The Ocho: Part 1 - Choctaw

Author: mrtherussian
Published: 2017-01-29, edited: 1970-01-01
There are just over 376 years in the vanilla campaign for Europa Universalis IV.
FUN FACT: 376 is perfectly divisible by 8. There are eight (nearly) identical 47-year segments.
Why should this matter? Well a few months ago there was a poster who was going to do a Vic2 playthrough switching tags randomly every 10 years. I don't believe they ever got past the first 10 years but I was intrigued. I thought I would try applying that to EU4.
Well 10 years isn't enough time to get anything done in EU4, however OCD demands an evenly divisible number of years. Thus...
Let's see what the dice choose for our first country.

Part of the campaign:

The Ocho

I will now summarize the facts about Choctaw:

1. They occupy parts of present day Alabma and Mississippi.
2. They own two provinces at the start of the game.
3. I have never played a Native nation in EU4. The mechanics are unknown to me.
4. I like their color.
5. Swamps everywhere.
Choctaw's Neighbors are Jelly
The Great Chief Tamaobe Lukfakta (4/4/4!) ascends to prominence. His hand is immediately forced, however, when both the Chickasaw and Creek nations immediately announce Choctaw as their rival. They then form an alliance based on their mutual hatred. The Choctaw people are immediately threatened with extinction.

Great Chief Tamaobe resigns himself to the facts: there cannot be peace with such neighbors. Runners are dispatched to both Chickasaw and Creek. The rivalry has been made mutual.
An Ally Secured
A third runner was dispatched to the hills of the Appalachian mountains. The Cherokee people are no strangers to the hatreds of the Creek. With three provinces (and way better goods) they can field a large enough army to keep the Choctaw from succumbing to their neighbors.

Great Chief Tamaobe wants more, though. He forms a Federation and invites the Cherokee to join. What function a federation performs is widely unknown but it just sounded awesome when pitched to the Cherokee and they eagerly agreed.
Great Chief Tamaobe: 2 Star General of Our Hearts
As Great Chief Tamaobe stepped away from his duties of leadership to survey the training of new warriors, it became immediately apparent that he was equally adept at leading troops.

His particular talent lay in directing the fire phase of battle. He sincerely hoped that this had any effect at all before the age of gunpowder.
Shoring Up the Homefront
Expecting to soon be fighting a defensive war, Great Chief Tamaobe ordered construction of great wooden palisades to protect the settlements across the land.
Barter Economies Are Awesome
The Choctaw people struggle to support their 4000 warriors at full capacity. Worse, the settlements would sacrifice greatly in order to provide even a single additional brigade.

Great Chief Tamaobe contemplates a series of loans to fund mercenaries from the surrounding lesser tribes if push comes to shove. At 1 gold per loan and 15 gold per mercenary brigade, the numbers are bleak.
The Sky's the Forcelimit
Instead of the depressing hole of debt mercenaries offer, Great Chief Tamaobe orders construction of a fortified house. The house has magical properties which allow the Choctaw to support over 200% extra warriors without incurring the wrath of the spirits in the form of painful economy debuffs.
Writing System Invented!
While the damage to the reputation of Great Chief Tamaobe is a negative, the simultaneous invention of a system of reading and writing as well as widespread education in its use is a tremendous boon. Net positive for certain.
Distant Neighbors Love the Choctaw
Great Chief Tamaobe continues to stave off impending doom by allying with five additional tribes who would be close enough to offer assistance when war arrives. They are just as impressed with the Federation pitch as the Cherokee were and blithely sign off on membership.
Madmen Banished!
Two raving lunatics were banished from the tribe after approaching Great Chief Tamaobe with conflicting ideas about "ships" and "harbors". Neither man was aware that the Choctaw are landlocked with access only to rivers.
Native Advancements Are Sexy
The administrators approached Great Chief Tamaobe with some ideas for positive change in the Choctaw society. He immediately sees the potential military benefits of increased tax revenue.
Very Sexy Indeed
The warchiefs approached Great Chief Tamaobe next with ideas to increase the shock value of military tactics. Great Chief Tamaobe drools copiously in response.
Native Americans Do Not Know How to Fabricate Claims
Choctaw technically had no valid reason for war with its neighbors.
Great Chief Tamaobe also could not convince his people that some of the more invalid reasons were actually secret valid reasons.

There was no choice left. The Choctaw would suffer far greater injustices without a preemptive strike.

Only the Cherokee were willing to join, the other tribes' words apparently not even being worth the food spent to get the runners there and back.

It would have to suffice.
Victory at Chicasaw!
The plan to lure the enemy into fortified Choctaw armies failed, so Great Chief Tamaobe led his warriors to Chickasaw. The combined armies of Chicasaw and Creek rushed in to smash him, but the Cherokee warriors arrived just in time and the enemy was crushed between them.

Great Chief Tamaobe's abilities truly shine. Despite fighting outnumber for days before the Cherokee arrival, 3 enemies lay dead for every 2 Choctaw warriors. Still, thousands of brave Choctaw perished and Great Chief Tamaobe's heart was heavy.
Creek and Chickasaw Armies Crushed Entirely
Now was not the time for mercy and mourning. Great Chief Tamaobe took his battered warriors and pursued the fleeing Creek and Chickasaw. When he caught up with them, they were slaughtered to a man. Over 5000 enemy warriors were brutally murdered at the expense of not one single Choctaw life.
Choctaw People Sick of Death
The numbers of brave Choctaw lost in the first battle shocked the Choctaw people. Despite having a clear edge and with victory in sight, the people clamor for peace.

Having almost no army tradition worth losing, Great Chief Tamaobe makes some caustic remarks about warriors which shame the people to silence at the expense of their pride.
Last Ditch Creek Effort
The Chickasaw are subjugated, however the Creek drum up 3000 more warriors to contest the supremacy of the Choctaw-Cherokee Federation. This time Choctaw trade with Cherokee 1 for 3. Still, the deaths of nearly 1000 Choctaw weigh on Great Chief Tamaobe.
Ghost Mercenaries Terrorize the Chickasaw
Despite not hiring mercenaries, they are causing a headache for Great Chief Tamaobe. The council expresses concern over the opinion of other tribes towards Choctaw warriors. Great Chief Tamaobe enters a trance before spouting nonsensical words... perhaps even speaking tongues. He takes a council member firmly by the chin and looks deeply into his eyes.

"...So what?"

Nothing is done about the mercenaries.

Great Chief Tamaobe walks into the woods. No one follows him. He is never heard from again.
The Creek Also Succumb
Finally all of the villages of the Creek and Chickasaw bow under the watchful eye of Choctaw guards. Ochinohahuma was raised to Chief in the absence of Great Chief Tamaobe. He is a competent leader of warriors, but has only half the skill of Great Chief Tamaobe. Luckily his skills were not required in battle since the roving bands of Cherokee and Choctaw ensured no additional Creek warrior bands would rise up before the war was ended.
Vassal Creek
Chief Ochinohahuma is a different man from his predecessor. Instead of forcefully taking the land from his defeated foes, he negotiates a different peace. The Creek will continue to govern themselves, but they must swear complete and total allegiance to the Choctaw as well as emptying their treasury.
As with Creek, So with Chickasaw
The Chickasaw accept the same deal. Chief Ochinohahuma extracts a hefty sum from the Chickasaw which will be useful in furthering Choctaw hegemony.
Money Money Money Moooney (Money!)
Chief Ochinohahuma is a shrewd economist. He decides that the spoils of war will be invested back into the Choctaw homeland to ensure steady economic growth to support whatever future endeavors the Choctaw embark upon.
Traitorous Cherokee!
A runner arrives from the Cherokee nation. He breathes heavily, having just arrived, yet stands tall and proud. There is anger on his face... perhaps even disdain. He delivers his message to Chief Ochinohahuma in a serious monotone.

The Cherokee are leaving the federation.
The Cherokee are breaking off the alliance.
The Cherokee are announcing the Choctaw as their new rivals.
Chief Ochinohahuma is reviled for his greed. He should have handed control of the Creek nation to the Cherokee.

His message delivered, he spits on the ground and departs.

Runners from Caddo and Powhatan arrive the same day. The federation exists to protect its members from conquerors, but the Choctaw have proven to be the real threat. They rescind their membership as well.
Colonialism, Ho!
With a war-weary population at his door, Chief Ochinohahuma must find other ways to expand. Fortunately his council has an idea on that vine. The Choctaw could start living in *three* provinces rather than two. Maybe even *four* or more provinces. They will grow and multiply and drown their enemies in babies.

A slow grin spreads across Chief Ochinohahuma's face. Yes... this will do nicely.
Unrest Curbed
The shrewdness of Chief Ochinohahuma extends beyond matters economical. He encourages divination throughout the land, and greases certain palms such that many of the divinely inspired tout Chief Ochinohahuma as a leader on the right path, no matter how wrong it may look in the present.

Part of that path involves an expensive experiment - the colonization of a coastal region. It begins draining the treasury quickly. Chief Ochinohahuma must find a way to fill it again.
Ally Caddo Goes on the Warpath
Bickering between Caddo and Wichita comes to war. The Caddo emissary invites the powerful Choctaw to join them in glorious battle.

Chief Ochinohahuma agrees, but his reasons go far beyond simple friendship and obligation.
Maneuvers of War
The Choctaw army is inexplicably held up as the Caddo storm Wichita. The Wichita hold their ground - just barely. Now the Choctaw arrive to finish the job, and when they do Wichita will be under the control of Chief Ochinohahuma rather than Caddo.
Whiny Rich People
Chief Ochinohahuma has repeatedly moved to consolidate power for the Chief and the council. This has ruffled feathers and rustled jimmies amongst the movers and shakers of Choctaw. He turns a deaf ear to their pleas. They lack the vision necessary to propel Choctaw to greatness.
Error: Cannot Vassalize
The Wichita chief is known for a bit of shrewdness himself. He will only accept vassalization if it is under Caddo. Evidently he does not wish to empower the Choctaw further.

Chief Ochinohahuma pursues another option. Control of the land is forcefully taken and the treasury of Wichita ransacked. The colony experiment will be able to continue after all.
A Runner from Caddo
Another ally turns into an enemy. Caddo breaks the alliance and announces Choctaw as their rival. Once again Chief Ochinohahuma has angered his friends with his land greed.
Divination Dividends
The divination policy pays off greatly as the Choctaw people react violently to the news of the Caddo caper. They urge Chief Ochinohahuma to go to war and conquer the insolent Caddo.

He is only too happy to oblige.
Use of Weaponized Vassals
Chief Ochinohahuma orders the Choctaw warriors to sit tight and protect the new colony. The armies of the Creek and Chicasaw will take the hits from now on. Choctaw warriors will retain their strength and numbers for more dire times.

News arrives from the east, however. The war on Caddo was declared not a moment too soon as the Caddo traitorously ally with the Cherokee shortly afterwards.
Cherokee Bloodlust
It turns out not to be enough time after all as the Cherokee blithely join the war on the side of the Caddo. With the Caddo army already smashed and their home besieged, however, the Cherokee are now massively outnumbered.

Chief Ochinohahuma gets a familiar gleam in his eye. There is a popular saying about two birds and a single stone. He intends to prove its truth.
Choctaw on Fire
At home, the people want to set everything on fire.

Chief Ochinohahuma gives the go-ahead. He lives on an island, he'll be fine.
No Horrific Burn Wounds... This Time
Chief Ochinohahuma emerges from his island retreat. None suspect the true reason for his short vacation.
Chief Ochinohahuma leads the Choctaw warriors through unclaimed territory to attack the Cherokee capital from behind their army, however just as his men arrive the Creek swoop down and obliterate the Cherokee force. All that is left is a simple clean-up.
Choctaw Dominance Asserted
The all-too familiar vassalization terms are presented to the defeated Cherokee who have no choice but to accept them.
Caddo Vassal
The defeated Caddo must do the same.

Chief Ochinohahuma thinks this is way better than a federation, however cool that sounds.
The Choctaw Empire at its New Height
The lands under Chief Ochinohahuma's control stretch for hundreds of miles and contain many different cultures.
Wichita Culture Grudgingly Accepted as Not Useless Crap
Even the most stouthearted Choctaw can admit there are more similarities than differences.
The Old Chicasaw Lands Formally Integrated into Choctaw
After the years gone by, the Chickasaw see themselves more as Choctaw than ex-independent peoples and the Choctaw reciprocate the feeling. Chief Ochinohahuma makes it official.
Finally Green!
With the new Chickasaw lands under his belt, Chief Ochinohahuma can finally balance the books. Despite the ludicrously expensive colony, the nation's economy is growing.
Chief Ochinohahuma: Mission Success
Chief Ochinohahuma has grown old and feeble. He has accomplished all he set out to do. His final act as chief is to step down and appoint a dear friend from the council, Shishemastubby, as his successor. Chief Shishemastubby was handpicked for his excellent grasp on administration as well as a decent working knowledge of diplomacy and military tactics. The Choctaw in good hands, Chief Ochinohahuma retires to his island home where he is safe from the fires of his partially insane people.
Nomads in Biloxi Settle Down
Chief Shishemastubby's first order of business is to assess the growth of the colony. A number of hunter-gatherers in the area are on good terms with the settlement and are intrigued by the ability to perform large scale farming to be easily fed year-round. Chief Shishemastubby offers them entrance into the colony - and the Choctaw - and they quickly agree.
Integration Creek
Chief Shishemastubby then moves on to oversee the completion of the Creek integration process begun by Chief Ochinohahuma. It proceeds without a hiccup and the people fully embrace their old rivals as brothers and sisters.

Wichita though... remember what I said earlier? Well forget it, according to a good source they started to smell like swamp weed and the Choctaw people just won't tolerate it.
Migratory Lenape Captured
The Lenape people migrate next to the vassalized Cherokee and immediately regret it. Tales from the Cherokee spread through Lenape settlements and the people are suddenly terrified of the legendary warriors to the southwest. Rather than fight a losing battle, they willingly accept vassalization under the Choctaw.
The First Technology
Chief Shishemastubby's policy of peaceful expansion pays off. Practical applications for the diplomatic ideas floating around the council finally coalesce into something that can really be used. The Choctaw now have the basic knowledge to sail the oceans.
The Second Technology
Progress is rapid. Chief Shishemastubby presides over the ceremony revealing the new battle formations that the Choctaw army will use. They will provide a clear advantage over any foe that would dare interfere with Choctaw business.
1492 But I Ain't Seen No Columbuses
47 long years have gone by since we began to follow the Choctaw. Each enemy that would dare to threaten the Choctaw was systematically crushed and absorbed, the colony has progressed wonderfully, and the influence of the Choctaw is legendary in the region.

Only the Huron in the distant north have had a similar measure of success, but the Choctaw stand head and shoulders above them.
The Choctaw Diplomatic Map Tells A Long Tale
The integration of the Cherokee is nearly half completed. It will be up to the future Choctaw leaders to determine the fate of vassalized Caddo.
A Glimpse of the Known World
Much of it is simply legend to the Choctaw. There is enough trouble locally to keep the occupied for a century or more.

Will the Choctaw capitalize on their early gains? Or will they be swept aside by the arrival of Europeans with superior technology and numbers?

I hope they will fare even half as well without the nuanced touch of a human hand at the helm. Time will tell.


Next chapter:

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The Ocho: Part 2 - Not So Borengland After All

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