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Lord Valentine

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BHC0264new.jpg

Hi folks! In my spare time between my A-level exams I decided try out the newest Magna Mundi version and couldn't resist turning the results into a small AAR. As a disclaimer to start with: Don't expect the updates to be too regular. I am still preoccupied with my A-levels and as soon as I find the time I want to finally write the continuation of my Mega-Campaign. So just wait and see how productive I will be able to be on this one. The first introductory post will nevertheless be up today.

Game: EU III Magna Mundi 1.729
Difficulty: Normal
Modifications: Only some slight ones. Edited the monarchs of England and Great Britain and gave Great Britain a new CoA. I also changed one national idea of England from "Grand Navy" to "Grand Army".
Goals:
-Resume the 100 year war. This is kind of an obsession that dominates every EU III game I start with England. :p
-Unify the British Isles
-Spread Protestantism across Europe
Narration Style: History Book. It's the only one I am mildly good at. ;)

Table of Content​

 
Last edited:

Eber

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I do love a good English AAR, looking forward to this.
 

Lord Valentine

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Introduction: The Fall of England under Henry VI


The year 1453 signaled the final low point of the prestige and fortune of the ancient kingdom of England. In France Gascony had been lost to the French after having been in the possession of the English kings for over 300 years. At home king Henry VI at the mere age of 31 was already so far gone in senility that his advisor's thought it more prudent to keep him from the ceremonial festivities commemorating the marriage of Marguerite Beaufort, a relative of Henry, to John Stewart, son and heir of king James II of Scotland, which took place on the 16th of July. With France lost friendly relations to the unruly Scots where as important as never before. How had it come to this?

charles7levictorieux.jpg

Charles VII "the Victorious". One of the less formidable French monarchs of the age but nevertheless to much to handle for Henry VI of England.


In 1422 Henry V the conqueror and would-be king of France had died leaving as his successor a boy of two months who as Henry VI ascended both the throne of England and France. Over the next two decades the French with all power available to them tried to push the English out of their country, being lead by such illustrious figures as Joan of Arc. Nevertheless in 1440 the English still held Normandy, Anjou, Maine and Gascony and believed that when negotiating peace with the French king Charles VII, they did so from a position of strength. In 1437 however young Henry had taken the reigns of state into his hands and the royal administration became increasingly dominated by figures like the duke of Suffolk and the duke of Somerset that lacked both the social standing and competence to entitle them to such authority. In spite of the mounting number of setbacks a complete disaster was avoided thanks to energetic men like Richard duke of York.
But it was the kings own policies which brought misery upon his realm. In 1445 Henry VI married the nice of Charles VII and daughter of René, the penniless titular king of Naples, Margaret of Anjou. Not only did Charles manage to talk feeble Henry into demanding no dowry but also got him to agree to surrendering Anjou and Maine to him. This part of the marriage contract was kept secret for it was rightly believed that it would outrage the English public. Henry finding it hard to fulfill his hasty promise, Charles eventually seized Anjou and Maine by force without any reaction from the English government. When the English finally launched a counter offensive into France in 1449 it was lead by the dismal Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset. The expeditionary force was quickly routed and this time the French swiped all before them conquering Normandy, the prize Henry V had fought so hard for a generation earlier, leaving the English with Calais as sole outpost on the continent.

The only recent positive news had been that the queen Margaret had announced being pregnant in early 1453, thereby stirring hopes that at least the open question of succession might be solved. But it almost seemed like a curse had befallen the dynasty of Lancaster for in November the court had to announce that the queen had suffered a miscarriage. This proved the last straw for Henry, who had never been a strong man. He fell into a deep mental disease (or “madness”) which completely paralyzed him and made him unable to speak. It was absolutely obvious that a Lord Protector would have to be appointed.

1.jpg

Thus the power struggle of York against the court goes into it's next round...​

When parliament assembled the same month, there where two contenders for this post. Richard of York was a cousin twice removed, the wealthiest and mightiest of the English lords and could look back on a long record of service to the crown in France and Ireland. His adversary was the same Edmund of Somerset who had commanded the disastrous expedition of 1449 and the only thing that recommended him was that he was all the queens man. Hoping for an end of the constant corruption and abuses of “evil royal councillors” (among whom Somerset himself was counted!) parliament granted the protectorate to York.
York immediately set about tackling extreme outbreaks of corruption and lawlessness, devastating testimony of Lancastrian rule in the last decades. In all of this he was considerably successful and for a short period strong and just government returned, the like of which had not been seen in over a generation.

2.jpg

Yorks effective and just regime during the protectorate won him considerable sympathies.​

And then the king recovered.

3.jpg

"If the illness of Henry was a personal tragedy his recovery was a national disaster."​

With the end of the protectorate in June 1454 all the flaws of Henry’s administration, the lawlessness, the corruption of parasitic royal favorites and the neglect of public matters returned. But this time the lords of the realm where not ready to tolerate this any longer. On October 8th Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, Humphrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, John Courtenay, Earl of Devon and Thomas Stanley, Earl of Derby presented to Henry a list of demands for the “reform of the realm”. They demanded that Somerset be committed to the Tower to await trial for his misdoings, the “high and mighty princes of the realm” (amongst which at least Warwick and Buckingham counted themselves) be admitted to the royal council and that the king name Richard of York his heir. If the king chose to ignore their “most humble proposal” the would seek remedy of their ills themselves, meaning they would rise in revolt. The king, never a strong or bellicose man, submitted.

When parliament assembled York formally set forth his claim to the throne.

gen.jpg

And it was strong indeed. In the male line he descended from Edmund of Langley the fifth son of Edward III to reach maturity. However if the female side was to be taken into account his claim was even stronger than the one Henry VI himself possessed! For through his mother he could trace his decent back to Lionel, Duke of Clarence, second son of Edward III while the house of Lancaster derived it's claim from John of Gaunt, third son of Edward III. This was a argumentation that parliament followed recognizing Richard and sons as heirs to the throne of England they granted them considerable annual pensions. Taking over a supreme position in the royal council York set about to lift England back to it's former glory...
 

Enewald

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I smell Roses. Two different roses. :D
Ahh, the king should die pretty soon. :p

A good start for an aar. :)
 

Lord Valentine

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Eber: I am also a big lover of English AARs but especially with Magna Mundi there are way too few. So I guess I had to do something about that. :p

Enewald: Ah I see someone knows his history there (or has played MM as England himself one or two times. :D). Well I suppose it's a fair guess that the Lancastarian connection won't give up the throne without a fight.

The first "real" ingame update should come today.

~Lord Valentine~
 

Lord Valentine

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Chapter One: Reforming the realm (1453-1457)


Now firmly entrusted with royal government York set about to reaffirm royal authority. His brothers in-law Warwick received the office of captain of Calais* and admiral of England while another of his political allies Lord Howard received the office of constable of England. The most immediate concern was setting the royal finances straight again. Years of neglect and corruption had severely reduced the royal treasury while at the same time the annual income of the crown had fallen to dangerously low 78.000 Pounds.** Especially the still extensive navy was costly to maintain with over 37.000 Pounds per year, more than twice the money spent on the moderate standing army of the kingdom! In view of this Richard let two of the greatest ships of the navy, the "St. George" and the "Henry V" be scrapped.

In August 1454 alarming news came from across the Channel. Feeble Charles VII had finally fallen victim to his life of debauchery. With his son Francis a man came to the throne that was everything his father wasn't, energetic, ambitious and competent. His stated goal was the complete unification of France, a remark that not only sent shivers down the spine of courtiers in England but also in the duchies of Brittany and Burgundy.

i3_0035.jpg

The coronation of Francis I in Reims in a illustrated 15th century chronicle.

Considering the current weakness of English arms and this new aggressive stance of French foreign policy finding continental allies became of greatest importance to the Yorkists. In early 1455 an alliance with Castille, the probably second mightiest kingdom in western Europe, could be secured. This would hopefully deter French aggression. Another important part of Yorks foreign policy was his attitude to Scotland. He labored hard to secure Scottish friendship, instructing the wardens of the East and West March towards Scotland, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, to keep peace at all costs. Not an easy task considering the culture of raiding and counter-raiding that had become so habitual to the North since Edward I great expedition into Scotland over 350 years ago. This new policy towards Scotland of course had a reason. First of all York wanted to avoid that Scotland as an old enemy of England should fall upon his realm in the case of renewed Anglo-French hostilities. Secondly the marriage of James III's heir John to the Lancastarian Marguerite Beaufort offered the unflattering prospect of Scottish support for his internal enemies.
In 1457 these labors bore fruit. James III, himself under considerable pressure from some of his mightiest subjects, singed an alliance with England. It not only stated that the two realms would support each other in war but also would assist each other in destroying "seditious rebellion and treason" in the others kingdom. The alliance was to be strengthened by a marriage between York's eldest son Henry*** and James sister Mary Stewart as soon as she came of age. Lancaster clearly could hope for no more assistance from Scotland.


During the course of the years 1454 to 1457 York and his helpers labored hard to restore an effective administration. In contrast to Henry VI, who by now ruled only in name, who had relied mostly on grasping, often corrupt noblemen, York implemented the widespread use of educated laymen from a bourgeois backgrounds. These men where a lot more loyal, professional and competent and thereby helped restore effective order and increased royal revenues once again.****

On the foreign horizon however dark clouds where coming up. Francis had invaded Brittany in July 1457. All of Europe held it's breeth, waiting for Philip of Burgundy, Charles I of Castile or York to make a move against this act of French aggression, but nothing happened. By October Francis had the whole Duchy in his hands and forced it's duke to hand over half of it to French royal officials as condition for a 5 year truce. "The weakest enemy of France is broken. Now only traitors and foreigners are left to await their doom", Francis is said to have remarked.

4.jpg

The Franco-Breton border after the Truce of Tours in October 1453.

Notes:

* In reality Calais was the only English city with a permanent royal garrison at the time. The 500 archers in Calais where the only standing army available to the crown. The captainship of Calais therefore was an incredibly powerful and important post.

** I have decided for the sake of realism I shall count one gold piece in EU III as 1.000 Pounds

** In reality Henry died in infancy

*** Adopted the National Idea "Bureaucracy"
 
Last edited:

unmerged(96289)

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I like the history book style of writing, and this looks good, so I'm looking forward to the next update.
 

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Looking good so far, LV. Interested to see how well you do resuming the HYW. Good luck!
 

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It seems England's ship of state is in good hands with the (in all but name) Yorkist Regency. Hopefully Frenchie Frank doesn't get too uppity with you too soon. But then again, it's France... :wacko:
 

Lord Durham

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I like the way you are laying the groundwork. Securing Scotland's favour to protect your rear door is a wise move. Looking forward to the next installment.
 

Enewald

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Frane seems to be too powerful.
Sad that you can not assasinate other kings. :)
 

Lord Valentine

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Wow! What a feedback in just a few hours! :)

Subject #19: I'm glad you enjoy the show. :p I personally am also a big fan of history-book AARs but there don't seem to be many around for EU III. Most seem to be gameplay or comedy AARs.

coz1:Thanks! Dealing with France will be tougth. I am not as wealthy as them meaning I can't field a army as large as theirs and additionally I need a strong navy to ferry it across. But well I suppose this alliance with Castille was not made for purely defensive purposes...

Bingo Brett: Yes good old Richard of York is a lot more able than Henry VI (though it would be hard imagining anyone worse than him ;)). Mind you the true strength of the Yorkist faction is yet to be revealed when they meet real problems.

Lord Durham: "Divide et impera". A simple strategy but it always works. :cool:

Enewald: Yeah it's a pitty one can't get ride of overmighty kings that way. I would love to see the character system of CK or Rome implemented into EU. By the way what somewhat strickes me is that in nearly every game I start the French get extremely good monarchs. Either there's a lot of luck involved or Paradox had more French sympathies when programming this game than I would have expected.

~Lord Valentine~
 

Lord Valentine

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Chapter Two: The Wars of the Roses begin (1457-1461)



So far fate had looked kindly upon the house of York and it's quest for power and reform in England. During the following years however the situation deteriorated considerably until it ended in full blown civil war and a period of civil strife (usually dated from 1460 to 1486) today collectively known as "The Wars of the Roses". It all began in 1458 when Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset managed to escape from the tower. He had been held there in confinement since the take over of York and his allies in 1460. He had however not been put on trial for treason as originally planned. Although Warwick had urged him to "cut of the head of that troublesome man" York did not wish to alienate the moderate Lancastarians from his regime through such an act of cruelty. After a lengthy stay in Burgundy Somerset sought refuge in France where he was warmly greeted.
The most bitter enemy of the house of York was now in the hands of England's most ancient enemy.


As an immediate reaction York published a series of manifestos for broad circulation announcing that "the French pretender Francis" and the "faithless duke of Somerset" where continually plotting the "complete and utter destruction of this realm of England" and to "commit the worst manslaughter, rape and pillaging ever seen in Christendom" in the said realm. Therefore everybody should be ready to resist a possible invasion and not lend any aid to Somerset and any of his friends. York followed up these words by ordering commission of array for several counties on the channel coast. But these war scares where futile, for Francis I was too much occupied with the prospect of buying back the Somme towns ceded to Burgundy under the treaty of Arras 1435, to plan an invasion of England.


The year 1459 witnessed the death of king James III of Scotland at the mere age of 36.
He was succeeded by his 17 year old son John who took the throne as John II. A incompetent, decadent youth, he found it hard to establish his authority against a nobility that was traditionally protective of it's liberties. To bolster his internal position John looked to England and offered York to reaffirm the alliance of 1457 and also proposed that the marriage between Henry of York and his sister Mary, who would turn 16 in 1460, should go ahead.. Eager to bind Scotland tighter to the Yorkist cause the Duke agreed. The date for the marriage between York's heir and Mary was set for the 2nd of March 1460.

On the 25th of February Mary Stewart, escorted by a retinue of over 500, crossed the Anglo-Scottish border. She was then lead to York by the Dukes leading supporter the Earl of Warwick where she entered in splendor on the 1st of March. The marriage took place in York Minster the next day.


snowy_minster.jpg

York Minster today.

The marriage celebrations continued for a fortnight with a traditional jousting tournament as the affairs climax, at which Henry's younger brother Edmund at the mere age of 17 triumphed over all his competitors.

i3_0059.jpg

"The joust of York 1460" as shown in "The Great London Chronicle"


Thus a disastrous year for the house of York began with a happy occasion. But soon the said dynasty experienced their share of misfortune.
On April 8th 1460 queen Marguerite gave birth to a son named George. King Henry had an heir and suddenly Yorks claim to the throne (and the government of the realm) seemed very questionable again. To make matters even worse another problem erupted abroad.

The reoccurence of the first standing armies in Europe since Roman times created great difficulties for most medieval states financing them. England was no exception. During the last 40 years the Calais garrison had mutinied on average every 10 years, due to problems of the government to pay their wages. In 1460 with the Yorkist government still hard pressed for money it happened again. The Calais garrison butchered the royal official in charge of the city, seized the wool stored in the harbor docks and barricaded the city.
This was the situation Somerset had waited for. Supplied with an adequate treasury by Francis he rode to Calais with all haste and offered the garrison to pay their wages and a handsome bonus if they entered his service. All standing armies in Europe until the 18th century being essentially of a mercenary character Somerset did not have to make this offer twice and by May he was well entrenched in Calais. He had been further strengthened by French troops and mercenaries from the Low Countries supplied by the king of France so that his total force amounted to some 7.000 men. With these Somerset planned to invade England and link up with his Lancastarian supporters at home and overthrow the Yorkist regime. Since he lacked a navy of his own Somerset was completely dependent on French aid to ferry his forces across the Channel. The French navy however was tied down fighting Breton pirate activity for the moment although Francis assured the anxious duke that he would bring him to England ere the summer had passed.

This gave the duke of York time to act. As early as the 18th of May he sent letters in the kings name to important lords and towns of the realm to bring "as many men as ye may defensibly array" to London until the 28th of June. After having assembled some 9.000 men he set out for Calais accompanied by the duke of Buckingham and the two Neville brothers Richard, Earl of Warwick and Thomas, Lord Montague. York had wisely secured permission to land his troops on Burgundian territory from duke Philip IV a month earlier, so that his force could disembark without meeting any major opposition. By July 4th the Yorkist army had reached Calais. If prudent Somerset would have kept his forces inside the city thereby forcing York into a prolonged siege. This would have given his Lancastarian allies in England, now virtually emptied of Yorkist troops, time to rise. But displaying the same judgment that had won his father such infamy on his campaign in France he at once sallied forth to meet his enemy in battle.


i3_0028.jpg

The battle of Calais, the first battle of the Wars of the Roses, fought on June 5th 1460

The battle of Calais is an event over which we are ill-informed. But from what we know both armies where arrayed in the traditional three battles. The Yorkists outnumbered Somersets host by some 2.000 men. Also it had the advantage of having a considerable amount of great ordinance, brought for the siege of Calais, while the Lancastarians completly lacked this increasingly important novelty of war. The slow but constant battering of Yorks cannons therefore forced Somerset to quickly engage the enemy army in close combat. In the vicious melee that ensued the battle raged inconclusive for two hours until finally the Yourkist right, commanded by Lord Montague, routed the Lancastarian left wing and instead of turning to a blind pursuit, as was often the case with the undisciplined armies of the 15th century, threw their whole wait against Somersets main battle which quickly collapsed. The defeat turned into a rout. Out of the 7.000 soldiers in Somersets pay over 3.000 where killed and 2.000 taken prisoner. Only 2.000 managed to flee into open countryside or the relative safety of Calais. The Yorkist host had suffered losses somewhere between 700 and 900 men. The duke of Somerset was captured and beheaded for treason the very next day. Thus did the great spilling of noble blood begin. This disastrous defeat however did not keep Calais from continuing to defy Yorks authority. In the city the late dukes son and heir Henry Beaufort took over the command of the few remaining forces at his disposal, heartening them by announcing that the king of France would lead a strong host to relieve them ere the winter came.

i3_0009.jpg

The siege of Calais begins. It would drag on until 1461

With a possibly long siege to be conducted it was decided that Warwick should return to England taking 5.000 men with him, to quell any possible Lancastarian uprising while his brother Montague and York himself would remain to retake Calais. Historians have often marveled why York after taking with him a considerable amount of ordinance did not try to swiftly storm Calais. But the answer was probably quite obvious. Calais was the only English base left in Europe. The bastion of England across the Channel and gateway for any invasion to France or the Low Countries. Reducing this town to ruins would be greatly damaging to the English cause in the long run. Therefore the Yorkist army and navy built up a complete blockade of the city and waited. The besieged however where not as cautious. Henry Beaufort organized a spirtied resistance. Using a few cannons captured from ships in the harbor as a means of bombarding the Yorkist camp and leading several night raides into the enemies camp he kept the followers of the White Rose on their toes. And indeed on March 12th 1461, only one week before the final surrender of Calais, disaster struck as York was hit by a cannon ball fired from the city walls during his daily inspection of siege works.

In England chaos broke out at once. Who would succeed York as de-facto ruler of England? Warwick viewed himself as the natural choice but his claim was of course challenged by Henry of York, now 4th Duke of York and head of the house of York. Or would king Henry or his more dominant queen take the reigns of state back into their hands, or perhaps even recall Henry Beaufort to become the first man in the state? Violence was in the air anyway since Henry of York at once mustered an army from his native duchy perhaps to oppose the forces Warwick had lead back to England. But a confrontation between the two leading Yorkists was averted by yet another incredible turn of events. On April 18th Henry VI together with his queen and infant son managed to give the minders Warwick had placed on them the slip and fled to France. This left the Yorkist faction in a very embarrassing situation for without their puppet king they had no authority to rule the country and probably rightly feared the vengeance their enemies where already planning. In this situation Warwick and the new duke of York where quick to come to terms and seek the only possible solution to their problem: setting up their own king. Thus after a hastily prepared ceremony Henry of York at the age of 20 on the 23rd of May became Henry VII, by the grace of God king of England and France, Lord of Ireland. Whether he would enjoy this title for long was open to question


5.jpg

Henry of York "that youthful blossom of the White Rose" becomes the first Yorkist king. The fate of his house and of England lies in his hands.
 

aHuman(oid)

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This could be a very interesting War of the Roses, also the first one I've seen last more than a few game months.

Edit:
That's a pretty good king, too.

Edit2:
By the way what somewhat strickes me is that in nearly every game I start the French get extremely good monarchs. Either there's a lot of luck involved or Paradox had more French sympathies when programming this game than I would have expected.

Are they lucky? If they are, they get a bonus to monarch stats.
 

Bingo Brett

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As I have found, monarchs with good stats don't always produce good results. And sometimes they croak too soon. :( But wonderfully written, I must say! I'm going to crack open the English History books tonight. :)
 

Enewald

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I hope that In Nomine includes a civil war system like the one eu rome has.
Ahh, more noble blood!! :D
 

Lord Valentine

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After studiying hard for my biology exam on Saturday I fell like a little leisure time. So I might finish another update today.

aHuman(oid): Well the Wars of the Roses will trouble England for a good while. No brief civil wars here. :)
And your right Henry VII is a pretty good monarch. Quite a contrast to his predecessor and namesake.

Bingo Brett:Isn't it the age old story? A young man with great talents and prospects comes to the throne but in the ends dies ingloriously the great expectations of his contemporaries unfulfilled? Anyway thanks for the praise. And enjoy your history books! The Wars of the Roses are a great period to read about with an incredible amount of fascinating characters (Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, Richard of York, his sons Edward IV and Richard, Louis XI of Frances, Charles the Bold of Burgundy...).

Enewald: Oh yes the new rebel-system in "In Nomine" should make all the English civil wars a lot more interesting. :cool:
And don't worry as in any civil war a lot of blood is going to flow in the next few updates. :D
 

merrick

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Ah, a new England AAR. By someone who clearly knows his writing, and his history, and has access to some great medieval illustrations. Me like.

No mention of war with France yet, I notice. Do England and France not start at war in MM?

P.S. And how did Somerset escape form the tower in 1458 when he was imprisoned in 1460? ;)
Like I always say, if your enemies have time-travel, you were in really bad trouble.
 

Milites

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Got to love the title!

Very nice piece, looking forward to more.
 

Woody Man

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Excellent stuff so far LV, subscribed!