Not So Weekly Update

Well, the last few weeks have been demanding. Not bad, but exhausting.

On the plus side, that’s in part because I’ve received a manuscript request (based on the revised-for-self-publication version of the manuscript) following a query I sent on a whim a few weeks ago. But that added some work (integrating my latest revisions, mainly) that I didn’t expect, I ended up spending even more time than I expected at work, and so on and so forth.

On the minus side, I was exhausted, which meant I basically focused most of my energy on the Let’s Play project. In other words, I’ve been messing around on EU4 way too much and not producing a lot of actually marketable content.

Let’s be honest: I’m going to allow myself to relax on the LP a bit more, then return to writing as my main “leisure time” activity afterward. But I really need to find the correct balance of work/play/be a dad/write, and right now I’m going the easy way of ignoring writing. I needed the break, but I want it to be a break, not the new normal.



Let’s Play Europa Universalis 4: Dealing with the Unexpected

Date: January 1464

Country Size: 46 Provinces (plus vassals Georgia, Syria and Wallachia)

Status: Perturbed.

So… we have two unforeseen problems. A stronger-than-usual Hungary and an Hungary/Mamluk alliance.

The alliance I can break pretty much whenever I want, for now. But a very strong Hungary is a really troublesome issue, mostly because it’s in my way in my usual invasion path for the HRE. Taking away HRE provinces would be very useful, as it’d eventually prevent the reformation of the HRE and ensure that it remains a patchwork of weak provinces.

We have time to act, but we don’t have forever.

(On the plus side, this particular game opening is VERY interesting to play through.)

So – war with the Mamluks, eh? Let’s get really, really ready for that before we make our move.

First, I can improve my fleet situation a bit by building a few more light ships. These tend to pay for themselves over time anyway. I also need to build my armies up, and to let my manpower recover. Finally, I need to wait until my claim on Cyprus has been fabricated.

Then I realize that by waiting a bit more, I can have a technological advantage over the Mamluks as well. So I wait until late 1467 to launch a war, after allying with one of the Mamluks’ southern neighbors just to ensure superiority.

The thing with a war like that is that I can’t really afford any mistake. I need to focus strictly on jacking up my war score, on ensuring that I can secure my objectives, and on avoiding taking crippling damage. Securing my cores, an additional province and breaking the alliance is the goal. If I can get some gravy by taking one or two Mamluk provinces too, great, but that’s not the goal.

So I wage a long war, end up taking Cyprus and removing a grand total of two provinces from the Mamluks and vassals. It’s unfortunate but inevitable (and I figure having stabbed the Mamluks that way, that they’ll end up drawn into dumb wars with their neighbors.) Plus, of course, I force them to break their alliance with Hungary.

In the meantime, while I’d like to recuperate… Qara Qoyunlu is at war with Persia. Time to eat some easy land!

So I end up taking a handful of provinces, fighting literally no battle for them. I really would have preferred to go for a 100% warscore win, but Qara Qoyunlu has a big rebel problem and I didn’t want to lose men fighting somebody else’s problem, especially since I still have a big, big manpower deficit to overcome.

Besides, there are other opportunities around. Like Hungary, which is currently embroiled in two wars while they have almost no allies left. So I join in, and grab some land for me and Wallachia while the grabbing is good. And then it becomes time to rest some more, because now I need men to join my new regiments of cannoneers.

MECHANICS: Ideas – Administrative Idea Group

So, a few years back I earned my first Idea Group. So what are Ideas?

They’re small buffs you can buy with monarch points. They’re split in fifteen Idea groups, five per type of monarch power. How it works is that at certain levels of administrative tech, you unlock a slot for a new Idea Group. You pick one group to fill the slot, and then you buy the Ideas in the group in order.

As you unlock ideas, you also unlock your national ideas as well.

Picking the right idea groups is vital to long-term success. As a would-be world conqueror, however, my first pick is unfortunately almost mandatory and is really more of a long-term investment

The Administrative Idea Group takes Administrative points as payment for Ideas, in exchange for:

1-A reduction in the cost of mercenaries, both to recruit and to maintain them;

2-A reduction in future Admin costs (by lowering coring costs and the cost of Administrative technology)

3-Small bonuses like lowered interests, increasing my number of possible advisors, etc.)

4-An increase in my max number of States (more on that later)

The real gamechanger is point 2. So far, my expansion hasn’t been spectacularly fast, but that’ll eventually change. And once I start really expanding, I’ll need to core many provinces…. which will cost me lots of admin points, which may force me to delay getting administrative tech levels… So over time I’ll recoup the admin point investment many times over.

Although mercenaries are important too. Right now my finances don’t really allow me to rely on mercenaries, but as I grow the ability to summon a sizeable army quickly in the middle of nowhere will be very useful in order to cut down on travelling time for my armies.

Weekly Report: New Position

Life got fun. A week ago, I was promoted at work. Obviously, that means more responsibilities and opportunities.

Short-term, it mostly means extra work. I kinda know, in general terms, what my additional responsibilities will be. I need to figure out the specifics, and since it’s a small business, I kind of have to do it on my own.

In the meantime, I’ve fallen back to the tried-and-true “be structured, document everything you do” method of task handling. So I’m writing more, which is good I guess?

It’s also been tiring – which is not conducive to doing good creative work, but even less for reviewing. I’ve been disciplined in my editing schedule, but I know the work I’m doing isn’t as good as it could be, which means I will be spending more time going over what I’ve reviewed lately. But it’s progress.

On a more personal front, Baby #2 is on the way. Which is cool from a blogging perspective, at least.