Episode 14: the First French War
Our first war with a European power and a strong one, too! France has high Land and Naval tech levels, 23 in both. We are a bit better of, with Land 25 and Naval 24. The French navy has 12 Big Ships and 23 Light Ships, quite small compared to our 35 Big Ships and 12 Light Ships, with our allies adding 11 Big Ships. On land, however, things are less rosy. We have about 120.000 of troops including allies, while the French alone have 190.000 troops. Besides numbers, France has the Military Drill National Idea, improving their morale even more over their Hard Difficulty bonus. This will make winning battles against France very difficult, as we have about 4.2 morale with full funding while the French armies have about 6 morale, almost 50% more. Luckily, France has no allies, so there is little chance the opposing force will grow.
With the core provinces of China and France out of reach of the opposing armies, I expect that any combat between us will take place in Central America, where French colonies border our Central American possessions. In particular, France has two colonies north-east to our Central America colonies, which are seized immediately by 5th Corps. In August 1599 we get the great advisor event for our Diplomat: this means a -6 Infamy loss! Exactly at the right time, as this will considerably shorten our "Dishounorable Scum" status. Sometimes it is better to be lucky that to be good.
In november France brings the "Armée Alpine", 20 regiments strong, into our Central American territory, instantly gaining local superiority as we have only 5th Corps there with 12 regiments. Also, elections take place, in which I keep the current guy, as I like having the Bureaucrats in power. Sadly, our doge dies a couple of days after the election, forcing a new election in which I support a bureaucrat candidate. A ADM 7 MIL 3 DIP 8 leader is chosen, which I quite like.
In June 1600 we get another National Idea slot, which I use to get Shrewd Commerce Practices, as trade is now our most important source of income and I want to make sure it stays that way. I also start building Arsenals, the level 5 Land building.
With 1601 we get embroiled in another war! Bihar wants to subjugate our ally Ayutthaya which wisely called us to arms. Of course I answer the call. As Bihar has Land level 10, this will be a walk through the park.
My assault-only strategy works really well against such weak forces. After 8 months Vijayanagar and Rajputana sign White peaces with us, leaving Bihar alone against the might of 2nd*, 3rd and 4th corps.
In september 1603 we bring Bihar to the peacetable after capturing 30 provinces in as many months, forcing them to release Bengal, Taungu and Lan Na, greatly reducing Bihar's power.
But not only India sees great political changes. In the Diet of Amsterdam, the Holy Roman Emperor has enacted yet another Imperial Reform. From now on I keep a close eye on this, as this might mean I have to content with a unified Holy Roman Empire.
In the elections of November I choose to keep the current leader, as I like having the Bureaucrats in power while having the Eunuchs close to power. In 1604 the people sample new religions, which gives me a good opportunity to slide towards Narrowminded, which I take. I also get a slider move which is used to increase Centralization, making China fully Centralized. Finally I build three Free Art Academies to reduce our dependence on Patron of the Arts.
Meanwhile, 5th corps fights a guerilla fight against the superior Armée Alpine, retaking provinces when the French army marches on. As we fight on own territory, our assaults upon the Armée Atlantique whithers the enemy down, even if every battle we lose more men than they do. But in june 1603 we have our first victory over a Western army, reducing the French invasion force to 6000 men strong. After some chasing we are able to wipe out Armée Atlantique in Tohancapan, destroying 20 regiments with our 12 regiment strong 5th corps! Strategically unimportant but a nice tactical victory over a superior enemy nonetheless!
And our victory emboldens our allies. Here you can see the brave Khmer in action in the Carribean, a historical first as this is the first Asian Army in the Atlantic.
Sadly, the French take revenge. In 1605 a new invasion forces lands in Central America with the "Armée de L'Atlantique", consisting of (again) 20 regiments. In the first battle with 5th corps in Tohancapan, 5th corps is completely wiped out! Apparantly Tohancapan is the place where armies go to die. In the mainland a new 5th corps is raised, together with a 9th and 10 corps to strengten the Central Republican forces. In the meantime, the Republican Guard is sent to Central America. I later reinforce with the reinstated 5th corps and the new 10th corps, but as a trip to the Americas takes 6 months, it takes some time to get some boots there!
I use this time to enact military modernization! After 54 years of being in the Western Tech group, we finally finish the process and modernize our armies. We are now as strong as any Western nation.
However, this comes with quite a price: losing the Mandate. This map shows the revolt risk with the Mandate Lost. With the Mandate of Heaven, this map would be an even bright green.
In march 1606 the Republican Guard arrives in the New World, where it avoids open combat and instead retakes territory taken by the Armée de L'Atlantique. In November the people sample new religions, which I oppose, sliding our policy towards Narrowminded. December sees the first British territorial acquisition in India. I don't like that, but at the moment I can do little about it.
In 1607 5th corps arrives in Central America, which marks the start of direct combat with the French forces. In November we get the Mandate back, a great relief. In the elections I choose to keep our great leader. In 1608 the Armée de L'Atlantique is finally wiped out! With 40 regiments destroyed out of 190, the French forces have been dealt quite a blow. I reconquer all lost territory and retake the two French colonies by the end of the year.
In January 1609, after exactly 10 years of war, France agrees to a white peace! In fact, with our taking the two French colonies, this first Western war is a modest success in my books.
Here's an overview of the Central American situation after the French war. Basically all the territory north of Aztec is newly acquired in the war by taking over provinces with armies, outside the negotiation tables.
After peace has broken out, we get renovating a pagoda and as I am cheap, I go with the no-cost option which comes with -5 Bureaucrats influence, which causes the Eunuchs to take over.
New merchants are sent out, but not to Kurz and Fars, which are abandoned. This new feature in Divine Wind consists of a button in the CoT screen which removes all your merchants from that CoT. As the Kurz and Fars Centres are marginalized, I want these merchants in more profitable places.
In November we get a grave for a eunuch, which shifts the balance of power back to the Bureaucrats after only 7 months!
After some uneventfull years we have once again elections in November 1611, in which I again opt to keep our great ADM 7 MIL 3 DIP 8 Doge, ending episode 14.
The last two decades has seen some territorial growth but at the cost of the economy which has weakened in quality. However, the wars has seen some hefty military expansion. Inflation is now almost completely removed.
change during decade change since 1399
1600 1610 absolute relative absolute relative
No. of provinces 83 86 3 4% 32 59%
Yearly income 5.211 5.990 779 15% 5.152 615%
Yearly income/province 62,8 69,7 6,9 11% 54,1 349%
Inflation 0,5 0,2 -0,3 N/A 0,2 N/A
Manpower (x1.000) 210 239 29 14% 154 181%
Army Size 85 103 18 21% 64 164%
Navy size 73 61 -12 -16% 12 24%
change during decade change since 1399
1590 1600 absolute relative absolute relative
#provinces 74 83 9 12,16% 29 53,70%
yearly income 5954 5211 -743 -12,48% 4373 521,84%
yearly income/province 80,46 62,78 -17,68 -21,97% 47,26 304,57%
inflation 0,9 0,5 -0,4 N/A 0,5 N/A
manpower 192 210 18 9,38% 125 147,06%
army 76 85 9 11,84% 46 117,95%
navy 60 73 13 21,67% 24 48,98%
Next episode: Wild West and Wild East