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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Director

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I know that in my last game (as England) I fought - and was overwhelmed by - the Ottomans on two occasions. Then I finally got high enough military level, got some good generals to go with the Redcoats, and wiped them out of India, Persia and East Africa. Very satisfying... VERY.

Bohemia down - Hungary to go. That's either a plan for political success or an impressive 3-martini power lunch.
 

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Yes! I finally caught up! Subbed.
 

CatKnight

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Svip: But what about the weapons of alchemical destruction?

Orlov Kruskayev: If he's the Economic God now, then I should convert Venice to his cause!

Homusubi: Well, I lost half my northern lands to get the damn Ottos off my back. Hopefully they'll find someone else to harass.

Chief Ragusa: Venice is on my list, though they ARE stronger now than they were, and Austria's fleet was pretty pathetic after the Ottomans finished with it. Hungary... Yes, I need to have a talk with Hungary. Without their allies around.

Idhrendur: I'm kinda glad the Ottos are living up to their reputation, especially without Lucky Nations on. But yikes.

Stuyvesant: Actually building up forts sounds like a great way to spend a few quiet years. I'm not worried about not having winged chickens on my side though.

Storey: Yeah. I would've lost the war and perhaps more if I hadn't bought the Ottos off. They're quite scary.

tnick0225: Hopefully we're in for a nice quiet period. It's mid-17th century Europe after all, a time known for its peace and goodwill.

GreatUberGeek: Yes, let's not fight the Ottos again for awhile. Austria's simply not in their class.

ScribleScrable: Hopefully we can become emperor before this is over. We know how things went last time I tried that though (with Savoy)

birdboy2006: Welcome! It's definitely interesting to see how the world develops. I seem to be able to stick around strong enough to give the (better) nations a good nudge, but not long enough to drastically affect an area.

Director: Hungary's definitely on my list. Regarding the Ottos - doubt I'll gain enough of a tech edge at this point in time, but if I get a reasonably strong power in late game (England, Spain) then maybe it'll be time to knock the Ottos off their pedestal.

Dr. Livingstone: Welcome!
 

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CHAPTER XVI: AUSTRIA
Part 2: A Little Help From My Friends
(1660-1665)


Winding Down

I know you don't want to hear this, but I'm not planning much for this turn. Look at it my way: Of our 34 regiments, 10 are still mercenary. Our manpower stands at 1,291. We have four loans outstanding. On a lark I look at our southern neighbors:

Bohemia: Union. We're buddies now! Anyway, we have a truce.
Bavaria: Allied with Poland, Magdeburg, Wurtemberg, Netherlands
Wurtemberg: Poland, Bavaria, Magdeburg, Netherlands
Milan: Hungary, Palatinate, Venice
Mantua: Augsburg, Spain
Venice: Milan, Savoy
Pope: Switzerland, but only one province easy to get to.
Hungary: Spain, Milan

I even think about Ulm: Allied with Thuringia and Spain.

Venice is the most likely target, but they're stronger now that they thrashed MitreHead. Hm...perhaps I can get access through them again to...

No, I must stay focused. We have an eight member coalition against us. We need to get 440 Admin together to begin coring Salzburg. We need to get our economy straightened out. Next turn. There's still reasonable odds I'll be here next turn.

We do pick up a new general, Michael Erlmayr (F2/S3/M6/Sg3). We also pick up an heir, Ferdinand (A3/D2/M2). Hopefully his father will have many more successful years and maybe Ferdinand will get replaced by someone competent.

Let's work to improve our relations with Bohemia, Denmark and Venice. The former to keep them from breaking our union again, Denmark to keep our north secure, and Venice in case I decide I want MA after all. We also change our rivals to the Ottomans, Papacy and Hungary.

Now we wait, kick our feet up, and watch the world...

What? Wait. Coalitions can do that?

No. Pause. Look around. What just happened?

CRAP.

Europe in Flames

166004Grr_zps2eab3f4b.jpg


So, I thought coalitions were purely defensive. Nope! Mainz wants to cut us down to size. Fortunately we're the defender, which means all of my loyal allies pound in. The numbers are pretty close, this could be a long war. A confusing one also, since I'm not even sure where half these places are. We better take a look:

166004Map_zps2be275b0.jpg


Oh. Well, that didn't help. The north will go up in the flames. In the south I have Augsburg and Hungary to worry about.

Plan A, which lasts all of about two game days, is to take General Erlmayr and half my army to Augsburg, and the other under Archduke Johan Leopold (F3/S3/M5/Sg2) will play defense in the event of Hungarian attack.

Two days later, Hungary invades the Ostmarch with 33,000 men. It's going to take both armies to deal with them, so we abandon Augsburg and march eastward.

Erlmayr, in overall command, meets the Hungarian king in June 1660. Our armies happen to be evenly matched with 15K infantry, 3K cavalry, and 15K artillery. We have the tech advantage however, and Erlmayr is a much better commander. They lose 10,000 and flee towards Serbia.

Hungary is by far the scariest of our opponents. If we can chase them from the war (effectively if not actually, since coalition members can't peace out separately), then we should be able to win. We chase them to Serbia, then Pozsony inflicting a number of major defeats.

None, perhaps, as devastating as in Mecklenburg. There our tiny 1K army, veterans of the last year who I dubbed (unimaginatively) as the Black Eagles, have once again attracted several allied armies. The resulting battle involves twelve nations and 57,000 on their side vs. 48,000 on ours. They lose nearly 36,000 to our 11. It will be some time before another northern offensive.

166007EarlyWins_zpsc8076ab4.jpg


Unfortunately the Emperor's help isn't free. He lets us know we can allow the free people of Linz to convert to Catholicism, or we're off his Christmas list. The Emperor is one of my allies. We can't afford -400 relations.

166005Turmoil_zps17c80c87.jpg


We can, however, afford to send a protestant missionary to Linz who reconverts it 8 months later.


Thrashing Hungary

Erlmayr spends 1660 and 1661 becoming a household name in Hungary - one spoken with awe, fear, hatred, and compared unfavorably with such entities as Beezlebub, Lucifer, and Electronic Arts.

During this stage I'm really ignoring both north and south Austria and focusing our wrath on the Hungarians. There's no real penalty for this: Our allies are keeping the northern coalition members quite busy, and every time Hungary begins a siege they end up moving the army to try and save their main stack. We chase them to Podalia, back to Pozsony, to Podalia, then Zemplen. Along the way we crush three smaller armies totaling 7K who were enroute to help and met our army first. A large group did join the Hungarian army before Zemplen.

166105Pingpong_zpsff9447b8.jpg


It did no good though, for later in May 1661 we annihilated the army. The Augsburg army, 5,000 strong, had snuck into Linz to try and siege but fled before our homecoming. We caught them in Niederbayern and destroyed them.

Erlmayr's army may be undefeated, but it was also at half strength or so with our manpower tapped. Those units at or near full strength sieged Augsburg, while the rest under Archduke Johan Leopold went home to recover. He destroyed another 6K in two stacks through the rest of 1661.


Winning the North; Winning the South

In 1662 the British decided to have a civil war.

166203Uhhuh_zpsc48bce6d.jpg


Which, as near as I can tell, accomplished nothing. Not even a rebellion.

I did learn, however, that the massive allied army attached to my 1K 'Black Eagles' were in fact attached, giving me a northern army 50,000 strong.

I shared my discovery with a joint Hanse/Mainz army trying to steal Luneburg from us. It went so well I then explained things to the primary Mainz stack as well.

166201North_zpsaaf04632.jpg


By now our warscore was ticking past 51%, so even though the AI wasn't begging us for peace I paused to see what could be had. Surprisingly little, unless I wanted to make Mainz release a few cores that would do Austria no good whatsoever. The war dragged on.

I almost reconsidered in August 1662, when Johan Leopold's army narrowly lost a battle at Linz versus Mainz, Hamburg and Anhalt. Defeated we were, but after Augsburg's surrender I could once more unify our armies. We trashed a small Hungarian force, then extracted revenge at Linz in October 1662.

166211CleaningUp_zps1d4dcd7e.jpg


Notice that of 33 southern regiments, we had a post battle strength of just over 11,000. About this time our northern allied stack occupied Brunswick and sieged Kassel. With our warscore at 62% it was once more time to seek peace.


End Game

I'd decided we would take Augsburg as a vassal, and Brunswick (which would be released as a vassal.) Unfortunately that's over 62% warscore, and anyway Mainz gets +5% for owning their capital. I wasn't willing to settle for their suggestion (which involved giving a province to France and paying us off)

No, we'll need to force them to the table. Since this army is Mainz's more or less last chance, we pursue them to Frankfurt. Through the winter of 1662 we chase them to Bamberg, then Wurzburg, then finally Mainz. Barely 9200 of our 33 regiments remain. We've picked up a reputation as some of the fiercest warriors in Europe however, and that elan makes up for numbers.

166304EndGame_zps6a731038.jpg


Kassel falls, then Frankfurt, then Hessen. Mainz whitepeaces the Palatinate out and somehow rallies together 7K men, who the northern allied doomstack happily annihilates in June. Finally, after a year's siege, Mainz falls.

166403Peace_zpsb763bef2.jpg


Augsburg, Brunswick, and even Vermandois for France. As far as I can tell France did nothing this war, but if they kept Burgundy busy that's plenty. Plus, this cuts off Burgundy's northern holdings from the south, which should either help France or the Netherlands. The Dutch are currently rampaging through Mainz for their own reasons, so I have no problem helping them.

We celebrate by taking Military-21 (Line Infantry) and Admin-20 (Absolute Ruler). We even repay our loans and take our weary armies home. With the coalition defeated we should have a few years of peace and quiet to...

Oh what now?

166409No_zps701f601a.jpg


Oh hell no.

We spend the rest of 1664 beginning to recover. I don't even know how many countries take this opportunity to join the coalition and embargo us - I'm pretty sure it's more than half of Germany now. That's okay though: We still have the emperor on our side, we actually do have 2 votes for that august title (Palatinate has 3), and there's still plenty of time on the clock.

Or is there?


Johan's Dice

Reign: 10 years
Needed: 3+
Roll: 6
Continue? Yes
 
Last edited:

tnick0225

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Leave it to Mainz to destroy your nice relaxing idea for peace. That was quite a war though, thought Hungary may put up more of a fight, but you managed to send them running away rather easily.

Still a costly war, and I LOL'd as well when Miter-head requested your help versus Milan.

Another five years down and perhaps these next five years around the corner will give you time to recuperate from these wars so that you may actually be able to execute a plan or suicide mission against the Ottos or something else...then again I'm guessing the AI isn't about to let you rest for more than a year before poking you with its stick some more.
 

Nikolai

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The mission from Johan is clear: Grab as much land in Germany as possible and set Austria up for German dominance!
 

unmerged(58610)

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You lost all of one land battle. You had France as an ally. Oh yeah, France is a rump steak in this game. Sterling work by the Black Eagles. 'Pay no attention to the armour that says mark IV powered battle armour or the muskets that say Fusion Rifle Mk VI. These stamps saying Horsehead Nebula. pay no attention, it's just the name of a pub the officers frequent when in Vienna'. Enemy dead 36000 , us 11. Careless 11. Mainz wanted to be cut down to size and you obliged. You even got back Brunswick lost in the last turn.

I think you explained things to Hungary in a manner they won't quickly forget. Now, if they'll just agree to a marriage and a Personal Union, that would be appreciated ever so much.

How were you allied to Mitre-head? I'd have been tempted to take war, but you did need to heel from the previous turn. Your armies getting relentless drill did seem very appropriate, almost as though the game were paying attention to what you were doing. Now that's a scary thought.
 

Homusubi

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He wasn't allied to mitrehead, he warned Milan.

How the jigoku did Mainz (an OPM in 1444, remember!) get so big?!
 

Idhrendur

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That was quite the war. Well done holding it together! Hopefully next turn will actually give you a chance to recover a bit.
 

Stuyvesant

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Wonderful update. Another round of Vengeful Austria and this one's an even greater success than the last one! It's almost as if the game is rewarding your bloody singlemindedness! :)

Two things stood out in particular:

Unfortunately the Emperor's help isn't free. He lets us know we can allow the free people of Linz to convert to Catholicism, or we're off his Christmas list. The Emperor is one of my allies. We can't afford -400 relations.

166005Turmoil_zps17c80c87.jpg


We can, however, afford to send a protestant missionary to Linz who reconverts it 8 months later.

Not only is that a great solution to the problem at hand (keep the Emperor on your good side, save good Protestant Austrian souls for your own benefit), the setup of this joke was also very good. I greatly enjoyed it. :)

In 1662 the British decided to have a civil war.

166203Uhhuh_zpsc48bce6d.jpg


Which, as near as I can tell, accomplished nothing. Not even a rebellion.
One can only conclude then that the British had a Very Civil War indeed. :p

Very enjoyable update. I'm looking forward to finding out whether you can do a threepeat with Austria Bellatrix, or if you're going to surprise us with an uncharacteristically quiet turn.
 

Orlov Kruskayev

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Die mitrehead die
 

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Erlmayr spends 1660 and 1661 becoming a household name in Hungary - one spoken with awe, fear, hatred, and compared unfavorably with such entities as Beezlebub, Lucifer, and Electronic Arts.

Beelzebub I can see. Lucifer I can agree with. But Electronic Arts? Man... you play dirty with the insults, don't you. Watch out for a visit from His Sulphurousness, complaining about being mentioned in the same breath as... those people. His Imperial Netherness may be evil incarnate... but even he has standards.


You were dancing on the edge of disaster the whole time but Fred Astaire and Michael Jackson have nothing on you when it comes to the balletic arts (or should that be ballistic arts?). Someone has not only been studying his footwork but taking classes in savate. Those Black Eagles have some... interesting... friends. All's well, however - Mainz certainly had it coming and weakening Burgundy is never a bad idea. Strengthening France is rarely wise but under the circumstances pardonable.

Since you were able to put your finances in order and pay off loans I take it you were either able to afford mercenaries or were doing without. Either way, your glorious victory was perilously close to a pyrrhic one. Time to rest, recuperate and... Unleash the Diplomats!
 

Augenis

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I thought that coalitions are defensive too.
You learn new things every day.

I guess you can't pick on Hungary, because you have a truce. What's next?
 

Seelmeister

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Excellent update, particularly for one where you didn't plan much action :D

Great to see that you will continue with Austria as well, they have a huge number of possibilities open to them - at least if manpower is allows to recover.
 

CatKnight

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tnick0225: Quite the war. I was very proud of how our army did! As for more adventures...we'll see.

Nikolai: When I started this turn I thought 'No way.' You may be right though...

Chief Ragusa: How did you know Horsehead Nebula set up as an arms supplier? I may have to take some loans out to pay them for the next war.

Homusubi: That's a good question, and I'm not quite sure. I think I saw part of it when we were in Savoy awhile back. They managed to take a few provinces by war, and I want to say they diploannexed Frankfurt.

Idhrendur: Yep, definitely time to recover. Sit back. Relax. What can go wrong?

Stuyvesant: My turn was too quiet. Far too quiet. :X

Orlov Kruskayev: Milan gives Mitrehead a beating this turn. We may have to help.

Director: I managed to avoid building any armies in the last war, though as you say that may have driven us a little close to disaster's edge. Not to worry though, I saved a disaster for this turn.

Augenis: NOW we rest. Our army is at 1/4 strength, we simply can't go into battle like that.

Hiryuu: All the best victories are costly. For them!

Seelmeister: Yeah, last update was far more active than I anticipated.
 

CatKnight

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CHAPTER XVI: AUSTRIA
Part 3: For Want of a Nail
(1665-1670)


Cat's Classroom

Good morning, class. Today we're going to discuss details and the inherent danger of making assumptions. We are going to review how quickly and horribly things can go wrong. Follow along and be prepared to yell at the screen in disbelief as I drive us straight to...

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself aren't I?


Peace and Quiet

So it's January 1665. Our army is in shambles, but we have over four years before the truce with our coalition runs out. This is a good thing, as said coalition currently consists of Denmark, Hungary, Burgundy, Anhalt, Bavaria, Hansa, Hamburg, Lorraine, Mainz, Thuringia, Wurtemberg and Savoy.

We need to rest and heal before going on more adventures, but first I look in on Ulm to see if they'd like to join the Austrian empire: Still allied with Spain. Perhaps Venice or the Papacy? As a result of Milan's attack on Parma, it's Venice, Milan and Palatinate vs. the Papacy, Hungary, Switzerland and Siena.

Keep an eye on Switzerland. They're part of The Mistake(tm), albeit a small one.

For some reason Hungary has MA through my territory to get to Venice, probably as a result of the Emperor's being involved and so this becoming an Imperial war. Annoying, but Milan et.al. quickly turn the tide.

The Royalists win the English Civil War rather handily. Since there were no battles I know of, that probably sounds more impressive than it was.

In September 1665, Netherlands forces Burgundy to renounce claims to ten provinces, pretty much ending their run as a major power. Burgundy immediately leaves the coalition against us (not that they could hurt us anymore), and soon after Netherlands joins (they could).

In November 1666 we get a petition for redress. Peasants are jerks. No.
166611Redress_zpse2c6d18f.jpg


But I want to be clear why I'm refusing. It's not the 25 prestige hit. It's not even that I'm bored (though I am). Do you see that circled province? That is Sundgau, and I've just learned it's going to defect to Switzerland in 1669.

During the Bohemian war a tax revolt broke out in Sundgau. I ignored it, because at that point in time I didn't have an army to spare. After that I alternately forgot about it or simply didn't care. Sundgau's cut off from the rest of Austria, and anyway I figured the peasant army would disperse and the AI would realize there's no way it could enforce their demands with only one province.

Just before this petition I received a warning saying the peasants were about to enforce their demands after all and defect. I can't get an army over there: Wurtemberg won't give me access. The southern route to get to Sundgau goes through Savoy and Milan, and Milan won't give me access either.

I could end this of course. I could simply yield to their demands or whatever it's called. -10 prestige, and -50% tax from Sundgau for a few years. Whatever. It's only one province, and not necessarily a great one at that. Don't let the door hit your bum on the way out.

There is more to this of course, but I'm too busy watching the event log to care. For example, the Dutch West Indies and Dutch Colombia both created colonial assemblies. That's not going to cause the Netherlands any grief in a century or so.

Through 1666 and 1667 our coalition begins to dwindle: Savoy, Denmark and Hungary all leave. I abandon my coalition versus Hungary (I was the only member) as a good will gesture, then immediately check to see who their allies are. Spain again. Damn.

Well, we still need to regain strength. In October 1667 our armies are at full, but we're only at 34/46 regiments. I want at least 10K manpower before we even think of building more men. I toy with the idea of buying 12 mercs: We can afford them, we can afford their upkeep, but the coalition is weakening. Plus, our alliance is as strong as ever: Bohemia (PU), Augsburg, Ansbach and Brunswick (vassals), Utrecht, Tuscany, Palatinate, France, Magdeburg, and..uhm..uhm..hm. Oh! Mantua! Royal marriages bind us to those countries who can have them, and I still have distant hopes of being the Emperor some day. (Palatinate 3, Austria 2, two others) No, no need to waste money at this juncture.

No. This wasn't the mistake.

In October 1667 we begin diploannexing Ansbach, which will complete in July 1671. Just as well, as with 10 allies we're one over our maximum number of diplomatic relations.


The Road to Hell

By February 1668 we've pulled together enough Admin points to finally begin coring Salzburg. There's really nothing else to do at this juncture (ha!), so I just stare at the pretty map for awhile.

166911Japan_zpsd63d6bf3.jpg


Nice going, Japan!

Still, there's something missing. Something wrong. Something I'm not taking care of. Do you know what it is? the nobles do.

166805Disorder_zpse13e653f.jpg


I tell them "I'm not doing anything!" They tell me that's the point. In fact, they begin to wonder if I'm not feeling quite right.

166811Sickness_zpsbf58046a.png


Look guys, this is supposed to be a slow turn. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but I'm not starting anything this turn. If we're still here next turn, then we can...

Oooh, Lithuania's having trouble aren't they?

166901Lithuania_zpsccee8025.jpg


Been there guys. Don't give in. It just lets them think they can keep messing with you. Kinda like those damned peasants in Sundgau. Good riddance - I'd rather let them go than surrender. Hmph.

In March 1669 our truce with The Coalition ends. Mainz et. al. doesn't want to be the aggressor, but they do try to provoke us. Hamburg, Hanse and Mainz all embargo us. How many countries does that make now?

September comes, and we have our requisite 10K manpower. I build a unit in 'North Austria' to replace the Black Eagles, who must have merged with my main stacks at the end of the last war.

Then, in November, the hammer falls.


End of the Archduchy

So, Sundgau defects to Switzerland. Big deal. Wait..what are all these popups?

What?

**WHAT!????**

NO!!!

Gottverdammt!


166911Republic_zpsa8c4cc43.jpg


So, rather than losing 10 prestige and -50% taxes in Sundgau, I've now lost 50 prestige, 50% taxes in ALL provinces, Sundgau, and my title!

Yes, ladies and gents: We are now a Noble Republic. Do you know what this means?

ALL royal marriages break.

Our PU with Bohemia will break when Johann Leopold dies or if I elect someone else, which with his ratings isn't happening: Johann's in there until he dies.

No, I can't just go back to monarchy. I checked.

We even lost all our cleansing of heresy CBs, though we've gained a...

Revolutionary war? Isn't it a little soon for that?

Or is it...

Bwahahahahhahahaha!


Johan's Dice

Reign: 15 years
Needed: 4+
Roll: 6
Continue? Yes
 

tnick0225

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Oh snap! That was definitely unexpected...Austria is now a Noble Republic.

I guess at least you can claim you single-handedly destroyed the Habsburg dynasty :) (at least the Austrian branch).

Have to admit when I saw the change in government I almost died of laughter. I guess you could always..umm...spread Republicanism around Europe...although now that you're without allies I think that may be a bit difficult lol.

Damn, Johann and the RNG is really seriously poking you with a very pointy stick, saying, "This is what you get for skipping Kanem Bornu!" :) Shall be very interesting to see how the Noble Republic of Austria can hold up now that it is more or less ideologically separated from everyone else.