Green Khmers #3: "Empire Strikes Back" - For the Glory AAR

Author: SirAnjin
Published: 2017-08-26

What's good with y'all. I'm Anjin and 2day I'm gonna bring real fire to this AAR website of yours (which is a decent idea btw). Game of Games. The Legend. Recently, after concluding my EU4 adventures for good (with over 1100hrs clocked since Autumn of 2014) I've decided to go back to not-arguably the best video game of all time, Europa Universalis 2.

But it's not just EU2. It's For the Glory - fan-made remake, under Paradox supervision (much like Darkest Hour), although nowhere near successful :( Time has taken its toll, but I still think EU2 map - both graphics and, however incorrect provinces - is the most beautiful thing ever. I just can't stop looking at it, like, ever. And game itself maybe has like 1/5th of EU4 features, but, why would I mind? I've spent so much time playing, modding and writing AARs about EU2 and FtG.

There's something magnetic about this beast. Maybe just nostalgia. Maybe good fun. But it's something EU4 never had, and never will have. Now that I'm looking into some heavy modding again - with some tweaks this would be a really fun game again - I just want to play the game again and see what's what.

I've settled for vanilla FtG with 1.3 betapatch (praise MichaelM for making it!), especially since Grand Campaign has seen some actual changes. Among them, somewhat refreshed Cambodia - now Khmer Empire, with few claims around the place, and nasty event to cripple them if their capital is conquered. Nothing else. 'Tis gonna be a wild one! :D

So, if you want to see how map painting was back in the day, or just enjoy some good nostalgia trip, I welcome thee and please enjoy your stayings. I'll try to explain how everything works more or less, so you may learn a thing or two as well. Isn't it great.

All abroad the Khmer Train. Green Khmers best Khmers. None of that Red Ayutthayan crap!

Part of the campaign:

Green Khmers

Previous part:

Game: For the Glory

Green Khmers #2 - For the Glory AAR

Images: 29, author: SirAnjin, published: 2017-08-25

So, you guys thought Lan Na will be the one to receive military beatings?

Well no, at least not yet. Their mountainous terrain will be pain in the ass, once again we would be playing with, or maybe rather against the dice. And their provinces are piss-poor. So they shall remain free...for now.

We turn our eyes south. Conversion of the Heretics last time has really, really opened up more options. Not having to worry about Hindu peoples in Da Lat, we can absorb and moderately tolerate Muslims now. Also, we just need better provinces!

Who's Muslim? Malacca.
Who has really gud provinces? Malacca.
Who has our claim core and therefore who we have free CB against?

M A L A C C A
I was preparing for the worst, but square bitch - I mean dice - is really actually working as intended. We get attacked in the marshes and we flip some goddamn tables with dat nine roll!

Gotta pursue the bastards, cover their every province and never allow them to recruit more troops! Because it worked so well against Lan Xang...right?

Please, no more shitfuckery today I've had enough already!
My eyes deceive me! Nine, now eight...you could say we are on the roll!

Geddit?! Roll?! Dice?! Dice Roll?!

*WHEEEZE* HHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.

NO

I MEAN

YES

FINALLY
Devastating march down south towards Johor continues and look at this baby we just keep beating dem Moslems down!

But let's not spoil it, and actually carpet siege entire Malaysia.
More beatings. Just can't get enough of it!
Eventually we also beat them in Phuket and remnants of Malaccan Army, after getting beaten like fifty times in a row and ping-ponging gets to rest at the gates of Bangkok. Bad thing is, they will keep looting the province, denying us both monthly income and census tax!

While Bangkok accounts for like third of our income, I am not playing with the devilish dice again. I'll just siege Malacca down and claim my victory.
During Summer of 1453 all but Johore is finished, but guess what, life can never be perfect so we get a nice stab drop from random event.

Powerful house leader my ass, give me my stab back!

To be honest, it's not that bad. Could be worse.

Malaccans still enjoy their holiday in Bangkok and I am not going to touch them, not at all.
Finally Johore collapses and Malacca is at our mercy. Also note how our alliance with Mon expires despite our war. In FtG, only wars where allies were called in count towards alliance's expiry date. Mon wasn't involved, so alliance dissolved.

We ally them once again right after...
...ending war with Malacca. We really went to town, stripping them of all provinces possible. And they aren't all that bad, Johor is selling some nice spices and Phuket is our claim core. Good stuff!

But our real goal is Malacca itself. Unimaginable riches. Our door towards fiscal greatness and economical celebrations. With time, we will hit Trade Level 3 and unlock Monopolies. Long story short this is what actually makes trading useful, and if used correctly, almost game-breaking. With Malacca and its Center of Trade in our hands, we'll be able to maximize our benefits without risking Trade Embargoes and other nasty shit.

But that's the future. For now, let us focus on...now? The current timings!
I have made a tough decision to actually borrow some money from Paradox Bank. Johan always has spare 200$ for you, but let me tell you loans aren't some afterthought crappy mechanic like in EU4. They are dangerous and should be used carefully.

Default fixed loansize is 200$ - some countries get historical events which can change it. Loan lasts five years. Early on interest is draconian - in our case it costs about as much as our entire army at 50% maintenance. You can't repay loan anytime, when five years pass window pops up and you can either pay back (if you have 200$) or extend loan for another five years. Interest goes up rapidly and can easily kill you to death, by which I mean bankruptcy.

It's not laughing matter, but I have four bailiffs to promote (one in Sarakham and three in Malaysia) and I'd rather not wait for our census to slowly gather the cash. So decision is made to take loan for bailiffing up!

Economy demands it and I, being a slave of golden round shiny economically valuable object, do whatever needs to be done.
In the meantime China enjoys some gud REBELS. Hanoi is finally liberated and rejoins Hindu Dai Viet, which is vassal of Korea, which at this point is vassal of China.

It's complicated.
This is revoltrisk map. Light red indicates revoltrisk between 1 and 3%, dark red is either higher than 3 or already controlled by rebels.

China is burning. Japan has massive revoltrisk because of historical event. EU2/FtG Japan is hillarious, it's one country and to simulate warlords and Sengoku Jidai they basically keep getting REBELS REBELS REBELS for almost 200 years.

Good job Johan, noice.

Also, you get to see our province info screen. There's city name, culture, noice city icon and religion icon below it. Then we have listed pop(ulation), revoltrisk, manpower, fortress (there are six levels, 5000 people per level, Small is Lv. 2), supply limit, max attrition (you can't suffer any more attrition above that number) and, if you have war exhaustion, it displays your war exhaustion.

Then there's CoT which this province is assigned to (can change dynamically), income (divide it by 12 to get monthly income of the province), and goods produced.

It's cool. Nice, informative, very well structured. Good job Johan, this time for real!
Okay so look.

Rebels have taken China's capital and plenty of provinces, thus causing government's collapse. It usually releases all, or most countries that can be released from the country. If there were any wars, they end immediately and if enemies control some of collapsing country's provinces, they get to keep them. There's strategy called turboannexing, if you can occupy entire country and get rebels to take capital or at least few provinces, you can take way more than 100% WS in one war. There's a cost though, nasty 2BB per province so you have to be careful with this sort of thing.

You don't want BBWars to happen. Nope. Not even once.

What's funny though is that two weeks after rebels brought down China's government, China attacks Dai Viet, which is vassal of their vassal, again. They really want Hanoi back don't they.
So Vietnam is in flames again, and we stay put. In top right corner you can see short summary. You can stay at 0$ without taking loans if you're at peace, 50% military maintenance and not over support limit. Our monthly income is 0 because everything goes towards technologies. Estimated yearly income is 44$ every January 1st. Amounts to 5k infantry per year.

France gets this much census tax from 3-4 provinces. Europa Universalis, yeah, I see what you did there.

Really sad about this :(
To cheer myself up, I've decided it's time to take our Lan Xang, Square Bitch's Champions, members of the Order of Lucky Dice Roll Modifiers. They won't stand a chance now.

Notice how they've allied Dai Viet and how Dai Viet dishonors alliance. Sad!
If you'd be kind enough to look down at the history log, you would notice we started off our war great, with Nobles Ally with Foreign Power random event. That's sweet -2 stability and 24 month casus belli - there is only one type of casus belli and it's casus belli, they are either permament or expire after x months.

Good opportunity to take a look at our stability cost. 193 is a bit high, mostly because of Sunni provinces in Malaya. But it'll get better.
Despite their ferocious independence war, lasting (with breaks) since early 1420s, Dai Viet rejoins arms with Lan Xang and will fight us too!

Don't ever be too happy about alliance dishonourings, AI often recreates alliance back. If you'll ever start war and AI ally will refuse to join, just try inviting them back again, they'll join 99% of times.

Look this game is old, it has its imperfections...old but gold. It's okay!
THE DICE HAS SPOKEN

FUKK YOU KHMER

NO WINNINGS ONLY TEARS

Seriously!
We send some forces to siege Da Nang - China joins the funny dogpile and we all suffer nasty attrition just for the fun of it.

Meanwhile, Lan Xang has finally ran out of luck. Their meager force gets killed and razed and buried alive. No more Lan Xang! Just gotta siege those bastards down.
Square Bitch finds herself a new Champion, wrong-religion, wrong-cultured, Vietnamese Emperor of Not-Vietnam. Fantastic.
Too bad we can't do anything about them. Can't annex them, can't seize Hanoi and Lao Cai since China is all over them - if we had a leader we could try stealing a siege or two. So for now we just beat Fake Viet to teach them a lesson.
Fake Viet surrenders, maybe we could go after Hanoi - and I shoulda done that - but decided to let opportunity pass this time.
Centralization is in a not bad state, I'd like it to be at 8-9 at least, but whatever. I am absolutely shocked with state of our army, repeatedly getting beaten by the Square Bitch and her knights. It is time to introduce some Quality to this land. From now on, we'll replace paper spears with brand new bamboo ones.

You gotta take these things slowly man, one step at a time.
See the little popup at the top with pile of monies and dangerously white exclamation mark? It's a reminder from Paradox Bank that we'll have to repay our loan in 12 months. These guys don't mess around, you gotta be ready to pay them back when time comes.

It's time to do minting. What is minting? Basically putting your entire monthly income to treasury. No monies is invested in techs (apart from contribution from monarch stats and manufactory bonuses, if you have manufactories that is) and it all goes to treasury. Sounds great?

Not exactly. You need to develop techs, especially Trade and Infra early on to get economy going. Also, putting monies into treasury generates inflation. And inflation isn't, like loans, another minor annoyance like in EU4. It has serious implications, especially for poorer countries. Not only costs go higher, your technology cost goes up too. When you're minting at 100%, your inflation goes up by 1% per year. It's tempting, but dangerous. Use carefully!

Naturally, minting can be used to your advantage. When your monthly income is good, you can mint for a few years to fund several manufactories at once. This is common strategy because it's great, because manufactories are great!

For now, we will mint for a year - together with cash from Fake Viet we'll be able to repay our loan and be free from that interest. Look how expensive it is, goddamit!
At the same time, Mekong falls and we annex Lan Xang. That completes our claim cores reconquests. Khmer Empire has not only recovered from massive decline, it has regained lost territories and even expanded beyond them. Khmers are truly back in bussiness.

Good job!
Finally, Paradox Bank comes to us, asking about their monies. As you can see our minting strategy served us well. We've stopped at 1% inflation, we've repaid the loan, we have bailiffs everywhere, monthly income is rising - we are doing great!

BTW you may ask, how does one fight inflation? Some random events can lower (or increase) inflation, and that's your only option until you research Infra 5 and promote some Governors. When Governors are up, they fight Inflation like crazy. If you have them promoted in all your provinces, they reduce inflation by 0.25% per year. Might sound unimpressive, but it really does the job.

But that's faraway future, for now, let's pray for some good random events, hahaha!
And thus we end third episode of Green Khmers. There is not much to say, we've got the momentum, just gotta keep expanding for as long as it's economically profitable and militarily(?) viable. In other words, we can still grab few provinces here and there before thinking about new goals and strategies.

This is it for now, thanks for yer time - and thanks to all people on Reddits saying nice and warm words - and until next time!

Next chapter:

Game: For the Glory

Green Khmers #4: Lords of Monies - For the Glory AAR

Images: 30, author: SirAnjin, published: 2017-08-29

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