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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Malurous

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Gentlemen in Germany - a Brunswick AAR

shield.png



Game version: HTTT April 29th Beta
Grand Campaign (start date October 14th 1399)
Settings: Default


Special rules:
- No conquering without either having a core on the province or getting one upon conquest.
- Owning a non-core province is allowed only if it's immediately released or sold.
- Initial slider moves shall be taken towards Free Trade - not only for practical and RP reasons for a trading nation, but also to limit early spies.

* * *


With the game in my other AAR becoming quite intense, and my guess is that it will stay that way for a while, I decided to start a more relaxing game on the side. I'm not saying it's a particularly easy scenario with the country choice and rule set but it's definitely more conventional and more peaceful - I expect to do a bit of trading, zoom ahead at full speed and, when the opportunity comes, win some wars of often little reward despite having the odds stacked against me. That should be the case when the surroundings are like this and any rushing when the opportunity comes is essentially forbidden.

So, when I'd made the choice regarding game type, I thought what the heck, let's AAR this. Taking the screenshots etc. during gameplay is starting to feel quite natural by now, so might as well bring the EU III forum its second Brunswick AAR!

The rules will make unhistorically fast expansion a lot less likely. Therefore I've decided to go for a more historical feel (still with lots of pictures though). With this I mean the writing only: I'm not going to include many historical references because while I could probably pull that off in front of most audiences, I know that there are plenty of people on these forums that could burn me if I tried to do that with my relatively limited knowledge. :D

I'll also be doing heavy roleplaying: I try to make game decisions that make sense in the context of the story as it develops.

I'm not promising any schedule with this one - all depends on real life. However, I will bring this to some meaningful end, I just don't know when that will happen or what that end is. Maybe it's taking this to 1821, maybe it's forming Germany, maybe it's some other goal that's decided on along the way. Heck, with a nation of this size, if I get very unlucky maybe it's getting annexed a little while in.

We'll take a quick look at the starting situation before starting the AAR full steam.


* * *​

0101.jpg


So here we have the two province minor Brunswick. And I still like to use pink for this stuff. ;) It's surrounded by other one, two and three province minors, so it's a safer start than some minors.

The capital Hannover is a base tax 7 cloth province and the other province, Brunswick, is base tax 5 and producing iron. It's a decent start for the economy in the province sense.

In the slider sense, not so much:

0102.jpg


Lots of work to be done here to accumulate money and get trading going.

Brunswick's king is Heinrich der Milde (A/D/M 5/5/5), from the von Welf dynasty. There is no heir.

Without further ado, let's get going.
 
Last edited:

Malurous

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1399-1408: The Peace of Westphalia

1408-1419: The Hehn Rebellion

1419-1430: The Fall of the Roman Empire and the Kalmar Union

1430-1438: The Hehn Legacy

1438-1442: No Room for Revenge

1442-1446: Reasoning with Brandenburg

1446-1450: Out of Their League

MCDL-MCDLXII: Roman Wisdom

1463-1470: Crafty Councilmen

1470-1479: The Defeat of Friesland, and the Bavarian Question

1479-1481: Taking Down a Monster

1481-1483: End of an Era - the Last of the Spies

1483-1486: The Partition of Gelre

1486-1494: "Domestic" Matters

1494-1502: Heinrich III's Mourning Period

1502-1506: Brunswick-Lüneburg

1506-1511: The War for Thuringian Independence

1511-1518: End of the Hansa

1518-1529: Heinrich III's Last Years

1529-1530: The First Baltic Campaign of Rudolf August I

1530-1537: Mecklenburg

1537-1540: The Second Baltic Campaign of Rudolf August I and the Fall of Paris

1540-1544: The Empire Strikes Back

1545-1550: Duties of an Emperor

1550-1552: The Containment of Bohemia and the Third Baltic Campaign of Rudolf August I

1552-1556: Divided Loyalties

1556-1561: Köln and Westfalen Together Again

1561-1566: A Properly Imperial Europe

1566-1571: Emperor for a Day

1571-1578: God's Country

1578-1591: Limiting Bavarian and Bohemian Power

1591-1600: Outside Expertise

1600-1608: Ahead of Their Time

1608-1615: Integrating the Minor Dutch States

1615-1620: Driving Out the British

1620-1627: A Rejuvenated Empire

1627-1639: The Silent Syndics and the Ottoman Invasion

1639-1647: France Chooses Unwisely

1647-1649: Unlikely Allies

1649-1653: Philosophy of War

1653-1657: A Bittersweet Victory

1657-1664: Karl Talken Goes Crazy
 
Last edited:

Malurous

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Regarding conquest, can you claim thrones as well?

In theory yes. However these Brunswickers are a gentlemanly bunch, at least on the surface, so they typically wouldn't do such a thing.

The rules are only a part of it - the roleplaying has as much of an effect.
 

Malurous

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1399-1408: The Peace of Westphalia​

By 1399, King Heinrich had been ruling Brunswick, a small German member of the Holy Roman Empire, for twenty-six years. An ordinary little nation by all accounts, its grandest days were over a century behind it, before the Lüneburg split, and even those weren't that grand. The King however had new ideas and now, as an experienced ruler, he decided to start working on them.

On October 14th that year, Heinrich organized an assembly of the local nobles, presiding over it himself. The nobles wielded considerable power under the nation's feudal system. Together, they formulated plans to take Brunswick's influence to a whole new level.

From now on, Brunswick wouldn't sit idly by when other nations battled. In the future, the people of Brunswick would pick sides and take matters into their own hands if need be. However, it was also decided that Brunswickers would be the gentlemen in Germany: they wouldn't be guilty of dishonorable expansionism. The nation's prosperity, not stolen territory, would fuel their efforts.

The King also suggested trade as an additional means of economic rise. The assembly was skeptical of this as Brunswick's market just didn't have enough money in it. The idea was about to be dismissed when one baron suggested a form of free foreign trade. Brunswick's size wouldn't be an issue as they'd use the whole world as their market.

In a controversial decision, laws were therefore passed to loosen Brunswick's mercantilist policy. To further support this new focus on trade, two local Treasurers, Heinrich Ferdinand Schütze and Heinrich Karl Schauseil, were hired by the court to develop new trading techniques.

0103.jpg


During the next year or so, Brunswick's formerly puny foreign trade income was more than doubled. In another step to take a more active international role, numerous marriages were arranged between foreign royalties and members of the von Welf family.

Heinrich also signed military alliances with other small German nations nearby, namely Mecklenburg and Meissen. An additional pact was accepted with Gelre, a Dutch nation.

While other forms of becoming more active internationally were progressing well, initiatives to expand the royal army were stymied by subpar ore from Brunswick's iron mines. Strengthening the military had to wait.

0104.jpg


The King was a relatively devout man, but all humans are prone to mistakes - especially when they are old and lonely like Heinrich was in his personal life. While he wasn't proud of succumbing to temptations in the summer of 1400, at least the fornication led to an heir to the throne.

0105.jpg


Unfortunately, as the product of a servile woman, Karl Wilhelm was not a very capable man.

In September the neighborhood took an interesting turn. For some time now, the citizens of Paderborn had been growing weary of their distant overlords in Köln. But in a new development, documents that proved a very legitimate Brunswick claim on the area were discovered!

With the new information Heinrich definitely wanted to help the locals join Brunswick, but care had to be taken as Brunswick, never a militarily strong nation, was still struggling with equipment problems due to the poor iron. Still, the King accepted the role of a future liberator, which put a strain on relations with Köln.

0106.jpg


The situation seemed precarious, and Heinrich realized that an even stronger economy was required. He began overtures to Galeazzo Lamberti, a renowned Milanese Collector, and finally managed to employ him on October 14th. Fittingly, the new trade expert was hired on the anniversary of the meeting that decided on a stronger trade focus.

Lamberti's policies paid off, and by June 1401 Brunswick's influence in Lübeck was already five times what it was during the assembly.

In July 1402 the Pope called a Crusade on Morocco. While some suggested this was only a power play by Castille, King Heinrich was eager to atone for his infidelities in the eyes of God. He declared war on Morocco on the basis of the Crusade, with Brunswick's allies joining them against Morocco and the vile Ottomans.

0107.jpg


Harsh economic policies - additional taxes as well as reappropriating land in Hannover - were instituted to finance Heinrich's struggles to find a way to travel to these faraway lands. A landlocked nation in the north, Brunswick's troops were never able to reach the enemy despite Heinrich's orchestrations. This was a blessing in disguise as most of the accumulated cash ended up in the nations coffers instead and was eventually used for expanding the trading influence. Even during the Crusade Brunswicker merchants arrived in Venezia.

Meissen, Mecklenburg and Gelre bowed out of the war in the summer of 1405. While all three had recruited new troops for the occasion, Gelre was the only one to take concrete action as two of their carracks had been prowling in Moroccan waters.

Despite Heinrich's best efforts, he had failed to reach the enemy and his allies had had enough of the seemingly phony war. This led to the Archbishop of Bremen making fun of Brunswick's crusading. The King took it graciously on the surface, improving the nation's diplomatic standing.

0108.jpg


The taunting, however, prompted Heinrich to take one final step in his attempt: the recruitment of a thousand knights, the first cavalry force in Brunswick. Unfortunately this did nothing to help with the original problem.

Brunswick had already loosened the mercantilist policy earlier, but some merchants were still frustrated by it. Heinrich appeased them by further law changes.

0109.jpg


With good experiences in the capital province, land reforms were also enacted in Brunswick in the late part of 1406.

The results prompted the King to think that the economy was now strong enough for liberating Paderborn - a good way to show strength after being ridiculed for his Crusade. Köln and Bremen breaking their alliance was the last straw: the Brunswick army started mobilizing around Christmas and war was declared on Köln in February 1407.

0110.jpg


The traitorous Gelre and Meissen shocked Heinrich by abandoning him at his time of need. Mecklenburg was the only one standing at his side. Meanwhile, Holland was the only one of Köln's allies to dishonor their alliance.

The enemy coalition of the Palatinate, Köln, Lüneburg and Friesland looked scary, perhaps too much for Brunswick to handle.

0111.jpg


A decent general, Heinrich drew up a plan where Brunswick would attempt to remove individual nations from the war. This turned out to be more difficult than anticipated as the enemies proved stubborn.

The King soon realized that he had bitten off more than he could chew. He tried to rectify this early in the war by ordering some nobles back home to organize a National Bank in an effort to bring in extra funds for the war effort.

The first battle in March was a great success.

0112.jpg


Lüneburg was sieging Brunswick, but other than that things seemed to be under control. That changed in the summer as a Frisian army arrived to siege Hannover via military access through Oldenburg.

Heinrich realized that there was a real danger of other nations smelling blood and the war escalating. To protect against this, alliances were signed with Anhalt and Saxony.

Days apart in late August, Westfalen fell to Brunswick's hands and Lüneburg occupied Brunswick. Unfortunately, Köln wasn't willing to give up the province despite being soundly beaten - they apparently believed that their allies could still save them. That actually looked like a probable scenario.

With additional pressure in the neighborhood, the King finally accepted white peace with the Ottomans, ending the Moroccan Crusade. He had given it his best shot, and that's as much as he could do now to have his sins forgiven. While national morale might have taken a hit with the complete failure of the Crusade, at least its end helped Brunswick's trade.

0113.jpg


Brunswick's troops returned to dislodge Lüneburg's men from the province of Brunswick, then routed the army back in Lüneburg in November.

0114.jpg


While Lüneburg was out of troops, it did control Brunswick and Heinrich had other nations to worry about as Friesland was still sieging the capital and Köln was attempting to retake Westfalen. Therefore he accepted a somewhat humiliating peace with Lüneburg.

0115.jpg


Gelre soon returned to Brunswick's alliance, while new deals were signed with Mainz and Cleves.

In Westfalen, Brunswick's men eliminated a three-thousand strong army from Köln, but dire news reached the King on Christmas Eve. Hannover had fallen to Frisian forces and they were now sieging Brunswick as well. An attempt to relieve the latter ended badly.

0116.jpg


To make matters worse, the King suffered a small wound in the battle. While he was able to continue fighting, it wasn't good for his health in general.

Brunswick's economy was in shambles due to foreign control of its cities and no treasury to fall back on. Therefore the nation was forced to take a loan of 66 ducats in May 1408.

The mercenaries that Heinrich attempted to hire in Westfalen didn't have time to help, as Brunswick fell only four days later. Friesland's peace offer was accepted, again costing a good amount.

0117.jpg


Despite the losses, these peace agreements also meant that none of Köln's allies could reach Brunswick. Köln realized that they had no choice but to accept Heinrich's terms.

0118.jpg


Heinrich was happy. The Crusade had been an utter waste of resources and the earlier deals had been costly in the short term, but with Brunswick's trading acumen these were nothing that couldn't be recovered from. Added territory with a decent tax base was way more valuable in the long term. And most importantly, the people of Westfalen were now at peace, led by the nation they themselves wanted leading them.

0119.jpg
 

Ashantai

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Great start! :)

A lucky break in the war, but congratulations!
 

Malurous

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Brunswick eh? Haven't seen one of those around as far as I can remember. Good luck.

Thanks! There was one, but that was years ago. :) I don't think there have been any more though.

One province gained, why havent you upgraded to DW yet.

Yeah, fortunately got a small opening in Köln's alliances. :)

I don't think I'll have enough gaming time to warrant that purchase before Children of the Sun is finished unless there's some very good campaign offer. Besides, in the eight years or so I've been living on my own I've bought a grand total of four games non-discounted (for the record: NHL 2K3, EU III Collectors Edition, EU:Rome, The Witcher) and Crusader Kings II (if forum reaction from early purchasers is good) is the next one I expect to make that exclusive cut. I'm only just over a year removed from graduating, money is a problem.

Great start! :)

A lucky break in the war, but congratulations!

Cheers! :) Not sure what you mean with the lucky break though.
 

Ashantai

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I meant that even though you lost to Friesland and had to give up money and such, you didn't lose your chance to annex Westfalen.
 

Ygor

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Hehe. I love small nation politics. There's always so much at stake :p


I'll definitely be following this AAR!
 

Malurous

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I meant that even though you lost to Friesland and had to give up money and such, you didn't lose your chance to annex Westfalen.

Oh yeah, I don't think that was ever truly in danger. I had enough room to maneuver that there was zero chance of them being able to take all three provinces (i.e. my starting provinces + Westfalen) alone. Frankly, I felt that with better luck - Hannover not falling much quicker than the other provinces, mainly - it would have been doable by just paying off one enemy as in that case I wouldn't have needed to make that failed desperation attack.

But let's just say that there's a reason I didn't DoW when Bremen was still in the alliance. :D

Hehe. I love small nation politics. There's always so much at stake :p

I'll definitely be following this AAR!

I'm happy you are! :)

Heh yeah, you're not only one wrong step away from being annexed, it's actually a big deal whether or not some OPM is part of the alliance or not. Pretty cool if you ask me, makes it feel all tangible. :D

I love Brunswick. So followed.

Glad to hear! What makes you love Brunswick specifically? :)

I understand. If i had money, id buy it for you though:(.

A kind thought. :)

DW, DW...Bah humbug:p
It's not like he's playing 1.09

Haha, definitely not! :D

Good luck with the Brunswickers...Maybe you'll inherit the English throne?;)

Thanks! Well if I did I'd have to release them. ;) I don't think I'll be RM'ing such countries, getting rid of all the provinces in a timely manner could be problematic.
 

Dewirix

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I have to say that when I read your preamble I didn't think you'd be involved in a war of conquest inside the first decade. Good to see you won it though! Just a shame the von Welf family in Lüneburg decided they'd rather side with your enemies. Must make for some tense family reunions.
 

blsteen

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Watch out for a little guy in black and white! He likes spies...
and Dewirix, it is GERMANY after all. Wars of conquest, right up their alley. Now, keeping their
conquests thats another story.
 

PrawnStar

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Looks good count me in :)
 

Malurous

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I have to say that when I read your preamble I didn't think you'd be involved in a war of conquest inside the first decade. Good to see you won it though! Just a shame the von Welf family in Lüneburg decided they'd rather side with your enemies. Must make for some tense family reunions.

Yeah, those are always a bit awkward when you have rival heads of state in there. :D

I didn't expect one that early either, but got the boundary dispute quickly and then a semi opening in Köln's diplomacy. I have to pounce on those as I can't really do anything too drastic. ;) And hey, how is it war of conquest when the province is rightfully mine to begin with? :D

Oh and I'm especially glad to have you in here as you've been an inspiration - while Children of the Sun is a very different style, I've done more or less this style before (in my Succession Game accounts) and any refinement I've done on it since has a lot to do with reading Yamato Destiny.

I'm ready to follow your gentlemanly AAR. Nice start.

Thanks! I'll try to keep it clean and friendly. :D

Watch out for a little guy in black and white! He likes spies...
and Dewirix, it is GERMANY after all. Wars of conquest, right up their alley. Now, keeping their
conquests thats another story.

If this was DW or MEIOU I'd be terrified, but alas there's no such thing here. Unless you mean Ferrara? :p

Looks good count me in :)

Welcome! :)