Stubborn

The theme of my gaming this weekend seems to be “Endurance”.

Europa Universalis 4:
I started a game the other night as Portugal, which starts with the territory of modern Portugal (Portugal, the Azores, and some other islands) as well as Ceuta, a single province in modern Morocco that was conquered by Portugal in 1415 and, in our timeline, became Spanish territory in 1668.
After starting this game recently (possibly Saturday morning?), Sunday night and early Monday morning I played as the Kingdom of Portugal from June 1, 1450 to July 1, 1480.
At one point, Burgundy attacked my ally England to seize Calais (in northern France), so I joined the war to aid my English ally.
To make a long story short, somehow about 20,000 Burgundian and Dutch soldiers appeared in Portugal (I don’t know how- possibly they marched through France and Spain), I tried attacking them and lost, and at some point made peace in exchange for a lot of money.

In 1455, Morocco declared war on me wanting Ceuta. Unfortunately my English and Castilian allies dishonored our alliance and did not join the war. I think England was still at war with Burgundy and Castile was at war with France. Anyway, the ensuing war lasted 22 years and resulted in 81,000 Portuguese casualties and about 60,000 Moroccan casualties. Highlights include Portugal winning victories at sea (I only lost 1 heavy ship and captured several transports) but being unable to win in Morocco- I’d occupy a province, or even a couple provinces, but then the numerically superior (and, at one point, technologically superior) Moroccan army would stomp my army, and it was very frustrating. After taking out a bunch of loans and debasing my currency (both of which earned me 62 ‘ducats’ each time, but with varying long-term effects), finally Morocco offered me a “white peace” where neither side gained or lost territory (despite me being at -60 war score). Before that peace offer, every peace offer they sent would have resulted in my ceding Ceuta and Algarve (southern Portugal), and I refused to cede Portuguese territory. I was willing to give up Ceuta if I absolutely had to (if nothing else, it would probably allow me to focus on the exploration and colonization game), but I didn’t want to give up any Portuguese territory just because Morocco had fabricated a claim on southern Portugal.

Portuguese victory was also aided by rebellions breaking out in Morocco- a peasant revolt and a pretender revolt. I supported the pretender rebels, and both rebellions occupied several provinces. Shortly after the Moroccan-Portuguese peace, there were notifications that Morocco had gone bankrupt and the rebels had broken the country. The pretender rebellion won, though the new Moroccan regime still hated my guts (despite my support after they had rebelled).

After the war, with the explorer I started with and continuing technological development, I’ve begun to explore off the coast of Africa and North America.

Mount and Blade: Warband

In my current game of Mount and Blade, I recently entered a mercenary contract with the Kingdom of Swadia, which is currently at war with all but one of the other kingdoms in the game. As a condition of my contract, I’m supposed to serve the Kingdom of Swadia for a month.

There have been a couple occasions where I meet a superior force and, by sacrificing a few men, am able to escape.

My proudest moment of this weekend was fighting a battle against a nominally equal foe- I had 42 soldiers against 37 (I believe they were Rhodoks). If I remember correctly, I lost 5 men and had several wounded while killing 32. Granted, I think I’m currently playing on an easier difficulty, but absurd odds like that are always enjoyable.

I haven’t been defeated and captured yet, though I’ve had a few defeats and, like I said, a few times where I’ve had to sacrifice a few men in order to escape.

Empire: Total War

This is the first time I’ve played Empire: Total War since July, if I remember correctly. In my last game I was playing a campaign as Sweden and had taken Moscow and was working on defeating Russia, Denmark, and Poland-Lithuania.

In the campaign I just started, I’m playing as the Ottoman Empire. I just defeated Georgia, making them a protectorate after defeating their army when they tried to break my siege of their capital, but I’m still at war with Venice (who has sunk most of my fleet), Russia (I’m not sure if I’ve actually faced them in battle yet), and Morocco.

I’ve defeated the Venetians in southern Greece, and I’m currently laying siege to the capital of their holdings in southern Greece. Unfortunately they have a more powerful fleet, and I’m not sure what I can do about that short of spending treasure and several turns building up an equivalent or more powerful fleet. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite got the hang of naval battles in Empire, but it’s particularly annoying when the enemy has a superior fleet and you don’t know what to do about it. Venice had 2 frigates (1 5th rate and 1 6th rate), several smaller ships (brigs and sloops, maybe), and a couple galleys, while I had 1 frigate (my admiral’s 5th-rate flagship), a galley, and 2 light galleys, for a grand total of 50 guns and about 250-300 men against Venice’s couple hundred guns and several hundred men. After losing my galleys in the Black Sea and retreating, I lost my flagship when Venice caught up with my admiral’s flagship and a sloop in the Aegean Sea.

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Current writing projects

As promised, I’ve decided to briefly write about my current writing projects. Unfortunately, being a full-time student and working part-time interferes with my productivity, though doing one or the other would probably be manageable. Of course, if I didn’t work I’d have to find some other way to pay my bills, and that might be an issue from a financial standpoint.

Crusader Kings 2: After the End mod

I’ve written here before about Crusader Kings 2 and the After the End mod, which takes the feudal mechanics and gameplay of Crusader Kings 2 from medieval Eurasia and North Africa and throws them into North and Central America and the Caribbean, starting in July 2666. At present, I have a couple projects related to this setting, as well as ideas for more.

The Americanists, who worship the Founding Fathers and other important figures from Old America (i.e., the United States before civilization as we know it ended about 600 years before the game starts [somewhere between 1945 and 2077]), have believers scattered around America, including near Mount Rushmore, in Texas, and are the predominant religion of Central Florida, Virginia, Maryland, south New Jersey, and parts of Pennsylvania.

The project I may have made the most progress on thus far (even if only in terms of game progress) is my as-yet unnamed game as Elias Waltney, who is Chief of the Mouse in central Florida when the game starts, and (soon) his successors. I have yet to actually start writing the “history”, but in-game Elias Waltney is in his mid-60s, and so probably within a few years of passing away.

The other After the End project I’ve been working on lately is a game as the ruler of Springfield, Missouri. This is, admittedly, primarily because I’ve lived here for a couple years, and I’ve already played a game as the ruler of where I’m originally from (a few versions ago, I admit, but that game is the Chariton game I post about here on occasion). A slight difference from “the Florida game”, as I’ve referred to it, is that I’m trying to write this as a narrative, from the perspective of various characters, as opposed to a more historical and scholarly perspective.

Europa Universalis IV: Super States mod

I don’t have many projects currently going for this game and mod. My current project is as California, which (as of the 1460s) has annexed Baja California and quashed a Baja Californian rebellion, in addition to various other entertaining oddities such as Washington conquering Oregon, New York conquering Vermont and northern New Jersey and northern Pennsylvania, and Minnesota losing land to Iowa, Manitoba, and South Dakota. I’m not sure if I’ve firmly decided on an end for this one, but I think, and have thought, that a history of North America between 1444 (when the game starts, shortly after the American, Mexican, and Australian states and Canadian provinces found themselves thrown back in time) and European contact (1494? probably the 1490s, anyway, assuming a roughly historical timeline).

As with the After the End mod for Crusader Kings 2, ideas here are fairly easy to come by. I’m a Missouri native, so I think playing Missouri at some point would be interesting, though unfortunately in-game Missouri is rather boring and only produces Grain (while California, for example, produces Wine, Naval Stores, Grain, and possibly a few other goods). My current idea is that I might try Missouri in either the next version of the mod or after I’ve made some significant headway on California – maybe after a halfway point is reached or something.

summer and strategy

Apparently I haven’t written any posts here for almost two weeks. I suppose I should change that, shouldn’t I?

I don’t know that I can think of anything recently that’s particularly exciting, since I’m still working, taking a writing class, and corresponding with F (the young woman I’ve been texting since late February).

The night of the 4th of July wasn’t as busy as I had expected it to be, but of course the next day, when I had the kitchen to myself, was the day that more people decided they wanted pizza. I managed, and I’ve heard that my hard work is appreciated, so that’s always good to hear. Days off are always nice, particularly this week – I had last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off work, worked Friday and Saturday night, and then I have three days off this week, which I just realized are about half over, since I had Sunday (for once), Monday, and Tuesday night off.

Last Tuesday I drove to campus and sat outside the classroom for several minutes before one of my classmates pointed out, as he was leaving, that there was a sign posted that class had been canceled. I had received a wake-up call from my mother that morning, which meant I was awake 45 minutes to an hour earlier than usual, and I later saw that the teacher had sent the e-mail canceling class around 8:30 that morning. Driving to campus only to find out that class was canceled was slightly frustrating, but it was nice having class canceled on a day off (even if I had trouble imagining being ill in July, as the teacher apparently was).

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned Europa Universalis 4 or the Super States mod here before, but I’ve been thinking about it lately. Europa Universalis 4 is a game from Paradox Interactive (the company that makes Crusader Kings 2) that allows one to play as any country between roughly 1444 and 1820. About a year ago, I discovered that someone had made a mod (the Super States mod) that allows you to play as a US, Mexican, or Australian state or Canadian province that somehow wound up in 1444. Now, of course, there are a few additional scenarios, but playing as a US state thrown back in time has appealed to me. I’ve thought before that it would be interesting to play a game with that mod and then write a history from “the beginning” (1444) to European contact in the late 1400s/early 1500s. European interaction with the new world would be very different if there are equally advanced states of European descent occupying the New World.

Previous ideas for writing this “history” have included Missouri (because I’m a life-long native of Missouri) and California (because it offers more interesting opportunities, like the possibility of having a navy and Pacific colonization and exploration). The creator of the mod, however, has been busy with vague “real life” issues, and has not been able to keep the mod updated for the current version of EU4, since several expansions had been released since the last mod update. However, an update for the mod was released on July 4, which unfortunately wasn’t working but did get me thinking about the interesting possibilty of a strategy game, like RISK or Diplomacy, set in the United States. Or perhaps I should say the Divided States.

Initially I thought it would be interesting to have the players playing as different states, and that led to the idea of having the players start by fighting over a particular state, uniting it, and then moving on to try uniting the States in their image. I drew a few rough maps of Midwestern states (Missouri by hand, Iowa and Nebraska on the computer) for this game, but it’s somewhat hard to do that when you’re not familiar with an area of a state and there’s not much in a region. It’s fairly easy to designate a metropolitan area as a “territory”, or to draw a shape around a town that’s obviously going to dominate an area due to having the largest population in a particular area, but beyond a certain point I feel like it would be difficult for aspiring governments to hold on to territory beyond a certain distance if they’re limited to pre-modern technology.

I’ve also been thinking about the After the End mod for Crusader Kings 2, probably because thinking about the Divided States and pre-modern technology reminded me of it. Lately, for some reason, I’ve been thinking it would be interesting to play in the southern US – I’ve never been east of Chicago, but lately I’ve been thinking Florida, the Carolinas, or Virginia (among other places) might be interesting to play because of the possibility of naval combat. Who doesn’t like ships, right? At the moment I’m considering a project, similar to my Chariton after-action report, for somewhere in Florida, but I don’t think I’ll start that until some time after the Horse Lords expansion is released tomorrow and the After the End mod is updated with whatever new mechanics they decide to integrate.