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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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"What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for power? Money? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?" Zapp Brannigan

For most of their history, the Cantons of Switzerland had tried to stay out of both eachother's affairs and those of other nations. However, the outside world kept insisting on breaking in. Many tried to conquer Switzerland, and when they weren't they were slaughtering. For a time the Swiss were content with this, and even became prominent as mercenaries in the wars of others. However, one day in May of 1453, it was decided enough was enough. So long as Switzerland was small they would either be a target of other nation's aggresions or a pawn of them. The country would have to beomce powerful to be able to maintain its neutrality, even if that meant temporarily breaking it to conquer its neighbors. After all, if there were no other countries to start wars, then all of Europe could be neutral, couldn't it? A Beige Alert was sounded and the Vorort gave the Tagsatzung a rundown of the state of the nation.

The nation possessed a potential manpower reserve of 2,354 men for its armies, and 50 ducats with which to pay them. The first army of Switzerland numbered only 1,000 men, hardly enough to conquer any of Switzerland's neighbors.



Luckily, one of the members of the Tagsuntzung was a mercenary general in his youth, and agreed to lead the nation's army.



On the plus side, while the Tagsatzung contained few experts, between them they had a generally strong knowledge in administrative, diplomatic, and military affairs.



There were some advisors available for hire, although it would have to be debated whether the Swiss people's hard earned money should be spent in such a manner.



To the south a war raged on between Milan and Venice. In the east Austria ruled supreme, while to the west Burgundy and France were rivals. To the north were small HRE states, likely to be fought over by the larger factions.

With the resources currently available the Tagsuntzag would have to decide the best course of action. Should mercenaries be hired for an immediate war? Perhaps money was better spent on advisors and research. It could also be wise to seek out powerful allies and help them in their wars until Switzerland was strong enough. These issues would all come before the Tagsuntzag.

OOC: Hello all. If anyone is wondering, a "Beige Alert" was the emergency siren for a planet of completely neutral people in a cartoon show. It seemed fitting for the title of a Swiss AAR. :D

I had the idea of doing a sort of interactive aar like some of the other ones done before. My plan is to play in ten year intervals, pausing for a day or two between each one. Before each session, the Tagsuntzag will be called, and readers can make suggestions over the goals and plans for the following ten years. I will try to follow the ones that receive the most support as well as I can. Essentially I only have a single loose goal, to turn Switzerland into a major country and hopefully challenge France someday (they dominate Europe in every single one of my games. :mad: ). How to achieve that, and any other goals, is completely up to the readers.

This is the start of the first session so if anyone has any ideas/preferences I'd like to hear them. If not I'll just slink back into a corner and try to come up with another aar plan. :eek:o
 
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Tycho

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Focus on trade - become major trading power in Europe. Ally with some country in Italy and expand south.
 

comagoosie

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Yes, trade, that was the only way I could become a major power with the swiss.
 

safferli

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Another Zimfan aar, count me in! I'd also like to see you trade -- your government calls for it! :)

BTW: I was planning to do a Swiss aar, once my Papal States aar is finished... you stole my idea! ;) Well... it'll most likely be a few weeks before my current aar is completed. Glad to see you back!
 

coz1

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The Swiss always seem to come up with a decent armies when they are neighbors, but you'll need funds (and manpower.) I think trading is a good idea as well.

Good luck!
 

Enewald

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Let the helvets pillage! :D
And this time there is no Caesar to stop them. ;)
 

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Tycho, comagoosie, safferli, coz1: Trade, eh? I've always been pretty bad at trading at COTs I don't own, so some bearing with me as I show my gross incompetence might be required. Sorry I took your idea, safferli ;)

M4 Emperior, Kazmir, Capibara, Enewald: And an equal number of votes for conquest, or one more counting Tycho's both suggestion. Looks like I'll have to endeavor to do both!

Thanks for reading and voting. I'll put up a couple of questions before the Tagsuntzag in a moment, and try to start the game later today.
 

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It seems generally agreed upon that trade and war will be neccessary for the Swiss nation to rise to power. Very well, now there are only a couple more issues left to put before the Tagsuntzag.

At the moment Europe is in a strange situation where most nations have no alliances. This offers two opportunities. One is a chance to gain useful alliances with major powers. Possibly we should send offers to Austria and Burgundy, large neighbors, as well as at least one of the Italian states. What says the Council?

The other issues are of war and trade. We may be able to prosecute a war against one of our smaller neighbors at this point, without fear of interference from nonexistent allies, but this would lower our stability, making trade more difficult. Shall we wait until a more opportune moment to fight a war, and only trade for now?

There is also the matter of the new National Idea we should be able to pick in a few years. Would a trading NI be best suited to our needs? Or perhaps a military one?

Lastly, the question of where to trade. Venice and Genoa hold the closest trading centers. Shall we infiltrate one of them?

I thank you for your patience, council members. Together we shall make Switzerland great.
 
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Tycho

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Zimfan said:
Tycho, comagoosie, safferli, coz1: Trade, eh? I've always been pretty bad at trading at COTs I don't own, so some bearing with me as I show my gross incompetence might be required. Sorry I took your idea, safferli ;)
So you can learn how to trade now :) It's not difficult - take Shrewd commerce practise, Natiponal Trade policy and do not conquer lot of provinces - high BB is trade killer. High stability is also needed.

Zimfan said:
M4 Emperior, Kazmir, Capibara, Enewald: And an equal number of votes for conquest, or one more counting Tycho's both suggestion. Looks like I'll have to endeavor to do both!

Thanks for reading and voting. I'll put up a couple of questions before the Tagsuntzag in a moment, and try to start the game later today.
In EU3 you have to expand - otherwise some big country (most likely France or Austria ) will conquer you. I suggested moving south, because northern Italy is rich, and it has a lot of Universities.
 

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ProffessorEGADD Thanks, hope you enjoy the game. :)

Tycho So, COuncil member Tycho, stability and a good reputation are key? Then I shall try to sign some alliances and only get into limited wars, preferably in which another nations (ally or enemy) is the aggresor.

Would you suggest Venice as the first COT to send our merchants to?
 

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Zimfan said:
ProffessorEGADD Thanks, hope you enjoy the game. :)

Tycho So, COuncil member Tycho, stability and a good reputation are key? Then I shall try to sign some alliances and only get into limited wars, preferably in which another nations (ally or enemy) is the aggresor.

Would you suggest Venice as the first COT to send our merchants to?
i would suggest Venice as the first COT for you to own :)
 

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Time for the first update.

Over the next decade the Tagsuntzag's recommendations were put into place. Alliances were made with Burgundy and Lorraine, although the former had to be broken when Burgundy tried to get the Swiss into a war that would drastically lower the country's stability, and hurt their trading efforts. This would prove of great worry, as relations with the powerful Burgundian Duchy never recovered. Merchants were dispatched to Venice to raise money, and before long Switzerland had her first permanantly stationed merchant in the trade center.

In November of 1453 the Tagsuntzag decided to elect Leonardo Bischofberger to implement their commands. While a poor diplomat, he was a great administrator who ably looked over Switzerland's growing trading empire.



As Swiss merchants poured into Venice, it was decided that the nation should adopt a national trade policy to benefit its merchant fleets. This was to great effect, and before long Venice had become completely inundated with Swiss traders, who made more money for the nation than all of the taxes levies there combined.





Although still small, Switzerland was becoming an economic powerhouse. Merchants began to be sent to other centers, and quickly filled up the trade center of Liguria as well. Meanwhile, less well managed nations went bankrupt. While these nations ran aground, Switzerland was able to increase it's military to 4,000 men and started to make a monthly profit despite decreased minting.



In 1461 production technology increased to the point that workshops could be built, and research began to be dedicated to trade rather than production and government. Ile de France became the next trade center to be dominated by the Swiss, and before long even Vlaandaren was filled with Swiss merchants. Trade now filled the nation's coffers with many times the amount of florins that taxation did.



In 1462 Venice recognized Switzerland as a fellow master of trade and offered an alliance. Finally Switzerland had a larger ally again, a concern as the nation's wealth could spark envy in other countries.



Elsewhere in Europe things were surprisingly peaceful. Few wars were fought, although Aragon did manage to inherit Sicily. Venice and the Austrians fought against the Ottomans from time to time, and a long running war between Bohemia and Hungary persisted. Still, things were oddly quiet in most of the continent. It was almost as if the other nations were aware that Switzerland now planned to intervene in their wars and were keeping quiet out of fear. But surely that's impossible?



And so we arrive at the end of ten years and another calling of the Tagsuntsag. Although the nation has not expanded in size, it has increased much in power and wealth. A full four trade Centers are filled with our merchants, and we now make 13.7 florins a month from trade, compared to a mere 2.8 in taxes and negligible amount in production of goods.The Swiss army has increased to 5,000 men, although we still turn a slight profit each month and continue to mint little. Our allies are Lorraine and Venice.

We now face an important decision. Is it best to continue dominating trade centers and hold off on a war unless one of our allies gives us a chance to join one? Our neighbors to the south are in a set of interlocking alliances, making it possibly difficult to invade them. Our neighbors to the north are easier targets, consisting of alliances with very small states. Were we to fight with either by declaring war unilaterally our stability would lower quite a bit, possibly hurting our merchants' efforts.

If we do decide to stay at peace for now and continue to trade, shall we look for new markets? Or will that spread us too thin?

There is also the issue of research. Shall we continue to focus on trade, or invest in improving our military or possibly government? Have our long term goals changed since the last meetings?

These are the questions I lay before you, members of the Tagsuntzag.



The current situation in our part of Europe.

 
Last edited:

Capibara

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I say you continue trading, let's adjust sliders as soon as you can so you get more merchants, and start trading in new markets, war can wait until a good chance is given.
 
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Konstanz and the lothringen provinces should be very important for you at the beginning, so you can cut of austria and burgundy from central europe and their oversea provinces(not really oversea.. but not connected)..