Part 13: End-GamePart 13: End-Game
I had covered so many topics in the first 200 years that it became difficult to demonstrate a new mechanic or strategy with every single battle and diplomatic action. There were still 200 years of gameplay left though, and I really wanted to show how a full game to 1821 as a major power might play out. With that in mind, I finished our Spanish game and highlighted some of the most major events and unexplained features in the second 200 years in one final update.
The first time we switched government forms, it was done with a national decision to become an Empire. Normally, you switch government forms by clicking on your current government form in the government tab of the national menu. In the early 1600s, our government tech level reached the point where we could access Absolute Monarchy. Absolute Monarchy is essentially a direct upgrade from Empire. These are both good government forms for a warlike nation. If you were focusing on domestics, trade, or peaceful expansion, you may want to try Administrative and then Constitutional Monarchies.
Some nations are republics instead of monarchies. In a republic, your ruler can be replaced in an election every 4 or 8 years until you get one that you like, then you can just keep voting him back in for the rest of his life. One glaring downside of republics (except for possibly noble republics)) is that you can't form personal unions with other countries.
Also, keep in mind that you can't switch directly between any 2 government forms. For example, an Administrative Monarchy can't directly switch to an Absolute Monarchy. You would need to regress to a prior government form and then step forward again to Absolute Monarchy.
In the late 1500s, I realized that we had both Savoy and Sardinia as vassals. I knew that if Savoy owned Sardinia they could enact a decision to form the nation of Piedmont-Sardinia. I decided we should try to encourage them to do this, so I annexed Sardinia and gifted it to Savoy. Once they gained the core on Sardinia, our vassal took advantage of that decision and formed the new nation in 1633.
By the late 1630s, I decided it was time to reorganize our main armies a bit. Up until this point, they consisted solely of infantry and cavalry. I'm now upgrading them to include artillery as well. We had access to artillery earlier than this, but the very earliest artillery regiments are extremely weak, and our artillery fire multipliers were abysmal. Each of our armies used to combat other nations are outfitted with an equal ratio of cannon to infantry along with 4 cavalry for flanking and the mixed arms bonus.
Artillery slows down the movement of your armies however, so you'll likely still want to maintain several armies that consist solely of infantry and cavalry for rebel hunting and for fighting against the armies of primitive nations that could easily outrun your cannons.
While we're in the middle of rearranging our armies, we find ourselves in a war with the Ottomans and they land 2 large armies in Sicily. Once our armies are in fighting condition, I transport one of them to Sicily to begin the counterattack. Notice in the battle window on the left how the formations are displayed. Our army has a line of infantry flanked by our cavalry and a line of our artillery directly behind our infantry. Artillery attacks through our infantry and adds a portion of their defense to infantry units directly in front of them. The enemy line is wider, but we have more concentrated firepower directed out from our center.
The Ottomans aren't the pushovers that the Aztecs and Inca were, but with our new armies we were able to defeat them easily.
In 1647, King Carlos' heir, Luis takes the throne and directly inherits the kingdom of France. This adds a tremendous number of wealthy land provinces with rich resources like wine and textiles to our nation, as well as a a good deal of fledgling French colonies. Our land and naval forcelimits also increase dramatically, and we need to make use of that added capacity right away. The French colonies are reinforced with rebel hunting armies, and new ships are dispatched to former french colonial ports in order to scare off any future pirates. It takes a while to get these new colonial armies together, so some of our new formerly French colonies languish under the control of rebels for a while until they can be reinforced.
Burgundy declares war on Swahili, but joining in on their side would draw us into a war against Portugal. I turn down their offer. They use this opportunity to skirmish with Portugal all over their African provinces.
In order to draw some of their attention away from Portugal, I launch a land invasion into Burgundy once again.
Burgundy's allies join the war on their side, and the Holy Roman Emperor, Bohemia joins as well in order to defend an HRE member from an outside threat.
Burgundy has a large number of troops in their homeland, but our tech level is a few crucial points ahead of them and we have access to superior troops. Furthermore, their army has a particularly bad composition and with mostly cavalry, they don't have the mixed arms bonus to their defense.
This causes them to suffer some severe losses across a series of battles.
Several Burgundian provinces are occupied, but two of our armies are defeated and are being chased down. Rather than lose the armies entirely, I make a quick peace with what we have so far and seize one of their home provinces. This is just enough to put us over the limit into overextension. If your ratio of cored to non-cored provinces is too low, you will get the Overextended trait. Being overextended with a very large empire will cause a noticeable increase in your number of revolts. This will continue until we core another province or two to bring us back under the limit. Once all of our French provinces core, we'll have a good amount of wiggle room to grow further.
Several years later, I notice that the king of Burgundy died leading troops into the Alps to invade Switzerland. They have no legitimate heir lined up, and I just can't help myself.
A fleet of war galleons is sent to pin the Burgundian navy in port.
Our last war with Burgundy ended with me nearly losing two armies. This time, I commit more than enough soldiers to do the job right.
The war reaches a predictable end, and Burgundy is forced into a personal union under Spain.
Just after the war with Burgundy ended, I notice that Naples also is having a succession crisis. I know that Naples and Sicily were once called the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. I already have one Sicily, so it only made sense to complete the set. The war is short, and they are forced into a union under Spain as well.
In the late 1600s, our land tech reaches a critical point where we gain access to far superior infantry AND get an increase in our military tactics bonus, which means a great reduction to the number of casualties we receive. Some of the smaller, technologically superior trading nations match us at this level, but there are several other large central European powers who haven't quite gotten there yet. I consider where we could apply this temporary advantage, and the best idea that comes to mind is Austria and their ridiculous expansion into Asia.
Their armies are easily defeated, but more keep coming and coming from the east. This makes it so that I can't really split our large armies up for the sieges, and we suffer high attrition from even making this much progress into their territory. But, even though this is only a small number of provinces, it also happens to be all of their most valuable provinces. Once we push a bit further in, they are willing to agree to harsh terms of surrender.
Some of Austria's oldest core provinces are demanded to be released as the sovereign nations of Tirol and Styria. I strengthen relations with each of these 2 new countries and then invite them to become vassals of Spain. They both agree.
I also demand the release of Transylvania. This effectively blocks the capital of Austria off from all of their central Asian provinces.
By the beginning of the 1700s, Spanish colonists are beginning to push further into North America.
South America on the other hand, has received the majority of my colonial attention over much of the last century. Nearly every part of the continent that can be settled has been.
Spain's presence in the far east is also strong at the dawn of 1700. With Ming gone, Spain has taken control of basically the entirety of China along with the Philippines.
By 1710, we see some of the first precursors of potential colonial revolutions appearing. The next century will see an increasing number of events that attempt to weaken our control over our oversea colonies.
I've been focusing our research into land technology for several years, and now in the early 1700s we've seen it far exceed not only all of our other technologies, but the land tech levels of every other nation in the world by several points.
Our army is so large and so technologically advanced now that it deserves an interesting opponent, so I turn our attention to the Holy Roman Empire itself. War is declared on Bohemia, as well as the 7 current HRE elector states.
One of the first big battles in this war is also I think the bloodiest single battle of the game. Bohemia and friends lost nearly 45,000 soldiers in just a few days of fighting against our technologically superior force, with over 90 regiments wiped out once we give chase.
Our armies begin occupying key cities across Germany, including the capitals of some elector states.
By clicking on the HRE button and hovering over the button to dismantle the HRE, we can see which cities we still need to occupy in order to dissolve the empire. Becoming the Emperor ourselves might be interesting, and certainly doable, but by this point we wouldn't have enough time to pass all of the remaining reforms. Instead, we'll take all of the passive benefits that our HRE rivals have been getting for the entire game. I realize I haven't gone into the HRE very much during this Spanish game, but the gist of it is that the HRE Emperor can attempt to pass reforms, and each successive reform in some way centralizes the HRE's power more and more with the Emperor. If all of the reforms are passed, the HRE member states are all combined into a single country called the Holy Roman Empire and is ruled by the emperor who enacted the final reform.
An unusually successful Georgia picks on a declining Austria and annexes some of their provinces in Central Asia while they are occupied with the war in the HRE.
The release of two more large nations in the middle of Austria's large territory splinters their country even further.
And finally after over 5 years, Bohemia's capital falls to sieging forces. All of the other elector states have been occupied for a while now.
The HRE is dismantled and all of its member states lose the Imperial Integrity triggered modifier, as well as any effects from passed reforms. In the peace settlements that follow this, we vassalize several middling powers in the former HRE such as Brandenburg.
In 1727, Muscovy finally fulfills the requirements to form Russia and does so. This grants them cores on a large number of provinces, including some of Austria's territory.
By this point, the level 5 and 6 trade structures we have been building everywhere are really starting to accumulate. The effects of this can be seen in our province's trade values and production.
Even a tiny oversea island colony like St. Thomas contributes a huge amount of monthly income to us now, through tariffs.
Prussia borders some of my former French provinces, and is in the middle of a disputed succession. This is a good opportunity to show another way you can go about forming a union. I have a marriage with Prussia, so I could always claim their throne through diplomacy, but this would make our other allies we have marriages with nervous. Instead, we can send a spy to their capital to fabricate claims. If he's successful, he will cook up a fake document that indicates that we already have claims on them - no claiming necessary.
He is successful, and now we can use this shady CB to declare war and force a personal union on them just as if we had claimed their throne normally. After a short war, Prussia joins Burgundy and Naples in a union with us.
We continue getting colonial events like this for the rest of the game. This event in particular adds 1 revolt risk to a province temporarily, and reduces the province's revolt risk by 1 permanently if we choose to support the populace. I generally try to be accommodating to the people in these events to minimize future revolt problems.
While I've been able to keep our own revolts mostly under control, England hasn't been so careful. They are plagued by some revolutionary rebels that spill over into our territory as well. If we were to let this province stay in rebel hands, they could potentially break away with other nearby provinces and form a new revolutionary nation.
This is how revolutionary countries are born. the non-existent countries gain cores on several clustered provinces and then rebel stacks are spawned to attempt to occupy them. If they are successful, they may get the entire chunk or territory and break away. Unfortunately for Columbia, I actually built forts and put troops in my colonies.
The United States breaks away from their Swedish overlords and claim independence. Not pictured: they went chain-bankrupt about 12 times in a row and then their government collapsed and they reformed as a monarchy ruled by King Henrik Jagerhorn.
In 1772, our new ruler inherits all of our union nations at once and throws us into 50 more years of overextension. The game is actually going to end 1 year before that date, so we see a flood of revolts for several years until new armies are formed, new garrisons are stationed, and rebels are brought under control.
As we near the 1800s, Russia and Georgia continue to cannibalize Austria's isolated provinces and long dead khanates rise out of the remaining rebelling provinces.
England somehow always manages to make a comeback, and is back to colonizing and reclaiming their cores near the end date.
They even managed to colonize as far as Australia.
Mexico in 1789 is the largest CoT in the world with nearly 2 full continents of expensive trade goods flowing through it. When we overload the CoT with merchants to create empty seats, our annual income generated from trading there goes through the roof.
And finally, with things calming down in Europe, we're able to focus on some Native Americans who have managed to survive late into the game. Unlike other countries, the cities of native countries can be seized as if they were colonies. When your army occupies the province, just click on the "Seize Colony" button. This causes the province to immediately flip over to your control with a tiny infamy cost. We could have done this with the Aztecs and the Inca, but our Holy War CB that we had at the time was just as good, if not better.
The most successful colonial revolutionary state in this playthrough was Paraguay, who broke away and took several high value provinces from our vassal Piedmont-Sardinia.
Our income at the end date is more than 10 times higher than the next highest nation. I should point out however that we probably have about 400 provinces and Mecklenburg has ONE.
We lead the world in technology now, too. The only nations that come close are tiny, efficient nations. The bigger western European powers tend to be 5 to 6 technology levels behind us.
Our army is larger than the next 5 largest countries added together.
Our merchants are able to maintain monopolies in all of the richest CoTs around the world. Mexico has lost some of its value as new CoT's open up in the Americas.
Portugal takes home the trophy for highest inflation, hitting more than 80% by 1821.
And finally, national borders at 1821 for the whole world, and for Spain plus its vassals.