Earlier scottish campaigns:
IGC, Scotland instead of England.
At a first go, I found Scottish armies stood no chance against English armies. Searching for the cause, I discovered IGC generates English land & naval tech at 2 and Scottish at 1. I found this irrealistic. Many mercenaries fought for one or the other. Land tech between England and Scotland was not very much different. Scotland might even have been slightly ahead in naval knowledge - James IV had a warship built larger than anything the English could muster. So I raised both Scottish land & naval tech to 2.
Other settings: hard, agressive.
Websites of interest:
Cheryl was not in the classroom, James concluded as he walked in, looking around for her. It made him feel both disappointed and relieved. Going straight to his Command Cabin, he was spotted by the nurse responsible for the medical care of the students studying with Alternate History. She followed him into his cabin. She smiled:
"How long will this lesson take?" she asked.
"Just a few years", he answered. "But I am not sure, when I live through this period faster, or when I fail, I might return earlier."
She nodded. "I can give you a shot for a year, and check every month." She was about a 10.000, still very young, and her short brown curls gave her a pretty look. Her smile nearly made him forget about Cheryls absence.
He nodded. "That sounds OK. Do you know where Cheryl and Bob are?" he managed to ask. By including Bob into his question, he avoided to reveal any special interest in Cheryl.
"Cheryl is already in her cabin", the nurse replied. "I don't know about Bob."
"Cheryl already active!" it flashed through him. Happily his mind slipped away into the Command Computer, knowing he would have a chance to meet Cheryl on that strange world called Earth, somewhere at the end of the 15th century.
He awoke in a strange body. The body structure felt familliar, but the language was new.
"Our dear Highness James IV, may I present to you the latest financial reports of our kingdom?"
He forced the lips of the body he had taken over to formulate a positive response: "Yes, please do".
He quickly found out both from the mind of his host body and from the reports that his host was James IV, King of Scotland. That his host was also called james, was pure coincidence.
Finances looked bleek, but he needed a few months to discover how medieval the financial structure of Scotland really were. And that he was absolutely unable to change anything about it, for the time being. His first measures were aimed at stabilizing the country. James IV always seemed to have loved splendour and fun, so a few royal court balls were held to boost the confidence of the scottish nobility in the government.
Finding Scotland politically isolated, James IV frantically searched for noble scotsmen able to represent the Scottish interests at the French court. Perhaps the English court would have been more logical, and much more closer, but he had learned to distrust the English during one of his previous lessons, when he had taken command of France during the hundred years wars.
Using his knowledge of the French court he gave extensive instructions to the young Floyd macDonald who he sent to Paris. Despite this, Floyd failed to bring Scotland into an alliance which France had started with Poland and some minors.
James recalled him and sent him back, this time with a ore delicate task: cement ties between the French and Scottish Royal houses. This time Floyd succeeded, bringing back Maria Boit, a very pretty young women, daughter to the favourite mistress of the French king, who had her name quickly changed into Mary Boyd. Though not as good as a real royal marriage, it did cement relation between the two courts. And at his 3rd trip, Floyd had the French king sign the alliance pact James had prepared.
Meanwhile, life wasn't easy in the highlands. Luckily, England left Scotland at peace. Time impressed the neeed for reform on James mind. Only 20.000 ducats a year flowed into the royal treasuries. This allowed just a 1000 men a year to be recruited. The increase stability had not led to any noticible increase in the financial influx of the kingdom.
He held no high opinion of general macKenzie, who commanded 10.000 troops in Strathclyde, and ordered him to unite the Scottish armies under his personal command at the capital Edinburgh.
After a year of studying the financial reports, he concluded that the only realistic option to improve the Scottish finances was to acquire new lands. English lands. That should'nt be impossible, giving the precarious state of England. Half of Ireland was in revolt. A reconnaisance by the Scottish fleet along the English North sea coast reveals no English armies of any significance.
Scotland declared war, and called upon France and its other allies. France replied that it had been waiting for just such an opportunity to retake Calais. Two minors dishonoured the alliance.
James host liked sports of all kinds, and enjoyed physical exercises, and longed to be in the field with his army. James decided to have a go at generalship, and give in to the desires of his host. The army marched with 27000 men into the area known as the Marches, and quickly liberate its capital by storming the walls. Great rejoycing throughout Scotland, as every true Scotsmen feels the Marches belong to Scotland, and that English occupation was a blame on Scottish pride. Marching on to Lancashire, James hopes to repeat this quick succes, but fails. Despite the timely arrival of a few thousand weel trained recruits, the storming of the city fails. The English raise a small army in Wales, and launch a premature offensive against the main Scottish army.
After taking a few months of well earned rest, and while James orders the Chief treasurer to take a state loan of the unheard amount of 200.000 ducats to raise 15000 new recruits, Lancashire is stormed again and this time the town falls to the Scottish heroes.
The scottish armies move east to Yorkshire. The treasury runs out of money, confident of the abilities of his king to solve all problems, the chief treasurer takes out another 200.000 ducat loan on his own initiative. The Scottish army fails to take Yorkshire in repeated assaults, as the English confront them with artillery which the Scots cannot match. But Scottish army technology quickly follows the English, and the next year James brings 10 guns. The French allies do not seem to send any men. They do not even seem to assault Calais.
The English slowly raise troops in the Midlands and Wales, and soon Lancashire is under English siege. The guns are slow to built, and it takes till next year before James can order another assault on Yorkshire. This time the guns partly compensate the English fire, and the town is taken. Lancashire is slowly weakening under English guns, but the Scots defeat the English army.
By now the finances of Scotland start looking desparate. But the English king refuses to give up the Marches and Yorkshire. So James marches south to teh Midlands. Defended by 10000 men and over 20 guns, this may be considered a samll fortress to continental armies, it looks very tough to the Scots, who have just minimal fortresses themselves. To complicate things, the English general keeps throwing small armies against the Scots, making assaults on the city walls impossible. It takes two more massive loans before the town is taken.
The english offer the Marches for peace, but James refuses. Scotland is nearly broke, and this one province would be insufficient to repay all the huge loans Scotland was forced to take. Jamwes offers the English King peace in exchange for the Marches + Yorkshire, an offer which is refused. More loans for more artillery, is his short order to the chief treasurer. He gladly obeys, but also points out that the Jewish money lenders made it very clear that this is absolutely the last loan they will provide for the time being.
The remannts of the Scottish armies march on Lincoln, and the Scottish artillery starts pouncing on its walls. Suddenly the English king Henry VII sends an offer of peace, ceding the Marches, Lancashire and Yorkshire. James gladly accepts.
With one stroke of the swan feather the scottish area is nearly doubled from 4 to 7 provinces.
Far from solving the Scottish financial problems, this war has multiplied them. Monthly interest is 10 times the montly income. Sending merchants to Flanders does not solve the problem. After ayear, Scotland goes bankrupt.
The money lenders are heavily disappointed in James integrity. They swear that should they ever lend money again to him, their interest rates will be accordingly.
With the disappearance of the large debt, James allows his host some pleasures under partial self control. This also allows him to spend his energy in another direction: he has already spent several years in this ge and not discovered a single signal of one of his classmates, let alone from Sheryl. But for the time being, his attempts are in vain.
Disappointed, he returns his attention to state affairs. On the continent war between France & the minors on one side and the English drags on. The Helvetians and Brittans have taken Calais. To the south, on English soil, the Papal States take Lincoln. After a few months they receive it from Henry's hands in exchange for peace.
James can only wait, build up the army, and invest some money in the appointment of tax collectors.