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delpiero1234

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The Amsterdammer Way

Goedendag!
Welcome to The Amsterdammer Way, my new mildly interactive AAR in which I'll be playing a custom nation called Amsterdam which is based in the province of Holland.
This will be my first campaign with a custom nation which I will present to you in detail in a prologue.



About the Interactivity
  • You, the readers, form together the Raad of Amsterdam. The Raad functions similar to a parliament in which important decisions are decided by simple majority vote.
  • Every reader has one vote per decision. In case of a tie, the Raadpensionaris (that is the title of our ruler) casts a tie-breaker vote.
  • Votes must be cast in bold. This makes it easier to count them.
  • Every poll has a hard deadline. It is up to 48 hours after the poll. The exact deadline is announced in the post of the poll.
  • When voting, you may state why you are choosing a certain option in an effort to persuade others.
  • You may recast your vote if it is still within the time frame. If you revote please signify in bold what you voted previously and what your new vote is. This makes counting the votes easier.
  • There will be no debates like in fully interactive AARs.



The Raad of Amsterdam

The Raad of Amsterdam convenes after the Raadpensionaris calls for an assembly. It is at the sole discretion of the Raadpensionaris to call for an assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam and only the Raadpensionaris can decide on which topics there will be a vote on.
There are two types of meetings.

  1. The members of the Raad are asked to vote on certain on-going issues
  2. The members of the Raad are asked for advice. No voting takes place.


Before we start...

It is never too late to participate in The Amsterdammer Way! Just wait for the next poll if you wish to cast your vote.


Campaign Details:
Start Date: 1444

DLCs: All major DLCs from Conquest of Paradise to Common Sense are enabled.

Patch: 1.13 beta; will update to 1.13 patch once it gets released.

Custom Nation 'Amsterdam' based in province Holland.

Ironman: No (got screwed twice by Ironman in my last AAR, Sunni Pope - A Papal State AAR)

Amsterdam will not change TAG and become The Netherlands.


The Amsterdammer Way
marks my first AAR with mild interactivity.
If I see that things don't work out well with the interactivity, as in, people don't behave, or if there are any other issues with it then I reserve the right to continue the AAR as an non mildly interactive AAR.

Criticism and feedback are appreciated!


Edit: Updated the section concerning interactivity.

Mild Interactivity approved by Mr. Capiatlist


 
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Chapter List

Prologue

01: Albert Homburg & The Merchant Guild

The Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam on 30 September, 1453

The Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam on 30 September, 1453 (Part II)

02: A Game of Alliances

The Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam on 25 November, 1460

The Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam on 25 November, 1460 (Part II)

Letter to the Delegates of the Raad of Amsterdam; 5 April, 1461.

03: The Wars for the Lowlands

Letter to the Delegates of the Raad of Amsterdam, 11 September, 1473

04: Of Powerful Realms

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam, 1 November, 1477

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam, 1 November, 1477 (Part II)

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam, 1 November, 1477 (Part III)

05: Quest for the New World

06: War for the Channel (Part I)

06: War for the Channel (Part II)


Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam, 1 March, 1496

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam, 1 March, 1496 (Part II)

07: No Trouble On The Horizon

08: Gold Through Conquest

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam, 2 July, 1512


09: Politics: 1512

Assembly of the Amsterdamm, 2 July, 1512 (Part II)

Letter to the Delegates of the Raad of Amsterdam; 21 May, 1514

10: A New Faith

11: The First Steps Towards A Colonial Empire

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 16 October, 1530

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 16 October, 1530 (Part II)

Letter to the Raad of Amsterdam; 7 April, 1536

12: "March in order to establish a March!"

Letter to the Raad of Amsterdam; 15 April, 1531

13: A Diplomatic Disaster

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 11 January, 1543

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 11 January, 1543 (Part II)


14: The Wars for Central Africa

15: The Year 1552

Letter to the Delegates of the Raad of Amsterdam; 5 September; 1559

16: War for Castile

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 5 October, 1560

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam: 5 October, 1560 (Part II)

17: The Coast of Africa

18: The Conquest of Paris


19: Politics

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 31 January, 1578

20: War of the Protestant League (Part I)

21: War of the Protestant League (Part II)


22: A Protestant Empire

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 3 January, 1596


Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 3 January, 1596 (Part II)

23: In the Name of the Raad

Letter to the Delegates of the Raad of Amsterdam; 25 July, 1606

24: The War for the Holy City

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 15 December, 1613

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 15 December, 1613 (Part II)

Leaflet; 1 February, 1618

25: Amsterdammer-Swiss War (Part I)

26: Amsterdammer-Swiss War (Part II)


27: Asian Ambitions

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 18 October, 1635

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 18 October, 1635 (Part II)

28: Amsterdammer-Aragonese War

29: For the Company

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 4 November, 1656

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 4 November, 1656 (Part II)

30: Defeat or Victory?

31: The War for China

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 20 September, 1680


Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 20 September, 1680 (Part II)

32: Expansion on all Fronts

33: Global Expansionism

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 3 August, 1699

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 3 August, 1699 (Part II)


34: Crushing Victories

35: Unstoppable

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 10 February, 1724

Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam; 10 February, 1724 (Part II)

36: A New World Order

37: Rapid Expansion

38: Time for Big Wars

39: The Conquest of Siberia

40: The Betrayal

41: The Final Years

42: Time to Say Goodbye




Useful Links:
 
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Prologue


Friedrich III of Austria was elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on 27 October, 1439, in Worms by the seven prince-elctors. This election marked an important date in Amsterdammer history because the following spring, Friedrich declared war on his fierce rival the Duke of Burgundy. At that time, Philippe III de Bourgone ruled not only Burgundy but also over the Duchies of Brabant, Flanders and Holland. The Duchy of Holland was composed two provinces: Amsterdam and Zeeland.




The Emperor crushed Burgundy and forced them to release Amsterdam as sovereign state in December, 1443. Amsterdam was mostly inhabited by seafarers, merchants and peasants. There was some aristocracy in Amsterdam, too, but it was much weaker and less influential then in neighboring countries. Influential members of the bourgeoisie and aristocracy formed the Raad of Amsterdam.
The Raad decided that Amsterdam should become a trade-oriented republic led by a Raadpensionaris. Initially, Ikbert van Egmond, a relative of the Duke of Gelre, declared himself King of Amsterdam but his rule lasted only for a few months before he was lynched by the bourgeoisie. No surprise, that Gelre announced Amsterdam as her rival.



Ikbert was replaced as Raadpensionaris by Giselbert 'the Shy' van Gogh. Ikbert was an, introverted ruler. Some say, he was the result of inbreed. He was the only candidate that the merchants and aristocracy could agree on.



Now it is 11 November, 1444, and Amsterdam is surrounded by lots of countries. To the south-east lie the Duchies of Zeeland and Flanders, ruled by the Duke of Burgundy. To the east, the bishopric of Utrecht and the rivalry Duchy of Gelre. North-east of Amsterdam rules Raadpensionaris Hendrik Donia over Friesland. Across the coast of Amsterdam, House Lancaster rules over England.
The Raad of Amsterdam had approved the Amsterdammer National Idea Set in its first session after the gained independence.
The monthly balance could be better and the treasury rather empty with just 52 ducats. That is why van Gogh decided not to hire any advisors even though they were badly needed. Calling is skills poor is an understatement.




Van Gogh commaned over an army of 5000 mixed infantry men and 1000 cavalry. Together, they formed the Amsterdammer Pride.
Amsterdam is much more a maritime nation. Rich merchants have provided the city-state with 5 barques that are patrolling the English Channel to protect Amsterdammer trade interests. The Amsterdammer Navy is formed by three early carracks and five cogs. Van Gogh realizes that these heavy ships cost too much maintenance. Therefore, he disbands two of the three heavy ships.





Diplomacy-wise, van Gogh opted to make Liege, Friesland and Gelre his rivals. Mostly for the reason that they had rivaled his republic and because of a lack of choice.
The Raadpensionaris admits that a prestige of just +4 comes close to a debacle. Therefore, a mission is taken to improve prestige.






Amsterdammer merchants are steering trade from Lübeck and from Champagne to the English Channel but their influence over those trade nodes is rather small and insignificant.



Western Europe in November, 1444.





Edit: Updated ruler title
 
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If you don't turn Amsterdam into this, I will be greatly disappointed! :p

Best of luck with the mild interactivity, I'm just here to watch what unfolds! :)
 

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If you don't turn Amsterdam into this, I will be greatly disappointed! :p
Ah! You have high expectations ;) But high is good!

Best of luck with the mild interactivity, I'm just here to watch what unfolds! :)
I'm curious to see whether it turns out to be a good feature or not.I had been tempted to try a mildly interactive AAR for a while. Looking forward to seeing if adding some mild interactivity turned out to be a good thing or not :)
 

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Maybe Raadspensionaris would be a better word, since it is proper Dutch.
 
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Maybe Raadspensionaris would be a better word, since it is proper Dutch.
An excellent suggestion! Grand Pensionary is the title given by PDX to the ruler but of course using a proper Dutch term seems much better. I didn't think of it because my Dutch is rather poor. Thanks :)
 
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Chapter I - Albert Homburg & The Merchant Guild

Giselberg van Gogh meets Duke Adolf of Cleves in the Clevian capital province. After a long meeting an alliance was signed. Both countries have Gelre has a common enemy. van Gogh also sent a diplomat to Wien to improve relations with the Emperor. van Gogh was most grateful that the Emperor had liberated Amsterdam which is why he is seeking an alliance with Austria.
van Gogh returns to Amsterdam after his visit in Kleves but only stays there for a short time. He rides with a delegation to Münster and successfully convinces the local bishop, Heinrich II, to form an alliance with him.



Leading members of the bourgeoisies convinced the Raadpensionaris to set the national focus to Administrative Power. A wise move because Administrative Power was needed for future conquests.



In January, 1445, a rich, influential merchant by the name Albert Homburg, he was of Hanoverian descent, hired a skilled spy to forge some documents. Homburg needed a claim on Arnhem, the largest and wealthiest city in the province Gelre, to convince fellow merchants to pressure the Raadpensionaris to claim that city for the good of Amsterdam.



The city of Amsterdam is one of the few coastal centers of trade in the English Channcel Trade Node. The fresh fish that Amsterdammer fishermen catch every morning is sold at the large Amsterdammer market by the harbor but the majority of trade income comes from foreign goods which are taxed to pass the city.
The English Channel is an important trade node, however, the merchants in Italy, especially Genoese merchants, are by far more successful. Genoa, Wien and Venice are the three richest trade nodes in 1445.




Improving relations with the Emperor paid off: On 12 March, 1445, a relative of Friedrich III von Habsburg agreed to marry the daughter of Albert Homburg. The wedding was arranged to take place in the beautiful Alpine town of Innsbruck.
With the state marriage between Austria and Amsterdam, the relations continued to improve further. Austria offered Amsterdam to become a Free Imperial City. This is a tempting offer but ultimately was declined in the most respectful way possible. van Gogh did not want to upset Friedrich III. Fortunately Austria was not upset and all.
In April, another Austrian delegate arrives in Amsterdam with good and bad news. The good bad news first: After Amsterdam declined the Austrian offer, the Amestedammer rival Friesland was selected to become a Free Imperial City. Friesland gratefully accepted the offer.
The Good news is that Austria signed an alliance with Amsterdam! Shortly after, a fourth alliance with the Bishopric of of Utrecht is signed.




Albert Homburg met fellow Amsterdammer merchants on a cold November night. The Amsterdammer merchant guild is a powerful organization within the republic, some say even more influential as the Raad of Amsterdam. This makes sense though, given how important trade is for this young nation. The leader of the Amsterdammer merchant guild carries the rather weird title of First Coin. The current First Coin is Hendrick the Wicket.


The merchant guild shares Homburg's interest of conquering Arnhem and sent a formal letter to van Gogh in which they made that crystal clear.


Letter from First Coin Hendrick the Wicket to Raadpensionaris Gieselbert 'the Shy' van Gogh

Dear Gieselbert,
one of our richest members, Albert Homburg, has successfully managed to fabricate a claim on our rival's largest city Arnhem. He paid a good sum to to the spy whose identity shall remain hidden. We therefore urge you to declare war immediately.
We have received word that the Duke of Gelre has only one weak ally and his army is apparently not large either. There is no better time than to strike now.
It is best you do not disappoint us. You do remember what happened to your predecessor, Ikbert van Egmond, don't you?

Yours sincerely,
Hendrik the Wicket, First Coin of the Amsterdammer merchant guild



van Gogh is shocked when he reads the letter. The tone surprised it and carried a clear death threat in case he does not declare war on Gelre. He sends a messenger to Hendrik's villa in the city center of Amsterdam to inform him of his decision. War it was! Utrecht and Cleves sided with Amsterdam, East Frisia with Gelre.


van Gogh leads the 6.000 to Utrecht where another 6.000 join his command. The combined forces of the two countries then march on Arnheim.
Hendrick the Wicket rules in van Gogh's name why he is laying siege on Arnhem. Hendrick recruits 2.000 additional infantry.
The forces under van Gogh's command had no trouble defeating the defending forces because during the battle they were joined by the army of Cleves.




van Gogh leaves a few troops behind to carry out the siege of Arnheim. He moves with troops from Utrecht to Ostfriesland where he defeats the enemy that retreats to Friesland. At the Battle of Friesland, the enemy army is annihilated! van Gogh then returns to Ostfriesland to besiege that province.
The siege of Arnehim lasts for 331 days. The garrison succumbed to hunger and disease. On 26 March, 1447, Ostfriesland was occupied, too.




At the end of that March, East Frisia agrees to pay 59 ducats as war compensation and for a period of 10 years 10% of their income as war reparations.
On 3 April, 1447, Arnheim is annexed by Amsterdam. van Gogh returns to Amsterdam where he celebrates together with Hendrick the Wicket, Albert Homburg and other merchants the successful campaign. In a ceremony, Homburg becomes Stadtholder of Arnhem.




With the extra gold that was gained in the war, van Gogh orders four more barques. Construction begins immediately in the port of Amsterdam. Some of the ducats were also uses to hire a diplomat as advisor.
5.000 men are stationed in Arnheim to keep revolts from happening. The autonomy of the province was also increased.



The tensions with Utrech grew quite strong by April, 1448. Utrecht was all that was standing between Amsterdam and Arnhem. Van Gogh wants to have a land connection between his two provinces and he does not want to rely on some pious bishop to grant him access to march through this lands. Utrecht broke their alliance with Amsterdam. It seemed like that they wanted to control Arnhem themselves and therefore Utrecht becomes a rival of the Grand Republic . Theocratic governments are backwards anyways, aren't they?



Arnhem becomes an Amsterdammer core province on 4 September, 1448. Stadtholder Homburg does a magnificent job at governing the city. Most of the grain is shipped directly to Amsterdam's food market. Some Amsterdammer salted fish and grain is even sold to the countries on the Iberian Peninsular.



van Gogh's four-year-long term as Raadpensionaris ended on 11 November. A wealthy merchant of noble blood, Sten von Schwelz, is elected as van Gogh's successor. von Schwelz's good leadership skills and superior tactical knowledge will certainly help Amsterdam to become an even greater republic!
Schwelz enjoys good relations with the Hanseatic League and the Duke of Hesse. An alliance between the two trading nations as well as with the Duchy of Hessen was the natural consequence.
Additionally to the four barques, that van Gogh had ordered in Amsterdam, two barques are also being built in Arnhem after von Schwelz provided Stadtholder Homburg with enough ducats.




Even though Amesterdam is a very pious republic, some people, especially the peasantry believed in miracles. A saint had performed a miracle in one of the small fishing villages along the coast of Amsterdam. The fishermen said that they are truly blessed! Stability increases as a result of the happy population.
Generally speaking, von Schwelz turns out to be a much stronger and more powerful ruler than his predecessor van Gogh. The merchant guild still has influence on the affairs of the republic but given that von Schwelz has the full backing of the guild, he is less at risk of upsetting them.



On 1 February, 1451, von Schwelz and declares together with the Hansa and Münster war on the Amsterdammer rival Utrecht which is joined by Oldenburg and Cleves. Trade was not so much the motivation behind this war but Amsterdam needed to control Utrecht in order to have a land connection between her two provinces. Furthermore, controlling more provinces in the English Channel trade node is enough reason to go to war with a weaker nation. For that purpose, 1.000 infantry and 100 cavlary were recruited to join the Amsterdammer army.



Von Schwelz is a skilled tactician and so it seems to make sense that he decided to lead the army. At the Battle of Utrecht, he stack-wiped the enemy army. Hendrick the Wicket, he is 69 years old, was once more given the privilege of ruling Amsterdam in the name of the Raadpensionaris while he is away.
The aristocracy asked for more rights and privileges. von Schwelz knows that accepted those demands would upset his fellow merchant friends. Therefore, there demands were ignored. A higher National Unrest is the consequence of that.
Hendrick the Wicket is paved the way for improvements in the Amsterdammer bureaucracy. The nation's technological level advanced but overall the bureaucracy was rather inefficient.



Hanseatic troops defeated together with an army of Münster the remaining defenders at the Battle of Kleves. Oldenburg's and Cleve's armies were no more! Cleves was forced to pay war reparations and 48 ducats for their betrayal. After all, Cleves used to be an ally of Amsterdam but in the war against Utrecht, they joined on the wrong side. They paid the price for it.
460 days after Amsterdammer troops under von Schwelz first laid siege on Utrecht, the city falls. Amsterdammer forces also occupied Ostfriesland and marched on Oldenburg.
When the news of the successful siege of Ostfriesland reached Amsterdam, the merchant guild kindly asked to annex not only Utrecht but also Ostfriesland. Ostfriesland was an important city with the Ems estuary in the rivaling Lübeck Trade node. Controlling it, would strengthen Amsterdam's efforts of steering trade from Lübeck the English Channel. von Schwelz agreed in principal with the merchant guild but in his opinion it is better to simply force Oldenburg into vassalage and so it happened. On 28 September, 1453, Oldenburg became a vassal of Amsterdam.



Two days later Utrecht was annexed and the Grand Republic returns to peace. Hendrik the Wicket is slightly angered with von Schwelz for not having conquered Ostfriesland but at least he understands the Raadpensionaris's reasoning. Stadtholder Homburg on the other hand is content with how the war ended. His province Arnehm is now connected to the capital via Utrecht. What more could he possibly ask for?






 
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The Assembly of the Raad of Amsterdam on 30 September, 1453


The Raad of Amsterdam convened in the capital on 30 September, 1453 to discuss two important topics after Raadpensionaris Sten von Schwelz had called for an assembly of the Raad.


von Schwelz welcomes the members of the Raad

Dear Members of this prestigious Raad, I have called all of you here to the capital because we have to discuss the future of our Grand Republic. Almost ten years ago, we gained our independence thanks to our most just Emperor. A lot has happened in those ten years. We now also rule over Arnheim and Utrecht and recently Oldenburg became our loyal subject.
Now we need to decide which idea group we shall embrace next. Should we strengthen our military and focus Offensive Ideas? Or is it wiser to make our administration more efficient by choosing Administrative Ideas? Alternatively, we could also focus on Plutocratic Ideas.


Before you cast your vote, we have three more speakers.


Albert Homburg adresses the Raad first
Gentlemen,
In a more reactionary and hidebound society, our prospering merchant guild would surly blossom. We could create free cities that generate more caravan power.
Furthermore, b
y focusing on plutocracy, we will be able to abolish serfordm. We know from reading the accounts of Roman times that a citizen army of free men is far more willing to fight for what is right than those who are forced to fight for it. Most importantly, a plutocratic society will surly develop new technologies faster.
The choice is obvious. We are a republic. We want to be a free society. We have to embrace plutocracy!


Homburg leaves the stage and up comes Hendrick the Wicket.
My Dear Raadpensionaris, Dear Gents,
The idea of a plutocratic society is nice but there are more pressing issues right now. As First Coin, I was appointed twice to rule in the name of our Raadpensionaris while he was away on duty. Unfortunately I have to inform all of you that our administration is broken and ineffective. We are wasting too much money by having a malfunctioning bureaucracy. This problem could be solved if we were to establish a civil service of eager young bureaucrats that will ensure that we are able to quickly adapt to new advances in administration in governance.
Furthermore, nobody really knows where all that money goes to that we are wasting. We need bookkeeping to main meticulous records of our money flow. That way we will also be able to negotiate better conditions with lenders in case money is short.
I also believe that our administration needs more flexibility. A bit more flexibility will surly decrease the cost of coring provinces.
Vote for Administrative Ideas if you truly care for our Grand Republic! We can focus on the military after we have fixed our administration.


The last speaker that entered the stage was Quartermaster Paul von Andechs.
I skip all the formalities of addressing you nicely and will get straight to the point. Our army could do much better. We lack conscription centers in our provinces. By creating those we would ensure that recruitment time is lower.
Furthermore, I urge you that we establish a military engineer corps that specializes in sieges. The greatest minds of our nation should work for the military and not for the administration and especially not for a greedy merchant guild!


There were boos from the members of the merchant guild. The Raadpensionaris managed to prevent chaos in the assembly by reminding Paul von Andechs to not not insult fellow members of the Raad.

Now that is settled, let me continue without further interruptions please! An engineer corps as necessary as a Grand Army if we want to conquer our neighbors and we want to do that, don't we!
Offensive Ideas are the way to go!


von Andechs left the stage and the casting of the votes began after Sten von Schwelz thanked all the speakers.



Poll

Option 1: Plutocratic Ideas
Option 2: Administrative Ideas
Option 3: Offensive Ideas

You have a little over 30 hours to cast your vote. Voting ends on Tuesday at 7:00 pm CEST.


Edit: Fixed typo!
 
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I vote Plutocratic.

It strikes a nice Balance between trade, war and administration.
 
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IMPORTANT: Grand list of Dutch words and the translations, just for you ignorant buitenlanders!

Raad: Council
Raads Pensionaris: Pensionary of the council, Grand Pensionary
Handelsgilde: Merchant Guild

Leger: Army
Merchant fleet/marine: Handelsvloot
Gierig: Greedy
Taart: Cake
Taartrevolutie: Cakerevolution.
Huurlingen: Mercenaries.



I am also the personal google translate of @delpiero1234

 
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Nastank

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I vote Administrative
 
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ThePatriotOfDreumel

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You should probably put a link to the "Grand list of Dutch words and their translations" in the first post so that people can find it easier.
 

londoner247

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I realise that this wasn't an option but why not choose Exploration first? Amsterdam's National Ideas are very trade and colonisation orientated, particularly the 40% boost to colonial range, so I would have thought that you want to maximise that by getting a real head start on the colonial game.
 
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You should probably put a link to the "Grand list of Dutch words and their translations" in the first post so that people can find it easier.
Will do!

I realise that this wasn't an option but why not choose Exploration first? Amsterdam's National Ideas are very trade and colonisation orientated, particularly the 40% boost to colonial range, so I would have thought that you want to maximise that by getting a real head start on the colonial game.
I'm glad somebody asks! I tested my idea set before I started the AAR.
Amsterdam is not in an ideal position to colonize but our second national idea gives us +40% colonial range. If we combine the +40% colonial range with Exploration Idea's +50% then we still don't have enough colonial range to reach Greenland.
To reach Greenland we need to be at Dip tech 7 and have unlocked Overseas Exploration from Exploration ideas AND have an advisor that increases colonial range. If we are unlucky and don't get that advisor then we can only reach Greenland at Dip tech 9. Therefore, I plan to take Exploration Ideas as second idea group (there won't be a vote on it; I don't want the voting sessions to be receptive and just about idea groups).



TL;DR: As first idea group, Exploration Ideas would frankly be quite useless since we cannot colonize until we either reach dip tech 7 or dip tech 9.
 

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Will do!


I'm glad somebody asks! I tested my idea set before I started the AAR.
Amsterdam is not in an ideal position to colonize but our second national idea gives us +40% colonial range. If we combine the +40% colonial range with Exploration Idea's +50% then we still don't have enough colonial range to reach Greenland.
To reach Greenland we need to be at Dip tech 7 and have unlocked Overseas Exploration from Exploration ideas AND have an advisor that increases colonial range. If we are unlucky and don't get that advisor then we can only reach Greenland at Dip tech 9. Therefore, I plan to take Exploration Ideas as second idea group (there won't be a vote on it; I don't want the voting sessions to be receptive and just about idea groups).



TL;DR: As first idea group, Exploration Ideas would frankly be quite useless since we cannot colonize until we either reach dip tech 7 or dip tech 9.
I see your point but in the time it will take to get to admin 5 and then start taking ideas you have plenty of time for a trade dispute with England, take Meath (maybe in two wars if it is already too far away to core it) and then conquer Ireland which gives you a decent jumping off point for exploration / colonisation as well as a good base for the proper invasion of England which needs to be an early objective.
 
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I see your point but in the time it will take to get to admin 5 and then start taking ideas you have plenty of time for a trade dispute with England, take Meath (maybe in two wars if it is already too far away to core it) and then conquer Ireland which gives you a decent jumping off point for exploration / colonisation as well as a good base for the proper invasion of England which needs to be an early objective.
The English have strong allies including Portugal, Venice and Savoy but I agree with you that the English need to be target rather soon than later. However, such an invasion needs to be timed well. I think we would need the support of at least France and maybe Castile in such a war. Our own army is far too weak to take on the English right now.

Tyrone is an independent country that we could conquer but we would have to declare a non CB war. That would result in a medium-large coalition against us because of the AE that would generate..
 

londoner247

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The English have strong allies including Portugal, Venice and Savoy but I agree with you that the English need to be target rather soon than later. However, such an invasion needs to be timed well. I think we would need the support of at least France and maybe Castile in such a war. Our own army is far too weak to take on the English right now.

Tyrone is an independent country that we could conquer but we would have to declare a non CB war. That would result in a medium-large coalition against us because of the AE that would generate..
I think you need naval supremacy which may mean some loans to build up a bigger fleet. Remember that the trade dispute gets ticking war score from blockades so if you can wipe out the English fleet and block the strait to Scotland then Meath should be *easy* to take. Kill their navy once now and you've beaten them for the whole game.

Anyway, as you say, they are not easy and it may be situational in that they could get jumped by France and Burgundy keeping their armies busy on the continent and giving you a chance but if that doesn't happen it could be 100 years before you are strong enough to take them on.
 
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