sagittary, you make a lot of good points in your Reply #63.
Fatbil, I think properly balanced random events could add a lot to the game.
Yeah, random events are also good ways to shake things up and present interesting decisions and opportunities. Victoria 2 has this and due to the greater breadth of interactions, a lot more events were possible as well as a lot more interesting situations. For instance, I had a random event where a citizen of my country was caught committing a crime in another country. They wanted the person tried and extradited and so on and so forth. My options? I could give them the citizen but that would increase the militancy (the general dislike of the government, more or less) of my population or I could not give them the citizen. Here's where it gets interesting.
In other games, not giving them the citizen would likely be a relations modifier. In Victoria 2, it instead gave me the casus belli of "Acquire X and Y provinces." against that other nation (it amounted to two border provinces basically where our lands met). What this meant was that, I could declare war and set the war goal of Acquire X and Y as my goals without incurring an infamy penalty (basically, a measure of how aggressive and warlike you are - teh higher it is, the more likely everyone starts seeing you as a threat no matter how much they like you). Basically, I had an excuse to start a border war over a political issue and being -justified- (in a fashion) by doing so; my only real penalty would be a relationship hit with the other nation but -only- if I actually declared war.
The system becomes even more interesting because during a war, you can add war goals (other objectives basically). However, unless you have casus belli for these things, even if you have casus belli for some objectives, you won't have it for all objectives. So if I took those provinces, no one bats an eye. But if I declare more war goals such as taking more provinces, other nations would look at me funny. Likewise when I call for peace, asking for those two provinces, that's okay. But asking for more than that, again other nations look at me funny.
The system has a whole range of CBs such as humiliate a nation (basically, start a war and thumb your nose at them for a while; you don't need to actually take any provinces just do something notable, usually winning a few battles or some such), border skirmishes, conquer a nation (generally only if they're very small; otherwise you have to take each province in turn), getting them to free a province (both those annexed and those as puppet states), military disarmament (basically, their military is reduced for a certain amount of time and they have to pay you part of their taxes), to a wide range of other CBs/wargoals. You'll notice many of them have nothing to do with grabbing cities. You achieve these goals, notably, by just being successful militarily in the war. Each fight you win, you get points. Each city you take, more points. So you don't need to directly take a particular province - you can, pull off historical strategies such laying siege to the capital city to draw the military away/fortify. And by winning when they come to rescue their capital, you may just prove yourself enough that they're willing to give you that province. In broader terms, defensive wars are possible and in any wawr, you don't need the best military just one that lasts. If you just trying to grab one or two cities or on the defensive, its valid and possible now to win just by fielding a lot of weak but numurous units because you're not trying to win... just hold on until someone wants to give up..
One of the other interesting things about the system is that it ties into a system of prestige. Basically, each war goal has a prestige amount attached to it. If you achieve that war goal, your prestige goes up (it's somewhat tied to how other nations perceive you but it has more affect on your ability to work the global economy and thus part of your ability to affect others indirectly because one of things that happens is that nations with higher prestige get to buy things first from the market). But if you -don't- achieve that goal you lose prestige. So whether or not you're a warmongerer, it doesn't necessarily matter. If you're successful militarily, even if it's just 'win a few fights against a super power', you're rewarded (and you get small amounts of prestige during combat as well). It's perfectly valid to just keep poking a nation like Great Britain (I tended to get a lot of CBs to humiliate them) and even though I couldn't conquer them, just by defying them, I could improve my empire... even as I used diplomacy to make sure they didn't get so pissed off that they'd declare outright war.