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Thread: A History of Baden

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    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    A History of Baden

    Hello. If you are reading this, then that means that you have accidentally clicked on the wrong link; The Eagles of Avalon is one above my fledgling, all too probably short lived AAR.

    As you can probably guess, given my post-count, I have never done this before. That means that this AAR is highly experimental, and may be abandoned at any moment, for any reason (including probable lack of readers).

    Anyway, to the meat of it:
    This AAR will be in a strictly “history-book” formula; there will be basically no characterization. Also, I am not above heavily distorting actual game play for the purposes of this AAR; most illogical AI activity will be airbrushed away, and some events that happened in the real world will still happen, e.g. the Hussite Wars etc. regardless of what happened in the game.

    I will be role-playing throughout the game; one of my goals is to, at the end of the day, have a Baden which could have existed realistically. There will be no colonies of Baden in the Americas, nor will there be an “Empire of Baden.”

    The actual game is EUII 1.09 with WATK, to hopefully make the German minors survive longer. It will be played on Normal/Normal, for the reason that I am awful at EUII.

    A Note on Historical Accuracy: Other than a skim through Wikipedia, I have basically done NO historical research whatsoever. If anyone comes to me with a complaint about historical accuracy, they are probably right. Also, I do not speak a word of German, so you can expect plenty of errors on that front.

    Finally, I am 14 years old. If that isn’t a bad omen, I don’t know what is.
    Last edited by Fulcrumvale; 09-09-2006 at 01:10.
    A History of Baden- Will Bernard I von Baden-Baden and his wife Anna von Oettingen lead Baden to victory or disaster?
    Nominated for the Weekly AAR Showcase, 9/25/06!/ Nominated for Best Character Writer of the Week, 10/29/06!/ Winner, Favorite History-Book AAR, EU1/2, Q3 2006!

    "And the dream would grow ever grander and more wonderful, and the higher it reached towards the impossible, the more beguiling it became."--Emile Zola

  2. #2
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    The Coat of Arms of the Margraves of Baden-Baden


    A History of Baden
    From the Reign of Bernard I to the Present Day

    Prologue


    Bernard I of Baden was born on July 18, 1364, as the eldest son of Rudolf VI of Baden by his wife, Matilde of Sponheim. At the time of his birth, roughly a third of the area we now know as Baden was under the control of his family, the Margraves of Baden-Baden. They had their power concentrated in the north and center of the region. The southwest of modern Baden was under the control of the Margraves of Baden-Hachberg. Finally, the south/east of Baden fell under the control of the Margraves of Baden- Sausenberg, who were nominally the vassals of the Hapsburg rulers of Tyrol.

    All of these lines originated in the 12th century, when the original line split into the Baden-Baden’s and the Baden-Hochberg’s, the latter of which later split into the Baden-Hochberg’s and the Baden-Sausenberg’s.

    Bernard I was said to be an almost stereotypical image of a “gruff solider” on the outside; contemporaries all agreed that he spent an inordinate amount of time training for war as a knight. However, in retrospect it is obvious that, judging by his own accomplishments, he was far more than a bored German aristocrat wit money to blow on weapons and armor. While he would never become famous for his diplomatic dealings or financial acumen, he was possessed of a great ability to listen to and act upon the advice of those who did. He was surprisingly adept at attracting and keeping such personages, and knew talent where he saw it. By the time of his death in 1431, his lands were some of the best governed in Europe.

    Bernard I inherited his fathers position at age 8, in 1372. His mother, however, ruled for an additional 8 years as regent until 1380, when he came of age. According to an inheritance contract created in that same year, the margraviate would be divided between him and his brother, Rudolf VII. Rudolf would get approximately1/3 of the margraviate, which would revert to Bernard (or his descendents) upon his death. Further, Rudolf VII would be a vassal of Bernard, and would have no external political dealings. As inheritance contracts went, it was a good one. Sadly, it didn’t last long; Rudolf died in a hunting accident in 1391, at the age of 25.

    The Margrave of Baden married twice. His first marriage was to the sickly Margarete of Hohenberg, the daughter of a politically important local lord, in 1384, when he was 20, and his bride was 22. However, their marriage was both loveless and childless; they were divorced nine years later, in 1393. It was during this time that he sired both of his bastard children, Bernard in 1386 and Anna in 1389. Both were off women of some repute, and both were acknowledged and well cared for; Bernard became a knight and Anna found a good marriage to a nobleman.

    Bernard’s second marriage, however, was an entirely different animal. Anna von Oettingen was young, beautiful, and absolutely brilliant. Despite sniggers that he as marrying beneath himself (Anna was from the lower end of the nobility) they were married within a month of meeting each other, on September 15, 1397. The couple eventually had five children, however it would be over a decade before a male heir, Jacob, was born.

    Anna was what would politely be called a “formidable” person. She quickly established herself as the dominant personality among her husband’s advisors. She brought with her not only her intelligence, but her brutal sense of realpolitik which would be the primary force behind Baden’s foreign policy until her death in 1426.

    Anna von Oettingen was the brains behind the major reforms in the taxation system of Baden in the early years of the 15th Century. These reforms involved the creation of a standing, state funded watchdog organization to continually audit the tribute of the vassals, in addition to the mercantile class. Their job was twofold: to insure that the vassals were paying in full, and to insure that the aristocracy was not unfairly taxing the peasantry. Furthermore, this organization was to be appointed by fiat from the ruler of Baden, with no oversight from the nobility. This had a myriad of important results: it limited the power of the nobility, endeared the margraves to the peasantry, and centralized the government, in addition to increasing the annual income of the margraves drastically. It is a testament to Anna’s brilliant diplomatic mind that, by 1404, the new system had been fully implemented, and all resistance from the nobility had been crushed.

    However, Anna was not entirely successful with her diplomacy. During her reign, Baden was drawn into a series of diplomatic (and sometimes not so diplomatic) disputes. The best known of these was a highly public quarrel between Rupert of Germany, Holy Roman Emperor, over his right to tax Baden, which soon snowballed into an expansive clash over each parties rights to own several estates in and near Baden (the emperor had several estates there, which Bernard laid claim to). It was also during this time period that Baden began its running dispute over nearly anything and everything (mostly border disputes and Rhine river commerce) with the free imperial city of Speyer. Also, an attempt to forge any kind of unified treaty regulating tolls and trade along the upper Rhine River failed miserably.

    Nonetheless, in her greatest accomplishment, the taxation reforms, Anna succeeded brilliantly. Baden’s coffers swimming with cash by 1410. This was fortuitous; for the Rupert of Germany was dead. A heavily contested election ensued. The main contenders for the throne were Sigismund, king of Hungary, his elder half-brother Wenceslaus of Bohemia (the man that Rupert had overthrown to become Holy Roman Emperor in 1400), and Jobst of Moravia (the brother of Charles IV, emperor from 1355-1378).

    Anna convinced her husband to throw the support of Baden (and its 40,000 Rhine Florin slush fund) behind Sigismund. In a series of secret meetings in early July, a quid pro quo agreement was hammered out between Anna and Sigismund. Baden would use its money and control of much of the Rhine River to influence the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz, an influential swing voter. In return, the lands of the Baden-Hochberg family would be granted to Bernard, when the sickly, sterile Otto II died (he was and would remain childless); and, should he survive or obtain a male heir, that the emperor would support a military annexation of their lands upon the surfacing of a convenient excuse.

    While 35,000 Rhine Florins were dutifully delivered to the Elector of Mainz (5,000 were given to Sigismund during the negotiations) the election turned into something of a flop; Wenceslaus of Bohemia withdrew several months later, and Jobst of Moravia (who had, from the beginning, been Sigismund’s toughest opposition) died.

    The house of Baden-Baden would bide its time for the coming years. It would carefully watch the Council of Constance as it ended the great schism, and heard vague rumblings of heresy coming out of bohemia. Then, in 1418, it happened; Otto II of Baden-Hochberg was dead without a male heir; his land had reverted to the Holy Roman Emperor.

    However, fate decided to intervene in the otherwise assured transfer of the land to Bernard. The powerful Bavarian branch of the Wittelsbach family also claimed the Baden-Hochberg lands, on the basis of a political marriage. While the agreement made in 1410 between Anna and Sigismund was important, so were the Wittelsbach’s. Worsening the crisis, Louis III, the elector of the Palatinate and member of the Palatine branch of the Wittelsbach’s added his weight to the political crisis, re-opening several disputes that Baden had had with his father, Rupert of Germany, as well as taking the side of the city of Speyer in an ongoing dispute it was having with Baden.

    Anna von Oettingen promptly began assembling some 80,000 Rhine Florins for another massive bribe to Sigismund. Baden’s treasury at that time consisted of some 47,000 Rhine Florins, so massive amounts were borrowed from Jewish and Italian bankers. A string of heavy taxes were created in order to eventually repay these loans as well as cover the astronomical interest; tolls for passage along the Rhine nearly doubled, for example, and taxes on the peasantry also increased exponentially.

    Luckily for Baden, however, Sigismund ruled in their favor. While he had gleefully accepted the bribe, in retrospect it was unlikely that he would rule in favor of the Wittelsbach’s; while they were powerful, they had also formed some of his staunchest opposition in the election of 1410, instead favoring Jobst of Moravia. Further, Louis III had been one of the electors who had only voted for Sigismund once his rivals were dead or had withdrawn (and even then, had done so grudgingly). However, giving Louis a face saving measure, he refused to arbitrate the dispute between Speyer and Baden, giving him an outlet for his continued clash against Baden.

    Nevertheless, 1419 saw an enlarged, but indebted Baden which was ultimately just one of several hundred obscure counties in Europe. That was about to change.


    Baden in 1419
    Last edited by Fulcrumvale; 09-09-2006 at 01:12.
    A History of Baden- Will Bernard I von Baden-Baden and his wife Anna von Oettingen lead Baden to victory or disaster?
    Nominated for the Weekly AAR Showcase, 9/25/06!/ Nominated for Best Character Writer of the Week, 10/29/06!/ Winner, Favorite History-Book AAR, EU1/2, Q3 2006!

    "And the dream would grow ever grander and more wonderful, and the higher it reached towards the impossible, the more beguiling it became."--Emile Zola

  3. #3
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Most impressive for a first time AAR and for 14. I know you'll have at least one reader in Judas Maccabeus. And you have another in me. Good luck and welcome.
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    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    coz1:I assure you, the quantity and quality of this AAR will drop off sharply once school starts ( ), so enjoy it while you can.

  5. #5
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    A History of Baden
    From the reign of Bernard I to the Present Day

    Chapter 1-The acquisition of Baden-Sausenberg, Part 1


    July 30, 1419 was a date that would rock the Holy Roman Empire to its very foundation, for, on that day, the followers of Taborite priest and military leader Jan Žižka initiated the Defenestration of Prague, where members of the town council of the said town were thrown from the windows of the town hall. The Hussite wars, which would last until 1436, had begun.

    The Hussites, who got their name from Jan Hus (who had been executed in 1415 on orders from Emperor Sigismund) were a proto-protestant religious sect that was opposed to the catholic church. There were two sub-sects of this group; the moderate Utraquists, who wanted only minor reforms, and the radical Taborites, which recognized only two sacraments, Baptism and Communion and rejected most of the ceremony of the Roman Catholic Church.

    To summarize an incredibly long, complex story, the Hussites gained control of much of Bohemia. At this point, Emperor Sigismund (who had inherited the title of King of bohemia from his brother after he died of an apoplectic fit in august, 1419) declared a crusade against the Hussites. This allowed him to mobilize a truly immense army of approximately 100,000 men against the Hussites. By June 30, 1420, the crusader army was at the gates of Prague. However, the logistical problems of supporting such a huge force left them with no option other than to retreat, leaving behind garrisons in the area that he had occupied.

    Sigismund then attempted to negotiate with the Hussites. These negotiations promptly broke down, when they demanded that the Catholic Church reform itself, as described in the Articles of Prague.

    The Hussites then moved to besiege the critical fortresses of Vysehrad and Hradcany that had been left garrisoned by Sigismund when he retreated. The crusader army attempted to relive the sieges, but was decisively defeated at the Battle of Pankrác. Vysehrad and Hradcany fell soon after. By late November, 1420, the army that had once numbered 100,000 now had barley 70,000 and was shrinking daily due to desertion, while most of Bohemia was under the control of the Hussites.

    It was at this time, on November 17, 1419, that Rudolf III of Baden-Sausenberg declared that he had Utraquist beliefs. It was possible that he believed that he could negotiate his way into retaining his lands; it is more likely that he was senile. Within a month, he had been excommunicated for heresy. His lands were now ripe for the picking.
    Last edited by Fulcrumvale; 07-09-2006 at 02:31.

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    Colonel Saulta's Avatar
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    Hey, it wasn´t that bad after all, with that intro I thought it would be something that you´d barely care about. I am one year older than you, and still, your writing is excellent, much better than mine. And look at that, you now have two readers,

    Saulta
    One does not simply walk into Mordor, but if one did, it would probably be the shortest walk ever.

  7. #7
    Great start... I've always wanted to do an AAR but find all the saving images ect (which I find essential for AARs... mostly maps, I like maps) to make the game less enjoyable...

    Best of luck

    Reader # 3.

  8. #8
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    Saulta:I’m a little pessimistic right now. Actually, the entire reason that I started this AAR was to take my mind of the fact that my dog (really just a puppy) has a potentially fatal disease (Canine Parvovirus).

    EDIT: I Turn my back and I already have a third reader. Wow, that was fast. Welcome aboard, Dairpo.

  9. #9
    Colonel Saulta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrumvale
    Saulta:I’m a little pessimistic right now. Actually, the entire reason that I started this AAR was to take my mind of the fact that my dog (really just a puppy) has a potentially fatal disease (Canine Parvovirus).

    EDIT: I Turn my back and I already have a third reader. Wow, that was fast. Welcome aboard, Dairpo.
    Well, that sucks.
    One does not simply walk into Mordor, but if one did, it would probably be the shortest walk ever.

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    Untrustworthy poo EvilSanta's Avatar
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    Really, really impressive text for 14-year old. Tell me, are you native english speaker or not? If you are non-native, then I really appreciate that stuff.
    Was würde Brian Boitano tun?

  11. #11
    I had an AAR once. I abondened it due to lack of reader interest, I made it to the 2nd update. Hopefully this AAR will make it furthur, and finish. I'm sorry about your dog, hopefully he will get better.

  12. #12
    This looks very good. Haven't got time to read it now so just subscribing. Good luck.

  13. #13
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    EvilSanta: No, I’m a native speaker. In fact, despite being rather good at English, I’m awful at other languages (I scraped by with a 75 on my Spanish final due to laughably generous partial credit).

    Iron_Skull: Well, I’ve already passed the 2-update hump already, and there seems to be a good number of readers. That bodes well for the future.

    Duke of Wellington: Thank you very much for dropping in. I should probably read through your Golden Horde AAR soon, and I’m already lurking on your Theodoros AAR. Shame about the Rawandan one, though.
    Last edited by Fulcrumvale; 12-08-2006 at 00:24.

  14. #14
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    A non-contemporary portrait of Bernard I, commissioned by his decendents some time in the mid-late 16th century.

    A History of Baden
    From the Reign of Bernard I to the Present Day

    Chapter 1-The acquisition of Baden-Sausenberg, Part 2


    Under normal circumstances, Rudolf’s heresy would be promptly squashed by the Duke of Tyrol, Rudolf’s liege lord. However, these were not ordinary times. Frederick IV von Hapsburg, Duke of Tyrol had heavily mobilized his personal lands and led those troops as part of the crusader army in Bohemia. In fact, when the Rudolf was excommunicated, he had barley 3,000 troops that he could call up, most of poor quality and, furthermore, only 1/8th of that already miniscule army were knights or heavy cavalry. Excaberating the situation, Fredrick could not call up mercenaries, having emptied his treasury to support his army in the field. By comparison, Rudolf III had 7,000 men, including 1,000 cavalry. Further, he had reorganized his armies along the now famous Hussite lines of traveling wagon forts that had broken the crusader army. Additionally, he promised major reforms to improve the lot of the lower class when the war was over, greatly increasing the morale of the rank and file of his army. Fredrick, realizing his impossible situation, ordered his men to simply hunker down in their castles and wait for relief.

    Bernard I (or, rather, his wife) realized that Baden had a chance for territorial expansion in Rudolf’s rebellion. While Fredrick and Sigismund had found common ground over the Hussite wars, the two hated each other. In fact, Sigismund had nearly had Fredrick excommunicated himself at the Council of Constance for (for a time) supporting Antipope John XXIII.* Anna von Oettingen once again found herself traveling to the Holy Roman Emperors court for secret negotiations. This time, she demanded that, should her husband put down Rudolf’s revolt, he should keep Rudolf’s land. Sigismund, enchanted with the idea of striking another blow at the already antagonistic Hapsburgs, readily accepted. Anna returned to Baden on December 5, 1419. By new years day, the Army of Baden was marching off to war.

    Unlike Fredrick, Bernard had not fully mobilized his army for war against the Hussites. He had not, of course, forbidden them to leave, and many had, but Bernard still had the vast majority of his army with him; approximately 9,500 infantry and 2,000 cavalry (he had lost 500 cavalry and 500 infantry to the crusade). On January 1st, Bernard I of Baden-Baden marched off at the head of his army on a crusade of his own, optimistic about his success. He would soon be amazed by just how little having God on ones side affected the results of a war.


    *- Whoops! It turns out that Frederick IV von Hapsburg, Duke of Further Austria (Tyrol) was actually excommunicated at the time in question for supporting Antipope John XXIII at the Council of Constance. Since I am too lazy to re-write last update to accommodate this fact, we will be ignoring it.
    Last edited by Fulcrumvale; 07-09-2006 at 02:33.

  15. #15
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    Okay, that makes three updates on my first day, and I have nothing to do all next week.
    Last edited by Fulcrumvale; 12-08-2006 at 00:29.

  16. #16
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    Rudolf III, the man who would defy Bernard’s plans. Portrait by a 19th century painter.


    A History of Baden
    From the Reign of Bernard I to the Present Day


    Chapter 1-The acquisition of Baden-Sausenberg, Part 3

    Bernard I was making a terrific gamble by mobilizing his army and embarking upon a campaign in the middle of winter. Generals of the time almost always waited until at least March, and usually May to begin offensive operations. Normally, their simply wasn’t enough food in winter to support such an army. However, here Bernard had a critical advantage; the Rhine River. It and its tributaries dominated Baden, and gave any army in it an infinitely better supply line than an overland one. So long as he stuck to the Rhine, Bernard’s troops would be fed. However, there was a second, far more important reason to be launching a campaign now than “because I can.” Rudolf’s army wasn’t in Baden, it was in Tyrol, besieging Fredrick’s castles. If Bernard moved fast, he could catch Rudolf with his pants down. Thus, the objective of his campaign was to seize Freiburg, and with it much of Southern Baden, without a fight.

    He got off to a bad start. On January 2nd and 3rd, a massive blizzard stopped Baden’s army in its tracks, barley miles from where it had started. However, on the 4th, good progress was made; the army was now at the Erz River, a tributary of the Rhine. The fifth day saw a march down the Elz, however the negotiations for the surrender of the castles at Teningen and Emmendingen lasted through the sixth. However, on the seventh movement was again drawn to a halt by heavy snowfall. That night, Bernard resolved to ignore the fortifications at Denzilgen and Gundelfingen and proceed directly to the prize, Freiburg.

    However, the accumulated delays had allowed Rudolf to extricate his army from Tyrol and move it into Baden. When, on the morning of the 8th, the army reached the ford at Altdorf, they found 2,000 enemy soldiers awaiting them. In his initial objective of capturing Freiburg before engaging enemy armies, Bernard had failed. However, he had not failed totally; this was only the Baden- Sausenbergen vanguard. The main army was still two days march away. If Bernard moved quickly, he could still seize Freiburg before the main heretical army arrived.

    In this too, he would fail.


    Last edited by Fulcrumvale; 12-08-2006 at 14:33.

  17. #17
    The Politickin Scene Kid Anarhco Liberal's Avatar

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    Nice AAR. Even though I am 12 I really doubt that I will have as good of writing as you when I am 14. Maybe that is the reason why all of my AAR attempts have been futile.
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  18. #18
    Strategos ton Exkoubitores Fulcrumvale's Avatar
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    Thanks Anarcho Liberal. It’s good to have you aboard.

    By the way, here is a map of Baden for reference. The river that runs just above Freiburg is the Erz river. Teningen and Emmindingen are both along that river.

    Edit: The map is in french, not German. That's bad...
    Edit:*deleted expletives* It’s the Elz river, not the Erz River! Uh oh…
    Last edited by Fulcrumvale; 12-08-2006 at 04:10.

  19. #19
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Sounds like rough sailing to start. But then, messing with any kind of Hussite is.

    One suggestion - be careful of putting up too many updates at once. Some of us have a hard time keeping up with multiple updates everyday. Just a word to the wise so you can get as many following as possible.
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  20. #20
    Fat Cat Public Servant Sir Humphrey's Avatar
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    Great series of updates! Very nice.
    Showcase of the Week March 30, 2004 - The Australian Lion.
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