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The Paradox Strategy Games Megathread


Rudi von Starnberg
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I notice there is a new patch for CKII with a gigantic changelist (they always seem to break half the game when a new major DLC launches). As ever, some of them are quite funny out of context. The patch doesn't fix the converter yet.

Diseases can now occur before 867.
Added Scars, red dots and boils to Indian Portraits.
All byzantine emperors will now have clothes regardless of what DLCs are enabled.
Byzantine children are no longer invisible when playing with Early Eastern Clothing Pack enabled and Mediterranean Portraits disabled.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally picked up all the EUIV DLC, and Art of War really does seem to be an excellent expansion although I have barely scratched the surface of it yet. Will have to try a Thirty Years' War game of course. I had a terrible very fast and spectacular failure as Venice (Ottomans swiftly crushed Naples, I launched a coalition war against them to try to stem their expansion, which didn't go well even with Austria on my side). Scrapping that idea I am playing as Muscovy. Very interesting game, with lots of potential options!

I quickly beat Novgorod in a war, taking a few provinces and forcing them to release Finland*, which nicely gives me a 10% reduction in tech costs due to sharing a border with them. Muscovy have a few minor allies and vassals that it is best to keep happy while I build up for my next war with Novogord. Unfortunately one of those allies, Ryazan, got invaded by Crimea. Ryazan are important as they are at this point a nice four province buffer between me and all the steppe hordes to the south. Not so bad, Crimea should be no match for the combined might of me, Perm, Ryazan and Finland, right? But then Crimea's allies showed up and fucked us all up. The damn Ottomans, again. Sorry, Ryazan, but I had to bail on that war early.

* a mere 420 or so years before their historical independence :lol:

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Keep in mind some mechanics have changed since that let's play.

My Muscovy - Russia gane is the most fun Ibhave had playing a strategy game in years. Lithuania are total bastards. Playing a long strategy of isolating them by slowly weakening their allies. Sweden have been taken care of, Hungary got hammered in a rebellion, while two independence revolts spilt Kiev and some other Russian region out of Lithuania themselves. New allies for me! Poland are still strong enough to put up a good fight as allies of Lithuania, though. On the east I am gradually pushing back the hordes but have now been called into a war against Crimea by that other Russian state.

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Keep in mind some mechanics have changed since that let's play.

My Muscovy - Russia gane is the most fun Ibhave had playing a strategy game in years. Lithuania are total bastards. Playing a long strategy of isolating them by slowly weakening their allies. Sweden have been taken care of, Hungary got hammered in a rebellion, while two independence revolts spilt Kiev and some other Russian region out of Lithuania themselves. New allies for me! Poland are still strong enough to put up a good fight as allies of Lithuania, though. On the east I am gradually pushing back the hordes but have now been called into a war against Crimea by that other Russian state.

Conversely, I'm playing as Sweden and everything I'm building up for is going to be centred around dealing with Muscovy!

But I mainly came in to post a screenshot of just how determined Swedish nobility is - I'm going to have a succession war with myself:

post-7765-0-79931700-1417864423_thumb.jp

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I have run into a problem where everyone wants to kill me as Russia at the same time, and my military tech is a bit behind. I forgot how bad I am at this game, struggle to keep up in tech.

I will try to attrition the ottomans to death by malong them marche through the whole country, at least, Kiev and the Timurids are the other attackers, who are easy pickings for me, but the Ottomans are scary. Even more manpower than me!

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I have run into a problem where everyone wants to kill me as Russia at the same time, and my military tech is a bit behind. I forgot how bad I am at this game, struggle to keep up in tech.

I will try to attrition the ottomans to death by malong them marche through the whole country, at least, Kiev and the Timurids are the other attackers, who are easy pickings for me, but the Ottomans are scary. Even more manpower than me!

Winter is absurdly powerful, I swear it's more powerful now than it used to be. If your enemies spend a couple of winters in parts of your country that get hit by Severe Winter, they'll take 5% attrition per month minimum (Severe Winter might actually be 10% per month, can't remember) which is going to tank their manpower. If you're a Russia big enough to be tangling with steppe tribes, there's no real way for anyone to beat you without burning through all their manpower.

Just fall back lots and strike only when you'll win cleanly and without excessive casualties.

That said, if anybody can destroy Russia, it's the Ottomans...

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Yep, doing a Peter the Great worked, managed to force the ottomans into white peace through attrition and war exhaustion despite them occupying the whole west of the country. Had to give timurids and the alliance of kiev/sweden slightly more concessions in order to rebuild a bit and focus on demolishing pesky little Sibir, who also opportunistically invaded me at the same time. They are regretting it.

My long term plan now is to head east for the next century or so. Then turn and have a huge fight with ottomans late game

Edit: As soon as the truce expired the Timurids attacked me again. :lol: They have a large but poor quality army so are piss easy for me to crush in a defensive war but their Ottoman allies have just joined. They should take a while to arrive and will hopefully get wintered to death again. Thankfully, Sibir are now my vassals, but Oirat recently annexed Uzbek and share my eastern frontier. It would be annoying if they decided to attack.

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Anyone tried playing as the Zunbil in CK2? I've been going for the achievement, and it's so unbelievably difficult to get. You have to be an Emperor, and the unreformed pagan Zunbil faith has to be at 50% influence to reform it. The first problem is founding an Empire. You only have access to Gavelkind and Ultimogeniture successions, so either all your sons inherit, or the youngest one does. To prevent kingdom splitting, you have to go ultimogeniture now, because you can no longer assassinate your offspring, and finding ways to guarantee they die is really difficult if you have a randy character. The other problem is, you only control two holy sites for 20% at the beginning of the game, and there are only 4 other ways to increase religious influence. Successful county conquest 1% for 20 years, opposing religion rebellion defeated 1% for 10 years, build a temple 1% for 20 years, have someone declare holy war on you and you win the war 3% for 20 years. The other religious sites are in India, then in Baghdad and in Heliopolis.

I managed to get through the early phase of the game and avoided getting mauled by the Abbasids (I put my Grand Vizier in Damascus at the start of the game and he hasn't left there since, one of the Caliphs in charge had +990 to diplomatic relations with one of my characters), and slowly but surely managed to eat up everything around me until I could forge the Kingdom of Afghanistan. From there it was all about getting in to India to get the holy site of Multan, whilst expanding out in to Khiva to get 3 kingdoms to create an empire.

That took about 150 years. It was really slow going, but for some reason the Zunbil get sent endless amount of emissaries that you can imprison and ransom for 25g each, so I had also managed to save up about 5k gold and could hire loads of mercenaries whenever I wanted to. But I did it. I had founded an Empire that was basically all of the Persian Empire minus Persia itself, and Sindh and the Punjab. I had 30% authority from religious sites, about 10% from conquests and 2% from putting down rebellions for a total of 42%. Then my leader died, a 2 year old inherited, the Abbasids declared war on me instantly and I shit myself. Fortunately, before they could even muster all their troops, the Byzantines declared war on them, so I just held about 12k men at Khiva and followed the Abbasid armies about, pecking at their heels whenever the Byzantines were next to us. I managed to win that war with about 80% of the victory coming from not having had any of my counties sieged.

After fending off the Abbasids, I was at 45% and I had just over 4k gold left. I figured that if I built 5 temples, I could do it. I was worried that my % might drop from the amount of time that had passed since my last conquests, so I built 7 temples just in case, which cost me 4,200 gold. Basically everything I had. Temples take 2 years to build, so I basically crossed my fingers and waited. By the time the temples had been built, enough time had passed since my last conquests and rebellion victories for me to have 49% moral authority. Desperate, I declared war on the nearest Indian kingdom (Delhi) to get that precious 1%, but about 3 days later the ruler somehow inherited the remnants of the Deccan Empire, came of age and married in to the family that ruled almost the entirety of Southern India. My lack of gold and his mass of allies meant that I was forced to concede the war to him and lose another 1%.

Then I stopped playing and came and wrote this post because I am really annoyed. Now I have to fight the Abbasids once every 5 years until I get to Baghdad. And then build 10 temples for about 800 gold each.

Fucking Crusader Kings.

:(

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Anyone tried playing as the Zunbil in CK2? I've been going for the achievement, and it's so unbelievably difficult to get. You have to be an Emperor, and the unreformed pagan Zunbil faith has to be at 50% influence to reform it. The first problem is founding an Empire. You only have access to Gavelkind and Ultimogeniture successions, so either all your sons inherit, or the youngest one does. To prevent kingdom splitting, you have to go ultimogeniture now, because you can no longer assassinate your offspring, and finding ways to guarantee they die is really difficult if you have a randy character. The other problem is, you only control two holy sites for 20% at the beginning of the game, and there are only 4 other ways to increase religious influence. Successful county conquest 1% for 20 years, opposing religion rebellion defeated 1% for 10 years, build a temple 1% for 20 years, have someone declare holy war on you and you win the war 3% for 20 years. The other religious sites are in India, then in Baghdad and in Heliopolis.

I managed to get through the early phase of the game and avoided getting mauled by the Abbasids (I put my Grand Vizier in Damascus at the start of the game and he hasn't left there since, one of the Caliphs in charge had +990 to diplomatic relations with one of my characters), and slowly but surely managed to eat up everything around me until I could forge the Kingdom of Afghanistan. From there it was all about getting in to India to get the holy site of Multan, whilst expanding out in to Khiva to get 3 kingdoms to create an empire.

That took about 150 years. It was really slow going, but for some reason the Zunbil get sent endless amount of emissaries that you can imprison and ransom for 25g each, so I had also managed to save up about 5k gold and could hire loads of mercenaries whenever I wanted to. But I did it. I had founded an Empire that was basically all of the Persian Empire minus Persia itself, and Sindh and the Punjab. I had 30% authority from religious sites, about 10% from conquests and 2% from putting down rebellions for a total of 42%. Then my leader died, a 2 year old inherited, the Abbasids declared war on me instantly and I shit myself. Fortunately, before they could even muster all their troops, the Byzantines declared war on them, so I just held about 12k men at Khiva and followed the Abbasid armies about, pecking at their heels whenever the Byzantines were next to us. I managed to win that war with about 80% of the victory coming from not having had any of my counties sieged.

After fending off the Abbasids, I was at 45% and I had just over 4k gold left. I figured that if I built 5 temples, I could do it. I was worried that my % might drop from the amount of time that had passed since my last conquests, so I built 7 temples just in case, which cost me 4,200 gold. Basically everything I had. Temples take 2 years to build, so I basically crossed my fingers and waited. By the time the temples had been built, enough time had passed since my last conquests and rebellion victories for me to have 49% moral authority. Desperate, I declared war on the nearest Indian kingdom (Delhi) to get that precious 1%, but about 3 days later the ruler somehow inherited the remnants of the Deccan Empire, came of age and married in to the family that ruled almost the entirety of Southern India. My lack of gold and his mass of allies meant that I was forced to concede the war to him and lose another 1%.

Then I stopped playing and came and wrote this post because I am really annoyed. Now I have to fight the Abbasids once every 5 years until I get to Baghdad. And then build 10 temples for about 800 gold each.

Fucking Crusader Kings.

:(

Oh man. That kinda sucks! This list suggests you have more options than you think though: http://www.ckiiwiki.com/Moral_authority

I don't know if the Zunbil can raid (are they a Charlemagne start?) but if they can, it looks like you can raid some infidels' temples and get that sweet, sweet 50%.

Edit: Just checked - they can't raid :|

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Oh man. That kinda sucks! This list suggests you have more options than you think though: http://www.ckiiwiki.com/Moral_authority

I don't know if the Zunbil can raid (are they a Charlemagne start?) but if they can, it looks like you can raid some infidels' temples and get that sweet, sweet 50%.

Edit: Just checked - they can't raid :|

Yeah, they're Charlemagne start, and no, they can't raid. It sucks.

Unfortunately, all of the things in that list don't apply to the Zunbil faith. Apart from having a character become a Paragon of Virtue. The problem with that one is that most of the time my sons inherit before the age of 16, and as a result they already have too much piety to choose PoV as an ambition.

I'll get there. I got suckered in and relied on luck in a Paradox game. You never get lucky! I should have learned that by now.

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I have spent around 50 or so years taking some revenge on countries who annoyed me previously. Lithuania got into a massive war against their traditional ally, Poland, so I was able to get in there and take Smolensk, Bryansk and some other province in the region, on which I had a core. Crimea joined in and took another swathe for themselves. Goodnight Lithuania! Then I decided to westernise, moved the capital to St Petersburg for that really nice bonus and after that, finally fucked up those Oirat bastards. Time to focus on technology and colonisation for a while.

Crimea were hammered down to a couple of provinces around the black sea earlier in the save but have proven to be resurgent, since conquering nearly all of modern-day Belarus and Ukraine.

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And in my game, Muscovy has just begun to westernise - I'm going to wait a little while until they're really embroiled in revolts and then pulverise them again.

But the main problem I'm dealing with at the moment is a moral one. The only things standing in the way of the Baltic Sea being a mare nostrum for Sweden is Lubeck (because they're allied to my friend, ally and all-round best buddy Poland-Lithuania) and... my friend, ally and all-round best buddy Poland-Lithuania.

They've been my ally since the very start, supporting my independence from Denmark and destroying Muscovy for me, all the way through to more than a century later, fighting alongside my more contemporary ally France against Austria and various irritating North German states.

But they own a ton of the Baltic Sea coast, and if I'm ever going to get the achievement 'Sweden Is Not Overpowered' (which will garner me absolutely nothing whatsoever) I need to totally betray them and take their coast.

They're the most militarily powerful nation in the game right now (thanks largely to our partnership and me giving them provinces in various wars) by number of troops, but there's not really any chance they can hold out against me.

Poor Commonwealth. It'll be the thing that human players always complain about long-term AI allies doing in EU4 - abruptly going hostile, breaking the alliance and declaring war instantly.

Here's my Europe:

post-7765-0-36499700-1417958734_thumb.jp

Sorry deerokus - Muscovy ain't doing so well.

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Quite a big rebalance patch for EUIV today, loads of changes but this one is going to really fuck up my Russia game I think. Assuming it doesn't break everything as their patches usually do!

# Autonomy & Cores
- You no longer automatically get cores on provinces colonized on the same continent, but instead have to pay half the normal coring cost to turn them into cores.
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Definitely!

They have also added a new concept on the stability screen, disasters, which seems to mostly be a more systemic way of dealing with civil wars, revolutions etc.

As for where to start with these games, I would say Crusader Kings II. Slightly smaller scope, totally unique.

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The vast majority of the huge list is cosmetic stuff and music. Really, they should have a better way to present it than that intimidatingly huge list.

The actual ganeplay expansions are sword of islam, old gods, charlemagne, the republic, sunset invasion (gimmicky joke dlc, don't bother with it as a new player), sons of abraham, rajas of india and legacy of rome, and the upcoming way of life. I dont have Charlemagne. You don't need all of them, some of them are really only of interest if you are particularly interested in a specific area of the history of the period or feel you have exhausted the base game. That said, they are all pretty fun once you want something slightly different from the vanilla game.

The dlcs are on sale very frequently anyway. If you want to get just one, Old Gods is my favourite by far, play as a Viking clan in the 9th century, it is the strongest thematically and has lots of good new mechanics.

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To be honest you don't really need any DLC at first to play the game. Starting in Ireland at 1066 as a count is still a fairly soft start to the game.

I'm not sure if it's still the case, but I'm pretty sure you can only play as a Catholic leader with the Vanilla DLC. Considering the size the map is now, this is pretty restrictive in terms of where you can play, but even then, the game is so complex that having less things to think about will make the game easier until you've got to grips with it and want to try out a new religion.

If you do want DLC, then I would recommend Old Gods, which brings the start date back to 867, unlocks the Norse religion and Vikings and raiding and sacrifices to Thor and is easily my favourite/the best DLC. Rajas of India is also good fun, because it unlocks three religions all of whom have interesting mechanics, but it's not something you really need unless you find yourself getting really in to the game.

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