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Albanian Survival...it can be done!
So you want to play as Albania? You are a madman plain and simple. Some would even say you ask too much! "Play as Albania? What gives you the right..." Well with this guide we aim to prove those naysayers wrong! You DO have the right to play as Albania and live free of Ottoman oppression!
*Remember this guide is only detailing how to survive the initial war with the Ottomans and that luck and dice rolls play a big part in your success, you are the insane member of the human race trying to play an OPM that by all accounts should be an Ottoman holding*
Sound like fun? Read on!
*Currently Obsolete - Great Strategies are posted in comments by other players!*
Well here we are. We've decided to go against logical thinking and instead be madmen and don the colors of Albania. The situation looks rather precarious now doesn't it? 25k Ottomans just sitting there ready to invade us. Makes a normal fellow lose hope.
*This is the time where all sane people should now exit this guide. Nobody will think less of you for leaving, not everyone is cutout for this much insanity*
But wait, not everything is as bleak as it seems! Lucky for us, Albania is also one of the biggest troll nations in the game! Albania starts with what very well might be the greatest initial general in the game, Skanderbeg. Sadly, keeping up with Albania's troll traditions, Skanderbeg only leads 3k infantry, no cavalry is present in our initial army. This is dire for an already bleak situation as Skanderbeg's amazing 5 shock will be more or less useless without any units that contribute any shock values of their own.
The trolling doesn't stop there. Albania is a Catholic nation...but it's only province and capital is Orthodox.
It's time for an overview of our situation: 1. Albania is a Catholic OPM with an Orthodox capital. 2. Albania is at war with the Ottomans who do NOT want peace due to your size and the presence of an Ottoman core on your capital. 3. Albania has one of the best general's in the game but only leads 3k infantry against the might of the Ottoman empire and there is no time to even hire mercenaries. 4. Almost every nation you border hates you.
First Steps --> Serbian War
Pretty bleak overview, right? Let's turn it around for good ol' Albania!
Keep the game paused until told to unpause.
First thing, put Skanderbeg at the head of your little army. Don't worry about training regiments or hiring mercenaries, they will arrive too late to do anything but get massacred by the Ottomans besieging your capital.
Hire a morale, discipline, or fort defense advisor if you have one.
It's time to meet your new best friend, Ragusa. Ally Ragusa, they are the only nation near you other than Athens who will ally you and unlike Athens they will actually answer your call to arms.
Unpause for ONE day to seal the alliance between you and Ragusa. Then repause.
You should know one thing as Albania. War is your key to survival. Now that you have your alliance to Ragusa, declare war on Serbia. Yes, you will NOT have a CB but without war with Serbia you are a lost cause. There are multiple ways to go about this war with Serbia and whatever way you pick it is imperative that you destroy the Serbian army and occupy at least one province.
After deciding which course to take, unpause and start making history!
1. Move your troops to Zeta and meet up with your best friend Ragusa and pray to the paradox dice gods that you are able to fully siege Zeta before your capital falls to the Ottomans. As long as you occupy one province somewhere in the world you cannot be annexed. Then find a way to strike the Serbian army with the combined might of Albania and Ragusa. With average to good dice rolls the 6k v 4k battle will end in your favor. Hunt down and destroy the Serbian army if it was not utterly destroyed. Proceed to occupy all of Serbia.
2. *RISKIER* Move your troops to Kosovo and pray to the paradox gods that the Serbian army attacks Ragusa in Zeta before you in Kosovo. Then move your speedy 5 manuever army to join the battle in Zeta and destroy the Serbian army. Proceed to then occupy all of Serbia. 3. A third strategy is to move your army into Zeta and then immediately afterwards move your army to Ragusa. Our buddy Ragusa is now the bait for the Serbian army, as soon as the Serbian army attacks the smaller and weaker Ragusan army move your army into Zeta to reinforce Ragusa. As long as the paradox gods don't feel spiteful (as they often do) you should defeat the Serbian army. Chase it down and slay it with your troops if it was not entirely wiped from the map. Proceed to occupy Serbia.
4. *Riskier version of 3* This should only be necessary if the Ottoman siege is progressing much faster than your siege. Instead of moving your army into Ragusa move it back into Albania to deal with what should be a small (around 2 or 3K) Ottoman siege stack. Immediately move your forces to reinforce Zeta and the Ragusan army following the defeat of the Ottomans if this choice becomes the necessary. If the Serbians were in the process of attacking the Ragusans when you returned valiantly to save the day then wonderful. If not follow choice #3.
Note: You CANNOT win against the Serbian army on your own. Skanderbeg is great but he is an absolute mess without cavalry in his army, even with a river crossing against Serbia you will lose the 3k v 4k battle.
The Ottomans in their extreme arrogance will only leave a token force of between 2K and 3K to besiege your capital. This is your saving grace. The smaller army will take longer to defeat the garrison and, unless dice rolls perpetually go against you as they are wont to do in critical battles, you should be able to defeat the army with your starting 3K and reset the siege.
Due to how the ai appears to function, Ragusa should always give you control of the siege of the province as long as there is at least one other province in Serbia for them to run off and siege. Always take over the province they have begun sieging before they occupy said territory.
*Do NOT annex Serbia, they are our bargaining chip*
Bosnia is our Survival
Declare war on Bosnia without a CB (unless you were able to get one in some fashion) and move your army into Ragusa.
"Wait what did you just say?!"
Yes, what you now need to do is declare war on Bosnia and let them occupy your land unhindered. It is of the utmost importance that you allow Bosnia to begin sieging a province (most likely Serbia). As soon as they begin a siege annex Serbia.
The Ottomans will flood in and besiege every other Serbian province that Bosnia does not occupy immediately following your annexation of Serbia.
Once your nation is fully occupied you just need to wait. Just wait. The Ottomans SHOULD autopeace out first by taking all of Serbia they control. If Bosnia peaces out first you are lost.
Soon after Bosnia should either autopeace out with the province(s) they control or ask you for control of said province(s) and most likely some other minor things along with the province(s) such as gold.
HOORAY!! You are FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Now you control an OPM that is an Ottoman core, has awful prestige, is dirt poor, and has a capital that is of a different faith. I gave you the tools to make something of Albania now it is up to you to world conquest with the supreme might of Albania. Go forth and make the balkans proud!
Before you go forward with your Albanian world conquest, let's review what you've just accomplished: 1. You used an innocent state to buy off the Ottoman empire for a few years so that you could live. 2. You fought 3 wars and lost 2 of them...but you won 1 war and isn't that what counts? 3. You actually managed to survive as Albania!