I should have called it 'Yet Another Unfinished AAR', but I don't want to be rude to myself. I'll settle for 'Yet Another Attempt to Write a Finished AAR'. Call it what you want, but this will make a nice finale for my trilogy. Turkey, Russia and then Spain, three greatest nations (don't bother telling me about France and England, I read history books).
Some things you'll need to know: it will be brief, it will be bloody, pointless (as my goals change from ruler to ruler) and, which is always the main point, fun (at least, for me). Now, with your blessing, let us give it a shot.
P.S. Played at Fast and Furious, Hard and with no respect to history. Version 1.07
Isabel y Fernando. 1479-1516
Their reign started in 1479, but the first thirteen years of their rule offered little sensations to the contemporary historians. Yes, they united the kingdoms of Castille and Aragon, yes they waged war on the last stronghold of Islam in Iberia.
They did manage to win this war. Hard to imagine they could have failed, but then again, look how long it took Mehmed II to take Constantinople.
Then came 1492 and things would never be the same in Castille and Aragon or, to make it easier for foreigners to spell, in Spain. This year was trully remarkable, as it marked the end of the Reconquista in Spain and the beginning of Conquista in West Indies. For it was in this year that Cristobal Colon sailed west and discovered a new continent, which would later be called America. The brave sailor desperately tried to claim he discovered a western passage to Asia, but everyone knew he was just trying to hide a fact that he was using old Phoenician-Norse-Turkish-Irish-Chinese maps (I apologize if I did not name all the nations who recently laid a claim to discover this continent first)
In any case, Cristobal managed to stumble upon Bahamas in December of 1493, which was celebrated a month later in southern Spain their Catholic Majesties celebrated in month later by expelling all of Moors in the southern Spain. The so-called 'clean sweep' did not go as well as planned, for some 40,000 Muslims took arms and up proposed to seek a 'final solution' on the battlefield. Luckily, Old Duke of Alba and El Gran Capitan had a few tricks up their sleeves and the rebellion was subdued without much loss of the human life (note: only Catholics, of course, are considered humans in this aar).
In April of 1494 Cristobal sailed along the shores of Yucatan peninsula and two months later Duke of Alba Old landed there with 5,000 pike and musket and 1,000 cavalry. From that point on (their Catholic Majesties decided to play along and pretend America was indeed Asia) the Spaniards wasted no time in cleansing the New World from its pagan rulers (the pagan subjects, however, were left along as long as they volunteered to serve their Catholic Majesties Isabel and Fernando). And so powerful was the message they carried (the Word of God, of course, coupled with the thunder of the cannon) that most of the tribes had chosen to join the Spanish rather than fight them. One by one fell the pagan nations of the West Indies. While Old Duke of Alba roared in Central America, Prospero Colonna terrified the North.
Maya surrenders in 1495. Thousands join the Spanish army.
Aztec capital falls in 1497. The Aztec empire lies in ruins. Thousands join the Spanish army.
In 1498 Duke of Alba conquers Navajo. Thousands (well, maybe, hundreds) join the Spanish army.
In 1500 Colonna annexes Creek. Thousands join the Spanish army.
In 1501 Cherokee and Shawnee fell prey to the famous conquistador. Thousands join the Spanish army.
In 1502 Iroquois meet the similar the fate. Thousands join the Spanish army.
In 1503 Colonna invades and subdues Lenape. Fortunately, many Indian soldiers in Spanish army die in between, for as more thousands join the conquistador's army it becomes somewhat problematic to feed them all.
Meanwhile, scores of brave explorers report to their Catholic Majesties, Isabelle and Ferdinand in Madrid,. They are all sent to explore the newly found lands and some attempts are made to colonize rather than conquer. Still, none of them can outshine Colon, who sails as far north as Greenland and as far south as Portuguese trading posts in Brazil. By 1503 most of the Atlantic becomes Spanish lake and Colon enjoys a certain share of popularity, which is rivaled only by that of Prospero Colonna. Then the disaster strikes, as England declares war on France and all all the funds spent on exploration are diverted to war in Europe. Colon is only allowed to sail across Caribbean, where he dies from boredom three years later, marking the end of Columbic era, the era full of lightening conquests, unmatched brutality and adventurous exploration.
First Spanish-French War
The French came forth like lions, taking Rousillion and besieging Cantabria, and vassalizing Navarra. Their allies in Rome attempted to advance on Spanish friends in Naples, but were badly beaten and thrown as far back as Mantua. English fought less gloriously, having to deal with both French and Scottish attacks, while Portuguese (Spanish alliance) and Savoyards (French) did what they could to make things complicated.
The El Gran Capitan arrived on the scene and it was the French turn to retreat. While the latter were busy besieging Calais and raising new troops, he split his forces in three and invaded the south of France. Rousillion was casually liberated, while more in more French towns opened their gates to the invader.
Lousi XII quickly made peace with Naples and dispatched a large force south. While skirmishing like a madman, El Gran Capitan managed to avoid large-scale battles and raided as far north as Picardie. It was then that their Catholic Majesties finally decided on a strategy: either fight till English make peace or force French to cede Picardie, thus cutting them off English Calais.
Needless to say, French did all they could to prevent this. Not once and not twice was El Gran Capitan defeated in the hands of Bayard, but he always managed to escape with most of his cavalry intact. At that time Spanish army was the most advanced in Europe, but French had larger numbers commanded by one of the best generals of the century.
The war lasted full four years. In the West, the Indians sensed the ease of pressure and numerous rebellions spread like wildfire across thousands of miles from the Mosquito coast to the Niagara Falls. Hurons provided the necessary leadership and the conquered nations the necessary manpower. Although weaker than French in firepower and discipline, the Indians were cunning, brutal and quickly learning.
... In 1504 Huron was annexed and thousands joined the Spanish army.
To cement (the new invention of the Middle Ages, which helped to build pyramids in Egypt) the Spanish conquests in the New Indies, their Catholic Majesties met with Pope Julius II and his Majesty Manuel I, King of Portugal and signed a treaty of Tordesillas, which granted Spain every piece of pagan land west of Brazil coast, while Portuguese would have to settle for every piece of pagan land east of that line.
In 1507, after numerous offers of peace, demanding only Picardie in return, Louis XII made a counter-offer, offering Gascogne, Caux and Picardie. Isabelle was afraid that they might be swallowing too much. Ferdinand argued there is no such things in politics and love as swallowing too much. The peace was made, the land was taken, rebels in Rousillion, Sicily and West Indies pacified, and Naples annexed, its King seeing no point in pretending that his kingdom was not depending on Spain in every aspect of every day's life.
Ferdinand's rule alone
The first Iberian-Gallic War saw the Spain emerge as European superpower. The Kingdom (it would become an empire soon, but not just yet), run by the family of bankers called Fuggers, experienced an economic upheaval, while its political status was unrivaled. The conquest in the New World slows down a bit, as the number of people willing to leave the country is limited. Still, the conquistadors are already exploring the land south of Panama, driven by the tales of El Dorado. In 1514 Colonna leads a first expedition into Peru, encountering miriads of Inca warriors and fighting his way to Inca capital. This war results in Inca empire ceding five coastal provinces of Peru and paying 300 liters of gold in tribute, which only wets Ferdinand's appetite for gold.
Yes, Ferdinand's... Her Catholic Majesty Isabell dies shortly after the war with French, leaving her daughter, Joanna, a heir to throne. Her failure to produce a male heir overshadowed her otherwise perfect reign.
Spanish allies, England and Portugal, also ventured west, although with lesser success than Spain. The former does come out a loser in a war with French, allowing the latter to hold on to Calais. Still, this might be to the islanders' benefit, as this allowance puts them out of the harm's (read: France's) way.
In 1515 El Gran Capitan, a hero of the First Gallic War, Duke of Caux and Picardie, dies of old age. Ferdinand recalls Old Duke of Alba from America, but the latter is already too accustomed to the savages' way of life to be a good companion for the aging King. Ferdinand dies a year later, managing before death to marry his daughter Joanna to Charles, Duke of Burgundy.
Yet, as the glory of the heroes of the past slowly fades away, Spain experiences the rare moment of peace and stability. The conquest in the west continues, with conquistadors reaching Alaska, murdering scores of savages along the way and establishing a series of trading posts to claim the land for his Catholic Majesty, King of Spain. The first attempts to convert the conquered population are made in Mexico and Upper Florida, and the first contact is made with English settlers in North America. The merchants prosper, the soldiers suffer from seeing French getting ahead in technological race (as it always happens with loosers, they turn to technology when everything else fails) and the farmers are happy not to have their farms invaded. Taxes are reasonable, life is good, Spain is happy.
Western Europe in 1516
North America and parts of Central America in 1516.
Not visible to the viewer are trading posts all the way up to Alaska, Spanish Peru and Mexico and the last stop on the way to Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago.