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Thread: Gentlemen in Germany - a Brunswick AAR

  1. #61
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    1430-1438: The Hehn Legacy


    Having added a vassal to protect on top of their own territory, Brunswick felt the need for more power via economic strength. Just months after the agreement with Holstein, trade regulations were again loosened.

    Despite the death of Treasurer Schütze in May 1431, Brunswick was able to take advantage of the new policies and progress in trade technology in September.



    This came on the heels of other advances in government and production techniques.

    After the breakthrough Brunswick's researchers had little idea of the next step so another expert, Philipp Magnus Eickenroth, had to be hired.



    June 1432 saw the collapse of Würzburg. Coupled with earlier conquests, a great Bavaria was born a bit south of Brunswick.



    Thankfully, Brunswick still didn't have a direct border with the potentially dangerous Bavaria.

    Finally on August 29th Albrecht II died in shady circumstances. Some contend that Brunswicker nobles had something to do with the death, especially after the cloak-and-dagger tactics applied in Holstein. This suggestion could be supported by the fact that one noble, August Karl von der Mark (a distant relative of Cleves' ruling family), rose to the throne swiftly and without opposition despite seeming, to the outside, to have a shaky claim at best. His promising son Erich was born some months into his reign and was named as the heir.



    Meanwhile, Friesland was left with a regency and a good dose of Brunswicker wrath.

    Only a week later Austria deemed it necessary to guarantee Brunswick's independence. It's believed that the suspicious internal proceedings led the Emperor to believe that Brunswick might be a source of unstability.

    Johann Hehn died in February 1434 and was replaced by Julius Gruebel, the most talented Treasurer Brunswick had seen in a while.



    August Karl found Hehn's death distressing as there was now no guarantee how long the Brunswick sympathies in Anhalt would last.

    In April 1436 Brandenburg re-annexed Meissen. From Brunswick's point of view it was a very interesting war. Even after the annexation, Brandenburg was still fighting the relatively strong Hansa, as well as the Teutonic Order which seemed to be active despite the distance, launching naval operations. Brandenburg was allied with Bremen and, notably, Austria, but the Emperor was fighting Muscowy, Novgorod and some smaller nations in addition to the war where they sided with Brandenburg. Besides, the Austrians had very friendly relations with Brunswick, so all things considered it was entirely possible that they'd leave a Brunswick-Brandenburg conflict for the smaller nations to settle. August Karl I figured that this was the best chance he was going to get to conquer Anhalt while the inhabitants still considered themselves Brunswicker, even with Brandenburg outnumbering his armies three to one.

    The courageous declaration of war in May turned out to be the right choice with the busy Austria staying out.



    Brandenburg was only supported by Bremen, but Brunswick's ally Trier was also traitorous, so only vassal Holstein joined their overlord in the conflict. With Trier deserting him, August Karl used a familiar strategy, forming an alliance with Brabant early in the war in an effort to discourage backstabbers.

    The war started well. Just after the Brunswicker army entered Anhalt, Hansa won their siege of Altmark. This led to Brandenburg's forces concentrating on that province.

    With six thousand troops entering the war - a good number for a country of Brunswick's size, but less than they would have fielded with less hasty preparation - more were recruited in all Brunswick provinces. The army would have nine thousand men before any enemies were encountered.

    With no harassment from Brandenburg troops, Anhalt fell in October.



    In an effort to force Brandenburg to the table as soon as possible, August Karl decided to march towards Berlin itself. A small enemy force was disposed of while moving through Ruppin, and the capital was put under siege in December.

    Unfortunately, the main Brandenburgian army won the siege of Altmark in January 1437 and continued to Anhalt. Anhalt fell before Brandenburg did, so the enemy still wasn't willing to budge when their capital was conquered in August. Instead, the 18000 men headed for Brunswick territory.

    As a consolation, a white peace was secured with Bremen, while an alliance offer from the crumbling Lithuania was also accepted.

    Brandenburg's troop numbers were a cause for much concern, so Brunswick's army went out of its way to slaughter small enemy forces in Neumark and Potsdam before settling for a new siege of Anhalt. Meanwhile, frantic war industry had led to scientific advances in both government and military fields.

    With the King's troops in Anhalt, the province of Brunswick fell to Brandenburg's men in December. That army went on to relieve Altmark, again under the Hansa's siege, so the King left only a small detachment to Anhalt while the rest went home to quickly retake Brunswick. The assault was a huge success as the enemy hadn't had time to organize a proper defense.



    After this, things would only go downhill for Brandenburg. They ended up losing the battle of Altmark, and afterwards August Karl I took his army to Ruppin where the weary Brandenburgers had fled. After a major Brunswick win in that province, the siege detachment in Anhalt had the honor of playing anvil to the King's army's hammer in March 1438.



    The loss of their primary army prompted Brandenburg to sign white peace with the Teutonic Order. The Teutons had conquered Bremen earlier and, despite being soundly beaten by Austria, now managed to keep their spoils thanks to Brandenburg's desperation. This meant that Brandenburg was only at war with Brunswick and Holstein.

    July brought major international news as the throne of Scotland was inherited by Sweden.

    After a couple of minor victorious battles over the summer, Brunswick was able to occupy Anhalt again in September. This enabled peace negotiations.



    In addition to gaining the province of Anhalt, Brunswick severely weakened their most dangerous immediate neighbor with forced releases. Thanks to signed alliances with the new nations, Brandenburg would have to go through Brunswick to regain their land.

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  2. #62
    Nice but you need acces to the sea
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  3. #63
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    A Malurous' AAR! How could I keep missing that for 14 days?

    Btw, how often do you expect to gain cores on neigbours so you can declare war on them?
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  4. #64
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    This is great! Nice handling of Brandenburg!
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  6. #66
    El Presidente of Tropico & etc Ivir Baggins's Avatar
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    How did Bremen get taken over by Teutons?
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  7. #67
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    Nicely done. August Karl may have gained the throne in suspicious circumstances but credit to him, the personal union with Friesland broken and an impressive victory over Brandenburg, very well done. This caught my eye too;

    Quote Originally Posted by Malurous View Post
    July brought major international news as the throne of Scotland was inherited by Sweden.
    I truly feel sorry for Sweden, inheriting such a rain sodden craphole of a nation!
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  8. #68
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinnishFish View Post
    Nice but you need acces to the sea
    How come? I mean sure, I want it, but as far as I can tell it's less important here than in an average game. After all, I can't take anything overseas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athalcor View Post
    A Malurous' AAR! How could I keep missing that for 14 days?

    Btw, how often do you expect to gain cores on neigbours so you can declare war on them?
    I'm happy you found it now!

    I haven't done the math, but they seem to come at an average interval of a bit over a decade in the beginning (I've played somewhat further than I've updated). Hopefully, I can also make use of the religious event that gives a core - that might be possible after reformation. Also, I plan to change to a republic at some point and go for diplomatic candidates to reduce the Boundary Dispute MTTH due to high DIP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    This is great! Nice handling of Brandenburg!
    Thanks! I was lucky to catch them in a more vulnerable situation than usually. That way, my smaller military didn't have such a large effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris ze Spider View Post
    That bavaria scares me.
    I can see why... I actually started bribing them, I want them to be friendly when they come through to my border.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivir Baggins View Post
    How did Bremen get taken over by Teutons?
    The original war that I took advantage of was Brandenburg, Austria and Bremen vs. the Teutonic Order, the Hansa and Meissen after a Brandenburg reconquest DoW on Meissen. As the alliance leader of the defensive side, the Teutons made separate peace with Bremen, annexing them after occupying the province in a naval operation. They proceeded to get their behinds kicked by the Austrians, but then got a white peace from the desperate offensive alliance leader Brandenburg, ending that war and keeping Bremen.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Nicely done. August Karl may have gained the throne in suspicious circumstances but credit to him, the personal union with Friesland broken and an impressive victory over Brandenburg, very well done.
    Thanks! Yeah, I'm certainly happy with this king so far.

    I truly feel sorry for Sweden, inheriting such a rain sodden craphole of a nation!
    You're a true patriot, aren't you?
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  9. #69
    All in all, good peace terms Even though it's no immediate concern to you, I wonder what Sweden will do with that acquisition of Scotland?
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  10. #70
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    Alright, update coming!

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry v. Keiper View Post
    All in all, good peace terms Even though it's no immediate concern to you, I wonder what Sweden will do with that acquisition of Scotland?
    Hard to say, but "lose it" probably isn't a bad guess. With no cores thanks to wrong culture group inheritance, I think keeping it could be problematic. So I guess we'll ask that question again in 50 years when we know if they managed to keep it intact.
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  11. #71
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    1438-1442: No Room for Revenge


    With the province of Anhalt gained, King August Karl I focused internal development on the area around Dessau. Land reforms were implemented, following the tried methods that had proven successful in other parts of the nation.

    The noblemen of Anhalt, Brunswick supporters to begin with, were further delighted by these useful reforms, and decided to show their allegiances in the form of a gift.



    In early 1439 Lithuania pulled their ally Brunswick to a war with the Golden Horde, the Ottomans and Armenia. Unlike King Heinrich decades before him, August Karl I held no delusions that he'd be able to reach such faraway enemies. Everyone knew from the beginning that this was a phony war for Brunswick.

    Some nobles back in the capital found this dishonorable and were attempting to strike deals with Münster's court across the border. This came to nothing but relations with Münster were strained somewhat as a result.



    Yet more trade advances were discovered in late 1440, while early 1441 saw England surrendering most of its continental possessions to the powerhouse France.

    Also in late 1440, the Teutons had started an ill-advised war against their former ally, the Hansa. With their allies deserting them, the Order was unable to stand against a coalition of the Hansa, Muscowy and Oldenburg. This became interesting for Brunswick in March 1441 when Oldenburg forced the release of Bremen, originally conquered in large part because of Brunswicker distraction.

    Having a new neighbor who possibly felt they had a score to settle with Brunswick was very alarming. In fact, it could not be tolerated. On the King's request the von der Marks dug up some very questionable family ties to the Bremen throne. War was declared on that shaky basis.



    To prepare for the economic strain from the war, further steps were taken to advocate free trade.

    This time, all Brunswick allies - Holstein, Brabant, Magdeburg and Meissen - joined the war against Bremen and Oldenburg.

    For the first time, Brunswick wasn't fighting a war in which it was outclassed. This time, it was quite the opposite. The small enemy armies made for easy sieging.

    Imperial electors, especially Oldenburg of course, felt that Austria had failed to protect Bremen and Oldenburg, allowing Brunswick to attack them unopposed because of a technicality. This weakness and intense lobbying by Oldenburg led to the vote going in Bohemia's favor instead.



    This had no immediate effect however, and Oldenburg was ready for peace in August. Other nations found that Brunswick wasn't entirely within its rights to vassalize Oldenburg, but Brunswick blamed Oldenburg for picking a fight when the von der Marks were attempting to press a legitimate claim, as well as for conspiring against Brunswick in the earlier war for Paderborn's freedom. Besides, they would get protection in return.



    A month later Bremen fell. From that moment on, August Karl would be known as August Karl I, King of Brunswick and Bremen.



    To commemorate the impressive victory, August Karl ordered the construction of a grand church in Hannover.

    Prior to the Brunswicker conquest three years earlier, the region around Dessau had been regularly changing hands for the better part of two decades. One talented youth had spent his entire life observing this endless cycle of first breaking through defenses and then rapidly rebuilding them, and had become quite an expert on the matter. The idea of bringing him to the court was brought up, but August Karl felt that Brunswick was best served by the man concentrating on his home province. After all, Anhalt was the gateway to Brandenburg, Brunswick's most dangerous neighbor.



    In early 1442 news reached the court that England, earlier humbled by France, had recovered some of its prestige by finishing the conquest of Ireland.


    The rise of Sweden, France and Bavaria, the fall of Burgundy. Castille has crossed the Strait of Gibraltar but is struggling at home.

    Meanwhile, August Karl I found out that his decision to take part in the Golden Horde war in name only was a good one. Brunswick's side of the coalition ended up losing the conflict, with the Horde forcing the release of Pommerania.



    To the King, an independent Pommerania was preferable to one under Polish rule, especially since he now had Bremen to worry about as well. A Poland with less naval resources meant a safer coast.

    All things considered, August Karl took the dual kingship seriously. He spent a good portion of his time in Bremen, successfully removing the people's doubts by taking an active and caring role while gaining the nobility's acceptance with lavish gifts.



    August Karl's kindhearted actions and vibrant conduct were a surprise to many. Often seen as somewhat brash or at least prone to overreactions - his bold response to Bremen's declaration of independence and the subsequent vassalization of Oldenburg are prime examples - he showed a completely different side during his time as the King of Bremen. Due to this inconsistency, the true nature of the King ended up a mystery. Some believe that it was only his strong sense of responsibility that led to impetuous reactions against perceived threats to Brunswick's safety, while others claim that his late friendly behavior was simply a case of trying to manipulate the Bremians.

    Whatever the truth, the influence he had on Bremen was truly exceptional considering that he was only there for parts of eleven months. By the time of his sudden and surprising death on August 11th (possibly related to frequent and heavy partying with Bremian nobles), the continuation of Brunswick rule in Bremen was a foregone conclusion.



    With a nine-year-old Erich, the nobles were once again forced to lead the now larger nation.

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  12. #72
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    is it not a bit gamy to force a union and then "conquer" land in that way...
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  13. #73
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    And I was afraid that you won't have enough resources to expand.
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  14. #74
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chals View Post
    is it not a bit gamy to force a union and then "conquer" land in that way...
    Generally speaking, yes it is and it's a ridiculous weapon at least in HTTT if you don't restrict its use yourself. But that's why there's this in the special rules:

    Quote Originally Posted by Malurous View Post
    Initial slider moves shall be taken towards Free Trade - not only for practical and RP reasons for a trading nation, but also to limit early spies.
    I'm going to get a total of three spies before I move out of Mercantilism and stop getting them, and I've used two of them (fund patriots in Holstein, fabricate claims in Bremen). I can only force unions for German culture group provinces because others don't give cores, and I can't do that more than once or twice as I don't plan to claim thrones. In my opinion it should stay conceivable. So it's not really comparable to any abuse of the PU mechanics - heck, I didn't even save the spies for eating Bavaria and Austria.

    Besides, as I'm very likely to get the cores to form Germany over the centuries, that's a province that I'll probably have anyway in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athalcor View Post
    And I was afraid that you won't have enough resources to expand.
    It's getting better - a positive to being required to have or get cores is that each province I acquire is productive. I'm working hard at trade so that's good for the economy, and getting the opportunities where taking Westfalen and Anhalt was possible really made a difference for the force limit.

    As long as I get cores somehow and make sure that the heavy hitters can't reach me and/or can't concentrate on me (like Brandenburg thanks to Hansa), I can handle these smaller wars now. I'm still far from being over the hump however.
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  15. #75
    A gentlemanly gesture on your king's part paid dividends. That's a nice looking nation you have there.

  16. #76

  17. #77
    A war with the Golden Horde, the Ottomans and Armenia? Probably wise of the late king to stay out of such things.
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  18. #78
    Have you constructed your navy yet?

  19. #79
    Yey ports are fun
    Nothing to say.

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  20. #80
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    Well things certainly move more quickly in Germany than they do in the Americas. Eleven months from PU to inheritance must have been a nice surprise. A port does open up Brunswick's options greatly, although now you'll have to be a bit more way about joining wars against the naval powers.

    Were you at all concerned that the HRE might have stepped in in your war against Bremen?
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