The first half of this AAR is now complete as of 1813. A new, second, part which carries on from that in a new format is currently underway.
The mod this AAR uses can be found in this link. This is the original version which is lacking in AAR-specifc items like Greater Friesland and the Revolutionary states, but it still has many interesting features. These include: new unification decisions, more religious decisons and locations for non-Christians, a divided Japan at game start, new events for Granada and Byzantium and most recently a dynamic colonial revolt system for the Americas (not featured in the AAR, which was on an older version). Credit to Patrick Johnson aka Brainmeats.
The HAARd Way - Friesland AAR
Contents currently under construction.
Chapter One: The Third Revolutionary War
Chapter Two: The Second Inter-Revolutionary War
Chapter Three: Quest for Independence
Chapter Four: Revolution's End?
Chapter Five: Interlude
Forming the Netherlands is quite simple for Burgundy, Holland or Brabant, in fact I've already done that once before as Holland. On the other hand the Dutch minors have a much tougher time of it, with the aforementioned nations looming over them and the HRE watching to prevent easy land grabs. Of these, Friesland is probably the second-hardest. Gelre is toughest as Utrecht have a core on them (in my test game I was annexed within a few years), and Utrecht is slightly easier for the same reason. So playing as Friesland, I’m taking the hard way to forming the Netherlands.
So, my goals and rules for this AAR are:
-Survive: it’s actually my first time playing an OPM so this’ll be a challenge for me
- Form the Netherlands, unite Dutch/Flemish provinces
-No excessive expansion in Europe: I won’t force myself to stay inside the Netherland’s borders, but taking a swathe of land in one go is out of the question.
-No forcing release of same-culture group minors (exception: HRE members). Forcing France to release Normandy, Champagne etc feels too gamey for me.
This is played with a mod, however it only really affects areas outside of Europe so I won’t explain the changes unless they come up in the gameplay.
Without further ado:
The HAARd Way – Friesland AAR
Prologue – The Ambitious King
On the coast of the Netherlands, Friesland was a small and unimportant kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire. Without much to distinguish it from its neighbours it languished in obscurity amongst the wider world. Nonetheless it held the same potential that all the wealthy Dutch nations did, it simply lacked the leadership to make use of it. This came to a head in late 1399 when the Frisians were left entirely without a King. The people searched for someone to lead them from the noble houses, and eventually found such a man in Hendrik Casimir von Holstein. (Friesland starts with no king, and I was lucky enough to get a talented one on the second day)
A man of great ambition, he found his talents stifled when the Holstein region fell under Danish dominance and had taken his house into the Empire. After settling down in family lands in the Lowlands and proving himself a worthy lord to the Dutch peasants he soon found himself being handed the keys to the kingdom. In his ascendance he cast aside his past and embraced Dutch culture as his future. From here on he would work for the benefit of all the people of the Lowlands, and hopefully get his name remembered in the history books for centuries to come.
The first thing the new king did was take a look into the nation’s finances.
It wasn’t a pretty sight; despite the wealth of the people, very little flowed into the national coffers either directly or through investment. It seemed that the best thing to do would be to stop doing what had been done before and look abroad to find out what suited a small nation like Friesland best. The answer was simple and lay just across the water in Holland. They had achieved great wealth by opening up their borders and allowing trade to flow freely through the country. That model was exactly what Friesland needed, so Hendrik I began to enact such policies. (1 towards free trade)
Diplomatically, his advisors suggested an alliance with nearby MŁnster. When the bishop refused to even consider it, the king signed alliances with other nearby nations who were more open to discussion. He also began to send his family members to forge marital bonds with the nations in the Empire to further improve the position of his nation.
After MŁnster failed to provide an alliance (mission cancelled), the advisors suggested that the nation should accumulate money before doing anything else, something that Hendrik I was able to agree with.
Further emulating Holland’s trading economy, the King minted a large quantity of money in order to pay for merchants to travel to LŁbeck and start bringing back money. It didn’t take long for it to pay off, and with money steadily flowing into the economy he was able to scale back the minting to satisfactory levels.
After LŁbeck was exploited to the best capacity, he turned his sights to Antwerpen and began to spread his merchants there as well.
He also sought out some of the greatest economic minds of Europe and found those who had been ignored by their military-minded nations. These great men were brought to Friesland and put to work lending their expertise to the traders of the Kingdom.
With his administrative skills the government was running more smoothly than ever and within two years of his rise to the throne, his efforts paid dividends when a major fishing contract brought a large sum of money in which could be used to further expand the kingdom’s trading opportunities.
Hendrik I was satisfied with the Kingdom’s progress from backwater to major regional trader in just two years, but there was still so much more to go...
To be continued...