A Mountain of Skulls : a Timurids EU-3 AAR

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by Blue Emu, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    EU-3 Divine Wind v5.1, Easy difficulty, all other settings Normal.

    First off... a confession: I am an EU-3 noob. I've played it just enough times to realize that I'm wretchedly bad at the game. My Muscovy 1399 campaign ended with me getting annexed in only eleven years... which must be pretty close to a record.

    Undeterred by this disaster, I have decided to start a Barbarian Horde game, and I will be posting the updates in this thread. Comments, questions and advice will be welcome... but please bear in mind that I'm not only incompetent, I'm also incredibly stubborn and will probably ignore much of the advice and just go my own way.

    ========== ========= ========== ========= ========== =========

    Pre-game summary:

    The scenario starts in October of the year 1399. The Timurid Horde stretches from the Indian border to the Caucasus, from the Persian Gulf to the southern Steppes of Asia.

    Spoiler :


    Spoiler :


    Tamerlane is the most brilliant General that the world has seen in generations (6 Fire, 6 Shock, 6 Manoever, 2 Siege). He has spent his life carving out an empire, but now his life is nearly over. He is 62 years old at the start of the game, and cannot be expected to live much longer.

    His death will be poorly timed. We are surrounded by enemies, and are currently at war with eleven countries: the Ottomans, Bosnia, Serbia, Georgia, Duldakir, Trebizond, the Mamlukes, the Jalayarids, Delhi, Kashmir and Sind. Only the northern border is quiet... for the moment.

    Spoiler :


    Since we are playing Steppe Nomads, the death of our ruler will always trigger a scramble for power; a Succession Crisis, giving us two years of +10 revolt risk in every province (added to our already high revolt risk for Steppe Nomad government, poor stability and religious minorities), and automatically spawning a stack of Pretender Rebels in a random core province and stacks of Nationalist Rebels in every non-core province of our country.

    As you might expect, our Domestic Policy sliders start off in very inefficient positions: maximum Decentralization and Serfdom, high Aristocracy and Mercantilism, low Quality for our Army... aggravated by the fact that our Arab Archer Infantry units are among the worst in the game.

    Spoiler :


    One possible ray of hope is that our Steppe Nomad military group allows us to retain the Tactics bonus as long as our armies have less than 100% Cavalry. Most of our civilized neighbours will have to stay below 50% Cavalry or lose the Tactics bonus. So we will be building several armies that are almost pure Cavalry for fighting in open terrain, and will only use Infantry-heavy Armies for fighting in rough terrain or for sieges and assaults on forts.

    Regarding our initial wars with our neighbours, the Mamlukes and (especially) the Ottomans are our most dangerous opponents. The Ottomans start at 6/6/6/6/6 tech level compared to our 3/3/3/3/3, and their units... especially their Infantry... outclass ours completely. We will have to rely on an overwhelming concentration of Cavalry to defeat them, and pray that Tamerlane survives long enough to win that first critical pitched battle against the Ottoman army.

    Our general strategy for the opening wars will be to try to defeat our minor opponents with minimal forces while we focus our main strength against the Ottomans and the Mamlukes. If possible, we will drag out the war against the three Indian states (Delhi, Kashmir and Sind) since vassalizing them is one of our long-term goals anyway... it is one of the requirements for converting our country from simple Steppe Nomads to the Mughal Empire, which is by far the quickest and easiest way to upgrade our primitive government into one which is at least partially effective.
     
  2. B4tman

    B4tman Warlord

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    You can't vassalize Delhi, they are too big
     
  3. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    I can wipe out their army, then sit on their provinces until they start defecting. Provinces controlled by Hordes lose one building every few months, and two years after the last building is lost they "revert to barbarism" and defect to the Horde. Once three or so of Delhi's provinces have defected, I can vassalize whatever remains.
     
  4. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    Well, I'm not expecting Prawnstar's stellar effort, but this should be good for a laugh. :)
     
  5. trader/warrior

    trader/warrior Deity

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    Awesome. Am I right in thinking I might have read some AAR by you on the Paradox forums? Could you remind me of what it was called? I never finish reading AAR's so there might be some good stuff for me to continue reading there.
     
  6. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    I won the "AAR of the Month" and "AAR of the Year" for my HOI-2 Germany AAR, which was written in a "what if World War II had been an online multiplayer game?" style. There were also a couple of semi-AARs, such as "Are Submarines Worthless?" and "The Anschluss of Everybody". I also wrote an interactive AAR for the Aurora space 4x game, called "Ad Astra".

    I can't hope to compete with Prawnstar... either in writing or in playing... but I hope the AAR will be at least mildly entertaining.
     
  7. Abaddon

    Abaddon Deity

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    Interested here boss.
     
  8. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Intrigued. When you concentrate against the Ottomans/Mamluks, will that be a defensive concentration or an offensive one?
     
  9. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    It will be an offensive concentration, but with limited strategic goals.

    Playing as Steppe Nomads, we have very limited Diplomatic options with civilized countries, both in peace negotiations and in general Diplomacy. We cannot demand lump-sum cash, religious conversions, provinces or annexations. We can only force them to concede defeat, or... if they are small enough and weak enough, demand monthly tribute or vassalize them.

    Hordes gain provinces, not at the peace table like civilized countries, but by pillaging them so thoroughly over a period of years that the provinces revert to Barbarism and defect to the Horde. However, I wouldn't want to just grab random provinces all over the map... even if I weren't at war with eleven countries and about to lose my Ruler. Every Succession crisis raises my Revolt Risk by +10 for two years, and triggers spawns of Nationalist Rebels in every non-core province; and at my minimal tech level, they are not easy to kill. Also, expanding my borders gives me more new neighbours, which effectively means more enemies... Barbarians have few friends.

    I will be fighting each of these hostile countries over and over again, since Steppe Nomads are automatically at war with any civilized neighbour who is not paying tribute, already vassalized, or still under five-year truce from the previous war. Diplomatically, I only interact "normally" with other Barbarian Hordes.

    My initial (first-war) goal against the Mamlukes will simply be to force them to concede defeat and drop out of the war, giving me a five-year breathing space to prepare for the next war.

    The Ottomans are by far my most dangerous foe. My war-goals against them will be to destroy as much of their army as they bring within range of my Cavalry, to bleed their Manpower empty and drive up their War Exhaustion, and generally to make them an attractive target for their hostile neighbours. I want to leave them so messed up that they will get dog-piled by the Golden Horde and by various Christian nations.

    After that, I will accept a concession of defeat from them.

    The Jayalarids hold four of my cores, and I might as well take most or all of them while we are at war. The Indian nations will need to be vassalized at some point within the next twenty years or so, since this is a pre-req for forming the Mughals. I will do so now if the opportunity affords.

    First update coming up.
     
  10. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    The game begins.

    Our first mission is nothing special... we are tasked with the vassalization of the neighbouring Qara Koyunlu Barbarian Horde.

    Spoiler :


    This task can wait, since we start the game at peace with them and we already have no shortage of enemies. We might simply ignore the mission and default on it, since any Horde vassalation will be broken anyway when we eventually reform our government and settle down as the Mughals.

    For our first slider-move... that's a tricky decision. In theory, we should be a wealthy nation; our provinces are pretty decent for this part of the world, and we control three CoTs (Centers of Trade). Unfortunately our terrible slider positions, expecially the maxed-out Decentralization and Serfdom, leave us much poorer than we ought to be. Centralization is urgently required... if we could afford to make that slider move.

    We can't. Not right now. We are at war with virtually all of our neighbours, and we cannot afford either an unnecessary Stability loss or a stack of Rebels popping up deep inside our country. We need every Regiment on the front line.

    Instead, we move our Land/Naval slider towards Land, in order to slightly improve our units morale, reduce the unit construction and maintenance costs, and increase our manpower income. The reaction to the slider-move is "Naval Officers Retiring", which is a non-issue since Barbarian Hordes cannot build ships anyway. Perfect.

    Now to hire some Advisors. Unfortunately, we have a poor selection... mostly one- or two-star Advisors. I've very tempted to hire that two-star Fortification Expert, but I settle on a three-star Spy-Master, a two-star Artist and a one-star Theologian.

    Spoiler :


    The Theologian allows us to enact a couple of useful religious reforms, and we can dump him again when the unemployed foreign Advisors hit the job market next year. The Spy-Master will be useful, since Spies are one of the few areas where we suffer no signifigant penalties compared to civilized countries. The Artist is handy since it takes us literally years to regain each lost Stability level. Pity he's such a moron.

    Now on with the game!

    The mountainous terrain on the Indian border severely limits the usefulness of Cavalry in that theatre.

    Spoiler :


    All of the Cavalry in the Eastern half of our country is pulled out of the line and ordered to march westward, to support the campaign against the Mamlukes and the Ottomans.

    In the west, Timur personally leads the invasion of Ottoman territory, at the head of a large force of Cavalry and Infantry. Hopefully he lives long enough to crush an Ottoman army or two before dying of old age. His son Miran Shah leads the invasion of Mamluke territory. Minor forces are sent against the Jayalarids, while we ignore the Georgians completely... we'll deal with them later.

    In the east, Infantry forces are sent against Sind and Kashmir, with orders to occupy their provinces and force them to accept vassalization. Delhi is a much more formidable opponent, but is distracted by two other Barbarian Horde wars, with Chagatai and Oirat. We send a small stack of Infantry to occupy their mountainous border and to keep them under observation until enough forces can be accumulated to deal with them properly.

    We start building six new Infantry Regiments in the east to support the Indian campaign, and also start six new Cavalry Regiments in the west to support the major campaign against the Ottomans and Mamlukes. This takes us over our force-limit (already!) and we start minting some extra money, using about 10% of our income for that purpose.

    - More to come.
     
  11. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    There has been a slight change of plan.

    Looking over the Army pages in the Ledger, I suddenly realized that my eleven opponents have, between them, a total Army roughly equal in numbers to my own... and the Ottoman troops are of course vastly superior in quality. It now occurs to me that the original plan of splitting up my forces and engaging all of my opponents at once was a typical noob mistake. The most likely outcome would be mixed success and failure on each of the minor fronts, while the Ottomans crush me like a bug.

    Also, Timur is already 62 years old and will probably die within a couple of years, so I should try to bring the war to a crisis as early as possible, while he is still alive to contribute his 6/6/6/2 modifiers to the critical battles.

    So... a new plan is needed. My three most formidable opponents are the Ottomans, the Mamlukes, and Delhi; with the technologically advanced Ottomans being by far the most dangerous. The other warrring states... Georgia, Kashmir, Sind, the Jayalarids, etc... can only field up to half-a-dozen regiments each.

    My new plan is to simply ignore two of the three biggest opponents (Mamlukes and Delhi), while throwing every available man at the Ottomans in an effort to decisively break them before Timur croaks. This will, of course, allow the Mamlukes and Delhi to run amok behind my lines, but there simply aren't enough Timurid men to cover everything. My new builds... mostly Cavalry... will have to try and contain the damage. Once the Ottomans are defeated, I will redeploy my main armies against the Mamlukes and recover whatever territory I've lost in the meantime.

    It may seem risky to allow two of my three strongest opponents to rampage unopposed through my lands... but I feel that I would be taking an even bigger risk by playing conservatively and splitting my main efforts in three directions.

    For the sake of clarity, I will cover the campaigns seperately even though they are all happening at once; following the decisive Ottoman campaign first, with only brief mention of what's going on in the other theatres.

    While the Mamluke, Georgian, Jayalarid, Kashmiri and Sindi forces cross my border and lay siege to my forts, my Infantry forces invade the Ottoman lands at Sivas and my killer stack of Cavalry and Infantry under Timur lurks just behind them, waiting for the Ottoman army to arrive. I take far fewer attrition losses by waiting on my own territory until they show up.

    A stack of Ottoman troops arrives... only six or seven Regiments, but it's worth destroying. More Ottomans are probably on the way, so I will try to kill this stack before the rest of them arrive to support it.

    Spoiler :





    With the battle underway, the rest of the Ottoman army shows up. They must have been pulling the same trick that I was, lurking just out of sight in the fog-of-war until their chosen target appeared. I immediately send in the second killer stack, under Timur's younger son Miran Shah, to support his father in the decisive battle.

    Spoiler :


    The superior Ottoman troops shoot the crap out of Timur's stack, but he is hurting them pretty badly too. If Miran Shah can arrive in support before Timur's army breaks, a great victory is in prospect...

    Spoiler :


    ... and he does! With the timely arrival of our reinforcements, the battle swings decisively in our favor.

    Spoiler :




    Over 20,000 Ottoman troops destroyed!... and the dazed survivors are retreating to Yazgod. Disregarding our own severe losses, Timur orders an immediate pursuit. Now that they have been broken, the enemy army must not be given a chance to recover. With the destruction of their main field army, the demoralized garrison in Sivas surrenders and Timur orders the booty distributed among his loyal followers.

    Spoiler :


    We overtake the broken Ottoman army in Yazgod and destroy it completely...

    Spoiler :




    ... but already new Ottoman troops are being formed in the western provinces. Before heading back east to deal with the Mamluke incursion, Timur leads his troops on a sweep through the Anatolian peninsula, wiping out two more small Ottoman stacks and driving their war exhaustion up over nine points.

    Then, during the victory celebrations, he dies.

    Spoiler :


    Our Great Khan lasted less than a year. Still... you won't hear any complaints from me. He lived long enough to crush our most dangerous opponent, which is all one could ask of a 62-year-old barbarian. We will use these 30,000 Ottoman skulls that we've accumulated to build him a fine burial mound.

    With the Ottoman army destroyed, Sivas occupied and their war exhaustion approaching ten points, they are more than ready to concede defeat. Unfortunately, as barbarians, there aren't many other peace demands that we could make. That takes them out of the war, and we won't have to worry about them for another five years.

    Now we can turn our attention to dealing with our other opponents, coping with the succession crisis, and destroying that big stack of Pretender Rebels that popped up when our Great Khan died.

    - More later.
     
  12. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    What're Khalil's stats?
     
  13. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    His stats are 4/6/5. Not too bad for a Barbarian... but too low to reform the government or form the Mughals. I will be stuck in Barbarism for at least another generation or two.
     
  14. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Yeesh. How bad is the succession crisis?
     
  15. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    Fortunately, the succession crisis came before I'd had a chance to conquer anything, so the effects are not nearly as bad as they might be.

    A Barbarian Horde succession crisis gives +10 Revolt Risk in every province (further aggravated by my religious and cultural fragmentation, by my low stability, by the +1 Revolt Risk religious decision that I've implimented, and by my +5 Revolt Risk Steppe Horde modifier), a big stack of Timurid Pretender Rebels is spawned in a random core province (in this case, ten Rebel units with a Leader in Gharchistan)... and if I had already captured any non-core provinces, every one would have spawned a stack of Nationalist Rebels.

    The extra Revolt Risk lasts for two years.

    EDIT: Quintillus is correct. Steppe Horde RR modifier is +5, not +1.
     
  16. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    Ooooh, this looks very cool. Subscribed.
     
  17. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    While the main Timurid forces were occupied with the Ottoman campaign, the rest of the country was going to Hell in a hand-basket.

    Georgian and Mamluke forces capture two of our north-western provinces, cutting our main army off from the rest of the Timurid domains.

    Spoiler :


    Fortunately, Steppe Horde Barbarians aren't too concerned about maintaining supply lines. We'll recover those lost provinces later, with the Regiments returning from the Ottoman campaign. Satisfied with this minor success, both the Georgian and Mamluke forces retreat back into their own countries.

    Kashmiri forces lay siege to Badakshan, and a small Infantry detachment of our Delhi-border Army of Observation is dispatched to drive them off. One stroke of luck in the east: our most dangerous opponent on that flank, Delhi, is unexpectedly stabbed in the back by a coalition of Indian states; and both Delhi and their ally Sind (both of which are at war with us) are now also at war with Rajputana and Bihar. Our Khan has no idea where Rajputana and Bihar are... presumably they are somewhere in the unexplored territory on the far side of Delhi and Sind... but this distraction should ease our conquest of the bordering Indian states.

    On our western border, the Jayalarids unsuccessfully assault Khuzestan, then settle in for a siege.

    Spoiler :


    Since the Jayalarids hold four of our core provinces, we might as well send enough troops to rout the Jayalarid army and then lay siege to their cities. To prevent them from abandoning the siege, ducking back across the border and withdrawing into the desert, we split our relief force in two, and send one column to sweep through Iraq-i-Arab before turning east to aid the other column in driving out the Jayalarid army.

    Spoiler :


    The Jayalarid army is heavily defeated and driven back across the border; but lacking Cavalry (all of which has been sent to join the critical Ottoman campaign) our troops in that theatre have a difficult time finishing them off. The broken Jayalarid army is chased from Khuzestan to Basra to Karbela to Al Jawf to Mosul to Iraq-i-Arab... a Grand Tour of every single province of their country... and while we do defeat them in every battle, we just can't seem to wipe them out. Finally, in exasperation, Miran Shah dispatches two of our precious Cavalry Regiments from the general reserve to aid our Infantry forces in finishing off the last of the Jayalarid die-hards.

    While this game of tag is taking place at the western end of our country, our forces in the east have completed the occupation of Kashmir, and forced them to accept our Khan as their overlord... Kashmir becomes our first vassal!

    Spoiler :


    This is an important step forward, since vassalizing Kashmir, Sind and Delhi is part of the fast-track method for upgrading our Steppe Horde government to Despotic Monarchy, by forming the Mughals.

    At about the same time, Sind peaces-out with Rajputana...

    Spoiler :


    ... but while they were busy with this internecine war, we have succeeded in occupying most of their country.

    Our new force-builds have been collected into a sizable Cavalry army... just in time for the death of our Great Khan and the subsequent succession crisis.

    Spoiler :


    With the successful conclusion of the Ottoman campaign, our main army is withdrawn from Anatolia for a brief period of rest and rebuilding; after which the Mamluke campaign can begin.
     
  18. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    :hide: I could've used this knowledge in my Timurids game before I went and conquered tons of land. Now I'm in 1428, my ruler is probably getting up there in age, and I find out I'm going to have a stack of Nationalist Rebels in half my provinces pretty soon :(. On the plus side, I can still avoid wars with Vijaynagar and Venice if I stop expanding now.

    Looking forward to seeing how your Timurid tale goes. By the looks of it, I may have bit off more than I can chew with my expansion, you might have a better outcome!

    I have a +5 Revolt Risk modifier from being Steppe Nomads, also in EU3 v5.1... might this vary by difficulty level? I'm playing on Normal. I don't even want to know what Very Hard would do for this if it is affected by difficulty.
     
  19. Blue Emu

    Blue Emu GroFAZ

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    Actually, I just got that +1 RR figure out of the wiki, I haven't checked it in-game. It's probably +5 instead, since these sort of modifiers are not normally affected by difficulty level.

    Good luck with your next succession crisis... :lol:

    Re: the stacks of Nationalist Rebels in all non-core provinces... I rather suspect that this is why we see the Timurids fall apart so early in games where they are controlled by the AI. If Timur doesn't die right away, his forces can conquer wide swaths of territory; and when he eventually croaks, the Rebel back-lash tears the country apart.
     
  20. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    That could well be. It would also explain why the Horde always seems to fall apart when they expand a lot and conquer Bosnia and Serbia in my games. They're expanded even further in my current game, so they might well implode spectacularly, too. Hopefully not though, they're my buffer from Europe. :(

    Thanks. I'll need that luck! :lol: :( :please:
     

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