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Thursday, October 29, 2015

CK2 Modern Times: Holy Roman Speedrun AAR

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2015-10-28 15:16:49 UTC

Holy Roman Speedrun: Part 01: 1837-1840: Removing Kebab from premises

Here's campaign plan - start as Austria-Hungary, crush any attempts Prussia or Italians might have of unifying their nations, and take over all historical HRE territory in Germany, North Italy, South Italy, or Netherlands. It should be very easy and rather short campaign.

First two months:
• I have unmarried ruler, 2 unmarried adult sons, 1 9-year old, and 2 baby daughters far too young to marry away
• ask my vassals to pass free investiture (so I'll be stuck on low crown authority for current ruler)
• diplovassilize Baden, Saxony, and Bavaria (in quick test Bavaria wasn't quite as willing as this time)
• invide strong claimants to Protestant Mecklenburg and Wurttemberg, get them to go Catholic
• turn all nearby counts (3 German Protestant, 1 German Reformed, 1 Polish Catholic) into my tributaries to farm prestige. Send missionaries there to maybe get them peacefully
• use that 500 prestige (only British Empire, Hitler, and Stalin start with prestige, but it's so easy to farm anyway) to setup antipope
• improve relations with 18 year old Victoria, I got her to arrange marriage (matrilineal, but what I want is alliance) with my 9 year old son
• use minimod's "accept invite" / "bribe invite" trait to find best martial skill characters anywhere and invite them to my court, turns out "bribe invite" calculations are incorrect, and only one out of three bribes worked. Oh well, it was worth a try.
• Use all my starting gold to setup full knight retinue
• seduction focus, try to seduce all duchesses in my realm to get easy vassal opinion bonuses (it mostly didn't work)
• guess what I did with the Jews?

And of course it was time to attack pope. Unfortunately I can't take advantagce of my vassal pope until I find some way to farm piety.

Well, no matter, first I'll just do some casual tributary wars. Oh, this is neat - my new pope called for a crusade for Greece. Ottomans are about twice as strong as me, but at least I'll be getting some piety, which I can use to claim duchy of Sicily.

The whole affair is sort of a detour from my primary plan, but it's not the worst detour. That was really fucking close. And I don't mean the Ottomans, I had 30% contribution, Spain had 24%.

All that is somewhat irrelevant to my campaign goal, but it got me about 500 piety (which means 5 duchy claims, one of which I already got), crusader trait, and tons of land to distribute to vassals who are going to be much more loyal to me than assortment of Hungarians, Italians, Croatians, Bohemians, and who knows what else I'm currently ruling over.

How quickly can I get the rest of HRE? Am I going to outrun next crusade? (about 1870 presumably)

Oh and I masaged to convert people of county of Nassau, but its ruler is still stubborn old heretic, his chaplain is currently trying to convert it back.



Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2015-10-28 21:19:19 UTC

Holy Roman Speedrun: Part 02: 1840-1850: Imperial Italy.

I gave away new lands in Greece mostly to existing vassals, as this is best way to spread technology faster, and to be more flexible in terms of troop raising. It's going to be border gore sooner or later anyway, I might just as well accept it.

I wondered about counterattack, but Ottoman Caliph declared jihad on one duchy in Arabia held by Ethiopia, so that's one problem I won't have to deal with anytime soon. I guess they were successful at least, so it counts for something.

I also tried some educational policy to try to turn Hungarians into Germans ("duchy heir" trait, not my culture - those minimods are amazing). This is a thing that sort of should work, but in practice it's so much micromanagement to get RNG dice roll I rarely bother.

I got a bunch of duchy level tributaries in Poland/Ukraine region - Russian empire fell apart this time, and decided to press my pope-approved claim to duchy Sicily, and my vassal's claim to Mecklenburg, trying to rely on tributary armies, but they didn't really do much.

Otto Wittelsbach, Orthodox king of Greece, was rather annoying as I was clearly ruling over Greece, so I made sure he had an accident, then I helped his distant Bavarian cousin defend from infidel attacks by Egypt, then I usurped kingdom of Greece. That incorporated his lands into my realm, but left Orthodox Achaia independent. Oh well, we'll fix it later.

So Sicily and Mecklenburg done, now pope tells me that I should be in charge of Tuscany, which I just crushed anyway helping king of Piedmont-Sardinia get his claim on Pisa. After that I usurped that title (renamed it North Italy to be less silly), diplovassalized countess of Parma, leaving just 3 counties of North Italy independent and 1 French. Close enough - and one of my vassals pressed claim on county of Modena, and my chancellor and spymaster managed to convince the rest.

Now that Wurttemberg-Italy-Prussia alliance is no longer much of a problem, time to press my vassals' claims to Wurttemberg and Prussia, as well as some minor wars.

Oh and finally my younger son came of age and married empress Victoria, so I potentially had a lot of backup, assuming she find some time between constant rebellions - one unfortunate rebellion she lost is one that made Britain elective, but India stays primo, so they'll probably go their separate ways soon.

Anyway, unfortunately getting title of Prussia did close to nothing, as king of Prussia had a second kingdom of Poland, and in such cases his demesne stays with him, so:

• he kept everything he had in Poland, Germany, and Netherlands
• he kept duchies of Prussia and Brandenburg as personal demesne
• I already had Mecklenburg
• so I only got 2 counties in Pomerania, and 1 of Rugen

In the meantime I found an heir to throne of Denmark, so I gave him a barony as well as titular "kingdom of Cyprus", so if anything was to happen to his older brother, Denmark would join the empire. And it did.

Unfortunately the plot thickens:

• my vassal king of Prussia died, leaving Prussia to weak baby who's king of Denmark and titular Cyprus
• king of Poland is now next in line to all 3 titles
• did I mention that he's actually my son, and not in any way related to Hohenzollerns? if Danish princess was a bit more honest, I'd have just legitimized him and wouldn't be having any of these problems
• I arranged his marriage to my daughter, because no campaign is proper without at least some incest

Well, no matter. I got Malta (it revolted from under Britain presumably), managed to get king of Sicily killed, and it meant another duchy-level war. Then he had an accident, and civil war, so I attacked both sides, then usurped Sicily, and finally sent remaining dukes some gold as gesture of good will, and they swore fealty to me. Excluding French Corsica, 100% of Italy is in the empire, as it ought to.

Hannover is ruled by a little girl, so I can help with that at least, and with Hannover under imperial control I can now crown myself king of Germany. Unfortunately I'm pretty far from controlling all of it, and if my bastard son Liudolf dies I'm going to lose a lot of it.

Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2015-10-29 02:55:45 UTC

Holy Roman Speedrun: Part 03: 1850-1856: If anybody unites Italy or Germany, it will be Habsburgs!

Poland (formerly Prussia) was allied with France, and both were in civil war, so I attacked both:

• Poland for some claimant I found - I'm not entirely sure how he even got it, he was a son of claimant to kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia I landed before I noticed I can usurp it outright myself, and somehow he got a claim to Poland as well. I'm not complaining or anything - the whole business with inviting claimants speculatively has a lot of RNG involved.
• de jure France for Corsica (just to have 100% of Italy) - it's fairly pointless, but since they're allied with Poland I'm going to fight them anyway, and choice of CB (one county or tributary) isn't terribly important
• de jure claim on one of counties in Greece
• a bunch of tributary wars just to keep my sphere of influence expanding as I'm going to integrate tributaries in Germany soon. So Belgium, Netherlands, Latvia, Kiev, countries like that

I also had to help Victoria deal with endless rebellions - I could send someone to Britain to clean up rebels there, but I wasn't planning to go as far as send troops all the way to India.

War against France ended miserably, I lost 25k vs 20k battle, and then duke whose de jure claim I've been pushing died, making all this inconclusive. Oh well.

My wife tried to kill me. I barely escaped alive, I threw one of her co-conspirators in oubliette and took away his duchy (playing without free banishment of traitors, it was a bit too easy), the rest of the plotters agreed to end their silliness.

Well, with all that out of the way, last remaining thing was de jure wars on 8 heretic counts in Germany. Some were my tributaries, so it cost a bit of prestige, but really -50 for attacking a tributary but +200 for making someone tributary first, it's not even close.

And that's it. I got everything I wanted plus Denmark and Greece, in about 19 years under first ruler (who was almost killed by his wife). It would take some time to ensure empire's religious and national unity, but it was pretty damn quick without using any exploits.

Pretty much the only techniques which could be considered even borderline tricks were:

• using my 3rd son as a daughter and non-dynastically marrying him to empress Victoria (not like that did anything, she was too busy fighting rebels to help me)
• sending missionaries to tributaries in Nassau and Thuringia - I converted peasants in Nassau, and some people, but neither ruler switched, so basically it did nothing whatsoever. It sounded like such a cool feature, maybe it makes too little difference after all?
• giving that kid titular kingdom of Cyprus so when he inherited Denmark he'd stay in the realm - that was much safer than giving him landed kingdom
• giving every inland duke one coastal county so I could raise all troops in one location and ship them wherever I wanted

And really, are they even particularly unusual?

Other empires:

• When I let game run for 200 years from same start date, Russia was extremely strong. And this time, just look at the screenshot.
• Victoria is doing OKish, and I helped her a bit, but really not to any huge degree.
• Ottomans are doing extremely well - they even managed to survive independence revolt which was 2/3 of their vassals including Egypt, somehow, and expanded a bit into Persia. Obviously they lost Greece to crusade, but that's pretty much to be expected
• France, Spain, Sweden/Norway, Portugal, Persia, Ethiopia etc. - they seemed to have almost no stability problems

Some campaign conclusions:

• Generally I'm quite happy with stability range of blobs - in old versions of the mod they collapsed almost right away, now some are very stable, some still collapse, there's a wide range of possible performances. If I let game run for a few more generations things would definitely get a lot less stable
• Vassals caused almost no issues. They were a bit grumpy initially, but then they got land from Ottomans, and even for ones who got nothing I got +20 from prestige, +10 from free investiture, no penalty from usual medium crown authority, bonus from long reign, all together they generally liked me. I still used chancellor, spymaster, titles etc. to manage them, but nothing crazy was needed.
• The only vassal problem was with my (completely unnecessary) seduction spree - my wife wanted to kill me and various husbands of women I seduced were happy to join, plus a few random grumps
• It was a quick fun campaign. Not every campaign needs to take a whole month. Next time I'll try some more challenging start (as it doesn't get any easier)

Holy Roman Empire reunited after brief Napoleonic interlude

All other empires are so stable, probably because everybody who wanted to rebel came to Russia. Something like half of emperor-tier characters are Russian rebels.

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