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unmerged(1996)

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Mar 19, 2001
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Interlude: Long Live King Henry VII

The year of our lord 1492. King Henry VII sits the throne of England and I, his most loyal and dedicated advisor have been charged with assisting his majesty in the care and defence of the realm. In many private council sessions his majesty confides in me a desire to make England one of the truly great nations of Europe. France and Spain, he reveals, have for too long lorded their suzerainty and it was time to take both down a peg or two. I counsel that perhaps it would be wiser to concentrate on one enemy at a time – the French have long been our staunchest foe and our current alliance with Spain would make them a more likely bed partner. The King agrees, but says he likes not my metaphor, and would I kindly desist from such un-Christian imagery…

After further debate and discussion, I present a plan to his majesty - the full scope of which will be revealed in the fullness of time - which I believe will assure that England’s rise to power, whilst not necessarily the most dramatic or immediate, will surely bring long-term, sustainable gain to the nation. The King agrees that the plan is sound and I even go so far as to encourage his Majesty to believe that it was mostly his idea in the first place. I am dismissed by the King, and put our plans into action:


Stage I. A new direction for England:

January 1492

Norfolk, our most able and loyal general, brings his army, currently guarding the Marches from our old enemy the Scots, southwards, and my lord Suffolk is sent west with his Army of Marches. The Home Fleet sails to Lands End. 5,000/1,000 new recruits are commissioned in Anglia to defend the realm in Norfolk's absence.

The King makes a public proclamation that the perfidious French shall gain no foothold on these Isles within five years, or he is not the rightful King of England. We also dispatch a merchant venturer for the CoT in Flandres.

February 1492

Norfolk & Suffolk’s armies arrive in Cornwall. Trade expands in Flandres and word arrives that Turkey has gone to war with the neighbouring Mameluks.

March 1492

The Home Fleet arrives at Lands End and Norfolk & Suffolk embark.

April 1492

The Home Fleet sets sail... for the western Mediterranean.

Brandenburg proposes a Royal Marriage. It is considered politic to accept their offer and a cousin of the King is wed to a duchess’ daughter. Word arrives from our great friend and ally Spain that they have completed the holy Reconquista and driven the Moorish infidel from their shores. Great rejoicing by all Christendom.

May 1492

Another merchant is sent to Flandres and puts a Danish trader out of business. Hannover, neighbour of Brandenburg, also proposes a Royal Marriage. It would seem churlish to refuse…


Conquest of Tunisia (September 1492 - August 1493)

The first step in our long-term plan is put into action. In order to gain a foothold in the Mediterranean, a suitable base of operations must be taken for the Crown. We initially considered assisting our allies by seizing Granada from the Moors, but the lack of a viable sea port made us re-think. Algiers, Maroc and Morocco all appear too strong a prospect, but there, nestled between Algiers and Tripolotania, is Tunisia. A solitary province, without allies, thinly defended and capable of supporting some 50,000 troops in peacetime. The perfect target.

September 1492

On the 12th we declare war on Tunisia. We lack Casus Belli and many nobles of the realm are concerned that so distant a prospect will not actually enhance our holdings and will rather imperil our position in the region (-2 stability, down to –1). The King begs their patience and the attack proceeds. Norfolk (8,419/1,684) and Suffolk (4,127/1,826) commence a landing in Tunisia. On the 23rd the Fleet comes under belated attack from 15 Tunisian galleys.

We also dispatch another merchant to Flandres.

October 1492

On the 12th Norfolk completes his landing and immediately besieges Tunis(2). Our fleet withdraws to the Sicilian coast rather than risk further damage in case a swift withdrawal is required.

Trade expands healthily in Flandres.

December 1492

The Siege Continues, Tunis' walls weaken (1).

January 1493

Tax 147d. We send a letter to Spain, reassuring his majesty Ferdinand that we have no designs on Sicily or Sardinia, which Ferdinand thanks us for. The Siege of Tunis weakens their defences further (0), but morale among the defenders is still strong.

February – April 1493

The Siege continues, but with no further weakening of the defences. Attrition is beginning to affect our ships. We send another merchant to Flandres. Russia declares war on Kazan.

May 1493

A breakthrough : mining collapses a section of the Tunis wall (-5) and Norfolk orders an assault on May 13th. Norfolk loses 1,200 men and slays an equal number of defenders before withdrawing. Their morale, like their wall, is breaking. Tunis will be ours by summer’s end.

Our entrepreneur puts an Algerian out of business in Flandres.

June - July 1493

Further damage to Tunis (-7). Norfolk's men have recovered their morale but the defenders have also rallied and are looking strong once more.

Poland-Lithuania declares war on the Teutonic Order.

August 1493

On the 10th, Norfolk prepares a fresh assault, and in the face of this, the Tunisian governor suddenly surrenders. Tunis offers a white peace which we reject and instead Tunisia is annexed. A relieved commodore Rogers sails his 15 ships into Tunis harbour for much needed resupply & repair.

We now have our foothold in the Mediterranean. All we have to do is hold it...

Stage I of the plan is complete and Stage II can shortly begin.
 

unmerged(1891)

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An interesting direction. I had thought of going for Morroco before (I never did it) but Tunisia is a smart move. I look forward to the continuation.
 

unmerged(1996)

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Thanks, Ric. Hopefully you won't be disappointed. I've currently recahed 1517 in the game but I'm posting the AAR in segements once each one is fully written-up. It's been the most interesting game I've played so far (even if it is only my sixth attempt at the GC...). I'll post the next installment in a short while, once I've tidied it up.
 

unmerged(1996)

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Interlude: The next Step.

Once again spending days in closed session, I take great care to remind his majesty King Henry that the French still consider that they have Casus Belli against us for our occupation of Calais. Is the province worth so much to us that we should risk decades of constant warfare in order to hold it? King Henry likes not the picture I paint for him and agrees that perhaps our possession of Calais is not such an essential goal. Far better, he agrees, to keep the marauding French armies from our shores in line with his sworn oath to that effect. In the event of a war with France, something I fear to be sadly inevitable, he agrees that Calais should be left to its own devices, to stand or fall on its own merits. I praise his majesty for his foresight and shrewdness, and then draw his attention to another matter that he might want to consider. Scotland, I tell him, would make a far finer addition to the Crown’s possessions…


Preparation for War with Scotland.

September 1493

Norfolk's Home Army (7,621/3,273) is recalled to England in preparation for a war against the Scots, currently allied with France and therefore highly likely to face us on the field of battle before too long. A garrison force of (3,687) are left in Tunis under Hope and fresh levies (2,000/2,000) are raised to help hold our overseas province.

An additional 2,000 foot are raised in the Marches and the 6,000 Anglian garrison troops are re-stationed in the Midlands, ready to move north or south as required. Another merchant is sent to Flandres. We will need as much trade revenue as we can gather in the coming years.

October – December 1493

Our merchant ousts a Baden shopkeeper from Flandres. Hope's garrison is swelled by the addition of 4,000 local levies. The Teutonic Order makes peace with Poland-Lithuania and pays 100d in indemnities.

January – March 1494

Tax 164. Another merchant is sent to Flandres but fails to gain a foothold. We raise an additional (3,000 / 3,000) levies in the Marches. In March there is joyous news as the returning English fleet is sighted off Lands End en-route for Lancashire. 6,000 Marches levies swell the ranks of new recruits on the border with Scotland.

May – December 1494

Norfolk arrives in Lancashire and relocates to The Marches. A new transport is ordered from the shipwrights in Lancashire. A new merchant venturer heads for Flandres and trade is expanded (5m=10d). Word arrives in July that Russia has sued for peace and paid 163d indemnities to Kazan. In September we look abroad for new markets. The Italians are too strong and over-protective of their centers of trade and so we look further afield. Novogrod in Russia seems rich enough yet under-developed and so becomes our next target, but we fail to establish a foothold.

January – September 1495

Tax 162d. Manuel I becomes King of Portugal. Several more merchants are sent to Novogrod and by the end of summer, two have established a foothold there. Our plans for the invasion of Scotland continue apace. 2,000 infantry are recruited for Norfolk in the Marches and a further 7,000 foot in Lancashire. A transport is commissioned in Meath. The invasion is tentatively planned for March 1496, providing a suitable counter to the French threat can be found by then. Stability in the realm is increasing (to +2) as the nobles realise our acquisition of Tunisia is not about to plunge us into an unwinnable war against the entire Moslem world.

October - November 1495

Oct 8th: The Eastern Mediterranean goes to war as Venice (Mameluks, Hanse, Iraq, Portugal, Persia, Teutonic Order) declares war on Turkey (Wallachia, Tripoli, Crimea, Georgia, Algiers). Briefly we toy with the idea of using the confusion in the region to storm Tripoli and hope that Turkey does not retaliate, but decide that the risk is too great given our somewhat tentative presence in the region and two north African states would be too costly to hold for too little gain. Our master plan calls for strong strategic development, not a land-grab.

December 1495

On the 6th Poland-Lithuania (Moldovia, Prussia) declares war on Kazan.

January 1496

Tax 169d. King Henry requests a review of our trading and diplomatic relationships with our European neighbours. We have 5 merchants in Flandres, bringing in 10 ducats’ worth of revenue and another 3 in Novogrod whose earnings amount to 7 ducats.

A quick glance at the diplomatic map demonstrates the main power-blocs in Europe are:

Spain (England, Naples, Lorraine, Milan)
France (Scotland, Papal States, Navarra, Helvetia, Savoy)
Genoa (Tuscany, Parma, Knights of St. John)
Venice (Mamelukes, Hanseatic League, Iraw, Persia, Portugal, Teutonic Knights), currently at war with…
Turkey (Wallachiam Tripoli, Crimea, Georgia, Algiers)

Given that the old enemy France is now allied with our even older enemy Scotland, I persuade his majesty King Henry that the time may be right to send a more personal token of regard to their most Catholic majesties in Spain. Our personal gift to King Ferdinand (a fine breeding mare with an excellent pedigree) sees our relationship improve from a state of Emnity to one of Complete Neutrality (-85 to +28).

Little in the way of funding is left for improving our military arm, although Harvey, cthe urrent Constable of Tunis, is given permission to raise an additional 2,000 local foot levies, in case the Venetian-Turkish war should spill over into the western Mediterranean.

Instead we concentrate on tightening our grip on the Russian market and send another merchant to Novogrod. We also learn that a tribal confederacy of Mongols styling themselves the Golden Horde has declared war on Kazan. The King is surprised that so barbarous a nation should be so concerned with the niceties of the rules of war…

February 1496

No word from the Novogrod expedition. Perhaps they were lost in the icy Baltic seas or fell foul of the war in the Baltics?

March 1496

The addition of 2,000 foot strengthens the Tunis garrison to 7,676/2,000. We are now reasonably well placed to defend ourselves if the war on to the east should spill over into Tunisia.

Now for those troublesome Scots...
 

unmerged(1996)

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The Franco-English War / War of Scottish Annexation (April 1496 - April 1499)

April 1496

The day we have simultaneously dreaded and longed for has finally arrived. France (Scotland, Navarra, Papal States, Helvetia, Savoy) declares war on England. We call on our allies to assist us in this our hour of need and Ferdinand of Spain, God bless his noble heart, rallies to our cause and declares for England, as do Lorraine and Naples (a vassal of Spain). Only Milan dishonours the old alliance, curse their treacherous hides.

May 1496

The Scots immediately invade our northern border. In the Marches, Norfolk (12,909/5,921) faces James IV & McTavish's combined army of (18,767/5,637). A great English victory is won, 11,500 Scots are slain for the loss of only 3,100 English lives. James IV flees North.

June 1496

A Scottish fleet(5) attacks our Western Squadron (10/0/1) in the Irish Sea and is soundly beaten, losing 2 ships. Norfolk pursues James IV to Lothian, routs the Scots forces outside Edinburgh, slaying a further 4,800. On June 14th, the siege of Edinburgh commences.

A French fleet attacks our Western Squadron and our stout boys are forced to make strategic withdrawal. Our Army of the Marches, now unable to take ship to sail to Norfolk's assistance, marches north instead.

July 1496

The Siege of Edinburgh continues. Elsewhere, French and Spanish fleets meet in the Western Mediterranean and a Navarrese force suffers defeat in northern Spain.

August 1496

6,000 new Scots recruits are raised in the Grampians and promptly march south. The Army of the Marches (10,000/2,000) under Lord Suffolk attacks Strathclyde to draw their fire. On the 28th the siege Strathclyde begins.

September 1496

James IV attacks Suffolk's army, who is forced to make a strategic withdrawal back to the Marches. James IV pursues and attacks the Marches. Suffolk feigns retreat again, but this time doubles back to reinforce Norfolk in Lothian. James IV besieges Newcastle. The Siege of Edinburgh continues, the damn walls seem impervious! Norfolk considers an early assault.

October 1496

15th Suffolk arrives in Lothian and joins Norfolk. The joint forces assault Edinburgh, trying to draw James IV back north and into their combined grasp. 2,200 defenders are slain before the assault is repulsed, for the loss of some 3,300 English lives. Norfolk vows to take Edinburgh by Spring.

December 1496

Attrition begins to bite as the size of the army strips the land of forage, although Edinburgh's defences finally seem to be weakening. Suffolk is sent west to besiege Glasgow once more and cut off James IV's retreat. On the 26th Glasgow is besieged. Scouts to the north report a fresh force of 6,000 Scots recruits in the Grampians, already marching south.

January 1497

Tax 161d. Great rejoicing at court as King Henry's vow that no Frenchmen shall occupy English soil is upheld. Henry makes a new vow, despite my pointing out that it may seem somewhat churlish in nature, that Spain shall not occupy an English province within the next 5 years. Well, they are our allies after all...

Meanwhile, a young and some would say foolhardy adventurer by the name of John Cabot comes forth to volunteer for the dangerous voyage to the New World. Wsend him first to Wales to rendezvous with a squadron of Transport ships that is already en-route.

A letter is sent to Ferdinand of Spain complementing him on his handling of the Franco-Spanish element of the war and thanking him once more for his invaluable assistance.

On the 25th Suffolk is attacked by the Scots recruits army. 2,000/3,000 levies are raised in Lancashire and 3,000/2,000 in Yorkshire to aid the Scottish war effort.

February 1497

After a lengthy pitched battle, Suffolk sends the Scottish curs packing, tails firmly between their legs. A Scots flotilla attacks out transport squadron, which flees for port in Wales. On the 25th the walls of Edinburgh are finally breached (-4), but Norfolk waits until his new recruits are available before renewing the assault on the walls.

March 1497

The Siege if Edinburgh continues. Navarra attacks the Spanish province of Gerona.

April 1497

Edinburgh's walls take further damage (-7). Norfolk assaults again, and slays 1,700 defenders before being pushed back for loss of only 600 men. Cabot is attacked off Lands End by the Scots but flees for port. Some 47,600 Frenchmen besiege Calais and launch an assault on the 26th. We can only pray an invasion of England's southern counties does not follow. Norfolk is ordered to take Edinburgh at the earliest possible opportunity and then push on north. Another 6,000 Grampians levies are raised by the Scots.

May 1497

Calais falls to the French, who immediately march on towards Flandres. We pray our Spanish brethren can hold this important CoT. The Shires levies have been raised but as yet the troops are too green to face the Scots' King. Suffolk is ordered to Edinburgh instead for a final push on the city.

The 9,500 men of the Grampians are marching south. Suffolk reaches Lothian and Norfolk orders an immediate assault on Edinburgh's remaining 1,100 defenders. Edinburgh falls on the 19th and Suffolk marches west to Strathclyde to renew the siege of Glasgow. The Lancashire levies take ship to reinforce Suffolk. Norfolk digs in to await the expected counter-attack.

On the 26th the Scots' Grampian army is annihilated, 9,500 are slain for the loss of only 1,200 English. Suffolk returns westwards. James IV still shows no sign of de-camping from the siege of the Marches, so Norfolk decides to simply steal his from nation behind his back.

The Western squadron catches the Scottish fleet in St George's channel. One of their warships is sunk, before a surprise attack from 2 French ships panics our Commodore and he breaks off the engagement to return to England (for summary execution I might add). The Home Fleet immediately sails south to assist, disrupting the embarkation of the Lancastrian troops.

Elsewhere, we learn that the Golden Horde has paid 37d to Kazan in return for peace.

June 1497

A French expeditionary force of 2,000 infantry attacks our army in Tunisia and are swiftly massacred to a man. Perhaps the time has come to offer France a white peace, or possibly cede Calais? We really don't want to lose our hard-won Mediterranean province. We decide to wait and see if they make any demands of us. Meanwhile the Shire levies under Bathurst and Fremont join forces in Lancashire and prepare to take ship for the Highlands once more, and Suffolk renews his siege of Strathclyde.

Our allies in Lorraine are fighting the French in Lyonnais, but Spain seems to be having trouble with the Navarrese and the forces of Savoy who have invaded Rousillon.

On the 22nd, Cabot finally sets sail from Meath, bound for Terra Incognita west of the Azores.

July 1497

Heartened by tales of Cabot, several hardy souls step forward to volunteer to establish trading missions in the new world (trade level 2), awaiting only Cabot's news of new lands.

Hoping to force James IV's hand, Norfolk marches west to join siege of Strathclyde. The Shire armies embark and sail for the Highlands.

A Helvetian army has occupied Calais on behalf of their French overlords. Still no overtures towards us from the garlic eating dogs.

August 1497

The Shire armies disembark in the Grampians rather than face the Scottish fleet lurking off the Highlands. The galley fleet of Tunis puts to sea and sails into the middle of a battle between Savoy (France) and Spain. They beat a hasty retreat back to port. Hoping to bring at least one portion of the war to an end we seek to negotiate a peace with Savoy, but our overture is refused. Scotland offers us a white peace also, but again we refuse and on the 28th we besiege Aberdeen in the Grampians.

Elsewhere : The Navarrese, having taken Gerona, march north to assist their Savoy-Swiss allies in Rousillon.

September 1497

6,000 Scots recruits are raised in the Highlands and begin to march.

October 1497

24th 4,276/88 Papal troops attack our holdings in Tunisia. The sieges of Glasgow and Aberdeen continue. Glasgow's walls must be built of steel...

November 1497

After a protracted battle, the Pope's forces are annihilated. The twin sieges continue. Scotland offers another white peace on the 12th which is again refused.

December 1497

The Scots recruit army from the Highlands lands in Lothian and besieges Edinburgh. Norfolk marches east to deal with the irksome distraction. On the 30th, Norfolk's cavalry charge demolishes the Scots and he returns to the siege of Glasgow.

January 1498

Tax 142d. More levies are raised in Yorkshire (2,000/3,000) and Lancashire (3,000/2,000). Our forces in the Grampians assault Aberdeen but fail to take the town and lose 1,400 men. Suffolk is despatched to take command of the siege. On the 26th the siege of Glasgow is renewed. More Highland Scots take ship, presumably for another crushing defeat in Lothian.

Elsewhere: France has taken Rousillon, Genora is still controlled by the Navarrese.

February 1498

Our generals report that they have found a way to cast metal cannon balls which would, if we had any guns in the field, prove invaluable in sieges and assaults, but at least they can be used at once on board our naval vessels.

On the 12th the first of our allies surrenders - Lorraine cedes Alsace to Navarra and pays 250d indemnities.

March 1498

A Scots force of 5,000 attacks our army besiegeing Aberdeen but is once more annihilated, although morale suffers greatly and another assault on Aberdeen becomes unlikely until June. Lothian is once more besieged by a Scots flanking force. 10,000 fresh troops take ship at Liverpool to reinforce the siege of Glasgow and allow Norfolk to deal with the Scots outside Edinburgh.

April 1498

The time has come to finish the Scots once and for all. We ask our bankers to finance a full invasion and offer lands and titles for our supporters once Scotland is ours. 2,000 ducats are forthcoming at once. An additional 5,000 infantry are raised in both Lancashire and Yorkshire. On the 5th, James IV marches to relieve the siege of Strathclyde and another Scots force attacks our army in Lothian. Another 8,000 infantry are quickly levied in The Marches to lend assistance.

On the 6th Scotland offers another white peace. Never. On the 9th, Louis XII ascends to the French throne.

May 1494

Norfolk (6,045/4,498) is attacked by the combined Scots force (13,902/2,607) in Strathclyde. The Scots are routed. Norfolk waits for his 10,000 reinforcements then pursues James IV to Lothian. James is quickly routed and once again Norfolk sets off in pursuit. On the 23rd Suffolk takes Aberdeen by assault and marches on the Highlands. We can sense a glorious end to this conflict.

2,000/2,000 levies are raised to reinforce Tunisia.

The Scots offer yet another white peace and once again their ambassador is laughed out of court.

June 1498

On the 3rd The Scots change their tune and offer us the Grampians. No, no and thrice no! we cry.

Norfolk catches James IV in Lothian and defeats him yet again. The combined force of all 18,000 new recruits are now ready in the Marches and about to head north.

The 16th is a truly Dark day - Spain capitulates, surrendering Artois to France. The Tunis fleet is put on full alert. On the 25th France demands Calais in return for peace. We have to refuse - peace with France as leader of the alliance would mean peace with Scotland for no gain whatsoever. We have fought too hard and too long for that. We turn France down.

July 1498

On the 5th a Papal States fleet attacks our galleys off Cape Bon and are driven off on the 16th. James IV is again defeated in Strathclyde.

August 1498

James IV splits his already pitifully small army. One half under McTavish attacks our forces in the Marches and is roundly defeated. The victorious English march to join Norfolk in Strathclyde. On the 30th James IV besieges Grampians.

Meanwhile in the Mediterranean our galleys are once more attacked by a Papal fleet and their Savoy allies off Cape Bon. Our fleet is defeated on the 26th and limps back to port.

Septermber 1498

Norfolk, with his 18,000 fresh reinforcements, assaults Glasgow and the town finally falls on the 13th to great rejoicing. On the 30th, Suffolk assaults Inverness but is oh, so narrowly repulsed.

October 1498

On the 28th Norfolk (25,919/3,647) attacks James IV (5,940) and demolishes the Scots army.

November 1498

On the 2nd France once again demands that we hand over Calais and our entire treasury of 61d. We refuse. On the 29th a small skirmish breaks the monotony as the straggling remants of James IV's army meet Suffolk in the Highlands and are promptly thrashed. Scotland seeks to prevent its now-inevitable collapse by offering us both the Grampians and Strathclyde. We laugh, heartily. Norfolk arrives to lead a fresh assault on Inverness and his army is barely held at bay - now only 717 defenders remain.

Helvetia offers us peace but demands our treasury. Insolent Swiss dogs...

December 1498

On the 16th Navarra offers peace for 61d. Donate our treasury to an ally of France? Over my cold, long-dead bones! On the 19th 3,280 Savoy cavalry land in Tunisia and defeat our garrison on the 22nd, although only 1,302 of the Swiss scum remain. On the 24th France again demands the sum contents of our treasury and Calais. We refuse them once more, but the situation grows desperate. Norfolk must succeed, and soon.

January 1499

Tax 178d. Tunisia is besieged by Savoy.

February 1499

On the 4th our ally Naples sues for peace with the Papal States, surrendering Apulia and 250d.

Norfolk renews the assault on Inverness on the 15th and unbelievably, is thrown off without killing a single Scot. Shortly afterwards Scotland again offers us the Grampians and Strathclyde. Of course, we decline...

March 1499

On the 17th Helvetia demands 246d for peace. These Swiss really are an arrogant bunch. What threat are they to us?

On the 30th a real threat presents itself - Disaster, as Kent is invaded and Dover besieged by the French.

April 1499

Norfolk renews the assault with the utmost urgency and, glory be, Inverness falls on the 10th and Scotland is finally brought to the table on our terms and forcibly annexed to our great realm! Suffolk takes up station in the Grampians against the threat of rebellion, Norfolk hastens southward to repel the French. Word has come that they have mounted an assault on Dover!

Our diplomats, though, are busy and we offer Calais to the French in return for an end to hostilities (and a negation of their Casus Belli) - and they accept! A white peace with the Papal States follows, and then a white peace with Savoy, seeing to the removal of their siege and their troops from Tunisia. The War is all but over! Only Navarra still opposes us and they in name only. The Canterbury bells are rung in celebration.

We immediately look to our economic improvement - eager to recoup the losses incurred in this costly conflict - tax collectors are appointed in Anglia and Lancashire.

Some time during war, Cabot limped back to Munster in but a single ship, with tales of a sighted but as yet unexplored continent to the west. New ships are commissioned to facilitate his swift return there and our merchant venturers begin to draw up plans for treating with the natives, should any be encountered.

The British Isles are united under our rule, an exciting new era appears to be dawning and King Henry VII is delighted.

And Stage III of our master plan can now be put into effect...
 

Storey

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A very bold and imaginative start with England. What's next? The new world or expansion in Africa?



Joe
 

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splendid, just splendid.

i tried to play england once and did ok until i lost half my country to royalists, from there i lost it all as others attacked.

I see new hope for england, im going to give it a shot again and try to play smarter this time.

great aar, a source of inspiration i must say.
 

unmerged(1996)

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Storey : My plans are as yet a closely guarded secret, for reasons of national security you understand ;), but I don't mind revealing that I would certainly hope to expand England's presence in the New World in a significant manner. The only problem is the lack of available colonists - we're still Catholic and it is still only 1524, game-time - although longer-term plans are afoot to remedy this particular aphid in the linament...

Warspite : Thank you for your kind words. If my travails provide an example to but one more Englishman to take up arms against the devilish, insidious French, then I consider my work to be done...

Let us all know how it goes.

The next installment follows:
 

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Interlude: A brief respite, a few years of plenty.

June 1499

Having spent the last three years at war, the time has come to look to our trade interests once more. We recently lost a merchant in Flandres so a replacement is sent.

July 1499

Norfolk takes ship. Where to send the great hero now? We have temporary Casus Beli on Naples for dishonouring our alliance and refusing our call to war, and they have already been weakened by the Papal States, but Naples is a vassal of Spain, our primary ally and to attack Naples would invite Spanish retribution for sure, leaving us alone and un-befriended in a hostile Europe. Not good. We check further and see that Cologne and the Palatinat have also joined our alliance and would surely declare for Naples also. The very idea is therefore dimissed as ridiculous.

We are still at war with Navarra, so technically we could invade with a view to annexation, but their armies caused Spain major problems early in the last war and so we reckon them to be a serious threat on their home ground. We are also still at war with Helvetia, but their territory is isolated in Europe – in fact our armies would not be able to reach their soil - and surrounded by potential future enemies, a hard land to hold.

Instead we decide on the path of peace, at least for the time being. We send an army to garrison Ireland in case of surprise attack and then order Norfolk, the hero of Tunisia and Scotland, to take ship for north Africa and stand ready.

August 1499

Realising the futility of continuing the conflict any further, we sue for and sign a white peace with both Navarra and Helvetia. After all, we certainly don't want any unfortunate incidents with Norfolk’s fleet on the way to Tunisia.

September – November 1499

2,000 troops arrive to reinforce the Grampian garrison in case of rebellion. Norfolk sets sail for north Africa. We send more merchant venturers forth, to Novogrod and our first to Venice, mercantile capital of Christendom. Trade expands in Novogrod, and we compete away a merchant from Courland in Venice.

December 1499

Cabot's squadron of 8 is fully assembled in Munster and he sets sail again for the New World.

January - February 1500

Tax 187d. 103d is spent on upgrading our fortifications in Tunisia and 5,000 infantry are levied to add to Norfolk's command upon his arrival.

Looking around, we see that our ally Spain has amassed large armies in Rousillon and Gerona. Are they planning an attack on Navarra? That might drag us back into a war with France, not something we want to happen so soon. We consider diplomatic overtures towards Algiers (-178) and Triploi (-168) but decide that until we can afford a more personal gift for each ruler, it might be best to just try to keep Tunisia unnoticed by them both. News comes from abroad: On the 2nd of February Russia (Denmark, Pskov) declares war once more on Kazan.

March 1500

Norfolk's passage along the coast of Algiers reveals that some 113,000 troops are stationed across their four provinces. Not a pleasant prospect should they decide to remove the Christian irritation in their Moslem midst.

April – December 1500

Turkey sues for peace, surrendering Bosnia to Venice. We offer heartfelt congratulations, from afar, to our Christian cousins for their victory over the Turk. In July, our Generals bring us good news. They have found a way of mounting ships’ guns on a solid-enough platform to allow their use in land battle – field artillery is now a weapon in our arsenal, and at last we have a practical use for those metal cannon balls.

In the New World, Cabot discovers two provinces in April; Manhattan, rich in Furs, and Delaware, rich in Tobacco. In May Cabot discovers Santee, a province rich in cotton but with worryingly aggressive natives. Then, he dies on October 3rd with no further discoveries to his name.

January 1501

Tax 220d. The remnants of Cabot’s expedition return to Munster to tell the sorry tale of his passing. We salute the memory of the brave venturer and dedicate a shrine to his pioneer spirit in Rivaulx Abbey. It is decided that the crown will finance two full colonial expeditions – to Delaware and neighbouring Manhattan, to begin our drive for domination in the New World. We also send out more merchants, one to Flandres and two to Venice.

From abroad we learn that Alexander Jagielloncyzk has risen to throne of Poland-Lithuania.

February - October 1501

None of our merchant venturers managed to establish themselves overseas. Two more are sent immediately to Venice. One of our second wave manages to establish a foothold in Venice and another competes away a merchant from Saxony. No word arrives from Flandres. We assume failure. News also arrives that one of our trade interests in Novogrod has gone out of business.

Naples sues for peace and pays 250d indemnities to Savoy in March . However, it would appear that our erstwhile allies have failed to make peace with France as their city is besieged in mid May and the siege continues throughout the summer.

November – December 1501

Naples pays 94d indemnities to France. The last smouldering spark of the Franco-Spanish war is finally extinguished.

January 1502

Tax 218d. We commission 3,000 foot & 10 cannons to add to the Tunis garrison. Still, though, we are not strong enough to mount Stage III of our master plan. There is also great (if slightly ironic) rejoicing at court, as none of the British Isles has fallen under the sway of Spain. The Spanish ambassador is invited to join the celebrations, at which His Majesty King Henry makes a fresh declaration that France, the true enemy, shall gain no foothold on our shores in the next five years...

On the 18th Prussia cancels her vassalisation agreement with Poland-Lithuania. We await Polish retribution, but none is forthcoming.

On the 28th we successfully establish our first New World colony, in Manhattan. There is some talk of a bead merchant striking a most profitable deal with some of the native tribes…

On the 29th a truly dastardly proclamation is issued by Papal Bull. The Treaty of Torsedillas divides the New World between Portugal and Spain, and permission is granted for those nations to attack the colonies of others if found overseas. Our protests fall on deaf ears. Secretly, we makes quiet plans to oppose the Papal States at any turn we can in the years ahead…

February – October 1502

On the 9th of February we establish a second successful New World colony, in Delaware. In April we send merchants to Flandres and Venice once more, but hear nothing from either one. In July Kazan sues for peace and pays 212d to Denmark and a return to the status quo with Pskov.

November – December 1502

King Henry’s fame has spread across Europe and diplomats flock to bring felicitous greetings from all over the civilized world – and the Moslem sphere as well [random event : Great Reputation, +10 relationship with all nations]

On November 30th a mainly local dispute threatens to drag whole of Eastern Europe into war as the Teutonic Order (Venice, Mameluks, Hanse, Iraq, Portugal, Persia) declares war on Pskov (Russia, Denmark).

January – March 1503

Tax 218d. Merchants are sent to Flandres and Venice. We successfully expand our interests in Venice, and compete with a merchant from Courland in Flandres. We also appoint Tax Collectors in the Midlands and Yorkshire, and another 20 cannon are ordered for the garrison in Tunisia.

Pskov is annexed by the Teutonic Order as the Knights martial continue to expand their Baltic territories.

April – August 1503

Our loan is called in and the crown, always prompt to pay its debts, returns the 200d to our bankers with our royal thanks. Our Spanish allies (+55) are fortifying Holland, the Hague and Friesen. Once again we are forced to wonder what it is that they're planning?

On the 28th of July, Spain declares war on the Aztec Empire, some New World tribe apparently, and on the 16th of August Astrakhan, a nation of eastern barbarians, declares war on the Golden Horde - who are no more civilized and probably just as foul-smelling.

September - December 1503

The Admiral of the Fleet reports that we have now learnt how to construct Caravels, sturdier vessels than the cogs we have made do with to date. This is excellent news, at last we are catching up with out neighbours, allies and enemies. Nothing else of note happens for the remainder of the year.

January – March 1504

Tax 218d. Merchants are once again sent to Flandres and Venice and a transport vessel is commissioned in Tunisia. 2 Tunisian galleys are sent on protracted tour of the central and Eastern Meditarranean to assess strength of our neighbours (and potential enemies in the region). Our fleet gathers the following intelligence: Savoy has a standing army of 5,000 men in Nice and also 14 ships. Genoa seems undefended by armed forces, but their fleet is massive (28/3/5). Parma can command 10,000 men but their navy is pitifully small, only 3 ships. Tuscany can also call on 10,000 men-at-arms, but possesses no ships.

Our governor in Scotland informs the crown that there is now no risk of revolt in any Scottish province, and so the Royal Army (8,444) is reassigned to Lancashire.

April - September 1504

Our intelligence gathering mission continues. Rome seems undefended, but 3 ships of the Papal States appear to be shadowing us as we sail their coast. Our old ally Naples has 4 ships, but no troops immediately obvious.

Elsewhere, the Teutonic Knights expand their territory further - Tver is ceded to them by Russia as part of a peace treaty. Word eventually arrives from our merchants in Novgorod that the town has been under siege by the Order for some time. In turn , Russia gains two – mostly unpronounceable – provinces from Kazan as part of a separate peace settlement.

In July another 20 guns and 2,000 cavalry are ordered in Tunisia. Now we require transport fleets or our army will be permanently sationed in north Africa.

October – December 1504

Our intelligence gathering fleet reaches Rhodes and discovers that the Knights have 10,000 troops and 16 ships. They return home for Christ’s Mass, their work done.

January - May 1505

Tax 221d. The Munster-docked transport fleet (the remains of Cabot's Expedition) are sent to Tunisia and one more transport ship is commissioned in Tunisia itself. 8 more transports are commissioned in various ports in England & Ireland to make up another New World exploratory squadron. Word goes out that all we need now is a hardy soul to Captain and lead the expedition...

Vassili III ascends to the throne of Russia

June - December 1505

We lose a merchant in Venice and send a replacement who fails to establish himself. Our transports arrive in Tunisia, with no losses through attrition. The Tunisian army is reorganised - 3,000 additional infantry are commissioned to boost Norfolk's siege contingent and 7,000/5,000 are placed under the command of Suffolk.

January – December 1506

Tax 217d. Zygmunt Istary rises to the throne of Poland-Lithuania. A slow year. Europe is quiet – too quiet. The King decides to conserve our finances against possible future need and so no further reinforcements are ordered for our overseas provinces and our trade interests are left to stand.

January – November 1507

Tax 218d. Merchants are sent to Venice, Flandres and Novogod. The court once more rejoices that no Frenchman has his home on English soil and the King renews his five-year vow.

The Flandres venturer replaces another who is just leaving, and rival entrepreneurs are sent packing back to Prussia (from Venice) and Denmark (in Novogrod). New commercial interests are sent to Venice and Novogrod and this tim ewe strengthen our presence in Russia and drive an Algerian shopkeeper from northern Italy. In April we send another merchant to Flandres who successfully competes with a Teutonic Knight who thinks he can sell cheese to the French. In September another trade delegation to Flandres destroys the livelihood of a hapless Polac, and in November we finally succeed in expanding our own cartel.

Our international trade position now stands at: Flandres (5m=10d) Venice (3m=9d) and Novogrod (5m=10d). The King is pleased with this peaceful expansion of our trade interests, and declares that the time will soon be ripe to push ahead with the next part of our overall master plan.

Little did His Majesty or I know that events were soon to overtake England that would force a new and interesting, but peril-fraught, change in direction…
 

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Stage III : The Long War (November 1507 - June 1515), Part I.

November – December 1507

On the 30th of November 1507, the horseman War descends on Europe, fiery sword aloft and gathering souls in his wake. Spain (Naples, Palatinat, Cologne, Hannover) declares war on their great rival France (Savoy, Papal States, Navarra, Helvetia) and the second Franco-Spanish confrontation in a decade is initiated. We declare for Spain rather than lose our alliance and hope to ride out the storm.

The Irish garrison is called home, and the mainland garrison of 8,000 in Lancashire is reassigned to Wessex. Norfolk’s forces are put on full alert in Tunisia. Hopefully, France and Spain will keep each other busy and France will have no time to think of invading our peaceful shores. Stronger fortifications are commissioned in Kent and Wessex, in case France does decide to try her luck on our shores.

The King and his most faithful first minister debate our best strategy for days on end. King Henry entertains notions of invading France and recapturing some of the glory of the Angevin Empire of his forefathers, or at least Calais, but I quickly dissuade him. Far better, I urge, to use our position in the Mediterranean to strengthen our overseas interests. The next target in our long-term master plan is not currently involved in this war, but the nation of Savoy has declared for France, and their province of Nice is temptingly close to our main objective and would provide a convenient base for future operations. A swift strike into Savoy and a subsequent suit for peace should see us in a much stronger position than prior to the war and with little risk. The King defers to my suggestions, and orders are dispatched to Norfolk to prepare for action.

We also, discretion being the wisest part of valour, attempt to negotiate a white peace with Navarra, Helvetia and the Papal States, preferring as few distractions as possible whilst we concentrate on Savoy. All our overtures are rejected – none of the three want to risk breaking faith with the mighty France so soon, and all see much potential gain for them and theirs...

January – February 1508

Tax 218d A relative of John Cabot (Simon? Sebastien?) steps forward to lead a new expedition to the New World. His commission granted, he takes ship and his personal fleet of 3 warships is sent to Munster via Scotland (to avoid French fleets in the Channel) to rendezvous with the White Squadron already assembled there for just such a purpose. At the same time, an additional colonist is sent to our colony in Delaware.

The Irish garrison crosses to Bristol. Our Tunis galley fleet (0/12/0) meets the fleet of the Papal States off Cape Bon. The Papal forces are swiftly reinforced by a fleet from Savoy and so our own ships head for the safety of Tunis harbour.

Elsewhere: A combined force of 96,000 French and allies besieges the Spanish holdings in Franche-Comte. The Spanish Netherlands rings to sound of troop deployment. 32,000 Spanish and Palatinat troops assault Helvetia. The Papal States besiege Naples. If they are successful, the Pope’s earthly realm will soon consist of sixty percent of the Italian mainland.

March - April 1508

Naval gunsmiths report that they have now found a way to improve our firepower at sea (naval tech: early guns). Our combined navies in Tunisia put to sea and drive the Swiss and Papal fleets from our shores. The galley squadron pursues whilst Norfolk takes ship with the Home Fleet to begin our counter-attack. We catch the Papal fleet off Sicily and send them packing once more, sinking one warship and then pursuing the survivors north again on the 30th. Norfolk sails for the bay of Corsica, intent on a landing in Nice.

Elsewhere: Spain calls off the siege of Helvetia, but another Spanish army lays siege to Navarre. The armies of the Palatinat have siezed control of Alsace. Spanish armies besiege Lorraine. The siege of Franche Comte continues with over 113,000 French and their allies now present. Helvetia strikes an early peace with the Palatinat, paying 150d in indemnities in the process.

May 1508

Our galley squadron fails to find Papal fleet in the bay of Naples and so returns to Tunisia. On the way we spot signs that a Papal army is in the process of assaulting Spanish holdings in Messina. We briefly wonder if our 12,000 strong Tunisian garrison should assist, but decide we need to look first to our own defence and let the mightier nation of Spain protect her own.

On the 24th of May S. Cabot gathers his fleet in Munster and sails for the New World.

June – July 1508

Norfolk (12,405/3,341/50) lands in Nice and is attacked by 6,000 raw recruits, who are sent swiftly packing. Two galleys of Savoy attack our fleet off the coast. We are confident of victory until reinforcements arrive and turn the tide. We withdraw to await further developments.

Elsewhere: In June, Spain calls off the siege of Navarre and marches north. There are now 124,000 French and their allies besieging Franche Comte. In July, Lorraine falls to the Palatinat. France and Hannover battle in Nivannais. Finally, at the end of the month, Franche-Comte falls to France.

August – September 1508

Norfolk, taking heavy losses from attrition, orders an assault on Nice but is repulsed. The defenders’ morale is greatly weakened. Suffolk takes ship to bring reinforcements in the shape of our entire Tunisian garrison. We pray that neither Algiers nor Tripoli take advantage of our absence.

Our colony in Delaware is successfully expanded.

October - December 1508

Our fleet off the Cote D'Azure is attacked and driven away by the ships of Savoy. The siege of Nice continues.

January 1509

Tax 219d. 5,000 recruits are raised in Tunisia. Nice falls to Norfolk on the 13th and his force immediately prepares to march on Savoie itself. We defeat the Papal fleet off the Lombard coast and steal their rutters, discovering Astrakhan and the Golden Horde as well as word of a string of islands in the new world, apparently called the Caribbean islands, already heavily colonised by our Spanish allies.

Elsewhere: Spain, Hannover and Cologne besiege Franche Comte once the French army has departed. The army of Navarra attacks Alsace. Rousillon is besieged by a combined force from the Papal States and Savoy. France and the Palatinat do battle in Berri.

February 1509

15,000 men of Savoy march on Nice. They appear to be new recruits. Should Norfolk swiftly attack Savoie in the hope of an immediate annexation, or should we await their army and defeat them first? It is decided that we should attempt to catch and defeat them on their home territory and so the march continues. Suffolk's advance party (4,172/4,435) meets the Savoy army (10,000/5,000). Suffolk suffers heavy losses but Norfolk arrives with the gun train to turn the battle in the nick of time. Norfolk settles in to reduce Savoy by siege rather than assault, as his total force is now much reduced (5,008/4,625/48).

March – May 1509

5,000 reinforcements are now ready in Tunisia. Another 2,000/3,000 are immediately commissioned.

We offer a white peace to the Papal States, but they refuse. The Papal States’ army, having taken Messina, is now besieging Sicily. Could Tunisia be next? The siege of Savoy continues. A large French fleet is spotted off Tunisia. Our fleet engages them but is driven back to port.

June 1509

On the 12th, Norfolk takes Savoie. We are unable to annexe them as France, the leader of their alliance, fights on. If we were to make peace with France we would lose our gains and so we wait. The day after, a diplomat from Savoy offers us Nice for a unilateral peace treaty. We refuse, preferring to play the waiting game, see what develops in Tunisia and make peace on our own terms.

Then, on the 26th, the nation mourns as Henry VII passes away. The King is dead. Long live the King! Henry VIII is our glorious new monarch. He vows to continue the war against France and honour his father’s memory with great victories on the continent.

July 1509

Henry VIII's dynamic organizational skills quickly bear fruit as the swift reorganization of our national bureaucracy brings immediate results (random event: +1 stability and 1,000d invested in both trade and infrastructure).

Our battered Tunisian fleet puts to sea and finds the French have gone north to fight a small squadron of Spanish ships off Sardinia. We breathe a sigh of relief that no invasion has ensued, but how long will the respite last?

Elsewhere: Franche-Comte is back in the hands of Spain, a Hannoverian army lays siege to Navarre, the Papal siege of Rousillon continues and Spain is assaulting Luxembourg. The Spanish squadron defeats the French navy and sends them fleeing towards Italy.

On the 28th Cabot returns to Delaware from a short exploratory expedition with tales of islands to the south, and immediately sets off for a sweep of the coast to the north.

August 1509

A French squadron of 2 warships attacks our fleet off Cape Bon. One is sunk, the other driven off. An army of 27,000 Savoyese is sighted returning to defend their homeland. Discretion being the better part of valor, we sue for peace, and demand the surrender of Nice and a significant indemnity payment, reasoning that that Savoy without a Mediterranean port is far less a threat to our own stability in the region, and Nice gives us the platform we desired for the furthering of our main goal. Savoy agrees to King Harry's generous terms, handing over 250d and Nice. Norfolk's valiant 3,275/3,855/48 march back to Nice and enter the town in triumph. Seeking and end to the war now that our primary goal is accomplished, we send diplomats to France and the Pope, but they both refuse our white peace offer.

With the war still raging we immediately spend some of our indemnity payment on 3,000 foot for Norfolk’s Nice garrison and additional 2,000/3,000 to defend Tunisia.

September - November 1509

A huge French and Papal fleet arrives off Cape Bon and drives our ships back to port once more. Then in October a Papal expeditionary force of (1,000/2000) attacks our Tunisian garrison of (7,000/3,000) and somehow manages to defeat us. It would seem that without Norfolk even superior numbers cannot help sway the fight in our favour. However, the invaders soon suffer the full wrath of the Tunisian desert's attrition and without adequate forage begin to die or desert before they are able to lay siege. Our fleet once more puts to sea and finds the French and Papal ships have disappeared from the Cape Bon region. Towards the end of the month, Norfolk's reinforcements stand ready, as dose the new Tunisian garrison.

Cabot discovers a rocky, desolate province that the natives call Fundy, an area rich in salt. But then, so is the sea...

Elsewhere: As the Franco-Spanish war enters its second year, France has taken Rousillon, Navarra now battles Cologne and Hannover in Franche-Comte, Spain has re-taken Luxembourg and France and Spain battle in Nivernais. On the 26th of December the heathen Mameluks (Venice, Persia, Iraq) declare war on the nation of Hedjaz.

January 1510

Tax 226d. Thanks to careful spending in previous years, despite the need to reinforce our depleted troops, we now have 624 ducats in our treasury. We decide the time has come to expand our economic base at home as well as continue to expand our armies and fleets overseas in order to survive the current war, which we anticipate (how wrong we were) must surely come to an end within a few short months. We also send merchants to Venice and Flandres.

We recruit 5,000 foot in Tunisia and a further 3,000 in Nice. 6 new warships are commissioned at home to bolster the Wessex fleet (6/0/0). A single French warship and one Papal transport sends our Cape Bon ships scuttling back to port. At some point, we really must find a commodore with a backbone to command the Tunis fleet.

Elsewhere: The European war grinds on. The armies of Savoy lay siege to Luxembourg. Navarra is the latest force to try to take Franche-Comte. A mere 2,100 Papal troops continue to pin down Rousillon in siege and a Honnoverian army of 12,000 marches unopposed through France. King Henry echoes his father’s query about the possibility of re-taking Calais, but one more I urge caution. A sinking feeling is beginning to creep over me and I fear that before too long we will need all the troops we can muster.

February – April 1510

Cabot discovers Anticosti in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a pitiful-looking demesne with little to recommend it save its fish stocks, of which we already have an elegant sufficiency. We receive no word from our merchants in Venice or Flandres and so further expeditions are sent. This time our Flandres man competes with a Swede. We despatch another venturer to Flandres, who successfully expands our trade base there. Our reinforcements are ready in Tunisia and Nice, where we also raise another 3,000 cavalry.

Elsewhere : French and Spanish squadron fight a naval engagement off the Cote d'Azure. The French are victorious. A French army besieges Lorraine, currently controlled by the Palatinat. A Spanish army razes the Ile de France countryside as it marches south but fails to attack Paris. In April a Spanish fleet defeats the Papal ships lying off Tunisian shores and then pursues them to Sicily. Spain seems most eager to regain control of her island possession.

May - June 1510

Our Tunisian fleet puts to sea to assist our Spanish allies in driving off the Papal ships but our incompetent, damn-fool commodore Somerset makes matters impossible and once again we are driven back to port. King Henry is livid and orders the man's immediate execution.

Elsewhere : On the 11th 11,000 Spaniards besiege Messina in order to return the town to its rightful owners. 7,200 Navarrese assault Franche-Comte. Savoy takes control of Luxembourg. Spain recruits heavily in her Netherland provinces. In June the Navarrese withdraw having failed to take Franche-Comte. Hannover and the Palatinat besiege Navarre. Hedjaz sues for peace and pays 65d to Iraq. A fleet flying Algerian colours is spotted in the English Channel. They must be lost, we have no quarrel with Algeria…

July 1510

A Papal army (3,865/1,226/33), led in person by Pope Julius II lands in Tunisia and is met on the field of battle by the Grenadier Guard (7,000/3,000). Our lads are beaten by the sheer force of the Papal guns and Tunis is besieged and promptly assaulted. The town holds and only 612 Papal soldiers survive the attack and then promptly fly the white flag. Very odd. Commodore Somerset is executed on the King's Orders and commodore Cavendish takes command of the fleet and prepares sail to collect Norfolk. The time has come to teach 'his holiness' a lesson.

Elsewhere: Déjà vu strikes the English court as once again, Spain negotiates a separate peace with France, surrendering the province of Roussilon and leaving us to fight on against the French, the Papal States and Navarra. Our offers of a white peace are refused by both France and Navarra.

Cabot discovers Hudson Bay and on its shores Mialto, a province rich in copper.

August - September 1510

Once again the Papal army falls victim to the desert as all 612 troops die of malnourishment although we understand his holiness manages to take ship for Rome. Our fleet puts to sea and discovers the Papal fleet long gone. Cavendish plots a course west along the African coast and then turns north for the Cote dAzure.

Cabot discovers Gandar, a rough, inhospitable province.

Elsewhere : In September, a fleet of 20 French ships is spotted sailing Eastwards from Rousillon. We cannot but fear that they are heading in the direction of Tunisia. Similarly, 51,000 Frenchmen under La Palice are seen heading south through Helvetia. Bound for Nice perhaps?

October - November 1510

A squadron of French ships is spotted off the Cote d'Azure but they sail south. France and the Palatinat battle in Languedoc. 27,865 men under La Palice enter Savoie. They must be heading for Nice. Norfolk stands firm and prepares to meet them on the field of battle, abandoning all potential plans for an attack on Rome (for the time being). Perhaps if he can drive this army back then France will sue for peace?

Cabot returns to Manhattan. He has lost ships to storms and is reduced to 6 ships and so sets out on a much shorter voyage back to the Caribbean.

December 1510

The French army under La Palice (14,282/13,138/84) is met by Norfolk (9,179/6,836/44). Norfolk stands firm and the French are sent fleeing. A glorious victory!

January 1511

Tax 217d. The King announces his determination to protect the realm and thus a new fortress will be built form his own pocket in The Grampians. Wonderful news, sire, but perhaps it might be more useful in, say, Nice? But no, the King is adamant, and will not be argued with. I’m afraid he seems to be very… very… drunk.

Another French force (5,386/57) is already marching on Nice and attacks on the 23rd. Another army of 24,600 is right behind them, and full battle is joined on the 26th. Norfolk's army once more stands firm, slaying some 7,500 Frenchmen, but his force is reduced to (2,908 / 5,676 / 42) and La Palice is poised, awaiting the upturn in his troops’ morale, just over the border.

February 1511

Although it pains us greatly to do so, we attempt to buy peace from France with an offer of 250d reparitions. The offer is rejected. The situation is looking desperate. Can Norfolk’s last few survivors stand against the full fury of the French war machine, or is Nice surely doomed?
 

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Originally posted by Richard Clewer
An interesting direction. I had thought of going for Morocco before (I never did it) but Tunisia is a smart move. I look forward to the continuation.

Don't go for Morocco, NO PORTS, Of course I did not learn this until after I had landed my army. Lost a large part of it to attrition. Just not a good place to go.
 

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Stage III : The Long War (November 1507 - June 1515), Part II.

March 1511

Nice is not attacked by France, praise the Lord. On the 11th the Palatinat sues for peace with Navarra and accomplishes a return to the status quo.

April - June 1511

Norfolk (2,589/5,612/42) is attacked by a Navarrese advance force of 9,577. 3,000 recruits from Nice swell the English ranks mid-battle and he is about to carry the day when a substantial contingent of French and Navarrese reinforcements arrive. Now Norfolk's (5,429/5,598/42) face a combined force of (34,428/737/53). Not even the valiant Norfolk can match such odds. His army is defeated and he narrowly escapes with the battered remnants of his force, fleeing into enemy-held territory in southern France. La Palice pursues Norfolk into Provence, whilst the Navarrese lap-dogs lay siege to Nice. In June, the White Squadron, fleeing Nice, attempts to sail the Cote d’Azure and rescue Norfolk. The squadron is attacked by the French and forced to flee. Norfolk is driven further inland by La Palice. Things are looking grim for the great English hero and our other forces in the region are powerless to assist.

July 1511

Our fleet is defeated once more and driven back towards Sardinia. Now Norfolk is surely doomed. Prayers are said for the salvation of his soul. The King, sensing the imminence of a crushing peace suit from France, invests the bulk of the treasury in economic development and commissioning new troops to defend English shores. Tax collectors are appointed in Wales and Lincoln, 4,000/2000 are recruited in Kent, 4,000/2,000 in Cornwall. A merchant is sent to Flandres, two are sent to Venice, leaving a mere 11d in the kitty. Let Louis take the scraps if he so wishes but he shall have no more than that from England’s coffers.

August 1511

Disaster on the 10th as Nice falls to the armies of Navarra. Our fleet once more attempts to rescue Norfolk and is once more driven off by the French. Navarra demands that we surrender Nice, but we refuse. Let them sit there and rot. We do, however, pay our treasury of 11d in indemnities to the Pope to bring a halt to his attacks on Tunisia, but surely France will not be far behind.

Could it be that our great Mediterranean adventure is coming to an end? King Henry VIII is heard to comment at court that his father’s ambitions have beggared the nation and that a new direction might have to be taken. I catch him eyeing my neck with a speculative air, perhaps wondering how it would look with a headsman’s axe slashing through it? I pray nightly to the good Lord above for a miracle, a respite, anything…

Our merchant in Venice competes away an Algerian and our trade interests expand in Flandres. It’s a start I suppose, but not quite what I was praying for…

September – December 1511

Let no man tell you that there are no such things as miracles, should any fool ever so doubt. Astonishing news from Nice. The valiant Norfolk, footsore and sick at heart, declared a vow that he would end his days as he had always lived them: in the thick of combat. Gathering the shattered remnants of his loyal army to him (0/1,369/33), he returns to Nice from Provence. And then the miracle! Norfolk records a famous victory over the Navarrese occupiers, driving off some (6,324/1,406/24) and laying siege to the town once more.

Elsewhere, Spain pays 61d indemnities to Savoy and France sues for peace and pays 110d to the Palatinat, surrendering the province of Lorraine into the bargain.

Meanwhile, in the New World, Cabot returns to Delaware with news of newly discovered territories: Carolina, an area rich in cotton but guarded by fierce natives (Agg 7), and Chesapeake, a tobacco growing area immediately south of Delaware, whose natives are far more friendly (Agg 2). If only we had more hardy souls willing to seek adventure in the New World our colonial territories would be thriving.

January 1512

Tax 217d. 5,000 infantry are recruited in Tunisia to assist Norfolk in the siege of Nice. A new commander has risen through the ranks of the home garrison and now Field Chief Judge Brandon awaits the King's command in Wessex. There is celebration at court as Henry’s vow is fulfilled and no Frenchmen occupy territory in England, and a fresh vow is made to the same effect.

Elsewhere: Selmi I rises to the throne of Turkey.

February – March 1512

Norfolk (0/1,342/33) is attacked by a new Navarrese force (4,728/5,946) and defeats them, driving them back to Provence in ignonimous shame.

April – May 1512

Norfolk is attacked again by 2,760 Navarrese. Once more he triumphs, but now Norfolk has only (0/614/32) men left. Navarre, sensing perhaps that their victory is slipping from their grasp, demands 158d and Nice. We refuse. Norfolk will save us.

June 1512

We offer France a white peace, wishing to bring an end to this costly and bloody war, but the arrogant dogs refuse. Our 5,000 foot begin landing in Nice to reinforce Norfolk and another 5,000 are recruited in Tunisia. Again Navarra demands 88d and Nice. Again we refuse. Norfolk is reinforced and lays full siege to Nice.

Then, then war takes a new and worrying turn as 14,555 French infantry land in Kent and are met by our garrison of 5,000/2,000. The odds are poor but our cavalry carries the day and the French are defeated.

July 1512

Brandon's 8,000 foot, arriving from Wessex, pursue the defeated French to Anglia and battle is joined. The French flee north towards Lincoln, pursued by Brandon and Surrey. A contingent under Bridgewater takes up station in Anglia to guard against another landing.

On the 17th Cabot dies on board ship, his last discovery being Yucatan, already a province of Spain.

August 1512

A second French force of 11,000 is met by 8,140/3,261 under Bridgewater in Kent. The French are victorious, but Brandon, cutting short his march towards Lincoln, turns south and defeats them. In his absence, Lincoln falls to the French army.

September – October 1512

A glorious, glorious day as Norfolk assaults and re-takes Nice! The bells of Nice Cathedral are rung anew and the Navarrese are slaughtered to a man, their heads slung into Nice harbour. Brandon defeats the French stragglers in Anglia and then takes command of the entire army and marches to relieve Lincoln. France demands Lincoln and 88d for peace. We refuse. Navarra then refuses our offer of a white peace. The war drags on.

November – December 1512

The French army is destroyed, Lincoln is recaptured and Brandon returns to Kent. 3,000/2,000 reinforcements are raised in Kent for his arrival. 2 French warships attack our fleet of 12 in the Straits of Dover and are defeated. At the end of the year, 10,674 Navarrese attack Nice, but Norfolk drives them off without loss.

January – April 1513

Tax 176d. Lord Admiral Howard takes command of the fleet in the Straits of Dover. 1,000/2,000 reinforcements are raised in Nice. 5,000 Tunisians take ship to join Norfolk’s garrison, arriving in February, and another 5,000 are commissioned in Tunisia. In March another 5,179 Navarrese fling themselves at Norfolk. Only 779 live to tell the tale and flee to Savoy. France again rejects a white peace offer.

May - June 1513

In May our diplomats report a breakthrough in relations with Crimea (random event, relationship +25). In June a French army of 8,400 lands in Wessex and immediately marches on Kent. Howard's fleet (12) defeats a French fleet (20) in the channel. On the 12th of June Navarra demands 25d for peace. We accept, in the interests of stopping the attacks on Nice and buying some breathing space. Now only the old enemy, France, still troubles us. The French army of (3026/0/51) is met by Brandon's (9,925/3,421). Despite taking heavy losses form the French Cannon, our cavalry charge sends them fleeing from the field. Meanwhile Howard's 12 ships again send 19 French vessels scuttling back to port.

July - November 1513

Brandon catches the French army in Anglia and inflicts further losses on them. He pursues the stragglers to Lincoln, Yorkshire, The Marches and then Lothian. The French force refuses to stand and be annihilated and instead keeps fleeing further north, cowardly swine that they are. Howard continues to keep the channel clear of French ships, preventing a landing in the south whilst our forces are busy in the north.

December 1513

The French (362/0/47) rout continues northwards into the Highlands. Brandon continues to pursue.

January - February 1514

Tax 191d. King Henry again decides to recruit soldiers rather than allow indemnities to go to the French. He places a force of 5,000 foot in the Marches to head off the straggling French army if they head south again and recruits 3,000/2,000 in Kent in case another force manages to evade Howard and get across the Channel. In February the fugitive French army is finally caught and annihilated in the Highlands. Brandon begins the long march south to Kent. Howard once again defeats the French fleet in the Channel.


March - May 1514

Norfolk (9,067/2,426/32) defeats a French army (5,551/4,911) sent to attack Nice and then pursues them into Provence having decided to carry the fight to the enemy and make a try for the wine-rich region of Provence. Once again Howard is victorious against a French fleet twice his size. Norfolk cuts the demoralized French force in Provence in half and besieges Marseilles.

June - August 1514

Norfolk (7,523/2,193/31) defeats a French army (2,459/7,892) sent to relieve Marseilles. 5,000 troops in Tunisia take ship to provide reinforcements. Then, in August, Norfolk receives word of a French outflanking manouevre marching via Savoy and so returns to Nice. However, he is caught by a force of (9,530/6,919) at the borders of Provence and is forced to defeat this new army before marching onwards. He is not quite quick enough and Nice is besieged on the 27th. Has our great general been too clever for his own good in trying to capture territory from the French?

September - December 1514

Reinforcements arrive off the Cote d'Azure and disembark at Nice. Norfolk's (2,658/1,495/24) attack the besieging force of (489/7,498) and, when the reinforcements arrive mid-battle, successfully drive the French away. Then a second French (4,930/5,999) attack from Savoy is met once more by Norfolk, now reduced to (3,376/697/19) and they are beaten back, but at heavy cost. Norfolk's army now stands at (1,404/406/17), desperately in need of reinforcement. The Nice squadron (5 ships) is sent to England for help.

January 1515

Tax 217d. Norfolk's garrison is to be boosted with the addition of 2,000 horse and 10 guns. 5,000 foot levies are raised in Tunisia.

Francois I ascends to the throne of France. Will he be cut from weaker cloth than his predecessor? King Henry tries the water with a demand for 250d reparitions: Francois refuses. It would appear that Norfolk’s bravado has once more been the potential death of him. Can his much-reduced garrison hold?

February – April 1515

Francois appears to be as arrogant as his predecessor. He sends a mere 5,881 foot to deal with Norfolk's (1,404/416/17). 1,900 Frenchmen are slain for the loss of only 62 English lives.

May - June 1515

Norfolk's recruits take to the field in time to meet a renewed French attack. Norfolk (6,251/2,408/27) meets 15,682 French infantry and only 10,553 live to limp back to Provence. 95 brave Englishmen stain the soil of Nice with their blood – a good ratio indeed. On June 11th, Howard again engages a French fleet in the channel, but is forced to call off the engagement when the French ambassador to King Henry arrives at court to offer us a white peace. At last, the French monarch has seen the futility of throwing French lives away against English walls. Good King Harry accepts their offer and the Long War is finally over.

Stage III of our plan is complete. We now have a base of operations on mainland Europe, an English dagger inserted into the continent's soft underbelly.

And soon, soon, the time will come for the dagger to be twisted...
 

unmerged(1996)

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Mar 19, 2001
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In case anyone was wondering, as I think I forgot to mention at the start of the thread, the AI is set to hard/aggressive.

And I'll be sorting out some screenshots over the weekend with any luck, if anyone is interested in those...
 

unmerged(2351)

Scary Bald Bloke !
Mar 27, 2001
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Superb Reading

I have to say, I've been enjoying this for the last couple of days, I only wish it could be the next instalment now !!!

As a relative new comer to the EU game, I find reading these AAR's gives me some tips & guidance on how to play, and being a loyal Englishman, I'm currently in my first campaign (currently at about 1525, my only acheivment so far being kicking the Scots into touch very early in the game).

Keep it up, and as long as I'm bored at work, I'll always read these when I get the time. BTW, put the screenshots in, think they would give depth to the story as it unfolds....
 

unmerged(1996)

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Mar 19, 2001
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Thanks for the encouragement Genghis (a fine old English name there btw ;)) - I'll be adding one or two more installments tomorrow and then sorting out a screenshot library at the weekend.
 

Storey

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I will have to admit that this is one of the more interesting campaigns that I have read. Going to Africa to get a toe hold in Europe is quite innovative. But have you created a great opportunity or a constant headache by putting yourself in the middle of your enemies? You are certainly going to have to be careful with your future alliances or someone will be picking your bones. Good Luck!
 

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I agree; keep up the good work. I can't wait for the next instalment...

God save the King!
 

unmerged(1996)

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Storey : Thanks again for the encouragement. The answer to your musing is; so far, a bit of both - the French and Navarrese counter-attack on Nice threatened to undo all my work to date, and the Pope seems to think he has a God-given right to drive me out of Tunisia, but as we're still Catholic and so don't have a steady stream of colonists to send to the New World, it has at least allowed us to expand our interests elsewhere. Our ongoing allowance with Spain means that if France decides to have a go we can at least rely on the Spanish to cause them some serious problems. We'll worry about conflict in the New World when we actually have some colonists to send there...

Wangshibo : Cheers also. Next installment due after lunch, with another to follow this evening if I have the time.

God save the King indeed!
 

unmerged(1996)

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Interlude : Recruitment, reinforcement, economic recovery. July 1515 – November 1517.

July - October 1515
Now that we are at peace, the King demands a full review of our trade and colonial position.

Our merchants are earning revenue as follows: Flandres (5m=17d), Novogrod (5m=12d) and Venice (2m=6d). Our coffers are temporarily empty so we are unable to establish new enterprises for the time being, but we are looking for new markets to exploit.

Our two colonies are growing well. Delaware has a population in excess of 200 souls and shipments of tobacco are arriving on an annual basis (lvl 2, income 2 trade 6). Manhattan is smaller, approximately 100 denizens and with little to contribute to our coffers (lvl 1, income 0 trade 2), but a presence in the New World nonetheless.

It is decided that we will wait until the new tax year to finance our further economic expansion rather than take out loans.

November – December 1515

On the 2nd of November a German priest named Martin Luther proclaims a new religious doctrine - Protestantism. King Henry declares that Protestantism is Heresy and will not be tolerated in his Kingdom.

January – April 1516

Tax 229d. 1,000/1,000/10 recruits are commissioned in Nice, 5,000 infantry in Tunisia and the keels of two brand new warships are laid in Wessex. In March, Upton arrives with English reinforcements for Norfolk in Nice.

Felipe I rises to the throne of Spain.

May - December 1516

A new mineral deposit is discovered which adds 500d to the treasury (random event). It couldn't have come at a better time and allows us to rebuild Nice's fortifications and add a further 30 guns to Norfolk''s garrison there as well as 5,000 cavalry in Tunisia. We also send new merchant envoys to Venice, and trade expands in June and July, we oust a Moroccan in August and expand our position there again in September.

In October, Russia declares war on Kazan.

January 1517

Tax 229d. 1,000/2,000 reinforcements are commissioned in Nice. Norfolk's old enemy La Palice is building a force of some 61,500 in Provence and frankly, Norfolk is concerned.

King Henry sends a personal gift of two fine hunting hounds to King Francois in France, declaring that a new era of friendship between our great nations would be far more profitable than the emnity of old. Our ambassador reports that this improves our relationship greatly (-127 to -49) and that France should now be considered a neutral party rather than a bitter enemy. A letter of introduction is also sent to Savoy, which again improves relations slightly (-49 to -31). Back in England there is celebration at court that France still has no foothold on English soil and His Majesty declares that he intends to take things further by arranging a royal marriage between our nations within 5 years.

On the 29th Naples and France finally sign a white peace treaty. Thus the last chapter of conflict in the second Spanish-French war comes to a close. The King decides that the time is propitious for an assessment of the political landscape of Europe. The main alliances currently are:

Spain (England, Naples, Palatinat, Cologne, Hannover)
France (Savoy, Papal States, Navarra, Helvetia, Denmark)
Poland-Lithuania (Prussia, Moldovia, Teutonic Order, Tripoli, Brandenburg)
Turkey (Wallachia, Cyrenacia, Nubia, Crimea)
Venice (Mameluks, Iraq, Persia, Hanseatic League, Portugal, Hungary)
Genoa (Tuscany, Parma, Knights of St John)
Algiers (Oman, Aden)

The only nations without allies are a few of the smaller central German states. King Henry isn’t surprised to find Venice in league with the infidel Mameluks, Persians and Iraqis. Those Italian money-grabbers always have had one foot in the east.

February – November 1517

We commission another transport in Tunisia in February to begin replacing some of the losses to our Mediterranean fleet incurred in the Long War. In May work is completed on the improved fortifications in Nice.

In March, Spain declares war on the Aztec Empire in the New World and we wish our allies the best of luck. In April our royal marriage with Brandenberg expires. As we have no immediate plans involving a commitment in northern Germany, we let the matter lie. Let Brandenberg curry favour with England if a renewal is what they wish. Our marriage in Hannover expires the following month – again we take no immediate action.

Europe is quiet again until the end of the year, and England settles down for the winter with her enemies at peace and her borders and overseas possessions secure. The new year will bring fresh wealth and the opportunity to look once more to our economic and mercantile development.

Or so we thought…
 

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Scary Bald Bloke !
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Post the next instalment please?

I need to read this before I leave work this evening (about 5.30pm UK time). Won't be able to read the next bit until Monday, and I don't think I copuld wait that long.

Keep it up mate, a bloody good read :D

A point of interest, what game speed etc are you using for this particular campaign ?