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Defeatist Elitist

Let's Play Europa Universalis 3


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Wait, what is this?

You may or may not recall that I previously tried to make a Let's Play of Victoria 2 as France, however this failed as my computer used to overheat and shut off while playing this. As it's better now, I've decided to do a Let's Play of one of two Paradox Interactive Grand Strategy games: Europa Universalis 3 and Victoria 2, both with all expansions and patches, as well as the MiscMods mod for EU3, and the Pop Demand Mod for Victoria 2.

Wait, what are these games?

These games are, as mentioned previously, grand strategy games by Paradox Interactive. As far as historical accuracy and depth go, they're mostly unparalleled in gaming, though they obviously still have a ways to go. They're pausable real time games, meaning they more or less run in real time, but can be paused and adjusted whenever. While both of the games have a decent militart system, they're way more about politics and economy than just military force, especially Victoria 2. As a consequence, most military minutiae are completely out of your control, and while you can control your military organization and whatnot, as well as ordering them from province to province, once they're in battle, you have little control over its course, other than sending in more guys, or similar things. Europa Universalis 3 takes place from 1399 until 1820, and is the more sandboxy and militaristic of the games, with less focus on really really detailed economies and whatnot. It's also generally easier to play, and significantly easier to get really powerful in than Victoria 2. Victoria 2 takes place from 1836-1936, and covers the industrial revolution and the build up to the modern age. It has a really detailed and in depth world economy, and a generally more robust diplomatic and political system. It's worth noting I guess that if I play EU3, I might then convert it to Victoria 2 and finish the game there.

Wait, what are these options in the second poll?

If I end up playing EU3, there are four possible 1399 starting scenarios to choose from, so I figured I'd let you guys decide. The options are as follows:

Historical Grand Campaign:

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Our world in 1399. This is the normal one that you get without mods, and is more or less completely historical. The Renaissance is just getting going, Ming dominates the east, the Holy Roman Empire is somewhat fractured, the Moores have been pushed back to just Granada, the 100 years war is sort of raging (ie. England has its continental holdings), Burgundy is going strong, and the Timurids are fucking shit up. The Byzantines are almost dead, and only really have Thrace.

Shattered Europe:

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Christianity is feeling pretty bad. The British isles are broken up even further, with the Druidic religion thriving. Scandinavia is filled with Shamanists and Asatru. Lithuania and its ilk are still running with Animism, and Islam is going strong. Iberia is almost totally dominated by the Moores, as well as parts of Italy, and most of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and the King of France only has direct control over Ile-de-France.

Peace of God:

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The Pope pulled off way more succesful crusading shit than in our timeline, and the Crusader Kingdoms are still around, and the Pope even has North African holdings. Additionally, the Byzantines have only now begun to give up ground, and Orthodoxy is, in general, far stronger. On the other hand, Catharism is still around, and growing in the south of France.

Dark Continent:

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The black plague basically whiped European civilization off the map. This is the only scenario where there are really significant changes outside of Europe, with a significant number of American and African nations being added, and these places generally being strengthened.

In general, Paradox games tend to be pretty Eurocentric, and even after mods, they tend to be really lackluster when it comes to actually playing as African or native American nations, but sometimes it works out.

That should be it for now.

Oh yeah, ask any questions if you have them, and also, suggest countries you might want me to play eventually.

Edited by Defeatist Elitist

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EU3, Peace of God as an Orthodox nation.

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If I do, should I play as one of the little Balkan nations, a Russian nation, Bulgaria, one of the Romanian states, or dem Byzantines?

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Well looks like I'm almost definitely playing EU3, gonna leave the last poll up for a bit longer just in case anyone else even cares and also because I have no idea who I'll play on Dark Continent so yeah.

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If I do, should I play as one of the little Balkan nations, a Russian nation, Bulgaria, one of the Romanian states, or dem Byzantines?

Byzantines are always the best, but if you don't feel like that go for a good old Russian state.

Edited by Integrity

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I have no idea what I'm talking about but I wanna see Dark Continent. Not sure which country to suggest, though.

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As excellent as it is, are we considering mods other than DOA + Miscmods? WizEU3 is really, really good and has basically re-invented the game for me. http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3429306

Play anything except Dark Continent, it's boring as fuck.

I was definitely considering WizEU3 because it's fucking amazing, but it changes so much about the game, sometimes in pretty fundamental ways, I didn't know if it was an accurate representation of it. MiscMod changes a number of things too, but generally they're smaller changes, WizMod is almost a diffferent game sometimes, especially when it comes to combat and whatnot.

Anyway, I think it looks like I'll be playing Peace of God now, as an Orthodox nation, as was suggested, I'll put a poll up with a number of options, but feel free to suggest more.

Potential Options:

Byzantines: Obviously a pretty neat option and pretty good fun to play, however, as it starts fairly strong it's unlikely I'll run into much trouble I didn't create, but I guess I could always pull off roleplay bullshit to make things fun.

Trebizond: A Greak Kingdom on the Black Sea coast, with Byzantium having a claim on all of their provinces but one right off the bat (the Timurids claim that one). Also nearby Armenia and Georgia, whose cultures are within its culture group (Byzantine), allowing for easier inheritance.

Georgia or Armenia: Georgian and Armenian in culture respectively, both are Kingdoms, with the first bordering the Golden Horde and Qara Koyunlu as hordes, while the second borders Qara Koyunlu, the Timurids, and the Jayalarids. Probably pretty tough to survive initially as, but shouldn't be too hard after that.

Novgorod: A Russian Merchant Republic that starts a decent size and bordering the Golden Horde, which basically means constant war. Harder than the Byzantines, but not too difficult.

Muscovy: Very similar to Novgorod, but it's a Kingdom. It probably is a little economically weaker than Novgorod, but can dick around with Royal Marriages if necessary.

Tver or Yaroslavl: Basically Muscovy but smaller, weaker, and not bordering the Golden Horde (the Golden Horde is always at war with whoever it borders, but can be paid off with tribute).

Bulgaria or Wallachia: As a Bulgarian state, we gain several bonuses. They're both pretty poor, and somewhat vulnerable to Catholic agression, with Bulgaria being somewhat larger and more militarily powerful. If I play Wallachia, there's a good chance I'll try to form Romania. Really, beyond the obvious (ie "they're in the Balkans") there's not much more to say. They're both Kingdoms I guess. Bulgaria is, well, Bulgarian, and Wallachia is Romanian. I suppose it's worthwhile to say they're both in the South Slavic culture group.

Poll modified, nation choice available.

Edited by Defeatist Elitist

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When you switch from a multi-question poll to a single-question poll there seems to be a bug that prevents voters from actually having their vote counted. I've added a 2nd poll question so people are able to vote. You can edit it if you want to, just make sure you have a 2nd question if you want votes :P:.

Continue; enjoy!

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Oh, cool, thanks. I guess anyone who voted before should revote or something?

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Alright, it appears my poll broke again, but I think I managed to fix it so votes should work now.

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My votes don't work, mang.

Put one in for Byzantium.

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Man, this is wierd as fuck, first Hika's votes didn't work, then when I tested it mine didn't, then I changed it and now yours don't.

EDIT: Aaaaaaaaaaaaand now mine don't work anymore.

EDIT2: After removing the second option, it's working again for me for now.

EDIT3: It also works for Integrity.

Edited by Defeatist Elitist

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Yep, it's cool. Vote works.

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Votes don't work for me.

I think Wallachia would be interesting, I've never formed Romania before. Byzantium is way to easy.

Edited by Iced

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Hopefully the poll should work now. If I end up playing Byzantium I think I'll probably do the whole "questionable leader sanity" roleplaying thing to try to make it tougher, maybe even mod in some nasty events or something.

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Trying to vote gives me this error: [#10355] You must cast your vote in each question of the poll.

Anyway, one vote for Georgia if it hasn't been counted yet

Edited by The Spanish Inquisition

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It has indeed been counted, and I've played nearly to the end of the first update (Byzantium won), I've just got to crop all the screenshots and upload them, then type up the rest of the update.

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Chapter 1

Basileus Manuel Palaiologos sits deep in thought, pouring over maps of his realm.

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The Byzantine Empire has seen better days. While it is still a regional power, and a force to be reckoned with, it is no longer the greatest empire in the known world. The Catholic crusader states surround the Empire, while its regional rivals remain strong. In order to restore the Empire to its rightful glory, the Basileus resolves to strengthen his own control over the nation, regardless of the cries of protest it might provoke, and he orders the army to mobilize in order to put down any unrest that may occur.

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Realizing the work ahead of him, the Basileus draws from the seemingly meager pool of talent available to him, recruiting a promising military advisor to expand the Empire's military knowledge, to complement it's existing adoration for the glory of traditional combat.

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A few noble houses with ties to Serbia recommend the Basileus marry one of his closer relatives into the Serbian royal family, though he privately doubts that this would be particularly effective.

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After placating the noble houses, the Basileus directs the treasury to funnel the majority of the Empire's incoming wealth into public order and stability, with a small amount being directed to minting new currency, regardless of any inflation that might be accumulated.

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Reviewing the forces available to him, the Basileus notes that despite maintaining a nearly full capacity navy, the Empire's land forces could be significantly expanded, and he orders a number of additional brigades raised. As the Empire is surrounded by nations whose land it holds legitimate claims on, war may be inevitable, sooner rather than later, if he aims to restore Rome.

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In the first screenshot, our land is in green, and land we don’t own, but have cores on is partially filled in with green. Cores mean we have a legitimate cause to go to war with nations holding those cores, can demand that territory without infamy (if we go to war for that reason at least), and when we have the land, we can tax it fully and build whatever we want there right off the bat. Provinces that we own that aren’t cores become cores in around 50 years, and we lose cores on provinces we don’t own if we go 50 or so years without being at war with their current owner.

However, it seems the Basileus is not to be the first to move, as he receives an urgent herald, informing him that the heathen Mamluks have had war declared on them by Byzantium’s ally, Alexandria, and Alexandria has called Byzantium to war. Immediately the Basileus takes up the call, entering the war.

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As plans for the war begin to take form, the Basileus receives a number of heralds, most of them bearing good news.

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It would seem that the rebels were easily crushed, and that the Empire’s citizens were beginning to truly see themselves as such. The addition of another heathen nation to the war likely does not pose much of a threat.

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A sizeable army is ferried over to begin an invasion of the Mamluks’ allies in Tripoli, while another army is assembled back in Byzantium.

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Meanwhile, several more provinces recognize their true heritage.

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The war appears to still be in a back and forth stage, with the Mamluks and Alexandria each capturing portions of the other’s land.

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At the same time, Byzantine forces have crushed any Tripolitanian resistance, and begin to occupy the entire nation, with the Basileus picking out a particularly decorated commander of the invasion and granting him much esteem, in an attempt to raise future morale.

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Several of Tripoli’s provinces fall into Byzantine occupation, and it is only a matter of time now before the entire country follows.

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One of the royal marriages the Basileus arranged has panned out, and a claim is made on the Armenian throne. If the Armenian king dies without producing an heir, it is likely that the title will pass to the Basileus.

This also gives me a Casus Belli to force Armenia into a union but that Casus Belli is broken as fuck, and absurdly powerful. If you use it even a little bit you can end up inheriting half the world, so I don’t think I will make use of it during this playthrough. However, if you’re playing and having trouble, Claiming Thrones, and then forcing other nations into personal unions with yourself is a very effective method of expansion.

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As Byzantine forces capture the last province held by Tripoli, Alexandria immediately presses this advantage, forcing Tripoli out of the war and demanding reparations. Slightly distressed that Byzantium had been left completely out of the peace process despite doing the majority of the work, the Basileus resolves to let Alexandria fight the rest of the war on its own, as it seems fully capable of doing, while remaining in the war and sending the Alexandrians a herald telling them the Byzantine army would be remaining on the border to repel the Mamluks in case they managed to reach the capitol.

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A short time later, the Mamluks accept an unfavorable peace with Alexandria, as Byzantium enjoys a brief respite.

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The Basileus however has had his appetite for conquest whetted by the recent war, and the small state of Trebizond seems ripe for the taking, as it is falls almost entirely within Byzantium’s rightful borders. His advisors warn him that Trebizond is allied with several of the major regional powers, however the Basileus assures them that none of these powers would want to tussle with Byzantium, and further tells them that he will call Alexandria to war himself, certain that they would be willing to recompense the Empire for its prior assistance. He allays any further concerns they may have by leading the invasion force himself. War is declared.

An Albanian diplomat arrives.

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The Basileus disregards this, and muses how the Albanians would be easily subjugated, when a group of diplomats enters nervously.

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The mood darkens significantly in the room as the Basileus stares at the assembled diplomats, and opens his mouth, however the diplomat from Alexandria continues.

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Flying into a rage, the Basileus expels the foreign nationals from his court, ordering his armies to prepare to repel invasions on every front.

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Shortly afterward, some good news arrived from the Venetian trade league about the opening of a new station in Byzantium, however this news is more than negated by the knowledge that yet another of Byzantium’s neighbours has declared war on it.

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Byzantium is beset on all sides by hostile forces, and is without even a single ally. The Basileus prepares for a long war, but he is confident that the Empire will emerge victorious.

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Luckily, however, the people seem to believe so too, as they continue to embrace their heritage. The Basileus’ spirits rise, when another diplomat enters his court.

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The Basileus immediately accept the alliance, but refrains from calling his new ally to the Empire’s side, lest he strain their newfound relationship.

------------------------------------------

More to come soonish, I don’t want to overflow the image limit, but this update isn’t done.

Edited by Defeatist Elitist

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THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SLEEP THROUGH CHEMISTRY LECTURES CHILDREN, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Part 2:

Realizing that in these modern times, the government might sometimes be stretched too thinly, Basileus Palaiologos directs his ministers to begin a massive governmental restructuring.

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The Byzantine generals in Alexandria had sent reports to the Basileus, warning him that their troops were far outnumbered, however the Basileus orders the troops to hold out for just a while longer, though the navy is dispatched in case an immediate withdrawal is necessary..

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Shortly after, the Basileus’ bodyguards bring a diplomat before him, explaining that the man claims to come from Albania, offering peace.

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The Basileus quickly accepts, despite the fact that Albania posed far less of a threat than the Empire’s other enemies. He mentally makes a note to spare the Albanians, or at least to ensure they are better taken care of. He is further spurred to hope as he leads his troops in a crushing defeat of a small Bulgarian occupation force.

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Again a man claiming to be on a diplomatic mission ducks into the Basileus’s general’s tent.

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The Basileus considers the offer, but notes that the republic of Novgorod is engaged in a number of wars itself, and politely declines, stating that he feels that little could come of the alliance at present. The diplomat leaves, and is replaced by a herald bringing reports that the Empire’s Alexandrian army had been driven out of Libya, but was able to safely withdraw with the help of the Imperial Navy.

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The Basileus leads his army forward into the fields of Plovdiv, driving back a sizeable force of Bulgarians under the command of their king.

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Pursuing the retreating army, the Basileus hounds them in a number of small skirmishes, before forcing them back to the Plovdiv, where he encircled and annihilated them, letting no man escape, save their king.

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Unfortunately for the Empire, even with his governmental reforms, the Basileus has had little time to spend on his other duties while conducting a military campaign, and he is forced to make harsh concessions in order to curry favor with religious leaders.

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In the east, the forces of the Empire report success against the armies of the Knights, having driven back their armies and forced their leaders to the bargaining table.

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The king accepts the peace as he prepares to ride into battle against the Alexandrian invasion force that managed to slip past the Imperial Navy, driving them from Morea, and sweeping forward to crush them in Achaea.

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Further good news arrives, as the Empire begins its occupation of Bulgarian land, and the Basileus hears news that the Empire’s forces have managed to defeat rebels who have crossed the border from Trebizond. The news that Bulgaria is no longer at war with Wallachia, neither bothers, nor surprises the Byzantines.

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The Byzantines drive out the forces of Trebizond from their northeastern frontier, though the army, led by the king of Trebizond, escapes with many of its men still alive. The Basileus is alarmed, however, when he receives the news that Trebizond has accepted peace with Morocco, who they had apparently been warring with, ceding a large portion of the Empire’s rightful territory to them.

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The Basileus’ mood is worsened as he hears reports that the royal army of Trebizond remains on the loose, constantly clashing with the Empire’s forces.

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After spreading across the remaining land held by Trebizond, the Imperial forces begin their occupation, quickly capturing the capital, though remaining wary of the royal army that remains at large. Meanwhile, the Basileus successfully occupies further Bulgarian territory.

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As Bulgaria reaches peace with its foes further north and west, its armies return, driving toward Constantinople. Crucially, the Bulgarian force is split, and the Basileus’ army intercepts the larger portion in Adrianople, letting the other force retake Pleven.

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The tide of the war begins to truly turn however, as the occupation of Trebizond is completed, and their complete and unconditional surrender is demanded, and, inevitably, accepted.

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The home front begins to improve as well, as trade blossoms, and the Basileus finally marries one of his nephews to a Serbian princess, appeasing his noble house, though his military advisors begin to pester him about the strategic importance of certain minor greek states.

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After a long and gruelling battle, the Bulgarian army is forced from Adrianople, and pursued back the fateful fields of Plovdiv, where it is wiped out.

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As the full scale occupation of Bulgaria begins, the Basileus returns to his court, just in time to hear the news that further trade stations have opened, and that separatist rebels have risen in Morroco’s eurasian holdings.

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As the Basileus prepares to accept Bulgaria’s desperate peace terms, the Jalayarids claim a huge swath of Armenian land as their own, bringing them ever closer to Byzantium.

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After annexing much of Bulgaria’s south, the empire relaxes, accepting peace with the last of its current enemies, Alexandria, while integrating the huge influx of Bulgarian people into itself.

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This isn't how I expected to wake up, but it was totally welcomed.

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sweet Revan's back

I'll read this once I get back from class/lunch

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Yes perfect

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