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.

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