Almost immediately after we left off, a few things happened in quick succession, Joao II de Medici of Portugal had a weak claim to the throne. I declared a new war, to conquer Murcia, Cuenca and a few other provinces on Aragon and took a lot of land for myself, leaving them only the north-east of Spain on Iberia, overextending something awful and providing a justification for a civil war disaster to tick up, aided by some dastardly particularists in my South African provinces that I could not spare the manpower to go and destroy. So by the time I noticed it was a problem, I could not prevent from firing, and I was treated to more rebels and more and more and more and they just kept showing up. I thought they would break the country, but somehow, I managed to avoid the bigger stacks, kept picking off the smaller ones and took every legitimacy event that made the royalist faction, mine, stronger. A costly civil war, but one that kept the Medici line in power as part of the centuries long alliance to France, succeeded by Joao’s daughter Joana. In the meantime, Australia and New Zealand became entirely Portuguese.
It was now time to start the scramble for Africa early. Really early. Benin were weak on the west coast with no allies, it was a simple matter to bring them under the Portuguese crown. However Kong and Mali just north of them proved to be too difficult to conquer with merely a portion of the forces I was willing to dedicate there, so I backed off for the moment, I would return. In the meantime however, Scotland’s colonies, the West Indies, that I wanted to conquer for myself, asked for my help with independence. Figuring it might make them weaker, I accepted but when they came out, it turned out I was fighting against England… and France for the first time. With little I could do I eventually had to give up the war, but Scotland got pushed out of the British Isles and over into the Pacific Northwest… I don’t know either… and their colonies broke free into Colombia and Haiti. Haiti I would earmark for future conquest. But back to Aragon. Now, with the truce timer up, I could take Valenica and Barcelona off them with ease, enabling me to form Spain.
Which I did. Now I believe forming Spain as Portugal was a big mistake. Not for gameplay, because it gave me an extra colonist and I still had tons of Brazil to move in on, but as far as the look went. Teal is simply, pound for pound, a much nicer colour than yellow and I think I will be basing my next EU4 campaign at least partially on the colour of the tag because it would be so much more satisfying to have a teal-coloured world. Maybe for when I play Portugal another time. I mean, I don’t think I’m going to get bored of EU4, at least not yet, although there are many other countries to play as first. Also, there’s the whole thing about Portuguese being very different from Spanish now, although as a history buff I know it wasn’t as divergent back then and had the Iberian Wedding or another similar historical event gone differently it could have been Portugal rather than Aragon melding with Castile. But it just feels kinda wrong. I did it anyway, to try it out more than anything, and here started the last and final bit of the campaign. Also, I’m now calling them Esporta. It probably makes no sense grammatically but it’s the easiest way to combine the two names I can think of. After a brief no CB war with Haiti to try and grab their land, because I couldn’t think of any other way to do it, the Imperialism Casus Belli appeared. I had no idea this would be a thing but I now love it. Because it meant that instantly, I could start expanding wherever I wanted. This would be so fun.
And to add more excitement, I got a new king. His name. Alexander. His stats, 5/5/6, netting me Truly Divine Ruler. I hope you know where this is going. First, a small push into Morocco who, now I realised that Great Britain were a terrible ally, had nothing really protecting them from my reckless expansion. Arawak and Tupinamba, natives in South America were quickly dispatched as my colonies and colonial nations surrounded them. Then it was back to Haiti, truce now expired, somehow now broken the ties with GB they had before leaving them alone with no allies, a simple matter but one that required quite a bit of micromanagement moving around the tiny Caribbean islands (this Haiti being made up entirely and exclusively of Antilles provinces). This did not give me No Pirates… yet and it took me a little bit to figure out why but then I twigged, I would have to take Bermuda from France. Now I hear there might be a way to do that peacefully in some other DLCs but there was no option for me to do that. So a broken alliance it was (merely a few years after I had defended them with my actual troops LIVES from the ridiculous blobbing Commonwealth that I fortunately never had to deal much with otherwise), and a sad end to centuries of ‘France trusts Esporta utterly’, for merely one minor province required for No Pirates In My Caribbean. Well, I took Sao Tome too, because that’s rightfully Portuguese. And a couple of Brazil-La Plata border provinces. But very sad stuff. I also got at this point Respected, My Armies Are Invincible, This Navy Can Take It All, Aggressive Expander (you don’t think?!), Total Control and Market Leader (actually missed seeing getting this one but I have it now). Basically all the ones you naturally get for having a world-spanning, sun-never-sets, empire where no one can take you down, not even the Ottomans or the French. Speaking of the Ottomans, they and Scandinavia now looked to be surprisingly big colonial powers, with Ottoman provinces in Indonesia and Mexico, while Scandinavia took Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau (the one Portuguese area I never took), and Nicaragua.
Not done yet, I went back to Africa, firslty, for Kilwa, for revenge for that time that they got Granada independent. They were crushed. Similarly, while I was allied to Kazembe in Central Africa for a reason I’ve forgotten now, I wasn’t fussed on being super efficient at this point, Kongo was crushed, leaving me with almost all of Africa below the belt firmly under Esportan, and then back up to West Africa. Songhai, in control of Timbuktu (a fairly low-level achievement I may go for soon) looked weak and I carved a swathe out of them into the desert, while hammering on Morocco just to the north. Over in the east I took out the island that Makassar lies on and made that Esportan, along with a few other islets in Indonesia, although I wasn’t concerned with taking all of it. A mission to get a Chinaware province led me to see that the famous Ryukyu were still independent and going it alone without any allies. Such a shame, but the famous island of the Three Mountains (or just Okinawa) was now a Spanish outpost in the Far East). I then proceeded to do nothing else in the Far East and left Japan, Korea and the bunch of states that China was now in alone for the rest of the game. Similar story to India, I took the event for Goa and then just never set foot there again. That’ll be for another game, in my eventual world conquest. Spoilers, I did not do it this game, although you could probably figure that out given my slow speed of expansion up to now.
I took out a few small minor nations, Dahomey, Cherokee, Tlemcen (who I’d released from Morocco to cripple them and take later), Tidore, all that sort of thing. I decided to do one more war with Great Britain before the end, we were now coming up to 1800, to take all the colonies from them that I wanted to make the map look pretty, and after a small amount of time fighting against them and their new allies the USA, I took out all of their Cape of Good Hope, some tiny irrelevant West African provinces to connect up all of my coast there, and a few more islands here and there. Sacrificing men’s lives to make my borders prettier, that’s what Alexander (well, now his successor Isabel II and her successor Fernando VI) do.
The final years, under Fernando, were very safe. Esporta got involved in a few wars in the Holy Roman Empire, taking the neck of Denmark for no real reason other than it was land that I thought I could easily take. Mainly, the bulk of his reign was dedicated to crushing the Songhai and their ally Mali, a surprisingly tricky war as Mali was actually quite strong and ran around Africa for quite a while. And I crushed Burundi and Karagwe, who had emerged as the dominant Great Lakes powers once I finally discovered them. Taking all this territory netted me A Pile Of Gold unintentionally, I guess that’s another side-effect of just taking all the land you can, I certainly had many thousands in the bank at this point. At this point, only a few years were left and with rebels starting to pop up but without sufficient time to enforce their demands, I felt justified on letting the campaign run at full speed, laughing at the rebels’ pitiful attempts to put down my horrifically overextended (but coring) empire, and netted myself Just A Little Patience for my troubles, which was something I knew I’d have to get at some point but didn’t know if I could finish a campaign to do it.
And I actually feel really accomplished. It’s a very hard strategy game and while I’ve done a rather easy path in a nation, I’ve never taken that much land in a strategy game before. It’s a big empire and one I’ll remember as my first. Now though, I just have to pick a new country to start. Leaning towards Songhai or Ming and their country-specific achievements but I shall have to pick up at least Art Of War and Common Sense before I do that. I’ve heard those are ‘essential’. So maybe more EUIV AARs in the future. For now though, this one is DONE. All hail Esporta!