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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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TheNightFox

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Here is a little outside story to my very first AAR, skip it, scan it, read it, do what you will.

The story of this AAR began a few months ago, really, when I had set out determined to write my very first AAR. Generally speaking I alternate between three series of RTS games, Paradox's grand strategy games, StarCraft, and Total War. This story got interesting when my computer's power supply sparked, fizzed and I assume caused the processor and motherboard to pop and explode. In just two seconds of playing StarCraft 2 (1v1 Ladder, because I am such a gosu pro-gamer), I was down a computer and about 400-500 real life U.S. dollars. More importantly :eek:, however I had lost all of my progress on the AAR that I was writing.

Fast forward a few months forward in time and I am here sitting on my couch ( on a laptop that is only half as good ) writing an AAR that likewise... will only be half as good. I will trundle on at first timidly and perhaps someone will enjoy this work as I am and I will stretch my fingers and gallop freely like a wild stallion across the great expanses of my keyboard. :laugh:


---------The Year is: 1399
---------The Nation is: Austria
---------Some rules: No reloads or play that is TOO cheesy.
---------Cheating? Maybe if things get too messy around the world I may do some clean up, mostly to keep the game interesting and halfway realistic - because lets face it... the AI is horrible at holding together a large empire.

I am not quite sure what style you would tag this AAR as and whether or not you think I am being overly ambitious with my first AAR, but lets get on with it!






Part I: Not the beginning, not the end, but where we will be most concerned:

It was Friday, October 14th, 1399. The small Austrian villa of Sankt Johann was wrapped in a soft blanket of snow and flanked by forested hills and towering mountains. The town was nestled comfortably in the midst of the Austrian Alps and from afar it was quite picturesque. Upon further inspection however it became clear that the tranquility of this vale was perturbed by a few thousand Austrian men and horses of the Kaiserlich und Königliche Armee (or for us English speakers - The Imperial and/or Royal Army), few of these souls could have been considered important, but most if not all would be relevant to a greater plot laid out by the divine. The important man in this army, the king, would have likely gone on to remembered as Albert IV, Duke of Austria, or Albert the Patient. Patience he had, indeed in dealing with petty quarrels amongst his family. Through the family tree he could trace relations back to the rulers of Luxembourg, Bohemia, Hungary, and even his grace, the Holy Roman Emperor himself!

As much of a better pill as it was to swallow - family was an important aspect of Albert's life (as it was through the Habsburgs and the fortune of his ancestors that he came to rule Austria at the ripe age of eighteen, but on this particularly fateful day God's will was made clear to Albert IV of Austria, he would lead the Habsburgs to glory and leave behind a legacy that would shake the very foundations of Europe. He would subdue the Latin and Lombard fools who had quarreled amongst themselves under separate flags. Instead Albert would unite them under an Austrian flag, under the Habsburg - nay, his own coat of arms - Albert was ready!

----------------

Things were afoot far to the West, moving far more rapidly than Albert would anticipate. The other man of import was not Gian Galeazzo I Visconti, ruler of Milan. It was a far more sinister character: Philippe II de Bourgogne, King of Burgundy, who had set in motion events to bring about the final coupe de grâce against the impotent King of France, Charles VI de Valois. Through a series of political and diplomatic dealings the villainous Philippe had secured the support of several Germanic and French allies and would launch a war against the French monarchy in just a few weeks time. Philippe had also at the same time secured an alliance with the Milanese and Hungarians. A Triple Alliance formed to curb the growing power of the Austrians. Philippe had planned and prepared the coming war for countless years and he could taste the coming victory and it left a familiar taste in his mouth - blood. Yes - the blood of his enemies and any who were too weak for this world, too weak to seize the moment.

-----------------
 

TheNightFox

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-----------------
Dum loquimur fugerit invida aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
While we speak, envious time will have fled: seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next


[SUB]Savoyard Fleet preparing to engage the Sardinians[/SUB]

For all of the planning that the aforementioned rulers put forth, the Savoyards who had years before secured an alliance with the Austrians and the Sicilians, launched a War of Aggression against the island Kingdom of Sardinia. Although the Milanese had strategic interests in this island, they became preoccupied with a rather conveniently timed rebellion in Pisa. Followed by an attack from the Papal States and Tuscany. Burgundy was equally incapable of coming to Sardinia's defense.

Although King Albert was in Sankt Johann the weeks before, close to the Milanese border, he was incapable of capitalizing on this new development as the death of one of his kin - some nameless Habsburg, would have him recalled. Family was important. Frustrating familial and kingly duties kept Albert trapped in Wien for the better part of two years. During this time Albert tried rather valiantly to improve the standard of living and the infrastructure of his domain, but failed, administration it would seem was not his strong suit.

In the year of our lord, fourteen-hundred and two, the Emperor passed on and was succeeded by his young son of only six years. An opportunity arose for Albert as he knew that the electors would rather see a capable man as head of the Empire rather than a young incapable boy. A legitimate claim. Through marriages, alliances, and outright bribery Albert earned the votes of all but two electors. Brandenburg and Bohemia would not cast their vote for anyone but themselves - arrogant fools. While arranging for one of his trusted servants to earn the favor of The Palatinate - it occurred to Albert that perhaps, he finally had found a use for his family. Although the Habsburgs were not the most prestigious and honorable family in Europe, they were by no means laughing stock. Yes, he would marry his cousins and their children off to far-away lords and ladies and they would all be subject to his whim. Closer to home, Albert secured alliances with Salzburg and the child-ruler in Bohemia. Albert was patient.
------------
Far-off to the West, Burgundy launched its war against the French and initial reports were of great success, but the war would drag on for several years as the Burgundians and French annihilated each-other in a brutal war of attrition.
The Savoyard War against the Sardinians led to a stalemate although the Sardinian fleet was destroyed. It ended with the Sardinians admitting defeat and a token of gold was surrendered to the Savoyards, an amount that was puny by Austrian standards, but quite a serious matter for the primary two parties involved!
------------
 
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1anrs

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Definitely subscribing to this. I am considering what game to play after my successful Sweden/Scandinavia game and was thinking of an HRE country, specifically Bohemia. Austria would probably do just as well though :)