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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Hiryuu

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Nice chapters, but I really would like to see you smash Mali. Anyway, I'm not a big fan of Austria, but, well, good luck (no that you'll need any).
 

TheArchduke

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Caught up, great AAR, in for the final ride.:)
 

CatKnight

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Sorry for the delay, folks. The Muse decided to take a short vacation (especially with the American baseball season starting tomorrow!), I'll get an update out in the next day or two.
 

Homusubi

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Sorry for the delay, folks. The Muse decided to take a short vacation (especially with the American baseball season starting tomorrow!), I'll get an update out in the next day or two.

What's harder than Kanem Bornu? Answer: understanding what the hell goes on in baseball. Thanks for giving an ETA on the next update, I was getting nervous...
 

tnick0225

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Sorry for the delay, folks. The Muse decided to take a short vacation (especially with the American baseball season starting tomorrow!), I'll get an update out in the next day or two.

Its all good, sports always get in the way, March Madness has been distracting me from my AARs lol :p and now opening day starting in a few minutes!
 

Nikolai

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Sports...! *waves fist*
 

Storey

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No. Just no. I've taken a certain pride in not using my veto or overriding the dice once this game, but that day has come.

Kanem Bornu!

Tsk, tsk a little challenge like Kanem Bornu and you wet your pants. :D Okay so it would have been more interesting to watch paint dry than do a round with Kanem Bornu but still you never know. However I will have to admit that Austria does present more opportunities…
 

CatKnight

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Vaximillian: Hm, that's a thought. I might have to deal with Ulm after all...

Orlov Kruskayev: Oh, I'm sure my days of OPMs and hopeless situations are far from over.

tnick0225: I walked in thinking Austria was nigh invincible. Uhm..nope.

Chief Ragusa: Perhaps a bit too much quiet!

Warlord Skorr: Wurtemberg does look very doable. Now, how to do this without getting half the empire mad at me...

Oops...

tapewormlondon: Let us know how your game goes!

Idhrendur: Perhaps I should stick to the minors :X

GreatUberGeek: I did some research - it looks like Austria diploannexed/unioned(?) Brandenburg in 1577. After that they won some minor wars.

frankatank109: I'm glad you liked that one.

AsdfeZxcas: You've probably seen you're not alone in that assumption. Perhaps, but I can't help thinking KB would have been 10-20 years of watching time pass by. I still have PTSD from Lan Xang!

McGrey: Hm. I'll keep that in mind! Thanks!

Gen. Marshall: So that's what's wrong with the world these days!

Stuyvesant: Unfortunately I'm not the emperor (that's the Palatinate), or even a serious contender at the moment.

Hiryuu: I think I need Portugal to smash Mali. KB...would have A LOT of trouble.

TheArchduke: Welcome! I haven't seen you around in a very long time!

Matnjord: Did you miss me?

Homusubi: Baseball's pretty straight forward. Now Rugby. I've watched a few games of Rugby now trying to educate myself, and...wow.

tnick0225: I'm not as much into basketball. It was crazy how many people had their brackets ruined in that first week though.

Nikolai: I'm waiting for EU4 to become a sport. That's one I could get behind!

Storey: Well, it's true you never know. I certainly expected less from Mantua. If I get somewhere like KB again we'll play it out and see what happens.

Until then, let's watch Cat bite off more than he can chew...
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER XVI: AUSTRIA
Part 1: Color of Blood
(1655-1660)


This is great! C'mon, I know some of you want to find a way for us to beat 1:3 odds and take on Mali, but this is Austria, home of the biggest whorehouse in Europe!

It's the Habsburg family motto. Look it up if you want!


Austria!

Let's begin with the mandatory introductions.

165501ItBegins_zpsd127ac6f.jpg


Meet Johann Leopold! Quite an administrator, quite a military man, and rich enough to afford three advisors. For once our merchants aren't badly placed: Wien, Venice and Lubeck. Johann Leopold is 21 years old, which is perfect because we're going to need time for him to pump out an heir. The last thing Austria needs is to be a junior partner in a union.

Our foreign policy seems to consist of a number of countries fearing and embargoing us. We countered this by embargoing them, and cozying up to Magdeberg and Tuscany. We also have a number of RMs and even a vassal.

Our alliance is fairly strong: Poland, France, Magdeberg, the Emperor and Utretcht. This is good because we have ALOT of CBs.

Our first move is to forge an alliance with Tuscany because, well, they're there and perhaps we'll get to chat with Mitre Head at some oint. We also earn Diplomacy-20, which lets us purchase chebeck frigates instead of galleasses.

Our second move is to do something insane.


Getting People Killed

165501DoWBohemia_zpsac61af2a.jpg


Meet Bohemia! My first thought was that if I could take enough of Bohemia I could unite Austria with uhm...Northern Austria. Then I realized my CB with them was because they broke a personal union. Bringing Bohemia back into the fold and eventually diploannexing them would meet my needs nicely.

Here's the problem: Bohemia is united with Denmark and the Ottos. I believed we could avoid too much trouble since Denmark's already allied with us, the Bohemians are fighting the Livonian Order and Hansa, and the Ottos have no land access to us. I suppose they could launch an amphibious assault, but really is the computer going to think of that? By the end of the day it's AUSTRIA, Ansbach, Poland, Palatinate, Tuscany, Utrecht vs. BOHEMIA, Denmark, Ottomans.

What could possibly go wrong?

We rush to Prague with 43,000 men, and I punt our spy advisor to free up our budget in case we need to start recruiting. Prague's the primary war goal for reaffirming our union, and perhaps that'll be enough to bring Bohemia back into the fold.

For some reason the Bohemian army of 12K goes on vacation in Mainz before settling to siege Ansbach. The Danes have 27K in Brunswick more interested in the Hansa then us. In April the Palatinate kicks Bohemia out of Ansbach in a narrow fight. Easy.

Until I glance over and notice 35K Ottomans in KRAKOW. See, they've arranged for MA through our new nemesis Hungary.

They also see the need to show off their fleet.
165504BigNavy_zps649a969c.jpg


It's not the size of your fleet, but how you use it that counts. Unfortunately the Turk can do both as they sink my lone battle fleet months later.

18K Tuscans briefly join my siege of Prague, but back away before the Ottoman menace. The Turk follows them, forcing battle in June against a joint Tuscan/Ansbach force.

That's when I notice 36K MORE Ottos in Ratibor. And 77K behind THEM! My God, they've sent their whole damn army after us! In July their initial force pins down our army in Prague.

There's hope though! I'd built 12K reinforcements, and they piled in. The Turk poured in doomstack after doomstack. The Palatinate joined in, and Poland was on the way by October. They lose 56,000 to our 17,300 and retreat in disorder.

I consolidate our regiments. I think it's wasteful to do this normally, as it means building new regiments fresh, but I have to stop them. That's 119 regiments the Ottos threw at me. If I can catch them and win again, I can knock the Turk out of the war.

Alas it's not to be, because they retreat into Hungarian soil and some sentry tells us we can't pass. Bugger.

Meanwhile, in 'North' Austria, we have one lone regiment who I don't expect to survive. Denmark moves in - and so does Utrecht and Tuscany. We send them reeling for the Danish border.

165510WinRound1_zps78c77be2.jpg



Blood for the Blood God

We celebrate by taking Economic Idea-6 (Nationalist Enthusiasm, -10% Land Maintenance), which seems rather fitting given the beating we just handed out.

To be honest, I'm completely ignoring the north, so I'm only mildly surprised when Denmark occupied Luneburg. They then move 30,000 into Mecklenberg, and my lone regiment (with friends that now include the Palatinate and Poland) give them another beating.

Meanwhile, the Bohemians take Ansbach and march to recover their territory. They surprise and annihilate two Austrian regiments on the border, but that gives my army time to catch them. The Bohemian army ceases to exist.

165603KillBohemia_zpsc5b558f7.jpg


Which, you think, would be a great reason for them to end this war. Of course not. Not now that the Ottomans have pieced together a 43K army and sieged Bohemia. It's time to take our first loan and build mercs (manpower is GONE.)

The Ottos see their chance and move into Linz to destroy my army. Once more reinforcements pour in from around the country including a nice surprise - the Poles. They lose 19,000, but we lose almost 17,000. The tide's beginning to turn, but I don't as yet realize it. Instead I recruit another 12K mercs for two loans.

In fact I'm celebrating. The Bohemians offer me a white peace, but you know what? I think we can win this. Screw you Bohemia, we're going for the jugular.


Pride goeth...

165607BackDoor_zpsb4cc5f2a.jpg


Then, in July 1656, the Ottos decide to stop messing with Bohemia and attack my underbelly directly.

In October the Ottomans assault Salzburg and destroy the 6K army sieging there. Well, of course we show up with our stack. Then the Ottos pile in. So do Poland and the Emperor. Then the Bohemians scrape together a few thousand. We have 74,300, they have 114K. We've done this a couple of times now.

Someone famous, I want to say Sun Tzu, once warned that if you MUST win a battle to stay competitive, you've already lost the war. Well, this is our third MUST win, and this time the Bohemians have found themselves a decent general. It's close....but no.

It's now that Bohemia makes THEIR mistake. Of course they're no longer remotely interested in White Peace, but they do say yes to giving up Moldavia (Poland will thank me later) and 33 gold. I send my diplomat.

Two days later the diplomat comes back without his head. In that time frame the AI recalculated and decided Bohemia didn't want any money. Or anything reasonable for that matter.

It's the Ottomans. All of this hinges on the Ottomans. We MUST get them out of this war, and they're going to make me beg for the privilege.

165612PeaceOttos_zps9438a69a.jpg



All Debts Payed with Interest

165701AustriaSitRep_zpsbfe1f731.jpg


The remnants of my army spend a lonely few months in Verona, occupied by Venice and owned by Mitre Head. While there we master Military-20 (Swivel Cannon) and recruit 7K mercenary infantry. The Danes are not a factor, and the Bohemians will simply lose another army.

By June we're ready and launch a frontal assault on the Bohemian position. We don't destroy their army - we leave that to the Palatinate, who blocks their escape. They then besiege Erz, only to have their army devastated by a Danish 30K stack.

Bohemia offers peace annuling their treaties. Oh no. Not after everything that's happened. I do find out they'd accept an offer to return to the union, but that's not enough either.

In February 1658, with two more Bohemian provinces occupied, the Tuscan army moved into Prague and kicked out the tiny local force trying to retake the capital. Unfortunately this woke up the Dane, who moved their army in and crushed that also.

Well, we can't have that. In March we assault the Danish army with Imperial help. We're actually outnumbered, but our Ludwig Byszynski is a VERY good commander (6/5/2/3) while Denmark's Christoffer Lovenorn is not. (3/3/2/1)

165803BeatDanes_zps34f8d0a2.jpg


They flee all the way to Hamburg. We decide to kill them to the last man!

165804Defense_zpsbac1165e.jpg


Strangely Denmark suddenly gets reasonable about ending the war with a status quo antebellum.

Too bad that option's no longer open to Bohemia, who's suddenly all alone. In July 1658 Salzburg falls. By November their entire country is occupied.


Silence

In January 1659 the Bohemians offer me the Union AND Salzburg. I think about rejecting it, but decide to check the war score first. 100%. I literally can't force the AI to give up more.

Fine.

165901Peace_zpsa1081f22.jpg


Just don't get comfortable. You'll be joining Austria really soon, one way or the other. I send a diplomat over to explain this (Improve Relations) and cancel the embargo to try to reduce the chance of them going rogue again.

They're not the only diplomatic relation we cancel. We're at 13 of 9 acceptable relations, so I cancel 3 MAs (Pope, Venice, Wurtemberg) and one guarantee (Ulm).

Rebuilding after this war means cycling out all our mercs, so after repaying 1 of our 4 loans, we begin recruiting regulars and retiring mercs.

Our warlike nature alarms well...most of the planet. Hamburg, Augsburg, Aaachen, Mainz, Hungary, Burgundy, Denmark, and the Hansa all form a coalition against us. Most of them embargo us for good measure.

Well, that's okay (for now). We have some rebuilding to do before any more adventures. Hopefully the Ottos will be too busy for awhile to cause more trouble.


Johan's Dice

Reign: 5 years
Roll Needed: 2+
Roll: 5
Continue: Yes
 

Svip

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Keep Ulm independent!
 

Orlov Kruskayev

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The Blood God must have been promoted after this much massacring. Maybe he is the Economy God now aswell. :D
 

Homusubi

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So you've lost half your northern lands in exchange for an investment that pays off 60 years down the line? Economist God indeed!
 

unmerged(58610)

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Looks like you needed some better luck with Austria after all. You king is 21 and not married with an heir. he's not very Austrian and with those stats not very habsburg, either. The Austrian motto may as well be 'make love, not war'. How do you solve a problem like Maria? Marry her! That's the solution to South Austria, the kingdom formerly known as Hungary. That would be followed by a quick war to form a PU. The second family motto is 'the emperor must always be Austrian'. Enough electors must be persuaded to see the light.

Magdeburg and Thuringia have gained Austrian territory, which makes them candidates for vassilization. I also like the prospect of building some buildings to strengthen the economy and manpower, but I'd welcome the opportunity to make Venice a vassal and reduce Mitre-heads's power.
 

Idhrendur

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My Russia game has made me dislike the Ottos. This just made it worse.
 

Stuyvesant

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Wow, the Turks are not messing around! But you saw bought them off and eventually brought Bohemia to its knees. So the end result is pretty good - it's just the cost that seems prohibitive.

If I were you, I'd consider extending the fortifications at Vienna substantially. It's a different world from ours and all that, but keep in mind that the Turks came down with a vengeance on Vienna in 1683 - only 23 years away. And you had to give up on your treaties with Poland, so perhaps there won't be any Winged Hussars coming to the rescue.

Anyway, I applaud your single-minded quest to destroy Bohemia. In all likelihood, they won't be ready for assimilation until years after Johann moved you on to different climes, but it's the thought that counts: torque off the Austrians and prepare to pay the price - somewhere, sometime in the future. ;)
 

Storey

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The Ottomans have a seemingly endless supply of men don't they? :D I’ve run into them a few times and unless it’s at a time where they are falling way behind in tech they are a bear to beat. Especially if you can't forcus on them because of a multi front war! Losing a treaty with Poland to get them out of the war was well worth the price.
 

tnick0225

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GreatUberGeek

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Yes! But the Ottos dealt out some pretty hard defeats (and victories!) Good that you can continue with Austria!