Speaking of addiction, somehow dozens of hours of my life fell into the Europa Universalis hole over the last few weeks if Steam's time counter is to be believed. It's very much a second monitor game though, I probably got through a ton of articles and pods and stuff at the same time since like most grand strategy games a lot of EU4 is spent waiting for notifications unless you're at war or something.
Football = Unrest.
My newbie run as Scotland went okay
. The provinces I took from England early on eventually got taken back, annoyingly, which I guess is sorta inevitable unless you castrate England as soon as possible, otherwise they'll generally always be a huge threat. I held onto Iceland and Greenland and used them to expand into North America, forming Nova Scotia across most of what we know as Quebec, Labrador, northern Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. This felt kinda weird, which I'll get into later.
It's kinda fun to see how wildly different that stuff can diverge from actual history despite a ton of historical trigger events being in the game somewhere for the player or AI to follow or ignore. In this case, the Thirteen Colonies were never large or strong enough to become the United States, the English and French were way more interested in South America for whatever raisin, and Spain and Portugal carved up most of the North. The colonial powers kinda stuck their dick into everything everywhere, well beyond the actual history, like even making inroads into Korea and Japan eventually.
I have mixed feelings about this part of the game in general for all kinds of raisins. I'd probably be more into it if there were more/bigger checks against the European powers in the colonial stage so you're not necessarily staring at a world map covered in English/French/Spanish/Portuguese/Dutch colours absolutely everywhere. The event choices you get don't really go far enough for RP purposes either, at least not in vanilla, nor do the big global events which spur huge changes like the colonial rush ever seem to spawn outside Europe unless a human player in Asia or something is trying very very hard to make that happen. There are so many expansions which might address this stuff but I dunno if I'll ever invest in more than a couple of 'em.While it's neat to see such a large Korean empire in the 1800s, Portugal occupying Hokkaido and Spain taking a big chunk of Kyushu just feels weird and wrong to me, even if the possibility of Japan unifying all its daimyos and then collapsing again is interesting. (btw, if you roll as Japan, considering the game starts in the 1400s, have fun managing the Sengoku daimyo madness - it's
...for bigger offputting stuff, at least in the unexpanded game, when you colonize your first "unoccupied" province, you're given a kinda-sorta false choice of three options which are mostly just shades of "how much of an asshole do you wanna be to the indigenous people" which is pretty not great if you're just looking for a way to peacefully grow your blob without going to war over old world provinces or being some flavour of violent colonizer/"benevolent assimilator." Even on the supposedly tamest setting you're still fighting off uprisings in growing colonies at least once per province so I'm not sure why that choice is there at all unless it's a hook for DLC content I don't have.
On the other side of the coin, it doesn't sound like the unique mechanics for indigenous nations are strong enough to counter the colonial powers in time without intense
micromanagement and savescumming, which I imagine is probably also an issue if you're starting anywhere in Africa - worse, maybe, since you'd be staring down not only the big five/six European powers but also potentially the Ottomans and a few other big time players. There is DLC to diversify and strengthen gameplay outside Europe but I dunno how far it goes or if the AI is capable of taking full advantage of the new options.
This ain't Civ, where playing on an Earth map and discovering the Americas will often reveal a massive and powerful Aztec empire more than capable of stomping Spain, but seeing something more than the scattered single province minor powers would be nice no matter how ahistorical. Maybe there's mods which handle all these issues and more even without the expansions. That might be the next thing I check out unless the Fallout mod finds itself downloaded first.
That time the French became "enlightened despots" and then fell under Spanish dynastic rule somehow. Always take royal marriage offers: you never know what might happen!