Chapter IX: Ninety-five Nails
(Part of) the Ninety-five Theses.
In the end I had too much material to fit in a single update… So this one will be mainly about our internal policy and, of course, the Protestant reformation in Europe. More action in the next update.
To begin with, a quick recap or our economic situation:
During the next years we will be converting our provinces (to Catholicism of course!) and each active Missionary requires some administrative efficiency to spare. Also depending on our Prestige our administrative level will change quite often, but, overall, we shall spend most of our time in the following situation:
Not a very good one as you can see… But things will improve as we get cores and conversions.
I add Riga to my sphere of influence; IIRC this should grant me +0.25 Diplomatic Skill and +0.1 Magistrates/year.
My current mission is to have more ships than Denmark (37 while my naval force-limit is something like 10): I quickly cancel it and get a better one which is to establish a trade in Novgorod (5 placed Merchants). I soon complete it getting as a reward 5 new Merchants (useless as I don't plan to trade abroad) and 50 gold, which is good. My new mission is to convert Smolensk; I plan to change it ASAP because the reward is little (2 Prestige) and better missions could really drive the game forward.
I get to a new Land Tech level which allows me to upgrade my Infantry to Landsknechte. I will get to Land 15 before switching to Government and aim for Gov Tech level 17 (new Idea).
I get a Production Research Flawed event which costs me around 370 gold in investments (my cost to recover one Stab would be more than 800).
But 1502 will be remembered for the day our old Grandmaster Johann Wolthuss died, allowing a new Knight to take his place:
An average ruler but a good general with his Fire 4 and Shock 3.
I get a foreign interference in Yaroslav by Muscowy (+1 BB, + 4 RR), as expected…
In the rest of the world, the PU between Bohemia and Hungary has ended; Bohemia is free again, although with this historical start still pretty weak.
Big news in the Empire: because of a female ruler, Austria loses the Throne in favour of its rival Bavaria. This is bound to happen at some point, but it never happened to me so early. In normal conditions, Austria would be again Emperor at the next Election provided they have a male ruler. In normal conditions (spoiler intended)…
I also think Aragon deserves a screen-cap for what it accomplished in these years:
Defeating the Ottomans, they get Gibraltar, while Portugal frees and obtains Galicia. I wonder how Castille will react because their neighbours are sitting on two of their cores, but they seem very busy colonising at the moment. The Ottomans are also forced by England to free Wallachia from vassalage and release Albania as an independent state. It seems the Turks have been stopped for now.
On our side, we are called to arms by Poland to fight against Crimea a war of tribal conquest. As usual, we send some war subsidies and sign a White Peace as soon as possible to preserve our cultural tradition.
And this is how the war will end a few months later:
But a more important news is that our old "friends" get released by Poland from vassalage:
AI will accept a demand of independence if it has problems managing its empire. As you can see, the Teutons refuse our quick offer of an alliance (made for RP sake to be honest); relations are not too good after a couple Support for Dissidents Abroad events… Always on topic England offers us again an alliance (they are now busy fighting France BTW) but I refuse.
On another subject, a new Theologian arrives in our country (Level 2). I employ him to replace the previous (and older) one.
I have started to convert my non-core provinces, beginning with Kholm where the conversion chance is around 8% (but will go up). The idea is not to have more than 2 Missionaries active at the same time and enact the Concerted Missionary Effort province decision when I am close to 5 stored Missionaries. It will give +5% Conversion chance, but -0.1 Missionary/year and costs 1 Missionary to begin with. In this way I can keep having Missionaries available while speeding up the process and not going bankrupt. I remind you that Missionaries are scarce in SRI and conversion is basically impossible when Loyalty to the Old Regime is too high.
Of course we have to face rebels but with our about 15k troops it's not a problem when we are at peace.
We get to Land Tech 15 and start investing in Government as planned.
In the Empire, Bohemia becomes Convener of its Circuit and I notice Austria did too, probably while it was Emperor. Later Wurttemberg becomes Convener of the Swabian Circuit.
Denmark DOWs Finland and quickly annexes it: bye bye Pagans! However, we now share a land border with Denmark so I decide to accept the next alliance offer from England, just in case… Poland is allied with Denmark and I am not sure they would come to my defence if I am under attack… Our old enemy, and now friend, England asks us immediately for help in the war against France… Not that they need it. They control the sea and will win the war just thanks to embargoes. However we accept, we send as usual some war subsidies and sign a White Peace when France offers it. As expected, France loses the conflict and releases Champagne. Later they DOWs and annex Bourbonnais. In this timeline France is struggling to become a true superpower.
We get another foreign interference in Vyazma, again by Muscowy and that's if for our recent conquests. BB are now 13.1 and will be going down for a while.
I cancel the mission to convert Smolensk and get a "new" one: Naval Race versus Denmark…
Muscowy enters a war against Crimea to protect their useless ally of Georgia. The funny thing is: Muscowy is winning the war, but Georgia is war leader, gets beaten and signs peace with Crimea, offering them a Russian province, Khasimov!
Kholm is converted! While Novgorod (with its 25% chance) is not yet.
And here we go with first "bomb" of this update:
Yes, turbo-Scandinavia! By granting them Statutes of Autonomy, Denmark got cores on Norway and Sweden, thus allowing them to form Scandinavia. Now, because of the Estates those provinces will be quite poor, still this new Kingdom commands an impressive territory and certainly doesn't love us (Relations -80). I suppose allying with England wasn't a bad idea. As a funny note, the game considers accomplished my mission to have more ships than Denmark. Yay! (?) And the new mission is… Attack Scandinavia! The reward is a core on Neva… I believe I will pass on this one too when I get the chance…
Nothing new on our side (except fear and terror of the new power in the North) but, in the rest of the world, Castille DOWs Inca a bit ahead of schedule (which means their colonisation is going well) while Portugal is establishing trade outposts along the coast of Africa.
During this year, we move a step towards Centralization (now Decentralization 3). We also get a new Theologian (Karl Koskull) in our country: this time a Level 6 one! I shuffle a bit my court, firing the old Government Tech advisor and the old Theologian, to employ the new one and a Diplomat I recruit from my cultural tradition. It costs me around 35% (leaving me with 45%) and I get a Level 4 advisor (Gotthard Koskull). A Diplomat will be good in reducing my BB and in speeding up the coring process. So this is the current situation:
Rise of the Koskull brothers?
But THIS will make 1512 a very bad year:
I normally don't go for big screenshots but... AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!
I find ironic that the place where I live has become the source of all evil in my game… The Emperor will get notified of each new Heretic Prince, quickly plunging Imperial Power to zero. Now, the map shows the conversion to Protestantism in the first month: fortunately the situation will become stable after that. The secret of this (heretic) success is in the new SRI decision to convert to Protestantism, which gives you lot of advantages and will instantly convert all of your non-autonomous cores to the new (blasphemous) faith.
I was aware that the Reformation got a boost in SRI for DW, but I didn't know it was so big. I believe the decision is OK for AI in the sense it makes for a more challenging Reformation, but should be changed for the player, giving him more disadvantages. But enough of this wishful chitchatting. We have more pressing matters at hand. FOUR out of seven Electors have become Protestant. Power is shifting in the Empire… And in the wrong direction! Obviously I am not even considering converting!
Oh, the Cleansing of Heresy CB is disabled within the Empire, so I can't just plan punitive expedition… In the next months the Livonian Order manages only this weak answer:
I don't think this will actually stop the Reformation… But, if you think 1512 was the worst, keep reading and realise you are wrong…
Something good to distract us:
Also, the PU between Muscowy and Ryazan breaks as planned when the new Ivan becomes Duke of Moskva.
But happyness is only an illusion as we soon realise:
Shameful! Those who were Heretics will stay Heretics apparently… Actually having a Core in Rzhev will allow me to attempt a Conversion at about 8% chance even with this penalty.
However, I wasn't referring to this when I was talking about bad news… I was more thinking about this:
Epic fails (by Catholics) deserve big screenshots.
The answer of the Emperor is to proclaim universal toleration, a word not even on the dictionary of the Livonian Order! This means the Emperor instantly converts to Protestantism and declares all of the Christian interpretations are legal within the Empire. This in turn will prompt a new wave of conversions, this time the ones who were scared of doing it earlier. And with Hesse it's five Protestant Electors.
This is actually well-played by Bavaria. Things standing as they were, Austria would have won the next Elections, but now Bavaria has the support of the Protestant faction, which is the majority!
Exactly as this picture shows:
And the Heretic Emperor has already recovered a lot of the lost Power, plus he will be benefiting from the institutions Austria created…
During the rest of year, a Catholic and angry Brandenburg DOWs heretic Pommerania (conquest).
The Livonian Knights find some solace in the words of their Theologian:
We also get the Fortification Effort event in Osel (+50% defensiveness x 10 years) which will fire from time to time thanks to our Defensive slider. Not as good as getting an extra Fort in HTTT, but better than nothing…
After the massive betrayals within the HRE the Pope sees fit to show some respect towards his devout followers:
I never got this before so I don't know how I can lose it or what other events might trigger, guess we'll see… The modifier in itself is pretty good anyway.
A ray of hope… Word begins to circulate within the Empire of a League of Catholic Princes… Each country can choose whether to give it full support, indirect one or refuse. We are given a choice too:
But that is not a real choice, right? We can only go for complete in-toleration. Among the others Catholic Princes, Austria and Bohemia are quick to give their full support.
Is war going to be unavoidable? Stay tuned to find out!