EUIV - Amaranthine Invitational #6 (1575)

Author: kamichi
Published: 2018-01-12

Part of the campaign:

EUIV - Amaranthine Invitational

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Game: Europa Universalis IV

EUIV - Amaranthine Invitational #5 (1550)

Images: 65, author: kamichi, published: 2018-01-07

It's 1575. The Reformation is in full swing (as full a swing as it's ever going to get) and countries are being eliminated left, right and center (well, they were both relatively centrally located). Things are happening and apparently it's time to read all about them.

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Everyone knows the story of the Reformation. In 1552 in his home city of Amsterdam, Maarten Luther, Doctor of Theology at a university that didn't exist yet, nailed his 96 Theses to the doors of the Oude Kerk citing complaints and grievances against the Catholic church. He protested the sale of indulgences and the corruption of the word of God, railing against the Legendian and Free Scottish Popes who allowed the moral decay of the Church. At least, I think that's what happened.
Anyway, last writeup I went over how the Reformation works in EU4, and now it's finally underway. Amsterdam became a Protestant Center of Reformation, which automatically converts the provinces around it. Two more Centers appeared, in Metz and Waldstatte once Switerzland converted, which continue to spread the new faith. Versailles have been forced to convert to avoid massive religious revolts. Lahndahn weren't allowed to convert due to being Defender of the Faith are currently in the Religious Turmoil disaster, are sitting at 37% Religious Unity, with all of their Low Countries provinces AND their capital converted. Vienna was converted to the Reformed faith, which somehow didn't spawn a Center of Reformation. In any case, they're two years away from falling into Religious Turmoil themselves.

Annoyingly, three Epiphanine provinces have converted but since Epiphany took Humanist ideas, they can easily weather the storm. In summary, the Triple Alliance remains untouched so far, but all their potential Christian rivals have been crippled. Happy days.

https://eu4.paradoxwikis.com/Religious_Turmoil
Good news for our European friends - a new Institution spawned for you to play with. Hooray!

Bad news for literally everyone else - you're falling further and further behind. Let's see just how.
Frustratingly the Renaissance has stalled on the western border of Takeela. That it has taken 75 years to get halfway down the Silk Road yet somehow crossed the Atlantic and reached the other side of the Great Plains will be a source of frustration to any fans of our east Asians. Like me.
You can see how much quicker Colonialism spreads around the coast - it has nearly overtaken the Renaissance in western Africa - though it continues to crawl through Russia, and the lack of Europeans colonising Asia will lead to a very slow spread.
Let's not even talk about the Printing Press. It'll spread just like the Renaissance, taking hold quickly in Europe and crawling along everywhere else.

The comedy option here is that as a misplaced Catholic country, Australia Minor could convert to Protestantism or Reformed, which both naturally seed the Printing Press institution, which would give Asia a massive kickstart. Unfortunately, the AI has absolutely no motivation to do this. If I, as an observer, could interfere and do just one thing in this campaign, it would be this. No divine intervention here though. At least, not from me.
Bereft of Institutions, the east continue to fall behind in technology. Tolkmaria being on Miltech 10 while Kabus and Arkansas are on 14 and 13 is even more of a death sentence than the disparity in troop numbers. There's a similar difference between Medvedstrana's and Austurstrond's Miltech which makes the former a sitting duck. We're just now really seeing how important Institutions are.

Next up is Global Trade which will be ready to spawn from 1600 onwards. Asia can finally breathe a sigh of relief, because (as the name implies) it spreads very easily. It spreads naturally in Centers of Trade - found in every trade node - and in provinces with high Trade Power - either Centers of Trade or provinces with high Diplo development.
Ruler: kamichi
284 -> 410 -> 457 -> 470 -> 538 -> 617
30 -> 43 -> 49 -> 49 -> 56 -> 64

Idea Groups
- Espionage
- Economic
- Offensive

Amaranth are continuing to play it cool. They're steadily assimilating the entire Malay Archipelago while brooking no threats to themselves, even at the cost of their own reputation.

They are now, once more, allied to Bengalistan. I say once more because as soon as Takeela came directly for Bengalistan, Amaranth immediately betrayed them and let them get eaten. Bengalistan, otherwise surrounded by sworn enemies, are increasingly desperate and despite viewing Amaranth with Distrust, they feel they have no choice but to accept whoever is willing to ally with them. It's not all one way traffic. Bengalistan have completely cut off Amaranth's route for land expansion into Indochina in a way that also intrudes into Amaranth's Malacca trade node.

In any case, the allies are rolling through the Mandateless New Pacific Order (henceforth referred to as MPO) in support of Amaranthine attempts to finally annex the minor country of Malaya. Malaya, Demak and Australia Minor together have around 350 development which Amaranth should ultimately be able to conquer with very little difficulty or competition, which puts them near the top of that leaderboard. Contrary to the theme of the campaign so far, isolating seems to be a good thing for Amaranth.

That said, I'd love to see an Amaranth alliance with Junlin. Post-war, Junlin would likely accept it if Amaranth offered and it would bring a bit more balance to Chinese geopolitics. In theory at least. I imagine Amaranth would just ignore Junlin's deathbed screams if it came to it.
Ruler: Rey the Great
268 -> 318 -> 331 -> 442 -> 546 -> 589
42 -> 49 -> 54 -> 70 -> 84 -> 90

Idea Groups
- Humanist
- Quantity
- Espionage

Tragedy struck for Arkansas this session as they finally ran out of easy targets. They've conquered their way into having a major power or their ally on every border.

Arkansas, supporting Masirah, versus Tolkmaria (1567) was something of a stalemate, despite Arkansas' numerical advantage. It was only when Kabus joined in with their own aggressive war that the Tolk armies were broken. Arkansas look very threatening, but we've yet to see them in an all out war.

There are some very rich lands ripe for the taking in Kashan and Qumis (whose income is equal to Arkansas through trade, despite being a quarter of their size). The problem is that they're allied together, and Qizil Bronxo are a staunch Qumis ally.
Ruler: RevReb
280 -> 178 -> 168 -> 209 -> 158 -> 120
33 -> 21 -> 17 -> 19 -> 14 -> 9

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Offensive

Say what you will about the success of Australia Minor's campaign so far, their goal was to make it back home to Australia (Major) and, come hell or high water, they made it.

Nobody said anything about surviving very long once they made it there of course.
Ruler: Shamed
251 -> 293 -> 360 -> 450 -> 493 -> 514
39 -> 41 -> 49 -> 66 -> 69 -> 71

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Trade
- Offensive
- Economic

Austurstrond are currently gaining score faster than anyone else. They have an incredibly secure position in north eastern Europe with a good economic base and local trade dominance. Then, most importantly for their score, they have various sources of easily winnable wars. They get involved in most Norse Bloc conflicts, where due to simple geography, their allies are most at risk of occupations and devastation. Wars they start themselves will be targeted at already beaten countries, like Medvedstrana, Vikingar and sadly now, Lurtzland.

There's one chink in the armour and it's their guarantee of independence for Equestria. This will have been made to stop Medvedstrana and Qizil Bronxo expanding further, theoretically a good idea. However, in the south, Kabus also have an interest in Equestrian Circassia. Furthermore, Caucasia is close enough that Kabus can easily draw their allies, Arkansas and Qixil Bronxo into the potential war.

To expand the metaphor, it's like Austurstrond have built themselves a massive, hulking, nigh on impenetrable suit of heavy armour, made a hole right above the heart, and now they're taunting the the best longbowman in the world, saying "come and 'ave a go if you think you're 'ard enough" while the archer's friends are handing them an endless quiver. To be fair, The Savage Men are also guaranteeing Equestria, so it would at least be Austurstrond/Savage Men vs Kabus/Qizil/Arkansas, but that's still a losing situation which they should not be touching with a ten foot barge pole.

Ignoring what could potentially become the greatest diplomatic mistep of the campaign, Austurstrond are doing great. Whether they can win the campaign from this position depends on how well score rivals like Kabus and Epiphany do with more land to expand into. If Austurstrond can take over Scandinavia and the remnants of Muscovy, as they seem poised to, they might be able to make it to the top.
Ruler: OoohYou
331 -> 440 -> 489 -> 502 -> 532 -> 519
36 -> 43 -> 47 -> 44 -> 45 -> 44

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Offensive
- Trade

The stats may not suggest it, but the map certainly does: Bengalistan are a country in crisis. In 1556, Takeela, the Golden Scourge of India, turned their attentions directed to Bengalistan. It took a mere three years for Bengalistan to be fully occupied and totally defeated, leading to the loss of the entire western half of their empire.

What Bengalistan lost in the undeveloped jungles of Orissa and Garjat in the west, they just about gained in the undeveloped jungles of Burma and Tenasserim to the east in a subsequent war against the New Pacific Order and their tributaries. That doesn't change the fact that Takeela have direct access to the Bengal Delta and can merely walk in at their leisure. Losing their rich homelands would be game over for Bengalistan and it's difficult to see how they could stop the inevitable next war.

Their one major ally in Amaranth already betrayed them the first time Takeela came knocking, but the Bengalis are desperate enough that they shacked up again. With a diplomatic effort that we know the AI can't really put in, they could potentially get Arkansas, Tolkmaria or even Jeohia onside. It's not happening.

A far more realistic hope is that with their new forts on the Takeela border, Bengalistan last long enough in the next war that Arkansas bring in all their allies in an attempt to prey on a *relatively* weak enemy. That's not happening either. Probably.
Ruler: Denial
279 -> 355 -> 369 -> 154 -> 45 -> 20
48 -> 60 -> 60 -> 32 -> 10 -> 4

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Offensive

It will be of little consolation to supporters of Denial Valley that they're currently winning the race for 'most Devastated region.' Denial can put that in his trophy cabinet besides the 'Best Name' award they picked up earlier.

Denial Valley still have their independence guaranteed by Tolkmaria and Ethiopia, but they had that guarantee at the start of this session as well and they still got cut in half at Kabus' leisure. It's not going to stop them next time either.
Ruler: Epiphanus
324 -> 446 -> 563 -> 600 -> 635 -> 765
19 -> 28 -> 39 -> 41 -> 44 -> 50

Idea Groups
- Humanist
- Exploration
- Offensive
- Economic

Epiphany continue to go from strength to strength. They're fighting a lot of wars, but they're keeping them short, no longer taking too much land at once. It's like the ideal diet: they're eating little and often to keep everything easily digestible and avoiding period of low energy and tiredness. In 1562, they took one province from Neroland, but that one province (Castille) is the fort which will allow them free movement throughout the rest of the country whenever they inevitably choose to return. In 1572, they took another tiny bite out of Versailles. Both Neroland and Versailles are non-Catholics which means their land is less immediately useful, though Epiphany had the forethought to take Humanist ideas as their first group, so even that penalty is lessened.

The colonisation of Canada is continuing at pace, with Epiphany equal with Neroland for Tariff income (the direct income boost from having Colonial Nations) with further expansions coming through subjugation of native tribes. They've expanded their colonial operations into the Caribbean, taking the vital trading port of La Havane for themselves. The Canadian (Gulf of St Lawrence) and Caribbean trade nodes are the two New World nodes that feed directly into the Bordeaux node, so for once it looks like the AI is actually following a cogent plan.

Quite apart from their own conquering and colonisation spree, Epiphany still have three strong allies (and Switzerland) who all love them to bits. In fact, it's difficult to see where the next real threat to Epiphany is coming from. They and their Triple Alliance would struggle in a direct war against either the Norse Bloc or the Islamic Triumvirate but that's not a scenario that would realistically happen within the next century.
Ruler: Ardus
350 -> 140 -> 134 -> 151 -> 298 -> 247
47 -> 19 -> 17 -> 19 -> 40 -> 34

Idea Groups
- Innovative
- Quality

Equestria are just such a void. I'm not sure there's a less relevant custom nation in the game. In 1550, they were the protector of Perevorot. In 1575, Perevorot have disappeared with barely a trace with Equestria completely powerless to do anything. The most interesting thing they could do right now is ally with Sind Sagar - a Takeelan ally - and hope that keeps them safe from the multitude of enemies on their ever-shifting borders.

Even with all the stability perks I could muster in the nation creation process, the Equestrian tribes are in constant revolt. Probably over which breed of pink or purple horse is the best; My Little Pony was a historical Cossack documentary after all.
Ruler: SolarS
310 -> 376 -> 376 -> 378 -> 388 -> 407
19 -> 22 -> 22 -> 22 -> 22 -> 22

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Trade
- Defensive
- Economic

Another session at the top of the score and income charts for Erit Lux. They've taken Economic ideas as their fourth set, which, despite their name, won't really help them that much. Per month, they get roughly 20 ducats from Tax, 20 from Production and a ludicrous 60 from Trade. Economic ideas will directly improve the first two sources a little bit, but won't do much for trade. You know what would help their trade income? Conquering Napoli. Conquering Provence. Conquering Milan. Conquering Valencia. These are all trade provinces within the Genoa and Venice nodes which are held by relatively easy to beat enemies.

What's particularly frustrating about Erit Lux for me is that this is my dream position in EU4. A very solid, nigh on unbeatable geopolitical positon. Amazing land to develop. Fantastic late game National military ideas (+20% Fire Damage, +20% Artillery Combat ability and +20% Artillery Damage from Back Row). With Offensive and Quality ideas and you have the most horrendously overpowered Napoleonic army in the game. In a multiplayer game with human players, they'd by my pick for overall winner at this point (Kabus and Epiphany would get stomped for being obvious threats ofc), but in this AI campaign, we're just going to be left wondering whether Erit Lux will ever achieve even a fraction of their potential.

I'll comfort myself in the knowledge that surely, they'll be coming for Legendia eventually.
Ruler: Mello
275 -> 276 -> 282 -> 286 -> 229 -> 269
27 -> 27 -> 29 -> 30 -> 25 -> 33

Idea Groups
- Religious
- Quantity
- Exploration
- Expansion

For a latecomer to the colonisation game, Free Scotland have made up for it by hitting the ground running. They were first to arrive in Colonial Eastern America and have promptly set about conquering the natives en masse, as any good 16th century socialist republic would. They have a massive 4 colonists from National, Exploration and Expansion ideas and that'll make their United States colony the dominant force in the New World very quickly.

The same problems remain at home, in that they're at the mercy of Lahndahn and Epiphany, who have shown they don't have much to spare. One feels that as soon as Lahndahn are ready, they'll be taking another bite out of Free Scotland given their particular cravings for Wales and the rest of England. Strangely, with a little bit of work, Epiphany and Erit Lux would both be willing to ally Scotland, which would completely nullify the threat from Lahndahn.
Ruler: Gaurav
256 -> 154 -> 99 -> 10 -> 11 -> 11
24 -> 14 -> 9 -> 1 -> 1 -> 1

Idea Groups
- Economic
- Quantity
- Diplomatic

Gauravdesh are slowly rising up the final leaderboard by virtue of outlasting catastrophically collapsing European rivals. Bad news: Takeela are wanting the last Gauravi province again. Good news: Gauravi independence is guaranteed by Samudr Lee Katha. So either Gauravdesh will survive the next session on the mercy of their southern conquerors or they'll be the cause of a split between the lifetime allies. That's a win-win situation for me. It's probably a bit more of a win-lose for Gauravdesh though.
Ruler: Ardus
291 -> 371 -> 371 -> 358 -> 355 -> 384
30 -> 38 -> 38 -> 36 -> 33 -> 33

Idea Groups
- Espionage
- Economic
- Defensive
- Trade

Grunhammer have finally used their diplomatic savvy to make an interesting move. They've dropped Versailles as an ally and picked up Erit Lux, which means that they only have to worry about the superpowers to their north, east and south now. Yes, the complete destruction of Perevorot and the implosion of Schwarzwald have left Grunhammer almost completely ensconced in the warm embrace of the Norse Bloc.

Shockingly, in response, Grunhammer have actually been putting in the diplomatic effort to move closer to the other western Christians. Epiphany would happily accept an alliance offer. Lahndahn would be warier, but they'd still go for it. A Triple Alliance with Grunhammer in place of Patria would be a lot more of a threat to the Norse Bloc. Better yet, some kind of web with the remaining intact Christians (sorry Versailles).

There's a wrinkle here in that Grunhammer have been hit surprisingly hard by the Reformation. Vienna itself flipped to Reformed while the rest of Austria has converted to Protestantism and Hungary is close behind. Their religious unity is down to 56% and the Religious Turmoil disaster is about to fire. Vienna is in the process of being converted back to Catholicism but it won't be enough to stop the disaster. In a normal game, this is where I would just convert to Protestantism and try to make the best of it. In a game where your only hope of salvation against Norse Crusaders is a trio of powerful Catholics, Grunhammer will just need to tough it out. If they get converted and lose their alliance with Erit Lux, they'll be next up on the Norse chopping bloc(k).

Trade was a terrible pick here too. Vienna is a leaky node which will only fuel Norse and Erit Lux profits. Even if Vienna as a decent node, Grunhammer only have a 37% share of it. A military idea would've been the most helpful (with Offensive being the best choice). Humanist would've helped avoid the religious disaster full stop. Religious would help with conversion after the fact. In fact, anything but the completely nonsensical (Naval & Colonisation ideas) would've been more useful.
Ruler: Jeoh
267 -> 330 -> 367 -> 378 -> 406 -> 414
30 -> 37 -> 39 -> 39 -> 41 -> 41

Idea Groups
- Economic
- Quantity
- Trade

After the initial successes against Junlin 30 years ago, Jeohia have stagnated. I think they've mostly been slowed down by the quagmire that is the Tributary system in Asia. On paper there are no easy targets for expansion, as everyone is a protectorate of or is allied to someone larger.

Jeohia should absolutely just go and smash a tributary of the Mandateless New Pacific Order. Alternatively, they should gang up on Junlin with Sonyeo Sidae's help. Apparently they tried this in around 1570 and it didn't work. Good.
Ruler: Archon
321 -> 403 -> 461 -> 521 -> 521 -> 525
33 -> 40 -> 51 -> 56 -> 51 -> 51

Idea Groups
- Religious
- Defensive
- Trade

Junlin remain in the same precarious position they've been in for the last 30 years. They're arguably the most powerful country in east Asia but suffer from a whole heap of strategic and diplomatic problems. Their strongest ally is now the impressively sized but developmentally stunted Sichuan who wouldn't honestly be much help in a real war. Their main enemies, Sonyeo Sidae and Jeohia, remain allied and remain interested in taking their lands. They have a long, drawn out empire, stretching far into Manchuria, making it difficult to consolidate their armies into a single cohesive fighting unit. On that note, they still own an exclave south of Jujian, as well as a province on Taiwan, which further exacerbates this difficulty and requires the maintenance of a navy - a navy that'll get smashed by more maritime inclined countries like Sonyeo.

The solution is the same as it's always been - as it's always been for every country in a similar situation: reach out to new allies. An interesting choice here would be to start buttering up Qizil Bronxo. If they conquer towards each other a little more to limit the Distance penalty then it'd be a useful option for both countries.

I don't mind Trade as an idea choice for Junlin. They dominate their home node of Beijing, and any trade taken from the feeder nodes of Girin, Hangzhou and Xi'an is trade that isn't going to their enemies.

later edit: apparently there was a war between Junlin and Sonyeo/Jeohia that ended with a white peace? I genuinely have no memory of that (and I can't check the VOD right now) and it's surprising to me that the strength of numbers didn't win out.
Ruler: Lebubu
276 -> 341 -> 424 -> 614 -> 758 -> 892
34 -> 39 -> 43 -> 62 -> 81 -> 102

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Quantity
- Espionage

Since Padishah Muaddam Lebubu ascended to the throne in 1547, Kabus have fought 7 wars of conquest. That's one war every four years, in which they've taken an average of 3 provinces per war. The question is no longer 'who's next?' - it is now 'who's left?'

The actual answer is Mecca, then Urfa's last province. They're the last two countries on Kabus' border who aren't protected by a major power. One imagines that they'll be eaten as soon as those truces elapse in 1578 and 1580 respectively, at which point, the question becomes a bit more interesting.

Conquering further into Africa would see them face Tolkmaria, perhaps with Ethiopia. It'd be an easy war to win, but taking Tolkmaria's Maginot-esque line of mountain forts would cost a hell of a lot of manpower, which probably isn't a great idea with The Savage Men sitting on the other side of the Sea of Mamara. They're option two by the way: get Arkansas and Qizil Bronxo onside and throw the full might of the Islamic Triumvirate into the Norse Bloc. The third option is the best one. Equestria are protected by The Savage Men and Austurstrond. Declare war on the horsemen and you cut out Nordischreich and the PRD, and can kill the two strongest Norse countries individually. It'd be very interesting if the AI sees that option, because while it'd be a bold play for a human to make, it'd be a gamewinner for the AI.

Or maybe they sit back, let their manpower recover, and enjoy their time as the most powerful country on Earth. I always highlight fanciful geopolitical scenarios and what-ifs in these writeups, but I think this one might be the least likely of them all.
Ruler: Tribute
302 -> 316 -> 348 -> 357 -> 414 -> 432
20 -> 21 -> 23 -> 23 -> 27 -> 28

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Offensive
- Trade
- Exploration

Lahdahn have been hit hard by the Reformation. They're sitting at a pitiful 37% Religious Unity after the Centre of Reformation in Holland converted all their mainland possessions as well as their capital, London. One might suggest that at this point it would be worth converting to Protestantism and taking the relationship penalties with their Catholic allies, just to have a functioning country again. However, Lahndahn remain the Defender of the Catholic Faith and are prevented from converting even if they wanted to. 1583 is the earliest that they'll be able to start reconverting their provinces back to Catholicism, but while the Center of Reformation remains on their doorstep, it might be a losing battle.

To round off a pretty sorry session for Lahndahn, they've taken Exploration ideas as their fourth idea slot. Not only have they been beaten to the best colonial sites by Free Scotland, Epiphany, Neroland and Patria, but they don't even have the Colonial Range to pick up the scraps yet.
Ruler: LegendoftheSkies
277 -> 308 -> 317 -> 318 -> 336 -> 360
23 -> 30 -> 31 -> 31 -> 32 -> 33

Idea Groups
- Economic
- Diplomatic
- Offensive
- Administrative

Unbeknownst to us when watching the campaign live, Legendia have actually settled a second colony. They've snuck out a settlement in Ezorongondo in Namibia - west of the Kalahari desert in southwest Africa. Yes, this was the most exciting thing to happen to Legendia itself in this past session. Again, they've sat back while everyone around them gets stronger. Everyone, of course, includes Malta, who pushed further into central Africa. In fact, the history of Legendia is literally a list of Maltese wars, occasionally punctuated by the odd defence of a Catholic.

If Legendia took that Maltese land instead they could be rivalling Patria in the 300 years early Scramble for Africa and building their own power base. As it is, on the surface Legendia have become almost fatalistically complacent and very diplomatically vulnerable. They remain allied to a decimated Versailles, though Legendia lost nothing in their last defence of them. They might have been saved by their other major ally, Grunhammer, becoming allies with Erit Lux, who will now be very reluctant to effectively declare war on their new friend.

As is the new recurring theme of the campaign, Legendia need to reach out to someone new. Unlike most other countries, the Legendian AI has been quietly building up a new diplomatic relationship with a useful country. That useful country is Kabus. If Legendia can actually secure the backing of Kabus (and it's looking possible) then that's a massive gamechanger and the balance of European power could be flipped on its head in an instant.
Ruler: DarthLurtz
261 -> 271 -> 363 -> 368 -> 382 -> 378
33 -> 33 -> 42 -> 42 -> 43 -> 38

Idea Groups
- Religious
- Offensive
- Exploration

Lurtzland suffer the exact same problem as every other also-ran, not-quite-top-of-the-food-chain power: not enough friends. In hindsight, the fact that Lurtzland and Schwarzwald managed to survive so long by themselves, without provoking the blocs to their west and east, is hugely impressive. There's a relatively large list of countries who would consider allying Lurtzland with a bit more diplomatic effort: Grunhammer, Erit Lux, Free Scotland, Legendia and Lahndahn would all make the Norse Bloc think twice before gunning for Lurtzland's exposed rich core provinces.

Worst of all, Lurtzland have Exploration ideas but still don't have the colonial range to settle anywhere. They can't even run away to the new world when Austurstrond come knocking.
Ruler: Voytek
293 -> 352 -> 345 -> 341 -> 285 -> 318
37 -> 43 -> 39 -> 37 -> 28 -> 30

Idea Groups
- Economic
- Espionage
- Offensive

Medvedstrana are getting pushed further and further east. They started off the campaign as a (somewhat angular) circle around the capital of Moskva. Now Moskva is on the Austurstrond border. All three of the neighbouring Norse Bloc have the troop numbers, the allies and the Casus Belli needed to continue their Russian conquests as soon as the truce expires in 1580 and there's no realistic way for Medvedstrana to stop it.
Ruler: Nero
271 -> 315 -> 208 -> 266 -> 334 -> 327
24 -> 26 -> 16 -> 20 -> 26 -> 25

Idea Groups
- Economic
- Offensive
- Exploration
- Expansion

Neroland continue to prepare for their upcoming exodus to South America by colonising the whole Brazilian coastline. With the most largest colonial nation and a relatively powerful presence in the Caribbean, Neroland would be in a very good geopolitical position if they weren't constantly on the verge of being killed by the Triple Alliance. Again, there's always countries to reach out to, but it's more difficult for Neroland to build up relations with others due to the different religious group penalty.

What they should do as some kind of spectacular hail mary is colonise in south east Africa before Patria do (they already have the range and the colonising advantages), then jump to the Philippines while it's still possible. That would get rid of the distance penalty for allying fellow Confucians like Jeohia and Junlin. Obviously they'd be next to useless in an actual Iberian land war, but their strength on paper could be enough to dissuade Triple Alliance aggression.
Ruler: ninja colt
274 -> 154 -> 80 -> 94 -> 66 -> 95
45 -> 32 -> 17 -> 20 -> 15 -> 14

Idea Groups
- Economic
- Offensive

Now a tributary of Sonyeo Sidae, Ninjakorutsu have managed to stop the rot. They're expanding into empty and virtually useless Siberian land, but it looks good on the map. They even managed to hold onto one of their Japanese provinces. It's also empty and virtually useless, but looks horrible on the map.
Ruler: Mistra
272 -> 274 -> 274 -> 279 -> 271 -> 389
27 -> 27 -> 27 -> 27 -> 26 -> 35

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Trade
- Defensive

Nordischreich are a bit like the youngest sibling of the Norse Bloc family. They've seen their brothers and sisters grow up and do cool things while all they got were a few old and battered hand-me-down HRE provinces. But now that Austurstrond's graduated and become a teacher, the PRD are away doing a post-grad in Political Science and The Savage Men are on parole for assault, they can all come back and contribute to the patient upbringing that Nordischreich were waiting for. By beating up Schwarzwald twice in three years.

This metaphor makes for a better and more wholesome writeup than the first one I did for Nordischreich, where I derided them as cowards for killing Schwarzwald only once the entire west had finished with them. Which they still are btw.
Ruler: Anarch
255 -> 263 -> 325 -> 316 -> 314 -> 410
39 -> 40 -> 48 -> 48 -> 48 -> 60

Idea Groups
- Religious
- Quantity
- Espionage

Patria's colonisation machine finally kicked into gear. They've left Patrian Brazil to their own devices for now and claimed South Africa instead. I feel like this is the second decent thing they've done all campaign (the first being a member of the Triple Alliance).

The reason South Africa is so important is that there are limited ways to funnel trade from Asia to Europe, and only one route to funnel it to Patria's home node of Sevilla. That one route is routing trade all the way around the Cape of Good Hope, through the Ivory Coast and then on to Europe. Patria are currently conquering their way through West Africa to be the first European power to control the Ivory Coast (their only competition is, literally, Malta), so once they have that, they'll be able to decide where a huge percentage of the world's trade goes. That they've built this budding trade empire without Exploration (or Trade!) ideas is stupefying.

A point of lore that I really liked though: Patria are supposedly Colombians who left South America looking for new lands. Now that they've resettled in Brazil, they instantly allied Colombia rather than subjugating or killing them. Heartwarming.
Ruler: Gobb
263 -> 150 -> 94 -> 44 -> 50 -> 39
22 -> 14 -> 9 -> 4 -> 5 -> 4

Idea Groups
- Religious
- Trade
- Offensive
- Administrative

Pirineos have joined Ceara and Brazil (tiny Amazonian tribes) in becoming tributaries of Neroland. That's all you need to say about them really.
Ruler: iosif
264 -> 325 -> 325 -> 366 -> 405 -> 467
23 -> 27 -> 27 -> 32 -> 37 -> 45

Idea Groups
- Economic
- Trade
- Quantity

PRD are the biggest loser when it comes to these writeups because they easily have the least personality out of the four Norse Bloc countries. Each of the main three blocs has the strong one (Savage Men, Kabus, Epiphany), the smart one (Austurstrond, Arkansas, Erit Lux) and the useless one (Nordischreich, Qizil Bronxo, Patria). PRD are just sitting there making everyone's borders look worse and worse

In game, they're far from the biggest loser. They're doing pretty well. I just don't care at all.
Ruler: leet guy
270 -> 211 -> 284 -> 153 -> 145 -> 147
20 -> 16 -> 20 -> 8 -> 7 -> 7

Idea Groups
- Religious
- Quantity

I feel like every time we check on Qiuyu they're either on the verge of death, or have just had a miraculous recovery. I feel like this current war will be their penultimate one though - they're not going to be left with very many provinces after this, then they'll be finished off when the truce timer is over. This is a classic prediction that'll go down in history like 'Grunhammer will be the #1 points scorer.'
Ruler: rsox
319 -> 375 -> 381 -> 377 -> 415 -> 426
52 -> 59 -> 59 -> 59 -> 63 -> 65

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Diplomatic
- Defensive

A top contender for most boring country but nevertheless, Qizil Bronxo remain in a pivotal geopolitical position. Their past 25 years has been split between sitting around doing nothing and supporting Kabus in their various expansionist wars.

Complacency might have set in though. Sind Sagar are a staunch ally of Takeela to the point that Takeela would absolutely help them in any aggressive war. A war declared directly on Qizil would be a bad idea for obvious Kabus reasons, but a war declared on any one of Qizil's plethora of minor allies could see them suddenly outnumbered on the steppes by masses of conscripted Indians. Or Persians, as Arkansas is eyeing up Qumis too. If Qizil dropped Qumis then there would be a decent chance of an alliance with Arkansas (forming an actual Islamic Triumvirate bloc) which would give everyone a chance of taking down Takeela & co.
Ruler: LegendoftheSkies
244 -> 254 -> 276 -> 366 -> 375 -> 384
23 -> 23 -> 24 -> 32 -> 33 -> 34

Idea Groups
- Diplomatic
- Administrative
- Quantity

Samudr Lee Katha are the chronic enablers of this campaign. Surely, at this point, they must have realised that things have gone a bit too far? That they've helped create an unstoppable frankenstein of an ally who will inevitably turn on them? Samudr actually carried their weight in the Takeela vs Bengalistan war, but we saw just how much of a priority they were for war leader Takeela. Samudr were given absolutely no land for their efforts and it's difficult to see where any future expansion will happen. Their colonising efforts led to them getting to the Philippines fourth, after Australia, Amaranth and Bengalistan. Imagine being so desperate for any sort of expansion that you're contented with being FOURTH to the Philippines.

Interestingly, they're now guaranteeing the independence of OPM Gauravdesh. A Gauravdesh that Takeela want to conquer.

I feel like a Samudr / Arkansas alliance would be interesting. Takeela don't have enough forts in the right places to impede free movement between them in a war situation, and army wise it'd be pretty even (112 vs 74+44). It's a shame Samudr and Arkansas are sworn enemies.
Ruler: Denny
266 -> 282 -> 320 -> 384 -> 444 -> 265
26 -> 26 -> 28 -> 33 -> 38 -> 23

Idea Groups
- Religious
- Quantity
- Espionage

Schwarzwald o Schwarzwald, brought down, in the end by the craven and the meek.

What killed them wasn't the territory lost in the Punitive War, it was that they were forced to annul their alliance with Lurtzland. That war ended in 1554, leaving Schwarzwald friendless and alone in central Europe, wholly surrounded by countries who wanted their piece. Nordischreich were first (and second, as it turned out) in line. They declared war for the first time in 1567 with the backing of Austurstrond and the PRD and four years later, they annexed the entire eastern borderlands. A mere two years later, Nordischreich declared war on Hanover - a Schwarzwald protectorate - in an attempt to finish off the original Denny dynasty.

In the space of 20 years, a major country has essentially been wiped off the map of Europe at the behest of the Norse Bloc. It wasn't even one of the cool Norse countries that did it, it was the literal anachronistic fascists.
Ruler: King Brandon
286 -> 351 -> 397 -> 430 -> 487 -> 496
36 -> 44 -> 49 -> 52 -> 64 -> 63

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Quantity
- Espionage

Sonyeo Sidae are currently being ruled by the incredible Queen Consort Hye-su Yi (6/5/5). If nothing untoward happens, she'll reign for 11 more years until Sinseong Brandon (4/3/3) reaches the age of 15. What I'm saying here is that some guys get all the luck and that even with such luck and overwhelming numbers, they can still somehow fail to beat Junlin in a two on one war. Get it up ye.
Ruler: tequila
316 -> 399 -> 490 -> 540 -> 682 -> 814
26 -> 35 -> 41 -> 51 -> 60 -> 72

Idea Groups
- Economic
- Quantity
- Defensive

Takeela are the only country to have taken two Military ideas in their first three choices. They were already the biggest fish in the smallest pond by some distance, but now their endless legions of troops are going to have some quality behind them too.

After nibbling at Bengalistan last session, Takeela went in for the kill and took a massive bite and in 1559, swallowed the entire west of Bengalistan. Much of this land was undeveloped jungle and not strictly a massive gain in itself, but in the inevitable next war, Takeela will have the incredibly rich and fertile Bengal Delta in sight and Bengalistan have neither the power nor the allies to stop them.

Going forward, Takeela are in an amazing situation diplomatically. Arkansas are a looming threat to the West, but their allies are too far away to be called into an aggressive war, making that entire front effectively safe for Takeela. Conversely, Takeela's main allies (Samudr and Sind Sagar) are close enough to both the western and eastern fronts to be called in whenever needed. Speaking of the east, Takeela remain allied to the anchor that is the New Pacific Order, which is their only diplomatic weakness. That said, if Bengalistan, Jeohia and Amaranth were all to form an alliance and come for the NPO? I wouldn't bet against Takeela winning that war for them anyway. That's how powerful they are right now.
Ruler: csm
244 -> 326 -> 361 -> 467 -> 537 -> 668
25 -> 33 -> 36 -> 45 -> 54 -> 70

Idea Groups
- Religious
- Quantity
- Diplomatic

The Savage Men doubled their kill count this session. Not content with ending Ashwinder in 1522, they finished off Perevorot in one huge bite in 1573. They're able to take huge amounts of land in peace deals for two reasons and they're both called Province War Score Cost. You see, The Savage Men's three attributes are Aggressive, Expansionist and Horde, so I gave them -20% PWSC as a National idea, because of course they're not going to take Diplomatic ideas as an Aggressive, Expansionist Horde. So then they took Diplomatic ideas and got another -20% PWSC. They can essentially take 40% more land in peace treaties than anyone else. To put it in perspective, it would take four wars for any of their neighbours to fully annex Equestria by themselves. It would take The Savage Men two. That's horrifying.

The only way to conquer any faster would be once the Absolutism mechanic comes into play. At least then, the gap might close and The Savage Men might stop being so horrendously overpowered. What's that? I made their Ambition (final National idea) +15.00 Max Absolutism?

I've made a huge mistake.
Ruler: tolk
318 -> 324 -> 325 -> 377 -> 401 -> 426
59 -> 59 -> 59 -> 71 -> 74 -> 76

Idea Groups
- Religious
- Offensive
- Espionage

If you'd given me the free choice of any country in the game to play as at the beginning of the campaign, I'd have probably picked Erit Lux, but my second choice would've been Tolkmaria. You've got quality military ideas, some great ideas for settling the uninhabited African land, racing to colonise the Cape of Good Hope. You've got plenty of space to expand into down south, and once you get there, the gold mines will keep your nation afloat even if everything else goes wrong. All you have to worry about is Denial Valley, but you start off as equals and you have some pretty great defensive terrain. You're set for a great campaign.

Then in 1522, Cairo falls, Denial Valley disappears and they're replaced with a massive green blob on the map that stretches from Egypt to Istanbul and [oh god I'm never going to get the Prester John achievement] now you're in trouble.

I'm being deathly serious when I say that I can only see one way out of this situation and that is constant, unending war. Not with Kabus, goodness me no, that would mean a very quick death. Tolkmaria have full Religious ideas, which allows them to Crusade against all non-Hindus, which is literally everyone else in Africa. Stop worrying about potentially dying from coalitions when the alternative is certain death from being Kabooted.

Quelimane would be the toughest nut to crack, and they're allied with both of Tolkmaria's first targets. Hit them first and don't let them get back up. There's over 700 development waiting to get sequentially conquered with nothing stopping you apart from the overwhelming threat of Turkish assimilation. But that's inevitable, so might as well get on with it.
Ruler: MagicalTrevor
245 -> 257 -> 261 -> 232 -> 218 -> 202
16 -> 16 -> 16 -> 14 -> 14 -> 11

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Quantity
- Espionage
- Religious

Say hello to the world's strongest Protestant country. Yes, by virtue of currently have 4 more development than Switzerland, Versailles will remain the lightning rod for Triple Alliance expansionism. As if things couldn't get any worse for Versailles, besides losing Charolais and Nevers, they were forced to annul their alliance with Grunhammer. I'm not sure if the Triple Alliance versus Versailles, Neroland and Legendia would've ever been a fair fight, but it certainly wouldn't be in 1580 when the truces expire.
Ruler: quinoa rex
189 -> 215 -> 129 -> 116 -> 97 -> 70
30 -> 30 -> 20 -> 14 -> 11 -> 8

Idea Groups
- Administrative
- Espionage
- Quality
- Humanist

I feel like Vikingar survived this session because Schwarzwald threw themselves in front of the Norse bus. With most other countries I can outline potential survival scenarios but for Vikingar there's just nothing. Even if the Norse Bloc doesn't come for them then Lurtzland will. I mean, I guess it's possible that the Norse attack Lurtzland and Vikingar nab enough land back in the melee that they regain enough strength to find allies. Possible, but very unlikely.
So there we have it. Another 25 years has been and gone. Time for another mass dump of stat screens and I'll see you in 1600 (and on Sunday at 9PM UK time on www.twitch.tv/kamichi !)

Next chapter:

Game: Europa Universalis IV

EUIV - Amaranthine Invitational #7 (1600)

Images: 61, author: kamichi, published: 2018-01-19

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Manntie on Kova Kävellä: A Finland Hoi3 AAR Part 1

Images: 21, author: TheGreatestPanini, published: 2017-01-31