Whats the most effective way to take areas? Read below.
Conquest VS Puppet/Annex
Puppet/annex not only give you more land but also much less infamy over straight up conquest. Also 5 years later you can annex the puppet for less infamy.
Puppet is especially preferred if the target won’t go to war, because in that case conquest will only be able to get you one state at a time.
Puppets give you income but it doesn’t give you the pops resources and building space. So if you just want income puppet them and if you want building space, farm land and pops annex the state.
Puppeting the world costs infamy, and you have a limited number of infamy in every game, so you’d have to chose carefuly where to spend it on, and never be at zero as that’s basically the same as staying at max gold reserves wasting income, it’s a resource you’re not making use of.
Ofc if you feel confident you can at least white peace out of any wars with any superpowers you can always go above 100 infamy and just ignore the negatives altogether.