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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Fiftypence

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Savoy Truffle

Rain

It was winter, and in the quiet duchy of Savoy it was raining again. Duke Amedee sighed, and put down the pen he was holding. Once again France and England had gone to war, and all his patient efforts at mediating a quick peace had ended with nothing but vague promises never to be fulfilled. The annoying, irregular pitter-patter of rain broke the Duke's concentration, and a lesser man would have cursed, or vented his frustration somehow. But not Amedee, for he was a peaceful man. Indeed, he was so well reknowned for his desire for peace and co-operation that he was known by many as Duke Amedee le Paisable.


Savoy, an island of tranquility in a sea of conflict

The war troubled him, but at least Savoy had not been forced to choose a side; good relations were maintained with all the belligerants, and to ally with one against the other was just something unthinkable to Amedee. To join forces with England would be to betray France, and vice versa. No, Savoy, with her breathtaking snowtopped mountains and vast panoramas would remain, a fortress shielding itself against the outside world, untouchable and unbreakable.

Amedee turned his thoughts away from the war to the more mundane issues of administering the duchy. His goal was to make Savoy a more profitable realm, and so as the new year came a series of tax reforms were initiated, with the appointment of a professional tax collection office in Chambery, as well as some reforms that took away some privileges from the nobility, giving more power to the Duke. This caused some disquiet amongst the nobility, but it was generally accepted.

Several weeks passed, and sometimes the rain became snow, but the heavens remained generous. The news that King Henry V had invaded the Duchy of Orleans with a large army came in February.

"France is weak!" said Pierre de Megeve, First Marshal of the Army of Savoy and not a man who totally approved of Duke Amedee's approach to European politics, "Just think about it, my lord. We could benefit greatly from the collapse of France; Lyon could be part of our lands! We must strike now into the southern lands of France, before the opportunity passes by."

Amedee nodded and smiled, as he always did, and various other courtiers put forward an opinion, and Pierre knew that, like always, he would be ignored. 14,000 troops were ready and willing to go to war, and no doubt more could be raised from the peasantry, but Amedee was firmly set on the path of peace.

As he sat in his room, treasonous thoughts crossed his mind. "I could, couldn't I?" he muttered to himself, stroking his fine beard, "he would thank me in the end, I'm sure."

And so, over the next few weeks, plans were put in place. A forged signature here, a royal stamp there, and Pierre was set. He was betraying Amedee, and he felt bad and ashamed about this, but he had spoken to many other members of the nobility and most had given their tacit apporval for his plans, still annoyed about the privileges taken away earlier in the year. If Amedee objected, he would opposition from both the nobility and the army, he would have no choice but to accept what Pierre had done.

Pierre knew that King Henry of England was currently besieging Orleans, and so in mid-February he began his journey, with everything he needed. As he rode through dangerous, war stricken lands, he knew that everything hinged on England accepting the offer.

"Soon," he said, "the standard of Savoy shall be seen on the battlefields of southern France!"


The flag of Savoy
 

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Hello, and welcome. This will be a Savoy AAR, 1.09 patch, normal/normal. No cheating, exploits yada yada, and will be a history book/narrative AAR with occasional elements of comedy and gameplay, so it should appeal to everyone. it will also feature four rather famous Liverpudlians, but their relevance to the actual AAR is currently mysterious, and quite possibly non-existent.

And to all those confused by the title, just listen to the White Album. :cool:

Playlist

Rain
You Can't Do That
Flying
What Goes On
Taxman
Baby You’re a Rich Man
I’ll Follow The Sun
Blackbird
Wait
Things We Said Today
Revolution
Hello Goodbye
I've Just Seen a Face
Long, Long, Long
The Inner Light
With a Little Help From My Friends
Happiness is a Warm Gun
The Long and Winding Road
I'm So Tired
I'll Get You
Baby's in Black
 
Last edited:

coz1

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"Creme tangerine and montelimat..."

"But you'll have to have them all pulled out after the..."

Well, I suspect you know the rest. You just happen to focus your title on my favorite band! An excellent for it! (God bless, George Harrison!) :D

Nice idea, and I suspect you have many avenues to pursue as allies between Spain, England and especially the BWB when they grow to size. In fact, they may be your best bet given time. Looking forward to it! Good luck. :)
 
Last edited:

coz1

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And you gave me the added benefit of listening to the White Album again. Well done, sir! :D
 

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Another fiftypence AAR - we are truly blessed!

Excellent start. Mmm, a start in the rain no less. How very appropriate for a Lancastrian ;)
 

unmerged(59737)

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Onwards, in the name of the Empire of Savoy!
 

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*subscribes*

Nice start Fiftypence! I'm definitely going to follow this one. Never seen a Savoy AAR before and I really like the narrative/book format. Let's see how far you can go following (a moderately) peaceful approach in the warmongering Europe! :)
 

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Nice another Fiftypence AAR, I'll be following. :)
 

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coz1: Yes, I'm hoping that Austria stay out of Italy, otherwise things could get a bit tricky. And yes, god bless George Harrison. :D

Welja: Thanks for reading.

stnylan: I just have too much time on my hands, hence yet another AAR.

Fulcrumvale: Empire? Well, maybe, someday...

Katapraktoi, Duke Of Wellington: Remember, it is Duke Amedee that wants peace, not me. I'm more with Pierre; France is weak!. :cool:

Freddan: Good to know. :)
 

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Savoy Truffle

You Can't Do That

February 24th, 1419

It had been relatively easy to find King Henry, as Pierre had been greeted by one of his underlings as he apporached Orleans, and taken directly to the King. As they rode, Pierre noticed the stench of death in the air, and felt a sadness while looking upon the starving city of Orleans. But it was only a sadness that Orleans was under siege by English, rather than Savoyard troops.

He was led to a tent, where the King, surrounded by various courtiers recieved him graciously.


Henry V of England

"Sir Pierre, to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?" said Henry, with hand on chin. Pierre took a deep breath.

"Your majesty, I bring a request from Lord Amedee, Duke of Savoy."

"Oh yes...?"

Pierre handed over the forged documents, a letter asking if Savoy could join the English alliance, so as to aid them in their war against the King of France, signed by Duke Amedee himself, or so it seemed. Henry spent a while reading over it, and Pierre could not help wondering if Henry really was just reading every word carefully, or whether he just was not very good at reading. Of course he did not say anything, and eventually King Henry looked up.

"I must say, this is quite a surprise from Amedee le Paisable," he said, laughing. Several other courtiers laughed too, but only because the King himself had laughed. "But not an unpleasant one. It is good that Duke Amedee has finally seen that peace is for the weak. I accept his offer, and am somewhat grateful for it too."

Pierre rode back to Chambery with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Savoy was at war, but Pierre knew that he could hang for going behind the Duke's back.

March 6th, 1419

Amedee was still and silent upon hearing the news. Everything he had worked for, all that effort for peace and prosperity, undone by Pierre de Megeve and his forgeries and deceptions. He sat back, thinking over what he should do. Of course, he could imprison Pierre for treason, but how would that help? Savoy was at war, and locking up one of the Duchy's most able and capable commanders and warriors would not exactly be very clever. In the end, Amedee believed Pierre's account of his actions, and thus resigned himself. If the war was lost, then Amedee swore he would see Pierre hang. But first, there was a war to fight.

Savoy found herself at war with France, along with Provence, Auvergne and Bourbonnais. Scouts reports suggested that southern France was largely undefended, and so the force was split into two, and Amedee sent out orders for the recruitment of 4,000 new soldiers from Chambery and the surrounding countryside. By early April, Lyon and Grenoble were under siege. The former was commanded by a loyal knight called Jean d'Annecy, while the latter was under the command of Pierre de Megeve himself.


Notice the French army, heading for Savoie, not Dauphin

It was a risky strategy, one that left Savoy almost defenceless against a Provencal invasion. The objective was to hope that the mountains would slow Provence down enough to secure peace with France on favourable terms before they could do any real damage. But for the time being, no invasion came.

Jean d'Annecy and his army had been besieging Lyon for a couple of weeks, and there was nothing Jean Comte d'Annecy hated more than sieges. The months and months of tedium, just sitting and watching a city slowly starve and die, did not fill him with any kind of satisfaction.

"I am a knight at heart," he said to his young squire, "all this stuff with tactics and whatnot makes me bored. War should be about what happens on the battlefield, about valour and glory and honour, not about starving a bunch of poor souls."

His squire, an Italian called Tommaso, nodded in agreement. "Yes, my lord," he said, "I agree-"

He stopped speaking as a knight he did not recognise entered, and whispered something in the Comte d'Annecy's ear. His frown turned into a smile, and there was a glint in his eye, as the other knight left.

"What was it, my lord?" said Tommaso.

"French troops, coming this way! We're going to have ourselves a battle!"
 

stnylan

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Amedee is entirely too trusting. There are many ways of ... disciplining someone like Pierre. It's a war after all. People die, people even die heroically. And most of all they cease to be a source of problems.

But for a man who believes so strongly in peace that is probably a little too Machiaevellian.
 

coz1

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Another good Beatles song choice. One of my favorites. ;)

And Savoy is terribly undefended at present. Goodness knows the French will take advantage of that. Good luck in the ensuing battle.
 

unmerged(59737)

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You really should have waited, IMHO, and built up your army before going to war against France. Hopefully you won’t regret it.
 

unmerged(61559)

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It really seems foolish of Amedee to leave Pierre with the use of his head. I mean if the commander is willing to undermine Amedee's power, what will keep him from trying to take it? All the same, I wish you the best of luck in the war! :)
 

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SunZyl: It is, but they went through Savoie and attacked at Lyonnais, for some reason.

stnylan: The problem is that Pierre is a very, very capable soldier. Him dying would not be good for Savoy.

coz1: The mountains are defence enough! Hopefully...

Duke of Wellington: Indeed it is.

Fulcrumvale: It was too tempting, the south was largely undefended and easy to occupy, being mostly plains.

Quintilian: Amedee will judge Pierre by the result of the war. If Savoy lose or aren't able to secure a good enough peace, then Pierre can say goodbye to his head.
 

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Savoy Truffle

Flying

April 10th 1419
Outside Lyon


Tommaso lay dying, and the sounds of battle filled every inch of his conciousness. His shoulder, broken and bloody, was so painful that it was numb, and he was filled with a strange sense of serene tranquility.

The Battle of Lyon had begun at 10 A:M, on a flat, low-lying cornfield not far from the city. The Comte d'Annecy made the preparations with excitement and relish, desirous for a taste of battle. The scouts indicated that the French army numbered over 9,000, outnumbering the Savoyards by quite a margin. However, Savoy had a good amount of cavalry which the French army did not, and so Jean made his plan with this in mind.

Tommaso remembered that it had begun with volleys of arrows being exchanged, in an orderly and proper manner befitting chivalric warfare, but it soon descended into a bloody melee as the Comte ordered the initial cavalry charge, using half of the knights. Many men had fallen on both sides, but it would be the French who would be driven from the battlefield as another cavalry charge hit their flanks, knights held back by Jean.

Tommaso had fought bravely, losing track of how many men fell at his hand. But in the chaos of the battlefield it is impossible to know everything that is going on around you, and as Tommaso was fighting a Frenchmen there was sudden jolt in his shoulder, as a spear shattered his collarbone and sent him smashing to the ground. He would have been finished off there and then had it not been for the sweeping slash of a Savoyard knight, whose thundering charge took down both the French soldiers. Tommaso believed it was the Comte d'Annecy, but in truth he did not know who the knight was. It probably did not matter anyway, as life gradually drained out of him he felt like he was floating, and he was filled with a sense of bliss as God waited for him in heaven. The French army had panicked and fled, and as Tommaso lay in a pool of his own blood the sounds he could hear were the last of the French being driven away.

He smiled, and murmured, "victory!" They were the last words ever spoken by Tommaso of Torino.

July 8th 1419
Grenoble


"Silvio, my good man, how are things coming along?"

The siege engineer smiled, looking up from some detailed drawing that he had been studying. "Ah Pierre, things look good, they do. If my predictions are right, and they usually are, we should be in Grenoble soon."

Pierre's face lit up. "Brilliant! How soon?"

Silvio shrugged, pausing to think for an uncomfortably long time. "Well, you see, we haven't been able to breach the walls...and they seem stubborn, and..."

"How soon?"

"Well, with a bit of fortune we should take the city in, say, six months..." Silvio shrugged nonchalantly as the colour drained out of Pierre's face.

"Six months?! That's not soon, Silvio."

"My apologies, sir, my apologies. It is a very well defended city..."

"Fine, fine. Actually Silvio, there is something else I wanted to ask you about. Come, let us talk in private."

Silvio followed Pierre into a disused tent, his face a mixture of intrigue and confusion.

"Why can't we talk out there?"

"Silvio, I have recieved news that Provencal troops have begun a siege of Turin. I know many of the soldiers here are from the city, so I didn't want anyone overhearing as it could end up sapping morale...you know, if men begin worrying that their wives and children are being starved back home, it takes their thoughts away from fighting, you know."

"Ah. But Turin, good defences. How many Provencals are there?"

"My scouts estimate in the vicinity of 17,000."


Silvio whistled. "That's a lot."

"Yes, it is. But seeing as you're the expert in these matters, how long do you think it will be able to hold out? Long enough for us to get a good peace with France?"

"Maybe, maybe. It should hold out for a while. So I guess you want me to hurry up with this siege, then?" he said, smiling.

Pierre nodded.