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Thread: The Rise of Normandy; A Norman AAR

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    The Rise of Normandy; A Norman AAR

    Last edited by dresdor; 06-12-2012 at 05:42.

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    Topaz-Fisted Demi-God Moderator Mr. Capiatlist's Avatar
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    The unification or New World expansion!

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    I like the idea of a merchant empire, never seen an AAR which focuses on trade before
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    Anything but #2.

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    General herrhals's Avatar
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    #1 and #3 you can do with any trading empire. #3 you can do with Navarre. Considering you are Normandy, and considering its' historical impact, it would be silly to just do what any other trading power can do. The only real story would be the Re-conquest of England to bring another French king to the English throne. Everything else would be too bland. Follow in Williams footsteps.
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  7. #7
    2, I find it very interesting to first conqeur historical Norman French holdings, thus shattering France and then invading England by sea as the 2nd William The Conqeuerer


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    Option 2. It is more challenging and I would love to read about a small fry trying to contend with and conquer the big dogs
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    I live in Normandy (but NOT France) so I approve of this AAR!



    My vote is that you colonise and move to North America. Number 3.

  10. #10
    Seems to be a rough tie between abandoning Europe to colonize the new world and reliving the Norman conquests. I'll give time for more responses before deciding...though I could do one now and the other when that one is finished.

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    Lt. General Tallfellow's Avatar
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    Why not do both?
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    Colonel History_Buff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallfellow View Post
    Why not do both?
    This I say go for colonization, but do not abandon Europe. Instead, use the colonies and whatever conquests you can make inside of Europe to strenghten your hand in order to allow you to take down Europe. Just try to avoid colony blobbing while taking almost nothing in Europe. Too many AAR writers just ditch Europe and move to America. It is gamey in the extreme and it has been done. On the other hand, I have never seen a Normandy game let alone a game where someone tried to take Normandy and lead it to try and conquer France and England, two of the biggest European powers, with both of them having claims on their territory.
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    I for one support both 2 and 3. 3 should take priority because you can use the land for colonization and bring more troops in, which can then be used to bring down both the French and English, however, I agree with HB on this scenario. Do not, for any reason abandon Europe. Take advantage of wars fought by other nations against England and France to your advantage and hope to god almighty that you can hold your own long enough to either conquer, or balkanize France. I prefer balkanization with some annexation because you would have a patchwork of French states squabbling with each other, with the only real threat being of course, the Burgundians.
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  14. #14
    Hmm...maybe staying vassalized to France until I have QFTNW and a colony; or if an opportunity comes up. I did some testing to make sure that there weren't any problems with Normandy after its release, and the only thing I found (besides abysmal sliders for land conquest) is that France's position in the beginning makes Normandy/Caux a primary landing site for AI natiosn at war with France to try to attack the capital. In the brief test I had Milan, Scotland, Sweden, Novogrod, Denmark, Naples, and a few others dropping troops on me. France sent 15k stacks up from the south every time they landed, then retreated back to the south whenever they were killed. Small nation like Normandy can only field 4-5k troops, and reinforcing those is a pain with only 171 MP/month.

  15. #15
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    I think you should go for France and England. Colonies are okay, but not until after you're stronger than both of them.

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    Exerpts from The Rise of the Normandy as written by the royal scribe Maronus de Caux in his own hand, and at the request of His Royal Highness; the Duke Henry V d’Ollencon of Normandy; King of the Normans;


    The Norman Banner

    The Formation of the Duchy of Normandy
    In early October of 1399, King Charles VI de Valois; King of France, deemed it appropriate to reward his general, then Sir Henry d’Ollencon, for his defense of the beaches of provinces of Normandy and Caux from invasion by sea by France’s enemies, by raising him to the rank of Duke, restoring the ancient title held by his forebearers. He was given rule over the newly formed Duchy of Normandy, which was to include those two provinces, and was beholden only to the King and God. The Duke then made Caen the capital of this Duchy, taking residence within the fortified town.

    While once prosperous, the lands of the Duchy of Normandy were ravaged by war. Few men left there were of proper age and health to be drafted into the army, and the land had been destroyed and plundered by advancing armies. The Duke had a long road ahead of him to rebuild the Duchy into what it once was.


    The raising of Sir Henri to the title of Duke, outside one of the battered cities of Caux.

    Beginnings
    Duke Henry paced restlessly up and down the former dining hall that served as his throne room. It was a meager dwelling for nobility, but he was an old campaigner, and was used to sleeping in mud with the threat of arrows and steel far more important than the comfort of the bed. What made him restless was the map unfurled on the table, and the ledgers and reports from his ministers.

    ”This Duchy wouldn’t exist if Charles cared to invest in rebuilding this place. Instead, the Normans are left to repair their own lives, separate from France, but still beholden to pay them for the privilege of their protection.” He mused to himself.

    ”Perhaps, my lord, the King merely wanted to reward you for your excellent service to him.” Eudes del la Houssaye said, walking in from the doorway. A consomate politician, he always spoke in a compromising tone. ”It is not unusual for Kings to reward their noble subjects, it is one way to ensure loyalty.”

    ”I’ve bled and watched thousands of French peasants give their lives for the King’s wars. What more loyalty does he expect?” The Duke looked grimly at the ledgers. ”What did you want?”

    ”My lord, there have been some…stirrings…among the artisans and smiths…they say the taxes are too high, and they cannot afford bread for their families. I’m worried there will be a revolt.”

    ”They can’t afford bread because the wheat was foraged or burned by the armies last year, and there is little bread to be had.” The Duke groaned, and rubbed his eyes. Sleep was not something a ruler got much of in a tumultuous land like this one. ”Lower the taxes, there’s so little gold left in these provinces it won’t matter much.”

    ”Yes, my lord,” Eudes bowed, and turned to walk away.


    ”Send in Zacharie, I need to speak to him regarding our finances.” Moments after the statesman disappeared, the Duchy’s treasurer appeared. ”Zacharie, tell me our situation isn’t as grim as this. Fifteen ducats of tax a year? Barely two a month to cover our operating and military expenses? Not to mention that half of that goes to the King. How can we invest in rebuilding this territory with nothing!” He threw the ledger from the table, and it crashed in the corner. Zacharie calmly walked over and picked it up, looking it over.

    ”My lord, the situation is as you have said. There is little hope in getting much money out of our provinces, our people can hardly afford the taxes as they are. There is simply no gold left in our Duchy. However, there is always the merchant center at Ile de France, and there are others. Perhaps sending some of our ambitious young men to these centers of trade would bring back the gold necessary to fund our expansion.”

    ”I appreciate your honesty, it is why you are my treasuerer. Other Lords may wish their advisors to lie to them and give them only good news, but I am a practical man. I don’t want to hear the enemy is beaten when ten divisions of reinforcements are arriving tomorrow….get to it, do what you think is best.” Zacharie bowed, and left. The Duke just hoped his machinations would be enough.



    February 1401
    A year had passed, the Duke seemed so much older, creases formed around his eyes, and it was clear he was not sleeping well. A declaration of war lay half furled on the table. The King had decided to draw the Duchy, and all of its vassals, into a war against the Italian nations of Milan and Naples…Provence, who should be siding with the French, have decided to fight with the Italians, and their lands were being ravaged because of it. The fighting would never get to Italy. France didn’t have the navy to rival its Italian opponents, nor the diplomatic finesse to secure passage through the nations in between Milan and France. It was pointless…

    ”But they will come here to land their forces. They have a competent navy, and with none to oppose them, we will be their landing zone. They will take Normandy and march to Paris.” He had sent that information on to the King, who had replied that the Duchy was responsible for the defense of Paris. The Duchy who had two thousand able bodied men ready to be turned into soldiers, and half the population total than the French Capital. More men could be raised from the Capital for its own defense than in all of Normandy, and that was in the best of times. In these times…they had barely the gold or men for two divisions, but it would have to do.

    ”My lord!” A messenger burst into the throne room. ”Sire, the Bretons are coming! They have declared War on us.”

    The Duke sighed heavily, and walked over to the arming dummy in the corner. His armor had been cleaned and polished for the last year and a half. ”Send my squire, and rally the troops we do have. The King will likely not send support for us, and this will be a bloody battle.”


    The Norman army preparing a siege

    The Army Henri rode at the head of could barely be called that. Two thousand inexperienced peasant boys, armed with spears and pikes, marched towards Armor. There was no sign of the Breton army. Ahead lay Rennes, the fortress capital of the province. Two thousand men was barely enough to siege, but the men did what they could, surrounding the city, cutting it off from outside help.

    The month of March warmed the cold soldiers, and April drenched them with rain. The men under him realized a great deal of solidarity with the Duke, as he shivered and soaked with them, eating the same food they did. As the rain lifted, a small group of soldiers ran forth from the walled city. They were poorly organized…a desperate force, but in numbers they could be dangerous. Had they gathered together or fought in a less frantic way, they may have done some damage. As it was, they were killed and captured. Information gained from the captured men told Henri that the garrison had plenty of food and water (the constant rains had seen to that).

    Bad news cam from Caux…a Milanese force of three thousand had landed and taken up siege. What was worse is a thousand man force from Bohemia was attacking Ile de France. Henri considered giving orders to break the siege, but another messenger came up, telling of a massive victory by the forces of Orleans against the Breton army, and that troops of the French Army were coming under the banner of King Jacque I de Lorraine.

    It seems that during the war, King Charles had been killed in battle, and Jacque de Lorraine, a high level courtier, had made claims to the throne. It mattered little to Duke Henri, court politics was not interesting to him, even if he was a Duke. The French troops meant that he could maintain his siege, and maybe Normandy would inherit the province after the war.

    A fourth messenger arrive, but he brought happy news. His wife, Annora, had given birth to a son, whom she named Henri after his father. She had been noticeably pregnant when he left, and it had almost made him send another man to lead the army. That she and their son were safe gave him much joy. Summer came on, and the siege continued. Men reported a column of French troops marching nearby, heading to break the sieges of Caux and Ile de France.

    The siege continued into the Fall, and then winter. French troops had broken the sieges, and the sieges of Brittany were going well. Henri thought the city of Rennes would be surrendering soon as well.

    ”Sir! The Bohemian army is coming!” A surprised lookout cried. ”They are massing on the other side of the hills!

    ”Be calm, boy, how many are there?” The Duke asked.

    ”Thousands sir! At least three times our numbers, maybe four.”

    Henri sighed. It would be a slaughter, but leaving now would break the siege…allied troops may arrive in time to win the battle, but it was doubtful. In any case, the foes were too close to retreat now. ”Rally the men, we will fight.”

    The battle was joined, but it was hopeless indeed. The Bohemians had brought cavalry, but they did not need them. The men skirmished, fighting delaying actions, and trying to hold out for reinforcements. A messenger came to let Henri know of the successful siege of Finnestere, Seven thousand troops were involved in that siege…if they would only come, the Normans could keep sieging…


    A tapestry depicting the Battle of Rennes

    Henri waited, but they didn’t come. The men were being slaughtered, but help didn’t come. He ordered the retreat to Normandie….at least he could save some of the men, even if the siege had failed.

    The retreat turned quickly into a total rout. Milanese forces had landed in Caux, and the Bohemian forces chased them to Normandy. Henri considered defending the province, but knew it was hopeless. He ordered his troops to Main. The Bohemians sieged Normandy, and forces from the enemy nations ran rampant through France. After many months, French troops showed up to defend their nation…but not before Caux had fallen.

    Henri lost count of the months. He marched back into Normandy…the war had dragged on. He had gained a thousand able-bodied men, who after undergoing siege had decided to join the army, but his army was in no better shape than it had been. It was worse now, as his governors had taken a loan to pay for operating expenses while under siege. France had found peace with both Provence and Brittany, annexing the former and forcing the latter to break treaties and revoke claims on territory. Normandy had not been rewarded for her bloodshed. To quote the new king: ”Your mission was to defend Paris, you failed….why should you be rewarded?”

    Maybe Charles wasn’t so bad…


    The birth of Henri VI

    Henri played with his young son as his troops remained ready in the city…his son hadn’t even been born when he went to war, and now he was crawling around and babbling. He had missed a year of his child’s life because of the French war. He hoped he wouldn’t have to miss more. Luckily France was swiftly making peace with the nations it had declared war on…it had gotten its prize of the Provencian territories. How long before it would come after Normandy?


    Current borders of the French kingdom and its vassals

    June 1405
    Two years had passed since the wars France dragged its vassal, the Duchy of Normandy. Young Henri was a rascal of three, getting into all sorts of trouble, and a joyful burden on both of his parents. Duke Henri treated parenting like he treated anything…he would rather do it himself than force another to. He led from the front, even in parenting. He found enjoyment in this, but his true work of repairing the Duchy was not as enjoyable.

    The Duchy of Normandy had enjoyed a little prosperity as its merchants had brought back many wonderful goods and money, but most of that ended up going to the French King through the taxes a vassal had to pay.

    June 1406
    Annora was very pregnant again…and the King called up Norman troops to fight for the Crown. Once again Henri sat, sieging Rennes, only this time there was no massive enemy army bearing down on him. He wondered what his wife and child were doing…if they were thinking of him as he thought of him…if he had two children instead of just Henri yet. Idle thinking filled the boring days of the siege. There was no point to this now, France would not give them this territory, but it was his duty to at least do what he could for the Crown. He wondered if the church that was being built, the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, was finished yet. He was hoping it would be finished for the christening of his second child…if he managed to get home before that happened.


    Duchess Annora (right) with child Henri (far right) visiting with Queen Marie de Lorraine, and her daughter, Josephine


    June 1407
    He had spent a year sieging this city. They finally were surrendering, the Breton colors being marched out, and the French flag raised above the city. Henri didn’t care…he moved his column, now 5000 strong, back towards Normandy…to home and his wife and children.


    Tapestry depicting the second siege of Rennes.


    He was not disappointed. His wife had given birth to a beautiful baby girl, whom she named Jacelyn. Young Henri was now a strong boy of six, learning the things a noble boy should, like horsemanship and hunting. Duke Henri was joyed, but also saddened by all that he had missed while on campaign…a campaign that netted his Duchy nothing but a few dead men.

  19. #19
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    impressive start to a new campaign, I shall continue to follow.
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  20. #20
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    I like your narrative, very well written!
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