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Thread: Porta Atlanticum, Portus Classis / An England MMU AAR

  1. #61
    Duca di Firenze CJL78's Avatar
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    Indeed, I've been lurking in your AAR as well, it's quite exciting so far, and interesting to see an English Queen once in awhile. Maybe Jane will be an early Catholic version of Elizabeth for you, with a long and powerful reign?

    I do not know whether the static_modifiers question is true or not. But it is the most essential part of my changes, so you'd need it for it work at all.

    At this point with my newest change I can very well guarantee the Balkans will not turn green in my submod unless Bulgarian or Serbian are accepted by the AI Ottos. Greeks are now very hard for them to convert but I still have one event left to finish coding so that accepted cultures will get the same -5% missionary chance as non-accepted, thus keeping tolerant states (Lith/OE) from converting accepteds (Ukr/Belarus/Greek)
    Last edited by CJL78; 10-11-2010 at 00:17.

  2. #62
    Geologist Salik's Avatar
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    This is excellent. You obviously do a lot of research, and you manage to incorporate it nicely. Also, very good explanations for in-game events
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  3. #63
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    CJL78: I did some poking around in the game files and realised I did get it ass-backward after all. It's the defines.txt that I'm thinking of, not the static_modifiers.txt; and I was thinking of the spread of discovered provinces, not percentage to get an accepted culture... I remember changing the "spread of discovery" variable during some experimentation in the pre-NA days and whatever savegame I had at the time failed to use the new/revised "spread of discovery" interval.

    So I said all that to say this: in all likelihood I will try to incorporate your "toleration" mod into my game, once I get the latest update posted.

    Salik: Thanks! I try to fit the game's random events into the framework of actual historical occurrences. Due to the way the game works, things might not occur in the "proper" time, but they can still make sense even when time-displaced.

    For example, the real Anglo-Irish "surrender and regrant" initiative did not begin until the historical Henry VIII's reign, as a means of trying to Anglicise (and Protestant-ise) the Irish nobility. But there's no particular reason an enterprising monarch couldn't have tried something like it much earlier, and it makes a whole lot more sense than "On this date a bunch of vassal lords decided to give up their sovereignty and join the great nation of X, because we are awesome."
    Last edited by Chris Taylor; 10-11-2010 at 02:30.

  4. #64
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    i think you underestimate the sheer power of awesomeness....backed by thousands of soldiers and a
    battle fleet with an economic pot to piss in.
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  5. #65
    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    Just read it all up till now, I love it.
    I like the mix of gameplay and history-style storytelling a lot. You're keeping things plausible too, which is great. (then again if you're playing MM that's to be expected )
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  6. #66
    He doesn't row Throne's Avatar
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    Apart from you being a graphical wizard, I must say you're also a superb storyteller.

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  7. #67
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    _________________________

    Capitulum VII.
    Bring me my Bow of burning gold

    _________________________



    Though all of Henry V's offspring enjoyed the benefits of a first-class medieval education, only his daughters seemed to have inherited both the martial spirit and chivalric devotion of their great-grandfather, John of Gaunt. To many observers, it seemed be a wasted opportunity, for few thought the middle children—both girls—would be anything other than footnotes; the highly accomplished wives of some forgettable foreign kings. Like her father, Jane excelled in martial pursuits—hunting, warfare, and riding—but unlike him, she enjoyed great skill and renown in the fine arts—music, literature and languages (English, French, Latin and Greek).

    When her brother ascended the throne as Henry VI, Jane was just five; while many sovereign brothers would have sought to marry off their siblings as rapidly as possible for political advantage, Henry never gave the matter much thought. Though some insignificant foreign courts pestered him to marry off his sisters to their sons, he had not even formulated any such plans by the summer of 1428, when Fate—in the form of a viper—brought 22-year-old Henry's reign to an early and untimely end.

    Before Jane's accession, England had scant contemporary experience with queens regnant. There was the "Empress" Matilda in AD 1135, but she hadn't much more than a few months' actual reign. Though Matilda was the oldest living child of King Henry I, and had been formally named heir and successor, the country was thrown into a succession crisis when her cousin Stephen of Blois effectively usurped her title. In one of the many battles that followed, Matilda's illegitimate half-brother Robert of Gloucester even managed to capture King Stephen, but "Empress" Matilda was obligated to conduct a prisoner exchange after Gloucester was captured by Stephen's wife, the Countess of Boulogne—also named Matilda.

    The battles for the throne and Stephen's subsequent poor governance gave rise to a nineteen-year period of upheaval known to English history as "The Anarchy". The nation's latter-day barons wish above all else to avoid a repeat of this period of chaos; some—such as Richard Plantagenet, the rebellious Duke of York—credit the Anarchy not to Stephen's weakness and poor administrative abilities, but to the regrettable sexist notion that females cannot govern as strongly and competently as males. Thus the duke's grab for the throne is not merely a self-interested lust for power, but a sincere (if entirely misguided) attempt to save his country the horror of two decades of needless civil war.

    For her part, adolescent Jane is mindful of the need to cultivate a positive impression with her subjects, her noble peers, and foreign contemporaries. On her accession, she wisely leaves the membership of the Queen's Council virtually intact. These men who have served her grandfather, father and brother have provided England's machinery of state with an unprecedented thirty-two years of continuity through four different monarchs and the interregnum.


    The young queen has learned well from her preceptors, determined to provide a just and beneficent government that shall be the envy of all the courts of Europe.


    But before Jane can dazzle Europe with England's glories, England must put its own house in order. In the summer of 1431, armies under the command of Jane's uncles (the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester) are dispatched to Cambridge Castle, stronghold of the would-be usurper. The odds are overwhelming; royalist forces number 12,000, while the rebels can count on only 2,000 defenders. In what is variously attributed to Lancastrian deception, treachery, or simple Yorkist hubris, Richard sorties his forces from Cambridge Castle in a vain attempt to break the siege. It is (for him) an unmitigated disaster.


    Following York's death in battle and the surrender of his defeated army, the duke's severed head—with mocking paper crown—was affixed to the castle's bailey as a warning against further rebellion.

    _________________________


    With the end of the revolt, Jane is able to turn her attention to domestic policies (Trade technology advanced to 3, +1 trade efficiency). In the medieval period, monarchs sometimes required that all foreign trade in specific commodities be conducted at a designed port or market (typically known as "the staple"). Concentrating all of a commodity's international trade in a single port made it much easier for the Crown to monitor the flow of exports (and levy all-important taxes on same). The staple, however, tended to be moved around from place to place, suiting the political needs of the monarch of the day.

    In early 1432, a company of some twenty-six English merchants who would come to be known as the Merchants of the Staple are incorporated at Calais. The Merchants will help police payment of export taxes amongst their members, and in return are granted a complete monopoly on English raw wool exports. The extra revenue will be sorely needed as Jane moves to put England's economy, diplomacy and military on a more aggressive footing.


    The establishment of the Merchants of the Staple was an enormous boon to English commerce, but caused great friction with the Burgundian Lancasters, who thought that their merchants (as subjects of a related Anglo-Norman dynasty) ought to be able to trade on equal terms.

    _________________________


    Incredibly, English domination of the curia continues for its third consecutive decade. Almost a half-dozen cardinals from all over the country now work in close quarters with the Pope and his court. Few nations are blessed with the opportunity to be this influential, and the Queen is determined to take advantage of it.



    Alas, troubled Yorkshire is home to more corruption. The Archbishop of the diocese is believed to have been appointed to that post via liberal application of Richard's considerable money and influence, but removing a Lord Spiritual without specific evidence of temporal or spiritual misdeed would undoubtedly put Rome's nose out of joint.



    The senior members of the Queen's Council persuade Jane that her people's goodwill—and her own political capital—should not be spent on relatively trivial matters such as a bishop with sticky fingers. If Jane really does mean to increase her country's power and prestige in Europe, the contingent of English clerics in Rome must focus all of their energies and intellects on much weightier matters—keeping the Emperor out, the English in, and the French down.

    _________________________


    Few foreign ambassadors will concede that the kings and queens of England have any realistic claim on the bulk of France, but virtually all agree that England has a valid claim to Armagnac. Under the 1360 Treaty of Bretigny, much of southern France (including all of Gascony and Aquitaine) was ceded to King Edward III. The king's son—Edward the Black Prince—ruled the area on behalf of his father, but his taxation was astronomical and in 1369 the Count of Armagnac found Edward's yoke so unbearable that he rebelled and appealed to the French king for relief. Jane intends that the Armagnacs be called to account, at long last.

    Reports from Continental ambassadors indicate that against all odds, the Holy Roman Emperor is still at war with France. Moreover, the conflicts with Brittany, Provence and Bohemia have worn down the French army to the point where it is at rough parity with the English (total men under arms: ENG 24,000; FRA 23,500). Confidential consultations with trusted allies seem to indicate that Portugal and the Irish vassals will back a notional foray onto the Continent; Austria and Cyprus, however, are disinterested.


    Initial invasion plans, spring of 1432.


    While Jane is judged to be the nation's superior military tactician, the Council deems it unwise for the Queen to lead the invasion of Armagnac; sovereigns in recent memory (i.e. Richard II) have been deposed while leading troops on foreign adventures. Younger (and expendable) sister Mary, Princess of Wales, will be given the task of conquering distant Armagnac—and, if fortune permits, the French vassal further south. When Armagnac's protector in Paris enters the fray, Jane's forces will sweep through Normandy, staying closer to the Channel should the Queen—for whatever reason—need to be brought home quickly.

    When England finally declares war on Armagnac in the spring of 1432, France and all of her vassals rush to defend the beleaguered Gascon county. But they have little hope of stemming the tide, for the wars of unification have exhausted the French people, and English allies are too numerous.



    The French navy hides in its ports, unwilling to face the overwhelming numbers of the English and Portuguese fleets. The French army doesn't fare much better. After a pitched battle, Princess Mary easily dislodges the Armagnacs from their home county, and sends half her force further south, where it defeats the army of the Count of Béarn. In Normandy, Queen Jane's armies push the defenders out of Caux, then capture the fleeing units en masse in Normandy.



    Both royal sisters wait for the Valois to concentrate their forces and strike back, but the crafty French don't take the bait. Instead, enormous French armies move into Gascony and Saintonge, intent on destroying the remaining English bastions in southwest France. With her own siege campaign apparently under control, Mary sends some of her more experienced siege engineers north to assist the defenders.



    _________________________


    Jane's administrative skill (along with the war effort in France) has a salutary effect on the country, knitting lords, clergy, merchants and subjects together into growing sinews of English nationhood. Everyone—from the most refined nobleman to the meanest serf—knows someone fighting and dying in France, and that knowledge drives all to strive a little bit harder, save a little bit more, and be a little less quick to quarrel.



    _________________________


    To the east, the Grand Duchy of Moscow strives to build bonds of nationhood not by working together, but by driving out those who don't quite fit in. Fearing Orthodox oppression, hundreds of Catholic Muscovites brave the howling winter gales of the Baltic and North Sea to make landfall in England. They naturally gravitate to Northumberland, home of the English clergy's own parliamentary "pocket borough".



    _________________________


    In the spring of 1433, the English city of Saintes is about to be surrounded and besieged by a hostile French army. The core of a small army had started mustering there (1 footsoldier regiment recruited in Saintonge), but the men in it—boys, really—have only a couple weeks training and can not hold their own against the veteran French. Nonetheless, they sally forth against horrific odds, outnumbered more than ten to one. In what can only be described as a miracle, the inexperienced, barely-trained footsoldiers hold off the French for several days, before exhaustion and repeated cavalry sorties crush them utterly. Of the one thousand, less than a dozen survive.

    But their sacrifice galvanises English defenders across the province. Behind the city walls of Saintes, there is renewed defiance; across the nation, a generation of men vow to avenge Saintonge.



    When word reaches Rome, the English cardinals lobby furiously for a papal bull condemning Henri II de Valois. Not wishing to anger his powerful English patron, Pope Gregory XIII agrees.


    The excommunication also paves the way for Castile and Aragon to declare war on France.


    By early November, Mary has captured Bayonne and Pau, while Jane has taken Rouen. When Mary moves north to relieve Gascony, she is able to decimate and dislodge the attrition-ravaged besieging French armies. France's war effort is starting to crumble, and the news cheers many (+1 stability).

    _________________________


    In the eastern Mediterranean, the decaying remains of the Eastern Roman Empire undergo a revival when newly elevated Emperor Manuel III Laskaris rebels against his Ottoman masters. At the same time, three provinces in southwest Greece rise up in revolt and join the newly liberated Romans. Could this be the beginning of a Greek reconquista?



    _________________________


    With the New Year comes news of another war, and one that threatens to harm England's economy in a more direct way. Denmark (and her Kalmar allies Norway and Sweden) have once again declared war on Lübeck, queen city of the Hanse and England's primary foreign market. Upon the request of Lübeck's ambassador, and without consulting the Privy Council (forgot to check the relative strengths of the potential opponents and allies!), Jane immediately honours her grandfather's guarantee and sends a squadron from the Channel to begin operating in the Danish Øresund and Baltic Sea.


    The initial engagements are promising.


    Despite the Council's initial panic, there appears to be little cause for concern. It seems as if half of the Holy Roman Empire has also risen up to defend the tiny Hanseatic city-state upon whom so much trade and finance depends.



    _________________________


    With her objectives in southern Gascony attained, Princess Mary retires to Bordeaux in order to enjoy a little bit of rest and relaxation. As she is merely heir presumptive, and does not expect to succeed to the throne, Mary is perhaps a little more wild and carefree than her royal sister.

    While campaigning in Normandy, rumours reach Jane that her sister favours the attention of a certain minor nobleman at court, and that a portait au naturel in the likeness of Venus has been commissioned for the young lord's manor.

    Though Jane herself has some embarrassments she'd like to live down, they are nothing like this. A stinging rebuke brings her younger sister back into line, while royal influence assures the young knight is "promoted" to a particularly dangerous and undesirable posting in Gibraltar.



    _________________________


    Another year of campaigning finally brings France to her knees. England occupies her ancestral claims in Normandy, Gascony, and Aquitaine; the Portuguese have occupied a part of Brittany; the Emperor has taken Champagne; and the Castilians are streaming up from the Pyrenees, sweeping all before them. Queen Jane has Paris under siege, and it is expected to capitulate in a matter of months.

    The Privy Council wants all of England's former lands reclaimed, but this will create great anxiety and tension with virtually all of her Catholic neighbours. Jane understands that the prudent monarch honours her word, and takes only her recognised rights; she asks only for the return of Gascony, and the renunciation of all French claims to it. Expecting much worse terms, Henri II de Valois is happy to cut a deal in which his vassals are sold out, but France herself loses no territory. English aggression will be paid back in due time.


    _________________________


    ENGLAND c. 1435

    Jane I Lancaster (ADM 7/DIP 7/MIL 8)
    By the Grace of God, Queen of England and France and Lady of Ireland

    Dynastic Links:
    ~ Burgundy (Duke Louis-Joseph I Lancaster-Valois-Bourgogne)
    ~ Cyprus (Basileus Jacques II Lancaster-Lusignan)
    ~ Lüneburg (Duke August I Lancaster-Brunswick-Lüneburg)

    Treasury: £5.2 million (52m ducats)
    GDP (estimated): £44.85* million (448.5m ducats)
    Domestic CoTs: London £38.56* million (385.67m ducats)

    Army: 8,000 Knights (Chevauchée), 16,000 Footsoldiers
    Reserves (potential levies): 22,964
    Navy: 14 Carracks, 14 Pinnaces, 18 Cogs
    Discipline: 123.70% *
    Tradition: Army 18.50% * Navy 21.60% *

    Prestige: First (100)
    Reputation: Slightly Tarnished (4.00/24.00)
    Legitimacy: 100

    * 1431 estimate

    Nota auctoris: Apologies for taking so long with the update, post-vacation work took longer than I thought. Also, I got caught up in the excitement of the warfare and forgot to take screenies of the postwar statistics (and I didn't make another savegame for a further 5 years, so I can't go back to a save and dredge up a close approximation). So I've just carried over the 1431 stats for some figures.

    Don't ask me how I was able to demand Armagnac + Béarn and also get France to drop its claim to them in the peace deal. I assume that has something to do with the fact that I declared on Armagnac but France was the alliance leader. At any rate it's a "feature" I didn't mind exploiting at the time.
    Last edited by Chris Taylor; 03-12-2013 at 22:37. Reason: Changed image host.

  8. #68
    NOP-field present Moderator Qorten's Avatar
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    A most excellent history-book AAR you are writing here, Chris Taylor. I look forward to see the power of the English grow, despite the obstacles the game throws at you. You manage to make it quite realistic.


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  9. #69
    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    An excellent update as usual. This AAR has the highest quality of historical narrative and inllustration I've seen in a long time.
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    Great update. I'm not usually a fan of history book AARs but you are a great writer, and I was hooked.

  11. #71
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    This was fantastic! Well done! I commend you for this.
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  12. #72
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    blsteen: You made me chuckle. I'm imagining this ("You underestimate the power of sheer awesomeness...") said in a James Earl Jones/Darth Vader voice for extra comedic effect.

    Beowulf1990: Thanks! Plausibility is one of my key goals for the AAR; to have England/Britain end up with her historic 1815 territories via a route as plausible as the real timeline.

    Throne: Thanks! They are indeed RoN buildings. Originally I wanted a more hand-drawn look to go with the map style, but the actual medieval map excerpts I had for that purpose didn't look right with the EU3 soldier sprites.

    Qorten: Thank you. This game has surprised me more than a few times already. I don't remember the EU3 + MMU AI being as crafty as it gets a couple of decades later.

    Omen: Thanks, that's quite a compliment. I didn't consider myself a fan of gameplay AARs, for example, until I read gabor's Danzig effort. The fun thing about AARland is that someone always manages to exceed expectations with something fresh.

    Ashantai: Thanks, as always. France was a bit of a pushover due to her ongoing entanglement with the Emperor. But she gets much tougher as she consolidates further.

  13. #73
    Duca di Firenze CJL78's Avatar
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    Great war and a great update! Jane and Mary are quite the odd duo.

    Also, you could ask for the provinces because France was alliance leader (and overlord); you could revoke France's cores on them because France did not own them.

  14. #74
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Taylor View Post
    Beowulf1990: Thanks! Plausibility is one of my key goals for the AAR; to have England/Britain end up with her historic 1815 territories via a route as plausible as the real timeline.
    I'll be interested to see what this means for your French territories. Seems a shame to have gone to all the trouble of winning them back only to have to give them all away again.

    That war with France was a nice piece of work too. I thought that the early death of Henry V had put paid to a successful French war, but it would appear not.
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  15. #75
    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    I'll be interested to see what this means for your French territories. Seems a shame to have gone to all the trouble of winning them back only to have to give them all away again.

    That war with France was a nice piece of work too. I thought that the early death of Henry V had put paid to a successful French war, but it would appear not.
    No harm in bending history a little. IT perfectly plausible that England could have held on the Continental holding if things went a bit differently. As long as he doesn't do something as prepoustorous as conquering his way through Russia or the like.
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  16. #76
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    CJL78: Thanks for the clarification... makes sense, now.

    Mary's stat distribution sort of mirrors Henry V's, so I thought it made sense for her to inherit a bit of her dad's personality. She won't have to worry about being sovereign as soon as Jane cranks out a kid, in theory, so less to prepare for. Jane is more gifted all-around and (probably) less of a screwup in her youth.

    Dewirix: It's a difficult balance to strike, and I haven't quite got it all figured out just yet.

    Right now I'm trying to approach it kind of like one would if one had to act as a power-of-attorney for the monarch. You want to make decisions in the monarch and country's best interests, but you also don't want to mortgage their whole future by hanging on to provinces that threaten to suck up all their time, energy and money.

    With regard to the French provinces, I will certainly fight to keep them as long as possible, but logically I think there will come a tipping point where, as France consolidates, its forcelimits and manpower will far outstrip my ability to challenge them in a war. Unless the game somehow telegraphs that to me way in advance, I won't really know where that point is until I have my butt handed to me.

    I was going to give warfare a go with Jane just because of her stats, but I wasn't expecting the Holy Roman Emperor to stay at war until I was ready to go, too. France with already-inflated war exhaustion, fighting another manpower black hole was just too good to pass up.
    Last edited by Chris Taylor; 18-11-2010 at 19:39.

  17. #77
    Artificer Urza's Avatar
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    Good update. I like Jane's decision about war demands, and her reasons for it, it feels realistic.

    [..]Thus the duke's grab for the throne is not merely a self-interested lust for power, but a sincere (if entirely misguided) attempt to save his country the horror of two decades of needless civil war.
    This line made me laugh.

  18. #78
    General gabor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Taylor View Post
    On her accession, she wisely leaves the membership of the Queen's Council virtually intact. These men who have served her grandfather, father and brother have provided England's machinery of state with an unprecedented thirty-two years of continuity through four different monarchs and the interregnum.
    I can't help wondering how the teenage Queen gets on with the men thrice her age.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Taylor View Post
    The French navy hides in its ports, unwilling to face the overwhelming numbers of the English and Portuguese fleets.
    Typical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Taylor View Post
    The excommunication also paves the way for Castile and Aragon to declare war on France.
    Did you actually do anything towards this, or did you get en event giving you a choice, or was it just sth behind the scenes (Pope's decison) and you got to know about it thanx to your new casus bell? I don't quite get it how excommunications work in MM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Taylor View Post
    English aggression will be paid back in due time.
    Ominous?

  19. #79
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urza View Post
    This line made me laugh.
    Sometimes naked ambition needs a fig leaf?

    Quote Originally Posted by gabor View Post
    I can't help wondering how the teenage Queen gets on with the men thrice her age.
    Well enough to amicably run the country for now, but not well enough to want to listen to the old codgers forever. There are some retirements coming up.

    EDIT: Actually, looking at the 1431-1435 screenshots now, I realise court changes did actually occur a year after Jane's accession, and I had forgotten about them because I had so many war-related images to post. I'll squish them into the next update.

    Quote Originally Posted by gabor View Post
    Did you actually do anything towards this, or did you get en event giving you a choice, or was it just sth behind the scenes (Pope's decison) and you got to know about it thanx to your new casus bell? I don't quite get it how excommunications work in MM.
    It was the Pope's decision and I learned about it thanks to the new casus belli; he excommunicated France, and within a month or so, Aragon and Castile kicked down France's door to deliver two-fisted papal justice. I think the player-initiated excommunication option has been removed from MM since MMP or thereabouts. Or it's just hidden somewhere and I'm too lazy to find it?

    EDIT: As for how it works, if I recall correctly, if your relations with the Pope slip below 100, then you will be in danger of excommunication. Likewise if you do Pope-unfriendly stuff like side with (or create) an antipope, conquer Rome, get too chummy with icky Protestants, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by gabor View Post
    Ominous?
    Without letting slip too much of spoiler... let's just say it took a long time for them to work up to it, but France gets in a couple good kicks at a really inopportune time.
    Last edited by Chris Taylor; 19-11-2010 at 01:54.

  20. #80
    Nice work! A very good read. I do wonder why you chose to take Bearn, a non-core, inland province, rather than a core coastal province like Normandy (I assume you have a core there in MMU?). Normandy would certainly seem to make more sense in terms of infamy and economy. I could see defensiveness being a factor in the decision, but it's not as if you'll be able to defend even a large Aquitaine from a strong France :P

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