Part 8: Expanding in Two DirectionsPart 8: Expanding in Two Directions
We only took a handful of the Mamluks in our first war against them, but that's okay. You aren't going to destroy any large power in a single war. The good news is that we weakened them so dramatically during our first invasion that if we follow up with another as soon as our truce ends, they'll probably still be undermanned. We have some exploration and colonialism to do, too.
Our colonies require monthly maintenance. We can turn the colonial maintenance slider down if we need to, but this will reduce the amount of passive yearly growth our colonies receive, potentially to the point of negative growth.
Our ships, lead by an explorer, can simply sail into uncharted sea zones to discover them and open them up to normal travel. Travelling into an unexplored region takes longer than any subsequent moves to the same area.
Our explorer continues to discover the occasional island and land province while sailing past them down the coast of Africa. I decide to send a colonist to Cape Verde as soon as I have the money.
We round the southern tip of Africa in about 1456.
And before the end of the year, we reach the Red Sea. Now, if I were to take Sinai or Cairo, we would be able to send normal fleets back and forth to our Red Sea ports as needed.
Government Tech 10 allows us to enact a particularly good decision in our capital, but it requires the national focus to be there as well. We need to wait 25 years between each move of our national focus, and we still have a few years to wait after the move to North Africa.
Our truce with the Mamluks run out, and a 2nd war is declared against them. They are suffering from some internal strife at the moment and rebel armies are roaming their lands and keeping them occupied. That makes it an even better time to attack. When a stronger opponent is preoccupied by multiple wars or some other type of turmoil like this, you have a good window of opportunity to take advantage of them.
Seazones around the Mediterranean and Northern Europe generally don't see pirates since there are so many AI war fleets traveling around to and from wars or transporting troops. Our new, small, isolated colonies will spawn pirates frequently though unless ships are stationed there. A single one will do. I send a carrack to each of our colonial islands and park them in the harbor. Docked ships will deter pirates from spawning in that seazone and every other seazone that borders it.
The second war against the Mamluks is progressing quickly. They don't offer up much resistance.
During a war, you can move armies into unexplored regions that belong to your enemy even if you don't have a conquistador leading the troops. I send one army into these southern Mamluk provinces to occupy them.
The 2nd crusade against the Mamluks ends and we seize several provinces. Cairo remains out of reach because it is their capital, and it isn't completely isolated. Enemy capitals can't be demanded during peace deals unless it is completely cut off from all of their other provinces. This means that you must either completely surround a landlocked capital, or if it has a port, remove every other port province that they own from their possession.
I sell Asyut to Portugal on the cheap so that our ally can have a contiguous group of provinces. This wasn't really necessary, but Portugal deserves a little something nice every once in a while.
Portugal's Irish province is invaded by England and they call for our help.
With Burgundy and all of our vassals joining the war, all we really need to do is send our fleet up to sink any enemy ships we can find. Burgundy and others use the clear seas to great effect and land plenty of friendly troops there without us. It doesn't take long for England to pay a few ducats for peace.
Instead, I commit my troops to an invasion of Hedjaz. Remember, as an empire we have a permanent Holy War CB against all heathens. I can take provinces for only 1 infamy in this region. Hedjaz only has the smallest of armies, and we quickly occupy all of their provinces.
They are fully annexed, and we are now in possession of several provinces trading in spices and coffee. These provinces will eventually provide extremely high tariffs (oversea production) and high trade values to our Alexandria CoT.
We also gain another permanent buff for seizing such an important holy site.
Enough time passes, and we're finally able to move our national focus back to our capital. I may not have mentioned it earlier, but our capital was automatically changed from Toledo to Madrid when we became Spain. With our national focus in our capital, we can do the following things:
The provincial decision to formalize measures gives some incredible nation-wide bonuses. I don't really understand why it isn't categorized as national decision, because its effects are global. We get more income in every single category, as well as a blanket reduction in revolt risk across all of our provinces - permanently! The other good news is that this puts our trade efficiency high enough to qualify for the following national decision:
The Statute of Monopolies national decision gives us further bonuses to trade income, trade chance, and production income. It also moves our policy slider one tick towards Free Trade. Since I left Free Trade 1 point away from maximum after our last slider move, this will max us out.
While we're on the subject of trade, I need to mention something that has been severely hindering Spain's merchants. Alexandria. Owning a province with a CoT that you don't have a core on gives your merchants a big -15% chance to compete everywhere they go. I guess indiscriminately seizing large merchant centers doesn't give you a good reputation among merchants. Spain will continue to struggle with trade for years, until we naturally gain a core on Alexandria.
Here's another provincial decision that I can enact in Madrid while the national focus is there. This is another odd decision in that its effects are essentially nationwide, but instead of being a national decision it is activated from your capital's provincial decisions list. I don't care much for the tax efficiency penalty here, but our trade and production income will eventually be so high that tax income will be overshadowed.
Earlier in the game when we could only build maybe level 1 buildings in a few categories, we had magistrates to spare. Now, with several provinces being gained, colonies springing up, and higher level buildings becoming available we have a shortage. This is a good time to activate this decision. Over the next 300 years this will give us an extra 75 magistrates to spend on structures.
Two wars back to back with large armies marching through deserts have left us with high war exhaustion and revolt risks. This would be a good time for a few years of peace. And a few years is all we will get, because the truce with the Mamluks will be over again soon.
In the mid 1460s, our explorer discovers North America and charts some of the east coast before returning to the Azores for repairs and supplies. Exploration causes large amounts of attrition depending on the characteristics of the sea zone and how far from friendly ports you are. If you aren't conservative about returning to port to repair, you can potentially lose the fleet.
War is declared on the Mamluks again. I don't think they have more than 6 regiments total, by this point.
The war is so swift and uneventful that it isn't even worth detailing. More of their land is seized, and they are reduced to a few completely isolated provinces. The next war should allow for their complete annexation.
Our colonies start becoming full-fledged cities. They no longer require colonial maintenance and are subject to the same game mechanics as our other cities. As each colony finishes developing, I make sure to construct level 1 forts in each one as they mature.
I also realize that at this point, Enrique IV has been on the throne for about 30 years. I know he was over 20 when he took the throne, so I know his lifespan is running out. His heir doesn't have the necessary military skill to enact this national decision, but he does. It requires him to be a general, so I convert him into a ruler and pass the reform. This gives us a move towards centralization (very good!), a move towards quantity (not good, but we can fix it later), and a permanent +6% bonus to discipline, which is also very good.
Converting rulers into generals shortens their lifespan, which is why I didn't do this earlier. I didn't want to take the chance of losing a ruler with such high statistics at a young age.
The Mamluks' former territory has been mostly partitioned between Spain and Portugal. A French holding still remains in Egypt, but we will remedy that soon enough.
Our explorer discovers Bermuda and the Caribbean in the west. Our colonization range isn't quite high enough for us to reach them yet, but within a few years we'll be able to start settling new colonies there.