Monday, March 26, 2018

EU4 - Sneaky Savoy Part 4: The Prussia of Italy

Licking my wounds from my drubbing at the hands of Castile, I concentrate on improving my technology. Luckily, I’ve been fighting a shitload of wars, so I have been accruing military points at quite a rate. The spread between myself and the other countries is decreasing. Before long, I’m actually a level ahead of time, neck and neck with Spain.
It’s time to do some colonising, however. I hire an explorer and put him in charge of three ships. I first send him to the Caribbean for a look around. Hispaniola is split between France and Brittany, while most of the Antilles belong to England, with the exception of Trinidad, a Spanish possession. Down into South America, England is slowly colonising the whole of the Coast of Brazil while Portugal is entrenching itself in Columbia.

I set up my first colony in Bahia, Brazil, right in between two English colonies. Immediately, though, I realise this is a dumb plan. I don’t want to be competing with England for territory. They are a good ally and I don’t want something like this to screw it up. I send my explorer into the Gulf of Mexico to look for a good place to start and new colony. What I find is French Texas and Spanish Louisiana.

However, Florida is not taken yet, probably because it’s a forbidding swamp with a pitiful development level. So I decide to build my colony there, with an eye to expanding up the coast.
I’ve got to say though – after swinging my explorer back to the Med and down around South Africa – the Cape looks like the best place to colonise. I bet there’s gold nearby, too. Unfortunately, it’s too far for me to manage, so until my colonial range increases I’ll have to settle for building up Florida. After a few false starts, and the realisation that every time my soldiers leave the colonists get genocided by natives, I leave a permanent garrison in Mayami.

I turn my attentions back to Europe. Spain has Sardinia, something that I need if I’m going to form Sardinia-Piedmont as I intend. So how to get it? A plan begins to form. Since I’ve been hoarding Pope mana I sink it all into Papal Influence with the intention of buying a Pope the next time one is elected. Then perhaps I can excommunicate the Queen of Spain and justify a war against them.

However, before this plan comes to fruition, opportunity knocks. England, my trusty ally has had its eye on conquering Ireland for some time now. In fact, the only Irish duchy left is Desmond. Since Desmond is cosy with Spain, England has been cautious about attacking it. But perhaps because of the poor showing in the War of Aragonese Independence, England seems eager to get its groove back on the world stage, especially if that means a rematch with Spain. So England declares on Desmond, and I join in.
I have no idea what AI England is doing in this war. The armies of Desmond instantly ravage their way across Ireland, taking English provinces. The English army inflict a defeat on them that sends them running off to siege Edinburgh – but then they sit there without relieving the captured provinces or attacking Desmond’s army. And weirdly, Desmond actually beats England in not one but two sea battles. The only real progress England makes is to capture Trinidad.
Meanwhile, I’ve sent a small detachment of men from Corsica to siege Sardinia (it will be mine) and sent the rest of my army across the Pyrenees. This time, I don’t have any problems matching Spain militarily. By keeping my armies close together and able to reinforce each other I’m able to trap smaller forces of Spanish troops in between my two armies. I’m also getting absurd bonuses for defensive fighting, so I stay in the mountains wherever possible and let them come to me. Before long, I’ve occupied all the way across the former territory of Aragon.

This seems to wake up England, and they start relieving their occupied territory, and the warscore rockets up. All this time I’ve been quietly feeling out the Spanish to see what they would give me in a separate peace. I could get them to agree to cede one province of Sardinia to me, but not the second, so keep hanging on to see if I can get a better deal.
The warscore hits 100% and England and Desmond come to terms. England fully annexes Desmond, probably unnerving the Scots, who are bound to be next on the list. Thankfully, England has recognised my contribution for the war and makes sure that Spain ceded the northern half of Sardinia to me. It’s also cemented England as my most valuable ally.

Because they’ve done quite a turn for me. I now hold all the provinces I need to emerge fully onto the world stage as a big player, if not a major power. I am now able to create… The Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, the Prussia of Italy!

It’s good to be the king.

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