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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

nalivayko

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Do not expect to find a full-blown story here. This is an aar as they should have been - a quickly written after action report. Nothing more, nothing less.

Country: Brandenburg
Scenario: Age of Mercantilism
Difficulty: Hard
Aggressiveness: Aggressive

Starting provinces: Brandenburg, Magdeburg, Kustrin, Kleves, Prussia, Memel.

The year is 1694. Western Europe is dominated by three major alliances: one Catholic and two Protestant. Two empires of the east - Poland and Ottoman Turkey - present a danger only to each other. Russia - the last of the three major eastern powers - is too far away and has no access to the sea to make a difference.



Thus, the dominant power on the continent is Holy Alliance of Spain, France, Austria and Portugal. Spain managed to hold on to its 16th century conquests, while France expanded rapidly into Italy and South Germany. The first was conquered by war, the latter by diplomacy.

The second alliance is led by yours truly. It consists of Brandenburg, Sweden, Denmark and Cologne. Brandenburg's rise to power is what this report is all about.

The last powerful alliance is one of England and Netherlands. Powerful might be too strong of a word, as both failed to annex Lenape after decades of trying. However, if added to Brandenburg's alliance, they would present a considerable threat to Habsburgs and Bourbons.

Now, when the current situation is clear, let us discover how did it develop.

But first, this is not a lecture on how to conquer the world ;) It is, if anything, a lecture on how and when to wage war if your goal is to enjoy it.

Second, this is not actually a lecture, just some thoughts I am trying to summarize about different aspects of war in EU2.

Off we go.

Brandenburg's Rise to Power

More often than not I find myself burdened with over-sized army. As history teaches us (look at Soviet Union, for example), this is really bad for your economy. Some rush to disband some 10-20k infantry. It does not make sense to me: why not put it to good use? As it happened, in 1617 I had a large standing army and casus beli on Munster, Poland and Austria (all of them of different religion). The latter two were rather large and intimidating. Munster was a walk-over, even though I had to bribe Hannover to pass through their territory.

Poland declared war shortly after. For them, I seemed to be a walk-over. Poles might have had an over-sized army as well and they too had a casus beli on a neighbor to the west.

Luckily, by that time I was in a strong alliance. Saxony, Palatinat, Hessen and some other German minors. It helped that Pommern was also Polish target, which teaches us another lesson: never attack two alliances at once. Poland paid it for dearly, even though it took awhile for me to capitalize on that.

In the end, Welikopolska and Poznan were offered to me in exchange for peace. Lesson number three: if you're winning, wait for the enemy to start the negotiations. You might get offered more than you've bargained for. Sometimes, as it was in my case, this is a good thing.

Wars with Poland continued through the rest of the 17th century. However, since I've connected the lands of Brandenburg and Prussia there was more room for maneuvers. Besides, Polish capitol now was right on the border. Accidentally, every war started with its capture. As my objectives did not include the conquest of Poland, I found it rather easy to make peace fast.

I only scored once since that first war with Poland, when I vassalized their ally - the Duchy of Courland. Then I turned them into my ally and buffer against Sweden. It survived one war before dissappearing from the map.

Sweden was my main adversary throughout the century. It presented no real danger, but ever since we split Pommern (inheritance event), the Swedes tried to expand their lands in Germany at alarming speed.

In the same time, I was greeting their expansion - it helped to pave the way to the unification of Northen Germnay under Brandenburg's banner. As Sweden annexed Mecklenburg, Bremen, Oldenburg and Hannover, it had to fight two brief wars with me, loosing all of the above-mentioned lands plus Western Pommerania. In addition, I gained Antigua - a small trade center by then - and cleared Dominique and Guadeloupe from Swedish trading posts.

Courland, I reasoned, was enough of a compensation for them. I also send the Swedes some gold to recover after the second war and invited them to my alliance.

By that time, the previous alliance was long abandoned and my allies were the countries that could do some damage to Sweden: Courland and Denmark. Another ally - Cologne - I stole from Dutch, while Saxons (reduced to one province by Austria) were looking for a strong protector already.

My expansion in the Caribbean was rather limited - another new strategy of mine. Instead of trying to cover as much land as possible with a plan to develop it later I tried to take it one colony at a time. Barbados first, Curacao later. Then I burnt couple of Swedish trading posts and stole Antigua. The conflict in the West Indies witnessed couple of naval battles - my two or three warships against "mighty" Swedish navy. Couple I won, one was lost, but right after it I gained three European provinces plus a trade center in Antigua, so I guess I can't complain.



On my "lightning" campaigns... The reason I was able to bring all of my wars to quick conclusion is a new strategy I tried recently. Mind you, this is only new for me: I decided to take "defensive" rather than "offensive" path and was rather impressed with results. Considering some of my leaders already had a siege value + 2!

To compensate for the loss of morale, I trained high quality troops (quality all the way to the right, while defensive is all but 1 to the left). To compensate for the high cost, I left all my people enslaved (serfdom -2).

Sometimes I was able to capture a city with minimal fortifications in seven days.

To summarize:

Number of wars: Munster (1), Sweden (2), Palatinat (1), Poland (3).

Number of provinces gained through conquest: 8

Number of provinces gained through inheritance: 1

Number of provinces defected from other countries: 1 (Danzig, after the first war with Poland claimed by Palatinat).

Number of provinces gained through diplomatic annexation: 1 (Saxony)

Number of colonial cities: 3

Number of colonies under development: 2

Standing army: 50,000, led by a good general (+3 siege value)

Navy: 5 warships (Caribbean), 8 galleys (Baltic), 1 transport (Caribbean).

Future goals: to hurt Holy Alliance (Spain, France, Austria, Portugal), conquest of kingdom of Bohemia, expulsion of France from Germany and diplomatic annexation of Denmark and Cologne.
 
Last edited:

nalivayko

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Kingdom of Prussia

The Holy Alliance between France, Austria, Spain and Portugal did not survive a test of time. Louis XIV's ambitions angered the Emperor in Vienna. And when a Bourbon - not Habsburg - was put on the throne of Spain, Austria expressed its irritation way too vividly. As the result, when Prussia (the kingdom of Prussia was proclaimed in the beginning of the XVIII century) declared war on Austria, neither France nor Spain came to rescue.

As one can see from the maps, after 3-4 wars Austria was done as a major player in European politics. Even alliance with Poland did not save it from losing Bohemia and four West German provinces. To make matters worth, Sweden tore Poland apart during those wars and was compensated handsomely.

Denmark was quitely absorbed into new German empire. I entertained the thought of releasing Norway, but was unable to part with a naval manufactory there.



At the same time France and Spain went different directions. Spain, having lost two provinces to Prussia, did not think France was a reliable protector of its interests. France went looking for allies elsewhere, finding them in English and Dutch.

In 1747 I attacked Venice, which somehow insulted Prussia in the past. Her allies - France, England and Netherlands all joined in - to my big suprise. I calculated England and Netherlands would not dare to resist me. I was mistaken.

The campaign in the Caribbean was a fiasco. At first I routed Dutch and French in South America. Then my islands were invaded by the allies and my navy sunk. Later Dutch came in force and pushed me back on the continent.

That campaign, however, gave me time to fix things in Europe. I overan France in Germany and France proper and promptly invaded the Netherlands. France lost al her German possessions, while Dutch had to cede Friesland, Geldre and Zeeland. Even their large fortresses could not resist Friedrich the Great and his generals.

Needless to say, with no navy left (8 galleys in Baltic don't count) I had to buy peace with Venice and England. Cost me 400 ducats altogether. A nice price for seven quality European provinces (Zeeland had a manufactory, while Geldre had a conscription center - not that I need it really).

 
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Amric

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Very nice and a good description of how things have been going...does that mean you have abandoned your WC AAR?
 

TreizeV

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Wow i've never seen a brandenburg/prussia that large :p your prussia reminds me of WWII germany for some reason ;) must be because of norway.
 

nalivayko

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Amric, thank you and yes, I did. With Prussia I wanted to kill time before Victoria, but couldn't keep myself away from writing a small report.

TreizeV, I'd like to believe you :) but I can't. I've seen a couple of aars with Brandenburg/Prussia running wild all over Europe. It's quite easy with leaders they get. And yes, Norway is quite a jewel in my collection :D Now, imagine what annexing Sweden would to the map... although I doubt I will even try it.
 

nalivayko

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Prussia Rules the Land

Next on my agenda was yet another attack on Austria and partition of Poland. Sweden proved to be a pain in the ass by refusing to take all the land I planned to give it. I was even forced to ban in from my alliance once to get it back in the war. The result was a Swedish conquest of Carpathia. Rather pathetic. Some twenty years later in defected back to Austria.

Meanwhile, I was not losing time. Poland was attacked twice, losing all but Warsaw. Austria lost Salzburg, Tyrol and Alsace. Second war with Poland gave Sweden Mozyr.

The third war with Poland (the event came up telling me Poland intends to revive itself and cb shield I got demanded annexation) ended in total conquest of the former. I set Moldova and Ukraine free. Ukraine received all the lands east of Dnieper, which I designated to be my eastern border.

The highlight of this session was the war with France. Once again I declared war on a third party - Corsica (which was refusing to trade with me) - and got myself another Great War with France, England and Netherlands.

This time I was more ready than ever. My superior army ruled the battlefields in South America, while Blucher and Friederich II ruled dictated the rules in Europe. In the end I did lose Friederich and Bulow - the former to natural death - but gained Schwyz, Piedmonte, Venice, Mantua and a colony in South America. Dutch lost another two. England was forced to abandon its claims on my island possessions once I made peace with Corsica.





P.S. There was another war with Spain. I think they lost Maracaibo and French Comte and Brabant and Luxembourg. Preceding this war Mexico declared independence, entered my alliance, but was forced to become a Spanish vassal later on.
 
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unmerged(16363)

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Who owns Flanders? Portugal? Well, nice to see another work by nalivayko, yes! :D And, of course, free Ukraine, as always!
 

nalivayko

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Thanks, Celso.

Flanders won independence for a short while before being annexed by Spanish ally and vassal - Portugal. Do not worry - this is not going to last.

And yes, free Ukraine :D This is my trademark, you know.
 

nalivayko

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Restoration of Holy Roman Empire

Looking back at my previous century resolutions, I found that all the goals I set for Brandenburg/Prussia were met. Bohemia was conquered, France was out of Germany, the lands of Cologne and Denmark were incorporated in my empire. In addition, I build my own colonial empire in the Caribbean and South America.

I was looking for direction and new goals. First, Austria should be mine. Not as an ally, not as a vassal, but a mere province of German empire. Then I should expel France from Italy and establish a border in the west I can comfortable with. The conquest of Italy should restore Holy Roman Empire to pre-1648 borders. On top of that, I should try to create a navy that will allow me to rule the Channell and burn London.

Two wars with Austria gave me my first goal. It was not a hard task at all. I did not even bother calling upon my allies - in fact I did not call upon them once since 1787. I would if I had troubles in the east, but Russia was behaving herself.

When Austria was being conquered, I found her only ally - Papal States - to be an inviting target. Thus, as Vienna fell under my sword so did Rome.

Another war with Spain gave me Artois, Milan, Apulia and Panama. The last I did not want, but had to accept nevertheless. A bloody campaign in South America between Prussians and Portuguese - Spanish willing allies - resulted in catastrophic losses for the Prussian colonial forces. In the end the world witnessed a long raid of a several hundreed Prussian infantrymen, who managed to capture a score of Brazilian provinces, forcing Portugal to cede Flandres in exchange for peace.

The last, but not the least was a war with France. As usual, Corsica played a role of a scape-goat. English and Dutch stood by their Catholic allies. This time they were rewarded for their loyalty. Dutch received Panama, while English were paid a handsome bribe to get out of the war. Once again France did not offer much resistance. The country was on the verge of Revolution. The King actually welcomed Prussian armies, which killed quite a lot of French soldiers, but still managed to kill even more French rebels. Due to Prussian intervention the monarchy in France was preserved.

Due to Prussian aggression France lost Liguria, Savoie, Bern and Emilia.

The war once again punished Prussian colonial forces. But in the same time a new trading center opened in Prussian South America and I could not complain after that.

Total trading centers: 3 (Venice, Genoa, Guyini(?)). In the beginning of XVIII century trading centers in Antigua and Danzig seized to exist. Thus in one decade I went from zero to three. My merchants were happy.



P.S. As Holy Roman Empire was restored to its old borders by Protestants, the Catholics within the empire proclaimed the Spanish King the Emperor. Kaizer in Berlin ignored this childish act of defiance and continued to consider himself the true Caesar. Not many agreed with him, but what choice did they have but to disagree when he could not hear it?
 
Last edited:

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Nice tale. I hope in Vicky you will be able to free Ukraine or there will be a problem...

:D
 

nalivayko

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jwolf, thank you. Free Ukraine - I did edit the files somewhat to release it with four above-shown provinces. I did better on finding a good excuse to release it though - with free Ukraine I had no Orthodox provinces left in my empire. Big bonus in times of trouble.

"Natural" border with France: whatever border you see on the screenshot I consider "natural". I might have pushed further in the south - to include Dauphine and Provence - but both provinces are so "french".... I am not that cruel.

Stroph1, my first game in Victoria will be as Russia. No free Ukraine there :) It would be a worthy challenge though as any other country.
 

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All you need now is Naples and you should have everything in your goals...Very nicely done and again nicely played. Cossack Productions does it again!
 

nalivayko

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The Unification of Italy

Like my military advisors said: you need nothing but Naples to secure Prussian hegemony in Europe. The war with Spain and Portugal was inevitable, but to be successful in America as well as in Europe I needed a large navy. Large or not, but 40 warships do make a difference. Despite superior technology that my foes possessed, I was able to score victory after victory when fighting small squadrons of ships.

The sight of some 100+ enemy ships near Antilles made me nervous. Luckily, the port was near.

In the same time, for the first time, the time had come for my troops to discover the lands of Peru... unfortified Spanish provinces... the virgin lands of very optimistic people. Once again my troops raided deep into Brazil and for the first time my cavalry reached as far down the west coast of South America as Chile.

In Europe my armies fought their way through the mountains of eastern Sicily and soon took control of the island. Naples, needless to say, was the first city to fall... this hardly needs any explanation.

Soon enough my victories impressed Spanish crown and my humble demands of Naples, Messina and Sicily were gladly met by the Spaniards. The whole of Italian peninsula was mine and mine alone. Independent Corsica and Spanish Sardinia were not mine, but since they were not a part of the boot, I decided to ignore them. Alas, this game I was not meant to rule the seas.

Coming soon the last chapter of this short report: Uncertain Future.

==============================================

Amric, thank you, if Victoria does not come to my store tomorrow I might be able to finish the story. The game's already over.

Languish, and I always like readers like yourself :) Thank you.
 

Amric

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does this mean you will be abandoning EUII completely?
 

nalivayko

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Hm, I guess I should have finished this one and reply to Amric, so there I go:

Amric, yes and no. I am abandoning EU2 completely, but not forever. New game is really great. Played two games so far: Russia and CSA. Enjoyed both. Both went unfinished :D

As for this AAR, after the last war with Spain, which gave me all of Italy and Sicily, I experienced a long period of instability and rebellion. By the time I was ready to attack again, the game was almost over (1818). I attacked the Western alliance (France, England and Holland). Then France finally showed its famous "fury".

I attacked with several 30-40,000 strong armies. One such army was directed toward Holland. My army in the Americas numbered some 30,000 veterans. French happened to have almost an equal amount of troops and there commanders were far superior to mine. I was still able to overan the eastern part of France, but then couple of my armies were completely annihilated by the enemy. This was not a lightening war, it turned out to be a war of attrition. I was able to recruit relatively fast in Brandenburg and Flandren, although some attention had to be paid to rebels in Italy.

In the end, I did break French resistance and my fleet (some 50 warships) did manage to break through blockade by the main English fleet and sail to the Northen Sea, where it preyed upon smaller English squadrons (at a ratio 25:1 I could still win :) ).

Holland was finally forced out of the war (took awhile to take their maximum fortress) and that was the situation at the end of the war. Paris was in my hands with London still standing proud across the Channell. If I had but another year, the result would be still the same. Holland independent (huge empire in Indonesia), France humiliated and England ruling the waves.

P.S. At the time of the last battle almost all of the participants reached maximum level of land technology.
 

BRAVEn

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Another great AAR by nalivayko! I hope you will not abandon EU and new AAR will apear here.
Vicky.... probably my contact with this game will finish on reading forum stuff
:mad:
Will I be able to buy this game in Poland one day:confused:
 

nalivayko

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Hm, not to say anything OT :D, but... I imagine you would be able to buy a game in Poland... and if you can't all you have to do is to drive to Ukraine. That's one good thing about pirates - they do tend to bring games to the countries that otherwise would have no hope of getting them. Of course, as a devote Paradox fan, I'd recommend sending them a check for the difference between the prices.

Lucky me, I could get Vicky with only one week delay at my EB store. By then, I was so tired of waiting that I opted to go play soccer instead :) I can only imagine the torture you are going through.