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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(717611)

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Hi all,

I know none of you know me, which is logical because I've registered to the forum only a few days ago. I've been reading this forum for years though, as your AAR were what initially drove me into EU3, after a decade spent playing Civilization and Total War titles.
A few months ago, I've decided to take another step forward "intense EU3-isation" installing MEIOU. It was too much for my old machine so I bought a brand new one just to be able to play MEIOU. I took the chance to buy a new version of EU3 for it (cheaper for my mental health to buy a new version than to look for the old ones), and this time, to activate it right away on the forums, so here I am!

Anyway, I've spent some time understanding the game mechanics in MEIOU, and here I am, ready to start my first AAR, with my favorite nation: SAVOY.



A few questions you may ask before I start:

1) Why MEIOU ?
The challenge, to start with. With MEIOU I can play a European nation for two centuries and still risk to lose everything against another European nation, while with vanilla I'm just crashing pagan skulls by that time. Moreover, the map accuracy makes every game a unique one, with realistic boundaries mechanics, while vanilla tends to look "Risk"-y after so many years.
In addition, I just love all the "side enhancements" of MEIOU. (Come for the map, stay for the game).

2) Why Savoy ?
This is a good question, thanks for asking. First reason is my origins: my family is initially from Turin. They moved to France during WWII, before I moved myself to Texas a few years ago, but the Duchy of Savoy has a strong meaning for me. Second reason is that its historical importance is deeply underestimated by the EU3 community. County then Duchy of Savoy became the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, which eventually founded Italy. You can't be willing to play Castilla / England / Holland to form Spain / GB / Netherlands and not be willing to play Savoy to ultimately form Italy. Next reason is its challenge: Savoy is not an OPM, and is part of the Empire so can be protected and can become Emperor, so it has a nice safety net. However, Savoy is bounded by France, Burgundy and Milan, is entirely landlocked in MEIOU (since Nice is not in Savoy yet), so it has everything I want for a first AAR: something worth reading (not oh, look, I've crashed Bar with my France+Castille PU), eventually more for itself than for me (oh, look, I'm beating the Ming+Korea alliance with my Ryukyu OPM). Finally, it is the nation I've played the most with. So, I kinda know what to expect: Milan, Switzerland, Austria, the pope, France.... All of that I know. Holstein, Sverige, Livonian order... not that much.

3) As readers, what can we expect from this AAR?
Fun. At least, I hope. Let's face it: I'm not a very good EU3 player. I'm not going to have the old Roman Empire reformed by 1400. I'm probably not going to form an "Atlantic-to-Pacific" Russian-like Empire. And this is a chance, because it would become boring for me to play, and probably for you to read, as there are already 100's of AARs like that on this forum. Moreover, I will not focus too much to the details and IG mechanics, except when they are worth noticing. Research, financing, sliders moves, counselors, diplomacy... 90% of the time this has no noticeable impact on the long-term, and since I'm not skilled enough to teach anyone anything, let's just avoid the embarrassment. Yes, there will be times I will have to mint or take loans, sometimes I will have to hire mercenaries, highly reduce army maintenance, and most of the time it will not be very wise choices. But I am writing an AAR about the County of Savoy, not any merchant republic, so I will not bother about the economics so much (at least in my writings...)
Instead, I'll try to write something worth reading. To be honest, the AARs I've enjoyed the most lately as a reader are knul's double domination (I've tried to reproduce the concept with a Maya/Savoy game. It's a shame to constantly see your entire nation destroyed by the AI in just a few years) and the ongoing Pukovnik's Serbian AAR.
If you didn't like any of these two AARs, either because it is not "Serious enough", or because it lacks some "in-depth clicking strategies dialog", then just... not follow this one :)

4) Why calling this a Reality-Show?
Well... Because of the format.
Reality-shows (the less formatted ones, like Big Brother) have to follow strict format rules. No matter how interesting or uninteresting the day was, they have to provide a daily 1-h show. The show is commented by third-party narrators, not by the actors themselves, even if the actors are asked questions from time to time.
Then, these are the format rules I will follow:
  • Two commentators [war journalist Ray Porter and former Marines officer George Isaac Joe] will do the narration. They will be helped by top model B. Rene Daid for the interviews
  • The reports will be devided by Rounds. A Round will be roughly a 10-years narration, to be ended at any time if the ruler dies. I will be playing a few years ahead to avoid short rounds (death in the 11th year is better than in the first year) or for consistency (12 or 13 years round to accommodate for a war or a regency council)
  • press conferences will be held before every show. The ruler of Savoy will be interviewed by the commentators about their thoughts on the last round, their objectives for the next one, and will be asked some of the viewers' SMS questions. Interviews will be held at the end of a round, with brief "state of the nation" stage discussion, if needed, but no interview will be held during the round.
  • state of the nation / state of the world special emissions will be held at a regular basis (most likely, at every ruler change)
  • full RP: The rulers of Savoy are supposed to make the decisions, not myself. This means that I will have to do some choices which IG will be counter-productive but seems to be what the ruler would have done

5) Any in-house rules?
Sure...
  • Nothing Cheesy: choices have to be Role Play, not Roll Play.
  • No Exploration / QftNW National Idea / Exploration except if one of this is true:
    • Another European nation already has at least one viable colony (Copy-cat Explorer)
    • No territory could have been gained in this round nor the previous one (Land expansion Explorer)
    • There is a strategical reason to do so (for instance: north African holdings being constantly raided by hostile nations through Sahara)
  • No Mission cancellation without legitimacy loss. I consider that missions are given by the Savoyard Senate, which is constituted by the lower nobility and the higher local clergy. The only time a mission will be canceled is if it shouldn't have been given in the first place: a war mission (conquer, annex, vassalize) given under a Regency council while the heir will not reach the throne in the next 2-3 years.
  • No DOW without a CB, no matter why. It might however be our choice not to strictly honor the CB when negociating the peace, if it is not too cheesy.
  • No Truce/Alliance Break. The Truce rule is gold. An alliance may however be broken if there is a REAL reason for it (WE very high and MP very low, etc...)
  • Minimum Illicit occupation of lands. If one vassal/PU has core on one of Savoy non-core land, this land should be given to him. Non-cores which are not attached to Savoy's mainland should be given to vassals/PUs [even if they do not have core on it] or vassals should be created over-there. Overseas holdings will be handled differently.
  • No Reload. Once a round is started, it has to be terminated and will be posted. There are only two exceptions to this rule: if Savoy is annihilated during one round, the round will be replayed (rather than this AAR being terminated). The first round can be escaped/replayed so the basis for the AAR are stable enough. I probably shouldn't say that, but the first round (that I will post tonight or tomorrow) is my third attempt. I bankrupted after 9 years in my first test, and in my second one, while a Burgundy - Milan - Switzerland - Austria coalition was seizing all my lands, France stacked 25k troops near me. This was not very solid start for an entertaining AAR...



I'll hope you'll have fun.


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

You can text your questions to Ray and George starting now!
SEASON PREMIERE OF "BIG RULER" IS STARTING NOW!
 
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unmerged(717611)

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Hi all, All my images for Rounds I to X are dead... But don't worry, I will move them away from photobucket to repair this. Sorry for the trouble.
-> As a consequences, pictures are small. They are big enough to be enjoyable, but if you need bigger pictures please go to Big Ruler: the blog
-> If you want to read any of rounds I to X since I still need to repair these, please go to Big Ruler: the blog


Amédée VI de Savoie "Le Pacifiste"
Charles I de Savoie "Le Conquerant", son of the previous
Amédée VII de Savoie "Le Pieux", son of the previous
Regency Council (1426)
François-Hyacinthe I de Savoie "Le Reformateur", son of the previousPhilibert I de Savoie "Le Croisé", brother of the previous
Louis I de Savoie "Il Padre Fondatore", son of the previous
Philippe II de Savoie "L'Africano", son of the previousFerdinando I de Savoie "Il Breve", nephew of the previousAntonio I de Savoie "Il Bellicoso", son of the previousAscanio Maria I de Savoie "L'Orientale", son of the previousFerdinando II de Savoie "Il Pacifico", brother of the previousFerdinando III de Savoie "Il Pulitore di Frontiera", son of the previousVitorrio Amedeo I de Savoie "Il Crudele", nephew of the previousEugenio I de Savoie "Il Progressista", cousin of the previous, nephew of Ferdinando IIIBenedetto I de Savoie "Il Difensore", brother of the previous
Francesco I de Savoie "Der Kaiser", brother of the previous
Vitorrio Amedeo II de Savoie "Der Große", grand-son of the previous
Ferdinand Maria I de Savoie "Die Russische", son of the previous
Ruprecht I de Savoie, son of the previous
  • Round XLVI (1747-17XX):
Johan Georg I de Savoie, son of the previous


Chronology of the arms of the Rulers of Savoy
XIVth Century
Rìghrean na h-Alba (1366), Knjaže Bălgarija (1399), Duc de Lorraine (1358), Comte then Marquis (1360) then Duc (1389) de Savoie


XVth Century
Roi des Arpitans (1415-1495), Re de Piemonte-Sardinia (1495), Rei d'Aragó (1408), Rìghrean na h-Alba (until 1475), Knjaže Bălgarija, Prince (1400) then Roi (1439) de Savoie (until 1495), Δεσπότης της Ηπείρου (1400-1475), Erzherzog von Österreich (1481), Duc de Lorraine, Duce de Milano (1482), Graf von Hohenzollern (1414)


XVIth Century
Re d'Italia (1501), Re di Piemonte-Sardinia (until 1501), Magyarország Királya (1500), Rei d'Aragó, König von Bayern (1540), Knjaže Bălgarija (until 1556), Erzherzog von Österreich, Duc de Lorraine, Duce de Milano (until 1557), Graf von Hohenzollern


Imperator Romanus Sacer (1578), Re d'Italia, Magyarország Királya, Rei d'Aragó, König von Bayern, České Královem (1580), Erzherzog von Österreich, Herzog von Köln (1591), Herzog von Fürstenberg (1592), Duc de Lorraine, Graf von Hohenzollern.


XVIIth Century
Imperator Romanus Sacer (until 1678), Re d'Italia (until 1678), Magyarország Királya (until 1620), Rei d'Aragó, Roi de France (1639), König von Bayern (until 1665), České Královem (until 1665), Król Polski (1608-1620), Konge av Norge (1610-1620), Kongen af ​​Danmark (1667), Erzherzog von Österreich (until 1665), Herzog von Köln (until 1665), Herzog von Fürstenberg (until 1665), Duc de Lorraine (until 1665), Graf von Hohenzollern (until 1665)


Heiliges Römisches Kaiser (1678), Emperador de Castilla (1690), Rei d'Aragó, Roi de France (until 1680), Kongen af ​​Danmark (until 1680).


XVIIIth Century
Heiliges Römisches Kaiser, Emperor of England (1720), Emperador de Castilla, Rei d'Aragó, Kороль России (1740)
 
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unmerged(717611)

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Round I (1356 - 1366): Meet the Neighbors

Ray: GOOOOOOOOOOD Evening everyone and Welcome to this Season Premiere of "BIG RULER". I'm Ray Porter, and I am here with George I. Joe and B. Rene Daid to help you all follow that alternative history! This season, we will follow Savoy, starting January 10, 1356 with Comte Amedee VI de Savoie.



B: Yes Ray. Amedee just celebrated his twenty second birthday, it's one of the youngest and cutest rulers in Europe right now, and I am glad to be with him. I am sure you guys have questions for him?

George: Indeed. Hi Amedee. A Question is hurting me. Your father died when you were only eleven, and you were crowned straight away. Therefore, you didn't receive any education... How are you going to counter the Dukes of Milan and Burgundy or the King of France? You don't even have a son or a brother! Who would lead the nation if you die?



Amedee: Hi George. Indeed, this is going to be tough. I'll be assisted by counselors of course, and I'm looking forward to have a son... in the meantime I guess I'll have to be cautious... France is not going to be a trouble right now since they have bigger business to deal with against the English so it should not be an issue. Just for safety, we'll try to stay quiet for a few years, improving our relations with a couple of nations with the potential to protect us.

Ray: You think of Aragon, England, Austria...?

Amedee: Well, We'll have to see the opportunities. Such alliances should be limited however, because we want to be able to pacifically vassalize some small nations in our area.

Ray: Like Montferrat ?

Amedee: Indeed, the senate asked us to vassalize Montferrat, so we'll work on improving our relations with them.

George: With your diplomacy skills so low, wouldn't it be easier to just storm this micro nation?

Amedee: I guess so, but other nations, small or big, will take the opportunity, and we just can't risk it. Doing it pacifically will buy us time to build an army, be recognized as prestigious by the European powers, and maybe, who knows, become Marquis?

Ray: Well Amedee, Thanks for answering our questions! I'll let you play this first round. Good Luck!

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

George: I'm really puzzled about this pacifist strategy Ray.

Ray: It's understandable. However, we will see how he handles that. Looking for more power internally, Amedee reduces the prerogatives of its Barons to centralize the power, and they are not happy.

George: Indeed. The Baron de Lausanne, Louis de Lornay, made a speech at the Senate. He lifted a 7k men army back home in Vaud and proclaimed himself Louis Ier, Comte de Savoie. Savoy's regular army is only 4000 men, so I don't see Amedee "the pacifist" staying on his throne for long...

Ray: Well, the citizens of Lausanne can afford a siege... Looks like Amedee is recruiting a few regiments.... Here we go...



George: Well, took him six months to rise 8 regiments but he was smart enough to attack in big numbers while keeping a small stack in Chambery to protect the capital. This proved to be useful because after being defeated, Lornay's army flee right to Chambery, where they had to fight regular forces on two fronts and capitulated quickly... Well done. But this was just a small fight. Let see how Amedee will do against France...

Ray: We'll see indeed... And sooner than later. While traitor Louis de Lornay is beheaded, Ally Austria attacked Lorraine to satisfy its own senate a few months ago, and they are asking Savoy for help. Amedee will then attack its cousin, the Duke of Lorraine. This is not France, but this should do it for now...



George: This is a rather unfair war. However, some real fights have to be expected here, especially with Geneve, since the Swiss city is so close to Chambery... Amedee is invading Geneve! Armand de Saint Geoire is leading the Swiss defending troops, but they are beaten. Amedee stays with a small troop to siege the city while its army pursues Saint Geoire...



Ray: Well, Amedee warned us that he will not be taking any risk with its own life until a son is born... We now are in December and its troops enter the Geneve city, which surrendered.

George: Let's annex it!

Ray: Not so fast. First of all, Savoy annexing Geneve while it is a Lorraine-Austria conflict will highly upset all European nations. Moreover, neither Lorraine nor Austria would tolerate it. Instead, Geneve signs a peace treaty with the belligerents, giving some gold to the Habsburg...

George: How can it be good for Savoy?

Ray: Well, Amedee won a few battles, and a siege. He didn't exploit that situation while he could have annexed Geneve. He is now seen as a trustworthy partner by most of European nations.... And the Marquis de Montferrat agrees! He voluntarily knees in front of Amedee and swears an oath of allegiance to Savoy.

George: How, more good news this winter. Burgundy decides to attack struggling Lorraine... This should make the war shorter...

Ray: Actually, it does. You see, Burgundy is not part of the Empire, while Lorraine is, therefore, Bohemia declared war on Burgundy as retaliation. And Bohemia is not alone, Aragon, Flandres, and other rather powerful countries are attacking Burdundy! Amedee quickly signs a peace with Lorraine...

George: I can hear the Habsbourg family screaming from here...

Ray: Yes they are. They don't understand why Savoy leaves the war in a white peace, but here is the catch: Savoy is allied with Bohemia, and now has a casus belli against Burgundy...



George: I see what they did here. With Burgundy's troops all fighting in Netherlands, Savoy has a good chance to invade its rival... And here they attack! Burgundy and Alsace are attacked by Savoy. Amedee is giving a speech in front of the senate and the Lorraine ambassador.

Amedee: While our differences forced us to a war, the Empire should stay united against a foreign menace. This is why I offered Savoy's assistance to our brothers of Lorraine

Ray: And while Savoy quickly siege all of continental Burgundy's cities, Philippe de Bourgogne is coming back.

George: Indeed. He left its northern holdings to assault Amedee at the siege of Dijon, his capital. Amedee was a little optimistic here since he had its army divided in 4 stacks of 7000.

Ray: Only 7 Savoyard regiments have to face the 11,000 men of Philippe de Bourgogne. It's going to be the end of a nice dream here. But... HOW! What happened?



George: Well, Amedee had the time to see Philippe coming and he prepared to defend its position. He chose the battlefield, which gave him a huge advantage. Not enough to win a battle though, but he could defend that position long enough for the Emperor Karl IV to join from the North, taking Philippe in a pincer attack, and forcing him to retreat in Bourg-en-Bresse, where he could be defeated.

Ray: This is a huge boost for Savoy's prestige. I can see it right now as the Principe de Mantova and the Conte de Urbino have just been received by Amedee "the pacifist", defender of the Empire... and became its vassals!

George: With Montferrat, this makes three... Now that the gentle talks have been done and that Amedee has an army, I guess he'll show his dark side?

Ray: Well, we will have to wait for winter 1357-1358 for that, but yes. The Prince-Archbishop of Alsace, assigned at residence in its Savoy-occupied capital of Strasbourg, just accepted Amedee conditions for peace. He will continue to reign on its lands, but will recognized the Count of Savoy (Comte de Savoie) as its ruler... And the situation looks good in Burgundy too.



George: And a peace is signed. Jura and Besancon will be incorporated into Savoy. I knew he'll show us his dark side!

Ray: well, look at it... Savoy troops are acclaimed as saviors in the streets of Besancon! Karl IV of Boheme and Amedee VI are parading... Let's listen to what they say...

Karl: And this is why Savoy went to your help. Because no imperial city should ever be ruled by a foreign nation. This is why I am happy to see your city liberated! Savoy should rule Besancon, it is the Empire destiny to rule itself!

George: I hear Habsbourg screams...

Ray: Indeed. Jura and Besancon are imperial provinces. By liberating them from a foreign nation, Savoy is legitimate to rule them. Both the locals and the European Powers consider it to be fair. All except the Habsbourgs... Savoy switched side to do so, and what is seen as an act of heroic defense of the Empire is considered as treason by Austria. They just cancelled their alliance with Savoy...

George: Good ridance!

Ray: Well, more good news. By defending Lorraine against the enemy, Savoy is seen as a friend of Nancy. We are the 21st of August, 1358. Jean Ier, Duc de Lorraine, just died from pneumonia...

B.: Oh this is so sad! Jean was only 10! He never met his father since the English killed him!

Ray: Yes, Jean's father died at the Crecy battle when Jean was only six months old...

George: So, are we going to have a regency council or what?

Ray: Well, no. You remember that Amedee married Jean's cousin a few years ago? Well, it happens that Amedee is the closest alive male relative. This is rather unexpected, but Lorraine's senate is meeting right now. Amedee is expected to be there tonight. Looks like he's going to be crowned Duc de Lorraine.



George: Good for him. And that makes the Chambery senate forget that he is not attacking Valais as they asked him to...

Ray: Indeed, short after Burgundy's capitulation, the senate asked for Sion annexation, but Amedee is willing to give some peace to his subjects....

George: Fortunately, Milan decided otherwise. We are in September 1358 and they attacked Graubünden, as their senate asked them. Problem for them is that Graubünden has been guaranteed by a lot of nations, including Savoy, who defends it and declare war to Milan. Alliances are cascading... We are seeing our first big war here!



Ray: another big test for Savoy. This time it's for real....

George: the big battle is already here, only a few weeks after the declaration of war... and this is a Savoyard victory right there in Novara...



Ray: Amedee follows the same strategy: a small troop stays there to siege the city with him,...

George: But this time, this doesn't work. His entire Milanese invasion army is defeated. Fortunately, he still have that Novara troop, and another one in Sungdau, siegeing Austrian Mulhouse, plus Montferrat's army in Pavia.

Ray: Bohemia, Switzerland and the Pope are doing well on their sides too.

B: Boys! I have wonderful news to share!

Ray: What is it, B?

B: Well, Bonne de Bourbon, Amedee's wife, just gave birth to a son! Charles is the new heir! He is born today, November 23, 1358.

Ray: Thanks for this amazing new, B. George, any comment on the ongoing war? We were saying that Savoy plus Bohemia, the Pope and Switzerland might be too much to handle for the Austro-Milanese alliance...

George: Yes, this war was a bold move from Milan, and I guess everyone was eager to make Austria pay for their previous behavior with Savoy when Lorraine was invaded by Burgundy.... Their alliance is now vastly outnumbered, and this so-called "Big War" should not last for very long

Ray: well... it lasted for 18 months. On 18th of April, 1360, Amedee met with the Ducce de Milano. They sign the treaty of Novara, which is quickly counter-signed by all the other belligerents. Savoy vassals are expanding: Austria cedes Sungdau to Alsace, and Milan cedes Pavia to Montferrat. As the war winner, Amedee is rewarded by being promoted by Karl IV to Marquis de Savoie.



George: I guess Savoy is not going to attack Valais any time soon?

Ray: I don't think so, they need to rebuild their manpower, give their people some rest.... We'll have to wait at least a year for that... Which gives time to the Marquis de Saluzzo for kneeing in front of Amedee, who adds a new vassal to his court.

George: You are right... we are in July 1361 and it seems that the time is right to complete this mission. No one dares to go against Savoy's will, except Firenze and Padova.

Ray: This war is going unexpectedly slow however, isn't it?

George: Yes, Savoy manpower and war exhaustion is not that great, so Amedee cannot just oversize fortresses. He needs to lay long sieges. The Pope offers his assistance to Savoy, which allows for a huge diversion on the Firenze front, where Urbino is fighting as wel.

Ray: Things are starting to settle while we are eight months into the war. Valais capitulates while the war changer is the battle of Valdarno...



George: After this battle, the defending army is completely broken, which gives Savoy the time it needs to capture the Tuscany forts...

Ray: And there is no hurry for Amedee. The treaty of Firenze is signed in June 1363. Once again, Savoy rewards its vassals. Mantova annexes Padova, while Urbino gets Valdarno from Tuscany. Savoy itself gets Valais, and it is incorporated into the nation with its inhabitants granted the full Savoyard citizenship, and the Baron de Sion siegeing at the Savoyard Senate.



George: Yeah! The Savoyard senate does not want peace!

Ray: Looks like so indeed. The next mission is to vassalize Verona... But Amedee is not so eager to achieve it.

George: We can see why. Amedee slowly prepares himself for a neat invasion of Verona, but Tyrol, Hohenzollern and Aquilea protects Verona. It is may 64 when Savoy finally attacks, from Mantova and Padova.



Ray: By May 65, Verona, then Hohenzollern are captured while Tyrol armies are beaten and its cities besieged. Verona is vassalized...

George: Hohenzollern is not however, because Amedee wants to use the defeated German leaders to force Tyrol to quickly sign a peace. With no Tyrolian city under Savoyard control, Tyrol still has the hope to find allies (Austria or Milan probably) to help them.

Ray: But you were right, Tyrol finally accepts a white peace. It is a loss for Savoy, but a long war against Tyrol was not worth it. Savoy can now have peace, and its people deserves it!

George: Well... tell that to the senate!

Ray: It does not count. Annexing Geneve should be a formality. Since the Burgundy-Savoy war of 1357, Geneve is an isolated enclave inside Savoy. It has no ally, barely any army...

George: 3 or 4 mercenary regiments shouldn't be an issue for Savoy, indeed.



Ray: Here we are. And we only have two months left in this round. This time the senate asks for more reasonable diplomatic matters, so we can end our round quickly...

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

B: Amedee, I know you are eager to rest after this exhausting round... Can you say a few words for our viewers?

Amedee: Yes.... I'm glad we managed to rule this round. It was not as easy as we might have wanted, and the opponents were strong, but we did quite well. We had some luck with the vassalization request, and that Lorraine inheritance, but we also took a chance to convert any goal opportunities. Burgundy conquest was not schedule so early, we secured powerful alliances with Castille, Boheme and the Pope and more importantly, we are considered as legitimate on all our holdings...

B: The only red sign is that defeat at the Milan battle... What happened there?

Amedee: This is war.... These things happen. To face Austria and Milan simultaneously, I had a lot of mercenaries hired. On enemy territory, they are not so reliable without a good commander... These guys costed me a lot of money for such a defeat... Let's never do that again.

Ray: Thanks Amedee! This was a nice opening indeed. See you folks, and remember: you can ask your questions to Amedee by text! Just send your question to the 99-999!
 
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unmerged(145182)

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As a fellow Savoyard myself, I can only approved and follow! Is Chambéry the Capital in MEIOU instead of Turin as it should be in anydate before 1563 ?
I tried myself several times but I usually miserably failed. Milan is not really a problem if tackled early but then you've got France and Austria. Especially Austria (the Emperor of course with unlimited manpower) declare war for the "reconquest" of its north Italian not yet austrian but soon to be territories...
I'm eager to see a better player than me at play.
 

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Hi, the image limit for an AAR update is 20, with any posts made within an hour counting as one update. Please make sure you don't go over this limit in the future.
 

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Hi Malurous,
The first round has been posted twice.... can you remove one please?
I've tried to stay below 20 images, but with a duplicated post this is not easy :)


Zozo:
Is Chambéry the Capital in MEIOU instead of Turin as it should be in anydate before 1563 ?
Indeed. In MEIOU, we start as Count of Savoy, with capital in Chambery. We can move the capital to Turin with a national decision. This switches the culture to piemontese, therefore we cannot form Occitania anymore (but Italy is then possible)

I tried myself several times but I usually miserably failed. Milan is not really a problem if tackled early but then you've got France and Austria. Especially Austria (the Emperor of course with unlimited manpower) declare war for the "reconquest" of its north Italian not yet austrian but soon to be territories...
Milan or Burgundy can be trouble in a few games. This is not likely to be the case for this one. I don't like being allied to really big nations but you are right, France and Austria are scary in the early games (hence my alliances with Castille and Bohemia)
 

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Round II (1366 - 1376): Meet the French

Ray: GOOOOOOOOOOD Evening everyone and Welcome to "BIG RULER". I'm Ray Porter, and I am here with George I. Joe and B. Rene Daid to help you all follow that alternative history! This season, we are following Savoy. In Round I, our guest Amedee VI de Savoie became Duc de Lorraine et Marquis de Savoie



Ray: Amedee, this first round went pretty smoothly, isn't it?

Amedee: Indeed. 10 years ago, we were considered as a small nation by all the European powers, so we had to prove them wrong, by investing massively into buying ourselves an army.

Ray: This is a question I indeed had. We saw you succedded in building a large army. How did you manage to afford it?

Amedee: Well, I didn't. Such army needs huge financing, and we were just not powerful enough, so we had to cut on a lot of spending: buildings, research, espionage...

George: But it paid!

Amedee: Indeed. But this can't be a strategy on the long term. Since Round I however, our position changed: we now have several vassals, also have the support of Lorraine, and some nice alliances, so we do not need such army anymore. Moreover, we are not planning any war on the short or medium term, so we should be able to give our men some time with their families.

George: I thought a non-negligible part of your troops were mercenary?

Amedee: This is true. Don't get me wrong: mercenaries can be very useful at wartime. But they cost a lot, and as we saw at the battle of Milan, they are not as reliable as national troops.

Ray: They, your plan is to give your people, your army and your economy some rest after an exhausting first round. No scheduled expansion?

Amedee: No... We will seize any opportunity of course, mostly to increase our holdings to the West, far from France, and maybe get an harbor, if Nice is in our way, but to be honest, achieving economical equilibrium and give my people some rest are my only objectives.

Ray: And vassals?

Amedee: We vassalized all the nations we targeted in Round I already. I guess only the Prince of Lucca and the King of Sardinia would make good additions, but I doubt they'll accept anytime soon. We'll try though :)

Ray: Thanks Amedee. We'll let you play Round II.

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

George: You know what Ray, I've been checking the numbers, and Amedee was right, he got carried away in Round I, his army is way too big for such medium-size nation. Amedee really need to disband some of his troops.



Ray: He's doing it. And pretty fast. But the senate is back to the old classics, asking for blood...

George: Yes, this is what you get when you are a pacifist. People want blood. Do you think our show would be so popular without wars?

Ray: Sure... But the senate is asking for Punente, the western area of the Genoa republic.



George: This is good, because it was Amedee's will to get access to the sea...

Ray: Yes, but Genoa is not small business. First of all, this is not time for any war yet. Then, Genoa is allied with Switzerland and the Pope, so Savoy will need much more troops that what they plan to keep, so it will be too expensive... About that, another thing is that Savoy gets a reasonable amount of money via the Genovese trade league... Attacking Genoa would just cripple Savoy's economy ever more... This is not the time for it.

George: You are right Ray, we'll have to wait then. In the meantime Louis XI is the new Roi de France, and since he's only 11, the country is not very stable. A lot of revolts are shaking the country. England is too weak to exploit that, but a lot of nations are financing these revolts, as there is absolutely no risk that France would declare war in the next five years...

Ray: But French army is still strong. By Fall, all revolts have been crushed, including the two patriotic revolts founded by Savoy in Gap and Grenoble.

George: Nothing that interesting...

Ray: Then, what do you say about that? Look at this letter coming straight from Aberdeen...

George: King David II of Scotland is dead, so what?

Ray: Read everything please!



George: Oh! OH!



Ray: Congratulations Amedee, you inherited the Kingdom of Ecosse and became Rìghrean na h-Alba

B: Congrats! That changes everything!

George: Well, not that much actually. See, Savoy still is landlocked. Unlike Lorraine, Scotland cannot be of any use on a battlefield.

Ray: But will Savoy be able to defend Scotland against England?

George: That is a good question. Savoy can't ally France against England, nor England against France. It has to rely to a third partner, powerful, bounding both....



Ray: Is that Castille in Northern Ireland?

George: This indeed is, and this is Savoy new ally!

Ray: This is good. On the other hand, France and England just signed a truce in their conflict.... England has been kicked out of the continent...

George: This is not good. If they don't fight each other, they can both turn on the Savoy-Scotland Union...

Ray: The only reassuring news for Amedee in this 1367-68 winter are coming from Lucca. The Principe de Lucca just asked for Savoy's protection and became a vassal.

George: Others might be coming. In August 68, Burgundy then the Pope just declared wars on France. It looks like the ongoing revolts finally took the best on the French army...



Ray: Amedee will have to act quickly though. France is known for rebuilding its army pretty fast.

George: Well, Savoy attacks quickly. France has no army, but its vassals still do. This slows down Savoy. This slows down Savoy way too much...

Ray: Indeed, France is rebuilding on the Atlantic Coast. The Savoyard army besieging Limoges is already pushed back.

George: They have to get out quickly, take what they can...

Ray: Let see what they can do...



Ray: Here we are. Amedee is meeting with France's regent at Mende. Grenoble and Gap are given back to Savoy. The diplomats still discuss about the Champagne. Amedee would like Lorraine to have it, so there will be no immediate France/Savoy boundary left, but of course France wants to keep one to be able to retaliate in a few years.

George: I am not sure Amedee is not faking.

Ray: What do you mean?

George: Dijon. Amedee probably does not mind taking Champagne, because with Champagne Savoy now nicely enclaves Burgundy. At the first opportunity, the rich Trade Center of Dijon can be seized by Savoy.

Ray: You are right George. Savoy needs Dijon to secure its economy, and Champagne will help a lot to achieve that.



George: Savoy won the first war against France, but this was not a full-strength France... We'll have to be cautious about the future.

Ray: You know what George, Champagne is the first region which does not recognizes Savoy as its legitimate ruler. They do their best to sneak on taxes, but overall, Savoy now is in a pretty robust economical.



Ray: And four years ago, when this round started, it was on the edge of bankruptcy... And with this financial safety achieved, Savoy leaves Genoa's trade league for Venice's, and logically...



George: Savoy is logical on that. Genoa is struggling on its Black Sea holdings, fighting both the Blue horde and the Jalayirids. Besides a small army of a thousand men, Liguria is defense-free.

Ray: Switzerland, Cyprus and the Pope declare war on Savoy however, to protect the Doge.

George: Yes, but Savoy should handle them properly. Actually, the King of Naples tries to take pieces from this banquet: a few days only after Savoy's DOW, Napoli and his allies Achaea, Provence and Tuscany attack the Pope!

Ray: So, with the Napoli alliance and its own vassals taking care of the Pope, with no one in Liguria, and Cyprus far far away.... Switzerland is the only troublemaker for Savoy.

George: Yes. But Switzerland didn't modernize its army. Switzerland still uses a large army of mercenaries, while Savoy prefers smaller but more mobile stacks of national conscripts. Savoy is outnumbered but manage to annihilate the Swiss army...



Ray: Now all fortresses of the enemy alliance are under siege, except Corsica and oversees Genovese holdings

George: Yes, Genoa is a naval power, this would not be of any match for Savoy's allies, except Castille but there is no need to imply Castille in this war, and risk to see the spanish gain holdings in Corsica or in Italy...

Ray: Thing is, these forts are way stronger than the forts we usually see, so it takes a while to capture. We are two years into this war when the Napoli alliance retreats. But Savoy still works on it.

George: But the forts finally surrender... Savoy is going hard on the peace conditions though!



Ray: Indeed. The treaty of Rome is signed in February 1374. Savoy was only supposed to capture Punente. Berne, Avignon, Modena and Bologna makes a lot of unnecessary infamy...

George: Bologna is released as a vassal, and just as Besancon and Pontarlier at their time, the liberation of the Imperial city of Modena grants Savoyard legitimacy to rule this land. With no one left to diplo-vassalize, this infamy is not too bad.

Ray: It is for the emperor though. Bohemia cancelled their alliance with Savoy.

George: But Flandres offered one, and Castille remained honest. This is not a big deal.

Ray: You are right. Amedee now wants his nation to recover though, so I don't think we can expect much from the end of this round.

George: The senate asks for Tuscany to be vassalized though, and Amedee still has nearly 2 years to do so...

Ray: Yes, but nothing will be done but resting in that time. I'm sorry George, but you'll have to wait for round III to see that!

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

B: I'm sorry guys, Amedee just left to the shower....

Ray: No problem B, we'll have him in press conference before Round III. George, any feedback on this round?

George: Well Ray, Amedee played this round as a "Fox in the box". All round long, it looked like Amedee was just there waiting with no plan, but he had two chances and converted both.... Nice game!

Ray: This is true. Well folks, that's all for today. Don't forgot to text us your questions to Amedee!
 
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Round III (1376 - 1380): The end of 'the Pacifist'

Ray: GOOOOOOOOOOD Evening everyone and Welcome to "BIG RULER". I'm Ray Porter, and I am here with George I. Joe and B. Rene Daid to help you all follow that alternative history! This season, we are following Savoy. In Round II, our guest Amedee VI de Savoie became Rìghrean na h-Alba, Duc de Lorraine et Marquis de Savoie



Ray: First of all, Amedee, I would like to come back on the decison you took at the beginning of Round II, which surprised many, to reduce your army. This surprised many.

Amedee: Indeed, We needed first to retrieve a financial equilibrium, while diversifying our spendings. With several vassals and unions, such a costy army was not so useful.

George: Actually, this does not explain everything. I've ordered this graph about your military force in numbers of regiments. We can see it varying (in blue). The red line indicates what should be an optimum military force based on your strategy. We can see that you follow it properly, except during three periods...



Amedee: Yes, during the wars against Milan and Genoa, we had to raise our forces. Our vassals sent us a few troops, we recruited others, and for the Milan war, even hired some mercenaries.

George: what about that third pike, in 76?

Amedee: Yes, hum.... It has been disbanded. I was planning a more aggressive strategy, but neither my people nor my economical councilors agreed. I guess otherwise we might just have attacked Genoa earlier...

Ray: So, what about this third Round?

Amedee: We'll play it quiet... Maintaining the financial equilibrium is crucial for our long-terms plans. Moreover, we upset a lot of people with our latest conquests, so we need the European powers to forget about us while our people recover.

George: Again that pacifist strategy?

Amedee: We of course will remain attentive to any opportunity, especially against France, Burgundy or Milan, but no, no war should be seen this round.

Ray: What about peaceful vassalisations?

Amedee: Our only remaining target is our ally the Regno di Sardegna. They were not really enthusiastic about joining our lead before we annexed half of the Pope lately, so I don't think you should expect much on this....

George: I got you. Now that you have a port, You are going to build yourself a fleet and attack overseas...

Amedee: This is a nice idea George, but... We are a mountain nation. We do not know how to build ships. We have tried to force a few people in Punente to teach us, or to do it for us, but they refuse... I think we'll have to wait for them to be more... obedient.

Ray: Sade... Good Luck anyway Amedee.

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

George: So Ray, do you think we'll get any action today?

Ray: I doubt so. On the other hand, Savoy's growing prestige and position are satisfying bigger nations. Aragon for instance offers an alliance.

George: This gives some confidence to Amedee... We are in two years already, and the Savoyard Senate is pressing him to vassalize Firenze.

Ray: Yes. This is good. Now that his people is ready for war, Amedee only has to avoid upsetting the other nations, but they won't be upset if a ruler follows its senate's directives, otherwise they will risk upsetting their own senate.

George: So here we go. With no ally, Tuscany should no resist very long...



Ray: Yes, no one comes to Firenze's assistance.

George: Burgundy tries in January 79 though, financing some uprisings...



Ray: I do not understand their move. With only 1000 men to defend their country, why would they risk a war with Savoy?

George: I think they thought their spy would not be caught...

Ray: Sure... Still, risky from them.

George: Indeed. More certainly now that Savoy is capturing Tuscan's cities. The second treaty of Firenze ends that war, vassalizing Tuscany.

Ray: And its center of trade, which can only be good for Savoyard economy...

George: And now Savoy can attack Burdungy. Amedee had diplomats checking his reputation through Europe lately. While he is far from being a beloved partner, he is not that infamous that he can't afford to capture a few provinces with no official reason. Savoy don't call any ally to their help though. Amedee is confident enough that Savoy can handle Burdungy.

Ray: He is right, but maybe too optimistic here. France and England both guaranteed Burgundy's independence. They declare war on Savoy. France and England are going to fight on the same side! Worse. Brandeburg convinces a few cardinals that Amedee is not a faithful christian! No one at Rome would argue since the war of 74 did not made Amedee very popular over there. He is excommunicated!

George: Aouch. This is too much for Savoy. Allies Castille, Aragon, Flandres, as well as partern Lorraine and vassal Alsace are called for help.

Ray: Scotland is not? How will they handle England?

George: They would not have been able to with Scotland...



Ray: Glups. I don't think Amedee will want to fight this war for very long with the current conditions.

George: Wait... I'm interested in France's strategy. They have to fight in mountainous Pyrenees against the Spanish, in the Rhone Valley against Savoy, and in the plains of Troyes/Ardennes against Lorraine and Flandres. This is a very large front to handle, even for France. It is a difficult situation, and the only reasonable defending strategy would be to regroup and liberate the besieged cities one after the other. But Louis XI is very optimistic, and decides to fight all enemies at the same time. His army is decimated!



Ray: I can't explain this. And neither can Richard III of England. Not even six months after the declaration of war, he asks Amedee for a white peace.

George: I can imagine his people not being happy. After all, right now England is defending a severely damaged enemy...

Ray: Indeed. Savoy accepts the peace, and Munster peaces out too. With the Brits out of the picture, Scots are called in.

George: You want to see something interesting that shows how deeply France is bogged down?



Ray: You mean?

George: Indeed, Richard III couldn't resist. He and Norway attacked France in March 1380, only a few days after he peaced out from the Savoy war.

Ray: This is really promising for Savoy, but it looks like Amedee is looking for a way out of this war.

George: Yes. France is down but no one knows for how long. Anyway, Savoy will not be able to take too much land from France if they don't want to upset the other powers. And being excommunicated, Amedee has other business to deal with. Some provinces might revolt...

Ray: I think you are right. Amedee wants to force Burgundy to capitulate though, and he orders the siege of Dijon to be fastened by assaulting the fort... who stands.

George: This is not true for Amedee...



Ray: OOOOHHH Indeed you are right. A Burgundian arrow got him down. Well... In this end of April 1380, I guess this is time to end this round...

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

Ray: Back in studio for a debriefing on Amedee's reign. I think it is safe to say that Amedee built a nice mid-size power right between France and the Empire. Moreover, since he is considered as legitimate on most of its lands, this nation is quite robust economically.



George: Indeed. No one can say that I am a big fan of these "pacifist-opportunist" strategies, as I rather nice frontal fights, but they prove to be efficient.

Ray: Well we did had some frontal fights, but I understand you, it was probably not against the right opponents. And Amedee had to do the choices he did, otherwise Savoy would have bankrupted or lagged a lot in Technology. Look at this map in fake colors for instance. Savoy maintained itself in the pack of Europeans, and is not doing that bad. A little so-so, but respectable.



George: You are right Ray. But with a more aggressive strategy, who knows? Amedee wanted to go out of that war, but look at France situation, there is a good chance to seize lands there.



Ray: I think Amedee preferred Italy. But in Italy you have to fight the Pope, Napoli or Milan. Or Venice, who is doing stunningly well.



George: Another possible field of operations would be Greece or the Balkans. Napoli, Genoa, Venice and Aragon are doing well there. And the ottomans are not that aggressive...



Ray: Yes, Aragon and Castille being allied while France was weak, this has been easier for Aragon to keep and expand its overseas holdings.... Even on the Atlantic Ocean now!



George: Aouch! Bad for Portugal. I guess it would be tough for Amedee to expand through Scotland?

Ray: Indeed, England is powerful over-there. The Northern islands, Maybe... With a Navy...



George: Wait a minute! What about the Baltic?

Ray: What do you mean?

George: Ray... If I tell you of a center of Trade on the Baltic, which would recognize Savoy as legitimate because it would liberate the City, a town which would provide Savoy with gold and ships...

Ray: Riga? This is a nice idea....



George: Teutonics are powerful... What happened there?

Ray: Well, Poland and Lituania were struggling against the hordes, they got a few revolts. Teutons took their chance.

George: Russian didn't?

Ray: Not yet. Muscovy will eat Beloozeroo, Tver and Smolensk pretty soon though, and we might end up with a very large Novgorod-Muscovy war, since Muscovy is at war with Novgorod's ally, Kiev.



George: This would make a very big Russian blob...
 
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Round IV (1380 - 1390): Make France Pay

Ray: GOOOOOOOOOOD Evening everyone and Welcome to "BIG RULER". I'm Ray Porter, and I am here with George I. Joe and B. Rene Daid to help you all follow that alternative history! This season, we are following Savoy. In Round III, Amedee VI de Savoie was killed at the siege of Dijon, so his son Charles I de Savoie became Rìghrean na h-Alba, Duc de Lorraine et Marquis de Savoie



B: Hi Ray! I'm here with Charles. He is 22, which is the age is father was when we started that show. He is a skilled diplomat, who also received an education in arts of war and administration.

Ray: This is very good for Savoy! Charles... First of all, sorry for your loss. Then... What are your plans? You are glued in a war with France and Burgundy. Your father wanted to go out of it quickly... What are your plans?

Charles: Well Ray... The French and the Burgundian are our rivals. They always harassed us any time they could. They just killed my father. But today, we have the opportunity to make them pay, so we are going to make them suffer.

Ray: Isn't it a little harsh?

George: No, he's right. His father was a pacifist, look where he is right now. Charles on the other hand knows what he is doing.

Ray: But the European powers will not tolerate...

George: Well, the war of 74 was nearly a decade ago. The powers forgot a lot already about what happened. Moreover, Charles is a way better diplomat than his father, they'll tolerate more from him.

Ray: So Charles, you are going on a "full-war" policy?

Charles: I am not. France and Burgundy have to pay, this is obvious. But we have to continue my father internal policy: give peace to our people, make sure no one hate us... I'll have to restore our relations with the pope as well, so no one tries to excommunicate me without any reason, and... we can probably add say Flandres, Sardinia or Navarre to our power...

Ray: Well, thanks Charles, and good luck!

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

George: Ray, look at the situation right now... There is nothing which could prevent Savoy from a large victory



Ray: Aragon and Lorraine are helping a lot here...

George: And this makes things go faster. By September, all continental Burgundy holdings are occupied. Burgundy capitulates



Ray: When Charles said he will make Burgundy pay... His plan looks clear, since he forced Burgundy to renounce to their claims on Charolles: enclave them, to annex Dijon in a future war....

George: This looks smart indeed. Dijon is a rich center of trade....

Ray: The war against France continues with no major battle for Savoy. Needless to say France has barely any army left since their army has been defeated in the Pyrenees.

George: France buys Flandres out of the war by the end of 1381, but this does not change anything to their situation...



Ray: Indeed... And to make things worse for France, in January 82, Navarre and its alliance decide to join the fun.

George: Yes, vultures are never far from a free meal...

Ray: In May though, Aragon leaves the war for a bunch of gold... and the freedom for Valentines, Bourbonnais and Armagnac, three former French vassals.

George: This frees a few cities, but the Castillian army quickly besiege them...



Ray: Well, you can see Charle's charism now. Everywhere he goes, the Savoyard acclaim him. The fact that he fight against France, their rival, make them proud, and they forget about the war...

George: Yes. And he shines against the other nations too. Now that no one ever remembers how the war of 74 ended, the Re di Sardinia knees in front of Charles and swears allegiance.

Ray: This is good. Now Charles can shamelessly annex Valentines and vassalize Bourbonnais with the Treaty of Moulins (March 1384)

George: Even French citizen love him. Occupied Mende and Montpellier ask for their annexation.

Ray: They have been occupied for years now, and they can see that Savoyard are better than French...

George: The only thing that could even save France now is this huge revolt in Paris...



George: Well, my bad. France is doomed.

Ray: They think so too. They give Caux to Navarre to end the war, while Toulouse and Clermont follow Mende and Montpellier's example, voluntarily asking for a Savoyard annexation.

George: 1387 follows the same logic: France ends the war with England, giving Armagnac, and Limoges breaks free from France to join the Savoyard Marquisat...

B: Guys... What is an "heu-sete"?

Ray: You probably mean hussite... This is a catholic sect, considered as heretic by many, who follows the concepts of Jan Hus. That guy is currently preaching in Praha.

B: Well, not only. The ruler of Ansbach just made this doctrine state religion. Others might follow...



Ray: This is something a christian like Charles will pay attention to, I'm sure.

George: That's the only thing he'll have to focus on. Right now, it looks like he only waits for the last French forts to fall...

Ray: And he'll have to wait for December 88 for that. Armagnac is vassalized, giving Charolles to Savoy to entirely enclave Dijon, as planned.

George: Charles is meeting with Louis XI right now in Paris... The holy Emperor came to the meeting to counter-sign the treaty. I think we have a spy microphone in the room...


Charles: But they joined us voluntarily! Because you made them betray you!

Louis: What about Armagnac, Vianneys, Bourbonnay? Moreover, this is enough cities you took from us. I'm fine giving you some more, but I'll personally make sure that all the European nations, from the Trois-Eveches to Sweden, England and Castille, consider you as a big infamous ruler. I swear that in six months, you will have half of Europe on your doors.

Charles: Do you really expect I only take one province from you?

Louis: Look... You have the power to force me to do anything you want. I am just trying to figure out something that works for both of us. If you take too much land from me, England will quickly occupy me, then turn on you and Scotland. What I suggest is...

Charles: I am listening.

Louis: I officially renounce to our claims on all Savoy or Savoy-protected provinces and give my consent to the Holy Emperor so he can crown you Duke of Savoy.

Charles: No land at all? You are funny, Louis.

Louis: Well, you can take one land. Your choice.

Charles: What about Bordeaux?

Louis: Guyenne? This is a coastal center of trade.... This would not even be attached to your mainland! I will not tolerate that.

Charles: What if I honor my new vassal claims? Armagnac considers Bordeaux as its own... Remember I can force you to do anything...


Ray: Well, I guess this changes a lot of things on the map...



George: Indeed it does, and economically too... Savoy is now one of the wealthiest nations in Europe....



Ray: Let's hope for Savoy that the Senate will be willing to give them so peace... Well, they ask for Bourbonnais to be annexed. This will not be possible before at least 5 years.... And we already are at the end of Round IV! Thanks folks for following us tonight! See you soon!
 
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I came in skeptical about a 'reality show' but this has been a joy to read thanks to its unorthodox approach. Great work there exploiting situations as they arose and making good use of MEIOU's mechanics. About the only problem I have is that about a third of your images are showing up as dead links for me.
 

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Excellent AAR! I like the reality show format, makes for an excellent read! Also i'm a huge fan of MEIOU, which only makes is better!
 

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I came in skeptical about a 'reality show' but this has been a joy to read thanks to its unorthodox approach.
Excellent AAR! I like the reality show format, makes for an excellent read! Also i'm a huge fan of MEIOU, which only makes is better!
Thanks a lot to both of you. I would not have been able to provide something worth reading in terms of games strategies (I made several mistakes in these few rounds, and you'll see, I already made others!), so I shamelessly inspired from knul's double domination. I really enjoyed reading his AAR, and so far I love writing this one, so I'm pleased that you like it :)

Great work there exploiting situations as they arose and making good use of MEIOU's mechanics.
This is why I love playing Savoy: you have to exploit any opportunity when you have one to survive, and at the same time you're strong enough to actually do so... Maybe I'm doing it too much... Probably I've spent too much time watching Pippo Inzaghi soccer games when I was a teenager :p

About the only problem I have is that about a third of your images are showing up as dead links for me.
So this is not only me... I had to re-link against a couple images. I guess imageshack is not that reliable anymore. I'll move everything to photobucket tonight. I hope it will help.
Edit: Moved everything to photobucket. Seems way easier to use, and robust to display images. Please let me know if you still have any issue.
 
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Round V (1390 - 1400): Crowns to the East

Ray: GOOOOOOOOOOD Evening everyone and Welcome to "BIG RULER". I'm Ray Porter, and I am here with George I. Joe and B. Rene Daid to help you all follow that alternative history! This season, we are following Savoy. In Round IV Charles I de Savoie, Rìghrean na h-Alba, Duc de Lorraine, Marquis de Savoie, made France and Burgundy pay for his father's death.



Ray: Charles, congratulations for last round! This was amazing!

Charles: Well, thanks... A few French cities understood that it was better to be ruled by Savoy than by France, which helped a lot. At the end it was a shame we could only seize one additional province...

George: Right, but without Aragon, Castille and Loraine, you will not have been able to seize any!

Charles: True. Anyway, now that my father is avenged, I'll need to focus on continuing his legacy: bringing peace and wealth to my subjects, and make sure the other nations of Europe consider us with regards...

George: So no war, no expansio?

Charles: well... My cousin the Grand-Duke of Epirus -well, despote of Epirus actually- has been on the throne since 1366. He is old and has no heir, so I'll have to make sure his throne is passed to our family.

Ray: But both the rulers of Bosnia and Hungary already claimed that Epirus belongs to them.

Charles: So, you might be able to get some action this round....

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

George: This is the kind of talk I'd love his father to have! That kid is consistent. Ready to go to war for what he believes in...

Ray: Yes. So Charles claims the throne of Epirus. His claims are seen as much more legit than Bosnia and Hungary both by the Epirus nobles and the international courts, but I doubt Hungary will let that happen...

George: Anyway, I guess he has other things to worry about right now... Hussites are more and more of an issue in Europe. Here is the situation of all known sects in 1390



Ray: Ah... since Ansbach converted, they are just popping like mushrooms. And if Switzerland or Bohemia tolerate them, most nations just don't.

George: At least Charles is taking some measures to reduce their impact on Savoy's territory. The newly proclaimed Edit of Avignon is clear: Hussites should be strongly persecuted. Any convicted Hussite found on Savoy's territory should be hung high and short.

Ray: Still, at a point they'll have to act against Ansbach.

George: This won't be now though, since Flandres attacked Burgundy.



Ray: This is a unique opportunity for Charles to finally seize the center of Trade of Dijon.

George: This is a very short war. Charles' troops cross the border September 21, 1391, and Burgundy capitulates October 22.



Ray: Fast indeed. Now Charles will visit the center of Trade.

B: Guys, it looks like something is going wrong here. Charles is arguing with the Dijon Bourgmester, Mr. Amora

Ray: Indeed, let's spy them....

Amora: But after you annexed them, Charolles, Auxerre, Pontarlier, Troyes... They all stopped doing business with us. They went to Paris, that new center of Bar in Lorraine, or even Venice! Since the last war, we had our share of bad days... Merchants were leaving, shops were closing...

Charles: Well, this is fortunate that we liberated you from this. Now merchants from the entire nation of Savoy will come to your market!

Amora: My Lord, you don't understand... It was so bad... The international center of Trade of Dijon has been disbanded years ago. There is nothing left...


Ray: Aouch, this is rather tough for Charles! The whole interest of this war was a non-existing center of trade...

George: Not everything is bad Ray. That Dijon border was huge. It's never good to have enclaves in your nation. Now this enclave is gone.

Ray: The bad thing is that during this war, Hussites continued to propagate... Let's see the situation in May 1394. I count 24 known Hussite sects in Savoy or in Savoy-protected nations. Even Scotland is contaminated. Hussites are a majority in Kassel, their troops captured Schwaben and OberPfalz...

George: Their troops you said?

Ray: Indeed! Straight in the middle of the Holy Empire!

George: Defender of the Catholic Faith is Hungary, so it cannot retaliate without Bohemia's consent, but Bohemia is one of the few states who actually tolerates the Hussites!

Ray: And this is starting to be a problem for Savoy, as the persecutions on 24 different sects are costing a lot of money...

George: Well, Charles is going to act. With the pope's permission, he is now considered as the defender of the Catholic Faith.

Ray: This will not make Hungary happy...

George: Indeed. But this is not a problem. In August 1394, Savoy troops are at Ansbach's boundaries. The war is on... And this is already over. Before the end of the year, not only did Ansbach convert back to Catholicism, but to ensure their good will, Ansbach will become a vassal.

Ray: Good. Without Ansbach's support, the hussites will not be able to spread like they used to.

George: And this brings back peace on Savoy.

Ray: Yes. In January 1396 Charles introduces a new concept to the court: Bureaucracy. This will ensure much more revenue for Savoy. From now on though, it will be very long for any merchant to get its Trader License through the Department of Merchant Vehicles.

George: But what am I seeing here? Is this a fight?

Ray: Yes there is. See, France is currently at war against England, Sweden, Navarra and Norway. And is loosing. This generates a lot of refugees at the Franco-Savoyard border.

George: Charles is not happy. During this month of February 1396 this incident escalates between the two courts.... And here we are. This is war. This is the third war between France and Savoy this season!

Ray: But this is not a very good timing George.

George: What do you mean?

Ray: See, the Despote of Epirus just died, and Charles is asked by the Epirus court to choose a ruler for it. He selects his sister Helen to become Helen I of Epirus.

George: This is good, isn't it?

Ray: Well, not really. The king of Hungary claimed the throne of Epirus for himself. And since Charles offended him by claiming himself a better defender of the Catholic faith...



George: I can see that Croatia, Saxony and the Pope joins Hungary against the Epirus-Savoy coalition. You are right, this is not a good timing to attack France. The only good thing is Bohemia's behavior, who back up Savoy.



Ray: Now Charles needs to achieve this war against France to give him some troops back for Hungary. They are doing good on the French Front so they could get a nice peace treaty.



George: Well, there is no need to hurry. The Hungarian troops are all fighting against Bohemia, and Savoy vassals are taking good care of the Pope...



Ray: This is good. Both this two fronts are terminated in December 1397. With the treaty of Meaux, France renounces on some claims, and give a big piece of the "Sud-Ouest" to Savoy.



George: The Rome treaty on the other hand makes Saxony the first HRE elector to be vassalized by Savoy, while imperial city of Ferrara is freed from the Pope. Romagna is given to Bologna.



Ray: This allows Savoy for re-affecting its troops on the Hungarian front. However, Bohemian emperor made it clear for Savoy: No territorial gain would be tolerated from this war, as the conquests in France and Pope were not seen nicely by the European courts.

George: Well, the crown of Epirus is the prize here. I don't think Savoy has any interest taking lands from the Croatian-Hungarian Union... Anyway, Bohemia prepared the invasion of Hungary for Charles...



Ray: This is fortunate, because in February 99, Bohemia peaces out... Still, Savoy is able to siege the nation. Here is the situation in September.



George: I hear the sound of a crown here.

Ray: Indeed. Great Prince Petar III of Bulgarie just died, December 17, 1399. And his will says that... Charles will get the crown!




George: This allows for an even easier progression for Savoy. Here is the situation six months later.



Ray: This makes no doubt that Savoy's claim will be recognized now. This is only a matter of time.

George: And the Holy Emperor is coming to Vaslui, where Charles is meeting the ruler of Hungary.



Ray: And after this treaty, October 29, 1400, Charles is crowned both Despote of Epirus and Prince de Savoie.



George: Fantastic!

Ray: A very nice round indeed. Charles is celebrating, so we won't be able to interview him... We'll spend some more time with him before the next round. Thanks all for following us! See you next time, for another amazing episode of BIG RULER!
 

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It's only 1400 and your arms looked like a 18th century one. I prefer the simple "de gueules à la croix d'argent".:)
 

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That's a ludicrous number of thrones you've inherited. I winced a little at seeing you pay full infamy price for those Occitain provinces but I suppose 6 infamy was worth getting out of France early. Make sure that you're fixing your Papal relations after each war. Oh and the images are all loading fine now.