• Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


  • Paradox Midsummer Sale has arrived! Up to 75% off!

    Enjoy some sun and song this Midsummer, but when the sun goes down, the fun doesn't have to stop! Paradox has a festive sale on plenty of games to keep your summer nights going!


    June 18th - June 30th
  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Saulta

Colonel
3 Badges
Aug 19, 2005
1.084
0
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • 500k Club
Well, sucks to be the Danish!

EDIT: Sucks to be any country who gets in a war against a human player, :p
 

CatKnight

Disciple of Peperna
85 Badges
May 20, 2004
4.558
9
  • Victoria 2
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Legio
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • War of the Roses
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Diplomacy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
Notes: I see the Paradox server is having fun again.

stynlan: I feel a little vulnerable to be honest. Holstein and Skane are excellent provinces, but it'll be that much harder to support them if there's another war with Scandinavia. Their fleet is impressive.

Farquharson: Pommerania would be very nice, but their alliance with Brandenburg doesn't end until 1492. (There's a chance Erik and Gotland might get Pommerania, which would probably lead to war.) There isn't much to gain from fighting Novgorod further, but I think the Teutons would happily crush any Orthodox nation they thought they could handle. (A general war in Russia would be problematic though - attrition!)

Draco Rexus: Tomorrow Pommerania. Day after - the world! Well...part of it anyway!

coz1: It wasn't easy. Denmark, Sweden and Norway together are pretty impressive, ESPECIALLY in the water. I also think I'll be seeing more of them and/or Sweden if I want to control the Baltic.

Saulta: Sometimes!

Nobegow: The Danish war went surprisingly well. Thanks!
 

CatKnight

Disciple of Peperna
85 Badges
May 20, 2004
4.558
9
  • Victoria 2
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Legio
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • War of the Roses
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Diplomacy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
By 1431, Hochmeister Paul Bellizer von Russdorf had led the Teutons to their greatest strength in decades. He summoned a conclave to Konigsberg to discuss their options.

XIV: CHOICES MADE

Kommander Hans von Darmstad, supported by the order's senior officers, favored war with Novgorod. While some pointed out this could, at best, only help the Livonians his representative replied that the now weakened Orthodox state was ripe for destruction. Anything that hurt the schismatics by definition strengthened the Teutons. Further, the kommander sought revenge for being cheated out of Novgorod years ago.

Saxon diplomats and Danzig merchants found enough sympathetic knights to form a significant minority supporting renewed pressure on Denmark. They hoped to force the Danes to relieve the Sound Dues that threatened to break the Hanseatic League.

A third group, led by the Kommander of Memel wanted war with Lithuania. He expressed concern over Jagiello of Poland's attempt to turn over his crown. The Lithuanians, he stated, took no steps to deal with the Orthodox 'problem' in their own lands instead preferring to war with Catholic nations. Dominating Poland might give them the confidence to defy the Pope directly.

On January 5, 1432 a delegate from the Livonian Order rose to speak.

Brothers: Since time immemorial the Baltic people have looked to our orders as guiding forces in Christ's crusades. It is a matter of record that we fought in the Levant, Hungary and Prussen destroying Satan's minions and their deluded pawns. The hochmeister once described us as the sword arm of the Empire. He was mistaken.

Brothers! Let me finish! I do not speak against that great man. I remind you though that while the Empire is important, the Church is God's institution and the only hope for man's salvation. The east is still teeming with schismatics and apostates, those who claim to worship our Lord yet deny His church. They are the worst form of Satan's treachery, hiding behind a mask of piety.

I have just received word from my own masters. It seems the Rus states have decided to end Novgorod. The Brotherhood of the Sword will not stand by while there is a chance to welcome some to God's community. We move to save these people from the evil around them: Not Danish merchants, but pagans and Satanists. Will you help?

Once more the Teutonic Order warred with Novgorod, along with Saxony, Muscovy, Ryazan, Tver and Pskov. No one expected this to take long..

XV: SIEBER'S LEGACY

Dieter von Sieber was born in Prussen in 1397. He joined the order in 1414 and rose through the ranks steadily. He had a gift for numbers, administration and diplomacy and probably would have enjoyed a quiet life in Malbork Castle if he didn't request a meeting with his superiors.

He realized von Russdorf wasn't interested in another crusade, and spoke not of converting pagans, but of opportunity. While Novgorod and Kexhold could only be converted by fire and sword, the bitter Karelian coast only boasted a few hundred settlers and pagan Ugrics, all easily dealt with. Teuton settlers could move there and make the land profitable. It would expand Knight holdings, and if it beat back the Rus so much the better.

The Hochmeister's senior officers appointed him commander over Kommander von Darmstad. His rivals, including Kommander von Hagen of Skane, correctly argued that the master of Holstein couldn't go 'adventuring.' Von Darmstad's fury was great, and he replied:

The senility and simplicity of (the Hochmeister's) advisors cannot be borne. He must be mad to listen.

Even the most successful general in a generation could not get away with insulting every single one of his superiors. Though nothing would ever be said publically or privately, von Darmstad's bid to became the next Grand Master was over.

Sieber marched into Livonia with eight thousand men, there to wait out a particularly ugly winter. As the snows finally melted in April, he learned Moscow was besieging Novgorod with twenty thousand. He moved into Kexholm and was made welcome by the Livonian general in charge of the siege - at least until he made it clear he had no intention of staying. He marched into Karelia and found Novgorod settlements, not defenseless as he expected, but under the protection of a handful of Pskov mercenaries. Similar to von Darmstad's embarassment in 1420, the local residents thought to get better terms with their fellow Rus.


Sieber advances into Livonia.

The Teuton general would not be easily deterred. He contacted local tribesmen and promised them favored status over the Novgorod 'invaders' if they'd join him. Sieber's orders expressly forbade 'incidents' with the Moscow alliance, but he could hardly be blamed if pagans rose up and overthrew the oppressors. On June 20, they overwhelmed the tiny Pskov garrison and in the time it took for presents to arrive from Konigsberg, they yielded to the Teutonic Order. Pskov could prove nothing. (I arrived to find Pskov already there. I 'attacked the natives', immediately retreated so their army would take the town, waited for the native army to disband and moved back in.)

Sieber returned to Kexholm to help the less fortunate (and less hospitable) Livonian commander. That autumn the Muscovite horde, fresh from seizing Novgorod, appeared and over the long winter they reduced the city's defenses. In the summer of 1433, with no hope of reinforcement Kexholm surrendered to the two alliances. The resulting treaty on paper appeared to be a Teuton defeat: Kexholm went to Moscow. Sieber had what he wanted though. (Muscowy somehow stole the Kexholm siege. Perhaps stynlan is right and it has to do with having cores.)

Taking possession proved to be a challenge. Fierce storms swept northern Russia through the autumn, and he diverted through Swedish territory. On October 24, 1433 south of Viborg his 1,486 remaining cavalrymen encountered 2,700 Swedes seeking revenge for losses suffered during the Danish war without their government's sanction. Sieber may have been good at diplomacy, but not at tactics and he was forced to retreat deep into Lapland. (To end the war Sieber began sieging Novgorod itself after Muscowy made peace. After the war's end his access to Karelia was blocked, so I gained military access through Sweden ... and ran straight into a Swede revolt.) Only half his army survived to reach the bitter northern coast.

XVI: PEACE AND QUIET?

In late November 1433, the threat of revolt through Sweden forced Erik of Pommerania to leave Denmark and take residence in a newly independent Gotland. Von Russdorf continued to be suspicious of Erik, as did the Swedes, and they signed an agreement to watch this fledgling state carefully. (Diplomatic Move: Relations with Sweden +25, Diplomacy score +1, +1 Diplomat)

The next few years passed relatively quietly. The Knights committed over two million marks to developing Sieber's Karelia and colonizing it with Catholic Germans. Slowly the population grew, and late in 1437 von Sieber received his long awaited promotion to Kommander.

In 1435, Danzig eclipsed Riga as the greatest trade center in the Baltic. Traders from Livonia, Poland, Lithuania and even Gotland converged on the city as it grew rapidly and threatened to eclipse even Konigsberg and Hamburg.


Danzig comes into its own.

On December 10, 1437 the Emperor Sigismund went to God. The princes of the Empire elected Dietrich von Mors of Cologne as successor, counting on his moderation to ensure peace and economic growth. Von Russdorf sent congratulatory letters to Cologne and promised Teuton support. (RM)

In Spring 1438, as the now aging Grand Master received a warm reply from the new emperor, merchants from Danzig appealed to the Teutons for assistance. It seemed pirates, possibly from Gotland, continually raided their ships or forced an extra 'tax' in addition to the Danish Sound Due. They argued that von Russdorf couldn't allow this to stand.


Merchants ask for help.
 

GrimReaper

Angel of Death
37 Badges
Jan 4, 2003
3.626
3
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Steel Division: Normand 44 - Second Wave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44 -  Back to Hell
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Battle for Bosporus
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Stellaris
  • Diplomacy
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Naval War: Arctic Circle
  • Semper Fi
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
Excellent update! :)
 

unmerged(42935)

First Lieutenant
Apr 11, 2005
237
0
Attacking the natives to conquer the porvince yourself was a nice trick. And I didn't know it yet, thanks.
 

Vann the Red

Field Marshal
3 Badges
Dec 30, 2005
2.502
0
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • 500k Club
I don't play CK, so I can't comment much on your gamesmanship, but it was a nicely written update. Keeps me looking forward to the next.

Vann
 

unmerged(28944)

Would-be King of Dragons
May 10, 2004
4.445
6
Nice, very nice. So... just 'cause I like things to be all nice and tidy when I look at political maps, when do the Sword Brothers rejoin the Teuton banner, and when will the Teuton's move to consolidate the rest of the Baltic and Rus lands? ( Yes, yes, I know, that's a tall order and likely to cause a bit of discord throughout the world, but I have faith in you, Cat! :) )
 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
20.073
649
Here you have another pleased reader :D
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
123 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.957
3.590
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
CoTs are always nice. I see I'm not the only one to have cast eyes towards Novgorod. I liked the explanation of the Swedish revolt.
 

vertinox

Field Marshal
75 Badges
Aug 10, 2002
3.742
271
twitch.tv
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Achtung Panzer
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Prison Architect
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Great AAR! Best one I have read in a long time and very detailed. Keep up the good work! :D
 

The Danish King

Defender of Denmark
82 Badges
Mar 28, 2001
931
252
Visit site
  • Stellaris
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • War of the Roses
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
An excellent aar I must say! Bad of you though to fight the noble Danes! You must submit to the rulers of Scandinavia! :rolleyes:
 

Stuyvesant

Field Marshal
40 Badges
Dec 7, 2002
6.230
44
Visit site
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Pride of Nations
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Achtung Panzer
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
You're playing quite the warmonger here. Now, my geography of Northern Rus in the game is a little rusty, but Karelia is cut off from any of your other provinces, right? Have you already been able to build a fortress there, or is it (for now) a major liability when the next war comes around? Nothing smarts quite as bad as having a huge negative warscore racked up because your enemy rampages his way through unfortified provinces...
 

Rensslaer

Strategy GuidAAR
26 Badges
Jun 24, 2004
7.720
3
www.orinthia.net
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Victoria 2 Beta
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Crusader Kings II
  • 500k Club
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III
Catknight...

First chance I'd had to really take this in.

Great work! My experience with EU is paltry, but I do like the way you're playing. And I think you're doing a good job (based on my rudimentary knowlege!). :D

Rensslaer
 

CatKnight

Disciple of Peperna
85 Badges
May 20, 2004
4.558
9
  • Victoria 2
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Legio
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • War of the Roses
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Diplomacy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
(This session was played two months ago before my disappearance. All I have is a few pictures, a page of scribbled notes, and a hazy memory...so if this appears disjointed...you are probably right.)


By 1438, the Teutonic Knights were growing restless. Unfortunately, so were the Livonians.



XVII: INTO THE BEAR DEN

On March 30, 1438 the delegate from the Livonian Brotherhood spoke to his fellows at Konigsberg.

Brothers!

While we acknowledge the concerns of some common folk over secular matters such as the Sound Due, I come to you today with an opportunity to serve Christ and the Holy Father. While we have dealt with the merchants of Novgorod, a graver threat has arrived. The Muscovites, they who refuse to bend their knee to Rome if they aren't pagan entirely, have broken the compact they signed when Novgorod fell. Now they seek to expand at their expense, which would matter not if it did not pose a grave threat to the Brotherhood as well as your holdings in Karelia.

My Lords, there can be only one answer and that is to purify this land in fire. The Livonian Brotherhood marches on Moscow! Will you attend to your oaths and join us!?"

Goaded by the hint they might not honor their oaths, the Teutonic Knights joined the war along with Saxony against Moscow, Ryazan, Tver and Pskov. Otto von Plauen, a grandnephew to the Hochmeister after Tannenberg, gathered fifteen thousand swords and marched towards Pskov, hoping to drive them from the war.

The first blow would fall on Karelia though. In that far northern outpost, Kommander von Sieber had spent the past several years building up his holdings and puzzling over a possible northeastern passage. He'd heard rumors that Portugal sought a southern passage around Africa to India and Cathay, and thought he could do as well. This changed when five hundred Muscovite cavalry met his own five hundred troops and, after a bitter battle in subfreezing weather, retreated.

Throughout that summer, as von Plauen continued his preparations, Livonia paid for their pride. First the Brotherhood, perhaps thinking to rob their Teuton masters of a prize, marched into Pskov with six thousand men. To their surprise, Pskov responded with every able bodied man and male child in the city and surrounding villages - some twenty-thousand strong. This wasn't a battle in the conventional sense, with setpiece armies, but more a mass melee occuring over half a square mile that resulted in Livonian defeat. Meanwhile, fourteen thousand from Tver and Muscovy advanced into Ingermanland to retake what they considered Rus territory.

In October 1438, von Plauen finally advanced into Pskov. There his army met four thousand Muscovites - the Pskov forces had joined the siege of eastern Livonia. The German used his cavalry advantage to turn the Muscovy line and pin them against the walls of the city.

1438oct9ku.jpg


That should have been the end of it, but as the Teuton moved his army, like a large chess set, into position to finish off the Rus with a minimum of damage twelve thousand from Ryazan crested the hills around the beleaguered city and slammed into the Knights' flanks. Shocked and dismayed, von Plauen retreated.

XVIII: RUFFLED FEATHERS

Back in Germany, Kommander von Darmstad of Holstein, having never forgotten the glories earned fighting Novgorod twenty years before, used the general's failure to supersede him. With the support of a concerned Hochmeister von Russdorf, Darmstad boarded ships with Holstein's army and sailed for Riga to link up with the beleaguered army. He arrived in late November, and on Christmas Day, 1438 began besieging Pskov.

This was what German and Danish dissidents had hoped for. On January 3, 1439 a committee of disaffected knights and merchants announced Holstein's independence. Denmark recognized them on the 11th, but not before Kommander von Hagen, gleeful at the opportunity to show up his lifelong rival, sailed from Skane to retake the provincial capital.

Von Hagen arrived on February 11. Snipers, expert crossbowmen from concealed positions trained by Swiss and Venetian mercenaries, contested their landing at Kiel. The German retreated, but only a few miles north landing north of Schleswig four days later. There von Hagen waited for the snows to melt.

In April, von Hagen's three thousand infantry, supported by the loyal knights of Holstein and Skane (some five thousand cavalry) met eight thousand local men, German 'patriots' who found Teuton influence in the area dangerous, covert Danish supporters and mercenaries. The 'Holstein' army, disunited in command and tactics, surged across the field. The heavy cavalry on von Hagen's center and right slowly pushed back the rebels and they abruptly broke.

General von Hagen advanced on and took Hamburg after a token siege that summer. The merchants of the Hanseatic League, displeased that Holstein's independence still hadn't been regained by the Teutonic Knights, voiced their displeasure.

1439novmerch6mh.jpg


XIX: TWILIGHT

With Ingermanland in Muscovite hands, General von Darmstad thought it vital that he knock Pskov out of the war and so bring it to a satisfying conclusion. He knew that Kommander von Sieber had retaken Karelia in Spring 1439, but also knew it was a matter of time before the Muscovites pushed him right back out.

The winter of 1438-39 was mild by Rus standards, though still harsh to the sieging German army. Von Darmstad continually asked for reinforcements, depleting the Order's treasury and pool of trained warriors. As winter yielded to spring and summer, he waited in vain for the Livonians to retake their lost land, hoping to keep pressure on the Rus forces. They seemed content to wait in Riga and at one point he wrote von Russdorf:

If it was not that the Order's honor was at stake, I should ask to go home and cry done with a war where our people die, but we cannot hope to gain.

In June 1439 von Darmstad learned of a large Muscovite force passing towards Riga. He knew that if the Livonians fell, then the door would be opened for a massive invasion of the Teuton heartland. Grimly he marched north, but it was a ruse de guerre. The Rus force, some twenty thousand strong, retreated before the smaller German army, drawing them further away from Pskov. Vasily II himself, the Grand Duke of Moscow, used the diversion to march on Novgorod with 22,000 men. After a brief battle with fourteen thousand, the last able bodied men in that merchant city, he fell to sieging the city. Embarassed and angry, von Darmstad returned to Pskov in September.

1439sepsiege5aw.jpg


The twin sieges - Novgorod and Pskov - lasted through most of 1440 to little effect. However von Darmstad's prophecy proved true in one instance. A Tver force of some four thousand men advanced into Karelia, destroyed Sieber's army and left his twitching body on a pole as a warning to those who defied the Rus people. In late September, Novgorod finally fell. One month later, as von Darmstad and Pskov's 'king' worked out the details of a formal surrender, Vasily II attacked the Teuton army.

On October 21, 1440 Kommander von Darmstad, with eleven thousand infantry and seven thousand cavalry, met Grand Duke Vasily of Muscovy in command of nineteen thousand infantry and one thousand boyars. Von Darmstad, confident of victory, deployed with his knights interspersed among the foot soldiers to bolster their spirits.

Assisted by spies from Pskov, eager to maintain their city's independence, Vasily had accurate knowledge of the German's deployments. He set up within the hills surrounding Pskov, with his boyars on the far left. Four thousand footsoldiers would advance on the German horde, convince them of an easy victory, and so lead them into a trap.

Von Darmstad was not such a fool as to think Vasily's army was so small, but he did hope to crush the tiny force before reinforcements could arrive. He himself led a charge with most of the knights. The Rus turned and fled, and in so doing were mercilessly cut down by the Order. Perhaps momentarily blinded by bloodlust, the German allowed himself to be drawn deep into a valley surrounded on three sides by hills, hills that began vomiting Rus soldiers.

The Germans turned to regroup, but in so doing the boyars fell on their rear, shooting arrows not at the knights, but at their horses. Pandemonium ensued, with half the knights turning to fight while others retreated in three different directions. By then the Muscovite footsoldiers arrived, spearing first the horses, then the encumbered knights as they fell.

It is not clear what happened to General von Darmstad. Teuton scholars claim he was taken as a trophy to Muscovy, there succumbing to the savagery one must expect of lesser people. Muscovy did not keep accurate military records at the time, though all accounts of the battle indicate the German horsemen died to a man, shortly by the infantry. This is probably closer to the truth, but their records are mistaken about one thing: Otto von Plauen survived - though Paul Bellizer von Russdorf would never know it. It is said when he heard the news of Darmstad's destruction, the single biggest disaster since Tannenberg, he had uncontrollable, shaking fits. He did not recover, and on January 2, 1441 resigned. He died a week later..

According to Teuton records, as many as one or two thousand broke free of Vasily's trap and retreated into the highlands surrounding Pskov. There von Plauen developed a last ditch plan, to seize several unfortified Muscovite/Tver holdings including Karelia and force them to the table. It may have worked, but the new Hochmeister, Konrad von Erlichshausen, was having none of it. He felt the Teutonic Knights had quite enough of this 'adventure' and only continued the war in an effort to get better terms. He ordered von Plauen to support the Livonian effort to relieve Ingermanland, There he found the city already sieged, though he helped repel a Muscovite relief force in March.

On June 11, 1441 months of diplomacy finally ended the war. It was an unqualified defeat for the proud Teutonic Order, though in retrospect it could have been much worse. Some historians criticize von Erlichshausen for excessive caution and suggest von Plauen's plan must have succeeded. Others, however, point out that Otto von Plauen's military record was hardly stellar before Darmstad arrived, and anyway von Erlichshausen extriated the Order from a war where it hemoragged men and valuable resources.

The Order's council apparently agreed, for on June 14 they sent a terse letter to Riga by way of their delegate there.

"Any more Rus adventures, and you fight alone."


1441junpeace5xy.jpg
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
123 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.957
3.590
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
Excellent to see you return. A tough war against Muscovy. There's honour, and there's self-preservation! ;)