I play Portugal, I chose to support Aragon and Naples independence war against weakened Castile in AD 1501 (allied with my rival Morocco and with Siena). Despite our alliance had 2x more soldiers and 3x more cannons we were seriously loosing (perhaps because Naples army did not move from Italy and Aragon was sieging forts instead of joining with me in battles) while both Maroco and Siena supported Castiles King in every single battle (why AIs cooperate better together than with me?). After 8-10 years (AD 1510) my manpower was drained, war exhaustion ~8, whole army mercenary, and half of my colonies occupied by rebels.

Then glorious France declared war against Castile (not merged to our independence war). They came with 60k army and 2 star generals and within 1 year exterminated all Castiles troops in iberia, conquered some forts and forced Castile to release Galicia. They did not annex anything. We just conquered the undefended land and won.

I don't understand what triggered France to aid us?. France was my ally and Castiles rival, but I was not able to call them by "call allies" button before. Maybe they used the "Enforce peace" button? But what exactly are the conditions when they do it?

I would like to know how to trigger such great from supernatural French army help in future.

1 Answer 1


Regarding your war

Castille/Siena likely had sea control. An indicator for that is Siena troops in Spain to help Castille. They can only get those there on ships and for that they'd need sea control. This also allows Morocco to simply send troops via the stratis of Gibraltar. On the other hand, Naples can't get troops to Iberia, because their transport ships would have been sunk by the spanish navy, so they couldn't help.

Forts act as blockers. Armies can't move past provinces adjacent to forts. It's likely the spanish fort network was dense enough, that Aragon couldn't help you, as they couldn't move troops past the forts. Again, due to sea control in the hands of the enemy, they were unable to send troops to battles via ships. So they did the only thing they could: Siege Forts to open up avenues of attack.

Regarding Frances Intervention

This likely was just France taking an opportunity where they saw it rather than having any interest in helping you in your war. Any direct intervention into your war, e.g. via enforce peace would have brought in France as an ally on your side.

You stated the war lasted 8-10 years. Any nation is pretty down after such a long time. Considering how badly the war seemed to go, it's amazing you even managed to survive for that long. Castille was as weak as you were and France just used the opportunity to swoop in and take a couple provinces from an enemy who can't defend themselves. This may not even have been Castille, it's possible France launched another war into which Castille was brought in (possibly vs Siena).

Check the ledger to see the name of the war, to get an indicator what it was about. I also highly recommend you turn on pop-up notifications for war declarations and peace treaties of nations important to you. If you had, you would have both seen a pop up of France declaring war to Castille and the Casus Belii as well as the peace treaty between France and Castille with the agreed upon terms.

You can adjust the notification setting on the right side of the screen, above the minimap. The games auto selection of interesting countriesw is usually very good.

Your current situation

I'd hesitate to call your current situation a win. You are likely very highly in debt, due to maintaining a mercernary army for a long time. You still have to deal with rebels. Your manpower is drained, which means, you likely have to completely forego an army for a while. And what did you get out of it? Probably absolutely nothing, because you chose to help in an independence war, were the victors likely took nothing but their independence. So, you wasted 10 years in a war, which devastated your country and economy. Damage, which will take 10-20 years to repair. In return you got two independent allies. Not a great deal at all.

  • Hi, thanks - so you say the "trick" was simply keep fighting long enough that France has opportunity to declare war on Castile which it would do anytime Castile is weak. OK I was hoping in some more deterinistic mechanics which can be used in future. ... Anyway just to clarify things: Nov 19, 2018 at 10:26
  • @ProkopHapala There is no trick involved. You also could have fought 50 years without France declaring war on Castille. France will not always declare war on Castille, if they are weak. There is a lot more going on. If the two nations are friends for example, France likely won't attack Castille, no matter how weak they are. France may also be occupied with other matters rather than attacking Castille. There is no trick and no deterministic mechanic. Every game plays out differently and while some things happen often, like France being strong, even they are not guaranteed.
    – Dulkan
    Nov 19, 2018 at 10:32
  • I gained quite a lot: Castile is may biggest rival, I need to keep them down, and if Aragon would be their vassal or even diplo-anexed I would never eclipse them. I eclipsed Morocco as well. Already from previous war Aragon and me gained some territorial gains, so we all have ~30% of Iberian peninsula (Castile does not dominate any more). I got Sevila in previous war so I dominate trade in Gibraltar. With colonies and African gold I had enough money to pay mercenary without loans. Now I got Granada and 1 year later I annexed Galaicia detached from Castile by peace with France. Nov 19, 2018 at 10:35
  • But I agree, Manpower drain was huge. 10 years doing nothing else, almost lost African colonies due to rebels (I managed to beat them by mercenaries at the last moment). Also lost my great king (6-4-5) died as general and left me with medicore 6-0-2 heir. Spent a lot of diplo-power to reduce war exhastion (6x75). Nov 19, 2018 at 10:40
  • Ad Naval superiority - No, we had naval superiority both numerically, but also we won most naval battles. Ad Forts - yes, the Castile forts were huge problem. That is why I moved my whole army to Aragon (by ships) and let Morocco conquere Lisabon (my only fort). I did it to join forces with Aragon, but those idiots were just seiging forts instead of finishing Castiles army which moral was depleted by hardly won previous battles (costing me half of army each). Nov 19, 2018 at 10:45

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