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Thread: Gentlemen in Germany - a Brunswick AAR

  1. #101
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    1446-1450: Out of Their League


    The late year saw some minor government reforms, as well as the death of Natural Scientist Schauseil, a court employee for over three decades. He was replaced in the position by Christian von Rhein.



    The next one and a half years featured quite serious negotiations for the newly liberated Magdeburg to join Brunswick as a vassal. Unfortunately, the council was ultimately unable to close the deal.

    Also, some discussions were held with the Austrians and it soon became apparent that neither country took their earlier phony war personally.



    There were, however, major events abroad during that period. The annexation of Burgundy gave France an even stronger position in April 1448, while closer to home, Bavaria strengthened further by annexing the Palatinate in the same month.



    With the monster on their border growing, the nobles knew that something had to be done, and quick. Not having a King was what tied Brunswick's hands, so the declaration of age of Erich I was hurried slightly. The new King rose to the throne on May 10th, with his younger brother Karl Wilhelm becoming the heir.



    The nobility trusted a talented individual like Erich to be ready to rule, and they turned out to be right. Erich immediately started war preparations, and in less than three months Brunswick was in position to declare war on Münster, attempting to force the Osnabrück claim.

    With allies from both sides joining the war, Brunswick's side seemed to have the upper hand, but only by a small margin. Especially the Hansa could potentially cause trouble for King Erich.


    In addition to those pictured, Meissen and Brabant fought on Brunswick's side while the Hansa joined Münster.

    They started that early, throwing Brunswick out of the Hanseatic League.



    On August 21st, just thirteen days into the war, Münster's 3000 strong cavalry was routed by General Jaxtheim's army.

    Sieges were started on Münster's provinces. The war was now only about keeping the rest of the enemy coalition at bay until Osnabrück could be occupied.

    In October, Jaxtheim was able to chase the Hansa out of vassal Holstein, which they had been sieging. While Brunswick took more losses, the Hansa ruler failed to rally his men to keep fighting with only an offensive siege at stake.



    Parts of that army retreated to Lübeck, where Jaxtheim beat them again in November. Afterwards, the Hansa combined their armies to make them too strong for Brunswick to strike at. General Jaxtheim had no choice but to help his vassal Holstein siege Lübeck for the time being.

    Meanwhile, a Hanseatic siege of Altmark succeeded and, much to Brunswick's chagrin, Magdeburg surrendered in February 1449.



    This unfortunately freed all of the Hansa's might to be directed at Brunswick. In a close battle in late March, Jaxtheim was forced to abandon Lübeck.



    Things weren't all bad however. Next month, two enemy provinces fell as Brunswick got through Osnabrück's defenses while ally Brabant occupied Dutch Zeeland. Holland was required to make a cash payment to Brunswick to get out of their predicament.



    With this, ending the war became a serious option. When Jaxtheim's retreat didn't help - the Hanseatic army slaughtered nearly 3000 Brunswickers in Holstein, and the main Brunswick army was down from 9000 men to 2000 - it became obvious that Brunswick had already got everything it could from this conflict. Peace was signed with Münster for the province of Osnabrück and some monetary reparations.



    Sadly, the disastrous final battles had been too much for General Jaxtheim. His injuries kept him bedridden and finally proved lethal as he passed away in the summer. Having been instrumental in two wars that, combined, added a province to Brunswick's domain as well as weakened their rivals, Jaxtheim was given a hero's funeral.

    On the diplomatic front, the war had one major consequence. King Erich restarted negotiations with Magdeburg, which had re-allied with Brunswick immediately after the war, and this time they were more receptive. Now both Brandenburg and the Hansa had took advantage of the vulnerability of the small nation, and their nobility feared what would come next. After another year and a half of negotiations, Magdeburg was secured as a Brunswick vassal in December 1450.



    In just two and a half years on the throne, King Erich I had acquired a province for Brunswick and added their third vassal. His reign certainly had got a magnificent start thanks to the problematic yet fruitful war.

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  2. #102
    How much trouble would you be in if Bavaria attacked? I've lost track of who is Emperor, would they come to your aid, or support Bavaria?

    Good job with the war, though your army sounds like it needs some R&R after those battles.

  3. #103
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    Oh the cursed diplomacy mechanics that banned Hansa from annexing Altmark - I learned to hate them from gabor's AARs.

    Anyway, good war. IMHO you could hold off a Bavarian campaign together with your allies and the Emperor.
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  5. #105
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    For all my love of abstract literature and storytelling, this remains my favorite kind of AAR: a well organized series of illustrated gameplay points with just enough plot flavor. I'm enjoying it tremendously, and always adding up to my own knowledge regarding the game

  6. #106
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    Great job. I'm always afraid I'm going to get quickly annexed when I play these minors but you make me want to try a game again.

  7. #107
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    Well done. I've just read through all of this AAR, and your progress is impressive. I've tried a few games with Brunswick, but never really gotten anywhere. This AAR might just make me change that.
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  8. #108
    Im just wondering.... Is there desicion to be North German Federation ?
    Nothing to say.

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  9. #109
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    That was rather ungateful and hm... hm... un-gentelmanly towards your former ally.
    And a Habsburg commanding a Hansa army - priceless!

  10. #110
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    Time to break the Hansa next.
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  11. #111
    You call Bavaria big. Have you taken a look at France? The absence of Brunswick-Luneburg from Brunswick proper is upsetting. Time to claim what is rightfully yours.

  12. #112
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    An impressive start to Erich's reign indeed with such gains, you are beginning to form quite the vassal army. I have to agree with blsteen, it would be very useful if you can deal with the Hansa.
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  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omen View Post
    How much trouble would you be in if Bavaria attacked? I've lost track of who is Emperor, would they come to your aid, or support Bavaria?

    Good job with the war, though your army sounds like it needs some R&R after those battles.
    Thanks! You could say that, I have about 5000 men in twelve regiments.

    I'd be in a lot of trouble, at least if it was one on one. They have about four times my troops.

    Bohemia is the Emperor. If Bavaria DoWed with a CB, Bohemia wouldn't take part in the war.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athalcor View Post
    Oh the cursed diplomacy mechanics that banned Hansa from annexing Altmark - I learned to hate them from gabor's AARs.

    Anyway, good war. IMHO you could hold off a Bavarian campaign together with your allies and the Emperor.
    Cheers. With the Emperor definitely, but it would have to be a war without a CB for them to get involved. With just my allies it would be a difficult war with not much room for error, but doable for sure.

    Hehe, I was certainly fortunate to get Münster as alliance leader there. Both for our and Magdeburg's sakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris ze Spider View Post
    When does Bavaria's provinces core?
    I don't remember exactly but still ways off. Too late for them to stay under the limit.

    Quote Originally Posted by tcnc View Post
    For all my love of abstract literature and storytelling, this remains my favorite kind of AAR: a well organized series of illustrated gameplay points with just enough plot flavor. I'm enjoying it tremendously, and always adding up to my own knowledge regarding the game
    Thank you for the praise! I'm surprised that this can be used for learning about the game, I thought my actual game actions wouldn't be clear enough for that in this format. But good to hear that it's possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyJoe View Post
    Great job. I'm always afraid I'm going to get quickly annexed when I play these minors but you make me want to try a game again.
    Thanks! Definitely give them a try, these are fun games with more of an element of danger than with larger countries. You just have to expand quickly and decisively when you get an opportunity. It may not be easy to do - the first war that had me pay off two enemies and take two loans before I could reach my goal is a perfect example of that - but if you sit around with a province or two, someone will eat you eventually. Kill or be killed, so to speak.

    There's always risk involved in the early going, especially with the current annexation rules (I remember a recent game I started with Switzerland where Burgundy got a boundary dispute on me almost in the beginning, came over the border with overwhelming numbers, destroyed my small army before I could even move it to safety let alone do anything with it, besieged both provinces so I couldn't build more, and finally annexed me a few years in), I'm just happy that it wasn't realized in this game as that would have been a bit embarrassing.

    Personally, I believe that you can say that you've "made it" past a minor's dangerous beginning when you're big enough to afford a 4 cav, 8 inf standing army. In this game, I have exactly that right now (though the additions in the previous update will allow me to expand it).

    Quote Originally Posted by dinofs View Post
    Well done. I've just read through all of this AAR, and your progress is impressive. I've tried a few games with Brunswick, but never really gotten anywhere. This AAR might just make me change that.
    Thank you! Sure, give it a go, it's in a pretty interesting position in my opinion. And in a perfect one for my rule set as the lack of a major neighbor in game start makes a rush start (which wasn't possible to do here) less necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by FinnishFish View Post
    Im just wondering.... Is there desicion to be North German Federation ?
    Hehe, no. Of course, all the required cores for forming Germany are in the north.

    Quote Originally Posted by gabor View Post
    That was rather ungateful and hm... hm... un-gentelmanly towards your former ally.
    And a Habsburg commanding a Hansa army - priceless!
    They were never my ally. We were on the same side in that one war because both were allied with Magdeburg, and in that I saved their bacon by protecting them from a more powerful Hesse (of course they helped by then sieging Hesse's provinces so I could move on). Other than that, my dealings with the country were limited to them causing some trouble that cost me a stability point and gave me a diplomatic insult CB on them, and of course them holding land that's rightfully ours for a while. So it was a just and gentlemanly war, no question, as a gentleman defends his country's honor!

    Quote Originally Posted by blsteen View Post
    Time to break the Hansa next.
    IIRC I don't run into Hansa again in a long time. I'm somewhere in the 1600s in the game however so I don't remember exactly. Anyway, Hansa is hardly the biggest problem here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Ragusa View Post
    You call Bavaria big. Have you taken a look at France?
    Yeah, like I said at some point, they're in full In Nomine mode. The difference from my point of view, of course, is that Bavaria borders me and France shouldn't be in a position to reach me any time soon as long as I make sure I don't end up becoming the Emperor. Which is the very reason why I'm not aiming for that position...

    The absence of Brunswick-Luneburg from Brunswick proper is upsetting. Time to claim what is rightfully yours.
    That's true. I'm just waiting for the game to agree that it's rightfully ours.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    An impressive start to Erich's reign indeed with such gains, you are beginning to form quite the vassal army. I have to agree with blsteen, it would be very useful if you can deal with the Hansa.
    Like I said to blsteen, the Hansa causing trouble to me seems to have been a one-off. I have more dangerous neighbors that are a higher priority...

    One positive to only taking cores is the fact that I'm at zero infamy almost all the time. That way, even though I mostly limit myself to diplomatic vassalizations, I still manage to get a good bunch of vassals.
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  14. #114
    You've got a lot of OPM''s as neighbours, or you're working hard to make them so. An alliance with the Emperor against the looming belligerent Bavarian threat. Forcing the Bavarians to release provinces would suit the gentlemanly Brunswickers. Brunswick is close to major power status. Two wars with cores and you're there.

    That screenshot you included showed the Austrians in control of Aquileia's gold provinces. A peace that gives the Habsburgs gold is very dangerous.

  15. #115
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Turns out that I lied - I checked and there is some conflict with the Hansa a bit down the road. It just wasn't anything that made a difference, so I didn't remember or feel the need to have my revenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Ragusa View Post
    You've got a lot of OPM''s as neighbours, or you're working hard to make them so.
    True, or minors at least. As options for strengthening myself are limited here, weakening my neighbors becomes extra important.

    Forcing the Bavarians to release provinces would suit the gentlemanly Brunswickers. Brunswick is close to major power status. Two wars with cores and you're there.
    That would of course be the optimal solution.

    Depends on the wars if that's sufficient. And of course, major power is a relative thing - by the look of things, this game is evolving in a direction where we're going to have a big bunch of weaklings and a few nations of immense power. I guess what you mean by major power could be somewhere in between.

    That screenshot you included showed the Austrians in control of Aquileia's gold provinces. A peace that gives the Habsburgs gold is very dangerous.
    I reckon it's in fact Hungary occupying the provinces. They do end up annexing.
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  16. #116
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    MCDL-MCDLXII: Roman Wisdom


    Having seen the weakness of his main army in the Osnabrück reconquest, King Erich decided that it had to be expanded. It put a serious strain on Brunswick's economy, but another four regiments were recruited to bring Brunswick's total military strength to 16000 men. To compensate, new trading techniques were adopted.

    In August 1451 it became clear that a decade had been enough for the European community to forget the Bremen debacle. Austria returned to the HRE throne.



    The start of Erich I's reign had been eventful with the war and the Magdeburg negotiations, but the next year was more silent. Under these circumstances, the King turned his attention towards humanitarian efforts. Over two decades after the fall of Constantinople, some Roman refugees still wandered around Europe, seeking for a place to call home. King Erich worked hard to make sure that Brunswick did more than its share in helping out.



    In addition to the long term benefits of letting these educated and fittingly gentlemanly individuals settle in Brunswick's lands, there was an immediate boost as the Romans brought foreign technology and skills with them to their new homeland. The first effect was on production, as Brunswick's artisans adopted superior Roman methods virtually instantly.

    The young King had accomplished remarkable things in the military, diplomatic and societal fields for a nineteen year old, but perhaps his most severe test came in the summer of 1452 as his younger brother Karl Wilhelm, five years his junior, battled with a strange illness and finally succumbed on July 20th.

    Erich mourned for a time, but eventually passed the test with flying colors. Seeking guidance from God, he found the willpower to again concentrate on his country after the tragedy.



    Rejuvenated, the King concentrated on Brunswick's main priority - trade. Having been forced out of the Hanseatic League, Erich reorganized his nation's trade relations by joining the Venetian league instead.

    This paid dividends soon as Brunswick's merchants learned new tricks from the Venetians. These were put to use as Brunswicker merchants entered a new region, Russia. Novgorod became the seventh major centre of trade with a presence from the country.

    King Erich already had the reputation of a military mastermind, but he intended to leave a more long term mark on his country in this sense. He had demonstrated his abilities by fighting a victorious war and by expanding the army - Brunswick's traditional Achilles' heel, the military, had been strengthened to the point of not being such a big problem anymore. But that was not enough for Erich: he wanted the military to be as much of a backbone for the country as the trade that paid for it. Learning the routines from a Roman officer living in Hannover and using his own creativity to perfect them, he introduced a multitude of new drills that made the Brunswick military one of the most skilled and cohesive armies in the world by the spring of 1454.



    By the late summer, the King's focus had helped not only army performance but military technology as well.

    Soon after all this intense drilling, the King got the news he had been waiting for: the Queen was pregnant. In November, Erich's firstborn Heinrich became the new heir to the throne.



    The next couple of years were uneventful ones. King Erich concentrated on modernizing the navy and building relations with vassal Oldenburg, eventually getting them to agree on a military alliance. Abroad, France conquered one province from Brabant.

    But in February 1457 this silence was broken as Bavaria, the large and somewhat rogue nation on Brunswick's southern border, offered Brunswick an alliance.



    This caused quite a debate in the court in Hannover. Bavaria was not the type of nation that Brunswick wanted to be associated with due to their aggressiveness, but that same aggressiveness meant that the Bavarians were extremely dangerous.

    With doubts in his heart, the King accepted in order to secure his realm. But Bavaria would be on a short leash.

    The next month grave news reached the court from the south. A growing Milan had consumed Venice, ending that nation's existence and thus their trade league.



    The King was quick to reach out to the Novgorodians, using heavy Brunswick presence in their markets to craft a deal to his liking with them instead. The timing was important because this way, merchants from the Novgorod league could take over Venetian trade posts and businesses without a costly interruption. As a bonus, new production methods were learned from members of that league.

    Treasurer Otto Schütze died in March 1458. It was a sad day as he, his father and his grandfather had filled the position in Brunswick's court for a total of 44 years.

    It was decided that he would be replaced by a Statesman instead.



    Somehow, Brandenburg had again come up with a good number of claims on their neighbors only twelve years after Brunswick had forced them to renounce all of them. In November, Brandenburg chose to act on one such claim, attacking Pommerania. For some reason they decided to just vassalize Pommerania, however.



    A bit later some troublemakers in Gelre asked for Brunswick funding. Many in the court thought that this could lead to another opportunity for expansion.

    But King Erich had a sharp mind and could see these people for the ruffians and swindlers they were. He declined to send the funds, causing some turmoil among the greedy nobles.



    The King went as far as negotiating an alliance with Gelre's official government. This thinly veiled provocation by the headstrong King didn't exactly help matters with the nobles.

    Erich I soon realized that he had been a bit rash, much like his father sometimes used to be. So over the next year, he worked hard to create a happier atmosphere in his realm.

    It worked, but unfortunately went too far. Some people were now too busy having fun to tend to their duties properly, especially in the trading sector.



    This actually turned out to be a good thing in the long run. By March 1460 most of these more inefficient officials had been weeded out, and this resulted in an even more formidable trading machine.

    It was obvious that the retooled merchant faction was too powerful for its current markets: in many regions of Europe and the Mediterranean, there were simply too many Brunswicker merchants for newcomers to find a niche. As a result, many of these fresh faces headed to Languedoc, a center that hadn't had Brunswickers doing business earlier.

    The court noticed that the merchants were pretty much doing as they pleased by this point - an acceptable situation considering the funds they brought home. This was made official in April 1462 as the last local trade regulations were removed.

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  17. #117
    Yes, it's amazing how often intense drilling results in pregnancy. HIYO!

    Cracking update, and a smashing AAR in general - it's good to see someone making something of the tiny countries I'm always too scared to play.
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  18. #118
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    A wise move on Erich's part to adopt Military Drill as a national idea, it should prove rather handy, especially with Bavaria now as an ally. As for the decadence, it seems as if a war is required to get the lazy curs fit once more and allow for Brunswick's militarily drilled army to be employed.
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  19. #119
    Alliance with Bavaria is good. Bad news for the expansionist and vulgar Brandenburgers. I want to see that well drilled army in action. I hope the Bavarians aren't thinking about fighting the Austrians.

  20. #120

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