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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Eber

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Hey guys and welcome to my new AAR. It took a little time to fully decide on what country I would be writing about. My original plan was to write about England, my favorite country in the game. However, after seeing three English AARs, I knew that the last thing the community would want would be another. So where did rational thinking take me? Well obviously, England's enemy: Scotland. :D

It has been a long time since I have posted on these forums regulary. I just finished getting my degree in American history and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa, which was the reason I left so long ago (degrees can be tough nuts to crack.) I was excited to get EUIII, and at once began thinking of a storyline for an AAR. As some of the older members might remember, I tend to write in story form. So if you do not like long, drawn out stories about possibly just one minor incident, this might not be the AAR for you. Otherwhise, enjoy. :)

So some rules, background information, goals and such:

- Starting in 1453 on Normal.
- No Cheating whatsoever (including reloading.)
- Every single army I control will have a general, this includes navies as well. The only time this would not be the case is if it is part of the story line and/or I'm in a pickle of a situation. :p
- Become Papacy Controller.
- Conquer the English girly-men only by war.
- Control Ireland only by diplomacy since Scotland tended to have good relations with the Irish.
- Once the British Isles is Scotland's, hopefully become Great Britain and lead the glorious nation the Scottish Highlander way.
- In the beginning, recruitment of knights/cavalry will be low since Scotland, historically did not have the resources for such a feat. Basically 1 knight to 8 infantry. That should keep things in perspective and make it a bit harder on me. However, once Scotland conquers England, it's fair game.



Emblem.jpg


Prologue​

Sweat, blood and tears had stained the lands of Scotland as numerous Scotsmen fought for their way of life, the way of the highlander. Battle after battle was raged as good Scots were slaughtered by the overwhelming military might of the English and its King, Edward I. With each defeat, it soon was recognized that the last gasp of hope for freedom was being beaten out of the lungs of brave Scots.

Times were changing though. By 1314, Scotland was no longer gasping for breath. Under the leadership of Robert the Bruce, the Scots were able to take back most of their land and oust the English from their homeland. This was in part due to Robert’s genius and courage, but also due to a timely death. With the death of King Edward I, it would be years before the English would return to Scotland. The fourth son of King Edward I, the prideful Black Prince of Wales, Edward II took the throne and promised to finish what his father started so many years earlier.

Edward II and England had seen better days in Scotland. Castle Stirling, one of the last remaining English strongholds was under siege. Without relief, a major embarrassment would be inflicted on the young King. This in mind, Edward II assembled a massive army of forty thousand professional soldiers, including about twenty-five hundred heavy cavalry. This impressive army bewildered the surrounding populace as it marched towards Stirling and to Bannockburn ford. Robert the Bruce, knowing that Edward II was on his way, sensed that the English King would bring his army through Bannockburn. This was a perfect location to set up a trap, for if successful, the English would not have the room to be able to fight at full force. Robert the Bruce was planning on crowding the English into submission.

Robert’s plan worked perfectly. Two small skirmishes in which much of the English cavalry were destroyed gave the Scots a sense of victory. Demoralized, the English set up camp and waited for the morning to arrive in hope that new found success would find its way to them. On the morning of June 24th, 1314, the proud warriors of Scotland lined up for battle against the oncoming English. Receiving their blessing from the priests, the Scots rose and waited in formation for the English cavalry to charge. After the majority of Edward’s army passed the gorge, the cavalry was unorganized for two commanders argued over who should lead the charge. Even so, the confused cavalry charged the steady and disciplined lines of the Scots. The Scots holding fifteen foot pikes completely decimated the oncoming charge, outright killing numerous knights while others were trampled to death by their own horses. English archers began to fire into the bloody mess of bodies and horses, inflicting losses on the Scots but as well on their own cavalry. Robert the Bruce anticipating the archers ordered the charge of his own cavalry to route them.

Soon, the entire English army was in disarray. Countless English soldiers retreated, running towards the river. With Scottish lines pressing towards the retreating English, hundreds of men were trampled upon, killed by Scottish blades or even drowned in the river. Edward II fled for safety as his last view of Scotland would be from his back. The Battle of Bannockburn was over. For over eighteen years, the Scots fought for independence under their new King. It would be a nobleman named Robert the Bruce that would finally lead Scotland to victory but more importantly, freedom.

Over the next one hundred and forty years, Scotland with its new found independence savored its freedom. A succession of Scottish Kings would rule the land, as Scots continued to defend their freedom from any incursion. With moments of peace, prosperity soon filled the lands as universities were built and towns flourished with trade. The eyes of the world were now fixated on the Scottish Highlands. The coronation of James II at Kelso Abbey on March 24, 1437, would lead to a new chapter of Scottish history. Considered to be one of the wiser kings in recent history, a new dawn was breaking as the King of the Scots eyed what he believed to be his prize and ultimate destiny, England.
 
Last edited:

coz1

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Excellent. I do love a Scots AAR. Of course we must ask - do you plan to ally with the French against the English? And then there is the always present Irish excursion that looks so inviting. Good luck. Let's get you some English, ken? ;)
 

GeneralHannibal

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A Scottish AAR, sounds interesting. You should try to get a united Ireland to help you against England.
 
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Here's hoping you get annexed before 1485. :cool:
 

Eber

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Coz- France is my baby's daddy so to speak. Without France, I would be in quite a lot of trouble. So yes, I will keep great relations and an alliance with France as long as I can.

GeneralHannibal- I won't purposely try to get Ireland united because doing so it will be much tougher for me to diplo-annex them. If it happens then I will try to ally, but it doesn't look too good for Ireland right now in my current game.

mandead- I can tell you're an English lover. :p

Chapter 1 will be posted in a few hours, stay tuned.
 

Lord E

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Great to see a Scottish AAR. The start was very nice, looking forward to more :)
 

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Emblem.jpg

Chapter One

Northumberland, England: June 1454

A lone figure living in the shadows emerged from the darkness of the outer city road and slowly walked down the dirt road ahead of him. It was late at night, only guards and drunkards were roaming the otherwise silent town. His breathing was rather calm, but even so he could not help occasionally from holding his breath to hear each step he took as he walked through the town. Torches were lit at the corners of small buildings that resembled hovels more than anything yet the light was still a luxury, a luxury that he did not want. Looking ahead he saw two guards on their patrol being illuminated by a distant torch before disappearing in the darkness again. The figure carried on showing no alarm in his movement, though his eyes were telling a different story all together. The guards approached, gazed at the man and continued walking without hesitation. With his latest worry behind him, he remained on course to his destination. Before long, he had stopped in front of a large, well lit business. He looked up at the sign which read Saracen’s Head Tavern.

He entered the tavern and looked about the business. Seeing his contact, he went straight to the back of the room where four men were sitting, talking and drinking beer. Drawing near to the group of men, he whispered, “A dark night.”

One of the men looked up, motioned him to sit down and replied, “But the moon gives us light.” After taking a large drink from his stein, he glanced over and asked, “Whit’s yer name?”

“Macgregor,” the spy answered as he pulled out a purse of coins and placed it on the table in front of the drinking lass. The man only smiled as he took the purse and gently laced it to his belt.

“Were ye followed?” asked the most cautious of the group, not celebrating just yet for a transaction completion.

“Nau, I wasnae.”

Before the cautious man could breathe a sigh of relief and pick up his beer, the tavern door slammed open as eight English guards entered the establishment. Two of the men realizing that the guards were not there to drink and socialize abruptly rose. Pulling their daggers and cursing vulgarity, they rushed toward the guards. It was obvious they were the foolish ones, for as quickly as the two men charged; the guards killed them with relative ease. Macgregor and the other two men knowing nothing could be done only waited until the guards escorted them out of the tavern.

Being escorted to the town’s jail, the contact looked at Macgregor and said, “Thank ye for the coins. It will go to good use.”

Macgregor confused asked, “How? The guards will only take it.”

The contact only gave the same smile as he did when he first received the purse before turning his head. As the escort was walking near the city gate that lead to the outer roads, one of the two contacts began coughing violently before dropping to his knees. The guards stopped and tried to pull the man to his feet. With the guards distracted the other contact pushed the closest guard and sprinted to the gate. The guards shouted for the contact to stop and decided to chase after the prisoner. By the time the guards with their mail armor reached the gate, the prisoner had disappeared among the foliage and darkness of the night. Macgregor had his chance to escape but failed to realize it. The other man stopped coughing and started to laugh at the guards. The guards, angry that one of the traitors escaped were not amused by the laughter.

The captain only nodded at one of the guards and quickly the laughing contact’s throat was slit. Instead of laughter pouring out of him, there was only blood. Macgregor stood motionless, his fear had finally become to great for him to bear.

One of the guards then asked the captain, “What about him, sir?”

The captain looked at the spy and without remorse said, “They all resisted violently.”

Understanding the captain’s words and his own fate, Macgregor closed his eyes as two broad swords penetrated his chest and killed him instantly.

spy1454.jpg


Edinburgh, Scotland – June 1454

King James II of Scotland watched among the trees as crossbills, birds known only to the island wrestled with one another. A male crossbill, beautifully colored with dark red plumage flew through the clear sky as the king eyed the bird’s flight. A sense of freedom could be seen from the smooth and gentle flapping of its powerful wings. James II smiled at the carefree attitude of the bird as footsteps could be heard approaching him from behind.

“Milord, General Andrea Nasmyth is here to see ye,” the servant announced to his liege.

James II turned around and saw a short but robust man staring right at him. Bowing to his king, the man’s long, neatly kept auburn hair became apparent as it slid off his shoulders. Nasmyth, a member of Clan Campbell was the son of its chief and a fine adapted warrior from the same stock that repulsed the English a century and a half ago. Nasmyth journeyed to France four years earlier to fight with French nobles against the English.

“Ma friend, I am glad ye could make it,” said the King affectionately. “It is good to see ye in one piece.”

“Milord, the Anglish could ne’er stop me from breathin’ unless ah will it first,” he replied bluntly.

James II nodded at the comment, believing that the Scot meant every word. “Whit of France?”

“They fight a desperate battle but one they could win. Though, losin’ a good Scot dinae help their chances wan bit.” Nasmyth began to laugh at his own facetious comment. After a healthy laugh he spoke again, “French lands are good, but ah miss the Hielans. Ma hert misses Scotland.”

The King knew very well the longing that could occur from being away from home for a long period. He himself had been in the same situation before. “I brought you here to train our men. We Scots are good fighters. We have courage and skill but lack the discipline needed to fight our enemies includin’ the Anglish. Ye have knowledge of fightin’ as a disciplined noble on French lands. Will ye help?”

“Aye, ah will give ma service tae ye and Scotland.” With that, James II embraced Nasmyth to seal the agreement.

military_drill.jpg


Soon after, General Nasmyth began training the first professional regiment of Scotland, adequately named The Scots Guard. Each day that passed, more and more Scots were realizing that Scotland was no longer a country ruled by clans but by one king. It has been later said that a unified Scotland formed not with the coronation of a king but with the building of its first professional army.

The next five years was a peaceful time for Scotland. James II administrated the government to improve its taxes and organization. His advisors including the famed David Carnegie gave worthy advice on how to improve the government and it was finally showing. Scotland was growing but more importantly it was becoming stronger as a unified nation. With its royal marriage to France, its powerful ally to the South, James II was confident that Scotland was heading in the right course. Scotland’s first test was soon to arrive.



Edinburgh, Scotland – July 1459

A ship soon appeared on the distant horizon of the port as Scots went on in their daily business. The port was bustling with trade and other activity as the summer months proved to be a successful time for merchants. As the ship anchored, the port master waited on the side of the ship for its owners to dock. Three tall, blonde men wearing red and gold garments stepped off the ship and greeted the port master.

“Welcome to Edinburgh, what business are ye intendin’ on doin’?” the port master asked in an obvious monotonous tone.

The shortest of the three responded, “My name is Sigrud Randversson, a member of the royal court of Norway. I have a message for your King.”

The messenger was ushered into the Scottish court where James II and his royal council including Nasmyth, Carnegie and Boyd were present discussing the affairs of state.

“Milord, Sir Sigrud Randversson from Norway,” the servant announced then turned around and left the room before closing the doors to the court.

“Milord, King James, I come bearing news from Norway. Sweden our hated neighbor has invaded our country. I come here now to our most trusted ally to ask for aid in this war.”

James II lowered his head as though he was deep in thought before answering, “Tell yer King that he will have his answer by next year for if we agree ye will see us fighting along side of ye.” The messenger bowed and left the court as quickly as he came.

Silence filled the room for some time before Nasmyth interrupted. “Milord, ah have nau problem fightin’ but goin’ tae war against Sweden is a bit gallus tae say the least.”

James looked at Nasmyth and replied, “Aye, it is not what I expected but they are our allies and we must honor that. They are fightin’ for freedom just like we did, ye know that as well as I do.”

Nasmyth nodded. “Ah just dinae trust these northmen. They are liars with no honor and they would stab us in the back if they could. Ah assure ye of that.”

“They might not have honor, but I know that we do.”

swede_war1459.jpg


And with that, Scotland began the preparation for war against Sweden. Cogs were built to transport the six thousand men that Nasmyth had successfully trained during the five years of peace. However, Nasmyth only sailed with two thousand men in early November for not enough sea-faring boats were constructed to transport the entire army to Sweden by the next year. The General would have to make due with the smaller army until after January. The beginning of the New Year saw the Scottish army led by Andrea Nasmyth besiege the Swedish region of Halland. Norwegian scouts spotted the besieging Scottish army and relayed the message back to their king who as history has said was more elated when he heard the good news then when his wife bore him his first son. It also has been said that when the Swedish King heard the news that the Scots were besieging Halland, he laughed and said, “Scots in Scandinavia? God does have a sense of humor!” Of course though, Scotland would have the last laugh as Halland fell on February of 1460.

Soon thereafter, Nasmyth’s long awaited reinforcements arrived in Halland. With his army being triple the size, the General confidently marched on Smaland in May of 1460. However, misfortune would soon arise in Scotland three months later. James II, King of Scotland passed away in his sleep. Though it was troubling to see the king go, many in the court were at least happy that their lord was able to hear the news before he died that his army had been victorious in Sweden with the capture of Halland. With the death of James II, his son James III would assume the throne on August 21, 1460. James III was an intelligent young man who had the necessary administration skills to improve Scotland’s government and financial affairs even better than what his father did. He became King during a Scandinavian war however, and it would be a difficult test for the young king to bring his country to victory.

james3.jpg

By 1461, the Scottish armies had conquered the provinces of Halland and Smaland and were marching on Vastergotland. General Nasmyth won victory after victory over the surprised Swedes. His cunning ability to use his small force in a manner that gave him an advantage was a stroke of genius. Unfortunately though his luck was wearing thin.



Vastergotland, Sweden – February 1461

General Andrea Nasmyth rode his horse by the left side of one of his regiments as they marched down the road leaving a forgotten forest behind. The Swedes had burned most of the forest as they retreated, giving many Scots a burning sensation in their nostrils due to the smoldering surroundings inflicting the air. As the last Scot left the forest, a strange noise could soon be heard from the distance. In the quickest moment, a large flaming pot was seen dropping from the sky. Nasmyth looked up and shouted for his men to spread out. Before the Scots could react, it slammed directly in the middle of a regiment. The Scots that were still alive from the blast helplessly ran about as flames engulfed them. Nasmyth ordered for composure and the Scots ran up the small hill ahead of them. Looking below, they saw where the attack came from. A small force of three hundred Swedes had waited for the Scots to come through. They burned the forest to allow them to see the army and give the Scots no place to hide. Soon arrows and more flaming pots littered the sky as they fell preying on defenseless Scots. Nasmyth ordered the charge to get out of range of their weaponry. Five thousand, surprised but angry Scots ran towards the small band of Swedes. General Nasmyth charged right along with his army, risking his own life to keep morale. It was this courage that had made him famous and popular with his men, but it would also be this courage that lead to his death. As Nasmyth galloped to intercept the Swedes, a well-shot arrow pierced the chest of Nasmyth and he immediately fell from his horse, dead.

nasmyth_generaldeath.jpg


The Swedes were massacred that day, but their objective was complete. They might not have destroyed the Scottish army, but they certainly destroyed the morale of the men and took away the most precious resource the Scots had to offer. It was a black day indeed. The General had a funeral though due to the restrictions of the situation, the men were unable to give him the funeral he rightfully deserved. Lennox Lindsay, second in command under Nasmyth took control of the army and pressed onwards. A master of siege warfare, his ability would allow the Scots to conquer castles quicker and more effectively then the Swedes could retaliate.

By November 1461, Vastergotland was in the hands of the Scottish. The war continued to fare well for the Scots even with a small army. The Scots and the Norwegians were very thankful when the Dutch declared war on Sweden in early 1462. With three foreign powers invading his country, King Karl X could do nothing but watch. In November 1462, Stockholm, the capitol province of Sweden fell into Scottish hands. The Scots had finally broke the back of the Swedes. For the next three years, Scotland invaded and conquered Bergslagen, Ostergotland and finally Skane. With the surrender of the fortress in Skane, James III offered peace to Karl X of Sweden. The Swedish King wanting to end the war that had destroyed most of his country accepted peace on April 25, 1466. James III of Scotland had won his first European war, which saw three provinces come under his control though it came with a heavy loss. Over eight thousand Scots perished in the seven year war with Sweden along with Scotland’s most famous and prized general, Andrea Nasmyth. Only twenty one hundred Scots were left of the six thousand that first came over in the winter of 1459. They were tough, experienced soldiers but they were exhausted and had not seen their homeland for seven years. James III decided to go to Skane where the remaining army camped waiting for the order that would allow them to return home.


swede_peace1466.jpg


Skane, Sweden – April 1466

With Lennox Lindsay at his side, James III walked with his new general through the line of camps as he gazed at his jubilated but tired army. Each soldier he saw knew who he was due to his company, though for all of them it was their first time seeing their new king. James III had mixed feelings as he eyed each soldier. Some soldiers were so badly wounded that their pain would be a constant reminder of the war for the rest of their lives. Others had lost arms, legs or other appendages for their country. He felt proud that none of the Scots complained, but he felt compelled to feel sorrow for putting his fellow Scots in danger for fighting in a country not their own. He looked at Lindsay and said, “The men look tired.”

“Aye, milord, they are tired but they still have some fight in them.”

The king agreed and responded, “Fight in them? Aye, they are still Scots after all.”

The two men continued to walk and greet the soldiers. Shortly though shouts soon could be heard coming in front of them. James III looked as a man ran towards him yelling, “Milord! Milord!”

The man stopped in front of the king, out of breath and rightfully so. “Milord,” the man paused, trying to catch his breath, “I have news from a settlement near the Sea of Oresund.”

“Whit is the news ye must tell?” asked General Lindsay.

The man checked his heavy breathing and in a terrifying voice replied, “It’s the Danes, they march on Skane!”

dane_war1466.jpg


Scotland_1466.jpg

Scotland after Swedish-Norwegian War of 1459
 

coz1

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Well done relaying the events that occured. And sad to see both James II and Nasmyth die just as they were showing their newfound strength. And it looks like there will be more opportunity. But one wonders what you wish with those Scandanavian lands when you really ought to be cleaning up on the Island. ;)
 

Deaghaidh

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Don't limit yourself to diplomacy in Ireland, after all it wasn't all that long ago at this point that Edward Bruce invaded Ireland and tried to win himself a crown.

Interesting to see you in Scandinavia like that.
 

CatKnight

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Uhm...wow, Denmark wants to play?

Show 'em what it means to mess with the Scots!!

As for diplomacy in Ireland, I'm all for that. Why go to war with them when you can focus your anger on the English? :)
 

Lord E

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Very nice update. Good to see you aid Norway against the evil Swedish and you sure did well conquering all those provinces. Now you just have to hope that you can defeat the Danes as well
 

Eber

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Thanks guys for all your comments. :)

Coz- I wasn't planning on any Scandinavian lands ever actually. I personally like Denmark and Sweden but then I thought what the heck, why not? :D What was really interesting was how France dishonored their alliance with Norway, which is why I am only allied to France now. Denmark and Norway got an alliance during the war and with Denmark declaring war on me, Norway also declared war on me. Luckily, France declared war on both of them too. I guess Nasmyth was right that you can't trust the Norwegians... ;)

Deaghaidh- True, but I have a personal affection for the Irish...well actually I just love their accent and their beautiful red-headed women. So diplomacy it is. :p

CatKnight- Speaking of the English, I'm rather worried about them. While I'm concentrated on these Scandinavian wars, England could go right up the backdoor. That could get messy.

Cliffracer RIP- You might get your wish. The Danes have a navy, the Scots...well pretty much don't. Plus, the Danes and the Norwegians have a combination of about 10,000 soldiers to my depleted 2,100/5,000 soldiers. I'm hoping that France with its navy and control the seas so I won't have to worry about any excursions except maybe a few thousand from Norway.

Lord E- Thanks for the compliment. It's going to be difficult to defeat the Danes AND the Norwegians. I actually didn't know the Norwegians declared war on me until I was just checking some information out and BAM. I moped a little though it did make the story line that much better. :D

The next update will be either later tonight or by tomorrow. Thanks again for everyone that has been reading this.
 

Ayeshteni

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mandead said:
Here's hoping you get annexed before 1485. :cool:

Boooo.

*Kicks mandead around the thread*

Now that we have dealt with the riff-raff :D Onwards the majestic kilted warriors!!!

..to Scandinavia? Oh well, show those Vikings what it was like. :nods:

Oh, I also agree with coz1; no Scots game is complete without looting London... (ok, that isn't technically what he said, but the principle is the same.) :p

Ayeshteni
 

stnylan

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Very scattered - are those lands going to be more trouble than they are worth? Though I imagine it gives Aye somewhere to run to when the English come a-callin' ;)

I suspect though those lands could get you into a nice series of defensive wars until you have a veritable Scandinavian Empire. That could be well worth it. Besides, you need to claim the Orkneys at some point from the damned Vikings.
 

Graymane

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Interesting setup so far. I'm wondering how much Scandanavia is going to distract you from the rest of the main island? =)

Nice writing style where you have some dialogue for important events and then gameplay facts so we can keep up with the overall situation.
 

Eber

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Emblem.jpg


Chapter 2


It has been said in history that the exact reason for the Danish to declare war on the Scots during the summer of 1466 was due to the insulting idea of having a Scottish presence on a predominantly Danish territory. While others believe that the Danes declared war because they saw a great opportunity to gain back the lands that they had lost in the Danish-Swedish War of 1458. Whatever the case may be, it can be positively said that the Scots were in a hefty situation. After a long and brutal war with Sweden, the Scots had almost no momentum to continue a Scandinavian War. They were now defending lands not there own with a populace that had the audacity to spit in a Scot’s direction to show their resilience to Scottish rule. More disturbing news came to James III a few days after hearing of the Danish declaration of war. Norway had signed an alliance pact with Denmark a year before and they had honored the alliance against Scotland. Fortunately France, Scotland’s long-time ally had agreed to send aid to help against the Norwegians and the Danes. Even so, it would take a strong leader to relieve Scotland from the pain and suffering the rest of the world believed was inevitable.

The Danes with two thousand men invaded Skane, hoping the demoralized Scots would turn tail and run. Unfortunately for the Danes, it did not turn out that way. Marching closer to the city, the Danes saw an overwhelming presence of Scottish troops, the last remnants of the victorious army that defeated their rival, Sweden. A long, drawn out battle took place in late May of 1466 that lasted three days. On the first day the Danes, believing they were far superior, charged the Scots thinking they would take the field and destroy the tired army in one stroke. The Scots under the direct leadership of James III and Lennox Lindsay held true and broke the charge of the Danes. That night, the Danes licked their wounds as the Scots celebrated with their King for a good day. The next day did not fare much better for the Danes as they had to retreat again. The third day of battle was the final blow for the Danes as their humiliated army scattered and retreated for the final time away from the city. For the time being, James III and the Scots had bravely defeated the Danes and could heal their own wounds as the Danes crossed the Sea of Oresund and struggled back to their homeland.



Skane, Sweden – September 1466

A nice breeze carried the auspicious sound of Scottish flutes to the local Danish populace as the Scots celebrated on a cool, temperate autumn night. Many Danes slowly walked near the Scot’s camp to hear the unknown music that rang so wonderfully in their ears. The closer they came, the more they saw of Scots dancing and clapping around fires as others played their mystical instruments to the beat of the dancing. It was truly an experience for many of the Danes, shown true when a few of the children began imitating some of the dancing before their parents stopped them and ushered them back home.

James III along with Lennox Lindsay saw the Danish populace from the local village crowding in a small area to look at the festivities.

“Some of those weans just might make guid dancers one day,” Lindsay declared as he observed some of the children dancing before their parents pulled their ears to stop.

James III, chewing on a morsel of meat looked at Lindsay and only laughed. He didn’t need any words to show that he was pleased with the good spirits the men were showing.

Lindsay continued on, “Ah actually think some of those weans could teach a thing or two to some of our men, some awfy bad dancin’ goin’ on over there.”

James III, stopped eating his meat and replied, “Ma general, ye think ye could do better?”

“Aye, ah would say ah am the best dancer here besides ye, milord.”

The king nodding his head said, “At least ye can notice when a man is better, good lass.”

“Ah might be arrogant but ah amnae an eejit.”

A man came in sight of the two men and slowly walked up to the fire where they were sitting near. His clothes were covered in dry mud, and some areas a recognizable amount of blood could be seen. He sat down near Lindsay as the general gave him a jug of wine to quench his thirst. The man drank some, wiped his mouth and beard before giving it back to Lindsay. James III did not say anything to the man though he knew why he was here.

After the man stretched a little, occasionally massaging his lower back, he looked at his king and said, “Ah had to kill two Danes on ma way here. Skinny little de’ils. Dreich weather too.”

Lindsay smiled at James III, indicating he was finding the complaints humorous. He then thought to himself that maybe he had too much wine as he saw the cold stare of James III.

James III gazed at the messenger as he took his shoes off and started massaging his feet. Lindsay was about to speak up but the messenger interrupted him.

“Ah found out why the Danes have attacked us, milord.” Finally, the reason for his appearance arrived. Lindsay relieved that he did not have to speak up, relaxed some and started drinking more wine with no care in the world.

“King Christian I of Norway controls Denmark like a puppet, ah personally ne’er thought it would happen. The deid Danish King musta given him his throne since the king had no laddie. Whateva’ the reason, Norway is givin’ the orders.”

“Is this information reliable?” asked James III.

“Aye, a woman from the Danish court told me while in bed. What a besom woman, but she speaks the truth.”

Lindsay heard the comment and blurted out, “How could ye sleep with a Dane?”

“Well, for bein’ a Dane, what a bonny.”

“Not her, how could she sleep with ye.”

“I ha’e substance.”

With that remark, Lindsay scoffed and began drinking his wine again, obviously jealous of the man.

James III shook his head at looked back at the messenger. “Thank ye for the information, go have some wine and relax." The King motioned to the man to take the jug of wine from Lindsay. The man snatched it away and walked off to join in on the dancing close to them. Lindsay looked at his empty hands, looked at the King then looked at the thief. He was about to get up when James III said, “Ye are fu’. Ah need ye with a sound mind in the mornin’.”

Lindsay sadly looked at him and sorrowfully answered, “Ah dinnae want any more anyway.” James III could tell he was lying but the answer was good enough for him.

Norse_Danes_Union.jpg

After the unsuccessful Danish attack, the Scots did not receive any more reports of excursions into Skane by the Danes. It was later found that the Danes were unable to send any troops from their capitol due to the French’s arrival. France’s navy overpowered the Danish in the Sea of Oresund and invaded Jylland and Fyn, conquering the territories within a year. James III and a small detachment of Scots fortified Skane in case of any attacks while two thousand men led by General Lennox Lindsay took up the siege of Gotland. The last remaining Danish troops numbering around four thousand souls stayed to protect their capitol. It has been said that Christian I, King of Norway and Denmark executed his chancellor and top general for failing him in the war against Scotland. Danish settlements watched as French and Scottish troops occupied their homes. Not a single Norwegian regiment could be seen for hundreds of miles, for they were fighting a tough land battle with Sweden and could not spare the troops. By March of 1467, Gotland was under Scottish control and Lindsay decided to invade Nyland, another Danish territory taken from the Swedes in their previous war. The Scots, landing on the beach did not expect much of a fight, but that would soon change when a regiment of one thousand Danes was seen on the horizon.


Nyland, Finland – March 1467

A Scottish scout rode hard through the melting snow to reach the Scottish presence on the store. He had been gone for a couple hours and Lindsay was getting impatient. When he saw the scout heading into camp, he ended his conversation with some of the soldiers and began walking to meet up with the scout halfway.

“Whit do ye find out about the Danes?” Lindsay could not keep his impatience from leaking out into his demeanor.

The scout slowed his horse and jumped off, visibly showing his wounded gut.

“Ye wounded,” observed Lindsay, immediately feeling ashamed for his impatience a moment ago.

“It’s nothin’,” the scout replied though he had one arm firmly on his gut. “The Danes know we are here. They not retreatin’ either. Waitin’ for us about a mile away.”

Once he said that, his knees gave way and he dropped to the ground. Lindsay shouted for help as a few Scots came over and carried him away. The general then went to his trusted lieutenants and gave the order to prepare to march in twenty minutes. About fifteen minutes passed and Lindsay was seen walking to the part of the beach being used for a hospital.

A man helping the sick saw the general coming and came to him. “Ma general, whit can ah do ye for?”

“A man was sent here with a bloody gut, how is he?”

“Oh, the scout,” the man lowered his head and pointed to a lifeless body lying on the beach. “He passed a few minutes ago.”

The general looked at his fallen Scot, nodded his head and said a prayer for him before returning to lead his troops to battle. He knew this would not be the last Scot that would not see the end of the day; though with all his sorrow and wisdom, he never would have thought that today the fates would have the same destiny for him as well.

Two thousand Scots marched through the snow and mud, whistling Scottish home songs while dreaming of their families. Lennox Lindsay, a man who did not want to be any one’s superior walked with his Scots listening to the cheerful singing. An hour later, the Scots and the Danes were on the same field eyeing each other. Each man knew that his final hour might be here, accepting this fate, the locals could hear cheers from both armies from the distance. These cheers would soon enough turn into cries.

The Danes numbered only one thousand and because of this Lindsay did something that usually was frowned upon by military leaders, he split his force. One thousand lay dead ahead of the Danes, while the others quickly marched to surprise the Danes to their right. If all went well, the Danes would be utterly crushed with minimal Scottish casualties.

The beginning of the battle started off rather fairly for both sides. However, the brash Danish general sensing he could turn the tide of battle quickly rushed the remaining of his troops into the fighting. Lindsay saw the charge and knew only a counter-charge could keep the battle a stalemate until his reinforcements arrived. He ordered the charge and the remaining four hundred Highlanders charged the lines. With each second, another man was cut down from an enemy blade. Spilled blood was abundant; men who had not seen fighting yet already had some staining their cloaks as well as their faces from their fellow soldiers in front of them. Lindsay was in the heat of the battle, fighting along his Scots. His claymore ripped through the flesh of his enemy as he ferociously defended his area from any invading Dane. Scots fighting along side of him saw his courage and fought better because of it. Lindsay continued to fight, but the Scots were beginning to be pushed back by the Danes. Their fatigue was finally getting to the men.

Bodies were piling up as men fought over the bodies of their fallen friends and the ones who may have killed them. It soon started to unravel. As Lindsay was swinging his claymore, a Dane after slicing a Scot’s chest open came over to help against the general. The Dane quickly stabbed his sword into the side of the Scottish general as Lindsay was coming down from his swing. His swing lost its force as it dropped from his hands. The other Dane seeing his comrade had injured the general soon stabbed Lindsay in the throat. The battling Scot fell grabbing his throat, blood streaming out covering his hands and arms. As the general fell, his Scots saw the blood and knew their leader was dead. The Scots were wavering but when all hope was basically lost, shouts could be heard from the back of the line that Lindsay’s reinforcements had arrived and were charging the flank. It would soon be over.

lindsay_generaldeath.jpg

The Battle of Nyland was the bloodiest Scotland had seen the past few years. Yet another famed general had fallen to a Scandinavian sword and it certainly would not be the last. With the Danes defeated, Nyland was conquered in the winter of 1467. One week later, a band of Scottish Highlanders lead by Alan Lindsay, a cousin of the late Lennox Lindsay invaded the Orkney Islands and conquered the fortress with little trouble. Everything seemed to be coming into place for the Scots.

However, more bad news would hit Scotland on July 10, 1468. James III fell ill and passed away from a fever in Skane, Sweden. With the death of their king, debates soon arose in Scotland on who would take over the throne. James III had two children, an older daughter named Mary and a young son named James. Many of the nobles did not believe James was old or healthy enough to rule Scotland. The son was constantly sick. The nobles also did not find that a regency council would be beneficial for the country until James came of age. Because of this, Mary was found worthy of the Scottish throne. The daughter of James III ascended the throne on July 22, 1468. History would remember her as Mary II, Queen of Scotland.

mary2.jpg

The first act the Queen deemed important was the Scandinavian war plaguing the Scottish lands. She immediately sent diplomats to King Christian I with a generous offer. She knew that Scotland and France had an overwhelming victory and with Sweden breathing hard on the back of the King’s neck, he was in a delicate situation. All she asked from the King was the Orkney Islands, which were mainly populated by Highlanders and Gotland, the other island fortress that she believed could be an effective defensive outlet if ever needed. Christian I gladly accepted the proposal and the second Scandinavian war was over on November 1, 1469.


dane_peace1468.jpg

norse_peace1470.jpg

Edinburgh, Scotland - February 1470

After ten long years, the Scots Guard, the very first Scottish regiment in Scandinavia was finally coming home. Coming into Edinburgh port, hundreds of Scottish women and children including the Queen watched as the boat docked. The Queen looked as the countries strongest and bravest were getting off the boat. As their feet touched the soil, many of the men fell to their knees and began to weep. Their women knowing that it might take a while for their men to reach them decided to come to them first. Families united, lovers embraced and single men kissed the very ground they walked on. Queen Mary II as well as all of Scotland was in the debt of these fine soldiers. Because of their sacrifice, Scotland had become a respected country in the world.

Though the day would be a glorious and happy day, she knew that Scotland was still vulnerable, most notably to their south. The English under the talented and acclaimed ruler, King James IV, had built up a sizeable force in Northumberland and Cumbria, the two provinces bordering Scotland. Mary II understood that the twelve thousand soldiers at her border were not there just to sightsee. War was looming and she was afraid Scotland would not be ready for the growing power in the south.

Scotland_1470.jpg

Scotland after the Danish-Scottish War of 1466
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Very good. Further expansion, the northern Isles claimed and taken, and a new Empire forming beyond the sea.

It occurs to me you could well be in the process of reforming the dominon of Knut, more or less.
 

unmerged(58610)

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The Scandanavian gambit is one I must remember for Scotland. A military alliance with England would allow Scotland to expand in Ireland.
 

unmerged(69129)

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I suspect a Scandinavian land-grab may not be that uncommon for Scottish players starting in 1453. The first combat my troops saw in my game was also against Sweden, due to Norway asking me to honor the alliance we start the game with. The only real difference between my game and Eber's up to that point was that Sweden hadn't captured the Danish provinces, so the three Swedish provinces I swiped were further north -- Vastergottland, Ostergottland, and Varmland.

In fact, Scotland can use its alliances to devastating effect, played properly; the French and Norwegians have been quite happy to declare war on people left and right and then let me do all the work and gobble up territory.