Games · Strategy Games

Europa Universalis IV: Portugal and the Hated Aragon

Hi, and welcome to a new series where I describe my progress in a game towards getting Europa Universalis IV Steam Achievements in a form of AARs. Which are creative writing, I’ve seen but never really tried my hand at them. This game is chosen for a couple of reasons, it has the absolute best Steam Achievements I’ve ever seen for a game, numerous and all of them interesting, requiring multiple games to go for a long time including choosing many different countries each with different goals. And it is an incredibly challenging game such that getting all of these achievements does require some real skill at political manoeuvring and military manoeuvring (the latter coming down to not getting your army stack-wiped when cornered by a larger force you were hoping France would take care of instead of you).

My DLCs currently are: Wealth of Nations, Res Publica, El Dorado, Conquest Of Paradise and I shall be getting the rest at some point in the near future as I’m obsessed with this game now.


I have done one post about EU4 on this blog before, where I talked about my Ottoman progress to get their specific achievement. Sadly, partly due to the update to 1.19 coming out, where my save got messed up with institutions not being present, and partly due to Russia and European nations getting way too strong, I was not able to complete that achievement and will have to try another run for it in the future.

Current achievements before starting this:

Generic ones: For The Glory, That’s A Grand Army, That’s A Grand Navy, Defender Of The Faith, Until Death Do Us Apart, That Is Mine!, Victorious!, Seriously?!, True Catholic, Cold War (did a brief run by Byzantium to Albania specifically to lock this down as I thought it’d be annoying otherwise), Brothers In Arms, It’s All About Luck and The Princess Is In This Castle

Country-specific ones: Isn’t This The Way To India? (this one from my first Ironman game as Castile, where I was mainly just learning how the game works, most of those generic ones are either from those or the Ottoman one)

For this post though, we are focusing on my Portugal run. Still a bit of a newb at the game, I went for what I think must be the third-easiest nation after Spain and the Ottomans.

Goals for this run:

Principally: Not So Sad A State.. (as Portugal, have a colony in Brazil and Africa)

Probably: Down Under (have a colony in Australia)

Potentially: No Pirates In My Caribbean (own the entire Caribbean as yourself or a subject), Spain Is The Emperor (become the HR Emperor as Spain) other generic ones that require more specific conditions (e.g. It’s All About The Money, Respected, At Every Continent)


Portugal starts 1444 in an unenviable position, politically, under the regency of the uncle of the actual king, ready to attract the attention of Morocco, and weak next to the larger Castile. The obvious strategy was to seek out alliances with Castile and some others, including the oldest alliance with England that you start with, while I focused on teching up to get the headstart on colonisation that Portugal is afforded with their starting explorer. Of course, the downside of these alliances is that they drag you into wars. And Portugal got dragged into its fair share of wars and with a small territory but a good reputation, nearly every other participant in these wars can easily stack wipe your forces if you’re not careful and don’t maneuver properly (so the wars end up as being a frenzied experience of ‘run away’). Especially Aragon. I have a healthy loathing for that country now. They early on managed to get some dominance over Castile, who ended up being so useless in nearly every war I entered them with (probably due to taking some territory in the Low Countries meaning they ‘d focus on the inevitable HRE princes in the war before the Aragonese armies stackwiping my poor troops. Morocco were an early annoyance as well, allied with the Ottomans, they won a war against me, taking Granada, Ceuta and Madeira from what was the rightful heritage of the Portuguese.

So it started out pretty bad. However not all was lost, for the colonization ace that Portugal had in the bag was ready and waiting for exploitation. After getting the second level of Exploration Ideas, Cape Verde was swiftly added to the realm of Portugal and the Algarves, followed by a swift hop over to northeastern Brazil. The next step was to lock down all of the other colonial regions as swiftly as possible, so colonies in Hispaniola, Georgia and Newfoundland were placed. Eventually, Norway would beat me to most of Canada so that would be my only Newfoundland colony but the others would develop into proud Portuguese colonial nations, New Portugal, Caraibas and Portuguese Brazil, such that the Pope granted me the legal right to all of that territory. Moves into Colombia were subsequently made to combat Castile, slow on the uptake due to having a terrible game, from grabbing that grant. In Africa, the Gold Coast was secured, followed by Angola, netting me the main goal of this game from the outset, Not So Sad A State… Game done, surely? Not quite, I wanted to grab a bit more colonisation.

As there were setbacks. England and France did not neglect colonisation either. Conceding my now staunch ally France to most of La Plata, I could only seethe as England secured the Amazon delta and Rio De Janeiro, inviting a future war over Brazil as soon as Portugal considered themselves able to take on England, which would not be for a while due to the still pitiful army of Portugal. A desperate attempt to hire mercenaries during a war in Europe against Morocco, the same one I talked about earlier, left Portugal with tens of loans and with trade just being set up, no quick solution to these dire finances, meaning that colonisation could not be as swift as desired, despite now having three colonists from Exploration and Expansion.

Eventually, I decided that the only way to pay back these loans was to get stronger. And with enemies Aragon and Morocco way too strong with their network of alliances, I started eying up my own. Castile was army-less, having lost too many stupid wars, some involving myself, others not, and they looked like a weak target. A broken alliance, 5 years of preparing and aid from France ready at the door, and Castile was swept aside, leaving Portugal as the dominant power in south-west Spain, with a mere two forts in Granada and Lisbon. This will be important later. But for now, the extra territory, Sevilla especially, turned out to be vital for getting back financial stability, particularly as one of Castile’s tiny allies, Mantua I think, ended up paying me a lot of cash to peace out.

These wars would continue, including a juicy one against Morocco, no longer allied to the Ottomans and without friends (until they got an alliance with England later), allowing me to take the territories in North Africa come in, but here is where Aragon would be a thorn in my side. Deceptively powerful, they opposed me in every war, forcing me to wait for France’s huge stacks to stop besieging provinces somewhere in the north and take out their forts. And as each time they were a co-belligerent, I could not push them back.

And I was not done with mistakes. I declared war on Kilwa in Africa to try and fulfil missions that were getting increasingly unrealistic for me (my other option was become the dominant trade power in Malacca with zero colonies or territory within 2000 miles of Malay), without considering my supply lines and ended up leaving the war alone after the first loss of a stack, until the war exhaustion got too much and those Africans, many thousands of kilometers away from Iberia, demanded that I let Granada have their independence back (and that I give Galicia back to Castile). I accepted the former, it would be easy to get them back at some point after the truce was up, but it did mean that I was down to one fort. So I finally started building more. However, Castile could not be allowed to get back their territory.

Here is where the most hatred for Aragon comes back though. To get Castile back, there was a problem. Aragon was now guaranteeing their independence. Undeterred by the numerous setbacks I’d already faced, I went straight in, on a colonialism pretence, Castile still had colonies in Guyana, as soon as France was ready to help me. Aragon still stack-wiped me. They had in fact sieged most of my lands when suddenly, I got 24% warscore. Turns out France had been busy sieging Castile’s forts elsewhere and I was able to get a remarkably good peace deal, even such that I took another fort from Castile and left them in the rump position you can see on the map. It’s still 1600, I still have to get England back for taking some of the best parts of my rightful Brazil off me, but for now, that is where I am. More AARs at a later date.


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