I thought it might be interesting to take a global look at the plethora of NAPs and DAs between the player powers, and see if any patterns emerge. I went through our public diplomacy thread, looking for still-active treaties, and put them into this graphic:
Dotted black lines indicate NAPs, solid blue ones indicate DAs. The dash-dotted red lines surround groups of nations that are traditionally (or in some cases formally) considered a bloc, as I’ll explain below.
I must note that this plot is based on my knowledge of things, and may, obviously, be wrong! There can be secret treaties, schemes to attack alliance partners, or treaties that while technically still active have been forgotten by both parties. Also, for obvious reasons I’ve ignored the various “NAPs until 1650” that Tibet had with some Asian powers. Even if they weren’t technically broken, they are likely inoperative at this point.
We see immediately that, while there are a few connections, the world divides somewhat neatly into Asia and Europe. If you start at, say, Qin, you can get to most Asian powers in a step or two, but the only way to get to Europe is to head for Malaya, follow the Naval NAP to Norway, and go through Russia, Hungary, Greece to the Spain-centric group in the lower right. Further, within Europe there’s a clear division between the two naval powers, Eastern Europe consisting of Russia and Hungary, and “the rest”, which tend to be loosely clustered through Spanish diplomacy. Asia, also, has a division into the Middle East (Byzantium and Persia) and the Far East (everyone else). You would think that Byzantium, at least, would have connections into Europe, but this does not appear to be the case – with, again, the caveat that this is public diplomacy, and anything can happen in PMs.
I mentioned the Spanish diplomacy in the lower right. It consists partly of the old Adfunsid Apostasy from CK days, when Italy was literally a vassal of the Spanish crown, and France and Bavaria were so closely under his thumb that they might as well have been. Although this alliance has been much loosened in EU3, it is not completely gone; if nothing else, Spain is so powerful that the relatively minor nations of Western Europe had better pay close attention to what it says! However, as far as I can determine only Bavaria still has a formal treaty with Spain. I’ve added Greece to the group because it has cooperated somewhat closely with Spain of late.
Within Europe, Russia is the opposite pole from Spain; in former times Byzantium was also considered a major European power, but it seems to have turned east and has in any case declined considerably, in relative terms, from the glory days when the retinue of fifty thousand kataphrakts made Europe quake. Russia uses Hungary as a buffer, and Hungary traditionally looks east if it wants Great-Power support. Russia also was part of the “NPA”, the so-called “Northern Permanent Alliance”, and I have shown it as being an outlying part of the bloc formed by Norway and England, because I get the impression that this is still the public perception. It is not, however, an accurate perception. More correct would be to show Norway and England as a separate bloc; I’ve tried to indicate this by setting Russia considerably apart from these two. But, evil to them that evil think, anyone who believes the NPA is still operative is unlikely to take my word that it’s not.
The European naval powers have reached an accord with the Oceanian ones – we may suspect that EastAsia is about to always have been at war with Eurasia – which is, to my knowledge, the only formal diplomatic connection between the continents. That brings us into the Pan-Asian alliance, which is about to expire. I’ve shown connections within that bloc which have an expiration date past 1625, but did not show the Pan-Asian alliance itself; however, until 1625 everyone within the upper-right area is defensively allied – to Tibet’s cost. If we ignore this and look forward to the 1625 situation, it does seem that there is still a strong Asian organisation, but its center has moved west with the loss of Korea and the addition of Persia.
The last bloc I’ve put in is the traditional alliance – since the twelfth century or so – of Persia and Byzantium. While the formal treaty is only a NAP, I expect that either one would come to the defense of the other quite quickly, and likely draw in the Asian bloc – so the Middle East diplomatically faces Asia rather than Europe.
The two continents of the Old World seem to have few connections with the New; the Aztecs, in particular, are completely isolated as far as I can tell. True, the Inca and the Oceanian powers came to their defense the last time Britain tried to attack them, but this seems to have been a one-off effort not leading to any further connection. Likewise the Inca are, publicly at least, quite isolated except for a defensive treaty with Spain, but then again, between those two Great Powers it seems a bit unlikely that anyone will try for further bites of South America.
Tibet is a bit in limbo at the moment, having, with Incan aid, tried and failed to subdue the Pan-Asian alliance in the Himalayan War. It is not being fully partitioned, but will be left, probably, the weakest player slot in the game. It will presumably have to form some alliance before attempting to recoup its losses. The coming breakup of the Pan-Asian alliance may be its chance, since both the Khanate and Korea seem to be left without treaty partners beyond 1625. Perhaps we’ll see a classic twenty-years-after-Versailles scenario with some of the smackdown powers of 1614 changing sides and helping the would-be aggressor?