• We have updated our Community Code of Conduct. Please read through the new rules for the forum that are an integral part of Paradox Interactive’s User Agreement.

unmerged(13)

Banned
Jan 12, 2000
2.125
0
Visit site
We've discussed in a previous thread the problems of including Poland in the grand campaign.


As we all know because of its de-centralized government, its principles of liberum veto and increasing anarchy towards the end of 18th century caused its partitions. Though there were the battles of the partitions, they never had any hopes of success. i.e. Peasants vs professional troops.

I have an idea. One of the objectives of Poland in the grand campaign maybe to stave of disaster in the 18th century. To do this it will need to be possible for Poland to pass several changes to its governmental system during the course, of say the 17/early 18th centuries. The pre-requisites of which have to met by say, 1772, the time of the first partitions. If these are not met major penalties now occur in the way it operates which will quite easily make it fall under the domains of other countries.

However, say the player is able to change the governmental system and curb the power of the nobles (possibly through some civil wars), it will be possible for Poland to achieve a status as a colonial player. (notice i didn't say power, since its a difficult position attained because of its geography) Think about it. At the time when said countries were expanding to create colonies Poland was busy keeping its independance and for the rest of the time was landlocked in different states by the three black eages. What if Poland continues to be a power in Europe through a revolution in its problematic systems into the late 18th century. Who is to question that Poland, if history turned out differently would have been unable to create a colonial fleet?

This ofcourse only leaves one problem. That is that this game is based on historical occurances and to modify this game by creating a 'what-if' scenarios such as the one above for the grand campaign maybe stretching it quite abit.

What are your thoughts?

Sapura
 

unmerged(23)

Modérâleur
Jan 19, 2000
604
0
Visit site
Considering history and variety, I proposed that an option, allowing the player to choose the 'reality' of his campaign, could be add.
So if you want a reality close campaign, you have it, if you agree to have some random/choosen by scenario events, you can play too...

Pierre
 

unmerged(13)

Banned
Jan 12, 2000
2.125
0
Visit site
Pierre, that could be difficult considering the game is basically finished, and the only areas to clean up are,

A> which scenarios are to make it into the final game

B> bug testing ..

I doubt they can fit in that kind of a change, if the game is to be released Q1 2000? It would mean creating a option for more random play and then engineering some actions to occur during specific times for specific countries during the grand campaign.

Sapura.
 

unmerged(31)

Corporal
Jan 23, 2000
40
0
Visit site
So Sap, is that all? Alright! This game is almost set to be released! Let's party! I used to be hooked on AoK, but that's over. But, whatever you do, I beg you, don't visit the forums at a site called Age Of Kings Heaven. I have an embarassing personal secret there.

Pierre: We could attempt to make it real life without your option. The human's in control isn't it?

[This message has been edited by johnleemk (edited 04-02-2000).]
 

unmerged(13)

Banned
Jan 12, 2000
2.125
0
Visit site
John, I would presume that's what is left to be accomplished in the game.

Release dates change quite abit, though and I don't think even Johan knows for sure what the date will be. If you remember the international beta test is about to begin, and that has to finish before the game is released, so you're looking at a release date of around April (mid to late) I would say.
Don't think of this as anything official, I maybe just talking out of my posterior.

Sapura
 

unmerged(41)

Major
Jan 24, 2000
619
0
Visit site
Sapura opened this folder stating that “One of the objectives of Poland in the grand campaign maybe to stave of disaster in the 18th century. To do this it will need to be possible for Poland to pass several changes to its governmental system during the course, of say the 17/early 18th centuries. The pre-requisites of which have to met by say, 1772, the time of the first partitions. If these are not met major penalties now occur in the way it operates which will quite easily make it fall under the domains of other countries”.

I second this suggestion.
As a player-nation, no one is questioning the inclusion of Poland per se. Any European country of its size and power should inevitably be included, but how it should be depicted? That is the important issue. It is the reason why I still hold some reservations over both Poland and possibly Russia.

Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT saying that a war game should always result in an historical outcome. I am NOT even saying that an historical outcome should be more probable than a non-historical outcome - in fact a historical outcome is usually unlikely in EU. However I AM saying that an historical outcome should be at least possible within all the crazy results that make the game fun.

I ask that instead of concentrating on the hypothetical we attempt to make the historical at least possible, which in my opinion it isn’t as the game is now. In fact, although play testing of the whole Grand Campaign will take ages to assess, I’ll put money on it that Poland survives every game.

Poland starts the Grand Campaign as the enviable dominator of Eastern Europe. There is no reason, both historically or in game terms, why it cannot maintain or build upon this strong position. As it stands I believe that Poland in the EU game cannot be reduced to anarchy and political oblivion by 1795. If she is player-controlled I believe that she will avoid the mistakes of history and play-off her many rivals against each other to avoid partition.

Poland had the most numerous land-owning noble class in Europe. It was a class buttressed politically by its economic position. As grain production and export grew through Baltic ports the landowners grew in power. Serfdom ensured that the peasants were tied to the land and served the interests of the nobility. This was a nobleman’s paradise, with the monarch elected (post 1572) by the nobility and subject to severe limitations on his power. The deadly manipulation of her internal weakness by rapacious neighbours will not occur unless game ‘rules’ are included for depicting decentralised power.

Whereas most of Europe’s farmers were subsistence peasants, in the Northwest (chiefly in the Low Countries and Britain) an agricultural revolution was occurring, releasing a huge workforce for the mines, textile factories and ironworks. All these improvements in productivity depended on breaking the old feudal ties, which in the east were strengthening not weakening.

An EU player can make some social reforms to his country by promoting manufacturing centres, but these reforms require a strong central government, which Poland lacks because it hasn’t reformed (Catch 22). The eastern peasant was in a position of near-slavery and it would be good if a Polish or Russian player could emancipate his subjects. It should be very difficult to do. Top-down social engineering in the face of opposition by over-mighty nobles could well result in a loss of stability levels and a risk of rebellion by the vested interests of the landowners. However it would be very rewarding in terms of Victory Points and it would free Poland from much of its relative economic stagnation.

EU BG has no intrinsic rules for different national characteristics, except for Turkey, which has a kind of inexorable erosion to fight against, including the in-built corruption of the pashas. Perhaps special handicaps are needed for Russia and Poland similar to those of Turkey. These would then be lessened by successfully achieving an ‘Emancipation of the Serfs’ period objective? Also in the BG Russia has loads of special rules written for its transformation under Peter the Great. Now that Poland is a player-nation surely similar rules must be written for a hypothetical Polish reformer.

As the game stands Poland is probably already able to found some colonies, like those mentioned elsewhere in Africa etc. Sapura says “it will [then] be possible for Poland to achieve a status as a colonial player. (notice I didn't say power, since its a difficult position attained because of its geography)”. He also says “Who is to question that Poland, if history turned out differently, would have been unable to create a colonial fleet?” All these points are valid but the effects of geography are more extreme than Poland might like.

If a hypothetical Poland retains her 1492 dimensions by 1792 she doesn’t have access to a maritime tradition. If she annexed the Baltic or Black sea trade zones she would only be buying up moribund shipping technology in seas that by 1792 were backwaters. The great Hansa fleets that traded between the Low Countries and Poland in 1492 are a mere shadow of their former status by 1792 - in terms of their share of European trade. Also if Poland could achieve such transformations then Russia would surely be neck and neck with it, especially under the westernising zeal of Peter the Great - relocating to St. Petersburg, building a transatlantic fleet etc.
 

unmerged(13)

Banned
Jan 12, 2000
2.125
0
Visit site
'Poland starts the Grand Campaign as the enviable dominator of Eastern Europe. There is no reason, both historically or in game terms, why it cannot maintain or build upon this strong position. As it stands I believe that Poland in the EU game cannot be reduced to anarchy and political oblivion by 1795. If she is player-controlled Ibelieve that she will avoid the mistakes of history and play-off her many rivals against each other to avoid partition. '

The question is, should there be a possible scenario, or a tag within the game that will make the partitions a possibility if the human player is unable to succeed in achieving several objectives. For example, changing the idea of 'Liberum Veto', or suceeding in several civil wars by curbing the power of the ever powerful Polish magnate families..


'The deadly manipulation of her internal weakness by rapacious neighbours will not occur unless game‘rules’ are included for depicting decentralised power.'

Decentralised power had its negatives points aswell as positive. It ran 'hot and cold' Magnates usually didn't bother to help out the country unless their position was directly in jeopardy. However, when they did the army ranks would usually swell to quite incredible numbers bringing with it a large variety and combination of western and eastern european units, which in mu opinion was why Poland was so successful militarily for such a long time. This will have to be depicated somehow in the game, i.e. the 'hot and cold' aspect of the magnets.


'The eastern peasant was in a position of near-slavery and it would be good if a Polish or Russian player could emancipate his..'

Agreed, however the Polish peasant, though certainly not living in luxury was alot better off than peasants both to the west and to the east.

'Now that Poland is a player-nation surely similar rules must be written for a
hypothetical Polish reformer.'

This hypothetical Polish reformer should have been Sobieski. He was the last king of Poland that actually cared about his country and he wanted his legacy to continue. Any other King after Sobieski was incapable or dishonorable and never took the countries interest at heart. Apart from maybe Stanislaw the Last, rent boy of Catherine the great ..


' All these points are valid but the effects of geography are more extreme than Poland might like. '

Perhaps Poland's main objectives maybe to survive into the 19th century. Other possibilities maybe for massive expanion to the east, annexing Russia / controlling eastern Europe under one banner. Religious wars against the Turks.

'Also if Poland could achieve such transformations then Russia would surely be neck and neck with it, especially under
the westernising zeal of Peter the Great - relocating to St. Petersburg, building a transatlantic fleet etc.'

Yes, creating a great rivalry. However, this ofcourse would be purely ficticious since after 1700 Poland was almost always in a stat e of anarchy and basically became a Russian protectorate.


Sapura
 

unmerged(41)

Major
Jan 24, 2000
619
0
Visit site
Sapura. I agree with your suggestions and I am glad you can put a name to Poland's possible saviour, i.e. Sobieski Rex.

My only query, which is not crucial to this game modification, is that you say '... the Polish peasant, though certainly not living in luxury was a lot better off than peasants both to the west and to the east'.

What is your evidence for this statment?

I assume by 'better off' you do not base someone's welfare upon money alone. Were there unique political liberties that they had that I am unaware of?
Perhaps Polish feudal society was a place of safety compared to the vagaries of a western proto-capitalist market, or compared to eastern nomadic subsistence. Could you elaborate on this point, even though it does not distract from your main theme, which is valid.

I will also be intrigued to find out what Heiko discovers about the colonies of the Lutheran Duchy of Kurland. This curio might shed some light upon Poland's slim chances in extra-European adventures. I liken it to my own love of reading obscure historical matters; such as Elizabethan England's many failed colonies or her political links with Morocco.

If Polish peasants were tied to feudal overlords would Polish colonies have resembled the Catholic fiefdoms of New Spain? Or would they be more like the New England settlements? These were largely Protestant communities where the ideas of social revolution could secretly ferment.
 

Heiko

Lt. General
Jan 27, 2000
1.525
0
A concise history of Courland's colonial agitations, IMHO it belongs to this topic:

In 1642 James became the new Duke of Courland, who was a vassal of the Polish King. James had visited Western Europe from 1634 to 1638 and had seen the crops of colonialism in Paris, Amsterdam and perhaps London, too. He had learnt much about trade, mercantilism and the importance of oversea's trading posts - and was educated to a master of shipbuilding in Amsterdam. The Dutch called Duke James of Courland 'Haertogh Schipper' - sailor's duke.

Because Riga was Swedish since 1621, Duke James had only one good harbour: The Baltic village Ventspils (Windau). Therefore James leased the Norwegian harbour Flekkefjord (near Kristiansand) from the Danish King in 1651. So he had a direct access to the Atlantic Ocean.

Courland's fleet was always small: It consisted of 10 large vessels and 14 small ships in 1657, and from 1640 to 1682 only 50 large ships were launched in Courland. These ships were comparable to Dutch fluyts.

The ideal of mercantilism required the direct import of all needed goods, the avoidance of intermediate traders. Thus James decided to gain colonies, because he wanted to liberate Courland from the Dutch trade trade superiority of these times. Courland experimented with slave trade, but stupidly the profits of the its colonies were always lower than the expenses.


In 1650 Brandenburg offered James to found a company to take over the insolvent Danish India-Company with all possessions, but the Duke refused. He sent his ships to South America and to Guinea. In Octobre 25th 1651 Courland's first colony was founded: St. Andreas, a fort on a small island in the estuary of the Gambia River. Later Courland took possession of Jillifree, Kassan and Bajona, today's Banjul. For a short time Courland also controlled the Ille de May (Ilha de Maio), one of the Cape Verde Islands and rich of salt.

But not only in Africa Courland gained possessions: In May 24th 1654 one of Duke James' ships occupied the important and well known island Tobago, which nominally belonged to Spain. Fort Jacobus (today's Plymouth) was the centre of this colony of James. Still today the river there is called 'Courland River' and flows into the 'Great Courland Bay'. In September Dutch ships attacked Courland's colony and were defeated. They founded Neu-Vlissingen (today's Scarborough).

In 1658/59 Courland was occupied by Sweden, and as well Gambia as Tobago were occupied by the Dutch West Indian Company. In 1665 the English expelled the Dutch from Tobago, Charles II returned the island to Courland. Until 1680 the English, Dutch and French fought heavily for Tobago, England won. Meanwhile there were fights for Gambia between England and France - England succeeded, too. In this year Courland rebuilt its settlements on the devastated island.

In 1681 Duke James of Courland reclaimed Tobago and Gambia from England. King Charles II gave him only Tobago. There were vain tries to give Tobago's settlement democratic constitutions. Leasing of the island to an English-Courlandish company. In December 31th Duke James died. His son Frederick Casimir of Courland succeeded him.

In the following years, there were heavy fights between Courlandish colonists and Caribbean natives on Tobago. In 1699 the Netherlands occupied the island, in 1700 England dispossessed Courland of all its claims on it. Tobago became neutral. From 1720 on it was colonized by England. In the next century Tobago often changed its owner before it became English in the Congress of Vienna.


Courland's colonies were domains of the Duke, Courland's fleet was the private fleet of the Duke of Courland. So you can't really speak of Courlandish or even Polish colonies. Courland's colonial efforts almost entirely based on ideas and fantasies of a unfortunate Baroque prince named James.

But with his deeds, James of Courland inspired his grand nephew Frederick William the Great of Prussia, who followed from 1680 onwards with his own colonies.

Any further questions about Courland's/Poland's colonies? :)

Heiko
 

unmerged(13)

Banned
Jan 12, 2000
2.125
0
Visit site
Matthew,

'My only query, which is not crucial to this game modification, is that you say '... the Polish peasant, thoughcertainly not living in luxury was a lot better off than peasants both to the west and to the east'.

What is your evidence for this statment?

There's a large chapter in 'God's Playground' by Professor Norman Davis that deals with Agriculture, Grain & the peasant. I generally agreed with what he writes. He mentions that although the Polish peasant was treated rather badly, the constitution & govt of Poland during that time permitted them to have a higher status in what they do / say.
I read the book a few months ago and don't have it at the time. However when I find I will find you relevant quotes because I'm not extremely export on the topic of the peasantry.


I was also stunned about hearing of the colonies. Perhaps Johan already knew about them? ;)

'If Polish peasants were tied to feudal overlords would Polish colonies have resembled the Catholic fiefdoms of New Spain? Or would they be more like the New England settlements? These were largely Protestant communities where the ideas of social revolution could secretly ferment.'

That's a very difficult question. Though there were never, to my knowledge actual Polish colonies (with mostly Polish people of origin) colonizing Africa, there were _large_ migrations of colonists moving from Poland during the 18/19th centuries. Especially to 'the new world'.

If I was to speculate I would say the Polish colonies would resemble quite distinctly the way the colonists lived back in their own country. So, as you say resembling the Catholic fiefdoms of New Spain. Most of them would be quite religious and extremely patriotic towards Europe and especially their mother country. Just take a look at the Polish community in the US. It's quite strong and united, and has on occassions forced US Presidents to change policy.

Sapura