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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

MattyG

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Here is another law for you, along side that offiction needing to make sense: People in power resist conceding it to someone else.

I can't shake the feeling that there is a logical piece of the puzzle missing here, which is the reluctance of the German minors to want to be annexed by the Wittelsbachs under the aegus of the Empire.

The fact is that the HRE never did form a united Germany. For whatever reasons it simply didn't happen. The HRE was around for centuries and saw some powerful and motivated emperors, but it didn't happen.

Focusing on this reality rather than that of Ludwig's deathbed demands, it means that the formation of Germany is NOT the most logical and likely outcome.

The desire of the many Bishops, Princes, Dukes and Magravaines in the HRE to protect their own independent power would have seen them work the relationships to avoid conceding power to the Emperor.

So while Ludwig may have set things up for the Wittelsbachs to own the title of Emperor, I find it more likely that this plan would have been derailed through deals and asassinations, than for a unified Germany to have emerged.
 
Nov 28, 2004
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MattyG said:
Here is another law for you, along side that offiction needing to make sense: People in power resist conceding it to someone else.

I can't shake the feeling that there is a logical piece of the puzzle missing here, which is the reluctance of the German minors to want to be annexed by the Wittelsbachs under the aegus of the Empire.

The fact is that the HRE never did form a united Germany. For whatever reasons it simply didn't happen. The HRE was around for centuries and saw some powerful and motivated emperors, but it didn't happen.

Focusing on this reality rather than that of Ludwig's deathbed demands, it means that the formation of Germany is NOT the most logical and likely outcome.

The desire of the many Bishops, Princes, Dukes and Magravaines in the HRE to protect their own independent power would have seen them work the relationships to avoid conceding power to the Emperor.

So while Ludwig may have set things up for the Wittelsbachs to own the title of Emperor, I find it more likely that this plan would have been derailed through deals and asassinations, than for a unified Germany to have emerged.


The reason that the HRE never transformed from what it was into a cohesive unified state was the need to make deals to become emperor.

But if you change that condition or part of the equation if you will the numbers add up substantially differently.

With Bavaria NOT having to make deals with the electors to gain the imperial title, and also NOT having to worry about the deputation of the empire including the language forbidding the passing of the title via heredity... since the deputation is written BY the electors, and they have a lock on the majority and therefore determine the wording (since it was voted on as well), the moment that Bavaria feels that it is militarily strong enough to resist an uprising of the other larger states it will not include that language and then voila! You have Germany as a De Facto state.

Yes people in power do not like to concede it to others, however this is not you usual situation of that:

1. The game is not very good in dealing with the actualities of military power within the empire. Of the territories that could legally raise armies and had the money to do so in this circumstance the Bavarians will control the vast majority of them. If memory serves the only states that could afford to raise an army and had the legal authority to do so (not counting raising an army after the fact of the coronation, only taking into account those that would have troops in existence to be resistance); would be Austria, Saxony and Bohemia. And you can't count on Bohemia in all scenarios! They can have other problems on their plates, and in some cases the throne will have been offered to a Wittelsbach (at least three instances historically of this).

2. All the minors in question are without a doubt feudal subjects of their liege the emperor. Except in the cases of the electors, and even then to a less pronounced degree then the others; they derive all legitimacy to govern/rule from him. To rise up to over throw him would be an interesting turn of events in such a culture as it would leave them open to future rebellions by their vassals. Plus if they are a smaller territory such as Lippe or Wurtemburg they did not have standing armies with which to resist. They would have to raise them and that takes time and money which IRL few of them had as the Emperors forces could march on them and put them to the torch before they had raised a force.

3. The attempt can be made rather early on in the game before a huge amount of entropic inertia had set in. The major historical attempt to actually do this has a much different outcome potential when you have a stronger imperial party. Look at the in game event for the successful unification of Germany as it is in the AGCEEP: What amount of the conditions for that has Bavaria already got in hand at the game start in this scenario?

4. With whom would they be making a deal? Who would have enough leverage to prevent the election? If Bavaria does have as it does in this scenario a majority block of electors the answer would be nobody.


In the historic circumstances you had a group of people with an interest in not having the empire unify. In this circumstance you have the same number of interest slots; but the majority of them are controlled by a group with an interest in doing just that. So yes, in the scenario as it is the logical and likely outcome is that the majority of electors will get what they vote for: A unified Germany under one ruling house; their own.

I mean you can get away with the Bavarian's going along with not making the title and throne hereditary for only so long before it breaks credulity. And once they have made it hereditary the game is over as the other elector's have ZERO leverage to use outside of armed rebellion. And the odds do not favor them being successful in that, and since a loss here would end their families power almost certainly; how many are going to take that risk?

Just look at it on the face of it: You have the emperor with his personal family army (which is in the scenario considerable), at least half of the imperial army and knights loyal to them(playing the odds here it should be a bit more then half) as well as the imperial treasury, their personal one and the ability to offer your lands to your subordinates if they bring them your head on a plate making the reliability of your own forces a bit iffy.

What seems like a more logical outcome to you given the circumstances: A family not consolidating their power or one that does? Sure they could be opposed on the battlefield but given how good a group of generals they have in the leader file and the probable size of their army and purse, such an opposition would be to their benefit in some cases. Once the leaders of said rebellion are killed and their heirs dispossessed for treason...
 

MattyG

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OK. You make your point very well. I don't pretend to know much about the history of the period or the HRE. Not really, but you still needed to be challenged by someone to fully argue your case.

As I understand it there were seven electors following the Golden Bull of 1356:

The Archbishop of Mainz
The Archbishop of Trier
The Archbishop of Cologne
Kingdom of Bohemia
Cty Palatine / Rhine
Duchy of Saxony
Magravate of Brandenburg

Of these, which were in the control of the Wittelsbachs?

To these we currently add in Interregnum

Kingdom of Burgundy
Kingdom of Savoy

Neither of which are Wittelsbachs, of course.

I need to know where the soft point is, which of the electors would have been most likely to have been lost to the Wittelsbachs. Presumably they did not control the Kingdom of Bohemia vote as that was in the hands of the House of Luxemburg.

Matty
 

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MattyG said:
The Archbishop of Mainz- Seems locked up Wittelsbach
The Archbishop of Trier
The Archbishop of Cologne- Possible future Wittelsbach
Kingdom of Bohemia- Possible future Wittelsbach
Cty Palatine / Rhine- Legally Wittelsbach
Duchy of Saxony
Magravate of Brandenburg- Used to be Wittelsbach in aberration, not sure anymore :D

Kingdom of Burgundy
Kingdom of Savoy

Just filled in for the current game situation...

So the Burgundian/Savoyard electorate title would just swing it away from Wittelsbach if they pummel Bohemia and the Hanse, while not having Brandenburg. Trier's a bit iffy, I guess.

I'd say Bavaria is VERY close to achieving supremacy, and that electoral title for Burgundy and Savoy should be one of the defining themes for their rules.

I'd see two obvious possiblities:
1) Bavaria crushes the Hussites (owns Prague or vassalises Bohemian rump) and seizes Cologne. At this point the papal-instated electors could be declared invalid, seeing as I've never fully understood how that happened anyhow, and the electors are descendant from the idea of the German tribes electing their chiefs, not the Pope having the power to crown. Effectively, the Bavarians risk the non-German parts of the Empire (Bohemia is included in Germany here) to solidify their hold on the throne. Leads to massive wars, especially if the papal schism hasn't happened (yet), since the pope will be quite mad.
2) Bavaria does the above AND gets the regions around Kleve and Brandenburg or Saxony. They effectively have a legal way to ensure their dominance, so while the pope will be mad he'll have more difficulty supporting opposition within Bavaria itself. Outsiders will likely still be a bit aggressive, especially the Hanse and Hungary, and Burgundy/Savoy if not occupied by Al-Andalus.
 
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MattyG said:
OK. You make your point very well. I don't pretend to know much about the history of the period or the HRE. Not really, but you still needed to be challenged by someone to fully argue your case.

As I understand it there were seven electors following the Golden Bull of 1356:

The Archbishop of Mainz
The Archbishop of Trier
The Archbishop of Cologne
Kingdom of Bohemia
Cty Palatine / Rhine
Duchy of Saxony
Magravate of Brandenburg

Of these, which were in the control of the Wittelsbachs?

To these we currently add in Interregnum

Kingdom of Burgundy
Kingdom of Savoy

Neither of which are Wittelsbachs, of course.

I need to know where the soft point is, which of the electors would have been most likely to have been lost to the Wittelsbachs. Presumably they did not control the Kingdom of Bohemia vote as that was in the hands of the House of Luxemburg.

Matty

Oh don't worry about the arguing my point part.. I actually kind of enjoy it since it keeps the old gray cells active and working.

Now as to the soft point.. where the rubber meets the road if you will.

The key is going to be the ecclesiastical electors and Bohemia. Though out most of the game period Bohemia had their vote muted IRL which would drop us down to 6 active electors. If we look at the real history Bavaria will have a lock on two of the votes for the whole time, and from 1583-172something also have Koln with them also having it in 1460ish-1480ish and Mainz and Trier for a couple of periods later on (mid 1500's if the Brandenburger elected to one of them is still elected but from a different house ruling Brandenburg and the early 1700's for the other). Now if we look at the game set up Bavaria rules the Mainz province so we could presume that the also control the electoral vote in that province, it all depends. So for a nice chunk of the game they would have half of the active votes in the bag.

Now we come to Bohemia....

After Sigismund and the Hussite todo the throne of Bohemia was offered to Bavaria, they turned it down for the primary reason that they did not want to offend Austria and get into a fight that this weaker Bavaria could not afford. But in the scenario you have a far, far, far stronger Bavaria so odds would favor them taking the offered throne rather then not. And since it was House Wittelsbach that lead the charge in keeping Bohemia's vote muted to irk the Hapsburgs and improve their bargaining position; it is unlikely to transpire that way in an event string that has them taking the throne and the vote. It would contrary to their interests to do that.

Given that the roughly same circumstances exist in this alternate scenario as were present in the historical one, and the reasons for making the offer will be almost if not identical(the Bohemians prefered the Wittelsbach's to the Hapsburg's for various reasons), it is logical to presume that the same event is going to take place or near enough as to not warrant a change to the existing AGCEEP event. The result would be fairly obvious given the reason for the historic turning down of the offer since the Austrians don't have substantially a larger force then they had historically and the Bavarians have roughly 2-3 times the one that they did; they could afford the confrontation with Austria who would be unlikely facing those odds to put up much more resistance to it then bitching and kvetching.

So it is all going to come down to the Bohemian crown event and two of the ecclesiastical electors. Given that the two (possibly three depending upon time frame) reside on the borders of Bavarian territory or are surrounded by it more aptly, and that the other houses that were elected to the posts are all from the areas in question to be within the shadow of Bavarian policies; the Bavarians would have a bit of pull with them. Great big hunks of those electorates economy are tied to regions controlled by the Bavarians etc. making it not very likely that they would want to upset that apple cart.

Proximity and size have an influence all their own.


Those are the presumptive soft points that you can squeeze on. If Bavaria does control Mainz and it has long been presumed in the discussions that they do, and will have extensive influence on the voting pattern of Trier and Koln due to either having a member of the house as archbishop or close proximity to their territory then they have the block of votes in question. If they have the same chance at the Bohemian throne that they did historically and choose to take it because of their substantially stronger military position then historic; then they can make their play as early as 1470-ish.


As to the two additional electors in the former France...

Just a technical note; Savoy would most likely actually be called Arles as there was an older kingdom covering the territory the possess that was part of the empire. Now Burgundy might have a smallish issue with that since the Kingdom of Arles was also known as the kingdom of Burgundy; but as I have noted they might have an issue with coming into the empire itself since it would kill their ambitions to restore France, but if you granted them the title (wouldn't really have any game affects since it would be a personal styling until and unless they actually recovered the territory), that would likely buy them off.
 
Last edited:

MattyG

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bobtdwarf said:
The key is going to be the ecclesiastical electors and Bohemia. Though out most of the game period Bohemia had their vote muted IRL which would drop us down to 6 active electors. If we look at the real history Bavaria will have a lock on two of the votes for the whole time, and from 1583-172something also have Koln with them also having it in 1460ish-1480ish and Mainz and Trier for a couple of periods later on (mid 1500's if the Brandenburger elected to one of them is still elected but from a different house ruling Brandenburg and the early 1700's for the other). Now if we look at the game set up Bavaria rules the Mainz province so we could presume that the also control the electoral vote in that province, it all depends. So for a nice chunk of the game they would have half of the active votes in the bag.

Right, so, we don't have to have had that vote muted, right? That was the historical situation and so let us assume that the reasons for the muting were not in place. How would that have changed things?

Now we come to Bohemia....

After Sigismund and the Hussite todo the throne of Bohemia was offered to Bavaria, they turned it down for the primary reason that they did not want to offend Austria and get into a fight that this weaker Bavaria could not afford. But in the scenario you have a far, far, far stronger Bavaria so odds would favor them taking the offered throne rather then not. And since it was House Wittelsbach that lead the charge in keeping Bohemia's vote muted to irk the Hapsburgs and improve their bargaining position; it is unlikely to transpire that way in an event string that has them taking the throne and the vote. It would contrary to their interests to do that.

Given that the roughly same circumstances exist in this alternate scenario as were present in the historical one, and the reasons for making the offer will be almost if not identical(the Bohemians prefered the Wittelsbach's to the Hapsburg's for various reasons), it is logical to presume that the same event is going to take place or near enough as to not warrant a change to the existing AGCEEP event. The result would be fairly obvious given the reason for the historic turning down of the offer since the Austrians don't have substantially a larger force then they had historically and the Bavarians have roughly 2-3 times the one that they did; they could afford the confrontation with Austria who would be unlikely facing those odds to put up much more resistance to it then bitching and kvetching.

In Interregnum there are several likely outcomes from the Hussite situation, including no war and Adolf being installed as king. The House of Luxemburg can't get back in, and the Hussites can also win, of course.

However, your point is a good one, especially as we are going to make sure that the Wittelsbachs do NOT already have a lock on things by 1421.

So it is all going to come down to the Bohemian crown event and two of the ecclesiastical electors. Given that the two (possibly three depending upon time frame) reside on the borders of Bavarian territory or are surrounded by it more aptly, and that the other houses that were elected to the posts are all from the areas in question to be within the shadow of Bavarian policies; the Bavarians would have a bit of pull with them. Great big hunks of those electorates economy are tied to regions controlled by the Bavarians etc. making it not very likely that they would want to upset that apple cart.

So, then this adds to the tapestry of our Pope vrs Emperor storyline. We can have it that in the 1390s or early in the game the Pope has forced the installation of his chosen, anti-Imperial candidates as archbishop, perhaps under a weaker empeor?

Those are the presumptive soft points that you can squeeze on. If Bavaria does control Mainz and it has long been presumed in the discussions that they do, and will have extensive influence on the voting pattern of Trier and Koln due to either having a member of the house as archbishop or close proximity to their territory then they have the block of votes in question. If they have the same chance at the Bohemian throne that they did historically and choose to take it because of their substantially stronger military position then historic; then they can make their play as early as 1470-ish.

This can all work.


As to the two additional electors in the former France...

Just a technical note; Savoy would most likely actually be called Arles as there was an older kingdom covering the territory the possess that was part of the empire. Now Burgundy might have a smallish issue with that since the Kingdom of Arles was also known as the kingdom of Burgundy

Presumably why the Pope made it the Kingdom of Savoy after the third crusade, to not upset the Burgundians

; but as I have noted they might have an issue with coming into the empire itself since it would kill their ambitions to restore France

At the time it was granted (third crusade) they could not have had ambitions on becoming France, as it still existed then. The break up of France after the third crusade was only in Aberration.

Burgundy is a Duchy at game start and is offered to be made a kingdom as long as it gives up its claims to France. Then it gets its elector status.
 

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I think I need a short recap of how exactly Savoy and Burgundy got to be electors, because I've forgotten the details and they're rather relevant to this discussion ;)
 

MattyG

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Avernite said:
I think I need a short recap of how exactly Savoy and Burgundy got to be electors, because I've forgotten the details and they're rather relevant to this discussion ;)


Well, the premise was that the Pope had this little idea to be seen to be giving something to the Emperor while also doing something against the emperor.

The Pope is concerned with the consolidation of power of the Wittelsbachs, fearing the formation of a unified German state which would ultimately be too much of a challenge to Papal authority.

The Pope has convinced the emperor that there needs to be more stability in Gaul and that the biggest threat is the Duchy of Burgundy. And that the best solution to this is to draw it out of 'France' and into the circle of the HRE. So, it gets to be its own Kingdom (the carrot to Burgundy). On the flip side the rest of Burgundy (including the parts that are now Savoy) become part of the empire and Burgundy gives up its claims on France. To cement its participation in the HRE it gets an electoral vote.

For Savoy, the argument runs that it will be the one who shows the leadership against an expanding Al-Andalus, and again, because if you want to add it to the empire you gotta concede it somthing significant.

The other advantage (or so it was sold to the emperor) is that now he will be leige over three kings, not just one.

So, status, more more and a sense of European stability emerging under the Eperor's aegus. And the Emperor has bought the idea.
 
Nov 28, 2004
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MattyG said:
Well, the premise was that the Pope had this little idea to be seen to be giving something to the Emperor while also doing something against the emperor.

The Pope is concerned with the consolidation of power of the Wittelsbachs, fearing the formation of a unified German state which would ultimately be too much of a challenge to Papal authority.

The Pope has convinced the emperor that there needs to be more stability in Gaul and that the biggest threat is the Duchy of Burgundy. And that the best solution to this is to draw it out of 'France' and into the circle of the HRE. So, it gets to be its own Kingdom (the carrot to Burgundy). On the flip side the rest of Burgundy (including the parts that are now Savoy) become part of the empire and Burgundy gives up its claims on France. To cement its participation in the HRE it gets an electoral vote.

For Savoy, the argument runs that it will be the one who shows the leadership against an expanding Al-Andalus, and again, because if you want to add it to the empire you gotta concede it somthing significant.

The other advantage (or so it was sold to the emperor) is that now he will be leige over three kings, not just one.

So, status, more more and a sense of European stability emerging under the Eperor's aegus. And the Emperor has bought the idea.

I am going to try to reply to two posts here as they are somewhat related.

No, you don't have to have Bohemia's vote muted at all; it would depend upon the situation post Hussite. As I recall it all revolved around putting a check on Austrian power, but was sold to the rest of the electors as something other then that; or at least that was the story they were putting out for general consumption.

If the situation is different you could still have it active or you could have a different house using the same cover story to clip the power of Bavaria and have it muted but from a different angle.

How would it affect things? Well let us look at RL for a guide, after all it is there and it isn't doing anything at the moment so let's put it to work! IRL Austria would start each election cycle with 1-2 votes depending upon year. This would mean that they would not have to kiss all the electors fannies, just a few of them. This would improve their overall bargaining position while at the same time putting them into even more heated competition with house Wittelsbach for the imperial title (it is amazing how close Bavaria would come to getting elected some years, and also amazing how for so many years they were considered the number 2 house in the empire considering their size). And that would play out in some possible different outcomes for events such as the 30 years war.

A couple of side notes before I continue my thought from the last paragraph; fairly early in the game period Bavaria and Austria came to an agreement on Bohemian succession which guaranteed the Bavarian branch inheritance of Bohemia under certain circumstances. I have never been able to find the details of it but I suspect that it was partially behind the rapid election of Karl to the throne of Bohemia during the war of the Austrian succession.

In a timeline in which the Bohemian vote did not get muted, and the election of the Electoral branch of the family still takes place during the 30 years war you have some new math for Maximillian to consider and an easy buy out possibility for the Winter king to offer: Tell Max that he will name him his heir so that both branches will have an electoral vote and the family will rule the empire. Max was above all else ambitious, devout though he may have been he was still ambitious enough to soil his name in the grab of his cousins electorship. Give him an out where he can fulfill his ambition and stick it to the Austrians? Yeah he would likely think about taking it VERY strongly. And if he does that does not bode well for the 30 years war lasting long enough to earn the name. And if he didn't it will make the war of the Austrian succession and the games the Hapsburg's played in putting Maria-Therese on the throne a bit..uh..more. The intensity of the conflict would probably be a bit greater as much more is at stake.

Now here is how I see the French electors impacting the Bohemian choices of the Bavarians:

1. Good idea to have it sold to a previous emperor, the Luxemburg's are likely culprits there.

2. It would look like to some players in the empire to be what it really IS an anti-Wittelsbach measure(and consider how the Papacy and the family interacted prior to game start I can see it, as I recall it was a Wittelsbach emperor that gave safe passage to Huss, but don't quote me on that). This would not likely bring the family into line with the Pope if you get my meaning.

3. It would increase the odds of Bavaria supporting the Hussites as a means of destroying Papal power in the empire(there would have to be some deals cut with the leadership there but nothing unworkable). If they do it could lead to a much earlier reformation and a ruthless secularization of the ecclesiastical holdings. This would take on an even more gruesome dimension if there is a single Wittlesbach holding the Pfalz and Bavaria or even if we can consider a single hand: Remember when I said the Elector-Palatine had a unique constitutional power? Yeah, it was to declare an emperor deposed. In theory he had the power to remove them as grand steward of the empire; in practice they never had the military might to actually do it. But that is not the case here. It would be a particularly bad day for Sigi...


If you are really having the Pope go for putting a big old Papal thumb in the Wittelsbach eye (if not the emperor in general), still go with Arles for Savoy (who was already a member of the empire since Savoy is a part of the empire), and give the Burgundians the title of Lothar... it would most definitely ensure that the Burgundians and the Bavarians would not be pals and do the most to damage a Wittelsbach consolidation of power.

It also makes for IMHO a more interesting narrative as this brilliant plan on the part of the Pope to keep the empire weaker by making it on paper stronger could in the end bear the bitter fruit of unintended consequence: An early reformation like event and a ruthless consolidation of that families power.

Which has a certain poetic irony to it.
 

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bobtdwarf said:
I am going to try to reply to two posts here as they are somewhat related.

No, you don't have to have Bohemia's vote muted at all; it would depend upon the situation post Hussite. As I recall it all revolved around putting a check on Austrian power, but was sold to the rest of the electors as something other then that; or at least that was the story they were putting out for general consumption.

If the situation is different you could still have it active or you could have a different house using the same cover story to clip the power of Bavaria and have it muted but from a different angle.

How would it affect things? Well let us look at RL for a guide, after all it is there and it isn't doing anything at the moment so let's put it to work! IRL Austria would start each election cycle with 1-2 votes depending upon year. This would mean that they would not have to kiss all the electors fannies, just a few of them. This would improve their overall bargaining position while at the same time putting them into even more heated competition with house Wittelsbach for the imperial title (it is amazing how close Bavaria would come to getting elected some years, and also amazing how for so many years they were considered the number 2 house in the empire considering their size). And that would play out in some possible different outcomes for events such as the 30 years war.

A couple of comments here.

First, although we don't really have Austria in Interregnum. There are the Hapsburgs as a family, who control Swabia, Tirol and Steiermark, IIRC. This works well, as we already have a rough storyline wherein Swabia and Bavaria don't like each other much. And Swabia can join with Milan eventually forming Lambardia, which could be one of the parts of the HRE that goes against Bavaria in any civil war/religious conflict. We can also posit other powerful families in the Empire, including a resurgent Luxemburg house if we want to. But the principal is the same: there will always be challengers to the title of Emperor, especially when the main family becomes fragmented or the leading candidates are themselves lacking in ability.

Second, currently in Interregnum there are a number of outcomes to the Hussite period. The Hussites can win, for example (something that would be even more likely if Bavaria does not confront them). That could make things very tricky, right? Being Reformed they will have a very different monarch list which does not relate to any of the existing houses. They are effectively out of the picture at this point, their vote effectively muted by the game system. If we follow some of your ideas there will need to be more options in the Hussite conflict, both early on (support from the Emperor) and at the end (who gets it).

A couple of side notes before I continue my thought from the last paragraph; fairly early in the game period Bavaria and Austria came to an agreement on Bohemian succession which guaranteed the Bavarian branch inheritance of Bohemia under certain circumstances. I have never been able to find the details of it but I suspect that it was partially behind the rapid election of Karl to the throne of Bohemia during the war of the Austrian succession.


Not sure this is relevant to our scenario. No War of Austrian Succession, no 30 Years War.

In a timeline in which the Bohemian vote did not get muted, and the election of the Electoral branch of the family still takes place during the 30 years war you have some new math for Maximillian to consider and an easy buy out possibility for the Winter king to offer: Tell Max that he will name him his heir so that both branches will have an electoral vote and the family will rule the empire. Max was above all else ambitious, devout though he may have been he was still ambitious enough to soil his name in the grab of his cousins electorship. Give him an out where he can fulfill his ambition and stick it to the Austrians? Yeah he would likely think about taking it VERY strongly. And if he does that does not bode well for the 30 years war lasting long enough to earn the name. And if he didn't it will make the war of the Austrian succession and the games the Hapsburg's played in putting Maria-Therese on the throne a bit..uh..more. The intensity of the conflict would probably be a bit greater as much more is at stake.

The 30 Years War doesn't mappen in Interregnum. It's also in the mid 1600's which is way out of the timeline we are discussing here. We need to limit ourselves to the period 1420 to 1490 (or parhaps a touch longer). Plus, there are very few scripted events in Europe after 1600, in large part because specific events become increasingly illogical.

Now here is how I see the French electors impacting the Bohemian choices of the Bavarians:

1. Good idea to have it sold to a previous emperor, the Luxemburg's are likely culprits there.



OK, I can rejig the text to reflect this.


2. It would look like to some players in the empire to be what it really IS an anti-Wittelsbach measure(and consider how the Papacy and the family interacted prior to game start I can see it, as I recall it was a Wittelsbach emperor that gave safe passage to Huss, but don't quote me on that). This would not likely bring the family into line with the Pope if you get my meaning.

Yes I do. Let us say that several Popes in the period have been working to ensure that no one family dominates the Emperorship, because this would then lessen the influence of the Papacy.

3. It would increase the odds of Bavaria supporting the Hussites as a means of destroying Papal power in the empire(there would have to be some deals cut with the leadership there but nothing unworkable). If they do it could lead to a much earlier reformation and a ruthless secularization of the ecclesiastical holdings. This would take on an even more gruesome dimension if there is a single Wittlesbach holding the Pfalz and Bavaria or even if we can consider a single hand: Remember when I said the Elector-Palatine had a unique constitutional power? Yeah, it was to declare an emperor deposed. In theory he had the power to remove them as grand steward of the empire; in practice they never had the military might to actually do it. But that is not the case here. It would be a particularly bad day for Sigi...

This is an intriguing storyline. Clearly in such a situation the Elector Palatine would likely depose the Emperor, although the Force Majeur of the Emperor may make this irrelevant. Certainly it would be another moment in the descent into religious/political conflict. Having Protestantism (here political more than theological) occur this early would mean that Reformed religion would need to be more significant, as it would be the only one with a meaningful theological difference, and thereby attract a greater following, I think. It would not be Calvinism, as we probably would want it to emerge a little earlier. But effectively the same thing.

Of course, the deposition could lead to the demise of these House Wittelsbach instead, with protestantism dead until Luther arrives.


If you are really having the Pope go for putting a big old Papal thumb in the Wittelsbach eye (if not the emperor in general), still go with Arles for Savoy (who was already a member of the empire since Savoy is a part of the empire), and give the Burgundians the title of Lothar... it would most definitely ensure that the Burgundians and the Bavarians would not be pals and do the most to damage a Wittelsbach consolidation of power.

Well, there will be folks who dislike losing the name of Savoy in the game, but I have no great attachment to it. I will shift it to Arles, ruled by the House of Savoy. Savoy can be a revolter (though not if Arles exists). As for Burgundy, I think that the title might be King of Burgundy and Lotharingia? In this way it includes the confrontational element but the game can keep Burgundy as its daily title. Maybe?

It also makes for IMHO a more interesting narrative as this brilliant plan on the part of the Pope to keep the empire weaker by making it on paper stronger could in the end bear the bitter fruit of unintended consequence: An early reformation like event and a ruthless consolidation of that families power.

Which has a certain poetic irony to it.

Yes, I like this very much as well. There needs to be an option for the player of Papal States to back away from confronting Bavaria, at least until it challenges it to crusade in Iberia.


So, let's look at the various points of conflict between Pope and Emperor and how they can play out.


1. Hussite War

Bavaria might decide to support the Hussites as a way of challenging Papal authority. If the Pope does little or nothing (during the life of the current Emperor) then nothing really happens, except the Papacy gets a hit to various stats. The issue would be delayed until the election of the next Emperor. Just before the death of Ernst (or the one after him) the Papal States would get an event about whether to scheme to get another family elected. If they chose to do so then a whole series of events are triggered with the elector states which get them to chose between the Wittelsbachs (relation with Bavaria increase) or with another house (relations with Bavaria decrease). Again though, if the Bavarians get the throne then he papacy suffers, triggering the Imperial reaction to strip Papal lands etc and possibly trigger an early 'reformation'. On the other hand, the Emperor could simply be smug about it. Story continues to the Iberian crusade sequence. Finally, the Pope could be successful. If Bavaria does not get the throne, then it gets some bonuses and are main storyline of the Iberian crusade likely doesn't occur (unless its is Savoy/Arles who is emperor, for different reasons) and the game definitely plays out a regular reformation. Victory to the Pope until Luther does a number on him.

2. Iberian Crusade

The Pope's next gambit to challenge Wittelsbach power. It's the "Oh, so you think you're the most powerful guy on the block, eh? Prove it, rid us of Islam in Spain. Pussy." The Pope hopes the (newly elected) Emperor will take the bait and either win (not a bad result for Christendom) or else lose, squandering men and resources and political power along the way and hopefully ending Wittelsbach chances of victory the next time. Really, unless the Wittelsbachs don't take the bait, the Pope sort of can't lose here, at least in the short term. If Bavaria does say no to a crusade, we can have a series of events just before the next election which again get key states to question the Wittelsbachs (cowards!) such that they may lose the post. If they don't, or if they win in Iberia, bingo, the next Emperor begins the creation of a unified Germany. 1460 to 1505.

3. Finally, the Reformation.

We have it at the moment that Bavaria is the uber-Catholic state which will never go Protestant in the normal (or alternative) reformation. Do we want to consider that, with the Wittelsbachs (only them) on the throne, that one of their reactions to the reformation is in fact to force the creation of Germany as a way of supressing the Protestants? If so, this would ignite a 30 years war type scenario, with the Pope backing the creation of Germany and now rely on the Wittelsbachs.
 
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MattyG said:
A couple of comments here.

First, although we don't really have Austria in Interregnum. There are the Hapsburgs as a family, who control Swabia, Tirol and Steiermark, IIRC. This works well, as we already have a rough storyline wherein Swabia and Bavaria don't like each other much. And Swabia can join with Milan eventually forming Lambardia, which could be one of the parts of the HRE that goes against Bavaria in any civil war/religious conflict. We can also posit other powerful families in the Empire, including a resurgent Luxemburg house if we want to. But the principal is the same: there will always be challengers to the title of Emperor, especially when the main family becomes fragmented or the leading candidates are themselves lacking in ability.

Second, currently in Interregnum there are a number of outcomes to the Hussite period. The Hussites can win, for example (something that would be even more likely if Bavaria does not confront them). That could make things very tricky, right? Being Reformed they will have a very different monarch list which does not relate to any of the existing houses. They are effectively out of the picture at this point, their vote effectively muted by the game system. If we follow some of your ideas there will need to be more options in the Hussite conflict, both early on (support from the Emperor) and at the end (who gets it).




Not sure this is relevant to our scenario. No War of Austrian Succession, no 30 Years War.



The 30 Years War doesn't mappen in Interregnum. It's also in the mid 1600's which is way out of the timeline we are discussing here. We need to limit ourselves to the period 1420 to 1490 (or parhaps a touch longer). Plus, there are very few scripted events in Europe after 1600, in large part because specific events become increasingly illogical.





OK, I can rejig the text to reflect this.




Yes I do. Let us say that several Popes in the period have been working to ensure that no one family dominates the Emperorship, because this would then lessen the influence of the Papacy.



This is an intriguing storyline. Clearly in such a situation the Elector Palatine would likely depose the Emperor, although the Force Majeur of the Emperor may make this irrelevant. Certainly it would be another moment in the descent into religious/political conflict. Having Protestantism (here political more than theological) occur this early would mean that Reformed religion would need to be more significant, as it would be the only one with a meaningful theological difference, and thereby attract a greater following, I think. It would not be Calvinism, as we probably would want it to emerge a little earlier. But effectively the same thing.

Of course, the deposition could lead to the demise of these House Wittelsbach instead, with protestantism dead until Luther arrives.




Well, there will be folks who dislike losing the name of Savoy in the game, but I have no great attachment to it. I will shift it to Arles, ruled by the House of Savoy. Savoy can be a revolter (though not if Arles exists). As for Burgundy, I think that the title might be King of Burgundy and Lotharingia? In this way it includes the confrontational element but the game can keep Burgundy as its daily title. Maybe?



Yes, I like this very much as well. There needs to be an option for the player of Papal States to back away from confronting Bavaria, at least until it challenges it to crusade in Iberia.


So, let's look at the various points of conflict between Pope and Emperor and how they can play out.


1. Hussite War

Bavaria might decide to support the Hussites as a way of challenging Papal authority. If the Pope does little or nothing (during the life of the current Emperor) then nothing really happens, except the Papacy gets a hit to various stats. The issue would be delayed until the election of the next Emperor. Just before the death of Ernst (or the one after him) the Papal States would get an event about whether to scheme to get another family elected. If they chose to do so then a whole series of events are triggered with the elector states which get them to chose between the Wittelsbachs (relation with Bavaria increase) or with another house (relations with Bavaria decrease). Again though, if the Bavarians get the throne then he papacy suffers, triggering the Imperial reaction to strip Papal lands etc and possibly trigger an early 'reformation'. On the other hand, the Emperor could simply be smug about it. Story continues to the Iberian crusade sequence. Finally, the Pope could be successful. If Bavaria does not get the throne, then it gets some bonuses and are main storyline of the Iberian crusade likely doesn't occur (unless its is Savoy/Arles who is emperor, for different reasons) and the game definitely plays out a regular reformation. Victory to the Pope until Luther does a number on him.

2. Iberian Crusade

The Pope's next gambit to challenge Wittelsbach power. It's the "Oh, so you think you're the most powerful guy on the block, eh? Prove it, rid us of Islam in Spain. Pussy." The Pope hopes the (newly elected) Emperor will take the bait and either win (not a bad result for Christendom) or else lose, squandering men and resources and political power along the way and hopefully ending Wittelsbach chances of victory the next time. Really, unless the Wittelsbachs don't take the bait, the Pope sort of can't lose here, at least in the short term. If Bavaria does say no to a crusade, we can have a series of events just before the next election which again get key states to question the Wittelsbachs (cowards!) such that they may lose the post. If they don't, or if they win in Iberia, bingo, the next Emperor begins the creation of a unified Germany. 1460 to 1505.

3. Finally, the Reformation.

We have it at the moment that Bavaria is the uber-Catholic state which will never go Protestant in the normal (or alternative) reformation. Do we want to consider that, with the Wittelsbachs (only them) on the throne, that one of their reactions to the reformation is in fact to force the creation of Germany as a way of supressing the Protestants? If so, this would ignite a 30 years war type scenario, with the Pope backing the creation of Germany and now rely on the Wittelsbachs.


I mention the real history stuff from the later game period primarily as a rough series of guides; a means by which we could assess the impact of some of the scenario events in a general way upon known history and personalities as a way of assessing their impact upon the scenarios history. Just to kind of get a "feel" for some of it. Other then that it is mostly useless.


The changes in titles to Burgundy and Savoy is essentially an "on paper" one if we choose to make it such. I see no real reason why we would have to necessarily have to change flags etc(though it may have an impact upon cores depending upon how in depth one wants to go), and there is a case to be made to leave the existing flags just so as not to confuse players. Primarily it is just to neaten things up a bit and to grant a greater level of prestige to the houses in question as the older titles (Arles and Lotharingia) have far greater precedence then a newly created house specific one. In other words we can keep the flag and name of Savoy but on paper the event is going to create the kingdom name as Arles and give them a bump in relations to reflect a bit greater prestige for the title since the stuff that I am talking about as reasons for doing this is not reflected in the game engine/system as much as it would be in let's say Vickie. It would be granting them titles of equal age and weight diplomatically as France or Bohemia rather then ones that would be of lessor weight.


If the events play out such that an early reformation takes place it may make Luther meaningless to a point. The Hussites may be reformed (I think that is done to give them the bonuses for their armies far more then any actual theological reasons) at the beginning of the event chain but they will likely if victorious switch to plain old Protestant for the rest of the game, especially if Bavaria through in their lot with them as a way of breaking the Pope in Germany. This would be reflective of a moderating of views and intensities of feeling after winning the day on one hand and moderating of theology to be more palatable to the rest of Germany... think Church of England which in many ways is "Catholic lite" but essentially still protestant being the net outcome on a wider scale. Protestant also covers a fairly wide range of variances of belief while reformed covers a bit narrower range if we look at it from the number or creeds covered by each of them and the differences between those creeds covered. Reformed covers mainly the Calvanist type whereas Protestant covers everything from the CoE to the more radical forms of Lutheranism and some of the Baptists.

So we could justify a post victory switch to reflect an establishment of a CoE kind of structure within the empire while still covering the Huss specific change in the creed more easily then with keeping the whole lot Reformed.

It would in this instance be more reflective of political rather then theological changes... and it could open up some potentially interesting options down the road if one chose to go there around the time of the conventional reformation. Luther would post his bit on the old line Catholic church and the old line would transit to hardline counter reformation style while events fire a la conventional game and AGCEEP for various provinces for choosing Protestant or Catholic or Ultra. But in the empire you could choose to fire an event chain that would transit them to old style Catholic to keep them just a bit out of step with the rest of the protestant world... all stuff that is a bit off track for what we are talking about but I felt the need to put a thumbnail sketch of down in case we want to discuss it later so I don't have to rely upon my short term memory which is not so hot anymore.


I am glad that you have found some of what I have said useful and intriguing in this regard. One thing I would like to add in the Iberian crusade bit that might affect the thinking of the emperor enough to take the bait of what is essentially a trap: An increase in revolt risk should be part of not taking it. Sure the religion might be different in the case of one series of events leading to the formation of Germany, but they would still be Christians and that should be reflected in somewhat higher revolt risk when the emperor turns down an offer/plea to defend the faith. It might be even higher with the religion being the same.

This should be enough to even encourage a human player to take the bait on what they absolutely know is a trap for them in certain situations they won't be able to deal with any more RR being heaped upon them.
 

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bobtdwarf said:
The changes in titles to Burgundy and Savoy is essentially an "on paper" one if we choose to make it such. I see no real reason why we would have to necessarily have to change flags etc(though it may have an impact upon cores depending upon how in depth one wants to go), and there is a case to be made to leave the existing flags just so as not to confuse players. Primarily it is just to neaten things up a bit and to grant a greater level of prestige to the houses in question as the older titles (Arles and Lotharingia) have far greater precedence then a newly created house specific one. In other words we can keep the flag and name of Savoy but on paper the event is going to create the kingdom name as Arles and give them a bump in relations to reflect a bit greater prestige for the title since the stuff that I am talking about as reasons for doing this is not reflected in the game engine/system as much as it would be in let's say Vickie. It would be granting them titles of equal age and weight diplomatically as France or Bohemia rather then ones that would be of lessor weight.

I'm convinced.


If the events play out such that an early reformation takes place it may make Luther meaningless to a point. The Hussites may be reformed (I think that is done to give them the bonuses for their armies far more then any actual theological reasons) at the beginning of the event chain but they will likely if victorious switch to plain old Protestant for the rest of the game, especially if Bavaria through in their lot with them as a way of breaking the Pope in Germany. This would be reflective of a moderating of views and intensities of feeling after winning the day on one hand and moderating of theology to be more palatable to the rest of Germany... think Church of England which in many ways is "Catholic lite" but essentially still protestant being the net outcome on a wider scale. Protestant also covers a fairly wide range of variances of belief while reformed covers a bit narrower range if we look at it from the number or creeds covered by each of them and the differences between those creeds covered. Reformed covers mainly the Calvanist type whereas Protestant covers everything from the CoE to the more radical forms of Lutheranism and some of the Baptists.

Well, I think the Protestant tag for them is debatable theologically. Plus there's a programming issue. In order for a province to go protestant or reformed the appropriate flag needs to be set. (This is not true for reformed and protestant as state religions). So if you want Hussite Bohemia to be protestant and its provinces to also be protestant (having them stay Catholic would be pretty counter-productive) then you need to set the protestant flag. Which is irreversible. It then allows many European states to chose to turn Protestant. The ai won't, of course, but a player suddenly could. Not acceptable. It isn't such a disaster with Reformed, however. So, the only condition under which Hussite Bophemia would go Protestant is in the case where we had this very early 'reformation' based on the HRE having a schism with the Pope.

But, yes, either Protestant nor Reformed really sums up the differences between the teachings of Hus and the Catholic church at the time. But I still think tht reformed is closer to Hus, except as noted above.



So we could justify a post victory switch to reflect an establishment of a CoE kind of structure within the empire while still covering the Huss specific change in the creed more easily then with keeping the whole lot Reformed.

Agreed, in this situation. It makes sense.

It would in this instance be more reflective of political rather then theological changes... and it could open up some potentially interesting options down the road if one chose to go there around the time of the conventional reformation. Luther would post his bit on the old line Catholic church and the old line would transit to hardline counter reformation style while events fire a la conventional game and AGCEEP for various provinces for choosing Protestant or Catholic or Ultra. But in the empire you could choose to fire an event chain that would transit them to old style Catholic to keep them just a bit out of step with the rest of the protestant world... all stuff that is a bit off track for what we are talking about but I felt the need to put a thumbnail sketch of down in case we want to discuss it later so I don't have to rely upon my short term memory which is not so hot anymore.

Yes, this will all work and makes sense. So the break with the Church will really represent a radical and risky political manouver for Bavaria. If they get enough support, they could win big. If they don't, House Wittelsbach will likely end.


I am glad that you have found some of what I have said useful and intriguing in this regard. One thing I would like to add in the Iberian crusade bit that might affect the thinking of the emperor enough to take the bait of what is essentially a trap: An increase in revolt risk should be part of not taking it. Sure the religion might be different in the case of one series of events leading to the formation of Germany, but they would still be Christians and that should be reflected in somewhat higher revolt risk when the emperor turns down an offer/plea to defend the faith. It might be even higher with the religion being the same.

It is and is not a trap. The Bavarians can also win big if they are successful, much like the Crusades in the Levant. There is a lot of prestige and trade prefernces to be won. A victory in Iberia (though costly and difficult) would pave the way for a glorious and powerful Germany.

You are right, we need a few more ramifications for bavaria not going on crusade. I think that losing the Emperorship at the next election (or it being more likely) is another consequence.

This should be enough to even encourage a human player to take the bait on what they absolutely know is a trap for them in certain situations they won't be able to deal with any more RR being heaped upon them.

Because Bavaria needs to be a chalange too. You can't give a player the HRE and wealth and pretend that the game is going to challenge them. And in MP the result would be player ganging up on Bavaria. So all these challenges and threats create the balance that is also necessary for game play.
 
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I wish there was a bit more flexibility in the religious system in EU2, because there could be some very interesting events crafted to take advantage of it.

The entire thumbnail I posted would be one of those... The split with Rome is partly theological and mostly political, something that would definitely benefit from being able to change the religions of provinces while not triggering the real deal reformation and it's attendant event chains. It could also be helpful in dealing with anti-Popes with the change of religion flags by province would indicate which Pope they were loyal to. But alas...

If Bavaria did choose to take this path and set up a Pet Pope in Germany or something more akin to the CoE with the emperor at the head of the church I can see it being fully justified that any provinces outside the HRE (and some within it that don't want to play ball) would be subject to the wrong religion penalty. And that in itself will tend to limit the expansion outside the borders and put a constraint upon a player(not a bad thing I would hazard). But it may be something to rethink if it would incur that same penalty upon the emperor for the entire period within the empire itself, until the actual reformation chain fired. If they have no means to convert provinces until then then things get VERY tough on the player and AI just keeping the empire together.

Really just vamping a bit now because after using pet pope I was pretty much done.. :rofl:
 

chefkoch

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As I understand it there were seven electors following the Golden Bull of 1356:

The Archbishop of Mainz
The Archbishop of Trier
The Archbishop of Cologne
Kingdom of Bohemia
Cty Palatine / Rhine
Duchy of Saxony
Magravate of Brandenburg

Of these, which were in the control of the Wittelsbachs?

In 1356, they hat two of them. The House Wittelsbach had the title Margrave of Brandenburg from 1323 to 1373. They also had the Palatinate.

I may make another suggestion for the german culture.

There should be only (high) german and low german because that were the two different languages spoken in Germany. Low german evolved because that region missed to follow the second germanic consonant shift. Upper german is only a group of high german dialects. Central german is also only a group of high german dialects. I don't see a justification of splitting german culture into low, central and upper german. Doing so would be inconsequent because you would divide language and dialects and not language and language. If you divide high german in central german and upper german, you should also divide low german in low saxon and east low german. So you have the choice between 2 german languages or 4 german dialect groups as cultures. Today, low german is at the brink of extinction. With Luthers Reformation, high german replaced low german bit by bit. Lower Saxony is now famous for having the best spoken standard german because their original language and dialect are gone. With the spread of the bible in german, low german provinces should change their culture to (high) german (when you choose the option with 4 dialect groups, it should be central german).

Danzig/Pomerelia had low german language (east low german dialect) while the rest of Prussia had high german language (central german dialect).
 
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Both 1.08 and 2.0 are going with a single german culture.

The differences in language are not significant enough to identify them as distinct cultures for our purposes.
 

Therion

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In my opinion, modern linguistic classifications are utterly irrelevant.

Sometimes, it is better to look at the effects before understanding the cause. The effects of owning a province without having its culture as state culture are reductions in province tax (-30%) and provincial manpower (-2).

Now, in the period we are concerned with, taxes and manpower were largely dependent on feudal obligations.

France gets full taxes and manpower from a province not because the population spoke French but because the province is historically part of the Kingdom of France with all the rights and obligations that come with that. It should on the other hand have trouble expanding in and effectively governing regions within the Empire, notwithstanding their francophony, simply because no ties between the Kingdom and those lands exist. (Sometimes not having a core is thought to simulate this - but in reality non-cores only reduce taxes and manpower for 30 and 10 years respectively.)

Kingdoms and duchies are permanent. When, for example, the Habsburg monarchy "annexes" Bohemia and Hungary, the Kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary actually remain intact. The Habsburg monarch merely inherits the respective titles and Czech and Magyar cultures are given to simulate this legitimacy. Wales is a different matter. Wales is incorporated (truly annexed) in the English crown, which is simulated by the provincial culture change from Gaelic to Anglosaxon.

So, to conclude, the culture aspect of EUII should try to take such feudal dues into consideration rather than focusing exclusively on language, which only becomes of importance after the emergance of nationalism in the 19th century. I find vanilla to be more or less accurate in this regard but the mods have generally moved towards the latter direction.
 

Toio

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In my opinion, modern linguistic classifications are utterly irrelevant.

Sometimes, it is better to look at the effects before understanding the cause. The effects of owning a province without having its culture as state culture are reductions in province tax (-30%) and provincial manpower (-2).

Now, in the period we are concerned with, taxes and manpower were largely dependent on feudal obligations.

France gets full taxes and manpower from a province not because the population spoke French but because the province is historically part of the Kingdom of France with all the rights and obligations that come with that. It should on the other hand have trouble expanding in and effectively governing regions within the Empire, notwithstanding their francophony, simply because no ties between the Kingdom and those lands exist. (Sometimes not having a core is thought to simulate this - but in reality non-cores only reduce taxes and manpower for 30 and 10 years respectively.)

Kingdoms and duchies are permanent. When, for example, the Habsburg monarchy "annexes" Bohemia and Hungary, the Kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary actually remain intact. The Habsburg monarch merely inherits the respective titles and Czech and Magyar cultures are given to simulate this legitimacy. Wales is a different matter. Wales is incorporated (truly annexed) in the English crown, which is simulated by the provincial culture change from Gaelic to Anglosaxon.

So, to conclude, the culture aspect of EUII should try to take such feudal dues into consideration rather than focusing exclusively on language, which only becomes of importance after the emergance of nationalism in the 19th century. I find vanilla to be more or less accurate in this regard but the mods have generally moved towards the latter direction.

This is true to a point, but the facts are that the HRE was basically not a kingdom but a confederation of german princes (reichstag) who would give money and men to the emperor at certain times. Many a time the "low german" princes would withdraw its men and money if the war went bad for the HRE or if it effected their commerce or alliances.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_(institution)

the reichstag ruled the HRE and not the HRE ruled the germans.

so to conclude, I would agree with post 54
 

Slavick3000

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A wacky idea - we have Germania right now as a kind of "united HRE" state. Why not have Germania - an "ethnic German" state exist in opposition to the Wittelsbach "legal German" Empire.
The issue with Germany is not that its culture is so large, but more that it is composed of a large number of small states that are easy to absorb into a blob. One way of combating it is through separate cultures, which will decrease the overall rewards of blobbing. Another option would be to penalize blobs in other ways, such as AGCEEP's events that force the Emperor to release HRE territories.
The option that could be interesting here is to have another blob to counter the first. A loosely bound HRE vs. a centralized, but smaller and less diplomatically successful Germania could make a nice analogue to RL's Austria vs. Prussia conflict in the 19th century.