Sunday, April 15, 2018

EU4 Mamluk Roman Empire

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-03-30 18:50:22 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 01: 1444-1451: The Great Turkish War

My favourite part of the new mission system is that you can do one mission set, then change your tag and get a completely new mission set, even multiple times.

Sadly most of the world has no missions, so I started writing a series of tutorials, and maybe someday Dai Viet into Shan into Tibet into Nagaur into Bharat will be a mission pack rollercoaster adventure, for now we're limited to Europe.

So the plan is: Mamluks into Coptic into Orthodox into Byzantium into Roman Empire. Or maybe I'll change my mind along the way and become France or Russia or Qing or something. I've heard that they massively rebalanced late game economics, so it might be more interesting than usual. Or maybe starting as a great power I'll blob so fast that the campaign will end before it even gets going properly.

Mamluks actually start with just 5 missions, and we won't even get Coptic missions when we go Coptic (without using console). We start with vassals of Hedjaz and Fadl, fairly pointless guarantee on Cyprus and Medina.

So, start by rivalling Ottomans, Venice, and Aragon, working on diplovassalizing Medina, and milking estates.

Embargo on Venice got "Alexandrian Trade" mission. That got me some claims on Arab minors, so I did quick wars to expand my vassals and cleanup borders. That completed "Pacify the Bedouins", and unlocked claims on Turkish minors.

You can probably guess what kind of tricks I used to achieve "Build to Force Limit" mission.

I got "Trustworthy Allies" with Medina and Tunis, then "Acquire Subjects" (already done with what I got when game starts, but it's second in chain). I then diplovassalized Medina, and got a surprise event which let by vassal Hejaz integrate my vassal Medina, saving me a diplo slot.

I was somehow first country in the world to all tech 4, getting +6 innovativeness. Well, the somehow was very obvious - I milked all estates for 150 mana each day one, and AI never does that.

Ottomans were sieging down Candar and Karaman, and I did not approve of that, so I attacked their ally Aq Qoyunlu, cobeligerenting Ottomans. It was sort of bad idea, as I had no allies, zero manpower, and Ottomans had twice my navy.

At least I managed to relieve Candar and Karaman for a while. It was extremely painful.

I was deep behind on body count, but somehow Qara Qoyunlu finished their silly war, so I called them in promising them land. They got absolutely nothing, and were not too happy about that.

Now that someone willing to die for me was in the war, I attacked Karaman and vassalized them. Ottomans annexed Candar. As Aq Qoyunlu was the war leader and they felt really painful about being 100% occupied, they were willing to give me a lot of Ottoman lands.

After that I got "Expand Mamluks" mission. I'm one province away from completing "Subjugate the Beyliks", but that one province was not really worth it. So it's 7/20 missions in 7 years.

There was a surprise Byzantine-Georgian war over PU over Imereti.

My original plan for the campaign was actually different. I wanted to take Crete from Venice via claim, then fabricate on Morea, force vassalize Byzantium, and use reconquest CB to fight the Ottomans.

Now I need to rest for a while. The Ottomans aren't broken, but they lost half their naval force limit, and they don't have any Bosporus crossing, so there's some hope there.

I increased autonomy for all those newly conquered lands, as I really didn't feel like wasting time with rebels.

The opening. Crete then Byzantium, then reconquest seemed like a reasonable plan. I don't think it was viable with the kind of navy Venice and its league puppets have.

The expand South and go Coptic still seems like a perfectly viable idea.

Two main ways EU3 (or early EU4) was better were no zone of control silliness, and war leader switching.

I'd totally guarantee Karaman, Candar, Byzantium, and everybody else threatened by the Ottomans - if only that would make me war leader in a defensive war (or if there was some kind of HoI4 style peace conference system based on war contributions). Being in any war as non-leader is a total waste of time otherwise.

Ottomans just tasted some of it, being cobeligerent minor. They were beaten quite hard on their own (which doesn't matter whole lot as merc spam is on), but I'd maybe get 30% warscore worth of their land, not 99%.

I still want to vassalize Byzantium, but they're at war with Georgia over Imereti while defending against Venetian conquest of Morea; and I'm really behind on manpower and war exhaustion.

Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-03-30 22:26:30 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 02: 1451-1468: Force Limit is Just a Number

Byzantium got reduced by Venice to an OPM, so I offered them my protection. There was some rumors among Arabs of a coalition against me, so I cleaned up borders a bit.

I also discovered that Ottomans and Venice both build their navy to near twice their naval force limit. I guess that's actually totally reasonable, considering how dependent they both are on naval supremacy.

Fortunately for me, they got into a fight over Ragusa, so counting on their fleets being distracted fighting each other I declared on Venice to get back Byzantine lands.

It went extremely poorly. Ottomans decided to surrender, giving Venice Ragusa, Epirus, and naval supremacy.

I tried to fight with what I've got, ended up having to run away from Greece, losing far too many troops there, and then getting Constantinople sieged.

Well, I too can play "build galleys way over force limit" game. Especially since after I finished mission "High Income", there was a mission for 30 galleys (or 10 heavies, but who has money for that). 45/25, exactly like the Ottomans. I'm somehow even low on sailors.

It was extremely painful, somehow even more than my Ottoman war, but in the end I managed to convince Venice to give back Byzantine cores. They wouldn't even consider handing over Naxos, Corfu, or Negroponte.

Well, with so many galleys it would be silly not to attack Ottomans now. They're allied with Crimea, Hisn Kayfa, Aq Qoyunlu, Morocco, Tripoli, Tunis, and Tlemcen, but I have Poland/Lithuania willing to join on my side, so it should be about even.

Unfortunately countries on this list also have galleys, and Poland will be useless here, so it's not at all guaranteed that I'll do great.

I also discovered that the new patch now has -1000 "recently broke promise to give land" modifier, which feels a bit heavy-handed.

This would have been an easy war, if Ottomans and Venice fought each other longer. I very quickly reached the point where I was willing to concede defeat, but AI just doesn't do that any more, so spamming mercs (or in this case galleys) is the only way out.

Neither of us had access through Ottomans, so Venice shipped a stack onto Constantinople a few units at a time. Then were then stuck there once they lost naval supremacy.

It's good that I improved relations with everyone, so Ottomans couldn't get a coalition against me going.

Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-03-31 01:47:00 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 03: 1468-1483: Coptic Africa

It was time to attack the Ottomans directly. A glorious war, me and Poland vs Ottomans and tons of minors.

Our 86k troops and 94 ships vs their 73k troops and 102 ships. Actually naval situation was a lot worse as Baltic and Red fleet ships were useless.

Somehow Ottomans weren't expecting this war. Mothballed castle in Selanik fell before the first battle, and 26 enemy ships got sunk right away.

Sadly total lack of preparation affected both sides - Egypt got fully occupied by North Africans, and Syria by Aq Qoyunlu about as fast as Ottoman Balkans by me. It wasn't terribly fun, ending the war at >10WE, but I got what I wanted, and then built a castle in Benghazi to protect Egypt from the West, so it won't happen again.

After that I sailed all the way to the Baltic to sell my galley fleet down to force limit. I got about 2/3 of the money back. It takes so much clicking I'd probably be better off just disbanding them all.

After that it was finally time to expand into Coptic East Africa. I need to flip Orthodox or Coptic. For that I needed to be majority Orthodox or majority Coptic, which is going to be pretty damn hard even with Dhimmi rebels on demand. The key problem is that rebels can't swim, and all the Orthodox peasants are in Greece.

I only embraced Renaissance in 1476, and yet got to 22% innovativeness already. It's a lot easier than I expected with proper mana management (as long as you're strong and in Europe or close to it).

I discovered that vassals will only accept up to 99%, not 100% like I expected (bad events start at >100%).

My vassals were getting restless, so I annexed Hedjaz, even though it will make religious conversion so much harder. It will take very long time to annex Byzantium due to negative diplomatic reputation, and that's only one step on long way towards becoming the new Rome.

On the upside, that gives me time to complete more generic missions. I got 9/20 so far, and I think I'll get to about 16 by the time I become Byzantium and get fresh mission set.

There's another problem that there are now 5 countries which want to coalition me - Ottomans, Aq Qoyunlu, and 3 Coptic minors. Shuffling truces might become quite painful.

Poorly placed forts cost me a lot in this war.
I rarely do much fort planning, as borders tend to move a lot, and good placement for one war is often waste of gold for the next.

I'm more or less reverse Ottomans. Flipping Greek won't be too hard, it's just going to cost me obscene amount of paper mana to unstate and restate Egypt (one of the reasons I started with administrative ideas).

Flipping religion will be difficult, as it counts majority of peasants in all land, not just in states, and they need to be specific religion - even if I get Christian majority between Coptic and Orthodox that won't be enough.

As I took influence ideas second, I'll have long self-inflicted period of very low religious unity soon.

Post 4 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-03-31 20:24:27 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 04: 1483-1503: Egyptians and Greeks

I finished mission "Build Buildings". It feels like pretty good guidance, 5 temples and 5 workshops are a good idea to build as soon as you can. Then you should follow it with barracks spam and marketplaces in CoTs/estuaries. At least they didn't troll the player with mission to build +50% sailors buildings.

I decided to take a proactive approach to dealing with potential coalition members to my South. Number of outraged countries reached 7, so a detailed plan whom to eliminate when while saving as much precious bird mana as possible was needed.

I couldn't call in Poland into another war against the Ottomans, as Polish king was cruel. That makes no sense, cruel king should be happy to kill some Turks. Qara Qoyunlu started its war with Georgia just a month ahead of my truce (they joined midway), and Adal was too far. AI allies are so useless.

Fighting on my own, I finally destroyed what was left of Aq Qoyunlu, and finished "Subjugate the Beyliks" mission. Then I took the rest of Ottoman Balkans and setup a miniature Georgia of my own. I need someone to preserve Orthodoxy, and maybe convert some Turks for me.

I finished "Yemeni Trade", which required a bunch of conquests in Yemen area, but also being strongest trade power, which I managed to squeeze with only 20% of the total. That was the last of Mamluk's unique missions, but there's still quite a few generic missions to do.

My alliance with Qara Qoyunlu ended with 2 events for "you have a claim, -50 relations" about a month apart.

Venice was losing two wars to Albania/Hungary/Austria, and to the Pope, so I did a quick one on them and seized their remaining Greek lands. Venice still ignored their force limit, and had twice my fleet, but it was split in half and randomly wandering between protecting Venice, protecting Corfu, protecting Crete, and trying to blockade Alexandria, so in the end it achieved none of those goals.

Poland called me into their war against Hungary, France, Cyprus, Albania, and Riga. With some loot from that war I finally managed to get "Build a Treasury" (2000 gold) mission. Poland as a typical shit AI ally gave me zero land, even though I marked Albania and Cyprus as vital interest, fully occupied them, and had higher war contribution than Poland.

I finally integrated Byzantium, getting me "Conquer New States" mission. I'm now 19% Orthodox, 4% Catholic, 1% Coptic, and I need to get that over 50% Orthodox, somehow. Georgia as an Orthodox vassal could be part of the plan. Dhimmi rebels could be another part.

Back in EU3 Coptic and Orthodox were the same religion, so I'd just integrate my vassals, and between the two I'd be over 40%.

My states are 32% Greek, so getting that over 50% to switch primary culture will just waste me some paper mana, but otherwise be painless.

HRE somehow managed to squeeze in 3 reforms before Protestants got entrenched.

So the plan is something like: go Greek, go Orthodox (most difficult step), go Byzantium, then go back Egyptian (way better culture group, not even close).
Then maybe go Coptic for better bonuses, or Catholic for HRE crown.

The easy part of the plan is to feed Georgia tons of land, hope they convert it, then integrate. Hard part of the plan is to somehow use Dhimmi rebels, they'd be straightforward enough except for the small issue problem of the ocean.

Post 5 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-01 01:51:48 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 05: 1503-1515: Eastern Roman Empire Restored

Going Orthodox was guaranteed to be a huge hassle. Well, step one is attacking Ottomans, and feeding Georgia some land.

After that I setup a huge Orthodox revolt - 11 tiny stacks of 90k total. I started 19% Orthodox, and wow, it went really smoothly. Rebels walked over Bosporus without anyone stopping them, and others teleported themselves from Greek islands to Egypt without any hassle. Blockade pauses teleportation, but randomly passing ships never bothered to stop it properly.

I got over 50% in 1508, usually keeping about 10/100 provinces occupied by rebels at any time. Eventually they kept running into my or vassal troops, until rebels were down to just last stack, at 56% Orthodoxy. I ended my war with Hassa (silly trick to delay rebel demands), and accepted switching faith. That cost me a lot of devastation, and a lot of conversion pain ahead.

After that I unstated a lot of land, which was huge waste of paper mana, but otherwise fairly easy. Going Greek, becoming Roman Empire, then re-stating some land and going back Egyptian, so I'd accept all Turks and Arabs. I even accepted Bulgarians, that's how tolerant I am.

Missions I didn't finish before reset:

• 80k army (got to 65k), Unite Home Region (done, but previous one blocks it)
• 75% trade power in home node (extremely hard in Alexandria), expand overseas to 3 trade companies (not going to happen unless I take exploration or move my capital to Europe)
• 20 manufactories (probably would take a long while), 1000 dev (got to 874)

Out of 27 Byzantine missions, I had Recover Greece, and Recover Bulgaria out of the box. Actually I had a bunch more, but they're locked due to wrong order.

After that I took a break from fighting to get some mana back. Hungary attacked Albania, Austria betrayed them, so I took the other half of Albania for myself.

Right now I have a huge pile of permanent claims, and they'll only result in more permanent claims. The real fun will start when Catholic Europe starts talking about coalitions against me.

Post 6 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-01 17:29:11 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 06: 1515-1525: Fall of the Ottomans

One of the best things about the new mission system is that it rewards cleaning up borders. One leftover Ottoman province? Can't get the mission reward. Maps would be prettier and all the games would be a bit more enjoyable with more such mechanics.

I had a quick war with Cyprus and its Italian buddies. Now one of the things I'd most love to see is some alert on top of the screen saying "battle is going to start". So I wouldn't run with -2 penalty into Genoese troops just because my map was scrolled to Cyprus at that time. And then again in Georgia because I was looking at the Balkans. It didn't help that I was somehow 2 mil techs behind those bastards, it might have had something to do wasting tons of mil on bribing my vassals with development and such silliness.

I destroyed all forts in the Balkans to let the Orthodox rebels roam free, and now I had Italian stacks roam there instead. After the war, I put a couple on fairly random spots, maybe they'll work. I'd be much happier to do so if there was some indication if ZoC works or not. Also if AI didn't blatantly cheat. That got me "Recover Eastern Islands" mission.

Poland called me, Castile, Bohemia, and some minors into a war against Denmark, its juniors, Austria, France, and friends. All over some irrelevant province on the Baltic coast. Total 252k troops and 186 ships vs 145k and 169 ships.

I happily helped them fight Hungary before, as weakening Hungary was in my interest, but I didn't really care either way who won this one. French and Austrian troops were a bit of a hassle in the Balkans, but I can live with it. In the end Bohemia lost 7dev province to Saxony, Poland got two provinces from Denmark, 7dev and 3dev. 334k men and 90 ships died for this.

Tunis and Fezzan kept raiding my coastline, so I took a small detour. Raiding is a really stupid mechanic, as I can't just patrol the coast to prevent that. They all had those annoying Berber tradition modifiers to make them massive pain to core, but I'll have to do it at some point. Tunis will disappear in the next war.

I fully annexed Ottomans somehow squeezing it 100% warscore, even though tooltip said their total worth was 105%. There's a lot of those secret modifiers. That got me "Recover the Coastline", "Western Anatolia", "Central Anatolia", and "Reestablish the Theme System" in one go.

Soon after that I got "Convert Asia Minor" (which actually just wants the coastline), "Recover Antioch", and "Recover Jerusalem". I could even get next one down that chain, but no need wasting patriarch authority here.

The last province of Ethiopia disappeared as well.

Now I have a few big directions to expand to:

• Hungary, fighting half of Europe
• Castile/Aragon/Naples, fighting half of Europe and my ally Poland
• my rival Qara Qoyunlu, which might even avoid coalition, as they're Shia so nobody cares
• Crimea, just to get the whole coast

This time the French were very willing to die for whatever's that Danish province east of Danzig.

If you labelled that "Ottomans" instead, it would be fairly close to historical. Well I guess IRL Burgundy was gone at this point.

Post 7 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-01 21:32:04 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 07: 1525-1537: The Regency

I got a consort regency for 4 year old emperor.

The newly spawned Coptic nation of Funj got involved in a war between East African Sunnis in approximately zero time. My ally gave me two provinces this way.

My ally Ajam was allied with Crimea, so I attacked Qara Qoyunlu calling in Ajam, then attacked Crimea. This is reasonably coalition-proof as nobody cares about Shiites, and Crimea is quite far from other Sunni.

I was about to give Ajam all of Mazandaran, to get rid of potential coalition member, but they surrender to Qara Qoyunlu before siege ended.

I got absolutely nothing from Crimea as Muscovy jumped on that war and sieged everything first. Of course as with all good AI cheating, it took all the land without occupying any fort.

The war was so painful I ignored claims, and just bordergored Qara Qoyunlu out of all their mountain forts, splitting them into 4 disconnected parts.

Poland got into another fight with Denmark, this time grabbing 46dev worth of provinces and other concessions, then they pressed the Commonwealth button.

With Denmark doing so poorly, I decided on a whim to support Swedish independence, but then again, it's not like I can do much about it.

Somehow Castile inherited Aragon but lost PU over Naples, then formed Spain. Muscovy is just one admin tech away from forming Russia

The only usual great power which does poorly this time is England, which still didn't get Scotland, even though Scotland is basically undefended.

My army got divided into 4 stacks of 12k infantry, 4k cavalry, 4k artillery each. So I'd finally finish that "80k army" mission if I still had generic ones. Also 75% trade power in home node, and 1000dev. Pretty hard to mod that without messing up the whole mission system.

If Sweden chickens out of their independence war, I might go after East Africa, just cleaning up the borders a little and setting up trade company for +1 merchant.

Coalition concerns pretty much force me to destroy Qara Qoyunlu and Persian minors now. That will make Timurids hate me, but that's just one, and my ambitions to the East are limited. I'd like it if Crimea disappeared somehow, and I don't particularly want to take their crap lands.

Europe will soon get into HRE League conflict, so any alliance system they have will get rearranged. I'd probably benefit from taking the Protestant side, to either force religious peace and get emperorship; or to simply divide Europe into as many religions as possible to reduce my AE.

My definite targets are Spain, Hungary, Venice, Genoa, Naples, and the Pope, but there's no great opportunity.

Muscovy is my new rival, but to be honest we don't really get in each others' ways. I even cut part of Qara Qoyunlu so they can have it. Caucasus and Zagros mountains are reasonable East borders for me. Someone just needs to tell Hormuz they're on the wrong side.

Post 8 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-02 01:01:47 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 08: 1537-1545: East African Adventure

Bohemia became the emperor. That would be awkward as I'd rather oppose the emperor, and Bohemia is on our side of the alliance network. Well, I'll just wait for the league alliance reshuffling before I start messing with Europe.

Sweden declared their war of independence, getting me and Muscovy vs Denmark, Hungary, and Pomerania.

I had a silly idea of sailing my galleys to Sweden, but Danish fleet showed me error of my ways. Well, distracting Hungary is contribution enough.

I knew Sweden was going to ignore my contributions completely, so after I mostly occupied Hungary, I negotiated with Denmark, and got two tiny Hungarian provinces - one was missing to complete "Recover Albania" mission, and Kosovo next to it was a literal gold mine next to it (which upgrades to late game coal).

Soon Muscovy bailed out, renamed itself "Russia" to hide that shame, leaving Sweden alone. Sweden on its own lost, mostly to Hungarian troops.

Spain and Commonwealth attacked Morocco while I was busy, and I'm not losing Commonwealth for Morocco, that's for sure.

I backstabbed my ally Adal, setting up a new Orthodox vassal Marehan. That increased list of haters to 10, so coalition is not that unlikely.

The Middle East looks just as messy in multi-side war as in every other timeline. Qara Qoyunlu fights two wars plus Great Horde rebels. Timurids fight Mushasha, who's Qara Qoyunlu's ally in some wars. I want to join when my truces expire, but not even sure on which sides.

My Orthodox icon ran out, so I took reward from "Recover Alexandria" to refill it. That's 12/27 so far.

I need all of Hungary south of Danube for my missions, and also for clean borders. Somehow the game wants to forget that Dacia episode as well.

The Middle East looks extremely realistic.

Post 9 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-02 03:38:11 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 09: 1545-1556: Timurid Wars

I tried to reduce my haters list. Of 11 haters on it:

• Mushasha got annexed
• Luristan got vassalized by Timurids
• Kilwa decided that they don't actually hate me all that much before our truce ran out
• Malindi, Crimea, and Timurids got placated

So it was going well, but as soon as I finished Qara Qoyunlu war OPM Avaria joined the list. I can't win. Except by winning so much there won't be any haters left. For now it's really up to Timurids, if they want a coalition, they'll find enough minors. If they don't, minors are too weak to bother.

Fortunately my problem got solved by Ajam, who organized an anti-Timurid force of itself, me, and Delhi. While Timurids were already fighting Russia. Pretty clever for AI, I've seen a ton of dogpiling on someone already in too many wars this campaign. I could totally use a long truce.

I even got 3 provinces for my trouble. Delhi got 2, and Ajam took 11 for itself, so as the war's majority contributor I feel maybe this peace deal isn't entirely fair. Also a bit dumb, Ajam missed just one province to form Persia, and it could have easily taken it.

Well, the only clay I want in this direction is just the coastline leading up to the strait to Arabia. If locals want to form Persia, Mughals, or Greater Kyrgyzstan, so be it.

I made great progress in Italy. I diplovassalized Siena - 28dev OPM. Then 64dev Mantua. And 31dev Florence. That's a lot of valuable Italian land for 0AE, just cost me three slots. They're all a bit unhappy about change of religion.

Protestant league can form starting 1550, with 10 year mtth. Three weak electors are Protestant, and Austria flipped Reformed after it lost emperorship, so it's not getting it back. Bohemia as the Emperor, just like in good old EU3.

Meanwhile Japan formed and is at war with China already.

Timurids looked pretty scary, but lost 16 provinces in our war, and Russia is going to take some more for sure.

I'd really prefer if Ajam took that damn Mazandaran, as it has claims on it, and Mazandaran has no allies. That would get one hater off my list.
I even tried to give them Mazandaran once before in our common war with Qara Qoyunlu, but they peaced out mid-siege.

I'd love to deal with my haters now, so I can safely focus on Europe without getting a surprise coalition from Timurids to Kilwa to France.

I've also been surprisingly enjoying humanist ideas. I keep saying they're crap and you should always take religious, but close to zero rebels ever is pretty nice and I'm still converting the peasants pretty fast.

Post 10 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-02 16:20:32 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 10: 1556-1568: Religious Leagues

I ran some scripts, and Bohemia accumulated more total AE than me. Well, in such case it's all good.

As my and Ajami troops were exiled in Timurid territory, I attacked Hormuz, getting Ajam and Timurids into war again. It was pretty funny, seeing troops in same province, exiled troops going West to get un-exiled, fresh troops going East. Russia white peaced Timurids instead of going for easy land, so I had to do everything myself.

It was a bit awkward as everyone's coring had to pause. I gave half of Mazandaran to Ajam.

The new military access rules are so stupid, that just because Russia provided military access to Mazandaran, that granted access to everyone on their side, even long after Mazandaran got kicked out of the war. But not to us. Like seriously game, you might just as well remove the concept of "military access" from the game completely, these rules are almost as bad as ZoC rules.

After great success I got most of the coastline I wanted, and gave Ajam what it needed to form Persia. But now they're outraged by my "aggressive expansion". Come on... Well, soon Mazandaran got itself into another of my wars, so I gave the rest of it to Persia.

I had some minor fights in Africa, just trying to wipe out remaining Sunnis to prevent any coalition nonsense.

Crimea conquered Theodoro, but then it surprise respawned, maybe by rebels. I tried to quickly snipe it but Genoa was a few days faster.

Protestant leagues formed, so I joined, then I was informed that non-Protestant country can't be league leader, so my cunning plan to force religious peace so I can become emperor completely failed.

Commonwealth called me into its war against Russia and Hungary, which was already won, but I got one Hungarian province this way. If it continues like that, Danube will be the border again by 1820 or so. Then I got a province from Russia as well.

As soon as that war ended, Commonwealth joined the Catholic league and broke our great alliance.

As it was totally pointless I was about to leave the league in September, but they pulled the trigger in February. 373k and 333 ships on Protestant side vs 379k and 371 ships on enemy side. With archbishop of Trier being the league leader, as all serious countries in the league like me, France, Denmark, Hungary are not actually Protestant.

I'd totally win this as war leader, but I really don't see this working. I'm not even sure if I should try fighting it out, or let my side lose.

I'm only in this damn league because the wiki didn't mention that Orthodox country can't become Protestant side leader, and there's now 5 year timeout on leaving, which it also forgot to mention.

I'm not even sure what I could do if I wanted. Warleader archbishop of Trier is too far inland to save (were there ever Protestant archbishops anyway?).
I could maybe go against Crimea and Commonwealth's awfully placed forts. If that distracts Commonwealth, Spain is distracted by France, and Spain's colonies ignore the war, then our HRE minors still lose to their HRE minors plus Burgundy?

At times like this I really miss warleader switching.

Post 11 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-02 23:41:48 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 11: 1568-1579: The Nine Year War

Fun and Balance changed time until 100% from full occupation from 5 years to 2 years. That wait can be frustrating, but over various wars with minor warleader I feel this change was causing problems more often than it was helpful, so I'm reverting it now.

There was a lot of overlapping wars.

Almost all of Europe was fighting the league war, so I decided to declare on Pope, cobeligerenting Austria, and bringing in Scotland and some random minors.

The wars started boom in the ship building industry. Amazingly my old and obsolete fleet somehow did extremely well against Venice and Spain and all their friends. Part of it is AI being bad at ships, part is my +15% galley combat ability naval doctrine. Overall -15% naval maintenance modifier is probably stronger overall, unless you're really into galleys, as I tried this campaign.

It was a very awkward war, as I had to fight hard or my side would lose. But I didn't want to fight too hard, as my ideal outcome is white peace after everybody's extremely exhausted. I failed the balancing act, and in the end we won, but Bohemia blobbed a good deal as well, so they got something for losing emperorship.

It felt really weird that I was defending Hungary from the Commonwealth instead of jointly invading from both sides as usual. Then I mostly fought in Italy and Balkans, and on the seas. Even though I was the strongest country, I wasn't strong enough to take everyone on simultaneously.

At one point Protestant Zealots taking over Danish capital were almost enough to take Denmark and therefore Sweden out of the war, greatly reducing our forces.

Really late I invaded Commonwealth through Moldavia, as everybody was really taking forever. I wonder if there's any good way to force a draw.

I decided that AE is just a number, force vassalized what was left of Austria, took Rome, and 3 of Florence's cores. All that generated up to -73 AE with HRE members, but as long as they're fighting the league war they can't coalition me. And then half of them will have truces.

Trier was very impressed by my lack of concern with AE, so it gave me 6 provinces from Naples, 1 from Spain, and 1 from Commonwealth, getting me OE over 100%, fighting rebels and two coalitions in the middle of league war.  That doesn't resolve the situation, just flips it once, Catholics could to have another go at it, especially since I'm out.

In the end my shenanigans failed, and Protestant became the official religion. 1681k soldiers and 585 ships lost during this war, not even counting all the minor wars surrounding it.

But it wasn't end for me. I was forced to start new wars while this one was raging.

Theodoro got released again this war, so I grabbed it quickly.

Russia derped and unguaranteed Genoa for a few days, so I instantly attacked them as well. I got "Recover Caffa" mission this way.

Avaria prematurely declared coalition against me, so I had to DoW them immediately, with OPM Qara Qoyunlu joining.

A much more serious issue was Timurids joining the coalition, so I had to trigger a war there too, annexing Mahra.

And Hormuz in another war just to be sure they don't join.

As if loss of Commonwealth wasn't bad enough, Persia decided to go Shia and cancel our alliance as well.

At least Crimea got eliminated during league wars.

So the new leave these 18 haters:

• Timurids - 212
• Persia - 127
• The Papal State - 106
• Kilwa - 102
• Naples - 97
• Venice - 76
• Salzburg - 74
• Spain - 74
• Switzerland - 70
• Commonwealth - 68
• The Palatinate - 64
• Bohemia - 63
• Augsburg - 61
• Saxony - 60
• Ulm - 60
• Genoa - 55
• Milan - 54
• Hungary - 51

Not great, but I got almost half of Italy in bits and pieces.

To save some WE during long war I pronounced myself Defender of the Faith. This is a bit awkward, as that's basically a promise to defend Russia. Speaking of Russia, it broke to rebels, with a lot of horde nations reappearing.

Entire continent devastated just to decide the official heresy of the fake Roman Empire.

I'm seriously tempted to join the other side now, maybe I'll get a lot of clay again. Then again, while this is fun, it's not a very efficient way of getting clay.

Newly vassalized Austria has some cores, but all targets are in the HRE, so that would be another huge war.

Another idea would be diplovassalizing Savoy, they have some non-HRE cores.
Or maybe getting one province from Spain and spawning Aragon there, then reconquest?

Well, I don't even know what the realigned alliance network will look like.

Post 12 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-06 17:13:44 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 12: 1579-1596: Second Nine Year War

After very brief break to refill my peasant pool, I got into a fight with Switzerland, France, and friends for Austria's cores. I "lost" a lot of battles by strategically withdrawing then enemy reinforcements arrived. That meant decent K:D ratio and much deeper peasant pool.

I took 3 cores back including gold mine, and made Montferrat Orthodox. Montferrat later agreed to become my vassal.

Many nations broke out of Russia to the South, and mostly to weaken Russia I grabbed Circassia and Great Horde.

In July 1587 Bohemia declared religious league war on Alsace. This time it was 338k troops and 278 ships on Catholic side vs 388k and 341 ships on Protestant side. Russia and newly formed Great Britain (Scotland still existed in minor islands) pretty much replaced me on Protestant side.

That's no good, I don't want Protestants to win, I want heretics of all kinds to keep fighting each other indefinitely.

I planned to join the Catholic league once I recovered a bit more, and I didn't expect them to start a war as they were clearly weaker, but they did it anyway.

Well, I can still attack Protestant league members in unrelated wars to keep them distracted.

Russia was already in a big war with Persia and Nogai which it was winning, but when it suddenly turned into a two front war, it took Russian forces out of the Protestant league, and made them lost them both.

I fought Hungary and Pope, and got "Conquer the Balkans" mission done. Later Crimea spawned and even got expanded by core returns, so I got a good chunk of land there as well.

This obviously meant coalition issues. The Timurids became the Uzbek using Fun and Balance decision. And then became Bukhara using vanilla decision. I guess they were trying to figure out which map color suits them best. It feels a bit silly in this case, perhaps I should tweak those decisions a bit.

The newly formed Bukhara and Kilwa got into a coalition against me, so I attacked them for a quick white peace just to reset truce timers.

Kilwa got itself annexed five years later, and I faced coalition of Bukhara and a lot of HRE minors - with a long queue of haters who were just waiting for the league wars to finish before joining.

Fortunately Persia decided to attack Bukhara on its own, in some Shia-Sunni nonsense, so obviously I joined to kick them out of the coalition. It's still ongoing, but so far it's going really well.

My worries about Catholic side getting wrecked were totally unfounded. Protestant side got absolutely crushed. Russia was busy losing, Hungary was wrecked by me, Great Britain used this whole was as excuse to grab land in Ireland and Scottish minor islands, so what was left of the league was at severe disadvantage.

Not only Catholic side flipped religion and grabbed huge swaths of territory including Paris, force conversions nearly eliminated Protestants out of the HRE. There are 20 Catholic (including all 7 electors), 14 Reformed, 2 Protentant, and 1 Orthodox (my vassal Austria) members.

Denmark is Protestant league leader now, but without any electors left, it's 60 months mtth and Catholics win completely. Unless I keep Bohemia permanently at war, but I'm not that kind of committed to the cause. Bohemia can also very effectively prevent such war by simply joining coalition.

Well, if leagues don't achieve religious peace I can always try to dismantle the damn thing.

The second League War, also lasting 9 years. It might have something to do with AI "length of war" penalty vs "religious league CB" bonus.

Protestant side had more troops and ships, but they were a lot more peripheral, and HRE itself as well as nearly regions like France and Hungary were overwhelmed by the Catholic forces.

Huge land grab by the Catholic side. Burgundy/France look surprisingly neat now. Commonwealth/Russia total bordergore.

Great Britain and me both used this war to opportunistically grab a lot of land.

Almost no traces of Protestantism outside Denmark. England being Anglican now weakens it even more. Reformed is doing surprisingly well.
All 5 Pentarchy seats are Orthodox.
Sunni Persia flipped Shia by the usual event.

Post 13 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-06 21:31:55 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 13: 1596-1606: War of the First Coalition

Wurzburg of all the countries declared coalition war on me. Members were:
• Wurzburg
• Bohemia
• Spain, Spanish La Plata, Cuba, New Spain
• Commonwealth
• Naples
• Venice
• Ulm
• Switzerland
• Salzburg
• Augsburg

And Trier joined as their regular ally.

Total of 342k troops and 170 ships vs mine 222k and 139. Subtracting Spanish colonies, that's quite close to even, and CB is defending my capital. Then again, half my army was busy fighting Bukhara.

The war was going poorly. I was one mil tech behind, shattered withdrawal logic betrayed me sending my stack in dumbest possible direction right into enemy occupied province getting me completely undeserved stackwipe, and my fleets were much outclassed by Venice and Spain.

I tried building a huge fleet, but it wasn't quite as effective as I hoped. Second attempt worked a bit better, but it only got the sea from enemy controlled to somewhat contested.

Supremacy on the land was completely impossible, as AI can do infinite merc spam. I was >100k manpower at all times, while AIs had a total of 171k of mercs - basically most of their armies were infinite mercs. So this definitely disproves the idea that mercs are not all fine because late game economy got rebalanced is obviously fake. It's definitely getting nerfed by half.

Eventually after 600k and 109 ships lost on my side and 757k and 121 ships on their side, I agreed to release 3 OPMs for peace (Hisn Kayfa, Bitlis, Kharabakh). They're getting eaten as soon as truces expire.

It was totally worth it, as during this war I declared on Tripoli, Sardinia (both somehow spawned from Spain, it seems related to some colonial war, not sure the details), Savoy, and Genoa.

Ten years is a long time for people to get over past transgressions, so list of haters is now reduced to just Bukhara, The Papal State, Commonwealth, Naples, Salzburg, Bohemia, Venice, Hungary, and Spain. A few of them definitely getting annexed at first opportunity.

During the war Catholic League officially won. I think it's not supposed to, as emperor was at war, but maybe wiki is outdated. Well, I guess I'll have to abolish the HRE.

3 OPMs. First time ever I see Kharabakh. Persia was helping me in my war even though it was getting totally overran by rebels, and now Khorasan exists.

I don't really care who holds all that wasteland. Maybe I could take a bit more coastline if there's a good opportunity.

Post 14 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-07 01:56:17 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 14: 1606-1618: Empire from Khorasan to Majorca

I nerfed merc limit in half. Mercs are still crazy good, but it restores a bit of sanity. For example my limit is now 47k out of total 189k force limit, rather than ridiculous 95k. Now mercs can supplement an army, the only way to go merc-based is to take relevant ideas (some number of administrative, quantity, aristocratic etc.)

I got into a fight to destroy Hungary and Papal States, and in process I turned 4 HRE minors Orthodox. It's questionable how much staying power that's going to have, but opportunity cost is very low. An attempt to get my heavies to blockade Britain to kick them out of the war faster failed quite convincingly. The Papal States respawned in Koblenz later, fortunately with AE reset to zero.

When absolutism happens I followed the standard spawn particularists, accept demands, then mass reduce local autonomy to get to 84% absolutism day one at zero mana cost, and to 95% soon after with some sword mana. I don't even really need Court and Country, 100%+ absolutism would be nice, but it's mostly a buffer for bad events like legitimacy loss.

Once that was out of the way, I got into another war against half of Europe to clean up Naples. In this war I grabbed a bunch of provinces from non-cobeligerent Bohemia and Spain, so I got "Recover Western Isles", "Recover Tripoli", "Recover Tunis", "Secure Southern Italy", and "Reclaim Sicily" same day. Just 8 more missions to go.

I briefly allied Burgundy, but then Netherlands broke out of them, and I decided they're not really worth it.

Bukhara formed a one country coalition, so I attacked them, grabbed some land, returned one province to what's left of Khorasan, and diplovassalized them. Now Persia is fully enclosed by me, and I can attack Bukhara for Khorasan's cores without annoying the Indians. The idea that Delhi or Russia might destroy Bukhara for me doesn't seem terribly likely.

If haters ever give me a break, I need to start planning how to dismantle the HRE. It has just 15/35 Catholic princes, and non-Catholics can't be electors, so I could wage a few wars to reduce elector count to just a few, then dismantle it easily. Unfortunately the easy to flip countries in the South are mostly Reformed already. Catholics are mostly in the North, and I don't have good CBs on them.

Alternatively I could ally all electors who aren't Bohemia's allies, and try one big war. This is faster, but somewhat fragile if alliances change mid-war.

Persia is probably not very happy about getting enclosed. Nogai wants to become a vassal too, I guess that would deny that land to Russia and Bukhara, so i's something.

In the West borders are almost clean. Venice and that one French province break my connections.

Post 15 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-07 18:54:01 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 15: 1618-1626: Great HRE War

I made Khorasan Orthodox and then designated them a march. That cheesy trick from previous patches where that would wipe out +100% liberty desire from enforcing different religious group apparently got fixed. Oh well, I doubt I'll need that land anytime soon.

I revoked those 3 OPMs coalition made me release. It wasn't much hassle, back in EU3 they'd get automatic alliance with war leader who forced their release, so Wurzburg? Then again in EU3 war leader would have switched, so they'd be allied with the Commonwealth. Also back then AE was infamy, so I'd get it no matter where they are... Well, very different game in so many ways.

I reorganized my army into 5 stacks of 20inf, 4cav, 16art, which might actually be reasonable close to optimal. That needed 5 generals and 1 admiral, out of my 4 limit. Sadly my empress was a female, and that comes with inability to lead armies, but she had decency of having a male heir. Still going over the limit.

I went over my limit and allied 5 electors - Lorraine, Verden, Trier, Brandenburg, and Palatinate. That means I just needed Bohemia and Saxony.

In theory enemy alliance was quite strong. In practice Commonwealth bailed out in one month due to rebel issues.

And November 1623 HRE ended. Mid-war Lorraine, Trier, Verden, and Brandenburg all agreed to become my vassals. I returned cores to Brandenburg and Austria, took states Bohemia and Silesia to connect a bit, and annexed new Papal States into Trier.

There's a long queue of minors who'd totally be interested in becoming my vassals.

Since none of that land is HRE, there's a mix of 4 religions, and Bohemians are not Germans, there was shockingly little concern by anyone about those conquests. Commonwealth and Bohemia definitely care, Spain, Venice, and Salzburg still sort of care, everybody else is OK with it, and busy using their newfound independence to plot against their neighbors.

There's one more hater on the list - Bukhara - and that truce is about to expire turning this area into the Great March of Khorasan.


Hungarian rebels might win now, and that would be pretty good, as I'd like Bohemia to disappear. The whole land grab there was both to connect to Brandenburg, and to help the rebels.

In terms of bordergore, my land is in 6 parts now:
• main part (including Austria and most of Brandenburg)
• Italy
• Provence/Avignon
• Verden and one disconnected province of Brandenburg
• Trier
• Lorraine
If I diplovassalize Palatinate, that will grow to 7 parts as it's in pieces after losing a war.
I don't need huge amount of land, but I'd like to clean it up. Normally I don't vassalize at random like that, but I needed those allies to dismantle the HRE, and then it was easy to vassalize.

Post 16 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-07 22:16:18 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 16: 1626-1634: Fall of France

There were two small fights to do - expanding my Khorasan march by crusting Bukhara, and connecting bits of my empire together by attacking France, who just so happened to have Lorraine's core blocking its way to Trier, and coastline between Avignon and Italy. Neither have any significant allies.

Nothing big, but I expanded my army to 240k to fight both fronts at once. Mostly because I didn't look at the ledger, and I didn't notice that France was somehow down to 11k troops compared with Bukhara's 92k.

Annoyingly Brittany with a lot of friends attacked France the same time, so I attacked Milan, who was allied with them. It went like this - Spain sieges French province, transfers to Brittany, I siege it for myself, Spanish troops just look at what's going on confused. As a bonus Milan was also allied with Saxony, so I made Saxony return province to Palatinate to connect them, and then diplovassalized Palatinate.

As result of those wars I got my first Atlantic port, fort in Roh on Indian border, and nearly connected my country into just 3 pieces, even if some of those paths are very awkward.

Somehow I missed how much land I could feed Montferrat, and ended up at 109% OE. Fairly little came out of this.

In some case of stupid my vassal Trier went Catholic and released Papal States in Koblenz.

Hungarian separatists had extremely good chance at establishing Hungary in Bohemian lands, but instead they kept crossing into my territory.

A coalition attacked, just Mecklenburg not me. What's going on, seriously, they got to 219dev by 1630s, and most of those were Denmark and post-HRE. Their only significant ally Commonwealth dishonored so I joined the pileup. I only took Brandenburg's last core to connect it to Verden, and some spare cash.

A coalition against me is Commonwealth, Spain, Venice, and Switzerland. Could Commonwealth just leave me alone already?

I'm trying to decide on 5th and further idea groups after administrative, influence, humanist, and trade. Of the usual picks it's a bit late for exploration/expansion, and I'm converting everyone without religious. Economic would be OK for spamming buildings, but I'm halfway done already. I don't even need any manpower for quantity. So diplomatic I guess. Or maybe offensive for siege bonuses.

If you zoom in carefully you can see what's left of France. Sweden is independent now. Russia is busy fighting Ming.

If I destroy what's left of Bohemia I'll be able to finally connect my empire, and I pretty much have to or they'll coalition me.

Post 17 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-08 14:30:59 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 17: 1634-1650: Great Bohemian War

My armies did some missionary work in Germany. A while ago it was possible to annex someone and still convert their capital, that was fun. I have much better uses for AE budget, so I just converted a bunch of minors.

As defender of the faith, I'm protecting all the Orthodox OPMs in Germany. So even with HRE gone, I pretty much took his responsibilities - enforcing peace and religious unity.

My East African trade company wanted more trading opportunities, and there was nobody there except for some heathens, so I sent some troops to build trade posts, and churches, and explain benefits of civilization to the locals. No actual war anywhere.

Level 6 forts started popping up, so I took offensive ideas to speed up sieges a bit. It's basically +20% siege ability which is otherwise really hard to get. Also +1 leader fire, +1 leader shock, +5% discipline, and some nonsense like "+100% prestige from land battles" and "-10% recruitment time".

Not completely sold on this, but quantity seems like a waste this late. Next maybe diplomatic.

Well, the peace lasted long enough, time to fight Bohemia, cobeligerent Spain and Saxony, getting on the action Commonwealth and half of Europe.

And then second war with Venice, since it mostly has the same allies anyway. It was actually race against time, they were allied with cobeligerent Spain, but while allies of main target all join next day, ally of cobeligerents only join when called which can sometimes take over a month.

I did the usual, find weakest link in enemy alliance chain, kick them out. When I got Venice I did missions "Northern Border", "Annihilate Venice", "Eternal City", "Recover Northern Italy", and "Recover Lombardia" in one go. Then "Restore the Pentarchy" when my icon expired, as I was an patriarch authority cap.

There was a surprise, as Salzburg, Scotland, Potiguara, and Kongo all joined mid-war. Spain was really hard to deal with, as no matter how many heavy ships I built, theirs were a lot better.

For all the trouble I got most of Spanish Mediterranean coast, a bit of Cape where I'll setup my second trade company, nearly destroyed Bohemia, and converted Saxony and some OPM to Orthodox, including Wurzburg, damn leaders of the first (and so far only) coalition.

I have just two missions left, and then there's this "Restore Roman Empire" button, which requires directly owning all of France, all of Iberia, and some bits of Morocco, England, Lowlands, and Austria, in addition to places I already have. Should be doable by 1700 or so.

French Canada declared independence war, without anybody's support. It's a shame there's no way to support war that's already ongoing (except for some extremely limited cases), but I can totally see level of player frustration whenever Ottomans surprise joined their up to this point easy war. Once they won they now hate me because they want my East African coast. All right.

That striped area in Spain is my last mission, but I only got half of it this war, as there were forts and Cape to take, and Catalonian coastline to connect to it. My country is finally in one piece.

I never managed to defeat Spanish or Venetian navy properly, removing their coastline to crush their naval force limit is pretty much the best way I found.

Other than minor border cleanup here and there, I'll probably just follow Restore Roman Empire decision goals.

Post 18 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-08 19:16:31 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 18: 1650-1657: Reorganization of Germany

Germany was still organized along feudal lines. I couldn't stand seeing peasants taxed so heavily that every count gets his own level 6 fort, so I streamlined it along more modern lines, with land incorporated into smaller number of stronger duchies. There was naturally some degree of chaos during reorganization, fortunately my armies are good at resolving such petty squabbles.

At one point there were 7 such reorganization efforts simultaneously.

Sadly like all progress, it had a lot of detractors. The list is:

• Burgundy 370 - to be reorganized
• Switzerland 317 - to be reorganized
• France 314 - left for New World completely
• Saxony 313 - to be reorganized
• Netherlands 306 - to be reorganized
• Aachen 304 - to be reorganized
• Commonwealth 299
• Spain 281
• Nassau 278 - to be reorganized
• Utrecht 248 - to be reorganized
• Sweden 166
• Great Britain 147
• Denmark 134
• Scotland 120
• Portugal 118 (in union under Great Britain)
• Munster 94 (the Irish one)

And many already organized anti-progress coalition led by the Commonwealth. They don't have the numbers to challenge me, and Russia is completely unconcerned by my German efforts, so perhaps I should ally them.

There was also minor reorganization efforts in East Africa, and it's all done now. It was annoying chase all the way to Ethiopia, as I couldn't actually annex Mutapa until my coring of Burgundy finished, so they were sieging provinces along the coast and I was running after them and unsieging for almost two years.

I also randomly inherited French outpost in West Africa, perhaps I should bring light of civilization there as well. Right now I'm a bit short on mana.

Verden, Brandenburg, Austria, Palatinate, Lorraine, and Trier are all my vassals.

Burgundy trying to camouflage as me; Denmark is trying to camouflage as Commonwealth. Maybe that's what it takes to survive.

It's a lot more aggressive than I originally planned (Saxony, Switzerland, and a few others were so close to diplovassalization), but I need all of French and Iberian regions for the decision, so coalition of all of German minors was pretty much inevitable, and so I just preempted it.

I thought I would need Moroccan lands too, but I confused the map with Unify Islam map. Taking Spanish North Africa is enough there.

I almost got French colonial nation in the deal, but natives destroyed it a few months too quick.

Post 19 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-13 23:26:14 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 19: 1657-1673: End of Spanish Colonial Empire

The coalition disbanded on reload. Well, that makes things easier. I fought most of Europe, without too much trouble.

Norway got released somehow, and they agreed to become my vassals. It was mostly a potential coalition member out, but I somehow found time to get their cores back. More because I need to get rid of Sweden than for land's sake. I also allied Russia, again mostly to prevent them from joining some future coalitions.

It's been repeatedly shown to be that my navies are garbage, Spain was just crushing me no matter the numbers, and even Utrecht somehow beat my heavy fleet. Which in a way shows how much like the old Roman Empire I am. At least I managed to beat Commonwealth's, which felt nice.

It would really help if the game had any kind of transparency with naval combat. Since Mare Nostrum the rules have been completely obscure. Before that it was an obvious "bigger fleet wins every time" system, so it makes sense that they wanted to go for something more sophisticated, but that's such a UX fail. Not even wiki knows.

To save some paper mana I tried to attack Mocorro to get them to revoke cores on Spain they had, but somehow that wasn't an available option. That applies to both their Moroccan culture and Berber culture cores equally, so no idea really. Maybe because I was at war with Spain already?

I discovered that they accidentally removed that AI cheat which let it ignore stability breaking peace offers, so given enough warscore I could ask for an island fort to -1 stab them every month. Not like that did anything useful, mostly it made me feel a bit better about those damn island forts.

In the end I couldn't even get Sjaelland from the Commonwealth, as there was no way to break through Spanish navy. So instead I took a bunch of forts from the Commonwealth - now Brandenburg even has a bit of Prussia.

More important was taking Spanish coast, hoping that their navy would be less of a problem next time, and maybe even to make their CNs rebel. As Kongo somehow allied Spain, I took a bit of Kongo coast in this war, diplovassalized Yaka, then conquered whole nearly the Kongo basin for Yaka.

My plan worked really well, as Cuban War of Independence erupted and Spain got completely crushed. 4 of 5 Spanish CNs rebelled with British support, the rebels had huge superiority of both armies and navies, Spain was suffering own peasants on top of that. Not only they lost most of colonial empire, but most of Leon is now British. Spanish Peru remained loyal, but they're getting wrecked by natives.

While Spanish Empire was collapsing, I had a few cleanup wars. For a minor mistake I didn't notice that Netherlands had colonies in Africa, so I accidentally kicked them out of Europe instead of properly annexing them. They're following France which is still a North American inland OPM.

All that completed all my missions, leaving just Roman restoration button, for which I'll need all of Iberia, all of France, Fez, London, and York. It's a bunch of wars, but the only real problem is the British Navy. And any coalition involving Great Britain.

Switching to Cuba's perspective for a nice screenshot. It was extremely one-sided. Commonwealth had the only significant army on loyalist side, but no real fleet to transport it. Spain and Burgundy were half landlocked with no military access.

The only potential advantage Spain had - its strong and big navy - got completely overwhelmed by British even stronger and bigger navy.

Yaka and Norway as my new vassals. I'm pondering setting up Jolof or Air or someone in West Africa, but not quite there yet.

New World is halfway to self-governing now between natives and former French and Spanish colonies. English / Portuguese PU still has loyal CNs, but will it last?

Spain is somehow still a Great Power, but probably not for much longer.

Post 20 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-14 10:39:38 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 20: 1673-1685: First British War

I started a Golden Age, my first ever. It's not like this campaign is going to take much longer than 50 years, so might as well.

I took diplomatic ideas as my 6th group. I'm low on paper mana, and military ideas are fairly. Not even sure what to take as 7th if I get that far. Espionage? Aristocratic? Naval?

For the next war Spain managed to setup itself another CN in Alaska, which quite soon revolted.

What was left of France got destroyed by natives. They were the hardest hater to reach, so that's helpful.

Great Britain was allied with Russia, and protected by a huge navy. So I called Russia into my war against the Commonwealth, and attacked Britain with CB on their Spanish holdings to get nice ticking warscore for free.

Britain also tried to support independence of one of my vassals. Like I don't have enough reasons to fight them. I wanted to use the old trick and force them to release Wales, which would then get diplovassalized giving me great base to attack them next war, but that now apparently requires taking some forts in Wales area. Even if minor I wanted to release was fortless itself. Damn.

Well, I had to sit on ticking warscore to get anything anyway, so I took over Sweden, and more of West African coast.

Great Britain got their English Civil War event, and that lasted like a few months with one province being sieged, then unsieged. It seems that the Commonwealth got Court and Country and chickened out.

In the end I only managed to grab some minor British and Portuguese colonies in Africa and Leon, nothing of any serious value. At least the Commonwealth is now properly landlocked.

I'm not really sure what's the best way to screw Britain, since spamming heavies doesn't work. Like spam heavies even harder? Take naval ideas? Simultaneous landings from multiple directions so at least one sticks? Annex that Irish OPM to get a base? Attack natives to establish my own colonial empire so they lose theirs, and good part of their naval force limit with it?

Of course all those plans might become suddenly irrelevant if British AI just derps for a while and like sends their navies to China or something. It's been known to happen.

I feel a bit like Napoleon here. Damn British navy.

English Brazil, English Colombia, and both Portuguese CNs want independence, but they can't all ally each other as they have different direct overlord. I guess if I got myself some CNs then I could support such rebellion.

European majors got beaten so hard that now India holds 3 GPs. Oh and this game desperately needs a way to change colors mid-campaign. That British red and Roman purple look too similar.

Post 21 - Originally published on Google+ on 2018-04-14 19:42:15 UTC

Mamluk Roman Empire: Part 21: 1685-1696: Roman Restoration

I increased my navy to 4x 25 heavies, 3x 40 transports, and 2x 50 lights. It's far from being able to destroy Great Britain, but it's a start.

I expanded my Central African vassal Yaka to maximum possible size. That leaves Rwanda area unconquered, but it's just uncoreable due to one province uncolonized gap, and Rwanda itself would be a waste of a slot.

Similarly I setup Timbuktu in West Africa. In the process I got myself over 100% OE as absolutism and vassals make any kind of late game OE math too painful to bother with.

I destroyed what was left of Denmark, Burgundy, and Morocco. I thought I might be able to get Spanish CNs when I finally remove Spain, but all of them rebelled. Oh well. Not that it would have worked, they had a Pacific island outside my coring range.

Great Britain became dictatorship under Cromwell, which I expected to break their PU over Portugal, but unforunately not.

Well, no matter, there's only one way this campaign ends. I send 3 stacks of 25 heavies + 40 transports to land in Britain in three different places. And two distraction stacks just in case.

Britain was trying to conquer formerly Spanish CN in Alaska, so some of their fleets were busy.

I completely missed that Britain had 115 heavy ships - more than double their previous numbers - so their plans to just spam harder was same as mine. And 91 of them were parked in Britain.

I had massive losses to distract that doomstack long enough, but all three landings reached their destinations. Reinforcing the landings with more troops ended up with further massive losses.

By the time I got 80k to Ireland, Scotland, and Yorkshire, I lost 24 heavies and 45 lights.

It wasn't the end of it. I hoped British army would be distracted with its colonial war, but instead the whole Yorkshire landing of 80k got stackwiped. At least Irish and Scottish landings were unopposed, and with both ends of the strait takes I could walk between the two, with 160k soldiers.

There was no telling how long that war would last, so I ordered 100 more heavies and 80 lights. And two 20inf 4cav 16art stacks to replace the losses. I quite like this build.

With landing sites secure remaining British troops could do very little. I only needed from them rest of Portugal, London, and York, but I also took the Irish-Scottish bridge - obviously a marvel of ancient Roman engineering, and some random African provinces for a change.

And that's how it ends.  With enough fortified sites on the island British navy means nothing, and a war or two and all British CNs will start defecting.

Now for some post-campaign notes.

Late date:
• that's the latest date I ever played to, and my first time reaching imperialism CB (not counting Extended Timeline mod)
• also my first time taking Golden Age
• taking bird idea group as 6th is uniquely bad, as that's when you want to rush dip tech for imperialism CB - possibly that's best time for
• next era would trigger in 1710, and coal would trigger a few years after when enlightenment is embraced - at this point it would be completely irrelevant
• 100% professionalism late game with drilling pretty much never is easy, just play long, recruit generals when needed, and take professionalism in all events for it.
• manpower was overflowing all the time, but that's probably because Orthodox is OP, and I avoided most stupid wars - I didn't use slacken recruitment standards even when at 100% professionalism
• so my theory was that not doing Court and Country means 95% absolutism cap, not much less than 100%. Except then you get bad legitimacy and it's down to maybe even 75%. Given how easy it is, it's probably worth it after all.

New patch features:
• naval policies add nothing to the game
• I got 65.2% innovativeness, it's very easy to get good chunk early game (6 from first techs and 7 from ideas nearly guaranteed, twice as much possible) as basically any mid-sized country by milking estates (tiny countries can't really milk for full value), unless you start in desperate situation. In the middle it's impossible to be first to any tech, or to any idea. Late game once HRE minors are gone it's easy again.
• I don't think innovativeness adds much to the game.
• I enjoyed the new mission system, but then again, I played as some of the countries with good missions. For most minors it's a big downgrade, as they'd lose idea group specific missions with no replacement.
• the game desperately needs mission packs for smaller countries
• it's from a few patches ago, but Mamluk government was pointless - 2 of 3 buttons are based on ruler culture share, so they do literally nothing if you pick a Circassian ruler, so in the end you get a bit of manpower and gold buttons at cost of low legitimacy. Russian, Persian, and Aq Qoyunlu governments all felt like they tried a bit harder.

• mercenary limit nerf I added mid-campaign reduced ridiculous levels of merc spam to just high levels of merc spam. For example Ming now has 150k of mercs instead of 300k for 600k force limit. Amazing idea.
• according to the numbers, they significantly rebalanced late game economy. In practice I didn't feel it. Maybe because I was in such a nice part of trade network, took trade ideas, and setup a lot of trade companies.
• I ended up building manufactories is every single province possible, and huge number of workshops, churches, barracks etc. Money was overflowing with nothing useful to spend it on.
• if I started as a small country outside Europe in bad trade situation I might feel different, but then there are no missions for them

Early Operation Sealion. That 93 stack is the main British war fleet, huge number of ships got sunk just to distract that.

It seem than in the new patch AI will always keep most of its war fleet at home defense duty (Venice and Spain did the same), so I should have helped British CNs achieve independence when they asked - I wouldn't face the main British fleet anyway.

Total losses were just 202k and 138 ships on our side vs 143k and 76 ships on their side. Considering the situation it's a totally respectable ratio.

Than 3k is the last remnant of 80k Yorkshire landing force. Now that I think of it, I should have sent a few boats around Britain before the war to check how many troops and navies they had and where. I just assumed that they'd be fighting in the colonies as Britain was at war, and that was typical AI behaviour in previous patches.

Purple vs Red. How good is your eyesight? That small colony in North America is my Norwegians.

If you want to continue playing pressing this button is actually quite awful, as it turns your whole primary culture into new "Roman" culture in new culture group, so you lose every other culture from your group as accepted. I guess it's fine if you're Greek, they no longer accept anyone anyway. Not like it matters much at this point.

I wouldn't even get any coalition for it, as only Commonwealth, Great Britain, and that Irish OPM cared.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

EU4 White Sheep Persia

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-11-25 21:46:39 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 01: 1444-1454: Kurdish Renaissance

Cradle of Civilization came out, and there are a lot of minor mechanics. I thought of campaign to try a bunch at once:
• start as Aq Qoyunlu - 55dev Sunni tribal federation (new government type)
• become Persia - Shia feudal theocracy (another new government type)
• play with new Muslim and merchant mechanics
• interact a bit with local powers - Timurids, Ottomans, Mamluks, and Qara Qoyunlu, who all also got new mechanics

The goals are:
• reform tribal government (needs admin tech 8 plus buckets of paper mana)
• form Persia, which requires non-tribal. Persia creation criteria are weird, as you need to be Persian culture group except for some reason culture Turkish Aq Qoyunlu is totally fine too.
• go Shia (forming Persia has unique event for this)
• completely wipe out 4 aforementioned competing countries
• control everything Persia ever controlled or tried to, including Greece
• maybe unify Islam at this point, as that's just 10/14 provinces are in Greater Persia area, 2 are Sicily, and only last 2 in Spain/Morocco are awkward
• avoid colonization for reals

For more fun merchant game I switched trade nodes so English Channel and Constantinople are the two end nodes.

Before unpausing I deleted my fort, allied Mamluks, married Ottomans for protection as well, pissed off Dhimmi, made Ulema more powerful to speed up conversions of Copts.

Somewhat disappointingly tribal federation doesn't have free CBs. First war was fabricated one on Hisn Kayfa and Dulkadir, who conveniently found itself at war with the Ottomans as well. Of course AI didn't give a shit about Ottomans, and sent all troops against me.

I managed to get Hisn Kayfa, but Ramazan killstole Dulkadir, and Copts revolted with more troops than me, in mountains. Funnily enough Dulkadir won its independence revolt, which I then used to take it all over.

Well, I was pretty much stuck, so I didn't even take tech 4, just went straight for developing Renaissance in Urfa in 1454. Now I'm a bit weak and behind most of my neighbours in mil tech, but I got to 112dev, of which 55 was starting, 29 conquered, and 28 dev pushed.

Stuck between Ottomans, Mamluks, Qara Qoyunlu (with vassal/ally swarm), and Timurids (with vassal swarm). There's plenty of minors, but usually aligned with one great power or another. Like I'm sort of in Mamluk sphere.

Cultural and religious clusterfun is just as bad in 1444 as in 2017.

1-province Ramazan conquering 4-province Dulkadir and then losing it to revolt, whom I attacked day one was sweet. I don't remember the last time that happened, rebels are generally too weak.

Timurids fell apart as they're basically scripted to, so Persia is sort of open except for Qara Qoyunlu on the way.

For small fun things I attacked my "rival" Trebizond who were besieged by Ottomans and peaced them out almost right away for some free power projection.

Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-11-26 20:58:37 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 02: 1454-1474: Fall of the Black Sheep

I got into fight with Ramazan for one province and to humiliate Karaman and break their alliance with the Mamluks. Unintentionally I ended up sitting between Ottomans and Mamluks, preventing direct war. Would it be good or bad if one of them crushed the other? Hard to tell really

Also at mil tech 3 when bigger countries around me were at 5. After that it was pointless waiting. Favors took forever to accumulate (it takes 10 years only when you're already stronger than your ally, 20-50 years when you're weaker), and nobody went to war with anybody else except against tiny countries.

Golden Horde attacked Shirvan allied with Qara Qoyunlu, so I thought I'd see some action, but they just casually dishonored.

Ajam was the only country I could maybe all promising land, but they went into deep debt.

Qara Qoyunlu had 2 vassals and 6 allies, so they were really hard to deal with. Of course that's just mod making things harder.

It was a miserable wait. Finally Mamluks annexed their vassals and got border with Qara Qoyunlu, so I promised them land, and I got Ajam into war with both 10 favors and promise of land. Somehow Qara Qoyunlu got 6 shock general, and AI allies were AI allies, so it was pretty painful, but it was a make or break of my country.

As result of the war:

• Shia Mashriqi Mushasha became my vassal
• Shia Azerbaijani Abadil became my vassal
• Gilan handed over buckets of gold
• Hormuz handed over buckets of gold
• I waited for Mamluks to separate peace out so it wouldn't destroy our alliance
• I took a lot of land from Qara Qoyunlu, all for myself, and Ajam can go to hell

As result of the war I got deep into debt and corruption, but I kept Mamluk alliance, and Qara Qoyunlu got reduced from being much stronger than me to being about my tier.

A surprising new power emerged - the Great Horde made all Caucasus minors into its vassals and tributaries, and even allied Karaman to block my expansion.

There was far too much waiting, but I finally broke Qara Qoyunlu. Now Qara Qoyunlu, Ajam, Timurids, Transoxiana, Hormuz, Golden Horde, Nogai, Uzbek etc. are all approximately about my tier, as secondary powers. Everybody else is allied with one or another of them, but I'll probably find some way to expand East towards Persian heartlands.

Ottomans and Mamluks are far ahead of any of us, and probably very annoyed they can't fight it out. Then again, AI blobs were all crazy careful this campaign, none of the usual suicidal wars.

Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-11-29 07:15:44 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 03: 1474-1491: The Great Sheep Power

I managed to get the Great Horde to join my war for favors.

It was really mostly an excuse to get them busy, so I can take over Karaman. I didn't take all that much land, but all together it got to the point where I got my first coalition - including the Ottomans. It got bored really quickly, but it could be a sign of things to come.

Mamluks called me into their conquest of Medina, for which I got 40 favors. The system is actually almost OK, if only it had "offer to join wars" functionality.

After that I got into war to completely crush Qara Qoyunlu - and somehow it was far too close, with their allies Fars and Mazandaran punching far beyond their font size. Mazandaran became my vassal, Qara Qoyunlu got most convincingly wrecked, and Jewish bankers got really happy about interest I've been forced to pay to fund all my wars. I didn't want to waste Mamluk's favors, but maybe that was a mistake.

Now I'm finally on great power list. Ajam is a very obvious next target.

I feel I have zero chance of going professional. I have neither money to train my troops nor manpower to do without mercs. Maybe I could go quantity for my second idea group and enjoy professional peasant army?

It took far too long to more or less unite both sheep lands. Ajam can probably tell how much of a target they are.

Ottomans are strongest power after Ming, but they're a bit locked with this super cautious AI.

Arab minors are eating each others, so fewer countries to coalition me I guess.

Post 4 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-11-30 01:10:15 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 04: 1491-1505: Thousand years to figure out the right Caliph

I had a great plan to attack Ajam, but they allied the Ottomans. I took two worthless provinces from Haasa instead, but everybody dogpiled Haasa to prevent me from getting the rest.

I noticed that Najd is super close to diplovassalizable, but Mamluks got them one month before me. This is the first time ever AI does it like that.

I tried various shenanigans to go Shia early, but in the end I went naturally over 50% Shia after diploannexing Mushasha. Due to awkward timing I then instantly fell belowe 50% Shia.

It also broke all my alliances, and Mamluks took some effort to convince to ally back. Fortunately Ottomans were at war during that time, and didn't take the great opportunity.

The religious shift pretty much wrecked my country, and I already regret taking quantity as second. I was sort of planning to use quantity ideas to try no-merc army for profesionalism, but I'm still very low on money.

I'm also very low on paper mana, and it will take about 1000 to go non-tribal, so taking religious as third is going to be painful. Then again, playing a non-colonizing campaign really opens new possibilities of idea group picks.

There's a fairly convincing Ottoman-led coalition against me. I'd like to expand into Timurid land, but there won't necessarily be much left by the time I get there.

After two converter campaigns in a row I was confused why Aztecs and Incas weren't great powers.

I wonder about going into horde lands. Being closer to Poland and Hungary could lead to nice anti-Ottoman alliance.
Then again Ottomans are allied with France, Muscovy, and Tunis, so I can't really outdiplomacy them.

Post 5 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-01 00:19:34 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 05: 1505-1515: First Ottoman War

I feel that dev pushing Renaissance was a bad idea - I'm just a bit outside Europe, and it was bound to reach me just a few years later, and that delayed me by like 10 years for not that much long term gain.

Colonialism awkwardly spawned in Yorkshire, and I'm not dev pushing that. But there's a problem - because England has no land on the continent, and hates all 3 countries across the channel, it doesn't spread to Europe at all! Fortunately Portugal seems to have joined independently, so I'll get it eventually.

I was just chilling out, when Ottomans, Ajam, and Tunis attacked me and the Mamluks. My other allies Afghanistan and Hormuz dishonored our alliances. WTF is wrong with AI this patch, it's not even trying to roleplay?

It wasn't a coalition CB, as mod removes that nonsense, but I still couldn't separate peace Ajam as they were a coalition member.

I got a lot of money from France and Austria. France being allied with the Ottomans. I really don't like what they did to the AI. It's too calculating, and not roleplaying enough. But it still cancels sieges at 49% to go somewhere else.

In the war 120k troops died on our side, and 148k on enemy side, and all I got was 10 years of reparations from the second richest country in the worst - about 8 on top of my 22. This also broke coalition against me.

After that I got into a series of small wars, in which I:

• fully annexed Qara Qoyunlu and Baluchistan
• converted Anizah to the proper faith
• converted and vassalized Khorasan
• broke Ajam from Ottomans and took one mountain fort from them
• Afghanistan returned most cores back to Khorasan

My plan against inevitable next coalition is to wreck everybody as soon as truce timers allow it. They can't join coalition if they don't exist.

Army professionalism is surprisingly varied, ranging from Ming's 0% to Swiss 47 and Orissa's 55%. Median is 16% and I'm at 13% without drilling even once.

I'm definitely going religious for next idea group, there's no way I'm going to save my way out of Sunni heresy otherwise. Even with a lot of events giving provinces missionary strength bonuses, I'd only finish converting by 1600s if I stop expanding now. Or I guess I could conquer Mecca and Jerusalem, but I'm not fighting Ottomans and Mamluks all at once.

Muslims also have a way to spread religion in trade node using merchants, but I'd need 50% in a node for that, and I'm nowhere near that anywhere.

I pretty much surround Persia from every direction, and Ajam just lost most of its friends (including Transoxiana to some dishonoring some horde alliance chain).

Newly Shia Anizah is a possible vassal.

Habsburgs rule Austria/HRE, Castile/Aragon/Naples, and (electively) PLC. If game had EU3 style PUs it would mean imminent Ottoman doom.

Post 6 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-03 02:52:40 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 06: 1515-1527: This! Is! Persia!

I was really excited about using that new ability of merchants to spread religion, but requirements are really harsh:

• you must be in Muslim group
• you must have merchant present
• you control over 50% trade power in node (not just total of all countries of your religion)
• node is in trade company region

That's basically nowhere except Indonesia. Maybe you could manage to get it in India. Or China, but you'd need to take over Ming's coastline without Mandate of Heaven CB, as Muslims don't get that.

It sort of makes sense that Ottomans shouldn't use it to convert Balkans, but I'm quite annoyed by all the features which are basically locked to a specific country or very small number of them.

So I was pondering religious, but I somehow stacked so many modifiers that I got over 70% religious unity even without any ideas.

I spent about 1000 paper mana to reform out of my tribal federation into an iqta, and took trade ideas. Iqta has sweet ability to press button to get buckets of money. Tribal federation has button that gives horses, but criteria are way too hard.

Iqta stage lasted just 6 years, after that I became Persia and feudal theocracy. I did not take Persian ideas, as Aq Qoyunlu are way better. Here's comparison - Aq Qoyunlu:

• +1 diplomat
• -20% coring cost, -10% stab cost
• +10% morale, +20% cavalry combat, +1 leader shock, +25% manpower
• +10% goods produced, -10% land maintenance, -20% cavalry cost


• +1 prestige
• +10% morale, +15% cavalry combat, +15% manpower, +10% manpower recovery, +5% morale recovery, +5% discipline
• +10% goods produced, +20% caravan power, +10% tax, +5% production efficiency

It's like more or less comparable economic and military bonuses, and then diplomat and coring cost are replaced by +1 prestige. That's not even close.

Persian ideas are bad, but feudal theocracy is pretty sweet. I got extra missionary, +1% missionary strength, +2 tolerance of true faith. And buttons that give very strong bonuses for mana: -15% construction cost for 5 years for 50 paper mana, -20% dev cost and +1 dev in capital area for 50 bird mana, and a bunch of instant claims for 50 sword mana, for a poor version of Deus Vult.

As a Muslim I have access to +1 missionary from Defender of the Faith (if only it wasn't so expensive) - and eventually a few more once I get Mecca and Jerusalem. So I don't strictly need religious. Then again, which other ideas could I even take as 4th?

What I need is to save some money, press that button, and then spam buildings.

Meanwhile elsewhere, Castile/Aragon/Naples, Portugal, and the Pope were fighting Tunis and Ottomans, and Tunis won. Castile/Aragon then formed Spain. Colonialism just reached Cyprus, so I'll get it by 1550s maybe.

There are some really weird alliances here - Ottomans got France, Morocco, Tunis, Hormuz, and Muscovy.

Mamluks allied pretty much everyone to their South, me, and Morocco.

I have Mamluks, Hormuz, and Great Horde's tributary Samtshke, whom I planned to diplovassalize, but they developed their provinces way out of range. Khorasan and Anizah are my vassals.

All those overlaps between obvious rivals' networks. Then again, I never officially rivaled Ottomans.

Post 7 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-03 14:24:04 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 07: 1527-1543: Unification of Persia

As Persia, it was time to think big. I allied Poland, and attacked the Great Horde. That went a lot worse than I thought it would, mostly because I kept forgetting that hordes getting +25% shock damage in flat terrain.

Very late into the war Ming decided to give Great Horde's ally Chagatai some free condottieri, but they never reached the frontlines.

I made myself Defender of the Shia Faith, which is basically saying that I'll defend myself, my ally Bahmanis, and Yas and Afghanistan whom I both convinced of who was the rightful caliph.

Ottomans declared themselves Defender of the Sunni Faith, but that only works on same continent as their capital, so they're literally just defending themselves.

I got Timurids as new vassal, they have a lot of Eastern cores. At some point I'll need to turn West or South to get all my campaign goals, but these are difficult directions.

I sacrificed 10% army profesionalism for two deliveries of new manpower. It was either that or merc up and lose it anyway. I'm not sure it's wort going for it's much harder, and alliance chains extend very far. I could backstab Mamluks or Hormuz I guess, but then who'd help me when Ottomans come?

Morocco and Mamluks attacked Tunis and Ottomans. Predictably Ottomans won, but only because I forgot I gave Mamluks military access. If I didn't, Ottomans would be stuck, Mamluks would have wrecked Tunis, and that would be it. I swear I used to be better at this game.

Circassia tried to sell me a 12dev province for 400 gold. I did not take it.

Ottomans are backed by France, Muscovy, Tunis, and Hormuz, so I really can't attack them.

Afghanistan and the Great Horde are softest targets. Maybe I could wait for Ottomans to be busy, but every time that happened so far I was even busier. Even then without fleet it would be extremely painful.

Backstabbing Mamluks or alliance chaining + backstabbing Hormuz seem much more promising.

I could also wait for HRE leagues to trigger (after 1550), then if I move my capital to Europe I could do some shenanigans. I suspect Austria, Commonwealth, Spain, and me will be Catholic side, France, Ottomans, and Muscovy Protestant side, but it could really go many ways based on network of alliances and rivalries.

Post 8 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-03 22:50:40 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 08: 1543-1550: Fall of the Great Horde

I was fighting a minor war against Transoxiana and its Indian friends, and Gujarat had a 5 siege general. First time I'm seeing one, and they don't have any special abilities for that. It was really annoying how fast they sieged and unsieged everything with him.

I had a fun 87k vs 78k battle in this war, very narrowly won.

I then had to overlap a lot of wars to destroy Afghanistan, and Circassia and the Great Horde.

Muscovy and Ottomans guaranteed the Great Horde, but guarantees aren't called for cobeligerents, so I attacked their tributary Circassia. Circassia was also allied with Muscovy, but they were fighting Commonwealth, so they dishonored.

Ottomans sent condottieri to the Great Horde, but then changed their mind, and attacked Circassia instead. Between both of us, so little was left of the Golden Horde Muscovy is probably going to just clean it up.

Afghanistan was easier. I got all cores for Timurids, split Yarkand from Chagatai, and got some money from India. I'm not even seriously trying to avoid coalitions at this point.

My alliance with Hormuz broke by event. Mamluks and Commonwealth are rivals, so I might lose one or the other at some point too.

I got this ridiculous Persian event that gives 12 base tax, 12 production, and 6 manpower.

The printing press spawned in Trier, so it will be a while until I get it. Renaissance is only just on Ming's borders, and Colonialism is only halfway through India, so this time it's going more or less historically.

I'd really like to find a way to deal with Hormuz without involving Ottomans, but the only decent alliance chain would involve basically all of India instead.

Ottoman army is bigger and fights better than mine, but somehow my morale is highest in the world, and spamming barracks finally fixed my manpower problems.

I guess fighting Ottomans, wiping out their whole army, and forcing them to merc up would erase their professionalism, so that would be a thing. If I could get Mamluks and Commonwealth to both join, it would be glorious, but somehow I doubt that.

Post 9 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-05 00:43:05 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 09: 1550-1562: Coming Great War

I did a bit of drilling, as I was finally not real low on money. I even got one general from 2 to 3 siege. I upgraded diplomatic advisor (in his 30s, with 50% discount from estates) to level 4, it seemed worth the money. Those new buttons are not game changers, but they're occasionally nice.

I had such obscene bonuses to development cost on my capital, and such overflowing sword mana, that I pushed it to 40dev, getting free printing press. I didn't really have to, it only made a few years' difference, but i was the last time I could get that -20% dev cost from inviting minorities from abroad, as there are no Shiite provinces living under infidels anywhere in the world.

New coalition formed, with Ottomans, Hormuz, Delhi, Sind. Then Ottomans got bored, it dissolved, and I attacked the bastards, cleaning up Ajam, getting my culture group province from Sind, and breaking Hormuz's alliances.

Sadly the Mamluks then instantly guaranteed Hormuz. I thought about distracting them with another war, but the only one they wouldn't consider too distant would be against the Ottomans, or one chaining to the Ottomans.

So in 1566 I'll have 3 choices:

• attack Hormuz and the Mamluks
• no-CB Arabian minor to distract the Mamluks, attack Hormuz
• attack Ottomans and friends using Mamluks, attack Hormuz while fighting the Ottomans. I won't be able to call in the Commonwealth as they still have truce with the Ottomans.

I can't say any of them are particularly fun, and I changed my mind on which of them is the least unpleasant a few times already.

I built up my army to 120k, even bigger than Ottoman's 106k or Mamlukian 80k, but they'd be bringing a lot of buddies, so it won't be an easy war. And I still don't have even a single ship.

HRE Leagues triggered, with Austria, Spain, Commonwealth, Denmark, Hungary, Bohemia, and a lot of minor powers on Catholic side.

Protestant side was much weaker with Ottomans, Muscovy, France, Sweden, and random minors - basically Ottomans and their allies.

I think I'll remain in Asia and skip the whole league conflict.

Ming tried to conquer Bengal's jungle fort of Mong Yang, and as result had to cancel Arakan's tributary status. Silly Bengal, just take war reparations.

Everybody's stuck now and nobody's expanding. AI no longer does its usual random suicidal attacks to break such stalls.

That "allies undermining you if you expand too fast" thing they were talking about in dev diaries in definitely real - Mamluks guaranteed Hormuz against me twice. I don't think this improves gameplay in any way.

Great Horde is more understandably guaranteed by the Ottomans and Muscovy.

I vassalized Samtskhe after something like 50 years of trying, and then almost vassalized Kazakh, but they got Nogai as OPM tributary, and that blocks it. Multan is another potential vassal.

Post 10 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-05 08:15:11 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 10: 1562-1569: The Great War, Sort of

I was running some scripts on the save game, and amazingly the Palatinate has higher total AE than me. It's actually just a bit under 50 with everyone in HRE, so no coalition risk.

I finally figured out a plan to deal with Mamluk guarantee of Hormuz - I'd attack Great Horde, calling in Mamluks. They'd agree as Great Horde is guaranteed by Ottomans and Muscovy. Then I could safely attack Hormuz, and Great Horde is weak, so it will be easy to end that war with white peace.

Of course that fell apart in no time, as Commonwealth decided to attack Great Horde, Ottomans, and Muscovy first. I managed to occupy most of Anatolia, but my army took ridiculous beating.

Everybody else did as well, and Ottomans, Muscovy, and Commonwealth lost most of their professionalism to merc spam. Ally AI was retarded as usual - I was fighting Ottomans full time, so they had easy way of just separate peacing them for war reparations and then wrecking what's left easily, but why would AI ever do the sensible thing?

It wasn't completely useless - I got 6 provinces (48dev) and Commonwealth got 5 (40dev).

Halfway through that fight Mamluk guarantee of Hormuz turned into a full alliance, and they soon reestablished their alliances with Delhi and Bengal as well. My options are now reduced to no-CB some Arabian minor and fight Hormuz and half of India with a third of my manpower, or waiting another decade.

There's been about 1.5 dead Persian peasants for every 1 dead Turk mercenary. At least they're less professional now.

Great Horde is the only country that got seriously wrecked by the war, others lost one unimportant province each. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing that I border Commonwealth now.

Post 11 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-06 00:27:44 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 11: 1569-1584: Freedom of the Greeks but not the Protestants

I took as my ideas: administrative, quantity, trade, economic. All highly questionable other than administrative.

I took stab hit to distract the Mamluks, and went to war against Hormuz, Arab minors, and half of India. The biggest action was 60k vs 67k battle of Roh against Delhi and Bengal, which I extremely barely won, it was enough to distract Indians for a while. I feel I never have enough troops to cover whole area of the country, and my forts are just temporary distraction for AI. At least I haven't noticed any blatant zone of control cheating yet.

I never built a single ship the whole campaign, so I couldn't get any of Hormuz's islands to 100% them, and so the only way to get anything out of the war was by getting all their allies out first - including invading Bengal's capital. It was very painful, but very profitable.

Religious Leagues war triggered, far more even than I expected, with 602k on Catholic side and 511k on Protestant side. The only major neutral countries in Europe being Burgundy (who soon had own war with Netherlands independence) and ironically the Pope.

Simultaneously nearly all of India went to war, with my two Indian allies on opposite sides, and calling me in. I took Mysore's (former Bahmanis) side, tried to avoid the fighting, but Indians kept invading so I separate white peaced a few years later.

With world on fire, as soon as my truce with the Ottomans expired, I attacked them calling in the Mamluks.

While I had two other wars, two province minor Mahra decided to coalition me, so without waiting for the second member I declared instant war on them, but I couldn't really send many troops there. It would be so inconvenient to think about coalitions that I don't. The whole Sunni world from Jolof to Brunei hates me to varying degree, and the only way out is to unify all Muslims under Shia faith, somehow.

The Catholic league had huge naval superiority, so it sunk the entire Ottoman navy, and I could walk to Constantinople. With that I somehow 100%ed Ottomans, released Greeks, and took two annoying border forts in Anatolia for good measure.

Emperor completely obliterated the Protestant League. The official faith of the HRE is now Catholic, but HRE is in very poor state, and Protestant zealots sacked and force converted Vienna. Territorially the biggest winner is Protestant Denmark who joined the Catholic league before flipping.

I got my capital moved to Isfahan by event. It turns out I was able to intervene in league wars without capital in Europe just fine, just a bit indirectly.

Right now the plan is to instantly declare war on anyone who even checks what "coalition" is in a dictionary. I sort of hope that if I stop expanding East, India will somehow get over it, and I'll be able to focus on more interesting directions.

I'm also thinking about making Ottomans release Bulgaria or Crimea next time.

At least it took Europe just 9 years to sort it out, not 30.

Same time as these major wars there was also Burgundy vs Netherlands, Mongolia vs Korea, Great Horde vs Kazakh, and Mahra/Hormuz/Adal/Aden vs me.

If EU4 had HoI4 style war merging it would be full blown world war.

Finally peace in our times. Ottomans lost Tunis, who allied Mamluks and me instead. They also lost France.

Greeks already got to 20 corruption, I have no idea how.

Post 12 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-06 22:24:50 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 12: 1584-1592: The Inevitable War of Spanish Succession

21 countries have >50AE on me, 13 of that >100AE. This isn't really sustainable, and the only way out is to eliminate those nasty countries.

First target was what was left of the Great Horde. Muscovy guaranteed them, so I used it to split them from the Ottomans.

Then OPM Hadramut.

Then Kazakh and Multan to convert them to the right religion. It doesn't affect AE they already have, but will reduce any future gain.

All that while reseting a bunch of truce timers with countries I didn't want to fight like Delhi.

Mongolia (Tengri/Sunni, but counts as Tengri for AE purposes) removed what was left of Chagatai.

Mamluks vassalized what was left of Hormuz. Not outcome I wanted, but it gets them off potential coalition members list.

I went over my relations limit to ally Bengal, gave away influence nations money like candy in India and East Africa, and even got an event where I gave away a lot of manpower to Mamluks to keep them happy just a bit longer. That got me into an easy war in India, weakening potential coalition members and strengthening my allies.

Pretty much no way coalition could form without Ottomans.

I got CoT in Indus node, so I finally spammed light ships to get trade power there to maybe use merchant to spread my religion, but at max force limit I only got 36% trade power. Ships are really weak. Then I noticed the divert trade power vassal interaction, and managed to get just over 50% by diverting their power. I'm not sure I'll be able to convert anything, as they're just one year away from being annexed.

A fun thing happened. Commonwealth (739dev), ruled by Von Habsburg and still elective, got PU over Spain (907dev). Austria/HRE must feel real jealous. The PU was challenged by Muscovy, who's weak and I forced them to break all their alliances except Odoyev and Oldenburg. Ratio of forces is 455k vs 107k, and wargoal is Madrid, so you can probably take a pretty good guess how it's going to end.

The only question is if Commonwealth will be satisfied by a quick beating, or if it will try to carve up Muscovy. I want to fight Ottomans in less than 4 years, so I guess I'll need to help, and it's going to be my 3rd invasion of Muscovy in a decade.

Meanwhile, after many previous failed tries, Ming managed to finally win a war against Bengal, taking over Hsenwi. Some thing never change, no matter which timeline you're in.

My alliances are mostly there to make strong countries overlook my AE. Keeping Mamluks as allies at >150 AE is quite a feat.

There are still 17 countries who could coalition me, but they're all allied, someone's vassals, or tiny, except Ottomans, Delhi, Oudh, and Adal.

This war is the kind of suicidal attempt AI never does, except in this case by event.

Another question is how loyal Spain is going to be to the Commonwealth. I suspect not so much.

Post 13 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-07 11:12:10 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 13: 1592-1604: Conquest of Constantinople

In next HoI4 patch troops will get acclimatization to hot/cold traits. With third invasion of Muscovy in less than 10 years, I'm sure my troops would have it by now.

Muscovy had all merc nearly pure infantry army at 0% professionalism vs mine 59%, so they fought really poorly, even disregarding how bad their numerical situation was.

What I didn't even originally noticed is that Muscovy decided to challenge Commonwealth/Spain PU while already losing a war to Sweden. This is seriously amazing. This is also quite awkward, as Sweden took Moscow before I reached it, so we were denied quick 100%.

Muscovy was wrecked, I got 3 provinces worth so little Muscovy counts them as -9 AE. More usefully Muscovy lost Perm as a vassal.

Sweden didn't take anything for itself, just made Muscovy release its other two vassals and restore all Kazakh's cores.

I like one-sided wars, so I attacked Ottomans as soon as truce expired - which by the way was 2 months before tooltip claim it would, how many patches and this bug is still unfixed. Calling in Mamluks, Greeks, and Commonwealth/Spain. The only Ottoman allies were leftovers of the Protestant league. Fun 534k vs 177k fight, and Spain alone could sink all enemy fleet. Not like in mattered, under new stupid rules Greek control over Edirne meant I could cross any time I wanted. I didn't do anything cute this time - just took Constantinople and a bunch of CoTs. I took 136% OE for a while, didn't even cause that many rebels.

I used the fact that Mamluks were distracted to remove their ally Aden from the map, and converted Mogadishu doing so.

I had massive stacked building cost discount (-5% renaissance, -15% feudal theocracy button, -10% economic ideas), so I spammed manufactories everywhere. As result Persia node is the richest node in game, and so Global Trade spawned in Mashad.

This is what I should have taken from the Ottomans in previous war.

Spain is disloyal partner under Commonwealth, but nobody supports them just yet. They'd probably be able to win independence war unless I intervened.

Great Britain finally formed. It's a reasonable bet that Russia will never form, HRE won't get rid of heretics or unify, and Ming won't explode.

Post 14 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-07 16:41:43 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 14: 1604-1613: Age of Absolutism

I vassalized Multan, and went to a quick war against Delhi and Mysore, finally managing to unify my culture group 5 years before relevant age ends.

I did some heavy trickery involving alt-tabbing to Excel and then reloading peace conference when I was off by 10 to get Ajuuraan as my vassal. They're a theocracy, so no royal marriages, wrong religion, AE, and distance penalties together made it really tricky.

In the process I gave Shia Funj a bit of land from Sunni Beja. I could have returned a few more provinces, but I missed new age by a few months, and lost -25% warscore cost on infidels bonus. Beja was not terribly bothered, returning cores doesn't cause truces, so they just attacked Funj right away, restoring it to previous OPM borders. I could have guaranteed them I guess, but I'm already over my limit. Oh well, you can't win every time.

I got over 60 absolutism and started Court and Country ticking year one of the new era. Disaster start March 1613, so ten years of fun. I had to wreck my country quite hard to get there, so every estate hates me. Autonomy decreased penalties last until 1640, so it will be a bit messy, especially if I try to do so without hiring any mercs. That 85% professionalism looks nice. Then again, I can cash 5 professionalism for 86k manpower. 86k mercs would cost 13 professionalism on top of extra cost, but only to hire, reinforcement would be free, so if I kept them for a few decades it would actually work better, at least if I ended up really desperate for manpower.

Commonwealth called me into their war against Muscovy, but didn't give me any land. Oh well. All I really wanted want border with Perm, as there's a gold mine there, but I think I reached the point where gold mine wouldn't even matter much.

I needed to be at war until ticking stopped, so I attacked Gujarat and made them Shia. Most of their provinces are already Shia thanks to my merchant, so it's silly that their ruler wasn't. Gujarat would be a nice vassal with all those cores, but I'm over limit and they have -130 AE on me.

I think diplomatic ideas would make nice 5th group.

I'm going to attack Ottomans on the clock, and maybe use Mamluks for the last time. They allied Tunis again, so Mamluks will have something to do.

Defender of the Sunni faith cycles between Ottomans and Mamluks - Ottomans are irrelevant, as they'd only defend European Sunnis, who don't exist. Now that Mamluks got the title, it's really annoying, as it stops me from cleaning up East Africa, as a coalition prevention measure.

Goals for the age:
• 5 universities - done
• 200 force limit - done
• 90 absolutism - as soon as Court and Country finishes
• 5 accepted cultures - I could, but I really want a big one like Syrian or Egyptian. Bedouis was OK, but they split it into 6 pointless microcultures.
• 3 trade companies - I could either move my capital to Europe, which I don't want to as it sort of goes against idea of being Persia, or conquer all of African coast including West Africa, which might happen before end of age, but probably won't
• be part of victorious side of religious league war - I sort of was, but game doesn't see it this way
• be emperor of China - no way unless I flip religion to Eastern or Pagan, but that would be quite hard - Tengri/Shia is closest I could do, but I don't think there's any way to flip to Tengri except as OPM

Political map didn't change that much, so here's religious map. PLC is over 30% reformed, but they're cool with that. New world colonies are all Catholic.

I'm permanently at about 90% religious unity, bonus missionaries without religious ideas have trouble keeping up with constant influx of new infidels.

Post 15 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-08 15:30:42 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 15: 1613-1623: Court and Country

List of countries with enough AE to potentially coalition me shrunk to just 13, two of them being my vassals.

The disaster was ticking so I didn't want to do anything crazy. I passed time converting some minors in Central Asia. My AE targets for next half century are pretty much all Sunni, so countries to my East will soon forget my past expansion.

For the next war Ottomans allied Tunis, France, and peasant republic of Dithmarschen. I had Commonwealth, their disloyal junior Spain (who wouldn't even defend own forts from France), Mamluks, and Greeks on my side. I messed up timing and had ongoing minor wars while truce timer expired. I keep forgetting about that bug that you can't call AI into your war when you're in a different war because it wrongly thinks it would be "called into multiple wars". It's been in the game since forever. Like other AI bugs, unfixable with mods.

Ottomans did far better than could be expected of them, sieging down Constantinople, Warsaw, Roussillon, and nearly off Greek lands before I could get to the frontlines and do something about it. The war was nastier than it should be at this stage, and they were very close to separate peaceing Commonwealth, but in the end, they had no chance of winning.

A much bigger disaster is that Mamluks broke our eternal alliance just after the war. 219 AE was finally too much.

The whole Court and Country disaster was ridiculously underwhelming. It was nearly the most peaceful my country has been. It probably helps that I stacked -11 unrest, -7.5 tolerance of true faith, and -100 in every particularist province by accepting their demands.

So what's going to happen next? Something tells me Mamluks are going to lose a lot of their 62% professionalism. I'm at 97% myself.

Post 16 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-09 01:41:31 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 16: 1623-1631: Conquest of Jerusalem

I needed to do something about the Mamluks. So DoW Adaled, cobeligerents Mamluks, Mogadishu, Kilwa, Mahra, non-cobeligerents Beja, Morocco, Antemoro. On my side Commonwealth, and their disloyal partner Spain who did nothing at all.

Enemy's ally Tunis was losing its war to Brittany and Pope over some West African colonies, so didn't join this time.

As the first thing I do whenever a war starts is drafting terms of peace deal, I discovered that province warscore cost game displays in province dialog is rounded down, but game uses a few decimal places in actual peace deal terms, so I couldn't get quite what I wanted.

Speaking of bugs, Mamluks tried to invade North Iraq, and after losing one battle shattered retreated by my count 13 provinces from Sulimaniyeh just next to Kirkuk to Kharkov in East Poland.

That kind of nonsense used to happen in version 1.0, I haven't seen it in years. I chased them and captured them North of Kiev. Then they withdrew just one province as they were supposed to. My chasing stack was so far from frontlines I sent them to fight Uzbek and Yarkand in a tiny side war instead. And then since Mongolia broke up with Ming, I got a few more Kazakh cores from them as well. I'm sort of helping Ming here, by shrinking their non-tributaries.

The rest of Mamluk army was in Central Arabia, not sure doing what there. I fought all that at speed 2, once war doesn't fit one screen, it's pretty hard to micro everything properly.

What I got:
• Maheran - fully annexed into my vassal Ajuuraan
• Yarkand - went Shia
• Uzbek - fully annexed into my vassal Kazakh with core returns
• Beja - returning a lot of provinces to Funj second time, Funj then agreeing to become my new vassals
• Mamluks - taking a lot of land including Jerusalem, Mecca, 3 CoTs, and 5 forts. Somehow never ran out of manpower, so as professional as ever.
• Mahra - fully annexed
• Kilwa - separate white peace, as Portugal invaded them first and took border provinces with Ajuuraan cores
• Adal - took their coastline, most of their forts, and CoT

It cost me buckets of bird mana - a lot more than amount of paper mana I need for coring. Maybe I should have taken influence not diplomatic to halve that cost?

I misread triggered modifiers, and only got +1 missionary for Jerusalem. The other one requires both Mecca and Medina. Oh well, next war.

Now that my short truce with Kilwa expired, I wanted to attack them, but Mamluks keep redeclaring themselves Defender of the Sunni Faith, so they'll join every single damn war in Africa. There really ought to be some timeout after losing that claim.

Ming decided to support Spain's independence. It sounds rather useless, but then again Spain can probably defend itself against AI Commonwealth.

My counter-coalition strategy is working amazingly well, as number of countries with enough AE is down to 9, and of that Gujarat is already my vassal, and Yarkand would like to be, but they're involved in some minor Indian wars. The rest will get removed from the map soon.

War against Sunni East Africa, pretty much. Tunis capital being sieged by Brittany over some colonies next to Kongo was unexpected surprise, they'd have made the war a lot harder.

The war lasted very long time, as 100% from fully occupying war leader only counts if they don't occupy something else. Mamluks invaded Commonwealth, occupied a bunch of provinces, and Commonwealth was just, yeah, whatever. I started tagging them as targets, and eventually they figured out what to do.

It took them like a year, but I had to wait about as much to core Mamluk lands before I could peace out Adal, so it wasn't too bad.

Great Powers. Notably missing - Ottomans, and Mongolia no longer under Ming. Portugal with its big colonial empire I can't see was briefly a great power as well.

Post 17 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-09 04:40:58 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 17: 1631-1637: Spanish War of Independence

I got into a quick war in Africa. It was so painful on bird mana all I took was Medina for an extra missionary, Ajuuraan's remaining cores, and most of Adal.

Spain with Ming's support declared independence war on Commonwealth, supported by me, Venice, Mainz, Savoy, and Livonian Order. It was a nice world war. I had no intention of invading Spain, and Commonwealth could handle it on its own just fine, but it definitely messed up with my war against the Ottomans.

Ming invaded me with all their troops. That did nothing to defend Madrid, but it was sure annoying. Spain invaded me in Africa instead of defending itself. Over 300k Chinamen died, pointlessly.

Meanwhile, I had to fight Ottomans, Tunis, and France almost alone, with only Greeks to help me. The opening was good, as I captured half of Ottoman army with almost zero morale, but they did another stupid 15 province shattered retreat. And then again a while later. There's nothing about this in any recent patch notes. There seriously needs to be much more reasonable limit of how far they can go.

It was the first war with level 6 forts - I hate those. But not as much as once fixed bugs from early patches returning.

Ming troops from the other war reached me at about the same time. But the worst part of fighting on my own was total enemy naval supremacy. Ottomans hold a bunch of islands I couldn't reach, and kept spamming mercs and dropping them around. I even recruited a small transport fleet in Mediterranean, but that was under assumption my allies will provide safety and I'll just need to drop some troops on Ottoman Rhodes or Mamluk Cyprus. That didn't work out this time.

And that new feature that you can level up advisors up to +5, best thing this patch. I'm using half-cost level 5 paper and bird mana advisors whenever I can. And even just getting level 1 advisor of type I want and levelling them up to level 3 is so much better than endlessly rerolling.

Spanish War of Independence with terra incognita lifted. Ming's losses to attrition were just as bad as could be predicted.

I tried to avoid fighting them as I had another big war going, but damn Ming kept running around, and I finally got one of their doomstacks in Yemen. By that time it melted away to half size.

Commonwealth has the usual randomly scattered fortifications, so it's protected from Baltic and Balkans, but anyone can walk to Warsaw from Bohemia, Ukraine, or Muscovy, and there's no fort in Warsaw so it can fall in a month with good rolls.

If Ming didn't try to siege my lands, and just walked straight for Warsaw, then maybe they'd have a decent shot at this war.

Post 18 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-10 02:03:15 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 18: 1637-1650: Conquest of Alexandria

Without terribly much conviction, I remade my army into six 20inf 4cav 15art stacks. Armies need to fight major battles (2 stacks at a time), sieging forts (1 stack borrowing half of artillery from second), carpet sieging (where infantry needs to separate and spread out), and not dying to attrition while standing still (every stack separately). It makes it pretty complicated even when manower, money, and force limit are not major issues, and this composition is not great for anything in particular.

Of course as soon as war started, all the stacks were total chaos again. And I needed to recruit another stack just for rebels.

Bullshit shattered retreats got even worse this time, with Mamluks retreating 16 provinces, from one next to Bahrain, through North Iraq and Syria all the way to Rosetta in Egypt. But that's 10 provinces by alternative route, passing through my fort. So does AI select target within 10 provinces (ignoring ZoCs), then selects a path of any length afterwards? This was how early patches' "Ottomans withdraw walking around black sea" nonsense worked, just back then it was blockaded straits not ZoCs.

Mamluks got to 86% professionalism, among the highest in the world. With all the shattered withdrawal they lost their land before they lost troops, and it's not possible to hire mercs in ally territory. Maybe it should be, it's not crazy.

A big problem I had was one uncolonized province West of Funj in terra incognita. AI kept going through it to invade my East Africa. I tried to buy or steal maps of it from everyone, turns out nobody knows this province except Tunis somehow.

I was really tired of invading Tunis over and over whenever I fight Ottomans or Mamluks, so I took their coastline and passage into Sahara. I can just put some forts there.

From Mamluks I took the rest of Aleppo node (except Cyprus with separate fort) and North African coastline. After that I was finally able to move my primary trade port to Constantinople. There's still a lot of trade leakage, but this can be fixed later.

All this cost me over 1000 bird mana, tanked my religious unity to 78%, and there was no way to get the deal I wanted without 153% OE, even doing it in batches. I even lost my Defender of the Faith and 1 of the missionaries, as Mysore stole my title.

By some spectacularly bad timing I tried to diplovassalize Oudh, and got involved into a war against Ming again. Oudh got attacked by Orissa, I sent alliance offer ignoring that because Orissa is tiny, but it turned out it was allied with Ming. This resulted in a lot of dead Chinamen again, somewhat fewer but still a lot of dead Persians, with nothing to show for it. Even more unfortunately I foolishly transferred Oudh's cores held by Orissa to Oudh without checking their development, and after the war they became too big to vassalize, at least for now. It's at -7 reasons, so I should be able to get there eventually.

Just one month after Ming war started, Delhi formed coalition against me, so I attacked them immediately before this stupid idea spreads any further. West Africans joined as well, but before I was able to deal with that, they changed their minds.

As I was getting into position to strike the Ottomans and nearly wipe out their country, Commonwealth called me into their conquest of Moscow. On enemy side - Ottomans. Damn. I was really annoyed, so I sieged down Moscow, and early separate peaced them for war reparations, and breaking that Ottoman alliance for I don't know which time.

I was quite annoyed by slow spread of map knowledge - that's one of the few remaining things that still depend on tech group, so I started buying and stealing them pretty hard.

Two English CNs revolted, with French support.

Manufactories spawned in Delhi of all places, but they'll spread very fast everywhere. They sort of fixed AI building logic this patch, so at this stage pretty much every province has manufactory.

The remaining campaign goals are:

• wipe out Ottomans and Mamluks - it's going to be 2 wars each
• reestablish borders of Achaemenids - just Egypt and some cleanup missing, Greeks are not my vassal, but they're in my sphere, so that's close enough
• unify Islam - 3 places in Spain and 1 in Morocco missing - this will be awkward as it means conflict with my biggest ally, not to mention my lack of real navy

Mamluk army all withdrew to Tunis, where they joined Moroccan and Tunisian armies and they were all doing their silly dance of going in my direction, cancelling day or two later etc. for months. It was so annoying I changed my original plans (of getting whatever I had claims on to minimize bird mana cost), and just took North African coastline instead, all the way up to fort in Kef which is being sieged now.

At least East African minors are all gone, just Kilwa left there, but Kilwa doesn't even like the Mamluks.

Post 19 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-11 00:22:19 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 19: 1650-1664: The Greatest War

EU4 ledger seems to be bugged this patch. On religions patch it shows how many provinces changed religions since last reload, instead of actual total. It's a tight race against Catholics, who are expanding by colonization about as fast as I do by conversion.

I didn't have any good pick for 6th idea group, and I was overflowing on paper mana, so I took religious after all.

I got Air as vassal, so at least some of the West Africans can learn who's the rightful caliph.

Next Mamluk war I made Tunis and Morocco cobeligerents, which brought in Songhai, Mali, Brunei, Kilwa, (Catholic) Kongo, Antenomoro, and most awkwardly the Ottomans. Oh well, I might start another one with Kanem Bornu while I'm here.

From using Mamluks to maybe make Ottomans think I'm not worth attacking to fighting both of them at once, plus a few other regional powers, we came far. The saddest thing is that EU4 has no way to tag someone else as also cobeligerent when they join, or add wargoals.

Brunei landed in India, which was basically undefended. I tried to land on Cyprus three times, with first two stacks getting wiped. Sadly my transport fleet is tiny, and half of it is in wrong place, and Mamluks recruited a lot of troops there.

I took 140% OE during the war, and then without finishing all cores 110% OE more.

In the grand war:
• got Morocco as vassal
• took whole North African coast
• converted Mali, Ashanti, and Kanem Bornu
• took a bit more coastline from Kilwa
• pretty much obliterated the Mamluks, including finally taking Cyprus

Then the real war started, against rebels. I still took a quick detour to convert Mossi.

Ming decided, out of on its own free will, to take some provinces from Mongolia and get border with my vassal Yarkand, so scheduled annexation resulted in their near zero mandate turning into definitely permanent zero mandate.

Hungary saw just how puny Ottomans were, called in Austria, France, and other allies, and took almost all their Balkan possessions.

And just as my truce with Ottomans expired and I prepared to deliver the final strike, Hungary decided to guarantee them. WTF?

Hungary became great power after taking Bulgaria from the Ottomans and they're already being nasty to me. I don't think AI changes made the game more enjoyable.

There are currently 11 Shia and 13 Sunni countries, but two of them are on my kill list. Of course by sheer size, we're dominating. A bit embarrassing that Sunni Bengal is still a great power, but that's not really Great Persia region, so I'll let them live.

Post 20 - Originally published on Google+ on 2017-12-11 23:57:12 UTC

White Sheep Persia: Part 20: 1664-1669: The End

If Hungary wants to guarantee Ottomans, let's see how well they'll do.

I wanted to call in the Greeks, as they deserved to take part in the final blow, but they had some unrelated truce. So instead I only called in the Commonwealth to show Hungary how silly their claim to Great Power status was.

Hungary actually punched a good deal harder than I expected, but attacked from both sides, they had no chance, and I made them release Serbia just to punish them. Ottomans ended there.

Mysore called me into a silly war against Orissa and Ming. Guys, I have no place to properly bury so many dead Chinamen again! They probably didn't want to die without even a chance of proper burial, as none crossed my borders this time.

Since there was just one thing left to do, I revoked truce with the Mamluks, and fully annexed them.

And that's all. I got all of Unify Islam goal except 3 provinces held by Spain, as I'm sure my good ally Commonwealth will ensure good treatment of any pilgrims who would like to visit.

In those last decades Portuguese CNs became independent as United States, Louisiana, Brazil, and Brittany's CN became Colombia. Not really surprising with both their home countries getting wrecked in European wars - Brittany's capital in literally in 4dev Cameroon.

Some notes about the new patch:

• Ability to promote advisors is like third biggest balance change in all of EU4 history after absolutism and forts. It generates obscene amounts of mana for totally reasonable monetary cost while letting you choose 3 hand picked advisor bonuses instead of letting RNG pool decide. Obviously paid mod feature.
• Professionalism allows converting sword mana or money into manpower without going merc route, but rate you'll get is proportional to your max manpower, so it synergizes with quantity ideas etc. instead of undermining them
• Drill feels completely pointless
• Exploiting development is just really dumb and pointless
• New merchant mechanics were a lot lower impact than I expected.

Middle East:

• New Middle East map has surprisingly high number of varied interesting starting points and potential goals like forming Rum, Persia, Timurids, Mughals, Arabia etc., while blobs got nerfed just the right amount.
• It sort of integrates into steppes / India / China mechanics like going Golden Horde, Yuan, Hindustan, etc. Weirdly Europe is now the least interesting place to play, with extremely punitive AE levels preventing anything interesting other than colonizing.
• Extra Muslim mechanics and government types were quite nice. They are quite powerful.
• Now that Persia is no longer wasteland, region plays a lot better with the institutions than before


• AI is way too careful resulting in frequent stalls. Probably the "AI now more pessimistic when estimating help from allies before declaring a war." part in patch notes did this.
• I don't like own allies undermining you thing. It made perfect sense when Ottomans used guarantees and alliances to contain me, or even when Hungary tried, but my best allies Mamluks? It's not good gameplay and not good for immersion.
• Another round of merc nerfs was much deserved, but mercs are still potentially extremely strong, just require more finesse than AI spam approach.
• Slight Ottoman nerf was well deserved.
• There was a secret Ming nerf, with reform cost increased from 50 to 70, so reforming now inevitably results in periods of negative mandate. Can we get major Muscovy nerf too please?
• There really needs to be some timeout after losing Defender of the Faith before being allowed to claim it again. The Mamluks kept spamming it sometimes 3 times same year.

Great Persia, with Morocco, Air, and Gujarat as vassals.

Newly released Serbia trying to look inconspicuous.