to them, but this is not even remotely acceptable.
And it's absolutely infuriating that there's no longer any option to concede defeat to separate peace random minors - like Teutons who lost their army to Poland, lost their navy to me, and were almost sieged to death except Poland broke that last moment, all other provinces automatically got unsieged, and that counted as technically 0%.
I finally got to white peace Aragon, Teutons, Genoa. Mostly because of their war exhaustion. I can't imagine how annoying vanilla must be where. Sweden returned some tiny bits of worthless land to Norway, leaving just England, with troops stuck in Ireland and my armies sieging their homeland.
That didn't quite solve the problem, as wargoal was Ulster, and England still had 39k doomstack in Ireland and no intention of disbanding that.
I moved my armies to Ireland, taking Ulster and having 97% warscore, but England would magically not allow me to take it because I didn't occupy fort in Meath. This mechanic is total bullshit.
Oh and game bugged out and wouldn't let me take Scottish claims (which were the damn wargoal) without bird mana, and I didn't have any left, and call for peace was ticking already, so I just added myself bugfix amounts of mana. Oh and I got London.
In HRE Saxony became the emperor for 6 months, then it got back to Bohemia.
Achievements this episode:
Anyway, the game is just a fucking mess. I have fairly low tolerance for bugs and such crap, especially for things that used to work before. I think it will be more sensible to just stop it here, just as I ended by Great Britain Extended Timeline campaign. At least that was mod that changed everything about the game, so gamebreaking bugs in that are somewhat excusable. What's going on here? I just don't care about this game any more.
The really need to fix this shit. It was buggy many times in the past, but never that much. And of course the most broken things are all impossible to mod out of the game.
The same is true about CK2 nowadays, more or less since patch 2.0 when it started getting much worse real fast, with levy nerfs, temporary rebel titles, and ridiculously winter attrition AI has no idea how to handle. And these are just basic game features, I'm not even talking about more borderline issues like non-Norse tribal gameplay, removal of assassinate button and so on.
As for other stuff, El Dorado events were fairly uninspired, cost of bleeding 1 sword mana / month for search which takes forever and barely does anything is just too much. I don't mind a bit extra fluff, but it's fluff that costs mana.
Mana is much more limited. Before the patch rest of the world was low on mana, but HRE minors were just bursting in it. Now with no more -10% tech cost for being in HRE, -5% for university (which not everybody has, but many countries do), no more +1 relation slot from embassy, a lot more bird and paper mana for expansion. Costs could really use some toning down. It's not crazy high, but it's on high end of what's still reasonable. Same with AE, it's a bit too much, and it fails a bit too slow - and now with dumbed down wars and ridiculously high bonuses for independent countries there's no good way to counter enemy numbers with better tactics.
I'll repeat it once more - with fort system in state it is, the game is just unplayable. If you want more examples - England has castle in the Marches. I'm sieging Marches. I can land from ships in St George's Channel to Glamorgan next to Marches to take the province. Armies from Marches can't go left (Gwynedd) or right (Leicestershire). It's a bit silly that sieged castle somehow magically enforces zone of control, but I'll run with it. The really dumb thing is that I can't even go back to ships which are now in Irish Sea. No, ships need to go back to St George's Channel so the troops can embark there. Like, seriously?
So unlike with every zone of control system for every game in history, this one is history-dependent. Armies in particular province can move in some directions or not depending on where they came from. And of course there's no indication whatsoever which army came from where.
And don't even get me started on that halfway through movement lock and how many dumb problems that leads to.
I hope they fix this game in future patches, and it will require some serious redesign not just a few hotfixes with tweaked numbers and a bunch of bugfixes. Right now it's just straight downgrade from 1.11.
I've done my best fixing previous problems with EU4 with mods, but I just can't do anything with this mess.