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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Lanlier

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Hurrah! My first post.

Anyway, I've been floating around these forums since the days of EU, and having plaued EU, EU2, HOI, Viccy and CK, and enjoyed many fine AARs by other people, I thought I'd actually try writing one myself.

I've decided to do an English Hundred Years War AAR since

1) I've not seen anyone else do one
2) I've just finished my History Degree, where my Dissertation was all about Edward III and his war aims and strategies at the start of the war.

Anyway, I shall be playing using 1.04b, the lastest beta (June 3rd) and on Hard/Aggressive setting.

I shall try and follow the aims and strategies that Edward III actually used in the conduct of his war as much as I can. However, there are a few problems trying to do this in the CK model. Such as it not being able to represent the relationship between Edward and Phillp, as well as the fact that the chevachée will not be as devastating in game, as it was in real life.

I also suspect I'll have to deal with the Pope wanting me to go on crusade. Which isn't really in my list of things to do.

Anyway, I shall post a little prologue, and then an update sometime later today, or tomorrow. And. Err. I hope someone reads this. And likes it. Or something.
 

Lanlier

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For God and St. George: An English Hundred Years War AAR​
Prologue

December 31st 1336


The Stag paused to catch its breath. Its eyes darted round the clearing looking for any threat and its ears strained to hear any sign of pursuit. Sweat was pouring down his flanks, causing a blanket of steam to rise off his back in the freezing morning air. He pawed nervously at the carpet of fresh snow covering the ground, churning it into a fine sludge. As his breathing slowly returned to normal, he thought he could hear a faint rustle behind him. He quickly spun his head round, his nose picking up the foul stench of his hunters, and he spurred off back into the forest.

* * *​

‘Thomas, why have we stopped?’ snapped Robert d’Artois, the newly created Earl of York ‘that stag will be long gone, and I rather fancied some fresh venison this evening.’
Thomas looked at the earl impassively ‘That old boy will be easy to find in these conditions, sir’ the lead huntsman explained calmly ‘I stopped us, because I heard approaching horse, sir.’
A brief looked of panic flickered in Robert’s eyes. He was expecting no visitors, for it was day before the first of the New Year, and it was bitterly cold, had anyone wished to see Robert, they surely would have left it to another, more welcoming day. So who were these mystery horsemen? And more to the point, where were they?
‘Are you sure you heard horses, Thomas?’ Robert quizzed his wizened old huntsman.
Thomas suppressed a smile. Was he sure? He’d been tacking animals all of his 51 years on this earth, and if he didn’t know the sound of a horse, he’d clearly been wasting his life. ‘Yes sir, I’m sure’ came his polite reply ‘and I thought it best we was all gathered here in this clearing. Rather than spread out like we was.’
Roger looked quickly at Thomas, and then to his retainers, Simon de Greystoc and John de Charlton. What the man said certainly made sense, there was a much more safety in numbers. For whilst all other English lords of the realm were relatively safe whilst hunting in their own lands, Robert d’Artois had to be extraordinarily careful. He had been robbed of his rightful lands, and exiled by Philippe VI of France. Who believed Robert to be involved in witchcraft, and now wanted to bring him back to France, and face justice.
Would he stoop so low as kidnap, Robert wondered? He almost laughed at himself for having to think such a thing. Of course Philippe would, for the man had no honour. Despite being married to his sister, Jeanne, and having been promised he would support Robert at the parlément over his claim, Philippe had betrayed Robert.
Robert looked over at Thomas ‘Where ar…’ he began to ask
‘They’s a coming, sir, from the over there’ Thomas pointed off to Robert’s left ‘Best be quiet now sir, there’s a chance we could surprise them yet.’ Thomas gave his lord a toothy grin. It did not quite put Robert at ease.
Slowly, as not to make any noise, Robert withdrew his sword from his scabbard, his retainers did the same. He could hear the approaching horsemen now, the shoes of their horses crunching in the snow. They were not trying to hide their approach, Robert thought, perhaps Thomas was correct, they could surprise them? But it would be no more than a futile act of defiance, Robert realised, for the approaching horsemen did not need to hide their presence, there seem to more than enough to deal with his small group of men.
Robert sighed, and his thoughts dwelled on the irony of the situation, for he had chosen to hunt today, but he was now hunted himself. For the first time that day, he felt the cold winter wind biting at his face and chest. Pulling his cloak tighter round himself, he regripped his sword, and tensed his muscles as the first of the unknown horseman burst into the clearing.

* * *​

‘I must say Robert, you do pick the oddest of times to hunt. It’s far too cold to be out, and you do have a nice warm manor awaiting you’ the horseman greeted Robert cheerfully.
Robert merely looked dumbstruck into the face of newcomer. He looked the face up and down, trying to comprehend what he was looking at. The still youthful face, the fair hair, and slightly darker beard, with the same calculating blue eyes. It was the face of his liege lord, Edward Plantagenet, King of England.
‘You seem surprised to seem me, Robert.’ Edward remarked, with a hint of amusement in his voice.
‘Your majesty… what are you… why are you here?’ the words spluttered out of Robert’s mouth.
Edward gave a wry smile ‘And it is good to see you too, Robert!’ he chided.
‘Of course, your majesty, I am most pleased to see you, but, forgive my directness, what brings you to York at this time of year? It has been a most uncommonly cold winter, after all.’ Robert could not contain his curiosity. The hint of a smile on Edward’s face faded.
‘I’ve come because there is a matter I wish to discuss with you Robert’ Edward looked back at his personal bodyguard, and nodded ‘alone.’ Edward’s guards backed their horses away. Robert gave the same instruction to his men. The two men were now alone in the clearing. Edward looked at Robert intently, he saw a man twice his age, starting to embrace the raptures of old age, the thinning hair, and wrinkled face. Yet he was still a useful tool, and a good friend and confidante.
‘I have received news from my seneschal in Aquitaine, Robert. Philippe has ordered all vassals of France to assist him in recovering the traitor, Robert d’Artois’ Edward paused to let the words sink in ‘By making his request to Count d’Albert, Philippe has been suprisingly clever. He is not asking me as King of England, but ordering me as Duke of Aquitaine.’
‘And what do you plan on doing, sire?’ Robert tried to hide the nerves from his voice.
‘I have sent a reply to Philippe informing him that whilst he offers protection to David Bruce, I can render him no assistance.’
Robert stared at Edward, briefly. He had not expected the King to give him such an answer. For as much as he could be, Robert was a good friend and advisor to the King, and he seemed uneasy about how willingly Edward would give him up to suit his own ambitions.
‘And if Philippe sends the Bruce back, and withdraws his protection. What then, sire?’ Robert tentatively asked.
‘Do not fret Robert. If our negotiations with Philippe over the last few years have taught us anything, it is that he will not abandon Bruce lightly, or, as it would seem, for any cause. You are quite safe, my friend.’ Edward smiled at Robert, who let an audible sigh escape his lips. ‘The question is now of course, what do we do next? I have called for an assembly of parliament in London for the end of next month, to discuss the matter. For when Philippe receives my reply, he shall no doubt try and confiscate my Duchy from me. So it looks as if we are headed back to war, and I have to convince parliament to finance me sufficiently.’
Robert thought for a few moments. ‘Sire, you are entering twenty-fifth year, are not?’
Edward nodded.
‘Then by law, this is the year in which you must either pursue your claim to the throne of France, or lose it forever’ Robert grinned.
‘Re-establish my claim to Philippe’s throne’ Edward mused softly ‘Yes, yes Robert, I think you might have something. A war to claim my rightful inheritance, as well as to reclaim the lands of my Duchy.’
‘And the lands of my county, which I do homage to you for sire’ Robert quickly interjected
Edward laughed ‘No, do not worry Robert, I have not forgotten your county of Artois in all of this!’ Edward’s mind was racing with ideas ‘you must accompany me back to London, Robert. There is much that must be done before parliament meets next month. Much we must think of’
‘Of course, sire. But first, I would implore you to stay and enjoy the hospitality of my house’
‘I would enjoy that, thank you Robert’ Edward beamed
‘And, it would be my honour sire, if you were to accompany me for the rest of the hunt. There is a prime stag waiting out there for us to find, and claim as our dinner!’
‘Thank you Robert, it is a strange time to going hunting, yet it seems I am on the hunt, for a great many things’ whispered Edward.


* * *​

Historical Notes.

The message to Edward's seneschal mentioned in the text was sent on December 26th, 1336, so there was no way that Edward could have known about it, and gone to see Robert on the 31st. Also, the relations between England and France had been bad all year, and Edward had already started to make moves towards war. I just changed things to suit my own particular story.
 

unmerged(31592)

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An historically accurate AAR? Be still by beating heart! You have the attention of this Armchair Historian.
 

Elias Tarfarius

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sleepyirv said:
An historically accurate AAR? Be still by beating heart! You have the attention of this Armchair Historian.
Ditto. :cool:

Hooray for History Majors!
 

Alhazen

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I can't wait. Ive been researching this same topic myself recently. A historically accurate narrative AAR will be awesome! God Speed!
 

Lanlier

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Chapter 1 - The Oncoming of War

January 1st 1337 - York


Edward III. King of England

Edward stood alone in the great hall of York Castle, waiting for his Privy Council to assemble. It would be a much different year than the last, he reflected. War with France was looming ever closer, and it would a far different affair than the recent wars with Scotland. Though when war would come, Edward was not sure, nor if he would be fully ready.

He paused too look out the window at the fresh snowfall, which was covering the land in a serene blanket of fine white powder. He momentarily thought of his younger brother, John of Eltham, who had died in the September of what was now the last year. Edward sighed. He would have to choose a new Earl of Cornwall, for John had left no heir. There were no shortage of candidates, for the were several fine men who had served Edward well in Scotland that were due substantial rewards, but what did he give to whom?

The sudden cough behind Edward brought him back from his thoughts. He looked round and saw his Marshal, and bodyguard, John Darcy waiting impassively at the entrance to the hall.
‘They’re ready, sire’ John stated formally.
‘Thank you John, show them in’ Edward smiled, graciously.

The handful of men that made up Edward’s Privy Council entered the hall. His chancellor, John de Ufford, was an ecclesiastical trained man, with a skill and flair for diplomacy that almost matched Edward’s. His spy master, Alan Mortimer, a cruel young man, but one who knew his business well, and garnered much vital information for Edward, and would no doubt be busy over the upcoming months. The steward of the realm, Anselm of Cumberland had a sharp military brain, but was hampered by a clubbed foot, Edward knew of no one better with his money than Anselm. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas of Chester had also travelled with his King. Thomas was fine man, whom Edward respected for being just and honest. There was also Edward’s old marshal, John Darcy. At 47, John was past his physical peek, yet Edward still knew him to be a match for any man in his kingdom.

The final man in the great hall was not a member of Edward’s Privy Council, and received a withering look from Alan Mortimer.
‘Should he be in here with us, sire?’ Alan asked, betraying his agitation.
‘Yes, Alan. I don’t think we have the right to deny a man the freedom of his own home!’ everyone laughed at the small joke, causing a deeper scowl to appear on Alan’s face ‘Asides, Robert’s ideas are always appreciated’ Edward smiled warmly at Robert d’Artois. Appreciated, but not always particularly practical, Edward thought to himself.

‘Anyway gentlemen, down to business’ Edward’s sharp remark broke the jovial mood ‘As we all know, Philippe of Valois has demanded I release Robert to him, to face punishment for crimes he has not committed. This is simply intolerable. I will not betray one of my vassals in such a manner’ Edward suppressed a smile as he caught sight of Robert frantically nodding his head in agreement.
‘I have told Philippe as much, and no doubt he will react by trying to confiscate our lands in Aquitaine. Be in no doubt gentlemen, there will be war with France this year.’ Edward paused to let his words sink in ‘I have called the magnates and prelates to assemble in London on the 28th of this month. There, this matter will be discussed fully. But I wish to speak to each of you now about other concerns I have’ Edward looked round at each man in the room, their faces staring intently at him.

‘John de Ufford’ Edward started with his chancellor ‘Were you able to dispatch an envoy before we left London?’
‘Yes, your highness, the Bishop of Lincoln has been dispatched to speak with the Holy Roman Emperor and offer him the wool subsidies and incentives for alliance. We should have a message from him any day now’ The chancellor gazed at the King, and fidgeted.
‘What is it John de Ufford?’
‘I just wonder, your highness, are we offering too much?’
‘Too much?’ Edward smiled ‘Let me worry about the finances, John. Just get me an alliance, I do not think we can take the full might of France alone’ he turned to look at his marshal ‘what say you John Darcy?’
The marshal snorted with derision ‘We can beat them well enough, sire. But of course, the problem is, they can bring more men to us. So we’d have to beat them all over again. An alliance makes sense, but I’m not sure I trust those damn Germans!’
‘My wife’s one of those damn Germans, John’ Edward said quietly. The Marshal looked aghast.
‘I meant no offence, sire! I was not speaking of her majesty the queen, I have full and utt…’ Edward cut off John’s recriminations with a hearty chuckle.
‘John, I was merely teasing.’ The smile vanished from Edward’s face ‘Can you give me an estimate of how many men we could call upon?’ his mind, once more working the machinery of government.
‘Yes sire, I reckon we’ve got around 100 000 men who could be called upon to fight. But getting them all there is another matter’

Edward stroked his beard and contemplated that number for a few seconds. He looked at his spymaster.
‘Alan, do you know how many Philippe can call upon?’
Mortimer gave a thin, smug, smile. He had been expecting such a question from Edward for quite some time.
‘My reports place the limit on the number that Philippe can draw on as around 140 000. Anything else you wish to know, sire?’
Edward stared coldly at his spymaster. His disliked the man, but there was no doubting he was good at his job, and he never sought glory for himself, which was something going for him, Edward decided.


The relative manpower of England to France

‘Anselm’ Edward turned to face his Steward ‘What are our finances like?’
‘Good, highness’ was Anselm’s stunted reply. He resented by made a mere banker when he knew he was capable of so much more. Edward looked at him poignantly, expecting more. ‘We bring in more than 100 gold coins a month, highness’
Edward sighed. The man was almost impossible. ‘Thank you Steward. I have orders for you. I want to commence construction on new Training Ground facilities in Essex, Bedfordshire, Bristol, Dorset and Somerset. Please arrange it all’
‘Yes, highness’ was the sullen reply.

‘Well gentlemen, now that I’ve dealt with that, I would like to discuss tactics with you’ Edward unrolled the map that was on the table in middle of the great hall. It was a detailed map of England and France.
‘What I propose’ Edward began ‘is once we secure our alliance with the Holy Roman Empire, we shall attack Northern France. We can count on support from my father, and brothers-in-law. Our objective will be to bring Philippe of Valois to battle, and defeat him, decisively. This will bring him to negotiations, where we shall settle the issue of Aquitaine, and force him to withdraw his support for the Bruce!’ Edward looked pleased with himself. It was a good plan. He looked expectantly at his Privy Council.


England and France on January 1st, 1337

It was Robert d’Artois who first spoke. ‘An Excellent plan, sire! And by going to Northern France, I shall be able to assist you once more with my knowledge and information of the region!’
Edward hid a lopsided grin, he liked Robert, and considered him a good friend. But he did rather sometimes get ideas above himself, for Robert had not been in France for 3 years now. He looked at his Marshal
‘Marshal, your thoughts?’
‘What of the Scots, sire? They’re allied to the French, and will surely want to cause trouble.’
‘True. That is why we shall leave the men of the Northern Counties to guard border. I’m sure the Bishop of Durham is up to the task, would you not agree Archbishop?’
The Archbishop of Canterbury blinked for a few seconds. He had drifted off to sleep having not been involved in the conversation, and was frantically trying to decide what it was the King wanted of him.
‘Uh… yes, most certainly, sire’

Edward grinned, despite himself. It was not often that he got to torment the senior member of the Holy Church, and he chalked it down as a minor victory. And he knew he could count on his old tutor to look after the North when he was in France.
‘I thought so as well, Archbishop’ he looked round at his council one final time ‘are there any questions?’ There was a collective shaking of heads ‘then I thank you for your time, gentlemen’

They started to leave the great hall when Edward called out suddenly
‘Archbishop, I would have a word with you, in private.’ The Archbishop stopped, and turned back towards the King.
‘How can I help you, your highness?’
‘Will you be staying in London upon our return?’
‘I had planned too, for awhile, yes’
‘Good. I ask two things of you, Thomas. I ask you be the one to bury my brother in Westminster.’ Thomas nodded solemnly ‘And the other, your highness?’
‘I have no doubt I will need your fine oratory skills when the time comes to announce to the people of war, and the justness of our cause, do you support this, Thomas?’
Thomas looked reflective for a few seconds.
‘I have no doubt that God is with us in this endeavour, your highness.’
Edward sagged a little. ‘That is good to hear. Thank you Thomas’

The Archbishop turned and left the room. Edward stood alone for a moment, then walked back to the table, and stared at the map. He was embarking on a path that would lead two of the greatest kingdoms in Christendom to war once more. And how many more men would die in their name, he wondered? What would he be able to take off Philippe?
‘What kind of enemy are you, cousin?’ Edward muttered to himself, before turning, and leaving the room.


Philippe VI. King of France, and Edward's enemy.

Historical Note

Edward's Privy Council was nothing like the one I put into the post, it's just one of the things where I have to bend history to match the CK model. For example, Thomas of Chester was not Archbishop of Canterbury, that honour belonged to John de Stretford. However, lacking a de Stretford in my court, Thomas gets to be Diocese Bishop, and a promotion to Archbishop!
 

Lanlier

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I shall try and keep things as historically accurate as I can, however, the CK gods appear to have some different ideas, and that's just from the first few months of playing!

Anyway, I shall do my best, and I hope to make it an entertaining read. I hope to have another update ready for later this evening, but probably sometime tomorrow, which should cover slightly more than one game day of play!
 

Lanlier

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January 4th – North of Northampton


Ludwig, King of the Germans & Edward's potential ally.

John de Ufford rode ahead of the entourage that surrounded Edward on his journey back to London. He enjoyed these moments that he had to himself, so that he could engage his brain, and mull things over. It had been painfully slow progress from York, and John had received plenty of time to consider the current situation. And the more he thought about it, the more he didn’t like it. The offer that Edward had made Ludwig, and the Imperial Princes was simply too much. Edward was a far better negotiator than that, and could easily gain their support for far less. What was his King up to? John wondered.

He paused on the crest of the hill that overlooked the town of Northampton. The town looked picturesque in the pale winter sun, with snow reflecting the light off the rooftops of the houses and churches in the town. The tranquillity of this picture was shattered by the emergence of a small group of horseman from the north gate of the town, and their hasty movement towards John’s position. John strained his eyes to try and make out detail on the onrushing horseman. He momentarily wondered weather he should call for the household knights that accompanied Edward led by John Darcy. His shout died in his throat as he recognised the lead horseman. It was Henry Burghersh, the Bishop of Lincoln, and the man charged with negotiating with Ludwig, the Holy Roman Empire.

John urged his grey mare forward, the compacted snow and ice crunching underfoot as she flew into a fast gallop. Her heavy breathing caused gusts of steam to rise and then vanish into the chilly afternoon air as John reigned her in besides the new arrivals.
‘Henry?’ John waited ‘Henry?’ he repeated.
The Bishop of Lincoln slowly looked at him, his face was dirty and grimy, and betrayed several days’ lack of sleep.
‘I have a reply for the Kings’ he finally said.
‘I’ll take it to him Henry. You go back to Northampton, and get some rest. You looked shattered’
‘Thank you, John. We arrived back in Dover late last night. I thought it important that the King receive the reply as soon as possible’
He passed over a letter to John, baring the great seal of the Holy Roman Emperor, before turning with his escort and heading back to Northampton.

John turned his mare round, and urged her back up the hill. He made his way back along the column of retainers, courtiers and nobles, some had accompanied Edward on his journey north, others as he travelled south, all seeking the King’s favour. John caught sight of the King, resplendent on his fine brown stallion, the King was busy talking to Robert d’Artois.

‘Your highness!’ John called out to Edward, who looked up inquisitively at him. ‘I have just met with the Bishop of Lincoln, and he has a reply from the Holy Roman Emperor for you, your highness’
Edward stopped immediately. John moved forward, and handed over the heavyset letter. Edward tore away the waxy seal, and his eyes scanned the contents of the page. A slight frown appeared on his face, and a knot of wrinkles creased his forehead.
‘Your highness?’ John patently asked.
‘It would seem that the Holy Roman Emperor has declined our request, Chancellor. He has no wish to form alliance, nor to let me become a vicar of the Empire. We shall have to send ambassadors to my father-in-law, and my brothers-in-law letting them know of this delay to our plans. See to it, John.’ Edward’s voice betrayed no emotion. Already his mind was calculating a new offer to send to Ludwig, one that he could not possibly refuse. He said no more, and spurred his horse on towards Northampton, suddenly eager for the comforts of warmth, and food.


Ludwig's reply.

January 5th – South of Northampton

They were a mile outside Northampton, heading back towards London once more. John de Ufford was now riding besides Edward, for there was no time for him to have his own thoughts, he was required for the execution of government. And nor was there was any place for Robert d’Artois at the King’s side, and he now rode sullenly behind Edward.

Edward rode silently for a time, lost in his own thoughts. He needed Ludwig’s agreement to an alliance; else all the support that he had in the Low Countries was useless. And it was some considerable support that he had. There was the somewhat dubious support that Robert offered from his confiscated county of Artois and the connections that he still in the region. More importantly, there were Edward’s family connections. His father-in-law, Guilliame of Hainault was count of Hainault, Holland, Zeeland and Westfrisaland. His sister Eleanor was married to Richard of Gelre, the count of Gelre.

Indeed, the Holy Roman Emperor himself was Edward’s kin, for Ludwig was married to one of Phillipa’s sisters. So how could he refuse Edward’s offer of alliance? The Low Countries depended on English wool for their great cloth industries, and the wool subsidies that Edward was offering the Princes of the Low Countries and the Emperor would surely be enough to curry their favour and agreement? An even without the subsidies, it was unquestionably within Ludwig’s interest to bring conflict to Philippe, for he had been long extending his influence in the region at Ludwig’s expense.

Ludwig’s refusal of the alliance terms infuriated Edward. Could he not see the benefits of them working together? The threat they would both pose to Philippe, and how much they could both gain? An attack on Northern France threatened Philippe’s capital, and would force him to respond. If Edward could not secure support, he would be forced to goto Aquitaine with his army, and defend his vassals there. For Philippe would no take seek to the Duchy straight away, and Edward would be failing as a liege lord, unless Philippe could be threatened elsewhere, forcing him to withdraw men from the invasion of his Duchy.

Edward was so lost in his thoughts, that he did not notice the arrival of a small group of horseman, escorting an elegant carriage on the road ahead. Nor did he notice that his column of men had stopped, causing Edward to plough into the back of a poor, unfortunate member of his household guard standing in front of him. Despite being half crushed, the men immediately offered an apology
‘I’m sorry sire, I should have been more watchful!’ the poor man winced.
‘Good God, no, It is I who should apologise. Most careless of me!’ Edward backed his horse away, and noticed the carriage and new arrivals for the first time. He looked at his Chancellor, who was now coming back from the carriage, with a young woman in tow.

Edward raised his eyebrows. This was most perplexing, he decided. He waited for John to return, and looked at him expectantly.
‘Your highness, may I present to you the Lady Violante Pacheco, Chancellor of the Kingdom of Portugal’ John formally introduced the newcomer. The lady curtsied, and Edward half bowed in his saddle in response.
‘Your Royal Highness’ the lady began in her accented French ‘I am here to represent my lord, Alfonso de Coimbra, by the Grace of God, King of Portugal and Count of Porto, Coimbra and Lisboa. And I bring with me an offer of alliance between our two kingdoms, so that we may work together in harmony, and the glory of God’


The offer from Portugal

Edward studied the woman for a moment, his mind taking in the proposal, an alliance with Portugal? He toyed with the idea for a moment. It certainly had advantages over his planned alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor. Edward would not have to give up extortionate wool subsidies, and there was a different strategic plan he could now play. Rather than threaten Philippe with a massive Anglo-German force in Northern France, Edward could now threaten northern France with his English army, whilst a combined Portuguese-Gascon army could defend, and attack from Aquitaine. Yes, he decided, alliance with Portugal may well be for the best.

Edward flashed the Lady Violante a charming smile as he took the letter with the formal offer.
‘You must accompany us to London, my Lady, where we can discuss this proposal in much more detail, and’ Edward waved his hand round the chilly countryside ‘in much greater comfort!’
John de Ufford sat impassively to the side of his King. He did not know what Edward had planned, but knew that it did not now involve alliance with Germany. For Edward was doing what he truly did best, playing the diplomatic game to perfection.

January 8th – London

Edward scratched his name onto the parchment that held the conditions of alliance between England and Portugal. He waited for a few seconds, to let the ink day, and then poured a small blob of wax onto the space underneath his name. He blew on the wax, to cool it slightly, then picked up his seal, and pressed hard on to the wax, indenting the symbol of the King of England. It was done, the alliance between Portugal and England was signed and sealed.

Edward smiled sweetly as he turned and handed the parchment to Lady Violante
‘There you go my lady, everything is written there as we agreed it. I look forward to a long and prosperous alliance between our peoples.’
‘Thank you, your Royal Highness’ Lady Violante curtsied as she took the parchment ‘King Alfonso will be most pleased with what we have agreed here.’ She said, with forced bravado. For she was not entirely sure it was what Alfonso had requested of her to extract from the English King. But Edward had been so charming, and so reasoned, that everything did make sense, at the time. She curtsied one final time, and left to take the terms of her alliance back to Portugal.


King Alfonso, Edward's new ally.

Edward leaned back in his chair contentedly. From the dismay of the rejection from Ludwig, to the euphoria of negotiating a favourable deal with Portugal, it had all happened in the space of 24 hours. He was now sure that when war came with Philippe, his Gascon subjects would not be left to the mercy of an invading French Army, but could expect help, from the Portuguese. Things were looking very good. Now, all he needed to do was convince the magnates and parliament of the worthiness of war with France. Edward chuckled at himself, only that?

‘Sire?’ Edward’s chamberlain broke his thoughts
‘Yes?’
‘The Marshal would like to talk to you, sire’
‘Very well, show him in, William’
Edward brightened at the prospect of talking to John Darcy. He enjoyed his conversations with his Marshal, and could now divulge his new plan for dealing with France. He would surely approve of the new plan, Edward decided.

The Marshal entered the room, with a slightly apprehensive look on his face. Edward picked up on straight away.
‘What’s the matter John?’
‘Sire, I’ve received a letter from my son, John’ he paused
‘Yes?’ Edward urged
‘He has taken to calling himself the Duke of Meath.’ John looked anxiously at Edward. For John Darcy was John’s second son, and as a reward for his loyal service as Marshal, as well as his son’s own talents, Edward had named him Lord of Ireland.

Edward briefly considered the news, there was precedent for the younger John to call himself Duke of Meath, as he was Earl of Mide and Dublin, and was steadfastly loyal to Edward. He looked up at the face of his Marshal
‘We’ll put it down to youthful exuberance, John’ and then Edward smiled ‘Does he have any other news?’
The Marshal tried to fight off the grateful smile spreading across his face.
‘Yes, sire. He believes he is close to getting Donal MacMurchada, Duke of Leinster and Muirdertach O’Brien, Earl of Tuadmumu, to pledge their allegiance to you, sire’
Edward’s eyebrows shot up.
‘If he can do that, John, then I would have had to grant him the title Duke of Meath, anyway!’ he laughed ‘Now John, I would like to hear your thoughts on our new strategy for the Valois’

January 12th – London

Court Life had slowly returned to normal following Edward’s mad dash up and down the country at the turn of the New Year, and it was one such facet of court life that Edward had to deal with, now. Before him, stood Robert de Ufford, elder brother of his chancellor, and a fine knight who had served with Edward in Scotland. His eldest son also named Robert, a fine young man of 22 years, who shared many of the qualities of his father, accompanied him.

Edward was also joined once more by his Marshal, and with him, was his only daughter, Elizabeth. Edward looked on in faint amusement as the younger de Ufford finished address him.
‘And with your permission, highness, I would like to take Elizabeth as my wife’ the proud young man stammered to a finish. Edward looked from him, to his intended betrothed, Elizabeth. It was a good match, and it would make sure any possible tension between the de Ufford’s and the Darcy’s was dissipated.

Edward stood up and gave them both a broad smile.
‘Of course you have my permission! And I expect a good seat for myself and the Queen at the weeding, obviously!’
Robert bowed, and gave his thanks. Edward sat down, content. A nice wedding was exactly what was needed to cheer up his court in this bitterly cold winter, he thought to himself.

January 18th – London

‘Philippe has spent some his cash reserves on the construction of royal posts within his domains, and has called for the Master of Crossbowman to be ready by February, in what we assume will be an attempt to start the confiscation of your Duchy, sire.’ Alan Mortimer finished his latest report to Edward with a self-satisfied smile.
‘Thank you, Alan, your intelligence gathering is excellent, as always’ Edward stated politely.
‘Thank you, sire, but my agents do me a great credit, it is they who deserve the praise’
‘Of course. Thank you Alan, you may go now’

Mortimer lingered in front of Edward for a moment, clearly wanting to impart some other information.
‘Yes, Alan?’ Edward asked irritably.
‘It is about my half-brother, Robert. You have named him to be heir to Alice de Lacy’s lands in Lincoln’ Alan licked his lips. Edward looked at Alan intently, what was his spymaster after, he wondered?
‘I just thought it prudent to let you know that by all accounts, the boy has become something of a fanatic, throwing himself behind whatever cause takes his fancy’
‘Thank you Alan, I’ll remember that’ Edward curtly said, dismissing his spymaster.

January 28th – Tower of London

The assembly of the magnates and prelates sat in the great chamber of the Tower of London, waiting to hear why Edward had summoned them. The was quite a cauldron of noise in the room, for each of the men realised to varying degrees that the country seemed to drawing ever close to war with France. A quiet hush fell across them as the blast of fanfare heralded the arrival of Edward.

Edward strode into the chamber, looking every inch a great regal figure. Dressed in the finest robes, he made purposefully for his seat at the far end of the chamber. There was a poised, determined look about him, several of the magnates noticed. Edward took his seat, and swept his steely blue eyes round the room, taking in the scene. Then, seemingly content, he nodded at the royal prolocutor, William de Fauconberg. William walked forward until he was in the centre of the chamber. He gazed round, before his eyes rested upon Edward, who gave a half-nod, and put his right hand forward, his palm upturned the signal for William to begin.

‘My lords!’ William’s fine, booming voice reverberated round the chamber ‘On behalf of his royal highness, Edward, by the Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland and Duke of Aquitaine, I welcome you all. There are several matters, which are to be put before you, this council, today.
Firstly, you are no doubt aware of the continued efforts of his Royal Highness to find a lasting peace with his cousin, Philippe of Valois, King of France. We have made every effort to reach amicable agreement over a number of issues, yet we have met with no success. And the fault is not ours!’
There was a general murmur of assent from the crowd. William waited until it died down.
‘I say again, the fault is not ours. For Philippe of Valois continues to refuse to return lands that rightly belong to his Royal Highness in our Duchy of Aquitaine! Until Philippe returns the land stolen by his most treacherous father, Charles of Valois, we shall not have peace with France.

The second issue before you, is that of his Royal Highness’ right to the throne of France!’
All at once, the chamber was thrown into turmoil, with shouts of astonishment and wonder filling the air. Edward’s claim to the throne had not been raised for nearly 10 years, and everyone had thought it dead. At the back of the chamber, however, Robert d’Artois’ heart skipped a beat.
‘I beg silence, my lords, silence!’ William roared, trying to regain order. He got it. ‘As I am sure I have no need to remind you all, my lords, his Royal Highness is now in his twenty-fifth year, and civil law, he must make good his claim to inheritance, or have it lost to him. And I’m sure I have no need to remind you of the strength of our right to the crown of France. For is not the son of a sister a nearer heir than the son of an uncle? And should not the inheritance descend rather than ascend?’

There were nervous looks being exchanged around the chamber. The stakes for war were becoming higher than anyone had realised.

‘Finally’ William continued unabated ‘we ask the council to consider if the King should take the alliance with Portugal, and the formation of a continental confederation to resist Philippe of Valois, and his efforts to take the Duchy of Aquitaine from it’s rightful rule. We request the you give the King your counsel, on all the issues we have mentioned.’

There was a moment of stunned silence. Most of the lords in the chamber were still trying to grasp the fact that Edward was going re-establish his claim to the crown of France. Suddenly, Henry Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster and Leicester rose unsteadily to his feet.
‘These are important issues, prolocutor. I request that the council be given time to consider them, and form its response, as to give the King the best possible advice’
William nodded his agreement, before remembering that old Lancaster was blind. ‘Certainly, Earl Henry, the King will be grateful of your advice once more, I have no doubt.’

The council filed out of the great chamber to discuss the matter at hand. Edward shifted in his seat. He knew it would be several hours before they reached a decision. He passed word for his steward to come and see him in the meantime. Eventually, Anselm entered the chamber, dragging his clubfoot behind him.

‘Highness?’ he looked balefully at Edward.
‘Anselm, I would be grateful if you could arrange for a tile-factory to be constructed in Gwent. We really must do something to improve the Welsh lands, they’re still quite antiquated!’ he grinned.
‘Of course, highness. Anything else, highness?’ Anselm asked tonelessly. Edward felt a stab of rage towards the steward, and his face contorted into a grimace.
‘No, you may leave’
‘Thank you, highness’ Anselm said, already shuffling away to do the King’s bidding.

When he was gone, Edward let out a deep sigh. He did not like the way Anselm conducted himself, as it was most unbecoming. But there was no one better in his court to act as steward, he reflected. Anselm was so keen to use what he considered to be his superb military talent. Well, Edward thought to himself, providing the council agrees with me, I suspect he shall have ample chance, soon enough.

* * *
The council was out for 6 hours, before they came back to the King with their counsel. This time, it was Edward’s uncle, Thomas of Norfolk who spoke.

‘Sire, it is the recommendation of this council that another solemn embassy be sent to Philippe, to once more try and arrange lasting peace between our realms. For no man wishes to shed blood of other Christian men, and it our duty to try and preserve the peace of our Kingdom.’ Thomas licked his lips ’But, should Philippe refuse our kind offer of peace, it is this council recommendation that we strengthen our naval forces, and look to the continent to secure allies to help against the King of France, who has unjustly occupied the realm of France.’

Edward sat solemnly in his seat whilst the prolocutor thanked the council for its service and recommendations, but inside, his mind was racing. The council had given its blessing for Edward to pursue his right to the throne of France. When war did come with Philippe, it would now no longer just be about the rights to the Aquitaine, but the rights to France.

Historical/Game Notes

Edward’s negotiations with the Ludwig, and the Imperial Princes, were quite complex, and lengthy. Most of it was done with individual princes in the Low Countries, as Edward sought to get their support, rather than Ludwig’s. This was made easier for him by the extensive connection of family that he had thanks to his marriage to Phillipa of Hainault.
Edward’s chief negotiating weapon was wool subsidies, that he used to more or less bribe certain reluctant allies, like the Duke of Brabant, and Ludwig to give him their support.
In terms of the game, since I can’t offer more, and Ludwig said no, I decided not to pursue it, since Edward’s alliance with Germany was on the whole, pretty useless, and nearly bankrupt him. The fact I received an offer from Portugal the day after Germany turned me down was a happy coincidence.
I’ll still concentrate on the region that Edward campaigned in from 1337 – 1340ish, I’ll just have to do it without German support
The council of the magnates and prelates actually happened on January 20 – 24th, rather than 28th. I changed the date to fit in the fact that it was January 28th in the game when I decided to make myself King of Wales, which I left out of the text, since it’s not particularly historically accurate. I could just use the prestige boost to give me enough to claim certain titles that Edward doesn’t start with claims too, yet were taken by him in later campaigns.
 

CatKnight

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A historically accurate CK AAR is...difficult. But very rewarding if you can pull it off!

So it looks like we're ready for Round One come spring. It's good that you have an ally - any ally since the HRE refused. That means your numbers should be about even as the fighting starts. I'm not sure the CK AI's going to let you do chevauche(sp?) tactics though, you may find Phillipe is quite willing to have a head-on clash.
 

Garuda

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I personally believe that Edward III was the greatest King our nation has ever had. I'll be following this AAR.
 

Lanlier

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CatKnight: I doubt the AI is going to let me chevacheé either. Which, to start with, is actually quite handy for my historical aims, since it was Edward's intial intention to find Phillipe, offer him battle, beat him, then drag him to negotiations.

Phillipe rather messed that all up by steadfastly refusing to give battle to Edward, which was one of the reasons why he adopted the change in strategy to that of the chevacheé.

Garuda: I've become quite a fan of Edward's from the research I've done on him. Hopefully I'll do him some justice, and not throw his kingdom away in a fit of idocy!

I should have another shortish update ready later tonight, before I start getting onto the fun stuff. Namely the war.
 

Sir Humphrey

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Great AAR. I'm not usually in this neck of the woods, but this drew me in. Great stuff.
 

Alhazen

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Indeed! Great stuff so far. Yes, we command screenshots to be put up! :D
 

Lanlier

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February 7th – Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire.

Edward had retired to his palace at Woodstock in Oxfordshire to spend a few days with his family. His timing as always was impeccable. The arctic conditions that had gripped the English winter was, for the time being, relenting its grip, allowing the first signs of a warm spring to spread quietly across the land. He sat in one of the gardens, enjoying the mild warmth of the pale sunshine, watching his children with great affection.


Edward Plantagenet, the King's eldest son, and the future Black Prince.

His eldest, Edward was trying to make himself as big and threatening as possible, so far as a 6 and half year old can look big and threatening, whilst his 4 year old sister Isabella was cowering behind her elder brother. The culprit of this scene was a scraggy fox, trying to take advantage in the thaw in the conditions, and find itself a nourishing meal. Instead, it had burst through the hedgerow and found itself face to face with the King of England’s eldest daughter.


Isabella Plantagenet, the King's eldest daughter. Also a coward.

Isabella has taken one look at the fox, and then screamed. This caused her brother to snatch up a weighty stick, and rush to her defence. Striking the fencing pose that he had recently been taught, the young Prince glowered at the fox. The fox looked at the two small children, cocked his head to one side, and uttered a low growl. Edward sprung into action, feinted to his right, then brought the stick back across to his left, and gave the fox a cutting blow across its muzzle. With a yelp of pain, the fox jumped back, and turned a fled to find easier pray.

Prince Edward made to follow, but was reigned in by his amused father.
‘Edward, that’s enough, come here! You too, Isabella.’
‘But Father!’ The young prince whined.
‘I said enough, now come!’ His father snapped.
Sulkily, the young prince walked over to his father. Looking into his son’s eyes, Edward was surprised at the calmness, and the fierce joy that he saw in them. He ruffled his son’s darkening blonde hair.
‘You did well, my boy’ he said proudly, He stood up, and scooped his daughter into his arms. Isabella was still shaking like a leaf.
‘Are you ok, my darling?’ he looked at her with concern.
‘Yes, father’ was the muffled reply, as Isabella buried herself into Edward’s arms.
‘I think it’s time we went inside’ Edward suppressed a laugh as he noticed his son gave one last longing look to where the fox had run off to.

Inside, Edward’s wife, Philippa of Hainault was tending to Edward’s youngest child, Joan, who had only recently enjoyed her second birthday. She looked up as they entered the room,
‘Did you have a nice time outside, children?’
Before Edward had a chance to answer for them, his son spoke
‘Yes, Mother. There was a fox, and it attacked Isabella, but I managed to beat it off, but Father wouldn’t let me go after it and kill it, like I wanted to.’ The young prince gave his father a withering glance.
Edward gently put Isabella back on the ground. The young girl fled towards her mother, burying herself in the folds of her skirt.
‘Really?’ Philippa stared at Edward coldly. He responded with a weak smile. ‘That’s very brave of you. Now can you take your sisters to the nursery? I want to speak with your Father.’
The young prince perked up with the responsibility of escorting his two sisters through the palace. He confidently took Joan’s hand, and marched her off to the Nursery, with Isabella in tow.


Philippa of Hainault, Edward's wife.

Edward looked at Philippa tentatively.
‘He exaggerated somewhat. The fox didn’t attack them, it just came through and surprised Isabella. You know how she is.’
Philippa raised an eyebrow.
‘They weren’t in any danger, besides, I’m not sure anything could stop young Edward from defending his sister when he thinks they’re in danger.’
The stony silence made Edward shift uncomfortably. He tried a change of tract.
‘How is Joan?’ he inquired after his youngest daughter. Philippa sighed, relenting.
‘She’s still the same, she won’t pronounce her words properly. Were the children truly in no danger, Edward?’
‘I promise, my darling, they were truly in no danger. I would let no harm befall them.’ The sincerity in Edward’s voice made his wife walk over an embrace him. Edward stroked Philippa’s golden hair, and he stared into her beautiful brown eyes.
‘Then you must promise not to let our 4th child ever be in any danger too, Edward’ she said, gently.
It took a few seconds for the words to register in Edward’s mind.
‘Our 4th child…’ his voice tailed off.
Philippa smiled at him. ‘Yes.’
‘Then, you’re pregnant?’
‘Yes.’
Edward’s face light up into a glorious smile, a 4th child! He kissed Philippa, and held her even closer.


A new baby!

February 26th – London

‘The French master of Crossbowman attempted to surprise the town of St. Macaire, but thanks to my agents, the garrison was alert and ready, and repelled the attempt, sire’ Alan Mortimer delivered the report in his curt, clipped tones.
‘Are you expecting any further activity, Alan?’ Edward asked.
‘None, sire. My agents report that Philippe has given up the idea of trying to seize the revenues of your Duchy until the campaigning season begins.’ Alan finished his report with a stiff bow.
‘Thank you, Alan, you’ve proved your worth once more’ Edward forced himself to smile.
The corners of Alan’s mouth curled up in satisfaction, but he said ‘And once more, sire, I must say it is my many agents who do me credit.’


Spymaster, Alan Mortimer.

Edward shifted his gaze to his Steward, Anselm.
‘You said you had some news, Anselm?’
‘Yes, highness’ Anselm, grunted. ‘Word has come from the county of Somerset that the smiths in the county have found a way to use local metals much more efficiently. This is a benefit to the economy, and it is bringing in more revenue, highness.’
Edward looked blankly at Anselm for a few moments, before recovering his composure.
‘Uh, thank you Anselm.’


Anselm of Cumberland, Steward.

March 3rd –Westminster

At the request of Edward, parliament had met at Westminster. It was clear to all that were present what was going to be the main agenda for this parliament, war with France. Whilst no official report of the decisions made the by the Great council at the end of January had been made, word had still spread of what had been discussed, and Edward’s decision to restate his claim to the throne of France.

Yet before parliament officially opened for business, there were another task to be done. And it was for that reason, that the Earl of Chester was making his way towards Edward and Philippa, both dressed in the full regal finery of the King and Queen of England. However, the Earl of Chester did not quite fully understand what was going on, for the Earl was none other than the 6 and half year old Prince Edward.

The younger Edward looked into his Father’s face as he stopped in front of him. Whilst he did not fully understand what was going on, his father had gone over his role in this ceremony repeatedly, so young Edward screwed up his face in concentration, and tried to remember the exact sequence of events.
He arrived before the throne of the King and Queen, and knelt on the floor.
King Edward looked at his young son, before announcing in a calm, clear voice
‘Let the scroll of arms be read!’
Edward’s Herald unfurled the scroll, and started to speak
‘Hear and attend, all ye, throughout the Known World, that from this day hence Edward Plantagenet, shall bear the title of Duke of Cornwall. We, Edward Plantagenet and Philippa of Hainault, King and Queen of England, do acknowledge this and do affirm his right to bear the honours and dignities pertaining to this rank. We do here set our hand and seal, this 3rd day of March, in the year of our lord, 1337.’

Edward unsheathed his sword, and turned the blade flat. He touched it down upon his son’s left shoulder, then his right, before finally resting it upon the brow of his head.
‘My Lord, Duke Edward, it gives us great pleasure that you receive this accolade by our hand’ the King smiled encouragingly at his son.
The young Prince looked somewhat wide eyed at his father, than composed himself.
‘My liege, from your hand, I gladly receive it.’ Edward’s voice sound so small and insignificant in the face of the great setting and ceremony. He looked nervously at his mother, who nodded reassuringly.
King Edward sheathed his sword. ‘Let the Ducal coronet be brought forward.’ He instructed.
The coronet bearer moved forward, knelt, and offered the velvet cushion towards the King. Taking the small coronet off it, Edward looked back down upon his son, placing the coronet on his head.
‘Be henceforth Duke of Cornwall, in this our realm, and wear this coronet as token of your rank.’

Edward made a motion to his son to rise, and he duly did so.
‘We give this sword to your keeping, my lord Duke, charging you to use it henceforth as you have heretofore, in a noble, knightly, and honourable manner.’ Edward said solemnly, as he passed his sword to his son.
Struggling to keep a hold of the sword, the young Edward paused for a moment. Caught between trying to stand up, and then take the sword, he had forgotten his next line. He stood open mouthed for a few moments, before he remembered it.
‘My liege, upon my honour, I swear to do so.’ He squeaked, thankful that the words had come back to him.
Edward motioned to his herald, who stepped back towards the throne.
‘My lord Duke, is it your desire to swear fealty to their majesties?’
Young Edward bit his lip nervously, then looked at the herald.
‘It is.’ He sounded more relaxed and confident, and knelt before the King and Queen once more.

‘Do you now swear fealty to Edward Plantagenet and Philippa of Hainault, your undoubted King and Queen, that you will obey their lawful commands in all matters that concern this Realm, and, do you in turn swear faith to the Crown and Kingdom of England? And, being mindful that the honour of the Realm springs from your own deeds, do you swear that you shall treat chivalrously and courteously with those of every degree, so long as Their Majesties remain Sovereigns of England?’ the herald asked.
‘I so swear.’ Edward answered solemnly.
‘And We, for Our part, do swear fealty to the Duke of Cornwall, and promise to protect and defend him and his household with all our power, so long as we remain Sovereigns of England. So say We, Edward Plantagenet King of England.’ Edward announced, and looked at Philippa
‘And so say We, Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England.’ Philippa’s voice formal and clear rang out.

Edward passed the scroll of arms to his son, who took it in his hands and stared at in wonder. Putting his hand on son’s shoulder, Edward whispered to him.
‘You did well son, very well’.
The young Edward beamed at his father praise, and then as his father had told him, moved off to the right of the throne, to watch the other investitures that were to take place that day. Henry Plantagenet was made Earl of Derby, William de Bohun was made Earl of Northampton, William Mortimer was made Earl of Salisbury, Hugh d’Audley was made Earl of Gloucester, and Robert de Ufford was made Earl of Suffolk. There were many more titles handed out, by young Edward had had a long day, and was soon fast asleep, wrapped up in his Ducal robes.

March 16th - Westminster

Debates had raged in parliament for nearly two weeks now, as Edward tried to garner support for his planned war with Philippe. Like the great council, Parliament had advised Edward to send another peace embassy to France, to try and secure a last minute reprieve on war. Whilst Edward’s orders to his ambassadors to offer everything for peace, short of surrendering his rightful inheritance might have sounded a good offer, Edward knew it would not be heard.


The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas of Chester.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was addressing the parliament for a final time before it closed a last passionate call to arms for the members of the House of Arms.
‘And we must not forgot too’ Thomas of Chester dulcet tones rang clean across the house ‘that our King, Edward Plantagenet was robbed of his rightful inheritance by Philippe of Valois. It was known by all that Edward was the closest male heir to Charles IV, and as Duke of Aquitaine, was a fine, upstanding noble of France. Yet the Valois ignored this, and rode roughshod over the will of God, and the will of the people.
For too long, this slur and stain on our reputation, and on our peoples has gone unpunished, and once more, the Valois is up to his old tricks, trying to seize our King’s rightful property in his duchy of Aquitaine. I ask you, the members of this house, would any of you stand for this behaviour? I sincerely hope not. For this is not what God intended of men, and this is not how he wished us to behave. We must, as Christian men, do all in our power to make good the rights and claims of our King.’ The Archbishop looked round the room, holding eye contact with any men he felt to be wavering from Edward’s cause. He then bowed, and left the house, hoping he had done enough. As Archbishop of Canterbury, he had ordered a considerable share of the tithe of the Church to be given to Edward’s war fund, the fifteenth penny of the laity, and now it was up to parliament to do there bit.

* * *

Edward tried to conceal his anxiousness as he entered parliament to hear the result of their deliberations. He took his seat with his council, and indicated to the speaker of the house that he could commence.
‘Your majesty’ the speaker began ‘it is the decision of this parliament to award your highness a considerable wool subsidy, 47s. 8d. is the exact figure per every figure. This subsidy will last for a period of two years, and it is the decision of all the House of Commons. Your majesty’s council, has also decided, on advice from the clergy, and this parliament, that you should no longer refrain from pressing your right to the Crown of France, which is yours by birth. On this account, we do declare that a state exists between the Kingdoms of England and France, and that your homage to Philippe of Valois is renounced, for his is withholding what is rightful the King’s, and that we too send our defiance to the impostor, Philippe of Valois. Those are these parliament decisions, your majesty.’ the speaker bowed towards Edward, whose heart skipped a beat. He had the support of his nobles, the church and parliament. There was no nothing stopping him from war with Philippe.

Edward turned to his Chancellor.
‘John, please send the Bishop of Lincoln, the Earls of Salisbury and Huntingdon, with our letters of defiance to Philippe of Valois, at once.’
John de Ufford nodded ‘Yes, right away, your highness.’
Edward motioned to Anselm ‘I want construction of a training ground to begin in Bordeaux immediately, Anselm. Please see too it’
‘Yes, highness.’


John de Ufford, Chancellor.

Edward’s eyes were ablaze. He would finally be able to settle the thorny issue of Aquitaine and Philippe’s help to Scotland, now. He was sure that the English could not fail in this God given task. Edward was supported by a collection of noblemen with superb military skills, who had cut their teeth in bloody battles in Scotland, he had the promise of money from parliament and the Church. Now, all he needed was to meet Philippe in battle, and let God pass judgement on the Valois.

Historical/Game Notes
The February of 1337 was fairly quite for Edward, much like the game. The French did have an abortive attempt to seize the town of St. Macaire in Aquitaine, but it was repulsed. I'm expecting Edward and Philippa to gave me a whole stackload more kids, since they had 13 in total, though, obviously, not all of them survived.

The Parliament that I described, did take place between the 3rd and the 16th of March, and it was mainly remembered at the time by the fact that Edward made his eldest son, already the Earl of Chester, into the Duke of Cornwall, the first created Duke in England. In my game, I've made the young Edward Earl of Chester to better reflect this.

At the same time, Edward also created a whole batch of military minded Earls, all of whom had fought with Edward in his Scottish campaigns. 4 of these men are already down as Earls at the start of the game. The 5th, the Earl of Salisbury, was actually William Montague, not William Mortimer. But lacking a Montague, it seemed close enough. The 6th, William Clinton was made Earl of Huntingdon, and err.. I don't have a Huntingdon to give.

The Parliaments decisions on March 16th are as I described. They offered full monetary support to Edward, giving him a wool subsidy with barely no persuading at all. The envoys that I mentioned being sent to Phillip were actually sent to Ludwig, but he's already turned me down, so I decided to send them to Philippe, and let him know I want my kingdom back!
 

Lanlier

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Mettermeck: I'm hopefully of achieving Edward's war aims. Of course, considering half the time, Edward kept changing his war aims, this might be an interesting challenge! I should have lots more screenies once we get down to the war. But, uhh... I want to check, since I have a tendancy to screw these things up, people can see the ones I've already posted... right?

Sir Humphrey:Thanks! It nice to know I've got a few people reading. I've been suprised how much time writing an AAR takes, and have a new found respect for all the other ones I've read!

Alazhen:2 posts on this thread now, you must be my hardcore fan! :rofl: As I said above, I'm going to aim for more screenshots once I'm at war, but, errr... can the ones I've already (tried to) post/ed be seen? I think I'm doing it all right.
 

Alhazen

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Neville's Cross was in 1346 I think.
 

Lanlier

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The Scottish situation in 1337 point was something of a mess. Edward III's vassal, and puppet king, Edward Baliol was nominally in charge of Scotland, whilst Edward controlled most of the Scottish lowlands, after a series of succesful campaigns in the 1330s.

David Bruce was at this point, taking refuge at the court of Philippe of Valois, one of the main points of contention between Edward and Philippe in their negotiations leading upto 1337, since Philippe would not abandon his support of the Bruce.

The English situation in Scotland went downhill after 1337, as Edward focussed on France, the Scots managed to reclaim much of the lowland of Scotland that Edward conquered.

I've found I really don't like the starting situation of England/Scotland/France in this scenario. France and Scotland are allied, but Edward has no claims on any Scottish land, nor is he in control of any of the Scottish lowlands that were his on January 1337. Nor is there an Edward Baliol in Edward III's court so that an English player has at least something to knock the Scots out of the war with.

As Alhazen mentioned, the battle of Neville's Cross wasn't until 1346, and it was then that the English captured David Bruce. IN 1337, Edward's northern flank was secure by the fact about half of Scotland was already his, and the socts had to take that back first, before reaching England. This is a luxury I don't have!