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  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

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


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Tommy4ever

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We're back! (Even if its a short one). Its been a good few months now, but I've felt the itch for a comeback. :)

And thanks to everyone for the well wishes on the wedding! :D

Having looked over the beginning of the CKII portion I'd like to appreciate the fact that this is only an AAR because the Polish AI decided to convert to Judaism- a very lucky occurance

Yes, I'd almost forgotten how that's how everything started! It was a much more interesting starting point than anything I had thought up on my own. :p
 
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Cora Giantkiller

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Sounds like trying times for Poland. I imagine that the death toll will get much higher before all this is done.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Even though the war has turned slightly against the Poles, for the HRE it goes much worse. A huge trench war just outside the capital for several years is going to hurt...
 

diskoerekto

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oh this must have hurt! Poland somehow needs to turn this around and win making this loss of life more meaningful. Just when the left finally seized the government, a catastrophe would be very bad.
 

HIMDogson

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LET ALL POLES UNITE AGAINST THE HUNNIC HORDES! DEATH TO THOSE WHO OPPOSE THE TSAR!
 

DensleyBlair

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Why do I get the sense that the Nationalists are going to blame everything bad on the socialists once this is all over and done with…

Excellent to see you back for the new year, Tommy! (Even if it is to bring fearful tidings from Poland.)
 

Specialist290

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The Polish military has allowed itself to be lulled into a false sense of superiority by its early successes, and is now paying a bloody price. It sounds like we're about to see the start of a grueling contest of attrition.

Glad to see you back in action, Tommy4ever :)
 

HistoryDude

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The war has begun!
 
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Nikolai

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Good to see this back! :)
 

Tommy4ever

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1897-1899 – Who Do You Are Kidding Mr Kaiser?

1610729742083.png

Following their defeat in the bloody Battle of Austria in the spring and summer of 1897 the Poles and their allies attempted to dig in with a series of trenches – preparing to hunker down and hold on to the territorial gains they had made in the first months of the war. Through the autumn and winter of 1897 this approach met with significant success. Exhausted from the fighting around their capital, the Germans found their probing attacks against these fortified positions fruitless. As the weather worsened, both sides settled into a stable frontline running from the River Sava to the North Sea, making little effort to upturn the status quo.

1610729859820.png

This sleepy period of the conflict was brought to an end early in the new year. In contrast to the Poles, the Germans had spent their months of respite learning from the new methods of war and assiduously preparing their next move. From late January 1898 they launch two significant offensives – one in Pannonia and the other in Brandenburg. These attacks took advantage of the presence of Pannonians and Danish troops on the frontlines – comparatively weak relative to the Poles – and achieved large breakthroughs. By the early summer Imperial troops had achieved significant success – capturing Budapest, Bratislava, Berlin and Hamburg. Nonetheless, in this new era of warfare gains came at a very high price as hundreds of thousands of lives were lost on both sides for relatively modest territorial advances in a gruelling attritional grind. Despite these hardships, the Germans senses the weakness of their opponents and pressed their advantage forward in the second half of the year – capturing Jutland from the Danes, pushing deeper into Pannonia, occupying Slovakia, Poznan and parts of Pomerania.

1610729882890.png

In the west, having forced the Skots from continental Europe in 1897, the German launched one of their move daring expeditions of the war in August and September 1898 as they braved the contested water of the Channel to invade the southern shores of Britain. Having lost the cream of their armed forces in their earlier battles in France, and caught totally off guard by the audacious attack, the Skots struggled to muster a response. Through the autumn the Germans soon consolidated their hold in southern Britain – capturing the Kingdom’s largest city, London, and capital, Southampton, before the end of the year before slowly pushing north and west.

1610729995201.png

As the Empire achieved victories on every front, confidence of victory soared in the Imperial government. It was during this period that the infamous Hollweg map was drawn. This map, allegedly illustrating Holy Roman war goals with respect to Poland – reduced the Polish Empire to a tiny rump state. All her minority nationalities on the western and southern frontiers were to be granted independence, as were her appendages in Siberia and North America. Most concerningly, a huge Tatar-Mongol state stretching from Laike Baikal to Novgorod and the White Sea was to gain control of the largest part of Poland’s territory, including ethnically mixed lands home to millions of Russians. The Holy Roman government never accepted the validity of the map, yet it was widely circulated around the world – no where more so than in the Polish empire where it added impetus to the popular will to fight on to save the empire while also stoking minority nationalist interest.

1610730019330.png

If the Germans had hoped that the Hollweg map would stir separatists in the Polish empire, then their surreptitious games were soon rewarded. Knowledge of the map, and the Holy Roman Empire’s open support for separatist causes, energised the Turanist Turkic nationalist movement within Poland. With the entire empire’s resources being channelled into the war effort, discontent at state power, the stream of young men being conscripted to fight and die on the front and food requisitioning had deepened a long-standing pool of discontent among the Tatars and Mongols. As such, the Turanists had radicalising and cultivating wider support. With apparent German encouragement, the leaders of the Turanist paramilitary organisation the Brotherhood of the Wolf launched a major uprising in October 1898 in the cities of Moscow and Kazan. After these were brutally put down, the Wolves took their fight to the countryside – forming rebel brigands that would cause chaos on the Steppe for years to come.

1610730046075.png

Kiev’s weakening position only grew worse in the New Year of 1899 as the Serbs, acting upon urgings of the Germans, launched a predatory invasion of Pannonia and Crusader Anatolia – hoping to take the opportunity to settle old scores before the Great War was through. Their army promptly crossed over into the Transylvania, the only part of Pannonia that remained wholly unoccupied by Imperial forces, pile further pressure on the blighted Polish alliance.

In these dark moments, a ray of hope in the conflict came from the unexpected source of German miscalculation. At the outset of the Great War in 1897 the Germans had instigated a proxy war between the Abaddids and Italians with he aim of keeping the Italians from entering the wider conflict on the Polish side. In the summer of 1898 this war came to an end, with the Iberians making territorial gains around Valencia, but resisting German pressure to declare neutrality in the larger conflict. The Italians, on the other hand, remained close to the Polish camp – leaving Vienna concerned that they might throw their lot in with their enemies and outflank them along their southern border. In February 1899, they therefore launched a surprise attack on the Italians – surging across the border, quickly inflicting a string of stinging defeats and plunging deep into the peninsula.

1610730091937.png

The Papacy had been carefully eying developments in the Great War from the outset two years previously – wary of seeing either of its two traditional rivals threaten its interests or upturn the balance of power. However, the German invasion of Italy – seen as a direct threat to the security of Rome – spurred the Papacy into action. In March 1899 His Holiness sent an ultimatum to the Holy Roman Emperor – demanding his immediate withdrawal from the Italian peninsula. When the Germans ignored these demands, the Papacy declared war on the Empire and their Serbia allies – although they stopped short of aligning themselves directly with Kiev.
 
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Tommy4ever

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What a world when the Tsar looks to the Pope for salvation! :eek:

Sounds like trying times for Poland. I imagine that the death toll will get much higher before all this is done.

You certainly imagined right. There's a real meatgrinder developing in the east. By this stage the war is already the bloodiest in Polish history, yet there is no end in sight.

Even though the war has turned slightly against the Poles, for the HRE it goes much worse. A huge trench war just outside the capital for several years is going to hurt...

They have made some real progress against us over the past year. We just have to hope that Polish steel can hold them before they really plunge into our territory. We will have to see how the entrance of Serbia, Italy and the Papal States into the war changes things.

Still all to play for! The world will truly be a different place once this ends.

It certainly will be. The war is still finely balanced, the Germans have obvious momentum - but we must see if the Papal army tips the balance.

oh this must have hurt! Poland somehow needs to turn this around and win making this loss of life more meaningful. Just when the left finally seized the government, a catastrophe would be very bad.

Sometimes history likes to laugh at us! In game, there was something painfully ironic that the advent of our first Leftist, and by extension our least militarist ever, government was followed almost immediately by the outbreak of the Great War.

LET ALL POLES UNITE AGAINST THE HUNNIC HORDES! DEATH TO THOSE WHO OPPOSE THE TSAR!

Onwards!

Why do I get the sense that the Nationalists are going to blame everything bad on the socialists once this is all over and done with…

Excellent to see you back for the new year, Tommy! (Even if it is to bring fearful tidings from Poland.)

My plans for what happens postwar are a big part of the reason I decided I wanted to bring this back - so no spoilers! :D


The Polish military has allowed itself to be lulled into a false sense of superiority by its early successes, and is now paying a bloody price. It sounds like we're about to see the start of a grueling contest of attrition.

Glad to see you back in action, Tommy4ever :)

We can only hope that the Germans have made the same mistake. It shouldn't be underestimated just how much of an attritional battle this has been in the first two years of war. Both sides are starting to run dry in terms of manpower. A big part of the collapse of our fronts in Denmark and Pannonia was basically the fact that those two states didn't have the manpower to sustain the sorts of losses we are all taking in in this war.

Nice to see this back on. :)

Thanks! Glad to get it up and running again :).

The war has begun!

Indeed, and I'm keeping you on tenderhooks for atleast another update before you get to see what happens :p.

Good to see this back! :)

Glad to be back! :D
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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the Germans had spent their months of respite learning

Bastards.

Oh...they learnt a lot. Not good.

The Italians, on the other hand, remained close to the Polish camp – leaving Vienna concerned that they might throw their lot in with their enemies and outflank them along their southern border. In February 1899, they therefore launched a surprise attack on the Italians – surging across the border, quickly inflicting a string of stinging defeats and plunging deep into the peninsula.
The Papacy had been carefully eying developments in the Great War from the outset two years previously – wary of seeing either of its two traditional rivals threaten its interests or upturn the balance of power. However, the German invasion of Italy – seen as a direct threat to the security of Rome – spurred the Papacy into action. In March 1899 His Holiness sent an ultimatum to the Holy Roman Emperor – demanding his immediate withdrawal from the Italian peninsula. When the Germans ignored these demands, the Papacy declared war on the Empire and their Serbia allies – although they stopped short of aligning themselves directly with Kiev.
They have made some real progress against us over the past year. We just have to hope that Polish steel can hold them before they really plunge into our territory. We will have to see how the entrance of Serbia, Italy and the Papal States into the war changes things.

Hmm. HRE has started opening a ton of new fronts and made a lot of new enemies. Even the neutral nations at this point are going to be apprehensive at best at the idea of a German victory. They seem to be exceptionally war-hungry thugs who don't care about international law or respect borders.

Their plans are effective though. And the future they paint out for Europe looks...grim.
 
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HIMDogson

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I wouldn't say the Polish position is that bad. The HRE hasn't really taken any strategically significant Polish land, and the Empire still has plenty of strategic depth. The real problem here is that the Papacy still won't be made to pay for the utterly disgusting borders they caused in India.
 

DensleyBlair

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Germany obviously has to be destroyed, but I’ll be honest: my main takeaway from this is that the marauding anti-colonial mounted guerrilla fighters known as the “Brotherhood of the Wolf” sound cool as fuck.
 
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Cromwell

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Italy will be a quagmire in which the Germans will drown! I can sense it, the tables aren't far from turning.
 

Cora Giantkiller

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Germany obviously has to be destroyed, but I’ll be honest: my main takeaway from this is that the marauding anti-colonial mounted guerrilla fighters known as the “Brotherhood of the Wolf” sound cool as fuck.

I must concur with my colleague from across the pond.
 

diskoerekto

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HRE delenda est, like, thoroughly. Fortunately they're getting into trouble with more and more countries.

Brotherhood of the Wolf, sympathetic may I be to their cause (and their general aesthetics), should not stir up more trouble now.