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Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2018 10:31:36 AM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 1: How we got here

Welcome to my personal hell, Playing Italy. Made tolerable by playing one of the coolest nations in history. In real Life the Latin Empire was a result of a few drunken crusaders being told to loot the wrong city by Venice. In this timeline things are slightly different.

Our story begins with Lothar the Lion one of the Great Charlemagne's companions and lord of Burgundy. Lothar was famous for his lovely poetry, skill at arms on the battlefield, oh and dying of cancer. It is from Lothar that house Lotharing gets its name and Sigil, the Cross of Savoy styled with the Black and Gold Fleur Di Lis of Lothar's shield.

Lothar's heir was the infamous Clovis the Impaler. A Savant in manners of Intrigue it was Clovis who engineered the fall of the House of Karling and the ascension of his Nephew to the Throne of the Empire through a series of shrewd Marriage. Clovis would claim the Crown of Burgundy for himself in his later years before eventually being killed himself, the world did not weep for his death. He married his Niece and they had two Children. It is from Clovis that the Imperial of Line of the Latin Empire can claim descent.

Cesaria the sister of Clovis and her son with Charles II of Francia are also of Note. Used by Clovis Cesaria lost her Husband to Clovis' knife and watched her unready son be forced to rule an Empire that collapsed all around him before finally being assassinated himself. Addled by grief Cesaria turned to drink first and was later fell into paranoia and insanity. A Tragedy.

With Italy in chaos the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire passed to the Bretons. However the Crowns of Italy and Burgundy passed instead to Clovis' Elder brother Gausbold by law. Gausbold was not prepared to be Emperor simply put and Italia languished under his rule until his death and the ascension of the more competent Beretrude Lotharing.

Beretude however would not hold the Latin Throne for Long, after some short years of Rule she was overthrown by Clovis' heir, Lothar of Burgundy and she later died trying to reclaim her throne from the Kingdom of Aquitaine.

Emperor Lothar, would be the first great Ruler of Italia. Lothar did not like holding court and was known to lash out at those who disturbed his silence, even women. Instead Lothar spent his days administering and studying battle tactics and plans, reforging the newborn Nation of Italia into the most powerful military force in the world. Like his Great Uncle Clovis, Lothar was ambitious and feared by many, but unlike his Great Uncle Lothar held the talent not only to gain power but to rule. Like his Namesake Lothar would be a terror on the field of battle, and the friends he did make would swear by his character.

The next Emperor would be Charles of Italia, who was smart enough to reset the regnal numbering system so as to avoid confusion. Four Years, Four Years passed and Charles died, ln those four years Charles would produce several children of his particularly strong Bloodline but ultimately the Emperor himself would amount to nothing, dieing and leaving the Throne to the Toddler Isaac. Over a decade of regency for young Isaac would continue until finally the Raven Haired Emperor of Charles and his Middle Eastern Bride would ascend to the Throne.

Isaac did not start out as a great ruler. In fact despite his parentage he was rather mediocre and uninterested in the affairs of state. Isaac however, born of a Muslim Mother and Charles the Short Lived would find himself ruling Italia during a newfound period of religious unrest in the world. The Bretons, looking to expand thier influence outside of Francia invaded the Republic of Scandinavia kicking off the Crusades. Isaac would find himself at the heart of a religious dispute and the wars would harden a boy ruler into a great who would make Italia a world power even if Isaac himself would pale in comparison to those who would follow him.

Isaac's children would be the first Italian Princelings that would achieve some level of renown of their own. Isaac's original marriage was arranged to be with a german Princess, but after coming into his own as Emperor Isaac soon made his own choices, setting aside his german wife for an African Maid from Ethiopia and fathering three children. Elyria was famed for her skill as a spymaster, the best in the entire world. Etienne was the first Grandmaster of the Knight's Templar from the House of Lotharing and King Stephanos of Africa, famous for converting to Miaphysitism of his mother, and fathering several Kings of Africa, some of which were Muslim and yet participating in the Crusade for Egypt all the same.

Isaac's heir would be his firstborn, Raoul was a constant rival to his half sister Elyria for the Throne and very much her equal in matters of Intrigue but Upon Elyria's death Raoul fell into a deep depression, from a lack of challenge or excitement in his life as Emperor. Raoul would be the Emperor to break the Back of the Eastern Roman Empire by invading greece and would also deliver the Kingdom of Egypt back into Christian Hands. The Later half of Raoul's reign involved the Black death which swept through Europe killing all it effected, Luckily however the Lotharings within italy itself were spared for the most part.

Julius the Bear would be the catalyst for the War of the First Coalition against Italia. Julius as the name implied was an absolute monster on the battlefield and brought fear across Europe despite eventually losing a hand in battle and being maimed in another. His Martial still even in old age was so great that Italian armies remained the largest and greatest the World over.

It was becuase of Julius that Emperor Henry inherited a Throne that was drawing the Ire and Envy over most of Europe. Julius had left the Crowns of Bavaria, Germany, Aquitaine, Burgundy, Africa, Egypt and Greece in the hands of the House of Lotharing and the Rulers of Europe had taken note of this, choosing to strike at the heart of the Lotharing Empire, Italy. Henry, lacking the Martial skill of his father could only rely on his skill at diplomacy to convince the British to back out of the war, The Pope to declare a crusade against the Hellenes to keep them out of the war, and make concessions with the Merchants of Venice, while also recieving a Loan from the Merchants of Scandinavia to ensure the Empire's survival. It was not the best hand but Henry managed it with skill, and proved that even if his gifts were not on the battlefield that house Lotharing could still fight Europe to a standstill.

With control of Italy Absolute the House of Lotharing grew bolder with their choice of Ruler, naming Ambrosia Empress. Ambrosia like Henry was an adept at diplomacy and was instrumental in diffusing a tenuous balance of Power in Europe. Ambrosia would spent much of her reign bringing prosperity back to the Empire, but such an inwards focus would cause problems for the House of Lotharing as elsewhere in Bavaria and other countries the House was weakening. Ambrosia would engineer the return of Sweden to the Scandinavian Republic, as well as interfere in Britain several times to resolve ongoing civil disputes.

Ambrosia's successor Francesco would be the first ruler in a long line of succession to not excell in any particular area. His reign was short and under Francesco the House of Lotharing lost even more influence throughout Europe, prompting dramatic action by the Imperial Court.

The spark as it seemed was lost within the House and so the Electorate named Felicia, a competent Daughter of Francesco to the Throne Felicita believed that the Empire could turn to China for reinvigoration and strength. However China was a long way away and while Felicita was off preparing to Kow Tow to the Emperor, her sister Carola was preparing to make her own moves for the Throne, establishing a dangerous but also effective precedent in the Empire. The Strongest Heir must rule if the Empire is to survive and to ensure there was plentiful heirs, a Harem would need to be created to ensure the House of Lotharing continued to produce blood of an almost divine quality.

Carola would end her sister personally, seizing the Empire for herself and preparing the Armies of Italia for a return to greatness. Carola would return territories in Greece to the House of Lotharing but also make moves to cripple the Republic of Venice once and for all. For her actions however Carola learned the lessons of her forebears, a Powerful house of Lotharing drew jealous and fear from Europe and in response the Merchants and Enemies of the House of Lotharing gathered around the Abbasids of Gaul to save Venice. Carola however would not bow and instead chose war, Killing the Venetian Doge in battle and imprisoning His designated successor, then fighting the Breton Knights outside of Milan and sending them back over the Alps, the Breton Empire commiting suicide rather than be caught and Captured by Carola.

Finally Atlassia and Gaul remained defiant, and Carola after fighting the Abbassids to a standstill declared an Invasion of the Islands that made up the Atlassian Core territories, landing in Sardinia and beating the famed Atlassian Pike retinue in battle. Triumphant Carola announced the Reformation of Italy into the Latin Empire, a True successor to Western and Eastern Rome centered on Rome Itself earning the Epitaph 'The Great'. In response the Germans and Bretons reformed the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne to offset the Rising Eagle of the Latins. However before Carola could consolidate he holdings she was murdered by her former Enemy,

King Martin of the Gaulbassids. *Soap Opera Sound Effects follow*

Leaving us to Elyria a girl from Milan with stars in her eyes and skills exceeding those of her mother. Elyria inherits an Empire that is on top of the world, Rich and Powerful. The Papacy is controlled by a Lotharing, the Knights Templar a Lotharing, Half of Greece, Africa and Burgundy, Lotharings. While the Empire of China falls and the Powers of the middle east stagnate the Latin Empire of Italia is now poised to take the World by Storm.

And the Obligatory OOC chat. For those of you just tuning in and dont know my previous work, the Last Empress named Elyria I had Brought the Glory of the Worm to the innocent people of the Holy Terran Empire So she has some Legacy to live up to. However she also converts as a 6/4/5 Ruler. How Brilliant Strategist and 25 Martial does not equal 6 Military is beyond me, But she starts with +1 General Shock, so thats nice.

Also yes it was indeed King Martin of the Abbassids of Gaul who ended Poor Carola's life. Cant say I blame him we did fight a war and all but He is secretly Shia, and Abbasid, and the death of Carola led to the ascension of Empress Elyria, Whose Children will be Sayyid. So whos really laughing now? #Notmycaliph

Coming into Eu4 im expecting a sudden and catatrophic War to End my Reign of Terror, or people leave me to devour Venice and Greece so I can get my pretty looking Empire and then maybe try for some Colonies or something. No real intent to break Eu4 going forward as last time we needed to end the Campaign over becuase Italy grew too powerful. I like this Setup, we have a bunch of good players going forward, it'd be a shame to end it all now.

Especially becuase I dont want to play another six months of Crusader Kings 2. I love you Ck2, but two Multiplayer campaigns for months on End has reminded me exactly why I tend to prefer Singleplayer for everyone's favorite murder and incest simulator.

Thoughts of Ck2: Glad its over

Long Version? Well it was fun having what was it, lets count, Ten, TEN super Rulers with either Genius, Strong, Quick or some mix of two. The Running Joke I tend to make about the Lotharings is they are Primarchs, clearly, Sauron seems to find it funny everyone else seems to not think its funny or has no idea what I'm talking about and thats only counting the Rulers, However I did not in fact get the most geniuses in the save, that Belongs to Vaniver whos dynasty has spread over most of Europe like a Cancer, More Dynasts more genius. Such a Shame.

However as the saying goes its not the Size of the Dynasty that counts. Its how you use it. Personally I think several hundred years of Incest, Murder and conquest has paid off rather well.

As far as my keys to success, The Pope helped tons, It took Khan joining for people to realize despite the pope being a vassal, that other players can ask for money and he'll obliged. You can also abuse the Size limit by feeding the pope land thus forcing me to spit it out, something I expected all campaign that never happened.

Being sat between Two republics was a double edged sword, On one hand it made me rich, On the other hand, I couldn't attack them not becuase I wasnt strong enough but becuase two Republics that arent hurting anyone will generate an insane amount of player BB. Case and point, exactly what happened when sniped a Duchy off of Venice, which was a fairly scummy move, but from my Position I could fight Venice and all her armies and allies, or Kill the Rebels and force a peace. I chose the later which was the equivilent to annexing 3 minors at once in the HRE, people werent happy.

So I should explain myself, With a competitive Venice on the board, my slot becomes insanely unviable. Gaul is a player and is to my West. To my south is a Player who will be focusing exclusively on Navy, effectively boxing me out of taking or holding anything in the Med without some sort of Deal. With Venice my Western Flank is also blocked by a Player, capable of doing diplomacy. The preparedness everyone had to jump on the Liberate Fruili train reassured me I made the right move as I very realistically could have stumbled into a conversion where a Bretonnian Led Hugbox could End me, Spain and other great Powers in Europe, while stagnating any others.

Italy wasn't my first choice for this Campaign either I should point out, The original intent was Burgundy but I quickly realized a sort of Pan alpine state which was my original goal was going to run afoul of the current Bavaria player who I was hoping would stay since we were struggling with maintaining players in the Ck2 portion. So I overthrew the HRE, and without bragging too much, was a fairly nice place since I managed the Setup, Execution and Payoff all within the confines of 2 hours of a 4 hour session. From a completly cold start.

The Size limits we kept from last round, and They worked well. Proof of my point is Khan, whos nation would never have existed without size limits. Similarly, Venice would not merely be crippled but completly and utterly destroyed as No size limiteds would have results In me vassalizing Atlassia and Venice to try and Reform the Roman Empire. Of course I was reminded recently I would not in fact be the first person in our campaigns to reform the Empire, Khan did it years ago, So next go around I'll have to find a different meme to go after. Getting the Latin Empire was a nice consolation Prize though.

The Mission system while fun unfortunately had problems, namely in that Ck2 in multiplayer is sloooooow. So you'd either need to expand the list, make them really valuable to go after or do what we did which was basically say, screw it and make them all achievements again.

The Achievements meanwhile continue to be fun. The added incentive of Auction score for Eu4 means Crusading for more than just land is worth it. Playing something besides the dominant religion is viable (King of Men received a defacto 3rd in Score becuase of it) The reasons go on and on.

The new Cb's we added were good but I think the Kingdom CB was a bit too powerful. Even with the 3k Prestige cost there was hardly a reason not to use it. Now of course Paradox has come along and added the same CB in Jade Dragon but to be fair its sort of necessary when you consider that every other religion thats not some types of Pagan has a Kingdom tier CB, the Catholics having to rely solely on Crusade is just.. Dumb. I do think in the future though we should consider moving the size limit up a bit since now being above the required size essentially means you can use the CB on other nations of that size, but it also makes you vulnerable. a Good tradeoff I say.

Overall This run of Ck2 was better than the last one, I had to do a whole lot less babysitting which says to me people are learning, so thats nice. I think we had a fairly good run of it. Would I like to play more ck2? Hell no. Theres very little incentive to keep playing when you have your nation situated and more score than you could need. one of downsides of Size limits is after all that the game will stagnate after a point by design and effectively you arent doing anything anymore besides seeding dynasty. Half the reason you see Italia has so many primarch Rulers is becuase I literally could just sit inside the Hermetics for tech and artifacts and seduce as many people as I wanted to produce these kids. Investing all of my gold into buildings and tech and very little of my time investment going into warfare.

So it may be worth looking into next go around but its not a huge issue becuase we can always vote to convert, as we did.

Posted: Sunday, February 18, 2018 4:34:10 PM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 2:

Part 2 of the Latin Empire, Were still alive so thats a good sign but the State of the board has changed somewhat since we started.

For a start Bavaria now has a player, meaning there is now a Central European Power that is not distracted by the wealth of the Mediterranean. There is also a Player in Arabia gobbling up the rich Middle East Lands that previously would have gone to Gaul or myself.

As far as Foreign Policy, there is no secret that I'm pursuing these Borders. Look at how nice they look. Having an Empire in Europe this size nets me a cool 20 Farmland a Goldmine in Kosovo and complete control over the Venice Endnode as well as the Gateway to Venice, Ragusa. Now The reason im being so conservative with my ambitions is mainly becuase last game ended rather early becuase of Italy and Ukraine growing too powerful and taking on all of Europe. This game however has a fairly healthy Europe in contrast to the last one and so I want to play it out and reach Vicky and Hoi4 for once. If I can keep the Latin Empire a great power and intact until Vicky it'll be a record for me in these Ederon games becuase usually I find myself backstabbed at some point in Eu4 and thus killed.

Survival of course Hinges of several things, Being a Great power is a not only a must but an inevitability. I converted absurdly well and I have plenty more AI to eat. Very little reason to go to war with anyone and im also powerful enough to dissuade roughly any 2 Players at the moment. I intend to keep my leadership role in Europe and have already talked through a few goings on in the North, but of course this being EU, means my Admin skill has gone down from a six to a measly 4. Though unlike Eu4 rulers I should have a chance to raise it over these next couple of months to keep myself alive.

Our idea set is another asset in the Latin proverbial toolbox. I'm told from Clone that my build is tied for second best in the game currently after Korea. Korea of course is in Asia, took a tech cost idea set paired with Prussian Goverment and so has been scaring people a bit. I have the Knight set which opens with 20% Fire damage reduction 15% Cav combat ability. Gets 5% discipline in the Line as well as ensuring my prestige holding point will always be somewhere in the 70's. The finisher which you cant see is 15% shock damage. I took defensive first to compound my military edge and will likely be taking a military set every other time its available.

On matters of Score we have been blessed indeed. A Victory card landed on the hated merchants of Venice, which I have not hesitated to take. However Victory cards come at a cost, Gaul has one on Lombardy of all places and Afer Ultima got a card on some valuable trade ports in Anatolia. Lombardy being less Ideal than Izmit, but still annoying. Current score's purpose at conversion is bragging rights and 'something' for Vicky. Something for some however could be 'anything' and so it'll be important to watch where the 1550 cards land as that my color peoples opinions in the future.

And of course here's an Empire screenshot. We expanded in Egypt and Bulgaria as well as securing swathes of Venice which is unfortunately all Truces allow at the moment. However Venice's truce is expiring soon and I plan to take another chunk, as well as possibly expanding into Anatolia and further south in Egypt, but we'll see what the session brings.

Posted: Sunday, February 25, 2018 4:36:31 PM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 3: Changing Tide

Part three, the Year is now 1502 and some major events have happened. The most signficant is the Fall of Bretonnia.

The Bretonnian Player Djoes apparently did little to no diplomacy outside arranging the sale of Navarra to Leon. Not only that but he also neglected his military tech, sitting at level 4 when everyone else in Europe was at level 6. Blood was in the water and the Lion of Southern France, Occitannia, or Khan smelt it and could not resist.

(Depicted: Occitannia after realizing that Bretonnia was at Mil tech 4)

Now as a world power and as the number 1 power and vgm I have a responsibility to help protect and preserve as many players as possible. Howeever Djoes did next to no diplomacy, so while I was aware Khan was coming to kill him my hands were tied since im not going to put my country at risk for a non-asset. I'm sure this policy of appeasement will in no way come back to bite me.

In matters of military we have made several advances, the first of which is Venice, which I intend to keep pagan. Gasp, why would I ever do such a thing?. Jannisarries my good man. As far as my understanding goes, every 10 years I can ask another 4 Janissaries from Venice. I'll be doing it from other provinces as well, but Venice is isolated enough, fortified and hopefully soon to be well within my interior that the only malus it will give me is slightly higher stability cost and a little corruption, a small price to pay for having better frontline soldiers than most other people.

In matters of economy we have doubled our income through increase of trade and advancements of our borders. Sadly my income tends to peak around the 170 mark before I have to start heavily invested in manufactories. Also, I know this sounds strange but currently im 51% dependant on trade, and its not something im particularly happy about. Trade can be taken away after all, and while my navy is the strongest in the world its not by much and outside of the Mediterranean its near useless.

As you'd expect from someone making 30 ducats per month in 1500 with full maintenance ive running 2/3/3. The only reason for the 2 is becuase I wanted to convert some difficult provinces in Anatolia and Greece to save on corruption. You may note our leader, well, it turns out my original theory that Ottoman government would make my rulers fantastic has turned out to be false. The number of choices I get seem highly variable and they dont always end up good. Part of my is breathing a sigh of relief that its not overpowered as originally thought but then the other part of me is screaming obscenities at the haram for not producing me viable heirs.

For those of you who dont know me very well, I like my allies when they cant talk back or betray me, and so I've created two rather large states in the former Byzantine Empire, Athens and the Wahhabid Emirate. The Wahbbaids I immediately made into a march, and they will probably be staying that way for most of the foreseeable future to hold the border with Khazaria and Medina. Athens on the other hand is a means to an end, They have cores on all of the old Kingdom of Greece and so are top priority to feeding and annexation, the standard fare. In the meantime Athens and the Wahhabids combined provide me with a minimum of 30k together to supplement my armies, brining my army total past 100 regiments.

We have also picked up two more of our national ideas. Neither of these are particularly fantastic but hey, its something. +1 Legitimacy is good for my goverment since i'll often get events that force me to eat heir strength. 15% domestic tradepower might as well be +15% trade power in my crucial nodes of Alexandria, Venice and Ragusa. However were almost through the meh ideas and moving onto the only bad Idea in the set, that little diplo rep icon you see there though. Of course the real prize is the corruption and discipline bonuses just waiting to activate.

In terms of military we are sitting pretty, we are almost permanently at 100 prestige and have a Six shock general with a likely second to be spawned right as the next session starts. Anyone who goes to war with me this coming session will know true pain. If you have a keen eye you'll notice i'm running a fairly heavy cavalry composition, honestly I'd run more but im not that made of money. Running 6 cav over 2/4 gives me more chances to flank AI but also put my +15% cav combat to work, especially early in the game. Until fire completly overtakes shock I'll likely be running a minimum of 1/3 Cavalry for most of the game.

Heres the current great powers list as the game rightfully sees we are King of the Hill, Top of the Heap, Imperium Romanus Latinus our glory is infinite and our power eternal. But there are those lesser powers under us scrambling to try and take away our rightful place as leader of the world.

The Gaulbassids:
Often accompanied by scary lightning sounds, Khan has scared half of Europe to death with his evicration of Bretonnia and rapid growth in Europe. If it werent for the Latin and Yngling Empires Khan would effectively be able to run rampant over Europe but right now I expect the fear of Viking invasion keeps Khan from trying to offer large bits and peaces of the Latin Empire to other hungry players so he can advance himself further. However, as I have proven in Ck2, I dont panic under pressure, and now that were in Eu4, if I am attacked, and I win I will break those that dared try and take my empire from me.

The Ynglings:
King of Men's corporate takeover of Scandinavia has been an inevitability for a while now. More interestingly is his newfound love of British Cuisine. working with perfidious albion rather than trying to devour them wholesale and reinstinate Danelaw. Regardless, King of men still has the best Idea set in the game, and is a power to be reckoned with, with the finest fleet in the world and an army that will soon match. If the Latin Empire is the Power of today, the Yngling Rike is the power of next week.

Afer Ultima:
Ranger's Merchant Empire of Africa has been quiet but not in the suspicious quiet that makes one want to grab a knife and stab furiously. Ranger's been consolidating his power, beating up African minors for their gold and more importantly challenging Leon for south America. While I dont expect Ranger's armies to ever reach the levels of the dedicated military powers his economic might and completly unfavorable terrain might be enough to keep everyone out of his business while he builds a powerful colonial empire for vicky.

As fate would have it Clone is playing Ukraine, Or Tataria as he keeps on about calling it. The Mongols out there are quite peculiar, they are terrified of Medina for some reason and yet have some of the best positioning in the board, and a fantastic military set. I think this timidness is mostly becuase Clone is planning to ride Victoriously into Asia to challenge Korea before he gets out of hand. As with all Italy players, anyone in Russia is a close friend, as it has no real incentive to attack me and offsets my central position by threatening European and Middle eastern powers alike. In exchange my economic might and of course my armies stand behind him wherever his journey may carry him.

Leon is the opposite of a Paper tiger, which apparently doesn't have a designated term, So I'm going to say Iron Rabbit. He appears weak, but whats under the surface is an Empire that would be unwise to cross. Leon is second place in income, has a powerful army, favorable terrain, Colonial potential and of course an Idea set that while not great, benefits him in every way. Looking at Mercantilist it seems a fairly standard fare Economic set, until the +10% mercenary discipline finisher. Leon is not to be overlooked.

Last is our Middle Eastern player Tazzo. Tazzo while weak at the moment is seasoned at Eu4 and has on several occasions built nations that could fight the world Hegemony to a standstill. The main thing holding Medina back are the region locks, and his idea set, but with a corner position like the middle east he is fairly safe and secure, so no doubt there will be moves made at some point, and I fully expect Tazzo to be involved in them wherever they may be. Luckily, I can breath some small sigh of relief in that right now Tazzo has as much incentive to side against Khan than with him for middle eastern Territory, as Khan holds Suez and most of Jerusalem and the Syrian coast. On the other hand I have Anatolia and Alexandria, which are a bit further away. Of course Tazzo really doesnt need to attack anyone, as the region locks expire he has enough development to challenge Me and Khan as a world power just by eating Persia and the middle east and later India as it unlocks.

Bringing us to the Latin Empire. Currently we claim overlordship to almost all of Anatolia until Kurdistan and have expanded our influence in the Balkans considerably, seizing Ragusa and Dalmatia from Venice as well as Macedonia. Athens also came with provinces in Carpathia which im sure I can trade with Bavaria or Bohemia for provinces within the Balkans that I want.

Comparing from last session, I have not advanced into modern day libya, this is becuase of a Deal I have with Afer ultima, that essentially keeps him from interfering with hellenic greece and Anatolia and I stay out of his business in North Africa. A fair deal.

Similarly, Me and the original Bavaria player, hoonter had a deal that involved a split of the balkans along Trade node lines. However Bavaria has become a revolving door and as such now has run out it's AI protection. The partition will likely be swift, bloody and brutal but I'd be lieing if I said I didn't want the Tirol Goldmine and the rest of the Austrian alps for my collection as well as the Venice and Ragusa tradenodes.

Also I suppose I should note, I'm currently Holy Roman Emperor. Yes yes, the crowns have been reunified, sadly however I cannot smash this false crown and reform the Roman Empire becuase Paradox does not understand the glory of the Latin Empire, clearly, so i'll settle for the bonuses.

Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2018 4:00:39 PM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 4: Bavarian Cream

Welcome to Part 4, The Year is now 1536. Last session was fairly uneventful

Without a player willing to take the AI Bavaria, the German Republic collapsed last session after stepping into one too many cornflakes all at once. The Occitans, ever hungry for more blood seized the remainder of the Rhineland and are now encroaching into germany. The General agreement here is that Bohemia should get the lion's share of the spoils for Bavaria's collapse. Unfortunately Yami is reluctant to eat at AI being offered to him on a silver platter and so Bavaria is not nearly as diminished as it should be.

My first concern was securing the Gold Mine at Tirol, Since Kosovo is still owned by Yami and I needed to widen the previously 1 province wide Istrian passage into the Balkans, this was a no brainer. The only reason I didn't demand this in my original deal with the bavarian player becuase I wanted him to accept. Naturally that doesn't matter much anymore. I took a few more provinces in the Wien trade node as well as the borders I set out to at the start of this AAR.

The Real Prize however is Bavaria's capital at Munchen, A 33 Development province in a 50 development state, with the remaining two centers of Trade of Wien. The remainder of Bavaria is relatively poor farmland, great for developing for Bohemia, but not all that great for me Or Khan. Since the only three players capable of taking Bavarian land realistically are me, Khan and Yami I feel fairly confident about my ability to get Upper Bavaria and the remainder of the Bavarian lands south of the Danube for myself and leaving the rest for Yami and our French rival to the north.

In other news I have landed in Africa and have begun to say hello to the natives. Because of the African interior being locked until victoria I'll likely keep this as my only presence on the continent alongside fernando po barring a major war. Luanda also gives me the naval range to project into Indian ocean which will pay dividends when Kilwa eventually opens.

We have also discovered the Asian Great Powers. Mighty Korea and Jinshi rule Asia with an Iron fist with the many asian minors kowtowing to their might. However, Hope has arrived for the Asian minors in the form of Clonefusion. Mighty Khazaria finally is in a position to give the Asian players an alternative to Korean and Chinese Dominance. From what I understand Clone's march eastward has already ruffled a few feathers, I say good. The Natural State of Asia is hugbox, I'm sure they will regress into their instincts eventually.

In matters of Monarchs, Lothar Lotharing, who should be third of his name, but becuase I am technically the Latin Empire and not Italia anymore. Lothar, as his mil 6 would assure survived the trials of the Harem and Ottoman style succession with flying colors and now rules supreme as monarch with a nice 5/4/6 stat distribution. We make so much money I'm also running the full complement of level 3 advisors, which I need right now becuase I am also integrating athens and over my diplomacy limit. This hurts our income quite a bit, but excess military and admin points translate to more ideas, which translates to a more powerful country, which leads us to.

We are past the worst Idea in the Knight set, the Diplomatic reputation. I am however putting it to use in integrating the Duchy of Athens right now. The Wahabbids I plan to keep around as a march for at least a little while as I can use them to farm splendor missions and already well over my state limit. Once both are gone this diplo rep is effectively worthless.

Out next idea however is fantastic. Yearly corruption means I can overextend and tank religious unity to my heart's content and reduce the impact to my wallet. more importantly however it means that I now can reliably debase currency in the event of war and recover far faster than other states. It doesn't help me directly, but its still a nice thing to have.

And that brings us to the end of this update. The Latin Empire has expanded slowly and steadily. It wouldn't be what I call explosive but its keeping me well above my closest rivals in power and thats important. In the future AI land will become extinct and the game will leave mine and Khan's hands and land squarely in Medina and Khazaria's court as both of those great powers have abundant amounts of development still to devour in India and Mongolia. Asia is also unbalanced and cannot hold, once the Chinese Minors are all integrated I expect things to collapse there quite spectacularly.
Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:59:56 AM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 5: When you have everything

Welcome to Part 5. Gentlement we have done it, It has been a short and easy road involving absolutely no Pvp and minimal amount of diplomacy but we have done it, we have achieved Natural Borders We control the whole of the Italian Mainland, the Alps, and land up to the Balkan Rivers and Danube, with colonies in Egypt and a fist reaching into Asia in the form of the Anatolia.

The Reformation hit this session, leading to what everyone expected. the Powergamers went Protestant, becuase of course they did. I however did not and was the sole person to take Reformed. Running the Math this gives Occitania a 2.5% discipline advantage over me, 5% when you add in the 2.5% discipline from Plutocracy. However this gives me an effective +5% morale over everyone else and permanent defender of the faith. As well as permanent +10% Trade Efficiency and 10% Trade Power, which means the amount of money we are making just skyrocketed even harder.

Reformed will of course hurt us by being slightly inferior to protestant throughout the game, we are missing the versatility of protestant, and generally need to stay at high religious unity and stability to keep our bonuses running smoothly. However I'm fairly confident that my built in military advantages keep my competitive against my neighbors. I have Janissaries, which is an effective -10% damage on my infantry units and for this age only, I have the Spanish Tercios bonus. giving me -33% Shock damage on top of my ideas.

Getting into those Ideas, I have 5% discipline built in, which is fantastic and now allows me to breath a bit easier as my troops are no longer made of paper. Out of the European nations with Discipline in thier idea set there is Leon with his 10% merc discipline, Occitania with 5% early in his set, and myself with 5% in the second half. Everyone else has other bonuses. This combo's nicely with my -20% fire damage tradition, which disables the +15% fire of Khazaria and the +20% fire damage of Scandinavia and Occitannia respectively.

With the rest of our ideas we have of course the 15% cav combat and with Legacy of Rome, the final peice of our +4 Swing in prestige. This is utterly insane when you combo it with DOTF and being a great power. My prestige resting point is in the 90's meaning its effectively an infinite resource I can spend over monarch points.

The real kicker is of course the kicker, a Plus 15% shock damage to go with my cavalry combat, which pairs nicely with the +10% shock we added into the aristocratic set. This makes my cavalry the finest in the world, bar none. With Tercios active this is a total of 58% swing of shock damage modifiers. so I'm feeling pretty strong right now in terms of military.

Not invincible mind you, I'm in a very precarious situation, I'm isolated in terms of religion and my central location in Europe has led to the spawning of two new victory cards on my territory. Sadly one of these is the victory card of Khazaria which landed on Bulgaria, the Other is Afer Ultima who also has his first victory card on Izmit(Something it shares with Medina). In other news Medina is being further railroaded north with a Victory card on Khazarian Anatolia. Occitannia and Scandinavia received victory cards on each other (Much to my relief) Leon received his on Afer Ultima and Great Britain received his in Africa of all places. (Because apparently Normandy was too much to ask?).

My 2000 Point card landed in Sicily, which prompted a silent.

I already have my 1000 Point card on Venice so im not exactly torn up, I wouldn't say it threatens the deal I have with Afer ultima but with 3 cards now in the air things may get spicey. I was honestly expecting it to land on Gaul, and thus be the spark that sets off war in Europe. It seems however the stalemate continues since Im not about to hand the lead to Either occitannia or Scandinavia by letting them get their 2000 pointers on eachother.

In terms of actual conquests last session, A once Frenemy turned friend the Emperor of Bohemia has given me control of the Kosovo Goldmine and a few other balkan provinces in exchange for influencing his country to bring him out of his slump. As well my support in that the remains of the Bavarian republic will go to the Czechs. The Kosovo goldmine is currently offline pending me changing a state around and its fairly underdeveloped. Im in no rush to put it to use right now however as well, I'm making a ton of money.

We are making roughly 100 Ducats a month, Lovely, enabled through a mix of minmaxing event advisors, Reformed being incredible for this whole trade thing. Building and Trade efficiency and construction also helps a bit. Im also about 30 under my force limit and stopped building forts like a madman. You can see basically my entire surplus is the money I make on trade so we'll take a closer look.

So at first glance the big takeaway here is im at what I expect the highest mercantilism across all the players in the game currently. Bought and paid for by the conversion of all of Venice and Greece to the Faith of St Peter, Only to be converted to Calvinist land a century after. I've also made sure to control most of the important centers of trade throughout the med and hand of the centers to the burgers. I haven't done the math yet if running a few edicts will net me more money. I'm not too worried about a warchest becuase of my fantastic corruption idea which will let me debase a few times to get rainy day gold.

Another major contribution which you cant see here is Afer Ultima and Occitania siphoning buckets of ducats out of America and into Genoa, which of course benefits me. What with being the Grand Poobah of Genoa Trade. Without Genoa I still have complete control over Venice, Ragusa and Constantinople allowing me to net 40 Ducats of Trade, respectable but nowhere near as good as the gig I have going now. Afer ultima and occitania of course both benefit right now as well, I'm feedingly roughly 30 ducats into Genoa from Ragusa and allowing the trade out of Alexandria into Genoa over Venice. This is all with a very small trading fleet especially in comparison to my neighbors who host double or more light ships.

Which leaves us to the map. Now this may have sounded a bit like a "Look how great we are" post but I would say im far from dominant here. Everyone around me barring Bohemia can muster something comparable to my force limit and this is basically it. We cant expand further without PvP.

The last time I invaded Afer Ultima he threatened to Quit. So thats out. Leon is a close ally, Far away and not in realistic conquest range. Scandinavia and Great Britain same story.

Bohemia everyone agrees need to be brought up to Big Boy status and thus is being helped by most people to grow including myself of course aside from Scandinavia who apparently likes kicking poor defenseless puppies.

Medina and Khazaria are both allies both of whom control land I dont really want. Like what do I get out of Medina, Desert and.. Mountain Desert, Exciting Stuff. Khazaria had steppes which is like desert except instead of sand its snow, lovely for the locals im sure, but not really fitting for my mediterranean sensibilities.

Which leaves Occitania, the number 2. Now I happened to be on the receiving end of the Number 1 Power eating the Number 2 Power in a previous game and I am still surprised that it wasn't called then and there. Suffice to say Im not attacking Occitannia unless I am attacked first, becuase I don't want the game to end, simple as that.

All of this puts me firmly into the Policeman role, keeping everyone else in Europe in line while they all build resentment towards me. However since most of the European players are instead pursuing colonial ambitions or conquests in the East that resentment may never arise. The Latin Empire has Risen, It has its final borders, Now time will tell if it will last, or be torn down by the powers around it.

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018 10:34:59 AM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 6: Tragedy of the Tercio

Part 6 Time. Last session was fairly boring all things considered, though I will point out, boring is a good thing when your already on the top of the heap. Boring means nothing changed and the rich get richer. However it doesn't make me any less heartbroken. I was effectively denied a chance to test out by build due to peace in Europe through the entire age of reformation, but more on that later.

For the Entirety of the Session we were led by Julius II Lotharing. A Name with great implications as a different Julius II may have conquered and unified mars in an alternative timeline. Julius isnt terrible though he has decent military and admin stats which is really all I ask of my rulers. With all my Ideas filled out im running a surplus on monarch points at the moment anyway, allowing me to develop instead of conqueror, and thus allow me to stay ahead of the expanding great powers, Khazaria and Medina.

In terms of religion, were in good shape. The Country is now completly unified outside of the Janissary breeding ground that is Venice. Though I did put some thought into what sort of Reformed The Latin Empire would follow, the obvious answer of course is no reformed like in our Timelime. The Latin Empire has a long history of basically running the catholic faith cut short only when the traitor pope fled to a desolate home out in eastern Europe. With No Pope we clearly have turned to our Emperor and the Divine House of Lotharing to guide us through the dark. I mean if it looks like Divine Blood, Its probably divine Blood, So all Hail the God Emperor of Lotharing.

On the bright side of the entire Latin Empire worshipping a random concubine bred Emperor as a living conduit of Jesus Christ, our people can go full Warhammer 40k and Commit to Feverous Rage and Violence in times of war. Or Purge Heresy for stability. At times of peace however we prefer to focus entirely on the adeptus Mechanicus so that we may trade with our Neighbors and profit from them.

Speaking of Space Marines I bring your attention to the last and perhaps the most crucial piece of our army. The Tercios Bonus when in place and combined with Golden age makes our troops the finest in the world, utterly unstoppable. So unstoppable in fact that nobody has dared to rattle the cage and see exactly how powerful troops taking Effectively 55% less damage can be. Now some may say, the purpose of the armor is to deter attack. I call this nonsense, I'm paying these people the least they could do is shoot at someone once or twice before they become distinctly average again.

So thats exactly what I did, Like any Red blooded american i found a third world country with a valuable and rare resource and intervened. Specifically in South Africa where there was one province remaining in Ivory coast to snatch up, and about 3000 Gold accrued between the south African Minors to stea- eh hmm I mean Secure.

I also offered to intervene in the ongoing American Conflict so I could put my Condottieri against Khan's deep in the Amazon Jungle. Sadly this did not come to pass as my entry into the war prompted an immediate white peace proclamation from all involved parties.

As is tradition I'd be remiss to not brag about how much money I'm making. Its alot. You will notice economic ideas has reduced inflation which is nice, but my Fort expenses have skyrocketed. Currently im not paying down corruption since between Tech and my Nation Ideas it'll go away on its own. Thus leaving us with around 150 Gold a month, Basically as always its what I make on trade. Were also nearing the 2000 Development Mark, I expect to hit it by 1650 at very least through raw developing but if I could snipe off a province or two in an intervention I wouldn't be upset.

So the Year is 1600 so its about time I went through the Map myself and did some witty commentary and a whos who.

In the Yellow Corner we have our Asian Duo, The terrible twins, Korea and Jinshi.

Vaniver, in Charge of Korea has built a powerful Empire but has an even more powerful military build in the form of a Mana cost saving Idea set combined with Prussian Government., one that has in fact worried Clonefusion, our Khazaria player, provided Korea ever finds a way out of his Corner. However, a recent announcement has shaken discord, Korea is taking an extended leave of Absence, So we are looking for basically a new Korea Perm. If your interested let us know Asap, its a powerful nation with great ideas, It would be a shame to let it die

Next is Jinshi, Controlled by Blayne which I believe is his 4rd Actualouting as China, In the Ederon Series of Games. Previously they never seem to work out very well for him. Last Round Jinshi united all of Asia after killing his opposite in China and moving quick enough that Vaniver's Korea could not stop him in time. However the Game ended due to the Russo-Roma Alliance that effectively fought all of Europe to a standstill and could still enact 100% War Score demands. Blayne implies hes hungry for Blood this time, But so far his showing this time around has been rather slow, and he shares China with a Gutrage and a Vaniver, as well as a Clone snaking his way in from Europe.

In Japan we have, hopefully Mark. Mark if you followed our last great game was the Italian Player, Who along with Me in Ukraine effectively won and forced a reset in Eu4. Mark, like Blayne has been a longtime member of the Ederon Great Games and has alot of experience under his belt. If anyone can save Japan its him. Can Mark take up the Mantle of Tom Cruise and Save the Japanese People against the more Technologically Advanced Korean Invasion, Find out next time on the next exciting Installment of Ederon Ball Z!!!!!

In the Southern Asia we have 4 players all seem to be roughly comparable in skill, and who I've taken to calling the 'Asian Minors'. As far as I'm aware they are all quite on good terms with one another and more or less have to be with big bad Jinshi and Korea lurking in the North, and Colonizers lurking in the Sea.

Yue, who King of Men already remarked is the butt of many discord jokes, is helmed by Gutrage whos most notable achievements so far have been to not get body slammed by Blayne's China, and for renaming half of his provinces to funny meme names as a joke. Currently Yue has colonies alongside the Asian majors in Australia and California, but is fairly weak all things considered.

Next we Have Ayutthaya, helmed by Stiefelleker. Stief seems to have a handle on the slot, picking it up with minimal difficulty after over a several weeks of AI control. He has since captured his victory card on the Malay peninsula and almost completly owns his other Card near Pegu. Out of all the Asian minors I would say Ayuthaya is the strongest right now, but Ayuthaya is effectively at its peak, it did not take colonial ideas as far as im aware, so the fairly friendly environment of Asia may stagnate it quite quickly.

Next we have Brulaya, or Malaya run by Laxpartan. Malaya, back when it was Brunei had a rough start to say the least, running up large amounts of debt and biting off a bit more than it could chew. However Malaya is back on the Rise and provided it unites the remaining Isles could establish itself as the premier naval Power in Asia-Pacific. It'll take some growing though.

Last we have Mahalavos, the effective Border of the Asian Minors with Europe through India and Tibet. Hadogei, the player of Mahalavos' only notable achievement in the Ederon games so far was taking the middling power of Spain in the last Song of the Dead, and completly and utterly collapsing. Undeterred however Hadogei has carved out a formidable nation with the backing of a European Sponsor in the form of Atlassia. Its important to note here that Hadogei's success or failure in India will determine the balance of Power in Asia, as currently by our ruleset large swathes of India will open near 1700 opening 2000 Development and of course rich indian trade goods for Empires. If Hadogei can ensure he recieves the Lion's share of such a split, or if Someone murders him and tries to expand a colonial Empire from his position, it will almost assuredly guarantee a great power spot.

Moving into Central Eurasia we have our two Rising Stars, Clonefusion's Khazaria and Tazzo's Medina. Both of these nations are quickly on the Rise, with plentiful amounts of AI land to eat and nice central positions to exploit goings on across the world. They are worth watching, especially as things shift towards the lategame.

Clonefusion is one of our resident veterans at Eu4 and after a rather frustrating run at Ck2, had decided to come back and redeem himself in Eu4 by carving out a fearsome Empire in Tataria. Not Russia Mind you. Clone has been very serious about this name. Regardless Clone has snaked himself into Asia to insert himself in Asian Politics as soon as humanely possible. This has a side effect of providing outside meddling and thus preventing the Asians from just playing Battle Royale while us Europeans sit around and colonize. Clone is now the Number 2 Great Power and he still has large amounts of land to eat in Persia and some ok land in Siberia and Samarkand, its likely he will pass me in development at some point, at least until I can annex my March.

Next is Tazzo in Medina, who joined at the 11th Hour and completly broke the Deals me and Khan made on how to partition the middle east through existing and thus being worth far too much player infamy to try and kill in the cradle. This has allowed Tazzo to enjoy an alliance with Khazaria, Occitania and the Latin Empire, all great powers, all more powerful than it, except for recently where Medina has now devoured enough of the Basra trade node to march past Occitania in Development. Tazzo in the last full great game Led the Allied coalition against England to victory with Fox another nation that had to play to get along with the powers that be until finally striking out on its own for freedom, glory and victory. Suffice to say I expect a similar story from Medina, but who Medina will strike against first could change the game and Tazzo's chances considerably.

Thus bringing us to Europe, Now we all know the Latin Empire by now. I Hope. So We'll go over everyone else big and small.

First off, I like starting with Britain, well we have Britain. Golle has been known to be a fairly reliable player to have around. Hes a faithful ally and generally will do what is right for the game over whats right for him, which is a good personality to have especially in a slot so dependent on Balance of Power as Great Britain. Beyond that however Great Britain has hit a bad way recently with recent goings on in the English Channel and Colonial efforts abroad. Its fairly safe to say Great Britain is 'safe' right now but its also pretty safe to say Great Britain is 'Contained'.

Next up We have Scandinavia, or Yngling Inc if you prefer headed by it's CEO King of Men. King of Men's probably the most experienced with great games out of basically everyone here, and is our GM. I'm not gonna say being VGM or GM doesn't give a diplomatic advantage becuase it does, people are more inclined to listen to you when you want to coalition people and such. However theres been pretty much none of that this game from King of Men, who has upped his game since his last outing as Scandinavia, achieving Baltic Lake relatively bloodlessly and cutting deals when he needs to. However Scandinavia like Great Britain is stuck sucking dry the well of English Channel. This puts King of Men in an awkward Predicament, With Golle on his side he has complete naval dominance outside of the Mediterranean, but he can only reliably translate this to colonial power, and it squanders what is perhaps the best Idea set currently on the playboard right now. The Second option is of course to get frisky with his armies, but that has its own host of downsides as many of King of Men's natural allies are all disinterested in European affairs.

Next we have Occitania, Ruled by KhanXLT. Occitania is a weird country in many ways. For a start Occitania spent the last three sessions being a firm second to the Latin Empire in terms of relative power. However Occitania quickly found its peak towards the beginning of last session, running dry on lands to conquer and has resorted to looking outwards into the Indian Ocean for a potential foothold there. Occitania is not weak by any means right now, but Nations in Eu4 are like sharks, they must swim to breath and Occitania is trapped with limited options in every direction it looks. To the south of Leon, and the Latin Empire both powerful nations militarily and economically. To the Atlantic means putting the country's future in the Hands of the Naval Powers. To the North means spoiling the Pot of English Channel as both Golle and King of men could turn their noses up at occitania and collect in North Sea to starve the nation of the income it desperately needs. Which leaves Bohemia a nation that everyone is more or less committed to the defensive of, making it not an option. Still Khan is a good player and its likely he has something planned. Perhaps a great strike south or north to escape the Jail of it's natural borders, or Perhaps a colonial empire somewhere sunny.

Next up is Leon. Sauron is running a fairly typical Spain you see in a great game, Its safe, it has an above average military and it makes a large amount of money. Ive mentioned before that Spain can hit far above its weight and I was not lying, provided spain has one thing, Allies. Spain, being in a corner, a corner with a land connection. This means that it is both protected and isolated by its geography but not to the extend Great Britain is where it can neglect its army. However traditionally when spain's march North of the Pyrenees things don't end well for them, and so the usual method of Expansion is south into Mali and across the Atlantic for more income. With Sauron being absent during the critical colonization phase and Afer Ultima existing in North Africa both of these routes have been denied to leon, Boxing it in. However Sauron is not without options, He still has an invaluable position in the Balance of Power, able to Threaten Occitanian Catalonia and especially Afer Ultima as the Guardian of Gibraltar on Land. At Sea Spain still contains a vast array of heavy ships more than capable of shifting the Balance in the Atlantic one way or another.

Afer Ultima meanwhile has assumed Spain's more traditional role of being the Corner who colonizes. Ranger has done a fairly effective Job of taking over the Trade game in the Mediterranean and Africa through superior positioning, Ideas and relative safety. An alliance with Leon and the Latin Empire for all intensive purposes keeps Afer Ultima an Island, a very, very large Island with access to Gold Mines and African tier trade goods. This puts Ranger in a position to effectively bankroll people to fight for him after a point, provided the colonization of America goes well for him, and so far it has been.

Last but not least we have the Bohemian Confederation of many Kingdoms. Yami in Bohemia has had a rough start and the AI hasnt exactly made things easier for him. As what tends to happen being a good emperor and releasing territory tends to not work very well in practice and so Yami's progress has been delayed on his climb to relevance. However this is created an unexpected side benefit that Literally nobody in their right minds will attack him becuase it'd be like kicking a defenseless puppy. The Balance of Power in Europe has been been truly established and a Pecking order has not been created. If one were to attack Yami without good reason its likely that nation could find themselves being horribly crushed by a coalition more than happy to paint the World Order in their Blood.

In the interest of getting everyone we do have to mention James, Who has recently taken over Brazil and looks to be on the fast track to unifying South America. Now Traditionally a unified America is bad news for how things Go in HOI. All James really needs to do is unify the continent and turtle, Victoria will do the rest making him relevant and if Victoria cant give him enough of a boost, Hearts of Iron effectively allows him to sit and build IC until hes good and ready to get involved. Now thats all true on paper, but the big If is unifying south America, which will mean stepping in quite a few cornflakes. The Prize of being able to just relax through Vicky and HOI though is tempting to resist.

Thus ends our Update for today, It was a long one but a Fun one. Next time we'll be in the age of Absolutism and all the Salt, Blood and Gunsmoke that may entail.

Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2018 8:51:54 AM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 7: I am the Senate

Welcome to the Age of Absolutism Ladies and Gentlemen. Last time I apparently amused most of the players in our game with my "Look at how great the latin Empire is" AAR. So this time we'll be more humble, becuase frankly last session did not go that well. In fact nothing went according to plan.

For a start, this happened take a good long look at Emperor Gerardo, Not bad right? Take a good long look at his son. If the Latin Empire did not blindly worship their god emperors Emperor Gerardo should take a long long walk off a very short pier. A new bug I noticed with the game is that, Being unable to disinherit or abdicate is apparently not a feature of Ottoman Government Type, So I've been basically sitting with 100 Prestige just got a whole lot worse.

On the bright side Gerardo had some great ideas about what to do with the government. But first thing we had to do, was get rid of those nasty knights templar always getting in the way of things. So Gerardo found a young idiotic one and convinced him he could save his wife from dying in childbirth. He went on the murder literally all of his old friends at the drop of the hat. But of course we had a few things to do before that occured.

First order of business was to right a century old wrong in the broken deal between Empress Carola and King Totally not a Shia in disguise Martin of Occitania. Originally all lands East of the Rhone River were promised to the Latin Empire in exchange for eternal peace and happiness and all that Junk.

Then King Martin quickly broke said deal seizing lands across the River whenever it was convenient. Before any sort of 'reminder' could be arranged, The Venetians had a small civil war, resulting in the annexation of Treviso, and the subsequent war of the Second coalition. Suffice to say the Lotharings never forget a slight and Provence was returned after a heavy amount of diplomatic wheeling and dealing, guns may or may not have been involved.

I don't like people altering the deal through co-incidence, the only reason I did not originally push for this sooner (Like when my Tercios were active was becuase Occitania was filling Genoa with 20 Ducats from france, with myself effectively getting half of those ten ducats. With Occitania no longer valuing his trade in Genoa very highly there was little reason to tolerate the small border hiccup for much longer.

Now the Provence affair could have potentially been a large war but I had reason to make it relatively bloodless mainly becuase of the opening of Mexico for colonization. Now I need mexico for a few things, the Income of course is nice, Traders are also, nice but more importantly I needed overextension. Originally, I wanted the gold provinces but the dastardly vikings showed up, likely bitter I helped the Atlassian's throw their south american colonists into the sea. While I could have held large chunks of Kiche hostage and forced a relatively border gore filled peace from Scandinavia, Time was off the essence as my golden age was running out fast and I needed to get sick, quick.

Now why would I need to get sick you may ask, Well Court and Country of Course. So I can get 100% Absolutism Thus giving me an effective discipline edge over most people for the Duration of the Era. This did not work out as intended. I went with the method detailed in one of Reman's Paradox' videos on the you tube but completly botched the job. For a start, Peace with mexico came painfully slow becuase of the bloody vikings.

I got down to -3 stab and 40% over extension and gave the particularists their demands and then slammed down autonomy across the country, simple enough, but unfortunately my lack of religious unity as well as my utterly messy means of finishing the wars meant that I didn't reach 50 absolutism until after Internal conflicts ticked high enough that it would fire before Court and Country.

So I had to ride out an internal conflicts disaster, THEN go back down into negative stab and then get court and country to fire in 1641. Complete disaster as now my Golden age will expire before I finish Court and Country, which will mess up the power costs for basically everything I have planned this session. This ALSO meant I had to cancel all of my cores in Mexico during Internal Conflicts Because I needed to keep revolt risk high while riding out a disaster that wants you to reduce revolt risk, thus burning an even larger admin hole in my pocket.

On the Bright Side. I am the senate now. So thats nice.

I have about ten years to ride through for court and country but Court and Country is not a bad disaster, like at all. The worst event spawns 4 rebel stacks all of which are inferior to my base troops without even factoring in Janissaries. 70% Absolutism gives me discipline tied with a fully militarized Korea right now, So I'm feeling pretty strong even with the effective -20% on my global income for the next ten years.

In other news we are culturally enriching the Balkans. I've more or less driven the Romanians and most of the cultures in Croatia into extinction save Croatian and Serbian itself. Serbian I have decided to accept and it will be spread over most of the remaining croatian and avar land in my balkan territories. I also accept German mostly becuase I want good efficiency out of those farmland states I own north of the alps.

I also shifted my Capital into Greece and developed Macedonia like crazy. This was for a few reasons. For one there's good development efficiency to be gained via doing this thanks to the capital bonus based on development.

Next is of course, State maintenance. Since I plan to eventually try to state some territories in India or beyond when it opens up, moving further west saves me some minor amount of money.

Last and perhaps most important was safety. Lombardy is surrounded by mountains yes, but can easily be cut from the rest of my country should I lose control over Treviso and the Sea. Since we have 4 Naval powers in Europe alone Control of the Sea is not assured for me, and any coalition confident enough to attack me will likely be able to advance somewhat before being driven off. Moving my capital to Macedonia means an inland mountain fortress stands directly above it, while the straights at constantinople and edirne force a commitment there else Anatolia becomes a perfect staging ground for a liberation attempt. Meanwhile Italy is still protected by the Alps.

Come Hearts of Iron Macedonia becomes even safer, being effectively surrounded by mountains rivers and other terrible terrain on all sides. Meaning a last stand in Greece is certainly a possibility should the worst occur.

That sort of wraps up our witty commentary for this week, So to compensate heres a meme of Europe.

And the World Map, Enjoy.

Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 5:05:14 PM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 8: Making Things intresting

We were now rapidly approaching the halfway point of the age of absolutism and thus almost through with the buildup and positioning phase of the game. Alliances that will likely last until the end of the game are being forged, Coalitions are being made and broken and the defeated are looking greedily towards revenge.

Last session opened with war, as they are oft to do. In exchange for Khan accepting his loss of Provence I agreed to help him against King of Men to reclaim the Rhineland. However the new provinces added in the Rule Britannia patch have sort of messed up where the original peace terms were going to be. resulting in that island near holland there. Clone tells me i'm a horrible person and I should have never done this, and I do feel somewhat bad about it.

Normally I wouldn't do such a thing but I had unsubtly heard about a massive coalition gathering around Khan and wanted to show my support by allying him for the session. My reward? Well Khan not just supporting but leading a coalition against myself Crazy However a family tragedy has more or less kill the Coalition in the Cradle meaning now all of Khan's partners were left holding the proverbial bag. Were this any other game where I didnt care about preserving players and being nice and all that good stuff, I'd probably enact full 100% peace deals from all of them, But if this was a regular game none of these players likely would have survived until this point so *shrug*

Instead I spent the session in America, first working with Khan over securing Panama and blocking the Empire of Brazil from the Gold in Peru. Brazil has the sole honor right now of being the sole nation that didnt cower and surrender after being declared on by someone allied to me, fighting retreating war and banking on Khan's bad choice in wargoal, Trinidad. Trinidad you see is connected to south America through a straight and Brazil is allied to both Atlassia and Leon, powerful naval powers. They quickly sealed the straight and thus according to our rules, once they reached 25% ticking warscore could enforce any peace they wished regardless of our occupied territory.

Thats of course assuming the Latin Empire does not Rule the Waves.

I deployed my entire fleet ready for battle in the Caribbean and sailing into battle outside Trinidad only to be reinforced by Khan. Still outnumbered in heavies 2 to 1 the battle was close but Superior Morale and Latin Seamanship won the day. God favors his faithful after all, not these madonna worshipping Heretics or these Sea God Worshipping Pagans, and with the Naval Battle Won, the Brazilians sued for peace, surrendering some Islands and southern Columbia to Khan while the Latin Empire was given overlordship over Panama.

Next came the wars for Mexico, where I felt I needed to correct a wrong in that King of Men assumed he could slide through. The Northern Half of Mexico was declared on while I was currently doing all the work invading it by the perfidious vikings. Because I was trying desperately to get court and country to fire I needed to take a hasty peace for the Yucatan. Now stronger and reinforced in my position I moved for Mexico itself Declaring war alone without allies or any promises of aid with intent to unite the region once and for all. I already had the advantage on the ground in the form of Robert Bertoldo's mighty Expeditionary force but the numbers advantage would eventually swing to the Viking-British alliance should I be unable to wrestle control of the seas away.

And So the Fleet was mobilized and the Die Cast.

Off Yucatan we intercepted the Scando-British Fleet attempting to blockade supplies coming from the homeland. In a display of maneuver Rafaello Arrigo split the allied fleets and defeated them in Detail, sinking or capturing 41 mighty heavies while also capturing 12 Frigates. A Humiliating defeat to be sure but not war ending as the British and Scandinavians retreated to safe harbor to lick their wounds and prepare for another round.

Another round they received, one that would end with another forty ships sinking to the bottom of the Caribbean. Once again despite a massive numerical the allied fleets had failed to defeat the latin empire at sea. Seeing this Emperor Francesco ordered the construction of another 25 Heavies though the war wouldn't last that long as the Scandinavians unable to secure a naval route to Mexico, surrendered. All of Mexico was ceded save Honduras which at the time was promised to Leon and I set about work of finding someone to play my creation.

In other news victory cards spawned last session, the most interesting of which was Clones on Thrace but also Khan receiving his 3000 Point card on the Chinese Capital. I received mine on Barcelona, which is unfortunate and as usual, Atlassia and Medina recieved their victory cards on me.

I originally had planned to do a fully military breakdown for this post, but I dont have the time, so I'll pass on it for now. Perhaps in the future. In the meantime here is the Latin Empire, no real border changes. These next few sessions will likely involve some, my only hope going forward is that they are on my terms.
Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:07:15 AM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 9: The Dragon Coils

The year is 1694, the Age of Revolutions lies just beyond the turn of the century and important developments are happening in the world. Unfortunately i don't have screenshots of those important developments, Ha ha got you. But no, seriously I dont have screenshots of that stuff so were just gonna talk about the Latin Empire again and what happened this session.

The Biggest event of this session for the Empire was the famed Coalition war, except it ended up being less of a coalition war and more of a complete and utter failure though nobody's fault really. Khan had personal crisis and could not make the session and without a leader the Coalition was rendered headless and without direction. Expecting a Real war I had spent the two weeks leading up to the session (We took a break for easter) Doing heavy amounts of diplomacy to ensure I would win the war even against a Full Strength Coalition of Medina, Occitania and Scandinavia with Potentially Bohemia and Atlassia as Tag Alongs.

That didnt happen obviously, but I had already rendered diplomacy to ensure the only nations I need worry about were Medina, Occitannia and Scandinavia, which once news of Khan's absence broke, quickly reduced the belligerents to a lonely Occitania. However Promises were made and deals struck so I had to enact a Price for attempting to unseat me from my Throne in Europe, Thus I pushed the border further away from my Italian Core after a brief skirmish, while Leon was given his victory card and security in the form of all the land south of the Pyrennes. I also received Hawaii, so thats fun.

Because of occitanias perceived weakness however the Asians dogpiled Occitania not long before the end of the session, making things a right mess for the slot, and Khan so far has not checked in the find out what has happened to his great Empire.

In America we have reinforced our position by connecting up Columbia with Mexico. Zirotron, Previously our Canada player has migrated south to play My Mexico CN and hes more than welcome to be here as Mexico offsets Brazil's power in America to a rather significant degree as well as makes my colonial power in America effectively permanent until he wants independent. With it looking like Korea is making moves for Dominance in California having a player CN will be a valuable asset.

In the Middle East we had a rather massive loss in the selling of Egypt to Medina. This was done as part of that afformented diplomacy I mentioned earlier in the Update. Ultimately it was a loss but it was not massive or as crippling as it could have been, losing me 120 development (And dominance in the Alexandria trade node) But I did recoup 60 development in France, and got the keep the very rich state of Cyrenaica so, not terrible. It also means I should be rather free to operate elsewhere in the world now that I dont have to worry about Europe nearly as much.

Speaking of Security, We have plenty of assets keeping us in first place, the first of which is our titanic income, which is large to say the least. We make tons of money thanks to the combined Duel End Nodes of Italy amplified by completed trade ideas. I can turn on policies granting me more trade power and goods produced now to jump this even higher but I like monarch points more than I do money. Money after all is only good for Warfare and building buildings and im not really doing either at the moment.

What I am doing is developing. I have been sitting on this farmland for a while and now a lack of expansion and frequent milking of estates is starting to push me right up against the cap in every aspect. Most of it has been going into Northern Italy and Southern Germany where there is still some regions of underdeveloped farmland but also large amounts of development is being put into Anatolia, a region I previously neglected becuase I felt if things turned badly, could leave my hands quite easily in the event of a European Dogpile.

Like last week I didn't really have much to talk about in personal matters. The Empire is strong but I will point out that I am no longer technically the development lead, as Khazaria, led by Clonefusion has taken that title and will likely hold it until the end of the game as he still has several hundred more development to devour in Persia and Northern India and Siberia. Meanwhile I'm left with what scraps I can take off AI as attacking anyone around me would result in me breaking deals, or possibly rending slots unviable, neither of which im not particularly fond of doing, especially when I'm a great power and part of the Medina-Khazaria-Latin Triumvirate of Power.

What I will be watching in the next few weeks is how the situation in Asia evolves. Occitania is a powerful nation but looks to be going to be without a player, Hence if Occitania is run out of Europe, I inherit his role as the European colonizer greedily rubbing my hands, and Unlike Occitania I have troops on par with Korea as well as a Navy that would make the Japanese Blush. But we will see where that goes.

Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2018 7:58:37 AM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 10: Enlightened

Ahh the 1700's the Time of Big World Ending Conflicts, Revolutions and the Enlightenment. However, We have no Revolutions sadly, becuase the Gods that be hate freedom. Big World Ending Conflicts will likely be contained by the power of the Big Three Great Powers, none of which wish to rock the boat and risk getting ganged up on by the other two. This leaves the Enlightenment, which of course everyone was chasing this session in some way or another.

They Say the Indians knew how to Achieve enlightenment and so the Nations of the World Came, Khazaria and Medina from the North and Jinshi and Mahalavos from the East. But Others also had arrived, Japan Great Britain and Scandinavia all came from the South seeking Enlightenment all taking a slice. Of course the Latin Empire was here as well but the Latin Empire has no desire for enlightenment for we follow our God Emperor, Instead we seek to enlighten others to our way, suggesting the Raj of Somavasis Bow to the Emperor or suffer the fate of his Northern Brethen. The Raj submitted and the Empire assisted in Running off some pesky slave soldiers that had tried to seize his mainland holdings from him.

Our work was Quick in India, enlightening the Natives in the virtues of their new God Emperor while the weaker nations still struggle with thier lesser religions to convert the natives to the true path. The Focus after all for these heathens was in the Land taken in India, some said that Mahalavos being Indian of birth should have rights to it all, Others disagreed. The Great Latin Empire was offended at this suggestion and so advanced North out of the Ceylon Region to secure more territory under its control before the Japanese, British and Vikings could take it first.

In Europe the Bohemians are also seeking enlightenment, wishing to ascend their Earthy Vessel and slip into something a bit more, Holy, and Perhaps Roman. Now of course to say any empire besides the Latin Empire shall truly be 'Roman' is laughably False, still they entertain, and its always nice having new neighbors even if they are rather annoying and their lands smell like manure.

The Japanese, the Rising Secondary power of the World is the one everyone acknowledges but nobody speaks of. Allied to the Medina-Khazaria bloc, Japan has been quite active in expanding Seizing Taiwan from the French and carving out Indian territory for itself nobody previously expected. With the currents shifting in this new Age Japan may yet displace some of the more entrenched Naval powers as a major player at sea, and perhaps on land as well.

In America Korea has taken severe losses to her Californian Empire following the Retreat of Japan from the Front. A notable shift in the Balance of Power, but not an unexpected one, ore a Permanent one ultimately as history has proven such lands quickly change hands back and forth.

Of course the Early 1700's are not a time of Triumph for the Empire, but one of great Tragedy. Bound by treaty and Compassion the Empire has languished and this is no more apparent in its leadership. Gregorio, Named Emperor by virtue of being the only son of the Emperor out of infancy is a lame duck and will only be useful to reproduce and produce one better than himself.

But an even greater Tragedy is this abomination. For the Empires who have done nothing but Prey on the savages of the Steppe and Mountain have risen in power to Challenge the Latin Empire as the greatest of Powers in the world. This simply can not be tolerated and the Empire will have to take drastic Measures to correct this, 'mistake'. Perhaps a Great Conquest, a Truly Great and thoroughly Roman affair. Gaul Perhaps, Or Germania, Africa maybe Or Perhaps somewhere new, somewhere exotic.

Suffice to say no matter what happens the coming decades will be, interesting. The Stage is being set, But the Music, Oh the Music is still being written, and when the Concert of Europe Plays it Shall be the Latin Empire as the Conductor, Or it will die in the cheap seats.

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 4:48:22 PM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 11: Dragonslayers

The Thunderdome that is the 18th century is in full swing, We have WAR, and not just any war, Wars that lasted more than 20 minutes and involved multiple great powers. However so far conflicts are relatively minor in Europe. Khazaria bored and fearing the Might of America that is soon to come has been trying to cause problems for Brazil and Atlassia. Meanwhile I've continued my adventures in Asia.

In a plot spanning centuries Latin Marines finally deployed to the shores of China to assist the Koreans and Japanese against the Hegemonic chinese. Our intent here you see was to drive home a sense of mortality as Blayne our China player as generally been acting like an entitled jerk to everyone around him, barely justifying his murder of Yue but also trying to assemble the asian players into a hugbox against the west. What he did not expect was Mark and myself flipping Korea and thus turning this into a right bloodbath. China would fight until the last man for fear of his life crying crocodile tears to Europe who would eventually intervene on his behalf, It didnt work out well for them.

A Coalition of Scandinavia, Leon and Atlassia all joined against Malaya a minor partner in our war. However they did not account for me sending an alliance offer to Malaya and Joining, and then marching my actual army over the Pyrenees and Into Sicily. Leon after investing thousands of ducats into propping up China rather than just letting him lose the war with honor tried to run me out with Atlassia. However, Neither mountain nor superior numbers can scare away my Space marines and we seized Barcelona and Sicily forcing Leon and Atlassia out of the war leaving just King of Men who's pressence in China arguably helped us thanks to learning the chinese into a false sense of security.

After nearly a decade of battles like this China was drained financially and militarily, As was Korea however, Korea has Prussian goverment and so can fight for longer, while I decided to merge my normal marines and send them home and instead bring in my elite Janissaries from Europe. Despite the greater numbers on the defense we were able to decisvely push through to the Jinshi Capital once more and force a peace, not as severe as we had liked but nonetheless left Jinshi Scarred.

The Farmlands up to the yellow river had been seized for Korea, meanwhile Macau was seized by Great Britain and the Island of Hainan was taken for myself. Japan did not fight in the war he helped assemble and so received nothing, Perhaps next time if he actually fights he will receive a share of the blood.

Meanwhile we integrated our Indian dominion into the Empire empowering our development just that extra bit further. However its pennies compared to the sheer amount of AI my Allies to the east of me have been stuffing themselves with all game. Still its something, and if not for my new world colonies I would be in last place of the Big 3.

Speaking off you can see we are barely holding onto our #2 Position against Medina through the virtue of my colonies in the new world and my Indian Expansion. Not Ideal, but with the last sessions of Eu4 looming it very well may mean survival at very least.

We'll leave this update off with a picture of the world. Mighty Khazaria, Medina and the Latin Empire have a dominant position in Eurasia, while Brazil slowly but surely consolidates its hold on a unified South America. In North America things are more divided but that may change. Also Note Medina's seizure of New Zealand and the growing mess in the Holy Roman Empire.
Posted: Sunday, May 06, 2018 5:04:56 PM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 12: Imperial Entanglements

With the game swiftly marching towards its end and Victoria in all its complexity looming above all things are starting to get heated. Minor Powers desperate for a chance at greatness are clawing for more land. Khazaria and Medina stand silent trying to enforce Status quo when possible and the Latin Empire sits between them trying to find opportunities to better itself while not breaking the Balance of Power in two. As such that means mostly profitting from the opportunities that present themselves.

In America there was an intervention in regards to Occitania continued control of Florida. Atlassia who had recently sold over the Islands of Sicily, Cyprus and Crete the to Latin Empire asked for help in dealing with the French. Needless to say I answered the call expecting no real benefit to myself. Perhaps this was foolish as Occitania and even her ally Medina's ANZAC troops were found wanting and were swiftly sent over the rockies after a short florida campaign. Losses were high of course as they always are in the Florida swamp. Leon and Elysium were also in the war and for the life of me I cant remember where they fought if at all. Maybe they were in america and I didnt notice them.

In India the wars fought against King of Men allowed me to snipe the Viking parts of the Raj helping me consolidate my control over the deccan parts of the subcontinent. Now only Japan, the Latin Empire, and Britain control land in the southern half of India as well as the more local powers of Medina and Mahalavos.

Meanwhile the British and Scandinavians were dealt a powerful defeat in America by the Koreans and the returning Occitanian. Without Atlassian aid (Atlassia was busy having a grudge match with the Khazarian Africa Corp) the Vikings and British were outnumbered, but also had entanglements to address in Europe, namely Bohemia's attempts at Hegemony by seizure of the entire baltic coastline.

Similarly gone noticed by the Powers that be is Elysiums continued growth into a superpower. South America while poor and poorly populated at the moment is now poised to run the Spanish from its continent due to increased wars breaking out in Europe. Now only Leon, Great Britain and the Latin Empire control land of any substance in the south and only the Latin Empire has to Colonial Force limit possible to march into South America in any sort of force.

In Asia Japan is also making its place for becoming a great Power. With Korea's perceived support disappearing the Chinese have taken back their northern Demands, and The ineffectual British Monarchy not ceding the promised Island of Hainan to the Latin Empire rebel forces seized the land and let it fall back. Now the Chinese are honorbound to return the island and have promised to come forward with an offer to the great Latin Empire but there has been only silence. It seems the Empire will need to prepare for war again.

Japan meanwhile has seized the Philippines but also attempted to make a play for the larger islands in Malaya where it was stopped by the Bravery of Latin Marines and the Fleet of Medina and the Nation was saved from Destruction. Though its still a backwater and in full collapse but thats not our job, we just show up and look tough.

Here we have the global map. The Latin Empire has a global Empire and is the greatest of these colonial powers but still third behind Khazaria and Medina respectively. Bohemia and Japan are bringing the fight, but this may end up burning them if they bring the fight to the wrong people, people who have vast secret alliance networks that may come back and explode in thier faces.
Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2018 5:36:58 PM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 13: Blue Danube Waltz

Going to be another short update becuase I procrastinated for two weeks getting this AAR written but hey thats pretty common form for me so lets just jump into it.

Here are our likely final borders for Eu4. In recent years the Empire of Bohemia dramatically tried to overthrow the status quo of Europe by retaking his coastline from the Vikings of Scandinavia. This worked initially but as the war drew on I intervened and forced a white peace. Then it happened again despite several warnings that my Neutrality has a price. Needless to say another white peace was signed upon my joining and Yami has since paid my Price of neutrality in the form of Bavaria south of the Danube. Truly, Lovely.

However this also means that now my continued filibustering has brought the date to 1797 Meaning we only have 25 years left. This has resulted in some sighs of relief from the powers that be, Namely me and Clone due to increasing frustration at our successes in the game setting off warning signs of coalitions. However with only 25 Years left I know at least I can successfully stall out even an unwinnable war until time is called. A nice bonus.

Our recent annexation however has also caused us a bit of a shortage in administrative points. Stalling out efforts to complete the last idea, Innovative until the final hours of the campaign. Thankfully I never needed the 20% infantry combat ability policy that Innovative provides. This is the Full Latin Build in his glory, Religious was the pick I was most on the fence about, especially over Economic as my 3rd slot but it did end up coming in handy, allowing me to flip into reformed and convert after than people who went protestant before me, allowing me to maintain an outwardly strong appearance and then later benefit from the culture conversion cost and prestige bonuses.

I did not take defensive as I originally wanted to becuase it quickly became apparent to me, I had coasted through the early game, where defensive is at its best and into being the Colonial Corner of the Big 3 Triangle. With a massive force limit required to deploy armies in force in Asia and America I needed Quantity, something I normally never pick when I have the income to just ignore force limit for the most part.

Everything else is somewhat self explanatory, Economic and Trade fuel our economy and Innovative really is just a pick for conversion, I dont get anything out of it at this point, all the techs are researched, I don't use mercs I don't fight wars on the defensive, It was really just Espionage, Maritime, Administrative or Innovative, I went with Innovative with the hope it will help my literacy a bit.

The Last victory cards came in, Mine landed on Aleppo while Clone and Tazzo's landed on Rum. Needless to say nobody was very amused, as I was hoping mine would land somewhere in Fing Europe for once, but noooooo. We cant have nice things. Similarly I was half expecting clone to at least get a single card on China and Tazzo to get one in India, Didnt happen. This has more or less locked in our Score Order of Latin Empire, Medina, Khazaria. With Khazaria most at threat from being unseated if for some reason someone snatches their 4k Point card. This is also the likely order coming into Vicky of Great Powers.

Speaking of Great Powers, These are the great powers of the world. Yes As you can see the Latin Empire is number one, PAY YOU NO MIND TO THE CENTER NUMBER. LATIN EMPIRE NUMBER 1 YET AGAIN NOW AND FOREVER!.

This is thanks in large part to the annexation of Bavaria which has pushed my past Medina in raw Development. Meaning I don't actually need Nova Roma for a second place slot.

So since I have the screenshot we may as well talk about it.

At the Top, And Forever Number 1! Forever I'm telling you, Is the Latin Empire. Our glorious self led by our God Emperor and his Space Janissaries. We have held out ground all campaign and lived to tell the tale. Through a good mix of Luck and Diplomacy. Not Skill mind you, I have never had to defend the heavyweight title in a bout. But at the end of the day, The purpose of strong armies and good diplomacy is to avoid conflict, not invite it to your doorstep, and we have done this in spades. Even if it was a bit boring.

Next up we have Khazaria, The Permanent #2 Great Power, this nonsense about Khazaria being able to develop its steppeland for only 6 monarch points if fake news, They will NEVER pass us. They are also the Russia of the Campaign, Russia, should she unite is always gartuneed a gp spot becuase nobody ever actually wants to kill Russia, and anyone who kills Russia, Becomes Russia. Its a vicious circle really. KHAZARIA is not Russia, but it might as well be, with land stretching from Siberia to the Black Sea and is fueled by Loads of Persian Development the otherwise would put it far further down this list. Khazaria has seen fit to attack those she feels threatened down the road, namely america, but most of these conflicts ultimately ended in Khazaria's defeat. Further still my continued support of the American players has caused some worry from the mighty Horselords.

Next is Medina. A United Middle Eastern Empire, but wait plot twist, its christian. Everyone already knew that already im just grasping for Things to say. Like Khazaria Medina is in a fairly unassailable position and got to at Persia and Arabia basically for free as well as Push Into the Indus trade node. Medina while not as 'safe' as Khazaria has a very important position for power projection with control over the unbuilt Suez canal but also New Zealand and a few Islands in the Indian Ocean allowing her to project power into Asia while also making its presence known in Europe. Medina's big weakness her army quality which lacks the fancy fire damage modifiers of her peers, was never exploited in the campaign allowing for a safe and productive run of continually growing stronger.

That ends the Big three and brings us down the the Thunderdome. Where the various powers claw at eachother for the valuable 4th and 5th GP slots. In the Fourth is Jinshi, you remember Jinshi I hope, He doesn't write AAR's preferring his fan fiction about anime waifu's making out with liches and dragons.. Yea asia is weird. Generally Jinshi has been pretty safe in his 4th GP slot, but that has Changed since the Rise of Japan who is looking to unseat the mighty dragon from his throne. China generally solves all of its problems by drowning it with corpses. The running Joke in the world is how many Jinshi does it take to change a lightbulb, 1 Million. 1 Korean conscript to change the lightning bulb with Prussian efficiency, and a Million Jinshi to die for no real reason whatsoever.

Next is Japan, the Rabies and Militarism injected bulldog of the campaign. Japan had a humble start but has since been taken over by Mark, and Mark does not do peace well. He started the Great Chinese war and then missed the war, but somehow still benefits by snatching Island after Island after Island while developing the Home Islands. Japan owes its success to the Imperial navy which is said to be in constant conflict with the Army, Because the Navy is actually competent and the army is a bunch of Saki Drinking Samurai that hasn't been called up to fight a real opponent in over a century. But hey, if it works.

In 6th is Atlassia the other major naval power on the board and what some people seem to think is my adorable pet Doctor Frankenstein. Why is that you ask? Because Atlassia has committed practically every fiber of its being to Building a Monster in South America by the name of Brazil. I am not complicit in this sorcery But regardless Atlassia is a close friend. Now if only I could teach them the art of Bloodlust and Murder so they can clean up thier coastline becuase every time I look at west Africa I literally have a small stroke.

in 7th is Prussia, I mean Korea. The Military focused Juggernaut crippled by a lack of players and Khazaria really. Korea had hope to be number 1 when it had Japan under its dominion and China terrified of it but now its trapped in its corner and unable to really pull itself out of it. Viking our new Korea player is not particularly happy about this turn of events and I can understand completly. Where Korea has been able to strike out for its own is in America, where it has been earning the Eire of the Colonizers all of whom are starting to get themselves together but with the time remaining as it is, it may be too little to late and the order of America may be locked in place.

In 8th and Last place is Occitania. Gone are the days when Occitania mighty second place scared even the Latin Empire. Now she is simply a middling power competing with the Likes of Leon, Scandinavia and Bohemia for the 8th Place slot. Her Golden age has passed but she as at least Endured and ultimately thats all that really matters. Occitania still enjoys an alliance with Medina, keeping her safe but in reality, But the Alliance with Medina is easy to work around for nations that would actually care to see Occitania dead thanks to the Sinking of the occitan fleet. She survives on good will, and the fear that if Occitania is ever attacked without my consent, that Latin Hussars will ride to her defense for the first time.

Here is the world map, its not current as the American powers in North America have been unified based on Colonizer. But that doesn't change much in the grand scheme at least for now. The Big 3 continue to reign supreme much to the chargin to those below them. The Final session awaits. Fortunes could be won or lost, but one thing is certain, and these words will ring through the next Session.

Victoria is coming.

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018 9:58:29 PM
 Lieutenant General

Joined: 8/25/2014
Posts: 2,153

Part 14: The World of 1821

Behold the World of 1821 Blood has spent spent, Tears have been shed, Salt has been Mined. The Early Modern Period is over and the Age of Nationalism is calling. We'll be going nation by nation through the nations that have survived this far and the rankings and all that good stuff, Plus witty commentary since everyone likes that.

First up is the Latin Empire, The Third Rome and a nation near and dear to my heart. Or well it would be if I enjoyed playing italy but whatever this was the lot we've been stuck with. The Latin Empire has been very successful, lording over its #1 Great Power spot despite the rise of rivals to the east and continual challenges from those around it. The Latin empire boasts the worlds strongest military, a powerful navy and is third in World Population. The Empire has strong allies in the form of a Unified Iberia and a Unified Magreb to its East, while also enjoying friendly relations with everyone around it to some extent.

Though this has for the most part crippled the Empire's expansion and have forced a primarily diplomatic foreign policy in Europe, where almost all land gains were done through acts of diplomacy as opposed to warfare. The Empire however is not lacking in the sword, Janissaries recruited from Venice, Sicily and the Aegean comprise large percentages of the Army and are widely considered to be the finest in the world, comparable to the Koreans. The Imperial Navy is another story, as it is by no means bad, but is ultimately smaller than her rivals and not as well maintained or supported, but it has in the past surprised many with its power, and this can be attributed to the Latin People's tenacious fervour to defend the House of Lotharing.

Next is mighty Khazaria. The Big Golden Blob is an effective superpower on Par with the Latin Empire thanks to a few major factors. A Lack of any real enemy for most of its history, and the Rich lands of the Old Persian Empire making up a large percentage of her development. These factors have powered Khazaria into being an effective loaded gun pointed at both Europe and Asia, and with Her alliance with Medina has forced all Diplomacy to Bend around the middle Block as opposed to flow naturally. Khazaria and Medina recently just fought off a Combined Coalition of all of Asia, Leon, The Holy Roman Empire and Scandinavia, a striking victory which shows just how powerful the Caucasian Alliance really is.
However A victory has been struck, due to the War forcing Khazaria to fall behind in Development. Allowing the Latin Empire to reclaim its place as the Greatest Power in the World, the first of many perhaps.

Khazaria's main weakness is that she is in Russia, and thus cannot interact with the world at large, and needs to work through Proxies, namely the Japanese and Medina. This had for the most part been unsuccessful as Japan's interests are primarily its own and Medina is bound by the same diplomatic restricts as the Latin Empire, being too powerful for its own good. This has allowed Diplomacy, especially in America to turn against the Great Golden Blob as Brazil has ascended to Great Power Status supported by his parents, Leon and Atlassia who fought several wars to contain Khazarian interference in America once the Khazars tried to take matters into their own hands. This Isolation of course works both ways, Should the powers that be ever drop their Vigil, Khazaria and Medina could turn on Asia who is more isolated than Europe and put the boot to the region.

Next up is Medina, Like Khazaria Medina has grown fat on the bounty of Persia but had a much more precarious position at its inception. Aware of the games of Power between Occitania and the Latin Empire Medina did its best to play them off each other in order to gain control over Egypt and the Levant. Medina has let its influence be felt in the Indian Ocean since its rise as a great power, and at the pushing of Khazaria has started building a Fledgling Naval Empire in the form of New Zealand, and some Pacific Islands. Medina is a coiled snake, able to strike at India, Africa or even at her more friendly partners in Eurasia but finds itself much like the Latin Empire confined by diplomacy. A War with Khazaria for Medina is a losing proposition for even though the Empire could win, the front is long and covered with mountains and horrible terrain to campaign on. To the south Lies Occitania, who depends on Medina for Safety from the Holy Roman Empire, Scandinavia and Leon. To the West Lies the Latin Empire another ally with similarly bad terrain, with the added bonus of the Dardanelles enabling any major land conflict to escalate into a world war. To the East lies India, a land many consider to be a buffer zone between Medina and the rest of Asia, and whos destruction would mean opening the flood gates for an Empowered China, which is far worse than a divided and weakened asia.

However, large portions of East Africa remain which will serve to be fuel for the powerful empire, fuel it desperately needs at the end of the day. Medina is a country harmed by its geography, Vast deserts and arid mountains have harmed Medina's ability to grow its heartland to any significant extent, and so Medina has needed to seize the green lands of Egypt as well as push into India in order to maintain its status as a member of the 3 superpowers. Because of this, the Eastern third of the Empire can be cut by Khazaria at any time through the seizure of the Persian coastline south of Isfahan. Suez similarly can cut Medina from its western third, thus forcing Medina to rely on its vast fleet to remain intact which is never a good position to be in, especially when Japan our next great power has been continually straining against the confines put against it by Medina and the Latin Empire.

Japan is the Fourth Greatest Power in the world, and the Second Newest Great Power overall. Back from the Brink of extinction Japan has continued to expand since reclaiming its home Islands mostly in Malaysia but also in India and Africa. This has come to be a point of controversy as Japan's rise has broken the Balance of Power in Asia and to some extent the world. Japan, being aggressive and Expansive still enjoys an alliance with Khazaria as well as a treaty port in Northern Russia. This of course comes at the dismay of Asia, who now look at the very real possibility of being encircled by a Warmongering Japan and Khazaria-Medina. Though these actions and Japans constant need to intervene in everything in hopes of personal gain has caused some stir with the Powers that be.

Japan has found itself at war with almost every single great power at one point or another, and has made enemies of several while also setting many others uneasy. This has caused Japan to lean ever more on the Big 3 to stay important and needed as the Naval Empire's more traditional Empire of China cannot help defend her colonial Empire in the slightest. The disadvantage is that despite Japan's position many people only see the Nation as a Navy at best and a serial killer at worst. With the game changing and Japan's Naval dominance now able to be checked by more powers than simply Atlassia, time will tell if Japan can successfully transition to a proper great power in order to consolidate its gain and expand its presence in the Indies or continue to behave aggressively and find itself far over its head.

Atlassia is the worlds fifth Great Power and is the pacifist equivalent to Japan. Atlassia has spent the majority of the game helping other people, economic or otherwise. This has of course resulted in Atlassia having less than Ideal control over the African Coastline. However Atlassia can safely say that No power openly dislikes them and it enjoys a strong alliance with both of its neighbors, while also holding Cape and economic control over Dixie in America. Atlassia also, has one of the only navies able to Check Japan or Medina at sea. With the coming opening of Africa Atlassia will finally have access to something it desperately needs, More Land in the form of Kong and South African expansion.

Thanks to Atlassia's geography attacks can only really come from one direction, the Sea. As North Africa is a narrow desert, Central Africa is a Nightmarish Jungle and the Sahara only really harms anyone trying to push from one half of the country to the other. However this does come at cost, as Atlassia is dependent on its navy to be seen as any real threat as its own Geography contains its ability to intervene in Europe or Asia. Similarly Cape is Isolated from the Atlassian homeland entirely and walking through africa to reach it takes far too long. Though for an Empire that has spent much of its history content to trade and develop internally, this isn't so much a downside as if anything it encourages this type of behavior.

Sixth is the Jinshi Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom, or you know, China. China unfortunately has been plagued with an identity crisis since the start. Unwilling or Unable to expand to reach its natural borders Jinshi is missing parts of western China as well as control over the Frontier north of the Yellow River. This has left the Middle Kingdom forced to expand south, making enemies with powers that were friendlier with Europeans in General. The Death of Yue, a convenient ally of Atlassia, The Occitanian Seizure of Taiwan and the 30 Years war all would marginalize the Great Power as well as its focus on quantity over quality in terms of military.

However China retains its rich heartland south of the yellow river and for the moment enjoys an alliance with Japan which can serve to help the country grow more powerful in the coming years. With the Recent Failure against Khazaria, the game has effectively changed in Asia. Nobody will allow Khazaria and Medina to expand their positions but that only means that the two great powers will work through proxies, Korea and Japan seeing likely. This is where the Classic Chinese Paradox has returned yet again. China can open herself up to European Allies but this would mean making offers or betraying powers China may not be comfortable with, however many of these powers can put any Asian Defectors in their place. Or China can close herself off and stay within her Asian Clique and hope that is enough to keep it safe. However one thing is certain, China cannot afford to be subservient to another Asian Power, As they will simply use the Middle Kingdom to their own ends with little care for the result on China itself. Just like what happened after Japan Pushed China to end the Yue as soon and as brutally as it did.

Brazil. is the Worlds seventh great Power and the American Juggernaut as it were. In response to the Growing Influence of Khazaria and Medina, Leon and Atlassia and to a lesser extent the Latin Empire have given birth to a unified continent. Isolated and Safe in America and powered by a several hundred year old republic Brazil is in a perfect geographic position to dominant America. She has powerful allies in Leon, Atlassia and the Latin Empire, and is only really disliked by Khazaria and Medina who look upon brazil and see a potential doom in the future as Brazil is the one nation that does not need fear 2 of the Big three thanks to its position and can play accordingly.

This of course comes with downsides, Brazil unlike Northern America is covered in Mountains and Jungle, forcing much of its heartland to be along the coast, Brazil also cannot easily expand, as Panama is controlled by Mexico and thus is under the protection of the Latin Empire. However Brazil doesn't need to expand its land mass, it needs to expand her population and immigration may very well be the fuel to turn The country into the worlds forth superpower. The Sleeping Giant has been born, now it will only be a matter of time to see if someone is foolish enough to awaken it.

Occitania is the final great power and has had a long story of rises and falls. Occitania once was the second great power behind the Latin Empire and was in a position to contest for that title, however being cut out of the New World, and marginalized in Asia repeatably had put Occitania into stagnation. Before the fall was complete Occitania had lost its control over the Alps, Barcelona and much of its Asian territories and Colonies with only East Africa gained thanks to an existing deal with Medina. Occitania now while not weak by any means is trapped between minor powers all all with eyes to feast upon its rich lands and thus relies heavily upon an alliance with Medina for its security.

In recent history Occitania denied joining the Coalition war against Khazaria Medina, further angering the powers around it as well as its Longtime Asian ally of Korea which has led many to speculate if Occitania is truly a great power at all rather than a Sphereling of Khazaria and Medina. Of course this is through no fault of Occitania, despite the constant interventions from the Latin Empire to Enforce peace in Europe, Occitania has no reason to trust an Empire that has taken its entire western frontier in the past and so it sits, lamenting its lost potential. Though again one door closes and another opens, as Industrialization begins Occitania is all but assured to have ample supplies of almost every resource to some degree and so it could find finally dig itself free from its economic woes that have plagued it for over 400 years.

Next comes the Minor Powers, of which there are just as many. This are in no particular order, so lets get started.

Leon used to be a great power for much of History as a unified Iberia would dictate. However Leon rather than seeking a great colonial Empire had decided instead to empower Elysium while holding onto minor colonial gains elsewhere. This has not exempted Leon however from managing to secure Navarra and Barcelona both crucial regions for the countries security as now it has complete control over the Pyrenees. Leon also boasts the highest Population density of any power in the world meaning despite its size it has some of the best potential for industrialization outside the Big 3 especially if it can secure a valuable sphere or colonies in the Indies.

This does come at the cost of its Military. Leon while superior than Occitania in terms of fighting strength will now have to rely on a constant technological edge as it finds itself outnumbered fighting Atlassia, Occitania or even Japan. The Pyrenees however are far more defensible as time goes on and of course Leon has abundant diplomatic leverage with the powers around it so all it need do is choose a moment for greatness and grasp at it.

Scandinavia has spent much of the game feeling the downsides of Atlassia's playstyle. Unwilling to expand into Russia or what is now the Holy Roman Empire early on Scandinavia found itself locked in pitched battle with Occitanian effectively for the entire campaign, and much to its detriment. An Alliance with Great Britain will beneficial for Colonial affairs did nothing to established powers on the continent from throwing their weight around, and such was the case with Brazil, Korea and the Latin Empire on different occasions. Now without a significant colonial empire outside Vinland and operating very much as an equal to the Holy Roman Empire below it, Scandinavia is stuck in its corner. Great Britain is protected by many powers, The Holy Roman Empire enjoys an alliance with Leon and Occitania has an Alliance with Medina.

In that Scandinavia's best hope is to industrialize and work the field to reclaim influence in Europe. On the bright side, Scandinavia's isolated position means it does have some options diplomatically, it Can work with Khazaria to deal with Bohemia, but will be unable to touch Occitania in that case. It could come to the table with the Latin Empire and Leon, but any such war fought alongside those two powers would come far later than Scandinavia would like. It could stay neutral as Scandinavia can afford to, and wait for an opportune moment, the door is open. Though it cannot wait too long, as Bohemia still has designs upon the Baltic Coastline, and should Scandinavia find itself too isolated it could very well find itself pushed back to the Frozen Peninsula and off Continental Europe.

Korea is the major military power of Asia. Korea is an awkward power, Contained during its height by Khazaria the Nation has for the most part spent its entire history straining against the Cage the Great Golden Blob has placed it in. This has allowed Japan to survive and in fact replace Korea as the premier great power of Asia and now it finds itself very much in danger of becoming a puppet of Khazaria against Japan and China. Realistically there aren't many prospects for Korea without control over Japan or Siberia and so much of Korea's future entirely resides with who it will side with in the future.

To that end it has options, Khazaria remains, but siding with Khazaria will mean the immediate withdrawal of Japan most likely, and thus its not actually Korea's decision, but Khazaria's as it will need to decide between Japan's Navy, or the Korean Army. Continued Co-operation with Jinshi is a possibility, but this is a dangerous road as it means tying Korea's fate to Jinshi's fate and if Jinshi maneuvers incorrectly it could spell immediate disaster. Europeans are a possibility, but the last time Korea placed faith in a European Power to help it better its position, Occitania betrayed it. Of course there are more trustworthy Europeans, and there is of course large amounts of dissent leftover from the past that could eventually spill over in the future that Korea could exploit.

The Holy Roman Empire is the glorified Buffer state of Europe. Trapped between Khazaria the Latin Empire, Scandinavia and Occitania it has enjoyed protection mostly in that nobody was willing to attack it for fear of Bohemia turning against them in the Great Game of Europe. However this has changed with the formation of the Holy Roman Empire and the War of the Grand Coalition. The Empire has Awoken, attacking Scandinavia first and finding itself weakened severely as a result in the second war. Then it decided to make a move against Khazaria in hopes of joining its eastern arm to the rest of the Empire to no avail despite massive amounts of aid.

Now The Empire sits, without a coastline in a reduced state with its buffer state status at risk. It is safe, for the moment, but once Wars begin to escalate it will need to do something. The Holy Roman Empire needs one thing before all else however, to consolidate itself as currently the Latin Empire, Scandinavia and Khazaria all are easily capable of overrunning the State thanks to long relatively flat borders. Realistically the Empire needs a coastline, any will do, as it needs to have at least some form of ground to push off of for its security, weather this be the Black, Baltic or Adriatic Seas its future will always be left up to other powers so long as it cannot dictate what direction it truly wishes to push.

Ayutthaya is the weakest of the 4 Asian Powers and in Crisis. It has lost its longtime alliance with the Jinshi, as expected by virtually everyone despite being the Only power to protect Jinshi's territorial integrity from Korea, Japan and the Latin Empire. For its loyalty it lost champa to Jinshi and its Malayan gains to Japan. A bad position to be in. However Because Ayutthaya is the weakest of the Asian powers its also the power most Europeans are willing to defend. With the Fall of Malaya and the continued lack of an Indian Player Ayutthaya with strong European allies is in a perfect position to find itself diplomatically strengthened by good deals of both countries, provided they aren't filled.

Even without, Ayutthaya still holds a crucial role as the gatekeeper of South Asia, without it, The entire region will likely be pieced apart by European Powers, much to the Detriment of Jinshi but especially Japan. The only thing Ayutthaya truly needs at the end of the Day is strong allies, and like the other minors Ive been over, It needs to wait. Bigger wars are coming and far larger powers will take the brunt of demands in such wars while minors find the opportunity to take cuts. For allies Ayutthaya has many prospects, though most of them European. Medina is an option but again, like with Korea, It would mean likely the immediate departure of Japan, though for Ayutthaya thats less of a bad thing and more a chance for revenge.

Great Britain Ever in the Shadow of Scandinavia Great Britain has survived though nobody having the heart to hurt it too badly, but that need not be a bad thing. Great Britain like it always has in this Campaign has remained a valuable asset and ally lending its navy and army without question. Its only a shame Great Britain could not successfully turn its good position into a great one with expanded colonies in America and beyond. Great Britain's great fault came in its lack of development, and unfortunately the way Colonization was allowed. Losing her south american american colonies was devastating, for the type of game great britain was playing.

Realistically Great Britain should have been involved in the breaking of Bretonnia as it had several key alliances at the time many of which it still has that would have kept it safe from Occitania. This is where being passive has hurt great britain more, as its largest potential was in control of the English Channel, and like Occitania and Scandinavia, without decent control over atlantic trade it stagnated and was made irrelevant. Great Britain's partners in America and land in Africa however are leverage to be used to help it economically in the coming times. The future of England is in its Industry, and so it will need to turn the skies black and the seas brown before it sees greatness.

I'm putting the three Americans all together here since I dont really have much different to say between them. Lesser Versions of Brazil Basically the American powers are all in relatively good shape for the future. Mexico and Dixie both start Sphered by Great Powers which is arguably a bonus right now as this allows them to start economically linked with a power capable of supplying their industry with vast quantities of raw resources that otherwise would be available to everyone. Of course the possibility to actually go to war remains but with various great powers meddling in the Americas specifically to prevent that from happening it seems less likely as a possible alternative.

Immigration is the most powerful force for strength for any of these minors, and maximizing it is crucial as none of them control the land area to effectively industrialize without the constant flood of cheap labor. America provided all the security they need Provided of course they can work things out and prevent warfare between each other, or at least make such occasions quick and relatively bloodless affairs.

And that more or less conclusion our Wrapup of the world Powers. So heres a few more maps of intrest. Next Update will be in Victoria.

World Religion Map

World Development Map. Note the High Development in Persia, the Chinese Core and Leon.

World Cultures.

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