LPEU4: To the End

Well, at some point, EUIV becomes an automatism. Find a target, smash the target, grab land, find another target.

By the time the Age of Absolutism rolls around, the only serious opposition left to a World Conqueror (regardless of who it is) are the few designed-to-be-powerful nations or group of nations: Ming, the HRE, either Russia or the Commonwealth, and the such.

And of those, usually only the HRE, Ming and a superstrong Russia can really remain a real threat after the first victorious war against them. Everybody else gets significantly easier to fight once you’ve beaten them once.

So the only real enemy left if you can defeat those large countries are the clock and rebels. Because if you play too conservatively, sticking to below 100% Overextension all the time, you won’t be able to conquer everything in time. But at over 100% Overextension, rebels are inevitable.

In my run, I fail to realize that until very late. So the last fifty years or so I need to accept stupid amounts of rebellions (even having to micromanage my armies just to kill separatists rebels before they break my empire in parts.) because I’m stuck going over 200% overextension (and of course, in the last few years I’m doomed to living at Stability -3, because respecting truces would prevent me from finishing in time.)

So yeah… the last few decades are an uneventful slog of moving armies around, stomping inferior opponents over and over and over again. Really more of a chore than anything else. And then I get the achievement and it’s over.

Really, nothing exciting at all.

Biggest lesson learned? It’s not interesting LP material. But it’s over, so whatever.

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, I took an unannounced vacation. I was exhausted, and my son hit a more demanding phase to compound the problem. So yeah. I didn’t accomplish anything of note lately. I did complete that EU4 World Conquest… which was fun but mentally exhausting.

I’m back at work now, however. And it’s time to the final edit push on Book the First (excluding actually entering the corrections, of course, but that’s easier than reviewing.) So that’s one of my goals for the week.

Beyond that, let’s try to get to writing again. Every word counts!

LPEU4: Let’s Get Absolute

So, let’s recap. I have vassalized Castille and Portugal, mostly wiped Aragon away, finally wiped out the Mamluks, begun expansion into India… So yeah, lots of progress.

But now it’s 1601, and Absolutism is about to appear. Time to start thinking in terms of conquering everything.

Here’s what I want to do: I’m going to trigger a Golden Age just before the Age of Reformation ends. I’ll try to do an Absolutism boost right from the start of the age, by capitulating to the demands of particularists rebels and then redropping my autonomy, and then firing Court and Country immediately. This means, unfortunately, tanking my unrest a few years before the age hits.

Particularists appear, then I grant them their wish of increased autonomy (only to immediately lower it across the board, boosting my Absolutism.) And then it’s time to endure the Court and Country disaster (which, as disasters go, isn’t too bad.) I even manage some conquests during that time, and then it ends and I have lots of absolutism and everything is perfect forever.

Until I fall into the Diplomatic Power trap. See, with that much administrative efficiency, I can afford to take enormous peace deals and not worry too much about overextension. But those are all Unjustified Demands, meaning they cost me diplo points. To mitigate that, I need to complete the Influence idea group… and I forgot about it. So I end up in a cycle where I spend all my diplo points in peace deals, and fail to fulfill my ideas or advance my diplo tech. Which could potentially delay me getting to tech level 23 and the glorious Advanced Casus Belli.

I catch myself just in time. Seriously, I put my campaigns on hold, I spend a fortune on diplo advisors, I set my national focus to Diplomatic… and wait until I complete the Idea group. Then I start warring again, but slowly enough that my tech manages to catch up just in time.

Then I start reducing enemies to nothingness.

LPEU4: Taking Portugal

Well, Portugal’s mine now. At this point, anything that’s vassalizable by war is too small to be a threat. And in this case, Portugal’s allies dropped the ball too.

With Portugal now in the fold, I want to brutalize Castille again. The idea is to feed Portugal provinces so that it’s big enough to colonize efficiently, and to reduce Castille to a vassalizable size. Then it’ll be more than time to let the Christians forget about me.

This start a longer-than-expected sequence of wars. I weaken Castille enough that Aragon declares independence. Then I end up fighting Aragon, just to put them at truce since their AE is so high from my smashing of Portugal and Castille. In there, I also fight the Mamluks again, and Qara Qoyunlu. And some minor countries here and there. And then I do it again. And again, and again.

Eventually, I vassalize Castille (which will keep on hating me for a long, long time, what with their -450 or so AE against me.) I also start cutting Aragon just to keep them at truce.

Somewhere in there, France loses a war and ends up having to break our alliance – which means they now start to get pissed at me for conquering their neighbors. It’s not dramatic (they’ll calm down enough before our truce runs out) but it means we’re done pissing Europe off for a long, good while. Which means the puzzle becomes “how can I begin expanding in Asia without making more angry enemies.”

Weekly Report

Well, this was a low-productivity week if I ever saw one.

I ended a long work week exhausted, and between much-needed recuperation and uncontrollable urges to relax, I’ve barely been keeping ahead of my non-writing life.

I even managed to have a no-writing-or-editing day, which is frankly embarassing. Editing a page takes about 10 minutes if I do it very, very slowly, and somehow I managed to fail at that for a day.

Hopefully, things will get marginally better. It’s a light work week (although I have some obligations as well.) I kind of want to set myself an ambitious goal for the week… but I’ll wait until Wednesday.

LPEU4: Settling Down

So I thought I wanted to go to war with the Mamluks, but I have a few years left to kill… and I really should grab a few specific provinces to complete a mission, which will grant me a lot of claims on Mamluks land. So I run a few quick wars, against Hisn Haifa (who call Qara Qoyunlu in, letting me take their remaining provinces) and then Trebizond. Then I prepare for war against the Mamluks again (meaning I squash some revolts, put my armies to drilling, allow my tech to advance, and so on and so forth.)

Winning against the Mamluks is easy this time around: after the last big war, they’re no longer in my weight class. I don’t go for the 100% warscore, however, settling for a 70-80% win just because of the timing.

After that, I grab the bull by the horn and declare war on Portugal. The following war goes smoothly, thank to my ally France. I end up cutting Portugal down to “make it a vassal next war” size, and taking another quick bite out of Castille.

And then it becomes complicated. My AE is high enough in the Christian world that I want to keep away from them for a few years at least. But conquering in the Muslim world will create more countries with high AE. So planning my next move is a bit more difficult than I’d like.

I decide to take more land from Qara Q, which works out to putting me near the limit of AE with a bunch of nations, then get ready for a war with Castille. That works out great… except it starts a coalition against me. Uh oh.

As usual, the first coalition that forms can easily be broken up by diplomatic means. Until it does, however, I worry. A lot. But it eventually dissolves, and I turn my attention back to less hostile pastures. Like the Mamluks.

I go for another quick war there, just to throw them back at truce. My next big step is the vassalization of Portugal, which is likely to be a high-AE affair. I can’t really afford to have too many countries pissed at me now. Besides, I can use a couple of years of peace.

Weekly Report

I’ve been struggling with my schedule lately.

Let’s call a spade a spade: part of that is allowing myself more gaming time. But I’ve also been reading a lot. And I’ve been focusing a lot on my life projects too.

Still, I’m on top of my editing tasks, and I’ve really only dropped the ball on writing new words, and that only a little.

I really hope to hit some of my targets soon, however. I’d like to prune my recurring to-do list a bit, and I could use the stabler schedule that would entail. We’ll just have to cross our fingers on that.

On editing Book the First, I’m not quite at the “One Final Push” mark. Editing a page or two a day is slow, but at least it’s progress and doing more than that would just lead to me phoning the editing in. I think in a week or two I’ll reach that Final Push point and take the remaining thirty or so pages down in a few days. But we’ll see.

(Then it’s punch in the corrections, rewrite a couple scenes, and then ten final queries for that project before self-publishing it.)

So that’s it for my week.