Spain 1.17 (+Git) 600AD/Monarch/Epic

SultanRedSnake

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FOREWORD: Spain has never been stronger. One major change in particular has reduced UHV difficulty to a near formality: vassals' gold and silver now counts toward Goal #2. This frees the player from the heretofore crippling burden of having to conquer, settle, defend, and develop a massive New World empire and instead focus almost exclusively on dominating Europe and ensuring the victory of Catholicism. The player is no longer saddled by Spain's goals but bolstered, as the following guide should make clear. I must reassure hesitant players that the more challenging start is a mere inconvenience that will be easily overcome. I shall also insert explanations behind some of my decisions here and there with the label "WHATTUP?", and I must make it clear that I relish feedback, questions, counterproposals, whacky ideas, theorycraft, and all that good stuff so please don't be shy.



Housekeeping Note: I will be basing guide on latest Git Update version, starting with 1.17.0-9 (7/2/2023). Latest version played and any necessary edits made to guide will be clearly noted

GIT UPDATE (7/15/2023): Expansion Zone has been removed. In case a mid an edit somewhere, ignore any reference and associated guidance to this.

NOTABLE CHANGES FROM 1.16 (NON-EXHAUSTIVE):
  • Smaller starting army and changes to conquest rules means razing Marseille is no longer possible. Combined with Trebuchets now requiring Machinery, it's also no longer feasible to blitz Rome.
  • Italian spawn is guaranteed. The good news is that their reluctance to Open Borders effectively blocks southern Italy off from your rivals and your mighty army will steamroll them anyway.
  • Eastern Europe, in particular Budapest, is an Ottoman expansion target. Woe unto the HRE.
  • Advanced Start enables accelerating Madrid's sluggish growth and unlocking her considerable production prowess much earlier.
  • HRE will almost certainly be the only European civ to research Academia with any urgency.
  • Overall, rival European tech progress *seems* less daunting and is also more predictable (compared to 10 or so 1.16.0 observer games I've run).
  • General civ stability is increased noticeably (I forgot how goshdarn punishing Foreign stability used to be!).
GRAND STRATEGY: We will seek to maximize synergy among all of the preeminent factors such as start position, civ bonuses, civics, UHV goals, geopolitics, etc. Our primary assets include two spectacular and contemporary unique units, an A-tier civ ability, and most of all considerably superior production capability than our chief rivals. This final asset we will leverage to the fullest, with the aim to increase our relative power and pursue our UHV goals primary via the acquisition and management of subjects, with only a few focused direct conquests. Through our sea-faring vassals the Catholic faith will spread across the world, our economy will grow via the combination of Tributaries and Regulated Trade, and likewise our stability maintained. In other words, we'll run what I'd call the Vassal Economy (more clever name pending). More on that later. Heck, Spain is even blessed with UHV goals that work together to strengthen rather than encumber. The worst RNG can do in a game is present at most some moderate inconvenience or minor challenge; the player is truly at the helm of a his own destiny.

Our campaign can be roughly graduated into FOUR PHASES:
  1. Pre-Firearms: Conquest of Iberia and subjugation of Moors. Blitz to Southern Italy. Consolidation and Preparation for next phase.
  2. Post-Firearms: Focused military build-up based around Tercios and Bombards. Conquest of Italy. Subjugation of France and conditionally Portugal. Preparation for Reformation contingencies.
  3. /4. Reformation - Contingent subjugation and conversion of England and/or Vikings. Forced conversion only of remaining Protestant civs.
  4. /3. Conquest of Paradise - subjugation and support of Aztecs and Inca. Support colonizing subjects to spread Catholicism, acquire gold and silver, and grow capital commerce.
IDEAL DEVELOPMENTS: Significance varies notably from trivial to kinda important
  • Your first swordsman captures Barcelona (lol duh)
  • Viking conversion is delayed enabling a possible AP election on first vote for player.
  • Vikings attack England or HRE rather than France or Poland.
  • Independent Rome produces buildings instead of units
  • France gets rekt trying to take Rome and softens up defenders
  • You're able to trade for Machinery expeditiously.
  • Byzatium develops Southern Italy and doesn't garrison Naples with Level3 crossbows with Hill and City Defense.
  • Kinda Significant: HRE founds Protestantism sooner rather than later (but not toooooo soon of course).
  • HRE conquers Budapest and/or Belgrade and then get promptly horsehocky-mixed by Ottomans.
  • Maya don't respawn. Sure, more free conquerors but they found awful additional cities, receive a pretty nice host of units to have to grind through, and are almost certain to collapse at the most awkward time if you subjugate.
  • You're able to delay founding first American city and triggering conquerors. This allows Aztecs and Inca to develop (hopefully; conversely it could be more time for them to get rinsed by barbarians) and the player to focus on Europe and keep research rate high.
  • If Vikings go Protestant, either the player can subjugate and keep them alive to grow and colonize or they collapse too late to respawn close to deadline. Honestly a late Viking respawn is probably the one thing that can spoil a Spain campaign.
I could probably add another twenty more items but we'd be getting quite ridiculous by then.

PHASE 1 - RECONQUISTA IBERICA - I've adopted the goal of launching the war before Expansion zone expires (Turn 61/1055AD) to get Cordoba up and running without a hitch and have a shot at getting Krak de Chevaliers. This wonder is no longer crucial to the campaign (AND furthermore Citadels do not reduce peripheral population instability. The faulty tool-tip has been reported) and the Expansion benefits aren't particularly mind-blowing, so the less comfortable player can take some extra time and build up a stronger military without risking the whole game. On the other hand, the Moors will use the extra time to prepare likewise and the clock is ticking on getting to Rome before the Italian spawn. (GIT UPDATE: Spanish Expansion area has been removed. It's going to take some time to reassess and adapt opening so for now it's sufficient to disregard deadline.)

PART 1 - Civics, Land Development, Early Diplomacy - I can organize guide by turn number up to a point, beyond which guidance will be driven by events and outcomes instead

Game Setup: Pick Isabella because she's a true OG badass and Phil is big-chinny lamer. He'd get points if the Leaderhead wore a proper codpiece (and yes Leoreth has been petitioned on the matter). Trastamaras did incest the right way and are like, ya know, def more Iberian than dem Hapsburgs. LOLz I know I be silly.

Turn 1:
  • CIVICS - Elective, Regulated Trade, Conquest. (WHATTUP?: Happiness isn't a major impediment to growth if a problem at all and any overextension will be erased when Core expands, so we don't need to spam Jails. Nothing is gained from Monarchy. Elective: *every* city will build a barracks and a few also stables, Madrid will work 5 FIVE FIVE pastures before long, with more pastures elsewhere to come, and of course the marginal extra commerce before workers catch up with improvements. Regulated Trade: Madrid will now produce 6 commerce per pasture and will do so within the first few dozen turns and yes indeed also yield 5 raw production from some of these tiles. No, these tiles will not scale any further one might rightly think, and there's where Tributaries will come in later. This will produce natural commerce growth (1.5 per city) in Madrid as European subjects colonize and also allow us to instantly leverage our production capacity into fast economic growth via trade route buildings and settler gifts. The astute observer will also have noticed that our progress toward UHV #3 will also proceed as a result; this is just one example of the strong synergy I referred to in the Grand Strategy. Lastly, the civic combo (with help from attentive shepherding) we'll end up with will amount to enough stability to carry up to the capped overextension limit and even some recession instability. Even more synergy, baby.
  • RESEARCH - We're beelining Gunpowder (Fortification > Commune > Gunpowder) and going straight to Bombards. (WHATTUP?: Because we don't need to research Machinery, and due to my prescribed civics combo, we can get to Gunpowder and with turns to spare for production in time for Moorish war (Synergy!). In none of the 20+ games I played was I unable to trade for Machinery either from Byz or Vikings in time to make Crossbows for the war so you can count on that. Gunpowder will also grant us a naval advantage that can be pre-built due to cheap upgrade cost (38g for Heavy Galley > Galleass). This is not trivial: the Moors invest heavily into ships and their accumulated victories, pillage, and blockades will add to their reluctance to capitulate, drag the war on, damage your economy, and delay what needs to be a rapid pivot to Rome. And yes, capitulation is an absolute must in order keep Straights of Gibraltar open and guarantee Cordoba gets cultural control of critical tiles without massive and distracting cultural investment.
  • SLIDER - Culture to 100% (WHATTUP?: AI Moors *always* use some Advanced Start points for instant culture bomb and if not answered can retain control of critical tiles such as the Portuguese horse and Valencia hill, especially after La Mezquita is completed. We'll still meet our crucial research goals so can spare a few turns to ensure control and of course receive the typical benefits of accelerated border expansion.)
  • MOVES - Settle Madrid (hardcore roleplayers will rename to Toledo for early game), build culture, use missionary (NOTE: one move I never tried was using missionary on Santiago instead so I can't rule out the potential there). Starting 2 workers move 1W to build pasture on Cows. No roads (this will apply as a rule for early game unless specifically noted. No time for extraneous infrastructure). Settler gets sent to Santiago tile (1E of Fish), *followed* by archer not escorted. Other archer garrisons Madrid. Four swordsmen move toward Barcelona; experiments didn't present a noticeable difference in which route is taken. Citizens work the Cow, Iron, and Silver tile. End Tur.
Turn 2:
  1. ADVANCED START - Madrid gets 2 pop. Sheep tile gets road and pasture. (WHATTAP?: I'm definitely set on at least 2 Pop for Madrid. Prior to Advanced Start, Madrid's sluggish growth was a major liability to overcome to unlock full production and economic potential. Additionally, the player starts with only two workers so more need to be built, which both halts growth and is slow enough with only 3 citizens working. I experimented with remaining start points either with pop points and variations on tile improvements without recognizing a clear runaway winner. I settled on Road+Sheep in order to be able to deploy workers on flat land tiles and save movement, complete internal trade network, and of course get an instant pasture with versatile yields. One investment I wouldn't recommend is buying the Iron mine. There will be several turns in which the Iron tile will not be worked in favor of growth tiles, and a mine only improves production whereas pastures gain all three with food of course doubling as production for the starting turns as we build only workers. We'll get workers to the Iron in time for unit production. As stated in foreword, by all means put forward ideas of your own; surely somebody has discovered a the perfect formula).
  2. New Madrid citizens work Horse and Sheep. Queue 4 workers.
  3. Manually move settler to destination tile and settle. Work Fish, a 1F2P1C forest tile, and the other horse which is borrowed from Madrid. Build culture until borders pop; 2 turns.
  4. Move swordsmen into forest 1NW of Barcelona. War is declared on Indies. Cross your fingers and hope they dont buy an archer. There's some RNG here. If you meet a Viking or Byz ship in the Mediterranean its more likely the Indies will build a ship. Not really relevant I guess since we're going for it anyway.
Turn 3:
  1. Sacrifice something tasty to RNGesus and attack. All outcomes are possible from the first swordsman winning to losing all four. Losing them all is probably a restart (reloading a quick save doesn't do it, the dice were already rolled). Even losing three is acceptable as you'll see when we get to the Moorish war. In short, any surviving swordsmen aren't much more than psychological comfort especially if you can't come up with the gold to upgrade them. Play on. GIT UPDATE: Spanish Expansion area has been removed. Spend Gold on conquest.
  2. On conquest, return Silver tile to Madrid. Work tiles with production. Build culture. (WHATTAP?: I know, another turn with culture at 100%. This will get us the hill tile sooner and permit contesting the 1N plains tile from France. Barcelona needs production)
  3. You should have encountered Vikings and possibly Byz by now. Only potential actions other than OB would be to trade Byz for Theology. Use judgement in deal. If Vikings are still pagan (you'd also know this if the first election was "skipped" since you were the only member), start checking AP screen over following turns. Your viability will depend on whether or not you captured Barcelona at 3 pop, whether or not Judaism is present, and if Catholicism spreads to Santiago in time for next election, and other factors such as Vikings total Catholic pop. Winning first election isn't critical so we're not changing plans to win it. Only action I'd take would be gifting gold to sway a voter if it would definitely secure the win but no more than that.
Turn 4:
  1. Starting two workers move 1S to Horse and Pasture.
  2. New worker to Iron. Next worker will do same.
  3. France flips cities. Following few turns will tell you if you have a shot at AP. If you're replaced by France or Vikings as candidate just forget the affair for now. Vote for Vikings. Benefits are possibly trivial but improved relations could also result in their willingness to trade Machinery earlier. Byzantium is the preferred partner but "stuff" could happen so we're hedging here.
  4. Check Barcelona's cultural expansion. If the hill is within a few turns, continue building culture. If not, start a work boat. I suspect some scripting is at work anyway because I've captured the hill several turns prior to tool-tip prediction. Auto-manage will want to work Clams. Don't. Continue as you were.
Turn 5+:
  • WORKERS: First two workers move clockwise. After 1st horse pasture, move 1W to other Horse, 1N to mine hill, 1N for lumber and *road*, 1NW lumbermill, 1E mine. After finishing Iron mine, second pair move 1E to forest to chop and farm. Third pair to Silver to chop then mine. Both chops should take place with Forge in queue. I recommend having PreChop Forests selected in Bug for now. Silver miners move to plains 1S of Madrid to farm and road, then hop to Valencia hill to mine. Two that chopped and farmed mill both forests for Barcelona then workshop on grassland tile. By around Turn 61 (aka War) all workers can finish mines and lumbermills in the northern hills. I lost track but make sure to Road cows so Madrid and Sant. are connected.
  • CITIES: Santiago builds 3 work boats then heavy galley. Barcelona 1 work boat then heavy galley. Work improved sea tiles and islands only. Madrid made a total of 4 workers then Forge. If Santiago isn't Catholic yet, build Monastery. Otherwise Barracks then Scout.
  • DIPLOMACY: As always keep F4 handy to check tech trade screen regularly. If contact with Byz is lost before Barcelona work boat is consumed, send it toward Naples first to reconnect. No rush to contact England and HRE. When you do meet HRE focus Espionage. Sometimes Byz is subjugated by Arabs, establishing contact. Nothing to do yet, just be advised that surprisingly Arabia will probably be your trade partner for Doctrine and possibly other things down the road. They built Mezquita but with low frequency. Act on that contingency as you wish, its not a restart if Moors don't build in Cordoba but definitely a boon.
  • SCOUT: Pick both Hill promotions and move toward HRE and check on starting army. Reconnect with Byz if lost but check back to see if HRE goes for Venice. If so hang around to monitor progress. If not, head through Byz terrority to meet Arabs. Turn back in anticipation of Poland spawn. Contact Russia if doing so doesnt require entering Indy territory. Oh and don't get killed by barbs.
  • TILES: I can't/won't give individual tile directions from now on but Santiago will hold improved sea tiles and add in best production tiles as pop grows and improvements finish. Santiago will reach a happy cap with enough food production to move off of clams in favor of production, even if unimproved. OK to take tiles NW of Madrid. Barcelona will run out of productive tiles to work and default to coast. Run a citizen instead. After both farms are finished for Madrid, consider taking Horse back from Santiago and emphasizing food even if Iron sits idle for a bit.
Approach to War:
  • After heavy galleys, Sant. and Barc. build barracks then queue Crossbows. If you haven't managed Machinery yet its ok to pre-build Archer but don't finish; switch back to heavy galley meanwhile. After Scout Madrid does Walls, Citadel, and pre-build Treb if possible, otherwise Stable and start Lancer. (EDIT: Production towards treb might not carry-over to bombard. Trying to confirm. Seems like Treb needs to be at top of queue when Gunpowder finishes).
  • If AP resident, first vote will likely take place before war, if so go for Tithes. If you get a vote during war, Crusade against Moors.
  • If HRE takes Rome, which is rare these days, immediately get your Scout to inspect all of their forces. If they were like totally totally eviscerated in the process, start making plans. NGL this only happened once and I restarted because I was playing for the purpose of making a guide that applies to typical not exceptional situations. You're on your own here. I still think you should still to original plan and deal with Moors first. Then either wait for Italian spawn which will isolate HRE from Rome, cancel OB with France, and use cogs; or something like that. Or just go for Rome asap and defend until Italians spawn. France has also pulled it off and again I just restarted. Even if weak they'd be more problematic due to strategic exposure so again play as seen fit. We're going to rekkk France soon enough anyway and with Level 3 Tercios and buttload of veteran bombards.
  • After Gunpowder research Civil Service. If you finish Civil Service, have extra swordsmen and need them for Cordoba, its ok to run 100% Gold if you can't get easy money.
TILE OVERVIEW
Improvements.JPG


Acknowledgement: I know, I see all those unchopped forests too. I'm not absolutely convinced it was right to leave them either and welcome other ideas. The best justification I can offer is that production is strong enough as to render immediate yields somewhat marginal in comparison to the permeant loss to city health and commerce, and considering that they'd be most urgently needed before Crop Rotation and thus not fully exploited anyway. Ultimately I'd charge another case of "Spain OP, Makes No Difference Anyway". NGL I also just find a deforested map weird-looking.

Showtime, Baby

Quick note for those unfamiliar with Expansion System: Generally the areas are set on Civ birth and last 30 turns for player. Declaring war extends duration until conclusion of war. Expansion civ receives a few combat bonuses, notably double bombard damage and ability to heal while moving. As stated conquered cities lose no pop or buildings and endure no unrest at no cost. In short, TURN 61 / 1055 AD is the last turn to declare war, not conquer target cities.
  • By turn 61 you should have the following forces:
    • 1-2 Lancers
    • 1 bombard finished 1 close
    • 2 level 3 crossbows 2 more close
    • 1-2 swordsmen
    • 2 galleases
  • Moorish forces in Iberia are roughly equal in number, composed roughly:
    • 2 Level 1 Swordsmen
    • 2 Level 1 Heavy Spearmen
    • 2 Level 1 Horse Archers
    • 2+ upgraded Crossbow defenders
  • You have the overall quality advantage, but the Horse Archers complicate things slightly. The preferred tile to attack the city from (Sheep) is Open Terrain with no crossing penalty, so either you'll sustain heavy enough damage to necessitate a withdrawal, or the HAs will go on a raiding spree with the slightest but non-zero chance of taking Santiago or Barcelona outright. You have to both chase them down and again have to face Open Terrain. We'll use the Guadalquivir River to our advantage, setting up a 1-2 tile-wide screen depending on where their forces are (heavy worker escort hehe) on the DoW turn. Usually these are the two horse pastures. I've had the best success having at least one xbow with Combat I (or Drill I) and Skirmish on each, more more either with same or Shock, a Lancer on each tile both with Combat I and Shock, and the Xbow upgraded from Madrid's Archer on the tile most likely to bear the attack. A swordsman can garrison Madrid since its screened-off and has Walls and Citadel. If another swordsman survived he can garrison Barcelona. Bombards stay in Madrid, no sense exposing them. Santiago's galleasse Fortifies on Fish, Barcelona's on the island. For now the ships' only job is to defeat attackers and which is why we're inviting attacks to benefit from tile bonuses. Enemy withdrawals may be followed up only if victory is assured and your damaged ship can retreat to city to heal. The main thing to avoid is to hand over easy naval victories; you're just preventing raids and blockades. Take a breath and throw down the gauntlet. Expect to lose 1-2 land units in the first assault at great cost to the enemy. Again only chase down the wounded if retreat is possible; we still have to buy another turn or two for the units in queue to finish. If the initial onslaught was indeed favorable the land war is effectively already over, but we're not doing into enemy territory until the full force is assembled and ready to take the city in two turns max. Why? Cordoba is our future core and we want a populous city for our trouble; standing on heavy food tiles will only add to the population loss from the Moors trying to whip out more defenders. Assemble on the sheep: one turn of bombardment; one turn of assault. She's yours. If the naval war went well, capitulation should immediately follow.
  • Upon conquest the player can evaluate the decision to go for Krak or not. A few conditions are necessary: Cordoba needs to already have Catholicism (converting with missionary carries high likelihood of displacing Islam), La Mezquita, a Forge, and 3 population absolute minimum. You need enough production to get out Walls and a Citadel and produce culture fast enough to reach Refined. You also need to pop a GE and the chance is 60% max. The opportunity cost of production is real but not excessive, maybe 10 turns for mostly useless buildings. And popping a GS is a considerable boon on its own; an Academy in Madrid will net you somewhere in range of 30 science (for reference with existing total science of 150. Not a bad deal.) I can't dismiss bulbing out of hand but I'd argue that a GS can't bulb the crucial techs you need and since you need to be first to get them you can't use bulbed techs as trade leverage. All considered you're probably best advised to build a Market instead and run a merchant. A GE can be saved either to rush Escorial later or a Manufactory in Madrid now. A fully grown and developed Madrid stands to gain about 10 hammers; add this to the Armoury built by your first GG and Forge and Congrats, you've doubled the already ungodly military production. That's a 9XP Bombard or Conquistador roughly every THREE TURNS, a 7XP Tercio in TWO. GIT UPDATE: Spanish Expansion area has been removed. This has considerable implications for Cordoba so this section needs to be replayed before editing. For now at the very least I can advise spending Gold on city conquest and probably forgetting about Krak).
  • NEW TILES: Madrid takes both the Sheep and plains tile 1W from Cordoba. Chop the forest before Portugal spawns (but after Crop Rotation if possible). Hills should already be mined. All flat tiles get farms. With Crop Rotation the heretofore untouched grassland by Madrid can get farmed. Depending on how close to Italian spawn, it might be necessary to pull workers to follow Rome army to chop nearby forests before Italians get tiles. And apparently wild sheep have been roaming Sardinia for 4000 thousands years so that'll need a road and pasture.
ARMY DEPLOYMENT EXAMPLE
Deployment.JPG




Quick Update on Tech: After Civil Service, Crop Rotation > Companies (I know, you obsolete Flavian Amphitheatre but we must) > Firearms. Compass and Doctrine are guaranteed trades. That's right, we've hit our most profound power spike before Turn 100; entered the Renaissance before 1300AD. Next research priority is Exploration followed by Optics. You might get one or two precursors from trade but don't pull back on research waiting. Last necessary tech, and even this can be argued, is Geography. That's it for Spanish science!

Eternal City
  • Regroup army and heal in Barcelona, finish pending unit production but don't queue more except for another bombard or two in Madrid and a cog in Sant. and Barc. (WHATTAP?: The present army is only needed to conquer Rome and Naples and is more than capable. Producing excess crossbows is a losing transaction due to XP loss and gold cost on upgrade. Recall that we're leveraging our Production capacity so we can wait to produce fresh Tercios with max XP. Gold in reserve should have one purpose only at this stage: to run research deficits. Therefore, for now, while still running Clergy, we'll catch up on some building projects to set up for the next phase of the campaign. In particular Madrid can build a library (I know it'll be free from settler but the trade is maybe 3 turns of production for 15-20 science which will get us the free settler buildings that much faster), Monasteries in all Iberian cities. Rome's queue will depend on surviving buildings; I'm unable to conclude decisively which conquest decision to take; paying to spare with high pop is risky because you're likely to endure starvation after Italy spawns unless you can immediately follow up with the conquest of Naples and secure the pig. Naples hills get one mine and one windmill until you can grab Adriatic clams upon which both can have mines. If not done so build roadway to Sicilian wine and then Fort.
  • You'll have some downtime during Italian birth protection and one easy job is to get Tripoli for Moors. Otherwise army masses in Rome for upcoming Italian campaign.
  • Once Firearms is underway begin settler production; every city gets one even if just for two buildings - it's always a winning transaction. It's ok to spread production out and not depend entirely on Madrid especially since she still has capacity for growth.
PHASE TWO: GUNPOWDER AND MORE GUNPOWDER
  • With critical buildings complete we can now reform into a Theocracy and shift hard into full-ass-on military production. Madrid will exclusively handle bombard output and supplement Tercios; it's useful to have a handful of Knights for now but similar to the Xbow situation don't overdo it. Other cities pretty much crank nothing but Tercios until a critical mass is reached, when Santiago and another should add 3-4 galleasses. These will be useful against France and Italy but the main idea is to be prepared in advance for the invasion of England, the timing of which we have limited control over. Other coastal cities can sprinkle in some cogs for a total of about 4. Two will upgrade to caravels and remainder to Galleons (in this case its useful to have upgrade option in case you need to rush UHV #1.
  • Most Tercios should take Combat I and Cover, with the odd Guerilla expert and Medic where called for.
  • First target is Italy. Sometimes they trade for Gunpowder but nothing to fuss over. Declare war but sit in Rome; the silly gooses have a consistent habit of donating numerous corpses in a futile assault. Good thing too due to Florence sitting on a hill. Storm Florence and Venice, don't bother paying to spare; they'll be kept at low pop anyway and buildings are mere settler away. I've yet to reach a satisfying tile arrangement in this dense area but would recommend workshops on grasslands; ya know, production baby. Which city works which is up to the player. Florence can shift immediately to settler/workers, but Venice will need some cultural output to resist pressure from HRE.
  • Next to fall is France. Move main army back to Iberia first to tile adjacent to Marseille. A Tercio with Guerilla will stand ready in Italy to pounce on French Iron and pillage on same turn. Another Guerilla should guard the hills on the western side of the Pyrenees. With your mostly OP gunpowder army full bombardment isn't always necessary. I'd advise using only half your artillery in the attack on Marseille so you can immediately threaten Bordeaux on the same turn. We'll be keeping Marseille. Taking Bordeaux is just a means to the end of subjugating France. As with all wars of subjugation, I have to stress the importance of minimizing losses even if progress is slowed due to effect on AI willingness to capitulate. In short, don't be a dummy and take silly chances. Paris might need to be threated to seal the deal. Congrats, France is in the bag. NOTE: I've discovered an AI pattern which results in Brest never being settled (another story). If so, because it's in the French core, you can settle it yourself and then immediately Liberate (please rename first unless you hate history).
  • After France falls its common to face a bit of a limbo situation especially if you haven't accumulated enough espionage on HRE to see their research. Indirect information can be gleaned by observing their units. If you everyone else has been showing Pikemen but HRE has yet to put out a Landsknecht it's a strong sign that a hard Academia beeline is underway if not imminent. I've come to reason that this situation is preferable: early Reformation means more time to deal with it (and eliminate chance of your New World vassals flipping), HRE is obvs easier to deal with because they skipped mil techs (and yes the Ottomans notice this as well). An early Reformation War also serves to delaying the New World operation since you'll be winning this race in Europe.
  • At some point Portugal should have generally offered vassalage. Take it now and help them, but make sure to control research (same with France and England).
PHASE THREE: UNLEASH THE CONQUISTADORS
  • Honestly this is less a true phase a more sideshow. This is where the profundity of the change to UHV #2 is felt most apparently. You need to settle and hold EXACTLY, LITERALLY ****ONE**** city in the Americas. My recommendation is Cartagena de Indias (Rainforest Hill 2N of Gold) because it locks up a Gold and functions as a canal. I'd recommend having a carvel in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico to trigger conquerors. Best spot to land in Mexico is on Corn 1SE of Tuitan (or any tile adjacent, an explorer from NA can accomplish the same). Regardless of where your forces end up, the primary consideration is that you *must not* conquer Tenochtitlan or else the Aztecs could collapse before and even after Capitulating due to damage to core population, even if you manage to Liberate. Ideally you land on the Corn tile, attack Tuitan with one bombard, finish conquest with Two tercios and Pikemen, immediately get other bombard to attack Coyuca and follow up with Conquistadors. A double conquest on one turn will almost guarantee capitulation on the next. You'll also be positioned to fend off barbarians. Depending on finances, hold on to all your gunpowder units before to defend frontier and conquer Mayan cities for your new subject. After this is done, delete the bombards (gifting seems to screw with AI). Unless of course you popped a GM and can afford the upkeep. NOTE: I strongly advise triggering both conquerors before subjugating one or the other since you'll establish contact via the new subject as if you were the one discovered (TLDR No Conquerors).
  • My recommended landing spot for Inca is between Lima and Tucume (regardless of ownership). Same unit tactics as with Aztecs, same advisory regarding capital. After they bend the knee it might be necessary to send a Conquistador south to recover or defend Limatambo. Trash units can be gifted (again delete bombards), gunpowder units kept and moved north toward Cartagena to address Dog Soldier spawns.
  • During this time you should have stockpiled about a dozen workers to disperse. Divide them among improving Cartagena and completing critical road networks especially to Gold and Silver. Plenty of time on this goal, so you really only need to send a single worker to build a road and fort on the Incan metals that are so far out of cultural reach. If Aztecs need workers to build mines don't hesitate to gift. Missionaries can be gradually sprinkled in, prioritizing largest cities. Immediately concern is bolstering their stability, though of course this serves UHV 3 (synergy!). You'll get help from auto-spread as well, so again there's no profound hurry.
  • If you're a true chad and way ahead you'd have settlers ready to augment new conquests before Liberating (but that's just showing off).
  • RECENT DISCOVERY: Some times the AI manages to never or only lately acquire vision of immense swathes of the globe and what they can't see they can't settle. Lesson: Your subjects probably need frequent World Map updates.
PHASE FOUR: UNIVERSAL MONARCHY, ECUMENICAL CHURCH

NGL I totally over-did it on this guide and am exhausted. Section to be completed.

OK on more quick note: at some point, once you've accomplished the focused military build-up and have a healthy stable of subjects, switch from Conquest to Tributaries and stay there. Nope, no Colonialism. Then have fun watching Madrid's commerce output hit the stratosphere.
 
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I finally see how Spanish UHV has become tougher in 1.17 in the hard way 🙃
But not much tougher since I still managed to have 8 Gold/Silver and 25% Catholic population.

Too bad Aztec and Inca won't mass flipping on collapse anymore lmao
In my last game Cordoba didn't have La Mezquita and Islam kept disappearing from Madrid 4 times, I had to continuously send missionary from Marraquech. But knowing that I could just vassalize the Incans i wouldn't try building Krak next time (it's hard to resist the urge tho).
Though I have little doubt the Incans will improve those hard-to-reach Gold and Silvers. Aztecs aren't worth as vassals tho, maybe you can gift them the 2 Yucatan cities to save costs but the pop would also collapse them.
I made another mistake by settling Caracas before San Juan & Mexicali.

Marraquech has good production for making ships. idk if it worth the maintenance cost and the time spent to transport the army.

This is the first time I saw someone advising to build Armory, those GP National Buildings are sure unpopular. I always settle Great General for extra xp on my warships.
 
Islam kept disappearing from Madrid 4 times,
Whoa, never even trying to use Madrid to build Krak. Hehe apparently wouldn't have worked anyway so thanks.
(it's hard to resist the urge tho).
Yes it certainly is. Something about getting free UBs everywhere regardless of its actual effects.
Though I have little doubt the Incans will improve those hard-to-reach Gold and Silvers
You can improve them yourself with a Fort to facilitate cultural growth.
Aztecs aren't worth as vassals tho, maybe you can gift them the 2 Yucatan cities to save costs but the pop would also collapse them.
I can't dismiss the claim out of hand and am considering the merits of keeping cities for yourself. Regarding collapse, I've yet to encounter that issue. Ensuring rapid capitulation, leaving capital untouched, helping them defend and improve infrastructure, and gifting techs all contribute to sufficient stability. There's also the compromise option of keeping Yuc cities for yourself or some combination. Timing is usually the main reason for favoring vassalization: the sudden costs of the two conqueror armies and several faraway cities all hit and once with Optics still yet to be researched, and also during the major war in Europe in which I have to hold even more foreign cities for several turns making me be pretty nervous about Expansion stability. Of course I'm gonna have to try your proposal so thanks.
Marraquech has good production for making ships. idk if it worth the maintenance cost and the time spent to transport the army.
No doubt about Marr's potential. Time is the crucial factor for me: I want to get to Rome in time to also be able to chop Italian tiles before spawn. Once again, now that you gave me the idea I have to try it 👍. I guess cogs could be used to transport to Rome via Byz territory instead of trying to beat Italians and they might even help by softening defenders first. The chops aren't crucial just nice to have.

This is the first time I saw someone advising to build Armory, those GP National Buildings are sure unpopular. I always settle Great General for extra xp on my warships.
I did not know this! Have I been going against the meta for all this time??? I guess I just can't resist the predicted hammer numbers in the tool-tip (usually around 10 for best cities). Warship XP is def worth considering but in my experience the bottleneck hasn't been winning naval battles but lacking sufficient transports for rapid movement hence the armory. Even in games where I had to move into English waters to land army I'd already had more than sufficient galleases (several of which were already levelled up from prior battles) to repel attackers. Same if I had to land in Scandinavia. In every case a friendly city was no more than a tile away for repairs. What other GP buildings are unpopular (besides Manufactory)?

I also need to finish the guide. Probably today. Cheers for the discussion! 🍻
 
You can improve them yourself with a Fort to facilitate cultural growth.

No doubt about Marr's potential. Time is the crucial factor for me: I want to get to Rome in time to also be able to chop Italian tiles before spawn. Once again, now that you gave me the idea I have to try it 👍. I guess cogs could be used to transport to Rome via Byz territory instead of trying to beat Italians and they might even help by softening defenders first. The chops aren't crucial just nice to have.
Yesterday my Incan vassal didn't extend their culture border into the hinterland Gold and Silver. Maybe the fort trick could work.

One more thing, once you control Marraquech you can send 3 Lancers Southward to capitulate Spanish West Africa aka Mali. That gives you 3 Gold sources with good stability throughout the game. Once all Mali and Incan Gold-Silver is secured, you won't need to settle Mexicali, Sacramento, or San Luis (the city on the great plains) anymore.

I did not know this! Have I been going against the meta for all this time??? I guess I just can't resist the predicted hammer numbers in the tool-tip (usually around 10 for best cities). Warship XP is def worth considering but in my experience the bottleneck hasn't been winning naval battles but lacking sufficient transports for rapid movement hence the armory. Even in games where I had to move into English waters to land army I'd already had more than sufficient galleases (several of which were already levelled up from prior battles) to repel attackers. Same if I had to land in Scandinavia. In every case a friendly city was no more than a tile away for repairs. What other GP buildings are unpopular (besides Manufactory)?

I also need to finish the guide. Probably today. Cheers for the discussion! 🍻
Most of time the great buildings aren't worth for short-term goal (which most UHVs are) compared to bulbing or doing great missions.
And whenever I build Academy or Armory the increase of research or production are rarely noticeable. Other great buildings like Stock Exchange and the Great Statesman building are nice, especially the Holy Temples lol.


  • My recommended landing spot for Inca is between Lima and Tucume (regardless of ownership). Same unit tactics as with Aztecs, same advisory regarding capital. After they bend the knee it might be necessary to send a Conquistador south to recover or defend Limatambo. Trash units can be gifted (again delete bombards), gunpowder units kept and moved north toward Cartagena to address Dog Soldier spawns.
IMO All Conquistadors and some Pikemen better be left on America to hunt Dog Soldiers, while Tercios and Bombards embark to Europe.


Would it be beneficial to wipe out the Italians? That gives more resources for Rome to work but also gives you the useless city of Florence (unless raze).
 
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Nice guide. Why even I setled first in America , first it said acomplished first goal, after another civ setling in america it said that i faild the first goal
 
Yesterday my Incan vassal didn't extend their culture border into the hinterland Gold and Silver. Maybe the fort trick could work.
Forts reduce the cost (and therefore time) required to spread culture to a tile. And since the resource is immediately hooked up on spread there’s no waiting for Incan workers.
One more thing, once you control Marraquech you can send 3 Lancers Southward to capitulate Spanish West Africa aka Mali.
Good play. I finally worked Mali into my last game but in my case they were not having a good time and 2 golds hadn’t been improved yet. Since tiles are rainforest I had to leave conquistador to guard workers. Not a losing investment at all just something to consider.
Most of time the great buildings aren't worth for short-term goal (which most UHVs are) compared to bulbing or doing great missions.
I had expected a similar response and certainly agree with the general rule. I’ll still argue my case for Spain on the basis that civics/building combos already grant plenty of XP and the armory yields amount to about a full turn saved on unit production. If Madrid for example produces something like 50 units a game the savings are considerable.
IMO All Conquistadors and some Pikemen better be left on America to hunt Dog Soldiers, while Tercios and Bombards embark to Europe.
I agree I should qualify my advice with some conditions like gold reserves, army needs in Europe, transport availability etc. Just usually happens that I need (or
Think I need) the gold more than units, which I have plenty of thanks to armories! 😝🤪
Would it be beneficial to wipe out the Italians? That gives more resources for Rome to work but also gives you the useless city of Florence (unless raze).
Ugh there’s no clear win here. Either you end up with a pathetic subject or two barely useful cities in foreign territory. Venice is a total loser unless you vassalize HRE which I’ve come to disfavor, but Florence can actually kinda be decent for worker production.

WTF? I typed response days ago and apparently never hit the button.
 
Nice guide. Why even I setled first in America , first it said acomplished first goal, after another civ setling in america it said that i faild the first goal
Please help us all and post in official Bug Reports thread. 👍
 
Great guide. Two more advice.
1. Take Tripoli after Moors and Rome - you'll get stone and can build Krak des Chevaliers there.
2. Taking Kuds also can help with gold. Wait till Arabs or Turic collapse and capture it. Leave strong guard (2 Lancer + 4 other units most time enought).
And i also used GS for bubble and found Protestanism very early
And i used Redistribution at start - faster worker build and fast grow for Madrid to 8 population (or even 10 if you want).
 
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