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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

CatKnight

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Enewald: Fire kindling!

Qorten: Not much likelihood of that. Amic's influence is starting to wane, and Christian II has already proven he's his own man.

gabor: Sponsoring the inquisition was role-playing. I think a more secular monarch will probably revoke that. Osel is indeed my mission - I'm getting tired of seeing it. I was hoping the TO would attack first, but as you saw that didn't happen.

As gigau mentioned, many of SRI's changes to the Empire doesn't seem to be in here. They don't seem to need much help with so many states.

Chief Ragusa: Christian I was interesting to play as and write for. I think getting major concessions out of the Teutons, especially since France, Brandeburg and Pomerania are involved, will be difficult.

Omen: Quite the fitting end for Christian. Sometimes the events in game fit in well with the narration.

Vandervecken: Thank you. I work hard on the characters and have tried a few different methods of generating their personalities over the years. Currently it's based on CK modified by stats and events.

morningSIDEr: The first years of his reign go well enough. Whether he'll turn out to be the strong ruler Denmark needs, or ultimately be overwhelmed by the ambitions of others remains to be seen.

blsteen: If he's a church mouse we have some quiet years ahead.

Chris Taylor: I wouldn't call it collusion. The Church dragged Christian II into it hoping his desire for power and vengeance would convince him to condemn his father. It was probably the best result Christian I could have hoped for.

Stuyvesant: Christian's writings were all home spun. I'd earlier established that he felt dying by fire was a 'holy death' and extrapolated from there with a Christian overtone. I agree, he probably would have gotten along well with the Zoroastrians.

AllmyJames: I agree with you. Christian I was entertaining. Christian II may turn out to be more competent if he can escape the clutches of the Church.

Qorten: That's very kind to say. I actually look back at the Tannenberg series for inspiration from time to time, though I'm glad to hear I'm writing as well now as then. I do wish I'd been able to go further with Vijayanagara though.

Boris ze Spider: Thank you. As I said, sometimes the narration pretty much writes itself.

gigau: Thank you. No, I don't see Christian backing off too easily. For one thing, the privy council isn't going to let him.

From your response I've chosen to disable the 'emperor_may_strategize' flag. It didn't seem to do much other than a few diplomatic notes, and in a test game I learned the flag didn't follow the emperor if another country was elected. Given the emperor's willingness to intervene and the extreme bonuses to manpower they get for so many HRE states, it doesn't seem necessary.

Malurous: When I started the Teuton war, the thought 'the plan was simple' echoed in my head, which was strange since I hadn't thought of Knud Knytling in over a year. I spent several hours rereading phargle's work afterwards.

Duke of Wellington: Who are you again?

Just kidding. I'm very glad to see you Duke. We've missed you!
 

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Lords of the Danemark

RoyalFlagSm.gif


Chapter III: Christian II
Part 1: Settling In (1394-1399)


Teuton War, Part Two

After Christian I's death, the various commanders sieging towns and castles across Livonia held position while awaiting news from Copenhagen. There Christian II was coronated in a simple ceremony. Unlike his father, the Rigsraadet did not force him to sign a handfaesting or coronation charter. In general they concluded Christian's temper was too mild for him to cause much trouble, while being raised by the Church would ensure he was sympathetic to their wishes. Other than general assurances to protect clerical and noble rights, and a reminder that Denmark remained an elective, not strictly hereditary monarchy, they let him rule with a free hand.

Though Christian made some token efforts to end the war, Hochmeister von Aderkas of the Teutonic Order would have none of it. He still believed French intervention was only weeks away and would topple the Danes entirely. Further, the Pomerania and Brandenburger armies were in the field, albeit penned in by naval blockade.

Karl von Aderkas said:
Since you are of a different temper than your father, however, I am prepared to be lenient. We will allow your armies to return unmolested in exchange for an indemnity for the damage they caused.

Christian ignored the counteroffer, and in truth he didn't try very hard to end the fighting. The Rigsraadet firmly believed in the war now and expected something for their efforts. Some believed in Osel, where the defenders at Arensburg stubbornly held out, seeing it as a potential naval base to protect Ingria as well as further expansion in the Baltic. Burghers instead suggested Riga as a way to break the 'Eastern' Hanse League. (I want that mission to stop firing, so I'm going after Osel.)

There were no further peace offers through 1394. The war, and indeed Danish politics in general, entered a quiet phase which gave Christian plenty of time to practice his statecraft. (No events, no nothing.)

The only battle occurred on the South Baltic Sea. Rather than opt for a frontal assault designed to break the naval blockade, von Aderkas tried to sneak transports full of men and supplies along the coast towards Livonia. A successful landing of 8,000 or so Teutons could change the war entirely.

As it happened, Ebbesen's scouts noticed the transports when they sailed into the open sea to avoid rocks and reefs closer to shore. He sent eleven galleys in pursuit while leaving the rest on blockade duty. A contrary wind hampered the cogs' escape and the galleys caught them on August 14.

The two fleets fought a series of ship-to-ship melees. The Teutons had the numerical advantage due to the troops they were transporting, but their knights and soldiers weren't used to fighting on a heaving deck while the Danes were. They overwhelmed two cogs by boarding on both sides before the Teuton commander fled with the rest of his squadron for the safety of port. They released surviving soldiers several km north of Konigsberg to begin the long walk home. (The AI sent 8 cogs against my blockade. If they sent their entire fleet it would have been a much more even battle. They would have probably lost anyway, but at least it wouldn't have been so decisive...and they may have been lucky.)

For two years almost nothing happened in Danish politics. Fortresses slowly fell one by one. The Rigsraadet continued to periodically debate and learned to trust Christian more. Good harvests ensured peasants could pay their taxes. Traders did business, though Baltic trade continued to suffer. If not for the noticeable lack of male nobles and freemen, it would be easy to forget there was a war going on, or even a world beyond Danish shores. (No events or actions in 1395 either. I should have had a snack and let the game run.)

Complacency has its own problems however. Rather than being thankful to God, some turned to their growing wealth and possessions for comfort. Others found solace in other sins, noticeably lust and sloth. Apparently it was possible to have too much of a good thing and the Dominicans were willing to do something about it.

With Christian's and the privy council's blessing, bands of Dominicans traveled through Denmark preaching against sin, corruption, and relying too much on 'this life' rather than the hereafter.

139601Bonfire.jpg


In April 1396 Arensburg became the last fortress to fall, and Christian resumed negotiations. He first asked for an independent (and Danish friendly) Estland (Estonia), but this was only a negotiation ploy and soon discussions began in earnest. Ultimately von Aderkas apologized for sending spies into Scania, surrendered Osel, and paid an indemnity for Danish costs in the four year campaign.

139604Osel.jpg


Diplomats then went to Paris where they offered a token concession (Concede Defeat) for peace.

Less than a month later, the Teutonic Order annexed Pomerania.


Diplomatic Overtures

News of the annexation convinced Christian that the Teutonic Order would be Denmark's great secular rival for the rest of his reign.

Christian II said:
I cannot reconcile their actions with their role as defender of the faith. The rumors are true: Bereft of schismatics or pagans to fight, they truly have lost their calling and are in serious danger of becoming a rogue state.

The key, he believed, was Norway and Sweden. If the Scandinavian countries maintained relations then they should be able to counteract any Teuton aggression. While nobles maintained relations with the Imperial states, Christian asked for and received a dispensation revoking his vow of celibacy, then married Dorothea, daughter of Gustav I Adolf of Sweden. (New Mission: Relations with Oldenburg, solved with a RM. RM Sweden. New mission: Vassalize Luneburg. Probably not)

Dorothea was a quiet young woman who wanted nothing to do with politics or anything but 'womanly' activities in her solar. She wouldn't get her wish. In August 1396, Svitrigalia of Lithuania, tiring of his bid for a crown through the pope's good graces, tried a more direct method: He claimed Sweden's throne!

Lithuania's claim was flimsy and relied heavily on the concept of 'might makes right.' In 1220 the Swedes attacked Estonia in reaction to Danish and Teuton advances against the Baltic pagans. They were soundly defeated at the Battle of Lihua. King Johan allegedly accompanied the expedition, but rather than routing towards Danish held Talinnin he wound up in Lithuanian territory. There Johan offered fealty (to pagans mind you) and received safe passage to Teuton lands.

It didn't hurt that his cousin was married to Sofia Eriksdotter, daughter of one of the leading Swedish nobles.

In Copenhagen, this alarmed Christian who didn't want a very strong Lithuania on his border. One month later, before the assembled Rigsraadet, he responded with his own claim.

Birger of Sweden (r 1290-1318) spent virtually his entire reign at war with his brothers who hoped to create their own kingdoms. In 1306 they captured him and held him prisoner until 1308, when Erik VI of Denmark forced his release. In 1317 he turned the tables and captured and killed his brothers. Their followers ousted Birger, who died in exile under Danish protection. Allegedly Birger promised his crown to the Danes.

Again it didn't hurt to be married to a Swedish noblewoman as well as the king's daughter. (Looks like I'm going to fight my first succession war!)

The Swedish Rigsraadet stood behind Gustav I Adolf who condemned both claims. The council noted that Sweden's crown, like the rest of Scandinavia, could only be awarded by election and not by heredity or 'false stories.' Urbanus V added that the Swedish crown was sacrosanct and both sides needed much more proof before he could support a contender.

Relations with Denmark's other royal partners (Oldenburg and Norway) chilled noticeably, while Gustav I Adolf ordered all Danes out of Stockholm. The Swedish/Scanian border garrisons, long seen as a comfortable and somewhat boring post, received substantial reinforcements. Christian spent the next several years repairing relations while preparing for a possible showdown against Lithuania.

Across Europe nations rose and fell with alarming regularity. One potentially important example came in July 1396. Petru III of Moldavia died, and the Austrian nobility took this opportunity to reassert their sovereignty. Archduke Ferdinand de Borgona-Espana asserted his claim to the Imperial throne to the electors' indifference. (If the election happened at that point, it would have been Milan-5, Bohemia-1, Saxony-1. Bohemia has been really bad about their imperial duties.)

Another example happened in December when Castile annexed Burgundy.

139612CastileBurg.jpg

This is going to mess France up.


Domestic Bliss

In December Hans, Christian I and Saule's only son and the king's half brother, died at age ten in a hunting accident. Some suspected foul play, as Dorothea was pregnant with Christian II's first child, but couldn't reconcile it with the king's mild demeanor. (Heir dies - In the arms of the lady I find solace: Instant heir.) Frederik was born soon thereafter.

Through 1397 the Dominicans continued to work their way through Denmark rooting out 'complacency.' (Bonfire of the Vanities: Choice and results as above) Under mounting pressure from clerical authorities, Christian II sanctioned a band of missionaries (and mercenaries) to travel to Ingria and bring the local schismatics into 'the light of God'. (This is the first time I looked and had a positive chance of converting them. The non-accepted culture penalty is massive.)

In the spring of 1398 Marti Amic, Bishop of Roskilde, retired. In speaking with Christian he told the king, now aged 24, that he was 'wise enough to rule without my counsel.' He surrendered his title and became abbot of a Franciscan monastery near Nyborg Castle. (Franciscan Monastery in Fyn: Local RR -1, Stab Cost -2, Missionaries +.01, Growth +1%, Gvt Tech +.5, Missionaries -1, Prestige-1). He died in 1402 of natural causes at age 64. Christian summarized his accomplishments:

Christian II said:
A great man. He served as Denmark's conscience in a time we were in need of one. I will sorely miss his counsel, and (Denmark) is a little less today than it was yesterday.

In his place, the aging Markus Granntinger suggested Magnus Daa of Lubeck (Master of Mint 4). Daa immediately suggested a series of economic reforms including gradually purifying the precious metals in Danish coins so as to raise their value. He backed down in the face of stern resistance within the Rigsraadet from nobles and fellow merchants who didn't want to see their wealth (and coins on hand) reduced in value by comparison.

The clerics, now under inquisitor Torbald Gersdorff, stayed quiet during these years. They finally had a king friendly to their interests and saw no reason to rock the boat. (Dead Hand of the Church - 'Let them keep it' (-50d, +1 missionary, PAP-+25d, +20 relations)

Christian II had little interest in the army. He succeeded his father during a war and did what was necessary to win, but he didn't enjoy it. Politics forced him to get involved however, for only God knew when Gustav I Adolf would die triggering a succession war with Lithuania, or the Teutons would demand vengeance. Once he stepped in however, Christian proved to have a natural knack for logistics and strategy. As his confidence grew he began a radical reform.

139811MilRefit.jpg


Danish tactics, which primarily relied on shock and piercing the enemy's line, now included ranged bombardment before the final melee. (Land-10. New unit: Longbowmen) The aging but unlucky Gunnar Reventlow was reinforced by two new commanders who believed as their king did, Hans Rosenkrantz (F1 S1 M2) and Adolf Brahe (F2 M2). The navy received some attention as well with Holgar Ebbesen setting minimum standards for his officers. (Hardy Seamen: +2 naval tradition) Defenses suffered, but Christian reasoned if enemies made it to the Danish archipelago he'd already lost. (Fortification issues in Oerne: -5% defense)

Elsewhere, the Ottoman Turks, with their allies Hedjaz. Aydin and Sulduz, provoked a war with Hungary. Christians hoping to push the Turk out of Europe entirely joined the melee until their enemies included Saxony, Hungary, Aragon, Bulgaria, Opole, Brunswick, Gottingen, Mecklenburg and the Horsehead Nebula once again. In late May 1398, Urbanus V endorsed this newest 'crusade' then slowly declined and slipped into the darkness.

After a brief conclave the Curia endorsed Cardinal Rodrigo de Cordoba of Castile as the 202nd Pope. He took the name of Urbanus VI and would be the last one of the fourteenth century.
 

CatKnight

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January 1, 1399
Europe1399.png

Let's take a look around the league:

British Isles: You should be able to identify the players. Ireland exists (I think from Leinster). Munster is in SW Ireland.

France: France will have trouble. That's Navarra still in Normandy, and Castille in the east. The pinkish country to the SE is Savoy. England still has a large holding in Aquitaine/Guyenne, while Aragon has advanced as far as Montpellier.

Spain: Nothing to see here. Aragon and Castille beat up on Portugal.

Germany: The big players are, surprise, Austria and Bohemia. Bayern-Munchen (purple to the west of Austria) could make a run, as could Wurtemberg (green NW of Bayern)

Italy: Aragon holds Sardinia and Sicily, Castille has Naples. Milan (purplish between Bayern and Savoy) is the northern powerhouse with Venice (SE of Milan) to be reckoned with as well. The Papacy holds strong in the center.

NE Europe: The TO is getting VERY powerful. Lithuania is a juggernaut, while as you can see Poland survived her embarassment.

Balkans: Hungary and Croatia lead here, with the Ottomans working their way up the Black Sea coast. Byzantium holds out in their capital as well as NE Greece.

Russia: The surviving states are Novgorod, Muscowy and Yaroslavl in the middle. The Blue Horde is still going strong.

Anatolia: The Ottomans are strongest, but haven't taken down their neighbors yet. That's Sulduz on the Blue Horde border, with holdings stretching well into modern Iran. The Mamluks have advanced as far as Adana in Anatolia.

N Africa: Fez and the Mamluks, with Tripoli and Kanem Bornu(!) in the middle.

And lastly, the center of the universe.

1399Jerusalem.jpg

Uhm...let's try that again.

1399Scand.jpg

Much better.
 
Last edited:

blsteen

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Breaking the back of the TO is going to be more difficult next time around if you have to watch Lithuania...
and Sweden...
I always love how after a country gets slapped around, it peaces out and the next day annexes a vassal.
Nice to see France dying the death of a thousand cuts
 

Malurous

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Heh, nice "mistake" with the center of the universe. :p Europe is shaping up to be interesting - while Osel is a nice start, TO has to be brought down some more...
 

unmerged(195940)

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Hey, I have more or less caught up with this AAR, very interesting! I have been playing a bit with MEIOU, but this AAR will certainly help me understand better the mechanics of the mod. Plus I like the history book style, but with gameplay notes.
 

Enewald

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Let's hope Lithuania crushes TO, so you can beat them too. :p
 

Qorten

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I'm glad you were able to get something big out of a war again. Itwas from when Christian I took Ingria in his first war I believe that you gained territory. It's of course rather normal to expand slowly at start. The TO is indeed growing way too powerful for their own good. The 450d should get you a long way to building a lot of buildings in quick succession once you gain the required tech levels for the various early buildings.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Osel is Danish. Hurrah. Let the bacon flow.Unlike others, I am not overly concerned by the Teutonic Order growth. Just makes it easier to take Pommerania off them, in the future.

I knew you ought to have conquered Lithuania when they were pagan.Of course Sweden is an elective monarchy, I am sure the Danes can persuade them to elect Christian II
 

AllmyJames

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Christian will have his work cut out for him, it seems - with over-mighty Lithuania and the Teutonic Order to deal with. Looking forward to a Swedish War of Succession soon! Is Norway a safe ally?
 

Duke of Wellington

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As always a great update. I have to keep reminding myself it is fiction, the stories seem very plausible. I like Christian II he seems stronger than I think his contemporaries believe he is. I wonder if they shall pay for their complacency. The TO does indeed look strong. I hope their success is soon their undoing at the hands of an AI alliance.
 

Chris Taylor

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The Teutons may be threatening, but the Lithuanians appear to be working toward Final Boss status. Either way, one of them should be used as a cudgel-of-convenience against the other before things get out of hand.
 

unmerged(90806)

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(I want that mission to stop firing, so I'm going after Osel.)
Hehe. Osel will hardly be an asset for your economy; it has a strategic value though. As long as you control the sea, holding Osel makes TO lands look vulnurable.

With Christian's and the privy council's blessing, bands of Dominicans traveled through Denmark preaching against sin, corruption, and relying too much on 'this life' rather than the hereafter.
They may be even a tad overpowerd. In my Papal States aar Domenicans are nicely ridding me of all minorities through this event. But in Christian II this strive for uniformity is understandable. And it's preaching not burning, right?

News of the annexation convinced Christian that the Teutonic Order would be Denmark's great secular rival for the rest of his reign.
Wouldn't releasing Pommerania ultimately clear Denmark's name in the eyes of the Emperor? And it would be such a 'Christian' thing to do as well. ;)

(Looks like I'm going to fight my first succession war!)
May be exciting. Oddly enough, they've become far and between since HttH.

(Heir dies - In the arms of the lady I find solace: Instant heir.)
Oh, so the lady is the wife. I always seem to have understood this event differently. :D
 

morningSIDEr

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Promising stuff with regards to the succession war drawing ever closer. I also noted with great interest the passing of Hans alongside Christian's ability in military reform, perhaps he is not quite the weak ruler it appears. Certainly if he had any involvement in Hans death, he could be more his father's son than I had first thought.
 
Last edited:

Stuyvesant

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Good stuff. Christian II seems quietly competent, in stark contrast with his father. I hope the Swedish situation will develop to his benefit.

Thanks for the maps. I already knew that the TO and Lithuania were powerful, but seeing them on the map really drives home how big they are. Denmark looks rather modest, in comparison.
 

Storey

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Staying allied with Sweden is always bittersweet for Denmark. They can prove to be a valuable ally but at the same time some of their provinces are quite a temptation for Denmark. It will be interesting to see how you and the game handle this tricky situation. I wouldn’t worry about the TO. As long as you control the Baltic Sea you have the upper hand on where to attack.