It has been a while since I updated this blog on my Europa Universalis IV adventures, a game I feel so strongly about loving at the moment that I feel compelled to detail my attempts to get as many of its Steam Achievements as possible in great detail. For reference, these are the ones I have so far.
Everything down to Azur Seme De Lis Or on the global achievement stats at time of writing, and Azur has 6.7% (don’t need to list them all as most of the ones more common than this every Ironman player worth a bit has and the few that aren’t like Truly Divine Ruler are just luck based), Total Control, Down Under, Isn’t This The Way To India, Aggressive Expander, This Navy Can Take It All, The Five Colonies, Just A Little Patience, Market Control, At Every Continent, Not So Sad A State, No Pirates In My Caribbean, A Pile Of Gold, Time Bandit, and Nobody Wants To Die. Most of those were gotten during my successful Portugal/Spain game, before I added every DLC except Rights Of Man to my game and subsequently made it a lot harder. My last post was on my Songhai run, which I continued for a bit after getting the achievement, but, at time of writing, have near total dominance over West Africa and I don’t feel I need to continue it for any particular reason so I’ve dropped that one now.
My next game, I wasn’t sure where to go, so I picked Random Nation and said I would play the first one that has a country-specific achievement, or an achievement I want to get as that country, like getting Barbarossa as Tlemcen (which is something that makes sense to me as the Barbary Coast always feels like Algeria to me and Tunis already has a specific achievement). Anyway, I got The Great Horde, with the idea of going for the very hard Great Khan (maybe a bit tough for someone of my experience), which was coincidental, as I’ve been learning from and watching Arumba’s run at that country, so I thought this shouldn’t be too hard, the horde mechanics looked very fun.
And it was, at first. After a quick run where I let Crimea fall under the protection of the Ottomans as they were the only nearby state that were friendly to me at the start, I restarted and this time, they were my rival. Even better, Poland did not form the union with Lithuania, so I had a pretty golden start to the run, on the way to making the horde actually golden. Quickly, the thing to do was to annex Gazimukh, Shirvan and Crimea – that was fairly straightforward. I kept Genoa sweet as I knew I’d be getting institutions from their provinces, even though they easily have the best provinces on the Black Sea, and after sneaking Ryazan out from under the beleaguered Novgorod, feudalism spread into my land very quickly. I started developing provinces to give the spread a good ‘route’ through my highest developed provinces, a bit expensive on monarch points but I could not afford the tech differential. Or at least that was my plan.
Everything seemed to go swimmingly, I annexed Georgia, vassalized Armenia, rivalled Persia as they started swallowing up the Timurids, made dents into Kazan and Nogai, I even declared war on Muscovy and managed to take Moskva, as well as declaring war on Lithuania and pushing them back quite successfully. However all this warring put me into a bit of debt. Just a bit. Actually, quite a lot.
And it was then that I made the mistake. I thought I could take on Muscovy again, I really thought I could. I was slightly outnumbered by them and they were on the same tech level, but they had an ally in the Livonian Order that I’d failed to take account of. Basically, going into this war lost me the game, I was unable to break their forces, got frustrated and lost my army, so could only watch as Muscovy sieged down all my provinces, demanded all that I’d taken from them back and two of my northern cores. Russia formed soon after, with their insane manpower idea – for future games like this, I will find it absolutely necessary to stop them forming. At the same time, Georgia broke free due to rebels and Great Horde Tribes were roaming the lands, I had annexed Armenia by now and I was allied to the Ottomans but these were about the only things going for me – I had to waste a few decades paying off the endless debt I had gotten myself into trying to not lose the first war so hard, which was probably a sign I should have quit. Great Khan is not an easy achievement – or at least one where you absolutely must not make any mistakes like diving headlong into a war with more than one European power. Or guarantee Perm to try and get them onside and forget about it so you have to take a huge prestige hit when you don’t want to. I have many things that I’m learning from with this run.
I did try to continue playing and was expanding east pretty successfully, albeit every time I tried to take down the rest of Nogai Russia intervened with an enforce peace demand just as I was about to finish – they weren’t allied or guaranteeing or anything – they just felt like enforcing peace. After the second time this happened I realised you didn’t have to take a white peace, so I just took what I could and got out of there while sticking my tongue out at Russia. However at this point, just as I was about to surface from my debt hole, Persia declared war on me and those filthy bastards in the Ottomans dishonoured our alliance – so I lost parts of the Caucasus to Persia. At this point, I sort of realised I was not going to get anywhere, so I, after reallying the Ottomans and waiting for them to be good to me, this was now 1590 or something so I’d wasted so much time, declared war on Russia, lost my entire army but had the Ottoman death stacks deal with all the Russian death stacks for me and took the land I’d lost back. But… all of that had just put me into another debt hole, I have rebels sieging my lands that I cannot deal with and to make matters even worse, Persia have just declared another war on me – as you can see from the title image that I’ll copy down below. I, unfortunately, have decided to concede that. I’ll come back for the Great Khan later, maybe as Mongolia, although I fear that would go even worse.
Now, I’m going for something easier, I am going for Italian Ambition as Florence. Of course, I say that it’s easier, but that’s before coalitions that demand everything you own for taking a few small bits of farmland. I had failed to take into account the coalitions that form when you take a mere two or three provinces in Italy. I’d never actually dealt with coalitions before and had no idea how dangerous they could be – I was used to laughing and shrugging them off in CK2, so it wasn’t something I was checking for in peace deals. My first run as Florence, where I took Siena, Medici lived for a long time, I was racing ahead on tech, ended when I took land from both Ferrara and the Papal States at the same time, and a coalition led by ULM of all people raped my lands and left me with one province that wasn’t Florence, as that had been attacked and taken by Sienian Separatists earlier in the campaign. I immediately quit out of that. The second time round, I allied the emperor so I wouldn’t have to deal with laughing in his face when he demanded that I give back unlawful territory that soon wouldn’t be in the empire anyway, didn’t have Medici for as long unfortunately, but I expanded a lot quicker due to generally better alliance networks than the first game. Of course though, when the time came to demand land from the Pope again, this time not taking Roma as I thought that was what might have triggered it first time around, I, naturally, at the moment of triumph, forgot to check whether the coalition would form before accepting. Because I’m an idiot. And everyone piled in. Austria (and Genoa and Mantua, the latter of which got eaten because of this war, I feel slightly bad) put up a good fight as the hordes of random German cities concerned about what one Italian city was doing swarmed over my land, I killed the Sienan and Swiss armies fine but then France joined in and I accidentally got everyone piling in on one fight for me – so eventually we lost that too. However the peace hurt Austria more than me, he lost what he’d gained from the Burgundian inheritance, all I had to do was release Ferrara, Lucca and Urbino, not even give back territory to the Papal States, who are now just sitting in Rome making insulting sounds from the parapets as they did historically – 400 years later, I’m definitely messing up the plans of the Borgias right now, and now I just have those three small states on 15 year truce timers, waiting to pounce once those are up if they have no allies, Lucca I believe has gone back in a trade league but there are so many wars in Europe the allies can be bypassed. I’m just going to have to be a lot more careful. And I’m checking that coalition screen in every peace deal now, I’m not having that happen again.