Wars are still a sadly important part of Horhsalian politics, no matter if between two unimportant tiny countries or two powerful world powers - or even more than just two participants. They are your main method to conquer new lands and exert your influence over others.
However, you cannot just declare a war on anyone just because you feel like it. Well, you could but that would have repercussions. If you want to declare a war on someone you need a reason for war first.
By the way, there is always a temporary truce after a war so that a country does not just repeatedly declare wars on the same country. Breaking this truce generates massive amounts of Aggression.
Reasons for war
The name says it all. A reason you could have to declare war on someone (or have someone the one on you). There are a lot of different ones with different consequences and goals and they often determine what you can get or lose after a peace deal. Not all reasons for war are available for everyone.
- Unjustified conquest: Everyone can use this one to declare a war of aggression on another country, most often with the intent to conquer land. You can even surprise someone with it because not many countries expect an unjustified conquest out of the blue. The downside, however, is that you will generate a lot of Aggression that way and you usually cannot call in your allies since they do not want to have to deal with the same consequences.
Declaring a lot of unjustified wars will make your Aggression skyrocket.
- Justified conquest: This is similar to the unjustified conquest but is a justified one. It can mean that you have a claim on some lands of the other country which you may have gotten through various different means, either by it being part of an old realm you want to restore (which requires that you own most of its lands already), a region you want to unite (you also need to own most of its lands already), having a claim on another country's throne as a monarchy, because of historical reasons or rare events that give you some. Getting a claim is, as you can see, rare and you should not count on it.
You could also try to fabricate a false claim but being detected will not only make the other country hate you but can also increase your Aggression, so it is risky.
Being in a resource crisis, like a dangerous food shortage, and needing to conquer lands to fight said crisis can also act as a justified war.
Attacking a loathed, like an anarchy or pirate republic, or primitive, like one with a tribal government, country is always justified which makes it extremely hard to survive as them because anyone around them could declare war at any time. However, that means that these countries can also declare justified wars on other countries.
- Reconquest: Can be used on a country that holds lands that were yours at some point. Conquering them back generates no Aggression since they were yours in the first place.
- Show superiority: Can be used on a country that hates you and vice versa. Instead of conquering lands, the goal is to show the other country who is superior. Winning will make you respected and have the other country buckle down. Taking lands from them in a peace deal will generate more Aggression than usual (this is weakened if you have been enemies for a long time or if they did something ludicrous to you in the past). Safer options are to have them pay you money or resources.
Allies are usually not called into superiority wars between two countries since they have better things to do.
- War of honor: Can be used if the other country somehow dishonored you, either by heavily insulting you, dishonoring an alliance or because of other reasons. The allies of the target are usually less likely to join because of their ally's dishonorable behavior.
- Free revolting lands: You can use this reason for war if a neighboring country has cities that lost all of their loyalty and want to break free from their old country. If you win, they could switch sides and join your country instead - with almost no Aggression generated. If you are unlucky, they could declare independence and become a new country that will love you, at least.
- Non-Eophrim enslavement: Can be used if you are a country that still has Non-Eophrim slaves and only works on countries that are friendly towards Non-Eophrims. Your goal is to attack the Non-Eophrims inside their countries to enslave them.
- Liberator: Can be used if you are friendly towards Non-Eophrim and can only be used against countries that still have Non-Eophrim slaves. Your goal is to defeat them to free their slaves. If it is a crushing victory, you could even force them to stop being slavers.
- Vassalization: Can only be used by countries that are much bigger than the target and after they have successfully threatened them at least once in the past. If you win you can vassalize the other country.
- Independence: Can be used by a disloyal vassal to try to break free from their overlord. If multiple vassals are disloyal, they can join this war as allies.
- Colonial war: A war that can only be used if there is a colonial conflict between you and your target, an example being that they colonized an island you were interested in. Colonial wars between countries that are located on faraway continents are usually mostly fought in the Culm Ocean.
- Overflowing Continent conflict: Can only be used if both you and the target possess lands in the Overflowing Continent and you can only take their lands there if you win. Has no other requirements - any war about the Overflowing Continent is justified which was agreed upon.
- Plundering: Can only be used by anarchies, tribal governments and similar countries. Your goal is to raid the other country and take as much loot as possible. Taking lands will generate a lot of Aggression. Taking this reason for war instead of a justified conquest (which you automatically have as an anarchy, tribe etc.) might seem like a strange idea but it is a good choice if you have too much Aggression but still want to attack others for loot.
- Trade conflict: Can be used if the other country somehow actively interrupted your trading or if both of you are part of rival trade leagues (only for certain governments like merchant republics). Taking lands will generate a lot of Aggression so it is better to go for other reparations.
- Holy war: Can only be used by theocracies and only against countries that have a state religion that is not the same as the theocracy's, so it will not work against countries with no state religion (of which there are a lot). You can also call in other countries with your state religion even if you are not allied. However, your enemy can do the same.
- Coalition: If countries have this reason for war on you, you have a big problem. This reason for war becomes available for others if you have generated a lot of Aggression and the involved countries formed a coalition to take you down. You could, however, also join a coalition if another country generated a lot of Aggression.
- Conflict between major powers: Only great powers and empires can use this to target other great powers or empires since it is not really possible for others to deny them their right to declare this war. These should not be declared lightly, however, since other great powers and empires are immensely powerful and it could turn into a massive war if both are calling in their allies.
There are also even more reasons for war, some that might be unique to certain governments and types of countries.
Aggression is a value that is generated whenever you do something that can be considered warmongering, like declaring an unjustified war or taking too much land from others. On its own, Aggression does not change much and is only used by other countries to determine their opinion of you. If you generate a lot of Aggression, other countries will feel threatened and might create a coalition to stop you, so you either have to be careful or be strong enough to fend them off. If you have high Aggression but the countries that feel threatened are not strong enough to attack you they will usually create a defensive pact instead which calls in everyone involved if you attack one of them.
Aggression varies depending on how far away and how involved you are with other countries. Countries on other continents will not care about your actions on your own continent (except if you go absolutely crazy with Aggression) and that country you never interacted with on the other side of the continent might not care as well. Your neighbors, on the other hand, will definitely react although it has less of an effect on your allies and friends, so being friendly with a lot of countries can be useful to fight it as well. You should definitely watch out if you are close to a great power or empire since they might not like it if you try to become one yourself or if you disrupt the balance of the continent if they are protective - if one of them joins a coalition and you are a normal country, you are toast, so you might as well give in to their demands without the need for a war.
Aggression exists so that countries do not go crazy on conquering others and to prevent countries to try to take over the world which is impossible (and would be unfair for other players since there would be only one country left). As soon as you become so big that you could become a threat to the world, major powers all around the world would join to crush you.
Of course, Aggression will not stick around forever and fade away after a while although it can take a long time to burn huge amounts of Aggression. There are also other ways to decrease your Aggression, like changing your government if you are a dictatorship, creating a breakthrough and openly sharing it with others, have another country give back lands they conquered from someone, willingly give back lands you conquered from someone (the only reason to do this is if you are pressured by a big coalition), losing lands in a war, and other means.
Edited by Gota