EUIV - Amaranthine Invitational #7 (1600)

Author: kamichi
Published: 2018-01-19

Part of the campaign:

EUIV - Amaranthine Invitational

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Game: Europa Universalis IV

EUIV - Amaranthine Invitational #6 (1575)

Images: 63, author: kamichi, published: 2018-01-12

Session #5 spanned the years 1575 to 1604.

This is an update that covers what happened up to the year 1600. I'm being very specific about this because, as those of you who've seen the stream or VOD will know, things got really interesting in those last four years and we ended on a massive cliffhanger. That'll be for the 1625 writeup though, where we could be seeing a radically different map of Europe. We have enough to be going on about right now!

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Tensions between Catholics and Protestants within the Holy Roman Empire were one of many factors which led to the Thirty Years War, one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. We're talking 25%-40% population loss according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, and if that was a good enough source for a first year undergrad history essay then it's good enough for this.

To grossly simplify things, the Reformation happened and things got violent, but by the Peace of Augsburg (1555), Holy Roman states were allowed to choose between Catholicism and Lutheranism. Obviously, this solved nothing, and in 1618, the incoming Holy Roman Emperor, the new arch-Catholic Archduke of Austria Ferdinand II, attempted to Enforce Religious Unity and stamp out Protestantism within the Empire. The Protestant Union (formed 1608) wasn't especially pleased with this and following the Bohemian Revolt, the situation devolved into war.

The war snowballed into a conflict as much about Habsburg dominance of Europe as Germany's internal religious schisms, and other major powers piled in. Spain, Sweden, England, Russia, the Ottomans, pretty much every country was involved either directly or indirectly in the Thirty Years War.
I feel like the situation we face in our campaign is a little different to what actually happened.

The leader of the Protestant League, Grand Consul George Hyde of Lahndahn, sits in the Palace of Westminster, watching a much diminished Christian world go to war with itself in spite of the ever-present Norse threat. As an ally of a Norse country himself, he wonders if the Catholic dogma about the evils of the Norse faith are really true. While he and his people would never truly believe in a polytheistic pantheon of Gods, the Norse Bloc have achieved a unity that Christianity could only dream of. Let's just ignore Lurtzland and Schwarzwald, or how the Norse systemically eliminated Orthodox Christianity.

George Hyde believes that Europe should have two faiths: Norse, and Protestantism. And also Neroland's Confucianism. And also Kabus' Sunni Islam. In fact, let's just kill Epiphany and sort out our religious differences later.
EU4 simulates the Thirty Years War by creating the Catholic and Protestant Leagues. The Holy Roman Emperor will always be the leader of the Catholic League. The leader of the Protestant League will be the first elector to convert to Protestantism (Switzerland) but more powerful Protestants can become leader (Lahndahn).

The Protestant leader has a unique Religious League CB against the Catholic leader. When used it'll automatically pull in every member of each League into one massive war. The Emperor's allies will be given a normal call to arms which they can choose to reject. It's worth noting that if Lahndahn get pulled into a different war then they will be temporarily replaced as leader of the Protestant League, but who's to say if that little factoid will ever become relevant, I'm just making an academic point.

If Catholics win a dominant victory (Religious Supremacy, costing 50% warscore?) then Catholicism remains the dominant faith of the Empire and only Catholics can be elected Emperor, likewise for Protestants. If the war is never declared in the first place, then Catholicism will remain the the sole accepted faith of the Empire. If the war doesn't result in a dominant victory for either side then the Peace of Westphalia triggers allowing any Christian to become Emperor. Each country gets minor benefits just for participating in the war (hey, your population is half dead but at least you know how to fire guns better) with better benefits for winning.

Aside from the Emperor, every European country can pick either side, regardless of their religion. Nordischreich have joined the Protestant League as they're allied with Lahndahn. They seem to have brought The Savage Men with them. Kabus are Epiphany's enemy and so have also joined the Protestants. Vikingar, having been subjugated by the Norse Bloc, have thrown in with the Catholics. The opposite is true for Neroland, and so on.

Full list (as of 1600)
Catholic League: Epiphany (L), Malta, Cordoba, Macaronesia, Free Scotland, Legendia, Vikingar, East Frisia, Cleves, Grunhammer.
Protestant League: Lahndahn (L), Switzerland (E), Luxemburg (E), Nordischreich, Neroland, Holland, The Savage Men, Kabus.
Meanwhile, in happier, less apocalyptic news, the 1st of January signals the dawn of Global Trade, our latest Institution. It is guaranteed to spawn in richest trade node, inside the country with the largest percentage share of it. Genoa has been the richest node for a very long time so it was no surprise to see Erit Lux pick up their second institutional origin of the campaign.

("are you sure the burgeoning slave trade is a 'happier' topic than the reformation, mik, are you really sure")

((no, but i took out the picture i was going to use as a link between the war and institution chat and it's 2am and i just want to finish the update)
Unlike the previous Institutions, Global Trade will live up to its name and will spread quickly. Even here in Australia Minor's Manila, a province untouched by the Renaissance, Colonialism and the Printing Press, Global Trade will fully arrive in just over five years. It will then spread quickly to surrounding provinces, meaning that our major Asian powers aren't going to take a major hit. This time.
I feel like Institutions are moving slower than they would in a normal campaign but I have nothing to back that up.

Renaissance: Swept across India through Takeela highly developed northern farmlands and is on the border of Bengalistan. Still hasn't really reached Tolkmaria.
Colonialism: Somehow made it to Ninjakorutsu, but they're hostile to all their neighbours so it's not spreading. Otherwise it's just reaching the Gulf of Aden.
Printing Press: Barely making inroads into The Savage Men and the PRD, never mind further east.
Since I'm now keeping track of things in a separate spreadsheet, I'm going to neaten up the country profiles in these writeups by removing all but the two most recent dev/province counts as well as the idea groups. We're not even halfway through the campaign and half the space for each block of text was previously taken up by irrelevant numbers. I'll still comment on idea choices when relevant.

It's also worth noting, especially with the advent of colonial nations, that the totals for development given in these next screenshots are Country Development + Subject Development/2, so the totals will look inflated and are an even poorer measure of a colonial country's true power.
Ruler: kamichi
617 -> 683
64 -> 69

Amaranth continue to impress - on paper. They've managed to amalgamate the fifth highest development in the game, from a blend of their own colonising, beating on Australia, and assimilating the Indonesian monarchies. However, what we've seen is that Amaranth are empty. They can barely police their own rebels. They can just about best the Mandateless New Pacific Order, but their troops melt when faced with a fair fight.

Amaranth have ostensibly been defending Bengalistan against Takeela & co with very little to show for it. On one hand, fair enough, Takeela are a monster. Then Samudr Lee Katha - BY THEMSELVES - defeated Bengalistan and Amaranth and took all of Bengalistan's colonies in the Philippines. Amaranth responded to these repeated defeats by, once again, cancelling their alliance with Bengalistan and running away to grovel at Takeela's feet.

Amaranth are the only country in this campaign to actually benefit from geographical isolation, because otherwise they'd have probably collapsed years ago.
Ruler: Rey the Great
589 -> 600
90 -> 91

Arkansas' single province gain last session was the exiled capital of Gauravdesh, North Konkan, eliminating the Indians from the campaign. It makes for a very interesting power play, because it's land that both Takeela and Samudr Lee Katha have both wanted for years, and Arkansas absolutely have the diplomatic power to prevent them taking it.

India and Afghanistan remain the only feasible route of expansion for Arkansas, with allies and their dependencies on every other side. You know you're low on options where the best idea seems to be gunning for the Golden Scourge of India who have the second largest army in the world. I suppose having a notable advantage in military tech (15 vs 13) as well as the actual largest army in the world on your side probably helps.

Taking North Konkan and eliminated Gauravdesh was a statement of intent. I expect Arkansas to follow through soon.
Ruler: RevReb
120 -> 167
9 -> 13

Australia Minor are continuing to hang on, but I feel like that's because of Amaranth's incompetence moreso than Australia's persistance. I'd have loved to see them explore and expand over the Pacific, but obviously they can't do that without Exploration ideas. Whoops.
The history of Austurstrond since 1575 is a long list of all the Naval Equipment Manufactories constructed during the reign of Helge Shamed. A bit part in the Nordischreich Punitive War as well as another round of the Norse Bloc bullying Medvedstrana were also things that allegedly happened, but I certainly don't remember Austurstrond doing anything. They're not even members of the Protestant League while the rest of their allies are, which can only be a mistake in the long run.

God, imagine if the League War kicks off, and Austurstrond somehow get hit by Lurtzland, Schwarzwald and Medvedstrana while the rest of the Norse Bloc is away fighting Europe's bloodiest war.
Ruler: OoohYou
519 -> 404
44 -> 37

From the mangled and mostly unusable automatically generated History of Bengalistan we have the following descriptions of Bengalistan's session:

"anchan [sic] took part in the long Sind Sagarian Jihad against Sichuan and our armies were disaster"

"resulting in humiliation"

"In the year 1584, we were diabolically assailed"

Actually, it doesn't sound too different to my own prose. In any case, Takeela came for Bengalistan. Takeela won. As per normal, Takeela knocked down the flimsy front door that was Bengalistan's (former) farmland forts of Barind and Gauda, then swept over the rest of the country at speed. Amaranth allegedly tried to help out their (former) Bengali allies, and we did see Amaranthine troops in Burma, and we even saw them in battle with the oncoming Takeelans, but you'd be very hard pressed to say they were helping.

Bengalistan have lost some of their richer northern farmlands, but maintain control of the all important estuaries and the Chittagong centure of trade which give them majority control over the Bengal trade node. However, unless something drastically changes, one must imagine that Takeela will be coming back for more once the truce expires in 1604.
Ruler: Denial
20 -> 20
4 -> 4

No change is about as good as Denial Valley can hope for. Their continued survival completely depends on continued Kabus benevolence.
Rise, Emperor Alain Epiphanus. The French Humanists are now in charge of the Holy Roman Empire and are now responsible for the protection and prosperity of German Catholicism. I think that's just Grunhammer at this point, so they have their work cut out for them. But regardless, Epiphany's immediate future, at least until the death of the fit, young and healthy Alain, is leading the Holy Roman Empire and therfore, the Catholic League. I'm sure the other members of the League breathed a sigh of relief when those election results were announced. In a straight up choice between Epiphany and (half of) Iceland, who would you rather have on your side when it comes to total war? Lest we forget the motto of Epiphany: Leo terram propriam protegat. Let the lion protect his own land. Or was that the motto of the Sandwich Islands? I get these two mixed up all the time. Either way, it feels like Epiphany were destined for this role, ever since I arbitrarily stole a decent sounding motto off a wikipedia list because I needed some filler for the introduction video.

Their ascension to leadership came near the end of the session in 1597, which meant they still had 22 unobstructed years of being their old, destructive selves. They took a whole host of great provinces from Neroland, including the most developed city in the world, Madrid, in 1584. Their colonial nations in Canada and the Caribbean go from strength to strength. They've established a new settlement in the Carolinas, looking to assert their own dominance over Colonial Eastern America.

Epiphany have had a great session, and a great campaign in general. The one point I would like to make though, is that their army is incredibly undersized and I don't know why. Their force limit is 151 yet they only have 86 units, despite having nearly full manpower and having the fourth highest income in the world. It'd be baffling at the best of times, but with Epiphany potentially leading the Catholic League into a war, seeing them sit at half their force limit for no conceivable reason is very worrying.
Ruler: Ardus
247 -> 209
34 -> 29

Believe it or not, Equestria have managed to reform their government, which means they're no longer a tribe. So rather than having their country broken apart by warring tribes, they're joining the 17th century in style, by having their country broken apart by warring nobles, peasants and pretenders. Equestria remain protected by The Savage Men and Austurstrond, making them pretty safe diplomatically until the Norse change their mind.

I noticed when poking around that Equestria have the option to make Arkansas a rival. It wouldn't be a great idea - the Arkansas army is 1087% stronger, which is easily the greatest disparity I've ever seen on that screen.
Ruler: SolarS
407 -> 409
22 -> 22

Erit Lux have essentially hit a point where they literally can't generate any more income (or score) without expansion. They have an insanely high average province development that no other country comes anywhere close to. On top of that, they literally can't build any more buildings in these provinces because they've already used every single slot for every single province.

Any war they start right now though is a potentially lethal one. Versailles and Switzerland are both viable targets - and both Protestants - but any war which, however temporarily, weakens the Triple Alliance, weakens the Catholic League against the Protestant League. A war against Versailles in particular would draw in Legendia, a fellow League member, if still a diplomatic enemy.

Still, if any one country is prepared for a religious apocalypse, it's Erit Lux. 11k ducats in reserve. Up to date Level 4 forts covering every single province. Genuinely, I've taken the time while writing this to look at Erit Lux's fort map and I'm actually in love. They have an actually perfect layout, not just in terms of coverage but in terms of terrain. Despite their country consisting of rich Italian farmland, four out of five forts are on hills and mountains.
seriously though look at these forts. if they're not going to use their warchest to commit war crimes then at least they've done something useful with their money

i'm sure i was in the middle of actual analysis but i've actually forgotten it

later edit: i was inspired to check out the fort layouts of other major powers and report back. here's my report: they're all trash.
Ruler: Mello
269 -> 322
33 -> 43

I feel like this session saw the most meaningful comeback of the campaign so far. While others' have been more spectacular (eg Equestria suddenly exploding back onto the map), Free Scotland seem to have turned around their situation of utter peril into relative security and potential prosperity. A combination of Lahndahn becoming the leader of the Protestant League and Alain Epiphanus becoming Holy Roman Emperor (and therefore leader of the Catholic League by default) led to the immediate cancellation of their long-standing alliance. Epiphany immediately offered an alliance to fellow Catholic Free Scotland instead. If this new friendship endures throughout the oncoming religious storm then Free Scotland could find themselves the preeminent British power once more.

We saw last update that Free Scotland established themselves in Colonial East America. Now Freest Scotland owns the trading ports of New York, Philadelphia and Chesapeake. More importantly, I think, Scotland have not just landed in the south, but they've secured entire coastline of Colonial Mexico, meaning that they've effectively monopolised expansion into the Aztec states which they're already annexing*. Their only competition in this sphere should come from neighbours, which are natives to the south and Neroland in Louisiana (ie, no competition at all).

*Who knew that being 90 years early would make such a difference?
Ruler: Gaurav
11 -> 0
1 -> 0

I think that most people, including myself, were split about whether Gauravdesh would be killed by Takeela or Samudr Lee Katha, with maybe AI Baroda having a chance too. Surprise! It was Arkansas what done it, in an impressive anti-Takeela power play.
Ruler: Ardus
384 -> 389
33 -> 33

Grunhammer's new modus operandi seems to be having their fingers in as many different pies as possible. At the top of their current list of allies are the relatively powerful Erit Lux and Legendia, but then you have Cordoba, Cleves, Macaronesia and Malta who are surely all future liabilities.

That said, this past session for Grunhammer has been diplomatically quiet - with their only war being the failed Nordisch Punitive War - and internally chaotic. The Religious Turmoil disaster struck early on, with Vienna having switched religion four times since 1569 (Catholic -> Reformed (event) -> Catholic -> Protestant (Rebels) -> Catholic) as they attempt to remain staunchly Catholic. They seem to have survived the worst of the early conversion spree, are sitting at 65% Religious Unity and are just waiting for the Religious Zeal* province modifiers to expire so they can convert their land back.

They're members of the Catholic League, because of course they are.

*Religious Zeal is a modifier that adds a -100% penalty to Missionary Strength which lasts for 30 years. Without it, the Reformation would be a joke, as most countries would be able to revert provinces back to Catholicism quicker than they convert.

later edit: I forgot to check before writing, but Grunhammer have actively embraced the Counter-Reformation, which, as it sounds, is really helpful for staying Catholic.
Ruler: Jeoh
414 -> 421
41 -> 40

Another session of distinct lack of ambition from Jeohia. They managed to lose the province of Fengyang to Junlin in 1582 and since then simply bided their time, waiting for Sonyeo Sidae to join them for a combined beatdown. See the next entry (Junlin's) for a full update of this sordid saga.
Ruler: Archon
525 -> 628
51 -> 67

With our attention understandably on Europe, we might have missed out on seeing one of the greatest moves in the game, then suffered massive frustration as the AI sat back and failed to capitalise. I'm trying to put this together based on the virtually useless in game history, so I'm pretty much guessing at what happened here.

Junlin, with Sichuan, declared war on Buryatia, who were allied to Jeohia. Despite being outnumbered in the 2v2 war, the quality of Junlin's troops was the deciding factor and the war ended in 1583 with major territorial gains for Junlin and a long truce between all participants. This gave Junlin around 12 years of no guaranteed beatdown from Jeohia and Sonyeo simulteneously, which was always the real danger. If they could find a way to go to war with Sonyeo Sidae without directly declaring war on them, then Jeohia wouldn't be able to join. What I *think* happened, is that Sonyeo Sidae, drunk with power, actually declared war on Junlin by themselves, which resulted in a swift, total defeat and allowed Junlin to retake the entire northern border of Korea as well as gaining a foothold in Japan (a single province on Hokkaido).

Essentially Junlin did exactly what they needed to: they divided, then they conquered. Then they sat back, did nothing, and now they're getting reconquered once both truces expired. Even now, while outnumbered more than two to one, Junlin have won more battles in this war. It's just that the sheer weight of numbers of two large neighbours with Quantity ideas means that Junlin can't relieve sieges quickly enough.

At the very least, King Qing Archon (an amazing 5/6/4, best custom leader in the world right now) can console himself that this is a war of Reconquest, which means it'll be very expensive for his enemies to take anything that wasn't already a core province. They're likely to lose their freshly conquered Korean lands to Sonyeo, the one Chinese province they took from Jeohia, then they might be forced to return land to Buryatia or even Ninjakorutsu. Their homeland cores should remain untouched.

Genuinely, Junlin's play in this session until they got caught (again) was spectacular. The only way to avoid this in future (AGAIN) is finding allies. If they let their tributary state in Gansu graduate into an ally (nb there's no actual mechanic for that) that'd genuinely help a lot. Otherwise it's the same old, searching for major powers willing to ally them. Post-war (yes, I already know how the wars ends, ssh), Qizil Bronxo and Samudr Lee Katha would both be interested if Junlin were to work on their relationship. Bengalistan and the Mandateless NPO would both be willing to ally now, but they're unlikely to be of much practical help.

ps - at some point between wars, Junlin did manage to betray Sichuan when Sind Sagar (and therefore Takeela) came for them, which is why Sichuan are a fraction of the size they are and how Junlin managed to lose their one ally.
Ruler: Lebubu
892 -> 1097
102 -> 132

Cast your mind back 25 years to when I perfectly predicted Kabus' next session of play. They finished annexing their vassal, Qasim, before smashing through Mecca, finishing off Urfa, when they were faced with the decision of going for the big play in Europe, or the easy target in Tolkmaria. That's why Tolkmaria are now dead. As much as we'd like to see Kabus involved in a large scale war in Europe or Asia, if they can eliminate Tolkmaria then there is nothing stopping Kabus sweeping up everything Africa has to offer. Gold, trade, defensible terrain, all there for the taking.

Is there anything that can slow them down? Well, at least one thing is their own idea choices. #3 was Espionage, a self-evidentally horrendous choice that needs no explanation. #4 is somehow worse - Exploration. They're still too far from the New World (and too late to get a good foothold) and the colonial powers are well established in the East Indies. There are literally no good reasons for Kabus to take Exploration ideas. These are, quite literally, the worst two Diplomatic ideas groups they could have picked. Trade would've been an amazing choice as #4, as their home node in Constantinope leaks only to Ragusa and ultimately takes input from the entire Middle East and North Africa, which they've been conquering. Diplomatic and to a lesser extent Influence would directly assist with their plans for world domination. Even Maritime ideas, usually useless, would help Kabus maintain the Mediterranean and oceanic fleets a large empire needs to support themself.

If this is how scary Kabus are with terrible idea choices, imagine how bad it would be if their troops were actually good.
Ruler: Tribute
432 -> 482
28 -> 32

This session has turned Lahndahn from a sycophant to a kingmaker. They are the only major nation (sorry Versailles) to be turned fully Protestant by the Reformation, and as such, they lead the Protestant League. Even before the League formed, it was Lahndahn intervening on new ally Nordischreich's behalf that saved the diminished Norse Bloc from their first defeat in the Nordischreich Punitive War. It's a ballsy move, securing Norse support in the League war at the expense of all their other allies and their secure geopolitical position.

If they secure a comprehensive victory then great, they'll have marginalised Free Scotland their new ally Epiphany at the same time as strengthening their own allies in Nordischreich and Switerzland. If they lose the League War, or if it doesn't happen at all, then they're in serious trouble - Free Scotland will want revenge for Lahndahn's earlier transgressions and they now have the allies they need to achieve it.

At least Lahndahn have their fate in their own hands. They'll be the ones to pull the trigger (or not) on the League War. Unless, of course, they find themselves in a different war and League leadership gets given to someone else, likely Switzerland or Luxemburg as Protestant HRE Electors.

later edit: I noticed Lahndahn are the Protestant Defender of the Faith, meaning they get called in to any war declared on a Protestant by a non-Protestant. For example, Holy Roman minors, Switzerland and, um, VERSAILLES. Bad move all around.
Ruler: LegendoftheSkies
360 -> 379
33 -> 36

The Legendian magical mystery colonisation tour continues. Where will they pop up next? The answer is Natal on the east coast of South Africa. It won't get them much of a share of the Cape trade node (for as little good as it would do for them anyway) but it could provide a platform to invade gold-rich south east Africa before Tolkmaria get there. More accurately, before Kabus annex Tolkmaria and try it themselves.

In a standard historical campaign, this would be a pretty savvy move as a precursor to jumping across the Indian Ocean to colonise the Spice Islands. In this campaign, all colonisable routes going east are already taken, and the Spice Islands have been well and truly taken anyway. To be fair though, Legendia have two main routes of expansion at home. One is to go against the Triple Alliance, the other is to go against the Norse Bloc, and neither of those are going to happen.

Not even their stalwart, best friend forever Malta has gotten up to any African hijinks since we last checked in.
Ruler: DarthLurtz
378 -> 401
38 -> 38

It was a bit of a strange session for Lurtzland. They finally got their colonisation game off the ground and already have a Colonial Nation in the Caribbean. This is how they've offset the significant losses inflicted by the Norse Bloc. They lost the vital Lubeck trade port of Hamburg to Nordischreich, as well as Berlin to the PRD. Later, they were called to Medvedstrana's defence once again wherein they were forced to give back land to Vikingar, despite Lurtzland guaranteeing their protection.

I feel like there are two sides to this. One one hand, obviously Lurtzland are getting dragged into unwinnable wars by being allied with Medvedstrana in which they slowly lose territory. On the other, if they weren't allied, there wouldn't be a truce timer stopping Austurstrond and the PRD from directly declaring war against Lurtzland and taking a lot more territory.
Ruler: Voytek
318 -> 274
30 -> 23

Another session, another line of Russian border provinces lost to the Norse Bloc. We've arrived at the point where one more war, ceding one more line of provinces, means there won't be a Medvedstrana left. I'm gonna be honest here, that's not a massive loss.
Ruler: Nero
327 -> 235
25 -> 21

The inevitable happened. Madrid, which Neroland have been developing for centuries, now belongs to Epiphany. They continued to sink hundreds, if not thousands of monarch points into their capital, despite it being situated on the much reshaped hostile border. I don't know what they expected. Somewhat in response, Neroland have allied with Nordischreich and joined the Protestant League. Anything that diminishes the power of the predominantly Catholic Triple Alliance can only be good for Neroland.

Their new world ventures continue to go well, with no real competition in South America. In addition to their colonies in Brazil and La Plata, they have a massive nine tributary states, all paying their dues to the future King Guillen de Nero. The problem here is that if Neroland continue to exhibit weakness and get beaten down at home, then these states will be looking to rebel. Nerolandian Brazil is already sitting at 46% Liberty Desire (50% and up means they're Disloyal). They need a turnaround from somewhere if they don't want their combined empire to collapse in on itself.
Ruler: ninja colt
95 -> 118
14 -> 17

Ninjakorutsu continue to creep back into some form of relevance. If they manage to get anything back from their overlord Sonyeo's war with Junlin, then they could soon find themselves in a position to challenge a much weakened Buryatia. That's the dream of all Ninjakorutsu fans at least, all none of them.
Ruler: Mistra
389 -> 474
35 -> 40

Nordischreich have the most to be happy about in session #5. They were the target of the campaign's second coalition, with the entire Holy Roman Empire as well as non Norse Bloc Norse (the NNBN ofc) most displeased with Nordisch Aggressive Expansion into Schwarzwald. Amazingly, this caused the first fracture in the Norse Bloc, as the PRD dropped their alliance with Nordischreich, fearful of the beating they were about to take. They needn't have worried. The Coalition, led by Oldenburg, were supremely uncoordinated and despite their numbers advantage, they weren't able to hold onto key forts in Bremen and Oldenburg itself. To add ultimate insult to injury, Nordischreich wooed Lahndahn to their side, and the little Englanders joined in with the fascist Norse, helping to swing momentum. Ultimately, as War Leader, Oldenburg gave up in the face of Norse armies on their doorstep, despite their side continuing to win the war overall. Somewhat appropriately, Oldenburg was soon annexed by the now Norse Theocracy of East Frisia. Good riddance.

Given that the Punitive War ended in white peace, Nordischreich still have all the Aggressive Expansion with their neighbours which provoked the war in the first place. Schwarzwald - who couldn't participate in the first war due to their truce - could potentially lead a coalition with Lurtzland, Switzerland, Holland and potentially Grunhammer. I imagine that any potential League War would stop that alliance ever getting off the ground though.
Ruler: Anarch
410 -> 443
60 -> 66

It's so frustrating that Patria still don't have Exploration ideas. They could've been the first European power to colonise any given area, they even have the Colonial Range already, but they never bothered exploring for themselves. The extent of Patrian Brazil is literally the edge of what Patria can see in Brazil, with the rest still being Terra Incognita. Imagine LITERALLY not being able to see Brazil in 1600, I can not.

Instead, they're prospecting for Gold provinces* in South Africa. Having secured the Cape, that's the only advantage of continuing to colonise inland. What Patria need to do is commit. Either go full colonisation and do something useful, or leave it be and focus on conquering your way to glory. By now, they should absolutely be cutting a bloody swathe through Western Africa towards the Ivory Coast trade node and the four (4!!) Gold Mines, including the Bure mine which has twenty-seven (27!!!) development.

In 1592, they annexed Cape Verde (the land at the NW corner of Wagadu), but that was their only aggressive action of the whole session. They need to get a move on. This is the 17th century, there's no place for morality here.

*Uncolonised provinces will be assigned a geographically appropriate random trade good from a list. The chance of gold in South Africa ranges from 5-8%ish. The most common trade goods in SA are Livestock, Wool, and Fish in coastal provinces which are all cheap, functionally useless resources compared to the new luxury goods found in the new world.
Ruler: Gobb
39 -> 49
4 -> 5

Don't worry, nothing's happened to Pirineos' much diminished homelands around Catalonia, I just wanted to show off our newest colonial power. We're putting the de Gobbs back on the map boys!
Ruler: iosif
467 -> 512
45 -> 48

The first split in the Norse Bloc was a voluntary one, not one inflicted by a lost war. The PRD determined that Nordischreich had gone too far in their persecution of their Norse brothers in Schwarzwald and dropped them as an ally as a precursor to their punitive war. Annoyingly, PRD and Nordischreich remain good friends (in spite of the PRD now (hilariously) owning Berlin) and would both accept alliances with each other. It would probably be a good move for both of them, unless the PRD think there's a chance of a Nordisch collapse which would allow them to sweep in and expand. That's a bit of a pipe dream though.

Fractures in the Norse Bloc aside, the PRD's foreign policy has remained the same: slowly chipping away at Medvedstrana and Lurtzland. Taking the Lubeck trade province of Stettin didn't really help the PRD, but it really harmed Lurtzland who are slowly losing control of their home node.

PRD's next choice of idea could be a very interesting one. Their National ideas give them ferocious artillery and fire damage, similar to Erit Lux, meaning that Offensive (+1 Land Leader Fire + Economic/Offensive Artillery policy) or Quality (+10% Artillery Combat Ability) would be amazing... in the hands of a human player. Out of the Norse Bloc, The Savage Men and Nordischreich have the best early game military ideas, but I feel like the PRD have the most military potential.
Ruler: leet guy
147 -> 34
7 -> 1

Qiuyu did lose that war to Fujian, and yes, they are screwed.
Ruler: rsox
426 -> 493
65 -> 76

Qizil Bronxo are staying under the radar, but they've quietly built up a very solid power base. They continued their stewardship of Central Asia with a wide net of minor alliances, which prevents potential rivals (and allies) muscling in on their turf. They successfully expanded into Mongolia and Siberia, which isn't much of a prize in itself, but gives them a whole host of new options for war or friendship. Buryatia have a gold mine on the Qizil border, as do Bashkiria, which should both be prime targets. A future alliance with Junlin could be mutually beneficial and leave Qizil less reliant on the burgeoning Kabus. They put in the diplomatic work and are right on the verge of being able to ally with Arkansas too, which would make the Islamic Triumvirate a reality and could be a massive check on Indian (read: Takeelan) expansion.

A lot of options - some of which the AI might actually take.
Ruler: LegendoftheSkies
384 -> 468
34 -> 39

After 150 years of being Takeela's apprentice, Samudr Lee Katha have finally realised they're a powerful martial nation in their own right and have struck out on their own for the first time. They took on Bengalistan and Amaranth at the same time (without Takeela, maybe with very minor allies, I can't tell) and managed to succeed, taking the Bengal Philippines in 1597.

Their fate is still entangled with the success of Takeela though, especially with Arkansas arriving in India.
Ruler: Denny
265 -> 236
23 -> 21

Schwarzwald had a very disappointing session for reasons not entirely of their own making. They would have been the major beneficiaries if the Nordischreich Punitive War had succeeded and could well have gotten back all their lost cores. As the Nordischreich writeup covers, the war ended in white peace.

That said, because the war ended in white peace, none of the Aggressive Expansion accrued by Nordischreich was wiped off and instead has to decay naturally. That means it's still technically possible to create a coalition, should Lurtzland, Switzerland and Holland wish to join in. Switzerland and Holland would not form a coalition against their Protestant League partner, and even without the looming League War, the coalition just doesn't have the strength of numbers.

Both Nordischreich's failed diplomacy and the League War will delay Schwarzwald's scheduled murder considerably. Their future options aren't worth speculating about at this point, because the League War could completely change the balance of power in Europe.
Ruler: King Brandon
496 -> 481
63 -> 58

I honestly don't think anyone cares about Sonyeo Sidae apart from how they pertain to Junlin.

I think next campaign I'm going to allow everyone to make two countries from the start, allow them to pick a continent (only one country per player per continent) but then 'randomly' assign them a starting area, so we don't get a bunch of countries we don't care about all clustered together while ones we do like get themselves isolated by default.

Also I'd consider giving countries more Nation Designer points depending on where they start. Everyone got 550 to start with in this campaign, but say we got rid of the free settler (60 points) and then cut down the total to 450 for Europe, 500 for the next 'ring' (North Africa, Middle East, Persia, Central Asia) and then 550 for everyone else. It might end up being fairer when watching AI play for score.

Also also, winner stays on. The #1 scoring nation stays on the map for the next campaign and the 'winner' therefore gets 3 countries next game. This is the one actual good idea I've had for the next campaign.

If anyone does read this then please give me feedback on the ideas, or even if it'd be worth doing a second campaign after this. If I don't get any feedback then I know that nobody cares about Sonyeo Sidae and that's a win-win for me.
Ruler: tequila
814 -> 933
72 -> 80

We knew Takeela were gunning for Bengalistan and the Golden Scourge of India just rolled right over the Bengali traders. Honestly, Takeela are pretty boring to write about. They have a pretty unassailable position, yet so far removed from countries we really care about that even their unstoppable path of destruction is greeted with disinterest.

Takeela will finally become interesting when someone finally steps up to them and takes them on properly. Not Bengalistan. Certainly not Amaranth. I'm hoping for an amazing Samudr backstab, but one of the Islamic Triumvirate seems far more likely.
Ruler: csm
668 -> 690
70 -> 73

The Savage Men had a very quiet session, with their expansion curtailed by a lack of easy targets. Their three new provinces were all taken from Medvedstrana, as the Norse Block squabble between themselves over the shambling cadaver of Russia.

The Norse Bloc have always been very solid defensively, but there is no single target that The Savage Men could declare war on which would unite the Bloc offensively. Austurstrond are too far away from Grunhammer and Legendia. Nordischreich are too far away from Kabus. Both turn their nose up against declaring war on Qizil Bronxo. The only agreeable target for the whole Bloc is Medvedstrana, as has been proven by the past 150 years of history.

Even going it alone, The Savage Men have to contend with more complications than ever, what with the Religious League, a new powerful Holy Roman Emperor and two different Christian Defenders of the Faith. At least they've joined the Protestant League, so they should end up in a war one way or another.
Ruler: tolk
426 -> 446
76 -> 75

The stats don't tell the whole story of just how much land and development Tolkmaria lost to Kabus this session. Since the 1575 update, Tolkmaria launched their own successful wars of conquest against Ethiopia (1581) and Mecca (1589). By my own rough count by using the in game timeline, Tolkmaria then lost 19 provinces in the 'brief Kabusi Conquest of Beja' which concluded in 1593. Now, this was mostly low development desert and highlands, hence why Tolkmaria still managed to gain development this session. However, it's low development land in their home Gulf of Aden trade node, given Kabus a foothold in east African trade. While they didn't take any Centres of Trade, in a future war, the CoTs at Aden and Zeila are very close to the border while the amazing coffee producing province of Mokha will be the first to be captured.

With no feasible way to achieve victory, it's reassuring to know that Tolkmaria are at least working on an escape plan, with their first colony being settled on Mauritius, east of Madagascar.
Ruler: MagicalTrevor
202 -> 202
11 -> 11

No news is good news for Versailles, who remain in an incredibly precarious position. Their alliances with Legendia, Neroland and Holland probably aren't going to be enough to dissuade the Triple Alliance from finally partitioning their lands. Their one saving grace could be Lahndahn, who would be called into any Versaille defensive war as the Protestant Defender of the Faith.

Really what they should be doing is joining the Protestant League. It would actually stop Epiphany declaring war on them, though it wouldn't stop Erit Lux.
Ruler: quinoa rex
70 -> 85
8 -> 9

Vikingar spent this session guaranteed by Lurtzland, yet still managed to expand at their expense as they were granted back their core province of Jemtland as part of a separate Lurtzland war. Vikingar have joined the Catholic League, I would imagine because all the allies of their greatest existential thread, Austurstrond, are in the Protestant League.

Next chapter:

Game: Europa Universalis IV

EUIV - Amaranthine Invitational #8 (1625)

Images: 56, author: kamichi, published: 2018-02-04

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Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's

Rhode Island Bowl - Part 0 - Yo, I heard you liked unhappiness

Images: 6, author: PoblanoLimozeen, published: 2018-06-07