Share your Paradox Grand Strategy victories and defeats

Paradox’s grand strategy games have no win conditions other than “survive a long time” and maybe “drive your enemies before you and hear the lamentations of the etc.” Generally it’s up to the player to decide on goals and endgames.

I’ll share two of mine.

  1. In CK2, I started somewhere in the British Isles and ended up conquering just about all of Europe. It was the most powerful run I’d ever had, with so many artifacts and grand buildings and so on that my rulers were super effective and durable. I recreated the Holy Roman Empire and consolidated all my other kingdoms under it, but the succession laws changed as a result and I had no path to getting them sorted before my ruler kicked the bucket. The new HRE was going to split into a half-dozen kingdoms. I easily could have ridden that game to the end of the timeline (it would have been my first time), but decided to call it a win and close it out rather than seeing it all crumble.

  2. In EU4, I started in Spain and unified the Iberian Peninsula into a single kingdom. I spent like 200 years waging diplomatic campaigns until I was able to integrate Spain and Britain into a single empire. They immediately began tearing each other apart and I suddenly realized that forcing a Catholic and a Protestant kingdom together wasn’t super wise. I declared victory and closed the game.

EU4, playing as Castile/Spain. I got caught up in events on the continent. Juggling the Moors, France, Austria, the Papal States, Venice, Protestants, etc left me little time to devote to exploring the New World. I was able to create a colonial nation, but in the meantime Portugal had founded three or four. When the option came to declare war on Portugal to force them into a personal union, I had to seize it. The war was short, since my military was quite well developed due to aforementioned continental wars. And so I integrated the Portuguese possessions and became #1 World Power without much trouble.

In EU3 I would frequently try to take Scandinavian countries and make them colonial powerhouses leapfrogging the north end of the Atlantic into North America like Leif Erikson on steroids.

I used to enjoy playing Argentina in HOI and taking over the South American continent. Usually the US would get into it only when I was sitting on the doorstep of Mexico or invading Cuba.

Here is a repost of my most fun game and successful from a thread back in 2007 on EU3

I decided to start a real game as Mecklenburg. As a small, but economically stable company I decided my best bet was getting money and stability. Other than a small war with Denmark(which narrow-minded historians have chosen to call the war of Mecklenburgian aggression, Boo)in which I decided to keep a couple small island provinces, for stability you know, I avoided war for the first hundred years or so really well. Western Europe quickly consolidated into Portugal, Castile, Aragon, and Burgundy. Austria created a decent sized empire from Italy to Turkey. But Northern and Central-eastern Europe remained a quagmire of small countries trading territory back and forth. England was left alone mostly by the real threats and gathered in all of Scotland, Ireland and began on Greenland and Extreme North America. Norway an Sweden got rid of all the competition on the north, but ended up in a quagmire of a war between themselves that has lasted for 250 years, off and on, and never had the extra resources to break out anywhere else.

While most of the bigger empires fought each other, and the small countries struggled to survive, I looked into Colonial expansion with little competition. I quickly established a presence from Nova Scotia to Virginia, over to Michigan. Due to an unfortunate translators mistake, I might have sort of conquered the Iroquois, And their rich Fur bearing land.

Only then did I find out that a small Castillian beachhead in Florida and expanded into a Large piece over to the Mississippi and up to Ohio. I abandoned further expansion of Northern New Mecklenburg and sought to cut them off, to the west. Gaining rich Cotton land west of the Mississippi along the Gulf, and even a thin link all the way over to the gold rich land of California. Encountering the Maya, who in a gross warlike culture had taken all of Mexico and Texas, through Central America into South America. Clearly their souls needed saving, And I am now sovereign of a sizable empire, and global leader in trade.
Several jealous Neighbors Back in Europe Learned what an Economic Giant can do quickly when forced to war, and a decent portion of Northern Europe ended up pacified by my troops, and joined my portfolio.

Then just recently a long ago forgotten Marriage of a minor relation gave back 1000 fold when the Leadership of Austria died and they threw their Fortunes and their land in with mine. Not quite the expanse they once held, but allowing me to become a major player in Europe. It also gained me control of the Papacy.

Now I look at the glorious modern era of 1680 with quite a choice to make. Should I continue to expand Colonially:. There are large empty portions of North American Mountains and great plains sitting empty, but my advisors tell me the profits from such land are meager. There is good land in South America, but the Portuguese and Aragonians(?) have grabbed some good stuff, and it would be a drawn out war, but I could overwhelm them with certainty. There are also the Incas sitting around all infidely on good land, and looking like they need saved too. Or perhaps a new direction into and across the Pacific.

But the Homeland is tempting as well. Several lands that arn’t reaching thier potenial in petty squables could benefit from strong leader ship in the future, and My Northen lands would look pretty good if joined to the mediteranian stronghold of Austro-Mecklenburgia, purely for logistical reasons of course. Burgundy has given me no reason to trust their intentions either, and perhaps a lesson needs to be taught.