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View Full Version : Global Conquest For Breakfast: Let's Play Empire: Total War!



Flickerdart
2010-07-31, 02:22 PM
http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/957/957883/empire-total-war-20090227112541186_640w.jpg
Boom! Headshot.

Empire: Total War is a little more modern than the other grand strategy games that are being LP'd right now, and narrower in scope - it only goes between 1700 and 1799. In that time, it is possible to seize the world, I'm told, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. The win condition for all game modes includes capturing certain regions - World Domination mode removes restrictions on which regions these are, and Prestige Victory requires that you have the highest prestige by the end of the game.

You can play as a number of empires, and in the spirit of LPs, you people get to choose which crapshoot of a country I'm saddled with:

Western Europe
Great Britain:
Good old UK starts out owning the Isles themselves, Rupert's Land and a few useless Caribbean colonies. They can get the 13 colonies after they capture key locations in North America. Completing that mission generates absurd prestige. Britain starts with Newton, the highest-ranked starting scientist I've seen.
France:
France starts with New France, Alsace-Lorraine and a few crappy Caribbean locations as colonies. They can get Louisiana by capturing certain regions, too. They start with a close alliance with Spain, but alliances in this game mean absolutely nothing, really.
United Provinces:

The UP begins play with the Netherlands, Ceylon and two spots in the Caribbean. They are the most spread out of all the empires, but can rack up impressive trade. War with Spain and France is almost a necessity if they want to expand in Europe (and they do).
Spain:
Spain has many colonies scattered across Europe and the Caribbean. New Spain will join if they capture key regions in the Americas. Spain's main schtick is that they're stuck with an idiot king - he is ranked at 0 stars, which is the worst you can have. Not even the Ottoman Sultan has that few. The only way to get rid of this sovereign is through glorious revolution or waiting until he dies.
Sweden:
Sweden is the only West European nation without American colonies. It does, however, have Finland, Estonia and Ingria (St. Petersburg). Sweden has very tense relations with Russia, and often this means war within the first few turns. Likewise, Denmark and Norway are prime pickings for Sweden.
Eastern Europe
Austria-Hungary:
Situated between the Ottomans to the south and Poland and the Germanies to the north, Austria is almost inevitably going to be waging wars in all directions. They have the unique national ability to build 150-man stacks of line infantry, as opposed to 120-man stacks everyone else has.
Prussia:
Prussia starts off with the fewest regions in the game - only Brandenburg and Koenigsberg. Speedy conquest of Poland, Austria and the Germanies is the way to go here - Poland is easy to provoke into a war that Russia will not help them fight.
Poland-Lithuania:
Poland starts off allied with Russia, with Courland and Saxony as protectorates (they pay Poland half their income and Poland has to help them when they get invaded). They can wage war in many directions, and are the only nation that starts as a republic.
Russia:
Russia doesn't get the use of all its vast Siberian holdings, which might be a good thing because what it does get is absolutely terrible. The only regions of note are Muscovy and Ukraine. Russia begins at war with the Ottoman Empire, and the first order of business is usually to establish trade routes by capturing St. Petersburg, Georgia, Armenia, and Crimea, after which they can become a formidable trade giant or keep on conquering. Russian troops and infrastructure is in a sad state at the start, and in dire need of modernization.
Other
Maratha Confederacy
Controlling the lower half of India, the Maratha begin at war with the Mughal Empire. They are also very disliked by Goa and Portugal, who has a colony on India's west coast and no means to defend it. Once the Maratha conquer the Mughals, they can easily capture Persia and the Ottoman Empire, giving them a hold in Europe.
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire is a vast land, stretching from Egypt to Serbia. There's one problem though, and that is all of its regions are absolutely awful, and its Sultan is pretty bad as well. The Ottomans also can't build decent units until they research the mid-game European style drill, after which they can finally build decent troops if they upgrade their barracks far enough. They start at war with Russia, and are the only nation not at war with the Barbary Coast pirates, who are their protectorate. The Crimean Khanate is also a protectorate to the Ottomans, but it falls within the first few turns of the game regardless.

I haven't installed any mods, so I'm not going to play as a crappy minor nation and get trounced by anyone that feels like it, nor do I have Warpath, so don't expect me to play Natives. So - vote!

Votes (only definitive votes are tallied):

8 - United Provinces
6 - Great Britain
2 - Sweden
2 - Spain
1 - Poland

Deme
2010-07-31, 02:29 PM
This is a very hard choice.

The part of me that has a friend who is a huge fan of this era in French History demands I say France.

The bit of me that likes Axis Powers Hetalia says "Dude, shut up about France. This person can be Prussia and sieze vital regions!"

I suppose I will throw my vote in for whichever one of these two gains more support.

Rustic Dude
2010-07-31, 03:53 PM
Spain!

Keep the poor thing at the throne, he didn't deserve to be the result of intensive incest! :smallbiggrin:

(Plus, it's very fun to be all scattered around the map. You fight against everything and have lots of things to do every turn. Cherokees, the British colonies, Pirates, the Dutch, Portugal, Genoa, loads of muslims, Austria...)

Rockphed
2010-07-31, 03:59 PM
I vote either Poland(take the republic to the world by force!), or the Ottoman Empire(Fight the entire game just to liberate Crimea!)

Vitruviansquid
2010-07-31, 04:15 PM
My vote is for the Ottoman Empire.

They have the most god-awful unit roster out of anyone, it doesn't really get better with time, since the reform units aren't actually that powerful, but require a lot of barracks upgrades anyways. Also, I've found their supposed economic advantage to be nonexistent. Sure, they own a lot of landmass, but all that land is really only making them more vulnerable to invasion, since it's such poor land.

LP's were traditionally meant to be played hard mode, right? :D

Derthric
2010-07-31, 06:38 PM
I am voting for the United Provinces aka the Dutch as Austin Powers' father would call them. Limited starting resources but with focus in one or two trade regions and a good starting plan they can play cat and mouse with the big boys. Also I thought they started as a republic right off the bat.

Flickerdart
2010-07-31, 07:22 PM
They might, or they might be a constitutional monarchy, I don't remember. I haven't played them very much, if they get voted up focusing on trade will be a nice change from war machines.

I've done Ottomans before, quite successfully, but not Spain.

Vitruviansquid
2010-07-31, 07:26 PM
Oh... bummer. Then I'm changing my vote to United Provinces. :smallannoyed:

Flickerdart
2010-07-31, 07:33 PM
Oh... bummer. Then I'm changing my vote to United Provinces. :smallannoyed:
The trick with the Ottomans is that trade routes make people like you - bribe Europeans to trade with you early on, and they won't care when you take over Russia and Austria, while keeping your coffers full.

Thorcrest
2010-08-01, 11:06 AM
I say you should play as Sweden... just because.

I like this game, but I find it very simple (I also have no mods, nor do I have Warpath). On the hardest difficulty (VERY hard), as the Maratha Confederacy, I had conquered all of India, the Ottoman Empire, Persia, and Parts of Africa in just under thirty years. Then I got bored of the war and developped the greatest economy in the world, as well as the largest military, and navy over twenty years, then sent them to my borders and launched a massive invasion into Russia and America, conquering most of each of these and then I stopped playing.

I've also conquered every single region in the game as the United Provinces... in 70 years. Gae became a little dull just waiting for the Campaign finished video... other than a few uprisings which I allowed to occur just for some variety...

Flickerdart
2010-08-01, 01:55 PM
Hey, you're more than welcome to suggest crippling restrictions that I might even abide by if enough people are that mean-spirited.

Suedars
2010-08-01, 03:34 PM
Yeah, ever since they moved away from the Risk style board with Rome: Total War, the series took a nosedive in difficulty. The AI just can't effectively defend its territory and can never make any seriously threatening attacks that can't be quickly pushed back. I really wish CA would take the time to develop an actual decent AI for their games, or at least go back to the simpler M:TW system where the AI provided at least a bit of a challenge.

The_JJ
2010-08-01, 11:07 PM
Go Sweden! Or Japan. :smallbiggrin:

Eldan
2010-08-02, 03:32 AM
Splendid, I say. Let's give Great Britain a try, ey? Show them what a right and proper british gentleman is made of.

Flickerdart
2010-08-02, 10:11 AM
Go Sweden! Or Japan. :smallbiggrin:
There is no Japan in Empire, so I'm putting your vote down as Sweden.

Copacetic
2010-08-02, 04:01 PM
Viva Espana!

Or, I'll vote for Spain. :smallbiggrin:

shadowxknight
2010-08-03, 12:45 AM
I vote for United Province.

Spain just won the world cup, and thus does not need more attention. :smalltongue:

Izual6764
2010-08-03, 03:42 AM
Poland! Mainly because I`m Polish. There wasn`t much thinking involved in choosing the country I`m voting for :smalltongue:

nolispe
2010-08-03, 04:09 AM
All hail Britain! That way, you get the right to speak in a overdone British accent!

Suedars
2010-08-03, 04:52 AM
All hail Britain! That way, you get the right to speak in a overdone British accent!

Why play the Britth when you can play Ethpana and thpeak with a terribly overdone lithp? You'd even have the right King for it.

Zenos
2010-08-03, 03:48 PM
Play France and Burn British Battleships, Destroy Deutchland, Punt the Poles, Savage the Swedish and Ravage mother Russia.

Flickerdart
2010-08-03, 07:44 PM
It looks like the sissy United Provinces merchantmen are winning the vote. I think I'll leave it open until the weekend, and then set out.

Klose_the_Sith
2010-08-04, 04:42 AM
Go the British Empire! Hip-hip hurrah!

kkortekaas
2010-08-04, 12:48 PM
It's all about the Dutch, they rule.

And I say we don't attempt any European expansion until we've eliminated the pirates in the Caribbean

Martok
2010-08-04, 05:56 PM
I vote for the Dutch (United Provinces).

EleventhHour
2010-08-04, 06:02 PM
The Bloody British!

Because The Sun Never Sets, and that means you'll have to keep playing! ...Maybe? Right?

Irbis
2010-08-04, 06:03 PM
Holland! They deserve to kick Spain's ass this time! :smallyuk:

On a side note, playing country that has one province in Europe and dozens elsewhere (mmmm, all these easy pickings) is fun. But beware, once someone takes that one province it is game over, so you might want to take, say, something outlying, like Iceland or Marocco, as backup.

Derthric
2010-08-05, 03:43 AM
It's all about the Dutch, they rule.

And I say we don't attempt any European expansion until we've eliminated the pirates in the Caribbean

I dont know if that is that difficult of a restriction. Especially for the dutch since they have decent naval power in the Caribbean and the Pirates have two easily taken territories. Of all the games I have played they have been a virtual non-factor.

Now if you can only send trade ships to trade theaters that would be one hell of a handicap(except if you have a special merchantman like the Dutch do!)

Thorcrest
2010-08-05, 06:07 AM
Yeah, taking care of the pirates is pretty much a really easy first step since their two bases are hardly defended and after that, you don't get those annoying "Pirates Raid shipping" messages, which saves you some money is well.

If you want a real restriction, play with no trade ships... or no Trade rights... but that might be impossible until it is down to you and only a couple other countries.

king.com
2010-08-05, 07:45 AM
For England!

Altaria87
2010-08-05, 09:06 AM
Go Great Britain, forget the Continent and rule India and America :smallwink:.
Also, the Black Watch, those guys alone are a reason to play as Britain.

Flickerdart
2010-08-05, 10:48 AM
Unless there's a sudden surge of Swedes, it looks like it's down to the United Provinces and Great Britain as the main contenders.

Zenos
2010-08-05, 11:26 AM
I change my vote to UP, can't have those teasipping Rossbiffs on the European throne (there will be a European throne right?). Also you get the joy of having to keep one continental province from falling into the hands of just about everyone else with an army.

Trixie
2010-08-06, 04:57 AM
I change my vote to UP, can't have those teasipping Rossbiffs on the European throne (there will be a European throne right?). Also you get the joy of having to keep one continental province from falling into the hands of just about everyone else with an army.

What he said :smallamused:


I dont know if that is that difficult of a restriction. Especially for the dutch since they have decent naval power in the Caribbean and the Pirates have two easily taken territories. Of all the games I have played they have been a virtual non-factor.

Yeah. Also, for some reason, I found making peace with France after taking all their island colonies in America easy. They won't accept it if you try to take even one province in Europe, but don't mind losing 4 in America.

Or maybe I simply don't understand how diplomacy in E:TW works.


Now if you can only send trade ships to trade theaters that would be one hell of a handicap(except if you have a special merchantman like the Dutch do!)

Where else would you send them? :smallconfused:

Thorcrest
2010-08-06, 09:48 AM
Where else would you send them? :smallconfused:

I think he meant that they would be unprotected... but if you kill the pirates, not many people will actively go seek out your trade ships... unless you just happen to be at war with them and in the same trade theatre, then they might.

Trixie
2010-08-06, 11:08 AM
I think he meant that they would be unprotected... but if you kill the pirates, not many people will actively go seek out your trade ships... unless you just happen to be at war with them and in the same trade theatre, then they might.

Ah, that makes much more sense.

Yup, most ships seem welded to trade spots after they dock, even if there are no actual trading ships among them anyway.

Flickerdart
2010-08-06, 01:29 PM
Term 1: Shafting the Electorate

Stadtholder Willem pored over the maps. Another man would presume him to be working, but I knew better - the lech was simply trying to find the naked mermaids, and was distraught to find that they had all but been replaced with leviathans, ships and other decorations more suitable for the public. However, it did force him to look over the provinces he was supposed to govern, and the numerous other regions that he was not.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0611-56-27-10.png
White regions are ours, green regions like us, red regions hate us.

It was not a pleasing sight. Few nations had any love for the Netherlands - only Great Britain, really. A military alliance with Austria was just likely to drag us into a war later down the line. The favour of a few Germanic states was useless, since it did not convert into trade despite Willem's best efforts.

I tried to get trade with Hannover and Rhineland, but they refused despite having Friendly status. You will soon see why this is, but it's no big loss because they're pretty poor.

Willem briefly skimmed through some more trade documents before throwing them in the trash. I was not sure if he actually read them, or was simply bored - looking at the offer later, I could see it was a terrible deal, and from the despicable French besides.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0612-04-07-81.png

Instead, I saw Willem tear apart an envelope that I could see was signed by some admiral or another. Despite neglecting the army, Willem was enamoured with the navy, and was now going through a report from our Caribbean holdings.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0611-59-39-84.png
Our Caribbean fleet starts with a Sixth Rate frigate, which is better than anything the pirates have thus far. I don't have any shipyards there until I can capture some, so this is extremely fortunate.

Callenburgh was a deft commander, and it came as no surprise that the pitiful pirate fleet was broken. It was regrettable that no ships were captured, but now our traders could move freely, which would put more gold into Dutch coffers.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0611-59-46-98.png

While the Stadtholder was in good spirits, I felt it was a good idea to reveal myself. Stepping from behind a curtain, I gave a discreet cough, then a greeting, then crumpled up an inconsequential bit of paper and bounced it off Willem's head.
"Do not ask who I am," I said dramatically while he tried to turn around, stand up and adjust the powdered wig that had slid down and into his face at the same time. "All you need to know is that I have the best interests of our nation at heart."
"No, I know you," Willem said. "You're that Ganesvoort fellow who was ordered to spy around in Flanders. What in the hells are you doing in Amsterdam, man?"

Rakes are spies, assassins and saboteurs. Sadly, Ganesvoort is awful at all those things. He is, however, good at counter-espionage, so we'll keep him in the capital.

I was slightly taken aback by that, but managed to retain my composure. "I returned because the Spanish think me a double agent, and what better place to fool them than at the President's side? You may call me Willem, sir."
"No, that's my name," Willem answered. "That would be confusing."

Willem the President is about as useless as Willem the Rake - he has a slight cost decrease for ships but -10 to diplomacy. Which is why nobody likes us or wants to trade with us. Fortunately, the United Provinces are a republic, so we might lose the next election and get rid of him. I shuffled around some ministers to put them in positions they're best suited to - traits like Patron only work in one place (in this case, the Navy administration). Half of my cabinet are Patrons, though. The people on the bottom are the Opposition, who will come into office when we lose an election. They're often much better than your own cabinet.

"Yes, I can see how that might be," I suppressed a frown. "Sir."
"Oh, don't be so glum, chum," Willem said. "I could use a secretary. Here, sift through that pile over there."
I did as I was told, and dug up another letter smelling of brine and salt water, which Willem deftly purloined and tore open. "Oh, darn and blast."

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0612-05-42-07.png
Raided trade routes lose some of their income. Nations can also raid trade routes of their enemy.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0612-20-25-62.png
This pirate is raiding in a trade theatre - you can't hold land there, but you can land merchants and make money that way.

"I have had enough of these pirates!" Willem threw the letter aside and began furiously scribbling with a quill. I slipped a piece of paper under it before he ruined his table completely. "Send this to Curacao. I want the pirate menace rooted out once and for all!"

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0612-24-24-34.png
Ships are good and all, but you need a land force before you can capture regions. Taking cities is especially hard, since we can't build artillery in Curacao yet.

"Yes, sir," I nodded. Without a friendly port, the pirates would not be around for long. Opening another letter, I skimmed through it. "Looks like Kidd's been captured, sir."
"Bloody good job, Ganesvoort!" Willem threw his hands up in joy. "How did you manage that so quickly? You deserve a raise."

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0612-23-20-68.png
Historical events will pop up from time to time, regardless of what actions you take. They have no in-game importance, but are educational and all that jazz.

"Another report from the colonies, here," I indicated yet another paper. "It seems the Guyana gems go deeper than we expected, and the governor is in want of a Deep Gem Shaft." I put the paper away quietly as the esteemed Stadtholder exploded in laughter and helped myself to a cup of tea in the meantime.
"How much...would...shafting them cost?" Willem collapsed under the table by this point. "No, that's too expensive. Send them some money for roads, though. I don't think they have any yet."

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0612-24-43-64.png

Suddenly, the door burst open and a courier barged in. "Your Excellency," he began formally, with a thick Austrian accent before I snatched the letter from his hands and escorted him out. Willem looked on curiously as I opened it.
"Well, this is great," I muttered. "Your alliance with Austria, sir, what were you thinking?"
"Well, they seemed like decent chaps, is all. Why?"
"They've gotten themselves into another war."
"Well, go write them back, tell them we'll help them out."
Backing out on an alliance would ruin our reputation even more than Willem has already done, and so I obliged. It wasn't likely that Prussia could win against so many enemies, or for that matter get to us through the other Germanies. I added a command for our navy to raid their trade route, and sent the letters off with a page.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0612-30-45-79.png

As the war rolled on, the President grew gloomier with the news. Silesia and Hungary had fallen to Prussian aggression, the privateers we deployed were not bringing in very much money, pirate raids in the Indies continued and his approval rating kept dropping. It was mere weeks before the election when I walked into his office again. Before he could pounce to blame it all on me, I held a message from Curacao before his eyes.
"The army has landed, sir. The pirate hive of Antigua is besieged."

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0612-44-49-78.png
Sadly, I only had time to build half a stack of line infantry. Since the enemy is just mobs, it's enough. I wait until surrender because charging fortifications without cannon is stupid.

Willem was so overjoyed that I almost felt bad about what I had to tell him next. "This army of yours has near exhausted our treasury. Your approval has plummeted. Your administration is in dire straits, sir."

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0612-48-24-00.png
Negative income is bad news. It won't drop us to zero, but it's close. How's that for a cliffhanger?

Trixie
2010-08-06, 06:09 PM
Well, they're quarter-strength mobs. Give them a good general and you can auto-assault them 9 times out of 10.

Good, that province will soon give the Staadt more monies.

Though, mines are good, gems and gold, especially.

Derthric
2010-08-06, 06:32 PM
Also with that territory you gain a vital military shipyard in a very very lucrative area for privateering and expanded internal trade.

I am curious to see where you direct your Gentlemen researchers.

Edit: and I think you could call for early elections to save the people from the Willem's Administration.

Flickerdart
2010-08-06, 06:58 PM
Well, they're quarter-strength mobs. Give them a good general and you can auto-assault them 9 times out of 10.

Good, that province will soon give the Staadt more monies.

Though, mines are good, gems and gold, especially.
I'd have bought them a general if I could afford one. The problem is, while I was besieging, they bought themselves a general of their own, though he's only 3 stars.

The pirate provinces only have 1 sugar plantation each, so I don't really want them for money, just to despawn the raiding fleet and start cranking out Ships of the Line.


Also with that territory you gain a vital military shipyard in a very very lucrative area for privateering and expanded internal trade.

I am curious to see where you direct your Gentlemen researchers.

Edit: and I think you could call for early elections to save the people from the Willem's Administration.
I've researched Social Contract for the 10% tech boost, and have started on the trade one, whose name I forget. I don't plan to do much fighting in Europe for the time being, so the military sciences can wait, but the sooner I get those ports expanded, the sooner I can get more trade routes!

The_JJ
2010-08-07, 12:23 AM
I'd suggest focusing on a particular theater. You're probably safe-ish in Europe. GB and Austria make for good babysitters if you avoid ticking off the Frenchies. BTW, don't tick off the Frenchies, more trouble that it's worth.

America might seem attractive, but once you're done with the Pirates, I'd suggest you hit up the coast of Brazil and then move onto India. The Muhguls and the Maratha Confederation will be busy killing each other, and they don't have a European presence like the powers watching over the America's. Ceylon makes for a good base and India has a nice naval 'surface area' for you to abuse. And conquering Europe by marching out of India is so very satisfying, as I learned in my Portugal play though.

Flickerdart
2010-08-07, 11:55 AM
Term 2: Fear and Loathing in Tobago

It would seem that the people are rather fond of results. Who'd have thought? Willem's ratings skyrocketed as soon as news got back that the pirate haven of Antigua was captured by our troops.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0711-28-37-14.png

It was a region steeped in poverty - the local pirate fleet never recovered after being crushed by the Dutch navy. His spirits lifted by the election victory, Willem declared that he would send some hanger-on noble to command the force to take Trinidad. It was just as well that he was promoting new generals - both of the ones in Amsterdam had died of old age. The new guy was nowhere near their level, but he was considerably younger, too, so there was still time to have that corrected. The fact that the new general was named Harm didn't hurt either.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0711-44-54-28.png

Keeping with the spirit of the war, another Austrian letter graced the desk of the Stadtholder. This time, it was Poland who had attacked them - Poland that was allied with the mighty Russian Empire. Neither one could really harm us, but I was shocked when Russia refused to enter the war. Poland was alone against the allied forces. Technically, Prussia was on their side, but the two were just as likely to turn on one another next.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0711-34-35-43.png

It was truly an age of war, and at Willem's decree, I sent orders to all institutions of research to stop dallying with their philosophical nonsense and get to weapon designs. Willem was loathe to dole out money to make expensive expansions to facilities, but I urged him that it was necessary for the Netherlands to keep a competitive edge.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0711-40-18-56.png
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0711-59-06-50.png
The United Provinces start with a School, while other countries, like Prussia, automatically have a College. The difference is more clamour for reform but more research points.

Sadly, we could not afford to train a bigger army to defend the capital - continuing wars in India led to a blockade on one of our valuable trade routes, biting savagely into our income. Clearing out the blockade wasn't an option, as we were trading with both sides of that war. Resigned to wait it out, I commissioned a fluyt to seek out more bountiful trade theatres and ordered the Caribbean forces to advance.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0711-47-34-59.png
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0711-48-20-26.png
One downside to this conquering is that pirates are still considered a nation by the game, so it racks up my Territorial Expansion diplomatic penalty.

And just like that, the pirate threat had ended, and the flow of trade gold into Dutch pockets was renewed. France kept bothering us to trade the Guyanas, but the deals were uniformly terrible.
Of course, no day would be complete without another visit from the Austrian messenger, who was at this point on a first-name basis with most of the staff. I tried to guess who had attacked them this time, and couldn't come up with anything better than the Ottomans before curiosity got the best of Willem and he purloined the letter from my hands. He went pale as soon as he opened it.
"Why did they have to declare war on France?"

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0712-02-09-45.png

The_JJ
2010-08-07, 04:46 PM
Have fun with that.

Rockphed
2010-08-07, 05:29 PM
We are so dead, aren't we?

Arcanoi
2010-08-07, 05:55 PM
Heh. Nice way to end a chapter.

Derthric
2010-08-07, 06:35 PM
Ho HO! A Cliffhanger! I like it.

Did they call Spain to their side, if they didn't you may have been spared some righteous fury. And if your allies are remotely competent things could work out. I have seen Wurttemburg conquer France, seriously.

Besides think of this as an opportunity to claim the other Guyana.

The_JJ
2010-08-07, 06:45 PM
Declining Austria's offer would hack them off but save us a nasty fight. That's the simplest solution.

And a continental war with France isn't the end of the world... well, if we had some kind of actual army it wouldn't be. Still, France probably won't come knocking on our door right off the bat, since the AI is... less than decisive and will have a lot of other targets to go after. So we could probably rush recruit up an army/ship out our Pirate slaying force since they ain't got anything else to do.

Trixie
2010-08-08, 03:48 AM
Ho HO! A Cliffhanger! I like it.

Did they call Spain to their side, if they didn't you may have been spared some righteous fury. And if your allies are remotely competent things could work out. I have seen Wurttemburg conquer France, seriously.

Besides think of this as an opportunity to claim the other Guyana.

Not only the other Guyana, France has islands right next to the pirates.

The thing is, are we trading with Spain? If so, there's a big chance Spain won't attack us yet. And without Spain, France can do nothing, due to the lack of land border. It will be a naval war.

Act at your discretion, but with some effort, we can free the lower half of Netherlands from Spanish tyranny! :smalltongue:

Flickerdart
2010-08-08, 11:53 AM
Term 3: I Occidentally A Region, The Whole Thing

It took a few moments after reading the Spanish ambassador's letter for it to register that we weren't completely and utterly screwed. They appeared to mellow out enormously when Willem left office. I can't think of a better inauguration present than a lack of annihilation.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-15-19-15.png
Even though we won the election, the entire cabinet still changed. You will notice that it's terrible - it took me a few years to get them back to working order. Sadly, the rulers that appear after the one you start the game with only have generic Minister traits instead of the awesome ones like Lewd and Loose.

General Harm's successes were hardly affected by the regime change, even if the Secretary of War was a pompous git. After sweeping the Windward Islands, his forces landed in Guyana, where the French made their last stand in the Caribbean with a bunch of peasantry. We lost a grand total of six men in that attack, and rumour has it they laughed themselves to death.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-22-08-70.png

The French fleet met a similar fate at the hands of the masterful Callenburgh, netting us two wrecks that the admiral immediately pawned for much-needed prize money.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-23-20-81.png

Sadly, the esteemed admiral did not live long to enjoy his success. It was decided that the Caribbean navy did not require the appointment of another commander at this time.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-35-28-15.png

In Europe, France was awfully quiet, the cause revealing itself when fragments of French vessels began washing up on our shores. The British navy had brutally crushed theirs, and our own fleet was sent out to harass French trade and fill our own coffers.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-26-17-92.png

It was a small contribution, but preparations made during Willem's terms (who, to my great relief, was now being called the Warmonger, as opposed to words less fitting for polite company) would soon speak for themselves. Stadtholder Bekkers, finding my payroll in the documents, assumed I was some sort of diplomat and immediately sent me off to negotiate a right of passage agreement with the Rhineland, which I deftly pulled off without too much blackmailing. It was also an excuse to spy upon the army stationed at Strasbourg, which turned out to be absurdly poor. Without its trade, France couldn't afford to maintain a powerful force, which meant we could attack with impunity.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-43-22-98.png

The troops were led by a skilled general, and I took a few moments from my schedule to investigate, only to meet with air-tight security arrangements. Whatever this general was, he was also paranoid, and I decided to leave the murder to the army.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-43-33-65.png
The base assassination chance is 30%. That succeeds rarely enough, a 15% chance isn't worth the risk.

The forces gathered at Strasbourg posed no threat to the modernized Dutch war machine. And to think, only a decade ago we still employed pikemen. Pikemen! Fortunately, Willem had fixed that when we were threatened by Polish and Prussian aggression, and now those muskets were put to good use.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-49-11-65.png
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-50-11-17.png
Alsace-Lorraine is a minor, but wealthy region, and will serve as a good point for our troops to resupply. Without a direct route from the capital (the agreement was only for 5 turns) those troops are on their own.

Loathe to return home just yet, I travelled on to Paris. The force gathered there was larger than in Strasbourg, but still smaller than ours. There was no sight of British or Austrian troops, though - we were on our own for this one.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-0811-49-50-25.png
Sadly, rakes can't capture cities. Otherwise, Ganesvoort totally would have, action hero style.

Trixie
2010-08-08, 06:52 PM
If not for -30 dissent... I'd ask for making Renaissance European Union right there :smalltongue:

Anyway, nice update, but I feel strange seeing so good army without a general. I make pretty similar armies, except one cavalry belongs to my commander.

Maybe they'll agree to extortion-style peace now? :smallwink:

Rockphed
2010-08-08, 07:41 PM
Can we conquer France and make them our slaves?

Derthric
2010-08-09, 02:46 AM
Something always bothered me with making so vast a nation as France was in this time period 2 provinces in the home theater. However they are surprisingly easy pickings if you can get a fully stacked army near Paris.

Take it! Burn down the standing religious buildings and put up new ones. And reap the wealth of the vanquished. Hear the lamentation of the....ugh excuse me.

Then prepare for Spain. I have seen them invade a conquered France without a full army sitting near their border many many times.

Trixie
2010-08-09, 04:27 AM
Something always bothered me with making so vast a nation as France was in this time period 2 provinces in the home theater. However they are surprisingly easy pickings if you can get a fully stacked army near Paris.

Probably because it wasn't divided in the period.

This makes them stronger, actually - you have less cities to defend, your capital is deep in your territory, all universities you have can be upgraded to superior variant, you can have all types of buildings and shipyards in your home province...

And since your army is in your capital, which is economic powerhouse, you can press the taxes badly if urgent need arises due to all that repression.

The only downside is massive amount of clamor linked with the fact they're absolute monarchy, but then, this happened in real life, too.

Out of curiosity, anyone noticed Barbary pirates rebelling often?

Derthric
2010-08-09, 05:21 AM
Probably because it wasn't divided in the period.

This makes them stronger, actually - you have less cities to defend, your capital is deep in your territory, all universities you have can be upgraded to superior variant, you can have all types of buildings and shipyards in your home province...

And since your army is in your capital, which is economic powerhouse, you can press the taxes badly if urgent need arises due to all that repression.

The only downside is massive amount of clamor linked with the fact they're absolute monarchy, but then, this happened in real life, too.

Out of curiosity, anyone noticed Barbary pirates rebelling often?

My lament comes more from the ease with which you can charge into France, especially if you use a navy to take the port just north of Paris (this is amazingly easy way to move an army straight from London or Amsterdam right to the gates of Paris). Slam your army right at them and suddenly France is a backbencher for the rest of the game, if not outright eliminated.

That being said, put em on the back bench Flickerdart.

The_JJ
2010-08-09, 12:11 PM
Yeah, okay you're not as bad off economically as I thought. So... yeah, if you can put together a full stack you're good. Have fun storming the castle Paris.

kkortekaas
2010-08-09, 12:25 PM
I always find that the cascade of negative reactions always bork my trade income, which is frustrating....not to mention holding Paris (and it's surrounding environs) from Spanish incursion.

Trixie
2010-08-11, 05:29 PM
Spanish? Revolts are much more pain.

Derthric
2010-08-11, 08:30 PM
Spanish? Revolts are much more pain.

I have found that Spain covets the province of France and will make absolutely ridiculous moves to acquire it. Like offer to take it off my hands for Guatemala and a few technologies exchanged, oh and a tidy sum from me.

Also if Spain is in a strong position overall militarily(not necessarily against you). They will go to war and march army after army to sack towns and farms in France and eventually press on Paris. I found putting a full stack on the border kept them at bay, and even better they would declare war on me if i moved it away. Was delightful baiting them into war by moving my army to Marseilles, they issue a declaration, then I gobble up their colonies and reposition the army and force a peace.

Klose_the_Sith
2010-08-11, 08:33 PM
My lament comes more from the ease with which you can charge into France, especially if you use a navy to take the port just north of Paris (this is amazingly easy way to move an army straight from London or Amsterdam right to the gates of Paris). Slam your army right at them and suddenly France is a backbencher for the rest of the game, if not outright eliminated.

That being said, put em on the back bench Flickerdart.

Well, France itself has never been a particularly defensible position in real life - it's got so many neat little approaches and the populace will just lie down and surrender so politely :smallbiggrin:

Flickerdart
2010-08-12, 12:17 PM
Unfortunately, Fraps crashed during the last playthrough and I don't have any usable screenshots. Here's a brief summary:

We offered France a peace treaty in exchange for all their colonies but they refused.
We took Paris, burned down the school and replaced it with a brothel. Quebec appeared as a new nation. We then rebuilt the school after the French stopped being mad at us.
We sent General Harm's anti-pirate force to capture the Louisianas.
We sent a number of ships to trade theatres.
We now have four gentlemen and three rakes. Still only the one preacher, but Ceylon is like 60% Protestant now.
We have commissioned two 4th Rates from our shipyard in France. Since you can rename ships (also divisions) I can name stuff after playgrounders, if you want.

Term 5: War and Peace

With the French properly subdued and the Poles and Prussians now fighting among themselves over who gets Austria's territories, it was decided that our researchers should focus more on peaceful sciences.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1212-10-26-03.png

The Spanish ambassador visited again, making preposterous demands. Parliament amused themselves greatly by penning an even more ridiculous list and sending it back - something to do with indefinite military access to the Spanish Queen's bedroom.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1212-12-25-31.png
Countries will constantly pester you for regions that they like, but never with reasonable requests. Getting rid of these messages is my prime motivation for global conquest.

Our festivities were cut short when a messenger from Westphalia walked in, dropped a declaration of war and left. Austria hadn't even started it this time, which was surprising, though they didn't miss the chance to join in.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1212-26-30-34.png

Our men fearlessly charged forward, destroying the advance of Westphalia's finest. Behind their finest, however, was a fresh supply of peasant rabble that overwhelmed our weary troops. Both Paris and Amsterdam began mass recruitment to make up for this gaffe.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1212-12-25-31.png

As we were raising this new army, Spain also began to deploy its war machine, conquering and destroying Portugal. The province of Goa was now in revolt, and plans were laid to snap it up before Mysore or the Maratha did.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1212-41-40-73.png

CarpeGuitarrem
2010-08-12, 12:40 PM
Quite fabulous! An enjoyable LP read.

Crixon
2010-08-12, 02:50 PM
Mmhmmm! it is!

Derthric
2010-08-12, 04:25 PM
Ah, Excellent. The Spanish are tripping over themselves just to get at a few croissants.

Did any of Westphalia's allies join in. Hannover's cavalry recruitment capabilities are pretty useful in the early portions of the game.

Which industry tech's are you going for?

Flickerdart
2010-08-12, 05:30 PM
No, my enemies seem to have terrible luck when it comes to their allies helping them.

I've researched basic steam pumps, but now with the new war I'm focusing on military tech again.

Rockphed
2010-08-12, 06:26 PM
For the future, could you please spoiler pictures? It is really annoying having the page jump all over the place while they load.

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2010-08-12, 10:39 PM
I used to be really into the Total War games, and I still play them for the awesome battles, but I eventually found the screwed diplomacy just game-breaking, and the campaign just generally not good enough for me. This is a perfect example of your average Empire Game: Taking all of France in one go? Spain gobbling up Portugal? It just doesn't work for me. IMHO, the only game that really worked as a Total War game was Rome, because that was the only era in which, historically, one of the small nations conquered most of the gameworld. It just feels... wrong to conquer the world in the other games.

Trixie
2010-08-13, 05:09 AM
I used to be really into the Total War games, and I still play them for the awesome battles, but I eventually found the screwed diplomacy just game-breaking, and the campaign just generally not good enough for me. This is a perfect example of your average Empire Game: Taking all of France in one go? Spain gobbling up Portugal? It just doesn't work for me. IMHO, the only game that really worked as a Total War game was Rome, because that was the only era in which, historically, one of the small nations conquered most of the gameworld. It just feels... wrong to conquer the world in the other games.

In the period covered by the game alone: among others, Ottomans, Russia, France, Austria, and Poland come pretty close to conquering most of Europe. they only failed because, inevitably, some stupid monarch screwed up everything or their efforts united all of the remaining countries to stop them.

Crixon
2010-08-13, 09:57 AM
Ya i never really found the purpose for cav in this game, i mean they just get slaughtered by any active units, i guess their entire existance in life is to chase down retreating men.

Also, if you build an admirals 3rd rate or 2nd rate soon, could name it the Agamemnon. :P

Flickerdart
2010-08-13, 11:43 AM
Term 6: Use More Gun

The rapidly raised regiments descended upon Westphalia, not even bothering with a siege - the pincer attack had enough men involved to simply overwhelm the motley defences of Cologne. The other Westphalian armies were too far to arrive in time, and were graciously offered surrender once they found out their nation had been annexed.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1311-19-54-89.png
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1311-20-15-26.png
If all of a nation's regions in the home theatre are taken, it ceases to exist. One of the benefits of this is that all of its armies and navies vanish immediately. It often means that you can avoid fighting the armies of a minor nation if they range too far from its capital.

The troops were about to be called back to Paris before my informers sent news from the south.
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1311-21-06-57.png
SUDDENLY.

Prussians! While the Westphalian incident occupied us, the war in Europe raged on. Austria lost no more of its holdings, but Prussia's gains were reduced to Vienna, with Poland sweeping through the rest of the former Austrian Empire. This wouldn't be so bad if we weren't also at war with them.
There was a sudden surge of scholarship in Ceylon, which was odd considering that all three of our universities were in Europe.
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1311-21-06-57.png
The amount of Gentlemen you have depends on your buildings: one per each school, college or university, and one per observatory or national academy. However, they can appear anywhere.

One of our few ships in India was commissioned with bringing them to Europe. Now that the pirates were all rid of and the nations we warred with were exclusively land-bound, it was safe enough to do this. Probably.
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1311-35-49-07.png
I sure hope nothing happens to them.

In the meantime, the breakaway Portuguese colony of Goa found itself a new set of masters. The Dutch were finally landing on Indian shores with steel and lead instead of gold and silver. I must say, I much prefer it this way.
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1311-41-45-21.png

Naturally, our new holdings had to be protected from the vile Mysore, who seemed to think that Goa should have been theirs. However, they could only oppose us with tatters of an army sent against the Maratha, who probably also had designs for this strip of land. But the Maratha were busy fighting with the Mughals, so it fell to the Dutch to do the heavy lifting again.
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1311-55-07-98.png

Emboldened by this effort, the stadtholder gave orders to press the advantage on all fronts. I wasn't sure he knew which fronts we had, and I myself had forgotten, so it was a good idea to review that.
There was, of course, Mysore. The regiment there was poised to strike at their capital, and another was being raised to assault the south.
There were also the rest of France's rebel colonies. New France had snapped up Upper Canada, and also for some reason became a protectorate of the Maratha. It was as good protection from us as they would get - Marathan trade was bountiful and valuable. Newfoundland, however, was still in anarchy, and Harm's men were sent to set that straight.
That left us with the Prusso-Polish war. With the Germanies blocking our way, the most expedient course of action was to conquer them on the way, but since the Dutch are not aggressors, we simply bought our way through Saxony.
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a335/PresidentPSkillz/Empire/Empire2010-08-1311-57-31-60.png
Brandenburg is Prussia's best region, and has another university. Do we need more? Of course we do.

Flickerdart
2010-08-15, 10:59 AM
Ugh, the game's gotten to a point where the actions of some minor nation state crash it. I will try to fix this, but it might involve rolling back a bit.

Trixie
2010-08-19, 09:22 AM
Ugh, I feel your pain. It ruined my New Rome playthrough, too :smallannoyed:

Flickerdart
2010-08-19, 12:41 PM
Well, trading with them doesn't work, making them my protectorate doesn't work and going to war with them doesn't work. For a lack of other bright ideas I'm going to restore to my latest save (6 years back) and try to do the same things I did before. At which point, I bet it's going to crash again.