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Europa Universalis II




The Grand Campaign - Xhosa (Parts 1 and 2)

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Hello folks :)

Welcome to my second Let's Play. I was deciding which Paradox game to play next. I have watched few streams on Twitch, and found most interesting choice Victoria: Revolutions, but unfortunately, I am really bad at that game. Therefore I have decided to learn how to play it properly later, when I'll have much more time at hands.

That's why I have chosen Europa Universalis II as my next game, because I have already learned most of the game mechanics, while playing the Austria campaign in Europa Universalis I, and the few new features, like Domestic Policy Sliders have added more flavour to the game.

The next big was which country to pick. With so many new countries available to chose from, compared to previous game, it was a task for few hours :P I did not wanted to pick some big player, so I have browsed through few specific countries, which were closest to the type of adventure, which I wanted to experience. The choice was either some Middle Asian Horde country on the road to conquest (or surviving the historical events :P) or some African country, trying to survive English, Portuguese and French mayhem, during the age of colonialism. I was thinking also about some Native American nations, but to be honest, I think I would have been crushed by the first Conquistador, stepping on the soil of America.

After a big while, I have picked Xhosa. One province minor in the South Africa, neighbouring with Zulus and natives. My biggest favourites were Zulus, but in the end, I have decided to pick less notoriously known nation to lead.

As noted in previous let's play, please, keep in mind, that I am not an English native speaker, so there will be some failed grammar checks for sure :P.

Part 1 - Day 1 (21st February 2016):

Xhosa

The Xhosa are of Nguni stock and the name is a generalized term covering the diversity of proud clans which make up this tribe. In their entire known history this people was never defeated or enslaved by any other Bantu tribe and repelled even the might of the Zulu under Shaka. Originally the Xhosa lived in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, but over a period of three hundred years, from the mid-16th century they moved to the Eastern Cape and settled into the thirteen major clans that exist today.

As noted in previous let's play, please, keep in mind, that I am not an English native speaker, and that I have previously played only Crusader Kings for very small amount of time, so most of the rules and stuff which are happening to me, will be pretty new to me, and that means, lot of mistakes will happen for sure :)

Xhosa start with 1 province (Transkei), no army, no traders, no colonists, no diplomats, no missionaries and 50 Ducats.

Starting Sliders (e.g. -5 = Full Plutocracy, +5 = Full Aristocracy, 0 = middle ground):

Plutocracy/Aristocracy
+3
Decentralization/Centralization
0
Narrowminded/Innovativeness
0
Free Trade/Mercantilism
+4
Defensive/Offensive Doctrine
+2
Naval/Land
+1
Quantity/Quality
+1
Free Subjects/Serfdom
+1

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Qvd0a_Nk9iUnk4RU1iazlDSjA/view?usp=drive_web
January 1 - 1419: The beginning. One poor starting province :P

The first thing, which I have done, was to move the Free Trade/Mercantilism slider towards Free Trade. You are starting at full Mercantilism, which means no production of colonists. And I really wanted to have at least small chance to expand my kingdom by colonization, as well.

The second step was use up all 50 ducats, which I had at start, and build an army consisting of 5,000 infantry. The maximum possible number to recruit in the capital province.

Step number three, put all research to Trade. (which was astounding 2 ducats :D ). Now I know, I should have gone at the start for maximum minting at least for two maybe three years, because these two ducats did not make much difference at the research (administrative skill of my ruler was at 7, which filled the research pretty fast, and I could use the extra cash).

Step number four, Royal Marriage with Zimbabwe.

Step number five unpause the game.

Right after I have produced my first infantry regiment, I have sent them all to the Kingdom of Zulus and attack their only province of Natal. Meanwhile I've produced 1,000 more infantry and sent them to help with the siege.

After a small time, I was victorious in my first battle. The Province of Natal has fallen, and with it, the Zulu Kingdom.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Qvd0a_Nk9iUmdZS0V2ZDEwQ0k/view?usp=drive_web
May 15 - 1421:
Zulu Kingdom Annexed, and Natal added as my 2nd province.

Few years afterwards, I have produced my first colonist. Unfortunately, I was completely broke. The only option was take my first loan and disband 4000 people from my army, so I could stay at least little bit in positive income with big loan interests. I still had no merchants, so the only income were my taxes, which were almost 0.

I sent my first colonists to Ciskei, because of sugar, which is pretty solid resource for income boost. To my surprise the first colonists were successful.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Qvd0a_Nk9iQ3RGSTV5dVFTblU/view?usp=drive_web
April 16 - 1424:
My first colony became my third province.

The next few years were the same, as soon as I got new colonist, I have sent it to Ciskei, to expand the colony. Meanwhile, I had the option to move the slider for the second time. Because I have still researched my first Trade idea, I have moved it again closer to Free Trade, for higher colonist grow.

Afterwards, I have finally researched my first Trade technology and with it, I have started to gain my first merchants. I was lucky with few Successful Harvest Events, which brought me 100 Ducats and lowered inflation. This helped me with paying off my debt, and I sent my first merchants to Zanzibar, where I almost immediately expanded to became the biggest merchant there. More Ducats!!!

While I was building up my Ciskei colony, the Portugal arrived to the scene. Thankfully they were few times in a row unsuccessful with building up their Trade Outpost, so no troubles in the neighbourhood for now.

Another slider move for my realm went this time towards Plutocracy, because now I had finally reason to make my trade little bit more efficient. I have also successfully researched my first Infrastructure technology, and with it, I was able to start promoting my bailiffs to tax collectors. Time for another loan. Meanwhile Zimbabwe asked me twice to become their vassal, which I had respectfully declined.

As years passed, I have upgraded the Ciskei colony to city, and incorporated 500 natives living there to the population. This was the time, when I decided to start minting more gold instead of focusing on research for a while, because I was unable to repay the first loan in time, which promptly raised interests. I have minted until I had enough to repay the loan and started to continue my research. Right after that I had one more lucky Successful Harvest event, and it lowered my inflation at least little bit. I have repaid the loan, and in due time, moved the slider again towards Plutocracy.

The Ducats slowly raised, so I was able to afford to sent another colonists to the Inhambane province, where Portugal was unsuccessful few years ago. To my surprise, colony was founded on first attempt.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Qvd0a_Nk9ieUFyRmY1UHJPYms/view?usp=drive_web
March 3 - 1449:
Successful foundation of my second colony. I have 4 provinces now.

The only downside of this new colony is 3,000 Medium aggressive native inhabitants. I have decided to risk the colonization, without killing them off, because if I can upgrade my colony to city, without them attacking it, it will be very big boost to my population, and with it, to my income as well.

As the time passed, I have slowly started to amass some more gold and the Portugal arrived again, but this time, they were successful at founding their Trading outpost right in between my kingdom and kingdom of Zimbabwe. I put few golds to improve our Relations, but I am still to poor, to improve it significantly. This is the first sight of the trouble, which will, without doubt, come sooner or later. It has at least one positive outcome for now, I can now trade in Tago, the Center of Trade owned by Portugal. I have sent there few of my merchants, but now and then, there is a chance to lose them due to fierce competition. The yearly income from trade there is still greater, than the loss of few Ducats, when I have to sent there more merchants.

I have slowly put some laughable coins to relations with Portugal, but later, I was for the first time hit by severe negative random event, and lost 3 stability and 100 Relations with Portugal :( This can bring me a lot of trouble in the near future. I really need them to get them as high as possible and hope to ally them, before the English arrive in South Africa with the mission to obliterate me (well the big reputation hit, I got, might mean in the end, that Portugal tries to obliterate me before England even discovers South Africa).

I have waited for few more years to move Domestic Policy slider again. This time again towards Free Trade, because I really hope I can get few more colonies before England arrives.

Sliders on January 1st 1460 (e.g. -5 = Full Plutocracy, +5 = Full Aristocracy, 0 = middle ground):

Plutocracy/Aristocracy
+1
Decentralization/Centralization
0
Narrowminded/Innovativeness
0
Free Trade/Mercantilism
+1
Defensive/Offensive Doctrine
+2
Naval/Land
+1
Quantity/Quality
+1
Free Subjects/Serfdom
+1

Part 2 - Day 2 (27th February 2016):

Hello and welcome again at my second day with Xhosa.

During today's session, i have decided to go more for colonization, and upgrade some trade income. Unfortunately the big research penalty to native nations is prohibiting me from doing more direct actions, and somehow my diplomacy is acting weird, I got few times from various events and diplomacy boosts Relations with Zimbabwe up to 200, but despite fulfilling all of the criteria for creating vassal, the option is inactive. But just few days later, I always get offer from them to become their vassal. I simply do not know, what is wrong with that, and because of that, I am stuck, because I cannot expand due to very low research possibilities :(

Anyway, no more ranting time to build up some colonies :P The first province on the list was Karroo.


March 2 - 1467:
Another colony. Province number 5.

Two years later, another slider move, this time towards Plutocracy. After this move, for some reason the game decided to hate me, I got a lot of negative events, which possibly completely gimped all of my possibilities to Annex Zimbabwe by force. I got few events in which I have lost in total 1200 Ducats from Trade research, and 400 Ducats from Infrastructure research. With 7 Ducats which I can invest into Trade and 13 into Infrastructure I have lost more than 16 years worth of research points... So probably sooner or later, it will be game over for me :/

Among these events, I had also one event, which moved my sliders towards Decentralization. This made my research even more expensive.

Meh. But I am still alive and kicking. Later Zimbabwe decided to declare war on Portugal and because I had already -200 Relation with them, I have joined them. They successfully destroyed  Portuguese Trade Outpost in Zambezia and after moving another slider towards Plutocracy, I sent colonists there myself.


March 3 - 1482:
Former Portuguese Trade Outpost has became newest addition to my kingdom as province number 6.

Xhosa's next few years were sometimes blessed with population events and kicked in the nuts with more research gimping events. I moved another slider towards Plutocracy and another one towards Centralization. In between that, I had few rebellions as well, but nothing which couldn't be solved by my 5000 troops haha. After accumulating of some more Ducats, I sent more colonists to Bushman province, and they were successful again. Well, I am lucky with colonization attempts, at least.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Qvd0a_Nk9iTmhBVWg3N0FSb2c/view?usp=drive_web
June 14 - 1499:
Successful foundation of my 7th province.

As the years went forward, Zimbabwe declared two more wars against Portugal, and the Treaty of Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal went into the action. Now are all of my provinces flagged as potential goal for Portuguese expansion :'(

Meanwhile I had option to move my sliders again towards Centralization and I've founded yet another colony in Namaqua. This one trades with Ivory, so I really hope I can boost my income little bit after upgrading the colony to city. I really need bigger army, because it looks like, that Zimbabwe are getting events lowering our Relation and the probability of conflict rises year by year.


March 8 - 1513:
I own 8 provinces now.

Namaqua is very expensive to colonize though, so I am starting to struggle with Ducats. Because of that, I am now at maximum colonists limit, and I messed up with the last slider move, when I've moved it again towards Centralization. Much, much better in my current situation would be move towards Innovativeness. We'll see how it goes in the next few years. The Portuguese are running around in neighbouring provinces, but so far in pretty low numbers.

Sliders on January 1st 1527 (e.g. -5 = Full Plutocracy, +5 = Full Aristocracy, 0 = middle ground):

Plutocracy/Aristocracy
-2
Decentralization/Centralization
+2
Narrowminded/Innovativeness
0
Free Trade/Mercantilism
+1
Defensive/Offensive Doctrine
+2
Naval/Land
+1
Quantity/Quality
+1
Free Subjects/Serfdom
+1




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