Badboy (universally abbreviated BB) represents in a limited way how "bad" a country has been in your game. It is largely a game mechanic designed to make world conquest difficult.
A textual description of your country's badboy value is displayed at the top of the Diplomacy screen in "View Alliances" mode. If you hover over the description, you'll get a tooltip where you can see an exact number for the badboy as well as the "Badboy Maximum" value (called here "BBmax" or "BB limit"), as two numbers separated by a slash, for example, 8.0/44
Here are the descriptions you may see, along with the badboy range which they cover:
BB Description -- ----------- 0 We have an honorable reputation. 1-4 We have a respectable reputation. 5-8 We have a slightly tarnished reputation. 9-12 We have a tarnished reputation. 13-18 We have a rather bad reputation. 19-28 We have a very bad reputation. 29-34 We have an extremely bad reputation. 35-44 We are dishonorable scum. 45-60 We are worse than dishonorable scum. 61+ We are hated throughout the entire world.
For countries run by AIs (or other human players in multiplayer), there is no textual description. However, if you hover over the line where their relations to you is given, you'll get the tooltip showing their badboy values.
Countries gain BB largely as a function of warfare: declaring wars, and taking city provinces in peace deals, though there are some exceptions. Here is the short version:
BB Action -- ------ 1 Declaration of War with casus belli 2 DoW without CB, relations +100 or more 4 DoW without CB, relations less than +100 0 Gain a core province in a peace deal 0 Gain a trading post or a colony in a peace deal 1 Gain a non-core city province in a defensive war 2 Gain a non-core city province in an aggressive war 3 Force annex a country of different state religion 6 Force annex a country of the same state religion
Yes, there is less badboy for wars w/o CB when relations are good.
For each province (including those containing colonies and trading posts) that is received when an enemy's government collapses (turbo-annexation), 2BB points are assessed regardless of whether the country is pagan or what type of war it was (aggressive or defensive).
For pagans, there are important exceptions to the table above. For a European country, pagans are the perfect victims: you get no BB for DoWing them, or for annexing, or just taking provinces without full annexation. For non-European countries, pagans are not BB-free but still reduced in price when annexing. Also, all countries, European and not, are allowed to force-annex complete pagan countries, as opposed to only single-province countries.
BB Action -- ------ 0 Declare war on a pagan country, by a European country 0 Gain any province from a pagan by a European 0 Force annex a pagan country, for European non-pagans 2 Force annex a pagan country, for European pagans 1 Gain non-core city province, defensive war, from pagan by non-European 2 Gain non-core city province, offensive war, from pagan by non-European 0 +1 per province: force annex a pagan country, for non-European non-pagans 2 +1 per province: force annex a pagan country, for non-European pagans
Here are a few miscellaneous ways of getting BB increases:
BB Action -- ------ 0 Dishonoring an alliance 1 Change state religion peacefully 1 Hiring a privateer, but there is only a 10% chance of getting the increase .25 Inherit a country (by inheritance event), per province 1 Diplomatically annex a country, per province 0 Gain a province via having it ceded to you (by event) 0 Gain a province via defection 2 Gain a province via controlling it when its owner suffers government collapse
Note that inheritance works badly in that while the inheriting country pays in BB for all provinces owned by the country inherited, actual ownership of those provinces goes to the country which controls them on the day of the inheritance event.
There are two ways of reducing badboy. One is to lose provinces in wars; the other is the passage of time.
Automatic Badboy Loss
Each country's badboy automatically decreases at the end of each month, based on the monarch's effective diplomatic skill. The size of the decrease also depends on the difficulty level. The effective diplomatic skill used here is the monarch's base skill plus modifiers from events and aristocracy.
Per-month decrease in BB: Decrease Difficulty level dip/240 very easy, easy, or normal dip/360 hard dip/480 very hard
With a really bad monarch (diplomatically), and low aristocracy, effective diplomatic skill can be negative. In this case, there is an increase in badboy rather than a decrease.
Losing Badboy by Losing Wars
In general a country loses 1 BB each time it loses ownership of a province. However there are some exceptions. Here are the exact rules:
BB Action -- ------ 0 Lose a core province in a peace deal 1 Lose a non-core city province in a peace deal 1 Lose a non-core trading post or colony in a peace deal 0 Lose a province via its defection to another country 1 Lose a province, including TP or colonies, through non-pagan country creation* 0 Lose a province through pagan country creation *
[*] Country creation includes all means by which new countries come into being: releasing vassals (by event or voluntary), and revolts, including government collapses.
Effects of BB
Higher BB increases stability costs, makes diplomacy harder, decreases relations with other countries, and can draw DoWs on you that would otherwise not happen.
Diplomatic Effects of Badboy
With BB high but below BBMax, you'll see some additional DoWs, but the exact effect is not certain. Generally the AIs tend to like to gang up on the baddest few countries, but only when they are weak.
I have no numerical characterization for the effect of BB on diplomacy and relations. If you have done experiments and have a theory, post it.
Badboy Effect on Stability
On stability costs, they are multiplied as follows:
BB state Multiplier -------- ---------- 0 <= BB <= 0.5*BBmax min(1+2*BB/100, 4) 0.5*BBmax < BB <= BBmax min(1+4*BB/100, 4) BBmax < BB 4
When a human-played country goes over the BB limit on very hard, it will kick off the "badboy wars" as they are called.
In the badboy wars, you will be DoWed by every country that:
- is on the same continent as you, if it has a port
- borders you (even if the border is between two trading posts on the other side of the world)
Countries won't necessarily declare war immediately - sometimes it takes them a few months to notice (and sometimes they seem to fall asleep; reloading the game will draw these DoWs). Exceptions are any country that:
- has a truce with you
- is your military ally
- is currently at war
- has stability -3
- does not know of your existence.
Countries matching any of the above criteria will not DoW you until situations change. In particular, all truces expire after 5 years, so you'll be attacked recurrently by most countries until you destroy them, you remove the border with them, or they manage to force your badboy down below the limit.
Your alliance will maintain itself, and you can keep up to 4 other countries from attacking you by allying with them and never calling for their help. (Your alliance members will honor an alliance call on your behalf only against countries they dislike and only if relations with you are well in the positive range.)
If you are playing below Very Hard level, you don't have to worry too much about BB effects. They make things harder, but not that much.
On Very Hard, you do have to be careful. Until you are ready for them, you do not want to induce the BB wars by going over the BB limit. Therefore, you need to play with an eye towards keeping down your BB. This is usually not hard for colonial countries like England, Portugal, and Spain. (If you plan to conquer the world, it will always become a concern.) BB minimization should be a concern for any other country that plans to expand more than minimally.
In a nutshell, good BB management comes down to these few rules of thumb:
- never force annex (except pagans)
- don't initiate wars without a good reason (except pagans)
- pagans: attack them, force annex them, go crazy
- know your core provinces; take them militarily
- take only selected high-value provinces in offensive wars
- take as many provinces as you can in defensive wars
- diplo annex a lot
- consider using a high aristocracy
- know, plan for, and exploit inheritance events
these things are all you really need to know.