RPG Best Newcomer (Jan)
This is the first part of an AAR describing a GC I started playing as the Markgrafschaft Baden. I set the levels to difficult/normal. Didn't reload.
In 1492 Baden is situated in the heart of Europe surrounded by Switzerland, Austria, Württemberg, Bavaria, Thüringen, Kurpfalz and Lothringen. My main objective at the start is to gain a second province as soon as possible, my general goal is the creation of an Allemanic Confederation ( this Confoederatio Allemanorum should consist of all Provinces with a population speaking an Allemanic dialect, these provinces are in a narrow sense Baden, Württemberg, Switzerland, Tyrolia and Alsace but I added Kurpfalz, the whole of Bavaria and Lorraine to it). This Allemanic Confederation should in a next step be able to achieve an approach to the Mediterranean via Venice or preferably Genova/Savoy. Some overseas colonies would be nice also.
Markgraf Christoph rules Baden. Politley speaking he's a weakling. Quite good at administration and diplomacy but don't ask for military abilities. A heavy blow to my expansionist plans, but after promoting the Vogt, I've been able to convince him to go to war with Württemberg that had no allies and is the archenemy of Baden. (I didn't tell him about my visions of the 20th century, but Württemberg had to be annexed to avoid the annexation of Baden by Württemberg in the 1950s) Soon another 10k of infantry were added to the Baden defence army and orders were given out to march towards Stuttgart. Our men came back one month later... defeated!!! Baden had to obtain its first loan to recruit some expensive cavalry units. Strengthened with these our army marched back to Württemberg crushed the enemy forces and laid siege to Stuttgart. The remaining Swabian troops tried to capture our capital of Rastatt. We held beautiful banquets during this time because the weak forces of Württemberg weren't able to harm our fortress.
In late 1494 Stuttgart was captured. In an humiliating peace treaty the Duke of Württemberg had to accept the annexation of his country.
1494 - 1526: Years of consolidation
After this first success a decision was made to remain peacful during the next years. Being still a very small country with a low income most money was spent to place merchantmen at Venice, Flandres and Genova and to promote some of the Markgrafs most humble official. But alas, we weren't able to increase our income decisively. Until 1514 Baden had to pay higher and higher interests but finally the loan was paid off.
The diplomacy of Baden during these years was a successful one. Without spending any money several royal weddings could be arranged. But the most important goal to achieve was to become member of a powerful alliance. In 1504 we succeded, joining an alliance with Spain, Poland-Lithuania, Savoy and the Papal-States. In 1506 this alliance was activated for the first time. Poland had declared war on Austria and achieved impressive victories by capturing Moravia and Ödenburg. Baden although nearly disarmed at this time fulfilled its obligations towards Poland by sending a small detachment of infantry into
Tyrolia, but wisely choosing the declaration of a seperate war. The siege of Innsbruck and its outcome were suprising. Baden had sent out 9k infantry so we never really thought about having a chance. But our Polish allies finding no Austrian resistance marched through the whole country to assist us. In early 1508 Tyrolia fell and the Polish commander handed control of the Province to Baden. Our exhausted troops weren't able to march deeper into the enemy's land so we decided to hold peace negotiatons with Austria. Well, 26d were ours after this. Poland more successful annexed Moravia and Ödenburg.
These years saw some more wars without the participance of Baden. France (as usually) annexed Calais and Bristol after a war with England. Poland (they are brilliant) won wars against Turkey and Russia, annexing two Turkish and one Russian province.
1527 - 1533: The Anti-Reformation Wars
In 1517 some heretics started to criticise the universal catholic church. Baden and its rulers, being devoted servants of the catholic church resisted against this pest spreading throughout Europe. But being broadminded Markgraf Berthold III., who had suceeded to the throne in 1522 decided to tolerate the heretics within our Province of Württemberg. But his policy towards heretic princes should become of a different style.
In 1527 Kurpfalz decided to leave the 'ecclesia universalis'. Having no allies and being the first nation to become Lutheran Berthold declared war towards them without many negative effects for Baden. Freedom for the catholic population of Kurpfalz was written on our banners and 'in signum virginem' our troops marched towards Mainz. Meanwhile we had asked our allies to join us in the war. Spain and Poland accepted, Savoy and (very strange) the Papal-States refused. But with Spain joining the war, Kurpfalz was left in a hopeless situation. While we laid siege on Mainz, Kurpfalz diverted its troops to invade the Spanish Netherlands and to capture Luxemburg. A Spanish Army drove them back, regained Luxemburg and finally drove the remainders of the Kurpfalz army to Mainz, where the army of Baden waited for them. In the peace negotiations of 1528 Kurpfalz had to pay a huge sum of money to Spain and had to cede Mainz to Baden.
In 1531 Switzerland became Lutheran, again the population stayed catholic and again the army of Baden marched out to protect the faithful. Again Spain and Poland joined the war, Savoy and (this becomes even stranger) the Papal-States refused. Swiss mercenaries fought at there best and we suffered heavy losses, but while they wasted their time in Württemberg, fresh troops from Baden laid siege on Zürich. Our Spanish allies sent an army from Franche-Comté to aid us. Zürich fell in the same year, as leader of the alliance control over Switzerland was given to us, we annexed it and gained an additional 15k Swiss army that stood, as I said above, in Württemberg.
Only this additional army allowed us to start the next war against the heretics in Thuringia in 1532. Again with the aid of Spain, we've been able to annex this province until early 1533. (is it worth mentioning that the Papal-States didn't join the war and that they didn't join the alliance again afterwards? Spain and me... We are the 'defensores ecclesiae'!!!)
1533 - 1536 Bankruptcy
The situation after these legal but continued and expensive wars was a really bad one. Baden had gained three new territories but had also used all its five loans to struggle successfully. Philibert, who became Markgraf in 1533, was told by his exchequer in July 1533 that 10,8d of his monthly income of 14,3d were used to pay off the interests. But...as Baden is a very stable nation (needs about 76d to rise one level, gets 10 monthly from neighbour bonus) a plan was made to enforce bankruptcy and in early 1536 Philibert declared with a lamenting voice the inability to pay.(but I saw the smile in his eyes!!!)
1536 - 1541 The Tyrolian War
To enforce bankruptcy money had been used mainly to strenghten the Army of Baden. Although with a bad moral our troops had reached a significant size once more. Philibert, the first leader of Baden with military abilities and I decided to capture Tyrolia in the same year. Three facts spoke for this next war. We thought that nobody would expect us going to war in such a destabilized situation, Tyrolia had been conquered by Venice in 1534, so we didn't have to fear the conbined Austro-Hungarian armies and Venice had no allies.
Surprisingly our Army with a low moral was able to drive the Venetians out of Tyrolia at once. After nearly thirty years we were back but we hadn't gained control over the Province yet. Meanwhile Venice reassembled its troops but didn't send it to aid its garrison in Tyrolia (again this fatal error!!!). They marched towards Switzerland. Hehe, and again the Spanish helped us out (very reliable allies!!!). Again an army from Franche-Comté went into Switzerland and liberated Zürich in early 1539. A constant stream of small infantry units had been sent from Baden to Tyrolia during the years from 1536 to 1538 so Tyrolia was captured around the same time than Switzerland was liberated. It didn't harm us, that Spain made peace separately with Venice in the same year. We retreated our troops back to Württemberg to avoid attrition in the Tyrolian Alpes, supplied our Army with fresh units and inveded Mantua on our own in the spring of 1540. Venice btw seemed all the time very uninterested in our actions and their Terra ferma region. Their main army remained in Venice and from time to time they offered peace without tribute. In 1541 we were able to conquer Mantua and this made the Venetians wake up. They offered Tyrolia for peace. Baden always interested in peace accepted.
1542 - to be continued (don't know when)
these wary years will be followed by another consolidation phase. One bad thing is that Lothringen, which I definitley have to annex has joined my great alliance and my relations towards this country are really bad. So there is also no way at the moment to arrange peacful annexation.
Kaiser v.G.G. (abdicated)
RPG Best Newcomer (Jan)
Hartmann, I don't know if I should recommend this measure in general. I've just noticed it during these Anti-Reformation wars that my stability went alway from +1 up to +3 within...well, between 12 to 15 months. So loosing stability for some months seemed less costly to me than paying back all the money and having no financial possibilities to develop my provinces.
great job tomhas! would you be interested in playing a multiplayer game? i am not free this weekend because i am going on vacation, but i will be free next weekend if you want to play. just let me know. i dont have my copy yet, but my friend who lives across the street does, so i can go over there. thanks.