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Rudi von Starnberg

Paradox Strategy Games Megathread

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Now the general Paradox game thread. Original post spoilered.

Spoiler

The third EU3 expansion has been <a href="http://www.gamersgate.co.uk/DD-EU3HTTT/europa-universalis-3-heir-to-the-throne" target="_blank">released today</a> and by all accounts it's very good indeed! Not as big a step up as In Nomine, but the new features are reportedly excellent and the general gameplay changes work well.

Feature list from GG, specially written to be incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't played EU3 itself.

<!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Requested by the fans, Heir to the Throne is the third expansion to the preeminent historical strategy game Europa Universalis III.

The expansion takes the hugely successful game beyond complete, with improvements across the board.

Features:

* Intriguing Casus Belli system, where wars have specific aims from start to finish.

* Monarchs now belong to dynasties, with far-reaching effects on the diplomatic model.

* More involving and powerful Holy Roman Empire and Papacy options.

* Special diplomatic options for Merchant Republics.

* Set your National Focus in a province to enhance growth and strengthen your hold in the region.

* Permanent Terra Incognita removed and replaced with impassable regions.

* Cultural Tradition allows better advisors in the same way that Military - Tradition allows better generals and admirals.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Good to know that Paradox have still got it following the abortion that was Hearts of Iron 3. In fact this should probably just be a general Paradox game thread, as there are few enough of us on this forum who actually play them. Prove me wrong, Rllmuk.

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I've always loved the EU games, spent an age on EU2 and earlier in the year spent a lot of time on EU3 (after adjusting to the changes from EU2). I like the idea of wars having aims now - is there any benefit in gameplay terms though? And an improved diplomatic model is always a good thing.

I have to say though - and I know it isn't what the series is really about - that I'd love for a little bit *more* from the combat in the game. I'm not sure what though.

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Ooo, this might give me something to do over Christmas :) I never really got into EU3 that much, I rush into Paradox games too early, when I know they are normally a mess until the second patch/expansion. EU2 I still love to death though, and the last time I span EU3 up it was much more enjoyable patched up.

I actually like the combat at more of a remove really. Makes the difference between this and ETW more stark.

And shock33 was saying something about re-worked EU3 and HoI2 coming out soon which look very interesting too.

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The re-worked EU2 is already out - it's called For The Glory and is on Gamersgate here. It's apparently got some bugs still but they're working on patching them. I think the HoI2 re-working is going to be out fairly soon as well. It's an embarrassment of Paradox-related riches.

I like the idea of wars having aims now - is there any benefit in gameplay terms though?

Here's the list of them: Casus Belli Guide. There are loads of them, possibly too many (like the Bill of Rights idea giving you a CB on any nation which has at least one vassal or could release at least one vassal/independent nation - somewhat over the top), but loads of them make sense and should mean you have to resort to fabricating claims far less.

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Hmm, wonder if I'll have to find my EU2 disk to be able to play that. I wrote a load of events for the AGCEEP, would like to see if any of them are still in there. I like the new factions they've added in for 3 in Russia, but I'm not sure if putting Berry in France is a good idea, on one of the few campaigns on 3 I completed, France were about the only decent sized AI country left after 100 years.

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No, FTG is completely standalone, no reliance on EU2 discs or whatever.

As to EU3, you really can't have played much of it! ;) France is the Big Blue Blob in EU3, particularly if you leave Lucky Nations on - it tends to conquer most of mainland Western Europe with ease, 300,000 man armies and ridiculously rich provinces spurring it on to ever greater things. It's practically a built-in end boss for the game and it really needed something to slow down its rate of expansion. AI countries in general tend to blob massively in EU3, with France, Austria, Spain, the Ottomans, and maybe Lithuania often being superpowers by the 18th century.

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No, I seem to have a problem with Paradox titles with 3 at the end of them :) Only played through HoI3 about twice. They seemed to have move the fun bit - bashing people and close control of armies to a remove, and kept the less interesting bits - espionage and the economy more at the centre. Bit frustrating, but I'm sure after some work it'll get better. I love that they keep supporting the games after so long, its probably why I support them and Valve more than any other companies. I'll have to get EU3 added onto Steam, as I don't really want to get GamersGate too, would rather keep everything in one place.

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Yeah, HoI3 is soulless and boring and horrible and overly complex (50,000 provinces what the HELL were they thinking) and also broken all to fuck.

EU3's ace though. Oh and Gamersgate only counts for downloading stuff, once installed the games are run separately just like if you'd bought them at retail.

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EU3 vanilla was 1453 at the earliest (right after the fall of Constantinople), the In Nomine expansion shoved it back to October 1399 if you want it to be so.

In Nomine was really an excellent expansion, made EU3 into the game it should have been on release. I heartily recommend it if you haven't played it already.

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Obscure Documents

This Casus Belli is triggered by 'Fabricate Claim' spy action, for 12 months...

I'm telling you, the Persians have catapults that can attack us with just 30-minutes warning! We need to invade.

(Come on then, one of you smarty-pants, tell me what country/empire present day Iraq was part of in 1399....)

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The Jalayirids!

From what I've played so far, this is excellent. The new dynasties thing is great, with royal houses able to branch off and becoming established in other countries through marriages, and a far clearer idea of whether or not you're likely to inherit territories or form personal unions. The casus belli system works nicely, too - you're able to pick your reason for war, now, as long as it's a valid one, and the wars get titled appropriately - so 'the Castilian Reconquest of Granada', for instance. You can check the history of your nation (and any province) at any time, too, and it's significantly more detailed this time around, with wars having major battles listed along with rough casualty figures and the like.

The cultural tradition stuff seems good though I haven't really looked at it yet. The improved HRE and Papacy options/depth are very welcome.

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Okay, yeah, I'm entirely sold on this expansion now.

Started up a game as Holland in 1399, and my first order of business was obviously to get out of the personal union with Hainaut. I had a casus belli against them, so I went to war and conquered Hainaut (which was a core province of mine), establishing the van Oranje house as rulers of Holland. I mean this is kind of weird because they were a French/Hessian house at the time and had no ties to Holland but I can forgive it.

Willem, my ruler, died, and Albert I succeeded him - an 8/7/7 king, about as good as I could ever hope for really. As Burgundy grew and grew, eating up Brabant (with Gelre picking up the scraps), I wondered if I would get my chance to do anything before the putative purple blob swallowed me. Thankfully, I got a diplomatic insult event which let me invade Gelre, taking Breda and vassalising them as well as installing a van Oranje as Duke. I annexed Friesland (with no casus belli), and introduced Utrecht to my sphere of influence to stop people guaranteeing its independence while I waited things out. A van Oranje rose to the throne of Burgundy too, although this didn't help relations any. And then the stroke of luck happened.

Burgundy was excommunicated due its ridiculous aggression (having just conquered Liege and Luxembourg as well) and a coalition of the bloodthirsty dogpiled them, France among the hungry crusaders. Perhaps some twenty states declared war, in all. I wasted no time in declaring war as well, and was given war subsidies by the English for my trouble. I took every Burgundian province within my reach, and in the peace deal I secured Limburg, Brabant, and all of Flanders, as well as releasing Liege once again and forcing Burgundy to revoke claims on various provinces. Other peace deals in the meantime denuded Burgundy of most of their other provinces, they went bankrupt, and had a huge peasant revolt. And the very day after this triumphant war, which had no been without its sizeable battles for me, Albert I van Oranje died, presumably of a surfeit of lampreys and Flemish monastic beer.

This game is amazing.

Although the dynastic side is abstracted, it adds a lot to the game. Albert's original heir was called Johan, and was of a similar age to Albert himself - presumably a brother. He died at the age of 29, during the invasion of Burgundian Flanders, and while the game said nothing of the details the obvious conclusion was that he'd died in battle. It's so easy to let the imagination extrapolate this stuff slightly. Here's the history of Albert I's reign, complete with charming Paradox grammatical errors.

post-13084-1261006126_thumb.jpg

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It helps if you know stuff about the time period (although the time period is broad - with the expansions, it's from 1399 to 1821), but actual history tends to go out the window about 10 years into the game. It's all about starting with a specific point in time and seeing how it diverges from reality, really.

That said you're likely to learn about history from just playing the game. I had no idea that Ak Koyunlu and Qara Koyunlu existed before playing this. :)

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Ah good, this saves me digging this thread up :coffee: Picked up this a couple of weeks back, along with Arsenal of Democracy. Was more or less pushed into it as HoI2 seems to crash every time I load it up now, but the two new versions really do improve on the games. I'm having a lot of fun playing as Russia in AoD, it seems to be a lot more realistic than some of the stuff you got in HoI2. Not poked about with the other scenarios apart from the 36 one as yet though.

But Heir to the Throne improves EUIII out of sight, really liking it now when I wasn't really sold on the original. Played through a couple of games as German minors, and really enjoying it. Just a shame Paradox don't seem to support their games as well now without having to pay for it. The recent patch for HoI3 which knacked the supply system isn't going to get fixed until the paid for expansion apparently. Its not going to be much, but its the principle really.

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Paradox have provided an excellent run of patches for Heir to the Throne, though. I think they're still in beta but one of the recent ones added lots of great stuff from the cosmetic (dynamic country names on the map when you zoom out) to functional interface stuff (unit type numbers when an army is selected and an indicator of whether or not they'll suffer attrition). If you register the game to a forum account on the Paradox forums, you can download the beta patches from there and I heartily recommend it.

Arsenal of Democracy is very good indeed. The developers are updating it quite a lot and are planning to add, for instance, a 1942 scenario.

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Ah cool will have to do that. Not bothered to register a game against my userid on there since HoI2 came out I don't think.

I am being harsh on Paradox, but HoI3 really disappointed me, and its still such a mess. Hopefully they'll be able to sort it out with the expansion.

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Hearts of Iron 3 was unforgivably awful and one of the few game purchases I've fully regretted. The expansion won't fix anything. It'll just be a sprig of parsley atop a turd.

Instead, focus your hope at Victoria 2. It might just be playable.

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Thanks, but I think I need it to be on Steam for compatibility issues. :lol:

Well hopefully it's released tomorrow with the latest batch of Mac releases on Steam.

Edit: I may sail the high seas, but buy the windows version on steam anyway so I have the moral superiority on my side.

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I was reading some actual history on Wiki on the train earlier, and thought about how great it would be if you could direct wars more through diplomacy in EU. By that I mean being able to request assistance from non-allies (in exchange for various promises, with the ability to renege on them, thus causing instalbility/new wars), or tasking allies with objectives - e.g. as Portugal allied with England in a war with France I may want England to concentrate on blockading rather than invading; or as a small minor with allied to a large major I may be asked to assist with only defending the major's lands - and give suitable rewards for doing-so.

I'd even settle for just being able ask/be asked by countries in an alliance to join a war after it has started (for example when a new alliance is set-up whilst either I or the fellow ally is already engaged).

Has anything been mentioned about a possible EU4 at all? Or another major expansion?

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No, not yet. I wouldn't expect word until Victoria 2 is out at least.

And there's a demo on Steam! Thanks for the heads-up.

Just be aware that the game has changed quite significantly over the course of expansion packs so that the demo experience is both significantly less user-friendly and lacking a lot of newer features.

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No, not yet. I wouldn't expect word until Victoria 2 is out at least.

Just be aware that the game has changed quite significantly over the course of expansion packs so that the demo experience is both significantly less user-friendly and lacking a lot of newer features.

Hmm, guess I'll just have to keep waiting then. Might start a new EU3 game then, maybe get these expansions - in my current vanilla game Burgundy and I (GB) control Europe, North & South America and some of Asia. And with Burgundy being HRE and owning a massive fleet, there's nowhere I can go now. I'm certainly not strong enough to take them either on land or sea.

It's a shame really, because this is the first session I've had where I've tried to build a large navy and make that naval power count (mentioned it in the TW thread I think), but I don't really find that there is really that much you can do with it; blockades I find would only be useful over a very long period of time (in terms of helping to destabilise a province/country), and aside from that, what can you do with them? A large navy should give huge bonuses to trade at least, to make having them worthwhile. Or am I missing something in the way I'm using them?

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